"Maybe it was a sign." Jane said, digging the spoon against the bottom of the ice cream tub. Her guarded eyes lifted to Thor. "Maybe it was the universes way of telling us that kids before marriage isn't allowed in Asgard."

Thor sighed and ran a hand over his eyes. He kept it there. "No Jane." he said somewhat stiffly. He was getting tired of having to repeat himself. "I have told you this. Numerously. People have children outside of wedlock all the time in Asgard. You have to accept that."

"But you're not just people though, are you?" she cut back relentlessly, rolling her gaze down to the near empty tub. "You're the prince."

"The point still stands." Thor tossed his hand back to his side and rose from his place in the armchair in the corner of the living room, crossing to the couch where Jane sat. Her gaze darted up sharply at his advance, but did nothing to resist as he cupped her face in both of his hands and angled her eyes up to his. "There was no reason, Jane." he said quietly, but clearly, accentuating every word. "There was nothing that could be done."

The conversation came up daily in some form or another, and Thor could hardly say he blamed her. She was only coping the best way she knew how - science. And in science there was always a cause. Always a reason. Still, he knew she had to accept the inevitable truth: they'd lost Anabelle out of pure misfortune.

Jane was struggling to get her head around it.

Mind you, he wasn't exactly the beacon of logic himself. His emotions raged through his system like they were tearing him apart.

They'd been on Earth for a week, and in a week they'd barely left the apartment. Thor had brought her back as soon as the burial ceremony was over. He'd been more than insistant, and Jane hadn't been quick to argue: she hadn't wanted to go back into their bedroom - or more specifically, their bathroom - either. It was something Thor simply wanted to leave behind. He knew he would never be able to look at the room in the same way again.

That was only part of the reason he'd brought her here. The other part was the medical attention she required, something Asgard couldn't give her.

Thor still had the nail marks in his hand from where Jane had held on to him during the 'dilatation and curettage'. The doctors had assured Thor that she could feel no pain while they cleared out the last of her womb - and more importantly, Jane had too - but it hadn't stopped her from clinging to him like there was no tomorrow, her eyes screwed tightly shut until the procedure had been firmly over.

That had only been earlier that morning. Thor had been outraged at such a long wait since their arrival, but there was nothing he could do - especially after already being threatened with an armed escort from the hospital, twice, when he tried to push his point across!

The only thing they'd done in the mean time was call Pepper Potts, who generously organised residence for them to stay in, paid for by Tony Stark's credit card. She'd sounded particularly gleeful at mentioning the last part. Thor had vaguely wondered what the genius had done to irritate his woman this time, but the thought had quickly been driven from his mind when the day of the hospital procedure had drawn closer.

Jane's face had remained stony and tense all through the hospital visit, hardly saying a word other than to say she wanted a local anaesthetic and not a general. The doctor had quickly explained to Thor what that meant.

He half wished he'd insisted on Jane being put to sleep while the operation had taken place - God only knew she needed the rest! She hadn't even tried sleeping since her pregnancy had ceased. Thor knew she must be exhausted. The dark circles under her eyes betrayed her when she denied it.

He straightened up with a sigh and settled beside her on the couch. His efforts to try and peel the ice cream tub from her fingers were fruitess.

At least it had brought her spirit back though, biting back through her numb misery.

"I'm tired, I'm traumatised, and I can't feel my body from the waist below." she glared at him hard. "I'm entitled to a bit of ice cream."

Thor refused to submit: he leaned forward and used one hand to gently hold Jane's body back by her shoulder while his other pried the tub away until she was forced to let go. He set it down on the floor. Jane snatched her hand away when he tried to tenderly lace his fingers with hers.

"A bit, yes." he said, trying - and failing - to meet her angry eye with his. "But not an entire barrels worth. You would make youself ill."

That was one thing he regretted the most about his 'give Jane all the control' thing: she'd fallen flat when it had come to stocking the cupboards. She hadn't been interested in eating sensible - and if Thor was honest, neither was he when it came down to himself - and had consequently filled the kitchen with nothing more than liquor and ice cream. Lots of it. And she was making quick work of the sweets.

Jane crossed her arms tightly across her chest, eyes narrowed at the blank flat screen TV. "I'm already ill."

"No, you're not." Thor persisted. "You are simply upset."

He watched her pout, eyes narrowing further at the innocent television and knew he was right. A long sigh trailed from his lips, feeling his will started to bend; he handed back the ice cream tub begrudgingly.

Whether it made her ill or not, Thor didn't have the heart to deny her after all she'd been through. He'd seen how scared she'd been on the run up to the opertion that morning and that alone pulled his heart strings enough to be wrapped around her little finger. But when he'd seen all the blood after it, and knew that she was still bleeding... it damn near broke his soul in two.

He'd brought her here to help her recover. So far, he felt like he had failed.

Still, he had to remind himself, it was better than leaving her to face the procedure back in Asgard; there, there was no pain relief at all. That was the main thing that had driven him to Earth. The thought of how much pain his Jane would have been in was simply unimaginable.

