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Nothing in the Parenting Books Prepared me for This

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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.

She nodded.

“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.  

Chapter Text

Loki woke up uncomfortably, he felt the familiar feeling of Mobius’s mustache against his neck. He sat up to see what had awoken him. The room was still dark and Sylvie was still in her normal spot, being the biggest spoon and hugging Mobius like a giant teddy bear. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary so he laid back down, snuggling into Mobius and hoping that the bad feeling would go away, whatever it was.

He checked under the blankets, nothing was wet so he was okay on that front. He wasn’t in pain, or at least not really. He then realized what he was missing. He was about to get up and walk around before heading back to bed, but felt a tug at the back of his shirt. Loki turned to look at the force and found that Sylvie was the one who had grabbed him. She made the motion for “Come here” and scooted to the far side of the bed so there was room between herself and Mobius, the perfect Loki sized spot. He laid down and she gently played with his hair and massaged his back and arms lovingly. “Did you have a nightmare?” She asked softly. Unsure of what else it could’ve been he quietly agreed. Mobius groaned and rolled over, “you guys okay?”

“Yeah, Loki just had a nightmare, that’s all,”

Mobius studied Loki for a moment before scooting over so Sylvie would be more comfortable. Loki also moved so he was in the center of the bed. Sylvie and Mobius hugged him from both sides and he was able to fall back asleep. Happily and Comfortably this time.

Chapter Text

Living next to a lake, Loki, Sylvie, and Mobius tended to spend a lot of time out there, a lot of this time was used for fishing, both for practical and recreational purposes.

Mobius enjoyed waking up to catch the fish early, while Sylvie preferred a more tactical on-foot hunt, and Loki more times than not elected to sleep in and not do either.

Today, they were all going to go out on the water together for the first time and go fishing. Loki thought about the story Thor had told him about fishing with the giants and almost catching the Midgard serpent. Loki was sure Thor had exaggerated, but the story still always stayed with him, especially while out on Mobius’s boat. This morning, the group was all up and ready to go by seven, all except Loki.

“He’s still asleep,” Sylvie reported to Mobius who was having his morning coffee and bagel, like always. “Do you want me to wake him up?” she asked.

“Nah, I’ll do it,” Mobius responded. He got up and looked into the bedroom at Loki who was indeed still passed out in bed, and in a very ungraceful position. Mobius pet his leg.

When Loki groggily stirred, Mobius gently pat his shoulder to wake him up.

Loki opened his eyes and sat up, stretching.

“We’re going fishing. Are you coming or not?”

Loki nodded, magicking himself into proper clothing and grabbing his backpack, that he usually kept stocked with anything he could ever need, including a few extra novels just in case he finished whatever one he was working on at the moment.

Loki looked ridiculous in Mobius’s fishing hat but wore it anyway because it kept the sun off his pale face. Honestly, it was his at this point, since Mobius had bought a new one soon after he realized Loki wasn’t going to give it back, nor was he going to accept one that was his own. Sylvie had a similar fishing hat that they had gotten her in town after moving in. Loki tried his best to get breakfast while he was being rushed out the door. It was a slight walk down to the lake, but not more than a quarter mile, and they had pretty much the whole beach to themselves. The boat was in the water and docked.

Sylvie got in first and offered to take Loki’s bag.

He handed it to her with a quiet “thanks.”

Mobius sat across from Loki, driving the boat out onto the lake. Even though both of the pale variants had sunblock on and hats, Mobius still put the shade up for them.

When they found a good spot, they put their lines out, well everyone but Loki.

Mobius enjoyed another cup of coffee and stared pensively out on the water while Sylvie whittled a stick, and Loki read a very large and wordy looking novel, only glancing away to look down at the water. He set the book down quickly as a fish swam underneath the boat. He lifted it up with magic and set it on the floor of the vessel.

The fish flopped around wildly. It was a fairly small trout, barely passing the normal guidelines for what was legally catchable. It wouldn’t be much meat, but it might make a nice snack.

Sylvie had a line out, but she, like Loki, also enjoyed being a more active part of the process, and also brought a spear along with her. She stabbed two or three trout in one go. They were slightly larger than Loki’s were. He crossed his arms and rolled his eyes at her excitement before channeling some more magic and lifting out the largest one he could find, almost from the other side of the lake. The monster (at least by Mobius’s fishing standards) was a good six feet long, and when Loki dropped it into the boat it made an awful thud.

“We should probably throw that one back,” Mobius hesitated.

“Nonsense! It’s the perfect size for dinner!” Loki boasted.

Mobius sighed and tried not to laugh, before deciding to let him keep it, “Alright, but you’re the one gutting it,” he said.

Loki smiled at this deal.

Then, Mobius felt a tug on his line and reeled it in. Despite their preferred methods, Loki and Sylvie agreed, the element of surprise when reeling in a line to see what you got was kind of nice. Mobius caught a decent sized trout. Nothing too special, but enough to feed himself for dinner. The two clapped for him and Mobius theatrically bowed before unhooking the fish and tossing it onto the pile.

They continued their fishing for another hour but it was much less eventful after Mobius encouraged the two to stick to their lines (he taught Loki how to cast one out) and not using magic or spears to catch the fish.

“I’m starving, can I eat one?” Sylvie asked.

Mobius stared at her, “eat a raw fish? No,” he said, handing her a squished granola bar from his pocket instead.

She looked disappointed but took it anyway.

Loki began to look restless and bored. He marked his spot and flicked through the book, counting the chapters and pages until he was done. He also peered over the edge of the boat periodically to check and see how the water was doing, and if there were any fish.

“Mobius?” he asked, “Did you bring any wine?”

“No. I didn’t.” Mobius replied, matter-of-factly. “Because it’s illegal to have alcohol on boats. Come on, Loki, you know this.”

Loki let out an exasperated sigh and put his hand in the water. Sylvie was starting to feel the same way, but she wasn’t as vocal about it as Loki was. Mobius took the hint. After another 10 minutes of no bites and no interest he spoke, “let’s head back to shore, I think we’ve caught enough for today.”

Loki and Sylvie tried to contain their relief, nothing was worse to the two gods than being bored.

Mobius helped Sylvie reel her line in, although she didn’t really need the help, and vocally let it be known. But Mobius insisted saying if he let her do it herself, she’d damage the rod. This wasn’t a bad assumption since Loki and Sylvie did break a lot of things very often, but they still denied it.

While Mobius reeled in his line, Loki peeked over the side of the boat and looked down at the water, for the first time noticing all the dragonflies which hovered around it and buzzed in it, he reached for one but Mobius pulled him back.

He looked at Loki who returned his gaze.

Loki smiled innocently like he wasn’t trying to grab dragonflies while he was unaware Mobius was reeling in a string with a very sharp hook on it inches away from his head. Mobius smiled back at him before putting his hand on Loki’s shoulder and squatting down next to him. “Loki, be honest with me, do you need to be small today?”

Loki shook his head confidently, “Definitely not. I’m going to gut that fish and go for a jet-ski ride with you and Sylvie. I don’t have the time nor energy to be little,”

Neither Mobius, nor Sylvie, who had begun to eavesdrop, were convinced. “Okay, if you say so,” Mobius said, pretending to be fooled. Mobius quietly whispered something to Sylvie before giving her a kiss and turning to Loki to give him one, too. Mobius finished reeling in the lines and put away the rods.

He sat down to drive back to their dock.

Loki tried to look big and Sylvie gently teased him for it.

Mobius stopped her and the boat was quiet for a moment, besides the whir of the engine.

Loki absentmindedly began to bite his thumb.

Sylvie was too busy playing on her phone to notice.

Mobius looked at him and Loki stopped immediately, shoving his hands into his pockets.

Mobius tried not to smile. He loved Loki with all his heart. He loved Sylvie too, but she was less affectionate and better at hiding her emotions than Loki. There was something lovely about Loki trying to hide something from him and getting flustered, instead of keeping his usual relaxed air that he normally used to smoothly talk through lies. Mobius pretended to not notice though and didn’t bring it up until after they had docked and the boat was tied up.

“Loki, I know you’re slipping. You know you can be little around us, what’s wrong?”

Loki gave Mobius a defeated sigh and crossed his arms, making extra sure to avoid eye contact. “I can’t help with the fish if I’m small… and I… was looking forward to that. And, and you said babies aren’t allowed on the jet-ski,” he stated as though it was all very obvious and he was wasting so much time having to explain it.

“That is difficult, isn’t it?”

Loki looked concerned and confused by this answer. Mobius was supposed to know what to do! He was supposed to fix it!

Sylvie was walking up to where they were talking, “What’s wrong?” she asked, only addressing Mobius.

“He’s feeling little but doesn’t want to regress because he wants to go for a jet-ski ride and help with dinner,” Mobius answered. This conversation, of course, only made Loki feel smaller. “That’s alright, you can just sit on the front, and I’ll steer from behind you,” Mobius said to Loki. Well, that was one of the problems out of the way… Sort of.

Loki looked slightly dismayed by this, he liked sitting in the back and hugging onto daddy! But he agreed it was the best way to do it.

Mobius tried to keep him big until they got home.

Sylvie decided that she’d regress a bit too, but only to about eight, she wasn’t usually as small as Loki was.

When they got back to the house, Mobius put the fish in a large icebox freezer they kept in the garage, before coming back into the house sorting through the drawers of Loki and Sylvie’s littlespace wardrobe, while Loki and Sylvie both helped. Both of them found their swimsuits. Sylvie opted for a one piece with a ruffled skirt that she slipped a towel dress over, instead of her favorite black bikini. Loki just wore his normal green trunks with a puffy swim diaper underneath. One that Mobius had to help him into.

While Mobius had been packing little bags, Sylvie made a snack in the kitchen and Loki sat on the bed, waiting for Mobius to get his swim trunks on.

When everyone was ready, Mobius made sure they all had some type of shoes for walking down to the water and grabbed sunscreen and outdoor toys for them too, mostly shovels and buckets for playing in the sand.

He held Loki’s hand on the rough terrain, but Sylvie ran down on her own, excitedly getting on the jet-ski and patting the seat, beckoning Loki and Mobius onto it.

“Hey there missy,” Mobius said warningly, “Daddy’s not there yet. You can’t take the jet-ski out on your own. C’mon get down,” he lectured her.

Sylvie got off the jet-ski while Mobius approached the dock.

“You’re not even wearing a life jacket,” he almost laughed.

Sylvie was used to being lectured and she didn’t mind, in fact, she smiled at Mobius’s concern.

After he set down the bags, Mobius reached into the boat on the other side of the dock and removed a panel in the floor to reveal a pile of life vests.

Loki and Sylvie had proper adult ones for waterskiing and such, but they also had ones made for littles that were brightly colored. Loki’s was made so it would fit like a baby or small toddler vest, but Sylvie’s didn’t have anything special about hers except the color, because her headspace was so fluid.

Mobius gave Loki and Sylvie their life vests and buckled himself into an adult one before helping them both onto the jet-ski in front of him.

Loki excitedly bounced up and down and Sylvie squealed as Mobius revved the engine and sped up.

The littles smiled and yelled excitedly as Mobius tried to safely make a fun ride for them, not going over too many waves, at least not until the two daredevils insisted that they could handle it and started pushing on the right handlebar so Mobius had no choice but to jump some waves. He didn’t really mind though, he knew they’d want to, so he squeezed them as tightly as he could with his elbows while still grabbing the handlebars to make sure neither of the littles would go anywhere. Of course, all of them were perfectly fine, and Mobius continued the ride until Loki started to feel sick. Unfortunately, the noise of the motor and wind coupled with the fact that Sylvie was in charge of telling Mobius that Loki was getting sick, meant that by the time Mobius caught what was going on and shut the jet-ski off, Loki was already looking very faint and clutching his stomach. Mobius pulled the jet-ski into the dock as gently as he could and helped Loki off.

Sylvie didn’t bother actually getting down and instead hopped off into the water.

Mobius guided Loki onto shore and let him throw up into some nearby bushes.

Loki’s eyes were teary from vomiting.

Mobius rooted through the bag and handed Loki some ginger flavored candies. They weren’t going to be much use now, but he thought maybe Loki would enjoy them.

Loki chewed on one while Mobius tried to comfort him.

When Loki stopped breathing so heavily, Mobius gave him a light pat on the back. “feeling better, sport?” he asked.

Loki picked himself up and nodded.

“C’mon, let’s get you cleaned up,” Mobius said as he unclicked Loki’s life vest (the thing was very restrictive, and not very practical). He found a water bottle in his bag and held out his hand, “cloth, please?” he requested.

Loki conjured a small washcloth.

Mobius poured some water onto it and wiped down Loki’s face. “Do you still want to be little?” he asked.

Loki was still recovering, so he wordlessly nodded.

Mobius acknowledged the agreement, and set up a beach site with towels and toys.

Loki joined him and drank some of the water, while Mobius laid out everything that would be necessary for dealing with the toddler and supervised Sylvie, who he yelled at to come back to shore for now.

She begrudgingly swam back in and flicked water at Loki before sitting down with her towel, “Can Loki come play?” she asked.

“I think he might be a little bit too little for any roughhousing, but he can definitely build sandcastles with you,” Mobius answered.

But Loki seemed to have other plans.

“Swim!” Loki said.

“Fine. Just… don’t go too far. He doesn’t have his vest on and I don’t want him getting hurt.”

Mobius let him excitedly run into the water after Sylvie. But stopped the boy when it got too deep, coming in after him and picking him up, one of the advantages to swimming with the little.

Loki splashed and tried to get free of his grasp but couldn’t.

While Sylvie showed off her ability to swim underwater without goggles, Loki continued to struggle and splash, and Mobius tried to figure out if he was genuinely upset or just playing, but the giggles when Sylvie splashed back at him, indicated playing.

Eventually though, Loki got bored of being held and wanted to go actually run around and play.

Mobius made Loki a spot by the shallow part of the water for him to wade in. It was lucky their side of the lake was more sandy than rocky, or it might not have been such a good idea. He set Loki down and crouched onto his level.

Mobius showed him different things to play with but tried to keep a watchful eye on Sylvie to make sure she didn’t get hurt, even though he trusted her much more than he did Loki. Loki sat about waist deep in the water and worked on filling a bucket with wet sand, but eventually he got bored, and wanted to play with Sylvie more. That’s when Mobius remembered some more water toys he had kept in the boat as a surprise for them.

Mobius was going to get them, but Loki didn’t want to get out of the water, luckily, Sylvie was more than happy to swoop in and distract him with the idea of building a sand castle. Loki made the first few towers and Sylvie worked on adding a moat, and gathering sticks for him to make a fence and flag with.

Mobius set some of the water toys by them and showed Loki the new one. It was a floating inner-tube with a green shade that could come up and holes for Loki’s legs so he wouldn’t fall out. It gave Loki enough freedom to move around and play with Sylvie in the deeper water, but not enough to worry Mobius too much. Loki was a little bit disappointed by the fact he wasn’t allowed to freely swim with his big sister, but pretended it was okay. He reclined in it and relaxed, in his best adult impression after Mobius had set it up and helped him into it.

Mobius smiled and showed Sylvie some pool noodles and such he had picked up at the Marina across the lake.

Sylvie quickly discovered how to shoot a stream of water out of the other side of the noodle.

Loki clapped and tried it himself but couldn’t form a seal around the pipe to create the pressure to blow the water out.

Mobius took it from him and did it.

Loki crossed his arms, frustrated that he couldn’t do such an easy thing.

“It’s okay, buddy, we’ll try it again when you’re big,” Mobius said, ruffling Loki’s locks and getting droplets of water all over him.

“Loki! Loki!” Sylvie said as she swam up to him, “can you do a trick?” she asked. Loki grinned, it distracted him from his previous disappointment. He cast a few illusions. His personal favorite of fireworks didn’t show up well during the day, but he could definitely make a mermaid swim under the water or a dolphin jump out of it. Sylvie stared with wide eyes like she always did until the beautiful mirage disappeared, and she rested her chin on his little raft.

“Very impressive,” Mobius commented on the display from before.

Loki nodded, but didn’t know what to do with himself so he awkwardly sat and played with a small toy Mobius had given him (a wind up fish that swam).

“You’re a clever little bunny,” Sylvie said.

Loki giggled before chewing on the toy.

The three enjoyed an hour or two swimming in the blue-green water. But Loki began getting fussy, eventually. “Alright, looks like it's getting on Loki’s naptime,” Mobius told Sylvie while taking the toddler out of the raft.

“Can’t he just sleep in the raft?” Sylvie asked.

Mobius answered her with a look, instead of words, but she understood and got out of the water with them.

They cleaned up the spot, putting most of the toys back in the boat and the bags, and walked back up to the cabin.

The spare bedroom was being used as a sort of nursery/playroom space for Loki and Sylvie, although they usually still wanted to sleep in the normal bedroom (except during nap times when the couch or crib were used). The room was quite nice, it had a wooden crib with green sheets, a changing table, and a large toybox, with lots of room for play (even if, more often than not, Loki and Sylvie played outside or in the living room). The closet often held the extra highchair, the playpen, and a double, and a single stroller. They had tried to theme the main room to be suitable to both of the littles, picking out lots of golds and greens and making it look as Asgardian as possible, even if it didn’t really fit with the rest of the “log cabin” theme of the rest of their home, and admittedly, when they had moved in, they also hadn't bothered to repaint the walls from the light powder blue. It was no one's favorite color, but it looked nice, and after moving in, they had elected to keep it. 

Loki was changed out of his trunks and swim diaper into some much more comfortable footie pajamas. Mobius heated up a bottle for Loki and held him in a big, comfy rocking chair. Sylvie had gone to take a shower while Loki was being rocked and talked to. “Did the swimming get you all tired out, sleepy boy?” he smiled. “Don’t tell Sylvie, but we’re also going to have a big fun day tomorrow, you know that? We’re going into town for some groceries and stuff, but I think I found something fun for us to do while we’re there as well...”

Loki stopped paying attention. He was too busy sucking on the bottle from an awkward angle that Mobius hadn’t adjusted yet. But, the man quickly fixed it for him. And propped Loki up. It wasn’t the cradled position Loki took his bottle in while with Sylvie or on the bed, or even the position Loki usually liked while with Mobius in the rocker. Instead, he had his upper body in Mobius’ lap, and his lower body sprawled out, his feet comfortably dangling over the arm of the chair. He sat Loki up and burped him.

Loki whined while Mobius tried to move him.

“Oh, I know,” Mobius said, giving Loki a kiss on the cheek.

Loki propped himself up and stood up sleepily.

Mobius helped him to the crib and pulled the bars up before giving the little boy his pacifier and plushie and turning the lights off.

Chapter Text

Sylvie came back from her shower with a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. “How’s Loki?”

“He just got put down for his nap,”

“Can I go see him?”

“Yeah sure, just be quiet, you know how he gets.”

Sylvie smiled, “of course, but I also know I’m a tiny Loki whisperer just like you are… maybe even better, and if he wakes up I’ll get him right back to sleep,” she bragged.

Mobius shrugged. He knew. He didn’t need the ramble. If she wanted to, she could easily be Loki’s caregiver or at least babysitter. When she was big and Loki was small, she was very gentle and kind, although very sarcastic.

Loki winked one eye open and smiled. “Hi, baby,” Sylvie said.

“Seevee,” Loki said.

“It’s nap time. You should be asleep,” she commented.

Loki crossed his arms and let out a huff.

“I just came in here to turn on your mobile,” she defensively lied.

Loki let her do so. But retained his annoyed demeanor.

“And for some toys,” she added, opening the toy box.

“No,” Loki said, breaking the façade and giggling. “Came see baby!”

“So what if I did?”

More giggling.

"What do you want?”

Loki made some grabby hands. “Seevee nap too!”

“‘Seevee’ is a big girl and doesn’t need baby naps, but you do,” she smiled.

Loki kept grinning, “Seevee nap!” he insisted.

“I just showered,” she frowned. She sighed and paused looking at him. “Fine. Only 'cuz I love you,” she said, grabbing a pacifier for herself, this one was white with a pink and green butterfly on the button and no handle. She also changed into a pull-up while she was there. “Can’t risk it if you leak,” she said, trying to justify it to Loki. She pulled her shorts back up and lowered the bars so she could climb in, too.

“I heard some chit-chat in here,” Mobius opened the door. He didn’t look mad, or even really disappointed, he shook his head and smiled. “I should’ve known not to leave you two alone together,” he grinned. “Sylvie, are you having a nap, too?”

Sylvie pointed at Loki who was lying on the bed, and having a very hard time staying awake.

“Do you want a bottle and some jammies?” he asked, babying her like he did Loki.

Sylvie was definitely feeling smaller, she wasn’t baby small, but definitely under four if she had to guess. She shook her head, “story!” she exclaimed.

Loki sat up, suddenly awake, “Story! Story!” he agreed.

“An’ a sippy please!” Sylvie decided to add.

“Demanding today, aren’t we?” Mobius smiled. He did love doting on them, even if they were the most ridiculous children. He loved them dearly. He came back with a sippy cup of warm milk for Sylvie and found a picture book for them to all look at together There was a small bookshelf in the corner. “Do you want the rocking chair or are we reading in the crib?”

“Crib!” They both agreed, it was much easier for all three of them to sit together if they were in the crib. Sylvie grabbed a stuffed pegasus out of the toybox before hopping back up into the crib and Mobius slid the bars up. “Hey!” Sylvie said, “you’re s'posed to sit with us.”

“Lie down, it’s alright, you’ll be able to see the pictures,” he replied nonchalantly. Sylvie laid down next to Loki and drank from her sippy-cup. After each page, Mobius showed them the pictures. Loki was out only a few pages in. Sylvie took longer, but she was out by halfway through. Mobius finished the book anyways, just to be sure. He didn’t bother burping Sylvie, it was too much of a risk to wake her up, but he did move the sippy cup away and placed the pacifier into her mouth. Mobius sat in the rocking chair reading his own book. He wanted to be there for the two littles. After thirty minutes, there was still no signs of stirring from the crib and Mobius decided he should get those fish gutted and prepped before they froze solid, and he felt better leaving knowing that Sylvie was there. She’d be able to help Loki if he woke up. That would mean hopefully no crying or tantrums for the next few minutes at least.

Mobius went out to the garage to grab a few of the fish, and turned on the hose so he could rinse the fish while gutting. It was really more of Loki and Sylvie’s thing, but he could do it. 5 fillets. Two for each of the gods, and one for himself. He made sure to save the heads, knowing how much the two loved them. He smiled at how weird they were before taking it all inside and setting it in the fridge. He’d get to them in a few hours.

Mobius popped back into the nursery to check on the two. Sylvie standing up, looking over the bars while Loki looked busy playing with his alligator sitting down.

“What are you two doing?” Mobius asked rhetorically. “Dad-dy!” Loki said, moving to look out from between the bars.

“Loki’s got a soggy nappy,” Sylvie told him casually.

Mobius nodded and let down the bars to get Loki. “Can you pick him up for me?” he asked Sylvie.

She nodded and felt special for being able to carry Loki all by herself, setting him down on the changing table. “You were right,” Mobius laughed, while getting the tot changed. Loki had a bit of a hard time with it, covering his face embarrassedly. When Mobius unclicked the little seatbelt that strapped Loki down, Sylvie picked the other little up. “Do you need a change, too?” Mobius asked her.

“Nope! Big girls don’t need nappies!” she grinned.

Mobius trusted her and let the two go play. Loki struggled out of Sylvie’s arms and rooted through the toy box, pulling out some musical toys, xylophones, drumming toys, and the like. Much to the annoyance of Sylvie and Mobius.

Mobius got some paperwork out and began to work on it while Loki played with his toys and Sylvie looked around for her “big girl toys” which just meant toys that were marked “choking hazard - small parts - not for children under three years”. She found her favorite Viking war-ship, it was just like the one she had while growing up, and made a game on the other side of the room, away from Loki.

Loki laid on his belly, kicking absently while he played and sucked on his pacifier. Mobius had offered to take it after his nap, but Loki refused and kept it in. He got bored with the musical toys, especially as Sylvie kept trying to take them and hide them from him so he wouldn’t be so loud. Loki sorted through the toy bin and found some soft blocks. He handed a blue one to Mobius.

“Thank you,” Mobius said, inspecting it up close.

“Tessarac,” Loki smiled.

“It does look like that doesn’t it?”

“Mhm!”

Mobius didn’t know what to do with the block now that he had it. Loki had already gone back to the box looking for more interesting baby toys to mess with. After a few more minutes of sorting through toys and getting gradually more frustrated, Loki started bugging Sylvie. “Loki! Cut it out! I need that leopard! She’s Freya’s! How else is she supposed to get around?... Besides the ship...” She showed Loki a plastic doll with blonde hair.

Loki looked up at Mobius with a trembly lip, “daddy!” he whined. In that moment, Mobius wished with all his heart he could pick Loki up, bounce the little toddler in his arms, but he couldn’t, so instead he had a different idea. He made a spot as far away from Sylvie as possible while remaining on the play mat, and covered the area with blankets and quilts and pillows, and then he took all of Loki’s baby toys and placed them nearby. Mobius sat cross legged with a blanket over his lap while Loki played around him. Eventually the baby tired himself out, and was chewing on a rattily teether, lying on his back, and resting his head on Mobius’s knee.

Mobius noticed Sylvie getting bored again, too. “Do you guys want to help me make dinner?” he asked. Loki looked up at him, not that he wasn’t already doing that, and nodded. Sylvie, although she had set up a very intricate game with her Little People characters, also decided a break was a good idea.

Help was a strong word, but the littles did their best to make making dinner at least more fun, if nothing else. Sylvie helped by making a salad, Mobius even let her use the knives. But Loki was so small that he didn’t really know what to do with himself. He put his hands on the counters and watched Mobius fry up the fish in a skillet.

“You’re too close to the stove li’l buddy. Don’t want you getting burned,” Mobius said, shooing Loki away.

Loki did the same with Sylvie, and she shooed him away, as well; “babies shouldn’t be so close to knives,” she said. Loki gave her a pouty lip and looked like he was going to throw a fit, but Mobius swooped in right at the perfect time. “Loki, I have an idea,” he said. The little snapped out of his self pity to look at Mobius. “Do you want to help me make another side dish?” he asked.

Loki nodded, he wanted to be helpful so bad. Mobius already had some sliced potatoes in a pot, but his timer had just dinged and he was ready for Loki to get involved. He drained the pot and put the slices in a plastic bowl. “Can you mash these up for me?” he asked. Loki nodded and also took the potato masher from Mobius’s hand. He found himself a spot on the floor and put the bowl in his lap and used both hands to vigorously mash the potatoes.

Mobius eventually stopped him and Loki looked up at him with a big mischievous grin. “I think we should add in the butter and cheese,” he commented. Loki agreed. Mobius had finished cooking the fish by now, and he had time to help Loki finish the potatoes. For Loki, that pretty much just meant that he’d have to stand up now and mash slower so Mobius could pour in the ingredients. Eventually though, Mobius finished pouring in the dairy products and some seasoning, and stepped away to let Loki go all out. Mashed potatoes were better when they were smooth, anyways.

Sylvie helped set the table. She got herself and Mobius normal dinner plates and silverware, but Loki got a plastic green dish with separated spots for different foods and a matching plastic fork set on his highchair. However, Sylvie had given herself a steak knife and Mobius had to take it away and replace it with a butter knife instead. She didn’t need a knife that sharp, anyways, and if she did, Mobius could cut it up for her.

Mobius talked with Sylvie about fun plans for the next few days while Loki, of course, refused to eat until Mobius fed him. He sat back in his chair and folded his arms, refusing to touch the plate of food he helped make. “Oh, come on, Loki,” Mobius said.

“No,” Loki said sternly, sticking up his nose.

“Loki! You better eat that fish after all that trouble we went to this morning!” Sylvie warned.

“No!” Loki repeated, even more defiantly this time.

“I got this,” Mobius said. He got up and leaned against Loki’s tray, having already finished his own plate. He took Loki’s plate and fork from him. He tried to give Loki a piece of fish but the little avoided it like the plague.

None of this was out of the ordinary for Loki. He just sometimes had times like this where he’d decide he wasn’t hungry and not eat. Other time’s he’d feast like it was his last meal. Sometimes the feeling came and went, only lasting for a meal or two, other times it was days. Luckily, Mobius had learned the tricks and how he could push Loki’s buttons to make him eat, at least things that would work while Loki was little. “Can you be a good boy and eat for daddy?”

Loki took a small bite, unnoticeably small.

“There’s a step, c’mon, just a little more.” He had made Loki two fillets, but now he realized it was going to be a miracle if he could even get him to finish one.

Loki nibbled the rest of the fish off the fork.

“See? There’s a good little baby,” Mobius smiled. He gave the little a kiss on the cheek, which Loki acknowledged with a simper, but he was still hesitant to eat.

“You’re doing it wrong!” Sylvie said, getting up. Mobius was lightly pushed out of the way. He sighed and put his hands of his hips exasperatedly, but let Sylvie do her work.

She baby-talked Loki, “who’s my favorite little bunny boy? Is it you?”

Loki nodded.

She poked his belly and tickled him, waiting for a reaction, and when he giggled, she held his mouth open and shoveled in some mashed potatoes.

“Sylvie, no,” Mobius said, taking the fork from her when Loki began to look distressed.

But the damage was already done, Loki shook his head, banged his fists on the tray, and kicked frustratedly. He set his head on the tray after the burst of energy subsided, and started to cry.

Mobius put his hands on his hips again and pet Loki’s back, “Why don’t we just call it good for now, and we’ll make you a nice warm bottle, instead?”

Loki sobbed but nodded defeatedly as his caregiver removed the tray and helped him up.

This wasn’t uncommon for Loki, so Mobius had vitamin powder on hand to put in the bottle.

Mobius tried to coax Loki towards the nursery.

“Not tired,” Loki said, trying to hide the tears.

“I know, bud, we’re just getting ready so we can watch a movie together, how does that sound?”

Loki liked the sound of that, but it only meant he complied marginally. He still sulked and dragged his feet.

“Alright, hop up, cowboy,” Mobius said, giving Loki a pat on the bottom as he got up onto the changing table.

Loki made a vaguely annoyed face in response to Mobius’ cheery demeanor but hopped up all the same. He kept crying as Mobius pressed a pacifier into his mouth and sniffled behind it while Mobius gave him a change. Although it wasn’t the root of his problems, the gross soggy feeling being gone definitely made him feel better and his breathing stilled as Mobius unclicked the little seatbelt.

“C'mon, I think your water’s ready,” Mobius said, trying to help Loki up, but Loki refused to get up on his own.

“Up!”

“You know I can’t pick you up,” Mobius replied with a longing smile. He so wished he could, he definitely wanted to, but Asgardians were so dense! Even if Mobius wasn’t a normal human (He had gained immortality from his interactions with the tesseract), he didn’t have super strength… at least not until Sylvie overheard the conversation. “We can fix that, can’t we Loki?”

Loki nodded sitting up on the changing table.

“That’s sweet, but you guys really don’-”

Before Mobius could finish his sentence, Loki and Sylvie nodded to each other and a green glow swirled around Mobius.

“I can’t believe we didn’t think to do this before,” Sylvie smiled, watching Mobius effortlessly pick up Loki like a baby.

Loki hugged him tightly.

“It's amazing,” Mobius said with wonder in his eyes as he held Loki above his head.

“Me next!” Sylvie said, bouncing on the balls of her feet. Mobius did the same with her and she grinned giddily, not that the experience was new, her and Loki picked each other up constantly, even when they weren’t little, but Mobius! That was new and exciting!

“Sylvie, how are you doing?” he asked after setting her on his hip. Sylvie shifted from side to side uncomfortably, very much in the same way Loki did when he needed a change while in one of his rare “big boy” headspaces. He handed her a pullup assuming she’d want to fix it herself but she just stared at him making that nervous face Loki did all the time. It was always a guessing game with her if she was big enough to fix it herself or not. “Diaper or pull-up?” Mobius asked while he buckled Sylvie down on the table. She usually didn’t get buckled down, but she had begun playing with the strap and banging the two plastic pieces together until Mobius did.

“Nappy!” she said.

Loki was sitting on the ledge of the crib. He wanted to distract Sylvie like he always did, but she didn’t seem to need it now.

When she was all taped up, Mobius went back to the main bedroom and looked for some pajamas for her. “Sylvie, how little are you?” he yelled back to the nursery. No answer came so he poked his head back into the nursery. Sylvie was chewing on her hand and giggling while Loki was blowing raspberries on her belly like Mobius always did for him. “What are you two babies doing?” Mobius asked with a grin. He decided then what would be appropriate. He found some snappy footie pajamas just like Loki’s for her and wiggled them onto her while talking sweetly about her little toes and belly, and when she grabbed for him as he adjusted the snaps at the top, he also commented on her tiny baby fingers.

Mobius scooped up Loki first and then tried to balance Sylvie in the other arm.

“Baba,” Loki said, pointing to the counter where his bottle was.

“Does Sylvie want one, too?” the adult asked.

Sylvie nodded, resting her head sleepily on Mobius’s shoulder.

“I’m going to set both of you down now,” he warned, “We don’t want you tykes getting burned.”

He set them in the playpen in the living room, and took an extra moment to grab the pop-up little gym for them. When squished together, they could both fit in it and bat at the dangling toys, giggling. It wasn't super common for Sylvie to go so small and be so trusting with Mobius, at least it hadn't been until recently, but something in her clicked, and she couldn’t help it.

Loki sat up, and moved away from the playmat, to the fencing around him. “Wan Croki!” he whined.

Mobius found the stuffed alligator on the couch and handed it to the little, before grabbing Sylvie's pacifier from the nursery, which she had left there after her nap. She reluctantly took it, and her and Loki went back to “talking” with their made up baby babble and playing with the various toys laid out in the playpen.

It wasn’t long though until Mobius came back with the readied bottles and picked each of the babies up, setting them on the couch with him. He held both of the bottles for them at first, but Sylvie quickly decided she wanted to take hers herself. This was quite a relief, as it gave Mobius an extra hand for him to turn on the tv for a movie. Loki and Sylvie both seemed much too small to decide, so Mobius picked The Muppet Movie. Sure, it had some grown-up elements, but the bright colors and funny puppets would probably keep them entertained, right?

It did, unfortunately so, because when Loki had a messy accident, he fought to stay on the couch and finish the movie. They were all lucky there was only a few minutes left until the credits as Loki would need a bath and Sylvie still needed extra supervision.

When the credits began to roll, Mobius looked at Loki, “do you want to walk or be held?” he asked. Loki made the little grabby hands and allowed Mobius to pick him up, despite how awful it felt.

Sylvie hung onto the fabric of Mobius’s shirt and followed them sleepily with her pacifier still in her mouth.

After getting Loki all clean, Sylvie got a before bed change as well, and Mobius tried to tuck them both into the crib (It could easily fit the two of them, even if they didn’t insist on cuddling up as close as possible to each other.) but of course, things could never be so simple.

“Daddy!” Sylvie whined.

“Dadda stay!” Loki insisted.

“I don’t think either of you are big enough to sleep in the normal bed,” Mobius replied.

The two persistently bugged him about it.

Mobius ignored them, though and thought distraction would be key. He grabbed their stuffed animals for them and then slid the bars into place.

The two littles cried out in betrayed and hurt voices.

“Shh, I’m not going anywhere,” he said, “I’ll be right here in the rocking chair until you fall asleep.”

Mobius turned on a small radio with a tape of lullabies and stories he kept for nights like this when Loki, and now Sylvie were extremely little, and dragged out a small bucket of yarn off a high shelf that Sylvie and Loki were not allowed to touch. He put one of Loki’s blankets over his lap and began to cast on a few stitches for a new project. He occasionally looked over at a pattern sheet he had cut out of a magazine that he had done the math to size up. He started work with some extremely soft yellow yarn. The comforting click-clack of the knitting needles soothed the littles and assured them that Mobius was still in the room as they fell asleep.

Chapter Text

The morning came quickly and Loki and Sylvie woke up to Mobius leaning over the crib. “Are you guys ready for an amazing day?” he asked excitedly, waiting for the two tots to wake up. He slid down the bars and was ready to give Loki a change but Loki had already swung his legs over the side of the crib and was getting ready to get down. Sylvie however, was still at least somewhat regressed, she definitely wasn’t as small as last night though. “Um, daddy?” she asked uncomfortably. Mobius turned his attention to her and although she didn’t elaborate, he knew she wanted out of that soggy diaper.

Mobius grabbed her some clothes for the day; a bright green t-shirt and black skirt with darker green leggings underneath, as well as some big girl underwear since Sylvie had decided she was much too old for diapers or even pull-ups today. After getting cleaned up, she dressed herself and then walked to the kitchen for breakfast. Loki was back already, his hair was wet and partially pinned into a bun, much like Sylvie often wore, and he was wearing a black long sleeve workout shirt and basketball shorts. A decidedly un-Loki-like outfit. But Mobius had told him to dress for a workout today, so he had done what he could. He gave Mobius a kiss on the cheek as he got up to make himself some toast. “Make me some, too!” Sylvie told him as she sat down at the table.

He didn’t respond except a sharp and small nod as he set a third slice of bread in the toaster oven. While he waited, he put his arms around Mobius’s neck and rested his chin on his head, reading the man’s newspaper until the timer rang.

Loki brought Sylvie her slice of toast and ruffled her hair. He sat down and ate. It was a silent breakfast.

Mobius got up and headed to the nursery to pack Loki’s diaper bag. Perhaps the god was being big now, but he knew as soon as Loki was put into an unfamiliar place around other littles, he’d probably want to regress. So as a precaution, he grabbed Loki a change of clothes, some changing supplies and extra diapers (and a few pull-ups), a pacifier, and a small case of first aid supplies.

He slung the bag over his shoulder and whistled to the two gods, telling them he was ready to go.

Mobius’ old Mercedes was warming up in their “driveway”, which was really just a spot of dirt that was generally swept of leaves and no nearby trees. It was an ugly beige car that Loki had hated with a passion when he first saw it. “It doesn’t even fly!” he had said when Mobius wanted to test drive it. “Most cars here don’t,” Sylvie had whispered to him.

It was an old angularly shaped car, probably from the late ‘70s. It sputtered when it ran, and was originally built with no seatbelts, but Mobius loved it almost as much as his partners. He worked on it whenever he had the time, and, aside from the interior, it was almost in perfect condition. The interior had been in perfect condition when they got it, that was the main reason Mobius had fallen in love with it so much, but Loki and Sylvie were clumsy and the knives they kept on themselves at almost all times, had scratched and ripped the seats.

Sylvie often helped out with making repairs on it, she was shockingly handy after spending so many years on her own. Her and Loki had even added a magical enchantment on it so the engine was strong enough to pull the boat and jetski up the steep terrain. It had been Loki’s main contribution to the vehicle’s repair.

“Why is my car seat in there?” Loki asked. As he looked in the window.

“Just a precaution. Sylvie’s is in there too,” Mobius replied. He had noticed that if he just kept a calm demeanor, Loki wouldn’t get himself worked up unless it was important.

Loki huffed and took shotgun, purposefully trying not to look at the silver rear-facing baby seat with its dangling colorful toys and myriad of straps. Sylvie sat in her carseat in the back and Mobius took extra time buckling her in. Her car seat wasn’t really “hers” in the same way Loki’s wasn’t really “his”, it was just a car seat made for older littles, and Sylvie just tended to regress older than Loki so she usually got it. Hers sat upright, front facing, and only had the normal seatbelt (which Mobius had installed with her help right after getting the car). She had a water bottle of juice with her that she set in a little cup holder. The type of water bottle with a straw that was kind of like a sippy cup, but not really. She hugged onto her stuffed pegasus the whole way there.

The car ride was long. It was nearly an hour to the next big city, but it was 100% worth it for them to go every few weeks. Mulsby, it was called. And it was an amazing spot to have a little. At least, the best place for Mobius to raise his littles. Usually, they stopped in for supplies that weren’t readily available at the marina across the lake or in the small town where Mobius worked (only about a ten minute drive). Much of the drive was thin, two laned roads that were either pot-hole filled and windy or boringly straight. At least the littles sometimes had something to look at as deer, birds, and sometimes even bears, weren’t uncommon sights. Mobius turned on the radio, even though they only got three or four stations out there, and hummed along. Loki watched him with big lovey eyes, especially melting when Mobius got way too into one of the songs, belting it out at the top of his lungs. Sylvie giggled from the back seat while sipping on her apple juice. Both her and Loki would’ve sang along if they knew the lyrics, but they didn’t, so instead they just listened and smiled at how goofy Mobius could be.

When they rolled up to the big building in town, Mobius acted as though the surprise had already been revealed.

“Where are we?” Loki asked.

“What do you mean? We’re at a roller rink!” Mobius answered enthusiastically.

“Roller rink?”

“Oh man! You guys are in for a treat!”

Sylvie bounced up and down holding his hand as they walked in.

The place was loud, and had lots of bright colorful lights. It was also filled with caregivers and their littles today. Apparently, according to Mobius, it wasn’t always that way. “Usually these places are filled with teenagers and older adults trying to relive their glory days, but kids usually have a great time, too,” he told them. “I did one of my first cases at a roller rink. Man, that skate was in Renslayer's office until I destroyed it,” he reminisced. When Sylvie tried to run to go see what all the fuss was about, she was held back so she could get a wristband. Loki got one, too. To everyone’s delight, they were bright neon green and glowed under the black lights.

“It’s a little day today,” Mobius informed them, “pretty cool, right?”

Sylvie nodded. Although she wished it was just the three of them, she was grateful the group was mostly littles and not old people or teenagers.

“Skates or blades?” Mobius asked.

“Blades!” both Loki and Sylvie quickly announced.

“Oh, sorry Sylvie, I was talking to Loki. You gotta have the ones they make for littles,” he said and sighed, “that means skates.” Sylvie looked a little bit let down until she was handed the pair and realized not only were they were a sleek white, with a purple sparkly strap, but the wheels lit up and she almost couldn’t wait to put them on.

Loki on the other hand, got black roller blades. However, having never experienced rollerblades before, he needed Mobius to help support him, or at least the support of the nearest wall or railing. Mobius got himself a pair of worn, brown leather roller skates, but he was stable on them and was entirely okay with helping Loki.

Sylvie was already rushing to the skating area. Her biggest problem seemed to be the slowness of Loki and Mobius. “Hurry uuuuppp!” she whined while leaning against the rail of the rink.

Loki gave her a sour look but didn’t say anything. Mobius then turned to him as he set the diaper bag down with their shoes, “do you think you’ll be okay without a chair?”

“A chair? Why the hell would I need a chair?”

“They have wheels on them. You push them around while you gain your balance.”

Loki looked utterly offended. “That’s ridiculous. I’m not little today,” he said.

“I know, but even adults use them while they learn.”

Loki’s opinions didn’t change and he braced against Mobius as he took his first step onto the hardwood. He immediately slipped, shakily having to grab the wall.

Sylvie, however, took to it like a duck takes to water. She moved like a figure skater who had been forced to train since she could stand.

“This way,” Mobius directed him in the counterclockwise direction. He skated next to Loki continuously offering his hand or a chair but Loki consistently refused.

After his first lap, Loki decided he was good enough to let go of the wall. Mobius quietly tried to help him, since he’d just kind of glide and not make his own momentum, but as soon as Loki felt confident to take a step, he slipped and fell, flat on his face. Mobius waited a split second for Loki to push himself up, flip his hair back and try again, but instead, Loki laid there before starting to frustratedly throw a fit. The usual: Fist banging, leg kicking, crying and yelling.

At that point, Mobius picked him up. It wasn’t worth holding up traffic for a Loki tantrum. “Alright, lets get you a chair and some toddler skates.” That was partially a lie though, and they both knew it. Loki would also need a diaper and that change of clothes, and probably his pacifier at least until they got back out. Mobius skated him back to the entrance, holding the little boy in his arms which impressed the other caregivers.

“Sylvie!” he called. She skated up to where they were, leaning over the side of the guard. “Daddy’s gotta get Loki a change and some toddler skates. Do you want to come with us or are you going to be okay by yourself?”

Sylvie decided that she’d stay off the wood for a while and rest by the shoes. Mobius grabbed Loki’s bag and lugged it over his shoulders. Loki cried and screamed when Mobius tried to put him in a comfy dinosaur themed diaper. The only thing that calmed the toddler was Mobius handing him Croki. He felt very lucky that there was no one else in the bathroom. In the stall, he dressed Loki in a comfy pair of snap crotch short overalls decorated with little embroidered snakes that Mobius had sewn on for him, and a blue onesie covered in little sea creatures. It was much more on par with what most of the other littles were wearing.

Finally, he snapped a ribbony clip onto Loki’s shirt and popped a pacifier into his mouth. “Now, let’s go get you some proper skates,” he said while picking Loki up and patting his back comfortingly.

They returned the skates to the counter. “We’d like to switch these out for a pair of little skates,” Mobius said to the clerk.

“Great. Preference for boys or girls skates?”

Mobius didn’t usually make many gender distinctions with Loki, even with nicknames, which often oscillated from prince to princess, or cowboy to cowgirl (which he only used when Loki or Sylvie had saggy diapers and did that awkward little waddle), or even the ever simple baby boy to baby to baby girl regardless of Loki's presentation that day, unless he told Mobius otherwise. Sylvie was really the only one who seemed to care about gender. Loki took a peek behind the counter at both of the options: white with purple sparkles and light up wheels like Sylvie, or green and blue skates with little orange straps.

Loki obviously chose those. Maybe they didn’t light up, but they matched his little outfit, so he had to have the “boy” ones.

Mobius helped him put them on and helped steady him as they got back to the rink. He remembered to take Loki’s pacifier and put it back in its case. Loki got a chair this time, even though he protested and pouted. He was a bit tall for it and had to awkwardly bend over, but it definitely helped while he learned. He skated slowly, clutching to the chair and the wall while Mobius slowly coaxed him along, comfortably skating backwards as if it were effortless. Sylvie sped around the center as fast as she could, refusing to even get close to the wall.

Loki was able to make a full lap around and after three or four he finally got the hang of it. Enough for Mobius to be confident enough in him to allow him the privilege of not using the chair, at least. Loki skated with Mobius’s help, still learning how to essentially walk with them on, while Sylvie danced to the overplayed top 100 music from the 70’s. It wasn’t about the music for her, anyway.

Loki felt bold enough to approach Sylvie, still wavering on his wheeled shoes, and show off. By show off of course, he meant showing that he could, in fact, skate without the wall or the chair to brace himself against. She pretended to be very impressed. Mobius showed off some of his own, rather impressive, moves on skates, but spent much more time helping Loki not to fall over. Learning to roller skate with a lanky adult body was hard enough, but having a rather thick diaper between his legs made it even more difficult for poor Loki, who stumbled and couldn’t glide very elegantly at all.

When Loki fell for the Nth time, Mobius decided maybe they should get lunch. They sat down at one of the black, metal, indoor picnic tables after making a stop at the little cafe stand. Mobius got himself a burger and Sylvie sipped on a massive Icee with some fries. Loki tried chili cheese fries for the first time after Mobius had debated getting them on the side with his order. It probably wasn’t a good thing to give a small toddler, maybe you’d even consider Loki a baby, but Loki had a strong stomach, he could handle it. It was a miracle Loki was even eating; at that point it didn’t really matter what.

When they were done and ready to keep skating, Mobius had the realization that Loki was easily the smallest little out there. At least, Loki seemed to be the only one with a visible diaper bulge and a pacifier clip hanging from his overalls. Loki didn’t seem to care much. He so badly wanted to show Sylvie that he was a big boy! Look at him! Skating all by himself! He could even turn without help. Despite this, Mobius skated next to him, and whenever Loki looked shaky or started to slip, he grabbed him from under the arms and pulled him back to a more stable position.

Sylvie decided she wanted to take over with helping Loki for a while. Mobius hesitantly let her. She skated backwards, holding Loki’s hands and sped up, allowing him to comfortably drift and feel a bit of wind in his hair. As she reached a maximum speed, she looked at him, “ready?” she asked. “I’m going to let go, can you skate on your own?”

Loki nodded. If Mobius had heard this he would’ve immediately put a stop to it, but he didn’t, and Loki let go, immediately crashing into a wall, unable to stop.

“I think we should maybe head home soon, huh?” Mobius asked as he kissed one of the purple bruises on Loki’s knee. Loki nodded through an upset grimace that said “it hurts and it's naptime, but I’m not going to cry”.

Mobius helped him out of the plasticky skates and placed Loki on his hip. He called out to Sylvie who was still zooming around the rink as fast as she could, trying not to run into other littles as she did so. She drifted to the entrance, leaving marks on the wooden floors. “Grab your shoes,” he told her gently, “It’s almost Loki’s naptime.”

He held her hand while she slipped off the brightly colored skates, putting on some golden cheetah print sneakers that looked like the exact thing an 5 year old girl would own.

They walked back to the car and Loki got strapped into the baby car seat. He suckled on a pacifier and played with the pretty colorful toys near him. Sylvie wasn’t happy about leaving the roller rink, but she only grumbled and crossed her arms, no tantrums here.

Eventually, the rhythm of the car, the lavender scent of his weighted alligator, and the feeling of the pacifier in his mouth, allowed Loki to nod off to sleep.

“I guess it was a big day for such a little guy.” Mobius said to Sylvie. He looked back to ask her if she had fun, but quickly realized she was out cold, too, and smiled.

 

Chapter Text

Mobius, Loki, and Sylvie had just finished moving in. The final boxes had been unpacked and furniture had been set up. They had even worked their first days on the job at S.H.I.E.L.D and were… Well, it wasn’t really Loki or Sylvie’s thing to be saving random people from evil, but it gained you some good favor (aka, free stuff), so they went with it, even if the money didn’t really mean much to them, it seemed to make Mobius happy and got them toys. The three had decided it was time for a much needed break day. A little day.

“Why don’t we go see Southport?” Mobius proposed over breakfast. “We can go to the pumpkin patch there, maybe stop for lunch…” he continued. Southport wasn’t a small town per-say but it wasn’t a big city either. It had a grocery store, a good sized square, an ocean view, and some quaint stores. It was a place for people from Mulsby to spend an afternoon or a weekend and was a little bit of a tourist town, especially in the summer months. Most of the town was originally from the late Victorian era and had been surprisingly well kept.

But of course, he had both of the toddlers' attention as soon as he had mentioned buying them lunch. They didn’t really understand why Mobius would want to go to a farm, but the promise of food had excited them.

The morning had been tough, as Loki had only dropped around Mobius two or three times and this was Sylvie’s second time. The only reason going out was even on the table was because they had seen so many other littles while out and about and thought it looked fun. He had gotten them both a bath together and wrangled them into clothes. Loki also needed diapers which he half-heartedly fought until Sylvie had distracted him with a jingly toy which she held over his head.

By the time Mobius was ready to start packing the diaper bag and get ready to go, Sylvie was dressed up in her favorite green cloak, gold vinyl sneakers, and green leggings with a green tutu and a black sweater decorated with green sequins. She tried her best to maintain an air of dignity and adultness. Loki’s on the other hand was a green sweater with long pant overalls that were decorated with embroidered baby toy patches on the pockets. The pant legs were rolled up to his ankles so his little paw print covered socks were visible, even with his velcro tennis shoes.

Mobius put their two car seats into his car for the first time and loaded up the directions. They gazed out the window with new found excitement as he drove.

The town was full of a life and energy that hadn’t previously been there. Loki pointed out the window and asked concernedly about one of the houses.

“Those are Halloween decorations, buddy,” Mobius told him.

Sylvie looked out her window at the historic houses for the pretty decorations. Some were much more elaborate than others.

The attention of the littles was quickly captivated by a large area that looked like a farmers market or festival. Loki kicked Mobius’s seat and pointed at it.

“Yeah, I know, that’s where we’re going!” he said.

Loki excitedly chewed on his teether. Sylvie looked over at him and how cute he was.

They pulled into the parking lot.

“Punk’n pat!” Loki said as he got out of the car, repeating the word from earlier.

“Aren’t you clever?” Mobius replied as he shouldered the diaper bag.“Sylvie! Stay close!” He yelled while she ran off. But she was already inside the gates excitedly looking over a fence and pointing at the animals in the petting zoo.

Mobius paid the 50 cents for a cup of vague food pellets and divided the cup up between them, “Alright,” he said, “so hold your hand out flat and the sheep will come eat it,” he instructed Sylvie. She did so and squeaked at the odd sensation. Loki tried with a horse and giggled at the feeling.

“Can you pet the horsey?” Mobius asked, directing Loki’s hand so he wouldn’t use too much force.

“Look!” Sylvie called.

“Shh, Sylvie, be a little quieter, we don't want to startle the animals,” Mobius lectured.

But her call had worked and Loki was already crouched next to her watching the animal. It was a tiny rabbit that was chewing a colorful toy.

“Like you!” she told Loki.

Loki wrinkled his nose behind his pacifier. “How?” he asked.

Sylvie pointed at the toy and upon closer inspection, Loki realized it was identical to one of his teethers.

“Daddy?” Loki asked.

Mobius looked up from where he was petting a hog’s belly. “What’s up?”

Loki pointed at the rabbit.

“Loki, yours is in the bag right here.” Mobius didn’t take out the teether now that his hands were dirty, but he opened the pocket just enough for Loki to see it there.

“Loki, are you really a bunny rabbit?” Sylvie asked playfully.

The smaller little giggled and tapped his feet, “bu’ie!”

And so the nickname stuck and Sylvie had decided to use it whenever he was little.

The petting zoo timer rang and the animal handler ushered everyone out so the animals wouldn't be overwhelmed when more people came in.

“C’mon bunny boy,” Sylvie affectionately teased as she took Loki’s hand and led him out.

Mobius helped them wash their hands and then decided it was time for Loki to get a diaper change. The way he had fidgetted while in the petting zoo was either a sign he was holding it or was uncomfortably soggy and getting a rash. Loki was still pretty shy and unsure about his diapers, being in public hadn’t helped with that. Mobius let down the changing table in the single stall restroom and Loki propped himself up onto it. He unsnapped Loki’s overalls to check him.

“Sylvie, while we’re here, you should use the potty while I give Loki a change.”

Loki had been holding it all day and only finally went when the crotch of his overalls was unsnapped.

“You know you don’t need to wait until I give you a change to go. Do we want to use training pants or big boy undies for a while so you can just go use the potty when you need to?” Mobius asked as he got Loki cleaned up. Loki looked nervously at the toilet and shook his head while chewing on the back of his hand.

“Alright, well holding it isn’t good for you, so I just need you to go when you feel like it, okay?”

Loki looked very nervously at the new diaper Mobius was unfurling. “Bu’ thin!” he worried.

“It’ll hold. It held just now, didn’t it? You’re too little to be worrying about leaks, anyway; that’s my job, alright?” Mobius comforted as he taped the new one on and washed his hands.

Loki sat up and started to redo the snaps himself.

“Hey, no, lie back down, that’s also daddy work,” Mobius told him, taking over the job and then helping the little up. “I know you two are still getting used to this, but I need you to both let go and trust me. Daddy knows what he’s doing.”

He led them both out when all was complete and Sylvie immediately ran to a big tower of hay bales, Loki of course, wasn’t far behind as her excitement fueled his own. The two raced to the top, but about halfway up, Loki felt a tug on his pant leg. “That’s as high as you’re going. We don’t want this little baby to fall and get hurt,” Mobius told him.

Loki turned to sit on the hay bale and face him, throwing out a pouty lip.

“Oh don’t be like that,” Mobius said.

Loki looked up longingly as his big sis reached the top and pointed at her. He tried to tell Mobius how unfair it was, but all that came out was a whine.

“Sorry buddy, that’s just what happens when you have such a tiny headspace,” he added sympathetically.

Loki sniffled.

Mobius crossed his arms before coming to help him down. “Is someone getting fussy?” he asked as Loki reluctantly followed him to a picnic table and sat in his lap. Mobius pet his hair hoping to soothe him and slipped a black pacifier into his mouth, which seemed to help. It worked and the baby was calmed. “Sorry li’l guy,” Mobius said as Loki swung his legs, “I know you wanted to climb the big tower, too. Maybe when you’re bigger, okay? Why don’t we do something as a family?” Loki liked that idea.

“Sylvie! C’mon, let’s go do the maze!” he called up to her.

She clambered down and ran to see her two favorite guys as Mobius coaxed Loki off his lap. As they walked to the other side of the patch, Loki was very chatty with his big sister. Mobius made him hang onto his hand so he could make sure the little didn’t go anywhere.

Sylvie insisted on splitting up and Mobius let her. Loki looked at his daddy angrily. “Shh, just wait,” Mobius said. After about three minutes, Sylvie anxiously ran back to them, deciding at the last minute that she desperately wanted to be with Mobius, as well. It was a rather dark day and looked like it was going to rain. She started to cling to Mobius as Loki marched forward like he knew where he was going.

“Wait, wait,” Mobius told Loki. The boy stopped for a moment. “Let’s get that pacifier out. Wouldn’t want you to choke,” he said, pulling the pacifier out of Loki’s mouth and shoving it into a case which he quickly pocketed.

After that, Loki kept pulling and trying to run ahead. “Gosh, I may just have to put you on a leash,” Mobius mused as he tried to keep Loki at a comfortable distance to himself and Sylvie.

When they finished the maze, the weather had gotten even colder. Originally Mobius had planned on making this visit longer, but now he realized it was going to be cut short. “Alright, let’s go pick out our pumpkins,” Mobius said, directing them to the field.

Loki found a pretty one and sat himself down by it instead of picking it up, despite the fact that it was relatively light. “Wow, that’s a pretty one,” Mobius said before helping Loki pick it up. Sylvie had picked out an equally nice one. but she was such a big girl that she didn’t need any help. Mobius paid for them, and the pumpkins got set in the back with the car seats. “Who wants lunch?” Mobius asked. Both of the littles piped up.

He stopped in a small café nearby. It was going to close in an hour or so, and there weren’t many guests, but it was comfortable and nicely decorated for Halloween. Loki got one of those wooden restaurant highchairs that didn’t have a tray.

For drinks, everyone got something warm. Loki didn’t get to choose his, as Mobius ordered some warm milk with cinnamon in it for him and politely asked if it was possible to put it in Loki’s glass baby bottle.

“Sylvie, what about you?” Mobius asked.

“Um… mocha,” she answered.

“Hun, coffee’s only for adults,” he told her. “How about apple cider?”

“Really?!” she asked excitedly. She wasn’t expecting Mobius to let her have something with alcohol in it.

She was disappointed to find that apple cider on earth had two meanings and she was not actually going to get to drink booze, at noon, while in littlespace. But it was sweet and warm, so it wasn’t that disappointing.

They ordered food. Mobius got himself a Caesar salad, which he pointedly did not let Loki near, while Sylvie got some surprisingly delicious raviolis, and Loki was allowed to feed himself since he got a small charcuterie board with warm bread and was a very good boy, actually eating his food. Mobius was very proud, as the boy hadn’t eaten last night, and the more he thought about it, the less and less sure he was that Loki had actually eaten that morning.

By the time they got the check, Loki and Sylvie were both very tired. Sylvie hugged her pumpkin on the drive home while Loki sucked on a pacifier, with a refilled bottle next to him. He took some of Mobius’ advice after he noticed pressure on his bladder, letting go.

For a moment, as the car puttered, he felt at peace, with a full belly and tired eyes, he felt fully little for the first time. Absolutely immersed in a way he hadn’t felt ever before. It was sublime, and Mobius noticed the pure contentment that was washing over Loki as he looked at the baby in the rear view mirror.

Sylvie would take a while longer to experience that feeling, but she would eventually find it on the day Mobius could pick her up. She had no idea that was coming yet, not for another month, but Loki understood now. He hugged his Croki and made a little happy coo behind his pacifier that caused Sylvie to look at him. “Why are you so happy?” she asked, also smiling.

“Com-fy,” he answered with effort as he snuggled deeper into his padded car seat to emphasize his point.

“Daddy? Loki’s gettin’ sleepy.”

“Good,” Mobius answered as he inserted a disc of mellow music into the car.

Chapter Text

It was a little day for Loki, not Sylvie though, and just after noon. Mobius was out getting groceries and Sylvie was entrusted to take care of Loki. He was running around the house, pacifier in mouth, no pants on, just a t-shirt and diaper, with two toy spaceships, each about the size of a football, in hand. He made the noises with his mouth as they crash landed on a “foreign planet,” which really just meant he set them on the kitchen counter where Sylvie was cutting up celery slices for lunch.

She looked at him curiously, and quickly decided to play along. “Oh no! It’s a bug planet!” She said, picking up a completed stick of ants on a log.

Loki took one of the toy astronauts out and let them inspect the “ants” as Sylvie started to spread either peanut butter or cream cheese over the remaining celery slices. She flicked a raisin at Loki. “Oh no they’re attacking!” she said.

He squealed and backed away, putting the little spaceman back in the simplistic rocket and scampering back to the nursery.

“Hey!” Sylvie called. “Out here where I can see you, please!” she yelled.

Loki set his toys down on the floor by the doorway and came back to the kitchen.

He toddled back into her line of sight and looked around the scattered playpen toys for something to play with. But then he crawled to the window.

“What’s out there, bunny?” she asked.

“Wet!” Loki said.

“You need mummy to come change your nappy?” she asked, confused, since from where she was standing, she could see that the wetness indicators were still not visible yet.

Loki shook his head. “Ou’side!”

“Oh is it raining?” she asked in that baby-talk tone when a child has pointed out something very obvious. Then she caught herself. “Is it raining?” she asked again, with slight panic this time. She had set up for a nice picnic on the patio out there, not expecting the weather. She looked out the window. Damnit.

“Can you help mummy bring everything in?” she asked.

Loki scooted down off the leather recliner and waddled over to come help her.

Sylvie slid some flip flops on him so he wouldn’t get any splinters from the deck. But he moved most of the things either inside or into the garage with magic, except a couple of toys he wanted to carry on his own.

Sylvie thanked him for his help with a little kiss on the forehead.

 

“What do you think?” she asked pensively.

Loki looked up from where he had distractedly been fiddling with a blanket. “Highchair, table, or should I just let you eat on the floor?”

Loki looked up and made grabby hands.

“I know, you’d eat while sitting on the floor all the time if I let you,” she said with a sigh. She filled Loki’s sippy cup with juice and put the ants on a log on a tray before sitting with him on top of a pile of pillows and blankets and turned on the tv. Loki stared entranced at Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. It seemed to be his favorite show. He grabbed at the celery sticks without looking, taking a cream cheese one and biting into it.

Loki paused. He looked down at it, and then at Sylvie, staring at her as if she had given it to him on purpose and it was the meanest trick ever played on him.

“Oh, it’s just some cream cheese, it’s good for you!” she told him.

Loki still set the half eaten piece down and grabbed another peanut butter one cautiously, making sure it was, in fact, peanut butter and not some other nasty substance.

“Fine, mummy will take it,” she shrugged, grabbing the half-eaten piece. She liked the cream cheese more, anyway.

Loki finished up his lunch and got up. He kneeled on the recliner, setting his elbows on the back of it and peering out the window like before.

“Is there something else out there?" she asked.

Loki looked back at her and his lip started to tremble.

“ Aw, Is daddy not home yet?” she cooed at him with an exaggerated pouty lip.

Loki nodded and got down, snuggling back by Sylvie after she moved the empty tray onto the dining table and sat back down. He stuck his pacifier back in his mouth and finished the Daniel Tiger episode.

“Are we ready for naptime?” Sylvie asked.

Loki sleepily nodded and let her pick him up. She noticed the wetness indicator on Loki’s diaper was visible and brought him into the nursery.

She flicked on the lights since it felt so dark, and gave Loki a change. He seemed fussier than normal, even though she used the nicely scented lotion and taped Loki into his favorite diapers, the green ones with the pawprints.

The rain had gotten heavier.

She picked him up and made a bottle before positioning him on her lap in the rocking chair with a comfortable blanket and Croki, like Mobius always did. She held his bottle and told him a story she made up off the top of her head. Eventually, she set him in the crib, tucking the blankets around him so he was snug and comfortable, even if his favorite blanket was rough and itchy like a tablecloth.

She put the bars up after giving him a little kiss on the forehead, locking them into place before leaving the room. She did some of the dishes from lunch and cleaned up the playpen. The rain made her feel productive, there wasn’t much else to do anyway and after a good five minutes of actual work, she made herself a cup of tea and sat down on the couch, flipping through a field guide to local mushrooms and comfortably relaxing under a blanket.

A big crack of thunder struck.

Sylvie didn’t mind the noise. Of course, thunder and lightning used to make her a little sad, thinking about the older brother she had lost, but after so many years, it didn’t bother her anymore and she found the sound rather comforting. She assumed it would feel the same to Loki.

It did not.

Loki woke up and sniffled before starting to cry. “Seevee!” he yelled in between panicked breaths.

Sylvie worriedly opened the door and leaned over the edge of the crib.

Loki was hiding under the blankets the best he could and sobbing.

“Psst, hey, mummy’s here,” she said.

Loki poked his head out from under the covers uncertainly before taking off the blankets and making grabby hands to her. His pacifier had fallen out. He tried to explain his fear and sadness, but it just came out as bawling cries and noises that maybe could’ve been words to the right ears.

Sylvie’s weren’t the right ones.

She draped his blankie around him and sat with him in the rocking chair. Loki tried his best to curl up as small as possible and as close to her as possible, shoving his face into her stomach; a very uncomfortable position.

Loki cried as the rain continued to fall outside the window.

Sylvie rocked with him in her lap, and set the pacifier in his mouth. “He can’t hurt you, baby,” she said, hoping to soothe him.

Loki confusedly shook his head, “wan’ Tor!” he said.

“You want to see him?”

Loki nodded, feeling a new rush of tears well up as he made the admittance.

He normally wasn’t very vocal when crying, except for little squeaks that came with the sobs, but he wailed, allowing himself to feel the sadness really just for the first time. He thought about what the other Lokis had said about Thor.

Sylvie felt her shirt grow wet with a mix of tears, snot, and spit. She felt disgusted for a moment, but mostly only because it was easier on her heart than feeling Loki’s sadness. She propped him up in her lap and Loki put his head on her shoulder this time. She pet his back. Every time lightning illuminated the room or thunder roared, Loki hid his face and grabbed onto his blankie tighter. After one particularly loud crack, Sylvie had the unfortunate experience of feeling warmth spread in her lap. Luckily, Loki hadn’t leaked, just wet himself. The reassuring pets calmed him down and he soon quieted to whimpers and hiccups.

The storm continued to amp up; The wind howled, the rain crashed as if it were closer to hail, maybe it was for a few minutes, and the thunder screamed outside. It didn’t help that the sky was getting darker (it was November, after all) which allowed the lightning to appear so much brighter and sharper to Loki. It almost rattled the windows.

They didn’t hear Mobius’s car roll up. But They definitely heard him open the door. He was drenched, and the paper grocery bags he was carrying looked like they were held together with sheer force of will and Mobius’ confidence that they should.

Loki shimmied down off Sylvie’s lap, with his green blankie wrapped around him like a little cape.

Mobius opened his arms as Loki ran to him.

“Daddy!” Loki cried, his face red.

“Hey little guy!” Mobius said, hugging him back.

Loki did a little hop and Mobius got the message loud and clear that the toddler wanted to be held.

“Did you have fun with mommy Sylvie today?” he asked.

Loki looked down at him with those big baby eyes that could really mean anything and sucked on his hand until Mobius popped a pacifier into his mouth.

Sylvie decided to answer. “We were having fun until that storm came,” she said, like she was very mad at the weather for daring to make her poor little Loki cry. “After you left, he took a little while to settle down, but then he had a lot of fun playing with his little spaceships, and we had lunch while watching Daniel Tiger…” she spoke in a babytalky voice, mostly addressing Loki.

“Dania Teega,” Loki repeated, clapping his hands, babyishly.

“Yeah, I bet that was fun, huh?” Mobius said, giving Loki a light bounce. “You remembered to bring the boat in, right?”

Sylvie thought for a moment before freezing again. “Fu-” 

Mobius covered Loki’s ears before he could hear her curse.

She ran outside to go bring in everything from the lakeside. Her and Loki had only cleared the patio. Although she still didn’t have a driver’s license yet, she knew how to drive the car well enough to take the boat and jetski in and out. It was extremely difficult with the lapping water, but she managed without leaving any scratches or dents... not any that remained visible at least.

While she was out, Mobius gave Loki a change and then sat with him on the recliner.

Loki still had his blanket around him. He sat in Mobius’s lap, facing him, and uncomfortably scrunched into his chest. Loki shivered whenever the thunder clapped, but he didn’t cry, Mobius was too good at making Loki feel secure for that.

Mobius tried to get Loki to talk, but the baby didn’t seem like he was in the mood, so Mobius talked about his day, instead.

The lights showered the room in a warm glow, and although the windows rattled with the booms, Loki stayed quiet and unperturbed.

While being so comfortably hugged by Mobius, he even fell asleep and was finally able to take a nap.

Sylvie came back soaked. “Loki? Can you dry me off?” she asked, not expecting him to be asleep.

“Shh,” Mobius warned.

She looked vaguely disappointed and went to grab a towel and change into some pajamas early. “What do you want to do for dinner?” she asked from the bedroom, disregarding volume. “I don’t want to cook. Can we do pizza?” she yelled.

“Loki doesn’t like pizza and I don’t think a pizza driver can get through this storm. Look through the freezer. We should have some microwave meals. I’ll find something for myself and Loki later,” Mobius responded at a normal volume but in a calm tone so Loki wouldn’t be alarmed. Loki remained dormant for a good 20 minutes in Mobius’s lap.

Mobius had turned on the tv after Sylvie talked about getting dinner. He put on some reruns of a 90’s Sitcom and leaned back. The motion allowed Loki to spread out and get more comfortable.

The hum the microwave made while Sylvie heated her dinner was particularly nice. All the quiet noises of Mobius and Sylvie talking, the television, and the buzz of the microwave worked together to drown out the scary sounds of the storm. The little relaxed fully for a moment.

“You should get Loki some dinner soon. I think the power might go out,” Sylvie said, watching some of the lights strain while she ate her microwaved curry bowl.

“I don’t think it will,” Mobius said, “hasn’t gone out yet.”

“We’ve only been here a month. This is the first time it's even rained since we moved in,” she argued.

“It won’t go out”- Mobius started to say, but the power went out before he could finish his sentence.

Chapter Text

Loki’s eyes snapped open, but he couldn’t see anything. He started to cry even though he felt Mobius’s arms around him. “Hey, it’s okay, champ, it’s just a power outage. They’re normal during storms like this,” he told Loki.

Sylvie rooted through drawers looking for a flashlight. She found a couple as well as a little radio which she turned on for updates. Loki seemed frightened by the static as Sylvie hurried to turn it to a listenable news channel.

“Shhh, Loki, why don’t we read some stories?” Mobius asked. Loki seemed to be in an extremely small headspace, as he didn’t directly respond with a shake of the head or a nod. Instead, he just twisted his hands into Mobius’s shirt.

He got up, cradling Loki to go grab a book off the shelf while Sylvie lit a few candles and the wood burning stove.

Loki enjoyed the story seemingly, he at least stopped crying, but couldn’t see the pictures well and didn’t particularly feel like processing Mobius’s words. It seemed the caregiver’s gentle voice was enough for Loki to calm down.

Sylvie made a shadow puppet which delighted the baby. He pointed at it and cooed. Mobius sat up and Loki got down off his lap, crawling to Sylvie, who was sitting on a dining room chair and projecting simple animal shapes with a flashlight she had set on a kitchen counter. Loki didn’t seem to get it at first; he just held up his hand and looked at the shadow, and then made a fist. Sylvie got down on the floor and pulled Loki into her lap. He was still sucking on his pacifier, so she had no fear of touching a hand that was drowned in saliva. She took his hand and taught him how to make shadow puppet animals. “See? This one’s a bunny, like you. And this is a snail, look at that.”

Loki babbled and clapped, doing little kickies whenever she showed him a new one. Eventually, he twisted his wrist out of her grasp, though. “Do you want to try one on your own?” she asked.

He made an impossible shadow with magic.

Sylvie had a new idea. “Loki, can you turn the lights back on?” she asked.

Loki tried his best. The lights flickered for a second, but then they turned off again and he shook his head, unable to make it work. He looked disappointed but was also excited to go back to his shadow puppets, making fantastical animals with no linking storyline.

Mobius worked around them, trying to find something for him and Loki to snack on, eventually finding some dry cereal and fruit he could cut up. That would be good, right? He set Loki in the highchair and Sylvie moved the flashlight so he could keep playing as he ate. Loki experimented holding up his food items and any nearby toys to the light. He didn’t listen as Sylvie and Mobius talked about something further away from him. The whipping wind, rain, and booming thunder nearly drowned them out even only a few feet away.

“I think we should make a visit to Thor,” Mobius proposed. “I think they really miss each other.”

Sylvie nodded but didn’t respond.

He looked at her. She was barely illuminated by candle light.

“I miss him, too,” she whispered.

“I’ll talk with him about it in the morning.”

Mobius acknowledged her pain for a moment and then went to get Loki, who had finished his food and then knocked the flashlight on the floor. When he saw Loki’s face he realized the tot had in fact heard and seemed upset or at least confused by the idea. “No!! No Tor!” he yelled on the verge of a very sad and scared sounding meltdown. At least, he didn’t seem angry. This confused Sylvie as it seemed to directly contradict what he had said earlier.

“Hey,” Mobius said, “we’re not going to do anything you don’t want to.”

Loki seemed near hysterics as the thunder started to bother him again. It felt like it was consuming his mind.

Mobius directed Sylvie to put some water on the stove for Loki’s bottle and probably some tea for both of them. Loki seemed reluctant to go into either of the rooms. They were much darker than the big main area, but Mobius was able to change Loki and give him some pajamas. This particular one-piece looked like a fox. He set Loki back down on the floor of the nursery. “Grab some toys,” Mobius told him, “we’ll need them for the fort.”

Loki sniffled, “for’,” he repeated.

“Yeah, mommy’s getting a bottle ready and the blankets from the bedroom.”

Loki sorted through his toybox, taking mostly comfort stuff like plushies, specifically Croki and Sylvie’s Pegasus, but he also gathered anything that lit up so he could help. Mobius took the pillows and blankets out of the crib and brought them to the main room with Loki walking on his knees following him. They built a large comfy fort in the center of the living room, using the couches and chair as bases for the blanket ceiling. The inside was nice and spacious for a blanket fort, but probably a little smaller than their bed. Sylvie blew out the candles as she came in and sat down with two cups of tea and a baby bottle. Loki put all his baby toys up on the seat of the recliner but handed the Pegasus to Sylvie. “Oh thank you,” she said as she accepted it. Mobius also grabbed a story book of fairy tales for Loki and read through a few while Loki was cradled in his arms and Sylvie sprawled out on the blanketed floor. The wood burning stove went out, but they were still warm and comfortable. Comfortable to the point that Loki didn’t think about the storm. Comfortable to the point that the only thing he felt was the love of his caregivers and the warm nipple of his bottle in his mouth.

Chapter Text

Loki and Mobius sat at the kitchen table. The power was back on, the fort was cleaned up, the rain had stopped, and Loki had decided to be big today. They had been sitting there for a while, silently sipping on a mug of coffee and one of tea.

“You’re quiet today,” Mobius observed.

Loki gave no answer, he didn’t sit up straight in his usual proud way, but he wasn’t hunched over exactly either.

“What happened to mr. Chatterbox?” Mobius tried to joke.

No answer again.

“Listen, if it’s about-”

“No, you listen. I don’t know what you expect me to say about it. Don’t bring it up.”

Mobius paused. It didn’t offend him, but he hadn’t been expecting that sort of outburst. He sighed, “I’m sorry,” he conceded, “but it’s really not a big deal, you don’t need to worry about it.”

“I absolutely should worry about it!”

“We can deal with it later. Let’s just try to have a nice morning for now, what do you say to that? Maybe we’ll go for a swim? How does that sound?”

Loki gave a heavy sigh and took a long drink off his tea, calming himself down. “That sounds lovely, but I really think this may be pressing.”

“Maybe. But we have all the time in the world to deal with it. Nothing’s going to go wrong if we wait.”

No answer.

“You miss him, don’t you?”

No answer again, but there seemed to be some sort of emotion behind Loki’s eyes. “I… I don’t want to talk about it,” he tried to say, taking a deep breath and doing his best to stop any sign of sadness from showing.

“Loki, we can go see him any time you want,”

“He’s going to hate me,” Loki said harshly. “After all I put him through I don’t think I could do it again. He watched me die, you know. Multiple times.” He made sure to emphasize the “multiple times” part.

“He’s going to be happy to see you again, you know that, right? You’re his brother!”

“Adopted,” Loki corrected.

“Fine. Whatever. The point is he misses you.” Mobius stopped Loki before he could speak, “I would know! I watched him mourn you for years!”

Loki crossed his arms in pretend exasperation, but sat up a little straighter, he was much more intrigued now at this new piece of information.

“I’ll even explain everything to him for you. He’ll trust me,”

“He won’t.”

“I’ll earn his trust quickly.”

“No you won’t.”

“I did with you, didn’t I?”

There was another dramatic sigh and Loki took another sip of tea. “Fine,” he finally said, “let’s go talk to him.”

Chapter Text

Mobius grabbed a tempad out of his nightstand drawer. He had saved one specifically for this occasion, and three more for emergencies, all fully charged. He brought it to Loki. “Are you ready?”

“What about Sylvie?”

“Does she want to come?”

Loki looked for her, finding her playing with different hairstyles in the bathroom.

“We’re going to go get my Thor, do you want to come?”

“I think it’ll be best if less people go,” she smiled back at him. “Do you plan on bringing him here?”

Loki shrugged but Mobius was behind him and ready to answer that. “There’s a good chance. We’re going to be meeting with Thor a little while after the Avengers stopped Thanos and he lost Loki. He’s not doing too well, and spent three years depressed. There’s a good chance he’ll be coming back with us.”

Sylvie nodded, “in that case, I have some plans to make him feel at home,” she grinned, trying her best to hide all the giddiness of getting to see her brother after nearly a thousand years without him, or maybe the grin was from her evil plans to somehow find space for Thor in the tiny two bedroom cabin, or maybe the garage. She gave Loki and Mobius each a hard kiss on the mouth, “Good luck, you two.”

Loki hugged her tightly. He was afraid. He wasn’t even sure if he wanted to go. So much so, that when Mobius pressed the button to open the portal, Loki squeezed his hand like the world was ending and Mobius planted a reassuring kiss on his cheek.

Thor was sitting on his own, looking out onto the sea after making the leap to exploring with the Guardians of the Galaxy, handing the reins of Asgardian leadership to Valkyrie. He felt uncertain, fidgeting restlessly with his hands, almost like Loki did, but with his big thick paw-like hands that made it feel very un-Loki-like.

“Good afternoon, brother,” Loki said nervously, greeting Thor for the first time in a few months. But for Thor, it was the first time he had heard Loki’s voice in four long years. His eyes widened and he turned to face Loki. He looked like he wasn’t sure whether to be angry or filled with sorrow or to rejoice. The big man pinched himself and tried to make sure he wasn’t dreaming.

Loki saw his mis-matched eyes, overgrown beard, and big beer belly. He ran and hugged Thor as tightly as possible despite these changes. This was real. This was real! He hugged Loki close to him. Loki looked up after feeling warm water fall onto him. Thor was crying! “Brother, I’m here! I’m not going anytime soon! I’m fine! I’m okay!” Loki reassured him. That’s when Thor pushed him.

“Why would you do that to me? You’re cruel. I’ve watched you die more times than I can count and then your back after a little while. I can’t believe I fell for it. You were probably working for him, weren’t you?”

“Who?”

“Don’t play dumb with me, brother. Thanos!”

“I-” he turned to Mobius, “was I?”

Mobius shook his head and then stepped in.

“I think I can explain.”

“Who is this?” Thor asked, noticing the man for the first time.

“That’s my suitor, actually,” Loki said.

“Hi, Thor. I’m Mobius. I’m here to explain everything,” he said in a very official voice like the one he’d use when talking to variants at the TVA.

Thor invited them in for beer and after a very long recap of events, he was brimming with love and excitement. “I have a little sister?” he asked with a big grin.

“Kind of?” Loki and Mobius answered in unison.

“Kind of?” Thor asked back.

“She’s also my other suitor. We’re not related by blood...”

Thor heartily laughed, “that’s just like you, isn’t it?”

Loki crossed his arms, “do you want to come live with us or not?”

“Live with you?”

Mobius explained that it would mean being in a different universe, and a little while in the future, but only by a year or two, and how Thor could still keep up his heroic endeavors if he so chose, of course. Mobius, Loki, and Sylvie had, they had to, teaming up with their universe’s Avengers fairly regularly. Things weren’t that different between the two universes besides the common knowledge of littles and the fact that that universe’s Thor had actually joined the Guardians and wasn’t around on Earth.

“What’s a little?” Thor asked.

Loki wished he could disappear. Well, technically he could, but he wouldn’t dare, not with Mobius resting his hand on his thigh and Thor only seeing him for the first time in four years. Mobius had originally planned on letting Loki explain on his own, but he now saw it was a bad idea and explained the whole thing to Thor. Thor seemed slightly confused but very intrigued. He didn’t bother to make fun of Loki for it until he had seen for himself.

“So, come with us?” Loki asked, putting his hand out for Thor to shake. But instead, Thor wrapped him in another big bear hug.

“Yes! Of course! Just let me get my stuff,” Thor grinned. He ended the hug and ran to his room, shoving everything in an old leather backpack and satchel. Loki took time to notice the house and snooped around, seeing how dirty it was, until Mobius told him to stop. That was odd. Where was Mjolnir? He wondered, noticing the axe Thor had instead.

Thor came back into the main room and hurriedly scrawled a note which he left on the kitchen table under a rock Korg had shed. It was nearly illegible, but it would do. “Alright, are we ready then?” Mobius asked, shoving his hands in his pockets and rocking back and forth on the balls of his feet.

“I think so,” Loki said, turning to Thor for confirmation. Thor nodded back and Mobius opened the portal, beckoning them through.

Chapter Text

Thor stepped through and was transported into a comfortable and spacious log cabin living room. There was a kettle on the woodburning stove, and the home smelled of cloves, cinnamon, lavender, and maybe a hint of baby powder. It was stronger in some sections of the house than in others.

Mobius clapped him on the back and pushed in front of him to give him a tour. Thor took in the room and Loki awkwardly stood next to him, trying to avoid any eye contact or questions. The cabin looked fairly normal; all toys were put away, the playpen was down, but there was one glaring piece of the littles still out, and that was the highchair. It wasn’t just a larger chair either, this one had green, babyish padding, over the shoulder straps, and a little step for Loki to rest his feet on.

Sylvie, who had been sitting on the recliner and reading a book, noticed how nervous Loki looked and how mystified Thor seemed as he stared at it. She did her best to quickly fold it up and put it away, even though this one wasn’t made for that in the same way their other one was.

