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Hands in Mine 2

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(A/N: Hello folks! I'm sorry that I have been gone so long when I promised you a sequel like forever and a day ago. So anyway, this is the sequel to 'Hands in Mine' which basically means that you'll have to step back from the canon quite a ways at this story used the first 'Avengers' movie as its starting point. If you haven't read the first one then I suggest you do that. Typical warnings for gay relationships, mpreg, poly ships, and gratuitous fluff. Anyway, on with the show!)

Hands in Mine 2

Part 1

Loki could not help but curse aloud, his arms wrapped tightly around Tony's shivering form. The other man was six months pregnant and suffering from yet another panic attack. Very rarely did Tony overlook the minute details of something, but with something as complex as pregnancy it seemed impossible to account for everything. Pregnancy complicated mental illness; Tony was living with mental illness, and had been doing so rather quietly for some time. Loki allowed the other man to curl in as tightly as he was able and continued to hold him close.

It seemed that every time the other Avengers were required to respond to a situation, Tony was reduced to a state of panic that nothing could combat. So it had fallen to Loki to remain behind, caring for Tony and Steve as well as his own children. Truly Loki did not mind being the caretaker, but he was beginning to worry for the sake of Tony's unborn baby. It was true that Odin had stopped tormenting them, truer still that Odin now granted them a measure of protection. Loki would not address the idea that someone as powerful as Odin could have his mind influenced so easily, but the matter was being looked into, after all, it was several millennia old and the original controller might not be at the helm any longer.

"Anthony, come back to me," Loki breathed his voice low and soft, trying to reach Tony in the hell that his mind inhabited.

"He's not going to be okay until Bruce comes home," Steve said, his expression was drawn with nerves, but he was not on the verge of a panic episode. Loki swore again and pulled away from Tony, letting the other man sink into the couch.

"I don't want to lie to him," Loki's voice cracked and he looked to Steve for some form of reassurance.

"It's that or you shock his brain again, and I don't think you want to do that," Steve said and shifted, grunting at the now persistent pain in his lower back. The Super Soldier Serum had clearly never been intended to accommodate pregnancy.

"No, I don't. Damn," Loki said and with a snap of his fingers and a flash of golden light he assumed the guise of Bruce Banner, Tony's fiancée and the only one truly capable of bringing him out of a panic. It should have felt shameful to wear another man's face, but Loki had been doing it for eons. Only, now that he was impersonating someone that he considered a friend and whose well-being directly affected the person that he was deceiving, something about it twisted his stomach.

"Thor and Bruce will understand," Steve assured, seeing Loki's hesitance. The God of Mischief nodded to himself, sinking onto the couch to wrap his arms around Tony once again. It took a long moment in which Tony did not move at all, but then wide brown eyes stared up into perfectly replicated hazel ones and the panic began to visibly recede. It was not perfect, it never had been, Bruce could bring him back from the depths but it never erased the underlying cause. Still, Tony's breathing was leveling out and his alarmingly high heart rate was dropping. Loki did his best to reach out to the unborn child without giving away the presence of his magic, just to assure himself that nothing had happened due to the protracted state of panic.

"Bruce," Tony whispered, there were tears in his eyes and he lunged forward, kissing Loki open-mouthed and desperate. Of course he did not know that it was Loki and Loki had to behave as if he were in fact Bruce. So he responded to the kiss with fervor, sliding his fingers into Tony's hair as he had seen Bruce do a million times. In the back of his mind he felt the wrongness of the action, but he shoved it down and cradled Tony's face, kissing him deeply.

"You're alright," Loki assured softly and ran his thumbs along Tony's cheek bones. For a moment Tony hesitated, his expression shifting as he struggled with the sudden appearance of his lover. Something was wrong; he had been upset for a reason. Or had he? No, the other Avengers had gone but Bruce had stayed, right? Tony's head swiveled and he looked up at Steve who was seated on another couch.

"Why don't you go lie down in bed Tony? That's probably best for the baby, right Bruce?" Steve said, his eyes shifting ever so slightly as he observed both of them. Tony looked at Loki, he knew what was best for himself, but he listened more readily to his lover.

"He's right Tony; would you like me to walk you there?" Loki asked softly and Tony's expression shifted to something like a pout.

"No I am still able to take myself. Thank you very much. You stay here and take care of Steve, but…maybe come and get me when the others get back? Just so I know that they're alright?" Tony said and Loki nodded his agreement. At least it would give him the opportunity to explain the situation to Bruce so that the other man could play along.

Loki watched him go, still tasting him on his lips and tongue, hating himself that his body had begun to respond to Tony's passionate kisses. As soon as the door to his room clicked close, Loki dropped the illusion that was Bruce and fell back against the couch. He could not keep the conflict off of his face and Steve watched as guilt warred with compassion on sharp features.

