|Jane Foster (science_fact) wrote in avengers_logs,|
@ 2019-02-15 07:38:00
|Entry tags:||-complete, -rating: red, jane foster, thor odinson|
Who: Jane and Thor
What: Jane hasn’t been feeling well and now she knows why. She has to tell Thor.
When: Friday evening
Rating: Red for discussion of fatal cancer
Jane and Thor weren't in the habit of lying to each other. So when she'd taken Severus the cat back to her own apartment with an excuse that she needed some privacy and quiet to start prep on her first Columbia lecture, Jane told herself it was true. The speech wasn't that far out, after all. But it was still a lie in practice when Jane went radio silent. No messages. No going by the warehouse for meals. Nothing.
Jane wasn't pregnant. The doctor had been able to determine that without much fuss. She'd been ready to chalk the whole thing up to the flu when the office called back. Something unusual in her bloodwork. Could she come in for more tests? Jane would have told Thor about it had she seen him and telling Thor didn't seem particularly helpful. He wouldn't understand. Which wasn't to say he was stupid but that it was completely out of the realm of his experience. All he would do was worry and disrupt the local weather patterns.
It was probably nothing. That's what Jane kept telling herself. Everyone googled their symptoms and came up cancer but it never was. It was probably nothing. Even when the doctor began to throw around words like "bone marrow tap" and the eyes of the nurses widened with sympathy when she turned up for the test alone, without a supportive spouse or family member. It was probably nothing. Maybe valley fever. People who spent a lot of time in the desert got that and certainly had. You could be sick a year with that. it was probably nothing.
And then they'd brought her into an office and pressed her hands full of pamphlets and talked about things like making an action plan and referral specialists. Jane realized too late that with no one else with her there wasn't anyone to ask questions when all she could hear was the buzzing in her head.
Jane went home. They put her in a cab. She let herself in, refilled Severus's water, had a shower, screamed into the cascading rush of the running water, changed into her coziest pajamas, and tried to think what to do next. Jane had to have an idea what to do next, had to be prepared. Because she had to tell a god who could shake the sky loose in his rage that she was - that she was going to -
Jane texted Thor. Asked him to come over when he could get a free moment away. They needed to talk.
When Thor had asked Jane to move to the warehouse, he'd known it wouldn't be forever. It was almost like entering a new world, so different than that of Midgard with the sounds and smells being distinctly Asgardian. To his people's credit, they had been courteous and appropriate, a direct result of that council meeting a few weeks back.
At Jane's request though, he'd agreed to let her handle her medical issues. It was not in him to pry or ask more questions, so he accepted her autonomy, as he did in so many things. Jane was the most intelligent woman he knew. She'd do what she felt was right.
The day she left the warehouse, he'd been busy with Loki, touring the realms so he's read her message and accepted she'd reach out when she was ready. He knew the level of preparation involved with her talks, but after a few days of zero communication, he began to worry. Loki was no help, constantly asking about marriage and Val kept snickering in his direction. All Thor wanted was an answer, one way or another.
Her text message requesting his presence sent a jolt through his system. Nerves he wasn't aware he had started to settle in his stomach, and he took a deep breath to calm himself. In fact, the entire walk to her home, he kept preparing himself for either the good news or the bad news.
Letting himself into the house, he wasn't surprised to see it slightly dark and quiet. "Elskede?" He wasn't sure where she was in the apartment.
Jane had been waiting in the bedroom. She hadn't known how to spend the time waiting for him. Watching Netflix seemed pointless and Jane doubted she had the attention span for it. Sleep sounded like a relief and she thought about napping when her journal caught her eye from the corner of her desk. Jane wrapped a blanket around her shoulders and took that with her to bed. While she waited for Thor to make his way over, she flipped through the pages of her journal, occasionally shooing Severus away when the kitten showed too much interest in the proceedings. Her life's work was here. Everything she knew about the universe. She lingered over the page Thor had drew for her their first night together, fingers tracing the swirling lines of Yggdrasil. Jane was still there, remembering the way Thor's face looked in the flickering firelight when his voice interrupted her reverie.
"I'm here," she called back, coming out to him, blanket trailing behind her like one of his capes. Jane stepped into Thor's embrace, pressing her cheek against chest. It was her favorite spot, the place where the gentle rumble of Thor's voice seemed to come from, like the sound of thunder on a summer afternoon.
