Thor is in the battle for his life.

He dodges and bludgeons and lunges and spears, but his enemies keep coming. These unholy spawn are relentless, and without mercy or honour. If only he had his trusted hammer in his hand! He tries to jump, but just a fraction too late. He's precariously weak, and there are so many of them.

"Behind you!" Jane shouts, but he already knows they're behind him, and in front of him, everywhere, everywhere. Curse this damnable crowbar, which is less than useless as a weapon.

He doesn't stand a chance. He dies in an orgy of blood and flesh as they swarm over him. "Sons of whores!" he bellows, and chucks the controller to the floor. Not too hard, though, or Darcy would have his head on a stick in the front yard.

Jane pats him sympathetically on the back. "It's harder than it looks, am I right?"

"It's madness! No man could beat aliens and zombies. Also, I cannot understand why people waste so much precious time on these silly make-believe games instead of going out in search of real battles to wage."

"Because not all of us can be the God of Thunder. We want our adrenaline fix to be the non-lethal variety, thankyouverymuch."

"Is adrenaline the same as glory?"

"It's the feeling you get in your body when something shocking or exciting happens to you." She hesitates, as if she would say something else, but in the end doesn't.

"Ah, I know it well." He picks up the controller off the floor and restarts the game.

"I thought you said video games were silly."

"Silly, yes, but I will not rest until I have vanquished every headcrab that exists. This I swear to you."

She finds his conviction mysteriously amusing, and she pulls the controller from his hands. "Nuh-uh, it's my turn, pal."

"Try if you must, but I warn you that that crowbar is a fickle mistress, unwilling to obey your simplest..." He trails off as Jane begins to whack every enemy in sight with deadly accuracy. His disbelief is boundless as she races through the chapter, then the next, and on and on without hesitation. When she kills the antlion guardian, it's such an achievement that they both leap from the couch, shouting with joy. They embrace, Jane virtually disappearing in his arms.

He does not mean to kiss her. It's just that he's so proud of her, and she is so beautiful, flushed with victory, rogue wisps of hair framing her face from where they've escape her ponytail. He only intends it to be a friendly peck, a job well done, and it is, for a moment. But then her mouth opens, and she gives herself freely to him, pressing against him with such fierce need that it makes him ache.

He pulls away from her. "Jane, we've talked about this. It would not be honourable to use you in such a way when I don't know if I can stay here with you or not. I am too fond of you for that." He keeps a wide berth of the L-word, as Darcy calls it. He's not yet sure what he feels for Jane, and is loathe to name it that before it has a proper chance to grow in either of their hearts.

She bristles most prettily. "I don't know about where you're from, but in America my honour has nothing to do with our physical relationship."

He cups her cheek in his hand. "Not your honour, Jane. Mine."

"Oh."

He sits back down on the couch and picks up the controller again. "Besides, I fear my strength in passion would be too much for you to withstand."

She studies him, arms crossed. "Really? Because I'm tougher than I look."

"Of that I have no doubt. But you are built like the slightest branch on the youngest sapling. I could never bear it if I were to hurt you without meaning to."

"But you don't know you'd hurt me."

"No, I only suspect it. And that is good enough for me."

She's silent, chewing on the quick of her thumb. Just as Thor's about to shoot a Combine, Jane turns the television off. "It's not good enough for me."

"What are you doing?"

"I think this is important enough that we shouldn't just rely on your gut instinct. I mean, if you're going to be interacting with me, we can't depend on guesswork for such important decisions. We need to use the Scientific Method."

She's as serious as he's ever seen her. He sets the controller on the ottoman. "How do we do that?"

"I need to characterize, hypothesize, predict, and test to gather and analyze the results."

"I do not understand what that means."

"It's very, very complicated. I need to tabulate the correlations as thoroughly as possible while deconstructing the data." She presses her lips together, her eyes wide with sincerity.

"All right. Of course. Whatever you think is best. What do we have to do?"

"We have to take off our pants."

"What?"

"Our pants. The question is, if we're intimate will you hurt me? My guess is no, your guess is yes. We have to test that theory. And the only way we can do that is if we take off our pants."

He doesn't know what to make of her. He is the son of Odin. He is the one who orders others to take their clothing off. Jane either doesn't know this, or doesn't care. "I'm not certain about this idea, Jane. I feel no good can come of it."

"Thor, I'm a scientist. Truth is sought for its own sake."

Whatever his misgivings, he can't argue with such a noble sentiment. However, he still has a line that he will not cross. "All right, but I'm unwilling to do anything that might result in harm to you. I don't want to prove I'm right at your expense."

"Understood. Remember, I'm conducting this experiment. You're the test subject. So you just leave this to me." She shoves him flat on his back. He allows himself to be shoved. "Now take off your pants."

