A dear friend of mine from tumblr, sannguine, provided me with a link to word prompts, which could be for any pairing of choice.
Steve/Thor deserve more love from me, and I swear that the next chapter will be out soon for "Please, Shake Me." I swear it on my love for tea and Smirnoff.
But for now, a thirty-day prompt which I might coalesce into ThunderFrost and FrostIron also, because those pairings hold a high place in my heart.
In which case, the Avengers are all becoming good friends, light-heartedness is afoot, and confessions of love do not go as planned.
Ownership is not mine, the characters can't be tamed. Have I tried? You bet yer britches.
Prompt 1: Beginning
Chapter 1: Are You Done? You're Making Me a Little Uncomfortable.
Every victory provided the opportunity to celebrate, the cheers that rimmed the smoke-riddled air filled with promise, with the encouragement that they had done it once again, that the city was safe once more.
Steve had never before experienced such a glory and for that, he allowed his shoulders to slump, his shield touching the ground with a profound release of breath. He could relax, listening to the sounds of Tony's insistence that they all go shopping somewhere, buy a yacht or a private island and drink banana-flavored rum until they knew why Captain Jack preferred an endless supply.
Before he could ask yet again what the hell he meant by Captain Jack - was that the alcohol, a character, a cult? - loud peals of laughter all but blotted out Tony's concept of finding a 24-hour pasta delivery that was at the top of his list of things to eat out of business, Thor's joyful outburst interrupted his spiel about spaghetti versus ribbon pasta.
The battle-drunk, elated Nordic god had a tendency as of late to regale to the team what he had observed they had done best, beginning with Natasha first and foremost, her vicious tactic of using the enemy's own weight against them, thrusting forward with two sleek guns and blowing their brains out of their skulls highlighted in brief but vivid detail on Thor's lips. There was an unmistakable glint in Clint's eyes when Thor told him how he could rival the legendary gods of archery with his aim, and even when Natasha told the god that he needed to stop while he was ahead, lest he inflate Clint's ego even more, there was no denying the gentle slant of her lips that let her know that she appreciated this.
Thor's unabashed propensity - after the battle was won of course, never in the middle of one - to exclaim what everyone had done well had been a happy habit of his for quite some time now, a streak of his own proclivity that no one quite had the heart to break. Especially since it was said in earnest, no matter how loud he tended to get for the full five-minute oration.
With Bruce, Thor tended to nod and tell him that his size and strength was unmatched, and that there was no such thing as exaggerated control over his body, for he was control, the tandem and balance that governed something green and bulging beneath his skin. Bruce gave him a small nod, shifting from his left foot to his right, and then claimed that Thor wasn't so bad himself, no matter how strongly he could come off at times.
Tony coughed, expressing that if they were done sharing their feelings and having a love-fest in the middle of an alley-way, they should probably get going before the press showed up. Thor then gave what sounded like an, "aha!" and clapped Tony on the back with enough force to hurt the engineer had he not been protected by the iron suit that covered his skin.
"And you, Man of Iron, have stirred a great hunger in me, a thirst for the knowledge of science. You have saved us more times than I can count, and for that, you have my gratitude."
Although Steve couldn't physically see Tony's face, he imagined that inside the mask, Tony's grin was wry and worthy of being called a smirk.
"Love you too, big guy. Maybe if you used a little of that bodice-ripper charm on Maria, she'd keep us away from Cyclops' wrath once in awhile. Think about that, the things you learn." And with that, he and Bruce took off in some sort-of mad chase down the street, a tradition that they acquired after their third battle where they all fought as one unit, racing into the sunset like old friends about to take on the world, away from any notion of destiny biting at their heels.
Natasha's laughter was always subtle, something you had to listen for in order to hear if it even happened or not. It was always matched with a small smile from Clint, Clint who followed her down the alley in a slow, satisfied gait, in no hurry whatsoever to get back to base. If there were reporters, they could always slip into the shadows or find some form of classy escape to keep away from the eyes of nosy journalists, seeking to uncover the true identity of the heroes who kept Manhattan safe from an alien invasion several months past.
Which meant that, without even meaning to be, he was alone with Thor. Alone with whatever manner of compliments he bestowed to every member of the team, aside from him thus far.
He expected praise for his candor and battle tactic, an intense jubilation of voice and spirit that coated the god's words with what he hoped to emulate, with the way that Thor took the qualities of each individual person and created an aural masterpiece to whomever it was directed to.
What he didn't expect was the tenderness of concern that filled the god's gaze, a gesture that made Thor gently grip his arm, his head tilting to examine the frayed part of his wardrobe - his left set of ribs and a little of his abdomen - that had been scuffed in battle.
It was really no big deal, for he'd acquired far worse wounds in his life than bullet-fire from a hostile group that had attempted robbing many banks over the course of several days, initiating a last-stand that, thankfully, the Avengers had taken care of within a few hours. They had gotten shot at more times than Steve could count that day, but they all held their own. After saving the world from extra-terrestrials, bank-robbers with fancy weapons tended to not phase the group as much.
