Valkyrie was the last to arrive to the emergency meeting on the flight deck. It was late and she'd already been asleep. Thor, Loki, Heimdall, and Banner stood in a rough semi-circle with their backs to her. "What'd I miss?"
Heimdall turned to her and stepped aside. "We've found a stowaway."
It wasn't entirely surprising. They were a large ship with a lot of little places to hide. If not for Heimdall, surely, a stowaway could go days, if not weeks, without being detected. As it was, they had left their last refueling station only four hours earlier.
Valkyrie stopped in her tracks as Heimdall revealed their guest. "It's you."
Minn-Erva was sitting in one of the passenger seats. She wasn't tied to it, not even belted in. A stowaway wasn't necessarily a prisoner or a threat, but this one was. Her expression was clear recognition, but she didn't appear nearly as shocked as Valkyrie felt.
"You know her?" Banner asked.
"She's got a bounty on her head from the Kree," Valkyrie replied. "And she tried to kill me."
"You tried to kill me first," Minn-Erva said. From the way everyone turned to her, she hadn't said much before then.
"So, she is dangerous, though surely not the most dangerous thing on this ship," Loki said. He nodded very obviously in Banner's direction.
Banner recoiled away from him. "Stop that."
Thor ignored them, his attention on Minn-Erva. "Why do your own people have a bounty on you?"
"Look it up if you care so much," she replied, her gaze still set on Valkyrie. "And I'm only dangerous if it's necessary. I only want to keep moving."
"Where are you going?" Thor asked.
"Anywhere." She looked up at him coolly. "I'm not looking for a destination, and I'm not looking for trouble."
"We could turn her in," Loki said. "We would have some currency to work with instead of bartering with these backwater planets."
Minn-Erva's shoulders stiffened, but she gave nothing else away.
Thor studied her carefully, then looked to Heimdall. They seemed to have some kind of understanding, because Heimdall nodded.
"We'll drop her at the next stop," Thor said. "Until then, she should be monitored. Valkyrie, you know her—"
"Barely," Val said.
"—do you mind?"
She looked at Minn-Erva, which offered her nothing, then back to Thor. "Fine."
"You weren't surprised to see me," Val said as she hoisted herself onto the counter. The kitchen was empty after being full and busy with people restocking the pantry after their stop. In a few hours, it would be busy again, this time with people preparing breakfast. "You had to have scoped out all the ships in the refueling station and yet you chose the one with the person you knew on it."
Minn-Erva stood on the other side of the galley and shoved her spoon into her bowl of rehydrated gruel. "You tried to kill me last time. You didn't succeed."
Val snorted. "Why didn't you stay on Sakaar? It's a big place. We wouldn't have crossed paths again if you didn't want to."
"I wasn't lost and I wasn't found," Minn-Erva replied. "I was misplaced. I don't stay in one place for long. Why do you care? Did you want to fuck more than once?"
Val grinned. There it was. After all of the attempts to kill each other, they had succumbed to the other basic instinct. That one was far more enjoyable. "Is that why you chose this ship?"
Minn-Erva sucked the gruel off her spoon and swallowed. "I chose this ship because it was huge and I thought I could go undetected. If I'd know you have a magical seer for a guard, I would have picked another one."
"Well, we won't stop for another month. Ship this big can't take the jumps, so we're going the long way. Until then..."
Minn-Erva licked the corner of her mouth. "Time to fuck more than once?"
"I am supposed to keep an eye on you," Val said. "And if I remember right, it wasn't bad."
"You were drunk."
"I was always drunk."
"But you aren't now."
Val could have said something flippant about how there wasn't any liquor on the ship, but that wasn't true. Every bar in every room had been stocked to the brim. While they needed to regularly restock the food, they weren't running out of booze. But with every passing week, she found herself drinking less and less, though true to her word, she hadn't stopped.
"I was lost," she said. "And I preferred it that way."
Minn-Erva set her bowl down and crossed the galley. She pushed herself between Val's legs. "You like these people."
It sounded like an accusation. It also could have been a threat.
"I do," Val said, keeping her voice steady even as her pulse began to throb. She ran her fingers up the length of Minn-Erva's forearm. Her skin was hot. "And I'll do anything to keep them safe."
Minn-Erva slipped her hand beneath Val's shirt. "Then you better keep me distracted."
Val wrapped her leg around Minn-Erva's waist. "Here's to fucking more than once."