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Modern Day Mum

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Loki groaned as he heard the familiar yet irritating sound of his alarm blare into life. Wearily, he flicked his wrist, shooting a small green bolt of light at it to shut it up. He sat up, raking a hand through his messy hair and glancing over to make sure Slepnir hadn’t woken up in his crib. The tiny eight-month old rolled over, still completely asleep. Loki sighed tiredly. Slipping on the fluffy mint green hulk slippers by his bed, he stood and made his way over to the closet. He absentmindedly grabbed some comfortable clothing and wandered into the bathroom, still not fully awake.

 

He hopped into the shower, basking in the fifteen minute long stream of warm water as he cleaned away the grime of the past day. Once he was finally a bit awake and ready to face the day, he changed quickly. He spent a ridiculous amount of time on his hair, as it was being unruly again and refusing to conform to his comb or magic. Eventually, he gave up and just put it up into a messy bun. At least he had only wasted about an hour this morning rather than his usual two. Carefully, he made his way out into the hall and pulled out his Stark Phone to check the time. The numbers glared at him tormentingly from the phone screen. He hurried over to wake up Nari and Fenrir from their slumber to get them ready to send off to middle school.

 

He opened the door to Fenrir’s room, calling out his name and turning on the light. His second oldest son groaned and swatted a hand through the air, a burst of flame hurling itself at Loki. The Asgardian grabbed the magical flame, crushing it into nothing and shaking his shoulder. He could tell Fenrir was awake when his son’s more wolf like qualities receded, giving him a fully human, if not still a bit canine looking, form.

 

“Fenrir, honey, wake up. You need to go to school,” Loki gently murmured, continuing into a more chiding, exasperated tone, “and what have I told you about throwing flames?” Sensing he’d be getting up soon either way, Fenrir resigned to his fate and rolled out of bed. He landed in a heap on the ground and groaned, not bothering to get up just yet. Next, Loki headed over to Nari’s room. He turned on the light and called out his oldest childs name. Nari woke up with much less of a fuss, giving Loki a lazy smile as they sat up in bed, rubbing sleep from their eyes as they shifted from wolfish to human-like.

 

“G’morning. You look pretty.” Nari softly spoke in their half asleep stupor, smiling at the sight of their father’s blue skin. Loki grinned lovingly. He was so incredibly lucky to be able to raise his family again, the right way this time.

 

“Thank you Nari. It’s time to get up now, you need to get ready for school.” Loki watched in amusement as disappointment appeared on Nari’s features. They groaned, suddenly not quite as content as earlier.

 

“I don’t want to go to school,” Nari pouted as Loki smirked. This was practically every single morning. Nari very rarely wanted to go to the hellish academia known as middle school.

 

“Really?” Loki asked. Nari nodded their head in an attempt for sympathy, giving their father puppy dog eyes. “How will you grow smart then?”

 

“I don’t need to be smart,” they said indignantly. Loki rolled his eyes. Honestly, how many times was he going to go over this with the thirteen year old? It was ridiculous.

 

“Do tell me why?” Loki responded. Nari took a moment to ponder this, and eventually decided it wasn’t worth it to argue with their father.

 

“Nevermind, I’ll go to school.” They sprang up from the bed and went to go find some clothing. Smirking triumphantly, Loki hurried downstairs to cook breakfast. After a few minutes Fenrir came down. Loki handed the twelve year old a plate of breakfast, and watched Fenrir begin to wolf it down . A few minutes later, Nari wandered down and Loki handed them a plate as well.

 

Once the duo was done eating, their father rushed them into the downstairs bathroom and instructed them to brush their teeth and to use their magic and attempt to look more human. After they finished up, the two went to put on their shoes and coats, and then to fetch their backpacks and lunches. After this, their father loaded them into the car and drove them to school. When the chic green minivan pulled into the drop off lane, Fenrir and Nari hopped out, waving good bye to him as they ran into the school, excitedly yammering about some ridiculous school event Loki didn’t understand. He drove back home, grumbling angrily about the damned traffic. He dreaded repeating this routine with Jormungandr.

