Mobius awoke to the sound of tiny socked feet padding excitedly across the hardwood floor. He noticed both Sylvie and Loki were gone from his sides, Sylvie’s disappearance was par for the course, as she often awoke early, but Loki liked to sleep in. As he stretched and thought about getting up, the door knob jiggled and clicked.
Mobius smiled as he saw Loki poke his head in and grab the door with 2 hands.
“Hi,” Loki said, slightly shyly. To Mobius the way he spoke was normal, but to outside ears, this did not sound like Loki. This was not the big scary god who had tried to invade New York or the one who had taken down the TVA.
Patting the spot next to him, Mobius invited him up.
Loki climbed onto the bed with exaggerated difficulty, and dove into the covers, excitedly snuggling Mobius as closely as possible.
Mobius put his arms around him, “are you being little today?” he asked softly.
Loki nodded, babbling an agreement while Mobius reached over into the nightstand and opened a drawer. Inside was an orange pacifier which Loki contentedly sucked on after it was placed between his lips.
“Daddy?” Loki asked when Mobius eventually got up.
“Daddy’s right here, mr. Pussycat,” he said gently while getting dressed behind a screen the three kept in their bedroom.
Loki may have been clingy, but Mobius didn't mind. He loved when Loki (and Sylvie for that matter) was little, there was something about Loki being vulnerable in this unique way around him, with such explicit trust, that made him absolutely giddy with joy.
Of course, He had known Loki was a little before the whole "TVA incident" had even happened and had adequately prepared himself for taking on such a big responsibility during his downtime while working there. Reading through the blogs and the books, and even the taped movies. Sure, it was a struggle in the beginning, when he settled for just dropping hints that he knew and that it was safe to Loki, but it made for a lot less embarrassment in the long run when Loki inevitably regressed in front of him. The hard part was working it out with Sylvie, who had a much more fluid headspace than Loki’s, and was also a bit more guarded about her regression.
When Mobius was done getting dressed, and wearing a short sleeve button up shirt with some shorts like he did about 90% of the time in these warm months, he took Loki by the hand and helped him off the bed.
Loki was wearing an oversized white t-shirt and his diaper poked out underneath. Well, it was supposed to be oversized, being a women's medium t-shirt dress and all, but for him, it almost fit properly, just a little snug in the collar and shoulders, maybe the sleeves were a bit high too. But one thing was clear, it definitely didn't come from Loki's side of the closet or the nursery's dresser.
Mobius led him to the kitchen and helped him into the highchair.
While he made breakfast, Loki dramatically rested his head on the tray, as if about to die of starvation and exhaustion.
As he returned with food, Loki picked his head up.
A bowl of applesauce was set down in front of the little.
Mobius sat down in a normal chair next to him with a mug of black coffee, a bagel with cream cheese, and a newspaper.
Sylvie still wasn’t there.
Loki looked at him, expectantly.
Mobius looked back at him and set down the newspaper.
Loki sent him a puzzled look back. How dare Mobius! He knew Loki was in such a little headspace! How was the poor baby ever going to feed himself without someone making the jetski noises for him?
“I thought you would want to feed yourself today,” Mobius smirked playfully.
Loki's eyes widened as he took the hint.
Mobius pretended to go back to his newspaper, watching out of the corner of his eye and trying not to smile as Loki smeared applesauce over the tray and on himself, only occasionally eating some by sucking it off his hands.
To Mobius, sure, it was a little gross, but much more cute. But he would admit, he knew what he was signing up for when he handed Loki the bowl in the first place. There was just something so natural and reassuring about seeing Loki be mischievous and have his own little spot to be immersed into controlled chaos. Like an tiger at the zoo being given a pumpkin full of meat to play with.
Loki pretty much emptied the bowl onto the tray and sculpted with it, drawing with his fingers in his apple mush, and setting the bowl upside down. By the end of it, almost all of Loki was covered in applesauce; from head to toe.
Mobius finished his bagel and took a final sip of coffee before deciding the little was done eating. He removed the tray and helped Loki up, “Let’s get you a bath, messy little tyke,” he quipped as he took the little’s hand, pretending not to notice the slurry sticking to his hand.
While they walked, Loki felt the sauce uncomfortably starting to feel crusty, which he made a point to be vocally upset about, a sentiment Mobius shared and understood, but did not vocalize himself.
While the water warmed up for a bath, Loki pretended not to want it, playfully fighting Mobius' efforts to remove the shirt, socks, or diaper with apple covered hands and kicky legs.
Nonetheless, by the time Mobius turned the water off, the little got in without any fuss.
The little splashed him and played in the water, immediately dropping the grumpy act. He turned himself into a fish for a few moments before Mobius picked him up and told him to stop because he was getting the soap ready. He set fish Loki back down and the little returned to his normal form, resting his chin on the tub with a sour expression to make sure it was incredibly obvious that Mobius had ruined his fun.
Mobius didn’t fall for it and continued on washing Loki’s hair.
