~ Prologue ~
The golden eyes of Asgard were an unbelievable asset to Odin and his people. The inhabitance of this realm knew it all too well. Thor had heard the stories as a child and now had seen the guardian of the Bifrost in action too many times to doubt his power. Walking on the rainbow bridge calmly, towards the shattered end he himself created to defy Loki's plans, Heimdall saw him coming for a long while now. That fact by itself wasn't too strange but the catch was that even without the power of sight… Heimdall already knew.
A voyeur's habit. Thor would make this a twice-daily trip for months now. He needed to get a progress report… on her. It was a routine in between the vigorous training and hearty dining that he would never miss. Those golden eyes have been peering down on Midgard by request quite too many times as far as Heimdall was concerned.
"You're here earlier than usual." Heimdall's sparkling glare never leave its targets, not even giving the God of Thunder a glance.
"I'm anxious my friend." Thor's cape slid against the colorful prism sheen of the Bifrost, standing side by side with Asgard's guardian like a peer. "News of Jane's success makes me quite a happy warrior."
"So I've seen." The golden soldier scans at the memories of his visions, the two sharing a quiet moment as Thor waited for words. Heimdall had the habit of keeping anxious Asgardians waiting in conversations. For Thor he wanted to extend the usual pauses. A reminder to the prince to stay calm was a silent lesson. These two had the history to merit Heimdall's concern for Thor's future royal place in Asgard.
"Your time to return to Earth draws near. She is making great strides along with the help of many mortals. It is amazing how far they have come since the Frost Giant War."
"Hah! I told you all the faith in Jane would be rewarded." Thor clenched his fist as if he had just won a battle of great magnitude. Heimdall chuckles to himself, his sword planted at his feet as he finally peers over to the young prince.
"It still is strange seeing you so committed to anyone… especially an outsider."
"She's not just anyone Heimdall. You've seen what I see haven't you?" Thor's suggestive smile rang more true for an excited boy rather than a precursor to the throne.
The golden god made nothing of it. "An unwavering desire to get you back is all I see. It is not my place to-"
"Relax old friend." Thor suddenly pats the heavily armored warrior on the back, making him stare a bit dumbly. A pat on the back by Thor would shake up even the hardest of warriors. "You can tell me how beautiful you think she is. Come on… no need for formalities."
"… I will do no such thing."
"Heimdall… father is not watching. No royal warriors are here to judge you!" Thor jokes, showing the more humorous side he had picked up on Earth. "I've been learning the need sometimes to just drop the theatrics. To just let go and be what the Earthlings call… "chilled"."
Darcy's influence reared its ugly face. Heimdall was a proud Asgardian warrior and just couldn't stoop to that level. There was no reply to be had. The God of sight slowly turned his head back towards dark space in silence. Thor only chuckled to himself as he crosses his arms, MJOLNIR resting against his broad shoulder. While Heimdall wasn't looking at Thor directly… he could see the changed prince clearly.
"Sometimes it stuns me what Earth has done to you. What this mortal woman has done to you." Heimdall said with a bit of lightness. "But you have changed in a way that has made you much more fit… to rule. Odin has never been so even keel even with the loss of your brother."
"L-like I said…" Thor reminisces only for a second, the slight mention of his brother needing to be brushed aside like a bad memory. "She's no ordinary woman. It takes a special one to get through to me… let alone save me."
Heimdall was as stoic as the calm air itself after a hearty and amused grin. "The first time you told me this I thought of you as a fool blinded by primal infatuation." He didn't move an inch as Thor gave him full attention. "But as I continued to watch her as she tries to rebuild a godsend. I soon realized that she never stops. She never wavered. She never… crumbled. She is a special one. She has the same tenacity that you have."
Thor could only grow more eager of the coming day where he could touch her again. Where he could hold her and have Jane all to himself. Even with the emotion inside… this future king was so tempered. An amazing woman had indeed changed him.
"No my friend…" Thor shook his head, Heimdall hearing the next words with heavy thought. "She has much more of it…"
"I would hope you two are equal." Heimdall tapped into his thoughts. "If anything I have learned in the past occurrences is that my sight cannot see all." The dark skinned soldier suddenly closes his eyes. "… Something inside me senses trouble on the horizon. Asgard… will need you at your best prince, son of my king."
"We have faced many threats and have defeated them all."
"Yes… we have been fortunate." Heimdall whispers an ominous omen next. "But we all know fortune does not last forever."
