mjolnir_retriever: Thor and Coulson talking (son of Coul)
Thor, son of Odin ([personal profile] mjolnir_retriever) wrote2012-09-20 05:51 pm

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"We must go to the Bifrost site," Thor tells his friends. All his friends, but mostly his old comrades, the ones who will accompany him to Asgard, the ones who know what all this means. The ones who were betrayed too. All amusement has leached out of him now, leaving only grim anger. "I would have words with my brother."

He notices the approaching hum, but it's nothing dangerous and nothing Asgardian, so it hardly demands attention at the moment. Just a couple of human cars, driving up cautiously now that the fight's over.

That is, until a voice calls "Excuse me!" Thor's head turns, and so do everyone else's.

Oh. It's Agent Coulson. And a retinue of his people's dark-suited warriors, all hanging back with sensible but somewhat unseemly wariness.

Matters with Loki are far more pressing. All the same, Thor has business yet with Coulson. He has a promise yet unfulfilled.

Agent Coulson stands his ground against Jane's glare and the blank preoccupied inquiry of four Asgardians, and studies Thor with a faintly disappointed air. Perhaps it would have some effect on those actually subordinate to him. "Donald?" he says, and it takes Thor a moment to remember the false name Erik gave him, while the agent carries on. "I don't think you've been completely honest with me."

Coulson may be a brave warrior, for all Thor knows, and Thor can't fault him now for any of what happened at Mjölnir's resting place, but all the same he has little time to bandy words like an administrator.

"Know this, son of Coul," he announces. "You and I, we fight for the same cause, the protection of this world. From this day forward you can count me as your ally."

Thor made Jane Foster a promise when this main street was whole and full of people and cars, and fulfilled barely a part of it in retrieving her notebook. He's glad to have the power now to fulfill the rest -- to give her a gift, and to give her back her due, and to uphold his honor.

"If," he finishes, stepping back enough to let Jane glare past him, and set a light hand against her back, "you return the items you have taken from Jane."

"Stolen!" Jane snaps. A fighter in truth, no matter that she has little skill in war, and fiercely steadfast in her honor. Thor respects her deeply for that.

"Borrowed," Coulson corrects. Thor, to his regret, suspects otherwise, but he holds his peace for the moment. Coul's son studies Jane and Erik for a long moment, in which Thor tries not to chafe to be gone -- his anger or not, this is important. "Of course you can have your equipment back. You're going to need it to continue your research."

Good, then. That matter is finished.

And Thor is impatient to be back in Asgard, and to wrest answers from Loki.

Most of the party will have to come by van; slow and bumping as it is, it's faster than running, with his friends battered as they are. But to Jane, Thor says, "Would you like to see the bridge we spoke of?"

Jane blinks at him, startled out of her thoughts of data and equipment and vindication. "Um... Sure."

Thor pulls her close against his side, tucking her in the circle of his free arm. Jane laughs in surprise, wrapping herself gratifyingly close, and Thor tosses them both into the air. When he was young, it took him a long time to learn this trick of tossing his hammer into the air without letting go of it, but now it's as easy as leaping: he thrusts Mjölnir sharply up and they go flying straight upwards into the sparse white clouds. Jane shrieks a little with shock and delight, and Thor grins to himself.

Coulson sputters something about debriefing, but half of it's lost in wind and distance, and anyway Thor doesn't pay it much mind. Coulson seems a worthy enough man, but he needs to learn swiftly that he has no authority over any from Asgard, and certainly none over Odin's son.

And Jane's delight -- not to mention Thor's goal -- is far more interesting.

There's only so far a straight shot upwards will carry them, without more momentum than Thor gave this throw, but there's only so far he wanted or needed to go for this part anyway. They don't need much vertical height. So they reach the apex of their climb, and slow, and begin to fall back to Earth -- Jane sucks in a breath, eyes widening, and clings to Thor, quavering a worried "Uh, Thor..." in his ear -- and Thor drops his arm, twirling Mjölnir on its strap for a few rotations to build up speed, and then 'throws' the hammer straight out as he grabs its handle. They rocket through the clouds in a long horizontal arc towards the Bifrost site.

Jane still looks a little terrified, but mostly she's beaming. Thor keeps her tucked close and warm against his side, and turns his head to grin down at her, and she grins back.

They come soon enough to the Bifrost's connection site. It's not far at all now that he can travel properly again.

