Continuing With Therapy

Chapter One: Natalie's Birthday

This is the sequel to The Therapist. I hope you all enjoy it as much as you did The Therapist. It starts with Natalie's birthday party, and goes from there. If you haven't read The Therapist, this will make no sense whatsoever. Thanks to weyrleader69 for the title!

Natalie woke up on the morning of her birthday, and noticed Loki was still asleep. She gently shook him, and he sleepily opened his eyes. "Too early…." he mumbled.

Natalie giggled. "Forgetting something?" she asked.

Loki resigned himself to getting up early, and said, "It's your birthday today. Happy Birthday, Natalie."

"Thanks Loki," Natalie said, and kissed him. When they broke it off, Natalie said, "I'm going to take a shower and get dressed; you can go back to sleep for a bit."

Loki promptly went back to sleep, and Natalie silently giggled; Loki was NOT a morning person. She went and took a shower, then braided her hair and put her clothes on.

By the time she got out, Loki was starting to wake up, and he looked at her sleepily. She smiled and said, "Your turn."

"Okay," Loki said. "Meet you downstairs?"

"Sure," Natalie said. Loki took his clothes into the bathroom, and Natalie headed downstairs, smiling as JARVIS wished her a happy birthday too. She found Steve and Bruce already there, along with Natasha and Clint. They all looked up as Natalie came in, and chorused, "Happy Birthday Natalie!"

Natalie smiled. "Thank you," she said.

"Where's Loki?" Natasha asked.

"In the shower; he's not a morning person," Natalie said. "Where's Tony?"

"Right here," Tony said, coming into the kitchen. "Happy birthday, Natalie."

"Thanks," Natalie said, smiling.

Loki came in a few minutes later, just as Steve and Bruce put breakfast on the table. Everyone sat down to eat, and Loki asked, "So when is Natalie's family coming?"

"I'm sending Happy to pick them up; they should be here at noon," Tony said. "And Thor and Frigga are coming soon too. Pepper should be here any minute."

Sure enough, Pepper came in a few minutes later and said, "Happy birthday, Natalie!"

"Thanks Pepper," Natalie said.

"Sure," Pepper said.

"Sir, it appears Queen Frigga and Mr. Odinson have arrived," JARVIS said. "Shall I send them down?"

"Yeah, thanks J," Tony said.

Frigga and Thor stepped out of the elevator a minute later, and came into the kitchen. Loki and Natalie got up to greet them, and Loki noticed Frigga was carrying a basket. After hugging both Loki and Natalie, Frigga said, "I have come not only to celebrate Natalie's birthday, but also to give you all news."

"What is the news?" Loki asked.

"I spoke with the Council on the matter of Thanos, and they have decided to offer not only Natalie, but all the members of the Avengers one of Idunn's golden apples," Frigga said. "Their reasoning for this was that as humans live shorter lives than we do, we would continuously have to find new ambassadors for Midgard. This way, we will not have to do so. The decision is up to each of you, but I thought it would be nice, as this way Natalie, Loki, and Thor will not have to watch you age and die before them."

"What about Natalie's family?" Tony asked.

"I asked, and her parents were grateful, but decided against accepting," Frigga said. "And her younger brother, while he is thinking it over, is too young for this. He would be stuck at his current age if he ate the apple before coming of age. Should he decide he wants this gift, I will ensure he gets one when he is of age."

"Well, I don't know about anyone else, but I would be happy to accept," Tony announced.

"So would I," Steve said. "Thank you for this, Frigga."

Natasha and Clint looked at each other, communicating silently, before Clint said, "I'd be happy to accept as well."

"Same here," Natasha said.

Bruce was the only one who didn't speak up- until Tony turned puppy dog eyes on him, and he sighed with fond exasperation. "I'd be happy to accept too," he said.

"Excellent," Frigga said happily. She handed them each an apple, and they ate them. "These are way better than Earth apples," Tony commented, causing everyone to laugh.

Natalie's family arrived shortly after noon, with Mrs. McKenzie carrying a huge cake. "Hi everyone," she said. "Natalie, happy birthday!" Kevin and Mr. McKenzie echoed her.

"Thanks guys," Natalie said happily. "And thanks for making the cake, Mom."

"Sure sweetie," Mrs. McKenzie said, setting it down on the counter.

"Pizza's here," Steve said, coming in with six huge pizza boxes.

"That… is a LOT of pizza," Kevin said, wide-eyed.

Everyone else laughed, and they opened the boxes and started eating.

"So Nat, what's new?" Kevin asked after a few minutes.

"I have a new ability, but aside from Clint actually agreeing to go to therapy, nothing else is new," Natalie said.

Mr. McKenzie sat forward and asked, "You have a new ability? Is it related to the powers you already have?"

"Not to my knowledge; it's got nothing to do with going into someone's subconscious," Natalie said.

"What is it?" Mr. McKenzie asked.

