Chapter 1: Make Sure She Has No Animal Allergies
An important step when considering entering into a long term romantic relationship is determining if your intended partner is compatible with the products of your earlier life choices. Though this applies to past war crimes and world domination attempts as well, the most important aspect of this deals with children of past relationships.
Even if you have only partial custody, it is important that your intended be able and comfortable when dealing with your children.
Thus, the first crucial step is determining if said partner suffers from animal related allergies. This can, of course, be done simply by asking, though doing so may spark uncomfortable conversation if addressed too early in the relationship. Round about methods of discovery are therefore recommended.
If no allergies are uncovered, then you need not worry over this step long. However, if this is to be a problem you may suggest medical or magical solutions. Doing so under the guise of wishing to simply be helpful may even be considered “sweet” and an action worth rewarding.
“Loki, why is the apartment filled with dogs?” Darcy started to place her bag in it’s usual place only to have a little black mop of a dog bound up onto the ‘set things here’ chair. “Why?”
“Do you not recognize my brother and his heroic friends?”
“WHAT?” She dropped the purse anyways, dog or no dog. “You are NOT going dark side again. Tell me you are not going dark side again!”
“Oh, this is just a bit of fun, Darcy. A harmless prank in retaliation for comments made concerning my ability to shift forms.” Loki had appeared in the kitchen door way, large bowls in each hand. “It will last only three days at the most.”
“You turned the Avengers into dogs.”
“Temporarily.” He looked far to smug.
“So then why are they in my apartment?”
“Ah.” He set the bowls on the floor and stepped over the resulting swarm of fluffy bodies scrambling to get at the kibbles. He’d just fed the Avengers - and his brother - actual dog food.“In a show of… friendship… I decided it was kinder to keep watch rather than allow them to be moved to… I believe it is called an ounce?”
Darcy sank onto her now fur covered couch. “Seriously. They’re here so they aren’t at the pound? Why couldn’t you just give them to Fury and be done with it?”
Loki was silent but she followed his gaze to the large one eyed rottweiler.
Chapter 2: Ophidiophobia And How To Cure It
Once you have addressed the possible discomfort between you prospective partner and children, it is time to uncover and cure other difficulties. If your child takes a form you partner finds frightening, it may be best to attempt to ease this fear before introductions are made. This step is crucial and will help to avoid future stresses and injured feelings.
“Darcy, it is only a serpent. And not even a large or venomous sort.” Loki lifted the creature in his hand and stroked the ridges along it’s head. “And truly, this is for your own betterment. Such fear is irrational.”
Darcy didn’t move from where she was perched along the top of the sofa on the other side of the room. “First, it’s not irrational because how the heck do you tell the deadly from the nightmare fuel? And second, when I say I’m scared of snakes, bringing one into my house is NOT OK!”
He shook his head and crossed the room, taking her hand with his free one.
“No no no!” She struggled, though not enough to brake his grip. She wouldn’t have been capable.
Her pulled until her fingers brushed along the serpent’s scales. “See? Not quite so bad.”
I'm blaming this all on tumblr and have only the slightest inkling of where this is going. If you have any thoughts or requests, please don't hesitate to let me know.
Chapter 3: Things You Should NOT Let Mythology Explain
While approaching the subject of children should always be done with patience and caution, there is, perhaps, such a think as hesitating too long before such a discussion. This is particularly true in cases where documentation of said children are readily available and known by the general public.
In cases where one hesitates for far too long, it is important to retain calm and reason. To explain things clearly and correct inaccuracies thoroughly. It may also be in your best interest to avoid the topic of how things happened in the case of equine children if at all possible.
She had a stack on books in her arms when she got home that evening, an unusual but not entirely unheard of turn of events. No, it wasn’t the books themselves that made Loki’s stomach knot, rather the titles.
“I came across something interesting while wasting work time on the internet.”
She picked up the book on the top of the stack and flipped through it until satisfied before setting it down on the table. She repeated the action several times in the time it took for him to cross the room and peer down at what he already knew she was looking at.
“Spill, then.” She didn’t seem anything other than amused, obviously not believing the stories. “Tell me about the time you gave birth to a horse.”
Loki shook his head, wondering if this conversation could possibly have a more awkward beginning.
“Or a giant wolf?”
“I did not give birth to Fenrir. I was only a mother once.”
