Fireangel76

My Writtings

Month: August 2015

Reckoning

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.

Friends and Foes

—Shouldn´t we intervene Sir? —Coulson asked Fury worried about Lea´s safety

—Not yet. —Fury replied —I want to see how this plays out. —

The hellicarrier had been hovering over the Tower in camouflage mode for a while now.

—I don´t understand why are we here if we´re not going to step in. —Coulson confessed. —We should´ve revealed ourselves when Leah stabbed Doom. —

—I wanted to see what she was capable of, I got to admit I´m a bit disappointed that she didn´t killed him. We´d finally be rid of him once and for all. —Fury pointed out.

—But all the international ramifications Sir? —Coulson asked alarmed by Fury´s statement.

—We would already have the perpetrator, besides can you think of a better way to coerce her to work for us? —Fury asked.

—But what about Loki? —Coulson asked in return.

—He will follow her wherever she is. Eventually we would be able to … convince him to work for us too. We might even be able to set them as a team, can you imagine that? Magic and super soldier abilities working together, that´s one hell of a combination. —Fury added excited at the prospect.

—She´s no agent Sir, even if she´s learn to fight like one. —Coulson volunteered.

—Nothing we can´t fix. —Fury calmly told him with a smile.

Leah was well aware she was trapped; on one side there was Doom and his doombots, on the other side a 1130 ft. fall. Her weapons completely out of her reach and with one dislocated shoulder she had only one good arm to fight with. Doom was walking threateningly towards her.

—You should´ve killed me when you had the chance. —He chided her.

—I won´t make that mistake twice. —Leah answered him with a confidence she really didn´t felt, she couldn´t retrieve any further; not unless she wanted to fall of the building again.

—You´re not going to get a second chance. —Doom icily told her as he swiftly caught her by the throat and raised her off her feet, Leah desperately gasped for air as Doom mocked her —Don´t worry, I´m not going to kill you … yet. — Then he threw her against the floor towards the entrance of the penthouse making her fall on her injured shoulder on purpose.

As the elevator finally arrived to level 86 they all could hear Leah screaming in agony again, Loki bolted out of the lift and desperately called for Thor.

—Over here Loki! —Thor answered as he strived to finish half dozen doombots. There was pile after pile of crushed doombots scattered all around the floor; no wonder Thor had been caught up in that level.

Loki swiftly ran towards them when he heard Clint warned him. —Loki quick, duck! —As soon as he had an arrow passed by him, it exploded on its target destroying the doombots that had begun to chase after him and Eerika. As he jumped behind the barricade both Thor and Clint had made out of broken doombots he checked on Eerika, after making sure she was all right he sighed with relief.

—Thor! —Loki called for his older brother as he demanded anxiously. —Take this things off me! —

It only took Thor a second to release him of his shackles, with a stern voice he told Loki. —The tower isn´t a safe place for Eerika, you need to take her elsewhere. —He haven´t even ended his phrase when he threw his hammer against another approaching doombot.

—I see that. —Loki growled between clenched teeth, he knew what he had to do but he didn´t wanted to do it. —I´ll be back, I´m borrowing Clint. —He barely informed Thor before disappearing taking both Eerika and Clint with him.

He had caught Clint totally of guard, as he suddenly found himself inside of what appeared to be a huge mansion he uttered. —What the fuck? Where are we? And what do you meant by borrowing? —

Loki explained him as fast as he could, he had no time to waste, he feared to imagine what Doom could be doing to Leah. —Consider this a sanctuary, if you don´t get out no one will find you, you will be safe here. —

—Wait Loki, you can´t leave us here! —Clint told him alarmed.

—I´ll be back as soon as I can. —Loki volunteered as he started walking down the hall.

—No, you don´t understand! A baby needs to eat every couple of hours, what am I supposed to feed her with, air? And what about diapers? —Clint stated worried, the battle could still last for hours.

Loki grunted annoyed, Clint was right. —Follow me. —He ordered Clint as he walked quickly through the hall, suddenly he stopped in front of a wooden door with golden letters that read Eerika. —“The nursery without a doubt” —Clint figured out.

—I think you will find here anything you might need. —Loki volunteered.

—What did you do, stole a babies department store? —Clint asked surprised, he could already see formula and diapers among other hundred things.

—No, I bought one. —Loki told him.

Clint opened his mouth to say something but decided against it, instead he told Loki. —I´ll take good care of her. —

—I know. —Loki acknowledged, suddenly he noticed a red stain in Clint´s uniform —Are you hurt? —He asked with a worried frown.

—It´s just a flesh wound. —Clint volunteered.

Loki sighed exasperated as he walked to Clint and without saying another word healed him. Clint noticed Loki´s face paled when he used his magic. —Loki are you all right? —He inquired concerned.

—Walking through the paths of Yggdrasil always drains my magic. That´s why I planned for a situation like this. —Without waiting for Clint´s response Loki went out of the nursery and directed himself to another door in the same hallway. Clint followed him closely, the room Loki had entered looked like a studio. Over the desk was a crystal case with maybe over a dozen gems in it, Loki snatched a pair and quickly explained Clint. —This gems work as your batteries, I stored my magic on them and now I´ll use them to rescue Leah from Doom. —

Clint nodded in agreement —We´ll be here waiting. —Loki had disappeared again leaving him alone with Eerika.

Clint sighed as he looked to Eerika who hadn´t stopped crying —Well kid, is just you and me. We´d better start looking for the kitchen so I can make you a bottle. —Fortunately he had experience with babies, while he walked down the hall he wondered if Loki knew that.

—That´s what I wanted to hear. —Doom exclaimed with glee as he approached Leah again, she tried to get out of his reach without success, he kicked her side before she could get up. She whined painfully as she curled trying to protect her injured side from another attack.

Doom was preparing to kick her again when all of a sudden a large green figure landed behind him and smashed him against the ground reveal times before throwing him against the penthouse windows which broke on impact.

Leah had remained curled up while it happened trying to cover her head from the debris that scattered around, as it all went quiet she nervously opened her eyes as she raised her head she was met by a couple of huge eyes staring at her. She´d never seen Hulk up close before, he was really an impressive sight, she doubtfully asked —Bruce? —. As the creature grunted annoyed she corrected herself —Hulk? —This time she received and approving nod. As she slowly got up she winced in pain and nursed her wounded arm.

—You hurt? —Hulk asked with a worried frown.

—It´s not broken, at least I don´t think it is, don´t worry I´m sure y… uhm … the Doctor could fix it just fine. —She explained making an effort to smile.

—Need Bruce.—He stated firmly, then he closed his eyes with a sigh, before her own eyes Hulk changed back into Bruce before she could protest against it.

—Leah? —Bruce asked confused. —What happened to you? —

Leah´s eyes were overfilled with tears, she´d never been happier to see him before and at the same time she hated the fact that he made her feel like a 5 year old who scrapped her knees while being disobedient, she quickly dry her tears with her sleeve as she told him. —Doom. —

Bruce could tell immediately something was wrong with her arm for the way she was holding it. —Is it broken? —He asked with a frown.

—No, just dislocated. Don´t worry it can wait. —Leah acknowledged.

