2020-04-27 - Cookies!!!


Betty visits Steve for some advise on love.

Log Info:

Storyteller: {$storyteller}
Date: April 27th, 2020
Location: Steve's Apartment, Brooklyn, NYC

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Barnes is apparently out on some business or another, leaving Steve to field the visitation from one Betty Brant. He's got the place spic and span, organized and with one window open to let in the spring night air. FUBAR and SNAFU, the paur of googly-eyed goldfish, one black and one gold, are happily lipping away at the surface of their tank's water after flakes of food. Steve himself is in a light-blue button-down overtop a white t-shirt and a pair of jeans, not wanting to be less proper with the t-shirt alone.

Hearing a knock at the door, he looks up from starting the coffee maker. Dusting off his hands before himself as he walks, he opens it up. "Evening, Betty. Come on in," says the super-soldier with one of his polite smiles as he steps to one side.

Betty Brant smiles upon seeing Steve. Her own attire is simple: denim, pumps, a sweater dress. Slipping in, carrying a small plastic food container, she gives Cap the once over before eyeing the living space. It was the first time she'd visited, of course. "You're pretty proper, Steve. You dress like that at home?" She noticed.

With a turn, she offers him the container. "I baked you guys some cookies. Nothing special, just choc chip. I hope they're ok. It's been…oh, ages since I've baked." A frown, she looks down at the /classic/ tupperware dish. "I hope they're ok."

Upon first glance, the apartment itself is open. Tucked to the left of the entryway, a work space filled with a closed laptop and two bookcases filled with titles, its window looking out upon the city. One can see the living room from the kitchen, its entertainment system modern without being over-much. The goldfish tank bubbles merrily on the wall. Steve gestures for Betty to put the tupperware container down on the island counter in the middle of the kitchen.

"Figure a guest merits something more'n a t-shirt 'nd sweatpants?" he asks rhetorically and wryly, his smile still friendly. "Good thing you brought cookies, just put on a pot to brew." He thumbs towards the coffee machine working away. Already, the scent of the coffee is filling the apartment overtop the brighter brisk of lemon-verbena. "Much better beans'n usual, had a friend recommend them to me."

"I wouldn't call me a guest more so than a friend. At some point, I'd like to be worth the shirt and sweats. It's your home, you should be comfortable." She then chuckles. "Besides, you've seen me in close to near nothing when you were in puppo form, remember?" With a wink, she sets the cookies down and inhales deeply. Gods did it smell nice.

Giving a walk around, her heels click lightly. Eventually, she comes to the tank and watches as the fish nipple away at their floating food. "I, ah." She begins and stands. "I'll get the pitiful part out of the way first. I don't have many friends, Steve. I mean, I do, but none to really talk to about this or that in a personal manner?" Turning to face him, she offers an apologetic smile of ruby lips. "If you don't want to be that friend either, I completely understand. Your life is busy enough as is."

Steve tilts his head back and forth and faintly laughs about the ephemeral memories of being a werewolf. His lean against the counter is easy-going, his lightly-folded arms a thing of habit at most.

"We believe in treating both guests and friends with respect around here. It means no sweatpants," he explains. Quietly, he watches Betty wander over to the fish tank. She asks her question and his brows lift.

"Don't see what harm being a listening ear can do? Bear in mind that while 'm an Avenger and a soldier, 'm not a doctor or anything like that." His brows meet. "You in some kind of trouble?"

"For once, I'm not in trouble. Even when I am, I can take care of it now. I have a few people to thank for that." Rubbing at her arm, she exhales and moves toward the kitchen. "Hey, comfort is respect, too. Allowing yourself to be relaxed around someone." A smirk, "I'll let it go. Oh and the question isn't anything medical, so don't worry about that, either." Finding a place to sit, or lean at least, she crosses her arms loosely under her chest.

"I'm engaged now." She begins. "And it scares me to death."

There are three tall barstools tucked to the island counter for use or a small square kitchen table sporting four chairs.

Steve still frowns up until the point of the announcement. His brows shoot up. Now shows the grin, bright as sunshine. "Congratulations then, Betty. Buck would say the same — rather, we'd both have said the same thing at one point or another." His smile doesn't fade away entirely. True-blues rest on her as he slightly tilts his head. "'s'a big step to take in life. What about it scares you?"

