Bruce had always been skeptical of those who claimed to be magicians, or fortune tellers, or anything of the like. It simply was illogical to presume that someone could actually read the future or fiddle with cards to the point of making one disappear. He was a man of science.
But, naturally, Thor adored them. Every card trick he saw he'd react with surprise and amusement, and make a comment on how similar it was to his brother's illusions. Every time someone made a mild prediction about the future he'd have his eyes peeled for weeks, and laugh triumphantly whenever it actually happened.
Had it been anyone else, Bruce would have rolled his eyes and almost-patronisingly but certainly passive-aggressively explain exactly Why that was Bull Shit. But when it came to Thor he just didn't have the heart.
Possibly something to do with his, as Tony eloquently put it, "big fat shove your dick up my ass so far it goes into my heart and I explode with love for you crush-aroni".
He would have put it in nicer words, himself, but he couldn't truthfully say that Tony was wrong, which of course annoyed him no end. Disproving Tony Stark's words were the highlight of any day.
On this particular topic, though, he was slap-bang absolutely right on the money.
Of course, there was no possible way Thor could feel the same way - even when Thor winked at him after their hands brushed, or made a flirty comment that caused Bruce's ears to go pink, Bruce was deadset on the fact that Thor was just a kind, flirty person. It was set in stone. Ain't no way the god of thunder had a thing for a 48 year old greying nuclear physicist with outstanding anger issues and shaky hands.
Even when Thor begged for Bruce to go to a carnival with him, he had convinced himself that it wasn't a date even a little bit.
"You haven't been to a carnival yet?" Bruce asked, amused. "Thats surprising. I thought you loved all that kinda stuff."
"Well, I do, but I wanted to wait and go with someone extra special because they seem so fun. And you're always so busy."
Bruce turned a light shade of pink and looked away, although there wasnt much place else to look - they were crammed into a crowded subway train, Thor holding onto the overhead bar and Bruce holding onto his arm. Because it was effort to reach the bar. Not because he loved feeling Thor's muscles and the tiny crackle of electricity that sparked every time he touched him. It was effort. He was short!
Eventually they were back up on the surface, walking along a busy street, and Bruce was more than a little disappointed to not have a reason to touch his arm anymore. His fingers itched to be interlaced with Thor's.
People were glancing at and snapping pictures of Thor every which way, and Bruce couldn't help but feel self-conscious beside him - but Thor seemed completely unbothered, striding on with an anticipatory little grin on his face, and Bruce just smiled at anyone who made eye contact and kept walking too.
Before long they made it, the smell of burgers and cotton candy and hot dogs filling Bruce's nostrils and immediately lessening some of his stress. Laughter and shrieks came every which way, and Thor looked absolutely enchanted.
"What do you wanna do first?" he asked, fully aware that Thor would probably want to do absolutely everything before they left. And he was right. Good thing Tony had handed Bruce several wads of cash before they left, accompanied with a wink and a "have fun, lovebirds".
"What are bumper cars?" Thor mused, eyes landing on the little cars, and Bruce chuckled.
"You get into a car and you try to ram everyone elses car." he explained, and watched with a flutter in his gut as Thor's eyes absolutely lit up.
The gut-flutter fluttered more when Thor interlinked their fingers, inadvertently sending a crackle of lightning up Bruce's arm, but he wasn't complaining. They were holding hands. That was undoubtedly date-y. But this wasn't a date.
Even as Thor cheered in triumphant delight, steering haphazardly and hitting everything he could (be it other cars or the sides of the rink) and sending Bruce flying from side to side, laughing more than he had in months, it wasn't a date. Even when Thor took a hand off the wheel to squeeze Bruce's, and Bruce yelled cheerfully at him over the music that he was lucky he hadn't short-circuited the car, it definitely wasn't a date.
It wasn't a date when they clambered into the ferris wheel, and Thor traced little patterns on Bruce's palm, even if it felt a little romantic, and like they should probably kiss at the top (they didn't, of course, because this wasnt a date). It wasn't a date when they stumbled through the house of mirrors, laughing at a mirror that stretched Bruce out to be the same height as Thor, and when Thor had pulled Bruce close to his side and whispered that he was the perfect size into his curls.
It started to feel a little date-y when they rode the waltzers and Bruce almost threw up because they had eaten way too many hot dogs right beforehand, and Thor chuckled but clapped him on the back and made sure he was okay.
It felt even datier when Thor spent about twenty minutes on a hook-a-duck game, heart set on a massive stuffed bear almost as big as Bruce, and when he finally won it he pushed it into Bruce's arms, grin huge and beaming. Bruce couldn't help but giggle and blush like a schoolgirl.
It didn't help matters that Thor insisted on holding Bruce's hand more often than not, which was most definitely scrambling the data on whether or not this was, in fact, a date.
But all else was dropped when Thor spotted an ornate little caravan with Fortune Teller painted on the side in looping cursive.
"Banner!" he gasped in delight, gesturing with his cotton candy, and Bruce chuckled. "I must have my fortune told!"
"Knock yourself out," Bruce replied, squeezing Thor's hand. "I can wait outside."
And wait outside he did, hugging his bear and feeling extremely aware of the fact that he was a 48 year old man with greying hair and stubble holding onto a massive fluffy stuffed toy, and even moreso of the fact that (unlikely though it was) someone might recognise him as "hey, that guy who turns into the Hulk!"
But Thor was undoubtedly having a great time inside surrounded by candles and swooshy fabrics and having his palm read and enjoying every minute of it, so he pushed aside the rising, constant anger and frustration and focused on the butterflies seemingly having a party in his stomach at the thought that actually, this might be a date.
After what felt like forever, Thor came out, eyes shining like stars.
"You have fun?" Bruce asked amusedly, and Thor gripped his hands, smiling from ear to ear.
"Banner, it was amazing! She said I'd partake in a glorious battle and come out victorious, and that I would be entering new and unforeseen relationships, and I-" Cutting himself off, Thor pressed a kiss to Bruce's cheek, lightning crackling off his lips and jolting Bruce's cheek, who immediately felt like his brain had been fried a little bit. "You must have her tell your fortune."
Shaking off the shock of the kiss - Thor was excited, it didnt mean anything, this wasn't a date - Bruce then continued to shake his head. "Oh, no, no, no. I'm not like you, I don't go in for all that stuff. Fortunes and magic aren't my thing."
"Oh, but Banner, you must!"
"Please?" Thor's voice was soft and when Bruce glanced at his eyes they were wide and pleading, and he could almost physically feel himself melt.
"Alright. Fine. But if you tell anyone about this..."
Passing Thor his bear (who Thor had earlier affectionately dubbed Bruce Bear-nner), Bruce sighed and got up from the chair he'd been sitting in (technically belonging to the burger stall right next door).
Just setting foot into the caravan made him almost roll his eyes, but he firmly reminded himself that he was doing this for Thor. The place was swaddled in candles and swooshy fabrics just like he'd assumed and a small table sat in the centre, crystal ball set up on it and a cloaked figure on the other side.
Bruce smiled kind of awkwardly and slid across a couple of dollars. "One fortune, please?" he said, meaning for it to come across as a statement, but his voice unintentionally curved upwards at the end.
The fortune teller nodded and gestured for Bruce to sit down, which he did without a rather large degree of uncomfortable tension.
"A skeptic, are you?" the figure spoke, and Bruce almost jumped, before nodding.
"I'm only in here for my b.... friend. Sorry if thats rude. I don't usually do fortunes."
"I can tell."
They began doing something or other that would undoubtedly tell them that Bruce was probably going to meet a tall dark stranger and/or face hardship and struggle in the coming times. He wasn't really paying attention which he knew was probably incredibly rude, but he couldn't help his mind wandering to the tall very not-dark and sunshiney not-stranger sitting outside, and how they were actually kind of On a Date.
Eventually the fortune teller hummed and met Bruce's eyes. He glanced away almost immediately, eye contact making him anxious.
"I predict that you will find love."
Bruce could have laughed at the cliche, but then he thought.
He thought about Thor, sitting outside, clutching a stuffed bear and munching cotton candy, no doubt cheerfully complying with every request for a picture from him. He thought about how their fingers crackled as they linked together, and how Thor's cheeks went pink whenever Bruce came near. He thought about every flirty, dirty comment aimed his way, every wink and almost-deliberate brush of hands. He thought about how Thor almost leaned in slightly when they were sat atop the ferris wheel, and how his skin had jumped with electricity when Thor had kissed his cheek. He thought about how they were absolutely on a date, even if neither of them had outright said it - and he would fix that as soon as he left this caravan.
He thought about all that, and then he chuckled. He knew fortunes were bullshit.
"Sorry. Thats not a prediction. Its already happened."