"I was...well, I was treating myself," I admit and look back at her. "I don't usually use my gift unless in a dire situation-"
"That doesn't sound very fun." Carol points out and I chuckle.
"Exactly my reasoning." A silky-smooth voice speaks from around the corner and I sigh in preparation for him. Loki turns in and his eyes immediately take in Carol. "And who might you be, my dear?" He asks softly and bows slightly, extending his hand for hers.
"Someone who can knock you back on your ass in two seconds flat if you call me any sort of pet name ever again." She responds and my mouth drops before I let loose a light laugh at Loki's shocked expression.
"My friend Rea wouldn't allow that, would you darling?"
"Like hell, I wouldn't. Can't stand for yourself, Loki?" I tease and Carol beams along with me.
"Oh, Thor's younger brother." Carol nods understandingly while Loki purses his lips and sighs.
"I think I'll come to see you at a later time, love." Loki just barely tilts his head to me before ducking out the way he came. I giggle slightly at the not at all subtle escape and serve Carol and me. She takes our plates and I grab our forks. We sit across from one another at the table and she pauses.
"Something wrong?" I ask and her head shakes.
"This is just my first home cooked meal in...a while. Thanks." She nods to me and takes a bite while I watch her for another moment before moving on. "The reason I wanted to talk is that I wanted to tell you I meant what I said. Well, what Tony said in passing. I'll take you to Skadar, if that's what you want. But I wouldn't be able to come back until two weeks later. If that's something you can deal with, then think on it. Inter-planetary travel is a big deal despite how many times I've done it." She says between bites, shocking me with the information as well as the blasé way in which she conveys it.
"You're willing to let me piggyback you into space and to another planet?" She smirks at my wording and nods.
"It's just a galaxy over. Yeah." Carol seems to grow more confident in the idea as time passes. Her eyes affix themselves to mine. "You're not the only one who has had to travel galaxies to figure out who she is." Her tone is softer now, more understanding. "And based on these eggs you're a decent cook. Always good to travel with one of those." Her soft smile is contagious and I find myself reflecting hers.
"This isn't exactly something I thought of, ever. Or even dreamt. But..." I think again to myself. What do I want? "I want to go. I've got to see this. Experience it. Anything to do with it." Voicing my decision makes my resolve stronger and the lack of regret welling in me tells me it's the right one. Her eyebrows raise slightly in surprise.
"Gotta say I'm a little surprised about the quick decision, but I like it. We'll leave as soon as I'm ready to part ways with this place again." She looks around with a bit of nostalgia and a pang hits my own heart for this strange home I haven't even known for that long. Especially when I think of Steve.
* *One Week Later* *
"A thin sheet of metal you said?" I repeat, turning back and forth in the mirror. After announcing my leaving, Tony immediately started fashioning me a spacesuit. Heknocks lightly on my metal covered thigh and nods, eyes sparkling.
"That's right. Nanotech. It's a thin sheet of metal, a gold-titanium alloy, all over you. And look." A helmet almost all made of a clear something so I can see out forms around my head. There's a cut around the back of my head from ear to ear so my hair can still be free as well. "Figured you might want a bug screen in space." He tells me and I can still hear him clear as a bell. I turn back to my reflection and the helmet falls away. It's an incredible suit. Black, blue, and gold covers me from neck to ankle in a near emulation of Carol's suit. Navy blue is the base with black and silver as the accents. Instead of a star in the middle of my chest, there's an s with what looks like a tongue on the bottom curve. "Reindeer games calling you silver tongue kind of inspired me a bit," Tony explains when he catches my eye stalling on it. A heavy belt sits on my hips and makes me feel a little more confident when I walk, as well as the black boots.
"It's really, really beautiful, Tony. Thank you." I lean over and peck his cheek before getting off the small platform. A backpack goes onto my back and I walk out with him following behind me. The rest of the team should be outside by now anyway.
We exit the building and I glance up at the navy sky teeming with winking stars. After a steadying breath, I look to the left and find the whole team here. Steve and Carol in the front. I swallow at the sight of that blonde haired, blue eyed beauty, but he just smiles. Tony pats my shoulder and we keep walking. "Ready, Reagan?" Carol asks as soon as I'm within earshot. I grin and nod. "It'll be nice having a co-pilot." She winks at me as I look over at Steve.
"Bring back souvenirs, huh? Two for me so I can sell one." Sam jokes and the group rumbles with soft laughter.
"It's only too weeks," I tell him and once again my eyes return to Steve. "Will you miss me?" I tease and his smile turns a little melancholy.
"You know I will." He returns and I teeter on my feet a moment before moving forward and tossing my arms around his neck. My lips press to his and his arms wrap tight and strong around me. He lifts up and my legs reflexively wrap around him while my fingers plunge into his hair. His lips are soft but I'm kissing him hard. The waves of how much I know I'll miss him are already washing over me. Even though it's only two weeks. We part and I kiss him once more, then another time for luck. Our eyes open and look into the others.
"Think I might be falling for you, Steve," I whisper and he chuckles onto my lips.
"Think I'm already gone for you, Reagan. And it'll be the same when you come back." He promises and I smile against him before I drop and reluctantly take a step back from him towards Carol.
"Did anyone see that coming?" Tony murmurs and Natasha holds a hand out to Bucky who hands her a twenty, then holds his hand out to Sam who hands him a fifty. My head shakes as I shoot a wink at Bruce and a warning look to Loki.
"Ready, Reagan?" Carol asks and I turn to her as she takes my hand in hers.
"Yeah, whenever you are." I agree and my fingers tighten on hers. She salutes to the group and the three soldiers salute back.
"Actually, darling, I've been speaking with my dear brother and we'd like to take this trip with you. We know space very well after all and while this...woman you've just met, we're friends." My eyes roll and Carol's face crinkles.
"Carrying all of you would be a bit awkward."
Loki shakes his head. "I will teleport my brother and I. I'm merely asking Rea's permission." Eyes return to me and I sigh. In all honesty, having both of them there would soothe my nerves more. After all, I'm going to a new planet where I have absolutely no clue what I'm walking into.
"You have my permission." I nod to both Gods. Thor pats Loki's back proudly and wraps his arm around his while Loki looks on him with disdain. I look back to Steve who looks a bit apprehensive for me.
"See you all in two weeks." My eyes stay steady on Steve before we burst off the ground and into the sky, and then into the vastness beyond. Home planet...here we come.
An Epilogue coming soon my peeps. I hope you all enjoyed the journey! As always, my dears, keep reading! :)
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