Tony and Bruce had been working on some gadgets to insure Leah´s safety in case she got separated from Thor and Natasha. They had agreed that a smaller group wouldn’t draw too much attention.
-This necklace has a location device inside –Tony explained as he placed the necklace around Leah´s neck –And it´s expensive, try not to lose it –he ended his phrase by winking an eye at her.
-Oh! It´s beautiful Tony, I won´t – she already planned to, as a matter of fact it was the first thing she would get rid of.
-And this –Bruce said as he gave her a cellphone- is an untraceable phone and a panic button. This button will connect you directly to Jarvis and if you push this other one it will send us a signal with your location.-
-Seems you´ve been thinking about everything –Leah answered smiling, keeping the phone could be a good idea in case she ran into trouble.
Finally the day arrived, she packed everything she could in the small pouch Tony had given her as a present for the occasion. –“Why couldn´t he pick a bigger bag?”- Leah complained mentally, she would have to leave some stuff behind. She packed the phone, the little cash she manage to find, some cufflinks and other small valuables she was planning to sell, the last item was a small envelope. She had decided she couldn´t just leave them without any explanation, especially Bruce who had been nothing but a true friend to her, she felt guilty about deceiving them, but she didn´t felt like she had a choice, she had to leave.
Tony and Bruce were staying in the tower in case something went wrong and they needed to coordinate their efforts to locate Leah through her necklace or cellphone. Steve and Clint would stay outside the mall should they need any backup. Only Thor and Natasha were going in with Leah.
-Are you ok?-Bruce asked Leah as they prepared to leave.
-I think I´m a bit nervous- Leah confessed though not for the reasons he might think.
-It will be all right-Bruce reassured her with a smile –Enjoy yourself!-
-I will, thank you Bruce –Leah gave him a hug, she was saying her goodbyes.
Bruce blushed at the sudden display of affection –You are welcome- he answered as he hugged her back.
-Come on guys, she´s going to the mall not to China, lighten up –Tony joked and the complained –What? Don´t I deserve a hug too?-
-Yes you do- Leah smiled as he hugged him too.
-All right, that´s enough- he said as he broke the embrace –We don´t want to get someone jealous, don´t we –he smirked at her.
-You are terrible –Leah motioned him – and don´t pretend you don´t like it-
-Ok, I do, what the hell! Give me another – He joked as he hugged her back.
-Is she ready to go? – Natasha asked as she walked in
-Yes, she is, all systems ready –Tony answered then told Leah –Don´t do anything I wouldn´t do-
-I don´t even know what that means –Leah replied with a smirk.
-You are right, bad advice. Mm … have fun and behave –Tony said with a smile
-I will – lying had become easier, maybe it´s just a matter of practice she thought to herself.
Thor was waiting for them in the garage, of course Natasha was driving. Leah could feel her pulse speeding as they left the tower, she didn´t knew how much she missed the chaos of a city, the noise, the traffic, the people, she felt as excited as a young child on her way to an amusement park.
Thor smiled, she hadn´t look that happy in weeks, after the incident with Loki they had grown apart.
-You seem happy- he finally said to her.
-I am Thor – she smiled at him
Thor looked at her mesmerized, he loved seeing her smile. Leah realized Thor was staring at her and turned her head to the window –Where are we going? – She finally asked.
-The Mall at Bay Plaza up the Bronx – Natasha answered –It has everything you might need. It might be a little crowded but that will make it easier for us to blend in.-
It took them about half an hour to get there, as soon as they got off the car Leah was taking mental note of every escape route, security guards and possible hideouts.
Soon they were at the maternity department of one of the stores browsing, Leah felt it was a shame she wouldn’t be able to take any of the clothes with her, she never thought about learning how to remove the sensors from the clothes.
After the first round of trying clothes she told them she had to go to the bathroom, both Thor and Natasha walked with her to the nearest bath, before any of them had any ideas of going in with her she said –Come on guys, I´m not a child. I can go in by myself.-
-All right- Natasha agreed –But we will be right here should you need anything-
-Thanks –Leah smiled as she opened the door, as soon as she closed it she started looking for a way out –“Damn!”- She thought –“They make it look so easy in the movies, I should´ve known this wasn´t going to work.”-
-Are you ok? – Natasha asked walking in
-Yes, of course –Leah said as she walked out of one of the bathrooms after flushing it –Why wouldn´t I?-she smiled as she washed her hands
-No reason, Thor got a bit nervous, If I hadn´t promise I´d check on you he would´ve storm in-Natasha said as she shrugged her shoulders
-Please no! – Leah joked
-That´s what I told him- Natasha laughed.
