Home Cooking

Summary:
September 15, 2014 As promised, Sam has May, Jericho, and Steve over for a homemade meal at his mom's place.

Darlene Wilson's apartment — Harlem


Characters

NPCs

  • K'nert
  • Darlene Wilson

Mood Music:


Asked whether she would mind hosting a few of her son's friends for dinner, Darlene Wilson pulled out all the stops. There's chicken, fish, collard greens, fresh spinach salad, buttered asparagus, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, and more. She's also got a look in her eye that says any unexpected requests will be met with the full force of her culinary talents.

"Geez, Mom. It's just a couple of friends," Sam says sheepishly when he sees the impressively laden table.

"The last friend of yours I had over turned out to be Captain America," Darlene says, setting out a pitcher of tea. "That boy looks like he has an appetite."

-

Jericho Trent is not Captain America. Not by a long shot. In fact he looks kind of like hell, and depending on your particular bent, more than a little otherworldly with those flashing amber eyes. He's quite happy for a home cooked meal and quite interested to see the place where Sam lives. No comment about him living with his parents as one might expect. In fact, for a brief moment, he looks a bit wistful before settling into a chair. K'nert is hanging out in the shadows, as often he does. Jeri's told him in no uncertain terms to behave.

-

Melinda May is as taciturn as always, but not being completely ignorant of proper house guest etiquette, she brought already cold beer for Sam (though as much for herself and Trent as for him) and handmade ice cream from the place kind of equidistant between Wilson's home and the Triskelion. No comments from her either about residing with his mother. It's a set up that May might consider envying if she didn't know her own mother as well as she does.

-

Darlene looks Jericho over, a slight crease of disapproval on her lips, then nudges a bowl of mashed potatoes closer to him. Her son's friends can't all be superheroes, but by God, under this roof they'll eat like them. The next second, she's off into the kitchen to retrieve something else.

Sam smiles helplessly. "Hope you guys like Thanksgiving in September." Despite their diplomatic silence on the matter, he goes on to add, "I came off the Exo program in July, planning to crash here for maybe a month while I got my own place sorted out. Between Stark and SHIELD? Not so much apartment hunting is happening."

Darlene darts back in with a steaming bowl of corn. "Don't be silly. You know you're welcome to stay as long as you need to," she tells him, taking advantage of her motherly super-hearing ability. The corn also ends up near Jericho, for some mysterious reason.

-

Jericho smiles lightly. At least his appetite hasn't been affected despite - if he knew it - still hemorraging life force and bits of soul. "You don't have to lie to us Sam. We both could tell right away that you're staying for the food. I mean really, can you be blamed?" If that were the case he certainly couldn't be blamed. The food is pretty damn good even if it's not quite what he's used to either at his own place or around May. "Your end of the OP go okay, Sam?"

-

Melinda May offers Darlene a smile and a nod of thanks, putting tiny portions of everything on her plate. Even with taking tiny portions, that's still a FULL plate. "Yes, regale us. I already got Logan's version of what happened on his end, but, well, you've met him."

-

"The food is really good," Sam agrees with a grin. Darlene looks satisfied as she takes her own seat, although she tenses slightly when they start talking about Greenland.

"Sure, everything went fine. Your geek squad is pretty green, but smart enough that they weren't too hard to keep safe." Sam gets some chicken onto his plate to accompany the vegetables that are already there, and passes the tray along. "That robot girl, though — she one of yours? I'd think Stark, but I'm around the guy enough to know that he doesn't go for fembots."

-

Jericho makes a so-so motion with his hand. "Cricket Schodt you mean. Yes, she is. Her mainframe tried to kill me once, but I cleared that up and now her program accepts me as one of the scientists who worked on her project. She contacts me when she needs code which isn't as often as you might think since she's a pretty smart computer herself. Still, sometimes one needs an unconventional touch and thinking outside the box is more or less what i do."

