Empire State University Stories (A Marvel College AU series)

Originally published in 2014 on the AO3. This is a college AU for the MCU that was born out of a desire to have more Thor/Ororo and Sam/Steve. It’s still technically in progress, but it’s been YEARS.

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Ororo nearly falls head over heels for him.

The left heel on Ororo Munroe’s favorite pair of purple stiletto boots snaps on her way down the stairs of her 9AM history class.

Ororo pitches forward, arms windmilling about as she tries to snag hold of anything — or anyone — that can stop her fall, but her fingers slide over the railing on the nearby wall as though it’s not even there and at first glance, it looks like all of her remaining classmates are too far away to be very helpful.

Ororo squeezes her eyes shut in preparation for a painful tumble down the stairs and says a silent prayer of thanks to whatever force in the universe was behind her leaving her laptop back in the dorms.

But then —

Ororo doesn’t fall.

She feels the world tilt around her, but instead of tumbling down the stairs, she feels strong hands at her waist. The hands are huge and warm, pressing in against her stomach through the wide black belt cinched tightly around her waist and for a second, Ororo kind of wonders if she’s dreaming this. Because this is a a mandatory history class that everyone hates.

There’s no way that anyone’d stick around long enough to see Ororo fall, much less make it across the room to grab her and break her fall. But then the hand curved tightly around her right side shifts, thick fingers rubbing against the belt and Ororo’s eyes fly open.

Coming face to face with a veritable god doesn’t make Ororo feel as though she isn’t dreaming it all, but then her rescuer smiles Ororo nearly melts as he sets her down on unsteady feet.

Big, broad, and blond with strong features and a few days’ worth of stubble darkening a strong jaw, the man keeping a steadying grip on Ororo’s waist is practically perfection. His looks in combination with the gentle smile on his face makes Ororo feel as though she’s about to fall over as her knees go weak, but she forces herself to keep her cool.


“Thanks,” Ororo breathes, hearing her voice shake slightly as she looks her rescuer up and down. Taking in the big body in front of her is a treat in and of itself and Ororo allows herself the opportunity to stare, hoping that the student in front of her files it away under her being stunned from her near-fall.

“You saved me.” She smiles at him then, reaching up with one hand to tuck several strands of white hair behind her ear that had escaped in the confusion. “I’m —”

Before Ororo can introduce herself, her would-be-rescuer does it for her.

“Ororo Munroe,” he says, smile growing impossibly wider. “I know.” He pauses for a second as if realizing how his words sound. In the next moment, his smile takes on a sheepish note. “I’m Thor. Thor Odinson. We had our freshman orientation seminar together last year.”

And he still remembers her?

The combination of Ororo’s dark brown skin and blindingly white hair means that she’s always easily recognizable, but Thor remembering her after a year is something else. It’s cute. It’s a little weird. It’s more than a little bit charming though, and Ororo smiles wider in response to Thor’s nervousness.

“It’s good to see you again,” Ororo says, meaning every word as Thor rocks on his heels in an utterly charming expression of nerves.

She glances around their now-empty classroom and then, before she can talk herself out of it, blurts out the last thing that anyone would expect her to say.

“Let me buy you breakfast,” Ororo says all in a rush as she looks up into Thor’s handsome face and feels the warmth of a heady blush rush to her cheeks. “Not just because you saved me, but you know… so we can catch up.” She glances down at where the heel of her boot has rolled to the side of the staircase and makes a face at it. “If you don’t mind waiting for me to change my shoes, that is.”

Thor starts nodding his head almost before Ororo finishes speaking.

“I don’t,” Thor says. “Mind, that is.” He smiles and Ororo can’t help smiling back at him. “Meet you at the cafeteria in fifteen?”

Ororo makes a face at the mention of their school’s less than stellar main source of food.

“Oh no,” she drawls, thinking of the car she’s had parked up outside of Holland Hall for the past week. Any chance to get off campus is one Ororo’ll take and stuffing Thor with something that wasn’t premade or scraped out of a can just makes her reasoning feel all the more sound. “Food tastes so much better when you get if off-campus. Meet me by the check in desk for Holland in twenty and we’ll head to the Waffle House or something.”

There’s a second where Thor looks at Ororo with a look on his face that’s just stunned. He looks almost though he’s the one that’s worried about being caught dreaming and Ororo almost offers to pinch him.

“You do like waffles don’t you?

Thor’s smile is open and friendly. His fingers flex, a clear sign that he wants to reach out and touch Ororo, but he pulls back slightly instead of testing the waters. “Twenty minutes. Holland. Got it. I’ll be there.”

Ororo smiles. “Then it’s a date.”

The pink flush that steals across the bridge of Thor’s long nose makes Ororo want to do a little blushing of her own.

Keeps on giving

Ororo has the best roommate in the world.


Author’s Note:

Characters/Pairings: Jean Grey & Ororo Munroe, + implied Thor/Ororo and Jean/Scott

Prompt – Winter


Ororo bumps into her roommate in front of the elevator bank in Holland Hall.

“Mornin’, Jean,” Ororo says, smiling as she watches Jean Grey juggle her books and a cup of still-steaming coffee from the good place on campus. “Kitty’s knocked out on my bed so don’t wake her up when you go in. We were working on her paper all night.”

Jean’s green eyes widen, and she slaps the palm of one hand against her forehead. “Oh shit! I forgot I was supposed to help her with that paper.” She offers Ororo a weak smile. “I owe you so much for this. For helping and for letting her sleep over. Thanks a bunch.”

“It’s fine,” Ororo insists, “I finished all my work in my night class and I had time to spare. And you know me — there’s no way I’d let Kitty head out into the snow when there was a free bed in the room.”

Jean’s smile strengthens, and she holds out her cup to Ororo.

“Here, ‘Roro,” she says, wiggling the cup a little and frowning when Ororo just looks at her instead of taking it, “At least take this before you head out there. It’s freaking freezing and I know your religion class is on the other side of campus.”

Ororo takes a sip of the hot coffee and then sighs, feeling warm all the way down to her toes at that first hit of chocolate and rich caffeine.

“You always know the way to my heart, Jean,” Ororo says. “You’re the best roommate a girl could ask for.”

Jean beams. “I know, right? Oh —” She pauses and pats at the side of her messenger bag. “I’ve got something for you. It was in the mail when I was heading out.”

With her right hand now free, Jean shoves all of her books into her bag. She rummages around in her bag for a moment before yanking out a small, flat box that has a handwritten label on the front of it.

“It’s for you,” she says, a bit unhelpfully.

Ororo looks at the small package. “For me?”

Jean shrugs. “That’s what it says on the label.”