Thor nods, his brash naivety of Asgardian strength a distant past. "Then we will leave fortune behind and succeed with our own will. There are too many great people here in Asgard… and all the realms ready to protect at a moments notice."
"Yes my prince…" Heimdall tightens his stare. "But there are just as many dangerous beings that yearn for only destruction." He points at Thor. "Enjoy the time Thor. But when the time comes your focus needs to be all encompassing. You are the strength and heart of our home."
"… Is this a cryptic way of saying I've been too obsessed with love old friend?"
"… If it were only that simple my prince. If it was only that easy."
The image of a scorn Loki couldn't be seen.
It would be soon…
- T – J – L –
[ New Mexico | Bifrost Teleport Site ]
"Wow, look at our little energizer bunny go."
Darcy muttered the corporate catch phrase fondly as she and Eric were taking a coffee break, sipping on some nice hot mocha lattes. The two companions that seemed joined at the hip of the one and only Jane Foster were always amazed at their leader's work ethic but this was ridiculous. Twenty-four hour shifts was… not sane. How many times did they have to bow out as Jane kept up her pace in the late nights was getting to be a bit silly.
"She keeps going and going and going and going…"
"This isn't funny at all. I keep trying to pull her way but it's no use." Eric Selvig sighed in defeat, leaning back against the glass wall, the elder statesmen needing the break. "The girl has to relax. We have to-"
"Shh! You can't stop true love Eric. It's like a virus that spreads from your heart and it's a killer!"
"Sounds horrible…" Eric replied with a shrug. Clearly the older man was not an open romantic.
From across the site indeed Jane Foster was working her tail off. Dust over her pretty face and decked in the same working outfits of sweats and a long t-shirt, she was truly a science girl on a mission. She needed this busy-ness. She needed this focus. Without any of this… she'd be more of a wreck than she was. Thinking of him was too painful. She couldn't think of him never returning. She wouldn't let that thought slip into her mind. There was no plan B.
Thor was going to return even at the cost of her health and sanity.
"This is amazing research Professor Foster." The fantastic sight of a stretchy arm that pulled itself eight feet from across the room handed Jane back her book of inter-dimensional research. If Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four was amazed… that could only mean great things.
"Thank you. I'm flattered hearing such things from someone like you." Jane admitted it and that was rare. She felt quite semi-accomplished as she saw the celebrity scientist begin to look over the strange rig planted in the middle of the room. Seeing such a famed hero in her field, gushing over what she was working on was unreal. Thor's return was the driving force of all the progress that has happened in the past months.
Even far away… you're giving me so much.
In front of the two science buffs was an enigma that has taken a ridiculous effort from so many outlets. What Mr. Fantastic was looking over was months of funding from S.H.I.E.L.D. combined with mechanisms even he had never seen before in his life. A strange box that was settled within this mech tool that glowed a brilliant crimson red was the key. Jane's calculations and technology with no spending cap from her superiors was an innovative combination indeed.
"I've only dabbled into space riffs and other dimensions awhile back when dealing with a silver space anomaly. I wish I could just soak all this knowledge in." Richards was now fiddling around with the tools, looking inside the machine for his own surgical knowledge. "… So this machine is going to mimic the structure that connects our world to the… 'Tree' as you said?"
"Yes the calculations are based off of data from… Thor's last appearance." Jane opened her black book, tracing back her calculations relative to the placement of the Aurora patterns she had seen and studied so closely. Thor's drawings and explanations had finished the puzzle she had been trying to solve for most of her early twenties.
"And you are able to harness this power with-"
"S.H.I.E.L.D's aid…" Jane mentioned abruptly as the dark outfitted brigade definitely had their presence known. The Foster research group had definitely had their share of help from Nick Fury's operations. But to say they weren't kept in the dark was a sad joke. A lot of the technology that actually powered Jane's theory and concepts was kept a secret. It was like making a deal with the devil… and Mr. Fantastic seemed to notice this quickly.
"I was hoping you'd know what it was." Jane saw him fiddling around with the mysterious machine.
"… If I did they probably wouldn't have let me come here professor." Reed replied simply. The two scientists had a similar question. What in the world were they tapping into for this cause?
"Okay time out both you smarty pants!" Darcy barged into the science committee, grabbing Jane gently by the wrist. "Sorry Mr. Fantastic… but Jane here needs a little coffee break."
"Jane, no more waiting on this girl. If you don't stop Eric's gonna go on a hunger strike and… wait a sec." Darcy blinked in realization. "All of the Gummy Bears would be…" She smiled. "Okay never mind. Stay here and drive Eric more nuts. How about you and me split the bears? … I get all the green and yellow ones? You can have purple… ew."