-

Melinda May's eyes flick back and forth between the two men, collecting data. She might have to speak with Stark about sending unapproved AIs into combat situations, though from the sounds of it she's going to have enough on her hands just getting Fitz and Simmons up to speed for more than basic field work. She tries to not make it sound accusatory, but, well…

"What did Fitz and Simmons do?"

-

"Well, she's a cerified badaaaa" Sam's eyes go wide in the middle of his response to Jericho. "aaaaattitude. Honestly. You couldn't program her with some manners?" Nice save, rescueman.

Darlene gives her son an unimpressed glance, but hearing that the mission went well does seem to stave off the worry she showed when the topic came up earlier.

"They weren't bad, don't get me wrong," Sam backtracks, not wanting to get the scientists in trouble. "Creative with the gadgets, responsive to the situation. But they need some work. Sightlines, combat movement. Moving independently at all, actually." Insisting on staying at hugging range in the middle of a fight can be a liability, he probably doesn't need to spell out.

-

Jericho had noticed the odd pair clinging to one another as if in fear of certain death when the Starfire had teleported everyone out. "She's an ex Hydra project that developed a mind of her own, Sam." He chuckles as the man's cover. "The 'unit' - that's who you met - has always been friendly with me. It's the mainframe I had to teach some manners." By which he means, get into a mental hack-war with and nearly die, but it worked out in the end.

"Fitz and Simmons. Those are your R and D folks right? The ones I was avoiding earlier because I don't want to explain how my tech works to them?" Jericho seems amused as he glances over to May. "Well at least they're still alive, so good work on that I suppose, Sam."

-

Yeah, more intel to follow up on. May's been trying to work on making Fitz and Simmons a bit less like Shaggy and Scooby when the chips are down, but clearly there's a ways to go yet. And, potentially lethal mainframes are NEVER good things to have to deal with. Sounds like Trent got that sorted out already, though. Thank goodness. The SHIELD agent lets the menfolk talk around her briefly as she addresses Darlene quietly. "What would it take to get this asparagus recipe from you? I know someone that would literally melt out of their seat over them."

-

Steve knocks lightly on the door, lifting his wrist to check his watch and wrinkling his nose at the time. There's no denying that he's late but sometimes things happen - namely an attempted mugging on the subway. In one hand he holds a circular, mostly-flat Tupperware container (the marvels of the modern age) which he leans in to check carefully. When the door is opened, he steps inside and looks sheepish despite himself.

"Sorry I'm late. I bought a pie—"

If it were possible, that sheepish look only gets more sheepish when he sees all the food that has been laid out. Oops.

-

"You and your ex-Hydra projects, Jericho," Sam says with a laugh. "I didn't realize I was part of a growing collection. But yeah, that would be Fitz and Simmons. Bright kids, but… they've got plenty to learn." A lopsided smile crosses his face, then he goes to get the door.

"Don't worry about it, Steve," Sam answers the apology, reaching over to clap Rogers on the back as he enters. "If anything, we're gonna need the help."

Darlene grins at May's compliment, but then her expression goes a little rigid and her eyes flick over to her son. "You just try to keep my boy in one piece, Miss May," she answers quietly. "I like to hear that he's out there protecting people from danger, but sometimes I worry."

-

"Hello Steve." The other male guest seated at the table is a hacker Steve may have seen before. He's not at all bad looking, vaguely of middle eastern descent though for all that somewhat non descript. Well, he is normally. At the moment he looks like hell, pale with flashing amber eyes (which he didn't have the last time Steve might have seen him). He's putting food away rather admirably though.

"What can I say, Sam? I don't go looking for them, they just tend to find me. Sometimes they benefit from it too, mmm?"

