Loki looked upon his assembled children. Jormungdr the world serpent, hissed and coiled in place, seeming to defy physics just by existing. Fenrir the wolf, sat sullen and growling, the chain Glepneir still wrapping him in it's links. His Daughter Hel, one side gorgeous to behold and the other decayed and rotten, a true warrior woman of Asgard she stood tall and proud. The Odin steed Slepnier, unbowed and unconquered, his barding gleaming and well cared for. Lastly his two Asgardian Children, Narvi and Vale, they showed no discomfort at being near their monstrous siblings and indeed the two mischief makers seemed to enjoy the companyof the others. Slepneir gave all, especially those two a wide berth and cast a suspicious eye to his mother.
"Hello, my children. I come with a deal passed down from Odin himself. He will free you all, however you all need to agree to cease any grudges against the Aesir. You must also consent to be reduced to the age you where before your imprisonment. Thus my own doom, the doom of Narvi and Vale and the enslavement of Slepneir will also be ended. I will become an ally of the Aesir and work with them to undo some of the worst damage I have done. The agreement is ironclad. Even I could find no wiggle room in it. You will all get to be a family. We can be a family."
"Forgive me mother, but the last time I trusted you I found myself blood bound to Odin to be his steed." Slepneir shot back. "What possible reason would any of us have to trust you?"
"Indeed." The Midgard Serpent hissed. "You have never been the most caring of fathers before. Indeed to my knowledge you never spoke against any of our imprisonments, nor ever tried to free us. So why now."
Loki sighed. "My children, the reason I have never tried to free you, is that it would do little good if the Aesir would just lock you away again. Or worse you all destroy the world in perfectly justifiable rage. I disagree with Odin and Thor on the method of ruling, I have no wish to rule over a destroyed husk of a world. Where only the dead walk and the Sun has long since died. I have no wish to see muspelheim rise to burn all, nor do I wish to rule over those fallen people, my people, the frost giants. I want to see you all free, but not at the cost of all of creation." Loki hung his head sorrow showing, for the first time, over what his children have suffered.
"I sought to be clever and put on a brave face. But listen all of you. The only one not fated to some horrible end is Slepneir, and that is just by dint of him being included in the next cycle. He will go from Odin's Steed to Baldur's Steed." Loki took a breath.
"I have no wish to see my oldest killed by his younger brother, only to have the older's entrails used to bind me till the end of days. I have no wish to watch my brother Thor kill and be killed by my second oldest. Nor watch as that rabid monster Vidar rips my fourth youngest's head in twain after said child killed and ate both my father and my grandfather." Here he held ups his hands for silence from his children. "Whether or not any of those acts where justifiable or not is irrelevant, I still do not wish to witness it. Believe it or not I have great affection for all of you. I definitely have no wish to know that my daughter is doomed to be alone in her prison of dead things for the rest of time. Unable to die and Unable to get free. I urge you take the potion that will reverse you back to children, agree to forsake these blood oaths. Let us be a family just for once. Angroboda and Sigyn have agreed to live as my wives, hell they seem to be getting along quite well and have agreed to help me in my own penance. Which honestly has me worried. But I have to ask, what say thee? Dost thou cast off the Blood Oaths and thus loose that which has bound thee, dost thou all agree to the terms that have been laid forth. I ask the thrice and be done and bound, What say thee?!" He screamed to his children, tears pouring down his face, his eyes bearing the pain of having had to watch them suffer and do nothing.
One by one they moved forward to give their answer.
Loki strode through the halls of Asgard rage upon his face, "How Could I Have Been So Stupid." He said to himself.
A Blond man, wearing a red cloak fell in step next to him, "Brother whatever is the matter? Did your children take the deal?" Thor smiled, his eyes lighting up with joy. "Do I truly get to be an uncle and have nieces and nephews?!"
Loki stopped and stood for a moment. He looked upon the giant manchild that was his brother, and realized. "You didn't know, did you?"
"Know what?" Thor's eyes darkened, "Tell me what father did to those children." In the skies of Asgard Dark clouds gathered, Lightening gathering within them.
Loki looked to the ceiling for a moment and then the most awful smile came to his face. "The potion did exactly what he said it would do. Come, Brother, I may need you to stop me from killing Father long enough for him to explain."
