That One Time I Saw Chris Evans’ Back Sweat, and also, Neuroscience
So a week or so ago when I was on the east coast, in a moment of extreme weakness, I went to see the Avengers exhibit at Times Square. It was awesome, I somehow charmed a really sweet employee — ahem, operative — into giving me their rad as hell SHIELD beret, I bought Ellen like sixteen souvenirs (okay, two) — but that is not what I’m here about. (Ask me about the Cap t-shirt I got. Please. Oh my god. Ask me.)
What I’m here about is, unsurprisingly, the Captain America portion of exhibit.
The experience is immersive, all set up so you feel like you’re in SHIELD archives or the like. The Cap section includes the VitaRay (complete with a cameo by the salt stains from, you guessed it, Chris Evans’ back sweat), the rescuing-Bucky leather jacket, some seriously exclusive trading cards I Coulson’d all over, the Avengers uniform, and, endearingly, a section where you can test your strength against Steve’s. There’s also a little portion by the VitaRay that explains the changes Steve’s brain went through after they administered the serum. Being the massive bag of science trash that I am, this is where I spent most of my time.
The info graphic basically told me what we already know: that the serum enhances everything you had going for you before. So Steve’s brain is smarter and faster, the neurons have a longer life span, the hippocampus — that’s your memory storage — is nice and healthy; whatever. But then they said that the part of Steve’s brain that increased the most in mass and synaptogenesis was the amygdala. And I promptly lost all control over my feelings.
Cut bc this is about to get really gnarly. It’s science time, kiddos.
Not a lot of people are falling over themselves to be friends with Thor. They want to meet him, sure, get a picture of him, but anything beyond that seems beyond the reach of most people. Maybe it’s that he simply comes off as so out of place in the normal world, with his booming voice and muscles the size of small children. Putting a hoodie on an Asgardian doesn’t stop them from being, well, Asgardian. Or maybe it’s his tendency to get lost in cultural references, to misinterpret and be misinterpreted. Whatever it is, Thor doesn’t get invited to a lot of parties, no matter how friendly he is. And he is extraordinarily friendly.
There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule. The first, of course, is Jane Foster and the odd little family of scientists she’s managed to gather. The second is Sam Wilson.
Thor meets Sam a few days after Tony opens the new Avengers Tower. Jane’s been interviewed for a documentary on interstellar travel that’s going to air on PBS, and Thor is desperately trying to get the flatscreen TV Tony installed in the main rec room to work before it starts. The technology is antiquated and different than he’s used to, and he keeps mixing up the different remotes. He’s trying to order the television to reveal Jane’s film when someone else ambles into the room, talking on a cellular phone.
"Mom, they’re the Avengers, I don’t think they want cookies," the stranger says, "No - don’t come ov - aw man." He holds the phone in his hand and shakes his head at it, not entirely angrily. Thor recognizes him as the Man With Wings who helped Steve Rogers during the disaster with SHIELD, except now he is without his wings. He sees Thor sitting on the floor surrounded by a pile of cords and remote controls, with the television flashing NO SIGNAL in front of him. Instead of laughing, he just smiles and puts his phone in his pocket.
"Hey," he says, "Need a hand? I’m Sam." Thor smiles widely back and shakes Sam’s hand.
"I would be grateful for any assistance," he replies. He hands Sam the scrap of paper Jane gave him with the title and time of the documentary written on it. Sam patiently shows him which remote he’s supposed to use, which button to press to get the correct input so the picture comes up. When the documentary comes on, he produces a bag of chips from his pocket and stays to watch, the two of them passing the snacks back and forth. Sam chatters to Thor about having wanted to be an astronaut when he was a kid, and how he might want to use "this whole Avenger thing" as a way to start an engineering camp for underserved kids.
"You should speak to Jane," Thor tells him, "She runs a campaign for young Midgardian women who wish to study science."
That gets them talking about Jane, and when she finally comes on screen to explain the Bifrost, both Sam and Thor applaud.
"Woohoo! Go Doc Foster!" Sam cheers.
Sam asks Thor questions (“So…do you guys have music in Asgard? What does it sound like?” “Have you ever been on a roller coaster?”), and after a while Thor starts to feel okay about asking Sam questions, too (“What does the Lady Darcy mean when she says ‘swag’?”).
Thor decides that he likes this Son of Wil, the Man With Wings. He never gets impatient, or seems to think Thor is stupid, and when he laughs at something Thor says, Thor doesn’t feel left out of the joke.
By the time the documentary is over, Sam gets a text from his mother telling him she’s arrived with cookies.
Thor eats at least half of them.
But seriously do you ever think that all those who died in the battle of Hogwarts probably went on the chocolate frogs’ cards . And Teddy opening one before going on the train to Hogwarts and seeing his parents smiling at him, so they were actually there to see him off on his first year.
how fucking dare you
once i finish crying im gonna fuck u up