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Never Grow Up

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That it happens isn't much of a surprise to anyone. They're Avengers after all. They've seen weird. Hell, they've got two soldiers out of time, a man who turns into a giant green rage monster, two gods, a teenager who got his powers after being bit by a spider (like seriously?) and a whole bunch of weird people in their little rag tag family so they're basically experts in the weird department. To suddenly have Tony Stark as a four year old is actually less shocking than it truly is. After all, weird comes with the job description.

"So, you guys think can we reverse this?" Clint asked after taking one look at the frightened four year old in a too large shirt sitting next to the empty Iron Man suit after a long battle with some dude with magic abilities who Tony had called a Hogwarts dropout which is how it landed said genius in this situation in the first place.

"We should call Strange," Natasha mumbles after having allowed the shock to wear off and taking charge of the situation seeing as the others were still working on believing.

"How 'bout we stop talkin' 'bout him like he ain't a foot away from us," Bucky hissed at the team after noticing the way the child had curled into himself and looked at all of them with big frightened brown eyes and looking seconds away from bursting into tears. "Go call whoever ya need to call, we'll take care of this."

Natasha nodded and her and Clint headed off while the remainder of the team, Steve, Sam, Vision, Wanda and Bucky himself stayed with the kid who hadn't said a word to them since he was found by Sam five minutes ago. Steve had his 'How-Is-This-My-Life' look that he often got during weird situations either at home or on the field.

"Uh guys? Everything alright?" Bruce asked through the comms and Bucky realized that the man was still waiting on the QuinJet in case of a Code Green, but the battle had ended minutes ago and no one had informed him of what was going on with his science bro.

"We're done here, but there's been a problem. We'll be there in a few," Steve tells the man who makes an affirmative sound and then the team is all looking at each other wondering who's going to approach the kid.

"For fuck's sake," Bucky grumbled in exasperation before he slowly starts to close the distance between him and the child. "Hey kiddo."

"Who are you?" Tony asks in a small wobbly tone as he tightens his hold on his legs a tiny bit as he stares up at Bucky, gaze flickering to his metal arm momentarily and Bucky refrained himself from smiling when he saw the curious look on the child's face.

"My name is James, but my friends call me Bucky," the ex Hydra assassin says as he crouches down in front of the child with a comfortable distance between them to not keep frightening him.

"That's a weird name," Tony says honestly as he loosens his hold on his legs and scrunches up his nose adorably, relaxing a bit in the man's presence despite still looking terrified. "I like it."

Bucky chuckles at that, ignoring the gazes of their teammates on his back and instead focusing entirely on the situation. For people who fought with robots, aliens and whatever mutated creature that they came across, they sure didn't know how to act around a small human who the only thing that could do was kill them with cuteness.

"And what's your name? It's only fair that you tell me since I told you mine, right?"

"I'm Anthony."

"How do you want me to call you? Do you prefer Anthony, Tony or somethin' else?"

"Tony's good, I think."

After a few minutes of talking with the kid, who honestly was pretty close to crying after realizing he wasn't anywhere familiar (well more like he couldn't remember anything and wasn't that a huge ass problem all on its own), Bucky was able to pick him up with his consent and carry him towards the group of awaiting superheroes who'd pretended that they hadn't just eavesdropped on the whole conversation. Tony had merely clung to Bucky as he greeted the group shyly, Wanda cooing at the kid whose cheeks turned a cute rosy color.

"We should get him checked out by Bruce," Steve tells Bucky who nods as they begin to head towards the Quinjet with the metal armed super soldier explaining to the kid what was happening.

*

"There is nothing I can do to reverse this," Doctor Strange says after he takes a look at Tony who's being kept busy by the Cloak of Levitation though Bucky is standing close by because Tony wouldn't let him out of his sight without panicking. He was still scared of everyone else, but comfortable enough with Bucky which had really baffled the man since he has a metal arm and he really isn't good with kids since his post HYDRA days.

"Thought you were the sorcerer supreme or whatever shit?" Clint asked the man with a roll of his eyes and a scoff leaving his lips as he folded his arms across his chest only to make a pained noise when Natasha elbows him in the ribs rather painfully. "What?!" All she does is give him a look and he's left frowning.

"When I say that there is nothing I can do to reverse this, I mean it. This is permanent and even I can't pull off some miracle to revert him back to his original age. I'm sorry to say this, but your teammate will have to grow up all over again."

The room falls quiet at that, Steve, Natasha, Clint and Bucky all sharing looks while the kid version of their friend is playing some hand game with the Cloak. Their minds were trying to wrap themselves around the idea that this was it. This was their Tony now. No more three-four day science binges or silly nicknames or excessive amounts of coffee in substitution for actual meals. No more Iron Man.

"You could try getting a second opinion, but the answer will likely remain the same," Stephen Strange tells the group with a hint of annoyance in his tone and Bucky scoffed and rolled his eyes, now understanding why big Tony always complained so much about the man. "Whatever magic user you guys dealt with today was definitely inexperienced and probably didn't mean for this to happen. Even attempting a spell like this is very complicated and I'm guessing this was their outcome after trying multiple spells in one."

The team all nodded in resignation, turning to face the child who was now giggling as the Cloak tickled him and played with his hair.

"Now what?" Clint asked as he turned to face Steve, Nat and Bucky once Strange had left and Tony had gone back to curling in on himself and avoiding looking in their direction. "Our best friend just got turned into a four year old and is now forced to grow up all over again. We've got enemies out there who would do anything to get their hands on the child and I'm frankly freaking out here."

"Well don't. We'll call for a meeting, discuss what Strange told us to the rest and go from there," Natasha says in a low tone, sending a glare at Clint who nodded quickly and stole a quick glance at the kid who was playing with his fingers and looking around the medical area with wide brown eyes.

"In the meantime, we should probably feed the kid and see if the others managed to order him some clothes," Steve cuts in with a sigh, running a hand down his face in exhaustion and shares a quick glance with Bucky who nods before heading over to Tony who brightened up when he saw the man approach him.

*

Pepper and Rhodey arrive shortly after they step onto the communal floor where the rest of the team is, Tony clinging to Bucky's legs and hiding behind them as everyone's eyes fell on him. No one said anything for a few long tense seconds, before Bucky glared at them knowing that they were making the kid even more nervous than he already was.

"So," Pepper cleared her throat as she looked at them instead of the kid who used to be an adult and her ex boyfriend. "I ordered dinner, should be here soon. Figured you guys haven't eaten in awhile and don't know what to feed the little one."

"Thank you, Pepper," Steve tells her gratefully and she smiles at him.

Bucky tuned out the team as they explained to Pepper and Rhodey what Strange had told them as a small hand tugged at the bottom of his shirt. Looking down, he locked eyes with Tony who was squirming in his place a little and the ex Hydra assassin raised an eyebrow in amusement.

"What's up kid?" Bucky asked him quietly as he crouched down to his level, understanding that Tony probably didn't want to attract too much attention to himself at the moment even though his dancing was bound to attract their stares.

"I need to go potty," Tony tells him in a loud whisper, face showing how urgent he needed to use the bathroom right now and Bucky's eyes widened. "Please."

"Alright alright. Come on."

Bucky ushers the kid down the hall quickly and leads him into the large bathroom, briefly wondering if Tony would need help, but his silent question was quickly answered by the kid rushing in and closing the door after him. The long haired Avenger chuckled fondly and shook his head as he waited outside for Tony to finish his business. Down the hall he could hear Clint arguing with Sam about something that he'd rather not know about and Natasha groaning about immature boys. Just a somewhat normal day at Avengers Tower.

The bathroom door opens and Tony steps out looking relieved though his cheeks were a little more pink than earlier. He looked quite adorable in the too large shirt he was still wearing, a black faded Black Sabbath t-shirt that Tony had been wearing before the call to assemble had come through giving him no time to change into his undersuit before taking off.

"All done, kid?" Bucky asked him and Tony nodded. "Wash your hands?" Another nod. "With soap?" Nod. "You dry them good?"

"Bucky!" Tony whines, giggling after at the silly adult asking him all those questions. Bucky merely chuckled and motions for the kid to head back towards the living room where he can hear the sound of bags and Wanda complaining about the amount of Avengers merch they'd gotten the kid.

Tony ignores the mess on the floor and his eyes zero in on a slightly larger than normal stuffed bear with caramel colored fur and large black eyes sitting next to Clint on the couch. Bucky smiles as he watches Tony grab it and hug it tight to his chest once Clint tells him that it's for him. Guess they'd need to buy the kid some toys now that this was a permanent thing.

"Don't ya think you went overboard with buyin' all this Avengers merch?" Bucky asks as he eyes the many bags sitting on the living room floor with their faces on it. They all shrug and meanwhile Bucky keeps looking at all the clothes and toys they got Tony with an amused smile on his face. The team really were helpless with simple every day tasks.

They eat pizza for dinner, Tony sitting happily on Bucky's lap as he does so, finally relaxing enough to giggle and talk with the others and realize that they weren't going to hurt him despite them still being complete strangers to him. After that, Bucky bathes the kid and tucks him in the guest room on his and Steve's floor before telling FRIDAY to alert him if Tony woke up before meeting everyone else in the conference room on the communal floor.

"We need to talk about what we're going to do now," Steve begins once everyone is seated and going straight from Steve Rogers to Captain America. He was seated at the head of the table with Natasha and Sam on either side and Bucky next to Sam. Pepper sits at the other end of the table with her tablet and in full business mode with Rhodey to her right and the others filling up the rest of the seats. Only one remained open and they all avoided looking at it knowing that the person who normally sat there was up a few floors fast asleep and currently four years old.

"Doctor Strange said this was permanent?" Rhodey asks them and Natasha nods in confirmation.

"Yes. He can't do anything to reverse this either," Natasha informs Rhodey and Pepper who sigh. "Said we could look for a second opinion, but the answer would remain the same."

"If this is our Tony now, he's going to need a family that can take care of him and raise him," Pepper tells the team who all fall quiet and Bucky doesn't want that. He doesn't want for Tony to be taken away with some family and never see him again. "He's going to need parents and start a normal life as soon as possible. School and anything else a kid his age does. I would love to take Tony in, but with the company, I'm constantly traveling and I wouldn't want that life for a four year old or to be leaving him at home with a nanny."

"And I'm still military. I'm only here because I told them I had a family emergency," Rhodey says sadly, looking guilty at the prospect of not being able to offer the child who was once his best friend something more. "I mean I could take him and leave him with my ma while I'm away, but I would barely get to see the kid and that's not fair to him. If he's getting a second chance at a childhood, then he needs to get the one he always deserved with loving parents who won't leave him with the butler at every chance or neglect him."

"I could put him in the system and make sure he gets a great family."

"No," Bucky says quickly and they all turn to look at him like he's gone crazy. He probably has, but he's not going to let Tony get taken from their lives, not when he's already feeling protective of that innocent child. "I'll take in the kid as my own, but there is no way in hell I'm gonna let you send him off to someone else. He's still Tony Stark, just because he's a kid doesn't mean that we're gonna drop him off at someone's doorstep to deal with him because he's no longer useful to us. He did a lot for me and I'm not gonna turn my back on him now."

"Buck, are you sure? I mean, taking care of a kid isn't easy and-"

"Steve, you're not gonna change my mind," Bucky interrupts his best friend. "I'll raise that kid as my own. I won't be at ease if we send him off to some family even if Pepper did an extensive background check on even their ancestors. Tony doesn't deserve that."

"I agree with Bucky," Wanda speaks up shyly, cheeks turning a little red as everyone turns to look at her. "I-I know I had my differences with him at the start and up until now we still didn't have the best relationship, but he still opened up his home to me after everything I did and said to him and I wouldn't feel okay knowing that we just handed him off to someone else like he was just an old toy we no longer needed."

Pepper sighed and rubbed at her temples but even she felt relieved knowing that at least one of them was willing to stand up for Tony. The thought of having to find a family willing to adopt him had been scary to think about. She could make up a whole fake ID for the kid and still have whoever he ended up with find out who he really was and use that to their advantage.

"I must agree with Sergeant Barnes and Wanda," Vision says with a nod. "I do not deal with human emotions but even I understand that it would be unfair when he has done so much for everyone in this room."

"It's probably not that hard to take care of a kid and there's a whole bunch of us and we can all help look after and raise the Hobbit," Clint chips in, trying to convince the rest who weren't on board, which by the looks of it were only Steve and Natasha. "And honestly speaking, I wouldn't be comfortable not knowing if whoever decided to adopt him treated the kid right or not."

Pepper turned to look at Bucky, her expression telling him that she was thankful that he'd spoken up and he nodded at her in a silent form of reassurance.

"If you're absolutely sure, I will get my lawyers and start working up the paperwork for his adoption and deal with the rest of the legal stuff with them. Shouldn't take too long to get everything sorted out," Pepper tells Bucky who bods in thanks.

"I'm sure about this."

Pepper smiles and starts typing up an email in her tablet, probably to the lawyers and Bucky relaxes.

"Okay," Steve finally agrees. "But what about the public? What are we going to tell them? And Stark Industries? I don't think it safe to just outright tell them that Tony Stark is a child."

"I'll set up a meeting with the lawyers and PR team tomorrow to see how we can proceed from here, but for now we'll release a statement saying that Tony suffered some minor injuries in a recent mission and will be out of the spotlight until he recovers. After that the PR team will handle how we break this to the public. It won't be easy and assuming the PR team release a statement of what actually happened, you guys will have to be careful with Tony. There's a lot of people out there who could use this to their advantage," Pepper warns them and they all nod, completely aware that the next few weeks, possibly months, would be difficult to deal with. "As for SI, I will remain CEO until he becomes of age and can take over the company again if he decides to do so."

"God this is strange," Rhodey mumbles and the room is filled with soft chuckles at his statement. "What of his memories though? Does he remember anything from his past?"

"We were lucky that he remembered his name. He's pretty much a blank canvas and Strange said that his mind had been practically wiped so whatever memories he'll get will be from today onward," Natasha says as she looks at Pepper who nods. "No chance of regaining his old ones either."

"At least he won't know about all the traumatizing parts of his past life."

Once Steve dismisses them a few minutes later, Bucky walks towards the elevator and heads to his and Steve's floor.

"FRIDAY, how's Tony?" He asks the AI as he leans against the elevator wall tiredly and closes his eyes, still trying to comprehend everything that's happened in just a few hours. When he woke up this morning, who would have told him the situation they'd find themselves in by the end of the day.

This morning actually felt like so long ago. He'd woken up at around nine this morning and headed straight to the communal floor for breakfast where he'd found Tony sitting at the counter with a StarkPad and rambling to Bruce about some new project he was working on while the scientist worked on breakfast. Bucky had sat next to the engineer and smiled as Tony had leaned against his shoulder, complaining about being tired and Bucky had scolded him about proper sleeping habits. It all felt like a different lifetime now.

"The little boss is still asleep, Sergeant Barnes," FRIDAY replies quickly and Bucky thanks her as the doors open on his floor and he steps out.

He heads over towards Tony's room and peeks inside, a soft smile forming on his lips when he sees the four year old fast asleep sprawled on the bed like a starfish with his bear next to him and mouth slightly open. He's dressed in Hulk themed pajamas that Bruce had blushed at when they'd been pulled out of the bag. There was a small lamp on the nightstand that was on, casting a soft glow around the room and Bucky made a mental note to get him a nightlight.

"Oh kiddo, it's gonna be hard, but I promise to be the best dad I can be," Bucky says softly as he sits on the edge of the bed and traces a metal finger over Tony's palm, breath hitching a little when the kid's tiny fingers curl unconsciously around his in a loose hold and that's when Bucky knows that he made the right choice as the small action fills him with warmth and a kind of love that he's never experienced before. The kind that's so pure and unconditional. "Gonna give you the whole damn world Tones, because you deserve it and you'll never have to think about how much of a shitty father Howard was." Bucky leans down and kisses Tony's forehead before leaving the room quietly and leaving the door slightly ajar.

Steve gets to their floor an hour later and finds him at the kitchen island with a StarkPad and buying various things for the kid with FRIDAY's help.

"You should do that in the morning," Steve says in clear amusement as he walks over to the fridge to grab a water bottle.

"I'm not tired and I don't think I'll be able to sleep anyways," Bucky explains as he sighs and looks up at Steve who stands across from him with a slight unreadable expression. It's more like it's confusing and Bucky, despite his decades of training and of knowing the man, can't decipher it for the life of him. Is he upset that he decided to adopt Tony? Is Steve relieved? Happy? Jealous? He's not sure.

"You know, I'm real proud of ya, Buck," Steve eventually says after a few long stretches of silence as he sets his bottle on the counter and stares at his best friend. "I know I might have seemed like a real jerk earlier, but it's not about Tony staying with us because fuck was I terrified of thinking about him being sent off to someone else. I was just worried about you. Wasn't sure if you felt ready to take on this challenge when you just got cleared recently to join the team on the field, but you staying firm by your choice made me realize that you're more than ready for this and we'll all be here for you. We have your back because that's what family does."

"Trynna make me cry, punk?" Bucky teases though his voice sounds a little wobbly and tears prick at his eyes. Steve chuckles and shakes his head as he grabs his bottle and gets ready to head to his room. "Thanks though and I know I can count on all of ya."

"And who knows? Maybe this will get Loki to finally give you a yes. You know kids are great for attracting dates," Steve jokes and barely dodges an apple that Bucky throws his away as he rushes into the hallway, trying to keep quiet for fear of waking up the four year old.

"Asshole."

Chapter Text

"Congratulations, you two are now parents to a healthy and smart little boy," Pepper tells the couple sitting in front of her with a large smile as she slides a dark blue colored folder over to Bucky and Loki who look at her with wide eyes.

"He's- He's all ours now?" Bucky asks her in complete disbelief as Loki opens up the folder and stares at the legal documents that state that Tony is now Anthony Edward Barnes. Loki had been against adding the Lokison at the end no matter how much Bucky had insisted.

"As of today, you are now legally Tony's parents."

It's been nearly seven months since they found a de-aged Tony Stark and nearly seven long months of the adoption process. Loki had returned from Asgard two weeks after it had all happened, had taken one look at the four year old and had basically become Tony's second parent and the kid adored the God of Mischief. And to Bucky it'd been easy to ask Loki to sign the adoption papers with him so the two could have legal rights to the kid. And Steve had been right, Tony had helped Loki and Bucky to get closer until they eventually started dating, Loki made the first move after Bucky went MIA during a mission.

"And Steve signed the paperwork to be Tony's legal guardian in case anything happens to either of you, god forbid," Pepper tells them and they nod, still a little speechless and trying to wrap their minds around the fact that they had a kid. That they were a family now. "You guys are all set now, go be with your son."

"Thank you, Pepper," they both said before grabbing the folder and leaving the conference room that Pepper had called them into to give them the good news.

"He's all ours now, doll," Bucky says as they stand in the middle of the hall and he cups Loki's face in his hands, a large smile on his face.

"He is our son now," Loki repeats as he too smiles from ear to ear, his hands cupping Bucky's and meeting him in the middle until their lips crashed in an eager kiss.

"You sure we can't adopt Peter, too?" Bucky asks against Loki's lips and the mage chuckles and shakes his head before kissing his boyfriend again.

"Come, we should go inform Anthony and the rest of our family of the good news," Loki says as he pulls away from Bucky and starts heading down the hall towards the elevator, Bucky following a second or two after with a large grin on his face.

They find their son on the communal floor laughing loudly as Sam has him hanging upside down. Steve looks like he's about to have a heart attack or get up any second to grab Tony away from his friend while Natasha and Clint look a little too amused by whatever the hell is going on.

"Hi!" Tony greets his parents happily, waving at them with both arms and reaching out for them with grabby hands. "Help me!"

"What are you doin' to my kid?" Bucky asks Sam as he takes Tony and holds him on his hip, the four year old still laughing and his face bright red from hanging upside down for who knows how long.

"The shrimp thought he could sneak up on me, but no one can sneak up on Falcon!" Sam exclaims, jumping when Clint comes up behind him suddenly and pokes his ribs.

It just sends Tony into hysterics, nearly falling out of Bucky's arms from leaning forward too much. The others look at him fondly and laugh along with him, even Sam who's pride is probably wounded now that Clint proved him wrong.

"What did Pepper want?" Natasha asks the couple when they sit on the loveseat with Tony cuddled between them and playing with Bucky's phone, probably sending Peter silly Snapchat pictures like he always did. They'd all been together when FRIDAY had told Bucky and Loki that Pepper had requested their presence in one of the conference rooms about an hour ago.

"The paperwork is official, Tony is officially our kid now," Bucky informs the team, well part of the team since who knows where Wanda, Vision, Bruce and Thor are, who all congratulate the two and Tony simply looks confused about what's going on as he looks around at all of them.

"This calls for a celebration then," Natasha says as she stands up, a large smile on her face and the others quickly agree with her. "FRIDAY, can you order our usual from that Chinese place? And order a cake from that bakery we all love, please?"

"On it, Agent Romanoff," FRIDAY replies quickly.

"What are we celebrating?" Tony asks curiously as he moves to sit on Loki's lap, Bucky's phone now forgotten between them. "Is it somebody's birthday? Cause I like birthdays and we only eat cakes on birthdays."

"No kid, it's no one's birthday," Bucky says fondly as he moves closer to the two now that Tony vacated his previous spot, unaware that the others had left the room to give the three some privacy. "You remember when we told ya 'bout how we would like to be your parents?"

"But you are my parents, silly," Tony tells him with a small giggle as he cups Bucky's face in his small hands and the two adults laugh.

"You are right, Anthony, but it was not on any official documents and you remember when we talked about adoption?" Loki questions the four year old says that he remembers. It'd been a pretty difficult conversation one night a few months ago when Tony had asked about who his parents were and after explaining that they were both dead, Loki and Bucky had told him that they wanted to adopt Tony so he could become their son legally so no one could take him away. Tony had asked what adoption was and Loki had, a little painfully and with some changes to the story, used himself as an example. "Well, back then we told you that Pepper was helping us to make that possible and when she came over today, she gave us the papers that stated that you are now officially and legally our son."

"So I'm Anthony Barnes now?!" Tony asked excitedly as he looked between his mama and papa with big round eyes.

"Sure are, Bambi," Bucky replied with a smile as he locked eyes with Loki's stunning green ones for a brief second before Tony launched himself into Bucky's arms and hugged him tight. "You're all ours now, kid."

Bucky pulls Loki into the hug, pressing a kiss to the prince's head and then their son's. Now the next step in Bucky's plan was to ask Loki to marry him, but that could wait a bit more.

*

"I'm real happy for you, Buck," Steve says awhile later when it's just the two in the kitchen cleaning up the mess from dinner while Clint and Sam bicker over the video game they're playing while Tony cheers them on. Wanda, Vision and Bruce had returned to the tower just before dinner and had quickly joined the celebration. Thor apparently had gone to visit Jane so he'd be MIA for the next three days or so. "You've got a great thing going on for ya here."

"Yeah? I'm not so sure how I got so lucky, honest. Who knew I'd fall in love with one of my best friends and that another one would become my kid," Bucky says with a small chuckle as he shakes his head in disbelief and Steve laughs along with him. Even for Avengers standards, this is still pretty crazy. "Tony's really come to brighten up our days a little more. Remind us that not everything out there is violence and pain."

"He really has. We'll do good by him, give him the proper childhood he always deserved."

"We will. We won't make Howard's mistakes."

"Papa. Uncle Steve," Tony says as he walks into the kitchen looking annoyed and the two adults hold back a laugh. "Clint says to hurry your asses up 'cause we'll start the movie without you. And also mama wants popcorn. The caramel kind."

Bucky raised an eyebrow at the kid and said, "First of all, don't repeat everythin' Clint says. Second of all, your mama doesn't like the caramel popcorn."

"Okay fine," Tony sighs dramatically as he rolls his eyes. "I want the caramel popcorn."

"What's the magic word?" Steve asks the child with a smile. He was probably never going to get used to being called Uncle Steve. He'll deny it over and over, but the first time Tony called him that he nearly cried.

"Please."

Bucky, because he likes to spoil his little boy, sue him, got to work on getting Tony's favorite kind of popcorn. He doesn't understand how people like caramel popcorn, but to each their own.

Once they finish cleaning up and gather the snacks they'd need for their movie night, the three head back to the living room with Tony carrying his own bowl of caramel popcorn. The four year old sat next to Loki who shifted to be able to cuddle him and share the gray knitted throw blanket. Bucky and Steve handed off everyone's respective snacks before the metal armed soldier sat next to his boyfriend and child.

"So what are we watching?" Steve asks the room as he settles on the other couch with Natasha and Clint.

"Jurassic Park," Sam replies as he sits on the ground with his back resting against the couch Steve, Nat and Clint were on.

Somehow, Tony manages to convince his parents to let him stay up past his bedtime and before Bucky knows it, he's waking up on the couch with the time now being past eleven. Looking around the room, most of the team had passed out as well, Loki and Tony being no exception. The TV was playing a different movie but only Nat and Steve were watching.

"Loki, babe," Bucky calls quietly as he runs a hand through Loki's black hair to wake him up.

"I will stab you," Loki mumbles sleepily as he gets comfortable on the couch with Tony and Bucky smiles fondly.

"I know you will, but we should get Tony to bed. It's late and we can't sleep on the couch again, we don't want to deal with your bitchin' in the morning."

"Naughty," Tony slurs out as he struggles to open his eyes and glare at his father who rolls his eyes and ignores Natasha's amused snort.

"Yeah yeah, come on." Bucky picks up the four year old who lays his head on Bucky's shoulder and falls asleep right away.

Loki follows after them, mainly because Bucky grabs his hand and drags him along. Also because Tony's bedroom is on Loki's floor and Bucky is not exactly sure how that even happened, but some time after Loki and Thor returned post Tony getting de-aged, the kid decided that he wanted to stay on Loki's floor. Bucky suspects it's also because he made a face like he wanted to cry when Tony found out Loki lived alone since Steve, Bucky and Sam (when he stays at the tower) share a floor.

"I will get his pajamas," Loki says as they enter Tony's room.

The walls are painted a light gray with glow in the dark stars painted on the ceiling thanks to Steve. The full size bed was pushed up against a wall with Star Wars themed covers and his beloved Mister Snuggles resting against the pillows. There was a kid sized table with two chairs, one yellow and one red, by the large window with a half unfinished puzzle on it. A bookshelf with the whole Harry Potter collection along with other children's books, coloring books and puzzle boxes on it. His toy box was filled to the brim with toys and the lid no longer closed which should hint to Bucky that maybe they've been buying him too many things. The bathroom connected to Tony's room was also a mess with bath toys on the ground and dirty clothes overflowing from the hamper.

"Goodnight kid," Bucky says softly as he leans down to kiss Tony's forehead once he was changed and tucked in bed next to his bear.

"Have a good night, darling," Loki comes next with a soft smile on his face and the couple leave the room after FRIDAY turned off the lights, just a small nightlight that cast a soft blue glow around the room.

"I will see you in the mornin', gonna go make sure that Stevie and Sam don't spend the rest of the night on the couch or Clint draws dicks on their faces again," Bucky tells his boyfriend who nods and walks him towards the elevator. "Love you, sleep tight."

"Love you too," Loki replies and pecks Bucky's lips before watching the man go and then heading into his own room to change and go to sleep.

Chapter Text

The next morning Bucky wakes up late, having had decided the day before during the celebration that he would be skipping his morning run with Steve and Sam just so he could stay in with his family. So when he wakes up that morning, not only is he surprised that Loki's still in bed since he wakes up pretty early as well to do some yoga with Bruce and drink his tea, but he's also slightly surprised that it's Lady Loki next to him. So he slides a hand under her shirt and settles it on her waist, just staring at her peaceful expression.

"I can feel you staring," Loki mumbles without even opening her eyes or moving an inch. "And I did not realize I would have company last night."

"Well the loves of my life are on a whole different floor than me and after all the good news from yesterday, I didn't exactly feel like leavin' ya guys."

Loki smiled and moved closer until she could bury her face into her boyfriend's neck where she mumbled, "Just move in with us. Most of your stuff is already here anyways and you sleep with me three out of seven nights a week."

"I know, but I guess I just didn't want to rush you since we just got together not even a month ago," Bucky replies honestly as he moves his hand until it settles on her back where he traces up and down her spine. "But I love you so much it's crazy, Lo. If it were up to me, we'd go get married right now."

Loki let out a small tired giggle as she brought a hand up to rest on Bucky's bare chest where she began to tap out a random pattern with her index finger.

"So that is a yes to moving in?" Loki asks him as she pulls away from where she's hiding her face to look at her boyfriend with large green eyes and a small affectionate smile playing on her lips.

"A big fat yes," Bucky replies as a giant lazy grin spreads over his lips before he's rolling Loki onto her back and he's hoovering above her. "I say we go out for breakfast and tell Tony of the news of me moving in, first official outing as a family and have a nice day out just the three of us before comin' back and switchin' my things over."

"Lovely plan," Loki agrees, eyes slipping shut as Bucky leans down to press kisses along her neck and bringing her hands up to tangle her fingers into his long hair.

Bucky starts nipping at her neck teasingly, smirking when her breath hitches slightly and she brings her left leg up to wrap around his waist and pulls him down closer to her. He brings his right hand down to her bare thigh where he grips it a little tightly in the way she likes.

"You think we have time?" Bucky asked his girlfriend as he trailed kisses along her exposed collarbone and shoulder, the shirt she was wearing much too big on her thin body so it slipped. He was hard against her hip and all he wanted was to make her his.

Loki was about to reply when they hear tiny giggles and feet running down the hall towards the living room. Bucky groans and rolls off of Loki who laughs as she gets out of bed.

"Go take a cold shower, I will get Anthony dressed for our day out," Loki tells him as she heads for the door, using her magic to change from her sleepwear to dark skinny jeans and a white blouse.

They leave the tower about an hour later in one of Tony's less flashy and a bit more family friendly cars, the four year old sitting happily in the backseat humming along to whatever pop song was playing on the radio. Bucky and Loki blamed Tony's change in music preference on Peter and his friends since anytime the child hung out with them, he came back humming a new song that plays nearly every ten minutes on the radio. Tony's newest obsession was an Ed Sheeran song.

"Where are we going?" Tony asks curiously as he stares out the window, noticing that they're headed out of Manhattan.

"To breakfast in Brooklyn. You remember that little diner that we went to a month ago?" Bucky asked the kid who made a noise that indicated that he did remember.

"The one you an' Uncle Steve went to when you were Petey's age!"

"Such a smart boy, darling," Loki praised as she twisted around in her seat to look at the four year old who blushed at the praise but beamed at her nonetheless.

If they were going to fix past mistakes, Loki and Bucky liked to praise the child even if it was just a simple drawing of a flower or helping Peter with his math. They were proud parents, so sue them.

They reach the diner pretty quick, the morning traffic still not being bad. Tony walks happily in between his parents, holding their hands and still humming to himself.

"Darling, your birthday is coming up in a few weeks," Loki reminds Tony as the three sit and wait for their food. "Anything in particular you would like?"

"Dunno," Tony admitted and he really didn't need or want anything. He was happy now that he officially had parents and that said parents were finally together. "I want cake though. Chocolate cake."

"Of course you do," Bucky replies in between chuckles as he stared at the child who sat across from him and next to Loki. "No worries though, you'll get the best chocolate cake."

"An' I want Peter an' Aunt May an' Ned an' MJ an'-"

"Okay, no worries. We'll invite everyone you know and love. What about Fury?"

"Hmm, he's scary, but he gave me candy once so." Tony shrugs.

Their food arrives a few minutes later and Loki helps the four year old cut his pancakes into smaller pieces and stops him from drenching them in syrup. The last time someone didn't pay attention to how much syrup he poured over his pancakes, it'd taken forever to get the kid clean and for the sugar wear off. They don't need him bouncing off the walls all day.

"Anthony, your father and I were talking earlier this morning about something," Loki begins to say as she grabs a napkin and wipes a bit of syrup off of Tony's cheek.

"'Bout what?" Tony asks her curiously as he stares up at his mother.

"Your father is moving in with us."

"You're going to live with us now, papa?"

"That's right, Bambi. Your mom and I figured it was time now. What do ya think?"

"Finally! Uncle Steve says you guys are slow an' it's true." Tony shrugs as he grabs a piece of bacon from his plate and starts munching on it. "Said if it weren't for me you guys would still only be friends. Clint says you guys are dumb."

"What a lovely family we have," Bucky mumbles as Loki's face turns a slight shade of pink. She was aware that the rest of the Avengers thought that her and Bucky had taken forever getting together, but to have them talk about their relationship like that behind their backs and to their kid? Well frankly it was a bit embarrassing. "But yes kid, as soon as we get back to the tower I will be switching my things to your mom's room."

"An' does that mean I'll be getting a baby brother or sister soon?" Tony asks them innocently, looking at the two with big brown eyes.

"Uh that's not- we're not..." Bucky struggled to come up with an explanation as to why that wasn't happening yet because a) they definitely weren't ready to add a baby into the mix, b) they've already had this conversation and c) Loki's parents still hadn't met Tony and they weren't sure how Odin would react.

"Darling, we have talked about this," Loki says gently as she faces the child who frowns. "Maybe some day in the future, right now that is not in our plans."

"If you say so." Tony shrugs but doesn't keep asking and Bucky sends Loki a thankful look because he always freezes up with the awkward questions.

The rest of breakfast goes by fast and easy and Tony forgets about the baby topic. They're on their way to the car when Bucky's watch beeps with an Avengers alert and the adults sigh.

"Steve says he's sorry for interrupting our day, but he needs us both to meet up with the team upstate. Something about AIM causing trouble again," Bucky informs Loki who sighs and nods.

"Can I go to Peter's then?" Tony asks them with a hint of disappointment in his tone and Bucky wants to just say screw Steve, but the blonde also only calls Bucky and Loki out when they absolutely need them since the couple took a step back from active duty once Tony came into their lives.

"I will drop him off and catch up with you quickly," Loki tells Bucky who nods and watches the two disappear from in front of him in a green mist before he rushes off to the car.

*

"We will be back as quick as we can, alright darling?" Loki crouches down and reassures Tony who shrugs a little and heads inside the apartment, the mage standing up and locking gaze with May who smiles sadly at him.

"He's upset, but it'll go away soon. You guys have been called out more frequently," May says and Loki nods with a sigh. "He'll be fine, don't worry about him."

When May walks into her apartment, her heart breaks a little when she hears soft crying coming from a corner in the living room. Peter was out with his friends and she wasn't sure how long he'd be out, so she'd have to do her best to comfort the little boy.

"Come here, jellybean," May says softly as she sits on the couch and holds her arms out towards the child who's huddled in between the arm chair and book shelf.

Tony crawled out of the tight spot and rushed over to May where he started crying into her shoulder. The woman's arms wrapped tightly around the smaller body and sat him on her lap as she hummed gently. When Peter had been younger, the best way to calm him down was to hum a song and she'd learned awhile ago that Tony was the same way.

"They'll be back soon, jellybean," May says softly as she rocks the child back and forth. "You know they would love to be with you, but sometimes they get called in when the others absolutely need them."

"B-But it's scary!" Tony wailed as he pulled back to look at May who wiped his tears away. "Papa didn't come back that one time!"

And oh, now May gets it. It's only been about a month since Bucky had gone missing during a mission and hadn't returned until a week later. Tony was scared that the same would happen again, but this time to both his parents. Or maybe even the whole team. And she understood him because every time Peter went out, she worried about her nephew, but how do you reassure a child that his parents will be back without making it sound like a promise? She can't promise him that they won't get hurt or god forbid, go missing.

"Hey, it's okay. They'll be back in no time, you'll see," she eventually tells him, pressing a kiss to his forehead before pulling him back into her arms where he kept crying and calling out for his mommy and papa.

That's how Peter found them half an hour later when he returned. He immediately rushed over to them and asked what was wrong.

"Bucky and Loki got called in for a mission and Tony isn't taking it too well," May explains to her nephew who holds his arms out for Tony and May transfers the child over to her nephew.

"Hi spider baby," Peter greets him with a small smile as he presses a kiss to Tony's wet cheek. "You want to watch a movie? Take a nap? Build that LEGO set I told ya about the other day?"

Tony shook his head as he buried his face in Peter's chest and gripped his t-shirt tightly. Peter turned on the TV anyway and just cuddled his upset little brother, playing with his hair until Tony's grip on his shirt relaxed and he fell asleep. Even Peter was starting to fall asleep himself when there was a knock on their front door and May rushed off to open it before whoever it was woke up Tony.

"Come in," Peter heard his aunt say and he craned his neck to the right to see Bucky walk in looking tired and with a few scratches but otherwise okay. "Tony's asleep right now, but he was pretty upset after Loki dropped him off."

"Yeah ever since I went missing we've taken Tony to talk to someone once a week but we may have to up his sessions. The last thing we want is to keep traumatizin' the poor kid," Bucky explained as he walked over to the couch where Peter was sitting at with Tony curled up on his lap. "Hey spider brat."

"Old man," Peter greets him with a smirk and May rolls her eyes at the pair. "Where's mom?"

"Outside with Steve, took a nasty hit but refused to go straight to medical. Said he'd heal quicker on his own than with Bruce and Doctor Cho poking him," Bucky explains with a roll of his eyes and Peter giggles and buries his face in Tony's hair.

"Gee, I wonder where Tony gets that stubbornness from," May jokes and Bucky chuckles as he sits next to Peter to take the four year old from the teen.

"Loki and Tony are two peas in a pod," Bucky says fondly as he starts to gently pry Tony away from Peter, the kid whining at the loss of contact and warmth. "Shh, it's okay, Bambi."

Tony settled once Bucky had pulled him in close to his chest, mumbling something about candy and cheeseburgers which made Peter snort in amusement. Bucky stood up and settled Tony on his hip.

"Oh, we've got no school this coming Friday, so I'll be at the tower since Thursday evening," Peter informed Bucky who teasingly made an annoyed face that had Peter rolling his eyes and pouting at.

"Oh no, a whole three days with you and Tony causin' problems? I hope the place is still standing by Monday."

May laughed as she walked Bucky towards the door, Tony lost in his dream with his head on Bucky's shoulder.

"Thanks for watchin' the kid," Bucky tells May who waves him off with a smile.

"You know it's no problem. I love Tony and anytime you guys need me, I'll be here," May informs Bucky who nods in thanks and smiles back at her.

"We finally got the adoption papers yesterday, so Tony's legally our son."

"Congratulations, Bucky! You and Loki must be relieved."

"We are. Our biggest worry was somethin' happenin' to us before the papers came through."

"It all worked out though and I'm really happy for you guys. You're doing a fantastic job with the jellybean and I know that it isn't easy for either of you to get called out, especially now when he's been so sensitive to you guys leaving, but don't feel guilty about it. You guys are doing everything you can to make him happy and he understands why you two have to go out, he's just a little scared."

"Yeah and if Loki hasn't healed by now, Tony's going to throw a fit," Bucky informs the woman who smiles gently. "Thanks again for watchin' him."

"Go be with your boys."

"Tell mom I said hi!" Peter shouts from inside the apartment and the two adults laugh at the teen.

Once outside, Bucky finds Loki and Steve leaning against the car and talking in hushed voices. Loki's still got a bruise on his left cheekbone that's only getting darker and he's got an arm wrapped around his midsection which indicates at least one broken rib. While AIM wasn't usually a threat, today they'd put up one hell of a fight and everyone came out with at least one sprained body part. Steve himself was favoring his right foot, keeping his weight off of his left.

"Papa?" Tony mumbled tiredly, eyes squinting up at Bucky as he tried to blink away the sleepiness and the sun.

"Hmm, hi Bambi. Have a good nap?" Bucky asked the kid who nodded and wrapped his arms around his neck in a tight embrace. "Someone missed me."

"I always miss you."

"Adorable," Steve teases with a smirk and Bucky glares at him.

"Hi Uncle Steve! Hi mama!" Tony greets the other two now more awake and excited to see three of his favorite adults.

"You ready to go home, darling? We can relax and watch a movie while your father moves his things," Loki suggested and Bucky glared at his boyfriend while Steve laughed. "I am injured James, surely you do not expect me to help you lift heavy things. Be a good boyfriend, dear."

"Yeah Buck, don't be so inconsiderate."

"Do ya see this, Bambi? They're all so mean to me," Bucky told his kid, fake crying to gain some sympathy from Tony who all he did was pat his head a few times and laugh. "Unbelievable. Even my own kid has no real sympathy for me."

"Stop being dramatic and let's go home."

Bucky got Tony settled in the backseat and Steve sat next to the kid who immediately began to talk his ear off while Bucky took the driver's seat and Loki the passenger seat.

"You need to let Bruce run some scans once we get home. I know you can heal yourself, but you're exhausted and I'd rather not risk you turning yourself into another cat/bird hybrid thing like last time," Bucky reprimanded his boyfriend who rolled his eyes.

"That was once, James," Loki argued with a roll of his eyes.

"Nuh uh, princess. I've had enough traumatic experiences in my life, I don't need you addin' another one to the list."

"Crybaby."

Tony giggles from the backseat while Steve sighs, wondering why he got stuck with those two.

Chapter Text

It was well into dinner time when Bucky had finished switching his things from his bedroom to Loki's with absolutely no help. His boyfriend and son were curled together on the couch watching cartoons and Steve had claimed that his ankle still hurt (even though he was most definitely healed by now) while the rest were scattered around the tower tending to their own wounds. Luckily all he really had to pack were his clothes, a few books, a journal where he'd write down dreams or past memories and a few picture frames. Getting them sorted into Loki's room was what took longer because Loki's closet was full of clothes and not enough space despite the walk in closets in every bedroom being big enough to make another bedroom out of it. Once done, he walked out into the living room and sat beside the loves of his life with a tired grunt and Tony giggled from where he was curled up into Loki's side.

"All done, dear?" Loki asked his boyfriend with a smile as he turned to face the soldier who glared at him playfully.

"Would have gone a lot faster had you helped and made space in your closet. You have too much clothes, doll," Bucky complained and Loki rolled his eyes as he turned his attention back to the TV.

"Says the man who only wears the same t-shirt and sweatpants."

"I'm hungry," Tony informed them which promptly stopped their argument of too much/not enough clothes.

"Alright. What do you want for dinner, Bambi?" Bucky asked the kid who thought for a second, index finger tapping at his chin as he looked up at the ceiling and the metal armed soldier smiled fondly.

"Pizza?"

"Sounds good. Lo?"

"Get my usual."

"Still don't get why you like pineapple on your pizza," Bucky commented with a disgusted face that made Tony giggle as he watched his father. "Pepperoni is the way to go."

"It is the safe way, Barnes. Maybe you should try something different," Loki told him with a smirk as he turned to face his boyfriend who scoffed and shook his head. "Then leave me and my pineapple alone. You do not judge Barton for getting candy on his."

"But it's good, mama," Tony chipped in to the argument as he turned to look at his mother who sighed. "M&Ms are super good on pizza!"

"You see the type of people you leave our child with?"

"You're right. Tony, that's disgusting, kiddo."

Tony only shrugged and turned his attention back to his cartoons as Bucky told FRIDAY to place their usual orders from their favorite pizza shop. The three had decided to have a quiet night in to enjoy the rest of their Sunday before Tony went back to daycare tomorrow and the week started all over. Loki had recently taken to helping Pepper with SI stuff while Tony was at daycare and Bucky often found himself heading to the VA with Sam to lend a hand. Or often times the couple would take opportunity of the fact that they were kid free and get some adult time, which usually meant catching up on sleep or if they had the energy for it, sex.

"I don't wanna go to daycare anymore," Tony tells them as they're eating dinner sitting around the coffee table in the living room with the TV playing The Little Mermaid.

"May we know why not? Are you having trouble again?" Bucky asked the kid worriedly, watching as he picked off the pepperoni of his pizza before eating it, gaze never once leaving his plate. "Bambi, you like daycare and you know it's only for a few hours. Why don't ya wanna go anymore?"

"No one likes me. Since Teddy left I've got no new friends an' I sit alone everyday. Sometimes Ms Karen sits with me, but I feel lonely."

"Darling, why did you not say anything?" Loki says softly as his green eyes look at the child sadly.

Tony only shrugs and takes a big bite from his pizza to avoid answering. The two adults sigh and look at each other unsure of what to do. On one hand they could just keep Tony at home and wait until the new school year started in September but on the other hand, they knew Tony needed to make friends of his own and his therapist would scold them for not letting his social skills grow. Tony only attended daycare four days a week now, Wednesday's being his appointment with his therapist and Tony was always too emotionally exhausted to do anything afterwards so maybe they could cut back on the hours Tony spent at the daycare.

"Well how about you only attend in the mornings and your mama or I pick you up at around lunchtime. That way you can still spend sometime there and get to know the other kids better and spend less time," Bucky suggested, looking at Loki who nodded in agreement.

"I don't wanna go!"

"Anthony, you need to go. Once you start school in a few months we will not be able to reduce your time spent there simply because you do not want to go or because you do not have friends. You need to understand that you will not always get your way," Loki said a little more sternly knowing that a tantrum was quickly approaching. Loki was able to detect the signs much quicker than Bucky could.

"I don't wanna!"

"Bambi, stop it. Your mother is right. You'll only be at the daycare for another month and once school ends for Peter, he'll be able to spend more time at the tower with you and you won't even go to daycare unless it's absolutely necessary."

"No!" Tony cried as he threw his half eaten pizza on the plate as big fat crocodile tears rolled down his cheeks and Loki sighed. So much for a quiet night in.

"Go to your room, Anthony," Loki told the child who quickly ran off crying and Bucky ran a hand through his hair in frustration. "We are not going to give in to his demands, James."

"It's just daycare, Loki, it's not like he's missing anything important," Bucky tried to argue with his boyfriend who sighed and stood up with his empty plate.

"I will not argue with you over this problem, James. Anthony needs to understand that he will not get his way simply because he throws in a few tears. One thing is wanting to raise him better than Howard and Maria and another is spoiling him," Loki informed his boyfriend before heading off into the kitchen to drop off his plate.

"It's not spoiling if he's truly upset about attending daycare. I don't want my son to be upset."

"Then do what you want with your son but do not come crying to me when a thirteen year old Anthony decides he no longer wants to finish school," Loki spits out angrily as he starts heading down the hall to his room.