Thor’s trance was disrupted as he broke into a big grin when he saw Sylvie. “That’s her?” he asked, turning to Loki. He wasn’t very quiet, but it didn’t matter as she had gone to the nursery. Loki nodded. When she came back, Thor wrapped her in a hug. “He’s not used to having a sister,” Loki shrugged, trying to justify it when Sylvie looked rather startled. But Mobius and Thor both looked up to correct him.

“WHAT DO YOU MEAN I HAVE A SISTER?” Loki yelled, sitting down for a moment.

“You really weren’t paying attention when we looked over your life, huh?” Mobius asked.

Loki glared at him.

“We’ll talk about it later,” Thor smiled.

Sylvie pulled away from Thor as soon as she could. She didn’t trust him much. Not yet. He’d have to earn that. Mobius led Thor away from the spot in the center of the living room and showed him around the kitchen, the master bedroom, the bathroom, and the nursery. Loki slunk away before the nursery was shown to go sit on the deck and have a glass of wine with Sylvie.

“Do you think this was a mistake?” he asked while the leftover rain dripped off the pine trees and onto his head.

Sylvie shrugged and swallowed the sip she had taken. “I mean, we don’t have room for him, he doesn’t know what a little is, you’ve fought with him for most of your life, and we’ve removed him from a universe that probably needs him… but I’m sure it’s a good idea,” she said sarcastically.

Loki let out a worried sigh, and rested his head in his hands.

“Oh, stop. I’m sure it will work out.”

When Mobius and Thor walked out onto the deck, Loki quickly stiffened and pretended to be having a cordial time. He waved, but didn’t say anything. Thor waved back as Mobius kept jabbering about the house and the lake. He showed Thor the boat, and the jetski, and the garage. They then went back to the kitchen, talking about their memories of Loki, and how Sylvie came to them, and her background before. They joined Loki and Sylvie on the porch with bottles of beer. “So um… where will I be sleeping?” Thor asked.

“Well, I was thinking we have you use the pull out couch for a few days and then we’ll get you a yurt. How does that sound?” Mobius proposed.

Thor agreed after Mobius explained what the hell a yurt was, but Loki and Sylvie weren’t particularly fond of having someone sleep on the couch, even for just a few days. When they expressed this to Mobius later, while in the house, he simply answered with “Okay then, two options. We give up our bedroom and we take the pull-out couch or nursery, or he sleeps in the nursery and you have to deal with your private little space being invaded. Make a choice,” he said as he put his hands on his hips.

Loki and Sylvie decided giving Thor the pull-out couch for a few nights wouldn’t be a big deal.

The variants were rather stand-offish, but that was normal for the two when dealing with almost anyone who wasn’t Mobius. Mobius, on the other hand, was very friendly and made Thor feel at home. Lokis were like cats that way, they didn’t really want affection unless they asked, and considered just being in the same room as bonding enough for them.

They ate dinner as a group and Mobius cooked the massive trout they had caught a few days before. Loki and Sylvie helped, and Thor tried his best to help in any way he could. Loki actually ate tonight without tears or fights and without a highchair. He rested one knee against Mobius and the other against Sylvie, their presence reassured him and made him feel much better about having Thor around. “Brother? May I take your plate?” he asked at the end of the meal. To avoid conversation, he even did the dishes, something that was extremely uncommon for Loki, unless he was little and helping, or unless Sylvie bit his lip and wrapped her arms around him in ways that made him scream with pleasure, then she’d suddenly pull away and say that she’d only keep going if he did all of them.

After Sylvie and Mobius had started getting ready for bed, Loki was still in the kitchen, finishing up his chore. Thor sat on the converted bed and was flipping through Netflix. Loki was about to leave, but Thor stopped and patted a spot next to him. Loki nervously sat down.

“Is everything alright, brother?” Thor asked.

“Yes, apologies. I just... Don’t know how to act knowing how you… lost me,” Loki lied.

Thor knew immediately and recognized it, “no, that’s not it. There’s something else bothering you. Speak, brother.”

Loki sat hunched forward very seriously, and also a tad dramatically, “You’re right… I’ve grown in these past months and I missed you so much, but I just… I don't know what to do now. It was so different when we were stuck together, that now that I want you here voluntarily, I don’t know how to talk to you.” Loki had opened up much more than he had intended, turning what was supposed to be a fake or at least vague explanation, into a much more personal monologue.

“No matter whom you love or what you do, you’ll always be my brother, you know that,” Thor smiled, giving Loki one of those awkward shoulder hugs. Loki smiled a sad smile and let it happen. “Also, you have good taste. I approve,” he commented about Sylvie and Mobius. “They seem lovely.”

“Just promise me you won’t steal them from me,” Loki jested quietly before getting up. “Sleep well, brother.” he said, tapping Thor on the shoulder affectionately (for Loki) and went to bed.

Chapter Text

Loki had been asleep in his crib tonight. An ever occasional occurrence when Sylvie wasn’t also little. There’s a special emphasis on “had” because Loki was not currently asleep. He was crying, or at least whimpering and shifting in his crib enough for the baby monitor in the other room to pick up the noise. He hadn’t been little all day; just after Thor had gone to bed, he had started slipping and Mobius and Sylvie had decided it was necessary.

Mobius sat up and stretched. He felt Sylvie pressing into him, but she seemed to be waking up as well. “Sounds like the little guy needs something,” Mobius whispered to her.

“Oh hush,” Sylvie said, putting a finger to his lips. “I’ll take him tonight. You don’t want to be waking up Thor with the kettle anyway,” she said, wrapping herself around him and giving him a light kiss. She didn’t really want to take Loki right now, but she wanted to wake Thor up even less than that, and she knew Loki would refuse to sleep until he got a bottle.

She left the room and checked on Thor to make sure he was still asleep before heading into the nursery. Thor was passed out on the pull-out couch with his axe in his arms.

She shut the door behind her and took down the bars from the crib, picking Loki up. “Aw, poor little bunny, what’s wrong?” she asked, as she set him on the changing table. She gave him his pacifier which had fallen out and unsnapped his onesie to check his diaper.

After changing his wet diaper, he quieted down. “Did you just want to see mummy?” she asked as she pet his hair.

Loki shook his head.

“Did you have a scary nightmare?”

He nodded.

Sylvie adjusted him in her lap while sitting in the rocking chair, and put her hands on his temples to see what he had been dreaming about.

It was Thor hating him, disgust, guilt. Nothing was really an image. Dreams were harder to read than memories like that, they were usually just a number of vague feelings or words and sounds. Sometimes she could make out an image, but it was usually off somehow or surreally altered, it was like looking at those pictures made by an AI to simulate having a stroke.

Bringing the feelings back to the surface didn’t help, so after she figured out what was wrong, she tried to fill Loki’s consciousness with happy thoughts. A few happy memories. They were hard to find, but she dug them up and peppered his face with a number of kisses afterwards. Loki sat in her arms and enjoyed just being held for a moment, and then suddenly opened his eyes again and looked around the rocking chair, searching for something.

“Do you want your Croki?”

Loki showed her that he already had his Croki with him. “Ba-ba,” he said.

“We’re not doing a baba right now,” she told him, “we’re going to let Thor sleep, okay?”

Loki whined, but there was a reason Sylvie had specifically chosen to get up instead of letting Mobius take care of it.

“Oh be quiet, you know you’re not going hungry,” she told him, reverting to her usual more sarcastic tone. She lifted her shirt and shifted Loki down into her lap, and let him latch on to her breast. “There we go,” she said, petting his back. His eyes fluttered shut. For a few minutes, it was peaceful.

“Ow! Naughty boy, no biting!” she had to say. Loki looked up and furrowed his eyebrows annoyed back at her. “Is it time to switch?” she asked, as Loki seemed to be having a more difficult time.

He nodded and pulled away. She readjusted him and herself so they were both as comfortable as possible. After getting resettled and suckling comfortably again, Loki dribbled on his cheek, and Sylvie flicked it away. “Messy baby,” she mumbled.

Loki made a small huff in response.

When he seemed to be having a hard time again, she tried to get him to unlatch, and pulled her shirt back down.

“There, is that good enough for you?” she asked. Loki nodded, his head on her shoulder, wiping any remaining wetness from around his mouth onto her shirt. She sat him back in her arms so he was looking her in the face, clenched her jaw, and narrowed her eyes, exaggeratedly miffed. He returned the look and she held up a towel. “Foul child,” she said, “dirtying my shirt before I could set the cloth down. You know better.” Loki grinned and giggled. Until she gave him a quiet shush. She set the towel down and burped him. Once she knew he couldn’t see her face, she smiled, too, and pushed on the ball of her foot to rock the chair more than before. She hummed an old Asgardian tune she didn’t remember the words of, and pat his back.

She picked him up, bouncing him in her arms and kissed him on the cheek again before setting him in the crib, tucking him in, sliding up the bars, saying goodnight, and playing the tape of lullabies.

Chapter Text

Today was Wednesday. Little Loki’s favorite day. Why? Because it was garbage day. Sylvie woke him up; she got to do it every other week, assuming it went as usual and Loki woke up in headspace and she didn’t.

“Psst, Bunny, it’s garbage day,” Sylvie whispered as she rubbed his shoulder

Loki squealed after sitting up. He had refrained from being small for 2 whole days (excluding one night) while Thor was here, and it felt like it had been forever. He usually could go for a week or so without being little comfortably, and many times it didn’t last all day, but the stress had been different these past few days and he felt like he needed it more.

Thor and Mobius were already having breakfast in the kitchen. Thor had cooked a hearty meal and was plating it already. Mobius set down his morning paper. “Daddy!” Loki cried as he ran into the room. Sylvie wasn’t far behind him.

“There’s my little guy!” Mobius said. Loki ran up to him, pacifier in mouth and toy garbage truck in hand. “Guess we’ll need to get the highchair out this morning,” Sylvie commented.

Loki suddenly remembered Thor’s presence and his grin disappeared. The big god standing by the stove looked absolutely aghast.

“Loki, can you say good morning to your big brother?” Mobius asked as Loki tried to disappear, and then did so successfully.

“Oh, c’mon Bunny, we don’t want to miss the garbage truck!” Sylvie exclaimed as she peeked under the couch, in various cupboards, and then eventually found him under the bed.

“He’s just a little shy,” Mobius explained, like Loki was the most normal toddler in the world. Thor’s expression of neutral shock morphed into a heartfelt smile.

Sylvie came back carrying a very scared looking Loki in her arms. “We’ll be right back for breakfast, just gotta take the trash out and see the big truck first, isn’t that right?” she said. “Does big brother or daddy want to come?” she asked, taking Loki’s hand away from her hair which he insisted on playing with.

Thor felt bad that he had made Loki so nervous, but he knew his brother would warm up. It must be something close to him to make even the rather shameless Loki feel insecure. “Go on ahead, we’ll keep breakfast warm,” Mobius answered. Sylvie took the trash and recycling cans on the dirt road behind her and Loki babbled about his truck. He put it on the ground, bent down and walked with it rolling right in front of his legs.

“Silly boy,” was all Sylvie had to say. When they reached the main road, Sylvie set the cans out and Loki sat down with his truck while they waited. She checked her phone for the time. They had about a minute.

“Do you want to be little around Thor, today?” she asked.

Loki paused, slowing his truck to a stop, considering it as he sat in the dirt. He looked up at Sylvie with big blue doe eyes.

“No, we’re not going to cry over it,” she said as Loki’s lip quivered. She lifted him up. “The garbage truck’s going to be here. No tears; we like the garbage truck.”

Loki took a long sniffle and nodded, choking back a sob he regained himself. “Ga’ba tuck,” he repeated.

“Yeah. Look! Here it comes!” she said, setting him down. Loki stepped back and watched the robotic arm empty the trash can. He hugged his truck as he watched, listening to the rusty screeches and engine whirring.

The driver waved at the little. Her route was fairly rural, but there were always at least one or two littles or kids who came outside to watch every week. Loki was probably the most regular. Seeing how excited he got always made her morning worth it.

Loki returned the wave and hopped up and down. Sylvie took only one of the cans back; the recycling truck came in the evening. On the way home, Loki got quiet, he anxiously fidgeted with his pacifier, twisting it and occasionally popping it out of his mouth before setting it back in, and with his overall straps, which he clicked and unclicked repeatedly while holding his truck under the other arm. Sylvie didn’t like seeing him like this, it was never fun.

He dragged his feet and slowed as they approached the house. “Oh, c’mon,” Sylvie said. Realizing Loki wasn’t going to budge, she knelt by him, “If Thor didn’t accept you then he would’ve said no when Mobius explained littles, or when he saw the nursery.” That made sense. Loki nodded.

“Would it help to have a playmate?” she asked.

Loki shrugged. That wouldn’t help, but he wasn’t her boss. He stopped pouting and walked up the steps inside. Mobius had set the highchair out and Thor was sitting in the big comfortable recliner that everyone fought over.

“You wanna tell me about it?” Mobius asked as he picked Loki up. Loki giggled as he was strapped into the highchair. Mobius got him a plate of breakfast. “What color was it today? Did they send the green one? Or was it the fancy new white one? Is there a different one? Red? Yellow?”

Loki smiled at how silly his daddy was, “gween!” he said as Mobius removed the pacifier from his mouth.

“Did it have the big arm or did someone need to do it by hand?”

“Wobot!” Loki elaborated.

“Wow, that’s a fancy one,” Mobius commented, lifting the first bite of scrambled eggs to the toddler’s mouth. Thank the heavens he actually took it and ate today.

Sylvie was eating her own plate of breakfast next to him, “M! Loki!” she swallowed the food she had in her mouth, “tell him about the driver!”

Loki lit up and clapped his hands. Thor was invested in the conversation too at this point, watching from his point on the chair, despite the fact that the recliner and highchair were turned away from each other and were nearly across the room, so he couldn’t see Loki.

“Um! Dwiva wave!”

“Waved right to you, huh, bunny?”

Loki nodded. He finished his whole plate today and was allowed to go play if he wanted.

He did, running to the nursery immediately after the restraints of the highchair were taken off him.

Loki chewed on a teether he held in one hand as he laid on his tummy and played with his big, toddler Lego blocks.

“Do you want to see him?” Mobius asked Thor, as the god seemed very interested in the noise coming from the room.

“Will he be okay with it?”

“Well we’ll see, huh?”

Mobius loved showing off his littles and took way too many pictures of them. They were just so cute. He spent his lunch time while at work in the break room showing them off to his coworkers and letting them brag about theirs, as well. He felt like being small around Thor wasn’t going to be a big deal for the Lokis, and if it was, well, it was going to have to happen some time soon; no use in putting it off.

Thor peeked into the room with Mobius’s hand on his arm as reassurance. Loki didn’t notice him right away. He was focusing on knocking over a big tower with his garbage truck. Sylvie however, did take notice, she waved as she sat on the floor behind Loki and caught him when he fell backwards with a delighted scream and kicking his legs as the blocks toppled.

“Was that fun?” she asked.

Loki nodded and turned his head to look at the door, sensing the presence of more eyes. Thor smiled at him and waved but Loki was quick to hide again, curling up as small as possible into Sylvie’s lap to avoid his older brother.

“Hey buddy, if Thor’s going to live in this universe with us he’s going to need to get used to littles, especially you,” Mobius said, pushing through the doorway and grabbing Loki out of Sylvie’s arms. Loki sniffled and hid his face as Mobius pet his pretty long hair and bounced him. “Can you go say hi?” he asked as he set Loki down.

Loki stood still in a silence for a few seconds until Thor kneeled down, “is that my little baby brother?” he asked in an excitable tone, extending his arms to encourage a hug.

“He doesn’t have any knives on him, right?” Thor whispered to Mobius.

“He shouldn’t.”

Loki didn’t. He let Thor hug him and pick him up. Eventually even hugging him back. Thor was so warm and comfortable. The raw muscle wasn’t like that, but now, hugging Thor was like being squished into a big ball of dough. The hug was long, Thor worried too long, but Loki seemed to be happy. He set the toddler down finally, “Can you give me the tour? Your… em… Mobius said you’d want to show me yourself.”

Loki nodded and toddled around the room, showing Thor each piece of furniture and all his toys. He picked up a couple that were Sylvie’s. She got up from the floor and took her Little People toys from him, “those are for big kids,” she said, showing a bit of her little side.

“Are those ones yours?” Thor asked.

Sylvie quietly nodded. “Yeah,” she said, before introducing them. She had one for each of the Norse gods, many of which had been repainted from their original manufacture given colors to be more accurate. There were, however, two Lokis, one repainted with a delicate hand to have blonde hair and little eyelashes. Thor picked his figure up excitedly, “is that me?” he asked with a grin.

“Yep yep!” Sylvie answered.

Thor’s figurine was one of only three that didn’t need repainting.

Loki picked up his own, which did need alterations, and showed it to Thor.

“Is that one you?”

Loki nodded.

“Loki, put it down!” Sylvie told him.

Loki gently tossed the toy to Sylvie and showed Thor everything else, specifically his crayons and blocks and even his crib which had colorful printed sheets fit onto it with a grey background and sleepy yellow moons.

Loki moved the bars up even though only stuffed animals were in there, and then enthusiastically threw open the closet, showing off the folded up strollers, playpen, and baby gym.

Everything just raised questions for Thor, many of which he kept to himself. “How old are you, brother?” he finally asked.

Loki plopped down onto a pillow on the floor, and looked at his fingers, “daddy say 1… 2?” That didn’t mean much to Thor. Those were human ages, but it was what Loki had been told to tell adults when they asked him.

“No, no, Asgardian years.”

Loki made a flurry with his fingers. Because Asgardians aged much differently than humans, Loki was much more of an amalgamation of those ages. Somewhere vaguely between 4 and 198. He didn’t know, he couldn’t count that high. Sylvie explained this.

“And what about you?” Thor asked.

“It shifts,” she answered, shrugging. “Somewhere between 28 and 462,”

Thor looked shocked. That was quite a range, and he hadn’t anticipated Loki to be small. He knew Loki was definitely young but if he had been asked to guess before he had actually seen Loki little, he would’ve said the Asgardian equivalent of maybe five or six, he thought Loki would’ve had too much pride to slip under three. But knowing he was pretty much exclusively under three was even weirder. Sylvie’s range made sense, but if they were the same person why did she regress so much older than him? He was informed it was because of trauma relating to that age.

Mobius picked Loki up, “This one needs a change,” he said. Loki struggled as he was set on the table. “Don’t worry, we’ll go in the other room,” he reassured Loki while grabbing the supplies.

“No, no, don’t. Thor and I can go to the living room,” said Sylvie, setting down whatever toys she had and going back to being an adult. “Tea?” she offered.

“Sure,” Thor responded. He wasn’t usually fond of tea, but he knew the beer was probably taking a toll on him at this point.

The idea that Loki had to wear diapers hadn’t occurred to Thor, even if he was just a baby. It was an odd idea, Loki in diapers, but it made sense with the situation.

Together, they sat on Thor’s couch-bed and discussed Sylvie’s life, life on Asgard, and the like. It was a disjointed and rambling as they asked each other dumb questions. Sylvie seemed to be opening up. She had taken so much longer with Loki and Mobius, but maybe that was just her emotional state at the time after all the years of not being able to trust anyone. She was having an easier time with it now. Perhaps it was just that it was Thor, and even though this wasn’t her Thor, he still felt like an old friend she needed to catch up with. To be fair though, this wasn’t even her Loki’s Thor. This was a Thor who had lost his Loki. It was all very complicated, but it felt natural. It felt right.

She laughed loudly and almost spat out her drink when he shared memories that this Loki probably didn’t remember or hadn’t lived through; “The first time I ever got to hold him,” he recounted, “he puked on me. Is he still that barfy?”

Sylvie stifled a laugh, “Sometimes. But only on car trips and train rides. We have medication for him and myself,'' she answered seriously.

“How’s Asgard?” she asked.

That must’ve struck a nerve as Thor set down his drink and looked rather solemn for a moment. “It got destroyed by our older sister Hela. Very sad,” he said. He changed the subject “So, on your world am I a woman, too?” he asked.

“No, just me,” she said, “I mean, I was like Loki, going both ways until… y’know getting kidnapped and stuff. Decided this identity was suited to me as a more permanent thing.”

Thor nodded. When Loki was a girl, on the rare occasion, she still looked almost identical to her masculine form just with a slight change in anatomy and voice, and many times Loki didn’t change form at all, other times they used pronouns and forms which didn’t match and mixed it up. It was odd to him that the two were the same person, they were so different. Maybe twins... but the same entity?

At that moment, Mobius opened the door and let Loki run out to see Sylvie. The boy dove over the back of the couch and snuggled into her lap. She set down her drink, which still had a little bit left in the bottom, and kissed him on the cheek.

“Mummy!” he cried as she adjusted him in her lap. “Gif’!” he added after he was comfortable.

“Oh you brought us something?” she asked.

“Mhm!” he handed her a tiny wooden knife from a cooking playset and then gave one to Thor as well.

Thor stared at it, clearly puzzled.

“It’s our way of saying ‘I love you’. It comes easier than words to him. You should feel lucky for receiving one; he's pretty careful with them. Not even his friends at daycare get them, just Mobius and I,” Sylvie explained.

“I don’t get it,” Thor said.

“Wouldn’t expect you to,” she smiled.

Loki was babbling and grabbing her hair. She batted him away and called his pacifier to her, which she popped into Loki’s mouth. Thor set down the toy knife and asked if he could take Loki. As soon as the little heard, he removed his head from his mummy’s shoulder. “Do you want to see Thor?” she asked.

Loki nodded and let Thor pick him up. He played with Thor’s beard, it was the longest he’d ever seen it, but it was clean, and braided, and Loki loved the hearty laugh Thor let out when he gently tugged on the braids. “Do you like them?” Thor asked. Loki nodded, trying his best to stay cradled in Thor’s lap and not fall out with Thor’s cushiony beer belly pushing against him.

He put his hand on the paunch. “It’s like another pillow,” Thor commented. Loki agreed. He looked at Thor expectantly for something, but Thor didn’t understand what.

“Do you guys want to play something?” Sylvie asked boredly, flopping dramatically on the bed. Mobius could see the exact moment she slipped into her headspace. He had been supervising while working on his yellow knitting project in the recliner.

Loki clapped while Thor helped him sit up and hugged him in his lap. He loved having Loki back, little or otherwise.

“What are we going to play, brother?” Thor asked as he kissed the top of Loki’s head.

“Um! Tiggle n’ pay-doh… sort? Um, tag?” He wasn’t sure, but those were the games he liked. Of course, he liked pretend games a bit, and there were playsets, and sensory games, but he didn’t have the vocabulary to express that.

Sylvie didn’t come back with any toys for a while, she spent a good two minutes in the nursery before Mobius decided he needed to check on her.

In that time, Loki tried to tickle Thor, but he wasn’t as good at it as normal with his babyish motor skills, and eventually Thor got him, tackling him on the couch. Loki giggled and kicked his legs, letting the orange pacifier fall out of his mouth as he squealed and wiggled. Thor hadn’t noticed it until now. He moved it out of the way and wondered “why orange?”

“Tor!” Loki whined. “Play!”

“Brother, you’re so impatient,” Thor smiled before trying to plant a raspberry on Loki’s belly, which was much more cumbersome than he expected with the onesie on. Loki sucked on his thumb until Thor picked him up. He laid back and held Loki up over his head, making the little feel like he was flying before dropping him down and wrapping him in a hug.

Sylvie was sitting in the nursery looking through the toybox. But she just couldn’t find anything! What could Thor, Loki, herself, and Mobius all play together? It didn’t make sense. Her thoughts felt foggy as she became more and more frustrated.

“Hey, kiddo. Everything alright?” Mobius asked as he opened the door.

She didn’t answer but brushed over the toys forcefully.

“Do you want your pacifier?” he asked, trying to calm her down. He sat down with her and took her in his arms.

She nodded and let Mobius set a pretty golden pacifier into her mouth.

“Are you a baby like Loki?”

She shook her head. “Big girl,” she said.

“So no pull-ups or diapers?” he asked to clarify.

“Puw-up, pwease” she told him, taking the pacifier out of her mouth as she did so. So not that much of a big girl.

He helped dress her in younger aged clothes; a blush pink tutu that sparkled gold, some black leggings, and a green sweatshirt with a rainbow heart on it. It was the perfect outfit for playtime.

He found her some toys that everyone would probably enjoy. To Mobius, “everyone enjoying” specifically meant that Sylvie would have something entertaining to do that Loki could participate in or react to in some way, and Thor or Mobius could talk to Loki and try to engage him in the activity.

They looked around the nursery for something to play. Sylvie seemed attracted to the pretend play stuff. “Oh! Play restaurant!” she decided.

“That sounds like fun,” Mobius said.

Sylvie took out a bin of play food and utensils which she brought to the kitchen along with a fake cash register, notepad, and crayon. Loki rolled out of Thor’s arms when he saw her and ran up to where she was setting the toys in the kitchen.

“Baby play?” Loki asked as she counted the fake money in the cash register, pretending she knew what she was doing.

“Yeah!” she told him. “Bunny, can you take orders?” she asked.

Loki shook his head like this was the first time he had ever played restaurant.

“Can you write down what Mr. Daddy n’ Mr. Big brother want?”

This time Loki understood and nodded.

Sylvie put on Mobius’ frilly apron and Mobius signalled Thor to come sit down by him at the table.

Loki toddled to the table with the little pad of paper and the crayon. He had his pacifier in his mouth but tried to talk around it. “What eat?” Loki asked. He wasn’t really old enough to understand customer service like Sylvie was.

“I’d like a hamburger, please,” Mobius said.

Loki scribbled on the notepad in red crayon.

“I’d like goat stew with a side salad and salmon,” Thor told his brother very seriously. “...please,” he quickly added.

Sylvie gave him the world’s dirtiest look while Loki drew shapes and bulky, uncoordinated, random, capital letters. “No! Order something else!” she demanded.

Thor looked over at the playset. “I’ll have a pizza, please,” he decided.

Loki colored in a triangle he had drawn and handed the notepad to Sylvie like a helpful little brother.

“I can’t read this,” she said, giving it back to him.

Loki gave his pacifier a frustrated suck and flipped the scribbled mess around, offering the slip of paper to her upside down.

“Thank you, that’s much better,” she said, even though it was probably even worse now.

Loki made the hamburger with random fake foods he found while Sylvie made the velcro and felt pizza, and Mobius talked to Thor; “At their daycare, there’s a whole play kitchen. It’s pretty impressive.” he said.

“It must be quite large,” Thor commented.

His thought was interrupted as Loki made a loud whimper. “Give it back!” Sylvie commanded. Loki held onto half of a velcro-together apple.

Mobius got up and took Loki in his arms. He took the apple out of Loki’s hand and put it back on the counter by Sylvie. “I think we should work on sharing,” Mobius said, not addressing either of them in particular. Loki huffed annoyedly in Mobius’ arms while Sylvie finished with the fake food and brought it to the table.

They both thanked her but she seemed suddenly uninterested.

“What happened?” Thor asked.

“That’s how pretend games tend to go,” Mobius sighed once Sylvie had skipped off to go find another game.

“What do you mean?” Thor asked.

“Loki’s just a little bit young to be playing pretend and doesn’t really understand the rules of the world yet, and Sylvie likes to play director with a whole script for everyone in her head that she wants to be followed,” he chuckled ryely. “It’s something that just happens at their ages,” he added while petting adoring circles into Loki’s back. He could feel hot tears on his shoulder. “Aw, hey, you’re all good buddy, no one’s mad,” Mobius told him.

For a while Mobius kept up his conversation with Thor about the littles and the games they played, as Loki seemed to be getting more upset and nervous. “Excuse us for a minute,” Mobius told Thor. He tried to soothe Loki as he checked on Sylvie again. She seemed to want to be alone. He was about to step back out of the room but Loki gripped the doorway.

“What’s got you all worked up?” Mobius asked.

Loki shifted and looked back over Mobius’s arms. He put his head on Mobius’s shoulder and made a little grunt.

“Oh, did you not want to make a mess in front of your brother?” Mobius asked. Loki was so little that messy diapers were a pretty much daily thing. He nodded shyly as Mobius ignored it. Letting the little do what he had to.

“Hey, Thor?” Mobius asked with the changing supplies in a bag around his shoulder. “We’re going to be a while, can you watch Sylvie?”

“What’s wrong with Loki?”

“He made a little bit of a mess.”

Loki hid his face even though Thor didn’t seem to understand what he was just told. He took Mobius’ directions and watched over Sylvie while Loki got a bath.

Loki came back to find Thor and Sylvie having a fake sword duel. Sylvie used the second Thor looked at the opening door to “stab” him in the ribs. He dramatically fell to the ground as Loki clapped from his spot in Mobius’ arms.

Loki was wearing pajamas and looked like he was ready for a nap.

“Sylvie, are you going to take a nap with Loki or stay up with Thor and daddy?” he asked.

Sylvie elected to stay up and just move her Little People set into the kitchen while Loki was given his bottle and set down for a nice long nap.

Chapter Text

Thor needed a place to live, that was for sure. Loki and Sylvie were happy to have him there, but they really wanted their couch back. It had only been three days but they were already sick of having him always there, invading their personal space. There was S.H.I.E.L.D. Avengers housing, which were glorified hotel rooms reserved for hero personnel. Of course, there were a few extra rooms now that Steve Rogers and this world’s Thor had retired, and Tony Stark, and Natasha Romanoff had passed. But Loki, Mobius, and Sylvie still wanted their Thor nearby.

Mobius had talked to his boss yesterday about building Thor a little house on the lakeside property and writing it off like they had with their own house, and today Fury came back with a concept. It was a low-tech, relatively inexpensive idea with more than enough space for Thor, a good sized kitchen, and a bathroom. Thor had come in with Mobius to work today and stood behind him. Mobius showed Thor the plans from the tablet, “What do you think, big guy?”

“It’s wondrous!” Thor exclaimed as he looked at the yurt.

“Glad you like it. We’ll get the materials to you for assembly tomorrow.”

“Assembly? I’m not sure if an old man, two Lokis, and a Norse thunder god can build a house.”

“You’re Avengers. There’s an instruction manual. You’ll figure it out.”

Mobius told Loki and Sylvie about it over dinner.

The next day, a large truck delivered the materials. There was a pre-built platform for the structure, but that was the only thing made for them. Mobius rolled up his sleeves and got out the power tools he kept in the garage. Loki and Sylvie joined him and Thor to help build it. But to be honest, Loki wasn’t out there to help as much as he was there to see his significant others using their muscles and covered in dirt and sweat. Loki didn’t do any hard manual labor, instead he made lemonade and read through the instructions while Sylvie jerry-rigged extra tools that made work get done 2-3 times faster than if it was just Mobius and Thor alone sharing power tools.

That wasn’t to say Loki didn’t help, or that Sylvie’s improvisation alone made the work go so much quicker. The two even worked through their breaks, lounging on the cabin’s deck with glasses of lemonade and telekinetically clicking things into place and preparing pieces for installation.

By the end of the day, they had completed the instruction manual and everyone stepped inside the yurt to admire their hard work. The only thing inside was a wood burning stove and a few pipes sticking up that would eventually attach to the septic tank and water lines. There was no electricity, no furniture, and no walls inside.

“Alright,” Loki said, brushing off his not-very-dirty-compared-to-everyone-else's-hands hands, “sleep well, brother,” he remarked as he walked out.

“Uh, Loki, We’re still not done,” Mobius told him. He followed Loki back to the main house where the lean god was making himself a cup of tea. “Thor’s going to sleep in here one more night and tomorrow we’re going to go buy him some furniture, alright?” he asked as he took out some leftovers.

Loki sat down at the table and made an annoyed grunt.

Mobius wasn’t sure how to react to that. “What do you say we celebrate?” he proposed.

“Celebrate? Celebrate what?”

“Yeah, Thor’s moving out tomorrow, let’s do something.”

“That’s not until tomorrow,” Loki said with a confused look.

“No, I know, but you look like you need a pick-me-up.”

“Are you going to get Thor?”

“I was thinking it would just be you, me, and Sylvie,” he hinted.

“What about Thor?”

“I’ll grab him some noise cancelling headphones,” Mobius shrugged.

“I could do that…” Loki purred, finally picking up on the implications Mobius was trying to suggest.

When the concept was expressed to Sylvie, she smirked and grabbed the collar of Loki’s shirt, dragging him to the bedroom. “You get Thor those headphones, I’ll get started with Loki,” she told Mobius.

Chapter Text

It was time to get Thor out of the living room and into his yurt. Mobius made a list of all the things they’d need. Of course, Loki wished he could conjure it like he did with everyone’s wardrobes, but making an outfit that would get worn for a day was much easier than making a functional bed meant to stay there for months or maybe years. 

Some experts were called out for the plumbing and wiring (Mobius may have been smart, but that wasn’t his area of expertise), but they wouldn’t arrive until the group had left to go get Thor some furniture. 

At the idea of furniture shopping, Loki decided it would be the most fun if he was small for the day. Mobius tried his best to get the toddler into some clothes, but Loki had decided he just couldn’t sit still. “What are you doing?” Mobius asked as he turned around from finding Loki some pants and caught him sitting up on the changing table playing with the snaps of his green onesie. 

Loki froze like he was caught doing something he wasn’t supposed to, and Mobius handed him a busy toy to fidget with. The last thing Loki needed was instruction on mischief, but Mobius still gave him a plush bear with clothes that had similar snaps, zippers, buttons, and the like to keep him from taking his own clothes off. When Mobius was done getting Loki dressed, the boy set the busy bear down and took his alligator with him. Little rabbit ears flopped behind him from his hoodie as he ran to look for Sylvie, but ended up bumping into Thor. 

“Aw, good morning, brother!” Thor sing-songed as Loki stumbled backwards.

Loki put his arms out to be picked up and Thor let Loki’s legs wrap around his middle. 

“How old is little Loki today?” 

Loki showed Thor three fingers. 

“So a big boy, huh?”

“Bi’ boy!” Loki repeated. 

Then a bright laugh was heard from the nursery, a happy, babyish one. Loki got down to go see. Mobius was helping Sylvie get dressed and she was laughing at the little jacket. It was like Loki’s silver bunny hoodie, but this one was a white lamb, instead. She stomped her feet excitedly and watched as Mobius fumbled with the zipper on it. 

“Look!” She said, “We’re twins!” 

Loki was definitely still slightly smaller than her, but the difference wasn’t noticeable. 

“Twins!” he agreed, flipping up his hood like hers, while Mobius packed their diaper bags. 

The back was put on Sylvie’s carseat and Mobius debated if it would be necessary to get a second baby one or second big kid one, just in case. But, neither of the littles seemed to mind being in their usual configuration of Loki in the baby seat and Sylvie buckled in like a big girl. 

The car didn’t have much more space in it after bags, the littles, and Thor, so Mobius made sure to attach a Uhaul trailer to it. They had it for one more day after building the yurt. The company letting them use it obviously thought it would take much longer than a day for full base assembly. The toddlers talked with Thor about the “aminals” they saw out the window sometimes and about how much they liked being in the car.

When Loki started to feel sick he began to self soothe, sucking on his thumb and feeling himself regress smaller as he shut his eyes. Sylvie was in the same boat, and they were both out by the time Mobius pulled into the parking lot of the big box furniture store.

The store had carts that had specialty little seats which the two were buckled into and subsequently fought over who had more room. However, they quieted down as they were mesmerized by the lighting section. Loki even found a ceiling fan named after himself which everyone thought was very odd, but Thor actually liked his brother’s choice, and it was relatively inexpensive, so they put it in the cart.

Loki and Sylvie found the bulk of the experience tedious, at least from where they were, stuck in their seats. When Thor and Mobius had their backs turned, discussing something boring like rugs or curtains, the tots decided it was an opportune time for an illusion so they could sneak away. 

They cast duplicates of themselves and hopped down to go look at all the cool displays. Sylvie led, taking Loki’s hand in her own and leading him around. They explored the different departments in the large showroom, crawling over the beds, pretending to wash their hands in sinks, opening and closing every cabinet, oven, and fridge. 

But after a while, the two started to get sick of just exploring, and decided they should get Thor and play hide-and-seek. They went back to the aisle Thor and Mobius had been looking through when they left, and were alarmed to find he wasn’t there. Loki started to nervously shake. “No no!” Sylvie quickly tried to comfort him as his lip trembled. “No! Don’t cry! We’ll find them! We will!” she tried, as a reassurance to herself just as much as him. 

It took Mobius about three minutes to realize they were gone, finally noticing the smell of Loki’s baby powder was no longer present. But as soon as he did, an announcement came over the PA system; “Attention shoppers, two littles have been found, they seem to be around 2-ish? If you’re missing your littles, please come to the front desk.” The voice was of someone who didn’t seem like they were used to being around littles, or kids at all, for that matter. 

Mobius sighed and looked at Thor, “Do you want to come get them with me?” he asked. 

Thor agreed. They both looked pissed, at least as pissed as it was reasonable to be at two mischief-making toddlers when they were not present. Mobius calmed himself down as he approached the counter, though. “Hi, those two little ones back there are mine,” he said. 

The person behind the counter gave him a pitiful look and turned to the sad looking littles behind them. Loki was sucking his thumb and had tear streaks all down his face. “Seevee did it,” he choked out as Thor picked him up. Both the big god and the older man had softened seeing how fearful both of the littles appeared to be. Mobius took Sylvie, “is that true?” he asked. 

Sylvie mirrored Loki, “um… no?” she said nervously. 

Mobius smiled and let her hide from the world in the crick of his neck. “Don’t you two sneak away again,” he said with minimal force. “You know daddy keeps toys in your diaper bags for you if you’re bored,” he chided both of them. 

“I would’ve been happy to explore if you two would’ve asked,” Thor added. 

“Tor play?” Loki asked, looking up.

Thor looked at Mobius unsure of what he should say, and Mobius shook his head. 

“When we get home we’ll play, how about that?” 

Loki appeared even more heartbroken by this news as the adults took them back to the cart. Mobius found some things in his bag for them to play with and some pacifiers. 

 Loki was handed Croki to hopefully cheer him up. Sylvie on the other hand, looked more annoyed than anything. Annoyed at Loki for getting them caught, annoyed at the workers for making them sit behind the counter until their daddy came to get them, even though one lady was really sweet and tried to cheer them up while they waited, and annoyed at Mobius for making her sit and be patient as Thor picked out a bedframe and a mattress and stupid pillows and their stupid pillowcases. She sat and pouted, waiting for this to all end. 

Thor looked at the list Mobius had made for him. For him, it felt like a big scavenger hunt. Mobius leaned against the cart while pushing it along, “Are you bored?” he asked Sylvie. 

She pointedly did not look at him or answer. 

He poked both of the littles to make sure they were both really there, but acted as if it were an embellishment to his next idea. “Do you want to play ‘what’s in daddy’s bag’?” he asked. 

It was a last resort, and was almost never used, but he always made sure to pack two or three random toys as a surprise for them if things started going this way. 

Sylvie seemed to like that idea and Mobius moved the bag in front of him to let her see better. Loki looked up and watched with interest, too. Mobius unzipped one pocket. He pulled out the first mystery toy. It was a wooden board toy with different metal latches to open doors. Like the teddy bear, it wasn’t necessary to teach these things to Sylvie or Loki, as it would just cause more troubles, but it was definitely something that would keep Sylvie busy for the rest of the store trip. She played with it and felt very proud since the back said three and up, hence Mobius’ hesitancy to pack it in the first place. 

Thor ran back to the cart breathlessly. “That’s all,” he said, dumping a handful of things into the cart and showing Mobius the list. Everything was hastily crossed out with a thick black marker. 

They began pushing the cart towards the check out and Thor asked the toddlers about their toys and what they did. 

“Maybe you should babysit some time,” Mobius chuckled to him, as he handed the cashier his credit card. 

Thor laughed at first and then actually considered it. He looked over the cart. “What do you two think?”

Loki made big grabby hands, so of course Thor unbuckled him and picked him up. “That would be a lot of fun, wouldn’t it?” 

Loki grabbed Thor’s man bun in response and added a tiny babble as he snuggled into his big brother. 

“Is it almost time to rest?” he asked. 

Loki nodded and Sylvie rubbed her eyes. 

Mobius took the cart and looked at Sylvie, “do you think we should look at the next toy in daddy’s bag?” he asked as she seemed smaller. 

She nodded and handed him back the brass latch game. He opened up another pocket in the bag as he pushed the cart. He had made sure to pack at least one baby toy, this one was a rattly car toy with a teether, Sylvie’s favorite one (Loki’s was in there too of course, but he wasn’t asking for it.) It was detachable to a stuffed triceratops that had different jingly rattles in it. The reason this one was marked as Sylvie’s, was because the teethers attached to it had visible bite marks, since she always wanted it when she was stressed. When they got to the car, Mobius directed Thor to buckle Loki in while he handled Sylvie. 

They unloaded everything into the car and the Uhaul. 

On the drive home, Mobius noticed that the babies didn’t fall asleep like they usually did. “Are you two not going to nap in the car?” he asked. 

The two shook their heads and Sylvie shook the head of her dinosaur which made a jingling noise.

“Bummer, guess you won’t get to help me set up Thor’s house.”

The toddlers looked at each other. That was the exact reason they had stayed up. They wanted to help. They whined. 

“Oh, you know I’m just messing with you two, we’ll just do the boring stuff while you’re asleep. Promise,” he said. 

That was true. After they got home while the littles slept, Mobius and Thor did the boring things like wall dividers, the ceiling fan, curtains, and rolling out a rug. Mobius woke Loki and Sylvie up to help with the assembly of the bedframe and a dresser. Of course, neither of them were allowed to do much, but they loved helping sort the pieces and do simple tasks like bringing Mobius and Thor things or screwing in pieces that didn’t have sharp edges. 

By the time they were done, the home actually looked nice, like hotel room levels of nice. It could’ve passed for one if it wasn’t for the large battle axe hanging on his wall. 

Loki pointed at it, babbling. 

“She’s called ‘Stormbreaker’ isn’t she wonderful?” 

Loki nodded. 

“What’s your hammer’s name?” Thor joked, pointing at the tiny mallet Loki was handling.

“Tor!” he answered. 

“You named your hammer after big brother?” Thor asked, trying to hide that he was a little bit moved by it. 

Loki nodded and let Thor bring him in for a hug. 

Thor noticed Sylvie watching them. “Apologies, sister,” he said, hugging her, too. “I did not mean to exclude you. Come here!” 

Sylvie excitedly snuggled into his arms. “Lub Tor,” she mumbled as she was squished in his arms. 

“Mhm,” Loki agreed. 

“I love you both, too,” he said, giving them each a kiss on the top of the head. 

“Alright kiddos, ready to let Thor get settled?” Mobius asked them. 

“Bye-bye Tor!” Sylvie waved. 

“Bu-bye!” Loki also answered as Mobius held his hand and they left the yurt. 

Thor smiled and fell onto his bed. He was going to like it here. He could tell.

Chapter Text

“Sit still or I swear I will give you a bowl cut!” Sylvie commanded Thor as he sat in a dining room chair outside. 

She had already trimmed Mobius’ hair, and now it was Thor’s turn. Loki let her also trim his, although he really didn’t need it as he could just make his hair longer or shorter as he pleased. 

As she worked, Mobius met Loki on the deck, his hair was still wet after taking a shower to wash the loose hairs away. He leaned against a chair. “I have today off,” he smirked in a way that showed he spent all his time around Lokis. 

“I know you do darling,” Loki replied, looking up at him with the same expression. He set down his book to kiss his beau. “And what are we going to do with all that time?” 

“There’s somewhere I want to take you and Sylvie.”

“Somewhere for little Loki and Sylvie or big Loki and Sylvie?” 

“Somewhere for any kind of Loki and Sylvie you two want to be, but honestly? I don’t know if you’re going to be able to hold it together,” he hinted. 

Loki finished his book and set it aside. “Please? Won’t you tell me?” he asked sarcastically.

“Oh fine, you’ve gotten to me: we’re going to the library.”

“There’s a library nearby?”

“Yeah, it’s amazing isn’t it? I only just found out last weekend. Been waiting to take you guys.”

Loki wrapped his arms around Mobius. “I need a new book anyway.”

“You always need a new book.”

Sylvie finished trimming Thor’s hair and told him to scoot, tossing the towel full of blonde hair at him. “Put that in the washer with the rest,” she instructed him, “and go take a shower before that. I don’t want you covering my home in hair!” 

Thor set the towel on the deck railing and ran back to his home to go take a shower. After brushing herself off, she came to check on the conversation Loki and Mobius were having. 

“Sylvie, what do you say about coming to see the local library with us?”

“I don’t read.” 

Mobius and Loki looked at each other. They hadn’t thought about it. They had seen her with books so many times, but as they thought back on it, it was always a puzzle book, or a picture book, or a coloring book, even an instructional book for cooking or gardening. Occasionally, she was even caught with a comic book, but not often.

“Libraries have more than books,” Mobius tried to explain. 

Loki piped in, following her around the house as she put away the clippers and scissors and started a load of laundry: “We can look at mushroom and plant guides like the ones you keep around the house! And there’s films! And they have those comic books you like! The ones with the spies-” 

She suddenly stopped, rolled her eyes, and turned around. “Fine.”

Loki looked slightly disturbed at her response and immediately slipped out of the headspace he was naturally falling into with his excitement. “Fine?”

“Yes. Fine.”

“Like ‘good’ fine or like ‘not actually’ fine?”

“Like ‘yes, I’ll go with you, but I might take a nap on a bench’ fine.”

“Fine.”

“Fine.”

Mobius watched this whole passive-aggressive non-argument pan out before offering his own take. “Sylvie, why don’t you go get little and I’ll spend the day with you in the kids section while we let Loki find his own books?” 

Sylvie puffed out her cheeks like an exasperated pufferfish as she pondered the idea, finally letting out the breath. “Alright. Fine.” She turned to Loki, “The ‘good’ fine. The actual ‘fine’,” she concluded before walking into the nursery, grabbing her own little clothes, and trudging off to the bathroom, not letting Mobius give her a bath or even get her diapered and dressed. She’d do that by herself today; little miss independent. 

Despite being rather adamant of “not being little” and saying: “I promise I won’t slip, Mobius. It’s a library. You’ve seen me in a library before, I’ll be fine,” Loki wore a pull-up under his passably adult clothes, and Mobius brought extra diapers for him.

By the time they had even gotten there, Loki had regressed severely. That’s why Mobius had made him write a list of the stories he wanted to look for. 

“Libarry! Libary!” he giggled as Mobius took him and his grumpy sister out of the car. 

“We’re going to be quiet in the library, right?” Mobius checked. 

Loki put a finger to his lips and made a “shh!” as Mobius grabbed the diaper bag.

“That’s right,” Mobius answered.

Sylvie dragged her feet next to Mobius as he brought her inside. “We’re going to find Loki a few of his big boy books first and then we’ll sit and look at some picture books, alright?” 

Both Loki and Sylvie seemed to be maybe four or five at the moment. Just old enough to understand the value of a book and therefore appreciate the library to its fullest potential. Loki pulled on Mobius’ arm, yanking on him, and pulling him to go explore. 

“Sylvie, can you come explore with me and Loki? It’ll be fun, I promise.”

Loki browsed with wide eyes through the aisles. 

Perhaps this library wasn’t the most impressive he had ever been in, but there was something incredibly tantalizing to the volumes on the shelves. No matter the actual quantity, it still felt impressive. Sylvie touched the displays and sat down with Mobius when Loki found an aisle he knew he should look through. Mobius would open any book he could find that had pictures. He showed her books about dinosaurs or machines or mushrooms or ancient pottery. Anything that could keep her momentarily busy. 

Once Loki had made a hefty stack, he picked it up to show Mobius. 

“Wow, you’re really strong, huh?” 

“Yep!” 

“Do you think we can find Sylvie some books to read?” 

“Mhm! I’m all done,” Loki concluded.

 

Mobius led them to the kids area. “Alright now, let’s pick out some picture books for daddy to read,” he instructed them, “two each.”

Loki and Sylvie each picked out their books: Cars and Trucks from A to Z, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Green Eggs and Ham, and Corduroy. Loki and Sylvie loved Corduroy because they thought he looked quite like their busy bear which Sylvie had taken out of the diaper bag and carried around with her as she looked. 

Mobius took a look at the longer Sheakspearian play and handed it back to Loki. “Can we pick something a little shorter, buddy?” 

Loki stuck out his lower lip annoyedly and took it back, returning with Frog and Toad are Friends. 

“Oh! How did you know? That one’s my favorite!” Mobius told him excitedly. 

That was enough to make Loki smile.

Mobius quietly read aloud in the corner to them. At first the littles were content just listening and pointing at the pictures to make silly remarks, but very quickly, Sylvie started to play with the snaps on her bear’s clothes, and Loki got distracted by some of the toys that the library kept. 

Mobius set down the last book. “Sylvie, what do you say we find some books to check out for you to read at home?” 

She didn’t like this idea, but agreed. Mobius showed her some of the bigger kid books and made some suggestions. She ended up taking an interest in the Percy Jackson series, adding a couple on to Loki’s pile. 

 

While walking to the counter to sign up for library cards and check out the books, Sylvie suddenly paused, noticing a group of old women doing crafts at a table. She caught up with Mobius. “Daddy! Daddy look!” she whispered loudly. 

Mobius looked where she was pointing. Loki turned his attention as well. 

“Jus’ like daddy!” she pointed out, correctly. The women were all knitting on wooden sticks and with colorful skeens of yarn. She hadn’t kept her volume down, as many members of the group looked up. 

Mobius embarrassedly tried to quiet her down, but too late: The old ladies had already taken notice of the littles and were waving at them, which Sylvie took as an invitation. 

She looked up at Mobius for reassurance. 

“Excuse me, can you hold these for a second?” he asked the librarian.

“Yep, your library cards will take a few moments until they’re ready, anyway,” the clerk replied. 

Mobius followed Sylvie and picked Loki up with him. 

“Hello deary!” one of the old ladies greeted the little girl.

“Hi!” Sylvie greeted back, her eyes darting between interesting projects. “What are you making?” 

“We’re making Christmas gifts, dear. Do you and your daddy want to help? -Oh and you’ve got a baby brother, too! Isn’t he adorable?” 

Loki sucked on his thumb and grinned at the acknowledgement, even though he was not a baby. 

“Sorry, you’ll have to excuse them, it’s our first time at the library,” Mobius said, his mind filled more with thoughts about the waiting stack of books on the counter and how impatient the librarian must be feeling than what he was saying. But he paused, “is that a fan lace stitch?” 

“It is...”

“Oh man, I’ve been trying to get the hang of that one forever!” 

“Sit down, I’ll show you.”

“No, I couldn’t possibly-”

“Sit! Sit!” Loki and Sylvie chanted, forgetting where they were. 

“Remember how we talk in the library?” Mobius cautioned. 

Loki and Sylvie suddenly put fingers to their lips. 

“That’s right, we have to be quiet.” 

“Aw, such well behaved littles,” the woman remarked, starting a new row to demonstrate the technique for Mobius. 

Another one of the knitters found some extra needles and asked Sylvie if she knew how to knit. Sylvie shook her head, it was never something she found particularly interesting. “Let’s learn then, shall we?”

“Okay.” 

Sylvie picked out some yarn and the old woman taught her the basics. 

Loki shifted back and forth in Mobius’ lap. After a few minutes of not having all of the world’s attention, he started to whine and throw his little fit.

“Sorry buddy, you’re just a little young to be knitting,” Mobius commented, kissing the baby on the cheek. He would’ve gone for the top of the head, but Loki was slightly too tall for that in this position.  

“But I bet the baby wants to play with the yarn, though, doesn’t he?” one of the old ladies asked. 

The hobbyists gathered their yarn scraps into a pile for him to play with. Loki made a happy babble to Mobius as he stuck his hands in the pile of varying textures and colors of string. 

“Is that fun?” Mobius asked as Loki tried his best to ball it all up. Loki nodded and stuck a thumb in his mouth. Mobius responded by finding Loki’s pacifier in his pocket and shoving the nipple into Loki’s mouth. 

Loki started sorting the strands by color and then by length. 

“What a smart little boy!”

Loki grinned and did a little bounce on Mobius’ lap, causing his daddy to slip a stitch and almost ruin his knit. “Careful there,” Mobius reminded him. 

 

After a good 20 minutes, Loki shifted, wetting himself as he did so, and becoming suddenly alarmed when he remembered he was wearing only a pull-up and not a diaper. 

“Ope, there’s our cue,” Mobius commented when Loki gave him a concerned, misty-eyed look. 

Sylvie held up the square she had made. 

“Okay, let’s bind it off so you can take your creation home,” the old lady told her. She showed Sylvie the motions and Sylvie showed Mobius her multicolored square of garter stitch. 

“Hey, that looks great! Make a couple more and we can make it into a quilt or something. I think your car seat might need a new travel blankie, don’t you?” Sylvie nodded and let Loki look at the square for a few moments, turning it over in his hands and feeling the texture. 

“Thank you for the lesson today, any chance we can meet with y’all again?” 

“We’re here every Sunday from noon til three. Come join us any time.”

“Thank you, it’s been nice meeting you gals. Loki? Sylvie? Can you say thank you?” 

“Tank you!” 

“Thanks!” 

Mobius waved back at them as he brought Loki and Sylvie to the bathroom.  

“So what are you going to make me next?” Sylvie asked as Mobius changed Loki into a proper diaper. 

“What are you going to make me next?” Mobius replied. 

The question caught Sylvie off guard, she stiffened and paused. 

“Now you know how to knit, I'm expecting some nice gifts,” he joked. 

“Am I still going to get some?” 

“Of course you are! I wouldn’t have this hobby if I wasn’t going to use it, now would I?” 

“Ooh! What do Loki and I get?” 

“That’s a surprise. But you and Loki can always look for patterns for me to play around with.” 

“Baby hewp?” Loki babbled behind his pacifier.

“Baby Loki can help, but only if daddy gets to do this:” Mobius planted a raspberry on Loki’s belly making Loki squeal and laugh like it always did. “Now, let’s go get those cards and books,” he said, lifting Loki down and pulling the little’s pants up. 

“Bookies!” Loki clapped. 

“Library voices, please,” Mobius reminded as he opened the door.

Chapter Text

It was unfortunate for poor Sylvie that today was the day of Mobius’s very fancy, very adult, office Christmas party. She had actually looked forward to it, and so had Loki. The event was supposedly black tie boujee, their favorite earthly aesthetic, and to have lots of delicious free alcohol. What had upset Sylvie so much, is that she was very small today. Much smaller than her usual headspace, probably closer to a year old than her normal minimum of two.

It upset her more than it did Loki or Mobius; they seemed delighted to have a sweet little girl to take care of.

Thor didn’t have much to say, as he had plans today to meet with Dr. Strange and wouldn’t see them until he met them at the event, but he had picked her up before he left, gave her a big kiss on the forehead, and called her the sweetest baby girl.

She hadn’t been so sweet to Loki, though.

While Mobius had spent the morning putting up his own Christmas decor, cooking a dish for the party, preparing a speech, and finishing up some paperwork, Loki had spent the morning as Sylvie's primary caregiver. It was an unusual configuration of roles for them, so unusual that Sylvie didn’t even really have a nickname for Loki as a parental figure.

He didn’t mind caring for her of course, the difficult part came from the fact that Sylvie was in that “just learning how to walk” phase, which meant she was up and moving constantly and Loki was almost continuously chasing her around the house, shutting doors and keeping her out of places she shouldn’t be. It also meant she was especially prone to tantrums but couldn’t really form the words to express what she wanted. 

After her afternoon nap, they started getting ready for the party. Loki gave Sylvie a bath and got her all dressed in a pretty green velvet dress. It was a short, baby-doll dress and had puffed sleeves, and ruffles over the shoulders that connected with the skirt in a sort of overall-like way. It was so fancy, it even had a separate diaper cover, also velvet. She was quite proud of it and excited to show it off. She was not, however, excited about the velvet booties that also came with the outfit, that Loki and Mobius made her wear, fearing she’d get cold in her favorite Mary Janes.

Loki finally got a shower and wore a very smart black suit with a silk green bowtie.

When Sylvie couldn’t hear, Mobius made some comments about it that were not suitable for her little ears.

Loki enjoyed hearing those and expressed similar sentiments about Mobius’s outfit, even if it was a fairly basic tuxedo.

 

Loki sat in the front seat of the car while Sylvie took the baby seat in the back and had her diaper bag next to her. She played with the toys and babbled behind her pacifier to Loki and Mobius, who, in exchange, talked to her the whole time.

The S.H.I.E.L.D. office building actually didn’t look cold and sterile tonight. It felt warm and inviting and smelled like fresh baked cookies. It almost felt like a party at someone’s house.

Mobius took Sylvie during the party, holding her on his hip in one arm through most of it and usually with soda in a wine glass in the other hand. Loki comfortably fit into the role of trophy husband during the night. He mingled and laughed with the unnatural chortle rich people always seemed to have while Mobius showed Sylvie off to all his co-workers and watched them all say “aww, what a sweet little girl. How old is she?” and similar things. Sylvie didn’t say much; she didn’t feel like it.

When Mobius excused himself to use the lavatories, he handed her to Loki. Her first motion was to dip her fingers into Loki’s wine. Loki moved it out of her reach, “babies don’t get to drink wine,” he told her, “silly girl.”

“Pwease?” 

“No, not until you’re big again.” 

She moved to put her hands on his forehead, hoping to enchant him. 

“I don’t think so,” he said, pulling away and furrowing his brow. 

Sylvie frowned and stuck her wineless fingers in her mouth, anyway. 

They walked around and found Thor and Dr. Strange. It was unsettling seeing Thor in a tuxedo, he did not seem the type for one. Even at an event like this.

“There she is! Princess Sylvie!” he proudly announced as Loki set her down, letting her toddle to him. Sylvie clapped at the announcement, excited by it. Her dress flourished as Thor picked her up. Everyone in that room had interactions with Sylvie fairly commonly, or had at least met her- in fact, Bucky and Scott were regulars at Loki and Sylvie’s daycare- but no one had ever seen her regress so young, and she seemed to be the only guest in headspace, at least that’s what Loki was thinking.

“Have you guys seen the littles room? She might have fun there,”  Bucky commented.

“Yeah… but I won't,” Loki said, taking another sip of pinot noir.

Sylvie looked at him with pained eyes, like she was going to cry or throw another fit.

Loki sighed, “fine. C’mon,” he said while taking Sylvie back from Thor’s arms. She sucked on her thumb and curled her forefinger around her nose. “Is it pacifier time, then?” Loki asked.

Sylvie nodded and Loki searched for her bag, eventually finding it with other bags and coats in a small office. He sat down in a clear spot on the desk as he rooted through, finding her pacifier and pegasus and taking a moment to just sit with her quietly and rock her back and forth. She seemed to enjoy it. “Do we need to give you a change?” he asked while they were there. He checked her diaper just to be sure when she didn’t answer. 

She tried to push his hands away. 

“Look, either you tell me- and be honest- or I need to check myself,” 

“All dry!” she whined. 

“Are you? I don’t want you to get your dress ruined with a leak,” 

“Yeah! All dry!” she lied. 

Loki knew she was lying, but if she wanted a rash or to get her pretty new dress soiled in public, that was her choice. He had done what he could, and he’d try again later. 

“Ready to go play then?” he asked. Sylvie nodded and motioned to be picked up. 

She babbled in his arms, before putting her arms around him and snuggling into his neck, “baba,” she said. 

“Is that what you’re going to start calling me?”

She meant it to be more baby jargon, but sure, “baba” was a fine nickname. “Baba Woki” she smiled.

He grinned at how ridiculous the name was, bearing a striking resemblance to Thor as he did so, even if they weren’t actually related.

They reached the littles room and Loki opened the door. It was some kind of conference room or office, perhaps a break room as it didn’t have many desks or furniture. There were a couple toys scattered around, but not much else.

Sylvie was allowed to crawl around and play with whatever toys she found. From where Loki was sitting, it was very obvious her diaper was sagging, but he didn’t comment; he’d let her play until she started getting fussy.

She sat by a xylophone and played for a while. Other littles that were in the room weren’t really there to play though, it seemed to be more of just a safe spot for stopping tantrums, changing diapers, and taking naps. After talking to a couple of other caregivers, Loki learned most of the littles were playing outside and were probably just coming in as it was starting to get dark. 

Of course, to no one’s surprise, Sylvie’s diaper eventually did start to bother her, and she got fussy; “Do you want to go out on the patio and play with the other littles?” 

“No.”

“Why not?” 

“Don’ wanna.” 

“Do you need a change?” 

“... No.”

That was enough for Loki; he wasn't going to deal with her being fussy all night. It was easier to just deal with one tantrum and get it over with.

“You do,” he said, laying out the changing pad, “lie down.”

When Sylvie didn’t comply, he made her lie down. It was a last resort, and not a good solution, but it worked. She started to cry, but Loki worked as fast as he could to ensure she didn’t get any more upset, remembering to give her her favorite dinosaur as a distraction. He took everything and put it away, discarded the diaper, and put on some hand sanitizer. That would do until he could get to a sink.

Sylvie chose to hang onto his hand and waddle instead of being carried to show off how much of a big girl she was. But of course, she wasn’t a big girl, and ended up stumbling over her own booties, falling in the hallway. “We’re not going to cry,” Loki softly said as he scooped her up, repeating the words she had said to him whenever he looked like he was going to tear up. Her face was still tearstained from the overdramatic diaper change, but she nodded and didn’t cry. 

“Does babygirl want to see daddy?” he asked. 

“Daddy n’ baba n’ baby,” she answered.

“All of us? That’s a pretty tall order, I don’t know if that’s possible,” he responded sarcastically. It took him a moment to come to grips with how much it sounded like something Mobius would say. 

Mobius was, of course, overjoyed to see them and offered to take Sylvie so Loki could get some food, which really meant more drinks. It wasn’t like Loki was going to be driving, sober or otherwise, so Mobius let him.

Loki got loud and merry when he was drunk, it was very much the same as when he was little: He laughed at everything and just wanted to sing and dance. 

  He belted out some carols he had learned over the past few days, which Mobius and Sylvie watched, unsure if they should laugh or feel a deep sense of second-hand embarrassment. They decided a smile was appropriate, as Mobius got compliments about his partner’s harmonious chords. 

  He got Sylvie a plate of food while Loki was on the mic, mostly small finger foods that would be easy for her. They went to sit down but Loki grabbed Mobius’s arm before they could. “May I have a dance, please?” he asked, very politely. 

“Thor, can you take Sylvie for a minute?” Mobius asked. Thor was sitting on a couch nearby and gave Mobius a big thumbs up before taking the little girl. 

  Loki was a very good dancer when he wanted to be. Mobius felt also very lucky that they weren’t making a scene. No, many guests had taken to dancing in the big open room, Loki and Mobius just happened to be the best at it. At first, Loki had the lead. He used broad, sweeping, balletic movements that swept Mobius off his feet and made him chuckle like a kid. But Loki was rather serious about it, dipping him low and kissing up his arm like they were Gomez and Morticia Addams. 

The next song, Mobius took the lead, for a very simple, swaying, slow dance. Loki looked at him with eyes full of the purest kind of affection, and they leaned against each other through the end of the song. Doing a gentle, barely noticeable, box step. 

Sylvie watched all of this from her spot on Thor’s knee across the room. She ate her dinner with only minimal fussing (he’d have to kill her before she ate the gross slimy eggplant. Disgusting.) and messes (she got a splotch of mac and cheese on her dress, but that was mostly Thor’s fault, as he wasn’t exactly used to feeding a nearly 6 foot tall toddler on his lap). 

She was bounced on his knee after getting cleaned up. Unsteadily, she braced herself on one arm, and pointed at Mobius and Loki dancing, babbling to Thor about it. “Look there’s your daddies!” Thor told her. 

Sylvie frowned, that wasn’t what she meant. She tried again, adding a wiggle to get her point across. 

“Do you want to go dance?” he asked. 

The other heroes looked at Thor as he started to get up with the baby girl in his arms. “One moment,” he told them.

He brought her to the dancefloor and let her step on his feet, holding her arms to help her balance as if she was just learning to take her first steps, let alone dance. Thor was not as good of dancer as Loki, and even though she was light, it wasn’t exactly comfortable, but they made it work and were surprisingly not the worst dancers on the floor. 

Eventually, he decided it would be easier to just pick her up, swaying back and forth through a slow song, gently dipping her, and moving a little faster with more spins during a faster one. She giggled and squealed, kicking her legs as Thor rocked her in his arms with the music. But all the movement was a bit much for her, and Mobius eventually caught sight of the little girl turning greener than her dress.

He broke away from Loki after a “thank you” and a kiss, and rushed to her. He took her out of Thor’s arms and grabbed her diaper bag before slipping her a motion sickness pill and grabbing her some ginger ale. Ooh ginger ale! That wasn’t something babies usually got to drink. When her stomach settled, she was allowed to return to the dancing and Mobius tried to take his significant other back in his arms. 

Sylvie seemed more energetic after her head stopped spinning. Loki, however, was not. Quite the opposite actually, the break had destroyed his momentum and he collapsed on the couch next to Thor before Mobius could take him back out on the floor. 

Mobius, who only had a sip of Loki’s champagne, let Sylvie dance with him. It was exactly the way you’d expect when you set down a toddler on the dance floor, and Mobius tried not to break down laughing at how ridiculous she looked as she wiggled to the music. He knew she could dance well enough to make her a sight to behold when she wanted to be elegant. But that time was not right now, and she didn’t seem to care. 

The poor baby wore herself out and rather quickly became tired, snuggling into Mobius’ arms. As soon as he moved her away from the loud music, she passed out, just like Loki had. 

Mobius said a few goodbyes and was pleasantly surprised when some of the Avengers team had gifts for Loki, Sylvie, and himself. He only just remembered that he had theirs in the car and rushed out to grab each fancy, wrapped, gift from the trunk, somehow managing to balance them in one arm while carrying Sylvie in the other. They all had golden paper and intricately tied bows on top. 

He brought them in and distributed them accordingly. Some people got more personal gifts than others, and littles, even if not regressed at the moment, were usually handed some kind of toy appropriate to their headspace. 

Two of the littles, Bucky and Scott, chose to use their gifts from Mobius, Loki, and Sylvie, as the one present their caregivers let them open before Christmas. Immediately slipping into headspace as they did so, much to the annoyance of Hope and Sam who’d now be having to look after them. The annoyance was directed at Mobius of course, and not their respective littles. 

Bucky was very happy to receive a new Lego set. It was made for older kids, and even though Loki and Sylvie had both whined over wanting it, they knew it wouldn’t be something they could complete. Hell, it may have even been too complicated for Bucky, but maybe Sam would be able to help him. 

Sylvie had helped pick out Scott’s gift. He got a new set of Hot Wheels tracks that made loops. He already had quite a large collection, and it was hard to find ones he didn’t have, but Sylvie found him the perfect one. His face lit up and he almost howled with excitement. He couldn’t wait to play with it. Hope frowned at Mobius, the boy already had so many Hot Wheels tracks, he definitely did not need more.

Both Loki and Sylvie were asleep. Of course in very different ways: Sylvie was in that gentle baby sleep where she looked angelically cute and effortlessly comfortable, dozing on Mobius’s shoulder. While Loki, on the other hand, was drunk napping, comatosed from food and alcohol. Thor carried him bridal style and tried not to get Loki drool on his arm.

Mobius said his goodbyes and exchanged lots of hugs. 

Loki slumped over uncomfortably in the front seat while Sylvie was buckled into her baby seat and given a kiss on her forehead. 

Mobius drove home with a smile on his face. That was pretty successful for a party with both of the Lokis. There were presents in the back seat by Sylvie, many rattled and jingled, and he was very impressed the tot didn’t wake up. She was a rather light sleeper, but apparently it was still enough for her to handle. 

Mobius carried the both of them in the best he could. He put Loki on the bed, only slightly disappointed that the endeavors they had discussed earlier in the day would not come to fruition tonight. And he gave Sylvie a much needed diaper change before swaddling her in some comfortable pajamas and tucking her into the crib, pacifier bobbing in her mouth quietly. 

 

 

 

Bonus doodle:

Chapter Text

“I can’t come in today… I know…well, actually now that you say that I’m not sure… I’ll check, but I don’t think I can leave them with a babysitter… Yes, both of them.” 

Mobius was on the phone this morning with his boss. It was already 8 AM, yet he was pacing the kitchen in a shower cap and a bathrobe. 

He was supposed to be taking the littles to daycare this morning but daycare was closed due to a horrible lice outbreak because Scott thought it would be cool to play with other bugs that weren’t his ants. 

Loki and Sylvie were still asleep in bed, pacifiers in and footie pajamas on, and Mobius was getting ready to rip the bandaid off. 

As he noticed Loki start to move, he picked the boy up and took him for a change in the nursery. Loki slowly opened his eyes, at first fluttering his lashes and smiling, but his expression quickly froze and twisted with panic. Mobius suddenly remembered how odd he must’ve looked to Loki. His mustache was shaved, his silver hair was pulled into the shower cap and covered in soap, he probably smelled overwhelmingly of tea tree oil, and he was wearing only his red bathrobe and slippers (the bathrobe was tied shut, of course). Loki’s crying woke Sylvie up. 

“Shh shh, it’s okay, we’re just taking a bit of a self care day,” he said as he picked Loki up off the mat. Loki touched Mobius’s upper lip as if confirming the facial hair was really gone. 

Sylvie rushed into the room to see what the fuss was about. Mobius’ back was turned to her but Loki looked pained and scared. Mobius set Loki down, and covered his upper lip so Sylvie wouldn’t be alarmed. She usually kept her headspace slightly above Loki’s, so maybe she’d understand. “We’re going to play spa today, alright Sylvie?” he asked. She moved his hand from his mouth and witnessed the horror for herself. She looked shocked and definitely found it upsetting, but she didn’t cry like Loki had. 

Mobius sighed, it was at least a little bit of a blow to the ol’ self esteem, but he had liked the mustache, too, so he understood where they were coming from. 

He got Sylvie a change and brought the two of them out to the kitchen where he explained everything, even if they wouldn’t understand; “Listen, so daycare’s closed today due to lice, do you know what lice is? They’re these little bugs that nest in your hair and itch really bad…”  He gave them each a bowl of dry cheerios in their highchairs as he went on. There was lots of scratching, so Mobius decided to pull out all the stops.

Loki was especially upset that Croki and all the plush toys had to be quarantined. 

Mobius told Thor about all of this from the patio deck and noted Thor scratching his beard. “You too, huh?” he asked. 

“I guess,” Thor frowned. 

“Alright, c’mon. I’ll see if we have enough shampoo for you, too.”

Having Thor around was just as much of a blessing as it was a curse. At least it allowed for Mobius to wash the stuff out of his hair and have peace of mind as someone else watched over the kiddos, but it also meant cleaning up a lot more hair and tears after Thor would inevitably have to shave his luscious beard, and another hour or two of sitting in the bathroom and combing out bugs. 

Thor hurried up the deck and sat in the living room by Loki and Sylvie who were both sitting in a playpen and seemed to be in a very bad mood. 

Mobius rinsed the last of the shampoo out of his hair and got properly dressed. He sighed knowing that he had the shortest hair and would take the shortest time; no one else would be as easy. 

He retrieved Loki first. Loki whimpered and whined the whole time, but he seemed to like the feeling of the warm comb brushing through his hair. Sylvie reacted almost identically. 

Ironically, Thor was the most difficult and almost had a full fit when Mobius told him that they’d have to shave his beard. When he had calmed down, he sat on the lip of the bathtub. Mobius crouched next to him and very gently got rid of it, talking to him like he often had to talk to Loki. “Look at that. See? It’s not that bad. It’s just hair and it’ll come right back. Look, I had to get rid of mine, too,” he gently spoke. Obviously, Mobius’s little mustache wasn’t really comparable to Thor’s thick 8 inch long beard, but the sentiments attached to both were the same. 

Thor defeatedly stepped out of the bathroom with all of his heavy hair barely tucked into his shower cap. Loki and Sylvie mourned the loss of the beloved beard. 

 

The next few days were tough, but the bugs cleared up for Mobius and Thor relatively quickly. The bedding was routinely washed and carpets and furniture were vacuumed. It was lucky that the week had been slow for S.H.I.E.L.D. as about half the team was dealing with the same problem. Unfortunately, the bugs had not cleared up for Sylvie and Loki. 

Loki sat on the floor while Mobius sat on the closed lid of the toilet, supporting Loki’s shoulders and back upright with his calves and knees as he brushed through the toddler’s hair. It was a late night, and it had been a long week. But he noticed quickly that something was off. Loki and Sylvie hadn’t been itching at all today, yet he still kept finding them. He looked at the bowl of water he had been setting whatever he found in, only to suddenly realize it was clear aside from a couple stray black hairs. 

Mobius stopped to process that and then let out a long sigh, before pressing his head into his hands. “Loki, are you casting a projection right now?” 

Loki grimaced and stiffened. 

“Have you been casting one on Sylvie, too?” 

He fidgeted silently. 

“Why are we doing that?” Mobius asked. 

Loki had a lot of reasons for doing that. “Um… dada n’ Tor home, n’ brushy nice… n’ funny,” he timidly added at the end, admitting that it was kind of a prank to him. 

“You little trouble maker,” Mobius chided, “C’mon, you’re going to tell Thor yourself about all this, and then say you’re sorry.” He felt that would be the most appropriate punishment for such behavior. He knew that Loki being little would cause Thor to go easy on him. Loki however, didn’t consider this and panicked, starting to cry. 

They knocked on Thor’s door and the big god opened it. “Loki here has something to tell you,” Mobius said with his arms crossed. “Go on,” he encouraged Loki. 

“No lice…” he started. 

Mobius clarified, “we did have lice, four days ago but it’s been gone for at least two. Now, tell him what you did.”

Thor looked a little bit upset as he anticipated what was coming. 

“Um… baby n’ sis like brushy n’ wan Tor an’ daddy stay home…” Loki said through sniffles and tears. He kept trying to speak, but after that it was a jumbled mess of sobs. “Big sorry,” was all that was made out after that as he hugged Thor. 

Thor’s expression mellowed as he picked Loki up. “You know I’m usually at home or you can come with me? Right, baby brother? There is no need to hold me hostage with your fake head parasites.”   

Loki giggled a little bit through his tears as Thor tickled his head, mimicking the bugs.  

“C’n Seevee?” he asked. 

“Of course she can,” Thor added, “and as for your brushing dilemma, I’m sure your daddy does not mind combing your hair, either.” 

Loki nodded and looked to Mobius for confirmation. Mobius tiredly smiled and hugged the brothers before taking Loki back. “Well, I think it’s someone’s bedtime,” he said. “They’ve got a big day tomorrow,” he told Thor as he made his way back to the main house with a little Loki in his arms. 

Thor waved before shutting his door. 

Although Mobius thought she had already gone to sleep, Sylvie was still awake, sitting up in bed and reading a field guide to local flowers. She noted how tired Mobius looked as they came into the room. “You guys don’t have lice,” he told her. 

“What?” 

“What I kept finding was an illusion this little guy cast,” he said as he set Loki down on the bed. 

Sylvie considered smothering Loki with a pillow or throwing the book at his head. She might’ve if he wasn’t little. 

“Excuse me,” she said as she got up. She walked out the front door of the house. When she felt she was a good distance away, she screamed with frustration, enough to still rattle the windows and make the lights flicker. Unlike Loki, she had not treasured these past couple days. She found the sharp nit comb painful on her scalp and the whole process tedious. She hadn’t even regressed after the first day like Loki had, so she had just spent the day staring at her phone and chewing stick after stick of gum as Mobius brushed through her hair. She had been brushing it herself, but Mobius said she wasn’t paying enough attention and ended up doing it for her.

She came back and slammed the door. Flopping down on the bed and turning off the light. “Good Night,” she said forcefully before turning away from Loki. Mobius was similarly cold, but he still held Loki, almost constricting him with the tightness of the hug, as Loki dumbly cried behind his pacifier about how he had sabotaged himself and everyone around him for his own selfish reasons that didn’t even pay off. The one reassurance provided was a light kiss that Mobius pressed on his cheek. “Goodnight, Loki,” he yawned, “I love you.”

Loki sniffled and hiccuped at the forgiveness. “Bu’ bad,” 

“You’re not bad, you just didn’t do the right thing. That’s okay, you’ll learn. You’re just a baby,” Mobius whispered to him as he rolled Loki over and the boy tried to curl into his chest. “You’ll learn, and you’ll grow. It’s alright,” he said, feeling Loki’s tears on his shirt. “It’s alright.”

Chapter Text

Of course, it didn’t take Mobius’ mustache long to grow back, and Thor at least had some stubble that was starting to become a beard. 

It had been about two weeks since the lice incident, and Thor had been in the car to drop Loki and Sylvie off at daycare many times, even sometimes coming in to say goodbye on days when Loki, and now even Sylvie, as she grew attached to him, was particularly fussy. 

“So when do I get to look after them?” he asked one day. 

Mobius hadn’t been expecting that question and almost choked on his coffee. 

Thor patted him on the back. 

“Why don’t we do a trial run first?” Mobius suggested.

“Trial run?” 

“Well a Loki isn’t exactly easy to take care of. How about tomorrow you can pick them up from daycare, I’ll give you some instructions, and you can have some alone time with them? It’ll be only an hour or two, but that should get you enough time to get a feel for it.” 

Thor nodded. That sounded like a good idea. 

The next day, Thor leaned against a spaceship he had been issued by S.H.I.E.L.D., as it was the only thing he was qualified to drive, in the daycare parking lot. He talked with Hope while they waited for the tiny bell atop the old building to ring so they could come in and pick up their respective littles. Hope had picked Scott up every day in a different car, and today it was a black station wagon with a big red and yellow racing stripe. 

The little bell rang and Thor was able to come in and find his little girls. It made him nervous that they didn’t immediately run out the door like most of the other littles. He stepped inside to talk with the caretakers and found that Loki and Sylvie had both been around a year old most of the day but Scott and Bucky had still been nice enough to play with them. 

“Tor!” they both said as he came in to get them. It was apparent to him that they were both just old enough to walk, Sylvie even showed him a cool adult sized push toy she was playing with. Thor did his best to balance one of them in each arm. Sylvie struggled as she was picked up around the midsection before being able to sit comfortably.

Both of the littles were wearing matching dresses and booties that were reminiscent of the ones Sylvie wore to the Christmas party, with puffed sleeves and a babydoll fit around the waist. Loki’s dress was a light pink while Sylvie’s was a golden yellow, and each had a bedazzled crown on the chest.

He brought them out to the spaceship and they excitedly let him buckle them in. The five point buckles were similar enough to car seats that Mobius felt that the extra support wasn’t really needed. Being in the small spaceship was surprisingly not as interesting to the littles as the car was. Probably because the ride in the spaceship was so much shorter and didn’t have as many windows for them to look out. Thor landed the ship and helped the two littles inside. 

He set them in the playpen with some toys that Loki often played with, as well as Sylvie’s triceratops and pegasus, using playtime as a distraction while he scoured the kitchen. There was some extra pureed food in the fridge Mobius had made last time Loki was this little. Thor buckled them into highchairs and put their bibs on. He sat on the dining table and fed them each alternately with one spoon, but after four bites, Loki refused and shook her head, even as Thor poked her with the spoon on the cheek. “Fine, Sylvie gets an extra bite then,” he said. 

He consulted the guide Mobius had left him on Loki not eating. He remembered seeing it when he skimmed through before going to pick them up from daycare. “If Loki won’t eat, try to encourage him, but don’t force it,” it said. 

Thor sighed, “Are you done, sister?” he asked.

Loki nodded.

“Sylvie? How about you?” 

Sylvie shook her head, and Thor tried to give her another spoonful but the little girl reached out for it.

“Would you like to take the spoon?” Thor asked.

Sylvie nodded and bounced up and down for emphasis. “Bi’ giwl!” She said. It was one of the only things she had said since Thor picked them up. Before that, he hadn’t even really been sure if Sylvie was old enough for words. 

When Sylvie was done, and set her spoon down, Thor wiped up their mouths with the bottom of their bibs which made both girls giggle. 

Thor brought the girls back to the couch and let them look through the pages of the book, even though it wouldn’t mean anything to them. 

“‘Check diapers every hour or so or if you notice them getting fidgety..’” he read aloud, “when was the last time you two had a change?” he asked as he set it down. Loki played with the hem of her dress as soon as Thor asked.  “Loki, are you wet?” 

Loki looked away. She was unsure about the idea of getting a diaper change from someone who wasn’t Mobius. Even the daycare instructor, Ms. Vaughn, was on thin ice. Despite that, Thor got Loki to lie down and unsnapped her diaper cover for a check.

Loki, at least, was going to need a change. He decided to check on Sylvie, too. He found out very quickly that she was rather touchy about diaper checks and diapers in general, as she almost fought him, insisting that she was a big girl who didn’t use them or need them. But Loki very helpfully distracted her enough for Thor to get a good look. “Loki, how can I tell if Sylvie’s wet?” Thor asked, not finding a wetness indicator like Loki’s had. 

“Uh…” Loki looked over as Sylvie hid her red face. Loki decided to show and not tell. She did the check Sylvie and Mobius usually did, sliding two fingers into the leg of Sylvie’s diaper. “Wet,” she told Thor. 

Thor took Loki to wash her hands, slightly grossed out. As Sylvie put a throw pillow over her face in embarrassment and was left on the couch for a split second. 

Thor brought them to the nursery, and changed Sylvie first. Loki noticed how lost Thor looked after untaping Sylvie’s diaper and did her best to help, grabbing Thor the wipes, and baby powder, and lotions, and also making sure Sylvie had a pacifier, and something to cover her face if she wanted. Which of course, she did.  

“Thank you,” Thor told Loki when all was done. Loki nodded and let Thor repeat the same motions on her, calmly. 

“Uh-oh,” Thor said. 

Sylvie looked at him nervously, “what wrong?”

“Apologies princesses, that was our last diaper,” Thor told Loki. Loki whimpered as Thor prepared a cloth swim diaper for her instead. “But it’s okay. I’m sure your daddy can take us shopping when he gets home.” 

He fastened the snaps on Loki’s diaper and velcroed up the cover. “What do you two think? Play in here or in the playpen?” 

“Hewe!” Both of the babies agreed. Loki sat down on the floor and made herself comfortable as Thor opened up the toy box, letting Sylvie also look inside and find her toys. When they had gotten settled and started playing, Thor slipped out only for a split second, to use the restroom and rushed back. 

But of course, he came back to a mess, as apparently they had thought it was a very fun idea to get into the baby powder and dump it out. Everywhere. 

Thor sighed, “mischievous little monsters,” he muttered under his breath. Loki sneezed, sending a powdery cloud away from her. 