“Hold my coffee?” Ororo asks, eyes already fixed on the box that Jean has in her hand.

The box opens easily enough, and a river of soft, blue fabric pours into Ororo’s open hand, threatening to spill out of her hand onto the floor. Ororo rubs two fingers against the material and inwardly marvels at the weave.

“It’s a scarf,” Ororo breathes.

Jean reaches out and touches the scarf piled up in Ororo’s hand. “I didn’t look at the label, but who’s it from?”

Flipping the box around, Ororo glances at the label. It’s from — “Thor,” she breathes.

“Thor,” Jean repeats, one eyebrow raised in question. “You’ve got a Norse god sending you scarves that magically match your eyes?”

Ororo rolls her eyes. “Shut up, Jean,” she mutters, half-serious. “He’s in my religion class. We’ve gone out a few times, no big deal.”

Jean wiggles her fingers at the scarf. “He’s buying you accessories, ‘Roro. Cashmere accessories. I think that’s a pretty big deal.”

Rolling her eyes and fighting back a fond smile at the thought of her… Thor, Ororo winds the scarf around her neck, making sure that she doesn’t trap her hair underneath it. There isn’t a mirror anywhere on the first floor and unless Ororo wants to stare at the nearby elevator’s shiny doors, she’s got nowhere to look at her reflection.

“You look fine,” Jean says. She reaches out and nudges aside a pit of pale hair from where it dangles in front of Ororo’s eyes. “Thor won’t know what hit him. Now go on, I need to go upstairs and get some sleep.”

Ororo can’t resist ribbing her best friend. “Scott kept you up all night?”

Jean shoots her a dirty glare that looks a little out of place on her face. “Only because he spent the whole night editing a paper for his English lit class. He didn’t turn the lights out until three in the morning.”

“Poor baby,” Ororo coos. “Hand over the coffee and I’ll let you go upstairs. Want me to give Scott dirty looks in our class?”

“Please do,” Jean says with a grateful look on her face. She hands Ororo the coffee and then waves before heading to the stairs. Over her shoulder, she calls out, “Have fun with your Norse god.”


Ororo is five minutes late for her world religion class.

The professor gives her a mildly dirty look as she drops down into the aisle seat that Thor has saved for her every day since their first meeting, but Ororo can’t bring herself to care. She nudges Thor’s thigh with her knee and then, once she has his attention, leans in to brush a kiss against his stubble-roughened cheek.

“Thanks for the scarf,” she whispers into his ear.

Thor’s answering smile leaves Ororo feeling warmer than the coffee and scarf combined.



An invitation to a pool party incites waterworks of a different kind.

Author’s Note:


Characters/Pairings: Jean Grey & Ororo Munroe, + past Jean/Scott and current Emma/Scott

Prompt – Water

Notes: I always kinda feel like Scott did wrong by Jean and I wanted to experiment with that in the college AU while having it feel like what goes in with regard to dating in college. (Despite my Scott/Jean feels being incredibly conflicted, I wanted to make sure that it was realistic in terms of reactions and stuff and show that it’s a relatively natural way that college relationships end that is still really sad. Jean Grey is a touch telepath and telekinetic.


Normally, Ororo adores Emma Frost.

But normally, there isn’t a hand-decorated invitation to pool party at Emma’s sorority house waiting in her mailbox with the words “Be there or be prepared for me to pick you up myself” written on the back in Emma’s neat handwriting along with Saturday’s date.

Ororo likes parties well enough, but Emma’s parties are something else altogether.

Jean leans on Ororo’s shoulder as she glances at the card. When her eyes fall on the loopy script of Emma’s signature, she frowns and Ororo’s key starts to jiggle in the lock as her telekinesis reaches for an outlet.

“I thought you two broke up back when you were in undergrad,” Jean says, her tone accusing enough that Ororo actually feels anger slice through her. For someone that likes almost everyone that she meets, Jean has had a bone to pick with Emma since day one. Ororo doesn’t know the whole story, but then… Maybe she doesn’t want to know.

Ororo doesn’t sigh. Not out loud at any rate.

“We’re still friends, Jean,” she says with all of the patience of someone that has had the same argument multiple times over the past few years. “I know you don’t like her, but I can’t just ditch her, you know?”

Calling Jean’s scowl “thunderous” would be putting it mildly.

Within seconds though, Jean’s face crumples and waves of sad-hurt-shamed slam through Ororo’s head as Jean loosens some of the tight grip she has on her shields. In the aftermath of that accidental blast of psychic energy, Jean’s breath catches on a hiccupping sob and she scrubs at her eyes with shaking fingers.

“I-I’m sorry!”

If there’s one thing that Ororo can’t hold out against, it’s a crying Jean Grey.

Ororo reaches for her roommate, pulling the other woman into a hug that manages to crush the invitation between their bodies. She tucks Jean’s head under her chin and tries her best to think of all of the positive thoughts that she can so that Jean can soak them up.

“Hey, Jeanie,” Ororo says in a low voice as she strokes the downy fluff of Jean’s red bob, “Don’t cry. It’s okay.”

Jean shakes her head against the side of Ororo’s neck, sending white blonde hair puffing into the air with every breaths. “N-no it’s not.”

Ororo frowns. “Well… why not?”

“Because Scott –” Jean utters another sob and then clutches Ororo hard enough that all the air in her lungs rushes out in a grunt. “Scott w-wanted a break an-and Emma — she was so nice to him an-and he likes her so much. I bumped into him in the education building and I just knew everything.”



Emma wouldn’t…

Except, yeah, Emma so would.

Not out of any real desire to hurt Jean, Ororo knows, but because she wanted him and he was there and available. But either way, it still ends with Jean sobbing in her arms. And that’s just not right.

“Want me to beat him up?” Ororo offers, only half-joking. “Thor can hold him down while I mess up his hair or make it rain on his lit notes. Nobody gets to make you cry except me, Jeanie. That’s what roommates are for.”

Jean’s sobbing turns to subdued laughter and she squeezes Ororo again. “N-no,” she says, speaking softly as she tries to smile. “I think I’m okay.”

Ororo rubs her roommate’s back. “Just okay?”


“Well then I guess we’re not breaking out the Haagen-Dazs tonight,” Ororo teases. “Since you’re ‘okay’…”

“No way!”

Do or don’t

After their first real date following a series of not-dates, Thor and Ororo linger in the snow outside Holland Hall. A decision is made soon after.

Author’s Note:

Characters/Pairings: Thor/Ororo Munroe

Prompt – Walk Away

Note: I’d rate this PG-13. You’d see the actions in a Disney movie, but not the scenario or the internal thoughts.