—Will you stop playing the martyr? —Tony’s irritated voice suddenly sounded on her comlink.

—But … I …—Leah tried to defend herself but Tony didn´t give her a chance.

—What the hell were you thinking staying alone with Doom? He could´ve killed you or worst …—He sounded extremely angry —We could´ve lost you …—His voice broke down at that point.

—You fought Doom alone? —Bruce asked surprised as he examined Leah´s shoulder.

—I did what I had to do if I hadn´t Doom would´ve taken us to Latveria as his prisoners. And I would do it again … —

Out of the sudden she screamed painfully, Bruce had seized the opportunity to set her shoulder back into place while she argued with Tony. —What the …?—She looked at Bruce shocked.

—It´s easier to set it straight if you´re distracted. —He told her as he shrugged his shoulders

—I´d rather you don´t do something like this again. — Tony finally told her.

Without a warning a ray engulfed Bruce as he was thrown off the Tower.

—No! Bruce! —Leah leaned into the rail as she observed Bruce fell, when suddenly a metallic glove seized her hand, it was Doom.

—Leah, what´s happening? —Tony asked her disturbed by what he could hear over her comlink, as he received no answer he told Jarvis. —Set up Mark 283, and hurry. —

—Sir, that suit hasn´t been tested yet. —The A.I. reminded him.

—I know, but it’s the only suit with big enough guns, we´ll just have to test it on the go. —Tony told the A.I.

Doom started dragging Leah towards a descending aircraft —We´re going to Latveria now, I´ll be able to deal with you without further interruptions. —

Leah resisted his pull leaning all her weight against it as she desperately tried to wiggle her hand free of his grasp. —No! Let me go! —She screamed at him when a tremor made her fall to the ground, it was Hulk, he´s jumped back to the rooftop and placed himself between Leah and Doom.

—Hulk protects. —He growled at Doom who released Leah´s wrist as he prepared to fight Hulk.

—Did you really thought I would come unprepared? —He mocked the green creature as he threw a magic beam against Hulk, the beam grew into a bubble that imprisoned Hulk.

Leah observed the turn of events with despair, all her instincts told her to run, so she did exactly that. When Dom realized she was trying to escape he threw another ray against her which exploded as it hit the ground sending Leah flying a couple of meters away.

—This should keep you busy at least until we are gone. —He told the Hulk with an evil smirk, even if he was pounding the sphere with all his might his prison was holding. Next Doom walked towards Leah who was trying to crawl away from him, she was too disoriented to get up. Within seconds Doom had grabbed her through the hair on the back of her nape and forcefully pulled her up, he shook her up angered by her resistance as he yelled at her —Stop fighting! —

—Never. —Leah yelled back as unwilling tears rolled from her eyes, she felt helpless, but she wouldn´t give up without a fight.

Unexpectedly Doom slapped her with such strength Leah fell to the ground, as she looked up at him in disbelief she cleaned up her mouth with her hand leaving a smudge of blood on it which infuriated her.

As Doom contemplated the rage in her eyes he mocked her. —That´s only a taste of what awaits you in Latveria. —

She clenched her teeth and against all prudence snatched an arrow from her quiver and tried to stab Doom with it. Doom caught her hand and squeezed it until Leah had no choice but to release the arrow when the pain became unbearable.

Doom laughed amused at her failed efforts. —Enough I said! —He yelled as he threw her towards the aircraft.

Confrontation

—Tony they have them! — Loki told him in distraught as he opened the comlink channel.

—Loki? What happened? —Tony asked concerned.

—A doombot has them, I overheard it talking; they are taking them to the rooftop. There´s no time to waste, meeting Thor will have to wait. —Loki told him as he tried to catch up with the doombot.

Suddenly Leah´s comlink channel opened, they could hear the doombot´ s voice. —Targets acquired, deploy ships to draw the Hulk away from the building, send additional doombots to prevent any interference. —

— “Smart girl” —Was Loki´s thoughts.

Next a sound of broken glass and a scream were heard.

—Shit! —Loki exclaimed. The doombot had went flying through the window. —The damn thing just went through the window. —He explained to Tony as he turned swiftly back to the elevator.

—You stupid suicidal robot! Let me go! —Leah complained very displeased at the doombot maneuver.

The doombot rose spiral circling the outside of the tower to the rooftop. Again it´s voice could be overheard in the comlink. —Approaching to vessel, destination Latveria, departure: immediately. —

—Like hell we are! —Leah yelled at the doombot before pulling out her hunting knife and stabbing the doombot in the head.

—Warning! Systems failing! —The doombot reported while flying over the roof. Leah stabbed it again, this time she unintentionally hit the jetpack that exploded almost instantly destroying the doombot and throwing Leah and Eerika away from the building, Leah shielded Eerika as fast as she could from the explosion; the strength of the shockwave knocked her out momentarily.

Everyone had heard everything and started calling for Leah without any response when they heard the explosion, it took her about 5 seconds to come back only to realize they were falling.

—We´re falling. —All of a sudden she answered. —I´m afraid I didn´t though this through, I can´t fire a line to save us I lost my bow. —

—Don´t panic Leah, I´m already on my way. —Tony told her as he finished another doombot. —Jarvis locate Leah’s coordinates. —

—She´s falling fast sir, they are at the 700 ft. mark, you won’t make it on time. —Jarvis reported.

—I don´t want to hear that Jarvis, reroute all energy to the propellers. We are going to get there on time. —He snapped at the A.I.

Leah had overheard everything, and knew fully well there was a good chance that Tony didn´t got to her on time.

—Loki? —She asked nervously trying hard not to break down.

—Leah, you´ll be all right. Tony is on his way. —Loki tried to reassure her while he continued his race to the rooftop knocking doombots left and right.

—Loki … I´m sorry. —She confessed.

—No Leah, don´t you dare give up! —Loki scolded her.

—I´m sorry. I love you. —She ended her farewell then she turned her attention to Eerika who was crying. —I´m sorry Eerika. —She curled up in what she knew was an useless effort to protect her baby from the fall. —I guess it wasn´t meant to be Eerika, I´m sorry I failed you. —

All the team had a lump on their throats by now.

—Sir, she´s too close to the ground. —The A.I. reported.

—I don´t want to hear it Jarvis, adjust the trajectory. —

Leah had closed her eyes when she noticed she was too close to the asphalt. —I´m sorry. —She said yet again as she waited to hit the ground, but instead a couple of metallic arms caught her only a couple meters from the sidewalk. —Tony! —She yelled surprised as she felt his grasp. Cheering could be heard on the comlinks. Loki sighed with relief and silently thanked the norns as he continued fighting his way to the rooftop.

—Please tell me you´re not apologizing for dying. —Tony told her.

—I was scared. —Leah confessed. —I thought we were done. —

—Don´t you ever apologize for dying. —Tony scolded her, while still feeling a lump on his throat; it had been a very close call. —You fight it! —

—All right. —Leah answered through tears of relief.

—Sir, I must remind you that the energy is almost depleted. —Jarvis reported.

—We are heading to the rooftop. —He said to no one in particular.

—I´m almost there. —Loki answered.