Thor held her close, rubbing her back softly while he murmured comforting words to her. From the way she was subdued, he could assume the news was not to her liking. Seeing her like this was heartbreaking. All he could do was support her, but he wished dearly he could fix everything.
It was getting harder not to ask though. His curiosity, which was low at best, was slowly creeping up. But no. He'd let her tell him in time
Jane wished she could stay hidden away in his arm forever but it was a stall. A comfort but a stall. Jane stepped away. "Come on." She led him to the couch, sitting facing towards him. "You know how I said I would get checked out since I haven't been feeling well? I did that," Jane began, tugging at stray thread on her blanket. "My bloodwork came back with some unusual results so I've been going back in for some additional testing to see what's going on. I got that those results back."
Jane kept glancing at Thor from under her eyelashes, as if too afraid to look straight at him but unable to fully plant her gaze on him. "I um. Thor, I - I'm sick."
"Sick? Well, of course you're sick, you've been sick for a month or so." So it was an illness. Thor couldn't help but feel a little disappointment but at the same time, a sense of relief. His conversation with Loki had shown him that although Jane and Thor had happily resumed their relationship, there were many conversations, important conversations they'd skirted around. They'd have to fix that soon.
Reaching out with his hand, he gently took her hands into his his and moved closer to her so that their knees met. "My love. Whatever is wrong, I will be here with you throughout, at your side. I regret that I am not always here, and let me assure you that you are never far from my mind. If it is a healer you require, that can be arranged easily enough. " He tried to catch her gaze, even going so far as to brush some waves from her face.. "You do not need to worry."
"No, no," Jane said, tilting her face and pulling away a little. "That's not how it - " She took a breath, tried to steel herself for what had to be said. It almost didn't seem fair, that she would have to endure the double agony of having his diagnosis and then having to share the news. "Thor, I've been sick for a long time. We just didn't know about it because I didn't actually feel sick until recently."
Now the hard part. She didn't want to do this. Didn't want to tell him. Didn't want to make it real. "I have something called acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Leukemia is a type of blood cancer where something goes wrong in the DNA of a type of blood cell and they start multiplying. Eventually those bad blood cells overtake the good ones. I've probably had this for years. And because no one knew about it and we caught it so late, I might - you need - "
Jane took one last deep breath and then continued. "I need you to understand that I might only have six months left."
"Six months? What do you mean?" Now Thor was thoroughly confused and it showed on his face. He had no idea what 'cancer' was, or 'leukemia' or really any of the words she was using to describe her illness. "I'm sorry, Jane, but I do not understand. How can this be? Surely there are treatments or a course of action to take. What is it you Midgardians are fond of saying? Searching out a second counsel? We can do that." He thought quickly to what he needed to do over the next few days. Meetings, of course, but he could force Val to take those on if Loki wasn't available. She wouldn't be happy about it, but she wouldn't say no to him.
"Seeking a second opinion," Jane said flatly. "I don't know if that's going to help. The doctors I saw were good ones. And what I have, the survival rate is thirty, forty percent. And my case is apparently...not good." Her lips pursed and she stared down at her knees. "I'm going to do everything the doctors tell me but there might not be enough time before... I know you're not used this but here on Earth sometimes people get sick and they don't get better. If the treatment doesn't buy me more time, I only have a few months left."
"A few months left of what?," he asked, raising his voice a little. That was the part he really didn't get, even though he was desperately trying to piece it together.
She couldn't possibly be referring to her lifespan. That was impossible. Yes, he always knew she would not live as long as he, but they'd only recently reconciled five months earlier. This had to be an error.
"Thor." Jane's throat was dry and his name seemed to stick in it. "You know. Please don't make me say it."
Thor searched Jane's face, trying to find something, anything, that would belie the seriousness of the situation and he found nothing.
"No..." He shook his head. "No, Jane, this can't be right. You can fight this, I know you can. You are so much stronger than you give yourself credit. And then when you are better, we will look back at this and wonder how we could ever have been so scared."
