"You're sure you don't want to sleep?" Thor asked for the hundredth time. "You have worked hard through the night, Jane. Surely you must be exhausted."
Jane just smiled on beside him, letting her head drop sideways onto his shoulder. They both sat on the sitting room couch, the top arch of the sun hovering over the line of the horizon and spilling new light over the house, giving the children their first sunrise.
All were dressed in fresh clothes, Thor and Jane in jeans and thick jumpers (Jane wearing one of Thor's because…well, who wouldn't?), the two babies in baby grow suits, one white and one baby blue, so they could tell them apart. Without their obvious anatomy differences on display, there was no distinction between the pair at all! They were identical.
"How could I want to leave this?" Jane sighed, staring down at the little blue soldier in her arms.
Her jumper was rolled up over her chest and her son was attached to her bosom, eyes fluttered closed as he fed. Jane smiled over him lovingly. It had taken forever for him to latch on, but with much patience – on Frigga's part and Frigga's part alone – he had finally caught on and fed, his little body warm in Jane's arms. It didn't hurt, like Jane had expected. More just a dull ache as the fluid left her.
Thor cradled their daughter in his arms, her tiny hands cupping his fingertip. Her legs kicked up slightly, bracing against his ample bicep. It was mesmerising watching something as huge and deadly as Thor handle something so tiny and precious with such care.
"I do not want you to over exert yourself, my love." Thor said softly, neither accepting nor rejecting her answer.
He looked and sounded like he wanted to say more, but a soft whine from his son cut him off and Jane felt it hum lightly against her breast. Her boy's head turned away from her, his tiny fist waving in the air aimlessly. Jane balanced him in the crook of her arm as she lowered her jumper down her body.
It'd had taken a feed to shut him up, his tiny lungs screaming to his heart's content since he'd been brought into the world. His face scrunched again and Jane thought her boy would yell again, but – to her relief – he just rolled his head around, arms and legs flailing adorably.
"What do we do now?" she asked, not sure who she was really asking it to. Her mind was still numb with euphoria, struggling to get to grips that these little angels were hers and would be forever.
She was a mom. A mother. The feeling of pride that swelled her heart was simply beyond words, nothing in the world to describe such an awesome feeling. She had two little beings that loved her unconditionally, that needed her, that depended on her, were helpless without her there… and she loved every second of it. They were so perfect, a dazzling clash of her and Thor.
Thor glanced up to his woman and son, letting his hand cup under his daughters head, holding her to his left breast. Over his heart.
His smile was soft and warm, an echo of peace. "Now we name them."
Jane's eyes flickered up to meet his, a gentle smile on her lips. He could see the excitement behind it, sparking in her calm orbs. For someone who'd just given birth a matter of hours ago, she looked remarkably alert.
His mother had retired back to bed, and he assumed the others had done the same. Or perhaps they'd been herded away to give the new parents space to grasp their miracles for themselves. Either way, Jane and Thor sat with their children in their sitting room, the fire blazing across the room, silence from the house upstairs.
Thor was grateful, wanting to get to know his knew family before he presented them to the world. Already some of their qualities were shining through: his daughter had the peace of a saint, while his son was demanding and hungry.
The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, Thor thought with a proud smile over his tiny boy, curling against Jane's body to sleep. Thor couldn't believe it. His mother had stayed up all through the night to birth him, feed him even through her weakened state as the sun rose – and yet the little one had the nerve to just fall asleep! Thor's smile widened, thinking of the arrogance that would one day grow into. Yup – definitely his son.
"If he is tired should we put him to bed?" Thor asked, unsure of what he was supposed to do. Then again, he reminded himself, there are no rules. Parenting varied.
Jane's eyes rolled down to her boy. "No, he'll be alright." She said, snuggling him more comfortably against her body. "I don't think I could put him down even if I wanted to."
The smile that blossomed over her face was simply heart-warming, and Thor suddenly wished his hands were free to hug his woman and draw her close. Then he glanced down at the tiny bundle he held and found himself torn between his two girls.
"I know we discussed this weeks ago…" his eyes lifted to Jane's, letting him lose himself in the milky brown depths. "Have you changed your mind?"
Jane's lips pressed together in a patient smile. Her head shook lightly from side to side.
