Today was the day. Thor nervously drummed his finger on the handle of his umbrella(Stormbreaker in disguise, because swinging around a battle axe in the middle of Greenwich Village would be welcomed with open arms) as he waited for the door to the New York Sanctum to open. When it did, he was teleported in again by the Master of the Sanctum.
“I thought I told you to stop that.”
As always, his complaint fell on deaf ears as Stephen swept up the stairs and offered Thor a mug of beer. This time, Thor refused, which made Stephen’s eyebrow quirk.
“I see you've forgone your usual dress code; something up?”
“Ah. Um, you see, Stephen, there's something I've been meaning to tell you.”
Thor swallowed. Now or never.
“Well, the fact is that I've been thinking about our relationship a lot, and I came—oh screw this. I love you, Stephen Vincent Strange. Will you go out with me?”
“Thor…. Oh, you idiot of a god, I love you too.”
The kiss that ensued was like a nuclear reactor going into overdrive. Needless to say, for most of the day thunder boomed erratically all over New York, terrorising passerbys and confusing weather casters. Thor later received a call from a very irritated Tony Stark asking him to tone it down, but it was worth the reaction from his sorcerer.
“Thor, I'm fundamentally mortal. This is just nature running its course. All people die, and I am not an exception.”
“But you're the Sorcerer Supreme, surely there's a way to extend your life. The Eye of Agamotto— or the Dark Dimension—”
“That, is a subject I will never touch. I've been there enough to last a lifetime. Several lifetimes, in fact.”
The God of Thunder fell to his knees desperately holding onto Stephen. You're the only one I have now, I cannot bear to lose another loved one. The hands grasping Stephen like one would a lifeline trembled with unspoken feelings. Please, please. A gentle hand passed over his shaking shoulders, consoling the god. The irony of the situation—the mortal comforting the almost-immortal—elicited a hysteric laugh in Thor through his tears. His love, his Stephen was going to die someday, and he was utterly powerless to stop it.
As the years went by, Thor could clearly see Stephen getting older. His movements were getting slower, his hair earning a silvery undertone. But, as an Asgardian and ruler of the Nine Realms, Thor aged much slower than his lover. He could only helplessly watch as the end kept coming for Stephen, slowly but surely. In these moments he felt like a prisoner of time, forced to watch his love walk willingly towards his impending death and be able to do nothing about it.
“Am I–Am I still what I was to you back then?”
Thor briefly closed his eyes and took a deep breath, preparing a last-moment speech. Stephen smiled at that, saying oh, Thor with such frailty that it shook Thor's reserve and sent words tumbling out of the god’s mouth.
“Stephen, my love, my light, my life. You always were, are, and will be beautiful, the same as the moment we first met, and—”
“Thank you, Thor.”
An old and wrinkled hand reached out and caressed Thor’s tear-streaked cheeks. The sheer amount of tender love in that gesture was heartbreaking. As the heart monitor finally flatlined, Stephen’s last ‘I love you’ died on his lips. Thor knew it was futile trying to resuscitate him, yet he couldn't help himself shaking the sorcerer’s still body, calling his name out over and over again. Young Peter Parker—he wasn't that young now, either—reached out and put a hand on his shoulder, comforting him though he himself had gone through a painful goodbye with his mentor and surrogate father Tony Stark not long ago. The two men by Stephen’s deathbed stayed like that for some time, mourning the passing of the spiritual defender of Earth.
A bouquet of flowers was set upon the footsteps of a grave. Golden locks fluttered in the wind, its somber mood adding to the general gloom of the place. Thor let a single tear splash on the headstone.
“Rest in peace, dearest.”
If you were here, if you were only here—
My blood cries out to you all night in vain
As sleepless as the rain.
-Sleepless, Sara Tesadale