-

Melinda May is also seated at the table, though appears to be conspiring with Sam's mother at the moment, nodding to the surprisingly-not-that-much-older-woman with a serious expression on her face. "As much as I can, Mrs. Wilson, I promise you that." Though, once she hears that he's in cahoots with Stark…

-

"Hi," Steve offers as he walks in, setting the pie down where it can be gotten at later if anyone has room for it. He sets himself down at the table once that's done, looking from person to person for a moment. He holds off on saying anything further, instead loading his plate up with food - he's got a big appetite

-

"Not complaining, believe me, Jer," Sam answers with a laugh as he leads Steve to the table. There are a limited number of places where he'll be able to set the pie down; none are near Jericho, whom Darlene has surrounded with an impenetrable wall of nutrition.

Sam's mother smiles gratefully at May, then gives her a conpiratorial look. "Deal. I'll get you a copy after dinner." She grins and waves Steve over, gesturing to an empty seat. "Glad you could make it. Were you on this latest mission, too?" No respect for operational security, that Mrs. Wilson.

-

Jericho chuckles, takes a bit more corn and chicken onto his plate. He's starting to slow down a little. Pie looks nice though, if he can get it past Darlene who apparently thinks he's on deaths dore (he's not. It's just a bit of life force hemmoraging. He'll be fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine…). The hacker grins at Mrs Wilson's question. If he were that concerned about it, he wouldnt' have mentioned. She was the mother of a AFSOC soldier. He's sure she can handle a bit of lightly classified info.

-

Melinda May is not even contemplating seconds. Her one plateful is quite enough. Snagging a recipe, though, that is a thing that will happen, and is actively being conspired toward. It's almost as important as trading national security secrets, you know. She looks at Steve and nods. "Rogers. I brought beer." You know, just in case he can't tell by the bottles already on the table. And even though she could answer Darlene's question for the Captain, she doesn't. Manners and all that stuff

-

"Oh? I suppose I could have one." Steve reaches for an unopened bottle of beer. Not that it would have all that much of an impact on him outside of him consuming it in gallons, but it's a nice gesture all the same.

-

Sam snags a beer of his own. "Nah, Steve stayed home this time," he tells his mother. "Either that, or they sent him somewhere different from where they sent us. But strictly speaking, I don't think we're even supposed to know where we are if we're not working on the same thing."

"All these rules!" Darlene answers with a laugh. "But I saw you pack your warm clothes, and Mr. Trent here clearly has pneumonia, so obviously they aren't sending you anywhere pleasant. First the desert, now the Antarctic. Tell them to ship you off to Bermuda next time. Or use those stupid wings of yours and take a vacation. Lord knows you look like you could use one."

Sam rolls his eyes. "I don't know if you get vacations anymore, once you have superpowers," he says with a lopsided smile. "I bet if I go to the beach, sea monsters attack."

-

Jericho smirks. "I'll find Hydra's Tahiti base for you, Sam. Then you can go have an island adventure, fall in love, and ride off into the sunset of explosions. I'm sure your mother will be proud." Pneumonia. Yeah, if only it were just that.

"Nice to see you over Captain Rogers. Been keeping busy?" It's his own back handed way of asking the good Cap what he's been up to. "Not seen you since… mmm, Syria, isn't that right May?"

-

Melinda May nods to Jericho. "Syria." She's also curious about what Cap's been up to, but it's been trained out of her to ask, as most people she'd chitchat idly with would only be able to answer 'classified'. Instead, she can't help but glance around the room and wonder to herself where Redwing usually resides. Clearly not in the living room like a family pet parrot.

-

"Sergeant Rogers, actually," Steve corrects, smiling politely. "The Captain really only comes with the costume … though I don't think anybody in command has actually considered that little wrinkle just yet.

"I've mostly been taking some rec time. Not a whole lot, mind, but just getting my affairs in order. Haven't really had time to properly set up home since they thawed me out."

-

"I know what you mean, Steve," Sam says, then pauses and winces, a little embarrassed. "Well, not on your level, obviously. But now that I've got the paycheck taken care of, I've got to set aside some time for apartment hunting, getting furniture — all that stuff."

