Originally written for norsekink, in response to the prompt: Let's have Thor be the pregnant one this time around. It could be a result of one of Loki's magical jokes or a perfectly natural Asgardian ability or something else, either way, Thor gets pregnant (preferably with Loki's child). I want ubermanly Thor trying to deal with the idea - and the changes in his body, as well as Loki taking up Thor's usual role of a possessive and protective father.

When I posted this, I titled it Revenge. That title seems like a poor fit to me now, thus the change.

Head's up: this story contains MPREG. If that's not your cup of tea, turn back now!

Loki was bored.

Interminably bored. Dangerously bored. Bored to the point that Sif and the Warriors Three gave him those wary looks from across the room and skirted around him. Bored to the point where even Odin was eyeing him suspiciously, waiting for something awful to happen.

The only person who didn't have any appreciation for his boredom was Thor, who came barreling up to him with all the subtly of a frost giant riding a dragon using dwarves for cudgels. "Brother," he greeted warmly, dropping onto the bench beside Loki. He began tearing into meat and mead immediately, his appetite, as always, insatiable.

"Brother," Loki returned, rolling a grape across his plate idly. Usually, he wasn't bothered by just how dense Thor could be. It didn't matter that Thor never realized Loki's moods, and in truth that was rather pleasant – Thor treated Loki like Loki no matter the situation.

Usually, he wasn't bothered. Usually.

This day, he was. This day, it annoyed him that Thor had no respect for his moods as he went on and on at length about some giants he had fought and conquered (and against Loki's better judgment, he pictured what that fight must have looked like, with Thor's impressive muscles gleaming with sweat), about the fair maid offered to him as recompense for his trials (and there, Loki's fingers curled so tightly around the orange he intended to eat that the fruit exploded – Thor, of course, did not notice). This day, jealousy and irritability and pure, unadulterated boredom rode Loki hard.

And so he came up with the perfect solution. He would play some mischief on Thor as revenge for forgetting that Thor belonged to Loki, that Thor was Loki's brother and no one else could have him, least of all some large-breasted milk maid. He would play some mischief on Thor that would blossom slowly, over time, giving him consistent entertainment. He would play some mischief that would alleviate his boredom for months.

As soon as was possible, Loki left the dining hall, and he felt Sif's eyes on him. He knew, of course, that his lips were turned upwards in his trickster's smile, that he walked with a lightness of step he had lacked for the past few days. Perhaps even weeks. He knew Sif would be aware he had plans to cause trouble, but it was the satisfaction that she didn't know how that made him positively gleeful.

In a quiet, contained sort of way. Loki was never one for grand, demonstrative gestures.

The rest of the day and for three days more, Loki locked himself in his work room. He surrounded himself with his spell books and ancient scrolls. There was no particular spell to do what he wanted, so he carefully constructed his own. No one was permitted entrance, least of all Thor, in part because Thor was to be his victim – in much the same sense that a lab rat is a victim; Loki supposed test subject might be a better way of putting it – and because Thor had the uncommon ability to enter a room like a tornado and leave it absolutely devastated.

Thor had the uncommon ability to do that to Loki. That was, of course, the reason Thor was going to be the recipient of this mischief: Thor had laid siege to Loki's heart with his good-natured idiocy. He had waged war against Loki's emotions and emerged victorious. And he didn't even know it.

On the fourth day, Loki swirled a subtly glowing liquid in a vial and smiled. This would be Loki's revenge.

"I am concerned for your brother," Sif said as she bore down on Thor with her sword.

Thor parried the strike, forcing her back, and lunged forward, intending to strike the sword from her hand. Sif was too fast and clever for that, and she dodged easily. "How so?" he asked.

She ducked under his arm and kicked at his knees. The pain was like the bite of a gnat, easily ignored, but he would never dream of telling proud Sif that. "He has been quiet."

"Loki is often quiet when he studies," Thor said, and he thrust his sword at Sif's body. It cut through the air beside her arm as she nimbly dodged. "We should be grateful he has found some new spell to occupy his time."

Sif's lips twisted in a grimace as she caught Thor's next strike on the very end of her sword. The strength of the hit vibrated through her arm. "But for two months?" she demanded.

He had to admit she was right. Loki had been uncommonly quiet, even for him. Nothing had blown up, nothing had gone wrong, no one was walking around with two heads, no one's weaknesses had been exposed to the whole of the court for a good laugh. Thor could only assume this meant Loki was planning something spectacular, something that would put all his other tricks to shame.