Her grin faltered a little. “Say what?”
“I suppose it is nearing time for you to actually meet your future step children.”
Chapter 4: Introductions
Smooth introductions are essential for a positive relationship. A good first impression is important on both sides. It is recommended, if one has a great many children, to introduce them one at a time or in pairs. It may alway be wise to begin introductions with the child that is generally the easiest to get along with.
It may also be a good idea if both parties are aware of the impending meeting.
There was a pony in her living room. Darcy stood staring at it, still holding the front door open with one hand. Pony. In. Her. Living. Room. She’d slipped out for maybe 15 minutes on the always necessary start of the weekend donut run and now there was a pony that hadn’t been there when she left. And she was pretty sure it had too many legs. She was hallucinating a spider pony.
The thing tilted it’s head to the side as if it was as confused as she was.
“You’re home.” Loki’s voice didn’t break the hallucination. “I hope it doesn’t trouble you that I have Sleipnir for the weekend.”
The weekend after meeting Sleipnir - Darcy had nicknamed him ‘Little Guy’ after apologizing for mangling his name - Darcy returned from the donut run to find the largest canine to ever exist sitting with its paws up on the kitchen table having a conversation with Loki. And drinking orange juice from a cereal bowl.
Darcy wasn’t at all surprised to see the little girl sitting cross legged on her couch when she returned the next weekend. She’s even bought extra donuts. After the not enough to feed Fen incident of the previous week it couldn’t hurt. She girl looked up and her black curls bounced Shirley Temple style around her have blue face.
“Oh, are you father’s mistress?”
The weekend after, and the last weekend of ‘meet the kids’ fun, Darcy walked in with her box of donuts and sat down to join the pair already at the table.
“The chocolate ones are mine. I will defend them.”
Jormungand politely asked if any were raspberry.
Please note that while I’m aware Loki had several other children, I’m only using four in this fic. :)
Chapter 5: Female Bonding
It’s wise to encourage bonding whenever an opportunity is presented as it is easy for children to fear replacement and for your intended to feel as if she is intruding. It my be especially helpful to encourage mother-daughter bonding from the very start of the relationship.
- - -
Darcy had put in a film as she did the dishes because she wasn’t entirely sure how else to handle being alone in the house with a kid. But what little girl didn’t like Disney, right? And Belle liked books. It was the go-to book loving girl’s princess movie. And hey! Hel was kinda an actual princess that loved books.
Her parenting skills? Practically genius.
She’d finished scrubbing last night’s casserole dish and had decided to make cookies when blue hands appeared on the side of the kitchen island and the top half of Hel’s face peeked over.
“Is the movie over already, sweetie?”
“Why was a ten year old left in charge of the castle?”
Darcy blinked, not entirely sure where the question had come from. “And where were his parents? Why did the villagers not know their ruler lived less than a day’s ride from them? Why did no one go to the castle after the curse? They could not have grown all the food there so surely merchants would have known of their troubles, at the very least. Also, if there were no young ladies there at the time of the curse, where did the new dresses come from? And is everything in the castle a servant? Is there now a man that must live with the memory of spending ten years as a toilet?”
Hel was watching her eagerly, eyes wide as she clearly expected the answers. Darcy should have guessed Loki’s kid wouldn’t just sit and enjoy things like normal. Oh no. “Those are… interesting points.”
“Do you not know?”
“I think I’m too hungry to figure all of those things out right now.” Darcy grinned at a real stroke of genius. She pulled a chair up to her side of the bar. “Why don’t you come help make the cookies?”
“What are cookies?”
When Loki returned hours later, he found the pair eating cookie dough by the spoonful, painting each others toenails bright green, and exclaiming over a sad man who’d spent so long as a toilet bowl.
Nightshine629 on tumblr requested playing with the children. Hope you don't mind that I subbed nail painting for fixing hair. <3
Chapter 6: Remembering Romance
Once one has begun putting effort into creating a sense of family, it can be easy to forget the feelings and activities that first began the relationship. It’s important that these things are often remembered and revisited. One must therefore make a continued effort to avoid allowing notions of romance to fade as time passes.
Nights set aside for dates are therefore recommended.