"It's okay Loki," Steve said gently, he didn't believe that there had been any other means of averting the crisis short of Loki abusing a power that could have long-term impact on Tony's mental acuity.

"I've never wanted him like that. I shouldn't desire him," Loki said, struggling to put his thoughts into words as guilt swelled in his chest. He thought of Thor and their children, of how he was wrong to betray that love.

"It happens Loki; you're not the only one that's ever been caught up in a moment. It doesn't have to mean anything," Steve said and Loki blinked, tilting his head as he considered that possibility. It was true; perhaps his concern for Tony's health had let him get too wrapped up in the physical aspect of what he was doing. He loved Tony in some way, but it was not the way that he loved Thor; he would not betray Thor for anyone. He would be confessing his transgression as soon as he and Thor were alone.

Strange how he had changed over the years, deception was still his greatest power, and yet his attitude towards using it had changed radically. He'd never experienced so much guilt over the use of his powers. Perhaps that was something that he would bring up the next time he had a meeting with his therapist. Certainly it was worth covering. All of them had things to hash out and work through; this was simply one more on the pile of things.

(A/N: That's all for now. I'm sorry to leave you here, but I have a very limited pool of inspiration lately and I wanted to give you something because you've waited so long. Leave me a comment to let me know what you thought of it.)

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(A/N: I'm back again. No new warnings apply to this chapter, so let's get right on with it shall we?)

Hands in Mine 2

Part 2

By the time the Avengers returned from their mission, Steve had fallen asleep on the couch. Loki had laid a blanket over him and left him to rest. The kids had hardly made a peep, JARVIS was keeping an eye on them in the playground that Tony had assembled several floors down and none of them had called for his attention other than to demonstrate a particularly high jump on a trampoline. There was no concern that his children would injure themselves, they had godly constitutions and Hela could readily heal any small hurts that they might have. It should have bothered him that his children longed for so much time away from their parents, but the therapists had assured him that it was a normal part of the recovery process and that they would be back to hanging all over him in no time at all.

As the Avengers filed into the living room Loki got to his feet, snagging Bruce by the elbow the moment he saw him. Thor raised an eyebrow but Loki gave a slight tilt of his head, indicating that he would explain later. The kitchen was the closest unoccupied space and Loki did his best to ensure that no one could overhear them.

"Is something wrong with Tony?" Bruce asked at once, there was only one thing that Loki could want his attention for after all. Loki swallowed thickly and nodded, he had not thought it would be so hard to explain.

"His panic attack this time was severe, so much so that I was not able to avert it by conventional means. I…you know that my magic poses a risk to his psyche if I use it to interfere too often…I chose another means of bringing him out of it," Loki said, guilt twisting his gut as he watched the fear and concern overtake Bruce's face.

"You know that you have permission to use whatever means necessary. It's for his own good," Bruce said, but the set of his jaw was tight and Loki was certain that had he not spent months working on control and devising means of placating the Hulk, those eyes would have been green.

"I know, but I had to lie to him. I stole your form; he…convinced himself that you had not left after all. I think he was desperate enough to believe that you were not in danger that he allowed his mind to be deceived. He kissed you with such desperation," Loki said softly his eyes fixated on the floor his fists clenched at his sides as he tried desperately not to think of how good it had felt to kiss Tony back.

"You kissed him back, right? He'd know something was wrong if you didn't," Bruce said and reached out to slide a hand along Loki's jaw, turning the taller man's gaze so that their eyes met once again.

"Yes, of course. I gave him what he needed in the moment to believe that he was with you. It's just…Bruce this is hard to say," Loki tried to look away but Bruce held his gaze. "I wanted him in that moment. My body acted against the logic of my mind. Nothing happened, but I feel guilt. Tony believed it was you to whom he had bared his soul and poured such desperation into a single kiss that it nearly stole my breath. Had he asked more of me, I don't know that I could have denied him," Loki admitted and the shame caused a few stray tears to roll down his cheeks.

"Loki, don't let yourself think for an instant that he didn't know it was you. Truthfully all of us can see through your illusions. If he was willing to let himself be deceived then that is what he needed. You did not take advantage of him. If he would have asked you for more it would have been knowing full well that he was asking you and not me," Bruce stepped closer and curled one hand around the back of Loki's neck. "And were you comfortable with the idea, I would want you to give him exactly what he asked for. Tony, he needs love, physical affection, he needs more than I can possibly give. Frankly it is a relief to know that he stirs something in you, I know that you'd take care of him," Bruce said and Loki felt a shiver go down his spine as Bruce's fingers tightened against his skin.

