1965-06-29 - Sandwiches
Summary: Kai meets one of the Bucklings on a late night snack raid.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
wanda kai 

Wanda dropped It Like It's Hot.

|ROLL| Wanda +rolls 1d7 for: 3

New York after dark swelters, regardless of what anyone's collection of droning fans does. Windows can hang open and repudiate the advance of early summer. The humidity still manages to seep in, taking up residence under the ceilings. Condensation hangs heavy in the air and the stillness oppressively builds, hour by hour, until even the most hardened, torrid-loving soul feels a bit weary about the whole affair. The Avengers Mansion, caught up in the heat bubble of Manhattan, hasn't got a chance. Central Park may be the lungs of the city but it can't make its own breezes. High ceilings help but are no substitute for frost powers or air conditioning.

Enter shadows wilting under the sapping atmosphere. Enter darkness cloying and heady, smothering with a presence all its own. Enter the dire need to replace water with something a bit more fulfilling. Dehydration is one issue, but a growing boy or girl need protein, carbs, something.

Those bananas in a basket or a few apples, a few slices of whatever roast are in the fridge, they're fair game. Though the unseen spectres have, for the most part, been incredibly difficult to spot. No spinsters in the attic here, they can go where they like, how they like. More or less.

So it shouldn't shock anyone really that Steve's Other Brother But Not Quite comes down the stairs long, long after sane people are in bed. One moment he's in the kitchen after not being there, relatively stealthy. Relative compared to, say, a ghost.

Ugh. It's hotter than Muspelheim! Kai is dressed down as far as he can get away with. Track shorts, a paper thin tank top, and his curls are pulled back in a little poofy tail to keep the strands off his neck. He fell asleep in one of the unused rooms and woke up in a swelter. Now he slinks toward the kitchen in the dark. It all looks like dim twilight to him, there's no need to waste electricity by turning on a light.

His feet carry him to the kitchen. There might still be beer in the fridge. Beer is like water for elves, right? He has no glamour upon him, no illusions to humanize him. He isn't expecting to meet anyone at this hour. Except when he reaches what was, just a moment ago, and empty kitchen, he pauses, pressed to the wall just outside the doorway. "Who's there?" The words sound like well-annunciated Russian to the ears of someone native to that tongue.

Anyone with their guard up might feel the prickle of a human presence in there. Though nothing supernally odd wraps around the young man assaulting the fruit bowl, plucking two apples out and tucking them exactly where now? Bag over his shoulder, beaten within an inch of its life, some kind of murky rucksack young when Teddy Roosevelt was in office. A glass of water is easy, much as a bottle would be better. He has one of those out of a cabinet in a jiffy.

Water in a pitcher in the fridge, that's slightly more challenging. The seal must be broken, the door levered open. That much would happen if not for footsteps, and he surveys his surroundings. Door, windows, crawling through the cabinets, jumping up to the ceiling. The broad-shouldered man in a long shirt never halts; he moves, slipping around the counter with his reasonably gotten gains, turning sideways against the cabinets for a degree of cover, arrow-straight run for the other doorway if need be. A knife is easily within reach, not that he really needs one. Yet.

Kai catches only a glimpse, and he says, "Bucky?" with an easy warmth. Then he gasps quietly. "Not Bucky?" That warmth turns to hopefulness. He's been wanting to catch more than a glimpse of the Bucklings for weeks now, but they've always managed to evade him. He eyes the doorway, a straight run from where the Buckling stands. Mustn't scare him away.

"It's all right," he says as he carefully peeks out from around the other doorway, offering the Buckling a friendly smile. He doesn't show teeth. Teeth can be read as aggression. He thinks. In some animals. Do humans count? He can't remember. "I won't hurt you. I'm a friend." He certainly seems harmless enough at a glance. Though someone with the right training might see it in his gait, the strength and agility. He scans as prey, but there are prey animals that can seriously mess a hunter up when the chips are down. "I'm Kai," he says in perfect Russian.

