I'm not gonna lie, I struggled writing this. But it's here, I'm sorry, and I hope you enjoy. Keep an eye out for The Outtakes. I'll be posting two chapters.

Bruce Banner. 9am.

She was sitting in the back of a cab - because Bruce didn't really drive and neither really wanted to bother Happy on his day off - twirling a giant sunflower between her fingers.

She was never a big fan of sunflowers. Her father use to wax poetry about its interesting structures( flowers within flowers, honey, that means they can never die, not really) and how they only seem to live for the sun. And while she had loved them growing up, the moment she had discovered that they were linked to her long lost mother, she had shunned them entirely.

But here it was back into her life.

May your life be filled with longetivity and happiness.

"Are we almost there?" She asked. Bruce looked over at her and smiled.

"Almost. Just another block to go," He said, tucking a small notebook she hadn't noticed before back into his jacket pocket. He caught her looking and smiled sheepishly, adjusting his glasses. "I had to jot down an idea. Sorry."

Rachel waved away his apology. She was best friends with Tony. She knew how these things worked.

"You're here. 25 bucks." The cab announced.

Before Bruce could react, Rachel reached forward to swipe her card through. She bit her lip as he watched his eyes flash green for a moment, but he closed them and inhaled sharply.

"You shouldn't have done that Rachel, it's your birthday." Bruce said after a moment.

They got out of the cab and walked up the steps of a victorian-looking building with a stand that said 'Ancient Tibetan Massage' in bold golden cursive. To say she was pleased would have been an understatement.

She bumped his shoulder with hers, a small teasing smile grazing her face. "Let me have this Bruce. It's not like I use the money I make from the show on rent or something."

Bruce sighed, but didn't comment further. He opened the door for her and she grinned at the sight of burnt orange curtains and little fat Buddhas spitting water. People in white robes walked through shimmering curtains that made a bell sound every time they moved apart. It was a great way to start her birthday.

"I thought this would be a good way to get you in the mood for what the others have planned." Bruce shrugged. He was being entirely too modest. Rachel hugged him.

"It's very thoughtful. Thank you." She said, before a bald man in white uniform stepped towards them with a facial expression that seem to be permanently stuck between wanting to sneeze and finding a twenty dollar bill in his pocket.

"Velcome to Metta." He greeted in a thick accent, bending at the waist with his hands in the namaste pose. He caught sight of Bruce and turned a brilliant shade of red. "You Doktor Banner, yes?"

Rachel tried very hard not to laugh as Bruce shifted to the ball of his feet. She had never seen this level of embarasssment since Tony was drunkenly dared to give him "the best fucking lapdance he's ever had."

"I'm a big fan of your vork. Your theory on gamma-ray radiation on a microscopic level vas amazing." The man gushed as he led them towards the back of the store. She could see Bruce's ears perk up and soon found herself people watching as the boys discussed science. It was Tony and Bruce all over again.

They were given a private room all the way in the back that reminded her of that one episode in Sabrina the teenange witch. She made a mental note to add that show in the queue of shows she was currently watching with Natasha.

The man, now identified as Victor, appeared in front of her holding a white robe. "Change behind the screen please."

She slipped into the white robe and walked back into the room. Bruce was already laying on one of the cots, making noises that would make even a whore blush. She was feeling a little hot herself.

"Ready, ma'am?" a woman's soft voice interrupted her thoughts. Rachel nodded, dropping her robe and quickly slipping into the blanket that her masseuse offered.

The next hour was a complete bliss. The hands burying itself in her back making her forget for once that her life was turning into a massive soap opera. Life with superheroes wasn't suppose to be so goddamn dramatic.

Fingers dug into a particularly bad knot at the end of her spine and her toes suddenly curled in pleasure, and a small moan fell from her lips. She was surprised that Tony or Clint hadn't suggested this first.

She burst into giggles at the thought of Tony and Clint hiding inside of a vent as the masseuse ran her hands over her back.

"Enjoying it?" Bruce's muffled voice waffled towards her.

"We should make this a weekly thing." Rachel said. She grinned as he hummed in agreement. They should probably invite Rhodey too.