It is absolutely freezing outside.

Despite the fact that Ororo is using all of the power that she can in order to raise the temperature around them, the sky is still gray and threatening to snow.

Ororo shivers, clutching her heaviest winter coat tight around her body as an icy blast of wind whips through the breezeway between Holland Hall and the Tower. In front of her, Thor doesn’t even look bothered by the freezing winds or the snow that starts drifting down in the next moment to land in his blond hair.

“You really didn’t need to walk me to my dorm,” Ororo points out, smiling a little as she looks up at Thor’s face. “I could have dropped you off by your building on our way back. I can take care of myself, you know.”

Ororo reaches out and squeezes one of Thor’s big hands, wishing that it could have been just warmer out so that she could feel the warmth of his skin instead of the smooth, worn leather of his gloves.

Thor shakes his head, offering Ororo the sort of soft smile that never fails to make her feel like swooning.

“I know,” Thor says, speaking lowly as he steps close enough that Ororo has to let Thor’s hand go so that she can rest it on his hip instead. He moves his hand as well, resting it against the small of her back. “I wanted to walk you home anyway.”

The weight of that big hand through that coat feels like a lot of things to Ororo. It feels like a promise, like a tease, like… like Ororo’s going to cry if she has to go up to her room by herself.

Ororo shivers again, but this time, it has nothing to do with the weather. Her gloved fingers flex against Thor’s hip and she finds herself staring at his very pink, very close mouth.

“D-do you want to come up?” Ororo asks, rushing as she feels a blush burn at her cheeks. Thankful for both the poorly lit breezeway around them and the darkness of her skin, she manages a smile for Thor that doesn’t feel strained.

Thor blinks. “Hm?”

Ororo repeats herself despite the sudden dread that rises up to choke her at the thought of Thor walking back to his dorm in the dark. “Do you want to come up — for a little while, I mean. Jean’s been away for a conference all week and she’s not due back until the end of break. You can sleep on her bed tonight if you don’t want to come back out here.”

Thor licks his lips, frowning a bit before the expression on his face clears to one that’s more neutral.

“You’re asking me to sleep over?” He sounds nervous to Ororo’s ears, like he can’t believe that she’s the one asking him up for what is obviously, pretty plain attempt at getting to be alone with him. “Are you sure?”

“Yes!” Somehow, Ororo manages to keep from just plain dragging Thor into her dorm and up the stairs. Somehow. “Please?”

It’s the please that does it.

Thor smiles again and it’s like the sun is coming out again despite the fact that it’s close to midnight. He leans in, his chapped lips pressing against her sticky strawberry scented lip-gloss in a quick kiss that still manages to make Ororo feel like she’s been zapped with a spark of electricity.

“Again?” Ororo asks in an embarrassingly plaintive whisper of breath. “Kiss me again?”

“Not until we get upstairs,” Thor murmurs, his hungry gaze fixed firmly on Ororo’s mouth where his own had been pressed not even a moment before. The hand that he has pressed to Ororo’s back flexes, pressing her body against his own hard enough that Ororo kind of winds up distracted by Thor’s… Thorness.

“You suck,” Ororo says when Thor breaks the contact between their bodies, complaining half-heartedly as Thor stands there and beams at her. She reaches out and snags one of his hands before towing him in the direction of Holland Hall’s front doors. “Fine, we’re going upstairs, but you owe me a kiss when we get there.”

House on fire

Sam Wilson meets Ororo Wilson at the first Black Student Union meeting of their sophomore year. This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Author’s Note:

Characters/Pairings: Sam Wilson & Ororo Munroe

Prompt – Community

Note: I deviated from the original prompt in the challenge so I could do this since the original prompt was just not working for me in this universe. I think this is way better than what I was trying to do originally and also: hey this is awesome because it’s backstory and character development at the same time.

It had taken Sam a whole year to get up the courage to walk into the classroom where Empire State University’s Black Student Union has been meeting from before Sam had even graduated from high school.

A whole freaking year.

And despite his newfound courage, Sam still slips into the back of the classroom ten minutes into the meeting feeling like he’s intruding. Despite the fact that he’s easily one of the tallest people in the room, he still tries to be as inconspicuous as possible as he walks toward first open seat that he finds.

At first, when Sam drops into the seat beside a dark-skinned girl with white hair done up in tight box braids, he’s still tense with nerves from hyping it up so much. It’s only when, a moment later when his presence is acknowledged with nothing more than nods or smiles, it feels like a weight is removed from his shoulders.

Sure, Sam doesn’t pay any attention to the meeting itself, but the important thing is that he’s finally in one.

Ten minutes later, when the sit-down part of meeting starts to come to a close, the young woman sitting beside Sam tries her best to get Sam’s attention.


The whisper, accompanied by the not-so-pleasant jab of long fingernails into his left arm, makes Sam jump in his seat. When Sam turns his head to look at the girl sitting beside him, she rewards him by giving him a sunny smile as everyone around them starts talking amongst themselves.

“I’m Ororo,” she says, turning in her seat so that she can offer Sam her hand to shake. “Ororo Munroe. I’m a sophomore. It’s nice to meet you.”

“Sam Wilson. And um — same here. On um — both counts.”

Ororo has a nice, strong handshake and Sam doesn’t sense anything but sincerity on her face.

“Nice bracelet,” Ororo says a second later once they stop shaking hands, still smiling as she gestures at the rainbow beaded band around Sam’s left wrist.

Before Sam can figure out what he can say to an opener like that (besides a plain and somewhat inane, ‘Thanks,”), she pulls a silver chain out from her shirt and holds it up so he can see the sun-shaped rainbow pendant at the end of it. “I got mine during Pride last year when I went with my ex Emma. What about you?”

Something in Sam relaxes at that casual admission.

“My first boyfriend. His name was um — Riley,” Sam says softly, smiling at the memories that saying Riley’s name recalls. “He made it for me in senior year.”

Ororo reaches out and then touches the tip of one finger to the side of the bracelet.

“Cool,” she says, her eyes crinkling up at the corners as she smiles at him. “So, this was your first BSU meeting huh?”

Sam blinks. “Excuse me?”

Ororo’s smile widens. “I know a newbie when I see one. I was the same way last year.” She pats Sam’s arm. “Don’t worry, I’ve got your back.”

Open Book

“I was sick a lot and short as a kid,” doesn’t cover a whole lot.

Four stories about Steve’s childhood, his health, and growing up.

