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He who is Worthy of Thor

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Disclaimer: I own nothing.

Chapter 1: The United Nations.

After the Battle of New York, Midgardian politics were in ruins. Year’s of agency secrecy had come to light as conspiracy theories were proven true with the certainty that indeed, human kind is not alone in the universe. Far from it. Humans were under-evolved. Thor released a weary sigh es he muted the large holographic screen that Stark liked to call TV, where more and more of the human representatives sprouted speech after speech inciting fear and accountability to imagined foes and impossible invasion scenarios, with the unflattering turn of pitting the blame on Asgard.

Loki had created more chaos than he had expected, merely by revealing his presence to the world. Thor had spent the past month as ambassador of Asgard, pledging again and again his protection and that of the All Father to these people, only for his promises to fall on deaf ears. Fear had seeped deep into the hearts of the people and no words could bleed through the fog of despair.

Midgard’s psyche was in ruins.

After Loki’s trial in Asgard, Thor had conferred with Odin over the amends to be made to Earth and had agreed that joining the Avengers, Earths strongest and mightiest warriors, as well as vowing to protect their realm to preserve intergalactic peace was a given. Thor had been amazed to realize that this would not be enough. Not even barely. And now, far over the time he was due to return to Asgard, not only had he failed to pacify the Midgardian rulers, he was forced to bring his father to trial. Odin, the All Father, Warrior and Protector of the 9 realms, was being summoned to Earth like a wayward courier.

And if he was being completely honest with himself, he couldn’t remember how he was cornered to this. Human representatives drove a hard bargain, with their underlying meanings and double-edged words, Loki would have been a better choice for this task, if he had not, of course, been the whole source of this disaster in the first place. In the whole three weeks of negotiation he had managed to insult, threaten and demean most all of the human representatives of the United Nations, only but a few intentionally, as he tried and failed to reassure them that invasion and war would not happen ever again. Thor had had his Honor questioned in more languages than he cared to count and by the end, the slights to his worth were but a standard greeting in the UN chambers.

In Thor’s darkest, most frustrated moments these last few weeks, he could almost come to believe that Loki would have been a fine ruler to these silver-tongued vipers. A thought that he quickly dissipated in guilty shame, as he had only himself to blame if his diplomatic skills were as measly as to be trampled by human diplomats. For now, behold, the mighty Thor, spread eagled on Stark’s couch, bullied by humans and prolonging his return in political defeat.

“Odin shall banish me to Jotunheim for this”

His dread continued to mount the longer he laid there and finally, he lifted from his sprawl and lifted Mjolnir, summoning Heimdall and his All-seeing gaze to him, and finally return home.

As he had expected, Odin had been furious. Only the intervention of his mother, sweat voiced and soothing, had avoided his renouncing Thor as his first born and heir in place to name him a stable boy for the rest of time. Frigga had pleaded his case with eloquence and spun reason with a finesse that sounded sweeter than sonnets to Thor’s ears. And Odin, in all his wisdom, had relented.

“We owe a great debt to Midgard, Loki has pitched them into destruction, all the realms eyes have turned to Earth and I fear that our standing as peacekeepers will be questioned if we allow them to fall in disgrace.” Odin stated, adorned in his kingly regalia and leading an entourage of Asgard’s finest warriors to the meager remains of the Bifrost. Thor followed closely, mounted in his white stead next to his father’s magnificent 8 legged stallion, feeling every bit the unfit child he appeared compared to his near omnipotent father. With one last kip of irritation, Odin nodded his ready to Heimdall and turned his severe gaze to Thor:” I will not stand for Asgard’s honor to be doubted, nor my son’s”

The rainbow colored flash of the Bifrost hid Thor’s less than princely grin, though he was sure, that for a single blink of a moment, his father’s lips had curved in return.
A couple of seconds later, millions of years length away, they landed in Genève. Home of the United Nations and just at the mounting stairs front of reports of all countries. The resounding shout of startled earthlings was soon drowned by the bright flashes of cameras, almost brighter than the Bifrost’s embrace. unperturbed by this, Odin marched Sleipnir to the very doors of the Council doors, the human reporters and security agents parting from his path in silent awe.

Inside, the council members of the Nations were seated and waited in contempt, their cold cunning eyes following Odin’s step with various degrees of disbelieve. The human guards fidgeted nervously as the Asgardian delegation set in place, completely impervious to the pleas to leave their weapons outside of the chambers.

Well, this is going spectacularly. Thor grimaced internally, turning to look at his father in search of any hint of discomfort. Of course, he found none.

Odin’s face was impassive, a blank face of stone as he stood in front of Earths most influential beings hungry for blood and retribution. And yet…
To the side, the voice man of the chamber (a man of high stature and willowy limbs that for the previous weeks had made himself into a near literal bane of Thor’s existence) shuffled up to the stand and declared the Session Open, calling forth General Ross of the United States of America, to begin his speech.

On and on, Thor had to relive the excruciating process of diplomatic tongue slashing he had been submitted to for weeks on end, and kept stealing glimpses of Odin’s face, growing more and more wary of the expressionless mask he wore as one by one, Earth’s representatives shamed and denounced Asgard and thus Odin, All Father, for war crimes and terrorism. For longer Thor thought Odin himself would strike down Earth for their impertinence and a single drop of sweat began to taint his brow. Still Odin stood silent.

After the initial charges and stances had been set. the voice man stood in front of Odin, fearless as only a true being of Hel could in face of the Gods, and spoke the ultimate fallacy:

“The United Nations demands that Asgard returns the War criminal Loki Odinson for trial, the Tesseract be delivered for safekeeping by this Council and pledge alliance to Earth, as well as a formal apology for the destruction and invasion of our planet”

Thor started forward with a furious roar, determined to crush the foul voice man’s head in with Mjolnir for his insult, only the sharp gaze of his father froze him, an odd spark in his father’s blue orb that Thor startled to identify. Odin was amused.

The All Father walked up to the stand, where the voice man stayed pale in face and scrambled to give way as Odin settled face to face of the now nervous Earthlings.

“The United Nations, rulers and defenders of Earth” Odin spoke, his voice clear and resounding of the chamber halls, echoing on the room as an almost dwarfing presence “ I have come to you and stood amongst you as I and mine have not for thousands of years”

Thor noticed as gradually, the men and women in the room became entranced by the All Father, tension building as an almost palpable thing. Odin paused, his eye following each and every face in the room, making some of the representatives shrink and fidget almost unperceptively under his gaze.

“I Odin, son of Bor, King of Asgard, All Father, Ruler and protector of the realms, have come to you now, in face of the crimes committed by my own kin as I had sent my son and heir to you before to acknowledge your hurt and make amends for the wronging’s you have suffered”

The room began to fill with dread and doubt, as Odin spoke, tensions climbing that even Thor could feel creeping up his spine.

“I Odin, Father of Gods, sent to you my son, Thor Odinson, God of Thunder, with my word and vow of protection, I removed the threat of the Tesseract from your planet, I tried and condemned my own name for the attack on your planet and yet...”

Silence filled the room, so disturbing, so deafening after the escalating voice of Odin’s statements. Thor looked upon his father as all the human diplomats that had so hounded him remained cowered by his statement of facts alone.

“And yet” Odin continues “It is not enough, you ask of me my son, Loki, to stand trial and punishment in Earth. Loki Odinson, God of Lies and Mischief, set your world to destruction in 8 days, all by himself and you could not contain him for a day in your most advanced facilities”

Indignation began to swell among the representatives, some gasps and murmuring beginning to rise as Odin spoke on, calmly cutting and condescending.

“You, the United Nations, ask of me the Tesseract, an artifact more ancient than your planet, set in this planet to remain hidden from greedy warmongers, and you used it to build weapons of mass destruction… to kill each other”

Thor pursed his lips as shouts and cries of fury began to resonate, working hard to contain a smile as he witnessed his father give the most important people on Earth, a sounding trash talking.

“You ask of me an alliance, which I have offered freely before, as my protection that has extended from my father and his father before him, when Earth was but an ambitious pond struggling to sprout life, Asgard has protected you, soundly enough that you remained oblivious to the worlds beyond your own. You ask of me an apology!”

Odin’s voice echoed like a palpable slap, murmurs ceased, and breaths were held, as all present tensed in the ready for another slight. Thor’s grip on Mjolnir tightened and adjusted as Odin reared himself to continue.

“You deserve one”

Surprise muted the room, the aggression leaking out of the room like water spilling from a broken glass. Thor watched his father’s face form the first expression since their arrival and his heart wrenched at the sight. Odin was mourning.

“I, Odin, regret what has befallen you, by my own name and kin” Odin’s eye traveled the room, meeting each gaze with his own, in sincere atonement, until all the room was sent to a grieving silence. Thor’s previous amusement lost to the very real fact, that Earth was in pain, by his family’s hand and inaction. A somber mood set on his shoulders, he caught his father’s eye in private mourning, knowing that they too had lost something precious.

Odin turned once more to the expecting mass, his face fierce as ever and decreed: “And be it so, Asgard pledges her protection to Earth, in my time and that of my sons, and those who follow.”

“What about a contract?” The voice man asked after a moment of solemn silence, a screeching halt to the proceedings that almost seemed laughable.

“You have my word” Odin says, not acknowledging him as he held the eyes of the officers who remained in shock in front of him “That is enough”

“Sir-I mean, your Highness?” The voice man scrambled to correct, astounded into ineptitude “That is nowhere near enough”

Thor grit his teeth, resisting the urge to beat the man to a bloody pulp, he as well as all the Asgardian soldiers who witnessed such a blatant insult to his father. Odin did not waver: “ That is what you have”

The man spluttered and turned to the crowd of Midgard rulers who now had a calculating gleam in their eyes that made Thor weary.

“You say your time, and your son’s” the American voice, General Ross, spoke “and those to follow, tell me, how can we guarantee that they will keep faith in the next thousand years?”

Thor felt his face burn in rage as yet another ignorant human made light of the All Fathers vow. His fingers tapped impatiently on Mjolnir’s handle as he barely suppressed the urge to smite the Earthling on the spot.

Odin blinked.

“You will not give us the right to deal justice on your son, you will not return the tesseract and you expect us to do with an apology and your word?”

Thor seethed silently, glaring at the female representative of an European country belt out, gearing others around her into another angry round of demands. Odin stood silent as more and more restless humans shouted out demands of physical evidence and shows of faith and public agreements that made Thor’s head pound and ache in beat to their angry screams.

Still, Odin stood speechless.

Just as Thor and a couple of Soldiers were losing grip on their tempers, Odin clapped his fist on the wooden stand, a visible wave of power traveling the room the only clue that the All Father’s temper had been picked, his face an otherwise emotionless mask as the humans gave pause in wonder and fear. A tingling sensation of pure energy waved a path through them leaving them frozen as if they had just realized they were dealing with a God.

“Asgard stands by you” Odin reassured “she will not relinquish the Tesseract to you and set you on a warpath. She will not release Loki Odinson to you and give him a second chance to conquer this planet, Asgard speaks through me as I say that you will never suffer invasion and destruction by others but yourselves again. My word is what I offer and that is what you have.”

Some of the bravest tried to speak up only to be silenced by a sharp glance of the All Father.

“How can you be sure that this vow will keep, you say? I offer you a sign of Faith” With a flick of a wrist, Mjolnir was ripped from his fingers to his father’s outstretched hand, with startled cried the humans looked on in fascination as Odin set the beloved hammer on display and marched to the middle of the room.

“I offer my son and heir in marriage, a place in my court and access to all the knowledge that Asgard possesses”

Thor felt ice grip his chest as Odin voiced his offer, all the greedy eyes of the Midgardian rulers now set on him with open hunger, raw and gripping as the power behind Odin’s sentence.

“I offer this” Odin pledged, his eye meeting his son’s with that weird spark Thor had seen at the beginning of the meeting and now unconcealed. “To thee who is worthy of Thor”

And laid the hammer down with a resounding thunder.

Chapter Text

Chapter 2: Loki

The following week of Odin’s visit to Earth had set the entire world in a frenzy. After the vow had been spoken, the All Father had parted with not so much as glance back to the awestruck Earthlings who took but a moment to react and scramble like excited children and grapple at Mjolnir with all the composure of a wilder beasts.
One after the other, they all failed to lift the mythical hammer. One after the other, began to cry foul-play. Day after day, armies of scientist and religious men marched into the halls of the United Nations and failed to explain the reason behind the immovable artifact. One by one subtly trying their hand to make the hammer to even budge an inch. Rituals and experiments where performed. All failed.

In Asgard, Odin let out a frankly disturbing cackle of laughter as he and the royal family (minus Loki who to this point remained unaware of the fires that he had set) spied on the oblivious humans scratch at their heads like the apes they had sprung from and paw at Mjolnir with ever increasing frustration.

Much like the frustration that Thor felt at the moment.

Though his heart rejoiced to see his father in such a vibrant mood, he could not forget the personal expense this brought. He was to marry a human for his father’s entertainment. Or as Stark had so delicately worded: for Shits and Giggles.

And he had been forced to leave Mjolnir behind, Thor felt her loss as a physical ailment, an amputated limb when ever he extended his hand to call her to his side and take flight. Nothing.

So Thor was pouting, what of it?

Odin released another series of delighted chuckles as the elderly night janitor of the Council chambers once again huffed and puffed as he pulled at Mjolnir’s handle, like many a night before.

“Thor” Odin called, his blue eye glued to the mirage where they observed Midgard shenanigans. “ You will part to Earth in a fortnight”

Thor suppressed a relieved sigh at this, nodding sagely at his otherwise preoccupied father.

“You will take Mjolnir throughout the planet in a show of fair game, a decade of touring should suffice”

Thor’s eyes widened at this, even Frigga showed an uncharacteristic bemusement at her husband’s order. Odin remained unaware, or perhaps not, as his smile widened to a terrifying grin. “That should be enough to pacify the most reluctant members of the council, if they are not all dead by then”

Thor winced internally, they had been mostly old, hadn’t they? Even so, a decade in Earth, was his father truly aware of what he was giving Thor? A decade to roam free on Earth, with his brothers in arms and his lovely Jane. Thor waited for the other boot to drop. When Odin remained silent Thor quickly parted the room, fearing that his father would just give Mjolnir a nudge the next time a bald priest attempted to hold the hammer if he interrupted his entertainment. Really, at this point, he did not trust the cheeky mood his Father was in and feared to test the waters in case he ended up wed to a Hamster.

That night he tossed and turned restlessly in his bed, thoughts spinning a suffocating web in his mind, like an itch he wouldn’t scratch least he uncover the rotting, worm filled innards of his doubts.

What if someone did manage to lift Mjolnir?

It was not entirely improbable that among the billions of humans living in Earth, a few could be worthy?

What were the requirements for one to be deemed worthy?

Thor himself was not particularly special, if he really thought of it. It was a humbling experience if nothing else. Thor was rash, easy to anger, prone to mischief to levels even Loki could approve…

What made him worthy?

He sat up and passed a heavy hand over his face, settling to a night where no sleep would be achieved, he rose from his fur covers and went in search of the only thing that could set his mind at peace in nights as this.

His brother.

Granted, most nights than not he ended with more problems than he had begun with, but Loki had always managed to shead light to the real questions that would haunt his mind, and thus, Thor could settle his focus on them. Or not, as he remembered many procrastinations on his youthful years where letting a problem fester into oblivion had been his favorite problem-solving tool. Much to his brother’s annoyance.

Thor crossed the Royal chamber halls in meditative silence, descending in an almost dreamlike state to the lowest level in the dungeons to a particular holding cell. There, behind hundreds of intricate spells and runes, laid his brother. Loki’s face was smoothened in sleep, near innocent in appearance if not for the little twitch that would curve his fine lips into a croaked smile or snarl, reminding Thor that Loki, God of Lies and Mischief, was at his most dangerous when he appeared to be most harmless. Thor could attest to this by the many stab wounds he sustained as they grew up together.

So, with no particular remorse for interrupting his siblings sleep, Thor proceeded to call in a booming voice: “Loki!”

It was almost worth the restlessness he suffered to see his baby brother scramble in his bed like a Midgardian chicken, dark hair fluffed like feathers and eyes wide like a fretting maiden.

Thor grinned impossibly wide: “Brother, you are awake!”

Loki blinked his big green eyes at Thor, his expression open but for a second, then morphing into an ugly snarl as sleep left his consciousness.

“What are you doing here, you big, stupid oaf of a prince?”

Thor felt his heart swell with fondness, so strong he took a moment to regain speech, only increasing his brother’s irritation as Thor worked to form words.

“I came to speak to you, I require your council, brother mine” Loki’s brow twisted from one emotion to another before settling in disinterest, regardless, Thor pressed on. “I find myself restless”

Loki rose a perfectly arched brow “And this concerns me, how?”

Thor bit his cheek, lips pursed as he set his inner turmoil to rights enough to whisper: “Odin has staked my hand in marriage as a prank on Earth”

One dark brow rose to match the other, and Thor’s chest broke like a dam overfilled, spilling word after word to shape the events following Loki’s defeat, which earned him an enraged scowl, to his dealings with the United Nations and finally, Odin’s vow.

Thor unloaded his chest, laying his troubles at his brother’s feet, his confidant for thousands of years and as he finally drew to a silence, he rose his blue gaze to meet emerald, not remembering when he had lowered them during his retelling, only to find a blank face.

Thor blinked.

Loki blinked back.

Only a second later, both brothers broke into uncontrollable laughter, positively howling at the ridicularity of the situation. The other prisoners rousing with the combined roaring of the Odinsons, as they banged on their cells for quiet. “Shut up you bloody bastards!”

“You shut up!” Thor shot back, barely regaining his breath as Loki rolled in irrepressible giggles in his bed.

“I hope you marry a horse!”

That sobered him up “Well that was uncalled for” Thor whispered sulkily.

Loki squealed another round of higher pitched laughter. Until someone shouted: “The fuck you laughing for? You fucked a horse!”

Thor descended to unprincely giggling as Loki shot to his feet with a gasp of indignation. “I did not fuck a horse!”

“Well go fuck one and let us sleep!”

Loki’s eyes blazed with fury and Thor could not stand the ache of his belly, lifting a placating hand to his brother. “Enough with the horses; what say you, brother? Is there any hope for me?”

Loki visibly fought to suppress an epic tongue lashing to the poor sod who insulted him, only settling after a long look at his brother’s sunken face and low shoulders. A small, sincere smile that Thor had not seen in a long time gracing his face. And only for this, Thor could almost say it worth the hassle of it all. He could almost believe he had his brother back.

“You will look precious in your wedding dress”

Thor grinned. Yes, this was his Loki.

Chapter Text

Dawn found Thor sitting next to his brother, only the shear hold of the magic cell between them as they sat in silence, their backs to the cold stone as they stared out into nothing.

“I must admit” Loki drawled, voice soft as in prayer “Odin is a true master of schemes”

Thor hummed in response, earning a sharp look from his brother. “I don’t think you understand the true depth of this”

“Do enlighten me, then”

Loki glared at his blond companion, his unkept golden locks, his sunken eyes the only thing avoiding the slew of insults Loki felt bubbling in his chest. There would always be another chance for that.

“Odin sends you off to Earth in a fool’s errand, it would seem, but, he has, with just one jest, secured Asgard’s sovereignty on Midgard”

Thor blinked in confusion, finally raising his head from that pathetic slouch he had acquired over the night. Really, defeat did not show handsomely on the God’s face. Loki sighed. “ You cannot possibly be this dense”

The idiot God could be that dense, as he blinked his big blue eyes at Loki as if just rousing from sleep.

Irritation began to climb and Loki was woefully reminded of the years of learning side by side. Where Loki did most of the learning and Thor mostly blinked through it all.

“While you lay there fretting over your non-existent virtue, The All father bid your hand in marriage to Midgard, ensuring you free transit on the planet for an indefinite time. Your presence alone stakes a claim and would ensure no other realms turned their greedy eyes on Earth, least they draw Asgard’s wrath upon them.” Loki mused “ No, no one would dare encroach on that of the All Father… Odin singlehandedly secured the Planet’s survival by setting them on an impossible quest”

Thor’s huge head perked up like one of those Midgardian creatures, he would have waged his tail as well if he had one. “Impossible?”

Loki rolled his eyes skywards with a groan. “Of course you are that dense, I can’t begin to imagine the fate that awaits Asgard with you as their king”

Thor snarled, his legendary patience as always, nonexistent. “Quit the insults and speak clearly, you think it impossible for anyone to lift Mjolnir?”

“Of course it’s impossible” Loki hissed “Odin himself set the bar!”

Thor pursed his lips into a fine line, one could almost see the cogs turning in that thick skull of his.

“Thee who is worthy of Thor. The mighty Thor, thunderer, legendary warrior and savior of Asgard; how could anyone ever be worthy of the God of Thunder? Odin’s golden boy? Only another-“

“God!” Thor thundered, rising to his feet in excitement.

Loki smirked.

“And there are no Gods on Earth”

It took a moment to sink in, as Thor stood there, breaths coming in pants and a meaty hand pressed to his wide, heaving chest. And then of course, the booming laughter.

“Oh brother, you always aim true!” Thor moaned, relief painted clear in his now brightened features, as if a physical shadow had been lifted from his face. “You bring me such peace”

“I am not your brother, you big imbecil”

“But you are, yes. Only you who has grown beside me could ever hope to understand the All Father’s ways. Truly, you are Odin’s son.”

Loki recoiled at that, a vicious sting piercing his dark heart at the nonchalant wording of that he had held so dear and had been his downfall. His hands clenched into fists, fighting with the rage and despair he felt rising, threatening to choke him with its unforgiving grip.

“Save your sentiment, Odinson” He snarled “and leave me in peace. I am not your blood or your friend to have to console you every time your stupidity overwhelms you. Leave and take Odin’s sick plots with you, I want no part in your disgusting family. I have suffered it enough!”

“You mean to blame us for your evil deeds, Loki?”

“Oh no, we are past pitting blames. I do what I want, when I want, remember?”

“I know you brother, I know that is not true”

“You know nothing of me!”

There is a loud crash as furniture flies past Loki’s seething form, only to stop and shatter into pieces at the contact with the wall, the magic cell vibrating with containing spells, pulsing in irritation as it held on firm after the onslaught of heavy furniture was hurled, one after the other. In Loki’s fit of rage, nothing remained intact. Soon, he stood within a cell of shambles.

“Don’t become too familiar, Odinson.” Loki panted “Your lies are not welcome anymore”

Thor swallowed whatever reply he had in mind; eyes sad that only encouraged Loki’s wrath as he surged forward with a snarl. Fist connecting with the shear wall in a blinding battle of power, resulting in Loki being thrown back, body colliding on the furthest wall of his cell with a resounding thud that shook Thor to his very core.

Loki gasped, taking a deep breath as his chest rattled like windchimes, his forest green eyes blazing in silent fury. The gods stared at each other in silence, both trying to convey something that they could never bring to words. Finally, Thor sighed and parted, not sparing a glance backwards at his brother; laying in destruction and hurt by his own hand. And wasn’t that the width of it all.

As Thor’s steps faded in the long corridors of the dungeons, Loki crawled to a sitting, bruised ribs aching as he reclined on the cold slab of stone. He gave a sigh and closed his eyes, willing his magic to sooth his hurts now that his mind was free of the fog of rage that so often overtook him. Scaring even himself at the intensity of it.

Next to him, he heard a deep voice call. “You know that ain’t true”

Loki blinked his eyes open, crooking his head to the side to better hear the soft baritone in the cell next to his.

“There are Gods left in Midgard”

Loki smiled in deep contentment. “Aye, there are”

And well, Thor had only himself to blame for trusting the God of Lies. Anyways, Thor really did know how to wear a gown with grace.
----

As Thor left the dungeon cells, he could feel the weariness leave him with each rising step. Even the less than pleasant confrontation with his brother could not cloud the fact that he, God of Thunder, was no longer up for takes.

Truly, now that he thought of it, it was a rather obvious ploy to distract the humans with the one thing that could surpass all their other needs: Greed.

Who would not jump at the chance to stand amongst the Gods, share their power and riches; and quite simply, to bed Thor. In this, humble he was not.

Alas, it was all for not and Thor walked with a little spring in his step to the Great Halls to break his fast with more than a little jubilance on the prospect of Earth and his adventures to come.

As he munched on cold meats and rich cheese’s. His excitement grew, contemplating his route through the Midgardian countries with more enthusiasm than it probably merited. Maybe, if he hurried, his mandatory tour of the republics could be done in but a year’s time. Surely with the aid of flight and shameless publicity this could all be done quite expediently.

No gods on earth, indeed.

Thor grinned exuberantly at his fondly pained looking mother, shoveling his weight in food with no remorse.

“Perhaps you should try a bit of salad, my dear” Frigga suggested, patting Thor’s hand in a subtle motion to let his knife down and release the boar leg he had been devouring. “What will your lovely Jane think when her prince returns with the baring of an ale tankard?”

Thor set the leg down with a faraway look in his eyes. For a moment Frigga worried over his state of mind until abruptly as the state had come, it had passed. Thor smiled in wonder as if she had just revealed the secrets of the universe to him and him alone. Without so much as a wipe to his crumb filled greasy beard, he bestowed a hearty kiss to his mothers brow and rose from his seat in a mighty sweep of cape and armor.

“I bid you farewell, Mother!”

“Thor?” Frigga called after her son, uncertain and frozen with what felt as half a boar rested on her face and hair. “Where are you going?”

“To Midgard!” Thor howled over his shoulder “I have a lady to betroth!”

Chapter Text

Chapter 4: Jane

Thor arrived to Earth in a Flash of rainbow lights, startling the hundreds of scientist gathered around the beloved hammer, scanning it and probing it with increasing exasperation. Thor marched forward; hand extended expectantly in a silent beckoning. Mjolnir soared to him, slapping eagerly into his calloused palm as if it had missed him. Thor flexed his fingers on her handle lovingly, feeling his hand meld into the well-worn leather of the perfectly balanced weapon. Lightning crackled in the sky, sparks of electricity jumping there where he held Mjolnir, feeling her magical presence course through his body, as if reacquainting itself to him after so long apart. Thor sighed contentedly.

“Hey” One of the scientists with a coffee stained white coat cried “You can’t take it!”

Thor raised an inquisitive eyebrow “Why? Did any of you manage to lift it?”

The science men fidgeted in place, casting embarrassed glazes between one another. “Well no, bu-“

Thor nodded.

“We are done here”

And with but a couple of shouts of protest, Thor leapt into the air, Mjolnir crashing through the Council room ceiling like paper walls. Petty act of revenge, yes; but utterly satisfying.

Thor flew fast and steady, his chest filled with joy. Loki was clever, but in this he was wrong, he knew; Odin would not wish him a cold future next to someone of holy blood. No, the All Father had become soft in his old age, his steely wisdom warmed by the centuries of love and peace with his family, the most recent loss only melting his resolve and relaxing his once unbreakable iron fist.

He now knew the value of love, and Thor was sure he would not begrudge him his heart’s desire. For who could be more worthy than she who already owned his heart?

Aye, Loki was wrong.

Thor crossed the oceans and lands, yearning for the hot desert planes he remembered so fondly, where the sun climbed the sky in a scorching crawl and the stars and galaxies dared a peak unencumbered in the night. Where his heart swelled and fluttered at the sight of those clever doe eyes. He yearned for his Jane.

When he finally landed near the old camper, antennas and other mindboggling lab equipment sprouting of it’s every surface. He smiled broadly, chest heaving as if he had run the thousands of miles between them instead of parting the skies in his need to reach his love.

“Jane!” He shouted, marching toward the small mobile home she liked to live in. “Jane, it is I. Thor!”

He heard some loud shuffling from within the camper, a series of muffled shouts and seconds later, the tin door flew open with a resounding smack, leaving a wide eyed, petite woman in its place.

“Thor, you’re here” Jane said in bewilderment, taking a hesitant step forward as if she was unsure that he was truly there or if it was a mere play of her senses. Her small hands clasped tight to her chest as if they were physically holding her heart in place.

Thor felt his smile melt to tenderness at the sight of her.

“Yes, I am here”

In a moment they had leapt to each other’s arms, lips meeting in a heated attempt to convey the feelings they held bottled inside, just spilling forth into each other as Thor gripped the small woman tight to his body, and decidedly marched them both into the trailer home towards the small cot that he intended to get use of for as long as it could take, and then some more.

After hours of bursts and fits of pleasure, kisses and sweat. Thor and Jane laid together, naked in the torn remains of Jane’s bedroom. Both satiated for the moment and basking in the afterglow. Thor allowed Jane to pass he fingertips wonderingly over his bare skin, unashamed in his naked flesh.

Their encounter had been… something else. Jane was not a novice in any means, she took her pleasure unabashedly, held nothing back and even with her stature being so small, she managed to meet and exceed all expectations. Thor was not a small man and though it took Jane some time and a few couplings to adjust, she always managed to take his whole girth. Jane seem to take a perverse pleasure of forcing her body to extremes, like it was a personal achievement to take Thor’s cock deep inside her core. The last round of lovemaking she had ridden him, their eyes connected as were their bodies, perhaps even more intimate as she rolled her small hips, massaging Thor’s length with her inner muscles and never breaking away.

Thor was well and truly smitten.

Jane curled her tiny fingers in his still throbbing flesh, drawing a chuckle from deep in his chest as he took her dainty hand in his own and brought it to rest on his shacking chest. This woman would be the end of him. Thor felt a grin split his face. He could barely wait.

Jane sighed and laid her fine chin over their clasped hands, falling and rising with Thor’s every breath. Her face serious now as the fog of climax left her sharp mind.

“ I heard what happened in Genève” She whispered, her honey brown eyes cast downwards to their intertwined fingers “I saw the meeting of the UN with your Father on the news”

Thor gave a small tug to her chin, raising her eyes to meet his own and smiled. “Aye”

Jane dropped her eyes again but gifted his knuckles a tight kiss, clenching her fingers around his for a long second. “I know you have to marry”

Thor patted her unruly hair with his spare hand, grinning wider at the prospect. “Aye, I do”

There was a quiet moment between them, where Jane clenched his hand so tight that he could almost feel the pressure, and then she relaxed, she let go.

“I know what you’re thinking, Thor” Jane said, sitting up and away, avoiding Thor’s confused frown “I know what you want me to do”

“Jane”

She shook her head firmly, letting her messy locks of hair fall and conceal for a second her hurt. But when Thor took a hand to swipe it away, her face was cold and still as the frozen lakes of Jotunheim. Thor’s heart began to speed as he too sat up straight, hands cupping Jane’s slight face tenderly.

“Jane”

Jane pursed her kiss swollen lips and smiled tightly. “I can’t do it, Thor. I can’t”

Thor felt his breath knocked out of his body, not unlike the time the Hulk had taken his heavy fists to his chest. “Jane, my love, you don’t understand”

Jane began to shake in his hold and Thor scrambled to explain, how could he have been so dense? coming here and immediately bedding her? She was bound to think this a farewell. Thor pressed a hasty kiss to her sweaty brow in apology.

“Odin said-“

“Thee who is Worthy of Thor” Jane finished, her tone icy with a finality that made Thor stumble. “Worthy of Thor. DO you know how many nights I’ve stayed up asking myself this exact same thing?” Jane let a small self-depicting laugh “It’s easier when you are here, when we are like this. To forget what we are. But that is not an option anymore”

Thor cooed softly at her, pulling her close to his body, tucking her small, soft body to his own, head tucked lovingly to his chest. “Jane, listen, I know it sounds daunting, I was afraid too”

Jane huffed, attempting half heartedly to pull away.

“But Jane, I have come to believe that Odin has given this vow as a blessing, you see? He knows you hold my heart and he is no longer the man who would sacrifice his children for Politics-“ Thor reached out his hand to call Mjolnir to his side “-He said: Thee who is Worthy of Thor, and who else if not you?” Jane struggled more determinedly to leave his arms as the Hammer appeared, eyes almost wild as she tried and failed to scoot away from Thor’s lap “You, my dearest Jane, you who already posses my heart, my soul, my every breath!”

Thor held on tighter in desperation as Jane trembled and squirmed in his arms. “Jane please”

“Don’t ask me to do this Thor, I don’t want to know. I can’t know”

Jane’s voice began to break at the end. Thor’s heart crumbled to hear it. “We can still have this, us, while we can, just don’t-“

“But we can have more!” Thor assured, bringing her averting gaze to him, trying to communicate his certainty “We can have it all, I am sure” He took her hand in his, clasped together to Mjolnir’s handle. They could both feel the inquisitive stoke of magic she emitted at the touch and Jane began to scramble in earnest, pulling with all her body at the hold.

“Please Thor, please don’t make me do this”

“Jane, trust me, it’s ok”

“No Thor! It’s not!” Jane burst, eyes shinning with tears, for once letting all her emotions show and the heartache Thor saw in her sweet eyes made his blood run cold “If you do this, we will never be able to be together again! I can’t stay and know that I am not the one for you!”

“But you are!” Thor pleaded.

“I can’t stay” Jane repeated, voice firm and desolate “And know I am not worthy to be with you”

Thor swallowed thickly, his hand holding hers and Mjolnir clenching in spasms. He was troubled and hurting. He understood Jane’s fears, he struggled with his worth constantly but of this, he was certain, just as the sea was wet, the skies above blue, he was certain that Jane, his wonderful, smart, shameless Jane; was worthy.

Odin could not be so cruel.

Thor smiled thickly and pressed a chaste kiss to her pale lips. “It’s alright, trust me… I love you”

And thus, he released the handle.

----

Mjolnir fell with a heart wrenching thud. Jane’s hand curled firmly around her wide handle, her arm pulled straight as the Hammer sat, unmoving and irresponsive to her touch.

Thor felt bile rise to his throat as the pounding in his chest set deafening screams in his head. Jane looked on motionless.

With a minute nod Jane rose from his lap. “Goodbye, Thor”

And left the trailer in the nude.

What else had she to be ashamed of? She had never been worthy anyways.

Chapter Text

Chapter 5: Avengers

Three days passed, and three days it rained in New Mexico. Raging thunderstorms that threatened to level the skies over their heads, and in some near melancholic moments, a soft peppering of raindrops fell; scattering in the winds to instantly dry in the hot sands.

After those three days, Thor was next spotted in Texas. Dropping from the skies like a meteorite into the center of a Rodeo. Lightning sparked from his iridescent orbs, prompted startled cries of the spectators and nervous shuffles of the animals in the circle.

Thor dropped Mjolnir with a careless flick of his wrist, the stormy clouds that had gathered above clearing into the sunny day it had been in prompt succession. The people in the stands stared openly at the God, hair in near dreadlocks of knots, clothes and armor askew.

Thor turned in a slow circle, mentally counting the bodies in the crowd and smiling. Over 600 humans.

“Good place to start as any”

What followed was a whirlwind of ungainly laughter, pointed ribbing and ever increasing ridicule. The people were paraded into the Rodeo where they all tried their hand on the magical artifact and all failed. Thor felt a secret vindication at each trumped attempt, bittersweet in his mouth now that the worst had happened, by his own hand no less. Thor chugged down his bottle of beer, perhaps he could drown his heartache in this foul concoction and forget what an imbecil he was. If just for a night.

Thor smashed the bottle on the ground with a shout. “Another!”

The men in silly hats around him laughed loudly and cheered. One of the men had tied thick ropes to Mjolnir, connecting it to the wide girth of a price Bull held in a small cage, huffing and scuffing its hooves on the dirt floor impatiently.

The man patted his hands clean and declared himself ready to get himself some Asgardian ass, ripping loud, jarring cackles from his friends.

Thor forced out a wide smile. “And who will I be bedding? You or the Beast?”

Another round of laughter and the man mounted the animal, another opening the metallic door as the Bull sprung forward. Its leap being cut short abruptly and forcing it back in a violent flip. The Beast landed in a cloud of dirt and screams of pain, as the vulgar man was crushed under the weight.

The men scrambled to help as Thor stumbled toward his twice loved, thrice hated Hammer and released the animal from the hold.

“It’s been lovely, gentlemen”

And thus Thor leapt once more to the skies, followed by angered cries.

This happened a few more times before Thor decided to leave the US entirely, flying randomly to another country, anything to keep his mind away from thoughts of her. And in a week’s time he found himself in the open planes of the savanna.

The people he met here stared at him with open wonder, touched his golden hair, and skimmed their ebony fingers over his golden skin unabashedly. But none would try and lift the Hammer.

Thor tried to coax them to do so. Explaining the standing vow of the All Father and the riches to be had if they succeeded, they only need to take the handle and pull.

None did.

No, they did not wish for riches. But they did ask for rain.

Thor stood amongst them that afternoon, allowing the clouds above to gather as his eyes watered. The first rain drop hit the ground as the first tear slid down his sunken cheek. He cried in soft sobs, the rain falling in steady, heavy drops on dry, cracking soil.

The people stood around Thor as it happened, unbothered by the cold drops. They formed a circle around Thor’s shaking form and one by one, they showered him with words of love, sympathy and hope. They waited out his tempest by his side.

They did not ask for more rain.

Still, every night, Thor gave them rain; and they in turn, gave him kindness.

Slowly, but surely, Thor’s heart mended to a fragile whole, the jagged pieces melding back together in a tentative grip. They would not withstand a harsh wind, but they braved the sharp breezes. In three weeks Thor felt he was on the way to being himself again, and bid his dear friends goodbye.

He toured the Continent in an almost dreamlike state, rain followed him wherever he went, and in some places he stayed for longer than he absolutely needed. Millions set their hands on Mjolnir, none could lift it. Thor moved on to the next Continent.

At the 7 months mark he received the news that Stark’s house had been attacked. The man of Iron’s body not found.

By the time Thor arrived in America Stark had managed not only to surge from the ashes but renounce to his Ironman persona. For Love.

Thor cried bitterly that night, and the next morning he visited his friend in his hospital bed, fresh out of surgery and recovering marvelously. Thor smiled brightly at the dark-haired man and congratulated him for his decision.

“You are a fine, honorable man, Stark. Wars will wage on till the end of time, but love…” Thor’s smile trembled and struggled to stay on his face. He cleared his throat loudly, ignoring the uncomfortable and sad looks Stark and his Lady Potts threw his way. “Aye, love comes but once”

“I’m sure things will work out with Jane, Point Break” Stark assured him, his calloused hand patting his own in weak strokes, still mostly under the influence of the strong sedatives of the surgical room “You’re gorgeous, she’ll forgive you anything with a bit of time”

Thor shook his head sullenly “No, not this time, my friend. This is not something that could easily be forgiven, nor forgotten”

Lady Potts intuitive eyes narrowed and graced him with a sympathetic smile.

He bid then good fortune and blessed them with many children. Much to Stark’s disparaging gapping.

But a month later they met again, Stark was celebrating his betrothal to his beloved and the Avengers were to join them in New York. Thor was thrilled with the prospect of reuniting with his Shield Brothers and Sister. Perhaps even get some sparring out of the encounter as he had not been put through his paces since his hasty departure from Asgard. Yes, it would be good for his soul to feel the bone deep exhaustion and satisfaction of battle. Mayhaps he could entice Banner to unleash the Hulk for a round or two.

He could always lay Mjolnir on the Hulk’s chest if things went too out of hand.

Thor rejoiced at meeting his friends. Banner adamantly refused to spar with him, Hulk or no, but was happy to see him, nonetheless. Stark pranced around like a peacock, flouncing about with his love and showing off a diamond ring in his lady’s finger with pride, earning sweetly indulgent smiles and kisses from his soon to be bride.

Maybe if he had gotten Jane a ring…

Thor cut his chain of thought quickly, shaking his head and walking around the common room in search of someone to distract him from his dangerous thoughts. He found Barton and Romanoff leaning on the bar, drinking and conversing quietly to each other, heads drawn together over their joined hands. He was remiss to disturb them when in such deep intimacy, but was caught by a sideways glance from the Black Widow, who beckoned him closer with a smile and a salacious wink.

Thor offered her a wicked grin and marched towards them with a booming salute: “Clinton, Lady Natasha! You make a fine sight for sore eyes!”

Barton grinned and batted his eyelashes coquettishly, raising his tumbler of amber liquor to meet Thor’s bottle of beer. “Nice to finally be appreciated, how are you doing buddy? Got a wedding date too? We could probably do one of those double wedding things”

Thor was cut from answering the prompt by Stark shouting from the other side of the room: “No, no, no. It’s my wedding, Thor can’t have it!”

Thor blinked and drank his booze while Barton barked a sharp laugh.

“Didn’t your parents teach you to share?!”

“My Dad taught me how to make Missiles and Margaritas, in that order.” Anthony countered, his mischievous grin just on the edge of sharp. “So no, I don’t like people taking my stuff. Nothing personal Rapunzel.”

“No offence was taken, Man of Iron”

“He’s probably scared that you will make a hotter groom” The Black Widow mussed to her glass, her lips curving in a coy smile as she took a dainty sip of her clear drink.

“Ten bucks says Stark goes full bridezilla”

“For your information, Katniss. I would look fantastic in a dress” Tony shot back, completely unperturbed by the statement and sipping what had to be his sixth drink of the night.

Thor nodded solemnly, running his gaze over Starks body in thoughtful appretiation. “Aye, you certainly have the hips for it”

Stark did a spit back and coughed in rattling surges, battling to dislodge the whiskey from his windpipes. Thor smirked and patted the man’s back and jolting smacks.

“Speaking of enticing curves, where is the good Captain?”

Stark wheezed and spurted aggressively, his olive skin taking an interesting blue undertone.

The Widow smiled a secretive smile and took the drink out of Stark’s hand. “Last I heard he was in Washington; I’m supposed to join him in a few weeks”

“Maybe he missed the invite?” Barton sent a sharp look at the man of Iron, who was now reaching for his drink back, his face back to his tan hue, if a bit flushed, and avoiding everyone’s eyes.

“Oh, Tony” Banner sighed, having silently joined moments ago and leaning on the marble bar with a disapproving frown.

“What is this?” Thor asked, now eyeing Tony with an inquisitive gaze “Have the Captain and you fallen in discord?”

Stark rubbed the back of his neck with a wince. “Not like that, no. I did invite him over, it’s just… complicated”

“You mean to say your man crush has become cripplingly obvious and don’t want to put your main and side piece in the same room?” Barton quipped, unapologetic in his effort to make the Man of Iron squirm.

“First of, Steve and I aren’t an Item” Stark snarled, though the two spots of heat high on his cheeks belied his words “I’ve barely seen the guy since the battle of New York and second: there are no man crushes, zero, nada, zip. AND Third of: If the man didn’t feel like coming, that’s on him”

“Title of your sex tape” Clinton giggled under his breath, clearly on his way to intoxicated.

Stark gapped and for a second looked like he would kick the archer in the shin, before flapping his arms up in defeat and turning on his feet to look for his fiancé. The assassins snickered under their breaths and Banner shook his head dejectedly.

“I do not understand” Thor insisted “Is something amiss between the Captain and the Man of Iron?”

Thor felt panic rise in his chest, he could not deal with his Shield Brothers falling apart. He had already lost his strongest pillar on Earth, he could not stand if all his foundations came crumbling down under him. His existence in Midgard would truly become a bane if that were to happen.

“Don’t worry your pretty little blond head over it” Barton assured him “Mom and Dad fight all the time, but they still love you very much”

Thor frowned.

“He means to say” Banner came forth “That they aren’t actually fighting, just, maybe, not talking much right now”

The widow nodded placatingly “They’ll come around; they always do” She smiled then, secretively “Word on the streets says that the Captain is going to make a surprise appearance”

Thor’s head shot up instantly, receiving a swat from Natasha and a sharp command from Barton: “Be cool man, it’s a surprise!”

“What surprise?” Tony perked

“See you blew it!” Barton whispered in the near screaming voice he had ordered him to quiet down. Glaring as Stark marched back toward them with an eager step.

By the entrance, Miss Potts greeted in a high and pleased voice: “Captain Rogers, I’m so glad you came!”

The man of Iron froze in the middle of the common room, his face jumping from one expression to the other, going from shock, to joy, to hurt and everything in between in mere seconds, before he finally settled in his devil may care smirk and swirled in place to face the newly arrived Captain.

The blond man looked nothing like Thor recalled him, dressed in Midgardian fashion instead of his emblematic uniform. He looked fresh, renewed, with a newfound softness to his expressions only quiet contentment could bring to a man’s face.

Thor both envied and rejoiced in his friend’s resilience. He could only hope that time would take the same grace with him. Sooner rather than later.

“Miss Potts, I hear congratulations are in order” The captain smiled, his blue eyes kind as he warmly embraced the slender woman, who bestowed a tender kiss to the man’s smooth cheek; inciting a shy flicker of cerulean eyes and a quick duck of his head. Lady Potts rubbed the lip stain off his slowly flushing cheek with a strange familiarity as she smiled brightly.

“Ahgr” Barton groaned “He’s so cute, it makes me sick”

The widow shushed him as they avidly observed Stark approach the blond pair with a sure step. Arms wide and a showman’s grin on his bearded face. “Cap, fancy seeing you here, got my invitation after all?”

“Yeah, no” Steven replied “Clint sent me a memorandum down at Shield headquarters, my address has been changing for a while, to be honest”

Stark nodded with a rigid smile. “Well, I’m glad you could make it”

Steve’s smile started to fall before quickly recovering as he exclaimed: “Right! I couldn’t get you a proper present but, I found this on my way here from DC and well…” The Captain produced a small paper bag and next to Thor, the Widow shot a deadly look at the giggling Barton. “I know it’s too soon yet, and it’s probably a long way due but…” Steven shrugged his wide shoulders, looking at the pair from under his feathery gold lashes “It reminded me of you”

He slowly pulled the tiniest baseball cap to ever exist, with a small depiction of an Iron Man helmet with a diamond pacifier and the words “I am Iron Baby” printed in bold letters on the front.

Both groups fell to an awkward silence. Miss Potts eyes wide as she looked down to the gift with silent horror, delight and mortification fighting to take over her beautiful face. Stark on the other hand…

“What the fuck, Steve!”

The Captain startled, his hand gripping the tiny hat, dwarfing it completely in his golden palm.

“We aren’t having a shoot gun wedding!” Stark spat, a venomous tone to his voice belying the obvious hurt in his brown eyes “We are having a grown, unanimous union, you know, like the adults we are. I’m not being forced down the aisle!”

“I never meant that” Steve defended, his face aflame as he brought the tiny cap to his chest, as if to protect it from the angry onslaught. “I’m sorry, the memo mentioned you- um- spawning and I just assumed…”

“Spawning?!” Stark hissed coming nose to nose with the embarrassed captain “I built 40 suits of armor last month, saved the president and nearly died on the surgery table and you thought I was off making babies?”

“Tony, that’s enough” Miss Potts intervened, laying a hand to Stark’s chest where not a month ago, the arc reactor laid like a fallen star “It was a misunderstanding, it happens”

She smiled most graciously and took the tiny artifact from Steven’s protective hold, her blue eyes twinkling in open delight. “It’s soo tiny” she cooed, an almost childish expression as she turned to the mortified Soldier. “It won’t be used for some time, but it was very kind of you to think of us, Captain. Thank you”

Potts pulled the Captain into another hug, more to sooth sensibilities than to convey gratitude. Stark worked his jaw for another moment before sighing loudly. “Yeah, sure, thanks Cap” He tugged the little hat from his betrotheds’ hand with a curious look to his chocolate eyes. “I guess it’s cute”

“I’m really sorry Tony”

“Save it” Stark bit out, though all the heat had left his voice, and now looked at the Captain with ill-concealed yearning “I’m just glad you’re here”

Steven smiled his trademark smile, the smile that had won million of hearts over the decades and made thousands of men march to war at his command. All honest and earnest American charm as he voiced: “I’m really happy for the two of you… I mean that Tony”

Thor watched Stark’s face convulse minutely, for a second such deep longing peaking out to be covered quickly with a blank, shallow smile. “Yeah, I’m happy too”

It appeared Thor wasn’t the only one with a broken heart; he thought, as he observed the men shake hands. At least Stark still had one love to hold on to.

If that was better of worse, Thor could only guess. He watched as the Captain parted ways with the couple to greet the other guests, followed by a yearning glance, not hidden quickly enough from Potts sharp, clever eyes.

Aye, maybe it is worse, to have almost all your heart desires. Almost.

Chapter Text

Chapter 6: Sparring

After the guests had left, the Avengers and Miss Potts sat gathered in the ample couches. Drinking in peaceful contentment, only interrupted by cheerful reminiscing and good-natured ribbing. Mostly at Thor’s expense.

“So how long do you plan to stay in New York?” The captain asked, his clear gaze soft and attentive as it searched Thor’s grinning features.

“I fear I must part soon” He conveyed with open regret. “I must continue my quest, for I am eager to be rid of this awful burden.”

Steven nodded his understanding.

Barton snorted “Buddy, you’re in New York! Leave the thing in Times Square for a week and you’ll have covered a third of the World’s population”

It was a frankly admirable feat to speak as many words while being as inebriated as he was.

Banner wrung his hands in his lap. “He’s got a point”

“New York receives thousands of tourists a day” Black Widow agreed “You might cover more space staying here than jumping from city to city”

“Yeah, you can be New York’s new naked cowboy!” Stark suggested with a wide grin, earning a reprimanding slap to the chest from his fiancé, nestled close to his body as if they would meld together into one if they settled just so. Thor’s heart ached to behold their love.

“Yes, perhaps I could attract more contenders in the nude”

The captain turned an interesting shade of pink. “That shouldn’t be necessary, Thor”

“Yes, it is” Stark quipped.

“Ditto” Barton interjected.

“What they said” Natasha agreed.

“Wouldn’t hurt” Banner added with an uncertain smile.

Miss Potts pursed her lips as if in deep thought. “Good publicity”

Thor grinned proudly.

The Captain let his head hang low, his wide shoulders shaking with laughter.

“That’s settled then, Naked Thor and his Mythical Hammer, next up un Times Square.” Tony prattled, a large smile on his bearded face, clearly enjoying the Captain’s consternation, his earlier anger all but forgotten as the night grew old.

“The lesbians will freak” Hawkeye giggled. “How did that even happen? Thor the Lesbian Icon?”

“I think he became their Mascot when he joined a Lesbian riot in Europe and proceeded to officiate religious weddings in front of the city halls” Natasha drawled, taking another sip of her beer, her smile conveying her silent approval.

“Politics should never encumber true love” Thor stated solemnly. He was a God himself, who were these mortal men to prohibit him from giving his blessing to a union of loving souls? Yes, he had blessed many and under the Nordic religion and Law, he was within his holy rights. And somehow these brave women had embraced him as one of their own, gifting him a crown of flowers on his golden head; they paraded him amongst them and shouted his name as a war cry against the injustice of their world. Thor had felt his most proud when he joined their shouts for freedom and felt no shame to be the paragon of their fight. He was now proudly: Thor, God of Thunder and Godfather of Lesbians.

“That was really great of you, Thor” Steven congratulated, knocking his bottle of beer with Thor’s in celebration of his achievements. Tony followed the Captain’s movement with a twist in his bearded mouth.

“How progressive of you, Capscicle” he doled, a bit of snide in his remark “A lot of homosexuals running around back in the 40’s?”

Steven pursed his lips into a fine, pink line at the overt hostility in Starks tone and the underling meaning “People are free to love whoever they want, it’s about time they could do so openly as well” The captain met Starks eyes with a firm, unwavering gaze “But yes, many gays in my time, as in any other century; just less haunted now then back in my day”

Banner cleared his throat, attempting to dissipate the air of aggression between the two men. “So, I think I’ll be going to bed now, it’s not good for my nerves to be sleep deprived.”

Thor grinned “Isn’t it?”

“Not gonna happen, Thor” Banner chuckled, silently helping the Black Widow get a thoroughly intoxicated Barton off the couch and onto shaky feet. “You are so strong” Hawkeye drunkenly slurred to Bruce’s stubbled cheek “So handsome”

“Yeah, yeah” The doctor appeased as the three walked out of the common room “You too, Clint”

“Hey Thor!” Clint shouted over his shoulder, right into Banners ear “Tomorrow! Spar! You and me!”

“Certainly!”

“Naked!” He gave a shaky eyebrow waggle as he was dragged out of the door and out of sight.

“All the better!” Thor boomed with a thundering laugh, waving bye at the trio as the automatic doors shut at their backs, he turned his lascivious grin to the other blond “You should join us, Captain”

“Oh, wouldn’t that be nice” Stark bit out “Well, we are going to bed now, lot more celebrating to be done” He winked at his betrothed who grew pink at his attentions “We’ll leave you two to it. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do” He paused as if in consideration, his playful tone not concealing the seriousness beneath the sentence “or do, actually”

“Goodnight, Tony, Pepper” Steven said with a withbearing fondness.

“Goodnight Steve, Thor” Miss Potts answered, cutting whatever ill reply Stark had meant to give as she pulled her drunken husband to be out of the room and into the dark halls of the tower.

Thor followed the Captains gaze and finally understood why the harsh awkwardness had come forth between the two Avengers.

Must be difficult to have unrequited love for one when you already have a loving partner.

Thor felt a deep sympathy for the man of Iron, as Steve turned his oblivious blue eyes to him with a welcoming smile.

Aye, it must be hellish to have it all and still ache for another. Especially one so fine as the Captain.

They both conversed pleasantly well into the night, Steven spoke of his journey to reacquainting himself to this time and Thor in turn spoke of his tour around Earth, comparing it to the last instances he had spent amongst the humans, many centuries ago. Far more pleasant than now, if only because in his unworried, lustful youth he had not had the burden and heartache he carried today.

Young Thor had sowed many a wild oats in the ancient times of Earth, some of these rendezvous even baring fruit. He remembered some of his offspring being born, all but a few dying at birth, the rest following only a bit later. Small and sickly, their fragile Seidr struggling to hold life so far from Yggdrasil and Asgard’s hearth. None made it past 3 years old.

Asgardian blood did not mix well with Earthlings, he had learnt this well.

Even so, perhaps some of Odin’s descendants, or even Bor’s still roamed earth, however improbable this seemed.

Mayhap whatever babes were born of his future marriage would have a better fate if brought in Asgard, he could only hope. Thor frowned, his fist pressing to his thinly pursed lips and fought to suppress his dark thoughts. The Captain looked at him in silent sympathy, understanding more than perhaps he let on and offering his comforting presence to his hurting friend. His unobtrusive empathy and quiet acceptance a salve to Thor’s wounded soul and troubled mind.

The sun began to break in the horizon, and Thor found himself surprised at how quickly time had passed in the company of his Captain. For the first night since his rupture with Jane, the skies had not rained.

Thor swallowed thickly as he watched the sunrise in silent wonder.

“Thank you, Steven”

The blond man smiled, beatific; awash with the golden sunlight of the early morrow. He shone brighter than many suns.

“You’re always welcome, Thor”

---

Later that morning, he broke his fast with his Shield Brother’s and Sister. Miss Pott’s already gone to work with a warm farewell and a tender kiss to her fiancé’s lips. Thor gorged himself in the human marvel that were pop tarts, whispering heated praise to the sugary confection, much to the amusement of his friends, and Barton’s open disgust. “Just get a room”

He vowed to avenge the slight to his beloved later in the sparing grounds.

And he did, as he dropped the archer on the mat with a bounce for the fifth time. He roared his victory to those bearing witness.

“Nat” Barton gasped “Avenge me”

“Stop whining Clint, you brought this on yourself”

Even so, the Black Widow entered the ring in a smooth, deadly stroll. “It’s my turn anyways”

The fight with the Widow was fierce, she was skilled and struck fast and true. But Thor was a God, and even with the superior skill of the assassin, she found herself on her back every time. It was startling to hear her giggle from under him after she yielded for the third time.

“Steve” she all but squealed gamely “Avenge me”

Some cheering could be heard from their audience, Banner and Stark standing witness to the carnage, as they preferred to fight with their intellect rather than their bodies. Which to Thor and everyone present sounded like a coward’s tale. Barton nursing his bruised body and ego next to a solemn Captain, dutifully punching a giant sac of sand.

The Soldier turned as his name was chanted, sighing in mock reluctance as he climbed the mat and ducked under the ropes in fluid, effortless grace. “Alright, but just one round. And sparring rules apply”

“No!” Barton protested “Give it to him Brooklyn style!”

Thor arched a daring eyebrow at the deliberating Soldier. “Well, Captain? Are you up for the challenge?”

“Ohhh” Barton taunted, adding flames to the fire that began to burn in Steven’s sapphire eyes. “Are you?”

“I can taste the tension” Barton whispered loudly to Banner’s polite nod and Stark’s cutting glare.

“Ten bucks on Steve” Natasha declared, sitting cross-legged next to Banner, who snorted inelegantly: “Deal”

“Make it 50” Barton joined, eyeing the irritated billionaire to his side. Stark barked a laugh: “The man is a literal God; Brooklyn won’t last a round” And the men silently shook hands.

The blond warriors ignored the spectators waving wages and circled each other slowly. Thor felt the thrill of a good fight begin to rise and he grinned haughtily at the Soldier.

“Tell me, Captain. What are the rules of this Brooklyn fighting you speak of?”

“Quite simple” The blond man replied, nonchalant and fierce in equal amount “Anything you don’t want punched, you better cover.”

Thor felt a flash of heat run down his spine straight to the tip of his cock, the first twitches of interest since his coupling with Jane almost a year ago. His blood ran hot as he grinned and crouched to a ready.

“So be it”

Chapter Text

Chapter 7: God vs. Legend.

The Captain and the God met halfway with a grunt. Both men grappling at the other for a second, testing the others strength. They both pushed away in time, eyeing the other’s form, measuring.

They met again with a series of rattling punches and kicks, Thor quickly realizing the strength behind the Captains fists and with a sigh of elation, he allowed himself to pour his whole body into the fight. He managed to corral the Soldier in a corner with jolting punches to the man’s side, ripping grunts and winces from the Captain before he managed to slip out of his reach.

The Captain panted and watched him closely, the intelligent master tactician coming afore now as he eyed Thor from head to toe.

“Like what you see, Captain?” Thor jibed.

The man harrumphed noncommittedly and slowly prowled forward, sleek and dangerous as a panther.

It was a true delight to observe the Captain fight, and a terror to be at the other end of his punches. He morphed so seamlessly from one fighting style to the other, learning, adapting to Thor’s skills and weaknesses. It was an awe-inspiring sight.

Soon, Thor found himself way over his head, as the soldier began to use his own body like a climbing post, not unlike the Black Widow had. But with the harrowing strength of a bilgesnipe.

So when he next found his fist caught in the Captain’s grasp, he realized his mistake as the long, supple legs of the man curled themselves around his arm and neck, spinning and pulling at Thor with an amazing grace for a man so large.

Before he knew it, his back hit the mat with a tremendous thud, shaking the foundations of the sparring ring and eliciting a round of commiserating sounds from his Shield brothers.

“Kick his ass, Steve!” Barton cheered.

“Language” Steven barked, with the immediate response of the Widow, to shout: “Punch him in the Dick!”

The Captain stumbled, appalled. And really, it was his own fault for ignoring the Lady’s wise input. Thor lunged a mighty punch to the man’s crotch.

The Soldier managed to salvage his manhood by a hair’s width, receiving a crippling blow to his inner thigh that brought him to level with Thor.

“Not you! Dammit Steve!”

Steven then countered by backhanding him, hard, across the face.

“Oh, Bitchslap!” Stark gasped “Captain America Bitchslapped Thor!”

“Bite him, Thor!” Bruce roared, far more involved than he had intended to be, his voice echoing the thick undertone of the Hulk, for once in sync with his calmer, milder persona.

Thor was distracted by the green tint of Banners eyes when the Captain proceeded to grasp a handful of his golden hair and pulled Thor to his feet in a vicious tug.

“Ah, ah, ah” Stark tutted “No hair pulling, Steve!”

The captain gave Thor a sharp kick to the stomach, sending him stumbling back to the corner of the ring. Barely staying on his feet, Thor pulled at the ropes to stay afoot, breathing hard and sampling his own blood in his mouth.

Steven was bent at the waist, massaging a thick hand to his spasming thigh and eyeing Thor in reproach. “That hurt”

Thor smirked viciously “You should have covered it better”

Steve grinned, like a switch being flipped, something shifted in the man’s posture as he straightened, all poise and determination. “Good point, need a minute?”

“You need a minute” Thor shot back, quite childishly.

“No” The Captain hummed, his eyes shining with a new, highly disturbing light “I could do this all day”

And he lunged.

For all the stature and mass the captain possessed, Steven fought as a man half his size would. Fencing in and out of reach, using Thor’s strength against him and hitting were it hurt.

“I did not know you fought so dirty, Captain” Thor taunted after Steve had dealt him yet another kick to the shins “I thought you a man of honor”

“What honor?” Steve scoffed “You asked for a fight. I’m givin’ you one”

And he promptly punched Thor in the throat.

Thor coughed and choked and he faintly heard Stark yell out in frustration: “God dammit Thor! Use your hands!”

Thor tried to use his hands, he truly did; but they were batted away with ease.

“Hit him with a chair! For the love of God someone give Thor a chair!”

Thor did not receive a chair, and he had the fleeting, disparaging thought, that he dearly hoped his Father was not watching this moment. Then the world flipped and spun as he was irreverently slammed face first into the mat. The little breath he had managed to catch, punched out of him in a pitiful wheeze.

The Captain straddled his back, his arms twisted in an unbreakable grip, unimaginable for a Human. Thor twitched and huffed short, troubled breaths. He felt the Captain’s hot, minty breath hit his sweaty face as the man whispered playfully in his ear: “Do you yield?”

“Never!” Thor roared and struggled weakly under the Soldier. His efforts useless as a harsh hand gripped his knotted hair and pulled his head back in a sharp angle, blue eyes meting in a battle of wills.

“You sure about that?” The Captain insisted, a devious, croaked smile on his handsome face.

“You fight like a bottom tavern whore!”

Steve sniggered “Is that so?”

Thor’s face met the mat in a heated smush and the sight he caught with the corner of his eye gave him both a thrill of arousal and a sinking dread.

“What are you doing?” Thor barked. The other avengers screaming at the Captain in a series of excited or horrified tones.

“Convincing you” Steven spoke, one long finger playing on his bottom lip, his pink tongue darting out and pulling it in, moist lips closing on it tight.

“No Cap, don’t do it, have mercy!”

“Fuck that! Give it to him Steve!”

“Captain smash puny God!”

“Yeah, what he said!”

Thor struggled more desperately as he observed the Captain’s cheeks hollow in around his digit, right down to the third knuckle, releasing it with an obscene pop, shinny and wet with spit. Which he slowly approached to the God’s ear.

“No, no, ¡no!” Thor pleaded.

“Do. You. Yield?”

The wet finger touched the warm shell of his ear and Thor broke like an autumn leaf “I yield!”

Immediately he was released. The captain rolling off him with a satisfied smile. “Good call”

Thor panted and groaned “I hate Brooklyn”

“Hey now, no need to be petty” The Captain admonished, though his eyes shinned still with that mischievous light Thor had now learnt to fear. “Don’t go into the Devils kitchen if you can’t stand the heat”

“Puny God, sore loser!” Banner roared, still in his human form though tendrils of green covered his face and neck, eyes a brilliant emerald that shinned with excitement. A moment of realization stunned the Avengers as the Doctor laughed up roaringly. Steve barely kept the smile in place as he advanced to the doctor with steady paces, even as the other Avenger’s shied away with slow motions and Thor silently summoned Mjolnir to his side.

“Sure is” He agreed, extending an open palm through the ropes to the half-shifted man expectantly “But we showed him, didn’t we?”

Banner laughed and slapped a green hand into Steve’s, visibly recoiling as he saw the green skin against ivory. Steve held on tight to his hand, eyes kind but firm on the panting man “We humans are stronger than we look”

A pointed statement, but his earnest eyes and unwavering faith in the trembling, terrorized doctor helped him trough the worst of his panic and slowly, the green began to bleed out of his eyes until only Bruce Banner remained.

“Yeah” The doctor swallowed thickly “Yeah we are”

The Captain smiled and shook the man’s hand in silent commending. As if he had been the one to go head to head with a God and emerged victorious. “Now I believe you owe the Dame some money” Steve grinned, dazzling and shark like “Cough it up, Doc”

Bruce barked a startled laugh and reached for his wallet in chagrin “Serves me right for betting against America”

“Not America” Steve corrected, rolling off the ring in a fluid motion “Just Brooklyn”

“Good God, Cap” Stark gasped, his face both elated and flushed with a bit more than just excitement “What did they feed you down there?”

“Back bone”

“I heard that” Thor panted, leaning heavily on Mjolnir and grinning like a loon.

The fine Captain grinned back, his beautiful blue eyes crinkling in an admittedly adorable way, startling out of place in a grown man but so very comely on Steven. The man of Iron watched the interaction with a stunted expression, his mouth working for a second before smiling brightly.

“Well fought, Captain” Stark patted Steven’s knee and parted, leaving the room in quiet contemplation.

Barton perked up as he heard the Gym’s doors close behind Stark’s dejected back and yelled: “Hey! Where’s my money?”

----

Thor took the day to recover from the sound beating he received by the Captains hand, indulging in the rare pleasure of junk food and video games. He had not felt so at peace, so at ease with himself in so very long. Thor startled to realize he had not fallen to his usual dark spells all day, more than that, he was in buoyant state of mind.

And all it took was a trashing from Captain America.

Thor released a fit of unmanly giggles at the thought and continued to enjoy his good mood for as long as it lasted.

Chapter Text

Chapter 8: The Worthy

 

It lasted a little over a week, as Thor began his shameless endeavors in the highly recurred Times Square. He was not allowed to broadcast in the nude, but he had rid himself of his shirt and chest plate and that had worked wonderfully, the Earthlings navigated towards him like bees to honey.

 

New Yorkers, or New York tourists, were silly creatures; Thor decided, as he was asked more often than not to pose for a picture- he had become a master with a Selfie stick- and nearly none showed more than the perfunctory interest in Mjolnir.

Sure they gave it the obligatory pull, but it was halfhearted at best, offensively uninterested at worst. Thor had been forced to contemplate his worth all over again, or maybe these humans did not believe he was the ‘real thing’. Regardless, Mjolnir was being pawed by the thousands daily and Thor was now a staple feature of the Big Apple. He had even made himself a new mortal enemy of the naked cowboy. Who glared resentfully at Thor whenever tourists would paste themselves over his body and smile for a picture. For free.

“You wish to be half the man as I?” Thor goaded “Try doing some squats!”

The man seethed.

“Ohhh, snap”

Thor’s head whipped at the saucy remark, his wide blue eyes settling on an amused Widow. The rest of his Shield brothers standing next to the redhead in different degrees of discomfort as the crowd began to gather and thicken around the Avengers.

“How’s it going, Regina George?” Stark shot, his tactile hands slapping on his shoulders and chest appreciatively. “Made a burn book yet?”

“Stark! Lady Natasha!” Thor beamed “my friends, what a pleasant surprise. To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit?”

“You know you don’t actually own Times Square, right?” Banner asked with a shaky, crooked smile. obviously nervous and slightly overwhelmed under the crowd’s avid eyes.

Thor grinned noncommittedly.

“I like the flowers in your hair, nice touch” Clint jumped in, holding a small, fluffy cloud like cloth in his hands “Got something to complete the look for you”

The archer proceeded to attach the tiny veil to the back of Thor’s head in small, intricate braids. His deft hands weaving his hair in an astonishing show of speed and skill.

“Tada!” Clint clapped “You’re a precious June Bride.”

“That’s a gift, and it’s new” Stark began to count with his fingers “Now we just need something blue, something borrowed and something stolen”

“Can we steal a dress?”

“No stealing” The Captain scolded, face serious but eyes sparkling.

“Boo, you whore”

Steven pursed his lips, his head dipping and hands clasped on his narrow hips as their friends snickered childishly. “Anyways, Thor. Nat and I are just passing, we wanted to say our goodbyes before we go to DC”

“You are leaving so soon” Thor said somberly.

“Duty calls” Natasha smiled apologetically. Thor nodded his understanding. Aye, duty waits for no man, or woman. He would miss his friends dearly, for these past weeks had been the best he had had in quite a while, the quiet contentment of everyday life with these mortals had done wonders for his quaking soul and now he felt the cold grip of despair as he would soon find himself alone once more.

Steven’s gaze grew soft as he laid a comforting hand on Thor’s bare shoulder. “It’s only a 3 hour drive, we’ll stay in touch, I promise”

“And who knows” The Widow added with a rare, kind smile. “Maybe next time we meet you’ll be a married man”

“Working on it!” Barton huffed “Give me a minute, will you?”

They all turned their heads abruptly at the struggling Archer, who had both his hands on Mjolnir in a tight grip, pulling with all his body until his face turned cherry red. He released the handle with an irritated scuff.

“Hey Stark, put on the suit and give it a go”

The man of Iron arched a haughty brow. “You do remember I blew them all up to smithereens two months ago? the pretty, billion-dollar fireworks last 4th of July in case you missed them?”

“We all know you’re keeping one hidden in your suitcase” Clint scoffed “You’re not fooling anyone with that thing”

Stark’s mouth gapped as he met the chagrined and amused eyes of his teammates. Even Thor had noticed the heavy contraption Stark insisted on carrying around like a child would its blanket.

Stark glared cuttingly “No one tells Pepper”

The avengers mumbled their assent, even some of the watchful audience shouting a vow of silence.

The man of Iron nodded and strutted towards Mjolnir “Anyways, I don’t need a suit. I’m Tony Fucking Stark. If I can’t lift it, no one will”

And so, ensued a good full 10 minutes of ridicule. Somehow Stark managed not only to not lift the magical hammer, even after breaking and donning his last remaining suit of armor, stating magnanimously that he would rule Asgard with a firm but cruel fist; and that yes, Prima Nocta is totally a thing.