 

As soon as he got home, Loki hurried up the stairs, opening Jormungandr’s door, rushing to their bed. He began shaking their body. He flipped the light on and watched his giant snake hiss annoyedly and make a big fuss. Slowly, the reptile knit their body into a human shape. Jormungandr glared at up their smirking father, who was somehow startled yet again by Jormungandr’s blue and red eyes, which bore a striking resemblance to his. Loki had forgotten how similar they looked. Gods, he really had missed having his children in his life. Still, his resolve to force the child into wakefulness would not be budged.

 

Stop with your fuss, if you dress quickly I may give you a muffin. Loki signed with his hands to his deaf middle child. He watched in amusement as Jormungandr’s mood suddenly changed in the blink of an eye. They grinned widely and their eyes lit up. Unlike their older siblings, Jormungandr loved school.

 

Really? They signed back, eyes wide with joy.

 

Really . Loki confirmed and watched the snake run around wildly for clothes, the scales on their human form quickly shrinking into the skin and their eyes becoming white with striking green irises, once again rivaling Loki’s own more human set. He strolled down to the kitchen and fetched a muffin and some mice to feed his hungry little seven year old for breakfast. Jormungandr scarfed the mice down quickly before devouring the muffin down in a similar fashion, afterwards running off to brush their teeth. After they were all ready, Loki helped Jormungandr with their shoes and coat, making sure to imbue the coat with heating magic so as not to let the cold blooded child freeze in the weather. He fetched their backpack and lunch, then together they ran to the car. Giddy, with what Loki assumed was a short sugar high, Jormungandr bounced in their seat the whole time. When they arrived at the school, Loki made sure his kid was safely in line to head inside before pressing a loving kiss to their forehead and wishing them a good day at school.

 

When he got home, Loki headed upstairs to check on Slepnir, who was still fast asleep. He checked on Hel as well, and found that she was also still deeply slumbering. He always felt slightly worried whenever he had to leave the house with his young ones alone in it, even if it was only for a few short minutes. He knew his kids could easily defend themselves, what with their Asgardian origins and all.

 

Not really sure what to do with the unprecedented free time, Loki decided to start on a book that he had recently procured.

 

He read for a couple hours before Slepnir stirred into a wakefulness and began crying, signaling his need to be changed. Loki changed him, then put him down on the living room floor and allowed him to roll around and begin playing with some of the various infant toys. Hel scampered down full of energy little over an hour later, and Loki got up and ate a small breakfast of cereal with her. Next, they brushed their teeth together. After that, it was time to braid Hel’s silky soft hair up so it wouldn't get in her way as she played. The little girl sat happily in her father's lap, humming softly and kicking her legs gently.

 

As he braided, the television playing some children's channel in the background, Loki went to work on teaching Hel some more old Norse words. She was rather fluent in the language and Loki was incredibly proud. Hel was probably his most astute child, and Loki was excited to see how she would flourish when she began her studies next school year. As he taught her another word, she suddenly squealed in excitement at an ad, attention diverted from his teaching.

 

“Look it, look it, it’s Black Widow!” She cried, bouncing on her father's lap and pointing at the screen where the Avengers were currently advertising the fact that they would be at Comic-Con this year. Loki noted that the location of one of the places they would be showing up was nearby. A plan began forming in his head.

 

“Yes, Hel. I see that.” Loki smiled at Hel and his daughter beamed right back, beginning to ramble about how much she loved Black Widow. Personally, Loki didn't understand why his children seemed to like that ridiculous lot of buffoons, but he wasn't going to ruin their fun. Hel’s babble continued, switching between English and old Norse quickly when she couldn't find the correct words in one language. Loki nodded along absentmindedly, figuring he’d have to buy tickets to the panel quickly if he wanted to appease his rowdy lot of traitorous children. Easily picking Hel up off of his lap and setting her on the couch, Loki stood up and walked over to his laptop and turned it on. He watched the numbers fly for a family of six and cringed. He was not paying that much. He'd just conjure up a few tickets magically. It didn't matter that it may set off alarms for that bumbling imbecile who called him brother, he was going to take his kids to that panel, and he was going to do it his way.