The thought made his stomach drop and twist, and he stumbled, slipped, and fell.

Sif stood over him with a shocked expression on her face. The god of thunder simply didn't fall.

"Thor, are—"

"I've felt unwell these past few mornings," he replied before she could finish the question. "Do not worry yourself on my count."

He expected the sickness, whatever it was, to pass quickly, but four weeks came and went and saw him, almost every morning, retching up anything he ate, provided he had the misfortune of eating at all. In retaliation against his body, he stopped eating breakfast altogether. Then he simply vomited whatever remained from the previous night's meal, and that was even worse.

As he lay on the tiled floor of his bathroom early one morning, letting the cold of the floor seep into his sweat-slicked skin, he remembered his conversation with Sif. An unfortunate feeling curled around the base of his spine.


Surely this was Loki's doing.

But Loki had stopped committing mischief against Thor when they had been children. Why would he start again now?

When his nausea had finally subsided, Thor rose from the floor of his bathroom. He shook a little, but each passing step made him stronger. If this iwas/i Loki's doing, they would have words. If there was one thing Thor could not abide, it was personal weakness. He would simply demand Loki undo whatever spell had been placed on him, and they would be on good terms once more.

An easy solution.


Thor's roar, though long expected, came as a surprise. Loki lurched in the chair at his desk, spilling ink across a scroll. Hissing with irritation, he cast a quick spell to pull the wet ink from the paper and deposited it back in its container.

"Yes, brother?" he asked, not bothering to disguise his annoyance as he rose from his chair and turned.

Thor thundered into the room – metaphorically speaking, of course; as yet, he was not angry enough to actually thunder. Though Loki suspected he would see real thunder soon enough.

"You will tell me what manner of mischief you have heaped upon me," Thor commanded, standing in the middle of Loki's room with so much presence that everything seemed small by comparison.

Loki gave his brother a winning smile. "Whatever do you mean?" But he knew. Already, he had detailed notes, secreted away in one of his hiding places, detailing the progress of his mischief. This was a new spell, after all, one never before tried. It was only best he kept detailed notes. He had plans to make a chart.

"Every morning," Thor said, his voice tight, "for the past six weeks, I have been ill. Do not play tricks with me, brother, I know you are behind this."

Sauntering around his brother with far less ease than he felt, Loki flashed him another smile as he made his way toward his bookcase. "Perhaps you're pregnant," he suggested casually, reaching for a book.

He felt the heat of Thor's body at his back a second later, and when he turned his head, he found that Thor had hemmed him in. Thor's fingers curled over the shelves at either side of Loki's head, and his massive body trapped him against the bookcase. "What mean you by this?" Thor demanded.


For a moment, Loki wasn't entirely sure how to proceed. He hadn't expected Thor to actually think "you're pregnant" had any merit. But words sprang to his tongue quickly enough. "A jest, brother, surely you can't believe you're pregnant." While not unheard of among the gods, a male pregnancy was still relatively rare. It was one of those things the warriors whispered about in horror, for who would want to go through the indignity?

"I would put nothing past you," Thor returned, and then he was gone, slamming the door to Loki's room behind him with enough force to leave it rattling.

Loki pried himself away from the bookshelf and used magic to summon in his notes. "Raging hormones," he muttered as he wrote. "Check."

A gleeful smile bloomed on his face. Things were just starting to get interesting, and would only prove more so as time passed. He only felt bad he had not thought of this sooner, and on the fact that he had lied to his brother on the nature of the jest, he did not think at all.

Thor knew Loki had lied to him the day the Warriors Three told a story about a baby jotun they had killed. It shouldn't have been a surprise. Loki always lied; his tongue was his weapon and his best means of attack. So when Volstagg told of their battle with a group of frost giants and when Hogun told of the death of the children (something most were proud of; it was good to end an enemy's line), Thor felt his eyes brim with tears. And that was when he knew.

He turned the table on its side in a sudden fit of rage and stormed from the room, leaving his friends, stunned, in his wake.

A storm gathered outside the palace, the clouds swollen with Thor's anger. Rain fell hard and fast, like heavy tears. A flash of lightning was the only warning Loki received before his door was thrown open, crashing against the wall in perfect harmony with the thunder that screamed of his brother's rage.

He looked up from a book with too-innocent eyes and smiled.

Thor wanted to close his hands around Loki's neck and squeeze until his head came off, an altogether gruesome image that seemed rather pleasant in the moment.