"Captain, do not think that you can downplay any injury you have sustained. Are you quite alright?" Thor peered at the fabric as if it contained some mystery as to how Steve was still standing and not wavering in and out of consciousness due to blood-loss. "I am aware of your strength, Captain, but this blemish dictates that you were hit."
Before he could state that he was fine, really, that he barely felt what happened and had long since forgot about it, Thor peered up at him, fully and literally in every sense of the word, through his eyelashes. The god tilted his head, the skin around his eyes crinkling in his patented smile, something that he reserved for those that served as a great source of amusement to him, for those wonders that set his soul alight.
A smile he was giving currently to him, that charming, upward quirk of his lips.
"I'm really alright, it didn't bother me or slow me down." Steve wished to high-heaven that he could muster from himself the motion to walk backwards, to take two to three steps back, back in his comfort-zone where a Nordic god wasn't imparting him with the gentlest scrutiny in regards to a supposed injury he sustained in battle.
But that was what Thor did: he got in your face and made you realize that it wasn't so bad to have him in your face, especially when he was smiling.
And smiling he was, all crooked slants of lips and white teeth, contrasting fully to the dark stubble of his beard. This was for him, for whatever reason.
It was concern, a genuine expression of inquiry that begged the question if he was alright, if he was fully sound and whole with himself after getting a round loaded into his stomach. He was, he really was, because the bullets hadn't given him any damage, just made it appear as if it had.
Thor lowered his gaze to focus on the black and mottled part of his uniform, his left hand reaching out to touch it, stopping in mid-perusal when he realized what he was doing. As if a switch had been turned, the moment ended and realization dawned upon the god, his posture straightening up to his full-height.
"It was not my intent to make you uncomfortable, I apologize." Thor stepped back two steps and Steve released a breath he was unaware he had held between his teeth until it rushed out, whistling between his lips.
"Don't be. You saw me get shot at five times and walk away unscathed. If I saw someone get shot at like that, I'd make sure they were alright too. You're a good guy, it's nothing to worry about." He offered the god a smile of his own and stepped forward, closing the gap between them with the two steps that became their temporary distance.
That was when Steve realized just what was going on here. He wasn't as blind as many believed him to be, and although he was naive to what in the hell was with HD television sets and email and those doo-hickies called laptops, he did know frantic desperation when he saw it. It was the look a comrade gave their best friend when they saw them get shot at, the thought that they really didn't believe they were going to make it to see the sun again. It was pure concern, borne of the torment that the god really had believed he would die in this battle.
"Gosh ah, thank you. Thank you for being so concer-..." Anything he could have said was cut off with the two arms that circled his shoulder blades, pulling him close for a full five-seconds, because he counted. Counted, closed his eyes, and was thoroughly surprised by how good it felt to be held like this, to be given the concern of a mortal instead of a supposedly invincible super-soldier.
"This is not my place, to hold you in this manner. But I worry for you at times, Captain."
This was really happening, he was really being embraced by a god, by the Nordic god of legend who supposedly weighed too much to even step foot on the bridge that connected the worlds, hugged as if he was a dear friend who Thor was fully fearful for.
That being said, Steve couldn't remember a time when a friend hugged him this close, much less buried their face in his shoulder blade, pressing themselves upon his person until any concept of proximity was little more than the forgotten face of a stranger. It was nice, really nice.
But well, it was still in the middle of an alley-way, and he really was alright.
"It's ah, it's alright...thank you." He clapped Thor's back, meeting metal and the texture of the god's red cape with the palm of his hand.
Thor separated himself from him, stepping back one step, his face sheepish and barren of guilt all at once. It was as if he had finally accomplished something he had set out to do for the longest time, and had gotten what he had wanted but still managed to retain a hint of chagrin against his smile.
"Captain, you are a paragon that delights me, reminding me that men fall prey to the temptations of sin and false-truth, and that there are those who choose to be separate from such creatures, creating an example that blisters through the stars, setting whole worlds aflame with what you fashion as your own answers. I am honored that you accepted my concern, and if I might be bold, I wish to know you far better than I do now. Surfaces can only reveal so much, Steven."
It took Steve a full minute to register that he was essentially being asked out to dinner, and another twenty seconds to respond, with a surprising lack of a fumbling tongue.
"You really have an eye for detail, don't you? How you manage to make everyone feel so good about themselves in so few or so many words never ceases to impress me. I'll say it again: you're a good guy, Thor. Good and ah...your offer. I'll take you up on it."
He supposed that was the beginning, the start of the matter that resulted in a brush of hands against steady, calloused finger-tips, no hint of being rushed pressed against their minds.
"Tell you what, whoever makes it back to base first buys dinner or has to find the pop-tarts or something."
"Such a race will stifle not my affections, but I agree to those terms." He could have had the race in the bag, could have but he just had to look, look in time to see Thor wink at him and take off in a dead-sprint, barreling past cars, dumpsters and the litter that scattered across the asphalt with what little daylight remained.
The thought of that being technically cheating and that conditions were never agreed upon as to when to start were swallowed by the night, by their steady breathing all the way to base.
A chaotic, ungainly beginning. But it was where it began nonetheless.