Loki played more in the water when he got bored of sulking, and Mobius did everything in his power to stop Loki from getting the sudsy water in his mouth.
Eventually, Mobius drained the water, and Loki whined as he was rinsed off with cool water from the detachable shower head.
“Oh it’s not that bad,” Mobius said, “You’re an ice giant anyway, you shouldn’t be bothered by cold.”
Loki shot Mobius a dirty look as the older man tried to dry him off with a towel, deciding to limply lie on the bathroom floor.
As Mobius roughly dried Loki's hair, trying to get it all fluffy and nice, he grew tired of the the pouts, and decided he should try to get Loki to soften. The actual process of drying Loki came to a pause as a game of peekaboo broke out. Soon, the baby was giggling and grabbing for both him and the towel.
Mobius taped him into a zoo animal printed diaper and scrunched a black onesie down over his head.
Loki sat on the closed lid of the toilet, playing with his bath toys out of water while Mobius cleaned up all the changing supplies.
But the process was fast, and Mobius soon held the dirty clothes in one arm and Loki’s, now clean, hand in the other.
Mobius set the now applesauce covered shirt into the laundry and brought Loki to the nursery, letting him pick through the toy box and take some of his favorite friends out. Loki grabbed only a stuffed animal and some teethers.
Mobius pocketed Loki’s pacifier as well, knowing he would want it, and led Loki back to the living area where he began to clean up the morning’s mess.
Loki flopped onto the recliner with his plush alligator, holding it and watching Mobius from the corners of his eyes.
Well, that was until Sylvie walked onto the deck with a whole dead hare, a rather large one, too, skewered on her sword.
Most littles would’ve been hesitant or afraid of seeing a dead animal but Loki excitedly got up to see, looking out the window.
Mobius also looked out the window to see what had interested Loki.
As Sylvie started to skin and gut the rabbit right then and there, Mobius decided to step in. “Do you want a proper knife for that? Or a plate for the meat? Or anything like that?” he asked, worried about all the health codes she was violating.
Although Sylvie didn’t respond, Mobius decided he didn’t want the raw rabbit sitting on the dirty wooden rails of the deck and tried to get her to move to the designated hunt gutting area on the side of the hill.
Loki squeezed out the door behind Mobius, and ran to her.
“Hey! No, Loki! Come back here!” Mobius whispered to him.
The little tried to pull away as Mobius grabbed his wrist, preventing him from getting close to the carcass.
“If you’re going to be outside, you need some pants and shoes.”
Loki groaned and stomped his foot. “Nooo! Bunny!” he cried.
“The bunny will still be here when you get back, love,” Sylvie commented over her shoulder while Mobius was trying to usher him back inside.
In this moment, Mobius would’ve given anything to be able to hold Loki, but the little was much taller and much heavier than he was. He was thinking about this because Loki was very distraught about going back inside, and was threatening a tantrum. With sheer luck, he was eventually able to get the little inside without that much of a fuss, and slip some shorts over Loki’s bum as well as some shoes on his feet.
Loki was eager to watch Sylvie gut the rabbit, but by the time he got back outside, the cool part was already done, and Sylvie was just making cuts of meat for dinner.
Loki climbed onto a lawn chair and stood on his knees to watch her.
She pretended not to notice him for a while. “Do you want the head?” she finally asked.
Loki gave her a wide eyed stare.
She waited for his response “... do you want it or not, baby?”
“Yes!” Loki yelled excitedly, almost hugging her. He liked the head the most, which by extension, meant Sylvie probably did as well. She threw the inedible parts of the rabbit off the deck for the wildlife, a habit that Mobius despised because it always brought racoons.
Loki got down from his spot and tugged on her long jacket.
She turned with the plate of meat in her hand, “I need to put this way first, then we’ll go play,” she said. She didn’t smile but there was a hint of excitement hidden in her voice, so it wasn’t entirely cold.
She set the tray of meat inside the fridge without bothering to wrap it. “Mobius!” she yelled.
Loki followed her inside and sat back down in the chair, distracted by his alligator, and much more interested in that than whatever Sylvie was doing now that she didn't have a dead hare in her hands.
“Why are you yelling? I’m right here,” Mobius replied from the hallway laundry closet, obviously startled.
“I’m gonna be little,” she informed Mobius proudly like it meant something, even putting her hands on her hips.
Mobius pretended it was a big deal and tried not to laugh, Sylvie regressed fairly regularly. Not as much as Loki, but enough to make Mobius feel like it wasn't a big deal. He smiled and let her run to the nursery door before making a little whistle to get Loki’s attention.
The little looked up and Mobius made a “c’mon” gesture, patting his thigh.
Loki hugged his alligator, aptly named Croki, close to him and followed them, desperately wanting to be helpful. But as Mobius opened the door, Loki tripped and fell.
With the thump, Mobius and Sylvie stopped and turned to look at him.
Loki remained on the ground for a few seconds before puffing the hair out of his face.