Mjolnir did not shift an inch. But Stark was relentless, now coaxing and enticing the audience to ill fated attempts, tricking even Doctor Banner into trying as well. Banner groaned and growled in a frankly obvious ploy to scare the public, releasing the handle with an embarrassingly weak roar. The Doctor looked around to the unperturbed spectators and scowled: “You people are no fun.”

“It’s ok buddy” Stark consoled. “I believed you, back to the peanut gallery with you. Now, who’s next?”

Stark turned his wicked sharp gaze around, assessing: “You! Half man” He pointed impatiently at the other naked man in the crowd “Up and center!”

Thor put his foot down with a growl: “No”

“I didn’t want to anyways!” The man yelled and turned tail after Thor snarled menacingly in his direction.

“See?” Barton whispered to Banner “That’s how you scare people.”

“You have to be blond” The widow voiced seriously. “And a God, but mostly blond”

She then sends a subtle but pointed look at the increasingly uncomfortable Captain. A majestic, disapproving frown adorning his fair features as he observed the proceedings. Though Thor thought he could see perhaps, just a twinkle of amusement in his sky-like eyes.

Banner nodded in understanding. Thor laughed and clapped both Banner and Widow in the back with heavy hands. Jolting the mortals lightly in camaraderie as he turned his eyes to the beautiful redhead assassin with mischievous purpose: “Lady Widow, would you care to test your worth?”

“Oh no, thank you” Natasha replied “That’s not a question I need answered”

The words stung deep in Thor’s heart, and for once in all his blundering, stupid existence, he learnt to let a matter die. Thor turned instead to the remaining avenger untried. The Captain noticed his gaze and became unnaturally still. Thor eyed him lewdly up and down, enjoying the near imperceptible fidgeting of the otherwise assertive Soldier.

“What say you, captain.” Thor offered in open hunger “care for another challenge?”

The man blushed delightfully under Thor’s wanton attentions, all but spurring Thor on. “I would make you a fine husband.”

“I don’t think I should, Thor.” The Captain said, all reason and discretion. Barton snorted inelegantly to the side. “Oh please, give it a pull Steve, what’s a bit of hammer fondling between friends?”

“Yeah, Cap.” Stark agreed, though his smile was far more fierce than the archer’s harmless ribbing “No homo, or whatever.”

The crowd caught on quickly and began to chant the Captains name in eager summonings. The captain rubbed the back of his flushed neck and sighed in mortification “You know what, Stark.”

He did not finish his sentence and purposely strolled over to Mjolnir, much to the public’s jubilee, as a deafening roar of cheers and catcalls resounded around the Captains steady steps.

Thor stood face to face with the man, eyeing him with glee as the Soldier wrapped his long, strong fingers around Mjolnir’s handle. The soldier smiled uncertainly as his resplendent blue orbs connected with Thor’s own. “I’m not wearing a dress”

Thor laughed heartily at the fumbling quip and laid a steadying hand on the Captains shoulder. “If you succeed to lift it. I will happily wear the gown”

Steven smiled that All American Charm smile and Thor felt his heart go aflutter.

By the Norn’s, the man was truly a wonder.

“Go Steve!” Natasha cheered on, ripping the men from their trance.

The captain nodded and with a tantalizing flex of muscles, he pulled with all his might.

Steven stumbled back dramatically as Mjolnir went with ease, offering no resistance. The mythical hammer light and perfectly balanced as only fit for an instrument of the Gods.

The crowd fell into an incredulous, daunting silence.

It took a moment for it to really sink in, as Thor stood bare-chested, wedding veil and spring flowers in his hair, a fool made of himself. It was only until his eyes met the cold terror in the Captains gaze that it struck. With a shuddering breath, Thor saw his world come tumbling down around him once more.

And he broke.

Chapter Text

Chapter 9: The Broken

 

“Jesus Fuck”

 

Steve passed desperate hands through his damp hair. Watching helplessly as chaos erupted around him.

 

Thor had bolted, ripping Mjolnir from Steve’s frozen hand and promptly jumping into the thundering skies. Where once had been sunshine and infinite blue, now poured down in heavy, stinging raindrops, vicious, harsh winds and thunderbolts.

 

The people ran, cries of terror rising as lightning struck Times Square.

 

Steve jolted out of his horrified reverie and barked: “Avengers!”

 

All the fun and games had left their faces and stood at the ready for their Captain’s orders.

 

“Hawkeye, Widow. Get everyone off the streets.” The pair of assassins nodded and marched into the stampeding crowd. “Iron Man, find Thor”

 

“You sure that’s a good idea, Cap?” Tony asked, mechanical monotone as he was fully armored as soon as the first of the thunder had rolled in the sky.

 

“Get to him, Tony” Steve insisted, a pinch of a plea in his voice. “Doctor Banner, you’re with me”

 

The doctor nodded nervously, and Tony launched to the air in a blast of repulsors.

 

Tony found him some blocks up, following the eye of the storm squarely into Central Park. Where Thor paced and raged like a caged animal.

 

“Hey there, Princess Bride” He greeted “You left in a hurry”

 

Thor roared unintelligibly, lightning echoing in the heavens like a threat. Tony swallowed dryly. No jokes then.

 

“You have to calm down buddy, you’re making the humans nervous.”

 

“This is a disaster” Thor becried in despair “It is wrong, it cannot happen, this thrice dammed hammer has doomed us.” He let a sobbing breath go, face twisted in a hateful sneer “I curse it, I curse the foul thing.”

 

“Yeah Thor, she’s been a bad hammer” Tony agreed, hands lifted in a placating gesture, sensing the rising tension in the God’s mannerisms and not liking it one bit “So why don’t you give it a time out and put it in a corner somewhere so we can talk it out, huh?”

 

Thor shook his head in agitation “You do not understand the implications of this act, what it has brought upon us.” He was screaming by the end, eyes wild and flashing, then his voice began to break “The Captain, Steven he…”

 

His heart trembled. Steve… “I know”

 

“You don’t!” Thor yelled, his panic finally peaking “But I will set it all to rights again. I will destroy Odin’s artifact.”

 

Tony did a doubletake “What?”

 

“No hammer, no vow.”

 

Easy peasy. Tony thought in hysterics.

 

“Thor, big guy, think this through.”

 

Thor dropped Mjolnir in the middle of the field, and Tony relaxed for a second until the fucker started sparking lightning out of his eyes. Thunder rumbling more fiercely in the dark sky as it gathered above them, the air so charged with electricity that rocks and pebbles began to tremble in the grass.

 

“No more games!” Thor roared, lightning curling in his raised fist.

 

So, Tony did the only thing he could do.

 

He tranqued his Godly ass.

 

Thor gasped as the darts hit his bulging neck, one after the other; the sparks subsided, and he stumbled on his feet. Fist still raised to the cloudy sky determinedly until finally his eyes cleared and rolled back into his skull; falling forward in an unseemly heap of muscle and drool. Flowers wilted in his hair and bridal veil askew.

 

Tony breathed rapidly for a long moment; pulling his face plate off as if it was suffocating him. He let his emotions go, caged and gripped so tight in his chest since the moment he caught the rapid shift of the magic Hammer in Steve’s big, stupid, earnest hands. So overwhelmed, he could only scream himself hoarse.

 

“Fuck, fuck, FUCK, Fuuuuaaaaahhhck!”

 

---

 

Tony flew Thor’s unconscious body back to Avengers Tower, nearly dropping him a dozen times on his way. He kept telling himself they were all accidental. When he got to the docking platform, he kept the suit on, well aware of Pepper waiting for him in the common room and watching him with hard eyes through the wide windows.

 

He sighed when he laid the God on the couch, leaving him to happily drool onto the dark leather while he faced his justifiably enraged fiancé.

 

But Pepper was unreachable. Miles away even if they stood in the same room. Tony began to panic and before he could get a word out, to defend himself, to explain. God, anything. Pepper smiled tightly, all kind professionalism as she said. “Mr. Stark”

 

Tony felt like screaming all over again. “Pepper”

 

“Colonel Fury is on the line for you, they have Bruce and Steve in their headquarters”

 

It said something about him; very unflattering actually, that he instantly forgot he was in shitcreek with his soon to be wife (hopefully, still, please, pretty please) at the drop of Captain America’s name.

 

He cleared his throat loudly and nodded. “Put him through”

 

----

 

“You know” Tony said, entering the conference room where Captain America sat alone with his thoughts “my dad used to spout all this nonsense about you when I was a kid….” The Captain raised his soulful, searching eyes to him, and Tony struggled to keep his mind on track “About how wholesome you were, how good. I used to think it was all a sack of bull; no one can be that perfect.” Tony paused, eyeing the Captain thoughtfully “Looks like I was wrong.”

 

“I’m not the guy from the comics, Tony” Steve groused out tiredly, as if he had had this conversation one time to many “nor Howard’s war stories.” He shrugged halfheartedly “I’m just another man”

 

“But that’s not all is it” Tony bit back, hurting and resenting not having an outlet to his anger “Not anymore. I used to think everyone had a dark side, but now I’m not so sure.”

 

The man had lifted the fucking hammer, Steve had gone up there and lifted a celestial artifact like it was no one’s business. And wasn’t that a daunting thought, to be face to face and aching for a man so good, so out of his fucking league he was worthy of a God.

 

Steve gave him a hard, reproachful look, the first sign of spark from the Soldier since Tony had entered the room. “Everyone has a dark side, Tony; you just haven’t seen mine… you haven’t seen me put myself first.”

 

They both fell to a stifling silence. Tony wondered what that would look like, a self-serving Steve, if he would ever get the chance to see it. And for a moment he almost could, in the rigid hold of the Captain’s shoulders, the resistance, the defiance that made him the man he was at heart. But then they fell, and he weaved a heavy sigh.

 

“I’ve been going to Therapy in DC.” Steve confided; a whisper so low Tony almost missed it. “I was getting my head on straight. Gettin’ the help I need.”

 

Tony startled at the unexpected revelation, his face then contorted in sorrow. The soldier sat there, a melancholic, self-depicting smile on his handsome face.

 

“I thought I could get back on my feet, and now…” Steve paused, a glistering look in his baby blues that shone something like defeat. “Sometimes I wonder if there is a limit to how much a man can give, before there isn’t any more left to take. But as they keep on taking and taking, I don’t think I know how to stop losing.”

 

Steve scoffed an unamused smile. “Bucky used to say I didn’t know how to run from a fight. But fightin’s  all I’ve ever done. I can’t even remember a time when I wasn’t fightin’ somethin’: Asma, school yard bullies, Nazis, aliens…”

 

“Marriage” Tony added with a short smile, earning a sharp scoff of a laugh from the morose Captain.

 

“Look, Steve, I can help you get out of this” Wheels and cogs already turning in his head as to how to make a bureaucratic shitstorm big enough to deter a God “these idiots can’t actually force you to go through with it.”

 

“It will be a serious insult to Asgard if I refuse. It might even spark a war”

 

“Thor is your friend” Tony reminded him, not denying or confirming the statement “he can convince big daddy to lay off. You just need to say the word, Cap.”

 

Say the word, Steve. Tony mentally pleaded.

 

The man sat in silence, eyes with an empty, faraway look. “I don’t know what I want anymore, Tony”

 

Captain America’s voice should never sound so small.

 

So Tony squared his shoulders, gearing up and nodding resolutely “Well then, I’ll fight them off until you do.”

 

Steve’s blond head shot up, such a heartbreakingly grateful look in those sky like eyes. Tony’s throat ran dry as the Soldier groused, so fucking sincerely. “Thank you, Tony”

 

Tony broke “Come here, Steve”

 

He wrapped his arms around the man, a selfish act if he ever did one. Breathing in that fresh, clean, evergreen scent of the Captain’s skin. A stolen moment of intimacy disguised as comfort. Steve wrapped his thick arms around Tony and held him just so. And for a moment Tony could almost fool himself that yes, the Captain knew what he wanted, that he wanted him, just him.

 

Tony had always been good a lying to himself.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 10: Property of Tony Stark.

 

After Tony had left the conference room where Steve stayed, maybe a bit less miserable thanks to Tony. Not that he was self-glorifying, but he did get a hug from America so, he was due to some gloating. He was just turning a corner, fighting to keep a stupid grin off his face when he ran into Fury, all tall, dark and deadly waiting in the middle of the empty hallway.

 

“Stark” Fury greeted, face blank but his lone eye shinning keenly “Took your sweet time in there, anything you’d like to share?”

 

Tony fought a blush and glared at the Master Spy. “Not the sharing type, Patches.”

 

“Great, ‘cause I don’t want to know.” The Colonel walked forward, producing a thick manila folder out of nowhere and pushing it in Tony’s face. “I do have something for you that you might need to have a look at”

 

Tony promptly pushed it back “My consulting days are over, Count Dracula. I’m not Iron Man anymore.”

 

“Good, because I don’t need him”

 

Tony paused, curiosity spiked and as he looked down and read the scribblings on the front of the folder, the handwriting so familiar he almost overlooked the words themselves.

 

‘Steven G. Rogers’

 

Tony took the folder reluctantly.

 

“We have 3 hours before the whole world knows about the Captain” Fury stated, voice firm and commanding though his one eyed gaze was as near to torn as Tony thought it would ever be. “So do try to keep your meltdown to the minimum, we’re on a tight schedule”

 

---

 

“Hey there Cap, why the long face?”

 

Steve startled as a muffled voice from the ceiling broke his maudlin thoughts. “Clint? What are you doing here?”

 

Clint climbed out of the open vent with an acrobat’s grace, dressed in full combat gear, bow at the ready and saucy grin on his face. “What else? I’m here to bust you out”

 

Steve frowned “I don’t think I’m supposed to leave the compound, Clint”

 

“Says who?” The Archer shot back, fiddling with his bow as he walked towards the conference room door “America is a free country and there is no warrant on you.”

 

“Yet.”

 

“All the more reason to hurry”

 

When Steve didn’t move out of the chair, Clint finally paused and really looked at the man. The archers face soften into a rare, kind smile and marched toward the soldier to lay a firm, conforting hand on Steve’s shoulder; hunching down in an almost fatherly gesture to meet his eyes.

 

“Look Cap, I know you feel you have to stay, and if you really want to, I won’t fight you.” He straightened, pulling his hand away and stepping back, truly letting Steve decide “But Nat has gone to get Bruce and we're meeting in 30 minutes on the other side of town. If there is even the smallest bit of you that is not sure about going through with this, you’ll come with me.”

 

Steve looked up to meet Clint’s open gaze for a second, before faking a consternated sigh “Director Fury is going to be livid”

 

The Archer snorted childishly “Oh please, who do you think sent us in the first place”

 

Steve arched an impressed eyebrow and broke into an almost shy grin, rubbing a abashed hand over his face as he stood from his seat. “Where are we going?”

 

“The safest place on Earth.”

 

-----

 

Later Tony found himself pissing drunk in his workshop, eyes stinging, puffy red, and he had managed to keep it just under 2 and a half hours. He coughed to clear his sore throat, from all the wailing or drinking, he could only guess. In front of him, in faded papers so old they had become brittle and yellowed, was everything he had ever dreamed of.

 

The price he had paid for it though. That would take some adjusting.

 

“Fucking Howard” He hiccupped, taking another swing of his bottle of whiskey.

 

Tony had spent most of his adult life hating the man for driving drunk and killing himself and his mother. Hated him for leaving him alone so soon, for not being there long enough for Tony to understand him, to outgrow his childhood resentments; however well deserved, and get a chance to know the man behind the Iron fist and the tumbler of scotch.

 

And here he comes to find, he had been blaming the wrong man.

 

Howard and Maria Stark had been killed by Hydra.

 

Howard had been on his way to deliver his version of the Super Soldier Serum, the closest approximation to the one that had made Captain America. He had sold it off for the one thing Tony never could’ve imagined possible.

 

The rights to Captain America’s body.

 

He knew Howard had been obsessed with finding the man, spent more summers exploring the Artic trying to find him than he had spent with his family, so to know that he had bargained the one thing that had made him so proud, his greatest achievement; just for the rights to give the Captain a proper catholic burial, was so fucking unfathomable.

 

Howard could not stand the idea that Steve’s body would be found only to be poked and probed for eternity, so he gave them what they wanted; except, someone got there first.

 

Tony heaved and choked on bile and half-digested liquor, turning agitatedly in his seat when a bucket was pressed into his chest. He took it and upend his stomach’s contents in loud, violent bursts. When he was done, he raised his head to the beeping and whirling sound. Dummy stood there, beeping inquiries and with the tiniest baseball cap resting on its mechanical claw, proclaiming him Iron Baby. It was a good fit actually; He had refused to release the thing since Tony had tumbled down to his workshop in the middle of the night, just after the engagement party. Having left Pepper peacefully sleeping off some rather vigorous fucking, Tony haven been so emotionally wrought after seeing Steve, he had buried himself so desperately, almost violent, between Peppers thighs, like a man drowning he had clung to her, pushing deep and hard to the point of pain, trying with all his might to become one, as if he pushed hard enough he would sink in her and all his doubts would be gone, because then there would only be her. Despite his efforts, Tony found himself biting his lip bloody when he came inside her, just to avoid shouting another’s name.

 

She had patted his back to stop him after the third round, when Tony had laid on her, still seated balls deep, pulsing and rocking gently; still hard inside her and more than eager to go again, maybe the fourth time would do to take the blond Captain out of his mind. She had been satisfied; he had stayed until her breathing evened in deep contented sleep.

 

He had pulled his boxers on blindly and scurried down to his workshop with his price gripped tight in his sweaty hands. He had sat in his cot with his ‘Steve Box’ on his Lap and the Tiny Iron Baby cap pressed to his chest.

 

The ‘Steve box’ was pretty full by now, bursting with postal cards and long handed letters, key chains and random funny gadgets that Steve had gifted him for the past year since they parted ways in New York. The Captain had taken to sending him these things, by traditional postal service no less, after Tony had started to randomly check in on him. He wasn’t stalking the man, but he was still from the forties and running around by himself in the twenty-first century, someone had to keep an eye on him. So after the third time he had called the land line of the most recent dingy, roadside dinner the Captain had stopped to eat at, Steve had decided to make matters more simple and just send him a memento of every place he visited.

 

Tony had effectively become pen pals with Captain America.

 

It had happened slowly, he almost hadn’t realized that his young hero-worshiping ways were making way for deeper, more troublesome feelings until he had found himself standing outside his Malibu mansion, in his robe and not much else, at 5 am in the morning waiting for the mailman to pass by.

 

Tony Stark had a crush on Steve Rogers.

 

Then the whole Mandarin debacle happened and as he landed in shit-fuck-nowhere, taken the payphone; he had called the first person he had thought of.

 

He had called Steve.

 

Steve wasn’t in his hotel, he didn’t pick up the phone; and then, Tony called Pepper. His Girlfriend.

 

He realized then it wasn’t a simple crush, he was in love with the Captain and he hadn’t even seen it coming.

 

He panicked.

 

He went in a spiral of denial and desperately grasped and clung to Pepper, acceding to everything she asked for, anything she wished, just so she would stay. He renounced to Iron Man, he removed the arc reactor, he gave her a ring, for fucks sake. Anything and everything, so she would look past the fact that she now shared ownership of his heart with another, and maybe, she held a smaller percentage to her name.

 

So when Steve had walked in at the party, Tony had freaked. Everything came back to him, all he had held down, hid and buried under elaborate lies and sweet promises had come to light at the sight of those baby blues and that fucking perfect smile.

 

And then he had given him this, for his child. Steve had pictured him as a father and smiled, had been happy for him. Tony’s heart had broken.

 

I can’t do this, he had startled to realize, as he heard Steve congratulate him for the engagement. I can’t stop loving him.

 

And now, he had it. He had in his hands the universal rights to the man he adored, and he couldn’t feel more sick to his stomach.

 

This wasn’t how it was supposed to be like, for Tony to call Steve ‘mine’, he hadn’t meant for literal legal ownership. For fucks sake it even had a receipt sighed by Ronald Fucking Reagan.

 

What was he supposed to do with this? He felt torn between crying and laughing, or going on a witch hunt for that fucking masked cyborg that had broken his mom’s neck.

 

Tony coughed out a sob, throwing his bottle into the furthest wall with a crash, ignoring how his bots scrambled to pick up the mess with agitated beeps.

 

“Sir?” Jarvis called, his voice crisp and proper “It is nearly 5pm, Happy is waiting outside with a car for you”

 

Tony rubbed his face, willing away his inner turmoil so he could stand and do the one thing he could still do right.

 

Fight for Steve.

 

----

 

“Are we really considering pimping out our National Icon?” A voice sounded, appalled “The man is a war hero! He’s already taken more than one hit for the team!”

 

“It’s not about the fairness, Mr. President” A voice that sounded suspiciously like Senator Stern said. “This matter concerns the entire human race, I don’t think the fate of one man should outweigh all mankind.”

 

“So what should I tell the Captain? Lay back and think of America?”

 

“Don’t be crude, Colonel Fury.” General Ross admonished “The Captain knows his duty to this world, and he will see the wisdom of rising for the occasion.”

 

“Sounds kinky.” Tony drawled as he burst into the room. Dressed to the nines in a bespoke suit, fresh out of the shower and using dark eyeshades to hide the worst of his little meltdown. He grinned as he strutted in and sat unabashedly in the room full of America’s most powerful men. Really, this was exactly where he was supposed to be. “Good evening General Ross. Mr. President, fancy seeing you here; tell me, what did I miss?”

 

“What are you doing here Mr. Stark?” Senator Stern glared resentfully.

 

“I am here to defend the Captain's honor” Tony grinned merrily “As a member of the Avengers, I believe I have every right to be here as you do, considering that I am funding the whole shi-ding.”

 

“That’s what Colonel Nick Fury is here for and however much we appreciate your generosity, this is a bit above your payrate.”

 

“Ohhh, that’s cute. He thinks he makes more money than me. Jarvis, what is my net worth?”

 

The AI’s voice resounded from the room’s speakers, loud and omnipresent. Startling the men in the room as it drowned the place in it’s soft, English croon “As of this minute, Mr. Stark, you are worth 25 trillion dollars and rising. A slow day, sir.”

 

“Mr. Stark” The President cut in, his tone barely concealing his exasperation and distaste “If you are going to insist on crashing this meeting, at least try and take this matter seriously, we are discussing the fate of a National Treasure.”

 

“Funny that the man in question isn’t here for it” Tony mused purposely, sending pointed looks to the politicians all around “You know, laying his life down for his people is one thing, he might have some objections about his country asking him to bend over for the greater good.”

 

“He belongs to the United States of America” General Ross declared, his voice breezy and self-assured “He will do what is right for this country.”

 

“Ehhh, hold that thought for a second.” Tony brought out the manila folder from his coat, only a couple of new stains on the front as he set it in front of the President “He doesn’t belong to America.”

 

“That serum that runs through his veins is property of the US army.” General Ross glared haughtily, looking at the President in a side glance, trying to read the papers over his shoulder.

 

“But it’s not”

 

“The hell it’s not.”

 

“Nop, it’s mine”

 

“Are you drunk, Stark?” Senator Stern shot pompously.

 

“Maybe” Tony agreed “A little, it’s still early, he’s still mine though.” He pulled a holographic copy of the contract from his watch piece for the whole room to read, as the President remained frozen with the original in his shaking hands “The US signed off the right to the Captain’s body in the early 80’s to Howard Stark in exchange for the formula of the Erskine’s Serum... And guess who inherited all things Stark?”

 

“That’s impossible…” The President croaked.

 

“You might want to start changing your tune now, I’m not the sharing kind and you have been playing with my stuff long enough.”

 

Senator Stern growled “You wouldn’t dare deny your country.”

 

“Guess you don’t know me very well, I’ll make it simple for you then.” Tony smirked, all teeth and bite “I’ll have Captain America grinding up and down a pole in my private jets before I let him raise a single finger for the likes of you.”

 

“You son of a Bitch!” General Ross jumped to his feet.

 

“You know I’ll do it, don’t test me, Gramps.” Tony warned them, all fun and games evaporated from his posture and only the hard, cold blooded business man left to deal the blows “I’ll have him in a star spangled thong faster than you can say ‘America’…”

 

He paused to enjoy the horrified looks in the men’s faces, delighting in this small retribution in Steve’s name. “Sure, I might feel bad at first, but one eyefull of that beautiful ass in a G string and I’ll get over it soon enough. And rest assured, I will never let you have a say on him ever again.”

 

“What you’re talking about is slavery, Stark.” Senator Stern recuperated first, snarling weakly at him as he fought to regain composure.

 

“That’s ringing some bells” Tony quipped, bringing a mocking hand to his ear “Anyone else hear them? Sounds awfully familiar, so much déjà vu.”

 

“That’s different, Stark.” Stern barked “That was a weapon, this is a human being, a free American citizen we’re talking about.”

 

Tony smirked, sinking into his seat in a satisfied sprawl “Good, and you’ll do well to remember that.”

 

“What’s the point to all this Mr. Stark?” The President asked, straight to the point and so clearly close to snapping.

 

“Simple, let the Captain decide.”

 

“You know we can’t simply ask him.” General Ross said, his voice slow and condescending, as if he was speaking with a child “This is an inter-galactical treaty we are talking about here. The repercussions of breaking this accord could mean the destruction of Earth.”

 

Tony snorted loudly, trying to convey more security than he actually felt “I hardly think Big Daddy up there will start a war over the Captain, when we all know he offered that just to shut you up. He’ll be relieved to have this thing over with.”

 

“And what of Asgards protection?” The President asked, sliding the folder away as if personally offended by its existence, which to be fair, might be the case. “Our continued survival may rest on this marriage and you want us to just let that lay on one man’s decision.”

 

“If it’s weapons that you want, I can give you weapons.” Tony’s mouth shot off before his mind caught up with what he was saying “We don’t need to depend on Asgard at all. I was the world’s most prolific weapons designer. You’ve seen Iron man.” He looked at the meditative faces around the room, a sinking feeling in his chest that he was making a terrible mistake, but he kept on going “You want protection? I can build you a suit of armor to cover the whole world.”

 

The men shared a look, but it was Director Fury who spoke, finally joining the meeting from where he stood in shadows and silence, his eye sharp as knifes.

 

“You planning on signing on that?”

 

Tony faked a cocky smirk. “Gladly.”

 

He couldn’t help feeling he had sold his soul to the Devil. And as he shook hands with the now mollified politicians, he couldn’t even bring himself to regret it.

 

Steve was free.

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 11: The will of the Norn’s.

 

 

Tony finally managed to escape the council room with most of his blood, the politicians having latched on to his neck like leaches after his slip. poking and probing and nudging for more as they set the foundations for a military contract to ensure Tony was well and truly shackled for the rest of his life.

 

A suit of armor to cover the World.

 

Tony had played with the idea before, after being sucked into the wormhole in New York, having seen what he had. He fought to convince himself that he had planned to do this anyways, that he was in control and he hadn’t just gone against all he stood for after his rebirth in Afghanistan.

 

Tony sped his pace, practically sprinting through Shield’s hallways toward the conference room where he had last seen Steve. Desperate to see him, to reaffirm his purpose, to feel strong again. Not this, not this shaking, crumbling feeling he had deep in his chest, as if he still had the Arc Reactor and it was being slowly ripped from his torn and mangled chest.

 

He needed Steve.

 

He had done what he had to do, to keep Steve safe, he told himself; that’s all that mattered, it was done, the Captain was safe and free from these men who would just pawn him off at the first sign of a struggle. Like he wasn’t worth the fight. Tony clenched his jaw, turning a corner sharply and startling an Agent out of his way.

 

Steve was worth a fight and then some. He was worth everything.

 

And Tony had just given everything away. It was only right, justice served even. One merchant of death for the pinnacle of freedom. Seemed fair.

 

So why couldn’t he stop shaking?

 

Tony reached the room where Steve was and ripped the door open. His breath caught in his throat when he found it empty.

 

“Steve?”

 

He peaked under the table in a frantic attempt to produce the man into the room where he very clearly wasn’t anymore. His breathing accelerated, short and labored as panic gripped him tight.

 

God, what had they done with Steve?

 

Did he just sign off his soul for nothing?

 

“Looking for something Stark?”

 

Tony swirled, finding a smirking Nick Fury leaning on the open door with a satisfied, cat with canary kind of expression that made Tony’s skin crawl.

 

“Where is he?”

 

“Away”

 

“Away where?” Tony barked, his hand immediately enveloped in his glove gauntlet, propulsors at the ready and aiming straight to the remaining eye.

 

“Calm yourself, Stark” The spy drawled, completely unperturbed at the threat of losing his only eye. “He’s safe, I had to take some precautions, you see. You’re a bit of a loose cannon” Nick strolled past him, siting in the chair where not 5 hours ago Steve had sat, shoulders slumped, and eyes dulled. “Wasn’t sure you would come through”

 

Tony’s breath caught, dread making his blood run cold. “You planned this, you set me up”

 

“To be honest, I didn’t plan for you to agree to a weapons contract, but I should have guessed you’d go overboard, considering”

 

“Considering what?”

 

“Your unrequited feelings for the Captain”

 

Tony fired.

 

Fury rolled out of the chair in just the brink of time, avoiding the worst of the blast though his ear looked a little fried. The man stood, serious and blank.

 

“You can tell yourself I forced you to agree, but you know better, the words left your mouth, not mine”

 

“Didn’t stop you from jumping at the chance.”

 

“I’m not stupid Stark, we are going to lose a legend in the next days, but we still have you” Fury set his disturbingly sharp glare on Tony, full of expectation and something close to respect “Why do you think I gave you those papers, I could’ve well gone out of my way to let the council know of the Captain’s real rights, but I gave them to you instead.”

 

Tony swallowed heavily, for once speechless.

 

“Because you are the most powerful man on Earth” Fury declared, eye cold and unwavering “And if there is anyone who stands a chance to fight a God, it’s you”

 

Tony lowered his hand in shock, stumbling back a couple of steps, mind whirling.

 

“I just gave you the tools and motivation to do it”

 

“So I should be thanking you?” Tony snarled, still discomfited after the statement, ungrounded and reeling.

 

“No need” Fury quipped “We aren’t done yet, Stark. We are nowhere near done”

 

 

-----

 

 

Steve and Clint had met with Natasha and Bruce in a Hagar next to the docks on the other side of the City, having scurried out of Shields headquarters like ghosts, passing undetected amongst the World’s best secret agents. If Steve didn’t know any better, Clint being a super spy and him a genetically enhanced Super Soldier, we would be very disappointed with the Agency quality standards.

 

They had made it in record time, and took a Jet off to the skies, flying for near 4 hours in near silence until they arrived in a Farm, South West of the country, in the middle of a starless night.

 

Clint was the first to disembark, followed closely by Natasha who walked now with a strange step, a little spring to her feet and shoulders lose and relaxed. Steve shared a confused look with the Doctor and followed the pair a couple of steps behind. Outside of a dimly lit house stood a woman, beautiful in the soft light of the empty porch and pregnant stomach bulging obviously under her pajamas. She smiled wide at the sight of them and opened her arms wide to receive Clint with a tight hug.

 

“Hello Sweetie, fancy seeing you here so soon” She sighed, giving a small peck of a kiss to the Archer’s lips, then turning to Natasha with a wide, excited smile  “Nat, so good to have you back!”

 

Bruce gaped as the woman nearly tackled the redhead assassin with a high-pitched squeal of delight, matched by Natasha’s own. Steve could only blink in silence at the proceedings, feeling severely out of place, but then again. What else is new?

 

“How is little Natasha?” The Widow inquired, bending over and laying her hands on the belly with tenderness in startingly familiar gesture. The Woman answered with a grimace. “It’s Nathaniel”

 

Natasha’s face returned to that icy look Steve knew well on her perfect face and whispered vindictively at the bulge: “Traitor”

 

“Well, baby, these are the Avengers: Tall, blond and gorgeous is Steve Rogers or Captain America. Short, dark and lickable is Doctor Bruce Banner, sometimes Hulk.”

 

They both walked forward to greet the woman, Bruce with a shaky smile and Steve with a careful handshake and a softly uttered “Ma’am”

 

“Guys, my wife Laura”

 

Steve startled and concealed it quickly, offering a polite smile at the woman, who responded with a slightly dazzled look to her husband, who grinned and mumbled “I know right?”

 

“Ok, come on in, the kids are waiting to say hi”

 

“The kids?” Bruce echoed, face going slightly pale in the faint light.

 

“Yep, you’re going to love them” Clint replied nonchalantly, already duking into the house with hurried steps, followed closely by Natasha. A series of excited screams burst from the inside as Laura ushered them warmly into the fray. Steve saw Clint with a small boy in his arms and Natasha with a young girl curled tightly around her waist. Both startling out of character and just right. The way Natasha curved in and covered the girl with her body, pressing kisses to her brown head. The loving grip of Clint’s bare arms around the small frame of a boy carbon copied version of his face. This was them.

 

Steve’s throat clenched and felt more than saw the doctor shuffle nervously at his side, careful to stay as far away from the little ones as the room allowed.

 

“Kids, say Hi to Captain America and the Hulk” Clint boosted, like one of those buoyant circus presenters, unleashing an avalanche of small limbs on the two men. Steve found himself with an armful of little dame as Clint’s daughter practically sprung from Natasha’s arms into his, her tiny limbs curled around him not unlike an octopus would, he automatically wrapped his arms around her to support her little frame, looking down to meet her wide unabashed smile, so much like her father that Steve couldn’t help but grin back. “Hello there little miss Barton”

 

She giggled adorably and butted her head to his chest, gripping at him tighter, hugging him with all her might.

 

“This is so cool!” The little boy screamed, the shrilly voice of a boy barely out of his toddler days. “You’re really the Hulk?”

 

Bruce remained frozen still, like a deer in headlights, looking at the little boy wrapped around his thighs with barely concealed terror. He mumbled something like yes and the boy lost his little mind. His mouth shot off a 100 miles a minute, prattling happily about his last Halloween costume and his beloved Hulk fists that glowed green and roared when smashed together. He promptly released his legs and latched on to Bruce’s irresponsive hand, pulling him along to show him his beloved Hulk fists.

 

“Hey, hey, hey” Clint cut in, his voice a tone Steve had never heard from him before, ‘Stern’ he thought “It’s late and it’s a school night, you can harass the men tomorrow morning”

 

A collective groan of disappointment left the tiny Barton’s.

 

“Nope, your Father has spoken” Laura agreed, hands on her waist in the universal mother pose that had Steve automatically standing up straight. “Off to bed with you”

 

“Can they stay in my room? I have sleeping bags!” The little boy pleaded, still latched on tight to Bruce’s hand and not willing to let go.

 

“You can stay in my room, Captain!” The little girl offered, batting her honeycomb eyes at him.

 

“No” Clint said stiffly, quickly marching forward and disentangling his children from the men, resolutely ignoring the quiet snickering of Laura and Natasha and the loud protests of the kids as he dragged them upstairs.

 

“I hope you’re not too scared to stay now” Laura smiled brightly, her hands rubbing absentmindedly at her belly, soothing little circles that drew Steve’s eyes to them like magnets.

 

“You have a beautiful family, Ma’am”

 

“Laura, please. And thank you, Captain”

 

“Steve, please” He smiled.

 

“Ok” Clint proclaimed, descending the stairs now with a huge grin “Kids are tucked, time to tuck you two in, nice and tight”

 

“Clint” Bruce cut in, pale faced and near cowering to the side “I really don’t think I should stay here. I mean you have kids.”

 

“Don’t worry Doc” Clint replied, clapping a reassuring hand to his rigid shoulders as he strides past “They’re all vaccinated.”

 

“That’s not what I meant at all.”

 

Clint ignored him “Come along, the guest’s rooms are this way”

 

 

----

 

 

The next morning Steve woke with the breaking rays of light, the house still and quiet in their sleep.

 

He got up and went to the bathroom, slipping out of the too tight pajama pants Clint had lent him and jumping into the shower for a quick scrub. He had slept surprisingly well last night, he had called his councilor from Clint’s land line, explained his delay and apologized profusely for standing the man up.

 

“It’s alright, Captain” Sam had reassured “I understand the situation is a bit tense right now, how are you holding up?”

 

“Not so great, if I’m being honest” Steve whispered, voice low to not disturb the other residents as they prepared themselves for bed. “I’m still wrapping my head around it”

 

“I can imagine it must be difficult, I saw the video on the news”

 

“That fast huh?” Steve would never get used to how the world was ever in each others pockets, phone cameras at the ready to capture everything

 

“Pretty impressive actually” Sam corrected “Not an easy feat, to hold a magic hammer of the Gods”

 

“I don’t feel impressive”

 

“How do you feel?”

 

“Trapped”

 

“By what?”

 

“I will have to marry Thor” Steve said, for the first time voicing it out loud, a sinking feeling gripping his gut “I’ll have to leave Earth”

 

“Will you, really?” Sam asked, his voice calm and reasonable, Steve could almost picture him in his chair, face open and welcoming, understanding.

 

“What do you mean?”

 

“I mean, who said you have to leave?”

 

Steve frowned “I will have to marry an Alien God, I don’t think it will sit well with them if I just stay here”

 

“Thor is your friend, am I right?”

 

Steve nodded and hummed.

 

“So wouldn’t he give you the courtesy of choosing?”

 

“It would be insulting to refuse, might even start a war” Steve repeated, what he had told himself so many times before to stop himself from lashing out, keep himself put. it sounded mechanical, unconvincing.

 

“Steve” Sam chuckled, kind and soothing “You are a gorgeous man, I’ll give you that, but you’re no Helen of Troy. The man isn’t going to invade the Planet he spent a whole month swearing up and down to protect.” Sam reasoned “You have a choice Steve, you always do”

 

Steve straightened abruptly, like a thick fog being lifted from his eyes, he could see light. Hope.

 

He had said his goodbyes to Sam, grateful beyond words and gone to bed, for once free of the despair that had curled and settled in his heart. He had slept like a babe.

 

He left the shower and dressed in his clothes from the day before, patting them to smooth out the wrinkles and walking out of the room.

 

He did so with purpose, straight backed and head tall; he had some decisions to make.

 

-----

 

Thor awoke with a groan, shaking his head to dissipate the fog that clung to his troubled mind, the day coming back to him in flashes. His mouth was dry and tasted of bile. He coughed to clear his sore throat and pulled his body up gingerly, passing a hand through the disarray that was his hair and ripping off the tiny wedding veil with a vicious tug, ripping golden strands with a grunt, not bothering with the braids and flowers.

 

He was doomed either way, he stood and walked to the platform of the Avengers Tower, steps wobbling and unsteady, whatever poison the man of Iron had stung him with still coursing though his veins. He felt the call of Mjolnir to the west, his heart clenched with barely restrained disgust. He ignored her sirens song. Turning his head towards the heavens, he bellowed for Heimdall’s ever watchful gaze.

 

The flash of colors threatened to almost upend his empty stomach, when he arrived to Asgard he was wrenched with heaves, leaning heavily on the seer and trembling.

 

“Your highness” Heimdall greeted him, his voice empty of feeling though a steadying hand held him on his feet.

 

“The All Father awaits in his chambers”

 

Thor marched to his father’s private rooms in a daze, not bothering to stop in his own to make himself presentable, he burst into Odin’s rooms bare-chested, soaked to the bone and face torn in anguish.

 

Odin turned his eye to his son, expressionless.

 

“I do not want to marry the Captain”

 

The All Father watched him; his eye intense in his scrutiny.

 

“You will”

 

“I will not” Thor declared, resolute “it is a mistake”

 

“You fancy yourself wiser than the Norn’s, Boy!” Odin thundered, turning fully now to his son, his imperturbable mask fallen and now facing Thor with open anger, at his son or himself, it was uncertain. “It should have been an impossible task, for a mortal to be worthy. What I vowed, the magnitude of the act; you have no idee do you, my child?”

 

Thor swallowed thickly, his eyes brimming with tears and blurring his sight, for a moment he thought he could see a wet gleam of his father’s gaze, but as he rubbed at his eyes to clear them, he found his father’s severe eye dry and unmovable. “I beg you Father”

 

Odin closed his eye and turned to gaze out of his window. “I did not plan for this to happen, but I am not as wise as I should be.” Thor startled at the admission, as close to an apology as Odin could ever be. The All Father allowed himself a second of remorse, before nodding resolutely, unshakable once more. “You will have the one the Norn’s have fated for you”

 

“There will be war” Thor cried, purposely deceiving “The Captain is a Legendary warrior of Earth, a priced hero. They will not surrender him to a joke”

 

“Then war they shall have” Odin vowed.

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 12: Helen of Troy.

 

 

“You wouldn’t dare betray your word”

 

Thor’s voice croaked, shaken to the very core and on the verge of soiling his Father’s carpets as he caught Odin’s unwavering gaze, for the first time in his long life, he did not recognize the man before him.

 

This was not Odin, his doting father. This was Odin the Conqueror. Who would not spare a thought to the pains of war and gleefully bathe the realms in blood in the blink of an eye.

 

Thor found himself shaking like a frightened child as Odin approached him, fighting the urge to step away as the God stared him down.

 

“I would do anything and everything in my power to see that Asgard reigns supreme.” Odin stated. “You were young still when my father and I forged this kingdom, you have not known the true strife and anguish of war.”

 

The All Father cupped Thor’s face with an Iron hand, holding him in place, into submission. “This conflict with Midgard will not end in war”

 

Thor felt his heart grow cold as he beheld the smile that parted his father’s face.

 

“War can only happen between those of equal standing.”

 

Odin released Thor with a soft, condescending pat to his cheek, loving even.

 

“No, Earth will not see war; it will see discipline”

 

“Father”

 

“You will remain in Asgard until the wedding, Thor.” The All Father commanded, striding out of his private chambers with barely a glance back “Do not force my hand, I do not think you would like the consequences of testing my patience”

 

----

 

That morning the children had pleaded so loudly and so vehemently that Clint had given up and just let them skip school, ‘Just this one time’ he had said, struggling to speak as he found himself under the excited wiggles of his children, hugging enthusiastically before sprinting off to clamber on the visitors laps, backpacks forgotten by the door step next to a stunned Clint.

 

“Can we go play outside now?” The boy, Cooper, Steve had learnt that morning, who had yet to learn how to control his vocal range, hung to the Doctor’s neck, little face resting on the man’s shoulder, willfully unaware of the frozen state of the Doctor, as if he feared his very breath would hurt the boy. Steve felt a tinge of sympathy for the good man and said to the children:

 

“How about we have breakfast first, then we can go out and play with my shield”

 

The children squealed in delight, causing Bruce to wince as the boy’s shriek went straight to his ear, but smiled gratefully as both Cooper and Lila scrambled to his side of the table.

 

“No, where are your manners? get off the Captain right now” Laure scolded, pointing to the empty chairs in the table with full plates “And there will be no playing until these plates are empty”

 

“But mom!”

 

“No buts, eat”

 

The children frowned but obediently sat and began to eat their breakfast with surly expressions on their faces, so much like adult Clint; Steve found himself hard pressed to restrain his laughter, his eye catching Natasha’s knowing gaze on the other side of the table. He barely hid his smile behind his cup of coffee.

 

“So, Steve, besides using a national treasure as a frisbee, what else do you plan to do today?”

 

Steve grinned at Natasha, completely unrepentant. “I have a few calls to make, I’d like to check in on Tony and Thor”

 

The adults of the table nodded, somber and suddenly serious. The children on the other hand…

 

“Tony? As in Iron man?!”

 

“Is Thor coming too?!”

 

“This is so cool! I’m going to meet Iron man!”

 

“You’re going to marry Thor right? Is the wedding going to be here?

 

Steve felt himself grow still and cold as the children talked one over the other, each prompting the other further into their excited musings.

 

“If you get married, who is going to be the girl?”

 

“Well Thor silly, he has the long hair”

 

“But he’s taller!”

 

“Wow, hey” Clint cut in, his face serious as he looked at his children with a reprimanding gaze “That is enough, we don’t meddle into people’s private life over breakfast”

 

“Bad for digestion” Natasha agreed.

 

“Besides” Laura chipped in, holding her children’s eyes firmly “there doesn’t have to be a girl and a boy for a marriage; two boys or two girls can get married if they love each other enough, and there is nothing bad about that”

 

“I know that” Lila answered irritated, embarrassed to be treated as a child though she herself couldn’t be over 8 years old.

 

“Good” Laura commended, sitting down in front of her breakfast with some difficulty to navigate the baby bump “So now you can apologize to Steve for poking your nose in his business.”

 

“We’re sorry, Steve” The children chorused, eyes blown wide like cartoons and little mouths turned downwards in sad curves.

 

“It’s ok” Steve smiled at them “You were only curious”

 

“… And Thor already said he’d be wearing the dress” The Doctor said nonchalantly, stirring his tea with a barely concealed smile.

 

The answering cries of delight were loud enough to nearly make Steve deaf, but he laughed gamely at the doctor’s joke, happy that he was beginning to feel comfortable enough to cause mischief with the children. To not be constantly crippled with the fear of himself. And if a couple of laughs at his expanse was the price to pay for that, he thought that wasn’t half bad a deal.

 

The rest of the breakfast went pretty uneventful, until they began to pick up the table and Cooper managed to spill a tar of jam on Steve before he could help the boy with his load. The boy’s bottom lip wobbled dangerously as he flushed deep red and eyes watered. Steve felt a shot of panic and scrambled to his side.

 

“It’s alright, son. We can clean it up together” He then hastily pulled the stained shirt of his chest, using it to gather the spilt jam on the wooden floor. It was probably ruined now anyways. He was on his knees on the kitchen floor and patting gently at the wood when he heard a loud gasp, almost a moan. His head shot up to the source and found everyone staring down at his chest and taught stomach with wide, dark eyes.

 

Laura bit her lip, an embarrassed blush gracing her olive skin “I think I felt a contraction” she fibbed, fanning her face with a flannel.

 

“That’s what we’re calling it now?” Natasha smiled crookedly, giggling as Laura hurried past her in a rushed wobble.

 

“I think we all did” Bruce chuckled a bit self-consciously, trying and failing to keep his eyes from dipping below the Soldier’s neck. Steve felt his face flush scarlet and hurried to dab all the sugary mess away.

 

“Wow! You’re like an action figure!” Cooper awed, his distress all but forgotten and coming forward to poke Steve in the chest.

 

“Can we draw on you?” Lila chipped, joining her brother and poking his bicep with an intrigued expression.

 

“Uhh” Steve started, blushing bright red all the way down to his chest as he stood up, covering himself feebly with the bunched, stained shirt and his sticky hands.

 

“Jesus Christ” Clint whistled “Look how far down that goes” He cackled as Steve shot him a disgruntled look “alright, alright. I’ll give you a shirt Mister America”

 

“Ain’t that a crying shame” Natasha joined the loud groans of disappointment from the children, her eyes twinkling with unconcealed glee and breaking into surprisingly loud bells of laughter as Steve only crossed his arms more tightly over his chest in retaliation, failing to conceal the blush that began to spread lower.

 

Steve strode after Clint after Bruce joined in on the merriment, walking with a straight back and stiff upper lip, willing away the heat of his skin as he kept his arms to his sides. Really, he had nothing to be ashamed of.

 

“God Bless America

 

Just keep on walking, Steve.

 

-----

 

That afternoon, after playing with the children out in the barn and helping Clint chop some firewood, taking petty enjoyment at out showing the archer by making a bigger pile while ripping the wood with his bare hands. Much to the children’s delight.

 

And now he sat on the plush couch, listening contently at how Bruce explained in an impassionate discourse the laws of Newton to an enthralled Lila and Cooper, both with their schoolbooks open and forgotten as they listened enraptured at the veritable Encyclopedia that was Dr. Bruce Banner.

 

Many times he had caught Natasha staring at the Doctor, her eyes remarkably soft as she saw him grow more and more relaxed with the children, showing an incredible ease to manage them even at their most rambunctious. As the incident with Steve’s shield and the barn doors proved.

 

This retreat had done wonders for the man’s peace of mind. Going as far as being able to joke about the Other Guy in more than one occasion. As Lila had asked him if he could turn into the Hulk to play, both children regarding him with dubious eyes.

 

“Sure he can” Natasha smiled beatically “Go on; Hulk out, Bruce”

 

And the Doctor began to huff and groan ridiculously, an obvious acting as his skin remained it’s olive tan, but the children did not see this and began to scream a series of increasingly desperate ‘No, no, no, no’s” as the doctor continued his ploy, chasing them even as they broke away in a startled sprint.

 

Steve hadn’t laughed that hard in over 5 (more like 75, maybe) years.

 

It felt good to laugh again.

 

And then, he turned on the News channel.

 

-----

 

Tony had gone back to his lonely Tower feeling considerably worse than how he had left it, which considering he had just seen his mother being murdered, was to say something.

 

He rubbed his tired eyes as he sat on the long sofa where he had left Thor, not even caring anymore that the God wasn’t there, honestly he couldn’t stomach seeing his face right now.

 

It wasn’t his fault, he logically knew this, it didn’t stop Tony from hating his part in it, however unwilling it had been.

 

He had only a couple of hours before he had to travel to Geneva to the UN meeting, where the whole marriage thing would be discussed and Tony would have to dig himself deeper to keep the soulless bastards at bay.

 

Until Steve was ready.

 

“Fuck’s sakes, Steve. Where are you?”

 

“Because it always comes back to Steve”

 

Tony shot up to his feet, eyes blown wide and startled as he caught sight to Pepper, his fiancé, standing near the counter, where she must have been when he walked in and hadn’t noticed.

 

Well, this conversation wasn’t off to a good start.

 

“Pepper!” He greeted, cheerfully, arms spread wide as he approached her.

 

“Please don’t Tony” Her face was rigid, and cold. Her eyes pink rimmed, sign that she had been crying.

 

Tony clenched his fists in the air, convulsing shut as he fought the will to again, scream and scream and never stop.

 

He could never get it right, could he?

 

“I’ve been thinking a lot, since I saw the news this morning” Pepper started, he voice deceptively calm while her hands fiddled on her green blouse, the one Tony had always liked because it brought out the red in her hair. “I think we need to talk about Steve”

 

A ridiculous part of his brain wanted to make a crack out of that sentence, but he was so drained, so utterly done, that he could only nod, falling back into the couch like a puppet with it’s strings cut.

 

“I guess I brought that on myself”

 

“It wasn’t just you” Pepper sighed, coming to sit next to the sprawled mess that was Tony and clasped his limp hand in hers “I knew what I was getting into from the start” She smiled a soft, pained smile as she cupped his hand in both of hers “I’ve known you close to 10 years now, I should’ve known better”

 

“No, Pepper” Tony croaked, his voice breaking “Please no, not you, please not you”

 

Her pink lips trembled minutely and she bit them to stop. “Tony”

 

Tony burst forward, pressing a desperate kiss to her shaking lips, physically blocking the words he didn’t, couldn’t hear, from coming out. Pepper gasped into his mouth, effectively giving him entrance to wreck havoc with his tongue, swirling and stroking, fucking it hungrily, so thoroughly that Pepper’s hands gave up their struggle on his chest and curled in frantic claws in his hair, nails scorching his scalp. Tony groaned, ripping his lips away from hers and pressing open mouthed kisses down the graceful arc of her neck, licking long stripes of her flesh and scraping his teeth on the spots he knew made her toes curl.

 

“Tony” Pepper protested.

 

Tony growled, pressing his hands on her breasts and massaging them in wide, kneading circles. She gasped and fell back onto the couch, her back curved in an obscene arch, pushing her sensitive breasts into his calloused hands. Tony ran his tongue over her sternum, getting two handfuls of that green fabric and ripping.

 

“Tony!”

 

Not enough. Tony caught a pink nipple between his lips and sucked, hard. Pepper cried out and curled over Tony’s head, hands clenching on his hair where they twitched and clung in a silent battle to pull him closer or push him away.  Tony lathered the nipple until it was pebbled and blushed, scrapped into a bright red from his Goatee. His hand’s curled around her hips and began to pull the black pencil skirt she wore up in sharp, demanding tugs; until it was bunched thick in her tiny waist, revealing her lacy panties to his hungry eyes.

 

“I love you” He sobbed, gripping the soft lace between his fingers and ripping away. Pulling the small pieces of torn cloth away to reveal her, naked and gorgeous and so perfect, to his tearing eyes.

 

“Tony, please” She shook, trying to regain her senses enough to pull away from this. From him.

 

Tony couldn’t let that happen.

 

He caught hold of her naked hips, one hand curling under her, clasping a handful of her pert cheeks and the other gripped the bunched belt that was her skirt, gripping it like a reign and pulling her lower half up off the couch and onto his face.

 

Tony pressed his mouth eagerly to her pink folds, his tongue dipping and curling around, his teeth nibbling on her pert little nub with the desperation of a drowning man. Pepper cried out, legs kicking in the air as she took Tony’s mouth and tongue.

 

He pulled out all the tricks, all the treats and then he made some more on the go, letting go of the skirt and bringing his hand to the play, shoving two fingers inside her and curling them up, hard.

 

Pepper shrieked and clamped her thighs around his ears, near muffling her high-pitched noises as Tony worshipped her with everything he had. He pushed another finger in, his thumb coming up to press firmly against her abused clit and his pinky grazed the tiny furrowed hole just below. Pepper came with a blood curling scream.

 

And Tony kept her there, thrusting his hand in sharp motions, rubbing her, licking her wet folds while his other hand unbuckled his belt, unbuttoned and unzipped blindly, pulling himself out and giving himself a couple of tugs as he kept Pepper on her high, feeling her muscles clench and milk his fingers in frantic undulations. He pulled his hand out of her and thrust his cock in deep, jolting her whole body with the force of it.

 

Her eyes rolled back into her skull, veins in her neck bulging as she gapped her mouth trying to scream, to cry, or plea. Her legs shaking wildly on Tony’s hips.

 

Tony grunted and groaned, pressing in and rolling his hips in place, letting her feel his length rub at her convulsing walls, prolonging her orgasm until she went blue in the face. Then he began to thrust.

 

He felt her hips buck; legs flailing in an attempt to stop him or pull him in closer. He hissed and pulled the long, creamy limbs up and over his shoulders, curling forward to press a hungry, filthy kiss on her open mouth, folding her in half.

 

Pepper shook and twisted, her nails gauging long bloody stripes down Tony’s neck and chest, there where his suit and tie had loosened and parted.

 

“God, you’re perfect” Tony choked, thrusting in and out in fast, punishing strokes and finally, he felt it. The wetness soaking his trousers, spilling down his legs and onto the ruined leather of the sofa.

 

He screamed as he felt her inner walls tighten again, like a vice, soaking him as she squirted on his cock.

 

“Fuck, I love you so much” He cried, rolling his hips inside her, just the way she loved and hated at the same time. The way that would get Tony anything, forgive and forget everything, just don’t stop.

 

Tony slowed his thrusts for a second, letting her off, as her skin became pale and clammy, just a bit too far. Her eyes fluttered, just at the edge of unconsciousness. Tony pressed down and kissed her long, thoroughly bruised neck tenderly, butterfly kisses that always made her giggle.

 

He knew this woman, he loved her.

 

“I can’t lose you.”

 

He was sobbing quietly onto her heaving breasts, shaking like a little kid as he gripped her tight to him.

 

It took a second, but her arms came up and around his quacking shoulders, rubbing him gently, holding him just so. He pressed a kiss to her sternum, where his favorite constellation of freckles lived. He nuzzled them lovingly, dipping his head and pressing an adoring kiss bellow her left breast, there were her heartbeat pounded the hardest. The closest he would ever be to kissing her beautiful heart.

 

“I can’t lose you too”

 

“Don’t ask me, Tony” Pepper whispered, her voice cracked and hoarse.

 

“Please” Tony pleaded, curving into himself, as if protecting his belly from a physical blow and pressed a lingering kiss to her belly button “Please, wait for me”

 

She lay silent, trembling beneath him, around him.

 

“Please, Pepper”

 

“Ok” She gave in, pulling him up and down onto her chest, letting him be lulled by her heartbeat once more. “Ok, Tony”

 

Tony let out a shaky breath, to grateful to put it into words. So, he used his body.

 

He began to thrust into her, soft now, lingering. A long, sensuous rolling of his hips, drawing out near all his length, teasing her little quim with the bulbous head of his cock, then pressing in slow, but unrelenting, until he hit her end and then he pressed further, making way for himself inside her, knowing how she enjoyed the little shocks of near cramping pleasure when he knocked inside, just so, just like this.

 

He kissed the ankle resting on his shoulder, scraping his teeth on the thin skin around the little clasp of her Jimmy Choo heels, jolting rhythmically over his head with each sharp thrust.

 

Pepper was gasping now, shaking in overstimulation but so eager for more.

 

Tony gave her more. He gave her everything.

 

At least, that which he had left.

 

She came on his cock again, and this time Tony followed her over, biting her creamy shoulder as he growled and shook, releasing deep inside, as deep as he could reach and then laying with her, finally content after such a horrible day.

 

Here in her loving arms, he could almost believe everything would be ok.

 

Almost.

 

------

 

Odin sat on his throne, his staff, Gungnir, held firmly in his hand. His lone eye set on his most trusted General. Heimdall. As he knelt before him in the great halls.

 

“I have a task for you, my oldest friend”

 

Heimdall rose to his feet, his all seeing eyes meeting the All Father in that soul scorching honey gaze. Odin smiled.

 

“The worthy one, bring him to me”

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 13: Heimdall

 

The next hours Tony spent making sweet, tender love to Pepper, showering her with kisses and caresses as if he could erase all the hurt and uncertainty from her skin if he could just cover every inch of it with love.

 

After the intense round in the common room, they had both limped into his bedroom and into the shower, where they had cleaned the other with exploring, painfully careful hands; until Tony’s dick started to get excited again.

 

Pepper huffed a disbelieving laugh and held on to him, giggling under the warm spray of the shower head.

 

She was understandably sore, her legs still on the other side of unstable, but she needed this nearly as much as he did, if not more. As Tony ordered Jarvis to hold all calls. Deciding to take the armor instead of the Jet to Geneva would give him a full 5 hours with her. Her smile at that made the nervous tinge in his chest worth it.

 

He tried not to think of Steve.

 

But as he turned her to face the shower wall, kissing her wet back all over, gently spreading her cheeks to reveal the tight little hole that lay in between. He struggled to keep his mind in the present and not let it wander as he prepared her gently, with soft presses of his fingers in her warm, silky walls.

 

Pepper sighed as he breached her from behind, slowly feeding her hole with his cock, feeling it clench and suck him in deeper, embracing his length as he went balls deep.

 

Pepper gasped as he hilted inside her, taking one hand off the wall and pressing it on her lower belly, as if she could feel him through the layers of muscle and soft flesh, there were he lay, hot and throbbing.

 

They moved together, back and forth in the sensual strokes of old lovers, Pepper leaned back onto Tony, laying her head on his shoulder, bringing one of his hands to rest with hers on her belly and push.

 

Tony could almost imagine he could feel himself move inside her.

 

“Fuck”

 

His balls began to slap on her perky cheeks as he moved faster, sharper, pulling her back onto his cock in sharp, demanding pulls. Pepper moaned with each cleaving, her voice getting higher and higher as she struggled to stay upright and take the onslaught on her ass.

 

She came with a gasp and a full shiver, her pearly skin breaking into goosebumps as her innards milked Tony, almost drinking from his cock, and he lost it too. Pressed her hard against the marble wall and shoved up into her, once, twice, and there.

 

He came with a snarl and a roar, his hips twitching and pressing on hers as he rode out the orgasm. He then pulled out of her gently, enjoying the view of her red, swollen hole gushing his cum.

 

“I love you so much” Tony whispered, like a secret into the curve of her neck, resting his forehead to it while he caught his breath.

 

“I love you too, Tony”

 

Then they went to bed, snuggled together and Tony spoke. About the file with his Father’s last wish, the video of his mother’s last breath, the damning meeting with the council. And Steve, they spoke about Steve.

 

“I know you love him” Pepper confided, speaking to the mangled thing that was his chest “I have known for a while now… I just thought you loved me more”

 

“I do” Tony said, his voice so low he could almost hear the truth in it. He wanted to love her more, he knew he could.

 

Pepper lifted her gaze to his, her smile too bright, too calm “No you don’t; but that’s ok too”

 

“Pepper”

 

“I mean it” She insisted, laying her chin on his scars “You have the biggest heart of anyone I have ever met, whatever piece I hold of it, is still far more than I would get from anyone else”

 

“You deserve better” Tony admitted, eyes stinging with shame and guilt. “I should give you better”

 

“Yes” She said “You should, and maybe someday, you will”

 

Tony’s throat worked for a long moment to hold back the waterworks; finally cranking out “I love you Pepper Potts”

 

Pepper smiled “And I love you, Iron Man”

 

-----

 

Odin sat in the Queens gardens. A sight so rare that all the court members who had been strolling about, hastily emptied the premises, unwilling to disturb the wise king in his silent contemplation.

 

Moments later, his wife joined him, sitting with a whisper of fine silks next to him under the shade of the trees.

 

Odin smiled at Frigga.

 

“My love” She greeted him.

 

“My love” He returned.

 

“You are troubled”

 

“Aye” He admitted, his face taking on a saddened, tired expression “I find myself weary”

 

“About Thor”

 

“Yes, him and what awaits him”

 

Frigga nodded, her curls bobbing with the motion and the soft afternoon breeze.

 

“You were hasty to give out that vow” She recriminated, finally voicing her thoughts after so long being kept back “You had no need to bargain his hand to the mortals” Frigga sighed sadly “I see your old thoughtless ways have not changed since you last visited Midgard”

 

She wanted to blame the planet, something in its air maybe that always succeeded to make her usually loyal, wise husband, sway in his ways. Perhaps he had underestimated them one too many times.

 

“Aye, I was wrong in waging with my son in such a way, I have brought him hurt and despair like I have never wanted him to know in his life”

 

“Then why don’t you release him from your vow?”  Frigga probed. Laying her head on his armored shoulder, like she had that very morning in their wedding bed and had done so for millennia. Like she would hopefully do for many more to come.

 

Odin sighed. “I cannot do so”

 

“Why, my dearest?”

 

Odin reached to her and held her face tenderly in his calloused hands, bringing her head up to meet his gaze.

 

“The Norn’s are fickle masters” He explained “They are seldom so direct in their will” He pressed a kiss to her furrowed brow “We were fortunate; to have found each other, as we did.”

 

“I have spent my life fighting and killing and scourging the realms so my sons would be able to hold the universe in their very hands” He smiled down to his wife, blue orb shining with adoration “Exactly like I do so right this very moment”

 

He rubbed his thumb on her flushing cheeks, she smiled openly “And they dare wonder where Loki came about his Silver Tongue”

 

He chuckled and pressed a lingering kiss to his wife’s lips.

 

“He is my boy, my blood and soul. What kind of man could possibly be Worthy of my child… I can hardly imagine such a thing” He mused in quiet wonder “Thor may not understand it now, or tomorrow, or even millennia from today” Odin rested his head against Frigga’s letting his eye close and shoulders slump under the weight of his son’s pain “But when my time comes to ride to Valhalla, I wish to do so knowing that he will not be alone”

 

Frigga nodded “I wish for that too”

 

-----

 

A flash of rainbow colors adorned the UN council doors once again, the reporters startled but for a second, then began to flash pictures of the lone man that appeared at the stairs. Dressed in gold armor, his ebony skin shone like lacquer, his golden eyes disturbing in their intensity, so much so that many avoided to take direct pictures of the man, even the cameras shying from his gaze.

 

No one approached him, and he seethed his broad sword in his scabbard on his back, many humans jumping at the sound of the finely sharpened blade sliding in its cover.

 

Heimdall walked into the Council rooms, ignoring the men who attempted to stall him as the meeting had not yet begun. He did not stall; he did not waver. He walked into the conference room and stood at the front of the empty seats. He closed his eyes, letting his dark magic wander the planet, in search of his charge.

 

Moments later, a brave, stupid soul dared to lay a hand on his shoulder. Heimdall opened his eyes and glared. The slim, tall man fell backwards in convulsing wails, his eyeballs pouring out of their sockets in red viscous gushes.

 

There were screams and Midgardian weapons cocking.

 

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” One mortal screeched as they all raised in their seats, in varying levels of rage and fear.

 

Heimdall observed the humans gathered, saw into them, leaving them shaking and uncertain. He found them all wanting.

 

“I am Heimdall, the guardian of the door.” He nodded politely at the mortal representatives, who squirmed some more under his gaze. “I come for the Worthy One”

 

“You mean Captain Steve Rogers” One man spoke, his icy blue eyes shifting in a valiant attempt to hold his gaze, however unadvisable it was “Captain America”

 

Heimdall remained in silence.

 

The man sat back down, nervously swallowing.

 

“You hurt one of our voice men”

 

Heimdall was quiet

 

“We see that as a violation of the accord”

 

Quiet.

 

“Your King swore that no harm was to come to us from his people, you just blinded a man in the same room he said this”

 

Heimdall shrugged. The humans startled like children.

 

“He laid his hand upon me” He explained, courteously “That is not advisable, to anyone”

 

“Must be hard for the missus then” One of the mortals joked.

 

Heimdall did not laugh.

 

“Regardless” A blond, aging man spoke looking somewhere over Heimdall’s shoulder intently “We cannot simply hand over the Captain, we must arrange for all the finer details of this union”

 

Heimdall sought his eyes and kept them, enjoying how the man fought to contain his trembling.

 

“He will be a royal consort” Heimdall declared “He will possess the same power over our armies and resources as our crown prince does, he will have access to the magic that flows in Asgard and he will live thousands of years, if he wishes so.”

 

The councilmen and women leaned forward, all their eyes shining with greed. “And what do you ask for in return?”

 

“He has lifted the Hammer” Heimdall said “He is worthy”

 

“Just like that?” Gasped the man in disbelieve. As if Asgard had need of anything Midgard could offer. Heimdall nodded, nonetheless.

 

“You can understand that we are skeptical” one of the women explained “We will be receiving the entirety of this bargain and giving nothing in return”

 

Heimdall blinked.

 

Had Odin not said that the Worthy One was a priced hero? Is this how they praise their warriors? Did these mortals understand what being worthy of the Gods truly meant?

 

Heimdall felt pity for the Worthy One and decided best to hasten their departure. The sooner he had the man where he could be honored as he should, the better.

 

“You will bring the man to me, now”

 

“Wait” A man laughed “We aren’t done yet, how and when will we be receiving our due? You can’t just walk out with the Captain and leave your word for it”

 

He felt a muscle twitch under his eye, remembering that the All Father had warned him of this behavior, and it would not do to cut down a Midgardian ruler, however educational and well deserved it was. At least, not unless they continued to refuse to release the Man. Then, he would gut that one first.

 

Some of his deadly intentions must have shown in his expression, because the representative squirmed and lifted his hands in platitude.

 

“I know it’s not how you do it in Asgard, but here on Earth, we value written contracts”

 

Heimdall held his silence.

 

“Are you going to sign the papers?”

 

Not one word.

 

“Are you even listening?” One woman shouted in irritation. That would be the second one he would get.

 

“This is ridiculous” Another one spouted “We can’t just give him over without any guarantee”

 

The third one, right across that bulging belly, like a seasoned pig.

 

“Are you even here to negotiate?”

 

Heimdall blinked.

 

“I am here to escort the Worthy One to Asgard” He paused and purposely stared into the yes of all the mortal men and women, letting them know he knew their souls, their poisonous greed. He was repulsed by every single one of them “Are you refusing to release him?”

 

“We did not say that”

 

“Where is he?”

 

“Elsewhere” The shrill woman on Heimdall’s list all but snarled “Where he will remain until we have a signed accord”

 

Heimdall nodded his understanding, lifting his hand to unsheathe his sword in the middle of loud gasps and yells of guards at the ready to fire. He took his sword in both hands and tapped the blade on the marbled floor once.

 

The flow of dark magic startled the mortals, some guns firing in the confusion, the bullets bouncing off his armor with barely a ping of impact. Outside the terrified screams of the reporters waved their way into the council halls as 10 armored soldiers appeared in a rainbow flash before the mounting steps of the United Nations.

 

“What is going on?” The pot-bellied human cried; face congested with blood Heimdall yearned to spill. “Are you invading our planet?”

 

“I am Odin’s first General, Overseer of the Universe” Heimdall proclaimed, tapping his sword on the ground again, another flash and 20 Soldiers awaited at the doors “I have been charged to escort the Worthy One to Asgard, and I will fulfill my duty”

 

“This is a declaration of war!”

 

Heimdall’s eyes flashed as the skies parted and three Destroyers were materialized onto Earth. The reporters scrambling away, cameras forgotten in their mad rush to safety.

 

“We are here to deliver the Prince’s Intended to our King, bring him forth and we shall go”

 

“You can’t do this!”

 

“For Asgard, I will.”

 

And the heavens flashed in rainbow lights above.

 

----

 

Steve stood rigidly in front of the Barton’s TV, the room submerged in a deep silence as they watched the Asgardian General tap his sword every couple of minutes, conjuring tens of soldiers and mammoth like Iron Beasts onto Earth in multicolored bursts of magic.

 

Steve felt his throat began to close and tighten, almost like when he had his asthma attacks near a century ago. He clenched his fists to the sides, working his jaw as he looked on at the drop degree invasion that was happening on the other side of earth. All on his name.

 

That wouldn’t do.

 

“Avengers”

 

He heard the soft scuffles of his teammates gather behind him in resolute silence.

 

“Prepare for battle”

Chapter Text

Chapter 14: Glorious

 

Thor sprinted through the golden halls of the palace, still half dressed and hair a mess. Ignoring the startled gasps and wondering gazes of the members of the court and servants alike as he barged through all in his quest for the only place his heart could find comfort, find peace.

