Title: Protection

Series: sequel to Reflection

Summary: Tony never thought he would find himself panicking over the medical issues facing his pregnant Norse God lover, instead of working on upgrades for his Iron Man suit. He will forever blame the cat, especially since he discovered a "weird cat disease"…

Pairings: FrostIron (Tony Stark/Loki).

Characters: Loki, Tony Stark.

Warnings: MPREG, that is all.

Notes: This was meant to be a one-shot, but the second bonus chapter happened, and I couldn't stop it! Part two is only short and will be up in a few days… (more notes at the end of the chapter).

Disclaimer: I do not own or have any connection to anything related to Marvel or the likeness to any characters, films or comics.


"The cat has to go!"

Loki stops petting the intended animal and looks up when he hears the commotion behind him. He glances over his shoulder towards Tony, who pushes away the Stark branded laptop he was previously staring at. The trickster can almost guarantee, with a near 100-percent accuracy, what his partner is doing, and surprisingly it isn't what mortal men are usually found using the internet for. As of late Tony can no longer be found tweaking his suit or upgrading the Avengers technology, much to their dismay. All that he has been researching in recent months is the changes that Loki's body is undertaking, and what symptoms he will be suffering from as he reaches the third and final trimester of his pregnancy.

Pregnant, as in there was a baby growing inside of Loki. A real life baby. After everything they've seen, what they've been through, much doesn't surprise the Avenger's anymore. But then again, this was something else entirely, and it still shocks all who knows to this day. No one believed they were serious, they all thought it was one of Loki's practical jokes. God of Mischief, remember? After all, they were still weary of his "Prank of the Year", and this was something big enough to warrant that title. Every time the team assemble, they expect the trick to be revealed. They expect Loki's stomach to have returned to its previous state of flat, toned muscle, and to see him parading in his regal green and leather, not waddling around in sweats and baggy shirts. But it never has, and for six long months, the baby has continued to grow, astonishing the team more and more of the prospect of a tiny Loki-Tony hybrid running around causing havoc.

Once the couple had announced their news, and finally persuaded the other Avengers and Director Fury that they weren't absolutely out of their minds, it hadn't taken long for Loki to fall pregnant. Because of the changes Loki's magic had to make to his body, once the couple really started trying, it happened quickly. That change-up had been a lot of fun for both involved, but particularly Tony. Tony had a ridiculous amount of fun with Loki's shape-shifting abilities and didn't let that opportunity go to waste. At first, Loki had been worried that Tony would get used to his unnatural form and be turned off by his real body. But in fact it had the opposite effect on the playboy, he had only ended up appreciating him for who he was a whole lot more. That newfound appeal only continued to grow as the pregnancy progressed, the permanent glow that Loki's cheeks now held only increased Tony's attraction towards the mother of his unborn child.

Loki understands that Tony is just trying to be the best father he can, and he's not saying that his desire to be prepared is a bad thing. He appreciates massively that he wants to be so involved. The trickster can think of nothing worse than Tony losing interest and being left to deal with this predicament alone. That was something he had faced before, and it was something he never wanted to go through again. Tony waits on Loki hand and foot, every whim, strange craving, anything he could ever want, Tony is there in a moments notice. But sometimes — just sometimes — he can be a little overbearing, especially after he's found something particularly interesting on the internet. Loki has found himself victim to numerous onslaughts of Tony's ramblings about what new information he has found in the latest scientific studies, medical journals or simple newspaper articles. He has taken to nodding and pretending he understands.

Tony gets up from his place at the dining table and he rushes over to his pregnant God on the sofa. He picks up the cat from where he was comfortably sat on Loki's protruding stomach.

"Anthony, what are you blathering about?" Loki questions, as the cat is taken from him.

"He has to go," The genius says as he holds the cat away from him at arms length.

"Tony, I, I — why!" He cries, horrified at the mere thought.

"It is my duty to protect you," Tony states matter-of-factly, placing Mischief on the chair furthest away from Loki.

Still sat on the sofa, his feet thrown up on the coffee table — it's difficult to move anywhere quickly now — the trickster's eyebrows crease together in sad confusion, "And the cat is a problem, because?"

"I've been doing some research and I found out that cats carry a disease that can effect pregnant women and damage the baby." Tony had in fact read several articles and science journals, and was now convinced that he was following the best course of action, no matter how hard it was.

Loki folds his arms across himself stubbornly, resting on his bump, "But I am not a pregnant woman, Anthony, I am a pregnant God."

Tony stands with his hands on his hips defiantly, "The principle still stands. It is my duty to protect you and our unborn child, and if this is another precaution I have to take, so be it."

Loki feels his heart break; he can't lose Mischief, not now, not ever. "Tony, Mischief has been part of our family for two years now, you are surely not going to return him to his life on the streets? He would never survive. He would die!"

"No! Of course I wouldn't… I just—" Mischief is more than just a pet to the couple now, of course he wasn't going to just get rid of him, he just needed someone to look after him until after the baby was born. "I have an idea!"