Mobius quickly rushed to help him up; a spill on hardwood is never easy and Loki began to tear up as Mobius gave him a hug.
The toddler didn’t seem to be hurt in any spot but his pride, but he still cried anyway.
Mobius brought him with them to help Sylvie regress.
When she got into headspace today, Sylvie was a little bit older than Loki, but that was pretty much unnoticeable, even personality wise.
Loki was talkative, which made him seem older than a year and a half, and Sylvie had tantrum problems that made her seem younger than two.
Mobius found her some little clothes and tried to help her not worry too much while she was changed. As she was still learning to trust Mobius, she sometimes took a little longer to fully let go and regress, so things like changes immediately while getting into littlespace weren’t always easy, but Mobius insisted on them. He didn't want to clean up, or make her clean up, a wet spot left on the couch.
Loki decided to be helpful and showed off his alligator, distracting Sylvie with him, “Rememba Croki? He favorite,” the little said, shaking the fabric reptile back and forth, watching Sylvie's eyes follow as she chewed on the back of her hand.
Sylvie frowned as she snapped out of the trance, “I’m not your favorite?”
“Mm… maybe…” Loki considered, “I’m favorite,” he said decidedly.
Sylvie crossed her arms, “Well I’m Mob- daddy's favorite!” she said sticking out her tongue.
It didn’t hurt Loki like it might’ve if he hadn’t been prepared; she had used that one quite a bit over these past three weeks.
“Alright, you’re all done,” Mobius said, clicking the last snap into place.
Sylvie wore a onesie like Loki’s, but also some overalls instead of normal shorts.
"Ousside!" Loki suggested.
Sylvie nodded. "Outside," she agreed.
"Alright, alright, but no going to the left side of the house. I don't want to see and rabbit blood on your hands. Got it?" he asked playfully, kissing them each on the cheek before setting them down to play on the foam mat covered floor, while he gathered up some baby toys in case that one of them decided playing in the dirt of the front driveway, was no longer fun.
Loki could kind of run but Sylvie was much faster and more proficient. He took a slow time going down the stairs of the deck and eventually Mobius stepped in to help him out.
The caregiver decided sitting on the deck would be stupid while Loki and Sylvie were this small. He moved a deck chair, a small table covered in toys, and a can of soda that he was drinking, down to the dusty forest floor.
It was all relatively relaxed, but Mobius ended up not staying put: Sylvie wanted to make mud so he had to get up and turn on (and then off) the hose. He also had to stop them from fighting for real twice, and stop Loki from falling into a patch of poison oak (you’d think he would’ve learned from the past two times).
Loki and Sylvie did a lot of digging in the brush and bringing rocks to Mobius which they sorted into a grid by size and color to please him before deciding to purposely mess them up for the fun of it, it was a horrible conflict of the toddler instinct to sort and the Loki brain’s innate desire for chaos and disarray.
“I think lunch is in order,” Mobius said after watching Sylvie chew on a pinecone and having to make her spit it out.
“WANNA HELP!” Loki yelled, waddle running into Mobius’s arms.
Mobius took his hand. He offered Sylvie the same opportunity, but she insisted on walking on her own, even though she crawled up the stairs of the deck on all fours.
Mobius sat Loki on the couch and kissed him on the forehead, so he could get started on lunch without distractions. But it was in vain, as Sylvie leaned on the countertop to see what he was making and Loki got up to mirror her.
Mobius was making sandwiches. He didn’t let Loki and Sylvie touch the knives for spreading condiments, but he did let them choose what was on their sandwiches. Loki got excited when Mobius let him put a slice of each type of meat and cheese they had with jam on his sandwich.
Sylvie did the same but without the jam because she thought it was weird and gross.
Mobius just used greens on his, possibly to make up for the fact that the two didn’t want any on theirs.
Loki took the highchair he had this morning. They always kept one out in case someone was little. Sylvie always put hers away since it wasn’t as neutral as Loki’s. Her’s, as she had picked out, was covered in pink forest animals.
Mobius brought it out and clicked it into place before helping Sylvie into it. He also put some cool water into sippy cups for both of them.
The toddlers ate their sandwiches peacefully, and Mobius finally had the chance to get started on his.
Loki soon fell asleep in his highchair, littlespace always made him sleepy.
So Mobius talked to Sylvie in between bites. She was a slow eater when little. When they were both done, Mobius gently woke Loki up, with a little tap on the shoulder. He made sure both toddlers got a change and then got them down for a proper nap.
At first he was going to put them in the crib, but after lots of protest from Sylvie, because she was a big girl, he caved and let them sleep on the pull-out couch in the living room.
Sylvie was still wide awake and reluctant to fall asleep, so Mobius turned on a boring nature documentary for her on the tv across from the bed, and gave both the tots their pacifiers. Sylvie stayed put, and after lots of reassurance from the snoring and snuffling baby next to her, and the blankets surrounding her, she finally fell asleep, which allowed Mobius to get up and grab the toys from outside, rinsing them off in case any forest gunk got on them.
