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.