"All done!" the woman announced, stepping into Rachel's eyeline to hand her the white robe.

It look less time then she thought for her to put on her clothes and wait for Bruce on the doorsteps despite having the muscle mass of a slug. She leaned to the side, resting her head on the stone handrails, and stared up at the sky.

They were very lucky that there were barely any clouds in the sky. Of course that left room for bad guys to ruin the day, but she wasn't going to hoot that horn.

She chuckled to herself. How many people could say that villains actively ruin their holidays?

"The point of the massage was for you not to think so hard." Bruce said softly, sitting down next to her. He tapped her knee. "Penny for your thoughts?"

Rachel shook her head, bumping his shoulder with her own. "Just thinking about my awesome friends."

He reached inside his shirt pocket and pulled out a polaroid picture. It was of a potted plant with large yellow leaves and dark spots littering its length. "This is Roly."

Rachel raised an eyebrow. "You named a picture of a plant Roly?"

He brushed his slacks with both hands, his eyes intent on the action. "I'm not Clint."

Rachel burst out laughing. "No," she gasped, leaning against him as she held her sides. "Clint would name him something stupid like Spot or Yellow."

Bruce chuckled, before handing her the picture. "I know how very expensive and rare Spice raspberry tea is so I create a plant for you."

Rachel stared at the picture.

"You're one of a kind Bruce Banner." She said finally, tearing her eyes away. Bruce blushed.

Steve Rogers. 10:30 am.

Rachel's arms tightened around Steve's waist, pressing her body against his back to avoid the unforgiving wind.

"Do you like the ride?" Steve shouted over his shoulder.

"You're the best boyfriend ever." She shouted back, planting a kiss on the back of his neck. He really was. On top of being sweet, funny, protective, and a complete gentleman, he managed to get her the perfect gift.

He got her a motorcycle.

There weren't many who knew about her fixation for motorcycles. She could still smell the polish, oil, and cheap beer of the shows her uncle Ronnie use to take her and Darcy. The Harleys, the Indians, the Metisses. They had easily replaced the dolls her Aunt Sarah would send her.

"Steve, are you kidnapping me?" Rachel asked as she read the giant green sign that bid them farewell from the city. She was only able to catch his cheeky grin, before he turned back to the road.

It took a couple of minutes to figure it out.

Weschester County

5 miles to Kykuit.

20 miles to Niagara Falls

Rachel stared at the back of her boyfriend's head.

He wouldn't. He couldn't have possibly known.

Pictures of the Rockerfeller Estate could never capture the grandeur and elegance of the estate. The mansion - greying with ivies spiraling up its walls - was surrounded by luscious rolling hills and naked roman sculptures that shot water from their mouths. It was like she had gone to heaven.

Not even the black skeletal gates and grim security guards could ruin her euphoria.

"Name?" approached a balding guard with pitbull-like features. Steve's muscles shifted underneath her hands as she watched the guard eye Steve a little too much.

"Steve Rogers."

The guard's eyes bulged. With almost a robotic jerk, the guard turned and barked orders to open the gate. She hid her grin behind her boyfriend's shoulder. Sometimes it paid to be around Captain America.

The pitbull guard, Joseph he insisted, led them to the nearest parking lot where only a few cars and families were scattered about.

"I think I can safely add Joseph to the fan club." Rachel teased as she watched the guard from his post, eagerly speaking to his fellow guards.

Steve rolled his eyes and grabbed her hand, the other one holding a giant wicker basket. "I'm afraid to ask who the President is."

"We both know it will always be Coulson." She said, letting him lead her towards the back of the Estate. Steve stopped in front of a cherry blossom tree a few yards away from the mansion and away from prying eyes.

As Rachel spread the blanket while Steve began unpacking the basket, her phone began to vibrate. She smiled at the sight of her father's goofy face.

"Hi daddy," she greeted, excusing herself to a bench.

"Happy birthday pumpkin! How are you?" Rachel closed her eyes at the sound of her father's voice.