It only took them a minute or so to get to the rooftop; as Tony carefully placed Leah and Eerika down a powerful ray threw Tony into the penthouse. Doom had unexpectedly made his appearance.

—No! Tony! —Leah screamed, she was trapped again, as she checked in panic her surroundings for an escape route Loki made his entrance, he was still fighting a couple of doombots which he ended swiftly.

—Loki! —Leah exclaimed, he still had his shackles on his wrists. Neither of them would have a chance against Doom if Thor didn´t removed them. As if he had read her mind Doom shot his rays against Loki who managed to duck just in time to avoid them, unfortunately the next blow hit him full knocking him out.

Leah ran to him fearful, as she made sure he was still breathing she could see more doombots walking into the penthouse; she had to do something or Doom would take them all to Latveria as his prisoners.

She removed the baby carrier and the backpack she had been carrying with her and carefully placed Eerika over Loki´s chest, turned her sound input off she didn´t needed to hear everyone’s advice to run but they would need to know what was happening in case any of them could be able to help them so she left her output on; next she picked up her bow that lied beside Loki. For an instant she contemplated them, her family; she had gone through so much to keep them and now Doom wanted to take them away from her, she allowed all her fear to become rage. Before facing Doom she told Eerika. —Take care of daddy honey, mummy has to take care of some vermin. —

—Silly woman, you really think you can face me? —Doom mocked her—Drop that before you hurt yourself. —

—You are goi8ng to regret doing that. —Leah replied to him as if she hadn’t heard his mockery, clutching her bow tight without a warning she shot an arrow against Doom who deflected it with a magical field.

—I told you so. —He laughed at her. —You are not strong enough; I´d rather not damage my prize but if you keep being stubborn I might change my mind. —

Leah tightened her jaw, an attack from the distance wouldn´t work; she would have to get closer. She ran swiftly towards Doom while shooting her arrows which he deflected every time. All of a sudden he threw a blast against her that made her fall on her back knocking her air out.

—This is getting boring, you are nothing but a nuisance, if you weren´t useful I´d be inclined to kill you. —Doom told Leah as he walked by her side.

That was all that Leah had been waiting for, with one swift move she swept Doom´s right leg making him fall by her side, Doom tried to elbow her missing for just a second as Leah rolled up. They fought hand to hand for a few minutes until Doom managed to grab Leah´s left wrist and twisted her arm against her back forcing her to kneel as she screamed in pain.

Both her scream and the sound of Eerika´ s crying woke Loki up who found Eerika resting on his chest, as he got a hold of her protectively he sat up only to find Doom towering over Leah.

—Leah! —He screamed a mix of anger and concern. —You will pay for that Doom. —

—You´d better stay still Loki or I´ll break her arm. —Just to prove that he would he twisted Leah´s arm a bit further extracting another painful shriek from her.

—Stay still Loki! —Leah pleaded laboriously. —Just take care of Eerika. —She begged him through steamy eyes, while she tried to force a smile she winked at him.

— “She has a plan” —Loki thought in hope. Whatever was her plan it seemed she needed help, Dom was keeping the twist on her arm too tight; she frowned in pain as she failed to restrain a muffled whimper. Loki´s heart shrank, he was hurting her. If only he had his magic back he would make Doom pay for it. Suddenly Loki noticed she was reaching for something in one of her boots.

—You will regret doing that Doom. —Loki menaced him trying to distract his attention from Leah.

—I hardly think you are in position to make threats Loki, they bind your powers somehow or we wouldn’t be having this conversation if you had your magic back. —Doom scoffed him. —Now, why don´t you stay still while I teach your … mistress some manners. — Then he turned to Leah —I´m going to enjoy breaking you. And I might just keep Loki alive long enough to see the look in your eyes when it happens. —Then he added. —You should´ve taken my offer woman. —

—No, you should´ve taken mine! —Leah responded as she purposely dislocated her shoulder as she twirled out of Doom´s grab and with one forceful blow stabbed Doom between his shoulder and his chest. It was now his turn to scream in pain.

Doom released his grip on Leah´s wrist surprised by the pain of being stabbed. Feeling her arm free Leah threw all her weight against Doom successfully knocking him down. She landed on top of him with one of her knees on his chest still holding the knife against him, she knew she wouldn´t be able to hold that position for long not with her arm being injured so she did the only thing she could think off, she sat on Doom´s chest resting all her weight against her good arm and the knife, if Doom moved it would prove very easy to cause more damage by just slipping the knife.

—In case you are wondering this knife is made of an adamantium alloy if it cut easily through your armour imagine what it could do to your flesh and bones, —Leah viciously told him.

—You wouldn’t dare! —He challenged her.

—Oh! But I would! —Leah responded with a ghoulish smile. —Your mother sold her soul for the sake of her people, I´m ready to loose mine for their sakes. —She told him while eying Eerika and Loki.

Loki was surprised too at Leah´s quick movements, but what froze his blood was her last remark, did she really meant to kill Doom? —Leah …—He started to say.

—Stay out of this Loki. —Was her swift response, she had to get them out of there before… she couldn´t believe how much her arm hurt.

—Jarvis, override Leah´s comlink audio settings. —Tony told the A.I. while he run to his lab.

—It´s done sir. —Jarvis informed him.

—Leah don´t do it. —Tony hurriedly told her. At the same time she could hear everyone´s voices telling her to stop.

—Tony! You are all right! —Natasha said surprised.

—That depends on your definition of all right. I need another suit. —Tony responded swiftly

—That goes for all of you too, everyone shut up or I´ll turn my comlink off. —She menaced them, she couldn´t afford the slightest distraction.

—Jarvis turn off Leah´s sound input for a moment. —Steve asked the A.I.

—Certainly Sir. —Jarvis responded.

—You have to help her. —Loki whispered concerned.

They were interrupted by Leah talking to Doom again. —Do we understand each other now? —Leah almost purred at Doom as she twisted the knife just a little bit, but enough to make Doom growl in pain.

—I´m not sure she is the one that needs help. —Clint spat.

—Yes—Doom furiously answered then asked. —What do you want? —

—For starters tell your doombots top let Loki and my child to go free. —Leah calmly told him. —You and I have some unfinished business to discuss and I don´t want them to get in the way. —Suddenly she added. —When Loki gets his powers back I´m sure he would like to deal with you on his own terms, but for now you´re mine. —

—What is she doing? What´s Leah thinking by staying alone with Doom? —Tony anxiously asked.

—She´s trying to keep her family safe. —Steve volunteered.

—She must know she´s not an opponent for Doom. —Loki added in a low tone.

—She knows Loki. —Thor grimly added.

—She´s trying to stall Doom until Thor can remove Loki´s shackles. —Natasha told them.

—All right! —Doom agreed. —They can go. —He could always capture them back later.

Loki was astonished Doom had accepted, he tentatively raised to his feet as he looked at Leah. —I can´t leave her. —He said mostly to himself.

—Loki take Eerika and go! —Leah yelled without turning around, she had to keep Doom pinned down just for a bit more.

—Loki do as she says! She need to know Eerika is safe. —Thor raised his voice; they had been fighting for over two hours now and the doombots just kept coming.

