The first thing that told Leah something was wrong as a sudden change in the room temperature, still drowsy she looked for Loki when all she could find was an empty bed all her senses became alarmed as she recognized her own bedroom in the Avenger´s Tower. Loki had sent her back, no matter how much he had promised her he wouldn’t do it, he had sent her back. For a moment Leah just sat there wrapped in the sheet that covered her naked body staring in disbelief at the window, everything was silence except for the beating of her own heart that drummed in her ears.
She couldn´t believe he had done it again, too much emotions ranted on her head until rage beat fear, sorrow and everything else. Furiously she grabbed the lamp that rested on her night table and yanking it from its plug she threw it against her nightstand mirror shattering into pieces, then she stood up and trashed everything she could get her hands into, as she forcefully threw a chair against the window she watched as the chair broke leaving the glass undamaged, it was useless, she was trapped again, as the truth of her situation caught up with her Leah dropped to her knees trembling still in anger as she shouted to the sky.
-You promised! You promised you wouldn´t sent me back! You … -she couldn´t finish her sentence she was crying too hard to be able too.
Just as Loki had sent her back Jarvis had given Tony and the rest of the Avengers the alarm about an intruder in the Tower, the location of the intruder Leah´s room. Steve, Tony and Natasha were the firsts to arrive just as Leah shouted against Loki for his betrayal. They all froze at the heartbreaking scene as Leah bent in pain while crying, the first to react was Steve he pulled out a blanket to cover Leah up, as he wrapped it around her shoulders Leah snapped up trying to fight Steve´s touch in vain.
-No! No! Let me go! – Leah pleaded as she cried, it was pointless and she knew it.
Steve only hold her tight trying to avoid her form hurting herself as she struggled –Leah, come down. It´ll be all right, I promise.-
They had all read her letter where she thanked them all for all their help and patience, also apologized for deceiving them about her true intentions behind her shopping trip. She explained how she feared they wouldn´t be able to find another solution to her situation but to send her to Asgard. That she hated herself for running away from them, but she couldn´t find another solution that would give herself and her child a chance for a normal life, she hoped they could somehow understand how hard taking that decision was and would be able to forgive her. She also thanked them for all the trouble they had gone through to help her and regretted ruining her friendship with all of them, especially Thor and Banner.
By then the rest of the team had arrived.
Leah answered Steve´s between cries –No, it won´t be all right. It will never be all right! He was right, I have no means for defending myself, I´ll never be free – she had stopped struggling and just sobbed with her head vowed down in defeat as tears ran through her cheeks dripping into the blanket and Steve arms.
Natasha walked to them and knelt in front of Leah as she raised Leah’s chin so she could see into her eyes she asked –Who told you that?-
The question itself felt like a dagger had pierced her heart, the pain reflected on Leah´s face as she answered –Loki! – More unrestricted crying followed her confession as Natasha motioned Steve to let Leah go as she hugged her.
-That might be true right now. But it doesn´t have to be- Natasha told her
Leah tried to still her crying, sniffing still she asked –How?-
-I can teach you to defend yourself and your child – Natasha plainly answered
A light of hope lit in Leah´s eyes as she asked between her sniffing –After what I did? You´d still help me? Why?-
-Because we all deserve a second chance –Natasha replied – Just promise me you won´t run away again – the she whispered –You gave us quite a scare-
-I … promise. – Leah accepted as she leaned into Natasha for comfort.
Natasha then asked the rest of the team as she arched her eyebrows motioning them out –Guys, would you mind?-
It took them a moment to react to her request. –Are you sure? – Tony asked
-Yes, I can handle this Tony. If you don’t mind we need to have a girl to girl talk. – Natasha insisted.
-All right guys! Let’s give the ladies some space. Nothing to see! Move on!- Tony herded everyone out before anyone could speak against it.
When they left Natasha asked Leah- Can you get up?-
-Yes, I´m not hurt, if you don´t count my pride and self-respect I´m all right.-Leah answered as she got up still wrapped in the blanket.
-Leah, you don´t have to pretend you are all right, especially when it’s obvious you aren´t – Natasha replied.
-I´m tired of being the weak link Natasha- Leah confessed
-You are not weak, Leah, you´re just …- Natasha made a pause trying to find the right word.
-Broken? – Leah volunteered –A mess? Hopeless? –
-Well, something like that, but I don´t think you are hopeless. Now, do you want to tell me what happened? I´ve read your letter, we all did. But I really don´t understand.-
-Why I refuse to go to Asgard? –
-Mainly yes, according to Thor you would be treated like a princess, why do you hate the idea so much?-
-I don´t feel I can trust them.-Leah confessed.
-The Asgardians? Why? – Natasha asked in disbelief
-Because of Loki, he grew up there with them, and I´m not saying it´s their fault he turned out … bad but they seem to give him a push into that direction even as a child. I´m afraid the same thing will happen to my child especially when they find out who his father is.-
-But you …- Natasha interrupted
-Don´t have to tell them who the father is? Even if Thor and his parents choose to keep the secret I´m sure the truth will come out eventually, plus I don´t think I should start a new life by lying to my child.-Leah explained
-I guess you have a point. – Natasha agreed. –So what was your plan? You must had one or you wouldn´t had run away.-
-Plainly to disappear, the only reason SHIELD found me was because Loki was trying to guide you to me.-
-That´s not that easy. – Natasha scolded her
-I know that now, SHIELD was on my track as soon as I escaped from your watch.-Leah confessed
-What? – Natasha asked incredulous –How you know?-
-Because they almost caught me-Leah nervously laughed as she sat on her bed –And then he rescued me … again.-
-Loki?-Natasha asked in confirmation as she sat next to Leah.