After coming in, he sat in the armchair, watching over them and working on some online forms on his laptop while listening to David Attenborough discuss orangutans.
Sylvie stayed asleep; she was the more difficult of the two to work with during nap time, so it was slightly impressive that she had become dormant at all, let alone stay so while Mobius puttered around the cabin.
After about an hour, hi got up for a bathroom break. Upon drying his hands, he heard tiny voices and worried that the two were near fighting again, but instead he found that Loki had just moved to be closer with Sylvie, pressing into her arms. They were doing their best to pretend to still be fast asleep, hoping he wouldn’t notice.
Mobius not only noticed that, but he also noticed Loki clutching the tv remote and trying to subtly flip the channel.
Loki yelped and opened his eyes, breaking the illusion as Mobius gently slid the remote out of his closed fingers.
He hadn’t expected him to take it away, but he didn’t resist when Mobius did. He just folded his arms and went back to cuddling with Sylvie, hoping she'd wrap him in warmth and protect him.
Sylvie opened her eyes when Mobius pressed her pacifier into her mouth, as it had fallen out earlier. “Aren’t you two precious?” he asked rhetorically, smiling as he turned on something more stimulating to them that would still be age appropriate.
Loki used Sylvie’s face as a prop so he could get up and see Mobius on the other side of the living room, making himself a spot on Mobius' lap, nesting like a cat.
Sylvie puffed out her lip, and sat up in reaction to the disruption, but Mobius just responded opened one arm, coaxing her into a hug, too.
Loki shifted to see the tv better. It was an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood about dealing with little siblings. Sylvie paid attention and also glanced at Loki out of the corner of her eye, wondering what tactics proposed in the show would work on him. They had a romantic relationship normally, but just like Mobius became daddy in littlespace, the two littles thought of each other like siblings when tiny. It was odd from the outside looking in, but to the already odd polycule, it felt pretty normal.
Mobius bounced Loki on his knee. The child giggled behind his pacifier.
When the main conflict was resolved, Sylvie crawled out of her nook in the blankets to play with a couple of the baby and toddler toys Mobius had brought in. Although, playing with the toys was a little bit of an overstatement. She moved some things around but she mostly ran around instead, climbing on the furniture and recklessly flopping over the top of the couch. Mobius tried to not let her get hurt while still holding Loki.
Eventually, Sylvie got tired but didn’t want to admit it. She sat down, leaning against Mobius’s legs and actually played with the toys, pressing buttons on noisy ones, and looking for any type of thing she could bang against something else, or roll. Loki moved so he was laying down on his stomach, still on Mobius’s leg, leaning over his knee so he could watch Sylvie.
Mobius moved his hands towards the arms of the chair, a for sure sign he was trying to get up, trying to give Loki the hint that it was time to get down, but the little did not budge.
After eventually catching on, both Loki and Sylvie clung to Mobius’s legs and tugged on his pants to make him stay. He sighed and found a spot to sit down with the two on the floor.
The two littles did not play together, nor did they include Mobius in on their individual games. Well, Sylvie tried to initiate some interactions, but Loki remained largely uninterested. He was busy stacking and subsequently toppling a large tower of blocks that both Mobius and Sylvie tried to help him build, but that was the furthest extent of their interaction, and he often pushed their hands away wanting to do it himself.
After successfully sorting a group of stacking cups, Loki showed his grand accomplishment to Mobius.
Sylvie looked up at what he was so proud of, and made a vaguely disappointed expression, a look that said something along the lines of “Really? You’re still somewhat of an adult, you know how to stack cups”. The irony of her attempting to eat a pinecone earlier was entirely lost on her. Her ability to fully let go in headspace was like breathing for her; if she became consious of it, it suddenly became difficult and she was pulled out of headspace by small things like lulls in playtime.
Loki scowled back at her. He looked up at Mobius, feeling slightly embarrassed now that Sylvie had pointed that out.
“It’s okay, you can be a baby if you need to be,” Mobius said, smiling comfortingly at the now nervous and slightly distressed Loki.
He turned to cling, burying his head in Mobius' warm chest, but he made sure to look back and stick his tongue out at Sylvie.
She threw a soft sensory cube at him.
It hit him in the back of the head.
Mobius gave her a warning look. It wasn’t uncommon for them to fight or throw things over petty stuff like this. “Sylvie, can you apologize to Loki?” he asked gently.
“No!” she shouted. She didn’t really mean it, but she was starting to get jealous of all Loki’s special attention.
“Would you like to come sit with Loki and I?” Mobius asked.
Sylvie got up and stomped her foot, “no!” She lied.
Mobius shrugged, “I guess we’re playing the timeout game then, huh?”
Sylvie whined and began to throw a fit.
“You just need to apologize to Loki,” Mobius responded coolly.
