It's nearing two AM and Fen has crawled into his bed, crying obscenely loud from a nightmare. Tiny arms are wrapped tight around his neck, and Loki has no doubt that the others will wake to join their brother. While he would rather his children not have nightmares, he would not have his life any other way. He has work at eight, but he'll wake up at six to make breakfast before getting the kids up at seven. Joel will protest and Hel will play dead, but Loki would have it no other way.

Finally, the shrill cries turns to wet sniffles, and he continues to run his fingers through unruly black hair. Loki glances to the doorway when movement catches his eyes. As he suspected, Hel and Joel are standing, peeking into his room, big eyes worried and sleepy. With a smile, he pats the bed beside him and smiles when they rush over, clambering in as gracefully as a stampeding buffalo.

Fen shifts to look at his siblings, and they grin in a way that leads Loki to suspect they planned this. Still, he cannot bring himself to mind, these three are the loves of his life. Even after a terrible day, he finds himself smiling while he helps them with their schoolwork.

It's quiet for a while, and when Joel asks for pancakes for breakfast, Loki agrees to make the special chocolate chip, snake-shaped ones. This pleases Joel, so he curls up under the covers. Scooting further down himself, Loki pulls the blankets over them. Hel has already fallen asleep, and Fen refuses to let go of his father but is half-asleep as well.

This? This is his life, and it is wonderful.

xxxxx

A/N: The prologue is very short, but it sets up the overall feel of the family. I hope to stay incharacter, though I have a bit of leeway as far as human Loki and Thor go, given the circumstances of the story. Uh, hope you enjoy. C: