|ｐａｎｔｈｅｒ (kingly) wrote in avengers_logs,|
@ 2020-08-01 10:22:00
|Entry tags:||-backdated, -complete, shuri, t'challa|
Who: T'Challa & Shuri
What: Having dinner together and getting in some sibling bonding
When: The day after Shuri initially arrived
Where: A delicious Ethiopian restaurant
|It was wonderful to have his sister in the same ‘verse as him, T’Challa decided - of course, she was still a part of his life before, but unaware of how broken this universe actually was. Now that she’d stepped into it, he didn’t have to hide that part anymore - there was a significant age gap between them, but she was still his best friend and one of his closest confidantes (Natasha too, of course). He had been so excited to see her that it was tempting to just word vomit everything on his mind, thoughts and worries he’d kept bottled up inside for many months. But he was also aware he should not do that, and maybe give her a chance to settle in first.|
That was why he took her out to dinner her second night in the new-New York City - she’d gotten up to some exploring earlier, and he’d shown her the penthouse floor lab, but she could figure out how she wanted to best utilize it later on. Now was a chance for decompressing, and just spending time together. He took her to the same restaurant he took Natasha to on their first date, but he didn’t mention that - the food was superb and it tasted of home, so he thought Shuri might like it too, was all.
The place happened to be one of the city’s best Ethiopian restaurants - with the classic meat dishes and the spicy stews, the injera bread as the one lone utensil (no forks, that was not how you ate Ethiopian food). Traditional cuisine, modern décor - bright green leather couches, African masks hanging up, zebra print wallpaper, the large hearth dedicated to performing the traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony. T’Challa quite enjoyed it and he hoped Shuri did too.
“Get whatever you like, sister, it’s my treat,” he insisted, thanking the server who brought his glass of honey wine. If nothing else, he could definitely use a drink - times were always so trying, here in this broken universe.
“Thank you, brother,” she said, glancing at the decor and inhaling the aromas coming from the kitchen as she sat and picked up the menu. “This place is sweet. Reminds me of home.” She eyed his glass of T’ej and considered ordering one for herself, but she was thirsty and opted for mineral water instead. “What is their gomen like?” She would start with injera with a series of wats served on it. That was a must, along with the lentil soup and possibly the Alitcha Beghe, which was a mild lamb stew with herbs and onions. There was a lot to choose from. And coffee after the meal, of course, presented traditionally, by the look of it.
Since her arrival, Shuri had spent some of her time sleeping. The room she’d been given was large and airy, clean and simple while still reflecting touches of Wakanda. She didn’t know if the journey from one universe to the other was tiring or if there were time zones involved or if both things factored into needing to put her head down for a bit.
Well, maybe not ‘sleep’, exactly, more like a series of catnaps, because there was just too much to learn and absorb with being in an alternate universe. This sort of thing didn’t happen every day and she had already started a journal on her laptop - thank you, brother! - to document everything. She had explored her lab in the penthouse of 30 Warren and decided it would do quite nicely. It wasn’t a duplicate of the one she had in Wakanda, but very little could replace that lab. She’d contacted people in the know through the Network and researched the current news to determine what differences separated Prime from Fractured, as she thought of them. Finding differences wasn’t an easy task, as so much seemed to be the same.
For example, the Fall TV line-up of new shows in America looked appalling, but that was probably the same as it had been in the Prime universe with at least one exception: here they were bringing back Mr. Ed on CBS. She wasn’t sure if this was a good thing or not.
“It is very good,” T’Challa said about the gomen - collard greens, really, but of course in Ethiopian style. “Good onion and garlic ratio.” And just enough spiced butter - honestly, anything at this restaurant was superb, and about as close to Wakandan cuisine as they could get in the United States.
He set his menu aside since he already knew what he wanted, and focused on Shuri. “You’re alright?” he asked her, knowing that she kind of blew into this universe like a hurricane and basically hit the ground running. Not that he would have expected anything less of her, of course, but even teenaged geniuses needed adequate rest - and a chance to know that her brother was here for her, no matter what.
Shuri nodded and added the gomen to her mental list. The list was likely too long for what she could eat in one sitting, but she was hungry and possibly still recuperating from her arrival.
“I’m alright,” she replied, setting aside her menu in favour of looking at her brother. “It is bizarre, but you are here, so that helps. Together we can tackle anything, uh?” She smiled. “And, we have back-up, which is always welcome. I find it interesting that so many of the Avengers and their associates are here and aware of their circumstances. I wonder how many others in this universe are also aware that something has changed, but they are not part of a superhero squad and don’t know what has happened. It will be difficult to find that out, if not impossible.” She shook her head. “Not like we can hand out a flyer asking ‘Did you wake up this morning feeling like something has changed? If the answer is ‘yes’ and it doesn’t involve your fabric softener, you may be in another universe. Give us a call!’”
She sighed and reached one hand across the table to rest it there, palm open. “I am so glad you are here.”
T’Challa chuckled, hand sliding to rest in Shuri’s, giving it a squeeze. “I am sure some people have felt a change - it is hard not to,” he mused. “But their minds explain it away, because having all the answers is better than having gaps.” People didn’t do well with the unknown - that seemed to be true whether you were deemed a superhero or not.
When the server came back to take their orders, he knew that Shuri would want to share the injera platter, eating everything on it by the method known as ‘rip and dip.’ There was a variety of delectable things on that platter too, and plenty of food - chicken stew, beef tartare, greens, spicy shiro wat, some fresh cheeses. As for anything else, she could get whatever she wanted in addition to that.
When they both had ordered he settled back in his chair. “It is certainly nice, having the Avengers here - alive and close by. Apparently Thanos has already been dealt with in this universe as well.”
She had added a lentil soup to go with the injera platter and since the gomen was included, she didn’t need to order a separate serving. She was sipping her mineral water when he spoke of people filling in the gaps themselves. It was not uncommon, true, to think of horses, not zebras when confronted with something that didn’t make sense: ‘I must have left my wallet in the car’ not ‘I think I’m in a parallel universe and my wallet has been stolen by aliens’.
Shuri nearly sputtered it out again when he mentioned Thanos.
“He is really gone?” she asked. “Dead gone? How did it happen? Mistah Stark is alive, so he couldn’t have done the snap, could he?” She was still researching all the potential differences between this universe and the Prime one. Day Two and still she hadn’t fixed it, but she knew her brother had been kidding when he’d said she would have it all sorted by Noon on Day One. Still, she hadn’t reached any records regarding Thanos yet. There was so much information to read and process.
“He is not dead, but he won’t be back anytime soon,” T’Challa recalled hearing about that, anyway. It had been awhile since he’d first arrived and got all the information from Doctor Strange, plus that pamphlet or whatever it was. “The mind stone was destroyed and the others are hidden in various secure places.”
Then there was that brief point of time that Vision was here too, with the mind stone intact - he ended up disappearing eventually (like so many others) but that didn’t seem to disrupt anything with the destroyed mind stone or attract any Thanos-shaped attention, for which T’Challa was grateful.
The wine was sipped, the liquid rolling down his throat easily. “Tony did not do the Snap. From what I understand it was a battle in Wakanda and Thanos was...chased off.” He hadn’t been present for that battle on Wakandan soil anyway (and both he and Shuri had faded away into dust, when it happened in their timeline), so he was just going by word of mouth here.
Shuri reached for her napkin and dabbed at her mouth, even though she hadn’t actually spat any mineral water. It had been a close thing, though. “I read the pamphlet and know we have the Infinity Stones.” Except for the Mind Stone, which she had memory of preparing to extract from the forehead of Vision, something she had failed to do. Time had not been on her side, but that didn’t stop her from feeling bad about the outcome. “I have no desire to encounter Thanos, so I am pleased he won’t be stopping by. Why was the Mind Stone destroyed?” She sighed. “Wait, no, this is supposed to be a relaxing meal. I should not ask these things right now. Our food will arrive soon, so let’s change the topic.”
There was an obvious event in her brother’s life that had her curious and now seemed as good a time as any to ask. She grinned, because it was her job to poke at her sibling. “So, tell me about Natasha.”
“To prevent Thanos from getting it,” T’Challa explained about the mind stone - frankly, he thought each of those stones contained too much power on their own. He’d have wanted them all to be destroyed but apparently that wasn’t possible. Alas. They’d just have to be a constant worry, a constant thorn in their collective sides. As if they all didn’t have enough to be concerned about.
He switched topics when Shuri did, taking a breath, wine sloshing in his glass - the inquiry about Natasha made him smile a bit. “They call her Black Widow,” he said. “She is a spy.” So yes, he had a type - Nakia had been a spy as well, and while he cared for her deeply, it took him some time to realize it wasn’t ever going to work between them. At least here, he had a chance to sort of settle with Natasha even if they both had their own duties as King, and an Avenger on her end.
