Who: Bruce and Valkyrie What: catching up! Where: his place When: backdated! early April. Notes: completed
Since Bobbi left this dimension, Bruce had been largely keeping to himself, reverting to his old habits of spending the majority of his time in his lab when he wasn’t on duty at the clinic. He knew it probably wasn’t the most healthy of coping mechanisms, but it worked for him and his number one priority was keeping the Other Guy at bay.
Today, though, he was in his kitchen, cooking up a feast since he had plans to catch up with Valkyrie. They hadn’t spent much time together in this universe and he was glad for the opportunity to correct that.
When she knocked, he opened the door, wearing an apron, spatula in hand, and offered her a grin. “Come on in,” he said. “Dinner will be ready in a few minutes.”
*** Valkyrie hadn’t been terribly social upon her arrival - she’d had a lot of things thrown at her at once - and none of them were expected. More or less, anyway. She’d easily fallen into working hard, it wasn’t much different than she had been doing at home. Being King still meant working her fingers to the bone to keep things running. Now, though, she saw an end to the title on the horizon and could look forward to, somewhat, relaxing.
Though she still wasn’t sure what Thor’s plans were on that front.
She had been coming to terms with Loki. That was unexpected. And it took a bit to wrap her brain around, a lot of pieces fell into place though once she got past the front he liked to put up. Things made more sense. Bruce’s offer of dinner had been a good distraction from trying to juggle all those things, though. So she showed up on time, bearing gifts of wine and something non-alcoholic. She didn’t drink nearly as much as she used to. “Thank you - it has been too long all together.” she stepped inside, smiling a bit.
“It certainly has,” Bruce agreed. They’d bonded on Sakaar and he’d wondered about her and the rest of the Asgardians after his rapid return to Earth when the threat of Thanos came to a head. Unfortunately, he hadn’t really had the opportunity to reconnect with her in this alternate universe and he was looking forward to correcting that now.
He smiled when he realized that she’d brought wine and reached to take it from her. “You didn’t have to bring anything,” he said. “But I can open this up if you want.”
"I know. But I needed to do something." She smiled as she came inside. "I am sorry I haven't been a good friend. I settled right back into being De facto King and I haven't had much downtime since." She said with a faint grin.
"How are you here? How is everything going?" She inquired as she found a chair to perch on and easily talk to him from. She was expecting questions on everything, so she was ready"
Bruce waved off the apology. “Things can get hectic around here,” he said. It wasn’t all that different from home in that regard. And he had no idea what being the king of Asgard required, so he couldn’t judge her for being so busy.
“I’m… okay,” he said. “I was dating someone and she got sent home a little while back. That’s been tough.”
This was really the first time he was acknowledging that to anyone. He’d enjoyed his time with Bobbi and it was hard not having her around. If she hadn’t been sent home, Bruce could have seen them really developing their relationship into something.
A lot more than she ever expected.
"I am sorry to hear that. You deserve to be happy." Her brow furrowed, she might not be the best friend but she cared about the few people she really liked.
"I know there's nothing I can do, but if by chance there is, let me know?" She couldn't fix anything but she could at least be here for him.
There was more than enough work to keep Bruce busy. It had been his default for a long time and he didn’t see any reason to change it now. He gave up on the idea of being happy after his accident.
“Speaking of relationships,” he said. “You and Loki, huh?”
He started moving food to the table so they could eat.
She laughed as she watched him work, arms folded as she leaned on the doorway. " Mmm I was wondering how long this would take to come up."
"I can't give you the details on how it started, hopping into another reality leaves me with a hundred questions I don't even know how to ask, but, turns out he and I? Have a lot more in common than I would have thought."
She ran a hand through her hair, "shocking, I know."
“I did not have an opportunity to ask you previously,” Bruce said. He’d certainly wanted to, but with things being what they were, he just hadn’t managed to get any time alone with his friend. “But I’m glad that it’s working out.”
He would never stop thinking it was weird, but he did want her to be happy.
"I wish I had a little more insight - but it works.” she said with a slow shrug, she was a pretty private person anyway, so too many details weren’t going to be spilled, even to someone she was close to like Bruce. “Strange how things work - we balance each other out so far.” she said carefully, though.
It was strange. Different. Unexpected. But he was a vastly different person in the privacy of their own home, too, and it just worked. It was kind of nice, actually. “I’m honestly still more unbalanced with trying to manage the whole settlement, you know? I’ve been doing it for years, back home, but it’s still… unexpected how hard it can be.”
Bruce nodded. She was a good ruler, there was no doubt about that in his mind, but he could understand that it felt overwhelming to her, especially with the whole alternate universe thing. “If you ever need help, I’m here,” he said.
The Asgardians likely wouldn’t need his medical skills, given that they were a far hardier bunch than humans. He had other skills that might be useful though. Like cooking. Of course, the idea of cooking for a bunch of Asgardians also seemed overwhelming.
“I appreciate it - I do.” she said softly as she leaned back in her chair and looked at him. “We can always use the hands.” she was sure they could put his medical skills to use, too, plenty of their people got small injuries that still needed tending to while they healed. Fishermen were a hard, tough bunch but accidents happened.
Cooking also was helpful - she wouldn’t ever argue that. “I am so hungry and that smells so good.” she said after a minute, grinning a bit.
“Well, eat up,” Bruce said. “There’s plenty.” He didn’t know how to cook for one or two people and always made way more than was necessary. At least now he wouldn’t have to freeze half of this and eat it for months.
In fact, he was going to need to do this more often. With both her and Thor. And other people too. He needed to work on being more social.
Valkyrie grinned appreciatively, she didn’t have any problem putting away far more food than someone her apparent size should. Bonus of her physiology - she could eat out an all you could eat buffet and still be hungry.
“Thanks, Bruce, it’s been too long and it’s good to see you.” she smiled and lifted her glass to him, before she settled in to eat and have light conversation.