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The Sky Weeps (1/1)

Title: The Sky Weeps (1/1)
Author: BradyGirl_12
Pairings/Characters: Steve/Tony, Thor Odinson, Clint/Phil, Natasha Romanoff, Bruce Banner, Lincoln McCafferty, Loki Laufeyson, Nick Fury
Continuity: The Avengers (2012), (Marvel Cinematic Universe)
Genres: Angst, Drama, Hurt/Comfort
Rating: G
Warnings: None
Spoilers: For The Avengers (2012)
Summary: Thor falls ill and the Avengers take care of him.
Date Of Completion: September 6, 2012
Date Of Posting: September 14, 2012
Disclaimer: I don’t own ‘em, Marvel and Paramount do, more’s the pity.
Word Count: 5979
Feedback welcome and appreciated.
Author’s Note: Written for this prompt at avenger_kink.



The clouds darken,
Blotting out the sun,
As the rains fall.

The sky weeps
As bones ache
And tears
Run down
The windowpanes.

My heart breaks.


Angelica Korn
"Broken-Hearted"
2012 C.E.



Steve looked up as Thor entered the living room, rubbing his throat. “What’s up, Big Guy?”

“My throat is most raw.”

Steve winced in sympathy. He remembered many a sore throat in his pre-Serum days. He still suffered from the occasional scratchiness. “Do you need some cough lozenges?”

“What?”

“Medicine for your throat.”

“Yes, I would like some.”

Steve rose from the couch and went to his room, going into the attached bathroom. He emerged with the promised lozenges and handed them to Thor, who had followed him.

“Thank you, Steve. I am most grateful.”

Steve smiled. “I still get the occasional sore throat, though it doesn’t last long. Here, take one every four hours.”

Thor dutifully popped a lozenge into his mouth.

Steve clapped a hand on his shoulder. “Come on and we’ll watch some TV.”

They settled into the room as a light mist sprinkled Manhattan outside the large windows.

& & & & & &


The next morning the mist had turned to a light, steady rain drumming on the roof as Steve shook out a cascade of Wheaties into his bowl. “Where’s Thor?”

“I don’t know.” Clint shrugged. “Maybe he’s sleeping late. I bet gods don’t have to get up with the chickens.”

“Ha, ha.” Natasha chose Cheerios and scooped a spoonful of strawberries over the cereal while jerking her head toward Clint. “He thinks he’s a farmer.”

“Thor wasn’t feeling well yesterday.” Steve crunched a bite of cereal.

“Do Asgardians get sick?” Clint asked.

Bruce entered the kitchen. “Is Thor sick?”

“He may be. He had a sore throat yesterday,” Steve answered.

Bruce frowned slightly. “I think I’ll go check on him.”

“You two are a coupla mother hens,” Clint teased.

Bruce went off on his mission as Steve said loftily, “Just being a good friend.” He took a bite of cereal. “Besides, when Phil was recovering, you hovered over his bed like your namesake, for cryin’ out loud.”

Clint snorted as he spooned up his Lucky Charms.

The three of them snarked and joked as they ate until Bruce returned looking worried.

“What’s wrong?” Steve asked.

“Thor’s got a fever.”

“A fever?” Steve set down his spoon.

“Yeah.” Bruce rubbed his face. “His throat’s really bad, and his joints are achy. He’s a little bewildered, too. I take it they don’t have the flu in Asgard?”

“Is that what it is? Influenza?” Steve asked nervously.

“The symptoms indicate that.”

“Can I come with you?”

“Sure.”

In Thor’s room, the blond was restless under the wine-red covers. Steve could see the sheen of sweat on Thor’s face and his gut clenched.

“Hey, Big Guy. How d’ya feel?”

“Not well,” Thor answered petulantly. He blew his nose with a crumpled tissue. “I cannot breathe!”

Steve sympathized, remembering his asthma attacks. He sat on the edge of the bed. “You’ll be fine.” He brushed back limp strands of damp hair from Thor’s fevered brow.

“I hope you are right, my friend,” Thor groaned as he shivered.

“Chills, too, huh?”

“Yes.”

“I’ve got some medicine for you, Thor,” Bruce said.

“Thank you, Bruce.”

Bruce administered the medicine and said, “Try and get some sleep. The medicine should make you sleepy.”

As Thor closed his eyes, Bruce and Steve went out into the hall. “Will he be all right?” Steve asked.

“He should be after some rest. He’s got the constitution of an ox.”

Steve smiled. “You’re right.”

Bruce looked at him shrewdly. “Is something bothering you?”

Steve shrugged. “I just, well, influenza can be pretty debilitating. And at the end of World War I, there was an epidemic that killed millions.”

“I know.” Bruce’s smile was gentle. “But medicine is much better now.”

