Desi laid curled up on the sofa with Laney, while Loki and Thor did one last check of the nursery. "I hope I can be past whatever this is, in the next two days. I don't want to meet Star while I'm sick and miserable." She chuckled.

Laney raised an eyebrow at her friend. "How long have you been feeling bad?"

"Not long, just a little over a week, I think. I ate something that didn't agree with me, that's all." Desi tried to reassure Laney.

"How long have you and Thor been back from your trip now?" Laney asked as she tried to count on her fingers.

"Right around three weeks, I think? We went while waiting for your approvals. I don't see how that matters though." Desi sighed. "I didn't get sick from being in the rain during our trip."

"Have you been counting your days?" she asked. "That could be an option too, you know."

"It's not an option, and I do count the days. Well, mostly... but it really is just something I ate." Desi assured Laney.

Laney narrowed her eyes at Desi. "How could it not be possible? You two have been rabbits as of late."

"It's not possible because I do count the days and I test a week after my fertile times." Desi explained. "It was just that week of our trip. I don't know what got into me... my schedule has been so busy lately and I've been too tired to do much, then I got sick." She shrugged.

"When was the last time you tested?" Laney asked. "You're acting very similar to the way I was before I knew."

"It was just before our trip, and my fertile time should be around a week from now." Desi said, then rolled her eyes. "Just because you were also nauseous doesn't mean it's the same thing. I very clearly remember when this started, and it was that imported meat we had. It only took a few bites before it made me sick." She insisted.

Laney held her hands up in surrender. "Alright, alright. As long as you think your count hasn't been off." She looked towards the door of the nursery, hearing a ruckus. "Boys? Everything okay?"

"Everything is fine darling!" Loki quickly called back.

"I might go get checked out though, just because this seems a bit long to have food poisoning." Desi said, feeling sick again. "I almost wish I was wrong as there's potions to help with that sickness." She grumbled.

"Potions haven't been helping you?" Laney questioned. "That's a bit concerning."

"There's only one potion for food poisoning and it's not a very good one. It just has to run its course... which is rarely more than a few days." Desi explained, then got up and made her way to the bathroom.

Laney frowned as she watched Desi shut the door behind her. Slowly, she stood from her loveseat that sat in their bedroom and walked to the door of the nursery to see Thor and Loki finish putting a bookshelf together. "Thor, have you considered Desi's illness could be something else entirely?"

Loki quickly came over to help Laney. "I am not well versed in health care like Desi is." Thor said and rubbed the back of his neck. "I have suggested she at least request an appointment, but she is confident she only ate something bad. She is a very skilled healer."

"Or she's in denial," Laney countered with a smirk on her face. She let Loki lead her to the rocking chair that sat beside the crib and sat down. "I think she's ignoring the fact she could be with child in any way she can."

"I have asked her about that and she is certain she has not mistaken the days. I tried to point out that she did not complain about the usual monthly discomforts, but she had answers for everything." Thor said, sounding very lost. "I just want her to be well again."

"It will work itself out Thor, I'm sure of it. Just give her time and see what happens." Laney sat back in the rocking chair and began to rock herself gently while she rubbed her belly.

Thor nodded, but still looked uncertain. "Why not just give her the morning sickness potion? It doesn't change the taste of tea. If it helps, you have proof, if it doesn't, no harm done." Loki suggested to Laney.

"That's actually an excellent idea. Do we have any left over?" Laney asked.

"We still have one vial." Loki told Laney and walked into the bedroom to grab the potion. "Do you want to go back to the sofa? We could all have a break for tea." He said, returning.

"Tea and those little sandwiches do sound nice," Laney replied. "Although I don't know if the smell would bother Desi."

"Let's start with tea, then have the sandwiches after. This way, if the tea helps, she can enjoy the snack as well." Loki suggested, then offered his hand to help Laney up.

Laney took Loki's hand and slowly stood, making sure she had her balance before she was completely upright. "Peppermint tea sounds wonderful too."

Loki held Laney close to help her as much as possible. Just as they reached the sitting room, Desi joined them as well. Once Laney was comfortable, Desi curled up to her again.