"You are a vile liar!" Thor shouted, jabbing his finger at his brother. Lightning lit up the room once more, and Loki, for whatever reason, chose to goad Thor further.

"You will have to be more exacting than that, brother," he replied in a light tone as he turned the page of his book.

Thor tore the book from his hands and only just noticed the stark look of horror that passed over Loki's face. Though he wanted to grab onto Loki's shoulders and simply tear him apart, his hands were gentle. This was his brother. There were reasons for Loki's tricks. Loki was like Father in that: they both always, always had their reasons. "Tell me," he said, the words forced through a throat constricted by emotion. "Tell me what you did."

Loki must have seen something in his eyes, because he went utterly still, and comprehension settled on his features. "A bit of mischief," he replied. It wasn't enough, and Thor shook him.

His roar of "Tell me, damn you!" was almost drowned out by an explosion of thunder that rattled the windows and shook several decorative glass pieces from the shelves.

"I believe congratulations are in order," Loki said without much feeling at all.

Thor reeled back. He stared at his brother for a moment, his mind working to make sense of that statement. He caught onto the memory of Loki's odd smiles and lingering glances, of the constant asking "Are you well?" Loki was ever exact with words, and from him, such a question was not one of friendly greeting but one of genuine interest – for whatever reason – into a person's health. And then came the memory of their conversation some weeks prior.

Perhaps you're pregnant.

"What have you done?" Thor asked, his voice a whisper.

"A bit of harmless fun."

"This…" Thor drew himself upright, shoulders back, head held high as befitted a son of Odin. He would not walk from these rooms despondent and beaten, no matter how he felt. His brother had played a trick most foul, on him and no one less, and he would not be beaten by it. "This is not harmless, Loki. Did you—" He broke off, his throat closing. With a final, slashing look, he abandoned his brother.

The storm, however, did not leave. It continued to haunt Asgard for days until finally Frigga would have no more of it. "You will deal with it on your own," she told Loki, for by now everyone knew the brothers had quarreled and the storm was Loki's fault, "or I shall take the two of you by the ears, lock you in a dungeon cell, and force you to deal with it."

So it was with great trepidation that Loki found himself outside Thor's door several days later, his tongue like lead in his mouth.

"Thor?" Loki opened the door and peered into the darkness of his brother's room. There were no fires burning in the braziers, no candles lit. There was only blackness that rolled like smoke through the room, thick and heavy. "Thor?" He spoke the name again, as though that might rouse the man on the bed.

"I do not wish to speak with you," came the reply. Thor's voice was hollow and rough, as though he were wrung dry and had spent hours in tears.

The very thought of Thor crying was so utterly reprehensible to Loki that he quite suddenly found himself enmeshed in self-loathing. He had never disliked himself before. Thor, certainly, for being the golden one, the brightly burning one, the sun that lit their father's life where Loki could only be the pale moon. But never himself.

"But I would speak with you," Loki said slowly, shutting and locking his brother's bedroom door. It was not only Frigga's wrath that propelled him to his brother's side.

"You have done me a great wrong, brother." Loki counted himself lucky that he was still brother. Were Thor truly angry, he would not remind himself of their relation. He would not care that they were family.

Loki settled carefully on the edge of Thor's bed, ready to leap away should he need to. He turned his head and spoke to Thor's back, over his shoulder, his voice low and soothing, almost hypnotic. "Yes. I did."

The sound of fabric rustling in the darkness betrays Thor's movement as he turns over. "You admit this?"

"I admit I was thinking of having some fun at your expense and not much else. Believe me, in the future, I will be more thorough in my plans," he replied. "Thor, I—"

"I have been thinking much," Thor said, speaking over him. Loki sensed his brother moving, knew the touch was coming, but still jumped when Thor's hand settled on his wrist. "You do this child a great disservice by simply foisting it upon me with no thought."

Loki's lips pressed into a thin line. "Yes, brother, I realize—"

"You will tell me," he continued, giving Loki no chance to speak – a mean feat if ever there was one. Loki began to wonder if this was how he made other people feel when he spoke over them: small and insignificant. Yet Thor could make a man feel tiny even without words. That, to Loki, seemed the greater gift. "You will tell me how you got this child on me and if there were others involved in its conception."

And therein was the point Loki had been hoping to avoid. "It was a spell I crafted myself. Ingestible, to be mixed with drink," he replied, picturing a knife, sterilized by fire, in his mind. "It required the blood of two parties." The knife approached the strife that existed between him and Thor as a rank and rotting wound. "I used yours. And I used mine." The knife cut through the festering wound, cauterizing as it went, but there was still pain in its passing.

