TBoB Chapter 11: Upcoming Complications
Steve was right.
Right after Thor and his problematic brother left the premises, the entire Avengers building turned into a living Hell. Truly, any inferno would be feel proud to be even halfway as lit up as the following many conversations.
‘Tasha and Clint interfered when the S.H.I.E.L.D.-agents began pointing their weapons at Steve and the child in his arms, all the while Tony and Fury appeared to be competing on whom of them could shout the loudest.
All the high noises must’ve overwhelmed Lucas who cried hysterically, clinging impossibly tighter around Steve’s shoulders, burying his face into the hollow of his daddy’s neck.
In the background Bruce sent Steve an apologetic look before sneaking out while on one else was looking. Steve didn’t blame him. If he had the chance, he would’ve bailed from the tower too.
Steve sighed. He couldn’t go, and he couldn’t stay. If he ran of now, with Lucas on his arm, Loki or even Thor would eventually find him (assuming the Avengers didn’t find him first). If he stayed, his teammates, S.H.I.E.L.D. and the World Counsel would demand answer of him that the either didn’t have or wasn’t willing to give (mostly the former).
So, from a neutral point of view, he didn’t have that many options left.
While everyone else in the room seemed preoccupied Steve edged out from the center of the chaos surrounding him and headed for the elevator when-
“Hold it soldier. Where do you think you’re heading?” Fury’s voice was calm but it didn’t leave much leeway for argument.
“To my rooms upstairs. I assume they haven’t been leant out yet, Stark?” Tony, who had been readying himself for a smart comeback against Nick for ditching their argument regarding what he could and couldn’t do in TONY’s tower, looked taken aback. But whatever he had in mind of funny replies, whatever he saw in Steve’s stare might just have saved him from saying or doing something he likely would’ve regretted later…
“Yeah, sure. As if I would dare lean out the rooms of a natural icon. I might be reckless Cap, you it’s not that bad yet. No, your things is still there, just like you left them. Well, not your sketchbooks, I might’ve taken a peak, okay a lot of peaks in them, but except of that; untouched.
Well, the bedsheets have been changed a few times in your absence, but that’s all. If you need anything then call JARVIS.”
Steve couldn’t keep a tiny smile from moving onto his features. Tony had always made a show out of making Nick Fury know just how much he wasn’t intimidated by him, but he still couldn’t keep the tiniest shiver from affecting his voice.
“I will. Thanks, Tony.”
“Sure Cap. Anytime?” If Tony made it sound like a question, then he himself didn’t seem to notice.
Hearing Fury’s protests behind him Steve continued ahead, only relaxing his tense shoulders when he heard the soft ‘ding’ from the elevator doors as they closed.
“From the heated conversation taking place at the moment between Nick Fury and Mr. Stark I can estimate your destination is likely to be your old quarters, sir?”
The smile Stark had involuntarily put on his lips stayed put when the calming tones that made of JARVIS sounded from the speakers.
“That’d be great.”
Compared to his earlier trip in that exact elevator, this one felt almost soothing and quick. Faster than he recalled the trip to take, the elevator ‘binged’ again, indicating his destination had been reached.
The doors went up, opening up to snow-coloured walls with comfortable plush-chairs with stylish small tables in-between them.
On one table rested a PC with a microscopically small amount of dust on top of it, but most other tables were covered with paper sheets in neat stacks, pens and pencils at plenty.
Colouring pens, painting, brushes and canvases could be found on display on a couple of shelves, though no dust was to found on any of that.
All was so familiar, yet oddly strange to Steve. He walked straight through his entrance room turned drawing space, through his kitchen and bypassing the bathroom, past the balcony and into the bedroom.
In the start he had been against having a gigantic king-sized bed, but now? Not so much. In fact, he loved it.
He rocked the now carefully crying toddler against his chest while humming quietly for him. He could feel his damp shirt clinging more firmly than it usually did and how warm Lucas’ face had become from his wailing.
“Hey little guy. It’s okay, I’m right here. See?” Lucas peeked at him through damp eyelashes, not completely looking him in the eyes.
“You’re good, I’m good. I know it’s all new and overwhelming right now, but it’ll get better.”
That caught the tired boy’s attention.
Steve could feel his lips spread into a warm smile.
“Will..” Lucas began, but halted, trying to avoid Steve’s eyes again.
“Hey, none of that now. Will what? You know you can ask me anything right?”
