Characters: Steve Rogers, Issie (daemon), Thor, Svana (daemon), the Vision
Spoilers: Avengers: Age of Ultron, and possibly other bits of the MCU.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of these characters, I just like to take them out to play.
Word Count 1419
Summary: A slip up in battle causes Steve Rogers to become a temporary thunder god.
Author's notes:This is a daemons!verse fic. Knowledge of His Dark Materials is not required. All that's necessary to know is that, in this world, humans' souls live outside of their bodies in the form of animals. There's an excellent primer here.
For reference: Ishild ("Issie") (A Teddy Roosevelt terrier), and Svana (a kind of alien version of a Manx loaghtan sheep).
This is set post-Ultron, but other than that...no idea when or if it might fit in the timeline.
Steve had once tried to lift Mjølnir at the party at Avengers Tower, just before Ultron showed up. Everyone had tried, and no one had succeeded.
Except for Steve.
He hadn't told anyone, because he wasn't sure if he'd just imagined it. And it wasn't so much that he'd succeeded. He just thought he could have if he'd let himself. If Issie had let him. But it was her who told him to stop. A moment earlier, she'd been at his feet, backside in the air with her tail wagging, ready to conquer the world. Then Steve took hold of Mjølnir, and it wasn't heavy like he'd expected. In fact, it was as light as a regular hammer, and Steve thought he could make it move. He could lift it.
“No, stop!” Issie had said, jumping up at his legs. “Don't!”
And Steve didn't. It budged, but it didn't move. And as soon as he took his hand off, it seemed ridiculous that he might have been able to do it. He was just full of himself. It was stupid hubris, and he'd chuckled and forgotten about it as a possibility. Mjølnir was for Thor and Svana only.
Well, and the Vision, as it turned out, but as Tony and Steve decided, that doesn't really count.
That was a while ago, now, and Steve hasn't dwelt on it. Not with everything that's gone on since. But now, he's in the midst of battle, Issie bounding and leaping beside him, running up walls and flipping off of them as he jumps over cars and throws his shield. Thor is there, too, Svana with her head down, horns tossing daemons left and right as she charges. Thor throws Mjølnir at the same time as Steve throws his shield, and they collide in midair, sending a shock wave that flattens the area around it for several feet, taking enemies with it.
“Yikes!” Issie yelps, and slips under a fallen sign, scrabbling on the rubble beneath her and popping out the other side. “Look out!”
Steve has his hand out to catch his shield but hitting Mjølnir sent it off wrong, and he's caught something that isn't his shield.
There isn't a lot of time to think. The enemies are getting back up and charging, and Steve doesn't have a shield, but he has something, so he uses it.
But it's a hammer, and it's Mjølnir, and it feels like a feather in his hand, and he's suddenly aware of the atmosphere, and the electricity in the air, and each drop of rain for miles, and he thinks he might be able to fly if he tries.
“Be careful!” Issie barks, and Steve doesn't try.
He just swings it, and it's intuitive like it knows what to do, and he knows what to do with it. Like he's always used it.
It's a blur of action and fighting and swinging and a few claps of thunder and a streak of lightning. Then it's done. The battle is over, the enemies are down or fleeing, and Steve is standing in a pile of rubble holding a mystical space hammer that he shouldn't be able to hold.
Issie bounds up and sticks her nose to it. “Put it down,” she orders.
Steve thinks that's a good idea and places it carefully on the ground. Issie does a circle around it and bites the strap, pulling the hammer a few inches to the side before letting it go.
“I can do it, too,” she says. Her tail lowers, soberly. “But I shouldn't.”
They both back away from it. Svana trots over, Thor at her heels. He has Steve's shield, and Steve is relieved it's not lost or in enemy hands. Thor bends down and picks up Mjølnir, looking it over.
“You are getting very friendly,” he tells it, with a look of betrayal. “If I am mistreating you, there are better ways to let me know.”
“Uh, sorry about nicking it,” Steve says.
Thor gives an amused shake of his head. “Do not be,” he says. “Obviously you were in need of it, or you could not have wielded it so well. Or at all.” He casts another stern look at it and then drops the strap over one of Svana's horns. She braces herself, as though expecting to be dragged down with it, but it swings lightly as it always does when Thor casually hangs it there, and her head rises to its usual noble place. Thor hands Steve his shield. “This is a good weapon, Captain. Thank you for lending it to me.”
“It's not really a weapon,” Steve says, which is stupid because it obviously is. “Well, I don't think of it that way. It's something to protect with. But Mjølnir's pretty swell, too. Scary, but...nice.”
Thor takes Mjølnir back from Svana and gives it a flip to catch it by the handle again. “It is a great honor to be found worthy, Captain,” he says. “This makes us truly shield-brothers.”
“Yeah, literally,” Steve says, holding up his shield for a moment before putting it on his back.
Thor gives a chuckle and punches him in the arm, hard enough that even Steve feels the sting. Svana rears up in celebration and then merrily headbutts Issie, which sends her skidding a few feet back. Steve sees stars for a moment. Issie slides to a stop at the Vision's feet as he lands on the ground. He gives her a benevolent smile and gestures for her to proceed him forward. His interaction with daemons is one of the things that makes him not-quite-human. He never touches them or speaks to them, but he takes much more direct notice than most humans would of another's daemon. Steve thinks he finds them interesting; something to study about human nature. He doesn't have one of his own and that's, of course, the biggest thing that makes him not-quite-human.
Issie gets to her feet and shakes herself off with as much dignity as she can, then trots back to Steve, the Vision behind her.
“Your radios have been silent. I came to see if all was well,” he says.
“Sorry,” Steve says, realizing he should have been checking on the status of everyone else. “It's been a bit...strange over here.”
“I saw,” the Vision says. He looks to Mjølnir, then to Issie, and then to Steve. “Should we form a club?”
“No,” Steve says, with a laugh. “I don't want to be a member. That was a one-off, hopefully. I like my shield. I think I'll stick to that.”
Issie nods beside him.
“We must at least drink as brothers,” Thor says, giving both Steve and the Vision claps to their arms. Svana capers around Issie, who plants her feet into the ground for fear of further friendly blows.
“I don't consume food or drink,” the Vision says.
“I can't get drunk,” Steve adds.
“I see no reason for that to impede us,” Thor says. Svana tosses her head in agreement.
The Vision gives Steve an amused smile—one of the things that makes him almost human—and Issie giggles at Steve's feet. “We'll drink later,” Steve says. “We have to clean up here, first. Viz, can you get an aerial status for me? I'll check in on everyone else.”
“Of course, Captain,” the Vision says, and gives everyone nods—Issie and Svana too—before he flies off.
Steve calls through his radio to get status updates, and everyone replies. A few bumps and bruises and Rhodey's armor is missing a finger, but everyone's all right. Sam's on his way over to their side of the battlefield, and Natasha and Wanda both insist they've got it under control where they are.
“Well, today was a weird day,” Issie says, jumping up on a car to be at a level with Steve.
“When isn't it a weird day?” Steve asks.
Issie wags her tail as she thinks. “Tuesday wasn't weird,” she says. “You just had pizza and watched Jeopardy!.”
“Today made up for it,” Steve said.
“It was a little bit neat, though, right?” Issie says.
“It was,” Steve admits. “It was kind of amazing.”
“But you shouldn't do it again,” Issie says.
“No,” Steve says. “Not unless it's an emergency. It's nice to be a shield-brother and all, but I think I should just stick to my day job.”
“Me, too,” Issie says. “You can be an understudy thunder god, but I like you better as Captain America.”
And Steve agrees.