 

He burst into the dungeon halls like a force of nature. Startling some of the prisoners on his way as he came to the magical hold were his bother waited. Loki stood with a crooked grin on his wicked face.

 

“I was wondering when you would return”

 

Thor’s throat worked for a moment, before he climbed into the cell with a hiss of pain, the holding runes and spells burning him in irritation, reprimanding him though not halting his attempts. Loki stumbled back in shock. seeing how the skin of Thor’s bare upper half sizzled under the attack, and the man pressed forth still.

 

A moment later he was enveloped in his meaty arms. his whole body shaking as carefully brought his hands up to hold this utterly destroyed Thor, whose hurt and desolation burned worse than the bite of thousands of fatal spells.

 

“Brother”

 

Loki curled into Thor’s embrace with a sigh “Brother”

 

-----

 

As soon as Tony walked into his Iron Man suit he was assaulted with withheld messages and alarming videos of the UN meeting that was brought before time with the arrival of an Asgardian General, who then began to conjure Soldiers onto Earth by tens every other minute.

 

That was an hour ago.

 

“Fuck!” He screamed. Pepper already watching the news in the wide screen of the common room, her clear blue eyes wide in horror.

 

“Tony” She gasped, her hand held tight to her chest, voice cracking. Tony swallowed thickly and nodded goodbye.

 

“Wait for me Pep”

 

Then he shot to the air in a burst of propulsors. Making the math of soldiers per hour until he got to the other side of the world. The math wasn’t flattering.

 

He flew over oceans with his heart in his throat and the harrowing feeling that he had failed, himself, the world and Steve. God, how was he going to protect him now?

 

 

There was no way he hadn’t seen the news, and now he could only guess his reaction. Which would be equal amounts heroic, self-sacrificing and utterly foolhardy.

 

Tony had to get there first, he had to.

 

He flew at max speed, pushing the limits of the armor until the joints wheezed and protested. and then he pushed more. He saw the live feed of the UN chambers, how the blue helmets and neighboring armies began to gather around the growing forces of Asgard.

 

Where the fuck is Thor?

 

----

 

The Avengers flew the jet to Geneva, suits on and weapons at the ready, watching the news and the drip drop arrival and invasion of Asgard to Earth. Steve watched how the General tapped his sword in a steady pace, his unblinking eyes burning even through the camera lens and screen. This was his price wooden horse.

 

He was going to have some very serious words with Sam after this.

 

He knew, even with all the assurances of all around him, that this was coming and he could feel it, as surely as he felt the vibration of his shield under his hands, he knew that Asgard was not to be played, or stalled, they would stop at nothing to take what they perceived theirs, if Thor and Loki were any indication of what their people were like. They would not take kindly to rejection, not from the humans, a race they believed so bellow them that the thought of being denied by them was not only beyond laughable, but mortally offensive.

 

He knew this, and he had let himself be fooled by sweet words of comfort.

 

This was all on him. For being blind and selfish.

 

“Stop that” Natasha snapped, her eyes steady forward as she flew the jet at breakneck speed. Steve jolted at the reprimand, and nodded with a sigh.

 

“You know, I’ve been saying this would happen for a while now”

 

“Really, Steve?” Clint groaned in his copilot seat “ ‘I told you so’s?’ Now?”

 

Steve barked a depicting laugh “Yeah, not the best moment is it?”

 

“It’s going to be ok Captain” Bruce reassured, his eyes startlingly steady and confident “We are going to figure this out, you won’t have to fight this alone”

 

Steve smiled at the doctor, grateful though faithless in the man’s words.

 

The thing is, Steve knew how to fight, he could fight all day long. He was a man of war, he thrived in it, excelled in bloodbaths and slaughter. But that is not what he needed to do now.

 

How do you fight when the enemy wears the face of a friend? How do you win when what you need to do is lay your hands to rest instead of punching back?

 

This is like nothing he has ever had to do and for once, he was scared to make the right choice.

 

-----

 

Tony arrived to the UN council doors with a crash, the doors flying out of it’s hinges and out of his way as he flew into the Council room to land in front of the Asgardian General, who tracked his movements with golden, creepy eyes. Tony fought to keep himself from fidgeting under his gaze.

 

“Hey there alien Hodor” His voice resounded, mechanical and monotone trough the speakers of his faceplate. “Why don’t you but the sword down and stop spawning before I blast your head off?”

 

The man burned his eyes on Tony, intense and humbling as he spoke “You are one of the Prince’s shield brothers”

 

“Adopted” Tony quipped.

 

“You know where the worthy one hides”

 

“No, they’re hiding him from me too, but you keep invading our front lawn and Mr. Rogers is going to come out and have some stern words with you” Tony spouted, the voice filter thankfully hiding the shake of his voice “And believe me, you don’t want that”

 

The dark guardian of the door cocked his head to the side and slowly, but very deliberately, tapped his sword to the ground, magicking another tenths of Soldiers onto the UN plaza, to the disparaging shouts of the human military surrounding them.

 

Tony grit his teeth “I warned you” and he shot forward.

 

He grappled with the man, or more like, reached at him and never managed to touch him. The dark man always one step out of reach, just one centimeter out of shooting range. And as the council men and women took the chance to run as Iron man attempted to fight the alien General, chaos outside erupted, the armies engaged and guns sang.

 

For once in a long, long time, Tony dearly hoped it was his guns they were using.

 

The General grew tired of duking out of his way and with a powerful hit with the blunt of his sword, he smashed the suit to the side.

 

“I am Heimdall, the All Seeing Guardian of the realms.” The man spoke, approaching Tony with a steady step “I do not wish for your blood, Man of Iron”

 

“Funny that, I’m really thirsting for yours right now” Tony snarled, pulling himself to his feet, propulsors at the ready and aiming at the man who seemed all but unbothered by the threat.

 

“Listen to them” Heimdall said, allowing a moment for Tony to hear the steady sting of gunfire, metal clashes and screams, so many screams. Tony’s gauntlets began to shake. “Help me stop this, bring the Captain to me, and we will be gone; no more will die”

 

“Yeah, you’re going to have to pry him out of my cold, dead fingers” Tony shot a consecutive rounds of beams, all which the man avoided in lazy sidesteps. “He is mine, and Thor can’t have him”

 

“He is your lover” Heimdall guessed, coming closer again, unbothered by the beams that Tony blasted his way.

 

“More” He said “He is my friend”

 

And then tackled the fucker just as a familiar, monstrous roar rang outside.

 

Calvary is here.

 

-----

 

When they arrived to Genève, Nat navigated over the UN plaza where the fighting had already began. Steve stood over the open hangar, hands clenched into frustrated fists as he saw the blurs of armies killing each other, and with one side on the obvious win.

 

“It’s alright Steve” The doctor appeared to his side, green tendrils already curling in his olive skin as he smiled at the Captain “We humans are stronger than we look”

 

And he promptly threw himself out of the jet.

 

Steve barely stopped himself from jumping after him, reminding himself that while the other guy would barely have a scratch, he was still very much mortal; so he hurriedly pulled on a parachute while shouting his orders to the remaining Avengers.

 

“Hawkeye, I want you on the roof, keep an eye on the winning side and try to contain the fighting to the plaza.”

 

Clint nodded and sprung his bow open.

 

“Widow, I want you on the Jet, clear the path to the doors, we need to get the representatives out of there before it get’s ugly”

 

The Black widow nodded her ruby head  “Consider it done, Captain”

 

Steve sighed, and adjusted the grip on his shield.

 

“Captain” Hawkeye called, his parachute at the ready and standing steadily at his side as the roar of the Hulk rang below “You do what you have to do, we have your back”

 

Steve pursed his lips and nodded tersely. Then they jumped into the air.

 

As Steve landed on the side of the plaza, next to the tanks advancing and failing to hold the fight against the metal giants, their resounding shots so pitiful against the fiery beams that cut through them like a hot knife in butter.

 

Steve climbed one and observed the chaos. He saw the Hulk go head to head with the invulnerable giants and smash at them with vicious glee, giving relief to the soldiers on foot, but only while they did not encounter the Asgardian forces, whose armor didn’t even dent under the force of the bullets that rained on them, and were cutting their way forward in slow, but unrelenting paces.

 

“Soldaten!” He called to the surrounding men “Folge mir! Venez avec moi!”

 

He then jumped into the fray, the point of the arrow as he pushed his way through the Asgardian forces and unto the Councils steps. The Asgardian soldiers fought him, but would not wound him, he noticed, and grit his teeth tight to stop himself from cursing. He used it to his advantage, using his body to shield the soldiers who followed him and advancing swiftly with the men in and out of the thick of the fight.

 

On the front of the UN doors he found General Ross, an Automatic assault rifle shooting expertly in unfailing head shots to the few Asgardians that tried to approach him or the other politicians hiding in the antechambers of the council.

 

He heard the jet’s guns fire after the squadron that followed Steve exited the squabble and cut short all the Asgardians that pursued. Steve made a sign to Natasha and waited as she expertly landed the jet in the small space before the chambers.

 

“General Ross!” He called over the roaring of the Hulk and the buzz of the jet motors, catching the graying man’s attention “At my signal, get everyone to the Jet!”

 

The General nodded, his face slack with awe as Steve commanded the men to form a front before the stairs. Steve barely startled as two grown men in catsuits joined him in the line. He nodded in acknowledgement and lifted his shield “Soldaten! Auf mein signal!”

 

The men cocked their guns, Steve looked one last time at their pale faces. They still recruit them too young, he thought.

 

“SchieBen!”

 

And they broke fire, some of them even managing to hit some of the Asgardian soldiers where it counted as they tried to advance. Steve shouted over his shoulder “General! Now!”

 

The man guided the long line of politicians to the waiting jet, his gun at the ready and firing over the heads of the human soldiers and into the eye sockets of the Asgardians. When he had guided all the men and women into the tight fit of the jet, he threw the gun at Steve with a grunted: “Captain America”

 

Steve caught it with a hand and saluted with the other. He could have sworn the man went a little starry eyed but Steve turned to fast to really notice and began to shoot. One bullet, one eye. The Asgardians fell like flies.

 

And still, it wasn’t enough.

 

He ran out of bullets and threw the rifle at the head of one of the metal giants, barely knocking at the thing as it fired liberally at the tanks that surrounded them.

 

“Captain!” The black widow called, standing before UN doors and beckoning him forward, joined in a leap by a haggled looking Hawkeye, bow pulled and firing explosives at the advancing Giants.

 

“Soldaten! Ruckzug!”

 

The men pulled back and followed his retreat to the UN halls, even as the Cat men stayed behind and protected the soldiers back, showing a strength and skill Steve could only compare with his own. A thought for other time.

 

“Iron man is inside with the top Boss” Hawkeye explained “And he isn’t winning”

 

Just as this was said, the metal armor flew past them and landed with a screeching crash.

 

“Captain”

 

Steve turned abruptly to the man standing in the threshold of the Council rooms. Tall and imposing, his golden armor gleaming in the soft light of the cloudy Swiss sky and eyes like hell fire.

 

Eyes that peep into your soul and burn.

 

Steve swallowed and held his hand up to halt the skittish soldiers from firing “General”

 

“It is an honor to finally meet you” The ebony god said, his voice smooth and deep as he walked forward, sheathing his broad sword in the scabbard at his wide back in graceful movements.

 

“I wish I could say the same”

 

“Aye, these are unfortunate circumstances”

 

“Well, here I am” Steve spoke over the sounds of war at his back “Call your men back”

 

Heimdall watched him, unblinking “You will come with me then?”

 

Steve clenched his jaw “No, I don’t think I will”

 

“I have my orders” The General said “I will obey my god”

 

“Well my God gave me free will” Steve shot back, growing more irate with every shout and cry of pain from the men, boys really; dying behind them “And my will is to stay here.”

 

“Then we are in a stalemate.”

 

“Or, we can make a deal”

 

“Uhm, Cap?” Hawkeye cut in, his voice uncertain and weary “Want to think this through a little?”

 

Steve ignored him, his unwavering eyes set on the General “You and me; fight one to one, there is no need for anyone else to get hurt”

 

Heimdall considered him for a moment, his gaze heavy and searching “Aye”

 

“You win; I go with you right now, no questions asked.”

 

“Steve!” Natasha barked, eyes blazing furious.

 

Steve pushed on, eyes insistent and hard “I win… I get a day.” The General cocked his head to the side slowly, almost mechanically, his golden gaze burning though Steve refused to back down, he extended his hand “One day to put my affairs in order. Then I’ll call for you.”

 

“I will not return empty handed to my king” Heimdall warned, aware of the eyes of the Worthy One holding his without an ounce of hesitation, or discomfort, when faced with his All Seeing gaze. Heimdall was impressed at the courage of the man, if not his intellect, to bargain his fate on a test of skills with an entity older than his mountains.

 

At least in this he was well matched with Thor. The captain smiled crookedly, his palm open and waiting for Heimdall’s to acquaint.

 

“You won’t, You’ll have my word to show him.”

 

Heimdall smiled. The man had wit as well. “So I will.” And he clasped the hand of the Captain in a firm grip, surprised again by the man and the strength behind the act.

 

Heimdall nodded and walked past him to the other end of the UN plaza, giving a silent signal and stopping his army’s onslaught, startling the human forces into an uncertain pause as well as they saw the dark Guardian part his forces in silence, his presence alone a threat far greater than the hundreds of men in golden armors.

 

Steve sighed and allowed himself to be surrounded by the Avengers. The loud clunk of the Iron Man suit to his side, his metallic gauntlet curling in Steve’s bicep and shaking him.

 

“Steve, what the fuck!” Tony snarled, his faceplate lifting and showing his bruised face, a drop of blood rolling down his temple “We were winning!”

 

“No, we really weren’t” Steve mused, looking over to the hundreds of Asgardian Soldiers and the shambles that were the blue helmets. Even with the help of a Hulk and the two mutants in cat suits, Asgards forces had near wiped them out in a matter of minutes.

 

How many dead? Steve wondered.

 

“Look, this way no one else has to get involved, besides” Steve grinned widely, unrepentant “Don’t you think I can take him?”

 

Tony blinked, throat working and hands flapping in the air. “Steve, precious.” He began, enunciating every word with care “That thing over there is a Seer, you know what that is Steve? huh? A seer? Means he can see everything you will do seconds before you do it.”

 

Steve nodded, purposely obtuse “I’ll have to be fast then.”

 

Tony seethed at that. “You little…”

 

“Hulk like plan” The Green Guy groused at the side, dragging around a broken piece of one of the Giant metal warriors he had smashed to little bits as he realized the fight had stopped.

 

“Oh, do you?” Tony sassed, turning to the Hulk with a sarcastic smile.

 

The Hulk nodded with a grunt and a smirk “Captain smash… Brooklyn style.”

 

Steve returned the smile eagerly “My thoughts exactly.”

 

“Are you ready, Captain?” Heimdall called from the other side of the plaza, holding his broad sword and a small, rounded shield in his hands. “Will you only fight with your shield?”

 

Steve looked at the man hard for a second and pursed his lip, weighting his shield clasped on his arm with a contemplative frown.” Yeah, hmm, wait, actually.” He grimaced and walked forward “Just give me a minute.”

 

He stood in front of the man in the middle of a circle of Soldiers, Asgardian and Humans alike, he sighed loudly and closed his eyes, then promptly punched a fist in the air.

 

Silence.

 

“Uhm, Steve?” Tony called, looking at the Captain with and awkward grimace “What you doing there buddy?”

 

“Getting ready” Steve said, keeping his hand in the air expectantly, eyes closed in concentration and a leg jiggling slightly with growing impatience.

 

Tony scoffed loudly “For what? A dance off?”

 

“No, he’d lose that.” Hawkeye quipped. Watching delightedly at Captain America do a rendition of Freddy Mercury for the universe to behold.

 

“Thanks, Clint” Steve shot, his brow furrowed deeper and shooting a look at his waiting opponent “Just a second, Mister”

 

Heimdall nodded, his honey eyes crinkled in wonderment.

 

Steve heaved a deep breath “I’ll be with you in just a second.” And waved his hand in the air.

 

“Steve” Black Widow called “Really not looking cool right now.”

 

“Just wait” The Captain bit out, stilling his jittery movements with his palm high in the air “I can feel it coming”

 

“What, Steve?!” Tony yelled, nerves shot and wired “The holy spirit? Put your fucking hand down!”

 

----

 

Far away in Asgards dungeons, Thor stiffened abruptly in Loki’s arms.

 

“What is it, Thor?” Loki asked, lifting his head from his shoulder in inquiry.

 

“Mjolnir is moving”

 

----

 

A round of thunder broke the sky as a metallic blur parted the sky and whirled its way from high above to slam into Steve’s open, waiting palm. Electricity danced around the Captain’s arm, sliding into his body, alighting him from within as the clouds rolled over and lightning crackles above before the startled, awestruck audience.

 

Steve readjusted his grip on the Hammer, getting a good hold of the artifact as he finally acknowledged it’s call since the first time he held her in his hand. A bond knitted to the very core of his soul that he had fought so desperately to ignore.

 

Now, he really needed her help.

 

“Ok, let’s do this.”

 

Heimdall rolled his shoulders, crouching slightly to a fighting stance, his unblinking eyes following the Captain’s every move and breath, his very thoughts. So when he came forth with shield and hammer at the ready, Heimdall shifted out of the way, moving smoothly, as if he had seen it coming for miles. And maybe he had.

 

Steve feinted out of reach just as the sword screeched on it’s slide off his shield, the echoing slam of metals making near visible waves of power as Magic vibrated out of the Vibranium shield. Heimdall blinked as he perceived this phenomena. A Mortal instrument immune to his dark Magic. This man was full of surprises.

 

Heimdall squared his shoulders and sprung forth, bringing his sword down with all his might several times, watching in fascination how the Worthy one spun and duked with incredible speed and grace, Mjolnir a distracting feature in his hands, humming with godly power, waiting.

 

What a sight this mas is.

 

Heimdall pressed forward, attacking viciously, ever more convinced to bring this man to Asgard. Where he belonged.

 

The captain met his sword with a mighty smash of his shield, his own strength pushing Heimdall back for a second, enough to give the man an opening to fight back, and he did.

 

With a wide sling of an arm, he swung Mjolnir to Heimdall, who moved out of the way as his sight had warned and the mystical hammer flew past and away, not having yet reached a mastery of the instrument even in his worthy hands. He then threw the shield at Heimdall’s head only to be swung back by a harsh rebuttal with his sword, his intentions all but projected for Heimdall’s eyes.

 

The captain caught the shield in the air and sett his body behind it, startling his opponent; Heimdall’s intuition sang as he caught the whirl of Mjolnir. He was bashed on the shoulder by the hammer flying past, pushing him forward and onto the man’s shield, barely avoiding being caught between the two, but the impact of the mighty hammer and the odd material of the shield resounded in electrical waves, sending Heimdall and many of the witnessing soldiers flying back in the shock.

 

Heimdall saw it before it came, but his body still reeled from the impact, he barely avoided the strike of lightning the Captain invoked, opening a portal in the blink of an eye and rolling out and back in to Midgard, appearing behind the Captain and swinging the flat of his sword onto the man’s side.

 

The man grunted and slipped away from his reach, lightning sorting out of his incandescent orbs, his responding glare giving an unworldly thrill to Heimdall, for a wild moment more reminiscent to Odin’s own image, burned so deep in Heimdall’s psyche from his young, bloodthirsty days. A shiver ran through him and before he knew it, the man smiled and the likeliness was harrowing.

 

“That’s how you wanna go?”

 

The man raised the hammer and brought forth a string of lightning. Heimdall spun out of reach, his eye catching the flight of the shield as he feinted forward onto the unprotected man, his sword raised high to clash with Mjolnir in a howl of magic. He was stunned for a second, and that was his downfall.

 

The bizarre material of the shield rebounded from the walls of the UN building far behind him and sprung back, seconds after and just as he was caught over the head by the disk, knocking the helmet off his head and startling him. The captain twisted the Hammer with an expert flick of the wrist, like an artist spins his brush; disengaging the sword from Heimdall’s hand and sending him flying back with a vicious kick to his midriff.

 

From then, he was assaulted by fleeting images of the Captain’s attacks, allowing him to protect himself of the worst with his shield, that chipped and cracked under the onslaught of Mjolnir’s might. When there was nothing left of the material he depended solely of his All seeing eyes to avoid the vicious swings of the Captain. Though for a moment it seemed as the man was testing him, attacking in wide arcs, measuring the flow of his movements, the speed of his feet.

 

Heimdall had shown his hand.

 

He caught the forewarning of a bloodcurdling smile from the Man and what fallowed would be a tale to be sung for millennia to come. The mortal man conquered the God.

 

The shield and hammer were thrown in consecutive strikes, overwhelming the Seer under their force. The man flew in and out of reach by Mjolnir’s handle, Thunder corralling Heimdall in the man’s grasp as he took the breathtaking pounding of the artifacts until his armor was little but a mangled piece of metal hanging from his torso. Even as he caught hold of his sword in a pathetic roll out after the shock of lightning struck him and flew him feet away from the Captains reach; he was assaulted relentlessly, merciless as even his All Seeing eyes could not warn him in time to the Captains intentions.

 

His sword bounced off the man’s shield in an incredible response of reflex or just a feat of speed and skill, unnatural in a Mortal. Heimdall tried to overpower the man with repeated strokes of his sword on the Shield, barely stopping with the waves of magic flowing and curling out of the material, the paint of the shield chipping though the strange metal under shown polished and unmarked.

 

Heimdall struck again and again. succeeding in pushing the man back a few feet before his rhythm stuttered, and that was enough. The captain caught his eye in a fleeting, terrifying moment, A smile of pure glee on his handsome face as he breathed his sentence: “My turn”

 

The shield struck the hand that held his sword with a punishing force. the precision of the stroke an act of skill fit for a warrior many a centuries worth of mastery. A sculptors chiseling flicks. Heimdall’s’ hand cramped; his shout of pain cut short by the cold kiss of Mjolnir meeting his cheekbone; his stumble stopped by the edge of the shield knocked straight into his sternum, keeping him in reach and on his feet for another and then yet another swing of Mjolnir’s mighty touch.

 

He spun away after a dizzying moment of relief from Mjolnir’s wrath only to be received by a shot of lightning. Heimdall roared in convulsing waves of pain, the electricity scorching it’s way in his body, His magic curling and shriveling in his chest; he fell to his knees. gasping and blinded for a haunting moment.

 

As his sight blurred back to his tearing eyes, he was graced with the image of the Captain, the worthy one, standing tall before him, no more the bloodthirsty warrior. But an honorable man, who would not smite an enemy when he was down on his knees.

 

His blue eyes, so much like the clear skies of Asgard in midsummer glory, assessed Heimdall with severity, but they also held compassion as he let Mjolnir fall to the floor with a careless thud. The final ring of the battle and extended his gloved hand to the defeated Heimdall.

 

The seer took a shocked breath before taking the offered palm that pulled him carefully to his shaking feet.

 

The captain nodded in commendation at the gasping God “Well fought General.  I’ll see you tomorrow, 1600 sharp.” He clamped a cautious hand on Heimdall’s mauled shoulder with a witty glint to his cerulean eyes “And tell Odin he owes us a new building… Have a good day, sir.”

 

----

 

Heimdall stood in Asgards great halls much later, face bruised, his All Seeing eyes shot red and swollen shut, golden armor askew and torn, but most worrying of all; he was grinning wide and bloody before the All Father’s horrified eye.

 

“He is glorious, your Highness.”

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 15: Goodbye

 

Steve stayed in the middle of the Plaza until the last of the Asgardians and their dead disappeared in a rainbow beam, leaving just the mangled bodies of the Human soldiers as evidence of their visit. Steve’s throat worked hard to swallow for a moment, hanging his head down for a moment of silence.

 

Dear God, they were only boys.

 

“Captain America!” A man shouted, jarring Steve out of his silent mourning. The Captain turned, finally noticing the Jet with the Council Women and Men having landed some feet away, over a pile of charred bodies no less. Steve felt bile rise to his throat, then he glanced at General Ross, approaching with a smug, starstruck grin in his face.

 

“Congratulations Captain, you do your Country proud”

 

Steve nodded in acknowledgment. Eyes wandering back again and again to the bodies squished under the Jet’s wheels and the way the Representatives gingerly stepped over them with a faint look of disgust as they exited the Jet and marched resolutely towards him, their greedy eyes shining with bliss.

 

“Come Captain, we have much to discuss” The General boasted, laying a possessive hand on his shoulder and attempting to steer him toward the looming politicians. Steve stood his ground, startling the Military man out of his fog of thrill.

 

“With all due respect, General Ross.” Steve said, his eyes hard and firm on the elder man “Go fuck yourself.”

 

The general visibly recoiled and he could almost swear he heard a collective ohhing from the side. Steve side stepped the man and the frozen UN representatives as he strolled toward his teammates, still standing by the Council doors with unreadable expressions.

 

“I’m spending my last day on Earth with my family, good day, Sir”

 

He left the man in the middle of the plaza, glaring at any of the politicians who made a move to stop him. He climbed the stairs to meet the Avengers, now sporting equal delighted smiles as they received him among them.

 

“Kapitan!” Someone shouted behind him, making him spin in place; meeting the wide, wondering eyes of the squad that he had led not an hour ago. One of the Sergeants cleared his boyish, cracking voice and said: “Danke”

 

And they saluted.

 

Steve felt a swell of pride in his chest, his sorrow lifting for a second as he saw the faces of those he could save. And that’s what mattered in the end, isn’t it? What remains?

 

Steve saluted them and they were dismissed, leaving with an awestruck look in their young faces as they marched to join their troops. Steve took a deep breath and turned to his friends, with a quivering smile.

 

“So, we’re in Switzerland… anyone else feel like fondue?”

 

----

 

The went for Fondue, and of course Howard had shared that particular misunderstanding with Tony and of course Tony had the obligation to share it with the rest. Doctor Banner, still the Hulk, laughed uproariously and slammed his fist in the ground with delight.

 

“Why Captain” Clint batted his eyelashes at him, leaning over the small table in the small terrace where they ate. “What a dirty mind you have”

 

Steve fought the blush that burned his cheeks as he picked a small potato with his fork “Thanks a lot Tony”

 

“Only doing my part for men and Country”

 

The nerve of this man. Steve scoffed and dipped the baby potato into the cheese. Missing the way Tony’s eyes followed the motion as he pressed the combined foods past his bashfully smiling lips and into his mouth.

 

Tony shifted in his seat and occupied himself with pouring a whole pot of potatoes and chunks of bread into a huge pot of tepid Fondue for the Hulk to grab and chugged. The green giant munched happily: “Fondue good. Captain smart”

 

Steve chuckled as his blush receded. “Thanks Hulk, it’s nice to finally be appreciated” And stared pointedly at the snickering assassins to the side.

 

The Hulk nodded seriously “Captain good, is best Avenger”

 

Steve’s eyeballs near popped out of his skull: “Oh Geez, Hulk”

 

A collective ‘Aww’ was heard before the Avengers burst in laughter.

 

“Banner is going to get it when he comes back” Clint giggled, passing another pot of Fondue to the Hulk, like a treat to a beloved pet. “Tell us all about it big Guy, what do you like best of the Captain?”

 

“Clint” Steve reprimanded, feeling bad for invading the Doctor’s privacy in such a way, ignoring Tony’s conspicuous silence. But the Hulk was already babbling away.

 

“Captain nice, he not treats Hulk like Hulk stupid” The Jolly Green chewed and nodded “Steve is Hulk friend”

 

Steve smiled at the giant and passed him a whole baguette. “Hulk is my friend too”

 

The Hulk took the bread with surprisingly sweet care and smiled down to the Captain. Before unceremoniously shoving the whole thing in his mouth.

 

“Little Widow is prettiest Avenger”

 

Steve felt a shit eating grin part his lips before he even set his eyes on the astonished red head. He thought he could even see a bit of a pleased glint to her blue eyes.

 

“Oh, oh, oh” Clint jumped in his seat like a child “Do me, do me! Which Avenger am I?”

 

The Hulk burped “Hawkeye is stupid Avenger”

 

Steve pressed a palm to his heaving chest as he threw his head back in loud rings of laughter. This, this was worth everything.

 

“Iron man is tiny Avenger”

 

“Fuck you too, Hulk!”

 

Steve howled in laughter, damn near rolling out of his seat, tears streaming down his cheeks. How am I supposed to give this up?

 

-----

 

Later they flew the Jet back to the Tower, autopilot soaring the ocean skies following the night all the way to New York while the Avengers laid together in the cold metal floor. Trying and failing to sleep, all but Bruce, now in his human version and snoring the exhaustion of the Hulk away. They sprawled in silence as they took in the events of the day, and what was to come.

 

And there, reveling in camaraderie. Steve closed his eyes and prayed.

 

“Pater noster, qui es in caelis: sanctificetur Nomen Tuum; adveniat Regnum Tuum; fiat voluntas Tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra…”

 

Steve felt his friends listening, silently lulled by the soft croon of Steve’s voice as he recited the prayer, as if captivated by the words, huddling closer to the Captain’s body. He prayed for fortitude, for resignation, he pleaded for wisdom, and finally, he asked for his holy blessing of the future marriage.

 

Please God, let us be happy together.

 

He let out a shaky breath in the darkness and his eyes blinked back the tears that gathered as he felt a warm, calloused hand curl into his own. He pursed his lips tightly and clenched the fingers that intertwined with his own, drawing silent comfort from each other.

 

Oh, and God? Steve pleaded one last time. Please watch over them when I’m gone…

 

----

 

They arrived at the tower a couple of hours before dawn, everyone taking their own ways to wash away the grime of battle and try to get some sleep, though they all knew it was probably a futile effort. Tony watched the Captain go with an ache so deep in his chest he could hardly draw breath.

 

Tony’s mind still reeling from the events in Genève. Steve, Brooklyn brat Steve, had beat the holy shit out of a God.

 

Not a silly spar, hand to hand horsing around with friends. He literally smacked down an omniscient being.

 

Tony nearly had an aneurism in his Dick.

 

He had spent the whole Fondue lunch wishing he could Fondue the hell out of the Captain. Right there, on the flimsy terrace table in that hole in the wall restaurant. Hell, by the looks of it, even the Hulk had the hots for the Soldier.

 

Well he could get in the fucking line. Tony had seen that ass first…

 

He technically owned it too.

 

“Tony”

 

Tony swirled in place, catching sight of a disheveled looking Pepper, eyes blown wide and dark.

 

“I saw the fight”

 

Oh, fuck yes.

 

Tony leapt forward, meeting a heady Pepper halfway, kissing fiercely the Red heads lips, pulling her thin body close to his, pulling back with a gasp as he ripped the satin robe off, revealing her naked body under the fabric. Tony groaned loudly, pulling her off the floor, her legs wrapping around his waist as he ran to the nearest flat surface.

 

The dining table.

 

He set her down and both their hands shot to his pants. Clumsily fighting to free his asphyxiated erection from its denim prison.

 

“Fuck” Tony gasped “You saw it, him?”

 

Pepper moaned in pained, embarrassed want; pushing her breasts up in an absolutely obscene arch of her slender back.  “How did he do that?”

 

Tony bit her jaw to silence a mewl of need as his fingers curled inside her, spreading her moisture on himself before impaling her in a careless thrust. And as a scream rang in his ears, he thought he heard her scream another man’s name.

 

That should have made him soften, repulsed him. Not this, not thrust into her like a mad man, no finesse, no technique. Just savage, primal want. She had screamed another’s name.

 

Tony pulled out subtly, earning a yelp from the woman as he bodily flipped her on her belly on the wooden table, her smooth body scrambling as she extended her arms wide to grip the edges of the gigantic dining table, her nails scratching the polished surface as he slid in her once more, hilting in a punishing, deep stroke.

 

His hips convulsed in halted, harsh thrusts. She chanted another’s name, over and over; pleading, overcome and so, so, lost in pleasure. The very same name Tony ached to say. And then she peaked with a jolt and a shriek, dragging him over the edge with her as he shoved in balls deep. Tony finally let go and howled: “Steve!”

 

Minutes later they both sat on the edge of the soiled table, eyes darting from each other and the empty room awkwardly.

 

“So” Tony began, scratching the back of his neck where a flush kept it hot “That happened”

 

“Yep” Pepper popped. Her freckles lost in the full blush that covered her naked skin. “It was… uh… really…”

 

She fell in an uncomfortable silence, though Tony saw her nipples pebble and stiffen, and not from the cold.

 

Tony coughed “Yeah, for me too”

 

She nodded, fixing her hair behind her ear in an effort to regain composure. “We can’t do that, ever”

 

“Never again” Tony agreed immediately.

 

Their eyes met for a second and they burst in loud streams of laughter. Both showering the other in giggling, uncoordinated kisses. Like two awkward, horny teenagers. His heart sang for her, funny having hot sex while fantasizing about another man would make them feel so close, so in-tune. Absolutely in love with this woman.

 

“I love you” he sighed to her sweaty, blushed brow and held her close. With her in his arms, it was easier to do what he needed to. He closed his eyes and finally conceded: “I need you to notarize something”

 

The next morning, he entered the common room with the papers in hand, to find a stranger in the room.

 

Wait…

 

Tony knew that ass…

 

Tony did a double take as the uniformed man turned to face the door as it slid open. Steve stood in the middle of the room, not 4 feet away from the table he and Pepper had had wild, animal sex at the thought of him. Dressed in his uniform blues, formal jacket decorated with so many medals it was probably more bulletproof than Kevlar. Perfectly ironed lines, the waist to shoulder ratio so defined Tony’s eyes nearly rolled back into his skull as a wave of undiluted lust licked its way down his spine directly to the tip of his dick.

 

“Tony” Steve smiled.

 

Yes, Tony. Tony just about jazzed in his pants, how do you do, Captain?

 

The engineer cleared his throat, fighting the urge to go look for Pepper and beg for another role play, he could show her the video feed of the Captain, she’d understand.

 

Tony fanned himself with the folder, waving it around and pointing with it at the uniform while he struggled with this mushed brain to make words.

 

Steve thankfully understood the gestures and grinned self-consciously: “I know, it’s a lot. I don’t think I can pin all these on the jacket, it’s enough that I have to wear the hat”

 

There is a hat?! Tony bit his lips to smoother a moan; some of it must have escaped because the Captain laughed and finished pinning the last of the medals on; picked a military white hat from the couch and spun it in nervous hands.

 

“I’m going to look like a right fool. But this is the only formal suit I have; the uniform is pretty shredded from yesterday” The man shrugged his ridiculously wide shoulders “It’s probably more appropriate anyways”

 

“No fool” Tony stuttered, earning a worried glance from the Captain as he flapped his mouth a couple of times, rebooting his brain “It’s perfect. You earned every single one of those.”

 

Steve nodded thoughtfully, his eyes finally setting on Tony and really seeing.

 

Tony scrambled forward in a panic.

 

“Here! An early wedding present” Tony handed a manila folder with the new contract, freshly signed and notarized. He watched Steve take the folder and open it absentmindedly, until he caught the words on the paper. His long fingers clenched around the folder in spasms, throat working as his sapphire eyes shot back and forth over the long text that now proclaimed Captain America property of Steven Grant Rogers.

 

“Tony, this… this is…” Steve rasped, an artist’s hand coming up to cover his trembling mouth.

 

“Yeah, that’s Howard for you” Tony winced, turning away to give the Captain a moment to regain his composure, he stared at the New York skyline. “Anyways, that’s over now, you’re your own man” Tony swallowed around the knot forming in his chest as he finally willed himself to look back at Steve, gorgeous, perfect, never-going-to-be-his Steve. He smiled. “Happy nuptials, Cap”

 

“Tony”

 

Tony felt his soul quiver, his arousal all but erased from his body and he gave in “Yeah, yeah. I know, come here, Steve”

 

He pulled the man into a hug, reveling in the feel of the Soldier’s body pressed against his, for what would maybe be the last time. He heard and felt the man sigh deeply, the cool breath fanning over his ear and nape, giving the engineer a full body shiver. Tony held on tighter.

 

“Thank you” Steve whispered “Just… Thank you”

 

“It’s nothing, Cap”

 

“No, Tony” Steve hissed into his neck, rising goosebumps all over “It’s everything, you’ve always been there for me and when it was my turn to do it, I wasn’t…”

 

Tony pulled back reluctantly, but needing to clear his mind from this man. “What are you talking about?”

 

Steve nailed his earnest gaze on his as he announced “The reason I started therapy.”

 

Tony took a startled step back, but the Captain lolled on.

 

“The mandarin incident, I know you called”

 

Impossible, Tony thought, he had called the payphone outside his hotel, no voicemail, no missed calls alerts, then how?

 

Steve gave him a heart wrenchingly beautiful, bashful smile, making Tony’s heart stutter and flip.

 

“I know this” The Captain confirmed “Because I know that if it had been the other way around, I would have called you”

 

What?

 

“What are you saying, Steve?” Tony demanded, voice thick with feelings he was fighting to keep down, though his mind kept turning and turning the Captain’s words and he couldn’t help stringing himself on.

 

“I’m sorry” Steve began, his baby blue eyes full of regret mirrored thickly in his voice as he spoke softly “For not being there. I’m sorry I can’t be what you need… I wanted to, I was getting there, I thought. Somehow I’m always late…”

 

“You’re not”

 

“What?” Steve sputtered.

 

“Late.” Tony declared, eyes wide and bright and so full of hope “Stay… Stay with me now”

 

“I can’t do that, Tony”

 

“Yes you fucking can” Tony surged forward, slamming his lips against Steve’s, teeth rattling and cutting. He poured his everything to the kiss, caressing, licking, biting, anything to get a reaction from the frozen, irresponsive Soldier. He pulled back, gasping in harsh hurt breaths.

 

“No, Tony.”

 

He snarled and pulled the reluctant man in for another kiss, desperately coaxing, pleading for the man to open to him. Tony’s face began to burn and eyes sting when Steve pushed away.

 

“Tony, please”

 

Tony grit his teeth, slamming a closed fist to the Captain’s chest. Once, twice, thrice.

 

Nothing.

 

“I’m sorry, Tony”

 

“Don’t!” Tony barked “Don’t be fucking sorry, I don’t want you to be sorry.” Tony drew a sobbing breath. “I want you to want me.”

 

Steve’s eyes began to water.

 

“Please, just… want me back.” He pleaded, voice soft and more broken than he meant it to be.

 

“I’m so sorry, Tony.”

 

Tony’s hand convulsed on Steve’s chest, a choked sound of gut deep despair leaving his mouth, his face a rictus of agony. As abrupt as it came. Tony swallowed it down, his face closed off, he backed away.

 

“Yeah, yeah, ok. I’m sorry I can’t be there for the wedding”

 

Steve blinked hard, one stray tear slipping out before he could stop it. He nodded.

 

“I’ll miss you there, but I understand”

 

Tony coughed, a hand pressed hard to his chest as if it were the only thing stopping his heart from leaping out and onto Steve’s hands. Maybe it was.

 

“Courage, Cap. I hope you’re happy”

 

Steve smiled a wobbly, fragile thing and set his military cap on with a snap. Every inch the soldier as he marched, back ram rod straight out of the room and out of Tony’s life.

 

----

 

Steve found Pepper Potts standing a few paces outside the common room doors, face pale and stony as she pierced her wide blue eyes with his, completely aware of the wet gleam of his kiss swollen lips, a bit of beard burn stinging his mouth, and wasn’t that a strange feeling?

 

Steve paused, shoulders hanging low now that he was out of Tony’s sight.

 

“Take care of him, Miss Potts” Steve begged “He’s a good man”

 

Pepper smiled. “He is, I will… Goodbye Captain”

 

-----

 

Steve took the elevator to the roof, where the rest of the Avengers, minus Tony, waited for him. Director Fury and Maria Hill stood to the side, equal blank faces as they watched him approach. Crisp uniform, Shield slung at his back and Mjolnir strung on his belt at his side.

 

He must look like an absolute Idiot.

 

Bet Buck is laughing his head off in heaven.

 

Steve nodded at the Shield Agents as Fury called.

 

“Captain, Ready to go?”

 

“Will you be joining me, sir?” Steve asked, finally noticing the luggage waiting next to the Master Spy.

 

“Of course I will” He confirmed, his severe dark eye sparkling with humor “Someone has to do the talking, we send you off alone and next we know you’ll be fist fight with Odin himself”

 

Steve grimaced, but conceded. He needed to work on that. Sam had told him so.

 

“Thank you, Sir”

 

“Thank you, Captain” Fury corrected, his face for once an open book that read of wonder. Steve fidgeted under the weight of the clear fanatism, but nodded nonetheless, turning to the woman to his right.

 

“Agent Hill”

 

“Captain” She saluted. He smiled and saluted back, turning now to join his teammates. Time’s almost up.

 

He opened his arms wide and was tackled by three hurried bodies. He laughed but curled over them eagerly. “I’ll see you for the wedding” He promised.

 

They pulled back and mock saluted him in uncoordinated hand waving. Colonel Phillips would be rolling in his grave. Steve smiled and saluted again.

 

Bruce stepped up and straightened the tie at his neck with expert hands, surprising Steve into a motionless silence. “Take care of yourself, Steve”

 

“I will if you do” He bargained. The doctor nodded and stepped away, letting the assassins come forward. Clint handed him a poster of his USO days with a scribbled, deformed Mjolnir drawn onto his hand.

 

“Mind signing that for me?”

 

Steve chuckled but took the proffered marker and started to write on it: “Sure thing, for whom should I write it for? Cooper or Lila?”

 

“Laura”

 

Steve’s hand flinched and he sputtered, almost ruining the signature. He blushed and glared.

 

“My wife loves you” Clint admitted with an unrepentant grin.

 

 “Jesus” Steve mussed, but wrote the dedicatory anyways. He’d be a married man too in a couple of days, anyways. He handed back the poster to the Archer with a smile and patted his shoulder gratefully: “Thanks for everything, Clint”

 

“Don’t thank me yet” The Archer shot back, an absolutely wicked smile on his face “We’ll see you at the bachelor party”

 

Steve sighed and turned away from that problem immediately. He ain’t touching that with a 10 foot pole.

 

“Nat” He smiled, leaning forward as the spy came to the tip of her toes and pressed a chaste kiss to his cheek “I’ll see you again soon”

 

“About time you got yourself a life” She joked, her bright eyes twinkling with emotion.

 

“You first” He jibbed and pushed her flowing red locks out of her pretty face, sending the Doctor a fleeting, pointed look. She smiled her rare, honest one and wiped her lipstick off his cheek. “We don’t want Odin to have a fit”

 

“No, we don’t” He agreed, and reluctantly stepped back. walking backwards, eyes glued on his friends, as he paced to join fury at the center of the platform; just as the clock struck 16:00 h.

 

----

 

Thor rode his stallion to the Bifrost that afternoon like a whole new man. After having been alerted of Mjolnir’s movements, he had left his Brother’s cell in search for his Mother. Finding her at the edge of her gardens, over watching the Bifrost as she used to do when he or his father had parted for battle. Just as he joined her they both caught the flashing of the rainbow lights, alerting them of the return of their forces. They had both ran to the throne room where Odin sat with a bewildered look in his bearded face.

 

“Husband!”

 

“Father!”

 

Odin ripped himself of his musings and turned to face his family with an uncertain look in his eye.

 

“The Worthy one will come to us tomorrow” He had declared, the words forming awkwardly in his lips “There will be no further conflict with Earth henceforth”

 

Then he had turned tails and vacated the room.

 

Frigga and Thor had twin confused looks and promptly followed suit.

 

After some shameless cajoling and pleading. Odin had admitted that the mortal Captain had bested Heimdall in combat and he had won a day of peace on Midgard.

 

“The Captain defeated Heimdall?” Thor had sputtered. The All Father pursed his lips in discomfort and nodded sharply. “How is that possible? Even you can hardly best him!”

 

“Hold your tongue, child!” Odin roared, his uncertainty making him short tempered as he tapped his staff on the floor, eliciting menacing waves of power.

 

Thor lowered his gaze in apology, though his mind still battled to conform the thought. Steven had fought the Guardian and had emerged not only with his life, but victorious.

 

“He is truly Worthy” Thor rasped, understanding now, after all the pain and despair, what this all meant.

 

Odin nodded sagely “Aye, he is”

 

He had spent the day sleeping like a newborn babe, that morning spending an insurmountable amount of time grooming, so much so that would have made Loki proud. He had to look his best after all.

 

His betrothed was to join him.

 

Thor smiled as he rode his horse hard; that is, until he saw the dark Guardian’s face.

 

“Heimdall, by the Norn’s!” Thor crowed, dismounting his stallion with a booming laugh of glee “He did that to you?”

 

“Aye” The Guardian nodded gingerly “He is very skilled.”

 

“Yes, he hails from Brooklyn.” Thor said in ways of an explanation, still grinning widely. “Vicious, blood thirsty sort”

 

“I see.”

 

“Can you?”

 

Heimdall glared with his slightly less swollen eye. Thor grinned wider still and straightened. Adjusting his clothes as they waited for the Royal entourage to join them by the Bifrost’s doors.

 

Thor fidgeted in place.

 

“He really hit you with my hammer?”

 

“Repeatedly”

 

Thor pursed his lips and giggled.

 

“The children you sire in him will be fierce”

 

Well that shut Thor up quite nicely. He blushed and coughed. “Aye, aye. Oh look, there is father!” Thor pointed to the side, guiding the Seer like one would a blind man “There, that direction”

 

Heimdall tapped the flat of his sword threateningly at the back of Thor’s calf, face smooth and expressionless once more.

 

“Heimdall, by the Norn’s!” Frigga exclaimed, descending from her mare with a startled jump at the sight of the handsome Guardian’s face, quite frankly, smashed to a pulp.

 

“The man showed his worth, thoroughly.”

 

This seemed to frighten Frigga even more, as she placed a worried hand on her son, as if to scurry him away from the threat that was his betrothed.

 

“Fear not, Mother” Thor pacified, holding Frigga’s hand in his own. “Steven is a gentle soul; you will come to love him entirely”

 

“Steven” She repeated, testing the name on her tongue.

 

“Aye, Steven Rogers”

 

Thor could’ve sworn her face had gone various shades paler at the name; but then the Bifrost opened and they were awash of colors, drowning out his mother’s features for long seconds. When the lights ceased, his mother was her bright, beautiful self. Looking on to the newcomers with barely concealed excitement.

 

His mother had always enjoyed weddings.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 16: Asgard.

 

Two mortal men appeared in a flash of multicolored lights, similar looks of astonishment on their faces. Thor barely noticed the Director standing next to the bewildered Captain. His Steven.

 

And wasn’t that a thrill to think?

 

He sucked a deep breath as he took in the visage of the blond Soldier, dressed smartly in a dark blue uniform with many decorations that only called ones eyes to gaze upon his ample, firm chest and that tantalizing, dipping waist in appreciation.

 

Thor was a little too invested in appreciating the view of the man when the Humans seemed to rip themselves out of their whirlwind daze and step forward, finally noticing the Gods that awaited them. And of course, the Guardian of the Door.

 

“Lord All Mighty!” Steve gasped, paling at the sight of the disfigured Dark Guardian, a long fingered hand coming to press at his chest.

 

Motherfucker!” Fury cried with jubilee; startling Thor with such an uncharacteristic behavior while the Mortal gaped, looking from the horrified Captain to Heimdall, shaking in delight “Brother, look at you! The Captain straight up beat the holiness outta your ass!” The Director cackled merrily and turned to the royals standing in silence, fiercely meeting their gaze; unrepentant as he spoke, loud and clear “I hope that serves as a reminder that Earth is not to be played with. ‘Cause we got a lot more where that came from!”

 

Thor quickly stepped forward, clearing his throat to begin introductions before blows could be dealt.

 

“Captain Steven Rogers, Director Nicolas Fury” Thor spoke, uncomfortable and unbalanced “My Father Odin Borson, the All Father, King of Asgard and Protector of the nine realms” Odin nodded at them from his seat on Sleipnir; then he turned to his silent, contemplative Mother “Frigga, Mother of Gods and Queen of Asgard”

 

“A pleasure to finally meet you, your Highness” Steven bowed gracefully, his posture perfect and his figure so very comely in that strange, regal attire. Thor’s mouth had ran dry at the first sight of him, and now, he was grateful for the Director’s tactless greeting, for it had given him the time to regain his sense and wit.

 

But Norn’s, Steven was more beautiful than he remembered.

 

Odin’s eye gleamed as he looked upon the man, measuring him, catching sight of Mjolnir hanging conspicuously at the Man’s hip and an odd shine of approval framed his gaze, then he turned his eye to the other Human, the Director deliberately nodded in acknowledgment, but stood tall.

 

Well, this is going spectacularly. Thor thought.

 

“Come” Frigga broke the heated silence, her voice sweet but firm, broking no question as she waved the visitors forward to a waiting carriage on the bridge. “Let us make haste, you must be wary of your travels”

 

“Thank you, your Grace” Steven agreed gracefully, sending the glowering director a weary look. The Director on the other hand, kept his unwavering dark eye on the All Father, near blasphemous in its intensity.

 

“Actually” Fury countered “I would prefer to begin negotiations as soon as possible, preferably before any wedding preparations begin”

 

His undelaying meaning lost to no one, clear and brash: If any wedding takes place at all.

 

Odin nodded. “Aye, best it be done with, we will meet immediately in the War rooms at the palace”

 

And he turned Sleipnir and trotted away with his private guard on his tails. The Captain watched him go with a strange frown in his face, but quickly recovered and paced forth to Thor, a familiar, friendly smile on his handsome face.

 

“Thor, you’re looking good” He greeted amicably.

 

Thor smiled widely, subtly flexing as he extended his hand for a long handshake. “As are you Captain, the military regalia suits you”

 

Steven scoffed and pulled his hand back, his long fingers dropping to untie Mjolnir from his belt and handing the Mighty Hammer back to Thor, handle first for him to take.

 

Thor deliberately delayed in taking the Artifact from Steven, relishing the astounded looks of the remaining Guards and his Mother looking on to the cavalier way the Mortal Captain handled the jealous Mjolnir.

 

Let them see how magnificent his Steven is.

 

“Aye, I thank you Captain” Thor smiled mischievously at the man “I trust it served you well” Then shooting a very pointed, lingering look at the unmovable Guardian, now gazing into the galaxies with his swollen eyes and very obviously ignoring everyone.

 

Steven blushed delightfully crimson and took off the hat from his head so he could pass a consternated hand trough his disheveled hair. Thor ached to mess it up some more.

 

“I think it served me a little too well” He admitted, a sheepish glance back to the Guardian “Is he going to be Ok?”

 

“Certainly!” Thor boomed, a devilish smile on his face, better fit on Loki’s face as he guided the Captain to the Royal carriage “I even heard he was eager for a rematch”

 

“Really?” Steven arched a graceful eyebrow, stopping before the carriage doors uncertainly.

 

“Absolutely” Thor lied “He can hardly wait”

 

He then threw open the doors for his betrothed to climb in the opulent ride, enjoying laying a hand on the small of the man’s back as he guided him inside. Much to the disconcerted glances of the Captain; Thor was about to ‘accidentally’ let his hand slide lower when a dark, heavy hand slapped his away. Thor recoiled from the sting as the Director glared him down.

 

“Hey there, prince charming” Fury smiled, all teeth and bite “you ain’t married yet, do keep your hands to yourself.”

 

And promptly jumped into the carriage, slamming the dainty doors shut with a vicious slam, and they were off.

 

Thor rubbed at his hand like a scolded child. Catching the eyes of the Warrior Three and Lady Sif, who were part of the Royal Betrothed’s Guard for the day. He smiled happily at his friends and waved. He was not reciprocated…

 

“You lucky Bastard” Frandal hissed venomously as he rode past the bewildered God of Thunder, equal looks of envy and dazzle on his companions, who followed the carriage close.

 

Thor blinked owlishly as he watched the carriage role on further, then screeched an embarrassingly high yelp when he felt the cold kiss of a blade tap his behind. He turned to his attacker and found a swollen, glaring Heimdall: “I heard you”

 

Thor opened his mouth to reply when another hand grasped his ear in a harsh pinch. He released yet another unmanly yelp as he spied his severe, frowning mother at his side: “So did I”

 

“Mother” Thor begged and sighed with relieve when she released him.

 

“Behave, Thor” She scolded softly, accepting the reigns of her mare from one of her maidens and mounting gracefully, her blue eyes never leaving her son’s “Your marriage is not set on stone”

 

Thor grew somber and nodded.

 

Aye, much could happen, much had happened… His marriage to Steven could still be foiled.

 

How strange it was, just a day before that thought would have been a blessing, but now.

 

Thor gulped as he watched his mother part, her maidens and guards following her in a tight formation.

 

Thor rubbed at his stinging behind, shooting a reproachful glance at the mute Guardian. “That was unnecessary” and then, because Thor was in cheeky mood “Steven will hear of this”

 

Thor shot onto the skies by Mjolnir’s handle, just in time to avoid another swing to his bottom by the irate Heimdall. His laughter heralding his arrival to the palace doors.

 

----

 

“Now Captain” Director Fury began as the carriage pulled forward on the rainbow bridge, snapping the curtains shut from where Steve was busy admiring the view. “I want to be very clear on this, and for once I want you to shut up and listen carefully.”

 

Steve frowned but did as he was told, because he did know how to be quiet; thank you, Mister.

 

“If things turn south in there” Fury announced, dipping a hand to his dark leather coat “And I don’t make it out of that room, I want you to send the signal.”

 

“What is this?” Steve questioned, receiving a small device from Fury’s hand, and turning it carefully. The Director met his blue eyes with an icy, fatal gaze.

 

“Your ticket home.”

 

Steve pursed his lips to silence his inquiries and nodded, attaching the small communicator onto his belt under Fury’s watchful eye.

 

Satisfied, the Director continued: “Now, when we get there, I want you to let me do the talking.”

 

Steve rose a challenging brow at this “It’s my marriage, shouldn’t I be the one to make the arrangements?”

 

“Ha! What do I look like to you? A wedding planner?” Fury chortled and shook his head “You can have a royal barbeque in central park for all I care.”

 

Steve frowned but listened.

 

“No, I’m here for the important stuff”

 

“Which is?”

 

“Coulson’s due.”

 

Steve froze in his seat. Mind flashing back to the blank faced man and his terrifying efficiency. To the blood-stained collecting card he had glued to the back of his shield, just inside the leather handle where the pulse on his wrist brushed. Steve nodded sagely eyes meeting with Fury’s in a severe understanding.

 

“For Coulson”

 

----

 

As they assembled in a large, opulent room with many elderly royal councilors and spokesmen sitting around a beautifully crafted map of the realms Steve had to physically suppress the urge to wander over and appreciate the mastery of the artful piece. Fury had no such qualms as he near dragged the Captain to his side, deliberately sitting on the opposite side of the room from Odin and in between him and the rest of the gathered noble men.

 

Steve felt like a toddler scurried along by his Mother’s skirts.

 

He let himself be led to his seat, regardless; not missing the yearning glance from Thor as he was ushered himself to the stand right to his Father. Steve pursed his lips and sat with the sole resolution to stay very quiet. For Coulson.

 

When the men and women where seated, Odin taped his staff on the floor, wordlessly declaring the proceedings to commence. When no one spoke, Odin raised his eyebrow inquisitively and one of his Councilors cleared his throat pointedly, his shrewd eyes set on the Director with barely masked impatience.

 

“You may speak, Colonel Fury”

 

“Oh no” Fury smacked his lips, shaking his head calmly “I am here to listen.”

 

The noble man blinked and stammered, clearly not accustomed to being denied “Listen?”

 

“Well, of course!” The Director leaned back in his seat, all relaxed and leisurely as he spoke “We’re already clear that the Captain is ‘Worthy’” Many nodded around the room, sending admiring glances in Steve’s direction, mostly blocked by the Directors tall frame. Fury, clasped his fingers on his chest, his leg crossed at the ankle as he drilled on “Now, I wanna hear why you think that man child of yours is worthy of him.”

 

Steve’s eyes widened as he spied the nearest exit, the silence that reigned in the room stifling in disbelieve. He clenched the beeper in his belt and waited for the outbursts to come.

 

Steve was not disappointed.

 

Odin roared in his throne “You dare question my son’s honor?”

 

Fury chuckled in his seat, unperturbed by the menace of an offended God. “I’m not questioning Thor’s honor” He said placatingly, before simply adding “I’m denying its existence.”

 

Steve perked up as he caught that reference.

 

Odin bristled. “How dare you”

 

“No, how dare you!” Fury challenged, straightening in his seat, all simile of calm gone from his posture as the fearsome Colonel stood up to the irate God “ You’ve up and down sworn to protect our planet and attacked it within the year.” Fury recriminated, a dry smile parting his lips as he stared directly into Odin’s now unreadable eye, ignoring the twitches and nervous fidgeting of the councilmen all around “For what? A delay in negotiations?” The Director barked a humorless laugh and yelled “You have no word!”

 

Steve’s breath quickened, his hands clenching to his sides, itching to take hold of his shield. But the Director went on, his burst of anger gone now, but standing fierce and looming over the Asgardian Nobles fearlessly, arms held out wide in open provocation “So now.... Here I am, tell me.”

 

The Colonel waved at Steve, like one shows their price produce in the city market. Steve sat still under the heavy gaze of the God.

 

“Why should I let the Hero of America, Captain of the Avengers, a Soldier of impeccable history, a life of sacrifice, duty and honor. Earth’s mightiest hero!” Fury boosted, riling the council men up with each title thrown at their faces and then waved a depictive hand at Thor, sitting quietly at Odin’s side “Marry that hooligan that has spent the last year half naked and drunk on our planet” Thor’s face closed off in shame “Not even bothering to show his face when you ordered an attack that killed hundreds of Human soldiers.”

 

Silence took over the room. Fury met the shamed gaze of every man and woman in the room before sprawling onto his seat once more. “So, I’m all ears, Odin. Convince me.”

 

What followed had to be the most one-sided negotiation that Steve had ever witnessed, and Steve had been present for Prisoner interrogations. Odin and his council scrambled to give reassurances that the Director shot down mercilessly, and ultimately, they showered him with leeway’s, the resulting accords practically a mugging of Asgards treasury. In the end, Fury conceded. After a hefty dowry and an actual signed contract (With blood, no less) to leave- and Steve quotes- Earth well and motherfuckin’ alone.

 

Steve had agreed to function as Ambassador, much to his bewildered surprise; which would give him free and unlimited transit from Asgard to Earth, at his discretion.

 

After a long while, they exited the war room and Steve stopped Fury with a hand on his shoulder. His throat worked around a knot of emotion, hope and so much gratitude it took him embarrassingly long to speak. “Thank you”

 

“It’s what Coulson would have wanted” Fury whispered.

 

Steve nodded and they were escorted to their rooms in silence.

 

----

 

“Thor” Steve greeted in surprise, freshly bathed in the pool like baths of his room, pink skinned and wearing flimsy trousers and shirt that stuck on him like a second skin. Thor rove his hungry eyes over the Captain and smiled at the blush that graced the man’s cheeks.

 

“Steven”

 

“What are you doing here?” The Captain asked in a low voice, sending small, halted looks to the door connecting his rooms to the Directors. Thor lowered his own voice accordingly.

 

“I came to see you” He said, speaking plainly as he made himself comfortable on the small seats that decorated the Captains rooms. Thor shot the man a salacious grin “We will be married in a couple of days, shouldn’t we spend as much time as we can acquainting ourselves to one another?”

 

The Captain blushed deeper as he caught the innuendo in Thor’s words and scowled disapprovingly.

 

“I don’t think that is very proper, Thor”

 

Thor shrugged “I am an honorless hooligan, you see?” He smiled widely to disguise the hurt that laid beneath “No virtue to fret over, Captain”

 

Steven, of course, saw right through his pretense and walked over to sit next to Thor’s shameless sprawl, eyes serious and apologetic. “He shouldn’t have said those things, you are a great man, Thor”

 

Thor’s shoulders slumped, all his sensuous thoughts of the Captain gone as the earlier meeting came ringing back. Thor knew his failings, he carried them close to his heart so he would never forget and ever struggling to do more, be better, be worthy. Now he saw that it was still for naught.  

 

“It was nothing I did not deserve” Thor admitted, downcast and gloom “I have failed Earth many times over, I can only hope the Norn’s give me life long enough to make amends.”

 

“But you didn’t fail us” The Captain insisted, his blue eyes firm and coaxing “And you were there… I felt you”

 

Thor stiffened in his seat, his heart hammering away in his chest as he heard the echo of his intuition come from his betrotheds’ mouth, the link he was beginning to perceive and cherish in his soul mirrored in this man. Steven smiled that earnest, wholehearted smile of his as he confessed in sweet low tones.

 

“When I fought the General, you were there.”

 

Thor swallowed harshly, his blood burning at the admission of the shared bond; of course, Steven did not understand the deep meaning of this, the heated implications of such shamelessly shared words. But Thor did and he shifted into a straighter posture, inconspicuously taking a cushion from the couch and onto his lap as he croaked.

 

“Mjolnir.”

 

“Yes, I should thank you for leaving her there.” Steve continued, lowering his eyes in such an endearing show of bashfulness that Thor had to press the cushion harder to his ever-swelling cock “I never would have won that fight by myself.”

 

“Don’t be too hasty to undermine your skill Captain.” Thor denied, catching the Captain’s lovely eyes with a smile “You are as skilled a fighter as any Asgardian Legend has boosted to be.”

 

Steven scoffed, disbelieving “I’ll have to take your word for it.” Then pursed his pink lips in deep thought “You won that fight Thor, you saved Earth from invasion.” The Captain paused as he placed a reassuring hand on Thor’s shoulder “You saved me… You’re a hero, don’t doubt that.”

 

Thor bit his lips near bloody. By the Norn’s, what I would do to this man…

 

Thor was on the brink of losing the fight with propriety and decorum when a loud crash was echoed through the room.

 

“Motherfucker, Odinson!” An angry bellow came from the next room, startling Thor into taking a leap back and away from the Captain, eyes wild “You better not be in there!”

 

“I must part” Thor whispered hurriedly, scurrying to the open balcony with wide eyes “Good night Steven”

 

“Good night, Thor” Steve calmly responded, sitting still in the plush loveseat with a small smile on his face as the door to the side of his room slammed open, reveling a furious Fury on its threshold. His eye scanned the empty room minusiously until it finally landed on the too innocent looking Captain in the room.

 

“Captain”

 

“Director”

 

Fury scowled at Steve with a suspicious eye “I trust you will see the wisdom of keeping it in your pants until the wedding is over”

 

“My mama didn’t raise no floozy, sir.” Steve agreed cheekily, eyebrow arched moodily and fighting to keep an amused smile off his face.

 

“Good, now go to sleep.” The Director commanded, only missing the head rolls and slippers to complete the simile of old Sister Mary from Steve’s childhood home “We have a lot to do tomorrow morning.”

 

“Of course” Steve agreed, lips trembling with the effort to remain serious and of course, Fury noticed.

 

“Oh, and Captain?” The Director added, sole eye piercing and menacing on the open balcony doors “Do let Thor know that if I catch his ass in here, I will shave his fucking head off with my nail clippers.”

 

Steve’s shoulders began to shake, but he valiantly coughed to hide the laughter “Will do, Sir.”

 

Fury nodded and closed the door separating the rooms with a very final slam. Steve nodded himself into calmness for a second before turning to the open balcony and loudly whispering: “Did you get that?”

 

“Loud and clear, Captain” The curtains hissed quietly. Steve snickered under his breath and stood from the couch to amble onto the bed.

 

“Go to bed Thor, I’ll see you tomorrow.”

 

-----

 

At that moment, in the silent Darkness of Asgards dungeons, The Queen and Mother of Gods stood mutely before her son’s cell, face pale and fallow.

 

Loki grinned wickedly at the Goddess: “So, will you tell them, or should I?”

 

Frigga’s lips trembled and Loki’s resolution faded.

 

The dark-haired God snarled and turned, his hands curling into claws on his chest as he roared with impotence. Loki turned and paced, breathing agitatedly; dark thoughts clouding his sharp mind, he felt himself wavering under the woman’s soulful gaze.

 

Then he clenched his eyes closed with a pained hiss and promptly fell to his knees before his Queen, his mother.

 

Loki gave in. “It will be as you wish, Mother”

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 17: Courting

 

That night Thor did not go to bed, he scurried out of the palace straight to Asgards taverns. There he found himself surrounded by the Warrior Three and Lady Sif, all drinking merrily now that their moods seemed to have lightened with ale.

 

“I insist” Frandal bemoaned, a Barmaid sat on his lap and pressing his head lovingly to her burgeoning breasts “How are you so lucky?”

 

Thor grinned winningly “I ask myself the very same, my friend”

 

“Really though” Hogun interrupted “Humans have evolved quite nicely if that is what hails from their lands, quite an improvement to last time”

 

Thor nodded seriously while Sif drank in resolute silence.

 

“I should steal him from you” Frandal plotted, resting his head pitifully on the wrench’s bosom.

 

Volstagg harrumphed “Forget what Odin would do to you. You saw what that man did to Heimdall’s face? I would like to see you try!”

 

Thor roared in laughter, tapping his tankard with the red headed giant in gleeful bursts. Frandal sighed ever more enamored “It would be worth the pain if the pain was caused by his divine hands!”

 

Thor thought back to his own sparring session with the Captain and could only agree with his friend’s statement. That day he had felt the first stirs of attraction for the Soldier, his soul even then calling for the man; of course, Thor had been blind and deaf to not realize this sooner.

 

He had been so by Jane.

 

If he was honest with himself, he could not see this changing in the foreseeable future. And his heart ached at the thought of soiling this beautiful union of souls with Steven, with the ghost of his lost love.

 

Jane had marked him like no other ever had, and likely never would. It would be different with Steven, and that was good, he needed different. But that tender, fragile part of his heart would likely never return to him.

 

He hoped Steven could see past this and accept him all the same.

 

“Well, lets drink and be merry for the coming nuptials of our future king and his so very lovely consort” Volstagg offered, raising yet another tankard of ale, ripping Thor of his dark thoughts as he lifted his own drink with a loud cheer, even Frandal forgetting his jealous laments to join the toast.

 

“For Steven!”

 

“Aye!” Thor agreed eyes bright with joy “For the Captain”

 

“May the Norn’s bless you with many children” Hogun jested, placing a congratulatory hand to Thor’s shoulder, as a married man himself, his words carried a deeper meaning than the jokingly spoken tone he delivered them. And Thor could only smile all the brighter when Frandal wailed in despair.

 

“Is he willing?” Sif asked, finally breaking her sullen silence.

 

The booming laughter and cheer died a swift death as the Warriors eyes met uncertainly, then turning their questioning gazes to Thor, who sat still as a startled rabbit, letting the words wash over him and drown him, but Sif was not done.

 

“I am thrilled you have found the man to share your soul and that you are so eager to become one, but Thor, does he feel the same?”

 

Hogun cleared his throat and placed his slim gaze on Thor: “My Lord, have you even spoken with him of this?”

 

Volstagg chugged down his ale when Thor only sat in shamed silence. Once again, Thor showed his true colors. He had just spent an evening in Steven’s room and instead of speaking of him, the man that had to leave the world he was just recently growing to know again, as he had confided in Thor of these painful struggles not that long ago. He had been in his presence and what had he done? He had bemoaned the ill treatment from the Director, which was nothing short of well earnt, and nearly gotten lead about by his cock.

 

And Steven; good, honorable Steven, had consoled him. No matter that he was the one in a strange land, giving up the one thing his country would never ask of him. Because they, even in their shrewdness, knew limits to evil.

 

Steven had comforted him and curled into sleep with open windows, trusting Thor to be respectful.

 

Thor did not deserve that trust.

 

Frandal sighed heavily: “There is still time, Thor” and with a bitter drink to his own tankard he reluctantly vowed “I shall personally help you win his affections”

 

The surrounding warriors shared a look and promptly burst in loud roars of laughter, even the Barmaid jostling in Frandal’s lap joining the outcries.

 

Frandal gapped and removed the woman from his body, leaning forward with a hiss: “How dare you, I am Frandal the Charming! I could woo any man or woman that I so choose!”

 

They cried louder still, some of the patrons of the nearest table adding their bellowing cackles to their own.

 

Frandal blushed furiously and slammed his fist on the table: “That is enough! I will show you all to laugh at Frandal the Handsome! Come!”

 

Thor startled from his fog of laughter and shared a bemused look with his friends and other patrons, then scurrying after the fuming blond out of the Tavern, only barely catching Volstagg questioning in low tones to Hogun and Sif: “Whoever called him handsome?”

 

Thor snickered under his breath and sucked an easy lungful of Asgards cool midnight air as he followed his friends into the night.

 

This was all he could ever ask for.

 

----

 

Thor could honestly not remember when this whole affair had stopped being a hypothetical plan of action and turned into ‘Action’, following a fiercely determined Frandal though the dark streets of Asgard, rousing many musicians and mages on his way back to the palace. Thor could only recall giggling loudly with the others as they listened to Frandals plans.

 

So now that Thor found himself climbing back to Steven’s chambers minutes before the breaking of dawn, he was forced to reevaluate his life choices. Even so, as he approached the warm bundle in the middle of the bed, he could not help but feel his heart leap and spin. How firm and supple his body looked under the thin covers. Soo inviting.

 

Thor lost the war with his conscious self and crawled lightly into the bed, his wanton eyes ravaging the sensuous lines of his betrothed and gently, Thor dared to touch.

 

“Surprise Motherfucka!”

 

Thor shrieked and leapt out of the bed in a heap of furs and blankets, stumbling backwards blindly until the back of his thighs hit the balcony rail and was gracelessly kicked off the high platform by a furious Director.