Eyes gone grey in the absence of real light summoned into the kitchen show their pallor. That bare hint of a shadow painted along the strong jawline might evince an impression of age — if one sees him at all, of course. Night drops a favourable veil over some of its subjects, while others come into their own at the bold, brassy hour of noon. He is one of the former, undoubtedly. Eyes up, back to the wall, the posture the young man adopts is at once ready and still, casual and alert. No hackles rise, no teeth bared reveal themselves. He waits on the moment to resolve, drawn into it like a lover's arms, and unafraid.

Words could be an uncertain thing, but he replies in absolutely precise Russian. Its specific origins could be dicey to paint. Novosibirsk can be difficult to decipher from Archangelsk, depending on the audience. Without shifting from the concealed line of cabinets and counter, he crosses his arms over his chest. Not precisely casual, but about as good as someone can get, all said and done. Obfuscating himself by terseness, that's about as easy at it gets. "Kai."

Kai smiles again. He speaks! The elf is such a golden retriever, if he had a tail it would be wagging. He can see in darkness, an unwanted yet handy gift given to him from his time in Svartalfheim. A scar on his soul, but a useful one. He takes a step into the kitchen, hands held up to show he has no weapons, no hostile intent. "I'm a friend of Bucky," he says. "I've heard so much about you."

A quick glance to the fridge, and he says, "Are you hungry? I was going to make sandwiches. I'll make you one, too. That time Bucky brought you all steaks and apple pie? That was me. Me and my friend Bertie." The bribery has begun long before this moment. Catered meals, snacks sent along with Bucky 'just in case.'

For all intents and purposes, Kai is speaking to Bucky… if James Buchanan Barnes enlisted with the 107th yesterday. The same cocky quality endures in the youthful frame, as long as no one scratches the surface too deeply. That smiling hero captured in old black and white photographs and film reels never displayed so long a look, the kind of knowledge gained by extorting innocence, hunting it into a dark alley, and clubbing it over the head a few times with a clue-by-four.

A step forward gets a slow slip along the wall. It happens when not observed directly, the space between a blink or shifting position, checking that someone won't lumber down the stairs through the door. Not much of a change but there lies an art in moving when unobserved, and freezing when seen. They don't have pleasant faerie tales over the River Bug, and deep to the Urals, and onward til morning. So many words tumble in. He shakes his head. Could be a lie, could be anything. Certainly he isn't suffering in the breadth and height department, built on a scale that would put Olympians into fits. "You were steak?"

Kai moves no further in once his attention returns to find the Buckling has adjusted his position. His brow knits. He's so big! Kai's a slight thing, no taller than 5'9". A fool might easily think him weak and threatless. Still, there is capacity to harm and intent, and the Elf's body language is easeful and content. He just keeps his hands in view to reassure there are no tricks up his non-existent sleeves.

"Yes," he says with a nod that causes curls to bob and shift. "We brought steak to the mansion and made a huge meal. Bertie taught me how to make the pie-type-thing. I had all this money, and I was thinking about how you poor boys probably don't get a lot of nice things, so we bought up all the steaks at the butcher." God forbid he ever think of saving his money.

Definitions of big skew based on culture. Steve Rogers may not be huge next to the Asgardian Crown Prince, and Thor is short next to Laufey. On a sliding scale, Bucky's spitting image counts as respectably sized. Enough he needs a few sandwiches, naturally, to fuel that impressive dynamo of youthful indiscretion and hunger that burns undeneath the surface.

Kai admitting he is a beef product is taken in stride. Americans one and all are strange. Even the very strange-looking ones. Or maybe he knows a domovoi and their ilk. His mouth thins out slightly, measured as a response on the atomic scale. Big gestures and alterations in expression don't go with this one much. He hasn't moved otherwise, still, fully self-possessed in his body. But then, living weapons often are. It's when they choose to unsheath themselves that trouble really begins. "Much meat here." The flick of those pale eyes becomes profound when pointed at the fridge. It's a big fridge. Not like New York allows for pits in the permafrost.

