1965-10-16 - Moving Forward
Summary: Steve and Kai talk about the breakup over the making of omelets.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
kai steve-rogers 


Kai is in the kitchen again. He's in jeans and a striped t-shirt, nothing terribly fashionable. He tends to tone it down around the manor anyway, since the people he runs into here aren't exactly his fellow fashionistas. His hair is disheveled, and he's barefoot. He stands before the fridge, gathering various ingredients into his arms. Eggs, milk, butter.

Under one of the kitchen chairs is Kevin, the round little mutt of Kai's. The spoiled pup is watching with intense interest. Something might get dropped and, if so, he might have to go clean it up.


And in walks one Steve Rogers, dressed civilian in his bomber jacket and jeans. A little grocery run, apparently, for he comes bearing brown paper bags of produce and more coffee — because running out of coffee here does count as an emergency sometimes.

"Hey Kai," he says by way of greeting, pausing by the central island counter to drop off the two paper bags. "And Kevin." Dropping down to one knee, the Captain pats his thighs lightly and beams. C'mere, you little rascal.


Kevin perks up and scrambles to his feet, then trots over to Cap, that ridiculous tail helicoptering round and round rather than wagging as such. The dog is always just so cheerful, one ear sticking up, the other bent over.

Kai looks up, and he smiles a little. "Hey," he says. The stained and dirty string he usually has tied around his wrist is gone. "I was thinking of making omelets. We've got plenty of eggs, and I don't think they're just a breakfast food."


Kevin gets a good ruffling of those adorable up-down ears that can never make up their mind. Steve knows better than to try and smooch that dark little snoot too, but he does make sure to give scritchies in all the right places before standing up again. Whether or not a dog is odd to have around the manor, it's at least been a bright spot for Steve, unable to have pets himself for so long.

"I did grab some fruit and vegetables — not that you'd want to put bananas in omelets. There is some…" The sound of rattling around the brown paper bags. "Spinach. Green peppers. No Spam, sorry," he adds in light jest. "Nothing canned if I can help it. Too many cans." His years in the Army haunt him yet. He brings the greenery over to lay them by the sink to be washed shortly. First, the rest of the perishables must be allocated. "Long day?" he asks, sensing a dimming in the Elf's usual wattage.


Kevin tries to festoon Steve with puppy kisses, licking his fingers whenever possible. He grunts and brrfs happily as he's scritched. Kai can't help but smile to see the little dog so pleased. The dog trots after Steve, following him for the moment. He'll get lazy again soon and lay down, but for now, Steve's the man!

"It's nice to cut up a little fruit to put on the side," Kai says. He brings the eggs and milk to the counter, sets the butter beside, and goes looking for a bowl. He knows where bowls are, so the fact it takes a moment or three is unusual. He finally stops before the cupboard, staring at it, and he sighs a little. "Loki left. He decided he was done playing happy families."


Kevin gets another grin as he finds himself accompanied by the small dog and scoots aside on the mat before the sink to give the dog space should he want to curl or sit and lean against his leg. He's got the cold water running, all the better to rinse off the spinach, and glances over at Kai. His brows meet in a frown as he watches the hesitation.

At hearing the reason, Steve pulls his mouth to one side and looks down at the spinach in his hands. Still on its stalks, he needs to pluck it yet once it's clean. "That's a damn shame, Kai. I'm very sorry to hear this," he replies sympathetically. A quick wipe-wipe of one hand on his pants to get it as dry as possible and then a pat-pat between Kai's shoulders. "A damn shame," he repeats with quiet emphasis.


Kevin sits on Steve's foot and lets his tongue loll out the side of his mouth. Whatever else may be going on, everything is good in Kevinland. He's got a warm place to hang out and a nonzero chance of scraps. What more could a dog want?

Meanwhile, Kai takes down a mixing bowl. He looks up at Steve, and he offers him a small, brittle smile. "Thank you," he says quietly. The smile fades, and he utters a quiet sigh. "I knew all along, I think, that it was a game for him. I knew he'd get tired of playing it. Things are just going to be a little tight now. I've sold what I could to give me some breathing room, but I have my job at Saganaki, and I have my old flat. I could've kept the penthouse, it's paid for, but…" He shakes his head. "Too much history."


Steve nods, going back to rinsing off the spinach. On a clean dishtowel off to one side of the sink, he places each individual leaf, carefully pinched and removed from the stems.

"You've got a place to stay here at the manor if you fall onto hard times. From what I remember, your job at Saganaki is a stable one; you're a reliable employee. You've got friends here and elsewhere." He glances over, wearing a sad smile. "People change. I wish they wouldn't sometimes…and then again, I do," he amends, laughing wryly to himself. "Sometimes they grow apart. Doesn't hurt any less, I hear, but there's time for that. Then, once the hurt's gone, there's time to think." Another curt nod, in agreement with his own thoughts on things.


Kai sets the bowl on the counter. He moves on autopilot, breaking the eggs one by one. "All I can think about is how my family is probably breathing a sigh of relief. They don't want Asgard's eye turned on them. And I think about how I was killed that one time because of a game between him and Maelkith. Is it warped that part of me is relieved? I'm hurt, of course. I'm devastated, but I'm also like… it's finally over. I can stop waiting for the other shoe to drop."

He pours milk into the bowl and begins to whisk. The thing with omelets is they need to be whisked vigorously, and so he does. "And part of me feels sorry for him, because he's trapped by his nature. He's fated for misery. I, at least, can be whoever I want."