"Why?" Thor asked, and there was no hard edge to his voice, to Loki's surprise. No anger or loathing, as he expected.

"Convenience," Loki replied. There had been no ulterior motive, he told himself. None at all. It had simply been most convenient to use his blood in conjunction with his brother's, as his blood was readily available.

Except that was not true, and he was lying to himself. Loki cringed in the darkness, turning his face from his brother lest a bolt of lightning betray him. "You are my brother. You belong to me."

Thor's hand jerked away from Loki's, and Loki used that chance to rise and flee. He had said too much, given away too much, and for the first time in his life, he felt adrift. All his mischief was so meticulously planned, every possible reaction taken into account. This was his first trick – and even he was having a hard time calling it that any longer – to be made up as he went along, and it was turning into a massive tactical error.

"Damn," he whispered to the air. "And damn again."

Alone in the darkness of his room once more, the sound of rain pelting the side of the palace less soothing than it should have been, Thor brooded. Brooding was, aside from bashing things with hammers, one of the few skills he had. Loki, as his brother had just proven, could do damn near anything, including getting a child on a man with no effort made between them at all.

It was less that he was pregnant, Thor was quickly coming to realize, and more the way in which he had become pregnant that was so infuriating. Had he lain with someone – anyone, by all the gods – and come away pregnant, he would not mind half as much as he did now.

And suddenly he was angry.

Rising from his bed, he grabbed a pillow in his hand. With a mighty roar, he hurled the pillow into the darkness of his room. Glass shattered; a mirror broke. Another day, he might have been impressed with himself for shattering glass with a pillow.

It did not matter the child was his brother's; such things happened among the gods with startling frequency, if tell of the Greeks was to be believed. And even among the Asgardian gods, surprising couplings produced surprising offspring. There was no shame in that, though for a warrior, it was more than a bit of a nuisance.

Deception. Loki reveled in deception. A pregnancy should be joyous, Thor thought, as Mjölnir found its way to his hand and he raised the hammer above his head. It should be met with celebration, not anger. It should not be a tool to control.

He pulled himself back, Mjölnir a bare inch from the floor of his room. That it would be infinitely stupid to destroy the floor beneath his feet didn't even register. More important things were on his mind.

You are my brother. You belong to me.

Jealous. Loki was jealous.

Thor was not so much a fool that he would fail to realize the implications of Loki's words.

In shock, he dropped to the floor, lifting a hand to his brow. A headache was starting behind his eyes, promising to slam into his skull with the force of a double-handed ax. Pushing Mjölnir to the side, Thor sighed heavily. Loki was jealous. But what of? Thor cherished and loved Loki first before all others.

You've a bad way of showing it, old son, he thought to himself.

But he always had time for Loki, clever Loki and his clever tricks. They had so enjoyed the success of many tricks.

When was the last time you helped him with anything?

That was what it was, then. He had become absorbed in himself to the neglect of his dear brother, and Loki was lashing out as best he knew how. "How I have maligned you, brother," Thor said softly to himself, rubbing his hand over his belly. Not long hence and he would begin to show signs of the pregnancy.

Ah, well. In the meantime, he would do as he always did. He would carry on.

Several hours later, for the first time in days, the sun shone over Asgard once more.

"What are you doing?"

Thor said nothing as he sat beside Loki in Asgard's library, a book on tactical command in his hands. He opened it to the middle, even though he had not read the beginning, and found the start of an article detailing the methods used to overcome siege towers.

"Thor. What are you doing here?"

He glanced at Loki, who had spread his books across the table and was standing over them instead of sitting. His face smudged with ink; he looked like he hadn't slept since their confrontation a week past. Thor thought he likely hadn't.

"I am poor with words, brother," Thor said easily, turning the page of his book between two very careful fingers. He tore pages with great ease; it was one of many reasons he did not read often. To his delight, the spread on the page he turned to was a massive picture. The image was numbered, and the pages following explained the positioning of the troops and the strategies used.

He missed Loki's perplexed stare. "And I am rich with them. What are you doing?"

"Reading," Thor replied, looking up with a grin. "I should think that obvious." He relished Loki's look of absolute confusion.

"Yes, but—" The day that Loki uttered the words yes, but and then floundered had always seemed impossible. Thor felt a certain amount of pride that he had managed to still his brother's silver tongue. At least for the time being. "But why?"

