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Space Trip Overture

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The whole thing began like this:

“I’m probably going to Sakaar next month.”

That was verbatim what his significant other—Natasha Alianovna Romanoff—said to him on a Sunday morning. It’d been two days since she returned from her most recent assignment, and that was the news she had to deliver.

“You’re what? Wait—you—” He had sputtered through his processing, finally concluding, “What?”

“With Valkyrie.”

After folding his torso over the kitchen counter, where she’d stood opposite him, he confessed, “That doesn’t make any more sense.”

She’d shrugged at the time.

So the question and answer session continued. “Why are you going to Sakaar?”

“Valkyrie wants to check on things.”

“Yeah, that makes sense. But why…” Natasha’s abilities left absolutely no room for dubiousness. That’s not what triggered his bewildered skepticism. It was the sporadic nature of the decision itself that drove him to ask, “What’s going on?”

“I’m going to Sakaar.” She’d amended the statement with, “Probably.”

“Nat.”

“I’m helping.” The ulterior motive simmered under her expression before she admitted to it. “And if the Grandmaster’s still lurking around, I’ll kick his ass.”

“He was overthrown!”

“But was he punched in the face?”

“I don’t know—maybe? Probably.” He’d paused to let his brain catch up with his frantic mouth. “Are you gonna punch him?”

“If we see him.”

“This isn’t a manhunt, right?” Mulling over her words gave him cause to straighten and clarify, “‘We’ as in you and Valkyrie, or ‘we’ as in…”

“You, Valkyrie, Carol, and me.”

“Carol’s going?”

“Are you?”

“Am I?”

Another shrug. “If you want.”

“If you’re going, then of course—”

“Then I’ll tell Valkyrie.”

And that was that.

Somehow, that spiralled even further out of the logical exosphere and, now, they were on board with Valkyrie and Carol—well, sometimes Carol—plus, for reasons not quite sensical or clear to Bruce, Thor. He worried about his friend being relegated to the role of fifth wheel but, after the first 32 hours in flight, Thor seemed to be enjoying himself most. He filled on banter, teasing each couple in turn, and fidgeting with things he shouldn’t.

Thus far, the only hitch had been grabbing some alone time with Nat, aside from when they slept. He appreciated Thor, but sometimes he and Natasha simply wanted their mutual alone time. Personally, he’d rather show his girlfriend his affection in peace, without a jesting audience.