"I think my mom put it best. Little girls soften their daddy's hearts."
Angrboda was not mother material. Well, truth to be told, he had not intended to get her with child at all. They had only had relations once. She showed up on one of his expeditions through the hidden doors between the worlds nearly a year later, a red faced little bundle in her arms and a scowl on her face. The giantess had all but shoved the tiny baby into his arms and returned to her realm without so much as a word. Not before slapping him first of course, presumably for getting her pregnant in the first place. Feeling a bit baffled, Loki stared down at the tiny squirming bundle, swathed in white cloth. His magic had healed him, but he could still taste the copper on his tongue.
There was a fine dusting of dark hair covering its little scalp, and bright green eyes blinked up at him. Eyes that looked so much like his own. A strange warmth welled up in his chest, one that confused him. What was this feeling? The babe's skin was so pale it was nearly blue. Its tiny mouth opened and closed for a few moments before a sleepy yawn escaped. The soft sound seemed to linger in the air. It tore through the slight frown on his face, settling around them. He could not help but take note of how the small intake of air effected him. His lips twitched into a smile.
A cursory brush of his magic revealed the babe's gender to him, and his breath faltered for but a moment. A daughter. He had a daughter. A little girl. She was so very tiny and delicate. He had never made anything as lovely as her before. All this trouble and mischief he had caused, and nothing had given him quite the same feeling as this small creature did. He shifted her fragile body in his arms, doing his best to cradle her head up like he had seen some of the wet nurses do in Asgard. He looked down at her, an uncharacteristic fondness coming over his face.
"No one shall ever harm you," Loki promised her. "My beautiful daughter." His cool lips brushed against the edge of her delicate temple, and the babe wiggled a little under his touch, letting out another tiny yawn.
Frigga loved the role of mother. She loved the pleasure of watching them grow into adults, of watching them grow into people she knew would do amazing and wonderful things. But sometimes, she wanted it all to stop. For her children to stay children, so that she could hold them close and protect them from the world. They were her babies, no matter how old they got. Thor would be running off after his father, but Loki would stay beside her. He was her little one, and she had always dreaded the day he would grow up and hold him in her arms, snug and secure.
She had not expected to see her youngest son so soon after his departure, but she was pleasantly surprised to find him in her room, a tiny babe laid in the middle of the bed, her son sitting beside it. Its little arms were waving, its feet moving about as the restless babe could not remain still. That figured, the babe moved around so much in its stomach after all and could not sit still for a moment. His free hand was playfully poking at the tiny babe's foot, seeming amazed how small it was compared to his own. His feet were swaying a bit in the air above the ground, as his legs were bent at the knee from the way he was sitting on her bed. Her son seemed to be mesmerized by the little one, and the babe giggled as Loki tickled its small feet.
"You are so beautiful, my little Hela..." Loki cooed. He did not seem to notice her as she watched them. Her son smiled at the adorable look on the babe's face as she giggled. "Stop being so cute. You're going to melt my heart, darling."
"Who is this, Loki?" Frigga asked as she stepped forward from the edges of her room. Her son's eyes snapped up from the babe, and his hand moved back from the girl's little feet.
"Hello, Mother. Her name is Hela," Loki responded. "She is my daughter."
"Your daughter?" Frigga gasped. She walked forward, approaching the bed.
"Are you going to scold me?" Loki asked.
"What for?" Frigga asked.
"For having a child out of wedlock," Loki said.
"You could have done much worse than this, my child. And you have given me a granddaughter. No. I am not angry," Frigga assured him. "May I hold her?"
Loki gingerly scooped up his daughter from the bed and allowed Frigga to hold her after a short moment. Frigga smiled down at her first grandchild. Loki's eyes peered out of her tiny face.
"Why, hello, little one. It's a pleasure to meet you," Frigga said.
There was a certain softness in her son's eyes that she could not help but catch whenever he was looking at the babe. She had not seen Loki wear that in the entire time she had known him. Even his love for his mother did not seem to be quite the same as what he had experienced with his child. Usually there was excitement in his gaze or some sort of cunning spark. Frigga gently rocked the babe back and forth in her arms, humming a soft tune under her breath. Loki had stepped closer to her and the babe, standing near her shoulder.
"Thank you, Mother," he murmured, so soft she almost missed it. Her lips pulled up in a smile. She reached out with a hand, stroking it down his cheek gently.
"Of course, son," Frigga said. Hela gurgled softly, clenching and unclenching her tiny fists. Loki tentatively touched her small forehead, smoothing back a wayward bit of black fluff.