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Second Chances

Chapter 40

Nothing attacked while they slept, Maia’s sleep was dream free, and Loki woke her in such a way she didn’t think she could ever hate mornings again. Once they were capable of walking they shared a shower before dressing and heading into the living area.
‘Breakfast, dear heart?’ Loki offered.
‘I’ll make it.’ She put her Stark Phone on the table and headed towards the kitchen.
‘I hate to remind you, pet, but you can’t cook.’
‘No, Sigyn couldn’t cook. Maia is pretty good at it, thank you.’ She gave him a look of mock indigence.
‘I shall be the judge of that.’ He came and stood close behind her where she was looking in the fridge.
‘You didn’t complain about the omelette yesterday, and if you judge my cooking, my prince, you will be eating it thought a straw. Just shut up and enjoy the fact I’ve had an upgrade.’
‘And what an upgrade it is.’ He murmured into her hair as his arms snaked around her waist.
She shoved the door closed and leant back in his arms to look up at him. ‘Do we have any inkling of what we’re doing tonight for our date?’
‘No clue, love.’ He kissed her forehead. ‘Does it matter?’
‘Not really, but if it involves dinner then we’ll want a light lunch. French toast.’ She pulled the door open again.
‘French toast?’ Loki frowned in confusion as she passed him eggs.
‘Breakfast. French toast.’ She stepped out of his single arm embrace and started gathering what she needed. ‘I’m overthinking the date thing.’
‘As long as we are together it matters not.’ He put the eggs down and stepped out of her way as she moved around the kitchen.
‘I guess so.’ She smiled at him.
Loki watched her as she broke and whisked the eggs. He remembered Sigyn trying to cook for him and being so flustered she had thrown a pot out of the window. Maia on the other hand was humming, calmly doing what needed to be done. Her small hands were efficient and tactile, and although the kitchen was new to her she easily found her way.
‘Do you like Nutella?’ She asked.
‘I don’t know.’
She looked at him in surprise. ‘You haven’t tried it?’ He shook his head. ‘You should. It goes great in a french toast sandwich, although it can be sickly if you put too much in. Luckily I’m a pro at it.’ She grabbed the jar she had seen from the cupboard, removed the lid and peeled off the gold foil. ‘I warn you, it’s addictive.’ She took a teaspoon from the drawer, stuck it in the top and put it on the counter beside him.
‘And I should just eat it from the spoon?’ He looked at her dubiously.
‘You used to trust me.’ She took the spoon herself. ‘It’s great on toast, or pancakes, or on cakes. It’s just all good.’ She sucked the spoon, took a handful of his shirt, and pulled him down for a kiss.
Loki was pleasantly surprised by the flavour, not to mention her chosen method of getting him to try it. The sweet richness rolled off her tongue in a silken wave and he couldn’t help but pull her against him, tangling his hand in her hair. After moments they parted and he narrowed his eyes at her as she grinned. ‘Good, right?’
‘Very, but not for breakfast.’ He let her go and picked up the jar, re-screwing the lid and walking away with it. ‘This goes beside the bed for later.’
She raised her eyebrows. ‘I hadn’t thought about that.’ He looked over his shoulder and gave her a heated look. ‘I’ll never look at Nutella the same again.’ She muttered as she went back to making breakfast.
Loki had to admit the french toast was pleasant, and the company more so. He found himself looking at her whenever he could, marvelling at the fact she sat before him, every little motion familiar now he knew who she was. When they were done Maia made hot drinks, bringing him tea to where he sat on the couch.
‘Do you think we could convince the jailers to let us have some time in the yard today?’ She asked as she put her coffee on the table beside his tea.
‘Perhaps. Feeling a little caged, dove?’ He put his arm around her shoulders and pulled her in against him as she tucked her legs up beside her.
‘A bit. I like fresh air and having the windows open is still a poor substitute.’
‘You always did enjoy outdoor activities.’ He teased.
‘I don’t remember you ever complaining.’ She pointed out.
‘Other than the time my mother almost caught us in her private garden, it was always incredibly pleasurable. I suspect we would not have such an opportunity, if we were permitted time within the grounds.’
‘Another time. That’s a promise.’ She leant her head to look up at him.