Thor stared at Loki a moment longer before speaking. "Nay Brother, If father did indeed harm your children he would not be safe from me either. Allow me to summon Sif and the hero's three. Between all of them they could at least give father time to run if it came to him facing us both."
Loki chuckled. "I am not sure how I feel about the fact that there exists a thing father could do that would make you, stand with me, against him, or that I find your plan a good idea. Go ahead. If nothing else it will let us introduce them all to the children."
"So they are unharmed."
"Yes, But they are changed, I wish to find out why." Thor went to speak again but Loki held up his hand,
"Thor I wish to resolve this, you will hear everything when I confront father which I am on my way to do. Call your entourage and then let us be off."
Thor turned and snapped quick orders off to one of the guard. He then turned, running, to catch up to his brother.
"They will meet us in the throne room where father is attending to the nobles."
Loki's smile became positively malevolent. "Good, I hate all of those parasitic blood suckers. They're Sycophants and hangers on, nothing more. Well, we will give them a show."
The two brother's stalked forward in silence and no guard dared stand in their way. Thor's stern look promised a quick death to any that did, while Loki's smile promised any who stood in his path an amusing fate. Soon, the doors of the Asgardian throne room stood before them, tall and strong. Thor opened them with one solid kick as those guards that had stayed at their post now fled. Loki strode through to stand before his father, none of the nobles upon seeing his smile dared object and scurried out of his way.
Odin looked down upon his sons and was inwardly proud. Loki had evidently found the little loophole to his agreement and had promptly come to kill him if it hurt his children in any way. It did not. Thor, meanwhile was ready and able to back Loki's final decision, while also suggesting his friends be their to prevent the two of them from doing anything unwise. Odin smiled. He wished this had happened years ago. Of course Loki took his smile the wrong way.
"Smiling Father," He spat the word. "What have you done to my children? Care to explain this?" With a great reveal he threw aside his cloak and next to him stood the younger versions of all of them. Fenrir was a ball of fuzz and puff, snarling in fear at the sudden reveal. Odin was again proud that the wolf did not mess the carpet and though startled was ready to defend his father and siblings. Such a thing showed bravery despite the pup's obvious fear. Jormungdr was indeed a Serpent of large size, but only came up to his fathers waist. He coiled around Hel, Narvi, and Vale, glaring at all those in the court that came close. Protective of his siblings, that is good. Had Fenrir not been on the other side of Loki, Odin had no doubt Jormungdr would have kept him safe too. He would be proud to call the serpent his grandson. Hel, Narvi and Vale for their part kept watch, their eyes full of their fathers intelligence. Odin was again proud, to calculate while in an unknown situation impressed him that even at such a young age they could each keep so clear a head.
"Care to explain, Why my children are as they are now?"
Odin smiled. "Loki, calm yourself, you are scaring my grandchildren." Odin smirked at the little ones. "Honestly, your parent is such a dramatist at times."
Getting up from his throne he divested himself of all his weapons, and leaving them upon his chair he descended the steps and sat upon the lower few. The nobles all gasped. Odin glared at all of them.
"Shut up the lot of you. Or I might consider kicking the lot of you out. These are my grandchildren and I wish to meet them. Loki please bring them forward and I will explain everything."
Loki glanced at Thor, their father was not acting himself.
"Father, is something the matter, you are acting different," Loki asked still not approaching.
"What is the matter is that I wasted my life being a King and not a father. I have lost the woman that I love most in the world and I finally have found a way to have what I always wanted." He gestured to the children and to his two favored sons. "My boys, relatively getting along, both my sons actually talking to me, and Grandchildren. On top of all of this an end to the cycle of destruction known as Ragnarok. I am allowed to relax. Loki, the loophole that I exploited was not done to hurt, rather to heal. What I asked would be impossible without it. To much had passed, to much trauma. So I made it so that it never happened. This was a one time deal. It can never be done again. But it was worth it, worth it for me not to sit on the throne alone. Worth it to have my two boys not hate me. I am just sorry that it took the loss of My wife and you mother to make me see what was right in front me. The solution all along was simply not to fight but to heal."
Loki turned to his children. "It's alright little ones, go to your grandfather. I apologize if I startled you with my anger, Grandfather and I sometimes don't agree, but he has spoken the truth. Go and spend some time with him. I need to speak with my brother and his friends."
