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(K)Inktober 2019

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Ring | Horns

The small sound his wedding ring made on the marble countertop echoed through the empty kitchen as he tapped his fingers restlessly and without rhythm. Along with the clink of his coffee cup as he twisted it back and forth with his other hand, the soft glub glub of the bubbling percolator, and the almost sighs every time he exhaled; it all came together like some kind of odd melody.

He glanced out unto the main common area, the skies beyond the floor to ceiling windows were dark grey and roiling, thunder booming in the distance. The weather had been shit for days, dark and oppressive over the city until both the mayor of New York City as well as the governor of the state had reached out to the tower to ask the resident god of thunder to give them all a fucking break pretty please and thank you.

But Thor wasn’t in any mood to be considerate, not when the source of his distress continued to sit on a chair in the common room for days on end staring blankly out of the window.

The coffee machine beeped and broke his concentration, pulling his eyes away from the slim figure silhouetted against the endless cloudy skies. He filled his cup then, after some quiet deliberation, took another from the shelf and filled that as well. He wasn’t sure if to add milk or sugar so he left it as black as his own.

He padded towards the sitting area on socked feet, dragging them against the carpet childishly. Most of the old manor had been hard wood floors and proper house shoes and quick, harsh scoldings for running too fast or laughing too loud.

Now, with his Wonder Woman socks and thick pile carpeting, he could indulge in a bit of nonsensical behavior. Thankfully, his rings quickly dissipated the negative charge harmlessly before they could build up and give him a static shock.

He placed the second cup on the small table near the arm of the chair without a word, just making sure that it was in clear view and within reach. There was no reaction. Well, he didn’t expect much of one. The sky rumbled as he approached the windows, his breath skipping a bit as the clouds seemed to press down upon the city like the lid of casket slowly closing.

He swallowed heavily against his nerves and turned around to lean against the tempered glass. There, that was a bit better. The common room looked bleached grey but there were little pops of colour, little signs of life that made the bands around his chest loosen. He took a sip of coffee and let his eyes drift over to the slumped figure in the chair, cup of coffee still untouched and steaming.

The lithe figure was almost swimming in the huge hooded sweatshirt, small glimpses of jewel blue skin covered in darker blue runes. Midnight black, almost blue hair hung limply from the pulled up hood and covered the sharp angled cheekbones and shin, also a rich gemstone blue.

Ringed grey horns curled delicately from beneath the hood, studded with delicate gold filigree jewelry that could not have possibly been made by human hands.

He quietly contemplated the few conversations that he’d had with the Thunder God in the past, about the Dwarves of Nidavellir and the artisans of Asgard, his eyes tracing the complex path of the exquisite gold.

Dark lashes flutter and eyes red as the rarest rubies flickered up to look at him though long, thick hair. They flashed red for half a second before they dulled and fell away. He let out his breath slowly through his lips, his shoulders losing some of their tension.

He drank the rest of his coffee in silence, offering quiet company because that’s all that he could do. He couldn’t fix this in his workshop. This wasn’t like some kind of broken machine he could run a diagnostic on. There wasn’t some part to switch out, some upgrade to apply.

This was gooey, messy, emotional people stuff that he didn’t know what to do about. Couldn’t throw money at and hope it went away or got better.

With a nod and a tip of his empty cup, he wandered back toward the kitchen and rinsed his cup, turning over to dry on the rack. Before stepping unto the elevator, he gave one last long glance towards the lonely figure, framed by the tall windows, silent and still against the querulous clouds.

He felt cold.

He sighed, then frowned, a bit angry at himself for all the sighing he’d been doing lately. His fingertips found his rings and twisted them around and around his finger absently.

The elevator sped up to the penthouse, barely making a sound to distract him from his own turbulent thoughts. He wandered his way to the bedroom, pushing open the door and leaning against the frame.

Steve was sitting against the bedhead, snug in a ratty t-shirt and rumpled boxers. His hair was an utterly adorable mess and he had a thick, most likely non-fiction, biography opened in his lap. His eyes were a summer sky blue when he looked up and his gentle mile felt like the warmth in his chest after a cup of Clint’s really good hot chocolate.

Without a word Steve, lifted the edge of the blanket, the welcome unspoken and deeply appreciated. The book was set aside and arms tucked him close to that barrel chest. The steady thump of a heartbeat against his cheek, chasing away his errant thoughts and settling him the way nothing else could.

Steve gave off heat like a furness and he rubbed his cheek against that broad chest, inhaling deeply in that comforting smell of soap and shield oil and musk. His hand lay on Steve’s peck and his fingers started to twist the rings again, turning them over as the arc blue diamond disappeared and reappeared against the silver of the vibranium bands.

He knew without looking, every curve of the words engraved on the inside of the plain band. Words of promise meant to last as long as the rings did. Steve’s hand came up to grasp his own, stilling his fingers, his other hand warm on the small of his back.

He let out a deep breath, happier that it didn’t sound as much as a sigh as before. His mind calmed, his body going boneless as tender fingers combed through his dark hair.

Legs intertwined, socked feet tucked up against bare ones, breaths mingling and evening out. Blanket snug around them and the cold of bad weather kept out by tempered glass and JARVIS’ watchful eye.

Thunder rumbled in the distance and he imagined that it sounded a little further away this time.