Author’s Note:

Characters/Pairings: Steve Rogers, Sarah Rogers, Bucky Barnes, Dr. Abraham Erskine, Darcy Lewis

Prompt: The Body

Note: Major thanks to luna-black for looking over this for me! I totally accidentally mixed up the prompts for today and tomorrow, but whatever, the important thing that there’s backstory and at least one more day of my getting the hang of Steve’s voice before I go back to my love in for Ororo.

Contains: descriptions of illness (asthma and implied stuff) and a rehashing and modern take on some of the science stuff in Cap1.


Steve’s a small kid.

Tiny even, if he’s willing to be honest.

Where Bucky had his first growth spurt and shot up like a weed by the time they were eleven and even Rebecca was catching up on him, Steve still had to stand on the tips of his toes to reach the cereal on top of the fridge. Never mind how he had already resigned himself to never being able to reach the top shelf of anything before he had even done much growing.

Being short was so not fun.

Still isn’t fun, considering how Steve is fourteen going on fifteen now and just as small as he was when Rebecca used to make him and Bucky get down on the floor with her and play dolls while one of the college kids in their building pretended to be watching them. The only thing that really has changed is that Rebecca, at eleven, is finally and officially taller than he is.

Speaking of the little pest —

“Give me back my game,” Rebecca shouts, screaming loudly enough at Bucky that even though there’s a wall between their bedrooms –and a whole apartment besides– it’s like he’s in there with them instead of overhearing their fight. “Give it back! It’s mine!”

Steve pauses in his sketching, pencil hovering over the smooth paper of his sketchbook as he contemplates whether or not he wants to take his spare key and go break it up before Rebecca starts throwing everything she can at her brother.

Bucky’s voice, deeper than it was when they were kids, echoes through the air.

Your game,” he says, voice angry enough that Steve can almost picture the snarl on his best friend’s face. “Nana sent that for me and you took it! Ooh, you’re such a freaking pain, Becca!”

Becca shouts wordlessly at her brother and Steve flinches moments before he hears the thud of something striking the wall in between their respective bedrooms. It’s a hard sound, true, but since it isn’t followed by the faint tinkling of glass or Bucky screaming about his game, Steve tells himself that he’s going to ignore all the other noises that he hears.

That resolve lasts all of five minutes later when Steve’s mom’s cellphone lights up and the text alert that Becca chose for her brother starts to go off on top of the battered nightstand next to his bed.

Bucky: Do you have any wood glue left?

Steve: Y?

Bucky: Becca needs you to fix something for her.

Steve: What’s in it for me?

Bucky: 2 pieces of of Ma’s apple pie + new comic books???

Steve: I’ll be right there

In his haste to get next door for some of Winnie Barnes’ famous apple pie, Steve nearly forgets to grab the tube of glue from where it’s been stuffed in his small supply box all summer.


In their sophomore year, their regular gym teacher (the one that thinks Steve can do no wrong and brings him and Bucky cookies at least once a week) goes on a honeymoon with her new wife and their class gets a substitute teacher for the rest of the week.

But not just any substitute. No, they get the substitute from hell.

He makes them do laps all the freaking time except for when he forces them to play some kind of team sport where Steve is picked last every time unless Bucky’s one of the team captains. And if Steve has to be condescended at one more time, he’s going to wind up saying or doing something that won’t look so hot on his permanent record.


“What’s wrong with the little guy again?” Steve hears the substitute teacher ask one of the other kids in the class when he passes by the teacher on his way around the track. This probably isn’t the first time that the guy has said something about him all day and it’s definitely not the first time he’s done so all week.

The guy’s a jerk.

Steve grits his teeth and keeps on running, pushing past the ache in his joints and the way his chest sort of starts to get tight with every second he keeps trying to push himself. He doesn’t hear what his classmate says to the sub, but it doesn’t matter, it never matters.

Either Steve’ll be lucky and the classmate — a girl that’s lived down the block from him since preschool — will be one of the few kids that’ll say something nice, or he’ll be really unlucky and wind up being the butt of yet another joke going around their high school.

He frowns and pushes himself harder, lifting his knees higher even though every movement doesn’t make him hurt, as though his knees aren’t knocking together and like he’s not well on his way to having an asthma attack.

Bucky comes up on Steve’s right side, slowing down so that he doesn’t pass Steve the way he’s been doing all class.

“You okay, man?” Bucky asks, one hand coming down hard on Steve’s shoulder and keeping him from moving.

“Y-yes,” Steve gasps. A moment later, when Bucky gives him a narrow-eyed look, he recants. “Okay, no. No. I’m not.” It’s not as bad as it could be, but yeah no… Steve’s not okay. He pats himself down, feeling for the inhaler he usually keeps in his pockets.

The inhaler, Steve realizes with a slowly dawning horror settling in his stomach, that is currently still in the front pocket of his hoodie. The hoodie that is currently taking up space in his locker.

Bucky frowns, noticing the misplaced inhaler about the same time that Steve does. “Shit, Steve –”

“I know,” Steve hisses.

Bucky turns to face the substitute teacher and the rest of the students on the bleachers and raises his hand. “Excuse me um, sir,” he says loudly enough that the substitute teacher can hear him clearly above the chatter. “Can I take Steve to the nurse’s office?”

The sub actually has the gall to say, “Why? Can’t he walk there himself?”

“Excuse me –”

Steve shakes his head before Bucky can let fly with something that’s guaranteed to earn them both a referral.

“He’s having an asthma attack, sir,” Bucky says, the ends of his words clipped with anger. “Can we leave or not?”


Dr. Erskine is hands down the best doctor that Steve has ever had in his nineteen years of life.

He doesn’t bat an eye when Steve troops into the examination room in his building followed by his mother and Bucky. When he starts the preliminaries — taking Steve’s blood, testing his reflexes and the like — he doesn’t react like some of the other medical professionals that Steve has seen over the years, the ones that look at him and at the notes in his chart and ask “How are you walking around?” as though that’s funny or remotely professional.

Instead, he takes copious amounts of notes as Steve and Bucky watch, explaining as he goes.

Eventually, Dr. Erskine rests his clipboard down on the counter behind him and turns to face Steve and his family. The brief but intense look on his face transforms his features somewhat, making him look less like the kindly grandfather that comes to mind whenever Steve looks at him.

“First things first,” Dr. Erskine says, “This is a highly experimental procedure. While Steve is by far the best candidate for the procedure among our applicants, that doesn’t mean that the procedure is guaranteed to be a success. You need to be aware that there may be side effects or complications resulting from the procedure.”

Steve feels like his heart leaps straight up into his throat.

“Side effects?” His mother’s voice echoes Steve’s thoughts and he turns to look at where she’s sitting in the room’s only chair next to where Bucky has to be holding up a section of the wall with how hard he’s leaning on it. “What kind of side effects? Are you saying my baby could die?”