Sylvie refused to. For a moment, she kept the more subtle adult angry reactions: making a pouty face, crossing her arms, and stomping her feet. Her face started to turn red as Mobius kept a straight face. He did feel bad, silently watching Sylvie try to work through her emotions and being too small to properly process them. “No!” she finally screamed again, this time letting the tears flow and melting into a tantrum.
Loki covered his ears and buried his face in Mobius’s shirt.
Mobius pet his back, and Sylvie realized her tantrum wasn’t having its desired effect, a lesson neither of the littles ever seemed to learn. “Are you done?” Mobius asked when Sylvie quieted down. She gave a defeated nod. Mobius gently took her by the wrist. “You’re going to sit here for”- he set a timer- “three minutes, quietly, and think about why you threw that block at Loki."
Sylvie reluctantly complied and Mobius made sure she didn’t miss anything good by using the three minutes to give Loki a change and make both the children sippy cups of water. Neither were happy about being given something that’s not sugary. He let go of Loki’s hand, letting him play independently for a few minutes before going to Sylvie.
She still looked sad but she wasn’t crying anymore.
Mobius gave her a hug. “Are you feeling better?” he asked.
“We’re going to go say ‘I’m sorry’ to Loki and then we’ll go make some play-doh, okay?”
Sylvie nodded again, more enthusiastic this time. She struggled out of Mobius’s arms and climbed up the back of the couch. It was unnecessary, but she wanted to get some energy out.
“I’m Sorry Loki,” she said performatively and loudly to make sure Mobius could hear.
“Can you say ‘I forgive you’, buddy?” Mobius asked.
Loki took out his pacifier, “fowgive you,” he said before putting it back in.
“Great, that’s all settled. Now, come here and help me figure out this recipe,” Mobius replied, faking confusion. Of course, being the “cleverest gods”, both Loki and Sylvie got up and ran to see how they could help.
Mobius moved the ingredients onto the table and let Loki sit in a normal chair so he could participate properly.
Loki excitedly questioned what they were doing, and what play-doh was, and what it was for, and what color it would be.
Mobius showed them the measuring cups and let Loki play with the small ones on the ring meant for measuring table and teaspoons. Sylvie was quieter than Loki and took directions from Mobius, while he stopped Loki from trying to reach into the pot and play in the pure flour while kneeling on the chair.
“Sylvie, can you get the water?” Mobius asked, handing her a red measuring cup.
She filled the cup with water and carefully tried not to spill it while coming back to the table and dumping it into the pot.
“Loki, do you want to add the salt?”
He handed Loki an orange measuring cup and helped him open the container before handing it to him to measure. The little poured it into the measuring cup and subsequently into the pot very precisely.
Mobius added a teaspoon of cream of tartar and oil. He also let them pick out a color. Loki and Sylvie immediately agreed on green. Mobius handed them spoons and let both of them stir the mixture, stopping Sylvie from trying to taste it on more than one occasion.
Mobius took the pot and moved it onto the stove when he decided it was mixed enough. He batted away the hands of Loki and Sylvie who were both awfully determined to touch the pot and/or the burner. He ended up setting them both in their highchairs, leaving the pot on low for a few moments, just to insure they were contained.
He looked back at the instructions while he was there, pocketing the notecard.
Sylvie and Loki sat there, bored while Mobius monitored the strange mixture on the stove. He looked at it again before deciding he had enough time to hand the littles some toys. He gave Loki a teether ring and Sylvie got a wooden dragon with wheels. It was one of her favorite toys because it looked like one of the ones she used to have in the palace before her sudden abduction. Loki had grown up with one like it too, but he had his own new toys and knew Sylvie needed the familiar ones more.
Mobius went back to watching the dough and turned the heat off, moving the balled up mixture off of the burner.
Sylvie noticed Mobius moving and slouched, she fidgeted and did everything in her power to make it known she wanted down and to run around.
Mobius sighed defeatedly and helped both of them down.
Sylvie opened all the drawers and cupboards while Loki followed her, picking through each one and putting random objects into his pocket dimensions for the sake of being annoying as Mobius tried his best to stop them.
“I’ve got an idea,” Mobius said kneeling onto their level as they sat on the floor, inspecting all the devices they had gathered. “Why don’t we play ‘find the timer’?” He grabbed onto the counter, looking for the egg timer but couldn’t find it. He sent a glance at Loki who was looking especially guilty.
The little pulled the timer out of a pocket dimension and handed it to Mobius. “Sorry…” he mumbled.
Mobius ushered them both into the main bedroom and set them both on the bed. “I’m going to hide this timer somewhere around the house. Stay here until I knock on the door. The timer will be set and you have 5 minutes to find it and bring it to me. Got it?”
Both the toddlers nodded and Mobius exited the room, walking backwards and narrowly eying both of them like he was very suspicious. It made both of them giggle and feel very sneaky. They jumped on the bed until Mobius knocked and poked his head in.
“You may begin!” he theatrically announced and grandly opened the door.
Sylvie jumped off the bed but Loki "needed" help getting down. The two ran around and checked in every cupboard.