"Loki, darlin', that's not what I meant," Bucky pleaded as he headed after his boyfriend who slammed their bedroom door shut after him. "He's your kid too and I- I just want him to be happy."

"Go back to your old floor, Barnes," comes Loki's response from the other side of the door and Bucky sighed before heading towards the elevator where FRIDAY already had the door open.

"What's up with you?" Steve asked once he saw Bucky step into the living room where he was watching a movie with Natasha and Sam.

"Loki kicked me out," is all Bucky says as he drops down on the arm chair with a loud groan, Steve pausing the movie they were watching while the other two stare at Bucky with varying looks. Sam looked shocked that he'd been kicked out on their first day of living together and Natasha just looked disappointed.

"What did you?" The red headed spy asked with a delicate eyebrow raised.

And Bucky explained what happened and they all groaned in unison which only made Bucky feel a lot worse.

"First of all, Loki's right. You can't just take Tony out of daycare simply because he cried a few tears and told you that no one likes him. As tough as it sounds, he needs to learn that you'll not always be there to get him out of something he doesn't like," Natasha starts off as she leans back in her seat. "Second of all, Tony is as much Loki's kid as he is yours so in an argument like this, don't ever make it seem like Loki doesn't matter. Next time you make him feel like this, I will cut off your dick and feed it to you, got that?"

"Perfectly clear," Bucky says quietly. He wasn't even sure when Nat had become fiercely protective of Loki, but she scared Bucky.

"I don't blame Loki for kicking you out, man and I definitely won't blame him if he decides to poof your things back to your old room," Sam tells him with a shake of his head.

"Look, I love Tony and it hurts to hear that no one at the daycare likes him, but taking him out won't solve anything. Talk it through with his therapist first, I'm sure she can suggest something," Steve suggested Bucky who sighed and ran a hand through his hair.

"Maybe I'll ask Loki if we can bump up his appointment."

"Are you staying here then?"

"Yeah. No use trying to talk to Loki right now."

Meanwhile on Loki's floor, the mage was sitting in the couch by the window and staring out into the nightlife of the city just watching cars drive by when his bedroom door opens. He's prepared to tell James to get out when he spots a familiar head of brown curls enter the room and a soft sniffle follows.

"Mama?" Tony called out hesitantly, bringing a hand up to wipe at his eyes.

"What is it darling?" Loki asks as he motions for the child to walk over to him. Tony rushes towards Loki's side and gets up in the couch where he buries his face in Loki's t-shirt. "Are you ready to talk now without screaming and crying?"

"I'm sorry. I just don't wanna go anymore."

"If there is something else going on, you need to tell us, Anthony. If it simply is because you have no friends, let me tell you something. I did not have any friends when I was your age. All I had was my brother and mother, my own father did not love me and it was obvious he preferred Thor over me," Loki begins to say as he strokes the four year old's hair. "Many of the children on Asgard thought I was a weird child simply for wanting to read books instead of sparring. The Avengers are my first real set of friends in many many years."

"But Teddy was my only friend an' I miss him." Tony poured as he moved to sit on Loki's lap, curling up into a ball. "An' I guess Ned an' MJ are my friends too but they're lots older than me."

"But you will make more friends your own age, I am sure of that, darling. You just have to be patient, but if someone is bothering you at the daycare, you need to tell a grown up."

"I promise."

They fall quiet after that and Loki begins to hum quietly as he stared out the window, Tony starting to fall asleep until he remembers that his papa isn't anywhere to be seen.

"Where's papa?"

"He is with your Uncle Steven."

"Did you guys fight? Cause I don't like it when you fight. It makes me sad."

"I know darling, but it is normal for two people who are in a relationship to have disagreements. Your father and I will love you no matter what," Loki reassures the child who nods and lays back down against Loki's chest.

"Can I sleep with you?" Tony asks in a small voice, unsure if his mother would let him sleep in the big bed with him.

"Of course. Go grab your bear and come back."

Tony rushed off quickly and Loki was about to get up to get ready for bed when he noticed James standing by the doorway.

"I'll still sleep on Steve's floor, but I just needed to apologize to you, doll. I'm really sorry for our fight and for makin' you feel like Tony wasn't your kid. I-I didn't mean to hurt ya like that, Lokes," James says as he walks further into the room until he's kneeling in front of his boyfriend. "He's as much your kid as he's mine. You've been there on those long nights when he can't sleep. You've been there when he hasn't felt good and you've gotten puked on and you've been there for all the good times as well. Honestly, if it weren't for you, I don't know if I would have been able to handle this as well as I have."

"I forgive you, but do know that this will not be our first and only fight because we cannot agree on how to parent Anthony," Loki says softly as he reaches out to stroke James's cheek. "He is only four, as he grows, he will know which buttons to push to make us mad. That does not mean that we give in to his every demand. We do not need a spoiled brat thinking he can have everything he asks for."

"I know," James says as he turns his head to press a kiss to Loki's palm. "I just- I don't want this to go bad for Tony again."

"It will not, be we cannot show him to run from the problems. He had a friend and I am sure that he will have plenty more in the future."

"Papa!" Anthony shouted excitedly as he ran over to the two with his bear and dressed in his pajamas though his shirt was on backwards and Loki smiled fondly as James sat properly on the ground and opened his arms where the child ran into them. "I'm sleeping with mama tonight! Are you staying here too?"

"We could watch a movie," Loki suggested and that was enough for James to know that he was allowed to stay with them.

"Yay! Can we watch Big Hero 6?" Anthony asked his parents with a big smile.

"Sure can, Bambi."

Anthony doesn't last very long in the movie. He falls asleep halfway through, snuggled between his parents so James changes the channel to reruns of The Office before he turns to face Loki with a smile.

"You are a creep," Loki tells his boyfriend as he looks at him.

"What if we take a family vacation?"

"To where exactly?"

"Malibu. Tones has that new place he never quite got to use and we can set him up on a play date with Teddy while we're there. I'm sure it'll cheer the kid up. And we can take Pete with us, well after we ask May," Bucky explains and Loki chuckles under his breath. "I know you want too. I saw that new bikini you bought the other day."

"Asshole," Loki says without any heat but he agrees to James's idea. "I will talk to May about letting Peter go with us, you get the rest sorted."

"Aye aye, captain."

Loki sighed but smiled when James leaned over to kiss his cheek before the god settled down next to the four year old and fell asleep pretty quick.

Chapter Text

Tony doesn't attend daycare that Monday following his tantrum. Not because they're giving in to his pleads of not going back, but because they managed to get him an appointment with his therapist for that morning. While Tony was with the doctor, the two sat in the waiting room; Bucky a bit more nervous and Loki sitting calmly and reading a parenting magazine with one leg crossed over the other.

"Mr and Mrs Barnes, Doctor McGowan would like to see you now," the secretary told them with a kind smile and the two thanked her before standing up and heading inside the doctor's office where their kid was playing happily with a few Avengers action figures and a dollhouse.

"James, Loki, take a seat please," Doctor McGowan tells them as she points to two chairs in front of her. "I would definitely like to keep seeing Tony twice a week now, if possible. You guys did good in bringing him in today and I would like to move his Wednesday appointment to Thursday instead, give him a bit of time between visits."

"How did you see him today?" Loki asks worriedly as her eyes dart over to the four year old who had Thor flying up to the attic of the dollhouse to rescue a dog.

"Better than last week, that separation anxiety has been easing up. He no longer stared at the door for the entire session, so there's that," the doctor told them in a light tone which made the two parents relax and chuckle a little. "He still worries about you two every time you go out with the rest of the Avengers, but not enough to the point where I'd have to diagnose him with generalized anxiety disorder, or any other type of anxiety right now, but I'll still keep a lookout when he comes in."

"And the not wantin' to go to daycare thing?" Bucky asked her with a slight frown.

"I would like to keep an eye on that for the time being. Right now it could be because he's still missing his best friend and a part of himself maybe feels like it'd be replacing Teddy if he got a new friend so he doesn't try to interact with the other kids." The doctor looked at them as she adjusted her glasses. "Though once he starts school in the fall, I'll be able to get a better idea of that."

Loki looks over at the child who has Thor in one hand and a Barbie in the other. She bites her bottom lip to keep from laughing when Tony has the Barbie rescue Thor from an apparently evil Lightning McQueen.

The three walk out of the doctor's office a few minutes later with Tony happily telling them what he and the nice doctor talked about. The first session had been horrible, all the kid did was cry but the two adults were glad that Tony had warmed up to her by now.

"So where to now, Bambi?" Bucky asked the kid as they got in the car, Tony having insisted that he could handle the seatbelt on his own.

"Dunno," Tony replied with a shrug, yawning right after and Loki and Bucky shared a look.

"We should take the dog to the park. It is a beautiful day and the park is empty at this time of day," Loki suggested knowing that Tony got worried when there was a lot of people at the park which is why they tended to take him at times when they knew kids were either at school or somewhere else.

"Yeah! Can we go? I wanna go!"

"Sounds good. Let's go get Brownie then."

The three spend a nice day at the park with Steve, Natasha and Sam eventually joining them with lunch packed in a picnic basket and they all sit under a shady tree to eat the food they'd packed.

"How was today's session?" Natasha asked them as Tony ran off yet again with Brownie.

"The doctor said that his separation anxiety is getting better, but we will need to keep an eye out on his sudden dislike of daycare and the idea of school," Loki told them from where she sat between her boyfriend's legs.

"But he's certainly gotten a lot better since the mission where Bucky went missing," Sam commented as he looks over to where the child is playing happily with his dog. "He wouldn't even let Bucky go to the bathroom without crying."

"That was certainly a mess," Bucky grumbled as he nosed at Loki's hair which smelled of roses today. "Speaking of mess, the lady and I talked last night 'bout takin' a small vacation once Pete's out of school for the summer. Just for a few days so don't call us in for Avengers stuff unless it's end of the world or alien invasion type of serious."

"And where are you guys going if we may know?" Steve asked them curiously.

"Malibu. Hopefully we can get Tony to see Teddy and maybe that'll help him out a bit."

"That sounds lovely. I'm jealous," Natasha says as she lays down on the blanket they'd spread on the ground to be able to eat. "I'm heading out on a mission two days after Tony's birthday, it's a long one."

"Speaking of Tony's birthday, you guys planning anything?" Sam asks curiously as he grabs his water bottle and takes a sip.

"He wants chocolate cake. I was thinkin' just something simple at the tower with us, Pepper, Happy, Rhodes if he can come, May and Pete. Not sure if the kid wants to invite Ned and MJ."

"I'm sure he'd love to have everyone there, either way," Natasha replies with a smile as she sits up and reaches for the basket to grab another container with fruit.

"Who's that with Tony?" Steve asked them suddenly and they all look up to see the child talking to a woman with slight blonde hair and wearing a long dress and in an instant, Loki disappeared from her spot and reappeared next to Tony.

"Mother," Loki said a little breathless as she looked at the Queen of Asgard who smiles gently at her daughter, her right hand twitching like she wants to reach out for Loki. "What are you doing here? Does the All Father know you are here?"

"No, he's been busy recently so I have decided to come and meet my grandson," Frigga replies gently as she brushes a strand of Loki's hair back behind her ear and smiles lovingly at her daughter.

"Mommy, is that your mommy?" Tony asks Loki as he looks up at her curiously and Loki nods. "So that makes her my grandma, right?"

"That is right, Anthony," Frigga answers as she crouches down next to the four year old who smiles at his grandmother. "I apologize for not having come to meet you sooner, but I have been quite busy up in Asgard."

"That's okay. You're here now."

Loki doesn't know what to say. It's been awhile since she's had a good relationship with her mother, especially after finding out that Odin and Frigga weren't actually her parents.

"How long are you staying?" Loki asks her in a slightly cold voice, seeing Bucky walk over to them from the corner of her eye.

"Loki, don't be like this," Frigga pleads her youngest who shakes her head and relaxes once Bucky places a hand on the small of her back. Frigga's eyes flick over to Bucky and she smiles at the super soldier.

"What's goin' on?" He asks worriedly as he looks between the two women.

"This is my mother, Frigga, the queen of Asgard," Loki informs her boyfriend who smiles and shakes Frigga's hand. "Mother, this is James, my boyfriend and Anthony's father."

"It's nice to finally meet you," Bucky tells the queen who smiles.

"It is a pleasure to meet you as well, James. I can't thank you enough for making my Loki happy," Frigga says as she reaches a hand out to stroke Tony's cheek. "You've got an extraordinary young boy."

"The brightest little boy," Bucky agreed as he looks down at Tony with a fond smile and the kid was busy fiddling with the long sleeve on Frigga's dress while Brownie sniffed around. "And what can I say about Loki? She's the love of my life."

Loki turns to look at her boyfriend and smiles softly.

"Well, I must get going, but Loki, darling, bring Anthony and James to Asgard soon. I would love to see my grandson and son-in-law again."

"Will try," Loki replies which is either as good as saying "Fat chance. I'm not going to expose them to the All Father." or "Fuck Odin, sure, we'll visit." Loki's got two moods when it comes to Asgard and she only visited when she wanted to piss off her father.

"Goodbye Anthony, I hope to see you soon," Frigga tells the child as she bends down to be at eye level with him.

"Bye grandma!" Tony replies and to their surprise, hugs Frigga who doesn't hesitate in returning the warm embrace.

Once Frigga was gone, Tony ran off to tell the others of his grandma while Bucky turned to look at his girlfriend who looked upset. He wasn't sure if Loki was upset because Frigga had left or because of how strained their relationship still was.

"You should talk to your ma," Bucky suggests as he cups Loki's face in both his hands and forces her to look at him. "I know it hurts ya, doll, but she's tryin' and you're just tryin' to push her away. You were doin' the same with Thor until Tony came into our lives."

"I love Anthony, but it hurts to see my mother show so much affection to him when she never once cared about my other children," Loki finally tells him and Bucky can understand now why she's so upset. He knows how much Loki misses the others, especially since Loki can only visit Hela every now and then but not the other boys.

"Maybe that's why, doll. Maybe she doesn't want to make the same mistakes."

"Maybe, but, I do not think I want to take Anthony to Asgard and expose him to Odin. At least, not without Thor around."

"Whenever you want, just say it and we'll go."

Loki doesn't say anything and Bucky doesn't pressure her to. She simply leans up a bit to peck Bucky's lips before heading back towards the group with Brownie next to her.

*

The next morning, Tony watches his parents talk to Ms Karen at the daycare while he sits alone at the table that used to also sit Teddy. Now there were just three empty chairs and Tony tried to pretend that it didn't bother him, but it did. He always looked around the room and saw how the other kids laughed with each other and sat three to a table.

"Alright darling," Loki says as he kneels beside Tony with a hand on his back and a warm smile on his face. "Your father and I will be leaving now. I have a meeting with Pepper but your father will pick you up around noon, good?"

"Okay mama. Love you," Tony tells him softly and Loki kisses his forehead.

"Love you too, darling. Be good and have a great day."

Tony nods and then watches his parents leave the room. The small boy pulled out a book from his backpack and started reading where he left off the last time he'd been at the daycare while he waited for Ms Karen to hand out their first activity.

"How come you don't like to play with the others?" A girl asked Tony and he looked up from his book to see a girl with her blonde hair done in two crooked pigtails and she was wearing a purple Black Widow shirt and paint stained jeans sitting in the chair Teddy used to sit on.

"No one really likes me 'cause they think I'm weird," Tony replies with a shrug as he placed a bookmark in his book and closed it to give her his attention. His mama and papa always tell him to be nice when someone is talking to him.

"Just 'cause ya like to read? That's silly. I read lots, too," she says with a large grin, showing off a missing front tooth and it made Tony wonder when he would lose his own teeth. "My mommy says it's good to read 'cause it makes ya smarter."

"My mama said that too. I'm Tony."

"I'm Lizzy. Wanna be my friend?"

"Okay." Tony shrugged though he was unsure. The last friend he had had moved away and he was afraid this one would too. He didn't want to be left alone.

Tony learned that Lizzy had an older sister and a baby brother which made him slightly jealous because he wanted to be a big brother, but he supposed he could wait a bit longer. He told her how he had an older brother who was in high school and Lizzy's gray eyes widened and said that she was jealous because her older sister was only two years older than her and mean. Their conversation then lead to Avengers stuff and Lizzy said that her favorite was the Black Widow and Tony then told her that the Black Widow was his aunt and that his daddy was the Winter Soldier and his mama was Loki.

"That's so cool!" Lizzy told him as she bounced in her seat excitedly. "You're cool."

The rest of the morning went by quick and Tony found himself really enjoying Lizzy's company. When his papa arrived sometime after they had a snack and just before nap time, Tony was a bit hesitant to leave his new friend, but then his papa said they were meeting up with his mama for lunch and Tony said goodbye to Lizzy and rushed off to grab his backpack.

"Who's your new friend?" Bucky asked the kid as they headed towards the private elevator the team used, Tony holding his hand as they wave goodbye to the receptionist at the front.

"Her name's Lizzy an' she likes to read too. An' her favorite Avenger is Auntie Nat. She was even wearin' a shirt with Auntie Nat on it," Tony explains as he leans into his papa as the elevator takes them down to the garage.

"And you like Lizzy?"

"Yeah, 'cause she says I'm not weird."

Tony was too busy staring at the numbers changing to notice Bucky's sad smile.

*

"Hi mama," Tony greets Loki, wrapping his arms around the god and kissing his cheeks repeatedly which had Loki laughing as he held on to the child tightly before letting go so he could go sit.

"Hello darling, have a nice day?" He asks as Tony sits in the booth across from him.

"Mhmm."

"Tell him about Lizzy, kid," Bucky encourages the child as he slides into the booth next to Loki and pressing a kiss to his cheek in greeting.

"Lizzy?" Loki arches an eyebrow as he stares at his son who blushes and tries to hide behind the kids menu he was reading.

"She's new at the daycare and my friend. She likes to read too and says that Auntie Nat is her favorite Avenger," Tony explains to Loki who smiles proudly at his boy for finally making a new friend, even if he still looks a bit hesitant and like it's hard to believe that someone wants to be his friend in the first place.

"Well, I am very happy that you have made a new friend, darling. Lizzy sounds like a lovely girl."

Tony falls asleep on the table after eating half his grilled cheese sandwich and a few fries, his drink sitting untouched and the couple finish eating quickly so they can take their kid home.

"Pepper said she would help with planning Anthony's party," Loki says as Bucky drives them back to the tower, Tony still fast asleep in the back.

"She's a saint, I would have no idea what to do. There's too much to plan and frankly, I can't remember the last time I ever attended a kid's birthday party," Bucky confesses and Loki smirks and shakes his head.

"As I am not sure what even goes on in a Midgardian birthday party, I would be of no help either. Thor's parties always ended in stuff being destroyed and too much Asgardian mead."

"See, this is why we are the perfect team."

Loki merely rolled his eyes and gave out an affectionate sigh that had Bucky smiling wide.

Chapter Text

The days leading up to Tony's birthday are busy and stressful. Even though Pepper was in charge of most of the planning, Loki and Bucky had to help her come up with the guest list which now included Lizzy and two other kids Tony had befriended. While they were glad that Tony was making friends and his party would not be filled with just the adults, Tony hadn't been too sure of being friends with Alexander and Alana, twins who were just as shy as Tony and kept to themselves. They were great kids though and Lizzy, who was so outgoing and energetic, had brought them into their little group to be friends and now they were all basically inseparable.

Also with planning Tony's first birthday party with them and wanting it to be the best (it's not everyday you turn 5 for the second time), it was also hard going around and making sure no one had plans for the specified date. And with being superheroes, they also prayed to whatever god was listening, that no villains would decide to show up and ruin his big day, otherwise they would have some seriously pissed off Avengers.

"How was daycare?" Steve asked as he and the kid rode the elevator up to the communal floor on the Friday before Tony's birthday party.

"It was fun! Lizzy said a joke an' milk came out of Alex's nose! It was gross but so cool! Have you ever done that, Uncle Steve?" Tony asked as he looked up at the blonde who shook his head with a laugh.

"No, I'm sure it hurts though," Steve says with a slight chuckle and Tony nods.

"Alex said it did, but he was laughin' too." Tony giggles. And Steve's still surprised at how in such little time Tony has managed to develop a mix of accents. Sometimes it was more like the Brooklyn accent Bucky often slipped to but with hints of Loki's British one and other times a slight Russian one would come out from the lessons Bucky and Nat would give the child. It was amusing, but unique and so Tony. He was already shaping up to be his own little person, so different yet so similar from the adult Tony.

"There's my spider baby!" Peter shouts excitedly as he rushes out of the kitchen with a big smile and Tony gasps excitedly and runs off to hug the teen. It was early on a Friday, so Tony was surprised to see the teen at the tower when normally he didn't show up until sometime before dinner if Queens didn't need Spider-Man.

"Peter! Hi! Guess what?!" Tony asked as he crashed into Peter's arms with a loud squeal that had Steve and Natasha, the only two adults on the floor currently, laughing and watching the scene fondly.

"What is it?" Peter asked, humoring the child as he picked him up easily and tossed him into the air once just to keep him laughing.

"It's my birthday tomorrow! I turn this many!" Tony holds up five little fingers and Peter makes a dramatic gasp and widens his eyes which has the still four year old laughing hysterically.

"Wow! You're getting so big, little man. Are you excited to eat lots of chocolate cake?"

"Mhmm! My papa said it was going to have chocolate frosting as well."

"I can already imagine the sugar rush," Natasha comments and Steve sighs and nods in agreement.

"Where are my mama and papa?" Tony asked suddenly as he looked around the kitchen and living room in hopes of seeing his parents but the floor was relatively empty.

"They're out running a few errands, but they promised to be back soon and to bring pizza for dinner," Steve explains to the child who cheers at the mention of one of his favorite foods. Tony, if he could, would probably live off of just cheeseburgers and pizza. "Meanwhile, why don't you and Peter go play, but not if you have homework, Pete. Homework comes first."

"Aww, no fair!" Peter complains as he starts heading towards the living room where he'd left his backpack and where Brownie, who's been laying on a spot by the windows where the sun hit just right, perked up at the sight of the two boys and barked excitedly.

"No worries, Peter! I'll help you!" Tony tells the teen as he skips off after him with Brownie in his arms.

When Bucky and Loki step foot on the communal floor, they're not prepared for the mess that greets them. Peter's webs are all over the ceiling and walls and there's a toy car webbed to the doorway. Tony's crayons and coloring books are scattered along the floor and then there's one Steve Rogers who's fast asleep on the couch with marker drawings on his face.

"Your children are a menace," Loki tells his boyfriend before heading off towards the kitchen to drop off the boxes of chicken wings he was carrying.

"Oh, so they're only my kids when they're bad? Aren't you supposed to be the God of Mischief? Pretty sure that's all you, doll," Bucky argues playfully as he follows after his boyfriend with the pizza boxes.

They find the kids in the kitchen with Peter on the ceiling and Tony throwing grapes at the teen who tried to catch them with his mouth. Tony was laughing and it only turned hysterical every time he missed and hit Peter's forehead or eye, which was all the time. Brownie meanwhile sat by her food bowl and watched the two with as much resignation as a dog could give in a look.

"What in the world are you two doin'? Did ya kill Steve?" Bucky asks them as he sets the pizzas down on the counter and looks at the two boys with his arms crossed against his chest and a displeased look on his face while Loki fought hard to keep his proud look off his face as Peter got off the ceiling with a flip and Tony managed to hit Bucky's forehead with a grape.

"No, he was watching a documentary and fell asleep. Old people," Peter explains, scoffing playfully afterwards and it made Tony giggle and Loki's lips twitched upwards before he looked around the mess and he got serious again.

"And that meant that you two had to make a mess everywhere?" Loki asks them with a raised eyebrow and giving them the look that had the two boys immediately sobering up and looking at the god with wide eyes. That's why Loki's more of the strict parent because they laugh every time Bucky tries to give them said look. Peter had said once that it looked like Bucky was constipated every time he tried giving them that look.

"Um, no? Well, in our defense, Steve gave us candy so..." Peter trailed off with an awkward wave and the couple looked down at Tony who was literally bouncing in his spot.

"Steven!" Bucky yells and Loki waves his glowing fingers around and then they hear Steve let out an 'oof' as he falls to the ground from the couch and the two boys hide their giggles behind their hands.

"Oh. You guys are back! Oh," Steve says happily at first, but then his smile fades away when he sees the mess around the room. "Wow this place is a mess."

"You seen your face, buddy?"

Steve frowns for a moment before he rushes off to the mirror in the hall that lead to extra guest rooms and then they hear him exhale in complete surrender.

Serves him right, Bucky thinks in complete amusement on the inside while on the outside he stares at the two giggling boys like he has no idea what to do with them.

"You three will clean this up. Now," Loki informs them and Steve was about to complain, but one look from Loki was enough to send him scrambling away to find a broom.

Once the whole floor is clean, the five of them sit down to eat dinner.

"You excited for tomorrow, Tones?" Bucky asked the four old, though he himself is already feeling nostalgic at the fact that his baby turns five tomorrow.

"Very excited! I want lots of chocolate cake!" Tony tells them as he takes a big bite of his pizza.

"You always want chocolate cake," Peter says and Tony scowls up at him.

"Do not!" Tony argues and Bucky sighed.

"Do too!"

"Do-"

"Alright boys, that's enough," Bucky tells them, putting a stop to the on coming argument. "Just eat."

Peter and Tony go back to eating, their argument over chocolate cake now forgotten as they tease Steve about the drawings on his face.

"You'll both pay for this by the way," Steve informs the two who stop their teasing and look at the blonde super soldier with twin looks of suspicion that makes Loki chuckle.

The next morning Loki, Bucky and Peter wake Tony up by singing happy birthday to him with a chocolate cupcake and a candle on top. Tony whines at first, but when his eyes land on the cupcake, they widen and he sits up excitedly on his bed.

"Happy birthday, darling," Loki tells him with a smile on his face and he leans over to press a kiss to the child's forehead.

"You gotta make a wish, spider baby!" Peter exclaims as he gets on the bed and sits next to his little brother.

"Blow out the candle, Bambi," Bucky encourages the now five year old with something akin to nostalgia in his eyes as he holds the cupcake closer to his kid.

Tony thinks for a moment before he closes his eyes and blows out the candle, Loki and Peter clapping and cheering. Bucky takes the candle out and hands the cupcake to Tony who giggles and thanks them.

"Happy birthday, Bambi." Bucky leans over and presses a big kiss to Tony's chubby cheek which makes him giggle and complain about his beard.

Peter posts a selfie of him and Tony to his social media and captions it, "Happiest of birthdays to the best baby brother ever!!" MJ comments on the picture with "someone's getting old" and Ned leaves a bunch of heart emojis and the crying one.

For breakfast they meet up with the whole team plus Jane and Darcy, the latter two who had arrived earlier that morning and would be staying for a few days.

"Oh my goodness! It's the birthday boy!" Darcy shouted excitedly as she ran over to scoop up Tony into her arms. "My little baby is growing up!" She cried, hugging Tony tight and making him laugh uncontrollably as she kissed all over his face, no doubt leaving lipstick stains behind.

"Don't break my child, Lewis," Bucky says playfully and Peter and Loki laugh before wandering off into the kitchen where Steve, Bruce, Natasha and Wanda have helped make a big feast for breakfast.

"He's extra squishy, he won't break."

Bucky rolls his eyes fondly and follows after his boyfriend and teenager with Darcy still cooing at the five year old.

"Happy birthday, Tony!" They all shout once Darcy appears in the kitchen with the birthday boy who soaks up all the attention with a big smile, his arms around Darcy's neck.

By the time Tony is finally set on a chair for breakfast, he's been hugged and kissed much more than he can bother counting. He sits at the head of the table and Clint walks over with a dark blue colored party hat that says Birthday Boy in white bold letters.

"Be glad I didn't get you one that says Birthday Princess," Clint tells the five year old as he fixes the hat on his head and then hugs him tight. "Happy birthday, Hobbit."

"Thank you," Tony says with a giggle, the nickname no longer bothering him.

"You excited for your party later?" Sam asks Tony as they start eating their choice of French toast, pancakes or waffles with their side of fruit, scrambled eggs, bacon, hashbrowns and sausages. For adults there was coffee, or in Loki's, Wanda's and Bruce's case, tea and for the two kids orange juice.

"Yeah! I'm gonna play with Lizzy, Alex and Alana and it's gonna be so fun!" Tony tells them as he grabs his fork to eat his scrambled eggs.

"My baby has friends! Oh my gosh this is so exciting!" Darcy squealed and Jane sighed at her best friend in fond exasperation. "Can't wait to meet them."

Tony giggled and let his mama help him out with his waffles. Everyone could see how excited he was about his party and playing with his friends. Also, he was secretly excited to show off his big brother because only Lizzy had an older sibling, but not as old Peter and the twins' mom was having a baby, which totally didn't make Tony jealous. Nope, not at all.

Breakfast comes and goes and Peter takes Tony up to their floor to distract him while the others get the communal floor ready for the party. Tony's a big ball of excitement, running around and making it hard for Peter to get the child ready for his party.

"Tony!" Peter whined as he chased after the five year old with a pair of skinny jeans and button up shirt. "You can't go to your party half naked!"

"It's my party!" Tony shouted as he ducked out of Peter's hold and dashed down the hall again, laughing hysterically and Peter sighed tiredly.

"You really don't need any more sugar today."

*

The party is in full swing two hours later. There's a table overflowing with presents of all shapes and sizes, another table has the cake, candy, cookies and popcorn. There are red and blue balloons everywhere because of course Tony wanted a Spider-Man themed party. There were more grown ups than kids, but that was okay with Tony as he ran around with his friends and Brownie chased after them, excited to see so many new people. To Tony's surprise, Carol had managed to make it and he'd hugged her tight and refused to let go of her for a long while. He'd pouted a bit because she hadn't brought Goose to the party, but then Carol explained that so much people could spook the cat-like creature.

"Tony, mom says it's time for cake and presents," Peter says as he peeks his head into the room where all the kids were playing, a large smile on his face.

"Cake!" All the kids cheer and rush out the room, leaving behind a wide eyed teenager at the sudden stampede of four/five year olds.

"Come here, darling," Loki tells Tony as he extends a hand out towards the child who rushes towards his mama's side. "You ready to blow out your candles?"

"I want cake," Tony replies instead and Bucky laughs as he sits Tony up on a chair as Steve walks over to light up the five candles on the Spider-Man themed cake.

Lizzy, Alex and Alana stand in front of the table while the adults stood behind them and around the table and Peter stands with Ned and MJ off to the side with their phones out and taking videos and pictures of Tony.

"Happy birthday to you! Happy birthday to you!" They all began to sing to the child whose cheeks turn a cute shade of pink. "Happy birthday dear Tony! Happy birthday to you!"

"Alright kid, make a wish and blow out your candles," Bucky tells the child once they finish singing.

Tony closes his eyes and then blows out his candles quickly, apparently having already had his wish perfectly well thought out. Loki and Bucky only shared suspicious looks over the kid's head, guessing that Tony's wish probably involved the b word.

"Come here you big boy," Wanda says as she walks over to take Tony while Natasha walks over with a knife to help Bucky cut the cake while Loki and Steve handed the plates to the guests.

"So what'd you wish for, Hobbit?" Clint asked the five year old.

"Nuh uh, Petey says that wishes don't come true if you tell people," Tony warns the archer from where he sits comfortably in Wanda's arms, stroking her long hair with his right hand while glaring at Clint who rolled his eyes.

"Are your wishes from this morning and right now the same?" Peter asks as he joins in on the conversation with Ned and MJ.

"Maybe." Tony giggles and Clint huffs and rolls his eyes again. "Mama says if you do that lots of times your eyes will get stuck like that."

"Oh what does your mother now?"

"Lots. Mama's super smart."

"Listen Hobbit, it's about time you knew that parents lie to ya all the time."

"You wanted to say something, Barton?" Loki asked from behind the archer and Clint jumped in surprise while the kids and Wanda all giggled as the god stood there with a raised eyebrow and arms crossed across his chest. "Stop saying those kinds of things to my child before I make you say nothing but the truth for the next three days."

"Do it!" Peter and MJ both cried out excitedly and Clint shook his head.

"Oh no no! That'll get me in trouble. You know how many lies I've told this past week? Enough to make me a millionaire probably," Clint says as he shakes his head repeatedly and Peter snickers. "And enough to kill me."

"That is your problem. Anthony, darling, time for cake," Loki says as he takes the five year old from Wanda and starts to head towards the table with the teenagers following.

Once Tony gets his cake, he sits with Lizzy and the twins on the ground by the coffee table while the rest of the adults mingled around the floor. May was getting awfully cozy with Happy which had Peter looking at them weirdly.

"Your Aunt Natasha is so cool!" Lizzy tells Tony with a large smile. "And she's gots super pretty hair."

"The best," Tony agrees with a big grin as he shoves a big piece of chocolate cake in his mouth. "She's teachin' me Russian an' Clint said he'd teach me how to use his bow and arrows once I'm older."

"Are you gonna be an Avenger when you grow up?" Alex asked Tony curiously.

"Yes, but my papa said I have to be older than Peter, though."

"Wow, that's old," Alana said and Peter, who'd been walking past them with his own slice of cake, glared playfully at the four year old girl.

"A four year old just called me old," Peter complained to his friends who snickered. "I'm only fourteen, not as old as pops or mom."

"I heard that, Parker!" Bucky called out from a few feet away and the teenager turned to give him an innocent smile. "At least respect your mother."

"Oh James," they hear Loki mumble in exasperation from where he's sitting with Jane and Darcy who snickers.

By the time the party came to an end, Tony was fast asleep in Thor's arms and the entire floor was a mess of balloons, candy wrappers, wrapping paper, toys and food. The others were helping to pick up the mess and put the left over food away.

"Man, this kid got a lot of toys," Clint says as he looks through all the things Tony got. "Oh sweet! Nerf guns!"

"You're not five nor your name is Tony so put that down and go take this trash out," Natasha tells the archer who pouts and takes the large black trash bag.

Loki had finished cleaning up the kitchen ages ago and was now sitting on the couch next to Thor and drinking his tea while watching the rest complain about the mess. Bucky suspected his boyfriend had used his magic to clean everything up and was simply being a little shit right now by not helping them out.

"Doll, a little help?" Bucky asked as he sat next to Loki and buried his face in the prince's neck.

"Now why would I do that? It is not my fault you are all a bunch of children who complain more than they clean. I am sure you all would have been done ages ago," Loki tells Bucky as he takes a careful sip of his tea while Thor snorts quietly beside them, shifting Tony in his arms into a more comfortable position.

"I can think of a very good reason. Think about it, doll," Bucky says quietly as he nips at the pale skin of Loki's neck, smirking when the prince tenses slightly. "The kid is sleepin', Pete's out with his friends and we can have the whole floor to ourselves for, say, an hour at least? And it's been awhile and you know it."

Bucky sat up and smirked when he saw Loki throw a cautious side glance at his older brother, almost as if he were afraid the blonde heard everything. He hadn't though. Jane was sitting next to him now and the two were busy throwing heart eyes at the sleeping child while having hushed conversations. Thor, like any good protective older brother, always looked at Bucky with narrowed eyes when he made even the slightest suggestive comment at Loki. He'd gotten about three different shovel talks from the prince before he'd even started dating Loki and about a dozen more after. The surprising thing was that he'd also gotten a shovel talk from Bruce, which really was just him flashing his green eyes at Bucky who knew the Hulk would pop out if he hurt Loki. Natasha simply waved a knife in his direction and narrowed her eyes. Bucky might be the Winter Soldier, but the Avengers were pretty terrifying when they wanted to be.

"Alright, I suppose. Give me a minute," Loki says and disappears from next to him.

"Diva," Bucky whispers fondly and waits for his boyfriend to return.

Chapter Text

On their first morning in Malibu, Loki is woken up by a familiar metal hand on his bare back and soft lips trailing down his spine.

"It is too early for whatever you need, Barnes," Loki mumbles into his pillow with his eyes still closed and trying to shove his boyfriend away from him because he was tired and loved his sleep. Trying to wrestle two hyperactive children into bed way past their bedtime last night had taken its toll on the god of mischief, especially since James had been no help.

"It's technically eleven in the morning back home, so not really," James replies though he does stop kissing halfway down Loki's back and makes a thoughtful noise. "Though it would certainly be the first time we get down and dirty under the sheets this early."

"Was last night not enough?" Loki asked him, this time opening his eyes and glaring up at his boyfriend who threw him an innocent look. "I may be a god, James, but even I have my limits."

"You're no fun."

"Go feed the little monsters you call your sons and leave me to my beauty sleep."

"You're grouchy in the mornings," James comments but presses one last kiss to Loki's left shoulder which was the closest one to him, before moving to get out of bed. "Anyways, you up for pancakes?"

"How you can go from thinking about sex to food in span of sixty seconds, I will never understand," Loki says as he sits up, the thought of going back to sleep long forgotten now that he realized that James would not let him, the children would be knocking down on their door soon and unlike the tower, the sun was everywhere. He mentally punches adult Tony for not having the same blackout feature on the windows here like back home.

"I want food!" Anthony shouted from the other side of their closed bedroom door, banging on it in an almost desperate manner to which Loki threw James a look.

"Leave the hanky panky for later and feed us!" Peter shouts next and Loki laughs at that one while James turns a bright shade of red that only gets worse when the five year old asks what hanky panky is.

"Go deal with the boys while I get ready, dear," Loki tells his boyfriend smugly and James glares at him, though it's halfhearted at best and does as he's told.

It's ten minutes later when Loki meets up with the rest of his family downstairs. He'd been looking for something to wear when he decided that he didn't feel like Loki and instead more like Lola.

Lola Liesmith is Loki's official identity as a citizen of the United States. Passport, birth certificate and on any other legal document, it was Lola Liesmith and Loki had Pepper to thank for that. Loki's new identity had been made when he'd returned to New York post the Battle™️ as a solution for Loki to be able to stay without angry people demanding his arrest. To everyone outside of the tower, he was Lola Liesmith, an intern of sorts for the team. She was young and gorgeous and no one suspected who she really was. She also worked with Pepper and the PR team to clear Loki's image and to ease his integration into the team with minimal backlash. Of course there were still those who doubted about Loki's intentions, even today after he'd helped save New York and other parts of the world more than once, but everyone adored Lola. So Lola had stayed and she was now a loving mother of two with the best boyfriend ever.

"Mommy!" Tony cried out happily as he ran up to her once she entered the kitchen.

"Morning darling," Loki greeted as she picked up the five year old who wrapped his little arms around her neck and kissed her cheek.

"Mom!" Peter whines as he walked up to her, ignoring the pout Tony threw his way. "Can you tell your boyfriend to let me eat whipped cream with my pancakes? That I am a growing boy who needs sugar?"

"I'd let you if you didn't deem it necessary to cover the whole pancake in whipped cream and then add more sugar on top of it," James argues back from the kitchen and Loki winked at Peter before passing the five year old off to him.

"I will do my best," Loki whispers at him before heading into the kitchen. Between the two, Loki was the one with the sweet tooth and James the healthy parent. Loki always tried to convince James to let the boys have an extra cookie or slightly bigger slice of cake or an extra scoop of ice cream. She wasn't always successful, but she felt pretty confident right now given James's mood that morning when he woke her up.

"Kjære (sweetheart, darling, dear)," Loki purrs as she slides up to James and bats her eyelashes. "The amount of whipped cream Peter consumes is not even half of what you ate off of me that one time, so I really do not see the harm in him covering his pancakes in it." Switching to Russian had been a good idea and Loki knew it when she saw James's pupils dilate.

"That's illegal, babydoll, and you know it," James whined as he flipped a pancake before looking at Loki. "You know how I get when you speak in Russian. And also, that was considered blackmail, I am sure."

Loki simply smirked and raised a thin dark eyebrow as she leaned up a bit to brush her lips against James's in a teasing kiss.

"Hmm, think about it though."

And it works because as they sit down to eat breakfast a few minutes later, James places the whipped cream in front of Peter who's eyes widen in excitement and he thanks Loki before dousing his pancakes in the white stuff.

"Are we going to the beach?" Tony asks them as he refuses any help to cut up his blueberry pancakes.

"We are, so pack up your beach things boys, we're heading down after breakfast," James tells them as he grabs his cup of coffee and takes a sip.

"Yay!" Both kids cheer and were about to rush off to pack their things when Loki glares at them.

"Finish your breakfast. Beach after," she tells them sternly and the two children are pouting now but do as they're told.

It's an hour later when the four head down to the private area of the beach that came with the house. They were glad for it, because being who they are, they always worry about paps and fans and anything going wrong. And with a curious five year old who tended to wander off when distracted, well, they were glad they didn't have to worry about a crowded beach.

Loki lays out a beach towel on the sand while the boys immediately rush off towards the water despite Bucky telling them to wait. They'd dropped their things in the sand in their haste to get to the water.

"I told you to put sunscreen on them before we left the house," Loki tells her boyfriend in a teasing tone as she sits on the towel and works on putting her hair up in a messy bun. She was wearing that new bikini Bucky had been teasing her about awhile back. It was black with gold outlines and she wore a matching shirt dress cover up that reached her mid thigh.

"Why do you insist on wearing black to the beach?" Bucky asks his girlfriend instead, the sunglasses she was wearing hiding the obvious eye roll she definitely gave him.

"Why do you insist on bringing a knife to the beach?" Loki asks as she looks up at her boyfriend with a smirk and Bucky glared playfully at her.

Bucky lays down next to his girlfriend who calls the boys back and waves the sunscreen around.

"But mommy! It's gross!" Tony whines as he stands in front of her and lets her rub the sunscreen all over his skin.

"Would you rather be as red as a tomato?" Loki asks him and Tony only pouts further and Peter giggles as he rubs the sunscreen all over himself, quick and messy and Loki just knows he didn't get it everywhere and they'll have a whiny teenager complaining about his sunburns. "And complaining that it hurts?"

"No," Tony says in complete resignation and Bucky laughs at the child's expression.

Once Loki was done, Tony ran off with Peter and taking about making a sandcastle and the princess laid down next to her boyfriend who turned on his side to look at her.

"Why do you always stare at me?" Loki asks as she turns her head to look at her boyfriend who reaches out to remove her sunglasses so he can look into her green eyes.

"Because you're beautiful, you're my girlfriend and because I really love looking at you," Bucky lists with a giant grin on his face and wraps an arm around Loki and pulls her close when he sees her blushing. "So can we talk about the b word?"

"Birds?" Loki teases as she turns on her side, a smirk on her face and Bucky gives her a look. "Balloons? Hmm or is it possibly Brownie? I sure hope the team is feeding her and walking her, I would hate to return to a dead dog and be forced to buy Anthony that alpaca he wants."

"Okay, yes I hope so too, but you know what b word I'm talkin' about and I don't wanna say it out loud cause the kids might hear," Bucky explains as he brings a hand down to Loki's stomach and the princess gets a soft look in her eyes.

"Ask me again once Anthony starts school and we will see."

"But we are doing this, right?"

Loki nods and offers her boyfriend a smile, gasping in surprise when Bucky rolled on top of her and pressed a kiss to her cheek. They've been talking about the idea of giving the boys a baby sibling (they both secretly hoped to get a girl, they already had too many boys in their lives) since Tony's birthday party. Their son was five now and their teenager would be heading off to college soon, so maybe the two had gotten a bit sentimental and had brought up the idea of expanding their family. Loki just hoped that between now and then she'd be able to gather the courage to face her parents.

"Keep it PG!" Peter shouted from where he and Tony were walking along the shoreline looking for seashells.

"I'll be back," Bucky says as he kisses Loki softly before rushing off to chase after the boys who run off screaming.

*

Heading upstairs, Bucky finds his girlfriend sitting out on the balcony drinking iced tea and still in her bikini from earlier. He walks up behind her and leans down to kiss along her neck, relishing in the soft surprised gasp she lets out.

"The boys are sleeping downstairs," Bucky says as he sits next to his girlfriend who moves to sit on his lap, her legs on either side of his hips and her arms around his neck.

"They had a long morning at the beach," Loki tells him as she shifts on his lap, smirking when Bucky hisses and begins to harden under her so she keeps moving her hips until he's moaning. "Did you close and lock the door?"

"Y-Yeah," Bucky grunted as he slid his hands up her back until his fingers brush against the strings of her bikini top and he pulls at them until they come undone.

"Have you ever had sex outside?" Loki whispered in Bucky's ear, her hot breath making him shiver as he tosses her top elsewhere in the room and her hips keep moving in soft circles.

"Guess there's always a first time for everythin'," Bucky replies as he trails his lips down her neck, hands on her back and pulling her flush against his chest as he sucked on the skin between her neck and shoulder, intent on leaving a mark and letting whoever looked at her know that Loki was taken.

"J-James," Loki whispered his name as she tugged at his hair.

His hands trail down to her ass where he gives it a rough squeeze before maneuvering them around to get the bottom half of their clothes off and out of the way. He'd already been shirtless when he walked into the room, a part of him hoping things would escalate to this moment right here. Loki was on his lap, her tight heat around his throbbing cock and his hands on her hips in a bruising grip as he helped her move on top of him. Her cold hands were on his shoulders and their moans and grunts mixed together in harmony.

If Bucky was being honest, it was kind of thrilling to be able to do it outside, even if they were on the second floor and they had no neighbors for miles. But there was a sort of adrenaline to it that only spurred him on to fuck into his girlfriend with deep and rough thrusts. They were still careful though. They bit back their moans, muffled them on each other's shoulders and swallowed their noises in long messy kisses because they had two boys sleeping downstairs that they couldn't disturb.

Bucky's hands begin to move all around her skin, touching every inch of smooth pale skin as he moved his hips to meet up with her movements. His hands trailed from her back to her toned stomach and traveled upwards until they cupped her breasts and she let out a high pitched moan, hips stuttering and breath coming in short and shaky the way it did before she came. Bucky himself could feel the heat pooling in his lower belly and he sped up his movements to chase his orgasm.

Loki slumps into his body a few minutes later, breathing hard and exhausted after coming down from her high and Bucky's pretty much the same way. He barely has the energy to wrap his arms around his girlfriend's naked body, forever jealous that she didn't even break a sweat. It was one of the upsides of being a Frost Giant that he envies in places like Malibu or those heatwaves in New York that were unfortunately starting to become more and more common with each passing year.

