As soon as he arrived to Kutaisi Loki moved away from the vortex to the nearest plain field he could find. Once there he called the A.I. “Jarvis send my coordinates to Natasha and patch me to her.”
“I´m here.” Loki simply stated over the comlink.
“I´ll be there in a minute.” Natasha acknowledged dryly. “As soon as you are in I´m taking off I don´t want to waste any time.”
“Agreed.” Loki concurred in earnest; every moment mattered.
In less than a minute he could see the Quinjet lights approaching in the darkness of the night. As soon as Natasha lowered the ramp he walked right in. There were alone. Without wasting any time, he sat next to her in the cockpit.
As soon as Natasha acknowledged his presence she took off. Once in the air she noticed something; with a confused frown on her face she asked. “Isn´t that …?”
Loki knew exactly what she meant even before she ended her phrase. “Steve´s … yes. “ Loki sighed disgruntled. “Tony made me wear it he said it should help me blend in. I can take it off If you want … I really don´t need it.”
Natasha nodded her head negatively a deep frown still on her face. “No … leave it. I think it´s his favorite; if it went lost he …” She shut up suddenly; what if …?
“How is he?” Loki asked concerned by her gloominess.
“He was still on the operating table when I left. They keep giving him transfusions just to avoid him going into hypovolemic shock.” It wasn´t a hopeful scenario.
“What happened?” Loki inquired even more worried after hearing her.
“I wish I knew Loki.” Natasha volunteered with a sigh. “All I know is what Clint told me.” She frowned deeply as she remembered the earlier events. “We were near the Kremlin on a pursuit; the soldier tried to lose us descending to the sewer system through a manhole in Ekaterinisky Park. We had orders not to face him alone but … we got separated after a few minutes. “She made a pause angered at herself, if only they hadn´t. “Clint was the first to caught up with Steve … just in time to see him get stab …” She nodded her head in disbelief. “I don´t know Loki it doesn´t make any sense.”
“What doesn´t make sense Natasha?” Loki asked her intrigued.
“Clint said … that he didn’t even fought back.”
“He … what?” Loki frowned in disbelief. “That can´t be.” Why would he do something like that?
“I know. I can´t still believe it myself. But Clint swears it´s the truth.” She turned around and fix her eyes on him. “There´s something else at play Loki; I can feel it. “
“What makes you say that?” Loki inquired puzzled.
“Steve´s last orders.” Natasha volunteered dryly. “He made Clint swear we would capture the soldier alive and … unharmed.”
Loki remained silent reflecting on her words. Alive? Yes, it sounded like something Steve would say on everyday bases. But unharmed? After stabbing him? And knowing how dangerous the soldier really was? “Did he said why?” He asked her after a while.
“He didn´t had the chance.” Natasha answered disturbed. “I can´t shake the feeling that there´s something we don´t know. And I hate not knowing.” She paused as he maneuvered the jet between the city buildings. “I still have some contacts here after I drop you at the hospital I´ll see what I can find.”
“Hospital? Why didn´t you take him to the hellicarrier or a base? I´m sure SHIELD must have a base around here somewhere.”
“It wasn´t an option.” Natasha offered dryly. “We moved him to the nearest hospital. He had luck it was the European Medical Center and not some second hand clinic.”
“I understand.” Loki agreed pensively.
For a couple of minutes neither of them said a word lost on their own thoughts.
“We are almost there Loki. As soon as you get off I´m leaving.” Natasha informed him sternly.
“You are not staying?” Loki inquired surprised at her statement.
“There´s nothing I can do.” Natasha acknowledged heavily. “I´d rather find out more about this soldier … just in case.” She smirked unconvincingly; she was too worried. “Clint is waiting for you on the rooftop to take you to Steve.”
“All right.” Loki agreed while unbuckling his seat belt. “Don´t be long.” He stood up ready to leave when Natasha stopped him. “Loki …”
“Yes?” He stopped intrigued by her change of demeanor.
“Thanks for coming so fast.” She gave him a small sad smile.
“There´s nothing to thank.” Loki accepted her gratitude graciously. “He would´ve done the same for me.” As a matter of fact he had very recently ago, but that was a story he wasn´t willing to share.
“Yes, he would.” Natasha agreed whole heartedly.
As Natasha had told him Clint was already waiting for him when he disembarked.
“Thank God you are here.” Clint spat relieved the moment their eyes meet.
“How is he?” Loki inquired anxiously.