It was getting harder. Jane's eyes were burning and her throat was tight but she swallowed and carried on. "I'm going to do everything they tell me but because this is so different than what you're used to, I need you to accept what the reality is. Because I have to accept it so I can deal with it and I can be prepared. And it's not all bad." Jane met Thor's eyes and tried to sound upbeat though her voice was watery.
"They say that no one's ever really gone as long as they're remembered. I don't know how memory works for you. I don't know if in a thousand years all this will still be clear for you or if it'll be like trying to remember a dream. But in a thousand years, if you remember me at all, that I was here, that makes me luckier than most people will ever be."
"I don't want a memory! I want you!" Rainclouds were starting to form, and it was all Thor could do to hold back the inevitable lightning storms. Taking a deep breath, he suddenly moved away from her and stood up, his fists clenched at his side. Thor paced in front of the couch, trying to think of something, anything, some kind of answer but she was right -- he really couldn't accept this. And if there was still an Asgard, with the proper machines and technology, he would have insisted she be healed their ways, but the recent meeting with Eir had shown him they were nowhere NEAR their previous capability.
"I can't lose you, Jane. I can't. I just got you back. My life has been better these last few months, better than the last few years without you have been. How can you say I need to accept this, this inevitable loss? NO. I refuse. This cannot happen, this cannot be allowed to happen."
Tightening his jaw, he gave a sharp nod. "I will fix this, Jane Foster. I will. I just. I need to think about this. I can help you. I promised you once I would never let you down, and I swear it, I will not."
Jane seemed to sink further into the corner of the couch for a moment becoming smaller when confronted with his rage at the situation. She should have known. Of course Thor would see this as another monster to defeat. "This was always going to happen. Maybe not this way or right now but sooner or later I was always going to run out of time. I'm human and you're not. There was always going to be an end.
"The past few months have been amazing. I'm so glad we got a chance to do that. But now..." She straightened back up, tried to project strength into her voice. "You have a people you're responsible for. You have to go be a king, you can't just take care of me. You've already lost enough, you don't need to be here just to watch me die. I - I release you from your responsibility to me. If we accept it now, then those memories in a thousand years will be the good ones and not of me when I was sick. We had a perfect few months so let's call it now and we'll always have it that way. Okay?"
Thor looked at Jane with a look so incredulous, he almost started speaking in Aesir, he was so surprised. "Are you... is this ... no. " His brow furrowed. "I am not walking away from this. You cannot make this decision for me. I knew from the very beginning that our ..lifespans were not compatible and I stayed. I will find a solution for this. Mark my words." This scene was almost reminiscent of their last argument, he thought to himself but this time, he wasn't upset at her. Standing in front of her, he crouched down and smoothed her hair with his hand. "I will never give up on you. I love you, Jane, more than words can say." He leaned in and gave her a gentle kiss, barely able to keep himself from trembling. There were so many emotions playing in his head.
I love you. The words echoed in her head as if she could echo them back to Thor without saying it. I love you. I love you. "And what if you can't? What if there is no fixing it? Have you ever seen someone really sick? How are you going to handle it when my hair falls out or I can't keep my food down? Or when I'm too sick to want you to touch me anymore?" Jane didn't want him to leave but the idea of having to watch Thor watch her deteriorate, to have to look at him when he lost hope and looked at her with pity in his eyes... she didn't think her heart could take it.
"Please go." Her voice was breaking. "You're making it worse. Please just go."
The last thing Thor wanted to do was make things worse. And he could see how she was shrinking back, the pain etched on her face, that that was all he was doing. He felt himself suddenly deflate, and the rumbling clouds softened until they were simply rainclouds, grey and persistent. Thor didn't bother to do anything with them, just let the rain pour down. Swallowing hard, he nodded and although he was loathe to step away, he did so. "I will call you tomorrow," he promised. "Please ... please answer." His voice was starting to break as well, and maybe it was a good thing that he left.
Of course Thor did as she asked and left and Jane was relieved to hear the warning rumblings of thunder dissipate, replaced by rain beating against the windows. She let Thor see himself out and then she was alone in an empty apartment, missing Thor as soon as the door clicked shut. She knew his heartbreak was raining down from the sky but she felt the storm was partially her own. Her own grief falling down upon the city. Jane wanted Thor to wrap her up but all there was only Darcy's kitten and the drumbeat of rain as a soundtrack to the tears Jane finally let fall.