Loki hated the thought of leaving Leah with every fiber of his being but he knew they were right, he had to take Eerika somewhere safe and unbind his powers before being able to face Doom, he just pleaded Leah would be all right until then.

—All right. Don´t be long. —Loki told her as he turned away and ran into the penthouse whiel heading to the lift.

—Loki get down to level 86. Thor and I will be waiting. —Clint told him, hoping as Loki did that Leah would remain safe until then. —Steve, Natasha! Would you join us? —

As Leah heard the elevator door close she left out a relief sigh, Dom seized that momentary distraction to throw Leah off him, she landed on her injured shoulder which made her scream in pain, she had to get up before Doom dis.

They all had heard Leah´s scream, Loki had never felt so helpless before, the lift couldn´t move fast enough.

—You whore! —Doom angrily yelled as he pulled her knife of his chest before throwing it into the floor. —I´m going to make you pay dearly for this—

Leah had managed to get up, she knew from the beginning she wasn´t a match against Doom, she just hoped she could hold her ground for a little more. —What? You didn´t enjoyed it Cause I did. —She smirked at him while taking a couple of steps backwards.

—No, but I´m going to enjoy this! —He menacingly said as he walked towards her.

On the run

Leah went back to Loki´s cell to grab his blanket, next she offered it to him. Loki gave her a puzzled look as he asked. — What am I supposed to do with this? —

— You need to wrap it around yourself. — Leah explained to him.

—I´m not doing that. Forget about it. —Loki complained

Leah sighed as she explained —Doom is using thermal imaging to find us, the blanket will hide your body heat long enough for us to get to Eerika. —

—You are joking right? —Loki asked her amused —I did explained you I´m a frost giant, didn´t I? —

—Oh! —Leah blushed as she remembered. —But can you control it without your magic? —

—I think so, I´m not sure. I´ve never tried it before.—Loki confessed.

Leah look at him concerned, betting their safety on a supposition wasn´t a good idea. Loki had the same though, with a resigned sigh he grab the blanket. —I guess we´d better be safe than sorry. But this will get in the way if we have to fight. Talking of which I´ll need a weapon— Loki said eyeing Leah´s bow.

—If we have to fight you can lose the blanket and I´m not giving you my bow. —Leah complained.

—I´m quite good with it—Loki told her trying to convince her.

After accidently leaving the audio channel of her comlink open during her argument with Loki, Leah was making a conscious effort of turning it on and off; as she opened the channel again she asked —Thor? How skilled is Loki with the bow? —

—Very, but you are better—Thor volunteered.

—Traitor. —Loki mumbled annoyed.

—Sorry Loki, but I´m keeping the bow. —Leah told him with a proud smile. —You can have this. —Leah offered the firemen axe to him; Loki observed the axe annoyed without grabbing it.

—That´s not even a real weapon. —Loki grumble.

—All right, you win. You can have one of my hunting knives. —Leah yield as she offered him a large knife which she seemed to have pulled out of thin air. —Tony made them for me they are made of an adamantium alloy, it will pierce easily the doombots armor, but it´s really expensive so don´t lose it or Tony will bite my head off. —

As he heard Leah´s explanation of the knife Loki took it and admired the craftsmanship but he couldn´t help to wonder. —Where did you pulled out that from? — He hadn´t noticed she was carrying it with her before and couldn´t imagine where the pair was hiding.

—Guess! —Leah said winking an eye at him while smiling mischievously.

Loki opened his mouth but he still didn’t had a clue of where she pulled it our form, but the idea of frisking her to find out was appealing. —Umm. —He uttered when Tony interrupted them.

—Kids, can´t you behave for one second? —He admonished them half joking half meaning it.

—Tony! Are you all right? —Leah asked him, she was glad to hear his voice and in the other hand she was annoyed with herself, she had forgotten to turn her channel off again.

—I´m fine if you don´t take in consideration that Doom just tricked me and escaped. —Tony added with a hint of anger. —By the way you should really get moving, there are more doombots coming your way. —

—We are moving. —Was Leah’s response as she wrapped the towel around herself she waited until Loki had done the same to sprang out towards the gym. Fortunately they didn´t ran into any doombots on their way.

As they arrived Leah headed straight to the clothes basket she had used to make a cradle for Eerika, she sighed relieved as she found her sleeping still.

—She´s still sleeping. —She told Loki with a smile; before she could say anything else Loki kissed her. As the kiss continued Leah decided to turn off her comlink completely, she had already shared more than she could handle for the day.

As Loki released her she told him. —I´m not complaining, but … what was that for? —

—For luck. —Loki answered her smiling.

—Is that an asgardian costume before going to battle? —She asked intrigued but she was pretty sure it wasn´t.

—Well, no. I just been meaning to do it since you rescued me. —He confessed a bit flustered. —I´m not used to being rescued, so I guess what I´m trying to say is … thank you. —

Leah was taken aback for his gratefulness and shyly responded. —You keep saving me all the time, that´s the least I could do. —She ended while shrugging her shoulders.

—Don´t sell yourself short Leah, it took a lot of courage to come for me alone, especially … —Loki suddenly stopped, he hadn’t meant to mention Doom so soon.

—Especially after Doom´s menace. —Leah ended his sentence with a scowl, suddenly she felt enraged —I could just kill him! —She spat full of anger.

Loki looked at her surprised at her outburst, when Leah realized Loki was staring at her she added. —Don´t tell me you hadn´t thought about it. —

—I have. — Loki confessed. —But I don´t think the Avengers would give me another opportunity if I did, and neither would Fury. —

—No, I guess they wouldn´t. —Leah acknowledged still angry. Doom´s diplomatic immunity made him virtually untouchable, unless you wanted to start a war with Latveria crossing him was ill advised.

—Don´t be upset Leah, he won´t go unpunished for what he tried to do to you. I promise, there are other ways of getting even with him. —He tied to comfort her as he hugged her.

—Killing him would be easier. —Leah growled displeased between clenched teeth while looking to the ground.

Loki stood silent as he worryingly pull her out of his embrace; he tried to look her in the eye while wondering if something else had happened, something she wasn´t telling him.

Suddenly Leah looked up at Loki as she apologized. —I´m sorry, I´m just too angry and tired. Forget I said anything.-

Loki looked at her sympathetically as he fixed a lose strand of her hair —You should be in bed resting.—

—I don´t think that´s going to happen any time soon. —Leah acknowledged wryly.

—No, I don´t think so either.—Loki admitted. —Are you sure you are up to this? I could go to Thor by myself. —

—I´d probably accept your offer if the doombots weren´t invading the inferior levels as we speak; if we stayed it would only be a matter of time before they found us. Besides I´ll feel safer if we are together. —Leah confessed.

—We´ll stay together then. —Loki agreed.

—Now if I could just find an extra comlink. —Leah told him as she registered the place. —Thor is always leaving them around when he comes to …train. There you are! —She said cheerfully as she picked it up, next she placed it in Loki´s ear.

Meanwhile the rest of the team had noticed Leah´s comlink was off.

—What are those two thinking turning their comlink off in a moment like this? —Tony complained loudly

—Maybe they just needed a moment. —Steve volunteered.

—A moment for what? We are in the middle of a battle here! —Tony spat angrily.