 

His scream and grunt of pain echoed in the gardens just three stories under the Mortals shared rooms, and as Thor rolled out of the cage of covers he found the balcony doors on the right of Steven’s rooms burst open, revealing the man himself, sleep warm, hair in a puffy disarray, cerulean eyes wide and bemused.

 

“Hello, Steven” Thor moaned, catching the Captains alarmed gaze just as Frandal cried: “Now!”

 

The musicians broke into a lovely song, the cords scratched expertly, stringing a ballad so soft and sweet it made one’s heart ache, barely a moment later, the mages broke into chanting, hands weaving spells in the darkest moments of night and brought forth light, minutes before day should break, they washed the garden and city with a golden haze.

 

Thor watched Steven gape and gaze out to Asgards skyline with a look of deep wonderment.

 

Of course, then Frandal spoke

 

“To the Lovely Captain. Steven Rogers of America, we welcome you to Asgard!”

 

The music rose in magnificent waves of splendid tones as the sun rose at the horizon, meeting the magic lights in a clash of illusion so majestic it even made Thor’s eyes water at the sight.

 

“This is…” Steven’s voice broke away, his eyes glued to the splendor of the realm with a soulful expression Thor had never seen on the man’s handsome face. The eloquent Captain was at a loss of words.

 

Frandal grinned wide and spread his arms to envelope the scene, reveling in the reactions of the Captain and sprouted into prose “Aye, it is lovely, but it pales in comparison to your beauty” Steven visibly startled and looked down at the blond warrior in surprise “I am bewitched by your charms since the first moment my eyes had the honor to feast upon your visage”

 

“I, Frandal the Handsome” He sent a very pointed look to his awestruck companions as he went on “Would repay you with a view as splendid as yourself, but it is for naught; I see that now, for the Norn’s have depleted their treasures in your making”

 

Then the Captain blushed.

 

“Oh, you son of a…” Fury groused from his balcony, his ebony skin darkened in anger as he turned tails into the rooms and shouted in rage: “Guards!”

 

The musicians halted their song and the mages fell into silence, the luminescence ended and only the natural beauty of sunrise remained, all the more lovely now that it was left unimpeded and glorious in it’s own right.

 

Steven bit his lip as he watched on to the miracle that was Asgard, Thor and probably everyone else in the gardens enthralled by the sight of the man’s abused lips. Finally, the Soldier nodded and met gazes with the mesmerized Frandal.

 

“Thank you, sir” Steven politely said “It was a lovely gift”

 

“Frandal, please” The man dared, his eyes bright and raptured as he looked up to the Captain with a gaze like one who gazes upon the Gods. “I would have you say my name”

 

Thor bristled at the shameless flirting, there in his very presence! But Steven smiled his bright, earnest smile, awash with the holy light of Asgards suns and Thor forgot all about the traitor in the gardens.

 

“Thank you, Frandal”

 

Thor felt a vicious sort of glee when ‘Frandal the Handsome’ was tackled brutally to the ground by Asgardian forces, and the scurry that followed as the musicians and mages scrambled to flee was one fit for a Midgardian comedy. Hogun, Volstagg and Sif managed to escape swiftly, all loyalty forgotten in their quest to escape Odin’s wrath.

 

Thor felt a guard gently pull at the covers that trapped him and he groaned in dismay. The willy bastard had actually done it. Frandal had charmed Steven…

 

“Are you alright there, Thor?” The Captain shouted over the groans and cries of the detained entourage and frowned down at him with worry. Thor sighed disheartened.

 

“I am fine, Captain”

 

“Not when I get my hands on you, you won’t!” The Director yelled “And you, Fabio!” He growled at a handcuffed and thoroughly shaken Frandal “I see your face again around here and I’m gone rip those curly whiskers of your stupid ass face!”

 

Not if Thor got to them first.

 

“What is the meaning of this!” Odin shouted, and from then on, Thor could only lament his existence.

 

----

 

“I cannot believe you could be so reckless” Odin blowed “Would you care to explain why Asgard had to part with yet another coffer of gold because of your asinine endeavors?”

 

“Would you believe me if I said it was all Frandals fault?”

 

“I would believe I raised a leader and a prince” Odin hissed, standing still in his night clothes and ever the more threatening for it “Not to be easily swayed by the likes of a common manwhore!”

 

Thor winced in sympathy of his friends good name but Odin was far from done.

 

“Maybe if you had more sense, then defending your honor to the universe would not be so difficult!”

 

Thor’s heart trembled and fell at the words, hurt silencing his protests in the face of his own father shaming him so.

 

Frigga rose from her beddings with a mighty cry “Odin, enough! You will not blame my son for your unworthy actions!”

 

Frigga’s eyes blazed in fury as she strode to her bewildered husband “It was not Thor who commanded an attack on Midgard, it was not Thor who began this ridiculous comedy of a wage and it certainly is not Thor who is responsible for your failings as a father!”

 

Odin sat still under his wife’s accusations, the closest to admission as he would get and Thor’s heart sang for his fierce mother. Who only patted her mussed bed hair gingerly and turned her fiery gaze on to her firstborn.

 

“He is a man courting his intended, I believe some allowances should be made for it”

 

Odin’s mouth curled in distaste but nodded nonetheless. Regardless, Frigga went on, her anger but simmering under her calm, lovely features.

 

“Perhaps we can make arrangements for a proper courting until the wedding preparations are done, if they are to be thrown in this ill-fated game of yours, this is the least we can give them.”

 

Odin nodded once more and sighed: “It will be as you wish, my dearest”

 

Frigga smiled thinly and patted the mans back proudly: “Thank you, silly husband of mine”

 

------

 

That morning Steven had spent with a council of Mages and Nobel wise men, discussing in sage tones the reparations of the damaged UN building, what fortifications could be woven into the reconstruction and finally, Steven dared ask for a monument.

 

Thor saw his Head Architect’s face twist, no doubt expecting to hear the Soldier ask for some opulent monstrosity to honor Earths victory over Asgard, an insult crafted in Asgards own Gold.

 

They could not have been more wrong…

 

Thor listened carefully as the Captain inquired over the limits of illusion spells, as he had seen Loki cast plenty in his stay on Earth. Of course, the mages were not quite as powerful as his brother, a God. But they could set some runes to create illusions for a limited time. The captain nodded and explained his idea.

 

He asked for the mirage of the men fallen in the battle to appear when the clock struck midday, their ghost image to emerge from the Council walls onto the plaza and form a front around the building, in memory of their service and death protecting the United Nations.

 

“The face of those men should not be forgotten; their families and the world should know they died as heroes” Steven had said.

 

Frigga’s face had softened from her earlier stony expressions after the fight with Odin, her eyes so very kind on the Captain as she agreed wholeheartedly, making plans to craft spells with her students and master Sedir’s to get just the right effect. Fury agreed to procure the photographs of the men fallen in service as to make things easier.

 

The fallen soldiers would guard the UN council faithfully for many centuries to come. Gone, but not forgotten.

 

The meeting had been a rotund success and the Masters of Magic and Construction had left with awed smiles on their faces. It was a common occurrence when speaking with the Captain.

 

Thor ambled closer to the Soldier, now dressed in Asgardian fashion and looking quite uncomfortable in a long light blue cape.

 

Thor, on the other hand, had had to remain seated most of the meeting just to conceal the effects of the Captains new wardrobe on his body. Dressed in flattering shades of blues, the man was a feast for the eyes. Edible.

 

The God of Thunder struggled to hold his face clear of lust as he met the Director’s stern eye, still irate after that morning’s disaster. Thor had washed his hands thoroughly afterwards. His face blazed with a shamed blush as he recalled the handful of firm buttock he had grabbed, believing it was his intendeds.

 

Fury glared, as if he knew his thoughts and Thor shuffled past him quickly.

 

“Captain!” He greeted brightly, hiding his discomfort as he felt the Directors glare follow him across the room.

 

“Thor, how are you?” Steven asked, his blue eyes ever brighter with a wicked glint “No lasting damage after the fall?”

 

“Nope” Thor popped “I trust we didn’t awaken you too harshly”

 

“No, that was…” Steven scratched the back of his neck, his eyes avoiding Thor’s as they walked side by side and out of the council rooms “Really swell of you to do, Thor”

 

Thor blinked, taking a second to understand.

 

The Captain thinks it was his idea.

 

Thor grinned smugly as he pressed daringly closer to the flustered Captain, ignoring the Director’s scowl as he rubbed shoulders with his betrothed.

 

“Aye, I though you deserved a grander welcoming to Asgard than you had received”

 

Steven nodded and smiled primly “Well it certainly was something; that friend of yours, Frandal…”

 

Thor’s face turned dark as he recalled the betrayal of that weaselly bastard. “Frandal, yes, he fancies himself a poet”

 

Steven laughed “Oh I know the type, he reminds me of a friend, Jacques Dernier, he was…” The soldier struggled to form the words as he pursed and bit his lips, conflicting emotions flashing so fast on his face that Thor could not read them all, only that the man must hold tender memories to look both so full of mirth and sorrow at the thought of him. Thor wanted to punch Frandal even more.

 

“He was French” The Captain concluded, with a decisive nod “He liked to mess with us just to see us squirm”

 

Thor saw the opportunity and took it with no hesitation “Frandal is much the same, you can never be serious with the man, never believe a word from him, he has a tongue viler than Loki”

 

Steven nodded seriously. “Anyways, thank you for that, it was quite the sight”

 

Thor smiled softly at the man, taking the Captain’s hand in his own in a whim of courage much to the Soldier’s surprise. “I would give you the whole of Asgards treasures if that would help you come to love my world as much as I love yours”

 

The Captain met his eyes in a heavy silence, his blue, blue eyes dancing with emotions and finally settling in mirth. “The view certainly helped”

 

“Then I shall gift you with sights of far greater splendor until you have it in your heart to call Asgard home”

 

The Captains smile fell and he gazed on to the side, all joy sucked from his expression and Thor fought the urge to kick himself.

 

“I can’t promise that will be anytime soon, Thor” The Captain admitted, now looking down at their joined hands with morose eyes. Thor clenched the fingers intertwined with his own, trying to take the words for their value and not as a rejection to himself.

 

“Nor do I ask it of you” Thor amended “Only for you to allow me and try to make this burden lighter on your shoulders” Thor smiled, feeling shy all of a sudden under the searching eyes of his husband to be “We are together in this, you see… and will be together for the rest of our lives” He worked around a sudden knot of emotion in his throat and confessed “I wish you to know that you will never be alone with your troubles again, for you now have me to share them”

 

“Or cause them” The Captain quipped, his smile spoke of jibes but his eyes belied it, he was moved by Thor’s vows, even if he could not promise a thing to him now, he was not indifferent to Thor’s efforts, as the slow circling of the Soldiers thumb on his pulse conferred. Thor grinned wickedly.

 

“Unfailingly, until death do us part”

 

The Captain laughed and pulled away to follow the Director’s shadow down the corridors of the palace. “I will see you for Dinner”

 

“I will count the seconds” Thor called after him, watching the man go and finally finding a flaw to the Captains new attire. That cape impeded the glorious view of Steven’s behind.

 

The God sighed in regret and took his own path to the training grounds.

 

------

 

The first thing he did when he saw the Warrior Three was to take Frandal by the throat and shake.

 

The little bastard had the nerve to laugh through it all until Hogun and Volstagg managed to rip him from Thor’s ever tightening grip. The warrior coughed as he massaged his abused neck.

 

“I take it he liked it”

 

“No” Thor purposely deceived, pouting as he took a training sword from Lady Sif and began to go through his paces with the fierce woman.

 

“Liar” Frandal chanted. “The man is an artist; he has an eye for beauty as do I”

 

Thor growled but listened, nonetheless. The man had managed to please Steven, so maybe it was not all for naught in the end. Even if he had to grit his teeth to dust to avoid punching his friend in the balls. Which reminded him…

 

“Perhaps I should invite Steven to spar with us.” Thor suggested, an evil smirk gracing his face as his unsuspecting friends all nodded eagerly. Frandal especially.

 

“A warrior and a lover” The blond weasel sighed, besotted “A man after mine own heart!”

 

Thor swung a little too harshly at Lady Sif, earning a reproachful glare and a punch to the ribs for his slip. Thor only grew more irritated as he snarled “How did you even know of Steven’s love for art?”

 

“I observed him, of course”

 

“He means to say he followed him around the palace like a salivating hound”

 

“I was part of his guard, I simply took advantage of the opportunity presented to me in such a situation” Frandal fibbed and waved away Volstagg’s statement, circling the ring where he and Lady Sif danced with their swords, his eyes turning vicious as he spoke “I am surprised that you have known him for so long and never noticed his penchant to admire man’s most gentle craft”

 

Thor dropped the sword and every pretense of calm as he turned to Frandal with a mighty glare, but the little gremlin was not done. “Perhaps it is not in your nature to pay attention to your lover’s wants” Thor clenched his fists to the side as thunder flashed in the distance, Frandal’s smile softened it’s wicked edges “Lucky for you, I did, and I promised to aid you in your courting so as much as it pains me to part with the Captain’s affections” The thunder roared ever closer and Frandal chuckled loudly “For you, my dearest friend, I shall”

 

Thor remembered then why this man was one of his most ancient friends and could only smile sheeply as he nodded his thanks “I am truly hopeless, aren’t I?”

 

“If you need courting advice from Frandal, I’d say you are practically brain dead” Hogun supplied, taking the fallen sword and joining Lady Sif in the ring.

 

Thor was both offended and vindicated as Frandal cried his outrage.

 

------

 

That evening Thor sat next to his mother on the grand tables of Asgards Dining halls, after the announcement of Thor and Steven’s engagement to the people, loud and deafening cheers bursting from the common folk and nobles alike.

 

The feast in honor to the future nuptials was an opulent extravagance of Asgardian riches, open to all who would join, the halls filled to the brim of Asgardians celebrating his betrothal with ale and meats.

 

Steven sat one seat away, only the severe Director sitting between them and who would glare brazenly at anyone who would dare approach the blond Soldier, even, or specially at Thor, who had spent most of the feast trying to speak over the Colonels head to his intended only to be stared down by the dark pit of Hel that laid in the Directors sole eye.

 

Steven had been disturbingly silent most of the night, eating when prompted and drinking when speeches where offered. A dutiful Soldier.

 

Thor’s heart hurt for the man, but he could not do much. He could follow Lady Sif’s advise and ask the man, he could even imagine himself finding the Captain after the feast and asking him:

 

What do you want, Steven?

 

Though Thor recoiled of these thoughts instantly, for no matter how oblivious he is or how much he wished to delude himself. There is no scenario where the Captain would say what he ached to hear.

 

The Captain would never smile and simply say: “You”

 

Not yet, maybe not ever.

 

And Thor hadn’t the strength to hear it. He would be a coward, but he would be one with Steven by his side.

 

“Thor” His mother called, Thor snapped out of his gloomy thoughts to find most of the royal table staring at him in confusion “Where did you go, my child?”

 

“Nowhere, mother, forgive me; what was it that you asked?”

 

Frigga pursed her lips delicately but repeated calmly “We were speaking of the arrangements for your courting. The Director has kindly agreed to chaperon most of these meetings but there is still a possibility that his time will be limited” Frigga looked troubled by this though she smiled at her son in a joking curve of her lips “And I doubt you would like me to fill in the remaining occasions”

 

“Aye” Thor nodded seriously “There are things a man simply does not wish his mother to see”

 

Frigga rose a challenging brow at the poorly hidden innuendo and pinched his thigh under the table in punishment.

 

“Forgive me if it’s rude to ask” Steven began, the very first words he had spoken since the beginning of the celebrations “But Thor and I are both grown men, is having a chaperon really necessary?”

 

The Director, Odin and half of the neighboring tables scoffed loudly at the innocent question and Thor felt instantly offended on the Captains behalf.

 

“Unless it is tradition” The Captain amended carefully, his eyes searching Thor’s for guidance.

 

“Not necessarily” Frigga offered, her eyes scanning the room in uncertain glances as to how she could word her worries and the need for such formalities.

 

Steven saw the deliberation of the Goddess and pounced “If it is not an obligation, I would prefer to spend my time in privacy” The Captain stated firmly “Thor and I have been friends for a long time and I doubt we would be pushed to do anything untoward when left to our own, we are adults after all”

 

“You would think, watch this:” The Director barked with humor as he turned fully to face Thor, his expression a blank slate as he said tonelessly “Penis”

 

Thor felt his face break into a wide grin before he could stop himself, realizing quickly that he had shot himself in the foot. He shot Steven an apologetic wince as the man’s jaw worked in irritation.

 

“That does not mean he would disrespect me or I, him”

 

“Oh, we aren’t worried about you; him…” Thor squirmed in his seat under the recriminating gaze of the royal table “well, let’s just say my ass can tell a whole ‘nother story, Captain”

 

“That was a joke” Steven defended, eyes sharp and unflinching.

 

Fury turned his fuming eye to the Soldier as the discussion escalated “Was it? ‘cause that hand felt pretty serious to me”

 

“Perhaps” A deep voice halted the heated argument rising between the Mortal men, and the whole royal wing turned to face the newcomer. A fresh, barely bruised Heimdall stood in his regal finery, his presence in a feast a novelty enough to halt any proceedings. The usually isolated man looming over their table with his severe All Seeing eyes “I could help you, Captain”

 

Steven met the dark God’s gaze wonderingly, but did not protest as the Guardian turned to the Royal pair and the Director “I could watch over the men’s courting from a great distance and appear in a blink of an eye if need be”

 

The table sat in silence at the generous offer, so when the Captain stood and offered his hand out to the Guardian, no one spoke out in protest.

 

“Thank you General, it would be most appreciated”

 

“It is the least I can do for you, Captain” Heimdall acquainted, shaking the Soldier’s hand firmly “You will have your privacy and they will have their peace of mind, all is well”

 

Steven nodded and smiled openly for the Overseer, who if Thor did not know better, had a dazzled look on his face afterwards.  Thor shot the Captain a queer look. Just how many men would fall prey to this man’s charms?

 

“So that is settled” Frigga chirped, her face glowing as she clasped her hands excitedly “Now on to the wedding preparations!”

 

Thor was surprised to find Steven not only listening to his Mother’s ideas, but an active participant of the conversation, from decoration to meal courses to guests and tradition. The man was attentive and soaking in all the information like a sponge, offering opinions and even adding requests as the night grew old. By the end of it most of the pressing issues of the wedding had been either agreed upon or in beginning of formation. And Thor had barely had to contribute, though when they had began to speak of their wedding chambers he had promptly jumped in.

 

“I will do the preparations for our rooms”

 

Everyone in the table but Steven had startled at his demand. The Captain merely nodding and pressing forward to the next issue in hand, no questions asked and no doubts over his qualifications to take the project. Unwavering trust, Thor was surprised to name it so, when was the last time someone had gifted him with such unshakable faith?

 

Thor smiled like a besotted fool at the Captains oblivious head and continued to do so for most of the night until they all parted to their bed chambers in satisfied quietude.

 

The Norn’s truly had blessed him with Steven. Thor had thought.

 

If only he could bring the man to feel the same…

 

----

 

As Steve entered his rooms, he took a deep breath and barely managed to close the door behind him before he began to rip off the ridiculous cape from his back in harsh tugs. Wincing in shame as he heard hissing rips of the fine fabric under his ruthless hands.

 

Steve gathered the cloth in his arms and fell back onto the couch seats in his room, suddenly boneless and very, very tired.

 

He had spent the whole evening planning his doomsday with the Gods, eagerly contributing and requesting, anything, anything just to feel a smidge of control over the situation. Then all that silliness of Chaperones! They were grown men, good friends, they were not going to suddenly paw at each other like animals, but everyone seemed to think they would go at it like bunnies if they as much turned their eyes to a side.

 

And if they did?

 

Steve frowned to himself. Well they were both consenting adults. It was nobody’s business but their own!

 

This was just another thing he had to give up, another liberty he had taken for granted.

 

His mind had been assaulted with the sweet tones of his late mother’s voice, how she had spoken to him when he was bedridden with fever in his childhood, which was every other Tuesday to be fair. How she had told him of how she had planned her wedding day, she had been a spring bride, which had not been so good as the weather had not yet mellowed out by then, but on the bright side, there had been flowers a plenty. She had loved her flowers.

 

Steve had been deadly allergic to pollen.

 

Steve wanted flowers for his wedding.

 

The soldier’s throat began to close, his breathing coming in harsh rasps as he felt the walls begin to close in on him. He pulled his knees to his chest, trying to remember Sam’s advice when these spells happened.

 

Panic attacks, he had explained. Completely normal… Let them roll past, it’s only a second, breath through them, that’s it, good man…

 

Steve found himself on the marbled floor once it was over, the remains of his cape shredded under his fingers, strips of it scattered in the floor. Like claws had been taken to the fabric in vicious snipes.

 

And wasn’t that the problem? Steve didn’t know how much longer he would be able to smile and nod. He would break… and no one would like the outcome of that. He had never been one to pull his punches, and he didn’t like feeling cornered. He would lash out something fierce.

 

Steve needed an outlet.

 

Consequences be damned. Steve pulled himself to his feet, leapt out of the room balcony and broke into a hard sprint into Asgards starry night.

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 18: Compromise.

 

Thor was woken by the loud thud of Mjolnir falling from it’s perch on his night table onto the marble floor. Thor blinked blearily at the Hammer, at the nightstand, and at the Hammer again.

 

Then he shrieked as Mjolnir budged untouched and unprompted on the marble floor, a metallic scratch sounding as it slowly crawled forward in spontaneous bursts.

 

Thor left his soft furs, standing nude next to the Hammer and glaring down at it with sleepy confusion.

 

“What are you doing?” Thor demanded; the Hammer crawled on undisturbed.

 

Thor had half the mind to pick it up and just curl back into his bed and be done with it. When he heard it, the soft sounds of light feet landing onto his balcony. Thor saw a large shadow stand before his closed windows, the curtains obscuring the true shape of the intruder as he stood there, breathing audible even at the distance; as if shaken, and then, a soft knock on his windowpanes.

 

“Thor?”

 

Steven? Thor was instantly awake as he marched forward to the balcony.

 

“Hey Thor, are you up?”

 

“Aye, Captain, what are you doing here?” Thor’s hand went to open the balcony doors, eager to meet the man, his nudity but a plus in the scenario. They were to be married soon; it would be remiss of him not to flaunt that which would belong to the Soldier. Thor grinned brightly and pulled the handle.

 

It did not budge. He pulled again more insistently only to notice Steven held it closed from the outside.

 

“No, wait, don’t open the door…” The Captain pleaded. Thor frowned at the shadow of his betrothed. Now that he was closer, he thought he could hear a soft wheeze in the man’s breath, like a faint whistling of his lungs. Worry seeped deep in Thor’s chest.

 

“Captain?”

 

“Let’s just… talk like this for a bit, can’t be unproper if we aren’t actually seeing each other, can we?”

 

Thor blinked at the request, noticing with relief how the man’s breathing slowly regained its smooth pulls, he relaxed against the curtains “I would suppose so.”

 

Steven cleared his throat loudly “Say Thor, is there any… sacred things in Asgard?”

 

Thor scowled at the bizarre question “Sacred? How so?”

 

“Yeah like, places… animals?”

 

What a strange conversation, but it was offensively early in the morning, no light shining out still. So who was Thor to judge what the Captain had in his mind at the hour.

 

“Yes of course, but most reside in the palace” Thor said in soft tone “I could show you later today if you please?”

 

Stevens shadow nodded cuttingly “Oh, that would be nice… Thor?”

 

“Yes, Steven?”

 

“How different are Asgardian Animals to Earth?”

 

Thor frowned but smiled at the queer questions the Captain had, it was quite charming if he really thought of it. “Quite different I would say”

 

“Yeah… can you describe them to me? Tell me about the big ones”

 

Thor barked a laugh at that, a hand coming to rest on his chest as if to stop the mirth from pouring out “The big ones?”

 

“Yeah pal, the really big ones.”

 

He took a second to consider, which was the biggest beast he had ever encountered in Asgard…?

 

“Well, we do have Dragons” The God offered “Fire breathing beasts of great intelligence, a perchance for petty theft aside, they are quite tame.”

 

“Oh, Dragons” Steven echoed, his tone faint as he too leaned on the window next to Thor “Right, because of course you have Dragons.” Thor smiled at the barely concealed dismay, he could imagine the Captains face, but what really thrilled him now was to perceive the man’s warmth through the thin layers of curtains and glass. Norn’s above Thor ached to rip the doors open. The Captain cut his steamy thoughts with another inquiry “But maybe tell me about the less mythical ones…”

 

Now Thor began to suspect “Captain?”

 

The Captain continued in a harried voice “What would you call a four legged, horned, furry thing; maybe say 8 or nine feet tall, foul breath and very angry?”

 

“A Bilgesnipe?“ Thor guessed.

 

“Bilgesnipe.” Steven repeated, releasing a harsh breath.

 

“Aye” Thor nodded and turned fully to the fogged mirage of his betrothed “Where did you hear of these creatures, Steven?”

 

There was silence as the Soldier squirmed and huffed on the other side of the curtains.

 

“Somewhere… around… Say Thor?”

 

“Yes Captain?”

 

“Can I show you something?” The Captain finally acceded, the resistance Thor felt on the window door finally gone, but he did not open it immediately, his earlier impish intentions gone at the obvious distress in his intended’s voice.

 

“But of course, Steven. I am here for whatever you need.” Thor scrambled to take his long robe and wrap it around his body, deciding that is as decent as he could get for the moment, he waited for the Captain to settle on the other side, watching how the shadow nodded once to himself before he finally said. “Yeah… you can come out now.”

 

Thor did so promptly, throwing the doors open with care not to hit the man, though it would have done little difference as Thor’s eyes fell on the Soldier: mud splattered, his earlier handsome clothes ripped in odd places and blood, so much blood…

 

“Steven!” The God cried in alarm, shooting forward to hold his betrothed with startled but gentle hands.

 

“It’s not mine” Steven clarified, as if it were a consolation, then grimaced as Thor probed a sluggishly bleeding gash at his shoulder “Well most of it isn’t”

 

“What has happened?” Thor bellowed, frantic in his inspection of the Captain’s integrity under so much filth “Were you attacked? Who dared harm Thor’s Betrothed!”

 

“Shhh, Thor!” The man rushed to silence the God, batting his worried hands away “You’ll wake up the whole palace… just…” Steven sighed heavily and turned to the balcony and the gardens bellow “just follow me….”

 

Thor pulled a pair of trousers on blindly, invoking Mjolnir to his hand at the same time before he followed Steven down the many stories of the Palace walls and scurried under the night sky out and deep into the woods in ever growing dread as the distance grew further and further from the safety of Asgardian civilization.

 

What in the 9 realms had Steven been doing out here?

 

Then he saw it.

 

“You did this.” Thor stated plainly.

 

“I’m sorry.”

 

Of course you are, Steven. “You killed a Bilgesnipe”

 

The Captain bit his lip in mortification “It was an accident?”

 

Thor’s eye twitched at the audacity of the lovely man “You killed a Bilgesnipe” He repeated, then recoiling as he observed the surroundings “With your bare hands?”

 

Steven nodded regretfully, like a child scolded “I forgot my shield in my room, I… I only wanted to go for a run.”

 

“But then you killed a Bilgesnipe.”

 

The man sighed sadly “And then I killed a Bilgesnipe.”

 

Thor began to shake as he looked upon the fallen beast and his charming man “Steven?”

 

“Yes Thor?” Steven inquired sullenly, raising his embarrassed eyes to meet Thor’s and startling at the sight of the God’s face.

 

Thor smiled brightly, positively preening “I will be the envy of the court”

 

-----

 

“Norn’s above! Look at that magnificent beast!”

 

“Thank you, Mother” Thor responded, huffing under the shared weight of the animal as he and Steven dragged the fleshy thing into Asgards great halls with a winning grin “I’ve groomed my beard just this morning.”

 

Steven stifled a laugh and finally they released the Bilgesnipe onto the polished floors before the astounded Mother of Gods.

 

“Oh Thor, shush!” Frigga reprimanded, but placed a loving hand to his arm. Thor preened under his mother’s attentions, noticing the bemused eye of his Father and the gapping of the early birds of the court.

 

“Aye, it is massive isn’t it?”

 

Frigga nodded in awe. “The greatest one I have beheld since your father last hunted in the edges of Asgards Mountain side.”

 

Odin joined them at the mention of his youthful adventures. Eyeing the trophy with an appreciative but calculating gleam to his blue orb. “Aye, it is quite large… Steven slayed it, you say?”

 

Thor grinned proudly “He did.”

 

Odin eyed his clean, unmarked clothes and chest, then Steven’s bruised and soiled attire. “Alone…”

 

“And barehanded” Thor boosted loudly, to the excited titter of the court and servants alike.

 

“And what was Steven doing in the Mountains in the ass crack of dawn?” The Director finally appeared, fully dressed and ready as if he had not spent a whole night in slumber. His lone eye staring critically at the Captain who now stood tall and unrepentant under their gaze.

 

“Steven was having a morning run, Sir.”

 

The Director grit his teeth at the cheeky reply.

 

“And Steven just managed to kill an 8 foot tall monster just before breakfast.”

 

“Steven did.” The Soldier said primly. Oh, how Thor yearned for this audacious man.

 

“Oh, but you should have asked for escorts if you wished to go Hunting” Frigga bemoaned, her earlier delight clouded by a surge of worry as she saw the mess that had become of Steven comely clothes. “Our King quite enjoys hunting parties, he would not have denied you the opportunity to go in such a quest, especially for such a handsome courting present!”

 

The Captain smiled demurely, his wide hands coming to cover the naked spots of skin that his ruined clothes allowed “It was a burst of a moment… thing, Your Grace.”

 

“Oh, how lovely!” The Goddess tittered at the Soldier, then turning with a coy smile to her son “Thor, my darling. You will be the envy of the court”

 

“I know” Thor barely suppressed a round of unseemly giggles at the thought, already seeing the jealous and covetous glances from the gathering Nobles around the halls.

 

“Look at such a fine pelt!” Frigga cried in admiration, slowly encircling the great beast “The skin has not been pierced, it’s horns are intact! How ever did you manage to slay it?”

 

Steven shrugged timidly “I…. was creative?”

 

That would not do. “He pierced the beasts’ heart through its mouth with a branch.” Thor declared, loud and clear for all to hear, proclaiming the prowess of his Betrothed to Gods and men.

 

Gasps rang around the ever-crowding halls and Steven blushed under the attention.

 

“Through the mouth?!” The Goddess cried “You could have lost your head to it’s jaws!”

 

Steven winced “I… duked, your Grace”

 

Thor’s glee sobered quickly at the whispered admittance; so it had almost happened. Oh, Steven…

 

Then Odin walked forward, his heavy steps silencing the bubbling chatter of the court as he spoke to the Mortal man “You are a man of skill, Captain. I thank you for this marvelous gift, it is a fine courting piece as any I have ever seen. A good omen of your nuptials.”

 

Steven nodded sagely; his face carefully blank before Odin’s flattering remarks.

 

“We shall feast again tonight” Odin declared to all “This feat must be celebrated accordingly.”

 

A loud cheer was released in the echoing halls of Asgards palace, almost like a war cry. Steven swallowed imperceptibly and lowered his gaze.

 

“Thank you, your Highness.”

 

Thor frowned. Something was wrong…

 

----

 

Later that day Thor burst into Stevens rooms only to find the man sitting on the balcony floor, back pressed against the rails and eyes closed, sleeping peacefully under the scant shade of the curtains.

 

Most importantly, he was only wearing his trousers.

 

Thor swallowed thickly as the Captains eyes blinked open lazily, batting his full lashes to focus his eyes on the intruder of his afternoon nap.

 

Steven appeared to have bathed and promptly settled in for a light slumber, skin still glistering with scattered drops on his perfect chest. His hair still wet and a couple of shades darker, falling in unruly locks over the man’s smooth forehead. Some of the longest strands coming to tease the long fluttery lashes marking those sky blue eyes before the man brushed them back and to the side in a careless sweep.

 

Thor stifled a groan and cleared his voice twice before speaking: “Captain, forgive me for interrupting your sleep”

 

“It’s ok Thor, I probably shouldn’t be slumped out, out here” The man grunted and curled up to his feet, bringing to stark relief the defined muscles of his abdomen, the tantalizing dip of his hips as the trousers slipped an inch lower only to be halted by the plump curve of his behind.

 

Thor rubbed a hand on his mouth, scratching his beard and strolling forward to the couches in the room, but most pressingly, the cushions. Thor needed a cushion.

 

Once the cushion had been procured, Thor relaxed into the soft and luscious tapestry, eyeing the Soldier with open hunger while the man walked forward, massaging a kink that must have formed in his neck after the short nap. The Captain caught Thor’s gaze and flushed delightfully, his eyes squinting as he scoffed: “Eyes are up here, pal”

 

“Oh, I know” Thor grinned, watching the shift, the sensuous clench and release of the taut muscles as the Captain advanced with animal like grace, all coiled strength and skill. The cushion on Thor’s lap jumped.

 

Steven gaped and startled at the seemingly unprompted shift of the decoration. His blush running down his neck and chest like a wave as he nearly ran into the adjacent room.

 

Thor cackled loudly at his departure, his arms spread wide on the back of the couch and waited for his shy Betrothed to come out.

 

Steven did return; sadly, fully clothed and with a reproachful glare in full force. “Real classy, Thor”

 

“Only for you, Steven”

 

The Captain frowned disapprovingly but joined him in the couch over only a second-long deliberation. A warning glance shot at the God before he relaxed into the furniture with a luxurious sigh.

 

Thor liked his lips but otherwise behaved himself, he had a purpose with this visit, besides harassing his bashful fiancée. Who would have known that such uptight propriety and decorum would be able to set blazing Hel fire to Thor’s loins.

 

He had always enjoyed the shamelessness of the women of doubtful virtue, shying away from the blushing maidens of court, seeming to Thor far more trouble than a night of pleasure was worth. Even his Lovely Jane… she had never had calms to her sexual desires.

 

Steven though, his righteousness was inflaming, it called to Thor’s passion like none ever had. Even Jane…

 

“Thor?”

 

Thor hummed as he was ripped from his silent contemplations. Steven looked at him with calm patience, though he could perceive an amused spark to his red rimmed sapphire eyes.

 

“I said, is there anything you’d like to say? Or was your whole purpose of coming here to hassle me?”

 

“Oh, yes!” Thor straightened, then stumbling to correct himself as Steven rose a haughty eyebrow “No, there is more!”

 

The Captain smiled shakily but listened quietly. Thor cleared his throat.

 

“I wished to speak with you about this mornings events”

 

Steven nodded slowly.

 

“I would like to know what you were doing so far from the palace grounds”

 

“I’m not allowed to leave the palace now?” The Captain shot back, eyes hard and unwavering.

 

Thor recoiled in his seat at the harsh gaze directed at himself. “No, of course not!” He amended quickly “You are free to roam Asgard as you please” Steven relaxed minutely, though his eyes remained cold “I merely wish to know what pushed you to leave on your own”

 

“I needed to be alone”

 

“I understand this” Thor agreed, eyeing the defensive Soldier with a wary gaze of his own “I understand and I support your need for privacy, but Steven” Thor set a gentle, tentative hand on the Captains knee “You could have been killed today”

 

Steve looked for a moment ready to fight the statement, but the fight with the Beast must have really been a close call as the Soldier deflated and bit his lips harshly, halting his protests to the truth.

 

Thor felt his soul quiver, he could have lost Steven today, and he wouldn’t have known it until much later.

 

“Talk to me Steven” Thor prompted the blond man, his eyes gripping the man’s blue gaze in a firm hold “Please”

 

“I don’t know where to start” The man admitted.

 

“Then don’t” Thor said, confusing the Soldier “No start, just speak, I will listen until you are done”

 

Steven’s throat worked harshly for a moment, and finally nodded.

 

The Captain spoke in soft waves, but his words, they were hard whiplashes of pain, of loneliness, of aching deep desolation that Thor found himself fighting the tears that gathered and clouded his sight.

 

Steven gasped a lungful of air as he came to an abrupt halt in his confessions “I feel helpless”

 

“I am sorry”

 

“It isn’t any fault of yours, Thor” The Captain said, voice empty now that his emotions had been poured forth to Thor’s lap.

 

“But it is” Thor insisted “I have left you alone with these burdens. I will not lie to you Steven, I have come to love the idea of being your husband.”

 

Steven blinked owlishly at the admission. Thor pressed forth.

 

“I am lucky indeed, to be able to spend the rest of my days at your side. You on the other hand, have been cheated horribly”

 

Thor sighed “I never asked you how you felt of this union, I could not. I am to much of a coward to hear your answer. But Captain, coward as I am. For you, I will fight. While my soul draws breath, you will not be alone. For as long as my heart beats in my chest, you will want for nothing.”

 

Thor met Steven’s eyes firmly “Asgard is not your home and Earth stopped being so long ago.” The words struck a chord inside the man for his hands began to shake minutely on his lap. “I ask of you to start anew, let me be your home, our marriage your shelter.” The God pleaded to the silent, shaken Mortal “It is not so simple I know… but it is a start.”

 

The Captain sat in contemplative silence; his voice so very small coming from a man so grand “I don’t know how to let go”

 

“Don’t” Thor said vehemently “You should never let go of the things that made you. I ask you simply to open your arms to receive something new”

 

Steven sighed and rubbed his face with trembling hands, struggling with words as he was never wont to do. Thor took the lead “Tell me Steven, before your war, how did you envision your life to be?”

 

Steven blinked blearily, eyes far away and carefully blank “Well I had heart palpitations and allergies to just about everything so, I didn’t plan that far ahead.”

 

 Thor snarled at his intended. “Cheeky”

 

The Captain gifted him with a croaked smile as he shrugged “I was going to art school. Buck-“ The man swallowed and blinked fast “Bucky- my best friend Bucky, he was helping me pay it, before it all happened.” Steven released a humorless laugh “I was going to give him a luxurious life as my kept boy when I became a big shot, he used to say. He always thought I’d turn out to be some da Vinci kind ‘a fella…”

 

The Soldier fell to an empty silence, his eyes gazing out of the balcony to the blue skies.

 

“He believed I’d make it big.”

 

“You wished to be an artist.” Thor realized, his thoughts going back to Frandals assessment and cursing the little cunt once again for being right, and then himself thrice for not listening. Steven shrugged once more, self-depicting as he should never be.

 

“Yeah, didn’t turn out to anything.”

 

“You should do it now” Thor declared, his mind already forming it and he could see it so very clearly.

 

“What?”

 

Thor leaned in eagerly as he explained “We have great wise men versed in the plentiful arts of the universe: Painting, Sculping, Ringerike”

 

“What is Ringerike?”

 

“I’ve not the slightest idea, but Loki spoke of it very fondly once.”

 

Steven barked an incredulous laugh “Really, Thor?”

 

Thor pursed his lips to impede a smile as he took hold of the Captain’s hand, turning it over in his own with tender care “I am not wise enough a man to appreciate beauty from another’s perspective. But if it is from your eyes, I am sure I could come to love it dearly…”

 

The Soldier met his gaze, so very still under the weight of Thor’s confessions.

 

“So, what say you Captain?” Thor finally asked “Will you take it?”

 

It took an unbearable moment of deliberation from the Captain, who bit and worried his plush lips all the while; before finally, nodding slightly and in that act, releasing a well of tension from both their bodies they had not noticed they held; as the Soldier’s shoulders relaxed he smiled a sunny smile, so bright with hope Thor could only tremble to behold it.

 

“Ok… ok, Thor. Let’s give this a go.”

 

“Thank you.” Thor felt so overrun by his emotions, by the hope of a happy life with this man that he shot forward without even meaning to, hands up to cup the Captain’s angular jaw and pull the man forward, meeting together in a chaste, but heartful press of soft, velvety lips.

 

The man gave a full body shiver, startled to a sweet gasp against Thor’s questing strokes. And just as Thor was dipping his tongue out for a taste of the Captain’s supple flesh a harsh hand pulled his head back and away from Steven. His scalp stinging and protesting as his hair was nearly ripped from the root by an expressionless Heimdall, whose empty gaze only stared forward as he dragged the Crown Prince off the couch and across the room.

 

“Ahh! Captain” Thor cried in pain as he was dragged out of the chambers “I will speak with the Masters of Art!”

 

“Thor?!” The Captain stumbled to speak, face flushed and shocked.

 

“Fret not! We’ve done this before!”

 

Steven’s eyes widened further “How is that better?”

 

“Means he survives to be Asgards idiot for another day” Heimdall finally spoke, reassuring the still shaken Mortal as he released The God’s golden mane and guided him out move civilly by a firm grip on the back of his neck, like an unruly pup “Good day, Captain”

 

Steve waved faintly “Good day, General”

 

----

 

“Really Thor, it has been barely a day!” Frigga cried as Odin massaged his temples, sitting despairingly in his Throne.

 

“I can explain”

 

“Another of that Frandals promptings?” The All Father guessed humorlessly.

 

Thor grinned wickedly as he lied “Yes, but that is beside the point.” Thor straightened to his full height, standing proudly as a Prince before his Kingly Father as he declared “I know what I wish to give as my courting gift to Steven.”

 

Heimdall scoffed softly, to the astonishment of the court as he whispered sullenly “Of course you’d call it a gift.”

 

Thor snarled at the Guardian “You shut up!”

 

“What is it, my son?” Frigga prompted eagerly, willing to overlook the blatant vulgarity of their insinuations in the middle of the court. Thor smiled widely again.

 

“Beauty”

 

Odin blinked “He has that aplenty from what I can perceive.”

 

Thor’s mouth fell open in unflattering gapes as he saw his Mother nod eagerly at his Father’s blunt assessment “No!” Thor stumbled to correct “Well yes! but no…”

 

Thor took a deep, fortifying breath as he braved on forth “I mean, he wishes for art!” Thor smiled like a lovestruck fool as he explained Steven’s sweet inclinations “He used to be an apprentice before war claimed the Earth of his time. I wish to give that back to him. In whichever measure he will allow.”

 

Odin rose an appreciative eyebrow at this “So he wishes to learn of the craft? What persuasion? Painting, Sculpting…”

 

“Aye and Ringerike.”

 

Frigga blinked “Why would he ever…”

 

“It matters not” Thor boomed, chest puffed up and valiant in his besotted ways “He shall have all of it. He is my betrothed and I will it so.”

 

Frigga’s lips trembled “You sound like your Father.”

 

“As he should” Odin grinned proudly, as he seldomly did in Thor’s presence; tapping his mighty staff in resolution. “Be it so, my Son”

 

Thor grinned happily and turned to Heimdall with a saucy wink, apropos of it all “And of course it’s a gift”

 

Heimdall faced him blankly and turned to walk away as Thor called after him, shaking with restrained laughter.

 

“It’s a grand and large gift, I tell you!”

 

“Thor!”

 

“Sorry, Mother…”

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 19: Tiny feet

 

After Thor was dragged out of Steve’s rooms like a scoundrel by a disturbingly calm and clearly practiced Guardian. Steve sat in the couch for a long time. A hand coming up to rub his jaw, his fingers taping his still tickling lips.

 

That beard burn, though. Still going to need some getting used to. Steve thought, remembering the last time he had felt it and ripping himself back to the present with a harsh shake.

 

Thor had kissed him.

 

Thor had said he was happy to be married to him.

 

Did this mean Thor felt more than friendship for Steve?

 

He could almost see Bucky roll his eyes in heaven. No, Stevie, he just really wanted to eat your face.

 

Well, Jacques had certainly tried once or twice…

 

Steve sighed when he caught himself doing it again. Sam had told him it wasn’t healthy, having conversations with imaginary dead friends. Not good for copping. Steve rubbed a weary hand to his face before crossing his arms over his chest, in an almost sheltering pose.

 

It aint healthy, but then, who was Steve supposed to talk to now?

 

He was alone…

 

Steve bowed his head low and counted his breaths until he felt the waves of despair recede. Just as he was regaining a semblance of composure, a knock was heard at his door. Steve blinked and straightened.

 

“Come in” He called, getting to his feet to receive whomever guest had come. It wasn’t proper to be seated when you had guests over. His ma had taught him better than that.

 

But it wasn’t a guest that came knocking at Steve’s doors, at least not just the one.

 

A long line of Asgardian workers came in with arms full of wooden boxes and all matters of things they went about to setting in his room with but a perfunctory glance his way. Steve was about to ask what all those things were when he saw a blank canvas be set near his balcony window on a high, golden easel. So white and crisp his eyes burned to look at it longer than a couple of seconds.

 

But Steve couldn’t look away, standing in dumbfounded silence as the Asgardians tip toed around him while setting hundreds of art supplies around the many surfaces of the already obscenely extravagant room.

 

Steve walked up to the canvas with a tight knot threatening to choke the breath out of his chest. This is what it looked like then. A fresh start… Just like Thor had said.

 

Steve felt that swell of hope again, the one that had been smothered by that stolen kiss and that harsh goodbye.

 

Maybe the man was onto somethin’, Stevie.

 

“My lord?” The soft voice of a young man calling to Steve cut into his mind like a knife. Steve turned to the teenager only to notice he held a giant box of graphite pencils open for him; his nervous eyes set on the astounded Soldier as he asked shyly “Are they to your liking, my Lord?”

 

Steve swallowed thickly and took one of the pencils out of the case. Thunder Gray it read on the side.

 

Steve smiled blearily, nodding to the boy, too moved to use his words. His eyes darting to the pure white canvas once more. He pressed the pencil to his chest with a soft chuckle.

 

It was ok, though. He had his colors now, and many shades of thunder grays to fill it with.

 

----

 

“Thor, you cannot make gifts of people!” Frigga cried despairingly at her First Born’s daring request. Her hands clasping her wide hips and her blue eyes glaring disapprovingly at her pouting son, who promptly turned his sullen, pleading eyes to the other parent in the room.

 

“Father?”

 

The All Father took but one look at his son’s expression and broke like a twig “Go ahead, my boy.”

 

“Odin!”

 

The God bristled in his Throne “You are the one who said we should make allowances for the boy’s courting! Well this is me, making allowances.”

 

The All Mother sneered at her beloved husband in irritation “That is a man, not an allowance.”

 

Odin pursed his lips, almost a pout if not set in his wise features, so alike the one on her grown son’s face that it may have been hilarious if the implications hadn’t been so daunting “And that is my son and I say he can have as many Masters of Art as he pleases”

 

“Thank you, Father” Thor tittered happily, all smiles and sunshine.

 

Odin nodded and walked out of the Throne room, matters settled and moving on to the next appointment in his court. Frigga glared at her husband and shook a haughty finger at her smiling son. “We will have words, you and I”

 

“Certainly, Mother”

 

----

 

Frigga called upon the Master of Art, a bony, squirrely looking man of tired eyes and perpetually bored expression. He looked vaguely familiar to Thor actually…

 

“My prince, you have grown much since you last slept through my lectures…”

 

Aye, that is why…

 

Thor nodded to the man and smiled sheeply. “Aye, it is a pleasure to see you again Master Bragi, you have aged well…”

 

“Your lessons stopped but a decade ago, Thor” Frigga reminded him. Thor winced at his slip but Master Bragi remained his bored unperturbed self.

 

“Master Bragi, we would like to propose to you a new pupil.”

 

The man’s face turned into a nasty grimace that was wiped away as soon as it had come. Nodding politely at the Goddess. “And who would this new pupil be?”

 

“Captain Steven Rogers, of Midgard. My son’s betrothed”

 

The man pursed his thin lips in deliberation “I have heard many things of this man from the court gentlemen… He is a great warrior…”

 

“Aye, he is”

 

“Has he any inclination for the fine arts? Or is this in preparation for his introduction to the court?”

 

“My Steven is very talented” Thor boosted proudly at his old Master, who remained unmoved by his vehement claims.

 

“I am sure he is, any particular craft he excels in, my prince?”

 

Thor blinked as he scourged his mind for any example of art by Steven’s hand, then simply stating. “He excels in everything”

 

The Master of Arts kept his face carefully blank. “Of course he does”

 

Thor glared at the smaller man, but his Mother was quick to come between them before he could say anything in the Captain’s defense. “Perhaps you would like to test the man for any prodigal gifts he may have”

 

The face of the Man said he very much doubted so, but he nodded anyways, which was the only thing that stopped Thor from punching the elderly master in the face with his own bony hand. “I will do as you say, my Queen”

 

And so, they took him to Steven’s rooms; where they found him gleefully testing the many pencils on a large blank canvas with the daunting likeliness of a stern Director Fury, who posed reclined and fierce on one of Steven’s chairs.

 

“It is beautiful…” Master Bragi gasped, scurrying closer to the unfinished drawing with a look of absolute awe.

 

“Of course it is” The Director dolled, staying still in his pose as he eyed the newcomer with a distrustful eye. “It’s me”

 

“If you would give us but a minute” The Master demanded, taking Steven’s hands and turning them over in his owns, not even asking for permission as he pulled at the Soldiers fingers and rolled his wrists in intense scrutiny. Steven blinked down at the man but did not stop him, then turned to Thor in silent askance.

 

“Master Bragi, Head of Arts.” Frigga introduced with a withbearing smile. The small man barely twitched at the mention of his name and continued to inspect Steven with probing and invading touches.

 

Thor had to clasp his hands behind his back to avoid coming forth and slapping those bony fingers away from his betrothed. Luckily Director Fury had no such qualms as he strode forward and smacked Master Bragi’s hands with a smart flick of his wrist. “Enough of that. State your purpose or get the fuck out. I want my portrait done before diner.”

 

Master Bragi sneered at the man and harrumphed snottily: “I am here to examine this man for his lessons in the fine arts, if you would finally leave us, this would be over quite swiftly”

 

“Lessons?” Steven perked, shooting an excited glance at the pair of Gods.

 

Thor smiled at the charming man “As I said, you shall have it all”

 

Steven smiled shakily and dipped his head, hiding his deep emotion at the gesture. Thor was hard pressed to stay next to his mother in face of such demure charms, but he resisted and finally called: “We shall leave you to it Master Bragi, Steven”

 

The Director glared at the old master, receiving a nasty glare back as they all emptied the rooms for the testing to take place.

 

It was well over the hour when the old master emerged from Steven’s chambers. A carefully blank look in his thin face as he approached the awaiting Gods in the antechambers.

 

The Master cleared his throat primly and stated: “I will take him”

 

Thor grinned at his mother and rose from his seat in an eager leap. “It is settled then; you are Steven’s tutor”

 

“Master Bragi” Frigga interjected with a stern look to her jubilant son “You do understand that if you agree, you will dedicate yourself entirely to him. You will teach no other for centuries, perhaps to the end of your life… He will be your legacy”

 

“And a grand one it will be, my Queen” The man groused fervently, eyes bright and his voice thick with uncharacteristic emotion as he bowed deeply before the Mother of Gods. “Please, my Queen, I have spent centuries teaching deaf, talentless children of the court; wasting away ignored and unwanted. And now I have finally found a student who not only wishes to learn but has a smidgen of grace and a keen, emotive eye!” The man fell to his knees, overcome in his plea to the Queen “I would devote my life to this man if that means I get no part in tutoring those dull, snot nosed heathens ever again…”

 

Then he turned a deferent nod to Thor “No offense, my prince.”

 

“Non taken.” Thor grinned.

 

“Master Bragi” Frigga sighed heavily.

 

“My queen, I beg you. Let me free this man’s soul!”

 

Thor felt the plea cleave his heart, that was the width of it wasn’t it? To free Steven of that tight confinement his wholesome ways caged him in. His honorable Soldier who would not burden another with his troubles.

 

“Do it” The Director ordered, finally tearing himself from his silent perch by the wall, his stony eye set on the kneeling master and offering a hand “You will teach the Captain, starting today”

 

The Queen startled “Director”

 

“He is not wedded yet and until he is, I get the final say” The fierce Director declared, pushing the elderly Head of Arts into Steven’s rooms “now go back in there and get to teaching”

 

Master Bragi went eagerly and slammed the door behind his back in a very telling act of finality. Frigga frowned disapprovingly at the looming Director Fury.

 

“Director, he is the master of Arts, all the children of the court will lose his fine teachings for this.”

 

The mortal grinned toothily, one eyebrow raised haughtily at the recriminating Queen “To hear him say it there won’t be much crying over it. The Captain though, letting that talent go to waste would be a damn shame.”

 

Frigga pursed her lips and turned to her son.

 

“Is this what you wish my son?” She asked, so very lost as Thor had never seen her be, and for a moment, he could almost believe her question was another “Would this make you happy?”

 

“Infinitely so” Thor groused, voice thick with emotion. Frigga blinked quickly and nodded.

 

“So be it, the Master is Stevens to have, from today to the end of his days”

 

The Director recoiled violently at the decree “Wow, wait a minute, I ain’t supporting no Slavery”

 

Thor blinked at the seething mortal “But you just said…”

 

“I don’t know about your educational system but where I come from no teacher is a slave to their students, there are no slaves, period”

 

“Forgive the misunderstanding, Director. We are not gifting Steven with the man, we are reallocating his Masterpiece to the Captain’s teachings” Frigga explained kindly “In Asgard, to become a Master you must dedicate your life to your craft, and the perpetuation of it through your students, it is not slavery, it is devotion. Much like Midgardian Religion. He is free to do of his life as he pleases; he has merely chosen to live it through his Art”

 

“Does he get paid for this ‘Devotion’?” Fury probed

 

“Handsomely” The Queen snapped, her patience beginning to run thin “His family is well accommodated in the Palace halls, his son is a fine scribe of the court; his Father was Head of Arts as well, before him, and his Sister is Head Mistress of Healing. They all do so willingly, Director, we are not tyrants

 

The Director nodded sharply “Good”

 

“My only concern rests in his age” Frigga continued with a worried voice “He is very old you see, millennia of wisdom lay in his mind… he may very well never take another student, after Steven.”

 

“He will not need another Student” Thor proclaimed, “Steven is talented enough to carry on his memory through his craft.”

 

Frigga nodded thoughtfully, eyes far away and set on Steven’s doors with a heavy gaze “May it be so, my dear”

 

----

 

That night they feasted on Steven’s prize, the fine Captain dressed smartly in silver grays and whites, giving him a holy light about him as he followed tradition and carved the roasted bilgesnipe for the best pieces and gallantly presented them to Thor, for him to sample first before turning and presenting the steamy slices of supple meat to the King and Queen, to give their approval of the courting gift.

 

Odin and Frigga sampled the sumptuous meats and gave an approving nod, and thus, the celebration truly began. The cooks came forth and carved the gigantic beast to serve the portions to the royal table and then fed those in attendance.

 

Thor eyed the Captain with undisguised lust as he nibbled on the delicious treat this man had provided, receiving but a roll of those enchanting blue eyes and a patient smile. His whole face shining since this afternoons events. He had spent most of the day with Master Bragi, who evaluated his skill in all arts: drawing, painting, sculpting; he exceled in them all. All but singing it would seem. As the Head Master of Arts had explained in an uncharacteristic flustered tone.

 

“His voice is better kept to the bedroom, my Prince”

 

Thor’s eyebrows shot up while a flash of desire ran through his body, he had no time to recover as a surprised Director interjected heatedly “Bitch, what are you saying? The Captain was part of a quartet! I’ve heard him myself; he sings just fine!”

 

The old Master flushed and struggled to voice his thoughts on the Captain’s singing voice. “His voice is quite… pleasant yes, though the intonation and tune he employs are… well, quite provocative.”

 

The Director was deeply offended by this as he cried “Them the blues, motherfucker! They are meant to provoke!”

 

Master Bragi glared, but did not budge. Steven would not receive singing classes. Thor was relieved and intrigued in equal measures, he began to plot ways to convince the Captain to gift him a song in one of their future courting days…

 

The feast was a success, all present were able to sample the fruit of Steven’s prowess, as the Beast was so large that it easily feed hundreds of Asgardians. All cheered for the mortal man in adoration.

 

Steven, for once, did not seem dauntingly overwhelmed. Thor began to hope for the day his Captain would finally be happy here.

 

Then, three days later. Steven summoned Thor for an afternoon, out of the blue as they had not agreed to any outings as the Captain began to attend his lessons. Thor frowned at the poor maiden that delivered the request and marched determinedly to the meeting point the Soldier had cited. Far in the forest of Asgard, by a river clearing where Steven had felled the Beast.

 

Thor found the Soldier standing disturbingly still by the river run, his hands clenched into hard fists, his knuckles in stark relief against his already ivory skin.

 

“Captain” Thor called as he landed in the hidden clearing. His worry grew as the Soldier took a long moment to acknowledge his presence, his usually polite ways overrun by whatever emotion stabbed through the Mortal’s chest.

 

Finally, Steven turned to face the God. His face a stony mask of careful indifference. Thor felt a thrill of unease and his steps faltered as he approached his unsteady betrothed. Just as he was working to voice the words to inquire about the state of the Captains mind, Steven blinked out of his dark mood and smiled gamely at the God, taking his shield into his hands and crouching to a fighting stance.

 

“Bring out the hammer”

 

So it was one of those moods…

 

Thor nodded stiffly and prepared himself for a bloody encounter “Aye, Captain”

 

They spared fiercely, the sounds of their weapons meeting a deafening burst of harrowing power that even the neighboring trees of the clearing could not withstand and soon they had set aside their artifacts and turned to their fists.

 

Thor hit hard and true, as Steven needed, and got just about the same careless treatment as he let the Mortal man unleash the harsh emotions he had been drowning in. It went on for a long time, God and Mortal meeting in punishing strokes of frustration until they could not go on and declined into childish tackling and tripping of the other. Slowly, but surely, the Captain relaxed in Thor’s stubborn attacks and they both ended rolling like little boys in the matted grass of the clearing, pawing at their faces as Thor tried to rub dirt in Steven’s face and Steven in turn pulled at his beard and slapped at his fuzzy cheeks.

 

The Captain released a breathy laugh as he pushed the God off him and laid gasping side to side.

 

Thor smiled at the disheveled man and turned slightly to face his intended. “Not that I am averse to the sequence of events, but what has brought this on, Steven?”

 

Thor regretted his question almost instantly as the smile was wiped from Steven’s dirt stained face. The Captain’s jaw worked to release the words, ultimately, he did with a shaky sigh.

 

“I had an appointment today”

 

Thor frowned at the vague response “Aye”

 

“A medical appointment”

 

Thor blinked as a sinking feeling began to settle in his loins “What?”

 

Steven stared blankly up to the clear, peaceful sky, as if he could leave his body if he concentrated hard enough. “They were very… thorough”

 

Thor felt his voice crack “How dare they…”

 

Steve continued his fevered examination of Asgards skies, his voice gaining an extracorporeal, empty tone that haunted Thor’s soul “It’s part of procedure they said, for the… you know, in case we get…. blessed”

 

“They examined you for childbearing” Thor took a shuddering breath as he reached for his betrothed’s limp hand, trying to anchor the man as Thor now feared he would fade away before his very eyes “Steven, you should have called for me…”

 

“Is that…”

 

“Hmm” Thor prompted gently as the Soldier slowly blinked back to reality.

 

“It that possible?” Steven asked, his voice very small and utterly confused “Us, having babies?”

 

Thor swallowed heavily but nodded, nonetheless “Aye, with Odin’s blessing, you could come to bear a child.”

 

The Captain blinked, that empty, faraway look ghosting over his clear blue eyes again.

 

“Is that something you would want, Steven?”

 

The Captain breathed out a troubled breath “I, I never really thought of it, being a dad… I never really had one.” Steven confessed, shy now, though present and that was enough, as Thor began to fear these spells that emptied his Betrothed’s eyes to an almost doll like gleam. The Captain turned his face to Thor as he spoke gently “My old man died when I was still a runt of a thing, barely remember him, and what I do… I just don’t think that is a good example of what a dad should be like.”

 

“And before the serum, life expectancy aside; no gal woulda wanted me; one look at my bony ribs and blotchy face and they’d a run for the hills. After the serum… there was only killing.”

 

Steven bit his lips tightly for a second before he whispered “Thor?”

 

“Yes, Steven?”

 

“Do you?” Steven continued to whisper, as if the conversation were to be kept a secret between the two. “Want kids?”

 

“I guess we should speak of this sooner rather than later.” Thor whispered back, clenching the still limp hand of the Soldier in his own, rubbing circles into the uncharacteristically cold limb. “Aye, I do yearn for a child.”

 

“Oh.” Steven breathed with a shudder, turning his head back up to stare at the heavens.

 

“Fret not Steven” Thor hurried to reassure, his other hand coming up to gently cup the handsome face of the Captain, pulling him close to meet his searching gaze “It is yet too soon to say it, and it may never be so, if you do not wish for it as well.”

 

“They said something…” Steven voiced, his eyes piercing Thor’s in near desperation “About a year”

 

Thor rose on his arms with a snarl “Well if they want children so badly, they can come and work my cock themselves, for I will not take what is not freely given to me.” Steven startled, finally sliping out of his daunting reverie to meet the God’s eyes with more than a bit of wonder at his words, it made Thor’s heart sing. “My desires matter not over your own, my friend.”

 

Steven breathed agitatedly for a long moment, face paling and flushing in strange intervals until he calmed under Thor’s patient hands, caressing his unruly hair and dirty cheeks.

 

“Thor”

 

The God smiled at his intended “Yes, Steven”

 

“Thank you” The Captain whispered.

 

“You are most welcome.” Thor whispered back, pressing his forehead to the man’s in a comforting bump.

 

“Captain?” Thor murmured softly in turn.

 

“Yes, Thor?”

 

“If I may, I wish to request something of you”

 

“What is it?” Steven eyed the God with interest as Thor pulled him to sitting, keeping the man close as he settled them up straight.

 

“Call for me” Thor requested.

 

“What?”

 

Thor nodded fervently “Whenever you are lonely again, overwhelmed, or even simply bored. Call for me.”

 

Steven blinked rapidly at the odd petition of the God “How? Like send a raven?”

 

Thor barked an involuntary laughter at the innocent inquiry and rubbed his forehead to Steven’s in infatuated nuzzles. “No, those are sacred forebears of the Norn’s will, do try not to kill those by the way…” Steven smiled quirkily at that but listened on quietly “No, here, I will show you.” Thor separated reluctantly from the warmth of the man and invoked Mjolnir to his side as he extended his other hand to the Captain “Lend me your hand.”

 

The Captain did so without hesitation, and Thor placed it over his own on Mjolnir’s handle, breathing in deep and sending a questing brush of his soul through the instrument. It did not take long for him to perceive the connection. Thor shivered as he felt the stroke of the Captain’s spirit meld with his own.

 

“Do you feel it?”

 

Steven nodded and blinked rapidly in wonderment. The man extended his essence through the bond like a bouldering smack, no finesse as it practically collided with Thor in its search for the connection. “Yeah, I think I do… it’s-”

 

“Aye” Thor’s voice broke, overcome with feelings of oneship he struggled to not break into tears “It is. Now let go and reach for it again, don’t touch, just feel.”

 

The Captain released the Hammer but kept his hand in the air symbolically, calling still to the bond and soon, those ham-fisted caresses of his soul were back and Thor gave him a watery grin full of tender emotion.

 

“There.”

 

Steve nodded and positively beamed.

 

“Call for me Steven” Thor insisted “and I will come.”

 

“Thank you, Thor.”

 

Thor cleared his throat and set Mjolnir aside, trying to close the bond from Stevens still searching quests and their growing effect on his body, but he was still only Thor so he smiled a heavily suggestive smile as he laid back on his elbows and stuck a pose for the bewildered Captain “You know, if you wished to be worked to exhaustion, I can think of a far more pleasurable way than this.”

 

Steven rolled his eyes skywards and sighed “Ha, ha, Thor.”

 

“Time is up, Captain.”

 

“Heimdall?!” Thor shot back in surprise, and a pinch of fear; at the sudden appearance of the Guardian on the other side of the field. Steven rose to his feet gingerly, wiping away the dirt from where they rolled about like children with a welcoming smile, all signs of his earlier turmoil gone in a blink.

 

“Thank you, General, that was real swell of you.”

 

“What?” Thor asked befuddled at his betrothed’s back.

 

“I asked him to look away for an hour.” Steven explained with a shrug, tone light and cheery.

 

Thor blinked, a demented gleam to his eyes now that it drawled on him “You mean to say we were alone and unattended for a whole hour.”

 

“Yep”

 

“And all we did was spar and chat?” Thor growled in disbelieve.

 

Steven gave him then the most evil grin he had witnessed in any face other than Loki’s “Yeah, nice wasn’t it?”

 

Thor released a long childish wail as Steven strutted forward to the basket he had procured with him and began to set their lunch for the afternoon. “Would you like to join us, General?”

 

Heimdall nodded diffidently “If it would please you, Captain”

 

“Sure, there’s enough for all of us”

 

“Argh!” Thor groused in disgust, his feet kicking on the dirt floor where he laid in dismay, prompting a hearty laugh from his Betrothed, now thankfully calm and at ease. Thor laid on the ground in protest, his actions silly while his mind swam with dark thoughts and steely resolution…

 

------

 

Lighting struck the Healing grounds in vicious waves, the winds blowing wildly in the marbled walls, felling the vials and furniture in a whirl of chaos. Men and women cowered near the white pillars while destruction ran rampant in the halls. The Head Mistress emerged from her quarters with an astonished gasp. Elderly face pale and weathered as she saw her rooms fall under the onslaught of a Vengeful God.

 

Said God landed in the ruins of the Halls of healing. Eyes flaming and Hammer buzzing with barely repressed power.

 

The Head Mistress sputtered forth “Your highness! what is the meaning of this?!”

 

“This” Thor boomed, waves of electricity crawling around his feet there where he stood, arms set wide to envelop the damage he had wrought  “Is my reckoning, let it be known that anyone who dares touch my betrothed without his consent will suffer the wrath of the mighty Thor.”

 

The eyes of the elder woman widened in realization as she croaked “He did not say no, my prince”

 

“But did he say yes?” The woman kept her silence, her eyes low under the demand of the wrathful Thor. “Aye, I thought so.”

 

Thor glared at those present, those who most likely had been present when Steven had suffered this disgraceful inspection and he snarled to all. “Regardless, there will be no need for further examinations, for I will do our childbearing in this marriage.”

 

Gasps resounded in the wrecked rooms “My prince!”

 

“Aye, if Asgard is to demand a child it will do it of mine own flesh.” Thor vowed, hammer raised now in threat to the tittering Healers “Steven’s body is his own, to preside over as he sees fit. He has no obligation to meet your wishes. Is that clear?”

 

The Head Mistress swallowed thickly and nodded her assent “Yes, my prince.”

 

“Good” Thor growled, dropping Mjolnir to the marbled floors and promptly beginning to rip his clothing off his body “Now you will examine me, just as you did him.” The woman paled at the request, her eyes darting frettingly to her disciples who all cowered away, Thor smiled sharply “I wish to see what indignities he suffered in my name.”

 

“… Follow me, my prince.”

 

-----

 

That night he burst into Steven’s room, startling a peacefully reading Captain to nearly tumbling out of his lounge on the couch. Thor did not respond to the Captains surprised greetings as he hurried to his side and promptly sprawled over him, hiding his face in the man’s taunt stomach and breathing his clean, fresh scent. Heimdall be damned…

 

It took a second, but then it came. He felt the man’s warm hands lay gently on his head, patting his hair in soft, uncertain strokes. Thor sighed deeply.

 

“I am sorry”

 

“It’s ok, Thor”

 

“No, it is not” The God whispered, digging his face deeper into his Betrothed’s embrace.

 

He felt the Captains hands clench on his golden strands before they released. “No, it isn’t”

 

“Would you read to me Steven?”

 

“Sure thing, Thor”

 

The charming man cheekily rested the back of the book on the Gods head, prompting an amused chuckle from Thor’s lips and as he read out loud, clear and emotive as he is wont to do. Thor let the shame and violation be washed away by the good man’s voice, vowing to himself to do better, be better, and somehow repay this miracle of a man for all he has suffered in his name.

 

It’ll take some time, but they had time. Thor closed his eyes and let himself dream.

 

Dream of better things… of the pitter patter of tiny, tiny feet.

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 20: The Warrior Three and Lady Sif

 

From that night on, Thor was a constant shadow to Steven’s comings and goings, as he could not yet trust the Captain to truly object to anything that the court could ask of him. Even with the Captain’s word to call on him if he were to feel overcome in any situation, knowing the Captain it would be most likely he call on Thor when literally set on fire, and only to tell him not to worry.

 

So Thor stalked his intended, as was his right.

 

That is how he came to discover a very interesting proclivity of his own.

 

Steven had started his lessons, and in doing so; he must use the apprentice uniform.

 

It was such an incongruent thing, to see the man dressed in such prim and childish clothes, ones that he himself had loathed to wear in his childhood, now he admired them with fervent passion.

 

The dark trousers hugging the stark curve of the Soldiers bottom tightly, the muscles of his thighs enmarked clear through the dark cloth, shifting with his every step. The high boots tied high onto his thick calves and accentuating the graceful arch of his ankles. His wide chest covered by a snow-white tunic that revealed the dip of his clavicles and just the mere insinuation of the shadow of the man’s pectorals. The rest of his front enveloped by a leather waistcoat that made Thor’s tongue, amongst other things, swell and flounder.

 

All in all, quite the fruitful endeavor to say the least, and as he had been able to save the good Captain of being hounded by the most daring members of the court seeking favor of the man, or simply lusting after Thor’s intended. Well, the new fantasies could only be a well-deserved reward.

 

So when he arrived to the class room where Steven partook in his lectures, he was well prepared for the rush of want when seeing his intended bent over a furiously scribbling Master Bragi. Both men raised their heads to the sound of the grand doors bursting open. One in quiet pleasure, the other carefully blank.