“Ma –”

She shakes her head. “No, Steve. No. We need to know.”

“Yeah, Steve,” Bucky says even though his eyes are fixed on Dr. Erskine, “Let’s hear what the good doctor has to say okay?”

Dr. Erskine tells them everything. Everything Steve knew about the experimental procedure and the cooperation between the head of Stark Industries and the government along with a few things that he didn’t know. Like the side effects. The near endless list of side effects and complicated complications that could happen to Steve if his body reacts badly to the serum.


Steve shudders once the doctor is done with his list, forgetting for a moment that he’s in a room with two of the most overprotective people he knows.

“You don’t have to do this, sweetie,” his mom says softly, looking at him with the telltale gleam of tears in her eyes. “It’s a big risk.”

Steve nods. “Yeah, it is. But I want to do it — I need to do it. You know?”

When his mom’s bottom lip quivers, Steve’s resolve very nearly breaks, but then Bucky pats her shoulder and offers her a smile that’s only a little strained around the edges.

“Hey, don’t worry, Sarah,” Bucky says, ignoring the way that Steve narrows his eyes at him for using his mom’s first name, “Our boy’s tough. Okay?”

When his mom nods, Steve feels tension seep out of his shoulders and spine. He glances over at where Dr. Erskine is holding another clipboard, this one with the tiny print of medical forms.

“So,” Steve says, making himself smile despite his nervousness. “Where do I sign?


“Jesus, you’re freaking huge!”

Steve will never get used to hearing someone say that about him. Especially not from pretty girls that look at him and not through him like they used to when the only thing they needed him for was Bucky’s phone number or help in History. (Not that the girls that look at him now see the real him either, but Steve tries not to think about it too hard.)

In the years following his time with Dr. Erskine and the procedure he’s still not sure he’s allowed to think about without violating any number of NDAs he signed when the program had started, Steve has shot up and up and up. Growing a foot taller and gaining at least a hundred pounds in that little time was — jarring to say the least.

So Steve blinks, bemused because he’s still not quite sure if something like that is supposed to be a compliment.

“Excuse me?”

The dark-haired girl sitting at the sign-in sheet in the Stark Industries-sponsored section of on-campus housing at ESU grins at him.

“Well it’s true,” she says, gesturing at Steve’s body with the uncapped pen in her right hand. “You’re built like an MMA fighter and a Greek god did the nasty. Where on earth did Stark Industries find you?”

Steve hears himself say a quietly stunned “Oh my god,” as the girl’s grin widens and and wiggles her eyebrows at him.



“Where’d they find you? The middle of Kanas or something, cause you look mighty corn fed to me and I want to know if you have a clone or a brother somewhere out there.”

Steve finds himself laughing before he can catch himself.

“I’m from Brooklyn,” Steve says. “Just Brooklyn. And um — can I sign in? Please?”

In a snap, the girl’s demeanor goes from teasing to mostly professional. She holds a small hand for Steve’s ID and then flicks through the stack of papers in front of her once she looks at his student number.

“Steven Grant Rogers,” she announces with the sort of relish that only people that don’t have middle names can have. “You’re in luck! You’re in my building.” She holds out his card and when he takes it, she beams at him. “I’m Darcy Lewis, your new RA.”

Steve blinks slowly. “Okay… Um. What do I do now?”

Darcy looks up at him, mouth twisted in a faint frown. “Do you already have your stuff on campus?”

Steve nods. “Yeah, some of them. I’m driving back home to get the rest of my stuff tomorrow.”

“Good,” Darcy says decisively. “Wanna help me sign people in until my shift is done? I’ll bet it’s more fun than getting unpacked and I can pick your brain while I’m at it.”

“Why would I want to do that?” Steve asks, honestly confused.

Darcy shrugs and then scrunches up her face at him. “Because I’m your RA and it’s my job to know what makes you tick?” She pauses and then waves in a way that encompasses Steve’s whole body. “Besides, I think I probably should apologize for well… all of that junk earlier. I’m your RA but I’m also a stranger and I was pretty freaking rude. I should save that sort of thing for when our friendship deepens.”

“How –”

Darcy winks at him.

“Psych major. I like… read people, you know? It’s my thing. As long as I pay attention to what I’m picking up and all.” She pats the empty seat next to her and offers Steve a winning smile. “So, Steve, cop a squat and I’ll tell you everything you need to know about ESU.”

Something you never had

It’s a little bit more than “Best Friend Privilege”.

Author’s Note:

Characters/Pairings: Steve Rogers, Bucky Barnes

Prompt: The Muse

“What’re you drawing?”

From as far back as Steve can remember Bucky has never bothered to wait for Steve to give him an answer to that question or pass one of his sketchbooks over. He reaches for the sketchbook, pulling it easily out of Steve’s hands and settling the huge book across his lap.

Steve scowls, crossing his arms over his thin chest.

“Give it back, Bucky,” Steve says, wincing as a plaintive note entering his voice. “I don’t want you looking —”

Bucky waves away Steve’s complaints with one hand. “You never want me to see what you’re drawing,” he points out, a faint frown turning down his mouth.  Then he smiles, fingers dancing over the sketchbook’s decorated cover. “That’s why I took it.”

Steve sputters wordlessly for several seconds, helpless to find the words that he wants to say — that he can say with Bucky’s mom cooking dinner for them just a room away. In the end, he settles for deepening his scowl and settling back against the arm of the couch, head turned so that he can at least see what it is that Bucky’s looking at in his book and dive for it if that becomes necessary.

When it becomes necessary, because Steve is only just starting to remember that there are a few pages in the back of this sketchbook that he really doesn’t need Bucky seeing and teasing him over.

At the front of the book, Steve knows, are pictures of their friends and various family members in various situations both real and fantastical. The middle holds his brief forays into creating comics — mostly unfinished. As for the last third of his latest sketchbook…

Well, Steve has to hope that Bucky gets bored long before he gets there because Steve knows him.

“You’re a jerk, Bucky,” Steve says in the wake of those thoughts, the frown on his face only lasting for a moment longer before he feels it melts away into a crooked little half-smile. “You better not bend any of the pages.”

Bucky rolls his eyes at Steve, the gesture both fond and exasperated.

“I’m not going to bend anything,” Bucky says as he flips open the sketchbook with far less care than Steve likes to see near his sketchbooks. “You worry too much.”

“And you don’t worry enough,” Steve retorts, still glancing worriedly at the sketchbook splayed across Bucky’s lap.

Bucky utters a noncommittal hum in response, fingers of one hand sliding carefully over the smooth pages in front of him as he stares at the book on his lap. His other hand comes up to scratch at the nape of his neck where brown hair hangs down to his shoulders and curls against the collar of his shirt.