"We forgot a condom again," is the first thing Bucky says to her when his brain switches back to on, still buried deep inside her and starting to harden again.

Loki giggles tiredly into his neck and shrugs.

"Maybe the b word will happen sooner than we both expected," is her reply before she starts moving again and he trails his hand down between her legs to rub at her clit.

*

"I don't like seafood," Tony whines for the millionth time as they head out to a late dinner just as the sun's starting to set.

"We're not eating seafood," Bucky replies for the millionth time as well as he drives them to an Italian restaurant that'd been recommended by Pepper.

"But you eat fish sticks? Logic," Peter grumbles moodily from Tony's right. The two had gotten into a fight just before leaving and apparently weren't going to make up anytime soon.

Tony whines and turns in his seat to hit Peter but the teenager catches his hand and pinches his side, careful not to hurt the child too much. Just as expected, Tony burst into tears and the two adults in the front sighed in exasperation.

"Maybe we should wait on the b word," Bucky tells Loki who sighs and turns in her seat to glare at the two boys.

"Knock it off. I will send you two to bed earlier than your normal bedtime if I have to and ground you as soon as we get back to New York, so either you behave and let us enjoy the rest of the night or I will have James turn this car around so we can go back home. Understood?" Loki scolds the two who immediately keep their hands to themselves and the only sounds coming from the back are Tony's sniffles. "Good."

They reach the restaurant a few minutes after that with no more incidents between the two boys. Bucky carries Tony inside the restaurant while Peter all but clings to Loki as they're lead to a table tucked in a more private area of the restaurant. There's two other families sitting by them and Bucky gives the mom of one of the families a sympathetic look as he sees her two kids arguing.

"You sit here," Loki tells Peter as she points at a chair and Bucky sits Tony across from the teenager so both parents were between them. "No more fighting."

"Got it," both boys reply quietly, slight frowns on their faces.

Tony doesn't even make it to dessert as he sits on Loki's lap and curls up, falling asleep right away. The teenager texts his friends throughout dinner and Bucky can only sigh, not wanting to start an argument with the teen about texting at the table during meals. Usually Peter's an angel that follows directions and is the poster child for the perfect kid, but days like this when he acts like an actual teenager who's moody and just wants to be left alone, he does the exact opposite of what his parents ask him to do.

"Maybe we should send them back and take the rest of the time for us," Bucky suggests to Loki, only half joking, as they walk out of the restaurant with Tony still fast asleep in Bucky's arms.

"Would not be such a bad idea," Loki mumbles as she opens the passenger door and gets in the car.

*

"I got Tony in bed and Peter's light was off so I'd rather not push him tonight," Bucky says as he sits next to Loki on the outdoor sectional on the deck area.

The mage was still in her dress from earlier, but her heels lay on the floor and her feet were up on the couch. There was a glass of wine in her hand and the bottle rested on the table. Bucky had brought a beer out and had unbuttoned his shirt, though he was thinking about taking it off completely thanks to the humidity.

"You're thinkin' bout something," Bucky tells his girlfriend who gives a soft chuckle though her gaze was locked on the pool.

"Wondering when my life became this normal," Loki finally replies after a minute, bringing her glass up to take a sip of her wine and she doesn't need to further explain herself for Bucky to understand. When did they become so domestic that they're sitting outside at nearly ten at night drinking alcohol after dealing with two bratty kids? "Five years ago I was trying to take over New York and now I am sitting here with the most feared assassin of the last century drinking wine and wondering if I should ship off the kids back to New York."

Bucky threw his head back and laughed. After this afternoon, Bucky was seriously wondering if they should send the kids back. The two boys hadn't stopped arguing almost all afternoon, though really Peter had been provoking Tony when he discovered the child's sudden jealousy over the teen getting affectionate with their parents. It was as amusing as it was headache inducing and it takes a lot for Bucky to get headaches since Hydra injected him with their version of the serum.

"Maybe we should. Let them stay here for the next five days and then the last three of our planned time here can be just you and I, doll. Gives us plenty of alone time to work on our little project," Bucky suggests as he wraps an arm around Loki's bare shoulders and pulls her into his side.

"Sounds like a dream. Being kid free for three days."

Bucky hums in agreement and places a kiss to the side of Loki's head. She shifts around until she can place her legs over his lap and cuddles in closer to him.

Chapter Text

Loki wakes up in the morning to the damn sun in her eyes again. She tried to roll over in bed in hopes of finding a shady part, but the whole bed was in the sun's way and she groaned. Wait, where was James?

She sits up with the sheets clutched to her chest and notices that James isn't even in the room.

"FRIDAY, is James up?" Loki asks the AI as she gets out of bed in search of underwear and a shirt.

"Sergeant Barnes is on his way up the stairs," FRIDAY replies happily and Loki thanks her as she sits on the edge of the bed to wait for her boyfriend.

The bedroom door opens and in walks James with a tray filled with food and he pouts when he sees Loki awake to which the mage chuckles fondly.

"I wanted to wake ya up and surprise you," James whines as he sets the tray on a desk and turns to face his girlfriend who's looking up at him in complete amusement. "Back to bed with you."

"Alright, I will humor you," Loki tells him as she gets back under the covers and fixes the pillows so she can sit up and lean against them. "Happy?"

"It'll do." James shrugs and picks up the tray again before taking it over to Loki and placing it on her lap. "Eat up. The boys are downstairs eating and talking with Clint who's askin' for some weird shit."

Loki chuckles and grabs the cup of tea first.

"So what is with all this anyways? Is it a special date? You know I am terrible with dates," Loki wonders as she looks at her boyfriend, setting the cup of tea back down and grabbing the fork to eat her fruit.

"Just thought my girl deserved a bit of extra loving today," Bucky explains with a shrug, a slight blush dusting over his cheeks and Loki can't help but to reach out and brush her fingers lightly against his cheekbones.

Loki purses her lips in thought as she looks down at her left hand which is holding James's, their fingers laced loosely and finally she says, "Thank you."

"What for?"

"For loving me," Loki tells him quietly, eyes filling up with tears that she refuses to release before she tells James everything that she's feeling. "When I was around Anthony's age, I used to see my parents and I would think that there was the perfect someone for everyone. That soulmates were real because I always saw my parents and wished for the same when I grew older. I grew up though and I stopped thinking fairy tales were real. I became bitter, you could say. Growing up in my brother's shadow and then finding out the truth about my heritage and I stopped believing in love. Stopped believing that someone could love me for me and look past who I really am because I was raised thinking that my kind were monsters." A tear rolled down her cheek that James gently wiped away with his thumb.

"You are more than my boyfriend, James. You are my best friend, the person I can trust the most with my deepest secrets and you are the one person I want to spend the rest of my life with. Because you understand me and despite everything, you were never afraid of me."

"Hey, listen to me," James says softly as he moves the tray to the side and shifts closer to his girlfriend and cups her face in his hands. "You don't need to thank me, doll. I love you and everyday that I wake up next to you, I can't help but to think that I'm so damn lucky to have ya. After everything we've been through, we were just two broken souls tryin' to find someone that would make us whole again and we're here right now stitchin' each other back up day by day. You and the boys are the best damn thing to happen to me and I can't thank life enough for puttin' you guys in my path."

Loki sniffled a few times before throwing herself at James and wrapping her arms around his neck. James buried his face into her neck and pulled her onto his lap.

"I apologize for getting so emotional," Loki says into his shoulder. "I just have never had someone treat me as well as you do. Makes me feel special."

"That's 'cause you are, babydoll. No one ever told you or showed it, but you're so damn special," James whispered in her ear before pressing a kiss to the side of her head. "Love you so so much and I'll never get tired of sayin' it."

"I love you too."

*

"Are you going to buy something for your friends?" Loki asks Peter as they walk around a mall. "MJ perhaps? Get her something nice?"

"Mom," Peter whined with his face a bright red that made Loki laugh.

"Doll, don't embarrass our teen without the rest of our family present to witness this," Bucky scolds his girlfriend playfully and Peter pouts which makes Tony giggle. "You better buy your friends somethin' kid. At least a keychain or a postcard wishing they were here or whatever it is they write these days."

"Get them something nice, darling. Ignore your father."

"As I always do," Peter mumbles under his breath before smiling up at Bucky innocently when the super soldier punches his shoulder lightly.

"Can I buy candy? I want candy," Tony tells them as he spots a candy store up ahead.

They were in Los Angeles today and for the next two days. After yesterday's emotional morning, the couple had decided to take the kids down to a more public area of the beach where they'd spent nearly all day and then in the evening they'd made some s'mores after finding out that Loki didn't know what they were and Bucky hadn't had s'mores. Like ever and well Tony didn't even remember what they were so Peter had basically died on the spot.

"You can pick a few things out, Bambi, but keep in mind that Clint's probably going to steal most of it anyways."

"That's okay. I wanna get some candy for Clint too," Tony says with a shrug as they enter the candy shop which just by looking around is giving Bucky cavities and diabetes.

"You want anythin'?" Bucky asks his girlfriend as he laces their fingers together as they walk after the boys who had grabbed a basket to put their candy in which meant they'd be going overboard.

"I may have a sweet tooth but candy is disgusting," Loki replies and she even scrunches up her nose at the rows of chocolate, gummy bears and other sweet treats which makes Bucky laugh at her reaction.

"Fancy running into you guys here," a voice that they hadn't heard in so long said and the couple turned to find Marcos, Maggie and their two kids; Teddy and Samantha who was in her stroller and much bigger than the last time they'd seen the family of four.

"Tony!" Teddy shouts excitedly as he rushes past the adults and goes over to hug the five year old who dropped a box of gummy worms to hug his best friend.

"Huh, what a small world," Bucky said in a slightly suspicious tone as he unconsciously tightened his hold on Loki's hand.

There was something about the couple that had never made Bucky to fully trust them. Marcos smiles with too much teeth, making him seem almost predatory and Maggie had the picture perfect look of innocence and obliviousness. She looked like she was trying too hard to seem like a submissive wife and looking at her was like seeing a 50's housewife. It was terrifying.

"Marcos. Maggie, hi. It's been awhile," Bucky greets them, shaking Marcos'a hand first and then Maggie's.

"Hello," Loki greeted with forced politeness that only Bucky could detect and he secretly smirked. Apparently he wasn't the only one who got a bad vibe from the couple.

"Over seven months since we last saw each other," Maggie agreed. "How's everything?"

"Pretty good. On vacation right now before the kids start up a new school year," Bucky says as he casts a look over at the boys who are giggling about something though he could see Peter throwing side glances at Teddy's parents.

"How long are you guys in LA for?" Marcos asked, looking at Loki in a way that Bucky didn't like. Marcos eyed the mage up and down, gaze lingering on her pale legs that were exposed from the romper she was wearing.

"Today's our last day," Loki lied easily. "We have to head back to New York tomorrow."

"Such a shame. It would have been nice to get together for dinner or go on a double date," Maggie lamented with a slight pout though it was noticeably more fake than Loki's politeness.

"Such a shame."

Bucky heard Peter snort as he approached them with the other two kids in tow, a bag full of candy in his left hand. Tony and Teddy were still talking and giggling, holding hands and it made Bucky smile despite the two creepy adults in front of him.

"Did you buy the whole store?" Loki asked the teen with a slight glare as she eyed the bag.

"Uh no, what a crazy idea. More like half of the store," Peter explained with a slight shrug and Bucky sighed.

"Mommy," Tony whines as he walks up to his parents, but not before sending a small glare Peter's way and lifting his little arms up towards Loki who sighed. Apparently jealous Tony was going to be a thing now and if a baby came along in the future, well they were going to have some problems.

"Anthony, do not start this again," Loki scolds the child who lets out a long whine and makes grabby hands at the mage who picks up the five year old anyways.

"We should get going, Tony's getting tired and no one wants to witness a tantrum," Bucky tells the couple in front of them who nod though their smiles slip a bit and a weird emotion flickers through their eyes briefly, but it's gone as quick as it came.

"It was nice to see you guys again. Hopefully we can bump into each other again in the future," Marcos says as he placed his hands on Teddy's shoulders. The child was waving at them happily and Bucky waved back.

"Yeah hopefully."

Once they're far from them, Peter lets out a sigh of relief and the two adults turn to face the teen with questioning looks on their faces.

"For some reason my spidey senses kept going off around them," Peter says with a slight shrug. "Maybe it's cause I've been too relaxed lately or something. I'm sure it was nothing."

Bucky and Loki shared a look, but didn't say anything else. It was one thing for them to feel like Teddy's parents were annoyingly too fake and like they were hiding something and another thing for even Peter to feel that there was definitely something going on. So Bucky takes his phone out and sends a message to Nat and Clint, asking them to figure out anything they can on Marcos and Maggie.

*

"So why did you need me to stalk the parents of your son's best friend and future husband?" Natasha asked later that night as Bucky and Loki video called the team after having put the boys to bed. The two had quickly fallen asleep after the long day.

"Just humor us. Did ya find anything?" Bucky asked the red head, completely ignoring Nat's comment, as he and Loki settled against the pillows on the bed with Bucky's laptop on his lap.

"Clint and FRIDAY are trying to hack into some files as we speak because everything that's public about them is way too clean and suspicious," she tells them. "As far as their files tell, they've been married for nearly ten years and they both studied at UCLA before making the move to New York after graduating. Marcos started working at SI almost three years ago and his wife is just a stay at home mom. Like I said, there's nothing that would deem them suspicious but there's definitely something they're trying to hide."

"Peter definitely felt off about them," Loki speaks up and Natasha nods in thought.

"Then it's definitely something we'll be looking into and if we find anything we'll call you back and involve the others, but for now it's best that Clint, FRIDAY and I keep digging. Eventually something will come back. No one is that good at covering their tracks unless there's something else at play."

"Yeah. Hopefully we're just bein' paranoid. Being heroes on vacation isn't as easy as it sounds," Bucky jokes though it falls flat because of how weird it is. Whatever those two are hiding probably isn't anything good and he definitely didn't like the way Marcos kept staring at Loki and then at both Peter and Tony in an almost calculating way.

"Well just try not to think about it and we'll call back immediately if we manage to find something, but it could be a few days."

The call ends after that and Loki lets out a tired sigh as he curls into Bucky's side. Bucky sets his laptop of to the side and wraps his arms around his boyfriend.

"Are you worried?" Bucky asks his boyfriend as he pulls the covers up over them.

"I am more worried about Natasha and Barton finding something. I would rather Marcos just be a creep than turn out to be hiding a dark side," Loki explains as he closes his eyes and lets Bucky's hand rubbing circles on his back soothe him to sleep.

"I know," Bucky mumbles as he reached over to turn off the lights before settling in with his boyfriend who was already fast asleep.

Chapter Text

"Hi Uncle Steve! I missed you lots!" Tony shouts, running towards Steve who picks him up and spins him around.

"I missed you a lot too kiddo, more than the others," Steve whispers the last part which sends Tony into hysterics and the blonde man presses a kiss to the child's cheek just as Bucky, Loki and Peter walk over with smiles on their faces.

Steve notes that they all look well rested and happy, with Peter, Tony and Bucky all having nice tans. Steve draws Peter into a hug, poking his side to get a giggle out of the teenager who pulls away quickly and pouts up at him. The blonde simply chuckles and sets Tony down who runs off with his brother to find the rest of the family. They hear Brownie's excited bark in the distance and chuckle.

"How was Malibu?" Steve asks them with a teasing smirk on his face.

"Wipe that stupid grin of your face, punk," Bucky grumbles as he rolls his eyes and punches his best friend's shoulder playfully. "You're just jealous we managed to get some time off while you guys had to hold the fort here on your own. Just glad we didn't come back to find the tower up in flames."

"Nah, Clint's been too busy playing video games with Thor and Sam so no kitchen accidents or accidental exploding arrows," Steve tells them as they walk towards the kitchen where Tony was sitting on Thor's lap as Wanda got him and Peter a plate of cookies.

"Did you guys bring presents?" Clint asks the couple from where he was perched on the island eating a cold slice of pizza.

"Possibly," Bucky says with a shrug as he leans against the counter and pulls Loki into his arms. "So, what's new?"

"We got called out once for a mission that took no longer than an hour to get under control and that was the day after you guys left. Since then it's been pretty quiet," Natasha explains to them as she places glasses of milk in front of the two boys who thank her.

"Aye! Tis been a quiet week," Thor agrees as he steals a cookie from Tony's plate which has the five year old pouting up at him. "Very relaxing."

"Yeah cause you went off with your Lady Jane all week," Sam teased the god who simply grinned and Loki rolled his eyes at his brother.

"You guys came back just in time, we're heading out to the compound tomorrow for a few weeks for training and to meet with some new recruits," Steve tells Bucky and Loki who nod.

It would be good to spend the summer upstate. Tony would have more room to run around and play instead of being cooped up in the tower like a princess. And if May was okay with it, they could take Peter up with them and make some sort of arrangement where he would spend half the time with his Aunt May and the other half with them. They knew May wouldn't mind, but they still wanted to ask her and still make sure that Peter spent some time with her.

Peter and Tony run off awhile later, Brownie heading after them and that leaves the adults in the kitchen. Natasha pulled out a folder from somewhere, honestly she was a mystery.

"What did you find on Marcos?" Bucky asked the spy and the others looked between the two with confused looks.

"Nothing out of the ordinary," Natasha begins to explain as Bucky and Loki take a seat at the table on either side of her.

"Wait, Marcos as in Teddy's dad?" Steve asks as he stands behind Bucky to be able to look at the files that Natasha was pulling out.

"Yeah, him and his wife have always given us a weird vibe," Bucky replies as he looks up at Loki who picked up what looked like a screenshot of someone's social media account.

"Kept looking at Anthony like he held the answers to some lifelong mystery," Loki adds and then looks at Natasha. "What is this?"

"It's an anonymous blog, but with FRIDAY's help we managed to trace it back to Marcos. Now, so far the blog hasn't gotten any type of attention, but it's basically a conspiracy theory blog that's trying to debunk the death of Tony Stark and sudden appearance of Tony Barnes," Natasha explains and suddenly Bucky doesn't like the direction the story is headed in.

Back when they'd found out the de-aging was permanent, Pepper and the PR team had released a statement informing the public that Tony had been badly injured during a fight and his situation was critical. Three days later, once it was a for sure thing that Bucky wanted to raise Tony as his own, another statement was released letting the world know that Tony Stark was dead. They couldn't just outright come out with the truth since adult Tony was constantly getting kidnapped and such and letting everyone know that the genius was now a child well he would be in more danger than before. So Anthony Edward Stark was dead and Anthony James Barnes joined the family.

"He knows," Loki whispers as his eyes lock with Bucky's, fear settling low in his chest at the thought. "Is Pepper aware of this?"

"I told her yesterday and FRIDAY's going to help monitor the account's activity and if there's an increase in traffic. For now we just wait, there's nothing really that could gain the sudden attention of the public since it could very well be brushed off as some lunatic trying to explain that the earth really is flat."

"Can't we get it taken down?" Steve asks the spy who shakes her head.

"It's not really harming anyone and there's a whole lot of blogs that talk about conspiracy theories out there."

"Oh I love conspiracy theories!" Clint chimes in excitedly. "Like the one about Avril Lavigne having been replaced with a clone because the real one died long ago." They all turn to look at Clint with raised eyebrows and the archer shrugs as he grabs another slice of pizza from the refrigerator. "What? I have a lot of free time."

"Way too much," Sam mumbles as he shakes his head.

Bucky and Loki head upstairs to their floor to pack up more things to head upstate tomorrow. They were both trying not to think about the fact that Marcos definitely knew something, or at least suspected.

"Maybe we should get Pepper to release that statement about Tony being his own kid," Bucky suggests as they head towards their bedroom. "I know we agreed to wait, but if Marcos really knows something we should be one step ahead of him."

"I think that would be wise. She could release it tomorrow when we head out for the compound and stay there until the news blows over, as you say," Loki replies with a nod and Bucky snorts.

"I'm heading home. Happy's waiting downstairs," Peter says as he walks out of the room he sometimes shares with Tony. He had his own room now and Tony has gotten better about sleeping on his own, but some mornings they'd still find the two in the same bed.

"Alright kid, tell your aunt we'll drop by later. We leave for the compound tomorrow morning and we want to arrange something so you can spend time upstate and time with her," Bucky informs Peter who nods excitedly and hugs the two before rushing off.

"I'm bored!" Tony whines as he walks into their room a minute after Peter left with Brownie in his arms and Loki sighs. They've kept telling Tony to not pick up the dog so much. Brownie may be small, but she was a bit heavy and they didn't want Tony to hurt himself.

"Well we're packin', but why don't you watch a movie right here?" Bucky asks the five year old who seems to think about it for a second before nodding and climbing up on his parents's bed.

"FRIDAY, play Big Hero 6 please," Tony tells the AI as he settles back against the pillows with Brownie curling up on his lap. As long as Tony was lazy, Brownie was lazy too. "Why are you packing?"

"We are going upstate to stay at the compound for the summer," Loki explains to Tony who cheers. If he could, the kid would probably choose to live at the New Avengers Facility instead of the tower. He loved it up there because of all the grassy area he could run around in.

"Is Peter coming too? And Uncle Steve and the others?"

"Peter will catch up to us soon and yes, Bambi, the others are coming too," Bucky informs the child who nods and focus his attention on the movie.

*

Tony wanders into the communal floor much later, rubbing at his eyes and looking for either of his parents, but FRIDAY had informed him that neither of them were home.

"Hey Hobbit," Clint greets him and Tony immediately scowls at the archer who holds his hands up to show that he means no harm. "Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed."

"No!" Tony shouts and he goes to hit Clint but someone picks him up from behind which makes the five year old thrash around wildly until he realizes that his Uncle Thor is holding him.

"What ails you young one?" Thor asks his nephew as he cradled the child to his chest, running a large hand up and down his small back in hopes of comforting him.

"Tired. Want my mama and papa," Tony mumbles as he nuzzles his head into the god's neck like a kitten.

"They shall return soon, Anthony. Why don't we wait for them with a bowl of ice cream?"

Tony perks up at that and nods excitedly which makes the god chuckle as he walks them towards the kitchen. It was just them and Clint at the tower right now, the rest being out taking care of some things before they all headed upstate tomorrow.

"Can you tell me about grandma?" Tony asks his uncle as he sits eating his ice cream in a dark blue Captain America bowl and Thor ate his straight from the tub. "I miss grandma."

Tony might have only seen her once, but he'd really liked his mama's mommy and wanted to see her again. He knew she lived in Asgard where his mama and Uncle Thor grew up and she couldn't come visit much, but he hoped to go visit her someday. His Uncle Thor has promised to take him if his mama didn't feel comfortable going. He might be five, but he understands that his mama doesn't get along with his parents because they hurt him a lot.

"Much like your mother, your grandma loves to read and practice her magic," Thor begins to tell Tony who shifts in his chair to better see his uncle who's sitting next to him. "...and she tends to her garden nearly everyday. 'Tis quite a beautiful garden and when I was your age, I loved spending time there."

"Does she gots lots of different flowers?"

"A lot of them, young one. Many flowers in mother's garden are of rare species that you can't find here in Midgard."

"Wow!"

Tony was so caught up in the story that he didn't notice Loki or Bucky standing by the entrance to the kitchen right under the archway. Loki was biting his bottom lip as he heard Thor's story about their birth place (Asgard had never felt like home to Loki, but that didn't matter now because his home was wherever Bucky and Tony were) and Bucky stood behind his boyfriend listening intently and offering Loki some comfort.

"Anthony, should you be eating so much ice cream?" Loki asks after a few minutes when the child asks for seconds and then he looks up at his parents with a sheepish expression.

"Uh yes?" Tony tried and Loki huffed out a laugh while Bucky smirked. "Okay, no, but it's my favorite!"

"Even so, Anthony, too much sugar is bad for you."

"And you get pretty hyper with one bowl anyways," Bucky adds as he walks over to take Tony's empty bowl and place it in the sink. "And the others will be back with dinner in a bit."

"I'm hungry," Tony adds as if he hadn't just eaten ice cream.

"Hey, the little gremlin isn't in a bad mood anymore," Clint comments as he walks into the kitchen, earning a glare from Tony. "Wow, someone hates me today."

"You took my candy. Again," Tony accuses the archer who tries to act all offended, but one look from Thor, Loki and Bucky had him shrugging. "You big fat thief!"

"Alright darling, let's-"

"Well maybe if you learned to share I wouldn't have to steal your candy in the first place, you shrimp!"

"Barton-"

"Maybe if you stopped calling me Hobbit, I'd share, asshole!"

"Enough!" Thor shouts and instantly shuts the two up.

"Anthony, what have we said about repeating such words?" Loki asks his child angrily.

"But mama!" Tony whines as he gets off his seat and stares up at his mother who isn't looking too happy at the moment.

"Enough. You will be heading to the corner and your bedtime will be earlier than usual. Understood?"

"Yes mama."

"Good, now you two apologize and then off to the corner with you," Bucky tells the two who glare at each other until Thor clears his throat.

"Sorry," Tony and Clint mumble to each other and the three other adults sigh and shake their heads.

When the rest of the team return a few minutes later, they find Tony in his designated naughty corner and Clint in another.

"I'm not even going to ask," is all Natasha says after taking one look at the two before heading towards the kitchen with the bags of take out food. "Anyways, we brought Chinese food."

"Sweet and sour chicken?!" Tony calls out excitedly from his corner.

"You know it, little man!" Sam replies and laughs as Tony cheers, but with one glare from Bucky he turned to face the wall again.

"Alright darling, let's have a talk," Loki says as he picks up the five year old and sits with him on the couch while Bucky helps the others set up the table and place the food in plates.

"So what happened here?" Steve asked his best friend with a slight chuckle.

"Clint stole Tony's candy again and the brat got mad and they started calling each other names," Bucky explained as he served Tony his sweet and sour chicken and a side of fried rice with more veggies than usual.

"Aye! Was quite entertaining actually," Thor chimes in just as Clint and Tony walk into the kitchen, holding hands despite the obvious dislike of the situation and it only made the others snicker.

"We good?" Bucky asks Tony and Clint who shrug and sit on opposite ends of the table. "Alright, let's eat then."

Dinner was, like usual, but louder than it had been since Bucky, Loki and Tony had gone off to Malibu for the week. The chatter at the table was mostly made up by the five year old who had learned to love to be the center of attention of his family. He was currently sitting between his Uncle Thor and Wanda and tried putting his vegetables on either person's plate without them noticing, but his papa was sitting across from Tony and gave him a look.

"Oops," Tony says in between giggles and eats the rest of his veggies without a complaint.

Chapter Text

"FRIDAY, where are Loki and Tony?" Bucky asks a few minutes after walking out of a meeting with Steve, Natasha and Sam.

"Loki and the little boss are in the East garden," FRIDAY replies and Bucky thanks her and begins to head out towards the garden.

It was a nice day out and while Bucky had been stuck in meetings all morning about possible new recruits for the team, Loki had said he'd take Tony out to one of the many gardens in the compound to tend to the garden Loki had set up awhile ago.

He finds the two sitting outside under a tree with a blanket underneath them and Loki reading a book out loud to Tony who was curled up into his mama's side with Brownie on his lap. Today's choice of book was 'The Lightning Thief' and Tony seemed to be really absorbed in the book, not even bothering to look up when Bucky finally reached their area and sat down next to Loki.

"Where are we in the book?" Bucky asked. He hasn't read the series yet, mostly because ever since becoming a full time parent he hasn't had much time to get into new books.

"Percy just reached the camp, papa! He and his mommy were staying at a house by the beach when it started to storm pretty bad and then they had to leave and they were attacked by a- a mini-tour," Tony explained excitedly and Loki chuckles fondly as he runs a hand through the child's hair.

"Minotaur, darling," Loki corrected and Bucky smiled. "Are you joining us?"

"Yeah. Finally done with the others and now I want to spend some time with my family."

"Yay!" Tony cheered and the two adults laughed and settled to continue the story.

Loki reads three more chapters before Tony falls asleep on Bucky and decides to put the book down and lay down next to his boyfriend and child, enjoying the early afternoon sun.

"You guys have a good day?" Bucky asks his boyfriend quietly as he turns his head to look at Loki who had one hand under his head and the other on his stomach.

"We planted three new different types of flowers though Anthony insists we need more roses," Loki states with a roll of his eyes and Bucky snorts because if it's one thing they already have, is roses and a lot of them of all colors. "Brownie may have eaten a few Daisies and Thor left a mark on the garden when he headed to Asgard earlier. There is a reason why adult Anthony installed that landing pad specifically for Thor so he would stop ruining the gardens. Otherwise, we had a very productive day."

"Your brother's just an overgrown excited puppy, doll. He just forgets that he's not supposed to do it."

Loki laughs under his breath but doesn't disagree with his boyfriend.

"Gerald?" Tony mumbled sleepily as he struggled to blink his eyes open, a confused little look on his face that had Loki reaching out to stroke the child's cheek.

"You'll get your alpaca some day, Bambi," Bucky jokes as he pats the kid's back in comfort.

Tony merely pouts and stretches from where he's still laying on his papa's chest. Brownie heads over towards them after having been sniffing around probably to find a new spot to dig a hole and hide stuff. Loki and Tony had found a pair of Natasha's old Widow Bites buried by Bucky's vegetable garden and a pair of Clint's purple tinted glasses.

"We should head inside. It is almost dinner time and I can see that a storm is starting to head our way," Loki says as he looks up at the sky where a few dark clouds were rolling in from their opposite direction.

"Might be a long night then," Bucky mumbles as he stands up, Tony racing off towards the compound with Brownie chasing after him.

Bucky moves closer to Loki and grabs his hand, swinging them between them and Loki turns to look at him in complete amusement. Bucky simply blows him a kiss and keeps swinging their hands as they follow after their kid with the book and blanket tucked under Loki's free arm.

"I was just coming to get you guys, dinner's almost ready," Steve greets them at the entrance with a smile. "I already told Tony to go wash his hands."

"Thanks, punk," Bucky says as Loki heads off to drop off the book in Tony's room and the blanket in the laundry room. "Tell me someone actually cooked dinner. I don't think I can keep eating pizza and Chinese food every other night."

"No worries." Steve laughed as they headed towards the kitchen where Bruce was cooking an Italian dish. "It's homemade. Bruce is basically banning fast food for the foreseeable future."

"I'm not banning, Steve. We've got a five year old who needs to eat healthier and it wouldn't kill us to try doing the same. We are heroes after all. Wouldn't do the world any good if we were fat and uncoordinated," Bruce explains and Bucky chuckles but agrees with the doctor. "Or on the brink of a heart attack every time we tried to take a swing at someone."

"Tell that to Clint," Natasha says as she walks into the kitchen with Tony in her arms petting her hair. "Pretty sure he keeps bags of chips stashed under his bed."

"He does," Tony confirms without looking at anyone or explaining how he knows. "An' he had Oreos in the vents back at the tower."

"Hobbit! Are you sharing my secrets with everyone?" Clint asks with a whine as he drops down from the vent above the kitchen and landing in the middle of the room. "Unbelievable, you can't trust anyone these days."

"It's called payback, Barton," Tony said in a low tone as he turned his head around to face Clint with narrowed eyes and it made the rest laugh at the five year old's threatening look.

"Are you still going on about me eating your candy? Let it go, twerp."

"Payback," Tony whispers.

"Alright, that's enough," Steve spoke up as he took Tony from Nat and sat him in a chair. "Behave."

"I'm always a good little boy, Uncle Steve," Tony informs him and Bucky snorts as he sits next to the kid as Loki joins them in the room. "My mama says so all the time."

"The best little boy," Loki agrees with a smile as he leans down to kiss the kid's head and Clint scoffs while both Natasha and Bucky roll their eyes.

"Talked to Scott and Hope and they agreed to come down at the end of the week so we can talk about them joining the team," Steve informs them as they all sit down to eat. "They'll be staying for the weekend so we can asses them and negotiate how things would work out with them since they're based in San Francisco."

"Who are Scott and Hope? Are they Avengers like you?" Tony asks without looking up from his plate of pasta, sauce all over his mouth.

"They could be if things work out when we meet them," Natasha replies with a smile as she watches the kid eat his food with his fingers, having given up on using his fork. "They're Ant Man and the Wasp."

"Ant Man and the Wasp? I don't like ants or wasps."

Everyone laughed at the child's response but assured him that they were cooler than the real ants and wasps. Tony only shrugged and went back to eating happily. After dinner, Loki cleaned up Tony while the rest cleaned up the kitchen and then they met up in the entertainment room to watch a movie before Tony's bath and bedtime.

"I wanna watch Hercules!" Tony informs the team as he sits in the middle of the sectional and pulls the throw blanket from the back of the couch onto his lap.

"Oh that's a good one!" Clint agrees as he sits down in his favorite bean bag which was purple and fuzzy.

Natasha sat in the armchair while Bucky and Loki sat on either side of Tony with Bruce and Steve filling out the rest of the sectional.

"FRIDAY, pull up Hercules please," Steve tells the AI who in an instant puts on the movie as the rest settle and the lights dim.

*

"Would you like to continue our book from earlier today?" Loki asks his son as he and Bucky finish tucking the boy in bed after his bath.

Outside, it had started to rain softly and they both prayed that it wouldn't storm because when it did, Tony had the habit of screaming them awake and clinging to them for the rest of the night. They really hoped it didn't storm because Bucky and Loki had plans for tonight.

"Yes please!" Tony tells them as he settles in his bed surrounded by Mister Snuggles, his Bucky Bear, Cap Bear and Brownie who lay at the foot of the bed already fast asleep. They'd come to realize that she was a lazy dog and if she wasn't being carried by Tony or chasing Tony, she was laying somewhere.

"Alright." Loki grabs the book from Tony's book shelf and pulls up the rocking chair in the corner while Bucky sits on the edge of the bed to listen in.

Tony falls asleep quick and then the two adults sneak off towards their room and make sure to lock the door.

The first rumble of thunder comes just as Bucky's finished undressing Loki and pauses with his lips on the mage's neck as lightning follows. Tony doesn't cry out so they keep going. Loki's hands are in Bucky's hair, his eyes closed and head thrown back as his boyfriend starts kissing down his bare chest at an agonizingly slow pace.

The second and third rumble are louder and that's when the rain picks up and the lightning is practically flashing non stop. By then, Bucky's first two fingers are buried deep inside his boyfriend and that's when Tony decides to start screaming out for them.

"How many times have we been cockblocked now?" Bucky asked with a groan as he pulls out of Loki, both taking a moment to breath and get themselves under control.

"Too many for my liking," Loki mumbles before pulling on his clothes from earlier and heading out towards the kid's room.

Bucky cleans up and then heads to the bathroom to take a cold shower.

*

Thor returns three days later, ruining yet another spot of Loki's garden and the mage's fingers start glowing in his anger before Bucky is wrapping an arm around him and pulling him back. Tony rushes off to greet his uncle who picks him up and tosses him in the air gently.

"Hi Uncle Thor! Did ya see grandma?!" Tony asks the blonde god.

"Aye, little one. She sends her warmest regards and hopes to see you soon," Thor tells his nephew while throwing a subtle (or not so subtle since both Bucky and Loki caught it) glance at his brother. "And told me to give you many kisses."

Thor starts attacking Tony's face in kisses and the five year old begins to laugh hysterically. Both Loki and Bucky watch in amusement before Thor finally lets up on his attack and walks over to them with Tony on his shoulders.

"How is Asgard, brother?" Loki asks the blonde as they walk inside the compound. Scott and Hope would be arriving in an hour and it was a miracle they were able to get Thor to arrive before them.

"As it always is. Talked to Sleipnir, he would also like to know when you will return and he would like to meet his little brother," Thor tells Loki whose footsteps falter slightly at the name of his son who resides in Asgard. "Father is not the same you know? Sleipnir has told me that he is trying to be more supportive and has even visited Hela and Fenris. Jormungand has not allowed the All Father to visit him."

"I do not blame him. Jormungand has been known to hold grudges for long and I do not blame him for not wanting to see Odin after everything that he did," is all Loki says, not wanting to think about the swell of hope he feels that maybe Odin did want to change. That he did want to recognize the rest of Loki's children for what they were; his grandkids.

"Gee, wonder where he gets that from," Bucky mumbles playfully and Thor's loud booming laughter fills up the room, alerting the rest of the Avengers of their presence.

"You are asking to get banished to the guest room, Barnes," Loki hisses at his boyfriend and the others snicker.

Later, Tony's playing with some toys while Brownie lays about a foot away from him just observing when FRIDAY lets them known that Scott and Hope have arrived. Tony looks up in curiosity as his whole family stands up from the couches to greet the possible new members of the team.

"H-Hey! Big fan! So nice to meet you, all of you," says the guy who Tony thinks his name was Scott and apparently was Ant Man.

"Forgive him, he's new at this," speaks a pretty lady, kinda tall and with dark hair. "I'm Hope and this is Scott, thank you for meeting with us."

"I'm Cassie and I'm seven," a little girl speaks up as she walks out from behind Scott with a pink backpack and a giant grin.

Tony ignored everything after that and went back to playing, only looking up when Natasha approached him with Cassie who was looking shy as she stood next to Nat.

"Tony, this is Cassie Lang, would you like to show her around and play with her while we talk to her daddy and Hope?" Natasha asks the five year old who nods. "If you guys need anything Vision will be in the kitchen."

"Okay Auntie Nat," Tony replies with a grin and she leans down to kiss his forehead and then smiles at Cassie before leaving. "Hi Cassie! I'm five and Bucky and Loki are my mama and papa."

"Really? You live with Thor and Captain America and the rest of the Avengers?! That's so cool! My daddy and his girlfriend are superheroes too," Cassie says as she follows Tony down the hall towards his play room, the two waving at Vision on their way over.

"Wanna play pirates?" Tony asks her excitedly as he heads to one of the many toy chests in the room.

"Yeah! And we can go hunt for some treasure!"

"I know where we can find treasure," Tony says deviously as he pulls out the plastic swords, pirate hats and eye patches.

"Let's go!" Cassie shouts excitedly as she puts on her hat and eye patch and takes a sword from Tony, the two kids rushing out of the play room in search of their treasure.

When the grown ups get out of their meeting an hour later, they walk towards the communal areas of the compound where they find the two kids sitting in the middle of the kitchen eating cookies, ice cream and chocolate bars.

"Anthony," Loki reprimands his son with a groan as he looks at the mess between the two kids, their mouths covered in chocolate.

"Where did you even find all this, Bambi?" Bucky asks in shock. He's pretty sure they had the candy and cookies hidden away in the kitchen in hard to reach places, but apparently not so hard.

"Tony knows and sees all," is all Tony says and watches as Scott bends down like a little kid himself to steal a few cookies.

"What?" Scott asks with a mouthful when he notices Hope's glare.

"Where's Vision?" Wanda asks in between giggles, noticing that the android was nowhere to be seen.

"I am right here," Vision says as he walks, well floats, into the kitchen from somewhere. "I simply stepped out for a minute. I apologize for not having looked after the young ones properly."

*

The next day, Cassie and Tony are playing out in the yard in the swings that Steve and Bucky had built along with a playset for Tony, when Happy pulls up in the driveway. Since they were so far out, they figured it'd be a good idea to have a small play area for Tony here.

"Happy!" Tony cries out happily as he goes down the slide before racing off towards the driveway with Cassie going after him.

"Hey squirt," Happy grunts out his greeting as he gets out of the car and Tony gasps when he sees Peter getting out from the back with his usual overnight bag.

"Peter! Cassie, look! That's my big brother!" Tony points up at the teen as he looks back at Cassie who giggles and waves at Peter who waves back with a large grin. "Up please!"

"As you wish, your highness," Peter says in a fake British accent that has both kids laughing as he picks up Tony and hugs him tight. "Been good to mom and pops?"

"Duh."

"Somehow I doubt that," Happy pitches in to the conversation as he walks over with Peter's luggage. "Didn't you and your new little friend raid the kitchen of sweets yesterday?"

"How'd you know that?" Cassies asks with wide eyes as she looks up at Happy and Tony too narrows his eyes at the forehead of security in suspicion.

"I have my ways," is all Happy says as he leads the three brats inside where Loki walks out to greet them with a smile on her face.

"Hi mom!" Peter greets her as he sets Tony down and goes over to hug Loki who hugs him back tightly.

"Hi darling, how's May?" Loki asked the teen as she pulls back from the hug and reaches a hand out to brush a strand of curl away from Peter's forehead.

"She's great! Said she's excited to come down and visit soon. Misses her jellybean."

"I wanna see Aunt May," Tony says as he wraps his arms around Loki and effectively getting between her and Peter. His jealousy phase was certainly making Loki rethink the whole b word.

"Well she sends you lots of hugs and kisses," Peter tells the five year old, not even phased by his behavior anymore.

"Alright, you go get settled in and meet us in the kitchen for lunch. The others are going to be training all day," Loki informs Peter who nods and takes his things from Happy who grunts at the thanks. "Would you like to have lunch with us?"

"No, I gotta get going. Meeting up with May for lunch in an hour," Happy explains and Loki's grin widens which makes the man roll his eyes and braces himself for the teasing. "Yeah yeah, you were right."

"I am always right, Happy. Greet May for me and have fun."

Happy nods and leaves after making a silly face at Tony and Cassie who giggle. Awhile back Loki had made an offhand comment about how she thought that May and Happy would make a nice couple. Bucky had looked at her like she'd grown a second head, but here were Happy and May months later having a steady relationship.

"What would you kids like for lunch?" Loki asks the two as she leads them towards the kitchen.

"Mac and cheese!" Cassie and Tony shouted excitedly.

Chapter Text

Peter stumbles out of his bedroom in the morning dressed in pajama pants with Cap's shield all over and an old t-shirt that had belonged to the adult version of Tony. His hair was a wild mess and he was a little more than half asleep as he rubbed his eyes in hopes of waking up more as he made his way towards the communal kitchen where he could hear everyone and smell food. His stomach growling was what had woken him up, otherwise he would have gladly stayed in bed until much later.

Upon entering the room, it fell silent for about a second before everyone shouted "Happy birthday!"and it startled him wide awake.

"Wha-? I don't- oh my gosh!" Peter stammered out with wide eyes as he stared at literally every member of the team (including Scott and Hope), his Aunt May and Happy. "Why-Why?"

Tony giggles as he rushes towards the teen with his arms up and Peter gladly picks up the child just to have somewhere to hide his reddening face. Tony's arms go around his neck in a hug and Peter hides his face in the five year old's hair.

"It's your birthday, silly Petey!" Tony tells him rather loudly, right in his ear which makes the teen wince.

"No worries kid, the memory loss comes with the age," Bucky teased him as he walked over to pull the teen into a hug which ended up having Tony squished between them and the child making dramatic gestures about needing oxygen.

"You would know about memory loss, pops," Peter fires back as he pulls back from the hug with a giant grin on his face, letting out an indignant squawk when his hair was ruffled. The others simply snickered at the bickering between the two.

"That is enough, my old men," Loki says as she walks over to them with a fond smile. "You both have terrible memories, I doubt it is due to your old ages."

"Well pops is like a hundred." Peter shrugs as he sets Tony down and laughs as Loki rolls her eyes before hugging her teenager.

"Happy birthday, darling," she tells him and kisses his cheek and Peter melts into his mother's embrace for a few extra seconds.

Peter goes around getting greeted by everyone and trying to duck away from the hands trying to mess up his hair even more. His Aunt May kisses his cheeks and goes on and on about how her little boy is growing up so quickly which then prompts Clint and Sam to start teasing him about baby wanting a bottle and Tony giggles and Peter can just feel his coolness dipping. Well, Tony's the only one who thinks he's cool, but he's the only one who matters because that's his little brother and he wants to be the best he can for the kid.

"So kid, how's it feel being fifteen?" Steve asks the teen once they all sit down for breakfast, Peter sitting to the right of his Aunt May and Tony sitting on his other side.

"The same as being fourteen. Just means that I'm closer to getting my drivers license," Peter said happily and half the table winced at the idea of Peter driving legally. They'd all tried giving him driving lessons once or twice and let's just say that it hasn't ended well and that they're glad they don't have neighbors for miles.

"Watch out Queens," Clint jokes as he pours himself a glass of orange juice and snickers at the glare Peter throws his way. "Better stay off the sidewalks."

"Alright, leave the birthday boy alone, boys," Natasha scolds Clint and Sam who were doing most of the teasing, as they usually did.

"We're setting up the grill later, Pete. Your friends should be here around lunchtime and Rhodey and Pepper are also dropping by," Bucky informs the teen who nods excitedly.

Peter could only imagine how crazy this would get. Usually when the whole entire family got together for holidays and other important dates, it got pretty intense and something always ended up broken. Thanksgiving last year had ended with a window in the communal floor broken and a drunk Thor.

"Pete says he wants an alpaca for his birthday," Tony informs his parents later as the four of them plus Brownie walk towards their suite which is where adult Tony stayed and it has four bedrooms and four bathrooms plus a small living/kitchen area.

"Oh that'd be so cool! Can we?" Peter asks just as excited and he turns his pleading eyes to Bucky and Loki who look disturbed at the thought of acquiring such an exotic pet.

"His name's gonna be Gerald," Tony informs Peter who pouts slightly.

"But what if it's a girl?"

"Gerald anyways." Tony shrugs.

Loki sighs and shakes her head as the argument continues. Brownie ignores the two bickering boys and heads off towards her bed by the large window.

"You still want to add a third into the mix?" Peter heard Bucky ask Loki and he frowned in curiosity because certainly that had to mean that they were talking about a baby, right? And if so, was Loki already pregnant?

"Rethinking it," Loki replies but she sends Bucky a smirk that clearly means she's joking.

"Come on, Petey! I made you something," Tony says as he grabs Peter's right hand and begins to tug him in the direction of his room.

Peter smiled down at the child and let the five year old take him towards his room. Tony's room was messy, not that Peter was surprised. Tony tended to wake up early in the mornings and play with his toys until FRIDAY told him that someone else was up. There was an unfinished puzzle in the kiddie table in the corner of the room and the clothes he'd been wearing the day before tossed on the ground. Peter guesses Loki hasn't been in the room otherwise Tony'd be cleaning it.

"Sit!" Tony instructs him, shoving Peter towards his bed and the teen gives a small amused chuckle as he does as he's told and sits on Tony's unmade bed.

