“So when can we expect you back?” Valkyrie asked Thor as she stood on a cliff overlooking New Asgard.
The day was beautiful.
Thanos was gone. Friends and loved ones, pet owners and their pets were being reunited. The Avengers was a much larger group of heroic individuals than they once were. And the Asgardians were able to enjoy a semblance of safety.
As Valkyrie gazed at the pristine blue sky she felt a true sense of peace for the first time in thousands of years.
Thor, still hilariously overweight but now restored with determination, stood beside her, his eyes narrowed as he contemplated her question.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t know.”
She looked at Thor. “Thor, your people need a king.”
He turned to her, a smile brightening his face. “Oh, they already have one.”
For a second, she was trying to determine what he meant. Then, when she realized what he was saying, she began to laugh.
“Ha-ha-ha. That’s funny.”
When she realized he wasn’t laughing and was still staring at her with that…smile, she stopped, her expression becoming serious.
“You can’t be serious,” she said.
She shook her head. “But Thor…you are Thor Odinson. The rightful heir to the throne. The true ruler of Asgard. I…I can’t be the King.”
“And why not?” he challenged her.
She turned her gaze away, her eyes seeing not the sprawling ocean that lied before her but the bodies of her fallen Valkyrie as they laid in the dark depths of Hel.
“Because the last time I was in charge everyone who followed me died. And I wasn’t able to save them.”
“And that’s why it is you who I can trust to be King,” he told her.
Her gaze lowered.
“You are one of the few Asgardians who understands what it’s like to lose people. To lose those you love.”
She looked at him.
“I know that you will be the best King Asgard has ever known. I’m not a leader but you are. You are the one Asgardian needs right now.”
She wanted to object. She wanted to tell him that it was the lingering booze in his veins that was making him say this. But the sincerity in his gaze made her do none of those things.
She dipped her head. “Okay.”
His smile widened as he patted her on the arm with appreciation.
“So, where will you go?”
He shrugged, looking toward the ocean. “Truthfully, I don’t know. For the first time in my life, I have no path. But I do have a ride though.”
They turned their gaze to Rocket who was looking as annoyed as ever.
“Use it or lose it, hair bag.”
Valkyrie chuckled. “I can’t believe I’m saying this…” she eyed Thor tenderly, “but I’m going to miss you.”
He smiled at her. “Really?”
She shook her head. “Don’t get any ideas.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it…Your Majesty.”
With her smile deepening, she outstretched her hand and he took it, shaking it firmly.
“Be careful.” She nodded her head in the direction of an increasingly agitated Rocket. “That scrap of a team you’re joining isn’t the most reliable group of individuals I’ve ever seen.”
And with that, he was trodding off after Rocket who was getting on him for taking too long to say goodbye. Valkyrie watched after them until he was in the ship and the vessel was flying off to an unknown destination. And then, with the realization that she was the king dawning on her, she walked down the trail that would lead her back to New Asgard, heading to what would definitely be an interesting reaction to this surprise announcement.