"All-purpose flour is my nemesis."
Bucky crossed his arms. "I thought all baking was your nemesis."
"It is," Tony said, setting a small culinary blowtorch on the gleaming steel prep table in the TOBRU kitchen. The rest of the kitchen was unusually empty; TOBRU was closed for the week while Bruce supervised some kind of mystical, arcane remodeling being done to the dining room, and Tony had intended to spend literally a week in bed with Steve, but stupid Steve Rogers had a stupid food truck and wouldn't let his apprentice chef run it alone.
("She's fourteen, Tony." "Old enough to drive!" "That's sixteen." "I was driving at fourteen." "Well, she can't." "I've met Kamala. I bet she could.")
...the result being that Tony had gotten bored and started loitering around Steve and Sam's trucks, and Steve had finally demanded he and Bucky entertain themselves rather than pestering the customers.
"So why are we baking?" Bucky asked, as Tony took cream out of the fridge, then sugar from the pantry.
"Because baking," Tony said, getting a scale down from a shelf, "requires focus and will keep me from going insane out of boredom because your best friend has a terrible work ethic."
"Steve has a great work ethic."
"Which is why it is terrible. Have you ever made caramel sauce?"
"I have eaten it with a spoon," Bucky informed him solemnly.
"Well, I guess that'll have to do," Tony said. "We'll make a nice almond cake with caramel sauce. Simple, fresh, exacting."
"Cake flour," Bucky said, resting one hand on the canister of cake flour.
"Because all-purpose flour -- "
" -- is our nemesis," Bucky chimed in to finish.
Kamala Khan leaned on the internal service counter of War On Hunger and rested her chin on her hand, watching Sam across the parking lot dole out tater tots to some early-afternoon loiterers. Steve smiled indulgently from where he was assembling a sandwich for Tony.
"How many kind of potato do you suppose there are?" she asked.
"Over four thousand," Steve said.
"No! How do you know that? Are you making that up?" she asked, peering at him.
"I make it a point to know these things. And I hang out with Sam a lot. He only uses a few easy to find ones."
"There's so much to know," she sighed.
"Well, if you go to culinary school, you'll learn how to learn about these things," he said.
"I read in an article that Mr. Stark didn't go to culinary school."
"Tony grew up in a test kitchen. You," he said, pointing at her with a pair of chopsticks he was using to scramble an egg on the hot griddle, "grew up in a well-adjusted household."
"Explains nothing about me, huh?" she asked sunnily, turning around to watch him cook.
"Indeed, Kamala, you are a very persistent mystery," he grinned. "You want a peep at the TOBRU kitchen?"
"Yes! Oh my god yes please!" she clenched her hands and pulled her arms into her body.
"Here, take this to -- " Steve began, offering her the sandwich (corned beef and scrambled egg with pickle relish; Tony was a monster). He didn't quite get the whole sentence out before there was a loud popping noise from TOBRU. Smoke billowed out from the kitchen door.
" -- stay right here," Steve said, even as Kamala protested "No! Please let me come see what blew up!" and followed him out of the truck.
Sam tossed Steve his fire-extinguisher as Steve ran past. This wasn't their first TOBRU fire.
"We're fine, we're fine!" Tony yelled, emerging. He was leading a coughing Bucky. Bucky looked okay. Tony was covered with some kind of...slime?
"Caustic?" Steve asked.
"Caramel," Bucky growled.
There was the sound of a cameraphone shutter.
"Kamala, not on the cloud," Steve said.
"War On Hunger instagram!" she replied.
"You can send it to Quentin and Idie at the bakery and that's all," Steve insisted. Kamala pouted but hit send. Steve wiped a line of caramel down Tony's nose.
"What did you do to the caramel?" he asked.
"Science!" Bucky said, throwing up his arms.
"The good news is, the cake is going to be fine, and at least the caramel sauce was cooled when it happened," Tony said. Steve kissed his forehead. "Don't even try that, you just want to taste the caramel."
"Needs more butter," Steve said, licking his lips.
Kamala's phone beeped and she touched the screen. The sound of Peter's laughter, loud and enthusiastic, emerged from the speakers.
"I sent it to Peter too," she said.
"You're fired," Tony said.
"You can't fire me, I work for Steve!"
"Fine, Peter's fired."
"I'll let him know," she replied. "I just have to get his reaction oh wait -- " and she played the sound clip of him laughing again.
"I'm going to shower," Tony said. Steve offered him the plate he still held in his hand. "I'm going to eat this and then shower," he amended.
"I don't get a sandwi -- " Bucky began. Sam appeared, placing a paper tray in Steve's hand as soon as Tony took the plate out of it. Steve held it out to Bucky. "Ooooh. Is that the potato bread?"
"How are you holding up? Because I'm a potato," Tony said. Kamala giggled. Steve gave them a confused look.
"I'm going to eat this sandwich and shower and then you're going to come home and eat almond cake with me," Tony continued. "Kamala, you're in charge!"
"You are not in charge," Steve said, but Kamala had already taken off running, having seen someone curiously approaching the big blue truck with the white star.
"She's in charge. There's a shower in the locker room behind the kitchen. It fits two," Tony said.
"And that's my cue to be anywhere else but here," Bucky said, shoving the sandwich in his face. "Mfghrhgfff, tff!"
"Ride safe, Buck," Steve said, amused, and followed Tony into the kitchen, slowly clearing of smoke.