“She wants what?” Fury exclaimed surprised, he´d never though Leah would want to meet with him, after all she seemed genuinely scared of him the last time he saw her.
“She wants you to debrief her in person.” Loki told him again. “She claims she won´t accept the deal otherwise.”
“I´m not sure this is a good idea, but if it will speed things up I’ll talk to her.” Fury agreed reluctantly.
After Loki had arrived with fury at the Mansion he set him up in his studio and went looking for Leah. He found her training with Natasha and Clint; Bruce had told them exercise would be good for her even if she wasn´t totally recuperated.
“Do you think this is a good idea?” Clint asked Loki preoccupied while Natasha and Leah finished their sparring session.
“I sincerely don´t know. Either way, what´s the worst that could happen?” Loki tried to dismiss his concerns.
“I´m not even sure what to answer to that.” Clint admitted.
As they walked to the meeting Leah suddenly spoke. “Loki?”
“Have you changed your mind?” He asked in hope.
“No, I just want to ask you something.” Leah volunteered. “I don´t mean to do things worse than they are, but if something happens … promise me you´ll stay out of it.”
“What do you mean if something happens? Leah, what are you planning to do?” Loki asked worried, he knew her too well.
“Really, I promise I´m not planning anything … I just … I´m really not, believe me … I don´t know if I can trust myself.” Leah admitted, she had too many mixed feelings about the meeting.
“Call it off then, I´m sure fury won´t mind.” Loki suggested hoping she would accept.
“No, I don´t want to … I just … I can´t forget he just stood there and watch while …” She looked visibly upset. “I really don´t want to make things worse, just promise me … whatever happens you´ll stay out of it. I need to do this, I can´t be afraid of him forever.”
Loki was looking at her with a worried frown; he kept trying to convince her to cancel the meeting but he hadn´t been at all successful.
Leah sensed his reticence and pleaded once more. “Please Loki, promise me. Do you really want me to beg? Cause …I will.” Leah looked at him sternly, if he intervened at the first sign of trouble she might not get a chance to talk to fury again, and she needed to; nothing else mattered, not even her pride.
“No.” Loki nodded negatively, he knew how much she hated to beg. “Don´t do that, I promise.” He agreed reticently; if it was that important to her maybe he should let her do it.
When Loki arrived with Leah to the study Fury was already browsing through Loki´s library. “Interesting collection you have here.” He told them without turning around as they arrived.
“I like to think so.” Loki replied. “Should we start? I´m sure you have other things to do.”
“Certainly.” Fury agreed as he sat in the couch.
Before Loki could sit Leah told him as calmly as she could. “I want to talk to Fury alone, ´please.”
“What?! Why?” Loki asked her bewildered, he knew she was up to something, that´s why she had make him promise, he could just break that promise, but the look of desperation on her eyes made him refrain from doing so.
“Just … please Loki. I promise I´ll behave.” She pleaded while praying for him to keep his promise.
“It´s fine by me.” Fury volunteered.
Loki wanted nothing else but to protest, but even if he did that wouldn´t change her mind. The whole purpose of the meeting was to get her the right kind of help, he would have to play her game for the time being. “I´ll be right outside.” He reluctantly told them as he left the room.
“So ..” Fury started as soon as Loki had closed the door behind him.
“So …” Leah replied. “First things first, what kind of mission did you got Loki into?”
After Fury had ended explaining her the mission, the ramifications, the possible outcomes and the politics involved Leah asked him totally surprised. “And you wanted me to take a part of that? You really must be desperate … I´m a housewife for crying out loud, not even a soldier; much less a superhero. I do understand why you can´t call the Avengers, but … I really don´t know how could you even considered me for the team.” Leah volunteered.
“You remind me of Steve you know? Not only because of your shared super soldier abilities, but other aspects. If things had worked out differently I´m sure you would´ve been a fine addition to SHIELD.” He told her.
Leah let out a sarcastic laugh. “You really don´t know what kind of tree you´re barking to. I´d have ended up getting everyone killed.” For a split second she looked pained by her own statement; Fury noticed her discomfort and made a mental note about telling Andrew about it. “Believe me it´s better for everyone I’m not fit to go.”
“I guess we´ll never know now.” Fury added. “Now, what´s next on your agenda?
“Why the mandatory psychological examination? Are you still trying to recruit me?” she dryly asked.
“No, although it would be fortunate if you reconsidered your position regarding SHIELD. The real reason I´m doing it is because Loki is too worried you and that´s distracting him form the mission. We can´t afford a single mistake.” He confessed.
“Then I’m a liability that needs to be fix.” Leah spat annoyed.
“Yes, you are.” Fury agreed. She was smart, he liked that. It was a shame she wouldn´t be joining them.
“All right then; I’ll do it for Loki. But this doesn´t mean I´m going to change my mind about SHIELD … ever.” She agreed reluctantly.
“Why not?” Fury asked, he wanted to know exactly what her position was.
Leah´s expression turned to a grim one. “You let Doom …” She couldn´t even end her phrase she was too angry.
“I let Doom do what?” Fury taunted her, he felt curious of hr reaction.
“You know it all too well, I know you were watching.” She felt enraged, both of her hands had clenched up in fists.
“So…?” Fury asked as if it hadn´t meant a thing.
“You would´ve let us die, wouldn´t you?” Leah growled between her teeth.
Fury was taken back by her question, did she really though they would do that? “No.” He answered.