 

“My prince, is my lecture over?” Master Bragi asked, returning to his paper with not another glance in Thor’s direction.

 

Thor winced but quickly hid it with a smile. About to explain himself the elderly Master rose from his seat and handed Steven the heavily scribbled paper. “Matters not, my prince. You are young and courting still, I will allow this disruption for once.” Then with a patient smile in Steven’s direction, one Thor had never known the man to even possess, he signaled a door on the back with a long, bony finger. “Pick a piece of marble from the back room” Steven perked up at the order, his eyes wide with delight “I will prepare it for you and we will begin to work tomorrow morning”

 

The Captain smiled brightly “Thank you Master. I’ll go right now”

 

And with a graceful sprint he darted to the back room with a little wave in Thor’s direction. Thor smiled after him and was in the middle of admiring that sinful behind when he heard it, barely a whisper.

 

“She was there you know?”

 

Thor startled out of his pinning and turned to a severe Master of Arts, standing imponent, regardless of his small stature, on the high floor of the auditorium, head held high and soulful eyes. Every inch the God of Arts that he was.

 

“My sister” The man explained “She saw you enter this world, she ensured it in fact.”

 

Thor frowned as it dawned upon him. His disgust from the night before coming back in a vicious wave.

 

“Aye, and she has been rewarded handsomely for it.”

 

Master Bragi nodded thoughtfully “That she has. Her service has been beyond reproach for thousands of years… Until last night.”

 

Thor glared but could not avoid his eyes from darting at the door on the other side of the room, where his Captain had disappeared in joy. “Does Steven know?”

 

“No” Master Bragi smacked his lips primly “He needs not know of it, it hardly concerns him…”

 

Thor released a sigh of relieve, Steven had already suffered enough unpleasantness to be burdened with Thor’s blunders. Master Bragi eyed him seriously as he continued in a low voice “But Odin knows, and he approves; he will do nothing. Frigga knows and she does not approve; and she as well, will do nothing.”

 

Thor began to feel a swell of uncertainty as the old God walked off his stand and approached him in the heavy stroll of the truly aged. His eyes unblinking, unwavering.

 

“I have known you since you were a boy, now…” The man paused as he ran his eyes over Thor from head to toes “you are slightly taller.”

 

Thor was awash in shame as the Master came to a halt before him and even many heads below him, spoke down to him.

 

“What you did in the rooms of healing is not justice being met, but a reflection of yourself” The master sentenced, voice hard and unforgiving “Brash, reckless and yet… “ Thor felt smaller with each insult slung upon him, but then the Master’s eyes softened, his voice drowned in wonder “Selfless”

 

Thor dared raise his eyes to the man, having lowered it sometime in the middle of the scolding. Master Bragi placed a cold, wrinkly hand on Thor’s shoulder. ”She should not have touched the Man without his permission; she should have called to you to be present or the Director, as is only right. That was her mistake, she has paid for it dearly.”

 

Thor nodded once, his resentment on Steven’s behalf still fresh. Master Bragi bulled his hand away and met his eyes in a very pointed gaze. “This is your mistake, and how will you pay for it?”

 

Thor swallowed and kept his silence. Master Bragi nodded to himself, for they both knew the answer. He would not.

 

“There is a certain beauty to words, my prince” The old man said as he turned and walked to retrieve his materials from the high stand “The art of conversation, we call it… You would do good to revise your lessons upon it.”

 

Thor pursed his lips together, startling as the door on the back screeched open. Steven walked out with a grand block of precious stone in his arms. Master Bragi lifted an appreciative eyebrow at the selection or at the show of strength and nodded at his student. “Well done Steven, very well indeed”

 

The Captain smiled at the Old God and placed the marble onto the stand that was pointed by the man, careful as one does a babe and finally turned to gather his things, letting the Master begin to work on the selected block.

 

“Steven, we will meet again tomorrow.” The man said in ways of goodbye, turning his full attentions to his task now as Steven finished gathering his utensils.

 

“Thank you Master Bragi.” Steven replied and finally strode towards Thor, who now had his head full of conflicting thoughts, but one glimpse of that perfect smile of the Captains was enough to lighten his spirit as they both exited the lecture room and into Asgards halls.

 

“I trust you are enjoying your lessons” Thor probed, feeling still unbalanced after his meeting with the elder master, though Steven remained blissfully unaware as he grinned wide for the God and nodded eagerly.

 

“Very much so; thank you, Thor”

 

“There is no need for that” Thor groused, placing a guiding palm on the small of the Captain’s back, appreciating the supple shift of the leather waistcoat over the man’s firm body. “Your talent is your own, you deserve to have the tools to polish it”

 

Steve rose a haughty eyebrow “Is this just your way to call Master Bragi a tool?”

 

Thor grinned unrepentant and the Captain barked an amused laugh and then, surprising even Thor, he walked closer to the God. their bodies rubbing together in every step. Thor’s grin near parted his face in two.

 

“So, where are we going?” Steven finally asked, and Thor near recoiled as he realized they had wandered way past the halls of learning into another hall, Thor stumbled to a stop and bodily turned the two of them to walk back where they had come. Steven snickered silently through it all.

 

“I wished to invite you to join me for an afternoon of sparring with the Warrior Three and Lady Sif” Thor explained with a flush, guiding the Captain to the training grounds. “I have been remis to introduce you to my dearest companions”

 

Steven nodded in understanding. “Yeah, sure Thor, that would be nice.” He then shifted his gaze to his bag of utensils and frowned. “I’ll just go and leave this in my room, see you in the training grounds?”

 

Thor blinked and nodded, reluctantly letting go of the man in favor to going to find his friends. “Aye, see you then Captain”

 

He saw the man part with a sigh and immediately perked up as he crooked his head to the side and watched him go. There is always a silver lining, he supposed.

 

Thor quickly realized his only mistake in having invited Steven to spend the afternoon with his friends, as now he had to listen to Frandals enraptured musings of the Captains luscious charms in the form of prose and song, and he hadn’t even seen the man in his new attire. Thor would have to hose down the blond rat to keep him from jumping his Betrothed.

 

Thor glared at his old friend as they awaited in the training grounds for the Captain to join them. And hopefully, dressed in something more decent.

 

The Captain did not change his outfit, no, much worse, he only unbuttoned the waistcoat and with that, showed that the white fabric of his tunic was quite flimsy, if the shy glimpses of the Captains muscles shifting with every step could attest to it. Thor faked a smile as he pushed the choking Frandal back and leapt forward to welcome the Soldier.

 

“Steven, come join us.” Thor laid a possessive hand to his betrothed’s shoulder as he guided him to the Warrior Three and Lady Sif, standing quietly at the side and eyes filled with excitement.

 

“Captain, I would like you to meet the Warrior Three and Lady Sif” Thor boomed, grinning proudly as his friends struck a gallant pose and bowed their heads in respect.

 

“A pleasure to meet you, Thor has spoken very highly of you all” Steven of course promptly extended his hand to shake and Thor had to shove his hand in Frandals face and shift Steven’s hand to the next Warrior.

 

“Not that one, you know him” Thor mumbled, positioning Steven in front of Volstagg and ignoring the Captains bemused gaze and Frandal’s gasping protests. “This is Volstagg, the redheaded giant with the strength of 50 men!”

 

“Sir” Steven clasped hands with the mighty man, his large palm engulfing that of the Mortal in a firm clench.

 

“Captain, an honor to finally make your acquaintance.” Volstagg smiled handsomely, releasing the Captain and stepping back for Hogun to come forth.

 

“And Hogun, general of war and mightiest swordfighter of the land” Thor boomed, winking at his usually shy friend as he smiled kindly at his Betrothed, his thin eyes shinning at the praise from his Lord.

 

Steven nodded and shook hands with the shorter man, eyes intent on him as he spoke “General”

 

“Captain, it is an honor” Hogun murmured.

 

“And now: Lady Sif!” Thor grinned at the brunette woman, watching her step forward with grace and a fierce gaze “Deadliest Warrior of Asgard, as skilled as she is beautiful!”

 

Sif shot him a haughty look but accepted the compliments quietly as she clasped hands with the Captain. “Captain Steven, it is truly a pleasure to meet you. Thor speaks of nothing else since your arrival”

 

Steven shot Thor a flustered look, but nodded graciously, nonetheless. “The pleasure is mine ma’am”

 

Sif gave him a tiny smile, and looked between the God and the Captain for a short moment, before slipping back next to her companions with a stony expression.

 

“Now that we are all acquainted” Thor drowsed with a wicked grin “who would like to go first?”

 

Frandal raised his hand avidly. Thor glared “Not you”

 

“Thor” Steven scolded with just a glimpse of a smile on his rich, pink lips. But before he would say anything else in defense of the blond weasel, Lady Sif came forth.

 

“I believe there is an Earthly saying for situations such as this” Sif smirked dangerously “Ladies first”

 

Thor felt a wave of unease at the request but Steven seemed to not perceive it at all as he smiled winningly at the woman and followed her into the ring. Lady Sif handed Steven a training sword and eyed his hold with now doubtful eyes.

 

“Have you never used a sword before?” She asked, taking his hand to correct the hold while sending Thor a uneasy glance.

 

Steven shrugged, self depicting “Can’t say that I have”

 

Lady Sif nodded, decisively, releasing Steven’s hand and walking to the middle of the fighting arena “Not a problem, I will teach you”

 

The Captain smiled his abashed, earnest smile and walked after the woman “Thank you”

 

Once in the ring, Lady Sif instructed the Soldier to a fighting stance, even going as far as guiding him with her dainty, but very capable hands, much to Thor’s peeve and Frandal’s obvious envy. Volstagg and Hogun ran commentary between themselves, going from the Captain’s teachings to Thor and Frandal’s pouting. Clearly enjoying both tremendously if their soft snickering was to be considered. In the middle of the ring, now in an acceptable footing, Steven stood with an uneasy purse to his lips as he eyed the seasoned warrior.

 

“Fret not, Captain” Lady Sif consoled with a sharp grin as she began to circle the Mortal man “ Your sword will not touch me, intentionally or otherwise.”

 

Steven nodded at this and continued to eye his sword like one would a wild animal “I’m more worried I’ll trip on it, to be honest.”

 

Lady Sif released a startled laugh at the comment, and quickly smothered it in turn to glowering at the man. ”Best be careful then.”

 

“Yes, ma’am.”

 

And so it began, easy strokes of their swords meeting in steady attacks. Lady Sif was unusually gentle in her teachings, stopping plenty of times to correct instead of taking advantage and punishing the Captain for his missteps with a tap of her sword, as she is wont to do in any other occasion.

 

Thor was confused, but eternally grateful for the woman’s uncharacteristic behavior.

 

“You must strengthen your wrist” Lady Sif paused again to readjust the Captain’s hand after he had managed to block a swipe of her sword and promptly slipped out of his hands. “Be flexible, but not pliant, or I will break it like a twig.”

 

Steven smiled at the threat and settled into pose again “Yes ma’am.”

 

They swung and feinted at each other, Steven growing more and more confident with every stroke of his sword and every strike he could halt, Sif in turn, glowed with pride as the Captain managed to trap her sword with his in an unshakable clasp of metals.

 

“Good, now faster.”

 

Lady Sif began to swipe faster and only the Captains flawless reflexes managed to save him from being sliced like fresh bread. Thor grew anxious as the sparing became more heated, but held his tongue as he saw the Captain smiling at every successful block and feint. Frandal sighed passionately to his side.

 

“He is marvelous”

 

Thor was about to place his hand around the man’s neck when Volstagg cheered. Thor turned immediately back to the ring and found Lady Sif twirling Steven’s sword in her hand while she held her sword to his intended’s throat with the other.

 

“I win” She breathed, eyes flashing and fierce “Well done, Captain”

 

And really, only Steven would smile so proudly with a sword pressed to his neck. Or Loki, but that was another sac of cats entirely.

 

“How about you spar with something of the Captain’s choosing?” Hogun suggested, his tone too light to be innocent. Thor nodded nonetheless and scurried forth to pull Steven away from the dreadful woman.

 

Sif acceded with a lofty smile and they all approached the wall of equipment with an analytical eye.

 

Volstagg stood next to the Captain and placed a kind hand to the shoulder “Is any weapon to your liking, Captain?”

 

Steven eyed the plentiful weapons until his eye caught the daggers and he grinned “These I know”

 

“Oh?” Hogun glanced at the Captain and his choice of weapon with barely concealed amusement at Sif’s frown. Those were Loki’s favorite set. Thor saw Steven take the sharp daggers in hand with a knot in his chest.

 

Steven turned to the Warrior Three and Lady Sif with a joyful expression, near wistful “I spent more time in boot camp with a knife in my hand than I did running drills” He then twirled the weapons in an astounding show of skill, his grin sharp as the daggers in his hands. “I can peal a mean potato.”

 

The warriors and lady burst into laughter, jostling each other as they parted to allow Steven and Lady Sit to once again take the ring. Both holding identical sets of daggers and wearing equal jaunty expressions.

 

“Let us test this then” Lady Sif held her daggers at the ready and slowly stalked the waiting Captain.

 

They fought in waves of jabs and strokes, near to fast to follow as they altered from blades to punches as it suited them. Lady Sif acquired a fevered gleam to her eyes with each stunted strike and every attack she sustained.

 

When Steven slipped past her guard as she jabbed forward, his palm hitting wide open on the inside of her elbow, causing her to drop her weapon and in a carefree flick of his wrist, he jabbed her in the side with the blunt handle of the dagger.

 

Sif grunted as she jumped back and away from the Captain’s reach, her eyes hard but strangely buoyant on the Blond mortal “You are a shrewd fighter Captain Steven, almost reminds me of Loki”

 

Steven gifted her with a cheery grin “Thank you ma’am”

 

“It wasn’t a compliment” Lady Sif rose an imperious eyebrow at the Soldier, whose smile turned ferocious as he regarded her, daggers ready and eyes shining.

 

“I’ve fought Loki, I know it was.”

 

Thor had heart palpitations, this is the first time anyone had spoken kindly of his brother since his darkness had overcome him, maybe even before that. He felt awash of emotion and tender feelings for the unassuming Captain that would fight to death in one breath and defend an enemy’s honor in the next.

 

As the match grew heated, and neither fighter held back, the excitement of the spectators mounted, all cheering in alternating intervals, depending on who had the upper hand at the moment, names were sung and praised with every changing tide. At one moment the daggers clashed like stars, sparks flying in the harsh encounter of metals and Steven was gripped by the valiant woman in a tight lock of arms that only Steven’s superior mass allowed him to twist and flip out of as both fighters landed in a resounded thud to the mat, Lady Sif pressing once again a sharp blade to Thor’s betrothed, her eyes bright in victory before she blinked up at the smirking Mortal “Is that?”

 

“A knife” Steven breathed tapping the blade to the surprised woman’s belly “Though I am very happy to see you”

 

Sif released bells of giggles, so uncharacteristic even she was startled, though Steven only smiled winningly and pulled away from the warrior, offering his hand to the woman. “Again?”

 

“Certainly”

 

She and Steven would now end almost all their matches in childish laughter as they quipped at one another more often than they stabbed. The Captain even managing to rip uncertain flushes of pink on the fierce woman’s lovely cheeks.

 

Sif was an unending fountain of Sass, and in Steven, she had found her match.

 

Just as Frandal was about to jump into the ring in his excitement and Thor was to throttle him for his impertinence, a dozen soldiers arrived at the sparing grounds, announcing the request of the King for Thor and Steven’s presence in the Throne room. Thor glanced at his now contemplative Intended and nodded at the committee. “We will meet him at once.”

 

But the soldiers did not move and Thor understood that this was not a regular meeting.

 

Steven handed Hogun his blades and straightened his clothes as best he could, nodding his goodbyes to the weary Warriors and Lady as he joined Thor and together, they were escorted to the Throne room and to his awaiting Father.

 

“Thor, my son” Odin greeted, his eye darting quick to the Captain “Captain Rogers”

 

“Your highness”

 

“I have requested your presence as an important decision has been made this very morning” Odin nodded at the silent Director to his side and his strangely gloom wife. Thor began to fidget under the uncertainty.

 

“Your wedding date has been set”

 

Thor startled and felt a guilty thrill at the statement, sending the impervious Captain a sideways glance as they stood patiently for the God to continue.

 

“It will take place in 2 weeks’ time” The All Father sentenced, rising from his throne to approach his son and future son in law. “The preparations are underway as we speak, you will be expected to do your part in these as was agreed, other than that… I can only congratulate you”

 

Steven glanced at the All Father with a steely gaze, but bowed gracefully at the God “Thank you, your highness”

 

“Thank you, Father” Thor murmured, smiling half heartedly at the All Father as his eyes skipped from the other witnesses in the room, and wondered if they all thought the same.

 

It was too soon.

 

Odin smiled tightly at his son and turned to walk out of the room, followed closely by a silent Mother of Gods until only the Director remained with the pair.

 

“Cheer up, Captain” The dark master spy said with a wry grin “Just like a band aid”

 

And the door closing behind him sounded like a gun shot.

 

---

 

That night after a silent dinner with his parents, Thor wandered the halls in a state of unease. Many problems ailed his mind and as he could not settle, he decided to solve the one that was most obvious.

 

He walked into the Halls of Healing, where he found many mages and healers still repairing the mayhem he had wrought of the usually peaceful place. Thor felt shame grip his heart when many of the young pupils startled at the sight of him, eyes fearful as they should never be in the presence of their Prince. But just as he was about to speak, another called to him.

 

“My prince, have you come for another examination?”

 

Thor turned to the Head Mistress with a sheepish expression, feeling her hard gaze on him like a physical blow.

 

Thor shook his head “I have come to repair my wronging’s, if you would allow it.”

 

The Mistress Eir blinked in surprise at the request, eyeing the God with new, meditative air and finally, she nodded her assent. “I will, it would do good to put that hammer to the use it was actually intended to have… Building.”

 

Thor grinned jovially and hurried to take part in the repairs, under a bemused set of eyes and many astounded glances. And just as Thor attempted to nail a shelf into the wall a harried Mistress Eir halted his hand. “My prince, it was only figurative speech. If you use Mjolnir on this wall you will decimate it”

 

“Oh, of course” Thor said, shrugging in a valiant attempt to dissipate his embarrassment “I knew that”

 

Mistress Eir sighed and handed him a much smaller, useful, hammer “Here, use this”

 

And with a withbearing grin the Goddess Eir left the God of Thunder to mend his mistakes, surrounded by young ones who slowly braved to approach the warrior, Thor felt he could still gleam wisdom from the pair of old bats, Eir and Bragi alike.

 

Maybe he was not as hopeless as he felt.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 21: Bachelor Party.

 

The next couple of days Steven was nowhere to be found, he attended his classes Master Bragi assured him, but would not stay around to chat any longer, as he was used to do; even the elderly God began to worry over the good Captain’s state of mind.

 

Thor grew restless as he was swamped by tasks for the wedding which impeded him from finding his wayward fiancée and shake him. Or embrace him.

 

Norn’s above, Thor only wished to see him well.

 

And finally he was in luck, as he entered Steven’s rooms in a whirlwind of anxious energy, and there he was, as if he had never left, dressed in soft tunic and pants, barefooted and covered in splotches of paint from head to toe. Steven startled, his blue, blue eyes wide and blinking owlishly as he eyed the agitated God.

 

“Thor?” Steven inquired, setting down his pallet of paints on the soft blanket he used to cover the marble from under his workstation. Thor’s heart ached at the sight of that stained blanket.

 

Because of course Steven would worry of staining the floors of his jailers.

 

“Hey, Thor?” Steven called to him again, approaching him gently “General, let’s take a break”

 

Thor jolted once more, finally noticing the other body in the room. The impervious Guardian of the Door burst to life with a bored blink, nodding slightly before walking out of the room into the adjacent antechambers.

 

“Thor? Is everything alright, pal?”

 

“Yes, I… What was Heimdall doing here?” Thor stumbled over his words, eyeing the door where the Dark God had disappeared with a feeling of being in a dream. Steven followed his eyes and shrugged.

 

“He was modelling for me”

 

Thor gave a full body startle, coughing as he spluttered. “Modelling? Heimdall?”

 

Steven arched an eyebrow and pulled him to his work, there in many shades of gold and amber was the likeliness of the dark God. Thor took a moment to appreciate the masterful strokes that began to create the mirage of Heimdall, but ultimately, he was drawn to the eyes. Always the eyes.

 

Steven had given his eyes a certain quality, the God thought, as if he had opened a book for all to see. He could appreciate in the Golden All Seeing orbs the quiet wisdom, all the pain and horrors of the universe caught frozen; and strangely, all the joys. All the wonders of life lingering in the gaze.

 

This man was time incarnate, and Steven had laid it bare before Thor’s wondering eyes.

 

Thor’s throat worked around a knot, catching his hand before it ruined the painting as it extended forth without his knowing, trying to touch that which moved him so.

 

Heimdall had been a constant in his life since he was a babe, his expression always frozen into stone, indecipherable to him. And now he understood, it was not that the man did not show emotion, but that he showed them all at once.

 

“It is perfect”

 

“I think it still needs some working” Steven corrected, eyeing his work with a contemplative expression. “It’s good that he agreed to this, he’s the only man who can stand still for hours on end and not bat an eye”

 

“Aye, he gazes upon the worlds in silence and stone” Thor finally ripped his eyes away from the unfinished painting, turning to his betrothed as he settled his emotions. “I have not seen you in some time”

 

Steven nodded “Yeah, we’ve all been busy with the wedding preparations, and-“

 

Thor frowned as he caught the Soldier avoiding his gaze, now staring to the far end of the room to where another masterpiece sat silently. Thor approached this picture with a soft step.

 

It was the portrait of the Director, made in pencils, with variating shades of grays and steel, the man sat in stark relieve in the middle of the canvas, his strong eye seeming to follow you wherever you were in the room.

 

Inescapable.

 

Drawn in dark, harsh lines against a background of faded swirls. He was a King sat in a throne of schemes and whispers.

 

“I see you like my portrait”

 

The God of Thunder jolted out of his thoughts as the man himself emerged from the other room, the same hard eye set on him as he spoke “Why don’t you join me and let the Captain finish his homework?”

 

Thor was about to protest being ripped away from his scant time with his intended, but something in the gaze of the Director gave him pause, he nodded and turned to the silent Captain “I shall meet you later Steven”

 

The Soldier smiled softly and turned back to his work, Heimdall appearing without a word in the room and settling in pose like a statue. Thor dragged his feet as he followed the silent Director to his own rooms and sat sullenly in the plush seats of his waiting area. The Colonel eyed him coolly as he closed the door joining the rooms with a very quiet click.

 

“You’ve been busy” He said, practically sauntering forward to take a seat next to Thor.

 

Thor shifted in his seat, somehow discomfited after the surge of emotions from Steven’s works; he had the strange feeling he should correct his posture in front of the Mortal, maybe curtsy.

 

“The arrangements for our rooms have taken far more time than I had expected” Thor admitted, thinking back at how many hours he had spent making orders and sending out scouters to retrieve the items he wished to make the place they would live, his bit of home with Steven, just perfect.

 

The Director cocked his head to the side. “I think the Captain will appreciate it”

 

Thor was not surprised that the man knew of his surprise for the good Captain, as his roundabout comment gave away, and actually felt himself relax at the assurance. He wanted to please Steven, as their engagement was drawn alarmingly short, he could not help but feel that they had been cheated of a beautiful opportunity and sank into his duties with unknown fervor, as if getting this right could somehow undo the wrongs of a stunted courting.

 

“You’re wondering why the wedding was drawn so close”

 

Thor frowned at the human, but wisely kept his silence. The director smiled. “You do understand that this wedding is purely business?”

 

Thor felt a pang in his chest but nodded, nonetheless.

 

“I asked Odin to pull up the wedding” The Director confessed, relaxing in his couch under Thor’s startled eyes. Speaking in a clear, undisturbed tone. “It is in the Captain’s best interest, I think, to have this done as swiftly as possible. A longer engagement would only cause trouble.”

 

“But the Captain is not ready.” Thor shot back, a mighty glare taking hold of his features as he clenched his fists on his knees.

 

The Captain is attracting too much attention” The Director eyed his white knuckles lazily. “this whole courting bullshit has got people talking, and talk is dangerous.” The mortal leaned forward as Thor’s expression turned to a confused muse “You know Asgards court is not made by Asgardians…Hell most of your court is foreign nobles” Thor nodded at this, cogs turning in his head as he fought to make the connection of Asgardian Court and his impending nuptials to the Soldier; the Director arched a pointed eyebrow. “or simply said: Spies.”

 

Thor froze, realizing for once what the man meant to say. For him, having grown surrounded by Alien nobility was common place, their role in Asgardian politics just another face of a well worn page. He had never thought that those simpering aristocrats, with their thinly veiled barbs and ill concealed envy could be more than just ornery to the realm. That they served a purpose against their liege and that a human would come to educate him of this after barely a month in Asgard was a bucket of cold water.

 

The Director stared at the floored God with an indecipherable gaze, hard though eternally patient as he continued his explanation.

 

“I have spent my days in Asgard mingling with the crowds and word of the Captain is getting hotter by the minute. So you would understand that while business deals are made, there will always be other contenders to take interest”

 

The God’s frown deepened at this “What other contenders?”

 

“The collector, The sovereign, the Kree, the grand master, celestials…” The Director called, fingers up and reproachful “You name it, people are looking. And until that knot is tied the Captain, and Earth; are free game.”

 

“No one would dare the Wrath of Odin.” Thor growled, his jealousy now drowned in rage at the imagined encroaching of his Father’s reign.

 

“No one, maybe” Fury conceded “But all together? You see, word is a powerful thing, it can make a man or it can destroy him.”

 

The Director met his gaze with a severe eye  “And word out there about the Captain is that he defeated a Seer God and felled a wild beast with his bare hands, that he is handsome, a fearsome warrior and a skilled artist, whose voice can inspire armies and incite lust in the same breath…” Thor sighed as the Director recounted that which he himself had boasted so proudly, now basically a sells propaganda to spring envy from the most powerful, proud beings of the universe. Thor’s worry grew under the Directors stern gaze “That milkshake is filling the yard, and before we know it, we will have a war in our hands.”

 

Fury released a long breath “Now you understand why the need to keep the Captain away from the Court and the Wedding to be as fast as we can make it happen?”

 

“Aye”

 

“You will have time after to get the get-to-know-you’s out of your system.” The man consoled, in an uncharacteristic sign of sympathy to the troubled God “Our priority right now is to make it two weeks in without an uprising. So do yourself a favor and help us keep the Captain under the radar.”

 

Thor scowled at the mortal “You speak as if someone will try and take him.”

 

“Someone already tried.”

 

Who?!” Thor roared, rising to his feet in a spring of rage. The Director stared at the agitated God in a deadpanned gaze.

 

“No one you need to interest yourself in anymore” He assured, rising to meet the God eye to eye “but don’t fool yourself, flaunting your fiancée about is not the harmless play anymore. Keep your eyes open and your ears on the ground... Something is in the works in here and I don’t like the smell of it.”

 

-----

 

Thor had been shaken to the core after his meeting with the Director, not even spending the afternoon with Steven and watching him spring life with his brushes could settle the feeling of dreed in his heart. As the night grew old, he found himself descending to Asgards dungeons.

 

“Here you come again” Loki sighed, his face blank behind his book and not even bothering looking up at the looming God of Thunder “What happened and why should I care?”

 

“I will be married in a few weeks and I want you to be at my side”

 

Loki’s green eyes shot up in a flash, his readings forgotten as he snapped the old book shut. “Why?”

 

Thor’s sullen face sunk further in misery “You are my Brother, whether you believe it or not, I love you dearly”

 

Thor cleared his throat and straightened under the scorching emerald gaze “I would have you stand next to me when I make my vows, if you would have it so”

 

The God of Lies set his book to the side on his bed, eyes flaming as he strode forth to stand before the God of Thunder.

 

“Odin would never allow it”

 

“Odin does not speak for me”

 

“Odin speaks for everyone”

 

“Does he speak for you?”

 

Loki sneered, though his eyes sparkled at being outsmarted by the other God. Amused as he was loath to be. “I will be there”

 

Thor sighed, his shoulders sagging as he smiled “Thank you, Brother”

 

“Two weeks, you say?”

 

The blond God winced “ 5 days now”

 

Loki arched a dark eyebrow “Someone is eager” the God of Mischief sauntered back to his seat on the bed and retook his readings “Guess it is related to all the talking over the Captain” Loki eyed his again sullen brother “Tell me, does he really sing like a strumpet?”

 

Thor growled and plopped on the floor next to the cell, irritation rising with the soft chuckles of his brother “Be quiet, he will be your family in a week’s time”

 

Loki fell silent, startling Thor in his obedience as he lifted his gaze to the wicked smirk of the dark-haired God “He will be, won’t he?”

 

Thor frowned but settled again on the floor “I fear I see not what happens in the kingdom, I do not know Asgard as well as I thought…” Thor pursed his lips to a thin, frustrated line. Even Loki in the depths of Asgards dungeons had caught wind of the Captain’s charms. Word was truly a dangerous weapon.

 

Thor rubbed a calloused palm to his tired face as he confessed in a shamed whisper “Someone tried to take the Captain and I knew nothing of it”

 

Loki nodded nonchalantly “Expected”

 

“I did not expect it” Thor muttered.

 

“Because you still believe in the good of people, like the good idiot that you are” Loki smirked, turning a page and continuing on his entertainment “I hope the Captain has a better sense than you, or Asgard is doomed”

 

Thor grinned at the thought of the time to come, where Steven would rule by his side, the idea enough to cheer the sulking God. The once daunting weight of the crown somehow lighter now with the prospect of the Captain sharing the throne. “He will be a perfect consort to the crown”

 

Loki hummed “Not singing like that he won’t”

 

“Bugger off, Loki!”

 

-----

 

The following days ‘till the wedding flew by with barely a glimpse of the Captain, as Thor had found out was probably best, knowing now of the attack, so swiftly stunted that none in the palace had caught wind of it. Smothered quickly under Odin’s fist that even the Captain had not been aware of the threat.

 

Thor now knew of it, and was accosted by shadows everywhere he went, seeing enemies in everyone who inquired after his betrothed and cutting them short with jealous sneers.

 

Thor may need to relax… just a bit.

 

So when the day finally came and he stood next to the jubilant Captain by the Bifrost gates, he was more than eager to see his Shield brothers and sister. To rejoice in the camaraderie and the security of the mightiest heroes to protect his betrothed. Not that he would ever tell Steven this, as he would probably get his shins kicked for the offense; and his balls too, just to rest his case.

 

When the rainbow lights flashed in the skies before the blond pair, Thor kept his eyes glued to the Captain’s oblivious face, mesmerized as the million colored stars danced on his Betrothed’s fair skin and paled in face of the Mortal’s bright, enchanting eyes.

 

Thor smiled like a besotted fool, catching himself rasping poems like Frandal. How low must he fall for this man?

 

The Bifrost lights died swiftly and in their place stood the Avengers.

 

With one very obvious member missing. Thor saw Steven’s face fall minutely as he counted heads and came out wanting. Iron man would not be present for their nuptials.

 

“Steve!” They cried collectively, springing forth in a wave of excitement. Thor rejoiced as the Captain was tangled in a huddle of eager limbs, only to be drowned in a similar way just seconds after with barely a warning by the ways of his name shouted in a chorus.

 

“My friends!” Thor boomed, grabbing hold of the three bodies and hauling them up in a show of strength, laughing as the Doctor yelped and Barton cheered. Lady Natasha huffing a breath as she was released, with barely an arch of a brow to show for the undignified treatment as she turned to Steven with a contemplative gaze.

 

“Seems like you are fitting in just fine” She mused, eyeing the Captain dressed in Asgardian fashion, dark wine colors and black cloak contrasting with his fair coloring just so to make him look as severe as he was handsome. Thor liked this very much.

 

Steve tugged at the cloak with an abashed smile. “Yeah, I guess so. Still not a fan of capes though”

 

Thor nodded in hearty agreement. Clapping his Shield brothers in the back, grinning at the winded gasp he elicited from both. “I am thrilled to see you all”

 

“We wouldn’t miss the wedding of the year” The Widow smirked, winking at the gleeful Captain.

 

“Yep, what’s an intergalactic travel when you’re riding first class?” The archer joked, turning to grab hold of his luggage, forgotten next to a silent Heimdall “Oh, by the ways, this is for you Sauron.” Barton rummaged in his bag for a minute before producing a red, white and blue box and offering it to the stone still Guardian with a saucy grin “Thanks for the easy landing.”

 

Heimdall observed the action figure of Captain America, the plastic likeliness brandishing his trademark shield and the mythical Mjolnir.  A recent model, it would appear.  Heimdall looked down at the small box, holding it gingerly and at an arm’s length. Clint grinned at the meditative God “It’s collectible”

 

The Guardian blinked at the unhelpful explanation; face blank as he nodded and finally turned to walk away, his gift held in reverent hands, much to the archer’s mirthful surprise.

 

The Doctor smiled at the embarrassed Captain “Think he’ll want that signed?”

 

Steven barked a laugh and set his hands on his hips, hanging his blushing face as the Avengers cackled at his expense.

 

The Captain sighed deeply, his eyes rising to meet his teammates in a painstakingly honest gaze “Thank you for coming”

 

The Avengers grinned at their leader and just for a moment, all was good and well in the universe. Until…

 

“Couldn’t let Captain America tie the knot without a proper Stag party, could we?”

 

Steven groaned as Clint grinned with truly evil intentions.

 

Thor frowned his confusion “What is this Stag Party you speak of?”

 

----

 

After leaving his Shield Brothers and Sister to settle in their rooms Thor was summoned to his Fathers private quarters. As he marched through the golden hallways, he found himself nervous, unsteady under the circumstances.

 

He was getting married by dawn break. It had not been this real since he had seen Steven do the impossible and lift the Hammer of the Gods.  He was happy, he came to realize, but in the same space, so very, very scared.  He clenched and spread his fingers once, twice and finally dared to push the doors to the King’s rooms.

 

“Father?” Thor called; his voice tentative as it had not been since he was a child. He cleared his throat as he entered the antechamber, spotting his Father sitting by the high windows. He had a sense of déjà vu as he regarded Odin smile at him, beckoning him further into the rooms with a wave of his hand.

 

“Come” Odin said, patting the space beside him “Sit beside me, my boy”

 

Thor smiled at his Father and sat next to the All Father, his mind recalling all the times that he had bounded to his Father’s side, racing his brother to win the prime spot on the God’s lap.

 

Many years had passed since then, he would never fit on his Fathers lap again. Thor was now taller than the All Father; wider and stronger. A far cry from the boy he had been then when he could curl comfortably in Odin’s arms, his head snuggly tucked under the bearded chin.

 

The All Father grasped Thor’s hand, ripping him from his reminiscing with a small smile on his thin lips. “Thor, tomorrow you are to be wed, and henceforth, you become a man.”

 

Thor nodded sharply, his hand still in his Father’s, the difference in them so harsh he could not form words… when had his Father aged so?

 

“Marriage is a strange thing, my son.” Odin said, unawares from his sons’ sad thoughts “It is both shelter and a battlefield. You will face many troubles, most of your own making.”

 

Thor barked a laugh at Odin’s smirking admission.

 

“But the key to overcoming those struggles is to always remember: At the other side of the argument, it is a friend who stands” The All Father patted his son hand tenderly, almost reverent as he shared his wisdom “Above all roles and opinions; if you remember this, there will never be a burden to weight you down.”

 

Thor gripped his Fathers hand for a second, a gesture of gratitude since words were missing to express his emotion. Odin nudged his silver head to his son’s golden one, a gesture so bizarre now that Thor was grown but so cherished when he was a child that the blond God could not help but snicker.

 

The All Father smiled once more for his firstborn, releasing his hand from his own with barely concealed reluctance and with a decisive nod of his gray head, he spoke “For tomorrow you will be wed. And a man you will be, never to be alone in your worries again. I bless you, my son…” Thor fell to his knees before his Father, his strings cut lose as his whole weight hit the floor, his eyes wide on the All Father, whose heavy hand now laid on the young God’s shoulder as he willed “May the Norn’s bring you unbridled joy in your union, may they give you wisdom to choose your words or to take silence. May they bring both strength to your hands to protect that which will be yours and gentleness to hold them in your arms. I bless you: Thor, son of Odin. To become a Man of your own making.”

 

Thor’s throat closed and worked viciously around the knot that formed, finally croaking out with a watery smile “Thank you, Father”

 

And he grasped the wrinkled, weathered hand on his shoulder with his own; holding the limb lovingly in his own strong, unmarked palms, and placed a kiss on the scared knuckles. Odin’s hand trembled for an unbearable second before all emotion was reigned in, masked once more from his son’s eye as he lifted his boy’s face to meet his blue eyes with his own, twin like orb.

 

“Rise my boy.” He allowed, tapping Thor’s bearded face and grinning gamely at the kneeling God “Up and go be merry with your friends. Let this old man have his rest.”

 

Thor rose to his feet with a wide, emotive grin. “Goodnight, Father”

 

And he turned to leave the rooms with a mighty stride. Odin watched his son go with a blank, steady gaze, but as soon as the grand doors of his private chambers closed shut behind his son’s back, the mask faded, his lips trembled. Frigga appeared from her hiding, having waited patiently by the balcony doors, and knelt by her husband’s side, watching as the man’s clear blue orb filled with stubborn tears.

 

“Odin, my love”

 

Odin rasped a deep breath, a soft cry ripping from his heaving chest.

 

“My boy” Odin sobbed, shaking as Frigga pulled his large frame into her loving arms “Frigga, my baby boy.”

 

“I know, my dearest.” Frigga wept, shedding her own tears to join her husbands “I know.”

 

-----

 

Later that night Thor found himself surrounded by most of his dearest persons. His betrothed, smiling and chatting as brightly as he had not in so long; his childhood friends, the Warrior Three and Lady Sif, who had been overjoyed by the earthly concept of Stag parties and joined their Lord in this tradition, and his Shield Brothers, all sitting in one of Asgards gaudiest taverns and drinking mead like seasoned connoisseurs.

 

Thor arched an impressed eyebrow as the Widow drowned a tankard of mead in a long gulp, dabbing delicately at the corner of her blood red lips primly after the feat. He joined the cheer of the surrounding men in her honor as the musicians began to play and the wrenches began to mingle. One of the prostitutes plopped herself confidently in Frandals lap, though her honey eyes rested firmly on the engaged pair with a meditative gleam.

 

Thor glowered at the ill concealed lust in both the whore and Frandals gaze, taking Steven’s hand after both the blasted whores dared to wink in sync at the Captain, eliciting a dark flush in his high cheekbones and a rowdy laugh in their friends.

 

“Want to climb on the Captain’s lap too? Or do you think just peeing a circle around his chair will suffice?” Lady Sif muttered at the blatant show of possessiveness, pulling out a large pouch from her cloak and handing the woman a couple of coins. “Go dance elsewhere”

 

The whore eyed the coins and the Golden pair, as if weighting her chances, before taking the gold and bestowing Frandal a filthy parting kiss, after which she sauntered away to join the scantly dressed women near the bar; their taunt, naked bodies writhing together to a tune under a shower of random coins.

 

Thor sighed and released the Soldiers hand with an apologetic smile. Steven did not return it, and Thor was just about to begin to grovel when Barton gasped dramatically.

 

“Is this real gold?”

 

Thor and the other Asgardians at the table nodded to the bemused human holding a stray coin in his nimble fingers.

 

The Archer gawked “You’re paying them in gold to move like that?!”

 

The Widow snorted loudly, her eyes running over the slow, sensuous moves of the Asgardian dancers with a haughty expression “Not that I don’t know you can outdo them but do you really want to do that Clint?”

 

The archer jumped out of seat in an eager leap “Screw that! Do you know how much college tuition costs?” And with a fluid and incredibly sensual flex of muscled, coiled strength, Barton ripped his shirt off his well-tuned torso “I’m billing my babies through Harvard tonight!”

 

Cheers erupted from the room as the mortal jumped onto the tables and began to reenact the most shameless gyrating of hips that Thor had ever witnessed. Blatant lovemaking for the eyes of the astounded Asgardians who promptly forgot the many, young swaying wrenches and gravitated to the new and far superior show.

 

“He’s got a point…” The Doctor quipped around a long drink of his mead, his dark eyes shining with the influence of the hard beverage, smiling under the astounded looks of the other parties. Loose and relaxed as he never is in the presence of others, the man smiled connivingly “I’m just saying, my brain wasn’t paying all the bills”

 

Steven huffed a laugh, the blush on his face now a permanent feature as he watched his teammate hump the air to the rhythm of Asgardian tunes. Thor eyed the Captain surreptitiously, assessing if his earlier discontent had been forgotten as he inquired innocently. “Is this a typical Midgardian dance?”

 

The Captain cleared his throat loudly, eyes darting around the room and away from the slowly divesting Hawkeye “I… wouldn’t know.”

 

The Widow nudged the Captain with a giggle while the Archer gave the last rocking of his hips before crawling on the table toward the embarrassed Captain with a sultry grin.

 

“It is the ancient dance of overwhelming debt and desperation.” He explained as he came to kneel in front of the intended pair, eyeing Thor with a wicked glint to his eye “Give me a coffer of Gold and I’ll teach the Captain a move or two.”

 

“Clint!” Steven reproached sternly.

 

“Deal!” Thor crowed

 

“Thor!” Steven barked.

 

“Bruce! Bruce! Bruce!” The room chanted as the Doctor chugged two tankards of ale with a strange contraption of tubes and a cone, not spilling a drop as he swallowed the large load until they emptied the tankards and released the tubes with a roar. Echoed by the other Asgardians like a war cry that made the very walls of the tavern tremble.

 

Steven blinked at Thor with an incredulous expression. “How did this happen?”

 

Thor shrugged nonchalantly and raised his tankard to the Captain with a winning grin “To us”

 

The Captain bit his lips as he held back a smile, lifting his own drink for a private toast to their future together. However long it may be, Thor prayed it be as happy as he was now.

 

They drank and laughed and cheered well into the night. The Warrior Three had accepted the usually shy Doctor and taciturn Widow in their midst as if one of their own, sharing stories and attempting to drink one another under the table. For a pair of mortals, the Avengers had the alcohol resistance of a Bilgesnipe and soon only Valstagg, the Widow and the Doctor could form coherent words.

 

Surprising maybe everyone in the group, the Hawkeye had fallen in synch with Lady Sif, both conversing animatedly about random subjects, ranging from the stupidity of the male sex (something the Archer endorsed wholeheartedly with a pained moan for the future generations and saucy snapping of his fingers) to the best way to cleave a person to the wall with darts. Soon Thor feared they would attempt their theories as their tones grew in excitement and intricacy.

 

However, he would not move a finger to stop it, for he was far more engaged in his soft conversation with his intended. They had not spoken like this since that first night of the Man of Iron’s engagement party, and Thor found himself regretting it dearly. The Captain had a sharp, witty mind, not a surprise in the least, but he had been remiss of procuring him as he was due. His father’s word’s coming to mind as he watched the Captain walk to the bar for another refill of their tankards, because the man was that solicitous. Behind the new titles and roles, the Captain was above and foremost, his friend.

 

And he had missed him dearly.

 

Thor was submerged in his happy thoughts when he heard said Captain snap “The lady said enough

 

And just as Thor raised his head to the commotion, he saw a man tumble backwards into a table of drunk warriors with a tremendous crash.

 

Silence filled the room as all the Tavern eyed each other and the stunned Captain; guilty hand in the air where he stood still before a dark-haired prostitute; with sharp intent and promptly bellowed.

 

“Fight!”

 

Thor quickly rose from his seat as the first blows were dealt and slid next to the startled Captain just as the chairs began to fly and was about to grasp the man’s frozen shoulder when the tavern whore that Steven had been defending sprung forth and punched an approaching drunk right in the throat.

 

“Ha!” Thor roared at his Betrothed’s dumbstruck face “I told you!”

 

Steven clapped a long fingered hand to his chest as he doubled over with laughter. Recalling their first sparring in a fit of cackles that shook his whole body. Thor joined his betrothed with thundering chuckles of his own, pulling the convulsing man into his arms as they avoided a flying body, flung over the bar with a harsh thud.

 

Thor held the Soldier’s grinning face in his hands, gazing at his mirthful cerulean eyes as if he could keep them, lose himself in them if he stared long enough. This was his world now, he thought, and what a magnificent one it is.

 

Thor pulled away from the Captain before he could feel uncomfortable under his attentions. Smirking fiercely as he held his arm out for the Soldier to pass. “After you, Captain”

 

The answering grin from the man made Thor’s cock quiver.

 

Thor had never enjoyed a bar fight quite this much in all his centuries of life, throwing punches and tables around the room while sporting a massive erection, fighting back to back with the man he would call husband but a few hours away.

 

Norn’s, he could hardly wait.

 

“Wait, wait, wait” Thor cried, hands held up high as his opponent swayed and blinked blearily, fist held up frozen half-way “Not in the face, good sir. I am to be wedded today.”

 

The drunk man blinked some more before bowing with surprising poise for the positively giddy God. “Forgive me, my prince. My mistake.” And the man promptly sucker punched Thor in the stomach

 

“Much better” Thor grunted.

 

At the end of it the Tavern had been decimated, many patrons staggering away form the crumbling building as the Hulk batted away the roof tiles from his head and cheered with the more conscious, if utterly drunk, warriors and prostitutes over his victory. The Avengers, the Warrior Three and lady Sif stumbled all the way to the palace in random fits of giggles and moans of pain.

 

He leaned close to the rumpled Captain, arms thrown over each other’s shoulders as they carried the others weight in camaraderie, sniping back and forth as to who was responsible for beginning the fight.

 

“He touched her inappropriately so I touched him inappropriately” The Captain defended, grinning with no pretense to innocence “Fair is fair”

 

Thor cackled loudly, jostling his intended before pulling him closer for an enamored nuzzle to the man’s temple “You are truly a delight, Captain”

 

Steven smiled a shy, uncertain thing, his eyes dipping and eyelashes batting as he considered the God for a second, standing close together in the main halls of the palace the Soldier dipped his head and nodded seriously, as if asserting something to himself before giving the most chaste, softest peck of a kiss on the corner of Thor’s frozen lips. Thor was stone still in the wide halls as the Soldier backed away with a quiet, peaceful smile.

 

“I’ll see you in the altar, Thor”

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 22: A God’s Wedding

 

When Steve entered his room, he rushed about the place like a tornado of anxious energy, slamming shut windows and doors as if the Devil was on his heels.

 

“I can do this…” He murmured to himself, rolling his shoulders as if warming up for a run. “It’s Thor, it’s just Thor…”

 

The guy he’d just kissed like a schoolboy does his sweetheart at the back of the playground, before running away and hiding in the bathrooms…

 

Much like he was doing right now, in fact.

 

Steve snickered to himself at the ridiculousness of the situation. He had had time to get his mind on track with this whole wedding affair. He could actually see a future here now, though barely figured, it was there. Steve could have that, no ghosts sitting in the dark corners to drown his happiness with sad reminiscing. No half-truths and tightlipped missions. He could do some good as Ambassador of Earth, maybe more than he could ever do as Captain America.

 

He had this chance now, so why was he so scared of taking it?

 

He walked up to his nightstand and swallowed thickly as he pulled out three little squared pictures, faded and ripped with the passage of time.

 

What would they think of his reaction?

 

Bucky would laugh his dirty pants off. Most probably.

 

Peggy would cuff him over the head and tell him to step up to it, smile tender though her voice would be steel.

 

And his Ma… what would his mama think of him now?

 

Would she be proud of him? Tall and strong as he was, his hands stained with the blood of more men than he could count…

 

Steve felt the air around him get thicker, harder to draw in as he curled over his pictures.

 

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I just wanted to help…”

 

It ain’t me you should be asking forgiveness to, baby.

 

Steve could almost hear her say. He imagined her small, clammy hands on his hair as she used to pet it when he was at his wits end over something or other. Steve nodded to his ghosts, ripping his silly clothes off in frantic pulls to stand in his undershirt and pants, ruffling hurriedly through his things for that little wooden cross he had always kept in the inner laps of his uniform, right next to his compass.

 

He set the cross on the windowsill with trembling, careful hands and got down to his knees; it was humbling to do this, feeling like the child he had been, following his mother’s lead as they attended mass every Sunday, unfailingly.

 

He remembered the abstract, captivated look on his mother’s face as she did this. How she would instruct him to the perfect posture, head down abstemiously, and the soft lull of her voice calling to Heaven.

 

His body moved like in a dream, kneeling before the minute cross, laid bare of all ostentatious things, just him and his faith. And still, he struggled to form the words.

 

Steve jolted as he felt another body approach him, catching the dark clothes with the corner of his eye as the other man stood by him in abject silence.

 

“You think he can hear us?” Steve asked, voice small and wondering “all the way out here?”

 

“The Lord is my shepherd” Director Fury recited, drawing a small rosary out of his long trench coat and fondling the worn beads with practiced hands “and he will find his herd no matter how far it strays. For he who is with the Lord, never walks alone.”

 

Steve nodded resolutely, lips in a tight, fine line, he clasped his hands together “Let us pray.”

 

“I’ve got some confessing to do.”

 

“I know… that language.” Steve tutted, purposely misdirecting. Whatever the Director had hid from him, why he had been forced to hide from the court for these last few weeks, he knew the man enough now to trust he had his best interest in heart.

 

Fury chuckled to himself as he settled on his knees next to the Captain, hands clasped together in prayer as they both silently agreed to leave bygones be bygones and draw comfort in the one thing they both believed in above all the horrors they had witnessed.

 

“Our Father, who art in heaven…”

 

----

 

Two weeks ago…

 

The Halls of Asgards palace laid empty in the early marrow, the halls of learning deserted as all the students rested inside the rooms, lectures being had dutifully by all Asgardian younger court. Out there, prowling silently in an incongruent match of beings, the Guardians of the Galaxy tip toed around the rooms in search of their target.

 

Quill was just nudging a room open when the wooden door was smashed to his forehead in a vicious shove.

 

“Ow! What the fuck!”

 

The large gates to the hall were slammed shut by an invisible force, the high arches of the windows covered by glimmering runes as the hall they stood in was effectively sealed around the astonished team.

 

“I am Groot!” Groot cried, slamming a heavy branch arm to the protected spelled windows and retreating with a sharp cry as it caught in a small fire. Rocket scrambled to his side and quickly patted out the flames.

 

“I thought you said no one had seen us!” Quill hissed at Drax, who had been the look out as they had slithered into the palace: assuring them of his near invisibility in non-motion. Drax opened his mouth to reply when a booming voice echoed in the now locked hallway. A proud, Dark man appearing out of thin air before the alarmed group.

 

“There is no hiding from my sight.”

 

“Heimdall… The Watcher of the Universe” Gamora breathed, voice soft in awe. Heimdall unsheathed his broad sword, holding the intruders weary gaze as he held the magic weapon at the ready and circled the aliens with a steady, dangerous step.

 

“You know of me, then you know it is best to surrender now.”

 

Drax squared his shoulders tightly and responded quickly “We cannot, you will have to kill us all”

 

“Wait, don’t listen to him!” The Racoon cried, jumping onto the tree’s shoulder in a startle “Groot, we’re out of here! I told you it was a stupid idea, Quill!”

 

Quill gritted his teeth and fisted his hands up, preparing for a fight “Shut up, it’s just one dude, we can take him”

 

“Think again”

 

A dark, tall man with an eyepatch emerged from behind a pillar, a small weapon pointing squarely at the other human’s head.

 

“Two dudes…” Quill mussed, breathing deeply as he tried to convey security to his trapped friends “Odds are still good”

 

“What Lord do you serve?” The Guardian demanded prowling closer to the group in a menacing stalk.

 

“What?” Quill hissed in a panic “What am I supposed to say? Jesus?”

 

The Director sighed and rolled his lone orb dramatically “You’re from Earth.”

 

“No! I’m from Missouri!” The Starlord corrected, his blue gaze dancing from one enemy to the other in a frantic sweep of the closed hall. No exit to be seen.

 

“That’s on Earth, you idiot.” Fury snarled, gun still at the ready though his posture not as threatening as before, his dark orb eyeing the intruders, measuring and calculating “What’s a human doing here?”

 

“Can’t tell. But I can tell you that if you don’t let us go, my furry friend here is going to blow this place up like- Ahhh!”

 

Quill and his friends jolted back as the Guardian produced a small squared device and tossed it carelessly with a suave flick of his wrist to the unflappable Director. Fury caught the devise and regarded it with a cool gaze.

 

“Oh, you mean this little thing? What part of All Seeing is not getting to you motherfuckers?”

 

Drax gasped a deeply affronted breath, his hand coming up to his wide, naked chest in a dismayed clasp “I would never!”

 

“State your purpose in Asgard or die.” Heimdall commanded, stepping next to the green woman in a flash.

 

“We will never betray our cause.” Gamora replied, her voice failing to sound collected as she was faced down by the looming God. The Racoon on the other hand…

 

“We came for the Siren!”

 

“Rocket!”

 

“Hey! I’m not dying over no human hussy!” Rocket snapped, waving his little paws around worriedly “We tried, we failed. Like I told you!”

 

“Siren? what siren?- “ The Director asked, thrown for a second as his troubled eye met the Guardian’s unwavering gaze.

 

“I am Groot!” The tree spoke calmly.

 

English, motherfuckers!” Fury shouted, his patience running out as he started to wave his gun around to point at all the intruders “Do you speak it?!”

 

“Look, we’re on your side, ok?” Quill assured softly, hands held up high to appear as harmless as he could “There is a larger problem coming your way and if you would just let us explain.”

 

“Then get to explaining!”

 

“I’m trying!” Quill cried, shaken and panicking as he wrung his head for any possible distraction “Jesus, give a man a minute, will you?”

 

“Ronan” Gamora said, quacking under Heimdall’s fiery eyes “He has an infinity Stone, he is on his way to Asgard.”

 

“Ronan the Accuser.”

 

“Yes, he has betrayed Thanos and with the infinity Stone he plans to attack the Gods.”

 

“Why?” The Director asked sharply at the woman, the only sensible one of the group it appeared as the other human mimed to her to shut up in anxious fits.

 

“Xandar pledged alliance with Asgard to be granted protection of the Kree empire” Gamora explained, gaze caught still by the All Seeing eyes of the God, as if they were physically compelling her to speak

“Asgard decimated Ronan’s forces not long ago for it. Prince Thor heralded the destruction of his armies…”

 

Quill sighed in resignation “Yeah, and he is really hung up about it, too.”

 

“Then what is this talk about the Captain?” Fury asked, startling the misfit group of aliens.

 

“What Captain?” Drax cried, shifting to stare at his companions and his enemies in a confused state “We came for the Siren!”

“There is no Siren!”

 

“Then who is the Prince marrying?” Rocket questioned, scratching his furry head in perplex.

 

“Captain America, that’s who!” The Director thundered.

 

Quill gasped dramatically at this, his eyes blown wide and face palling. “Noooo

 

“You better believe it, now if you don’t tell me what the hell you mean by taking the Captain I will start shooting some knee caps.”

 

“Ronan doesn’t mean to just destroy Asgard” Gamora continued, voice clear and beseeching “he wants to humiliate them, he plans to take the sir-Captain America for himself…”

 

Fury blinked his fierce eye once in befuddled horror “How did he even know of-?”

 

“Oh please! that was all they could talk about in Kyln!” Rocket scoffed, sitting on Groot’s shoulder in resignation “How the prince managed to fetch himself some Midgardian minx. You’re lucky Ronan got to the Collector first ‘cause he was offering a nice little planet off the side of Ego for ‘im.”

 

“Fucking… “ The Director hissed, arm flopping and gun waving in frustrated disbelieve before turning back to the other human. “So your plan was what? Kidnap the Captain?”

 

“God this feels so wrong. Is it really Captain America? Like the real deal…?” Quill winced and ran his hands through his hair in dismay  “Man, my grandma went on a date with the guy! I read all his comics! I feel so dirty…” Fury cocked his gun and Quill yelped, hiding behind Drax in a frantic leap “Ok, ok, geez!”

 

“We would only take him for a while” Gamora confessed, eyeing the Director and Heimdall in quick shifts of her dark gaze “to stall Ronan until we could retrieve the Power Stone, we never meant the man any harm”

 

Fury scoffed and lowered his gun “I’m almost tempted to let you Idiots try. You’re lucky we found you first. How the hell did you plan to find the Captain in the first place?”

 

“We assumed we would just follow the wanton wailing to the slut.” Drax said, hands leisurely set on his hips as if he was not facing an omniscient God and an angry Master Spy. Groot nodded his assent with the statement.

 

“You… did not just call Captain America a slut.”

 

“Yeah, no slut shaming Captain America!” Quill shouted in rage, cuffing the larger man over the head and scooting over to the irate Director “Shoot him, brother!”

 

The Director shoved the gun to the human’s face with a snarl “I ain’t your brother and I am sure not gonna stand here and listen to any more of this shit. General!”

Heimdall nodded and raised his sword to Gamora’s throat in a blink of an eye.

 

Quill scrambled forward. “Wait, we can help you stop Ronan! We know his plans, his forces, if you kill us you won’t ever see him coming.”

 

“He will arrive in two weeks time…” Heimdall drawled.

 

“How did you-? Oh yeah, the all seeing thingy…” Quill sighed at Heimdall’s deadpanned gaze “Look, just let us help, we made this mess in the first place, it’s only right that we clear it up before anyone else gets hurt… Besides” The man smiled crookedly and shrugged “it’s Captain America, we have a civic duty…”

 

“I do not know this Captain, I owe him nothing.” Drax said, affronted by the statement, making Quill bristle.

 

“Shut it you heathen!”

 

“You know Ronan.” Heimdall inquired to the green woman, eyes burning bright as he lifted her face to meet his gaze again with a nudge of his mighty sword. Quill saw the otherwise unperturbable woman tremble slightly as she suffered under the God’s eyes and cut in.

 

“Gamora used to work with him!” He called, softly shifting forward and trying to call the Guardian’s attention to himself “knows all the ins and outs of his army.”

 

“And he possesses the power stone.” Heimdall continued, sword still and deadly on the warrior’s throat.

 

“You can keep it” Quill offered, ignoring the protests of his friends as he struggled to hold the Guardian’s gaze “It’s safest here with Odin than in Thanos’ hands.”

 

“What did you plan to do to stop him?” The Director asked, standing now next to the Dark God with a pointed, no nonsense eye set straight on Quill, mind rushing to assess the level of the threat and the use of the fools in front of him.

 

“Blow up his ship?” The Raccoon suggested, the large tree nodding agreeably at the animal’s suggestion.

 

The Director arched an eyebrow and twirled the small bomb on a finger like a basketball “With this?”

 

“I would really like it if you stopped jiggling that around.” The animal winced as it wrung it’s paws anxiously “It can atomize a small moon.”

 

“Can it?” The Director threw it in the air and caught it sharply, enjoying the startled yelps from the intruders as he finally slipped the devise back into his coat “Then I’d best hold on to it… I can think of a friend who would enjoy this very much.”

 

“So can we go now?” Quill asked, tone short and irritated as he fought the urge to tackle the Guardian who still held Gamora at the edge of his sword. Heimdall eyed him like he knew his intentions and dared him to try.

 

“Oh you are staying right here” Fury scoffed “I don’t trust you idiots to not turn around and give this whole kidnapping thing another try.”

 

“Man, I can’t do that! it’s- C-c-cap-”

 

“Captain America, I know.” The Director interrupted, taking out a small communicating devise and tapping at it with his thumb, eye still on the group of aliens as he texted blindly “And if you are right about this Ronan guy, we will need much more than this little firecracker right here.”

 

More? what even?” Rocket exclaimed, little paws gripping at a bored Groot. The Director finished his text and grinned evilly.

 

“Yeah, I’m thinking more… biblical shit.”

 

“You are so vulgar.” Drax mused incredulously as they were surrounded by Asgardian forces.

 

----

 

Now” Clint clapped his hands together, face hard and serious as he eyed his teammates “who gets to walk Captain America down the aisle?”

 

Steve’s eyes shot up from where he was pulling at his new uniform self-consciously. This thing looked like it had been painted on him, for Christ sake!

 

They had all gathered as he was getting ready, and it had actually been a good thing as he had struggled to slip into his wedding… attire, by himself. A new version of his uniform, as Asgard was a warrior race, his battle uniform was more fit than his military regalia. Though the Asgardian take on his Captain America suit was… well, something else.

 

Steve continued to shift uncomfortably in his new clothes as the rest of the Avengers stared at each other silently, measuring one another until the Doctor shrugged and suggested “Higher death poll?”

 

Clint shook his head sternly “Nah, Nat wins”

 

“The Hulk…?” The Doctor probed incredulously as he glanced at the beautiful red head wearing her trademark blank expression.

 

“Hasn’t been around that long” Clint said, strolling to plop next to the deadly woman with a grin “she’s got more confirmed kills than the black plague.”

 

“That’s classified.” The Widow scolded in a deadpanned voice.

 

“Rock, paper, scissors?” Bruce tried once more, face scrunched up and grinning winningly.

 

Steve barked a laugh and clapped a hand on the Doctor’s shoulder “No need for that.” He assured his friends, taking his shield and holding it up high so they could see the three little pictures stuck to the inside of the Vibranium artifact. He smiled brightly at the frozen faces on the little squares “I’ve got my angels right here…” He then turned to place the shield on his back with the same peaceful smile on his smooth face for his silently awed friends.

 

“I’ll be just fine.”

 

Squaring up his shoulders, back ramrod straight. Captain America strode out of the room, Avengers at his back.

 

They had a Wedding to get to.

 

----

 

Thor shifted restlessly under Loki’s increasingly irate tugs of his armor.

 

“Would you hold still?” The dark haired God hissed, his slim fingers struggling to tie all the intricate laces of his wedding clothes, as was tradition. Thor stilled for a short second, before huffing and rolling his shoulders again undoing his brother’s work.

 

Loki snapped “Why you big…”

 

“I will do it” Frigga said, stepping between her two children before an argument could start and end as it usually would, Loki sporting a black eye and Thor wielding a knife in between his ribs.

 

Loki pursed his lips and turned with a haughty spin of his heels, going to sprawl gracefully in an armchair by the wide windows, silently watching the sun rise in the horizon, as he had not enjoyed since his imprisonment.

 

Frigga’s heart hurt for her son, but wisely held her tongue, turning instead to her other child, shifting nervously in front of a tall mirror and fidgeting with his clothes like an overgrown child.

 

“Calm down, my heart” She sang, standing on her toes to lean her chin on her son’s shoulder and smile at his mirrored image, both golden heads side to side “You look so Handsome”

 

“Do you think this armor makes me look fat?”

 

Loki scoffed to the side and opened his mouth to sling a jibe to his fretting brother, but was cut short by a sharp look of his mother. The God of Mischief settled back into his seat with a sullen pout in his regal face. Frigga sighed.

 

“You do not look fat, Thor” She assured, taking the laces of his intricate armor and tying them with expert hands, regardless of her son’s constant shuffling. Years of clothing the same boy, even now as grown as he was, enough to make it so she could do this in her sleep.

 

“I should have worn the dress” Thor moaned under his mother’s swift hands. Frigga did not even need to look back to know Loki had yet another insult at the ready, which she smothered with a stern hand in the air. She faintly heard another affronted huff from her younger son and pressed herself to finish her task before she too could lose her head.

 

“You are not wearing a dress to your wedding, Thor”

 

Thor pouted to the mirror as he fixed his already perfectly smooth hair. “But I promised the Captain”

 

“Your father would disown you if you came out before his subjects in that gown” Frigga laughed, recalling the scenario she had found when she entered her son’s chambers, both brothers in similar silk dresses, Loki in his female persona and Thor bulging out of his corset.

 

She had not laughed so in centuries.

 

“Yes and then I would be burdened with the duty to marry the Captain” Loki taunted, grinning brightly as his brother made a rude gesture in the mirror for him to catch, Thor winced when his mother swatted his hand down and patted his armored chest, declaring her work done as she pulled her eldest son to do a spin for her.

 

Frigga released a sobbing giggle, bringing a small hand to her trembling lips as she saw her son in his wedding attire.

 

“Mother” Thor cooed, blue eyes watering as well as he came up to hold her in his large arms.

 

“How did you grow up so fast, my precious little sun?” Frigga wept, gripping the larger body to her chest as if she could force it down, make it smaller, so it could fit again in her arms, snuggling to her breast as he used to when he was but a newborn babe.

 

“You raised me well, Mother” Thor grinned, bestowing a loving kiss to his mother’s brow, wiping her stray tears away with tender circles of his large thumbs. “Now won’t you smile for me once more?”

 

Frigga laughed at the silly request, earning another heart wrenching smile from her handsome son “Aye, that is more like it”

 

“You will make the Captain very happy”

 

The blond God smiled shyly down to his mother, for a moment so reminiscent to his younger, fawn-like toddler days, Frigga placed a steadying hand to her belly, where she ached as if someone was trying to rip her child away from her womb.

 

And perhaps that was the width of this. Thor would never be just hers ever again.

 

Frigga was not ready to let go.

 

The realization came with a shock, the truth she held burning on the tip of her tongue and just as she quaked under the weight of it, the escape it would give her; Loki pulled her away gently, embracing her around the waist and meeting her eyes in the mirror with a pointed, pleading gaze.

 

“Quiet now, Mother” His voice crooned softly, nuzzling her temple reassuringly “All is as it should be”

 

Frigga shook her head minutely, trying and failing to meet Thor’s inquiring eyes when caught in Loki’s beseeching, knowing, gaze.

 

Her younger son smiled tenderly, as he had not smiled for her in so long “You still have me” He whispered warmly, so soft it could only be for her heart to catch. Slowly, Frigga settled in her son’s arms, gripping his hands tightly there where they curled around her belly, drawing comfort from the embrace as she nodded to herself.

 

“All is as it should be…”

 

----

 

The Throne room was aburst with golden and white flowers of all kinds, filling the rooms with their heavenly fragrance. Asgardian Court and common folk alike lined the long hall to the throne where Odin stood. Noble, indomitable, a proud God before his venerating subjects.

 

The All Father tapped his mighty staff on the golden floor, silence falling over the enormous crowd as the wide doors opened for the Crown Prince, dashed in a golden armor from head to toe, blending seamlessly with his golden mane and skin; only the crimson cape, color deeper than blood, in contrast to his golden image. A warrior God parting the crowds before him in a mighty roar of cheers. To his side sauntered the Fallen One, unrepentant and proud; dressed in handsome dark greens and silver, they were polar opposites. Night and Day walking side by side. Though their presence was the same. Royal blood and regal poise. Every bit the prince one and the other.

 

The Odinsons strode to the front of the Throne room, halting before their father with a curt bow. Odin nodded in acknowledgement and tapped his staff twice, the power of Gungnir waving through the room in an invisible wave. From the open doors walked in the Director, dressed in his usual dark clothes and long trench coat, followed closely by the Avengers, fitted for battle and armed to the teeth, even Doctor Banner’s skin showing some green treads skimming his olive skin as they marched on to the front of the room. The emissaries of Earth and Guard of honor for the Prince’s betrothed.

 

They too halted their step before Odin, bowing to the silent God and stepping to the side at the king’s dip of his silver head.

 

Thor’s stomach fell as the seconds stretched, barely avoiding to stop fidgeting but by a sharp glance from his brother. Odin grinned at his son’s anxious state, as he purposely prolonged the third call until his wife sent him a subtle scolding look. The All Father tapped his staff thrice.

 

A lone man appeared by the wide entrance, cast in shadows by the bright light of Asgards rising sun. Only his firm footsteps sounded in the crowded hall as he strode forward, his posture firm and commanding as he crossed the room of Asgardians in an unwavering step.

 

Captain America climbed the steps to his Betrothed’s side, clothed in a skin tight uniform of dark azure scales of tornasol armor shifting from marine blue to blood red with every shift and clench of the Soldier’s muscles, all accentuated and laid naked in stark relieve under the armored suit; a lone, snow white star in the middle of his wide chest. His beautiful physique, perfect in every way, strong and unapologetic for all to admire and envy. His trusty shield settled firmly at his back, a reminder of his purpose and of his valor.

 

Thor grinned proudly as the soft gasps of the court, tittering of the people beginning to rise as his Betrothed stopped at his side, bowing elegantly for the All Father and settling face to face with Thor when allowed by the King.

 

“Asgard!” Odin thundered, drowning the halls in respectful silence once more as he spoke “Brothers and Sisters of the nine realms”

 

“We are here to unite the souls that the Norn’s themselves have forged to be one.” A deafening roar of approval shook the very foundation of the palace, prompting a smile from Thor, matched in Steven’s own lips as they awaited for the crowd to settle.

 

“Brace arms” Odin commanded the pair, smiling proudly as the betrothed pair clasped one another by the forearms in an unshakable hold. Warriors meeting in equal ground.

 

“Today you come of your own free will” The All father continued “Responding to the calling of your souls. Today I, Odin, son of Bor, King of Asgard and protector of the nine realms, answer your plight. Today, I bless you to become one…”

 

Thor met the Captain’s eye as their parts approached, drawing comfort and joy from his partner as they each extended their souls to meet and meld together. Steven’s touch was still harsh and unpracticed, a punch to the gut more than a shaking of hands, but all the more precious to Thor for it. The golden God grinned to his friend, unable to remain unmoved and poised under such a surge of tender emotion.

 

The Captain mimicked his smile, cheeks flushed as their souls met in that intimate embrace before such a large crowd, but braving on while Loki and Frigga came forth and tied the golden strings of fate around their clasped forearms, their powerful magic skimming their very souls and stitching their essence in an elaborate spell.

 

It tickled, Thor realized, and meeting the Captain’s gleaming eyes, he too found it hard to contain the giggles as the Sedir worked together.