They went through a second round of clothes try outs, Leah had a plan by then, Thor was standing outside the dressing rooms waiting, Natasha helped her with the clothes, she had already tried asking her to get a different color or size so she wouldn´t suspect if she asked her again. She had brought with her some hair bands, she would have to braid her hair quickly. As Natasha walked out the pulled a long sweater that covered almost all her clothes from under the pile of clothing where she had been hiding it, provided Thor didn´t looked at her directly she might be able to walk pass him undetected.
She removed the necklace and placed it over the small envelope she had been carrying. Without a second she took a big breath to steady herself and after making sure Thor wasn´t looking at her way she passed right beside him. She didn´t knew she was holding her breath until she walked out of the maternity department, she kept reminding her not to run it would only draw attention to her, so after what seemed like an eternity to her she reached the sports department which was near the exit. Then she removed the sweater and placed it over some equipment as she pretended to be looking at it, giving a quick glance to her surroundings to make sure no one was looking at her she walked out of the department store.
She had sent Natasha on a wild goose chase to buy herself some time, the dress she had asked her to get again was lying under the pile of clothes in the dressing room.
But she knew it wouldn´t take them long to notice her absence so she hurried to the electric staircase, she had barely made it to the next level when she notices two men in suits following her, they had to be SHIELD agents, why hadn’t she thought of that? She had to lose them going back to the hellicarrier was even less appealing than Asgard, before she knew it she was running toward the parking lot, if she got back into the plaza she might run into Thor or Natasha, they must have noticed she was gone by then.
She could hear footsteps at the distance running towards her- “I have to hide, but where?”-Then she remembered a small maintenance closet on that level, if only she could get there unseen.
The footsteps sounded closer, she wasn´t going to make it, she stood still for a moment evaluating her options when suddenly someone grabbed her from behind covering her mouth to prevent her from screaming.
Her eyes opened wide in terror and she began fighting to break free until she heard a familiar voice whispering at her ear –Shhh little one. Stay still or they will see us.- Her heart skipped a beat as she recognize the voice, then she tilted her head left to make sure, and there he was, Loki.
Leah gave him a surprised and questioning look but Loki only motioned her to silence with his free hand, he was still covering her mouth to make sure she wouldn´t make a sound, then he pulled her further into a small corridor at their back just in time to avoid being seen.
Loki made sure the agents were gone before releasing his hold on Leah and ask her in annoyance –Are you stupid? What the hell were you thinking running away like that?-
He never saw Leah´s hand coming until she had slapped him, he looked surprised at her, she was trembling in anger, tears threatening to pour out.
-You abandoned me! – She snapped at him –After all we shared you just left me there-
-I had to- Loki snapped back –I did it for you-
-You had no right!- Leah said raising her voice.
Loki looked alarmed and tried to calm her –Leah, this is not the right time to be having this discussion-
-I don´t care! I … -Leah´s angry statement was suddenly quieted by Loki pulling her into a kiss.
As his lips engaged hers Leah felt overwhelmed by all kind of feelings, sadness, anger, longing, joy, and desire.
Loki´s quick move had just saved them, the agents walk past by them dismissing them as a young couple making out, after all they were looking for an unaccompanied woman.
Both Leah and Loki had unconsciously closed their eyes as they kissed lost in the moment, suddenly Leah broke their embrace she looked confused, she thought she would never see him again and there he was, rescuing her, again.
Loki sighed as he read the confusion on her eyes and said –By the norns I´ve missed you!- It was all he needed to say, before they knew it they were furiously kissing each other again.
-I´m still angry at you-Leah managed to say between kisses
-I know – Loki answered before kissing her again.
Their bodies responded to each other, as soon as a soft moan escaped Leah´s lips Loki smiled –I think we need a little more privacy- he hardly ended his sentence when he had teleported themselves to an apartment.