Peter watches Tony head towards his close where he disappears inside it for a few seconds before coming back out with a neatly wrapped present with Peter guesses someone helped him wrap because Tony could barely glue Popsicle sticks together.

"Mommy helped me wrap this," Tony explains shyly as he holds the present towards his older brother, refusing to meet his eyes and Peter bit back a coo at the shy five year old. "Papa says that sometimes it's nice to make things for people instead of buyin' them somethin' 'cause it means more."

"Pops is right, spider baby, so thank you for this," Peter tells him, leaning down a bit to be able to kiss the child's forehead before looking down at the tag on the present that reads 'To the best big brother ever!' and he blinks back tears as he starts to unwrap the gift. It was a picture frame, slightly smaller than a poster sized one. Inside the picture frame, there was a collage of pictures consisting mostly of Peter and Tony arranged in the shape of a moon with words off to the side that said, "I love you to the moon and back".

Peter took his time looking at all the pictures, memories of each and every one rushing back to his head and making him smile and blink back tears, again. There was a picture of him and Tony in their matching Spider-Man costumes from their first Halloween together. Another picture with him, Tony and Thor in their matching Christmas onesies. Peter's favorite was one that apparently neither Tony nor he knew was being taken. The two were facing each other and Tony had pink frosting on the tip of his nose, laughing hard and Peter had a cupcake in hand smiling smugly at the child. There were a lot of pictures on the collage that just reminded Peter that he had the best little brother he never thought he'd ever have.

"Do you like it?" Tony asked him quietly, breaking Peter away from his thoughts and from looking at all of the pictures for a fifth time.

"I love it, spider baby," Peter replies sincerely as he sets the picture frame down on the bed gently before pulling the five year old into his arms and holding him tight. "Thank you, Tony."

Tony relaxed in his big brother's hold and wrapped his little arms around the teen's neck. Neither boy noticed their parents standing by the doorway with loving smiles on their faces as they watched their sons.

"Thinking a third one won't be so bad," Bucky whispers in his girlfriend's ear and she nods in agreement. Sure parenting was hard, but moments like these were worth every thing.

*

Later that day, there are picnic tables set out in the yard (not the one with Loki's garden), Rhodey, Steve and Bucky are on grill duty and the rest are around talking with one another. Tony's running off with Cassie and Brownie while Peter, Ned and MJ sit at their own table gossiping.

"Mother asks when you are planning on visiting our home," Thor asks his sister as he stands next to her as she prepares Tony a burger.

"You know very well that Asgard has never been my home," Loki replies a little snappy as she grabs the ketchup bottle and opens it. "James and I have not talked about it yet, but we certainly will go before Anthony and Peter start school."

"They miss you, Loki, and father is very sorry for everything-"

"If he is sorry, he will tell me in person, Thor. Stop apologizing for him like you have been doing since we were kids. If he means it, he will tell me himself." With that being said, Loki finished making Tony's burger and headed off to find her son.

"You okay?" Bucky asks his girlfriend after having seen her's and Thor's discussion.

"Thor will not shut up about Odin being apologetic for everything and keeps pressuring me about visiting Asgard," Loki explains as she sets the plate down on a picnic table before calling Tony over. "I keep telling him that we will head up before the boys start school."

"I'm sure your brother means well, babydoll."

"Food!" Tony cries out excitedly as he runs over to them, crashing into Bucky's legs and giggling when the man pretends to stumble back from the force.

"Wow, Bambi! You're getting so strong, you nearly knocked me over," Bucky tells the five year old who giggles and lets Loki help him up onto the seat.

"I wanna be super strong like Peter!"

"Adorable," they hear MJ comment as she sits across from Tony with her own plate of food. "You're scrawny like him, but I bet you'll be much stronger than this doofus."

"Hey!" Peter exclaimed in mock offense as he sat next to his little brother who grinned up at him smugly. "I'm not scrawny, I'm putting on muscle, see?" Peter flexed his arms to show his growing "muscles" but it only caused his family and his two best friends to laugh at the teen.

"You are adorable," Loki tells her oldest with a smirk as she sits on Tony's other side.

"Mom, you're supposed to be on my side!" Peter whines as he sticks his tongue out at Loki who rolls her eyes. "It's my birthday." He pouts and Loki takes pity on her fifteen year old.

"I apologize, darling," Loki says but they all know she doesn't really mean it because she likes to tease Peter in front of his friends just as much as Bucky does.

The rest of Peter's birthday passes on without anything getting broken. Sure Thor and Steve end up getting drunk on Asgardian mead and Bucky gets tipsy, but overall it was a successful family day. Peter got a lot of gifts, ate a lot of cake and ice cream and took many pictures to remember the occasion by. Summer was coming to an end and Peter was just glad he was getting to spend a few extra days with his new family.

*

The day finally came. Just a week before the kids started school (much to Tony's dismay), Loki and Thor took Bucky and the two kids up to Asgard. Loki had been a nervous mess the night before, having barely gotten a wink of sleep despite Bucky reassuring him that everything would be okay. Loki just wasn't sure how much he trusted his brother's word about Odin's sudden change of heart, so Loki was on edge as soon as they arrived via the bifrost and stood in the observatory with Heimdall.

"My prince, it is good to have you back again," Heimdall greeted Loki, bowing slightly.

"Heimdall," Loki greeted tensely, one hand clutching at Bucky's.

"Hi! I'm Tony!" The five year old greeted the gatekeeper in a cheery tone and Loki wasn't surprised to see the man look down at his child so fondly. Heimdall had after all cared for Loki's children once upon a time (and how sad was that? He had cared and loved Loki's children and Odin, his own father, hadn't), for the short amount of time that Loki had had them before Odin had deemed them dangerous and refused to let bastard children ruin the family's name. "I'm five."

"It is a pleasure to meet you, young Tony."

"That's my brother Peter." Tony pointed at Peter who was all but clinging to Bucky in both excitement and anxiety.

"Pleasure to meet you as well, young Peter."

"Uh hi," Peter squeaked out and Thor threw his head back and laughed in delight, clapping a large hand down onto the teenager's back and making him stumble forward.

The walk to the palace was long and Loki, despite walking with his head held high and showing the confidence he's always walked with, was basically dying on the inside. He took joy in seeing his two boys' and Bucky's looks of fascination as they looked all around. Asgard truly was a beautiful place, too bad it held so many bad memories for him.

"My boys," Frigga greets them at the entrance of the palace with a warm smile.

"Grandma!" Tony cried out happily as he let go of his Uncle Thor's hand and ran up to the queen who laughed and bent down to let the child crash into her arms.

"Oh my lovely Anthony! My have you grown!" Frigga exclaimed as she hugged him tight before pulling away to get a good look at Tony who beamed up at her proudly. "It is so good to see you again."

"I missed you lots, grandma."

"As did I, my sweet boy." Frigga let go of Tony completely before her attention went over to Peter who was standing, well more like hiding, between Bucky and Thor who gladly stepped aside to which the teen refrained from glaring at them. "And you must be Peter. Come here, darling."

Loki places a hand on Peter's back to give him a gentle nudge towards Frigga who was smiling at him and looking at him like he was a grandkid she hadn't seen in years instead of just meeting him for the first time.

"H-Hi," Peter stuttered out his greeting, unsure if he was meant to use a more formal title with the Queen of Asgard.

Frigga gave a small laugh before she too pulled Peter into a hug. Loki watched his mother interact with the two boys and thoughts of his own biological children crossed his mind, wondering if his mother would have accepted them as well as she's accepted Peter and Tony. Or was she only accepting these two because Loki actually had a partner this time and wasn't a single parent.

"Loki, my darling," Frigga said as she moved towards her youngest, a look of regret flashing through her eyes as she reached a hand out to caress his cheek.

"Mother," Loki greeted her quietly and finding it hard to keep his emotions in check.

Frigga's hand dropped to her side and then she was greeting Bucky, but Loki just tuned the rest out. There was an ache in his chest and a lump in his throat that wasn't going away.

"Thor, why don't you get them settled in. I am afraid Odin had a last minute business to attend, but he shall return shortly and he would like to speak with you, Loki," Frigga directs her last statement to her youngest who nods numbly.

"Come on, doll," Bucky says quietly in his ear as his metal arm goes around Loki's waist, the two following Thor who was leading Peter and Tony down the long halls of the palace towards their chambers and explaining things as they went.

Once in his old chambers and with Thor keeping the kids busy by giving them a tour of the palace and taking them to meet the Warriors Three and Lady Sif, Loki all but had an emotional breakdown before he could even reach his bed.

"Loki," Bucky calles out worriedly. "Doll, everything's going to be alright. You've got nothing to worry about. Thor and I won't let anyone hurt the boys."

"It's not just that!" Loki shouted brokenly, tears finally rolling down his cheeks. "My kids never got this same excitement from my mother, James! They were always seen as monsters and deemed dangerous by Odin! How can I trust my own brother when he simply sat back and watched as they were ripped out from my arms and did nothing as I screamed and begged for Odin to let me leave Asgard with my kids?!"

Loki sank to his knees sobbing painfully, the memories of that painful day flooding back into the front of his mind and the frightened screams of his four children as they were taken away echoed in his ears.

"Loki, listen to me," Bucky begged as he knelt down in front of his boyfriend and reached out to cup Loki's face in his hands, his own eyes filled with tears and heart clenching painfully at the confession. "I won't let anything happen to our boys and I won't let anything happen to you and if I ever get the chance to meet your other kids, then I promise you that I'm goin' to protect them and love them as much as I love Tony and Peter."

Loki looked up at Bucky through tear filled eyes and burst into sobs again at the sincerity in his eyes. All he's ever wanted was for someone else to understand that his kids were not monsters. That they too deserved to be loved and cared for because they were his babies, not monsters that were to be feared.

"I know, doll," Bucky coos as he holds Loki to his chest, rubbing his back up and down soothingly. "Just let it out."

It was nearly half an hour before Loki was able to calm down and pull away from Bucky to wipe at his eyes. Bucky simply sat there patiently and handed his boyfriend a few tissues. Neither noticed the doors to the room opening nor did they hear the hesitant footsteps heading their way.

"Mom?"

Chapter Text

"Mom?"

Loki froze and stared up at Bucky wide eyed, his boyfriend staring at someone behind the mage's shoulder.

"Sleipnir?" Loki choked out as he slowly turned his head to face the youngest of his biological kids.

"Hello mom," Sleipnir greeted Loki with a large smile on his young face and the prince scrambled up to his feet, rushing over to pull the boy into his arms. "I have missed you, mom."

"Oh darling," Loki whispered in complete shock as he hugged tightly the seven year old in Midgardian years. "My baby." Loki sobbed.

Sleipnir clutched at his mother tightly, tears rolling down his own cheeks. His gaze meets Bucky's who was sitting in the small living area of the room to give them some privacy. He was finally a normal boy again and he was hugging his mother for the first time in over a century.

"How-?" Loki was unsure of how to phrase his question as he pulled back from the hug to look at Sleipnir from head to toe. His dark hair curled at the ends, his dark blue eyes sparkled with happiness and his cheeks were still as chubby as the last time Loki had seen him like this.

"Grandfather decided to lift the spell and has apologized for everything that he has done to me," Sleipnir explained as he reached a small hand out to cup Loki's face, brushing away his tears. "I live here now with grandfather and grandmother and Uncle Thor often visits and tells me stories about his time on Midgard."

"And- And does Odin treat you well? Frigga?"

Sleipnir nodded excitedly and proceeded to tell Loki about all the things he's been up to since Odin had lifted his curse. Apparently Sleipnir's chambers were in the same hall as Loki's. Sleipnir also went on and on about how he helped his grandma in the garden and how she was teaching him to better control his magic.

And maybe his parents were trying.

"Darling, I want you to meet James, my boyfriend," Loki said as he lead Sleipnir over towards Bucky who'd been reading a book that had remained on the small table next to the couch from the last time Loki had stayed here.

"Hello," Sleipnir greeted him shyly, clutching at his mom's hand and half hiding behind the tall male.

"Hi there, buddy. It's so great to finally meet ya," Bucky tells him sincerely, a large smile on his face that had Sleipnir relaxing and coming out of his hiding place.

"Y-You wanted to meet me?" Sleipnir asks a little in disbelief as he stares between his mother and Bucky.

"Your mom's always told me stories about you and your siblings and I've been real excited to meet ya," Bucky reassures him.

Loki's eyes widen in surprise when the child rushes over to wrap his arms around Bucky's waist, burying his face in the man's stomach and sniffling quietly. Bucky doesn't hesitate to wrap his arms around the kid and rubs his back comfortingly. Bucky makes a 'come here' motion and Loki joins the hug.

*

"How are you liking Asgard so far, boys?" Frigga asks her two grandsons as she meets up with them and Thor before they head out to the gardens.

"It's so pretty, grandma!" Tony exclaimed as he skipped happily between her and Peter, holding his brother's hand because he was a curious little boy and Peter just knew he would wander off.

"Yeah, it's so amazing here," Peter echoed his brother's agreement, smiling at Frigga who looks back at them with a warm smile.

"Glad you think so boys. Now, I am sure that you will absolutely love the gardens."

"Mama has one back home at the compound and I helped make it all pretty!"

"Loki helped me out here a lot when he was around your age, Anthony. We would spend hours out here just tending to the flowers and the hours would just blend in together and your grandfather would have to come out here to inform us that dinner was ready," Frigga tells Tony who giggles.

"Sounds about the same," Peter comments. "Pops or I have to go get them otherwise they'll forget to head inside and eat."

Frigga chuckled and lead them down a golden path, bright green grass on either side and flowers of all shapes and colors coming into view. There was a golden bench under a large tree and a fountain sat in the center of the garden. An archway made of red roses lead down another pathway and Peter could spot a pair of swings in the distance with vines coiled around the ropes.

"Did you like to help in the garden, Uncle Thor?" Tony asked the tall blonde, looking up at him and squinting as the sun got in his eyes.

"Nay, young one! I was always training with the Warriors Three and Lady Sif, often times heading out on missions," Thor explained with a slight hint of pride in his voice as he puffed up his chest. "Your mother could always be found here when he wasn't busy with his studies, even if the All-Mother herself wasn't."

"Yes. I would often find Loki reading under this very tree," Frigga added with a hint of nostalgia in her tone as she looked at the large tree, probably remembering back to a kid Loki with a book in his hands and a calm expression on his face. "That child always had his nose buried in a book."

The four of them walked around the garden for awhile longer, with Frigga explaining the unusual flower species that Peter stared at with curiosity. Apparently alien flowers were a thing as well.

"Is mom coming?" Peter asks the two adults as he helps Tony sit on one of the swings.

"Maybe after his talk with Odin," Thor replies and Peter winces internally knowing how strained, for lack of a better word, their relationship was.

*

"You wanted to see me?" Loki asks his father in an emotionless tone. He'd been summoned to the throne room and had left a sleeping Sleipnir with James while he talked to his father before meeting up with their other boys.

"My son, come in," Odin replies softly as he motions for Loki to come forward. "I want to apologize to you."

"For what exactly?" Loki asked because there was a long list of things that Odin could apologize for. A lot.

Odin let out a small sigh as he got up from his throne and walked down the steps to be able to stand in front of his youngest. Loki refrained from taking a step back once Odin was about a foot away from him and simply held eye contact with the All Father despite how much he wanted to look away.

"My son, I do regret everything. From how I've treated you to taking away your children. Your mother always told me to place myself in your shoes, to think about how I would react if someone had taken you and your brother away from me when you were children," Odin spoke and Loki scoffed a bit under his breath. "I am afraid that I do not have much time left, my boy. I know that me asking for your forgiveness is a lot to ask after everything, but I want to mend my errors. I have been talking to my grandkids, though getting through to Jormungand has been quite a challenge, that boy is all you."

Loki let a genuine smile grace his face. Despite all his children looking like him, the only one to really inherit more than his looks was Jormungand.

"It will not be easy for me to forgive you. You have caused me so much pain since I was a child," Loki says as he finally looks away from Odin who lets out a small disappointed sigh. "For centuries I had to grow and watch how you preferred my brother over me and once I finally learned the truth, I understood why. You only took me for your diplomatic business. You never truly wanted me."

"I admit that it was that way at first, but as the time went I learned to love and see you as my son. I am truly sorry that I never showed it and I will be eternally regretful of all the pain I put you through."

Loki doesn't say anything. Odin's words sting. Him admitting that he'd only taken Loki as a bargaining token would always hurt, but he could truly see how guilty his father was. Maybe it was time Loki let go of all his resentment and focus on the few good memories with his father that he cherishes. Those long summer days when the four of them would have picnics outside in mother's garden under the tree. The time when he was four and fell off his horse and Odin had held him until he'd calmed down. Or the times when Loki would be upset over not getting a spell right and Odin would sneak some chocolate to the boy. Those good memories were very few, but oh did Loki cherish them like he cherished the last moments he'd held all of his kids.

"With time, perhaps," Loki answered just before the throne room doors opened and Sleipnir ran inside followed by a hesitant James who had a sheepish grin on his face.

"Mom!" Sleipnir shouted in pure glee as he ran up to Loki, crashing into the mage and wrapping his small arms around his mother. "James says I am going to meet Anthony and Peter! Can we go now?!"

"In a minute darling, let me just finish talking with your grandfather."

"Oh." Sleipnir apparently hadn't seen Odin in his excitement to meet his new siblings. "Hello grandfather."

"Hello my boy." Odin smiles at Sleipnir before his eye gazed up towards James who was standing by the entrance of the throne room. "James, come forward please. I would like to speak with you in private."

"Uh yeah sure," James replies nervously as he walked towards Loki and Sleipnir who were looking between the two a little nervously. "It'll be fine. I'll catch up with you and the boys after I'm done."

"We will wait out there," Loki motions beyond the doors before grabbing Sleipnir's hand and taking him away.

Once the large throne room doors closed, Bucky turned to look at Odin and tried to not feel so intimidated by the All Father.

"I know I have not been the best father to Loki, but I do love my boy and it hurts to know everything he's gone through and everything that I have put him through," Odin begins to say as he moves to stand in front of Bucky. "All I ask, however, is that you treat him and all six of my grandchildren right. That you protect them and love them."

"I will, I promise. Loki means the whole world to me and even though I haven't met the rest of his kids, I love them too."

"Very well."

After that, Bucky exited the throne room and found Loki and Sleipnir waiting by a pillar, Sleipnir rushing off towards him and wrapping his arms around the super soldier. Loki walked over to his boyfried with a worried look on his face that made Bucky chuckle.

"Everything's fine, doll. We just had a lovely chat," Bucky reassured his boyfriend who relaxed slightly.

"Can we go meet Peter and Anthony?" Sleipnir asked in a whiny inpatient tone that made the two adults chuckle.

The four of them head outside with Sleipnir getting more and more nervous as they reached the gardens where they could already hear Tony's squeals of laughter and Thor's loud boisterous one. Loki simply held his child's hand and gave it a small comforting squeeze. Frigga spotted them first, standing up from the bench she'd been sitting on and walking towards them with a smile.

"Hello grandma," Sleipnir greets her quietly, standing between his mother and his mother's boyfriend.

"Hello my dear, came to meet your new siblings?" Frigga asked the child who nods, blue eyes darting over to where Peter and Tony were running around with Thor who was chasing them around and pretending to be some sort of monster. "They will love you."

Thor finally approached them about a minute later with the other two kids following after him. Loki honestly thought that Tony's jealousy would come through again as it has been since Malibu, but surprisingly, Tony just smiled and waved at Sleipnir.

"Boys, come here," Loki tells the two who step around their grandma and Uncle Thor to stand in front of their parents and the strange child who looked an awful lot like Loki. "Boys, meet Sleipnir, my son."

"Hi! I'm Tony!" The five year old greeted the nervous child in complete excitement. Tony knew his mama had other kids and he always asked when he would get to meet them and why they didn't live with his mama, but his mama always told him that they were spending some time elsewhere and learning. He knew his mama got upset when he asked about his other siblings, so he tried not to ask often.

"Hi uh I'm Peter," the teen greeted the child awkwardly, stumbling forward when Thor patted his back and Sleipnir giggled quietly into his hand.

"H-Hello," Sleipnir stuttered out quietly.

"Wanna play? Uncle Thor is the big mean monster who's tryin' to eat us!" Tony exclaimed as he reached towards Sleipnir who slipped his hand into Tony's and the two kids ran off with their uncle who was making strange monster sounds.

"So am I older than Sleipnir or is he like my older brother cause ya know, alien years? Or what? I'm so confused," Peter asks Loki who smiles fondly at the teen while Frigga and Bucky laugh.

"What do you think, darling?" Loki questions the teen instead, wrapping an arm around his shoulders as they walk along the path to go sit on the bench, Bucky walking behind them and Frigga heading back inside the palace.

"Younger sibling. It would be awkward to call him my older brother when he's Tony's height," Peter eventually replies as he stares at the two kids who are laughing and screaming, Tony defending his older brother from Thor when he manages to catch Sleipnir. "Wait, how old is he in us mortals years?" Bucky snorted at that and Loki's lips twitched upwards in a smile.

"About seven. Then if you are to go by this logic with the others, only Hela is older than you."

"Huh, I've got an older sister. That's so cool!" Peter exclaimed before rushing off to help his two baby brothers escape Thor's clutches.

"This trip went better than I thought," Bucky admitted as the couple sat on the bench with Loki leaning into his side.

"It has been a wonderful trip. I have three of my children here with me and three others I hope to be able to visit soon," Loki replies as he rests his head on Bucky's shoulder as they watch their three boys run around with Thor, Sleipnir in Peter's arms and Tony making silly faces at the seven year old.

"You think the tower's on fire by now?"

Loki replies with a laugh, muffling the sound into his boyfriend's shoulder.

"You really have no faith in our family, Barnes," Loki eventually says in between giggles as he lifts his head to look at Bucky who grinned down at him.

"With Barton at home, I wouldn't be surprised."

Loki shook his head fondly and turned his gaze back to his boys and brother who were rolling around in the grass.

"Is Sleipnir going back home with us?" Bucky asked curiously as he held Loki tightly to his side.

"I believe not. At least not for the moment. Mother is helping him control his magic, to have a better grasp on it and taking him with us before he can complete his studies would be hurtful for him," Loki explained with a sad sigh following after. "I would love nothing more than to take him home with us, but I must admit that he is happy here. Mother and father are treating him right and it is not like the others would want to go home with us either. They have their lives, James, and as much as it pains me to admit it, I cannot take them away from that."

"True, but they'll visit when they want now that Odin has changed."

"They will."

"Mama! I need to use the potty!" Tony shouted with urgency in his tone as he ran over to them, Sleipnir giggling as he follows after his younger brother.

"I can take him!" Sleipnir offered, grabbing Tony's hand and tugging him towards the palace.

"They've become best friends quickly," Bucky says in complete amusement and Loki smiles.

They don't see Odin for the rest of the day, to which Loki scoffs and ignores the disappointment he's feeling. His father talks about changing, but then he doesn't show up for dinner. Even Frigga stares at the empty seat, where Odin always sits, with a mixture of disappointment and a bit of anger because her husband just can't seem to understand that family should come first.

"Can I sleep with Tony and Peter?" Sleipnir asked tiredly as Bucky carried him towards his room, Loki carrying a barely awake Tony and Peter was walking behind them taking in all the details in the hall.

"Yeah, I wanna sleep with Pete and Sleipnir. Please, mama and papa?" Tony asked them as he struggled to lift his head from Loki's shoulder, blinking slowly at both his parents and yawning afterwards.

"Alright boys, but no staying up late. Peter, keep an eye on your younger siblings," Loki informs the teen who mock salutes him and Bucky snickers at his boyfriend's glare.

The couple drop the boys off in the room that Peter and Tony were staying in before heading to their own room where Bucky proceeded to lay back on the comfortable with a long groan. Loki smirked and walked over to his boyfriend, climbing on top of him and leaning down to place a soft kiss to his lips.

"Are you too tired for something extra?" Loki asked in his ear as Bucky's hands came to rest on his hips. "We can cross off 'Having sex on another planet' from your bucket list."

"You found it?!" Bucky exclaims in a mixture between delighted and embarrassed shock as he stared up at his boyfriend with wide eyes and Loki laughed and decided to keep teasing him.

"I did. I must say, I am quite fond of Paris. Maybe that can be our next destination?"

"Well, technically it's a bucket list of places we need to visit together, the sex is just a plus."

"Well?"

"Well what?" Bucky asked in confusion and Loki groaned. "Oh! No, I'm not tired, but like, can we stay in this position?"

"Which means that I have to do all the work because you are tired," Loki concludes as he rolls his eyes and Bucky scoffs playful.

"That ain't it, doll. You just look better from this angle."

The next morning, Loki walked down the hall towards the boys's room to collect them for breakfast. Inside, however, he only finds Sleipnir and Peter who are playing some hand game that Peter taught him yesterday. They both look up when Loki enters and smile. Tony is nowhere to be seen, but Loki supposes he's in the bathroom.

"Morning boys, sleep well?" Loki asks them and the two nod. "Where's your brother?"

"Uh he said he was going to your room. I thought he was with pops," Peter informs Loki with a slight frown on his face and Sleipnir looks up at Loki, worried about where his youngest brother had gone off to.

Loki rushed out of the room with his heart beating wildly in his chest, asking the guards walking around if they'd seen his youngest. They all shook their heads and looked at him apologetically before going on their way.

"Wow! That's so cool!" Loki heard Tony's sweet voice from down another hall that lead to the throne room and Loki quickened his pace until he entered the large room where he found the five year old sitting on Odin's throne and Odin pointing up at the ceiling where part of their history was painted.

Loki leaned against a wall outside of the throne room and sagged in relief. He really needed to have a serious conversation with that boy about wandering off on his own.

"Hi mama!" Tony greets him once he walks into the throne room after having composed himself.

"Hello darling, what are you doing here?" Loki wonders as he walks over, greeting his father with a nod as Odin smiles.

"Grandpa was telling me a story!"

"Yes. This young one is a very curious boy who loves stories," Odin agrees as he smiles fondly at Tony who giggles. "He particularly likes the one of you stabbing your brother."

"Ah yes, I am rather fond of those as well," Loki jokes and both his father and son laugh.

"Your silly mama," Tony says as he walks up to Loki who picks him up and holds him just a tad bit tighter. "Can we go eat? I'm hungry. Oh, and I wanna see papa."

"No worries, darling."

*

Saying goodbye is hard. For everyone, but mostly Loki because he doesn't want to part from his son again even though Sleipnir could visit them anytime and they could visit often as well. Loki and Bucky watch as Tony, Peter and Sleipnir cling to each other for a few long minutes before Loki informs them that they have to go.

Arriving at the tower is no better. Pepper's there pacing the communal floor with her phone pressed to her ear and clearly angry about something. Natasha and Steve don't look much better from where they sit on the couch with a tablet between them, scowls on their faces.

"What's goin' on?" Bucky asked worriedly once they stepped inside, Tony rushing off to find Brownie while Peter stood beside his parents with a concerned look on his face.

"It's Marcos's stupid blog," Pepper hissed out. "It suddenly gained a ton of attention overnight and the traffic keeps increasing every hour and it just started trending on Twitter about an hour ago."

"You should read this," Natasha says in an eerily calm voice as she hands them the tablet with Marcos's blog pulled up.

"Anthony James Barnes and Anthony Edward Stark; One in the Same?" Loki read out loud, a frown now on his face.

"'Now, I know it sounds crazy, but hear me out guys. We now live in a world where aliens are a thing and superheroes are out there constantly saving our asses from crazed maniacs trying to take over the world'," Bucky kept reading. "'Weird stuff happens on a daily bases, so who's to say that de-aging someone is impossible? Surely it can't be a huge coincidence that just a few days after the death of Tony Stark was announced, two of the newest Avengers announce they are adopting a boy named Anthony James Barnes? Huh, not suspicious at all. The change in middle name-' What the fuck?"

"People are actually taking this lunatic seriously?" Loki asks angrily as he runs a hand through his hair, all precious traces of his good mood long gone as anger and fear spreads over him. "What are we going to do about this now?"

"Pepper's been going through our options with the PR team, but it looks like this time they will release the statement telling the public that Anthony J. Barnes is actually the son of Anthony E. Stark," Steve informs the couple.

"Can't you guys like, get it shut down? Or like sue him for this?" Peter wondered as he sat next to Natasha who pulled the teen into her side and began to play with his hair. "For like defamation or something?"

"Would defeat the whole purpose of the statement and he's not outright doing it with the intent to harm Tony. He's also not threatening or blackmailing us," Natasha replies and Bucky sighs, looking over at Pepper when her voice begins to rise in volume again. "We'll find a way to put a stop to this."

"Anthony starts school in three days, is it convenient to release the statement now?" Loki wonders as he sits next to Peter.

"Not ideal, but it's spreading like the plague and we're hoping that with the statement people will just view him as a crazy guy with nothing better to do than make up theories."

"Okay," Pepper says as she walks over to them, looking well put together despite the situation. "The statement will be released in about ten minutes. Afterwards, depending on how the public reacts, we might need to set up an interview for you guys to further explain things even though the statement itself pretty much covers the most important points."

"Thank you, Pepper," Bucky tells her and she waves it off.

"It's no problem. It's been my job to keep Tony safe for almost a decade now and him being a five year old isn't going to change anything." Pepper smiles at them as she sat in the armchair. "Now, how was Asgard?"

Chapter Text

"Why so quiet?" Steve asks the five year old, having gone to get him for dinner. He found the five year old in his bedroom sitting at his little table with an open coloring book on the table and a red crayon in his right hand, though he made no effort to even start coloring his picture.

Tony shrugged in reply, looking out the window with a sad little look on his face that made Steve's heart break a little. The child had been awfully quiet all day, but they could all pretty much guess why. He started school tomorrow morning and despite knowing that the new friends he'd made at daycare would be in the same class as him, Tony was still pretty nervous.

"Is it because of school?" Steve guessed as he took a seat next to the kid in the tiny chair, hoping that no one would walk in right now because he probably looked as ridiculous as he felt. Tony merely shrugged and looked down at the coloring page he hadn't even started yet. Steve briefly wondered how long the child had been sitting here on his own. "Everything will be fine, Tony. I promise that you'll have plenty of fun and you've got your friends there!"

"But I wanna stay here," Tony complained as he looked up at Steve who let out a small fond chuckle. "It's not funny, Uncle Steve. I don't wanna go to school. It's dumb."

"It's not dumb and Peter still goes to school. You want to be like him, right?" Tony nods though there's now a pout on his face because his big bad mean Uncle Steve had pulled out the Peter card. "Well Peter likes school and he goes to school because he wants to be even more smart."

"But he's already super smart!"

"I know, but he wants to keep studying anyways," Steve tells him, reaching out to stroke the child's hair. "Besides, you kinda have to go to school, but I promise that you'll have fun. It's just kindergarten Tony, it's the best time to go to school. Trust me."

"Do you remember when you were in kindergarten?" Tony asked as Steve picked him up and began to carry him out to the kitchen on the communal floor where the whole team was waiting for their baby Avenger to arrive.

"Tony, I'm ninety nine years old, of course I don't remember. And I was always really sick when I was a kid, so I didn't attend school very much. I'm sure Peter remembers, though. He's probably the only normal one out of us," Steve replies and Tony giggles as he buries his face in the super soldier's shoulder.

They reach the communal floor after a short trip in the elevator and were immediately greeted by the smell of a proper home cooked meal and the chatter of the rest of their family. Loki spotted them first and stood up from her seat to go over and take Tony from Steve who sat at the head of the large table with Bucky to his right and Natasha to his left.

"Alright darling, time to eat," Loki says as she places the five year old in the chair next to Bucky's before sitting on Tony's other side.

"What took you guys so long? We've been waiting for you guys," Sam asks Steve as they all start to eat.

"Just reassuring Tony that he has nothing to worry about for tomorrow," Steve replies as he sends a smile Tony's way.

"Yeah, Hobbit! You'll have lots of fun at school!" Clint exclaimed with his mouth full of mashed potatoes to which all the women at the table grimaced.

As dinner progressed, Tony got a tiny bit more excited to attend school in the morning. He was excited to see his friends again after being apart all summer. And if school was anything like daycare then he'd have fun, right?

*

"Darling, wake up," Loki says gently as she runs her fingers through Tony's messy hair, a smile on her face as the five year old whines and tries to move away from his mommy's touch. "Come on Anthony, it is your first day of school and we do not want to be late, do we?"

"I no wanna go," Tony mumbles as he shoves his face into his pillow, trying to pull his blankets up over his head but Loki simply chuckles fondly and prevents him from doing so. "School's dumb."

"Do not call it dumb when you have not even given it a try. Now, your father is making your favorite breakfast so let's hurry up and get you ready. Everyone else will be up in time to see you go off on your first day." Loki got up from the bed and headed over to the table in the corner where he'd laid out Tony's clothes for today. "Anthony, get up."

"Is Peter coming?" Tony asks as he sits up and rubs at his eyes tiredly.

"He is already here. He starts school tomorrow so hurry up so you can see your brother."

"Yay!" Tony cheered and let his mommy dress him without a fuss. The prospect of seeing his big brother always put him in a good mood, except when the two were fighting then it was the complete opposite.

A few minutes later Tony slipped out of his room dressed in dark blue jeans and a long sleeved shirt with dinosaurs on the front. Loki walked out after him with his little Converse in hand and a nostalgic look on her face. Her boys were growing up quickly.

"Morning spider baby!" Peter greeted the five year old with a big smile, getting down on one knee and opening his arms to let the child crash into them.

"Hi Pete!" Tony greeted back as he wrapped his arms around the teenager's arms. "I'm going to school today."

"Are you ready for your first day, big boy?" Peter asked him as he stood up with Tony in his arms and taking the shoes from Loki who mumbled something about helping Bucky in the kitchen.

Tony shrugged, fiddling nervously with the neckline of Peter's t-shirt and the teen couldn't help but smile in sympathy. Every first day of school is nerve wracking and Peter hates them as much as he loves them. He can't imagine what Tony must be feeling right now, being his very first day of actual school and not daycare where he knew he'd be just a few floors away from his family. The kid was probably terrified right now.

"I remember my very first day of school," Peter says as he sits Tony on the couch and sits on the ground in front of him to put on and tie his shoes. "I was terrified of being somewhere new and that my parents weren't around anymore to reassure me that it'd all be okay, but Aunt May and my Uncle Ben were there and they reassured me that I'd be okay and that it would be fun. And it was a lot of fun. That's where I met Ned and we've been best friends since then."

"Really?!" Tony asks in shock. He had no idea that Ned and Peter had been best friends for so long. "Lizzy, Alex and Alana are going to be in my class."

"See?! You'll be okay! You've got friends there and I didn't have anyone I knew on my first day."

"Boys, breakfast," Loki calls as she walks into the living room, smiling when she sees Tony looking more excited about school now that he'd been able to talk to his big brother.

"I made pancakes!" Bucky calls from the kitchen and the two boys race off.

*

After getting hugs and 'have fun', 'be good' and 'I love you's' from the rest of the team, Pepper, Rhodey and Happy, Loki, Bucky, Tony and Peter piled into a car and headed towards the five year old's school. As they drove out of the garage, they saw the paps at the front of the tower hoping to catch an Avenger and question them about Tony Barnes being Tony Stark's son. Despite the statement having been released three days ago, the news was still trending on social media and the news wasn't going to be dropping it anytime soon. So far, only Pepper had given a slight interview about the topic and emphasized the need for privacy because Tony was five and they needed to respect that and keep their distance when the kid was around. Of course it would only be a matter of time before whoever goes out with the kid gets ambushed and no one was looking forward to that moment.

"We're here," Bucky announced as he pulled up into an empty parking space and took off his seat belt. "Come on, kiddies!"

Tony stared out the window at the large school, looking hesitant and still slightly scared. This was his second time seeing the school and it still hadn't gotten any less intimidating.

"Come on, spider baby," Peter says softly as he helps Tony out of the car and hands him his Spider-Man backpack.

Tony held his mommy's hand as they walked towards the school where other parents were dropping off their kids with smiles and hugs. He watched as the other kids easily rushed off towards the play area and he briefly wondered if no one else was as scared as he was. But then again, none of their relatives were Avengers who got hurt and battled all the bad guys all the time. Tony was scared to be in school and to have his entire family hurt from a battle.

"Good morning!" A cheery female voice greeted them and Tony looked up to see a woman with hair like Pep's and a large grin on her face. She was pretty too, like Pep, but slightly shorter and dressed in denim overalls, pink Converse and a rainbow colored top. She was nothing like Ms Karen either, who liked to wear flats and blouses and floral print skirts. "I'm Mrs Wright and I'm one of the three kindergarten teachers here."

"Good morning, I'm James Barnes and these are my wife Lola and our two sons, Peter and Tony," Bucky introduced them, the teacher smiling at each one until she got to Tony and crouched down in front of him.

"Hi, Tony. Are you ready for your first day?" She asked him softly, looking at the child in understanding as she spotted the nervousness in his eyes.

"I-I guess," Tony replies with a slight shrug and Peter giggles from beside Bucky.

"Don't worry, you'll have plenty of fun. Normally on the first week back all we really do is easy activities and some games to get to know each other better. It'll be plenty fun, I promise."

"Okay," Tony says in complete resignation before turning to face his parents and brother. "Bye."

"Geez kid, at least wait a few seconds before kickin' us out," Bucky jokes and it gets a giggle out of Tony. "Come here."

Tony walked into Bucky's arms and let his dad hug him tight and kiss his cheeks a few times before letting him go. His mommy was next and she was more gentle as she hugged him, letting him cling to her for a few long seconds and breath in her flowery scent and play with her long dark hair. She kissed his cheek once and smiled at him before pulling away and then Peter was picking him up and fake crying about him growing up and Tony was laughing and letting his big brother be silly.

And with that, Tony watched his family walk away and he bit his bottom lip to keep from crying once they got in the car and disappeared from his sight.

"Come on Tony, let's get you settled inside. The bell's about to ring in a minute anyways," Mrs Wright tells him and he nods, following his teacher inside the large classroom.

It was just like his daycare room. There were tables of four, colorful posters were all over the walls and there was a section with a small selection of books and bean bags and another with toys. Mrs Wright told him to pick a table and he sat in the last one at the very back and waited for the bell to ring.

"Tony!" Lizzy shouted in pure glee and Tony turned his head to see his new best friend race towards him with her hair done in two braids and she was wearing a Captain America shirt, baggy jeans and dirty sneakers.

"Hi!" Tony greeted her excitedly as he stood up and hugged her, the two giggling and jumping around. "I missed you, Lizzy!"

"Me too! I had so much fun this summer! Did you do anything fun? I did lots of fun stuff!"

The two began to tell each other of all the fun things they did this summer, ignoring the bell going off and more kids coming in. The two were only brought out of their conversation by two other kids sitting at their table across from them and they gasped excitedly when they saw the twins. Now that the gang was all together, the four shared stories until the teacher called for everyone's attention.

"Morning kids! I'm Mrs Wright, your teacher and you're in classroom 1A. I hope we can have an excellent school year," their teacher told them cheerily as she wrote her name on the board even though half of them probably couldn't read still.

Tony really liked his first day at school. Their first activity was to create their name tags for their tables, they could all decorate and color them however they wanted. Tony of course drew himself in a Spider-Man costume and a wobbly version of Avengers tower in the background. After that, they went around introducing each other and stating a fun fact about themselves. He had so much fun that by the time the final bell of the day rang, Tony wasn't too eager to go home.

"Hi mommy!" Tony greets Loki excitedly as he rushes out of the classroom with his friends following behind.

"Hi darling," Loki greets him back as she kneels down to hug him. "Did you have a nice day?"

"The best!" Tony exclaims as he pulls away from the hug to grin at her and Loki chuckles before pressing a kiss to his forehead and standing up, greeting the other three kids who hug her briefly before rushing off towards their parents. "Is papa home? And Peter? I wanna tell them all about how fun school is!"

"They are, but Peter is leaving after dinner since he starts school tomorrow."

"That's okay, I just wanna tell him that he was right. School is a lot of fun."

Loki simply smiles down fondly at her kid and holds his hand as they walk over to where Happy has the car parked and waiting for them.

*

[A few hours ago...]

Loki, Bucky and Peter return to the tower missing Tony. The tower certainly felt a little quieter without him and even Clint was quieter than normal since he had no one to bicker with. Until Peter arrived and they challenged each other at Mario Kart and the noise level was brought up again.

"So how was dropping off the kid at school?" Natasha asks the couple as her, Steve and the couple head to the kitchen where Loki makes herself her usual tea.

"I bet Bucky cried," Steve chips in teasingly and Loki smirks at Bucky's indignant huff. "He so did, didn't he?"

"Not until we were in the car. I had to drive us home or risk getting into an accident," Loki tells them, laughing at Bucky's betrayed look and the other two join her quickly.

"Lo, you agreed to not say anythin'," Bucky whined as he wrapped his arms around her waist and buried his flushed face in her neck as their other two friends kept laughing.

"It was either me or Peter telling everyone at dinner time."

"He was crying like he'd never see Tony again!" Peter shouted from the living room, dissolving into loud giggles that made him lose his game against Clint.

"You are so grounded, Parker!" Bucky shouted back as he stood up straight and glared in the direction of the living room. "Anyways, my child just started his first day of school, excuse me for being emotional."

"The most feared assassin everyone," Steve states with a large grin and Loki muffled her giggles into Bucky's shoulder. "And how'd Tony take it? Finally being there."

"He was pretty nervous still, but I am sure he has forgotten about his fears by now," Loki replies as she brings her cup of tea to her lips, scowling as Bucky's hand slips down inside the back pocket of her jeans.

"Anyways, I've got some plans with my lady, keep the teen of our floor, will ya?" Bucky asks Natasha and Steve who make disgusted faces at him while Loki sighs and continues sipping at her tea like Bucky didn't just announce that they were about to have sex.

A few minutes after the two disappeared, Peter walks into the kitchen in search of some snacks and frowns when he doesn't see his parents around.

"Where are mom and pops?" Peter asks and Natasha who's typing up an email in her tablet and Steve who's reading the newspaper, both look up at him.

"Getting dirty on their floor," Natasha replies and Peter makes gagging noises as he grabs a bag of chips and ignores the glare Steve sends his way because it most certainly is too early for chips.

"Gross. I know they're adults and that they're together, but I really didn't need to know that they... ya know. Yuck."

Steve chuckles and goes back to his newspaper when Peter grabs an apple from the fruit bowl before heading back to the living room where Clint's calling out for him.

Chapter Text

~ ~ ~ //"Iron Baby"\\ ~ ~ ~

"Boys!" Loki calls as he walks down the hall of their floor towards the bedrooms.

Peter rushes out of Tony's room with wide eyes and a nervous smile on his face as he stands in front of Loki and fiddles with his hands. Loki simply raises an eyebrow at his teenager. Peter's looking at him with his 'we did something bad but I'm still going to lie to you to save our asses' look. And it makes Loki wonder what his two boys did this time.

"Alright, what did you do?" Loki asks eventually as he crosses his arms across his chest and leans his weight on his right leg, looking unimpressed and cautious. The last time Peter looked like this, he'd managed to web Tony to the ceiling and the then four year old had drawn a nice picture on the ceiling to remember the occasion by.

"Uh why do you always assume we did something bad? I'll have you know that Tony and I are perfect little angels who-"

Peter's cut off by Loki gasping in surprise as said child walks out of the room.

"Please tell me that is not permanent," Loki says as he looks down at Tony who's grinning up at him like he doesn't have his adult self's beard scribbled onto his face with black marker.

"I am Iron Baby!" Tony shouts as he does the Iron Man pose with his little red gloved hand out like he has a gauntlet and he's about to repulser blast Loki.

"Peter."

"Uh it's not permanent?"

Which translated to 'yeah it's permanent so we're a little screwed'. And Loki wonders when he became an expert in reading his children in just under a year.

"Peter, your brother has an open house at his school tomorrow so we can meet his teacher," Loki says as he kneels in front of a giggly five year old who's lowered his gloved hand. "Did you draw this on him?"

"Technically no. Well yes. I mean, he'd already scribbled on his face because he wanted facial hair, so I just came to help him out a bit," Peter tried to defend himself but quickly took a step back at Loki's glare. "Uh you know what? I think I can hear Sam calling me from downstairs. Right FRI?"

"Correct, Peter," FRIDAY replies with complete amusement in her tone.

Peter rushes off and Loki lets out a sigh but can't help and smile at his baby.

"Alright, Anthony. Let's go see if I can find a spell to clean this mess off your face," Loki eventually says as he stands up with the five year old in his arms.

"But I like it, mama. It's cool," Tony tells him as he pretends to stroke his beard and Loki chuckles as he takes them towards the master bedroom to find his spell journals. "And I wanna show papa."

"FRIDAY, take a few pictures and send them to James, please," Loki informs the AI who does as she's told.

*

~ ~ ~ //"Doctor Weird"\\ ~ ~ ~

Loki couldn't find a spell, so Tony ran around their floor happily, now with a red cape tied around his neck and pretending to make spells with complicated hand gestures. Loki could only smirk and let the child be knowing who he was imitating perfectly well.

"I'm home! And I brought this little rascal with me!" Bucky shouts from the elevator before stepping into the living room with Peter in tow, the two coming to a stop when they see Tony standing on the couch with his cape and making weird hand movements.

"Boom boom woosh!" Tony shouted as he threw his spell at the newcomers. "Hello! I am Doctor Weird, wizard supreme and guard of Hogwarts!"

Peter burst into loud laughter and Loki snorted while Bucky took a second too long to understand what was going on. Once he did though, he couldn't help but to laugh and have FRIDAY send the recording to the rest of the team.

"Not sure Doctor Strange will like this," Bucky mumbles in complete amusement as he walks over to his boyfriend who was sitting on his favorite armchair and bends down to peck his lips.

"Hmm, perhaps not, but it is quite amusing and it will be even more so if he does not find the humor in it," Loki replies watching Tony head over to Peter who'd fallen to the ground from his laughter.

"And the black ink on his face?" Bucky questions as he sits on the armrest of the chair.

"Your children thought it would be funny to draw facial hair on Anthony's face. With permanent marker."

"But Tony's got his open house tomorrow." Bucky frowns.

"Well, his teacher is about to meet a five year old with facial hair."

