Leah couldn´t keep her balancer and fell heavily to the floor, even her super soldier strength wasn´t enough she thought, at least Loki and Eerika were safe, in the end it was all that matter.
Doom approached her ready to snatch her again and drag her to the aircraft once and for all. He had had enough of her defiance and he intended to make her pay dearly for it; out of a sudden a powerful beam a mix of magic and lightning hit him flying him away from Leah who had remained still on the floor where she had fallen a few moments before.
Did she really had endured enough to be rescued? She was still in shock when a pair of familiar hands help her to sit up.
—I shouldn´t have left you alone. — Loki told her while cleaning a rivulet of blood that traced down her mouth with his thumb, concern was written all over his eyes as much as guilt was reflected on his voice. What could´ve happened if they hadn´t arrived in time? He dreaded the thought. If only he could kill Doom; doing so would jeopardize all he had accomplished, and would put them at risk. He grimly acknowledged he couldn´t, but nothing would stop him from beating into Doom enough sense to never try to lay a finger on either of them again.
—I … asked you to. — Leah weakly smiled at him, no reproach on her voice or in her eyes, just relief. —Is Eerika …? — She started to ask him when Loki interrupted her.
— She´s in a safe place; Clint is taking care of her, don´t worry. Soon you will have her in your arms again, but first … we have a score to settle. —He ended while eyeing Doom who had started to move.
Loki had arrived to the Tower only a few moments before and teleported with him Thor, Steve and Natasha; he had no idea where Tony was, nor the time to look for him.
—Will you … get her out of here? — He asked Steve, he wanted her out of harm´s way, or at least as far away from the fight as possible.
Steve nodded in agreement as he answered, then he leaned to help Leah up; she winced in pain as Steve helped her to her feet nursing her left side where Doom had kicked her. Now that the adrenaline rush had worn out everything hurt.
—You should see the other guy. —She tried to joke as she noticed everyone staring at her with concern looks, she sighed as none of them were amused by it. —Ok, is a bad joke …—
Steve sighed angrily while nodding his head in a negative manner without saying a word he simply lifted Leah up in his arms and started walking towards the penthouse door after a few steps he turned back as he asked —Nat, are you coming? I might need your help. —
—Right behind you. —She answered as she followed him.
Leah closed her eyes as she rested her head against Steve´s chest, she almost couldn´t believe she was safe.
Both Thor and Loki watch the attentively as they walked away before focusing their attention back to Doom; both of them equally enraged by his attempt to abduct Leah and Eerika to please his twisted schemes.
—Don´t tell me you changed sides just for her. —Doom spoke first.
—Why I did it is not of your concern. —Loki spat angrily at him, he knew Doom was trying to distract them and he had no desire to humor him so he dryly added. —It won´t matter whose side I´m on if you try to lay so much as a finger on either of them ever again. —
—Fool, you think I´m afraid of you? —Doom mocked him back.
—If you were smart you would. —Thor responded. —Midgard may fear your little country but I can assure you Asgard will not. —
Thor’s menace only made Doom angrier, how dare he to talk him like that. —I´ll bring Asgard down too just to make you regret your words. —
—No, you will not. —Loki stated with great conviction as he made the first move.
Loki had magically sealed the penthouse to avoid further interruptions from the doombots; they would be safe there. As Steve carefully placed Leah in one of the couches to care for her wounds while Natasha looked for something to use as a first aid kit Steve told Leah. —You shouldn´t have fought with Doom alone. —
—You too Steve? Tony already told me it was a very foolish thing to do. —Leah complained, what would they have her done then?
—I never said it was foolish, I think it was very brave of you. I just wished you hadn’t had to face him alone. We could hear the fight you know? I don´t think I´ve ever been so worried for you ever before. —Steve confessed while looking into her eyes.
—I know. —Leah answering while casting her eyes downwards. —I left the channel open on purpose when the Doombot grabbed me and Eerika. I hoped you would be able to help me if you knew what was happening, I never meant … I´m not cut out for this Steve. —She raised her gaze, tears were threatening to pour out as she confessed. —I was so scared. —
Steve hugged Leah as he told her. —We all were Leah, being a hero is not about not being scared, is about doing the right thing even when you are. —After a few seconds he added while breaking their embrace. —Now let´s clean you up. —
—Ok. —She nodded affirmatively as she tried to clean the tears with her sleeves which was a very bad idea considering she was covered in dust and debris.
—Let me do that. —Natasha volunteered. She had found some towels which she soaked in a bowl filled with vodka from the bar. Then she started to wipe the dirt and blood out of her face carefully, when she got to her right cheek where Doom had slapped her Leah couldn´t surpass a muffled whimper, the stoke had already begun to turn to a shade of blue. Natasha frowned as she clenched her teeth, she hoped Thor and Loki would make Doom pay dearly for it, if they didn´t she would take matters on her own hands at the first opportunity. —I´m sorry, does it hurts much? — She asked Leah concerned.
—I didn´t saw that one coming. —Leah answered ashamed, more than her face the slap had hurt her pride.
—There´s nothing to be ashamed of. —Natasha said reading Leah´s face. —We never trained you for something like this. —She volunteered holding Leah´s hands. —I´m proud of you, and you should be too. —
—Umm, thank you … I … don’t know. I lost …—Leah stammered surprised by Natasha´s remark.
—But you survived, sometimes that´s more than enough. —Natasha confessed as he hugged her, Leah let her warm embrace comfort her as Steve’s had moments before.
—I don´t deserve friends like you. —Leah suddenly acknowledged.
