At 1:27 in the morning Jane Foster sits wrapped in a blanket on the balcony of her apartment, missing her living arrangements in New Mexico.
It isn't the trailer she misses, per say; what she wishes is that she could step outside for a break from the world and see the stars. Here in London the sky is black and the lights are from other buildings, cars, and street lamps. It's beautiful, still, but Jane appreciates the stars more.
She hasn't slept well for a long time but it's only recently that she's begun to come outside. Before she would just lie in bed, eyes open in the darkness, her head on Thor's chest to feel him breathe, listen to his heartbeat, a balm against the nightmares she has where she sees him die (again). But even he cannot stave off the flashes of a world without light, a world in ruin, that the Aether showed her; he cannot erase the image of Frigga dead for her sake. (Loki, gray as ashes, haunts her too, and Jane feels an interesting cocktail of pity, regret and relief when his lifeless form appears in her mind.)
She doesn't know what Thor dreams of, only that he doesn't wake up from it like she does, but in the mornings his eyes are dull and shadowed just like hers.
Jane pulls the blanket a little tighter around herself and shivers. Another thing she misses about New Mexico: warmth. London is chilly and the wind, the wind calls her back to the empty plains of Svartalfheim. She was helpless there; at least London, Earth, is her own world, she knows how to save herself here.
Thor is calling her name from inside, fearful, frantic, desperate. "Thor?" she asks, standing up, blanket falling to the ground. Thor appears in the doorway a second later, eyes wild with terror, and Jane does not get the chance to ask why before he is hugging her tightly, like he is terrified she will vanish if he lets go of her.
"I dreamt of all of the times I nearly lost you," he murmurs into her hair by way of explanation, "and when I woke you were not there."
"I'm sorry," she whispers, and she can hear his heartbeat like a steady thump of not dead, not dead. "I couldn't sleep." She doesn't want to explain why but he seems to know, judging from the way his breath catches for a moment.
"What is there out here for you?" he asks. "You cannot see the stars."
She smiles a little at the thought that he knows her so well, he knows what she is looking for. "No," she says, and she breaks free of his arms and sits, tugging him down with her, throws the blanket over both of their shoulders. "But I mean, they're still there."
"Of course," Thor rumbles. "But you look to them for comfort and in regards to your sight they are not there."
"Well, that's about normal for me, then," Jane says with a laugh, and then she explains. "I've spent my whole life looking for things I can't see. It's what I do." She smiles, adding in her mind, and then you showed up, but she doesn't say it out loud because while Jane could go on for days about what Thor crash-landing into her life meant to Jane the scientist, he is more than validation of her hypotheses even if she hasn't ever found the worlds to describe what he is to Jane the person.
"I hit things with a hammer," Thor says, so solemnly that Jane leans forward so that she has more space to turn and look at his face. He holds a serious expression for three seconds before they both collapse into laughter.
"It's a very important job and you do it very well," Jane assures him. Her smile falters for a moment as she thinks her words aren't just a joke; there was only so much her crew could do to hold off Malekith without Thor.
"Thank you," he says gravely, and then he laughs and Jane's smile comes back. "You have done your job well, too."
She shakes her head. "There's still millions more things for me to find," she says, looking up at the sky.
"Tell me about them," Thor says, even though he only knows half of what she talks about and that would be if she used the same words as they do on Asgard, which she doesn't, but he wants to listen, and she talks and he asks questions when he can, because that's what love is, isn't it, in the quiet times when he is not saving her and she is not laying down to die with him.
Little things, like talking through the night under the stars they can't see.
Who needs sleep, anyway?