Bucky chuckled and looked over at his children who were rolling around on the floor giggling and pretending to be engaged in a fight.

*

~ ~ ~ //"Baby-Hawk"\\ ~ ~ ~

Clint and Tony walk into the training room where most of the team are located and they all stop and stare at the two.

"What did you do to my child?" Bucky asked as he stares at Tony who's dressed just like Hawkeye complete with the purple glasses and a toy bow and a quiver with arrows on his back.

"Meet my new protege, Baby-Hawk," Clint announces to the room as Tony grabs an arrow and then fires it with his bow, aiming it at Natasha who was the closest to them, but it lands a few inches in front of Tony with no real destination. "We're working on the aim."

"Hi!" Tony waves at them as he lowers his bow. "Clint said he's gonna train me."

"When you are older, perhaps," Loki told him, looking more amused than anything.

*

strong>~ ~ ~ //"Tony Romanoff ; the Mini Black Widow"\\ ~ ~ ~

"Auntie Nat, look what I brought at the toy store today!" Tony shouts excitedly in Russian as he rushes over to his aunt who'd just finished jogging on the treadmill.

Once Tony was close enough to her, she noticed the toy widow bites on his wrists and she couldn't help but to smile proudly at the five year old who was pretending to shoot invisible targets with his widow bites.

"Are you a mini Black Widow today?" Nat questions him as she wipes her sweat away with a towel, smiling down at the child who stands up straight and grins up at her.

"They had lots of Black Widow stuff at the store. I also got a belt with your logo on it!"

"Our number one fan, kotenok. Now, wanna try for a bit?"

"Yes!"

Half an hour later, Bucky and Loki find the two pretending to shoot at each other with the toy widow bites doing all sorts of moves to dodge their hits. They watch the two go at it for a few more minutes before Tiny rushes over to them to show off his new toy.

*

strong>~ ~ ~ //"Thor Otisson"\\ ~ ~ ~

"Is that a Hannah Montana wig?" Clint asks as he stares at Tony who's running around the living room wearing a long haired blonde wig, a red cape tied around his neck and a toy replica of Thor's hammer in his right hand.

"Should I be worried that you can recognize a Hannah Montana wig in an instant?" Natasha asks her partner with a raised eyebrow.

"Clint strikes me as the type of person who watches Hannah Montana," Sam replies jokingly and laughs, but it fades out when he doesn't hear Clint deny it. "Oh my god, you did!"

"I think the better question here is who hasn't?" Clint asked him and Natasha, Sam, Bruce and their two soldiers out of time raise their hands. "Ugh, you're all a bunch of losers. Anyways, what's with Thor Montana over here?"

"I am Thor Otisson!" Tony declared as he ran up to Clint with his hammer raised and a stern expression on his face though he dissolved into a fit of giggles right after. "I am a prince of Asgard and the god of thunder!"

"You get the best of both worlds, don't ya?" Clint tells the child as he stares down at him, smirking when the bangs of his wig get in his eyes.

Peter, who was doing his homework in the kitchen a few feet away, snorted at the joke and began to sing the Hannah Montana theme song under his breath.

"Wait, where'd you even get the wig if none of you losers watch the show?" Clint asks the few members of the team who are currently home and they all look at each other and shrug.

"He came out wearin' that after his nap and wouldn't tell me where he got it," Bucky replies eventually.

"Huh."

Maybe Clint wasn't the only adult who'd seen Hannah Montana.

Chapter Text

[8:36 AM]

When Tony wakes up, he stays in bed a few extra minutes just stretching and trying to rub the sleep out of his eyes and maybe waiting for his mama to walk in. When he wakes up on his own, FRIDAY always tells his mama and he'll walk in usually within ten minutes of Tony waking up. So Tony waits.

And waits.

And waits some more.

"FRIDAY," Tony calls with a pout wondering why his mama wasn't coming in. "Where's my mama?"

"Sorry little boss, but your parents are currently not in the tower," FRIDAY replies a little apologetically. "However, Captain Rogers is on his way to your room."

"My mama and papa aren't home?" Tony frowns as he gets out of bed with a slight struggle. His bed was a little high and the step stool he used was in the bathroom pushed up against the vanity so he could reach the sink. "Do you know where they are?"

Instead of answering, FRIDAY plays back a video message that Loki and Bucky had left for Tony sometime in the middle of the night.

"Hi darling," Loki greets him with a smile. "Sorry we are not present right now, but your father had the great idea to go on a date at nearly two in the morning." Loki rolled her eyes and Bucky scoffed playfully beside her.

"You didn't exactly say no, babydoll," Bucky reminds her and Tony giggles a little at their antics.

"Anyways, be good darling. Your Uncle Steven will look after you until we return and he will take you to the twins's birthday party. We will call you in the morning. Love you, darling."

"Love you too," Tony whispers as the recording ends just as his bedroom door opens. "Hi Uncle Steve!"

"Morning, kiddo," Steve greets him, easily catching the boy when he runs up to him and jumps. "Let's get you changed so we can have some breakfast, yeah? Anything specific you would like?"

"Hmm I want French toast please," Tony tells him, giggling as Steve drops him on the bed carefully.

"French toast it is, Tones."

Tony sits and waits on his bed, playing with Mister Snuggles and his Cap and Bucky Bears as his Uncle Steve goes to grab him some clothes.

"Where did my mommy and papa go, Uncle Steve?" Tony questions him as he looks up at the blonde with a slightly confused look. "How come they didn't take me with them?"

"They said something about Paris, but I'm sure they were joking. I think," Steve mumbles the last part to himself because knowing them, they somehow decided to end up in Paris instead of a normal picnic under the stars or something. "And we've told you about dates, kiddo. They just needed some grown up time."

"Oh. So does that mean I'll get a baby brother or sister? Aunt Nat says they gotta be alone to make a baby."

Tony was completely unfazed as his uncle seemed to go bright red and choke on his spit as he starts to cough. The five year old simply sat and waited for his answer patiently. He didn't get why his uncle looked so embarrassed.

Sometimes Steve wondered why he always got the weird questions and why Nat was so open with the kid.

"Um I'm not sure, Tony."

"Well Peter says babies come from Paris and that a store-"

"Stork," Steve corrects him with a gentle smile as he removes Tony's sleeping shirt.

"-a stork brings them home. Did mommy and papa go to Paris to make a baby so a stork can bring it later?"

"I- I'm really not sure, Tony. You'll have to ask your parents that when they call," Steve stammers, face still red as he struggles to get the shirt facing the right way so he could put it on Tony.

[9:12 AM]

Tony was sitting at the island on a barstool, coloring in a Disney Princess book while his Uncle Steve cooked them breakfast on his and Sam's floor.

"Hey there little man," Sam greets Tony, ruffling his air affectionately and earning a grunt from the child and slight glare from Steve who'd spent awhile trying to tame Tony's wild curls. "Visiting us in our humble home?"

"I get to stay here all weekend 'cause my mommy and papa are off making a baby," Tony states as he keeps coloring while Sam stares at him wide eyed and Steve chokes on his spit. Again.

"Um TMI?"

"Tony, we've talked about this, kid," Steve tells him, ignoring how pleading his tone is. "They're just on a date and maybe they're not even in Paris. They could be in that little cabin up in New Jersey you guys stayed in once during the summer, remember?"

"Sure Jan," Tony tells him and Sam laughs at that.

"You spend too much time with Peter," Steve mumbles as he goes back to cooking while Sam goes to grab a cup of coffee.

Tony simply shrugs and goes back to coloring until Steve's phone goes off and his Uncle hands it to him telling him that it's his parents calling him.

"Hi! I miss you!" Tony tells them.

"We miss you too, kid," Bucky replies fondly. "Are ya being good to your Uncle Steve?"

"Yep! I'm always a good boy," Tony reminds his dad who chuckles and Sam and Steve give him twin amused looks. "Where are you? How come you didn't say goodbye?"

"We're in Paris, but we'll be back by Monday morning."

"See Uncle Steve!" Tony exclaims as he looks over at the super soldier who's already dreading the next part of Tony's statement. "My mommy and papa are in Paris to make a baby so a stork can bring it! I told you!"

"What?!" Loki and Bucky exclaimed in shock through the line which sent Sam into a bout of hysterical laughter while Steve turned bright red and finished making the French toast.

"Anthony, who told you that?" Loki asks her child who's giggling.

"Aunt Nat said a mommy and a daddy gots to be alone to make a baby and Pete says that the babies come from Paris and a stork brings them," Tony explains his logic as he continues to color, the phone now being on speaker so the other two can hear the conversation.

"Uh no that's not how... I... what the hell," Bucky stutters out, unable to form a complete sentence thanks to his brain short circuiting because of Tony's wild imagination. How do you get out of this situation without scarring a kid?

"Darling, your father and I have talked to you about the sibling situation," Loki reminds Tony in a gentle voice, trying to sound less embarrassed than she really is. "That is something that will not be happening at this moment."

"Imma be real with you chief, that hurted," Tony tells his parents before handing the phone back to Steve and walking off to put his coloring book and crayons away.

"Um what?" Bucky asked in clear confusion and Steve sighed.

"He's been speaking in memes all day. Blame your other child," Steve explains with a slight sigh and Sam snorts as he grabs some plates from the cupboards.

"Me-mes?"

"Ugh Buck, you old man."

"And I thought Steve couldn't get with the times," Sam jokes and even Loki laughs on the other end.

"Ugh, whatever. Just, keep the kid from makin' those types of comments again and please stop tellin' him where and how babies are made. He doesn't need that kinda information right now."

"Yeah yeah. Have fun you two and use protection if you don't want any storks on the landing pad in nine months!" Steve warns them before hanging up to his own and Sam's giggles.

[12 PM]

Tony's sitting in the backseat of one of the many cars the team use with Happy driving to the Parker's residence to pick up Peter who would be going with Tony to the twins's birthday party. The five year old was a little pouty, having wanted his mama or papa to go with him like they'd promised, but at least his big brother was going with him.

"Alright brat, go get the other brat," Happy grunts out as he parks in front of the building and Tony throws a glare at his Uncle.

"I'm five, Harold. Someone can take me easily," Tony reminds the man who lets out a long sigh but gets out of the car anyways and Tony smirks in victory as he follows after him. Tony's gone up to May's on his own and nothing's happened, most everyone in the building knows him by now and the nice old lady next door to May always gives him brownies when she sees him, but Tony knew that Happy wanted to see May.

"Hi, jellybean! Here for Peter?" May asks once she opens the door, gaze fleeting from Tony to Happy quickly.

"Yep! Is he ready?" Tony asks her as he hugs the woman who bends down to kiss his head.

"Not sure, he was talking to Ned a few minutes ago, but why don't you go check?"

Tony nods and runs off, hearing Happy and May greeting each other in the distance. Tony finds Peter finishing packing a bag with some clothes before turning to face him and smiling.

"Hi there, spider baby!" Peter greets him, picking him up and tossing him into the air a few times which made Tony giggle like crazy. "Ready for Alex's and Alana's birthday party?"

"Yep! I got their presents in the car!"

"Alright, then let's go!" Peter informs him as he grabs his bag and carries the child out to where May and Happy are talking by the front door.

"Ready, brats?" Happy asks them.

"Yup," both boys reply in unison and May smiles fondly at them.

"Alright, you two have fun and be good. Jellybean, come visit soon," Aunt May says as she takes the five year old from her nephew and hugs Tony and kisses his head which makes the child giggle and hug her back tightly. "I've missed getting cuddles from my favorite little boy."

"Hey!" Peter exclaims in mock offense as he playfully glares between his aunt and his baby brother and even Happy laughs at his expression. "I see how it is."

May laughs and pulls her nephew into a hug before letting the two boys go on their way. When they reach the party, it's already in full swing. Almost every kid from Tony's class is there, running around in the backyard where there were unicorn and cars decorations; half pastel colored decorations and half red, blues and greens. Tony clung to Peter as he looked around the crowded yard, parents were talking in one area of the yard and the kids were making a mess of everything.

"Hi boys! Come in! You're just in time. There's a clown coming in a few minutes to put on a show for the kids," the twins's mom tells them as she smiles at the pair.

"Thanks, Mrs Paulson," Peter replies, letting her take the two gifts from his left hand, his right holding onto Tony's left.

"Help yourselves to anything on the snack table over there. We'll be having pizza or hot dogs after the show. Are your parents not coming?"

"Uh no, they're off on some mini vacation. Our uncle just dropped us off."

"Ugh, your parents are lucky."

With that, Mrs Poulson walks away and Peter takes them to the snack table that's filled with candy, cookies, brownies, little buckets of popcorn and other things. But Tony isn't hungry because he just got told that a clown was coming and he doesn't like clowns.

"Pete, I don't like clowns," Tony tells his brother quietly, knowing that the teenager would be able to hear him pretty well despite all the kids screaming and the music playing.

"Hey," Peter says gently as he kneels down in front of the five year old who hasn't caught sight of his best friends yet. Despite them being two weeks into the school year, Tony hasn't made friends with anyone else unlike Lizzy and the twins. "Let's make a deal. I know clowns are kinda scary looking, but I promise that this one is a nice and funny clown. He's here to make everyone laugh. We'll watch his act for a few minutes, if you still don't like him say, ten minutes in?, then we can leave, yeah?"

Tony nods and sniffles a little. He honestly didn't really want to be at the party. He missed his mommy and papa and the twins and Lizzy were nowhere to be seen and were probably pretty happy playing with the other kids. Kids that hadn't even glanced Tony's way.

"Hi Tony! Hi Peter!" Lizzy greets as she runs up to them wearing pink leggings and a sky blue hoodie with gold stars about two sizes too big on her small frame.

"Hi Lizzy," Peter greets her back as he stands up from where he'd been crouching next to Tony and the five year old waves at his best friend.

"Come on Tony, let's go play! Alex and Alana are starting a game of tag," Lizzy tells the five year old, reaching a hand out towards him and that Tony takes after looking up at his big brother for reassurance.

Once the twins spot Tony, they run towards him and wrap their arms around the child, telling him that they're really happy that he's there and Tony can't help but to hug his friends back and giggle.

[1:00 PM]

The clown arrives on time and the twins's mom calls all the kids to take a seat on the blankets at the front of the yard, but Tony stays back with Peter, half hiding behind him and trying not to stare at the clown's face.

Tony doesn't want to admit that his fear of clowns comes from walking in on Clint, Sam, Thor and Wanda watching It in the communal living room one day a few weeks ago. He'd just woken up from his nap and was looking for either of his parents, but instead walked in on part of the team watching a horror movie about a clown and now Tony couldn't stand to see clowns or red balloons.

The clown wasn't even funny, but all his classmates were laughing and the parents were too. Even Peter looked a little bored by the clown who'd done more balloon animals than Tony could bother to count.

"I need some volunteers!" The clown announced happily and immediately, the hands of all the kids went up and they waved them around excitedly and shouted 'Me!' 'Pick me!' but the clown did not pick any of them as his eyes roamed through the sea of children. Instead they landed on Tony who moved closer to his brother and clutched at his jacket. "How about the little boy in the back with the blue sweater!"

Tony was the little boy in the back with the blue sweater.

"Why don't you come here?" The clown asked him and Tony shook his head, putting his arms up for Peter who looked down at him with a smile before picking him up and letting his baby brother hide his face in his neck.

"Uh sorry, but he hasn't been feeling good," Peter apologizes to the clown a little awkwardly seeing as everyone's gaze was on them.

Mrs Poulson walks over to them as the clown picks another kid, a worried look on her face. Peter had to be honest here and say that he liked her better than Teddy's mom. She didn't give Peter a bad vibe.

"Is he alright, sweetheart?" She asked Peter, trying to take a peek at Tony who was still hiding his face and clinging to Peter's front like a koala.

"Yeah, just been a rough day without our parents," Peter tells her, rubbing Tony's back with one hand.

"Poor thing," she coos as she reaches a hand out to ruffle Tony's hair. "Well you two help yourselves out to any snacks if you want and if you need me to call someone for you to come get you boys, just tell me."

"Will do, thank you."

Once she's gone, Peter rests his head on Tony's and asks him, "You want me to call Happy to come get us or do you want to stay?"

"Want mama," Tony replies instead and if Peter could do magic he'd poof them to Paris in a heartbeat just so his little brother could stop being so sad.

Peter pulls his phone out of his back pocket with a bit of a struggle.

"FRI, can you get Happy to come pick us up? Or whoever's available, please," Peter tells the AI since he can't even use his hand to turn on his phone with the way he's holding Tony.

"Certainly, Peter," FRIDAY replies quickly and then a few seconds later adds, "Captain Rogers is closest to your current location and will be there within the next ten minutes."

"Thanks."

[1:27 PM]

"You boys okay?" Steve asks once Peter walks over to him with Tony still in his arms. He was leaning against the car as he waited for the boys to come out of the party that had barely started about an hour or so ago.

"Yeah, just they had a clown and Tony doesn't do clowns," Peter explains as Steve opens the back door of the car.

"You don't like clowns, mo stoirín?" Steve questions the five year old who lifts his head from Peter's shoulder to look at his uncle.

"No. I want my mama and papa," Tony insists and Steve and Peter share a look.

"How about we have FRIDAY call them once we get to the tower? On video so you can see them, yeah?"

Tony shrugs and lets himself be placed in the middle seat in the back, Peter climbing in next to him. Tony just wants cuddles from his mama and papa. He leans into Peter's side and closes his eyes for a brief second.

The next time he opens them, he's laying on his bed on his Uncles Steve's and Sam's floor with Mister Snuggles next to him. He sits up tiredly and rubs at his eyes in hopes of getting rid of the sleepiness he still felt. His Uncle Steve promised he could call his mama and papa and Tony didn't want to sleep anymore and miss the chance to call them.

Sam pokes his head into the room, the door having been previously left slightly ajar and he smiles when he sees that Tony's up.

"Hi little dude," Sam greets him and Tony gets off his bed and rushes over to the dark skinned man who picks up the cuddly child. "Nice nap?"

Tony only nods, still too tired to form words and his eyelids still feeling heavy with sleep. Sometimes naps were the worst because they left him feeling even more tired. Sam takes them out to the living room where his Uncle Steve and Peter are watching a movie, both looking up and smiling at Tony.

Sam places him on the couch, right next to Peter who wraps his arms around his baby brother. Tony just snuggles into him and fights hard to keep his eyes open.

"Tony," Steve says, waking the child up from his second nap with an amused look on his face. "Your mom and dad want to talk to you."

Tony immediately sat up and took the phone from his uncle with a grin, forgetting all about being tired. Peter giggled at his little brother and moved closer to be able to see and talk to their parents as well.

"Hi!" Tony greets them, waving at the couple who smile and wave back at him.

"Hi boys, hope you're being good," Bucky says with a knowing look and Peter rolls his eyes playfully which makes Tony giggle.

"We're always good, old man," Peter reminds him as he pulls Tony onto his lap so the two can better fit on the screen and see their parents. Loki gives them a look that says that she doesn't believe them and both kids giggle.

"How was the party, Anthony? I thought it ended at four," Loki asked and Tony wrinkled his nose. "Something happen?"

"There was a clown at the party," Peter told them and understanding flashed on their faces.

"Ahh, Bambi," Bucky cooed at the five year old. "Was it scary, bud?"

"He was ugly," Tony says with a pout and Peter stifles his giggles while both their parents carefully mask their amusement. "And he wasn't even funny. Even Pete didn't like him. Right Pete?" Tony looked up at his brother who nodded and accidentally snorted which made the child narrow his eyes at him.

"Right! He was awful," Peter agreed with Tony who grinned and turned to face the phone screen again.

The two adults shook their heads fondly and chuckled.

*

[8:47 PM]

"Are you sleepy?" Steve asks Tony as he continues to starts to lather the shampoo onto his head in a nice massage that was, in fact, making Tony sleepy. It's been a long day.

"Mhmm. You gonna read me a story, Uncle Steve?" Tony asks him, voice kinda quiet and struggling to keep his eyes open in the bath. He really missed having nap time.

"Of course! Any story you want."

"Okay."

"Hey, I'm heading out with Clint and Sam," Peter says as he pokes his head in the room, already dressed in his Spider-Man suit and his mask in hand.

"Alright, Pete, but don't be out too late and if you run into trouble, call the rest of the team," Steve reminds the teenager who resists the urge to roll his eyes though Tony knows him well enough by now to know that he would and he giggles. "I'll have FRIDAY keeping an eye out for you so if you come in late, I'll know."

"Ooh, that sounds like a threat."

"It is."

"I am shooketh," Peter says before rushing away and Tony giggles some more at his big brother's antics while Steve sighs and shakes his head fondly as he continues to wash Tony's hair. "Bye spider baby!"

"Bye Petey!" Tony yells, apologizing to his uncle in between giggles when he catches the man wince. His papa has always told him to be mindful of being too loud when around the more enhanced members of their family because their hearing is more sensible than a normal human's.

The rest of bath time went by pretty quick. By the time Tony was pulled out of the water, it was starting to go a little cold and he was more than ready to get under the covers of his bed and snuggle with his stuffed bears.

Thankfully Steve is quick to change him and then tuck him in bed, not his own but he's still familiar enough with this one to get comfortable.

"Alright, what story do you want?" Steve asks him in a quiet tone, the nightlight being the only source of light in the room in an attempt to lull Tony to sleep quickly. Steve guessed Tony would fall asleep pretty quick, his eyes were already half closed.

"Hmm, about princesses please," Tony mumbles in between a yawn and Steve smiles fondly as he settles against the pillows next to Tony.

Steve's not even halfway done with the story that he made up as he went along, when Tony falls asleep. The super soldier smiles and leans down to kiss his head before getting off the bed carefully and pulls the blankets up to Tony's shoulders. On his way out, Steve bumps into Peter, surprised to see the teen back so soon from patrol.

"Night Steve," Peter mumbles, he too looking about ready to fall asleep where he is.

"Night kid."

*

[1:00 AM]

Tony's only been asleep for about three hours when FRIDAY alerts Steve that the child was wide awake. Again. Groaning tiredly, the blonde super soldier gets out of bed and starts to head to the room Tony stays in when he sleeps over. When he enters the room, he finds the child sitting on the window seat bench staring out the window and looking up at the night sky.

"Tony, what are you doing, mo stoirín? You should be sleeping," Steve tells the child as he walks over to him, he too looking out the window and even though they couldn't see the stars thanks to all the city lights, the moon was still bright and beautiful up there.

"My mommy says that the moon is the same everywhere you go, so I was just telling the moon to tell my mommy and papa that I miss them lots," Tony explains as he tears his gaze away from the moon and looks up at his uncle who smiles softly. "If the moon is the same everywhere, then that means that the moon can also see my mommy and papa."

"I'm sure they know how much you miss them, honey, but they would also want you to go to sleep. It's late and little boys like you shouldn't be up this late. Don't wanna be cranky when Peter, you and I go out for breakfast in the morning, do ya?" Steve questions the five year old as he picks him up and begins to walk over to his bed where Mister Snuggles lay abandoned half tucked in the blankets.

"Can I sleep with you? I want cuddles." Tony pouted up at him with his large brown eyes and the saddest little look on his face that made Steve want to coo and never say no to the kid (within reason of course).

And well, Steve's not one to say no to that look so he just grabbed Mister Snuggles and took Tony to his room. He settled the kid down in the center of the bed and climbed in after him, the two falling asleep as soon as their heads hit the pillow.

Chapter Text

The day starts of like normal. Tony fights them in the morning on getting ready for school and it takes a good scolding from Loki for him to get out of bed and get dressed. Bucky makes a comment about Loki being too moody that has the prince changing his hair color to bright pink. Again. Tony merely giggles at his parents antics and hurries off to the communal kitchen where Steve and Natasha are making breakfast.

Afterwards, Tony says goodbye to the few Avengers who are awake and home and heads off with Bucky to school while his mama heads off to work with Pepper.

"Alright, kid," Bucky says as he kneels in front of Tony to fix his jacket and brush back his curls once they're at the school. "Be good, have a nice day and have fun. Remember the rules. Don't leave with anyone that isn't an Avenger, Happy, Peter, May or Pepper. If someone who isn't one of them tries taking you, get the attention of a teacher, okay?"

"Yes, papa. I know," Tony says with a tired sigh as he rolls his eyes. He's been getting the same lecture since he started at the daycare and he knows it by memory now. His papa's so silly.

"Sassy, brat. I love you and I'll see you when I get back from the mission."

"Love you too, papa." Tony giggles and kisses his papa's cheek, careful to not knock off the baseball cap from his head that's hiding his pink hair. Loki had refused to change it back and Bucky wonders if he needs to have a chat with his boyfriend about his more than unusual mood swings. In the last three days Bucky's had his hair changed to every color of the rainbow and he's starting to miss his normal hair color at this point.

Bucky stayed outside until Tony disappeared inside the building and then he left. He had a meeting at SHIELD with Steve and Natasha and he couldn't afford to be late again. They'd be heading out on a mission in a few hours and something in Bucky was making him restless. Like maybe he shouldn't be going away.

Loki's walking towards Pepper's office typing up an email on a tablet when she ends up bumping into a hard chest.

"Watch where-" Loki started to snap at the person she'd bumped into, but once her green eyes landed on the person, she took an unconscious step back as her eyes widened in surprise. "Why are you here?"

"Lola, nice to see you again," the man greets her with a sly smirk as he takes her in from head to toe, making her shiver uncomfortably and mask her discomfort for irritation.

"I cannot say the same, Marcos. But answer me this, why are you so obsessed with my boys?"

"They're not yours and I'm just sick of the lies. I know people don't believe me now, but they will eventually and they'll find out that Tony isn't actually Stark's son but is in fact, Stark himself, just miniature sized."

Loki's heart clenched in fear. How was it possible that this guy knew the truth when it was kept between Fury and the Avengers?

"Don't look so surprised, babe. I know a lot more than you suspect."

"Come anywhere near my boys and I will fucking end you, Hollow. I do not know what you are planning, but know that if you keep coming after my sons, that you will have a whole lot of reasons to regret your miserable mortal life," Loki warns him through clenched teeth and her free hand glowing green.

"What's going on here?" Pepper asked as she walked towards the two with quick steps, a frown on her face.

"Nothing. Was just telling Loki that it's good seeing her again," Marcos says with a slight chuckle before he walked away.

"Are you okay? Come on, let's go to my office," Pepper says as she tugs at Loki's arm.

"He knows the truth about Anthony," Loki tells Pepper once they're in the safety of her office with FRIDAY watching over them. "And he knows more but did not go into detail about what else."

"This isn't good."

The call comes an hour later. The fire alarm went off at the elementary school even though they'd had a fire drill a few days ago so in the mix of the chaos, Tony went missing.

"What kind of school is this if they cannot handle these kinds of situations?!" Loki yelled at the principal angrily, being held back by her brother who was just as angry, if the dark storm clouds outside were anything to go by.

"Mrs Barnes, I apologize terribly for this-"

"But what? Are you going to say that it isn't your fault?" Bruce asks angrily, skin taking on the slightest green hue that worried them all. It'd be no good if the Hulk came out right now.

"No, but when the kids all rushed out in a panic before their teachers could get a hold of them and whoever took Tony had to have acted during those minutes of complete chaos when everyone was outside pushing and shoving. We have the police searching through the cameras hoping to find something, but if you guys want to start your own investigation, then by all means. Now, I need to talk to the fire department."

With that, the principal walked off with a slight scowl while Loki turned in her brother's arms and went limp in his hold. She could hear Clint and Bruce talking in the background, but it all sounded like she was underwater. And she couldn't breath, a pressure on her chest making it feel like she was drowning.

"-ki. Loki!" Thor shouted her name, shaking her to get her to snap out of whatever funk she'd gone into.

"Thor, stop!" Bruce called as he raced forward to stop the god of thunder from shaking his sister. "She's having a panic attack. Just sit her down on the chair, I'll help her."

Thor lowered Loki into a seat and stepped back to let Banner help Loki who was too pale and gasping for air. Barton had gone off to get into contact with SHIELD in hopes of getting to the ones who were off on a mission to return.

"Loki, deep breaths," Bruce coaxed gently as he grabbed her hands and gave them gentle squeezes every few seconds until she managed to give him a weak squeeze back. "We're going to find Tony. He's going to be fine, okay?"

"C-Can't d-do this a-again," Loki managed to say in between sobs and Thor had to look away from his younger sibling, the thunder outside only getting louder until the rain started to fall.

"We found something," Sam says as he rushes into the room with Clint behind him. "The cameras managed to catch a man, tall and kinda broad shouldered wearing a dark sweater with the hood up taking Tony by the hand with another kid."

"Did the cameras manage to catch his face?" Clint asked as Loki's head snapped up to stare at Sam who shook his head. "There has to be other clues as to who took Tony."

Loki frowned and before anyone could ask her what was wrong, she was gone in a smoke of green magic.

"Uh where'd Mean and Spooky go?" Clint asked as he looked around the room as if Loki would reappear beside them.

"She must know something we don't," Bruce says as he stands up from where he'd been crouching in front of a now empty chair. "Did you manage to get into contact with the others?"

"I did, they're on their way. Nat said they'd be here by tonight though Bucky did say to keep an eye on Loki who we already lost." Clint winced and Bruce sighed.

Meanwhile Loki appeared at SI on the floor that Marcos worked on and headed down to his office dressed in his combat armor and hands shaking in anger. He was glad everyone had gone home already, but he knew Marcos would be working until late to catch up on his work.

"Loki, what are you doing here?" Marcos asked walking in behind the angry mage who'd stormed into the man's office only to find it empty.

Turning around, Loki saw Marcos standing there wearing a dark colored jacket and hair soaking wet to which he narrowed his eyes in suspicion. Loki used his seidr to pin Marcos to a wall, the man's eyes widening in surprise before he started to laugh.

"Whatever it is that you think I did, you're wrong," Marcos tells him and Loki simply flicks his hand to the side which sends the man flying across the room and hitting a wall. "Gotta admit, you're pretty strong when angry. And it's kinda arousing."

"Where is my son, Hollow?" Loki asked him, approaching the man slowly in a predatory way. "I find it astounding that just when you return, my son goes missing. Are you that brainless as to not heed my warnings?"

"Look, princess, I have no idea what you're talking about," Marcos tells him as he sits up, groaning in pain and grabbing at his aching ribs. "I've been working here all day unlike you."

"Do not forget that I am the god of lies and I can sense perfectly when someone is lying to me. Try again." Loki stands in front of Marcos now with one of his daggers pointed at him, ignoring the rushed footsteps heading their way and instead using a hand to close and lock the door to Marcos's office.

"Fine, I did go out, but only to meet up with my ex wife and son. I was nowhere near your boys," Marcos confesses with a slight shrug before his lips stretch out into a smirk at the end of his sentence.

"Peter," Loki gasps before using his seidr to knock Marcos unconscious and racing towards the door where someone was banging on it and calling his name. "Pepper."

"Loki, the others told me what happened and I figured you'd be here. Are you okay?" The CEO asks frantically as she tries getting the mage to look at her.

"I need to get to Peter," is all Loki says before disappearing again and leaving behind Pepper with questions on the tip of her tongue, but she pulls her phone out to call Bruce and tell him where Loki was headed.

Loki's exhausted by the time he reaches Midtown just as the kids are walking out of school, done with their lessons for the day. He searches the crowds of students for his teenager, worrying more and more when he sees no sign of him. Eventually he spots Peter walking out of the building with MJ and Ned.

"Mom?" Peter calls out in surprise once they reach Loki who's quick to pull the teen into a hug. "Hey, what's wrong? Did something happen?" Peter hugs Loki back feeling a little scared.

"Anthony's missing," Loki tells him as he pulls away from Peter who feels like a bucket of cold water got dumped on him.

"W-What? Mom, what happened?"

"I will explain at home, but we should get going. I-I do not know if you could be in danger as well and I would rather not risk your safety."

Peter nods numbly and just about says goodbye to his friends before following Loki off towards the parking lot where they find Happy waiting for them. Once inside the car, the driver gives them a small smile and Peter curls up into Loki's side as he tries to wrap his head around the idea of his baby brother being kidnapped.

"We will find him, darling," Loki reassured Peter as he wrapped his arms around Peter who buried his face in the crook of Loki's neck and closed his eyes. Peter appreciates Loki's words, but he knows he won't be okay until he can hold his little brother again.

"I-Is pops home?" Peter asks quietly, clinging to Loki's armor.

"He, Steve and Natasha are on their way home from a mission. They will be home by tonight, but they are aware of the situation and the rest are reviewing cameras and talking to anyone who might have been around during the time Anthony got taken."

"But do you guys know anything? Like how?"

"The fire alarm went off at the school, unplanned, and during the chaos and confusion a guy took the chance to take him. We could not see his face, but I am pretty sure I know who took your brother."

Peter lifts his head to look at Loki and notices the mage's distant look. He guesses it's probably not easy for the prince to go through this with his past experiences with getting his own kids taken away from him and Peter's not sure if Loki's just handling it better than he thinks or he's trying hard to not have a breakdown.

They reach the tower half an hour later and Happy escorts them towards the elevator that takes them all the way up to the communal floor. Peter's still clinging to Loki's side with the mage holding his hand in a form of comfort for the both of them. They step off the elevator and Thor walks towards them right away with a relieved look on his face.

"Loki," Thor breathed out in relief as he walked over to pull his brother and Peter into a hug. "Peter, are you both alright?"

"We are fine, brother," Loki mumbles but he's got his free hand clutching at the back of Thor's armor. "Have you guys found anything else?"

"No, but Pepper told us where you went and by the time SHIELD got there, Marcos was gone," Sam informs Loki who scowls and tightens his hold on both Thor and Peter for a brief second before pulling away from them both. "No trace of him and FRIDAY was down for the amount of time it took him to escape. He could have more people working for him if FRIDAY got taken out."

"Wait, Marcos did it? As in Teddy's dad?" Peter asks the room in general with wide eyes, still standing next to Thor while Loki had walked towards the living room and took a seat next to a quiet Wanda. "No wonder my spidey sense went off when we were around him in LA. Wait, he was working at the Malibu SI HQ, when did he even move back to New York?"

"I saw him at work this morning, as far as anyone else might know, he probably has not been here long, but if this was planned out then who really knows," Loki replies from across the room as he wraps his arms around himself and stares at the floor. "Apparently he and Maggie got a divorce sometime between the last time we saw them and now."

"Think she might know something?" Clint wondered from where he sat on the back of the armchair. "Wanda and I could go pay her a little visit."

Everyone looked over at Sam who was always left in charge when Steve, Natasha and Bucky weren't around to make big team decisions. It was usually really rare for all three of their leaders to be off on a mission at the same time, but when it did happen, Sam was left behind as team leader now that Tony was a kid.

"Go. If you think she's lying to protect him, use any method to get the information out of her," Sam tells the two, sending Wanda a look that made the young woman look up with wide eyes.

"You mean get in her head?" She asked him just to make sure and Sam nodded.

"Keep us updated."

"Aye aye, captain!" Clint calls as he and Wanda rush off to get changed into their uniforms.

"Wait, I want to go too," Peter speaks up a little angrily that they hadn't counted him in.

"Darling, I do not think it is safe for you to do so," Loki tells him as he motions Peter towards him. "Marcos made it seem like you could be next and I do not want to risk you getting taken as well. Please, Peter."

Peter sighed and took a seat next to Loki, leaning into his side again and resting his head on his mom's shoulder and watched the others head towards the kitchen.

*

"Can't this shit go any faster?" Bucky growled angrily as he kept pacing in the QuinJet.

"If you ask me one more fucking time I will push you out," Natasha warns him without even turning around to face him. "The answer remains the same."

"Buck, there's ten minutes left until we get to the tower. Just sit and try to calm down," Steve begs his best friend who stops pacing and turns to glare at him.

"Steve, my child got taken from a place where he was supposed to be safe! My boyfriend fuckin' confronted Marcos on his own and I have a teenager who's apparently also at risk in gettin' taken, don't fuckin' tell me to calm down!"

"That's exactly why we need you to calm down, Bucky! Because Loki and Peter are going to need you right now and Tony can't have you making decisions when you're angry. We need to get our heads on straight to find our kid quickly and without making mistakes."

Bucky deflated at Steve's words, all the anger and fear just leaving his body and leaving him feeling completely numb. Dropping down into a seat in defeat, Bucky wondered where Tony was and if he was okay and hoped that they could find him soon. And he promised that if Marcos really did have something to do with Tony's kidnapping, he'd let every technique he learned as the Winter Soldier lose on the man who dared mess with his family.

Chapter Text

Loki flushes the toilet and wipes her mouth with a paper towel before heading towards the sink to rinse off the taste of throw up. It's been two days since they rescued Anthony and Teddy and the children still have not woken up. The two had been experimented on with the purpose of having powers, much like Wanda's. No one was sure if the experiment had worked, seeing as the boys had't woken up and Bruce hasn't exactly been able to decipher the research they'd found in the building.

And this was also the second day Loki's been sick. She'd wake up feeling nauseous but she wasn't practically one with the toilet until sometime after lunchtime. She kept brushing it off as her worry for her children, but deep down she knew why she was sick. Now wasn't the time and she hoped it was just because she was coming down with something.

"You should really let Bruce run some tests," Natasha says after she walked into the bathroom, her arms crossed against her chest and a hard expression on her face.

"Now is not the time, Tash," Loki replies in a soft mumble as she stares at her red haired best friend through the mirror only to find Natasha staring back at her with concerned green eyes.

"But your health is important, Loki, so you either let Bruce run some tests on you or I will drag you to an exam room right now. Your kids need you and you won't be able to be with them if you're stuck in a hospital bed yourself."

Natasha walks over to Loki and rubs her back, an understanding smile tugging at her lips. Loki found herself smiling back before turning around to hug Natasha who didn't hesitate to wrap her arms around the black haired mage.

"Now is really not the time, Tasha," Loki insists and Natasha understands the meaning behind her words and detects a slight wobble to her tone. Loki was nearing a breakdown and Natasha didn't blame her.

Before either could say more, their phones went off with a text from James. Anthony was awake. Loki quickly raced out of the bathroom and headed down the long white halls of the medical bay until he reached the room that Anthony was staying in. James was with him, stroking his hair and pressing kisses to his face which had the little boy giggling.

"Mommy!" Tony cried out happily once he spotted Loki and the mage has never moved so fast in her entire life, nearly tripping over her own boots in her haste to get to her child.

"Oh darling," Loki cried as she embraced the five year old, tears rolling down her cheeks as she squeezed her eyes shut. "Do you feel alright?"

Anthony nods, but refuses to let go of Loki when the mage goes to pull away. James meanwhile is watching the two with a large grin. The only one missing was Peter, but they'd finally managed to convince the teen to leave the room and go eat something with the rest of the team. Peter's been glued to Tony's side for the last two days, only leaving the room when absolutely necessary. But he supposed the teenager was probably on his way, anxious to see his baby brother awake and well.

Three Days Ago...

It's late when Bucky, Steve and Natasha finally reach the tour. The lights in the communal floor are dimmed they find Bruce, Sam, Wanda and Vision in the kitchen sitting around the table with holograms in front of them.

"Hey, anything new?" Steve asks them right away, still dressed in his stealth suit with the cowl pushed off and places his shield leaning against a wall.

"Clint and I went to talk to Marcos's ex wife, Maggie, but she really doesn't know anything and on top of that, Marcos took Teddy as well, who we assume Marcos used as bait to lure Tony, and she's just as desperate to find her son as we are," Wanda explains after setting her cup of tea on the table.

"And there's been no sign of Marcos since Loki payed him a visit," Sam informs them.

"Where's Thor?" Natasha asks, wondering if the god of thunder was off with Loki.

"Thor went off to Asgard in hopes of Heimdall being able to see something," Bruce speaks up with his hands curled around his own tea cup.

"Where are Loki and Peter?" Bucky asks them worriedly after not seeing his boyfriend or teenager anywhere.

"They're up on your floor. They've been up there since Thor left for Asgard awhile ago, maybe Heimdall can help," Bruce tells Bucky who nods and quickly heads towards the elevator to go upstairs to his floor.

Much like the communal floor, the lights are dimmed and there's no noise coming from anywhere. It makes Bucky briefly wonder if the two are getting some much needed rest, but he knows both Loki and Peter are stubborn and they won't rest until Tony's back with them. Not that he's any better. Sleeping is the last thing on his mind right now.

"Doll? Pete?" Bucky calls out as he walks down the quiet hall, brows furrowed at the silence that answered. "Guys, anyone home?"

"Hey, pops," Peter greets him softly as he walks out of the master bedroom with red puffy eyes and dried tear stains on his cheeks.

"Hey kid," Bucky greets him as he pulls the teenager into his arms and kisses the top of his head, just holding him tight and comforting the distraught teen. "Okay?"

"Could be a lot worse," Peter tries to joke, but it falls flat and he sniffles. "Been with mom since after school."

"That's good. Is he in the room?"

"Yeah. Uncle Bruce mentioned he had a panic attack at Tony's school, but since then he's been kinda closed off emotionally. Uncle Thor had to leave for Asgard, but even he's worried. Says mom isn't reacting like he did when Odin took his kids away."

"Have you eaten?" Peter shakes his head and goes to say that he isn't hungry, but Bucky doesn't let him. "Go down to the communal floor and eat something while I talk to Loki. We'll be down in a bit."

Peter nods a bit reluctantly, but lets go of the tight grip he had on his pop's armor and heads towards the elevator. Bucky meanwhile takes in a deep breath before heading into his and Loki's room where he finds the mage sitting on the ground with his back to the bed and staring at nothing.

"Doll," Bucky calls out worriedly as he kneels in front of him and taking his boyfriend's cold pale hands in his. Looking down at his hands, Bucky noticed that Loki's black nail polish was chipped at the tips where the god had most likely chewed at his nails in the nervous habit he'd picked up from some of the others.

"I will not rest until I find our son, James," is what Loki tells him without looking over at him, gaze locked on a spot in front of him.

"But Tony needs us both to not die tryin', Loki. You still need to eat and rest, because whether we find Tony in an hour from now or a week from today, even you can't go that long without eating and sleeping. You're not actually immortal."

Loki doesn't say anything and truthfully, Bucky isn't sure what he was expecting his boyfriend to even say. He just keeps staring at nothing, but lets Bucky keep holding his hands.

"Did they tell you that he took Teddy as well?" Loki eventually asks him, shifting until he can lean into Bucky's side and the metal armed soldier sits beside him and wraps his arms around the prince.

"Yeah. Tony's smart. He wouldn't have gone with Marcos unless he was using his own kid as bait and Marcos knows how to play his cards right. And with Maggie not knowing anything, it's like we've hit a dead end."

"Let me talk to Marcos again, but this time as Maggie. Maybe I will be able to get something out of him," Loki all but pleaded as he turned his gaze away from the wall and looked up at Bucky who was shaking his head.

"No way, Loki. I am not going to risk you like that again," Bucky tries to argue as he stands up and begins to pace the length of their room. "We don't even know what that psycho is capable off or what his intentions are!"

Loki stands up with the intent of convincing his boyfriend to let him do this for Anthony's sake, but as he stands up, he stumbles as his vision goes blurry and if it weren't for Bucky's quick reflexes then he's sure he would have face planted.

"Are you okay?" Bucky asks worriedly as he sits Loki down on the bed, cupping his pale face in his hands. "FRIDAY, call Bruce-"

"No, I am fine. Just stood up too fast, but I am fine, James. I promise." The lie is enough to convince his boyfriend, but not him. Loki doesn't have time to worry about himself, not when his son is out there who knows where.

"Loki, if something's wrong-"

"I am fine. Please, let me talk to Marcos again. I know I can get through to him as Maggie. If it would make you feel better, I can take Tasha and Barton with me to keep an eye at a distance. Anthony's been missing for over half a day now, James, we cannot afford to keep losing time by just sitting here until Marcos makes the first move," Loki pleads this time as he stands up and wraps his arms around Bucky's neck.

Bucky didn't want to cave in, but really, Loki was the one person on the team for these kinds of situations. The amount of times they've used the mage to disguise himself as someone just to get answers or infiltrate in missions was more times than he had fingers on his hands. Didn't make Bucky worry any less each time he did it. There was always a risk, even if Loki was the god of lies, and Bucky didn't want to expose his boyfriend like that.

"We'll talk with the rest of the team first, make a plan and then move out in the morning, but only if you promise to get some rest and eat something."

Loki nods and leans forward to peck Bucky's lips before the two head out of their room and down towards the communal floor.

The others are there, plus Pepper and Rhodey and Carol who looked equally as upset as all of them. Peter was sitting at the kitchen table and smiled up at his parents who stood behind the teen.

"Loki has a plan to get Marcos to talk," Bucky announces to the room.

Present Day...

Tony had refused to let go of Loki, so now she was sitting on the bed with the child curled up into her side and Bucky was sitting on a chair on Tony's other side letting him play with his metal fingers.

They all look up when Peter rushes in, wide eyed and tear filled. Tony gasps excitedly and reaches out for his big brother who crosses the room in three quick large steps as Loki moves out of the way.

"Missed you so much, spider baby," Peter says as he hugs the child, not too tight, but tight enough to make it feel like Tony was really there safe and sound.

"Missed you lots, too," Tony mumbles as he clutches at the back of Peter's jacket.

Bruce and Dr Cho walk in at that moment and smile at the scene. Neither boy noticed the new people in the room, but Loki and Bucky walked over to the two doctors in charge of Tony and Teddy for the last two days.

"I'd like to run some final tests on Tony to make sure everything is fine before sending him home," Dr Cho tells the couple who nod, Bucky's arm going around Loki's waist to pull her close.

"And Teddy?" Bucky asked the pair who shook their heads.

"Whatever they gave him still hasn't completely left his system, so he's still in a coma. We're still running tests so I can't give you an estimated time frame for when he'll wake up. I will keep you inform though."

"It's certain though that Teddy was exposed to it for much longer than Tony," Bruce adds afterwards.

"And what will happen to him once he gets better?" Loki questions the three adults who all sigh.

"Maggie and Marcos intended to turn the boys into mutants and Teddy's tears all turned out with the x gene that mutants have so I managed to get into contact with Charles Xavier and he's going to take Teddy in to help him understand and control his powers."

"If and when he wakes up," Dr Cho added quietly. "As for Tony, so far it hasn't manifested, but we will keep monitoring him just in case."