 

With that all sorted out, Loki went to make lunch as Hel began playing with Slepnir, humming a quiet lullaby and smiling when Hel began singing along in old norse. It was almost time to feed Slepnir, so Loki allowed his body to transform into that of a woman's. Loki didn't have a very solid perspective on gender. Loki just was whatever she was at the moment. She was pretty sure she was what humans called genderfluid these days. And although Loki had a preference for being male, she had spent nine months as a woman carrying Slepnir in her womb without issue.

 

Loki fed Hel and herself first quickly before proceeding to pick up and cradle Slepnir, getting comfortably situated on the couch as his mouth quickly latched onto her breast. After he had his fill, the infant pulled off and passed out a few minutes later, blissfully resting in his mother's arms. As Loki lay there, Hel climbed onto the back of the couch and began playing with her father's hair, dainty fingers weaving hair experimentally.

 

“Dad?” Hel suddenly spoke as she brushed through the hair easily. Loki wondered why she didn’t just wake Hel to do her hair in the mornings. Honestly, it took her near an hour before she finally gave up, but five minutes with Hel and her hair already looked halfway decent.

 

“Yes?” Loki asked in response to Hel’s questioning tone as she watched Slepnir’s chest rise and fall slowly as he slept.

 

“Why do we never see Uncle Thor or Grandfather Odin?” Her daughter questioned, switching to old norse as she spoke.

 

“Would you like to see them?” Loki asked in response, hoping the answer would be no.

 

“Not really,” Hel said to Loki's relief, wrinkling her nose. “Grandfather Odin sounds mean. But Uncle Thor is a superhero!” Loki didn’t need to see Hel to know her eyes had lit up at the thought of the Avengers.

 

“If you want, for your birthday I can take us all to see Thor and his merry band of heroes,” he suggested. As distasteful as it was, if it'd make her smile that widely, Loki would be willing to do just about anything.

 

“Really?” Hel questioned, her eyes going wide as she curled around Loki’s head to peer into her eyes in wonder.

 

“Only if you promise not to call Thor uncle or say my name. Remember, our family is a secret.”

 

“I promise!” Hel practically shrieked, abandoning Loki’s hair to hug Loki’s head. Loki smiled, glad to see her child happy. Together, the small group sat contently for a few more hours before Loki went to pick up the children from school.

 

She transformed her body back to it's male form to go out in public, and got the two youngest kids situated in the car. Which was a bit of a hassle seeing as he had to buckle up an eight legged excited infant and also get Hel situated in her booster seat. Then Loki went on the quest of weaving through traffic and successfully picking up his children, getting them home, getting them to start homework, and then beginning dinner.

 

Later, after his children went off to their rooms and went to sleep, Loki began a new book, Slepnir resting peacefully nearby. One of the wonderful things he had learned about Midgard since coming to love there was the vast amount of books and fact that, unlike Asgard, nobody on Midgard judged him for loving the written word.

 

He had just reached the middle of the story when Slepnir woke up with a scream. Loki groaned. It seemed his little one was hungry again. He shifted info his feminine form to feed the child, putting him back down in his cradle and changing back to masculine when it seemed he was done. Ignoring the book in favor of focusing on the infant, Loki watched Slepnir fall back asleep again. After what might've been any time from a few minutes to thirty, he looked away and got back to reading the book, falling asleep halfway through the last chapter. He was swiftly awoken once more when Slepnir decided he was hungry again.

 

This repeated on an on and off cycle, as Slepnir needed to eat around every four hours and Loki was nothing if not an attentive, dutiful mother to him. The alarm clock was destroyed the next morning when it dared to blare at the tired parent to wake him up so he could start the day. Not a minute after, his phone buzzed with a previously forgotten alert. Groaning quietly, because a phone alert almost never signaled a good thing in Loki's world, he grabbed his phone and glanced at it. As his eyes focused on the words, a stream of curses in every language he could think of fell from his lips.

 

Today was, of course, the day when Captain America and Thor would be visiting Fenrir and Nari’s school if they were able. He supposed he should be thankful it wasn't the entire team at least. The Captain, always a good samaritan, had been doing rounds through the schools of New York giving talks to youth about doing the right thing and attempting to boost favor for the Avengers. With him, he would often take a member of his team, and this week was Thors week. Loki could almost laugh at the inanity of the situation. It was just his luck that his so called brother would by chance be the other member getting so unknowingly close to his children.