“SHH!” Loki said, “I hear it!”
There was a faint ticking noise in the living area.
Sylvie stopped, almost bumping into Loki. They tore apart the living room before realizing that running, moving rattley toys, and slamming cabinets was probably a bad idea when you were listening for a quiet sound. And so, they began to sneak while Mobius watched from the kitchen and made sure they didn’t go near the pot.
Tick tick tick.
Sylvie heard it this time. She dug through the couch cushions but didn’t find anything. Loki noticed that she was getting more thorough towards the left corner of the couch and looked around that spot. He found it by the back left leg of the couch and excitedly held it up, before running to retrieve it for Mobius.
Sylvie tried to tackle him for it, but Loki hid it in his pocket dimensions and successfully brought it to Mobius.
“Looks like we have our winners!” He said hugging them both.
Sylvie was happy to bask in the affection but Loki didn’t like sharing the spotlight, even if he did love her.
Luckily, due to having studied Loki for so many years, the fit was quelled before it even had time to begin.
“I think the dough is ready,” Mobius said. He grabbed the lump out of the pot and flinched, expecting it to be hot, but it wasn’t, and set it on the table. He pulled the note card out of his shirt pocket. “It says we need to knead it for five minutes and then it's ready to play,” he relayed.
Loki and Sylvie kneeled on top of their big-kid chairs to get a good angle. Sylvie didn’t knead the dough as much as she punched it into the table as hard as she could. Loki copied her. Mobius laughed and let them tire themselves out before taking it and showing them how to properly knead it.
When the long five minutes was up, Mobius split it into 3 equal pieces, one for each of them. He reminded the two not to eat it, knowing they would try anyway.
Loki and Sylvie properly sat down in the chairs to make their sculptures. Loki made a little statue of himself, then he showed it off before squishing it and making one of Croki. Sylvie made herself a model of her horned crown and Mobius had to stop her from putting it on, worried it would get stuck in her hair.
Mobius just enjoyed making abstract things with the clay, it allowed him to feel like a part of the fun, but keep his eyes on the littles.
Sylvie soon started to copy him, and subsequently so did Loki. Instead of worrying about what to make he just started thinking about the texture and shapes it could make.
Mobius got up and the toddlers looked upset, but he looked through some drawers and sat back down quickly with some tools that could be used to make fun shapes or weird textures. However, he did also give Loki a knowing look and Loki guiltily opened his pocket dimensions, emptying out a bunch of random kitchen utensils onto the table. Mobius hurriedly took the knives from him and moved a lot of them out of the way, only keeping a couple novelty cookie cutters and a spatula with squiggly holes in it on the table.
Loki and Sylvie had fun just playing with the putty and decided to stop trying to sculpt with it so much. Mobius decided it would be fun to question them about different shapes. “Can you guys make a triangle?” he asked.
Both the toddlers rushed to make a triangle. Gradually, the shapes got more complicated, and 3d shapes came into the mix.
Despite his love of praise, Loki stopped paying attention in favor of making the longest clay snake he could without breaking it.
Sylvie became interested and attached her clay to Loki’s. Mobius sighed and joined in on making the snake. When it was as done as possible, Loki started coiling the snake into the biggest spiral he could. He tried to pick it up, but it folded and flopped.
Sylvie decided she was done playing with the putty and got down from the chair. She crawled under the table and onto Mobius’s lap.
Loki would have been jealous, but he was still preoccupied with the play-dough. He made it as thin as possible and poked holes in it, still mesmerized by the substance. However, Mobius took it from him and put it in a plastic bag when Loki inevitably tried to lick it, it wasn’t a forceful take, more of a playful “yoink”, if you will.
Unfortunately, in that second he forgot how little Loki was, and the fact that his emotions and needs in littlespace usually mirrored those of an actual baby or young toddler.
Loki didn’t like the over enthusiastic manner Mobius had when taking away the interesting material. He felt his ears get warm and he started to sniffle. "No! Back! Give back!" he whined as he bubbled over.
"Sorry bud, we're done for right now. Can't have you trying to eat it."
The response did not seem to help.
Like with Sylvie, Mobius tried to ignore him as he started to throw a tantrum.
"No! No! No! Not done! No done!"
Sylvie cuddled Mobius, hugging him. She was never as openly affectionate as Loki was, but after being around them and their openness for a month or so, she had gotten better at it.
Loki was unfortunately loud and generally a mess maker when he was upset, he didn't have the same shame and composure he did when he was big. He wasn’t as violent as Sylvie, but he had learned, from many years of being the baby brother and the one who acted out, that he could usually get his way by melting into a big pile of tears on the floor.
Mobius hated hearing Loki cry, especially when regressed like this, when there was really nothing he could do, but he knew from all the parenting books he read while still at the TVA, that the best thing to do when a toddler was having a tantrum that wasn’t basic needs based, was to ignore it. So that’s what Mobius tried to do while Sylvie helped him clean up spilt salt and flour.