"We're going to have some tea," Laney told Desi as she ran a hand through her friends' hair. "Peppermint might help your belly."

"It's not like I have anything left to come back up." Desi tried to joke. "I will try some though." She agreed. Loki conjured fresh cups for each of them, slyly adding the potion to Desi's before handing out each cup.

Laney sipped her hot tea and sighed at the soothing taste. "I love peppermint."

Desi sat up better as she sipped her tea, surprised that it was actually helping. "Maybe you are the better healer." She told Laney, chuckling.

"I don't know as much as you do," Laney replied and glanced over at Thor.

Thor watched closely at the change in Desi's condition. "I'm actually feeling a little hungry now that my stomach has finally calmed down." Desi said, almost back to her normal self.

Laney looked over at Loki with a small smirk on her face. "Finger sandwiches sound alright?" she asked.

"Those sound great." Desi agreed and Loki conjured a big plate of finger sandwiches for them to share, as well as a small plate for Laney so she wouldn't have to reach as much.

"I love these things," Laney commented happily as she quickly ate one from her plate. "Feeling better Dess?"

"I'm actually feeling much better." Desi answered, eating a second sandwich, able to keep it down.

"Must be some special tea then," Laney commented with a sly smile as she popped a sandwich into her mouth.

Desi looked over at Laney with a suspicious look. "What did you do?"

Laney conjured the vial Loki had used, then simply handed it to Desi. "I wanted to try something."

Desi's eyes went wide when she saw the label. "I... I guess it would work for other causes of nausea." she said, still in disbelief. She was too lost in thought and denial to see Loki slip Laney a testing vial.

"Dess, really?" Laney raised an eyebrow at her friend as she rubbed her belly, trying to get Star to move to a different position.

"None of the dates match up and I tested after I was last fertile, so it can't be..." Desi insisted, but she was starting to sound unsure. Loki placed his hand on the side of Laney's belly, trying to encourage Star to move as she usually shifted closer to him.

Laney sighed as Star rotated to the other side. "You may have miscounted Dess. It can happen."

"I've been so careful though with counting the days. I kind of lost track once, but then I figured it out again." Desi said, still in shock. "Should I test again?" She asked Laney and Thor.

"That's up to you," Laney told her.

Thor reached over and squeezed her knee. "Darling it may be an idea."

Desi took a deep breath and nodded. "I don't know if I have any left in my bag, but I'll check." She said softly. Loki gave Laney a little nod, to have her give Desi the testing vial.

"We might have a couple left," Laney told her. "It's in the bathroom cabinet."

Desi nodded and got up, then walked into the bathroom and found the test vial. As she walked back to the sitting room, she let it prick her finger and watched as a few drops of blood fell into vial. "Here, it needs to be read by a healer." She said, handing it to Laney. "It takes a few minutes."

Laney furrowed her brow. "You are a healer Desi," she told her as she stirred the vial.

"I know I am, but you know we can't do our own testing and care without supervision." Desi pointed out as she took her seat again, now too nervous to eat.

"You're fine Desi." Laney kept the color of the vial from Desi as she continued to stir it, then smiled when it changed. "Dess, Thor?"

"I'm ready..." Desi said softly, taking Thor's hand and holding it tight.

Laney held up the vial for them to see the bright pink hue of the liquid. "I think you've been counting wrong honey."

Desi's eyes went wide again. "I..." she tried to find words but failed. She looked over at Thor to see what his thoughts were.

Thor grinned and reached over and placed one hand over her stomach. "That's amazing."

"I was starting to think it just wasn't going to happen for us..." Desi said, placing her hand over his. "I feel so foolish for being so close minded now."

He smiled and kissed her cheek. "You're gonna be a momma my sweet girl," Thor murmured.

"I already am, just as you are a daddy now." Desi said softly, feeling her eyes fill with tears.

Laney smiled at them both as she wiped her eyes. "You two will be amazing parents."

Desi looked over and smiled at Laney, then hugged her. "I'm so happy our children will get to grow up together!" She said happily. When she released Laney from the hug, she curled up to Thor, feeling extra clingy now.

