Maia’s hands came up to rest on Loki’s chest as he broke the kiss, studying her face in amazement, his cheeks and eyelashes damp, eyes shining with still unshed tears.
‘How is this possible?’ He whispered. ‘How did I not see you before?’
‘I don’t know.’ Her voice cracked as so many emotions and memories flooded her and she reached up, wiping her fingertips over his cheeks as her own eyes filled. ‘Please don’t cry, my prince, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry.’ She screwed up her eyes as tears flooded over her cheeks.
‘Why are you sorry, love?’ He kissed at her tears as they left her eyes.
‘I didn’t mean to leave you, I didn’t want to go.’ She sobbed as the memory of her final thoughts as Sigyn overwhelmed her; that she would never see Loki again, they would never have the family they spoke of, and then blackness. Maia couldn’t breathe, the air caught like a solid thing in her throat and chest, and Loki realised she was struggling.
‘Shush, shush.’ He stroked at her cheeks and hair, making her look at him. ‘I’m here, love, you’re with me. Nothing will hurt you again. Stay with me, breathe for me.’
Maia took a sudden gasp of air, her arms twitching with the need to breathe as her lungs burned. ‘I can’t. I can’t.’ She sputtered and he guided her quickly to the couch, making her sit before kneeling between her legs.
‘You can, sunbeam, look at me, look only into my eyes. Forget the then, think of now. You’re here with me, that’s all that matters.’
Maia’s breathing began to ease, her chest heavy but it became easier to take a breath and she was glad, as she had begun seeing spots.
‘We need to talk on this, but first you must calm yourself.’ He said soothingly and she nodded. He had so many questions but she was suffering and he could be patient. ‘Better?’ He asked as her chest began to rise and fall in a steady but still too fast rhythm.
‘A bit.’ She nodded. She looked over Loki’s face, remembering him as younger, even as a child, but also as the man before her. She understood now why she felt so strongly for him, why being with him was natural.
‘Good.’ He nodded. ‘I can’t quite believe that you’re…here? Or that you’re you?’ He frowned in confusion.
‘Same.’ She reached up and stroked his ruffled hair at his temple. ‘It’s surreal.’
‘How did this come about? Did you know?’
Maia swallowed before sliding off the couch to straddle his lap, her arms wrapping around his neck and kissing him softly before resting her forehead against his as his hand splayed across her lower back. ‘I didn’t know. I dreamt about us tonight and it all came back. But Thor knew.’
‘What?’ He leant away from her as a hint of anger rolled through him at his brother’s deception, but Maia recognised it, knowing him as well as she did, with so many years to now look back on.
‘No, Loki. This isn’t something we blame anyone for.’ She pulled him back towards her. ‘We had to learn when it was time, and if Thor had told you I was Sigyn how would you have reacted?’
He sighed as he realised she was right. ‘Badly.’
Maia took a deep breath now that it was easier. ‘We needed to find this for ourselves.’
Loki’s hand slid up her back to tangle in her hair before kissing her. ‘What do you remember?’ He asked quietly.
‘Most things, I think. Some things are still a little fuzzy but the basics are there.’
‘Then do you remember we do our best talking in bed?’ He smiled but it was warm, his eyes full of emotion.
‘I seem to remember less talking.’ Maia smiled for the first time since he arrived.
‘That is true, but I think we deserve privacy. Bring your drink, beloved, we have much to discuss.’
Maia leant over and grabbed her drink, taking a sip. ‘Done.’
‘Good.’ He tucked his hands under her thighs and stood with her.
‘I was going to walk.’
‘I’m afraid if I let you go you may only be a dream.’ He said lightly but Maia knew there was truth in it. Wanting to take the doubt from him she ducked her head, nuzzled into his neck, kissing it before sucking the flesh into her mouth. He growled in response, his step faltering for a moment and she pulled away.
‘Fixed it.’ She kissed his cheek, looking at the mark she had left.
‘How is that fixed?’ He frowned lightly at her.
‘As long as you’ve got my mark on you, you know I’m real.’
‘Clever girl.’ He stopped and kissed her.
‘Didn’t I get you two a room already?’ Tony complained as he walked past.
‘You did, and if you will excuse me, I need to return there with my wife.’ Loki started walking again and Tony got three steps before what Loki had said sunk in. He must have misheard, surely?