Steve fervently hoped so.

& & & & & &


Thor clomped out to the living room, his blanket wrapped around his shoulders. The room was filled with a dull light as the rain had increased, washing away dirt and grime on the street as people scurried around with umbrellas far below. He sat in his favorite chair and turned on the TV, his eyes glazing over as he watched The Price Is Right, The $20,000 Pyramid, Days Of Our Lives, and General Hospital.

Natasha came into the room. “How are you?”

“Still stuffed up,” Thor rasped.

“Ouch, that throat sounds painful.”

“’Tis.” Thor grimaced as he swallowed.

Natasha settled on the couch. “Take it easy and it’ll run its course.” She watched Port Charles’ Sony Corinthos threaten a rival mobster. “I thought this was a hospital soap?”

“It is, but apparently their small town is run by the Mob.”

Natasha laughed. “Good ol’ soaps!” Her nose twitched. “Mmm, something smells good.”

Clint came into the room carrying a tray with a steaming bowl on top. “Chicken soup for the Prince.” He set the tray on Thor’s lap. “Eat up.”

Thor thanked Clint with a smile, leaning over the bowl and breathing in the steam.

“Hope it tastes good,” Clint said.

“Alas, I am afraid I will be unable to tell. I cannot taste anything.”

Thor was such a picture of despair that Natasha commiserated. “Bummer.”

“Totally,” he sighed, and she laughed.

“Someone’s been picking up old slang.” Natasha sat cross-legged on the couch. “Want me to take control of the remote?”

Thor waved his hand as he underwent a coughing fit. Natasha leaned over and snatched the remote, flicking through the channels. Thor slowly ate his soup once the coughing stopped, the warmth soothing his raw throat.

Natasha settled back on General Hospital but kept a surreptitious eye on Thor. While the denizens of Port Charles plotted and backstabbed, the sick Asgardian managed to finish his soup, Natasha getting up to remove the tray and returned it to the kitchen. Clint volunteered to clean up and Natasha returned to the living room, tucking the blanket around a sleeping Thor before she reclaimed her place on the couch, a distant rumble of thunder in the background.

& & & & & &


Steve awoke and heard voices out in the hall outside his bedroom. The wind rattled the windowpanes as it poured outside. He checked the clock on the nightstand: 3:00. Instantly alert, he threw the covers off and padded to the door, clad in light-blue pajama bottoms. He opened the door and saw Bruce talking to Phil, both of them worried.

“What’s wrong?”

“It’s Thor,” Bruce said. “His fever’s way up and he goes in and out of delirium.”

“I think we’d better get him to Headquarters,” Phil said quietly.

Steve went to Thor’s room. The Asgardian’s eyes were open. Steve sat on the edge of the bed.

“Hey, how you feelin’?”

“Not well,” Thor rasped.

“I’m sorry.”

Bruce came into the room and joined Steve at the bedside. “We’re going to call in to S.H.I.EL.D. and get their docs on the case.”

“Do you have Fury on the line?”

Bruce handed Steve his cellphone and the blond left the room. Bruce wet a small hand towel and wiped Thor’s brow.

“Why did the Hulk hit me?”

Startled, Bruce asked, “What?”

“The Hulk hit me!” Thor rubbed his eyes. “After we had defeated the Chitauri’s whale-like thing, we were looking {cough, cough} at the remains and {cough, cough, cough} he hit me. Sent me {wheeze} flying across the room.”

“Oh.” Bruce pressed the compress down a little tighter on Thor’s brow. “I’m sorry, I really can’t say, as I don’t remember it, but the Other Guy is kinda grumpy at times.”

Thor began to laugh, then clutched his chest and coughed harshly. He thrashed and moaned, trying to catch his breath. The thunder that had rumbled on the outskirts of the city for several hours sounded much closer.

“Hurts,” he wheezed.

Bruce had a tight grip on his shoulders. “I know,” he said worriedly.

Steve came back in. “The agents are on their way.” He quickly crossed over to the bed and helped hold onto Thor. His eyes met Bruce’s and the doctor shook his head slightly.

“Does Tony have any inhalers around?” Steve asked.

“He might. He’s been holed up in his workshop for the past few days so I don’t even know if he knows Thor is sick.” Bruce released Thor. “I’ll go see what he’s got.”

Thor settled as Bruce left the room. Steve sat on the bed and looked around the room, intrigued by the ancient shields and swords mounted on the walls. He noticed a bust of Thor on the top of the bookshelf.

“That was a gift from Loki.” Thor’s voice was filled with pride mixed with sadness. “He sculpted it himself.”

“Really?” Steve was impressed. “That’s fine work.”

“He is very talented.” Thor sniffled. “I regret all the pain he has caused your people.”

