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Combing Through Your Heirs

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(If you are reading this on any PAY site this is a STOLEN WORK, the author has NOT Given Permission for it to be here. If you're paying to read it, you're being cheated too because you can read it on Archiveofourown for FREE.)

When Thor returned from Midgard dragging Loki, muzzled and collared like a dog, Odin was horribly embarrassed. These two were his heirs? Well, if you didn't count... no, Frigga would have his man-bits for ear ornaments if he brought one of his bastards to court and inserted him or her into the line of succession. She'd been generous enough to accept Thor as her step-son and then adopt Loki. No sense pushing his luck. Frigga wasn't much with sword or spear, but by Yggdrasil's roots, she had other, sharper, weapons in her arsenal.

Frigga gave Odin a look at his hesitation, so he cleared his throat and prepared to come up with a sage, just, and fair judgement pulled out of his ass- just because he'd been around the block a few millennia didn't make him a perfect father. Hugin and Munin nibbled at the treats he kept for them in his helm, so it looked as if the ravens were giving him advice. He suspected they damn well could give wise counsel, but the most he'd ever got from them had been dirty limericks they'd picked up on Midgard. But it looked impressive, like the gold plating on everything, including body armor, looked impressive, and you had to keep up appearances or the other Worlds would crack Asgard like a walnut and pick the meat.

"Take that thing off your brother, Thor," he said, to give himself a few more seconds to think about this mess. Heimdall was watching, he was always watching, loyal and honest, and really, too annoyingly good at what he did. Odin hadn't been able to sneak off for cuddles with a mistress in literal ages. The man needed a better hobby than voyeurism.

"Loki, have you nothing to say for yourself?" he asked when the restraints were removed and Loki had the audacity to lick his lips and smirk. Oh, he really shouldn't have listened to Frigga's 'the poor boy has low self-esteem, don't scold him, he'll grow out of his mischief'. Mischief. Letting frost giants into the armory, trying to destroy Jotunheim, forming an alliance with the Chitauri, attempting to conquer Midgard.... no, that left mischief so far behind even Heimdall couldn't see it for dust.

Loki's eyes flashed blue. Odin wondered why he'd got them changed. The green had matched his leathers.

"I have a glorious destiny!" Loki warbled, with dramatic pauses. "The Midgardians were made to be ruled! They shall... KNEEL... before me!"

All right, that settled it, Loki wasn't just insane, he'd become stupid. Midgard was a toxic waste dump, and the hunting wasn't even any good; who'd want it? What had Odin done to deserve these two? He stood and posed majestically. "AS YOU WISH, SO SHALL IT BE!" He was really, really annoyed as he blasted Loki into the form of a black and white dairy cow. "They can kneel to milk you."

Loki mooed and rolled his eyes around and aimed his horns at Thor, but a Holstein's horns are fairly short, and Thor had no difficulty avoiding them to grab Loki's ear and pull him to a stop. "I have him... um..." Thor took another look. "Her, father! What shall I do with Loki?"

Odin didn't sigh as Thor looked up at him, noble and stalwart and... honestly, not all that bright. But he really felt like sighing; he was tired of this whole mess. "You have made alliances with Midgard's warriors, I am told." And found yourself a woman far enough away from court that Frigga won't put her to the 'worthiness' tests that made Sif give up on you.

"Indeed, Father! I have!" Thor beamed. "The Avengers are most valiant, and their world is a troubled one, much in need of succor!"

"Then I grant you leave to take Loki, and give him into the care of a suitable Midgardian, whilst you develop stronger bonds with that realm." Fine, good, that sounded like diplomacy. Loki would probably only be a cow for a few hundred years, and maybe he'd learn patience while chewing his cud. He heard that they already had mad cows on Midgard, so they wouldn't notice one more. "Stay a few hundred years. Get to know the place."

"Thank you, Father!" Thor strode off, dragging Loki-cow by the ear, mooing and pooping in protest.

Frigga looked at the mess. "Shit," she said.

"You have a way with words, my dear."

***

"I'm not adopting any more babies," Frigga said firmly as they sat in their inner chamber, relaxing after holding court. "Do you have any idea what a nuisance it was, chilling bottles for Loki? And how much sleep I lost?"

"No, no babies," Odin said as he ran the brush carefully through Frigga's hair. "An adult, a tried and true warrior, a man of common sense and intelligence. A loyal and strong man who knows both how to follow and how to lead."

"And where will you find this paragon?" Frigga said, which meant she liked the idea.

"Leave that to me, my dear."

***

Odin had to clear his throat several times before the Valkyrie at the gate of Valhalla heard him. "Odin, what a pleasant surprise," she said and wiggled her hips.

Damn Heimdall and his all-seeing eyes. Another flower Odin dare not pluck. Odin put on his best stern king expression. "I am here to petition for the release of one of your warriors. Asgard requires an heir." He held up the basket full of golden apples that he'd bullied from Idunn. "Give him back to life, and I shall make him immortal."

"Hmmm, well, I can ask. Most of the warriors are very happy here, with the free flowing mead and the..." she waggled her hips again. "What is the warrior's name?"

"Phil. The son of Coul."

"Actually, it's Phil Coulson," said a man who'd managed to get behind the Valkyrie without either her or Odin noticing. He smiled, a pleasant, bland smile. "You remind me of my last boss." He reached into the basket and took an apple, biting into it briskly. "Oh, that's better." He turned to the Valkyrie and nodded. "Thank you for the hospitality, Ms. Valkyrie, but it's time I was returning to work. Sir," he said to Odin, "I hope I don't have to wear a cape."

Odin threw an arm about the shoulders of his new son. "No. But how do you feel about a gold suit?"