"Yes," Kai says. Since he can understand the Buckling just fine, it doesn't occur to him that the perfect Russian he speaks might not be comprehensible. He bothered to learn English and a smattering of French, but he's grown lazy with Allspeak. He relies on it for everything. "Lots of meat. I'm going to make sandwiches."

Here, the fey fellow shows no small amount of trust by turning his back on the respectably sized man. He goes to open the fridge, and his actions are succinct and slow, however, it's the middle of the night, and he's making sandwiches. "Do you have a name?"

In no way, shape or form is the youngest of the Bucklings inclined to pounce into the fridge. Nor is he going to put that apple in his mouth. A remote look might give him the whereabouts of the glass on the counter, but not something he can just help himself to, either. Time to worry about different strategies.

"Why would you make this food?" A question, idle, comes after a glacial epoch of sandwich making. Kai could have built up enough sandwiches for a small fighting unit by this point, possibly with ambitions of a battalion in the future. It takes a great deal of time for the younger man to even approach that. The fridge opens and shuts, drawers raided, and dawn possibly in sight before he bothers to answer the second question. "Kyr."

Kai has the ideal sandwich in mind for this man, and he sets about making it. It involves a lot of meat. As much meat as he can stack on the slices of bread. Then there is cheese to layer on and some mayo, a little mustard. Greens are an afterthought. "Kyr," he says as he gets to work. "That's a nice name."

He has every reason to be wary, but he does a fine job of moving as though all in the world were easy and carefree. "You might say it's in my nature," he says after some thought. "My people are generous and kind, and hospitality makes me happy." He smiles faintly over his shoulder, then mashes both slices of bread together and cuts the resultant sandwich in half. "Here," he says, "this is for you."

Bucky might have a few pointers about their varied and odd appetites. Kyr, as his younger incarnation — though not by much, when the Winter Soldier hardly ages — probably can devour whole slabs of cow without gaining a pound. He steadily inches along the wall, stretching the distance. Helping by pulling down a plate or sacrificing a lamb to the gods of culinary arts might be nice. Not happening. The Russian he speaks is terse, though fluent. His manners lack for a certain something, like existing at all. Seeing by the dim light of the fridge gives truth to the near perfect carbon copy, changed only in the smallest of ways, the personal deviation of a generation.

The sandwich gets a very pointed look when he is told it is now his responsibility. Kyr puzzles for a moment, or he just views the world very suspiciously. "What is it?" Could be said of Kai, too.

There are some who would be offended by the lack of manners, but Kai has a soft spot for these 'kids' and doesn't expect them to act outside their nature, so it's taken in stride. Without missing a beat, Kai puts the sandwich on a plate, then withdraws from it, retreating to the doorway from wence he came. "It's your sandwich," he says.

He is a rather bold domovoi. What else is there to liken him to? A smile plays upon his lips as he watches, his features warm with encouragement. "Go ahead, take it. It's yours."

Kyr looks at the sandwich flatly, the opaque expression he favours difficult to identify. Could be just about anything but emotiveness does not rank high on his list of personal, shining qualities. Convincing him to act warm and welcoming is far from easy. Could be the use of mayo.

Mayo is known rightly to banish the likes of greater and lesser spirits, anyone with a sense of taste, and a gut. "But what is it?"

Apparently sandwich lacks a cultural touchpoint.

"A sandwich." Is there a Russian word for sandwich? "Meat and bread. You pick it up and eat it." Kai makes a gesture that's supposed to denote picking it up by its breadparts and taking a bite. "Easier to carry and eat." He nods toward it. "Go on, have some. Or I can make you a different one." Mayo is a calculated risk. The key is a little goes a long way. "I think it's an English invention. Very clever, if you ask me."

Outwardly, Kai is just so gosh darn nice. And calm, relaxed, treating the situation like it happens all the time. Inside, he's withholding so much glee. He's feeding one of the boys! His little Elf heart sings.

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