"Congratulations to you both!" Loki said cheerfully. "I would advise not waiting long to tell mother." He chuckled.

"I second that," Laney said with a laugh. "Frigga May just end up guessing on her own."

"I wouldn't be surprised if she just happened to show up any minute." Desi chuckled. "She really has a way of doing that... but I honestly think she doesn't know yet."

Laney leaned against Loki's side and grinned as he rubbed her belly. "If you need any of the sickness things I have, you're welcome to them."

"Keep them in case you need them. Now that we know, we will stop by and pick some up on our way to supper." Desi said, then dried her eyes.

"Dinner ought to be served any time," Laney replied just as a loud bellowing horn could be heard throughout the palace. "What's that?"

"That sounds like the warning horn..." Loki said, then looked to his brother.

Thor stood and walked to the window. "Heimdall is calling for me... for us."

"For us? What could he want with the rest of us?" Loki asked, confused. "Laney is in no condition to go that far."

"I can go for the both of us Loki. The Convergence is near. It could be due to that," Thor told him.

Loki nodded. "Thank you, brother. If it is truly urgent for me to go in person, send word and I will, but as you know Laney's condition, I will leave that to your judgment." He said, trusting his brother.

Thor nodded as he opened the balcony doors and called for Moljinr. Once the hammer was in his hand, he flew to the Bifrost.

"I hope everything is alright," Laney said, concerned.

"It's kind of sexy, how he flies like that." Desi giggled, then curled up to Laney.

Laney laughed as she watched Loki roll his eyes. "I'm sure we'll hear something soon from Thor or Heimdall."

"One of them will send word, I can promise that." Loki assured them. "It's not often that Heimdall will call us like that, so it is important."

Some time passed before a knock sounded at the main door of the chambers. "I wonder who that could be," Laney commented as she placed her teacup on the coffee table.

"I will check." Loki said and got up, then quickly went to the door and opened it. He took the letter from the guard and thanked him, then read it as he walked back to the sofa.

"What does it say?" Laney asked, watching as Loki grew more concerned by the changing look on his face.

Loki glanced at them both, not really wanting to tell them, Desi especially. "Heimdall sent word... Thor has been called to Midgard to aid a friend." He told them, then turned to Desi. "He also said to make sure you know Thor loves you and he will return to you as soon as he can."

"I wonder if something has happened on Midgard. The Convergence could cause havoc," Laney said.

"This friend... it's Jane, isn't it?" Desi asked softly, sounding close to tears.

"Yes, it is." Loki answered, feeling bad for Desi. "Many new areas will be exposed during this time. Rifts will open. Just like the little pocket I use; these rift areas have been used to hide dangerous items." He explained to them.

Laney patted Desi's knee. "Thor isn't going to leave you. He just proposed and you're having his baby. Thor protects everyone on Midgard. Not just Jane."

"Have you heard the way he talks about her? What if actually seeing her again changes something?" Desi said, brushing away a couple tears she couldn't hold back.

"Thor respects her for her science. He loves you," Laney assured.

Desi gave a little nod, trying to compose herself. "Sorry, I guess the hormones are getting to me." She tried to joke. "You really don't think seeing her will change anything?"

Laney shook her head. "No Dess. It won't change anything between you."

Desi gave Laney a small smile. "How long do you think he'll be gone?" She asked them.

"I don't think he'd be gone long," Laney replied.

"How will we know when he's back? Will another horn sound?" She asked curiously.

"When a warrior returns unharmed, there is no horn. The only real options are to either watch the Bifrost, or just wait until he comes to find you." Loki told Desi. He sat down next to Laney again, letting Desi curl up to Laney on her other side.

"Hopefully it will be soon," Laney said as she did her best to comfort Desi.

Later that evening, Desi had taken to pacing around the sitting room while talking with Laney. "What's it like, feeling her kick?" She asked, trying to find anything to distract herself. She kept glancing at the door, waiting for either Loki to return with the potion she needed, or Thor.

"Sometimes it's small, other times it's a jab in the bladder or the ribs," Laney chuckled.

"When did you and Loki start talking about names?" She asked curiously.

