1965-06-28 - For The Boys
Summary: Steve and Bucky stop by Saganaki for a meal.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
steve-rogers bucky kai 

Steve needs to get out more. He's nearly as bad as the polyps, in terms of his tendency to den up when off duty. So Buck has dragged him out for lunch. Before a shift at Lux, if the sharp suit he's wearing is any indication. A nod to the class of Lucian's clientele, or maybe an oblique offering to the Lightbringer himself. "Kai works here," he's telling Steve. "And you'll like it. Reminds me of the food on Crete, kinna."

"I remember the food on Crete." Steve nods and gives the restaurant a thoughtful once-over as they approach. He can see that the property extends beyond the front itself, possibly into a back section that's…out of doors. How nice, to find that in a big city like New York. It seems busy enough, given the hour of the day. The Captain is in civilian regalia: motorcycle jacket, jeans, and a powder-blue t-shirt. "I'm looking forwards to some falafel, if that's the case. If they use olive oil sourced from overseas…" And almost, as if on cue, his stomach gurgles appreciation for the smells wafting from within.

Kai looks so perky and helpful in his waiter's outfit. When Loki's out and about, he spends a lot of his free time at Saganaki. Either here or at the gallery. He's working the courtyard, and when the two gentlemen arrive, he's in the process of collecting empty plates onto a tray to bring to whoever's washing dishes tonight. His illusion is in place, humanizing his features. It's strange how just little, subtle adjustments can change so much. He beams when he sees the pair. "Bucky! Steve! Oh my gosh, have a seat, let me bring you some bread. I'll just be a moment."

Buck settles himself, carefully. Relaxed and cheerful, for once. Like he's deliberately letting himself off the hook, and sinking back into happier, older memories. Those days in the war when it was him and Steve and athe Commandos, fighting the good fight.

Lifting a hand in a quick but not terribly obvious wave to Kai, Steve smiles back and follows in Bucky's wake like a large and blond duckling. He takes a seat across from his old friend and looks around the place once more. Now outside, in the courtyard, he can appreciate the layout. It's open and friendly, private while not being suffocating, and in the warmth of the summer evening, the scents of warm soil and grapes seem to flirt with the heavier overlay of good cooking.

"This place is nice," he comments to Bucky as he looks back to the man. "I could get used to this."

Kai ducks into the kitchen, and in short order he's coming out with a basket of bread and whipped butter, two menus, and a pitcher of water to fill up glasses. "Hey guys," he says. Menus are passed out, and he says, "Our soup today is Fasolada, and our specials are Gemista and Paidakia. That's stuffed vegetables and lamb chops, respectively. Let me get you guys some saganaki to start. Everyone loves fried cheese."

"I'll definitely have the soup, first," Buck says, nodding. "And probably the vegetables." With his metabolism, he can eat enough for a squad on his own. To Steve, he notes, "It really is great. Also kind of a refuge for New York's more unusual customers, if not as fancy as Lux."

A brief glance around the courtyard doesn't reveal to his eyes anyone dramatically different. "A refuge. Huh. Good to know. I can let others know if they need a place to eat without trouble." Steve then looks over the menu, taking him time in seeing what he does and does not recognize from his brief stint in Greece so very many years back. In the end, he looks over at Kai and smiles.

"I'll have the soup too, and the lamb chops." The meal will definitely last him until dinner unless a sudden spate of trouble means more calories burnt than taken in initially. "And the fried cheese. I don't remember having that before. Sounds great," he adds. "Water to drink, please. You have time to sit with us, Kai?"

Kai glances around. It's not the dinner rush yet, so the other staff aren't swamped, so he nods and says, "Yeah, I could take a moment. Let me just put that order in." He heads back into the kitchen, and before long, he's bringing out two bowls of fasolada, a white bean soup in a tomato base with carrots and cellery, with real Greek olives on the side. There's also a serving of saganaki, a white goat cheese melted until bubbling and browned on the outside, with a splash of lemon juice to give it a little more tang. As he sets down the sizzling dish, he says, "Now this is eaten with bread. If you run out, just let me know." Then he sits down at the table to hang out while the main dishes are prepped. "So how are you guys? Bertie's busy or else I'd tell him to come say hi."