"Thank you," Bucky tells the two and Bruce nods and follows Dr Cho further into the room. "You've been quiet all day. You alright?" Bucky faces Loki with a slight frown.

"I am fine, but I guess I will not be comfortable enough until we can go home with Anthony," Loki replies with a soft smile as she brings a hand up to cup her boyfriend's face.

"Your throat isn't botherin' you, right?"

Loki shook her head and tried her hardest not to flinch when Bucky brought a hand up to caress her bruised skin.

Two Days Ago...

The plan was meant to be simple. Loki cast an illusion on himself to look like Maggie and he was meant to talk to Marcos to get information out of him because Maggie didn't know what Marcos's intentions are. Clint and Bucky, their best snipers, were positioned on a roof with a clear shot of Marcos to act in case they needed too.

They meet up at a coffee shop and Loki makes sure to sit at a table outside. As soon as Marcos shows up, the hair on the back of his neck stands up but he tries keeping it cool.

"Where's my son, Marcos?" Maggie, well Loki really, asks right away through clenched teeth as she glares at the man sitting across from her.

"You know damn well where he is, woman. Don't come to play stupid. You're the one who agreed to experiment on him first," Marcos replies casually as he leans back in his chair, gaze calculating as he takes in Maggie.

"Son of a bitch, we were played by Maggie," comes Steve's voice through the communication device in Loki's ear. "This is a trap."

"Loki, you need to get out of there," Bucky instructs a little urgently as Marcos's lips curl into a slow knowing smirk.

"Tell me, Loki. Did you really buy Maggie's act?" Marcos asks the mage who goes to stand up to leave, but his hand shoots out to grab her wrist in a tight hold and pull her back towards him. "It was all her idea anyways, I was just the one running the blog and gathering information on your kids."

Loki growled and dropped the illusion, leaving him in his armor and using his seidr to make Marcos's hold on his wrist drop.

"Where is she now?" Loki asked Marcos who shook his head.

"You're not getting anything else out of me, babe."

Loki pulled his daggers out from his sleeves and pointed them at Marcos who laughed and threw his head back in complete amusement. The others were all shouting in his ear so he turned off his comms to focus on the man sitting so casually in his seat as if he weren't seconds away from death.

"That's real cute," was all he said before he brought his hands up and shot Loki backwards against other tables with a shot of something dark red.

The streets dissolved into utter chaos. An arrow flew from the top of the building across the street only to have Marcos send it elsewhere with a flick of his hand as he advanced towards Loki who was groaning in pain.

"I do have one message from Maggie though," says Marcos as he crouched down in front of Loki and wraps a hand around his neck, squeezing just hard enough to make him gasp and claw at the man's hand desperately. "He's in safe hands."

Steve's shield hit Marcos's side and sent him away from Loki who tried to take in a deep breath but ended up coughing. Natasha was at his side in an instant while Steve and Bucky dealt with Marcos who was putting up a fight.

Present Day...

After Bruce and Dr Cho had finished Tony's exams, the rest of the team entered the room to greet the child who was more than happy to see his entire family together. Even his Aunt Carol and Uncle Rhodey we're present!

"You gave us quite a scare, kid," Rhodey says as he ruffles Tony's hair affectionately.

Tony only giggled and asked Carol about Goose and the blonde woman promised to take Goose to the tower once he was at home and well. Peter was still glued to his baby brother's side, though when he wasn't with Tony, he was with Bucky or Loki.

"You alright, darling?" Loki asks as Peter wraps his arms around her and she rubs his back in soft comforting circles.

"Just- What's going to happen now that the whole world knows who I am?" Peter asks into her shoulder and Loki tightens her hold on Peter.

"Well for now, we think it would be wise for you to stay at the tower for a few days until the PR team can hopefully get the public to calm down," Loki starts to explain, looking up as Bucky approaches the two and wraps his arms around them.

"So no school?"

"Not for right now, kid," Bucky says apologetically. "It's all a mess right now and some people out there aren't takin' things well. Right now we just want you to be safe. We're sorry, kid."

"It's fine. I mean- not really, but people were meant to find out eventually and I'm just glad it happened while I was saving my little brother and not because I was being reckless."

Loki gives a fond chuckle and kisses Peter's temple while Bucky hides his smile in Loki's dark hair.

Two Days Ago...

Peter was meant to stay at the tower with Vision, but during a moment when the android was otherwise occupied, the teen snuck out in his suit started to swing from building to building with Karen guiding him until he found Maggie.

He followed her until she reached an old abandoned apartment building in Brooklyn where Karen then proceeded to tell him that aside from Maggie, there were other people inside and Peter just knew that Tony had to be in there. So he climbed up the side of the building until he reached the fifth floor where there was an open window and crawled inside. He stayed on the ceiling though to avoid being seen.

"Karen, send my location to the team and tell them that I'm in. Also, keep them updated to what happens," Peter tells his AI who quietly does as she's told, though she would have preferred that Peter wait for backup.

"The apartment down the hall on the left is the only one on this floor with two life signatures," Karen informs Peter who quickly crawls over to the apartment and heads inside.

Tony and Teddy are both in a room laying on twin sized beds and hooked up to an IV looking thing with pink liquid.

"Karen, are they- are they okay?" Peter asks frantically as he lands quietly on the floor and heads over to his baby brother who aside from the needle in his arm, looks relatively okay.

"Their vitals are steady and I am not detecting any serious injuries." Karen is quiet for a minute before she says, "Loki would like to speak to you, Peter."

"Uh patch him through."

"Peter, are you alright? Please tell me you have not taken on anyone on your own," Loki pleads, voice hoarse and he coughs a little at the end.

"I-I found them, mom. I d-don't know what's wrong with them though. They're hooked up to some strange liquid and they're unconscious," Peter informs his mother who relays the information to the others. "Mom, what do I do?"

"Darling, I need you to calm down. We are on our way, but please, do not try to take on anyone on your own and do not unhook the boys from the stuff, we need to check that it will not harm them first. Keep them safe, Peter."

"I will. Hurry please."

The line cuts off and even though he doesn't want too, Peter waits for the team to arrive. Anxiously keeping an ear out for anyone that could head their way. In the long minutes that he sits waiting, the boys don't even stir, their breathing stays even and the bags with the liquid don't even move past the halfway point. It's not long before he hears what sounds like people fighting downstairs, but then he hears someone rushing down the hall towards the apartment Peter and the boys are in so the teen prepares himself for a fight.

And he's not even surprised when Maggie runs in, her expression going from shocked to amused in a second.

"Should have known you'd be here first, Peter," she says from the doorway of the room.

"W-What?" Peter stutters out, the whites of his mask open wide as his heart races in fear.

"Marcos figured it out first and I have to admit, he was only useful in giving me names and your families dirty little secrets," Maggie says as she walks into the room and sits next to Teddy, running a hand through his hair. "You know, it's not fair that people like you exist, Peter. With powers that you only use to do good when there's so much more out there being a part time hero and helping old ladies cross the street. The good guys don't always win, Peter."

"So what? What's your purpose? You're messing with kids who don't even understand the concept of heroes and powers."

"That's why. Because they don't understand right from wrong and can be molded perfectly. They just needed a little help."

"You're insane for doing this to a little kids and you won't get away with this," Peter tells her angrily before shooting webs at Maggie who with just a flick of her hand makes them disappear before they can reach her.

"I've got one more trick up my sleeve, Peter. Hope you enjoy your fame," Maggie says with a wicked gleam in her eyes and Peter froze. She didn't mean revealing his identity, did she?

"Karen?"

"I'm sorry, Peter. The news just hit social media. Everyone knows who Spider-Man really is now," Karen replies in a somber tone and Peter just feels like his world is crashing down around him.

"Peter, move!" Loki shouts and Peter was just about able to dodge a clash from Maggie who growled and turned to face Loki.

Present Day...

"Tony's blood work came out perfectly normal," Bruce informs the couple later in the day in the hall just outside of Tony's room. Peter and Thor were inside with the five year old entertaining him while the rest had gone off to either rest, talk to Fury or get something to eat.

"Do we still have to worry about the x-gene appearing later on?" Bucky asks the doctor who was currently cleaning his glasses.

"I can't guarantee you anything, but if we take Teddy for example, he was getting experimented on for who knows how long and Tony was only with them for a day."

"Any news on Teddy?" Loki asked Bruce who shook his head.

"We'll keep you guys updated though."

"Thanks, Bruce," Bucky tells him and they watch the doctor walk away.

Loki turns around and buried her face in her boyfriend's neck, feeling his arms wrap around her waist.

"I know, babydoll. We've still got a long ways to go until things can settle back to normal, but we'll work through it together, hmm?"

"Together," Loki mumbles tiredly.

Chapter Text

It's been five days since they rescued Tony and one since they were able to go back home. In that time, the news about Peter being Spider-Man still hadn't died down. If anything, it was only getting worse. The paparazzi outside of the tower was ridiculous and May was even living with them. Reporters were also waiting outside of Peter's school in hopes of catching the teen. All of that was taking a toll on Peter who was quiet and clung to his parents often.

"Have you thought about taking them to Asgard for awhile?" Thor asked Loki during a rare moment when neither boy was glued to Loki's side, the rest of the team being off doing other things. "At least until things calm down here?"

"Would that not be like running away?" Loki asks her brother, leaning her head back against the couch and closing her eyes. She was tired but also felt sick and a bit hungry. "Pepper is planning a press conference for Peter in a few days, leaving now would not be wise."

"It would not be seen as running away. Think about it, perhaps it could benefit not only the boys, but also you." Thor stands up and is about to leave when he turns to face his sister who is now staring at him. "Mother and father were quite worried and they miss you and the boys."

Loki stayed sitting on the couch on her floor until James walked in and smiled at her. He leaned down and pecked her lips before taking a seat next to her.

"Are the boys alright?" Loki asks him as she turns her body so she can drape her legs across his lap.

"Yeah. I left them watching a movie with Steve," James replies as he places his hands on his girlfriend's legs. "Do you feel better?"

"Still have a bit of an upset stomach, but I feel better than this morning," Loki lies. Truth was, she still felt like she would throw up at any second, but James was already worrying enough about the boys, she didn't want to add one more thing to his list to stress over. "Thor mentioned that it would maybe be a good idea to take the boys to Asgard for awhile."

"Hmm, what do you think?" James asks her as he looks down at her legs and starts to massage his way upwards.

"Pepper is setting up a press conference for Peter and we agreed that to send the boys to Anthony's therapist for awhile, not sure if it would be wise to do so at this moment," Loki replies a little hesitantly, peeking up at James through her lashes.

His hands stopped moving just as they reached her thighs and he was quiet for a minute too long which worried Loki that maybe she'd given the wrong answer. Since Anthony got taken, they've both had different views on parenting and it's ended on one too many fights. After what happened, Loki thought it would only bring them closer as a family, but it's actually been the opposite. Loki feels like there's a certain amount of distance between her and James that she's not sure how to start building a bridge to connect them.

"It could be a good idea," James eventually says as he looks up at her and moves his hands to her hips to pull her over onto his lap. "Maybe we could ask their therapist and let Pete do the conference first and then we'll decide."

Loki let out a small sigh of relief that the conversation didn't end in a yelling match. She nodded at his answer and leaned completely against his chest, tucking her head under his chin and closing her eyes as James's arms wrapped around her tightly.

"Hey, James?" Loki called out, intent on bringing up a certain topic but his mumbled reply had her thinking better of it and instead smiled sadly into his neck. "I love you."

"I love you too, babydoll," he replies.

*

It was late at night and Loki was laying awake next to her boyfriend who was snoring away, his arm around her waist. She was lost in thought while absentmindedly stroking James's arm when Anthony starts screaming next door and she's jumping out of bed in an instant and racing towards Anthony's room with James running right after.

"Darling, it's alright," Loki coos as she pulls the shaking and crying five year old into her arms, letting him cling to her as he cries into her shoulder. "You are home and safe, Anthony."

"You want to sleep with us, Bambi?" James asked as he rubbed the child's back.

"P-Please,"'Anthony replies in between hiccups.

And so for the second night in a row, Anthony sleeps between them and they're not even surprised to wake up in the morning with Peter in bed with them curled protectively around his brother. The couple only share a look over their heads as if telling each other 'we can't go on like this' and then Loki's rushing to the bathroom to throw up.

*

"Here," Natasha says as she hands Loki a plastic bag from a pharmacy, the two sitting in a conference room waiting for Pepper.

"Um thanks?" Loki tells her completely confused before opening up the bag and glaring at the spy who shrugged and took a seat next to her. "Natasha-"

"I'm tired about hearing Bucky complain about your morning sickness, which is he really that dense? And I'm sick tired of you not doing anything about it, so here's the quickest way to find out for sure," Natasha explains while raising an eyebrow at her friend who pulls out the pregnancy tests from the bag. "You do know how to use one, right? Or is it different in Asgard?" Natasha asks when she catches Loki looking at the tests like they're something she's never seen in her life before or like they were ready to explode any second.

"Of course I know what these are, Tasha, but my mother was always the one to notice first and then she would drag me to the healers," Loki explained as she put the boxes back in the bag just as Pepper walked in.

"Sorry for making you wait," Pepper apologizes sounding a little out of breath as she takes a seat, her eyes locking in with the pharmacy bag and the items inside it and then looking up at Loki with a slightly surprised look. "Are you-?"

"The symptoms are there, but I am the one who does not want to believe that I could be," Loki admits as she sets the bag on the table and debating on whether she should banish it somewhere else. "With everything that has happened, it just is not a good time."

"One step at a time, honey. First, you head to the bathroom right now and take those tests and then we will talk about the upcoming press conference and then we'll go from there," Pepper informs Loki who has no choice but to head out to the bathroom.

~

"When are you telling Bucky?" Natasha asks as the three women stare down at the tests that all confirmed their suspicions.

"Is there a right time to do so with everything that is going on? The press conference is tomorrow, the boys start their therapy the day after and we still have to talk about their schooling and there is the matter of their nightmares. Did you know that both boys are sleeping in our bed right now? I have not slept since Anthony went missing and I am certainly not getting any sleep right now," Loki rambles in a slightly hysterical tone, not realizing that her breathing was starting to pick up the more she worked herself up.

"Loki, you need to calm down," Pepper instructs in a gentle voice as she reaches over to grab her hand. "We know this probably isn't the best time, but if you and Bucky were trying for awhile to expand your family, then who would have thought that we'd be going through this right now."

"You should talk to him."

"Half our talks have ended in fights recently, I would rather wait a few more days," Loki admits in a more calm tone this time, looking perfectly collected as if she hadn't been on the brink of a breakdown two seconds ago. "Can we talk about the press conference?"

"Alright," Pepper says with a sigh as she sits back in her seat and pulls up a hologram in front of her. "I've called in the media for a nine thirty conference, so I would like for all of you guys to be there at exactly nine so we can prep Peter..."

Loki leaves the meeting ten minutes later and arrives at her floor only to find Anthony mid panic attack and Peter staring at the child wide eyed and frightened like he was seeing Hela's dead soldiers. James was nowhere to be seen and Loki couldn't help the wave of anger that flooded her.

"What is going on here?" Loki asks as she looks back and forth between her children.

"I-I don't know! He just- we were playing and then he just... he just started to hyperventilate," Peter explains sounding close to tears and Loki really couldn't handle this on her own right now.

"And your father?" She asks as she kneels down in front of Anthony who's sitting on the ground rocking himself back and forth with his hands over his ears.

And that's when James decided to walk into the room only to stop in his tracks when he took in the scene in front of him. Anthony crying, Peter looking close to tears and Loki glaring at him.

"Okay, I'm sorry but I really needed to take care of somethin' and I thought they'd be okay for a few minutes," James tried to defend himself, arms raised and everything like he was innocent in leaving their children alone for a few minutes knowing Anthony has spent the last two days glued to either parent's side.

Loki didn't say anything and instead gathered her youngest into her arms and began to hum an old lullaby that her mother used to sing when she was a child. The mage then motions Peter towards her and the teen gladly curls up into her side, shaking just the slightest bit and Loki really couldn't handle this situation any longer.

"Lo-"

"Not now, James," Loki whispered and resumed her humming.

That night, Loki sleeps in her bed with the boys and James takes the guest room. She stays awake until late with a hand on her stomach and thinking about when it would be the right time to tell James.

*

"I don't know if I can do this," Peter mumbles as he takes a peek behind the curtain to see the the media gathered outside for the press conference.

"Darling," Loki says softly with a smile as he pulls Peter back and cups his face. "Everything will be alright. We are all here with you and Pepper and the PR team selected what you can and cannot answer, alright? It will be fine."

"What if something goes wrong?"

"Kid, we have SHIELD agents disguised as civilians on the look out in every possible corner and not to mention that you will be surrounded by every single Avenger on the roster, including Lang, Hope, Strange, Rhodey and Carol," Bucky says with a smile as he walks over to the two though Peter is quick to notice the tension between his parents who don't even look at each other.

And his pops was right, every single Avenger was there in their uniforms and he was more than happy to know that they all had his back. It didn't completely calm him down, though. He was about to go on stage to officially come out as Spider-Man. He was only dealing with one thing right now, but he'd leave all the legal stuff to Pepper and the lawyers and hope for the best.

"Alright, five minutes everyone," Pepper announces as she walks to the backstage area with her StarkPad and her tiny assistant, Tony, following after her. It was good to see the kid with a smile and following someone that wasn't Loki or Bucky or Peter himself.

They all gathered around to hear the final instructions and Peter stood between his parents. His Aunt May was out in the crowd with Happy, Ned and MJ.

"Questions will be limited, we have speeches prepared for Steve, Peter and Bucky and Loki seeing as you two are Peter's parents. Christine Everhart was one of Tony's favorites, so she's front and center with approved questions that she will hopefully stick to," Pepper mumbles the last part to herself as she scrolls through her tablet. "Peter, don't answer questions that are not on your list. They will try to get you off topic so please, don't pull a Tony Stark. End the conference with 'I am Spider-Man' and I will strangle you." Peter giggled and blushed while the rest of the team burst into loud laughter. Tony giggled too even though he didn't get the joke, he just wanted to fit in. "Anyone have any questions?" No one raised their hands so Pepper nodded. "Okay, well let's start heading out then."

They all filed out with Steve at the very front followed by Natasha and Sam and then leaving Bucky, Loki and Peter in the very center of all the seats and at the very end sat the newer Avengers; Scott, Hope, Strange and Carol. Pepper headed towards the podium and fixed the microphone before giving her audience a smile that made Peter envy her calm and collected persona.

"Morning everyone," she greeted the reporters who immediately moved to the edge of their seats. "We are all gathered here today to talk about events that transpired a few days ago where the identity of one of our heroes was revealed without consent from said member during a rescue. Three of our Avengers will give speeches and our member affected will also talk to you today to give his statement and reasoning behind wanting to stay hidden. I ask that you hold your questions to the end."

Pepper moved aside and then Steve took the stage to give his speech though Peter drowned him out, his left leg bouncing up and down anxiously and his hands curling and uncurling into fists on his lap until Loki grabbed one of his hands and gave it a gentle reassuring squeeze. Soon Bucky and Loki were up to give their versions and talk about what a great person Peter is, both as Peter and Spider-Man. Soon it was Peter's turn and he stood in front of the podium trying his best to ignore the flash of the cameras going off like crazy, his mask only hiding how nervous he really was.

"Hi, uh, your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man here," Peter began nervously, trying not to grip the podium too tight so it wouldn't break under his hold. The whole room was quiet and he could practically hear everyone holding in their breath ready for what he had to say. "I kinda feel like Mia Thermopolis up here." He laughed nervously and took comfort in the chuckles from the audience and the resigned groan from his family. He could practically see MJ rolling her eyes from across the room. "Except you know, I'm not here to call myself the future queen of Genovia. Instead I'm here to talk about what happened a few days ago.

"My real name is Peter Parker." He removes his mask and the camera flashes increase. "I am fifteen years old and I'm sorry if I disappointed everyone out there by not being who you thought I was. I'm just a kid, that's the reality and I never intended to keep my identity a secret forever, but I also didn't want the whole world to know who I was just yet. All I've ever wanted to do was to help people, like the heroes I saw on TV and if my recklessness ever hurt anyone or my inexperience showed, I apologize. I threw myself out there without any proper training and though my services are currently limited to helping Susie get her cat off the tree every weekend, I get cocky and stick my nose in the bigger battles that the Avengers usually take on.

"But I certainly don't regret my actions earlier this week. My little brother was kidnapped and I wasn't about to just sit around and wait at home and hope for the best. If it meant keeping my little brother safe, I would reveal my identity a thousand times over seeing him get hurt," Peter continues on completely off script and just saying what he felt in his heart and he knew it would give Pepper and the PR team a hard time, but this is what he really felt and he wanted the world to understand him and his reasonings.

When Pepper gives the go ahead for the q&a to start, Peter takes a seat between his parents who both smile and whisper how proud they are of him. They head backstage after some questions, both relating to Tony's kidnapping and to Peter's identity being revealed. Even the newest Avengers get asked questions despite that not being on schedule since they were planning a whole different press conference to announce the expansion of the team.

"You did good, darling," Loki says as he pulls the teen into his arms and Peter relaxes in his hold.

"Thanks mom," he mumbles as he closes his eyes momentarily.

Tony ran over to them and crashed against his legs with a muffled giggle and Peter broke away from his hug with Loki to pick up the five year old.

"I saw you on the TV, Pete! You're famous!" Tony exclaims excitedly and yeah, Peter really was famous now. "Am I famous now too, like you and mama and papa?"

"You are, spider baby," Peter says with a smile as he kisses Tony's flushed cheek.

Chapter Text

Halloween is about a week away now and with everything that's happened, the usual decorations Clint put up around the communal floor were noticeably missing this year. There were no fake spider webs or skulls or ghosts hanging from the ceiling. It was all bare. It was such a contrast to last year, with the excitement of making it the best Halloween for Tony thinking it'd be the only one they got with the kid. Now even Tony didn't want to go out for candy and while all Loki wanted to do was wrap her boys up in blankets and never let them out of her sight, she knew it was important to their recovery that they go out and start getting their lives back to normal.

"You sure you do not want to buy a costume?" Loki asks the five year old as the two lay in bed on a rainy Wednesday evening with the TV in the master bedroom playing some random cartoons. She was on her side staring at Tony who was watching his cartoons with Mister Snuggles clutched to his chest.

"I don't wanna go, mommy. It's scary," Tony mumbles as he turns on his side and buries his face in Loki's t-shirt. Well really it was her boyfriend's, who she still hadn't told about the baby nor had she gotten those blood tests done with Bruce.

"Why is it scary, darling?" Loki asked as she played with Tony's hair, lips pursed slightly as she braved herself for the answer.

"What if Teddy's daddy and mommy take me again? I would never get to see you or daddy or Petey," Tony explains and Loki knows he's truly upset because these days he calls James daddy when he's upset or scared and it's been often.

While Tony and Peter no longer slept in their bed thanks to the sessions with their therapist, the nightmares were still present sometimes and Tony loathed going anywhere without his parents. Peter's problem was more that he felt guilty, for some reason, that Tony had gotten taken in the first place and thus didn't want to part from the child's side for fear of Tony getting taken again.

"You know they cannot hurt you anymore, baby boy," Loki says softly and slowly knowing that if she said the wrong things it could send Tony into an anxiety attack. "Your Uncles Steve and Thor were both in charge of making sure that they could never hurt you again and your Grandpa Fury knows how to keep them locked away."

Tony is silent for awhile and Loki wonders if it's the end of that conversation as the child fiddles with the hem of her shirt. Eventually Tony looks up at her with big frightened brown eyes that makes her heart clench painfully.

"But then Teddy can't ever see his mommy and daddy again."

And oh, wasn't that a change. While Tony was terrified to think that they could still take him, he was still thinking about his best friend and how he wouldn't see his parents anymore. Loki will always be amazed at how selfless her little boy could be.

"I know, but that is because they did bad things to you and Teddy." She caressed the side of Tony's face. "Teddy is fine right now living somewhere new. You remember Storm, right? She came to visit Teddy at the hospital a few days ago before he went home."

"Mhmm. She was really pretty and her hair was white like snow!" Loki chuckled at that, remembering how amazed Tony had been to see Storm's hair.

"Well Teddy will be living with her and a few others who are also heroes and are known as the X-Men."

"So he'll be safe?"

"I promise that he will be safe and you will be able to visit him soon."

"I guess that's okay," Tony says and yawns before settling back against his mommy and closing his eyes. "Night mommy."

"Night, baby boy."

Tony was fast asleep in an instant and Loki looked over her shoulder when she heard footsteps approaching and smiled at James who walked over to her and leaned down to peck her lips and then kiss their son's head.

"Did you hear all that?" She asks James quietly as he sits on the edge of the bed beside her.

"I did. We got real lucky with this kid, didn't we?"

"We sure did."

It falls quiet between them, things still being slightly tense since Loki walked in on the boys alone and Tony having an anxiety attack. Since then James has also been staying either in the guest room or on Steve's and Sam's floor. In front of the kids they tried to act the same, but Peter wasn't fooled and Tony was starting to suspect that something between his parents had changed.

"Can we talk?" She asks her boyfriend as she sits up carefully, trying not to wake Tony who kept on sleeping peacefully for once.

"Yeah I guess it's time we do," James agreed as he stood up from the bed and helped Loki up as well and leading her towards the living room where they sat on the couch with an unusual amount of distance between them. "I'm sorry for havin' left the kids alone, especially knowin' that Tony goes into hysterics when we're not around."

Loki stared down at her lap unsure of how to tell James that they were having a baby when things were so messy not only between them but with their family.

"It has been a stressful few days and I apologize as well," Loki tells him and looks up in time to see her boyfriend frown in confusion and move slightly closer.

"Why are you sorry, doll?" James chuckles as he brings a hand up to stroke Loki's right cheek.

"Maybe if we would have had better communication with each other we would have avoided all of our recent problems, but I just want to move past that. I miss you, James."

"I miss you too, doll," says James as he wraps his arms around Loki and holds her tight to his chest. "Have you been feelin' better? Pete said you were sick again this morning."

"Actually, I need to talk to you about that," Loki mumbles against his chest, heart hammering anxiously in her chest.

"Are ya still sick? Is something wrong?"

Loki chuckled softly before pulling away to stare into her boyfriend's eyes.

"I am fine, James, promise. We just started a project a few months ago and we are finally seeing the results of it," Loki begins to say and chuckles at his confused look. "The boys are going to be big brothers."

"W-What?" James stuttered our with wide eyes as he looks down at Loki's obviously still flat stomach. "You mean that you're- we're gonna be- holy shit, doll!"

"I know the time probably is not right, but-" Loki was cut off mid sentence by James pressing his lips against hers.

"I know, the timing could have been better, but fuck if I'm not the happiest I've been in awhile. We'll work through this together and maybe the baby will be a good thing, help us move on past what happened and keep us focused on our family and the future," James said once he pulled away from their kiss though he was still cupping her face in his hands and staring intently into her forest green eyes, tears of joy blurring his vision. "Who else knows?"

"Just Tasha and Pepper, they were the ones who threatened me to take a test since I was trying to ignore it," she confesses feeling more than a little ashamed and looks away from James.

"Hey, that's alright. It's been a stressful few days so I don't blame ya for tryin' to pretend that it was just a stomach bug or whatever."

Loki yawned in response, feeling her eyes getting heavier with the sleep she's been fighting off all day. If this pregnancy was anything like her last, then no matter how much she sleeps, she'll still feel tired.

"Let's get you to bed, doll. Tony must be missin' ya by now anyways," James says softly as he helps Loki up from the couch and begins to lead her down the hall towards the master bedroom.

"Will you stay?" Loki asks him quietly.

"Of course I will."

And as they lay in bed on either side of Tony, it finally feels like things are starting to look up again.

*

They decide to tell the boys a few days later after a chat with their therapist to make sure that Tony would be ready to handle the news and the upcoming changes in his family. So on the Saturday just four days before Halloween, the couple decide to sit their two boys down on the couch in the living room of their floor with instructions to FRIDAY to have no one interrupt them unless it was an absolute emergency.

"So what'd you wanna tell us?" Peter asks the two curiously as he stares up at his parents who look a mixture between nervous and excited.

"Awhile ago Tony kept askin' us for somethin' that most of his friends have," Bucky begins to say and watches the way the two boys frown in thought.

"Another doggy?" Tony asked hopefully with a small giggle and Peter looked at them excitedly.

"No. You guys already have Brownie, you're not gettin' another."

"My alpaca?!"

Peter snorted at that while Bucky and Loki looked at their child with tired expressions. Tony was staring up at them with wide eyes and excitement evident in the way he was jumping on the couch.

"Anthony, darling, we have talked about Gerald and it will not happen. You barely take care of Brownie, anyways," Loki reminds the child who huffs and stops bouncing in his seat, arms now crossed across his chest and bottom lip sticking out in a pout. "Vision is the one who walks and feeds your dog."

"Well my legs are too short for walks and I can't go out on my own," Tony argues and Peter can't control his laughter anymore, falling back on the couch and clutching at his stomach while Bucky sighs and Loki looks torn between laughing or sighing. "I could get kidnapped."

The other three try not to flinch at the word because if Tony was joking about it, it meant he was doing better to even make it in the first place. It didn't mean that they were fine to do so.

"We're gettin' off topic here. No, it's not pet related but ya kept askin' for this since before Loki and I even got together," Bucky continues to give hints to the boys though Loki is just about ready to tell them because she's running out of patience here.

The two sit there and think for a few seconds before Tony's gasping rather loudly and then shouts, "A baby?!"

"Correct, darling. You boys are going to be big brothers," Loki confirms with a smile and suddenly both boys are jumping out of their seats and wrapping their arms around her.

Bucky laughed as both boys fired question after question at Loki who waited like the saint she was until their two kids ran out of oxygen and waited for their answers. She sat them back down on the couch, Tony sitting on Peter's lap this time and waiting for his answers.

"It is still too early to tell the gender, according to the doctor your father and I saw yesterday the baby should be here by the summer and no, we are not going to name the baby Gerald, Anthony," Loki finishes off with a pointed look at Tony who pouts again though it only lasts a few seconds before he's grinning excitedly.

"Do the rest of the team know?" Peter asks as he wraps his arms around Tony and rests his chin on the child's head.

"Not yet, so please boys, don't say anythin' yet," Bucky pleads them and Tony could keep it a secret for at least a day before the excitement got the best of him and he told everyone. "We want to tell them once Clint, Steve and Sam return from their mission."

"Yeah, like the spider baby will be able to keep his mouth shut for longer than twenty four hours. I give him an hour."

"Hey!" Tony exclaims as he twists around in Peter's arms to look up at his brother with a scowl. "I can too stay quiet!"

"Sure Jan."

"Do grandma and grandpa know about the baby? And Sleipnir?" Tony asks his parents curiously.

"No, but we will be heading up to Asgard as soon as we tell the team and get some things fixed here," Loki replies as she looks at Peter who nods in understanding.

The media coverage about Peter being Spider-Man was still going strong, even days after the press conference. The teen hadn't been able to go back to school and neither had Tony. Neither boy had left the tower since everything with Marcos and Maggie had happened, the therapist instead having to come to do their sessions in a conference room in the communal floor. Reporters surrounded the tower's entrance at all hours of the day, hoping to catch the boys and fire their questions at them. The boys were getting restless being locked away, but knew that it was more for their safety than anything.

The four of them spend the rest of their day together (also mostly so Tony wouldn't let it slip to the rest) and it's no surprise when Tony tells his parents that the baby should sleep in his room.

"Babies cry a lot at night, darling, I really do not think you would want to be woken up every three hours or so," Loki tells Tony as they're eating dinner.

"But then where will baby sleep? I want baby to sleep with me because we're the babies of the family," Tony insists as he puts a mouthful of mashed potatoes in his mouth.

"Didn't know you still wore diapers, spider baby," Peter teased his brother who threw a pea at him in retaliation.

"Boys, pleas don't start another food fight," Bucky pleads tiredly, not even bothering to look up from his meal. "And the baby will be sleeping in our room for awhile and then they will have their own room right next to yours, Tony."

"I guess that's okay." Tony shrugged as he ate some peas this time instead of throwing them at Peter. "Since baby can't sleep in my room, can Sleipnir sleep in mine when he comes to visit?"

"Of course darling," Loki says because knowing Sleipnir, he would want to sleep with Tony anyways. "I am sure that Sleipnir would love to share a room with you."

"Then we gots to make it all pretty for him."

"And we will, but that will be when he comes to visit."

"And when's that?"

"Soon."

"You always say that." Tony pouts and Peter giggles but he would also like to know when they'll get a visit from his brother.

The questions about the baby continue up until Tony's tucked in bed and half asleep, but then he asks one question in particular that has Loki tearing up and sitting down on the bed with Tony.

"Will baby like me?" Tony asks quietly as he looks down at his lap and plays with his bear nervously.

"Darling, of course the baby will like you. I am sure that the baby will love you as much as your father, Peter and I love you and that is a lot," Loki replies gently as she lifts Tony's head up so she can look into his eyes to reassure him. "You are going to be the best big brother, Anthony, I know you are."

Tony exhales and smiles brightly at his mommy before laying down in bed and letting Loki tuck him in.

"Goodnight, honey, have sweet dreams," Loki whispers as she kisses his head and then leaves his room and heads towards the master bedroom.

"Is he done asking questions?" Bucky asks from the bed where he's reading a book and already under the covers, only looking up when Loki starts undressing which makes the mage roll her eyes.

"Yes, though a particular one brought me to tears," Loki confesses as she pulls on the old t-shirt she slept in which was Bucky's.

"What'd he ask?" Bucky asked in curiosity as he sets his book on the nightstand and waits for Loki to finish her nighttime routine.

"He asked if the baby would like him," Loki replies once she finally gets under the covers.

"Can Tony go a day without breakin' my heart?" Bucky whines as he turns on his side and buries his face in Loki's neck, placing a hand on her stomach.

"Unlikely." Loki snorts as she rests a hand over Bucky's. "Glad they both took the news well."

"Me too. I was a little worried," Bucky admitted as he lifted his head to look at Loki who wore none of her usual dark make up. "Now all we gotta do is tell the others and your parents."

*

They tell the team the day before Halloween, all of them finally together again after missions and such. And surprisingly, Tony hasn't let it slip to anyone which really surprised Loki and Bucky that Tony had been able to hold it in. Especially with how excited he was to be a big brother and asked Loki questions about baby. He'd only told his therapist and she'd asked him how he felt and Tony had replied with a large smile that he was super excited to be a big brother.

"So is there a reason why you decided to cook up a whole buffet for us?" Steve asks the couple curiously as they all sit down with their plates stacked high with different kinds of food. Clint had even gotten a second plate just to add more.

"Can't we just ya know, celebrate that we're all together happy and healthy after everythin' that happened?" Bucky asked and tried playing it all off like it was just any other occasion though Loki rolled her eyes beside him and Natasha smirked knowingly.

"You are not fooling anyone, James," Loki tells her boyfriend as she picks up her fork and shook her head. "Also, if you do not hurry up, Anthony will beat you to it."

"Beat you to what?" Sam asked them with a frown. "You didn't like, poison this or something?"

"Your plate? Maybe," Bucky joked, rubbing his arm when Loki hits him. "No but uh, we do want to tell you guys somethin'. Well, Nat already knows, but Loki and I would like to inform you guys that the family will be growin' by one more in eight months."

The table went silent for a second before it became loud with exclamations of surprise and congratulations from everyone on the team, Thor being the loudest of them all. Even Vision had a smile on his face, which that in itself, was a rare occurrence as he was still working on emotions.

"When did you guys find out?" Wanda asked them happily, gaze flickering between the couple.

"I found out first and then I told James a few days later, so about a week or so," Loki replies with a smile, looking over at Tony when he mumbled a quiet 'oops' and she saw that he had "spilled" a few vegetables on the ground which Brownie was now eating.

"You're not fooling anyone, spider baby," Peter says from Tony's other side in between snickers.

"Hopefully this one will come out a bit more normal," Bucky jokes and the others laugh and Tony only looks up confused as to why they are laughing.

"Are you excited to be a big brother, Tones?" Bruce asks the five year old who nods excitedly and then proceeds to tell the team all about the fun things he's going to teach baby.

"And baby's gonna love me more than Petey," Tony declares, sending his brother a smirk that had the teen narrowing his eyes at.

"We'll see, spider baby. We'll see," Peter replies and Tony giggles.

After dinner, Steve, Wanda and Bruce offer to do the dishes while Natasha and Sam clean the table and put the leftovers away. Thor meanwhile, took the chance to pull his sister and brother in law to the side to talk to them.

"I know I have wronged you so many times, Loki," Thor begins to say as he stares at his sister who looks a bit uncomfortable at her brother's display of emotions towards her and Bucky found it all amusing. "But I am truly joyous of this wonderful news and I wish you both the best in this new journey of your lives."

"Thanks, big guy," Bucky tells the blonde god with a smile.

"Thank you, brother," Loki said half sincerely. Bucky knew it was because Thor had never been this supportive of Loki during her past pregnancies and it was only until recently after nearly having lost Loki and finding out everything that had happened to her while in the hands of Thanos that he had become truly protective of his younger sibling.

"Now, James, why don't I remind you of something that I told you awhile ago," Thor directs at Bucky who sends his girlfriend a pleading look but the mage simply smiles and waves the two off as she goes off to search for Peter and Tony.

Chapter Text

"Alright darling, have fun and do not go too far from your father and brother," Loki warns the five year old who's dressed in a Toothless from How To Train Your Dragon onesie type thing because at the last minute, Tony had decided that he did want to go trick or treating so now he would be heading off with his papa, big brother and Uncle Steve. His mommy wouldn't be going because she wasn't feeling too good.

"Okay mommy! I'll bring back lots of candy for baby!" Tony says as he wraps his arms around Loki who laughs.

"I am sure baby will appreciate it."

Tony giggles and presses a quick kiss goodbye to Loki's stomach before rushing towards the elevator where his Uncle Steve and Peter were waiting. Bucky chuckled and headed over to his girlfriend who was wearing one of his hoodies.

"I'll be back later, you get some rest," Bucky tells her as he cups her face in his hands and leans forward to peck her lips. "If you need anythin' Nat will be downstairs."

"Yes, do not worry. Now go before Anthony thinks all the candy will be gone by the time you arrive," says Loki with a slight roll of her eyes and Bucky laughs as he pecks her lips again before meeting the others by the elevators.

"Bye mom!" Peter shouts.

"Goodbye, darling!"

"Bye bye mommy! I'll miss you more!" Tony shouts and Peter huffs.

"Not true! I'll miss you more!"

"Alright boys, that's enough," Steve scolds just before the elevator doors close.

They go trick or treating in the neighborhood around the school, Tony and Peter walking in front of Bucky and Steve who keep a sharp eye out in case of anything. Bucky had called the twins's mom to meet up with them since Tony hadn't seen his friends since the day he was taken. It would be a nice surprise and hopefully a way to get the kid to want to get back into his normal life. Bucky knew it wasn't going to be easy. What with Loki being pregnant, Tony was practically attached to the mage now and he'd nearly thrown a tantrum when Loki had told him that she couldn't go trick or treating with them.

"Tony!" The twins cried out happily when they spotted their best friend.

"Hi!" Tony greets back as he runs over to hug them.

"No Loki?" The twins's mom asks Bucky who shakes his head.

"Uh no, she's at home not feeling too well. We just found out we're expecting and it hasn't been easy for her," Bucky explains and Mrs Paulson gasps excitedly, a large smile forming on her face.

"Oh my! Congratulations! How far along is she?"

"Nearing two months in a few days. I don't know who's more excited for the baby, us or Tony."

Mrs Paulson laughed and continued to watch the three kids keep hugging and giggling with each other. Peter goes with the three kids to every house while the three adults talk and catch up, Mrs Paulson asking how Tony was doing after the whole getting kidnapped.

When they get back to the tower two hours later, they meet up in the communal living room where the rest of the team and Loki are watching a singing competition and Clint's throwing popcorn at the TV. So really, just an usual evening at the tower.

"Candy!" Clint shouts excitedly as he rushes over to Tony and Peter and takes their bags of candy.

"D-Daddy!" Tony cried as he turned to his father with tears in his eyes and a trembling bottom lip.

"Hey, no need for tears, Bambi, I'll get your candy back. Go wait with your mom," Bucky tells the child who sniffles and rushes over to Loki who picks him up and places the five year old on her lap.

"Did you have fun, darling?" Loki asks as she runs her fingers through Tony's hair, hoping to distract him while Bucky took back Tony's Halloween bag.

"Yeah, but I missed you and baby," Tony mumbles into the hoodie she's wearing, still sniffling a little and bringing a hand up to rub at his eyes.

"And we missed you too." Loki smiles down at her baby who was growing quickly day by day and she was so proud of the person he was shaping out to be. "Are you tired?"

"No," Tony lied, though his eyes were already closing and getting heavier.

Loki supposed it was a good thing his costume also doubled as a pajama so they wouldn't have to struggle with changing the five year old, so she didn't say anything once Tony's breathing evened out and he was already deep asleep before Bucky walked over with his rescued Halloween candy.

"He's asleep before nine? The world must be endin'," Bucky teased as he set the bag down by Loki's feet before pecking her lips in greeting and then the child's head.

"It probably will," Steve said as he walks into the room with his phone in hand and a frown on his face. "Fury just called. He's calling the whole team out to Florida to deal with some, dare I say it, Alligator Men."

The room goes silent for a good five seconds, everyone staring at Steve before Peter's the first to react and starts to laugh and it sets off the rest of the room.

"I mean if he needs the whole team, they must be pretty good villains," Nat points out though there's a joking tone to her voice that has them all giggling again.

"Not really. They keep heading into the sewers and escaping the police and apparently we're the town's best chance at putting a stop to them," Steve explains with a sigh.

"Damn, I wanted to eat my candy," Clint pouts as he stares longingly at the candy he stole from both Tony and Peter.

Bucky looked conflicted about the situation. While he knew that Loki could take care of herself and the boys and that Peter was also around, it didn't mean that he wanted to leave his family behind. One look at Loki though and the reassuring smile she sent him and he nodded, saying goodbye to his girlfriend and two kids before the whole team headed out.

*

The team returns half way through the next day, smelling awful and exhausted. Loki sticks around for a few minutes to greet them before she's rushing off to the bathroom to throw up her breakfast. Clint teases Bucky by saying he'll probably end up sleeping on the couch. Bucky doesn't find it funny because he knows it's likely to happen. This was one thing of the pregnancy that he wasn't liking, how sensitive Loki was to everything.

Two days later, Tony looses his first tooth much to his horror.

"Mommy!" Tony cried out, half excited half scared. They'd learned about the tooth fairy at school a few weeks back during story time, so he knew that when a tooth fell, he had to place it under his pillow so she could leave money under it. But loosing an actual tooth was just kinda scary once it actually happened. "Mommy!"

"Darling, what's wrong? Are you hurt?" Loki asked as she rushed into the living room where Tony had been working on his catch up work for school and eating an apple.

"My tooth fell!" He cried out, palm of his hand extended out towards Loki with his tiny little baby tooth in the center.

"Oh dear, you know what that means?" Tony shook his head, sniffling and trying to blink back tears. "It means that not only is the tooth fairy paying you a visit tonight, but also that you are officially a big boy now, honey." Loki kneels in front of him and closes Tony's hand to form a fist around his tooth. "Now, why don't we go put this somewhere safe for tonight and rinse off your mouth."

Tony nods and lets his mommy lead him down the hall towards his bedroom. Tony's excited after that and shows the team during dinner his missing front tooth and they all coo and congratulate him on it.

"You need to stop growin', kid," Bucky says as he holds Tony tight to his chest, the child giggling and complaining about lack of oxygen. "It seems like just yesterday I was holding you in my arms for the first time and now you're six months away from turning six."

"And I am the emotional one," Loki mumbles with a roll of her eyes and Steve and Natasha laugh as the three keep watching the scene in front of them.

*

"Grandma!" Tony shouts as he rushes off towards Frigga who was smiling wide as her two sons, grandchildren and Bucky and Jane arrive for a family visit.

"Oh my sweet boy! Look at you! You keep getting bigger and bigger each time I see you," Frigga says as she hugs Tony tight and kisses the top of his head a few times before letting go and turning to Peter. "And you keep getting more handsome and taller, Peter."

"Hi grandma," he greeted with a blush, hugging her back before pulling away.

"Where is Sleipnir?" Loki asked his mother as she greeted Jane first and then Bucky.

"Still in a lecture with one of his tutors. He has an important exam coming up that we told him if he studied hard and passed it, we would let him spend some time with you on Midgard."

Loki nodded and smiled while Tony cheered about the prospect of having his brother visit them at his home. He was already thinking of all the fun things they could do on their way to drop their things off in their rooms, the same ones they'd stayed in the last time they'd visited.

"How do you feel?" Bucky asked his boyfriend once they were in Loki's old chambers, resting a bit before they met up with Odin in a few.

"I am fine, James, I promise," Loki reassures him with a smile as he walks over to the metal armed soldier and wraps his arms around his neck. "I am a bit nervous, however, about informing Odin and Frigga about the baby."

"Hey," Bucky says softly as he places his hands on the mage's hips. "I'm sure everything will be fine. Your father seemed like he was really trying to change and fix things, and if shit hits the fan, you're not alone this time."

"I know." Loki closes the distance between their lips and kisses him softly, eyes slipping shut and moaning faintly at the feel of Bucky's smooth lips on his.

Too bad that Loki couldn't take things further between them because just then the large heavy double doors opened with a little too much force and a familiar head of black hair ran towards them as fast as his little legs could take him.

"Mom! James!" Sleipnir cried out happily before crashing into them and wrapping his arms around the two.

"Hi darling," Loki greeted him, still not fully able to grasp the fact that she could hug and see him whenever.

"Hey there, buddy!" Bucky greets the seven year old, swinging him up into his arms and pressing a loud kiss to his cheek that had the child laughing in utter glee. "Missed ya a bunches."

"Missed you a lot too. Are Peter and Tony here?! I wanna see them!"

"They are. Same chambers as last time, little one," Loki replies and watches Bucky put Sleipnir down and he raced off to find his brothers. "I wonder if Sleipnir and the others will take the news well."