Thor made a grand show of studying the picture in his book. Really, it was fascinating, but he poured over it with a false intensity that was surely comical. He ran his finger across one of the pages as if searching out a specific number. He muttered "siege engine, siege engine" under his breath. All the while, he felt Loki's incredulous eyes on him.

Finally, when the silence stretched on long enough to border on awkward, he lifted his head with feigned confusion. "Why what? Oh, yes. Reading. Because you enjoy spending your time in the library, and I enjoy spending time with you."

Loki looked like he had seen Volstagg bound into the library naked and announce he was to wed the most beautiful of the Valkyries. "I was under the impression, brother, that we were currently at odds."

Thor set his book down. He scooted the chair away from the table so that he could turn to his brother and face him. He steepled his fingers in imitation of Loki, for Loki always composed himself so when in truly deep thought. "I am furious with you," he said, and Loki jerked as though slapped, "because you thought to use me in such a way." There was a word to describe exactly how Thor had been used, but the thunder god was no good with words. He didn't even bother exercising his mind to find that word. "But you are yet my brother, and I yet love you. If we are to have a child, I will not be at odds with you."

He gave his brother one of his most brilliant smiles, the kind that could charm the clothing off all the fairest of the lasses, and returned his attention to his book.

"Thor, you can't possibly think that makes everything between us right again," Loki said, sounding even to Thor's ears somewhat desperate.

"I can," Thor replied, turning another page very, very carefully. "And I do. We are sons of Odin. We are gods. Are our decrees not the foundation of the universe?" He turned the page yet again, finding another picture, also numbered as the first.

In his excitement, he tore the page clear out the book. "Damn," he said. Loki sighed, affecting a tone worthy of a martyr, and Thor muttered, "And damn again" when he realized he had actually pulled several pages from the book, not just one.

In all of Thor's thundering the past two or three weeks, Loki had forgotten how much he enjoyed a simple stroll in the sunlight. It seemed he was never warm, always cold, always wrapping himself in layers of clothing until he was sweating. On days when it stormed and there was no sun, he was even colder than usual.

So it was with great delight he meandered through the palace grounds in the days after he and his brother made amends. He let the warmth of the sun soak into his skin, let it fill him up near to bursting. He took joy in the calls of the birds, at least for now; in a few days, he would again find their constant song a hindrance to his studies. He paused to regard the flowers, wide open and brightly colored; an effect of Thor's rain to be sure. He even stopped by the training grounds to watch his beautiful bare-chested brother beat another warrior into submission.

It took only half a second for his brain to catch up with what his eyes were seeing, and he reacted while his brain was still attempting to rationalize Thor's idiocy.

Magic exploded in the training grounds, forcing combatants apart and cushioning the air against further strikes. The typical cries of "Foul Loki!" and "Mischief maker!" rose all around him, but he paid them no mind. He had more important things to deal with, namely his fool of a brother engaging in sparring while their child grew in his belly.

"Idiot!" he hissed, closing his hand around Thor's wrist. Thor had the gall to smile cheerfully at him.

"Good morrow to you as well, brother. Have you come to join us?"

"Have I come—of course not!" He tugged, and Thor willingly followed. "What manner of foolishness is this, that you spar with warriors while with child?" The baffled look on Thor's face told Loki exactly what manner of foolishness this was: the kind fostered by a complete and utter lack of common sense. "And what if you took a blow to your stomach?" he demanded.

"They would have to hit me for that to happen."

Thor's total belief in his invincibility was appalling. "And if you slipped?" Loki demanded.

"I do not slip."

"Aye, you do," Sif called, and the brothers both fixed her with irritable gazes, Thor for her interference in his affairs, and Loki because he did not want Sif overhearing any of this conversation. "The past three months, you've slipped up at least twice."

Loki turned his gaze, hard and unreadable, on Thor. Thor had the sense to look moderately chagrined. "To be fair, brother, I did not know at the time."

They had a crowd now, but not even a crowd could still Loki's tongue. "How did you not realize you are with child?" he demanded.

In retrospect, as he sat at his desk in his room staring blankly at several ancient scrolls, he realized how stupid that question had been. He realized he could not fault Thor when he had exhibited uncharacteristic idiocy. In retrospect, he wondered how everyone else had known when he had been so damn subtle and Thor so damn oblivious. Immediately following his question, Hogun, Fandral, and Volstagg had exchanged coin. So had half the body of warriors on the damn training ground.

The quill in his hand snapped.

"Perhaps you should work out some of your anger with a sparring match," Thor suggested from Loki's bed as he fit two pieces of wood in a three dimensional puzzle together.

