Babysitting the Heir - An Inner Circle Fic
Repost from 2016 (god I’m old) that I redrafted bc it’s cute and wholesome af. And after all the salt and angst I have provided, I felt it was only fair to bring some fluff to the table.
Title: Babysitting the Heir
Summary: Azriel and Mor babysit Feyre and Rhys’ young son, Nyx, so the two of them can have a little time to themselves. He ends up taking quite a strong liking to Az... Fluff, pure fluff.
Teaser: ‘The moment he slips into Azriel’s arms again he pillows his head calmly against his chest and settles completely, gazing up at him with big, innocent eyes.
Notes: No content warnings to speak of. Originally posted in 2016. Rewritten to update with (some) current canon, but also with some of my own additions, like happily queerplatonic Moriel. Because I can. And because this shit is adorable.
“Be good for Aunt Mor, okay?” Feyre says, dipping forwards to kiss her son's forehead.
“Does he understand the concept of ‘good’ yet?” Mor chirps conversationally.
Tilting her body she shifts in place and adjusts Nyx in her arms to allow Rhys to kiss him goodbye as well.
“Why don’t you debate that with him this evening over some fine wine, Mor?” Rhys drawls.
The soft smile on his lips is very patently for his son; the words dripping with sarcasm very obviously for his cousin.
Irritated by the baby balanced in her arms and her resulting lack of free hands with which to offer her cousin some obscene gesture, she makes do with snapping at him. “Why don’t you take a long walk off a very short balcony. Without wings. You sardonic pri-“
“We,” Feyre interrupts pointedly as Rhys starts smirking in a way that would have forced Mor to hand Nyx back to his mother so she could do something about it, “Are leaving,” she announces.
Grabbing her still obnoxiously smiling mate by his upper arm she begins to firmly drag him away from Mor before serious damage is done to his pretty face.
“Now,” Feyre adds in a slightly threatening growl as Rhys looks more than ready to continue bickering.
“Thank you for this, Mor!” Feyre calls over her shoulder as she frog-marches Rhys to the door at the other end of the corridor.
“And you Az,” she adds with a smile and a wave, both hello and goodbye, tossed in the shadowsinger’s direction as he drifts serenely down the stairs to see what all the fuss is about in the hall.
Mor lifts Nyx’s little hand with her first two fingers and has him wave goodbye to her parents while Az presses quiet kiss to her temple. His eyes fix on the baby in her arms with an air that suggests he’s seriously considering the possibility he might suddenly explode at any moment.
“I’m going to the roof to train for a little while,” he murmurs quietly into her hair, his voice smooth and cool as ever.
She nods, softly kissing the top of Nyx’s head, “We’ll be fine,” she says, shooing her partner upstairs, suppressing her eye roll with difficulty as she does so. “I’ll give you a shout if we need anything.”
Az nods his agreement then retreats silently back the way he had come leaving Mor to take Nyx into the living room alone.
It’s not surprising. He does this every time they babysit for anyone. She knows that he’s more uncomfortable than the rest of them around any of the children, even if he secretly dotes on them, and she’s never pushed him into keeping her company unless she’s overwhelmed on her own. Which doesn’t happen often; usually only when Elain and Lucien’s twins are staying with them. Two years older than Nyx and already holy terrors in their own right. She chuckles to herself at the thought.
She and Nyx have a nice afternoon that involves nothing more strenuous for Mor than setting him on her knee, holding his hands and bouncing him up and down until he giggles.
“Your parents are going to have so much fun when you start flying,” she teases as his small wings furl and unfurl excitedly.
After an hour or so a servant interrupts politely to ask Mor if she could deal with something that’s arisen from some Court of Nightmares emissaries staying with them.
Nodding, Mor apologises to Nyx before gently popping him into the cot in front of the large floor to ceiling windows. Then she turns and hollers up the stairs for Azriel.
He appears in moments and she stands on her toes to press a soft kiss to his cheek and give him her most winning smile, which immediately makes him look nervous. As it should.
“Would you keep an eye on Nyx for me?” she asks him, nuzzling affectionately against his taut chest. “I have to deal with the idiots from the Court of Nightmares. It shouldn’t take more than fifteen minutes or so.”
