“Captain Steve, why is your gaze affixed so intently upon yon metal box?”
Steve started as Thor came up behind him. “Pardon?”
“Has it bewitched you somehow? Shall I smash into tiny pieces?”
“No! Wait! Sorry. I was just…”
Steve gave his friend a small smile. Of all the Avengers, Steve thought Thor was probably the only one who truly understood his unease in this new and modern world. “No. I was just pondering the microwave. We didn’t have them back in my time.”
Thor took a step closer to the microwave and poked it once with his index finger. “What does it do?”
“It…cooks food in a fraction of the time it takes to cook them on the stove.”
Steve nodded, then pulled a bag of popcorn from the cupboard. “See, first you take this plastic wrap off, then you put the bag in the microwave.” Shutting the door, he pushed the button labeled ‘popcorn,’ then took a step back to stand beside Thor.
Both men listened in awe as the sound of kernels popping filled the room. Thor laughed in delight as the bag grew larger.
When the microwave dinged, Steve stepped forward and pushed the button to open the door. The smell of freshly popped popcorn permeated the air. Carefully taking the bag from the microwave, Steve pulled the top of the bag apart to show his friend the inside.
“What a marvelous invention!” Thor took a handful of popcorn. “What else can it cook?”
“Everything, I think; although I’ve never used it for anything other than popcorn.”
Thor rubbed his hands together gleefully. “This, my friend, calls for some experimentation. Jane is not the only one who can conduct scientific tests.”
While Steve laughed, he couldn’t help but feel a tad apprehensive. “I have a bad feeling about this,” he muttered under his breath.
“Explain to me again how you two managed to set my kitchen on fire.” Tony Stark rubbed both eyebrows with one hand and tried very hard not to sigh. He wondered if this was how Pepper felt before she worked herself up to a really good scolding.
“Your microwave is a fascinating invention,” Thor boomed. “Not only does it cook food, but it provides a glorious light show as well.”
Tony resisted the urge to shout. “It’s not supposed to provide you with a light show.”
“No. Because you’re not supposed to put metal dishes in the microwave.”
“Because microwaves and metal do not mix as…as you found out.” He waved his arm toward the fire-damaged wall behind the microwave.
“We’ll pay for all the damages.” Steve hadn’t lifted his head to meet Tony’s gaze since Tony had entered the kitchen with a fire extinguisher.
Tony felt like he had kicked a puppy, but instead of feeling bad, he felt his spine straighten. Even puppies had to learn basic home safety; otherwise, they had a tendency to burn down perfectly good kitchens.
“It’s not about…look, I’ll have this mess cleaned up and then we’re going to have a…training session on the safe use of microwaves. Okay?”
“An excellent plan!” The enthusiasm in Thor’s voice was hard to miss. “You Migardians have the most fascinating technology. I look forward to learning more about it. Now, I must find Jane and tell her the results of our experiments.”
“Steve?” Tony looked at his friend after Thor left.
“I am truly sorry. Jarvis did try to warn us, but--”
“Thor was too excited to hear?”
“It’s okay. Really. It’s not even like it’s the first time I’ve had cause to redecorate this kitchen this year.”
Steve winced, but nodded. He looked up, his eyes full of apology and opened his mouth to speak. But after a moment, he snapped it shut again, then sheepishly left the kitchen.
Tony rolled his head back onto his shoulders and stared at the ceiling. When had he become the responsible one of the group? No doubt, Coulson already had the whole incident on tape and was probably laughing himself sick. Looking around the kitchen, he sighed. He supposed it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
He just needed to design a microwave that could withstand an Asgardian warrior's curiosity, which in the long run probably wasn’t a bad idea, considering how often Sif and the Warriors Three stopped by.
He breathed in deeply.
Now he was craving popcorn.