—To talk. —Natasha suggested. —I don´t think Leah meant to let her channel open for us to listen about what happened with Doom.-

—That sick bastard! —Tony yelled. —When I get my hands on him I´m going to kill him.

—Not If I get to him first. —Natasha added followed by Thor and Clint replies.

—Come down guys, you know we can´t do that… — Steve warned them.

—Why not? —Tony asked displeased.

—Because that´s not the way we solve things …—Steve told them

—So he´s just going to get away with this? —Tony asked very crossed —Like always. —

—I never said we couldn’t beat him to a pulp …—Steve volunteered.

—Now you are talking …—Clint cheerfully agreed.

Leah explained quickly to Loki about the operation of the comlink. —You´ll be able to communicate with them even if we got separate. —Next she cradle Eerika up and carefully placed her in the baby carrier she had attached to her chest.

—You won´t be able to fight like that. —Loki pointed out concerned.

—I´ll manage. —Leah replied —Besides that´s why we have a dashing asgardian warrior like you protecting us. —She ended winking an eye at him.

Loki tried his best not to smile at her comment, he wished he felt that smug with a sigh he accepted her compliment. —Just be careful. —

—Don´t worry I will. We should turn our comlinks on and tell them we are ready. —First she turned her own on then helped Loki with his; then she tentatively asked —Tony? —

—Leah? Why on earth did you turned off your comlink? I´ve been worried sick. —He scolded her.

—I´m sorry, we are ok. I didn´t thought …—She tried to apologize before being interrupted by Tony.

—That´s right you didn´t think. We are in the middle of a battle here we don´t have time for you two to be fooling around. —He answered in a very angry tone.

—We weren´t fooling around. —Leah defended herself.

—I don´t care what you were doing you don´t turn your comlink off! —Tony yelled at her

—Stop yelling at me I didn´t do anything wrong. You sound like my mother! Geez! —She answered raising her voice.

—I wouldn´t be yelling at you if you behave young lady. And I´m not your mother! —Tony spat back.

Loki and the Avengers couldn´t keep a straight face any more and broke laughing at that point.

—If I didn´t knew better I would say you were siblings. —Loki told them between laughs. —You sound like Thor and me. —

—We don´t …—Both Leah and Tony talked back at the same time which only made them laugh as they realized how silly the argument was.

As they stop laughing Tony told Leah in a calm tone. —Once this is over we really need to talk. —

—I know. —Leah acknowledged half-hearted.

—You worry too much, everything will be all right. Now, are you ready to move? —

—Yes, we are. —Loki answered.

—Your best route to the upper levels is through the service stairs, they are relatively free until level 84, Thor is in level 86 as Clint trying to keep the doombots at bay. Call them when you are near those levels if battle improves they might be able to get to you. —Tony explained.

—We will. —Leah acknowledged. —I guess trying to hide from thermal imaging on those levels would be useless. —

—I´m afraid so, they’ll have visual contact on you. And you´d better be prepared to fight them; I´ll try to get rid of them before they get to you while I look for Doom but those damn things are sneaky. —Tony responded.

—Yes, they are. —Loki agreed as he motioned Leah to leave. —Let´s go to find Thor. —

Loki went ahead as Leah guarded the rear, if they noticed a doombot coming their way he would get ahead and took care of it before he alerted others of their presence. As they got close level 84 they would find doombots more often, suddenly turning a corner Loki found himself surrounded by three doombots. He stab the first one through its jaw making it short-circuit, then he tricked the second one to fire on the third while using it as a shield, next he charged against the last of them disposing of it quickly. Unfortunately he didn´t saw that the first doombot had stood up and was sneaking up behind him. Suddenly an arrow flew right past his left ear and hit the doombot in one of its eyes knocking it down.

Loki looked down surprised, it had been Leah who had finished the doombot.

—I thought you needed help. —She volunteered doubtfully.

—Yes, I did. Thank you. —Loki admitted then asked. —This feels strange, right? —

—I know. —Leah agreed. —I never thought of fighting by your side. —

—Nevertheless I think we make a good team. —He told her with a smile. —Although you took your time to get here. —

—On that point I just want to say that I officially hate stairs. —She pouted upset. —At least for the moment. —

—Are you sure you are all right? —Loki asked her worried.

—I´m fine, just let me catch my breath for a moment. —Then she asked. —We are almost there, aren´t we? —

—Yes, next level is 84, we´ll have to get to the elevator from there. Although … I wish there were another way; we´ll be exposed on the hallway. —Loki told her with a frown.

Leah sighed concerned. —Unfortunately there´s no other way; following the stairs is out of the question according to Tony they are swamped with doombots in the next level. — Then she took a couple of minutes to check on Eerika as Loki reported to Tony.

—Are you ready? —Loki asked her as she finished taking care of Eerika.

—No, but we’ll have to do it anyway. I guess we´d better get to it. —

—All right. —Loki agreed. —I´ll go first and I will call for you when I´m sure there are no doombots around. — They were halfway to the lift when a half dozen doombots appeared; within seconds both Leah and Loki were in the middle of a heated fight. As Loki has predicted trying to protect Eerika made Leah an easy target. She tried to counteract by using her bow as a fighting Stick to keep her enemies from getting to close to her, suddenly one of the doombots got pass her defenses knocking her bow right out of her hands and quickly got a hold on her. AS it grabbed Leah through her waist the doombot fired it´s jetpack.

—Loki! — Leah shrieked as she felt the pull of the jetpack dragging her upward.

—Leah, no! —Loki shouted as he got rid of the last doombot standing, next he retrieved Leah´s bow that was lying in the ground and ran to her aid; but it was too late the doombot was already flying far away from his reach taking both Eerika and Leah with him.

—Target acquired. —The doombot reported. —Rendezvous at the penthouse roof. —

—Let me go you stupid piece of shit. —Leah growled as she tried to wriggle out of its reach.

Rescuing Loki

Without a second to lose she put her comlink on her ear –Tony! Can you hear me? Where´s Loki? Is he still in his cell?-

-Leah! Are you all right? – Tony asked eagerly, he was very happy to hear her voice.

-Yes, kind of … forget about that. Is Loki still in his cell?- Leah answered overwhelmed by the myriad thoughts his question aroused.

-What do you mean kind of? – Tony asked preoccupied.

-I´ll be better once you answer my question.-Leah told him with impatience.

-Yes, he is. – Tony finally answered.

-Can you get him out? I know that´s not what you agree on, but I think these are extraordinary circumstances …- Leah started to say when Tony interrupted.

-Sorry baby, I can´t. When the attack began the cell went automatically to lockdown. I can´t open it remotely. – Tony told her troubled.

-No, Tony! We have to get him out before Doom finds him.-She told him anxiously.

-Why? Did Doom found out that Loki is changing teams?-Tony asked confused.

-No. He doesn´t know.-Leah quickly answered.

-Then, what´s the problem? I thought they were allies.- He asked bemused.

Leah sighed before reluctantly telling him. –Doom offered me a deal and I … decline it. And now he´s going to retaliate against Loki if he finds him.-

-A deal? What did he wanted?- Tony had the distinct feeling Leah was hiding something.

