mjolnir_retriever: Thor in t-shirt and plaid and jeans, walking forward on a devastated street (showdown at the OK corral)
Thor, son of Odin ([personal profile] mjolnir_retriever) wrote2012-09-20 05:46 pm

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The sky over New Mexico is clear and blue -- except in one spot north of town, where a stormy spiral of dark grey reaches down a straight finger toward the dry ground. Thor can't feel the storm under his skin the way he's always taken for granted, can't feel the changes in the atmosphere and the potential building in ions and airflow, but this isn't a normal storm anyway. This is the Bifrost opening.

The question is why, and for whom. Heimdall let Thor's friends through; who else has come through with the king's authority?

(Sif told Thor in a rushed undertone as they gathered to watch the sky through the glass doors of Jane's building: that Odin is in the Odinsleep, that Loki rules in his place for now, that she and the Warriors Three came to Midgard against Loki's command and with Heimdall's tacit support. He loves them all more than ever for their loyalty, even as every word about his brother's actions increases his hurt and fury.)

Darcy speaks what they're all thinking, uncertain and young and cutting to the heart of the matter: "Was somebody else coming?"

Thor pushes open the door, and the rest of them follow him out into the Midgardian streets. They curve into an arc, the Asgardians behind the humans -- Jane and Darcy are so small, every one of them can see over their heads without strain. Puente Antiguo's townsfolk are gathering too, to watch the sky and murmur to each other in surprise and confusion. They have no idea what's coming.

Neither does Thor, in truth. But with what his brother has been up to, and with how poorly Loki has always taken being thwarted, and with Thor's new awareness of how fragile humans are -- foreboding fills him.

And then he can see: a glinting in the dust of the horizon, a form of steel and fire far-off. Beyond human eyes, maybe, from how Jane and Erik and Darcy aren't reacting, or maybe they just don't know what they're seeing. Thor knows.

"Jane," he says, in urgent command. She's the one who will argue if any of them do. "You have to leave."

And, indeed, Jane doesn't obey him as any Asgardian would. Instead she demands, "What are you gonna do?" Darcy's head turns too, but Darcy knows better when she's in over her head; she's listening, not arguing.

"I'm staying here," he says. It's a flat statement of fact, and he doesn't soften it. He's the one who knows what's coming, the one who knows a battlefield, and Jane Foster's science and fierce stubborn intellect won't help her here.

Volstagg grins, and Fandral along with him. "Thor's going to fight with us!" he tells Jane.

Any other time, any other place, that would have been true. Thor would have been at the vanguard, Mjölnir in his hand. But now --

Thor pushes past his human friends, clapping a comradely hand to Fandral's shoulder in passing to call everyone's attention. "My friends," he says. "I'm just a man." He looks to Volstagg and Sif, the leaders behind him in their group, the ones who will argue and need convincing. Hogun and Fandral will be content to follow Thor's lead. If his friends don't know this, if they expect him to be as strong and resilient as he should be instead of weak as water as he is now, that miscalculation will... he doesn't want to think about what that error could wreak, mid-battle. "I'll only be in the way, or worse, get one of you killed. But I can help get these people to safety."

All of these humans around. All of these townsfolk, brave and kind and generous, and with no idea what's about to visit their town.

They don't deserve Loki's anger.

"Well," Jane announces, "if you're staying, then so am I."

He doesn't have time to argue this with her. She can help, in truth, and if it keeps her occupied away from the battlefield that's good enough. He claps her on the shoulder, and heads away towards the nearest crowd of humans. "We'll need some time."

"You'll have it!" Fandral assures him, rallying into joviality at the prospect of a fight, and in spite of everything Thor can't help but smile.

It's good to have his friends at his back again. Even if he can't stand at their side.

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