The white light from the computer screen was the only source of light in their bedroom besides a digital alarm clock which read 1:14 am in cool blue numbers. Steve had pulled out the laptop that Tony had given him and everyone of the other Avengers when they moved into Stark Tower several years ago and was scrolling through Google searches. The first few results had seemed promising until he made the realization that there were a lot of people in the United States, let alone the world, with the same name. They had come up with nothing and now he was in the desperate section of the Os in Google. At the bottom of the page there was a link with M Rogers in the title. He clicked it. Realizing that he hadn't noticed an R next to the M and that this was a conspiracy theory about a children's show host, he sighed. The noise caused the man laying next to him in bed to stir.
"Mmh Steve? What are you doing?" Thor rolled over and sat up so he could see the computer screen, "Oh" He snaked one hand around the other man's waist and used the other to begin closing the laptop.
"No!" He cried just noticing that his lover was awake, "Just one more page!"
"This is bad for you." Steve held on as if for dear life as Thor pried the laptop from his hands, "You need sleep."
"Sleep." The Asgardian insisted, "There is nothing you can do with a tired mind. Stark has his computer searching."
Steve was quiet for a moment, looking down at his empty hands in his lap.
"But what if-" His voice was barely audible, "What if they don't find him?"
Thor pulled Steve close to him, holding in silence for a moment and running a comforting hand through his hair.
"I swear to you on the Nine Realms, we will find him."
Five Years Earlier
Breakfast at Stark Tower was always an affair. Sometimes it was an organized event in which someone had dedicated themselves to actually cook a legitimate meal for all of them. Other times everyone just stumbled in at some point and were left to fend for themselves. This morning was the latter and when Steve made his way to the kitchen he was greeted by the sight of Thor tearing into a box of poptarts, Natasha and Clint discussing something emphatically, and Tony glaring at the lot of them while sipping what had to be his fifth cup of coffee. Grabbing his own mug and filling it, he noticed Tony cringed when Natasha broke into a fit of Russian muttering.
"They've been at it all morning." The billionaire explained with a groan when Steve joined him and Thor at the other side of the kitchen and gave him a questioning look, "They've been discussing making their relationship "official"."
"This is a glorious occasion!" roared Thor as he joined the two of them, munching on a poptart and slipping an arm around the shorter blonde's waist, "We should celebrate!"
Tony gave him a look and sipped his coffee, "I vote no."
"Why not?" Steve asked.
"I'm pretty sure your boyfriend is under the erroneous assumption that the two of them are getting married." replied Stark.
"Are you kidding me?" The dark haired man glanced over at the couple who were trying and failing to keep it to themselves, "They just decided never to get married. To them there is no point in getting married because it's just a piece of paper and some useless government benefits. They already act like they're married and they figure that's what counts."
"Ok. So what are they discussing now?"
"Whether or not they want to have kids."
"That reminds me," Thor turned to Steve and pulled his arm tighter around him, "There is a matter I wished to speak of with you."
"And this is the part where I join Bruce in the lab before this gets awkward."
With that Tony left, but not before refilling his cup with much needed coffee. When he was gone Thor led Steve over to the table and pulled out a seat for him to sit down. He then sat down in the seat across from him and spoke.
"I was wondering, I know that before we got together you probably weren't planning on being with a man, but did you ever want children?"
"Um well, I guess, yeah." Steve flushed because he had to admit he hadn't really thought about it recently, "I guess every time I pictured being married there were always kids in the picture."
"So this really matters to you?"
"Yeah, it does." He noted the look on the god's face and smiled to try to cheer him up, "I would like to be a parent, but I really love you so it doesn't really matter."
"I see" Thor pushed back his chair and stood up, "I also must inform you that I have a matter to attend to on Asgard and will be gone for three days."
"Asgard? What for? When do you leave?" He stood up to join the man.
"It is a family affair. I leave this afternoon. I should probably begin preparing." As he started to leave Steve grabbed him and pulled him into a hug.
"I'm going to miss you." This caused him to smile.
"As will I, but I shall see you in three days time."
"I know. I love you."
"And I you"
With that he left.