Kidding aside, Darcy's positive energy wrapped around Jane like a rope that just wouldn't let go. The two girls took a peak at Reed who was so into the machine he was barely paying attention. As the Fantastic Four member began to realize he was being stared at he shook out of his science trance.
"Oh… uh don't mind me. I'll be studying this… and I'll be a-okay." Reed Richards gave the thumbs up and an awkward laugh. "Heh, go do as you wish."
"I'll be right back Mr. Richards." Jane reluctantly gave in and finally after too many hours, walking off, Darcy was all big smiles at her accomplishment. She had pulled Ms. Work-a-holic away for a second and it was a great victory. From the world of science… to the world of Darcy Lewis is a major shift.
"Say, that Mr. Fantastic is a cute guy but damn he's such a nerd. How do you think he got that wife of his?"
"… Not everyone needs the toughest looking of the bunch."
"Says the girl who's going to be dating Thor in about a couple days?"
Jane snickered as she shook her head at inane girl discussions, taking the cup of coffee and blowing off steam to cool it. She took a sip as she now could watch and see from afar with time to reflect. She had barely anytime to breathe let alone reflect…
It had been an amazing process from Thor's first arrival until now. From scratch, ideas became a reality. The entire area was blockaded like MJOLNIR was, this area almost becoming a small city in itself. In science lore this place had become a Mecca for inter-dimensional evidence and travel. Many scientists have been tapped for their expertise by S.H.I.E.L.D and because of this Jane and the gang able to meet the most brilliant minds in the world.
Not all of the Foster team was as appreciative of the brilliance as much as the physical.
"Hey Jane… don't judge me but um… ya think… since Mr. Fantastic can stretch like anything that… his um… ya know… thing… can-"
Splat! Jane's coffee spat all over the dirt ground and she began to cough.
"W-what? Was it something I said?"
"Darcy! That's so WRONG!"
"Oh come on… you had to have thought that the first time-"
"No… I did not." Jane wiped off her mouth, almost shamefully ridding herself of such thoughts. Darcy couldn't help her young and one-track mind.
"F-fine… jeez… I was just curious. Not all of us have a Super Hero Boyfriend to think about you know." Darcy whined. "I'm lonely! I'm Mrs. Lonely! I have nobody! To call my own!"
Jane rolled her eyes. What good was the love of a superhero boyfriend that wasn't even around? Darcy's amusement wasn't the purpose of celebrity scientist mingling. The bottom line for Reed Richards was simple. He was tapped by S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives and asked to overlook the transmission converter, the kick-starter to this theoretical replacement for the Bifrost connection... an artificial space tunnel. His expertise in engineering was preparing for a power source that was being brought today.
A package from Stark Enterprises.
Delivered by the man himself.
"Looks like he's finally here." Eric stood up as the sound of a S.H.I.E.L.D. chopper closes in. Air space over the Bifrost site was as tight as the Pentagon. This air vehicle had to be the arrival of Tony Stark.
Always the epic entrance…
"I can't believe we're going to meet Iron Man!" Darcy clapped so happily, closing on the landing zone.
"Keep your bad thoughts to yourself in front of him okay?"
The two friends stayed close and followed their elder example, everyone covering their faces from dust kick up of the lowering helicopter. The jet landed with a graceful placement and deceleration of the propellers, out of the chopper a few soldiers escorting out the man himself in the always-nice suit. With a pull off of those shades Darcy was already having a fangasm.
"Mr. Stark." Eric chuckles, walking out to greet him like an old friend. "My my has it been a long time."
"Selvig, you look good. Since when did they develop a de-aging machine huh?" Tony Stark gave a pointed gun and click with his fingers, dragging along a silver briefcase.
"Hehe, I know you're busy but this-"
"Wow…" Tony Stark stared a hole at the sight of Jane Foster, all else becoming irrelevant as he reached his hands out. "And you must be the brilliant Jane Foster. I hear you have been doing more then stellar work for us."
"Heh, that's funny." Jane ginned so cute. "I didn't quite get that nice of a greeting from you the first time we met."
"We've met?" Mr. Stark couldn't recall.
"Culver College Q and A… I waited in line for three hours to meet you and you blew me off and almost all the students when it was my turn to see you."
"Oh… boy… I wasn't the coolest guy back then was I?"
"I guess it wasn't your fault. I just shouldn't have gone through that ugly stage huh?" Jane smirked a bit too kindly as she reached out. "Is that the powering cell?"