Thor licked his lips, mouth suddenly dry. "Are you sure?" The names hung on the tip of his tongue, but he did not want to use them until he knew they were the ones. Once he spoke them it would feel final, something irreversible.
Jane's lips parted to reveal a loving flash of teeth, one she then angled down to her little angels. Thor saw the calm resolve in her glowing orbs – she was sure. She didn't need to say it. He let his gaze follow hers and was graced with a glimpse of Valhalla – his woman, his son and his daughter, all there together. All his. He shifted his little girl into one arm, cradling her tiny form effortlessly in his large frame, and looped his spare arm proudly around Jane's shoulders.
"I almost don't want to say it." He chuckled bashfully, unable to believe the weakness these two tiny creatures could instil in him. He loved it though. He loved them.
Then his little girls serene eyes moistened, and his face fell a millisecond before she burst into cries that must surely be testing her little lungs! She'd be able to level her brother in a shouting match easily, the god thought as he tried to rock her in his arms the way he had done to his howling son earlier.
"And there goes the other one." Jane sighed, feeling her boy stir in her arms. Her gaze stared at her daughter though, heart falling – she knew her daughters blissful peace couldn't last forever but… "Want to swap?" she offered, catching Thor's slightly panicked eyes.
He nodded vigorously.
Thor wasn't shoving off the babies onto Jane. He didn't mind tending to them when they cried… only the 'tending' didn't seem to comfort them in any way.
Jane seemed to have the knack. He wasn't sure if it was because she was the mother, they'd been unconsciously familiar with her for the last months, or if he was just simply incapable at dealing with upset children, but Jane was definitely better at soothing the babies than he was. Even their boy hadn't stopped crying after birth until his mother had fed him, despite the time rocked tenderly in his father's arms.
Perhaps that was it, Thor thought to himself as he gently juggled his daughter into the arm he'd freshly withdrawn from Jane's shoulders, and took up his sleepy son in the freed crook of his arm. Maybe their little girl was just hungry now, having waited her turn through her brothers feed.
Jane scooped up their girl and righted her, hugging her small body by her shoulder. "Come on, baby," she crooned softly, rocking the baby's tiny form comfortingly. "What do you want?"
"Perhaps she wants you to start calling her by her name." Thor's eyes playfully sparkled, lifting their boy to mirror Jane's position with their daughter.
Jane grinned back, watching Thor rock with their boy as he started to howl too and they had two screaming babies on their hands. Her head cocked to the side, and she stared at her son on Thor's shoulder thoughtfully. She understood what he meant now. About almost not wanting to say it. It was like this was all a wonderful dream and as soon as they established something solid, the illusion would shatter.
But they couldn't be called 'the babies' forever.
Lowering her eyes, Jane settled her daughter down in her arms, stroking a tender finger over the little face. "Astrid?" she tried quietly, the word sounding strange on her tongue.
One look at her baby though, and Jane knew it was the right name. Astrid. Everything about it was apt, the name just as fair and beautiful as its meaning. A smile blossomed on Jane's face as just saying it, a new found joy filling her now that her daughter had a name.
Beside her, she could hear Thor breathing their son's new name into his ear, 'Arik' sighing from his lips over and over again to the screaming child. Jane smiled on upon hearing it. Arik – like Erik, but a variant. They couldn't shake how the meaning of it had touched them, and Jane knew it was absolutely perfect for their little boy as she watched lovingly over their future 'merciful ruler'.
She reattached Astrid to her shoulder and hugged her tight, the feel of her child's little body in her arms soothing her heart. Her cries softened to whimpers.
Her eyes fluttered shut and she let her body twist at the waist, swaying round lightly in happiness. The smile hovered on her dreamy lips. She whispered and cooed comfortingly in Astrid's ear until the little girl had settled again, hiccupping cutely on Jane's shoulder in the aftermath of her upset.
Arik took another twenty minutes or so to calm down, and it took another transition to do it. Thor was more than happy to take his peaceful little girl back, planting a loving, smiling kiss on her tiny cheek as he cradled her again. Jane smirked on as she rocked her little soldier until his voice started to rasp and he finally gave up. A disgruntled look was on his face as she pulled him down from her shoulder.