"I don't understand," Loki said, his voice strangled and his knees feeling weak. Bruce used his grip on Loki's neck to tug him down until their faces were a scant inch apart and stared him in the eyes for a long moment giving Loki ample time to pull away. Then, as if it were the most normal thing in the world, he pushed forward and captured Loki's lips in a kiss, one that Loki could not help but return, his hands latching onto the material of Bruce's shirt.

"There is not an Avenger in this Tower that would not gladly take you to bed. There are very few that would not do the same with each other. Our relationships are well defined, but also without borders. I think this is a concept that you understand," Bruce said, his thumb sliding along Loki's jaw. Loki for his part had rarely seen the doctor quite so intense and did not know what had prompted the break in character.

"I am familiar with polyamory, but I was under the impression that here on Midgard it was frowned upon. I thought that Steve, Phil, and Logan were the exception," Loki said feeling breathless and lost.

"In the wider world it is, but you can't deny that all of us have formed a less than typical bond. How often do we sleep communally, pile in with each other, and curl up with someone other than our specific partner? There is no need to feel guilty about it. Talk to Thor, he will understand," Bruce said and stepped back, leaving Loki feeling suddenly bereft and aroused all at once.

No more words were needed and they made their way back to the main room, the open living area where most of the Avengers were situated. Bruce broke away and headed to the room that he shared with Tony, knowing that it was for the best if he checked up on his pregnant lover.

Thor was standing off to the side, staring out at the sky, he spared a glance toward Loki and the intent was clear. Without missing a beat Loki moved to stand beside Thor, melting into the embrace when Thor pulled him in close. Thor drew their mouths together in a slow but passionate kiss and Loki's head grew light at the sensation.

"You know, don't you," Loki whispered against Thor's lips, meeting electric blue eyes and watching that beloved face blossom into a brilliant smile.

"Yes my love, many of us have spoken of it in therapy, but as you seemed more reserved about such things we did not bring it up. It seemed that it came up naturally regardless. Does it bother you?" Thor said softly and Loki shook his head.

"No, I cherish the bond that I have with the Avengers; I love them all in a way. We've been group parenting since the day the kids came home. I simply worried…I did not want you to believe that I did not love you first and foremost," Loki said and pressed his face into Thor's neck when those strong arms pulled him in for yet another hug.

"You are always my first, my brother, my lover, mother of my children, but in a home with so much love to be had, it is difficult not to reciprocate it," Thor said, bowing his head and trailing a kiss along Loki's jaw.

"I am glad then, that we are all on the same page," Loki whispered, long fingers slowly sliding up Thor's back, he wondered vaguely if there was time before they called the kids up for dinner to drag Thor to bed.

(A/N: That's it for now. I hope you liked it and will leave me a comment or a review to let me know what you thought of it.)

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(A/N: I'm glad that you guys seem to be liking this story despite how long you had to wait for me to get it out to you. Regardless, I hope you enjoy it and will come back for more. Warnings for sexy times in this chapter. On with the show!)

Hands in Mine 2

Part 3

The concept of having two more children running around the tower was quite possibly the most horrifying thing that Tony could conceive of in that moment. He watched as Loki and Thor's children ran screaming through the halls, some of them using their magic to run along the walls or ceilings instead of the floor. In the back of his mind he could not help but be pleased that the children that he and Steve were bringing into the world would not have to powers that the Asgardian children did. Of course, there was always the possibility that Steve's child would exhibit something like Logan's mutation, it was a tricky process blending three DNA sequences into one and trying to predict what the end result would be, especially with a wildcard like the Mutant X gene involved.

"There are days when I think for a moment that I should not have agreed to raising them as Midgardian children, but I would not trade this for anything. They may be more than a handful, but they deserve their childhood," Thor commented, smiling at the sight of his youngest daughters trailing behind the pack of older children, screaming at them for being unfair.

"Indeed, I am simultaneously thrilled and terrified at the prospect of what my own will be like," Tony said softly, his hand resting on the swell of his stomach, smaller, perhaps, than it should have been. The inventor was hardly eating these days, a combination of depression and anxiety made it nearly impossible for him to function on a normal level. Were it not for the need to take care of his unborn baby, he would likely have been on the fast track to self-destruction. No, despite Bruce and the rest of the Avengers, it was fear for his little girl that kept Tony in therapy, listening to his doctors, and doing what he could to keep himself healthy.

"Your daughter will be the light of your life regardless of what she's like. I think you know that," Thor said and watched as Tony grinned and brown eyes hazed over with tears.

"Yeah she will, of course she will," Tony breathed and the tears spilled over. Thor wrapped his arms around Tony without a second thought, hugging the other man close and letting him have the moment that he needed to process his emotions. They were encouraging him to express himself more openly more often in the hopes that he wouldn't bottle up his emotions and leave himself quite so prone to panic attacks.