It takes all of Buck's manners to not start wolfing it all down. Winter's instincts are to devour as quickly as possible, with no care for taste or texture. Instead, he takes a little of the saganaki. "Good," he says, and he displays the hand, previously metal, now coated with something that looks very close to human skin. "Look what my engineers have cooked up," he says. "One step closer to lookin' like a real boy, eh?" The pale eyes are alight with pleasure.

Steve can't help but mirror brighter still the delight on his old friend's face. His eyes almost twinkle. "I'm impressed with the work," the Captain admits with no rancor as he spreads some of the saganaki on the bread brought to the table earlier. "The engineers at work in the labs are brilliant people. I did a double-take when I first saw it on him," he says to Kai primarily, but the glance includes Bucky. "Imagine what it could do for veterans all over the world if they can make it impossible to tell from real skin." After that, he goes silent…because now there's bread and cheese and mmm, that's very good stuff and his mouth is very full.

Kai's eyes widen. "Look at that!" he says, and he pokes the flesh-looking hand with no regard for personal space. "It looks so real!" He nods to Steve's words. "Yeah, that could do a lot of good for people coming back mangled from whatever." He nibbles on a piece of bread, leaving the good stuff for the soldiers. "How does it feel? Does it move okay?"

"It does. And it's not the finished product," Buck says. It's like he had a kid and they're all admiring it. Not that they don't admire the eight or so puppers. Aw, they have their father's murder eyes. He wraps the fingers around Kai. "Impressive, right? I can't swim in it yet, the seam's not perfect. But day to day…."

"I'm sure people on the beach wouldn't notice anything," Steve comments after finishing his piece of bread slathered in cheese. Mmm, now on to the soup. "You could still walk around in the surf, no problem." It seems impolite to take up the bowl of steaming deliciousness, but the man's very tempted to do so. Self-control and manners win out and he just keeps spooning away at the meal.

"I wouldn't know there was anything unusual about your arm just to look at this," Kai says. He clasps Bucky's hand, giving it a squeeze. "Doesn't feel like skin, but how many people are you going to be touching with it, you know?" Of course the soup is delicious, and the cheese is heavenly. Bertie knows his stuff. Kai rises to his feet and says, "I'll go get your entrees." He's been working here too long; he's got a sixth sense for when the food's ready.

"The seam on the shoulder's still obvious," Buck says, between quick mouthfuls. "Though I got people on my side who can do illusions, so we could go tothe beach," he agrees. Now there's a thought. The idea pleases him. "We haven't been out to Rockaway in years. We should go. Maybe the kids would like to…."

The Captain watches Kai leave with the same mild expectation a dog might in knowing that a meal will potentially arrive soon. He looks back to Bucky and then grins almost wryly.

"You have a story to explain how you all look related? Cousins? Extended family, maybe. Someone's going to comment, one way or another. The nosey ones always do." He takes up another piece of bread, schmears it, and away it goes, one bite at a time.

Cap isn't wrong. It isn't long before Kai is coming out of the kitchen again. This time, he's got a dish of tomatoes and peppers stuffed with herbed rice, roasted to perfection, and a plate of lamb chops flavored with oregano, so tender the meat is falling off the bone. There is also a plate of baklava. He serves dinner up, then sits down again, taking up one of those baklava triangles. "If someone asks, just say something sarcastic," Kai advises. "Like 'cousins? No, they're my clones.' No one would believe you."

Buck looks a hair crestfallen. "Yeah, you gotta point," he concedes, reluctantly. "But we gotta get them out more. They need to learn English, adapt. I'mma lean on Mister Stark more, god knows he's got the resources…."

"Tony would," the Captain agrees even as he cuts into his meal. The knife becomes a needless utensil after a moment, for how the meat seems to separate by pressure of fork alone, and so he sets it aside. The first bite…transforms his face. "Mmm," and he swallows, looking to Kai. "My compliments to the chef. Let him know I'll be a regular."

His attentions swings back to Bucky. "Could see if they want to do lessons first around the manor? People learn better under less stressful circumstances."

"He does keep good scotch around the place," Kai says. His brow furrows. "Or he did." Then his smile returns, and he tells Steve, "I will. I know he'll be thrilled." He then says to Bucky, "I would talk to them if you let me. I know English." He is speaking it, after all, with an English accent, even. "They might still hear Russian, but I'll try."

"They'd be happy to have someone else to talk do," he says, softly. "I know they would. And my vouching for you…" A nod. "It'd help." He gives Steve a thoughtful look. "YOu'll help me, too." It wasn't a request. Uncle Steve will be stepping up.