“Shh,” Steve said, lightly massaging Thor’s shoulder. “You’ve not your brother’s keeper.”

“But I am…I mean, I care about him. {cough, cough} He wasn’t like this…before.”

Steve gently squeezed his friend’s shoulder. He said nothing further, knowing that he couldn’t say anything that would help. He rose from the bed and went around to the other side where the nightstand was located.

“Can we call your parents on Asgard?” Steve asked.

“No, better not for now. I would be barred from entering the realm.”

Steve frowned as he poured a glass of water. “Barred?”

“Yes, Father could not risk me infecting the kingdom.”

Steve turned and helped Thor sit up enough to drink, astounded by the heat of the blond’s body. When Thor was finished, Steve gently lowered him back to the bed.

“Get some sleep.”

He went into the bathroom and washed out the glass. He stared at himself in the mirror.

He knew that medicine was a lot more advanced now. There were antibiotics that could lessen the danger of influenza, even more effective than ‘the magic bullet’, penicillin, the use of which had been restricted to the troops during the war and then made available to the civilian population afterwards. He was still wary. He remembered the stories about the epidemic at the end of the Great War and how everyone had to walk around with surgical- style masks as sickness hung in the air.

Thor doesn’t have any natural immunity against this human disease.

He thought uneasily of the common cold felling the invading Martians in H.G. Wells’ War Of The Worlds. Thor was technically an alien. Would influenza bring him down?

He shook his head. He had to stop this line of thinking. He picked up the glass and re-entered the bedroom, stopping short as he saw a flash of lightning inside the room, not outside, the energy filling everything with a loud crackle as he was flung against the wall, the glass breaking in his hand.

& & & & & &


Bruce and Tony were walking along the corridor when the building shook from the force of the explosion.

“What the hell?” Tony exclaimed. “Is the storm that bad?”

“That came from Thor’s room!” Bruce sped up.

They ran in, shocked to see lightning bolts ricocheting crazily around the room and Thor writhing in the bed. The smell of ozone was strong.

“Steve!” Tony ran over to the star-spangled Avenger, who was slumped against the wall. His shoes crunched on broken glass and he was terrified to see blood spattered on the wall.

“Take Steve out!” Bruce said as he tried to get to Thor, shielding his eyes from the brilliance.

“You come, too!”

“I can’t! Thor’s my patient!”

Tony struggled with the unconscious Steve, finally getting him into his arms. “That lightning will fry you or you’ll Hulk out! Let me get my armor!”

Bruce reluctantly followed Tony out into the hall. Thunder crashed outside the Tower as jagged streaks of lightning cleaved the sky.

Phil, Natasha and Clint ran toward them. “What’s going on?” Phil asked.

“Thor’s lightning powers have gone crazy,” Bruce answered. He saw blood on Steve’s hand and immediately went into doctor mode. “Bring him to his room,” he directed Tony.

“I’ll let the director know we need them to speed up their arrival.” Phil took out his cellphone.

Natasha sniffed the air. “Smells like a thunderstorm in here.”

Clint flexed his hand, anxious to do something.

Tony brought Steve into his room while Bruce flicked on the lights.

“There was glass on the floor,” Tony said as he lowered Steve to the bed.

“Might have been the drinking glass.” Bruce ran into the bathroom and came back out with a first-aid kit. He started to check for slivers of glass in Steve’s hand after checking his pupils. “I had no idea Thor’s fever would spike so quickly.”

"That was a fever?” Tony gaped.

“I’m guessing it was.” Bruce used a pair of tweezers to pick out the slivers. “I should have taken precautions.”

Tony laid a hand on his shoulder. “You couldn’t have known.”

“Thor needs help,” Bruce said tightly.

“I’ll get my armor. What should I do when I get in there?”

“Try and restrain him if you can. The thrashing might cause the lightning.”

“Okay.” Tony squeezed Bruce’s shoulder. “Take care of him.” He caressed Steve’s arm and hurried from the room.

“Gods and monsters,” Bruce muttered as he washed away the blood from Steve’s hand.

& & & & & &


Iron Man forged into Thor’s room, the crackle of lightning standing his hair on end. The breath was squeezed out of him as the bolts slammed him against the wall. The armor would protect him but would also make him a target.

He tried again and was slammed back once more. Thor cried out in pain as the sheets danced with St. Elmo’s Fire.

The bedroom door opened and a slender blur dashed in, ducking the jagged bolts and grabbing Thor’s shoulders. Somehow she calmed Thor down and the lightning began to subside. With a groan, Iron Man got off the floor and lifted his faceplate.

“You’re a Witch, Natasha.”

Natasha smiled as she smoothed the hair back from Thor’s sweaty brown. “He’s really suffering.”