The days seemed to drag on for longer and longer. Every morning Steve would get up and sluggishly go about his day which didn't seem to include much more than scrolling through Google as of recent. He did his best to pretend the room next to the one he shared with Thor didn't exist and usually avoided the whole floor that had been designated as theirs. When he wasn't near a computer he would just stare off into space with a sad look on his face and sigh. At meals he barely touched his food. Everyone was worried, especially Thor. He had never seen his lover so depressed before, not about his lost past, not when it was the anniversary of Bucky's death or his missed date with Peggy, not ever. At least he had convinced him to put down the computer at night and get some sleep.
Thor wished there was something he could do, anything to make life a little more bearable for Steve. Perhaps the ability to turn back time so that he could have stopped what happened or to bring back that which was lost. He knew the man was hurting inside not only because of his outward actions but because the thunder god felt it to. While he was trying to stay strong for the person he cared most about he couldn't help the broken feeling that told him there was nothing he could do. As much as he wished that there was something he could do he knew his feeling was right. There was nothing he could do.
At the very top of Stark Tower there was a balcony where Thor liked to sit. It was so close to the sky and at night he could pick out familiar star forms. Usually he was joined by one or two others but not lately. More often than not he had found himself completely alone. He sat on the floor of the balcony, watching the clouds go by in the abnormally blue sky, and letting himself be engulfed by his sadness. His mind drifted off, like the clouds, until he wasn't sure how long he had been there. The outside world didn't seem to apply to him or at least until he was joined.
"Are you alright?"
Thor was ripped from his thoughts by the voice of Dr. Banner who sat next to him. He presented him with a smile.
"Of course! I am simply enjoying the beautiful day!"
"You don't have to pretend you know." Thor gave him a questioning look, "You're pretending like nothing is wrong, but I'm not fooled."
"What makes you think that?"
Bruce looked out into the distance curling his legs up to his chest and wrapping his arms around them.
"Believe me. I know what it's like to bottle up all of your feelings inside until they feel like they are going to burst and for me they really do." He gave a small, reassuring smile, "You don't need to be a hero when it comes to this. It saves no one and it only hurts you more. I'm not suggesting you let your feelings get the better of you like Steve has. I know you're worried about him, we all are, but as I said he doesn't need you to be his hero. This is something he needs to work out and so do you. You need to learn to live with the hurt inside you, to not let it control you, but not block it out entirely. What we feel is what makes us who we are and because of what these feelings are about there is no doubt they are very much a part of both of you."
With that the scientist got up, patted Thor on the shoulder, and left. The Asgardian couldn't help but think about what his friend had said. Normally he wasn't shy about showing exactly how he felt; he almost had trouble with it to a point where he would seem to be acting inappropriately to the situation. Take that and add it to the fact that he had already faced a similar tragedy and you'd think that he would know how this felt. Except this was different in ways that Thor had never thought of. He had never felt anything like this before. Bruce was right; this wasn't something he could hide. This was a part of him that he couldn't just let go.
Three days he had promised and three days it had been. Three days on Asgard he spent catching up with family and friends, whom he didn't get to see as often since he made the decision to stay on Midgard with Steve, and he was looking for something. What he was searching for was something he could find only in his childhood home. It had taken all three days to get it and it would make the perfect gift. Technically it shouldn't have taken that long, but, as he expected, it took some convincing. He was persistent though, arguing as to why he should have what he wanted. Eventually he was victorious! Gift in hand he could now return to Midgard.
When he got back to the tower it was late, so late that only the scientists in their lab were still awake. Thor didn't bother informing anyone he was back and went straight to his and Steve's shared room. There he found Steve fast asleep, sprawled out across the middle of the bed, his face buried in Thor's pillow. His breathing was soft and rhythmic and the relaxed smile on his face told Thor that he was having a good dream. A part of him hoped that said dream was about him as the man occupied many of his own thoughts and dreams.
The god of thunder fished through his bag and pulled out a box. Out of the box he took a glowing green orb of energy. With a smile he pressed the orb into Steve's lower abdomen causing it to disappear inside him. As Thor slid into bed beside his lover being careful not to wake him up, he was sure the man would like his gift. He wrapped his arms around him and settled in so that their bodies fit together like two pieces of a puzzle. Tomorrow they could celebrate both his return and his surprise.