Finally, Jane's eyes lifted from the tub back to Thor and froze when they drank in his wounded expression. Then it was her turn to sigh.

No more ice cream for me then, Jane thought briefly to herself before setting the tub down on the floor and reaching her arms out for him like a child. He leaned forward and scooped her up without hesitation, settling her on his lap, so her numb legs were either side of his hips.

Jane wrapped her arms around his neck and pulled herself in close. "I'm sorry." she murmured, brushing her lips against his. "You're right."

"Jane." he sighed. He touched his mouth to hers in the same feather light exchange she had done to him. "Do whatever you need to do. I do not care if all you want is to beat me senseless, just as long as it brings no harm to you. That is my one condition."

His arms circled firmly around her waist and held her close as he touched his lips to hers again, lingering for longer than he'd intended. He couldn't remember the last time they'd kissed. It felt like a lifetime. A deep stab of shame cut through him as the heat shot straight to his belly. For the first time, he was glad Jane was numb, feeling his need for her grow uncontrollably. Abstaining had been easy when there was a baby he'd wanted to protect. Now there was nothing - nothing but his primal instincts, fuelled by his grief, that longed to have Jane close to him again.

He forced himself to break the kiss, the sight of Jane's half closed eyelids almost snapping his will clean in half.

"I don't care." She brushed her lips more insistantly against his.

Thor groaned when he felt her tongue press urgently against his lips, practically demanding entrance to his mouth. His hands stiffened either side of her head and peeled her away from him. He tried to ignore his hammering heart. "Jane." he rasped, fighting with his natural impulses. "Now is not the time."

It was Jane turn to groan as Thor tore himself away, setting her back on the couch and reaching for the wad bandages on his wonder to the back of the couch, where the punching back hung from the ceiling. He'd spent a lot of time fighting it lately. Bandages around his knuckles, he took up his stance.

"Then when is the time Thor?" Jane asked, pulling herself round to lean over the back o the couch. Her arms trembled slightly from the task. She stared at his back, his muscles already quaking beneath his white t-shirt even though he hadn't yet landed a blow. Her eyes lowered darkly when further words failed her.

Thor's fist thudded hard into the punching back. "Three weeks." he grunted between blows. "At least until you stop bleeding. As the doctor said."

"He also said I'd be extremely fertile for the next few weeks!" she half whined, eyes shooting up when unexpectedly replied to her. She wished he would just turn around and face her. "We could try again. As in - try. Not just a fluke like last time." Like Anabelle was, she corrected in her head. She still hadn't got used to saying her baby's name out loud yet.

"You would not be able to carry another child so soon." Thor rejected bluntly. "We were warned. You're body would not be strong enough and it would only cause you further harm."

"Thor..."

"No, Jane." The thuds ceased and Thor's hands fell to his sides again.

She sighed at his tone. He made her feel like a child, the stern warning in his voice that you simply didn't argue with.

Thor sighed heavily before he trudged round again, meeting Jane's eyes. They held a keen balance of anger and hurt. "You just had the insides of your womb scraped out and you want me to make love to you?!" He could hardly believe what he was hearing! Did she not understand how she was ripping him apart? He was torn between desire and diffidence, longing to take her as his but knowing it would only harm her - something he would never be able to do.

Jane dropped her gaze guiltily to the back of the couch, then let herself fall back freely so Thor was barred from view. Her ears couldn't be closed to his strangled groan of frustration though.

Her eyes blinked wetly at the ceiling. "I just want to be pregnant again." she murmured to no one in particular.

"I know."

A dull thud sounded and Jane imagined Thor slumped on the floor against the wall. It was hardly any wonder: while she'd sat on the sofa eating her ice cream for the last seven days, he'd been consistantly beating up the punching bag to let his pent up emotions out of his system. He must be exhausted.

"I should probably hit the gym then." Jane sighed dully, easing herself up the couch and propping her head on the arm of the sofa. Her hands folded over her stomach. "I need to lose this weight."

"Jane."

That tone again. He wasn't happy. Jane held her breath as she heard the unmistakable sound of him shuffling, quickly followed by his slow footsteps. Her eyes watched him warily when he came into view across the couch.

"I can order you pizza, if you want." She said quickly before he beat her to it. "When was the last time you ate something?"

Thor opened his mouth instantly to tell her ... then he realised he didn't actually know. Nothing today. Nothing yesterday. He tried to figure it out in his head, but his mind fizzled and refused to work. A long time, he concluded to himself. Too long.

A deep rumble from his stomach gave Jane her answer and her lips parted in a small subdued smile. "Phone." was all she said.

XXX

An hour later, Thor was delving into his third of five large pepperoni pizzas. Jane watched on from the other side of the couch in silence, hugging her arms around her legs to keep herself together. She was getting some feeling back now.

She gulped in a big breath, her thoughts no longer enough to satisfy her any more, feeling her hard emotions start to gain dangerous footing on her senses. Her eyes lifted to Thor. His crystal blue eyes were already watching her. "You want to cheer me up?" she asked starkly.