"I'm great, actually out with the boyfriend at the moment." she turned to face the man in question. He was sitting crosslegged, their food laid out artfully with a bottle of wine by his side. He winked at her.

"Oh? What did he surprise you with?" Her father asked, "Hopefully something great for my baby girl."

Rache smiled. "A picnic at the Rockefeller Estate."

There was a small pause.

"That's rather romantic," then her father paused again, his voice turning strange. "though with being the type of a man that he is, I thought he would take you somewhere a little more extravagant."

Rachel pulled back and stared at her phone. This was still her father's number. "Where did you get that idea? Steve's nothing like that."

"Steve?" Her father echoed her confusion. "Who's Steve? I thought you were dating Mr. Stark."

Rachel closed her eyes. When was the last time she had a proper conversation with her father?

"I'm so sorry daddy, " she sighed, tugging on the hemline of her shirt. "I haven't been such a good daughter lately. Tony and I are just friends. I'm dating his team member, Steve. You'd like him."

"I'm sure I will. Sorry pumpkin for the misunderstanding. I just saw the magazines…" Her father trailed off. Rachel sighed again. Damn paparazzi.

"I know."

They talked a couple more minutes about work and family gossip- her dad swearing that her cousin Vincent was part of some Men in Black goverment organization- before they hung up. Rachel promised to call very soon.

She returned to Steve's side and gratefully accepted the glass of wine he offered her. She smiled at the soft kiss he placed on her fingers.

"You alright?" Steve asked.

"Yeah," Rachel stared at her glass before taking a giant gulp. " yeah, I just never realized I was neglecting aspects of my life until that phone call."

"Your father mistaking Tony as your boyfriend?" Steve asked, smiling slightly. Rachel shook her head, she wasn't surprise that he had overheard her phone call. The superserum did wonders.

"Makes me wonder what else I've been neglecting." She said softly, lying her head against his shoulder. Steve gently placed his own against hers.

"Do you ever think of moving out of the tower?" He asked. Rachel fell silent. "I'm going to take that as a yes."

She sighed and looked up at him. "Being with you all…" Rachel trailed off, struggling to find the proper words to describe the Avengers. "It's exhilarating, even if I'm never in the midst of your battles. How could anyone ever understand Jarvis or supersoldiers or friendly assassins?"

Rachel poured herself another glass of wine. "It's wonderful, but sometimes I forget that it's not normal. It's why I refused to stay in the tower or accept any jobs from Tony for so long. Why I was eager to get out of SHIELD's payroll," She looked at him. "I'm afraid I'll lose myself in all of you and I think I've already started."

Steve reached forward and tucked a loose strand of hair away from her face, his blue eyes softening as he scoped her face. "Do you want me to help you look for a place?"

Rachel let out her breath and squeezed the hand that was cupping her face. She didn't know why she had been so worried. It was Steve. "Thank you, but I'm okay. Darcy's been eager to move to the city since Christmas. I'm sure she's picked out four different apartments already."

He chuckled and she leaned against him, allowing the comfortable silence to wash over them as they watched the people down in the gardens. She watched two little boys chase after each other, flower petals stuck in their hair.

"Do you ever have dreams of the dead?" Rachel asked softly, hypnotize by the cherry blossom petals dancing through the sky above their heads. It burned something in the back of her head like she was close to remembering something important.

Rachel's eyes widened, realizing that Steve had stayed silent longer than was appropriate, and turned to him. He had deep wrinkles across his forehead and his mouth twisted into a painful frown. His expressive eyes hidden from her.

It was like he finally caught up with his actual age.

"Steve, I-" Rachel began, guilty that she might have accidentally hurt him.

"There's never a day that I don't," He said hoarsely. They fell silent; Steve staring at his hands while Rachel watched him, biting her lip as she thought about what to say.

The kids' shrieks of laughter reached them. Rachel sighed.

"At least you have memories of them," She said, playing with a daisy beside her. "I hardly remember my mother."

"Did she..." Steve trailed off.

She shrugged, not daring to look at him."I was never able to find any records of her. No obituary, no bank statements, nothing. She just fell off the face of the earth."

