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Sweep the Kitchen

Chapter Text

"For the love of God, does anyone have a pencil?!"

As Jane's plaintive cry rises above the normal diner din, Clint violently jerks, making the knife in his hand skitter across the cutting board. Still thankfully in possession of all ten fingers, he spins around and takes stock of the situation.

Jane is standing in the middle of the diner. Her chest is heaving with frustration, and there's a manic, wild look in her eyes that Clint recognizes all too well.

"I'm having a thought," Jane says, her voice trembling. "No, no, it's not just a thought; it's an epiphany. An epiphany! I need something to write with! Anything!"

Clint stares, wide-eyed, along with everyone else in the diner as Jane slowly turns in a circle, her movements getting even more erratic. Usually Darcy, who's still the best at handling their resident genius, would have stepped in by now. Then Clint remembers; Darcy had a dental appointment this afternoon.

"Aw, crap," he mutters.

"Pencil?! Pen?! Marker?!" Jane throws her trembling hands into the air. "Lipstick?! Eyeliner?! Something?!

Clint figures that, as owner of the establishment and Jane's boss, it's his duty to step up. He puts down his knife and opens his mouth, ready to make soothing, placating noises, when he's stopped by the sound of someone clearing his throat.

"Excuse me," Detective Odinson says. He eases out of his chair and approaches Jane, stopping only a foot or so away from her. "If I may..." He reaches up and carefully plucks a pen out of the half dozen writing implements Jane's been absently sticking in her updo throughout the day.

Jane's eyes cross as Odinson brings the pen down in front of her face. "Oh." Her eyes uncross as she looks at Odinson. "Oh." A dopey smile comes over her face. "Thank you. That's... Thanks."

Odinson grins at her in return. "I believe you had an epiphany."

"I had a what?" Jane says, a little breathless. "Oh. Oh! Right, yes! Paper! Paper!" She frantically pats at the pockets on her apron, then pulls out a little notebook and starts to scribble furiously.

Crisis averted, almost everyone in the diner turns back to their food. Odinson, however, remains standing, watching Jane with a clearly besotted look on his face.

"I did not see that coming," Peter says softly before he hands Luke a new order.

Clint shakes his head, exchanges an amused glance with Luke, then goes back to cutting up tomatoes.