The flier catches May's curious search and, after a minute, takes an educated guess as to what she might be wondering. As soon as he can catch her eye, he smiles and points upward: the falcon's mews is on the roof. "Tahiti, huh? I could go for Tahiti. Although, while we're knocking over Tropical Hydra, you are so obviously the one who will end up recruiting some sort of beach-appropriate Super-Friend." Sam grins at Jericho.

-

Jericho snorts, polishing off his plate. "It's not my fault that people tend to come to me for outside the box answers." He shakes his head. "Truth be told, mostly they don't. Folks don't turn to me unless they're out of options which is why I don't generally say no. Every once in a while I run into someone like you, Sam, and happen to know where to find something that'll let you do some good out there."

Jericho grins, glancing over to Steve and May as he does, in a rather self satisfied manner. "I'm glad that particular project worked out, though it's mostly you. You're the one who got a job, found a tech to spruce the pack up, all that."

-

Melinda May sees Sam's gesture toward the roof and ahhs faintly. She's about finishing her own plate of food, but is in no way considering seconds. Thank goodness there's Steve to the rescue…. or something like that.

-

Steve finishes his plate and looks to load it up again, nodding his head as he does so. "I'm getting there. Sara has been a big help. Though I don't think I'll ever get used to having iPad docks in the walls - I feel like I'm living in Arnim Zola's workshop sometimes."

-

"Zola?" Sam asks, giving Steve a blank look. How about that — looks like it's Cap's turn to make a cultural reference, and everybody else's turn not to get it. "Just think of them as plugs, man. I know you had plugs in the 40s," he continues, moving back to a topic he knows a little something about.

"And Jericho, don't sell yourself short, either. I wasn't out of options," Sam points out. "You just did me a favor. I mean, if one of us has been known to come to the other when the chips are down, it is definitely you. Resusci Anne herself would be embarrassed to need first aid as often as you do."

-

"What can I say?" Jericho grins, eyeing the pie now with intent. "I don't do things by halves." Which is very, very true. The hacker seems to neither make friends or enemies in any way that could be considered casual. Love him or hate him, mostly the latter, there he is.

-

Melinda May catches Jericho eyeing the pie, and gestures for Darlene to stay seated. "I'll get it." Momentous occasion, people. NEVER forget this. May is offering to serve up the pie… if it survived crosstown traffic Rogers-style.

-

"Just one of Hitler's scientists," Steve answers almost dismissively, shaking his head. "Mind well ahead of his time but … twisted. No morals. Did a lot to supply the Nazis with their hi-tech gadgets."

-

"Man, I always forget how many actual Nazis you punched," Sam tells Steve with a smirk. "If it makes you feel any better, he's not exactly a household name. So 'ahead of his time' didn't exactly translate to staying power." Unlike some people he could name.

"Just make sure you don't do anything to end up in halves," he rejoins with a snort to Jericho's comment. "I don't carry that much thread on me."

"Sam!" Darlene calls out in a severe voice. "We're eating." May's offer, on the other hand, earns her a grateful smile from the hostess.

-

Jericho snorts at Sams joke. "Magik might be upset with me if i did that, so no, I'll try to stay in one piece. And Steve, next tome we're bringing you. You can punch some magic space nazis." Beat. "I wish i were joking about that."

-

Melinda May returns with a slice of pie for Jericho, and it's swapped out for his dinner plate, which she carries back to the sink before returning to her seat. Anyone else wants a slice, they're gonna have to ask. Nicely. "So where are you staying currently, Steve?" That's a safe enough question, right? "If you need help moving furniture, these two might be able to pitch in." Yes, Sam and Jer, she just volunteered you.

-

"Brooklyn," comes Steve's answer, glancing up at May. "Not quite the old neighborhood but close enough, I suppose. And while I appreciate Sam and Jericho volunteering," he shoots the pair a knowing grin. "I think I've got it managed myself."