-Nothing I was willing to give.-Leah answered with impatience.

-Leah, don´t be childish! What did Doom wanted? – Tony admonished her.

-I don´t want to talk about it.-Leah angrily answered.

-But …- Tony started to scold her again.

-We don´t have time for this Tony! Are you going to help me or not? – Leah asked enraged.

-All right, this can wait.-Tony sighed, he wasn’t going to get a straight answer from her at the moment.

-Thank you.-Leah almost whispered. –And Tony … guys? Please promise me something, no matter what happens to me or Loki you won´t allow Doom to get his claws on Eerika.-She begged them anxiously.

-Leah, you are scaring me.-Tony confessed.

-Promise me!-Leah demanded.

After a moment of silence Steve answered her plea –We promise.-

Leah let out the breath she’d been holding inadvertently as she thanked them, next she asked anxiously –You know where she is, right?-

-We have an idea.-Natasha volunteered.

-But you have a bigger problem now.-Tony interrupted to warn her. – Doom is heading your way.-

Leah´s heart stopped for a second, had he found her? Or was he heading to Loki´s cell? Either way they had to move fast. –Can I get pass him? – She asked Tony trying to sound calm.

-I´m already on my way.-Tony told her, he wanted to keep her away from harm’s way.

-I´m not waiting here anymore Tony. Please tell me how to get pass him undetected.-Even if she said it slowly and calmly he could hear the despair in her voice.

Tony sighed loudly.-All right, you´ll have to take the stairs, go right in the hallway and bend left on the second corridor, but hurry he´s in the lift now.-

-Thank you, I will.-She said with relief as she tightened the towel around her, then ran off as fast as she could. The cell was only a couple of levels down so it didn´t took her long to get thee, when she tried to open the door her code didn´t worked. –Tony I´m here but my code isn´t working.-

-I know, you´ll have to open the panel and bypass the cables.-He explained.

-With what?-She asked confused.

-I don´t know. Improvise!-Tony responded.

Leah sighed frustrated, then she remembered the fire hose cabinet in the hallway, she rushed back and hurriedly broke the glass to extract the firemen axe. Again in the cell´s entrance she carefully cut her way through to the control panel; once she did she called Tony. –Ok, done. Now what?-

-There´s a yellow wire and a green one, cut them and jump-start the door open.-He added.

Suddenly a buzzing sound followed by a pain exclamation and some cursing could be heard.

-And be careful, don´t zap yourself.-Tony jokingly warned her trying hard not to laugh.

-Too late for that.-Leah answered annoyed. After a couple of intents she managed to open the door. –I´m in.-She triumphantly said as she hurried inside.

-Loki! – She couldn´t be happier to see him.

-Leah, what´s happening?- Loki asked her disquiet.

-Doom.-She answered dryly. –Tony, how do I get him out?-

-Well, that´s going to be a bit tricky.-Tony reluctantly told her.

-Tony!- Leah snap at him.

-You´ll have to use one of your exploding arrow.-He finally told her.

-But that will attract Doom´s attention.-Leah worryingly reasoned.

-That´s why I´m going to distract him. I was waiting for you to be ready.- Tony revealed.

-Be careful.-Leah advised him.

-Am I not always? – Tony responded.

-Not really.-Leah answered with a smile.

-Ok, at the count of three. – Tony ordered her.

-I´m ready.-Leah answered as she pointed her arrow to the cell´s control panel.

-One, two.-Tony started the countdown.

-Three.-Both Leah and Tony said at unison.

The explosion filled the cell´s corridor with smoke that made Leah cough. As it dissipate she found the glass door opened and Loki walking out of it.

-Leah! By Odin´s ravens, what happened to you?-He softly stroked her bruised cheek while looking attentively at her.

-She smiled at him. –Nothing to be concerned about, I´m fine.-

-Tony?-She asked through the comlink.

-Busy love.-He answered between fighting noises.

-Thor?-She asked hoping he would be able to hear her.

-I´m listening.-Thor answered.

-How do I get the cuffs out of Loki?-Leah asked trying not to sound too desperate.

-You can´t.-Thor answered her through ragged breath.

-What do you mean I can´t?-Leah asked alarmed.

-There´s a spell on them, Thor is the only one that can remove them.-Loki explained her.

-Can you get to us Thor?-Leah asked in hope.

-I´m afraid not.-Thor laboriously answered.

-Then you´ll have to hide as well as Eerika.-Leah reasoned.

-Hide? Why? – Loki inquired intrigued.

-Because of Doom.-Leah volunteered.

-You´re not making any sense. I´m sure he is after Eerika. Why do you want me to hide? – Loki questioned her.

-Because I made it worst.-Leah confessed anguished.-He offered me a deal but I spat it in his face.-

-What deal? – Loki asked her while holding Leah by her shoulders.

-That´s not important.-Leah answered unwilling to look into his eyes.

-What did he say? – Loki asked again, her negative to face him worried him the most. – She only nodded her head negatively this time.

-Leah, what did Doom wanted? – Loki shook her slightly trying to get her to look into his eyes.

Leah broke his contact as she yelled with exasperation. –He wants me to be his fucking stud-mare, all right? Are you happy now?-

-Son of a bitch.-Tony suddenly spat in her ear, she could hear the shocked angry outbursts of the rest of the Avengers.

Leah closed her eyes frustrated and embarrassed, as she covered her face she turned her back to Loki, how could she been so stupid? She forgot to close the audio link, everyone had heard them.

-Did she just said …?-Clint asked through.

-Yes, she did.-Natasha cut him off before he could repeat her words.

-But that´s not what’s bothering you.- Loki kindly acknowledged as he placed his hand on her shoulder.

-Just leave it.-Leah pleaded.

-Did he … try…? – Loki was unsure how to ask her such a delicate question.

-What?! No!- Leah spat surprised and disgusted by the idea.

-Then what happened? You wouldn´t be so worked up just because of that.-Loki reasoned, he was worried.

-I … don´t want to say it.-Leah pouted while holding her arms in a useless effort to comfort herself.

-Well I´m not hiding.-Loki said with decision.

-I´m not losing you over your foolish pride! – Leah shrieked.

-You are not losing me!-Loki snap back exasperated.

Leah looked at him anguished, they were losing time and only one thing would stop their discussion. She sighed resigned to tell him the truth. She kept her eyes on the floor as she started her confession.

-He said he would make me pay for my negative, that he would … kill you but before he would make you watch while he …- She couldn’t find the strength to say the words, the thought of the desperate look in Loki´s eyes as he watched powerless while Doom raped her weighted heavily on her heart. -… while he …- She tried again to end her sentence, she hadn´t even notice she was crying.

-No … stop.-Loki´s eyes widened with understanding while he embraced her tightly. –You don´t have to say it. I´m sorry, I shouldn´t have made you to.-

Leah sniffled as she told him. –Do you understand now? You have to hide! I would rather die before he used me to hurt you.-

-Don´t say that.-Loki pleaded. –I won´t let that happen Leah, do you understand? – He looked with resolution into her weeping eyes. –I would be lost without you.-Loki confessed as he dried her tears with the palm of his hand. –and I´m not useless without my magic. I do know how to fight you know?-He jokingly told her.

