For the first time since coming to the mansion, Thor finds himself just as in need of a quiet place as Loki has been. After exploring the building for a few minutes he finally goes and sits on the roof, looking out over the city. It is not the same as the roof of Jane’s headquarters in Puente Antigua, but it is similar enough to be familiar.
He sits for a moment, but finds that his mind is in too much turmoil for contemplation. Tony has given him a great deal to consider. How is it he has never sat down and thought through his brother’s motivations for mischief? It had always seemed to Thor to be a means to an end - the point of it was the chaos. That might still be partially true, but Thor had never considered that there could have been other attractions.
For a moment, Thor tries to consider his own reactions if their positions had been switched, if Asgard had been a realm of Lokis instead of a realm of Thors. How would he have felt, as the only warrior?
It would have been very irritating, he supposes. He would have felt unappreciated, as Loki had said, and if everyone around him had continually made unkind comments about his interests it would have been hurtful. But eventually there would have been a danger and Thor would have been able to show his skills - that is just the way things are. Surely after that everything would have been fine.
Besides, it isn’t a fair comparison. Loki is a good fighter in addition to being clever, so in a realm of Lokis there would still have been a place for Thor.
He shakes his head, frustrated, and calls Jane. He was given a small communication device termed a ‘cell’ when he joined the Avengers, and Tony has kindly enchanted it to call Jane when the ‘1’ button is held down. Thor is grateful - he finds the cell to be ingenious but far too delicate.
“Hey, Thor,” Jane says into his ear. She sounds pleased to hear from him.
“Hello, Jane.” It is remarkable how peaceful her voice can make him feel, as if suddenly everything has fallen into place and all is right. He likes it very much. “How does your work progress?”
“Oh, it’s coming along really well!” Jane says happily. “We’re going to go out tonight and take some readings...”
Thor lets the rhythm of her speech flow over him. He does not understand much of what she says - the broad concepts may be familiar to him, but the terminology and technology she uses are not - but he finds listening to her enthusiasm to be very enjoyable regardless.
“ - so I’ll be coming up to New York soon, I think. They want to see my results in person.”
“That would be most enjoyable!” Thor says, delighted. “You must bring Darcy and Erik with you this time.”
Jane laughs. “Can you imagine Darcy in Avengers mansion? She’ll probably pass out from joy.”
Thor joins in her merriment. His first task upon arriving in New York had been to secure autographs from his new teammates. Darcy had called it ‘homework’ and said it was the least he could do after taking away her favorite movie-watching companion.
“So how’s Loki doing? Any more good pranks? Erik said to tell you the pink hair makes you look like Strawberry Shortcake. The cartoon character, not the dessert.”
Thor sobers reluctantly. “He is fine. He played one on Steve earlier today.”
“Uh-oh,” Jane says. “I know that tone. That’s the voice you use when you’re worried about him, which means you were either lying when you said he was fine or you’re worried about something else.”
“No, no, he is well,” Thor reassures her. “I had a conversation with Tony about him that I am attempting to make sense of.”
“Can I help?”
Thor considers. Jane is very clever, like Loki and Tony and Bruce. It is indeed possible that she can provide additional insights. “He said that I am something called a jock, as are the rest of my people, and that Loki is not and that is why he made so much mischief in Asgard. And he thinks that Loki is doing it now because he thinks I will find it reassuring.”
“Sure, that makes sense,” Jane says easily. “I guess you are kind of a jock - in a good way - and Sif and the Warriors Three seemed to be as well. But you know, I’d say it’s a good sign.”
“That we are jocks?”
“No, that Loki is paying enough attention to things around him to be worried about you.”
Thor is silent.
“Yes. Yes, I apologize. I had not considered that, it is... thank you, Jane. That was very helpful.” He had been so preoccupied by the other things Tony had said that he had utterly failed to see the obvious. Thor does not care if it is only to make him feel better - Loki is engaging with his surroundings, and that is a wondrous thing.
He bids Jane farewell and goes back inside. Loki is in the little-used room he seems to favor, curled up in the window. He is asleep, with one of Bruce’s books open on his chest. Thor supposes that it must be taking a lot of his energy to concentrate once again on the outside world.
Thor stands and watches his brother for a long time. His position cannot possibly be comfortable - the window seat is small and Loki has had to fold himself up in order to fit. He has always had the ability to become smaller than he is, even when they were children - to fit in places where logically there is no room for him. Thor had never considered the idea that it was a metaphorical trait as well as a physical one.