"Perhaps you should be resting!" Loki snapped back. Thor only laughed and discarded one of the pieces for another.

For the first few days, yes, it had been amusing to see Loki stomp after him, glaring at everyone in sight. As soon as they had smoothed out their ruffled feathers and Thor assured Loki he didn't hate him (even if he still acted like it sometimes; the strange changes in his hormones made him snappish at the oddest of times), Loki began hovering.

When Thor left his room, Loki melted free of the shadows and walked with him. When Thor ate breakfast, Loki was at his side. When Thor walked down the hall, there was Loki. When Thor went to the bathroom, there was Loki. When he wanted a moment's privacy, there, too, was Loki, hovering, always hovering, and it was becoming damn annoying. Because Loki was demanding. Loki demanded he sit when he wanted to walk. Loki demanded he eat more chicken and eggs. Loki demanded he not consume quite so much red meat. Loki demanded he rest during the hottest hours of the day. Loki demanded he take naps. Loki demanded he not spar with his companions. Loki demanded he drink juice and water and milk and not the gods damned mead he so desperately wanted.

He loved his brother. He truly, deeply loved his brother. He reminded himself of that often, when he was furious with love instead of weeping with it, and he reminded himself that he couldn't haul off and punch Loki in the face.

But he wanted to.

"You're brooding, child."

Thor's fingers curled around the window sill and cracked the golden surface. "Mother," he said, tense. All he wanted was to be left alone, but one did not say no to the queen of the gods, especially if she was also one's mother.

"And you're hiding."

"I don't need to take a nap," he said defensively.

Frigga laughed, moving to Thor's side, and she placed a cool hand on his shoulder. "I wouldn't suggest it. You know what your body needs."

His body needed a good tumble between the sheets, but he wasn't about to tell his mother that.

"Loki believes he knows better."

"My darling, has it occurred to you that Loki hovers because he is worried?" Thor turned to his mother in surprise, and she gave him a gentle smile. "Your brother started this as a trick, and he likely thinks you will turn on him one day and decide you don't want this, or the child, or him."

Thor was stunned. "I would not do that."

"You have yet to experience childbirth," Frigga replied sourly, and Thor winced.

"That is something of which I remain unsure," he admitted, his hand sliding over the slight rounding of his belly. Six months along, and he only barely showed. He admitted it to no one, but it made him nervous. A woman at the same stage would have a much larger belly. "How shall I give birth?"

"Perhaps you will do as our cousin Zeus and have your brother split your head with an ax," Frigga suggested.

Thor's lips pressed into a thin line. "You are poor comfort, mother."

"I am honest," she said, lifting to her toes. Obliging her, he dipped his shoulder and she placed a kiss on his cheek. "You will be fine, my darling." There came the sound of footsteps against the floor, and she withdrew. "Now comes your brother. Do be nice to him."

"Thor? Thor!" Loki rounded the corner with an expression of relief and anger on his face. "Where have you been? Shouldn't you be resting?"

Thor looked helplessly at Frigga over Loki's shoulder. She lifted one brow in reply. With a sigh, Thor took Loki's hands in his and kissed his brother's knuckles. Loki had the good sense to look stunned. "I was merely waiting upon you, dear brother, to lead me back to my bed," he replied.

Loki's surprise melted into suspicion, but even that was quickly replaced by concern once more. "We will go to your rooms," Loki declared, with all the authority of a king. Thor bowed his head to his brother's pronouncement, allowing Loki to lead him away.

Loki discovered the only way to convince Thor to get off his damn feet was to get off his, too. It was annoying. He had things he needed to do. But he supposed it wasn't awful to sit in bed with a book in one hand while Thor lay between his spread legs, attempting a puzzle.

Loki had also discovered Thor delighted in three dimensional puzzles. He had a small collection of boxes and spheres cut up in different ways, and Thor had become obsessed with them. So while his brother attempted to put one of the cubes back together, Loki got to read his books, and the whole situation was rather pleasant.

"Does it seem odd to you," Thor began as he turned the half finished cube over in his hands, eying one of the loose pieces, "that I'm going to have your child and we've never even lain together?"

"We're lying together right now," Loki replied absently, running his finger down the length of the page to leave a magical bookmark. So many people turned down the corner of a page in order to mark it. The very idea of harming a page in a book was abhorrent to him.

"That is not what I meant."