The process for Sylvie was much closer to a game than a chore, as she needed so much help to get it done properly.
When all was done, Loki was still crying and generally being loud.
“Make him quiet… please?” Sylvie pleaded.
Mobius tried to explain his thought process but eventually agreed with Sylvie, removing him from the situation entirely with some sort of distraction seemed to be the better direction in this case. “Shh, hey little buddy, look at me.”
Loki picked his head up off the table.
“We’ll play with the play-dough later, okay?” Mobius tried to reassure.
Loki was still crying and he hardly got a word out through sobs. “Daddy,” was all Mobius caught but it seemed to be a long and wordy paragraph that was hindered by his sobs, babytalk, and the fact that he talked so quickly.
“Shhh, No big boy words right now,” Mobius gently reminded him. He gave Loki a pacifier and did all he could to calm the baby.
Sylvie was given a similar treatment despite her currently, more mild, temperament.
Mobius did what he could to make them smile, but he knew at this rate what was really necessary was another nap, maybe not a full sleep, but just some quiet downtime; mostly for himself, if he was being honest. He laid down on the couch and let both of the littles take their spots.
Sylvie laid on Mobius’s chest, and Loki on his favorite chair, still sniffling and trying to give a dramatic cold shoulder.
Being essentially clones, Loki and Sylvie both delighted in touching Mobius’s mustache, it was Sylvie’s turn now and she giggled when he had to sneeze.
As revenge, Mobius brought her in close and tickled her neck. She squealed as he did so; her pacifier nearly falling out of her mouth.
He turned on the tv, not for a show, he just used it for music this time, putting the screen on rest mode so the toddlers wouldn’t find it distracting.
Mobius wasn’t much of a singer but he gently hummed along to one of the songs and felt the girl relax into his chest.
When Sylvie inevitably did fall asleep, Mobius had to move her because she tossed, and turned, and violently flailed. He ended up rolling her onto her back until the movements stopped. Luckily, they ceased before he fell asleep and he was able to again comfortably hold her. He looked over to Loki in the chair. The little boy was wrapped in a blanket, his gangly legs were over the arm of the chair, and he was clutching his stuffed alligator like it was the most precious thing in the world.
Mobius awoke to tugging on his shirt, and found Sylvie trying her best to get down off the couch bed without waking anyone up, and Loki waking up because of Sylvie’s disruption. “Where do you think you’re going?” he asked, hugging her there.
She struggled so he let her go.
“Me next! Me next!” Loki exclaimed.
Mobius hugged Loki in the same way and the little giggled. He savored the moment for a second before he heard the fridge slam and got up to see what was going on.
Sylvie was taking out the meat from the fridge and some pots.
“Sylvie, if you want to cook, I need you to be big.” She shook her head and pouted.
Mobius sighed and put on an apron. Loki was still holding his hand but let go so Mobius could tie the back.
It was a nice apron, even if Loki had gotten it for him for (A very late) April Fools Day. It was bright pink and white, French maid style, with ruffles on the sleeves. Against Loki’s wishes, Mobius had pranked him back by graciously accepting the gift instead of silently and uncomfortably staring at it like Loki had hoped. He also insisted on wearing it every time he cooked because it still made Loki laugh and Sylvie chuckle sometimes.
He let the two littles help grab ingredients for dinner as well as some pots and pans. Although, most of the pots and pans were for Loki and Sylvie to play with and not for dinner.
Once Mobius got to chopping some vegetables, he encouraged the littles to not play right where he was working with knives.
Loki tried to take one while he wasn’t looking.
Mobius sighed. He hadn’t started cooking anything yet, so he had all the time in the world to lecture Loki on taking knives while little. While he talked, he stopped Sylvie from taking one, too.
Eventually, he decided he had to set up the playpen. With blankets, sippy cups (filled with water), toys, and a couple of cooking utensils he deemed toddler-proof, or perhaps more appropriately, Loki and Sylvie proof.
It was a little bit crowded, but at least the two terrors were contained in a controlled space.
More than playing with any of the toys, Loki and Sylvie watched Mobius cook.
He occasionally let them sample what he was making, and other times he just glanced at them to check in on what they were doing. Currently, they were taking turns putting a pot on their head and whacking each other with a rubber coated spoon. Mobius knew that they couldn’t hurt each other so he didn’t stop them, even if they were being weird and silly. He just chuckled and went back to caramelizing onions.
Loki and Sylvie had done it for attention and were disappointed Mobius didn’t express concern. They looked up to see if he was paying watching, and when he wasn’t, they decided to start being loud.
“Daadddyy!” Loki whined.
Sylvie banged on a pot as loudly as she could.
Mobius regretted giving it to her.
Luckily, she didn’t have it for long as her next course of action was to drop it over the side of the fence,
“Can you two quiet down? Daddy’s making dinner,” Mobius asked, trying his best not to sound annoyed.