-He does Leah, he might not be the best warrior but he can defend himself.-Thor added trying to reassure her.

Loki´s keen ear overheard Thor´s comment and complained. –What do you mean I´m not the best warrior?-

-Well, you aren´t.-Thor huffed amused.

-I´ll show you, you stupid bigelsnipe.-Loki menaced him in good spirit.

-All right.-Leah finally agreed with a smile. “Brothers!” She thought amused by Thor´s and Loki’s little quarrel. –So, what should we do now?-

-We go to Thor so he can remove the shackles. – Loki suggested.-And then I can take you and Eerika to a safe place.-

-That sounds like a plan.-Thor agreed as he continued fighting the seemingly endless doombots tide.

Doom makes his move

It was around 3 in the morning when a sudden explosion awoke Leah; for a moment she thought it was an earthquake due to the shaking of the Tower until a second explosion was heard.

Bruce ran into her room and nervously told her –We are under attack, communications are down. I can´t reach the others.-

Leah paled at his words, but there was no time for panicking so she asked –What should we do?-

-I hate doing this, but I´ll have to leave you alone. Jarvis told me the intruders had breached the southwest corner of level 90 before communications broke down. I have to stop them before they reach the inferior levels. You´ll have to take Eerika from the nursery and hide just in case.-

Leah swung herself out of her bed even before Bruce had ended his sentence, her legs wobbled under her weight.

-Easy Leah, take it slow.-Bruce hurried at her side. –You´ve just given birth the day before yesterday.-

-We don´t have time to worry about that right now Bruce, you said it yourself. I´ll be all right, I just moved too fast.-Leah told him as she regained her balance. – Where are my clothes?-

-I´m afraid that in your room, I wasn´t planning on discharging you until tomorrow.-Bruce confessed.

-I guess this will have to do then.-Leah said with a scowl as she wrapped the hospital bathrobe around her medical gown.- I´ll be all right Bruce.-She reassured him.

-All right, should I find anyone I´ll send them to you.-Bruce told her as he looked directly into her eyes, he wished he could make sure she would be safe.

-I know Bruce.-Leah nodded her head in agreement.

As soon as Bruce ran out of her room she started walking to the nursery as fast as she could, fortunately she could feel her steps becoming steadier which was a great relief.

Eerika was sound asleep in her cradle, the nursery was sound-proof which seemed silly at the time Tony mentioned it but proved to be an incredible good idea under the circumstances. It might be the best place to hide, even if Eerika cried no one would be able to hear her from the outside; that thought bothered her at first until Tony reassured her that Jarvis would alert Bruce every time Eerika made a sound.

As she attentively watched her surroundings she found a blind spot where she would be able to hide from any unwanted looks.

“-What now?-“She asked herself mentally. “-Plan B? Running would sound like a good plan B if I were alone, but how to take Eerika safely with me? I can´t carry with me her cradle, but what about a baby carrier? Tony said he had equipped the nursery with everything we might need. Now, where´s everything?-“ Leah quickly started to rummage across the cabinets and drawers until she found everything she thought she might need, fortunately seemed like Tony had bought the entire babies department.

The rest of the residents of the Tower have had a very similar awakening as Leah did, with the advantage of recognizing the sound of an explosion which allowed them to get in touch with Jarvis before the communications went down. They all assumed Bruce would stay with Leah and quickly changed into their uniforms and directed themselves to the source of the invasion with the exception of Tony who went to his lab to restore communications, they were fighting blindly without them.

After Eerika had been borne they had stopped taking shifts to watch Loki, therefore he found himself alone and trapped with no idea of what was going on outside. For the next couple of minutes he tried to break the glass window of his cell, but it just remained unscratched mocking his efforts. Trying to remove his shackles was useless, only Thor could open them, the magical runes on the shackles were very similar to Mjolnir´s giving control over them to the commander of the lighting and the storm.

He crumpled in despair, he wasn´t able to protect them, he had only been a father for two days and he was already letting his daughter down.

The second Tony arrived to his lab he called for Jarvis, as no answer came he started typing furiously as he tried to figure out what happened.

-Dammit! I should´ve known!-He finally growled. –A virus! Stealing the blueprints wasn´t the only thing they did that day.-

He continued typing as fast a she could in order to regain control of the system, suddenly he smiled as he yelled –Gotcha!- After pressing the enter key he called for Jarvis again, this time there was an answer.

-Yes Sir.-The A.I. responded.

-What´s our status?-Tony asked impatiently.

-Communications are still down, someone is jamming our frequency, and army of doombots commanded by Dr. Doom are currently inside the Tower, they have taken level 85 to 90, the Hulk is fighting them off in the exterior breach, the rest of the team is also engaged in battle in the invaded levels.-Jarvis informed.

-What? Bruce turned into Hulk? Where´s Leah? No, forget that I don’t want them to locate her in case there´s still a bug in our system. First things first, we need to restore communications. What if we rebooted our systems? – Tony asked Jarvis.

-The rebooting of our systems has 54% probability of regaining control of the communications.-The A.I. reported.

-All right, but what if I rewrite our main systems first?-Tony asked again.

-The probability would increase to 90%- Jarvis answered.

-Ok, let´s do this tehn.-Tony said with a smirk as he kept typing, after ten minutes he ordered the A.I.-Reboot all our systems now.-

-Right away Sir.-Jarvis agreed.

All the lights in the Tower went out, emergency red lights could be seen all over the place. The change in the light took everyone by surprise, Leah gently pulled Eerika out of her cradle and held her carefully against her chest as she hid in the blind spot she discovered minutes before, she had a small backpack at her feet with everything she could pack in it. “-If only I had any weapons on me, or at least my uniform.-She sighed in a low voice.

Out of the sudden an explosion on that level made her jump to her feet, followed by a second and third explosion that collapsed one of the exterior walls from the nursery as a crack opened across the floor; Leah took some steps back to avoid falling into it until a voice made her stop.

-So you are the trickster lover.-Dr. Doom acknowledged. – I must admit he has a fine taste in women.-

Leah turned to face him, her heart was beating fast, she couldn´t allow him to know just how scared she was so she answered in her calmest voice –And you are Dr. Doom, I read your file.-

-I´m flattered, and did you find it interesting?-He asked out of curiosity.

-Interesting is not a word I would use to describe it.-Leah told him dryly.

-And how would you describe it?-Doom asked her again eager for her reaction.

-As interesting.-Leah told him.

Doom laughed at her answer –I should´ve known Loki didn´t choose you by your looks alone. You´re a smart one, I like that.-

Something in the way he said it made Leah shiver.

– I think we can get pass pleasantries. To what do we owe the honor of your visit? Are you here to free Loki?-Leah asked him while at the same time she eyed her surroundings.

-I´m still thinking about it, I can´t decide if he´s still a good ally, he seems to act rather foolishly when it comes to you. He´d never let himself being caught before, I assumed it was all part of his plan to snatch you out of here, but he hadn’t made his move yet, maybe he was waiting for his child to be born but I very much doubt he will give me a straight answer. Rescuing all of you should indebt him in my favor, but will he grant my wish? Probably not, he seems too attached to his little family.-Doom explained Leah.