“But she is very generous, she cares for her teammates who have become her family. She is a skilled fighter and good at what she does - what else do you wish to know?” he asked, with a chuckle.
“Then why didn’t they destroy all the stones?” It made sense, didn’t it? Each of them was dangerous in their own ways. “No, never mind. Natasha.”
And he spoke of his lover as any man devoted to someone would speak. Shuri, having communicated with Natasha over the Network, had already noted the similarities with Nakia: spies and fighters, both. The King did have a type: scary.
“I know she is the Black Widow, though why you didn’t think to mention that during our exchange on the Network, I don’t know.” She grinned. “We have had a virtual chat. She is also very smart and very pretty. You left those out. Her hair is red, uh?”
“Well, yes, she is both those things,” the King laughed a little, with a fond roll of his eyes and a shake of his head. “I thought you’d want to focus on yourself and your arrival rather than the color of my partner’s hair,” he teased Shuri.
Honestly, he could go on and on about Natasha - but there was probably only so much his sister would want to hear. He did not want to bore her. Still, it was important to him that she and Natasha get along - that Natasha get along with the rest of his family as well.
The food appeared then, and he made space on the table for the injera platter and other dishes, so the server could set them down. “Perhaps I could make dinner for you and Natasha one night soon?” he suggested. “It would be nice to sit down together.”
Shuri waited until the food had been served and she’d ordered another mineral water before replying. “A meal where I don’t have to try to cook? How could I possibly say ‘no’? That and Natasha and I can critique your cooking.” Though her brother did much better than she did when it came to the culinary arts, primarily because she didn’t have the patience for it.
She reached out and tore a piece of injera, adding, “And why would I want to talk about my arrival? I am sure you would find it boring, though the Doctor cast some magic, so that was fun. Oh, and I was nearly mugged, but we took care of the man-boys.” She scooped up some of the gomen with her injera and popped it into her mouth, watching her brother to see how he would react.
T’Challa was a pretty good cook, it was true - he’d made meals for him and Natasha before, and other friends who dropped by the penthouse, so he was confident he could come up with something for a dinner occasion with some of his family. The mention of nearly mugged had him coughing though, a piece of bread sliding down the wrong pipe.
He’d been under the impression that Dr. Strange brought Shuri to 30 Warren from the place where she’d initially tumbled into this universe; it had been very early, but he was awake and thrilled to see her. Now, he was surprised to hear...this. “Are you certain you’re alright?” he asked dubiously, because nearly being mugged was quite a way to have one’s self introduced to New York.
He wasn’t surprised to learn that she’d put a stop to it though. Shuri was well-trained as a warrior too - it was a part of growing up in Wakanda, especially as part of the royal family. They had the Dora Milaje but knew how to take care of themselves too.
Shuri pressed her lips together so she didn’t laugh. It had been a funny but serious situation and it was easy to laugh now. Dr. Strange had actually sent her from a dark, gloomy house which had a washroom with an infinity towel, but her brother wouldn’t know that part.
“Yes, I am certain. There were four of them and I kicked one in the knee. He was displeased, but I hd already started running and you know I am a good runnah. Then the Doctor arrived and we tormented the remaining man-boys, telling them we’d turn them into cockroaches.” She leaned forward a bit, and said in a pseudo-whisper, “I chose that creature because they take so long to die. The Doctor played along brilliantly. It was great fun, though not at first, of course.”
Her eyes narrowed slightly. “Do you need the Heimlich Maneuver?” It wouldn’t be a good evening if the King of Wakanda had to visit the hospital because of an errant piece of bread.
Cockroaches. T’Challa laughed, taking another sip of wine - alright, yes, he was fine now. After that near-miss with the bread. “No, I assure you I will not die here on this table,” he insisted. He’d already died once, and had no desire to experience a repeat anytime soon. Not before his time had come and he would be reunited with his father and the other Black Panthers on the ancestral plane. Hopefully the goddesses would see to it that this happened the way it should.
“I have missed you, sister.” Of course Shuri had been back in Wakanda safe and sound and happily toiling away in her lab, but now she was here - so much closer and available and such a strong part of his support network. “You keep me on my toes, that is for certain.”
Along with the various villains-of-the-week and whatever other nonsense happened too, naturally. But he would not have it any other way.