Thor did his best to clean them up without giving them a bath, and set them in the crib. “Loki, can you use a little magic to help me clean this up?” he asked. 

Loki didn’t respond, but she could tell she was in trouble, and started to cry. Sylvie quickly followed and Thor realized there wouldn’t be much he could do, “shh shh, just… one minute and we’ll go play more… just… let me fix this, sisters,” he tried to reassure them. 

Thor slid the bars up just to contain them while he grabbed the vacuum. Of course, the loud noise did not help, but Thor just wanted the mess to be gone before Mobius got home. 

The vacuum didn’t catch everything, but it did enough for Thor to put it to the side and open a window to let the room air out. 

He sighed and took down the railings. He sat with the girls on the bed, bringing them close. “What do you two think? Is it naptime or shall we play more?” he asked as Loki sighed and put Thor’s arm around her so she could snuggle into his chest and Sylvie tried to sprawl out in his lap. After receiving no response, Thor got down and tried his best to make them comfortable with plushies and pillows, and blankets and pacifiers. They seemed calm until Thor slid the bars up, and then there became a problem. Loki and Sylvie both whined tearfully.

“Do you not want bottles?” Thor asked. 

That was enough to silence the two. 

Thor took a long time, as he read through the instructions. When he came back, Sylvie was bracing against the rail of the crib, and reaching down to grab a stuffy which had fallen on the floor. Loki on the other hand, was playing with a couple crib toys, but she bounced up and down and babbled excitedly when Thor came in. 

Thor dropped the rails down again, and assumed he’d be holding the bottles like he had seen Mobius and Sylvie do with Loki, but no. Sylvie wanted to take hers herself, and because Sylvie did it, Loki felt like she needed to as well. 

“Well that’s nice,” Thor thought to himself, getting ready to hop down and play some video games while they napped. But Loki grabbed onto his shirt. “What’s wrong sister?” he asked. 

Loki let out a sad coo. 

“Would you like me to stay?” he asked. 

Loki nodded. 

“Alright. Fine,” Thor replied, he was tired anyway. He climbed in and put the bars up. Sylvie laid on her back with her bottle while Loki cuddled into Thor’s arms.

“May I lie down?” Thor asked as the bars pressed into his back. Loki nodded and Thor slowly maneuvered himself so he was comfortably resting on his back, with his head on a pillow next to Sylvie. Loki laid on her belly on top of Thor. 

Thor had been a bit annoyed with the littles, but as he felt the warmth of the two press into him, he had softened and felt some sort of paternal instinct arise in him, feeling the need to protect and care for them. A grin spread across his face as he looked between the two little girls next to them, especially as Sylvie glanced at him out of the corner of her eye while drinking from her bottle. She kicked her legs in the air absently as she did so. 

Thor tried not to laugh or squirm at the noise of Loki suckling on her bottle right next to his ear. It was an odd noise that he was not used to, but her little snuffles and the rise and fall of her breathing against his chest convinced him to stay still, stroking her hair as he noticed Sylvie’s tiny kicks getting lower and slower before stopping entirely. 

They fell asleep quickly. 

 

When Mobius came home, he was alarmed to find the house silent. He burst into the nursery and was visibly relieved to find all three Asgardians asleep. He smiled at how peaceful they all looked. Sylvie still had the nipple of her bottle in her mouth instead of a pacifier, and Thor was supporting Loki on his chest, the baby girl had her arms wrapped around his neck and her bottle was about to fall out of the crib, sandwiched between the mattress and the bars as she sucked on a pacifier next to her older brother’s ear. 

Mobius reached for the bottle to take it out before it could be broken or lost. Sylvie opened one eye and Mobius lifted her out of the crib, too.

She babbled about her day. 

“Thor and Loki are still sleeping,” he told her as he brought her out to the main area. 

When he had planned today, and even this morning, he had believed Sylvie would do what she normally did, and feel older by the end of the day. He had kind of hoped she would be able to help Thor out, but it looked like he had survived fine with the two littles. 

Sylvie chewed on her triceratops and stared at Mobius expectantly. “What’s up?” he asked her. 

“Dada!” she bounced, reaching out to him. 

Mobius smiled and leaned down onto her level before covering his face with his hands. 

Sylvie gasped and smiled giddily. 

“Peek-a-boo!” he said. 

Sylvie giggled. “Peebaboo!” she mimicked. 

Mobius did it again. “Peek-a-boo!” 

Sylvie moved from sitting criss-cross to sitting on her knees. 

This time, when Mobius covered his face, he kept his hands over his face for longer. “Can you find daddy? Where did he go?” 

Sylvie looked around and then grinned before reaching up and grabbing his hands, pulling them gently from his face. 

“Peek-a-boo!” he said. Sylvie fell backward with a roar of laughter. 

The noise of Sylvie’s little squeal woke Loki up. The feeling of the little stepping on his ribs, in turn, woke up Thor. “Little sister, what’s going on?” he asked. Loki didn’t answer, so Thor paused and listened for a moment, hearing Mobius playing the “this little piggy” game with Sylvie. “Oh, is your daddy home?” he asked. 

Loki looked down at him with a grin. 

Thor got up and removed the side, before hopping down and walking to the door of the nursery. He turned around as he realized his little sister wasn’t next to him. 

“Are you big enough to walk?” He asked as Loki sat on the ledge of the crib.

Loki nodded, but unsurely. She put her feet on the ground cautiously and Thor squatted down to encourage her to walk to him. Loki waddled across the room and when she got to Thor, the big god picked her up. “Look at you, taking your first steps,” he smiled. 

Loki simpered as she was hugged and brought into the living room. 

 

“Well, how was it? Still want to babysit?” Mobius asked. 

Thor grinned. “I think we had a good time,” he said as he set Loki down in the playpen, she was chewing on her thumb so he replaced it with a pacifier. He used “good time” as a way to say “well, no one died. So I guess it went okay.”

“Sorry I didn’t prepare you more, I assumed Sylvie would be able to fill you in. That’s my fault,” Mobius apologized both to Thor and Sylvie, “Yeah, it was all daddy’s fault,” he repeated, baby-talking to Sylvie and squishing her little face. She giggled. 

“Oh, they were both very helpful and informative,” Thor said, “but we did run into a few bumps,” he admitted. 

“Oh?”

“I left for a couple seconds to use the amenities and they got into the baby powder… I tried to clean it up, but the stuff got everywhere. And the nappies on them were the only ones I could find.” 

“Are we really out?” Mobius asked. He excused himself to go check, and sure enough, nothing besides Sylvie’s cloth swim diaper. “I could’ve sworn we had another case back there…” he said, rubbing the back of his head thoughtfully. He checked the diaper bags that got dropped off with them at daycare. One left for each of them. That would last them through a short trip to Mulsby’s market. 

Unfortunately, as Thor and Mobius cleaned up the mess in the other room and prepared the double stroller, Sylvie realized she was about to make another. She looked to Loki for help, but she seemed to be too busy with her toys. She leaned against the side of the playpen for support while Loki kept playing with some wooden animals. “Daddy?” she urgently whined. 

Mobius ran back into the room and kneeled beside her, “Hey, sweetheart, what’s wrong?” 

She looked very upset, “Um!” she said, trying to come up with the words. 

Loki turned to see what had happened and immediately understood why Sylvie was upset. “Seevee mess,” she said.

Sylvie made a sour face at Loki. “No!” she responded. 

Well, she wasn’t lying. She hadn’t made a mess yet, but her stomach was heavily considering it and she didn’t care for the idea much. 

Mobius still sat on the couch, he pet her hair while she kept uncomfortably leaning against the fencing. “Be honest with daddy, do you have to go?” he asked. 

Sylvie slowly nodded. 

“Do you want to try to use the big girl potty?” he asked. 

Sylvie considered and then disappointedly shook her head. She was much too small for that. 

“Alright, so go and then we’ll get you cleaned up and we’ll go to the store. Sound good?” 

Sylvie nodded but it didn’t seem like she was listening, as she rocked back and forth on her knees and looked very focused on something and making an occasional little grunt noise. 

Loki stuck out her tongue in hyperbolic disgust, and shifted her attention to Thor. while Mobius took Sylvie to get cleaned up, the pair played simple games with her like “what’s that color?” and “Can you crawl to big brother?”. Loki didn’t like the crawling one, though, refusing to do it, and found it rather demeaning, a little bit of her big kid brain showing through. 

 

“It’s no fun, is it?” Mobius asked as he carried Sylvie back into the room. She looked vaguely distraught. “No, it isn’t. But you behaved so well for your first time! No tantrum or anything.”

Sylvie nodded, the praise made her feel much better. 

Mobius turned his attention to Thor and Loki. Loki was showing Thor her garbage truck and running it over all her toys. “Are we ready to go?” Mobius asked. 

Loki looked up and smiled before making grabby hands. 

Mobius picked her up in his opposite arm while Thor took the stroller down to the car. 

 

Chapter Text

The car ride was quiet. It wasn’t even dinner time yet, but the girls had a hard time keeping their eyes open, as the world looked like it was the middle of the night. 

When they got there, Mobius set up the stroller and clicked both of the babies in, kissing both of them gently on the head. Each had a pacifier in their mouths which was also clipped to their dresses. 

Thor pushed the stroller while Mobius took the cart, and they conversed to give the littles something to listen to: 

“Do you need anything while we’re here?” Mobius asked.

“Uh…” Thor thought about it, “No, I don’t think so.” 

“Alright, well, while we’re here, I’m going to pick up a second baby car seat for Sylvie.” 

Sylvie looked up hearing her name. 

“Oh, did daddy say your name? Such a big girl for recognizing it all by yourself,” Mobius cooed down to her. 

Sylvie looked up at him with her pacifier in and smiled shyly. If it was anyone else, she would’ve glared, but this was Mobius, and she trusted he was genuine and well meaning. 

They stopped in the little department, which was like a second baby department. Mobius searched for another seat and was pleasantly surprised to find they had options. Loki and Sylvie looked up from playing with the shades of their stroller and their rattle toys. Mobius smiled noting how their dress colors had switched. “pink, purple, blue, or grey?” Mobius asked, pointing to each individual color so they knew what he was talking about. “Purble!” Sylvie blurted. 

Mobius set it in the cart. “You two are such lucky little girls, huh? Getting a new car seat. Now Sylvie doesn’t need to use the big girl one while she’s in diapers,” He spoke. Sylvie went red and tried to hide her face playfully. “Speaking of which, we need to get some for you little stinkers.”

The comment made the two littles giggle. “No, daddy n’ Tor stinky!” Loki was able to say. 

“Daddy and Thor aren’t the ones with potty pants, though, now are we?” Mobius smiled as he wandered up and down the aisle. “What kind do you two want?” he asked. 

Loki liked the green ones with paw prints while Sylvie picked some princess themed ones. Mobius noticed she seemed to be going through a princess phase at the moment, and of course, Loki jumped onto the bandwagon with her. She rather liked princesses, being one herself, it was nostalgic for her, and was one of the few pretend games that wasn’t guaranteed to end in a fight of some sort, as Loki had a much more instinctual grip on the rules. 

Mobius looked around as they passed the produce aisle. “I guess if we were out of diapers, we’re probably running low on food, too, huh?” he reasoned. 

The littles sighed and crossed their arms, accidentally in sync. Shopping for food was so boring! 

“Do not worry princesses, I will take you exploring,” Thor said over their heads.

“Stay away from the toy aisles. The tantrums aren’t gonna be worth it,” Mobius warned as he inspected an avocado. 

Thor gave him a thumbs up and started pushing the stroller away. He removed the shade from the top so the littles could get an easier view of him and so he could reach down and pet their soft hair absently as he strolled through the aisles. That was one nice thing about Loki being cared for by someone, her hair was always soft and fluffy, like it had been washed in the last century. They made a trip around the store, through the home and little aisles and through the clothing departments where Thor jokingly asked the littles what he should wear. Sylvie pointed at a pair of pink swim trunks. “Those are very nice,” Thor commented. 

Loki struggled against her seatbelts. 

“Settle, child,” Thor mumbled as he leaned against the handlebars stroller and felt the fabrics of the nearby clothes. 

“Out!” Sylvie fussed. 

“I know you want to run amok, but I can’t let you.”

Loki played with her buckle. Thor heard a click, but he picked her up before she could make a break for it.

“Naughty girl,” he chuckled. 

Sylvie just pulled at her straps and didn’t think about the buckle. 

“I know some mischief we could get into,” he whispered to them, hoping for distraction. 

The two looked up at him silently with big, excited, eyes. 

“Daddy said we shouldn’t go to the toy aisle, but I think if you two can sit still in your stroller like good girls, a peek wouldn’t hurt.”

That was enough for Sylvie to stop pulling and for Loki to allow herself to be strapped back into her seat. They kicked their legs and sucked on their pacifiers impatiently while Thor stopped to take a look at the video games and infodump, even though the littles didn’t understand a word of it. He seemed particularly excited about one series called “God of War” which he was in, and so was many of the gods. 

“Me?” Loki asked. 

“Um… kind of?” 

Loki looked confused but Thor had already gotten distracted by something else and moved on.

“Toys!” Sylvie reminded. 

“Right, yes, that’s probably a good idea,” Thor suddenly breathed, standing up and moving away from a shiny new console. 

He pushed the stroller to the toy aisle and watched as the faces of the little girls lit up as they got closer. 

He let them walk up and down the aisles and pushed all the buttons that were available. Loki and Sylvie essentially gave Thor their Christmas lists as they excitedly pointed at things. 

“That’s a nice idea, but I don’t know where you’d put it,” Thor commented on a particularly cool bouncy rocking horse. 

“Daycawe” Loki said. 

“That’s… an idea,” Thor said. 

Sylvie pressed buttons on a cat piano that was on her eye level as Thor walked them by, holding their hands so they wouldn’t run off. 

Thor’s phone buzzed. (He had resisted getting one for so long but Mobius insisted he have one after moving in.) He checked it. 

“Getting in line for checkout. Meet me there. Line 2,” the text said. 

“Alright little sisters, we should go.”

The littles both whined.

“Oh, I know. But the toys will still be here next time we need a new one.”

Loki sniffled while Sylvie huffed. 

He met Mobius who immediately noticed the upset babies. “You took them down the toy aisle, didn’t you?” 

Thor timidly nodded. 

As they waited in line, Mobius squatted down by the two of the tots. “How are my little girls? Did Thor show you all the pretty toys?” 

They nodded and Mobius thought about continuing the conversation, but it was his turn and he needed to pay. 

The lady behind the counter watched the two littles sitting in their double stroller. “Aw, are they yours? They’re so cute! How old are they? Aw, are they twins?” she asked. 

“Yeah, they’re both mine; about a year old each,” he answered her. He took a second to answer that last part, turning back to the littles, “What do you think, are you two twins?” 

Loki and Sylvie looked at each other for a moment before coming to a mutual agreement and nodding. Sure, why not?

The lady was absolutely charmed by the tots. Most people were. 

She smiled and waved at them. 

Loki smiled and waved back.

“Sylvie?” Mobius looked at her, “be polite.”

She waved up at the lady behind the cash register shyly while clutching her triceratops. 

“Thank you,” he told both of them quietly as they left the line. 

 

Mobius set up the carseat and then lifted Sylvie in. The big kid one was stuffed in the trunk with the rest of the groceries. Her and Loki played quietly with their car toys and fingers and toes. 

“Dinner and bed sound good?” Mobius asked. 

Thor exhaustedly nodded. “Pizza?” he suggested.

“Sure. I’ll get Loki some garlic bread or baby food. What do you think, Loki? Baby food or garlic bread?” 

“Baby,” Loki said while grabbing the tops of her booties. 

Sylvie similarly babbled. 

“Are you gonna be big enough for pizza, princess?” 

“Big ‘nuff!” Sylvie said very unconvincingly. 

Mobius called it in when they got home and gave both of the littles diaper changes after the long 45 minutes of waiting had begun. After Sylvie had gotten hers, Loki was laid down. But she protested the green ones she had picked out. “What’s wrong?” Mobius asked. 

“Matchy!” Loki demanded very sternly. 

“Of course, you two are being twins today.” He put a pink one onto Loki and raspberried her tummy. 

Loki made the noise back. 

“There we go, two nice and clean princesses.” 

 

Mobius sat down with them in the main room so he was ready when the pizza guy got there. Loki desperately wanted to be close to Mobius, she played with his mustache while sitting in his lap momentarily before getting distracted by other sensory toys. 

“What do you think about that one? Is it bumpy?”

Loki nodded and held out a rubbery one for Mobius to touch.

“Oh, thank you,” he said. “Do you like it because it’s green?” 

Loki changed the color of her dress to a light, pastel, green. 

Mobius checked in on Sylvie. She showed Mobius what she was working on: a shape sorter game, which she very proudly held up. “Aren’t you independent?” Mobius said, appreciatively. She Smiled with her pacifier in and clapped. 

The games were simple but Mobius did his best to keep them entertained and interacting with him. He used tactics that encouraged the littles to babble and crawl. When not told to do it, Loki actually had a fun time. But the fun was cut short as the doorbell rang. 

Mobius carried in two boxes of pizza and set Loki and Sylvie in their highchairs. Thor came back from his brief yurt hibernation, as if he had psychically known the pizza was there. They were already cut into convenient slices. Mobius grabbed four plates: one for Thor, one for himself, one for Sylvie, and surprisingly, one for Loki. “Loki no pizza!” Sylvie told him. 

“No pizza!” Loki agreed. 

“It’s been 30 years since you’ve tried it, can we try one bite?”

Loki stared at the slice of cheese pizza skeptically. 

“It’s bread, tomato, and cheese. I promise it won’t kill you.” 

Loki hesitantly nibbled onto the slice Mobius held out to her. The strings of cheese made her laugh and clap her hands with joy. 

“What do you think? Is that good?” 

She took the slice and ate the rest of it hungrily. 

“Did she eat during lunch?” Mobius asked Thor. 

He shook his head and swallowed his food. “She took a little, but not much.”

Loki devoured the pizza, which made Mobius smile. The three Asgardians ate most of the food, but Mobius got enough to satisfy himself. At least for now, maybe he’d have a midnight snack later. 

After dinner, the two littles were exhausted. They were practically falling asleep in their highchairs. 

“Do you want to help me put them to bed?” Mobius asked quietly as he cleaned the little girls up and turned on the kettle for bottles.

“Yes! May I?” 

“Sure, can you take Sylvie? I think she wants more big brother time.” 

Sylvie nodded enthusiastically. “Wan Tor!” she agreed. 

“Little princess wants me?” he dramatically asked, although the surprise was at least partially real. He didn’t think Sylvie would very much want his company, but after all these years she missed him and now that he had her trust, she wanted nothing more than to be close with him when tiny and feel comforted by her big brother. 

Mobius changed the girls into comfy pajamas. Then, he let Sylvie and Thor take the rocking chair for tonight and gave Loki her bottle while sitting on the ledge of the crib. The little girl had fussed tremendously over this, but Mobius promised she’d get the spot back tomorrow night. He made sure to show Thor how to hold Sylvie’s head so she’d be comfortable and demonstrated the same with the ever cuddly and clingy Loki, and also handed Thor a burp cloth just in case. 

“Oh, I forgot to grab a storybook,” Mobius quickly realized as soon as he had gotten Loki comfortable.

“I have the perfect thing,” said Thor, looking down at Sylvie with a soothing admiration. He started to hum and then sing. It was a quiet, delicate, very not-typical-for-Thor melody that calmed like an autumn breeze. Sylvie recognized it as the song she hummed to Loki but couldn’t remember the words of. Happy, nostalgic tears welled into her eyes and dribbled down her face as she was gently rocked back and forth in his big cuddly arms. As soon as he took the bottle from her, she tried to bury her face into his warm mid-section. But she was sat up and burped, instead. But when she was set back down, she almost immediately fell asleep. Not remembering being moved out of his arms and tucked into the main bed with Loki and Mobius. 

Loki had also done the same thing as her; although she didn’t cry, she found the song so enchanting, and Mobius’ grip on her so comforting, that as soon as she could, she fell asleep sucking rhythmically on a pacifier as Mobius carried her and Sylvie to bed. 

Chapter Text

 

Loki and Sylvie arrived at daycare and excitedly said goodbye to Mobius, giving him butterfly kisses. Loki was about three, and still in pull-ups, but Sylvie was four or five. They ran to the circle mat to go start the day with a song and a fun little “question of the day”. Today’s was “if you were an animal, what would you be?” which caused Sylvie and Loki to use all their willpower not to turn themselves into cats or snakes or foxes or bunny rabbits. All were true, and Sylvie made that known by saying all of them as a strange sort of hybrid animal which she made up off the top of her head. “An’ it would be purple and green and have big wings!” she ended on. It would look like a Mexican alebrije if you tried to draw it, which she did afterwards. 

Loki didn’t know what to say as Sylvie had taken all of his ideas. He thought for a moment about it, sitting quietly as everyone stared at him. “Um… kitty,” he decided after a long moment. 

Almost everyone was surprised when Scott answered his turn not with “ant”, but with “dog”. 

Bucky answered his turn shyly with a gentle “dada calls me his li’l bear.” That one was very much expected, as Bucky had quite the collection of bear themed things. 

The rest of the answers weren’t internalized as Sylvie and Loki simply didn’t care about the rest of the littles. They weren’t interesting: They couldn’t shapeshift. They didn’t have a metal arm, or tell awful, dumb jokes. 

For once, Loki didn’t have to sit in the baby area during unstructured playtimes. Nope, today he got to play with the big kids. This was mostly because today was special: a new scenario had been set up in the pretend area and Loki, ever one for novelty, wanted to play in it with his friends. For a while it was a school, and then an airport, and a kitchen. He couldn’t wait to see what the game would be this time. 

Today it was a baby doll pretend scenario. It wasn’t quite “house”, nor “daycare”. It was more of a fictional nursery game. There were signs to prompt actions and games for littles and their dolls. Sylvie tried to pick Loki up so he could be her baby, but he struggled away. “Bi’ boy!” he insisted. 

He grabbed a doll like Bucky and Scott had. Sylvie begrudgingly grabbed one, too. Playing “mommy” with a doll was fine, but it was much more fun to help Mobius take care of baby Loki, who could actually somewhat vocalize his needs, even with little baby coos and whines. 

Sylvie was holding her baby doll in a hug, while Loki held his dangling from the hand and Scott cradled his properly. But Bucky looked at his concernedly, then held it awkwardly by the armpits, away from him. “What do I do?” he asked, looking at it. He didn’t have any children, he regressed older, and he didn’t have any little siblings (not since Steve at least, and Steve was always 2-4) so he didn’t actually know where to start. 

“I dunno about yours but mine is hungry!” Loki said matter-of-factly, trying to mimic Mobius. Sylvie got his bad impression and giggled. 

“Mine wants a nap!” Scott said, sitting down by a doll cradle. Sylvie and Bucky seemed slightly lost, despite little cards with pictures next to the words that said things like “give baby a bath” or “feed the baby”. Their boredom with the game was broken the second they saw one station. This one had doll strollers, which Bucky and Sylvie raced around the room while making mock engine noises until Ms. Vaughn stopped them and gave them a five minute time out for running in the classroom. 

The two crossed their arms and grumbled and Sylvie kicked her legs in the chair.

Loki played quietly and kept his pacifier in his mouth a lot of the time, even though Sylvie had told him “three and a half is too old for a pacifier.” He seemed to like mimicking how Sylvie and Mobius cared for him while trying the different scenarios with his doll. But he got to one station where he wasn’t sure what to do. It was filled with books, and the sign had a graphic of a child reading to their doll. There was a problem; Loki was too small to know how to read. Maybe he could identify letters and some phonics, but that was about it. He grabbed one of the books and brought it to Sylvie in the time-out chair. 

He handed it to her and she looked up at him. “Read,” he said simply. 

Sylvie shook her head. 

During this interaction, Ms. Vaughn noticed Loki talking to the littles in time out. “Loki, Sylvie and Bucky are in time-out, do you think Scott could help you with it?” she asked. Loki looked disappointed as he thought about it. Then, he held the book out to her, instead. “Aw, honey, I need to watch over the group and make sure there’s no trouble, but that’s very sweet of you.”

Loki ran back to the pretend play area to find Scott. He held out the book. “Read. Please?” he asked. 

“Uh, sure. Whatcha got?” 

“A book!” 

“Right, but which book?” Scott asked rhetorically as he took it from Loki’s outstretched hand. “Alligator Baby,” he said the title to himself. The area was loud, so Scott brought Loki to the reading corner. Sylvie and Bucky joined them when their time-out was up. 

Loki tried to give the baby doll his pacifier but Bucky stopped him. “That’s how you get sick!” he said, interrupting Scott’s slow and phonetic reading of the picturebook. 

Loki stuck the spit covered binky back in his mouth and huffed, leaning into the beanbag to be absorbed by it. He hugged the baby doll to his chest like the rest of his friends were, and got as close as possible to them for cuddles. But in the middle of the story, a little bell rang to alert the class that it was time for a new activity. 

It was art time, the first of two that were planned for the day. Loki sat with his small group of friends as the craft was explained: winter names. A long sheet of paper was rolled out across the tables and littles were given big sponges to paint with, in shades of blue and purple. 

At first Loki and Sylvie were apprehensive of the lack of green, but they warmed up as they flicked paint everywhere and stamped, rolled, and brushed the sponges on the table. They got paint all over their hands, faces, and clothes like most of the children did. 

When each person decided they were done, they were let loose to go play outside after washing their hands. Loki and Scott grabbed strollers and were allowed to bring the baby dolls with them while Sylvie and Bucky played pirates on the large playground. One of the aides watched over them as Ms. Vaughn changed the really young littles and got them ready to go outside in the designated baby area. 

After a few minutes, Bucky was tugging at the aid’s shirt with Sylvie holding his metallic hand timidly. She crouched on the ground. 

“How can I help?” the man asked. 

“Sylvie had an accident,” he told him. 

The man helped Sylvie up and looked at her soaked overalls. “Can you take her to Ms. Vaughn?” he asked.

Bucky nodded and dragged Sylvie by the arm to the changing table. 

“Ms. Vaughn, Sylvie had an accident,” he said to get her attention. 

She turned to Sylvie after helping the last little down. The poor girl looked incredibly distraught and tears were welling up in her eyes as the daycare teacher unbuckled the straps of her overalls. “Aw sweetheart, it’s okay, accidents happen.”

“I’m gunna go check on Loki, too,” Bucky said as an excuse to leave. 

“Poor thing probably needs a change as well... Thank you Bucky,” she praised. 

Of course, Loki also needed one, but he was a big boy! His pull-up hadn’t even leaked! So as soon as Ms. Vaughn handed him a pull-up, he walked into the bathroom and put it on all by himself. He washed his hands all on his own and rejoined the big kids out on the playground. 

Sylvie’s rather nice, long overalls had been replaced with a pair of Loki’s sweatpants, which were much too big for her and had a big yellow lion printed across the bum. It was obvious Mobius had expected Loki to have an accident much more than he had her. Her big-girl underwear had also been replaced with a pull-up from her bag, which she looked at apprehensively.

Soon, they were called in for naptime. The daycare did have a few small cots for babies, but most littles were expected to sleep on the floor on top of glorified yoga mats with blankets they brought from home. Loki always took his from a pocket dimension so it wasn’t weird that he was already lying down with the blanket covering him and his mat pushed next to Sylvie’s and nearby his friends. What was irregular, was that Sylvie wasn’t looking for her blanket with everyone else. She was over by the cubbies looking through her bag. This behavior was noticed by the instructors. “Do you need something, Sylvie?” the other aid asked. 

She nodded and let them take the bag out for her to look through. 

“What are we looking for?” 

“Pacifier?” she mumbled. “N’ stuffy,” she added.

The helper found her a yellow sparkly pacifier, as well as her pegasus and Loki’s alligator. 

“Thanks,” she said as she rushed back to grab her blanket before the lights turned off. She snuggled next to Loki, not close enough to touch him though, and sucked on her pacifier with her stuffed animal in her arms, facing away from him

While the littles were asleep, the paint had dried enough for the adults to begin tracing out letter shapes and cutting out letters for each little. One for the first letter of each person’s name. 

 

When the littles awoke, they were excited to find lunch was ready, as well as the second part of the art project. 

Loki and Sylvie were given tangerines with crackers and hummus for lunch, which was surprisingly filling, even though Loki wouldn’t touch the hummus and wanted to just eat the crackers alone. As soon as they were done, they found their “S” and “L”,  and glued them down to construction paper. 

They showed their pretty letters to the teacher. “Those look great! Can you write your names using the big letter?”

Most littles used their non-dominant hands to write, but being gods, Loki and Sylvie didn’t really have a non-dominant hand. They held the marker in a tight and deliberate fist as they scribbled their names onto the paper. When they were done, the littles hung their pretty artworks up around the classroom from a clothesline. It was a quick project, but all of the art looked nice and caregivers would surely enjoy it. 

After getting their art hung, the littles were allowed to continue their indoor play. Loki, although very much a big boy of three years old, had a habit of looking over at the baby toys. The bright colors caught his attention from the corner of his eye and he just couldn’t keep focused on whatever Sylvie and her friends were doing. He felt Sylvie pull him into her lap. 

“Bunny, look!” she said, directing his sight to a playset that Scott had found. 

“Cassle!” 

“Yeah, look at it!” 

The bright, princess-pink castle wasn't smoothed and babyish like most of the toys Loki and Sylvie kept at home. The details molded into the plastic made it feel almost delicate. Unfortunately, the set did not come with dolls to use in it, so the group had to make do using some bionicles, which couldn’t fit through the door, zoo animal figurines, no doubt taken from shared shelf between the baby and main area, and a few Lego people. 

They played what would be called a “vibrant” game. It was loud and weird, and had no story line, making no sense. (Almost like the story you’re reading now.)

But soon, they were told to gather close for story time. One of the smaller littles got to pick today, and everyone was delighted to hear The Rainbow Fish. Loki sucked on his pacifier contently while sitting in a bean bag chair and looking at the pretty pictures. 

The bell rang almost immediately after Ms. Vaughn stopped reading. “Unless you’re walking home, I need you to stay here and wait for your caregivers,” she told the class. That meant only a few older kids were allowed to leave with the bell. 

Loki and Sylvie waited for Thor or Mobius to come get them and gently roughoused with the older boys while they waited.

They looked out the door for their caregivers whenever a car drove into the lot, only to notice it was raining. Not a hard rain, but enough of a drizzle to warrant an umbrella. Loki and Sylvie lingered as the number of littles around them dwindled. Even Scott got picked up before them, and he lived across the country. The two started to worry. 

“Oh, honey, I’m sure your daddy will be here shortly,” Ms. Vaughn said after Loki started to hyperventilate and cry. Mobius was never this late. And he always gave Thor an earlier time so he wouldn’t be late, either. 

He hugged his Croki and materialized his blankie. Then, Sylvie wrapped herself around him in a hug from behind. He chewed sadly on the pacifier in his mouth until more distraction would come. “Would a song help pass the time?” Ms. Vaughn asked. 

Loki nodded shyly. 

“Okay, can we sing ‘the waiting song’?”  

He sang with her and Sylvie about how patient he was through babbles and tears, but it seemed to help. Sylvie clapped his hands as they ran through another. This one was called “Smile in Your Pocket”.

“There we go, no more tears, huh? I bet your daddy will be here real soon. It wasn’t long ago that you two were spending a couple extra hours each day with me anyway. It’s not that scary, is it, little one?” she asked. 

Loki nodded, letting the tears dry on his face and sticking his pacifier back in his mouth. He shifted back and forth until Ms. Vaughn asked if he needed a change.

A nod. 

She helped him up and Sylvie kept her spot on the ground, but Loki reached out a hand to her. “Seevee, too!” 

“Does Sylvie need a change?” 

Loki and Ms. Vaughn looked at her but she shook her head. “I’m a big girl,” she bragged, “Big girls don’t have accidents.” That was a bit of a stretch, but alright. 

“Seevee help!” Loki tried again. 

“You want your big sister to help?” 

Loki nodded and Sylvie followed them. Anything to pass the time would do at that point.  While Loki got situated, she looked through his bag for something else for him to chew on. Maybe Mobius had packed some mystery toys for them. She found Loki some teether keys and held them over his head for him to grab at. She even kissed him on the cheek as he giggled and Ms. Vaugn changed him into a diaper instead of a pull-up. It was a little more comforting for him, and practical.

Sylvie picked him up after Ms. Vaughn pulled his shorts back up and yanked the skirt of his dress back down. She took her little brother and read him a book. She stumbled over her words and babbled some of them, but did the best she could given the circumstances. 

The rain picked up even more. 

There was a thunderous knock as Mobius stepped through the door. 

He wore a floor length black wool cloak and put the hood down after he grabbed their bag. Loki ran and hugged him. “Daddy no leave me!” Loki nuzzled him. 

“Hey, no, I’d never leave you,” he said sadly, hugging the little back. “I just got stuck in traffic with the rain.”

“But Sam picked Bucky up!” Sylvie argued. 

“Well Sam can fly, honey,” Mobius informed her. 

She crossed her arms unwilling to forgive him as quickly as Loki had. 

“What do you say to make up for it, I’ll make you guys hot cocoa and I’ll bake cookies. The house would benefit from the smell, anyway.” 

Loki nodded and Mobius picked him up. Ms. Vaughn smiled at them before beckoning Sylvie to go with him. 

“Can you say ‘thank you’ and ‘bye-bye’ to Ms. Vaughn?” he asked the littles.

“Buh-bye! Tank yoo!” Loki loudly said with a babyish wave.

“Bye-bye, Ms. V! Thanks,” Sylvie said more casually as she tugged on Mobius’ cloak, stumbling down the preschool stairs and back to the car.

Chapter Text

Loki and Sylvie had learned about Christmas (the non-denominational Santa Claus kind of American Christmas) at school and were absolutely enamored with the concept of the holiday (after, of course, Mobius and Thor reassured Loki that Odin wasn’t Santa anymore because he’s both dead, and only delivered within Asgard, not Midgard). The tots even willingly participated in their daycare’s Christmas pageant and sang an adorable version of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” with their class, which obviously Mobius had videotaped. And luckily, because Lokis loved to sing, he either got to hear renditions of beautiful carols with his partners’ resonant voices, or he got to hear adorable babble-y renditions with mixed up lyrics and goofy little dances and hand motions. Either way, he was very grateful for them. They had even brought him dough ornaments and keepsake reindeer plates from daycare craft time.

He tried not to hold the idea of Santa Claus over their heads too much, but on occasion he found himself telling them to be good if they didn’t want coal in their stockings. He often heard Loki and Sylvie start saying it to each other as well when one didn’t like what the other was doing, both when little and big.

Last night, the two littles had left out milk and cookies on their keepsake plates and watched some classic christmas movies while sitting on Mobius’ lap in footie pajamas, Christmassy ones that were green with fake fair isle designs in red and white. They had giggled loudly when Mobius revealed he had gotten himself a matching set. The main difference was that Mobius’ pajamas didn’t have a bum flap for easy diaper changes like Loki and Sylvie’s did.

 

Thor joined them as well for the quiet evening festivities, sitting with them on the couch and holding Loki in his lap. 

He went to pick up a cookie, but Loki slapped his hand. 

“Hey, we don’t hit; c’mon, big boy words, Loki. Can you tell Thor why we’re not eating the cookies?” Mobius gently scolded while holding Sylvie. 

“For Santa!” Loki explained. 

“Right, of course. For Santa,” Thor agreed, taking a sip off his alcoholic eggnog. 

Loki and Sylvie had their own hot chocolate in bottles but of course they were determined to try Thor’s eggnog, which he miraculously was able to keep out of their reach without spilling it. 

The two babies were absolutely fighting for consciousness by the end of the film. But when picked up, the two suddenly decided they absolutely were not tired one bit. They were going to stay up and see Santa. 

Thor noticed Mobius' ridiculous pajamas now that there wasn't a heavy blanket or little to cover him, as he helped tuck the littles in next to Mobius in the big bed (Loki and Sylvie had demanded it). “Are you joining us?” Mobius asked. 

“Joining you? Why would I-” Thor paused mid-sentence as he saw Loki and Sylvie’s pleading faces. Their pacifiers were comfortably fit into their mouths but they looked as pouty and restless as ever. “Aw, sweet children,” he consoled them, “I need to be in my own bed so Santa delivers me presents, too.”

“Tor don get presents!” Loki giggled.

“I don’t?” Thor asked with a grin. 

“No, cuz Tor no tree!”

“You only get presents unless you have a tree,” Mobius laughed. It wasn’t true, but that’s what Bucky had said, so of course the still naive Loki and Sylvie believed him. 

“Alright. Let me put on my pajamas and I’ll be right back to come snuggle up with you all,” Thor cooed. It wasn’t anything new to be sharing a bed with his brother. The poor thing used to have nightmares all the time. Sure it had been a few centuries, but it wasn’t really ever something weird for them, not even if Loki had his partners with him. At least this time since both Loki and Sylvie were little, there wouldn’t be any possibility for intercourse; that was nice. 

He came back ready for bed, and laid on the far right side. Loki and Sylvie were squished in the middle and the two tykes made sure to lay just slightly on top of their caregivers to make sure they didn’t get up in the night without them.

Chapter Text

Dawn struck quickly and Sylvie and Loki were up, almost jumping on the bed before the sun had even risen at approximately 5:30 AM. 

Loki was too little to be actually jumping on the bed, but he was pushing Thor and snuggling into his arms. 

Sylvie poked Mobius a couple of times, but she decided it was more in her best interest to see how the living room looked, just to check if Santa really had come before waking up her caregiver. She tiptoed out the door and Loki quietly followed. 

Of course Santa had visited! The tree was aglow and there were maybe double or triple the presents that had been there last night. The cookies were gone, too, as was the milk they had left. 

Sylvie almost squealed and danced but managed to contain her excitement as she came back to bed, this time much more enthusiastic to wake up her big brother and daddy. 

“Up!” Loki whined, as soon as Mobius started to move. 

Mobius rolled and yawned. “Is it morning already?” he asked while sitting up. 

“C’mon! C’mon!” Sylvie yelled the second he sat up. 

“Shhh, Thor’s still asleep. We don’t want to wake him, do we?” 

The two nodded. They definitely wanted to wake him. 

Mobius tied a bathrobe around himself as he got up; the fleece footie pajamas were warm, but this house did not have heating and it was VERY cold, so he decided another layer would be necessary. “How about we make that his Christmas present? We’ll go watch cartoons and have some breakfast and then we can wake up Thor and open presents.”

“But presents now!” Sylvie stomped her foot. 

“They’re not going to disappear. C’mon, let’s go give you two a change and then we’ll have a nice cozy morning in.”

While Loki was laying down on the table, Sylvie impatiently chewed on her pacifier and explored the nursery for umpteenth time, but she just wasn’t interested in her usual toys, there was too much novelty awaiting her under that tree for her to care. With the exception of her pegasus of course, which she held to her chest and carried around with her. She stood by one of the windows and pressed her nose against the glass, fogging it up while she wallowed in self-pity that she wasn’t allowed to empty her stocking or tear open the wrapping of her gifts immediately.

“Sylvie, can we get you changed, hun?”

She glanced back at Mobius but didn’t move, letting him pick her up, limply and passively taking her change as a form of protest.

When that was all done, Mobius brought them out to the main room and wrestled them to stay still on the couch while he made them some warm non-alcoholic eggnog, which he put into bottles. 

The two practically melted at the flavor as Mobius put on another Christmas movie and held them so they wouldn’t be tempted to try to unwrap any presents before Thor got up. 

The second the clock struck seven Mobius let them go. “Thor’s had enough time to sleep. Go wake him up,” he conceded, getting up with them.

He opened the door cautiously after knocking a couple times and receiving no answer.

“Wake up! Wake up!” the two littles cried as they jumped on top of him and ripped the blankets off of him. 

“Five more minutes… please?” 

“No! It’s Christmas! Up!” 

Thor finally sat up, taking the littles in his arms. He seemed groggy and tired at first, but was amazed to look at the display in the living room after they finally got him to get up. 

“Why didn’t you wake me up sooner?” he asked as he kneeled down by the tree to look at all the pretty gifts. 

“Daddy said no,” Loki slurred babyishly, only half coherently. 

“Thor, do you want some coffee?” Mobius asked as he lit the wood burning stove and set a pot of water on it. It wasn’t the most convenient way to make a warm drink, but it sure did feel aesthetically pleasing, especially on Christmas morning. 

“Yes please. That would be appreciated,” Thor smiled. 

Mobius sat down on the couch. “Well, are we ready to start?” he asked. 

Loki eagerly held up a massive box, about half the size of him. 

“Let’s do stockings first,” Mobius suggested, grabbing them off the wall by the stove, as they didn’t really have a mantle to hang them on. “Sylvie, since you seem so eager, would you like to go first?” 

Sylvie grinned and Mobius set Loki on his knee in the hopes to appease him while they waited. She shook it out and showed off her goodies; lots of chocolates, gum, and candies, many of which she hadn’t tried before, a few small activity pads and brain teaser books (both for the enjoyment of big and little Sylvie), and a couple small toys and accessories for her ever growing collection of Little People. 

Loki got to do his next, and found similar results: Some candy and snacks, a couple jars of play-doh in different colors, a name puzzle, some bubbles, letter and number magnets, a jar of bath color tablets and crayons (which Mobius stressed were for them to share), and a bug catching kit. An identical one was also in Sylvie’s stocking. 

Thor was gidddy and couldn’t wait to open his. He dug through the layers of chocolates and bags of dried fruit and trail mixes to uncover the interesting toys. He found a bunch of fancy soaps and things for his beard, as well as a couple extra things for his tiny home, like a soap dispenser for the kitchen. If Thor was more similar to Loki, he may have taken offense to these gifts. But he wasn’t, and was very grateful. They were all pretty and tasteful gifts, too, and would make him and his tiny home look even nicer. 

 

Sylvie tugged on Mobius’ bathrobe. “What’s up?” he whispered. 

“Where’s my gift?” she asked. 

“You just opened your stocking.”

“No, for Thor.”

“The stocking’s for Santa to put gifts in, I wrapped your gifts for Thor. They’re under the tree,” he whispered. 

Sylvie nodded and noticed Thor was done opening his stocking (He seemed very pleased with his haul so far.) so she got up and grabbed Mobius’ for him. “Daddy, open it!”  

Mobius moved Loki off of his lap and let the three Asgardians crowd around him while he opened it up. He had also gotten the usual frankly ridiculous amount of Hershey kisses and candy. As far as tiny gifts went, there was a new pair of earbuds, some nice socks (Loki and Sylvie probably would’ve scoffed at receiving socks but for Mobius it was one of the nicest gifts ever, especially as these ones had a fun pattern of flamingos), a new water bottle, and some underwear that was neon blue and patterned with tiny jet-skis.

“Are we ready for the big presents?” Mobius asked. 

Both of the littles squealed and delved into the presents. 

“We’re going to take turns, kiddos, so can we be patient? Maybe you two can sort them for us.”

Loki and Sylvie clapped. They loved to sort. But unfortunately, Mobius hadn’t considered that the toddlers were too small to read, and kept bringing him all the presents to ask who’s they were. 

“That’s a ‘T’ for Thor. Can you find all the presents with a ‘T’ on them and give them to Thor?” 

Loki nodded but hugged the present, not giving it to his big brother. 

“Can we give the present to Thor, baby?” 

Loki looked down at the pretty paper covered box in his arms. 

“There are presents for you under the tree. This isn’t the only present.” Mobius changed to whispering, “I think Santa even brought you more presents than your big brother,” he winked. 

Loki hesitantly handed the present to Thor and went back to grab his own. 

Sylvie sounded out a name on a present. “Mmmm-oh-b-bee-us. Daddy! This for you!” she said, handing it to him.  

While the littles made their piles, Thor opened his first present. This one was from Santa. 

He tore open the paper with the ferocity and excitement the littles would. 

A virtual reality headset. 

He showed it to Loki and Sylvie, who didn’t quite know or care what it was, but were happy for him anyway. Across all of Thor’s gifts there was a common theme of videogames and tech accessories.

 

The littles were given lots of new toys, some more educational than others, mostly about letters and feelings, but there were a few comfort ones, like a koala and an otter that played gentle music and had a motor that “breathed” to soothe the littles after nightmares. The best of the littlespace gifts, easily, was a pair of not-really-made-for-rain-raincoats Mobius had knit for them. Both were soft and yellow with little duck patches on the chest and a tiny hood. 

Sylvie, in her adorable new sweater, reached for a small present that also had her name on it. 

“That one’s for big Sylvie. Can you be big while you open it?” Mobius asked.

Sylvie nodded and took out her pacifier before taking her deep breath. She smiled at Mobius with a loving grin. 

It was odd how much her smile changed when she was being big. It was a little less wide, but filled with a similar curiosity and enthusiasm. The big difference was the love in her eyes wasn’t of the object she was waiting to open, but it was for Mobius, for thinking of her. 

She peeled back the paper of the little box and opened it. It was a gorgeous necklace, golden and decorated with beautiful sparkling stones. 

Loki had one, too, in his big pile somewhere, but Mobius wanted him to find it himself. He helped Sylvie put hers on and kissed her. “Thank you!” she beamed. 

“Ok, ready to be little again?” he asked.

Sylvie nodded, taking another deep breath and trying to switch back to her little headspace. 

Loki opened all of his little gifts, mostly getting board books and noisy baby toys that he delighted in playing with as soon as he could rip them out of the box. A lot of the toys for him and Sylvie (many were for them to share) were baby and toddler appropriate recreations of everyday things that they were unable to use when little, like cellphones, fishing poles, and lawnmowers.

After rooting through the pile for long enough, Loki found his tiny box. 

He took a deep breath, already anticipating what Mobius would say:

 “You’re going to be big for me when you open this, right?” 

“No reason why I wouldn’t be,” Loki replied. He gently unwrapped the paper without tearing it and opened the box, pulling out a similar necklace to Sylvie’s. The brass golden color brought out his eyes and the emeralds in its small pendant shimmered as Mobius clicked it around his neck. He gave Loki an affectionate kiss on the cheek afterwards. Loki picked up the centerpiece of the necklace and looked down at it. “It’s beautiful,” he commented, absolutely stunned by it. 

Sure, it wasn’t objectively the most enchanting jewelry he had ever seen, especially when it came to pretty rocks, but there was something special knowing who it was from and that it was because Mobius loved him. The matching pendants he and Sylvie wore were tiny silver daggers, with gems inset in the handles. 

“I love you,” he said very genuinely, obviously moved by the gesture, before planting another firm, but affectionate kiss on Mobius’ lips. 

“I love you, too.”

And with that, Loki slipped back into his little space, but kept his affections continuous, although much more innocent and childish, nuzzling against Mobius’ leg and also into Sylvie’s shoulder. He shoved her pacifier back into her mouth and took his in his own mouth. 

 

Mobius opened a gift from Thor and paused halfway through, looking at the luxurious box. 

“I noticed your stove and microwave never had clocks, and neither did your walls or your wrist,” he smiled. 

It was true, and no one had told him why, but mostly because they hoped he would either connect the dots himself, or not take any notice to the subtle oddity at all. 

Mobius pulled out a beautiful golden watch with a real leather band that smelled absolutely amazing, weirdly enough. It was, no doubt, expensive. He looked at Loki and Sylvie, worried they’d have a sensitivity towards it, but they didn’t seem to care, enchanted by its shiny qualities and beauty. 

“Are you two going to be okay having a clock in the house?” Mobius asked, knowing they wouldn’t. 

The littles nodded, and Mobius naively trusted them. 

Thor and Mobius opened up a bunch of their gifts after Loki and Sylvie so impatiently ripped open theirs. However, there was one last one, well two. One for each of the littles. The boxes were decorated with large silver bows.

“Santa worked with me on this one,” Mobius winked, handing the gifts to them. 

The two tots hungrily unwrapped them and opened the boxes eyes wide and grinning. 

Two ballet uniforms. 

Loki’s was identical to Sylvie’s, mostly because Mobius knew the little would edit it to his liking as he wore it, maybe changing the color or the fluff of the tutu or the details of the leotard. The pretty shoes were their favorite parts at least until Mobius pointed out the papers on the inside of the box. “Check it out, ballet classes, isn’t that cool?” 

Loki and Sylvie’s jaws dropped and they jumped onto Mobius. “Tank you, daddy!” they squealed. 

Seconds later, Sylvie was already trying to put on her tutu over her pajamas. 

“Why don’t we get you two a nice Christmas-y bath and then we can try out all those cool new toys?” Mobius asked. 

The littles didn’t like that idea, but they were convinced by the idea that they could wear their new uniforms around the house until dinner when they’d have to wear something else so the uniforms wouldn’t be dirtied. But everyone knew the real reason Mobius was going to make them change is that he wanted nice Christmas photos for a scrapbook. 

Loki and Sylvie ran around in their new outfits. The diapers poked out of their tight leotards and out from under their skirts, but no one minded. The tight pink tights weren’t exactly comfortable either, but Loki and Sylvie were not ones to sacrifice style for comfort. 

Pacifiers in mouths and pink slippers on feet, they ran around the house with their new toys while Mobius and Thor laid on the couch watching Mobius’ old favorite holiday episodes of various sitcoms from the 80’s and 90’s. 

Loki and Sylvie didn’t even bother to take a nap, too energized with the excitement of Christmas. They just sort of crashed on Mobius or Thor’s lap whenever they got tired, crawling to check out whatever they were watching on tv. 

“Are you sure you two don’t want to be all cozy like daddy and Thor?” Mobius asked as Loki snuggled in between them on the couch with a teether in his mouth and a fancy bow in his hair that matched the rest of the outfit. 

“No. Comfy already,” Loki grumbled. 

“Darn, that’s too bad because daddy’s gotta get started on dinner.”

Loki looked outside. It only seemed to be around noon, what was Mobius starting dinner for? 

Noting the little boy’s confusion, Mobius informed him that Christmas dinner was big and fancy and very hard for one person to make so it would take a long time. 

“I will help!” Thor exclaimed. 

“Great. Let’s get dressed and then we’ll get started, got that?” 

Thor nodded and got dressed for the remainder of the day, before meeting Mobius back in the kitchen where two excitable ballerinas wanted desperately to help Mobius carry a large gutted hog to the smoking pit in the yard, built a couple weeks prior. The pig was about forty pounds, and if Mobius hadn’t planned for other side dishes, there was a good possibility that the three gods would’ve eaten the entire thing without leftovers. 

“Do you want help?” Thor asked as Mobius put on his mittens and went to grab the pig from the garage freezer. 

“No, no, don't worry about it. Uh… Can you actually help me out by getting started on the green bean casserole? I think we have two little ballerinas who’d want to help you out with that one.”

“Not a ballerina!” Sylvie corrected. She turned around to show off some fairy wings she had just put on. “M’ a fairy!” she smiled.

“Right, two sweet littles who want to help cook.”

Loki and Sylvie nodded leaning on the countertops as Mobius flicked through a wooden box of magazine recipe clippings and yanked one of the cards out before handing it to Thor, putting on some mittens, and trudging through the ankle deep snow to go start the fire. 

Thor looked at the recipe and let the littles see it as well. He got down a big casserole dish. “Can you be my little helpers and find me the canned mushroom soup?”

The two nodded and rooted through the pantry, eventually retrieving two cans for him. 

“D- do I just pour this in?” he rhetorically asked, staring at the piece of paper in his hands, eventually hesitantly doing so. “Alright… milk and pepper next,” he said. Sylvie brought him the milk and Thor measured and poured it in smoothly and then cracked some pepper into the dish. Only then, did he remember to turn on the oven, which now needed a moment to preheat. 

Mobius was done with the fire then. “Alright. In four hours we’ll have a nice ham. Doesn’t that sound good?” 

Loki and Sylvie nodded. They stopped paying attention to being good little helpers after that. Once again taking to playing with their new toys on the couch and watching toddler appropriate Christmas movies. A production of the nutcracker was one of them, which the two pointed at and squealed. “Daddy! Look! Ballewina!” Sylvie called when she saw the production. 

“That could be you next year,” he smiled. 

Sylvie nodded and impressively recreated the dance. Loki however was more entranced by the costumes and production design, staring with wide eyes. 

“Save that energy for your lessons you two,” Mobius smiled from the kitchen as he helped Thor with the green beans, watching Sylvie pick up Loki, plant a raspberry on his pink top, and then set him down and initiate a game of chase, sliding around the hardwood on slippery ballet slippers which were laced up to the knees with pretty little bows. 

Despite their tights, there was an audible plastic crinkle as they ran.  

During a lull in the cooking, Mobius picked Loki up, kissing the little on the cheek. 

“Hey!” Sylvie yelled as she skidded by. “I was just about to tag him!” 

“I’m helping you, you can tag him now!” he stage-whispered. 

It was Loki’s turn to say a betrayed “Hey!”, as Sylvie tagged him and Mobius set him down, letting the little go chase after his sister. 

Mobius was wearing his pink apron. He put back on his oven mitts and turned to Thor as the oven beeped. “Those little stinkers,” he smiled. 

Thor shot him a wide eyed stare. 

“What? I can say that, they’re my littles, they know I like to tease,” he added lightheartedly while taking out the casserole. 

He set it down to cool while Thor mixed a large bowl of cake batter, getting an early start on dessert, it was a little more difficult to mess up anyway, meaning Mobius could split his attention more evenly. 

 

When dinner was ready, Mobius fought to put the littles in something that wasn’t their ballet uniforms, but eventually wiggled Sylvie into a red Santa-style dress with her little golden horns, and put Loki in a sparkly tiered green tulle dress with a fancy golden bow in his hair. Both of the littles looked very nice.  

 

Loki actually ate tonight, messily getting meat, potatoes, and green bean casserole all over the tray of his highchair, his bib, his face, and in his hair. Sylvie was too much of a big girl for her highchair, but she was similarly messy with her food, insisting on using her hands while eating the meat because it was too tender and kept falling off her fork.

Mobius frowned watching her get sugar-sticky meat juice on her soft sleeves. 

 

When dinner was finished, all the poor gods felt that they could hardly move. 

Mobius weakly cleaned up Loki and Sylvie before getting them changed into pajamas, despite it only being 5PM. He made himself and Thor some coffee and put some cocoa in baby bottles for the littles.

Loki lazily snuggled up to Thor, while Mobius took Sylvie, petting her back through fleecey footie pajamas. Although the two were exhausted, they brought their new toys with them, idly rattling and pressing buttons as they quickly fell asleep in their caregivers’ laps.

 

My holiday card from @abblegum on instagram

Chapter Text

While Loki was getting his morning change, Sylvie looked out the window. Her eyes widened as she looked out and saw a good six inches of unshoveled, powdery, snow. 

“Daddy! Snow!” she cried, pressing her nose against the window. 

“I know sweetheart, we’re just about to go out there. Let me just…” Mobius trailed off as he bundled Loki up into thick coats and pants and scarves, giving him mittens and snow boots so he was all warm and cozy, protected from getting any on his skin, but he didn’t get to Sylvie in time, as she unlocked and opened the door, tumbling out in her nightgown. 

“Sylvie, let’s get you changed, hun, c’mere,” Mobius encouraged her back in. 

Her legs and arms were already a pretty azure blue. But Mobius picked her up. 

She proudly showed off her color changing skin to him, “daddy, look!” she grinned. 

“That’s great, but I don’t think you want to spend your fun outside time in soggy clothes,” he sighed. 

Sylvie loved the snow, but he still made her put on some basic clothes: A fresh diaper with a pair of plastic pants, an exercise shirt in a light fabric, and some similar shorts that she usually used for her morning runs and combat training, which did not sit well with the bulky plastic pants underneath. 

Mobius finally got himself bundled up in a similar fashion to Loki. He made a hot cup of coffee, pouring it into a travel mug as the two children tugged at him and complained about how they needed to go outside immediately, right now. Mobius was freezing despite multiple layers, and he could see his breath even in the house. He turned on the small space heater before heading out with his tots so it would be warmed when they came back in. 

Sylvie plunged into the snow, giggling and tunneling like a little sea serpent. 

Loki was more cautious, holding Mobius’ hand, slowly putting one foot in front of the other, and feeling his boots crunch in the thick powder. He sat down with his legs out and tapped the snowy ground, balling it up in his mits and then smashing it. 

Sylvie made a print of her face in some fresh snow and then looked up at Mobius. “Daddy! All cold!” she laughed as she rolled around in her frost giant form, with little red eyes and blue patterned skin. 

At this point, Thor had come out to see the commotion. He was wrapped in a myriad of fuzzy blankets and coats, many of which were likely real fur. Anticipating a snowball, he looked down at Loki, who was much too busy scooping it up into a bucket made for beachy sand, and trying to make snow castles. 

Sylvie on the other hand, was making her own snow fort and preparing a load of snowballs to huck at her family. As soon as Thor came into her view, she chucked one at him, smacking him in the chest before hiding down behind the tiny wall of her fort. 

“You little rat!” Thor playfully scolded, picking snowflakes out of his beard. 

After seeing Mobius use slightly mean nicknames with the littles, Thor had picked back up his old habits, just using them more in good spirits than to actually call his little siblings nasty names… well at least while they were little. When they were big, the name calling, bickering, and physical fights were still at least somewhat common; a once a week occurrence if Mobius had been keeping track correctly (which was significantly down from when the two lived together on Asgard)  

Sylvie tossed one at Mobius next, who was squatting down by Loki to ask him questions about the snow and his opinions on the morning, helping make more snow castles and his own little snowman as he chatted. It hit him in the back of the head and splattered onto Loki’s face, causing the toddler’s nose and cheeks to turn bright blue and his eyes to become ruby red. But he couldn’t see it, so he shook off the cold snow, and pretended it had never occured, going back to trying to pack a handful as tightly as possible. 

 

Mobius knew he shouldn’t. He knew his job was to be the peacekeeper and he needed to set a good example, especially around his littles, who were literal gods of mischief. He looked at the clump of snow in the palm of his hand. Perhaps they were rubbing off on him. He packed it together and hurled it at Sylvie, watching the Jotunn girl get hit straight in the belly with it, laughing and toppling over. 

Following Mobius’ lead, Thor also started packing snowballs and tossing them entirely at Sylvie, until Loki caught on and fired a few at his older brother. 

Very quickly, there was an all out war on the snow covered forest floor. 

Sylvie hid behind a slowly growing wall of powder as Loki and Thor ran and dodged, hiding behind random objects whenever they could. 

Mobius, not getting a lot of the force, as he wasn’t as strong or agile as the rest of them, stood out in the open and just tossed snowballs at whoever he deemed open. Sure, it wasn’t as fun as being in the thick of it all, but his job was to supervise anyway, and he was happy just to be included. 

The fun ended when Loki tripped over his scarf mid-run, not paying attention to how it was falling off of him, and then getting the strings of his mittens caught in it, prying them off his hands, and almost tripping in the snow. But he made it, shedding the garments and continuing to run from the snowballs Sylvie and Thor were hucking at him. But he was hit, and right in front of Mobius, too. 

Loki looked down at his hands, now covered in a thin sheet of icy water and watching how they turned blue, with little pale tattoo-like ribbons and dots peppering his cerulean skin. He tried to hide them quickly, shoving them in his pockets. 

Mobius set down a snowball he was getting ready to throw and called a time out. He knew Loki didn’t like his Jotunn skin, but he almost felt worse aiding Loki in hiding it and not helping him work through the self-loathing, especially if it was this extreme that Loki was going to hide his hands from the man who was used to changing his diapers, or cry over it, as he was starting to: As Mobius had taken a second to pause and plot a course of action, Loki had grown suddenly even more self conscious from the stare. A layer of water forming in his eyes and quickly running down to his lips. 

Mobius got the little to sit down in the snow and hugged him as Loki cried, snot running down his face. He felt even more like he had to get Loki used to the blue when he noticed the thick layer of sweat on Loki’s forehead, the poor thing looked ready to pass out from heat stroke. 

“I think your blue looks very nice,” Mobius said, trying to approach the subject delicately. “You know that, right?”

Loki shook his head. 

“It’s true, your blue is very pretty and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.” He pointed at Sylvie after saying that. “Look at your big sis, she’s still pretty when she’s blue, isn’t she?” 

Loki looked at Sylvie and watched her happily play with Thor, hopping up on his shoulders and putting him in a light yet dramatically performative chokehold like it was the WWE. He looked back to Mobius and nodded. 

“Can I see your pretty blue?” Mobius asked, not sure if he was dealing with this problem the right way. 

Loki took his hands out of his pockets and showed them to Mobius, setting them in the snow. It felt incredibly nice. 

Mobius debated taking off Loki’s snow wear then and there, but after giving the tot a diaper check, he decided maybe it was time for a quick recess. 

“Thor, can you bring Sylvie up here?” he called. 

Thor brought the little blue girl inside, lugging her over his shoulder as she laughed, adrenaline drunk and snow silly. 

Mobius took off his gloves as he got Sylvie all changed first. She was quick and immediately wanted back out when done, which Thor obliged. 

Mobius got Loki to take off his coat, snowpants, and sweater, and went against his parental instincts by slipping Loki into a similar outfit to Sylvie, plastic pants and all.

The little looked at his exposed pale arms which Mobius took in his hands. “Your blue is very nice, Loki. I need you to know that. And it’s just me and Sylvie and Thor, alright? I want you to be comfortable, but buddy, you keep this up, you’re gonna hurt yourself,” Mobius tried to explain, knowing how much hearing that pained Loki. 

But instead of throwing a fit, Loki calmly nodded and asked to be picked up. When set back into the snow outside, he nervously watched his shins turn blue, but quickly looked away, ignoring it and flipping over onto his belly as Mobius kept making snow castles with him, and Sylvie joined, petting Loki’s back and chewing a pacifier as she did so. 

Thor squatted near them. 

It was quiet but fun, a little tutorial of sorts to get Loki used to and comfortable in his Jotunn form. 

 Eventually, the little began to roll in the snow, forgetting about his fortress. 

Sylvie watched him kick off his shoes and plant his feet in the ice. 

Mobius looked at Thor and smiled. Thor couldn’t for the life of him understand why, but he returned the expression. 

Loki stretched out like a cat. All of his visible skin was blue and little horns stuck out of his head, just like Sylvie. Eventually, he even wiggled off his shirt and started to bury himself in the powder, looking at Mobius with his thumb planted in his mouth when he was sufficiently covered.

“He seems quite happy,” Thor observed. 

“It’s in his nature. The snow’s good for him, he needs it,” Mobius informed him quietly. 

The littles tumbled through the snow like little weasels and Mobius supervised with Thor for as long as they could, until they were shivering under their layers and their noses were bright red. 

“Y’know, I think out of all the presents they’ve gotten in the past few days, this one is probably their favorite,” Mobius laughed. 

Thor sagely nodded. “Sometimes the best parts in life are like that.”

Mobius stared at him for a split second looking for where that wisdom came from. Not finding it, he smiled and accepted the tidbit for what it was. 

“Loki! Sylvie!” Mobius called. “We’re gonna head in because daddy and Thor are getting cold.” 

The tots followed Mobius inside. Their blue seemed to melt away as the warmth of the home touched them, very quickly deciding they were cold and wet from the melting ice, and wanted all the warmth and comfort the world could bestow.

 

Mobius soon found himself sitting at the edge of the playpen and helping two poncho wrapped toddlers look through a book about feelings. He asked them questions whenever Loki looked up at him, as they read through the page.

Sylvie had decided to be entirely non-verbal, sucking on a pacifier and just listening to Mobius and Loki talk. Loki was mostly silly babbles but also did little motions to accompany what he was trying to say. 

They all had a mutual agreement to not go too into depth about its relation to Loki’s own self image problems. 

An agreement that worked until Mobius read them the sadness page and Loki pointed at the blue pictures, making unhappy coos and trying to show them to Mobius. 

He pulled the little into his lap. "You know, blue isn't bad, and I know you think it is, but think about blueberries, we like those, right?" 

Loki nodded, sticking his thumb in his mouth. 

"And what about the pretty sky? Or the ocean. Blue's a nice color, Loki. It's not the color of sadness just in the same way your green doesn't mean jealousy. Things change buddy, you changed, and the fact the snow makes you blue doesn't mean anything besides you've got cool superpowers. You and Sylvie are unique."

Loki smiled at the thought, maybe it didn't mean that anymore. Maybe the metaphor had disappeared and that was okay. 

Almost reading his mind, Mobius added, "You're just daddy's little blueberry, huh? Both you and Sylvie, sweet little blueberries I'm just going to have to eat you up," he teased while tickling Loki and then going in for Sylvie. 

They screamed and laughed as he got scooped them up. 

 

After setting the breathless littles down, still getting in he last of their giggles out, Mobius sighed and smiled lovingly. "Alright what do you say about a new story?" he asked.  

That was enough novelty for Loki, baby steps into a new territory, slowly breaking down the lies others had fed him for centuries. The little nodded. A story sounded nice, a new story. 

Chapter Text

The days after Christmas passed in their usual haze. Slow and depressing, yet unfathomably quick. 

Sylvie and Loki had stayed big and absolutely refused to regress, not even to play with their new toys. 

The two had something grating on them, bugging them, and they knew exactly what it was, but dared not say it was Mobius' expensive new watch. 

Whenever Mobius got his right arm anywhere close to his beloveds, they'd try to shift to his left, or subtly unwind it, make him take it off for any sort of intimate action, and the like. 

Mobius may have been a Loki expert and a detective, but when he was off the clock, he sort of turned his mind off, or maybe it was more that he didn't want to notice. 

On Asgard, clocks like this were not common. Earthly clocks were not used, except as a sort of novelty gift. So Loki and Sylvie had no obligation to find it charming except for its gold detailing and leather strap. 

Mobius, although he had no memory of his life before, and at this point didn't care to explore it, still had a feeling about the way it ticked. That feeling, to be precise, was no feeling. He did not really care about it. It was a tool to be used, and it looked nice, that was all. No strong emotion came from it, especially not anything like the waves of horrible distain Loki and Sylvie felt towards it. 

 


Mobius woke up to sniffling and tears on either side of him. Loki was covering his ears and curling into a ball, while Sylvie was having night terrors, kicking the blankets and rolling back and forth, having a physical manifestation of her bad dreams. Tears were on her face and Mobius could feel her sweating through the sheets next to him. He gently woke both of his Lokis up. 

Loki looked at him with big sad eyes. While Sylvie woke up just vaguely angry and confused. She had a bad feeling. Very bad, but no idea what it could’ve been about. 

“You guys okay? Is something wrong?” he asked, checking for wet sheets. After finding them dry, Mobius brought them close in an attempt to comfort them.

Mobius moved his arm and then got Loki’s attention. 

“Woah, woah, woah, what’s up?” he asked. 

Loki whimpered, rapidly regressing and Mobius moved the little onto his lap. 

“Are you doing okay?” he asked Sylvie. “It looked like you were having some bad dreams.” 

“Yeah, I’m just going to get some water,” she sighed sadly, still feeling the intense bad vibes. 

Mobius turned on the tv, hugging Loki in a secure hold. There, around his neck, was the noise that haunted Loki’s dreams so much. 

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. 

He whimpered more. 

Mobius paused the tv. “Hey, are you really doing alright?” he asked. “Listen, I can’t help you if you don’t tell me what’s wrong.”

Loki covered his ears dramatically to show Mobius he didn’t like the noise. 

“Why don’t we get you all babied up and we’ll talk about it then, hm?” he tried, hoping maybe MAYBE that would help.

Loki nodded and Mobius picked him up. While bringing Loki out, he checked on Sylvie leaning against the cabinets, sipping on some water. “I’m going to get Loki a diaper and some jamjams. Do you want anything from the nursery?” 

“Can you grab me my otter?” she asked with a shy smile. 

“Can do!” Mobius replied. 

In the still nursery, Loki seemed very sensitive whenever there was silence for more than a second. The diaper fluffing sound was appreciated, as well as some of Mobius’ quiet chatter, but when no noise was present, Loki seemed bothered. 

Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.

“Will you tell daddy what’s wrong, now?” he asked after sitting Loki up with cute little footie pajamas. 

Loki identified the noise, pointing at Mobius’ suave new watch. He felt incredibly guilty making Mobius take off the expensive piece. 

“Do you think that’s what was bugging Sylvie, too?” he asked, although the conclusion was already obvious. 

Mobius took off the watch and shoved it in his pocket, before picking up Loki and grabbing any soothing toy he could find. That's when everything clicked into place for Mobius, it all made sense, and he felt immense guilt wash over himself. He put Loki and Sylvie through all that pain and for what? To cling to a piece of his past he didn't even really want to remember? To show his appreciation to Thor for giving it to him? The message was received, the gift was appreciated, but it couldn't serve him much anymore. He felt incredibly silly for not recognizing it earlier, curious if his ignorance was somewhat purposeful, and feeling a horrible, sinking feeling in his gut. 

Climbing back into bed, he turned off the sound on one of the toys so they weren't in competition, and let Loki and Sylvie snuggle with him and sleep comfortably with the sound of the Koala’s gentle music. 

And yet: Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. 

Mobius got up, it was starting to bother him now, and placed the watch in one of the nightstand drawers. The wood seemed to almost amplify it. 

He got up again, setting it in the closet, back into its original velvet covered cardboard and tissue paper wrapped box. 

Only then did he rest easy with Loki and Sylvie at either of his sides. Loki made little snuffling noises of contentment as he rested. He hadn’t even needed a bottle tonight, the warmth and comfort of the sound being gone was enough for him. 

Sylvie clung to both Mobius’ arm and her stuffed animal, allowing the mechanical breathing to make her feel safe and secure once more. 

Chapter Text

Loki and Sylvie were dropped off at daycare as usual, but instead of finding everyone spread out and playing with toys, they found the group circled up around a new student. 

At first, the gods were indifferent, going to play with the new post office themed pretend area, but as Loki heard the new little speak, he paused and set down the letters he was stamping. 

Sylvie didn’t seem to register it. 

“Loki, Sylvie!” Ms. Vaughn called, “come meet our new friend!” 

Sylvie obeyed easily, but Loki was hard to sway, frozen like a deer in headlights. He shook his head, softening his face into a worried frown. But it was more of a command than a suggestion and Loki eventually bent, physically too, trying to hide his 6’4”-ness as he made his way to the edge of the circle next to Sylvie. 

“Can we make room so Clint can meet Loki and Sylvie?” Ms. Vaughn asked. 

Loki very quickly turned around and tugged her shirt, shaking his head anxiously. 

“He’s very nice, you have nothing to be scared of.”

As the circle opened, Loki was pushed in and Sylvie led him. 

The new little looked shy. Not in the “cower and hide” type of shy, which was common for littles, but the “refusing to regress” type of shy. 

He was quiet and tried to conduct himself coolly, even though he took a deep breath upon seeing Loki and looked away from him. 

Loki figured if this little was going to put so much effort in to present himself as an adult, maybe he should, too. “Um, hi. Look, I know the last time we met, things weren’t… ideal. Sorry about all that, but things are different now, I’m a different person, and um… maybe we could forgive and forget?” He held out his hand for Clint to shake, and Sylvie stared, shocked that the two seemed to have a history. 

“I’m Sylvie!” she greeted in a much more childish tone. 

“Hi… I’m Clint,” he introduced himself back after shaking Loki’s hand. 

The tots knew of Clint and Mobius knew him, but they really hadn’t met him, not in this universe. All they knew is that he had just moved back to the area and Mobius was working hard to get him back on the team along with a few of his other hero friends. 

“Clint has a tough time regressing so we’re going to be really nice and try not to force him, okay?” 

“I’ll be alright ms.V,” he assured her. 

 

Throughout the day, Clint calmly participated in all the activities. He was mellow and deliberate in his actions, like an adult surrounded by children and not a child himself. Apparently Bucky had been similar when he had first started coming to daycare, but he had warmed up. 

Scott and Sylvie actively encouraged him to come play, showing him all the cool toys and stuff that they had. But his quiet stoicness put Bucky and Loki slightly on edge and made it hard for them to be their silly little selves. 

 

However, over the next few days of working with him as adults and at daycare, things turned. It started with Bucky coming around and proposing playing a board game, which Loki and Sylvie had fun with, but struggled. The next development came with an outdoor playtime, when Clint found a nice stick and a high fantasy style game began out on the playground. 

It became increasingly obvious that Clint was definitely a little, but just an older one, with a headspace ranging from about five through eight. 



“Where’s Loki?” He asked after a few weeks of getting used to being around them. 

“Oh, he’s in the baby area,” Sylvie answered nonchalantly, playing with some Lego blocks parallel to Scott and Bucky. Not hearing a response, she looked up at Clint, “Do you want to go see him?” 

“Yeah, sure. Sounds fun.”

Sylvie put in some minor effort to push herself up and off the ground and looked over to the baby area.

 Scott and Bucky also abandoned their building projects to follow her and Clint.

Sylvie opened the fencing and let in her friends to look for Loki. 

They found the little playing with a gear toy on the wall of a padded play enclosure. He looked up from his exploring to greet them with a doe eyed stare. 

“Hi, Loki,” Clint said, squatting down next to him in order to look him over. 

Loki, with his fingers in his mouth, said nothing but did a little grabby hand at Sylvie. 

She picked him up without hesitation and carried him back to the gate. “Ms. Vaughn?” Sylvie asked. “Can we take Loki out of the baby area? Just to play? Please?” 

The teacher looked at the group of little friends, and told them to take good care of him, stay near the area, and come right to a teacher if he needed anything. 

Bucky and Scott went back to playing with their normal bricks while Sylvie took out the chunky toddler ones for herself and her little brother, going into a smaller headspace as she did so. 

Although Clint kept working with the older boys, he watched them with immense fascination, especially as Loki crawled and tried to fit things in his mouth or take blocks from Sylvie, who was very quickly becoming annoyed with his behavior. 

Eventually, he took matters into his own hands. “Uh, Loki, do you want me to read you a story?” he asked after Scott had whispered the suggestion in his ear. 

If there was one thing Loki loved, it was stories. He loved experiences where he’d have something to tell about, being read to, reading aloud on his own, making things up, all of it. 

In the brief moment of peace, Sylvie set Loki’s dangling pacifier into his mouth and patted his bottom as she shooed him away from her designs. 

Clint stood up. “Can you walk?” he asked the baby, who was still crawling and probably getting rug burn on his exposed knees. 

Loki paused and eventually nodded, taking Clint’s hand and letting him lead over to the bookshelf where Loki tried to find a story about himself like always, and, as usual, found nothing. But Clint grabbed some old childhood classics, two or three picture books that would probably keep him calm and happy. 

Loki spread out on top of Clint in the beanbag chair with no regard to personal space, half on Clint’s lap like how he usually sat with Mobius, and half laying on the older little’s chest. 

“You are a big boy, huh?” Clint choked as he tried not to get the wind knocked out of him from Loki’s unseen density, all 500 pounds covering him like the world’s worst weighted blanket. 

The little soon started to fuss and whine, like usual, but what was Clint supposed to do? He didn’t spend enough time around Loki to identify his cries, nor was he Sylvie who could just pick him up effortlessly and take him to one of the teachers. So for a second, he simply sat there, trying to convince Loki to quiet down. 

“Loki, what do you need?” he asked when the baby began to self soothe with his thumb. “Can you tell me what’s wrong?”

Loki looked at him with those glassy eyes, not allowing any coherent word escape his lips. 

Clint sighed and tried his last resort. Maybe, if he was very lucky, Loki would be able to communicate with him.

“What does Loki want? Does Loki need a change? Diaper messy? Wet? Are you bored? Tired? Hungry?” He tried in sign language. He wasn’t super fluent, but it was enough to get by when talking to a baby.

Loki’s eyes widened and the tears seemed to clear immediately, “Loki hungry,” he mimicked with ease.

Thank god Mobius had taught him a little bit. 

“Can you move off me so we can go get Ms. Vaughn?” Clint asked verbally. 

Loki crawled off him and kept sucking his thumb, sitting crisscrossed on the floor patiently. 

“Are you coming with me?” he asked. 

Loki picked up the picture book and considered chewing on the cardboard binding of it, but paused when he realized he was being watched. 

The little crawled behind his friend, and the pair caught the attention of Sylvie, who quickly got up from her toys to pick her little brother up. 

Loki was soon strapped into a highchair with Sylvie feeding him from a jar of baby food Mobius had packed in his diaper bag, complete with jet-ski noises and all, even though it was still before formal lunchtime by a good half an hour. 

“So… you guys use sign language?” Clint asked while Sylvie worked. 

“M, little bit. Just a couple things when non-verbal to get our needs met. I don’t think we can hold conversations.” Sylvie talked like a grown-up, but with her movements, interests, and dress, she seemed only slightly older than Loki, probably three-ish.

Clint nodded as he listened, taking in the information and watching the little gods as Sylvie clumsily got baby food mush all over Loki’s cheeks and lips. 

 

As naptime rolled around, the effects of exhaustion were most apparent on Clint, falling quickly into the younger side of his headspace as he spent most of his day around the younger littles. Maybe he wasn’t little enough for a pacifier or a pull-up, but he started to mumble when he spoke, and laid down while focused on the toys and games. 

The lights flickered to signal for naptime and most of the littles got up to go get their comfort items and sleeping mats, but Clint stayed, still building a bow of bricks. 

“Clint, we’re going to take a nap now,” the daycare teacher reminded him as all of the other littles got snuggled in. 

He ignored her with a furrowed brow.

Lucky for Loki and Sylvie, they had a prime view of this drama from their mats. 

“Can you join your friends on their mats?” 

He kept ignoring her. 

“I’m going to count to ten-”

He turned off his hearing aids. 

The little gods giggled as they watched him, knowing they’d probably get in trouble, too, while Clint was taken by the hand and lead to the timeout chair. 

And that’s how Clint won Loki and Sylvie’s respect and friendship.

Chapter Text

While the night had been horribly long, the morning went by quickly, because today, the Avengers got a call. This wasn’t out of the ordinary, and Mobius tried to make it go smoothly, doing his best to try and keep his Lokis out of headspace. 

Loki begrudgingly put on his Asgardian war leathers, and Sylvie put on something similar. Mobius didn’t bother wearing anything fancy, knowing he’d likely stay in the ship or in the building and give instructions through a headset. 

 

The battle went fine, just like usual: There were no major injuries, no casualties, only about $700,000 in property damage, and some minorly hurt pride as they narrowly let the resentful mutant creature escape. 

Afterwards, Mobius saw his significant others coming back into the offices. Their superhero outfits were still on, but they seemed stressed and depleted, no doubt caused by the near sleepless night before the call. 

He rolled away from his desk in his comfy black office chair, opening his arms for them to fill. “How are my favorite heroes doing?” he asked, standing up to hug them.

Mobius noted how hesitant Loki and Sylvie were to rejoin the rest of the group after the embrace, who were talking behind a large glass wall where the three could see them. 

He took the big golden helmets off of his partners and took them by the hands to meet with the other heros, slipping into his own caregiver headspace as he did so. But to be fair, Loki and Sylvie were slipping into their little ones and weren’t doing a great job hiding it, even if it was slight. 

They chatted in the hall with the team until Fury called them into a more formal meeting reviewing the mission. 

Loki and Sylvie sat on the far end of the conference table on either side of Mobius. The gods put their boots up on the surface until Mobius tapped their knees, signaling them to stop. 

Loki raised his hand as if he were in a class. 

Fury pointed at him. “Loki, do you have any snide remarks to add?” 

“May I take notes?” 

The entire group, including Mobius and Sylvie, stared at him. It was obvious the question had caught Fury off guard as well. “Uh, sure…”

Loki made himself a notepad and dramatically also created a fancy calligraphy pen. 

Mobius looked over to his paper every few minutes and fidgeted with his own ballpoint pen in his pocket. As the meeting droned on, Mobius started to click it absently. “Psst. Mind if I join you?” he asked Loki. 

Loki slid the notebook to him, sharing it, a step Mobius took note of with a smile that he tried to hide. 

Sylvie was resting her head in her hand and pretending not to be falling asleep. 

Mobius tried to tap her shoulder, but his hand fell through. He felt a tug on his pant leg. Looking down as subtly as possible, he found Sylvie curled up under the table. 

She held a finger to her lips. 

He let her continue her avoidance. It wasn’t like the meeting was important, anyway. 

 

By the time they were allowed to leave, Loki’s fancy drawings and calligraphic doodles of random words he heard in conversation had devolved into bored scribbles and vague lines. 

Fury put a hand on Mobius’ shoulder, which made him jump. “I need you to keep working,” he said, an apology was in his voice, “but your littles are allowed to stay and any accommodations you request will be provided to the best of our abilities.” 

“Thank you,” Mobius replied, as the rest of the group left the room. 

After the door shut, he gently kicked Sylvie under the table. 

She got up and sat back in her seat. 

“Today’s going to be fun, isn’t it?” he asked tiredly, looking between the two to find Loki sucking his thumb. 

Sylvie agreed, softly setting her head on the table as if she just wanted to break that stupid piece of glass with all her heart’s desire. 

“How’re you doing?” Mobius asked her.

“I’m exhausted,” she groaned. 

“Do you want to chill here while I get Loki all ready for a baby nap?” 

“Not a baby,” Loki protested meekly, continuing his tired scribbles. 

“Yeah… that’ll be fine,” she replied. 

“Anything I can get you?” 

“Just a cup of coffee…” she mumbled. 

 

“Ready?” Mobius asked. 

Loki stood up, ready to be taken home, not internalizing anything Fury had said. 

“Alright, up we go big guy,” Mobius strained. It wasn’t Loki’s weight that bothered him, nor the little’s height. The difficulty Mobius expressed was more so from the maneuvering that had to be done in relation to Loki’s eccentric battle armor and all of its dangling bits and pieces to keep it clean, and Loki secure and comfortable, in his arms. Although, it did add another fifty pounds to the little. He felt extremely lucky Loki had taken off his big gold helmet before then so at least he wasn’t dealing with that, too. 

Mobius ran to look for Fury with Loki in his arms. Eventually finding him walking down a hallway, Mobius awkwardly speed-walked to catch up with him. 

“Um, Mr. Fury, do you know where I can find diapers?” 

Loki went red hearing Mobius address it. 

Fury didn’t slow down or stop walking. “Check with Hope or Sam, I’m sure they have some. But there might be a pack in the second floor janitor's closet,” he thought aloud, still sounding very serious. 

Mobius thanked him before stepping into the elevator, and addressing the little in his arms. “Sorry, buddy. It’ll just be a while. Let’s just find Thor and have him grab your bag alright? We’ll call it part of my lunch break,” he smiled pitifully. 

Loki nodded and silently tried to stay awake, kicking his legs as a distraction to keep himself alert. 

Mobius bounced him, trying to let him know it was okay to fall asleep. 

Eventually, he found Thor and the other heroes. “Thor, Thor!” Mobius called to get his attention while trudging around with Loki’s costume weighing him down just slightly. 

“Tor!” Loki repeated. 

