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Ohana

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Movie channels on a Sunday evening were always things to avoid.

“Ohana means family. Family means no one gets left behind. Or forgotten.”

Loki laughed, bitter, and silenced himself with a mouthful of ice cream, ignoring the screen when it blurred in front of him. Trust karma to catch him out with a child’s movie of all things.

He had another mouthful and watched as the cold crept through his mouth and the palms of his hands to the rest of him, until bleary red shadows blinked back at him from the fogged metal of the spoon.

Digging for another spoonful meant he didn’t have to look, and then the movie distracted him again with its naive, family friendly messages.

Thrice damned Disney films, with all their contrived happy endings. Nothing worked out that easily.

The melting ice cream perched on his spoon shivered and solidified again. A gust of cold across the arm of his chair precipitated a second spoon making an attempt on his Cookies and Cream.

“What are we watching?” Hel asked, retrieving an indecently large scoop and jamming it into her mouth.

“Lilo and Stitch...” he murmured, unabashedly staring at her.

“I’ve never seen this one.” She leaned against him, her dark arm around his shoulders and made a second assault on the tub of ice cream.

There was a disembodied sound of muffled disgust from the kitchen.

“How have you not seen this one?” Fenrir grumbled around the bowl in his mouth as he trotted through into the living room. “This is the best.”

Hel shrugged. “I preferred Mulan. It’s a rare Disney woman who really gets to kick ass.”

“Lilo does kick ass!” Fenrir growled as he flopped on the floor at Loki’s feet, somehow contriving not to spill the contents of his bowl. “Popcorn?”

“No,” Hel said, “because you always make butter, and I hate butter.”

“And that’s why I wasn’t talking to you, sister-mine. Popcorn, father?”

Loki swallowed around a lump in his throat that had nothing to do with his rapidly disappearing ice cream.

“No, thank you...”

“Is it butter?” A weight came to rest on the back of Loki’s chair, the flicker of a long tongue just visible out of the corner of Loki’s eye. Jörmungandr piled his coils up behind the armchair and around the back of the sofas, and had probably still left a couple of furlongs of himself out in the hallway. There was barely room for all of them. It was... snug.

“You’re only getting some if you don’t eat the bowl this time.”

“It wasn’t intentional, Fen. The bowl was small.”

“Shut it, you two,” Hel grumbled, digging into the tub again. Loki needed to stock up on Ben & Jerry’s. “I’m trying to watch the film.”

“Yeah, Jör,” Fenrir said. “Stop talking over the good bits.”

Fenrir shifted until he was cuddled right up against Loki’s legs. Loki could feel his skin blushing Æsir white again from the warmth. The colour bloomed all the way through him, except for a single spot on his jaw where his skin came in contact with Hel’s dark half as she lay her head on his shoulder. On his other side, Jörmungandr shifted so his long tongue was in range of the popcorn bowl, just close enough to Loki that the scales of his chin brushed Loki’s hand.

“Which film is this?”

“Lilo and Stitch, Jör,” Hel said. “Now quiet.”

“I love this film,” Jörmungandr said.

“Everyone loves this film,” Fenrir replied.

Loki was starting to see why.