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The Bearer

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Thor’s thoughts have been occupied by nothing but Steve Rogers for many days now.

They had been in battle side by side when an event had happened that was scorched into Thor’s mind for all time; Steve picked up his hammer.

It had been a rash move, performed in the heat of battle when the tide seemed to be against them. Steve had snatched the hammer from the ground while Thor had been swamped by a rabid pack of hell-beasts, and had thrown it into the fray. The beasts had scattered like unstable skittles, and Steve had instantly returned his attention to his shield and his comrades. Rescued, Thor had regained his grip on Mjolnir’s handle and smashed his foes before him.

Yet, days later, his mind still lingers upon that snatched moment. When he looks down at the hammer, he sees Steve’s heady hand upon it.

Mjolnir will only allow herself to be wielded by those who are worthy. She is a demanding mistress, and yet she had consented so readily to Steve’s sure touch.

It fills Thor with a heat he is not accustomed to. At first he imagined it to be jealousy, but as he watches his friend walk towards him he realises that he was wrong. It isn’t jealousy at all.

Awe, perhaps, or something stronger.

“Steven,” Thor booms, beckoning Steve closer. “I have a matter to discuss with you.”

Steve approaches him with a hint of bemusement, an expression that only intensifies when Thor thrusts out his hammer before him. “Thor?” he asks in confusion.

“Hold it, please, as you did in battle.” He needs to see this for himself. He needs to know if it is truly possible. Steve looks as if he is about to refuse, but Thor merely brandishes the hammer more forcefully.

Steve reaches out to place his hand on the hammer’s handle, so gently that Thor feels an initial shiver travel down his spine. It is as if he can feel Steve’s hand on his very own skin. Steve’s grip becomes firmer and then he hefts the weight of Mjolnir from Thor’s hands. The weight makes him strain, muscles tense beneath the fabric of his shirt, but it doesn’t resist him.

He is worthy.

And yet Thor does not scowl; he does not feel the violent burn of jealousy.

He meets Steve’s eyes and slowly smiles - a universe might separate him from his homelands, but with someone to share with and fight alongside he no longer feels so alone.