Still not entirely sure what is really going on in his partner's mind, and with his raging hormones playing havoc with his uncontrollable emotions, Loki can only sit and wait for Tony to return after he dashes off to another room. He just can't bring himself to think about getting rid of Mischief. He's got so used to being followed by his second shadow and cuddling up to the ball of fur on the sofa on movie night. Loki has been there to witness Mischief grow from the scraggly stray brought home by Tony, to the majestic creature he has transformed into. He loves that cat like a child, Mischief being the reason the couple even realised they wanted their own baby in the first place. He was the piece that allowed you to complete the whole puzzle, everything else fitting nicely into place.

Half an hour later, Tony returns with a gleeful skip in his step, "I have found a cat sitter for the next few months!"

"If that will make you happy," Loki begins sadly, his eyes downcast, "Then I suppose I can cope with him living with a responsible substitute."

Tony chuckles lightly to himself as he thinks of whom he'd persuaded to do this massive favour for him, "Don't worry, Lo', they are definitely what you could call responsible. I wouldn't cause Mischief any harm, he can come home as soon as we've had the baby, and everything settles down."

"If you are sure…" Loki's head drops even more.

"Promise." Tony sees the sad look on his lover and he takes a hold of his hand, quickly reasoning with him more, "I promise I'll get the lucky sitters to bring him over so you can see him whenever you want, I just don't want anything bad to happen to the baby. I wouldn't do this otherwise, I love Mischief too."

Loki finally agrees and nods with a small smile. Maybe his lover is correct, maybe this is right thing to do. Unless Tony really thought this would prevent harm to their baby, he would never demand this. Cupping Loki's cheeks in both his hands, Tony leans down to press a quick kiss to the others lips. He leans down further and kisses the bump concealing his child. Once he sees Loki smiling again, he stands tall and returns to his laptop, this time set on continuing with his plans for the nursery. His protective nature kicks in and is absolutely convinced, that even with his most advanced technology, the crib is not safe enough. That needs fixing immediately.

The couple return to the state of comfortable silence they are used too when they are focussed on doing their own thing. Loki's agitated mind quickly loses interest in doing nothing, and since the remote is too far from him to reach without moving, he asks Jarvis to switch on the TV to one of the numerous news channels. Due to his developing headache, one of the more pleasant symptoms brought on by his pregnancy, he asks for the volume barely above a soft hum. The flashing images are enough to lull him to a light sleep.

As could be predicted, things don't stay calm in the Stark-Laufeyson household for long. Something always finds a way to disturb Loki when he finally gets himself comfortable enough to doze off. He jolts awake sharply; this particular disruption is certainly enough to warrant him crying out for Tony. His voice startles the engineer hard at work, "Tony! Quick, come here!"

"What— what is it, what's wrong?!" Tony jerks backwards in his chair, scraping it along the white marble floor. The sudden force of movement, makes it rock on two legs, until it crashes backwards. Tony ignores the fact that one of his damn expensive dining chairs has just broken to pieces behind him, he runs back over to Loki, panic surging his body.

"Quick!" Loki calls again urgently, "He's kicking!"

Loki's eyes are wide as he feels his child moving inside of him with a sharp kick. As soon as Tony comes within reach, Loki extends his arms and grabs a hold of his partner. Freeing one of his own hands by dropping one of Tony's, he pulls his loose shirt up over his bump revealing an expanse of smooth white skin. He guides Tony's hands until his palms are flat against his stomach waiting for the baby to kick up against the touch.

A small gasp emits from Tony's lips, his face contorting in pure amazement. As if in slow motion, he sinks to the sofa beside Loki, staring wide-eyed in astonishment. Tony's hands are still firmly glued to his lover's prominent bump as the small foot presses through the tightly stretched skin. Both tear their eyes from their hands to look at each other, hot, salty tears clinging tightly. Happiness floods their faces, washing blissfully over their entire bodies. Mischief struts over to sit beside Tony's feet, staring up intently at the joy on his owners' faces as they feel their baby move for the first time. Tony leans to rest his forehead against Loki's, both breathing deeply, utterly overwhelmed. The reality hits them harder than it ever has before. They really are having a baby and this unconventional little family will soon be complete.


The working title for this was in fact Weird Cat Disease… But then I decided against it…

I just want to explain briefly what the disease is:

Toxoplasmosis is a real parasitic disease, which is transmitted by cat faeces or by eating raw/undercooked meat. In pregnant woman toxoplasmosis can increase the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth. It can also cause blindness, deafness, and brain damage to the infant. To prevent the disease (in regard to cats) it's advised that pregnant woman avoid their faeces, including changing cat litter. Don't just take my word for it, Google it for more information, I'm no doctor! Getting rid of your cats when pregnant isn't actually advised, just don't change their litter tray. Tony however, is such a drama queen, he would definitely go to the extreme to keep Loki safe, and that entailed getting rid of Mischief for a bit.

MOST IMPORTANT NOTE:

I have one more story for this series, and I need to know: What are your feelings on "Smartass Family"? As in Loki and Tony are Peter's parents. Is that something people would like in the next story, or not? Let me know! 'Cause this baby needs a name…