He never knew science was so pushy. He shimmies out of his jeans, buttocks in the air. This couch is not really big enough to fit all of him, but he perseveres. He takes his time folding the jeans and setting them on the floor beside the couch – this is so he doesn't have to watch Jane take off her own pants. Being able to see just how little of her smooth skin is covered by the bit of silky fabric she's wearing underneath is most unsettling. If he didn't know better, he would think that she shaves more than just her legs, which isn't even possible. Is it? He sits up so Jane can't see how excited this is making him, because he doesn't want to ruin her experiment before it's even begun.

She runs to the kitchen and comes back with a clipboard and pencil. "See? This is for the data." She draws lines and writes beside them. "Act, level of discomfort, finding. Completely scientific. Are you with me?"

He nods. "I am with you."

Okay, let's get started." She drops to her knees on the carpet in front of him.

He cannot comprehend where this seems to be going. Jane is making it excruciatingly difficult to be honourable. Would it ruin the experiment if he jumped up and fled? He suspects so. "I refuse to take off my undergarment," he says at once.

"That's all right, I'll manage." She pulls apart a secret opening he didn't know existed in the undergarment and his manhood springs out, shocking both of them. He's flabbergasted. What's the point of a garment that is supposed to secure and protect you when it has such an crucial flaw?

"Wow," Jane says. They look at each other. She gamely licks her lips as she leans forward, her hands on his thighs. And then her mouth...oh, her mouth. He lifts his face to the heavens and grips the couch cushions. Would it be bad form to move? To encourage her? To hold her head down and see just how deep she can...by all the Asgardian Gods, he didn't mean that. He stays completely still, holding his breath, and lets Jane do whatever she wants. She gags again and again, and this does not excite him further, he tells himself. It must be awful for her, choking like that. His hips start to inch toward her face directly against his will.

She eventually comes up for air, laughing and gasping. She wipes her mouth with her arm then picks up the clipboard. "Blowjob. Level of discomfort: seven. Unless I somehow learn to unhinge my jaw like a snake, I don't think I'm going to be winning awards for my technique any time soon. Not with your penis, anyway." She grins at him, then sees the expression on his face and hurriedly examines the clipboard, frowning mightily in thought. She writes something down and sets the clipboard aside.

She sits beside him on the couch. "Give me your fingers." She hold out her hands and waits as if there is no other possible outcome except his agreement. He sighs and gives her his fingers. His hands are huge, twice the size of hers. "Next we're going to find out if my vagina can accommodate your freakishly large digits."

This is exactly the kind of thing he fears might truly hurt her, but she sounds so authoritative and knowledgeable. "Please Jane, reconsider. I could tear you. At least let me moisten my fingers first."

"That's not a variable in this experiment." She spreads her legs and pushes aside her undergarment like it isn't there. Has there ever been a more useless piece of clothing? She is so tiny and he is so huge, and he would be aroused beyond belief if he weren't so worried for her. "Be careful," he orders her as she lies back, pulling his hand along with her.

"Let's start with just one," she suggests, and he gives her his middle finger out of habit, but then changes his mind and switches to his pointing finger, which is shorter and less likely to bruise something inside her. She guides his hand, and his finger slides in all the way to the second knuckle. No wonder she didn't need him to moisten his finger; she's as wet as a woman can be, slick and ready, and his breath catches. She makes a noise in the back of her throat, which alarms him, but the look on her face is not of someone in pain. This rattles him more than he'd like to admit. He was prepared if he hurt her, but has no idea how to handle her pleasure. She pulls and pushes his wrist, and his finger moves in and out of her.

She lets go of his wrist. "Now try it with two," she tells him, and he obeys. His two fingers don't fit as easily, but she works them in, and gasps when she succeeds. She's tight and willing and eager, and he thinks it would further the experiment if he helps her out, pushing his fingers in just a bit deeper, a bit harder than she'd be able to on her own. He does it again and again – her reaction is gratifying, and includes biting him on the shoulder.

It seems he's only barely started to enjoy himself when she tugs his fingers out. "Now three?" he asks, but she shakes her head. His heart is beating faster than when he faces death in hand-to-hand combat. He doesn't want to stop now. "Then what next?"

"If we ever engage in intercourse," she says like she's reading from a book with small print and no pictures, "there'll be a variety of positions that have the potential to injure me. I think we should test each position in a controlled setting so we'll know in advance which ones to avoid."

"That is an excellent idea," he says, warming to the whole experiment. "It's always important to plan your attack in advance, so there are no unpleasant surprises."

She writes again on the clipboard then chucks it to the floor and climbs onto the ottoman. Her undergarment soon follows the clipboard. "Missionary first."

He has no idea what that means, but he has his doubts about the ottoman. "Are you sure it can withstand our weight?"