"Sleipnir assures me that she will be healthy and happy. He is excited to have yet another sister," Thor said, gently sliding his hands up and down Tony's back, easing the other man's tension down to a more manageable level. It took a second but Tony laughed, turning his face into Thor's shoulder and letting his hands slide around the other man's hips.

"Is he keeping a tally as to the balance of the house?" Tony asked and nearly shivered when Thor's large hand slid up under the fabric of his shirt. He loved to be touched and cuddled, but the casual way that everyone had adopted after their discussion about relationships, was still new to him.

"He might be. I hear that Jean has agreed to be the surrogate for Charles and Erik, I am sure that he will find an excuse to adopt that child as a sibling as well," Thor said and the fondness in his voice was unmistakable, he loved his son dearly, including all of his oddities.

"Children, siblings. Charles and Erik are adamant that they will be twins," Tony supplied and Thor could not help but laugh, he only hoped that the X-men were ready to deal with those children.

"Sometimes it is good to have more than one child, perhaps not six, however," Thor said, wincing at the sound of something crashing and his children breaking into riotous laughter. Tony simply pressed his face against Thor's collar bone and laughed softly.

"I'm hoping that this pack of hooligans learns to calm down by time the baby comes. Of course, seeing how they were with the twins gives me hope that they will know how to handle this one," Tony said and groaned when Thor's fingers began to knead the tension out of his lower back. It was a safe bet for him and Steve, either rub their backs or their feet and they were putty in your hands, not that either man was terribly ashamed of that fact.

"I believe they are getting it out of their systems now, yes. Hela looks forward to being the best big sister possible," Thor agreed and slid one hand around to cradle Tony's rounded stomach. He was not as good at it as Loki or their children, but he could feel the presence of a child resting comfortably. With hardly a thought to the action Thor leaned down and kissed Tony's softly parted lips, drawing the other man closer. Tony moaned into the kiss and dug his fingers into Thor's hips, his eyes dropping closed, and mind going blank. Kissing him was another really good way to get him to relax; he was starting to believe that the Avengers were aware of this fact and using it to their advantage.

Thor's mouth was hot and insistent and Tony nearly crumbled under the weight of the arousal that something as simple as a kiss was causing him. They broke apart for a moment so that Tony could breathe and Thor smiled so brightly that it almost hurt.

"If you keep that up you're going to have to take me to bed because my body refuses to be left hanging," Tony warned softly, his thumbs sliding up under Thor's tank top, tracing lines of musculature that were once defined on his own body but had now been rounded out.

"I would not deprive you of your release. Come, I will satisfy whatever needs you may have," Thor responded, voice low and soft. Tony bit his lip and allowed the other man to tug him down the hall. The room they found belonged to Thor and Loki. Thor pressed Tony's frame up against the door, kissing him thoroughly as he locked the door to prevent any of the children from accidentally getting an eyeful of their activities.

"Thor, fuck, please," Tony moaned, he was beyond desperate at this point and Thor was all too happy to carry him to the bed. With confident hands Thor stripped away Tony's clothing, admiring the other man's body as he took his time removing his own clothes.

"How do you want me Anthony?" Thor whispered as his bare flesh pressed against Tony's, he stroked his fingers along soft skin and followed them with his mouth as he waited for Tony to decide their course of action.

"Inside me, I, fuck it's barely been 12 hours since I got any, how am I this pent up?" Tony moaned, spreading his legs to make Thor's job of getting him ready just a bit easier.

"You are pregnant, hormones can make you insatiable. Trust me on this," Thor breathed, kissing his way up Tony's neck to his lips. Tony groaned deeply and tugged Thor's head down to deepen the kiss, wanting to taste every inch of the other man.

"If you're such an authority on the matter then you should know that you should be in me by now," Tony breathed, not caring in the least how needy he sounded in that moment. Thor simply chuckled and used one hand to tilt Tony's slender hips up and the other to guide himself inside. The moan that broke from Tony's lips was absolutely sinful and Thor pressed in as deeply as he could, determined to make the other man moan like that over and over again.

They moved together and Tony urged Thor to move quickly, begging him in half-moans and desperate gasps. Thor was happy to oblige, holding Tony's hips and kissing him as often as he could between thrusts. It was not long before both of them were close to their ends and Tony's legs locked around Thor's hips, pulling him as deep as he could.

"Fuck," Tony breathed as his orgasm crashed over him, Thor could only grunt, his body still quaking with his release.

(A/N: I'm sorry to leave you guys hanging here, but I hope you enjoyed it and will leave me a review or a comment to let me know what you thought. Until next time!)

