1965-10-11 - Breakfast Pastries
Summary: Kai and Steve have a chat over waffles.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
steve-rogers kai 

With the weather turning to autumn in earnest now, it means sweatshirts overtop the jogging pants. Steve is returning from a short run (only eight miles rather than the usual ten to twelve) and enters the manor bearing the light sweat of his efforts. He mops at his forehead and temples with the sleeves of his jacket, unafraid to stain them because he's due to do laundry as is, and meanders through the halls on the way to the kitchen. Water is to be found here, after all, and sustenance to refuel his ever-hungry super-serum-boosted system. He's even humming a quiet little melody as he nears the kitchen door, some folk song that his mother used to sing while she did dishes.

The heavenly smell of pastry from the kitchen can only mean one thing: the Elf is there. So he is, looking quite serious and studious as he mans a waffle iron. There is a bowl of batter on the counter beside him, and on the other side of the waffle iron, a plate with a small yet growing stack of waffles on it.

There's coffee made, too. Kai likes to have coffee available. He's in jeans and a navy blue turtleneck, downright conservative for him. His own coffee cup has been drained of its caffeinated goodness and rests beside the sink. "Is that you, Steve?" he calls without looking up.

"None other," he calls back, his voice ringing with that undertone of authority. Upon entering the kitchen, he inhales appreciatively and sighs. "If I didn't know any better, you've developed the ability to predict my stomach. This may qualify you as having psychic powers," he jokes even as he makes his way over to the coffee machine. He then pauses, remembering that water should come first, and moves over to the cabinet dedicated to glasses. A period of silence as he downs two full glasses in rapid succession and manages not to burp; magic, that. Now to the coffee he goes after fetching a mug and he pours himself a judicious amount. "Do you want any?" he asks, eyes lingering on that stack of waffles. Because mmm, waffles.

"It could be Elf magic," Kai says. "I don't have a lot of magic, but it might manifest in the strangest ways. I've got a knack for picking out tea blends, too." He grins at Steve warmly. He glances back at the coffee pot, then says, "Oh, sure, thank you. My cups over there." He nods toward it. Then the waffle iron dings, and he opens it carefully. With the help of a fork, he shuffles the waffle onto the plate. "You can help yourself to one of thse bad boys if you're hungry. I'm just cooking up a batch to sacrifice to the stomachs of the immaculate eight."

With the care of a scientist measuring out the contents of a hydrogen bomb, he pours batter onto the hot iron, which hisses and sizzles. Not too much! Then he closes the top of it. "I'll go from being a waiter to being a chef at this rate."

"Thank you, I will help myself," replies Steve to the offer even as he's pouring coffee into Kai's mug. He makes sure to set it nearby to the Elf, out of immediate way of a stray wrist or elbow for the very serious art of pouring batter and removal of waffles from the hot griddle. He snorts at the reasoning for the waffle-making and travels to the stack with a plate, all the better to fork two entire waffles for himself.

"You will if you keep up cooking for the boys. They'll appreciate these. Did you use any vanilla in them? They smell like cookies somehow," he comments even as he looks around, wondering where the entire menagerie of super-folk living here might keep the butter and maple syrup.

"A little vanilla," Kai confirms, "and some pearl sugar to give them a little sweet crunch on the outside. There's syrup on the table." There's butter, too, it turns out. He put them out so they wouldn't be cold when it came time to use them. "I like cooking for the boys. I've always gotten satisfaction out of hospitality. Just don't ever tell my gran that. She'll think I'm becoming civilized."

He takes a drink from his coffee cup, his attention mostly upon the waffle iron. Sure, it'll ding when it's time, but these electronics can be iffy, and he keeps his vigil in case there's a whiff of burning. "So how's the world outside today? Did you run far?"

"If your grandmother ever visits, I won't tell her about your cooking," promises the Captain as he sits down at the dinner table. A nice slathering of butter and a large lake of maple syrup and he looks down at his plate with a happy sigh. "These looks amazing, Kai." First, a bite of waffle. Beatific briefly, Steve's expression, and then a sip of coffee for further flavor. Mmm. "They taste amazing too. You'll be a chef yet."

Another mouthful of coffee and then he's working the double-layer of waffles into pieces with his fork. "Only eight miles today. I got a late start. I'll make up for it tomorrow morning." Which means a twelve to fourteen mile run, all before dawn. Geez, this guy.