“I know.” Tony looked down at the wretched Asgardian.

Phil entered the room. “Good work, ‘Tasha. The medical staff is here.”

Natasha gave Thor one final caress and moved away from the bed.

The S.H.I.EL.D. medical team entered the room and Phil ushered Natasha and Tony out. Tony immediately headed to Steve’s room, glad to see the blond was awake.

“S.H.I.E.L.D.’s here.”

“Good.” Bruce rose from the side of the bed as Steve demanded, “How’s Thor?”

“Better after Natasha soothed him.”

“Natasha?”

“Don’t tell her I said so, but that woman is amazing.”

“My lips are sealed,” Clint said as he came into the room.

Tony rolled his eyes while Bruce smirked. “I’ll go see what’s going on.” The scientist left while Clint crossed his arms and hovered by the doorway.

“How are ya, Cap?” he asked.

“I’m fine. Thor…”

“…is getting help.” Tony looked at Steve. “What happened?”

Steve shifted to try and get more comfortable. “I was getting Thor a glass of water and when I got close to the bed, all hell broke loose.” He leaned forward earnestly. “Tony, the influenza is getting worse.”

“Fury’s people will figure it out.” He squeezed Steve’s good hand. “They unfroze you, didn’t they?”

Steve smiled slightly. “I want to go see Thor.” He started to swing his legs over.

“Whoa, should you be up?”

“I’m fine, just a knock on the head.”

Steve left the room, followed by Tony and Clint. Phil was standing close to Thor’s room.

“How are you, Cap?” he asked.

“I’m fine. What’s up with Thor?”

“They’re preparing to transport.”

Bruce and a middle-aged man with glasses emerged from the sickroom. “The bespectacled man ran a hand through his gray-peppered dark hair.

“Dr. McCafferty, what’s going on?” Steve asked.

“Extremely high temperature. Thor’s body is all out-of-whack.” Lincoln sighed. “With the danger of his lightning abilities, we’ll have to take extra precautions.”

The medical team took Thor out on a stretcher and the Avengers followed.

As Lincoln had said, they took extra precautions, putting Thor in a room with reinforced walls and lightning rods placed strategically around to try and control future outbursts.

“We’ve go to get his temperature down,” Lincoln said grimly.

The Avengers waited in a small room on the medical floor but there was no encouraging news. Finally Fury insisted they go home.

“But…” Steve protested.

“I’ve got you on speed dial, Cap.”

“I’m coming back tomorrow.”

“We all are,” Natasha said firmly.

The Avengers reluctantly returned to the Tower and tried to get some sleep.

& & & & & &


True to their word, the Avengers returned the next day, battling through a major storm. Heavy rains battered Manhattan as flooding occurred in the low-lying areas outside the city. Trees were swaying dangerously and limbs were down, causing power outages as wires tangled in their branches. The sea around the island was choppy and boats were advised to stay moored to the docks.

Lincoln McCafferty had nothing new to report. Tony growled to Bruce, “How about we try our hand at some kind of cure? I read up on some medical research last night.”

“All right,” Bruce agreed.

Tony turned to Steve. “It that okay? Would you prefer I wait here with you?”

“No, if you can help Thor, go ahead.”

Tony smiled and squeezed Steve’s shoulder, then joined Bruce on their way to the labs.

Steve moved restlessly on the couch. Natasha was bent over, her hands hanging loosely between her knees while Clint slouched in a chair.

“I don’t like being helpless,” Steve complained.

“I’m with ya, Cap,” Clint agreed.

Natasha reached out and lightly touched Steve’s leg. “It’ll be okay, Steve.”

“I didn’t get a chance to say thank you for calming Thor down yesterday.”

She smiled slightly. “Just doing my job.”

“Beautifully, too.”

Natasha tapped his leg and withdrew her hand. “Go see what’s up.”

Steve gave her a quick smile and followed her suggestion, going off in search of answers.

“Let’s go down to the training rooms,” Clint suggested.

“All right.”

So each Avenger coped in his or her own way as Thor battled for his life.

& & & & & &


Steve had finally persuaded the nurses to let him into Thor’s room. They might not wear the caps and starched whites of his day, but he could still charm them.

Steve wore the gown and mask to protect him from germs. People had the mistaken notion that he couldn’t get sick because of the Serum. He still could get sick; he just could fight any illness far better now and recover more quickly than the average person.

He cautiously approached the bed, still a little sore from his last encounter. Thor was drenched in sweat, moving restlessly and muttering incoherently. Steve took his hand and sat down in the chair by the bed.

“Tony and Bruce are working hard to find some way to help you.” He smiled slightly. “You can be assured that with the Science Bros on the case, you’ll be well again soon.” He chuckled. “Nothing stops the Science Bros!” He squeezed Thor’s hand, worried at how hot it felt. “I know that feeling. This may be New York, but it’s far from home for me.” He sighed. “It’s rough, this Stranger In A Strange Land thing.”