“Seriously, Steve,” Bucky breathes after a few minutes go by with him barely making it past the front of the book “Why aren’t you at some fancy arts high school again?” He turns the page and then pauses, squinting at the image in front of him before he lifts the book and turns it around so that Steve can see it. “This is good, Steve. How long did it take you to do this?”

The picture that Bucky seems captivated by is one of Steve’s best works, an almost finished image of Bucky in his JROTC uniform that Steve did after the school’s last rally. It’s a good picture even to Steve’s overly critical eyes, carefully inked lines colored with the lightest press of colored pencil.

It’s one of the best drawings that Steve has done of Bucky in their whole lives, and Steve would know considering how many drawings there are of his best friend in his various sketchbooks.

Feeling his face burn with a blush, Steve shakes his head. “Not long,” he murmurs, feeling strangely exposed with how Bucky looks at him like he can’t believe what he’s seeing. “I draw stuff like that all the time, Bucky. I did something like this for Becca’s birthday, remember?”

Bucky shrugs and then smiles at Steve. “Yeah, but it’s different when it’s my face you’re drawin’, you know?”

Steve shakes his head, trying to will the flush on his cheeks to fade before Bucky can add that to his arsenal too.

“Do you want it?”

“Hm?” Bucky’s lips purse with a frown that Steve tries hard not to focus on.

Steve repeats himself. “Do you want the picture?”

Bucky glances down at Steve’s sketchbook and then, after several moments of quiet stretch between them, he shakes his head.

“Nah,” he says, dragging the one syllable word out as his eyes gleam with happiness. “This is good, but you should keep it. It’s yours.”

A bad influence on you

Emma’s middle name might as well be “Trouble”.

Author’s Note:

Characters/Pairings: Emma Frost/Ororo Munroe

Prompt: Spring

Note: So Ororo/Emma is fast becoming my one of my favorite Ororo-ships in this universe. I feel like in this verse at least, they bring out the best and worst of each other. Emma brings out Ororo’s inner wild child at the same time that Ororo’s like “um… Emma, we’re not all rich white people so calm down before we get arrested please”. And it amuses me intensely. This is mostly SFW but there’s flirting and uber light petting.

Contains: potential misuse of telepathy as a result of the fetishization of black women and queer ladies, implied class issues/differences

“I am not crashing someone’s pool party,” Ororo says, voice sharp as she tilts her head back against the couch in Emma’s massive walk-in closet. “Do you remember how bad that usually goes? We’re not in a movie, Emma. This is real life.”

Emma kicks off the glossy white Louboutins she had been trying on and then puts her hands on her hips.

“Why not?” Emma asks, mouth tensing with a tight frown. “You don’t complain when we crash parties on campus. We always go to parties together.”

Ororo shakes her head.

“That’s on campus, Em,” she points out. “You know, where our powers are ‘tolerated’ and using them isn’t a one-way trip to jail for the night. Your idea of crashing a party always involves using our powers and I am not in the mood to spend a night in jail anytime soon because you were bored.”

Emma all but stalks over to the couch before flinging herself down beside Ororo.

“We wouldn’t get caught,” Emma mutters, reaching out to curl her fingers in against one of the dozens of tiny braids in Ororo’s white hair. She tugs that braid gently and then offers Ororo a smile. “But if we did, Daddy would bail us out.”

Ororo rolls her eyes. “Your dad hates me.”

“So what? He hates me too, but you don’t see that stopping me from having fun with his money,” Emma says, an undertone of bitterness in her voice. “And it won’t stop him from bailing us out on the off chance that I used my powers and got caught. That sort of thing wouldn’t look good for his image, you know?”

Emma presses closer to Ororo on the couch, her hand moving from Ororo’s hair down to her arm as she projects only feelings and thoughts that remind Ororo of all the fun that they usually get up to at these parties.  Most of those thoughts aren’t even close to being PG-13 and Emma knows it.

“Don’t you want to have some fun before we go back to school?”

Emma’s hand drifts as she talks, sliding down to where Ororo’s crop top bares just enough dark brown skin to Emma’s hungry eyes and always wandering hands to make her mouth feel dry.

“We’re college freshmen, Ororo,” Emma purrs as she scratches her nails over Ororo’s stomach until her girlfriend’s breath catches. “It’s our job to get a little wild.”

Ororo shudders, flushing darkly enough that she swears it has to be visible through her skin. “You’re evil,” she says with a sigh of longing underlying her words. “Pure evil, Emma.”

Emma beams and then, as quick as a lightning strike, presses a kiss to the corner of Ororo’s mouth.

“But you’ll go?”

Ororo manages a put-upon sigh. “Yeah, Emma. I’ll go.”

Emma’s smile sharpens.

“Good,” she says, “Now get up so I can find you something to wear. I think you’d look good in this white one-piece I got in Cannes.”

Ororo frowns. “You’re not wearing white,” she asks, referring to her girlfriend’s thing about the color.

“Um… No,” Emma says with one sleek blonde eyebrow raised as high as it can go. “Do you want me to look like a piece of string cheese?”


The party is, as far as these things go, not that bad.

Sure, Ororo and Emma are the center of attention when they first walk in holding hands and dressed in complimentary black and white bathing suits, but a judicious application of Emma’s telepathy handles that.

It doesn’t however, handle the near endless amounts of tipsy frat boys that don’t seem to get that Emma and Ororo are Emma-and-Ororo and therefore, off limits to them.

“Can we leave now?” Ororo mutters, leaning in until her lips brush Emma’s ear after one such frat boy swaggers away from them. “If one more boy comes up to us and calls me his chocolate anything, I will not be held responsible for what I do to him.”

Emma frowns.

“How bad would it be if I made all of them think they were frogs for the next hour or two?”

“Emma —”

“You know it’d be funny.”

Ororo cracks a tiny smile at that. “Yeah, but it’s still mean.”

Emma nudges Ororo with her elbow. “Fine. Fine, so… What do we do now?”

“Use your daddy’s credit card to take me to lunch someplace fancy?” Ororo suggests with a small smile. “We could go like this and scandalize his friends.”

Emma barks out a surprised bit of laughter. “And you say I’m the evil one?”


Three scenes from Ororo, Sam, and Steve’s respective summer vacations.

Author’s Note:

Characters/Pairings: Ororo Munroe, David Munroe II, Harriet Munroe, Steve Rogers, Rebecca Barnes, Natasha Romanov, Sam Wilson, Sarah Wilson

Prompt: Summer

Notes: I told you guys I’d find a way to get Ororo holding a baby in this universe. I told you and I did it.