-

Sam glances over at Jericho's pie and polishes off the last of his own meal before getting up to grab his own slice. He's never been one to expect others to serve him. He's also got no problem being volunteered by May, although he does point out from the kitchen: "Nah, Steve, you've got it all wrong. May knows full well that Jericho and I are going to end up carrying all the lightweight stuff while you skip past us juggling couches. That mental image is the whole point of this plan, unless I've got her all wrong." His grinning face pops out around the doorjamb as he verifies that he's on the right track.

-

"Voluntold, mmm?" Jericho grins. "Give me a few days to recover and I should be good for that. Otherwise, you can have K'nert." Steve's met K'nert. So has Sam, for that matter. They'll probably share the notion of him lifting a couch being amusing. Jericho certainly thinks it is.

"Do you all have any particular plans now that our little journy through frozen Hell is over?" The relief of having that put to bed is clear on the hacker's face.

-

Yeah. Busted. And yes, May can't help but look a little smug anyway. Though the thought of K'Nert 'helping' is very amusing. Jericho's question gets one of those 'can't really discuss it' shrugs. "Back to the same old at work." Woo, fun. Not.

-

Steve waves a hand at the suggestion he would be running around with a couch on each shoulder, "It's fine. Like I said, I've got it managed."

-

"God, you just know he'd get a couch stuck halfway through one of his little portals…" Sam says, grinning at the image. Of course, the discussion of K'nert the mover is leaving Darlene completely at a loss, and as the son of Reverend Wilson, Sam thinks that introducing the little critter to his mother might not be the best idea.

So, change of subject: "I'm thinking of getting my own place, if life slows down for a week or two while I find a good one. Stark's reasonably healthy again, and nothing's pulling me overseas, so… so far, so good."

-

"Hells Kitchen has some nice places. Pretty upscale. I hear the Bronx is nice-ish too these days." Jericho lives in one of those places, so he would know. "May, perhaps I should find a way to get you sent on an island anti-terrorism trip, though I rather suspect you'd appreciate it more if it were Japan and not Tahiti. Go visit some old Dojo's or something." Not that May would ever take a vacation, Jericho's fairly sure. "I think the world can spin a few days without you making sure I'm not dead. Not that it's not appreciated."

-

Melinda May holds up her hands at Sam's comment about finding his own place. "Don't look at me. I'm busier than an American Airlines pilot on a holiday." Jericho offers some good suggestions, so she nods in his direction, though her eyes narrow as he continues. "Maybe I should take a few people with me. I hear Okinawa is pretty this time of year."

-

Steve's polite smile becomes a bit of a frown as he looks down at his empty plate and then back at his fellow dinner guests. He leans back in his chair, patting his stomach appreciatively. "I'm afraid, Mrs. Wilson, that I've got to be the dinner party guest from heck and take off." A star-spangled man's work is never done.

-

"Upscale isn't a worry. Reasonably quiet neighborhood would be nice, though," Sam says. "Mainly, I just need access to a big roof. Someplace to put a mews and, y'know… land."

Darlene shakes her head. "You should be aiming a little higher than that, Sam. I know that Stark man can afford to pay you well."

Sam sighs, knowing there's no point arguing about how much money he makes, and glances around the table with a wry expression. "I love how we're all subtly hinting that the rest of us desperately need a vacation while insisting that we, personally, will not be taking one."

He shakes his head and stands, wearing a sincere smile. "Anyway, it was good seeing you, Steve. Thanks for coming by." His mother echoes the sentiment and will see her guest to the door whenever he's ready.

-

"My vacations tend to involve snipers." Jericho chuckles as he waves goodbye to Steve. "Stay safe there, Cap."

As the star spangled man with a plan makes his way out, a little demon catches him outside the front door, does the 'I'm watching you' gesture, and vanishes. Cheeky imp.

"My R and R has to be a little less grandiose. It's… just kind of how it is right now."

-

"Take care, Steve." May watches the man take his leave, though if she'd seen the imp herself, the critter might have been on the receiving end of one of her more dour glares. She moves to start helping with getting the dishes back to the kitchen and asks seemingly idly, "Well, if you could go anywhere you wanted, Trent, where would you choose?"