‘I wonder if Anthony has a flowerbed we can desecrate.’ He replied thoughtfully.
‘He has a lot of cars.’ Maia smirked.
‘And you have the tenacity to call me mischief, love.’ He kissed her nose. ‘Perhaps before we consider tainting one of Anthony’s prized possessions we should take this opportunity of uninterrupted time to see if your powers respond any differently now we know to treat it thus.’
‘How are we going to do that when Tony told us no working until Monday, which means no access to Bruce’s cell, and with everyone out on the mission there’s no one to deactivate your cuff.’
‘We don’t need either one. I will show you some very basic tricks. I believe you may be able to duplicate them.’
She wrinkled her nose in doubt. ‘Really?’
‘I have faith in your abilities, sweet.’
‘Glad one of us does.’ She leant forward and picked up their cups, passing him his before sitting back. 'If I mess this up tonights date may get postponed.’
‘I will keep it simple. Drink up and we can get started.’
‘Bossy prince.’ She murmured into her cup as he chuckled.
Minutes later they sat on the floor opposite one another crosslegged. Loki demonstrated how to create a small ball of light which pulsed around his hand. She could feel there was some sort of static in the air, and she remembered how power felt as Sigyn, but the two just didn’t seem to match up. He talked her through what he was doing then told her to try. She took a breath and concentrated, trying to think how easy it had been as Sigyn. She frowned and watched her hand as orange light danced around her fingertips, almost a ball, spasming in and out of shape.
‘That’s my girl.’ He said quietly. ‘A little more and you have it.’
She nodded, not wanting to talk and ruin it somehow, and she pushed harder. The light burst into flames and expanded, the sudden flash making Maia jump and instinctively pull her hand away from it, which made it fall to the carpet and start to smoulder.
‘Shit!’ She leapt to her feet to go get the fire extinguisher from the kitchen.
‘Don’t worry, love.’ Loki let his Jotun form glide over his hands and pressed them to the flames, extinguishing them with a hiss. When he moved his hands again there was a black scorch mark on the beige carpet.
‘I made a mess of that.’ She looked at him and realised her vision was fuzzy around the edges. ‘Whoa, dizzy.’
‘No harm done.’ Loki got to his feet beside her. ‘You did well.’
‘I set fire to the carpet.’ She argued.
‘Which you could not have done just days ago without falling asleep.’ He reminded her with his arm supportively around her. ‘It is an improvement, regardless of the end result, dearest.’
She leant against him as a wave of lightheadedness ran through her. ‘Once this passes can we try somewhere less flammable?’
‘The training room should be free.’ He suggested as he made her sit on the chair for a moment. ‘Other than dizzy do you feel any ill effect?’
She shook her head and wished she hadn’t, her vision bouncing. ‘This is enough.’
‘Let me get you some water, sweet.’ He brought her a glass of iced water and found she had shifted position to lean on her knees, head down.
‘Why do we do this when we’re dizzy? Surely it just makes your blood rush to your head.’ She asked.
Loki smiled at her question. ‘I don’t know, beloved. Here.’
She sat up and took the glass. ‘I do feel a little better.’
‘Take your time, dove.’
Half an hour later they were on their way to the training room.
‘Shoot, I never did call Charles back.’ Maia realised.
‘Call him now. I am sure he will be relieved to hear you are well. No doubt he will have seen news of the attack.’
‘I hate to worry him.’ She pulled her Stark Phone from her pocket and found Charles’ personal number, pressing it to her ear. It rang several times before he answered.
‘Hi, Charles, it’s Sigyn…shit, sorry, Maia, it’s Maia.’
Loki laughed at her mistake.
‘Maia, thank you for calling. I was rather worried after the news of the attack on the tower. Are you alright?’
‘I am. Sorry I didn’t call you sooner, my phone was destroyed and it’s been very busy.’
‘I imagine. You sounded…busy when I called.’ He said, his tone teasing.
She pulled a face, knowing she was busted. ‘Well, Loki and I hit it off better than anyone could have imagined.’
‘You and…Loki?’ He said in surprise. ‘Are you sure that’s wise?’
‘More like predestined.’ Loki squeezed her hand reassuringly as she spoke. ‘It’s a hell of a story.’