"I dream about Bucky the most." Steve said, sounding as if the words had been ripped from his throat. Rachel tried not to breathe. This was the first time Steve had ever talked about Bucky. "Sometimes it's about the day he fell or the first time we met."

He rubbed his face. "The therapist says that drawing him would help ease the pain," Rachel bit her lip as tears began to form in his eyes "but I have hundreds of sketches of him and the pain is still there."

Rachel felt helpless as she wrapped her arms around him. She knew how to handle a distressed Tony. Heck, she was pretty good at keeping Clint and Natasha occupied, but this level of distress in Steve was completely out of her range. She just wanted Steve to be okay.

"I'm sorry," Steve said with a laugh as he entwined their hands together. "Bucky did always say I didn't know how to speak to a dame."

She kissed his cheek. "Well, I think you're doing fine so far."

He smiled, gently pushing her hair away from her face, before it faded into something else. Something more serious.

"What?" She asked, feeling her stomach do a flip.

"I love you, Rachel."

Grandmama Lewis. 12:30pm.

Rachel kissed Steve goodbye, taking care to keep her gaze and smile in steady. She didn't want him to worry.

"Tell Georgia I'll be seeing her tomorrow." Steve said, swinging a leg over her bike. Rachel mock-saluted him. "Have fun."

"We will." She promised, watching him drive away. Her smile dropped.

The coffeeshop her grandmama wanted them to meet was an unassuming place. The entrance and the walls surrounding it was completely made of glass, graffatti of Obama and his HOPE slogan painted on one of the windows.

Gathering her wits, she stepped into the store. Usher was playing softly in the background as people sat on colorful rugs and tree-shaped benches.

She spotted her grandmama, who was sitting on a swinging wicker chair, and waved. The turmoil in her stomach lessening at the sight of her.

"Happy Birthday Rae!" Her grandmama chirped, standing up to hug her. "I brought you a little something."

Grandmama Lewis handed her a small wrapped box. Rachel accepted it gleefully. Her grandmother always gave her the best gifts. She ripped open the wrapping paper and gasped. It was a robotic dog with a square body and tiny flaring horns as ears. On it's side, was a clock with red gems replacing the numbers.

"It's beautiful grandmama, thank you." Rachel said, tracing the filigree across the side of its face and back. Its beady red eye staring back at her.

"it was a gift from your grandpa you know," Grandmama Lewis said, leaning forward to pat the little dog. "That Brit really wanted me to get into Doctor Who and I was too sweet on him to tell him I thought it was boring."

Rachel carefully placed it on her lap "Darcy would freak if she heard you." She warned.

Georgia waved her hand.

They spent the first couple of minutes talking about how their day had been going. Rachel giggling hysterically as her grandma recounted her encounter with two young fans at the supermarket.

"-these poor little chickens thought I was Gene Kelly, telling me how much they loved me in that 'dancing movie with Astaire' and how they wished they were born in that era," Grandmama said, her eyes shining with amusement. "I wasn't going to be the one to break their hearts. So I took the picture."

Rachel shook her head. She couldn't help but think back to the time she was confused for that girl in Vampire Diaries. Teens could be a little zealous when it came to their favorite celebrities.

"Your time in the Chorus Line is almost over, isn't it?" Grandmama Lewis asked, taking a sip of her coffee.

"Yeah, I've already auditioned for Phantom and auditioning next week for the Cabaret. Hopefully, I'll get one of them." Rachel said, showing her her crossed-fingers.

She had a list back in her room, filled with running musicals and plays all over New York City. She even had Jarvis scanning for more.

"You will Sugah. " the former dancer said resolutely. Rachel smiled and wrapped her hand around hers. She didn't know where she would be without her grandmama.

"I love you grandmama." Rachel said softly. Her grandmother squeezed her hand, her eyes softening as she gazed at her granddaughter.

"Love you too, my precious Rae."

Thor 1pm.

"I am pleased you agreed to accompany me to this faire," Thor said softly, giving a young woman in a peasant dress their tickets. Rachel smiled at the star-struck ticketer. Thor was pretty hard not to recognized. "I know that we've not know each other for long, but I wish you to know that the family of my armed comrades is family of mine as well."

