Who: Jane and Thor What: A gift When: Monday late afternoon Rating/Warning: Green
Okay. This was it. The moment he'd prepared himself for over the last....... month or two. Oh gods, was he really this much of a coward now?
Ragnarok had changed him, in more ways than one, but the biggest thing was that he had no actual reason to stay away from Jane now. And at what cost? Only the complete annihilation of his realm.
Right. That was why he had stayed away. He saw when she had arrived, and he saw when she left and still he said barely anything. It wasn't just that he didn't trust himself around her but honestly, what would he say? Even though he'd asked to remain friends, it wasn't as if he called or emailed or did anything really to stay in contact. And then when he left Midgard again to be in the nine realms, he had been so busy....
For what, really. For a broken kingdom, a lost people, a dead father...
No. He wasn't going to dwell on this. He had coffee, an apology gift, and he knew exactly where Jane's new lab was. Entering with what he hoped was a confident smile, he frowned quickly when he saw she was asleep on the couch. Gods forgive him, but he'd always enjoyed watching her as she slept. The peace that came across her face was like no other.
This was a bad idea. Turning around quickly to leave, he accidently knocked into a shelf, which in turn caused him to spill the ridiculous coffee, leading him to curse. Loudly.
"Whyyyy?" groaned Jane, not opening her eyes. She'd set some code to compiling and not having anything else to do, curled up on the lab couch to shut her eyes for a bit. She could swear she hadn't been dozing for more than ten minutes when there was a sudden racket. She'd barely returned to the lab from her odd trip back to Puente Antigua and she was falling back into old habits.
"That had better not be my equipment ruined," she added for good measure before finally opening her eyes and sitting up.
"Thor? Is everything okay?"
Thor straightened up, took a deep breath and turned around to face her. It'd been far too long, and even though he thought he'd prepared for this moment, he wasn't.
"Of course it is, Jane." Why wouldn't it be? An odd question to be sure. "I wanted to reach out and apologize for my strange behaviour over the last while." He stretched an arm out and gave a small smile. "Coffee? There should still be at least half in the cup."
Jane had never turned down coffee and she wasn't about to start now. Even if the offering was half in the cup, half down Thor's shirt. She took a sip, looking up at him over the rim of the cup. She hadn't adjusted to his yet. Thor was still the most handsome man she'd ever seen but he seemed different now. He looked older than Jane had ever seen him. Not that she'd much of him before her sojourn back to New Mexico.
Speaking of. "What'd you do? I've hardly seen you."
"I have simply been occupied with personal matters that kept me out of contact." Appropriately vague and polite, as was the Asgardian way. "Again, I apologize. I did not wish to disturb you, and had I not caught myself on the shelf, you could have remained slumbering."
Now that his hands were free of the coffee, he felt awkward holding the sheaf of papers... oh no! Looking down suddenly, he rifled through the papers, and felt relief when he noted there was no significant damage. He did not relish having to speak with Quill again to receive it. Amusing, but not someone Thor wished to spend much time with.
"This is for you," Thor said, handing it over.
"I know. It's all right." Asgard. Or what was left of it. Of course Thor would be busy looking after his people. What happened to Asgard was a loss Jane couldn't imagine. "And I wasn't sleeping. Just napping while my code compiles. I wrote an algorithm to look for a surge of energy like a bridge opening further in space. Might help me to..."
Her voice trailed off as she got a good look at the papers he handed her. "Oh my god." She needed to set the coffee cup down. The floor was closest and Jane leaned to set the cup on the tile, never taking her eyes off the schematics.
"Oh my god," she said again. "Do you know what these are?" Of course he did, he'd given them to her.
"This is a spaceship." Jane got up to show him. "See the way the joints are designed? Distributes g-force along the entire hull, turns the entire ship into one big shock absorber. And this..." She shuffled to the second page. "Is this an FTL drive? ...This is an FTL drive!"
"Yes, I know." Thor was incredibly pleased with himself. "It looks much less impressive on paper," he offered, "but the space captain is... strange. I would not recommended visiting him on your own."
And even though he could see she was happy, he still felt like asking. "You like it?"
"Uh huh," Jane said to the warning, not quite listening.
"The way this converts energy...the efficiency... I wonder if I could build one..." Jane focused enough to look up at Thor, beaming. "This is incredible. Thank you so much."
Tony had mentioned now would be a good time to leave, but Thor found himself unable to. The passion and fire Jane brought to her work was unlike anything else.
Tony had also said Thor should mention something about his prowess as a warrior but that was ridiculous -- Jane already knew that. Giving his head an internal shake, Thor gave a small, yet practiced bow. "It was my pleasure. Perhaps you should meet the space captain after all... but in a well supervised area, away from distraction. He seems the sort to be easily diverted."
Jane smiled at him. She wasn't sure how to interpret that last so didn't try. Her mind was still dancing along with the excitement of the schematics. "He some Han Solo type?"
Thor gave a low chuckle. He had fond memories of their movie time, Jane aghast that he hadn't bothered with any classics. Star Wars was a personal favourite. The science made no sense, nor did the magic, but it was entertaining.
"I believe Han Solo is....a fairly adequate comparison, if Han Solo were less charming and more abrasive."
Jane laughed. "That doesn't sound so bad. He gave you the specs, right? I should say thanks. And by thanks, I mean I have to see to see this ship in person."
"Yes, well I believe he is on the network, so you can thank him yourself."
And then for once in his life, Thor realized he had no idea what to say. As a crown prince, he'd been schooled and trained in all manner of conversations. He could charm anyone, befriend the angriest diplomat, conquer the most reluctant land... and yet this woman, this tiny little thing, had him utterly speechless.
"Peter." He added suddenly. "Peter Quill. In case you didn't know that."
Right. That helped so much. Encourage her to speak to another man, and shower gratitude on him. Excellent, Thor.
Jane nodded. "Thank you." She held the schematics out in front of her, trying to read all the specifications at once.
"You're welcome." wait, had he said that already?
"Anyways. I can go now. I do not have anything overly pressing but I can see you will be busy for a while now." He was stalling here, and hoped he didn't look overly pathetic. "Unless. You require sustenance....cereal, perhaps."
"Yeah, sure," Jane said, not talking her eyes off the schematics as she went to spread them out on her work bench. There was a delay and then she looked over at her shoulder at Thor, eyebrows knit together.
"Wait, what? Sorry, did you say something about cereal?"
"Cereal?" It took him a moment to realize she was talking to him. Maybe the gift was too good...regardless, he always felt a measure of happiness at seeing her hard at work. He could guarantee that her mind was processing the information at a rate he would never understand.
"I believe I should get going now," he said, basically to thin air for all the attention he was getting. Still, it wouldn't do to leave without a proper goodbye. "It was wonderful to see you again, Jane. Until next time." He waited for a moment to see if he would get a response, but he decided the distracted nod was enough.
Leaving the lab, he couldn't help the smile that crossed his face. All in all, he was happy with how things went, and Tony needn't worry -- no conversation about any exes.