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(A/N: Hey guys! I'm back with more! I am glad to see that people have been enjoying my new story, and especially after I made you all wait so long for it to exist. I hope you'll stick with me for the duration! On with the show!)

Hands in Mine 2

Part 4

Bruce had been fairly confident that he and Tony were the only ones on the residential floor of the tower, he wouldn't have left his room in nothing but his boxers if he had thought he'd run into someone. But that someone was Loki and he was slumped over at the kitchen island, clinging to a mug of coffee with his head pressed against it. The mug was still steaming so Bruce assumed that it had to hurt, or maybe Loki didn't even notice the temperature. Regardless of his state of dress, he walked up to the other man and laid a hand on his shoulder, concerned for his well-being.

Loki was startled, it seemed that he had been half-awake on the stool and hadn't noticed Bruce's arrival.

"Hey, you alright?" Bruce asked softly, looking at the rings of darkness that surrounded Loki's eyes and feeling a pang of fear. There had only been one other time when Loki had looked in such poor health and that had been when Odin was bent on killing him. As far as Bruce or any of the Avengers knew, Loki and Thor did not experience illnesses, or at least not mortal ones.

"I have been better. Thor has been in Asgard with the children for three days. I have not slept for the duration," Loki said softly, his expression was one of genuine misery and Bruce nearly flinched away from the raw emotion displayed there.

"Why didn't you go with?" Bruce asked instead, slipping an arm around Loki's slender waist and letting him lean in close.

"I…could not bear to look upon it again. Not until…not until we know what madness plagued the Allfather. I fear that my return would bring it out again. I know that Mother and Thor will be more than enough to protect the children. But I fear that I shall upset a balance that has yet to be properly struck," Loki said, low and rasping, his voice growing weaker the longer he spoke so that Bruce had to strain to hear him.

"Then, why haven't you come to one of us? You know that you're welcome in any of our beds," Bruce said gently, his chin resting against the plane of Loki's shoulder.

"I did not desire to reveal my weakness. I should not be so…upset," Loki breathed and lowered his head again, looking for all the world as if someone had beaten him into submission. Bruce peeled the coffee cup away from the other man's hand and pulled Loki into his chest, hugging him close. Tears filled Loki's eyes and he pressed his face into Bruce's bare chest, his hands scrambling for purchase on the doctor's broad shoulders.

"You have every right to be upset. You're still processing a great trauma, letting your children and their father back into the realm that caused that trauma is a very real trigger. The kids are young; they will more readily heal if they learn that their grandparents and the realm that bore them can be a place of peace. It is not so easy for you," Bruce said, sliding his hands up and down Loki's back, letting the other man's tears fall without comment.

Bruce lifted Loki's chin with one hand, brushing his thumb along the other man's jaw. He kissed Loki's forehead and gently slid a hand into noticeably tangled hair, careful not to pull on it as he did so.

"You are too kind to me," Loki said at last and Bruce shook his head dismissively.

"Never. Come to bed Little Green God, Tony and I will be glad to have you," Bruce said gently, letting his hands linger around Loki's hips. It took a moment, but green eyes closed and Loki's head bobbed in assent. He stood up from the stool, only slightly stumbling in Bruce's grasp.

"Didn't you come out here for a reason though?" Loki asked and Bruce nodded.

"Tony's vitamins and some water," the doctor provided. Without a word Loki summoned the required prescription bottles from the cabinet. A decently sized bottle of water soon joined them and Bruce smiled gently, leaning in and kissing Loki again, this time on the cheek. "Thank you Loki," he whispered.

"You know I'm always trying to take care of Tony," Loki responded as they began to make their way out of the kitchen.

"Yes, well now it is my job to take care of the both of you. Let's get you some sleep," Bruce said gently, one hand was occupied by the supplies that he needed for Tony; the other was wrapped around Loki's middle. The fact that he was nearly naked had all but escaped his mind; he supposed that it was a positive sign of how comfortable they'd all gotten around each other.

When they arrived at Bruce and Tony's room, Loki could feel the misery and pain that hung around Tony as a physical presence. He watched silently as Bruce convinced Tony to swallow the pills that his body required and felt his heart ache that more could not be done to help Tony get through the psychological issues that were plaguing him.

Loki stripped down to his boxers, mimicking Bruce and Tony in state of dress and slipped into the bed, wrapping his arms around Tony. He allowed himself to forget for the moment about his own issues and poured everything he had into cradling the other man close.

"Loki," Tony whispered a soft acknowledgement as he turned his head and kissed Loki lightly on the lips.

"I am here Anthony," Loki assured, smiling when Bruce slid into bed on Tony's other side, his arms brushing against Loki's as they were wrapped around Tony's frame.