Rachel patted the arm hooked around hers. "Thank you for all of this." She said, her eyes lighting up at the sight of men and women dressed up in Medieval garb. Darcy must have told him about her obsession with Medieval movies.

Thor slightly bowed his head in acknowledgement and lead her past a fire-breathing man and flirtatious gypsys into a giant tent with a rickety old sign that read: Costume rental. A middle-aged woman smiled as they entered through the open flap, adjusting her long red sleeves as she reached them.

"Good day to one and all," She greeted, her eyes widening at the sight of Thor. Rachel watched in awe as the clerk immediately fell into a deep curtsy. "I cry you mercy my Lord for I did not recognize you. Peace be to your world."

Thor placed a hand on the trembling woman and smiled sweetly. "Cheerily, young maiden, thy soul is too kind. There is no need for these extravagancies. I am no royal here, merely a fellow dweller of Midgard."

After a brief scuffle of Thor trying to stop her from kneeling and her rambling about her knowledge of the Norse gods, the lady, gathering her bearing, ushered them further into the tent. "Is there any type of garment you are seeking?"

"Well I wouldn't want to look like a wench." Rachel piped up, catching sight of a revealing green dress. She scrunched her nose. She could practically hear the vulgar comments from Clint and Tony.

"Does this strike your fancy, m'lady?" their helper, Daisy, said pulling out a puffy green dress. "It's befitting of royal attention."

Rachel shook her head. She didn't want to die of heat stroke. An idea quickly formed in her head. "Thank you Daisy, but why don't you help Thor find an outfit while I look for mine? He's been pestering me about wanting to look like the Huntsman from that Kristen Stewart movie. Do you know what I mean?"

She winked at Thor's baffled look and rushed to the other side of the tent. Hidden behind rows of armor and petticoats, she let out a sigh of relief. Daisy was a nice lady, but Rachel was sick of catching her undressing Thor with her eyes.

Rachel perused through her section, smiling at little children trying on petticoats and waving around shields. Her eyes caught something blue and pulled it towards her. It was a simple tunic-dress. There with a even a mini cape.

"That is a fine choice, Lady Rachel," Thor spoke from behind her. Rachel yelped. He looked very handsome in his huntman outfit. Even mortal, she thought in surprise. "Lady Sif would have approved of it."

Rachel shrugged. "Thought we could match."

Once she was properly dressed, Daisy had refered to her as a huntress, they stepped back into the ruckus of the faire. Thor's expression shiftened into his excited "puppy" look and almost carried her past a large tents and privies to a wooden fence. Yards away, Rachel caught sight of knights climbing on horses.

"Oh, we made it just in time for the jousting." Rachel said excitedly. Thor carefully maneuvered them past the gathering crowds to the front of the fence.

Hidden drums began to beat in an even staccato. A young man in a feather hat rode out from a small tent that stood beside the largest area of watchers.

"Lord and Ladies, " the boy boomed, circling the field. "I am Figaro, Queen Elizabeth's valet and squire to the Count of York and I welcome you to the final joust of the day."

Cheers erupted from the crowd. Figaro turned to face the largest tent in the field. "Your majesty, the knights are ready to be called forth to this field. May I do so?" He asked.

A soft voice barely pierced the air, but the confirmation was irrefutable. Cheers erupted again.

"Lords and Ladies!" Figaro called, once the crowd had settled. "I call forth a knight that is known for his ruthlessness in battle and the winner of maiden's hearts, riding in blue and gold, Sir Gregory of Kent."

Whistles erupted as a handsome black man rode into the field, handing out roses to the women in the audience. Rachel laughed as she received hers and handed it off to a little girl sitting a top of her father's shoulders.

"Any words, Sir Gregory?" Figaro shouted from the center of the field. The knight trotted towards the Queen's tent and stopped in front of the queen, a beautiful woman with icy blue eyes and red hair.

