Everyone had come to the same conclusion Leah had when the rose magically bloomed for her, though no one said anything at the moment as soon as they were far away from her rom Tony asked out loud. -How did he even get through our defenses without alerting Jarvis?-
-I don´t know, but make an inventory, I want to know if he took or leave anything besides that rose –Steve answered him
-I´m on it, Jarvis! You heard the man, run an inventory and report to me anything unusual.- then he added –Though I hate to admit it Loki sure knows how to woo a woman, did you take a look at Leah´s face?-
-Well, it was a beautiful gesture.-Natasha admitted
-Not you too! – Tony complained
-I´m not saying I would fell for that, though it was very romantic.-Natasha explained
-Yes syncing the flower blooming to her DNA was very well thought, and amazing. Now I´m envious I never thought of that before, I could´ve had any woman I wanted with a trick like that.-Tony rambled –Not that I had any troubles with that-
Everyone just stared back at him surprised by his comments.
-All right, I´ll shut up- he agreed
-Do we have any recordings of Leah´s room? – Clint asked
-And how did he even got past Thor? – Bruce asked too
Everyone went quite as they turned back to Thor.
-I don´t know –the blond god admitted shaking his head in a negative motion – I didn’t even noticed the rose until Leah mentioned it.-
-That´s interesting- Tony stated – And normally we don´t record the recuperation rooms cause we are already monitoring all the vitals of their occupants. Jarvis, star5t6 recording Leah´s room.
-Right away Sir. – The A.I. answered
-Do you think he´ll do it again? – Steve asked intrigued
-I´ve no idea about that, but if he does we´ll have him on video.-Tony replied.
Leah was grateful everyone just decided to let the rose incident go by and changed the subject almost instantly, she wouldn´t even know what to say if anyone had asked anything. She felt conflicted herself, happy, sad, angry, she couldn´t settle for one emotion, what bother her the most was the fact that she completely ignored what could Loki possibly trying to tell her by sending her that rose, only that he was glad she and the baby were alive, that he had changed his mind, or thought of a new plan? What if he felt as confused as she did?
She sighed in frustration while staring at the ceiling, she couldn´t thought of nothing worse than having to stay in bed for a week, all her fears, concerns, hopes and feelings that she tried so hard to bury down while staying occupied started to invade her mind. She felt vulnerable, exposed, even so she wouldn´t risk disobeying, even if she drove herself mad she would follow Banner´s instructions to the letter.
As if he had read his mind Tony walked in – Bored?-he he asked her.
-You have no idea.-Leah answered glad he had interrupted her thoughts.
-I supposed you would be by now –Tony smirked –So what´s your poison?-
Leah raised her eyebrows trying to figure out what Tony had asked her –What do I want to do? – She asked tentatively.
-Exactly, name it and as long as you don´t have to get off the bed I´l make it happen.-Tony reassured her.
Leah thought it for a second –Can I have …I don´t know how you call it … like when we watch the movie in my room?
-An holographic screen?- Tony asked smiling –Piece of cake! Anything else?-
-Can I use it to read books too? Natasha had given me some titles to study.- Leah asked
-Sure, if you want Jarvis can even read them to you.-Tony offered
-I don´t think that´s necessary- Leah said smiling –But I´ll ask him if I need him to.- She couldn’t think of anything else, the holographic screen would allow her to see movies, tv, read books probably even play videogames, what else could she do while staying in bed?
-How about some company?-Tony asked interrupting her thoughts.
-Um. – Leah stammered taken by surprise.-I guess so, company would be good.- She ended
Tony almost laughed out loud. –We don´t pretend to smother you with constant visits, though you can expect it to be very crowded for a day or two, you gave us quite a scare.-
-I know, I was quite scared myself- Leah admitted – I don´t know how to thank both you and Bruce for saving our lives.-
-You don´t have to love.-Tony told her while holding her hand as he changed his tone to a concern one –How are you doing?-
-I don´t know.-Leah admitted while looking up at him.- My head is a mess right now, maybe it´s the hormones I´m not even sure of what I feel, I thought I´d lost her. I´m still scared, all I want to do is to keep her safe and I don´t know how I´m going to do that.-she looked for a moment at Loki´s rose –I don´t know Tony.- She ended
-You´ll figure it out, don´t worry-Tony reassured her –Now, how about I teach you how to play holographic chest?-
Early next morning Jarvis reported to Tony –Sir, I´ve conducted an exhausting inventory and nothing has been taken or left except for the roses in Mrs. Leah room.-
-All right Jarvis –Tony had almost missed it –Wait … did you said roses?-
-Yes Sir, two roses.-The A.I. reported
-When did the second rose appeared Jatvis?-Tony asked
-Around midnight Sir, 12:32 to be exact.-Jarvis added
-All right show me the recordings from a half hour before till a half hour after- Tony ordere3d the A.I.