"She's going to be a daddy's girl." Jane grinned at Thor, the powerful god just looking besotted with the little cherub as she sucked her tiny thumb in her mouth. Jane couldn't argue though – it was simply adorable!
The god lifted his glittering gaze with a grin and took in Arik's fist in Jane's jumper. Evidently, the babies had already staked in a claim to their favourite parent. He let his eyes fall back to Astrid, drinking in the completely contented look on her face, so innocent to the world, so happy just to be in her father's arms. Thor's heart ached in his chest. "She is never to date, Jane." He said bluntly. The idea of having to share his little princess was just… no, he wasn't sure he could do it.
Jane laughed at his side, her fingers trying to gently pry Arik's away from her sensitive chest. "That's like saying Arik's never going to fight. It's not going to happen, Thor."
"Just let a man try." The god growled protectively, settling his daughter more firmly in his arms. "And Arik will be the greatest warrior these realms have ever known. And one day, the greatest king."
"You get to go first, sweetie." Jane nudged his arm playfully, earning a wolfish grin in reply. "Get on with your own life before you start planning theirs."
Thor smirked and eased himself to relax back against the couch, feeling his soul glow with completion as Jane leaned against his shoulder as she had before. Thoughts raced through his head, unable to fight the excitable planning. He'd become king. He had to become a father his children could be proud of. He wanted to be the one conquering evil and keeping the peace, ensuring the worlds were right by his hand for his children. It was a task he could trust to no other.
His hand left cradling Astrid, leaving her to be nestled against his body by one strong yet tender arm. Thor's fingers gently peeled Jane's away from their son, and she adjusted quickly to holding him with one arm. She let her fingers ace with Thor's, loving the simple connection between them.
She looked up into his eyes, staring deep into the bright blue depths, blazing with passion. Her heart stopped in her chest – he'd never looked at her so intently before.
"But before I ascend to the throne, there is one other endeavour I need to accomplish." His deep voice rumbled warmly. The playful grin was gone now, replaced with the fierce determination that engulfed his features. His fingers squeezed hers. "I have yet to make you my wife."
Jane felt the breath catch in her throat and her lips hung parted, the words echoing in her head. Wife…oh my God, she breathed in her mind, had Thor just proposed? Her heart beat to life abruptly, thudding so hard in her chest it hurt.
Her voice came out as a squeak when she finally found it: "You…" she gulped and cleared her throat, trying again. "Really?" was all she could manage in the end.
Thor grinned afresh.
Jane couldn't take her eyes off him as he slowly leaned in close and touched his lips to hers, kissing her as gently as if she were made of glass. His tongue prised her lips apart, but still every touch was soft and caressing, their sentimental depth simply taking Jane's breath away.
Her heart was hammering by the time he pulled away, a lopsided grin plastering her features. She had to reaffirm Arik's position in her arms, feeling her body just numb with pleasure.
"Really." Thor smiled.
Jane was sure her heart would burst for all the happy emotions filling it, and set her heart down on Thor's shoulder again to stop it spinning so giddyingly. She had her man, she had her babies, and now said man in question was asking her to marry him – how could life get any better?
"Yes." She sighed over and over again, letting her eyes fall dreamily shut as bliss crashed her system. She hugged her baby closer to her body. "Yes."
Her eyes peeled open again to watch over her two little angels once more, freeing her hand of Thor's to reach in an tickle Astrid in her stomach. The little girl squirmed and squealed, the most adorable smile Jane had ever seen gracing her features. Oh yes, she thought, everything's perfect now.
The sun peaked firmly over the horizon and fresh orange light of the morning spilled over the threshold, bringing a homely comforting warmth with the light, illuminating the promise of a glorious future.
The first day of their new lives began.
Astrid and Arik won by a landslide! Bravo guys.
The end bit was spur of the moment, so I don't know if I'll end up taking it anywhere or not. Just sayin'. Unless, people ask me for it.
Thanks for reading! I tried my best, researched my heart out. It's tough writing pregnancy and birth stuff when you're a seventeen year old and have zero experience of what it's really like. Still, I tried. I hope it paid off.
P.S one more review and we're up to a hundred! :D be the hundredth person!