"Let's find out." She lies on her back and eagerly holds her arms out for him.

He gets rid of his ridiculous undergarment as hastily as he's ever done anything, and climbs on top of her. She wraps her legs around him, and he's not sure who has who where they want them. The ottoman groans, but holds. He is trying very much to stay scientific, but she's trembling hard, waiting, and his head is spinning. He kisses her over and over until neither of them can stand it a moment more. "Just tell me if it hurts," he whispers, and slowly, slowly eases into her. He knows he's well-endowed and it's going to be a tight fit, but he has to say, she takes it like a soldier. She clings to him and makes noises that are like sobs even though she isn't crying, and pulls him more tightly against her. He doesn't want to think of himself, of his own pleasure, although he can't help but move inside her. He tries his best not to go too hard, but it's difficult when she's so wet. She seems to have forgotten her prime directive, because her eyes are now screwed shut, her nails digging into his back. He stops. She opens her eyes. "Are you all right?" he asks her.

"What? Yes."

"Then which position should we try next?" This part is turning out to be more fun than he'd anticipated.

She's as enthused with the question as he is. "Yes! Which one? Here, let's switch. You get on your back." She wriggles under him, anxious to get into the next position as quickly as possible.

He lies on his back, feet flat on the floor, and she straddles him. Much to his delight, she faces away from him. The view is most pleasing. He wishes he wasn't hard as a steel blade for her sake, but this is beyond anything he's every imagined doing with her. She sinks down on him until their bodies meet, and then she begins to carefully grind against him until he's straining and desperate for release. He thrusts upward, just once, and she yelps. Oops. "That was definitely too much of a good thing," she says, and pulls herself off. "Let's try something else."

He can't wait to hear what she chooses. She has got to be the best scientist on the planet to think of this experiment. Maybe several planets. "Don't you need to write down the results?" he asks.

"Screw the results. Okay, now what? How about doggie style?"

He's never heard it called that, but he can guess what it means. The view just gets more and more spectacular as she settles on her forearms and knees. He stands behind her and puts his hands on her hips. "I will be as gentle as I can be," he promises. He slides into her an inch at a time, waiting for her to protest, but instead she arches her back and bumps against him impatiently. When he's sure he's not going to impale her, he begins to move in tender, easy strokes, taking care not go too deep. She whimpers. He stops again. "Are you all right?"

She turns her head and glares at him. "Don't you have better things to fucking do than keep asking me if I'm all right?" She faces front and waits.

Thor blinks. Jane isn't the only one reaching new conclusions from this experiment. He has sorely underestimated how much abuse Jane's body can take – how much abuse, in fact, she requires. Now he understands precisely what she wants. He jerks her head back by her ponytail. "Tell me if this hurts," he says, and drives into her. Jane's arms instantly give out and she pitches forward onto her face. No matter, he holds her in place, thumbs spreading her apart as he gives her exactly what she's asked for. He enjoys her outcries immensely, and decides that any resultant bruising from this will eventually heal, as in any battle. He's only partially astonished when she braces herself and pounds back against him as hard as she can. She's more of a warrior than he ever imagined.

He doesn't last an entirely long time because this is without a doubt the best sex he's ever had, but that might be for the best because as it is, there's no way Jane is going to be able to walk tomorrow without wincing. When he's taken his final punishing thrust, he lets her crumple into a heap, then collapses on his back next to her on the ottoman. She doesn't say anything, but does throw her arms around him. He supposes this means she doesn't hate him now.

Everything is much more complicated on Earth, Thor is discovering. Before, he knew exactly who he was, his purpose, where he belonged in his world, and where everyone else belonged as well. Now, everything is a puzzle, a mystery, and nobody is doing anything as he expects, including himself. All in all, he likes this way better. Not that he would ever admit it to anyone, and most especially not to his father. He kisses Jane on her sweaty forehead, and sees that she's already asleep. Science is very wearing, it would seem.

He leans over and takes the clipboard from the floor to see what she's written. As it turns out, nothing at all. She's made a few messy lines and numbers, and everything else is literally scribbles. He had some inkling, of course, that this wasn't wholly a scientific experiment, but there wasn't even a kernel of truth to it! She's tricked him like he was nothing but a... a plaything, on the back of his honour and best intentions. Thor has been with many a woman, but none in the entire kingdom of Asgard would dare treat him in such a way.

He turns to wake her, but she's out cold now, a satisfied smile plastered on her face. What a vixen! He kisses her lips instead, and in sleep she takes her hand and shoves his face away from her. He laughs out loud - she really is like no woman he's ever known. He closes his eyes and drifts off himself, his legs hanging off the ottoman entirely, the L-word strong and sturdy as a hammer in his hand.