- Alternate Universe
It took over an hour for the Osvalds to complete their tearful good byes. L, who’d never really unpacked from the night before, had simply changed out his hoodie for one of Theo’s larger ones. The material was enough to cover his horns and cast a shadow on his face.
He also snagged one of the fluffy wool infinity scarves that Frigga knitted for the local charity and wrapped it around his neck. It would serve to cover his face for when they finally left the house. It was bright red with a dark red trim, soft against the skin and smelled like the ginger cookies the woman loved to nibble on while she knitted. He took a moment to hold it against his nose and inhale, getting lost in the memories of good times long past.
Setting his hard cover case near the front door, he hung the large jacket over it and made for the kitchen. He was hungry again and didn’t know how long their journey would be and what kind of food they had to offer along the way. Poking around in the fridge, he found a tupper ware container full of dense, Junk brownies that the men in the Osvald household loved.
Giving a small noise of pleasure, he snapped the container open and hugged it to his chest. ‘Junk’ brownies were filled with all manner of nuts, pretzels, caramel candies and marshmallows. They were a bit of a ‘junkyard’ of desserts, with everything thrown in; heavy and dense and gut-bustingly great.
Stuffing an entire brownie in his mouth with a wanton moan, he searched around for milk. Huffing as he remembered the way Theo drained the last of it this morning, he managed to dig up some almond milk from the back of the fridge instead.
Nudging the fridge closed with his toe, he turned towards the kitchen island and froze when he saw Odin standing there. The man looked haggard, his silver hair finger combed into some semblance of order; his grey eyes red rimmed and puffy around the edges. The lines on his face looked as if carved in granite and his lips were pressed thin.
L took his time in chewing the rest of his brownie, meeting the other man’s eyes unflinchingly as he opened the milk and took a deep swig. Odin’s frown deepened, his hands clenching into fists at his side. L smirked around the mouth of the carton, taking a sort of perverse pleasure in pissing the man off.
“If you do anything to corrupt my son with your perversion…” he began.
“Oh, get over yourself old man.” L rolled his eyes and scoffed loudly, cutting the older man off before he could really get another rant going. “I think that with all that’s happened to your ‘precious’ first born son in the past couple of days, my ‘perversion’ is probably the least of his worries.”
But don’t worry All Daddy… ” L grinned and leaned on the kitchen island, “I’m not at all interested in having that sweet golden body all up on this.” he gestured to himself with a saucy wink. “Maybe after we both get our new gifts under control, I’ll think about taking tall, hot blond round the curves.”
Odin gave a strangled, inarticulate growl that was music to L’s ears; the man’s face darkening as he snarled. He tried to reach over the island, as if to grab at L but the shadows were quicker and sprang up from the corners to grab at his wrists. Odin froze, shocked, as the thick tendrils held his arm in a vice. He jerked back in fright only to have more tendrils spill from the corners and grabbed at his other hand and feet.
The more he struggled, the more the shadows held him fast. L watched, his face neutral, as one of the tendrils stole around Odin’s throat and tilted his chin up; keeping him from talking. He continued to watch as the man struggled against the holds, his eyes rolling wildly in his head.
The clearing of a throat caught both of their attentions and they turned as one towards the door. Coulson stood there, impassive as usual, shrewd blue eyes taking in the scene. After a few moments, he looked at L and stated calmly,
“It’s time to go.”
L stared back at him for a bit then turned back to Odin, waving a lazy hand at the shadows. They receded quickly, causing Odin to stumble a bit. His hands grasped at his own neck, feeling along the flesh as he stared at L numbly. He had a fine tremble to him, and his mouth moved but no words came out.
The red eyed youth tilted his head, taking in the man who’d always been larger than life. He’d always held the man in such awe and fear, always felt so hurt by the man’s rejection and at the same time always yearned for his approval and love.
All he saw now was a small and feeble old man, who used fear and machinations to parade himself as a strong and respected pillar of society. Everything he’d built, all the work he’d done to build his legacy. To build a kingdom for Theo to one day inherit. Now all of that had been swept away. Not that Theo might not one day control his powers enough to come home once again, but L saw the chance of that happening was a pretty slim one.
Look at how the mighty had fallen.
L shook his head with a soft scoff, snapping the Tupperware container closed and resealing the milk. Holding them both against him, he turned his back on Odin Osvald and left the old man and his crumbling kingdom behind. He winked at Coulson as he passed, grinning at the raised eyebrow he got in return.
Fury was waiting out in the hall with the others. Theo snug in his winter coat and Frigga doing some last minute fussing. Handing the brownies and milk to the blond with a look of warning, L shrugged on his own heavy, hooded jacket and pulled up the scarf to cover most of his face.
The black SUV outside made the situation even more clandestine and L wasted no time in ensconcing himself in the heated backseats. Theo took longer, getting ensnared in another tearful goodbye. Frigga came out to the car with her son, leaving Odin standing in the lit doorway like some old, forgotten monument to the past.
The blonde came around to L’s window, holding out her hand as tears spilled from her eyes. “Take care of yourself, liten stjerne.” [little star] she said with a sad smile, ” May the future you find elsewhere be more lykkebringende than what this house brought you. We’ve done you wrong Lawrence, so wrong my dear. And for that I am truly sorry.”
