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The Morning After

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They ended up bunking up at Stark's place, two floors down from the room with broken windows and broken floor. With everything that had gone on, it was the only place around that was well functional; and they simply could not bear to leave the scene just yet.

In the morning, Steve stopped an argument between Tony and Clint, regarding the best places to have breakfast in the city, by offering to make pancakes. The idea of pancakes was warmly welcomed by everyone. Thor offered to help.

They ended up going shopping first, hoping to find a shop open in the vicinity, because while Stark's fridges contained the best brands of everything you could think of and more than several things the two of them could not think of, they had zero eggs. Steve knew ways of stretching one egg to cover more than nature intended, but he had never learned how to make pancakes without any.

Then he got a call - "Black Widow to Team Breakfast, please bring some sour cream, too" - and thought that he could learn to like this gang after all.



"Breakfast," Steve said.

It was the first time he could take a good look at their adversary outside of the heat of battle. Loki looked like someone who had not slept in days. Hulk had not been gentle and sleeping with handcuffs could not be comfortable, but the one night could not account for this level of haggardness.

"What is it?" he snarled, keeping up appearances.

"Pancakes," Steve replied.

They were plain, without jam or Natasha's jealously guarded sour cream, but he would be damned if he let a prisoner go without sustenance.

"I don't want your Midgardian food," Loki replied stubbornly.

What followed threatened to be a staring contest Loki was determined to win. But Steve had trained in staring contests with scraggy, brazen-faced alley cats; he could see it for what it was.

He tore off a piece of a pancake, ate it and placed the plate where Loki could reach it. The rest was up to him.