He doesn't seem bothered or concerned about her concerns in turn. Instead, hearing the coffee maker announce its finish, he turns and pours them both steaming mugs of black coffee. He listens as she talks, glancing back now and then as he gathers up the condensed milk and the sugar in case she wants to doctor her own mug. He'll be taking his black.

Doctored it is. The pitch liquid soon turning to a smooth and pale tan. Cradling the mug, giving thanks, she blows across its top before taking her first sip. "Thank you. I should be grinning like an idiot and being all giddy I'm sure. At least that's what most women do, isn't it?" A smirk, she sips again.

"It's too…normal? That's weird to say, I'm sure. But it feels so different than anything else I've been involved with it shakes my foundations. We've had that initial fear fight. Things messed up pretty early, but it ended differently?" A shrug, she drinks more and sighs. "I want this. I know I want this. I love him to death. Things haved changed for me so much in the last year than in…ever of my life." Eyes up, she finds his face. "How do you and Bucky do it?"

The super-soldier ends up perched on one of the stools at the island counter. He, at least, is bold enough to crack open the tupperware of chocolate chip cookies and to pluck one as Betty thinks and sips. Her question makes him smile more faintly to himself, his own eyes downcast briefly. The cookie held in his fingers is considered, lightly-browned top and darker-browned bottom.

"Think maybe part of it was that we were friends for a long time before love ever factored into it." One dimple shows as some memory floats across his mind. "'nother part of it was the war. You don't go through something like that in your life without building bonds deeper'n the average handshake on the street. When we say we have each other's backs, there's not a second of doubt. Buck saved my life more'n once. He'd probably say I did the same for him." Steve looks up now, still smiling his little smile.

"Civilian life's been different for us for a while now though, won't argue that. It's give and take, a balancing act. We have our good days 'nd bad days, but…we're still there for one another no matter what."

"I get that stuff. I mean, it's stuff mom would say, even if she never really had a solid guy in her life." It was the basics, really. Not bad basics, but basics. "I mean…I'm coming to terms with a few things. The position in life I have now, my abilities, being more than I ever have been. I've seen other worlds, been other things, found a different and real religion. My soul isn't mine anymore." She taps her cup and drinks again to settle herself. "I've even had to come to the realization that I'll never have something I love for myself. Not completely. Hank came along during a dark time with Eddie. Things just kept growing." A beat. "I can't…sometimes, more than not, I think he's too sweet for me. I've never been with a good guy."

"So's more like you want to pinch yourself because you have it so good?" the Captain asks, his head slightly tilted again. Steam rises from his coffee mug. "Nothing wrong with a little uncertainty, though you're gonna have to ask yourself if it's because there's actually something wrong or because, like you said, it might stem from never having someone who treats you like you should be treated. 's'not about deserving — love's not about deserving," he clarifies.

"Maybe it's because of that. Things are good and they've never been good? I mean, looking at my track record, I can see why. It just was the thing. My 'type'?" Smirking, she looks down at her drink. "I never said I had a good type, even if those were good men." Swallowing, she sips and watches after his hands and that cookie. "Please eat that so I have one less thing to worry about?"

Realizing that he's still holding the cookie, Steve laughs despite himself. "Wouldn't want to make you worry," he quips before taking a bite of it. A thoughtful hum follows and once his mouth is clear, he notes, "These're good. I expect Buck will try hoarding them. Might have to stash 'em before he gets home."

A deep sip of his coffee follows and by the relaxing of his expression, the beans were, in fact, a good blend that blissfully pairs with the cookies brought over. "Nothing wrong with changing types. We grow as people. Maybe who we are at heart doesn't change, but what we want in another person does."

"Aww, let the boy hoard some cookies. Like some…sweet, sugar scaled dragon." Sipping, she exhales gently. "Or at least save him some, hmm? Next time I'll make you each a jar." Giving her mug a swirl, she considers it and nibbles at her lower lip.

"I know that. I'm just afraid of a number of things. How I'll cope, if that's fair to him. If we have children, the type of life they'll have to deal with." Chuffing, she makes a soft noise with her sigh. "I feel like I'm betraying Fen sometimes, even if I know damn well I'm not."