"… Uh yes…" Tony could only chuckle to himself extending the suitcase to have Jane snatch it with her beautiful smile. This meeting was meant to be a quick one.
"Thank you Mr. Stark. Like Eric said… I know you are busy… I don't want to waste your time. I appreciate the help."
Jane really meant business and nothing else registered in her mind. She opened the case with a press of her finger to the lock's side, a large crystalline gem glowing a deep blue – a legendary image in the science field. She was too excited. So excited she bolted towards the machine. The technology that powered Iron Man's Mark III armor, the technology that rejuvenated Stark Enterprises was going to be the key to her machine… another step closer to bringing back her love.
"So… she had an ugly stage?" Tony muttered, being quite behind the conversation.
"Yeah… she had braces… and looked awkward. She grew up nice though didn't she?" Darcy charmed herself in, extending her own handshake. "Darcy Lewis by the way, Jane Foster's right hand girl. Pleased to meet you Mr. Stark. I'm such a fan!"
"Oh thank you…" Tony never really peaked down from Jane. "Is she… uh… seeing anyone?"
"You could say that." Darcy huffed at the thought of being blown off yet again for someone eyeing Jane. "… But she wouldn't be interested in you Mr. Stark."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Tony blinked.
"She goes for the flying-"
"Hello? I can fly… thrusters on the gloves and greaves?"
"She goes for the super hero-"
"Hey. Iron Man? I am a super hero."
"She goes for the God of Asgard type…"
"… Well some girls I say bye to in the morning called me a God the night before. Does that count?"
"… I'm sure they do." Darcy laughed as she eyed him up and down like delectable meal.
"Okay so two out of three… that isn't too bad."
"Trust me, don't touch her." Darcy huffed for herself but sounded strong, again the hopeless sidekick. "If you do you're going to have to deal with a hammer wielding force even you can't handle."
Tales of an angry Thor were already an infamous story among meta-humans on Earth.
"Always the same 'boring' obstacles huh?" Tony just stared as Mr. Fantastic waved at him. "Richards is here… heh… I'd knew I'd be in a nerd convention out in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico one of these days."
"Thanks for helping Tony." Eric broke into his thoughts. "Jane has been working around the clock on this project."
"I've heard about what went down here months ago and I think it's well worth it." Tony patted the shoulder of an old colleague. "I don't know why but if Jane is in charge, I feel safe we're going to get our man."
"Putting all this money to bring back Thor is quite an investment."
"From what I've seen and heard… he'll be perfect on this team." Tony took a glance around the S.H.I.E.L.D. armory only to look at his watch. The time for a new era of Earth's protection was nearly at hand.
"Jane will get him to Earth, she is so close to doing so." Eric reassured.
"Oh don't worry old friend. I can see it myself. It isn't a matter of if but… when." Tony shared the same look Eric and Darcy did a while ago. Watching a young woman like that brush out all distractions and weakness was inspiring. Jane Foster didn't see any other result. Thor… was walking on Earth soon enough.
**A few weeks later and the impossible happened. The portal to Asgard was opened. Mere mortals had rejuvenated the Bifrost. A crowd of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and three of the Avengers themselves were waiting on the sideline. Thor makes no eye contact anywhere else. He had been waiting to see her for too long.**
**"You are a sight to behold Jane."**
**"… What took you so long?"**
**"I've never been one to be accurate with time…"**
**"I've been waiting for you and it was horrible! I-"**
**"There is a lot to explain. I didn't want to leave you…"**
**"… I just can't believe you're back."**
**An embrace and a furious kiss sealed their passion. Her prince had returned. His beautiful savior once again his own. From afar a group walk towards them, still clouded in the dust of a thunderous storm. A reminder that this was beyond Jane and Thor's affections.**
**"Who are they Jane?"**
- T – J – L –
[ New York City | A Week Later ]
It was a familiar sight for Jane but definitely not a boring one. There was not a hint of that mystical armor on him, Thor, prince of Asgard once again trying to assimilate into the world of Earth. The process a slow one and was all entertainment for this woman of science. This time it was to be a more permanent introduction to Earth and the awkwardness was still there in spades. New York was no New Mexico… a much different crowd and place.
"Yo man! You're that dude with the hammer!" A pedestrian walked by flashing his little camera. "I think you're totally bad ass man!"
"You are the bad ass as well my brother!" Thor replied out of instinct. "The baddest of the asses!"
Jane giggled so loud she wanted to pinch herself. The way he had no idea why people were giving him such strange looks was part of the charm. It was that amusement that made her think such a powerful warrior was so 'cute' in the first place. She was relishing in it. Almost guilty to a fault.