 

Thor was just about to lose his grip with propriety when a loud boom rocked the palace grounds.

 

Thor felt Steven’s soul pull, trying to retreat in alarm and the God gripped the mortal man tighter, catching the Soldier’s shocked gaze firmly with his own.

 

Do not let go, Steven. Thor pleaded through the bond, tickles all but forgotten as his mother and sibling worked unperturbed in their knitting.

 

The Captain clenched his jaw as the bells rang up high, announcing invasion, each ring increasing the threat of the attack and Thor swallowed thickly, calling through their bond once more.

 

Trust me.

 

The Captain nodded curtly, gripping to his arm tighter, his soul bounding forward again in a startling strong leap, near drowning Thor with it’s presence. Loki arched an amused eyebrow at the Captain, but wisely held his tongue, concentrating on his task.

 

Above, the bells continued to ring…

 

50 rings. Thor trembled to realize; such an attack had not been seen since Bor’s time.

 

The All Father held his breath and tapped his staff for a fourth, unpreceded time. “Prepare for siege…”

 

The people gathered, from young to old, prepared their weapons at the command. Armed with swords, bows and hammers, the cheerful spectators soon became a frightening army in a blink of an eye. All Asgardian warriors down to the very last of them. Odin nodded his approval and pressed on. “Let us continue.”

 

The booming sounds of Asgards barriers drowned the sound of the choir singing the tales of old, blessing the royal union in a cacophony of death and song.

 

Thor continued to hold the ever increasingly perturbed Captain, eyes firm, reassuring as he was not inside for his soon-almost-barely a minute away- husband to stay put. As he could feel in his soul, there where it was connected to the brave human, that he yearned to join the fight. To protect.

 

Thor smiled at his precious man and held on tighter as the bells sounded again.

 

Asgards atmosphere had been breached.

 

Gasps and screams sprung again, the Captain’s hands began to shake. The Avengers bounded forward as the Director pressed a hand to the communicator at his ear and said “Jericho is a go.”

 

Not a second later, an explosion as Asgard had never seen before, quaked the earth beneath their feet, glass shattering above and pillars cracking under the force of the backfire.

 

And just as his mother laid the finishing stitch, a familiar, mechanical voice resounded in Asgards ruined walls.

 

“Hey there Capsicle… did you miss me?”

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 23: Ronan the Accuser.

 

Ronan stood before the wreckage of his ship and armies, after being bombed by explosives of a grade never beheld by the Accuser, his whole forces decimated in but a flash of fire and smoke. The Accuser seethed hatefully as he watched the remains of his ship sink in Asgards sea and dragged away to the edge of the planet like a pile of rubble.

 

They would pay for this, they would pay for all of it…

 

Ronan roared as he was surrounded by Asgardian soldiers and swung his war hammer in blind rage.

 

He would kill them all, and then, he’d fuck Thor’s husband over their bloody carcasses.

 

----

 

Steven physically jolted at the greeting, his hand going lax in Thor’s hold and his soul retreating completely back from the newly weaven embrace, the stitching still fresh that Thor felt a sharp sting as the Captain’s withdrawal pulled his own soul with him, leaving the God feeling hallow and unbalanced.

 

Lonely.

 

Thor gazed up to his father, Odin stood impassive as he eyed the newcomer, the mechanical suit of armor landing in a bursts of propulsors and marching decisively onwards. Towards Steven

 

And the Captain smiled. Thor could feel the man and how happy he was to see their friend that he could not help the pang of hurt and jealousy. That smile was supposed to be for him.

 

“Sorry to bust the wedding but we have a situation out there” The man of Iron spoke, stopping a good feet away from the newlyweds and pointing a thumb back in the direction he had come from “Someone is messing up your front yard and the lawn dwarfs aren’t looking to good, either”

 

The All father pursed his lips, nodding once and raising his hand to his sons and kingdom.

 

“It is done” He said, catching his son’s eye and tapping his staff as a wordless command “For Asgard”

 

Thor released his husband, reluctantly; ignoring the pointed looks from his brother and mother, as they had felt with their last touches the happenstance of their bond. Thor could not handle pity right now, or derision.

 

As he saw Steven clasp hands with the Man of Iron, he held his head high and fought back the wave of troubled feelings as he was once more confronted by that particular problem he had overlooked. The only comfort the God held now was that those feelings were strictly one-sided. Steven was still only his, now and forever.

 

So when the Captain turned to his team and called for them to assemble. Thor could smile at his husband with real joy. And follow the man wherever he may lead.

 

“Avengers!” The Director barked, joining the group of warriors “Ronan has the power stone on his hammer, if he so much as skims the floor with it he will destroy Asgard. Also try not to touch it, it tends to atomize anyone of the… Mortal persuasion.”

 

The Captain nodded firmly “So we keep the man off the ground and don’t touch the hammer.”

 

“Huh, could have used that advise one month ago, Cap?”

 

Thor frowned at the Man of Iron and Steven scoffed “It’s good to see you too, Tony.”

 

Thor was itching to say something scanting to the unexpected guest when Hawkeye cleared his throat and pointed outside towards the rainbow bridge.

 

“Uh, Captain… he’s already on the ground”

 

The whole team turned completely to see in the distance a dark figure of blue skin, holding a war hammer high as it was surrounded by a strange group of aliens and a tree, complete with woodland creature.

 

The Captain sighed “Of course he is… Here’s the plan.”

 

------

 

Ronan stood gawking at the mortal fool who had challenged him, of all things, to a dance-off.

 

Surrounded by the bodies of the fallen Asgardian soldiers and his own Kree army. The blond Idiot was tapping his feet and swirling his hips in spasm of limbs, uncoordinated and guided by a dissonant tune the man insisted on humming along.

 

“What are you doing?” The Accuser demanded, patience running thin while the Starlord attempted to string along his other battered and bloody companions into the strange affair.

 

“Isn’t it obvious?” Quill smirked, moon walking out of the way “I’m distracting you, you dipshit!”

 

Just as he finished the sentence, a blur came whizzing in to knock Ronan flat on his back, hammer still held tight in his angry grip as the Guardian’s of the Galaxy were joined by the Avengers.

 

Thor held his hand high, calling Mjolnir back to him as he strode forward to his enemy with a snarl. “You dare try and take what is mine?”

 

Ronan leapt to his feet, a vicious smirk on his blue face as he eyed the newcomers and stopping appreciatively on the Captain. “I won’t only take; I will make you watch

 

Thor roared as he sprung forth, hammer held high, meeting halfway with a fearsome wave of power when the two magical instruments touched, propelling them backwards with the impact. Iron man soared through it and fired propulsor after propulsor, obligating the Kree Lord to retreat a few steps before the Hulk came cannoning in.

 

The Big Green punched the Accuser with angry fists, roaring and snarling when the Kree slipped out of his reach and gave him a swift hit with the hammer, sending the Hulk flying out into the sea.

 

Ronan gasped a hurt breath, barely straightening after the onslaught of the beast when an arrow flew to his feet and exploded. Smoke rose from the ground and in the curtain it provided, Ronan felt a small body slither onto his own, vesting him an electric shock to the neck, startling him as a rounded shield flew and stuck his hand holding the hammer, near causing him to lose grip to his weapon with the painfully accurate slam to his knuckles; only the superior will of the Kree Lord and his thirst for revenge keeping his hand steady as he shook the small body off himself and emerged unscathed from the smoke.

 

Ronan laughed “You think you can stop me?”

 

The Accuser stalked forward, towards an unrelenting Captain America, shield held at the ready and eyes fierce. Ronan would delight in breaking the human, bit by bit. “I will show you to respect your betters”

 

Holding the Hammer high, he swung it down on the Captain, trying to intimidate the mortal to retreat. For who was he to stand and fight amongst the God’s?

 

The Hammer hit the shield, the stone pulsing bright as it infused its power to the weapon. But the shield did not budge, it did not crack. Ronan’s eyes widened at the sight of the mortal man holding back the power of an infinity stone, clenched jaw and eyes shining. The Captain not only held the attack at bay, he began to push back

 

The Accuser felt a rush of desire and a grin parted his bemused face before he shoved a hand forward and took the Captain by the throat. The mortal hissed as the blue hand clenched around his neck, the Kree began “I’ll never-“ and was promptly punched in the face.

 

Ronan was once again unprepared for the true strength of the Captain and stumbled back with a yelp as his nose gushed dark blood like a fountain.

 

“You’ll never what?” The Soldier quipped as a red and gold blur sent the infuriated Kree backwards “You didn’t finish!”

 

Ronan growled and swung his weapon at the mechanical armor, managing to dislodge himself of the iron grip just in time to receive a hammer stroke to the face by a furious God of Thunder.

 

“You. don’t. touch. my. husband!” Thor snarled, bestowing a punishing slam of his hammer to the Accuser with each spitted word.

 

Ronan staggered back; hurt, bleeding and rabid. His eyes wild as he met the source of all his struggles. Of his humiliation. The Accuser roared his anger free, raising the hammer one last time to obliterate the land of God’s once and for all.

 

But inches away from the ground, a golden staff halted the stroke, as easy as one finger stops a page from turning with the soft breeze. Ronan choked as he came face to face with the All Father himself. Aged as he was, the elder warrior slapped the Kree Lord across the face and ripped the hammer from Ronan’s hands, like one handles an unruly child.

 

Ronan fell to his knees with the strength of the blow, unimaginable coming from a single man, or entity. The Accuser spat the blood gathering in his mouth, facing up to the King of Asgard as the God clenched his weathered hand around the thick of the weapon until it crumbled like dry sand in his fist, leaving only the stone in the middle of his scared palm, shining and pulsing harmlessly in his Godly hold.

 

“It will take more than a pebble to defeat me, boy…” The All Father sneered at the Kree Lord, speechless, battered and on his knees.

 

“Asgard will fall” Ronan swore in a hateful hiss “if not by my hand, another. You will rule a kingdom of ashes!”

 

Odin smiled vacantly down to the Accuser. “Ashes you say… Now there’s a thought. “

 

And with but a touch of the God’s hand to the Kree’s head, the Accuser was swarmed by light, a howl of pain tearing out of his throat as the power of Odin’s will tore the man down to atoms, until nothing was left of the Alien but the memory of his harrowing screams.

 

The All Father turned to his stunted subjects and foreign warriors, calmly pocketing the power stone away as he grinned for his frightened people to behold and announced jokingly.

 

“It is no true Asgardian wedding if no blood is spilt…”

 

The witnessing court laughed approvingly, the Avengers and the Guardians looked at each other wearily, still working their heads around the fact that the fight was over, that the enemy who had been there but a second ago, was… gone, just like that.

 

The Captain cleared his throat and turned to his teammates, counting heads and sighing when they rounded out. The Hulk climbing up the rainbow bridge, sullen and soaked to the bone with help of Iron Man and the rowdy cajoling of Hawkeye. The Black Widow standing by in case the Big Green decided that he was done with the archer and Thor, his husband. Eyeing his father with wide, fearful eyes.

 

Steve began to walk over to his spouse and halted with a startle when a blond man dressed in a crimson leather jacket bounded in front of him, hand stretched out and awestruck grin on his sparsely bearded face.

 

“Hey, wow, you’re… you, wow.” The man breathed, shaking the Captain’s hand for longer than it was strictly necessary as his teammates gathered around the two curiously “My name is Peter Quill, or Starlord, also a fellow human, like you…”

 

“A pleasure to meet you, Starlord” The Captain said amicably, shaking the man’s hand once more and gently pulling his palm away from the stunted grip of the other human.

 

Quill almost went cross-eyed when the Captain called him by his chosen title and spurted out “You were almost my grandpa, you know?”

 

The Captain blinked and studied intently the other man’s features for a long, searching moment, ignoring the startled and interested stares from the Avengers at the newfound detail, as they too scooted closer to the pair.

 

“Miss Claire Pratt?”

 

Peter gasped “Oh shit, she wasn’t bullshitting me?!”

 

“I… suppose not, we met at one of my last USO shows, before I was sent out to front” The Captain explained, smiling stiffly though his eyes sparkled at the memory “She was the sweetest dame to ever walk Kansas city” The captain smiled sheepishly under the other man’s gapping shock “Wicked poker face, too”

 

“You could never get one over her!” Quill agreed with an exhilarated gasp, his face like a little kid in Christmas morning.

 

“How is she?” The Captain dared to ask after a second, ignoring Thor’s looming as he cleared his throat “Is she still…?”

 

Quill winced and scratched his head abashedly “Yeah, I wouldn’t know, haven’t been to Earth in nearly 30 years.” The human sighed heavily “I hope she is”

 

The Captain nodded sagely, clasping Peter’s shoulder commiserating “I hope so too, son”

 

“You sure, you’re not my grandpa?” The Starlord probed again “‘cause I can see a little similarity in the jaw line there…”

 

Steve barked a laugh as Thor shuffled forward “Ok, enough of that” and Drax eyed the blond trio intently. “There is no comparison, the man is like an angel, carved out of gold”

 

The Starlord ignored the deadpanned assessment and glared at the blond God “Will you chill, dude? we’re just talking!”

 

“Do not call me dude” Thor growled and Drax nodded “Yes, he is not a dude, you’re a dude. That is a man… A Handsome, muscular man”

 

Quill snorted at the alien, sobering when he noticed Gamora eyeing the newlywedded pair with overwhelmed lust “His muscles are like corded steel”

 

The sad part of it is, Peter couldn’t tell which one she was talking about. Both probably.

 

The Captain dipped his head, abashed and discomfited under the attentions and Quill fought the urge to coo. And ask for an autograph… on adoption papers.

 

“The babies made by this union will be precious” Drax declared, nodding resolutely to himself as he too openly ogled the newlyweds. The Captain flushed and Thor grinned proudly.

 

“I am Groot” Groot interjected, grabbing the Captain’s shoulder gently as the man turned eager for a distraction of the current topic, smiling keenly at the tree as he replied “I am Steve Rogers”

 

Thor jolted as he felt a small creature crawl up his side and finally noticed the talking animal sitting on his shoulder “Hiya, God of Thunder. Sorry about the whole kidnapping your hubby thing. No hard feelings?”

 

“None at all, sweet rabbit.” Thor said gently, turning to pull the Captain away from Groot as the tree had produced a large sack and was attempting to guide the laughing Soldier into it, despite Drax and Gamora’s scolding objections.

 

“What’s a rabbit?” Rocket murmured confusedly.

 

“You were doing what you could to set things right” The Captain finally spoke, meeting the eyes of the Guardians with a steady, bright gaze “Even at the expense of your own lives. More than an apology, we owe you a debt... You’ve saved us all today.”

 

“It was nothing, really” Quill said proudly, making no effort to humility as he set his voice in a lower, huskier tone, making Thor frown at the similarity to his own “we were just extremely heroic, and valiant… and manly…”

 

“I know that making that decision couldn’t have been any less than the hardest one you’ve ever made.” The Captain insisted, gazing into their eyes knowingly, making the Guardians shift and quiet as they recalled their struggles along the way, all their doubts. “The price of freedom is high; it always has been. But it’s one you were all willing to pay… You are heroes.”

 

“Huh” Rocket harrumphed, turning to his equally awestruck friends “he’s pretty good at that”

 

“I am Groot” Groot nodded eagerly, producing the sac again only for Gamora to rip it out of his wooden hands with a glare.

 

“And heroes, you are.” Odin spoke, startling the two groups out of their cheerful reverie.

 

“Oh, shit, Odin.” Quill gasped in alarm, then correcting in horror, in his mind still fresh how this God had vanquished the same man they had nearly died trying to stall. “I mean, your Highness!”

 

“You have saved my people; you have my gratitude.” The All Father pronounced, standing tall by his reassembling forces “Come, let us feast our victory and celebrate the union of my sons. You shall have a place of honor in my table.”

 

“Th-thanks, really.” Quill turned to gaze at his teammates in similar shock “Wow, dinner with the God’s. If Yondu could see me now.”

 

“He’d shoot you” Drax assured, making a gun of his fingers to point at the disgruntled Starlord right between the eyebrows “in the face.”

 

Rocket nodded enthusiastically “And eat you for giving up the stone.”

 

Peter winced and grinned “ehhh, probably.”

 

Odin observed the exchange with a blank gaze “The stone of power will remain in Asgard, for safekeeping” He said, voice broking no argument “and in return, I will allow that one, to walk free.”

 

The teams turned to see the missing Guardian of the Door, dragging about another blue skinned humanoid, hissing and spitting in the Dark God’s hold. Gamora froze at the sight.

 

“What?”

 

“She is Thanos’ daughter.” Heimdall declared, tightening his grip on the cyborg woman until she winced and stilled. Gamora sprung forward, eyes pleading to the All Father.

 

“His captive and my sister, your Highness.”

 

Odin considered the two for a moment and nodded “I would like to know more of this man.”

 

Not a request, but a command… a threat.

 

Gamora swallowed thickly “I will tell you all I know.”

 

----

 

The Avengers and Guardians marched back to the palace for the feast, followed closely by the surviving soldiers. Thor walked quietly now besides his father, mind troubled as he saw his men limp and stagger into the golden halls. Once at the doors of the great halls where the celebrations would be had, the God of Thunder laid a stalling hand on his Father’s shoulder.

 

Odin scrutinized his frowning son with a blank expression, as they both held silence until they were the last left in the hallways.

 

“You waited until he would arrive at our gates to have the wedding” Thor declared.

 

“Of course I did” Odin replied, matter of fact and completely unrepentant. Thor glared at his Father, anger and betrayal coursing through his veins.

 

The All Father smiled patiently at his irate son, turning to gaze upon the room filled with their people and family “Tell me Thor, what do you see?”

 

“My people” Thor growled “recklessly put in harm’s way for your pride…”

 

Odin nodded “I see emissaries, noble men and women, generals and royals of the nine realms and beyond. All come to witness the union of Gods.”

 

Turning now to bestow a hard look at his disgruntled son, he continued with an unwavering tone “It is imperative that there be no doubt in these men’s hearts as of the Captain belonging here, of his worth to stand by you, and you alone. Nor must they doubt of Asgards power.”

 

Thor allowed his head to hang, troubled and struggling under his morals and his duty. Odin saw this and placed a comforting hand to his slumped shoulder “We can only wield so much power as they believe we have. If this faith quakes, if there is even the slightest question to our claim as Protectors of the Realms, we are doomed.”

 

Thor nodded shortly, mind still a turmoil of conflicting emotion. Odin retracted his hand and stared out to their people making merry as if they had not been in threat of extinction barely an hour ago, faith in their rulers restored and ignited.  “In this occasion, I thought it best a demonstration of wills be had. Nothing like a good show to the right people to silence the crowds…”

 

The All Father sighed at his forlorn son “We may not always like the paths to peace, but ultimately, peace must outweigh it all. You are a good man, Thor.” The God of Thunder rose his head in a jolt, amazed by the tender admission of his usually stoic Father, who smiled proudly to his Heir “ And one day, you will grow to be a good King, as well…”

 

---

 

“Did he really fuck a horse?” Bruce asked in a loud whisper, trying to hide his lips behind his cup of wine. His dark eyes clouded by a glassy sheen of the truly inebriated. Thor sipped his own wine to hide a smile.

 

“We do not speak of it” Thor evaded, sending a mischievous look at his brother, who by the white knuckled grip on his butter knife was aware of the content of the conversation “It upsets mother.”

 

Bruce nodded sagely with a faint look of disgust and fascination thrown Loki’s way.

 

“I did no such thing!” Loki seethed from across the table, only the heavy spells binding him against causing harm keeping him from hurling the silverware at Thor’s smug face.

 

Thor crackled merrily and lifted his cup in a silent toast to a smirking Frandal, who in vengeance of a particularly nasty hex to his manhood some centuries ago after a stunted attempt of courting the dark prince; had taken a page out of the whore’s he frequently procured and took to storytelling in their visits to the primitive Earth. Who would have thought that these would survive the passage of time? Even longer than the Norse religion itself, the legends of Loki’s many conquests were printed in many an educational book. Truly, the gift that keeps giving.

 

That reminded Thor, Frandal was up for his decade throttling for that. He made a mental note to make time for that in the next weeks…

 

Next to him, Steven (His Husband, Thor thought with an internal roar of glee) stared wide eyed at the proceedings, after the fight with Ronan and his ultimate execution by Odin’s hand, his calm and composed demeanor had gradually been stripped, bit by bit with every happy wishing and well-meant ribbing, the Captain’s eyes began to acquire an increasingly frantic gleam, not unlike that of a caged animal. This worried Thor, but mostly, sadden him immensely. The Captain was a fine man, honorable and kind, his silent despair was a great tragedy to behold. Steven deserved to marry to love, and Thor was not deluded enough to think he possessed the Captain’s heart. After Stark’s arrival, even; his doubts as of the Captain’s heart were doubled. And still, here the man stood, married and by his side.

 

Thor had never encountered a more stubbornly honest man in his life.

 

Really, it only appeared proper that this would be the man to make an honest one out of him.

 

Not a particularly easy feat, to say the least.

 

With a pursed smile, Thor laid a soothing hand to the Capta-His Husband’s- shoulder, holding a grimace when this startled a near imperceptible jump of the blond man, who was so deep in his ghastly thoughts to have left the room entirely. Steven quickly offered a small smile to Thor and patted the hand set on his shoulder reassuringly.

 

This whole event had drained them both. The ruined ceremony, the invasion and the party. They were both at their wits end. Thor could feel the man’s wariness climbing and so he rose to his feet, eyes compelling the bemused Captain to do the same.

 

The night was young still. Their guests silenced for a moment, observing the newlywedded pair stand from their seats and slowly walk out of the room, soon they were drowned by the sound of cheer and lusty whistles. The Captain flushed and shot a parting look to their friends, a small wave thrown their way as they both exited the ceremony hall. Thor smiled at his husband, guiding him into the empty hallways and shutting the golden doors behind him, muffling the persistent catcalls at his back.

 

Thor was about to throw a playful quip to the shuffling Captain when the door behind him was pushed open in a hard shove. Thor yelped and jumped away as the door near threatened to topple him over. The God turned with a haughty glare to the foolish soul who dared only to find his fretting Mother slipping out of the room and shutting the door behind her in a quick kick.

 

“Mother?” Thor husked out, eyes bulging at the state of the Mother of Gods as her beautiful blue eyes jumped from one newlywed to the other.

 

“My son, I must speak with you” She gasped out, gaze intent on her son “Privately”

 

The Captain nodded and smiled slightly for the golden pair. “I will see you in our rooms, Thor. Good night, your Grace.”

 

“I won’t be long, Steven” Thor promised, gazing longingly at the man as he walked away, guided by the waiting guards to their bedding rooms.

 

Thor’s mouth ran dry at the sight of the man’s behind, and the heated expectation of the nights celebrations yet to be had. So immersed he was in his lustful thoughts he near jumped out of his skin when Frigga placed a pressing hand on his arm.

 

“Thor” The Queen beckoned, her gaze bright and uncharacteristically beseeching “ My son, heed me now, I beg you”

 

“Mother?” Thor managed around the knot of newborn dreed at his usually sweet and composed Mother pleading so “What is the matter?”

 

“Do not bed him”

 

Thor startled back from his Mother’s hold, flushing bright crimson as he groused embarrassingly “Mother please…”

 

“Do not bed him, Thor” The Queen insisted heatedly, ignoring his squirming son and gripping his hands imploringly “He is-“

 

The Queen cut herself short and gulped visibly, struggling with her words as she gazed up with bleary eyes to her confused son “He is not willing, my dear”

 

Thor felt his heart gripped in a cold, icy grip. Shame washing over his earlier wanton thoughts and jutted his chin out decisively “I will not take what he does not wish to give”

 

But this was not enough for the Queen as she pressed on “Promise me, Thor”

 

“Mother” Thor reproached her, pulling away from his troubled mother and frown deep on his features “This pertains solely to the Captain and I, I will ask of you to mind your place”

 

Frigga stepped back, hurt by her son’s words, but acquainting, nonetheless. “I trust you will do what your heart deems right” The Queen whispered “For I know your heart to be kind, my son”

 

Thor smiled tightly to his sullen mother, coming forth and placing a parting kiss to her furrowed brow “Good night, Mother mine”

 

----

 

When Thor entered the designated bedding rooms, he stalled as he encountered Steven gazing blankly at the large, luscious bed. Like the damned eye the guillotine. Thor forced a smile for the man and held his hands up placatingly to his husband. “Wait here, I have a surprise for you.”

 

“What?” Steven groused as he watched the God scramble to the adjacent bathrooms.

 

“But a minute, Captain.”

 

Thor hurried to divest in the dark marbled room, near falling in the steaming baths as he struggled to undo his mother’s work. Even now seeming to Thor to be on purpose to dissuading the marriage consummation. And Thor quickly shook his head of that, the implications too dark and horrible to dwell on in such a time as this. Once in the nude Thor produced the bag he had ordered be placed in the rooms, gleeful to find it resting snugly by the towels and toiletries.

 

Thor dressed again in practiced pulls of soft silk, struggling to tie the corset blindly, but ultimately, he succeeded. Giving himself a once over on the immaculate mirror in the rooms, the God nodded to himself and burst out of the bath with a wide, come-hither smirk for a frozen and gapping Soldier.

 

“I promised I would wear the gown…” Thor slurred wantonly, leaning by the doorway and jutting a hip out tantalizingly, his shaven legs peaking from between the many folds of soft lilac silk, for the Soldier to behold.

 

Steven wheezed, releasing the tightly coiled shoulders as he descended to body jolting laughter, bending in half, hand pressed to his chest as if it were to keep his heart from shaking out of his chest with the convulsing cackles. Loud and free, ringing like cheerful bells in the night. Steven laughed himself silly.

 

Thor’s own lips twitched, trembling slightly with the urge to join the Soldier’s mirth, so contagious that all worries and dark thoughts left the God as he prowled forth, a sultry saunter to the quaking Captain, leaning now by the bed pillars, gripping the diaphanous material of the privacy curtains to stay on his feet.

 

The Captain brought his waving hands up to hold the God once he was at arm’s reach, pulling the amused man into his arms, and to a chuckling, stumbling kiss.

 

Thor’s heart ached as his lips were caressed so tenderly, near loving he could tell himself. Steven pressed his soft lips to Thor’s once more, trembling still with restrained laughter as they bumped noses and chins in the uncoordinated embrace. SO innocent and warm Thor felt he could weep.

 

And so he made the hardest decision he had ever made. He pulled away. “Wait, Steven, wait.”

 

The Soldier blinked his tear stained lashes fluttering in confusion “What is it?”

 

“We should not do this.” Thor gritted out with a defeated sigh.

 

“Thor?”

 

The God swallowed thickly “I once promised you, not to take that which you would not give freely. And I stand by it.”

 

And so he stepped away from his husband, stumbling back to sit in the long settees next to the high arches of the open windows, admiring Asgards night skyline with a quaking, heavy soul “When you are ready and you truly wish it so.”

 

“I am ready Thor I..” Steven insisted, stepping closer to the mournful God. Cutting short as he met the sad gaze of the other man.

 

“But you are not…” Thor prompted, hands clasped together as he spoke “you pulled away Steven”

 

You reached for him, went unsaid, but both could feel it glaring blaringly between them.

 

“I… I’m sorry Thor. I didn’t mean to hurt you” Steven whispered, shoulders slumped and regretful. Thor brought his hands up to rub his tired face as he built up the courage to speak his doubts.

 

“Do you love him Steven?”

 

“What? No! it’s not like that, its…” The Captain weaved an agitated hand through his blond locks, meeting the other man’s soulful gaze and shrinking with a troubled sigh “God, I don’t even know what it is. He is my friend, after the ice, he was the only one who kept my head up water.” Steven explained, his voice soft and tight “Everywhere I went, I found myself thinking: I better call to check in, or; hey, I should send this over, he’ll get a kick out of this, he… he was home.” The Soldier admitted with a slight curl of his lips “For a while, he was all I had. And that was everything. I don’t know what it is, I don’t think…” Steven’s voice broke at the end, eyeing the silent God sadly as he confessed “He kissed me, once. Before coming to Asgard, I couldn’t return it. I don’t feel like I can feel anything…”

 

Thor shrunk in his seat, pulling at the silks covering his bulging thighs in miserable tugs, wretched to the core at the new admission. His throat worked silently for a long, aggrieved moment.

 

“Would you tell me?” Thor asked, his voice small and melancholy “Would you let me know, Steven?”

 

Steven jolted dramatically “Thor, I won’t ever-“ Though his reassurances died swiftly at the God’s anguished eyes and the Soldier broke “Yes, I promise you”

 

“Thank you.”

 

“You know” Steven started, after a long moment of dejected silence “Weddings on earth are a lot different.”

 

“I would assume so.”

 

The Captain pursed his lips and tried again “What I mean to say is, we have a little something we like to do.”

 

And the Soldier turned to the large, imposing bed and scurried around it to the nightstand.

 

“Where are you going?” Thor asked, intrigued despite his heartbreak.

 

“I’m looking for something…” The Soldier continued to shuffle through the furniture until he found whatever he had been searching for and turned to his husband with a shaky smile “Come here, Thor.”

 

“What for?” The God asked sullenly.

 

Steven’s smile grew at the other’s pouting “Please?”

 

Thor sighed and rose from his glum sprawl on the settee reluctantly “What is this?”

 

The Captain smiled shyly at the God, pulling the others hands up in front of them as he emptied the small sachet on the God’s palms, reveling two identical golden bands.

 

“My promise to you.” Steven declared, taking one off the bands and turning the astounded God’s left hand to hold in his own as he spoke, eyes cleaving Thor’s with that earnest, so sincere gaze that always succeeded in making the God’s heart quiver “I, Steven Grant Rogers, take thee, Thor Odinson, to be my wedded husband.”

 

Tenderly maneuvering Thor’s hand into place, the Soldier slid the golden ring onto the God’s frozen finger as he vowed “To have and to hold, from this day forward. For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part…” Steven smiled cheekily at the speechless God “And maybe a bit after that too.”

 

“Steven…” Thor groused around the tight knot of emotion threatening to choke him. Tears stinging his eyes as he gazed down at the finely polished band adorning his finger, the intricate carving in the golden ring so delicate and so very fine he could not rip his eyes away from it.

 

“That’s Ringerike” The Captain whispered, caressing his husband lax hand with a gentling thumb “Thought it was appropriate.”

 

“I too, Steven, promise this…” Thor hurried to reply, taking the other band lying lone in his other hand and pulling at his husbands limbs to reciprocate “I wish I had words as precious as yours to say, but I know them not, I can only pledge my soul, my faith and my very life to you. I-“ Thor cut himself short as a sob threatened to rise, lowering his gaze from that of his sweet, delightful, utterly perfect husband and rasped instead “Which finger?”

 

“This finger” Steven guided his husband who swiftly placed the band on the designated digit, as if doing so would avoid anyone encroaching on the lovely man, as if would tie the Soldiers heart to Thor like their souls had been, irrevocably, forever one to the other. Steven smiled gently for the harried God “yeah. I know Thor.”

 

And bestowed the trembling God with the most caring, soulful kiss he had ever been gifted. A promise more so than the Captain’s beautiful vows. And Thor did sob then, hiding it with a chuckle before blinking away the tears that had gathered mutinously in his blue eyes.

 

“Not bashing the soul bounding thing” The Captain drawled with a sly smirk “but I think this ceremony was better.”

 

Thor nodded wholeheartedly “Thousand-fold. Any other Midgardian traditions to be had, husband?”

 

Steven barked a dazzled laugh “Ha, that’s gonna take some getting used to.” Thor grinned winningly at the now bashful Soldier, eyeing him longingly as the man pondered something or other with a serious expression “There is one thing I’ve been saving up for this moment… Seems about the right time…  The right man.”

 

And without another word for it, the Captain pulled the God flushed against his body, hands guiding Thor’s stunned arm over his shoulder as he set his own on the other’s corseted waist. Hands still clasped tightly as the Soldier began to sway.

 

“I don’t know this dance.” Thor scrambled to excuse, as he let himself be swooned by the smiling Captain.

 

“It’s ok” Steven comforted, blush high on his cheeks as he admitted with an endearing, self-depicting shrug “I don’t know it either….”

 

Thor boomed in giddy laughter “Aren’t we a pair?” Steven snickered softly as he guided the God through their very first dance.

 

“Perhaps you could sing us a song, Steven?” Thor probed innocently, eyeing the other man heatedly “I’ve heard rumors of your voice have flown way past the nine realms.”

 

“ha, ha, Thor…” Steven’s eyes widened in shock as the God gazed on, serious as death “really? That bad?”

 

Thor grinned at the slight wince of the Captain, nuzzling blissfully the smooth cheek as he corrected with a low whisper “That Good.”

 

“Huh, well then…” The Captain cleared his throat with a sheepish dip of his head as he stumbled to gather his wits after the blatant desire in the God’s words “careful with your toes.”

 

With a final cough and roll of his shoulders, the Soldier pulled the God ever closer, impossibly so, as he skimmed his luscious lips to the heated shell of his husband’s ear and began to sing.

 

I love you... for sentimental reasons…

 

Thor blushed crimson and snickered into the Captain’s neck in intervals, both swaying softly to Steven’s soft crooning and melodious humming of the Midgardian tune. Booming a startled laugh when the Captain dared to give him a spin, his silken dress flaring wide charmingly.

 

“Master Bragi was not wrong.” Thor breathed as they stopped their dancing, still in each other’s arms, where they fit so very perfectly into the other. “Your voice is better kept to the bedroom… our bedroom.”

 

Steven huffed an affronted laugh and rested his forehead on Thor’s shoulder, curling into his husband for a long second before whispering keenly.

 

“Will you stay? I-  I don’t want to be alone tonight.”

 

“Neither do I.” Thor admitted, holding on to his husband zealously, fervent to prolong this blissful moment as long as he could. Where he could feel Steven’s heart so close to his own, so very his.

 

“Just sleep?” He whispered again, voice small and pleading. His insecurities laid bare for once for Thor to console and protect.

 

 

“Just sleep.”

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 24: Bedding Rituals

 

The next morning Thor awoke with the first rays of the breaking sun, smiling besotted at the peaceful face of his still slumbering husband; dressed in his uniform, Thor could appreciate his perfect beauty to his heart’s content, though to be true to himself. Thor could not rip his eyes away from the lovely flutter of the Captains long, feathery lashes casting shadows on his high, perfectly chiseled cheekbones.

 

The God lost the fight with his tender emotions and dared to skim his fingers over the curled lashes, retreating his hand at the warm tickle against his digits, like butterfly wings batting under his fingertips.

 

“What ya lookin’ at?” Steven murmured sleepily. Eyes closed still as he stretched his lovely body with a sensual arch of his spine.

 

“You” Thor replied sincerely. Enjoying the harrumph cut off by a yawn as the Captain settled down on his back with a sigh.

 

“Go ’way…”

 

Thor chuckled softly at the endearing moodiness of the half-asleep Soldier and placed a lingering kiss to the charming man’s brow before slipping off the bed and crossing their room for the antechamber, pulling at his skirts where they had bunched around his hips during the night.

 

He was tugging on an obstinate strip of silk caught somewhere in his underthings when he heard the shocked gasp. Thor rose his eyes to the furiously blushing maiden laying their breakfast down on the table. The God smiled brightly at the young girl and winked as he took the tray from her lax hands back into the Bedding Rooms with a pronounced sway of his skirted hips.

 

He closed the door behind himself with a quiet snicker, smiling at the now empty bed, rumpled sheets where the Soldier used to lay, warm and grumpy and so very his.

 

Thor whistled last night’s tune to himself as he set their food on the small coffee table. Swaying slightly side to side as he maneuvered their meal to be just so, perfect for his husband, as was his due.

 

Thor grinned and spread out his left hand in the air in front of him in a moment of childish wills, eyeing the golden band with a giddiness in his chest that threatened to spill unprincely giggles from his lips. He could not wait to show off his hand for his mother and court. And let them all eat their heart out.

 

He could barely wait to show Loki…

 

Thor jumped as the door to the bathroom opened to his side, revealing a slightly more awake and composed Captain America, dressed still in his skin tight uniform, minus leather gloves as the man combed his short, disheveled hair with wet fingers.

 

“Good morning, Thor” Steven smiled softly for the blissfully grinning God as he walked past him to the large doors of their room.

 

“Where are you going?” Thor asked hurriedly, earning a second of confused batting of those lovely eyelashes while the Captain halted before the golden doors.

 

“Breakfast?” Steven attempted, almost questioning.

 

Thor splayed a wide wave of his arm to the feast he had set out for them “I have it right here.”

 

“Oh, ok, well then.” The Captain smiled candidly for the God and walked over to their meal “I guess I can see our friends later…”

 

“No, you can’t” Thor blurted immediately.

 

“I beg your pardon?”

 

Thor nodded decisively “It is our bedding rituals, we cannot leave yet.”

 

Steven jolted near violently, eyeing the God with wide, fretting cerulean orbs “Wait, you said last night…”

 

“Aye, and I meant every word” Thor assured his Husband, smiling calmly as he explained “but Steven, this is tradition. “

 

Thor sat in the large couch as he merrily went about to distributing steamy buns of freshly baked breads and sliced fruits “The newly wedded pair stay in their rooms until they conceive…” The Captain startled once more before Thor hurriedly added “It is merely symbolic nowadays but the shortest bedding has been Odin’s, and only because he had been mid siege with Vanaheim.”

 

“And how long was that?” Steven asked wearily with a furrowed brow

 

“Two weeks.”

 

The Captain balked “No.”

 

“Steven.”

 

“I am not staying in here for two weeks, Thor.” The Soldier shook his head vehemently as he began to pace back and forth agitatedly.

 

“One week?” Thor probed with big, pleading puppy eyes.

 

No.”

 

Thor crossed his arms over his chest, facing away from the Captain with a sullen expression, bed hair and rumpled dress an incongruent match to his pouting features.

 

Steven halted his restless pacing with a pointed glance “Thor, no.”

 

The God shrugged, whipping his knotted hair over his muscled shoulder as he spoke “It’s fine, Captain… I just think it’s funny how-“

 

“We are not doing this Thor!” The Captain interjected with a twitch of his lush, pink lips at the God’s surly antics.

 

“Of course, of course…” Thor muttered, eyeing the Captain with a queer twinkle to his blue eyes “of course… of course”

 

Steven sighed loudly, setting his hands on his slim hips and letting his head hang “Thor, our friends can’t stay here for a whole week. You know that.”

 

Thor frowned at the barely concealed morose meaning in the Captain’s words “Aye. But Steven…” The blond God raised his eyes to meet his husbands, allowing for once to show the vulnerable underbelly of his proud facade “I will be taken for a fool…”

 

“Hey” Steven breathed, coming forward to kneel by the glum God and set his hands on his knees in a comforting gesture “the only ones that should care about what happens in this room is us. No one should have a say in this but us.”

 

Thor nodded softly “I know this, still…”

 

Steven glanced at his crestfallen husband and pursed his lips worriedly “… Ok, one day.”

 

“Two” Thor perked immediately, all appearance of misery gone as he jumped at the concession.

 

One day.”

 

“And you limp.” Thor bargained.

 

“YOU LIMP!” Steven gasped in deep offense, brows rising high at the nerve of the God.

 

Thor barked a bitter laugh at his affronted husband “If I limp, they will expect a child by the end of the year.” Steven shuffled from one foot to the other in dismal dawning “I am of Odin’s line, we are fertile beyond believe. Why did you think no one questioned Odin appearing out of the blue with Loki in his arms?”

 

Thor recalled the times as they grew together, Loki and him, how they were both considered Crown Prince as the younger’s claim to the throne, simply by being borne of Odin’s own flesh, was equal and for some, far superior to Thor’s first-born status. Of course, this went away with the reveal of Loki being a Jotun prince. But if not for that, who would dare question Odin’s word for it?

 

Steven blinked and shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot, eyes darting about as a blush began to form in his ivory cheeks “How did that-“ Thor rose a haughty bow, daring and playful as the Soldier deflated quickly “never mind. Even so, the serum…”

 

“Steven, I am a God of Fertility.” Thor chuckled patiently for his flustered husband, before his face morphed and sobered; eyes darkened dangerously as he gazed at his spouse with lustful promise “You will feel it.”

 

Steven blushed something fierce and managed to roll his eyes despairingly. “Thor…”

 

“We are staying here then.”

 

Steven sighed heavily “Ok, but just the morning…” Thor opened his mouth to protest only to fall silent with the stern look of the Captain “No, I’m putting my foot down, only the morning.”

 

“Make it convincing.” Thor said mutinously with a mighty pout.

 

“You are getting way out of line, mister.” Steven shook a scolding finger at the God.

 

----

 

After that hearty breakfast, Steven insisted in taking a bath, by himself, much to Thor’s vocal discontent (mostly jesting, mostly). And the Captain admitted some troubles to slip out of his suit, having slept in the armor had done no favors for the Soldier, as his sullen expression belied.

 

Thor enjoyed unbuttoning the minuscular workings on the gorgeous man’s back, delighting in revealing the ivory skin covering those taught, polished muscles. Thor dared to place butterfly kisses and sweet nuzzles to every slip of unblemished flesh uncovered, enjoying also the Captain’s shy squirming as he stood by the God’s attentions with a rising flush to his handsome face.

 

“This is nice” Thor breathed to the dip of the Captain’s spine, where two defined, sensual dimples crowned the luscious plump of the man’s behind. Thor grinned jubilant as he took full advantage of his situation. “Heimdall can no longer hit me for touching you.”

 

I can still hit you for touching me.” Steven arched a daring brow, glaring down sternly at the brazen God, kneeling behind him and gripping his hips, inches away from his ass and slowly, but surely, scooting lower.

 

“You would never abuse your husband.” Thor declared confidently, returning to his work with greedy, bold hands.

 

“No, you’re right.” Steven agreed in a somber tone, though his eyes sparkled with mischief “But my husband can hit my husband.” And he promptly gripped a wandering appendage and slapped Thor’s own hand smartly on his bearded cheek. Slipping out of the flabbergasted God’s hold with a chuckle and out of arms reach.

 

“Steven.” Thor growled, ripping himself out of his surprise and prowling forward towards his retreating, cheeky husband.

 

“What, ya’ gonna have a limp too?” Steven taunted, breaking to a sprint across the room with an irate God at his heels.

 

----

 

Outside of the bedding rooms, the passing Court startled as the loud crashes of bodies and furniture resonated against the marbled walls, noble men and women raising impressed, half amused, half envious brows as the sounds of the Newlywed’s consummation and passion rang obscenely high in the royal Halls.

 

The Avengers, housed but a few rooms away, heard the commotion and snickered.

 

“Who do you think is topping?”

 

“Put some gold on the limp?”

 

“You’re on”

 

Out in the balcony, fighting to keep a straight face as the banging down the hall grew louder, much to the other’s mirth and his private misery. Tony stared out to the unbelievable landscape of Asgard and tried to be happy for his friends.

 

Really, the Captain needed to get laid, big time.

 

He just thought he wouldn’t have to be privy to it.

 

A loud, guttural roar followed and the room was quiet, again.

 

Tony’s lip trembled and he slapped a shaking hand to his beard to keep himself in check. He knew this was going to happen, he knew… He should have run for the hills the moment the pair got up from their table, barely an hour into the party and left for the bedroom.

 

Tony felt his heart fall and quake and he knew, he fucking knew

 

“Double it says they aren’t” Natasha said, taking a sip of whatever tea she and Bruce were rasping sonnets over not a half hour ago, when the first of the thumping was heard.

 

Tony spun on his feet, near giving himself a whiplash, eyes wide and hopeful as he didn’t want to be. Bruce and Clint shared a look.

 

“You are hearing what we are, right?”

 

“I am” Nat said, setting her golden cup on the saucer and arching a high eyebrow daringly “So, what’s it going to be boys?”

 

Bruce and Clint assessed the redhead assassin for a second and nodded. “Deal”

 

“Hey” Tony chirped, face a mask of cheer as he joined his teammates “How about I triple it and we leave this shack right now?”

 

Bruce sighed sadly “Oh, Tony…”

 

Tony shook his head sternly “No, no: Oh Tony. I’m fine! I’m happy even, they deserve each other” The engineer worked to keep his smile as the assassins eyed each other knowingly “That’s what this whole thing rounds up to, isn’t it, soulmates and all that? They are happy. I’m happy”

 

The others nodded uncertainly but allowed the man’s words to stand and sat in silence.

 

“So, how long until they come out?” Clint asked, gazing at his shrugging, clueless friends as they waited patiently by.

 

----

 

“Do we have any clothes here?” Steven asked, covered only by a fluffy towel hanging low on his slim hips. Thor licked his lips as he sat in his loincloths, waiting for his turn in the baths after ripping his dress to strips in his pursuit of the Captain; unabashed in his near nakedness and enjoying the slow flush rising in his husbands’ fair skin at the scrutiny.

 

“We aren’t supposed to need any here” Thor reminded his deliciously wet husband with a sultry smirk and a slow up and down, deliberately provoking the shy and proper Captain to a magnificent frown.

 

“We are not hanging around naked for the whole day, Thor”

 

“You can wear your underthings if you like”

 

The Captain shuffled on his feet, his silence conspicuous enough for Thor to rise an inquisitive brow at the discomfited man, before he quietly confessed “I… wasn’t wearing any”

 

Thor’s eyes threatened to bulge out of his sockets, a wave of lust so hot and overwhelming he barely managed to bite his lip to stall a wanton moan from escaping. Thinking of the Captain in his deliciously, obscenely tight uniform, throughout the wedding… the battle, with nothing encumbering him but his thin armor…

 

“Shut up” The Captain barked, red-face and mortified as he argued his point to a ravenous God “You saw the suit! It just kept bunching up and… Shut up”

 

“I said nothing, husband.” And he very pointedly plopped a cushion on his lap, a cheeky grin on his face as the flush on his husband’s face and neck spread lower still.

 

“I’m calling for clothes.” Steven said, striding off with purpose towards the antechamber doors where their guards stood in silent vigilance.

 

“Will you be wearing anything under them?” Thor called after his retreating husband, voice husky as he sprawled back on the couch and closed his eyes in extasy “Describe them to me.”

 

“Thor, I swear to God…”

 

----

 

“Loki has tried to kill me on many, many occasions” Thor said excitedly to his husband, both cuddling, fully clothed on the couch. Thor’s back pressed to the Captain’s chest as he discovered the joys of being the ‘little spoon’ as the Captain had so adeptly put it and reminiscing about their bizarre childhoods together between bites of Asgardian fruits and sweetcakes.

 

“Me too” Steven agreed, combing his hand through the God’s long, wavy hair and gently pulling out the knots of the day, earning approving groans of pleasure from his tender ministrations that he would admonish wordlessly by clenching his strong, thick thighs around the God’s ribs, as if that was a punishment. Thor could only smirk and continue his tale “Aye, there was one time when we were children, he transformed into a snake, and he knows that I love snakes. So, I went to pick up the snake to admire it and he transformed back into himself and he was like: ‘Blegh, it’s me!’ and he stabbed me.” Thor sighed in sweet reminiscing “We were more or less eight at the time”

 

Steven blinked at the smiling God, then wisely plopping a cherry in his mouth and chewing silently.

 

“You know, your Brother reminds me of someone from when I was a boy” The Captain admitted after a thoughtful second “Old mister Tom, they looked nothing alike, mind you” Steven smiled warmly at his memory and closed his eyes as if to recall the face of the man long gone. “Must be the brisk accent or their flare of… suave”

 

Thor snorted at the thought of Loki, being suave. That awarded (punished) him with a sharp squeeze and the God grinned.

 

“I don’t know” The Captain sighed blinking his sweet eyes open and smiled crookedly down at his husband “It’s hard to remain unbiased with him when all I keep thinking is he’s going to plop me over his lap and give me a spanking for talking back to my elders”

 

Thor choked on a short cake and spluttered crumbs all over his beard. His face on fire as he coughed loudly, the image forever seared in his mind now and daunting.

 

Steven chuckled mirthfully at his husband’s distress, only patting a ‘helpful’ palm on the God’s back as he continued his trauma inducing story. “Mister Tom was nice, prickly like a cactus, but gentle, he took care of me on occasions my Ma had to work and I was too sick to go to school” Steven huffed a laugh and winked at his recuperating husband “Taught me how to cheat on just about every card game on the book”

 

“Sounds like Loki” Thor grumbled, laying back down on his spouse with a sigh “He would be gentle with me too, before…”

 

Steven gazed down at his suddenly forlorn husband, curling his arms around the God’s neck and chest and resting his chin over his now neatly finger combed hair. Giving comfort unquestioning, because he needed it, even if he would not ask for it.

 

Thor released a peaceful breath, pressing a kiss to the back of the knuckles adorning the Captain’s ringed finger, twin to his own, in private devotion; unwilling to ever part from this innocent but so comforting embrace unless of course, he could obtain something much better.

 

“What say you, Steven?” Thor grinned fervently up to his handsome Captain “Care for a game of cards?”

 

The Captain arched a haughty eyebrow and released a long, amused sigh. “I just told you I cheat, and you want to play cards?”

 

Thor grinned wider at the man “Bet you I can win every round”

 

The Captain bit his lip in deliberation, ignoring the way the God’s eyes zeroed down on the tantalizing act and finally, nodded shortly. “Ok, but don’t say I didn’t warn you”

 

“Let’s make this interesting, shall we, husband?” Thor groused, turning to lay face to face between the Soldiers thighs and place his hands on the sides of the Captains unimpressed face, caging him in and under him with a salacious smirk “One slip of clothing for round?”

 

“Strip poker” Steven deadpanned “I married into Asgard royalty to play strip poker”

 

“We can play Go Fish, if you prefer”

 

Steven snorted a laugh and kicked the ridiculous God away, rolling off the couch and grinning gamely at his husband. “You’re on”

 

Barely an hour later and the Captain lay in his underthings with a shocked and flushed expression on his gorgeous face as Thor once again laid a winning hand on the table.

 

“Now, Captain America.” Thor leaned back on the plush couch as he eyed his lovely husband gawk openly with a lustful grin “Asgard demands its due”

 

“No, that’s impossible I…” Steven blinked and sprung forward, pulling Thor’s sleeve up and revealing the cards he himself had stolen and hidden under the coffee table at the beginning of the round. Thor smirked wickedly at the Captain.

 

“Oh, I’m sorry, I thought we were cheating”

 

Steven huffed a disbelieving laugh at the audacity of the God and rubbing a chagrinned hand over his flushed face. “How did you even?”

 

“Loki is my younger by decades, who do you think taught him the art of slip of hand? Odin?”

 

The Captain burst in loud, melodious laughter, infecting Thor into a fit of giggles.

 

“Ok” Steven sighed, eyeing the gleeful God of Thunder with a queer twinkle to his blue orbs “Fair is Fair”

 

Thor could barely hold his excitement as the Soldier rose from his seat and hooked his fingers on his underthings with a shy grin. “Ready?”

 

“Oh, yes

 

“… General?!” Steven startled harshly; blue eyes shot wide over Thor’s golden head.

 

“Heimdall!” Thor yelped, scurrying off the couch and spinning towards the closed door and the… empty room.

 

Thor blinked as a piece of cloth hit the back of his head with a soft thud and it dawned on him. He turned back to his cheery husband, sitting nonchalantly with a large cushion nestled modestly between his casually spread legs.

 

“Give me that cushion” Thor growled with a furious glare to a toothily smirking Soldier.

 

“I’ll play you for it”

 

Steven…”

 

----

 

Outside, the maids squealed as the loud sounds of furniture shifting about violently and hard thuds of heavy bodies hitting the walls rose once again from the bedding rooms. The Guards flushing and shifting as the commotion grew louder, crashes and grunts joining the fray and culminated with a harsh cut off roar.

 

Steven!

 

-----

 

To the other side of the guest halls, the Guardian’s of the Galaxy sat silently around a platter of forgotten foods as they all stared in alarm and awe at the wall where the sounds of voracious lovemaking originated and ended with a name.

 

“Hot damn!” Quill laughed “Captain America’s got game!”

 

Gamora hid her twitching lips behind her cup but her skin slowly flushing emerald belied her interest in the scandalous affairs of the Newlyweds.

 

“His prowess was obvious from the tight fitting of his wedding attire” Drax agreed, taking a sip of his tea as he added in a deadpanned tone “He is as well endowed as he is handsome”

 

“I am Groot”

 

“Wow, language!”

 

“You are so vulgar” Drax mussed around his sip of tea.

 

----

 

“No, no, no, give me that, you have the little one” Thor demanded, beckoning with his hand for the Captain to release the better charcoal pencil. Their dinner laid half eaten as they both sat quietly and attempted to draw one another in large pads of fine, creamy paper.

 

Steven arched a brow but passed the desired pencil without complaint, taking the stub of charcoal and applying himself once more to his work.

 

“If I were a pettier man…” The Captain muttered, relaxing back into his settee and eyes darting from his work to his husband in quick shifts of his intense, sapphire orbs. “I’d say you’re compensating for something…”

 

Thor smirked at the irreverent comment and poked his tongue out at the Captain, he too relaxing back on his seat and biting his lip in concentration as he devoted himself to make the most perfect, detailed Stick Steven the universe had ever beheld.

 

The Soldier snickered silently and his eyes twinkled that devious light that made Thor frown suspiciously.

 

“I’m done” Thor barked immediately, placing his pencil down with a smack and extending his hands for Steven’s work with impatient fingers. “Show me”

 

“I’m not done” Steven countered with an innocent smile, raising alarms in Thor’s head as the Soldier pulled his work away and applied hurried strokes of his stub of charcoal with undisguised glee.

 

“Here” Thor snapped, all but throwing his own paper pad to the Captain’s lap as he jumped up and made grabby hands for his portrait to be released.

 

Steven arched a scolding brow at the rude delivery of his drawing but settled for a blood curling, evil smirk as he slowly set down his minuscule pencil and passed his work to his apprehensive Husband. “It still needs some work but I think it has the right… proportions

 

Thor’s eyes widened as he gazed down in abject horror at the crude simile of himself, sprawled about the settee, muscular arms thrown haphazardly over his golden head and most importantly. The smallest, comical baby cock resting shyly between his meaty thighs.

 

Thor’s hands clenched around the paper as the Captain inspected his own portrait with a studious eye.

 

“Huh, you certainly got the hair right…” Steven mused with a grin, slowly stepping away from the looming, ragging God.

 

Steven…

 

----

 

Far away in the King’s private chambers, Odin and Frigga prepared to settle in their bed for the night when the sounds of loud pounding and furniture snapping resounded in their bedroom. Frigga startled, face pale and hands wrung tightly in her lap.

 

Odin on the other hand…

 

“Ha!” The All Father barked, tilting his head to the side as the thumping coming from the Bedding rooms became harsher and fast and punishing in a pistoning rhythm, culminating in a tremendous crash of bodies and broken glass.

 

Odin!” Frigga admonished in horror as the Mighty King of Asgard and Protector of the nine realms, tripped over his own feet, laughing like a common fool…

 

---

 

“Thank you, Steven” Thor murmured to his husbands’ shoulder happily, as he had won the rights to be the ‘big spoon’ for the night “It has been a lovely day”

 

“Sure was” Steven agreed; voice low in the dark of their bedroom as he caressed Thor’s arms wrapped warmly around his midriff absentmindedly “You don’t think we will get in trouble for all the… mess?”

 

Thor raised his head slightly to eye the utterly torn and decimated state of their rooms, stray pieces of ornate furniture laid in all manners of disarray and the coffee table caught swaying with Asgards night wind there where it hanged halfway through the high windows, glass peppering the marble floor like freshly fallen snow.

 

Nah” Thor grinned and snuggled closer to his husband.

 

Steven snickered silently and sighed “Thank you, Thor”

 

The God nodded, understanding with those scant words what the Soldier truly meant to convey, Thor gave the man’s nape a soft, lingering kiss, eliciting the most delightful shiver from the Captain as they both settled down to sleep.

 

“You still have to limp, though” Thor reminded the Soldier after a long minute of calm silence. Steven scoffed and swatted the God’s thigh.

 

“Goodnight, Thor”

 

“Goodnight, Steven”

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 25: The Warning.

 

“No, no, no. You’re doing it all wrong.” Thor hissed, earning a frustrated sigh from the Captain as he halted his stunted gait in the middle of their torn bedding rooms for what could be the twelfth time.

 

“I’m limping, it’s a limp, Thor.”

 

The God shook his head resolutely, hand curling pensively under his bearded chin “No, that’s not right, it isn’t good enough. Try harder.”

 

“Thor” The Captain gritted out his tightly clenched teeth to his husband “This is the exact limp I got from shotgun wound to the leg. It’s good.”

 

“Ah! there is the problem” Thor cried excitedly, waving a finger in the air as he approached the surly Captain and maneuvered him to stiff pose “it’s not pronounced enough! think of it as a deeper kind of a wound, now go again.”

 

“I’ll give you a deeper something…” Steven glared and muttered as he once again limped his way across the room, earning a sultry grin from the God.

 

“Promise?”

 

“Bye, Thor.”

 

“Steven, mind the limp!”

 

---

 

As Thor and Steven walked arm in arm through the Royal halls, the Captain made a valiant effort with the limp and it seemed to be convincing enough as their honor guards, standing silently outside their bedding rooms, all but choked on their own spit at the sight of them and followed the Captain’s troubled step with a violent flush…

 

Almost as dark as the one the Captain was sporting right now. Minus the death glare.

 

It was quite perverse of Thor perhaps, but he very much enjoyed the dark promise in the Captains eyes, sending a thrill of a shiver down his spine as he gently guided his faking husband down the royal halls and past the gawking, tittering Court members.

 

Each whispered comment driving the blush on the fair Captain’s cheeks to go lower and lower down his armor’s neckline. Thor’s grin threatened to part his face in two.

 

The Captain’s glare became a death sentence.

 

“Ha! my sons!” Thor startled out of his unholy glee when his Father called to them. His face an open mirage of surprise and joy, uncommon enough for Thor to take a step back and tuck the irate Captain behind a protective arm. Frigga’s cold stare alone was enough for Thor’s mirth to settle and curdle in his stomach. Remembering her plea the night of their wedding and what this must look like. Thor fought to keep his eyes above ground under the weight of his mother’s disapproval. Regardless of his having abided to her wishes, he would never grow immune to her scolding’s. The All Father strode forward to match his steps with the newlyweds. “Come, join us, you must be famished.”

 

“Thank you, your highness” The Captain smiled pleasantly for the King, blush receding slightly at the distraction of a normal interaction, opposed to their previous leg pulling and shameless teasing. Thor would miss that dearly.

 

Odin clasped a hand to the Captain’s shoulder warmly “None of that my boy, you are my family now. You may call me by my given name.”

 

Steven’s eyes warmed considerably as he nodded to the elderly King “Thank you, Odin.”

 

“Father, good morning.” Thor greeted before the emotion could overwhelm him, looking now upon his Father and his Husband, their twin noncommitting smiles and candid blue eyes was a thing his heart could not stand in large doses. His happiness was aburst and only his mother’s quiet discontent and Loki’s obvious absence staining the wonderous moment. Odin turned to his son and a strange, queer light began to shine in them, reminding him of that time where this whole debacle began and the King thought it funny to bet his son on a whim.

 

Not that Thor was begrudging the results now, but still…

 

“My son, I did not expect to see you so soon, but I understand if you needed a respite of your… duties.” The last part was muttered after a soft, meaningful pause, causing the Captain’s blush to come back with a vengeance. The soldier smiled thinly and hurriedly limped forward to join the silent Mother of God’s. Odin followed his step with a gleeful orb and a knowing grin.

 

“Aye, Steven wished to see our friends before they must part.” Thor confided, following the blonde pair to the great halls where they would break their fast with their friends and subjects before smiling a besotted, shy thing to his Husbands back “And I find myself reluctant to deny him anything at all.”

 

Odin nodded in understanding “Aye, I remember the feeling, I myself was a spineless fool when your mother-“

 

“Argh!”

 

“Odin!”

 

“He is a man now” The All Father argued, unbothered by the stern glare from his wife and his son’s embarrassed fumbling “there is no shame in the pleasures of your wedded bed.” Odin then turned to his blushing son with a cheerful grin “Now tell me my son, when should I bestow my blessing to the good Captain?”

 

Thor coughed and shifted his eyes to anything but his father as he purposely misled “I don’t believe we will try for a child in quite some time, Father. Steven is young yet and I find myself reluctant to part with our new found comforts.”

 

Odin pursed his lips for a long moment, seeming to deliberate over something as they finally entered the great halls and joined their partners by the golden doors.

 

“Yes well, don’t enjoy them too much, I would like to have a brisk step still when my grandchild arrives.”

 

Thor grinned sincerely to the stern King and took Steven’s hand to enter the rooms “Of course, Father.”

 

Thor nudged his husband forth, receiving a soft, uncertain smile from the Captain as he had overheard the conversation with his Father, and the nervous glint Thor hated to see in his husband’s eyes dared to shine once more. The God nuzzled the Captains temple reassuringly as they entered the great halls in direction to the Royal table.

 

Behind him Odin stood silently by the doorway, following his son and husband with a yearning, proud eye. Next to him the Mother of God’s pursed her lips to a thin line, following her husband’s gaze with worried, harried glances. Then the Goddess straightened and pinched the King’s bottom sharply.

 

Odin released a small yelp at the unexpected attack, tendrils of holy power sparking out of his lone orb as he turned a haughty hiss to his offended wife. “Control yourself, woman!"

 

-----

 

The Avengers sat in the large royal table, next to the Guardians of the Galaxy, both teams speaking quietly to the other, or throwing insults at each other, as Tony and Peter argued of the source of the Starlord’s abysmal intellect. Thor approved of this.

 

Both groups fell into a conspicuous silence as they nudged one another, eyeing the halted step of the Captain and Thor’s own proud gait with variating degrees of mirth and horror.

 

“Ha!” Barton barked, turning to a shocked Bruce with an urging, extended palm “Gimme it”

 

The Doctor scoffed as he dug out a large bag of coins and set it grumpily in the Archers waiting hands “Unbelievable”

 

The Captain eyed the exchange with a furious blush and plopped himself sullenly in the seat Thor pulled for him with a distraught scowl and a sarcastic smile “Morning to you too”

 

The Widow nudged the triumphant Archer meaningfully, pointing the Captain’s unflinching sitting and extended her dainty hands silently.

 

Barton gaped at the oblivious Soldier and the smilingly, doting God before groaning loudly and surrendering his winnings to the smirking woman.

 

“I hope you realize you’re cheating my children from their education.”

 

The redhead nodded noncommittedly as she stashed away her bounty in her coat “It’s dirty money, they’ll understand.”

 

To her side Tony observed the newlyweds with a keen eye. Noticing too the important detail that the rest of the table seemed to have missed, and slowly regained the color to his olive skin that had drained at the entrance of the pair and the Captain’s exaggerated limp. Tony breathed an air of relieve as he cheerfully chatted away to the new commers.

 

“Changing to more wholesome subjects, I’m sorry I couldn’t make it to the ceremony” The engineer smiled sharply at the husbands “Looked like a lovely event, the wedding suits though” Tony tutted playfully “I have to say Captain, that uniform did nothing for your ass.”

 

Steven sighed patiently at the Billionaire “No one asked you to look Tony.”

 

To the side Bruce smiled gently at the mortified Captain and the fuming God of Thunder “Don’t listen to him, Steve. I think you looked great.”

 

“Yeah” The Starlord jumped eagerly to agree “As far as I’m concerned that’s America’s ass.”

 

Thor took a small sip of his drink and muttered softly “Was

 

Steven dug a sharp elbow to the God’s ribs under the table, causing him to splutter his drink and cough violently.

 

“Got a Soviet wanting to sing the national anthem, for sure” Natasha joked around a prim sip of her tea, a truly evil glint to her blue eyes as the Captain flushed dark once more.

 

“Ok, enough of that” The Captain commanded in a sharp tone over the insufferable giggles of their teammates and fellow warriors “pass me the bread, Tony”

 

The Man of Iron passed the large basket of steaming breads with a truly jubilant grin, dying quickly as the Captain extended his hand to the pile and caught sight of the blaringly obvious addition.

 

“I see someone is sporting a little something extra on their fingers.” Natasha mussed, extending her dainty hands to the Soldier “Let me see, Steve.”

 

Odin settled next to Thor, catching the interest of the humans to the pair of rings and tilting his head curiously at his son “Huh? what is this?”

 

Thor grinned blindingly bright for his parents, extending his bejeweled hand forward proudly “Midgardian tradition, wedding bands they call them.” He allowed his Mother to take his hand in her own as he turned his enamored eyes to his husband “Steven made them for us.”

 

Frigga gazed down at the golden band with wide, appreciative eyes “Ringerike, impressive.”

 

Thor’s grin grew impossibly wider and positively giddy “I know.”

 

Odin squinted at the fine detail in the golden ring with a matching grin to Thor’s own “Hold it up higher, let us see it in better light…”

 

The Man of Iron’s features twisted as he stared at the bands with barely concealed distaste. The man swallowed thickly; hands frozen around the bread basket as he struggled to regain his composure. “Ok so you put a ring on it, that’s lovely. Anyone want more bread?”

 

His inquiries went unheard as the table continued to fawn over the wedding rings, aliens and human’s alike muttering about the bands in excited musings.

 

“You sure went all out on this, Steve.” Bruce smiled pleasantly, eyeing the band with intrigued brown eyes.

 

The Captain shrugged his self depicting thing, making Thor’s heart ache for this humble, glory of a man “Wouldn’t feel right not to.”

 

So simple, Thor thought, and yet so perfect.

 

Tony hid a grimace behind a bite of his bread and remained silent for the rest of the meal. Thor felt a shock of sadness for his friend, his usually lively, sharp witted tongue wilted under his heartbreak. Thor clasped his husband’s hand under the table with a troubled frown.

 

Perhaps, with time…

 

The God lifted his eyes to meet his spouse’s own, so blue and bright and good. He felt a knot begin to form in his chest

 

No, Thor realized, no amount of time could erase this man.

 

And his sympathy for the Man of Iron froze him to the core.

 

----

 

The Captain’s blush returned in full force as they left the great halls and the limp was once again produced after a pointed look to Asgards clocks. The Captain accepted his Husband’s arm as they all walked past the giggling members of Court and the not so subtle looks of servants.

 

Steven was about to combust under the attention when a small hand was placed on his back, startling the good Captain out of his blushing haze to meet the dark gaze of the Warrior named Gamora.

 

“There is nothing to be embarrassed, Captain” The alien assured kindly “You are as ferocious in bed as you are in battle, it is a gift”

 

“Oh, Gee…” Then the Captain blushed harsher still and Thor boomed in delighted laughter.

 

Until his mother scuffed him over the head.

 

-----

 

That same afternoon, their friends revealed their need to part, Thor felt in his heart the Captain’s despair, quickly hidden from sight as the Avenger’s went about packing away.

 

“You know we’d love to stay longer” Natasha said gently, passing a familiar, tender hand trough the Captain’s blond locks.

 

“Yeah, but evil takes no holidays, and neither do we” Barton said, a heroic smile on his features though his eyes were dull and sad. “We are following up on the location of Loki’s staff and we have some hints on some Hydra Bases that need some blowing up”

 

“Hydra?” Steven startled, his slumped back straightening in alarm and eyeing the silent Director with a searching glance.

 

“Yep, those bastards just won’t die” Fury sighed his bags packed at his feet and smiled for the worried Captain “We are still collecting information, when it’s time, we’ll call you”

 

Steven seemed to relax at this and nodded firmly for the stony Director. “I’ll hold you to that”

 

The Director smiled crookedly and picked his bags up as the rest of the Team gathered their belongings with small but heartfelt smirks.

 

Hydra was up for a fearsome reckoning.

 

The walk to the Bifrost was an animated one. As the good Doctor inquired extensively of the science behind the travel, Thor himself could not revisit the facts entirely, but what he had learned he shared freely to the starry-eyed Scientist.

 

“Perhaps you would like to stay in Asgard for a season Doctor?” Thor offered as they reached the end of the rainbow bridge and a blank faced Heimdall, standing alone and peaceful, his broad sword in his large hands, at the ready to transport the humans back to their realm with a stoic countenance.

 

The Doctor startled violently at the offer, eyes jumping immediately, and perhaps unwillingly to a carefully blank widow. Bruce swallowed harshly as the thoughts whirled a storm in the man’s mind.

 

“You have known my people; we do not fear the other. You would suffer no scorn in Asgard.” Thor vowed to the troubled Doctor before laying a comforting hand to the smaller man’s shoulder “But you must not decide now, a thought for better times, my friend?”

 

The Doctor gave a watery, shy smile and nodded. Steven eyed the exchange with a placid expression, his eyes kind on the emotional Doctor and gifting Thor with a tender, pleased smile.

 

“We will see you soon, I hope.” Barton interjected, smiling to the Captain as he extended his hand for a shake and goodbye.

 

Steven took the proffered hand with a firm nod “I will run ops in a STRIKE team for Shield, and my work as Ambassador is in effect next month. You’ll be seeing a lot of me yet.”

 

Barton grinned mischievously “I could say something, but it’s just too easy. Take care of yourself, Steve.”

 

“Thanks Clint, say hi to the family for me.”

 

“Laura is gonna love that” And the Archer stepped back under the stern frown of the Captain with a childish giggle.

 

“Well, Steve” The Doctor groused, clearing his throat of the overwhelming emotion as he too offered his shaking hand to the Captain “Lovely ceremony; you know, before the aliens.”

 

“I’m starting to get used to that by now” The Captain replied with a cheeky smile as he eyed the still sentimental Doctor kindly “You sure you don’t want to stay? You know you are always welcome here, Bruce.”