"Wouldn't say no to a jar." The opinion comes alongside the knowledge that neither would Barnes, if push came to shove. Steve still polishes off the first cookie in rapid, neat time and sips deeply of his coffee. His brows meet again, however.

"That's something to take some time 'nd think about, this idea of betraying someone. Fen?" He then quickly lifts a hand off the mug. "Not my place to ask over it. Just…remember that even if you took the ring, you can still give it back, but you'd be better be absolutely sure it's not just cold feet. I know Doctor McCoy. Believe me when I say, and I know you know it, that he's good people."

"I'm not betraying him. I know that. Him and I have talked about things before and I can never really have him. Not fully. He has someone, someone eternal and just…I don't know. Stupid girl falling in love with a god?" She smirks in spite herself, a dimple of her own showing. "Anyway, that's not your problem."

"Fuck, I know he's good people. One of the best and that's what scars me, maybe. He's so good it's not normal for me. He has his demons, I have mine. I'm use to caring but not being taken care of." Eyes up, she finds Steve again. "You and Buck are both warriors, how do you deal with that? How do you let someone else be your partner?"

Steve gives his visitor one of those calm, attentive looks, where it's not necessarily intrusive but it does make one aware of how closely he's observing his fellow conversationalist.

"Because there's no question of loyalty between us. We don't think of anybody else because there won't be anybody else. That was decided long before I offered him a ring for the formal promise. We have to run separate missions with separate teams? 's'work, 's'no reflection on us as a couple. A month apart for the betterment of the world or the end of a problem which should've been snuffed out long ago? So be it." One shoulder lifts and falls.

"That's not what I mean. I'm not saying…" Pausing, she takes another breath and considers her words. "I'm not talking about some fear of loving someone else or anything. I'm just asking how, how you allow someone in so completely. How do you fully open yourself up and leave yourself so raw and weak? Vulnerable?"

"Ah-hah." His eyes fall to his left hand where, given he's at home, he wears his own plain gold wedding band. Steve gets to rotating it on his finger with the pad of his thumb from beneath as he muses.

"Don't think it's something that needs to be done right off the bat, if you're thinking it's tied into accepting the proposal. How do you do it? Well…" Sighing, his gaze goes off somewhere beyond Betty, into the living room's middle distance. "It probably starts with being yourself around 'em, trusting that they love you enough to see you weak — to see you mad — to see you think the worst of yourself. You argue a few times, maybe just a little 'nd then maybe there's something you find you can't agree on. There's always gonna be something in the end, but…you trust in the fact that you love 'em 'nd they love you. 's'the best part, being vulnerable." His smile is quiet.

Betty Brant scoffs. "We've had those. A few big ones already. Well, less than a few, but…he's seen many sides of me. And me him. Those chinks in our armor, but I still have walls. I think he might, too." A shrug. "I'm use to living like that. Guard up, protecting myself." Thinning her lips, she watches after the Cap. "I guess I'm on the right track. We're on the right track." A hand out, she tenderly rests it atop of Steve's own. "Thank you. Again."

"Sure, 's'not a problem. Hope I was somewhat useful. Been a while since somebody asked me about things of this nature." He laughs quietly, ear tips pinking in the manner of his heritage, clear as day. "'s'easy for me to say all that, been with Barnes for years even before it was formalized. It'll be a year coming up here," Steve shares with a reserved sense of pride in the news. "Proposed to him in the first week of May."

He nods to the goldfish tank. "The boys helped me out. Wonder if I'll surprise him if I stick something else in there. Maybe a cake wrapped in air-tight plastic…" Whether or not Steve is serious lends itself to the imagination with the ghost of a smile on his face.

Betty Brant looks toward the tank in question. Smirking, she shakes her head. "I wouldn't go that far. Nothing says 'Happy Anniversay' like the hardest kiss you've ever given someone." Pulling her hand away, she reaches back for her coffee and beings nursing it steadily. "If possible, I'd like you two to be involved. If not Buck, then you definately. As I said, I think you're the closest thing I have to an actual friend that I've had in years."

"No cake in the fishtank? Alright, that's fair," the Captain allows.

He decides to at least stick an anniversary cupcake in the tank instead, just for the absolutely bamboozled expression he'll garner from Barnes. It'll be so worth it.