"Visions," Natalie said. "I'm not sure if it's going to be only the future, or the past, or both. The first one I had had obviously happened previous to when I had it."

"I've never heard of that in previous Dream Walkers," Mr. McKenzie said, confused.

"I have reason to believe Natalie was gifted this power by the Norns, in order to help with the battle Midgard will soon be facing," Frigga said. "I also have this power, but it will do Midgard little good, as I cannot come here regularly. I also believe Natalie's power has been strengthened, as she felt more powerful to me when I examined her powers to identify the cause of the vision she had."

"Why would she need stronger powers?" Mrs. McKenzie asked.

"To help combat the exhaustion problems, I would guess," Loki said. "When she kicked Thanos out of Tony's mind, she slept for nearly twenty-four hours afterwards."

"Why did that take so much out of you?" Mr. McKenzie asked.

"I wasn't physically touching Tony at the time," Natalie said. "It's harder for me to go into someone's mind if I'm not physically touching them, and I also stripped Thanos of his power to take over someone's mind while kicking him out of Tony."

"I see," Mr. McKenzie said.

"Nat, do you want to do cake or presents first?" Kevin asked, lifting the tension.

"I'd like to do presents; a break from eating sounds nice," Natalie said.

"Great!" Tony said excitedly. "To the living room!"

Natalie and the others giggled at his excitement, and they all went to the living room. "Who's going first?" Steve asked.

"I will!" Tony said cheerfully, and handed Natalie a small box. She smiled and opened it, finding a cell phone. "A cell phone?" she asked.

"I made it," Tony said. "I also borrowed your phone and transferred all your information into that one- and changed the default ringtone to that song you like that I can't pronounce."

"Awesome, thanks Tony!" Natalie said happily.

Natasha came over next, and said, "These are from both me and Clint, since he said he had no idea what to get someone who wasn't me or Phil."

"Thanks Natasha," Natalie said, taking off the wrapping paper to reveal a set of daggers and other knives. The other box was a knife-care kit.

"You said you're a knife fighter, so we figured you could use some of your own," Clint commented.

"Thanks," Natalie said. "You're right, this is a good idea, and now I won't have to borrow Loki's to keep in practice."

Thor came over next, and handed her a box. "This was Loki's suggestion, I hope you enjoy it," he said.

Natalie opened the box to find a round pendant on a slim gold chain. The pendant was made of some kind of stone that seemed to change color; it was a pearly white until she picked it up, and then it turned a light red. "This is beautiful, Thor, thank you!" Natalie said happily. "What kind of stone is this?"

"It is a mood stone; they are very rare gems that change color according to how you are feeling at any given moment," Frigga said, smiling, then added, "Thor came to me for help."

Natalie smiled happily and put the necklace on. Steve came over with a large package, and said, "I wasn't really sure what to get you, so I asked your brother for help with books."

Natalie opened the package, which turned out to be the complete set of the manga Alfheim no Kishi. "Cool!" she said happily. "I've never read this one."

Steve smiled, and Bruce came over next, and handed her a wrapped package. "I hope you like it, I wasn't really sure what else to get," he said.

Natalie smiled at him and opened the package, which was a book on the history of manga. "Wow, this looks awesome, thanks Bruce!" she said happily. Bruce smiled.

Kevin came over with a rather oddly-wrapped present, and said, "I wrapped it myself!"

"Thanks Kev," Natalie said, hugging her brother. She opened the present, which turned out to be the movie Ponyo, on DVD. "Awesome," she said happily.

Her parents came over with a few boxes, and Mrs. McKenzie said, "You might want to open these in private, it's mostly clothing and a few… other things."

"Thanks," Natalie said. "I'll open them later then."

Pepper came over and handed her a pretty card, and she opened it. Inside was some papers, and confused, Natalie looked them over. It turned out to be confirmation forms for her, Loki, and Kevin to go to Comic Con. "Pepper, this is awesome!" Natalie said happily.

"I'm glad you like it; that was Tony's idea, since I haven't really spent much time with you," Pepper said. "Also, I didn't want you having to spend all your money just trying to get in the door."

"I really appreciate that, thanks," Natalie said happily.

"Nat, is that what I think it is?" Kevin asked hopefully.

"If you think it's that Pepper registered the two of us and Loki of us for Comic Con, then yes it is," Natalie said.

"Yay!" Kevin said happily.

"Hey Loki, didn't you get Natalie a present too?" Tony asked pointedly.

Loki was looking somewhat nervous, but he came over to Natalie, and she got up. Loki took a familiar box out of his pocket, and went down on one knee, opening it as he asked, "Natalie McKenzie, will you marry me?"

Natalie grinned broadly and said, "Yes!"

Loki took her right hand and slid the ring onto her ring finger, and she tackled him in a hug as the others started cheering.

I know it's filler, but this is the start of the long-awaited sequel to The Therapist. I hope you all enjoy this. Updates will probably be slower, but I hope you all will still follow, favorite, and review. Unlike last time, I don't have the whole thing written out yet.