In a While Now

Author: Leopard
Rating: Moderate
Status: Complete

A Thor-centric short set in or maybe just after Thor 2. Today, I ship Thor/Jane. Part one of two fics based off Amaryllis by Shinedown

"Everything seemed so much larger when I was young." Thor smiled as Jane placed a mug of coffee in front of him and sat down. She folded her arms and placed them on the small, round table they were sat at. She rested her head on her arms.

"Tell me about it." Thor shifted on his chair and turned his head to look out of the window, watching as beads of rain rolled down the glass, grey like the world and sky beyond.

"Loki and I, we used to play in the forest- near the palace is a huge forest, and in the summer the leaves are so thick it hardly matters if it is night or day. We would spend a great deal of time arguing about what to do: I was an arrogant child and I always wanted to spar and prove my superiority, but Loki just wanted to climb the trees and pretend that we reigned over the forest together. He would be content then.

"Often, I ended up giving in and chasing him around for hours. Somehow, I never managed to catch him, even though I was faster and stronger. I suppose, looking back, he must have used tricks and magic to fool me, as he did so often." Thor sighed, his shoulders falling. He closed his eyes as if lost in the memory.

"It's okay to miss him, you know. He was your brother." Thor picked the mug up and held it tightly in his hand, steam rising up and brushing past his face.

"Was." The word was soft, almost inaudible. "And not even."

"Thor. Do you ever talk to anyone?" He turned back to look at her, almost confused, or at least pretending to play the fool.

"I talk to a lot of people." I mean, like, talk about how you feel and stuff." A faint smile touched his lips. He leaned forwards a little, and slid his hand along the table-top to take hold of hers.

"My father would say that a prince has no time for feelings about himself. Besides, why would I talk to someone about it?"

"I suppose therapy doesn't exist on Asgard then. It's obvious that you're suffering, about Loki, about your mother, about whatever other crap you have to deal with because your father said so. You don't have to deal with it alone, not anymore." She met his eyes with a small smile. Thor frowned, his eyebrows lowered.

"Not once in my life have I been alone. Until I was banished, I have everything I could ever possibly have wanted. I was, and still am a selfish fool. I sat back and watched as Loki was bullied endlessly for his magic, and I never once thought of how deeply it might affect him. I was arrogant and stupid, that's why I was banished, and that's why he-" Thor's voice caught, his eyes all of a sudden burning with tears. All the words he wanted to say were stuck in in throat.

Jane placed her other hand over his. "It's okay. It can't have all been your fault."

"It was. I should have stopped them. I should have been there for him instead of being so selfish and self-obsessed. I- I should have done more, I-" He couldn't fight the tears any longer and they rolled down his face in waves, not dissimilar to the rain on the glass.

"And he tricked me and I was so angry with him for lying, for pretending to be dead that I forgot to apologise. And now he's dead again and there was nothing I could do, again, but watch him slip from my fingers. He saved my life and yours and I didn't even thank him. I didn't say anything, and now I - now - I can't." He drew a shaky breath in and closed his eyes.

"You're okay. It looks like you sure as hell need to let some of this out, and I don't mind." He nodded, accepting the tissue Jane pulled from her pocket and offered to him without a word. He breathed deeply a few times and continued.

"I regret that Loki was not invited to mother's funeral. He should have been there, and I should have been there for him. I suppose his destruction was contained, but it was wrong of father not to let him be there. I was all he had left and I let him down." Thor looked down at his now empty mug and sighed, placing it on the table with care.

"You need some you-time too, you know. It sounds like you spend way too much time worrying about what everyone else is doing and thinking and feeling that you forget to worry about yourself." Jane met Thor's eyes, and she could see it clear in them how much he was hurting inside.

"I do not need to be worried about." he said in no more than a whisper. He believed it, he was the Prince of Asgard and it was his duty to put others before himself, to put aside his past selfishness and make sure that everyone else was fine, regardless of how he felt. He knew this was a fact, he had to be strong even if everything was falling around him, because if he didn't have a brave face, none of the people who followed his would wither.

Yet now all the emotions he had so carefully contained and put aside for so long were spilling out, and almost unstoppable stream of sadness and regrets. He had sacrificed himself for Jane, and thought to have lost her for his father and the realm; he'd tried to be strong for Loki, especially after Frigga's death. And for his mother, he had tried to be the best.

He had tried to do the right thing for everyone else for so long he had almost forgotten that he needed to do right for himself as well. He needed to feel. He had always cared for Loki, all his life he had forgiven his brother over and over, time after time, after every lie and betrayal and trick. But now Loki was gone, Thor remembered that he could feel too.

Right now, none of it mattered. All the tragedies could wait, all the loss and betrayal that was yet to come could hold one. After all, the Nine Realms were hardly going to suffer too much just for one night.

Thor talked into the night, and for the first time in a very long time, he felt all his burdens and locked up emotions lift and leave his shoulders light and free.

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