Kai beams. "I knew I could count on you. Goodness, I can't imagine her coming here, though. She's a fine lady with a noble title and everything. She has a manor and a vineyard, though I don't think she does any of the actual work herself. But she rarely leaves the land. Her magic is tied to it."

The waffle iron dings, and Kai carefully removes the waffle, putting it on the plate. Then he's pouring more batter on the iron. "You run so early," he says. "If I ever catch you for one of your afternoon runs, I'll go with you. I like sleeping in too much."

He's getting more and more used to hearing of magic and its connections to the world around him and beyond given how he nods with his mouth full. He watches the removal of waffle and prepping once more and considers how many are there now. Close — Kai's close to having one for each of the boys now.

"She sounds like a busy woman," he comments in regards to Kai's grandmother. "But I'll definitely make a point to try and find you if I have time to go on an afternoon run. I think you'll keep up with me just fine."

"She's a busybody at least," Kai says. "With my parents out of prison, though, that should keep her off my scent for awhile. When they were locked up in Asgard, all she had left was me." He beams. "Now she's got two hardened criminals to rehabilitate." He's so proud of himself.

He takes that initial cooking time to take another drink from his coffee cup. "I think I have some sneakers to run in. When I lived in Scotland, I was barefoot most of the time, but you can't do that these days, and not in New York City."

Steve appears mildly perturbed to hear Kai call his parents hardened criminals, but he doesn't linger on it. There's waffle to eat. "You'll need to wear sneakers, yes," he agrees between bites of delicious pastry. "It used to be easier to run in bare feet, but the amount of broken glass can hobble you in a heartbeat. People stare too," he adds from experience. He hasn't crashed through any large store-front windowpanes lately in chase of bad guys, however, so there's a boon to be found. "How far were you running in Scotland? Regularly?"

"Oh, I ran everywhere," Kai says. Hey, to be fair, his parents are hardened criminals according to Asgard. "My parents wouldn't let me use the horses for just anything, and half the time I was running away anyway. Everything was so far away from everything else in those days, too. I'd run through fields, down dirt roads, wherever I wanted to go. I liked following the river for miles."

He glances toward the stairs. There has been no stirring from the attic throughout the cooking. No matter how delicious the smells, the shy fellows remain hidden until it's time to strike. Alas. "I never had a problem with broken glass, but thistles were a pain."

Steve's fork rests upon his plate, his attention so momentarily diverted by the tale that he's forgotten to eat. There's something misty about his eyes as well, as if he's been reminded of some faint memory or story. "I can imagine that thorns would be a problem," he says quietly, half-smiling as he does. "I bet the grass was wonderful. Crisp and clean. Did you ever find a place of peace while you ran?"

"It was," Kai says fondly. "Trim and green like a golf course, what with all the sheep keeping it cropped. Except the rushes by the river. The air was best when it had just a tiny taste of frost in it. Or in the summer when the sun would stay out until late into the night."

Kai slides another waffle onto the plate. Then he eyes how much batter he has left. Two waffles for each of the boys? Hmm. What if he can't manage to get a whole eight out of what's left? He eyeballs this carefully. "I had a few places. There was a place where the river met the loch that I liked to visit. I had a climbing tree in the woods." He smiles, a little flirty as he adds, "And there was the shop of a certain weaver named Alistair I liked to visit."

"That all sounds wonderful," Steve says sincerely. He pushes around a bite of waffle to get more syrup on it and then works at his plate for a while longer, appearing to grow introspective. The next waffle might even be cooking when he speaks up again, after another swig of coffee. "I don't think there would be broken bottles in the Park, if I were to run barefoot through the grass there." By his tone, he's inviting opinions from Kai.

Kai decides that, yeah, he's going to make more waffles. Even if there aren't enough to give the boys more than one, someone will eat them. Which means if Steve's still hungry, he's in luck. "Oh, sure, I take my shoes off in the park all the time," he says. "I'm tough, though. Even if I do step on a little glass, it won't bug me too much. So far I've been lucky."

As the waffle cooks, he gives the batter a stir. One must keep it light and fluffy. "There's nothing like damp grass between your toes," he says. "Maybe it's an Elf thing, but I don't think so, to want to feel connected to the land."