“Ho! Mobius! Loki!” Thor grinned. 

Mobius paused and set Loki down for a split second to catch his breath. “Can you fly home and grab the diaper bag? Also, can you grab some pajamas and extra diapers?” he asked. 

“Of course!” Thor agreed, distractedly squatting down to pinch the cheeks of very sleepy Loki, and then grabbing his axe and using it to fly back to the cabin. 

In the meantime, which was only a couple of minutes, Mobius made himself and Sylvie cups of coffee, which forced poor Loki to hold his hand and be lazily dragged along back to the conference room where Sylvie was boredly playing on her phone. 

Thor returned, finding them still in the conference room, and handed Mobius the bag and two one-piece sets of soft pajamas in pastel blue and purple, meant to mimic the wooly texture of hugging a conditioned sheep. “Two?” Mobius asked. 

“Just as a backup for miss Sylvie,” Thor responded confidently. 

Sylvie scowled at being called “miss” in his ever so slightly condescending tone which she wasn’t actually sure if she was imagining or not. Something about the title, even without the tone, irked her when it came from Thor’s mouth. 

Mobius nodded and stuffed it into the bag. “Thanks again,” he acknowledged before turning his attention to the pouty toddler in fifty pounds of armor, threatening to pass out on the carpet, just barely holding his hand while sitting down on the (presumably) grimy floor. 

Mobius opened up one of the pockets and pulled out Loki’s pacifier, sticking it in the god’s mouth. “See? Better already,” he said while picking Loki back up. “Now, let’s get you a diaper and some jammies before you get all that fancy leather ruined.” 

Loki allowed himself to be carried to the bathroom where Mobius put down the changing table and got him undressed. Each piece of the suit took a good couple minutes to take off with its buckles and buttons. 

Loki got continuously more fussy as Mobius tried to remove the four hundred layers of inflexible leather and weighty metal studs. “Can you help daddy? I know you love playing with snaps and buttons”- Mobius was cut off as Loki started to tear up, sniveling upsetly and starting to go red in the face. “What’s wrong?”

“Outfit pretty!” Loki complained, clutching at the remaining fabric around his arms. He liked his battle uniform, it made him look big even when small, and it made him feel so powerful and cool. 

“I know it is, but we don’t want to get it all dirty do we? Maybe we can put it back on after naptime. How does that sound?” 

Mobius’s response was completely reasonable and good, but Loki wasn’t actually upset because he was being changed out of his pretty outfit. He was just sleep deprived and sensitive because of it. 

“No nap!” Loki wailed in protest, breaking into a loud tantrum. He chanted the phrase in between blubbering cries and dramatic screams, while Mobius rolled up the little’s turtleneck undershirt and pulled down his boxer-briefs just enough to slip the diaper on. 

The unstretchable pants around Loki’s ankles were good for one thing: They kept him from kicking Mobius. 

 

When he was all done taping Loki into the plastic-y pastel turquoise diaper with tiny clouds on it, Loki stopped struggling. 

“There we go,” Mobius quietly spoke, reassuring Loki as he removed the rest of the toddler’s clothes so he could put the little footie pajamas on him. 

“That’s a good little bunny,” Mobius booped Loki’s nose after washing his hands. The little whimpered a few final sobs as he was picked up and a pacifier was pressed into his mouth, again. 

“We’re going to go see Sylvie, and then you can help daddy with his work, how does that sound?” 

“Seevee…” Loki murmured sleepily. 

Mobius brought Loki and Sylvie to his desk. It was moments like this he wished he had a private office or at least a private cubicle, as the “collaborative” style wasn’t very efficient for putting a little, and a very tired goddess to bed.

Sylvie had finished her coffee but the caffeine hadn’t helped, and Mobius offered her a chair to sit with him at his corner desk. She refused, opting instead to make a nest of Loki’s armor and lie under the table, playing on her phone for about three minutes, before eventually passing out. 

She didn’t have a diaper on, and with how she slipped, Mobius assumed she didn’t need one. Which was correct. However, she did need a pacifier, as she still suckled on her thumb as she slept. 

Loki “helped” Mobius work by sitting on his lap, resting his head on Mobius’ shoulder and listening to Mobius narrate his work as he did it. 

“Listen to this; form 294A is going to help us get in contact with the insurance companies about any damages…” 

And with that, Loki was asleep. 

Of course, Mobius had been intentionally boring. After Loki was out, he even slipped some headphones over the baby’s ears and began playing a mellow recording of himself reading stories and poems that he knew the little (and big Loki) admired. He had it just for emergencies like this when Loki would want his voice but he wasn’t really available to talk. The noise cancellers also let Mobius talk with coworkers and actually get things done. He dimmed the brightness of his computer and tried to do most of his work on paper if he could help it so the screen wouldn’t disturb his little guy. He looked down at Sylvie just to check on her, but her earbuds were also in, and she was fast asleep in her strappy armor. 

Loki made a little snuffle behind his pacifier, probably a sigh from a rough dream. 

Mobius bounced his leg slightly to soothe him, running the hand he wasn’t writing with over Loki’s back. 

Sylvie started to stir after an hour, trying her best to itch a spot on her side. But her clothes were like a cast, and refused to let her. 

Mobius scooted back his seat to get a look at what she was doing. “Psst, hun.”

Sylvie looked up. 

“Do you want to put on those comfy pajamas Thor brought? They might be better than that thing.”

Sylvie nodded and crawled out from under the desk as Mobius tried his best to unzip the diaper bag while keeping Loki comfy. 

The little seemed not to mind the feeling as he let out a babyish sleep gurgle of contentment. 

 Mobius covered Loki’s head with a clean towel so he wouldn’t be affected by the lighting changes as they got up to help get Sylvie dressed. Her purple pajamas were incredibly soft, and she looked just as delicately sweet as Loki when she was all zipped up. “There we go, all comfy now, huh? Ready to go finish your nap?” 

Loki groaned, beginning to wake up, and pawing at his headphones. He fumbled with the towel draped over his head. 

“Peekaboo,” Mobius smiled at him as the sleepy little removed the shield from his face. 

The light was blinding for a moment, and he was still groggy, but he squeaked out his own “peek-aboo,” back. 

 “There we go; there’s two comfy babies, all ready to go back to sleep,” Mobius quietly narrated as he scooped Sylvie up in his other arm. 

Mobius was unfortunately unable to keep both of the littles in his lap at the same time, and he needed to make some calls, so he wondered what to do with the two. 

However, the problem was quickly solved as Sylvie wriggled out of his arms and opted for under the desk again. Loki followed her, crumpling himself into a tiny ball to fit. 

Mobius laughed at the sight of them, barely fitting in the space, but it was dark, and cooler than most of the building. 

Mobius attached their blanket over the front to block out excess light. He lifted it to tell them goodnight but was met with a declaration of “No grown-ups allowed!” from Sylvie. He tried his best to work as the two slept peacefully under the desk, making calls and hearing minimal noise from the two gods as he tried to position himself so his legs were not under the desk. 

Eventually, he began to hear whispering:

“Your hair’s in my face.”

“Mh.”

“Bunny, please move your hair?” 

There was the noise of Loki shifting around. 

“Much better.” 

Then giggling as Sylvie had presumably tickled him. 

Mobius scooted back from his desk and peeked underneath. “How’re we doing down here? Was your nap nice?” 

“Daddy up!” Loki called, unfurling himself from the tight space. 

Mobius checked his watch, which he had put on for the day (and for daytimes at work only), and picked both of his littles up, carrying them for a diaper change and letting Loki put his hefty armor back on, simply because it looked so cute. Sylvie was given the option too, and felt pretty confident that she also wanted to return to the comfortable discomfort of her leathers. 

“How big are we feeling?” he asked the two of them.

“Two!” Loki shouted.

“Four!” Sylvie replied.

Mobius nodded and took those answers in. “Lunch?” he also asked, just to be sure, it was getting around that time anyway. 

While at the cafeteria, The group ran into Yelena, Clint, and Kate, who were having an amicable conversation at a table and filling out reports from the mission. “I thought you two went to take a nap!” Kate grinned at Sylvie and Loki. 

But they shook their heads, “Big kids!” Sylvie specified and grinned.  

“And do big kids like you and Loki get to take shorter naps?”

“Yeah!” 

Mobius started to order at the counter, getting their attention. “Hey, what do we want?” he asked.

“Chick’n!” Sylvie decided, “um… n’ chocolate milk, please,” she added.

“Loki? How about you?” 

“The same,” Loki responded, sounding much more adult. 

There was a sort of awkwardness that the littles had been feeling. A dichotomy between wanting and feeling like they needed to regress, pushed against being at work and surrounded by people they saw often, even if it was “normal” for them to be little in public. Loki’s insistence on magically changing back into his adult clothes, didn’t ease the feeling either. 

Sylvie hummed and Loki rocked back and forth on his feet while playing with his hands, trying their best to occupy themselves. 

As Mobius brought their food to a table, and asked them a simple question: “How can we make this easier for you two?” 

“Games!” Loki suggested. 

“I know, we love games, don’t we? But I want to make sure you both regress comfortably and aren’t stuck in a weird in-between headspace where you get all grumpy.”

Sylvie crossed her arms and stuck out her lip.

Mobius sighed, “games it is.” 

Loki smushed his chicken nuggets in ketchup, playing with his food more than he ate. That gave Mobius an idea. He took a Ziploc out of the diaper bag and let Loki and Sylvie squirt some ketchup and mustard into it. The two watched as they sipped their chocolate milk with immense interest. 

“This is part of a game for later,” he said, gently putting the bag in with the rest of the littles’ toys. 

 

Mobius decided that his desk wouldn’t do for working with the two littles, so he cleared it out and found a spot in the empty conference room. He took out the plastic bag of sauce and checked that it was sealed without air pockets before sliding it over for the two littles across the table and encouraging them to play without opening it.  

Loki and Sylvie squished it, painting and trying to cover the bag with the, now orange, fluid. 

 

After losing interest, the littles looked for a new game. They rooted through the bag while Mobius had his headset on. 

Loki grabbed a teether and started following Sylvie as she took markers out of the bag. 

She looked at Mobius, watching him work on his computer, making sure he was totally distracted, before beginning to draw on the wall. Scribbling a doodle of her and Loki and Mobius. Their silly little family was outlined in green, except Mobius, who was orange. 

Noticing the quiet, Mobius looked up and found the two beginning to add Thor and their houses to the masterpiece. 

“Daddy! Look!” Sylvie cried. “That’s you!” she grinned. 

Mobius tried to hide his absolute horror at looking up, grimacing slightly until he checked for certain that the markers were waterproof. “That looks great!” he finally said, before taking a photo of it with his phone. “Alright, let’s grab some paper towels and water so we can clean it up. Gotcha? I don’t think Fury would like that two silly babies drew on his wall.” He patted the two on the back and took them by the hands to go get cleaning supplies. 

“Tor! Hi Tor!” Loki yelled as he caught a glimpse of his brother on the other side of the hallway. 

Not caring about making a scene, Thor ran up to him, picking Loki up and tossing him in the air gently to avoid having to deal with his armor folding uncomfortably. “How old is my dearest little brother?” he asked.

Loki, regressing more, just played with Thor’s beard and hair, and made a little giggle, hugging him, deciding not to answer that question. 

Sylvie also hugged Thor, trying to get out of work. 

“Can you bring them? They need to help clean up a drawing they made on the wall.”

“Drawing on the wall? Loki… probably Sylvie..., you remember the spankings you got for that!” Thor chided before deciding to come help. Not like he was doing anything interesting, anyhow. 

For a spot to draw on the wall, Loki and Sylvie didn’t choose a bad one, S.H.I.E.L.D headquarters' sterile aesthetics made nearly any kind of wall mess easy to clean up. Mobius probably could’ve wiped away the drawing with spray cleaner and paper towel if it was made of permanent marker just as easily as he could with dry erase. 

Sitting in the conference room, Thor helped them wipe up the mess, and then did his favorite thing: he played with his little siblings, helping them feel confident in regressing.

They sat in his arms as he read them “Love You Forever” which Mobius usually read after a tantrum, meltdown, or just an occurrence of the usual mischievous activity. 

Loki and Sylvie looked at the pictures with Thor while cuddling their plushies. Loki with his alligator, and Sylvie with her triceratops, chewing rabidly at one of the teethers, getting slobber on Thor’s arm that she was resting her head on. 

“Tiny siblings,” Thor looked down at them. “What shall we get up to next?” 

“Up!” Sylvie yelled. She loved being tossed around, especially by Thor: Bounced, slung over his shoulder, thrown in the air, it would make her giggle and laugh even though it would also inevitably make her sick. Loki however, had taken enough of that during his childhood and was not as comfortable with it. 

Despite that, Thor picked the both of them up. He held Sylvie entirely in one massive hand but kept Loki close to his chest, letting the toddler take up his entire arm to sit. 

“Um, hide an seek!” Loki suggested, putting his hands over his eyes to hide.

“That does sound like fun, what do you think, little sister?” Thor asked.

Sylvie looked down from her spot, sitting in the palm of his hand and raised above his head. “Hide n’ seek!” she agreed. 

Thor set them down and looked around. “I don’t think there’s many places to hide in here…” he commented about the nearly entirely glass room. “Mobius, can we leave this room?” he asked. 

“Yeah, just keep an eye on them, y’know?” 

“Of course, I’m sure it won’t be a problem,” he smiled. 

Mobius looked up from his work to give him a skeptical glance. 

Thor had Loki and Sylvie’s hands in his own, making sure they were staying next to him as they walked around, discussing what rules they should use, especially as they reached the cafeteria: “Alright, no shapeshifting, mind reading, or teleportation. We’re staying in the building, and no hiding in offices…” 

Loki and Sylvie nodded in agreement, deciding these rules were fair. 

“Tor seek!” Loki elected. 

“Alright. I’m going to count to thirty. Go hide!” he encouraged, covering his eyes while the two littles skittered away to find spots they would fit. 

Loki panicked as he looked around the headquarters for a spot to hide, eventually finding himself in the main entryway. Everything was either glass or reflective, and it was all very open. Eventually, he tucked himself up under the large reception desk. 

A woman had been working there but had left for a brief minute, and as she came back to her desk, she noticed him. “Can I help you with something, Loki?” she asked. 

Loki held up a finger, “Shh! Libary voice!” he told her. 

“Oh, you’re little!”

“Big boy!” Loki corrected. “M’ hiding from Tor.” 

“Gotcha, I’ll be real quiet for you then.” And that was the last thing she said, before going back to her job at the standing desk. 

 

Meanwhile, Sylvie was doing her best to find a spot to hide, deciding she’d take the route she had taken for the past eight hundred years; running. She ran through communal offices, and tried to cut through labs she absolutely did not have clearance for, dipping and dodging and trying to stay low to avoid any possible gaze, Thor’s or otherwise, with the agility of her usual self and definitely not that of a little toddler playing hide-and-seek with her big brother. 

Eventually she stopped: S.H.I.E.L.D. housing, perfect. She tried each of the door handles individually, only finding one unlocked: Bruce’s. She poked her head inside and very quickly hid under the bed. However she discovered other clutter with her, which she ignored until something under her leg made a loud squeak. “Shh!” she scolded the stuffed animal. 

 

Thor stopped counting and quickly realized, as he began to walk around, that perhaps he had given the two gods too much freedom. He ran rather than walked, hoping maybe he’d stumble upon them in the massive building. 

After a good twenty minutes of finding neither of them, and quickly growing not only impatient, but frantic, Thor came into Mobius’ office, and shut the door. 

Mobius looked up from his work. “You lost them, didn’t you?” 

Thor very shyly nodded. 

“Alright, c’mon.” 

Mobius got up from his desk and shut his computer. He walked briskly, forcing Thor to jog and keep up with him. The hallways were full of people but still felt cold. 

Mobius studied each person, looking at their mannerisms to make sure they weren’t a Loki. 

“I told them no shapeshifting and no hiding in the offices.” 

“That doesn’t negate anything, Sylvie can still possess people through touch, it’s always good to check.” 

They reached the front counter. “Hi, ma’am, have you seen a Loki or Sylvie around here?” Mobius asked, already suspecting one could hear him talking. 

Loki poked his head up, “No fair! You can’t have two seekers!”

“Alright, there’s one.”

Thor picked Loki up, holding the little on his shoulders like a very heavy and long scarf. 

“Now just one more. Loki, do you know where Sylvie is? What’s she up to?” 

“Dunno.” 

 

The three walked around the whole compound, exploring training rooms, labs, any closet they could find.

“Where’s little Sylvie?” Yelena asked as she passed them in the hallway. “Did she get lost?” The assassin seemed to have genuine concern for the mischievous little girl. 

Despite not being all that familiar with littles herself, Yelena had a friendship with Sylvie and found her a good sparring partner and friend when she was big.  

“Yes!” Loki answered. “Seevee lost.”

“Sylvie’s not lost. A game of hide-and-seek just got out of hand. I’m pretty much a professional Sylvie seeker,” Mobius explained, adding a little brag on the end. 

“Hm,” Yelena answered. “I’ll come, too,” she decided on a whim.

Finally, there was one last stretch of area to cover.

“I swear, if we find that girl in one of these rooms she’ll be over my knee so fast...” Mobius grumbled. 

Loki looked up. The threat, which was definitely empty, was not something he had heard Mobius say since his TVA days. 

Mobius knocked on the ajar door of Bruce’s room. “Hey, Bruce, is Sylvie in there?” 

No response, as Banner was busy working on helping heal any extra injuries from the morning’s mission in the infirmary. 

Mobius opened the door slightly and flicked on the lights. “Hey, Sylvie, can you come out please?” he asked, noticing the edge of her green cloak peeking out from under the bed. “Game’s over.” 

Sylvie crawled out with the stuffed squeaky puppy in her arms. 

“Set it down, hun’, you have your own toys,” Mobius said, not even connecting the dots of Bruce having so many toys under his bed. Well he would, but he was so fixed on getting Sylvie out of someone else’s room that he didn’t care enough to really pay attention. 

“Not fair!” she complained like Loki had. “Three seekers?!”  

“It is fair because the game ended. C’mon, let’s head back and find a better game.”

Sylvie huffed and stomped her foot, struggling as Mobius picked her up. 

“Save the tantrum until we’re back in the conference room.” 

 She didn’t; yelling and crying and kicking about how it’s not fair she gets in trouble because she won fair and square. With one cry she expelled energy enough to shatter a glass window near them. 

Making Thor and Yelena raise their eyebrows. 

“I know,” Mobius pet her back as she quieted down to just heavy breathing and sobs, exhausting herself. 

Loki on the other hand, didn’t bother with a tantrum, instead deciding to hang limply over Thor’s shoulders and head in protest. 

“I think Sylvie needs a change, can you check Loki?” Mobius asked. 

Thor took the second fussy little down from around his shoulders, but found he had stayed dry, 

“Alright, just take him back to the conference room, then. And make sure you keep your eyes on him this time. He's a troublemaker.”

“Like I wouldn’t know,” Thor replied with a smile. 

“Well…” Yelena shrugged. “That was more uneventful than I thought.”

“What do you mean?” Thor asked as Mobius stepped away. 

“You’re all gods and your games of hide and seek turn out like this? You have two gods of mischief and lies-”

“Stories!” Loki corrected swiftly. 

“And you play with the small children like this? No, no, no, they need more! Well,” she paused as Loki gave her a pouty look sitting semi-upright to avoid hitting his head on the ceiling and crossing his arms, “I need more! To watch! You’re boring!” she joked in a very believable manner. “Work on it,” she concluded, before patting Thor on the bicep and walking away.  

 

While in the conference room, Thor played simple games and  talked to Loki in Æsir, to which Loki replied with his excited mess of almost-words, jargon, and giggles. When translated, it sounded something like: “Are you having fun with daddy and Thor at work?” 

“Mhm!”

“And you’re going to behave, right? No more shenanigans?” 

“No, m goo’ boy.”

“Right. I’m sure you and Sylvie will be very well behaved princesses. Can I count on that?” 

Loki nodded. 

“Alright, all done.” Mobius said as he shut the door with Sylvie in his arms.

Sylvie stopped wallowing in self pity for a moment and looked at her daddy. She didn’t know what he said. 

Thor was surprised to find Mobius had been able to fluently get out a sentence, but he was even more shocked to find that Sylvie didn’t understand.

“Can she not understand us?” Thor asked. 

“Nope. Princess stinky over here has no idea what we’re saying.”

Loki giggled at the comment which made Sylvie give him a death glare. 

“But I bet that makes her feel like a real baby, huh?” Thor cooed as he pet the spot underneath Sylvie’s chin. 

She pulled away apprehensively, suspicious of whatever Thor was saying. 

“We should make it even, what languages do you speak?” Mobius asked. 

“I have somewhat of a gift for languages,” Thor bragged. 

Loki’s eyes widened in panic and he stared at Sylvie as Thor and Mobius effortlessly switched to the language of the Flora Colossus (Aka, “I am Groot”).

There was fear, but even more than that, the littles thought they sounded ridiculous, laughing and giggling at even the most serious sounding things Mobius and Thor said. 

The adults switched languages, something unrecognizable that coincidentally had a similar syllabic cadence to Mandarin, but no other similarities. 

That was much less ridiculous, and Loki and Sylvie found it much easier to understand, despite still not knowing what they were saying. At least the inflection and direction of their conversation was easier to decipher. 

“What does little Loki think about that?” Mobius asked, “is that better?” 

  Loki didn’t understand, so he sucked his thumb and motioned to be picked up with big grabby hands. Despite his innocent motions, Loki had his face contorted into a semi-scowl the whole time, and had his eyebrows furrowed. 

Mobius switched back to English at the glares from his toddlers, “would you rather have daddy and Thor speak in English? It’s nothing mean, we’re just trying to make you feel small,” he cooed.

Loki nodded understandingly but Sylvie wasn’t so quick to trust. She crossed her arms and stuck out a pouty lip. 

“Why don’t we choose a word for you two to say when you’re uncomfortable and want to stop?” 

Loki and Sylvie looked at each other and nodded with agreement. “Pancake!” Sylvie chose. 

“Okay sweetheart, that sounds good.” 

 

Throughout the day, Mobius and Thor talked back and forth in the foreign language, mostly babytalking Loki and Sylvie and singing translations of nursery rhymes to them. Mobius mostly stuck with the English ones the littles had learned from daycare, while Thor played with traditional Asgardian songs. The littles tried to babble along to the familiar melodies. But Mobius still sat working at his desk and typing as Thor played on the floor with the littles, trying to keep them busy with almost no toys or games as the minutes and hours ticked by. Eventually, settling on using a laptop he found to put on a few movies and tv shows for them. 

 

Mobius checked his watch and very suddenly shut his laptop. “I’m off the clock,” he smiled in English. 

He always grinned about that. After endless years without set work hours and it being just “work, sleep, eat,” and nothing in between, it was a special thing to get off work and have at least some time with his littles or his mates, however Loki and Sylvie were feeling. 

Loki demanded to be picked up immediately, lethargically lazing in his daddy’s arms as Mobius packed away his laptop and filed his papers. Before Sylvie could decide she was jealous and wanted up too, Thor threw her over his shoulders again. 

Mobius didn’t have the car seats packed into his car, but that was alright, his littles would just be happy to know that they were finally going home.

Chapter Text

Loki woke up in the middle of the night and felt awful like really awful. This wasn’t normal. No, it wasn’t like a hangover. Every part of him hurt and he was so cold yet so warm. He coughed and wheezed. Before getting up for a moment, downing a glass of water, throwing on a pull-up as a precaution, and slithering back to bed. 

When dawn struck, he felt even worse. As he noticed the absence of warmth next to him, he rolled himself up in the blankets like a burrito. 

“Get up,” Sylvie commanded hoarsely. 

Loki made an annoyed grunt and refused to even lift his eye mask. 

“I need to change the sheets. Get. Up.” she repeated. 

He didn’t budge.

“Look, one or both of us had accidents in the night and I feel like I’m going to pass out from just standing up. Move."

After Sylvie forcefully unrolled the blankets, Loki begrudgingly got up and felt his head spin as he did so. He checked to make sure he hadn’t been the one to have the accident, luckily not. 

By the time the two had moved to get a morning cup of tea, Mobius was waiting for them in the middle of his routine. “What’s up with you two?” he asked. 

“My head is going to explode,” Sylvie bemoaned.

Loki didn’t say anything but he coughed, and then gagged, and ran to the bathroom to vomit. 

Mobius looked at them curiously. “You’re messing with me, right?” he asked. 

“Why would I fake not being able to breathe through my nose?” Sylvie responded.

“I just always assumed you guys couldn’t get sick.”

“This is what being sick feels like?!” Loki wailed from the bathroom. 

“Yeah, this looks like a common flu,” Mobius answered, inspecting Sylvie up close. 

Sylvie groaned and went back to the bedroom to get some blankets. 

“Do you want me to call in and take care of you guys? I already got my flu shot,” he boasted although he knew it meant nothing to them.  

“Yes, but please, just stop talking.” 

Giving a gentle smile, Mobius made them each a cup of honey lemon tea. 

Bringing Loki his mug, and leading the poor god out of the bathroom he thought to ask “How’s that pull-up feeling?” 

Loki was surprised Mobius even noticed. “Eh… not great.” He looked down, checking if it was really that obvious. It wasn’t. Mobius could just kind of tell those things. Being reminded of the fact he should probably fix the soggy disposable before it leaked, he handed the mug back and shut the bathroom door to change it. 

Because Sylvie had taken the couch, Loki chose to lounge in the recliner. 

Taking their temperatures with a forehead scanner, Mobius and found it to be a startling 98.5 degrees, which was very high for a frost giant. 

“I need you to stay laying down. You both need to rest. Take a nap, put on some tv, or something,” Mobius told them. 

While he was gone, Mobius got up to look for some flu medicine. He found the bottle and grabbed a spoon before setting it down by the ball of blankets that was vaguely Sylvie shaped on the couch.  

“Maybe after your accident you should be wearing a pull-up like Loki,” he told her. 

Sylvie puffed out her cheeks exasperatedly as she poked her head out of the cocoon. Didn’t he know she had just gotten as comfortable as she could?

“Alright, open up,” he said, holding out a spoon of orange liquid to her. “It’ll help."

She naively opened her mouth and allowed him to spoon the liquid in. Cringing at the awful flavor immediately after he did so. 

“C’mon, swallow it for me, I know you can.”

She swallowed. 

The poor girl was starting to drop into headspace, it was pretty apparent.

When Loki got back, he was wrapped up on the chair. Mobius gave him a spoonful of the flu medicine and he almost spat it out, holding it in his mouth for a second, and giving Mobius a look of pure heartbreak before finally swallowing. 

“It’s no good, is it?” Mobius said with feigned sadness. Loki unironically stuck out a pouty lip before reclining back and trying to bury his face in the sweaty pile of blankets. He was dropping, too. 

Mobius knew it was going to be one of those days. There was no way Loki or Sylvie could stay big when there was no opportunity to be elegantly dramatic, not while the fever was so high; maybe in a few days when they could gently cough and lay on the couch draped in silken robes or vaguely see through pajamas they’d be able to be big. He'd let them keep pretending for a while longer though, for the sake of comfort.

The illusion was short-lived. As after one particularly bad sneezing fit, Sylvie had an accident and started to cry. It wasn’t a bad one by any means, she was just a little bit wet was all. The tears came from the fact that she felt awful and didn’t want to drop into headspace at all. 

Mobius picked her up. He had at least had a moment to change out of his work clothes and into something he’d be more okay getting fluids on. 

Sylvie put her arms around his neck as she was held, choking out wheezy little sobs. She was cleaned up and taped into a comfortable diaper before Mobius found her some comfortable footie pajamas. He also found something else which he hadn’t used yet. It was a brand new comfortable sleep sack to keep the littles warm, but Loki liked his blankets and never wanted to use it. Now, it would keep Sylvie cozy while the blankets were in the wash. 

The long sleeve pajamas kept her arms at least somewhat warm, while the fleece lined bag, that was slightly too big for her, kept her torso and legs from freezing as she laid on the couch as comfortably as she possibly could with the given circumstances.

While Mobius tried to convince Loki to move out of his pile of blankets, Sylvie finally rested. 

Loki refused, hiding in his little nest. 

Letting out a deep sigh from the lost battle, Mobius turned off all the lights in the room, and shut some of the curtains to dim it a little more. He cradled Sylvie in his lap, elevated her head, and removed the thumb from her mouth. “We don’t want any more germs,” he whispered. 

Sylvie grunted annoyedly and then coughed. 

“Poor thing,” Mobius added, petting her hair. 

He shifted to lying on the couch, letting her lay on his chest, and tried to get her to fall asleep, attempting to monitor Loki, as well. After an hour or two of helping the littles wipe their noses and keeping a pot for vomit nearby, just in case, he decided that he couldn’t keep sitting here cuddling Sylvie. “Can you snuggle with your big brother? I think he might be cold, too.” 

Sylvie nodded but Loki groaned. 

“Do you two not want some warm soup? It’ll soothe your throat and make you feel better,” he warned as he got up to make Sylvie a bottle. “Loki? Do you want a bottle, too?” he asked. 

At the same time as looking up to give an affirming nod, Loki was trying to make room in his blanket nest. 

“Does baby boy need some attention?” Mobius asked while delivering Sylvie’s. 

Loki hesitantly reached out of the blankets, exposing his arm to the cold (by comparison to the blanket nest) air. The little genuinely shivered for the first time in his life when Mobius picked him up. 

Mobius worried about it while changing him and wiggling him into a similar outfit to Sylvie’s, needing to adjust the straps so they’d fit over Loki’s lanky frame. He handed Loki a bottle of warm water after bringing him back into the living room, and pulled out the couch bed. He put down the blankets and brought both of them over for some comfy snuggles. That definitely made things easier. 

Sylvie laid on her belly with a quilt over her, absently kicking her feet while Loki laid on his back and drank his bottle without his usual urgency; putting slight pressure on the nipple with his teeth and let it drain down his throat, but didn’t suck on it. 

Sylvie let out a bored whimper as Mobius began making the stock for a pot of soup. The smell of chicken and warm vegetables permeated the room, and the steam acted as a kind of a homemade humidifier. “What’s wrong baby girl?” Mobius asked, after skimming some foam off the top.

Sylvie rolled over and let out a longer, louder whine. 

He came over to pick her up while the vegetables simmered. 

Refusing to speak, Sylvie made the baby sign for play. 

“Aw, sweetie, you need to rest. We’ll play when you and Loki get better.”

"Bored" she frustratedly signed. 

“How’s Loki feeling? Maybe we could put on some tv or a movie,” Mobius suggested.  

Sylvie nodded, that sounded good

Mobius set her back down on the couch bed and she tried her best to crawl down to the tv stand where the DVDs were kept, but she found the task rather difficult with her feverish state and the babyish pajamas that hardly allowed her to even crawl. 

“Hey, hey, you should be resting,” Mobius chided, putting her back on the couch. “Loki, baby, are you going to be okay if we put on a movie?” he asked.

Disregarding the question, Loki held out his bottle for more.

Taking Loki’s avoidance as a yes, Mobius turned on a straight to DVD Barbie movie. 

This time, Mobius filled the bottles with pedialyte, which was usually kept for hangovers, not an uncommon occurrence in the household. It was mango flavored. Loki and Sylvie both took theirs gratefully, although they were shocked from the change in the liquid’s temperature, and personally despised the icy glass on their sweat glazed hands.

Mobius tended to his soup briefly before sitting in between them. Letting them lean against him, he kept a box of tissues on his lap, which he periodically used to wipe their noses, or sweat from their foreheads before he kissed them. 

He felt Sylvie start to slump, quickly followed by Loki, so he got up and turned off the tv while he was at it. The soup didn’t need attention, so he made himself a cup of powdered immune support drink in water, just in case that flu shot didn’t catch everything. 

Mobius quietly hummed to himself as they slept, and puttered around, opening windows, and cleaning up rooms just slightly. He even set some changing stuff in the bathroom, suspecting that it wouldn’t be long until an upset tummy surprised one of the littles.

His theory was correct and Loki was taken for a bath. Once the little was cleaned up, Sylvie ended up getting a bath with him. She wasn’t messy, but it was generally going to help the fever, even if they thought the water was much too warm for their tastes. Mobius used fancy soaps and bubble bath to try and make them feel better. 

Sylvie didn’t even seem interested in her little boats or bothering Loki. She just delighted subtly in the bubbles she could pop, and steam in her lungs. Loki had a similar reaction, as he didn’t splash or try to swim around or make a bubble beard for himself. 

Mobius smeared a glob of vapor rub onto their chests as he diapered each of them. Loki looked down at the strange smelling paste apprehensively as Mobius quietly explained what it was. “It’ll help the cough.” 

A tightness grew in Loki's chest as the cream settled. He coughed. 

“That means it’s working,” Mobius said as he slipped Loki into a pair of bright orange felt footie pajamas with a little rabbit tail and ears. Sylvie got a set of warm comfy pajamas as well, much like the ones she was wearing earlier. “Do you think we can go back to napping?” he asked both of them after getting them comfortable. 

Sylvie tiredly smiled and shook her head. 

“Feeling good enough to stay up but not feeling good enough to speak,” he observed.

It wasn’t as though Sylvie had gone non-verbal due to regressing so small, as her and Loki were usually, if not chatty, at least very vocal about babbles and squeals and screams. She didn’t want to talk because her throat burned so horribly. “No nap!” Sylvie signed. 

“I guess I’ll have to set you two on the couch and let you watch cartoons,” Mobius replied, thinking they’d find it a treat. 

“Bu’ toys!” Loki rasped upsetly. 

“You can have a heating pack and some snuggles, how does that sound? We don’t want to get Ms. Croki sick, do we? She didn’t get her flu shot,” Mobius told him.

Loki gasped worriedly, he absolutely did not want poor Ms. Croki to go through this, which turned into a fit of honking coughs, before agreeing and making grabby hands to be picked up, snuggles were a much better option. 

After hours of movies and cartoons and drifting in and out of consciousness, the littles were finally given dinner of delicious, tender, chicken noodle soup, which Mobius fed to them while they were strapped into highchairs.

It coated the back of Sylvie’s throat, numbing the soreness momentarily in between bites. 

Loki tried to take the bowl from Mobius’ hands and dump the whole thing into his mouth, but it was taken from him before that could come to fruition. “Hey, sicky, we’ve already made enough of a mess today, why not give daddy a break?” Mobius laughed. 

He kept feeding the little who took each bite with relative enthusiasm, for not really having an appetite and all. Afterwards, the two babies cuddled into each other as if they had been sewn together and Mobius decided it was a good time for a story and bedtime. 

“What do you two think? Is it bedtime?” he asked as Loki downed at least his third bottle of water. 

 Both the littles tiredly nodded. 

“Crib or bed? What’re we doing?” 

“Beh,” Loki squeaked.

Sylvie nodded. 

Mobius changed both of them and gave them a spoonful of a mysterious blue liquid. It tasted as bad as the orange one from this morning, but with a strange mintiness to it. 

They hated it, so he made sure to make their bottles extra special, mixing extra honey into the milk.

Finally, he picked out a story and started to read as they snuggled up next to him. Asleep before he could even finish the first chapter of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Chapter Text

The flu shot had not spared Mobius from catching whatever awful virus the littles had contracted, like he hoped it would. 

He called in sick and was able to get most of his work done from home. It wasn’t much, anyway, and Sylvie was happy to pick up the slack with little Loki. He was older today, maybe around three or four, as he just wanted to play pretend all morning. 

“Where were you the other day when you wouldn’t even play ‘salon’ with me and Bucky?” Sylvie asked playfully while dragging Loki away from Mobius’ desk where he was “helping” his daddy by punching in random numbers on the adding machine, scribbling on the back of important looking papers, and ‘taking calls’ on his toy phone, while wearing a pair of glasses with the lenses punched out. 

Loki giggled as Sylvie took him into the kitchen. “Maybe we can play in here. Can you be a good chef and help mummy make daddy some nice breakfast?” she asked. 

Loki nodded and did his best to help make pancakes, which were really more for them than they were for poor Mobius, who really didn’t have the appetite for slightly undercooked and oily pancakes with random spices added in because “no, that recipe can’t be right… Mobius always puts salt in things and oil in the pan.”

Loki did his part by mixing the batter and bringing the tray of pancakes with syrup, and a small cup of the orange flu medicine, which Sylvie had prepared, to Mobius. Sylvie carried a glass of orange (fruit) juice for him, as well. 

Mobius was sitting up in bed, braced against a pile of pillows, half asleep, with a pile of balled up Kleenex next to him. He was horribly congested when they entered. 

“We made you breakfast!” Sylvie told him as she put the glass on his nightstand and Loki gently handed him the tray. 

“Aw, you guys are so sweet,” he said. 

“Loki even helped with your work,” she smiled as she picked Loki up in her arms. 

The toddler nodded proudly. 

“He… what?”

“Oh he was just playing. Isn’t that right? You were playing ‘be like daddy’, huh?” she cooed. “But seriously, I hope it’s okay he got crayon on the back of your papers.”

“Only the backs?” 

“Pretty sure.”

Mobius sighed in relief, “yeah that’s fine… just try to keep him away from that stuff. Please?” 

Sylvie turned to Loki, “Hear that? We need to play something else besides ‘office’.”

Loki nodded and ran off, tugging Sylvie’s hand to go find something else to play with. 

She kissed Mobius on the cheek before following the toddler. 

“What are we going to play?” she asked as he very urgently led her into the nursery. 

“Daddy sick!” Loki informed her. 

“Yes, he is, so we’re going to leave daddy alone and let him sleep.” 

“No, daddy need doctor! Doctor Loki!” 

“Can you play doctor with Croki or mummy, instead?” 

Loki laughed, “Mummy n’ Croki no sick! Silly!” 

“Well, mummy needs a check up.”

Loki crossed his arms. “Fine.” 

He made himself a new outfit of a lab coat and grabbed some paper and a clipboard. Sylvie sat in a dining chair while Loki took her blood pressure and tested her reflexes and listened to her heart. He seemed like he was rushing to quickly get to Mobius, but Sylvie tried her best to keep him away and occupied. 

 

The door opened slowly. 

“Are you awake?”

“Just barely… What’s up?”

“Loki was wondering if he could come help nurse you back to health,” Sylvie said sweetly.

“What do you mean?” 

Sylvie had opened her mouth to speak but before she could, Loki ran in with his little bag and squatted by Mobius’ bedside. 

“Hey, buddy. Are you coming to help me?”

“Doctor,” Loki corrected. 

“Right, no, of course,” he coughed weakly.

Loki nervously looked at Sylvie before fishing out the stethoscope from his bag. He listened to Mobius’ heart. “Daddy listen, too!” 

“Oh, okay. Thanks,” he murmured as Loki put the stethoscope to his ears. 

The tot inspected Mobius’ ears and nose, accidentally tickling his mustache and causing him to sneeze. 

Loki stepped back before Mobius had the chance to get snot on the tools, scowling slightly, bothered by the disruption to his practice.

He proceeded to check Mobius’ blood pressure next, which he decided was healthy and normal, despite getting no actual readings from the toy. 

The little was about to stick a thermometer in Mobius’ mouth when Sylvie took the toy one from him. “Let’s use the real one today,” she smiled. 

Loki clapped excitedly as he accepted it, much to the distress of Mobius’ pounding headache. 

Sylvie explained how to take his temperature softly. 

Loki dragged the thermometer across his daddy’s forehead with just a little too much force, but the reading was correct: 102 degrees.  

“Mumma,” he concernedly cooed as he showed it to her. 

“That's a fever, baby, but it’s not that high. He’s going to be okay,” she informed him. “Now, can Dr. Loki come help me make some ‘medicine’ and let daddy rest?” 

Loki nodded. He kissed Mobius on the forehead and left his doctor bag on the nightstand. “Night-night, dadda!” he called, following Sylvie out of the room and eventually, after she helped him put his shoes on, the house. 

Of course, Sylvie had no intention of giving Mobius the “medicine” Loki would make with her. She got him a bowl and added some water and then let Loki run around putting various flowers, plants, and forest floor findings into it. She did her best to keep him away from the poison oak as he crawled and toddled, squatting by each and every plant to pick a leaf or two and put it in his bowl.  When he was done with his ingredients, he stirred up the mixture with Sylvie’s help. “Alright, set it on the table, and mummy will get it to him once his current medicine wears off,” she told the little. 

He nodded, trusting her, and set the bowl on the deck.  

“Now, what can bunny do to make daddy feel better?” she asked as if she were simply wondering aloud. “Hm… can bunny touch his toes?” 

Loki found the suggestion odd and giggled at it, but followed her directions. 

“Can bunny… put his hands on his head?”

Loki followed again, grinning from ear to ear. 

“Can bunny stand on one leg?” she demonstrated. 

Loki mimicked. 

“Okay, now here’s the tough one, ready?” she put her hands on her knees and Loki copied, assuming that was what she meant. “Can bunny… help mummy clean the house so daddy doesn’t have to?” 

Loki sucked in his cheeks and crossed his arms, playful mood suddenly shattered. 

“It’ll be fun!” she encouraged. “I bet you can’t bring mummy all the dirty clothes in the house,” she challenged, knowing that the little had a competitive air because of his upbringing. 

Loki rushed into the house, clumsily, tripping up the stairs and slamming the door, almost slipping on the hard wood as he kicked his shoes off just a bit too fast, and gathered the bin as well as the sheets from off the crib, running them to Sylvie in the hallway, who recklessly shoved everything into the washing machine without sorting colors, fabric types, or the type of dirtying the clothes had received: a couple stained with blood, some with food... sweat, piss, dirt, others hardly dirtied at all besides from a days wear. Of course, if Mobius had known this, he would’ve stopped her, but he didn’t, and both of the gods had such confidence that that was the correct way to do things, that it didn’t matter; the clothes and towels and sheets and blankets would come out clean.

The dishes went about the same, Loki and Sylvie hardly rinsed each one before putting it into the dishwasher, leaving plenty of residue on most dishes. 

Loki helped the best he could, despite being very busy running around the house with mop slippers attached to his feet on the hardwood, slipping and sliding, full of glee. 

“Shh, we need to let daddy rest, remember?”

The god nodded and quieted down. 

 

“Alright, last one. Ready?” 

Loki nodded he was ready to be done with chores. 

“We need to clean up the nursery.” Sylvie opened the door dramatically and let him see the mess. The trash was full, toys were everywhere, all the pillows and plushies previously on the crib were thrown about from when Loki ripped the sheets off. 

He shook his head. “No!” he insisted. 

“Mummy’s going to help, and we can use a bit of magic… look, see?” 

Loki had taught her some basics and she used it as an excuse to show off as she picked up a toy and set it in the toybox telekinetically. She looked very tired after she did so, but it was worth it as she smiled with a girlish joy, which was slightly repressed with a cool air. 

Loki put away all of his toys in the bin, shutting the lid, but didn’t bother with anything else, except his stuffed animals which he gently set on the bed and kissed individually, leaving Sylvie’s on the floor along with any toys that might be her’s. 

That was fair, Sylvie thought as she picked up her own, setting them on the other side of the bed. 

Loki sat on the semi-cleaned floor and picked up one of the three or four pacifiers that had been scattered around. 

“Hey, we’re not putting that in our mouth, okay?” Sylvie admonished, grabbing it from his hands. 

Loki whined, trying to get it back. 

“I know, huh? You just NEED something to chew on. Don’t fuss, you can have one of your clean pacis. Mummy’s just going to wash these. Alright?” 

Loki took a clean one out of his box and followed Sylvie out to the kitchen, watching her clean each of the pacifiers and looking at their pretty decorations with big eyes. Some were more intricate than others, but most of them sparkled or had some sort of pearlescent effect. 

When she was done, she set each of the pacifiers aside on a dishrag and took some more flu medicine, pouring some into the tiny cup. Loki watched her with a pacifier in his mouth. “Daddy med’cine!” he observed.

“Yeah, daddy needs some more medicine.”

“Loki med’cine!”

“No, Loki doesn’t need any, just for daddy.”

Loki shook his head, trying to make her understand. He pattered outside and grabbed his bowl of random plants in water off the deck, bringing it in, splashing water out of the container with his awkward baby walk. He held it over his head to accentuate its presence. 

“Oh, right, thank you,” she said, taking it from his hands and setting it next to the cup of actual medicine on the counter. 

Walking back to the bedroom Mobius was confined to, Loki suddenly stopped. 

“Bunny, do you want to come give daddy his medicine?” 

Loki nodded. Taking a moment to take in the awful sensory experience of stepping in a puddle while in socks. 

Sylvie didn’t immediately realize this. “Did bunny make a messy?”

“No! Jus’ wet socks. Big boys don’ make messies!” he bragged.

“Really? Big boy Loki’s big enough to use the potty all by himself?”

“Yup!” Loki proudly grinned, forgetting the feeling of his wet sock as Sylvie opened the door of the bedroom. 

“We brought you some more cough medicine.” 

“You’re giving me too much,” Mobius wheezed with a smile. 

“You said every three hours! It’s noon!” 

“Is it already?” 

Loki interrupted. “Daddy! Medcine!” 

“Don’t drink that,” Sylvie whispered. 

Mobius put it by his bedside. “Thank you,” he told Loki very politely before downing his actual medicine like a shot. 

“Bunny, what do we say when someone tells us ‘thank you’?” 

“Wewcome!” Loki smiled, hugging Mobius and trying to snuggle up to him on the bed. 

“Psst, c’mon, you can snuggle with daddy tonight.” 

Loki was hesitant to pull away, but Sylvie picked him up and took him with her, his odd proportions looked unnatural in her arms. 

Hesitantly, with lots of sad cooes and head shaking and little “no!”’s Loki was taken out of the room. 

 

“How’re we feeling?” Sylvie asked, setting him down. “Do we need to go potty? Maybe a change?” She pulled down his pants and checked his pull-up.

She raised an eyebrow looking up. “I thought you said big boys like Loki could use the potty,” she commented. 

“For messies!” Loki giggled embarrassedly. 

“Silly, silly,” she tutted, “you and your clever words,” she cooed, acting as if he had fooled her while picking him up to carry him to the nursery. 

Loki let out a playful scream as she did so, and Sylvie became much more serious; “shh, we gotta let daddy sleep. Can we be quieter?”

Loki nodded, “Libary voice,” he said in a stage whisper, putting a finger to his lips. 

“That’s right, library voice.” 

She put Loki in diapers as he was getting sleepy and would, no doubt, need a nap soon. 

Loki covered his face and tried not to fidget. 

“What are you embarrassed about?” Sylvie asked. 

“No nappies for big boy!” he insisted, his coyness turning to anger as Sylvie pulled his pants back up. 

“You don’t like mummy changing you?” 

“No changies!” 

“You jest.” 

“No! No sillies!” Loki insisted, “Big boy doesn’t need nappies!” 

“I guess big boy doesn’t need that pacifier either,” she commented, popping it out of Loki’s mouth. It was not a kind move, nor a smart one, as Loki’s headspace was, as always, rather fragile when acting this old, and rather unorganized, still favoring lots of baby products and practices. 

“Give it back!” Loki cried, lunging off the table, he was almost ready to fight her for it. 

“What is going on?”

Mobius had appeared in the doorway, looking absolutely sickly with large bags under his eyes and nearly as green in the face as Loki’s shirt. 

Sylvie stared at him for a moment and quickly gave Loki his pacifier back with an innocent simper. “I was just getting Loki down for a nap,” she explained. “Why are you up anyway? Shouldn’t you be blowing your nose or watching that show about the criminal comedian?”

“Yeah, but I couldn’t sleep. Wanted to see if Loki was having an easier time.”

He picked Loki up, hugging the little. 

“Paba,” Loki mumbled while hugging his daddy. 

“I like that one,” Mobius whispered. 

 “We were just having a tiff over if Loki was a big enough boy to not wear nappies during his nap,” Sylvie elaborated. 

“We don’t want wet sheets, do we Loki?”

Loki shook his head. 

“See? Easy. Loki wears diapers.” 

The little looked behind him at the slight bulk and shook his head, stronger this time. “No! No! No!” he said, kicking his legs and starting to cry, forcing himself out of Mobius’ arms, he turtled on his back for a loud tantrum.

“Loki. Loki! Shh, I need you to listen for a second and use our library voices okay? We don’t want to make daddy feel worse.” 

Loki ceased, with sniveling whimpers and muted words of protest.

“Why don’t we nap with daddy, hm? I bet he’s been so lonely all day.” 

 

While he was out of the room, letting Sylvie finish her work, Mobius got rid of the plant potion Loki had made him. He came back to see Sylvie crouched by the little, now calmed down and ready for a nap. 

“Can Loki nap with you?”

“Uh... sure. Can you make him a bottle?” 

“Ha! I don’t think he’ll want one because he’s a ‘big boy’, aren’t you Loki bunny?” 

Loki looked up. “Baba!” he requested. 

“Only a big boy with nappies, huh?” 

Loki glared at her as Mobius picked him up. “C’mon little ice pack, let’s take a big comfy nap.” 

Loki melted into his arms, being as quiet, and docile as he was capable of, trying to make Mobius feel better. 

 

Sylvie sat on the bed, letting Loki nurse from a bottle. As Mobius laid down drowsily, she ran her fingers lazily through his and her baby’s hair. 

There was peace for a moment as the two men fell asleep. 

Sylvie kissed Loki on the forehead, and tried to do the same with Mobius, but his sweaty forehead made it kind of gross and she quickly wiped her mouth on her sleeve. She moved Loki off her lap. 

The little grumbled and rolled into Mobius’ side with a little snuffle, being held like a big stuffed animal in Mobius' arms. 

Chapter Text

While Sylvie sat on the edge of the bed after bringing Mobius a cup of tea, Loki suddenly popped out his pacifier. “Mummy!” he exclaimed. 

“Shh, bunny, daddy needs quiet,” she whispered to him for the hundredth time today. 

“Mummy, new game!” he proposed. 

“Alright, what are we playing?” she asked. 

Mobius seemed interested at this point too, even if wasn’t going to play. 

“Like daycare. House!” he tried to explain. 

“You want to play baby?” Sylvie tried to clarify, confused. 

“Mhm! Gotta take care daddy!” 

“Silly boy, daddy’s not a baby,” Sylvie laughed, but mostly because that sounded like incredible fun. 

Mobius was already cracking up, putting a hand over the top of his face. “Loki-” he coughed out between chuckles, touching the side of his nose with the back of his hand, “Loki, aren’t you a baby?” 

“It is pretend, darling,” Sylvie rationalized, holding back a cackle. “And,” she whispered, “I’ll make sure you stay comfy and warm and,” she booped him on the nose, “give you lots of attention wention, isn’t that right?” she smushed his face and cooed in such an exaggerated way that she didn’t even use when speaking to Loki which made the little roar with laughter. 

Loki shifted Mobius into his lap, cradling him in a hug. 

Sure, it wasn’t his cup of tea exactly, but fuck , if it didn’t feel nice. 

“Mummy, baba pease!” 

“Does daddy need a bottle?” Sylvie asked, trying to suppress a laugh. 

“Yeah!” Loki exclaimed, “N’ baby stuffs! Um, nappy n’ paci, n’ stuffy, too!” 

Mobius was so exhausted from generally being sick, and so busy being in shock and trying not to laugh at the ridiculous game concept, that he didn’t even process any of the conversation he had heard, nor did he know how to react when Sylvie set a pretty blue pacifier in his mouth. Unused to the feeling, he fiddled it with his tongue. 

Loki moved, carrying Mobius, which startled the sickly caregiver. Loki held him like a toddler holds a cat, carrying him from the armpits with his arms around Mobius’ chest, until Sylvie noticed. 

“No! Bunny, you can’t pick him up like that! It hurts! Can you hold him like mummy holds you?” 

Loki readjusted Mobius in his arms. 

Wow, now this was comfortable, insanely so. Loki and Sylvie got to experience this all the time? It was amazing. Well, at least until Loki set him on the cold nursery changing table and buckled him down. “Mummy’ll change you,” he said, patting Mobius on the head gently. 

“Loki, can I have a blanket?” Mobius shivered. 

“Oh! Yessss,” Loki grabbed a comfortable blanket and draped it over his daddy... or baby? It’s confusing. “Here, baby!” he chirped before walking out again. “Mumma!” Loki called. 

“What do you need, bunny?” Sylvie asked while fastening the caps on the bottles. 

“Daddy changies!” he replied, “N’ Cib!” 

“Oh, the crib sheets are probably done, huh? Can you go get those? We want daddy to have the warm ones,” she had been so distracted by the second part of what Loki had said, that she didn’t even think about the first, but eventually the statement hit her like a truck. 

She peeked into the nursery, keeping the sixteen ounce bottle in the pocket of her men’s style pajama pants. “Loki said you need a change, everything alright?” 

“Yeah, I’m fine, he’s just… being Loki I guess.” 

“Right… Should I still get you changed and dressed?... Or?” 

“Might as well just get me dressed. Those pajamas might be warmer anyway.” 

Sylvie moved the blanket and unbuttoned his shirt. After she got him all undressed, she frowned for a second. “Gosh, are you sure you don’t want a diaper? This would just look so precious on you,” she showed him the pink princess ones. 

Mobius thought about it, weighing his options, and decided his pride outweighed the risks of going without. “I’m sure, but thanks for the offer.” 

“Alright then, sit up,” she sighed, unclicking the strap and wrapping the blanket around his shoulders. 

She put him in a pair of Loki’s footie pajamas, covered in blue and yellow stars. They were a little big, but Sylvie found him adorable. “Are you okay with me picking you up?” she asked. 

“Yeah, that would be nice, actually,” he admitted. 

Sylvie picked him up, rocking him slowly back and forth with his head slumped onto her shoulder. 

Loki returned with warm crib sheets over him, pretending to be a ghost. He squealed when he saw Mobius all bundled up and cozy in Sylvie’s arms. “Baby Mobi!” Loki cheered, running up to coo at the way he was cradled. It was weird hearing him say his caregiver’s name while regressed. 

“Okay, bunny, can we put the sheets on the bed?” 

Loki did his best to follow the instructions, and dressed the bed, before coming up to take Mobius out of Sylvie’s arms.

“Can you give him a baba?” Sylvie asked, removing the bottle full of warm tea from her comically large pocket. 

Loki sat in the rocking chair with his baby. 

Mobius wasn’t quite sure how to latch onto the bottle, whether he should try to put the whole cap in his mouth or just the end of the nipple, suddenly forgetting all the times he’d seen Loki or Sylvie drink from one. At first he was shy, but eventually latched on all the way after Loki’s gentle coaxing. 

“Good baby,” Loki approved, stroking Mobius’ belly. 

Now, Mobius didn’t have a headspace, he didn’t think so at least; he felt the usual benefits that regression gave through caregiving for Loki and Sylvie. Regressing didn’t come naturally to him, anyhow. But while he wasn’t able to care for his littles, he felt a strong sense of comfort and security as they were able to take care of him in their own, loving, but ever so idiosyncratic ways. 

 

Loki’s eyes were not visible to Mobius, shielded by his long black eyelashes as he looked up to Sylvie and how she was pacing the room, looking at toys and books. 

“Loki, can you check on your baby? I think he wants you,” she smiled. 

“Hullo, baby!” Loki said, looking down. 

Mobius smiled warmly and kicked his legs a little bit to greet Loki back. 

Loki grinned and pet his mustache while holding the bottle. 

 

Very quickly, Mobius’ eyes grew heavy and eventually fluttered shut. 

“Mummy, look!” Loki whispered loudly.

“Aw, look at that! Out already, sweet thing,” she cooed. “Okay, big brother Loki, can you burp him and then set him in the crib?”  

“But… wanna play!” Loki whined softly. 

“I know, he’ll play when he’s a little older, but he’s a little baby-”

“Loki protec!” he decided, sitting Mobius up to burp him and then sitting with him in the crib.

“Be gentle, you don’t want to hurt him,” Sylvie cautioned as she found a little cap and mittens made for littles who would fall into the “newborn” category. 

Loki nestled him and rocked him in his arms, trying his best to make Mobius feel safe and snug. It worked of course, even with the feeling of Sylvie slipping a beanie over his soft, silver hair and velcroing on the bulky mittens. 

Loki tried to hug him from behind on his side, but Sylvie stopped him, she had one of Mobius’ “first years” parenting books in her hand and was looking through a section in the beginning. “It says we need to keep him on his back while sleeping, alright?” 

Loki nodded, rolled Mobius over, and got down out of the crib, but not before handing Mobius his stuffed alligator, tucking it in his baby’s arms and giving him a pat. “All comfy!” Loki smiled.

“Look at how helpful you are!” she smiled. “Alright, bars up!” 

Loki helped her slide the side up and turned on the mobile. 

“Okay, we need to be real quiet, while he’s sleeping. What are some quiet games we can play?” 

“Train!” 

“Is ‘train’ quiet?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay, let’s play train.” 

Loki got out a chunky bag of wooden train set pieces, and started clicking them together to make a long track that almost wrapped the nursery. It wasn’t quite as quiet as Sylvie had hoped, but aside from the woody clacking noises of the pieces rustling together in the bag, Loki didn’t make a peep. He furnished it with block buildings and wooden silhouetted tiny trees. As he was running a wooden toy train along the fresh route for the first time since its completion, Mobius awoke and stretched; it wasn’t a long nap at all, hardly lasting twenty minutes, but that’s how it is when you’re sick. 

Sylvie noticed his movement and got up to peer over the side of the crib and see if he needed anything. 

Loki was quick to follow. 

Mobius tried not to laugh at how silly he felt. Itching the side of his nose with a mitted paw, he sat up. He tried to take the pacifier out of his mouth in a somewhat dignified way, but the bulky mittens hindered his grip, and he eventually spat the pacifier from his mouth, coughing into the crook of his elbow. 

“Look at that, bunny: baby’s sitting up all on his own.” 

Mobius chuckled shyly. “Yeah… so can you help me out of here so I can go use the bathroom?”

Loki glared at Sylvie, even though she wasn’t looking at him, a sort of “Oh, but he doesn’t have to wear diapers for his nap?” kind of look. 

Sylvie picked Mobius up and unvelcroed his mittens. “Run along now, but the second you get back, you’re up on that table getting at least a pull-up. I see the little in you and we’re not taking chances, especially not while you’re sick,” she lectured in her most strict “mommy” voice.

“I’m not a little! I promise!” he laughed as he left the room. It was lighthearted, but both Loki and Sylvie could tell there was an uncertainty in his voice as he said it. He was going through a sort of concealed identity crisis. 

Mobius returned and Sylvie propped him up onto the table, refastening his mittens on and giving him the most basic white diaper she could find before zipping up his pajamas. She cooed over how cute he looked: “Look at you! Aw, darling baby, you look like you just came home from the hospital!” 

He went immensely red in the face and laughed embarrassedly before having a sneezing fit. 

“We’re going to play with big brother Loki for a while,” she told him as she picked him back up. Laying out a blanket, she set Mobius on his tummy and sat next to him cross-legged, while Loki played with some blocks, and continued work on his trains, adding in some more “big boy” toys like Sylvie's Little People collection to make the narrative interesting.

Despite having his back pet by Sylvie, a diaper on his bottom, a pacifier in his mouth, and mittens on his hands, Mobius didn’t feel like a baby. He still felt like he was watching his little boy play with his toys, not admiring his older brother. It was an odd dissociative feeling as he rested his head on his forearms so he didn’t strain his neck. 

Sylvie noticed his affectionate but still very adult-feeling gaze. She rolled him onto his back and tickled his belly slightly, hoping to break the curse of maturity.

Mobius squirmed and smiled gently, but didn’t audibly laugh as Sylvie grabbed some baby toys, kissing his cheeks with a terry cloth, crinkly tiger hand puppet that had a mirror on its belly. “Mr. Tiger is saying ‘hi’ to baby, look at that!” 

“Is Danny Tiger!” Loki interjected, correcting the name.

But Sylvie ignored him. She brought the tiger up to her ear so it looked like it was whispering to her, “he says he’s you’re the cutest little baby in the whole wide world,” she smiled. 

Loki looked back up from his trains, again, to glare at her. 

“I thought you were a big boy today,” Sylvie remarked at him. “C’mere,” she said, opening a spot in her arms for the little to snuggle in. “How special: two baby boys getting to play with mummy.” She poked at the hands and bellies and toes and noses of her littles, like the parenting book had suggested, saying it helped itty bitty babies develop a better sense of touch. But it also seemed like it would be a very gentle and quiet game that wouldn’t bother Mobius very much.

 Loki looked at her for reassurance as he very cautiously brought his hand to poke Mobius’ cheek, and found himself surprised and giddy with excitement as Mobius raised his mittens up to grasp his hand, which the baby seemed rather proud of, himself. 

As Loki chewed on a teether, and Sylvie busied herself with narrating everything going on (mostly her inner debates on whether to get the baby gym set up) with Mobius in her arms, a problem revealed itself. 

As she was hugging the baby to her, resting his head on her shoulder, she felt him clench his entire being. 

“Everything alright?” she asked, trying to get a better look at him. 

She was met with a sharp, slight nod. 

After going back to petting his back, he made a noise like neither Sylvie nor Loki had ever heard him make before; a squeak of panic followed by a whining cry of pain, mostly emotional. 

“Aw, poor baby, I wish you were feeling better, too,” Sylvie absently said while she tried to stop Loki from taking things off the high shelves of the nursery. But, she was immediately met with something much more pressing.

The loud whine was quickly followed with a gag. 

Sylvie stiffened as she felt the warm feeling ooze down her back. 

Loki stared for a minute, ceasing his mischief, absolutely shocked, and then doubled over laughing. 

Sylvie wasn’t as pleased, but she did what she could. “Loki, hand mummy that book over there, please?” 

Loki brought it to her, still in stitches. 

Poor Mobius kept his forehead pressed against Sylvie’s shoulder, red with shame. Or maybe it was just the fever. 

She looked over the pages, looking for one about sick babies, a chapter formerly neglected mostly because A) Loki and Sylvie were previously believed to not be able to get sick, and B) Mobius knew taking care of sick littles was different from taking care of an actual sick baby. However, Sylvie wasn’t aware of this.

She noticed embarrassed tears in Mobius’ eyes and decided it wasn’t something worth being upset over, he was sick and it was bound to happen. 

She got up with Mobius cradled in her arms and set him on the changing table to clean up his face and check him. Obviously, since Mobius was definitely not a little, he was 100% dry. “Bunny, can you take baby with us?” she tiredly asked as she felt the vomit roll down the back of her shirt and onto the waistband of her pants.

“Ew! No,” Loki giggled.

“Loki, if you cradle him, none of it will get on you,” she demonstrated. 

Loki did as he was told but nervously, just to be sure he wouldn’t get any sick on him. “Icky baby,” he remarked, with both disgust and affection.

Loki brought him to the bedroom and tried to make him feel better while Sylvie put on some different clothes. Something with less puke on it.

He looked at Mobius’ tearstained face. The man he had used so often as a rock, the person who was normally his strong, comforting caregiver, looked so fragile. Perhaps he would’ve used the word “pathetic” but in a most endearing and loving way. Is this how Thor felt? Is this how Sylvie felt? Mobius was so cute and vulnerable. 

When Loki was caring for Sylvie, there was such an urgent business to the day that he didn’t have time to really think and feel this through. But now he did. 

Loki did not know how to express this love, so he ignored the feeling, instead playing a nursery rhyme game he had picked up at daycare. Knowing Mobius wasn’t going to sing along, he was far too much of a baby, Loki simply took his arms and did the movements for him. 

“What are my silly boys doing?” Sylvie asked, returning with a new outfit and a plastic fronted apron, just in case. 

“Bus-bus!” Loki answered, not catching that it was a rhetorical question. 

“Sylvie?” Mobius asked quietly. 

“Mummy doesn’t understand baby babble, sweetheart,” Sylvie answered, getting maybe a bit carried away with taking care of him. “But what do you need?” she asked, remembering that he was sick and it would probably be something concerning. 

“My throat’s just dry, that’s all,” he complained as kindly as he could, hoping not to be a burden. 

Sylvie sat down on the bed in between Loki and Mobius. “Alright, but no more big boy talk, okay? We need you to rest. I can read your thoughts and get you what you need. Sound good?” 

Mobius nodded as he was dragged to a spot at Sylvie’s side, near the head of the bed, and Loki crawled up to the other. 

She turned on some colorful baby tv for Loki, teaching about the farm, as she rolled up her shirt and removed her bra. 

“Th- that’s not necessary,” Mobius added, freezing up. 

“Shhh,” she adjusted his head so he could latch easily. “No more big boy talk.”

She let Loki sit at her other side and tried to keep him and Mobius from hitting their heads together. 

Loki kept looking up to watch the tv, the stimulating movements of different toys and puppets distracted him, and Sylvie eventually had to hold his head steadier and pause the program. 

Today, there was no issue with biting or struggling, as Loki decided he was done fairly quickly and wanted much more to watch the brightly colored “Old MacDonald” song. 

Mobius on the other hand, tried his best to get everything he could. 

Sylvie stroked his hair through the cotton beanie. “I think Loki may have left some in the other side,” she told him, transferring him over in her arms to drink what Loki had abandoned.

 

“Alright, all done?” she asked rhetorically, sticking a pacifier in Mobius’ mouth. She sat him up in her lap so he could watch the show Loki was so captivated by, kissing  him on the cheek and helped him clap along to “If You’re Happy and You Know It”, which Loki proudly did on his own, thank you very much. 

Both of the boys soon started getting fussy. Well, they had been fussy all day, but especially now that it was getting on dinnertime. “Loki, do we need two highchairs tonight?”

Loki nodded as Sylvie picked him up, too. “Mummy’s two pretty boys,” she remarked wistfully as she clicked Loki into his highchair. “Do you think you can sit up on your own?” 

Mobius didn’t answer her, but batted at the pacifier in his mouth with his mittens. Regardless, she clicked him into the highchair and watched him play with the straps like they were new and exciting discoveries. “Are you feeling better?” she asked him. 

Mobius kicked his legs, mimicking Loki and reached for her. 

“Aw, I’m happy to hear that,” she smiled as if he had actually given her an answer, rubbing under his chin. “Bunny?”

Loki looked up hearing his nickname.

“What should we have for din-din?” 

“M.. carrot!” Loki answered. 

“I think carrots are going to be hard on your baby teeth. Let’s see… we have some carrot baby food… and leftover soup. What do you think?” 

Loki looked at his “little brother” curiously, trying to read him and figure out what he would want more. He watched Mobius finally get the pacifier out of his mouth and replace it with a mitten that he chewed on while watching Sylvie take things out of the fridge with big glassy eyes. “Both!” Loki decided. 

“Okay, let’s try a little bit of both. I’m not even sure Mobius can handle these big chunks of chicken, though.” 

She stuck the tubberware of soup in the microwave and put bibs on them. Mobius’ had a dinosaur on it and Loki’s was pink with a crown and said, “little princess”. 

She opened the jar of baby food, separating some out for Loki and some for Mobius, using individual spoons for them for sanitary reasons. 

“Can you open up for me?” she asked, guiding the first spoonful into Mobius’ mouth. He curiously opened, letting her set the puree in his mouth. 

The texture grated on his tongue. It was weird and gritty, he was tempted to spit it back out, but swallowed hard. 

Loki got some, too, and accepted it excitedly, trying to set a good big brother example. 

Mobius looked at the next spoonful presented to him. 

Sylvie brushed the cold spoon against his lips, trying to encourage him to take some more. “Does mummy need to bring out the jetski? Or maybe the racecar?”

He took it begrudgingly. It tasted fine, but felt like pure sandpaper on his tender throat. 

Loki again, took his with enthusiasm, getting it on his cheeks and chin and clapping as Sylvie scrunched her nose and called him a “silly boy”. 

“Okay, one more and then we’ll get you some tasty soup, alright?” but to both of the Lokis' surprise, Mobius crossed his arms, and turned up his nose, leaning back in his seat. For the first time in his life, playing the brat card that he had studied from Loki and Sylvie. 

Sylvie tried the racecar, making little “vroom-vroom” noises as she guided it to his mouth, but he aggressively avoided it and looked at the spoon with contempt, crossing his mitted hands across his chest.

“Mobius, I need you to eat right now. Please? For mummy?”

He started to shake his head and tried to stop babyish tears from coming. “M-m,” he mumbled.  

“Oh, no?” she asked. 

He shook his head again, letting the salty wetness fall down his cheeks. 

Loki enjoyed watching the drama from the sidelines. “Mummy! Sou’,” he reminded her. 

“Okay, we’ll try the soup. Do you think you can eat solid food?” she asked Mobius. 

He nodded and let her raise the warm soup to his lips. “There we go,” she said as he took it. “Not worth tears, huh? Loki, do you want the rest of the carrot?” she asked. 

“Bunny!” he giggled, letting her give him the rest. 

Mobius liked Sylvie’s funny sound effects as she mimicked a jetski and a racecar for him, making little motor noises. 

She got him to finish the soup and had him follow it with another cup of flu medicine. “I think it’s time for changes, yeah?” 

Loki nodded, becoming aware of his sogginess and how cold and itchy he was. 

As Sylvie carried her boys back to the nursery she looked at Mobius in her arms, “Do you remember what you told Loki when he started regressing around you?” She didn’t wait for an answer. “You told him, he needed to let go and trust you because ‘daddy knows what he’s doing’. And I need you, right now, as a sick little baby, to let go and trust me. Alright? Can we do that?” 

Loki went first and got a change while Mobius forced himself to release, it took effort since he had never done it before, but when he was done, he felt much better after holding it for at least three hours now. 

He forced deep breathes and tried to remain calm without tears or nerves when Sylvie set him on the table. But his red, red, face was enough to cause concern. “Bunny, can you be on distraction duty?” 

Loki found some teether keys and dangled them, letting Mobius bat at them and try to grab with his baby mittens as Sylvie changed him, but the feeling of horrible embarrassment, didn’t leave, and he squirmed and struggled making Sylvie’s job very difficult, eventually trying to self-soothe with a mitten until Loki got him a pacifier. 

“Baby, can you settle? Mummy doesn’t want to mess up your tapes.”

He stilled for a second and let Sylvie zip up his pajamas. She picked him up. “Okay, are we all ready for bedtime?” 

She helped the boys brush their teeth and made them bottles. They were too little for stories or tv so she snuggled them up into bed. She settled for a song while giving Loki and Mobius took their bottles. Loki, holding his himself like a big boy.

Mobius had time to think to himself at this time: It was nice, being taken care of. It was great, being shown a new perspective. And it was wonderful trying to regress, pretending. But that’s just what it was for him… pretending, and it wasn’t for him. And that was okay. He got his therapy from taking care of his Lokis, not them taking care of him. Even if it was warm, and comforting, and made him laugh. 

Such a nice idea, being a little, so carefree and happy just because your caregiver handed you a favorite teether or from being set in your pretty little highchair with the darling over the shoulder restraints decorated with green polka dots. 

But it wasn’t for him. No, Mobius could look at something for his babies and say “that looks like fun,” or “that’s adorable,” but he could just never get into that babyish mindset, himself. Or at least when he did, it felt off. Something wasn’t right. 

But that wasn’t for him to think about right now. 

A sneezing fit disrupted his thoughts. Which was met with Sylvie gently wiping his nose as she continued her pretty song and took empty bottles out of mouths, replacing them with pretty pacifiers. She pet their backs and ran her hands through silky black and scruffy gray hair. 

Maybe he couldn’t really regress, but it sure was a pleasant experience to try. 

Chapter Text

“Are you busy today?” Mobius asked Thor. 

“Hm? No, I’m not. Do the little ones need some Thor time?” 

“Yeah, Fury wants me to work late,” he sighed as he tied a scarf around his neck and placed a bobble cap in his head. He looked at his watch, which had been taken out of its box for work. “Sylvie! Are you ready to go?” he yelled. 

Sylvie was not dressed to go out, but neither was Loki. They were both dressed like it was mid-march or maybe September; Loki had a green shirt and skirt overalls pulled over his diaper, while Sylvie had insisted on wearing a princess outfit all morning. 

“C’mon, it’s twenty degrees outside. I know you two don’t get cold but we don’t want to worry Ms. Vaughn, right?” 

Loki shook his head and let Mobius at least pull some leggings onto him, as well as his new ducky poncho, which was made for cold, but not particularly wet or snowy days, like this. 

 

“It’s not silly!” Sylvie insisted when Mobius asked her to put on something warmer. 

“I know it’s not, but I can’t have other people thinking I’m trying to give you hypothermia.”

Loki was already working on pulling the pants down. They were so tight! 

“Loki, I’m sorry you can’t just make your pants an illusion, if you’re wearing a diaper we need them to be real, okay?” Mobius told him, yanking the little’s pants back up. “Sylvie? Can you at least throw on a little jacket or some pants on? Please?” 

Sylvie reluctantly put on her little sheep jacket and some capri leggings that her dress covered. 

“Great, are we ready to go?” Mobius asked as he shouldered Loki’s bag. “Thor, are you coming with us?” 

“Nah, I need to bathe and dress,” Thor told him while brewing himself some coffee. 

Mobius clicked and gave him a thumbs up before ushering the littles out the door. 

 

The car took a second to warm up from the cool morning. Loki and Sylvie didn’t seem to mind, pretending to be little dragons in the cool winter air, puffing clouds of hot breath.


When Thor came to pick them up, later that day, he found the two were very excited to see him. Sylvie was her usual, bubbly, 6 year old self and couldn’t wait to tell Thor all about her and Loki’s adventures and how knight Scott had helped her fight the evil wizard Clint. 

While in the ship, Loki kicked off his shoes and immediately tried to slide the green leggings off of himself. As soon as that was done, he tried his best to put his shoes back on, unsuccessfully, eventually deciding he’d wait for his big brother to help him once the ship had landed.

Thor brought them into the home, holding Loki’s hand, because Loki was a “big boy” today and absolutely would not be held. 

Sylvie ran in, seeming to already know what she wanted to do. Her princess dress was ridiculously fluffy and made a plastic crunching noise as she ran.

It was a short day today, which meant daycare only went to noon, so Thor had plenty of time to spend with them. 

He got the two some lunch and let Sylvie watch cartoons. Some girls at daycare had recommended Sofia The First to her, and it had stuck. It was all she wanted to watch while little, now.

Loki made a spot next to her and awkwardly climbed onto the couch. He chewed on a teether while Sylvie bounced up and down to watch an episode that she hadn’t seen before. After two or three episodes, eyes started to droop and arguments started to break out between the two.

“Naptime, little ones,” Thor said, noticing the time. 

“No! Please?” Sylvie cried. 

“Mobius said one PM. I’m sticking to his orders.” 

Sylvie crossed her arms and soon, so did Loki. 

But Thor picked Loki up and took Sylvie by the hand, anyway. 

“Loki, do you need a bottle?” Thor asked.

“Big boy!” Loki insisted. 

“Bottle or a sippy cup?” Thor rephrased.

“Sip-sip,” the toddler decided. 

Thor put some warm milk into a little green sippy cup and handed it to Loki, who waddled back to the nursery all by himself. But Sylvie claimed she had no need for such babyish things and she’d take her milk in a mug, please and thank you. 

Thor grabbed a book of fairytales off the shelf. “Which one are we reading?” he asked. 

“Sleeping Beauty!” Sylvie cried, trying to push Loki out of Thor’s arms so she could see the pictures better.  

“Be nice or I’m not reading it.”

Sylvie stopped with a shy whimper, which also faded when Thor put an arm around her and began to read, sat on the ledge of the crib with the two snuggled up next to him.  

When the story was finished, Thor shut the book and tucked the littles in. Not fully asleep yet, they protested the bars being up. 

“Thor! No, we’re not babies!” Sylvie cried, crossing her arms and kicking her legs to show how angry she was. 

“No baby!” Loki agreed. 

“Fine. But I’m going to sit here until you fall asleep so we don’t have any trouble like last time.”

Sylvie scowled and looked away, embarrassed of what she had done while in a smaller headspace.

“No tubble!” Loki nodded, lying back down. 

Thor tried to suppress a smile at how cute the littles were as the two nodded off.


When he was positively sure they were asleep, he took the baby monitor from the master bedroom out to the living room with him so he could listen for any problems as he played video games. There was plenty of quiet time, but after an hour, he heard a plasticy crunch and went to investigate. He paused his game and turned off the console. 

“What’s up?” Thor asked as Sylvie climbed over the sleeping Loki and onto the floor. 

“Done with my nap!” she stated proudly. 

“Alright, well we should leave the room so Loki can sleep, okay?” he asked. 

Sylvie followed him out to the living room and worked on a coloring book, practicing her shapes, phonics, and colors. Perhaps she was older than Loki, but she was still just learning to read four and five letter words; sounding letters out individually and underlining each one with her finger and coloring, which allowed Thor to keep playing his games and check on Loki.


Loki woke up on the changing table. Thor was rolling up his skirt and Loki felt the sogginess of his diaper pressing against his skin. 

“It will be fixed soon, little brother,” Thor reassured him as Loki began to uncomfortably fidget. He wished he would’ve distracted Loki with something before starting the uncomfortable process, but that was just how things were. 

He helped Loki stand up and got him back to the living room where Sylvie was boredly reclining on the couch. 

“Can we play a game?” she asked Thor. 

“Of course! What did you have in mind?” 

“Princesses!” Sylvie proposed.

Thor nodded sagely like he had any idea at all of what that meant. 

Loki clapped. “Princess! Princess!” he cheered. 

“Alright, how do we play princesses, your majesty?” Thor asked. 

Sylvie got up and spun, looking down as her dress twirled with her. “Um… you dress up… and then we play tea party and talk about politics and stuff,” she explained distractedly. 

Thor hesitated, “Can we play something else?” he asked. 

But it was too late, Sylvie and Loki had already made their choice. 

“Princesses!” Sylvie insisted. 

“Please?” Loki added. 

Thor sighed. Wouldn’t be the first time he had been a princess. Not in front of Loki at least. “Alright. Let's get dressed up,” he said, regaining his more enthusiastic demeanor. “Do we even have a dress in my size?” he asked.

Loki grinned and made Thor a dress. The one he made was similar to the one their mother often wore. 

Sylvie shook her head. “That’s a queen dress. A princess dress needs to be fluffy!” she twirled again for emphasis.

Thor didn’t actually mind this one. Perhaps it wasn’t as flattering on him as a fluffy one may have been according to conventional standards, but it was a nice shade of blue and the gold details made him feel very powerful. 

Loki tried again. This time opting for the more childish idea of a princess dress. Knowing Thor was still a little bit insecure in his masculinity, he made it red instead of the pink Sylvie suggested, and included armor-like silver details on the shoulders and belt. 

Loki made one for himself, too. Instead of green, though, he chose a sparkly light blue. 

Sylvie gasped, “Wait! We need tiaras!” she yelled before running to the nursery and finding two plastic and one metal tiara. The metal one was for herself. She set one of the plastic ones on Thor’s head before stepping back and looking at him. “Hm… I need to braid your hair. I think it would look very pretty,” she commented. 

Thor loved having his hair played with, so he sat down on the floor with his back to the couch to let Sylvie brush him, braid it, and cover his head in some elegant, and other not so elegant, accessories. 

In the end, Thor’s hair was put into a more elevated version of his usual look; generally down with two small braids on each side of his face which were pulled back to direct your attention to a bun in the back of his hair, that was decorated with a fake white lily flower and a couple of sparkly white and silver gems as well as some glitter peppered in. 

 Loki cried out when Sylvie was done. “I wan’ be pretty, too!” he yelled. 

Sylvie sighed and did his hair, too. But unlike Thor’s, she didn’t put it up or braid it. She just covered his hair in a frankly ridiculous amount of rainbow butterfly clips. 

He stood up the second Sylvie put the last clip in and showed off to Thor, who picked him up and twirled him around. “Pretty!” Loki yelled happily. 

“Thor, can we play tea party now?” Sylvie asked. 

“That sounds like fun!” Thor exalted slightly louder than he meant to. He cleared his throat, trying to sound more like a responsible adult, “Yes, of course we can start,” he said, calmer this time. But the illusion of Thor being mature was broken approximately two seconds afterwards as he rushed to the nursery with the two littles to grab the highchairs and rocking chair to set around the dining room table, and as many stuffed animals as he could carry to be “guests”, working with the littles’ directions. 


Loki was allowed to sit in a “big boy” chair as Sylvie poured imaginary tea from her little plastic teapot. But, he didn’t sit for long, because as soon as Sylvie passed out fake plastic pastries, he stood up and hopped up and down with his hands on the table, obviously very excited to be reveiving a plastic torte cake. 

“Loki, sit down!” she chided. 

Loki grumbled as he sat back down and kicked his legs as he “drank a sip” from his cup, while Sylvie talked about the particulars of her made-up kingdom, asking about the staple food crops of Thor’s, and enquiring about how he was dealing with the refugee crisis on his border. 

Thor tried his best, but his improvisational skills were a bit rusty and he struggled, especially when Sylvie drilled him asking about where he was getting all of that money from. 

It was all very serious and professional until Thor tried to defer the conversation to Loki. The toddler was talkative and could hold a conversation, but he was pretty… imaginative: “My castle is green an’ we have unicorns an’ paint, an’ everyone happy!” he said while he rearranged the tray of plastic pastries. It had nothing to do with the topic that Sylvie had presented of educational systems.

 

Thor suddenly threw his tiny plastic cup on the ground. “Another!” he yelled. It was a habit he had just broken, but it was worth it to make Loki giggle. 

Sylvie seemed slightly surprised by his cry: She had seen Loki do it before but Thor doing it was new for her. 

“Anava!” Loki mimicked. 

Sylvie frowned. “Give me your cups,” she sighed, pouring Loki and Thor a new cup of air. 

Loki took the teapot from Sylvie when she set it down.

“Loki! No! I’m the hostess!” she complained. 

“Sylvie, remember what your daddy said about sharing?” Thor reminded her. 

She huffed, “it’s Princess Sylvie,” she said annoyedly, before letting Loki hold the empty toy. 

He pressed the buttons on it, as it was a very toddlerish teapot with a little face and interactive elements. He seemed concerned, face twisting as it did nothing. “Teapot!” he whined. 

Sylvie sighed. “It’s not on,” she told him, taking it back and flipping a switch on it. “Gods, everything’s about you isn’t it?” she scowled, crossing her arms, “don’t you ever think about your people? Or the beauty of your country’s environment?” 

Loki ignored her, delighted by the toy as he pressed a button that was mimicking the paper label on a tea bag. 

The tiny pot played a low quality rendition of “I’m a Little Teapot” with lights on the spout. Loki clapped and bounced in his seat. 

“Can I have it back please, Loki?” she asked. “I’ll keep the sound on for you.”

Loki handed her back the pink teapot hesitantly and distracted himself by dumping out all the toy desserts. He also flipped the lid of the sugar and pretended to mix a scoop into his tea. 