"Now maybe the both of you will sleep," Bruce said gently, kissing Tony and then Loki, tugging the blankets up over them all.

Loki snuggled close to Tony; sliding one hand protectively over the other man's swelled stomach, joining his fingers with Bruce's when they met over the bump. He closed his eyes and let himself be consumed by the warmth and tenderness of the moment. Sleep had evaded him for days, but now as he listened to the slowing rhythm of Tony's breaths and felt the tension easing out of the man's body, it seemed impossible to keep his eyes open. This was a sensation that he did not fight. Perhaps when he woke, Thor and the children would be back home and all of his concerns would have been for nothing.

"I love you guys," Tony whispered softly, Bruce and Loki immediately muttered their love for him, their hands tightening around one another for the briefest of moments. Bruce couldn't help but smile, their new relationship dynamics were still being worked out, but he knew at the very least that between himself, Tony, Loki, and Thor, some things had been settled. They were more together than apart and such knowledge was comforting.

(A/N: That's it for now. I hope that you will leave me a comment or a review to let me know what you think. Hearing from you guys keeps me inspired to stay writing.)

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(A/N: Hey guys, I'm back again. I can't promise consistent updates because unfortunately my brain continues to be a terrible gremlin with no sense of time or propriety, but I swear to you that this story and all the others that I've yet to finish, will be finished. Anyway the warnings are par for the course at this point so on with the show!)

Hands in Mine 2

Part 5

Steve sat on the couch; it was just about all he did these days. At five months and some days along, he was dealing with a persistent backache that made him loathe to do anything more strenuous than getting up to use the restroom. He was also coping with hormones that made him more than a little grumpy. Of course he was grateful that he was nowhere near as bad as Tony was, but he still wasn't fully prepared for the mood swings and cravings that had cropped up in the last few weeks.

He was just considering getting up to head to the bedroom for a nap when he spotted Logan attempting to skirt his field of vision in order to make it from the hallway to the kitchen. Steve frowned deeply and grunted as he pushed himself to his feet, this was a matter that he would attend to before allowing himself to sleep.

"Logan," Steve almost winced at the sharpness of his voice and the other man froze in place, shoulders clearly tense. "Logan we need to talk," Steve tried again, hoping that he had managed to soften his voice somewhat.

"About what?" Logan asked, gruff, not turning to face Steve, body taught as if he were ready to make a break for it instead of speaking to his lover.

"You know what," Steve said and gently grabbed the other man's shoulder, tugging him back until he took the hint and turned to look Steve in the face.

"I'm sure I don't," Logan said, his voice remained low, tight; he looked like a caged animal. Steve swallowed heavily and tried to fight back a wave of tears at what he saw in the other man's face. There was so much pain, so much uncertainty.

"You've been avoiding us, Phil and I have spent the night without you for more than a week now. I want to know what's wrong. Did we do something to drive you away?" Steve said and his voice broke, the tears that he had been fighting were not to be denied and he let them come. Logan's head was tilted up so that he could meet Steve's gaze and the instant the tears started he pulled the other man into his arms, shorter or not, he'd gotten a lot of experience hugging taller people.

Steve practically folded in on himself to be as close to Logan as possible, soaking up every drop of affection that the hug offered him and crying just a bit harder. For his part, Logan tried not to go stiff again; he ran his hands along the other man's back and cursed himself for being tactless. It took some strength, but he maneuvered Steve back onto the couch, sitting beside him and continuing to hold him close.

"It's nothing you did, nothing Phil did, I promise that I still love you both very much," Logan said quietly, his fingers trailing up to play with Steve's hair, it was due for a trim, but he didn't mind being able to tangle his fingers into that blond softness.

"Then why?" Steve whispered, his voice was already raw from the tears and he found his hands had dug themselves into Logan's shoulders in what had to be a painfully tight grip.

"In therapy I've been dealing with some stuff, the kind of stuff I wish I couldn't remember. I'm having nightmares as a result. It happens sometimes, when you force your mind to process things, well, you get worse before you get better. And my nightmares are violent Steve, really violent," Logan took a sharp breath and cleared his throat. "I can heal myself, if I stab myself in the leg or otherwise harm myself, I can recover. If I lash out in my sleep I could hurt Phil, I could hurt you, and I could hurt the baby. I've been sleeping alone because I can't stand the thought of harming you," Logan said at last, his expression was filled with pain and sorrow.

"Oh Logan," Steve's voice trembled and he hugged his lover as close as the swell of his stomach would allow him. Logan didn't fight it; he rested his head against Steve's collar bone and breathed in his scent, letting his eyes slip closed as he imagined sleeping once again curled against his partners. It had been hard on all of them it seemed; he wished that there was a better way.