“Collapsed lung, splintered ribs, pierced liver … stomach, ruptured diaphragm … I don´t even remember the rest.” Clint volunteered distraught as he pointed Loki to the stairs. “All I really know is that they´ve given him enough blood for a gore movie production and they are still losing him.”
Loki scowled at the news but not even Clint´s grim perspective had prepared him for the scene playing in front of him when they arrived to the operating room. There was probably half a dozen people between doctor and nurses all hurryingly working over Steve´s unconscious body.
The pristine white room contrasted with all the bloody cloths, dressing and gauzes. Steve was still wearing his uniform; or at least what was left of it. His arms and chest were bare; central line IV´s connected to his arm and neck. A breathing tube lodged in his mouth. Monitors endlessly reporting any minor change on his vitals. Midgardian medicine … it played a rather grim perspective on medical care for an Asgardian. Loki´s heart cringe in horror at the scene.
“All right people, are you done? Loki is here.” Clint suddenly asked out loud.
Everyone looked up for a second; quickly they interchanged some comments before one of the doctors left Steve’s side to talk to them.
“We´ve removed all of the bone splinters and set the broken ribs back in place using titanium plates. They´re just finishing repairing the diaphragm wall.” The doctor informed them; suddenly he turned to Loki “If I understand correctly your spell will heal any wounds on the surrounding organs, am I right?”
“True, it will heal any rupture in organs in vessels although it doesn´t set them back in place” He acknowledged sternly. “Do you need more time?”
“No, we are ready for you.” Next he turned to Clint. “You realize we´ll still have to deal with the blood loss sequels and any possible infections.”
“You made it clear before Dr. Franklin.” Clint avowed heavily. “Now if you are ready …” He pointed at the doctor’s team; they seemed to have finished.
In less than a minute everyone was gone. Loki walked towards Steve body assessing as much as he could of the damage inflicted. As far as he could see there were too large entry wounds one on Steve´s left side just below his pectoral and the other one was placed on the center of his abdomen just below the ribs. This wound seemed to be the one bleeding the most; probably because of a punctured artery.
“Do you want me to leave?” Clint asked Loki while observing Steve with a concern look upon his face.
“No, you can stay. Just be quiet” Loki volunteered as he closed his eyes summoning all his energy for the spell.
As soon as he began muttering the incantation a green light lit his aura travelling from his hands towards Steve´s body closing and healing all his wounds.
It only took a couple of minutes but for Cli9nt it seemed like an eternity.
When he finished Loki leaned exhausted into the stretcher where Steve laid.
“Are you all right?” Did it work?” Clint filled him with questions anxiously.
“See it for yourself.” Loki volunteered with a smirk. “And … I just need to rest.”
Clint was almost afraid to believe his eyes, he tentatively touched Steve´s abdomen. There was no trace of his wounds. He swiftly turned back at Loki and without any warning hugged him tightly. “Thank you, thank you, thank you.” He was beyond happiness.
Loki was too surprised at his gesture to react. “Umh … it´s … all right.” He answered doubtful. “Could you release me now?” He asked feeling awkward.
“Oh! Yes, sorry. I got carried away.” Clint apologized with a big grin on his face. “For a moment I actually thought we would lose him. I´m so happy I could just kiss you.”
“I´d rather you didn´t.” Loki asseverated firmly with a frown. “I think we can call your healers back. They still have work to do.”
“You are right.” Clint agreed walking out in a hurry.
Loki watched him leave then turned to Steve; he smiled satisfied. “I promised you would be all right.” He volunteered in a whisper as he gently gave Steve´s hand a small squeeze.
It didn´t took long for Clint to come back with all the doctors and nurses. If their masks hadn´t been on Loki would´ve been able to see them smiling relieved. Hurriedly they started reading the monitors, ordering new blood units, antibiotics and all sort of complicated studies neither Loki or Clint understood.
“Let´s let them work.” Clint suggested firmly.
Loki stood undecided for a moment. He didn´t wanted to leave.
Noticing Clint reassured him. “I asked them to call us one he´s in the recuperation room. Plus; you look like you could use something to eat.”
Clint was right; he felt spent. According to Dr. Banner his spells; especially the more complicated ones consumed enormous amounts of energy; which needed to be replenish as soon as possible. Resting was advisable but the fastest way to get his energies back was eating. Experience and his own particular predilections made Midgardian desserts his best choice.
“All right.” He finally agreed. There was nothing much they could do except watching the doctors work besides he wanted to speak to Clint alone.