She bit back a sob when L took his hand in hers and gave it a squeeze. “Maybe one day you can forgive me for me part in it.” Then, taking one last look at the two young men before her, she turned and walked back to the house where Odin wrapped his arms around her.
L stared at the couple for a moment, not sure how to feel about that little exchange. He stared down at his hands, deep in thought; letting Theo’s attempt at small talk with the two men in whose hands they’d placed their trust and future in.
He thought about Frigga and her words, what seemed to be genuine remorse coming from the woman who’s love and motherly affection he’d craved for when he was a frightened and lonely child in a new world. She’d been a dream to him, a golden queen who seemed to share her unconditional love with everyone. Everyone except him of course.
The Incident ™ had shattered that illusion and the years hence had crushed his childish dreams to dust. The woman may not have taken an active role in breaking L’s heart but she’d stood aside and let it happen. Now, with that small show of sorrow just before parting. As far as he was concerned, it was still a bit too little too late.
Maybe one day he would forgive her. After enough time had passed.
There was a plane waiting at the small airfield. A sharp looking jet that looked utterly out of place in the small town facility. L secured his bag and the brownies, much to the blond’s disappointment and followed Fury on to the plane.
It was nice, modern, well kitted out and comfortable; the leather seats soft and buttery. He flopped onto one of them, peeling off his coat and pulling down the scarf.
“Nice plane…” he looked at Coulson as Theo dropped his large frame into a nearby seat. “… running a school for the enhanced seems to be very lucrative, indeed.”
“We get by” Coulson commented, adjusting his suit and pulling out a smart phone. He took the seat across the aisle and began to check his messages. L hummed in response, giving the man another once over before turning to look out the window.
The takeoff was smooth, with only the tapping of Coulson’s phone, the murmur of Fury’s voice from the cockpit where he was chatting with the pilot being heard above the thrum of the engines. L let his mind wander, watching the night sky as it sped passed the window.
After a while he felt the seat dip beside him, Theo’s warmth along his side. He waited for the other man to speak, knowing that the blond always took some time to gather his thoughts.
“Laurie…” Theo began, his voice low and close to L’s shoulder. “… what’s going to happen to us now?”
“Us…?” L murmured, turning to look at the concerned blonde. “SO, it’s ‘us’ now? What was all that about me being a forked tongued, rapist freak?”
Theo shook his head in denial, his face crumpling. “I didn’t mean all of that. I’m sorry. I was wrong…”
“Tch.” L sneered, “You Osvalds like to throw around ‘sorry’ all too easily. What makes this one any more genuine than the rest.”
“Things have changed. Everything is different now. We have to stick together.”
“Do we? All of a sudden you’re preaching about family and loyalty? Where have you been for the past decade or so dumb ass? Or is it now that you’re just as much of a freak as you always believed me to be that you want us to ‘stick together?” figures.”
Theo frowned, pulling away; his fist clenching in his lap. Small sparks started up along his fingers and he had to take a deep breath and force himself to relax before speaking again.
“SO why did you help me? Back at the house. You helped my with the lightning.”
L sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose. There were some tine raised bumps there along the sides that he hadn’t noticed before. He would have to examine them more closely later. He looked once more at the depressed looking blond.
“Because if I didn’t then you could have killed someone. And then you would have really lost it and maybe destroyed the house and both of us along with it. I really wasn’t interested in being turned into a crispy blue critter just yet.”
“Oh” Theo sounded small as he hunched in on himself. “… purely self-preservation then?”
“Not purely…” L gave another, heavier sigh at the pitiful looking lump in the seat next to him. “I didn’t want you to go through the pain of knowing you’d hurt your mom and dad. Odin and Frigga aren’t my favorite people but they’re your parents and they love you a lot. Sitting by and doing nothing to stop you would have been pretty shitty of me.”
He startled as warm fingers threaded through his and he glanced up at a softly smiling Theo. “I can’t thank you enough for that Laurie. You saved us all.”
L flushed a deep blue, unsettled by the emotion in the other man’s words and eyes. He yanked his hand out of Theo’s and huffed, turning to look out of the window once more.
“Don’t get used to it doofus. I won’t always be there to hold your hand through this. You’re going to have to marshal all of your brain cells together if you want to survive what’s coming, you hear?”
“Yeah…” Theo’s voice was still warm with emotion as he snuggled deeper into the seat right next to L instead of returning to his old one; all but leaning into L’s space like the big hulking lug he was. “I understand perfectly.”
L scowled at the blond’s reflection in the window, that dopey smile Theo got whenever he was utterly pleased with himself. The idiot. It was so damned aggravating to see. L scoffed again and tried to make himself comfortable against the seat, shifting until he settled his horns into a more comfortable position.
In the window’s reflection he could just make out Coulson across the aisle, staring placidly at them both. A spike of irritation surged in him at the man having witnessed the odd exchange and he shut his eyes resolutely, pushing away everything else but the constant hum of the engine.
He was so over all of these fools.