Fingertips reached down in a slight lean scratch gently atop Kevin's head, simply because this can be indulged in the quiet of the kitchen. "There's nothing wrong with feeling relieved, no, or feeling sorry. You had a deep connection to him," Steve says, still respectful in his volume. "There will be time to sort all of that out." He finishes gleaning the spinach leaves from the stalks and then tosses them in the correct bin.

"Wish I could be more help, Kai, but…I'm not exactly a vault of relationship wisdom. Been too busy." He retrieves the green peppers, sighing to himself — and at himself, in a way. "Buck might be a better source of wisdom. He was a lady's man when I was still asthmatic and weighed no more than a sack of rice."


Kai smiles at Steve again, though his blue eyes are red-rimmed. "You're doing fine," he says gently. "And you've got the right idea: be too busy for it. I didn't do relationships before him. Never seemed like a good idea, you know? I'm surrounded by mortals, and their lives are so fleeting. I liked to keep things casual."

The eggs get such a whisking that, if he's not careful, he's going to end up inventing something new and French-sounding. Once he realizes that they're quite smooth, he goes to the stove and puts down a pan. "One of these days we might have to fight him," he mentions. "That used to fill me with dread, but now? I think I might not mind it so much."


The soft shuff and clatter of an opening drawer is Steve hunting for a knife with which to cut up the green peppers. They were a far quicker wash, one over and then set aside by the spinach.

"Isn't there a saying that goes…what is it - better to have loved and lost than not at all? It's always seemed…cliche to me," he confesses even as he finds one tucked away within the drawer. A cutting board and now he's set. "Maybe the rationality comes from naivity being safe and boring. I dunno." He shrugs, frowning down at the green pepper even as he cuts it cleanly in half. "If you end up fighting him, be careful. Do you want any pepper in yours? I was going to cut up strips, but I can do those little squares too." Someone doesn't cook regularly by the lack of terminology.


"I'm always careful," Kai says. "And yeah, strips are fine." He heats up the pan, keeping an eye on it. Kevin has wandered back over to under a chair so he can lay flat on his side and sleep, snoring softly. He glances at the dog and smiles a little. "At least I got Kevin in the breakup. And Bucky."

Speaking of Bucky, he glances toward the stairs, then brings down three plates. One for Steve, one for himself, and one to pile omelets on for the kids. "You're better off," he says, "not bothering with relationships. I'm an idiot for having a romantic heart."


"Friends can stand in for now," replies the Captain in the same even-keeled faith he has in his beliefs. "I've not lacked for friends over the decades and never found myself looking beyond them." A lie, in the end, but it's not about him right now. "You do have Kevin and Buck — me and the rest of us here. Even Tony. I heard he forgave you about putting the ferret in his suit…? Or was it a weasel?" Steve glances over wearing a small smile as he finishes cutting up the first round of green pepper strips.


Kai says wryly, "It was a ferret, and he kept it. I don't know what he's going to do with it, but he let me know I'm not getting it back." He takes a block of cheese from the fridge and grates a big pile on a plate. "I'm rich in friends, and I've got purpose. Without those things, I think I would be a mess." With everything prepared, he pours some of the egg mixture into the pan to get the first omelet started. "It's just as well, with the ferret. It was beating up Kevin."


"Poor Kevin." Steve leans back to look around and to the sleeping pile of fur beneath the table. "I can't imagine him losing against a ferret, but he's got a heart of gold even if he can't do much more than bark ferociously." The man is terribly fond of the small dog, in the end. "I can always ask for him back from Tony, if you want me to. I can't see him keeping it forever. I think I've heard some crashes and sounds of running around in his laboratory that have nothing to do with trialing experimental armor and more to do with a loose creature."

Grabbing up a large dinner plate, he places the spinach leaves and green pepper slices on a plate and sets it near to Kai's collection of cooking matter. "There we go. You want coffee?" Fishing out the bag of grounds takes no time at all and he works at prepping a new caraffe, even if he gets it all to himself.


"He doesn't fight back," Kai laments, glancing back at the dog as well. Then he sprinkles cheese on the omelet in progress. "He just rolls over and whines, and the ferret was taking no prisoners." He considers, then shakes his head. "Nah, let him keep it. He looked like he had an Idea and those are always good." Especially when they result in explosions. The news that the creature might be giving Stark some trouble brings a smile to the Elf's lips.

"I'd like some coffee," he says. He piles on some spinach and peppers. "I'm going to miss mornings at the penthouse," he says, wistful. "Waking up, making coffee and taking in a view of the city. I don't belong there, though. I should be in the neighborhoods where I'm helping people. They don't get spectacular views."


"There's always the roof here. I go up there first thing in the morning sometimes, when the sun hasn't risen yet, just to watch the city wake up." Clink clink, he grabs down two mugs after getting the machine going and stands there, watching it get to work. But a watched pot never percolates, so he ends up leaning on the counter and appreciating the smell of that first omelet. "I bet you'll catch me once or twice if you're up that early. I remember you said you liked sleeping. I understand that."


"It's one of my favorite forms of leisure," Kai says. "And Elves are a leisurely people. Maybe I'll write home and tell gran I've discovered the art form I wish to hone over centuries in a never-ending quest for perfection: sleeping." Of all the other art forms he legitimately has worked on mastering, of course he would tell her that, just to troll her.

Omelet by omelet, he fills the plate that is to be left on the stairs' landing, where it is quickly whisked away by swift hands. Then he settles in to make two omelets, one for each of them. Then, he whips up a little egg and cheese scramble for Kevin. The talk seems to have brightened his spirits, and over the meal, he's even back to his laughing self, at least for a little while.


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