"Of course, Buck," replies the man with utmost solemnity. "I'm happy to help you and the boys out. I've never taught anyone another language before, but if they can learn, I can too." Uncle Steve can and absolutely will give it his best shot.

Then he frowns at Kai. "…wait. Wait a second. Did I hear right? You're speaking English but you're not speaking English? You said that they'd hear Russian even if you were speaking English." His fork rests on the edge of his plate, momentarily forgotten.

Kai nods as he nibbles on a corner of the baklava he holds. Then he says, "How do you think Prince Thor of Asgard speaks perfect English? He isn't, but it's what you hear. What he's really speaking is… hmm, I guess the closest to a language you might recognize is Old Norse. It's what I speak, too. I don't know how it works, but people in the higher realms are just, I don't know, comprehensible."

Bucky gestures at Kai with the palm that used to be metal. Like 'ta da!' "I dunno how they do it," he agrees. "He understandsme no matter what language I speak. But the kids do need socializing." Like they really are puppies.

With a rather intense squint, Steve listens to the Elf speak. Finding no discernable differences in his speech, he then sits back in his chair and is momentarily flabbergasted. A lack of comprehension is worrying in the back of his mind, but he can accept this mild weirdness for today. At least.

"I had no idea that Thor had this same skill," he says with a flick of his wheat-gold brows. "We'll get them socialized, Buck, no worries. It may take some time, is all. World's not entirely a safe place right now for them. There are loose ends to iron out still." Back to his lamb he goes and there's another muffled sound of appreciation. Mmm, food.

Kai nods with an amiable smile. "I doubt he even thinks about it," he says. "I forget half the time, myself." He tells Bucky, "Even if they hear Russian, I can still socialize just to socialize. I'm trying to learn how to cook from Lambert, when he isn't watching, and maybe I could make them lunch sometime. I can do a few dishes that are a step up from spaghetti with sauce that comes in a jar."

Bucky flashes a grin at Steve's evident befuddlement. Aw, he's so cute when he's blond. A grim nod at that comment about the world, nearly a scowl. Someone is very protective of the pups, nevermind that anyone of them is a match for him, and en masse they are a terror. "Kai," he says, letting the dark look fade. "Spaghetti with sauce from a can is a long, long step up from the stuff they fed us in Russia. They'd be delighted."

"They would be," he echoes, pointing a fork at Bucky to accent the other man's point. "I made oatmeal for them all one time, with a bit of cinnamon and some sliced apples in it. Simple stuff. I didn't hear anything but the scrape of spoons on bowls after I made sure every one of the boys got some of it. They'd be thrilled to have someone make them spaghetti."

With the lamb all but gone, he waits until he thinks that Bucky isn't paying attention…and then attempts to fork a piece of vegetable from his friend's plate.

Kai grins, imagining the boys with their oatmeal. "Yeah, but they've eaten Lambert's cooking now. I'll have to up my game. Real parmasean, I'm thinking. And garlic bread. There are places you can get it fresh, and then I'd just warm it up in the oven." So he hasn't learned to cook too well just yet. He perks up, then. "I'll bring them back candy from Alfheim, while we're there. I bet they don't get much candy, do they." He grins at the vegetable theft, but says not a word. He's no snitch.

"Someof them love sweets. It's a good thing we can't fatten up, or we'd look like Thanksgiving turkeys," Buck comments. "On the other hand, I feel like I need years of good food tomake up for Russia." He gives Steve a narrow-eyed look. I saw that.

The vegetable is totally gone. Vanished. Like magic. Into Steve's mouth. He returns Bucky's look with something akin to radiant innocence — a total lack of guile. Him? Steal food? Never.

"Can't go wrong with garlic bread," he opines after taking a sip of water. "I could eat a loaf by myself. Carbs. Carbs and protein, Buck. Chicken parmesean," and he points at his friend with the fork again.

Before going for another piece of vegetable, in broad view of all!

Kai laughs as Steve goes for a nother veggie theft. "Let me bring you guys dessert," he says. "On me." Since Lambert lately has insisted on paying him. He gathers up some empty plates and goes into the kitchen. When he comes back, he's got baklava, all warm honey-gooey sweet, with a crunch of nuts. Two pieces apiece. He's got growing heroes to feed.

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