All of Loki's children converged on their grandfather. Odin's face lighting up as they all hugged him and he began talking to them one to another, the entire nobles having to put their business on hold. Strangely none of them complained. Those that disapproved kept to themselves, while those that understood chuckled and where gladdened that the sound of children once more rang out of the throne room.
Loki joined his brother once more and let out a loud sigh. He was then pulled into a bone crushing bear hug by his ox of a brother. "Thor, damn it, I need my lungs to breath, not to mention my organs not to pop out my mouth."
Thor laughed as he set his brother back upon the ground. "I know that things can not be as they where, but I am glad that you can walk among us again."
"Aye, t'was 'bout time this one came to his senses." A mountain of man wearing a helm bearing the horns of an oxen greeted Loki with the same crushing bear hug Thor had.
"Volstaag, will you please not try to kill me so soon," said a voice from behind the Asgardian. The Loki in his arms disappearing, he turned to the mischief maker. "Ha, ye got me, I'm glad that ye're on our side again. Several times it put me off me appetite when we had to face ye. I actually lost weight! A whole 3 pounds."
Loki chuckled at the man's absurdity. "I can see that."
"I'm just glad we can spoil his kids, you know, rile them up, then send them home for dear dad to deal with." A blonde haired man, with a rapier upon his hip snarked, then took in a breath. "Oh, this makes Little Hel open for potential suitors, please can I show those that think themselves good enough for her how accurate my blade can be? Sif always gets to scare those that are only trying to improve their station. I want to have some fun too."
Loki glared at Fandral as Sif came up behind the blonde man and slapped him in the back of the head. "She is 12 you dolt, she won't be ready for such things for several years." She then looked to the rest of Loki's family sadly. "Besides, her brother's include, a Giant Serpent, An Eight Legged Horse, A Giant Wolf, and two young men that make even the fates nervous. Her mother is the Queen of the Troll-wives and carries a mace that most Jotun find heavy. Her Stepmother is a woman that even I hesitate to face in battle and who has outsmarted her husband on more then one occasion. Her father for that matter, no offense Loki, took over Asgard twice, and has died multiple time, yet still stands before all of us. Not to mention her uncle is the God of Thunder and has enough power to melt the crust of a planet. I think Fandral that neither of us will get to pursue such a duty by sheer circumstance that everyone else is scarier then the two of us."
Loki nodded his head to Sif, "Well said and well spoken Lady Sif. I take no Offense to your words, as they are completely accurate. Such a young man that could go through all that, and not run or die, would indeed deserve my daughter."
Thor glanced back as one of his father's Valkyries whispered into Odin's Ear. "It appears there is work to do brother."
Odin stood and strode forward, his grandchildren following. "Loki, I regret to cut this all short, but there is a matter that requires your and my attention. I am sorry to take you away so soon, but somethings not even I can control."
Loki looked to his father. "You and me, just us?" He said hopefully. "But who will watch the kids, Until we get them all sorted out at home I don't trust these three to take care of them, and Sif? Well, I have seen how she handles problems. I leave them with Sigyn and Angroboda but neither have arrived yet."
"Hey!" All four of the legendary heroes shouted.
Loki shot them a look, after a moment all four of them looked away. "Okay, fair enough." The four heroes mumbled together.
Thor raised his hand. "I could..." This time it was Odin that spoke up.
"Regretfully, You are needed elsewhere to back me and Loki up."
Loki smiled at his brother getting rebuked, but that still left the problem of his kids. He couldn't very well leave them unsupervised, at least not yet. He needed someone or a group of someones that would not judge his kids on their appearances. Someone or ones used to dealing with all that his kids where. To his great surprise it was his brother that came up with the answer.
"Actually, Brother, I might have an idea that will absolutely work." Thor chuckled. "One of them is in fact a family man. And I'm sure that they will adore these little ones."
Loki thought for a moment to whom his brother could mean. Then dawning realization caused him to look differently upon his brother. He could almost swear a prank was being pulled, or vengeance was being instituted. But he had no choice. He chuckled at the idea of that group watching his kids. If nothing else this was going to be fun to watch afterwards. He nodded in approval of Thor's plan.
"Alright Thor, I guess its Avenger's Assemble."