No, it wasn't, and Loki knew it. "Well, and does it seem odd to you?" He turned the question back on Thor, resting secure in the knowledge his brother wouldn't have a prompt reply.

He was wrong. "Yes." Thor must have been thinking about it, because that one word came back far too quickly.

Loki closed his book and set it aside, leaning over Thor's shoulder to look at his abdomen. He was nearing his seventh month and finally seemed to have calmed somewhat. At the very least, the mood swings weren't so bad anymore – people's heads were no longer in danger of an intimate meeting with Mjölnir simply because Thor didn't like the way the table was laid out. Even better was that people weren't bothering them. Oh, there were bets on what the child would be, its gender and species both, but the bets were good-natured. The men and women of Asgard were, much to Loki's surprise, excited.

Demented, one and all, they were. But he, too, was excited in his own way. He wanted to see what his magic had wrought, yes, but also how Thor's body had influenced that magic. This was no longer about revenge for Thor's attention wandering away from him. How curious.

"Then you are asking me if I would like to have intercourse with you," Loki said, turning his head to regard his brother.

Thor was quite pointedly ignoring Loki in favor of the cube in his hand. Loki removed the distraction by making the whole thing, and all the subsequent parts, disappear. "If I have to start over—"

"Are you running from a battle, brother?" Loki asked, his voice like silk.

Thor turned to him with a scowl, but the scowl quickly melted away. "It was a passing thought," he said. "I did not—"

"Running," Loki taunted, a playful smile curling the corners of his lips.

"A son of Odin runs from nothing." A moment's silence passed between them. "You are truly jealous for me?"

Loki's fingers slid over Thor's jaw as powerful emotion welled inside him. He was like a small wooden dam holding back the spring water, freshly melted from the mountain, with barely enough strength to remain standing. It was almost too much to let out, but far too much to hold in. "Yes," he said simply, letting the dam break and shatter under the torrent of feeling. "Yes, I am."

Thor turned his face into Loki's hand and pressed a kiss to his palm. "I have found I am jealous for you, too."

At this, Loki laughed, almost breathlessly. "Who has interest in Loki when they could have the attentions of Thor?" he asked. The question was rhetorical, but Thor had no use for questions that required no answers. When he opened his mouth to respond, Loki kissed him, effectively silencing him.

They were a bit graceless about the whole thing at first. Thor tried to push Loki under him, but Loki would have none of it. They would do this responsibly, in a way that kept the child in Thor's belly safe.

Some part of him found the idea of responsible sex hysterical when it hadn't been sex that got Thor pregnant at all.

Their kisses were long and tender, tentative at first, but growing in boldness. Loki's fingers explored the sun-roughened skin of Thor's face, and Thor stroked the smooth expanse of Loki's throat with callused fingers. Once more, Thor tried to push Loki down, and Loki refused to bend, pushing back. "We do this my way," Loki said with steel in his voice. "You will not hurt yourself or our child in your overzealous need to win."

"This is not about winning," Thor protested.

Loki gave him an unapologetically determined glare. "With you, it is always about winning," he said, and he silenced further argument with another kiss. An elusive kiss. A tricky kiss. A kiss that Thor had to chase after to earn, that kept him distracted with the hunt and satisfied with the victory.

His slid his tongue into Thor's mouth only to withdraw quickly, and Thor groaned beneath him, fingers fisting in Loki's shirt. The shirt was torn off moments later, and Loki found he did not mind at all. He changed the tone of their kisses with a single shift in his body, taking them from something soft and gentle to something much harder, much faster. Their clothes were gone mere seconds after, mostly torn and discarded.

Thor was hard when Loki reached between his legs to stroke him. He moaned into Loki's mouth as Loki pulled at his flesh with long, slow strokes.

"Loki, this—"

"My way," Loki commanded, and Thor fell silent, hips thrusting into Loki's hand. Loki trailed hot, open-mouthed kisses down Thor's body, laving his nipples with his tongue and tracing every line of Thor's muscles. He closed his mouth over Thor's erection, and his brother nearly came off the bed.

Loki filed that away in the back of his mind. He did not want to forget the sight of the mighty Thor bowing and bucking beneath him.

He used magic to slick his fingers with oil, carefully opening and preparing his brother for him, all the while running his tongue over Thor's erection, taking him into his mouth and sucking. He was ever careful not to apply too much pressure, keeping Thor on the very edge while his fingers worked inside him. He had no intention of ruining their pleasure by rushing, even when Thor gasped his name and moaned for more.