"Only to ask my queen for her attention once I win the tournament." The knight bowed his head. Whistles and cheers rang throughout the crowd. Queen Elizabeth did not smile nor did she break her blank expression.

"If you win." She said slowly. The man beside her, her advisor from his beautiful garbs, waved the knight away. The knight bowed again and rode towards Figaro, a cocky smile on his face.

Drums sounded again.

"His opponent is a knight that is greatly loved by all of the Queen's court for her loyalty to the crown and intelligence in the field, riding in the colors of green and white, is Sir Ashdown of Thetford."

The crowd cheered, Rachel cheering the loudest she could, as a woman in impressive armour rode through the field in a black horse. She bowed her head as she passed the Queen and stopped at Figaro's other side. Sir Gregory leaned forward to whisper in her ear, but she pushed him off. The crowd laughed.

"Any words Sir Ashdown?" Figaro asked, ignoring the exchange. Ashdown surveyed the crowd and gave a slow smile. Rachel felt prickles at the back of her neck. Natasha would love her.

"If anyone is debating on betting on either of us, I suggest to get on with it," Ashdown flicked her braid over her shoulder. "because once I win, there will be plenty of money to collect."

That decided it. Rachel was going to get her number after the joust.

"Let the games begin! Knights! to your corners." Figaro announced before riding back to his small tent.

The trumpets sounded and Rachel couldn't help but grin at Thor's rapt attention. They had to make this an annual thing.

The first round was tent pegging. Rachel quickly explained how crucial it was for the knights to drive their weapon through a suspended ring on the first try. Thor and Rachel cheered as loud as they could at Sir Ashdown's success.

The second round was lances. Rachel had to hide her face against Thor's arm as the two knights approached each other. Sir Gregory won the round.

The final round, announced Figaro, was the sword fighting. The whole crowd fell silent as they watch Ashdown and Gregory fight with a fervor that seemed almost blood-thirsty.

"Who do you think is going to win?" Rachel asked quietly. Thor, without breaking away from the fight, said, "I have no doubt Ashdown will win."

Gregory jambed the hilt of his sword against Ashdown's chest, knocking her clean off the horse. She retaliated but spooking the horse and forcing Gregory to jump ship. Both horseless, they fought on foot, the sound of their swords colliding were the only noise in the arena.

With an expert twist of her arm, Ashdown knocked Gregory to the ground and stabbed her sword against his chainmail keeping him pinned.

Trumpets sounded and Figaro rode back into the field. "Lord and Ladies, your winner Sir Ashdown of Thetford!"

The young woman waved at the cheering crowd.

"I never knew Midgard could be that entertaining." Thor announced once they followed the dispersing crowd onto the trail.

"Do you have tournaments like these back in Asgard?" Rachel asked, waving goodbye to the little girl from earlier. She gripped Thor's wrist and dragged him to the castle in the hopes that she would find Ashdown there.

"We do, but we fight the great hVal to impress the Allfather. " Thor said proudly. Catching Rachel's confused look, he clarified. "A midgard scribe wrote a book about him. Called it Moby Dick."

Rachel opened her mouth, questions forming too fast in her mind to even comprehend what Thor had said, when she caught side of Ashdown. She let go of Thor and ran towards the young woman who seem to be leaving the castle.

"Excuse me! Miss Ashdown!" She called, apologizing profusely to the people she bumped into.

The Ashdown lady looked different out of her armour. Dressed in a bright green peasant dress and purple tulips resting in dark hair, she looked young. Rachel felt a twinge in her heart at the sight of the tulips.

"How fares huntress?" the knight said sweetly, waving her friends away. Rachel pulled her phone from her left boot and waved it.

"I was wondering if I could take a picture with you. I thought you did great at the tournament." The dancer praised. Ashdown agreed and wrapped her arm around her.

Thor approached them and quickly bowed towards Ashdown. "Lady Ashdown, I was most impressed by your skillfullness and spirit on the field. You would be a worthy warrior of the Allfather's guard."

The woman's eyes widened and glanced at Rachel. "Thank you?"

Rachel quickly sent the picture to Natasha, captioning it with: Interested? She fights dirty like you. "This is Thor. He's not from around here."

