Disclaimer: I do not own Thor, nor do I own any of the associated characters. After repeating this in over a hundred stories, some of them chaptered, it should be obvious by now.
Summary: He was no longer a god, and he could never return home, but perhaps he could eventually make a new one.
Erik Selvig was sitting at the small table, barely able to lift his head as he dropped a small cube into a glass of water, watching as it started to fizz.
Sitting across from him, Darcy Lewis looked amused, but had grace enough not to say anything.
At the stove, Jane smiled at him as he brought over two plates of toasted bread, scooping eggs onto them.
In Asgard, it was a scene that would have had him itching for something to do and planning how to coax his brother and friends into some new adventure. Here, far from home and family and friends, he felt only a strange sense of peace.
Last night, he had convinced Jane to follow him into danger, not even thinking that she had no knowledge of how to defend herself, and so arrogant that he thought merely touching his hammer would restore him to who he had been. All he had achieved was to bring suspicion down upon the three strangers who had been nothing but kind and helpful to him, and who still helped him get out of SHIELD captivity.
It was his fault that all of Jane's research, her life's work, had been taken from her, yet she had not blamed him, but smiled as though he had handed her the world when he managed to return no more than her notebook.
Thor's mighty deeds had been sung through Asgard, Midgard, and at least two other realms, and he had revelled in the praise and attention. Jane's eyes had lit up as she thanked him, and it was the first time that he felt worthy of that praise.
"I'm really glad that you're safe"
There had been nothing but sincerity in Jane's eyes and voice, despite the fact that he had brought her nothing but trouble and a promise that he would no longer be able to keep. For the first time, he had felt ashamed as he considered the consequences of his actions.
"You've been very kind to me, and I've been far less grateful than you deserve."
But recognizing this fact was perhaps the first step to making amends, doing what he could to fix the damage his mistakes had wrought.
"Well, I did hit you with my car a couple of times, so I think that evens things out."
She had realized that it was perhaps the first time he had sincerely apologized, what an unusual feeling it was, and lightened the atmosphere. His friends would have teased him mercilessly to hear that he had been taken down by a slip of a girl, and more than once, but Thor found himself laughing along with her. "Perhaps I had it coming."
Many would say as such, if it knocked some sense and humility into him. They fell silent, until Thor pulled out Jane's confiscated notebook, and she looked at him as though he really were the Hero he had once imagined himself to be, even as he apologized for not being able to do more. Watching her joy at this simple gesture, Thor did not feel proud of his actions, as though they were worthy of saga, but merely pleased that she was no longer so sad.
When the sorrow returned with the knowledge that all of her work would be for nothing, because she would never be permitted to use it to better her world, Thor wanted to be able to comfort her. This time, he did not offer meaningless platitudes, or promises that he did not know he could keep, but simple truth. He knew that there was every chance that Jane would go back to thinking him a lunatic, but he could not stand seeing her so defeated.
With all the conviction he had, Thor told her that she should not give up, because she was right. There were other worlds out there. The Midgardians that had lived before the Asgardians returned to their own world had called it magic. Those in this time called it science. In Asgard it was one and the same. Hope returned to Jane's eyes as he explained to her about the World Tree, about the nine Realms, about Asgard, and in these simple acts it seemed as though he were truly doing something worthwhile.
He had watched the skies when she fell asleep, searching for Asgard, and finally looked away into her peaceful face, pulling the 'sleeping bag' that covered them both further over her, feeling a strange peace of his own. "Thank you, Jane."
The peaceful feeling was still there when they woke with the sun, closer together than when they had fallen asleep. Jane's distress of the day before had faded, and she was determined to face and overcome the new challenges that life had thrown at her.
The first of which was breakfast.
Midgard alcohol was not enough to get Thor more than somewhat inebriated, but Erik had barely been able to stand by the time they returned from the bar, and would be feeling the effects when he woke up. Food would help, a little, and it was the least that Thor could do.
For the first time since his banishment, Thor was almost enjoying himself as Jane patiently walked him through using these strange objects that apparently cooked food, as Darcy and finally Erik joined them.
He had thought of the other races as lesser, of himself as above them because the Asgardians had once been called gods, and he had been wrong.
He was mortal now, without his strength or immortality or everything he had taken for granted. He would never be able to return to the home he loved. He would never see his Mother again, or Lady Sif, or the Warriors Three, or be able to apologize to his father for being such a fool.
But he did not need to despair.
The past was the past, and while he mourned it, he could not change what now was.
If Jane allowed him to stay, he could see himself spending the rest of his short, mortal life with her. He could see them growing old as he told her of the Cosmos that she dreamed of, even if he could never take her there, and as she taught him about Midgard as it was now.
He could never go home, but perhaps he could make a new one. He would never see his family and friends again, but he could forge new bonds with the people here.
He was mortal, and far from all that he had known, but he was happy.
A/N: I was watching 'Thor' again, and I got to the scene in the kitchen, after Jane and Thor had been talking and stargazing, and this idea hit me. Thor had been an absolute mess until this point, but that scene just screamed of the softer side of a possible life together, and Thor actually seemed relaxed for the first time.
This is a one-shot, though I may do a 'What-if Reunion' piece at a later date, and I would love to hear what you think.