The pizza lowered instantly away from Thor's mouth. "Yes."

"Give me the book."

His brow furrowed - he thought they'd already crossed that bridge. "The book will not give you answers-"

"That's not what I want it for." she dismissed with an impatient wave. "Do you have it or not."

Thor's eyes scoured over her carefully before he even thought about answering: her eyes were fixed and determined, a dangerous but controlled blaze lighting them up. "Not." he finally said. "In our haste to leave, I left the guide in Asgard." Jane groaned and dropped her head to her hands. Thor still watched her curiously. "What did you want it for?"

She lifted her head, her empty hands clawing in the air. "To burn it!"

Thor was only numbly aware of the slice of pizza in his hand falling back into the box - he knew Jane was tense but ... he'd never anticipated such a violent reaction! "You seem better."

Jane simply shrugged as Thor picked up his slice again and tore another mouthful from it. She couldn't deny it; being on Earth made her feel better. It made it all feel slightly less real, all her troubles - literally! - in another world now. She dreaded the day she would have to go back to Asgard, knowing return was inevitable. She figured it would take a big distraction to take keep her mind from spinning into turmoil.

"Here."

She blinked, and suddenly Thor was waving a fresh slice of his fourth pizza under her nose. Her hands reached for it automatically as the unsupported tip started to bow.

She blinked questioningly up at him over the food, waiting as he shoved a new slice in his mouth whole and chewed. His eyes sparkled. "You need to eat something too, Jane." he insisted in a warm, soft tone that Jane hadn't realised she'd missed until it shot comforting heat through her insides.

Her eyebrows moved skywards. "I've already eaten. Too much."

"Frozen sugar doesn't count." Thor discarded immediately. "You need something that will give you strength."

"So sugar is bad for me but grease, fat and cholesterol aren't?"

"You are refusing?"

"You didn't listen to me talk about losing weight earlier, did you?"

"Not a word."

A smile teased at Thor's lips as Jane's face blossomed with chuckles, her eyes dropping down to the junk food in her hands. Thor watched her carefully. She was small and fragile - ad yet she'd pulled through so much. He wondered how on Earth she did it, but was quickly knocked back when he reminded himself just to be grateful that she did.

Finally, Jane took a small bite and chewed. A grimace soon followed. "That's not as nice as I remembered."

Thor chuckled and pushed the pizza box from his lap, pulling Jane in to replace it. Her eyes blinked up at him in suprise but soon settled when his strong arms wrapped around her body, holding her to his warm chest.

Her fingers flicked the pizza away before it was crushed between their two bodies, creeping her arms around his torso to return the embrace. God, this was what shed missed - being in his arms. Being held by her god. That was why she loved him. He just had to give her a single hug, a single kiss, and she felt like nothing in the whole world could ever touch her.

She hugged him tight, never wanting to let go.

"Do you want to have kids with me?" her lips suddenly blurted as she felt Thor's thumbs stroke her back sweetly.

Her jaw dropped open in shock - had she just asked him that?! Really?! Her eyes were wide as her body stiffened, trying to pull her body upright, but Thor's solid arms held her in place against him. Suddenly she was nervous as his silence hit her ears, his stillness bothering her.

Now she wanted an answer.

Slowly Thor started to come back to life, his lips starting to caress at the juncture of her jaw. His mouth started to trail kisses down her neck. "I want to have children with you, Jane Foster." he breathed heatedly against her skin, Jane arching her neck to give him better access to her throat. "Enough to fill the halls of Asgard tenfold."

Her fingers delved into his golden locks, anchoring him closer. Thor obliged, paying particular attention to a fond spot on the side of her neck until he was satisfied it would leave a bruising mark. His mark.

Jane sighed in content. "You sure?"

"I'm sure."

Thor moved his hands to grasp firmly at her hips, though he was unsure if she would feel it or not. She gave no indication either way, and Thor focussed instead on trailing open mouthed kisses down to her collar bone, the neck line of her button up shirt rustling.

"What if I can't carry your children?" Jane's hand suddenly fisted in his hair. "What if my body's just not compatable with a half Asgardian baby?"

He felt her chest swell with quickening breaths and Thor moved his hands to her hair, his lips finding hers again in a solid, deep kiss. He held her head still as he kissed her, tongue trailing the inside of her mouth, sweetly silencing her. "We shall see." he finally murmured, before nipping her mouth quickly with his. "In three weeks."

Jane heaved in a breath as Thor's possessive mouth released her, her body sub consciously leaning further into his. Thor moved his hands back to her hips to still her, the growing pressure in his groin testng his patience.

"You promise?" she gasped, resting her forehead against his. Her fingers played with his hair at the back of his neck.

"I promise." he sealed it with a fleeting kiss. "Three weeks. When you are recovered, we'll," the words stuck in his throat but he forced himself on. He wanted this more than anything, the emotion quite literally choking him. "We'll try again."

A small smile flickered over Jane's lips. "Then let the countdown begin."