Thor raised his hand to “smash” the cup again but Sylvie stopped him. “More?” she asked. 

“Eh.. yes please,” he simpered. 

When Sylvie poured this time, the spout lit up and the teapot played a watery noise.


Not long after the conversation had picked up again, Loki started to fuss and cry over inconsequential things. 

Thor lifted him into his lap. “Are you going to tell me what troubles you, princess Loki?”

Loki did not say what had troubled him so, but he cringed as he was set on Thor’s lap. 

“I think Loki has a present for you,” Sylvie laughed. 

Loki glared back at her and then gave Thor a pained look. 

“A present?” Thor asked curiously, not understanding Sylvie’s joke. 

Loki shook his head and looked down disappointedly, avoiding Thor’s gaze. 

“New game!” Sylvie announced. 

“Is it still princesses?” Thor asked. 

“Yeah but now we also haveta clean up princess baby.”

“N-no baby!” Loki insisted shakily while Thor bounced his knees. The feeling distracted Loki from his words. 

“Only babies make messes,” Sylvie teased. 

Thor picked Loki up nervously; messes were the one thing he had not prepared himself to deal with. He looked for his guide book, setting Loki down to check his pockets, but princess dresses didn’t really have pockets. He lifted his dress trying to find the book in his pants. Finally, after rushing around trying to find the book, he held Loki’s hands and tried to calm the little down. 

Loki, what did you do with the guide book when you changed my outfit?” 

The little produced Thor’s clothes, which looked like they had been pressed and folded, but the book still wasn’t there. He still gave Loki a “Thank you” anyway, and asked Sylvie to help. 

Sylvie did so without protest.

“I know how to fix it,” Sylvie informed Thor as he panicked. 

“Okay, so you will help me get him all cleaned up then, right?”

“Yep yep! I wanna help princess baby!” she said, picking Loki up.

He sucked his thumb embarrassedly.  

Loki allowed himself to be carried, only throwing a fit when Thor untaped his diaper. Sylvie was happy to do most of the changing process. Well, not happy, but she had a stronger stomach for dealing with Loki than Thor did. Thor took over distraction duty and filled up the bath for poor Loki. 

Rinsing the little off was fairly easy, but getting him to sit down and take a normal bath with soap and such was much more difficult. Despite that, Sylvie and Thor managed to clean him up without dirtying their princess outfits and got him all changed and ready to play some more.


“Alright,” Thor began. “What now?” 

“Can we play outside?” Sylvie asked. 

“Sure,” Thor answered, “but can I have my normal clothes back?” he asked. 

Loki granted his wish, whisking him back into jeans and a t-shirt, but kept his hair all done and fancy. 

Loki and Sylvie kept their princess dresses on as they rooted through the muddy forest floor, playing games about fictional wars and building stick castles and forts. There wasn’t much snow today besides the occasional dirt-covered, half-melted pile in a shady patch that the sun hadn’t touched yet. 

Loki fussed when his dress got dirty, the white lace and pastel blue faux silk now stained with grassy greens and browns. He showed the soiled hem and front of the dress to Thor with a quivery lip.

Sylvie’s lavender dress was much dirtier, but the little girl didn’t seem to mind as she continued making mud “cannon balls” to shoot at her fictional enemies and writing treaties in the dirt with a twig pencil. 

“It’ll get cleaned,” Thor said kindly. 

Loki nodded and played next to his big brother but seemed to be uninterested in including him. Suckling on a pacifier Thor was pretty sure he didn’t have thirty seconds ago, Loki played with the sticks and leaves around him as well as some of the sand toys usually resigned to the beach. 

Thor didn’t watch him much, feeling it was much more important to have his attention on Sylvie, who, as usual, played a little too close to the poison oak for anyone’s comfort. 


Loki looked down at the hole he was digging in the ground, and then back at the full pail of mud he had created. He wanted to keep digging, desperately, so he crafted a new idea of where to put this excess: He got up onto his knees, smoothing out his dress so it wouldn’t get in his way and then spooned trowel-full after trowel-full into his brother’s pockets. 

Loki soon decided there was no more room in Thor’s pockets, and that he’d need to deposit the soil elsewhere. 

 While Loki was considering this, Thor had the awful experience of attempting to put his hands in his pockets, only to be met with clay-like mud. He stiffened very quickly, then tried not to glare at Loki who was innocently spooning out more dirt.

Loki looked up, feeling the gaze fixated on him. 

“Did you put dirt in my pockets?” Thor asked, already very much aware of the answer. 

Loki shook his dirt covered face innocently. 

Thor knelt down by him. “Your eyes turn green when you’re lying,” he pretended to observe. 

Loki squinted back at Thor, in an inconspicuous way to both hide his eyes and to look very skeptical of the idea. He then turned away.

When Thor moved to watch, the little shut his eyes tightly, confirming that Loki had, unsurprisingly, been the mischief maker. 

“Are you falling asleep? Maybe we should start bedtime early. It’ll be getting dark soon, anyway,” Thor joked. 

At this, Loki snapped his eyes open. “No! No bed! Please? Not tired! Look! Eyes blue!” he stammered. 

Thor suppressed a chuckle. “Fine, no early bedtime, but I don’t believe you apologized for dirtying my pockets.”

“Apologize?” 

“Yes, you did something naughty, now you say you’re sorry.”

“No.”

“Loki, that’s what a good princess does. Can you be a good princess and say sorry?” 

“....Sorry,” Loki mumbled. 

“Thank you. All is forgiven.” 

And with that, the winter sun began to set around the trees and Thor got both of the littles inside. 


“We might need to give you both another bath,” he commented looking at the state of both of them. 

Sylvie didn’t like that idea one bit. 

“Well we must get you cleaned up somehow,” Thor insisted. He picked up the little princesses and set them on opposite sides of the sink, clearing away washed dishes as he did so. Then, he took out a rag and ran it under the faucet, proceeding to wipe off their faces and hands with it. He was rather rough and Sylvie flinched away as he tried to scrub off a particularly resistant dried patch of dirt covering a scrape from the sharp twigs.


Thor picked Loki up to put him on the changing table. 

 “Big boy!” the little insisted. 

“Do you want to get up there yourself then?” Thor asked, taking out the little stepping stool the littles used to use before Mobius was granted his strength. 

“No change!” Loki said, shaking his head and closing his eyes, going beet red. 

“I’ll be the judge of that,” Thor answered sternly, starting to get a little annoyed. He picked Loki up and clicked him down onto the mat. 

He rolled up Loki’s dress. The saggy diaper probably should’ve been changed twenty to thirty minutes ago, but Loki was having too much fun outside to care, and his dress hid it too well for anyone else to notice. It had just begun to leak at the top of his leg. “Maybe we should take this off first,” Thor said, bringing Loki up to sit and taking the dress off of him.

Sylvie meanwhile was taking hers off, too and putting on a childish, fairy printed nightgown, with itchy tulle around the sleeves.

Upon noticing this, Loki started to kick and yell about how he wasn’t going to bed because he was a big boy, until Sylvie gently put a pacifier in his mouth and held it there, forcing the tot to mumble behind it, and giving Thor a big thumbs up to change the little.

Loki whined and complained as loudly as he could during the process, with kicks and cries, especially when fleece pajamas were slipped over him.

After zipping up the jammies, Thor grabbed Loki’s legs, suddenly stilling with a palpable wave of peace, taking deep breaths to relax himself and the two littles in his care. 

The baby stopped his tantrum suddenly as Thor touched the cotton fabric on the bottom of Loki’s feet.  

“You and Sylvie are very special to me,” Thor patiently told him while petting swirls into the fabric, making Loki squirm at the odd feeling. 

Sylvie happily rested her head in her hands on the ledge of the changing table and stopped holding Loki’s pacifier to listen to Thor’s monolog. 

“You’re my little sunshines,” he explained, “making my life a little brighter. Pulled me out of a dark place, both of you.”

As he talked, he played with Loki’s legs, watching the baby coo back and play with the handle of his pacifier, kicking his legs in motion with Thor’s gentle pushes and pulls on his calves. The voice calmed him immensely.

He momentarily set down Loki’s legs, and stepped away to pick Sylvie up in an arm, and pet Loki’s belly while leaning against the table. “For as much headache as you two weasels cause me,” he laughed, “I love you both, little rays of sunshine…” And with that, Thor unclicked Loki’s seatbelt, and gave each of the littles kisses on their foreheads.

Loki made an icky face at the speech, even if it was heartfelt, but Sylvie grinned and hugged Thor back. 

“C’mon stinky!” Sylvie said, tickling Loki to make him laugh and break the judgy mood that had come over him.


Mobius opened the door, bearing takeout food. 

Sylvie ran to him and Loki finally struggled free of Thor’s grasp to go see him. 

“Daddy, daddy!” Loki whined, “Thor make us go bed early!” 

“No one’s going to bed early, brother. Pajamas are just easier to play in than muddy princess dresses,” Thor told them, "speaking of which, I should get cleaned up myself." He showed off his muddy hands as he spoke and was reminded of his dirty pockets again. 

“Daddy! What get?” Loki asked as Mobius set the food on the table. 

“Yeah! What’d ya get?” Sylvie added. 

“Let’s see,” Mobius prompted, he opened up the plastic bag and let Loki and Sylvie watch, handing them containers and watching them open each one up and get more excited. 

“What else? What else?” Loki asked as he peeked in each container, taking in the novelties of juicy American barbecue. The little spotted another dish and grabbed for it.

“Hey, this one’s for Thor. Let’s wait till he gets back to try it, alright?” 

Loki nodded and Sylvie understood perfectly well. She had already found a spot, grabbed herself a glass of juice, and sat down with the container Mobius had given her. “Is Loki old enough not to use a highchair today?” she asked. 

“I dunno. Loki? Are you using the highchair tonight?” 

Loki hesitated and thought about it, looking at his lightly colored pajamas, and the sticky and sauce-covered food. He thought about the whole day and how much effort he had put in to be a big boy, and yet… 

He hugged his daddy and hopped up into his arms with a little whine and a conflicted babble. “Highchair it is, then,” Mobius smiled. 

“Bu’ big!” Loki conflictedly mentioned. 

“You can still be a big boy and sit in your highchair,” Mobius informed him. “I think the fact that you’re eating solid food is what really matters,” he said, kissing Loki at an awkward spot on the chest since he couldn’t reach the little’s cheek or forehead.

Loki nodded in agreement and let Mobius put the buckles around him and snap in the tray. He looked awfully babyish like this, tapping on the tray and humming while he waited for his older brother. 

When the god did eventually come sit down to come and eat, Loki seemed consistently interested in everyone else's food much more than his own. His own meal wasn’t bad or boring, it was about the same quality as everyone else’s. 

Thor tried to take a bite of Loki’s porkchop as a sort of exchange for the ribs Loki had taken, but Loki made a sour face and yanked the plate back. “My food,” he stated very seriously. 

“Fine, then you get none of mine,” Thor responded, very offended. 

Loki crossed his arms and leaned back. 

“Buddy, sharing goes both ways. If you’re going to take, you gotta give a little bit,” Mobius told him. 

Loki grumbled and tried to push his take-out box off his little tray. 

Sylvie took it from him before it could fall and make a barbecue sauce-scented spill on the floor. 

“Here, baby,” she said, trying to give him a spicy wing. 

Loki denied it, rather smartly. He dared not trust bright orange or red sauces, fearing they’d burn his tongue. “Not a baby!” he insisted. 

“Are we done, Loki?” Mobius asked. 

The little nodded, silencing himself suddenly, and tears welled in his eyes after seeing how tired and disappointed Mobius looked. 

Mobius washed his hands and mustache, and packed his leftovers into the fridge before taking Loki and helping the little do the same. He pulled Loki back to get a good look at him. Then, bounced him slightly. “I’m sorry, buddy. Daddy’s just tired,” he explained. 

Loki nodded and leaned in for a hug. His tension melted away quickly, and so did Mobius’. 

Loki started to suck his thumb during the interaction. 

Sylvie popped the pacifier clipped to his pajamas in his mouth quickly, having to hold her arm far above her head to do so. With that, Loki slumped down as low as he could to rest his head on Mobius’ shoulder. His bum wasn’t even in Mobius’ hands anymore; he was barely holding Loki up from the mid thigh. Loki dug his knees into Mobius’ sides. Sure it helped support him, but it was quite the opposite of comfortable. 

Thor took the little out of Mobius’ arms after an entirely silent conversation of panicked looks about Loki slipping. The little made unhappy coos over being taken from his daddy’s arms. “Just be patient, let me get comfortable, then I’ll be happy to take you,” Mobius said as he made a bottle for Loki and a mug of warm milk for himself. 

Mobius quickly took the squirmy baby back, relieving Thor of him, despite the bigger god seeming delighted to try to deal with the extra kicky and punchy Loki who only wanted his daddy. 

“We got to play princesses and tea party, and then Thor let us play outside an’ Loki filled his pockets with dirt!” 

Loki looked away as Mobius asked him if that was true and pet his belly, pressing just enough to make Loki empty his bladder. But the little didn’t mind. 

“He said he was sorry, though,” Sylvie justified, “and then Thor got us all dressed in pajamas and you came home!” she relayed. 

Mobius nodded, “sounds like you all had a good time, then.” 

Sylvie agreed. 

“That’s good news, because Thor’s going to be doing a lot of babysitting when I work late.” 

The little girl bounced on her tippytoes excitedly, she liked hanging out with Thor, but Loki rolled into his daddy’s arms further. 

Mobius shifted the bottle so Loki could still reach it. 

“Loki, no need to be fussy! Thor called you his little sunshine!” she cooed slightly mockingly, grabbing the feet of his pajamas like Thor had. 

The little glared at her and tried to pull away. 

“Let’s not worry about that,” Mobius said, giving each of his littles a kiss on the cheek and flipping on the tv to put on a movie.

Thor sat with them, keeping Sylvie while Loki sat with his daddy.

Loki turned over, laying his torso over Mobius’ lap, belly down, and getting pet like a cat, not bothering with the movie. He was much too tired. Mobius was too, falling asleep and snoring halfway through as Thor and Sylvie tried not to giggle at them. 

 

Chapter Text

“We’re going to be late!” Sylvie cried, stomping her foot. 

“Sylvie, we’re not going to be late, I’m talking with Hope now,” Mobius replied, placing a hand over the bottom of his phone as if it were an old fashioned landline. “Would it help if I put her on speaker for you?” 

Loki looked up from his princess dolls with interest. 

“Hi Loki; hi Sylvie,” Hope’s voice buzzed through the phone. 

“Hi!” They yelled, making sure Hope could hear them. 

“So, how’s Scott doing?” Mobius asked, hoping to amp up the littles even more. 

“Well, interesting you ask,” Hope began. Both the littles looked wide-eyed-nervous at each other. “Today’s been different… but at least Loki’ll have a proper playmate.”

“Real little today, huh?”

“Smallest I’ve ever seen him.” 

Sylvie almost exploded. 

“... One moment,” Mobius said, setting down the device. “What’s wrong?” he asked. 

Sylvie stomped again, the rubbery sole of her pink, sparkly, velcro hightops hitting the wood floor. “Scott’s MY friend! Not Loki’s!” she screamed. 

“Sylvie, you and Loki are the same age today. I’m sure Scott’s still going to want to play with you, too.”’

Sylvie crossed her arms, her little yellow dress fluttering. Both her and Loki were relatively small today, as well. Probably something in the weather. The very rare “Make-every-little-Mobius-has-to-deal-with-two-years-old-today” occurrence. 

Mobius picked her up in one arm and held the phone in the other. “Sylvie’s just as small as Loki today. They might be a handful. Are you sure they’re ready for a playdate?”

“Pfft, I’m sure they’ll be fine.” 

“Alright, I guess I’ll be there… so there’s not much that can go wrong,” he justified to himself. “ But they’re literal gods, Hope. They’re not just other littles!” 

She sighed, “Mobius, you’re too protective of them. If daycare can take care of them, I’m sure they’ll be fine at my house.”

“Alright,” Mobius shrugged, “have fun dealing with three toddler littles that can do magic the second I step out to use the bathroom or make a phone call.”

He set down the phone. 

“Alright, who’s ready to go?”

“Me! Me!” the littles chorused. 

Mobius slung the diaper bag over his shoulder and got Loki and Sylvie to follow him out to go get Thor so he could drive them over in the spaceship.

The toddlers laughed at seeing their daddy buckled up in a five-point harness like they were.


Upon arrival across the country, which took about an hour, Mobius joined Hope in the kitchen for a cup of coffee. 

“Scott! C’mon back here, bug! I need to be able to see you!” She called while adding cream to her drink as Scott ran around to show off the lower rooms of the urban mansion to his friends. 

Quickly followed by Loki and Sylvie, Scott came back into view of his caregiver. He was wearing an adorable yellow romper with shorts and t-shirt style sleeves. There was a patch on the chest of a bee and embroidered text that said “sweet as honey”.  

“It’s the first time he’s gotten to wear it,” Hope whispered to Mobius. 

“You look great, little man,” Mobius complimented. 

Scott grinned and shoved his hands in his pockets, showing them off.

 

 Loki leaned against the counter looking at the mugs that Mobius and Hope were drinking from. “Tea party?” he asked. 

“I dunno, you’ll have to ask Scott and Sylvie,” Mobius said, pointing to the two littles who were playfully trying to hide from and tag each other from opposite sides of the island. 

Of course, they had no interest in playing “tea party”, but they did have interest in following Mobius and Hope to the living room. 

“You guys see me everyday, can you sit with Scott for a while? I think he has some cool toys for you both to see.”

Hope was having a similar problem with Scott as he insisted on sitting on her lap, spending as much time with his mommy as he could on a precious off day. 

“Scott, can we see your toys?” Mobius eventually asked, deciding to sit on the floor so his littles would engage with their friend comfortably. “Wow, look at that one,” he commented on one of the many cars Scott showed him. The little handed it to him and Mobius showed Loki and Sylvie, letting them hold the little red Bug. 

Then he brought out another, absolutely beaming.

“Daddy! Look!” Loki yelled back, radiant with delight. “Gaba tuck!” 

“Wow, that is a garbage truck; just like yours, isn’t it?”

Loki had already gotten up, coming to join Scott in inspecting the green vehicle. Mobius held Sylvie, who wasn’t very interested in the big, simplistic, plastic, cars. She preferred the shiny metallic Hot Wheels that Loki was not allowed to touch. 

“So…” Hope began, nervous that she was interrupting, “are they still in diapers, or pull-ups?” 

“Yep, diapers whenever they’re little, Loki even usually keeps them while in bigger headspaces. Why?” 

“I think it would be good for Scott to try them out if he’s going to be this age,” she commented as the little boy lost interest in toys and started to snuggle into her again. “Hi, bug,” she added, letting him sit on her lap. “What do you think about giving our friends a tour?” 

“Yeah!” he cheered, getting up to take his friends to his very cool room. 

Mobius let Sylvie run up the stairs on all fours but picked up Loki, just because he knew Loki would scream and laugh from being carried over his shoulders. 

The room looked a little too old for Scott right now, better suited for a child from six to ten years old. It had a racecar bed and a bunch of model planets hanging from the ceiling, as well as a tiny basketball hoop on the wall. Probably hundreds of action figures, miniatures, and toys were scattered about on shelves and in displays and there was even a little ant farm on the desk. 

Mobius looked at the red racecar bed, “man, I always wanted one of those,” he remarked. 

Scott hopped up onto it and patted the spot next to him, encouraging the littles (and Mobius) to sit down. He grabbed a book off a shelf, too, and handed it to Hope hopefully. 

“Story time?” she asked. 

Scott nodded, and tried to get close with his friends. “Does he have a pacifier?” Mobius asked as Scott chewed the back of his hand. 

“He might, but it’s fine,” she said, opening “The Little Engine That Could”. 


Loki and Sylvie clapped when she was done as if it was a wonderful play as Mobius smiled awkwardly. They didn’t really get story time from someone else unless it was at daycare or a public reading, in which clapping was expected. 

Hope thought it was extremely amusing and Scott tried not to giggle while joining them in the applause. 

Afterwards, Mobius took Sylvie into his lap to check her diaper and did the same with Loki. 

Loki struggled and squirmed, sucking in his cheeks in a sour face of slight annoyance. 

“So embarrassing, isn’t it?” Mobius teased gently. He put Loki back down and looked at Hope. “These two both need changes, do you want instruction? So you can get Scott?” 

“That’s probably a good idea,” Hope agreed. 

“Can I?” he asked, motioning to the space around them. 

“Yeah, there’s no room in the bathroom, anyway.”

She held Scott in her lap as Mobius set out the mat. 

“You know, if you’re not changing diapers, I don’t think I could’ve let you take them on on your own.”

“You wouldn’t let me take them even if I did,” Hope laughed. “I knew you’d use any excuse to stick around. But, it was worth the shot,” she shrugged and took the diaper bag. 

Sylvie got down from the bed and looked through it with her. She had heard the discussion earlier about Scott and found one of Loki’s diapers, handing it to Hope and then went back for her pacifier and a couple toys as possible distractions. 

Mobius laid Loki down. 

The little looked restlessly up at Hope and Scott, until Mobius tapped his leg and Loki tried to crane his neck to see him. 

“Hey, little guy, no need to be nervous, we do this all the time. Scott’s gonna be down here on this mat in a few seconds so I just need you to relax. Think you can do that for me? Do you need a toy, or maybe a pillow?” the caregiver asked. 

Loki reached out his arms for a toy as Mobius began unbuttoning the straps of his yellow gingham overalls that matched Sylvie’s dress. Unfortunately, the overalls had no crotch snaps so Mobius had to entirely remove the shorts. 

The straps had little pieces of lace on the shoulders, and it also accented the pockets and the holes of the legs. It was very obviously Mobius’ design that Loki had materialized just to appease him. 

Mobius handed him the Busy bear and shoved a pacifier into his mouth. 

Loki gave a toddler-ish babble that probably meant “thanks” and wiggled as Mobius slid the pants down to his ankles. He pulled the zipper on his bear’s jacket up and down, pretending to ignore the feeling of his diaper being untaped and Mobius slowly and thoroughly explaining each step to Hope, but still scowling behind his pacifier. 

Sylvie didn’t watch, too busy exploring the shelves until Hope had to stand up and pull her away, causing an awkward pause as Loki laid bottoms-less and cold on the changing pad. 

Mobius pet his belly to keep him calm during the brief break. 

“Can you grab her triceratops out of the bag?” Mobius asked. 

Hope gave it to her and Sylvie sat leaning against her daddy temporarily as she chewed on her teether. 

Mobius continued like there wasn’t a little girl leaning against his side or a fussy and impatient toddler laid out on the mat, treating Loki like a doll. 

Loki let out a sigh as Mobius finally put the tapes on his diaper and smoothed it all out. 

“Alright one more baby and you can get Scott down here,” Mobius said as he pulled Loki’s silly looking shorts up. But when he didn’t get an answer, he looked over at Hope, who had Scott in her arms. 

She was whispering something to him and he looked extremely distraught. 

“Uh-oh, we doing okay over here, still?” 

“I don’t think we went fast enough,” Hope tried not to laugh. 

“That’s… unfortunate,” Mobius said, taking a deep breath. “We can probably get him cleaned up here, but if you’d rather give him a bath, we can go for a walk or somethin-”

“Nah, let’s just get him cleaned up. Loki, do you want to pick out his outfit?” 

Mobius picked up his littles for a quick moment and set them out of the way so Hope had space and Scott had a little bit of privacy.

“Sylvie, can you help us?” Hope asked, “I think we need someone to help with distractions.”

Mobius held Sylvie back for a split second, “why don’t you try talking to him first? He’s probably scared. He shouldn’t be.” 

Hope glanced back at Mobius skeptically, “we don’t really do babytalk,” she said. 

He detected the fear in her voice. 

“Good time to start,” he told her. “Never thought I was the kind to do it until I got these two here,” he added. 

Hope took a deep breath as she rolled up Scott’s romper and took it off him, trying her best to keep the damp parts away from dry skin, and succeeding. “Shh, little bug, I’m just going to try and get things all nice and clean for you,” she said. “You’re being so brave.” 

Scott shifted uncomfortably as Hope applied some rash cream to him, unused to the feeling, and Sylvie knew her time to shine was now. 

She hopped down from the bed and showed him the shared bear Loki had been playing with. “Look!” she said. “Um, zip n’ buttons…” she pointed out, trying to think of things and kind of quietly trailing off as he took it out of her arms and held it above his head, turning it over and messing with the different activities attached to it. She turned back to the bag momentarily to grab a clean pacifier, unsheathing it from its holder and placing it in Scott’s mouth. 

Hope taped on the new, bright green, diaper and helped Scott sit up. 

Loki made him a new outfit to cover it up, a red snap onesie with black pants, a very normal look for a smaller little. 

Finally, there was Sylvie. Who needed no distractions and had no shame in getting changed. She crossed her arms and looked away as if nothing was happening, going through the motions of when to lift her legs and bum to make it easy and quick, obviously wanting to be done with all this and go play. 

When all was done, Mobius cleaned up the area and tucked everything away. “Not so bad, was it?” 

“Nope, pretty easy,” Hope said, more to Scott than herself as he tested out the new feeling, walking around the room with that waddle which was only to be expected.

Loki brooded in the corner, staring at the black pacifier in Scott’s mouth with a slight distaste.


“I think we should go for a walk,” Mobius said, getting Loki and Sylvie up. “Go on a little sightseeing tour of the city, maybe pick Scott up a new pacifier?” he proposed, knowing how badly the two would probably want to explore Golden Gate Park as they had been so disappointed when finding out the park across the street from the Victorian home was almost exclusively hiking trails, just like the forest surrounding their own cabin.  

The park across the street (Buena Vista Park)

A walk to a store that carried little supplies wasn’t long, only a few blocks, but for Scott, it felt like miles, mostly because the other littles kept wanting to peek in all the fascinating Haight-Ashbury shops which Mobius had to pull them away from, eventually carrying Loki on his back so the little would stop pressing his hands to every single window he found, and holding Sylvie’s wrist, dragging her along. 

Haight-Ashbury Storefronts More Haight-Ashbury

The little shop was large though, and definitely worth the half mile stroll, as it had lots of things that big box stores didn’t carry for Loki and Sylvie to gawk at, even though they were really just there for a pacifier and a pack of diapers. 

Mobius let them, feeling safe that the littles could explore without many risks. 

They peeked at a double crib for two littles who would, for some strange reason, want to be seperated, rocking bassinets, the swings, and walkers that they’d never have room for but loved to look at as Scott picked out some pacifiers with a snail and a caterpillar on them, and at Mobius’ suggestion, also added a clip that was printed with ladybugs. 

As Hope paid, Mobius picked up Scott.

“Woah!” The little cried, seeming shocked that Mobius didn’t even brace himself. The feeling of being picked up by someone the same height as you so effortlessly was a little jarring. 

“You good buddy?” Mobius asked.

“Yep, jus’… supise,” he said. Trying to search for an easier word and not finding one.

“Psst. Loki, Sylvie, did you guys find anything cool?” Mobius whispered to them. 

Sylvie showed off a bunch of onesies she liked as well as some various scented items she found comforting. 

The boutique didn’t have much in the way of toys and mostly catered to babies and toddlers, as they needed the most specialty gear which could be rare to find in person, with how much room it took up.


At the risk of looking terribly odd, Mobius allowed Sylvie to climb up onto his back since “Loki got to!” while Loki clung to his sleeve and Hope navigated them down to the park, the BIG park. 


Mobius was exhausted by the time they got there, despite the fact it was only about another half mile and still almost entirely downhill. But luckily, he was quickly relieved of the 700 pounds he was carrying as the three caught sight of a playground. 

Upon first glance, it looked average, in fact, rather small, but Loki and Sylvie quickly found out there were multiple exciting things in the small space. The first to be discovered was a climbing tower, which Sylvie would’ve normally delighted in, but now appeared rather intimidating and big. She played with Scott and Loki on the lower levels, low enough for Mobius to still grab them if he needed to. However, the next things they noticed were more age appropriate. 

Koret Park

Mobius showed them the massive slides carved into the side of the hill. 

Loki was shy to go on his own, so he let Mobius sit with him on the small carpet while Sylvie and Scott took their own rides down. 

Slides!

Although things like the swings, the tower, the main playground, the slide, and the climbable statues (like the wave and the serpent) were appreciated, the biggest highlight came from an inconspicuous round dome-topped structure in the middle of the park. 

Serpant

inconspicuous dome

Loki and Sylvie didn’t know what it was, assuming it was a public restroom until they got closer. But Scott, Mobius, and Hope sure knew what it was, and Mobius personally had a horrible poker face when he was excited. He brought the littles over as soon as Hope informed him about it. 

“What is it?” Sylvie asked, looking at the tinted exterior windows and trying to get a good look inside. 

“This is an indoor carousel,” Mobius informed her and Loki. He didn’t bother explaining it further knowing how weird it would sound, he decided to let them just wait and see. 

Entering the building, the two gods watched what other littles and kids were doing and subsequently claimed their mounts. Sylvie took the blue-green dragon, while Loki took a tuxedo kitten styled up in green and gold, Scott took a frog, and Hope took the horse to him that didn’t move up and down. 

November Obscura: Carousel in Golden Gate Park~ San Francisco Scott's Frog ♥ This horse is wedgewood blue and I love it! Golden Gate Park carousel  horse by Herschell-Spillman. | Carousel horses, Carosel horse, Amusement  park rides

Like the proud caregiver he was, Mobius took a ton of photos of his littles all posed up on their carousel animals before the ride started. He tried to take a spot in between the two but they were nearly on other sides of the carousel. He decided that since Loki was closer to Hope and Scott, he’d find a spot near Sylvie instead, taking an ostrich, only a row behind her. 

He didn’t realize until the ride had already started and Sylvie looked up nervously, that he had neglected to tell them that the animals moved up and down to simulate a gallop, but she seemed to catch on quickly and grinned ear to ear. 

Loki, on the other side of the platform, was having the same experience. He pet the cat’s head and even though it was only wood, it purred back, mostly because of his own decision that it would be nice. 


Loki sadly left his new friend and Sylvie pet her dragon, thanking it for the ride as she hopped down once the carousel slowed to a stop. 

Next, came the most grueling part of the day, getting back to Scott’s house, up a large hill. Loki and Sylvie had an easy enough time, but there was a reason Scott and Hope usually just opted to drive.

Mobius got himself back up, it wasn’t that long of a walk anyway, only a mile, but he was sweaty and out of breath, collapsing on Hope’s couch the second they got back into the home.

“Is it naptime?” he asked jokingly as Scott made a sleepy motion, sitting on the floor by Sylvie and Loki, who still seemed rather energetic as they played with some of the very limited, more toddler-ish toys that Hope and Scott kept. 

Hope laughed, “They haven’t even had time to play yet! They’re fine. We’ll call it naptime at the next tantrum,” she smiled, making a slight but noticeable motion to the tots in yellow, as she popped the, now sanitized, pacifier into Scott’s mouth. 

The toys the littles were playing with now were much different than Scott’s trucks, cars, and bug themed toys. Most were stiff stuffed animals with faded silken ribbons around their necks on wooden platforms with metal wheels, meant to be pulled along on long cut ropes, or little tin wind-up toys that were rusty, but still worked. The hopping little birds delighted Loki and Sylvie.

“Are those also Scott’s?” Mobius asked, noticing the outliers in the theme that had been so consistent in the rest of Scott’s toy library. 

“No,” she stated bluntly.

So bluntly, that Loki and Sylvie looked up from their quiet parallel games to watch for her elaboration. Listening to talk from the adults fascinated them almost as much as being included in it. 

“They’re old heirlooms my family kept. I like to keep them around. Usually mr. bug doesn’t take much interest in them,” she laughed.

“Mama! Show friends your room?” Scott questioned, perking up after mention of the toys. 

“No, I don’t think so,” she said, trying to sound lighthearted, but definitely having a hard time even talking about it. Going slightly red. “Is there anything I can get you?” she asked, changing the subject. 

“Don’t worry about it-” Mobius started to say before lunging quickly to the ground to yank a toy out of Loki’s mouth, and bringing the little up onto his lap. 

Loki speechlessly had his mouth open like he was going to explain his choice to chew on the little wooden horse, but Mobius didn’t expect him to and Loki seemed to be having a hard time choosing his words, anyway. 

Mobius bounced his knee, eventually bringing Loki in for a hug and making little hums as he pet the tot’s back.  He looked over to Hope with a tender smile before stopping, letting the little limply rest in his arms. 

“Precious isn’t he?” Mobius asked, looking down. He felt Loki’s chin move on his shoulder, no doubt morphing into a smile. 

“Scott might give him a run for his money,” Hope lightly commented. 

The toddler moved his head to pout at her, but Mobius’s gentle pats convinced him not to make any aggressive moves. 

 

Scott and Sylvie started to whisper, but it wasn’t noticed as Hope and Mobius’ conversation amped up. 

“What’s the room?” Sylvie asked, breaking her usual babytalk out of curiosity. 

“It’s like my room, but it’s hers,”  Scott answered, unsure of phrasing. 

Sylvie reached out to Loki telepathically about casting doubles, which he only agreed after wiggling back down to play with them on the floor so he could go, too. 


The room was hard to find, tucked away behind a door that almost seemed like it wanted to blend in with the old wallpaper. 

It looked like it had been neglected up until recently, but when they entered, the littles were greeted with a beautiful space. All of it was rose themed and a stencil of the flower was painted on almost every piece of furniture. Most of the room was filled with browns and royal reds with the occasional princess pink. Although there was no crib or changing table, it all seemed like it was designed for a toddler, or at most a young child under five or six, as the bed had low, collapsible rails on the sides so it could change with bigger headspaces. There was a large red wardrobe with horses painted on against one wall, and a much more modern stuffed giraffe plushie that stood around four feet tall next to it. 

“Woah,” Sylvie sighed, despite the fact that the room was entirely on theme with the rest of the house, excluding Scott’s room. 

This room, like many others, had gone touched, but unchanged in any drastic sense for a long time. Although some shelves had dust, and the wallpaper peeled, the sheets were ruffled like they had been slept in, and there were toys on the floor that had obviously been played with recently. 

Scott showed them the toys kept around and talked for a moment until Loki and Sylvie grew disinterested and began to flip through the drawers, nosily picking around, which made Scott immediately regret letting them in, feeling immense guilt that he had disobeyed Hope’s wishes and undermined her trust. 

He first tried to distract them with other things, but as that stopped working, he panicked and broke down. It started as soft whimpers and then sitting on the floor, balling himself up as small as possible, imagining whatever horrible punishment was awaiting him at the bottom of those stairs. 

Sylvie and Loki did not take notice immediately, they were too busy gawking at the pretty rompers and dresses that looked almost exactly like the ones they had seen at the store. 


Mobius had the realization during a lull in the conversation that the littles weren’t there. Swallowing a nervous lump in his throat, he tried not to alarm Hope as he broke the news as gently as possible. 

She went bright red but Mobius wasn’t sure if it was rage or embarrassment, and what would the embarrassment be about anyway? That she was a flip? Mobius had already guessed that; he was a detective after all. 

At the same time, she looked terrified about what three, unsupervised, mentally-two-year-olds could’ve gotten up to. A fear that Mobius shared, and was quickly justified as Scott’s crying started to get louder, quickly followed by the slamming of drawers and Loki and Sylvie’s shushing, which was heard only as Hope and Mobius approached the room. 


Scott’s crying was turning to blubbering sobs as he tried to explain why this was a bad idea. 

“You’re a thief!” Loki shot back, confused as to what could possibly distress Scott so much about letting them come in here. 

“Not to mommy!” Scott wailed, wiping tears from his eyes.


That made Hope’s heart melt as she listened through the cracked door. 

Mobius decided to open it first. 

Surprisingly, he found his Sylvie hugging Scott, trying to comfort him, instead of causing a rampage of mischief like he had expected to find. 

Loki however was nowhere to be seen.

The two littles froze. “I think there are three little toddlers that need to learn to use their listening ears more,” he commented gently as he opened the wardrobe and took Loki out of his hiding space, wrapping him in a hug. 

He sounded nice and genuine enough but Loki and Sylvie looked absolutely stunned and terrified, threatening tears. 

Scott’s heavy breathing quickened as he noticed Hope in the doorway, looking flushed and a bit angry, obviously trying her best to keep her cool about the situation and partially failing. 

Sylvie and Loki stopped trying to calm him and let Hope take that over. 

She took Scott’s hand and pulled him up first and foremost, even as tears and snot rolled down his face. 

He seemed almost near hysterics as he cried. 

Hope hadn’t seen that before. 

She looked to Mobius for help. 

“Talk it out and we’ll try a nap. That usually helps.” 

She cooed slightly at Scott, holding him close and speaking words of reassurance but not exactly forgiveness, not yet.

Mobius listened for a moment before talking to his Lokis, just to make sure the little was going to be alright and the playdate wouldn’t need to end prematurely. 

“What were you two thinking?” he scolded.

Loki and Sylvie blankly glanced at each other in search of an answer. When they couldn’t find one more sufficient than “curiosity”, they decided to stay silent and not speak at all. 

Mobius put his head in his hands. “Listen, we’re not at home. You guys gotta respect other people’s privacy, got it?” 

“Scott let us in!” Sylvie justified. 

“But this is Hope’s room, not his. He wasn’t right either,” Mobius explained. 

Loki got ready to cry as Sylvie huffily crossed her arms. 

Hope opened her mouth to deny the concept that this could possibly be her room, but thought better of it as her name was quite obviously displayed above the head of the bed. 

“Now can we say sorry to Hope?” 

“Sorry,” Loki and Sylvie grumbled. 

Hope nodded stoically trying to still hide her sensitivity to the subject. 

“Sorry,” Mobius also added, apologizing for his littles’ behavior but also wanting them to feel like he was with them and on an equal footing. 

“Don’t worry about it-” she rushed. Then, more lovingly directed at the littles, she asked, “I think we should take that nap soon.”

“Agreed,” Mobius nodded. Picking up Sylvie in his other arm. 

Mobius checked each of his littles and ended up having to change Sylvie. The grumpy girl decided to be difficult and wiggle during it, sticking her thumb in her mouth sadly and refusing any attempts Mobius made to make this process easier.


Scott and Loki, while this was going on, got ready for their nap with sippy cups of warm milk and by gathering blankets, tying some around themselves before finding a spot that would be comfortable. Unfortunately for our tiny caped heroes, a San Francisco Victorian was not the most convenient place for three littles to nap together: Most rooms were small and narrow while the few that weren’t were cluttered with furniture. Scott’s room was originally discounted, as it’s where Sylvie was being changed, and only had a full sized bed which absolutely would not fit the three of them. 

But eventually, they came barreling in as Mobius was folding up the changing mat and made a nest in the center of the floor, layering as many blankets as possible in order to make a sort of “mattress”. 

Sylvie didn’t help, sitting on the bed and watching Scott and Loki fiddle with it until they deemed it ready.

Loki handed her her sippy cup which he had been storing in a pocket dimension to keep it warm. His was already finished and Scott was almost done with his, but Sylvie only began to sip on her milk after she laid down next to them. 

Hope and Mobius sat with them for a while, taking turns to read a couple storybooks and petting their respective littles, trying to make them feel better after all the mischief and looming consequences that would come from it, punishments which had yet to be doled out. 


At the end of the nap, the three groggily woke up. That quiet, sleepy kind of waking up that only occurs after a disturbance in the surrounding environment. 

Mobius checked on them. “What do you guys say about some lunch?” he asked. 

The noise that had awoken the littles had apparently been him shutting the door after getting some takeout from down the street. 

 Scott recognized the aroma very quickly, but Loki and Sylvie were confused by the new smell of Korean food, partially new, partially familiar. Whatever it was, they decided, it smelled amazing and got up to run downstairs for a meal. 

While the three toddlers ate with their caregivers in the dining room, Mobius regretted putting his littles in light yellow with hard to wash lace trims, as Sylvie insisted on eating her food with her hands and Loki kept trying to wipe his hands, which were mostly clean from eating with a fork, but still had a little bit of food on them, on his pants. 


Throughout the day and into the early evening, the littles ran through the house, narrowly avoiding breaking things and quickly mending whatever fancy vase or Tiffany lamp they did inevitably run into. They made a mess of toys in the living room and in Scott’s room. 

Although Hope had the most appropriate toys they refrained from going in there again, knowing there would already be consequences when Loki and Sylvie went home. 

But of course nothing gold can stay, and the time to go home finally came around 5PM. It was dark out already, but the littles were definitely not tired. Even as Loki rested his eyes on the changing mat and had to be manually removed, or when Scott slumped against Hope during a short movie. They were very awake because they were big kids who didn’t need to go to bed at 7 or 8. 

Mobius called Thor to come pick them up in the spaceship, expecting to deal with tantrums and whining and crying about having to leave, but Loki and Sylvie were so exhausted, that they seemed much more interested in falling asleep in Mobius’ arms and self soothing with a pacifier or thumb, whichever was closest. 

 

“How’d it go?” Thor asked as Mobius got the littles all buckled in.

“For a first playdate, I’d say pretty successful,” Mobius replied while the god flicked controls on the ship and prepared for lift off.

Chapter Text

“Are we ready?” Mobius asked. 

“No! Loki has my shoes!” 

“I do not! You lost them!” Loki yelled. 

“I saw you take them!” 

“I did not!” 

“They’re the most important part of the outfit! Give them back!” 

Mobius sighed, “How about this, if I find your slippers, or Loki gives them back-”

“I didn’t take them!” 

“Just let me finish- If we can get Sylvie her slippers in the next minute, I’ll tie bows in your hair, the big fancy ones you both like, alright?” 

With that promise Loki poked through drawers and under the crib, very quickly finding Sylvie’s slippers, fallen off the side. She had probably kicked them off while taking a nap in them. 

Mobius laced them up for her and then quickly tied two green shiny bows in their hair. 

He buckled them into the car seats and got ready to take them in. 

As he walked into the community center, Mobius started to feel nervous as to whether he made the right decision for his Lokis. On one hand, he knew they really just wanted to get active and goof around so maybe a littles class at the community center wasn’t a big deal, but on the other hand, he also knew Loki and Sylvie were incredibly talented dancers when they wanted to be and could definitely be training somewhere much more prestigious, or at least be taking a class where they’d be doing more actual ballet, up on points and all that. He pondered this as he got himself a cup of the free coffee that was kept in the lobby, taking it into the dance room and finding himself a seat in the row of chairs for caregivers at the back of the room. It was only an hour long and once a week, anyway, he thought to himself. 

The littles had some time to play on the blue gym mats and get used to the room before class started, which mostly meant Loki and Sylvie yelling, “Daddy! Daddy! Look at what I can do!” and then doing a cartwheel or a handstand to show off their talents. Mobius smiled and clapped for them. 

They were temporarily told to sit in rows so the instructor could give her directions and introduce herself, but Loki and Sylvie kept periodically looking back at Mobius as if he was going to disappear at any time. 

As the littles were instructed to stretch and get their wiggles out through a bunch of silly motions before they started with the basics, another caregiver leaned over to Mobius. “Which one’s yours?” she asked. 

“Uh, those two,” Mobius pointed at the littles who were trying their best to copy all of the motions while gripping the bar on the wall of the classroom. “The tall one with black hair and the blonde one.” 

“How old are they? My little Charlotte is just about going on six today.”

“Hm… I think Loki’s about four and Sylvie’s probably around her age.”

“They’re absolutely precious, aren’t they?” 

“Yeah, it’s too bad their big brother couldn’t come, he’d have loved to see this.”

“You take care of three littles? My little girl alone keeps me on my toes, I can’t even imagine.”

“Oh, no, he’s not a little, it's just these two. Thor’s more of a helper.” 

Before the lady could respond, a classical song was started and instructions were shouted over it, just as a little bit of practice before any formal training. 

Mobius felt around for his phone in his pocket and recorded a video of Loki and Sylvie following along, to send to Thor.

Even for Mobius, who wasn’t doing much, the class went fast, even though it technically went ten minutes overtime.

He met Loki and Sylvie at the edge of the mat once they were dismissed.

Sylvie was so happy and hyper from all the fun, that she didn’t even notice the warm drops of urine leaking down her leg from an overfilled pull-up.

Mobius however, did and got her to the bathroom before it could pool at her feet or even touch anything that wasn’t her pink tights. Upon noticing, she started to cry, horribly embarrassed about the ordeal. 

“Hey big girl, it’s alright. It just means you were having too much fun,” Mobius smiled, kissing her cheek. “Just means I gave you the best Christmas gift ever. I’m flattered,” he tried to cheer her up as he slipped a new pair of pants onto her. 

Loki also got a change, but being such a big boy, he didn’t leak or cry or need reassurance to hold him back from a meltdown.

On the way home, he looked out the window while sitting in his car seat, thinking wistfully about how he just couldn’t wait for next week.

Chapter Text

The doorknob turned and Mobius stepped inside the home with his jacket over his forearm and briefcase in hand (it wasn’t necessary as nearly everything in his office was digitized, but old habits die hard, and he insisted on having a printed copy of everything). 

Loki was lounging in the recliner, asleep. He seemed big, at least in his dress, which consisted of  a button-up shirt and khaki brown slacks that fit shockingly well. He looked as though he should’ve been the one going to work. The play As You Like It lay on the ground as if it had fallen out of his hand, which was limply reaching for it over the side of the chair. 

The odd thing about the scene (if we only look at Loki), was that he had a very dark green, nearly black, pacifier in his mouth. However, this strange occurrence was quickly explained once you noticed the baby girl in his lap without hers, sucking on her thumb and dressed in the cutest little summer dress onesie ever made and a big bow in her hair, napping as well. Loki had one arm around her midsection, no doubt petting her back when they fell asleep. She seemed to have been in the middle of running her fingers through the ends of his shoulder-length curly hair when she fell asleep. 

Sylvie’s eyes slowly opened, she was a rather light sleeper, and Mobius picked her up, also removing her pacifier from Loki’s mouth as he did so. He took her to the kitchen to wash it. “So, what did you and Loki do while I was gone today?” he asked absently. 

“Baba play!” she told him. 

“Baba?” he asked. 

“Baba Woki,” she explained. 

“That’s going to get confusing if you two keep calling your bottles that, too.”

“Muma Woki?” she tried. 

Mobius almost laughed. “You should ask him when he wakes up.” He paused and turned off the sink. “How did this get in Loki’s mouth, anyway?”  he questioned, holding up the pacifier. 

Sylvie smiled. “Snore,” she giggled after mimicking a snore with a piggy-like gurgle. 

Mobius put the sanitized pacifier in her mouth, “you are so silly,” he said as he picked her up and moved her towards the table. 

He sat with her at the table. “We’re going to do something fun tonight, you know that?” 

She feigned babyish shock as he bounced her on his knee. 

“Yeah, Sam and Bucky invited us over for dinner.” 

“Bucky baby?” 

“I dunno; I didn’t see him today. We’ll see.”

“Bu’h baby!” she cheered. 

“Maybe.”

The commotion forced Loki to stir. There was an odd taste in his mouth and he was slightly groggy, but he got up anyway. 

“Hey, Baba,” Mobius teased from his spot with Sylvie. “We’re having dinner at Sam and Bucky’s tonight, are you up for that?” 

“Yeah… As long as I’m not the designated little keeper.” 

“You won’t be, I promise… So how was today? I hope I didn’t miss anything fun.” Mobius’ voice changed dramatically halfway through his sentence as Sylvie grabbed his nose forcing his voice to be high and throaty. 

He grabbed hers back while they waited for Loki’s answer. 

“Good… good I think,” he nodded. He thought about the big tantrum she had right after regressing, and trying to find her lunch, and cleaning up a messy diaper (with magic. No way in Hel he was going to actually fix it by hand) that was accidentally left on Sylvie just a minute or two too long and had left a bad rash, and then there was trying to get her down for a nap, which frankly took way too long for his impatient nature. 

Of course, there was a lot of sweet playtime in between the problems, when he got to hold her in his lap while she played with her toys, it made him almost feel whole. Such a sweetie, the way she wiggled and rolled and jingled her simple baby toys. Am I that cute when I’m little? he wondered. He did not know, although he assured himself he was definitely much cuter. 

The truth was that they both were adorable, equally cute and charming, and probably the most two littles were capable of.

 Another thing they had fun with was Loki’s powers; he ever so gradually impaired Sylvie’s motor skills. She giggled as Loki helped her balance to stand. He did it to himself fairly regularly, but it was a new experience for Sylvie, and he didn’t want to spring it on her the first few times she was a baby. He played with her voice, too. Her ability to form words became more and more difficult, but it seemed that her natural littlespace was enough to mess with her vocabulary, so the spell Loki cast was more frustrating than it was fun, as soon as the novelty wore off. 

“Yeah… It went well,” he concluded more confidently this time. 

“That’s great!” Mobius smiled before cooing at Sylvie. She hugged him enthusiastically, kicking her legs and twisting her hands into his shirt, and babbling behind her pacifier as Mobius picked her up to go get ready for the evening ahead of them.

Chapter Text

The little beige car pulled up to the big brick apartment building and Mobius and Loki stepped out. Loki walked to the building’s door and tried to open it as Mobius took Sylvie out and shouldered her bag. 

She had grown up a little bit, maybe to four-ish, probably because of the unfamiliar place and because she wouldn’t have a highchair waiting for her. So, she wiggled out of Mobius’ arms and ran up to join Loki, who had just run into the glass door, expecting to be able to just push it open. 

He looked at all the buttons to the side of the wall, studying them for a second and trying to make out all the words in the dark.

Sylvie wiped her hands on all the buttons pressing as many as possible until Loki swatted her away, deciding whatever the puzzle's solution was, had probably been ruined now, and unlocking the door with magic, he ushered Sylvie and Mobius in behind him.

Mobius led them to apartment 293 and knocked on the door. 

Sam opened it, and the smell of… something filled the air. 

“What is that?” Sylvie asked, referring to it. 

“Buck’s making bologna casserole because it’s a childhood favorite or something.”

“It’s almost done!” Bucky called from the kitchen, which wasn’t that far from the entrance. 

Loki and Sylvie crinkled their noses slightly at the smell, which they quickly found to be smells (plural) as they watched Bucky cook on their walk to the living area. He had about three dishes going at once. The main course was indeed the bologna casserole, but they took note of a bowl of brown… something, and a pot of unnaturally yellow mac and cheese with absolutely no meat or vegetables.  

The group crowded the breakfast bar so Bucky could be included in the conversation. All-in-all it was pleasant talk, but felt uncomfortably casual to Loki, who still found the idea of being invited over for dinner at least a little bit, perhaps subconsciously, synonymous with politics and very serious business. 

Sylvie had no such associations as she leaned on the granite counters boredly, waiting for something interesting to happen. 

 

A timer beeped and Bucky rushed back from setting the other dishes on the table to go grab the final one, the beautiful (to him) casserole from the oven. 

He opened the oven- “Bucky what the hell are you doing?!” Sam yelled as Bucky reached his bare arm in to grab the green ceramic tray. He shot up and took a potholder out of a drawer, shoving Bucky out of the way and taking the concoction out himself. 

“What did I do wrong?!” Bucky protested. 

Sam then remembered which arm was metal and which was flesh. The long sleeves of Bucky’s sweater had made it hard to tell. He looked down and suddenly felt rather silly about the outburst.  “Sorry, I-” Sam laughed, “wrong arm.”

 

At first, Mobius had expected Loki and Sylvie not to eat anything; for the two gods to take a little bit and then pick at their plates or create the illusion of eating, but to his surprise, they really took to it after the first bite when they realized it tasted much better than it smelled. Loki only took a little bit of everything, knowing he probably wouldn’t eat much, and trying to be polite in regards to regular human portion sizes. Sylvie did not exude the same amount of self control. 

Mobius became immersed in conversation with Sam and Bucky very quickly and Loki tried to get in on the action. However, he found himself somewhat alienated as he realized a lot of the topics of discussion were not about himself, and even more than that, they were about things that he didn’t have much experience with. Parts of Earth that he didn’t need to deal with much, like politics and the economy. Loki didn’t really know anything nor care about gas prices or interest rates. So he started talking to and doting on Sylvie, cleaning her face and asking her about the food as he swirled a glass of champagne in his hand that had mysteriously appeared from nowhere. Sylvie sipped on an open glass of milk with her dinner which Loki had to stop her from nudging and spilling multiple times. A light green layer of magic was added over the glass as a protective seal, eventually. 

Loki was soon asked a few questions and included in on the conversation. He feigned disinterest for the sake of being casual as Sam began collecting plates until Mobius lightly kicked him under the table, and hissed “be polite.”  Loki sat up a little straighter and kept the talk going, but he really sped up after being offered a cup of coffee, practically vibrating in place and talking a mile a minute as the rest of the group wound down. 

“You’re sure that was decaf?” Mobius whispered as Loki went on and on. 

“Yeah, pretty sure,” Sam replied quietly, “I can check if you want.” 

“Nah, I trust you.”

It was decaf, but Loki thought it was caffeinated when accepting the beverage, leading caffeine to magically slip in, unrealized by anyone until he was already buzzing around the dinner table like the world’s largest bee. 

 

Sylvie was delighted when dessert was brought out, everyone was. The rich aroma of REAL apple pie filled the room as the warm, melty treat was cut up and plated. Sylvie watched as her piece was lifted out.

“Whipped cream?” Mobius asked her. 

She nodded enthusiastically. “Yes please!” she said, and watched him spray a frankly ludicrous amount onto her slice. He didn’t put any on his, though, so it sort of balanced out. 

She also got a chunky scoop of cookies-and-cream ice cream on the side, same as Loki. It was delicious. It felt like a Mobius hug as a dish, and to Bucky, it felt like a hug from Steve, almost Sam but… maybe he’d need a few months to reach  that level; it felt like home at least. Even the impatient Asgardians were able to slow themselves and savor it deliberately. Sylvie took extra care trying to build “The Perfect Bite” with each and every fork full, balancing the warm pie, ice cream, cookie chunks in the ice cream, and whipped cream (It was a lot of cream all-in-all). 

Once the final plates were taken and all that was left around the table were a few white, ceramic mugs of coffee, the group moved onto a linen couch a few feet away; An optimal spot to sink into while you chat after a long meal. 

 

Sylvie may have had a good amount of food, but the mentally-four-year-old was not to be slowed. While she pestered Loki about getting a horsey ride on his knee, Sam suddenly asked her a question; “Sylvie, how tall is your daddy?” he asked. 

“Um… big!” she answered, “Like a camel!” 

“I’m 6’!” Mobius told Sam.

“No you’re not, man! I’m 5’10 and we’re the same height. That’s bull-” he cut himself off remembering the little at the table. But Sylvie didn’t care, and Mobius was laughing at the lighthearted banter. 

“I don’t know what to tell you, it was on my file for years! I swear!” 

Sylvie giggled but mostly just because her daddy was laughing, then asked him: “Daddy, horsey ride, please?”

Mobius agreed, knowing it probably wouldn’t have much of an effect on the conversation, which Loki had commandeered with Bucky. He set Sylvie on his lap and bounced his legs exaggeratedly. Not seeing a break in conversation, he even hummed the William Tell Overture softly, making her giggle even more.  

 

During the chit-chat, Mobius felt a nearly audible switch being flipped in Loki’s brain, sensing it innately and watching as Loki crashed from the coffee and sugar, coming down off the high as quickly as he had gone up. It had been only twenty minutes since the mug first found its way to Loki’s hands, and yet both it and its mystical qualities had already left him.

Mobius choked down a laugh, masking it with a cough as Loki became lethargic and bleary; slightly airheaded, and  seemingly unaware of the conversations he was a part of and expected to contribute to, saying constant “hm?”’s when someone looked at him. His eyelids drooped, too, fighting him on whether to stay awake or fall asleep. 

“Well,” Mobius began, “thank you for dinner, we had a really nice time,” he said, getting up from the table and dropping little Sylvie down to the ground. 

He tapped Loki on the shoulder, awakening him from his trance of staring at a nice piece of art on the apartment’s walls. Loki stood up, and following Mobius’ lead gave Sam and Bucky a handshake. Sylvie gave them hugs, but Loki wasn’t one to dole out affection so quickly when he was big, and to Mobius, they were coworkers who were just bridging the line to friends so a handshake was the most appropriate gesture. 

After they left, Sam picked up the final dishes as Bucky slumped over on the couch. “That wasn’t too bad,” he said, but Bucky begged to differ. “The food was really good and I think they had a good time,” he elaborated. 

“Yeah,” Bucky said tiredly.  

Sam pulled him into a sideways hug, “little bear, you did a great job being big, tonight.” 

Bucky smiled, compliments weren’t rare, but between him and Sam, they were usually folded under layers of irony and backhandedly given. 

“Thanks. Love you,” he whispered awkwardly. 

Sam gave him a soft kiss on the top of the head. “I know, bud.”

Chapter Text

“Are you sure you can take them today?” Mobius asked as he fixed his tie in the bedroom. 

“Positive,” Thor responded from his spot on the couch, letting Sylvie lay atop his chest and helping Loki nestle into one of his large arms, snuggling his face into his brother’s big, warm hand as he sat criss-crossed on the floor. 

It was a lazy Saturday morning for the two little toddlers and Thor, and they were watching cartoons. As Thor was not up-to-date on his Sofia-the-First lore, Sylvie had to keep explaining characters to him, and Loki, the ever talky, also interjected with his own opinions and explanations of events. 

“Can you say ‘bye-bye’ to you daddy?” Thor asked as Mobius picked up his briefcase. He paused the tv to give them their moment to say goodbye.

 Loki and Sylvie got up to run to Mobius in their match-y long sleeve pajama sets. Loki’s were yellow while Sylvie’s were green. Both were covered in patterns of cats and balls of yarn. They hugged him and clung, begging to go with him dramatically despite not caring until just now. 

Mobius embraced them back. “Hey, hey listen, you guys are going to go on an adventure with your big brother today. I’m super jealous, but I gotta go to work.” He grabbed a toy camera out of his pocket, and handed it to Loki, who was especially clingy. “Take some photos for me, alright?” 

Loki nodded tearfully. 

“Alright, go see Thor, he’s going to take good care of you both,” he told them, kissing each of them on the cheek. 

“No! No!” Sylvie yelled burying her face in Mobius’ trouser leg, sitting on his foot, and refusing to get up like a little shackle. 

“You gotta go with him. I’m sorry. Would you rather come to the office and do paperwork for me all day?” 

“No! Daddy stay!” she cried, starting a fussy fit. 

“I know, I know, but it’s just for a few hours. Now, I need to go, but I love you both, alright?” 

Sylvie tried to enchant him, Loki tried to teleport with him, but Thor and Mobius saw through their tricks and brought them back, kicking and screaming, to the main room. 

“I love you,” Mobius reassured them, giving kisses on their cheeks. “I’ll always come back to you both. It’s just until…” he checked his watch, “four. Then I’ll be home. 4PM. Count on it. And I’ll see both of you after work and we can talk about your great adventures then. Sound good? Now, I love you, got that?”

“Love daddy,” they muttered back in reply. 

Mobius smiled, ruffled their hair, and left with his briefcase. 

 

The littles eventually settled back down, and as the credits rolled on Sylvie’s cartoon, Thor sat up, knocking the littles off him. They squealed and giggled, forgetting their separation anxiety for a moment, as the large god dramatically stretched and yawned, and then scooped them up quickly and without warning. 

He got the two bathed with them giving him pointers and directions during the process: “Wash Sylvie lots! She’s covered in dirt and lake water!” Loki joked. 

“No! Get Loki, he still messes his nappies!” Sylvie said, much more seriously. 

“Why don’t I scrub both of you?” Thor playfully threatened, holding up a soap covered washcloth puppet to the both of them and grabbing Loki to start scrubbing. Thor was rough, but it didn’t hurt or make any of the little’s skin tender, actually it felt quite nice, even though they tried really hard to pretend they hated the bath. 

When all was done, Thor helped dry them off, handing them hooded towels in frog and lion designs before getting both of them changed, although the two littles insisted they were too big for diapers, Thor knew better. He knew not to trust them on most things. 

There were some things he did trust them to do, though, and one of those things was to pick their clothes. 

Loki and Sylvie sifted through their drawers while Thor told them about the plans for the day; how they were going to go see Dr. Strange and all the boring adult business that needed to be conducted to keep multiversal and intergalactic peace. 

Sylvie, hadn’t listened to a word and flipped through the drawers looking for her fairy wings, and her fairy wings alone. When Thor asked what else she was going to wear with it, she simply shrugged and put on Loki’s overall skirt with a lavender shirt that had subtle ruffles around the sleeves. 

Loki on the other hand, was having a very difficult time looking for something to wear. He went through pretty much the entire dresser looking until Thor stopped him, snapped him into a romper that bunched around the waist to give the illusion of shorts and a shirt, and gave the little his comfy rabbit hoodie to keep him all warm. Even if Loki didn’t need it, the thing looked adorable on him. Thor zipped it up for him and then gave him a little pat on the shoulders, “There. How’s that?” 

Loki nodded and smiled. 

 

Thor let the littles play while he packed them separate backpacks with everything Mobius said they’d need: almost a full pack of diapers, a change of clothes for each of them, bottles, sippy cups, teethers, burp cloths, headphones, and of course, mystery toys Thor selected at random, which he stuffed into the bag, fitting as many as he could.

He then took each little by the wrist, probably a little bit too tightly, as he led them outside. 

Loki hopped up and down, snuggling into his brother’s arms, anticipating the odd sensation of flying. But instead of being shot into the sky in a big Thor hug, an orange circle filled with runes appeared beneath them. 

The littles innocently stomped on it, trying to see if they could cover the glow with dust from the forest floor. 

Thor smiled at Loki’s confusion, silently reminiscing about his first experience with the magic circles and Loki’s. But this Loki did not remember that, and he had only met Dr. Strange once or twice in passing. For both of the littles, this experience was entirely new, and they were not prepared for the floor falling out beneath them. 

 

Sylvie looked around for 0.2 seconds as soon as they arrived, looking for any immediate danger, and then immediately focused all of her attention towards glaring at Thor for not warning her about the disappearing ground. Loki, on the other hand, tapped the floor with his foot to make sure it was really there. Then, he clung to Thor’s arm and whipped his head around to observe the dark living room around him. 

“You can set their bags at the bottom of the stairs,” a voice said. 

Sylvie stopped glaring at Thor for a moment to search for the other person, and Loki stepped nervously behind his brother, hiding shyly; this voice was not as familiar. 

“You needn’t fear,” Thor whispered. “Wong is a very nice man. He will not hurt you.” 

Wong stepped out of the shadow and the littles peered at him momentarily. Sylvie still frowned apprehensively at him and Thor. 

Loki waved timidly but continued to cower behind his brother until Thor picked him up, hoisting him onto his back. 

Wong seemed to understand that the littles, although adult sized, were mentally much younger. In most cases, this wouldn’t be necessary to acknowledge; Loki and Sylvie didn’t think about it much, but it came as a little bit of a surprise to Thor, as this wasn’t even the same universe. Littles weren’t common here, and he knew because he had spent most of his life here, and Loki had, too, but that wasn’t immediately obvious. 

“How old are they?” 

That was always a question with Loki and Sylvie. 

“Uh, four… and two,” Thor guesstimated.

“Keep a close eye on them. We don’t want any incidents,” Wong warned, unhelpfully. The good news was that Thor knew he’d have help today from him, even if he dispensed some slightly redundant advice. 

“You finally showed up,” Strange said from the top of the stairs. 

Loki tried to hide while being held, but Sylvie seemed excited. “Wizard!” she squealed. 

“I’m not a wizard.” 

“She’s merely a child,” Thor justified, protectively taking her hand. 

Sylvie sucked the back of her other hand and stepped closer to Thor. 

“Three,” Thor corrected. “Three and two,” he said to himself, still memorizing how little ages work. 

“Right…” Strange said, hesitantly. It was extremely obvious that he did not work with littles, ever. Sylvie got that vibe from the Christmas party, but she had been so fixated on Thor and her daddy and baba, that she hadn’t really noticed. 

Strange brought them to the room where business was expected to be mostly conducted and Thor found an open space to set up a play fence around his little brother and Sylvie. He handed their littles their toys and sat next to the side railings in an old fashioned office chair, probably THE original rolly chair, in case one of the tots needed something while trying to keep the very official business conversation going. 

Sylvie and Loki remained entertained for a while, and Wong was very helpful, sometimes kneeling by the rails and asking about their toys. “What’s that one’s name?” he’d ask. 

And Loki or Sylvie would answer and ask him a silly question back: “what’s your favorite color?” 

“Have you ever seen a dinosaur in real life?”

“How about a pegasus?” 

Loki paused, “You haven’t?” He turned to Sylvie. 

“No…? I don’t think so,” she replied. 

“They’re very pretty,” he said. 

“Hm.” There was a twang of jealousy in that little hum. 

Wong quickly tried to distract them to discourage any further escalation. However, after getting them settled, his phone rang and he had to step out to take the call. 

Loki and Sylvie went through their backpacks until Thor moved the bags outside the pen where the littles couldn’t reach. He didn’t want them getting into the baby powder, or their snacks, leaving crumbs everywhere. 

Loki and Sylvie quietly played next to each other with noisy toys that lit up and sang songs when buttons were pressed. At first, Strange did his best to ignore them, continuing the conversation at a slightly louder volume to talk over them. But eventually that didn’t work and Thor had to turn off the noise makers on each toy, individually, if he could.

That didn’t deter Loki though, as the little found non-electronic toys, fitted with rattles and bells, and tried to show Thor. “Tor! Look!” 

“I know, that one’s very nice.” 

Sylvie on the other hand, had gotten the message and was respectfully playing with a small, collapsible, playset of a barn with animals, she had even turned off the sounds. This was one Loki could play with, too, but he seemed much more interested in distracting his brother from work. 

Thor lifted the toddler into his lap and quieted the noisy toy with the palm of his bear-like hand, muffling the sound as he contented the little with lots of attention, while keeping the conversation steady. 

Strange gave him a slightly impressed smile at his ability to hold the 6 foot tall little and not lose any composure, but that’s what comes with dealing with a Loki for a thousand years, little or otherwise. 

Thor pet Loki’s back and curled the black locks around his fingertips. When Loki tried to babble to him, repeating a few of the overheard words, and hoping to join the conversation, Thor at first thought it was quite cute, and tried to include the child, letting him echo the conversation back to them. But as it became a distraction, he ended up having to shove a pacifier into Loki’s mouth and politely ask him to quiet down. 

Utterly offended by this, Loki crossed his arms and whined. 

“Brother needs to get his work done, Loki. Now, be quiet and go play with Sylvie,” Thor instructed. 

Loki made a series of muddled babbles behind his pacifier before being gently lifted off his brother’s lap and back down onto the floor. He huffed and tried to make himself cry to get Thor to pick him back up, but it didn’t work, and Thor saw right through him. 

“You can sit on my lap later.” 

Loki laid down next to Sylvie and tried to join her game of farm animals. 

“You play cow,” Sylvie said, handing him the plastic animal. “And the horse!” she added. 

Loki took them without hesitation and joined in the game, clumsily. He wiggled slightly as he did so. The clicking of rubbery plastic bumping together and whispery babbles were, for a long while, the only noises that they made. 

The adults had a calm conversation about horribly uninteresting topics like flesh eating bacteria and black holes while Strange dumped cream into his white, modern looking, mug of coffee, which looked horribly out of place, with his home’s  old fashioned stylings, and Thor sipped on a large stein of beer, somewhat of a tradition when he went to the house at this point. 

“And you’re happier in this new universe?” 

“Yeah it’s nice…” he said. “Not in any small part due to these two of course.” He gestured to the toddlers with his foot. 

“Loki, Sylvie, what about you guys. How are you liking the new universe?” 

It was the first time he had even addressed the two littles, and they took a few seconds to register that he was speaking to them. Thor poked each of the babies in the small of their backs, watching them tense up to get their attention. 

“It’s nice,” Sylvie said. “Relaxed… Quiet, but still fun. I like it,” she added in a grown-up tone. 

“Odd answer coming from a Loki,” Strange observed, jotting something down on a piece of paper. 

“Not a Loki,” Sylvie informed him. 

“You’re the same entity. I’ll call you by the same name,” he condescendingly replied.

“I’m not a Loki!” Sylvie yelled suddenly at him. 

Maybe Mobius could say that when referring to the two as a pair or a collective, it was especially convenient when one of them was big while the other was little and neither “partners” nor “littles” would suffice, but that was it, the only situation where she’d let it slide. And alone, she was NOT a Loki. 

A little green burst of energy around her knocked over the toys, both in the sense of magical doo-dads Strange kept, and ones the the littles had brought,  and sent a large crack creeping up the glass front a large China cabinet closeby. She had tried to lunge at Strange, too, but Loki held her back, causing her to throw a rather large tantrum, almost biting Loki’s hand if Thor hadn’t pulled her away so quickly. 

“She’s… hostile, still. Are you sure we shouldn’t still consider them threats?” Strange asked as the little tried to get out of Thor’s grip. 

“No, not at all. They’re just as worthy as myself,” Thor said as blood started to drip from his forearm where Sylvie was gnawing. “Heroes, both of them, once treated properly… You just have to get a grasp for it. It’s not simple.”

“Positive?” 

“Absolutely. They’re just… particular. Like, you violated one of their rules very flagrantly.”

“Which is…?”

“You called her ‘a Loki’. You can’t do that. Sylvie’s not male nor neutral, and she doesn’t have the same abilities as my little brother; she is her own being. Perhaps they’re the same person from alternate universes, but they are VERY different. The name doesn’t suit her.” Thor’s speech made him seem like he knew what he was doing very well. So much so that Sylvie stopped aggressively wrestling to get out of his arms. But in reality, he was reciting from the guide book Mobius had created for him.

“My apologies, Sylvie. Do you think you can forgive me?” Strange asked, trying his best to talk as if he were talking with an actual three year old as Sylvie hid her face from view in Thor's neck. 

Both the toddlers gave him a skeptical and slightly pitiful glare. 

“Psst, Sylvie, can you forgive him?” Thor asked, nudging her slightly. 

“Fine,” she spat. 

“Wonderful,” Thor said, beginning to stand up. 

“I can heal that for you,” Strange offered, motioning at Thor’s wounded arm. 

“No, no, it’s alright,” Thor replied with a smile, not wanting to be a bother. “Mobius said she’s just teething.” He got up with both of them in his arms. 

Loki was being uncomfortably held under the ribs, nearly horizontally, in a position that was uncomfortable at least, if not painful, and with Loki’s gangly limbs, it was not very convenient, either. Thor eventually transferred him into a better position, and tossed Sylvie up onto his shoulder, holding her knees with his injured arm so it didn’t have much weight put on it, just enough to keep her in place. 

Thor was led by Strange to a nearby bathroom.

 The tiled floor was cold. And it was one of those bathrooms you wouldn’t want to be stuck in after a bad bowl of curry; the water pressure from the taps was low, and the old door had a lock that wasn’t to be trusted. The bathtub was large, VERY large, big enough to entirely submerge Loki if lying down. 

Thor tried his best to wash off his arm without breaking the tap, as there was only about 3 inches of space between the countertop and the faucet, and bandaged the bite with whatever he could find in the diaper bag’s first aid kit. 

Now that that was taken care of, he decided it would be a good time for a diaper check, and subsequently found that that would actually be diaper changes for both of the littles. Unfortunately, in order to let the tots lie down, he had to open the door. To keep their modesty, Thor kneeled in the doorway, acting as a barrier, shielding them from the rest of the space. 

Loki played with the shut toilet lid, trying to flip it up from where he was laying down until Thor jingled a soft, textured book for him, and the little took its rubbery attachments into his mouth, shaking it slightly and turning over the softer sides because they felt nicer than the rough cotton. 

Meanwhile, Sylvie waited at the door, sitting with her back against the wall, waiting for her turn. She probably would’ve gotten up if it wasn’t for Thor’s foot resting over her ankle, monitoring her movements for him. 

When Loki was all clean and dry, Thor got Sylvie down on the mat. 

He knew that his ankle alone wouldn’t keep the illusion-casting little mischief maker at bay, so he set out Sylvie’s pegasus in front of where Loki was expected to stay seated in the hallway. 

“She’s going to watch you and make sure you don’t go anywhere,” Thor warned him. 

“He,” Sylvie corrected. 

“Yeah… Right.” 

Loki nodded and sat still, staring the pegasus down while planning his next means of mischief on the house. Meanwhile, Sylvie took her change with a grumpy face and furrowed brow. She did not fidget, but didn’t exactly try to make the process easier. 

 

Thor returned to his business with Strange while also keeping the toddlers comfortable. Loki tried to go back to his toys, but as they didn’t sing back to him or strobe with unnatural colors, he lost interest nearly immediately, deciding that maybe his environment was more entertaining. 

He stood up, taking both Thor’s and Strange’s attention momentarily, and started to peruse the wall-attached bookshelf. 

The adults went back to their conversation when Loki didn’t do anything for a moment. 

Then, the little started to pull books off the shelves. He would look at titles, maybe flip through a few pages, and then toss the textbooks, manuscripts, and even photo albums, onto the floor next to Sylvie, occasionally hitting her with one; usually small paperbacks which flew further when he tossed them. 

“Loki, cut that out. Those books are ancient,” Strange said calmly. 

Loki ignored him and continued to rummage through the shelves. 

“Loki… Loki! Stop that!” Thor hissed at his brother. 

Loki turned to look at him and made a pouty face, but then continued until Thor physically pulled him away. 

“Booored!!!” Loki screamed, wiggling out of Thor’s arms and falling backwards onto the floor dramatically. He kicked his legs and pounded his fists, shrieking and crying. It would’ve been pretty obvious to anyone who had ever dealt with a toddler before, that Loki just needed a snack. But no one besides Sylvie knew that, and she was so bored and hungry, too, that she fully welcomed and embraced Loki’s outburst. 

“Perhaps we should extend that break?” Thor suggested.

“Yeah. Yeah, that’s a good idea. Do you need anything?” 

“I don’t think so.”

Sylvie rubbed her belly to give Thor a hint. But when he didn’t catch on, she had to vocalize her needs with a whimper. She then tried making the baby sign for “eat” once she knew his attention was fully given to her.  

Thor picked up his fussy little brother from the stacks of leather bindings and loose papers, as the toddler tried to fight back to the ground. “Hush. Sylvie says she’s hungry. Would you like food, too?” he asked. 

Loki’s breath hitched with sobs as he hiccupped and tried to calm himself back down. He nodded, letting tears finish rolling down his face. 

“Lunch it is, then,” Thor responded, nuzzling Loki’s reddened cheeks and kissing the tot on the forehead. 

Loki sucked on his hand to calm himself as Thor opened up the backpacks and tried to find the snacks he had brought: two bottles of puff snacks (one in cranberry orange and one in beet flavor), a toddler-ish Hello Kitty lunch box filled with a food Mobius had packed, and a jar of banana smoothie baby food. 

“I’m not an expert,” Strange chimed, “but isn’t he a little old for baby food?”

Loki, who had been excitedly trying to take the puffs from Thor’s hand, suddenly froze and shook his head, unsure if he wanted it anymore, leaning away. 

“It’s what we had in the house that was ready to eat without refrigeration,” Thor replied. “They’ll be alright.”

Sylvie was also trying to take the snacks from his hand at this point. When she successfully did so, she fumbled with the lid and accidentally dumped them out onto the floor.  

“I’d prefer you have them eat downstairs,” Strange commented, looking down at the ornate carpeting behind his desk, which was covered with Cheeto crumbs. “They’ll get the room dirty.” He made a little spell which seemed to clean the mess and repackage the can like new for Sylvie. 

Sylvie studied the plastic can curiously. But when she looked back up, she realized she was in a different room. 

A dining room to be exact, with aging wallpaper and ornately carved wooden chairs. Thor had Loki sitting in his lap in an adjacent chair, and Wong and Strange seemed to have joined them. Strange sat at one end of the comically large table while Wong stood nearby, having not sat himself yet. He doted on Thor and the littles, attending to them since Strange had no idea how to be a good host when littles, or children, for that matter, were involved. 

“Do they need highchairs?” 

“Do you have one that’ll fit them?” Thor replied. 

Wong nodded silently. 

“I think Loki would like one. And… uh Sylvie…” Thor studied her for a moment until she gave him an outright head shake. 

 

The sorcerer scribbled something on a post-it note, and drew a circle with his hand. Orange sparks flew which Loki and Sylvie watched with wide eyes. It looked like the one they had fallen through. 

Wong reached through it, grabbing a highchair and sticking the note on a nearby wall. 

Upon inspection of the note, it said: “Will return in a few minutes. Having little guests over - Wong unv.199999” 

The chair was rickety and creaked slightly. Thor was unsure it would even hold Loki. It was all oak wood stained to look like cherry (except the metal hinges and some gears on the legs) and probably handmade, too. Each piece was carved with intricate designs. It fit with the aesthetic of Strange’s house, and could probably even look at home with Scott and Hope. 

Loki was incredibly excited to be set into it, cooing, babbling, and giggling as Thor sprinkled some snacks onto the tray for him while Sylvie ate her puffs at the table, kicking her legs and watching Loki with great interest. Having a different flavor than him fascinated her. She reached up and set a couple of her cranberry ones on his mostly beet covered tray. 

Loki grabbed at the pieces with uncoordinated hands and dropped a few of his onto Sylvie’s plate for her, too. 

Thor took a quick photo of them and sent it to Mobius with the caption “there sharing” (misspelling included). 

Wong and Strange stayed close to them, eating their own lunches of leftover food from the fridge, but they didn’t take much interest in the littles obviously just there as supervision for the Asgardians. 

“Okay,” Thor said, getting up. “Shall we begin the main course?” 

Loki clapped and finished the last of his snacks, sticking his fingers in his mouth afterwards. As Thor walked around the table so he wouldn’t have to reach over it, Loki looked down at his big sister’s lunch. She had a nice chicken and veggie wrap, whole grapes, a hard boiled egg, and carrot sticks. 

While Thor tried his best to put a bib on his unruly baby brother, Sylvie did her best to appear as interesting and grown-up as possible in front of Strange and Wong to contrast Loki’s babyish squeaks and screams, using the situation to her advantage to make herself look more mature by sitting up straight as she ate and asking about work and cars, adult things that Mobius talked about with other adults.

Thor finally got a bib on the tot and opened the lid of the jar. 

He spooned some out for Loki. 

The little opened his mouth, taking it. 

Thor was quite good at feeding his little brother; hardly getting any of the banana on his bib and not actually getting any on his face. However, Loki being the talkative baby he was, had a pretty gross, nearly constant dribble of mush on his lower lip and chin. 

Getting bored, he began to play games with Thor, pretending he didn’t want any and then acting sad when Thor tried to close the jar. 

“He wants the jetski! Like daddy does it,” Sylvie realized with her mouth full. 

Thor paused, trying to think of what a jetski sounded like, as he had moved in over winter and hadn’t seen Mobius use it yet, only seeing it out of the water. He tried with a vague engine noise, but Loki didn’t take to that much, especially when the spoon didn’t move right. 

So Sylvie got up and tried making the proper noise by making a sputtering “B” with her lips and making the spoon do little “jumps” as it got to Loki’s mouth. She handed the spoon and jar back to Thor, who scraped out the last of the banana and then tried to mimic her movements and noises, much to Loki’s delight as he finished the jar without a second thought and let Thor clean him and the tray up.

 “Mr. Doctor wizard?” Sylvie asked before the adults could return to being boring with their stupid work. 

“Doctor Strange. I’m not a wizard,” the wizard corrected. 

Sylvie ignored his revision, “can we explore?” 

Strange paused to consider, “I don’t know if that’s a good idea…” 

Getting Thor not to break things was difficult enough, so much so that Strange wouldn’t have been surprised if Thor was a little himself, so he tried to explain lightly that he would very much not like two toddler gods of mischief running around his home, and he was much more at ease knowing they were confined to one or two rooms. 

“Please? I’ll be good!” she pleaded.

Loki, at this point, was invested, as well. “Please? Wanna explore! Look!” 

“What are you showing me?” Strange asked with a raised eyebrow and crossed arms.

“Fancy shoes!” Loki said, kicking out his shoes from the highchair step to show them off. 

“Why?” 

Thor took over, hoping to explain, “They’re his magic shoes. They let him walk on air and water-”

“Um! Goo’ care!” Loki bragged, trying to bring attention to the fact his favorite shoes were in such nice condition. 

“Fine… Fine, fine. I’ll let you see the artifacts. But no touching, got that?” Strange relented, knowing the three gods would not let up until he showed them around the house. 

Thor picked up Loki and stuck around while Wong returned the chair and retrieved his sticky-note with a smile as if it were (and it was) an incredible magic trick. 

As Loki watched with an open mouth face of slight surprise, Thor exaggeratedly mimicked him until the little grabbed his brother’s nose and giggled, a non-verbal subject change. 


“You guys are gonna miss it! Let’s go!” Sylvie demanded, standing by the doorway near Strange. 

Now, Strange didn’t know a lot about littles, but he did know he really saw himself in Sylvie, which only blossomed as he led Thor and the tots through the home museum of artifacts. 

Thor held his baby brother, who, pacifier in mouth, tried to touch everything. Thor batted his hands away continuously, but Loki still got some mischief-making done: magically bonding items to their stands, loosening jar lids just slightly, and the like. 

Sylvie then had a question, for their tour guide, “Um. Doctor Strange?” - the spellcaster smiled when she got his name right - “What’s that thing?” she asked, pointing to a glass case across the room that they had bypassed, something bright gold hung inside it. 

Loki squinted at it from his spot in his brother’s arms trying to get a good look at it. “Mumma cloak!” Loki yelled as he recognized the blanket of feathers. 

“Is that mum’s?” Thor asked, diverging from the path to get closer to it. 

Strange teleported them closer, causing Thor to bonk his nose into the glass and for Loki to hit his head on a low hanging chandelier. 

The toddler wiggled down and pressed his face to the case. “Mumma cloak!” he repeated, this time a bit sadly. 

Sylvie also looked up at it, with big, shiny, eyes. 

Thor touched her shoulder, causing her to flinch slightly before accepting his hand and putting her own hand over it. 

“Sylvie, when my- (our?) Mother was alive, she wore this cloak to every battle, banquet, and ceremony that she went to-”

“Birfday!” Loki cheered. 

“Yeah, every year on Loki’s birthday she’d wear it in celebration. But she loved this cloak. It could turn her into a falcon.”

“Birdie! Birdie!” Loki shouted eagerly.

“Right, we know, Loki,” Thor responded, beginning to get slightly agitated by his little brother for ruining the somber mood. “Loki got my Mjollnir with that cloak, huh, Loki?”

Loki stiffened in reaction to the comment, not wanting to think about that memory. “Um…” he shifted back and forth, avoiding eye contact.

“She would’ve loved you, Sylvie… She would’ve loved you.”

