Bruce found it fascinating that the leaves of some of the trees in the courtyard had golden leaves. They were mixed in with the more usual green trees, creating a beautiful sight from above and providing ample shade for anyone wandering through.
The courtyard was private too. High walls surrounded it, separating it from the rest of the citadel's expansive grounds. The only entrance to this one in particular could only be accessed through Thor's quarters, which warranted their own wing. Frigga had given him the grand tour of the citadel before bringing him to Thor's wing, telling him that he could pick any room within it as his own.
He'd found the courtyard in his wanderings. The grounds were meticulously cared for and a stone path led to a fountain, around which were arranged several stone benches. Much like the architecture of Asgard, the benches looked as though they'd been poured into place and were placed under tress to take advantage of the shade. Ivy was crawling up the walls that surrounded the courtyard.
Even though he hadn't been in Asgard long, Bruce had noticed that some things about the place seemed ancient while others were impossibly more modern. And yet, nothing looked as though it didn't belong.
Well, except Bruce.
Sure, he might be dressed like an Asgardian, but Bruce was under no illusions that he didn't look like he belonged. Almost everyone he'd met was taller than him and each man he'd seen looked like he was prepared to march to war in a moment's notice. And Bruce had noticed the looks he'd gotten. He was definitely not what the expected match for Thor was.
Bruce was certain that was what Thor's meeting with his father was about. They'd had a huge argument when the two of them had first arrived, it wasn't too much of a stretch of imagination to think of the possibilities of what they were talking about.
That was why Frigga had left him here. She'd assured him he would be safe and any needs he had seen to, then promised him that she would see to it that Thor returned shortly. He'd thanked her, to which she'd given him an enigmatic smile before bidding him goodbye and leaving.
Bruce pressed a hang against the bark of one of the trees, which stretched far above his head and branched out in brilliant gold leaves. It didn't feel any different than any normal tree.
Catching a leaf in his hands, Bruce turned it over and ran his fingers over it. It was smooth, light, and veined just like the green ones. Aside from its colour, there really wasn't anything different about it. Bruce weighed it in his hands and turned it over in his fingers absently. He looked up at the sky, which he could see through the branches of the tree. It was the same shade of blue as the sky back on earth and peppered with the same white clouds.
“They are a natural occurrence – although they are normally quite uncommon.”
Bruce blinked, looking over to where Thor was standing and smiling. He'd been distracted by his own thoughts for quite some time, it seemed – or at least long enough for Thor to disengage himself from his discussion with his father.
Thor was standing beside a nearby tree, hands clasped loosely in front of him and a small smile on his face. He was wearing his sleeveless armour again, a travelling cloak about his shoulders to ward off the evening chill.
“If that's the case, then why are there so many of them here?” Bruce held his hand out, watching as the golden leaf caught in the wind and was slowly buffeted to the ground. There were already a number scattered about among the grass.
“My grandfather favoured them,” Thor explained, walking over to join Bruce. “And it became a tradition of sorts to cultivate them. You will not find them in such numbers outside of the citadel's grounds.”
“They're quite beautiful.”
Thor's smile grew and he gently caught Bruce's chin between thumb and pointer, tilting Bruce's face up so their eyes met, “Yes, but not as beautiful as you.”
Even though his face was redder than a tomato, Bruce simply leaned into the soft kiss that Thor pressed against his lips and sighed when he pulled away. He blinked up at Thor, “That's not fair.”
“Oh?” Thor had moved closer, boxing Bruce in against the tree. He was grinning as he leaned down, “Perhaps you could tell me exactly how it is not fair.”
“I don't think you need an explanation to know that.” Bruce frowned, “You're far too good to me. I don't know what I've done to deserve it.”
Thor's brows furrowed and he opened his mouth, “Bruce–”
“I know what you're going to say,” Bruce said. He laid his fingers over Thor's lips and took a deep breath, settling his nerves. “And... I don't know what I've done to deserve any of this but I... I'm just going to accept it. I don't want to lose you and I couldn't live with myself if I pushed you away. I do love you. I just... I didn't think that you'd feel the same, but I'm so happy that you do. I...”
Taking Bruce's hand in his, Thor pressed a kiss to the palm and squeezed, “I understand, Bruce. And know that I shall spend as much time as I must to convince you that you do deserve everything I can give you and more.”
Bruce smiled, “ Thank you.”