"I want nothing more than to sleep next to you two again. I want it so bad. But I'm not safe to be around right now. I'll…get better eventually, or find some means of suppressing the claws. Just…just don't think that I don't love you, that I don't love Phil. Because I do, I love you both more than I have words to say," Logan said in a strained voice as he fought against his own tears. He should have just said something when the nightmares started, he shouldn't have made it so hard on all of them. But he couldn't bring himself to admit such a weakness to his partners and it had hurt them both. If Phil wasn't at SHIELD headquarters he knew that he would be clinging to the both of them trying his best to apologize for hurting them.

"I understand. I'm just sorry that we can't be there to help you when you're waking up from a nightmare. I know how much it helps me to be able to wake up to someone I love and trust," Steve said and shook his head, he wished that there was a different way for them to go about things, but if he had to accept being without Logan for a time then that was what he would do.

"This is enough. Knowing that you want me there, it's enough," Logan said gently and leaned up to kiss Steve on the lips. The other man closed his eyes and ran a hand through Logan's coarse hair, deepening the kiss and trying to convey without words just how much he loved him. Of course, the kiss grew heated to a point where Steve had all but dragged Logan into his lap despite the baby bump and the fact that anyone could walk in on them in the living room.

"I love you so much. Even if I can't have you in my bed at the moment," Steve affirmed, his hands gripping tight to Logan's hips.

"You can have me in your bed, just not for sleeping," Logan pointed out and Steve groaned, his head dropping back against the couch and his eyes falling closed.

"I want very much to take you up on that offer," Steve hissed, his body aching already from the arousal that he felt.

"So what's stopping you?" Logan questioned, fingers sliding back up to tangle in Steve's hair.

"Our son has been kicking me in the spine for the better part of the day, my back is killing me," Steve said and Logan froze, his expression falling slack for an instant before his hands found their way down to the swell of Steve's stomach.

"A son?" Logan whispered almost in awe and Steve smiled, wrapping his hands around Logan's where they rested and squeezing them gently. His tears were all but forgotten even as they dried on his face.

"Yes Logan, you, Phil, and I are having a boy. Sleipnir assures me of this, and I know better than to doubt him," Steve responded and was promptly kissed with renewed ferocity. None of them had really had a preference one way or another as to what they wanted their child to be, but Steve was glad to see that Logan shared his excitement in the matter.

"I would have been just as happy with a daughter, but knowing, somehow knowing makes it so much more real. Shit, we're going to be parents," Logan said and kissed Steve again, wishing for all the world that Phil could be there to celebrate with them.

(A/N: Well that's where I leave you for now. I hope that you enjoyed it and will leave me a comment or review, your feedback seriously helps me keep going when I otherwise can't find inspiration, I love hearing from you guys. Thanks for reading!)

Chapter Text

(A/N: Hey guys, back again with more story. There aren't any new warnings to let you know about and this continues along the same themes as previous chapters so I don't think I need to tell you what to expect. Anyway, on with the show!)

Hands in Mine 2

Part 6

This time it had been Natasha that was required to stay behind on guard duty, they'd needed Loki's powers to deal with the incident so she was in charge of protecting the children, Tony, and Steve. The kids absolutely loved her so it hadn't been too hard to convince them to quietly play video games or Lego while she took care of her two teammates. Of all people it was Loki that had needed convincing that Tony could be left without his care, he trusted her without question when it came to the children, but Tony remained fragile. He had only recently gotten to a point where he was no longer having daily panic attacks and his sleep was finally beginning to resemble something healthy.

Loki worried like a mother hen. But Natasha understood it and she had sworn that she would call him if Tony entered a state that she could not alleviate on her own. So far it was going well, Tony lie beside Steve on the pullout couch, head tucked against the other man's hip, a book open on a holo-screen in his hand. He was teaching himself everything there was to know about some new field of mechanics, which was a departure from the last several months of languishing depression that he had suffered. There'd be no point in asking him about it until he had read everything that there was to know, he refused to expound on a subject unless he knew every scrap of information available.

For the span of a few second Tony's expression changed to something like discomfort and he shifted his weight off of his hip. The problem seemed fixed as he contentedly resumed reading. But a few minutes later he groaned and his free hand came down to cradle his stomach, rubbing at it gently.

"You alright Tony?" Steve's voice was low but it carried to where Natasha sat stretched out on the closest chair. She waited for Tony to respond, not wanting to rush for an answer and provoke a panic attack. But Tony only smiled and tugged one of Steve's hands down to rest against the lower curve of his stomach. He motioned quietly for Natasha to come over and she hardly missed a second before she was on the couch beside him, her head tucked to her shoulder as she lightly cradled his stomach.