-It´s not possible, one second it isn’t there and the next one it just appears! How is he doing that?-Tony rambled puzzled by the recordings not showing anything
-Have you tried infrared?-Bruce asked
-Infrared, heat vision, cold vision, black light, you name it I´ve tried it.-Tony answered exasperated
-Any ideas Thor?-Steve asked
-Heimdall used to praise Loki´s ability to travel between realms without using the Bifrost, he referred to them as travelling between the branches of Yggdrasil, but I never knew what he meant.-Thor dryly told them.
-Between the branches?-Tony repeated-Between what? Dimensions? And if he could do that, why hadn’t he done it before?-
-Because it requires great quantities of magic.-Thor answered-That he could do it for two days straight amazes me.-
-Yeah, yeah! Your little brother is amazing!-Tony grunted
-Hey! Shut up!-Steve suddenly raised his voice.
But I… – Tony complained
-Seriously guys, shut up, I think I can hear something.-Steve added
-Really? –Tony asked surprises
-Play it again, a couple of minutes before the rose appeared, can you amplify the sound a bit?-
-It sounds like … Leah? What is she saying? – Bruce asked while attentively trying to listen.
-I know, I love you too.-Steve answered. – It sounds like she´s having a conversation with someone.
-She might be –Tony snapped –She talks in her sleep.-
Everyone turned their heads with a baffled look at Tony´s words.
-What? I didn´t slept with her! Well … I did but nothing happened, we were just watching a movie … -Tony kept trying to fix it.
-Tony, stop! What did you meant with Leah talking on her sleep?-Natasha interrupted him
-Ah! Well she does, while watching the movie I made a comment and she answered it, I thought she had awoken but she wasn´t so I asked her another question and she answered it again. I asked her the next day but she didn´t remembered a thing, though she told me that her late husband used to tell her she talked in her sleep.-
-But there´s no one else on that recording.-Clint reasoned.
-That might not be true.-Steve said to them –I can hear some background noise, I can´t make it out but there´s something there.-
-You are kidding me?- Tony asked surprised while looking at Steve’s stern expression –All right, let´s fix that, Jarvis filter the audio, clean it up and amplify it all you can.-
-Right away Sir.-the A.I. answered, it only took a couple of minutes.- Mr Rogers is right, there´s a second voice in the recording –Jarvis told them as he played the recording.
-I don´t know what I´m doing anymore love, I´ve promised myself not to see you again unless you or our baby were in danger, and the fact is that I almost lost you and I couldn´t even be at your side and now that´s the only place I want to be. I´m an outcast, I´ll always be, there´s no redemption for me … anywhere and still you make me wish there were. The only thing I know for sure is that I love you. – Loki´s voice flooded the room, the Avenger´s expressions varied from pensive to surprise even to sad.
-I know, I love you too.-Leah voiced followed his.
Jarvis stopped the recording and silence reigned the room for a moment.
-That´s not fair –Tony suddenly spat –Bad guys aren´t supposed to fall in love.-
-Maybe.- Steve answered
-Maybe? – Tony almost yelled back. –We have fucking interstellar star crossed lovers in our hands, and you say maybe? This is a complete mess, I even feel sorry for him!-
-Come down Tony.-Bruce interrupted him.
-Come down?-Tony snapped –Loki has bridge our security twice in two days only to leave her a couple roses, he could´ve stolen the vibranium in our lab or killed us, but he didn´t, what happens when we ran out of luck?-
-I think that if Loki were going tpo do any of those he would´ve done them by now-Clint answered.-He knows we are the only ones standing between Leah and SHIELD or any other menace. For what I heard he wouldn´t risk her safety.-
-So what, we do nothing?-Tony asks
-No.-Steve answered-Keep trying to figure out how is Loki doing this, find a way to track him down when he enters the Tower, you are right about something, we can´t tru7sth him.-
-All right, a problem to solve, I can focus on that.-Tony agreed then suddenly realized –Wait! I can´t believe I almost overlook it! Leah heard Loki!