- - -
She’d been hinting at a desire to try the new italian restaurant for months and now that she was finally free of Jane’s work scheduling and he had finally talked someone into watching the children they were tucked away in the back corner booth sharing what she claims is the largest tiramisu ever made. He’s attempting, successfully by the glazed look in her eyes, to clean each spoonful as seductively as possible. For Darcy’s part in this game she’s been wearing that dress for several hours now and it is more than an unfair advantage. Yet each are determined to see this date through to the end before. Or perhaps merely determined not to be the first to give in to temptation.
Even so, desert lasts only moments before she’s pulling him up and towards the exit. To distracted to even notice if he leaves payment on the table as they escape.
They thoroughly embarrass the man driving the cab they manage to climb in to. And maybe Loki wishes the restaurant had been just a little further from their home or that traffic had stalled somewhere along the way.
Darcy leaves a larger tip than necessary as an apology for their ‘inappropriate snogging’ and is practically pushing him to the door. At which point the sound off muffled shouting demonstrates a similar effect to ice water. When they finally manage to wrestle the door open, Jormungand has wrapped himself around the unfortunate baby sitter as his brothers race around the room like wild beasts. From her throne of a lazy boy, Hel declares regally - construction paper crown perched on her perfect curls - that princesses have no bed time.
Acrazygirlandherobsessions on tumblr prompted Date Night.
I'm still accepting prompts for this story, by the way, so if there's something you'd like to see feel free to let me know. <3
Chapter 7: Creating Traditions
Acrazygirlandherobsessions on tumblr prompted dragon and Halloween.
It is of vital importance that children have a sense of stability in their homes and lives, no matter the circumstances. One easy way of creating this environment is to create traditions for your newly formed family to follow. Holidays, both of memorial and religious significance are excellent times to enact these traditions.
- - -
Loki has been reading at his desk, all the while listening to the giggling in the next room. It isn’t until Hel bursts in, squealing and laughing and pursued by Fenrir, that he realizes anything is at all out of the ordinary. Slowly he peeks under the desk, shifting to reveal his daughters hiding space.
“I’ll huff and puff,” Fenrir declares.
Under the desk Hel straightens her red hood and frilly dress. “That is the wrong story.”
“I never said I was your big bad wolf.”
Loki shakes his head, rethinking the bedtime stories. And then Sleipnir wanders in with a plastic sword between his teeth, a bed sheet wrapped round his middle, and a plastic Roman helmet sitting as straight on his head as his ears will allow. Which is to say it was tipping dangerously close to falling off. “What in your grandfather’s name is all this?”
“Darcy claims this night the mortals are easily tricked out of their sweets by wearing these clever disguises,” Hel answered from near his feet.
Ah. Yes. The holiday. Darcy may have had a difficult time explaining different traditions, but she’d found it easy enough to explain the concept of free sweets to his children. Or so it seemed. Loki rose and took the helmet from Sleipnir’s head, magicing holes in the top before replacing it. “Right then. I cannot possibly discourage the tricking of unsuspecting mortals, can I?” He followed the group into the front room, only to be confronted with the sight of Darcy smearing black paint across Jory’s nose. The entirety of his serpentine body more or less covered already and foam bat wings taped to his back.
Darcy turned to give him a grin. “What do you think? Not a bad Toothless, right?”
“You realize this is ridiculous and they will all have sugar afterwards.”
“Oh, come on. All kids should dress up and eat enough candy to be sick on Halloween. Midgardian tradition.”
“Of course.” Loki is distracted by the tug on his pants.
“I need you to take this.” His daughter passes him an empty pillow case, holding up her own in triumph. “One will not be sufficient.” She tosses her curls, beaming with pride. Loki had the distinct feeling that he would regret this night.
Jory looked up, making the little foam wings taped to his back flutter. “Will you carry my sack as well, father? I have no hands.”
Keenir on AO3 prompted introducing the kids to Jane.
Once your children and lover are settled into comfortable relationships, it is time to consider actions that will move this comfort outside the home. It is as important for children to explore new surroundings as it is that your partner be able to feel a type of claim on their soon to be step children.
- - -
“Hey Boss Lady.” Darcy shouted across the empty lab as she held the door open. A faint ‘just a second’ answered her from behind one of the larger machines. Not waiting, Darcy charged verbally onward. “Got the kids while the gods are off-planet. Hope that’s not a problem. They won’t break things. Much.” She took a beeping piece of tech out of Fenrir’s mouth as she said the last bit.