Steve reaches for another chocolate chip cookie and looks over at Betty with a small half-smile. "Don't see why not. Buck's not one for the spotlight, so dunno about how up-front he wants to be, but 'm happy to be involved. What're you thinking?"

"Oh, nothing yet. I mean, I'm not over with having a ring yet. I don't have any plans what so ever." A glance at the ring, she returns to her cup and drinks. "I don't think either of us have any plans. That place you helped me find was great, by the way. Large enough for the both of us without causing Hank any issues."

Her lips part as she considers something. "If you ever need my help, you and yours, let me know? I feel a bit odd having powers and no one to help with them."

Steve nods. "Glad to hear the place is working out. It was nice that I didn't have to use any leverage about rent being overblown," he notes with something of a scowl. Of course inflation has occured since the 1940s, but still — damn. He's about finished his coffee after this next sip and bite of cookie, leaving the pastry as another crescent moon dotted with chips.

"I'll you know, sure. Haven't had anything happen lately where I could bring in an outside party, but…" A small shake of his head is followed by a consideration of his cup. "Have a feeling an extra hand might come in useful. Remind me again what you've learned to do?"

"Ah, I have my own connections. Rent is wonderful, honestly. So don't worry about helping me out there." Betty Brant - Lady of the People. Maybe she should run for Mayor some day…

"That's good, though, right? Not needing extra muscle? Well, I'm better at fighting. You and I do have our weekly training. I'm also better with my magic. I have my offensive and defensive spells, but I've also been working up more base abilities and potions." Beat. "And seeing visions, but that one takes time. Or when it hits me out of now where, that's always fun." She rolls her eyes. "I've actually been neglecting my studies with Loki and Sigyn. I need to speak with them again."

Again, Steve nods. Yes, the weekly training; this has been progressing well, he's noted. He then rises to his feet after finishing his cookie in a plain move to refill his coffee mug. He does so and then pauses, pot lifted in gesture and offering in case Betty would like a warmer.

"'s'not a bad idea, getting caught up again if you were at studies before. Practice keeps things easy instead of rusty. 've got a couple of contacts myself who probably wouldn't mind another hand the next time something magical decides to break out in the city. 'll speak to them about it, keep 'em in the loop."

Betty Brant lifts her hand to refuse the top-up. "Thanks, I'd appreciate that." Finishing off her mug, the woman slips from her seat and moves around to the sink. Rinsing out her cup, she sets it in the basin before turning to face Steve directly. "You're a good man, Steve Rogers. Guess you always have been, huh?" She teases with a smirk. "Sometimes, I still geek out that I know someone like you." There's a twitch in her body, thinking her actions over before she leans foward and embraces the man. It's brief, and her arms slip away smoothly.

"I think I'll leave you to your airvaccing of pastries. Tell Buck I said hey. Oh and we still want to have dinner with you guys sometime. Or a date."

The hug is returned one-armed and sans a cuffing patpat to the shoulder as Steve might another Avenger. No need to accidentally bruise. He then returns the pot to the machine's nesting and grins, showing a dimple or two.

"Sure, Betty. Buck knows about it, just a matter of the stars aligning — or ducks in a row or whatever saying you wanna use. We're good for a date whenever you 'nd Hank want to call it." Leaving his coffee mug by the machine, he gestures at the tupperware. "You wanna take that home with you? Or you want me to get it back to you once it's empty? Shouldn't take…more'n a day," he guesses, pulling tease at super-soldier appetites and metabolisms.

"It was moms so I'd love to have it back. Only when you guys are done with it, though." Another smile, she offers the man a wave and clicks toward the door. "I'll see you later, Steve. Hopefully soon! Thanks again. I needed that." Waiting for any passing words, she exits and closes the door behind herself.

She smiles at that, resting her back against the barrier for a brief moment. A friend. Confidence. He liked the cookies! It was a good day.

"We'll get it back to you ASAP then," Steve promises. He escorts her to the door, ever a gentleman, and adds, "Never a problem, Betty. Glad I could help out. Maybe next time, we'll see about Buck weighing in on things." Once the door is shut, he turns back to retrieve his coffee cup and settle back at the island counter.

A sigh leaves him and he does consider the fish tank before pulling out his phone. Barnes gets a text about how there's cookies if he hustles back double-time, soldier. Ping — off it goes. Steve then has another cookie, all to himself. Mmm.

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