Ashdown nodded, even though Rachel knew she was probably confused, and smiled at them. "I'm glad you enjoyed the show. I cannot say the same for Gregory."

"Doesn't seem like he's too upset." Rachel commented as she watch the man talking to a pretty wench. Ashdown snorted.

"He will be once he sees me with my tongue down the Queen's throat." She smirked. Thor let out a booming laugh. The knight eyed the dancer for a moment.

"You know, huntress, you're missing your bow and arrow. Why don't you go to the blacksmith?" She asked.

Rachel shrugged. "Not sure where that is. Point me to the right direction?"

Ashdown led them towards the main trail and stopped. "Once you pass the Sherwood stage, you need to cross Robin hood's bridge and to your left will be the blacksmith." She grabbed Rachel's arm as she passed. "Careful with Robin Hood. You're definitely his type."

It took longer than it should have to reach the blacksmith. Robin Hood had been in need of a new wife and apparently Rachel had fit the bill nicely. Unsurprisingly, Thor raged, Robin Hood was his usual charming but cocky self, and a lengthy sword fight ensued that drew attention. Rachel wasn't pleased.

But she finally received her bow and quiver of arrows — purple in honor of her favorite archer — and she was now sitting on a stool, watching gleefully as Thor got his hair braided into an elaborate braid.

"Don't forget to put flowers." Rachel murmured to a passing hairstylist. The man winked at her.

She would never admit this to anyone, but this trip with Thor was quickly becoming her favorite birthday moment. She should probably consult Thor for Darcy's birthday.

"Malady, he is finished." the hairstylist announced. He turned Thor to face her and Rachel grinned. He looked pretty with pansies tucked in his hair.

"Pleased, Lady Lewis?" Thor asked. Rachel paid the hairstylist.

"Very. You look like the King of the Nymphs." She said pompously as they stepped out of the tent.

They walked down the trail through the forest, smiling at the fairies dancing pass and little children dressed as knights. They stopped to admire a giant chess rook, laying crookedly against its side.

"Would you like to hear a story?" someone rumbled. A bald man with deep-seated wrinkles and a bushy white beard stood beside the chest piece. He wore a brown frayed robe, his pale eyes peering at them. Rachel noted that they looked as old as Thor's.

"Of course, Bard, proceed." Thor said, smiling at the man.

"In a kingdom far, far away

before the earth had made its first turn

there were two powerful maidens.

One was the King's finest warrior.

With a heart of gold and a sword made out of the spirits of the afterlife,

she defeated the King's enemies with a ferocity and intelligence that never caused doubt of her place among the kingdom.

The other was the King's sorceress

Considered to be the gorgeous creature in the Kingdom, but with powers unparalleled. She was adored, but wearied by the people.

One fair day,

the King's warrior passed by a well,

showing images of our world,

and fell madly in love with a simple man.

For days,

she pleaded with the king to let her live the remainder of his life with him.

The King,

owing so much to this smitten woman,


Making her mortal.

Neither she or the King noticed

the hidden sorceress.

Her black rage brewing.

No one had ever known that the Sorceress was in love with the warrior maiden.

How could she choose a disgusting mortal over her?

Threatening to end the life of the heir,

the sorceress demanded the return of her beloved.

The King, wary of her insanity, agreed.

The warrior was returned back to the kingdom,

her heart and mind wiped of the mortal man,

and resumed her royal duties, never knowing of the great loss she left behind."

"And what happened to the sorceress?" Rachel asked, shivering as the bard turned his laser stare on her.

"She won the warrior's affection." He answered after a moment.

Thor thanked him for the story and led her out of the forest, a peculiar look on his face. Rachel looked at him.

"What's wrong?" She asked. Thor shook his head, waiting for a group of jokers to pass before he spoke,

"That tale sounds like an Asgardian one and only Asgardians know of it…" the god trailed off. Rachel looked over her shoulder, knowing that the Bard was looking at them.

Thor's part was really fun to write, but I had to cut out a lot of things. Maybe I'll put it in the outtakes. Review please.