As soon as the team left Banner went down to Leah´s room, he wasn´t sure of what had happened though he knew that if Thor had felt compelled to tell him they must have had a really bad argument otherwise he wouldn´t had mentioned.
His suspicions were confirmed when he heard Leah´s response as he knocked on the door.
-Go away Thor! I don´t wanna talk! Leave me alone!-
-Leah, it isn´t Thor. It´s me Bruce, can I come in? – He asked hoping she wouldn´t sent him away.
After a long awkward silence Bruce heard footsteps coming to the door, he sighed with relief when he heard the door being unlocked.
-I´m sorry Bruce, please come in- Leah said as she kept trying to clean her tears with her sleeves.
Bruce looked at her and couldn´t help to feel concerned, she usually hided her feeling all the time, but this time she didn´t cared to anymore. –“What should I tell her?”- Bruce thought to himself –“Asking if she´s all right when she´s obviously isn´t doesn´t sound as a good idea.”- Then he decided to be direct –“Leah, you look upset. What happened?-
-I kind of had a fight with Thor – Leah admitted and then proceeded to admonish herself –I can´t believe I was so mean to him, I´m so stupid.-
-I hardly think you are stupid Leah, how about you tell me what happened?- Bruce asked her.
As Leah told Bruce the details of her fight with Thor he just listened attentively adjusting his glasses or placing his hand over his chin in deep thought.
– … so you see – Leah ended her recollection of the fight – I´m just plainly stupid.-
- Leah, you aren´t stupid, why you keep saying that?- Bruce asked her
- Because I know Thor is the good guy, the right guy, I should be thrilled he pays me any attention, and I do enjoy his company but I don´t think of him like that. God knows I´ve tried but I just can´t. And I know Loki is the bad guy, the wrong guy and I would be better off without him, and still … – Leah stopped unable to end her sentence.
- And still he is the one you love- Bruce ended her sentence
- -Yes!- Leah acknowledge as she broke down in tears holding her own arms in search of comfort, which unexpectly camed from another couple of arms holding her, Bruce warmth undid her completely, as she embraced herself to him it seemed that all the tears she had withheld were pouring out.
As Leah´s sobbing finally subsided she told Bruce – I´m sorry, I don´t know what came over me.-
-You don´t have to apologize Leah, there´s no shame in crying, now how about you clean yourself and then we go to the kitchen and fix you something to eat, we can keep talking on our way there.-
Leah seemed a little reluctant so Bruce added –And if you don´t want to talk I can do all the talking, agreed?-
-Ok, agreed.- Leah answered as she went to the bathroom to rinse her face.
-Are you feeling better now?- Bruce asked her as she came out.
-A little, I hate to admit it, but after all that crying I do feel better, though a bit worn out too.-
-I´m glad you do, and it´s only natural you´ve been under a lot of stress.-
-That´s an understatement.- Leah added
As they went to the lift Banner asked her – Do you really feel like our prisoner?-
-Well … yes- Leah answered – I know you are doing your best you can to protect us but the fact remains, I can´t get out because it´s too dangerous.-
-Maybe we can fix that – Bruce told her then added as he saw Leah´s expression grew into a smile – I´m not making any promises, but I´ll talk to the others, maybe we can come up with a plan that allows you to spent a few hours off the Tower.-
-Really Bruce? I would love that, thank you so much- Leah exclaimed in excitement
-What would you want to do if we managed to safely take you outside?-
-I´m not sure, I guess a walk in the park is out of the question. Maybe shopping? That would definitely make me happy – Leah answered in hope.
-Ok, well see – Bruce told her then added –About what will happen when your child is born, that´s a tough question. Are you sure you don´t want to move to Asgard?-
-Yes, I´m sure.-Leah answered – I want to stay on Earth, Asgard sounds great to visit, but I can´t see myself living there. I would be lost.-
-All right, I´ll have to get back to you on that one then.-
-Sound fair –Leah agreed then she suddenly noticed everything was too quite.- Where is everyone?-
-They had to go on a mission. – Bruce answered as he served her the eggs he had just prepared on Leah´s plate, he hoped she wouldn´t ask him anything else about it, he was a terrible liar.
Leah picked up Banner´s discomfort as he answered her, for a moment she tried to ignore it and took a sip of her glass of milk, suddenly she asked – That sounds exciting! Where to?-
-Not far away, in the city-
Banner´s reluctance to give her any details peaked her curiosity, after another sip she added – Really? Who are they fighting?-
-Doom … and … his army of doombots. – Bruce answered her as he retrieved the bread he placed in the toaster a few minutes before.