-

Steve shoots out a boot to kick at the demon critter. Not hard, of course, but enough to let it know that he's not intimidated despite it's best efforts. Of course, he might miss it if it vanishes before his reflexes can kick in. Still, he glances back over his shoulder to wave to the others. "G'night. I'll see you later. Thanks again!"

-

Call it battle fatigue. Jericho doesn't know why he's got less filter than he usually does today. It doesn't occur to him to connect having the magic ripped out of him to that. Amber eyes fix May and again there's a flash of whistful that is this time reflected in his voice. "Home."

-

Darlene, fortunately, doesn't get a glimpse of K'nert as she says her farewells. She's so far convinced that her son is surrounded by a fairly upstanding group of heroes and veterans, but a glimpse of a demon on her doorstep might just convince her otherwise.

Meanwhile, at the table. Sam's tempted to make a really terrible pun about snipers and unwanted baggage, but resists. This seems fortuitous a moment later — Jericho's admission is definitely not the right time for joking around. "Where are you from?" the flier asks instead. "I don't think I've ever heard you talk about it."

-

"Los Angeles…" Jericho says quietly. "But I can't go back there now." For which, of course, there are Reasons (tm) but perhaps not ones that should be discussed in front of his mother. Can't have her thinking that her boy is hanging out with criminals and terrorists… even though he kind of is.

-

Melinda May simply nods at Jericho, though she has every intention of cornering him later and getting that full story otu of him. Just, out of deference to Darlene, she's not going to do so here and now. "We'll figure out a way, Trent."

-

For her part, Darlene seems to be getting the cue that the conversation has taken a personal turn, and immediately grabs a couple of serving bowls and heads into the kitchen. She starts sealing the food up in a manner suitable for storage, as well as creating a couple of 'to go' tupperware packages. (Jericho's is, naturally, twice the size of May's.)

Sam sits back and crosses his arms. He doesn't know the whole story here, and doubts he can get it all out of Jericho even with his mother out of the room, but could hazard a guess that it features snipers in a prominent role. "You've done me a few favors, Jer," he says instead of pressing. "You know that if you need something in return, you've just got to ask."

-

"Thanks Sam. It'd be a pretty good hat trick to fix though, even with the other problem out of the way." Mostly this is because Jericho's family is convinced that he's a mass murdering terrorist and has been presented with some pretty good 'evidence' to that effect. When one is an on the run semi-criminal, making a case for 'not' being a mass murdering terrorist that might convince normal people - eg clearing your name in court - is a bit difficult.

-

Melinda May gathers up a few items to carry into the kitchen after Darlene. She knows a tiny bit of what Jericho's hinting at, but not truly all of the details. "I know SHIELD could make a difference there, but you've explained why you don't want me pursuing it. So I haven't." As much as it grates on her not to. She takes the items to the kitchen and stays there for a bit, presumably helping with the dishes and stuff.

-

"Well, like I said, I'll be happy to do what I can. It's not like I'm afraid of a challenge," Sam replies seriously. With a nod toward May, he adds, "And obviously there are other very capable people around you who feel the same way. Think about it, at least. Maybe talk about it, too. I get the feeling you're sort of standing alone against whatever it is, and that's not a good place to be."

Suddenly leaning forward, he grabs a couple of dishes and smiles apologetically. "And that's all the amateur therapy you'll have to suffer through tonight." He stands and starts stacking dishes, pitching in to the cleanup effort.

-

Jericho smiles wryly and finishes his pie therapy. Mmmmm. Pie. Apple of course. What, it was Steve. Did we really expect anything else. Gathering his plate and cup he takes them over to the kitchen. "We need a hand in here tonight?"

-

Melinda May is tapping the recipe information into her phone while Darlene works on the dishes and relates the Wilson secret to amazing asparagus, but pauses just long enough to flick a dish towel through the air at Jericho. "You can dry dishes."


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