When Thor was finally ready, Loki withdrew. He pulled his brother's hips to his, and Thor looped his legs easily around Loki's waist. Then Loki used magic to coat his length with oil and pressed inside Thor's body, and the heat and the tightness was almost too much to bear.

He wanted to thrust with abandon, to pound into Thor's body and claim it as his – swollen with his child, filled with his seed, after a fashion – but he dared not. He could not fathom hurting the child, hurting Thor, for he had no doubt Thor had never allowed himself to be taken like this, if ever he had lain with a man before.

It was a slow drive to their climax, but by no means a hard one, and Loki's fingers curled around Thor's erection once more, stroking him until he was finished. He came soon after, gasping Thor's name and shuddering.

For a long time after, they laid side by side, limbs tangled in the sheets, Loki's head on Thor's shoulder as his fingers drifted over Thor's belly.

"What do you think our child will be?" Loki asked.

"Mighty and clever," Thor replied simply, and Loki laughed.

Whatever Loki had expected of childbirth, it wasn't what was presented to him.

Thor shot out of bed like a bolt of lightning, and moved like a storm through his room, knocking things over and making enough noise to wake the dead. Loki watched him with confusion and concern. "Thor—"

"This is your fault!" his brother roared, causing him to flinch back. "And I will have none of you right now!"

Unsure how to respond to that, Loki remained in Thor's bed as Thor slammed his way down the hall.

Frigga appeared at the door a moment later, unnerving with her ability to simply show up whenever she was most needed. Perhaps it was the gift of a mother. Perhaps it was one of her powers as a goddess of Asgard. Perhaps it was something else entirely, and Loki was only wondering after it because he didn't know what else to do.

"You should go after him," Frigga said.

"He said he didn't want me," Loki replied.

"It is in the nature of all creatures who give birth to hate the one who aided in their state," she told him gently. "But it means all the more when the other parent remains, regardless of the venom."

Loki moved quickly, rushing through the halls in search of Thor, whose pain was evident in a quickening storm. It took some searching, but he found Thor in one of Frigga's gardens, a place they had played often as children. Thor sat in the center of the garden, arms about his abdomen, rocking back and forth. Tears tracked down his cheeks, and once again, Loki was struck by how much he hated himself for what he had selfishly foisted upon his dearly beloved brother.


He looked up as a mighty peal of thunder shook the whole of Asgard.

Loki knelt before him and took his hand. "Thor, I don't know…" He didn't know what to do, and it galled. He hadn't thought far enough ahead. Thor's body had made no preparations to bring a child into the world, there had been no changes. He was at a loss. "I don't know," he whispered.

"At least one of us does. Move aside, Loki."

And Frigga was there, a stern expression on her face. Loki slipped behind Thor, wrapping his arms around his brother's chest while Frigga knelt at Thor's side, her countenance softening. As it had never been pertinent, Loki had never thought much of it, but their mother was a goddess of childbirth. She would know what to do.

Indeed, her hands slid over Thor's abdomen, gently touching, a look of fierce concentration on her face. Thor let out a mighty bellow, cursing Loki's name, when she pressed down on one side, and Loki flinched, murmuring words of apology into Thor's ear. This seemed to help for only a moment, when Thor gave Loki a grateful smile, and then he was shouting again, and it felt like lightning was everywhere about them.

"Be still," Frigga commanded, and since Loki was not sure to whom the command was directed, he held Thor more tightly and froze.

Slowly, she drew her fingers from Thor's flesh, and from his body came a fine, silvery mist. As Thor groaned with relief, the mist arranged itself into a female form, with long billowing hair and eyes that were almost too large for her face. As Frigga sat back, the misty girl laughed, the sound bright and cheerful, and as fresh as a new sunrise.

She hovered in the air, her form transient and shifting, made up of what looked like snowflakes.

Her fingers danced through Thor's hair, and she blew it playfully into Loki's face. Loki, for his part, simply stared at her. She was strange, and in her strangeness, beautiful. Thor lifted a hand to her, and she placed tentative fingers against his. Where his skin touched her mist, little bolts of lightning flashed, and this made her laugh again.

She spun away from them, dancing across the air, until the thunder in the sky arrested her attention. She turned her face toward it with great longing, and Loki recognized her then for what she was.

"The north wind," he told Thor. "Our daughter is the north wind." He laughed breathlessly and kissed the top of Thor's head. "How will you call her?"

Thor was silent a moment, considering. "Mær," he said at last, and Loki laughed again, for the name meant daughter, and Thor was, as always, terribly uncreative.