He glared at Mia, Adam, and Tyler, a muscle along his jaw twitching with irritation. I would have laughed if I hadn't been so terrified, and I had to give Mia a lot of credit for putting herself between Thor and the zombies.
I tugged on Thor's elbow when I saw his knuckles go white around Mjolnir, and Mia much too well aligned with his trajectory. Thunder gods are not very good at stopping when the momentum builds toward a fight. Like the clouds above, Thor reached a carrying capacity for what he perceived as nonsense, and then unleashed his irritation in a torrent, whether the people around him liked it or not. He tore his gaze from Mia and the two zombies flanking her, and looked at me.
"You can't start throwing punches," I reminded him quietly. "You'll break the Zombie Treaty."
"Not if they start it," he said.
I glanced over at Mia, who was now waving hot dogs and throwing them through the static shield, which had lost some of its potency. Thor's anticipation for barreling into the mass of undead had turned it into a deflector of glitter, rather than an incinerator and the hot dogs kind of grilled going through it, rather than turning into dust. The zombies had lost some of their edge, a few even coming forward to collect a short-fallen hot dog. They were all still eyeing Thor, but with Mia and two of their own between us and them, they were beginning to forget why they'd been concerned by him.
"A bit late for that now, thank God." He raised an eyebrow. "Not you," I amended with a sigh. "The one who isn't always spoiling for a fight."
Thor snorted, his eyes flicking over the assembled as they sort of shambled back toward their pageantry. I hoped. His grip on Mjolnir slackened and I lowered his arm with a gentle pressure he didn't entirely notice, or at least he let me believe that he didn't. Either way, it was a relief. The last thing I needed was to be responsible for starting another zombie war. They'd have me tried for treason or something and throw me in jail and then I'd never make it to the mall! Of course, by this point I didn't even remember why I had been so intent on going in the first place. I should have known better than to try to travel anywhere with a thunder god. Better to have stayed snug in bed.
"That Zombie Treaty should have never been struck," Thor grumbled.
"Yes, well. It was. Zombies are protected under the law, and we're both just going to have to live with the glitter-fied results, all right? So if you could stop from starting any more fights today, I'd really appreciate it. We have things to do, remember?"
He smirked. "Do you?"
I pressed my lips together and glared at him. Thunder gods are also very good at calling your bluff. What with the mind reading. And if he hadn't been able to read my mind, he'd have seen the lie in my face anyway.
"Well whether we continue on to the mall or not, we need to at least find our way back home," I told him. "And that means crossing the quad to the other bus stop. And THAT means avoiding a brawl with a peaceful gathering of zombies, because if something happens to start one, it won't be you who ends up rotting in a cell somewhere, Mr. Diplomatic and Divine Immunity."
"I'd hardly let you rot," he murmured.
"So you say. But I don't have much faith in Aesir legal defense. Bragi may be able to tell stories but juries aren't going to be impressed with rhyming couplets."
"As if I would leave your defense to Bragi!" Thor stiffened, his eyes flashing. Thunder gods took any slights to their devotion very personally, and if he was busy thinking about how he'd break me out of jail, he at least wasn't considering how many zombies he could knock out with one swing of Mjolnir. "No less a personage than Baldur would defend you, and no man on earth can argue with his judgment. You'd be free again before nightfall."
"Free again, and facing a trip back home through Zombie Land," I argued. "With no miracles, major, minor or otherwise, we'd be right back where we started because you can't keep your hammer in your pants!"
He pinched the bridge of his nose, then sighed and dropped his hand back to his side. He stared over my head at the zombies for a moment.
"All right," he finally agreed. "I shall strive to keep my hammer -- ah -- to home."
"Thank you," I said, and smiled triumphantly at Mia. When it came to thunder god wrangling, I had yet to meet my match.
But Mia's return smile faded almost as quickly as it had come when she looked at Thor and I turned to see his eyes burning blue white, his jaw set, and his whole body tensed for a fight.
"Thor! You JUST promised!"
"That," he said through his teeth. "Is not a zombie."