-Yes, must be a bad habit that is adopting.-Leah joked –You know what the real sad part is Natasha? He would be a wonderful father if he gave himself the chance. I´m not that sure about a life´s partner but I can see him being an awesome dad.-
-You are messing with me right? Are we sure we are talking about the same guy? Tall, dark hair, wears a helmet with some huge horns, I do what I want supervillain kind of guy?- Natasha asked in disbelief
-I know, I know and yes, we are. I know it doesn´t sounds like him and yes, he´s … well … a pain in the ass.-Leah was interrupted by Natasha laughing at her last remark –Natasha! – Leah blushed dark red –I didn’t meant it like that!-
-I´m sorry, I know what you meant to say and for the record I wasn´t thinking about that until you mentioned it.-Natasha apologized laughing still at Leah´s embarrassment.
Leah covered her face in shame –Fuck! I´m so screwed!-
Natasha laughed even more –Oh! I have no doubt about that!-
Leah started laughing too –Oh god! I´m just digging myself deeper. Maybe I´ll just shut up.-
-That might be a good idea –Natasha answered between giggles
Suddenly Leah paled –Oh my god! Natasha! Do you think everyone noticed? Oh go! I´m so ashamed! I´ll never be able to see them in the eye again! –She dropped herself on the bed covering her face –Natasha, will you just shoot me?
-Come on, don´t be so melodramatic! And if they hadn’t noticed at some point they will, and it’s not like it hadn’t happened before.-Natasha smirked at her
-Damn it Loki! Couldn´t you sent me here with my clothes on?-Leah complained to the rooftop.
-I guess, it wouldn’t be fun that way –Natasha joked –God of Mischief, remember?
-Maybe –Leah sighed –Maybe it’s just the universe getting even. I´ve been awful to all of you- then she turned to see Natasha as she said –I´m so sorry.-
-It´s all right. I forgive you, but I´m not so sure about everyone else, especially Thor.-Natasha answered
-He must be very angry at me –Leah turned her gaze to the ground.
-More like disappointed.-Natasha added
-That´s worse, angry is easy to cope with. Disappointment … mmm … I don´t know how to deal with that.-Leah confessed.
-One day at a time –Natasha volunteered. – You´ll have enough time to make amends with everyone while I train you.-
-So you weren´t kidding about that? – Leah asked surprised
-I never joke about that sort of stuff Leah. We won’t be able to take a normal training because of your condition but I´ll figure something out. It seems that we will have to establish a special superheroes witness protection program for you.-Natasha elaborated
-So you really are going to help me disappear?-Leah asked in hope.
-It might take some time to get the guys on board this, but yes, that´s the plan. I have a feeling you will try to do something as foolish as the stunt you did yesterday if we don´t help you. I´d rather know you and little one here are somewhere safe –Natasha told her as she touched Leah´s womb.
-Thank you Natasha –Leah told her tears of gratitude on her eyes –I´m sorry I didn´t trusted you before.-
-I´m sorry too –Natasha told her as she hugged Leah –Although you wouldn’t had a rendezvous with your knight in shining armour, so how did that went?-Natasha asked as she let go.
-Not so good –Leah confessed –I feel like bloody Juliet.-
-That sound bad. – Natasha said in a serious tone.
-Basically fi we weren’t who we are, we would be together –Leah sighed.
-But then you wouldn´t had met.-Natasha reasoned
-Yeaph! That´s the problem.-Leah agreed – He sent me back because he thinks you arer the only ones who can keep me safe, he said he need us to be safe.-
-Well, at least you know he cares.-Natasha said trying to cheer Leah up.
-And that makes it worst. If he didn’t cared I´d probably be in SHIELD´s custody by now. But my heart would feel … less broken. – Leah sighed
-Sorry girl, I can´t help you with that. – Natasha said as she shrugged her shoulders. -So how about we deal with what we can do. Today get some rest, tomorrow we’ll start training. And … I´m curious how did you came up with the plan to slip away from Thor and me?-
-Oh! From like … over a dozen movies.-Leah confessed as she blushed
-Really? – Natasha laughed –I think I can beat that easily. Now, how about we search you some clothes and get you installed in another room so you can get some rest?-
-I´d like that, I feel drained.-Leah admitted
-I bet you do!-Natasha answered with a smirk
-You are not going to let me forget it, are you?-Leah asked
-Oh! I will, but the guys might not. You´d better get a thicker skin soon, you´re going to need it. I´d suggest you try to make amends with Tony and Bruce first, we need them on board our plan as soon as we can.-Natasha suggested.
-This is going to be a long week!-Leah pouted
-Make it a long month. – Natasha corrected her
-A month? – Leah asked in disbelief – Do you really think they´ll let me apologize for that long?-
-I don´t have an idea about that, but men are rather touchy about being deceived. I´ll try to put in a good word for you with Clint, apart from that I can´t make any promises.-Natasha added
-I guess I deserve it.-Leah admitted
-I can´t argue about that, but think about this, they wouldn´t be so angry if they didn´t cared. – Natasha agreed then added – And I think Steve is more worried than angry at you, after all he knows better than all of us what is to have your world disappearing in a moment –
-I know, he promised everything would be all right, I´d like to believe him, but I´m afraid to.-Leah confessed
-Stop worrying! It´s not good for both of you. –Natasha scolded her -We´ll figure this out. –