Azriel frowns at this.
“He’s a baby not a bogge, Az,” she reminds him, thinking that he’d probably rather tackle the latter on his own. She keeps that to herself however, looking beseechingly up at him.
“Are you sure?” he deadpans, looking down at her, hazel eyes glittering.
Mor beams and presses a hasty kiss to his lips that catches more cheek than mouth in her hurry as she darts for the door. “I won’t be long, thanks!” she’s calling over her shoulder at him, without him ever having quite agreed to this plan of hers.
Then she winnows from the house and Az sighs; though he’s unable to entirely banish the small, affectionate smile that tugs at the corner of his lips in response to her.
Padding into the room he gathers up the toys strewn around the room from earlier, wondering both how they ended up with so many and also how Mor had managed to scatter them so widely around the room in such a short space of time. He shakes his head slightly as he fishes one out from underneath the breakfast table, eyes twinkling at the whirlwind that is his Morrigan as he does so.
He’s just setting everything back into the box in the corner when Nyx starts crying. Wincing at the sound he pads tentatively towards his cot, his wails increasing in volume with every moment.
Crouching down he gently rubs his tummy with his hand to soothe him. Trying not to cringe at the sight of the twisted, burned flesh touching the young child.
Gentle hushing has no effect on him whatsoever and when his cries could more accurately be described as howling Azriel finally decides there’s nothing else for it.
Standing he tentatively reaches down into the crib and scoops him up into his arms. He’s held him before, naturally – neither Mor nor Feyre gave him any choice in the matter when he was born and continued to coax him into it afterwards – but it still feels...wrong somehow.
His rough, scarred hands, hard with the calluses from his training are stained with more blood than he cares to remember. They were shaped to hold blades and handle the violent killing power that burns in his blue siphons, not children. He’s never been entirely comfortable with something so small and precious and fragile entrusted to his battered arms. Morrigan was one thing, but the little one...
Slowly, he starts bouncing Nyx in his arms, the way Mor does to get him to quiet down. This plus the fact that he’s holding the child close to him seems to help.
He still sniffles faintly but he’s stopped screaming as though he’s trying to bring the place down at least. After a few minutes of gentle rocking and soothing murmuring he settles against his broad chest.
“You were just being dramatic because you wanted some attention, weren’t you, little one?” Azriel muses quietly to him.
Mor, he’s noted, seems to talk away to him. all the time. Regardless of whether he understands, it's something he appears to like, so Azriel continues.
“That’s your father’s fault,” he informs him placidly.
A broad smile spreads across his face as though he’s understood what he’s said and Az can’t help his own smile at the sight of it.
Nyx bats happily at his cheek, searching and grabbing at every bit of him he can reach from his arms.
Then the little fingers start to grab at his wings and he tenses, blinking down at him.
“No, no,” he says in alarm as one small hand grips tightly onto the hooked, pointed talon at the crest of his wing and the other just grabs at whatever other part of it he can reach. “That’s not- No! Nyx, please-“ he tries hopelessly.
Prising his surprisingly strong grip off of him gently while still keeping one arm locked tightly around him proves to be near impossible.
He wonders vaguely if all children his age have such stubborn, iron grips or if this is a trait he can thank his mother for.
“Nyx-“ he pleads hopelessly as his small, nails dig into a sensitive spot of the membrane of his wing.
A low, throaty chuckle interrupts his helpless floundering and he looks up to see Mor leaning artfully against one of the broad wooden pillars in the room. He’s rarely seen her looking so amused.
“He’s one, Az,” she smirks at him, seeming to find his current predicament immensely amusing. “You can’t reason with him.”
“Would you please-“ He gestures mutely for her to take Nyx back and somehow have him release his hold on him.
Still laughing, her warm eyes dancing with merriment, Mor steps forwards at last and obliges him.
She scoops Nyx smoothly into her arms, detaching him from Azriel’s wing with ease.
Azriel shakes out his wings with relief and tucks them very firmly against his back. More so than he usually would. Something that's not missed by Mor, who gives him a wicked grin that has him groaning.
"Poor baby," she croons, voice playful and teasing.
Az gives her a half-hearted scowl in answer, starting to tidy the room again.