The littlest nod later, and Steve could see how much Lucas had to fight with himself to ask his question anyways. It would seem something about it made him hold back, like he feared for Steve’s reaction.
“Father. Will he come soon, too?”
She sat quietly in her quarters, waiting for his judgement. What was he going to do? Would he give her son, their son another chance? A last one?
She let out a breath she hadn’t known she had been holding. Her hands were shaking anxiously, oh for the love of Freya, please let him listen!
She heard a soft knock on her door and allowed whoever it was to step inside. It was a servant girl.
His Royal Highness Odin had summoned her. And she stood. Whatever the outcome; the endgame was now.
Would she get a chance to redeem her son, her little raven haired, mischievous boy? For all she knew, this might be his only hope. The last one.
As she walked down the halls, not noticing the bowing servants, guards or warriors in the slightest, she thought about her conversation with Loki again.
After having been told by Thor what his brother had said of having found his Amandum, she had had to check for it herself. His Amandum? Truly? Could her luck have turned at last?
Her Amandum was not to be found on his throne, which was where he could usually be found. Instead he stood leaning towards a large window showing the kingdom Asgard in its vast beauty.
The yellow-orange colours of a slowly fading day covered most of the folds and wrinkles on Odin’s ancient features, giving Frigga a glimpse of the man she meet for what felt like eons ago.
The man she fell in love with.
The man she still loved, even when she disagreed with his decisions (which happened more often than most were lead to believe) or when the crown became too heavy a burden to carry on his own.
As if he sensed her presence he rotated towards her and she saw how a spark ignited in his irises when his blue eyes met hers.
It wasn’t strictly necessary for them to use labels with each other, but from day one this had been a silly little thing just for the two of them. Well, to be fair, it had started with her calling him crown prince and him following it up by calling her his princess, but who except them even remembered that anymore?
“You must have heard the news about our son, Loki by now?” Odin asked, no hint in his stoic voice of how he felt about the subject.
“Yes, I have. Are there any truth to it, my love?” He stared right back at her, seeing how she longed for hope, how she refused to give up on her lost child without having tried out every possible solution a million times first. He let out a breath he didn’t know he had been holding back. Maybe he was anticipating his reply too?
“It would seem so. Thor has informed me of his authenticity. As faith would have it, it is a shield mate of his. The leading defender in the avenging group protecting Midgard, Thor speaks highly of him.”
He could see how every word leaving his mouth got picked and pecked, twisted and turned to make sure she was truly hearing him right.
“We should be joyous. Not only this turn of events has given us reason to celebrate these great tidings.” That successfully caught her interest.
“Uh? How so?”
“The family is expanding, amia.”
She blinked like a baffled owl at him before quickly collecting herself.
“Is… Is his Amandum with child?” She knew Loki had the power to make himself able to carry an offspring, but she felt confident in her own skills to feel assured she would have known if that had been the case.
“I misspoke, my dear. He already has a child. A son.” From the negatively confused expression on her face, he elaborated:
“It is Loki’s son, our grandson.” Somehow she managed to become even more bewildered than before, and he understood her hopelessness.
“That has yet to be explained. Which is why I am arranging for the both of us to arrive in Midgard the upcoming day.”
Frigga bit her lip in a rare sign of insecurity. A bad habit she had thought long gone. It didn’t go past Odin’s eye either.
“You seem to disagree.”
The golden-haired woman debated with herself for a few more seconds before seemingly coming to an agreeable solution.
“That does not strike me as the right decision, my own.”
That was unexpected.
“Do you now wish to meet your grandchild, a possible successor to the thrown?” Her glare could make braver men fall to their knees, begging for mercy. It didn’t make Odin bow under her intimidating wrath, at least not on the outside.
“Do not misunderstand me unnecessarily, my king. I would merely suggest that we wait till the next day after tomorrow. To give him some time to collect himself. If what you say is true, then he might not have expected to see Loki as soon as he did. He might just think it insulting for us to drop down on top of his head so shortly after being confronted with his Amandum, demanding answers. Do we even know if he knows what an Amandum is?”
Odin’s lack of response was answer enough for the both of them.
“Very well. The next day after tomorrow we will visit Midgard, but we will not delay out trip any further.”
Having heard enough Frigga bowed her head, both an admission of acceptance, and to make known that she wished to retread to her champers. Before she went, she turned to gaze at her husband, her king. Her Amandum.
“What is the name of this Midgardian?”
A short pause.
“Steven. Steven Rogerson.”