“But what’s it doing?” Fenrir asked.
“How’s it work?” Jory settled his head on Darcy’s shoulder for a closer look. While she fended off the two boys’ curiosity, Darcy felt Hel tug her jacket.
“You promised donuts.”
“I did not, and that only worked the first three times.”
Fen and Jory exchanged a look, losing interest in science. “You did so,” they said in unison.
Darcy rolled her eyes. “If I ever forget you are all Loki’s kids.” She waved her hands, herding them to the largest drafting table. She upended her bag, unleashing a tidal wave of crayons and coloring books. As the three settled, crayolas held in mouths and blue fingers, She moved to the computer.
“That’s fine, Dar-“ Jane stepped around a corner and fell silent.
“Like THIS is the weirdest thing going on in our lives,” Darcy commented without looking up from the emails.
Fenrir stepped forward and offered a paw. Jory spat out the green he’d been using and grinned. “Are you going to be our auntie?”
Hel only smiled sweetly. “Darcy said you had cookies.”
Chapter 9: Meeting the Family
During holiday seasons when familial gathering are traditional is an easy time to introduce children to their soon to be extended families. As such time is filled with celebration it is easier to put the minds of all involved at ease.
- - -
“But I don’t like grandparents,” Jory whined. His head was poking between the front seats of the car. Loki had magiced it to accommodate the group, Darcy was having pleasant Harry Potter fantasies, but he had insisted on riding with his face between them so far.
“You will like these,” Loki said over the top of his to go coffee cup. When the young serpent sniffed disbelievingly he softened. “No one will be throwing any of you in any dungeons or oceans.”
“Kinda difficult from the middle of the continent,” Darcy added. Loki gave her a look that clearly said ‘not helping’. But she wasn’t going to lie to the kids. Even she wasn’t entirely sure how this was going to go over. Her parents had put up with a heck of a lot of crazy once she hit high school. But Loki’s brand of crazy? She worried an already chapped bottom lip. At least her dad could stop saying she would never learn to be responsible. “Hey, don’t worry. There’ll be pumpkin pie and all kinds of food. My mom loves to cook so I hope you can help eat all the deserts.”
Jory looked only a little less concerned.
“I thought pumpkins were for tricking night,” Hel said in her best know it all voice. “Why would you put them in a pie?”
“Kid, you still have a lot to learn about Mid- Earth.” Darcy ignored the smirk Loki gave her. “It’s autumn. Pumpkin is for everything.”
“It doesn’t sound appetizing.”
“More for me and your dad, then.”
“I didn’t say I would not try it,” Hel said hastily. “It’d be rude not to.”
Darcy just grinned. “Uh huh. I’ll remind you of that when the veggies are served.”
- - -
“Mom! Dad!” Darcy wrapped her arms around her mother’s neck, Loki watching from his spot beside the car. The kids still shyly hiding inside.
“Who’s this?” It was her dad that asked.
She took a deep breath. “So I’m dating a Norse God and the myths are all true.”
“Not all,” Loki said as he came up the walkway. He’d left the boys to emerge when they were comfortable, but Hel was clinging to his leg and attempting to hide as he walked. “I never tied livestock to my-“
“So!” Darcy blurted. “This is my… er… Loki, and the cute one is Hel.”
Loki offered a hand; meeting the stare her dad was giving with a polite grin. At least, Darcy figured it wasn’t world dominate-y. So. Polite.
“The other cute ones are in the car,” Darcy added.
“But I’m the cutest.” Hel’s voice was a bit squeakier than her normal confident declarations.
Darcy’s parents exchanged looks, then her mother offered the tiny goddess a hand. “I’m sure you are,” she said as small blue fingers shook hers briefly. It was then that the car door sounded again and Darcy glanced back to wave the trio of boys forward as her Mom made an unintelligible squeak.
“Ok, so this is Fen, Jory, and Sleipnir.” Darcy pointed to each in turn, unaware that she was holding her breath after the introduction until Loki rested a hand on the back of her neck.
Her mom was the first to speak. “Darcy. How. What.” Her husband patted her back soothingly.
“You know,” he said after a while, “if you’d told us you were bringing kids we would have dug out your old game cube.”
Darcy grinned, looping one arm around Loki’s waist and the resting her opposite hand on Fen’s head. “Better you didn’t. Only one in four have thumbs so.”