Thank you UnifiedNations for your suggestion. In response, I am beginning a series of one-shots that are sort of a follow-up of Loki, Mare Maiden but are not truly a part of my Loki's Family series. These mini-stories will feature Loki and Sleipnir bonding as child and parent. Once in a while other characters may sneak in, but it's mostly fluff between Loki and his baby. (though there is a fair amount of angst in this one) So without further ado, I present the first story of 'A Mother's Joy'. Hope you like it.

It was a difficult month for Loki. Sometimes it was all he could do to sweep the dark clouds from his mind and join the rest of the world. His family often gave council, in their own ways. Thor usually just sat there, awkwardly, not sure what to say. Frigg was a bit more helpful, as she too was a mother. Oddly enough, Odin helped as well, telling Loki to be strong and about his own troubles as a parent.

However, despite his family's best efforts, the younger prince often found himself unable to keep from dwelling on what could have been. Dwelling on what was now impossible.

When his mother had informed him of what Eir had discovered; that his womb was bleeding and if it was not removed, he might never recover; Loki could only weep. He wasn't sure he would have wanted more children, but no longer having the option hit him harder than he expected.

He knew it could be worse, Eir had told him that he would retain the ability to father children which is more than most had to hope for. Nevertheless, even her assurance did little to ease the hurt.

One thing did help, though, and that was the little, curly-haired, bright-eyed horse-boy. Sleipnir often called for his mother, and depending on Loki's energy that moment, he would either visit his son or the boy would be brought to him.

If he felt up to it, Loki would go down to the large stables where a luxurious stall had been added for the king's grandson as well as a comfortable nursery above for when the child felt like spending time in his Aesir form.

At such times, Loki's whole being seemed to light up. He smiled more, spoke more and even laughed once in a while. Always the doting brother –and now uncle- Thor would bring gifts of soft toys that his friend's and their siblings ad outgrown and watched Loki interact with his son. Sometimes he would participate in the games his brother played and stories he told to Sleipnir. Most of the time, though, he was content to sit back, heart warm at the obvious love between his brother and his nephew.

It was when he was alone with his son, however, Loki was happiest. He would hold the boy… and just talk. About his studies, traveling, Thor; anything that came to mind. And Sleipnir would listen, hazel eyes wide with intelligent curiosity. Loki could almost believe his son understood him, he was so attentive. He couldn't help but feel pride, even in this small sign of cleverness.

Sometimes, even Sleipnir would speak. He would say "Mama" and "Slay-per", or "Tor". He would even say "Gramma" and "Grampa".

Once, he surprised Loki by looking right into his eyes and saying, "Mama? Mama arigh'?" and Loki almost lost it right then and there.

Tears in his eyes, he held the boy close and answered, barely holding back a sob, "Yes, love. Mama's all right. We're all right. Everything is going to be all right." That, Loki knew, was the truth.