“And I´m supposed to believe you? If it wasn´t for Loki I´d be in Latveria right now.” She could feel her blood boiling up.
Fury grunted displeased “No, I know you have no reason to believe me but we had already organized a rescue party to get you off Doom´s claws when Loki appeared. We wouldn´t had let you die, nor Loki or your child; you are too valuable.”
Leah laughed bitterly “Valuable? So if we weren´t you would´ve let us die!”
“No, you are twisting my words, I never said that.” Fury defended himself irritated.
“You didn´t had to.” Leah spat at him, she hated the fact that Loki had to work with them on her account, it was always her fault.
“I did what I had to in order to protect millions of people; and yes, if in the end that means I have to sacrifice a few I will; but that doesn´t mean I don´t care.” He tried to explain her.
“So, now I’m expendable? Will you make up your mind?” Leah kept pushing fury´s buttons, she made him personally responsible for all her pain.
“Maybe now that you have proven how weak you really are.” Fury spat at her, he understood where all her anger came from, for the looks of it she had only pushed all that murderous rage down; he decided to push her back even if it wasn´t the best idea to piss her off it might just help her wake up from her slumber.
“I … am … not … weak!” Leah finally snapped enraged as she threw a blow against Fury who blocked it away easily; he had been expecting it.
Leah was furious at her own failure and attacked fury again and again with determination while Fury solely defended himself; soon it became obvious she had improved since the last time he had seen her fight as her blows became increasingly difficult to stop. Suddenly one of her blows finally succeeded, she had managed to connect a punch against Fury´s face who smirked at her as he cleaned the blood that ran through his mouth. “Maybe you are not as weak as I thought.”
Before Leah noticed he threw a punch back as he uttered. “But you still need more training.” He stroke Leah easily; accidently as she tried to block her fall she knocked over one of loki´s glass cases that crashed on impact.
The sound of shattering glass alerted Loki who rushed in to a strange scene; Leah was leaning against the table where the glass case had been only minutes before, she was breathing laboriously and had a red mark on one of her cheeks. Fury was standing a few meters form her and still had some blood flowing from his mouth.
“What in Helheim is going on in here?” He spat bewildered.
“We´re just working our differences.” Fury volunteered slightly amused by the turn of events.
“If you get him killed I will kill you.” Leah growled at him; she didn´t cared Loki had walked in.
“If he´s dead I´ll probably be death too.” Fury growled back.
“Good.” Leah spat. “I still have one condition for accepting your deal.” Loki was going to hate her for doing it but she saw no other option. “Loki, will you please step out for a moment?”
“I don´t think so.” Loki snapped back, they would probably get at each other throats the second he did.
“You promised …” Leah growled at him with a furious glare on her eyes. “If you want me to accept Fury´s deal you will leave us.”
“But …” Loki started to protest when Fury interrupted him.
”We´re done fighting Loki, isn´t that right Leah?”
“Yes … we have. For the moment at least. “Leah acknowledged.
“All right, I´ll be right outside.” Loki growled displeased, he would have words with her afterwards.
The moment Loki locked the door again Fury asked. “What do you want?”
“I want you to make arrangements in case Loki is captured. You will provide me with a team; your best team. And you will grant me full authority over the matter. I won´t let him be abandoned by you.” She demanded sternly. Was she crazy? Perhaps …. But she wouldn´t let him to rot away in a god forsaken prison. She wouldn´t forsake Eerika either; but if it came to that she would see him rescued even if she couldn´t do it herself.
Fury grunted displeased as he considered her request; if everything failed she might be the only one driven enough to get Loki rescued and probably himself. “Agreed.” He finally told her before asking “What if he dies?”
Leah smiled evilly “See it this way, you won´t be alive to worry about that.”
“Would you tell the Avengers? “ He worryingly inquired.
“No if I can help it. “ She smirked. “But know this if he dies I will find a way to obliterate Narobia from the map, with SHIELD´s help or without it, so I suggest you grant me full resources cause I’ll accomplish that mission one way or the other.” She didn´t even knew where that had come from, but she knew in her heart that if Loki died she would deliver on her word.
“Then I guess I´d better make sure we succeed without any incidents.” Fury volunteered; she might not even have half a plan, or the necessary training; but he believed her, one way or the other she would find the way to make it happen.
As Loki dropped fury on the Hellicarrier he dryly asked. “What did she wanted?”
“She must be taking after you because she included my silence on the deal.” Fury wryly told him. “But I will tell you this much that woman would set the world on fire for you.”
“What´s that supposed to mean?” Loki asked concerned.
“That you shouldn´t worry about her.” Fury added with a smirk. “With Andrew´s help she´ll be back on her feet in no time.”
As Loki rushed back to scold Leah for her fight with Fury amongst things he found her in their room holding a cold compress against her wounded cheek with a sorrow look on her face. For a moment he forgot his anger as he sat beside her worryingly. “Does it hurt?”
“Who would´ve though Fury had such a mean hook?” Leah answered back pouting; when Loki kindly removed the compress from her face to have a look she winced.
“Did Bruce take a look at you?” He asked firmly.
“Yes …” Leah confessed. “And he already scold the living hell out of me if that´s what you´re going to do.” She looked defeated.
He looked at her compassionately; she did look miserable. “Not today, I think you´ve been punished enough for one day.” He embraced her. “But you´re not getting of that stunt of yours so easily.”
“I know.” She bitterly admitted.