 

He was mad at himself for having forgotten about the event, but he had more important things taking up his attention as of recent. Things like Hel’s upcoming birthday, taking care of Slepnir, making sure Jormungandr or Fenrir didn't destroy the house, and additionally making sure Hel didn't eat the dead rats in his freezer that were for her brother.

 

He went about his morning routine, annoyance towards himself polluting his mind. He did not want to see any member of the Avengers, much less a member who might possibly be able to discern him from years of experience dealing with his crafty ways. He knew the chances of being found out were slim to none, but anxiety still wracked his mind. Not only was that an issue, but Loki loathed that merry band of fools. They were a horrible lot and the only reason he put up with them at all was because his children loved them and he couldn't well go off and fight them and blow his cover. He grumbled to himself as he showered. This would be awful. He’d have to strap Hel into the car half past noon, buckle in Slepnir, and then he'd have to find a way to make him look less like himself so the Avengers didn't notice him, but still enough like himself that the PTA moms still recognized him. Than he’d have to make sure Hel didn't go off and cause a scene by accidentally reaping the soul of some middle school child. Today was going to be an absolute mess.

 

Of course, Fenrir and Nari had begged for Loki to come volunteer to be part of the welcoming committee and Loki couldn’t say no. Not after seeing the hopeful, shining eyes of his dear children. Plus, he had to outshine that bitch Karen from PTA. She was always trying to one up him, and he would have none of that. Showered and dressed, he groaned and went to wake his children. Fenrir once again globbed fire at him, and Loki opted to calmly eat the blast of magic this time. He really hoped this wouldn't become a daily thing, or he feared what may happen at sleepovers. Unlike their brother, Nari didn’t fuss. However, they did giggle about how pretty their father was again, and that warmed Loki's heart, which caused to irritate him. He was trying to be upset, and his adorable children had no right to interfere with his sulking like this.

 

Then, of course, he was shipping them off to school and repeating the process with Jormungandr, who was in a particularly foul mood this morning, throwing a fairly large tantrum. Eventually though, he was able to wrangle them into the car and get them calmed down and off school.

 

Next, because nothing could go right today, Slepnir woke early and caused Hel to wake up early, which in turn caused the both of them to be in a relatively foul mood along with their already agitated parent. But Loki was patient with his children and dealt with Hel’s own tantrum and hair pulling, eventually calming her by putting on a Disney movie.

 

To summarize, this day was starting horribly. Soon, the clock was nearing half past noon, which meant that shortly he'd have to go watch the ridiculous assembly attempting to motivate some middle schoolers. Loki could feel a headache forming already.  He was very, incredibly, absolutely against leaving the house, but he had promised he would come. Normally, he wouldn't care about breaking some flimsy promise, but he'd be damned if he did that to his kids. So, he changed into a gender neutral, yet still masculine looking form and got into an outfit without any of the ever present green he usually wore in it. Then, he loaded Hel and Slepnir into the car and drove off to the school.

 

Loki had been absolutely right. Watching two Avengers try to motivate pubescent children was ridiculous. They could feel the indifference from the middle schoolers as the avengers attempted to make an interesting assembly. They really only got anyone interested when they accidentally broke the floorboards of the auditorium stage with Mjolnir. Loki could see his children’s gleaming eyes, standing out from the dull, bored look of the rest of the students and thought it depressing that the only two children vaguely interested were that of a former supervillain.

 

Really, it had been quite uneventful. Loki was almost disappointed after he had built it up to be such a big thing. He hadn't even altered his form much, yet Thor had still been unable to recognize him. He wouldn't say he felt disappointed, because now he knew that his children would be safe along with the secret of his true identity, but at the same time he was slightly hurt. If Thor really cared for him all that much, why hadn't he been able to recognize him?

 

Loki only really liked the part where he got to hug his kids, greet them, and hear their excited chatter after the assembly. In the car ride home, Nari went on and on about Bruce and Tony and how they wished one of them had come instead of boring old Thor, which brought a secretly pleased smile to their father's face. In the end, maybe the day hadn't turned out to be such a bad one after all.