The first thing that Ororo hears when she gets home is the pitter patter of little feet. With precious little warning, Ororo drops her duffle bag in front of the door and drops to her knees just in time for her little nephew David to turn the corner and fling himself at her.

“Roro,” David calls out in his squeaky little voice, fingers fisting in her hair as he wiggles close and smacks a stick kiss to her cheek. With his lisp, her name comes out sounding more like “Wowo” than anything else.

Ororo smiles and squeezes David close, kissing the top of his head as she rises to her feet. Her little nephew clings to her, babbling on end about something or the other as she strokes her fingers over his back.

“Hey, Davie,” Ororo croons lowly, shifting David until he’s sitting properly on her hip and she can look into his dark brown eyes. “Did you miss me, sweetie?”

David bounces in her arms, yanking on her braids with the hand still stuck in her hair.

“Ro! Ro,” he says, nodding his head hard enough that Ororo worries that he’s about to hurt himself. He leans in and presses another sloppy and sticky kiss to Ororo’s cheek before unwinding his fingers from her hair and pressing one small palm against her skin. “Go Nana?”

Ororo hums, bouncing David in her arms. “You think we should go see Nana?”

David pats her cheek and then nods.

Ororo finds their grandmother Harriet Munroe in the kitchen up to her elbows in sweet potato pie.

“I knew I heard my two favorite grandbabies,” Harriet says, smiling wide when Ororo walks into the kitchen. “Did David tell you how much he missed you? He’s been crying about missing his “Wowo” since you left for your spring semester.”

Ororo snorts and shakes her head, glancing at her nephew’s face. “Is that so, Davie?”

David giggles and claps his hands over his eyes, shaking his head before hiding his face against Ororo’s shoulder. “Nuh-uh.”

“He says that now, but wait until it’s time for him to go to bed,” Harriet says. “He’ll climb right into bed with you I bet.”

“Well I don’t mind,” Ororo says softly, gaze softening as she brushes her fingers over her baby nephew’s back. “I missed him too. I mean — I always miss you and Grandpa, but David is —”

“Special,” Harriet fills in with a soft smile on her face. “I know.”



Everyone in their senior class knows that Rebecca Barnes has two of the best (and cutest) big brothers in the world.

She talks about them all the time and always has a new picture of one or both of them on her cell phone that she’s willing to brag about at a moment’s notice.

Bucky, the one currently serving in the army overseas, is pretty much married and definitely off limits. But Steve — big, blond, “sweet like a Labrador retriever puppy” Steve — definitely isn’t.

So when he shows up at their high school graduation after his first semester at college, chaos is the only logical conclusion.

“Becca! Hey, Becca!”

For the fourth time in a row, one of Rebecca’s classmates rushes over to where Bucky’s girlfriend Natasha is busy trying to take pictures of her and Steve to put up online before her mom comes back with the car.

The girl, someone that Rebecca remembers barely speaking to her since they were freshmen, skids to a stop next to her.

Rebecca sighs and squeezes her eyes shut, willing her fellow student to just… go away by the time she opens her eyes. Unfortunately, the universe doesn’t get the hint.

“Yes,” she says, biting the words out through clenched teeth. “What do you want?”

The girl flushes and then holds out her smartphone. “Can I get a picture with your brother?”

Rebecca feels herself frown. “I’m sorry, but no. We’re —”

“You let Myka and Erin take pictures with him,” the girl snaps. “Why not me?”

“Well… they actually know Steve, unlike you,” Rebecca says, shaking her head. “They’re my friends and they’re like Steve’s little sister’s too.” Well… Sorta.

The girl’s mouth drops open and her face goes dark pink and patchy as she stares at Rebecca.

“B-but,” she stammers. “That’s not fair.”

Rebecca opens her mouth to snap back with something sharp, but before she can do more than suck in enough air for a good bit of yelling, Natasha interjects. She’s almost a foot shorter than Steve, and a good two inches shorter than Rebecca herself, but Natasha is all about presence. Straightening her spine and squaring her shoulders, Natasha looks at the girl in front of them and scowls.

“No means no, kid,” Natasha says, her tone sharp enough that Rebecca finds herself flinching. She shakes her wavy red hair over one shoulder and frowns at Rebecca’s former classmate. “Becca said what she had to say. So go back to your parents before I find them and tell them what you’re doing over here.”

The threat works and the girl practically scurries away, leaving Becca alone with Steve and Natasha.

“Becca,” Steve says her name quietly, almost hesitantly. “What on earth have you been telling your class about me?”



“I like the blue one,” Sam calls out when Sarah vanishes into the dressing room for the second time in the past fifteen minutes of trying on junior prom dresses. “Get the blue one.”

Sarah huffs loudly enough that her brother can hear it above the canned music filtering into the dressing room in the store they’re currently taking up space in.

“I don’t want the blue one,” Sarah wails. “It’s too long, Sam. I’m going to junior prom, not church.” The audible rustle of fabric obscures anything that Sarah says for several long minutes but once she’s back in her street clothes, she flings the dressing room door open and glares at Sam. “I want the backless black dress I tried on at Justice.”

Sam frowns and rubs the palm of one hand over his closely cropped hair.

“No, Sarah,” he says with a sigh as he feels his head start to throb. “You want Ma to kill me. You know you can’t wear anything like that until your senior prom at the earliest.” He waves his hand at the pile of dress beside him. “Wasn’t there anything here that you liked?”

Sarah’s nose and mouth scrunch up with a frown.


“Well what?”

Sarah rocks back and forth on her heels, one hand going up to play with a few of the curls from her twist out. She doesn’t meet her brother’s eyes.

“Remember the purple dress we saw in Macy’s?”

Sam nods warily.

“It’s hard to forget a dress that cost that much,” he mumbles. Then he pauses, eyes widening as he looks up at Sarah. “That’s the one you want?”

Sarah dips her head in a nod. “Yeah,” she says. “I want that one. If it’s not too much…”

Sam thinks back to his last check from the school library. It wasn’t much, but it’s more than enough to take care of his little sister.

“If you’re sure that’s what you want, Sarah,” Sam offers with a smile, “I’ll even see if we can find you a matching purse.”

Sarah squeals and flings herself at Sam, squeezing him in a tight hug.

“You’re the best brother in the world!”

In that moment, Sam kind of feels like he is.

Let it snow

After a week or two of watching her roommate shuffle around like a Jean Grey zombie in the wake of her break up, Ororo takes matters into her own hands in an attempt to cheer her up.

