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Surprisingly enough, to the team, they don’t have to worry about PTSD with Steve. He has an excellent grip on his current situation, and more often than not, his nightmares involve the newest alien race or threat the Avengers have had to face. Not any WWII battle or the years of being trapped in ice.
Clint and Natasha sleep. They dream. But whatever issues they may have, they either keep to themselves or share privately with one another. PTSD isn’t an issue.
Bruce and Tony are fine. Nightmares occur, nightmares pass, sleep eventually comes. Sweat soaked bedsheets are exchanged for new ones, dark circles under eyes eventually disappear, and all is well.
Thor, however, suffers. The Avengers suspect nothing, think nothing, until one night. They’re watching Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, a favorite of Tony’s. Partway through the battle of Helm’s Deep, the god leaves. Abruptly, without warning. He softly excuses himself, making his way to the outdoor veranda. Steve follows silently a few minutes later when the extended absence is noted.
“Thor?” He asks softly. The god’s head is tilted back, face studying the stars. A small tremor racing through both his hands catches the soldier’s eye. ”Thor, what’s wrong?” He takes a hesitant step closer, hand cautiously extended in comfort.
A long moment passes before Thor’s voice breaks the silence. It is not his normal, booming tone. Instead, it is that of a man broken. “Memories. Memories of men lost, women lost, warriors slain in battle. Reckless charges, heedless actions, blood shed that was not necessary.” He turns towards Steve, the faintest trace of tears in his eyes. ”I have fought in battles like that. I have lost battles like that. And… I couldn’t stand the memories.”
Nodding slowly, Steve places his hand on Thor’s colossal shoulder, rubbing it softly. ”You don’t have to be asha…”
“I am not ashamed!” Thor’s angry voice interrupted, the god stepping away from Steve. ”I’m not ashamed.” He repeats, whispering this time. ”I just … it brings back the nightmares.”
Slowly, it dawns on Steve. The god suffers. He has been suffering silently all these nights on Earth, and probably on Asgard as well. ”You don’t sleep well, do you?”
“I don’t sleep. With sleep comes fear.” Steve notes a faintest trace of blood trickling onto the stone - Thor’s nails are digging into his palms, as if punishing his body for showing fear. ”Thor, it’s normal. Lots of soldiers…”
“I lead, Steven. I am not a soldier. I am a commander. Commanders may not show fear. Yet, if I shrink in fear at the sight of a mere movie which represents a battle, what then?” Thor turns away from the soldier, face looking back at the sky. ”What then? I can’t lead.”
Steve leads the broken god on the veranda, unable to comfort that which he does not understand. The next day, however, Thor finds a number taped to his door, simple note by it.
“Thor - some of the guys I met at the base said she helped. She listens. Try? - Steve”
Submitted by asgardiangod