—Well, you are stuck with us, so get use to it. —Natasha jokingly added.
Suddenly a big explosion was heard, Leah stood up instantly and without a second thought rushed to the window; after the cloud of dust settled she could see that Loki and Thor had defeated Doom.
—They did it! They won! —She said excited when suddenly she was interrupted.
Thor observed while Loki stroke Doom fierce fully moving with inhuman speed between his clones attacking him both with magic and with the knife Leah had given him earlier that day.
—They did it! They won! —She said excited when suddenly she was interrupted.
I know what you menaced Leah with. — He angrily spat at Doom while holding him through his neck with an immobilizing key. —If I catch you as much as looking at her ever again I´ll make sure you meet your creator, so we understand each other? —Loki growled at him, as he got no answer he angrily asked Doom again. —Do you understand? —
Doom grunted angry as he gathered all this strength to hit Loki´s ribs who released him as he bended in pain, he had let his anger to show through and Doom had seized the opportunity.
As Doom twirled to strike Loki back with his magic Mjolnir blocked his way, a second later he was hit with great strength by Thor.
—I didn´t needed your help. — Loki volunteered while raising to his feet.
—I´m sure you didn´t. —Thor answered. —But you were hogging all the fun. I too want to have some words with Doom. —
—Clanking sound words I presume. — Loki jokingly added.
—You know me all too well brother. — Thor smiled back as he stoke Doom down again before he could raise up, next he added talking to Doom. —Leave my brother´s family alone or I´m going to use your head as an anvil to practice blacksmithing— To add emphasis to his words he hit him a couple or more times with Mjolnir.
—Now who´s hugging all the fun? —Loki complained.
—Together then. —Thor suggested.
—Just like old times. —Loki added cheerfully, it had been such a long time since he had battled with his brother and not against him.
Doom had only managed to get up when he was hit by an even more powerful beam than before which caused a small explosion raising a big cloud of dust.
As the dust settled they could see Doom on bended knee, he looked defeated, but appearances are often misleading. As he raised his head you could see his eyes inflated with rage, suddenly he spitefully yelled at Thor and Loki. —If I can´t have her no one will! — Next he shoot an energy beam form one of the weapons in his suit, out of reflex both Thor and Loki moved to avoid it only to realize the ray wasn´t intended for either of them.
Loki´s eyes widened in horror as he noticed Leah standing in front of the penthouse windows, the ray was meant for her.
There wasn’t anything anyone could´ve done to prevent the energy blast from sticking Leah, it was as if time had been set in slow motion. As the stream went through her chest she was knocked down, her hair flying in a disordered fashion while her blood sprayed over Loki who had teleported just in time to stop her fall.
—No! No! No! This can´t be! You are going to be all right! Do you hear me? You´re going to be all right! — As he concentrated all his magic on healing her wounds a bright green aura surrounded them, her bruises disappeared as well as the hole in her chest, but even so Leah wouldn´t woke up.
—No! Please come back! Leah! —Loki wailed painfully as thick tears ran through his face, he had lost her.
—This can’t end like this. —Steve said mostly to himself. —Not without a fight. —He added as he hurriedly knelt beside Loki. —Let us try. —He pleaded while he looked into Loki´s eyes, they were full of pain.
Loki nodded his head affirmatively as he carefully handed Leah´s body to Steve who in turn carefully placed her on the floor as he checked her vitals. —Her heart stopped. —He said disturbed, next he started compressing her chest. —One, two, three, breathe! — He closed her nostrils as he blew some air into her mouth, he continued for a couple of minutes without any result.
—Dammit Leah! Don´t give up now! Breathe! —He yelled out of despair, if they only had a defibrillator … he raised his gaze as he spat at Loki. —Get Thor! Hurry! —
Within seconds Loki had teleported back to the rooftop. After he had run to aid Leah Thor had taken all his rage against Doom, though he had to step aside when Hulk finally managed to break the sphere that hold him prisoner, it was him who finally had beaten some sense into –Doom, or more likely his maquiavellian plans out of him. Without a second to loose Loki snatched Thor´s wrist and teleported him back to the penthouse. Loki hadn´t realized Tony had arrived to the rooftop too.
—Is she? —Thor asked anguished.
—Not if we can help it. —Steve answered decided to try everything to get her back. —I need you to give her an electrical shock, just enough to get her heart beating again, can you do it? —
—I think so. —Thor volunteered with a worried frown as he raised Mjolnir over his head to summon the lightning, one they had stroke his magic hammer he redirected them carefully against Leah.
Steve leaned his ear against her chest. —Nothing yet. Again Thor! A bit stronger this tie. —He moved aside.
Thor nodded affirmatively biting his lip nervously while he repeated the operation. What if it didn´t worked? He couldn´t even imagine what her death could do to Loki, he feared he might lose his brother again, this time to grief.
Suddenly a desperate gasp for air could be heard followed by a weak cough, it had worked, as Loki cradled Leah against his chest he confessed through tears of joy —I thought I had lost you. —
Leah weakly smiled at him as she whispered something to his ear which made Loki laugh. She looked at him lovingly.
—What did she said? —Tony asked, he had followed them to the penthouse once he had make sure Hulk had everything under control. He had witnessed Thor´s efforts to revive her. He had been trapped inside the Tower; Loki´s spell had kept him from reaching the penthouse from the inside so he had to take the panoramic route.
Loki dried his tears and smiled as he told them. —You are not getting rid of me that easy. —
Everyone laughed relieved she was all right.