Author’s Note:

Characters/Pairings: Jean Grey & Ororo Munroe, past Scott/Jean

Prompt: Snowflakes

“So, why’d you want me to meet you at the nature preserve?”

When Jean gets to the entrance to their campus’s nature preserve, Ororo is already waiting for her. Dressed in her warmest clothes thanks to the weather outside, Jean is expecting a lengthy trek through the preserve, not whatever it is Ororo has in mind.

Ororo grins. “We’re going to play in the snow!”

Jean glances around as she walks toward her roommate, looking up at the empty sky overhead.  It’s cold out, but it’s not quite cold enough for snow. “What snow — oh.”

“Come on, Jeanie,” Ororo says, snagging the edge of Jean’sf sleeve as they walk through the preserve. “I’ve already got a good place cleared out. By the time we’re done out here, you’ll be too tired to think about anything, sweetie.”

The clearing is about halfway into the preserve.

Ororo sends Jean over to sit on a fallen tree trunk while she works.

Watching Ororo unleash her powers fully has always been one of Jean’s favorite experiences.  Icy wind whips through the clearing as Ororo rises several inches into the air and the sky over their heads darkens in contrast to how Ororo’s blue eyes brighten with a pale white glow.

The snow comes quickly after that, light flurries coming down faster and faster as the temperature in the clearing drops sharply.

“Will this affect the weather on campus?” Jean asks, fingers reaching up to play with the few strands of red hair that stick out from underneath her dark green beanie.

Ororo looks at her with her eyebrows scrunched together.  The snow around the clearing begins to pile up, whipped around by the wind encircling Ororo’s body.

“I — I don’t think so,” she says softly, frowning at the thought.  “It’s already cold outside and I’m just making it snow in one place. It might be a little colder around campus for a few minutes, but nothing newsworthy.”

Once the snow is deep enough that it comes up well past Jean’s ankles, Ororo sends the storm away and drops back down to earth. Wobbling unsteadily on her feet for a moment, Ororo offers Jean a brief smile when she gets up to rush to her.

“It’s fine,” Ororo says, holding her palm out towards Jean to stop her. “I just… overdid it a bit. I’m good for now.” She shakes her long white hair back and then starts across the snow-covered clearing so she can sling one arm across Jean’s shoulders. “Now, are you ready to play in the snow?”

Jean shrugs. “Maybe?”

“Maybe’s not good enough, Jeanie,” Ororo says with a teasing note in her voice. “We’re out here to have fun and forget about everything. Playing in the snow will help and we’ll have an excuse to have hot chocolate at the dining hall on our way back.”

Sighing, Jean looks out at the snow all around them.

“Are you sure about this?”

Ororo nods and squeeze Jean in a one-armed hug. “When am I ever wrong, Jean? Playing in the snow makes everything better, trust me.”

The Clocktower

How can one guy be so perfect?

Author’s Note:

Prompt: welcometodelphi said anything ESU and/or outer space and I went with my main Marvel OTP

Ororo doesn’t have a key to the ESU clock tower, but then, she doesn’t actually need one.

Ororo can pick a lock with the best of them and aside from that, there’s not much that’ll stop someone like her from simply flying to the top of the tower on the off chance that she can’t fiddle her way past the lock. But when she comes to the tower in the middle of a March night so warm that she suspects that there’s another weather manipulator about, she doesn’t have to do either of those things.

The heavy door that leads to the clock tower is unlocked for the first time in Ororo’s time at ESU. When she tugs at the handle, the door glides open on silent hinges, revealing a staircase dimly lit by flickering caution lights.

It looks like the start of every single horror movie that Ororo has ever watched. The hairs on the back of Ororo’s neck prickle, but she forces herself to ignore the worry trickling cold down her spine in favor of holding in mind the reward at the top of the tower as she trudges forward.

“Remember, Thor’s waiting,” she tells herself quietly. “He’s worth it. Totally worth it.”


By the time that Ororo reaches the top of the clock tower, she’s not so sure about that.

Despite cheating halfway up and taking to the air instead of climbing steps, Ororo still makes it to the top with her dark skin sticky with sweat and her chest heaving from the effort. The combination of using her abilities and trekking halfway up a stuffy staircase leaves her feeling just this side of testy, and when she pushes open the door to the roof, it’s with a frown on her face.

A frown that quickly melts into a smile when she sees the set up that Thor has laid out across the roof for her.

He’s gone all out. Bright pink and orange wildflowers, a delicious smelling picnic basket, and a bottle of something that’s probably older than both of them combined all spread across the dark blue comforter that Ororo has been in love with since the first time she tumbled into Thor’s bed with him.

“Oh, Thor,” Ororo breathes, feeling tears dampen the corners of her eyes at the proof of her boyfriend’s incredible sweetness. “This is — You’re so —” She falters, the words fading into nothingness as her boyfriend offers her a sweet smile edges around the blanket so that he can take her hand. “This is too much.”

Thor kisses her cheek, the familiar rasp of his stubble against her skin easing her down somewhat. He pulls back just enough that he can look Ororo in the eye, blue on blue, but otherwise, they stay close to one another.

“No it’s not,” Thor says, voice firm. “We missed Valentine’s Day. This is our do-over.”

Before Ororo can counter that, before she can say something about how it was her fault in the first place for running all over New York when she could have — should have — been here with him, Thor kisses her again. This time, he drags the kiss out until Ororo whimpers against his mouth and her hands move to splay across his broad back.

When Thor pulls out of the kiss, Ororo finds herself leaning forward, mouth parted before she catches herself and licks her lips.

“Thor —”

“I cooked for you, Ororo,” Thor says with a noticeable note of pleading in his deep voice. He shifts and turns her with him, gesturing at the blanket and his basket. “Come. Sit. I didn’t spend all day trying not to burn down the kitchen in order for you to go back to the dorms.”

Ororo feels her nose wrinkle with a frown, but she allows Thor to lead her over to the blanket and get her settled. “You cooked?”

The trepidation in her voice makes Thor laugh.

“Don’t worry,” he says. “Loki helped. He’s the one with our mom’s recipes after all and besides, he likes you.” Which is a shock and a half, that’s for sure.

Ororo blinks. “Loki? But… he doesn’t like anyone.”

“He likes you,” Thor says simply. “Not as much as I like you, but that’s a given.”

He leans in and steals another kiss, this one attempting to be shallow and chaste but for the way that Ororo reaches up and fits her hand against the nape of his neck to hold him still. The kiss deepens to a point where it’s very clear that Ororo is clearly restraining herself from simply pushing him over, the picnic be damned.

“You’re too much,” Ororo says after a moment, fingers brushing through Thor’s hair where the blond strands have escaped his hair tie. “I mean it.”



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