Steve refrained from saying that at least Thor could go home again. That was his own cross to bear, not Thor’s.

Steve stayed with Thor and was a help to the nurses, applying cold compresses and keeping a close watch on the star patient.

When twenty-four hours had passed, since Thor’s fever had spiked, the Avengers demanded answers, but there were none to give. The S.H.I.E.L.D. biochemists and Tony and Bruce were trying to come up with a vaccine to bring Thor’s fever down but were unsuccessful so far. Steve was periodically relieved by Natasha, Clint and Phil, but none of them could deliver any good news to the others.

“Can he survive without brain damage after such a high fever for so long?” Steve asked Lincoln McCafferty worriedly.

“He can take a lot more than the average human, but eventually there will be damage.” Lincoln finished examining Thor and left the room.

“Steve.”

Surprised, Steve saw Thor looked at him with lucid eyes for the first time in days. “Thor, you’re out of it. I’ll call the doctor.” A callused hand grabbed his arm. “Thor?”

“I need to speak.”

“What is it?”

“I wish you to tell my father and mother that I love them. And please tell…Loki, too.”

Steve swallowed. “Thor, you’ll be all right.” He put his hand over Thor’s and squeezed.

“No.” Thor squeezed his eyes shut. “I…burn, Steve. The fire of this disease…is laying waste to my body.” His eyes snapped open. “Promise me.”

“I promise.”

All the fight seemed to go out of Thor then, his hand sliding from Steve’s arm as his eyes closed. His body spasmed violently and Steve hit the call button as the smell of a summer storm entered the room.

As the nurses and doctors ran in to the alert of Code Blue, the storm outside grew wild. Steve watched in despair as the medical personnel fought to save Thor.

& & & & & &


The tall, almost gaunt figure strode the halls of S.H.I.EL.D., gold and green robes swirling about. His right hand flexed and unflexed, as if searching for something to grasp. He headed unerringly for Thor’s room and pushed open the door to see the doctors and nurses working on Thor.

“Hold!”

A nurse turned and saw him, her eyes widening in fear “Loki!”

Steve looked and immediately assumed a battle stance as he stood at the foot of the bed, wishing he had his shield.

“Don’t come any closer.”

Loki’s eyes burned. “Stand away, Captain. I have no quarrel with you.”

“But I have with you.”

Loki stood very still as Thor’s cries filled the room and the monitors beeped wildly. His eyes were on Thor. “I can calm him.”

“And you can kill him. Are you going to stab him again? I saw the security tapes,” Steve growled.

Loki slowly held up a hand while still watching the thrashing Thor. “I am on an Honor Bond.”

“What’s that?” Steve tried to block out Thor’s agonized moans.

“It means that I have given my word that I will come to his bedside and return to Asgard when he is well.”

“And I should believe the God of Trickery?” Steve scoffed.

Loki’s eyes were unreadable. “I can calm him.”

Steve chewed his lip. The Tower security tapes had left him cold. Thor had, despite everything, wanted his brother to join him in the fight against the Chitauri. Instead, Loki had stabbed him.

Still, there’s something about Loki. My instincts are telling me that he’s telling the truth.

Over his shoulder Steve asked, “Doc?”

“He can’t do any worse. We’re losing him,” Lincoln said grimly.

Steve stepped aside and Loki approached the bed as the doctors and nurses reluctantly stepped back, the monitors beeping ominously. Steve watched Loki like a hawk.

The God of Mischief placed his hand on Thor’s brow, a frown creasing his pale features. “He is truly burning.”

“His temperature’s extremely high,” Steve said.

“He cannot sustain this for much longer.”

Steve’s chest tightened. He had feared that Thor would come out of his damaged. “Can you help him?”

Loki didn’t answer him but continued to look down at his brother. A slight blue tinge appeared on his hand. The monitors began to beep less frantically. Finally he took his hand away, a normal color again.

“He still burns, but less now.”

Steve felt a frisson of relief. “How did you…?”

Loki turned and sat in a chair close to the bed. “I will remain until Thor is recovered…or not.”

Lincoln frowned. He checked Thor and nodded to Steve. “Stay with him, please, Captain. I need to speak to Director Fury.”

The medical staff left and Steve crossed his arms. “So this Honor Bond Will ensure you don’t cause mayhem? You’re considered a war criminal here on Earth, Loki.”

“I know.” Loki kept his gaze on Thor. “I know what I did, soldier. I will be returning to Asgard as I gave my word.”

Steve still didn’t trust him. Why should he? Lies were the man’s stock-in-trade. He would watch Loki carefully.