Mor's voice returns to normal as she kisses Nyx’s head and chuckles, “Wait ‘til we tell Uncle Cassian that all he has to do to bring the fearsome shadowsinger to his knees is not let go of his wing.”
Az shoots her a playful growl at the remark and Mor laughs again.
Nyx, who had taken fairly well to being handed from one to the other of them like a solstice gift, had merely reached behind Mor to find something else to occupy himself.
While being obviously displeased by her lack of wings, he soon seems to decide that grabbing fistfuls of Mor’s beautiful golden hair will do just as well.
As Mor begins to carry him away from Azriel, however, he starts fussing again, his large, striking violet eyes fixed firmly on the retreating form of Az.
Arching an eyebrow Mor wanders experimentally back to him and Nyx immediately reaches out for Az again, little fists grabbing the air insistently.
He blinks in surprise as he continues to squirm and fuss in Mor’s arms until she hands him over and coaxes him to take him again.
The moment she slips into Azriel’s arms again he pillows his head calmly against his chest and settles completely, gazing up at him with big, innocent eyes.
“No,” he protests feebly, looking from one to the other of them and knowing he’s beaten long before he gets out, “No, Mor, I don’t want-“ She pats his shoulder consolingly, ruining the effect by laughing through it.
“You can’t say no to your future High Lord, Az,” she trills, grinning broadly at him as Az blinks down at the baby nestled peacefully in his arms.
“Mor, I,” he stumbles, looking down at her again, fear gripping him as he says, “What if I drop him? What if I hurt him?” He’s being as gentle and as careful with him as he can but...
“You won’t,” Mor says, the laughter instantly easing from her voice as it drops, becoming even and soothing. “Come on,” she says, tenderly hooking her fingers between his forearm and Nyx’s soft, warm body and leading him over towards the comfortable couches by the fire.
Patiently, Mor shows him different ways of holding Nyx to help him become more comfortable with the babe and stop him worrying about dropping or hurting him somehow.
To his credit, the little one is incredibly patient with being pushed and pulled into various different positions and doesn’t seem to mind as long as Azriel is doing most of the holding.
He snorts when Mor mentions he’s lucky he decided to discover this new side to himself with the very placid Nyx rather than the twins. Neither would have been nearly as accommodating of all this poking and prodding.
When Nyx finally does seem to tire of training Azriel in how to deal with him and starts to become fussy again, Mor heads to the kitchen and brings back a bottle for him to feed him.
She watches the two of them fondly as Nyx sucks contentedly at the warm milk, his big violet eyes blinking serenely up at them both.
Az smiles down at her the whole while, his scarred hands cradling him gently. When he looks up and catches the faint gleam in Mor’s eye he carefully slides an arm around her shoulders and gathers her in against him. With a faint, contented hum he presses a soft kiss to the top of her head.
Nyx successfully keeps Az in thrall all night. Each time he tries to leave him for more than a few minutes he makes his displeasure about his departure known to most of Velaris. “
You’re a devious little one,” he murmurs softly to him, after the third or fourth instance of this, tickling his tummy as Mor did, and watching him giggle happily in his lap. “That’s Rhys’s fault too.”
Mor smirks. “What else was Rhys’s fault?” she enquires playfully, arching a golden eyebrow and plastering a wicked grin across her lips.
Azriel smiles faintly.
“His flare for drama and need for constant attention,” he responds simply.
Mor tips back her head and howls with laughter at that, so loudly that Nyx blinks at her and nuzzles in against his chest, alarmed by this outburst. Azriel gives her a gentle nudge to coax her to stop for the babe’s sake and she desists.
“Well he’s clearly fond of you.” Mor observes, looking down at the small, placid bundle in his arms. “That level of sense can only come from his mother.”
Az chuckles at that and the shadows that flit around him gather around his chest at the sound.
“Do that again,” Mor says suddenly, her head tilted slightly to the side as she peers down at Nyx.
“What?” Az asks, confused, not aware that he’d been doing anything more than absently rocking Nyx back and forth in his arms, something that seemed to soothe him
“With the shadows,” Mor says and he tightens at the mention but she shakes her head, “Make them gather around your chest again,” she instructs and he obliges her uncertainly. At once, one of Nyx’s little hands shoots out, trying to grab them.
