mjolnir_retriever: Thor in human clothes, looking faintly amused and/or satisfied (sidelong tiny smile or smirk)
Thor, son of Odin ([personal profile] mjolnir_retriever) wrote2012-06-03 07:44 pm
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[Shortly before...]

Jane's van rattles down the winding desert roads. They're unpaved, and far more rudimentary than the wide roads between the hospital and Puente Antiguo. A horse would do well on this sort of trail, and an Asgardian steed could run faster than the speediest car, but the van shakes and bumps at every irregularity. Privately, Thor revises his assessment of its capabilities downward. They won't reach Mjolnir until well after nightfall, at this rate. Especially since the van seems required by its nature or Jane's command to stay on the roads instead of taking a more direct route, as if a few rocks and crannies and scrubby bushes would defeat its wheels. Still, it serves well enough for this purpose.

Earlier, Jane snapped out a furious tale of government scientists, craven thugs stealing her work. More of the same army that guards Mjolnir, it seems. Thor gives her his word to retrieve her stolen data and machinery. He would have in any case -- it's the honorable thing to do, especially since none of the scientists are warriors who could face down an army -- but in this instance it's easily accomplished, too. Thor was already planning to take his hammer from their covetous clutches. Once he has Mjolnir back, taking a few further prizes will be no trouble at all.

Jane thanks him, and castigates the absent thieves some more, and then falls silent. Her hands are tight fists on the van's steering mechanism, and her fine jaw is set, her dark eyes flashing. Thor has seen this sort of fierce brooding over wrongs and vengeance before, and he elects to let her be for the moment. Jane isn't the sort to lash out at her surroundings -- she isn't like him, however burning her anger -- but all the same, some moods need to be left to play themselves out for a time.

"I've never done anything like this before," Jane says, breaking the silence. Thor glances at her. She's unsettled, he sees, and apparently confused that he isn't. "Have you ever done anything like this before?"

"Many times," he confirms, but Jane fails to look reassured. "But you are brave to do it."

She is. It's unfamiliar work to her. Jane is fierce, and clever, and stubborn, but she's not a warrior.

"They just stole my entire life's work," Jane points out. "I don't really have much left to lose."

"I know," Thor says, "but you're clever. Far more clever than anyone else in this realm."

In Milliways, she probably has competition. Certainly people there seem much swifter to grasp his nature and origin, and to think of the possibilities. But Jane is from Midgard, not a miniature meadhall of a realm reached through an unpredictable tear in the cosmos; nothing in all her great learning will have prepared her for an Asgardian to walk out of her ancestors' stories. She sees through more veils than a Milliways guest, but she sees very clearly.

Jane doesn't seem to notice the compliment. "Realm?" she demands instead, and Thor reflects that he hasn't heard many mortals using that word. "Realm?"

"You think I'm strange."

"Yeah," says Jane, blunt and honest. "I do."

Thor respects honesty. "Good strange, or bad strange?"

Jane turns her head again to study him. She shakes her head a little, laughing, still watching his face. "I'm not quite sure yet," she tells him, and Thor knows it for truth. That's all right.

Which is when the van bucks like a restive horse, and Jane jerks the steering mechanism with her attention snapping back to the dusty dirt road in front of them, and the van swerves again before she straightens it out. The wheel went off the road while she was watching him, Thor realizes; no wonder Jane keeps her van strictly on the paths. He's laughing, and so's Jane, apologizing through her laughter.

"But who are you?" Jane asks, when she's got control of herself and her vehicle again. "Really."

Thor has told her. More words will win him nothing. He'll have to show her; then she'll understand. "You'll see soon enough," he tells her, and the laughter is back in his voice and his heart, tamped down for courtesy into a private grin. It will be nice to appear to Jane Foster as himself, and speak to her without her polite doubt of his sanity.

And he's more than ready to have his hammer back. Mjolnir isn't just a weapon; it's birthright, it's power, it's the lightning beneath his skin and it's strength answering to his hand. And Odin his father put it into Thor's hands centuries ago. I believe, my son, you are worthy to bear this treasure of our fathers, he told Thor with all his king's gravity about him, and Mjolnir was light and solid in Thor's younger grasp. No other, not even Loki, can lift it.

Thor is ready to have done with the remembered echoes of his father's terrible fury, and ready to have done with the helplessness that has plagued him since he was thrown down to this realm.

Jane, meanwhile, is oblivious to Thor's thoughts, and unmollified by his words. "You promised me answers," she reminds him.

Of course he did. Thor does not forget his sworn word. But she's right that he has given her few thus far. It's mostly because either he can't give those answers in useful form yet or she won't believe him if he tries, but all the same, there are some things he can tell now. "What you seek," he says. "It's a bridge."

"Like an Einstein-Rosen bridge?" Jane asks instantly, sharpening with the question like a sentry hearing noise.

Thor's a competent user of Asgardian technology, but he's no scholar, to be able to name all the underlying principles -- let alone to discourse intelligently on their equivalents in Midgard's haltingly progressing 'science.' "More like a rainbow bridge," he tells her, open and truthful. Perhaps she'll be able to draw a link between that and the characteristics of things she knows.

But apparently not. "...God I hope you're not crazy," Jane mutters to the road in front of them, and stops asking him questions for a time.

Thor has no better words to give her, not with any certainty of greater success. He'll show her, soon enough, and then she'll be better able to understand the rest of his answers. For now, instead, he watches the New Mexico desert roll by. It's a fascinating country.