At that, Sylvie started to cry. Soft, quiet, tears for a nostalgic past she had never known, something that Thor was good at bringing up in her. 

He put his arms around her, setting his head on her shoulder in a gentle hug, swaying her back and forth, after he picked her up. “How’d you get it?” he asked Strange. 

The sorcerer shrugged. “Sometimes magical items just come and go as they please. This one’s probably just in for a visit knowing you three would be here.”

“Try?” Loki asked, pointing at it. 

Strange pondered, but remembering it was their mother’s, he unlocked the display with a sigh for not upholding his own rule, and allowed Loki to snuggle into its warmth. The feathers, despite appearing to have been dipped in gold leaf, were as soft as cashmere. 

The fabric pooled itself around Loki in a mysteriously sentient way, gathering Sylvie and Thor in its embrace, as well. 

It smelled like her still. It had been roughly twelve years for Thor. For Sylvie it had been a thousand since it filled her lungs. She didn’t even recognize it anymore, and yet it felt like home. But for Loki, the scent had faded so much that it upset him. He had only been gone, what? A year since 2012? And yet things were so different, so changed now. “Wan’ mumma,” he cried, nuzzling it. 

“I know, brother. I miss her, too,” Thor comforted. 

Loki even found his mark on it; a missing chunk in part of the train that he had cut out when he was probably five or six. He’d been beaten by his father for it then, but at least he slept easier those next several years knowing he had a piece of her with him, protecting him through everything. 

“Okay, little ones, I think we need to let Dr. Strange get back to his work so we can go have naptime,” Thor suggested after a deep breath that ached with hidden tears. 

Loki kept the cloak wrapped around himself and Sylvie. 

“I know, it’s all very fun, but we need to put it back now,” Thor told them, empathetically. 

Loki tried to put it back silently and maturely, but the item stuck to him as if it were sewn to the collar of his jumpsuit. Then, Thor tried, almost choking the little. It just would not come off him. The side of it reached out for Sylvie, bringing her in close and hugging her into it, protecting her. 

“You guys should keep it,” Strange commented. Normally he wouldn’t with magical items, but this was a special exception. He knew this bond; understood, well, something similar to it. 

And so, as Thor and Dr. Strange finished their business meeting, there was peace. After Loki reshelved the books in the study, Loki and Sylvie found a nice spot to nap, letting the artifact drape over them. For a long while, even in near silence, there was only noise of the occasional pacifier snuffle or sniffle. Thor occasionally looked back at them from over his shoulder to make sure they were still there and felt his heart ache slightly every time he did. 

“They’re sweet kids,” Strange said towards the end of the visit as Thor tried to quietly fold up the fence without disturbing the toddler gods. 

Sylvie winked open an eye when Thor unzipped her bag. She kept Loki wrapped in a hug and refused to budge from beneath the cloak but kept watching her big brother and Dr. Strange. 

Loki stirred soon after Sylvie, beginning to play with his pacifier and reach out from under his coverings to try and touch Thor. 

Once finally getting his brother’s attention, Loki made a little babble. To which, Thor responded by stroking the baby’s hair and face which Loki leaned into like a cat. “Are we ready to go soon?” Thor asked, noticing Sylvie’s gaze, as well. 

Both the littles nodded and let Thor scoop them up. 

He pretended not to notice Loki’s squirming and fidgeting upon being picked up nor the bulge at the back of his diaper, as they said their “thank you”s and “goodbye”s to Wong and Doctor Strange. The cloak floated behind them, much like Strange’s would, and used its corners to “shake hands” with the other magical objects around the sorcerer. 

Strange opened a portal back to their own universe and, instead of falling, Thor and his little siblings merely needed to step through with the cloak wrapping itself around Thor, making his blond hair appear even more radiant as he waved back to his colleagues and the portal closed. 

As soon as they were back home, Loki began to cry and fuss over having a messy diaper which Thor helped him take care of while Sylvie made a spot for the jacket in their master bedroom closet, hugging it and petting the feathers with gentle care. “Love you, mum,” she said quietly with an awkward smile (look at her talking to a piece of clothing. She must look crazy) as she shut the door. 

The feathers moved slightly, as if blown by the gentlest wind. 

Chapter Text

“What’s Frigga’s cloak doing in our closet?” Mobius asked as he got himself dressed the next morning. 

“Hm? Oh, it came home with us yesterday from Dr. Strange’s house,” Sylvie answered, lacing up her shoes while trying to keep an eye on the baby, who really should’ve been sleeping in his crib and not in the big bed. 

He was asleep, but seemed restless, sometimes kicking his legs or rolling over. 

“Came home with you? Like it followed you?”

“Yeah.”

Mobius took it off the hanger and studied it. “Didn’t know this thing was alive,” he commented, taking a close look at the chunk Loki had cut out to make sure it was the real one.  

Sylvie grabbed her pair of daggers out of the drawer and shrugged. “Don’t know what to tell you. Thor said it was our mum’s.”

Mobius nodded, “yeah, it was… how cool. Wonder what brought it there.” But even more, he wondered if it knew Loki was a little or if it cared. Did it have a brain? A soul? What did it think of him? What about Sylvie?

As Sylvie left the room for her morning hunting trip, Mobius was alerted to the fact that it was a Wednesday and he needed to get Loki up to go see the garbage truck. 

Loki was laying essentially nude besides his white, plasticky, bear patterned diaper, pacifier, and the blankets that covered him. The little dear had refused and fussed about having to wear pajamas or sleep in the crib last night. But this morning, Mobius was at least able to get some pants and a onesie onto him. 

He brought Loki out to the main road, and took the toy truck with them, which Loki pushed along, like usual.

After bringing Loki back inside the home talking to him about the truck, Mobius tried to get him some breakfast. First, with solid foods, and then he tried pureed, but the only thing he could get Loki to eat that even resembled food, was a bottle of formula. So, Mobius sat rocking the little gently while sitting in the nursery’s rocking chair, softly singing to him trying to quiet Loki’s crying, upset from deciding he absolutely wouldn’t, couldn’t, eat. 

 

Mobius felt a presence and paused his tune, still keeping his eyes on Loki. “Sylvie, you’re back pretty early. Catch something good?” He waited for her response. Not getting one, he looked up. 

The cloak floated in the doorway silently. It didn’t have a mouth to speak from, anyway. 

Something about it sent a chill down Mobius’ spine. He knew it wasn’t threatening, but there was something about its presence he found ominous and judgmental. He had never met Frigga, but the faceless garment didn’t possess her same charisma, not to him at least. And compared to Strange’s cloak, it didn’t seem so… casual; it moved with the prowess of a queen. 

The cape floated towards them and Mobius struggled not to tell it to go away or have a visibly violent reaction towards the uncanny thing. It was like a biblical angel that his human mind did NOT want to comprehend, no matter how strikingly beautiful it was. 

His heart quickened and he grabbed Loki tighter, digging his fingers into the baby’s bicep and thigh just enough to make Loki let out a little yelp. 

As it came closer, the garment sunk down to Loki’s level and wrapped itself around the child in a friendly and warm embrace. As the fabric settled, seemingly losing the life radiating from it, Mobius relaxed and Loki’s crying ceased entirely. He didn’t even give a whimper as he drank from his bottle. 

Loki began to squirm in Mobius’ lap as Sylvie slammed the door open. “Guess what I got!” She yelled with the excitement of a child who’s been given dessert by a non-nuclear relative after their parents denied. 

Mobius got up, still holding Loki, and the golden garment slid off the little, wrapping itself around Mobius instead, clasping around his neck with its dramatic collar and hood. He stiffened, feeling it envelop him, feeling as if he was being watched and criticized for his care of Loki. 

The little continued to fight, trying to get down, until the ends of the cloak, like hands, wrapped around his shoulders, petting his back as if he were a cat. At that, the toddler stopped and relaxed, hugging Mobius back instead of struggling. 

Mobius looked ridiculous with the dramatic high collar. He felt like a very angelic vampire. As if it were reverse goth, rebelling against the expectations to be dark and dreary. 

Loki, in his babyish headspace, watched with wide eyes as Sylvie tried to shove a hundred pound stag through the door and into the house, sucking on his thumb before the novelty of the situation broke the spell he was under, and he hopped down from Mobius’ arms, wanting to poke at the dead animal. “Mummy! Mummy! Deer! Yummy deer!” He smiled at her. Then, crouching by its head, he started to poke at it and its wounds. “Dead… Dead deer,” he observed. He touched  a freshly opened blood vessel and it squirted at him. “Ew!” he giggled, falling backwards. 

“Nope! No, take it outside. Outside!” Mobius told Sylvie with remarkably mother-like composure. Perhaps the magic had an effect on his mind, but it was much more likely that he just really didn’t want a trail of blood on his hardwood floors and the sparkling garment just accented him and his fair isle knit sweater. 

Sylvie mumbled something and then stepped over it, picked it up, and set it on the railing of the deck. 

“Mummy, I get horns?” Loki asked, following her. 

“Antlers, bunny,” Sylvie corrected, starting the messy process of skinning it right there in front of him. 

Mobius grabbed a wet paper towel and began to clean Loki’s bloodied face with it, trying to get all of the gore before the tot had the opportunity to lick it off. 

“But yes,” Sylvie continued, “you can have them.” 

Loki cheered at this but Mobius looked concernedly at the both of them. “So you’re going to be able to get this thing skinned, cleaned, and in the freezer within an hour?” he asked. 

“An hour? Pfft. Give me twenty minutes and I’ll have it done.”

“Alright, but I’m taking you at 10:30 on the dot. You’re going to be ready or we’re not going at all, got it?” 

“Mobius!” Sylvie whined, “You can’t do that!” 

“Loki and I have a bus to catch once we drop you off. I don’t write the bus schedules.”

“Wish you did,” she grumbled.

“I wish I did, too,” he replied, pulling Loki away from the animal carcass where the little was studying the inside of the mouth as Sylvie skinned the face around him, getting the knife dangerously close to him and pulling the fur and flesh off into a bloody mess that she either set aside as usable material, or tossed down for the animals to eat and build nests from. 

Loki didn’t want to be pulled away, he never did when big or little. Sylvie’s hunts were always a highlight. 

 

Mobius brought him back inside for a more sanitary playtime as he packed bags, and fixed up the single stroller. 

Loki chewed on various toys and babbled his baby gibberish, eventually trying to help by pulling things out of the bag, checking if he could fit in the bag, putting new toys and random objects into the bag, etc.

“Mumma cloak!” Loki decided, pulling it away from Mobius and trying to fold it up so he could take it with him.

“Let’s keep that here. Can you bring me your blankie?” 

Loki stuck his thumb into his mouth and waddled on his knees to yank the itchy green blanket off his crib. He handed it to Mobius and was subsequently distracted by a ring stacking game, which he toppled onto the floor and then crawled to retrieve and restack the pieces. 

Mobius paused to watch him with loving eyes before returning to zip up the bag and give Loki a diaper change, which ended up needing to be a bath. 

Before checking on Sylvie and asking if she was ready to go, he packed Loki a lunch. Well, he said it was for Loki and put it in Loki’s lunchbox, but he knew he’d end up eating it when Loki threw a fit and would only take another bottle. So, he packed one of those, too, even though he knew it would get cold. 

After that, he carried Loki out to the car and strapped him into the baby seat, letting the little teethe on his hand instead of the myriad of rubbery or soft toys at his disposal. “Sylvie!” he yelled. “Are you ready to go?” 

Sylvie came out from the garage, her apron and hands absolutely soaked in blood, as she tried to move some hair out of her face. “Yeah!” she called. “Can I just wash my hands first?” 

“Alright, make it quick.” 

 

Sylvie breathlessly ran down to the car. “Why are you in the driver’s seat? I thought I was driving,” she complained, having to run to the other side. 

“You just got your permit. I’m not letting you drive while there’s a baby in the car.” 

“What am I going to do? Crash it can kill us all?” 

Mobius frowned and started the car, signaling the end of the argument. He sighed as the awkward silence coated the interior of the car, in a thick, oily, crust. 

 

Mobius helped her get signed in at the driving school, and left her with a kiss as she sat in the waiting area, nervously pressing her knees together and playing with her hands. He felt bad just leaving her there, knowing the last two times she was here she had to fill out a ridiculous amount of paperwork and take a test, but him and Loki had errands to run, and she’d be alright. 

Mobius set up the stroller and got Loki ready for the walk. They still had a few minutes since traffic had been scarce on the way there. The weather was cold, sure, but there was no snow on the ground, so Loki’s stroller moved along the sidewalk easily. 

The baby watched the cars fly by on the busy road, smiling at the big trucks and moving his arm up and down in hope that they’d honk. It was a success! One time at least, a large semi honked, making Loki clap and giggle, kicking his legs, but almost made Mobius jump, surprising the poor man. 

“Did you do that?” he asked, bending over the stroller. 

Loki chewed on his hand and looked up to give Mobius a big silly grin before yanking the stroller shade back down. 

 

They caught the bus right on time, and luckily, it was pretty much empty except for an old woman, and a sleeping drunk in the very back. 

To get the stroller secured, Mobius had to lift one of the horizontally facing, couch seats and buckle Loki in with the wheelchair seat belts. 

The little glowed at the special attention, especially when his daddy sat across from him and quietly talked to him the whole bus ride, mostly about what the wheels on the bus do or the wipers. Loki responded to the best of his abilities while trying to watch for those specific aspects and see if they were present on the real bus. 

“And what does the baby on the bus do?” 

Loki looked around, but not seeing a baby he just quietly made a crying motion next to his eyes with a pouty lip. “Wawa,” he babbled, trying to make silly fake crying noises at an acceptable volume. 

“But that’s not what the baby is doing,” Mobius observed, poking Loki’s belly.  

Loki pointed at himself questioningly and then made a little talky hand, the same motion you’d make to move the mouth of a hand puppet. “Talky,” he cooed, answering the question. “Baby talky,” he repeated. 

“Yeah, there you go! Clever little guy,” Mobius said, ruffling his hair. “Hey, Can you press that yellow button?” He leaned over to point it out to Loki. 

Loki stared at it quizzically for a second and then pressed it.

A little note sounded and a red light lit up above him. 

He waited a bit longer, wondering why Mobius had asked him to press the button. He stuck his pacifier in his mouth and sighed, wishing there was something grander as the bus stopped and Mobius stood up. 

He unbuckled the stroller from its spot against the wall and pushed Loki back out into the world. Actually, more specifically, into the mall. 

 

To Loki, the shopping trip felt aimless as he was pushed through grocery store aisles and through department stores. But luckily, it wasn’t entirely wasted. 

First, they stopped for a snack in the food court, eating their own home brought food. Well, again, Loki didn’t eat , but he held his own bottle in his stroller, as Mobius sat on the other side of the table with his foot resting on the step in between Loki’s feet, rocking the baby back and forth soothingly. 

Loki asked for his blanket by flexing his fingers and calling for it. 

Mobius unzipped the bag and the cloth zipped right to Loki’s fingers pulled by his magic, with a slight foggy green glow. 

Loki draped it over his lap and started to play a game of peek-a-boo behind it. Feeling very clever and silly for hiding so well. 

 

As they ambled through the stores, Loki tapped on the tray of his stroller boredly, so Mobius clipped some baby toys to the arch of the shade, and perhaps more importantly, he handed Loki a little board book.

The baby held it clumsily and flipped through the stiff pages, touching Pat The Bunny, in his softly textured, simplistic glory. He yanked the tabs, almost breaking one on accident, misjudging his own strength, before deciding he was done for the story, and maybe it would be a better idea to chew on it, and let the plastic coated cardboard brush against his gums. 

“Hey buddy, we want to keep these nice!” Mobius gently admonished, switching it out for a different book; this one fabric, with teethers attached, which made a very silly crinkle noise that delighted Loki’s ears; the same one Thor handed him yesterday, but Loki didn’t mind. 

He chewed on his toys with the shade up so he could get a full view of the world around him, although the five point buckle did restrict his movement quite a bit.  

Mobius stopped the stroller by a brightly colored pile of toys in a discount store, many of which had been already thrown around a bit by touchy toddlers with absent parents and had slightly damaged packaging, but no one really minded it, especially not Mobius, who had his attention pulled to one toy in particular. “What do you think? Should we pick this up for Sylvie?” he asked, showing it to Loki.

Loki tried to touch it, “Like mummy!” he squealed, a little bit too loudly. 

The toy was modeled to look like a car dashboard in bright, babyish colors, meant to attach to the tray of a stroller or car seat. 

Loki grabbed at the little key in the ignition, twisting it to hear the little “click click click” noise it made. 

“Do you think Sylvie and you could share this?” Mobius repeated with different phrasing.

Loki nodded as he sucked in his bottom lip to get rid of some spit sliding down his chin. 

Mobius smiled at him, in a loving, nearly pitying, way. “Do I need to get your bib on you to catch all that baby drool?” he chuckled, wiping up Loki’s chin with a burp cloth from the diaper bag. 

Loki suddenly stopped thinking this was fun and furrowed his brow, pulling away. Apparently that tone was just a little bit too patronizing for him.

“Was that too much?” Mobius cooed, snapping Loki’s bib into place anyway. 

Loki didn’t answer, but looked down at the bib skeptically as Mobius pulled on it and made sure it layed flat, before giving him a kiss on the cheek. 

 

As Mobius pushed him through the rest of the store, Loki crossed his arms grumpily, unable to think about the new toy he was getting or the familiar ones he still had within an arms reach to bat at and chew on. He began to coo and whine sadly instead of being grumpy. And as Mobius paid for a few small items, Loki dropped his pacifier from his lips and began to cry, a noticeable sniffle that devolved rapidly into bawling. 

“That sounds like a hungry cry,” Mobius commented while trying to find a spot to stop and soothe the little, after paying for his goods and shoving the bags into the compartment under Loki’s seat. “If I give you food are you going to eat? Or do I need to get you a baba?” 

Loki cried and wailed. 

Mobius tried sign language with him. That was the easiest way to communicate during a fussy tantrum like this. He tried the sign for eat and then milk, seeing which one Loki would try to recreate. 

Loki made the sign for milk between hitching breaths and tears, eventually shoving his thumb in his mouth and quietting. 

Mobius picked him up after removing the tray and buckles, holding him close and checking his diaper as they sat on a bench next to the vending machines in the corner of the mall, trying to get Loki to calm down with a big hug and knowing the poor baby was only acting up because he hadn’t actually eaten any proper food all day. “We’re going to get you a diaper change, and then there’s a coffee shop across the way where we’ll refill your bottle, and that should give us twenty minutes till Sylvie gets here, sound good?” 

Loki didn’t say yes or no, just wrapped himself tighter around Mobius. 

“I know, I know.” Mobius kissed Loki on the cheek again before setting him back down in the stroller and buckling him in, using the bib around Loki’s neck to wipe up any tears or snot or spit from the outburst. 

The family bathrooms were open and Loki took his diaper change with tears and little screams that were a bit too loud, and definitely too dramatic, while keeping his thumb in his mouth. Well, at least he didn’t leak, and Mobius got a new, comfy diaper all taped onto him fairly quickly. 

 

Mobius set the bottle onto the counter of the coffee shop, “Can you guys refill this with warm milk? And one medium black coffee, please,” he said tiredly. 

Loki was near silent by now, but was still letting tears run down his face and trying to put up a fight by kicking restlessly. 

 

Mobius sat down with him just like they had in the food court. “Look, milk isn’t going to make you feel all that much better. Are you sure you don’t want food?” 

Loki reached for the bottle. “No! Milk!” he whined trying to snatch it from his daddy’s hands. 

He relaxed as he drank, just slightly feeling the tinge of pain in his stomach leave. 

When Loki stopped crying fully, seeming content again with his toys and bottle, Mobius got up and decided to continue their adventures through the mall.

 

The little’s eyelids grew heavy as milk settled in his belly and the toys lost their stimulating edge, aside from the crinkle noises of his fabric book, which just came to feel like a relaxing white noise. 

The dangling animals from the arch swayed like a mobile in his line of sight. 

He put the pacifier hanging from his shirt into his mouth and tried to tell Mobius it was too bright with little cries that eventually got louder until Mobius pulled him aside, watching Loki shield himself from the light. 

With a tisk, Mobius fastened Loki’s blanket over the front of the stroller, letting the clipped toys hold it in place. “Fussy little prince,” he said in a way that sounded very much like Sylvie. 

The baby leaned back into the soft padding behind him and let out a deep sigh once covered by the cotton induced darkness. 

 

“Why do you have him all covered up? Can he even breathe like that?” 

“He’s fine.”

Loki moved his hands against the fabric so they could tell he was awake. 

Sylvie lifted up the blanket to peek at him. “Hi, bunny, did you have a good nap?” 

Loki gurgled and cooed, grabbing her fingers and pulling them into his mouth. 

“He’s been working on teething all day, you might want to watch it near his mouth,” 

Sylvie got the warning slightly too late though as Loki bit her pretty hard. Not enough to break the skin, but enough for her to remove her fingers and shake her hand out, shooting him a dirty look as he giggled about it. 

“So you drove here all by yourself?” Mobius asked as he started to push the stroller towards the doors.

“Yeah,”

“And they let you?”

Sylvie did not answer that. 

Mobius gave her a disapproving look but broke into chuckles. 

She smiled back, a self conscious simper.

“That doesn’t mean I’m letting you drive us home.”

“I thought as much,” she responded, reaching a hand down to poke at Loki’s belly. 

Loki squealed and giggled more, which he only continued to do when she pulled him out of the stroller and set him in the car seat.

 

Partway through the ride home Mobius spoke to Sylvie while keeping his eyes up the road, “there’s a bag back there for you by the way.” 

Sylvie grinned and reached behind the seat for the plastic bag. 

Loki kicked it towards her. 

She grabbed his leg. 

“Mummy silly!” he said, followed and preceded by baby babble. 

 

Sylvie pulled the bag from the backseat up into her lap and grabbed the toy out. 

“It’s so you can practice while little,” Mobius told her, half genuinely, and half because he thought it was really funny. 

Sylvie took it out of the packaging immediately and turned it on, pressing the buttons and flipping the switches to see how accurate it really was. 

Loki leaned as far forward as he could to watch Sylvie mess with it. 

When Mobius noticed, he nudged Sylvie, and with a simple head tilt, he told her to let Loki play with it, too. “It’s for the both of you to share.”

“I’m the one learning how to drive.”

“Loki’s the one trying to be like mommy and daddy.” 

Sylvie softened thinking about how Loki looked up to her when they were in juxtaposed headspaces. 

 

When they got home, Sylvie explored the new toy with Loki, keeping the baby on her lap as they played it. 

“This one’s the gearshift,” she told him. 

He wiggled it back and forth. 

“Those are turn signals,” she pointed out, next. 

Loki pressed each one listening to the repeating clicking sounds, just like in real life. He made a surprised coo of awe as he turned back to Sylvie. 

She kissed him back but was hit with a confusing realization, “So… if those are the turn signals… what does this do?” she asked, pulling at the lever to the left of the wheel. 

It played a song that Loki tried to babble along to, bouncing in her lap and clapping along. 

Sylvie did her best to sing along as he messed with other buttons. 

Loki’s favorite by far was the horn, which he slammed repeatedly. Sure, he played with the steering wheel, too, moving it from side to side, but the loud, obnoxious horn was his favorite thing, and eventually Sylvie’s, too, when she got to mess with it in a baby headspace. 

The two eventually began using it as a sort of bell to show that they needed something when on stroller or car rides.  

Mobius watched them play while he made another bottle and some snacks, grinning from ear to ear. 

Chapter Text

Mobius pulled a brown suit coat over his button up, and even buttoned the top button, scrunching his tie up as high as it could go so it was almost choking him, and floating a whole centimeter away from his collar. 

“So, what do you think?” he asked. 

Sylvie walked by him and immediately yanked it down. 

“You look too uptight. They’re our friends just as much as they are coworkers. You’ll be fine.” 

“But will the two of you be?” he asked, eyeing the both of them up and down; Sylvie was in baggy street clothes while Loki was still in pajamas. 

“Bunny won’t take that long to get ready unless he makes a messy,” Sylvie defended him. “We have a while, let him rest,” she cooed at Mobius, standing on her tiptoes to nibble his ear and kiss his neck. 

Normally, Mobius was much more defensive of Loki than Sylvie was, so it was a strange change in dynamics for them. 

 

Loki meanwhile, rolled and began to make little morning yawns and grunts behind his pacifier, so Sylvie sighed, “See? He’s up already.” She picked him up, and set him down onto the cold, hard changing table with minimal cotton padding. 

He made a little squeak after being set down and opened his eyes while Sylvie undid the snaps up the leg of his dinosaur covered pajamas. Sucking on his pacifier, he took the change while lying very still, letting Sylvie lift his legs and watching her from the corner of his eyes.

“Mummy?” Loki asked.

Sylvie made a little “hm?”

“Daddy go?” he questioned. 

“We’re going with him,” she hummed. “We’re going to get brunch with our friends.” 

“Fen’s.”

“Yeah: Clint, Kate, and Yelena.”

Loki sat up with his legs far apart and hands set between them on the seat of the table. 

“It’s going to be a fancy brunch, too. You know that?” Sylvie asked as she looked for an outfit. 

The little clapped excitedly while Sylvie picked out some dark green cotton “shortalls” which fit more like a romper or tank-topped jumpsuit than the denim overalls that she and Loki knew so well. And underneath it, was a smocked, peter pan collared onesie with a barely visible band of animal appliques around the chest in a pastel powder blue. She strapped matching blue booties to his feet which he “helped” with by pulling them up while she did the velcro straps. 

She set Loki down and let him waddle to Mobius all excited and happy that they were going somewhere. “See?” She smiled, brushing off her hands, “Baby’s all ready, and it took no time at all,” she cooed as Mobius picked up the little. “Now take him so mummy can go get ready,” she said, kissing Mobius on the lips and kissing Loki on the belly, making the tot look down and check no lipstick got on him. 

“I thought you said I was overdressing for this?” 

“Well now both of you are. I don’t want to be left out!” she joked entirely seriously before leaving the room for a shower. 

 

The drive to the cafe was pretty long; all the way on the far side of Southport, actually. 

Loki lounged in his baby seat on the way there, kicking Mobius’ chair and chewing on an ice cold teether as he stared out the window. It should’ve warmed up in his mouth, but he forced it to stay cool with the magic radiating from his palms.

 

Sure, the restaurant they stopped in was called a “cafe” but it was very high brow. Kate had suggested it with Loki and Sylvie in mind. It was a place her parents used to take her while in the area. 

Mobius cordially shook hands with Clint, Kate, and Yelena while Sylvie braced Loki on her hip with his diaper bag over her shoulder and also gave friendly handshakes. 

Loki just waved. 

 

The group was seated in a large room without a back wall that opened up out onto the patio. The whole place was horrendously modern, but at least they didn’t make everything white; the chairs had padding and the booth Mobius and Loki sat at was made out of a light colored wood. The little would’ve taken a highchair, but it seemed the restaurant didn’t have any whatsoever. So, he sat on his daddy’s lap, while Mobius tried to get the last of the papers signed to get the three officially back on the team (even though they had already been unofficially working at S.H.I.E.L.D. for well over a few months).

Restaurant Restaurant interior

 

As the waiter came around taking orders for drinks, Mobius stuffed the last few papers into his briefcase, and paused to look at the menu, getting ready to order for himself and Loki. It was a single page menu. He flipped it over looking for the beverage header, only to be met with a long list, lasting the entire page, of different alcohols. He checked again to make sure he hadn’t missed a non-alcoholic section on the front, but it was nowhere to be found. So he caved and ordered himself a glass of whiskey on the rocks and asked if they just had any apple juice for Loki. 

The waiter nodded and took Loki’s green sippy cup as he jotted down the rest of the drink order onto a tablet. 

Sylvie, of course got the biggest, fanciest drink she could, a fishbowl of orange liqueur, lemonade, cranberry juice, and Loki’s favorite alcohol, Mezcal. The drink was meant to be shared between two or three people, but Sylvie was not a lightweight, and insisted she’d be fine. She considered lying about sharing it, but decided it would be easier to just brush by the worker’s hand and throw the thought that it was alright into his head. 

Sylvie's Drink

By the time drinks came, Loki fussed and grabbed for Sylvie’s $40 fishbowl of booze. 

“Hey, you wouldn’t let me drink wine when I was little at the Christmas party, now you don’t get to drink my Mezcal while you’re little,” she reminded him very seriously. 

However, while she was distracted, Yelena reached over and took a sip from the second straw. 

They made eye contact for a second, but neither said a word, although Sylvie did raise a disapproving eyebrow. 

 

Loki sucked on his sippy cup discontentedly. There was so much good stuff around the table! And he was stuck here, with a cup that he could hardly get the juice out of, and unallowed to try any of the beautifully colored liquids in pretty glasses around him. At least the apple juice didn’t burn his throat. 

Mobius noticed the baby’s upset and, as he sat on the corner of the booth, he scooted out so Loki’s legs were no longer bumping the underside of table and gave him a few little bounces on his knee, asking how he was doing, and giving the little a whiskey scented kiss on the cheek, which made Loki smile as the bristly hairs on his daddy’s mustache brushed him. 

He leaned backwards, slumping to nestle the back of his head onto Mobius’ shoulder, almost sliding off the comfortable lap in the process until Mobius held him by the waist to make sure he didn’t fall.

The adults chatted and looked over the menus, talking only slightly about business, and much more about personal lives and how the moves have been going for everyone. 

 

When Mobius looked over the menu again, the food section this time, and asked Loki what he wanted, the little shoved his hand in his mouth absently instead of answering. 

“Picky eater?” Clint asked. “She is, too,” he mouthed quietly, pointing his thumb at Yelena. 

“I am not!” she responded with exaggerated offense. 

“That’s alright, I knew this would happen,” Mobius assured them, showing off some snacks he had brought in the diaper bag, just in case. He still read off the menu to the child and asked Sylvie what she was going to have, in a roundabout sort of way, asking her to pick for him. Sylvie’s second choice had been a tender ravioli, so that’s what he settled on. 

As they talked about these choices, other members of the party began to discuss theirs as well:

“It’s been a while since I’ve had oysters…” Clint mused, mulling it over. 

“Oysters? You can’t be serious!” Yelena scolded him. “We’re an hour from the ocean, you’ll poison yourself!” 

“He’ll be fine. This place is good if you’re going to order them, we can share. I’ll take some,” Kate jumped in, setting a hand on her shoulder reassuringly. 

“Fine. But I’m not helping you when you get sick,” Yelena conceded. 

As they ordered and waited for their food, Mobius brought out more paperwork, just the final few forms, he told them when he was met with slight, trying-to-be-polite frowns from Kate and Clint, and a full scowl from Yelena, which Sylvie couldn’t help but laugh at. 

“I’ll be needing some of this,” Yelena said, reaching over to take another sip from the second straw from Sylvie’s fishbowl and taking a long draw off the strong, bright pink, liquid. 

Sylvie let her this time. 

 

Loki looked around when appetizers arrived; it was one of those nice places that staggered the courses.

“Do you want to try one of those?” Mobius asked, noticing Loki’s fascination towards the silver, ice covered platter of shellfish. 

Loki reached towards it, nearly knocking Mobius’ drink over, but the adult caught the glass before a spill could occur and handed the baby one of the strange starters. 

The little chewed on the salty shell, so Mobius demonstrated how to properly eat it. “So we loosen it up with a fork and then-” he sipped it down and Loki watched, half fascinated, half disgusted. “You didn’t have oysters on Asgard? I thought you guys were big on seafood.” 

Loki shook his head and sipped the seawater out of the shell. Then, finally getting up the courage after watching Kate and Clint each take one and knock it back like a shot, he ate the slimy mixture out of the center in the most dignified, adult way he could. 

The flavor thrust the little momentarily into the adult memory of being at extravagant parties and eating the luxuriant and exotic foods, reserved for the upper echelons of society on Asgard. The way he used to help Thor eat the foods that were supposedly for “a matured palette” by disguising himself as his older brother, or taking the food Thor didn’t like under the table. 

Realizing that for a long time, he was the big brother to Thor, in an emotional sense. 

It was nice to let go.

As he silently reminisced, he decided that that life wasn’t for him. Not anymore. The memories were nice, being there for Sylvie and Thor was great, but he was no longer the trickster prince who needed all the eccentricities of what the land of the gods had to offer. He could, perhaps, no, definitely, spend his forever like this: either with two beautiful partners, or parenting a little, or being the best little in the multiverse. 

He sank into Mobius, politely refusing another piece of the slimy seafood. 

Sure it was fancy, but Loki, for the first time in his life wondered, did that automatically make it good? He stopped this thinking quickly as he decided these were ponderings for when he was bigger, maybe for now he would be better suited to crumpling into a little ball in Mobius’ lap as the sunlight streamed in from the glass skylights and onto his curls, irritating his face. 

“Hey, we’re in a restaurant, mr. kitty cat. I know you’re little but I need you to sit up like a big boy, alright?” Mobius asked when the little almost kicked Kate next to them. He remembered now why he always put Loki in a highchair; Holding the fidgety little guy was like holding a 6 foot tall eel. 

Loki complied reluctantly; wistfully, almost pensively.

 

When normal orders arrived, Loki was encouraged to share Mobius’ large plate, but that was a no-go and the poor man ended up needing to alternate between feeding Loki spoonfuls of fruit and vegetable baby food with a spoon, and trying to feed himself his fancy meal.

But Mobius didn’t blame him. When you came here, you were paying for the booze, and the views from the patio deck, maybe for the seafood like the oysters or the ahi tuna Clint had got, not really for the quality of the other food. Sure it was fine… but that’s all it was. A mediocre plate that was just a bit too cold for his liking really either.

Conversations were loud and boisterous and the little tried to listen in from his spot, mostly looking over at Sylvie and watching her add her thoughts to whatever discussion was going on in between sips of her, now halfway downed, drink. 

When he heard his name slip out of Clint’s lips, the baby looked up from his sloppy meal that was dribbling onto his bib. 

“Kint!” Loki responded, reaching out to him and making a grabby baby wave across the table. 

“Hi, buddy!” Clint cooed back while taking a bite of his tuna.

 “Kint fren!” Loki notified Mobius and Kate, very seriously. 

“Am I your friend?” Kate asked. 

“M…” Loki pondered this and then reached for the sleeve of her shirt in that infantile, “I need to feel every texture” sort of way and then looked at Sylvie. 

“Well, you’re my friend. I’m sure you’ll grow on him,” Sylvie said, accentuating every word as clearly as she could, trying her best to hold her alcohol and make it appear as if it had absolutely no effect on her. 

“Um, Kay fren!” Loki decided, moving to snuggle close to her, but Mobius held him back, wiping the pesto-green gloop from around the tot’s mouth and onto the little white and yellow bib. 

 

When the bill arrived, Mobius rushed to take at least some of it. It had been heavily discounted since the restaurant was dealing with earth’s most powerful heroes, but it was still far from zero. As he leaned into the center of the table, Loki leaned back. 

The baby used one hand to grab onto his daddy as he moved, distracted by the bag behind him. He started to reach into the pockets that weren’t guarded by a zipper and pulled out whatever he could. Either setting items on his lap if he particularly liked them, or onto the bench or floor if he couldn’t care less. 

As he ran out of pocketed items, he started to reach for the zippers. 

“Loki,” Sylvie cautioned with a raised eyebrow. 

Unaware that anyone was paying attention to him, the little looked up, pausing and putting the teether he had in his hands into his mouth. 

 

Sylvie’s gaze caught Mobius’ eye, and he turned back to check on Loki, little Loki, who acted all innocent as he played with the rubbery keys in his mouth, ignoring the random objects -books, toys, pacifiers in cases, burp cloths, etc.- that had been dropped on the floor or the seat of the booth. 

“Loki, really?” he asked slightly annoyed as he bent over to grab some of the toys, before gently whispering the thought into Loki’s ear that good boys help pick up. 

Loki did what he could, stuffing things back into the bag randomly and hoping he’d be rewarded for his efforts. 

His reward was a tighter hug and Mobius’ chin hardly reaching to sit on his shoulder, but it was more to make sure the baby didn’t get into any mischief, than it was to be affectionate. 

Regardless, Loki liked the slow rocking motion Mobius made with him, as they watched Sylvie somehow, rather impressively actually, manage to finish her drink and set the miraculously dry paper umbrella that had come with it, into Loki’s hair. 

The group sat for what felt like hours to Loki as the poor little tried and failed to entertain himself during all the adult talk, continuing to chew on his keys and watch the pigeons on the patio so close to them, or the way silly mummy Sylvie hiccupped and stuttered so inelegantly that it made him giggle and want to nuzzle into her neck. 

Soon, Loki started to wrap his arms around Mobius’ bicep in that clingy baby sort of way that could only mean it was getting close to nap time. 

Upon getting their cards back for the way the meal was split, Mobius picked up his little boy. 

Loki grinned, thinking about going home, but as he hadn’t listened much to the conversations, he found that instead, Mobius just popped the trunk of his little beige car and took out the stroller, buckling the tot into it. Apparently Clint, being a normal human being, wasn’t quite cleared to drive yet, so they had decided to take a quick walking trip around town, just to explore it. 

Loki sat in his stroller calmly as he was pushed through the town. He didn’t care much about the faux old fashioned looking buildings or the wide sidewalks that showed an example of friendly city planning. He watched Sylvie and tried to hold her hand while she walked, looking out for her to make sure she didn’t trip on any raised tiles in the fancy concrete. Even with the rubber wheels underneath him, he could feel each bump. 

City Streets

Sylvie was buzzed, but didn’t seem like she was anywhere close to her limits. However, compared to the rest of the group, she wasn’t exactly doing well. But especially as she walked, the effects began to wick off of her, reverting back to a sober state a mere 5 minutes after leaving the table. 

“Can I push him for a little while?” she asked Mobius. 

“You want to?” 

“Yeah, why not? He’s been grabbing at my hand for the past 10 minutes,” 

Mobius let her, and she leaned against the bars while pushing the toddler. 

“When was the last time you changed him?” she absently asked. 

“Oh gods… before we left, is he doing alright?” 

“I think the little bunny may have sprung a leak,” she commented. 

Loki hadn’t been really thinking about it as he wet himself, too busy listening to their conversations and trying to find anything to interest him in the warm midday sun. He suddenly looked down, mid-stream, with horror as his fancy, green coveralls turned an even darker, almost black, color with the liquid. 

He started to whimper and whine, which turned into full crying when the pity came and made him nearly feel worse. The insides of his legs rubbed against the soft fabric irritably, and he soon noticed it was dribbling onto the seat of his stroller and leaking through the fabric down onto the light, brick-y ground in little drip-drops. 

“Shit,” Mobius swore. 

Loki didn’t swear, but made a similarly upset yelp of gibberish. 

“How are you even a detective?” Sylvie asked, absolutely unphased as she called a pacifier out of the diaper bag and to her hand. Unsheathing it, she placed it onto Loki’s mouth and pet his hair, trying to soothe him while looking for a bathroom or spot to get him changed. 

Loki mumbled as his shorts became cold and stiff in the February winds. 

“Well,” Clint sighed, “There’s your bathroom.”  He pointed at a public restroom which had been surprisingly well kept, and even more shockingly, was open. It was that small, cylindrical, unattached kind of bathroom. Sure it was wheelchair accessible, but there was neither a changing table, nor room for Loki to lie down. 

“You’ve got to be kidding,” she groaned. “Oh fuck this.” Sylvie found a nearby bank of grass, and laid down the changing mat away from the walkway. It wasn’t a busy day by any means, but Mobius wasn't too sure about the etiquette of publicly changing a baby, let alone a full grown little. But, seeing as it was an emergency, he let it slide, just this once. 

Loki fussed as the onesie and overalls were stripped from him very gently so as to not spread the dampness, and Sylvie worked quickly with cleaning him up and taping on a new, and slightly thicker diaper. 

She reached into the bag for a new onesie and found a yellow one with a ruffle-y bib sewn onto the front and she had at least packed a pair of snap-crotch shorts for him. It looked pretty hastily put together, so Loki snapped and turned the shorts into a fluffy green tutu skirt instead. 

Finally, Sylvie picked him up. 

The relief he was feeling was palpable. 

She didn’t say anything, but gave a slight nuzzle into his tummy as she packed up the changing supplies and asked the little if he could possibly magic the stroller seat clean for himself. He did so and clapped. 

Gods, why didn’t he do that earlier so we wouldn’t even be in this mess? Sylvie asked herself, knowing full well that Loki’s headspace was too small for him to come to that conclusion on his own. 

After letting himself be strollered around for a while, Loki decided his preferred spot was in someone’s arms. Warm, loving arms. 

He reached up to make this request of either of his caregivers and Sylvie was quick to oblige, handing the stroller to Mobius and letting her baby crumple into her arms so he could comfortably rest his chin on the top of her head. 

The rhythmic sucking noise he made on his pacifier slightly annoyed Sylvie, but she tried not to show it. 

Loki smiled watching her eyebrows make the beginnings of a furrow and started being louder, just slightly. And then slightly more. And more. 

She looked up at him in a full scowl, but Loki’s response was just to smile back with a big grin and try not to giggle as she handed him back off to Mobius. 

While in Mobius’ arms, the scrunching Loki had to do in order to sit comfortably, wasn’t so pronounced, and Mobius was much warmer, and slightly more talkative than Sylvie, so he enjoyed it more, even if the awkward shoulder and upper chest kisses weren’t as nice as the belly ones. 

Mobius and Loki didn’t really feel like shopping, feeling like they had done more than enough of that during their trip to the mall last week, but Sylvie and the rest of the group didn’t mind browsing. So often, when someone wanted to peek into a quaint shop, Mobius and Loki waited outside on a bench or resting against a tree, reading some stories and going through nursery rhymes quietly unless something happened to catch Loki’s eye in a window, in which case, Sylvie would help him with his walking and need to constantly remind him that “we look with our eyes, not with our hands” and gently bat his fingers away from whatever fragile item he fancied. 

By the end of the trip, Loki had amassed a new story book and a collapsible wooden push toy, that Sylvie had really bought more for herself, than for her little bunny. (Luckily, that was the last shop they stopped in before saying goodbyes and heading home, so they weren’t lugging it around for long).

“So we’ll see you tomorrow around the office?” Clint asked.

“Yeah, we should be good from there on out,” Mobius smiled. 

They talked professionally, but Sylvie and Loki were giving hugs, and after Kate pulled him into one, Mobius offered them, too, instead of his corporate handshake. 

“See y’all tomorrow!” he called as he opened the doors of the tan car, that really shouldn’t be able to fit Loki in a car seat, yet somehow miraculously did, helping his little and partner before getting in himself. 

Well, it went. Not good nor bad, but the brunch sure happened. It was one of the brunches ever. Mobius thought to himself, trying not to make himself laugh at the whole intense mediocrity of the bulk of the day. Maybe Sylvie had more fun, Loki sure didn’t, but maybe Sylvie did. A feeling of accomplishment washed over him. The weight on his shoulders had at least fallen off. That counted for something, right?

 

Chapter Text

It had been a dismal morning for Loki, Sylvie, and Mobius; absolutely awful:  Breakfast had been ruined because the milk used to make the french toast had gone sour, which Mobius would’ve noticed if he hadn’t been having a conversation while cooking. 

Normally, Loki and Sylvie would’ve found this immensely funny, but they were too distracted by the fact that they felt awful, not physically, but their headspaces were fluctuating and inconsistent, and despite wanting, needing, to regress, they just couldn’t do it on their own, nor with just Mobius’ help. They needed something else.   

On top of that, that meant there was no good breakfast food in the house. Not to mention the weather was abysmal, as well: It was freezing cold, but not snowy. Thunderclouds were looming overhead, and rain was a constant, but every few minutes it turned to small chunks of hail. 

 

The three were piled on the couch, all dazed and lazy. Little toys were out and strone about, but Loki and Sylvie had no interest in them. 

They had some interest in Mobius, keeping near him, and trying their best to keep him happy with hugs and kisses, but it didn’t feel right. There was no passion in it, everyone was too drained and vaguely upset by nothing (entirely aware that it was because of nothing, and frustrated because of it) for anything to have meaning to them.

 

“We should do something,” Mobius said around noon. 

“Mm,” Sylvie acknowledged in a half-asleep grumble. 

“It’s too… blah. Can’t we just fuck or something?” Loki complained. But everyone knew there was no chance that was going to be enjoyable.

“Maybe we just need a change of scenery,” Mobius suggested, trying to stay optimistic. 

“Have we tried bugging Thor?” Sylvie asked. 

“I have. Asked if he could shut up with the thunder… Told me he’d try,” Loki answered, inspecting his black nail polish while laying over Mobius’ lap, and taking up a majority of the couch. 

Sylvie had herself pressed into the corner, with one leg over the arm of the couch and the other in a normal position. 

Loki rested his chin on her thigh, breathing a heavy sigh of vague, aimless frustration. 

Mobius suddenly slapped the opposite arm of the couch, alarming Loki and Sylvie. He seemed to have decided that they were going to make the most of this day, bad mood be damned. “Alright. You guys said you needed to regress, right?”

Sylvie heavily nodded.

Loki shrugged, but it was more of a yes than a no kind of shrug. 

“And you want to?” 

More enthusiastic nods. 

“Okay. I’ve got an idea.” 

 

Both opted to go for an older headspace. Sylvie, despite picking out an outfit fit for a preschooler, was about seven or eight, while Loki regressed to the very big boy age of four. 

Sylvie had picked out a pair of blue, corduroy overalls with a big, primary colored train on the front. She completed the look with a conductor’s hat and bandana around her neck, obviously Mobius’ additions. 

Loki picked out a very similar outfit of overalls, too. These ones were decorated with serpents and dragons (which were once dinosaurs but had little wings embroidered onto their backs). 

 

Mobius knocked on Thor’s door in a big plastic raincoat: “We’re going out, do you want to come?” 

Thor cracked open the door. “Where?” he muttered.

“There’s a big indoor playground a little ways away. Thought I’d take the kids. Do you want to come? There’s food and I’m paying.”

“Kids?” Thor asked. 

“Yeah, Loki and Sylvie. They’re big kids today. Four and Seven. Can you believe it?”

Thor raised his eyebrows, slightly surprised. “Hm,” he grunted. 

“Anyway, do you want to come or not? Open session starts in an hour, so…” 

“Yeah… Yeah, I’ll come.”

 

The journey felt just as blandly tense as the rest of the day, as the dreary rain and shards of ice poured over the little beige car.  The littles didn’t touch their toys, Loki didn’t even consider letting go into his pull-up, nor did either of them chew on pacifiers or even try to sing along to the radio. 

But as soon as Mobius got them to step into the building, ushering them forward and helping with their neon colored wristbands, the tension slowly began to thaw and melt away.

The playground was filled with littles, even the baby area was at least somewhat populated. 

Mobius brought them to a bench with some cubbies on the quiet side of the playground. He could feel Loki and Sylvie start to regress more, taking on their usual younger headspaces, and to a deeper extent than they had earlier in the day, sinking down to six and three

Mobius prompted everyone to take off their shoes, helping Loki with his laces and finding spots in the cubbies. 

“You’re coming, too?” Sylvie asked when Mobius started slipping off his own shoes. 

“Yeah, why wouldn’t I?” 

Sylvie shrugged, a little smile hiding behind her face. 

Loki waited very patiently as everyone got ready to play, trying not to grin too hard as he whisked his head around, trying to look at everything, visually stimulated by the bright colors, and fascinated by the interesting smells, both from the cafe nearby, and those off smells that arcades and indoor play places always seem to have mixed disinfectant sprays. He played with his hair as he did so, stroking and playing with one specific lock that fell near his cheek. 

Thor picked up his slightly overwhelmed, but ever excited, baby brother. Not cradling him, just standing him up on his feet.

Loki was shocked by the motion, he had been so lost in thought that he made a little squeak when Thor moved him. 

Everyone was ready to go and had been waiting for him. 

Although the playground was crowded, Sylvie punched her way through as if it were an empty combat course with Thor trailing right behind, and Mobius helping Loki along behind him. 

The toddler did his best to keep up, slipping on the vinyl, half crawling and half running to keep up as Mobius frequently paused to coax him along or help him up. 

During one particularly difficult time getting Loki through an area where his head pretty much hit the ceiling and he was surrounded by narrow walls, Mobius looked up to find that Thor and Sylvie had gone. He crawled around the corner on his hands and knees to check where they might be, but found that the room diverged into three different paths, and he had no idea which one they would’ve taken. 

Loki caught up to Mobius and quieted for a moment as he took in the silence. Plenty of littles and children ran past, dipping and dodging through the tunnels and other rooms, and even squeezing past Loki and Mobius to head into the claustrophobic segment. 

“Guess we’re on our own then,” Mobius smiled. “Just like old times.” 

“Yep…” Loki nervously concluded alongside him, while considering if he should shove his hand in his mouth or not. He decided that this was a good idea until Mobius made him remove it, and replaced it with a pacifier for Loki to suck on.

“So which way?” 

  The little began to crawl towards the left so Mobius followed him. 

Unfortunately, that was the wrong direction. Well, maybe Sylvie and Thor did come this way, but the path led to steep climbing walls that dropped like cliffs, and woven elastic bands where one wrong step could lead you to fall through. 

“Let’s go the other way,” Mobius suggested. 

To the right, there was a room that led to a large and winding tube slide. 

Loki gave Mobius an uncertain look. 

“You’re not that heavy, it won’t break,” Mobius reassured him, taking the little into his lap and going down the slide with his arms around the tot’s midsection. 

Loki grinned the whole trip down squealing with laughter around a couple tight corners.

When they reached the bottom, Mobius and Loki were stopped abruptly as they rammed directly into the back of a familiar face who was sitting at the bottom of the slide, mid conversation. 

Thor let out an audible “oof!” as the 500 pound little and his Earthly caregiver slammed into his back at full speed. 

“Move!” Loki demanded, shoving Thor out of the way with his long legs. 

When Thor stood up, pausing the conversation he was having with Sylvie, he stuck his tongue out at Loki, giving his little brother a snotty look. 

Loki returned it, more dramatically, even adding a little fart noise, complete with extra spit directed at Thor. 

As the little and his older brother playfully teased each other, getting into a fake fight, Mobius paused and spoke to Sylvie. 

The area they had stopped in wasn’t part of the main jungle gym… not really. And unlike most of the playground, it was themed. The floor was a soft, light green mat, meant to mimic grass, and the section, only about 8 feet by 8 feet in full area, was surrounded by a white, picket fence-like, plastic wall. Around the slide’s exit, there were a couple small toys and mushroom-like stools for sitting.

“Hey, how’s it going? We thought we lost you,” he gently said as he approached, sitting on one of the mushrooms.

Sylvie stopped trying to play with a toy she found on the ground, probably dropped by some child or little who was too busy chasing their friends to realize it was gone. “Um, good; Bit hungry, gotta potty kind of, but good; better than earlier,” she concluded. 

“I think I’m gonna have to get Loki to the potty soon, too. Should we take a break?” 

Loki looked up from where he was stuck in a gentle headlock by his older brother, “No! No break!” 

“Alright, diapers for Loki it is,” Mobius teased. 

The little looked absolutely mortified at this prospect. “No, no no! Big boy no nappies!” he angrily stomped. 

“Woah, woah, we don’t have to, I just thought you said you didn’t want to take a break.” 

“No break!” Loki agreed, trying his best not to make it extremely obvious that he was practically doing the potty dance at this point with his legs glued together. 

Mobius ruffled his mustache and sighed, knowing this would be a battle, and one that could only end badly. 

“Look, Loki. You have three options: we take a break and you go potty and we continue playing, I get you changed into a diaper and you can keep playing, or you have an accident and we have to go home. So make a choice,” he said, putting his hands on his hips. 

Sylvie scowled at Loki. “You’re just hungry. C’mon let’s go,” she said, giving him a stiff push, almost knocking him onto the cushioning.  

Loki’s lip quivered as he looked between the adults, unsure of what to do and finally deciding to take his pacifier into his mouth and cry, hoping for pity. Hoping Mobius would say “you’re right Loki. Here, just let me fix that for you,” and the pressure would magically disappear without having to stop playing. Which would obviously never happen, unless Loki was already in diapers, which he wasn’t.

 

So, Mobius did just the only thing he could and slung the toddler over his shoulder, bracing for the tantruming fallout that would come. Which of course it did, and he just barely got Loki to the bathroom on time, only seconds away from what could’ve been an accident. 

 

Like a big boy, Loki used the potty, all on his own. His face was still tearstained and breath still hitching as if he had just had that accident when Mobius helped him wash his hands and set him up on the changing table. “Big boy!” Loki whined and cried like always while Sylvie took her turn on the potty. 

“I know, but I thought you said no breaks,” Mobius replied, as he pet Loki’s belly, hoping to calm him down. 

Loki stuck his thumb in his mouth and whimpered around it as Mobius pulled off the slightly damp pull-up and replaced it with a diaper. His whining continued, and so did the kicking and squirming, until his shorts were snapped up, by which time Sylvie and Thor were already impatiently waiting outside. 

“Alright, you can go play again. I’ll call you over once it’s time for lunch, got it?”

Loki nodded and rejoined her brother, who was waiting outside. 

“Ah, ah, ah.” Mobius suddenly stopped her when her appearance changed. 

Loki pursed her lips in a scowl at him. 

“If you’re going to have longer hair we need to put it up,” he told her, pointing at a rules sign outside the bathrooms near the play area entrance. “Here.”  He took a hair tie out of the diaper bag and started to put it up for her while sitting on a bench. 

The little pulled and squirmed, whining to get back to her bigger siblings. And after a grueling thirty to forty five seconds of struggle, Loki was free to go run into Sylvie’s arms and let Thor pick her up and swing her around, even if her tolerance for that sort of play was minimal. 

Sylvie was delighted to have a little sister joining her, ready to conquer the playground once more, but Loki seemed to have much different ideas. 

The littler girl waddled while taking Thor’s hand, and Sylvie joined them, curious of where they’d lead her. 

 

Loki stopped at the wall of the padded baby area, silently proposing it to Sylvie and Thor, who stared at her skeptically. 

“You’re the only baby here, and you’re perfectly capable of walking on your own. Come on, I want to finish seeing the big playground!” Sylvie argued.

Loki pointed again, more specifically this time, she motioned to the big, colorful ball pit.

Sylvie paused as she noticed it, too, the shine on the plastic catching her eyes. “Fine… we can do that I guess,” she said in slight wonder. 

So, Thor opened up the gate and let them into the baby little wonderland. It was, even to him, awfully striking with its oversized toys and large ball pit, and slightly smaller playground with easily climbable sections and shorter slides for babies and young toddlers who were just a little too young for the big kid area.

Loki dived into the ballpit nearly headfirst, giggling and tossing some of the plastic balls at Thor, especially the red ones, which she knew Thor liked very much, while Sylvie was slightly (only slightly ) more hesitant, sitting on the side of the pit and pushing herself in slowly instead of jumping in.

Because Loki and Sylvie weren’t very familiar with ball pits, they didn’t know much of the germaphobic implications of it, either. As Mobius quickly found his family after repacking and zipping the diaper bag, he tried to hide his anxieties about them being in there; The fact that they had only gotten sick around him once was a miracle (well, if he had known they could even get sick in the first place, it would be).

There seemed to be a learning curve as the littles discovered this slowly. Noticing how some of the balls in lower levels seemed to have an uncanny wetness; Whether that was sweat, pee, spray-on disinfectant, or a mix of them all, was up for debate, but Loki and Sylvie soon got out of the pool, slightly disgusted by it. 

 

Loki toddled around the baby area more, dragging her slightly reluctant older siblings and daddy behind her, but not much of it interested her. 

Sylvie definitely felt like she was too big for most of the toys and obstacles in the space, and Loki seemed to be just straddling the line between too big herself, getting bored pretty much the second the ballpit lost its novelty. 

Soon, the littles were back to the big-kid playground, dodging obstacles back at full speed. Thor and Mobius kind of joined them, mostly hanging out around the outside to shout reassurances at Loki when the toddler looked down through the mesh walls at them. 

 

Sylvie ran into one “room” that she hadn’t explored before and immediately slipped and fell on the floor, which had suddenly changed texture. But it didn’t hurt, in fact, the little found that she bounced. 

Loki, eventually catching up, paused in the doorway in a very sudden, dramatic way. She flipped her hair out of her face and stared at Sylvie curiously for a moment. Watching the older girl pick herself up and test the ground again, hopping up and down on it. 

“Bunny! Come on!” Sylvie exclaimed, filled with excitement over the magically stretchy floor. 

Loki nervously dipped her feet in, as if the trampoline were a pond and then toddled onto the sloping floor that was weighed down as Sylvie. She slipped onto her bum and fell toward’s Sylvie’s leg. Despite being slightly startled, she didn’t really seem to acknowledge it had even happened as soon as she crawled back to the other side and stood up, bouncing on her tip-toes to test the floor, sucking on her fingers. Then, she squealed and started to jump more, and so did Sylvie, cautiously looking up at the ceiling that was still a good 3-4 feet above their heads and covered with a pool-noodle-like foam on the edges and mesh on the top. 

The room was small and the trampoline hardly fit the two of them without bouncing into each other.

“Hey, how’re we feeling? Are you guys hungry yet?” A familiar voice asked, with a near grunt as he struggled to army crawl through a low nearby corridor. 

Loki sat down very suddenly to get a good look at Mobius which caused Sylvie to double bounce, and join her little sister, much less gracefully, on the cushioned floor. 

Mobius paused as he stood up and brushed himself off. He then, still standing on the normal vinyl paused and kneeled next to Loki, “fingers out of your mouth, hun,” he reminded her as he picked her up and removed them gently. 

Loki frowned and tried to put them back. 

“Does that mean it’s lunch time?” 

She nodded while becoming suddenly fixated on petting his mustache. 

“No! We can have lunch later!” Sylvie said. “I haven’t even been down the big slide yet!” she complained. 

“Fine, but you’re taking me and Loki with you,” Mobius laughed, setting Loki back down to follow her older sister. 

The toddler turned around to say “bye-bye” to the very cool room before leaving it. 

 

A couple more uphill climbs, stairs, and toddler-appropriate climbing walls later, the three found themselves at the very top of the playground, seeing nearly eye level with the large rockwall across the way meant for teens and adults. 

Mobius tried to pretend his knees weren’t getting shaky as he looked down over the large entertainment complex. Was this plastic and mesh structure with its few foam covered metal supports really going to hold him and his two little goddesses all the way up here? He looked at the swirling tin slide Sylvie was getting ready to dive down headfirst and the thought persisted, but he let her go. He knew both of his little girls were strong, made of the toughest stuff in the nine realms, but he wasn’t. 

“Daddy! Come!” Loki ushered him over impatiently as if calling to a puppy. 

Mobius raised an eyebrow towards the behavior, and prepared to talk to her about using her manners. But the little girl seemed to be simply excited, pulling at the bar that spanned the top of the slide and leaning back, bouncing with her knees and heels to signal how ready she was to go, or maybe she was just wetting herself. Either way, the comment hadn’t been in bad faith. Not wanting to ruin her good mood, Mobius put his arms around her yet again as they went down the big slide to meet Sylvie at the bottom.

 “Alright, lunch?” he asked. 

Loki and Sylvie quickly agreed. They sat at a rounded cafe table and let Mobius look through the menus and helped them order. The group decided very quickly to just share a small pizza, mostly because the littles were impatient to get to go check out the arcade machines and said yes to the first thing Mobius suggested.

 Thor had apparently promised to earn them something from the claw game. He tried to insert an Asgardian coin into the slot, but it was rejected. Then Sylvie tried a Chuck E. Cheese token Scott had given her because he had it in his pocket and thought she’d like the shiny object (she did). That didn’t work either. 

A teenaged worker stopped them. “We don’t take quarters anymore, there’s a token machine behind you,” he informed them. 

Thor tried to insert his coin into the token machine, and then Sylvie with her Chuck E. Cheese token. Eventually, Loki frustratedly tapped the top of it with a flat hand, a light smack, and coins flooded out without leaving a dent. 

She giggled and clapped watching Thor and Sylvie quickly try to scoop them up. 

And so, Thor began his quest to win them a plushie or two while Sylvie attempted a pixelated arcade game. Loki confusedly waddled between the two looking for attention and not entirely sure what to do with herself. 

“Hi, sunshine!” Thor greeted her. “Would you like up?” 

She nodded and Thor hoisted the toddler onto his back. 

The little girl watched the claw with wide eyes as Thor inserted token after token and just could not win. She eventually decided to hop down and go find daddy when he started getting angry. Perhaps it made Sylvie laugh, but it put off Loki, especially when she was little. 

“Pababa!” she babbled as she ran into Mobius’ arms, bending down to snuggle her face into his neck and chest, pretending she was shorter than him. 

He picked her up and shoved a pacifier into her mouth, bouncing her up and down gently.

She giggled and cooed about it before reaching into her pockets and showing off all the fancy gilded coins she had, handing him some as a present. 

“Thank you,” he replied.

“Daddy play!” she squeaked. 

“You don’t want to join daddy in waiting for food?” 

She stuck out her tongue, making it very obvious she wasn’t just going to stand here while she waited. 

“Fine fine, why don’t I teach you how to play skee ball? I’m something of an expert at it,” he bragged. 

Loki grinned from ear to ear, she loved hearing the subtle excitement in his voice. 

Mobius and Loki found that Sylvie and Thor were still engrossed in their respective games of Frogger and the claw machine. He smiled a little bit and then inserted a token in each of the skee ball games, right next to each other. 

The balls clacked as they were released, causing Loki to gasp and tap her feet excitedly. 

“So you pick one up and, like a bowling ball, roll it up-” Mobius demonstrated, tossing one up, “and into the holes. You want to get that one, but all of them are good,” he shrugged, trying to sound very casual and much less enthusiastic than he actually was.  

Loki tried to mimic but didn’t quite understand, tossing the ball over-handedly and hitting the glass-like plastic cover that stopped players from just setting the ball in the hole. Although the ball rolled back down to her feet, the score went up with her magic and she clapped as if she had made it. 

Mobius smiled and showed her again. 

Loki continued trying, eventually setting her knees onto the lane and trying to crawl up to the top and set the balls in, to which Mobius responded by picking her up and tickling her. “Are you being naughty?” he joked as she roared with laughter. 

She rolled a couple more, finishing out the slot, actually trying a little bit and not using her magic. 

“YES!” Sylvie yelled as she finished a level of Frogger, aggressively fiddling with the joystick, just like she did when playing video games with Thor on the couch. 

Loki peeked over, no longer seeming interested in all the other games; she was more of a watcher, anyway. Occasionally, at home, when watching Sylvie and Thor played, she’d looked up from her wordy classic books (or some newer novels and fantasy stories that Mobius suggested… or the cardboard and fabric baby books with teethers on the sides and finger puppets) and make comments on how to solve the puzzles and beat other players. 

But there was one game that caught her eye after Mobius pointed it out. He knew there was only a few minutes left until the food was ready but it would be worth leaving it waiting for just a couple minutes to see Loki light up at “The Spider Game”.

It was an easier game than skeeball; If you could walk, you could play. Standing on a small platform, Loki was instructed by the game’s voice to step on the spiders painted on the floor. They had bright red abdomen buttons that lit up in a whack-a-mole like fashion.

Loki loved it, squealing, as she tried to get all of the spiders. 

Then, Sylvie slunk down from her spot at the arcade cabinet. She had so many tokens and yet, she began to cry and throw a fit, absolutely drained by losing an impressive twenty level Frogger streak and from not eating for several hours, with lots of play in between. 

Mobius picked her up, and Thor handed her one of the six plush animals he had won; A rather high quality, green teddy bear. She was teary and red, kicking her legs.

Loki held her brother’s hand and questioned Thor constantly as they walked back to the table, asking about the kinds of animals Thor had won and what he was going to do with them. 

“You can have this one,” Thor said, sounding only slightly older than Sylvie, and handing Loki a Winnie The Pooh stuffed animal to make her be quiet, getting sick of her constant questioning. He was going to put the other four on his bed, thank-you-very-much. 

Loki chewed on the ear and showed it to Mobius and Sylvie the second they sat down for lunch, trying to cheer up Sylvie as they ate their mediocre-at-best pizza.

Sylvie’s tear stains started to clear as she hugged the new bear under her arm and tried not to get pizza grease on it or herself. 

Loki mimicked while bouncing in her chair happily to let everyone know how excited she was to have a new stuffy, some lunch, and some general fun. 

They ate and chatted, in the way three little kids, and an adult who thought they were all very entertaining, would. 

Then, Loki started to become engrossed in something, chewing on a long piece of stringy cheese still attached to the slice as she watched Thor curiously, checking out what he was doing. Why isn’t Thor eating his pizza like Sylvie and daddy? she wondered as Thor dipped his pizza into a small cup of ranch dressing.

The little didn’t seem to realize Mobius was staring at her, wondering if she was okay. “Earth to Loki. Are you doing alright? Do we need to go potty?” he asked nervously, hoping Loki wasn’t about to need a bath right then and there. 

Loki shook her head and pointed across the table, leaning onto her hands and almost tipping the surface as she motioned to the tiny paper cup. 

“That’s ranch, you can dip your pizza in it. Do you want some?” Mobius answered her silent question, dabbing his mustache with a paper napkin. 

Loki didn’t pay much attention to him though, she reached across to Thor’s plate and dipped her pizza, well, what was left of it, in the strange sauce. Instead of eating it with the rest of the crust, she just sort of sucked it off, leaving the bread intact. 

“Opinions?” Thor asked with his mouth full. “Korg showed it to me.” 

Loki, our Loki, had never met Korg before. So, much like a child who had only heard rumors of relatives past, and the friends of their parents who had long moved on with their lives, never to be seen again, she had a slightly mythical idea of Thor’s old housemates. The little girl took more effort recalling who Korg even was than formulating an opinion on the sauce.

 Then, she nodded, very sure of herself. It definitely made the food taste better. “Daddy try!” she encouraged. 

When Mobius got up instead of taking her advice, she frowned and started to restlessly kick her legs.

“I’m just going to get you one of your own, be patient, little kitty cat,” he reassured her, wiping the grease from his hands and ruffling her’s and Sylvie’s hair as he got up. 

Both of the girls giggled and Sylvie tried to grab his hand to keep it on her head. 

When he returned with an identical little plastic cup of sauce, Loki smiled and stuck her fingers in her mouth. 

“What do we say?” he asked. 

“Thank you!” she said as she took another slice, dipping it and taking a happy bite. Then she tried the same tactic earlier. “Um, daddy try!” She dipped the bitten slice into the ranch and then held it up to him, a big, silly, grin spreading across her face as he took a bite. 

Sylvie couldn’t help but laugh as well, even though she had finished eating, with three, cleanly picked apart pizza crusts in front of her on her paper plate. She wiped off her hands and face on her own and started to fumble with her teddy bear, inspecting it while trying to figure out a name. 

 

When everyone had finished their food, Mobius stood up and started to collect plates for the trash. 

“Go play?” Loki asked, trying to make her soft yellow bear stand in her lap. 

“How about ten more minutes?” he proposed. “Go get your wiggles out and then we’ll head home, alright? Do you think you can do that without daddy and Thor coming with you?” 

Loki set her thumb in her mouth anxiously, looking between the two adults she relied on so often, then she took a deep breath and nodded. “Seevee help!” she said to Sylvie. 

Sylvie shrugged at this. Sure, she’d help. Not like she really had the choice. 

Loki and Sylvie made a run through of the playground while Thor and Mobius cleaned up the table and tried to shove as many of the claw machine stuffed animals into the diaper bag as they could. 

The two littles had taken their new bears with them, and tried to see how fast they could make it through the playground, accidentally bumping into many other littles and not even bothering to help them up aside from a passing “sorry!” and running off again to try to beat the other through the four floors of foam and fabric. A sort of obstacle course for the two of them. 

“And time,” Mobius called waiting by the big final slide as Sylvie slid down with her green bear still nestled into the crook of her elbow. “Alright, where’s Loki?” he asked, just as much to himself as to her. 

Loki hadn’t gotten stuck, she was just busy: When she was about to go down the final slide she noticed there was something horribly wrong. Looking down into her arms, she noticed her new bear was not with her, dropped along the way. 

“Loki! Come on, we’re gonna go soon!” 

Loki looked through the mesh walls, red in the face. 

Mobius sighed, “Looks like I’m going up to rescue her,” he said semi-nervously. As he walked up to the playground he looked back at Sylvie, “Can you go wait with Thor? I’ll be right back.”

She nodded and walked away sadly, upset that they’d have to leave so soon. It had been so much fun and she hated to think it was coming to an end, dragging her feet back to Thor who waited with a smile and outstretched arms to pick her up in a big, comforting hug. She looked like she needed a nap, badly. 

 

Mobius climbed up to try to get to Loki, dodging littles and children with “excuse me”’s and “sorry”’s, eventually finding Loki curled up, sucking her thumb in the trampoline room. 

“Are you doing alright, kitten?” he asked, slowly coming closer and leaning down as if she were feral. “Can you tell daddy what’s wrong?” 

She started to cry harder, reaching up to be taken into Mobius’ arms, but he denied for the moment. 

“No talking, huh? That’s alright, I’ll figure it out.” Mobius made a couple of signs for her to mimic so he could pinpoint what was wrong. But she shook her head at all of them, instead making two signs Mobius didn’t recognize. They were “Bear” and “Lost”, which he did eventually get after she repeated them a couple times.  

“You lost your bear…” he pondered, “Can you call it?” 

Loki demonstrated that she couldn’t; it would not rush to her hands with magic. 

“Alright, let’s go find him,” he decided, hoisting the toddler into his arms and walking slowly and deliberately with her as she sniffled, making sure not to bump her head or run into anyone else. 

He got her down from the playground and she screamed and cried being taken away from it. “Bear-bear!” she whined and whimpered. 

“Shhh, we’re going to check the lost and found first, see if it’s here. Okay? We’ll go back and look for him afterwards.” 

A staff member let them take a look, but the Winnie The Pooh plush with the damp right ear, wasn’t there. 

“Alright, so he’s still on the playground then. Can we retrace your steps?” 

Loki nodded, so Mobius set her down and took her hand as she waddled with wide legs to the entrance she came through, scuttled through a couple tunnels and up a flight of crawl-friendly soft stairs. 

That’s where she found it, propped neatly against a wall, probably by an older kid or caregiver, following their little one. Loki squealed as she brought it down, hugging it so tightly, Mobius worried that the seams would pop. 

“Alright then, are we ready?” he asked, coming back to Thor, who had Sylvie on his lap, telling her the most interesting stories. 

Both Sylvie and Loki agreed they did not want to leave, but Mobius and Thor dragged them back to the car, anyway. 

Loki was buckled into her baby seat, just like usual while Sylvie got into her big girl one all by herself and even got her seatbelt fastened. 

When Loki fell asleep on the car ride home, her form shifted back to the more masculine one he liked to use most of the time. He spent most of the car ride suckling on a pacifier with his bear in his arms, but soon started to wake up as the piercing golden sun hit his face as it peeked out from behind the clouds for the first time all day. 

Chapter Text

Sylvie’s keys jingled- real, adult, metal keys- as she slid a bag over her shoulder and smiled at her two loves. Loki was curled up with a pacifier in his mouth on Mobius’s lap, and Mobius was reading the newspaper. But, he folded it up when she saw her approach the door. When he leaned forward to set the paper on the coffee table, Loki stirred. “Good luck out there,” Mobius told her with a smile. 

She couldn’t be ginning wider, herself. 

“Loki, can you wish mommy good luck on her driving test?” 

Loki didn’t say anything besides giving a wave and a silly babble that probably could mean “Good luck” if you put it through Google Translate enough. 

“Love you,” Mobius reminded her. 

“Lub mummy!” Loki parroted. 

She blew them kisses and shut the door.

Loki and Mobius were alone. 

 

Loki was a baby today; hardly walking, barely talking, just like usual when he was little. But now, Mobius and Loki were going to be left entirely alone for hours on end, while Sylvie was at the DMV getting her license. And this little was going to make the most of this day that he possibly could (even if alone time between the two of them was semi-routine, as Sylvie was rather independent compared to her two boys). And that began with being the world’s snuggliest cuddlebug. 

He was quiet and cooed lovingly at Mobius, making as few sounds as a Loki was capable of. He wanted his warm pillow of a daddy to stay put, petting his hair and hugging him. The little even tried to be extra quiet and sneaky as he made a mess, which Mobius pretended to fall for for a few seconds, letting the little think himself extra stealthy despite his little grunts and constant readjusting as he did. 

“Alright, let’s get a move-on,” Mobius told him, picking the baby up and getting him a clean pair of clothes from the nursery before taking him for a bath once the smell reached him.

Loki pretended not to notice the unpleasantness of the ordeal, opting to only pay any attention to his rubbery bath toys scattered on the bathroom floor next to him, which he grabbed at when he was laid down. 

Mobius was good at this by now and knew how to get Loki bathed and changed pretty quickly. 

“There we go, all clean,” he said after taking the little out of the cool water and drying Loki’s lanky form off. 

Loki snuggled into the towel coyly, nuzzling the soft terry cloth in his hair until Mobius made him lie down again. 

“Guess what little surprise I have for you,” Mobius teased. 

Loki didn’t answer, chewing on his lavender scented hair until Mobius pulled it out of his mouth and showed him the new surprise; kitten printed diapers.

Loki grinned and squealed, replacing the hair in his mouth with his knuckle as he wiggled from side to side, kicking just a little bit and making the process just slightly difficult for Mobius, but he was having fun, too, pressing kisses and raspberries onto the baby’s belly and playing peek-a-boo with him from behind the towel. There wasn’t much pressure to move, anyway, as it wasn’t even eight in the morning yet. 

Soon, Loki was dressed in a onesie. He was offered pants, but declined them. Well, at least that was less work for Mobius. 

 

Soon, Loki was set into his highchair, he had already been given a bottle while on the couch, but he hadn’t really eaten yet. 

“Okay.” Mobius got the little’s attention as he closed the fridge and looked for a baby spoon. “Do you want me to feed you, or can you feed yourself?” 

Loki managed a whiny babble as he reached for the plastic cup in Mobius’ hands. When it was close enough to reach from his seat, he dipped his fingers into the blueberry yogurt and licked it off, getting a good amount on his face and the tray in the process.

“I’m going to take that as a ‘you want me to feed you’, then.” 

As Mobius fed him, Loki grabbed at the spoon, finding Mobius’ attempts to keep it away from him a fun game.

Mobius tried to let him feed himself a few times, but the little just flicked his breakfast everywhere. So he settled on giving Loki a separate baby spoon to hold and play with, just to make him feel like he was helping. 

Loki waved the plastic spoon around and played with it more than he ate with it, even trying to poke it into Mobius’ mouth to “feed” him back. 

The adult smiled affectionately as he scraped out the last of the yogurt for Loki. Then, he wiped the leftovers off the baby’s face and brought him into the nursery for playtime. 

Loki fumbled through the bin of toys him and Sylvie kept, and through the large closet. His headspace had grown up just slightly as he shifted more into the mood for pretend play than for sensory based activities. But he couldn’t seem to find anything he really wanted to play with at the moment. 

He leaned back in Mobius’ lap and touched the stubble starting to grow around his daddy’s chin. 

“Um,” he began to cautiously ask, “what play?” 

“Well, I always really liked cowboys,” Mobius answered honestly after pondering for a few seconds. “Do you know what a cowboy is?” 

Loki nodded, sometimes Sheriff Callie was on after Sofia the First, and Loki liked kitties, so he always stuck around to watch it, and it was the nickname he was always given when he had to do that awkward waddle with a soaked diaper. 

 

“I think we might have something for that in here…” Mobius commented, looking through the back of the closet. After not being able to find it, putting his hands on his hips and letting out a long sigh, Mobius had an epiphany. “Wait here a moment.”

Loki couldn’t help but grin at Mobius’ hyper tone, as he ran back to the master bedroom. But the little did not stay put, he just needed to see what his daddy could possibly be doing. 

He peeked into the master bedroom, and then into the closet where Mobius was sifting through his wardrobe for something. He was pretty far back, looking at the clothes from his TVA days. And then he found a small box, and a jacket which he pulled out. 

“There we go!” he grinned, pulling the brown fringed jacket over his shoulders and opening the box. 

He handed the hat inside to Loki. The toddler took it and chewed the brim before Mobius showed him how to properly put it on. 

“Look at you!” he cooed, adjusting it to fit around Loki’s chin. 

The little grinned, still smoothing the faux leather and playing with the wired brim. He shuffled on his knees to the crib and pulled down a stuffed horse. 

He showed the horse to Mobius.

“Is that your pony?” Mobius asked back.

“Mhm!”

“He looks a little small, don’t you think?” 

Loki looked down at the toy he was straddling and shook his head. “Big nuff!” he decided. 

Mobius laughed slightly, rubbing his nose with the back of his hand before tying a small bandana bib around his little’s neck. 

Loki tugged on it, pulling it up over his face. 

“Are you a bandit?” Mobius asked. 

Loki shook his head, magically adding a silver star to his shirt and making Mobius a matching hat to his own. 

“Oh you’re the sheriff, very cool.” 

Loki got up and ripped an orange blanket off the rocking chair, swirling it in the center of the room like a campfire. 

“Daddy! Daddy! Fire n’ camp n’ story!” Loki tried to express, with some difficulty. 

“Cowboys didn’t have books,” Mobius informed him, “they sang songs instead.” That wasn’t true entirely, but it didn’t matter. Loki loved songs. 

The toddler got out a couple of musical toys and sat on the floor with the “fire roaring” in front of him, and tried to babble along while Mobius gently sang “you are my sunshine” next to him. 

After the campout, Loki hopped up and grabbed his horsey, with an extra four legs clumsily sewn on, and galloped around the house with it at his side, not really riding it at all, exploring the living room like a sedimentary rock mountain lined tumbleweed town and climbing the “red rocky arches” and “sand dunes”, stopping in the “saloon” for some apple juice in a sippy cup. 

He zoomed around the house playing tag against Mobius or “sheriff and bandit”, as they called it. 

Loki hid outside, peeking through the window until Mobius carried him in, telling him maybe they should play inside and not in the muddy snow drifts that should remain outside.

 

“Look at you go! Can I get a yeehaw?” Mobius asked as Loki ran, and tumbled and giggled, forgetting the game of tag as Loki tried to round up his stuffed animals.  

“Yeeyah!” Loki burbled, galloping around the island in the kitchen and running into Mobius’ arms, scrunching up to fit his chin into the crick of Mobius’ neck, and making the horse plushie kiss him on the cheek. 

“Howdy, little partner! What do we think about naptime, soon?” 

“Have to?” Loki asked, removing his hat with the saddest big kitten eyes.

“I think it’s a good idea, don't you? We usually have your nap around now,” Mobius rationed. 

Loki, liking things to be rational, took this into consideration very seriously, plopping down onto the floor to think. 

“I’ll read you a story if that makes you feel better, we did get that new one from the library,” Mobius coaxed.

“Ooh!” a smile crept back over Loki’s face. “Kip-Kop!” he squealed. 

“Yeah, Clip-Clop. Do you have your horsey? I bet he’d like to hear.” 

“Yeah! An’ Coki!” the little added.

“I bet mr. Croki would like it, too.”

“Yep yep!” Loki excitedly got ready for naptime, now, anticipating the new story and the snuggles. 

 

When set onto the changing table, Loki tried to sit up, undoing the snaps of his onesie all by himself, and trying to help undo the tapes once Mobius made him lie down, taking off the hat and the badge, but leaving the bandana bib. 

“You are such a good little helper, you know that?” Mobius asked as the little did everything he could to help, lifting his legs and staying still. 

“Do you want to try snapping your onesie like a big boy?” 

Loki sat up and tried his best, getting them all horribly mismatched, and then making grinning grabby hands that he was all done and ready for nap time. 

Mobius ended up fixing the snaps while waiting for Loki’s bottle to warm; the silly tyke seemed to never be too old for one. 

 

For a long while they sat in the rocking chair, covered with blankets and the feathered cloak. Loki snuggled and listened to the story, trying to fixate on the pictures, but the warm milk seeping into his belly and the comforting smells, mingling with the rhythmic, poetic, voice of his caregiver and softly textured soft toys, lulled him into a warm and happy haze filled with big yawns and eventually little snores, at which point Mobius made a spot for him in the crib. 

There was one nice thing about your baby being frost giant, the cool crib sheets were never seen as a shock, often they were welcomed and preferred, in a strictly temperature sensory way, to the warm body of a caregiver. 

 

Loki was tucked in and given kisses while Mobius finally got a chance, midway through the day to take care of himself, take a shower, shave his scruffy chin, get dressed, etc.etc. 

But the razor he used was dulled and should’ve probably been replaced a good month or two ago, causing him to get a few nicks, especially when he heard Loki crying from a nightmare a few minutes later.

After several minutes of helping the little soothe back down, Loki reached up and touched his daddy’s toilet paper dotted, bloodstained, jawline. 

“Daddy hurt!” he whimpered.

“Not much, it’s alright.”

“No! No! Gotta fix! New game!” the little had already decided.

“Alright, just give me a minute,” Mobius told him, unsnapping the little’s onesie to check his diaper, and setting him up on the changing table.

Loki compiled very nicely with his thumb in his mouth as his belly and thighs were rubbed down with soft lotion and he was taped into another kitten diaper. 

Upon being allowed down, he decided the blood didn’t look good on his daddy’s face. He grabbed his doctor bag to take care of the “ouchies” and added “bandaids” to help the nicks heal. But he didn’t use any real bandaids, just stickers he pulled out of a book, sticking them on top of the toilet papered spots and all over the parts of Mobius’ face that were perfectly fine. Having a chatty discussion that was nearly a lecture about safety as he did so, half in toddler-ish jargon, and half actually recognizable as a language; not English, but Aesir, which Mobius could hardly understand with Loki’s pacifier in.

They sat on the floor together and Loki’s demeanor became warmer quickly as he began to also add stickers to his daddy’s arms and neck, any patch of skin uncovered by clothing, only saving a couple precious stickers on each page.  

 

Keys rattled in the door, but neither Mobius nor Loki were distracted by it, and the little boy continued his game. 

“What are you two up to?” Sylvie cooed as she opened the door of the nursery and picked up Loki from his spot. 

The tot set the sticker book down and gurgled at her, sticking his fingers in his mouth to hide his mischievous grin, as if Mobius hadn’t let him do this. 

“Being silly, are we?”

“So… did you pass?” Mobius asked as Sylvie continued to poke at Loki and play with his long, curling hair, twirling it in her fingers. 

“Oh! Right!” She set Loki down and fumbled in her pockets for her bulky wallet. 

Loki leaned against her arms as if he couldn’t stand on his own, standing with his legs wide and bum stuck out to appear slightly shorter than her, obviously hoping she’d either pick him back up or sit down with him. 

