Thor tilts his head back, breathes in the autumn New York air, and feels peace settle over him.
He is back on Midgard, again, taking a rare moment to himself to watch the realm’s people as they go about their business. The arrangement he has worked out with his father is proceeding well, although there have been more emergencies on both sides than he was anticipating. He is learning much, so much that sometimes he does not think his brain can hold it all, but Bruce assures him that there is yet to be a recorded instance of a brain actually collapsing under the strain of too much thought.
His brother is a surprisingly patient teacher, all things considered - he alternates dull talk with trips to distant Midgardian provinces so that Thor can observe various forms of governance and compare them, and the combination seems to be working effectively. Odin All-Father has turned over talks with Jotunheim entirely to his son - an irony that Thor still cannot quite wrap his mind around - but the situation has yet to collapse into disaster.
Loki is doing very well, although he still falls into occasional fits of melancholy. Thor considers these to count as an emergency legitimate enough to warrant recalling him from Asgard, but the other Avengers have proven to be adept at caring for Loki in Thor’s absence. Loki himself, of course, insists that he is fine and the fuss is unnecessary, and then causes some variety of disaster.
Jane’s work is starting to gather the attention it justly deserves as her results are published piecemeal under SHIELD’s discretion. This has caused some very entertaining arguments with Coulsson, but Thor has no doubt that Jane will get her way eventually. He has taken her with him to Asgard for one of his visits, ostensibly so she can observe the Bifrost in action but mostly because he dislikes having such a large part of his life remain a mystery to her. Jane charmed Asgard completely and was charmed by it in return, to Thor’s great relief.
Thor’s reverie is interrupted by a small Midgardian child who has stopped to look at the newspaper in the machine on the corner. It boasts a large picture of all the Avengers, with an exciting caption and many exclamation marks. Steve and Tony are the most prominent, as they are the most recognizable, but Loki is clearly displayed as well and looks most heroic. As a part-time member Thor is not included, but he does not mind. He decides to purchase the paper and save the article - he is amassing quite a collection of them.
“Do you have a favorite?” Thor asks the child.
“Loki,” she says, as if he is mentally deficient for even having to ask. “Magic is awesome.”
Thor smiles, and is content.