While water boiled, he walked over and looked down at the two in the play pen with his hands in his pockets before wordlessly picking up the pot Sylvie had dropped.
Loki looked up at him innocently with his mouth in a small “o”.
Sylvie grinned like she had pulled the multiverse’s cleverest prank.
Mobius picked the pot up and set it on the island without saying a word, giving both of the children a warning look.
When Mobius went back to making dinner, Loki sat down quietly, and then had a plan that he whispered to Sylvie.
She agreed it was a good idea, even if it wasn’t a plan, it was really just doing a thing, in her mind.
They continued trying to be noisy for about a minute and monitored Mobius’s reaction. Then, they decided to suddenly be quiet, sitting on opposite sides of the pen. Loki was unable to sit still so he chewed on a teether and Sylvie watched Mobius through the mesh on the sides of the pen, playing with the blankets, since they were the quietest.
Mobius looked concerned as he turned off some burners; the food was done, he was really just keeping it warm at this point.
He checked on the two in the play pen and noticed they weren’t being loud nor poking their little heads over the sides to watch him.
“I sure hope you’re both playing nice,” he said.
He looked in and easily saw the two of them hiding under the blankets, curled up and trying to stay silent.
“I wonder where they could be,” he wondered aloud.
Loki and Sylvie suppressed giggles.
Mobius loudly looked around the kitchen, opening and closing drawers and cabinets. “My poor little troublemakers, what will I ever do without them?” he falsely despaired.
“We’re right here, daddy!” Sylvie popped up from the blankets.
Loki sat up as well.
“Of course! You were under the blankets!” Mobius exclaimed with false relief before wrapping them both in big hugs.
“Silly daddy!” Loki giggled.
Mobius talked to Loki and Sylvie while he plated the food.
They watched him from their playpen.
He had read that just talking about what you were doing or random things nearby was good for toddlers, and he knew Loki and Sylvie enjoyed the sound of his voice.
The difference between the two toddlers’ ages was usually hardly noticeable except in two cases: when displaying athletic abilities, and mealtimes. Sylvie refused to let Mobius feed her but Loki insisted on it and cherished the attention.
Despite her refusal, Mobius still cut up Sylvie’s food for her and tried to give her a bite, seeing if she’d take from a fork he was holding.
She hesitated before quickly taking the food and then snatching the fork from him. She dug into the rabbit, mostly ignoring the vegetables and rice it was served with. Loki got more variety since Mobius decided what he ate.
“Did you eat all your vegetables like a good boy?” Mobius asked while Loki finished his vegetables.
Sylvie noted the praise and ate hers, too.
“Are you eating your vegetables, too? Wow, I’m so proud of you,” Mobius smiled. He admired both of them and loved them dearly, patting their faces down with their bibs. Sylvie tried to keep a hardened façade and not smile, while Loki avoided the cotton on his face and frowned exaggeratedly.
Mobius let them both down from their highchairs for some more unstructured play time while he set up everything for a bedtime routine.
Loki and Sylvie played with their powers a bit. It was a kind of strange game of magical hide-and-seek, with teleportation, shapeshifting; all of the good stuff. It wasn’t really structured like regular hide-and-seek though, as there weren’t any set rules or really way to win.
Mobius had learned at this point to tell apart a scream of real fear or pain and happy ones.
Loki and Sylvie made a lot of both in general, but as of now neither seemed upset, so Mobius was able to easily finish setting things up for them.
“Okay. You two rambunctious scamps ready for bed?” he asked as he came back into the nursery room.
The two got up from playfully fighting each other and ran to Mobius, hugging him excitedly.
He helped them brush their teeth and hair before trying his best to wrangle them into some pajamas. He got comfortable in the crib and started to read to them.
Loki always insisted on a bottle, but Sylvie wasn't that small and got a sippy cup of warm milk, instead.
Luckily for Mobius, that just meant one less thing to hold.
They both sat comfortably leaning against him, Loki taking up Mobius’s lap spot, while he flicked through a picture book. He chose one of the wordier ones since they didn’t seem that tired and would probably need longer to fall asleep.
When he finished the book and set it down, neither of them had finished their milk but Sylvie seemed to be the only one discontent with falling asleep without another story. She tugged on Mobius’s sleeve and let him know her upset.
Loki was almost already asleep, but when Mobius tapped his shoulder, he sleepily pulled out a pocket-dimension concealed story. This one was of different Norse myths, presumably about this universe’s Loki and family. Many had inaccuracies that Loki had annotated while he was big, but Mobius found one with few about the beginning of the world.
Loki rolled over and Sylvie shut her eyes, no longer worried about missing pictures since there weren’t any to miss.
It took Mobius slightly longer than the picture book, but it didn’t matter since he was able to stop reading before the end of the story as both of the toddlers had fallen asleep. Mobius shifted out of the sitting upright position into laying on his back so he could fall asleep. He put one arm around each of the children and let them comfortably fall asleep next to him, not bothering to set the bars into place. They were big kids, today.