“I have it right here!” she bragged, holding the document saying she now has a license and the card will be sent soon, out to Mobius, too distracted by the baby bouncing on his tip toes for her attention and the excitement of the new development in her life to notice his sticker covered face. 

“Wow… look at that. And you didn’t need to enchant someone?” 

“Nope!” 

“No magic whatsoever?” Mobius raised an eyebrow.

“Of course not! You should have some trust for Loki and I by now!” That’s when she noticed Mobius’ face. “Well, you should at least trust me enough by now,” she hoisted Loki up onto her hip and then held her boyfriend's chin, “Mr. Stickers,” she commented, leaning down to kiss him on the cheek. 

Mobius sat on his knees and smiled up at her with his legs spread apart. Hell, if Sylvie didn’t have a baby in her arms, she would have tackled him right there, still filled with adrenaline from her test. 

But Loki grabbing her nose took away from her fantasies. “Did you make daddy look all pretty?” she asked. 

The little grinned down at her, and then back at the blushy and sticker covered Mobius. “Yep!” he decided.

Chapter Text

One morning, Mobius took Sylvie and Loki on a morning walk to the mailbox to deliver the very important letters they had been working on. You could tell they were important because the postal stamps were stickers of a whale and a smiley face in the right corners and the postage seals were very apparent in sparkly green stamps of various animals all over the outer side of the envelope, accompanied by crayon scribbles of random numbers and letters from all sorts of languages. Loki’s page was pretty coherently Norwegian runes, with a couple greek words at the bottom, but Sylvie’s was a jumbled mess of Ceryllic characters, a few from the Latin alphabet, with a couple specialty Icelandic characters- there were a couple in Korean, and many many more in alien languages that may have just been scribbles. Although the two were both around two, Loki had gotten some extra coaching from his older brother while Sylvie had flat out refused any help at all. 

However, the excitement of posting their first letters was overshadowed when Mobius looked in the mailbox and found a brightly colored invitation, addressed to “Loki, Sylvie, and Thor Laufey/Odin/son/dottir, and Mr. Mobius". 

“Letters?” Mobius asked. 

The two toddlers handed him their letters enthusiastically before they were even awarded the knowledge of the correspondence directed to them. 

Sylvie’s pacifier dropped from her mouth as her and Loki were handed their invitation, decorated in an old fashioned style, complete with the vintage stylings popular in the 1920s: Watercolor sailboats were on the front with calligraphic lettering saying “Come celebrate with us!”. When flipped over, the card had fancy borders and said, in a much more easy to read, art-deco font “It’s Bucky’s (one hundred) eighth birthday and you’re (all) invited! On March 10. Please RSVP by the 5th. The party will be at our apartment…” and proceeded to list the address, food and other things neither Loki nor Sylvie particularly cared about reading. 

“Daddy! Party!” Loki pointed out. 

“Yeah, it is a party, do you want to go?” 

Although Loki was very fond of parties, even small ones like this one seemed to be, the toddlers seemed disappointed that it seemed to be just a glorified playdate, but that was pretty in character for Bucky. He was very shy about his little-ness and only regressed around a small handful of people, and daycare and home were pretty much the only two places he would ever be comfortable in.

 

Loki and Sylvie put their heads together to find him a nice gift. What would Bucky like?  

“Something with a star!” Loki suggested, “like the one on his arm.”

“I don’t think he likes the star, buddy,” Mobius shot it down gently. 

“Oh! Storybook!” Sylvie tried. “An old one like he likes!” 

“Maybe an airplane!” Loki tried again.

“Board game sounds better.”

“... yeah, a board game sounds good.” 

“And a stuffie?” 

“Yes! An’ a stuffie!”

They scribbled this down onto a list while sitting at the kitchen table to Mobius, who was drying and putting away dishes. 

“Alright, so a stuffed animal and a board game.”

Loki and Sylvie looked up from their list of scribbles and nodded in confirmation. 

 

As the day of the party came, Loki and Sylvie got dressed up in their fanciest dresses and had Mobius do their hair all fancy, with headbands covered in flowers and pearls. But the two refused to leave the home without a stuffed animal in their arms, a plus one, as Mobius called it. Loki had her Croki, and Sylvie took her pegasus, which she anxiously nibbled on the wings of during the whole car ride.

Loki opened the door of the apartment building and ran up the stairs as Mobius and Sylvie took time to actually get buzzed up. “Yeah, Loki’s on her way up already,” Mobius warned. “We’re right behind her though.”

He took Sylvie’s hand as he led her up the stairs, balancing the presents for Bucky underneath his other arm, thinking about how odd it was that she was so quiet and didn’t even yank his arm forward to get there sooner, but instead matched his leisurely pace. 

 

Little Loki arrived at the apartment and rang the bell, shifting back and forth on the balls of her feet as she waited cheerfully. And soon, the door was opened to welcome her into the bustling apartment, filled with more life than she had ever seen. Granted, she had only seen it once. 

Almost every face there was a friendly one she knew well, aside from a couple of Sam’s relatives whom she hadn’t met. 

By the time the toddler began to explore her new environment, Mobius and Sylvie were greeting friends and setting presents on the gifts table. 

Loki ran back up to her daddy, interrupting the conversation he was having with Sam. “Daddy! Daddy come see! Come see this!” she breathlessly grinned. 

Sylvie, who had been waiting patiently by Mobius’ side, decided that whatever Loki had found was much more interesting than the adults and started to pull to follow her sister. 

“I gotta go see this,” Mobius excused himself to run after the girls and see what had excited them so much with the same amount of enthusiasm. 

Loki led him to the far side of the living area, where the space had been opened up to make room for a playspace for the littles, with a tiny fabric tipi and some blankets and pillows on the floor. 

Bucky and Scott were engrossed in a game of cards on the floor; different ones than Loki or Sylvie had ever seen, they had bright colors and big numbers or symbols on them. Come were black with a rainbow in the center.

“Can you deal us in?” Mobius asked, as Sylvie sucked on a pacifier and kept glued to his side. He was starting to notice she was always like this at parties, anxious and quiet and taking on a younger headspace, in this case, younger than Loki. 

Loki plopped down in a comfy spot in the circle, mostly just to see how much she could make her dress balloon. 

She took up a hand of cards, and Mobius did too, instructing her on how to play and pointing out a couple of moves, but she didn’t much need them, quickly picking up the rhythm of the game as she watched the boys play. 

Mobius was the only adult to immediately volunteer to hang around the littles. 

Thor, was supposed to arrive a few minutes late (common for him at this point), Kate and Yelena were chatting but somewhat interested in the game, just unsure of when a good opportunity to get in on it would arise, and Sam hung around in the kitchen with a few of his relatives and Bruce, although he wasn’t cooking something; leaning over the breakfast bar in conversation just made things feel a little more official as a host. 

Cautiously, Sylvie began to explore the nearby environment, still trying to keep away from most interactions and have some kind of attachment to Mobius or Loki. After a scan of the nearby area, and realizing there weren’t many people she didn’t know there, she got up the confidence to sneak away and make herself a spot in the play tipi.

Mobius occasionally looked up to keep an eye on her as she touched the rounded pillows and tried to keep herself calm in the environment that she knew full well, in that rational part of her brain, should not be causing any distress because she was perfectly safe and cared for. 

 

 Scott won the game and Loki almost tackled him, with only Mobius pulling her off to make sure the poor boy didn’t get strangled. 

“That’s the play tent,” Bucky informed Sylvie while he reshuffled the cards and put them away. “What do you think about it?” 

Sylvie pet the doors of the shelter and inspected the fairy lights around the walls. 

“Pretty cool, right?” 

“Yeah, it’s nice,” Sylvie responded quietly around her pacifier. It was barely heard above the commotion of the four other conversations going.  

“Do you want to see the cool cake papa got me?” he asked, hoping to engage her more. 

He recognized that she wasn’t actually as small as she appeared, probably much closer to Loki’s age right now, just a bit overwhelmed. 

“Um…” she shifted back and forth and watched Loki and Mobius. “Sure,” she decided.

 

While they were gone, Loki finally got over her sore loser-ness as a familiar face was welcomed in through the door. 

“Tor! Tor!” Loki called, running over to her big brother. 

“Sorry I’m late. I had to pick up a present. Can you take me to the birthday boy?” he asked, as he set Loki down after rubbing noses with her. 

Sylvie poked up from the kitchen with Bucky next to her, “He’s here!” she told Thor, in a voice only slightly louder than her normal speaking volume. 

Thor set down his store-wrapped gift on the present table, which was starting to get full, and greeted Bucky by offering a hug or a handshake, being a bit vague to see which one the little would go for, not wanting to push him out of his comfort zone (he had learned from being forced to be gentle with the littles under Mobius’ constant scrutinization).

Bucky gave him an excited handshake. “You should see my cake! It’s awesome!” The little bragged. 

“He’ll get to see the cake soon, lil bear. How about another game?” Sam asked, pausing his conversation with Bruce Banner. 

“Oh! Tor! Tent!” Loki remembered, yanking the sleeve of her older brother’s shirt to show him the little shelter. 

But by the time the littles had dragged Thor over, the tent had become occupied by girls. Ew! Girls! Loki and Sylvie both thought, sticking their tongues out, despite both being girls themselves. 

“We can be here!” Yelena defended herself, with a mouthful of appetizers and a small snack plate in her hand. 

Sylvie did not try to argue, just scooched between them, causing Yelena to overdramatically whine and give her a nudge back, and for Kate to scoot over, making room for the toddler who proceeded to attempt to steal some tortilla chips off of Yelena’s plate. 

“Hey, Sylvie, can we get our own plate of food? C’mon, I’ll help you,” Mobius coaxed. He called to Loki, too. But the littles were not easily distracted from their new common goal. 

“Please?”  Loki whined. “Wanna play!” 

Kate was the first to get up and move. 

“No… really? You’re backing down from that?” Yelena asked. 

“They’re just kids!” she whispered, “we can take it back later.”

“Fine,” Yelena responded performatively before moving and letting the littles show it to Thor. 

“Wow,” said Thor, sitting down, “this is very cool.”

“Isn’t it?” Bucky asked as he tried to concoct a new game. 

Not everyone could fit into the tent at once, only three at most and that was cramped, so most of the littles had to play their games outside the tent, taking up most of the apartment in their pretend game of “wolf pack” that Thor seemed to find himself in the middle of, despite not really playing, and more just being there to supervise and make sure the littles didn’t hurt themselves. 

It went on for a long while until adult conversations wound down and Sam called everyone around for cake, which wasn’t very convenient as their table was only meant to seat four at the most, so many guests just stood, with the chairs being relegated to the littles and Bucky. 

Loki and Sylvie helped sing the happy birthday song as the cake was presented to Bucky, familiarized with the tradition from daycare. They were mesmerized by the fire and cheered when Bucky blew the candles out, impatient to get their hands on a slice as soon as possible while Sam and Mobius helped cut and plate it, handing pieces with ice cream on the side to the littles first, before getting to the adults. 

Loki happily chit-chatted with the other littles and her older brother and daddy as she ate, trying not to let crumbs fall out of her mouth as she grinned. But then there was a feeling. At first one which she simply recognized and let pass. It was a normal feeling. But then… wait… something wasn’t right. She was forgetting something. She looked down to check on the front of her dress, still dry, and then the spot on the chair beneath her, not so dry. 

The little girl began to hyperventilate and cry as she looked to Mobius, who had hardly sat down to eat. She barely got up the courage to stand and run to him, shaking nervously and hardly able to get a word out as she panicked and beads of hot liquid traveled down her legs. 

“Shit,” Mobius whispered aloud. But luckily, he knew Loki well, and had everything he needed for her at a second’s notice, and was quick to inform Sam about the accident, taking Loki to the bathroom to clean her up and help her get changed. She didn’t seem to mind the training pants and was more just happy to be allowed back to the party. A towel had been placed over her chair and there was a bleachy smell around it, but she was too consumed by the game that had begun while she was away to be embarrassed, quickly joining in “Pin the Tail on the Donkey” and almost winning if it wasn’t for her and Sylvie getting into a little bit of a tiff and needing to be taken aside before it could escalate. 

 

Mobius and Thor held Loki and Sylvie during present time like they were trying to restrain prisoners and were scared of the tots running away, or in the actual case of their restraint, afraid of them getting overly excited over the pretty new toys, or worse, jealous. But their grips relaxed as that didn’t happen, not much anyway, nothing more than the mutterings of “wow that’s cool!” and the encouragement of “Open that one next, Bucky!” The littles instead fumbled with the wrapping paper and stuck discarded bows into their hair and onto Thor’s arms, even making other group members laugh the second that their arms were free from the grips around them. 

Afterwards, there was a bit of unstructured time left for the kids to play. 

Watching Bucky open up and explore some of his new toys with the rest of the group was awfully fun, especially when it came to a couple of the board games, which he opened up and tried to play, trying to have guests work in teams for games that only allowed up to four players until Sam suggested they try out a different game instead. Loki and Sylvie’s favorite was a silly card game called Apples-to-Apples. It’s focus on reading meant that Mobius sometimes had to help them, whispering the words to them when they showed him their cards. Well, to be fair, when Loki showed him her cards. Sylvie was more of the “play the card anyway” type and took the risk of getting laughed at.

Some of the pairings that were made, made the whole group of pre-to-elementary-school-headspaced littles roar with laughter and giggles over potty humor or words that simply sounded funny. 

Loki and Sylvie were very disappointed when Mobius began to pack up to leave. They had been having so much fun! How could he make them leave now? But, they soon noticed, Scott and Clint having the same reactions to their carers (or babysitters) packing up and saying their goodbyes, coaxing their littles to give Bucky a special birthday “good-bye” and leaving with a goodie bag of treats and a sad smile on their faces to go. 

Chapter Text

“Daddy, when’s your birthday?” Sylvie asked on the long ride home from Bucky and Sam’s apartment. 

“My birthday?” Mobius pondered. He stayed quiet for a long moment as he thought about it. “I don’t think I have one,” he decided. 

Loki looked horribly sad when given this information. “No birfday?” she choked out, eyebrows knitting together as she spoke. Maybe it was the sugar crash, maybe it was genuine melancholy that one of her favorite people in the universe never got that special celebration when she knew he deserved it. 

Sylvie wasn’t quite so moved by it, a little sad, sure, but she had gone many years without one, a good thousand or so, so it was more a frown of empathy rather than sympathy. 

“It’s no big deal,” he smiled, trying to sound absolutely cheery about it.

“NO! No! No! No!” Loki yelled, kicking his chair just enough to be annoying. 

Mobius sighed, “I don’t know what you want me to say, sweetheart,” he responded with impressive composure. 

The meltdown continued, full blown, as Loki cried. Yep, definitely Sugar crash, Sylvie and Mobius concluded as the younger little screamed, and bawled, and didn’t even make an effort to self soothe, keeping her pacifier handle looped around her fingers instead of in her mouth. 

 

By the time they got home, Loki was still sobbing and hitching her breath. But she passively let Mobius slip the pacifier into her mouth and unclick her seatbelt. She tightly wrapped her arms around him, forcing him into a hug when he picked her up. “Daddy no birfday,” she repeated, in a sort of apology for crying, wiping away her tears with balled fists and still refusing to break the hug she wanted to be held in. 

“I know, I know,” he shushed her, setting her down on the changing table and helping both her and Sylvie out of their fancy dresses, into more casual lounge clothing. 

“Daddy,” Sylvie got his attention while he was still working with the weepy baby. “Why don’t we make you a birthday?” 

Mobius smiled at the thought and Loki stopped her fussing, sucking on her thumb as she listened, obviously seeming to like the idea. “I think that would be wonderful,” he mused, hoping to put them both at ease. 


Over the next long while, about a month or so, Loki and Sylvie planned and planned with Mobius’ input, coming up with increasingly ridiculous ideas until they were shut down a week before their planned date and fell back on their original thoughts, the ones within the realm of possibility and within the realm of Mobius’ comfort level.

 

And soon the 23rd of April arrived, the date that the three had decided on. And unfortunately for Loki and Sylvie, so did the party.

Why were they not excited? Well, planning a party and participating in one are very different things, and Loki and Sylvie quickly realized that even though they had planned the reservations, the food, the horrible 90’s theme, and did most of the work according to Mobius’ directions, they did not know what they were getting themselves into. 

 

“I’m not little, why are you handing me this?” Loki asked. 

“Just trust me it was a thing,” Mobius answered, handing him a pair of overalls and watching him slip the shapeless, baggy, pants on and click the straps over the horrid neon windbreaker he was wearing. 

“So, is this right?” Loki asked, shrugging as he adjusted a baseball cap on his head. 

“Hm.. almost,” Mobius corrected, setting the hat off center, unclicking one of the overall straps, and standing on his tip-toes to kiss his fiancé on the mouth. 

Mobius did not look good, well not by Loki’s standards: his hair was parted in the center, he had vomit-green cargo shorts, accented with a blindingly purple fanny-pack, and he wore a thin, white, graphic t-shirt under an unbuttoned Hawaiian shirt, which was the only part of the outfit Loki had any appreciation for, as its open front and the light colored threads allowed Loki to see just enough of his husband-to-be’s chest to make him hungry to nibble at his skin, which he did without hesitation, taking Mobius’ ear in between his teeth. He was shocked to find a tiny metallic ring on his tongue, not for the first time when dealing with Mobius.

Loki pulled away, noticing the tiny golden earrings clipped to his ears. 

“Whaddya think?” Mobius asked, showing them off with a big grin.

Loki tried not to laugh, “they look very nice,” he complimented. 

Sylvie was similarly decked out, but unlike her sweethearts, she actually managed to look presentable; embracing the less goofy, more grungy, nearly goth, aesthetic with a baggy green jacket over the top. Her smudged eyeliner was even done properly, and she looked adorable. She showed off and took a couple adjustments on her outfit according to Mobius’ suggestions. 

 

The morning had been gentle and sweet, with lots of attention given to Mobius with kisses and a Thor-cooked-breakfast. But although they were all optimistic, there was a sort of nervous tension about getting through the rest of the day. 

Loki and Sylvie didn’t have any idea of what bowling was, and Mobius was at least 40% sure one of them would end up regressing (voluntarily or involuntarily from the stress of finding out they aren’t immediately good at the activity) and access to the cocktail and karaoke bar would be cut off fairly early in the night. 

 

He packed a diaper bag just in case, which he set in the trunk, and for one of the first times, he let Sylvie drive, letting her chauffeur him and Loki as they sat in the back seat of the little beige Mercedes which seemed to nearly squash and stretch for Loki’s comfort in terms of headroom and legroom (especially on days when his car seat was placed in). He rested one hand on Loki’s thigh and the other violently gripped the handle above the car door for dear life. 


Thor, like usual, prepared to arrive separately, at his own pace, mostly because they still had to pick up two cakes from the bakery, which took them a good twenty minutes out of their way. 

The cakes, which Loki held, steadying them with his magic, were round carrot cakes, with no special messages or personalized frosting, just the traditional white cream cheese with a couple little icing carrots. 

Mobius tried not to grin at the thought of how much little Loki would've been excited over seeing them and he would've gotten called a “little bunny” after finding out he liked the more savory flavors. 

But Loki did not seem to have any interest in doing that tonight. Sylvie could do what she wanted, but Loki was, as of now, sitting in the car on the way to the bowling alley, absolutely determined to make this birthday as nice as possible for Mobius, which began with acting like an adult first and foremost, and keeping all the frosting on the cakes intact as a close second. 


“Sorry, we don’t allow in outside food here,” a clerk said as they entered the bowling alley.

“Yes, you do,” Sylvie strictly told him as if she had worked there all her life, giving him a light tap on the wrist to really let her words settle in. 

The clerk simply skipped over it as if he hadn’t even noticed the two large bakery boxes in the first place. “You guys are lane 15 and 16, and what kind of shoes will you be wanting?”

“Shoes?” Loki asked, looking at Mobius for clarification. “I’m already wearing shoes. Aren’t most people?” he asked the clerk. 

“You need special shoes for bowling, sir.”

“Bloody hell. Alright,” he sighed.

 

Loki and Mobius were able to strap on their bowling shoes easily, but Sylvie had to painstakingly unlace her Doc Martens and made several frustrated grunts as her complex, gothic outfit was ruined with orange and neon yellow velcro shoes. 

The three set up as they waited for the rest of their guests: two or three of Mobius’ office buddies, Thor, and a couple of superhero team member friends he had bonded with. In total, the full party was about 12 people, an entirely reasonable party size for having rented two lanes. 

Guests soon started to arrive and met them down at the end of the alley near their lanes. Some brought gifts, and others simply arrived with wishes of a happy birthday and hugs and silly outfits. 

 

And so, the first game began. Names were punched into the computer by Mobius and everyone in the party found a ball to use. Unfortunately, Loki and Sylvie had neglected to practice or really even understand how to bowl. 

Mobius went first, obviously, it was his birthday after all, knocking down four pins, and then five, leading one standing. He seemed pretty psyched about it though. 

Then, Loki tried his hand at it. He had chosen a ball which did not fit his slender fingers, but that was alright, it was a nice marbled green, and that’s all that mattered to him, well at least until Mobius reminded him this should be a fair game and told him not to use any magic. 

So, Loki took the ball into his arms, cautiously approached the line of where one bowls the ball from, squatted down slightly, and rolled it with both hands. 

It hardly hit one pin. 

Most of the group tried to stifle a laugh at him but Mobius couldn’t help letting out the most ridiculous giggle you’ve ever heard, he needed a second to regain himself and rubbed the side of his nose. 

Loki glared at him before grabbing his ball from the retrieval station and trying again, trying to get better leverage by squatting further and putting a little more force behind the ball, looking even more absurd as he did so. But, he was able to knock down two more pins, and that had to count for something.

Next was Sylvie’s turn to try, and she learned from watching Loki what not to do. She flung the ball as hard as she could and almost got it lodged in the back wall behind the pins. It was a strike, what a surprise. 

 

When their turns rolled around again, Mobius got up, and stood behind Loki, showing his boyfriend how to do it, tenderly hugging his waist and taking the god’s lean hand in his own. 

More pins were knocked down after Loki’s shot this time.

Loki tried again, on his own, hoping to knock down the last three pins, moving like a ballerina and gently rolling the ball, which immediately ended up in the gutter. But at least he looked pretty doing it. 

Sylvie got a similar treatment with identical results: She looked mighty nice, but only knocked down a couple and eventually decided her normal method of throwing the ball as hard as she could was much more efficient. 

 

One full game passed; Ten rounds, two turns per round, one round per guest. It ended up taking about an hour. 

Then came the cake. 

Sylvie convinced a couple of the workers to allow them a party room to cut the cake in and to store the presents. Normally, these parties were reserved for children under 12 and littles, but Mobius didn’t need to know that, he wasn’t planning this. 

Loki and Sylvie kissed Mobius on the cheeks when he blew out his fancy, ornate, non-number specific candles, and Kate took a couple photos which she promised to send to them later. 

The cake was, of course, wonderful, and the gods enjoyed the feeling of experiencing the taste of carrot cake for the first time. 

Sylvie tried to make a few patronizing comments about it to Loki, almost exactly the ones that Mobius predicted she would try to make: “does my little bunny like the frosting?” she asked, wiping her finger across the button of Loki's nose to get some of the frosting he had somehow managed to get there. 

Loki raised his eyebrows, “Does my lovely Sylvie?” he asked back. 

“So what if I do?” she grinned. 

The two didn’t feel too bad about flirting with each other, as Mobius found himself swamped by friends and coworkers wanting to talk to him. 

 

After a good amount of cake and another game of bowling, the group retired to the bar inside the alley for a few rounds of drinks and some karaoke. It was sleazy compared to the rest of the complex; paneled in smoke saturated wood from the days when cigarettes indoors were legal and neon signs that could make an audible buzz if you were quiet enough, but there wasn’t much which could beat a birthday game of pool and a whiskey on the rocks in Mobius’ mind. 

During a chatty lull, Loki found himself pulled into the lap of his fiancé. Not in the protective and parental hold Mobius held him in when he was little, but in that flirtatious way as if encouraging Loki to dance for him and run a finger across his jawline, maybe plant a few kisses on him. 

Loki obliged happily and took a sip from Mobius’ drink when he wasn’t looking. 

Sylvie, meanwhile, had irked Thor, badgering him to play with the love tester machine, betting she could beat him and belittling his strength. “That Jane girl, I know you still love her. C’mon, lets see it, how much?” she ruffled his nerves. 

When she won, he puffed out his chest. “You trickster, you rigged it!” he accused her. 

“I did not! That’s just how it is, it’s a stupid machine. Just like your ridiculous claw game.” 

“But I got something out of that!” he argued. 

“Fine. Fine. New game, let’s… ah, let’s see…” she looked around the room. Pool wasn’t exactly a good choice for the two of them… 

She poked her head outside, remembering seeing a small segment of arcade games, just like the soft play place they had visited. 

 

“Here.” she shoved a bright orange gun into Thor's hand. “Let’s try this. You beat me and I’ll pay for your drinks.”

“You know I sobered,” he told her. 

“I didn’t say alcohol!” 

“Fine. Fine. One game.”

Neither of them were any good, hardly hitting one duck each, but then again guns weren’t exactly their forte. 

“This one’s rigged too!” Thor frowned. 

“Okay well this one can’t be, right? It’s just me versus you,” Sylvie tried once again, striding over to an air hockey table. 

The bet and competition was remembered, but at this point it was more the fun of playing a game and avoiding the smell of piss-cheap beer and old tobacco that permeated the bar room more than anything else. 

She felt a little guilty not being at Mobius’ side for his birthday but… Loki was keeping him entertained, right? She’d have some time with him when they got home tonight, she was positive. And who needed booze? She was probably going to be the one driving tonight anyhow. 


Loki loosened Mobius’ tie and essentially kept himself tethered to the birthday boy, whispering raunchy ideas and sweet nothings into his ears and tracing lines down his chest. But Mobius wasn’t exactly ready to be seduced quite yet, he still had some dancing and off-key singing to get done and Loki had some snack-bar pretzels to devour as he knocked back fancy drinks. 

 

Then,

fuck. 

Loki’s phone buzzed.

Mobius’ phone buzzed.

Sylvie’s and Thor’s and roughly half of the partygoer’s phones buzzed. 

The night was still young but it was getting cut short. Now. 

Right. Now. 

Loki answered his phone first, stepping out of the noise bar and into the bathroom with one finger in his other ear so he could hear the soft, scratchy tones from the receiver. He looked like a mighty responsible adult, and shockingly, not like a drunken party god. 

He gritted his teeth as he listened to the message and his face hardened with panic. 

“Sorry, now? Like right now?”...“Are you sure it’s that much of an emergency?”...“Alright, alright. We’ll be there in a minute but it’s been… a night so far.”...“Yes! I know it’s 9PM.”... “Yes”... “Well, look, I’m sorry, but he’s just a human and it’s his birthday.”...“Well, we made him- right. Yes, sorry. Later.” Loki sighed long and deep. “We’ll be right there.”... "No, no I understand it’s an emergency. We’ll be there as soon as possible. Good night.”

He set the phone down and palmed his forehead and black hair. Well, there goes all the planning for this special birthday.

He took Mobius by the wrist first, forcing him out of an uncomfortable wooden chair. He slapped a wad of cash on the bar, hoping it would pay their tabs, and dragged the nearly shit-faced man out to get Thor and Sylvie. Those were his responsibilities right now, although his head was extremely foggy and he was having a good amount of trouble walking straight. But that didn’t matter, he needed to find them. Any desire for merriment was flushed from him in this moment and the effects of the alcohol were now simply inconveniences. 

Sylvie and Thor ran to meet them.

“We have to go. C’mon. Right now,” Sylvie cooed and coaxed helping her inebriated partners to Thor’s spaceship with a strict overtone. The car could stay, and she was positive the bowling alley staff would be understanding and hold the gifts until they got back. 

 

They were lucky there were team members who hadn’t attended, and quite a few with a higher alcohol tolerance than Mobius. Loki manually sobered himself in the spaceship. He took a deep breath of anxiety and got dressed in his formal war leathers with a simple wave, and did the same for everyone else, just to make this all a bit easier. 


“We need to work on that timing,” Fury quipped as they got there. 

“I know, I know,” Loki shot back, having had enough. “Just tell me what we’re fighting.” 

“That.” 

Loki looked up and found a massive beast barreling towards him, a familiar one.  “Oh, you’ve got to be kidding,” he sighed. 

Thor was currently having a similar reaction. “We’re not beating Mangog,” he told Fury while readying his ax.

“I don’t care if you can kill it, just get it out of here.”

Thor sighed and tried to drive the monster back, but to no avail. 

“What can it do, you oaf?! How do we fight this thing!?” Sylvie yelled at him, sticking an earpiece into his ear so they could communicate. 

“It’s big… Uh, um… think Loki’s powers…” he tried to get out between breaths and blows. 

“That’s real helpful,” Loki retorted. 

But not before Sylvie had already lunged at the thing. If it was like Loki she’d be able to beat it, she had been able to beat Alioth, this couldn’t be worse than that.

She might have been fine, it may have been okay if she had just waited a minute, just two seconds to see the officers firing from the other side. One, two, three bullets hit her, but it did nothing except cause a distraction and make her attempt to enchant the monster more difficult. 

A difficulty that caused failure as she was smacked away by the great claws which pierced through her like a soft putty and she was flung onto the pavement.

Chapter Text

Her eyes opened, finally- thank the gods. 

Machines. The sound of whirring filled her ears. Beeps and ticks and pumps and groans. Blinding, blinding lights. 

And then pain, searing, horrible, pain. She winced. 

“Sylvie?” she heard a familiar voice speak. “Sylvie! You’re okay!” 

“She was never going to die,” another, slightly less familiar voice said. 

“Shh, shh, she’s waking up.” 

It wasn’t that Sylvie was afraid of hospitals. She wasn’t. She didn’t mind being in a hospital, walking around to visit people, going to a doctor’s appointment, or even raiding a hospital supply closet just to give herself a life saving injection or sew up a wound. No, it was the idea of being stuck in a hospital; being hooked up to a machine; being trapped if there was an emergency.

Loki’s face came into view, “Sylvie!” He kissed her on the forehead, noticing her panic. She was trying her best not to cry and even more importantly, not to slip. “Everything’s alright. Look! We won the fight,” he tried to distract her, showing her a video of the monster they had captured. “We did it this time! You got a little hurt, but Banner said it’s going to be alright.” He looked so relieved as if he was going to cry. “You got hurt and I was so afraid for you-”

“Collapsed lung, a couple broken ribs, a few shots to the shoulder and stomach, serious tissue damage on the right thigh, a broken tibia on the left, and an entirely shattered fibula. You’re lucky we didn’t have to amputate,” Bruce piped in. 

Of course, being Sylvie, it had only taken her about six hours to wake up and begin her accelerated healing process, and there was no way she would ever die from her injuries, but it was still scary, especially with her torso wrapped in bandages and her legs almost covered in casts, the lower half of the left one in a proper hard, plasticy one while her right just had a thick layer of gauze surrounding it. 

The door opened and then slammed closed. “Is she up?” Mobius asked excitedly, rushing to her bedside. “Hey, beauty, how’re we feeling?” he asked in a very worried, loving tone. Her pain seemed to be his only concern.  

It immediately broke Sylvie. Tears welled in her eyes and she reached for him, but couldn’t get up with the horrible pain. 

“There’s my strong girl,” he smiled gently. 

Bruce disconnected a few of the machines around her and removed her IV before leaving the room. “I’ll let you have some time with her.” 

Mobius kissed her on the head and checked to see if she was wearing a diaper, she wasn’t but they could get her one later, Mobius didn’t want to risk hurting her right now. She soothed herself with a thumb in her mouth, relieved by the ceasing of beeping noises and the absence of the needle in her wrist, but other than that, seemed entirely indifferent. So tired, and in so much pain, yet so relieved, she didn’t have much energy for other thoughts.

“She’s… almost not even aware,” Loki commented. 

“Yeah, I don’t doubt her headspace is going to be pretty small for a while, so we're going to have to give her some extra care. It’s going to be like having a new baby for the next week or two,” Mobius explained as he stuck a pacifier in her mouth and adjusted some mittens on her hands so she wouldn’t be tempted to mess with any of the medical “toys” around her, or her own dressings.  “There we go, there’s a comfy little angel,” he remarked, sliding a multicolored beanie onto her head, no doubt handmade. 

She cooed and tried to grab at it, bringing it down towards her eyes. 

“Silly baby girl,” Loki smiled tiredly. 

 

At the end of a grueling five more hours of tests, getting her ready to go, and explaining the processes of how to take care of her infirmities, they were finally able to take her home. She was able to be put on some more mild pain meds instead of the extremely strong stuff the hospital gave her. She couldn’t sit up or walk on her own whatsoever, that would take days to fix, but Mobius was relatively confident he could take care of her, and they knew Bruce was right across the lake if any emergency arose. But for now, Sylvie wasn’t in any immediate danger. Worse case scenario was infection at this point, which Mobius knew how to look out for well. 

So, they brought her home, swaddled in a fleecy pink blanket after she had been finally soothed enough to sleep again by the gentle caress of a portable bassinet, jerry-rigged to work as a lying-down carseat. She let out a pained cry with every pothole and bump that the car hit, but eventually it ceased and Loki and Mobius were able to get her home safe and sound thanks in no small part to some sleeping medication the hospital had given to her for the ride home. 

Chapter Text

Loki awoke to the baby monitor from the nursery absolutely howling with noise. In fact, he probably didn’t even need the baby monitor, Sylvie was so loud she was easily heard through the walls, wailing and bawling. 

It was her first night out of the hospital, that was only to be expected, but what wasn’t expected, was that Mobius had gotten an emergency call earlier in the night and had to rush into work, leaving Loki to sleep in his large, plush bed, entirely alone and take care of Sylvie in case she needed it. Which as of now, 2 AM, she did.

Loki got up and stretched, he was slow, and lazy, and showed no urgency to get to her. But he did get up, and looked over the side of the crib. 

Her face was red as she cried and screamed. 

Loki sighed as he watched her, resting his arms on the rails for a moment. He finally got up the energy to take the bars down, and took her to the changing table, assuming that was the issue. 

Although her diaper was wet, she had no rash, nor was it cold and saggy, as if she had wet after she had started crying. 

He changed her anyway, just in case, and proceeded to wrap her in a blanket so he could carry her easier and not need to worry so much about accidentally dropping her if she wiggled too much. 

 

Food! thought Loki, yes, that must be it! When was the last time Sylvie had eaten? He opened the fridge with magic while cradling the baby girl in both arms, considering if she would eat solid foods. 

No, he decided after not finding anything microwavable, and trying to give her cereal, which she refused. 

“Alright,” he said aloud as he sat down on the couch with her. 

She stared at him for a moment, still letting out sad gurgles and wiggling in her blankets, but quieting down to listen to him. 

He sighed; it wasn’t the first time he had done this. Propping Sylvie up, he lifted his shirt and changed genders. 

When Loki didn’t have any more things to say, the little girl went back to fussing. 

Loki noticed this change, and started to talk again, speaking quietly and gently. 

Eventually, the baby latched and drank a little bit, but the discomfort of her position with her injuries was enough to make her keep taking breaks to lie down, not liking the way she was propped up. She told Loki of her discomfort the same way she had been, with whines and whimpers at best, and wailing and bawls at worst. 

Loki set her shirt down and switched back to his more neutral to masculine form, the one which he generally preferred. “You probably hurt, don’t you?” he realized, “is that why you’re crying?” 

He tried to get Sylvie to swallow her liquified medication, which he was eventually able to shove down her throat. 

The bitter taste made her pucker her face and mewl further. 

“What do you want me to do?” he asked annoyedly, as she went back to shrieking. “Look, I know I’m magic, but I can’t heal you. Just tell me what I need to do and I’ll do it. Just… child, let me go back to sleep.”

He looked into her mind, looking for anything, but she was blank. He was no empath like she was, he couldn’t feel her feelings or enchant her, but he could read her thoughts like a book, and all the book said was pretty much “upset”. 

He bounced her up and down very gently as he thought about what would solve this problem. It had felt like an eternity, running around trying to fix the world for her.

“Hm… Okay, I’ve got it. Let’s try this,” Loki spoke to himself. 

The sudden change in temperature shocked Sylvie, and she looked up at her baba with big eyes as they stepped out into the cool night air. 

“Nice, isn’t it?” Loki asked with a smile, noticing Sylvie go silent, he used the second to set a pacifier in her mouth, but it wasn’t long until the new stimulus stopped distracting her from being a loud little baby.

Thor heard a knock on his door and sleepily got up. “What could you possibly want at this hour?!” he yelled. Which made Sylvie cry harder, her pacifier falling out of her mouth.

Loki hardly caught it and hung it by the handle from his lean fingers.  “Hush, will you?” he hissed barging into the home the second Thor opened the door. “I’ve been up for an hour and a half trying to get her to sleep. I need you.” His hair was in a mess of a bun and his clothes were horribly wrinkled by now. 

“For what? To take over for you? Go get Mobius, I’m not a caregiver.”

“Just… sing the song.”

“The song? The lullaby song?! You don’t know it?!” 

“No. I tried- but the words aren’t coming to me, can you just sing it to her, please?” 

Thor sighed and motioned, inviting Loki to hand the little over. He gently set the green pacifier back into Sylvie’s mouth as he started to sing the song to her. 

Immediate silence, aside from snuffles and the occasional weepy gurgle.  

 

“Thank you,” Loki whispered, taking the sleepy baby back into his arms. 

Sylvie yawned and closed her heavy eyelids as Loki picked her back up, carrying her back to the crib. 

He would’ve snuggled with her in the big bed, but Mobius had hastily scrawled a warning to Loki that Sylvie could get hurt if not set in her crib while this small, and this hurt. 

The god kissed her on the forehead. “Please sleep well,” he jokingly begged her before leaving her to go back to his cold, empty, bed, praying to wake up in the arms of his fiance.

Chapter Text

“Are we ready for a morning workout?” Mobius tiredly asked as he looked over the crib at the baby girl who had been up all night. 

It was hardly 6 AM and the poor little had barely slept, but regardless, Sylvie giggled and made a little gurgle noise, as she chewed on a mitten babyishly. 

Mobius set down the bars and tried to pick her up without hurting her. He got her dressed in a onesie, and checked on her wounds. 

It had only been a day and a half since she had even gotten them, but they had healed almost entirely. Now, her gunshot wounds had become mere scabs and bruises. But her body had recovered as if it had taken the long months to mend, and she needed to work on rebuilding her muscles and such through physical therapy. Unfortunately, she was still in her baby headspace, and refused to come out, so her caregivers needed to get creative. 

 

Mobius set her down and played a couple games with her lying on her back like he had yesterday while she was in the hospital and they had to listen to the doctor chatter, playing with her hands, and naming body parts, and giving her little pokes which she responded to with tiny wiggles, but today he focused more on her legs, encouraging her to try and lift her legs up and doing the little “cycling legs” game that usually made Loki giggle on the off chance he was this little. She didn’t mind it much, as there was no pressure on her legs or tummy; Mobius was doing most of the work. 

Then, he helped her flip over on her belly, supported by a myriad of pillows. 

She let out a pained shriek at first, melting into a puddle of tears at the bad feeling, setting her head on the floor to cry. 

“Dr. Banner said we need to do some tummy time for you to heal properly. I’m sorry, I know it hurts,” he tried to reassure her, petting her hair and searching for a toy as he spoke. “Can you look up for daddy?” he asked, jingling a small, colorful rattle in front of her. 

She did so, and shifted back and forth, trying to find some relief from the pain. Yet, despite her discomfort, when Mobius gave her a proud smile, she tried to smile back. 

He shook the toy for her, “Can you reach it?” he asked hopefully.
Sylvie made a confident gurgle before trying to prop herself up with her arms with little grunts of difficulty, largely caused by her mittens not catching traction on the hardwood, which Mobius ended up having to take off. But she made progress. Despite obviously being still in immense pain, she was able to push up on her arms slightly, and when she wasn’t doing that, she was able to excitedly reach for things while on her tummy. 

The next thing Mobius did to help Sylvie regain her strength, he knew was going to be a pain for both of them. He rolled her back onto her back, watching her breathe a sigh of temporary relief. Then, he pulled her up, trying to get her to sit. He cringed as he was met with more crying and screaming. Sylvie very quickly let go and threw herself down onto the pillows, kicking and crying, but not in the angry way that would be described as a tantrum. Well, at least the kicking was a sign she was getting stronger. 

 

After some cooldown time (a couple hours, which were filled with feeding, a change, and an attempt to give her a bath), Mobius tried to get her on her tummy again, hoping to give her some enrichment. 

There was a knock on the door. 

“Loki, what’s up?” Mobius asked. 

“I wanted to help…” Loki stammered awkwardly. He was kind of uncomfortable dealing with Sylvie right now. She was so fragile and delicate, and he didn’t want to hurt her, but not only that, there was no way for her to communicate with him besides crying, which he found grating on his ears. After the other night, his confidence as a caregiving figure had absolutely crashed and burned.

Mobius patted the spot next to him. 

The sun was just starting to rise. 

Loki sat down and pet Sylvie’s head as if she were a cat. 

Sylvie watched him adoringly, which Mobius quickly picked up on, handing Loki a rattle toy. 

“Sylvie, would you like this?” Loki asked as the baby reached for it, putting one arm out in front of her ever so slightly, still bracing weight on it. “C’mon, you can get it, I know you can,” he encouraged her, giving it a little shake. 

With several little noises, she picked herself up onto her knees and was able to crawl a few inches, it was almost an army crawl. It was rather impressive for a baby of her headspace. 

Mobius broke into a grin as she took the toy from Loki’s hand and gently set herself back down onto her tummy, cushioned by about four inches of padding. 

“You didn’t use any magic, did you?” Mobius asked. 

Loki shook his head absently, full attention on how Sylvie shook the toy and jammed it into her mouth, seemingly oblivious of what she had just accomplished. He took a breath, “that means she’s going to heal soon, right?” He turned to Mobius.

“I sure hope so.”

Chapter Text

“Can’t you just drop her off at daycare? She’s already crawling!” Loki asked. 

“Hardly! She can hardly crawl, she crawled for one toy and that was it. I don’t even know why we’re having this conversation, she’s not even sitting upright on her own, or off medication. I’m not leaving her anywhere. She’s coming in with us,” Mobius very sternly told Loki while putting on a brown jacket. 

Sylvie, during this interaction, was lying on her back and fumbling with a sensory cube in her mittens. Its jingles and bright colors seemed to distract her from whatever pain she was feeling. 

 

The little still refused to eat her pureed food or solids when breakfast time came. She hardly even took a bottle, sucking at it distractedly only because Loki was in the shower and not nearby for her, although she could hear the goddess singing through the wall, while Mobius sat on the bed with her cradled in his arms, rocking her gently as she played with the sensory toy in her hands, fidgeting restlessly and making baby noises while feeding.

 

Mobius brought way more than the usual diaper bag to the office, including a small, reclined baby seat (kind of like a car seat or baby carrier but since it was made for littles, it was larger and not really meant to be carried or fit in a car), a foldable bassinet, and the baby gym. All of which, packed up evenly into the back seat and trunk of the car. 

Sylvie still needed her mittens, but she seemed older today than she had been, even as she continued to suck on them and played with them more than she did with her toys.

Mobius brought her into his temporary conference room office and set up the baby mat and everything she’d need. He watched her from the corner of his eye while checking emails, as she laid in the padded baby seat with a blanket over her lap, gently supported as he rocked her back and forth with his foot.

Eventually, she got fussy from the lack of attention and new stimulation, so Mobius unplugged his laptop and moved down onto the floor to rub her belly and cuddle with her on the baby gym mat. He handed her a teether, since she loved them so much in her usual littlespace. 

The little girl batted at the toys and gurgled as she played on her back with Mobius supervising. 

He helped her roll back and forth to work on her mobility, talking to her as he moved around so she’d try to watch him. Continuing the play as he worked, he did what he had just a few days before, trying to get her to reach for a rattle and eventually handing it to her to shake herself. 

 

All the while, Loki sat with her Avenger friends, including Thor, whilst doing boring paperwork, and talking about meeting stuff that she didn’t particularly care for. She began to doodle and draw as usual, and tried to keep up conversations with her coworkers, even the ones she didn’t particularly know well. 

During a break, she sat with Kate and Clint and Yelena, interrupting their lunchtime conversation because she didn’t know where else to go. 

“Where is the other one?” Yelena asked. 

“Sylvie?” 

“Yes! Is she still a little baby?” 

“Em… yeah,”

“Aw, how old is she?” chimed Kate. 

“Just starting to crawl,” Loki answered, taking a long sip off her tea.

The conversation veered off track, back to casual talk about non-Loki or Sylvie related topics. 

 

Back in Mobius’ empty conference room, the little started to cry, not of sadness or anger but just a hungry cry as she chewed on a pacifier. She was a loud crier when this little, a scream and howl kind of baby. 

Mobius put his work on pause to get out a jar of baby food, some medication, and a bottle for her. He knew she probably wouldn’t eat the puree, but he thought it was worth a shot. 

When she didn’t take, he gave her that “it’s not your fault” kind of smile and pet her hair before shoving the medication down her throat and feeling even worse as she gagged on it and her eyes watered.

He tried giving her a bottle instead, but surprisingly it had the same effect and she wouldn’t even touch it. 

“Well,” he sighed, “guess we’re going to go find baba and get me some lunch then, because daddy’s hungry, too,” he explained as he picked her up. 

She sucked firmly on a pacifier as he held her, just barely keeping quiet as Mobius carried her around the office and found Loki in the cafeteria. 

The goddess spotted them first, though, which was quite easy when you could hear the muffled little sobs. 

She apologized profusely to the group at the table after taking Sylvie out of her fiance’s arms. “Sorry sorry, she’s been a picky one about food as of late, you know how it is.” 

But none of them knew how it was: The caregivers she was talking to never had littles small enough to need to breastfeed, and the un-regressed littles never needed it. 

“Would it be better if I sit a bit further away?” she asked. 

Loki didn’t mind feeding Sylvie, just in public? She wasn’t sure. 

“Uh… I mean, she’s a baby, you do what you need to, right?” Kate tried to reassure her, not answering the question. 

“Hm… how about this?” Loki proposed.  She propped Sylvie up, ready to begin, and pulled a blanket out of thin air, draping it over herself and her little as a bit of a privacy curtain as she lifted her shirt and allowed Sylvie to suckle. 

Loki tried to continue her conversation normally, but the fussy little dug her nails into Loki’s chest and almost chewed on her, seeming to take no heed of her caregiver’s sensitivity. Causing Loki to at least shift or sometimes take a sharp breath in the middle of conversation, if not to look down and gently admonish the girl for not letting up. 

Once Mobius had ordered food, he did join the table, standing behind Loki’s chair and rubbing her shoulders thoughtfully as a sort of apology and grimacing when Sylvie whimpered and whined, threatening to cry as she was moved to the other teat. “I tried to give her a bottle, but she just wouldn’t take it,” he tried to explain. 

“I know, love,” Loki forgave him.  “Oh, there we are,” she smiled, relieved when the process was over, as the milk-drunk Sylvie detached and seemed to sigh into her arms, still covered by the darkness of the blanket over her. 

The goddess pulled her shirt back down and swaddled the little, but instead of passing her swiftly back to Mobius she kept the sleepy baby in her lap, bouncing her leg and wiping away any dribble from the corners of Sylvie’s mouth and chin, kissing her forehead and rocking her gently until she was totally asleep, before handing her back to Mobius. 

“Thank you,” he told Loki, bending down to kiss her while taking the little out of her arms. 

Everyone at the table could see plainly as day that Sylvie was 5’7”, not tall for an adult, but definitely large to hold like a baby, and yet Mobius and Loki were incredibly neat and maneuvered her with ease. 

Everyone could see her adult size, but it went unrecognized. She felt small, perceived as nothing more than a 4 month old child, hardly more than a newborn. She probably could’ve been carried in a baby bjorn on Loki’s chest and no one would’ve batted an eye. 

The little girl sucked greedily at a pacifier like she’d somehow get milk out of it while cradled in Mobius’ arms. 

 

Upon returning to his office, Mobius was able to get at least some work done. Sylvie slept in her padded seat, a blanket draped lazily over the top to shield her eyes from the piercing fluorescent lights. 

Mobius smiled down at her adoringly as an excuse to get distracted from his work. 

He looked at the to-do list he had kept taped to his computer all day and suddenly came to the realization that there was nothing more to be done. 

That hadn’t happened before. Mobius always had something to work on. Should he ask Fury? Probably; But leaving Sylvie? He wasn’t so sure, so he took out his phone and called Loki: “Hey, yeah, I know, can you come just look after her for two seconds? She’s sleeping right now but… I just don’t want to leave her alone.” 

 

Loki was quick to turn up back in his masculine form, he looked a little drained and tired, but was trying his best to look like he was okay.

Mobius shot him a questioning glance. 

“Paperwork,” was Loki’s simple reply. 

But Mobius knew it ran deeper. Despite that, he took Loki at his word. “I’m going to go check with Fury about my work. Anything you want while I’m out?”

“No…”

Mobius frowned. “Alright,” he conceded. 

Loki really sounded miserable. That kind of “I want to be alone right now” sulky misery that could only be fixed by being held in the arms of someone you love. 

Regardless, Mobius returned with some new tasks to add to his list in the form of heavy manilla folders, a small coffee, and a cup of tea, even though Loki had been adamant about not wanting anything. “Do you want to talk about it?” 

Loki sighed, met his gaze with pure admiration, and accepted the warm drink. “Just… frustrated,” he smiled like it was something incredibly silly. “Paperwork really isn’t my forte, you know that.”

“I do,” Mobius responded, leaning against the table. 

“And after every mission I’m practically given a stack. Apparently filling in random words isn’t helpful, and filling it out with magic is a ‘breach of contract’ and ‘unsafe’ for reasons I can’t even begin to explain,” he rambled. “So Fury’s started practically leaning over my shoulder when I work making sure I’m not dicking around with the papers or using the wrong pen, or god forbid I get up and stretch or tap my foot or glance around the room for a moment.”

“How about a trade?” Mobius proposed, nearly cutting Loki off when the poor god had to take a breath. 

“A trade?” 

“Yeah. I’ll do what I can of your paperwork, and you can do some of my ‘fetch tasks’.”

“I’m not your dog.”

“No, but you were really good at finding what we needed when at the TVA,” he pointed out. “You like your puzzles.”

Me ? You’re the detective.”

“Loki, detective work was almost entirely paperwork. You were lucky you got to see the fun stuff. But next time, just hand over the boring things, alright? Come in with a signature and I’ll take it for you.”

Loki considered arguing, considered keeping being negative. What if you write the wrong thing to spite me? What if you undermine my faith in you because you wanted it to benefit yourself or the organization? But the second the thoughts popped into his mind, they were squished down by the realization that with Mobius, these were entirely unreasonable ‘what ifs’ to consider. “Deal,” he said, setting down his cup. 

“Feel better?” 

“A bit, yeah.”

 

Sylvie began to stir, kicking the blankets and rattling the toys above her head. So, Mobius picked her up and tucked her head over his shoulder, just like he had with Loki so many months ago, keeping her close to his chest and trying to work around her. 

“Give her here,” Loki sighed dramatically, holding out his arms like this was such a hassle and he couldn’t believe he was volunteering to take the little he was co-caretaking for. 

His mood had improved slightly with some caffeine and the trade-off of work, but he still pretended to be grumpy as he took the baby girl. However, the facade quickly came down.

“There’s my sweet little one,” he cooed at her when her exhaustion wore off and started gnawing at her mittens and swinging her legs. “Maybe we should sit on the floor, hm?” he asked as she wiggled in his arms. 

He moved her down onto the baby gym’s play mat, and sat hunched over with his shoulders and neck against the pool-noodle-like structure of the toy as he made illusions for Sylvie to watch and molded his hands into different shadow puppets for her to gawk at and try to imitate, reading her story after story he seemingly produced from thin air, and singing her nursery rhyme after rhyme, watching as she lit up and giggled with a new teether in her mouth in place of the cotton mittens, and shimmied, starting to move more and even slightly crawl. None which was on its own remarkable, but every time, Loki smiled proudly, genuinely, a grin which he tried to hide. 

“Wait, wait,” he told her when she started proposing new games and toys to him in her own babyish ways. 

He had her lie down so he could unsnap her onesie and check her diaper. 

“Is it time for a diaper change?” Mobius asked, looking over from behind his laptop and seemingly preparing himself to take her. 

“She does, but I have her,” Loki insisted, starting to get annoyed that Mobius was being so helpful and parental. How dare he try to outdo Loki? Didn’t he know Loki was a very experienced parent? He just… wasn’t all that good at it. 

He picked Sylvie up, not bothering to redo the snaps of her outfit and set down one of the large, metallic changing tables in the S.H.I.E.L.D. bathrooms, sliding the pad underneath her and preparing to change her. 

The process of changing a little, especially one with an especially small and deep headspace, wasn’t enjoyable, but there was a reason Loki didn’t just always outright skip the process; there was something sweet about the way she squealed at the raspberries on her belly and the way she tried to watch as he adjusted the tapes onto the plastic-y front that made the routine just slightly beloved. Something that made it soft .

He hummed softly to himself while fixing her clothes and picking her up into a hug, petting her back and trying to let her rest her head on his shoulder. 

Mobius smiled up at them as they reentered the conference room. “And here comes the princess and her royal advisor,” he joked.

“Excuse me, I’m the queen,” Loki corrected, setting Sylvie back down on the playmat and shooting Mobius a smirk as she morphed forms and set her arms around his neck and rested her chin on the crown of his head. 

“And? What does that make me?” he asked while shuffling a few papers and punching in some numbers on his computer. 

“Hm… maybe the attractive nursemaid? A palace guard? Perhaps you’re my royal advisor,” she mused, leaning down further to tickle his neck and ears with her lips. 

The baby interrupted her thoughts with a squeak for attention, at least in Loki’s mind that’s what it was. But really, The squeak was of shock, maybe even pain, as she tried to pull herself up into a crawling position and defeatedly fell back down, her legs still not quite strong enough to support her yet, even with a little extra help from her arms. At first, she was just a little bit surprised, but then, she looked up, and felt their gazes on her, looking slightly worried and pitiful. So, she took a page out of Loki’s book, setting her face on the mat and starting to cry. 

“Hush, hush,” Loki cooed, pretending to have her usual air of apathetic swagger. But she quickly bent down, trying to soothe the baby with a motherly urgency Mobius had only ever observed in Frigga. She moved Sylvie onto her lap, wrapping her in a hug and smoothing out the skirt attached to her onesie, caressing the paper-y, strawberry-printed fabric between her thumb and forefinger in one hand while rubbing Sylvies belly and thighs, unsure of which one was hurting, with the other. “How about a story, hm?” she asked when the baby quietted. “I know one you like.” 

Sylvie made a little noise which Loki took as agreement. 

She did not reach for a book or even take a moment to recall or think something up. Immediately starting to speak the second she was given permission. 

A steady stream of words flowed from her silver tongue, filling Sylvie’s mind with vivid images, nearly hypnotizing her with the entrancing narration. 

Mobius was hardly safe from the spell, eventually having to throw on headphones as he found himself watching the goddess, elbows on the table and head in his hands sighing at not only the eloquence of her tale, but the beauty of her void-like hair and the way her long eyelashes fluttered every few moments. 

Sylvie seemed to focus on her mouth, the way Loki’s lips moved and her snake-like tongue flicked as she wove characters and setting. Her eyes were wide, fascinated, and unblinking as she stared. 

A steady stream of drool ran down her chin while she sucked on her thumb, too busy listening to the story to wipe it away. But Loki got it for her, not even taking an extra breath in between her words to grab a cloth out of the diaper bag, wipe off Sylvie’s chin and thumb, and press an actual pacifier into the baby’s mouth. 

For a long while, there was no noise, and even when there was, it was drowned out; it became a part of the scenery in the gentle world Loki created. The clicking of Mobius’ typing became the noise of a babbling brook and the sucking at Sylvie’s pacifier became the rustling of leaves in a forest. 

The second Loki was done, Sylvie’s trance broke. Her mouth fell open, just enough to keep her pacifier in, and she made a peep for the first time in over an hour. 

“Really? I thought it was good,” Loki laughed, pretending it was a critical comment.

But Sylvie just nuzzled herself into Loki’s breast lovingly and cooed for attention which she was quickly given as the goddess tickled her and planted kisses on her hands and knees when Sylvie playfully batted her away, howling with giggles. 

Towards the tail end of the day, as Mobius began to pack his bag, Loki nursed Sylvie once again; it had become routine for them at this point. The little girl was crumpled into a tiny ball and held next to her chest for the end duration of the day. It would almost be her bedtime by the time they’d be getting home, anyway. 

Loki pat Sylvie’s bottom lovingly and hummed further as the baby suckled and eventually became distracted with her toys, telling Loki and Mobius that it was time to go now by shaking a clear plastic rattle with colorful balls inside. It was circular with rainbow fabric flower petals on the outside. It wasn’t ideal for teething, but it sure did make noise and a rather satisfying one at that, although it was quite annoying for poor Mobius and Loki. The bigger goddess tried to silence the toy with her hand, but nothing came of it and Sylvie continued to  shake it as obnoxiously as possible. 

“Lovely baby girl, do you ever quiet for anything but a story?” Loki asked rhetorically, as she moved the little’s mouth away from her breast and Sylvie began to whine and mewl again when Loki shoved some medicine down her throat. 

“You know, I bet that yummy food daddy brought for you would probably be more filling than what I have to offer,” Loki tiredly informed her. This session of feeding had not only been shorter than the last few throughout the day, but it had clearly left Loki tired, and Sylvie unsatisfied. 

 But little Sylvie didn’t understand, not at first. She tried to latch back onto Loki’s breast through her shirt, which did not work for obvious reasons, and then as Loki pulled her away, she began to cry, the usual hungry tantrum cry Loki was so used to hearing by now. “Fine. Fine, I’ll make you a bottle,” Loki finally gave in. “Brat,” she muttered under her breath as she picked the baby up, taking her to a common area with a warm water station and mixing formula powder in. 

She carelessly dumped the water into the bottle, tightened the lid, set her finger over the hole of the nipple, and shook it up before handing it to Sylvie. The little one took it and was not burnt; Loki’s icy hands had cooled it from its initial boiling temperature. 

Loki abruptly paused before the glass door of the conference to peek in, just checking on what Mobius was doing. 

The man was packing his briefcase and looked up at Loki through the glass. 

She swore under her breath and then entered with a fake smile, setting Sylvie in the baby seat and beginning to help pack up the various pieces of baby furniture and toys. She used magic for nearly all of it and used her free hand to hold Sylvie’s bottle for her. 

Mobius helped put away the final few toys, and took the bag, but not before kneeling down by Sylvie and handing her her triceratops plush, which she absently hugged while keeping a steady, rhythmic, amount of attention on her bottle. 

“Do you think we can leave this horrible place soon?” Loki whined. 

“It’s not that bad,” Mobius smiled. “If you can pick up Sylvie, we’re ready to go. I just need to clock out,” he added, kissing his beloved goddess on the lips and their little one on the forehead. 

Loki picked up the baby girl, setting the mostly drained bottle of formula in the side pocket of the diaper bag, and took the seat with her. Why had they even brought that dreadfully difficult piece of furniture with them in the first place? Loki tucked it into a pocket dimension for easy travel. 


When Loki tucked Sylvie into bed for the second time that evening, maybe closer to early morning, finally getting the baby to fall asleep, he paused before putting up the bars. 

He mulled over a thought in his mind, and finally bit his thumb as he slowly sat down on the floor. Was this worth waking Mobius up for? Should he just wait till morning? he pondered as he sat criss-crossed on the padded mats of the nursery floor.

Then, he pushed himself up with his hands and took a deep breath as he set his hands on the ledge of the changing table, like a genius pouring over his blueprints. He hadn’t done what he was about to do on his own before. Not entirely on his own, at least. Mobius had always been there to supervise some, if not all of the process. 

Loki continued his mental monolog as he finally jumped up and laid himself down, not quite letting his thoughts grow as small as he wanted them to be while he played caregiver for himself, having a difficult time grabbing the powder from underneath the table and trying his best to fluff up the diaper properly before sliding it underneath his bum without waking Sylvie.

He did his tapes haphazardly and hopped down from the table, discarding his adult clothes in a pile on the floor and toddled on his knees over to the dresser. There, he reached up to grab out a soother from a bin at the top, popping it into his mouth and then slowly opening the drawers with a watchful eye on Sylvie to make sure he didn’t wake up to the creaking and squeaks of the wood opening. He slipped a onesie onto himself and debated internally on whether to get himself a bottle or not. 

He decided not. 

Loki climbed into the crib himself and pulled the bars up, clicking them into place. He laid down, gently trying to get Sylvie to move over, which she did, lovingly and without protest, making sleepy baby coos. 

Loki pulled the blankets over himself, too, lying on his back, all sprawled out just like Sylvie. For a moment, a wonderful moment, the world felt still. Silent. Peaceful. Like it was meant to feel. The entire universe wrapped him in a hug. He knew for a minute as his mind drifted away that this was how things were supposed to be. He was supposed to be here. It didn’t matter what the sacred timeline said. He was supposed to be lying in his crib with a heavy crocheted blanket wrapped around him with a mobile over his head. This was it, destiny, glorious purpose, whatever you wanted to call it. 

Loki let out the biggest sigh in his life as contentment settled over him, and he could’ve sworn that a wide grin spread over Sylvie’s face as well as she rested a hand on his cheek with the little green glow radiating from it. She understood, she knew exactly what Loki felt because she felt it, too. 

Chapter Text

Mobius stretched in the large, empty bed, noticing there was neither a Loki nor a Sylvie next to him. 

Sylvie made sense, but he could’ve sworn he fell asleep with his arms wrapped around Loki’s torso, pressing himself into his fiancé's backside. 

 

He got up to find two sleepy babies in their crib.



Mobius smiled. He had wondered when Loki would crack and be little again. Two weeks. Not a record, but it had been a stressful two weeks, and that was impressive for Loki.

The poor boy had tried so, so hard to be an adult: To plan the party, and go to work, and beat the monster, and take care of Sylvie. In the past few days, cracks began to form as he was flooded with frightening situations and tried not to fall into old, unhealthy coping mechanisms, but he was determined to stay big. Mobius was slightly shocked he had even chosen to be little and hadn’t just slipped. 

 

Mobius smiled down at them. Both asleep; Loki was in a onesie and diaper, while Sylvie was just as he had left her in footie pajamas. 

She winked an eye open, and successfully sat up on her own when she felt Mobius’ eyes on her. 

“Morning little princess,” Mobius cooed at her, with a big proud smile. 

Sylvie babbled as she was set on the changing table, a little “papapababababab” kind of babble. As she chewed on her pacifier. 

“Loki,” Mobius addressed him as he heard the second little stir.

Loki looked up and smiled at him with big teeth, letting his pacifier fall by the wayside as he leaned against the rails of the crib, awoken by the disappearance of Sylvie from his side.

“Do you need a change, too?” Mobius asked. 

Loki nodded and considered climbing over the bars himself, but Mobius came and picked him up. 

“It’s lucky I’m dealing with two little babies this morning,” Mobius chatted as he changed him.

Both Loki and Sylvie couldn’t possibly understand why this was nicer for him. Did he like that they were so dependent and needy? To each his own, they guessed. 

But Mobius answered their confused looks pretty quickly, “Madame Baci recommended me this place yesterday”- he patted his pockets looking for the business card he had been given, forgetting he was in his pajamas- “well, anyways, she said it would be good exercise for baby Sylvie, and Loki might enjoy it while in his headspace, too.”

Loki and Sylvie both quite liked their ballet teacher, she was funny and kind, and recognizing the two had talent, she often took them aside after classes to teach them special techniques. 

In fact, they were the only two in the class who were doing anything more complicated than tendus and degajes. Well, Loki was the only one right now. After getting injured, Sylvie had only been able to watch from the sidelines, but it hadn’t been long, and with only having classes on Thursday evenings, she hadn’t missed much.

Loki clapped and cooed enthusiastically while lying on the table.

“We’ll go, we’ll go,” Mobius assured them both as Sylvie gave him her approval as well, with big smiles. 

“But there is one thing,” he remembered. 

The two fell immediately silent as they waited.

“It’s one caregiver per little, so we need to take Thor with us, and I don’t know if he’ll be up to it yet.” 

“Tor! Tor!” Loki clapped.

When Mobius set him down, the little ran to the door and jiggled the knob, eager to go get his big brother.

“I know, that’s going to be fun isn’t it? But before we go get him, let’s get dressed first.” 

Loki selected his own outfit of a comfy pink onesie, with green, ruffle bottom pants, and a darker green knit sweater with an alligator on it. 

Mobius picked out a light pastel green, long pant romper for Sylvie with a little tutu skirt. 

She bit her cheek and frowned at it, but eventually warmed up, as it was very easy to move around in. 

Mobius scrunched a flowered headband over Sylvie’s forehead. “My two baby girls,” he chuckled to the both of them. 

Sylvie grabbed at the fake daisies on her forehead as Mobius slipped socks onto her feet and tried to do the same with Loki, but he was independent, so he did it himself, pouting and crying when they weren’t on right and Mobius had to fix them. 

Sylvie even ate this morning, no need for a bottle for the first time since she got hurt; Mobius was able to feed her some zucchini baby food, cooing at her as he spooned the mixture into her mouth. 

She took the food excitedly as she had pretty much been on a liquid diet, refusing anything but little formula or milk like Loki so often did. Puree wasn’t far from liquid, but it was still something different, something new at least. 

Her eagerness was definitely more emotional than physical as she still leaned back in her highchair, needing the padding to support her sensitive midsection. However, she tapped on the tray, while burbling and making little noises, smiling at Mobius as he tried not to spill the plastic spoonfuls of smoothie onto her chin or cheeks. 

Mobius scooped out the last of the puree and let the littles finish their, admittedly not very filling, breakfast. 

After setting them in the playpen, he started up the kettle for some bottles before coming over to sit by them. 

Noticing Loki fidgeting and having trouble letting go of his motor skills, Mobius asked if mittens were a good idea, which the tot accepted quickly.

Sylvie hesitated until she saw Mobius strap them over Loki’s hands, and how he giggled about it, pawing at his face and hair and Mobius’ mustache.

After the thick mittens were attached to him, Loki realized that maybe he needed a little bit of extra effort to be fully little today, still having a tough time fully relinquishing his adult thoughts, stuck in that in-between he had been last night. So, as an experiment, he tried to stand up to grab a toy from the other side of the pen, but found his legs wobbly and balance hard to keep. Despite doing it to himself, he squealed with surprise and giggled as Mobius stopped him from falling. He figured that crawling, like Sylvie, was going to be easier than trying to relearn how to take his first steps at the moment.

To keep the babies distracted while he went to grab Thor, Mobius turned on some sensory videos with puppets, toys, and music box music. 

 

The big, burly, god was already showered and dressed, as he had done some fire-wood chopping and combat training in the nearby woods. He obviously agreed to come with his little siblings. 

They found the two littles absolutely entranced in their playpen. Sylvie laid on her belly in a messy diaper that she hadn’t seemed to notice or at least didn’t care about yet, while Loki laid on his back, looking up awkwardly at the tv while drooling over a teether. 

“I love when they’re this tiny,” Thor commented, before squatting down to rub Loki’s belly. 

“It’s a fun age isn’t it?” Mobius replied genuinely, as he picked Sylvie up.

She screamed and cried as she was suddenly allerted to both the mess and the fact she was being taken away from the beloved green dragon puppet that played on the screen with a sunflower. 

The little shrieked at the top of her lungs and kicked, making it all worse as Mobius got her all cleaned up and changed. 

Mobius tried his best to distract Sylvie like always, asking about what the dragon did onscreen, but her only answer was a thumb planted in her mouth and silent tears rolling off her cheeks. 

The babies cheered up once they got in the car, sucking on pacifiers and grabbing at all the noisy toys that pressed against the car’s ceiling or the ones that latched on the trays of their carseats. 

The plastic animals rattled and could spin, some had plastic beads that shook with the rhythmic motion of the car, and others had little mirrors that Loki and Sylvie made faces in. 

Sylvie even had her triceratops strapped in next to her, which she batted at and teethed on. 

 

They arrived at the community center with just moments to spare. 

Mobius assumed it would be difficult for the babies to choose who would go to daddy and who would go to Thor, but it seemed to come easy for them, especially as Thor picked up Loki, cradling him like a newborn, and the little, in usual Loki style, pulled at Thor’s beard and tried to chew at the beads threaded into it. 

Sylvie cooed at Mobius as he picked her up, continuing to teethe on anything she could get her mouth on; his shirt collar, her own thumb, which she bit and decided it was too painful with a face of shock and horror, that Mobius recreated when she shared her discovery with him. 

 

For the littles, the first part of the class felt a lot like daycare, but maybe it was better, as they got to sit in the laps of their caregivers while they helped them clap along to the songs and stories, and helped the babies work on some babbling, trying to help them mimic the phonetic alphabet. 

“Mamamama,” Sylvie pointed to Mobius when the instructors addressed carers as “mommies” (mostly because Thor and Mobius were the only male caregivers in the morning class). 

Mobius nuzzled her, “I’m not mommy, can you try again? How about we try with a ‘d’ sound? Can you say ‘dada’?”

Sylvie giggled and refused, bringing her fingers up to her mouth.

 

During one boring stretch where littles were expected to stay in laps and listen to a song, Sylvie rocked back and forth with Mobius swaying her, while Loki looked back at Thor, deciding to crane his head back as far as it could go with his little mouth open.

Thor put his big hand over Loki’s mouth gently and brought it back up, repeating the motion, Loki caught on and, with a smile, made a little “aa” noise which turned more to a “awawawawa” as Thor played with him, causing Loki to break into a fit of silly giggles. 

Sylvie pointed at them, and tried to mimic the duo with Mobius but didn’t really understand how, just making the little “awawa” in her own babble.

 

Once the boring stuff was over, it was all play for the tots, not with the normal noise-making, light-up baby toys daycare offered, but with soft vinyl shapes and mats for littles to crawl over and on and through. 

As Loki and Thor essentially played games of soft wrestling and crawling chase, gently roughhousing like they did when Loki was actually six months old. 

Mobius tried to help Sylvie work on a tangible goal, not just play. She was still needing to put a lot of effort into crawling, being slow and deliberate with her movements, but Mobius was trying to help her get more fluent with it, and if he was lucky, maybe he’d even get her to take a couple of steps with support. Well, at least she was sitting up on her own now. 

Mobius encouraged her through the soft but slightly difficult terrain.

Sylvie, of course, found it all very fun, even when she bumped into Loki in one of the tunnels. 

For Sylvie, the class was like the physical therapy she had been doing for the past few days, just with more new props, but for Loki, it was just like an expanded version of the baby play area he had seen at the indoor playground. 

 

“Tor!” Loki called, despite his brother being right next to him. “What that?” 

Thor looked to where his baby brother was pointing. “Uh… I don’t know,” he studied the inflatable rubber thing Loki was pointing at. “I think it’s a horse?” 

Loki crawled closer to the yellow and red spotted toy, and poked at it. Despite being from a whole other planet himself, and dealing with many odd creatures, this plastic one unsettled him, with its strangely bulbous figure. 

“It’s a bouncy toy,” Mobius explained, startling both Thor and Loki who didn’t realize he was listening. He patted the painted-on saddle, encouraging Loki to straddle it. 

Sylvie wasn’t far away. As Mobius talked, she laid on the soft mats and tried to grab at her toes. Mobius helped her with the stretch. 

Loki got on the strange toy while giving both Thor and Mobius a skeptical but decidedly babyish look, setting his pacifier in his mouth.

Because he was so tall, his legs were awkwardly bent while sitting on it. 

“Go ahead, try a little bounce!” Mobius encouraged him. 

Loki bounced slightly at first, looking down at the horse-ish thing. When he silently questioned if he was doing this right, Thor gave him a thumbs up and a grin, and Mobius glanced at him while sitting with Sylvie, who was beginning to crawl towards Loki to investigate the toy herself. 

Taking in the approval, Loki bounced more, “horsey horsey horsey!” he giggled. 

Thor grinned at him. Such a simple joy. 

“Is it like the kitty you got to ride?” Mobius asked. 

Loki lit up even more, remembering his trip to the park in San Francisco and hopped slightly, picking the horse-like thing up. 

Mobius peeled his attention away to make sure Sylvie didn’t try to push Loki down, unsure if she even could. He distracted her with the promise of getting to play on a swing set up in the corner, coaxing her up and showing her how it worked. But before he had the chance to set her in, something new was introduced, and everyone was required to come sit in the circle, again. But luckily, it was an activity Loki and Sylvie found that they absolutely adored and the excitement of the swing or the horsey thing was forgotten:

A large circle of nylon fabric was laid out, with big rainbow colors and all the littles, or their caregivers, were expected to take the handles and follow the directions given by the instructors. They rotated the fabric to make an entrancing sensory experience, especially for Sylvie who simply stared, while Loki cooed up at Thor as he helped the fabric move along in his fingertips, listening to the simple nursery rhyme and educational toddler songs that were piped in from a small boombox next to one of the instructors.

Then, the music paused and everyone was told to stop moving it. 

Sylvie made cute baby noises when the group was instructed to move the circle up and down, fanning the floor. The way that the fabric ballooned caught her eyes. 

Loki made similar noises of fascination and merriment as he held the fabric, aggressively flicking it up and down to make ruffles in a babyish non-rhythm. 

As the littles were instructed to hold it up above their heads, Loki got a peek at the colored shadows that filtered through as the lights in the ceiling flowed through the fabric, staring with wonder as the parachute was slowly lowered and tossed up again. 

He tried to slide himself under the nylon wheel to get a better view, but Thor pulled him back, trying to keep the curious little in his lap. 

Loki looked back at him with a furrowed brow, letting go of one of the handles to place his thumb in his mouth. 

“We can play with blankets anytime at home,” Thor told him. “I promise, little brother, next time you’re small, we’ll play with the blankets.” 

As soon as he was done talking, the parachute was taken away, stuffed back into a bag as caretakers were instructed to help their littles down onto the floor. 

Sylvie squeaked as she was set down on a plush mat making Thor and Loki look over at her. She didn’t seem to be hurt, just surprised as she broke out giggling and babbling when Mobius began to pet her belly, resting her legs on his crisscrossed knees. 

Thor tried to follow the instructions of making the littles feel secure and comfortable, babying them like they were used to, to prepare them for playing outside of that comfort zone with walking and such, but Loki did not make this easy: he kept trying to grab at his older brother’s hands and pull them up into his hair hoping to be messaged and pet on the head, causing Thor to lean over awkwardly in order to appease the little. 

Just like always, Loki found this incredibly amusing and cooed up at Thor as the older brother tried to work his way downward, tickling Loki’s belly and sides, making him giggle and wiggle, before petting the pads of his feet. He knew it was something that Loki loved, ever since he was a child. It could make a happy Loki grin harder and coo at him, or immediately still a fussy Loki. 

It was an odd technique, one Mobius was obviously well aware of, but it never seemed to work the same for him on Loki, it made the little feel silly and slightly ridiculous, sometimes causing him to break out of his headspace instead of having that desired soothing effect.

There was just something so specific to Thor’s low, husky voice which seemed to ground Loki. The little grinned up at his older brother with icy, wonderful eyes; pupils large, and nearly filled with stars, but not distant or spaced out. 

But as soon as he was beginning to relax into it, imagining the vinyl gym mat as a comfy mattress, he found himself being sat up with Thor pulling on his arms. 

Mobius was whispering very quietly to Sylvie during this, his words were full of of reassurance and hope. “So we’re going to go to standing now,” he said, echoing one of the instructors. 

Sylvie began to whine, her sensitive legs hadn’t made that easy.

“It’s alright,” Mobius told her as he slowly got up to stand and tried to take her with him. “Shh, shh, we’re going to go real slow. Real slow, now. There, nice and gentle,” he commentated while helping her up, acting as if it were only them and nothing else mattered. 

She nervously wrapped her arms around his shoulders and stood up on wobbly legs, trying her best not to yelp as she sucked in a sharp inhale at the pain. 

“I know, I know, we’re going to be real gentle, alright?”

Most of Sylvie’s weight was being supported by Mobius, but she still whined at the pressure that remained on her legs. 

“It’s gonna be fine. We need to work on this, right?” 

Sylvie let out a jumbled whine.

Mobius pet her back as reassurance while she buried her head in his chest. Gradually, he helped Sylvie put more and more weight on her legs, setting her down ever so gently to let her regain her balance and strength. 

She whined and fussed the whole time, but Mobius did what he could to calm her and tell her that it was alright and she was doing so well and he was so proud of her, even if she did need to lean almost all her weight into his arms and cry over it, throwing a quiet little fit as a last resort. 

 

Loki however, was having a great time. He was standing up and wiggling back and forth, sticking his bum out to lean into Thor’s chest until his big brother picked him up and lifted him over his head making Loki roar with excitement and yelp with laughter as Thor told him that he was suck a big strong boy who would grow up to slay so many big scary dragons. 

Together, the brothers tried to keep up with the instructions that they were given, but little Loki was just too silly, and Thor couldn’t help but try to entertain his whims. The little wanted to feel weightless as he bounced up and down on his tip-toes with a little bit of help from Thor’s strong arms, and spun around until he fell onto his bum on the soft mat. 

 

The time to leave came quickly after that as littles were given the opportunity to sing “the goodbye song” and hug the new friends or returning ones if they wanted (which was really more of an opportunity for caregivers to let their little ones run wild for a few more minutes, no matter what the lesson leaders said).

 

“So.” Mobius picked Sylvie up. “What’d ya think?” 

Sylvie gave a burble as she touched his ear and set her other hand into her mouth. 

“Anything else?” 

She smiled down at him and touched his mustache before resting her head on his shoulder with a little huff. 

“Is it naptime for babygirl? How about for Loki?” 

Loki was busy being carried like a princess and making a game for Thor by wriggling and kicking and giggling as his brother tried his best not to drop him, even as he rolled over and tried to be carried on his belly. He let out a loud squeal as Thor pulled down the waistband of his pants and checked on his diaper by sticking his finger in the leg hole. 

In spite of all the little’s silly fake struggle, Thor didn’t even fumble him while wiping his hand on his jeans. “You are such a soggy little stinker, are you aware of that?” Thor chuckled as he planted a kiss on Loki’s hairline. 

“Uh-oh, a stinker?” Mobius asked, dead serious. 

“No- no no,” Thor quickly corrected. “He’s just always a stinky boy… in spirit.” Thor trailed off trying to think of exactly why he called Loki that, in an affectionate way, of course. 

Loki scowled. 

“See? See, look; stinky face.” 

Thor’s determination to prove to Mobius that Loki deserved the nickname made both littles grin. 

“No stinky!” Loki refuted, grabbing at his toes.

Thor actually had a hard time carrying him like that and nearly dropped the tot out of his arms. “No? Really? I could’ve sworn mother used to need to supervise bath time to make sure you washed your hair.”

“Nope! Tor sunshine!”

“That is true. You are my lovely little sunshine.” Thor’s voice was a warm, loving, tone hardly above a whisper. It could almost have been described as a growl.

Loki made an “eek!” as his older brother’s chest rumbled and he nearly roared with laughter as the feeling tickled him.

 

Mobius opened the car doors and set Sylvie into her seat. She had nearly been napping in his arms, pacifier firmly planted in her mouth, but she began to throw a fit the second he set her down. Not the quiet, pouty fits she usually preferred, but the screaming, crying ones that had become common over the past few weeks. 

“The car isn’t scary, we like the car. You helped me pick it out, remember?” Mobius tried to reassure her. “We rode here in the car, it’s okay. What else is there? Is the bad thing a soggy diaper?” he asked, taking her out of the car seat and leaning against the side of his tan little car, checking her by unbuttoning a couple snaps of her romper. “Well, you’re not exactly dry,” he sighed. “I know, I know, you’re not happy: probably ready for meds, a bottle, a new diaper, and a nap, right?” 

Sylvie continued to yell and scream and ball up her fists into his shirt, even as he pet her hair and tucked her into the crook of his neck. 

“You’ve been such a big girl today, made so much progress, you know that?” Mobius knew his words wouldn’t help, but he said them anyway.

 Thor talked with the opposite door open to his little brother who was absolutely so taken by making faces at himself in the baby mirror… again, which Thor eventually got in on, making Loki laugh and kick the empty seat in front of him. “My little sunshine,” he wistfully repeated as Loki gurgled and patiently ignored his fussy sister. 

She was eventually calmed enough to be set into the car seat and buckled up, even as she sobbed and spat and shot little green pieces of energy out from her hands.

The whole car ride home, Loki did his best to mimic his daddy in the front with the tiny car dashboard toy. Occasionally, he handed one of the toys nearby to Thor or Sylvie, hoping to make them happy. Thor would smile and thank him while Sylvie would flat out ignore him in order to keep having her tantrum, sans the screaming.

Upon getting home, the littles were given diaper changes, and after fussing from both of them, were allowed to change out of their clothes. 

Sylvie found herself swaddled in blankets, nursing on a warm bottle of milk and began to have a proper nap while Thor held her and quietly whispered a conversation to Mobius, who was holding Loki in a yellow blanket instead of Sylvie’s pastel pink one. 

Perhaps they were frost giants, but the littles were a happy sort of warm. A sleepy kind of warm after the long, high-energy, two hours of play. 

Loki cooed, reaching up from his blankets, but Mobius pushed his little hands right back down into the sea of fluff and pulled him up a little bit into a comfortable hug. 

Mobius rocked the chair a little bit harder and the blankets fell, just slightly, down to reveal Loki’s bare shoulders. Sylvie was in the same boat; just a diaper and the warm, lovely blanket around her. No more uncomfortable cotton rubbing or itchy fabrics, just the cozy body warmth of a caregiver and the lovely minky blanket, which complimented Thor and Mobius’ humming voices. Loki and Sylvie didn’t particularly know if they were singing or chatting, and didn’t care what it was about, all that mattered was the soft rumbling and thumping noises that their chests made. 

Loki soon began to snore, dropping the pacifier from his mouth and leaving a long string of slobber on Mobius’ shoulder as the adult pulled up the blanket over his shoulders once more and gave him a kiss on the shoulder, as high as his head naturally reached from that angle, before getting up and setting the baby in the crib right behind Thor and Sylvie. And Thor eventually set Sylvie right down next to him.

“You know,” Mobius said as Thor joined him in the kitchen, after setting up the rails and flicking the lights back off. “I have a feeling that we may have just made them go even smaller; We spent that whole morning on classes to help them grow up, and I think we started with two near toddlers and are now back with two newborns.” He chuckled as he said it, sipping on a cup of coffee, as it was meant to be a thoughtful and loving sort of observation.

Thor smiled back at him. “I think that’ll be just fine.” 

