‘I am sorry, Maia.’ Charles began. ‘We both know how exploring past memories can have an effect, but past life memories are particularly harsh, it seems.’
Maia just nodded, one arm crossed over her stomach, the opposite elbow rested on its palm as her other hand covered the upper half of her head as if it would somehow help her blot out the emotions that went with the memory, which was again so fresh it hurt. Loki had gone to bring her a box of tissues and, at Charles’ suggestion, a sweet snack to go with the tea Loki had already made. So far she hadn’t spoken, the only noises the gasping sobs from her tears that had finally subsided into silence.
Her inability to speak worried Charles, although he was sure it was just shock from the sheer influx of emotions the memory had brought, but he didn’t want her internalising when talking would help. He reached over and rested his hand on her knee, speaking softly as he used his gifts to put out calming waves. ‘My dear, talk to me? It hurts, but we both know that was not the end of your story. We have the confirmation you were, and for all intents and purposes still are, Sigyn, but if you were married we still have happy memories to follow.’
She swallowed so hard it hurt before clearing her throat. ‘I’d forgotten how much that hurt.’
‘Do you feel able to continue? I don’t like causing you additional distress. You have already been through a good deal today. We can reschedule.’
She shook her head. ‘I want to do this. While I remember things it’s not in this much detail. Until that last point I was actually enjoying it.’
‘You led quite a life.’
‘I did.’ She managed a small smile. ‘Thanks again for this, Charles.’
‘You don’t need to thank me, it is actually quite enlightening. I can see you in Sigyn and Sigyn in Maia. It’s very difficult to see you not as Sigyn now.’
‘It’s getting harder not to be Sigyn and remember Maia is a separate person too.’ She rubbed her fingertips under her eyes, coming back black with mascara and eyeliner.
‘She doesn’t have to be.’ Charles offered her the handkerchief from his pocket which she accepted with a small grateful smile.
‘What do you mean?’
‘I mean you are both of them, but Sigyn is the more dominant personality, perhaps simply because she lived a much longer, much more intense life, and as we continue to explore your memories she may become more so.’
‘That…that makes sense. Things have been happening with my powers, Charles. They're starting to work.’
He gave her raised eyebrows of surprise. ‘Really? After all these years?’
‘Really. I think it has to be linked to unlocking who I am, because suddenly I have a better command over it. With enough emotional response I can access it without sleeping immediately. It tires me still but not in such a harsh way.’
‘This is good news. It always worried me, your capabilities and incapabilities made you vulnerable. What have you been able to do since the change?’
‘The biggest thing was accidental, I froze a hanger.
‘I assume you do not mean a coat hanger?’ He smiled slightly.
‘Aircraft type hanger. The Avengers training room. I didn’t know Frigga had passed away, and we think the cold was a manifestation of the grief. Then later with Loki’s help I was able to defrost it.’
‘By reversing the effect or from another use of your power?’ He looked at her carefully.
‘I created heat.’
She shook her head. ‘I need almost an outside influence, emotional or physical, in a way.’ She blushed and looked down. ‘Loki got quite…friendly, to aid the heat.’
‘I don’t need any more information than that, but I am glad you were able to work it out. He does seem good for you, Maia, in more ways than one.’ She gave him a grateful smile. ‘Any more incidents, of your powers that is?’
‘I accidentally set fire to a couple of things.’ She turned and smiled as Loki came back in the room. ‘My phone, and the carpet. Not too much damage, considering.’
‘Sharing your newfound abilities, love?’ Loki asked as he put the tissues beside her followed by chocolate bar. ‘From Darcy’s personal stash. She sends her love and guarantees this will put the smile back on your face.’
‘Bless her, that’s sweet.’ She smiled as he bent and kissed her hair.
‘Maia was just telling me of how you have been aiding with her powers. You have my gratitude, Loki. You have accomplished what I have been unable to do for many years.’
‘Much more circumstance I suspect, Professor.’ He shrugged before taking his seat. ‘Were it not Sigyn I doubt I could have aided any more than you had.’
‘All the same, thank you.’
‘Let us consider ourselves even. Without you I would never have found her again.’
‘Even it is.’ Charles nodded to him. ‘Do you feel able to continue, Maia?’
She nodded, though he couldn’t help but feel her nervousness. He would never have done so much with one of his students in one sitting, but she was an entirely different story. ‘I don’t want that memory to be the one we leave it on. If we’re going to stop soon maybe we could leave it on a happier memory?’
‘There’s a good deal of happiness to come.’ Loki reminded her, taking her hand.
Charles took that as a good sign and again raised his fingers to his temple.