The others are coming slower, but not too much so. Thor can see them from the air as he descends, bringing himself to the ground far more gently for Jane's sake than he would alone. Sif and Hogun and Fandral have fit themselves into the van along with Erik and Darcy, but it seems there's not so much room for armed Asgarians in among the equipment and human seats, because Volstagg is clinging to the roof as if to a troll-steed's back. Injured he may be, but Volstagg is tough, and the van is bumping along steadily.

Well enough. It will take the Bifrost some few moments to open in any case.

"Heimdall," Thor commands as he strides into the center of the complicated knotwork the Bifrost leaves, "open the Bifrost." Heimdall is listening; he always is.

Except the sky stays a placid blue. The wind stays a gentle breeze. No power at all begins to surge.

Nothing happens.

"Heimdall?" Thor tries, suddenly uncertain.

If Heimdall let them come -- but then he was disobeying Loki's word, and Loki acts as king now. Could Loki truly trick Heimdall? Or punish him? Heimdall's solid, unflinching guardianship and wisdom are constants of the cosmos.

What's happening now in Asgard?

The others have spilled from the van now. The Asgardians join Thor around the edges of the Bifrost connection, and the humans fall into place a little ways back. Thor trades looks with them, and sees matching worry and confusion on all his friends' faces.

Perhaps they are stranded on Midgard indefinitely, and Thor's friends have doomed themselves to share his exile. But he can't believe it. Not now, not with Mjölnir returned to his hand, not with Asgard in such straits. "Heimdall!" he roars at the sky. "If you can hear me, we need you now!" Whatever's happening in Asgard, whatever catastrophe or trickery, Thor needs to be there at his father's side. "Heimdall, we need you now! Heimdall!"

Nothing happens.

Nothing happens.

And then power prickles along Thor's skin, and the sky begins to swirl.

The Bifrost will take a few moments to calibrate and gather itself into full connection. Thor starts towards it with his friends, meaning to wait at the circle's border until he can step onto the cosmic bridge, but Jane Foster is hurrying towards him.

For her, he waits.

He puts a hand to her arm and she steps in close, staring up at him. Close enough to embrace, though he doesn't. She really is lovely. On her face is confusion, as there has been, and worry, and beneath that the fascination that comes of watching her science show new truths in front of her.

"I must go back to Asgard," Thor tells her, aware of the Bifrost spiraling every moment into greater strength beside them, "but I give you my word. I will return for you."

Jane looks for a moment as if she's going to speak, but she doesn't; she only leans towards him, rising a little (and perhaps unconsciously) onto her toes, and --

This is not the time. Thor's mind is more than half in Asgard already, intent on Loki's inexplicable betrayal, and Jane Foster deserves better than that. She deserves to be taken seriously, as truly he does; she deserves honor, and to be courted with the knowledge of more than two short Midgardian days. Thor catches her hand, surprising her, and lifts it to kiss her knuckles very gently. "Deal?"

Jane stares at him for an instant. Then she surges forward, yanking his head down to her -- and her strength is merely mortal, but responding is automatic, like the way his arm curls around her to support her as she rises on tiptoe -- and Jane Foster is kissing him with all the fierce decisive determination she gives everything.

For a few very pleasant moments, Thor allows himself to forget the urgency of dealing with Loki.

Jane pulls back, and he rests his forehead against hers. He wants, for a deep and wistful moment, to stay here with her -- not to forgo his duty, but for it not to be true, and for Loki to be the loyal brother he has always been. For this trip to Earth to have been only a visit, and Thor free to stay longer with this lovely scientist who kisses as if she could hold him here with just that. The Bifrost's winds swirl around them, but it's only just connected, and he can take this moment. "Deal," Jane whispers, and Thor smiles down at her, soft and fond. Her answering smile wobbles.

Asgard awaits. He has given his word, and right now that's all he can give.

Thor disentangles himself, as gently as he can. Jane steps back, and his attention recedes from her as he strides towards the Bifrost, and his comrades. (Hogun, he thinks, is the only one who was pretending not to watch with amused interest.)

Asgard awaits. As does his brother.

Thor strides into the maelstrom of wind. The Bifrost catches him up on its rushing path, and he flies, Sif and the Warriors Three half a heartbeat behind, between worlds and stars and towards home. Towards a reckoning.

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