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Nutmeg

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Jane pushed herself as deep as she could into the cabinet. Her shoulders ached and her feet were in the air, but she couldn’t reach the last tub of nutmeg at the end of the shelf. 

It was her own fault, of course. She was the one who shoved it back there to make room for the syrup and garlic salt. It wasn’t like she used it that much, so why not? She didn’t even like nutmeg that much. She much preferred vanilla. Just her luck, half the guests at her and Loki’s Christmas party wanted nothing more than nutmeg eggnog.

“Dearest, if you need help, just ask me.”

Loki’s voice came from… somewhere. It was too dark to see and Jane was not entirely sure she could get herself out.

“I’m fine,” she groaned. “It’s under control.”

“Is that why you’re hanging out of the cabinet?”

“Shut up.” Jane pushed herself further, the stool sliding away as she launched herself. 

“Are you sure?” he asked. He sounded closer now. “Magic aside, I am taller than you.”

“Thanks for the reminder.”

Her fingers brushed plastic and her heart leaped. Just a little further to the left. If she could just knock it over or inch it closer, maybe she could get this stupid eggnog made before Tony or Clint rallied everyone into a revolt. 

“Why is it back there anyway?” Loki asked.

“Because I’m stupid,” Jane replied bluntly. 

He gasped. “For shame! To insult my beloved like that. Please don’t break my heart again.”

“I’ll do my best once I have this eggnog.”

She stretched her arm as far as it would go. Her thumb swiped it. It shook but stayed upright. That was fine. Progress is progress. 

“You might break the cabinet,” Loki said.

“Yeah right,” Jane replied. “As if you didn’t reinforce it the second I climbed in.”

Nothing. Point for Jane. 

“Regardless, it is unsafe for you to be up there without support,” he said.

“Then stand there and hold my legs,” Jane said. She squinted against the dark and locked in on the yellow wrapped tub. Just one more good push and she’d have it. 

One… two…

Jane jumped on two. She couldn’t help it. Her right arm was coming out of its socket and she was pretty sure she wouldn’t have a footstool after this. The wood held as she had hoped, but the nutmeg slipped out of her reach. One arm flailed, and it was enough to dislodge her from the cabinet.

“Oh sh-” she landed on the pair of metal poles that were Loki’s arms. 

He held her aloft, grinning in that smug way of his. “Now shall I retrieve it for you?”

At least he didn’t say ‘I told you so.’ 

“Whatever,” Jane said, folding her arms. “I would’ve gotten it.”

“I know, dear,” he said, reaching up and getting without even going on tiptoes.

“Hey guys,” Tony stumbled into the kitchen. His eyes were unfocused and his face red. “You’re missing the party! Come get some eggnog.”

Jane blinked. “What? Where’d we get eggnog? I only just found the nutmeg.”

‘You did?’ Loki mouthed. Jane ignored him.

“Aw, don’t worry about that. I ordered some twenty minutes ago. We’ve got plenty. Come on!”

He skipped back into the party, leaving Jane and Loki alone with the now useless nutmeg. Jane’s legs finally failed her and Loki had to conjure a chair before she hit the floor.

“Let’s kill him,” she said casually.

“Would you prefer quick or slow?” 

“Go with what you feel.” Jane dropped her head in her hands and moaned. “I really hate eggnog.” 

Loki hummed, and then a sweet, chocolatey scent filled the air. When she looked up, he held a steaming mug under her nose. “Then allow me to make your night better?”

Jane smiled and took the mug. The first sip was like a taste of heaven. “You know, you can be really romantic when you want to be.”

“Only for you, darling. Only for you.”