The door opened and Phil’s voice said, “What…?”

“What the fuck?” Clint exclaimed. He was right behind Phil, and Natasha was behind him. She slid a knife out of her boot. Clint and Natasha stepped around a stunned Phil and stood defiantly in front of him. “What is he doing here?” Clint demanded.

Steve faced his teammates. “He’s here on an Honor Bond.”

“A what?”

“An Honor Bond.” Steve shrugged. “He says he’s honor-bound to return to Asgard after Thor recovers.”

“Honor-bound?” sneered Clint. “This literal backstabber? After all he did to me and my colleagues, I might have forgiven him if he showed the slightest morsel of remorse, but I will never forgive him for what he did to Phil!” His fist clenched and unclenched.

Steve let Clint vent. He had every right to feel this way. He would only intervene of Clint looked close to provoking Loki, who so far had been quiet.

He flicked his gaze to Natasha, who looked ready to gut Loki like a fish. He had seen the holding cell security tapes and knew what Loki had threatened to do to her.

He saw Phil slowly get over his shock though the man was still pale. The agent put his hand on Clint’s arm, cutting off the archer’s tirade.

“Wise to stop your archer, Agent. I have no need of his forgiveness,” Loki said.

Clint took a step forward with his fist clenched tight. Phil’s grip tightened and Clint stopped, every muscle tense. Natasha was still silent but Steve wouldn’t like to be in Loki’s shoes, god or no god.

“We watch him,” Steve said. He put a hand on Clint’s arm, covering Phil’s hand. “He brought Thor’s temperature down.”

Phil said into the silence, “Cap’s right. We watch while Thor is our No. 1 priority.”

“I agree.” Everyone turned to see Nick Fury standing in the doorway. “Loki, you say you’re here for Thor. Admirable, but why? You want nothing to do with him.”

Loki rose and faced Fury. “Word of my brother’s illness reached Asgard. The All-Father wanted to come, but the risk of catching the illness was too great. I was already in quarantine so was sent.” Loki stood close to Thor’s bed. “I volunteered. As I told the solider, I shall stay until my brother is well or gone to Valhalla.” He sat down again.

Fury motioned for Steve to come out into the hall, confident that Phil had things under control.

“What’s your take?” Fury asked.

Steve crossed his arms. “I noticed that Loki didn’t explain why he is so brotherly all of a sudden. I saw the Tower security tapes and saw him stab Thor.” Steve rubbed his jaw. “Though he looked feverish himself on the tape. Who knows, maybe he was sick, mind-controlled, or is just a miserable bastard. All I know is that he brought Thor’s temperature down and has given him a fighting chance.” He flinched as a loud crack of thunder rolled over the building.

Fury sighed. “All right, I’ll have Hill spell you periodically.” At Steve’s look, the Director copied him and crossed his arms, the leather jacket creaking. “I’m not letting Barton or Romanoff alone with him.”

“What about Phil?”

“I’m not worried about him being alone with Loki. He’s my best agent, but he’s still fresh from the hospital. I don’t want Loki playing mindfuckery with him.”

Steve considered that and nodded slowly. “Okay.” He rubbed his forehead, feeling a headache coming on. “I don’t like this, either, but we should be concentrating on Thor, not fighting Loki.”

“I agree.” Fury uncrossed his arms. “Let’s hope Thor recovers soon and Loki can go back to Asgard.” He strode to the door and pushed it open, signaling Clint and Natasha to come out. They both silently balked at leaving Phil alone with Loki but their training won out and they left the room.

Immediately Clint said, “I don’t want Phil alone in there with that monster!”

“He’s a capable agent, Agent Barton, but I won’t be assigning him to relieve Cap. Hill will perform that duty. Either you or Agent Romanoff visit the sickroom and someone else will be there.”

“As long as Phil doesn’t get the duty.”

“He won’t.”

Steve returned to the room and gently laid a hand on Phil’s arm. The agent started infininitesmially and left, tearing his gaze away from Loki.

Steve settled into a chair on the opposite side of the bed. Things must have been settled because no one came back in.

& & & & & &


Tony burst into the room about a half hour late, closely followed by Bruce. “Can I see you outside for a minute?” Tony asked Steve.

“I’ll stay,” said Bruce, Steve noticing a flicker of fear in Loki’s eyes.

Out in the hall, Tony pushed down his mask. “Why are you the one in there?”

“I’m keeping my eye on Thor and Loki.”

“Why you?” Tony flailed and paced up and down the corridor, his transparent gown crackling as he moved.

“I can handle Loki. And Fury doesn’t want Clint, Natasha or Phil alone with him.”

Tony stopped pacing. “I wouldn’t mind either the Hawk or the Widow giving that bastard his just desserts.”