Leah was afraid to ask but she knew she had to. – What do you want?-

-Power, an apprentice; a very skilled one I can shape to my needs.-Doom volunteered.

“-He wants Eerika-” Leah thought with fear.

-Yes, I want your child. I can sense great power in him.-Doom said reading her expression, Leah protectively pulled Eerika closer to her.-But that doesn´t mean you have to part form him.-

Leah quizzically looked at him –What do you mean?-

-I have no time to raise a child, and what better way to ensure his loyalty than keeping his mother close to me.-Doom revealed.

-Her.-Leah interrupted him.

-So, she´s a girl. That might work even better than I thought.-Doom almost purred.

-You wouldn´t! – Leah exclaimed with disgust.

-Of course not, she´s too young for me, though if I had an heir she might make an excellent match. On the other hand your genes seem to have excellent compatibility with magic.-Doom said as he walked closer to Leah who retrieved back until she felt the fissure beneath her heels; she gasped surprised as she looked behind her, the backpack was dangling on the edge of the crevasse only a couple of centimeters from her feet. She could partially see the levels beneath, it wasn´t a big rift, if she jumped she could reach the other side without a problem even if she didn´t had any superpowers, but then what? She couldn´t outrun Doom. When she turned her head upfront she froze; Doom´s face was only a few centimeters form hers, she could even feel his breath over her skin. Even if Doom´s face remained emotionless due to his mask she could see he was enjoying toying with her, his eyes looked at her as a hunter looks his prey.

Out of nowhere she felt his cold metal hand touching her cheek, she closed her eyes in disgust as she tried in vain to turn her head away from his caress.

-You know you are trapped.-He mocked her.-None of the Avengers will come for you, my doombots will see to that. Make no mistake I´m not foolishly in love with you, you are only the means to an end. I will take both of you with me to Latveria and you will give me an heir whether you like it or not. This is the only opportunity you will have to do it willingly and so earn my favor. I might even consider freeing Loki if you want.-

-Let him and Eerika go and I will leave with you.-Leah told him decided to sacrifice herself if she had to, there was still a slim chance of being rescued before … she couldn´t even bring herself to thought about it.-

-I thought I made myself clear, this isn´t a negotiation.-Doom scolded her as he slid his hand down uncovering her right shoulder from the hospital bath-robe.

Leah looked up at him trembling in anger, a couple of tears strolled down her cheeks, as she steadied herself she told Doom –I assume you want an answer.-

-Yes, I do.-Doom dryly told her.

-Never!-Leah yelled at him as she took a step back knocking with her the small backpack as she let herself fall through the crack.

-You will regret this you little bitch, I´m going to kill Loki just to make you suffer but before that I will make him watch as I have my way with you.-Doom roared in anger, he couldn´t risk firing into the cleft to widen it enough to allow himself to get through, he might kill his price, and he was now bent on getting them both alive.

Leah could hear him shouting at her as she fell, the rift was barely enough for them to go through, she shielded Eerika with her own body from the debris that surrounded them, after falling a couple of levels she felt again the floor beneath her feet, sprang by fear she started running as fast as she could. Eerika was crying but she couldn´t stop. “-How did he found me?-“ Was the question in her mind; after all they had relocated the medical ward once they knew the blueprints had been stolen. She didn´t even had her comlink on her and communications were death, so how? An idea hit her, thermal imaging, but Tony had told her that he had built the Tower with a defense mechanism against an outsider locating them that way, but they weren´t dealing with just anyone, it was Doom, if someone could bypass Tony´s security measures it was him.

How to hide? She struggled to remember everything Clint and Natasha had taught her about it, hot, cold, hot that´s it the sauna rooms in the gym level, they didn´t even needed to get inside for the heat in the sauna rooms to hide their thermal print, just close enough. She had to hide Eerika there while she found a way to get to the shooting ring undetected, her uniform and weapons were there; if she met Doom again she would need them. She was halfway there when the lights went up, a familiar voice could be heard all over the Tower. –Everyone get your comlinks on.-It was Tony, he had restored communications and encrypted their channel to avoid Doom overhearing them.

They were all glad to hear his voice with the exception of Hulk who was too busy smashing doombots.

-Tony, status?- Steve asked first.

-Hulk is in the exterior perimeter, Thor is in the level beneath yours as Clint, Natasha is around the corner from you, I´m in the lab and Leah is on the run.-Tony reported.

-What do you mean on the run? She is alone?-Thor asked worryingly.

-I´m afraid so, there was an explosion a couple of minutes earlier in the medical ward, it seems she was able to escape with Eerika.-Tony answered.

-How did they found her?-Natasha asked next.

-That´s what I´m trying to figure out, this was planned carefully to separate her from us. What are you doing Leah? This is not the time to go to the sauna.-

-Said that again, where is she?-Clint asked anxiously.

-At the gym level, near the sauna rooms, but there´s no weapons there nor somewhere to hide, so what’s she doing there?-Tony inquired.

-The heat from the sauna rooms.- Both Clint and Natasha answered at the same time.

-She´s trying to hide from thermal imaging.-Clint added.

-But that´s not possible, the Tower defenses should.-Tony started to retort.

-How else can you explain that they found her in this maze of yours? – Natasha cut him off.

-Um, good point. – Tony reasoned.

Meanwhile in the gym Leah had stopped to take care of Eerika, she changed her, feed her and currently was trying to get her to sleep as she hurriedly looked for a place to hide her. An empty dirty clothes basket seemed like a good cradle for starters, as she placed her sleeping child inside it she said in a low tone. – I know you are no Moses, but this will have to do. Sleep tight my love, mommy will be back before you know it.-

Next she started to check herself for wounds, she was covered with bruises and cuts from her fall; even if the hospital bath-robe was shredded to pieces none of them were of concern except for a large gash on her right forearm which she bandaged quickly. Making sure Eerika was comfortable she bit her lips, if Doom caught her before she got to the shooting ring she had no means to defend herself, but she wouldn´t be able to defend Eerika neither, she had to go.

-Now where are you going? And why are you wrapped in a towel head to toes?-Tony asked mostly to himself.

-Possibly to the shooting ring.-Clint volunteered with a hinge of pride. –Her uniform and bow are there. And she´s doing what we taught her, hiding her thermal signature, a blanket would’ve been better but a towel will do –

-I think you are right.-Tony added.-Doom is awfully close to her, I think I should welcome our visitor.-

-Give him our regards.-Steve told him with irony.

-Did Steve just made a joke?-Tony said raising his eyebrows.

-I think he did.-Natasha agreed.

-Shut up and suit up Tony!-Steve told him irritated.

-Yes, sir.-Tony jokingly answered.

-Stark!-Thor boomed.

-I´m going, I´m going!-Tony answered as the automats in the lab suited him.

While Leah changed into her uniform she couldn´t help to remember Doom´s cold touch over her skin, as the shiver travelled through her spine she remembered Doom´s last words.

-Loki!-She gasped. – God dammit! He´s a sitting duck in his cell, if Doom gets his hands on him … she didn´t even wanted to think about it.

© 2018 Fireangel76

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