One last scrape of a forkful of fluffy waffle and down the hatch it goes. Steve even makes a point of sweeping a finger through the remaining lines of syrup to clean the plate entirely. A proper bottomless pit, this man, already giving the waffle maker consideration — but by the way he leans back in his chair, there's a breather to be had, to allow the stomach to catch up with the eyes.

"I dunno about cold grass, but warm grass is wonderful. I always liked walking it when I could, back when I was younger." And smaller, more prone to being shaken by illness and stuck indoors more often than not. "I'll have to try a jog in the grass next time I'm in the Park. When the weather's warm. I think we'll get another warm day yet. Winter's thinking about it, but still hemming and hawing."

"Warm grass is pretty nice, too. I like the cold though. Sometimes I wonder if there's any Ice Elf in my lineage," Kai says. He takes down a new plate to put the newly cooked waffle on. Then he comes to collect the butter and syrup so he can slather the eight waffles he has prepared. "We should bring a football, kick that around," he suggests. "I guess you Americans call it a soccer ball. Maybe Bucky will join us. That should turn into a righteous brawl."

Steve laughs and shakes his head at the idea. "I think the word is a 'scrum', when two soccer players get into a tussle. I'm not sure though, don't quote me on it," he adds, still comfortable in his chair and apparently not getting up for seconds just yet. "He'd like that. I bet we'd accidentally deflate the soccer ball though…and I'm not kicking around a bowling ball. Those still hurt." How on earth does he know this? Best not ask.

Kai glances at Steve sidelong, one brow arched. He doesn't ask, but he does wonder. "Fair point, we might kick it to pieces. Maybe we could get a medicine ball." After the waffles are slathered, he takes the plate up the stairs and leaves it in the designated spot. Now the wait begins.

He comes back into the kitchen, though. They always seem to know when he's stalking them to catch a glimpse. Someday! But not today. We used to play cricket back in Scotland, but I had to learn to restrain myself because I could hit the ball too far. We were trying to pass for human. But sometimes I loved to hit that ball so hard it exploded."

"Medicine ball might be good," and the Captain nods. He cranes his neck to watch Kai approach the stairs and leave the offering of waffles where the boys normally know to grab food. They're a little less nervy around him, but not by an appreciable amount. Uncle Steve is still scary business now and then.

"Exploding cricket balls. The things I learn. I've never exploded a cricket ball. A basketball, yes. Football, absolutely. A baseball is hard, but they…implode, kind of, if you squeeze hard enough." He makes a fist by way of demonstration, the muscles of his arms briefly standing beneath the material of his sweatshirt. The coffee mug in his other hand is unscathed, thank goodness.

"They're so flimsy," Kai says with a small sigh. He's never been weak, alas. These Midgard contraptions have always been prone to breaking, imploding, and falling apart when handled just so. The Elf has learned to hold back. "We should get Stark to make us a soccer ball that won't fall apart the first time we kick it." Because Tony is of course there to fulfill whims.

"It must have been nice," he mentions as he pours more batter for another waffle, "when you became strong, all the things you could do that you couldn't before. What was it like? I imagine it was like a butterfly coming out of a cacoon."

Steve's wheat-gold eyebrows lift up. "Well, I…remember that it was easier to breathe. The air was nice. It was a growth-spurt overnight in less time than that. I had to relearn where my limbs were, but that wasn't too bad. My memory seemed to be sharper — still is, I guess." On the inhale, he pauses. On the stairwell, a faint sound. He grins and tilts his head the slightest towards it. Maybe if Kai looks fast enough, he'll catch a glimpse of the boys?

"It was like a whole new world with a whole new set of expectations. I was the best lab rat of them all," he finishes rather wryly. "A true specimen. Joining the Army does work in your favor."

Kai perks up, and he glances over just in time to see a pair of hand whisk the plate away. He practically vibrates with glee and clasps his hands together. "They're getting lax," he says in a pitched, happy voice. Just that glimpse of a sleeve and a hand has made his day. It doesn't take much.

"I was always rather hale," he mentions, "though I wasn't very big. Some Elves are quite tall, but I took after my mum in that department. "Anyway, I'm glad it happened, that you're here and strong, and that we became friends. The world's better off. At least for you being here. I'm sure our friendship will make it a better place, too."

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