“Tony.” Steve stepped forward and gently grasped his lover’s hand. “I love that you’re concerned, but I’m an Avenger. I survived World War II, you know.”

Tony blew out an exasperated sigh. “Not funny.”

Steve smiled fondly. “It’ll be all right. Thor’s the important one here.”

Tony ran his free hand through his hair, making it stick up like a modern-day Einstein. “Okay, you’re right. But I plan on stopping by a lot.”

Steve brushed his lips across Tony’s cheek. “You can stop by sometimes, but you should be in the lab working on Thor’s cure.”

Tony sighed. “Right again. Are you ever wrong?”

“Frequently, but I have your perfection to supplement my shortcomings.”

Tony laughed wryly. “Flattery still won’t get your anywhere. I’m going to get back to the lab but will still visit you.”

“All right.” Steve kissed Tony warmly. “Now go.”

Tony shook his head and left for the lab.

Steve went back inside Thor’s hospital room and said to Bruce, “Tony’s gone back to the lab.”

“Okay.” Bruce rose from the chair, his eyes still on Loki. “Everything’s fine here.”

“Thanks.”

Bruce clapped a hand on Steve’s shoulder. “No problem. Whenever you need relief, just call.”

Steve placed his hand over Bruce’s for a minute, then the scientist was gone. Steve noticed a tiny relaxation of muscles in Loki and took Bruce’s vacated chair. He waited about five minutes before he spoke.

“Thor asked me to tell your parents that he loves them.” Loki remained silent. “He also said that he loved you.”

Something flickered in Loki’s eyes. “He has always been sentimental.”

Steve shrugged. “Maybe so, but if I had a brother who loved me, I wouldn’t turn him away.”

Loki’s eyes flashed. “Do not speak of things that you do not understand, Captain.”

“He would welcome you back even now.”

Loki didn’t answer but his gaze returned to Thor and remained there for a very long time.

& & & & & &


Steve was at first disturbed by the silence in Thor’s room except for the monitors but soon grew accustomed to it. Loki remained silent, his gaze resting on Thor.

For the past two days, Steve had stayed at Thor’s bedside, maintaining a vigil with Loki as the medical staff came in on their rounds. Whenever Clint or Natasha came in, they glared at Loki but said nothing.

Maria periodically relieved Steve, who took catnaps and grabbed food and coffee in the cafeteria. True to his word, Tony made quick visits as he worried about Thor and Steve.

Throughout all the visits of medical personnel and Avengers, Loki remained silent. He kept his gaze on Thor, occasionally placing his hand on the blond’s brow. Steve figured that he was keeping the Thunder God’s temperature down.

He was so accustomed to Loki’s silence that he was startled when the Asgardian said, “The All-Father will be entering Odinsleep soon, but he will be troubled by Thor’s illness if it is not resolved.”

“They’re doing the best they can.”

Loki was not looking at Steve but the Avenger was just as happy that he didn’t. Loki’s gaze was too eerie for his taste.

“Thor and his Midgard obsession.”

Loki’s voice was neutral but Steve could hear the contempt. Whether it was for Earth, Thor, or both, Steve didn’t know and didn’t care.

“Why are you here?”

“I told you…”

“You said you volunteered. Why do you care if Thor lives or dies?”

This time Loki did look at Steve, who suppressed a shudder.

“My reasons for attending Thor’s bedside are my own, Captain.”

Loki returned to silence after that as a loud clap of thunder sounded outside the building. Steve stifled a sigh and resumed his vigil.

& & & & & &


Tony entered the room. Steve was pleased to see him.

“How’s our Thunder God?”

“No change. How’re the Science Bros doing?”

“Not as good as I’d hoped.” Tony flopped into the chair next to Steve. He kept his eye on Loki, who didn’t acknowledge his presence. “Damn Asgardian physiology.”

“You’ll find something.”

“I hope so.” Tony looked at Thor with a grim expression. “No human could have lasted this long with a temperature this high.”

The monitors began to beep faster as Thor began to thrash. Loki stood and said, “He will live or die now.” He put his hand on Thor’s forehead.

Lincoln McCafferty rushed in, followed by a team of nurses and doctors. Loki held out a peremptory hand.

“Hold.”

“This patient needs us,” Lincoln insisted.

“You can do nothing for him. Loki leaned over the bed, Steve and Tony alert and ready for trickery. “Brother, hear me.” Thor moaned. “This is your time. Fight, Prince of Asgard!” Thor thrashed, the storm outside raging. “Remember the Fire Falls, Brother. Remember the day you rescued the child. You walked literally through fire. You are the God of Thunder, my Brother!”

Thor screamed as a thunderous crash rumbled throughout the building. Steve could feel it all the way down to his toes. The room lit with lightning in the same moment, illuminating the drama being played out within the hospital room.