Blinking in pleasant surprise, Az coaxes the shadows a little closer. He had deliberately kept them light, something that was never hard with Mor around, and away from Nyx in case he scared him. But he seems oddly transfixed by them. Again he reaches out, trying to grab at them, his little fists closing over air.
Azriel starts to make them dart around him in little bursts and he keeps swiping for them, like a cat chasing a mouse, until he’s giggling wildly and Mor is laughing beside him at the sight.
Cautiously, Azriel reaches down and brushes Nyx’s soft pale skin with his shadows. His eyes go wide and his whole body stills. He repeats the gesture and he begins to laugh again as he tickles her with them.
Mor beams with delight, the unreserved joy on her face more intoxicating to him than a bottle of faerie wine at the Solstice.
As the evening begins to draw to a close, both Mor and Nyx fall asleep on top of Azriel. Nyx sprawls flat against his chest. Meanwhile Mor presses in against his side, her head tucked into the crook of his neck, her legs curled up under her as she presses in against him.
Azriel smiles quietly at the sight of both of them, one hand underneath Nyx to keep him supported, the other trailing absently through Morrigan’s golden curls, absently stroking them and soothing her in her sleep.
That’s the position that Feyre and Rhys find them in when they knock on the door and Azriel calls for them to come in several hours later.
Feyre smiles at the sight of them and hurries over to Azriel. She leans down and trails her fingers through Nyx’s soft, downy black hair. Mor stirs at the arrival of Feyre and Rhys and stretches away from Azriel like a cat, rubbing the sleep from her eyes and smiling dozily around at the scene.
Azriel gets carefully to his feet and very gently hands Nyx to Rhys who soothes him almost instantly with a few quiet words when he wakes in response to all of the movement around him.
“That’s typical of Aunt Morrigan, isn’t it?” Rhys murmurs to Nyx, grinning at Mor over his son’s head. “Falling asleep and leaving poor Uncle Az to do all the work and cover for her.”
Mor looses a rough growl at him and Az hastily snakes a hand around her waist, tugging her gently to his side and pressing a calming kiss to the top of her head while she glowers good naturedly at her smirking cousin.
“Well if that’s how you feel, cousin,” she says loftily, all anger suddenly smoothed away by a thought, which should only ever be read as concerning, “You won’t need to ask me to babysit when you want a date night again. You can just ask Az to do it all by himself, since he’s done ‘all the work’.”
Az felt himself pale at that, in spite of himself. Something his brother must note, because he quickly cuffs Mor on the back and says, “I don’t know what I’d ever do without you, cousin.”
“That’s what I thought,” Mor mutters under her breath, and Az gives her another small squeeze and a smile.
“Was everything all right?” Feyre asks, looking between them, fondly stroking Nyx’s cheek as she moves to stand beside Rhys.
“Everything was fine,” Azriel says smoothy, giving her a soft smile that instantly seems to reassure her.
“Thank you again for having him,” she says, leaning forwards and embracing Mor then kissing Az’s cheek. They both assure them it was no problem and they’d be happy to do it again.
Once Feyre and Rhys have left the two of them tidy up then flop down onto the couch. Mor immediately settles herself in Azriel’s lap, sprawling across him as though he’s a cushion. Az waits patiently for her to make herself comfortable and then settle down against him. Her smaller, more delicate form melts easily against his as she drapes her arms lazily around his chest.
“So,” she says, a clear smirk tugging at the corner of her mouth, “You’ll be happy to help me the next time we babysit for Feyre and Rhys?”
He smiles faintly “Feyre and Rhys?” He says, arching an eyebrow and lightly tapping her nose, “Yes,” he agrees, “Not Elain and Lucien.” He clarifies with a shudder at the thought of facing the twins alone.
Mor laughs again and burrows affectionately in against him. “It’s okay,” she promises him, arching up to press a soft kiss to the tip of his nose, “We’ll tackle the two of them together.”
Azriel just wraps his arms around her, lightly kissing the top of her head and humming contentedly, closing his eyes. He’s asleep with his arms around her in minutes.
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