"I'm sure they will, doll. Don't worry 'bout it," Bucky reassures him as he pulls Loki into his arms and begins to sway them to a beat in his head. "We should go dancin' sometime. You can wear that sexy black dress I love seeing you in. We could make it a double date with Steve and Pepper."

"What?" Loki frowns as he pulls away to look at his boyfriend properly, looking genuinely confused. "I thought he was with Natasha? I am sure I saw them holding hands during our last movie night."

Now it was Bucky's turn to frown before a giant grin took over his face.

"Look at our Captain, getting it on with two ladies," Bucky jokes and Loki muffled his chuckles on the soldier's shoulder.

There was a knock on the doors and Loki left Bucky's embrace reluctantly to go open the doors. Once there, Loki comes face to face with not only Hela, but also Fenrir. The three sort of just freeze and stare at each other before Loki's bursting into tears and pulling both of his babies into his arms.

"Ugh, mom, you're embarrassing us," Hela whined like a typical teenager though her voice sounded suspiciously wet as she hugged Loki back.

"It's mom, what did you expect," Fenrir answered his older sister with a slight scoff as he shifted in an attempt to escape Loki's hold, Fenrir not being one for physical contact, but gives up when Loki only tightens his hold on the two.

"Please excuse your mother," Bucky begins as he walks up to the trio with a smile, "he's been more emotional than usual."

"How do you put up with him?" Fenrir asked jokingly as he manages to pull away from Loki and walk up to Bucky with an extended hand.

"Usually your other brothers get the brunt end of his tears. James Barnes, nice to meet you, finally."

"Likewise. Sleipnir has talked about you. A lot. He will not shut up about you, Peter or Anthony and frankly I was getting quite curious to meet you," Fenrir explained as the two shook hands, standing just a few inches shorter than Bucky and his amber colored eyes shining with that same mischievous look Loki often got. "Also, understand that our mother isn't alone, so you hurt him and we will find you wherever you decide to hide."

"Understood."

"Fenrir, stop it," Loki hissed at her oldest son who shrugged and stepped back from Bucky's personal space. "James, I see you have meet my oldest son. This is Hela, the oldest of all my children and so far the only girl."

"So far? What does he mean by so far?" Hela asks Bucky with a suspicious look, her green eyes an exact copy of Loki's, in fact, Hela was Loki. Bucky was sure that if Lady Loki made an appearance, the two could be confused for twin sisters.

"It is just a saying, my love."

"I really don't wanna know about your sex life," Fenrir cut in with a disgusted look on his face and Bucky laughed at the blush spreading over Loki's face.

"Alright kids, stop tormenting your mother," Bucky interrupts in between chuckles.

"I like him," Hela concludes as she smiles up at Bucky who winks at her.

"I did not realize you kids would be here. It is quite a lovely surprise," Loki says as the four of them go to sit in the living area at the front of the room, Hela curling up into her mother's side while Fenrir sat on the armchair with his feet on the center table and completely ignoring the look his mother sent him.

"Grandma told us what happened to our brothers and we needed to make sure they were alright and also get some names so we can teach that son of a bitch to not mess with our family," Fenrir explained and both Loki and Bucky glared at him for his choice of words while Hela sighed.

"I apologize for my brother, he has spent a little too much time on Midgard this last century," Hela spoke up with a roll of her eyes, a strand of black hair falling in front of her face and Loki was quick to put it behind her ear. "But yes, grandmother told us what happened to Anthony and we want to make sure he is fine."

"Thank you for worrying kids, but Tony's better now. It was a rough time for your brothers, but we hope that being here for awhile can help," Bucky replies and he watches the way the two teenagers seem to relax though there was still a fire in their eyes that warmed his heart. It was great to know that they were so protective of their brothers even if they haven't met them yet.

"And Jormungand?" Loki asks curiously though he already suspects that his son isn't there because he's stubborn.

"He said he would gladly meet up with all of us but just not in Asgard. I think he mentioned being in Norway for now," Fenrir replies with a shrug, focused on casting small snowflakes with his seidr. "Or was it Broadway?"

"I'm not even gonna ask," Bucky concludes.

Just then the doors opened again and the other three boys step in, Tony in Peter's arms hiding his face and Sleipnir talking the teenager's ear off.

"Hela! Fenrir! Hi!" Sleipnir greeted his older siblings as he rushed over to his sister first who ruffled his hair and placed a kiss to his cheek before watching the child rush off towards Fenrir who grunted but cuddled him anyways. Fenrir always had a soft spot for him.

Loki stood up and took Tony from Peter, noticing the dried tear stains on his cheeks and frowning immediately.

"Peter, what happened?" Loki asked the spiderling as he fussed over Tony who whined and tried tucking his face in his mama's neck to avoid looking at the new people in the room.

"He wandered off in the garden and when he didn't see Sleipnir or I anywhere, it triggered a panic attack," Peter explained worriedly, his eyes open wide as he stared at Loki who nodded in understanding.

"Can you go grab his bear, darling?"

"I'll go get it mom!" Sleipnir shouts as he jumps out of Fenrir's lap and rushes out of the room.

"Darling," Loki directed at Peter. "These are Hela and Fenrir, my other children."

"Oh! Uh hi!" Peter greeted them awkwardly and Hela giggled as she stood up and stood next to Peter, about an inch taller than him.

"Nice to meet you, Peter," Hela greets him as she pulls him into a hug. "You are adorable. Certainly more so than Fenrir."

"Ugh, rude," Fenrir whined as he too got up from his spot to greet Peter while Loki and Bucky fussed over their youngest just as Sleipnir ran back into the room with Mister Snuggles.

"Here you go, Tony," the seven year old says as he presents the bear to his younger brother.

"Thank you," Tony whispers as he takes Mister Snuggles and holds him tight.

It takes nearly ten minutes for Tony to be entirely calmed down. He looked pretty tired now, but wanted to be set down so Loki placed him on the ground and watched curiously as he approached the others kids who were all sitting together and laughing like they'd all known each other from the very beginning.

"Are you feeling better now, little one?" Hela asks as she crouches down in front of Tony, a warm smile on her pale face.

"Mhmm. It gets scary when I can't breath," Tony tells her, willingly going into her embrace and cuddling into his older sister whose smile only gets bigger as she holds Tony to herself.

"Look at that, Lo. We're only missin' one kid," Bucky says softly as he wraps an arm around the mage's waist.

"Only one," Loki echoes with a soft smile as he watches all the kids do their best to comfort their baby brother.

*

"Grandpa!" Tony shouted as he ran up to the All Father, Mister Snuggles still in his grasp even though he most certainly felt a lot better now, especially after having gotten cuddles from all, well almost all, of his siblings.

"Hello, my dear Anthony," Odin greeted him warmly and Fenrir resisted the urge to roll his eyes.

"Is this really the same guy who tore us apart centuries ago?" Hela asked her siblings quietly, a slight bitter tone to her voice that didn't go unnoticed by Loki or Bucky.

"Either way, we are here to protect Anthony and Peter in case grandpa pirate tries anything funny," Fenrir replied just as quietly, ignoring the glare Loki sent their way as they got close to where Odin and Frigga were already seated at the long golden dining table.

Thor and Jane walked into the room as well and Sleipnir rushed over to his uncle who picked him up and tossed him high in the air a few times which had Loki, Jane and Frigga looking seconds away from having a heart attack.

"Everyone come sit, dinner will be served shortly," Frigga tells them all with a kind smile and the table fills up quickly with just one seat open and Loki tries not to think about how Jormungand should be sitting there with them.

"Loki, dear, you said you and James wanted to announce something during dinner?" Frigga asks her youngest once dinner is served.

"James and I would like to inform all of you that we are expecting," Loki speaks up, throwing subtle glances at Odin to take in his reaction.

Tony's cute little giggles breaks the silence that follows Loki's announcement before Hela's jumping out of her seat to hug her mother, Fenrir congratulates Bucky and Loki with words and grumbles fondly about more siblings and Sleipnir is climbing on Bucky's lap to give him a hug. Frigga congratulates the two with tears in her eyes and talks to Hela about how she hopes it's a girl and the teenage girl nods in agreement.

"My son," Odin begins, "I may not have been the best father to you and grandfather to your children, but I am delighted with the news and James, I hope you keep your promise, boy."

"No worries, sir. Your son is in safe hands," Bucky replies as he smiles at Loki who smiles back.

The rest of dinner goes by with most conversations being about the baby. Tony reaffirms that he is excited to finally be a big brother. By the time they finish eating dessert, Tony's fast asleep on Thor's lap and no one can blame the little boy after the long day he's had.

"And is Anthony doing better now?" Frigga asks worriedly as she takes a look at her, for now, youngest grandkid.

"He has his bad moments," Bucky replies sadly as he too stares at Tony. "He's been doing better, can sleep through the night often, but nightmares will still get to him sometimes."

"You said they caught the people, right?" Fenrir asks them, amber colored eyes shining with the rage that courses through his body at the thought of his baby brother having been hurt.

"Aye, my nephew," Thor replies solemnly as he tightens his hold on Tony a tiny bit. "I personally saw to their capture and punishment."

"Good. Hope they rot in Hel."

"Fen," Loki warns his son who huffs and eats Tony's half eaten chocolate cake.

"And you Peter?" Odin asks the quiet teen. "Have you been alright?"

Peter shrugs, lifting his gaze from the table before looking up at the All Father. "I've been okay, just worry about Tony a lot. Sometimes I kinda don't wanna let him out of my sight. My therapist says that's normal though."

"Yes, your instincts to protect your younger brother are at an all time high right now and that is perfectly understandable," Frigga says softly as she smiles at him.

"And school? Are they heading back soon?" Jane asks curiously.

"Yeah. They've both already missed too much and the school year's only started so they can't afford to keep missing more," Bucky says as he shifts Sleipnir on his lap, the seven year old being on the brink of falling asleep, especially as his mom's boyfriend runs his fingers through his dark hair soothingly. "Hopefully things will go better this time."

*

It's a day before they have to leave when Hela rushes out to the stables where Loki's with Tony and Peter while James was off with Fenrir, Thor and Jane exploring the city.

"Mother, Jormungand is here," Hela informs Loki who helps Tony get off a horse and watches him run up to his sister who picks him up easily and kisses his cheek in greeting. "And he is talking to Odin."

"Watch after your siblings," he instructs Hela before rushing off to find his son and the All Father.

When he walks into the throne room, he finds Jormungand standing in front of Odin, the two deep in a serious conversation.

"Jormungand," Loki greets his son who turns and grins at him like he hasn't had a change in attitude. "Father."

"Loki, my son, I was just apologizing to Jormungand and telling him that it is great to have him around finally," Odin explains to Loki who turns his gaze to Jormungand who nods reassuringly and it has the mage relaxing a bit.

"Yes, I was telling grandfather that I would love to spend some time here, be around Sleipnir more and be able to visit you and my other siblings," Jormungand adds as he walks over to Loki and wraps his arms around the mage. "It is good to see you again, mother."

"I missed you," Loki whispers as he hugs Jormungand tightly. "Hela's with Peter and Anthony in the stables if you want to go see them."

Jormungand grins and rushes out of the throne room without another word. Loki waits until he's completely gone before turning to face his father.

"What made him change his mind? He had been so opposed to coming here." And Loki doesn't mean to sound suspicious, but he is. Jormungand is stubborn and no amount of apologies from Odin would have been able to change his mind so quick.

"He was not aware of what had happened to Anthony until Hela managed to get into contact with him and he said that he did not want to spend the rest of his life holding a grudge when he could be spending more time with his family."

"I- thank you, father."

Odin gets off his throne and approaches Loki with slow steps.

"I want to keep mending my errors. I was foolish and I do not want to keep making the same mistakes," Odin begins to say once he's in front of Loki. "I am truly happy that you have found the happiness you always deserved. If I could go back in time, I would change everything that I did wrong."

"I wouldn't," Loki says quickly, surprising not only his father but also him. "Not if it meant losing my family and where I am today."

When Loki goes back to search for his children, he finds all six of them running around in the gardens with Thor and James chasing them.

"You ready to add one more into the mix?" Jane asks Loki with a playful smile on her face as the two sit on a bench to watch their men chase the kids.

"It will be like having eight," Loki jokes and Jane laughs.

"I'm really happy for you, Lo. You finally have your kids and you've got a great family."

"Thank you, Jane. For the first time in a very long time, I feel complete and happy."

Loki watched as Anthony tripped on his own two feet and then Sleipnir threw himself on top of him followed by Fenrir while Hela and Peter laughed and Jormungand tried helping the youngest out of the pile.

Leaving is much harder this time around and Loki cries a little as she clings to all of her children and even Fenrir, who isn't so fond of physical contact, hugs them all back tightly. He even clings to James, saying something that only James hears and has the man nodding and reassuring him.

"I will see you soon, little one, do not worry," Hela says as she hugs Tony tightly and kisses his head a few times. "Besides, with the baby coming I will definitely be visiting often."

"Promise?" Tony asks her as he lifts his head to look up at his sister who smiles warmly and nods.

"I promise. Now, be good and keep Peter out of trouble," she teases and Peter pouts which has Fenrir ruffling his hair, the two being just a year apart in Midgardian years, and Tony giggles.

"I will!"

*

The boys went back to school two days after returning from Asgard and Loki was a nervous wreck the whole day until she was able to hold both of them in her arms again. For Peter, things were still difficult. Everyone at his school still talked about Spider-Man and asked Peter a lot of questions throughout the day but thankfully he had MJ who always stuck up for him.

Tony's day was more normal, the kids still being too young to really comprehend much. Just Lizzy and the twins commented on how cool it was that Spider-Man was his older brother. At school he drew a picture of him with all five of his siblings plus a tiny baby stick figure that he labeled 'baby'. It made Loki tear up and then put it in a frame that she placed above the fireplace on the mantle.

The days leading up to Thanksgiving brought little criminal activity. May had moved back to her apartment, but Peter still lived with them and often times they found him sleeping in Tony's room. The boys kept up their appointments with their therapist, but Peter had yet to go out as Spider-Man again and no one was pressuring him to.

It's the Wednesday evening a few hours before Thanksgiving when Thor arrives at the tower with a special visitor.

"Evening my friends!" He shouts and Tony turns around from where he's sitting on the ground doing homework and gasps excitedly.

"Sleipnir! Hi!" He shouts and rushes off towards his brother who's smiling shyly as everyone's gaze falls on him. "Look Petey! It's Sleipnir!"

"I can see that, spider baby," Peter says with a smile as he walks over to his two younger siblings and then pulls them both into a hug.

"Sleipnir, darling, what a lovely surprise," Loki says as she rushes forward, the other two boys letting go of their brother who ran up to their mom and hugged her tight. "Spending some time with us?"

"Just for a bit. Grandma gave me permission to miss a few lessons as long as Uncle Thor brought me back in time for my next exam," Sleipnir explained with a giggle as he pulls away from his mom to smile up at her.

"Hi, buddy," Bucky greets his step-son as he walks out of the elevator with Steve and Sam.

"Hi James!" Sleipnir greeted as he ran up to Bucky who caught him easily and swung him around. "Uncle Thor brought me to visit."

"Well let's go introduce you to everyone else, yeah? And we'll have lots of fun together," Bucky says as he carries Sleipnir to the living room where the rest of the team was waiting.

"Thank you for the surprise," Loki tells her brother sincerely and he waves her off.

"You don't have to thank me, Loki. I only do it because I want to keep seeing my family happy," Thor replies softly before heading towards the others where Clint has just said something dumb that had Tony groaning and looking done with the archer while Sleipnir basked in the attention of the rest of the Avengers.

The next day all the Avengers, the ones who knew how anyways, cooked a dish for their Thanksgiving dinner. Jane and Darcy arrived with a pie, store bought because they'd just gotten in from London and who has the time to bake when you're jet lagged? Carol and Rhodey also arrived with a casserole and Goose trailing behind them with her head held high and tail flicking back and forth elegantly. Pepper didn't make anything, but that's okay because Steve and Natasha baked more than enough; Steve an old recipe of his mother's and Natasha something Russian. May and Happy arrived with drinks because well May wasn't the best cook. Even Scott and Hope arrived with a Mexican dish.

They all ate in the formal dinning room of the communal floor with three other tables pushed up against the one that was already there. Everything was nicely decorated thanks to Wanda and Vision. Sleipnir was fascinated by everyone getting together like this and the amount of food on the tables and Loki couldn't wait to be able to spend Christmas with all of her children.

"Feels surreal, huh?" Bucky, who was sitting next to her, asked in her ear as he leaned close with an arm around her shoulders. "Just need the other three kids and it'll be a full house."

"It does. And it is hard to believe that we will have this little one present," Loki says with a hand on her stomach, "by this time next year."

"Can't wait," Bucky replies softly as he presses a kiss to Loki's cheek.

"Eww, mom and dad are kissing at the table again!" Peter whined and sent the whole table into laughter and teasing.

"Eww, that's gross," Tony agreed as he stuck his tongue out and Sleipnir mimicked his brother and Bucky stuck his tongue out at the three kids who were sitting across from him and Loki.

"You are all children," she said with a tired sigh though a fond smile was tugging at her lips.

*

"Oh man I'm stuffed like that turkey we just ate," Clint moaned out as he rubbed at his belly.

"You mean that you ate? You practically ate the whole turkey yourself, Clint," Natasha argued with her partner from her seat between Steve and Pepper.

"Not my fault almost none of you like turkey."

"Aye, 'twas a very delicious turkey," Thor agreed and fist bumped Clint with a giant grin while Jane rolled her eyes at her boyfriend.

"Fine, that you two ate," Natasha corrected herself.

After cleaning up the dinning table, they moved their gathering to the living room where the sectional, two arm chairs and ottomans quickly filled out and a few having to sit on the ground. Tony dragged Sleipnir towards his playroom with Peter, Brownie and Goose following after the children.

"You know what I'm thankful for?" Clint spoke up from where he was laying near the fireplace. "That no villains made our good food go to waste."

"Amen to that," half the team chorused, raising their glasses of whatever alcoholic beverages they were drinking, in a toast and drank.

Loki enjoyed a good Asgardian mead or wine from time to time, but now that she was pregnant, she was a little jealous that she couldn't have any.

The night wore on with conversations, board games and movies. The kids eventually making their way back to the main room with tired eyes though Peter still took Sam, Clint and Rhodey on in a round of Uno. Tony ignored them in favor of curling up on his mommy's lap and Sleipnir on Bucky's.

"Let's get them to bed," Loki tells her boyfriend who nods and the two stand up with the boys in their arms already fast asleep. "I will see you all in the morning."

"Goodnight, Lo," they all wave at the mage.

"Oh my little squishy human is sleeping!" A clearly very drunk Darcy Lewis coos at Tony with tears in her eyes and some of the others snicker in amusement. "Why are your squishy little people so cute!"

"Alright Darcy, that's enough," Loki hears Jane scold her best friend as they head towards the awaiting elevator.

"Mommy, is Sleipnir staying with me?" Tony asks in between yawns as he stares up at his mommy with half open eyes.

"Of course he is, darling."

"Yay. I love Sleipnir."

Loki smiled and placed a kiss to the top of Tony's head. Once in Tony's room, they manage to change the boys into pajamas without waking them and then set them in bed, watching with fond smiles as Tony and Sleipnir moved closer until they were cuddling with each other.

"Night boys," Bucky says as he kisses their heads.

Before Loki and Bucky can exit the room, Peter walks in already in his pajamas and smiles tiredly at his parents.

"Night kid," Bucky tells him, reaching a hand out to ruffle his hair.

"Night pops, night mom," Peter mumbles and Loki brings him into a hug and kisses the side of his head.

"Have a good night, darling."

They leave the room once Peter crawls in bed with his brothers and Bucky leads Loki into their room.

"Are you not heading back downstairs?" Loki asks curiously when she sees him unbutton his shirt.

"Nah. Would rather spend some time with my lady tonight," Bucky replies with a grin as he walks over to Loki who raises an eyebrow and wraps her arms around his neck.

"Oh yeah? Does this involve you and I with no clothes on our bed? Because I must say that it has been awhile."

"See? Great minds think alike," Bucky responds with a cheeky smile as he places his hands on Loki's hips and pulls her closer.

*

In the morning the couple leave their bedroom and find the children in the kitchen with Peter making pancakes.

"What a lovely surprise," Loki greets them with a fond smile as he greets the younger two before going over to Peter.

"Thought I could give you guys a break from cooking since you did so much yesterday and I wanted to introduce Sleipnir to pancakes," Peter explains with a grin and Loki smiles fondly at him.

"So thoughtful, darling. Thank you."

"Mama, how's baby?" Tony asks his mother from where he's sitting at the island with Sleipnir, the two coloring in a Paw Patrol book.

"Baby is doing fine this morning, Anthony, thank you for asking," Loki replies as he sits with the two boys while Bucky grabs plates from the cabinets.

"Good."

After breakfast, the four of them take Sleipnir out to explore the city. Sleipnir is delighted at all the places they visit, all tourist attractions and Bucky promises the child that they'll go to the beach in the summer once the baby is born and hopefully the others would be able to join. Peter's wearing a scarf that covers half his face and a dark red beanie on his head to hide his curls. What helped in disguising them, was that they were a family of five enjoying a nice day out in the city and the paparazzi were on the look out for a family of four.

"Had a nice day out?" Steve asks them once they return and the two younger boys crowd him and start telling him all about the fun day they had. "I'm so jealous. I went to work, can you believe that?"

"No worries Uncle Steve! We'll go out next time," Tony reassures his uncle who chuckles fondly and ruffles the two boys's hair.

"I'll hold you to that, boys. Now, you guys wanna help me reheat dinner?"

"Yes please!"

Steve leads the two boys to the kitchen while asking them questions about their day out.

"Uh I was thinking," Peter begins to say nervously as he looks at his parents, "I wanna go out as Spider-Man tonight."

Loki and Bucky look at each other with worry evident in their eyes before turning to look at their teenager.

"Only if you're absolutely sure and if you promise that at least one of the others goes with you," Bucky warns his son who nods even though he doesn't look too happy about it.

"Promise, pops. I'll go ask Clint and Sam." They watch Peter rush off and Loki turns to Bucky while biting his bottom lip.

"You okay?" Bucky asks as he caresses Loki's cheek with the back of his hand.

"Just worried. Not sure I want to let him go out so soon. Something doesn't feel right," Loki confesses and Bucky smiles softly.

"He'll have backup, don't worry."

"He is my son, of course I will always worry."

Bucky chuckled and pecked his lips before the two head towards the kitchen where Steve's making the two boys laugh with his weird jokes.

"I'm more worried that our sons think Steve is funny," Bucky tells Loki who smirks as Steve turns to glare at them.

"For your information, I am plenty funny, Buck," Steve argues and Tony and Sleipnir look at each other and giggle behind their hands. "See, the boys think so too."

"Or they could be laughing out of pity!" Peter shouted from somewhere down the hall and Steve huffs.

"I am sure you are only saying you are funny because Natasha and Pepper do not laugh at your jokes but a five and seven year old think you are the funniest person ever," Loki says with a raised eyebrow and his smirk only widens when Steve blushes and Bucky starts to laugh rather loudly.

"You're hanging around Bucky too much," Steve argues back weakly as he goes back to reheating yesterday's leftovers for today's dinner.

It's after dinner when Peter, Clint, Sam and Scott head out for a quick look around Queens and it's surrounding areas. Loki's bad feeling still hadn't gone away and though he placed a protection spell around Peter, he still didn't feel okay with his teen being out.

"I've got an incoming alert from Agent Barton requesting for medical attention," FRIDAY interrupts their movie about three hours later, Tony and Sleipnir having long gone to bed.

"Medical attention? For who?" Loki asks as he gets up from the couch quickly and ignoring the way the world tilted for a few seconds.

"For Peter," she replies a little hesitantly and Loki and Bucky are quickly rushing towards the elevator with Steve and Natasha ordering FRIDAY to inform their live in doctor of the emergency.

"What are we looking at FRI?" Natasha asks as they're taken down to medical.

"Bullet wound, non fatal but he is losing a lot of blood," FRIDAY replies quickly and Loki leans back against the elevator wall and takes in a deep breath.

"Anybody else hurt?" Steve asked in his Captain voice.

"Just a few bruises on Agent Barton and a cut that requires stitches on Mr Lang's forehead.

When they reach the medical area, Clint and Sam are out in the waiting room with Wanda and Vision already.

"Bruce is inside with Peter and Dr Cho and a nurse is stitching Scott up," Clint explains.

"What happened? You guys should have called for backup," Steve scolded them.

"I know it's cliche to say this, but it all literally happened too fast. One minute we're roaming around Queens and the next there's a robbery going on at a convenience store and really? We had this handled but we didn't account for the bad guys having backup and I'm not even sure how they even managed to shoot Peter."

"The kid was a little tense and rusty, though," Sam admitted as he looked at Bucky and Loki who nod in understanding. Of course, after being benched so long it definitely wasn't easy going back to being Spider-Man.

"We should not have let him go out without some training," Loki told Bucky as they sat on the couch to wait, the mage's head in his hands.

"I know, our mistake. But he started off without any kind of trainin', I honestly thought he'd be fine," Bucky replies quietly as he rubbed Loki's back.

Bruce walked out about three hours later, Scott having long since joined them in waiting with Hope now sitting next to him. Loki and Bucky were up the second they spotted Bruce who was still wearing his white coat and the couple tried not to look at the blood stains but it was such a big contrast that it was difficult not too.

"How's Peter?" Bucky asked his friend who smiled reassuringly at the parents.

"He will be fine. The bullet didn't hit anything important and with his enhanced healing he should be ready to go by tomorrow afternoon, as long as the wound doesn't get infected," Bruce explains to them and Loki feels himself breath out in relief as he grips Bucky's hand tightly. "He did lose a bit of blood, but we gave him a transfusion and he's sleeping right now, but you can go in and see him."

"You guys go in, we'll call May and explain what happened," Natasha tells them and Bucky and Loki nod in thanks.

The couple quickly head in and it takes everything in Loki to not breakdown crying at the sight of his son laying on that bed looking so pale and small hooked up to machines. This was nothing like their Peter who was always so full of energy and cracking jokes all the time and constantly sending them memes and cute cat videos.

"Hey," Bucky says quietly as he walks over to Loki and pulls him into a much needed hug. "He's goin' to be fine and before we send him back out there, I'll make sure that he trains with the team first and that's he's emotionally and mentally ready to get back out there."

"I just feel like I failed him as a parent," Loki mumbles against his boyfriend's shoulder, feeling tears roll down his cheeks.

"In our line of work, these things happen, Lo. Maybe we should have insisted he waited, but he felt ready and how were we supposed to know this was goin' to happen." Bucky hugged Loki tighter before pulling away to be able to look at him and wipe away his tears. "And you're a great parent, don't ever doubt that, yeah?"

While Loki sat at Peter's bedside, Bucky went off to talk to May when she arrived with Happy. Loki reached a hand out to brush back Peter's hair and let out a quiet sigh.

"Rest well, darling," Loki whispers, wondering if there was a stronger protection spell he could use to keep his boys safe.

Chapter Text

Sleipnir returns to the tower the first week of December when Tony and Peter are still in school and Bucky is at Shield with nearly half the team. Only Natasha and Clint were at the tower with Loki and Bruce had left earlier that morning to Washington to give a conference or something.

"I get to stay all month, mom! Since I did so well in my exam, Grandma and Grandpa thought it would be a good idea to give me some time to spend here with you, father, Peter and Tony!" Sleipnir explained excitedly as he held Loki's hand as they made their way down to the communal floor after having dropped off the child's things in the bedroom he shared with Tony. Sleipnir was talking so fast that Loki nearly missed the fact that the seven year old called Bucky father and he couldn't help the smile that took over immediately, glad that his son could see Bucky as his dad.

"Well James is currently at work right now and your brothers at school, but I am sure that it will be a very lovely surprise to see you here when they get home," Loki told Sleipnir who nodded and followed Loki off the elevator, bending down to greet Brownie when the white fluffy dog barked in greeting.

"Hey little dude!" Clint greeted from the living room where he was lazing around like usual. "Here to visit Uncle Clint who is your favorite uncle and not big, blonde and buff who goes by the lame name of Thor?"

Sleipnir starts laughing, especially since Thor was walking down the hall towards them and evidently heard everything. Loki looks amused by the whole situation, especially at the frown on his brother's face.

"You're funny, but Uncle Thor is better," Sleipnir responds as he rushes towards Thor who picks up the seven year old and kisses his cheeks repeatedly.

"Aye, little one! I am better than Barton," Thor says and Clint narrows his eyes and huffs as he goes back to watching TV. "Have you settled in well?"

"Yep! Mom said Tony helped decorate the room," Sleipnir explains to his uncle, happy to know that his younger brother loved him enough to rearrange his room for the two of them.

Tony had once slept in a full sized bed, but now there were two twin sized beds on either side of the room with one half decorated with Tony's things and the other with new things for Sleipnir.

"Aye! And I helped James with the furniture."

"And I still think those leftover screws were important, big guy," Clint chimes in and Natasha walks over to them with a cookie that she hands to Sleipnir who thanks her.

"They might've been yours. Your screws were lose and they probably finally fell off," Natasha replies and Sleipnir giggles at the two as he munched on his cookie.

"See this little dude? They're all mean to me. Every single one of them."

"Cry baby," Loki teases his friend who glared at him playfully.

"Especially mean and spooky over here."

They all hang out together until it's time for Loki to go get the kids from school and so he bundles up Sleipnir in warm clothes and takes him with. Sleipnir bounces in the backseat excitedly the whole drive to Tony's school with his gaze out the window and taking in very building.

"Alright, love, stick with me, alright? I do not want you getting lost," Loki warns his overexcited son who nods and lets Loki help him out of his seat and off the car.

Loki holds Sleipnir's hand as they walk inside the building and head towards Tony's classroom. The parents waited out in the hall and the teacher had to make sure the parents were there instead of releasing the kids like before. No one wanted a repeat of what had happened to Tony.

They don't have to wait long for Tony to walk out of the classroom. He walks out holding hands with Alex while Alana and Lizzy walk out behind them deep in a conversation that involved too many hand gestures.

"Mama! Sleipnir!" Tony shouts excitedly as he races over to his mama and brother with a large grin. "You're here!"

"Hi Tony!" Sleipnir greeted as he hugged his baby brother back and Loki looked at the two fondly. "I missed you a lot!" Even though they last saw each other about a week ago.

"I missed you lots too! Mama, is Sleipnir staying for Christmas?" Tony asked their mother curiously.

"Of course he is darling. Now, say goodbye to your friends so we can go pick up Peter," Loki informs the five year old who nods and rushes over to say goodbye to the twins and Lizzy before rushing back and grabbing Sleipnir's hand as they start to head for the exit.

"Is papa home?" Tony asks once they're in the car on their way to Peter's school.

"He's at Shield helping to train the new agents, but he will be home by dinnertime," Loki explains as he pulls up at a red light.

The two boys giggle and talk in the backseat in hushed tones up until they reach Peter's school and Loki lets the two go find Peter on their own, though he does get out of the car and waits a few feet behind them.

Peter's walking out of the school with Ned and MJ, talking about their next decathlon tournament in DC the week before winter break starts. As they get closer to the pick up zone, however, Peter comes to a stop when he spots not just Tony, but also Sleipnir and he breaks out into a light jog until he can pull both of his brothers into a hug and shower their faces with kisses that has both kids laughing and catching the attention of the rest of the students.

"Peter! Stop!" Tony shouted in utter glee.

"I'm just so happy to see you!" Peter tells them as he gives them an extra little squeeze before letting go and hearing Ned and MJ walk up to them.

"You saw me this morning, loser," Tony reminds him with a roll of his eyes and Sleipnir giggles.

"Ugh, I'm so proud of my tiny loser," MJ fake cries as she walks over to give Tony a big hug while Peter pouts. "You're learning from the best, kid. Stick with me and you'll be a pro before your next birthday."

"Okay!"

"Ned, MJ, this is Sleipnir, my other younger brother. He's Loki's kid," Peter introduces his best friends with the seven year old who waves at them and they wave back.

"Yes, another tiny loser I can corrupt," MJ says with a giant grin.

"No! Bad MJ. I need at least one sibling to think I'm cool and not a loser," Peter argues with her as he pulls Sleipnir into his arms and the child giggles. "Anyways, we should get going. It's cold and mom gets mad if we take too long."

"Alright, Pete. We'll see ya Monday!" Ned tells him as he waves at the kids who wave back.

"How was school, darling?" Loki asked Peter as they got in the car.

"Awful. Too much work and I have a ton of homework to do this weekend, like who does that?" Peter complained as he settled in the passenger seat while the two kids sat in the back with Peter's phone, Tony taking selfies on Snapchat with Sleipnir who seemed delighted by all the filters.

"Well you better start working on it when we get home."

"But mom!"

"At least for an hour, Pete, and then you can take a break and spend time with the boys."

"Boo."

In the backseat, Tony and Sleipnir giggled as they sent a bunch of selfies to MJ, Ned, Clint and Sam, the only two Avengers with Snapchat. When they get home, Bucky is back early and waiting for them, so Tony and Sleipnir rush up to the man who grins and gets down on one knee to be able to hug them.

"Papa!" "Father!"

"There are my boys!" Bucky exclaimed happily as he kisses their heads. "Have a nice day?"

"Mhm! We are having a Christmas party at school before break and our teacher wants chap-chapepperonis!" Tony informs and Sleipnir giggles at his brother's mispronunciation as he lays his head on Bucky's shoulder.

"You mean chaperones?" Bucky guesses as he looks up at Loki and Peter who are trying not to laugh.

"Yeah that."

"Oh! I wanna be a chaperone! My last day of school is a day before Tony's," Peter offers excitedly.

"I'll send an email to Tony's teacher then and let her know that you two would love to be chaperones," Bucky says as he looks at Loki and Peter, the former scowling at his boyfriend. "Just try not to stab anyone, doll. Parent or child."

"You so owe me for this, Barnes," Loki informs the long haired soldier who shrugs as he stands up with the kids on either hip and they cling to him.

"I've got some ideas." Bucky looks at Loki with a smirk as he eyes his boyfriend up and down and Peter makes a disgusted face.

"Does someone have bleach?!" Peter shouts as he walks away from his parents and heads into the kitchen where Bruce, Natasha, Steve and Clint are seated eating a snack. "They were undressing each other with their eyes and it was utterly disgusting."

"You poor thing," Natasha mocks the teen who huffs while the others snicker in amusement.

"No sympathy from my own family. Unbelievable."

"Get used to it," Bruce informs him with a sigh. "You'll only be seeing more of that as the weeks go on."

"I've reached my level of grossness at this point. I feel like I am about to explode," Peter mumbles as he grabs an apple and sits with the adults at the table, his younger siblings running in and asking for Goldfish crackers.

"Where'd your parents go?" Steve asks them as he stands up to grab the bag of colored goldfish and pours some into two different bowls.

"Papa said they were gonna do some cleaning in their room," Tony replies innocently and Clint and Natasha turn to look at Peter who resists the urge to smack his head on the table.

"Stay innocent kids, stay innocent," Clint tells Tony and Sleipnir who giggle as they sit on one chair together, completely oblivious to the fact that their older brother was slowly dying beside them.

"Just be glad the walls are soundproof, kid," Steve tells Peter as he ruffles the teen's hair.

"Not so much," Peter mumbles, shuddering a little at the most recent memory. "It's hard to look them in the eye afterwards."

Steve blushes and Natasha and Clint both start laughing at Peter implying that Bucky and Loki were still being heard despite the soundproof rooms. Bruce simply shakes his head, completely done with this conversation.

"Well they must be doing something right," Clint jokes and Peter groans miserably.

*

"Where are we going?" Tony asks as he sits bundled up in the backseat in between Peter and Sleipnir with his mommy and papa in the front driving them somewhere.

"You wanted to see Santa, remember?" Bucky reminds the child who thinks for a few seconds with a slight frown and Peter snickers. Tony could be a little forgetful sometimes.

"Who's Santa?" Sleipnir asks curiously, staring out the window and looking more and more excited each time they drove past Christmas decorations.

"He's this guy who's fat and gots a white beard like grandpa's and he brings toys to all the good little boys and girls on Christmas!" Tony explained to his brother excitedly. "And we're gonna go see him to tell him what we want and get our picture taken and he gives candy."

"Oh, well I like candy," Sleipnir replied with a little shrug as he went back to staring out the window.

"I still do not understand this tradition. It is disturbing and creepy," Loki informs her boyfriend who sighs and rolls his eyes.

"If you think about it, mom's right," Peter adds as he leans forward in his seat to look at both of his parents. "I mean, would you be comfortable sitting in a stranger's lap?"

Bucky grumbled but kept driving towards the mall as Christmas music played through the speakers, Tony singing along quietly in the back. Eventually he pulls up at the mall and finds a parking spot far from the entrance, much to their dismay. Loki and Bucky each held a child's hand as they walked towards the main entrance, all three kids complaining about the cold.

And everything is just like a year ago when they'd brought Tony, before Loki and Bucky had even gotten together and the two boys decided to play that joke on them. There was people everywhere, Christmas music playing from the speakers, decorations on every store window and the area where they set up Santa's Workshop was also pretty crowded. The line was somewhat smaller than last year's, so Bucky hoped they could be out of here quickly so they could go buy what they needed to set up their Christmas tree.

"How long do we gots to wait?" Tony asked impatiently as he handed his jacket and scarf over to his mommy.

"Not sure kid, I guess that depends on how much all the kids in front of you ask for," Bucky replies as he helps Sleipnir take off his jacket and scarf as well. "Do you guys know what you want for Christmas?"

"I want an alpaca," Tony replies which makes his parents and Peter groan while Sleipnir giggles.

"Yeah! I want an alpaca, too!" Sleipnir agreed.

"Perhaps," Loki replies with a wink in the direction of her boys and Bucky gave her a look while Peter gasped at Loki in shock.

"What?! No fair! Then can I get a llama?" Peter asked his parents in a whiny tone.

"Sure and why not get a whole bunch of other exotic pets, like a peacock," Bucky replies sarcastically and rolls his eyes.

"Oh yeah! They're so pretty!" Tony exclaimed as he looked up at his father with wide excited eyes.

"He's being sarcastic, spider baby," Peter informs his baby brother who pouts and crosses his arms across his chest.

The line actually moves quickly and they don't have to wait for much longer before they're first in line and waiting for the little girl sitting next to Santa to get her picture taken. Soon the elf helper motions for Tony and Sleipnir to go up to Santa who smiles at the two boys and sits them on either side of him in his large red chair.

"Seems like someone heard Loki's complainin'," Bucky comments as he, his girlfriend and Peter stand off to the side to watch.

"About time you mortals did something right," she responded and Peter giggled as he watched the two elves on either side of Santa's chair arrange Tony and Sleipnir for the picture.

Soon the two boys ran up to the rest of their family with big smiles and a candy cane in their hands. Another elf handed Bucky the picture and they were on their way to get some shopping done.

"So what'd you think, bud?" Bucky asks Sleipnir who was happily eating his candy cane.

"It was weird, but fun," Sleipnir replies honestly with a small shrug, holding onto Peter's hand with his free one.

They get home a few hours later with a brand new Christmas tree and decorations. They weren't going to be spending Christmas at the tower this year, they'd be heading to the compound, but they still wanted to make sure the tower was well decorated for the holidays.

"How was meeting Santa Claus?" Steve asked as they step onto the communal floor after dropping off their coats and the things they'd bought, the whole team sitting around the couches and watching a holiday themed movie.

"It was weird," Sleipnir said with his nose scrunched up. "He kind of reminded me of grandfather with his white long beard. He just needed an eye patch."

At that, Bucky and Peter both started to laugh hysterically and Loki bit her bottom lip to keep from laughing. Sleipnir looked back at his father and brother with a confused look, Tony skipping off ahead to see what movie they were watching.

"Fenrir is gonna love this one," Peter says in complete glee as he pulls his phone out to text his brother, heading towards the living room and Loki rolls her eyes.

*

When Bucky wakes up the next morning, he finds Loki in the bathroom kneeling in front of the toilet and he wishes he could do something to make her morning sickness disappear. He supposes even she can't do anything about it. Bucky gets out of bed and heads towards the bathroom to kneel next to her and rub her back.

"Sorry you have to go through this," Bucky tells her, resting his forehead on her shoulder as he keeps rubbing Loki's back in soothing circles.

Loki reached a shaky hand out to flush the toilet and gave a watery chuckle as she went limp in his hold. Bucky wrapped both his arms around her, pulling her flush against his bare chest.

"It is worth it, though," she replies in a hoarse voice. "We will have our little one in just six months."

Bucky smiled and pressed a kiss to her temple. After taking a shower, that maybe takes longer than it should, Bucky and Loki dress for the day and head out to get started on breakfast, surprised that the boys were still asleep despite the late hour.

"In the mood for anything special?" Bucky asks his girlfriend as he opens up the refrigerator.

"Not really, but please, no more pancakes. I feel like we eat those every morning and just the thought of them makes me nauseous," Loki responds with a slight shudder and Bucky chuckles as he starts to prepare some oatmeal instead.

Tiny footsteps walked down the hall in their direction and the two looked over in time to see Tony appear at the doorway, still in his pajamas, his hair a mess and rubbing at his eyes. Loki smiled softly and walked over to pick up the five year old.

"Morning darling, how did you sleep?" Loki asks as she sits at the table with Tony on her lap.

"Good. How's baby, mommy?" Tony asks as he places a small hand on Loki's bump before leaning down to press a kiss to it.

"Baby is doing great, Anthony, thank you for asking."

Tony giggles, but it was cut off to yawn and then cuddled into his mommy and closed his eyes in hopes of getting a few more minutes of sleep.

"No can do, kid," Bucky says as he shakes Tony awake. "Why don't you go get your brothers up. It's getting late and then they'll whine about not being able to sleep tonight and you and Peter have school in the morning."

Tony whines and tries climbing into Loki's lap when his mommy sets him down on the ground. She simply gives him a look and he's rushing off to wake up his brothers, bumping into Brownie on his way.

"Morning family!" Fenrir yells out from where he's stepped off the elevator and Loki and Bucky share a confused and surprised expression.

"Fen, when did you get here?" Loki asks as she stands up from her seat and pulls Fenrir into a hug to which he squirms around in a bit uncomfortably.

"Last night. It was late so I stayed on Thor's floor. Which by the way, that man does not know a thing about decor," Fenrir jokes and Bucky laughs as he ruffles the fourteen year old's hair.

"Want breakfast, kid?" Bucky asks him as he goes back to preparing their meal.

"Sure. Where are the children?"

"Fenrir!" Tony and Sleipnir shout happily as they race towards their older brother who laughs and lets the two cling to him.

"Hi kiddies!" Fenrir greets them with a large grin, ruffling their hair and looking up when Peter steps into the room with messy hair, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes and wearing some old Hello Kitty pajama pants. "Nice pants, Parker."

"Wha-?" Peter blinked in confusion before his eyes widened when he finally registered who was standing their kitchen. "Ugh, you're only here to bully me."

"Is that not what younger brothers do? Am I wrong?" Fenrir asked Sleipnir and Tony with a wink and the two younger kids giggled before letting go of their brother.

"Alright kids, take a seat, breakfast is ready," Bucky instructs them as he starts placing bowls of oatmeal with blueberries, slices of banana, cinnamon and other different toppings.

"What are we doing today?" Peter asked with a mouthful which made the younger kids cringe.

"We're getting the tree up on our floor and the communal floor. And then we can bake some cookies if you want."

"Yeah!" Tony and Sleipnir shouted excitedly, Peter being busy shoveling oatmeal into his mouth to respond and Fenrir nods appreciatively.

"Just please do not ruin my kitchen," Loki warns them but they all look at each other and chuckle to which she simply sighs.

"Fen, are you gonna come to my Christmas concert at school?" Tony asks his brother as he looks up from his bowl.

"Uh concert?" Fenrir asked curiously as he looked at his parents for answers. "What concert?"

"Anthony's music class is performing in a Christmas concert at their school on Friday evening. Will you be joining us?" Loki explained to her son.

"Sure, sounds fun. I plan on staying until the end of the month anyway." Fenrir shrugged, smiling over at Tony who cheered.

Bucky smiles at that, glad to have one more kid at home with them and he really couldn't wait until the other two joined them.

*

"So what is this again?" Fenrir asked with a slight scowl as he eyed all the parents and children gathered in the elementary school's gym, taking a seat on the bleachers on Sleipnir's right with Peter to the seven year old's left.

Sleipnir meanwhile is bouncing in his seat and looking around in hopes of spotting their youngest brother, but there's a red curtain blocking off the area where the children would be performing.

"Tony's class is performin' in the Christmas concert," Bucky explained as he made sure Sleipnir didn't spill any of his popcorn.

"How long is this?"

"Two hours with an intermission after the first fifty minutes," Peter replied quickly since he held the concert program with the words 'Highland Academy Presents: the 2017 Christmas Concert' in bold red and green letters. "According to the program, Tony's class goes up in exactly thirty minutes."

"Well, wake me up when Bambi takes the stage," Fenrir says as he uses a simple spell that helps keep him upright and slips on his sunglasses while Loki and Bucky sigh and rolls their eyes.

The concert starts a few minutes later, Alex and Alana's mom sitting on Loki's free side and the two women getting into a conversation until the show starts. Fenrir, true to his word, did sleep until just before Tony came on stage. Once Tony was on, Fenrir pulled his phone out and recorded the whole fifteen minute performance like a proud older brother. Peter recorded it too and sent pictures and videos to Ned and MJ.

"Mommy! Papa!" Tony shouts after the concert ends, rushing up to them dressed in his black pants and white dress shirt with his hair neatly combed back.

"Hi darling!" Loki greets him as she picks up the five year and kisses his cheek, making sure she didn't leave behind a red lipstick stain. "You were wonderful, my sweet boy."

"You guys liked it?" Tony asked shyly as he eyed the rest of his family who were smiling up at him.

"We loved it, spider baby!" Peter reassures him. "Got a lot of pictures and videos."

"Yeah, bub, we're real proud of you," Fenrir speaks up next as he reaches up to mess up Tony's hair despite Loki's warning look. She'd spent a long time just trying to get the five year old to sit down and stay still so she could brush his hair.