-Yes, so? – Clint asked intrigued
-She heard him, without any aid.-Tony stated
-Oh my God! She did.-Bruce was the first to understand what Tony meant.-She shouldn´t have been able to! – He explained to them.
-Well, you were looking for side effects-Tony suggested
-And I think we found them.-Bruce agreed
When Leah woke up that morning the first thing she saw was the second rose, for a moment she tentatively stretched her hand to touch it, then changed her mind and rolled over to the opposite side.
It was around midday when Tony walked in to check on her.-Seems the holographic screen is keeping you occupied.-he said as he walked in.
-Yes.-She answered sharply-It does.-
-Why the sour … -Tony noticed the closed rose button.-You hadn’t touched it yet.-
-No.-Leah frowned-I´m not touching it.-
-Why?- Tony questioned her confused –Are you angry at Loki?
-No, yes, not really, I don´t know, I don´t want to.-Leah pouted.
-Come on Leah, what´s wrong? Yesterday you were delighted by the first rose and now you won´t even touch the second one… your Romeo is going through the loops to send you these.-Tony told her trying to make her open up.
Leah sighed –I figured that out when I noticed there were not alarms this time, he´s not teleporting them.-
-No, according to Thor he´s travelling between the branches of Yggdrasil, whatever that means.-Tony explained her.
-But … he said that used too much energy.-Leah answered surprised.
-He must have found another way. Thor is surprised he´s done it two days in a roll.-Tony volunteered
-Maybe … I wished he stopped.-Leah suddenly said a sad expression on her eyes.
-I thought you liked the attention.-Tony stated with a concern frown
-I do … but … they also make me sad and angry.-Leah confessed
-At Loki? – Tony asked trying to make sense of what she was telling him
-No, yes, at myself mostly, I thought I was done getting my hopes up, and I know it´s beyond stupid to wish for something different, neither of us can change what has happened, but I can’t stop myself from wishing that … somehow we could end up together.-
-I think you are not the only one.-Tony smiled gently at her, he wasn´t going to show the recording to her, but now he felt compelled to do it .-I have something to show you.-
As she heard Loki´s voice she was surprised, at the end of the recording she was barely holding back her tears.
-Well, at least this time we are both on the same page. – Leah tried to joke. – Totally clueless.- She barely managed to say as she broke down in tears.
-It´s ok Leah, let it out.-Tony comforted Leah as he hugged her.
After a couple of minutes Leah was able to pull herself together enough to tell Tony. –I wished I could’ve talked to him, I know it’s useless, we´ll never agree and probably would end up with only more heartache, but still I would feel so much better if I could.-
-I can´t believe I´m saying this to you!-Tony sighed, he wanted to help her – Write him a letter.- He suggested.
Leah looked at him puzzled –A letter? But, what good would that do? I don´t know where to send it.-
-I don´t think you´ll have to- He volunteered.-For the moment I don´t know how to stop Loki from doing whatever he´s doing … -Looking at Leah´s alarmed expression he added.-Don´t get me wrong I love the whole romantic rose gesture but I´ll sleep better at night If I know he can´t get in the Tower undetected. But to the point, I´m quite sure that if he can leave something he can take something away. Just leave him the letter beside the roses. I have a feeling he´ll come back and if he doesn´t you´ll only have wasted a couple of paper sheets.-
-Why not? I´ve got nothing to lose. Tony, can you please get me …- Leah started to say
-A pen and some paper? Sure! Sorry going low tech on you, but I´m not sure if whatever Loki is doing to get here can affect electronic devices.-
-Don´t worry about that, and Tony…-
-Yes?- He asked with a smile, he wasn´t sure what had gotten into him but for now he was playing cupid, at least until I figure out how to stop Loki from getting into the Tower unannounced he told himself, meanwhile it won´t hurt to try get these too in a better mood.
-Thank you.-Leah smiled gently at her.
A soon as Tony left Leah turned her attention to the close rose button, she reached for it and as the day before the rose bloomed magically for her.
This time Leah held it near her heart as she relished herself in its fragrance with her eyes closed while softly smiling thinking of Loki.