Laney shrugged as she thought. "We talked some beforehand, but we really talked after we knew what we were having."

"We won't know for so long though..." Desi sighed. She nearly jumped when the door opened, but then she looked down again when she saw it was Loki.

"Any news?" Laney asked.

"All I know is that Thor has returned, and he is unharmed." Loki said, adding the latter for Desi's ease of mind. "I'm sure he will come by soon." he said as he handed Desi the potions.

It wasn't long until Thor walked through the door with a tired sigh. He didn't say a word as he walked over to Desi and enveloped her in his arms. "Hello darling."

Desi melted into his arms, hugging him tight. "I've been so worried about you." She said softly.

"I'm alright," he assured her. "I do fear for Jane though. The Aether has claimed her as a host," he said as he looked up at Loki.

"What is that? I've never heard of it." Desi told Thor.

"How did she even find it?" Loki asked, curious and confused. He held Laney close, protectively.

"It's something that was supposed to be destroyed and something the dark elves want for themselves. It found her, through The Convergence."

"The dark elves are all gone though, aren't they?" Loki asked, knowing they had at least been unheard of for a long time.

"Father says they are, but I'm not so sure," Thor replied.

"Are we in danger from them?" Loki asked his brother.

Thor took a deep breath. "I'm not sure of that either."

Loki glanced over at Laney. "We need to figure that out and quickly. If there is to be a threat, we need to be able to ensure Laney and Desi are safe."

"Yes, we do. As well as mother and father, although father will want to fight. Jane also needs protection and The Aether needs removed." Thor kept Desi close to his chest, not wanting to let her go.

Loki nodded in agreement. "Mother will fight as well, you know it as well as I do." He sighed. When he placed his hand on Laney's belly, he felt Star kick him. "How do we remove the Aether?"

"Mother is researching. Father thought it was destroyed, so I'm not sure what he's doing," Thor answered.

"Does he know how to destroy it? And what of Jane? If there are any dark elves, they are sure to know the Aether is active again." Loki pointed out.

Thor sighed. "I don't know brother. Everyone is on high alert right now."

"What do we do?" Loki asked, already deciding on some enchantments for their chambers.

"I need to check on mother and Jane, then speak with father," Thor stated. "You can come with me or stay with Laney. I want Desi with me."

"What do you think darling? I don't really want to leave you alone, but I also think it's important to know what's going on." Loki said, leaving it up to what Laney was comfortable with.

"If we ward the chambers I should be safe. We can ward all of the windows and doors needed," Laney told him. "I know you want to help."

"Would you want to just go with us?" Loki asked Laney. "I could carry you and we could find a place for you to sit."

"I don't want to be a burden Loki. I will slow you down," she answered.

Loki gave Laney a sad look. "No you won't, and your safety is all I'm concerned about."

Laney sighed and bit her lip. "Wherever you think is safest, is what I will do."

"I think you are safest with us, but if you don't feel up to moving, I will stay here with you." Loki assured her.

She slowly stood and walked over to him, then wrapped her arms around his neck as best as she could. "You will do nothing but pace if we stay here. I will go with you."

Loki nodded, then picked Laney up bridal style. "Lead the way, brother." He told Thor.

Thor nodded as he took Desi's hand and quickly led them out into the hall and down to the Soul Forge. Once they walked into the room Jane was laying down, being examined by Frigga. "Any news?" Thor asked.

"The Aether is becoming more defensive, so we are taking a break. Your father is working on a way to remove it." Frigga told Thor as the Forge turned off.

Laney looked down at Jane as Loki let her stand. So this is Jane. "Does it need a host to survive?" She asked.

"No, it's survived this entire time without a host, but it stays dormant without one." Frigga explained, then helped Jane sit up. "This is Jane. Jane, this is Laney, Loki, and Desi." She said, introducing them.

Jane smiled at the group of people. "It's nice to meet all of you."

Thor grinned as he held Desi close. "Jane, Desi is my beloved. The woman I spoke to you about."

Desi blushed softly and curled up closer to Thor. "It's nice to meet you... I've heard a lot about you." She said, still a bit unsure about how she felt. Loki pulled a chair over for Laney and helped her sit down.