"You have taught me so many things Jane but tell me… I still do not understand why they call this living city an 'Apple'. Please explain."
"Thor I thought we were done with this?" Jane couldn't help but break a grin at her curious student. She backs away, hands in her winter coat. "We need to take this slow. You'll get culture shock at this rate."
"Yes. It's a strange feeling wanting so badly to… learn of this culture." Thor even surprised himself with the more open mind he had attained through humility. The image said it all. The deity had an unorthodox look for a God, strolling the city in a New York Rangers jersey and Yankees hat. Darcy had fun dressing him up for sure. "It is more addicting than the garden ale at home. Forgive my forwardness."
"No… I'm glad you're enjoying yourself." Jane's hand was taken from her pocket, being rubbed to warmth by those Asgardian mitts. The way he took her hand. The way he stared at her… always made her feel like such a… princess.
"Enjoying is not a word strong enough to describe this." Thor flashed his prince charming skills, pulling her gently into his strong arms. "I am glad to have met you. I am honored to be here with you and I would wish to be nowhere else."
"… Making me speechless again…" Jane was as cozy as can be, staring into his dreamy eyes… only to twirl her finger at him. "But I know you miss your home already. You can't stop talking about Asgard either."
"Always so smart my lady." Thor lifts her onto her tiptoes, pressing his lips into her cheek… making Jane as woozy as usual. "You know what? I think it's time I show you around my home for a change."
"Wait… Thor… you mean-"
"Yes. I want you to meet my family. To come to Asgard with me. I have so much to show you there."
"I… I… uh…" Jane stuttered.
"What is wrong?" Thor blinked. "You do not want to go to-"
"Hell yes I-! I… I mean… of course… I'd love to go with you." Jane recomposed herself as she interrupted. "I… thought you'd never ask or that there was a requirement to go to Asgard."
"My father… would be pleased to finally meet you."
"Odin… oh my…" Jane held her head. "What would I even say to him? Do… I call him your majesty? How about your mother? What… would I do?"
"Calm down my lady." Thor pressed a finger a bit hard into her lips, smooching it as Jane looked up in a clueless yet cute stare. "They know how special you are because people have seen and I have told. All you need to do is show them who you are."
"… You are like walking poet sometimes." Jane mutters against his finger, calming herself down fast at that point. "Can I bring cameras and equipment for study?"
"Your mind is a bit focused on the research isn't it?"
"Didn't think it would hurt to ask."
"You may do as you like but I cannot guarantee my fellow Asgardians will be as understanding as I."
"… So that's a big no." Jane thought of a group of angry super warriors on her tail
"Hehe, just enjoy this opportunity my lady." Thor calmed her science ways. "You've been so great to me and your diligence to find me is legendary. It left me speechless while telling my peers about you. This is my gift for you've given me."
"... Ugh Thor, you always make me blush like a little girl." Jane almost whined now, feeling emotions that ranged from uncontainable excitement to the deepest infatuation. Thor could only chuckle as he held on tightly what he cherished so much.
"After Steve Rogers and your friends are complete with my 'Avenger' business… we will leave tomorrow is that alright?"
"More than alright…"
"Good. Now…" He sniffed the air, smelling the waft of NYC Cheese, Tomato, and Pepperoni. "I am in the mood for one of those meals you call a pizza… and then we must go the Garden you call Madison Square." Thor's hunger and might was the only constant now from the man Jane met long ago. She gladly gave the nod, the two lovebirds making their way to a New York spot.
From behind the NYC pedestrian crowd a black coated omen follows slowly and amused. Stalking was something that Loki was becoming an expert at. The fallen son of Asgard, the God of mischief had a darker heir about him. The Loki that grew up under Odin seemed nothing but a lost memory. He had tossed himself into the abyss of destruction he himself created.
What came out the other side was a Loki that had seen things that changed him.
"… Enjoy yourself now… brother." Loki warns almost to himself, staring as Thor and Jane walked into a building. "The time for the end to glory of all Asgardians is right now…"
All you care about?
All you protect?
Brothers will fight and kill each other,
An axe age, a sword age
Shields are riven
A wind age, a wolf age—
before the world goes headlong.
No man will have mercy on another
A/N: This is totally going to be non-canon by the time the Avenger Film comes out... heck probably when Captain America comes out but I guess this is my attempt at bridging Thor into the Marvel Movie verse. :)
Jane and Thor is too cute.
And Loki is... the man!