 

The Doctor barked a laugh and shrugged “Yeah, I still have one more project to finish on Earth, after…” The Doctor trailed off with an uncertain tone “well, after.”

 

The Captain nodded understandingly “After.”

 

“Come here, Soldier.” The Widow approached with a saucy jut to her lovely hips and a playful glint to her keen blue eyes. Steven extended his arms and embraced the woman softly.

 

“Nat. Always a pleasure.” Steve murmured gently into the red head’s shoulder.

 

The Widow sighed sweetly as she pulled away from the Soldier “No more goodbyes, I’ll see you soon enough, Cap.”

 

Steven duked his head for a second, drawing his composure from that endless well of courage and batted his long buttery lashes at the red head gamely “I’ll be holding my breath.”

 

The Widow laughed charmingly and bestowed a parting kiss to the Captain’s cheek; leaving a dark, red imprint of her plump lips for Thor to frown upon.

 

The Captain turned to the waiting Fury, the silent Director eyeing the exchange with a hard eye. His shoulders loosening some as the Captain approached him, hand extended for the dark man to take.

 

“Director.”

 

Fury smirked “Captain. It has been an honor.”

 

Steve grinned and produced a small rectangular device from his cloak “I should give you this back.”

 

The Director eyed the proffered communicator and shook his head, pushing it back to the Captain’s chest “Nah, keep it, in case you feel like kicking Goldilocks here to the curve one of these days.”

 

Steve smiled his earnest, wholesome smile and tucked the device away only to pull another, smaller and more elegant communicator “Then I would like you to have this…” The Director took the gift with curious hands, eyeing it intently before pocketing it in his long trench-coat as he met the Captain’s pointed, serious gaze “Wherever you are, for whatever reason. Call me, I’ll be there.”

 

The Director allowed a sincere and happy smile to escape his icy exterior as he chuckled “Ha, I’ll keep you to that.”

 

Steve pursed his lips for a moment, eyes bright and so very grateful as he spoke “Thank you, Nick. For everything.”

 

The Director’s resolution broke and his shoulders slumped as he allowed himself one more concession to sentiment “Come here, Steve.” And there in the cocoon of their friendly embrace, the Director whispered softly into the Captain’s ear “Don’t trust her.”

 

Steve fought back his reaction to the warning, mind running away from him as they released and met gazes for just one second too long, then the Director arched a haughty eyebrow and barked in his usual, unflinching tone “Report for duty at 8000, and don’t be late.”

 

Steve smirked, concealing his worries by saluting the other man handsomely “Colonel.”

 

“Ha!” The Director barked his laughter and turned away from the Soldier.

 

“So Thor” Clint approached the God as the Captain said his goodbyes to the Director “will you be coming to Earth with Steve?”

 

Thor nodded eagerly “Aye, not on all occasions mind you, but I will endeavor to pay you all a visit my friends.”

 

Clint nodded back, eyes sharp and lips pursing in thought “Good, good. Say, those dance lessons we talked about, they’re still on, right?”

 

Thor thundered his laughter and patted a heavy hand on the archers back “Barton, Barton, Barton…”

 

Thor sent a glance the Captain’s way, to ensure he was still preoccupied with the Director and mouthed his agreement topped with a wink. The Archer grinned evilly.

 

“Ok, just checking.”

 

Bruce shook his head at the exchange and sighed heavily “Take care of each other, boys.”

 

To his side the Widow smirked coyly up to the grinning God “Make sure the Captain treats you right”

 

Thor laughed heartily at the woman’s playful words “I would tolerate nothing less.” Then the God turned to the final, silent member of the Avengers. Thor stepped up to the morose Man of Iron, back straight and shoulders tight.

 

“Anthony”

 

“Thor.” The Man of Iron shot back with a biting smirk. His eyes hidden behind a pair of dark shades as he sized up the God as if he were not, in fact, a God and Prince; but another one of his Midgardian rivals. Thor had to admit the man had courage.

 

“I hope this will not encumber our friendship.” The God offered the man his hand in peace, startling the human warrior out of his prickly mood.

 

“No, of course not! What are you even-“ The man sighed dramatically and passed an agitated hand through his hair, taking off his shades to reveal his sorrowful, earnest eyes and… send a forlorn gaze to the Captain, sharing an uncharacteristic embrace with the Director. The engineers throat worked around a knot before turning back to the waiting God and finally shaking the awaiting hand “Look, just, just… treat him right, ok?”

 

Thor nodded firmly, laying a hand over his heart as he swore “I will.”

 

“Good.” The Man of Iron said, a shaky, honest smile coming forth as he placed a tentative hand to the God’s bulging arm “He’s going to make you very happy.”

 

The God beamed brightly for his dear friend “He already does.”

 

“Thor.”

 

The God turned to the harsh voice calling his name and found Fury standing impassively by his side, Thor cleared his throat from the earlier emotion of the reaffirmed friendship “Director.”

 

“I hope you realize what you have in your hands now.”

 

Thor gave him a proud grin “I do.”

 

The Director answered with a daring arch of his brow as he stepped impossibly closer to the giddy God “Good, ‘cause I won’t hesitate to come up here and remind you.”

 

The God bowed his head in acquiescence “I would expect no less of you Director, you have my respect.”

 

To the other side, Tony walked up to the pensive Captain, clearing his throat loudly to get the Soldiers attention and smiling irreverently at the blond man.

 

“Well, I guess this is goodbye” Tony snorted inelegantly as he fumbled with his words and chose to bluff under the Soldiers lovely gaze “How many times are we going to do this? Because let me tell you it’s starting to lose some of it’s luster.”

 

The Captain gave him a smile that made him go weak at the knees “It was real swell of you to come Tony, I mean it.”

 

“Ha, bet you thought I would do the whole 'I object' tantrum” Tony joked, pulling his shades over his eyes to hide the redness and moisture he felt coming as he ran his mouth, like he was wont to do “run out with you over my shoulder, did you?”

 

The Captain smiled a cryptic, noncommitting thing that gave the billionaire pause as the Soldier came up to him and said so very softly “Thank you, Tony.”

 

“You’re welcome, Cap.”

 

And with a final handshake, the Avengers were gone.

 

-----

 

That afternoon the God took advantage of the Soldiers disheartened mood to show him to their wedded rooms. Thor was shaking with excitement and nerves as he pulled his crestfallen husband to the Royal quarters, the east side of the palace where the sun would rise with them every day.

 

Thor kicked the doors opened in his rush to get the Captain in the rooms which would hopefully see many, many centuries of wedded bliss.

 

“These are our antechambers, here you can hold court and attend guests when you please so, you will have maidens at your disposition if you so require it. To this side are our bedrooms."

 

“Bedrooms?” The Captain asked, blinking owlishly at the large rooms, decorated in soft, warm colors, none of Asgards ostentatious features, only the necessary fruniture and many, beautiful paintings and tapestries covering the pale walls. Giving it a quiet, sophisticated air that even Thor had been surprised to have achieved. Granted Master Bragi had done the picking of the paintings but Thor had nailed them all in, so he felt no shame in taking credit to the Captains wonder.

 

“Of course, Steven. These are our chambers, you will have your own private rooms as well as our common, wedded bed.” Thor explained with a large smile, guiding the surprised Captain across the antechambers to the largest pair of doors to what would be their shared bed.

 

“Oh, wow” Steven breathed, eyeing the large bed sat middle of the room, where the walls consisted of large windows staring out to the Queens gardens and the small pond Loki used to lure Thor and attempt to drown him… Thor would not disclose this detail, but eyeing the special place gave him a happy thrill; besides, it was rather beautiful in the early dawn.

 

“I know, it has not much in the ways of comforts, but I am quite certain that I can distract you from the lack of furniture if you allow it” Thor slurred provocatively, hiding the real uncertainty as he eyed the near barren rooms, it’s only feature being the large, comely bed and the small, unobtrusive nightstands tucked at the sides. Leaving all the decorating to natures own whims.

 

Steven’s pale, withdrawn face practically bloomed into a breathtaking smile as he walked around the bed, eyes dancing with delight as he gazed out the windows to the gardens and the panoramic luxury of the many flowers growing all around. For Thor knew Steven enjoyed his flowers.

 

“This is amazing Thor”

 

“Come, there is more”

 

“More?” Steven laughed, beaming at the excited God as he pulled the Soldier to one of the many discreet doors on the entryway.

 

“These are our bathing rooms; I took the liberty of ordering for a larger bathing tub… If you ever feel like having company” The God grinned wickedly as they both stared at the tub, sat in the center of the room and more resembling a small pool than any bathing tub had the right to. He would deeply enjoy the space, once the Captain was amenable.

 

Steven shot him a look but merely smiled as he allowed himself to be dragged out and into the next door.

 

“These are my private rooms” Thor boasted with a wide wave of his arm “you are welcome here of course, if you ever feel like joining me”

 

Thor had just dragged his childhood rooms into this one, minus the bed, and now these chambers sported all manner of trophies and weapons, as well as pictures and books that he had shared and cherished with his brother in their boyhoods. Things he could never bare to part with no matter his age. The Captain clenched the God’s hand in silent gratitude for the gesture and the trust this offer extended. To have another in a place so private, so full of secrets and treasures. Thor felt more naked now than he had ever been without a stitch of cloth on. But if he had to choose anyone to share his most private self with, he could not choose one more worthy than his husband.

 

Thor dared to place a kiss to the Captain’s brow, startling a soft chuckle from the man as he was once again dragged across their wedded room to the other side of the shared chambers.

 

“And these” Thor breathed anxiously as he set his hands on the handle of the sole remaining room. Building up the courage he burst the door open with a wide grin “Are your private rooms”

 

Here, decorated and furnished in complete Midgardian fashion, was a large studio. Complete with living room, a large workshop and a small kitchenette. Thor had slaved over these rooms and acquiring all the appropriate items to make it near indistinguishable to a Midgardian home, that is, if you ignored Asgards city bulging out the horizon from the large windows that covered a whole east wall.

 

Steven startled back, hand flying up to his chest as if it had been punched, his blue eyes bulging out of his head as he stood in the doorway, face pale again and breaths coming in harsh, wheezing pulls.

 

“Do you not like it?” Thor sobered, worry etching on his bearded face as he saw the Captain stand frozen in the entrance and scrambled for anything to nudge his husband from his troubling state “I even bought you a doormat”

 

The Captain followed the God’s finger down to his feet, where a small, coarse square of fuzzy mat in greens and blues shouted 'Welcome' to all who entered.

 

Steven stared down at the unassuming, startling cheerful piece and his body began to shake, violent silent sobs wrecking his tall, perfect posture as the Soldier bent in half, only Thor’s steadying hands halting his descent to his knees. Thor swallowed down his inquiries, holding the trembling Soldier in his arms as the waves shook the indomitable man like a small child. Most heartbreaking of all: The Captain did not shed a tear, not a single sound left his gaping wide lips as sorrow rode its terrible path through the man’s soul.

 

A silent tragedy.

 

What a horrible thing to think, that all this time, the Captain could be hurting so, and Thor would never have known, had he not seen it with his own eyes. Thor curled over the Captain, embracing him tighter to his chest as he rocked them together gently. Placing random kisses to his brow, his cheeks, his fluttering eyelids until his breathing calmed, and the shaking stopped.

 

Thor took hold of the Captains body and carefully pulled him up, near carrying in his arms to the plush sofa in the living space where he laid back and allowed the Captain to lay over him, or move away as he offered his silent comforts in small pets of the man’s hair and back, peppering kisses wherever he could reach, trying to give him space but not standing the thought of letting him out of his arms.

 

It took a couple of minutes, but the Captain’s mind was freed from its miserable fog of despair and the Soldier rose his head slowly from the God’s chest, like a scared newborn fowl, he dared look around him and his eyes shown with wonder.

 

The Captain released a sobbing laugh, the first sound to leave his lips after the episode had begun. And he gave it to Thor, that happy, shy thing of a laugh, only for Thor.

 

The God felt a tear run down his temple and grinned proudly up to his Husband. “I take it you like it”

 

Steven scoffed, his lively, fiery self coming out as he ducked his head down to the God’s chest, giving his armored sternum an affectionate nuzzle before the man sighed “I love it… Thank you”

 

“I know it cannot compare to the life you could have had in Earth, but…”

 

“You’re right” The Captain interrupted glancing up at the God with shinning, soulful eyes “ It doesn’t compare” Thor felt himself wilt at the blunt admission before his husband placed a lovely skim of a kiss to the God’s slack lips and said “This is so much better”

 

And before Thor could correct the man and give a proper, truly thorough kiss, the Captain jumped to his feet and shot around the room with the hearty excitement of a young child in a sweet’s shop. Gasping and laughing at each new trinket he encountered, shouting his laughter as he found a record player and some large, black disks with large carton sleeves announcing many random Midgardian Artists. The Captain barked a loud, amused cackle as he eyed one called Marvin Gaye and shot Thor a thrilling, wicked grin.

 

“I think we can listen to this one later”

 

“Whatever you wish, Captain” Thor vowed vehemently, sitting still on the sofa, reeling from the feather light kiss and fighting the urge to hunt the Soldier down for more. “These are all yours”

 

The Captain smiled abashedly, tucking the record back and wandering away to the other side of the room, where Thor had transferred all his art materials and Master Bragi’s teaching equipment. “You will be able to have your lessons here, if you prefer it”

 

Steven nodded eagerly as he inspected everything in reach with a grin so wide Thor could not help but mirror in his own face. Then the Captain wandered out to the kitchenette, eyes caught by a large binder resting smack center in the marbled counter. Thor cleared his throat as he rose from his seat, just as the Captain opened the binder to the first page.

 

“I thought, perhaps, after the first year we could spend some time on Earth, have a house of our own…” Thor hurried to explain as Steven frowned down to the pages and pictures of grand houses and apartments “As Ambassador of Earth your travels will be frequent, it is only proper we have a place of our own… What do you say, Captain?”

 

“A house?” Steven gasped, eyes scrambling over the pages and up to Thor in such a hopeful, vulnerable gaze Thor felt his heart break once more “Our… House?”

 

“Would you like that?” Thor asked, taking the Captains hands there were they laid frozen on the binder of all the Houses Thor had compiled for them. The Captain struggled once more, his throat working and jaw clenching over nothing as he battled the emotions rising in his chest.

 

“It’s… It’s all I ever…” Steven fell silent once more, head hanging down and eyes glued to a picture, a picture of a large, pale blue house with white picket fence, then the Captain straightened, like a balloon being filled, his head tall and shoulders pulled back “Yes, yes I’d like that very much, please.”

 

“Then we shall have it” Thor promised, clenching the man’s left hand, the cold of their wedding bands meeting until it warmed under their touch.

 

Steven smiled for Thor.

 

And Thor fell for him.

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 26: An Apple a Day

 

“I am a scholar!” The elderly man cried “I should not be on my knees polishing cheap leather shoes!”

 

To his side, sitting on a large box and kicking his stick like legs back and forth, was a small child; blond hair perfectly combed and large clothes covered in black splotches; worrying a large, Golden apple near larger than his own head in his tiny, bony hands.

 

“You can go home now if ya want Mr. Tom, I can finish up all by myself.” The boy assured, eyeing the irritated man with bright, red rimed eyes and breathing in harsh wheezes of air behind a damp handkerchief tied securely over his mouth and nose.

 

The man scoffed primly, taking a new pair of shoes to his lap with an expression of deep disgust on his wrinkled features “You will choke on the fumes and disappear under a pile of soles, never to be seen again.”

 

The small boy bristled and puffed his hollowed chest up defiantly “Would not! I’m a man now.”

 

“You are all of five years old, Steven.” The man countered patiently, rolling his dark eyes behind his heavy glasses “You are a far cry from a man.”

 

“A man is defined by his actions, not his size.” The child recited confidently, big blue eyes bright and earnest “Besides, with my Da’ gone I have’ta take care of my mama.”

 

“And poisoning yourself with this radioactive garbage is going to do that, how?”

 

“I’m gonna get 2 dollars for it” The boy boosted proudly, hugging the large fruit to his sunken belly in excitement “enough for a new dress and supper!”

 

“… Keep eating your apple, child. I will help you finish.”

 

The boy slumped, appearing even smaller than he already was as he sighed, breaths halted and troubled still, his diminutive lungs whistling audibly “You really don’t have’ta Mr. Tom, it can’t be no good on your knees.”

 

It was the man’s turn to bristle at the comment, straightening his curved back and shooting an affronted look to the small child “What are you talking about, you little runt? I can do this all day!”

 

And then he promptly overturned the jar of black shoe polish on his lap.

 

“I can do this all day!” The boy mimicked in a higher pitched tone than his usually acute childish voice, one pitch away from shattering glass, and giggled unrepentant around a mouthful of juicy apple at the sharp glare from the elderly man.

 

----

 

Thor had just crossed the threshold of Steven’s private rooms when the God was tackled out of the way by a smaller, thoroughly agitated God of Arts, mousy features flushed crimson and desperate.

 

“Thank the Norn’s. You are here” Master Bragi breathed, pushing the alarmed God of Thunder into the room he had just trampled him out of with pressing hands “Go, take him!”

 

Thor arched a brow at the elder man, causing him to flush impossibly harder as he scrambled to correct himself “No! I mean…. argh!”

 

And with that last bit of eloquence the God of Arts turned on his heel and stomped out of their Wedded rooms. Thor blinked after the man and turned to glance questioningly at his smirking husband, crooning another of his Midgardian tunes with a truly wicked gleam to his bejeweled blue orbs.

 

“Walking my baby back home…”

 

Thor thundered his laughter as he entered Steven’s rooms with his gift.

 

“You are going to drive Master Bragi to an early grave if you continue that.”

 

The Captain gave an utterly unrepentant shrug of his wide shoulders “Well I am in my bedroom…”

 

Thor stifled another bout of laughter, fondling nervously the golden apple in his large hands. He had spoken with his Father of this, of taking this step so soon after their wedding. But Thor had been vehement, the sooner the better, in his opinion.

 

He… He loved this man. He would not wait to share eternity with him; and somehow, Odin had not been entirely against it. Perhaps that comment of grandchildren had more purpose than he had let on. Thor fidgeted some more, feeling uncharacteristically shy as he approached his busy husband.

 

“Here, husband.” Thor spouted hurriedly, purposely obtuse while shoving the fruit to the startled Captain’s chest “A gift from Idunn’s trees.”

 

The oblivious Captain smiled brilliantly and took the proffered apple happily.

 

“Oh, gee. Thanks Thor. I was starving.” And the Captain took a large bite of the holy fruit, he chewed away merrily as he polished the stump of marble he was working on with one careful, graceful hand.

 

Nothing.

 

No reaction at all.

 

Thor frowned, eyeing the unperturbed Captain eat the sacred apple of the Gods as one does any common fruit.

 

“Steven?” Thor gentled, feeling unsettled by the man more than he could readily explain.

 

“Yes Thor?” The Captain replied distractedly, taking another large, careless bite of his treat, loud enough to cause the God to wince.

 

Thor faked a smile over his unease for his magnificent and strange spouse “Nothing” The God finally said, deciding best to leave the matter for another time as he wandered closer to his studious Husband “What are you working on now?”

 

“Sculpting a hand.”

 

Thor smiled at the mortal and his nonchalance to both his work and receiving immortality by the hands of a God, alike. Thor eyed the Captain with heated, tender interest, now that he had left behind his perturbed thoughts and leaned on much happier endeavors, such as… “Won’t you finish your song for me, husband? Let us hear what had the God of Arts so distraught.”

 

“Ha.” The Captain barked, grinning winningly at his husband, eyes sharp with that devious light Thor both feared and adored as he began to croon his previous tune.

 

“By the Norn’s, Steven!” Thor gasped, face flushed and eyes bulging out of his skull as the Captain concluded his song. No wonder the elderly God had ran like a soul out of Hel!

 

Thor shifted on his feet, trying and failing to ease the grip of his trousers on his swelling manhood. Steven scoffed, blissfully unawares of his spouse’s aching state of arousal. “Oh please, it’s not even that bad! You should listen to what they’re singing these days on Earth. Nothing subtle about that.”

 

Thor grinned lasciviously, coming closer to loom over the Captain’s workstation. “Really? tell me more of these modern songs, Husband.”

 

Steven took another bite of the apple and shot a pointed glance for the pinning God “You’re really climbing up the wrong tree there Thor.”

 

Thor’s grin widened impossibly “Oh, I rather think I’d love to climb up your-“

 

“Hello, General” Steve greeted, voice pleasant and beautiful eyes set back firmly on his creation, nibbling tantalizingly so on the bones of Idunn’s fruit.

 

“Ha!” Thor laughed, undisturbed “That will not fool me twice, Steven”

 

“Hello, My princes.” The Dark God replied in a deadpan, standing but three feet behind the horny God of Thunder.

 

“Heimdall!” Thor span in a frantic leap and waving of arms, accidently knocking over Steven’s work off its stand and shattering with a tremendous crash on the marbled floor.

 

Thor eyed the remains of the barely forming limb of stone, the room set in a heavy, incredulous silence as the three men gazed down at the ruined piece of art in various degrees of horror.

 

“Thor…”

 

----

 

Outside of the Wedded rooms, in the royal training grounds by the Queen’s private gardens; The Warrior Three and Lady Sif gathered to train and enjoy the warm, summer day when the sounds of grunts and loud crashes once again filled the palace, harsh thumps of bodies against walls and what sounded like a third voice, deep and coaxing, mingling with the intelligible shouts, culminating with high shrill cry of:

 

Thor!”

 

Hogun, Valstagg and lady Sif glanced at one another, eyes bright and wide with astonished amusement while the blond Frandal flushed and seethed.

 

“That lucky Bastard!”

 

“Wait…” Hogun jolted, his slim eyes unnaturally wide and pale faced “was that Heimdall?!”

 

That Lucky Bastard!!!”

 

----

 

‘You sure… you wanna keep… playing Mr. Tom?... You’re losing an awefu-uh-ul lot.’

 

‘Yes. In peanuts, I believe it will not leave me short on rent just yet… Why are you breathing like that?’

 

‘Don’t know… My throat feels… scratchy.’

 

‘Stop that Steven, why are you turning purple?’

 

‘I said---I don’t know!... mama never—touch pea---nutssss’

 

‘Odin’s beard! Is there anything on this planet that won’t kill you, boy?!’

 

‘Who- Odinnnn?’

 

‘Hush now, nibble on these apple slices. There’s a good lad…’

 

-----

 

“Steven?”

 

Steve blinked back to the present, meeting the cautious, worried glances of the Gods. One sat on a high stool with a bare hand held up for referral, and the other; pouting and bruised in the far corner of Steve’s workshop.

 

“Are you well, Captain?” Heimdall questioned, his golden eyes boring into the Soldiers confused ones with something akin to intrigue.

 

Steve grinned at the pair and nodded. “Yeah, just daydreaming”

 

-----

 

‘A little piece of advice, my boy: In a fight, just do what that other scoundrel does.’

 

‘But all Bucky ever does is run!’

 

‘Exactly.’

 

‘Well I ain’t runnin’ away. My mama used to say: You always stand up, Steven.’

 

‘I found you sprawled out in a back alley, boy. You can hardly call that standing.’

 

‘I was before you got there.’

 

‘You mean before you fainted out of blood loss?’

 

‘I was resting my eyes, I could have kept fighting if them punks hadn’t ran away first.’

 

‘I could put you over my lap this instant and give you a sounding for that. Norn’s above, no one would blame me for it!’

 

‘I’m sorry I scared you, Mr. Tom.’

 

‘Yes, well, don’t be sorry, be careful. Now sit up and eat this.’

 

‘Ow, I think I pulled a muscle.’

 

‘Steven, darling. You can’t pull what you don’t have.’

 

‘Ha, ha, real funny Mister- pull my hairs out, bald headed -Tom.’

 

That’s it!’

 

‘No, no, sorry! Sorry! I’ll be good, don’t spank me- ah!’

 

----

 

Odin sat back in his Throne, hand curled tightly around his staff. Eyeing the sole person in the great halls with quiet consideration.

 

“You have given me much to think about. I thank you for your cooperation, Lady Gamora.”

 

Gamora nodded dutifully “Will my sister be freed. Your Highness?”

 

“Of course, you may go to her this instant if you wish.”

 

Gamora fought back the tears of heart wrecking relief as she bowed deeply for the God “Thank you, All Father…” She turned to leave before halting after a step, head tilting thoughtfully as she whispered over her shoulder to the imposing man “One last thing, if I may, my King.”

 

“You may, child.”

 

“Do not underestimate the Titan.”

 

Odin’s eye gleamed with unmitigated power, a smile promising destruction and death freezing the warrior in her place.

 

“And he should not underestimate me…”

 

------

 

Gamora crossed Asgards dungeons with her head held high, ignoring the whistles and catcalling from the prisoners around her, specially ignoring the one prisoner behind the gleaming wall of powerful spells.

 

That is one sin Gamora had not had the courage to disclose to the All Father; hence, her hurry to get her sister and friends off this planet. As fast and as inconspicuously as she can. She felt cold sweat bead her brow as emerald eyes followed her path to the cell holding Nebula. The blue cyborg sitting dishearten in the middle of the cell. Looking as small and defenseless as a child.

 

“It is done, you are free” Gamora said, drawing the attention of her sister in a harsh jolt.

 

Nebula blinked and sneered “You traitor, Father will know of this, your life and mine will be forfeit.”

 

“Not if Odin gets to him first.”

 

Nebula scoffed awkwardly, laughter foreign enough to the alien for even derision to sound wrong and stunted “You put your faith on an aging God.”

 

“You saw what he did to Ronan…” Gamora argued, voice earnest and hopeful and awed. That kind of power… she had never seen the likes of it, never even imagined it “He didn’t even break a sweat when faced with the power stone. He may be our only hope.”

 

“Yours perhaps, I have no illusions of what you will do when Thanos comes.” Nebula hanged her blue head in dejection “Putting yourself second to me, you did not when we were children, you won’t now.”

 

Gamora bristled under the weight of the accusation, the truth under the sentence making her recoil “I did what I needed to survive.”

 

Nebula sprung to her feet with a furious sneer “And I needed you! I needed my sister!”

 

Gamora swallowed thickly, eyes welling as Nebula spouted her hurt like venom “When he would tear me apart and put me back together; again and again and again and again!... because you would not lose, not once, to stop my suffering.”

 

“I should…” Gamora trailed off, feeling and knowing her reassurances meant nothing now, as she gazed upon the many ‘upgrades’ the defiled her sister’s body, all the pain she had endured… “I failed you, I was a child and I was scared. I’m sorry.”

 

“I don’t need you to be sorry.” Nebula barked, voice wrought and shaky “I need you to be my sister... I need you to stay.”

 

“I will” Gamora said, for once bringing out the courage she should have had, the loyalty she felt but had not shown, Gamora extended her hand for her sister to take, palms meeting between the unbreakable bars of Asgards prisons. The woman smiled wetly to the cyborg “I promise, I will.”

 

----

 

‘By the Norn’s! What are you wailing about, child?!’

 

‘I ain’t wailing! I’m singing the blues’

 

‘Blue is how I will leave your hide if you keep that up. Who taught you those vulgar rhymes? It was that Barnes boy, wasn’t it? I will have some words with his mother, see if I don’t!’

 

‘You don’t like music, Mr. Tom?’

 

‘I enjoy music, not brothel drivel’

 

‘What’s a brothel?’

 

‘If you don’t know what a brothel is, maybe you shouldn’t be singing about them, hmm?’

 

‘I was singing about love and pretty dames. Nothing wrong about that.’

 

‘You are twelve Steven and all of four feet tall, everything is wrong about that. Now shush before I take you to Father Dale for confession. And eat your meal, I swear you’re getting scrawnier by the second.’

 

‘…I bet Father Dale would like it.’

 

‘One more word, Steven…’

 

----

 

That afternoon, barely a day after the Avenger’s departure, Steven had to say his goodbyes once more. Thor followed the Captain’s step as he approached the strange leader of the group with that winning, kind smile that could command armies and make seasoned warriors bend the knee.

 

Steven extended his hand for the other human, standing regal in his Asgardian clothes and long flowing cape. Every bit the Prince he had become as he shook hands with Quill “Well, this is goodbye, it was an honor meeting you.”

 

Quill beamed at the handsome Soldier and continued to shake his hand far longer than strictly necessary, or polite “The honor was ours, Captain.”

 

“If you ever need anything, anything at all…”

 

“Right back at you grandp- I mean, Cap!” The strange human stumbled, correcting himself with a soft flush to his scarcely bearded face and finally releasing the Captain’s hand “Captain America. Because you are, The Captain America.”

 

The Furry one scoffed and sighed painfully “Don’t embarrass yourself Quill, you’re making us look bad.”

 

The tree nodded along and pushed the human, non to gently to the side, before taking the Captain’s hand and shaking it vigorously “I am Groot.”

 

“The offer stands” Thor remarked on this, smiling down to the foreign team, plus cyborg, and bowing his head in recognition of their merits “I owe you a debt for saving our people, I will not forget this.”

 

“Yeah, sure.” Quill scratched the back of his head, recuperating quickly form his mishap and grinning winningly “And if you guys ever need anything, and we are around…”

 

“Thank you, Starlord.” Steven said, grateful and sincere, sidestepping quickly out from the tree’s reach as it produced yet another sac and thrust it forth.

 

The Starlord giggled childishly as the rest of his team batted the wooden creature away “Oh, that will never not give me shivers.”

 

“To much, Quill.” Gamora admonished, offering a smile to the golden husbands and nodding her goodbyes.

 

“I am honored to have made the acquaintance of men so fine as you.” The one named Drax said, his voice filled with admiration as he glanced from one husband to the other before placing heavy, groping hands on their shoulders and saying “Please, for the sake of the Universe… procreate.”

 

“Drax!”

 

----

 

‘Don’t sign up for that war, boy. You don’t want to have a man’s life weighing on your conscience.’

 

‘I still will if I let them keep killing those innocent people.’

 

‘And what do you suppose you will do over there? You are but one boy, shipping yourself out only to die in foreign land…’

 

‘I’ve always believed that all you need is one man to make a difference, to stand up when others are told to sit down, to speak loudly for those who have no voice. And fight the good fight.’

 

‘Pretty words for a pretty fool. Do you think suffering will make you a man? Sometimes suffering is just that: Suffering. It doesn’t build character, it doesn’t make you stronger. It just hurts… You will get yourself killed, child. And I won’t be there to stop it.’

 

‘Then I’ll die doing what’s right.’

 

‘Goodbye Steven…’

 

----

 

Steve woke up that night soaked in sweat. He sat up careful to not wake the slumbering, snoring God next to him and got out of the bed with feather light feet. Crossing the room to his private studio where he would stay until his heart stopped hammering.

 

That dream…

 

He remembered having that argument, he had not thought much of Old Mister Tom since he had first came out of the ice, checking out names of friends, both dead or demented, like one checks off a grocery list.

 

That last conversation had haunted him, both before and after the war. That had been the last time he had seen the man. And he had always regretted those being the last words they had shared.

 

Steve sat on the couch of his living room, shivering slightly at the cold that had gathered in the empty room so late in the evening. The Soldier pulled an afghan, the ugliest one he had ever seen, he thought happily, and covered himself as best he could while his mind whirled and raced with his memories.

 

Mister Tom had not approved of him going to war. So much so that he preferred cut all ties with the boy he had practically raised than support his views of justice.

 

And now, after all Steve had lived and seen. He could see his reasons. He had always thought that the bravest thig to do was to go and fight, now he could understand the valor of staying, and that was brave too.

 

What had been of good Mr. Tom? A seasoned bachelor and immigrant, his only connections to the world being Steve and the grocer’s shop.

 

Had he died of a natural cause, gone quietly in his sleep? Or had his tired knees given their final insult and fell and hit his shiny bald head?

 

Would anyone have heard the fall? Would anyone notice when the prickly old man failed to show for his groceries? Would anyone care?

 

Mister Tom must have died alone. No record that Steve could find of the man’s death, or his burial. Gone as if he had never existed. Never cleaned the blood under Steve’s nose after an ill-fated fight, never given a scolding so magnificent and proper that the Queen of England would envy… Never stayed the night late so Steve could calm when his lungs just refused to draw breath and at five years old he’d be terrified to die in his sleep.

 

All that kindness, gone without a trace. Because Steve hadn’t been there to remember.

 

Mr. Tom needed him, as much as those people across the sea had needed him. And he had failed him too.

 

Who had found him, after… had they found him quickly? or until the smell…?

 

Steve’s body convulsed and heaved, his dinner climbing up his throat as he scrambled off the couch and ran to the bathroom. He barely made it there when his stomachs content upends it’s self out in a loud hurl.

 

Steve choked and spluttered, wiping a trembling hand over his lips.

 

“Steven?”

 

Steve sighed as a heavy warm hand rubbed comforting circles on his back. Grounding and calming, Steve relaxed into the soft swirls made by that hand and washed his mouth out when a glass of water was offered for him to take.

 

“I know it is perhaps to soon to tell yet” Thor said in a drole tone, eyeing the shivering Soldier with a sharp gaze “but… Are we expecting, Steven?”

 

Steve barked a laugh and pushed the empty glass to the God’s chest, deep chuckles joining his own as he leaned back on the God and allowed his husband to pass a damp cloth over his sweaty face.

 

“You are burning up, Steven” Thor startled, pressing his large hands to his forehead and neck in gentle taps.

 

“No, I’m not” Steve argued, he hadn’t had a fever since the serum, not even a sneeze or sniffle. Thor shuffled to his feet, pulling the shivering Soldier into his arms and up on his shaky legs.

 

“We should go to the Healing rooms” Thor reasoned, gently guiding his husband out of the bathroom.

 

“Thor noooo” Steve began to protest before his voice waved out and his legs buckled under him. Out like a candle in harsh winds and limply hanging from the God’s terrified arms.

 

“Steven!”

 

----

 

“It is the apple” Mistress Eir explained as she passed her hands over the unconscious Captain’s chest, sensing with Sedir the burning of Idunn’s influence on the man’s soul “It’s power is running through his veins, he should be perfectly well by dawn.”

 

Thor sighed in relief, brow furrowed as he glued his eyes to his husband “I don’t remember it ever being this way.”

 

“The Captain isn’t a common reference to begin with.”

 

“Aye, I suppose not.” Thor conceded and followed the Goddess out of the room when she beckoned to him, however reluctant he was to part from Steven’s side. The fear and horror of having his husband faint and wither in his arms would likely haunt his dreams for eternity. His newfound love for the man, however unrequited it may still be, enough for Thor’s soul to die along with him. He could not lose another love. He was not that strong.

 

“All will be fine, my Prince” Mistress Eir consoled with a patient smile for the glum God “fret not, he should awaken any second now.”

 

And like a signal being sent, Steven’s voice called from inside the room “Thor?”

 

“And there it is.” The Goddess smirked as the God of Thunder all but tore the flimsy wall down to re-enter the room and plop himself by his husband’s side.

 

“Steven!”

 

“You should still remain here for the night, I believe.” Mistress Eir ordered, her wrinkled face tender though stern on the newlywedded pair, the sweetness of the God’s fumbling attentions to his spouse enough to make the elderly woman fight to hold back a coo.

 

“No, I’m not staying” Steven slurred, attempting to straighten in his bed and finding himself as weak and uncoordinated as a newborn babe. Thor patted the man back down with patient hands.

 

“Steven”

 

“I can’t, Thor, no”

 

“You may stay with him if you please, my Prince.” The elder woman offered, beginning to step back out of the room and allow the pair their privacy “Keep him company while the fever burns away.”

 

“Thank you, Mistress Eir.” Thor thanked the Goddess before turning his attention to the weakly struggling Soldier, face flushed and eyes wide and frantic.

 

“Thor, I can’t…” Steven pleaded, shifting restlessly in his sick bed and eyes beseeching on the troubled God. “People die here”

 

“No, people heal here. Now hush, Steven. Try to sleep. I will stay with you” Thor calmed, tucking himself in the small bed besides the soldier and curling his arms around the man, more perhaps for his own comfort than the Captains.

 

“What if I don’t wake up again?” Steven murmured, his voice so small and distant that he could well be speaking in his dreams.

 

Thor struggled to keep his emotions at bay, his eyes watering at the Captain’s small voice and pressing a loving kiss to his fevered brow “You will, my darling, I will make sure of it”

 

“Promise?” Steven gripped on to the God, blue eyes big and supplicant “You’ll wake me? You’ll wake me up if I start to slip away?”

 

Thor choked on a harsh breath, cold horror dowsing him as he gripped on to the Soldier tighter “You—Yes, Steven. I promise.”

 

“Don’t let me go in my sleep.” The man begged, his voice barely a whisper as sleep began to pull him under.

 

“I will never let you go, my love.” The God vowed, cuddling the shivering, sleepy man to his chest “Now lay back, you will not be alone.”

 

“He was alone…” The Captain breathed, a fading frown on his damp brow as his eyes fluttered shut “I let him die alone.”

 

“Who, Steven?”

 

But the Captain was gone, breathing the deep pulls of air of the soundly asleep. Thor felt the guilt and unease of the day gather in his chest as he brushed the sweat damp hair from the Captain’s boiling brow. Taking a wet cloth to dab at the fevered skin gently, Thor spent the night counting his love’s breaths. As he promised.

 

-----

 

‘Why do you always have apples in your pockets Mr. Tom? It seems to me they’d be a whole lot of trouble to carry around all the time.’

 

‘Well you know what they say, one apple a day keeps the doctors away.’

 

‘Bucky told me ya was tryin’ to fatten me up so ya can eat me.’

 

‘Ha! If I wanted to eat one of you, I’d go for that Barnes older sister; now that is a plump one.’

 

‘Hey! Don’t talk about Lucy like that, that’s not nice!’

 

I’m not nice.’

 

‘That ain’t true, you’s the nicest Mister in the whole wide world.’

 

‘You are all of four years old Steven, what do you know of the world?’

 

‘Not much, but I know most Misters in Brooklyn and they ain’t half as nice as you... My papa isn’t very nice neither…’

 

‘I’ve noticed that, on occasion… He seems rather fond of his moonshine.’

 

‘I’d a loved if you’d been my papa, Mister Tom. You seem like you’d a be a good papa. ‘

 

‘… Eat your apple, Steven.’

 

‘Do you have any children, Mister Tom?’

 

‘Yes, an eight-legged horse and a serpent.’

 

‘… You could’a just say no.’

 

‘Finish your apple, Steven. Then we will work on your grammar.’

 

‘But I don’t have a grandma, Mister Tom.’

 

Oh, dear me.’

 

------

 

Steve awoke with a startle, glancing frantically around himself while strong, but careful hands kept him from falling of the bed.

 

“Hush, Steven, it was only a dream.”

 

Steve turned to the tired God, breaths beginning to even out “Thor?”

 

“Aye, I am here, all is fine…” The God caressed his hands over Steven’s cool skin and smiled softly “You were tossing horribly, what ever have you dreamt of?”

 

Steve swallowed, blinking about as he tried to recall his dream and drawing up blank “I… I don’t know, I can’t remember.”

 

-----

 

In the Dungeons, whistling cheerfully in the early dawn. Loki, The God of Mischief and Lies, grinned up to the blank ceiling, feeling how his spells were gnawed away by Idunn’s holy power.

 

The dam had broken, and soon… Odin would drown in his deceit.

 

 

 

Chapter Text

 

Chapter 27: The Hunting Trip

 

The morning after the fever had abandoned Steven’s skin, Thor lay wide awake, blinking tiredly and smiling quietly to himself as he rested his bearded chin on his husband’s shoulder. The Captain had fallen back to sleep after whatever horrible dream had woken him and been peacefully resting ever since.

 

“Thor?”

 

Thor raised his head to the lovely figure standing in the doorway. Frigga smiled uncertainly at her son, eyeing both blond men with a faintly pale and stunted expression. Thor blinked and yawned as he straightened, sitting up from his sprawl over Steven’s slumbering form.

 

“Mother?” Thor groused softly, voice rumbling in his chest as he tried to keep from awakening the Captain.

 

“Shouldn’t you be in Council with your Father this morning, my dear?”

 

Thor blinked some more before groaning, cutting himself with a wide-eyed look to a peacefully breathing Soldier and pressing his lips tightly shut. Frigga’s lips trembled with contained laughter at her son’s sleepy antics.

 

“Go now, my darling. I will watch over the Captain”

 

Thor frowned down to his husband and turned to shake his head resolutely to his mother “No, Mother. I must stay with him” Passing a gentle hand over his blessedly cool brow Thor dared to lay a kiss to the smooth forehead, ignoring Frigga’s troubled glances “I promised”

 

“Thor, your Father is not above coming to get you, or worse: Sending Heimdall” The Queen smirked at the lighthearted joke, enjoying how her eldest son began to fidget nervously, remnants of his childish worship and fear of the Dark God shining through.

 

Bringing to Frigga’s mind that faithful night when they were just small boys, both Loki and he; naughty children who thought bedtime was beneath them. Frigga had told them jokingly that the Guardian of the Door laid under their bed, waiting for them to step out in the middle of the night to pull them under and throw them over the edge of the planet, never to be seen again.

 

They had thought it a funny story.

 

So had Heimdall.

 

So much so that one night the boys had risen from their sleep in the middle of the night, silently scurrying to cause mischief someplace in the dark. Heimdall had appeared under their beds and pulled at their skinny ankles.

 

Frigga had never heard screams of horror quite that high ever again.

 

Odin still joked of it every now and then. ‘Remember that time Heimdall made the boys wet themselves?’ Frigga pretended she didn’t find it hilarious. Someone had to upkeep the seriousness in the palace, or they would all devolve into mad fools. And technically, it was her fault in the first place.

 

Which gave her all the rights to continue to use the tactic for as long as she lived.

 

Her son squirmed some more, his inner battle with childhood trauma and his duty to his… husband, wagging for a long moment. Eventually he pursed his lip and squared his wide shoulders. “I shall stay with him. I have given him my word”

 

“Thor” Frigga began.

 

“Thor?” And the Captain echoed. Blinking up at the God gripping him to his chest like an especially large teddy bear. The Soldier pushed at the arms that held him and sighed when instead of releasing they gripped tighter.

 

“Steven!” Thor beamed, dumping his whole weight on his grumpy husband, laughing when the Soldier groaned and batted at him weakly, his brilliant mind addled by sleep and his legendary patience set to it’s lowest. “You are awake! Thank the Norn’s!”

 

“Off” Steven gruffed, pushing a hand to the God’s face as he had dipped to bestow a smacking kiss to his husband.

 

“I am so sorry, Steven” Thor moaned, rubbing his bearded cheek to the Captain’s smooth one in increasingly harsher nuzzles as the man groaned and pushed at the God “This is all my fault, I should have warned you-“

 

“Thor!” Frigga interrupted with a high cry, face frozen in a stiff smile as she hurried to her son’s side and began to pull at his large arms “Your father awaits you. I will care for the Captain now.”

 

Thor blinked and eyed his mother with confused eyes until her pointed head tilt let him know of her intentions. The God of Thunder nodded abashedly and released his grumbling husband to his mother’s expert care “Yes, mother. I shall see you soon, husband”

 

Frigga watched her son go with her heart in her throat, aching for the trust her boy bestowed on her and she would betray irreparably this very day. Turning to the sleep rumpled and flushed Captain, Frigga smiled and placed a gentle hand on the man’s knee.

 

“How would you like we leave this horrid place, Steven?”

 

This seemed to be the trick to lift the fog of early morrow moodiness from the Captain as the handsome man smiled gratefully at the guilt-ridden Goddess.

 

“Lead the way.”

 

-----

 

“You are adapting Steven.” The Queen explained, sitting now by the shade of one of her gazebos, surrounded by her flock of young maidens gracefully fluttering by to tend to her every whim. And sending Steve the most salacious looks he had received since his USO days. Steve sat freshly bathed and flushed under the tittering attentions of the ladies. Frigga took her cup of tea and swirled the liquid with a tiny spoon as she spoke “This is the longest any human has remained in Asgard, in all our history. She begins to call to you.”

 

“Oh.” Steve murmured, shoulders relaxing as the strange feeling he had woken to finally had a reasonable explanation. As he had followed the Queen through the golden halls of the Palace, he had been assaulted with the quiet feeling of recognition. The same you get when you visit your childhood home after a whole life away. It’s different but it’s yours.

 

And the pulsing, like a living thing in every golden wall, beckoning him, embracing him. It had confused Steve to the point he believed he might be hallucinating from a fresh bout of fever. That and Frigga, her constant glances and tight expression.

 

Fury had warned him about her, now Steve was beginning to see why.

 

As Steven turned to thank the giggling maidens for his tea, noticing from the corner of his eye how the Queen shifted in her seat, a quick flash of steel catching the light as a dagger was palmed on the Goddesses’ thigh.

 

Steve pretended to overturn his cup in a blushing scramble when one of the girls sent him a parting wink. Frigga jumped as the hot liquid was spilt, soaking the mantle and dripping down to her lap.

 

“Sorry!” Steve hurried to pat at the mess, breathing in relieve when the maidens returned in a flock of silk skirts to remove the whole mess he’d made. The Queen shuffled inconspicuously in her chair, waving the maidens oblivious hands away when they attempted to clean her lap…

 

Steve made a point of engaging the girls in his conversation with the Queen, keeping them in the room at all moment for as long as he could. The Queen grew restless and silent, blue eyes shifting uncertainly as the morning passed and soon their time together had died out. Steve held back his sigh of relieve as the Queen called their meeting to an end.

 

“Forgive me, Steven” She smiled weakly, accompanying him to the Royal halls, hand maidens tagging along like simpering ducklings as they passed the golden doors “I have duties to attend to this afternoon. But here, you will need this in case the fevers return.”

 

Steve took the proffered vial of clear liquid from her shaking hand with a fake smile “Thank you, my Queen.”

 

The Queen smiled back just as stiffly “Frigga, please. You are my son’s partner… we are family.”

 

The words sounded like she had had to drag them wailing and scratching out of her lips, reluctant and cold.

 

Steve nodded to the Goddess “Thank you, Frigga.”

 

The Mother of God pursed her lips, a small twitch to her cheek belaying her pleasant exterior. Steve was careful to keep his back to the wall as they parted ways, purposely smiling and waving cheekily at the blushing maidens until they were out of sight. Steve sighed heavily as he entered his rooms, sprinting for the bathroom where he poured out the vial on to the sink, almost expecting smoke to come out or the liquid to eat out the ceramic like acid.

 

Poison and Daggers, Steve laughed humorlessly, an edge of panic showing as he leaned over the sink for a long moment. He hadn’t had so many assassination attempts since WWII France!

 

“Sure know how to make a fella feel welcomed” Steve said to himself, passing his hands through his unkept hair and sighing deeply.

 

So, apparently mothers in law are crazy, no matter what planet they come from.

 

Amen to that, Stevie…

 

------

 

That night Thor burst into their Wedded rooms, smiling in relieve as he found his husband reading peacefully in their bed. Steven’s eyes rose, his brow furrowed at the disheveled state of the God as he marched forward with a pained expression.

 

“Steven, I have been searching for you all day.” Thor began, stopping by the foot of their bed and meeting the Captain’s confused gaze with a shamed one of his own as he put all his efforts into groveling “I am deeply, deeply sorry-“

 

“It’s fine Thor, your mom explained.” The Captain halted the God with a patient smile, closing his book and setting it to the side, smile growing at the astonished blinking of his husband as he was met with candid words instead of shouts of indignation for deceiving him into immortality. Steven continued when the God could only gape back “I get it. It would have been nice to have a head’s up first, I won’t lie.” Thor winced, bracing himself for the recrimination he knew he deserved, but none came. Steven continued to smile and took his book back into his lap with a serene expression “But you had no way of knowing it would be like that.”

 

Thor gaped a bit more, eyes darting around the room; expecting Loki to come out and stab him or something that made a bit more sense than the Captain, the paragon of Truth and Free will, accepting he had been tricked into something as serious as impending Godhood with a smile. Thor shifted on his feet and probed tentatively “You are not mad?”

 

“No, Thor. I’m not.”

 

Thor nodded, shifting on his feet some more “Good, Good.”

 

Steven arched a high brow over the edge of his book “Good.”

 

“Good.”

 

The Captain rolled his eyes at the Godly echo and sighed “Just come to bed Thor.”

 

“There is a catch to this, I know it.” Thor muttered to himself, tearing his robe off in a hurry, boots flying as he scurried onto the bed with a grin, prowling onto a stoic and utterly unimpressed Captain.

 

“Sleep, Thor.”

 

“And there it is.” The God said and then he lounged.

 

Steven laughed, gasping slightly when Thor jumped on him, molding his mouth over the Captain’s for a share of questing, happy kisses; trapping the book onto the Soldier’s chest and left forgotten for the evening. They had not kissed like this since their wedding night, some random pecks here and there, but never like this. Thor curled his fingers into the Captain’s short, golden locks, delighting in the softness of it. Steven answered his kisses with sweet caresses, shy and uncertain as he curled his hands on the God’s biceps.

 

“Thor.” He breathed, clenching his fingers onto the God’s arms, stalling him. The God gave one last peck to his lovely lips before rolling off and settling down to his side; large, grand smile and flushed face for his stunned husband as he turned the lights off with a flick of a wrist.

 

“Good night, Husband.”

 

He would have to remember to spend some time with his Mother tomorrow, to thank her for her unfailing way of sweet wording and quite possibly, saving his hide from divorce. Thor cuddled into the Soldier’s chest, holding him close as the day’s uncertainty and fear left his body relaxed and pliant.

 

His mother truly knew best.

 

-----

 

On the other side of the Royal halls, Frigga lay quietly next to her slumbering husband, tears pouring endlessly down her temples, lips pursed tight in a thin, white line; barely keeping her sobs at bay as she silently cried herself to sleep.

 

She was a coward and a liar. She could not do it, she hadn’t the heart to kill a man in cold blood.

 

And now all of Asgard would pay for her sins.

 

----

 

After that it became a custom for Thor to share kisses with Steven; every night before they slept, every morning as they woke; anything from soft and innocent, to hard and questing that left the God aching for more. But alas, he always managed to pull away at the most minimal sign of discomfort of the Captain, whom had progressively grown used to these attentions and even initiating them himself, gifting Thor with gentle kisses just before bed.

 

The morning though, that was a whole other story.

 

“Ohh” Thor moaned as his sleepy, grumpy husband bit his lower lip vengefully when the God dared to rouse him in the early marrow. The God shivered and pressed down on the grumbling human with a heady sigh “Harder, Steven”

 

The God of Thunder was then promptly toppled over by the ways of a pillow shoved in his face as the Soldier rolled away and out of bed with a disgusted groan.

 

“You need Jesus.” The Captain admonished with a yawn, dragging his feet to the bathrooms and away from the chuckling God.

 

“I need-” Thor began, only to be cut off by the bathroom door closing behind a short-tempered Captain. The God sighed into the pillow that smelled fully of the man, hugging it to his chest as he settled down on his stomach to stare at the bathroom door where the source of his obsessions had disappeared “…you

 

After some minutes the Captain emerged, freshly bathed and dressed in his apprentice uniform. Thor curled his arms under his chin, cuddling the ‘Steven pillow’ under it as he grinned up at his husband going about his morning routine. The Captain noticed the eyes set on himself after a moment, pausing in tying the laces of his leather waist coat and tilting his head to the side, meeting Thor’s own gaze with a soft, happy one of his own as he walked forward, his hand reaching out to curl his long fingers into the God’s golden hair. Thor sighed with contentment and continued to gaze up at his husband with quiet appraisal.

 

“Why you lookin’ at me like that?” The Captain finally asked, his hand now cupping the God’s smiling face and thumb caressing absently at his high cheekbone.

 

Thor hummed pleasantly, leaning into the touch and nuzzling the man’s calloused palm “Like what?”

 

“Like that” The Captain answered eloquently, his eyes a merge of confusion and amusement “big, bright… cow eyes”

 

Thor rose a haughty brow at the Captain “You did not call me a cow.” Steven chuckled low and continued to scratch gently at the God’s beard, eliciting a pleased groan as Thor plopped down and rolled to his back, an arm coming to lay over his toned stomach where tiny flutters of tender emotion threatened to overcome the God of Thunder as he spoke up to his wondering husband with a giddy smile “I feel I’ve come down with something, Husband”

 

“Oh?” Steven blinked down at the Golden God and pressed the back of his hand on his brow, checking for an impossible fever. Thor nodded into the soft ministrations and grinned up to the Captain “Yes, I fear I may need some… sexual healing”

 

Steven pulled his hand back as if he’d been stung, his expression pursed and fighting between amusement and despair, finally settling on a stern look as he turned away from his giggling husband to finish his dressing out of their wedded room “That’s it, don’t touch my records again.”

 

“Steven-“ Thor called after the man as he exited their wedded rooms with a pointed click of the door. The God gave a hearty, utterly smitten sigh as he pulled Steven’s pillow tight against his bare chest, smiling to the closed door as he whispered “…I love you.”

 

-----

 

Steven was glowing. Resplandescent. Glorious.

 

Days after the incident with the Idunn apple, Steven had not only recuperated; he had flourished. Taking his role in court as the Crown Prince’s consort, his steely fortitude and righteousness had resurged with a vengeance, having now a purpose and a responsibility to settle the matters of state and war. The Captain was a force not to be reckoned with in the Council Rooms.

 

Thor had watched this man reduce to stutters more than one of the most seasoned Noble men of Odin’s Court. And more often than not, managed to leave the men and women cross-eyed in awe.

 

On this memorable occasion he had put a swift end to a long-standing feud between to delegates of Vanaheim and Alfheim, something about wine barrels and pregnant daughters; truth be told, Thor doubted even they could recall the source of their hatred.

 

Steven on the other hand, had no qualms in reminding these men of their obligations.

 

“Enough, we are here to discuss matters of state!” The Delegate of Niflheim cried, his brow sporting a throbbing blue vein of truly impressive caliber, mirrored by the two hissing Delegates squabbling over a piece of scroll like children.

 

“And we are!” The Vanir squawked “but I will be damned if I let this senile Elf win-“

 

“Councilmen…” Steven said, stopping the impending shouting with a firm and commanding voice “The goal of political argument or discussion is not victory, but progress.”  The Captain’s eyes stern and admonishing on the elderly men as he spoke over the astounded gaping of the nobles “This is your job, you have a duty to your people. Please abide to it.”

 

Thor had never seen someone be shamed so severely, yet so delicately in his entire life. Diplomacy. Loki would call it, and Thor could finally see the thrill of learning it. If only it would make his blood boil in his veins at the sight of the severe Captain putting elderly politicians in their places. Even Odin had risen an impressed brow as the embarrassed Delegates had stopped their bickering and finally agreed on a trading treaty after years of going empty handed.

 

Norn’s, the delegates had even shaken hands with the Captain! Great smiles on their faces as Steven had commended their work and equanimity.

 

Thor bit his lip to stop the proud grin that threatened to part his face. His Father, on the other hand, had no such reservations. Steven startled slightly as Odin clapped a heavy hand on the Soldier’s back, smiling wide and pleased as he congratulated the Captain for his wisdom and eloquence.

 

“You will make a fine addition to this Court” Odin complimented the Captain, who smiled tightly and thanked the God graciously. Thor stayed in his chair until his father left the room. The Captain waited by the door, looking back at the God of Thunder with a confused frown as they were left alone in the Council rooms, quickly dissolving into a stunned flush as Thor stood from his seat with an impressive erection tenting his trousers and a playfully suggestive wiggle of his eyebrows.

 

And was gifted with an accurate strike of a book to the genitals for his troubles.

 

“See you for dinner, Thor” The Captain said, turning on his heel and slamming the door shut after him, leaving a groaning God behind his smirking retreat.

 

-----

 

Some days after, Thor had convinced the Captain to take a week off of their duties and part for a hunting trip with the Warrior Three and Lady Sif, as Thor did every decade or so. Steven had been acting strange in random intervals, mostly around Family dinners and Thor thought it wise to give him a respite from his Father’s pointed looks and his Mother’s constant fretting.

 

Steven had been eager to part the morning of their departure, waking early in half his usual irritable mood, even responding to Thor’s loving kisses eagerly before leaving a panting, startled God in their bed to bathe with a happy whistle and a spring to his step.

 

Thor had almost followed him into the bath. Almost…

 

After their morning rituals were tended to, the golden pair carried their bags to the stables where their cart awaited, freshly polished and set with other necessities for their camping and meals. Steven went about settling their bags in with the rest of their things as Thor entered the stables to the far side with a huge grin.

 

“All good here” Steven called after him, giving the ropes tying their bags a few testing pulls before ambling to joining the chuckling God in the depths of the Royal Stables. The Captain rose a questioning brow as he found the God halting before a large stall where two small farm animals munched on dry grass unassumingly.

 

“Thor?” The Captain probed, blinking down at the goats chewing away as the God opened the locks on the door with quick and eager hands “What are those?”

 

“Steven, meet Tanngnjostr and Tanngrisnir.” Thor boomed proudly, entering the stall with an excited step and crouching down with arms open wide “Come here you handsome beasts!” The goats sprinted forth and knocked the God on his back with a combined headbutt, causing Thor to erupt in elated laughter as he took hold of their horns and bumped their heads to each other in greeting, turning then to his bemused spouse with a proud grin. “They will pull our cart.”

 

“Thor, they are goats.”

 

“Aye, they are” The God laughed, pulling the small animals out by the curl of their horns and to the open, releasing them in front of their loaded cart and beginning to tie in Tanngnjostr while Tanngrisnir munched on his cape. Steven eyed the God as if he had lost his senses and Thor thundered his laughter.

 

“Fret not Steven, these are no regular goats.” The God received an unconvinced glance as those beautiful blue eyes looked down at the little beasts and their rather large cart with uncertain shifts. “Here, observe…” Thor pulled his cape out of Tanngrisnir’s mouth, pointing at the closest pillar of the Royal Stables and barked “Yeet!”

 

Tanngrisnir shot forth like an arrow, a loud bleat heralding his impact as his curved horns obliterated the stone pillars into dust. The small goat ambled back to Thor’s expectant arms for his share of petting while the Captain blinked at the crumbling pillar and the happy beast; tiny stub of a tail waggling as it enjoyed the God’s heavy hands on its furry back.

 

“How did he?”

 

Thor shrugged as he went back to setting the goats into their leases “Loki and I made them immortal… Accidently.”

 

“Accidently” Steven echoed with a slight twitch to his pink lips. Thor grinned wickedly up to his husband, recalling the night he and Loki had entered to Idunn’s gardens and stolen some apples for themselves, running to hide in the stables with their treats. They had gorged themselves in the holy fruit until they fell into a deep sleep; both rising much later to fetid, loud farts coming from two baby goats munching away from their precious stash.

 

Apparently Idunn apples caused flatulence in small farm animals, they had found the fact quite hilarious. Their father though…

 

“Aye, Father was furious.” Thor chuckled, patting the curled horns of the goats with affection. Never had Thor smelled something so foul. Nor had he met more unapologetic, blasphemous beasts. They were his heart’s pride just as Sleipnir and Jormundandr were Loki’s.

 

The Captain ripped the God from his fond reminiscing with a dry whisper “I can’t imagine why”

 

Thor laughed and guided the amused Captain to their seats and set on their way.

 

Of course, this is when he chose to disclose the real purpose of their trip.

 

“So we are traveling to the edge of the planet so you can beat Frandal” Steven said, tone blank and dry as the Midgardian desserts. Thor nodded, hands fidgeting on the reigns of their cart.

 

“And check in on my nephew, but yes.”

 

“Why?” The Captain asked, his cerulean gaze sharp and confused on the God. Thor pursed his lips as his mind set about gathering the facts to this long-standing burden.

 

“You see, Loki is asexual” Thor said, startling the Captain with his frank statement. Perhaps he lacked the delicacy he should have for explaining this. Thor bit his lip but braved forth “He does not find, nor does he seek the pleasures of the flesh. And Frandal is, well. Frandal.”

 

Steven nodded shortly “He can be persistent.”

 

“Aye, so one day, after one flirtatious comment to much Loki cast a hex on his manhood. The result…” Thor winced at the memory, turning to give the pale Captain a pained look “Let us say the Twins aren’t quite that similar anymore.”

 

The Captain winced in commiseration “Oh.”

 

Thor cleared his throat and continued his tale “Frandal was hurt and mortally offended, he was very young still, barely out of boyhood… he took Loki’s rejection very much to heart.”

 

The God glanced at his husband, weighting his words as he spoke “You have heard of Loki’s children.”

 

“Yes, the horse and a serpent?”

 

“Aye, Loki bore them out of his own magic, under the teachings of the cursed witch Amora.” Thor frowned at the mere mention of that cursed woman, how she had taken Loki under her wing and deformed his very soul… “For all that Loki is selfish and proud, he treasures his creations above all. As he should. They are magnificent and powerful creatures, my nephews. The amount of magic and skill alone to bring them to life…”

 

Thor fell to an awed silence, recalling both occasions Loki had wobbled into his rooms, pale and destitute but glowing with pride. Small wiggling bundles curled in loving arms. The act of giving life. Creating a whole being out of his thoughts alone… “I have not seen power of that kind ever again, even from my father.”

 

Thor coughed and retook his story “Anyways, back to Frandal, he was scorned and mutilated for life. He did the only thing he could think to hurt my Brother back. He lied.”

 

“In one of our trips to the primitive Earth, he took to waving tales, so outrageous and vulgar about Loki’s conquests, about his children’s sires.”

 

Steven frowned at this, his righteous brow furrowed at the misdeed, Thor could not fight the swell of tenderness in his chest as he confided his best hidden secret.

 

“You may not believe this, but Loki used to love earth” Thor nodded at the human’s startled gaze “Respected and cared for humans like none of us ever had. To him, being the joke of these people he cherished so was a grievous wound, indeed.”

 

Thor had never seen his brother cry so bitterly, not even in his willful childhood had he shed miserable tears as that day. Thor’s own heart broke to remember his brother’s heartache.

 

“He vowed thrice to murder the author of these stories.” Thor voiced softly, turning to the slowly realizing Captain with a sad smile “The details of the vow I leave to your imagination.”

 

Steven nodded and pursed his lips tightly “Does he know?”

 

“No, I have kept it from him since I myself found the truth.” Thor admitted “You see, Loki vowed to Odin and Asgard, thrice. Even if he no longer holds ill will for the tales, he would be obligated to carry it through… For his honor depends on it. He may be a God of lies but his word is his law. As is for all of us Gods.”

 

Thor nodded soberly to himself, hands clenching on the leather reigns as they were both pulled up the dirt road in a steady pace “So now, I have taken it upon myself to extract his vengeance.”

 

Thor avoided the Captains gaze as he delved into his memories of that horrible day “When Loki swore this, Frandal came to me with the truth. He begged me to save him, a silly boy that he was, he knew he had forfeited his life over a childish prank. He is my friend.” Thor weighted with a grieving sigh “Loki is my brother.”

 

“I came to the solution that I would throttle him within an inch of his life now and then until these tales ceased to exist.”

 

Steven gawked at the sullen God “That’s over a thousand years ago.”

 

“Aye, and since then, Frandal and I meet every decade and I beat him to a bloody pulp.” Thor swallowed thickly, turning to give a shaky smile to the horrified Captain in a weak attempt to lighten the mood “We have made it a tradition at this point.”

 

“Wow.” Steven breathed, staring out to the silent forest with an empty gaze.

 

“Aye, it is a complicated existence, when you get to live so long as we do.” Thor said, guilt of his transgressions not that long ago coming back to the fore as he spoke, then nudging his shoulder to the Captains with a wide, frozen smile “You can get a couple of punches in if you like, Steven.”

 

The Captain allowed the troubled God’s attempt at humor and barked a soft laugh “Thank you Thor, but I think I’ll pass on that.”

 

“Suit yourself.”

 

They rode in silence for a long moment, the confession weighting heavy on both as they neared the designated camping site. Steven sent the somber God a soft look.

 

“So every decade since.”

 

“Aye, unfailingly.”

 

“You must really love him.” The Captain mused, pressing his side to his husbands in quiet sympathy. Thor’s throat closed in a knot as the faces of both his brother and his friend met side to side in his heart’s hold.

 

“With all my heart.”

 

----

 

After they had arrived to the camping place, a nice, clear plane just meters away from the ocean and the planet’s end, the sight was incredible and had taken Steve a long while to stop gaping at the view and remember his manners and get off the cart to greet the other Asgardians already present.

 

Steve kept his composure as well as he could as he shook hands with the uncharacteristically silent warriors, avoiding making any comment about their true purpose as Frandal bravely spoke of possible hunting routes to be taken the next couple of days. The very obvious exclusion of self a thing that weighted heavily on all of them.

 

As the night began to set and all the camp had been prepared, a grim mood settled on them all and with a silent signal, Thor and Frandal left their group to walk into the dark woods.

 

And then the sounds began.

 

Steve clenched his hands into white knuckled fists on his thighs, heart beating loudly in his ears though not enough to drown out the sickening sounds of harsh fists pounding soft flesh. And the cries. Dear lord the cries.

 

Loud sobs and mumbling mingled with hurt grunts and soft cooing.

 

They were comforting each other…

 

Steve sat frozen on a small log, gazing into the fire as he and the Warrior Three and Lady Sif struggled to stay put as the cries grew fainter and the sobs louder. Volstagg pressed his large hands to his ears, swaying slightly back and forth as the pounding of fists grew wetter and only deep sobs ringed in the night. Hogun and Sif stared blankly at the flames, hands joined and bleeding where their nails dug into each other’s palms.

 

Steve’s breaths began to draw harder and just as he felt he would lose his goddamned mind the sounds stopped and in the distance, thunder roared in the skies. Steve inhaled sharply as the others sprung into action, running towards the dark and barking orders to each other, Volstagg halting his rocking and drifting off to one of the large tents where he disappeared without a word.

 

What Hogun and Sif carried back…

 

Steve doubled over, holding a hand over his mouth to contain the bile trying to crawl up his throat. Jumping up to his feet Steve knew there was somewhere, someone, who needed his help.

 

Steve sprinted down the beachside, where lighting bolts peppered the troubled seas in a terrifying onslaught. There, half submerged in the waves, unmovable like stone under the constant rolling and battering of the sea, was Thor.

 

Armor laid forgotten in the sand, underclothes pressed like a second skin to his chest as the God shook and doubled with harsh sobs, rubbing at his hands in violent scratches under the saltwater.

 

“Hey, hey” Steve said softly, already waist deep in the water before he realized, holding on to the God’s bleeding hands and stopping his compulsive scrubbing “No more of that.”

 

“I’ve killed him this time, I’m sure of it…” Thor wheezed, eyes wild and sorrowful as he shook his head frantically, soaked, golden locks falling onto his face as he curled into himself with a whimper “All this blood, it won’t come off…”

 

“Look at me. Thor, look at me.” Steve called, cupping the God’s tear stained face in his hands, catching his wet gaze with his own and holding it firmly “He is alive, and he will stay that way, because of you.”

 

“I hurt him” Thor wept, voice low and broken with bone deep sadness, Steve felt it like it was his own heart breaking.

 

“To save his life” Steve reminded him fervently, Thor closed his eyes in a pained flutter of long, damp lashes, a soft mewl escaping his lips as his hands twitched in the water between them. Steve hurried to clasp the appendages in his own

 

“I’ll do it.” He said, taking the hurt hands and gently rubbing the clots of blood off the torn knuckles “It’s ok. I’m here with you. Just breathe.”

 

After a while it became clear that any drop of blood would set the God off, so Steve gently pulled at the man’s stained clothes until he stood in his underthings, the skies having quietened after a few minutes of Steve’s gentle cares and the sea now lapping softly at their waists. Steve pulled Thor out of the water and noticed a sac left by the neighboring trees, as someone; probably Volstagg, had ambled out there to help.

 

Steve patted his husband dry in careful, tender stokes of a soft towel, pulling off the God’s damp underwear and wrapping the towel over his slim hips. Steve sat in the sand next to the silent God, rubbing another towel through his long, blond hair comfortingly until his breathing evened out and the last shudders of sobs wove out of his chest. Steve startled when Thor burst back to life, his hands coming up to pull at his nape and draw him closer, foreheads touching and breaths mingling as the God stared beseechingly into the Soldiers eyes.

 

“Distract me, Steven.” Thor pleaded in a broken whisper “I wish to forget.”

 

Steve knew the feeling… He felt it every day. And knowing that this bright, formidable, so unquestionably good man could ever feel the need to claw out of his skin made Steve’s heart tremble.

 

The Soldier gave the God a shaky grin as one particular tactic from a good old friend came to mind “Ok, ok… Let’s see if I still remember correctly.”

 

-----

 

So when Steven pulled Thor into the most hearty, filthy, passionate kiss he had had this side of the Galaxy, Thor could only let himself be used, his toes curling as the Soldier’s tongue wrote laws and sonnets with his own.  The God felt his body melt under the Captain’s expert ministrations, a mewl escaping his otherwise occupied mouth when the man nibbled on his lips.

 

By the Norn’s, but Asgards whores could learn a thing or two from the Captain.

 

Thor latched on to his husband like a leach and whimpered when the Captain retreaded for much needed, but utterly loathed air.

 

“W-wh-where did you learn that?!” Thor stuttered, his tongue tied to ribbons by Steven’s sensual coaxing and blood navigating rapidly south.

 

“I told you” The Captain smirked, that wicked, blessed tongue darting out to wet his red, swollen lips “Jacques Dernier was French.”

 

And Thor all but tackled the laughing Captain onto the wet sand floor for more of those mind-numbing kisses.

 

“At least put some clothes on!” Steven yelped into the God’s mouth, cackling loudly as Thor chased his lips like a rabid dog chases a rabbit.

