A/N: I wish I could write whimsical, happy things all the time, but alas, my inner drama queen just had to bring up some tragic elements to Thor and Jane's relationship into this chapter. I hope it's not too much of a downer.
Earth Customs - Chapter 2
Most people didn't recognize Thor without his armor, but that didn't mean people didn't notice his God-like good looks.
It took a good few weeks for Thor to realize when women-and occasionally men-were flirting with him. It wasn't that he was oblivious, but flirtation on Earth was quite different from any form of it on Asgard.
"Seriously, how do women flirt on Asgard?" Jane asked one day over lunch.
"Well," Thor began as he paused from shoveling food into his mouth. "In my experience, they're far more dignified. They never result to such flattery, and if they do, it's nothing like what women of Midgard are capable of." He started eating again, seeing that his answer had satisfied Jane's curiosity, though the question still lingered in his mind. He found himself looking back on his love life. When he was younger and still very naïve, he had no room in his heart for the love of a courtship, there was only room for lust. Lust for war, for victory, for power. When he looked at a women, there was rarely a deeper sense of attraction then wanting to get in her skirt.
But now, knowing the true power that resides in such a love he shares with Jane, he knows how foolish he had been.
Clearing his throat, he looked up at Jane again. "It's yet another reason why I'm so fond of you." He waited to continue until he had her eyes. "You care not about my status or my build-although I'm sure you appreciate them-" he earned a swat from across the table for that comment, "you care in so many more important ways. I could not possibly ask for more."
Jane smiled at him, finding comfort in the fact that in all the world, even in all the nine realms, the one man she'd ever truly been in love with was completely devoted to her. She tried not to get too sappy about it, but she sometimes just couldn't contain her happiness, those two long years of waiting having taken it's toll on her. And judging by how often Thor proclaimed his love to her, like he had just now, she knew he felt the same way.
As Thor finished his fifth cup of coffee in that sitting, Jane realized that ships excessive food intake was becoming normal to her.
"You're lucky we both get payed on S.H.E.I.L.D. standards, because otherwise, I wouldn't be able to pay for all the food you eat on an hourly basis."
Thor smiled at her. "You humans have a weak appetite. Your lack of activity on a daily basis has no match for the requirements of a warrior. I don't believe most humans truly understand the value of nourishment."
"You could have just said that we're less active, therefore less hungry."
"I just did."
Later that day, Thor found himself at a shopping mall, Jane in need of specific attire for some conference she was attending the next week. He was waiting outside the women's changing hall when he spotted someone in the corner of his eyes staring at him. He groaned inwardly, knowing that if this stranger approached him, he was on his own. Jane usually fought off the admirers, and sometimes, didn't necessarily need to. Just seeing them together was proof enough for most people that he was in no way "single," as they said on Midgard.
Unfortunately, she did approach.
Not every encounter was an admirer, he remembered. He was sometimes approached by small children who wanted his autograph, which was always welcome. He was even met by people that had been in New York at the time of battle who thanked him for everything he'd done, which was also more then welcome.
He was not so lucky this time.
"You look like that Thor guy." The woman commented.
Tactless. It was one thing when they approached him politely, asking if he was indeed the mighty god of thunder, but tactless comments like these made him very uncomfortable because he did not want to be rude.
"I get that a lot." He said, wondering if he could pull such a white lie off.
"You have an accent too! Where are you from?" She was even more excited now.
He wracked his brain for what little he knew about Earth and it's geography. "Um, Australia."
She seemed satisfied with the answer, meaning either he'd guessed intelligently, or that she knew just as little about her home planet as he did.
At home, Jane was organizing her closet while Thor was looking through one of her picture books.
"How long do courtships on Earth usually last?" He asked.
Jane was already used to his seemingly random thought process, so she asked no questions.
"I don't think there's a really a decided time on that kind of thing. Some people wait longer then others, some people don't even get married at all." She looked back at him, sitting barefoot in their bed with a book in his lap. "For a guy that can live for thousands of years, you sound a little impatient."
A significant beat passed between them before Thor replied. "I have a reason to be, with how short our life together will be."
Jane stopped what she was doing and looked over at her boyfriend again, concern now riddled through her. His voice had abruptly become thick with emotion, his eyes lost in thought. They had never talked about the obvious truth that Thor would outlive her by thousands of years. Of course it had crossed her mind, but it hadn't yet become a topic she was sure they could talk about.
"And maybe," Thor began again, "if I had a ring on my finger, the entire world will know that I am yours and yours alone."
Jane's heart fluttered. As dumb as she knew that sounded, she still hadn't gotten used to his romantic habits. If he were a regular guy from earth, she could see herself getting bored of it quickly, but because she knew how painful it was for him to be so far away from home and in love with a woman who wouldn't be able to live alongside him for the rest of his life, his words were that much more powerful.
She sat next to him on her side oft he bed and he put the book away on the nightstand before taking her in his arms. They were like that for a while before Jane broke the silence, sensing he was comforted enough.
"So...you want to get married?"
He kissed the side of her facet that. "I'd love to."
She could tell there was more to it then that. "But..."
"There is much to think about. My father would most likely disapprove, and I can only assume that our union would not be recognized in Asgard. It is also custom for any engagement to be approved by the entire family."
She saw where this was going. Thor felt he had no one to go to approve his intentions, torn between two cultures.
"You know, on Earth, we only need each other's approval."
A small smile appeared on his lips, not so much because of what she said, but simply because it was she who'd said it. "Is that so?"
Jane partly couldn't believe they were having this conversation so casually. Marriage was a big thing, especially when it was with someone not even from the same planet. But with him, the only thing that mattered was that they live life to the absolute fullest.
"And it wouldn't hurt making you a US citizen, then you could actually get a driver's license."
He'd laughed at that, and she was proud of herself for being able to rid him of sadness. Maybe, just maybe, they could pull this marriage thing off.