Chapter Text

Another three days passed of reteaching Sylvie how to walk and talk and do the normal functions that came with life. She grew fast, skipping over two or three months every day.  

Loki would help and do what he could, playing whatever role Mobius or Sylvie needed, or try his best to be a good sibling when little. 

 

He got up one morning, just past eight, right after Mobius had left, and peeked into the nursery. 

“Are you looking for me?” 

Loki turned behind him. “Sylvie!” His face lit up in a wide grin. “You feel better?”  

She was sipping on a hot cup of coffee and leaning against the back counter of the kitchen, right in between the sink and the toaster. “Yeah, I do actually.” She gave him a shy smile. “Thank you for taking care of me.”

Loki returned her look and turned away to make himself some breakfast, keeping the light grin plastered onto his face. He tried to make awkward conversation with her: “Your leg, is it healed?” 

“You mean both of my legs? Yes, they’re well.” She shifted from one leg to the other to test this out and make sure she was correct in this observation.

“Good, good, good. Glad to hear it.”

Chapter Text

It took Sylvie a few weeks of “purge” mentality to get back into her littlespace. She was 24/7 an adult, just like she had been for the first few months of meeting Loki and Mobius. She helped out a lot with Loki and drove him to daycare some mornings. 

“Mummy come, too?” Loki would always ask. 

“Mummy’s got work,” Sylvie would reply, giving him a little kiss on the hairline which he needed to bend down for. It was always accented by a huff and a frown as he begrudgingly gave her a kiss back, told her he loved her, and ran or toddled inside with his backpack to greet his friends. 

Alternately, on a couple days, a few rare days, when Loki was especially little or fussy, he tried a tantrum, and Sylvie would find herself either trying to shush the baby as he wailed and bawled in his car seat on the ride there, or she’d be leaning against the outer wall of the daycare, as other littles and their caregivers entered while she bounced the teary-eyed tot in her arms. “Sh-sh-sh, mummy’s got you. You’re okay. My sweet baby, everything’s going to be alright, I promise. Mummy will be right here to pick you up at 3. This isn’t forever, you’ll get your big sister back soon,” she assured him, petting circles in his back until he quieted down.

 

And one day, this came true. 


Sylvie walked through the grocery store with Mobius at her side. Loki had elected to stay home because he “had no taste for mortal food,” meaning he didn’t really care and just wanted to be left to his books please-and-thank-you. 

She lazily pushed the cart around while Mobius looked for the specific brands he liked. Hardly having to steer, she passively walked, leaning on the bars as Mobius pulled from the front end. 

“So, why did you even come with me today?” he asked, turning back to the grumbling Sylvie. 

“Dunno. I was bored.” 

“You sound like Loki,” Mobius chuckled to himself as he felt an avocado and set it into a plastic bag. 

“I do not, you take that back.” 

But Mobius didn’t and kept looking around. The only time Sylvie made any effort to help in the process of finding groceries to dump into the cart was when they reached the frozen food section and she dumped in about a dozen meals for herself and Loki. 

“You don’t need that many,” Mobius sighed, taking a few out of the cart. 

“Why not? They’re good!” she whined. 

“Thor and I have been cooking enough for both of you. Let’s just narrow it down a little bit, alright? How about four?- You can get four meals.”

Sylvie sighed and put a couple back. Five remained in the cart. 

“Alright, last thing on the list…” Mobius mumbled to himself as he led the cart towards the baby and little aisles. 

She felt a pit form in her stomach. A strange, inexplicable sort of pit she hadn’t felt since she had first seen Loki regress and been asked if she’d join him. A distress and feeling of near disgust, but not her own disgust. Someone else’s. 

Mobius grabbed a couple treats from the section; cereal snacks, teether treats, and a couple obligatory pouches of baby food, even if they were tending to make it at home lately. 

Sylvie was silent, but alert. She did not slouch at the shopping cart like she had been, but instead stood very stiffly and tried not to focus too much on it. 

“Anything you want?” Mobius asked her, turning around for a split second. 

“-No.” She nearly cut him off with how quickly she said it.  

He paused, but not for more than a second, a little stunned at her haste, but quickly recognized that she was starting to slip. “And that’s because you’re a big girl, huh?” he asked, hoping to elicit a giggle as he picked her up in a big hug, preparing to set her into the seat of the cart. But she didn’t.

She didn’t make any noise or have any expression when he set her back down onto the floor. Just a blank face of discomfort. 

“...Sorry,” Mobius gently apologized as he realized he had made a mistake and she was not in a playful mood. He tried not to talk or even really look her in the eyes as he set a few packs of diapers into the cart for Loki. 

There was a twinge of guilt in Sylvie’s stomach, where all the other knots and emotions were, twisting and turning, and making her feel ready to vomit, that she had just rejected someone so close to her for such a lovely gesture, but she buried it. 


Back in the car, she let him drive, sitting in the passenger seat with her arms crossed, chewing on the inside of her cheek. 

“Alright, what’s wrong?” 

 He got no answer. 

“That’s fine, but can you at least tell me if it’s something I can fix?”

No answer. 

Mobius heaved a sigh. 

 

She helped him put away groceries and then retreated to their bedroom once they got home. 

“Do you know what’s wrong with her?” Mobius asked Loki. 

Loki looked up from his book, seeming slightly alarmed by the fact that there were other people in his home. He scrunched up his knees to his chest and set the story down with a page marker in it, a silent gesture of an invitation to sit down on the other end of the couch, that Mobius accepted. “Do you think she’s starting to slip?” Loki didn’t mean for his tone to sound as excited as it did. 

“That’s what I thought, but when I tried to coax her along she stuck her nose up.”

“Did you do something to anger her?”

“I don’t think so. Not anything that would make you do more than glare at me.” 

“What was it?” 

“I called her a big girl as a term of endearment… and I picked her up.” 

Loki frowned at this.


Meanwhile, Sylvie was laying on the bed, all sprawled out like a starfish. Her face was red and her stomach still hurt. She had tried everything to fix it, but it wasn’t caused by a physical condition, just her own embarrassment over something she had been so normal about up until now for seemingly no reason.

She frustratedly rolled herself into the blankets and kicked her legs, wanting to scream and cry. 


“Why don’t we wait? Let her have a minute of solitude. She’ll come to us when she’s ready. Gods know she already spends most of her time with us.” 

“Anything you’d like to do while we wait?” 

“Uh, actually,” Loki tried not to smile as he wiggled out of his blanket and crawled into Mobius’ lap. “You should read me a story.” 

Mobius smiled and reached for the book on the table which Loki had set down. 

“Not that one,” he said. “Something more familiar.” 

Mobius began to pet his hair, curling locks between his fingertips as Loki’s head rested in his lap. “You’re slipping a bit, too, huh?” he asked. 

“Yeah, but ‘s alright. I want to. Sylvie doesn’t.” 

“You want to be small?” 

“Yeah.” 

The more they spoke, the quieter they got, as if being very cautious not to wake a sleeping baby. 

And soon, silently, Mobius picked him up. Hugging him close. 

“Do we need a diaper today?” 

“Yes please,” Loki grinned. He was still in his normal headspace range today, just a bit more verbal right now.

Mobius set him down and placed a pacifier in the little’s mouth, which Loki grinned at as he accepted. 

“You want to stay in those or do we want to pick out some new clothes?” 

The little tried not to giggle at the rhyme as he pointed to the dresser and made a “dose!” noise behind his pacifier, not meaning to speak with the lispy accent it gave him. 

And so, Mobius wiggled the fancy, hemp-fibered lounge pants off him as well as the v-neck t-shirt. Instead Loki chose a toddler-ish short jumpsuit. It still snapped at the crotch, but it was a little more grown-up than a onesie. 

“There you go, kitten,” Mobius smiled, rubbing noses with Loki after getting him all dressed. “What do you think, do we need a bottle or is it just story time?” 

“Just a story,” Loki smiled, he reached out to Mobius and burrowed into his arms. 

“Alright, let’s do one story, and then we’ll check in with Sylvie.”

Mobius had expected a verbal response to that, but instead Loki just shifted over, getting himself comfortable, and nodded. 

Loki sat in Mobius’ lap as the adult read to him in the rocking chair, listening in a near meditative state between sleep and wake. He was happy for a moment. Comforted until the book closed and Mobius reminded him of the unhappy Sylvie next-door. 

He knocked first, but no response came out, so slowly, Mobius opened the door. He found Sylvie taking a nap, her thumb crammed into her mouth with her teeth grinding on it, tear stains streaking her face. She looked like Loki had all those years ago when he was not allowed to regress. Those nights. 

Mobius took a deep breath and then walked to the corner of the room by the far bedside table from Sylvie and showed Loki the baby monitor there. “I think the princess might’ve also gotten a story,” he whispered.

Loki hopped down out of Mobius’ arms with that, and toddled out of the room, returning with Sylvie’s pegasus and a pacifier. Gently, he tucked the stuffed toy between her arms and tried to place the pacifier into her mouth. She bit down on it, hard, but it was an old one and he had no worry that it would break. 

“Let’s let her sleep,” Mobius whispered, mostly to himself as he tried to resist the urge of flicking the cooling tears from her chin. 

“Daddy play!” Loki smiled. “Play game!” 

“That sounds good, you got anything in mind?” 

“Yeah! Um, board game. Like Bucky!” 

“What can we play with two people…?” Mobius looked through a small cabinet. There weren’t many games in there, just a few. He pulled ones he deemed suitable down from the shelf. 

Loki debated the ones he wanted to play in his mind. 

“Just remember you can’t chew on the pieces.” 

Loki furrowed his brow as he glared at Mobius from behind his pacifier. 

“I don’t want you to choke, lil guy.”


So after two games of mancala (which was really just one which needed to be restarted after Loki was caught cheating), they switched to snakes and ladders. 

During one dramatic dice drop, where Mobius had to move down nearly half the board, grumbling to himself to make Loki giggle, Sylvie exited the bedroom, carrying a large bundle of blankets. 

She was quiet and still seemed upset. 

“Hey, how was your nap?” 

She mumbled something under her breath as she threw the blankets into the wash. 

“Wet the bed?” 

She scowled at the both of them. Mobius expected her to make a similar comment back to him with a little more snark behind it, and Loki raised his eyebrows as he sucked on his sippy cup excited for the drama, but instead Sylvie melted, letting more tears flow from her eyes as she sank down dramatically to her knees and bawled sniffling in a self-conscious sort of way, unmistakably little, but not the loud baby cries she had made before. 

Mobius hurriedly got up from his chair and rushed to her side. “Oh, oh no darlin’, it’s okay. Shh…” he picked her up, seating her in his arms and ignored the dampness and sour smell that leaked over his hands. 

She complained in a barely discernible voice. 

“Hey, hey… no one’s mad at you. You’re allowed to be little whenever you want to be. Things are going to be all good. Daddy and Loki are here, you can let it all out.” 

Sylvie shook her head, the comment seemed to upset her even more-

“Seevee!” Loki excitedly yelled, hopping down from his chair. “Seevee wan’?” he asked, trying to hand her his half-full sippy cup of juice as she peeked over Mobius’ shoulder. 

She hesitantly took it and sipped, relaxing and letting her tears dry for a moment and softening crying to a couple little sobs. 

“Seevee play?” Loki asked. 

“Yeah, I think she’s probably a big enough girl to play, right Sylvie?” Mobius asked.

Sylvie nodded. 

“We just need to get her cleaned up first.”

“Can I just do it myself…?” Sylvie asked, taking the sippy cup out of her mouth. 

“You can… do you want to?” 

She paused and considered it for a moment. “No…- but I’m not a baby, got it?” she asked very sternly. 

“Yes ma’am.” Mobius knew what that meant. He helped her with the cleanup process and then let her dictate where she wanted to go from there, letting her feel out where her headspace would naturally settle in terms of necessary potty-training protection, and fashion.

Mobius took a step back to let her be independent, but Loki took no such cue. “Seevee! Seevee! Daddy n’ me play game! Is snakes! Snake an’ ladda. Seevee come play, too!”

Sylvie tried not to be annoyed and lightly pushed him out of the way so she could inspect her t-shirt selection in the mirror, pulling it down to admire the graphic and assess if the giraffe was too babyish and if she needed something more grown-up. 

Understanding he wasn’t wanted, Loki huffed and retreated to Mobius’ arms, where the adult pulled him up into the rocking chair and swiftly unsnapped the romper to check on Loki’s diaper. “All dry,” he informed the little.

Loki nodded and sat fully back down to cuddle as Sylvie finally decided on a pair of shorts and a green t-shirt. 

“Ready for a game, then?” Mobius asked.

Sylvie agreed, smiling even though her face was still a little bit pink.

 

Loki sat down at the table and grabbed the die to roll for his next turn. 

“Why don’t we restart so Sylvie can play?” Mobius suggested. 

Loki looked between them both and continued to move his piece forward. 

“Um, it’s okay, I can wait,” Sylvie said briefly and cautiously. 

“Are you sure? It’s going to be a while with the rate we’re going.” 

“Yeah, I wanna go get something.” 

 

She returned with a stuffed animal in her arms, her pegasus, before sitting down and watching them finish the game. 

Loki won and Mobius pretended it upset him, even though he knew full well that Loki cheated, but he also knew that would cease the second Sylvie entered the game. So, they added another piece to the board and handed Sylvie the die; all three back on square one with her. 

Chapter Text

“Look at this!” Mobius grinned as he brought a package, nearly the size of himself, into the home. 

Loki looked up from his book, and Sylvie briefly paused her video game to watch as he shoved the large cardboard box into the doorway.

“I don’t get it. What is that?” Loki asked. 

“This,” Mobius slapped the top of the box, “is a new dryer!” 

“Why?”

“Why what?”

“Why get a new one? What’s wrong with ours?” 

“Well, someone kept throwing in sopping wet sheets and overfilling it so now it’s not drying anything.” 

“I’m sorry. It is called a ‘dryer’, is it not?” Sylvie defensively asked.

“Just… don’t do that anymore, alright? Now, I’m going to set this up. Sylvie, do you want to help?”

“Oh, and I don’t get to help?” Loki asked.

“Do you want to?” 

“No… not really.” 

Sylvie wordlessly got up and investigated what she’d be signing up for. “That all looks relatively simple to me, what do you need my help for?” she asked. 

Mobius shrugged. “Two people makes it go faster than one.” 

Sylvie sighed and helped him remove the old dryer and take the new one out of the box. But the second the new one was moved into place, she stopped helping and absently sat on the top of the washer. 

“You want to play in the box, don’t you?” Mobius asked, looking up from his spot, attaching the dryer to the wall. 

Loki was up by now, too, considering the possibility of playing in the box, as well. 

“Alright,” Mobius smiled back at the both of them. “I think I’ve gotten all the help I need. Thank you. You can go play, now.” 

Both of the, now littles, grinned at each other and ran to the nursery, already with a game in mind. Mobius watched them as they excitedly scampered away. 

 

Sylvie uncapped a black marker and rested a hand on Loki’s shoulder, a silent code to sit down.

He giggled as the felt tip tickled his nose and cheeks while Sylvie drew on him. 

“Stop chuckling!” she admonished. Then, she sat back down to admire her handiwork. “Okay, you do me, now.” She handed the marker to him and sat back down to let him draw a nose and whiskers back on her, staying very still and not moving while his unsteady hand jerked around. 

She opened the door just slightly and stuck her head out, only to be met with the sound of chit-chat from her two favorite adults coming from the kitchen, mingling with the comforting smell of coffee. 

“Thor! Thor!” Sylvie ran out back to where they were sitting. “Can you come play?” 

“Sylvie, what’s on your face?” Mobius asked with a smile.

“This is my nose and these are whiskers!” she showed him, pointing as she spoke. Loki wasn’t far behind her. He had cat ears on his head, too, not the headband kind, but actual, real cat ears. 

“Dang you two are cute. Is ‘kitties’ the game?”

“Yeah! You can be the kitty owner!” Sylvie said, pointing to Mobius.

“Then what am I?” Thor asked. 

“Tor doggy,” Loki joked as Mobius picked him up.

“I’m the doggy?” Thor asked. 

Sylvie responded by hissing at him and backing away. 

“Why can’t I be another kitty owner?” 

Both the littles looked at each other and shrugged. 

“You’re the doggy or you can’t play,” Sylvie concluded. 

“Alright, let’s let the kitties play, right boy?” Mobius asked.

Both Loki and Sylvie absolutely roared with laughter over the way Thor was addressed. If they hadn’t been so close, Mobius would’ve probably been turned into nothing but a pulp on the floor by now. But instead, Thor chuckled along with them and followed Mobius to the couch so they could play with the “kitties” more. 

“No puppies on the couch!” Sylvie scowled. 

Thor shot Mobius a look of “do I have to?”

Mobius responded with a raise of an eyebrow, and Thor unceremoniously slithered down onto the rug. 

“How about some playtime?” Mobius asked as he grabbed a nearby ball of yarn from his knitting basket and tossed it down to Sylvie. 

She meowed and pawed for it while Loki continued to be a lap cat, begging to be pet and purring with outstretched arms that he pretended to knead into the fabric of the couch. 

“Loki, why don’t you just turn into a cat? I’ve seen you do it before.” Thor proposed. 

“Because pretend’s more fun!” Sylvie responded. 

“Yeah! Prend fun!” 

“Loki, this can be our kitty den!” Sylvie suddenly said, becoming once more, distracted with examining the large cardboard box, still taking up the hallway. 

Mobius laughed, “you know kitties love cardboard boxes, right?” he asked as he stood up. He turned the box onto its side and scratched the back of it, watching as both of their cat ears perked up and Loki dove into the box, seemingly on instinct. 

Loki squealed as Mobius tipped the box back upright and the little fell backwards, turtling on his back and kicking his legs with a big smile on his face. Then Sylvie climbed in. She steadied her hands on one side and peeked over to check how much room was left for her before climbing in herself, squishing Loki to one side and keeping a standing position to receive extra pets and attention. 

Thor kept sitting on the floor of the living room, absently playing with some of the toys on the floor. No one seemed to notice, least of all Thor, whose mind was wandering elsewhere. It wasn’t an especially child-like form of play, either, just kind of lightly rolling a ball around as he sat with his thoughts and listened to the noise of Mobius and the littles near him. 

Loki stood up when he decided the box lost its novelty within the realm of play and scampered out to see his big brother, with Sylvie following on his heels, nearly tripping as she attempted to clear the four-and-a-half foot side before Mobius picked her up. 

Sylvie crawled on her hands and knees towards Thor. “Chase me!” she suggested, getting ready to run away. 

Thor looked up. “You want me to chase you?” 

“Yeah!” 

He grinned and Sylvie understood. 

“Stupid dog!” she childishly shrieked as she scrambled up to run and Thor chased after her. 

“Sylvie! Let’s not be mean. And c’mon guys, let’s do that outside,” Mobius scolded as he opened up the front door for them to tumble out and continue the game. 

 

Loki just watched as he crawled around the living room on his hands and knees. He stretched his back on the arm of the couch. 

“Hey, hey! No clawing!” Mobius teased before picking Loki up and holding him like a naughty cat, by the armpits and raising his arms above his head. Even when held like this, the tips of Loki’s feet could almost touch the floor. 

Loki grinned as he was set down and continued to crawl, sticking his thumb in his mouth and awkwardly trying to shift most of his weight onto his knees. 

“I think the kitten might need a chewy toy, huh?” 

Loki mewed in response and sat down. 

“Alright, c’mon little kitty cat.” Mobius added a whistle and a tap on his thigh. 

Loki followed, crawling just like before as Mobius looked through the nursery for some kind of soother that looked like a cat toy for the little one. He found a rolling ball rattle, a fabric-covered spring-like worm toy, and a regular ring teether that would satisfy Loki for now. 

“Do you think you can make it to the litterbox or are we still workin on house breaking you?” 

Of course, Mobius already knew the answer to this as he lifted the kitten-boy up onto the changing table and shimmied the pants off him, only to find a long, black tail hidden behind Loki’s right leg. 

He smiled a little bit and Loki grinned back, shifting his hips and wiggling it.

“So how are we going to do this, then?” Mobius asked, stepping back for a moment to assess this new challenge. “Should I cut a hole for your tail? Or should we let it sit low?” 

Loki let him figure that out himself as Mobius fiddled with the positioning of the diaper under Loki’s bottom. 

The adult eventually decided scissors were going to be the only solution to this problem as he made a small hole and slipped Loki’s tail through. 

The poor boy almost yelped as the fur was pushed in the wrong direction while his diaper was put on and taped up. 

“There we are, all done. That was it,” Mobius said as he picked Loki up and held him for a brief moment. “Should we go see what your big siblings are up to?” 

“Kitty an’ pubby?” Loki corrected. 

“Yeah, the kitty and puppy.” 

Loki waddled outside with sandals on that Mobius had just barely strapped to his feet without causing a fit, pantsless. It was easier that way for the both of them. 

 

Thor looked mighty proud of himself as Sylvie hid behind him. 

“I wonder where Sylvie is,” Mobius asked rhetorically, watching her in the corner of his eye. 

“I caught her, and I ate her!” Thor dramatically bragged, making Sylvie stifle a chuckle.

Loki inspected around his older brother, searching for his big sister and playing a sort of peek-a-boo-tag-hybrid game with her around Thor. 

“Hey! You’re supposed to be in my stomach! Silly cat!” Thor grinned, picking Sylvie up and throwing her over his shoulders. It may have hurt Sylvie if she had been a normal little, but she was a goddess, and found the light toss to be nothing more than harmless fun. 

“Pubby no eat kitty!” Loki giggled. “Ba’ dog!” 

Mobius laughed at the way Loki admonished Thor. “Hey, mr. kitty you’re gonna steal my job if you keep talking like that.” 

Loki ignored the comment. “Puppy play wit kitty!” he squealed as Thor picked him up.  “Down! Down!” 

Thor only set him down after lots of kicking and scratching, and even a couple little bites. 

“Me now! Me!” Sylvie yelled the second Thor’s arms were free. 

Once again, he tossed her into the air and wrestled her, letting her put him in a headlock with her legs and try to throw him on the ground. They both laughed as Sylvie meowed and batted at him. 

“Um,” Loki began, looking back at Mobius for a minute. 

Mobius looked at him in a silent way to ask if something was wrong. 

“Tor no look like a pubby,” he complained. 

“Don’t look at me, that’s your magic.” 

Loki looked back at him with a little “oh!” on his face, and then gave Thor ears and a tail. 

Sylvie grinned back at him as Thor’s tail wagged. 

He paused from the fun to admire the new appendages and thanked Loki for them. 

 

Soon, after lots of play, fits and fights begin to break out, and not the pretend type. 

“Stop it!” Sylvie screamed. 

“Oh, stop tickling you?”  Thor grinned, still thinking he was being funny.

“Get off! Off!” She began to hiss and kick at him.

“Fine.” 

“Don’t do that!” 

“You’re just no good at playing.”

“I am!” 

 The conversation quickly devolved from there into yelling from Sylvie, which upset Loki, and elicited an angry, pouty huff from Thor. 

“Alright, I think it’s nap time,” Mobius proposed. 

“NO!” All three of the gods shouted back at him. 

“Yeah, I think it is.”

Sylvie stopped trying to strangle her older brother and threw herself onto the dirty forest floor. “No! No! No!” she screamed. 

Loki was a bit more of a quiet crier, and Thor just seemed to stew more in his frustration than outwardly express it. 

“No nap-nap!” Loki whined into Mobius’ shirt, nearly biting the fabric. His ears were back and tail thrashing. So was Sylvie’s. 

“I think so.”

Loki squirmed and tried to escape from Mobius’ arms as he was carried inside. Sylvie was the same way. 

He sat them down on the couch and quietly turned on some soothing music, hoping to get them sleepy. 

“How about this?” he began as the two continued their protests despite the fact that he was across the room, now. “You two get some more indoor play time while daddy makes some sippy cups.”

Loki wiped his tears and sniffled with a nod but Sylvie just sighed and sat down to flick at the cat toys on the floor again. 

Mobius took note of their restless boredom. “Hey, why don’t you guys sleep in the box? We’ll grab some blankets and pillows, it’ll be nice.”

Sylvie slunk away to grab her choice of pillows and blankets. She set them in the box and sat down in it. The sides ballooned out as she did so. 

“No boys!” she informed Loki as he tried to climb into the box with her. Unfortunately, she was probably somewhat right as she herself could barely fit when curled up. 

“That’s alright, that’s alright.” Mobius assured the little boy. “That just means you get the lap spot.” 

Mobius handed Sylvie a sippy cup of warm milk and gave one to the Loki kitten in his arms as well. Sylvie didn’t mind sleeping independently in her warm nest of blankets in the cardboard box, but Loki did seem to mind that Mobius didn’t immediately open up a book. “Shh, little guy, we’re just going to listen to the calming music and take a nap-nap, alright?”

The kitten spread out on his back to drink from his sippy cup, but after the initial stretch, Mobius cradled him up and held the toddler close to his chest. After the motion, Loki looked up with those big blue eyes at Mobius. 

“You all good big guy?”

The little nodded and made a big yawn, and then stuffed his face and hard plastic sippy cup into Mobius’ gut. 

“Oof!” Mobius grunted as the little burrowed, but he didn’t move Loki away, and instead kept petting him. 

And soon, Loki began to purr. 

Chapter Text

Mid-May: A Pleasant time of year, ignoring the pollen in the air that irritated Mobius’ sinuses. The snow banks had melted away long ago, but only recently had it been warm enough to even consider getting back out on the lake, with the exception of the boat of course, which was being used to take Loki and Sylvie out on rides and to the marina on the regular, but it was still much too early in the year to even begin thinking about fishing trips. 


“Today’s the day!” Mobius grinned as he passed by his loved ones in the living area on his way to the kitchen. 

Sylvie did not acknowledge the statement, and neither did Loki, both of them too engrossed in what was happening on Loki’s laptop to take any interest. 

“Mobius,” Sylvie began, “Do you wear women’s shoes?” she asked. 

Mobius froze after cutting his bagel in half. “Why do you ask?”

“Oh, no reason. Loki and I are just doing some window shopping…”

Loki turned the screen to Mobius to show him the boots he had been viewing. “These are your boots, right? The ‘Chealseas’? They’re rather fashionable. Very cute on you,” he joked, meaning all the compliments from the bottom of his heart. 

“Yes. Very sweet,” Sylvie agreed. 

“Alright, why are you showing me this?” Mobius asked, putting his hands on his hips, very suspiciously. 

“You tell me why you wear women’s shoes first,” Sylvie laughed. 

“Loki wears feminine clothing all the time, why is it only weird with me?”

Loki and Sylvie looked at each-other and then back at him. 

 “I don’t know! That’s what I was given at the TVA and they were comfortable!” he defensively added. 

Both of the Lokis grinned, thinking him adorable when flustered like this. 

“Now, tell me what you two are doing.”

“Well computers are a little bit easier to trick than people, don’t you think?” 

“So you’re stealing?” 

Stealing ? That’s a bit of a strong word- don’t you think? It’s just letting… that rich guy-”

“Jeff Bezos?” 

“Yes, that one- pay for it instead.- Now what was it you were so happy about?” Loki changed the subject. 

Mobius’ giddy smile returned to his face, and he clapped his hands together, forgetting the conversation. “Jet-ski!” he answered.

Sylvie grinned. “Today’s the day?” 

“Today’s the day.” 

She got up from Loki’s side to go help her fiancé with it, getting the trailer attached to the mysterious little car and preparing to take it down to the water. 

“And what about me?” Loki asked. 

“Do you want to come help? It’s only a few hundred feet down, you can walk.” 

Loki slowly closed his laptop and followed, just to watch from the deck with a hot cup of tea that had miraculously appeared in his hands. He gave them a thumbs up as he sipped but didn’t show any further interest. Well, not immediately. 

But the second he saw Mobius put on his life jacket and Sylvie grab her own, he quickly changed his clothes with his magic and ran down, bare footed in the dirt, to the water’s brim. 

“Oh, now you care,” Mobius smiled as Loki invited himself up onto the jet-ski and Sylvie sat close behind the two of them. All together, they would’ve sunk it, but a little green glow made it float on top of the water as if it were just Mobius. 

It had been so long, that all three were smiling with the excitement that they had felt when Mobius first got the jet-ski. 

“Can we show Thor?” Mobius asked as he slowed down the jet-ski, breathless and face hurting from the long-lasting grin. 

“My gods, you’re adorable; yes we can show Thor,” Sylvie chuckled, leaning forward to pet his arms, affectionately, as there wasn’t much else she could do with Loki sandwiched between them.

Loki slipped off the jet-ski and dipped himself into the hardly-above-freezing water as he ran to get Thor. 

He impatiently rapt on the door. 

Thor opened it. “Hm?” he hummed. 

Loki was soaked from the waist down and there were a couple droplets of water on his face and life-vest- a normal one, not the one which clicked at the crotch for when he was little. “Mobius got the jet-ski out. Care to join us for a lake day?” he asked, trying to look very casual. 

“A lake day?” 

“Yeah! Come down and join us for a swim, a jet-ski ride, maybe lunch…?”

“How about… I race you to the water!” Thor stripped off his shirt and pants as he ran, leaving them behind him in the dirt. Loki yelped and teleported in front of him, back into the water. 

“I win!” he giggled. 

“You did not!” Thor playfully pushed him. “You cheated!”

Despite it being a light push, Loki toppled down onto his bum and grinned upward at his big brother. 

“Are you being a silly little one?” 

“No…” Loki answered, cautiously looking up at the jet-ski. 

“It’s alright,” Mobius whispered down to him. 

“You’re lying, aren’t you, brother?” Thor accused lightly, not acknowledging Mobius’ comment. 

“No,” Loki told him, actually lying now as he stood up and brushed himself off. 

“Hey, do you want to go for a ride? It’ll be fun,” Mobius suggested. “I’m not sure if all of us can fit, but we can try,” he shyly smiled. 

Loki crawled up under Mobius’ arms on the handlebars and uncomfortably straddled where the waterproof seat stopped and the glossy plastic began to slope upwards towards the handlebars. Sylvie scooted up and patted the spot behind her for Thor. 

The green glow around the bottom of the jet-ski became more opaque as Thor sat down. 

Mobius revved the engine and started to make the trip around the lake, getting the jet-ski on top of the water and hopping over his own wake, giving a feeling of weightlessness to everyone. 

Everyone except Loki seemed to feel Mobius’ heart sink as the jet-ski slowed a little bit. Luckily, they did not have the displeasure of feeling a warm liquid pooling around the front of his swim trunks. Loki soon realized what happened and stared blankly back at Mobius before he began to hyperventilate and soon devolved into a mess of tears when he saw Mobius’ slightly disappointed look. It almost felt like a new low. 

But Mobius hadn’t meant for his expression to look disappointed. In fact, in his mind, he’d much rather have Loki have an accident here than in bed or somewhere else where it might be hard to clean up. “Sorry to cut the joyride short,” Mobius told Sylvie and Thor. “There’s been an accident up here and I’d like to get Lokes cleaned up real quick. Then we’ll go back out. Promise.” It wasn’t so much of a promise to Thor and Sylvie as it was to himself.

He hopped down after anchoring it and led Loki up the hill to home with Sylvie and Thor trailing behind.

While inside the cabin, as Loki got a proper swim diaper on, Sylvie put on a proper swimsuit, and Mobius grabbed some towels and toys, knowing Loki would want a few. 

Thor helped Mobius around the nursery. “Can we take these out?!” he asked, holding up a collection of plastic gardening tools. 

“You’ll have to ask Sylvie, those are hers,” Mobius told him as he wrangled the kicky little one into the nappy, the bulky kind, which wasn’t very elegant, nor comfortable. But at least it was covered in very cool colorful fish, which Thor made sure to ask about after Mobius handed the tot off to him. 

He poked Loki on the hip: “How many fish do you think there are printed on your nappy?” Thor asked while holding Loki up in his arms. 

Loki looked down and started to count, it was an easy distraction as Thor got the green light from Sylvie to bring down more toys, including all the fun construction equipment and the lovely “gaba tuck” which Loki insisted come along if the other trucks were coming. 

 

Mobius popped an umbrella and set down some towels as Thor got his little brother settled in the sand with his toys, watching Loki pull the bucket hat down over his eyes and try to shield himself from the light of the sun. The little preferred the cool shade. 

Sylvie, meanwhile, started to inflate a couple floaty intertubes and made herself a comfortable spot to sunbathe in one, deciding she’d get a headstart on naptime and lounge with her sunglasses on as she enjoyed the cool breeze and the still-glacier-freezing water. 

Given the opportunity, the first toy Loki reached out for was a shovel. 

Thor had to admit, he found the choice underwhelming; when given so many options, the baby chose the green shovel over any of the trucks or novelty shaped buckets. 

Loki took a spoonful of sand from the hole he was creating and dumped it onto Thor’s leg as the elder brother stared off into space. 

Thor quickly snapped out of his trance though. “I’ll bury you, too!” he laughed, grabbing another toy and dumping some warm sand over Loki’s toes. 

The little grinned and began to build his own castle, now that he had gotten the desired attention that he craved, which Thor happily helped with. Loki’s methods were a bit traditional, the abstract of a God created castle; One of children, playing with shovels and buckets, while Thor’s idea was a little more concrete: On his side of the sandy construction site, he kept his vehicles in a line and properly scooped each pile of sand, dumping it onto the dune they were creating. 

“You should put some water in there so it sticks better,” Mobius suggested, continuing to adjust the umbrella. 

Loki got up and toddled to the lakeside to scoop up some of the water, murky with swirled sand from small minnows and fish digging around. He unceremoniously dumped the water onto the sand dune and grinned as it splashed and eroded the “structure” into a flat, barely noticeable, pancake on the ground. 

He shoved his hands into the puddle as the water sank in, and looked up at his older brother as an invitation to do the same.

Then, Loki began to shape a ball of sand like putty and pack a bucket, getting ready to shape his full castle now that the foundation was made, and Thor, of course, helped him from the other side. 

For a moment, Mobius sat in his beach chair, looking out onto the lake; call it bird watching or cloudspotting, although there were neither in the sky. He watched Sylvie, too, as she was entirely unaware, or at least apathetic to the fact that she was floating out towards the middle of the lake. But he knew she was safe, so he didn’t tell her. Getting bored, he decided to watch Loki and Thor. The little, in his swim diaper and bucket hat, was trying to make windows in his tiny castle and adding sticks for flags while Thor worked on the moat around him. 

“Wow, look at what you two have going on over there!” Mobius complimented them. “That looks real good!”

Loki moved over so Mobius could see it better and then grabbed a toy bulldozer, and slowly smashed through it. 

Thor didn’t seem to mind, he always took a little guilty pleasure in destruction, probably even more than Loki, who usually preferred to create. 

The baby looked up at Mobius for approval. 

“Now what’d you do that for?” Mobius asked in a gentle, playful tone, letting his grin shine through.

Loki’s expression remained blank as he looked between his big brother, his daddy, and the smushed pile of wet sand. 

Thor slowly began to reshape it, fearing Loki may cry, a regret he understood well, but Loki pulled his hand away. 

“All done,” he said. 

“You don’t want to build another? There’s no need to clean up out here.” 

Loki considered, and then began to build another. Not for his own enjoyment, but he felt like it was what Thor wanted, so he rushed and used a little bit of magic to help him. 

Thor didn’t pick up on it, but Mobius did. He didn’t step in though, not fully. He let them work for a few minutes before leaning forward and picking Loki up. 

The little kicked and laughed, barely missing Thor with the sand. 

“Woah there, I just gotta check on that diaper of yours.” 

Loki calmed, but couldn’t help but scowl as Mobius made sure he wasn’t wet, or worse. 

Once assured that he was still all clean, Mobius gave Loki a kiss on the cheek and pat his bum before standing him up and encouraging him to go back to playing, thus making for a good time for Loki to change the subject. 

Loki sat back down. “Um, Tor,” he addressed his older brother as if proposing a very serious concept, using his adult cadence of speech with his babyish accent. “Uh, go play water, please?” he asked. 

There was an urgency that slightly alarmed Thor. He looked up at Loki.

The poor thing looked exhausted, as if he had just ran a mile, even though it was hardly 70 degrees out, and only about sixty with some minor wind-chill in the shade where Loki sat. In fact, Mobius felt like he could’ve used a jacket as he was a little cold. But Loki was near panting like a dog. His face was red, too.

“Yeah, we can go play in the water,” Thor agreed, taking his baby brother’s hand. 

“Wait wait wait,” Mobius stopped them, grabbing Loki’s free wrist. “If you’re going out in the sun, let’s get some sunblock on ya.” 

Loki tried to make a break for it, but his brother stopped him, holding him from beneath the arms and presenting the little to Mobius who sprayed him down and lovingly applied a couple of thick, goopy drops to the toddler’s face, carefully rubbing it in and not getting it in his eyes or hair no matter how much he struggled. 

Thor let him go once Mobius was done, and Loki made a mad dash to the water, trying to tug Thor along behind him.

“Hey, you hold your horses for one more minute, let me get you too, big brother,” Mobius joked.

Loki paused when Thor didn’t follow him. Curious at first, then delighted, as he watched, giggling while Mobius applied sunscreen to a rather pouty Thor, who was definitely playing it up for his little brother’s amusement. He was avoidant and sensitive, rather touchy, but Mobius was used to it, it was just like working with a taller Sylvie. 

“There we go, go play.” 

The brothers ran off into the water, but Thor stopped the baby before he could toddle too far out, instead, encouraging him to sit down in the shallow end. 

Loki babbled as he plopped himself down onto the rocks, cushioned by his thick bottoms, while Thor squatted down beside him. 

Thor picked up a rock and skipped it towards Sylvie. 

She looked up from her raft at them, and, lifting her sunglasses onto her forehead, gave them a skeptical glare. 

Loki hucked one that hit her innertube. 

“Mobius! Loki and Thor are throwing rocks at me!” she whined, dramatically throwing her head back.

Mobius couldn’t help but chuckle, but also made sure to tell the boys to put down their rocks and be nicer. 

But Thor ignored him, poking through the cool water to find two more perfect skipping stones. He demonstrated again, then showed Loki how to do it. 

Loki squealed with delight as the rock jumped. This one was away from Sylvie, but she still suspiciously eyed it as if it would hit her. 

The icy cold water convinced Loki to dip a little more of himself in, wading out further.

“Not too far! Loki!- Loki…” Mobius’ voice got near warning and the toddler stared back at him, stopping his walk towards Sylvie’s innertube. “Get back over here, c’mon.”

Thor did not interfere, but instead watched as his brother sulked back to the umbrella. 

“You want to swim?” Mobius clarified with him. 

Loki nodded.

“Alright, I’m going to give you three options, then. Sound good?” 

Another shy nod. 

“You can have water wings, your life vest, or your raft, but I’m not letting you go out there without one. What do we want?” 

Loki stared at him blankly for a minute and bit his cheek, trying to decide before Thor made the decision for him, sliding a pair of water wings onto him. Loki flapped his arms happily, making the process slightly difficult for his older brother who was trying his best to blow them up. Poor Mobius was sort of caught in the middle of it, but he thought his little one was so cute, that it didn't bother him. He couldn’t help but smile a little bit, and get Loki to relax just slightly, by touching his arms very gently and petting his back. 

“Sweet little one, can you still so we can go in the water?” Thor gently asked. 

Loki looked between Thor and Mobius. 

“You heard him; can’t go in the water until you’ve got your water wings, buddy.”

The little anxiously stopped moving to let Thor blow up the rubber floaties, and childishly supervised the action as if he didn’t trust Thor to do it properly. 

Then, he was gently lifted off Mobius’ lap, held up over Thor’s head, and gently kissed on the nose before being brought over gently set down into his little raft. It was difficult with Loki’s six-foot-four stature, but Thor set him in with relative ease, despite the baby’s struggle. 

Loki did not want to be set down, no little would want to be confined to such a restrictive device. He fussed and whined as Thor pushed him out into the deeper water. He swam next to Loki and tried to show him all the cool toys on the raft around him, but Loki seemed to only have his attention focused on his loved ones: Sylvie, Thor, and Mobius. 

After grabbing at Thor’s beard and playing a lake game of peek-a-boo where Thor dunked himself under water for Loki’s amusement, Loki suddenly stopped giggling and smiling. He didn’t look Thor in the eyes either, instead silently resigning himself to playing with the octopus in front of him. 

Thor tried to interact, but Loki wouldn’t respond at first. And when he finally did, it was in the form of a whimper. Thor took his baby brother out, and checked on his diaper. It was just what Thor, Mobius, and Sylvie (even in her far away raft) had all suspected from the abrupt change of mood. 

Thor brought him up back to the rocky, sandy shore. Dragging the raft behind him. He seemed upset that he’d need to put the fun on pause.

“You can hand him to me, I’ve got him,” Mobius said, setting down his magazine and getting up out of his chair. 

Loki yelped as he was handed over to Mobius, who was trying his best to cradle him in a comfortable manner that wouldn’t be bothersome or make the mess even harder to clean up. 

The walk back home was not a pleasant for either of them; Flip flops and uphill-leaning forest floors paired about as nicely as a messy nappy and one’s nose, but they managed. 

 Loki hadn’t been in the lake water for long, but the bath still felt like a much-needed relief. It felt clean and relaxing. 

“So, what do you think?” Mobius asked once Loki was swaddled in a green, hooded towel. “Are we heading back out or do you want to stick to the shores?”

“Baf more!” Loki decided. 

“Water it is,” Mobius smiled. Although it was a little more difficult, he snapped a new swim diaper onto Loki while standing up, adjusting the leg holes around him. This one wasn’t as nice. There were no fish on it to count, just a scaled, green design, which Loki admittedly loved. 

 

Back on the water, Sylvie and Thor were having a discussion, as her raft had floated ashore. 

“You never got that full jet-ski ride, did you?” Sylvie asked. 

Thor hesitated, “No… I guess not.”

“Well, why don’t we go now?”

“I thought it was Mobius’.” 

“It is, but I can drive,” Sylvie shrugged. “Bunny’s going to keep him busy, anyway. We’ll be aimlessly sitting here all day if we don’t…” She dragged her raft up to the umbrella, set it next to Mobius’ chair, and didn’t wait for Thor’s answer, taking his hand and guiding him up to the vehicle. 

He sat behind her as she put on the wrist strap and revved the engine. “Ready?” she asked. 

But before Thor could answer, they were speeding off around the lake. 

Sylvie went a lot faster than Mobius. Faster than Mobius had gone when they were all on the jet-ski, at least, and she leaned into her turns as if this were a motorcycle chase in an action movie, doing everything in her power to make and jump over the biggest waves she could. 

Neither of them were entirely sure how long the ride lasted, but apparently the answer was just a second too long. 

The engine suddenly stopped whirring, and the jet-ski began to glide downwards into the water instead of just skimming the top.

Sylvie’s eyes widened.

“What? What’s wrong?” Thor asked her. 

“I think we’ve run out of gas,” Sylvie stated, very calmly.

Currently, they were in the dead center of the lake. The floor was probably a good 50 feet below them, and the boat dock that showed them their home was a good half mile away. In fact, Mobius looked like nothing more than the size of an ant- oh gods, Mobius

Sylvie smacked her hand up to her forehead in frustration as she tried to figure out what to do. 

Mobius and Loki were back, standing on the beach. Loki was carelessly sifting through the sand, tossing it into the wind until Mobius got him to stop. 

Mobius put his hands on his hips and sighed as he looked at Sylvie and Thor, he wasn’t mad, just disappointed that they hadn’t asked him first. 

Thor waved to him, then Sylvie. It was not a Sylvie-like wave, and Loki immediately recognized it. It was the “Hey! Get over here! Something’s wrong!” wave. 

Mobius stopped showing how displeased he was with her and brought Loki up to the dock, setting him gently down onto the boat’s floor and made sure to grab some extra ropes to tow the jet-ski in with. Admittedly, he purposefully took extra time buckling Loki’s life vest and adjusting the straps on both that one and his own, giving Sylvie and Thor a little bit of time to think about their actions. This momentum continued as Mobius started up the boat and slowly puttered it towards them instead of making this a speedy rescue. 

Sylvie rolled her eyes so hard that Mobius and Loki could see from where they were. She also made sure to make a big display of crossing her arms and looking vaguely upset as she waited, but Thor made no such unwelcoming show. Instead, he smiled and waved at little Loki, who was kneeling on the seats at the front of the boat in his toddler life vest, pointing Mobius in the right direction as if he couldn’t see.

Loki clung to his big brother the second Thor pulled himself up onto the boat. 

“Up! Up!” 

“I’ll toss you into the water,” Thor tiredly teased him as he lifted the boy up. 

Sylvie and Mobius however, were having a very different conversation, one made up of looks as they both worked together tethering the jet-ski to the back of the boat. Sylvie sat on the jet-ski, refusing to come in, saying she needed to steer it in, which was partially true. But she also knew Loki could do that for her if she asked.

 

Upon getting back to the janky wooden docks, Sylvie got off the jet-ski and wrapped herself in a towel that Loki offered her. She shivered as if it were cold in the shade, but everyone knew it was just a soft and comforting texture to muffle the tongue lashing she thought she was about to endure. 

But it never actually came. 

Mobius walked right past her with a couple of gas cans and began to fill up the jet-ski’s tank with fuel. 

 “Daddy mad?” Loki asked, sitting with his feet dangling off the dock.

Mobius made sure to speak loud enough for Sylvie and Thor to hear. “Nah, daddy’s not mad. But he’s not a big fan of his things being taken without asking first.” He looked up to check if Sylvie was paying attention. 

She was, and looking rather guilty, so Mobius got up and set his hand on her shoulder once he was done filling up the vehicle.

“I can count on you to do that next time though, right?” 

Sylvie nodded. 

“Good,” he kissed her on the cheek before giving her two more pats on the shoulder.

“I was just being nice. Thor wanted that jet-ski ride and I wasn’t sure how long you’d be with Loki so I thought we should just go.” 

Mobius smiled at her, “that’s very kind of you, but can you still wait for me next time? I promise I’ll be back soon. You know Loki’s not that difficult to work with.”

“Hey!” Loki giggled, toddling over to rest his chin on Mobius’ shoulder. 

“I’ll wait,” Sylvie quietly agreed. 

“Thank you,” Mobius told her, giving her a kiss on the cheek and an affectionate hug. 

“Daddy! Daddy up!” Loki cooed, ruining whatever sweet moment had been there. 

“I have him,” Sylvie apologetically added, before taking Loki into her arms and letting his icy cold body snuggle up to her. But of course, he still had eyes for Mobius, grabbing at his shirt and pulling him in close. 

“Daddy no sad. Mummy no sad,” he concluded, trying to get them to hug or kiss or… something, just trying to yank them both together. 

“Loki, do you think you can help mummy make another sand castle?” Sylvie asked. 

He grinned and got down, taking her hand.

 

Mobius let the Asgardians attempt to GENTLY bury him in the sand, making sure to emphasize that there was no magic allowed, no rocks, and no sand on his face. 

By Loki’s naptime, they had only gotten up to Mobius’ waist and the sand in the lakebed was… not like an ocean beach. It wasn’t much more than a thin strip between the dirt of the forest, and the rocks at the water’s edge. Not ideal for anything more than a small, lumpy sandcastle like the ones Thor and Loki had been making earlier. But that was alright. Regardless, it was a nicely spent, enjoyable afternoon. The little one didn’t even throw a fit when it was finally time for his nap. Instead, he began to simply lie down in the warm sand, on top of Mobius of course, until Mobius concluded that he wasn’t going to let the little get sunburnt and it was time for real nap, in the crib, with proper clothes.

Chapter Text

Mobius had his reasons, loving reasons, for often having to leave his littles at daycare or with babysitters. Less than usual lately, as Sylvie was still not wanting to regress all that often or all that deep. But as Mobius worked two and a half jobs on one’s salary, he often relied on the kindness of others or his Lokis’ own abilities to be big to cover him. And today, it seemed like he could not rely on their abilities.

“Of course we’ll do it!” Kate’s voice piped through the phone. 

A smile of relief poked through Mobius’ voice “Oh thank gods, okay. Great. Well…”  He took approximately ten minutes to give her, and Yelena who was listening next to her, a rundown of little care basics, training that felt excessive, but really only covered the main bases. 

Loki and Sylvie weren’t quite big kids today, probably both around three; walking, chatting, but still sucking thumbs and wearing training pants. Well, Sylvie got training pants. Loki had tried, but it didn’t exactly work out when he neglected to tell Mobius he had to go potty and then had a little bit of an accident. They didn’t leak after the first time, but once Loki became distracted by helping with breakfast or watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, one had turned into three, and he soon found his pajama bottoms drenched. 

 

The tots were bathed, dressed, and ready for the day by the time Kate showed up with Yelena in her passenger seat of her shiny, new Volkswagen Beetle. Neither Clint nor Yelena had appreciated her insistence on giving it a purple paint job, but now it made the car “a staple of her brand” as she liked to call it. 

 

Loki and Sylvie both greeted them with shy waves as they tried to hide behind their daddy despite being very good friends with the two. There was just something about being left with them that they didn’t trust, but Mobius was confident and felt like he had given them more than enough instructions on how to care for the littles, even giving them their own printed copies of the “Loki and Sylvie Care Booklet”. 

They performed their usual routine of not wanting to be left alone until Yelena forcefully pulled them away. “Shit,” she swore, setting the two back down. “You are both very heavy little ones!” she observed. “Clint is very light. How does Mobius pick you up all the time? He’s an old man!” she continued until Kate punched her lightly in the arm. 

“Do you think I can have a tour?” Kate asked the toddlers, changing the subject and letting Loki take her hand to lead her through the cabin home. Sylvie took Yelena's, and together, the two toddlers showed her all the cool toys they had, and made sure to point out Thor’s hut which they had helped build. Most of their explanations of things were mumbled or entirely nonsensical, but they tried, and most of it was words.

“You have a very nice home,” Kate complimented the both of them. 

Loki smiled back proudly.

“Um,” Loki began. “Read?” he cautiously requested. 

 “How about I do you one better?” 

Loki knew that phrase immediately, daddy used that phrase, he got excited for the surprise that was awaiting him. 

“We’ll pack up a diaper bag, right? And then we can go to the library and grab some lunch while we’re out. What do you think about that?” 

It was pretty apparent with the nature that Kate spoke with that she had practiced this all morning and thought it out deeply. 

The little gave a wide grin and wiggled, tapping his feet on the floor like he just couldn’t wait. Instead of any comprehensible words, he squealed with joy and nearly hugged her. 

 

Meanwhile, Sylvie was trying her best to make herself a spot where Yelena could easily see her, and hopefully be very impressed by her game of Little People zoo, enough to want to play, as well. 

And although she wasn’t really all that interested, Yelena did eventually join in and was happy to help the little girl out with all the animal noises.

On one of the pages of the guide book, which Loki was glad to point out to Kate, was instruction of how to pack a diaper bag, which he did genuinely help with, not dropping in silly toys or taking things out, but instead, actually finding her the pieces she needed, and blossoming with a smile every time she said “thank you” or gave him a compliment. 

“Alright,” Kate looked up at him, pretending to be out of breath after all that hard work, wiping an invisible bead of sweat from her brow, “I think we’re all done.” 

Loki mimicked her gesture with a grin. 

“Let’s go get your big sis.” 

Loki nodded, waddling over to where Sylvie and Yelena were currently trying to catch the escaped endangered unicorn (played by Sylvie) and put it back in its pen. 

“Kay! Look! Unicon!” Sylvie showed Kate the toy unicorn.

“Aw, that’s very sweet. Can we clean up though? Just a little so we can take you and Loki to the library?” 

“Um…” Sylvie looked down at her animals and bit her lip as she thought about it. She set down her toy hesitantly. “Okay.” 

 

“Uh, anything you guys need to do before we go? Do you need to go potty?”

Loki looked down at his overalls and hopped up onto the changing table without prompting. 

Sylvie also nodded but she was headed towards the bathroom, instead. 

“I will go with her,” Yelena commented. 

“Aren’t you supposed to be the adult here? You help me change the baby.”

Yelena bit the inside of her cheek and crossed her arms. “You have a guide and you’re good with the littles, you do it!” She pronounced “littles” as “leetles” when saying it so quickly, making Sylvie giggle. 

But Loki furrowed his brow. “Not a baby!” he whined as the other two worked out their struggle and Kate set her hand on his thigh soothingly. 

As Yelena exited the room with Sylvie, Kate turned back to Loki, she tried her best not to mirror his anxious expression as she stepped onto the stool Sylvie sometimes had to use when changing Loki so she could reach over him. She consulted her guide every now and again as she changed him, trying to be unflinching and careful. But she purposefully looked away when she could, and subconsciously held her breath until Loki was recovered. 

“There we go,” she smiled, admiring her handiwork as she snapped his overalls back up. 

Loki then proceeded to try and hop into her arms, forgetting that she was not strong enough to pick him up like every other adult he dealt with in day-to-day life, save for his daycare teacher Ms. Vaughn. 

“Oh- no- buddy,” Kate laughed as she found herself nearly knocked to the floor. 

Loki snapped out of his headspace. “Did I hurt you?” he asked. 

Kate nearly laughed. “No, you didn’t. Now get back into your headspace or I can’t take you and Sylvie to the library,” she joked. 

 

They found Yelena setting the car seats into the back seat, if you could even call it that. The seats hardly fit in the tiny car alone, so Loki stretched the vehicle a little bit so he and Sylvie could comfortably ride with a decent amount of legroom and not need to crawl over the front seats to get in and out. It hardly looked like a Beetle at that point, but after insisting that it would return to its original shape and that the spell was temporary, Kate let Loki keep the modifications.  

The first quarter of the car ride was very quiet as Loki and Sylvie kept being a little bit shy, but Kate began to fiddle with the radio as they got out of the woods and into a place where there was actual phone reception for her Bluetooth. It wasn’t like daddy’s car , both Loki and Sylvie observed as they watched the space between the two front seats, staring with wide eyes at the center console where all the buttons that play music should’ve been. Instead, there was a screen with words on it, like a big phone that Kate was playing with.

“What do you guys want to listen to?” she asked, looking back at them. 

Loki and Sylvie looked back at one another, what did they want to listen to? It wasn’t a question they were normally asked, Mobius usually just had a cd of hits from the latter half of the 1900’s, and if not that, there was the staticky talk radio that was usually reserved for early morning commutes and days when the weather was rather active with snow or rain. 

“How about… do you guys like classical music?”

Classical ?” Yelena asked, suddenly interested in the conversation. 

“Yeah, isn’t that what babies are supposed to listen to?” 

Yelena shrugged. 

“Not a baby!” Sylvie protested. 

“Um!” Loki interrupted. “Bus?” he asked. 

“....I’m not sure if we get that station,” Kate hesitated, not quite sure what he meant. 

“Oh!” Sylvie understood. “skiddink!” she requested, clapping and wiggling into her seat. 

Kate looked to Yelena with wide, slightly panicked eyes. 

“What do you want me to do? I’m driving. You figure it out,” Yelena said in a voice hardly louder than the whisper. 

Kate turned back to the two littles who were both distractedly staring out the side windows with their fingers in their mouths and clutching onto some nearby toys. 

“I’m not familiar with those songs, do you guys have anything else?”  

“Um! Know happy!” Loki added, punctuated with two little claps.

Kate had a sudden epiphany as she realized they were suggesting the nursery rhymes they had heard at daycare. Sometimes Clint would come home humming them, but hardly did he care to listen to the songs afterward.

Kate turned on a playlist from her phone and let Raffi and Wiggles run, only barely putting up with the low quality versions with obnoxious littles and children’s choirs or digitally recorded marimba, simply because Loki and Sylvie singing along or doing the motions was so dang cute. 

She eventually caved watching how much fun they were having and sang along with them, causing Yelena to bite her tongue to keep herself from cracking a smile. 

“Down by the bay, where the-” she started, looking back at them as the next song began, but Loki and Sylvie did not make any motion to shout out the lyrics like before. “You guys don't know this one?” 

Both of the littles shook their heads. 

Kate reached for her phone to skip the song, but Sylvie leaned forward and tried to take it away from her. “You want to listen?” 

Sylvie nodded and Loki seemed to agree, as he bounced in his seat. 

“Alright,” Kate smiled, setting her phone back down and leaning back to let the nostalgic tune play. 

Quickly, they were back to loud and silly singing and Yelena finally broke, not being able to hold in as Skidamarink-a-dink-a-dink came on and everyone else in the car tried to do the motions, with Kate’s eyes burrowing into her soul in a blank stare. She couldn’t help it, it made her laugh, a big booming hearty one like Thor’s, causing both of the littles to grin at each other. 

 

The library was eerily silent for a Saturday morning. There were no events, no knitting circles, no excited littles waiting for a puppet show, just quiet students and seniors silently pouring over their texts. 

Loki practically ran to the kids section, dragging Sylvie and the babysitters behind him. 

“Should we read a story?” Kate asked Loki as he seemed dead set on finding something in the picture book section, squatting by the shelves. 

Loki responded by sticking his thumb in his mouth and sitting down to stare at the selection of stories. Not verbally answering or acknowledging her. 

“Loki! Loki!” Sylvie called. 

“Shh, libary voice!” Loki reminded her in a stage whisper before Kate or Yelena had the opportunity to. 

The little girl toddled up to him, holding out a picture book edition of “The Velveteen Rabbit” with Yelena not far behind her, protectively watching over her to make sure she didn’t trip. 

Loki looked back at her as she plopped down next to him. 

“Look! Bunny!” she grinned. 

He took the book out of her hands to inspect it, and then handed it up to Kate when he decided it would suffice. 

“Where should we read?” Kate asked them as both of the toddlers pushed themselves back up to stand and looked for a spot. “How bout the carpet?” she pointed to a starry blue carpet with a cow jumping over the moon right in the middle of the library floor. 

“No,” Sylvie nonchalantly declined. 

“Okay…” Kate thought about it for a moment. “How about by the board books? Those chairs look comfortable, don’t you think?” she tried again. 

Both of the littles clapped their hands and found spots in the two bean bag chairs there.

Yelena picked Sylvie up and set her on her lap so she could also have a seat in a chair and not on the floor. “Book please?” she asked. 

Kate, sitting in a plastic, preschool-sized, school chair, handed it over, a little bit surprised at how willing Yelena was to take the lead.

Yelena opened the first page and began to read.

 

She paused a few pages in. “Bag please,” she requested. 

Kate kicked it over to her and let her lean awkwardly to fish out two pacifiers and pop them into Loki and Sylvie’s mouth as they were starting to suck their thumbs and grow a little bit whiny.

Over the course of a few more pages, Loki and Sylvie’s breathing started to speed up and their faces reddened as they listened to the wise skin-horse speak about how becoming real can hurt. “most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand." Yelena had narrated with a solemn voice.  

Kate looked up from her phone at them. 

“Oh! Oh,” she panicked. “Loki c’mere.” She reached toward the beanbag to take the little boy, forgetting he was near 500 pounds, but it didn’t matter and she pretended her thighs weren’t getting crushed as she pet Loki’s back and let the toddler burrow into her shoulder. 

Sylvie refused any extra comfort, even though she was nearly as teary as Loki, only slightly more in control of her emotions. Her eyes were glassy and ready to run with tears as she turned towards Kate for reassurance. 

“It’s alright, it has a happy ending,” Kate told them both. “Let’s keep listening.” 

Yelena kept reading, occasionally needing to repeat words, and speaking semi-robotically through most of it, but not an ounce of emotion or meaning to the story was lost as the two littles rubbed their eyes and tried not to sob or accidentally make shuddering breaths so they could hear her. 

 

“See? It all turned out okay. The bunny lived!” Kate said, sitting Loki up in her lap and watching to see how Sylvie reacted. 

But the two seemed even more distraught than before. 

“B- but the horsey!” Loki choked out. 

Sylvie nodded. 

“You didn’t hear what he said about that? He said they all become real.” But Kate knew those lines at the beginning were metaphorical. The fairy towards the end had debunked that, and she frowned at thinking that the other toys probably did burn. She hadn’t thought about it like that before. 

This was not lost on the littles, and Loki continued to sob as quietly as she could. 

Kate pressed her mouth into a thin line. “I’m sorry,” she whispered to the both of them. “We should’ve chosen a different book, huh?” 

Loki nodded into her shoulder and Sylvie was still trying her best to hide her tear stains, mimicking Kate’s expression. 

“Let’s find another book. I’ll read this time.” 

Loki reluctantly stood up and shuffled through the picture books, looking for a familiar one which he knew the ending of. He picked out The Little Prince and hesitantly handed it to Kate as if she’d corrupt it and it would suddenly turn into a heart wrenching tragedy of a story, but she smiled at him gently, silently giving him an ounce of empathetic understanding as she opened the storybook and the toddlers sat down once more, trying to burrow their anxiety and unease with the previous story by fidgeting and squirming as they listened to the familiar tale. 

 

Kate closed the book when she was done and checked on them. It was obvious that neither of them were entirely recovered, but they politely smiled up at her anyway. 

“Little ones,” Yelena spoke up from behind them as Kate set the book aside and opened her mouth to speak. Both toddlers turned to her. “I’m so bored, can you read me a story?” she asked. 

Loki’s smile genuinely broadened just a little bit, but Sylvie shook her head and edged backwards, reclining back into Yelena’s torso, making herself smaller. 

Loki got up and selected his story; a small book, yet one a bit more complex than Kate had been expecting. 

“You sure you’re up for more bunny rabbits?” she asked as Loki sat down and opened up the first page of “I Am A Bunny”. 

Loki nodded vehemently and then shushed her as he began to read. 

Fluently and with immense rhythm, he spoke, as if the sobs in his voice had dried and as if he was hardly even little, but just regular Loki reading a story to little Sylvie. 

But the second he was done, all bets were off as Loki set the story down and grinned at the three girls near him in that silly, toothy, way he’d never be caught dead doing when big. He didn’t acknowledge this sudden shift as he plopped back down onto the floor and immediately began looking for the communal toys bin he knew was kept nearby. 

“Hey, this is a library. I don’t think your daddy would be too happy if I let you crawl on the icky floor,” Kate suggested.

Loki paused and turned onto his bum before crossing his arms and making sure to give her a defiant look. 

“Just walk. You don’t always have to be such a baby,” Sylvie hissed at him. 

She waited for a moment to see how he’d respond, and when he didn’t, she picked him up herself and thrust him into Yelena’s arms. “You take him.” 

“Sylvie, can we use the magic word?” Kate asked. 

“Please?” 

As Kate was feeling very responsible and like a good babysitter, Yelena took the little girl’s hand in the free one which she wasn’t using to support Loki. 

She whispered something to Sylvie while Loki gnawed on the back of his own hand. “That made you sound very grown-up, you know that? A very good big sister.” 

The comment made Sylvie beam with pride as she marched forward looking for any library activities or toys to mess with. 

They eventually found the bin and wooden box that elicited countless- well, countable for Yelena and Kate- seconds of enjoyment from the tots until they gave up and decided the games and toys they had at home were better. 

The adults seemed to agree. 

“Hey, hey wait, before we leave. Do you guys want to check out a few things? Look. Your daddy gave me your library cards,” Kate whispered to them both, making sure to flash the plastic cards as if they were something more scandalous. 

The two littles almost squealed as they ran off to find their stories of choice, taking the hands of their babysitters and leading them through all the sections to show them all the interesting things they picked out; the long classical novels, the illustrated and photographed collections of flowers and rocks, the young adult novels, and the picture books for little time, things they wanted their daddy to read to them before bedtime. twelve stories in total were rang up and put on the littles’ library cards. Eight for Loki, Four for Sylvie.

They made sure to tell Yelena and Kate about their choices at full volume while on the way back to the car, and of course all the way to Kate’s restaurant of choice for lunch.

Chapter Text

“Seriously? Here? This isn’t real food!” Kate protested as the car pulled up to a fast food “restaurant”. 

“Oh, come on, it’s fun and it’s easy.”

Kate rolled her eyes just a little bit as Yelena got out and helped Loki and Sylvie out of the car. 

Loki tried to grab some of his books but was stopped. 

“We’re going to get some lunch. Let’s save reading for when we get back home, alright? I’ll read you another story before naptime.” 

He hesitated, but set them down and followed the adults inside of the weird building. 

 

Loki and Sylvie nearly stumbled backwards as the weird, decidedly not-food-like smell hit them. 

“So what do you guys want?” Yelena asked. She was a little bit surprised that Loki and Sylvie did not seem to know or answer, so she tried to prompt them. “There’s this thing called a Happy Meal and it comes with a toy if you guys wanna try that…” she suggested. 

“Toy!” Sylvie grinned. 

“Your Little People would have a new friend,” Kate added. 

Loki nodded in pensive agreement, chewing on his fingers while deep in thought, in a way that made both of the adults cringe. 

“And do you guys know what the coolest part of this place is?” Kate asked, deciding she might as well pretend to be okay with all of this.

Two head shakes. 

“There’s a big playground, right over there. If you ask nicely, Yelena might even come to play with you.” She whispered the last sentence, but Yelena still heard and pretended to be very upset about it.

 

Yelena found herself standing in the center of the play area as two screaming, silly, littles ran around her, chasing each other and encouraging her to join in the fun. But aside from cracking a smile, which quickly disappeared when she accidentally made eye contact with Kate through the big windows, she never bent. Standing solid like a big oak as the gods ran and tumbled around her shouting about how one or the other was “it”. That was until Sylvie, a little bit out of breath, came to see her again, instead of getting lost in the jungle-like play structure. 

“Hey!” she grinned, “Look’it! Look’it what I can do!” She did a little tumbling somersault and landed on her bum before making sure to check if Yelena saw. 

The adult couldn’t help but approve, giving her a nod of acknowledgement. 

As soon as Loki noticed Sylvie was no longer chasing him, he slithered down from one of the slides and came to compete for the babysitter’s attention. Luckily though, the second that he did, Kate entered the separate room with a bag of food and two red boxes, containing Loki and Sylvie’s lunches. 

She took a blue tube of scented hand sanitizer out of her pocket as she set down the food and called for Yelena and the littles to come over. 

She squirted a little bit of the gel onto everyone’s hands and demonstrated how to rub it in, as if Loki and Sylvie hadn’t performed enough nappy changes to know what they were doing with hand sanitizer. Then, she handed over the two boxes and found the sandwich that she had gotten for herself and the large fries she had gotten for Yelena. 

“M, by the way,” she began with her mouthful, “one has a sandwich and one has chicken nuggets. You guys can share them if you want. I wasn’t sure what to get,” she added on the last piece apologetically, but neither of them seemed to mind, instead diving in for two things and two things alone: the toy and the dessert (apple slices). 

“Maybe we should eat before we play, do you think you two can do that?” Kate asked them as Loki ignored the food in his box in favor of wrestling with the plastic packaging off the toy that came with it. 

“Loki sometimes doesn’t eat.” Sylvie explained while shifting from side to side on the bench slightly self-consciously as if telling a secret she wasn’t supposed to share. “I’ll take it though…”

She reached into Loki’s box and took out the chicken nuggets.

“No! No, I’m hungry! Promise!” Loki insisted, sliding them back between them and taking one. He physically flinched at the texture and set it down again.

Loki reached for something else, taking out Sylvie’s little burger and that was… okay, he decided. It was manageable to stomach. 

Sylvie scowled, but swapped him anyway, admittedly a little happy he was eating at all. 

But luckily, Loki was not discouraged, and actually liked the burger after a few more bites. 

“Loki! Loki try these!”

Loki broke from his trance, staring at the primary colored play structure, to look at what Sylvie was trying to hand him. 

“Fries?” he asked.

“Yeah, but they’re not like the ones daddy makes!” 

Loki hesitantly took one. 

It was flimsy, but admittedly better than the ones Mobius made at home. He was a good chef, no doubt about it, but sometimes a ridiculous amount of salt and chemicals did more than any skill could. 

Loki sipped on his milk and kicked a little bit under the table, trying not to accidentally hit Kate’s calves. 

Finally, he was allowed to open up his apple slices and unwrap his new toy. Squeaking and grinning as he did so, comparing his piece of molded plastic with Sylvie’s: Both were little animals from a movie that Kate did not recognize. Loki got a small duck while Sylvie had a bear.

They silently played a game on the tabletop while waiting for Yelena and Kate to finish eating. 

“Do you guys wanna go play some more?” Kate asked, standing up to throw the remains of her lunch into the trash. 

Loki and Sylvie got up the second she mentioned it. 

“No, no, not yet,” Yelena stopped them, quickly grabbing Loki and Sylvie’s wrists. “Over here. Come here,” she beckoned them closer. Holding each of their hands. “Do you need a diaper change?” she asked them both very flatly and seriously.

Loki went bright red but Sylvie broke out giggling. 

In one swift, motion, Yelena picked Loki up and kept Sylvie holding her other hand, leading her to Kate. “The little one needs a diaper change. Can you take Sylvie? She may need to potty, too.” 

 

There was a small family bathroom that Yelena and Loki took, while Kate let Sylvie have a little bit more privacy by taking her to the multi-stalled restroom, with a couple precautionary pieces of changing supplies, just in case. 

 

Loki hated the feeling of the flimsy plastic changing table, but it was a feeling he sometimes had to bear. But usually, he had the comfort of his mummy or daddy or big brother there to make it better. This time, he did not. Yelena not only didn’t know much, perhaps nothing about changing nappies, but what she did do, she did robotically and slowly. Loki tried to help, but his advice (whines, points, kicks and motions etc.) was not taken much into consideration. 

Luckily, the process was soon over, and the rather fussy little one was soon sat up with his overalls snapped closed.

He shifted and readjusted himself before Yelena could pick him up and bring him back to the playground. 

 

Loki looked around the large, open, room for his big sister, but upon not finding her there, he shot a concerned glance back at Yelena, who took a deep breath and held him back from toddling into the jungle gym to look for her, picking him up and setting him down by the shoe rack. 

“You can play here while we wait,” she told him, knowing he was a bit too little to be on his own in the large playground, at least by her personal standards. 

Loki hesitantly sat down, looking at the wall in front of him as Yelena supervised from behind, waiting to see what he’d do. 

The little sat on the floor for a few seconds, before getting up and looking at himself in two distorted mirrors that were mounted onto the padded corner. Yelena was surprised how infatuated he was with himself… well, not that surprised, but a little bit. 

He poked at the parts of himself that appeared altered in the mirror, and touched the mirrors to feel which parts made his image look so odd before losing interest and beginning to play with a rather large array of wall mounted busy-toys, which included gears, a fake clock, and an iron-filing drawing board with a magnetic pen on a string attached. That could’ve kept the tot busy for hours, Yelena realized.  

 

“Do you need a new pull-up?” Kate asked as she leaned against the stall door, waiting for Sylvie to do her business. 

Sylvie paused for a moment. “No,” she softly told Kate. Her voice may have not even been heard if it wasn’t for the echo of the bathroom.

The little pulled up her training pants and looked back at the potty anxiously. Entirely empty aside from the slightly blue tinted water that had already been in it. But she knew she had to go, she had gone already in her bottoms, and they were cold and itchy, but Kate didn’t need to know that. Unfortunately, as she was pulling up her pants, thinking about it, that’s when it happened. 

Sylvie let out a gasp, and then a yelp as she felt the pull-up give out and urine soak into her pants, dripping down into a puddle on the floor. 

“Sylvie? Are you doing okay? I can help. Can you let me in?” 

Slowly, Sylvie unlocked the door and waddled slowly out. 

Kate took a troubled breath as she considered what to do before deciding to set down the restroom’s changing table. There was some very basic changing stuff  she had brought in on the ledge of the sink; a pull-up, and a new pacifier. It was extremely apparent she thought Sylvie wouldn’t need it and had just grabbed what she could hold in one hand while holding Sylvie’s in the other, in the quick moment she had to snag things from the diaper bag before Yelena could take it into the bathroom with Loki.  Now, she realized those supplies, if you could even call them that, were entirely inadequate for the situation. 

“Up here-” she tapped the table, “let’s fix this, right?” Kate was a little fearful, probably just as nervous as Sylvie, but was trying to stay as optimistic as possible. 

The second Sylvie propped herself up and laid down, she began to cry at the horrible, awful feeling, wincing as another trickle smooshed down onto her legs and onto the plastic changing station. 

Kate also cringed, knowing she didn’t have wipes, a mat, or a change of pants at this moment and felt wholly unprepared. She rolled up Sylvie’s shirt and gave her an apologetic glance before pulling down her drenched pants. 

Sylvie sobbed and covered her face, feeling horribly unsafe and uncomfortable. There was no Loki to distract her, or Mobius to plant kisses on her belly, Ms. Vaughn would be okay… at least she was used to that, it was like just a routine thing that needed to happen with her… hell, she’d even take Yelena at this point, her snarky commentary would make this at least somewhat bearable. 

But this… this felt hopeless and eternal. She tried not to kick too much; squirm, or scream, but sometimes she couldn’t help it. 

Kate offered her the pacifier, but it didn’t do much to tame the scared and uncomfortable little. 

There was a moment of pause, just a quick fraction of a second after Kate finally tossed the ruined pull-up into a nearby bin where she needed to process what exactly she was looking at. The expectations of her mind were a little bit disconnected from what her eyes were telling her that she saw. 

The poor girl was red, really red, and rashy, and not only that, her parts weren’t what Kate had expected, they looked… a lot more like Loki’s; which… made sense, when Kate thought about it, they were variations of the same person, after all, even if they usually didn’t look like it. 

Kate winced at leaving Sylvie’s lower half looking so irritated, but she did so anyway, just as a temporary fix. 

Then, she had the realization that she couldn’t just let Sylvie walk around in public in just a pull-up, nor could she just leave Sylvie there on the table alone as she got Yelena. So, she sighed and did something that she did not want to do; pulling the wet pants up over Sylvie’s bottom and helping her down, feeling immensely guilty for leaving the little girl and the bathroom in such a sorry state, but she did it anyway and brought Sylvie out just for a second, just long enough to run to Yelena and take the diaper bag from her before ushering Sylvie back to the bathroom. 

Sylvie hadn’t quite expected it, but simply the presence of the changing pad under her made the whole process of having her training pants re-changed not so bad, and Kate seemed to agree, now able to let out a long breath she didn’t even know that she had been holding, well, at least some of the breath… maybe half. 

The soggy pants were set into a plastic bag and shoved into the diaper bag. Next, Kate moved the new training pants down around Sylvie’s ankles and got a proper chance to wipe her up-

“Kay?” 

“Yeah?” 

“Um… Can I have a nappy this time?” 

“Oh, yeah, sure. Should I toss this one, then?”

“Mhm.”

 

“Can you put your legs up, please?” 

Sylvie did as she was asked, but still had a bit of trouble, needing to use Kate’s arm for extra support. 

Sylvie breathed out another deep sigh and even closed her eyes, as she focused more on her pacifier while Kate cautiously rubbed in some rash cream before adding baby powder. And soon, Sylvie was given some snap-crotch shorts and was allowed to stand up. 

She helped Kate clean and put up the changing table and wiggled a little bit, back and forth. 

“Are you being a little helper?” Kate asked. 

“Yah, help-help,” she said. 

Kate frowned at the puddle on the floor next to the stall, but ultimately couldn’t help but be charmed by Sylvie’s cuteness. 

“Let’s wash our hands. Ready for that, big girl?” 

Sylvie nodded and washed her hands as Kate did the same, supervising her through the process. Although, the little toddler didn’t like the loud hand dryer much and just opted to shake her hands dry. 

“All ready to go back and play, then?” 

Sylvie nodded, pacifier in mouth, and she skipped out. 

Kate watched her go and made sure she got to Yelena and Loki before apologetically informing one of the workers about the accident. 

What she hadn’t expected though, was that Yelena was playing with Loki. She wasn’t strictly supervising him like a military commander on duty, but was instead making silly faces at him and watching him squeal with joy as she kept him picked up so he wouldn’t be tempted to crawl on the dirty floor, not that he hadn’t done that already. 

“Should we go soon, do you think?” Kate asked. 

Loki tiredly nodded, the food was starting to get to him, slowing him down, making him sleepy, and Sylvie, clinging onto Yelana’s free arm, was obviously feeling the same way. 

“Yeah, I think it’s time for a nap.” 

Loki and Sylvie didn’t even snap up to argue, too busy sucking on their pacifiers and trying to keep their droopy eyes open. 

 

In the car, Sylvie gently swished a rattle back and forth by her ear, listening to the rolling plastic balls while Kate played some quiet classical music; Lullabies that didn’t sound like lullabies. Loki rested his eyes and only moved a little wiggle to readjust for optimal comfort under the seemingly dozens of straps covering him. 

 

Kate gently woke them up, generally not a good idea when dealing with two gods, after the car had stopped, and led the sleepy little ones back to their nursery. 

“Baba!” Loki babbled when Kate tried to usher him into the crib. 

“What’s up buddy?” she asked him, looking for clarification. 

Sylvie decided to follow his lead. “Um cose uncomfy! Up n’ tory nap baba,” she informed the babysitters. 

“Uh… yep- I can do that,” Kate agreed, only hardly catching what she was trying to communicate. 

She let Yelena pick each of them up and set them onto the changing table, just sitting. 

“So what’s uncomfortable? You look fine to me,” Yelena told the littles. 

Loki unsnapped the crotch of his overalls and slid the straps down over his arms before hopping down from the table and wiggling them off before waddling to grab a pacifier and climbing into the crib.

“Hey, wait,” Kate smiled at him. “I don’t think Mobius would let you wear shoes in bed, do you?” 

Loki paused and looked behind him as she took off his pink, sparkly, velcro sneakers. 

Yelena watched and then copied the same with Sylvie, taking off her shorts and light-up shoes. Loki’s onesie covered his diaper, but Sylvie had no such luxury, but she didn’t mind. No onesie meant she was a big girl, regardless of whether she was wearing diapers or not. 

Loki sat down in the crib and waited for Sylvie to join him. 

Kate tried to keep him company as Yelena took a heavy sigh and went to warm water for bottles. “Wow, these are some comfy sheets.” 

Loki nodded. “Asgad shes,” he told her, rubbing the soft fabric between his thumb and forefinger. It wasn’t anything too special, not compared to the ones they kept in the main bedroom. These ones were soft, and cute too, they felt more like fleece than silk, and they had beautiful designs of forest animals all over them. But Loki wasn’t much in the mood for small talk, even if it was about his fancy sheets. Sylvie seemed to agree. 

“Story now,” Sylvie lightly demanded, taking a story book out of the purple library tote bag Kate had used to carry their books. 

“Alright, come up.” 

With considerably more effort, Sylvie pulled herself up onto the bed and snuggled in next to them before handing Kate the book. 

Kate smiled as she read the title. “I liked this book as a kid,” she told them as she opened up “Where The Wild Things Are”. 

“Wait for me! Wait! Wait!” Yelena yelled from the kitchen.

Kate looked up and waited for her to run in, but Yelena was very casual as she came in with bottles of… warm water. Both of the littles frowned. They weren’t sick! How dare she. Kate didn’t seem too impressed, either, but she took the bottles anyway to let Yelena climb up, pushing Sylvie over just slightly so she could rest against Kate’s shoulder and let Sylvie drink from the bottle while laying in her lap. 

Both of the little ones fell asleep. It took longer than normal, but they were both out eventually.

“We should’ve changed them into those nighttime diapers first,” Kate mentioned after moving down off the bed and sliding the bars up as she consulted her guide book.

“Yeah, probably,” Yelena agreed. 

Under the “what to do while they’re down for a nap section” the guide detailed that caregivers should use that time to relax, use the bathroom, and take a load off, but keep the bedroom baby monitor nearby. 

“Finally,” Yelena sighed as she read over Kate’s shoulder once the door was shut. 

“It wasn’t that bad.”

“It was a little bit bad.” 

“You weren’t the one dealing with a leaky diaper.” 

“But you were! I’m speaking collectively.” 

“Of course you are,” Kate sighed. “ I had a good time, though. What do you want to do when they wake up?” 

“Go home.”

Kate frowned. “You like them. I know you do. How about…” she flipped through the book, “How about, oh! Can we make finger paints?!” 

Yelena was a little more excited about that idea than she cared to admit. And sure enough, once the two chaotic littles were up and changed, they made a quiet, comfy craft time at the kitchen table. 

Sylvie held up her goopy mess of a picture when she was finished. 

“Woah, hey, look at you, little artist!” Kate smiled. “Let’s let it dry so we can put it on the fridge.” 

“Fidge!” Sylvie repeated with a grin as if her work wasn’t already covering half of it. 

Loki’s was a little more methodical. He may have been generally littler than Sylvie, but it was obvious he was going for something a little bit less abstract. 

He stuck his tongue out like this was a very difficult task as he became intensely focused. 

“What’re you drawing, big guy?” 

Loki broke his trance as he looked up at Kate. 

“Um. Es daddy!” he smiled, pointing at a blob on the page next to a bunch of messy handprints. 

When he looked up at her, Kate noticed how parts of his face were marked with paint and how it streaked up his arms. But Loki didn’t mind, he set down his paper again and kept working. 

“That’s not daddy,” Sylvie skeptically told him as she leaned over. 

“No gray,” he let her know, pointing at the paints he did have, and trying to justify why he had used blue instead. 

“It doesn’t matter,” Yelena added. “The art is very beautiful. I think your daddy will like it alot.” 

Loki grinned and nodded as he kept working before setting his painting on the counter to let it dry and washing his hands… and face. 

 

Of course, Yelena and Kate were right, and when Mobius noticed the new paintings on the fridge, after coming home, he made sure to thank them, coming into the nursery and disrupting play time to scoop the toddlers up and give them plenty of kisses, which they giggled in response to, as his mustache tickled their cheeks and noses. 

Loki and Sylvie jabbered about their day as they tried to climb on him and into his arms before Yelena and Kate were offered dinner and invited to give a more accurate report, with a healthy amount of little-added commentary as the littles were either held by Yelena or sat in their highchairs while Mobius cooked up some simple tacos. 

“Tacos” was an imaginative word for what Loki and Sylvie ate: for the two of them it was closer to a salad with a tortilla under it, but they were happy and content for a while, until Yelena and Kate had to leave for the night. 

Loki was almost too tired to care, nearly falling asleep in Mobius’ arms when the time came, but Sylvie was still up, whining and threatening a fit. 

“Hey, there’s no need to cry!” Kate let her know, lightly touching her shoulder.

Sylvie flinched away untrustingly. 

“I’m going to see you tomorrow, you know that, right?” she asked, talking to Sylvie a little bit more like an adult.

Nothing changed. 

“We’ll come back and play again soon, how does that sound?” 

The little nodded this time and tried to hide a sad frown or any tears that came with saying good-bye. 

“Do you want to give hugs before they go?” Mobius asked both of his littles. 

Sylvie did not hesitate for a second to hug her friends, but Loki anxiously looked at both of them and waited for a sign of encouragement before setting his feet down and waddling over for a hug.