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Second Chances

Chapter 43

Tony and Steve stood at the top of the stairs leading down to the training area, looking at the ice coated room in puzzlement.
'Can a broken air conditioning unit do this?' Steve asked as he carefully walked to the edge where the handrails held icicles.
'Nope. Not to this degree. Icicles on the unit maybe, but not an entire hanger.'
‘So, what could do this?'
Realisation dawned on them both at the same time and they looked at one another. 'Loki.' They chorused as they turned for the door.
'If he's hurt her there'll be hell to pay.' Steve said as they ran through the corridors.
'FRIDAY, locate Loki.' Tony yelled.
'Loki is in his apartment, Boss.'
'And Maia?'
'She's with him.'
'I don't think he'd hurt her intentionally.' Tony hoped he was right.
'But unintentionally, that amount of ice...' Steve left the words hanging in the air between them. 'FRIDAY, how are Maia's vitals?'
'Body temperature is a few degrees down, Captain Rogers, and she doesn't seem to have conscious brain waves.'
'Unconscious?' Steve glared at Tony before peeling off at high speed, leaving Tony behind.
Loki jumped as the door crashed in, and he calmly paused the movie before looking over the back of the couch to see Steve stalking angrily towards him.
'There had better be a good reason for this intrusion, Steven. The doc has just been struck by lightning and disappeared.'
'Where is she?' Steve demanded.
'Maia?' Loki frowned. 'She's right here, sleeping, which she will not be for long if you continue to yell.'
Steve reached the back of the couch and looked down to see Maia seemingly sleeping soundly with her head on Loki's thigh, a blanket covering her.
'What did you do in the training room?' Steve came around the couch and crouched on the balls of his feet, pressing his fingers to the pulse in Maia's neck, but he did lower his voice.
'I did nothing, your security feed will show you that, once you stop jumping to conclusions.'
Maia stirred and Loki shushed her, stroking her hair, and Steve watched in astonishment as Loki's face, which normally frowned or smiled slyly, softened as he looked at her, such raw emotion Steve hadn't seen in a long time. 'I passed Maia some news she was not expecting and in her grief her power overwhelmed her.' Loki said quietly.
'She passed out and you brought her back here.' Steve got to his feet as Tony came through the door.
'Actually, she did not. It has still tired her but not to the point of immediate unconsciousness.'
'You were told no powers out of the cell.' Tony said as he looked over the two, cuddled up with a movie like any couple would on a Sunday.
'As I told Steven, I did nothing, and it was unintentional.'
'Maia.' Steve explained.
'Really?' Tony raised an eyebrow.
'That still doesn't explain why you were in the training room in the first place.' Steve added.
'So suspicious.' Loki narrowed his eyes with a smile. 'Maia expressed the desire for fresh air but as I thought it unwise with so many of The Avengers off site we settled for a tour. That was where we started.'
Tony glanced around the room and everything seemed in order...apart from the scorch mark on the carpet. 'What happened here?'
'Ah, yes, you will also see the activation of some sprinklers in the corridors. Maia's magic is being temperamental and sparking at times. I'm afraid her Stark Phone is no more.' He nodded towards the kitchen counter where the melted unit lay.
'Son of a bitch.' Tony went and picked it up, looking at the mangled and melted handset. 'She did this?'
'She's been woken up by noisy Avengers.' Maia grumbled and Loki chuckled as he helped her sit up.
'Feel better, love?'
She nodded before looking at Steve standing over her. 'Am I in trouble?'
'Why would you be in trouble?’ Steve asked as Loki waved him to a chair.
'Nearly setting fire to the compound, twice, and freezing your training area. I hope there isn't too much water damage.'
'It hasn't melted.' Tony came and sat in the other chair. 'How long ago did it happen?'
Loki checked both the time stamp on the movie, then the clock. 'Approximately two hours.'
Steve's frown deepened. 'That should have started defrosting by now, no, Tony don't even think about saying I'm an expert.'
Tony was smirking, he had thought about it. Instead he turned back to Maia. 'Can you defrost it?'
She glanced at Loki before answering. 'I guess I can try.'
'That's all we can ask.' Steve said.
'I do hope you are not suggesting she try this immediately?' Loki looked between them.
'It needs defrosting before the electrics and other equipment are completely shot.' Tony explained.
'This exhausts her.' Loki said firmly. 'Absolutely not.'
'I'll try once.' Maia added and Loki gave her a startled gaze.
'This is unwise.'
'One try, without unleashing it fully, and if it doesn't work, it doesn't work.'
'You know what I'm going to say.' He shook his head.
'Stubborn.' She smiled at him. 'But you can help. You're more attuned to what I need to do than I am.' She turned to Tony. 'I'll try, but all cameras are off, and no audience.'
'Why not?' Stark's brow furrowed.
'Peer pressure. So far it's only acted on its own without my prompting when I've been emotional. I don't want that caught on camera again.'
'What do you think, Cap?' Tony looked at the man sitting opposite him. 'Trust them?'
'Maia, sure. Loki's reformed but he's still the God of Lies.'
'I'll keep him on a tight leash.' She smiled sweetly.
'Kinky.' Tony said as he got to his feet. 'You wanna go now?'
'No time like the present and all that.' Maia slipped her shoes back on.
They got up to leave but Loki paused as he drew level with Stark. 'If this ruins our date...'
'You'll throw me out of a window?'
'At the very least.' Loki smiled slyly.



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