Loki's children are wanted.
He hovered anxiously at the door, feeling helpless. "Loki, are you sure you don't need my help?"
The reply came quickly -- too quickly. "Stay outside, Odin, I," and Loki was retching again. Odin decided he'd heard enough, and pushed his way inside the bathroom just in time to catch Loki before he hit his head on the sink as he fell. "Your hair," Loki found enough breath to wail. "You just washed it this morning!"
"Forget the hair," Odin snapped and helped Loki sit on the side of the bathtub. Loki rested his cheek on Odin's shoulder. His face was drawn and pale, but he looked less green. Odin continued to rub soothing circles on his back. "Why are you so stubborn?"
"The other times didn't seem so hard. Maybe this one is just different because it's a horse."
He might have laughed in disbelief. "My blood-brother, the other times you had a wolf, a serpent and a girl-child. None of those are at all alike."
"True," Loki started to chuckle quietly, and gagged again. Fortunately, he managed to stop the reflex before he threw up, though this success might have been in part due to the fact his guts were already emptied.
Odin rose and wet a washcloth with warm water. He sat back down and allowed Loki to lean against his side again, wiping Loki's face gently with the warm cloth. Loki sighed, and when he opened his eyes again, some of his usual spark had returned to the bright green stare. "Thank you for being here. I don't know what I would have done without you."
It was a while before Odin found his voice to reply, and he found the pattern of condensation on the wall tiles deeply engrossing as he said, "Why did you do it? A horse, Loki. What were you thinking!"
Loki laughed, a little surprised. "Well, he certainly was hung like --" and blinked in surprise at the sudden darkening of Odin's demeanour. "Odin," he said earnestly, "you wanted me to think of a way to stop Hrimthurs from completing the wall. I did it. What is the matter, my brother?"
Odin looked down at the unnatural swell of Loki's belly, by now larger than a woman's would be. Loki looked small and fragile in contrast, as though the horse-child would rip open his body with a careless kick. "You shouldn't have done it. We could have found another way, or refused to pay that deceiving scum outright."
Loki only smiled warmly and put a hand on his belly. "But it is done now. Why worry about it? I don't mind. Besides, I'm looking forward to the delivery -- more every day, in fact." The smile turned wry as he cautiously stretched his back and bent to rub his swollen ankles.
"You didn't have to," Odin insisted. "Or we could have found a way to get rid of it." He waved vaguely at the room to indicate their current situation. Loki looked up in shock.
"I want this child. It's mine," he said, his expression lost and confused. "And I did it for you, Odin. I don't understand why you're upset. I did it for you."
Odin put a hand on Loki's cheek to soothe him, and held back his outburst -- I didn't want you to do this for me! Loki didn't understand, and was perhaps incapable of understanding his possessive -- no, protective -- feelings, having come to Asgard alone and with no memory of ever having had a family or home. "It's all right," he said instead, putting on a smile for Loki's sake. "Thank you, Loki. You've done more for us than I could have imagined."
Loki smiled back hesitantly, and then his smile became brilliantly unforced as Fenrir burst in on them, barking with puppyish glee. "Time for my walk, Daddy! Hurry up!" and darted off again, expecting his father to follow.
Standing up, Loki transformed into a heavily pregnant mare, and nuzzled at Odin's face affectionately. "Odin, I'm going out to run with Fenrir. Could you please pick up Jormundgand from school, and make sure Hel has a proper lunch? She'll eat nothing but sweets if you don't watch her."
"Of course," Odin sighed, patting Loki's shoulder as he also stood. He had enough time to wash his hair first, he thought. And clean up the bathroom. Loki was good at leaving these unpleasant tasks to others.
"Thank you so much, Odin. I don't know what I'd do without you. I wouldn't have dared have them if I didn't have your support to count on." And Loki trotted after Fenrir, hooves clicking briskly on the hard stone floor.
The Happy Ending