"Loved it, Tony!" Sleipnir chimes in excitedly, still bouncing but Bucky suspects it's from the cotton candy he just had.

"You were amazing up there, Bambi," Bucky coos as he leans over to kiss his son's cheek. "Now, what do you boys say about going out to eat?"

"Yes!" They all shout excitedly and Loki just prepares herself for the long night ahead.

Sleipnir's already hyped on sugar and she's absolutely sure all four boys will want milkshakes with their late dinner, but it's okay though. Her boys deserve a nice night out.

Chapter Text

On the day before Christmas Eve, just two days after arriving at the compound, Hela and Jormungand arrived in the middle of a snowball fight between their other four siblings and their father and Uncle Thor. They could see their mom watching from the window with a displeased expression on his face and another woman with short red hair looking highly amused by everything with a mug of something warm cradled between her hands.

"Hela! Jor!" Sleipnir shouted after having spotted them first and ran as best he could towards them.

"Hello, little one. I see that you are having fun," Hela comments with a smile as she leans down to hug her little brother who clings to her tightly.

"Lots of fun! You want to join us?" Sleipnir asked as he pulled away to hug Jormungand.

"In a bit, bub. Let us greet mother first and then we will join you all out here," Jormungand reassures him with a pat to his head.

Tony rushed over to them, laughing as Hela pressed kisses to his cold cheeks. Peter and Fenrir followed along with Thor and Bucky who were grinning as they greeted the sixteen year old girl and eleven year old boy.

"Wanna go see mom?" Bucky asks as he wraps an arm around each kid and begins to lead them towards the compound where Loki was smiling and waving at them.

"Yes otherwise he will come out here and drag us inside and we all know how much he hates the snow," Hela joked which makes Bucky and Jormungand laugh as the front door opens and they're greeted by Loki in the foyer.

"I know you three are laughing about me, but I do not care at the moment. Just give me my kids," Loki says as he walks forward to pull his daughter and son into a hug. "Missed you two."

"We missed you too, mom, but can you let up on the hug? We still kinda need to breath," Jormungand complained.

"And I can feel my ribs shifting," Hela groaned out and Loki let them go to stare at the two with narrowed eyes. "Yeah yeah, we know you hate our joking."

"One day you will be hurt for real and I will brush it off as you joking like usual," Jormungand and Fenrir quote their mother word for word and both Peter and Tony laugh while Bucky shakes his head fondly.

"Geez Lo, they sound exactly like you," Bucky teased his boyfriend who turned to glare at him instead. "Yeah I know, I'll sleep on the couch. Again."

Thor and Natasha snickered at Bucky's kicked puppy expression, but they both knew not to mess with Loki anymore. He really had little patience and tolerance these days.

"How about, before you end up sleeping outside, why don't you take the kids to change out of their wet clothes and show the others where they'll be sleeping?" Natasha suggests with a smirk.

"Come on kiddies," Bucky says as he picks up Sleipnir and Tony like potato sacks and the two kids laugh hysterically as they hang from their father's hold.

The other four follow their father with Peter showing them videos and pictures of the mess they'd made in Loki's kitchen after attempting to bake some cookies and how they'd ended up grounded, Bucky included.

At the compound, they'd had a whole section built for them to fit their family, though Tony and Sleipnir had insisted on sharing a room anyways along with Peter and Fenrir. They had their own kitchen, living and dining area plus enough bedrooms and bathrooms for all of them plus the baby and then some. Bucky and Loki had made the petition to have an area specifically for them and their family since Steve had mentioned relocating the team to the compound at some point. While it wouldn't be ideal for Bucky and Loki to relocate their little family with the team because of Tony and Peter's schooling, it would still mean that they would spend their summers and weekends at the compound anyways.

"That's a big tree," Jormungand comments when they step into the living area of their suite.

And it was. It was easily nine feet tall, if not slightly bigger and with many branches that were covered in lights, ornaments of all shapes and other festive stuff. A star sat at the top of the tree and presents surrounded it. The room also smelled very Christmas-y and the fire in the fireplace kept it warm and cozy as the large windows gave view of the snow covered grounds.

"Alright you two, lets get you dressed in something dry and warm while we let your brother and sister get settled in their rooms," Loki says as he takes Tony and Sleipnir's hands and leads them up the stairs to their rooms, both boys walking with a waddle thanks to their snow suits. Loki simply smiles fondly at them, patient as they struggle to get one foot up on the next step.

"Can we have hot chocolate?" Tony asks his mama as they enter their shared room, set up like back in the tower with their beds on either side of the room and one half decorated to Tony's liking and the other half to Sleipnir's.

"Later darling, your Uncle Steve is making dinner with Bruce and Wanda, but how about during the movie tonight?"

"We're having a movie night?" Sleipnir asks excitedly and both kids cheer when Loki confirms with a nod.

As Loki is helping Tony change, Hela walks into the room and smiles at the sight of Sleipnir tickling Tony's bare sides which sends the five year old laughing and trying to squirm away. Loki chuckles as he watches his youngest two before looking over when Hela approaches and leans into his side.

"Have you been alright?" Loki asked his daughter as he helped Tony get his shirt on.

"Yeah, just still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I can easily come visit you guys whenever I want," Hela replies softly, sounding very much like that scared little girl from Loki's memories. "This was all I had ever wanted back then and now that I can, I just do not know how to handle it."

"I know sweetheart," Loki says softly as he wraps his arms around his daughter and holds her tight to himself, hearing the two other boys run out the room to give them some privacy. "Some days I cannot believe it either, but we are all here together finally. I promised you that we would, did I not?"

"You did." Hela pulled away from him, looking over at the door when Bucky walks in. She smiles up at him and he pulls her into a hug, letting her lean against him.

"Dinner's ready. I got the boys seated already, just waitin' on you two and Thor," Bucky informs as he rests his chin on Hela's head and the two nod.

They follow Bucky to the communal floor where Hela then sits next to Fenrir at the table where there are mountains of food. Dinner is a loud affair and with the whole team at home for once, it kinda feels like an early Christmas celebration. Tony eats on Bucky's lap for some reason, refusing to sit in his own seat and so Bucky indulges him just this once.

"So what movie do you kids want to watch?" Clint asked them just before dinner came to an end, he being on his third slice of apple pie that Wanda had baked earlier that day much to everyone, but Fenrir's, horror. Fenrir was also on his third slice and Bucky had come to realize how similar the archer and his son were and he was a little concerned to be honest.

"Home Alone!" Tony and Sleipnir shout excitedly.

"And Home Alone 2!" Clint and Fenrir shouted at the same time. "Jinx! You owe me a soda!" They both looked at each other with large grins. "What?! No way! You do!"

"I think we've created a monster, doll," Bucky informs his boyfriend as he stares at Loki who looks horrified by the scene.

"Seems so," Loki mumbles in complete resignation as Fenrir and Clint keep arguing over who owes who what.

*

"It's Christmas!" They hear Tony shout from across the hall followed by a tired groan from Fenrir.

Loki echoed that sentiment as she cuddled into Bucky's side and buried her face into his neck. They'd all gone to bed pretty late last night and lately Loki was finding it hard to sleep despite how tired and sleepy she was throughout the day.

"If we don't get up now, he'll run in here and jump on our bed until we do," Bucky reminds her but he wraps his arms around her anyways and makes no move to get up.

"I know, but I believe we have earned a few extra minutes to just lay here for a bit," Loki responds with her eyes closed and sneaks a hand under his top and starts tracing Bucky's six pack with a black painted nail. "Pretty soon we will be wishing we took advantage of these moments."

"I know." Bucky sighed as he stroked her back. "How did we become this kind of family?" Bucky questions as he points to his and Loki's matching pajamas.

The two were wearing Santa pajamas with red and white stripped pants with their long sleeved shirts resembling Santa's coat and all of the kids were dressed in matching elf pajamas with green and white stripped pants and a green long sleeved shirt with a fake belt printed on.

"Wouldn't I like to know. I have no idea how Peter managed to convince us."

Meanwhile out in the hall, Tony and Sleipnir raced around waking up their siblings so they could go open their presents. Fenrir and Peter, who also shared a room, groaned as they were woken up by the kids jumping on their beds.

"Little dudes, not cool," Peter groaned as he pulled Tony down to cuddle him and Sleipnir sat on Fenrir's back. "It's way too early."

"It's not, right FRIDAY?" Tony asked the AI as he struggled to break free from Peter's hold.

"Affirmative, little boss. The time is currently 9:56 am, Peter," FRIDAY replied in a chirpy mood. "Merry Christmas, little ones!"

"Merry Christmas, FRIDAY!" Tony and Sleipnir shout, the older two still being too tired to form coherent phrases.

"You boys want some hot chocolate while we wait for mom and dad to get out of bed?" Hela asks as she stands by the entrance to their room with her hands on her hips and a smirk on her lips.

"I'd rather not know. I've had enough traumatic experiences to last me a lifetime," Peter commented as he sat up with Tony on his lap, the child poking his stomach repeatedly until the teen caught his hand and made a face at the five year old who giggled.

"You poor unfortunate soul," Hela jokes as she walks over to pick up Sleipnir off of Fenrir who thanked her with a single look. "But no, that is not what I meant. FRIDAY says they are being lazy and knowing mom, it can be awhile until they are up. So hot chocolate?"

"Yes!" The younger two shout and Hela sets Sleipnir down and they watch the boys run out the room, probably to get Jormungand who was still in his room.

By the time Loki and Bucky finally manage to leave the comfort and warmth of their bed, the kids are all seated at the island with hot chocolate and a plate of the leftover cookies from last night being shared between them. They all smile when their parents walk into the kitchen, asking if they can open their presents yet.

"In a minute, let me have coffee first and make sure the other lazy heroes are up," Bucky says as he moves towards the coffee machine, thankful that FRIDAY had already made some coffee so he just grabs a mug and pours coffee in it.

"FRIDAY says they are, right FRI?" Tony asks for confirmation that the AI quickly gives by stating that everyone else is already awake and having some form of breakfast.

"Okay, then hurry up so we can go meet up with the rest in the communal living room and then we'll come back here and open the ones under this tree."

Loki meanwhile hurries up in making her tea before following her family out of their suite and towards the communal area.

Thor was the first to greet them, wearing the exact same pajamas as the kids and Loki sighed. This was like last year all over again.

"Oh my god, is this real?!" Clint asks in amusement once he sees that Thor's elf pajamas match the kids.

The others turn to look and Sam, Clint, Rhodey, and Scott all start to laugh while Wanda, Darcy and Pepper stifle their giggles and the rest either look completely resigned with their lives or just plain amused. Loki simply sips at her tea silently as she settles in one of the the armchairs and tries not to make fun of her brother. She promised she'd be a better person and she was going to start by not insinuating that Thor was stupid every five seconds. Her brother was actually surprisingly smart. Not that she would ever admit that out loud.

"We're definitely making the elves our next family Christmas card," Clint snickers after having taken a picture of Thor with all the kids on his phone.

"Fenrir!" Loki called out to her son when she saw his hands starting to glow with their greenish-gold color.

"But mom!" Fenrir whined as he pointed at Clint who tried to look as innocent as possible.

"At least wait until after Christmas is over," Loki replies instead, hiding a smirk behind her tea cup as Clint spluttered and stared at her wide eyed.

"Doll, you promised you wouldn't give our kids leeway to murder the archer," Bucky scolds his girlfriend playfully and Loki simply shrugs.

"Mean and Spooky is being mean and spooky again!" Clint tattles as he heads off to find someone who actually cares. Unfortunately for him, he finds no one.

Bucky sits on the armrest of Loki's seat as he watches the kids start to pick out their presents from the rather large pile under the tree. Everyone else either sits around on the couches or in Thor, Clint, Sam and Scott's case, next to the kids.

"My alpaca!" Tony shouts excitedly as he hugs an alpaca plushie tight to his chest with a giant grin on his face.

"I got one too!" Sleipnir shouts just as excited and the two kids giggle as they show off their new stuffed toys to the team.

"He really wouldn't let that go," Steve comments with a chuckle as he sits on the other armchair next to Loki's with his own cup of coffee.

"Nope and whatever Thing 1 wants, Thing 2 does too, Sleipnir decided he also would like an alpaca," Bucky explains with a fond shake of his head.

"My llama!" Comes Peter's shout and half the room snorts in amusement as the fifteen year old holds up his stuffed llama in the air.

"And there is Thing 3," Loki comments in amusement and Steve laughs.

A few minutes later Tony approaches Loki a little shyly with a neatly wrapped present in his hands and she simply stares at her son curiously as Bucky sits up beside her, clearly not knowing anything either.

"What is this, darling?" She asks her child as she sets her tea cup on the overcrowded coffee table.

Tony doesn't say anything, just offers the box to Loki who takes it with a thanks and looks for a tag.

"To baby from Tony," Loki reads and she curses her hormones as her eyes immediately tear up.

Loki doesn't even realize that the room's fallen quiet as she starts to tear at the red colored wrapping paper. Inside the box, she finds a familiar bear with caramel colored fur and big black eyes. Loki finds herself staring at Tony with wide eyes as she pulls the bear out of the box gently.

"Anthony, darling, what-"

"It's for baby, mommy. Baby's gonna need it more than me now," Tony explains with his hands behind his back and shuffling his feet nervously, refusing to make eye contact with either of his parents who were staring at him in shock.

Tony had decided to give the baby Mister Snuggles as a present, his most beloved toy. The one bear Tony always went everywhere with and did everything with. The very first toy he'd received when everything with Tony getting turned into a kid had happened. Tony's very first best friend.

"Bambi, are ya absolutely sure? Ya love Mister Snuggles," Bucky asked his kid in a choked up voice. Distinctly he can hear someone sniffling in the background but he's much too shocked to figure out who it was.

"Yeah. I mean, I don't need him anymore. I've got other ones and baby doesn't have any," Tony reassures his parents with a big smile, showing off two missing teeth and one that was starting to grow back in.

Loki sets the bear back in the box and then sets it aside and pulls her five year old into a hug, crying quietly into his shoulder as she hugs him tight. Her heart was swelling with so much love and pride for her selfless little boy who had a heart of gold. He deserved the entire world and damn it if she wasn't going to do her best to give it to him. Tony had always loved the world, but the world hadn't always loved him and it was about time the world did.

"I love you so much, darling. Thank you for doing this," Loki says as she pulls back and presses a kiss to Tony's cheek. "Baby is going to love your present, Anthony."

Tony grinned at his mother before rushing off to meet his siblings who all pulled him into a group hug. Loki grabbed the box with the bear and then left the room without looking at anyone or saying anything. Bucky knew it was because she didn't like to show emotions in front of the team. It took a while for her to even do so in front of Bucky and even know, she sometimes feels uncomfortable doing so.

"I'll be back," Bucky said to no one in particular as he headed off after his girlfriend.

Once in their suite, he found her curled up on the couch with Mister Snuggles clutched to her chest and silent tears rolling down her cheeks.

"You alright?" Bucky asked as he sat next to her and wrapped his arms around Loki's shaking shoulders.

"We must have done something right in our terrible lives to deserve someone like Anthony," Loki replies as she leans completely against her boyfriend, her gaze locked with the bear.

"Something had to go right in our lives, babydoll, after everything we've been through. Maybe this was the universe's way of compensatin' us for everythin' shitty."

Loki then laughed and buried her face in the bear.

"You believe Anthony will be able to live without his beloved bear?"

"He's got Gerald now, I know he'll be fine"

Chapter Text

Two days after Christmas, Loki gets woken up by FRIDAY telling him that Tony had woken up with an elevated body temperature which meant it was bound to be a long few days with a sick five year old. So getting out of bed, Loki quickly heads across the hall to Tony and Sleipnir's room. Tony's already sitting up in bed with flushed cheeks and breathing with difficulty, eyes meeting Loki's as soon as he entered. In the other bed, Sleipnir was still fast asleep.

"Darling, are you ill?" Loki asked as he sat on the bed and stroked Tony's hair.

"I feel icky, mama," Tony complained, voice hoarse and he went into a coughing fit right after. "Everythin' hurts."

"Shall we go find you some medicine and then cuddle on the big bed until your siblings wake up?"

Tony nods and Loki carries him and Gerald to the master bedroom where he sets Tony on the bed and then heads to the bathroom to grab some medicine. It was a bad time for Bucky to have gone out on a mission with nearly the whole team. Tony was clingy when he was sick.

"Alright darling, here's your medicine," Loki said as he poured the necessary amount into the little cup before handing it to Tony who eyed it with distaste. "It will make you feel better and you know it."

Tony whined but took his medicine, grimacing at the taste and Loki smiled fondly before taking the cup and going to wash it in the bathroom and put it back. When he returned to the room, Tony was already snuggled under the blankets with his alpaca and was starting to fall asleep again. Loki laid down next to his son and began to sing quietly and rub his back until he fell asleep.

*

"Where's Tony?" Sleipnir asked his mother who was preparing breakfast, all the kids sitting around the island looking more asleep than awake.

"Anthony is sleeping in my room. He woke up with a fever, darling," Loki explained as he handed each kid a plate of scrambled eggs with bacon and toast.

"He's sick?" Peter asked worriedly with his fork in hand and brown eyes open wide and the rest of them suddenly looked wide awake and worried.

"Yes, but hopefully the medicine I gave him earlier will help him out some."

"Poor bub," Fenrir says with a frown as he starts eating.

They spend the rest of breakfast in silence, the kids clearly worried about their baby brother who according to FRIDAY was still asleep though his fever remained the same.

"Are you going to inform father of Anthony's illness?" Hela asks their mom as she helps him clean up after breakfast, the other four boys heading off to the living room to watch TV.

"I would if I could, but FRIDAY informed me that they would be going radio silent for the next three days. It is an important mission which is why almost all of the Avengers are out," Loki explained as he dried a plate. "Hopefully we will be able to handle this. Anthony has never been sick for more than four days."

Hela nodded though she hoped her mother was right.

Things take a turn for the worst late that night. Tony had been puking since after dinner and his fever was not going down no matter what Loki and Bruce, who was the only other Avenger at the compound, did. If anything, Tony's fever was getting dangerously high and he started to complain about a pain in his belly which had Bruce deciding to take him straight to medical.

So now at nearly two am, Loki and the rest of her kids sat outside in the waiting room as Bruce, Dr Cho and Tony's usual pediatrician were running tests on the five year old.

"FRIDAY, try getting into contact with James, please. Tell him there has been an emergency with Anthony," Loki tells the AI, sounding exhausted and worried as she leans back on the couch, Sleipnir curling up into her side.

"Calls still won't go through, but I will keep trying, miss," FRIDAY responds in a quiet tone and Loki sighs in exasperation.

"Thank you, FRIDAY."

Bruce walked out of the room a few minutes later and Loki was up immediately with the rest of her kids on either side, all waiting to hear how Tony was.

"It's appendicitis, so we're going to need to operate on Tony. Dr Cho and Dr Williams are already prepping everything for surgery," Bruce informs the group, giving them a reassuring smile. "He's going to be okay. Luckily his appendix hadn't burst yet, otherwise it would have complicated things a bit more. But surgery will be quick and he'll be good to go back home by no later than the day after tomorrow."

"Thank you Bruce," Loki tells the doctor.

"Don't mention it. You guys should get some rest, especially you Loki. I will come back out once the surgery is over."

Bruce heads back in the direction that he came from while the kids all settle in the empty couches. Loki's cellphone began to vibrate in the pocket of her jacket and she pulled it out to see that it was Bucky calling.

"James," Loki answered in relief as she walked away from the kids to let them get some rest.

"Doll, what's wrong? FRIDAY said something was wrong with Tony?" He asked worriedly.

"Anthony is in surgery right." "What?!" "He woke up with a fever yesterday morning and as the day progressed he only got worse until I got Bruce to come and see him and by then Anthony's stomach was hurting. Bruce, Dr Cho and Dr Williams ran tests and came to the conclusion that it was his appendix."

"Alright, okay. Are you and the kids in medical right now?"

"Yes, they are all here anxiously waiting to hear about their brother."

"Okay, good. I'm on my way back with some of the others. I'll probably be there in two or three hours, hopefully sooner," Bucky told her with a hint of frustration laced in his voice that had Loki smiling softly.

"Do not worry, James. Just come back safe," Loki says as she leans against a wall and looked over at her kids, Sleipnir was curled up on Peter's lap already fast asleep and the teen himself who had his legs stretched across the couch and feet resting on Fenrir's lap, was trying not to nod off. Hela and Jormungand sat on Fenrir's other side with no space between them.

"You try and get some rest, too, babydoll. For the baby."

"I will. I will keep you updated. I love you, James."

"I love you too, Lo."

Loki sat on the other couch and waited. She didn't get any sleep and it seemed like an eternity before Bruce and Dr Cho walked out and she was up in an instant. Hela woke up the other kids who were by Loki's side in an instant.

"How's Anthony?" Loki asked the two doctors.

"The surgery went well. He's in the room now recovering so you guys can go in and see him if you want, but he'll be out for the rest of the night possibly morning," Dr Cho explained in a reassuring tone.

"Thank you," Loki tells them, feeling Sleipnir lean into her side tiredly while the others sighed in relief.

"No problem. We'll still keep monitoring him through the rest of tonight and during the day," Bruce informs them and then lets the family go see their youngest member.

"You should get some sleep. I will stay up in case Anthony or one of the others need something," Hela tells her mother quietly as the other kids settle on the three cots Bruce had already rolled into the room for them. "And do not argue, I know you are tired. You have been taking care of Anthony all day."

Loki didn't even bother protesting knowing Hela wasn't going to take no for an answer. So Loki goes to sit on the couch closest to Tony's bed and gets comfortable as her eyes start to slip shut right away.

When he wakes up, the sun is out and Tony is still sleeping peacefully with Mister Snuggles tucked in next to him. The other kids are gone, so Loki guesses they went off to eat something.

"FRIDAY, do you know how much longer until James gets here?" Loki asked, frowning immediately when he didn't get an answer. "FRIDAY?"

Getting up from the couch, Loki headed towards the door and peeked out into the hall only to find everything empty and completely silent. Usually there would be a few SHIELD agents in and out of medical and the other staff roaming around, but there was no one.

Digging his phone out of his pocket, Loki tried using it to contact someone but there was no signal.

"Okay, do not panic, maybe they are doing maintenance of some kind to the compound and communications down, that's why," Loki tries to reassure himself as he headed back to Tony's bedside, the child still fast asleep.

Just then a male nurse walked in wearing a surgical mask and with a syringe in one hand.

"Uh excuse me, do you know where doctors Banner and Cho are?" Loki asked the man who shook his head mutely as he readied the syringe to inject it into Tony's IV. "What is that?"

"Oh honey," the man finally said as he turned to stare at Loki who froze upon hearing his voice. "I'm only completing the job Maggie couldn't finish."

"Marcos?" Loki called out shakily though he tried rushing to the other side of Tony's bed where the man was starting to inject the liquid inside the syringe into Tony. "Stop it!"

Marcos laughed as he easily dodged one of Loki's attacks, waving a hand and sending him flying across the room. The heart monitor began to beep like crazy once the liquid was fully injected and Loki struggled to his feet, arm wrapped around his bump protectively as he pulled out one of his daggers and charged at the man with complete fury.

"It's too late, Loki. By now, the serum should have entered the system and this could go one of two ways; either his body accepts it or in case of rejection, well you might want to prepare for the worst," Marcos says as he grabs Loki's wrist in a tight hold to stop the dagger from being stabbed into him. "You were better not getting in my way, Princess."

Loki gasped in pain when his own dagger was shoved into his side and Marcos let go of the bruising grip on his wrist only to stagger backwards. Loki had no time to react to anything else as beeping fell into one continuous beep that had him sinking to his knees and staring at his son in horror.

"Too bad. Tony could have been useful." Marcos shrugged. "Guess this means I'm going to have to make adjustments to the serum again."

Loki didn't even register the man's retreating footsteps nor did he register the pain or the blood soaking his shirt. He didn't feel anything as he stared at his little boy who was no longer breathing. The same little boy who just twenty four hours ago had been alright.

"Loki?" Someone called from behind him but Loki didn't turn. The voice was male and familiar but he didn't comprehend why. He was too busy trying to wrap his mind around what had just happened.

"Loki."

A pained gasp left Loki's lips as her eyes flew open only to find a pair of blue/gray eyes staring back at her in worry.

"Doll, come on, deep breaths," Bucky encouraged her as he sat on the couch next to Loki to rub at her back soothingly. "It's okay, it was just a nightmare."

Loki struggles to get her breathing and heart rate back to normal, clutching at her bump as tears poured down her cheeks and her whole body trembled.

"Here is a glass of water," Loki heard Hela say and then Bucky thanked her before sending her off to catch up to the rest of her siblings.

"Doll, here. Drink some water," Bucky encouraged as he handed the glass to her but her hands shook a little too much so he helped her drink from it. "You want to talk about it?"

Loki shook her head, still trying hard to calm down from that awful recurring nightmare. She looked up to find Tony fast asleep, his chest rising and falling evenly and it helped to calm her down a bit.

"Lo, maybe you should talk to someone," Bucky suggested carefully as he eyed his girlfriend who was staring at their son, body shaking and hands clenched into fists with sparks of green flaring every now and then. "You've been havin' the same nightmare since Tony got taken."

"How do you know it is the same one?" Loki questions him, finally tearing her gaze away from her son to stare at her boyfriend.

"You always stare at Tones to make sure he's breathin' and it's not that hard to figure it out. And your hands always begin to glow which you know you should try and to not use your magic. The baby's already draining your seidr as it is, doll."

"I know, but I promise that I am fine and I do not need to talk to anyone about this. Please, just, leave it, James," Loki snapped.

Bucky sighed and looked like he wanted to keep arguing about it, but Bruce walked in and smiled at the couple.

"How's Anthony?" Loki asks the doctor as she gets up and approaches her son's side.

"He's fine. Slept through the remainder of the night with no problems and we'll wait until he wakes up to see how he's doing," Bruce informs them as he checks the IV bags Tony was hooked up with. "Dr Williams said he'd like to run more tests once Tony wakes up to eliminate the possibility of other infections."

"Thank you Bruce," Bucky responds and the doctor nods before walking out of the room again.

Loki ran a hand through Tony's hair and leaned down to kiss his forehead. She flinched slightly when Bucky placed a hand on her back.

"I need to use the bathroom," she whispered and then left the room quickly.

Bucky meanwhile stayed with Tony, pulling up a chair to sit next to him. He only looked up when Steve and Natasha walked in, both looking just as exhausted as him.

"Where's Loki?" Natasha asked noticing that only Bucky was in the room with Tony.

"Bathroom. She had another nightmare and I'd rather not get into a fight with her right now," Bucky replies with a frown as he leans back in his seat and rubs at his eyes.

"I'll go check up on her." Natasha squeezed his shoulder before heading out of the room and towards the bathrooms out in the hall.

"Have you gotten any sleep since we got here?" Steve asked his best friend as he grabbed the other chair and pulled up next to Bucky to talk quietly and not disturb Tony who was starting to stir on the bed.

"No. Wanted to make sure the other kids got some breakfast and then check in on Loki. Besides, I don't think I'll be able to rest until Tony wakes up," Bucky explained with a sigh.

"Well Thor is snoring out there in the waiting room and I'm just glad Tony's the only one in medical right now."

Bucky snickered at that and shook his head. Tony started to wake up at the same time that Natasha and Loki walked into the room.

"Hey there, Bambi," Bucky greets as he stands from the chair and leans over to kiss Tony's head. "How are you feelin'?"

"Tired," Tony mumbles as he blinks sleepily up at his parents who stand together smiling down at him.

"That is to be expected, darling. You have been sick," Loki explains, faintly hearing Natasha and Steve leave the room to presumably get the doctor.

"Can I go home? I wanna go home."

"Not yet, kid. Bruce still has to run a few tests but I assume that you'll be able to get out of here by tomorrow morning," Bucky tells him with a grin, moving to hug Loki from behind and rest his chin on the mage's shoulder with his hands on her bump. "Are ya hungry?"

"No. My tummy feels funny."

"You had surgery last night, darling. They had to remove your appendix."

"What's that? Am I gonna get a new one? Am I gonna die?!"

"Shh, no. You don't need a new one, Bambi, and you're not gonna die. Your appendix is in your tummy but it doesn't actually do anything important so you can keep livin' without it."

Tony relaxed at that though there was still a pout on his face as he holds Gerald with the arm that didn't have any needles. The couple look up when Bruce, Dr Williams and Steve walk in. They step away from Tony as the two doctors get to work on checking the kid.

"How is he?" Steve asks as the three talk by the door.

"Freaked out when we told him he got his appendix removed. Thought he was gonna die," Bucky says in between chuckles and Loki simply smiles fondly and shakes her head as Steve laughs and looks over at Tony who's pouting more at whatever the doctors have told him.

"Love that kid," Steve says fondly as he looks over at Tony who's fighting the doctors on putting Gerald on the bedside table so they can run the necessary tests. "Anyways, why don't you guys go eat something? Nat and I can stay with the kid."

"Thank you, Steve," Loki tells him, giving him a smile before leaving the room.

The two walk across the compound to the Avengers wing and head to the communal kitchen where the kids were still eating and Sam and Wanda were working on breakfast. The kids all bolt out of their seats as soon as they spot their parents and head towards them to ask about their baby brother.

"He's fine, kids. He's awake and we left him with Nat and Steve," Bucky explains as he ushers them back to their seats so they can keep eating. "You can go see him once you're done eating breakfast."

*

"Look at them," Bucky says as he stands behind Loki with his arms around the mage, the two watching all of their kids fuss over their baby brother, "they look like headless chickens runnin' 'round and fetchin' things for Bambi."

"James." Loki laughed and shook his head as he leaned back against his boyfriend. "Glad to have Anthony back home. Gave me quite a fright."

"Sorry I wasn't here to help ya out." Bucky kisses the side of Loki's face a few times before nuzzling his nose into the mage's dark hair.

"You could not have known Anthony would fall ill, if anything, I am sorry I had to cut your mission short."

"Uh uh, don't do that. Whenever it comes to you or the kids, I'll come runnin' back home to be with ya. You guys are my family and the most important people in my life, so don't ya ever forget that."

Loki didn't say anything, instead just kept watching his kids try to make Tony comfortable on his bed by fluffing his pillows or getting him water or more blankets. It was endearing and despite everything that had happened, he never wanted the moment to end.

Chapter Text

January passes without a hitch. Loki's kids head back to Asgard with Thor a few days after the start of the new year, Peter gets the green light to go out as Spider-Man again, as long as he takes someone with him. Tony becomes more attached to Loki, often times acting like a spoiled brat who doesn't get his way when Loki can't take him to school. Loki's morning sickness has finally let up, though now that he's nearing the halfway point, he's more exhausted than usual and experiencing other unfortunate symptoms.

February arrives with the excitement that they'll hopefully get to learn the gender of their baby. The bets around all the members of the team, including May, Happy, Pepper and even Wong and Stephen, have been placed with a chalkboard in the communal living room keeping track.

Currently, the family were staying on Steve's floor while theirs was being renovated to join Tony's penthouse and their floor into one larger unit. Pepper had helped them with the floor plans and made sure to hire the best workers who were quick and efficient, hoping to have everything done quickly.

Their new floor plan would be two stories, with the kitchen, living room, dining room, two bedrooms and three bathrooms on the first floor while on the second would include five bedrooms and five bathrooms. They needed the extra space for their other kids even if they only visited from time to time. Though with the baby coming soon, Loki knows the others will basically move in with them.

"Are we going to live in the tower permanently though?" Bucky asked one night as he and Loki lay in bed with the lights dimmed and the mage rubbing at her bump in soothing circles.

"What do you mean?" Loki asks curiously as she looks over at Bucky who turns on his side to face her, bringing his metal hand over and pushing up Loki's shirt to caress her bare bump.

"I mean, I love the team and they're such a big help with the kids, but I have a dream, ya know? That we'll find our own place with a large backyard for the kids to run around in and we can have more privacy and maybe get that alpaca that Tones wants," Bucky explains as he stares at Loki to study her reaction. "I've been fightin' for a really long time and frankly, I'm gettin' a little tired and I want to just settle down with my family."

"I have thought of that as well. I love our extended family, but I do admit that we need a bit more privacy than we get here and as fun as it has been being an Avenger, I believe that we should start letting the newer generations take over," Loki replies as she smiles over at Bucky who leans forward to kiss her softly.

"We can start looking for our own place once the baby's born."

Loki turns on her side and drapes a long leg over his waist, a devious smirk on her lips. Bucky got the hint and trailed a hand down to her ass.

"We really need our floor back," Bucky says with a slight groan as he starts kissing down Loki's neck and rolls his hips upwards.

"Just a few more days," Loki replies breathlessly.

Bucky listens as she lets out a small content sigh and feels her fingers slip into his long hair, tugging at the strands with just the right amount of pressure. He grins into her skin, moving his metal hand up inside her shirt to stroke at her back as the two of them get into a nice rhythm with their hips.

*

"So Valentine's Day is a few days away, planning anything special for Loki?" Natasha asks Bucky as the two of them plus Steve, Sam and Clint are in the training room one Monday morning.

With the kids at school and Loki working with Pepper in the mornings, Bucky had too much free time on his hands and so spent most of it in the gym with whoever was at the tower that day. Sometimes if the other kids were visiting, then Bucky would take them out into the city or they'd sit in and watch Bucky spar with either Steve, Thor or Natasha. Hela had formed some form of scary alliance with Natasha and the girl always cheered extra loud for Nat when he'd go up against her, much to his annoyance. Fenrir just took joy in seeing his poor old man on his back, often recording it on his phone and sending it to Peter, Ned and MJ in their little group chat. Jormungand would usually start bets among the other Avengers who would sit and watch. Sleipnir was the only one who would cheer Bucky on.

"Is this you offering to babysit Tony?" Bucky asks as he ties his hair up in a bun.

"What about Peter and the other kids?" Steve asks his best friend.

"He's stayin' with May this week and the other kids said they'd return the day after Loki's next appointment." Bucky shrugged. "And I haven't actually thought of anythin' for Valentines Day."

The others groaned and Natasha gave him a look and shook her head in clear disappointment.

"This will be your first Valentines Day together, she's pregnant and pretty soon dates will be difficult things to plan with a baby around, so fucking come up with something special," Natasha tells him.

"Geez, remind me to never mess with mama bear Nat's cub," Clint mumbles with slightly wide eyes and Steve and Sam nod in agreement.

The team had started calling Natasha mama bear and Loki her cub because of how fiercely protective Natasha was of Loki. Bucky wasn't even sure how or when it had started, and while a part of him was glad that Loki had someone ready to jump in and defend the mage, he was also terrified. All the time.

"Alright, you ladies ready to get your asses kicked?"

*

Valentine's Day eventually arrived and Bucky dropped Tony off at the Parker's residence instead. May had been wanting to see Tony for awhile and he'd rather give Natasha, Steve and Pepper the chance to go out and have dinner or something.

Bucky had planned a nice romantic evening for his girlfriend at one of her favorite restaurants. FRIDAY had helped him make reservations, well the AI had scoured the internet for date ideas because he was lacking in the romantic department.

"You ready for your date?" Steve asked him in a teasing tone as he entered Bucky's old room which was where the ex HYDRA assassin was getting ready. Bucky had wanted to pick up Loki like they did in the movies and had even gotten some flowers for his girlfriend to surprise her with which made him realize that he rarely ever did give her flowers. Mostly because Loki stabbing him was always a reaction he'd rather avoid. Loki had already stabbed him once, Bucky didn't want to go through it again.

"I feel nervous, is it normal?" Bucky asked as he adjusted his tie in the mirror. "It feels like our first date and you know how well that went."

Steve snickered and shook his head before walking forward to fix the crooked mess of a tie his best friend was wearing before replying with, "It's only normal that you feel nervous. You guys don't really go out on dates much and spend most of your time with the kids."

"Ugh, this is gonna be awkward, isn't it?"

"Stop worrying, you'll be fine. Don't be an insensitive asshole. She's pregnant and hormonal and she literally cried over realizing she'd run out of her favorite tea the other day."

"Yeah I know. Peter was there and he looked about ready to cry as well before offering to go and buy more of her tea and she only cried more because Peter was willing to go out and buy some for her. It was a long morning."

Steve laughed and brushed imaginary dust off of Bucky's shoulders before giving him the okay. Bucky left the room and grabbed the bouquet of red, pink and lavender roses with baby's-breath. When the elevator doors opened, he spotted Loki walking down the hall and his breath was taken away momentarily when he saw her.

She was dressed in a black strappy bodycon dress that reached mid thigh and while the color hid her pregnant belly, it also hugged it enough to let him and everyone else see that yeah, she was pregnant with his kid. And though she wore heels on her feet, they weren't as big as she usually wore them which relaxed him a bit. Her long black hair was pulled up into a high pony tail and her lips were a deep red matte color and her green eyes popped with her long black lashes and winged eyeliner.

"You are drooling, Barnes," she teased him as she walked up to her boyfriend who hadn't even realized that his mouth was open. "Maybe I will let you stare some more later tonight."

"Right, uh, just you uh look beautiful. Not that you don't always, but-"

"Hush, darling," she says in complete amusement as Loki places a finger to his lips, a slight flush to her cheeks. "Now, are those flowers for me or-?"

"Oh yeah!" Bucky hands her the roses and watches the way her eyes slowly fill with tears as she brings a hand up to caress the petals of some roses. "You okay?"

"Yes, just you know I get emotional easy nowadays." Loki gave a soft chuckle before walking over to the kitchen to put the roses in a vase.

Once that's done, Bucky helps her put on her coat before they get in the elevator.

...

"So did you like dinner?" Bucky asked as they waited for the valet driver to bring their car around, one arm around Loki's waist as he rubbed her side up and down gently.

"Loved it. You know this is my favorite restaurant," Loki replied with her still dark red lips stretched into a smile and all he wanted to do was kiss and bite her lips just to see if her lipstick would smear or transfer onto his lips.

"Good. I only wanna spoil my lady." Bucky grinned. "Do you wanna go catch a movie-"

"Actually," Loki began as she stepped up into his space with her bump pressing into him, "I have a little something planned back at the tower if you are interested."

Staring into her dark green eyes, Bucky felt a shiver of pleasure run down his spine. Just before he could say anything else, their car pulled up and he quickly drove them back to the tower. Once there, Loki leads him to their bedroom by the hand.

Inside, there are rose petals and candles everywhere, the flames creating a soft romantic glow around their room. Loki pushes him to sit on the bed before she disappears into their walk in closet and closes the double doors behind her with a wink in his direction.

Bucky sits and waits on the bed, loosening up his tie and tossing his jacket onto the arm chair by the window. His fingers slip between red petals, momentarily distracted by their softness when he hears the doors open and he looks up, jaw dropping at the outfit, or lack of, his girlfriend is wearing.

"Figured I would spice things up a bit tonight," Loki says from where she's leaning against the threshold, the black colored lingerie marking a huge contrast between her pale skin.

"Fuck, babydoll," Bucky said breathlessly, taking in all the lace and exposed skin. "Tryin' to kill me?"

"Ridiculous." She scoffed as she walked over to him and sat on his lap with a leg on either side and her five month bump making it a bit difficult. "Now, shall we take advantage of our kid free night?"

"Fuck yeah," he responds quickly with his hands on the mage's hips before leaning up to press his lips against her red ones.

*

"Is mommy okay?" Tony asked Natasha who was currently babysitting him while Loki and Bucky had gone to a doctor's appointment. "Is baby okay?"

"Don't worry, kotenok. They're both okay, but hopefully your parents will get to find out whether the baby is a boy or girl," Natasha explained with a soft smile as she sat next to him on the ground in the living room of her floor, watching him color in a Hello Kitty book.

"I want a sister."

"You do? Why not a brother?" She asked in complete surprise.

"Cause I've got too many of 'em and only one sister. And that way I can have someone to play princesses with, Aunt Tasha. Peter's always the dragon, but I want another princess."

Natasha couldn't wipe the grin off her face as she leaned over to press a quick kiss to his cheek, laughing as he scrunched up his nose at the action. Lately, the only person Tony accepted kisses from was Loki. He was nice about it when Natasha or Wanda or other females gave him kisses, but if Bucky or Peter or one of the other boys gave him kisses, he'd wipe them away and glare.

The elevator doors opened a few minutes later and Bucky and Loki stepped off it with a white envelope in the mage's hand.

"So what's the plan?" Natasha asked them.

"We're telling everyone tonight at dinner. Thor went off to Asgard to bring the kids," Bucky tells her. "Hopefully he won't take long."

Loki rolled her eyes at that because knowing Thor, he always found something to get distracted by.

"Can you tell me first?" Tony asks his parents in the sweetest voice he could muster up as he stared at them with large brown eyes and bottom lip sticking out.

"No, sorry, darling. You will have to wait like everyone else," Loki informs her five year old who pouts and goes back to coloring.

"Poop," Tony mumbles grumpily and the adults try not to laugh at the child who looks genuinely upset that he has to wait.

*

During dinner, the whole team and Loki's kids are present. Steve sat on one end with Bucky to his left and Natasha to his right. Loki sat on Bucky's other side with Tony and then Sleipnir and Peter. Across from Loki sat Hela with Fenrir and then Jormungand. On Peter's other side sat Clint and then Wanda and across from them Thor, Sam and Vision and Bruce sat across from Steve on the other end. They were lucky the dinning room was large and adult Tony had had the idea to order a custom table to be able to add more seats in case the team ever expanded.

"Are you going to keep us waiting much longer? The suspense is making me eat more than usual," Clint whines as he went for thirds.

"I thought this was a normal thing for you," Sam jokes as he looks at Clint with raised eyebrows and the kids all giggle.

"Just hold on a minute. Pepper's dropping by during dinner," Bucky tells them as he collects his and Loki's dirty dishes and takes them to the kitchen.

When Pepper showed up with a cake ten minutes later, they saw that she was also carrying a few confetti poppers. The tubes were long and white and read 'Boy or Girl?' on them in pink and blue letters.

"Alright, so I brought a cake to celebrate from Loki's favorite bakery and some of these for the kids," Pepper tells them as Steve gets up from his seat to help her with the cake and place it on the table in front of Bucky and Loki. "Thought it'd be a fun way to find out the gender. FRIDAY ordered them earlier."

"Good because you know how much I love confetti and glitter," Loki grumbled as he eyed the poppers with distaste as all six kids take them from Pepper excitedly.

"Alright, Sparkles," Steve calls out to him with a teasing grin that has Loki rolling his eyes.

"One time."

"Ooh are we talking about the time a glitter bomb exploded on Mean and Spooky?!" Clint exclaimed excitedly and suddenly all four of Loki's biological kids were demanding to hear the story while Peter and a few others who had been there were trying hard to not laugh at the memory.

"I wanna know about baby!" Tony whines, getting mad that everyone was getting off topic here. "I will make this go off right now." He waves the confetti popper around in a threatening manner.

"Hmm, bossy," Sam comments in complete amusement.

"But I wanna know who managed to prank mom? He can sniff pranks out from miles away," Fenrir asked in absolute curiosity as he turned to stare at Bucky who was grinning next to Loki.

"Later," Bucky whispers with a wink and the kids all giggle.

"How about I put the cake somewhere safe for now if we're going to be getting confetti everywhere?" Natasha suggests as she picks up the cake and takes it to the kitchen before returning quickly.

"Okay kids, on the count of three," Pepper instructs them with a giant grin. "One... two... three!"

The poppers went off and pink confetti and glitter started flying through the air, the room immediately bursting into loud cheers and Tony shouting, "Yes! I'm getting a sister!" Even Vision looked pretty excited, well as excited as an android can look, anyways.

"Finally another girl," Hela was heard over the loud commotion and Natasha and Wanda both nodded in agreement.

Everyone got their chance to hug and congratulate the happy couple and Loki was too happy to care about all the pink glitter and confetti sticking to his hair. All of the kids hugged their mother and asked to see the last ultrasound.

"To everyone who voted boy, pay up losers," Bucky informed the room as he placed Tony's swear jar in the middle of the table and grinned as Clint, Sam, Thor, Fenrir, Jormungand and Steve placed their money inside.

"What is that?" Clint asked as he eyed a rather large gold coin that didn't look like any normal type of coins.

"Oh, sorry. Asgardian currency is all I have but..." Fenrir said before he did a weird motion with his fingers and the coin changed to a regular five dollar bill. "There."

"Weird alien money," Clint grumbled as Loki and Bucky cut the cake and handed everyone a plate.

The cake was covered in white frosting with pink and blue sprinkles, but on the inside the color of the cake was pink.

"Mmm, strawberry," Tony said as he sat up in his seat and dug into his slice eagerly. After chocolate cake, strawberry was Tony's second favorite and if it had frosting and sprinkles, even better.

"So any names picked out?" Pepper asked the couple who kind of froze and turned to look at each other with wide eyes. "I'll take that as a no."

"Well now that we know it's a girl, Peter is out of the question, but Penny isn't!" Peter exclaims and Fenrir scoffs playfully and rolls his eyes.

"We are not naming our baby after you," Bucky informs his son who pouts and Tony and Sleipnir giggle at their older brother. "And no, Tony, we are not naming her Astrid or Ariel."

"Poop," Tony mumbled and laughter sounded around the table. "Antonia!"

"...No," Loki hesitated a bit, only cause he liked the way Antonia sounded, but then it wouldn't be fair to name the baby after one kid.

Luckily, only Bucky caught his pause and gave the mage a questioning look that went ignored. He filed the name for later and then proceeded to tell Loki's kids the story of how Loki earned himself the nickname Sparkles.

When the evening came to an end when Peter and Fenrir headed off to bed and Tony and Sleipnir fell asleep on Thor and Steve. Loki himself was pretty exhausted and it wasn't even ten. Bucky managed to pick up both children and then lead the way up to their floor with Hela and Jormungand bringing up the rear.

"Alright kids, don't go to bed too late," Bucky warns Hela and Jormungand who stay in the living room to watch a movie.

"No worries, old man!" Jormungand calls back and Bucky sighs while Loki sends his boyfriend an amused look.

"Six kids and I get no respect," Bucky mumbled as he entered Tony and Sleipnir's room.

"But we love you, father," Sleipnir mumbles as he blinks up tiredly at his dad who smiles down at him with a large smile.

"And I love you kids, too," Bucky replies as he kisses the seven year old's head. "So much."