Loki gripped Thor’s shoulders, struggling to hold him down. Steve sprang forward to help. Loki allowed it as he concentrated on Thor.

Tony stayed close to Steve, keeping his eye on the monitors. Lincoln watched in frustration as his medical team stood idle.

Outside the window a jagged streak of lightning lit up the sky, showing Manhattan in all its glory. Thunder nearly deafened everyone as the skies opened in a wild deluge.

Suddenly, the silence outside nearly deafened everybody more than the thunder. The monitors’ beeping slowed and Loki removed his hands.

For a moment, Steve thought that Thor was dead. Tony’s intake of breath indicated that he thought the same.

“I…where am I?”

Thor’s rusty voice was music to his friends’ ears. Steve squeezed his shoulder.

“Thor…”

“Steve?” Thor blinked, trying to clear his vision.

“That’s right.” Steve gently caressed his face. “You’re all right now.”

“Tony?” Thor rasped.

“Right here, Thunder God.”

“What happened?”

“Your illness got worse,” Steve answered.

Thor looked around blearily. “L…Loki?”

Loki put a hand on Thor’s brow. “Yes, Brother, it is me.”

Thor fumbled with his hand and Loki took it.

Outside the rain finally stopped and the skies cleared as droplets formed into a brilliant rainbow.



Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
sara_lakali
Sep. 14th, 2012 09:18 pm (UTC)
Steve wore the gown and mask to protect him from germs.

Most people don't realize it (and probably Cap wouldn't as well) but the mask and gown aren't to protect the person wearing them from the sick person's germs, they are to protect the sick person from any additional germs that the well person might be carrying. When you wear a surgical mask, your breath condenses on the fabric (or paper) making a wet surface that germs cling to.
bradygirl_12
Sep. 14th, 2012 10:26 pm (UTC)
That's interesting to learn! I didn't know that. I guess I'll keep that in there because you're right, I bet Cap doesn't know, either. :)

The surgical mask reminds me of the store-bought Halloween masks that would do the same thing. :)
svgurl
Sep. 17th, 2012 08:15 am (UTC)
Oh, I absolutely love this fic! I really enjoy team fics, where they take care of one another, and the fact that it had Steve/Tony in it just made it that much better. Poor, sick Thor. I wanted to cuddle him. I liked how the team took care of him and their reactions were very in character. You really nailed everyone's characterization, from Steve to Bruce to Tony and Thor and Loki. Speaking of Loki, when he showed up, my heart just ached, especially when Steve told Loki that Thor would accept him even now and during Loki's speech.

Loved the ending too. I do love happy endings and this one made me smile.

Wonderful job!
bradygirl_12
Sep. 17th, 2012 04:14 pm (UTC)
Oh, I absolutely love this fic! I really enjoy team fics, where they take care of one another, and the fact that it had Steve/Tony in it just made it that much better.

Steve/Tony makes everything better! ;)

Poor, sick Thor. I wanted to cuddle him.

Me, too!

I liked how the team took care of him and their reactions were very in character. You really nailed everyone's characterization, from Steve to Bruce to Tony and Thor and Loki.

*bows*

Speaking of Loki, when he showed up, my heart just ached, especially when Steve told Loki that Thor would accept him even now and during Loki's speech.

It's funny, Loki wasn't even planned and was coming to the end of the fic and he popped up and demanded to be included. Cheeky trickster! ;) But I deliberately left his motivations kind of murky, though it's my belief that while he tried to kill Thor, he's rankled by a mere illness bringing Thor down! So he was willing to undertake the Honor Bond and be at Thor's bedside no matter the outcome.

Loved the ending too. I do love happy endings and this one made me smile.

I had to go happy with this one! :)

Wonderful job!

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)
mithen
Sep. 19th, 2012 10:12 am (UTC)
I finally got to see Avengers while I was in the US and it was great fun!  I really like your take on the team...and as always your h/c is fantastic, poor Thor. I love how worried everyone is about him, and your Loki is so intense and enigmatic!
bradygirl_12
Sep. 19th, 2012 02:56 pm (UTC)
I finally got to see Avengers while I was in the US and it was great fun!

Yay! :) That movie and The Dark Knight Rises are the only appreciable summer hits, I've read. The rest of the summer movies haven't done much at the box office. My Movie Night buddies and I have complained that the pickins are slim this year.

I really like your take on the team...and as always your h/c is fantastic, poor Thor. I love how worried everyone is about him, and your Loki is so intense and enigmatic!

Thank you! *bows* :)

Hurt/comfort just flows for me, so I enjoy writing it as often as I can. :) And I deliberately left Loki enigmatic, not wanting to explain his motivations and to keep him a bit of a puzzle.

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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