"I've heard about you as well," Jane replied. "Congratulations on your engagement."

"You know of my brother Loki. Laney is his beloved," Thor introduced.

"Thank you, it was the second most amazing surprise of my life." Desi admitted.

"It's nice to meet you too." Jane said to Laney, making no effort to hide that she was leery of Loki.

Laney narrowed her eyes slightly as she held tightly onto Loki's hand. "Likewise," she said politely.

Loki gave Laney a reassuring smile and stayed right by her side. "When are you due?" Jane asked Laney.

"Just a few weeks," Laney answered as she rubbed her swollen belly. "A little girl."

"Congratulations. I hope all goes smoothly." Jane said sincerely.

"As nice as it would be to chat, we need a plan to keep everyone safe. We are especially vulnerable right now as the Convergence effects Heimdall's ability to see all that is happening." Frigga told them all.

Thor turned as the doors of the room opened and Odin walked in. "Heimdall is on high alert. We have reason to believe Malaketh is alive."

"Has Heimdall seen any sign of him?" Loki asked, stepping forward so he could quickly move in front of Laney if needed.

"Only a presence, nothing more," Odin answered.

"How much time does he think we have?" Loki asked, trying to impress upon Odin how important the information was.

Odin walked to stand at Frigga's side. "It is unknown at the moment my son."

Loki looked to Thor, knowing they both shared the same concerns. "What do you think?"

"We need to stay low but alert. The women need to be kept safe," Thor said.

"At what point do we send them to safety though? While I don't want to move too early, it's far better than too late." Loki pointed out.

"As soon as we have word of any alarm. But where will we take them?" Thor asked as he let Desi curl against him.

"I have a place safe to send them. I just need to know when." Loki said softly.

"You can't just send us away..." Desi said, feeling close to tears again.

Thor looked down at Desi and kissed her forehead. "Not send you away, keep you safe."

"How long would we be apart?" Desi asked, and quickly dried her eyes. "What if you get hurt? I won't be close by to help you."

"Not long Dess, I promise. As soon as we're able, we will get you," Thor assured.

Desi finally nodded. "Alright, but only if you promise you won't get hurt."

"I promise my sweet girl," he said sweetly.

Desi turned to Loki in one of the rare times she directly addressed him. "I promise I'll take care of Laney and Star."

"You're the only one I trust them with." Loki answered sincerely, trying to keep the emotion out of his voice.

Laney smiled as she wrapped one arm around Loki's waist. "She will keep us safe. I know it."

"I would never agree if I had any doubts." Loki told Laney. "I hate being in this position at all though." He sighed.

"I know. I do too." Laney leaned up and kissed Loki's cheek just as a warning bellow from a horn sounded from the Bifrost.

Odin walked to the window to see a towering ship headed in their direction. "We need to move, now!"

Loki's heart sank when he heard the horn. He quickly helped Laney to her feet and gave her a quick kiss. "I will bring you back as soon as I can." He promised and motioned for her and Desi to stand together. Desi could only cling to Thor, too scared to do anything.

"Go," Thor encouraged, making Desi walk over to Laney.

Tears welled in Laney's eyes as she quickly wrapped her arms around Loki's neck. "I love you Loki. Please don't leave me."

"I will never leave you darling, ever." Loki promised Laney and gave her a lingering kiss. He motioned for Thor to bring Desi over.

Thor walked Desi to stand by Laney. "I will get you as soon as I can. I love you... both of you."

"We love you too." Desi said softly, unable to hold back her tears. She kissed Thor softly, then finally let go of him and held onto Laney instead.

Loki handed Laney a small vial. "Break it at your feet... tell them Loki sent you for safe keeping." He told her. After another quick kiss, he quickly stepped back as he could hear commotion growing closer.

Tears fell down Laney's cheeks as she grabbed Desi's hand and held on tightly. She dropped the vial, causing it to break and fog to surround them.

Loki looked at the empty space between them once Laney and Desi had gone, not caring to hide his own tears. "I want every single dark elf dead for this." He said, finding his old rage.

Thor clapped his hand on Loki's shoulder. "They will, brother. They will."