‘I have time.’
‘I’ll give you the abridged version. Loki’s been helping me unlock my powers, because they act like Asgardian sorcery, and there’s a reason for that, but it’s going to sound really weird.’
‘Maia, I run a school where our science teacher is blue and furry. I can handle weird.’
She laughed. ‘Okay, all we ever deal with is weird. I had a dream that unlocked something in me. Turns out I’m the reincarnation of the soul of Loki’s wife, Sigyn.’
‘Holy shit!’ They drew up short at the sound of Darcy’s voice as they were about to round a corner, and she came around it with her mouth open, eyes wide. She wore pink bunny slippers, plaid lounge pants, a Puente Antigua t-shirt, and was holding an enormous cup of coffee. ‘Really?’
‘Just a second, Charles.’ She turned to Darcy. ‘Let me just finish this call and you can grill us.’
‘Oh my God, yes!’
‘Sorry, Charles, I’m back.’
‘You say you are his wife reborn?’
‘Seems so.’
‘And you are to take his word for it?’ She could hear the suspicion in his voice and she couldn’t blame him.
‘Actually I realised before Loki, and Thor already knew. Do you think you’d be able to come to The Avengers Compound sometime and check my head? I could do with your advice about the memories, given how these powers are acting, and we’re kind of on lockdown.’
‘Of course. Let me check my schedule and get back to you.’
‘Thanks, Charles, it means a lot.’
‘Don’t mention it, Maia, or do I call you Sigyn now?’
‘To be honest I think I’d answer to both.’ She laughed.
‘I look forward to meeting the new you.’
‘So far I’m not that different.’
‘As is often the case. I’ll speak to you soon.’
They rung off and she looked at Darcy expectantly. ‘Go on.’
‘His wife?’ She squealed. ‘Like as in “I now pronounce you” wife? Really legally married husband and wife?’
‘And she will be again.’ Loki said insistently.
‘Dude, I didn’t know you were ever married! I mean I knew about the horse thing,’ she looked at Maia, ‘was that yours too?’
Loki laughed. ‘Sleipnir exists but I am neither his mother or father. It was a rumour I started with Midgardian scholars as a jest. It is not my fault they were gullible fools.’
‘We never had any children.’ Maia said and Loki noted a hint of sadness to her voice that made his heart ache.
‘A wedding and babies!’ Darcy grinned excitedly.
‘Eventually.’ Maia admitted.
Darcy shoved her cup into Loki’s hand and hugged Maia. ‘Oh God! Congrats! I am such a sucker for a good romance!’
‘You don’t think it’s weird because we’ve only known one another a week?’ Maia asked as she let her go.
‘No.’ She scoffed. ‘Past life loves finding one another again is amazing! I have to tell Jane! Does Thor know? Tell me as soon as you set a date, or have to pee on a stick. I need to see if we can bring girls night forward, I can’t wait that long.’ She set off down the corridor.
‘Darcy?’ Loki called after her and as she turned he held up her coffee.
‘Whoops.’ She ran back again. ‘You need to put a ring on it, dude.’ She said as she took her cup. ‘It’s a better way of staking your claim than biting the poor woman all the time.’
‘I shall bear that in mind.’
‘You better.’ She called back over her shoulder.
‘The whole compound will know by dinner.’ Maia said quietly.
‘It doesn’t matter, kitten.’ He pulled her into his side and started them walking again. ‘Do you mind our betrothal being public?’
‘Not really. I love you and people will know that. I just don’t want anyone jumping to any conclusions.’
‘Such as that I may have coerced or be-spelled you somehow?’
‘Maybe. I don’t want it questioned, I don’t want suspicion because of it.’ She threw out her hand that still held her Stark Phone in frustration, and it burst into flames. The sudden heat made Maia squeal and jump, dropping the handset that burned brighter than the previous fire, on the floor.
‘Fire detected.’ Came FRIDAY’s voice and the sprinklers suddenly kicked in, dousing them both in water.
‘Crap.’ Maia mumbled as the water rained down on them but Loki just laughed.
‘Looks like you need another phone, beloved.’
‘And dry clothes.’ She pouted.



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