 

Thor shook his head as he crawled over the shaking Captain “No time…”

 

And they shared heartfelt kisses and mirthful chuckles as the horror of Thor’s own doing slipped away, chased off by Steven’s warmth and tender care. Thor could not love the man more than he did this night. They fell asleep in each other’s arms, as they had since their wedding, but this was the first time their hearts truly rested as one.

 

-----

 

The next morning Thor woke to a light peck of a lips to his brow. Blinking up blearily as the first rays of sunlight, he caught the sight of a bare-chested Captain America, splashing his face with clear sea water and running his fingers through the spiky bits of bed hair. Thor sat up, the large blanket that had been placed on him sometime in the night falling from his shoulders and bunching in his naked lap.

 

He had slept remarkably well, considering how these nights usually went. Volstagg appearing somewhere around the time Thor had scratched the skin and flesh off his hands and sitting on him until he passed out.

 

But now he had Steven.

 

Thor watched as the man pulled his clothes off, folding them neatly over his boots and left in his underthings as he ambled into the calm waters and went about washing himself. It was a marvelous view, never had Thor seen a more perfect creature in his millennia of life. Wet and glistering in the early rays of Asgards dawn, Steven was beautiful and his smile as he noticed Thor walk into the sea after him. So bright and honest and sweet. Thor’s lips trembled as he dared to smile back.

 

“Hey, how are you feeling?” The Captain asked, gently taking the God’s hands and inspecting the healing knuckles.

 

“Smitten” Thor confessed, gripping at his husbands’ hands and bringing them up to lather in kisses.

 

The Captain flushed and pulled his hands out and away from the God’s enamored ministrations with a bark of laughter. Turning his back to the nude God in a shy spin to continue his grooming. “That’s nice”

 

Thor followed the blush extend lower at the back of the Soldier’s neck with an intent, heated eye and ambled closer to stand flush against his husband’s body.

 

“You know what else is nice, Steven…” Thor breathed into the Captain’s blushing ear “I can hold my breath for well over three minutes.”

 

And the God punctuated these words with a cupping hand to the man’s front and a sharp thrust of his hips to his back.

 

-----

 

In the silent campsite, some meters away, the slumbering Warriors and Lady sat up with a startle as loud splashes and yelps where heard by the shoreside. Hogun, Volstagg and Sif sprinted out of their shared tent with weapons in hands. Ready to slay whoever dared poach on them and their Lords.

 

But what they found…

 

“98 Mississippi, 99 Mississippi.” The Captain chanted, holding a struggling, butt naked Prince’s head underwater by the twist of his arms and a handful of golden locks. The Asgardian warriors eyed the human with astonished expressions, catching the man’s attention as he smiled brightly “It’s ok, I’m just testing something”

 

Sif sheathed her sword back into its scabbard with a sigh “He attempted the three minute thing?”

 

“105 Mississippi, yes.”

 

“Widowhood will suit you marvelously, Captain.”

 

“112 Mississippi. Thank you, Volstagg.”

 

Hogun nodded at the Captain and waved “We will leave you to it then.”

 

“120 Mississippi, see you when he stops kicking.”

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 28: Sentimental.

 

Steve woke up the morning after the beating to a naked Thor pressed up tight over his own half nude body, snoring softly to the crook of his neck and a heavy leg, and something else, weighting on his hip.

 

He rolled them both gently, laying his husband on his back on the golden sand with barely a mumble of protest from the slumbering God. Steve held himself in place over Thor for a moment, taking a second to look at the man and consider.

 

Thor sure was handsome, and then some.

 

Steve gazed down at his husband, shamelessly nude, his body so defined and that golden glow of his skin. His long, wavy hair spread out over the sand like rivers of sunlight; features strong and perfectly proportioned, his full beard marking what Steve now knew to be a perfectly squared jaw, so angular and sharp under his hands when he dared to hold the God’s face when they kissed.

 

And did they ever.

 

Steve felt himself blush as he recalled all the kisses, the furtive and tender, the heated and passionate. Thor knew what he was doing, alright. And though Steve had a couple of tricks up his sleeve, he could never achieve the easy confidence and masterful touch that the God had when he held him and pressed his lips on the Soldier and took.

 

At first Steve had felt awkward, very conscious of their friendship even with the new title of husband. Steve being used to soft lips and even softer bodies, he now held on to a mass of rock firm muscle and was regularly going to bed with beard burned lips, the tingle sending aftershocks of something he was not ready to name down his spine, gasping lungful’s of air as the culprit of his troubled arousal would cuddle innocently into his side.

 

Now, Steve dared to look and feel.

 

Thor was beautiful, really, undeniably breathtaking. Laying there, breathing easy; handsome face smooth in deep sleep, those expert lips shaking softly with sleepy mumbles. His perfect, tan body pebbling with the cold breeze of the early sea waves… and his penis resting thick and heavy on his taut stomach. He was quite large, Steve thought with a fierce blush and a flash of heat sitting low in his belly. He gazed down at the swollen member of his husband, head crooked to the side as he stared his fill, this forbidden, secret peek of the God.

 

Last night had been a blur of sadness, of gripping touches and hungry lips. He had never touched another like he had last night, much less a man; Jacques stolen kisses usually ended in Bucky or Dum Dum pulling the man aside and waving a gun under his nose. Not that it summed up to anything; as soon as they survived another ill-fated attack to Hydra Headquarters the man would be pawing at Steve, or any one of them really, to re assert his surviving the impossible.

 

And that was ok, Steve was no stranger to the act of men loving other men. He had been in the army, for Christ’s sake, he had seen his fair share of men, naked or fucking. It was just a fella lending a helping hand… or something.

 

Steve himself had never tried it, having eyes only for Peggy, and after the ice, it was like that part of him had been shut off, still asleep as he had been for over 70 years. He just couldn’t seem to want anyone… or anything.

 

But now.

 

Steve crooked his head to the side, gazing at his perfect husband up an down, feeling that hot steering he was beginning to shyly associate with the God and pressing a chaste kiss to his golden brow, tucking the blanket snuggly over Thor’s shoulders, covering his nudity from his guilty eyes and shuffling out to the beach with an uncomfortable tightness to his pants.

 

There was no shame in wanting your husband, he knew this. Still, he couldn’t help but feel he was cheating Thor out of something precious if he gave in. Conflicted between his wants and his duty as a husband in face of his believes. It was wrong to use somebody who cared for you just for your own personal satisfaction. Specially someone as bright and genuinely good as Thor.

 

Where does your wedded duty start and your friendship end? Was he hurting him more by refusing him or would giving in to what they both wanted be a greater sin?

 

Steve smiled when Thor joined him in the water, his unwilling arousal having mellowed out in the cold waves now slowly twitching back to life at the sight of the God and his loving touches. Bringing back the guilt he had beat down and turning his back to his tender husband to hide his growing erection. Which was all thrown to the curve when the God went ahead and copped a feel of him; his large, hot hand cupping his throbbing member just so, the callouses and the firmness of his palm fondling his flesh perfectly. And the jolt of the God’s own swollen cock slotting and thrusting along his cheeks, the flimsy fabric of his boxers doing nothing to dilute the feel of that large, hard cock pressed onto him, sending a shiver down his spine; the feeling of Thor’s body fitting along the curves of his own, his warmth and solidity. Steve nearly dissolved into putty in the God’s hands, a shock of lust so harsh he couldn’t help but gasp and still. Then the God whispered those filthy words into his ear.

 

And Steve; well, he never was one to turn down a challenge…

 

Thor could in fact resist over 200 Mississippi’s. Steve tried not to think very hard on that.

 

After the whole debacle was done and he returned to the shore with a pouting Thor in toe, Steve tried to be as calm and nonchalant as he could and pretend that the God’s words had not just fried his brain with the possibilities.

 

Steve bit his lips as he changed into his clothes, allowing the God’s eyes to wander as an apology for the ill treatment, however well earnt; Thor was not to blame for his own confused feelings. His husband had brightened considerably by the time they joined the Warrior Three and Lady Sif for their breakfast, Thor having spent most of their grooming time openly staring at Steve strip and dress, a sultry grin on his face and his cock twitching unabashedly on his thick thigh as he lay on their blanket to enjoy the view. And if Steve took his time getting ready, well, there is nothing wrong with giving your husband a little show.

 

Thor was definitively not complaining, if the stolen peek to the naked God confirmed anything. Thor was a happy camper.

 

Steve would have to find a way to stop his face turning to a tomato, but at least everyone was happy.

 

As they joined their companions by the camp site, giving small greetings to the Asgardians and going about to setting their meal, Thor pressed a kiss to Steve’s cheek and entered the large tent where Frandal rested. The Soldier watched him go with a somber gaze, turning back to help Hogun with the spread of bread and cheeses.

 

He would give Thor a minute alone with his friend before joining him. Frandal was recuperating, what’s the worst that can happen?

 

----

 

“You are truly eager to lose your other testicle” Thor glowered down to his impossible friend. Frandal smirked tiredly from his sick bed, his features lost to the swelling and only his unapologetic manhood rising to attention.

 

“You’ll have to touch it first” Frandal groused brokenly, his voice hoarse and low though his disfigured face doing nothing to hide his cheekiness. Thor grinned toothily.

 

“Will I, though?” Raising Mjolnir and eliciting a small squeak from the blond man before the hammer was ripped out of his hand; both men turning to follow its flight to the Captain’s waiting palm. Steven’s stern gaze set on the God as he entered the tent with a small plater of food.

 

“Thor” He admonished, completely nonchalant to the fact that he had overpowered Mjolnir’s call to Thor’s soul, a testament to their wedded bond and his own worth that had Thor matching Frandal’s outrageous morning arousal at the sight of his unassuming, perfect husband.

 

“My hero” Frandal cried weakly, overplaying his hurts, he moaned and groaned in his bed as Steve approached him.

 

“Frandal, how are you feeling?”  

 

“Better, now that you are here” The man dared, completely ignoring Thor’s glare as he stared longingly at the Soldier “The sight of you soothes my aches”

 

Steven smiled primly at the man, setting the plate of food by Thor’s lap, his free hand gentling the God’s hair back and away from his furrowed brow in an absentminded gesture that made Thor’s heart jump and cheer. Thor smiled up to his husband and began to feast on his meal with eager bites.

 

“Will you help me break my fast, Captain?” Frandal asked plaintively, attempting to bat his lashes even with his eyes near swollen shut and purple. The man’s lust knew no bounds.

 

Thor stopped his chewing, eyeing Mjolnir hanging from his husband’s grip and weighting his chances to take it and swing at Frandal’s crotch before Steven could stop him. Just as Thor was reaching forth the tent’s curtain was waved open and the redhead giant crouched in with a steamy bowl of grum for the ailing patient and a wide, handsome smile. “Good morning, friends!”

 

“Oh look, nurse Volstagg is here” Thor cried happily, rising and pulling Steven out with him with a wide smile to his large friend. “He has a far better bedside manner, I assure you”

 

Frandal moaned in despair as the blond pair exited the tent, his complains drowned out by the Giant’s eager coxing and chuckles.

 

Thor joined Hogun and Sif, pulling Steven to his side and bestowing fleeting kisses to the man between bites of buttered bread, their conversation soft and pleasant though Sif’s gaze was resolutely set on her plate through-out the meal. Hogun cleared his throat after a moment of silence following a quick peck to the Soldier’s neck that earnt him a sharp look and a fierce blush.

 

“Thor, will you be joining us for the hunt or will you prefer to spend the day with Jormungandr?”

 

Thor pursed his lips thoughtfully “I shall stay with Jormungandr for today, I have long neglected my nephew and it will be a long time still before his father can visit”

 

Hogun nodded and turned to the Captain “Will you stay with him or would you rather join us?”

 

Steven turned to Thor, eyes soft and open “Do you want me to stay?”

 

Thor smiled at his charming man and shook his head “You should enjoy yourself; I will play with my nephew and I don’t believe you will be able to join”

 

Sif huffed to her cup of milk “Riding Jormungandr around the sea and scaring the fishermen is not a game, Thor”

 

“Riding?” Steven inquired, turning once more to Thor with wide, beautiful eyes.

 

Thor stole another kiss before turning back to his meal, purposely ignoring Sif’s downcast mood. “I will introduce you after, you will love him, I’m sure”

 

------

 

Jormungandr, the sea serpent, turned out to be a around the size of the Chrysler building.

 

His emerald scaled body parting the sea like Moses, the large horned head rising high in the sky and peering down at the two blond men with astonishingly bright and intelligent eyes, the long parted tongue slithering out in a soft hiss as he dipped low to the beach side to meet a beaming God of thunder.

 

“Jormungandr, my boy!” Thor boomed, sprinting forth with the large horn he had used to call his nephew waving in the air. Steve stayed put as he watched his husband embrace the large snout of the serpent and laugh uproariously as Jormungandr’s tongue curled around his leg and attempted to pull him into his fanged mouth.

 

“Come Steven!” Thor called eagerly, disentangling his nephews’ tongue from his leg and placing a smacking kiss to the slick, scaled head.

 

Steve smiled, striding forth and meeting the dark eyes of the Serpent, his great green orbs following the Soldiers approach with a keen and calculating gaze, so bright and cunning he immediately saw the resemblance to the God of Lies. Which was both a strange and fascinating realization.

 

This is Loki’s son. Fruit of his magic and imagination.

 

Steve felt a thrill of wonder as he stood before the great Jormungandr, smiling wide to the large creature, now technically his nephew as Thor bounced to his side and curled a possessive arm around his waist, grinning with pride as he said. “This is Steven Rogers of Midgard; he is my husband and your uncle.”

 

Jormungandr’s eyes followed the Soldier, tongue slithering out again in a quick flash, almost a greeting as his eyes shone with something akin to amusement.

 

“Steven, this is Jormungandr, Loki’s first born and your nephew”

 

“Hello, Jormungandr.” Steve said, nodding slightly to the great serpent, who stared at him for another long moment before flicking his eyes to Thor.

 

The God grimaced and sighed “Your father is not with us, and he may not come for quite some time”

 

Steve saw as the serpent blinked its many eyelids and for a second looked heartbroken, an expression so strange on an animal with so little features but so clear on Jormungandr. Thor reached forth and placed a comforting hand on the serpent’s snout and offered a bright, loving smile.

 

“Aye, it is a sad thing, but I am here in his stead” Thor said “He has not forgotten you, my boy. Nor could he ever”

 

Steve felt a surge of tenderness for the God, his words and kindness something that made the Soldier pause and look.

 

Jormungandr flicked his tongue out like a whip, wrapping on the God’s waist and pulling him into the water in a blink. Steve barely had the thought of calling out when the high cackles of glee from the God halted his panic.

 

Out in the shallow of the water, Thor stood on his nephew’s head, holding fast to the large, curled horns of its head and grinning that beaming, contagious smile of his as he shouted over the waves.

 

“Take care, Steven!” Thor barked a laugh as Jormungandr dipped him in the water and resurged some paces away “I shall see you for dinner!”

 

Steve smiled and waved as both uncle and nephew disappeared to the far end of the planet in a flash of laughter and slashes.

 

You just had to get hitched to the weird one, didn’t ya Stevie?

 

Steve smiled to himself, head dipping and hands resting on his hips as he stayed still on the beach side, fresh wind brushing his face and teasing his hair, and for once, no doubts of where he stood.

 

------

 

“Sif, is everything alright?”

 

Lady Sif halted mid step as she and Steven followed Hogun through the thick woods in search of their dinner. She turned slightly to a contemplative Captain, his handsome face furrowed in thought but his shining blue eyes set kindly on the warrior.

 

“What do you speak of, Captain?” Sif prompted, continuing her slow prowl forth as the distance between them and Hogun grew, now effectively out of earshot and not sure if she wished it so. The Captain followed a few paces behind the woman, keen eyes set on her and searching.

 

“I noticed you were a bit quiet during breakfast…” He said, tailing off at the end, as if uncertain of how to word his questions, though Sif knew exactly what this was about and she was unsurprised it had finally come to head.

 

“Aye, I was” Sif answered, vague and noncommitting, cursing herself inwardly for not simply laying her truths bare to Steven, who had no more fault in her turmoil than simply being himself. She saw the man purse his lips and nod.

 

“I know that Thor can get a bit carried away sometimes, I can tell him to stop if it makes you uncomfortable.”

 

“No!” Sif cried, startling both Steven and herself in her vehemence. Sif sighed heavily, stopping definitively and gazing into the Captain’s honest eyes with her last dredges of courage “No, Captain… There is no need for that.”

 

“Are you sure?” Steven pressed; his kindness boundless as he offered his own wedded rights up for the sake of one lonely, heartbroken woman. Sif smiled up to the man with sincere affection.

 

“Yes, I…” Sif started, her voice wavering and breaking for a vulnerable second before she regained her composure and declared firmly “It is no fault of Thor, much less yours.”

 

“Sif?” Steven probed when the woman’s traitorous lips began to shake.

 

“I loved him, you see.” She finally confessed, to Thor’s own husband no less; for the first time since she had known it herself. And it stung when the Soldier did not show a smidge of surprise, because of course she is that transparent and weak. Sif scoffed and continued “Or I fancied myself in love, at least”

 

Steven gazed down at her with empathic eyes, not an ounce of judgement in his lovely gaze and so very perfect that Sif wished she could resent him, wanted to envy him and hate him for having that which she had loved so dearly for longer than he had been alive. But she could not, not Steven, and before she could stop herself, she spilled her heart to him.

 

“Ever since I was a little girl and I caught a glimpse of his golden hair, his charming smile and bright eyes. All I ever wanted was to be seen by him” She confessed once more the depth of her affections, her mind calling back the first time she had seen Thor in Court, sporting a training sword and waving it mightily to a forbearing Loki and so precious she, barely out of her toddler days, had been smitten “I outgrew my dolls and my dresses, knowing that it was swords and battles that he liked… I told myself it was my own wish to become a warrior instead of a Lady” Sif smiled bitterly at the admission, raising a calming hand at the astonished Soldier as she continued “I do not regret it, do not misunderstand me.”

 

Sif was proud of her skill, happier with a sword in her hands than she had ever been with a pretty dress. This was her calling, and maybe even the Prince’s own love for battle a part of her infatuation, a calling of kindred souls, though she was old enough now to admit that the beginning was not all her own. “But deep down I find myself still the little girl who cut her long hair and burnt her silk skirts just so the prince of Asgard would look her way”

 

Sif sighed and placed a consoling hand to the troubled Soldier’s shoulder, smiling softly for the man who after knowing her for so little, dared to reach for her heart as none of her ancient friends ever dared. “I know it was never meant to be, and I am truly happy for him, he has grown so much since he met you…”

 

Sif laughed softly, feeling a release in her soul as she spoke, all truths she had not wanted to face and now, standing before the man she had wanted to call her rival, gazing into her eyes with such care and open acceptance, she could finally let go “He is so much more himself with you, and that is all I’ve ever wanted him to be. You make him so happy…”

 

Steven smiled for her, that smile she had begun to associate with the man’s good heart, so wholesome and kind that made her heart flutter and knees quake. Sif smiled back, shoulders squaring and head held high “Thus, I will learn to be happy for him as well.”

 

“Thank you, for sharing this with me” Steven said softly, taking her hand in his and giving a tender clench of silent companionship. Sif bit her lips to stop the tremble, gratitude settling in her heart and the ties of a new friendship and loyalty bound themselves to her soul.

 

“Thank you for not hating me for it” Sif replied, giving an answering clench to the man’s calloused hand and a shy smile.

 

“Now if you are both quite done!” Hogun shouted from up high, startling the pair out of their silent heart searching and drawing their eyes to the man, crouching on a tall branch of a tree far off and pointing urgently down at the fat beast that scratched and oinked furiously at the trunk  “could you please shoot that boar so I can come down?”

 

Sif and Steven readied their bows and arrows in a flash, drawing the string in time as they aimed at the animal now charging them with angry strides.

 

“Yes sir”

 

-----

 

The remaining days of their hunting trip after the beating where spent in quiet cheer, as the third day Frandal was up to siting out in the sun and by the fifth well enough to request a sponge bath from the Captain, which almost landed him back in a deathbed if Volstagg had not tackled Thor to the floor while Hogun dragged a giggling Frandal back to his tent. Steven continued his humming and stirring of the pot of stew, smiling up to Sif as she sampled the brew and tittered appreciatively.

 

Thor was beginning to count down the days to the next decade.

 

That night after a delicious meal by Steven’s hand, stews being one of the only things he swore by as most of his life before the ice had been spent boiling all his food. The soldier knew his way around condiments to disguise the most unsavory of ingredients.

 

The night was pleasantly growing late when Volstagg decided to open some of the barrels of ale. After emptying about three of them just the four, Frandal snoring away in his tent; it was no surprise that they found themselves in this situation.

 

Thor grunted and snarled as he pulled at Volstagg’s fist, giving up all pretense of honor and using both arms in their wrestling, huffing in disgust as Volstagg drank from his tankard, unbothered by the God’s urgent and powerful surges. The Giant released a truly horrendous burp in Thor’s face, the gist of stale breath prompting a startled cry from the God of Thunder and with that last indignity, Volstagg slammed his fist down, dragging Thor to the dirt floor where he promptly dissolved to thundering cackles of mirth.

 

“You cheated!”

 

“Oh, forgive me my lord, did mine lonely fist harm your godly handsssss” Volstagg emphasized and chugged more ale as Hogun and Sif laughed themselves silly.

 

“Cheat I tell you” Thor insisted with a pout, turning to his chuckling husband and commanding “Steven, avenge me”  

 

The Captain grinned cheekily “Yes, dear”

 

The Warriors cheered and hooted as the Captain kneeled down before the tree stump that served as their table. Volstagg grinned sharply at the smaller man and held his hand out in open challenge.

 

“Are you ready, Captain?”

 

Steven grinned, that devious curl of lips that never failed to make Thor’s blood boil, and took the Giant’s hand in his own “As I’ll ever be, on the count of three”

 

“One”

 

“Two”

 

“Three!”

 

And Steven promptly slammed Volstagg’s hand down with a resounding thud.

 

Volstagg blinked and gawked down at his hand, as did everyone else while the Captain pulled his hand away and pumped his fist in victory, blissfully unaware to the stunned state of his companions as he grinned up to his gaping husband.

 

“You have been Avenged” He quipped merrily, saluting the stunned God; swaying slightly and looking so very lovely on his knees.

 

Thor felt a thrill of lust mix with the cold grip of suspicion as he stared at his beautiful husband beam and cheer, his own lips fighting a smile in their frozen state as he shared a look with Sif and Hogun.

 

Volstagg ripped himself out of his astonishment and surged forth “No, wait! I was not ready! Again!”

 

Steven turned his bright smile to the redhead and gamely held his hand out for another match, blue eyes sharp as daggers as he curled his fingers around the giant’s large palm.

 

“Ok, on three”

 

“One… two… Three!” Volstagg counted and as soon as the count was done, he curled over their joint hands, pitting all his strength into the hold. And still, Steven held fast.

 

Thor felt the dread rise in his chest as he beheld his still very much human husband hold back the strength of one so mighty as Volstagg, who Thor himself struggled to best in a play of power, only when drawing from Mjolnir could he compare and now, here was his maybe immortal spouse: red faced and jaw clenched tight; breathing short and his thick, muscled arm bunching as he fought back the harrowing strength of Volstagg, the Great.

 

“How is he doing that?” Sif gasped softly, even through the thick haze of intoxication.

 

“It’s impossible” Hogun breathed, eyes wide and face pale as they observed in silence how the Captain began to bend the Giant’s arm, inch by inch.

 

Thor felt his stomach fall, uncertainty weighting heavy inside him as he beheld the Captain with ever growing horror until thankfully, Volstagg emerged; his legendary strength once again shone true and with a mighty roar he crushed the Soldier’s hand down.

 

“Ahhhh!” Volstagg cried his victory, rising to his feet and spreading his arms wide. Steven laughed and cheered, clearly a bit more than just tipsy by the Asgardian beverage.

 

Thor felt a swell of affection for this man, his love drowning out his fear and doubts as he crawled next to his husband and pulled him to his chest, efficiently curling all his limbs around the Soldier like one of those Midgardians sea creatures he had seen on the television once. Steven huffed and snickered as he was smothered by the God, but his good mood held and he shook hands with a now kneeling Volstagg.

 

“Well done, Captain!” The Giant commended, swaying slightly on his knees as he grinned and patted the Captain’s cheek with overbearing affection “You are as stubborn as those creatures Thor adores”

 

Steven blinked up at the Giant “Did you just call me a goat?”

 

“Aye, but the handsome one”

 

Steven nodded “Ok, that’s nice”

 

“Which one was that again?” Sif asked, turning to blink blearily at Hogun who simply shrugged and said.

 

“I don’t know, I always thought they were ponies”

 

“hmmm” Sif nodded adeptly and took a sip of her ale.

 

------

 

That night Thor and Steven stumbled into their tent sharing deep, needy kisses; both giggling around their lips as they tripped onto their beddings with a cry.

 

“Shhh” Thor hushed the Captain as he pulled the chuckling man to his chest and held his ear out to the loud shuffling of the Warrior Three as they too settled down for the night while thoroughly intoxicated. Steven chuckled into the God’s neck, his warm breath ghosting over his heated skin, eliciting a sharp shiver from Thor, who groaned loudly and gripped the charming man closer still.

 

And just as Thor began to lean in search for more of his due of ‘goodnight kisses’ when the Captain once again surpassed all expectations and began to lay slow, wet kisses up the expanse of the God’s neck, goosebumps rising and littering his skin as the Soldier placed skimping caresses and then nibbled there where Thor’s pulse surged and raced.

 

Thor bit back a moan, his hands clenching on the Captain’s hips and throwing his head back, exposing the length of his neck for more of those brain-wrecking touches.

 

“Steven” Thor groaned when the man pulled away only to roll the God onto his back and straddle his hips in a confident, fluid motion. Thor’s breath caught in his throat as he gazed up at the Soldier, face flushed by both the drinks and his characteristic bashfulness as he settled on the God’s lap and curled over his stunned husband with a soft, simply darling smile.

 

Thor’s heart speed to painful heights, hammering against his sternum so harshly his pulse rang high in his ears, a hot blush of his own gathering on his cheeks and wandering down his neck as he gazed longingly up to his beautiful, delightful husband and suddenly Thor could not speak, could not think around the surge of want; of soul scorching love he felt for this wonderful man. And when their lips finally met again in those soft, tender strokes Thor so loved, he broke.

 

Thor gripped the Soldier’s hips tightly, taking his mouth for deep, wanton kisses and pulling the Captain’s hips down sharply as he thrust up.

 

“Thor” Steven gasped, a sound so sweet Thor could only repeat the motion, slotting both their swollen cocks together, so hot and hard despite the layers of clothing and moaning loudly as his husband gave a broken whimper.

 

“Say yes” Thor whispered onto his Captain’s lips, halting his gyrating hips as he shared his harsh breaths with his love; eyes meeting in a daze of lust and affection. Steven gazed down at the God, swallowing thickly as he searched his husband’s eyes for a long, unbearable moment, before nodding and smiling.

 

“Yes” He said, his small smile turning wicked as he bucked his hips down firmly, pressing his clothed cock onto Thor’s turgid member in a wonderfully obscene circling motion. Thor’s eyes rolled back into his skull with a cry. “Steven!”

 

“Yes, dear?” The Captain quipped, snickering softly, breathless and shaking despite his teasing, as the God took his mouth again and plundered it with his eager tongue, their hips thrusting in sync, both working the other to a high, their pleasure building with every stroke; both drowning each other’s sounds and gasps with yearning, passionate kisses.

 

Thor held on tight to his husband, his hands wandering the clothed expanse of the Soldier’s strong back, his nails catching on the fabric of his shirt and going lower to finally grip that perfect bottom, earning a low groan as he groped and kneaded the firm cheeks in time with their thrusts.

 

“Thor” Steven moaned his name, his hips working hard and fast as his breaths drew short; soft, beautiful gasps rang high with each stroke of their urgent bodies.

 

Norn’s above, but Steven was gorgeous. In the soft shadows of their tent, only the moonlight shining shyly through the laps of curtains; his husband was a sight to behold and worship, his handsome face clear and taken by pleasure, that charming blush set high on his cheekbones and his body. Norn’s, his body! Thor groaned and pulled the man closer, matching the Captains smooth, sleek movements and igniting sparks that pierced him straight through and left him shacking to his very core.

 

Thor had not known a pleasure so great from an act so innocent; both men fully clothed, sharing fleeting touches and kisses in the dark. His cock rubbed against his trousers, seeking the Captain’s own cock as the man circled his hips so sensually, his body undulating, near liquid, and just the right pressure to send a thrill of electric pleasure from his caged member and cleave low in his belly. The Soldier’s arms bucked with a whimper and now barely holding himself up by his forearms, his face tucked away into the God’s neck where he smothered low, delightful cries as they both reached for the peak in grinding caresses and bucking thrusts that had the Captain bouncing slightly on the God’s lap.

 

Thor clutched onto his husband, all his desire and love scorching in his veins and just as Thor felt the telltale clench of his balls and that creeping twitch of his cock mirrored by the Captain’s own clothed member; the man’s gasps growing urgent and releasing a deliciously wanton mewl. Thor lost his senses, he flipped them over in a flash, grounding his hips down harshly between the Soldiers thighs and climaxing with a roar.

 

“Thor!” Steven gasped, head thrown back with abandon, so very beautiful in his release. Flushed rich crimson, bruised lips gaping around a broken sigh and trembling in Thor’s arms; his thighs caging the bucking hips of his husband, nails ripping at the God’s shirt, catching at the smooth flesh of his back as they both rode out the aftershocks of their lovemaking.

 

Thor held Steven close as their breaths began to even out, the last waves of pleasure rolling off his hips,  riding out the sensation until they finally stilled; Thor laying heavy and limp over his husband, Steven’s legs sprawled wide open to accommodate the God as he petted his long, tangled hair in tender, if uncoordinated touches.

 

“Steven?” Thor whispered after the passion had burned out and only his deep, overwhelming love for this delight of a man remained. The God curled himself over the human, head resting on the Soldier’s chest and closing his eyes to marvel at the steady beat of this miracle he held in his arms, now truly his in every sense.

 

“Yes?” The Captain replied in a soft, sleepy voice. Thor trembled as his fears began to mount.

 

“You will not regret this in the morning?” Thor questioned, voice frail as he had never allowed himself to be “You will not regret us?”

 

Steven sighed softly, turning them both in a smooth twist to lay side by side, legs curled together, both so close it was hard to tell where one ended and the other began. Thor allowed himself to be maneuvered, feeling too vulnerable to argue and unwilling to be parted from his now lover’s warmth.

 

“I could never regret you Thor” Steven finally whispered, his voice tender and warm as he bestowed a kiss to his husband’s brow and promptly fell asleep. Leaving Thor to his own sentimental musings and his amazed bliss.

 

“I love you…”

 

----

 

The next morning Thor woke to the feather light batting of butterfly kisses. The God chuckled sleepily and curled his sleep heavy arms around the warm, firm expanse of his husband’s body laying on his chest.

 

“Steven… Are you still drunk?” Thor groused, voice hoarse and cracking around a smile so wide his cheeks stung. His Soldier gave a teasing nip at the God’s corded neck, ripping a sharp cry from his husband, before gentling the stinging left by his punishing teeth with apologetic pecks of his smooth, plump lips.

 

“I wasn’t that drunk…” Steven affronted, mouthing still at the God’s bobbing Adam’s apple “I remember everything… I remember us

 

Thor sighed, the fear that had gripped his heart dispelling at his husband’s soft utterings and finally, he could truly rejoice in his love, in the all consuming joy of possessing this man and knowing that what he had given was not scorned, but cherished. For Thor had given his heart away last night, and reckless as his actions had been, Steven was never to be doubted; for here he was, holding Thor’s whole existence in his hands and covering him with caring, tender kisses.

 

Thor swallowed thickly to hide the knot of emotion that threatened to reduce him to tears as his lovely husband sighed and cuddled in close to his side, his ear pressed onto the God’s chest and humming a tune in match to Thor’s heartbeat.

 

And Thor almost did sob when he caught on to the song, that seemingly innocent thrum of the Soldier’s marvelous voice, muffled and languid in the early morning. It was their song, the very same one they first danced to, now the first one they had made love to as well.

 

“Sentimental…” Thor whispered, pressing a lingering kiss to his husband’s mussed bed-head.

 

Steven tutted and sighed, cutting their song short and falling to a comfortable silence. Both men relishing the feel of the other in their arms in the clearing marrow of a truly wonderful day.

 

Until, of course, life came bellowing.

 

“You thrice damned goat!” A deep voice roared outside, answered by a high-pitched bleat followed by a harsh grunt of pain and a crash of pans and barrels.

 

Steven sat up in a second, making Thor release a disparaging whine as he took his warmth and attentions with him. The Soldier rose a haughty brow at the pouting God who could only make gabbing hands at the man.

 

“Leave him” Thor begged, grasping at the seams of Steven’s shirt as the Soldier scooted away in determined pulls “He will survive, Tanngnjostr and Tanngrisnir are herbivores, they only bite him because he smells of apples, I swear!”

 

“Up, Thor” Steven snickered, giving up on freeing his shirt from the God’s stubborn hands and simply slipping out of it with a winning grin. Much to the God’s delight and misery. The Captain stood shakily and sent his husband a strange, pointed look; a flush rising on his cheeks as he rubbed at the back of his neck. “You should put that one on before you come out…”

 

Thor blinked owlishly for a moment before he remembered, siting up with a gleeful wince as he pulled at his own torn and bloodied shirt from where it stuck to his back, the fabric ripped in stripes as if claws had been swiped across it. Thor felt a hot flash of lust run down his spine and settle on his bruised, eager cock, only now noticing as well the uncomfortable tightness and itching from having slept in his spent soiled trousers.

 

Thor grinned all the brighter. Steven blushed harder.

 

Thor loved him even more.

 

“Release me, you spawn from Hel!” Volstagg cried, followed by more bleating and crashes and a truly acute squeal of pain as other, urgent and tired voices, joined the fray.

 

“Come on, Thor. They’re your children.” Steven urged, walking stiffly to the tent’s curtains and halting with a jolt when the God released a high cry of mirth. The Soldier turned to his smirking husband with a questioning gaze, to which the God leaned back into his beddings with a truly filthy and self-satisfied smirk on his Godly face.

 

“Now that is a limp!”

 

Steven escaped the tent about five shades of crimson and a cackling God at his heels.

 

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 29: Justice

 

The Captain was settling extraordinarily well into Asgard life. Over two months and only a few days away  from his return to Midgard as Ambassador, Steven had become indispensable in Odin’s Council. He was astoundingly wise for one so young and his contributions to Odin’s court went seldomly overlooked; on the contrary, most of the royal counselors awaited eagerly for the Captain to voice his thoughts whenever they leaned over a war plan. Steven had a sharp mind that had given even the All Father pause on more than one occasion, and he was so very humble and unassuming, but so firm in his ideals that one could only nod and follow. The Captain was so very resilient and intuitive, his integration near effortless.

 

And then there were instances like this.

 

Thor stood silent, pale faced and eyes blown wide, in the dark halls of Asgards dungeons. “He made a pie with Idunn apples”

 

Loki gasped in horror.

 

“… It was delicious”

 

Loki’s mouth flapped for a moment and then both God’s fell into an incontrollable fit of cackles.

 

Thor slid to the stone floor, tears streaming down his bearded cheeks unapologetically. Oh, the blasphemy! He had not had the heart to tell Steven, the darling Captain so proud next to his ungodly concoction; listing all his troubles to obtain the right ingredients for the crust to be just crisp enough. And setting the temperature in the tiny kitchenette oven; how do you put the right settings to that?

 

Thor felt himself go fainter as his husband doled on excitedly, taking a knife to the steaming pastry of Hel, looking as tempting as any treat of damnation would. Thor’s mouth watered just at the memory of it.

 

By the Norn’s, what Thor would do for that lovable man.

 

“Oh, that reminds me” Thor crawled to a crouch next to the magic cell, dipping a hand into his heavy cloak and pulling a small parcel from its cozy hiding, still warm from being kept close to his side. “Steven sends his regards”

 

Loki’s eyes went comically wide, laughter cut abruptly at the sight of the sugary insult to the Norn’s. “I will never see Valhalla for this”

 

Thor gave an evil grin and slid the baked curse past the magic protection, feeling the runes and spells shy away from the thing as if appalled by its existence, and straight to Loki’s eager hands.

 

“At the very least I won’t have to stare at Odin’s smug face for all eternity” Loki mused, carefully handling the warm slice of pie and taking a ginger bite. Thor sniggered as Loki moaned in pained delight.

 

“It is heavenly”

 

“I knew you would enjoy it brother” Thor sighed contentedly, a small smile sitting on his lips as he thought of his oblivious husband, his handsome face smeared with flour and fluttery eyelashes batting as his blue eyes narrowed and crinkled with a charming smile, just for Thor.

 

They had not laid together since their return from their hunting trip; the Captain had not retreated from him entirely, but he would not initiate intimacy as he had done that night, the liquid courage of Asgardian ale flowing through his veins, and though Thor knew he did not regret their union, he could not help but feel that maybe something was amiss. Had he not enjoyed himself?

 

For Thor it ranked quite high in his sexual exploits, but the Captain had never shown any inclinations for the stronger sex, perhaps he had realized it was not what he yearned for?

 

No. Steven would not continue to touch him as he did if that were the case, and that delightful flush he acquired when they shared their daily kisses was not the reaction of a man uninterested.

 

Thor bit his lip as his thoughts continued to circle around his doubts, his heart heavy and troubled with his insecurities.

 

“You are pining there, thunderer” Loki broke Thor’s fretful reminiscing. The dark-haired God gracefully wiping at the crumbs that adorned his thin, pale lips with his thumb, which he then dipped tantalizingly into his mouth, his pink tongue curling and stroking the fine digit with purpose. Loki sent Thor a dark look from under his feathery lashes. “Tell me, have you bedded the fine Captain yet?”

 

Thor visibly recoiled from the dark God, his ears burning from anger or embarrassment. “I don’t see how that concerns you, Loki”

 

Loki hummed, a wicked smirk parting his now moist lips. “Just wondering why the good man is spending his time baking sacrilegious treats when he could be of far better use in your bed”

 

“Do not be vulgar, brother” Thor snarled, face heating now in definite anger “It suits you ill”

 

“Do not play the prude, Thor” Loki smiled, eyes blazing with glee “I am not blind. The man is a work of art and you are not dead. Tell me then, brother. Why does the Captain still see unicorns?”

 

“Unicorns?” Thor blanched, what did those impious creatures have to do with his Steven?

 

“Rumor on Earth was that the Captain’s charms had not been sampled yet” Loki confided, slithering closer to the cell wall as he spoke with a wicked smile “so why have you not been meeting your wedded duty? Or is what’s under the deliciously tight uniform not as comely as it appears?”

 

“You be quiet, Loki!” Thor thundered, his mind racing now, his traitorous body heating with the implications of Loki’s words. If that were true, then his dear Steven was…

 

“Aye, I will keep this secret between us.” Loki drawled on with derision “Though how long do you think it will be before it reaches Odin’s ears that his virile son and heir cannot bugger his own spouse?”

 

Thor’s fist moved before his mind caught on to his actions, flying through the magic wall into the cell, only but barely missing his brother’s weaselly face. He quickly realized his mistake when Loki captured his fist with an ugly sneer.

 

Lighting fast, Thor found himself pulled into the cell, straddled by his evil brother with a mask of unholy mirth. “You were always so slow, brother”

 

With a pained shout, Thor felt the tendrils of Loki’s magic scorching his wrists, binding him to the cell’s cold floor in an unbreakable grip. Loki’s eyes shinned an emerald blaze as his magic, once bound and suppressed, spilled forth in menacing waves.

 

“But perhaps, I can speed things up a tad with the lovely Captain” Loki groused as he leaned forward, pressing his clammy forehead to Thor’s in a near comforting gesture “After all, he has given me the means to escape this foul place”

 

Thor gasped, muscles clenching as he fought the invisible hold while fire licked its way across his useless limbs. Loki pressed a soft kiss to Thor’s cold cheek, whispering softly in his ear. “Sleep tight, brother”

 

And as Loki sucked in a deep breath. Thor’s world turned dark, with one last fleeting thought of despair for his husband’s life. Thor fell limp in his brothers’ arms.

 

---

 

Loki breathed in Thor’s essence into his body, melded it with his sedir, knitting a tight suit of illusion around himself as his lithe, pale limbs morphed to thick and gold. His ebony locks were showered in sunlight. As he stood over his brother’s unconscious form, now covered in a spell to resemble his own likeliness Loki frowned at the unseemly sprawl of his body on the stone floor. Not even in unconsciousness could the gigantic oaf display a modicum of grace.

 

Loki gave a soft kick to the limp body and nodded approvingly when it did not respond. With a dramatic swirl and flick of burgundy cloak, Loki passed the hateful magic walls into freedom.

 

Loki heaved a deep sigh of contentment as he stood outside of his cell, eyes meeting with the prisoner to the left, the giant dark elf, his dark eyes looking on in silent approval and a wide grin took over the mirror visage of the Crown Prince. His large palm extending to the controls as he unlocked and released the guarding cells.

 

“If you would follow me, gentlemen” Thor’s voice sounded as the prisoners gathered around him “The All Father awaits”

 

----

 

Steve sat in contented silence in his antechamber balcony, sketching Asgards golden skyline with avid hands. The city was dreamlike in its resplendent glory, but he was sure he could never dream up something so beautiful on his own. A knock to his right pulled him from his private musings. He turned his head towards the chamber doors with a surprised frown.

 

Thor stood next to the open doors with a small smile on his face. “May I enter?”

 

Steve’s frown deepened but nodded regardless. “Yeah, sure. Come on in Thor”

 

Thor’s smile widened to a delighted grin as he pranced into the rooms with purpose. Steve smiled back and set his pencil and sketch book aside when Thor reached for him with a searching hand, his calloused palm kneading tenderly at his shoulder. Steve relaxed under his touch and sighed.

 

“How is Loki?”

 

Thor stopped his ministrations for a second before restarting, now with both hands actively massaging Steve’s neck and shoulders, earning a small groan from his husband.

 

“He is well, aye. As well as can be expected in those cells” Thor shared, his hands slowly but surely becoming more adventurous as he dipped his fingers under the laps of Steve’s shirt, carefully exploring his clavicle before retreating to the safety of his shoulder blades. His strong fingers drawing circles on the supple flesh of his husbands back, sneaking caresses to his soft, ivory skin there where his clothes allowed his unencumbered advances, and then just a bit further. Steve’s cheeks began to heat with every stolen touch but did not complain.

 

It was his husband, after all.

 

“He especially enjoyed the pie” Thor crooned, his heated voice blowing softly in the Captains flushed ear. Steve shuddered as the hot breath hit his blushing face and fought to stay still under Thor’s groping hands.

 

They had not touched like this since that night in the camp, where they had made love in a haze of eager bodies and liquid courage; something inside Steve making himself retreat from the physical aspect of their relationship, and as Thor had promised on their wedding night not to make any unwanted advances on Steve until he was willing, he respected his boundaries with that unassuming, pleasant way of his. Perhaps this was innocent as well, Thor always seemed to be in a good mood when he visited Loki, and he in turn had been more forward with him after the hunting trip with the Warrior Three and Lady Sif.

 

Could this be that Thor wanted to pursue a more… husbandly interaction? Is this how you initiated intimacy, or do you have to ask directly?

 

Did Steve want to go further, too?

 

Steve swallowed thickly and nodded. “I’m glad he liked it. Frigga did too”

 

The hands wreaking havoc on his peace of mind stopped abruptly, releasing his shoulders as if burned. Steve twisted his head back to look in askance at Thor’s strangely pale face: “You fed it to Frigga?”

 

Steve frowned suspiciously. “Yes, I spent the afternoon together in her gardens, remember?”

 

Thor fought to compose his aghast expression, eyes looking around the room randomly: “Yes of course, you did”

 

Steve froze in his seat, carefully wiping his face of any expression as he rose from his chair and turned to his husband. Thor struggled for a second to clear his thoughts and then added in a self-depicting shrug: “I thought you had baked just the one”

 

Steve searched his face for a moment, before breaking into a shy grin of his own “I had to hide the other one from you” He admitted, his eyes downcast and hands resting on his hips. An absolutely charming habit of his whenever he fought to keep his expressions in check. “The way you ate the first one to the last crumb made me scared there would be none left for your mother”

 

Loki smiled with Thor’s face, hiding the pain in his expression with a wide hand to his golden wig. “Forgive me, Captain. I can be overly enthusiastic when food is involved”

 

Steven rose his cerulean eyes to his, a sharp glint in them that gave Loki pause.

 

“It’s alright” The Captain reassured “Honestly, I think you take after your father”

 

Loki arched Thor’s brow inquisitively at Steve, who gave him a wide grin “He ate it just as fast as you did”

 

Loki wheezed a breath of shock, his large hands coming to grasp at his chest as he lost the fight to maintain composure. This bloody man had fed the accursed thing to the All Father?

 

The illusion around Loki flickered and in a second Steve’s grin turned feral as he reached for Loki and flipped him, bodily slamming him to the marble floors with a breathtaking force.

 

Loki’s magic fainted and drained and the mirage of Thor was lost. Leaving Loki panting for breath under the human who held on tight to his neck and beckoned with his free hand for Mjolnir. The hammer that had sat unobtrusively by the chamber doors flew eagerly to the Captains open palm.

 

Loki attempted to roll out from under the man only to feel the crushing weight of the Hammer press him to the ground in an unescapable grip. His breaths grew harder to draw as he glared at the Soldier resentfully.

 

Steve pursed his lips in thought as he looked down at this Brother in Law for a long moment, as if debating something important before his eyes flickered towards the remaining slices of pie on the coffee table. “Ok, I give. What was wrong with the pie?”

 

Loki coughed a rough chuckle at the insolent man. “Idunn apples… sacred fruit” He gasped for air “Magic… properties”

 

Steve’s brow creased as he took in the God’s words and finally swiped a heavy hand over his face in consternation “You’re telling me I committed sacrilege and helped you escape a magic dungeon? With pie?”

 

Loki shrieked a breathless giggle at the blushing Captain.

 

Steve groaned loudly. “Oh geez, why didn’t Thor tell me?”

 

“Thor… stupid”

 

Steve opened his mouth to reply, no doubt to defend the honor of his burgeoning idiot of a husband when a series of screams and crashes were heard from outside. The royal halls filled with the sounds of swords clashing and cries of death. The Captains eyes blew wide and Loki grinned like a shark.

 

“Surprise”

 

A familiar, feminine scream of pain cut Loki’s goading short, sending a flash of unholy fear though his body. Loki’s eyes caught Steve’s own in fright.

 

“Mother”

 

The man leapt to his feet and ran out the doors into the fray of swinging swords and spurts of blood. Ignoring the cut, breathless pleas of the God sprawled in his bedroom floor.

 

Steve punched and pushed his way to the Kings chambers, ripping a stolen sword from one of the inmates hands that had tried to cut him short and ended cleaved by his own weapon when Steve had spun and tripped the man on his march through the brawling hallways.

 

Steve gripped the sword in his hand and kicked the door to the Queen’s waiting room where the sound of high-pitched gasps and beastly grunts of pain came from.

 

Inside he found three Friggas holding an ornately sharp blade in a trembling hand, while the other pressed to her bleeding side tightly, blood spilling to the floor alarmingly fast. To the side a huge, horned Thing stood, eyes like dark pits and holding a bloody sword in his claw like fist.

 

Steve glared furiously and lunged forward, his sword meeting the Thing’s with a deafening metallic clash, Steve pushed with all his strength at the hold, slow but surely pushing the monster back and away from the entrance.

 

“Go!” Steve shouted with a grunt “Frigga go now!”

 

He did not have time to see if the Goddess did as he asked when the beast snarled and swerved his sword out of the clasp and swiped it at Steve’s unprotected side. Only his super soldier reflexes allowed him to avoid the worst of the attack, escaping with but a scratch to his bicep. Steve stood firm between the seething prisoner and the Mother of Gods, adjusting his grip of the sword as the wound stung and healed shut before the creature’s transfixed eyes.

 

“You’re going to have to get through me first” Steve taunted, seeing how the Beast’s eyes followed Frigga’s slow trek to the exit with a vicious snarl.

 

“I’ll kill you and then I’ll kill her” It rumbled, his voice startingly clear and human even as an animal roar began to rumble in its wide chest.

 

“We’ll see about that” Steve surged forward, instead of striking with the sword at the waiting monster, he threw the whole thing at the horned head and slipped to the floor, swiping the Thing’s feet from under it with a powerful kick. The Monster fell with a grunt, both swords falling to the side and out of reach.

 

Steve rolled over the Beast’s chest and dealt him a fierce punch, cracking one of the horns that framed its’ mouth. The Thing roared and flung a heavy arm to Steve’s head. Steve turned in time with the impact, giving him the momentum to roll onto the forgotten swords and take them in hand. Spinning back toward the turning Monster and cleaving one blade deep through the meaty shoulder, effectively pinning it to the marble floor.

 

The Thing let out a screech of pain before taking hold of the handle and ripping the sword out in a splash of ink black blood. Steve grimaced as some of it hit his face and silently prayed it wasn’t acid like in the Alien movies Tony had made him watch. When the liquid didn’t melt his face off, he exhaled in relieve. Taking in the Beast now climbing to its feet, one arm hanging uselessly to the side and bloody sword held in an angry grip.

 

“I’ll make you scream for that” It sneered.

 

“Promise?”

 

With that last quip, Steve dropped the sword and ran across the room to meet the monster half way, ducking under the furious swings of cold steel. Steve took his bare fists to the Thing’s body, rocking him with the impact and prompting him to drop the sword and claw at Steve instead; trying to catch the smaller man and failing to reach him, the soldier swerving and ducking in and out of reach. Playing with the Beast, buying time as he kept one ear out to the dying sounds of fighting in the halls.

 

Any moment now…

 

The thing let out a frustrated roar and flung his whole body over Steve, who just barely avoided being crushed by grasping the Thing by the horns adorning the sides of its head, his feet scrambling for purches as he took the whole weight of the Monster, who pressed and pushed against him with its enormous body. It snarled and punched repeatedly at Steve’s side, claws ripping at his skin in bloody stripes. Steve grunted and brought the Beast’s head down hard to smash his knee to its face. The Thing dropped to its knees with a sharp gasp, spiting black blood at Steve’s feet and attempting to swing his claws at him once more.

 

Steve heard the door open and many booted feet stomp into the room when he dealt the Beast one last mighty punch over the back of its horned head. It convulsed for a few short bursts and finally fell limp and heavy to the marble floor, blood pooling around its face and Steve’s new boots. Steve stared at it for a second, waiting; and sighed when he perceived the shallow but unmistakably present breathing of the Monster’s rising chest.

 

“Didn’t scream” Steve panted “Better luck next time, pal” He patted the closest horn in commiseration and turned to the royal entourage of Asgardian warriors, framing the imposing figure of the All Father, who looked on to Steve as if seeing him for the first time.

 

“Steven” He called; his voice icy as his gaze.

 

“Odin”

 

“Where is Frigga” Not a question, a demand.

 

Steve let out a loud breath, his head hanging low as he panted. “I don’t know, I told her to leave, she was hurt…”

 

Odin’s eye blazed with silent fury.

 

“By Algrim’s hand” Again, not a question.

 

Steve felt a chill crawl down his spine, standing straight now as a feeling of dreed began to nest in his stomach.  He met the God’s eye and held it. “Yes”

 

Odin’s eye shone with a burst of power as he struck his staff, Gungnir, once to the floor. The sound resonated through the Queen’s destroyed chambers, loud and damning. Like a death sentence.

 

Steve tried to speak when a sizzling and gurgling sound next to his feet alerted him to the Beast’s, Algrim, awakening.

 

Except.

 

Steve startled back at the sight of Algrim’s flesh bubbling and bursting in fiery warts, as if he was boiling from the inside out. Even in unconsciousness, he cried out in pain, as his body fought and spasmed automatically, trying to run from the fire that grew inside him until his body tore and shriveled inwards with a blood curling screech.

 

Steve clenched his trembling hands into fists. His eyes glued to the black splotch that not a minute ago, had a steady breath and pulse.

 

He swallowed thickly, his throat closing in and suddenly dry. “He could have stood a trial…”

 

“And he did” Odin replied “I accused him of bringing harm to my wife, the Mother of Gods. You gave testimony to this, and they-” He swept a hand to his silent guards “stood as witness”

 

Steve turned fully towards the All Father. Shoulders rigid and back straight. “You mean to say you played to be judge, jury and executioner”

 

Some of the guards tried to shuffle forward and Steve almost wished they had, already spoiling for another fight to spill out his frustration, but the All Father held them back with a raised hand, giving Steve a considering look.

 

“You fought Algrim, the dark elf, with your bare hands?”

 

Steve grit his teeth, his jaw working to contain his anger and give a polite response to the enraged and short fused God in front of him, measuring him. “I’m not very good with a sword, your Highness”

 

Odin’s gaze was unreadable, finally he turned to his private guard. “Find your Queen”

 

The search was short as they found her just across the hall. In Thor and Steve’s room, sitting on the floor next to Loki’s trapped body, caressing his dark hair tenderly and eating a slice of pie with a pale and faintly disgusted look on her face; but the bleeding in her side had stopped, and she seemed to regain some color to her cheeks with every reluctant bite she took.

 

Steve pressed his lips to a tight line of chagrin and watched silently as the All Father gathered his wife in his arms with a deep sigh of relief. He turned his eyes away to give them privacy, though he was the only one it seemed, as the guards looked on expressionlessly, waiting like statues for their next command to bring them to life.

 

“Frigga” Odin groused; voice thick as he cupped his wife’s face in his hands.

 

“I am well Odin; it was only a scratch”

 

“Yes, I see that now”

 

Steve could feel the heavy gaze of the God on him, and he reluctantly turned to meet it, only to find that the All Father wasn’t looking at him, but at the other odd one out in the room.

 

Loki laid awkwardly next to his parents, breathing shallow and labored under Mjolnir’s weight and glared defiantly at his Father.

 

“Loki”

 

“Odin”

 

“You have escaped your cell”

 

“With… little-help” Loki struggled to speak. Steve stepped forward and gently lifted the hammer from his chest, finally allowing the god to take a deep breath “Thank you” Loki gasped as he sat up slowly, his mother’s hands guiding his movements with careful pulls and tugs.

 

“You released the prisoners” Odin barked, pulling Frigga up with him and away from the heaving from of his disgraced son. “You led them here”

 

“I lead them to you” Loki sneered, climbing to his feet in defiance. Unwilling to be on his knees for Odin’s judgment.

 

The All Father’s eye sparked with the same flash of power Steve was learning to dread. Frigga took a step forward, shielding her son even as she clutched her sore side. “Odin, please”

 

“You lead an attack on the Royal Halls” Odin accused “On your family!”

 

“You are not my Family!” Loki spat, his own eyes flaming with emerald hues of magic. “You are my captors!”

 

Steve gripped Mjolnir tighter in his fist, wishing for Thor to finally make an appearance as he soon feared he would need a little Godly help to stop the clash of Father and Son.

 

Odin clenched his jaw, shoulders pulled rigidly tight. “So be it”

 

With another mighty pound of his Staff, his power cracking and bursting forth in a thick black, sentient string that weaved and spun in the air. Just as Frigga cried out to the All Father, the cord struck Loki’s mouth with a gush of vibrant ruby.

 

 “No more lies” Odin roared, as a black tread wove its way bloody on Loki’s lips, sewing them shut stitch by stitch “No more mischief!”

 

Steve could not remember how he moved or when he decided it was a good idea to cross the Father of Gods, but as his face was splashed with Loki’s blood, still warm and pulsing. He suddenly found himself face to face with the All Father, Mjolnir forgotten across the room and now Gungnir clasped firmly in his bruised hands.

 

“Stop!” He ordered. Startling Odin out of his trance to meet his clear gaze, the black string cutting halfway through Loki’s clenched lips. “This isn’t justice, this is anger.”

 

Odin held his gaze in a silent battle of wills, his hand now trembling imperceptibly but where Steve held Gungnir, the magical pulses burning and searching at the new hold. Still, Steve held on fast and unshaking. “Let him go, Odin.”

 

Cautiously, Frigga approached her husband, with a weary glance at the magical staff where their hands were clasped, she gently untangled Steve’s fingers, careful not to touch Gungnir now that it pulsed visibly with unrestrained waves of power. Then turning her gentle touch to her Husband.

 

“His trial can wait for a night.”

 

Odin kept his eye on Steve, his gaze so intense, for a wild moment Steve felt as if Odin feared him. And then the moment passed. Odin blinked first. He turned to his wife and nodded tiredly.

 

“Aye, justice can wait for one night”

 

Frigga smiled at him and kissed his thin lips lovingly, pulling him gently out of Steve’s rooms with only a worried glance backward to her wounded son, kneeling and bleeding on the polished marble floor. Steve’s heart went to her and tried to meet her eyes, to let her know not to worry, that he would look after her son. That he was safe now. But their eyes never met, and she left, followed by silent soldiers into Asgards Halls.

 

The doors shut with a loud bang and the only sound left was the pained gasps of the dark God.

 

Steve released a breath he had not known he was holding and let his head hang.

 

“Pretty sure Odin hates me now”

 

Loki gave a sharp, pained laugh and slowly lifted his head to look at Steve, his eyes wide with something Steve wouldn’t put a name to. His face a horrible mask of gapping wounds and blood, sliding down his mouth and neck to pool in his armored chest.  He could see his teeth through the holes.

 

Steve wanted to scream.

 

“There is still some pie in the coffee table” Steve offered instead with a strained smile “I don’t think anyone will want to eat it now”

 

“I thank you, Captain” Loki mouthed gingerly, eyes wild now with pain and face contorted in grimaces as every spoken word and twitch sparked and inflamed the gapping, bleeding wounds on his lips. “But I don’t believe I could eat another bite”

 

Steve nodded gravely and gently helped the hurting god to his feet. With a slow step he guided Loki through the waiting room and into his wedding chambers, earning him a sharp look from the God, but he remained quiet. Out of convenience or pain, Steve could only guess. With a firm hand, Steve settled Loki onto the large bed and rang for his chamber girl to call for a healer. Throughout this process, Loki’s green eyes followed the Captain with an undecipherable expression. If Steve were a lesser man, he would have been uncomfortable under the intense scrutiny. But his experience as a Soldier and a Showman (dancing monkey selling war bonds) gave him a bit more resistance to open ogling than he was entirely comfortable with. Steve turned to his brother in law after he saw out the skittish maid and cleared his throat.

 

“So, I suppose Thor is snoring it out in the Dungeon, am I right?”

 

Loki nodded, face unreadable.

 

Steve set his hands on his hips, ducking his head for a second to regain his composure, it would not do to laugh after a prisoner escape and attack on the Royal family. No matter how ridiculous the thought of Thor taking a nap happily in a ditch somewhere while they all fought for their lives was. Steve nodded to himself and turned to call the guard outside his chambers to go search for his wayward husband with as straight a face as he could manage.

 

To be fair, Steve had been in the army and he developed a stiff upper lip even Fury would envy. Sure came in handy in times like this. Where an angry God boiled people to death and near mutilated his own son.

 

Steve pinched his eyes and took a moment to just breathe, trying to erase the daunting images this day had brought, sure that he would be dreaming of this for the following nights. Just another horror to pile on to the Holocaust.

 

He gave himself a couple of seconds more to vulnerability, just a few precious seconds, before his back straightened and his eyes dried as he turned to Loki’s waiting form.

 

He had a guest to tend to.

 

----

 

That night Thor came to his room after a long stay in the healing chambers, listening intently at the maidens whisper the nights events around him while the Head Mistress of Healers wiped his body clean of Loki’s influence and finally, released him from her claw like hands.

 

Thor crossed his room in silence and shadows, approaching the bed where two figures slept on in the deep sleep of the truly exhausted. Thor barely had the mind enough to take his boots off before he slipped under the covers and crawled over to the slumbering Captain.

 

The man jolted slightly at the feeling of strong arms enveloping his waist, pulling his body up to a fervid embrace as Thor buried his face into the Soldiers neck, breathing him in in desperate pulls of his fresh scent.

 

“Thor?” Steven mumbled, wrapping his arms around the God’s back, patting softly as if testing it was truly him.

 

“Shhh, let me hold you” Thor whispered, lips skimming on the warm flesh of his ear, dipping his head down to his shoulder and curling over the Captain in a needy, yearning hold.

 

Thor pressed rapid kisses over his long neck, earning little gasps when ne nuzzled the sensuous arc, tickling it with his beard and nipping hungrily in odd intervals.

 

Steven sighed, hands clenching on the God’s shoulders with urgency as he murmured agitatedly “Thor… Loki is-“

 

Alive” Thor said, fervent and overcome with feelings he could not say, only show “And well… as is my mother… because of you.”

 

Steven swallowed and quietened, letting Thor release his emotions in the form of rabid kisses, everywhere he could reach, his hands dipping under the man’s bed clothes to caress and run his nails over the supple skin, the hard muscles.

 

Steven bit his lips to stop the noises that threatened to come, his face scarlet even in the dark room.  Thor could not hold it any longer, he broke.

 

The God dipped in and took his husbands lips in a fevered, wanton kiss; pressing his spouse into the bed with his whole weight, caging him in, covering him with his body so as to protect him from the world outside, keep him his forever. And at this moment he could think of only one way to do this.

 

To stake his claim.

 

Thor plundered the Captains mouth in deep, all-consuming strokes, swallowing the little gasps the Captain let slip in between kisses. Then Thor’s hands began to wonder lower.

 

“Thor” Steven called, anxious and hesitant, casting shy and pointed glances to the other body on the far side of their bed, the distance enough for him to be considered in another room entirely in Thor’s opinion, as he continued his desperate touches, pressing his open mouth over the racing pulse of the Soldier and tasting his skin, feeling his heart beat, reassuring and alive.

 

“Steven” The God sighed, kneeling between the Captain’s long, supple legs. Looking down at his flushed husband and aching for him.

 

Thor pulled the shirt up to bunch at the man’s armpits, uncovering his perfect body to him, the sculped muscles of his chest and belly glowing like smooth, polished marble in the soft moonlight. Thor felt his throat close at the sight. So perfect, so pure, so very his.

 

The God dipped his head and captured a taut pink nipple in his mouth, sucking it tenderly, tongue swirling over the little nub and eliciting a startled yelp that the Captain scrambled to silence with a shaking hand, the other coming to hold Thor’s head in a tight grip, stilling him but not pushing him away…

 

Thor bit.

 

The Captain convulsed under him, his legs scrambling under Thor’s weight. The God kissed the abused bundle and continued his exploration of the wonder that was his husbands body, the hand that had held his head now resting on the headboard above the Captain’s head; keeping him in place, anchoring him under Thor’s heated ministrations as the Soldier looked up at him with flustered, surprised eyes.

 

Thor lathered his chest and belly in kisses and nips, his hands kneading the hard body appreciatively. A God worshiping a Man.

 

“Thor, please.” Steven pleaded, voice soft and hoarse as the God’s hands became more urgent, near violent in his passion and began to undress him.

 

Thor continued to pull at the Captain’s trousers in hash tugs, jolting the man’s hips off the bed as he removed the clothing down his legs to bunch at his ankles, not having the peace of mind to remove it entirely now that he could finally see his prize.

 

Steven was perfect.

 

The Captain’s cock laid hard and leaking clear, pearly drops on his tight belly; a soft golden tuff crowning his lovely member, perfectly proportioned and uncut. Perfection.

 

Thor pressed his body over the now bare skin of the Captain, rubbing the length of his own body, fully clothed still against the naked expanse of the Soldier, eliciting a soft heated groan when Thor’s rough breaches scratched against the sensitive length of the man’s cock.

 

Thor caught the Soldier’s mouth in another deep kiss, too lost to do otherwise, and frantically began to unbuckle his belt.

 

“Thor!” Steven called in alarm, his trembling hands coming to halt the God’s swift fingers. His beautiful blue eyes shinning like precious gems in the dark of their bedroom, his breathing coming in short fits and blushing furiously with uncertain want.

 

Thor gripped the Soldier’s hands, holding them onto himself, letting the man feel what he provoked on the God. Those lovely, artist hands cupping Thor’s aching cock as the God dipped his head down and prayed “Say yes”

 

Steven swallowed harshly, his hands warm and perfect over the God’s flesh; his eyes casting wavering glances to the side but his desire burning fierce and after a long moment of nerve wrecking vacillation, the man gave in to his passion.

 

“…yes”

 

Thor heaved a relieved sigh, shoulders slumping as the weight of pending rejection lifted and he swiftly pulled at his thick leather belt and brought it up to his husband’s lips “Bite this”

 

Steven’s eyes widened fractionally, a quick dart of his startled eyes to the other body sharing their bed, miraculously still in deep dreams. And back to Thor, before he slowly opened his mouth.

 

Thor felt the heat in his loins rise to a scorching blaze as he pressed the leather belt between the Soldiers kiss swollen lips. Their eyes meeting in a tentative but passionate gaze.

 

Thor curled his fingers around the man’s cock, sighing in wonder as he finally touched that which was his by holy right, smiling as a low-pitched groan managed to escape the Captains gagged mouth at the soft attentions.

 

Thor smiled down to his husband, using his other hand to free his aching cock and in a deliberate, shameless motion, brought his own erection to press against his spouse’s, giving teasing smacks that resounded wet and filthy in the silence of their room, ripping another muffled gasp from the Soldier and an involuntary thrust of the man’s hips.

 

The God rewarded him with a smooth glide and clench of his fist along his length, curling and swirling in expert flicks of his wrist over the bulbous head of Steven’s cock, retracting the skin and teasing the tip with it in fast, near fucking motions.

 

The man shot his arms to the sides, gripping at nothing, fingers scrambling over the silk sheets for purches and convulsing over the pillows as Thor lent down and swallowed his cock whole.

 

Thighs clenched around the God’s head, there where he was cleaved to the hilt, nose brushing the soft bits of hair, the heavy balls hot and pressed tightly to his bearded chin as Thor worked his throat around the large cock of his lover, relishing the cut off moans and cries as the Captain struggled to hold back his voice under the sensual onslaught.

 

Thor pulled back and gave the awestruck Captain a vicious grin.

 

He was going to ruin this man.

 

And so he promptly took the pulsing cock back into his eager mouth, lips curling tight around the width and tongue swirling and flicking at the sensitive tip before sucking gently, lulling the man to a sense of easy attentions before rushing to a long, bobbing rhythm; taking the cock to the hilt in quick, punishing flow. His head thrusting up and down so harshly it jolted the Soldier’s body and prompted soft shrieks of the bed springs under.

 

Thor kept a cadence of passionate sucking and tender nibbles to Steven’s flesh, dragging him to the edge of mind-numbing pleasure and then gentling him back to a steady arousal that had the Soldier trembling under his hands with overwhelmed frustration, his defined hips finally losing the battle with decorum and thoughtlessly thrusting up to Thor’s eager throat, taking his pleasure shamelessly from his husband, as was his due.

 

Thor felt his own cock steer, leaving a wet trace of precum on the bedsheets under him as he allowed himself to be used, his mouth fucked open with abandon as he gazed up at Steven; eyes clenched shut, overcome with sensation, muscles on his abdomen clenching as the telltale rising of the man’s testicles slapping on his chin gave way to the most amazing sight Thor had ever had the honor to behold.

 

Steven released deep down the God’s throat with a cut off cry; his large cock thrust all the way, hips rolling in place, his heavy member massaging Thor’s walls and drawing out his pleasure in smooth, incredibly sensual motions until he grew still; a soft mewl escaping his gaged lips as Thor drew out and gave teasing, parting suckles to his softening cock.

 

Thor surged up and ripped the obstructing leather from the lovely man’s lips, taking his mouth and shoving his tongue inside the warm cavern, letting the Soldier sample his taste and groaning in sync with the man’s startled gasps at the filthiness of the act, his limp cock stirring bravely on his taut belly and more honest in his desire than he ever was.

 

The God bit the Soldier’s lips one last time before pulling back and taking hold of his long neglected erection, giving it hard, near violent pulls; the glide of his fist smooth with the abundant leak of precum and filling the dark room with obscene, squelching noises as he serviced himself under the abject gaze of his husband, who followed the harsh fucking of his fist with open fascination, his breathing labored and gasping as Thor worked himself to release over his soft, spent cock.

 

Thor covered his belly and groin in warm seed, the first taint of another man on his pure, virginal flesh. And Thor did cry out then, the thought of being the first, the only one to ever mark this marvelous man enough to overcome his ironclad control and any modicum of decency as he fucked his fist in shameless bucking of his hips, feeling as all the muscles in his body clenched and his orgasm extended to near blackout.

 

And as the God regained his senses, gazing down to the flustered Soldier; laying still with his shirt bunched over his lovely chest, trousers tanged on his ankles and absolutely drenched in the God’s essence. Thor’s softening cock began to fill anew and only the stunned look in Steven’s innocent eyes halted his lust from simply taking the man at that moment.

 

His brother be damned. Thor sighed and released his half hard cock, curling forward and taking his own shirt to dab regretfully at the mess he had made of his husband, gently cleaning his darling cock and tucking his clothes back up proper, as if he had not been ravished by a ravenous God only minutes ago. And Steven allowed it, laying soft and pliant under Thor’s hands, eyes wide and awed as his husband set them to rights and pulled him to cuddle close, holding him tenderly to his chest, pressed close to his heart where he belonged.

 

“Thank you, thank you, thank you….” Thor chanted under his breath, words whispered to his husband’s sweaty brow and thoughtlessly confessed.

 

“I love you”