-Bruce, you are hiding something from me, what are you not telling me? – Leah asked as she takes another sip
-“Damn!”- Bruce thinks to himself – “If I lie to her she won´t trust me again” – so against his own better judgement he tells her –Loki is with Doom.-
-What?!- Leah´s grip on her glass tightened suddenly causing it to break on her hands –Why didn´t you told me? Please I need to talk to Thor Bruce, please, I need to, before… before it’s too late.-
Bruce turned around as he heard the glass shattering and ran to her with a towel to stop her hands from bleeding.
-Good Lord Leah! Look at your hands! We need to take care of them now- Bruce scolded her.
-No Bruce, please I need to talk to Thor first, before it’s too late –Leah pleaded as her tears threatened to start pouring out again.
-Too late for what? – Bruce asks her in earnest
-Before he finds Loki – Leah keeps pleading fear reflected in her eyes – Please Bruce, after all I said to him you can´t let him fight Loki!-
-Leah, what are you so afraid of? You really don´t think Thor would .. – Bruce asked trying to calm himself down and concentrate on Leah´s wounds.
-Hurt him? Kill him? I don´t know. I just refused him for Loki. Bruce at least talk to him.-
-All right, I will but we need to get you to the medical ward right now.-
-Ok, just talk to him please – Leah agreed as she let Bruce guide her swiftly of the kitchen.
-Jarvis. I need you to connect me to Thor´s comlink- Bruce told the A.I.
-Certainly Sir, it will just take a moment. The connection is ready Sir- Jarvis told Bruce as they got off the lift in the medical ward level.
-Thor, is Bruce-
-Banner? Is everything all right? – Thor asked
-Yes … well … kind of – Bruce answered uncertain of how to tell Thor about Leah´s concerns – Umm … Leah is a bit worried … have you found Loki?-
There was a moment of silence before Thor answered again – Yes. I have, we are talking right now.-
-Talking? – Both Leah and Bruce asked incredulous
-Yes, talking- Thor answered angrily –Tell Leah Loki is fine I´ll talk to her when I´m back. – With that he sever the connection-Sir, Mr. Odinson cut the comlink communication. – Jarvis informed them.
-There you go Leah, they are both all right, and now let me take a look at your hands.-
-All right- Leah agreed as she sat in a chair sniffling still, now that she knew Loki was all right she noticed the pain in her hands. –I´m sorry Bruce – she spat suddenly as he removed another shard from her right palm that caused her to whimper – I´m such a mess, you are trying to help me and I just keep making a mess of everything.-
Bruce sighed as he focused on the labor at hand, they both remained silence while he removed the shards, cleaned the wounds and stitched the deeper gauges. The only sounds were Leah´s muffled whimpers.
Once he finished bandaging her hands Bruce looked up at her, she was looking miserable as a scolded child, her nose was read, her eyes were puffy, tears still traced her cheeks as she absentmindly stared at her hands.
-Leah – he called her making her to look up.
-I´m sorry Bruce – she said again as more tears poured out – I feel so lost all the time, ever since that day I´ve never stopped feeling out of place, like I don’t belong anywhere anymore – It was the first time she had ever mentioned the accident, she thought about it every day but she never talked about it.
-I understand Leah, I really do. But you have to find a way to move on or you´ll only end up hurting yourself and all the people around you. I know you didn´t mean to, but you shouldn´t had given –Thor false hopes.-
-But … I didn´t meant … – Leah tried to interrupt him.
-I know – Bruce interrupted her in return – But the fact is that you did. I don´t have all the answers, and if even Loki gives you any, you will have to come up with some answers on your own about what you want to do with your life, both for you and your child.-
Leah nodded her head in acknowledgement, Bruce was right it wasn´t about her anymore, whatever happened she had to figure out how to move on.
-And now, let´s get you cleaned up again, you look like something the cat drag in- Bruce tried to joke to make her relax
-That bad, uh? – Leah asked.
-Worst actually, are you in pain?- Bruce asked worryingly
-A bit … yes – she confessed
-I´m going to administer you some pain killers, antibiotics and antinflamatories so your wound don´t get infected. Are you hungry?-
-Not really, I feel too spent to eat.-
-You might as well get some sleep then, try not to use your hands much, I don´t want the stitches to open.-
-I´ll try my best. – She meant it, she hated being so much trouble.
Bruce accompanied her to her room and tuck her in.
-Thank you Bruce.-Leah said to him just as he was closing her door, Bruce smiled back as he answered –You are welcome, now try to get some sleep.-
Leah stayed awake for a couple more minutes, she kept trying to figure out how to apologize to Thor and imagining what news would he bring about Loki. As the pain killers kicked in drowsiness won over until she yield to dreamless sleep.