"She's active today. I think she likes the subject matter," Tony said and there was a smile there that Natasha didn't even need to see, she could hear it in his voice. She allowed her eyes to slide closed and just breathed, letting herself feel the movement beneath her palm. No matter how often she felt either of the babies move, it always grounded her, made everything feel so much more real. She longed for the day when it would be her that got to call people over to feel what Tony was feeling now, but she was also content to share in the experience of the others. After all, she and Clint still needed to get married, not that either of them were terribly traditionalist, but she liked to pretend.

"Given who she has as parents I wouldn't be surprised if she came out knowing more than the two of you combined about physics and engineering," Natasha joked softly, letting out a breath and pressing her face into Tony's neck. He chuckled and wiggled until his arm was wrapped around her shoulders, letting her rest fully against him. Tony was always happier sandwiched between people, he loved to cuddle almost more than any of them, which was saying something as he'd been extremely touch-adverse for a long time.

"She might, but I'm not going to put any pressure on her. She can do whatever she likes and I'll just be glad that she's mine," Tony said quietly, his voice was without bitterness, but Natasha and Steve both knew it for the commentary on his childhood that it was.

"I know you will Tony," Steve assured and Natasha smiled the environment that she found herself in, with so many people that loved and supported each other, it was like nothing she had ever expected to know. Contented by the tenderness of the moment she allowed herself to drift, close to sleep but not quite there. It wasn't until the kids piled in around them, curling up over legs and hips that she allowed herself to give in to sleeping. This was something that she had gotten used to, and she reveled in it, letting her body soak up every inch of the affection that it had once been denied.

Asleep it felt like hours had passed and yet no time at all, normally she remained more aware of her surroundings when she slept, but it was difficult when she was surrounded by so much comfort. Thankfully her guard was not needed and the sound that she woke to was the other Avengers returning from their mission, sweaty and bruised, but victorious. She smiled at them, and shushed them gently, wondering when Sleipnir had wormed his way in between Tony and Steve. The white-haired boy had probably wanted to converse with his siblings, not that she blamed him; most of them couldn't wait to meet them the way that only he truly could.

Glancing down, she determined that it was Hela that had a vice grip around her ribs and that there was no way that she was moving without disturbing at least three of the six children. Loki smiled indulgently and leaned down to begin the process of freeing her from the tangle of Jormungandr's limbs, the boy had a way of twining himself around whoever it was that he slept beside, sometimes tightly enough to put limbs to sleep. But the child moved without protest until she was able to lift her leg and allow him to roll into Fenrir's side. Automatically black and silver hair clashed as the boys wrapped around one another, leaving her with only Hela to worry about disturbing.

But Loki was already on that, gently maneuvering his daughter's clinging arms open long enough for Natasha to slip free. Hela needed little prompting to fill in the space that had been left behind and wrapped her arms around Tony without so much as waking. Limaine and Latharne were cuddled on Steve's lap and since the man slumbered on there was no reason to disturb him. Tony stirred only long enough to mutter a welcome home to his friends and family.

They all moved to the kitchen so as not to disturb the sleeping pile in the living room. Natasha was content to take a seat at the bar while her companions raided the fridges and cabinets for much needed food to restore their energy. Hunger wasn't really on her radar at the moment, she was still working on waking up. She smiled widely when Logan placed a mug of coffee near her hands and accepted the shoulder nudge that he granted her as some means of saying thanks for watching over one of his partners. Though he was getting better at communicating his feelings, he still preferred to say things with gestures rather than words and she at the very least was content with that, given that she wasn't all that good with emotions herself.

"How was Tony?" Bruce asked, clearly beating Loki to the punch on the question. She understood that they both worried about him, but sometimes it seemed like a competition as to who worried more.

"He was great. Spent his time awake reading up on some stuff about bio-mechanics or something like it, and then the baby started to wiggle and he couldn't have been happier. I think he might be out of the woods when it comes to whatever hormones were playing havoc with his emotions," Natasha said gently and she noted that Bruce, Loki, and Thor all seemed to sag with visible relief. It probably wasn't wise to be leaving Tony alone any time soon, but not at least it seemed that they only had the underlying illness to deal with, not one ramped up to a thousand by pregnancy.

"That's really great to hear. Hopefully he'll sleep for a bit longer, he's got a lot of catching up to do in that department," Bruce said and sat himself down with what had to be the most over stuffed sandwich that he could have made without it toppling over. Sometimes she wondered how they afforded all the food that they needed to eat.

(A/N: Well that's all for now. Let me know what you think in a comment or a review. I know it's awful of me to beg, but seriously hearing from you guys keeps me motivated when motivation is one of the hardest things for me to find. So I would love some feedback. Anyway, I'll see you next time.)