|ｐａｎｔｈｅｒ (kingly) wrote in avengers_logs,|
@ 2020-04-28 08:38:00
|Things were relatively calm (for the moment) which meant that T’Challa wished to pay a visit to his friends - it had been some time since he’d caught up with Tony and Pepper; of course, he’d visited Tony after the heart attack, just a mellow chat, though now he made sure to do a little more.|
With him, he had a bottle of the most expensive honey wine in Wakanda, nice and chilled. He also had a strategic snack - there were foods meant for healing, for restoration, so he’d taken it upon himself to make something that did just that. Cabbage wraps filled with fonio jollof (rice, some spices but nothing too heavy) and minced meat; he had even grated the carrots and sliced the cucumber into ribbons. The whole thing was drizzled with peanut sauce and eaten like a taco so not the cleanest food but that’s what napkins were for.
They didn’t have to eat and drink right now, however. The liquid was scented strongly, heady, and its taste was even better - kind of a cross between a hard cider and beer, with the effect of going rosy-cheeked upon consumption of the drink. When his people brewed their alcohol, they certainly didn’t do it half-assed. If Tony and Pepper wanted to enjoy it some other time, they were welcome to. He showed up at their penthouse, going through the proper security channels, alerting the residents to his presence, before taking the elevator up to where the entrance was. He hoped he wasn’t imposing - if nothing else, he could just drop off the goods and then bid farewell, if it was a bad time.
It was not a bad time at all.
In fact, it was the perfect time for a visit, especially one involving wine and food, two items that Pepper was sorely missing from her day. One crisis after another had Mrs Potts-Stark running on empty so that by the time the day ended, Tony took one look at her and wisely disappeared with Morgan.
Where, she didn’t know nor did she really care….also not true, but it was a long day. When T’challa’s arrival was announced, she half groaned and yet also felt oddly cheerful. It wasn’t often that the Wakandan king dropped by unannounced. By the time he had entered the penthouse, Pepper had smoothed her suit, brushed her hair and put on a fresh pair of heels. She felt good, and and felt even better when she saw what he had brought.
“Oh my, T’Challa! Did you make all this yourself?” Motioning to him to follow her, she walked to kitchen where they could put this food down. “That is amazing. You are truly a man of many talents. I wish I could cook but unfortunately, it’s not one of my strong suits. I’m only lucky that I work too hard to have time to eat.”
“Greetings, Pepper. And yes, I did. It is a meal I make for Natasha sometimes,” T’Challa chuckled heartily; yes, because his ladyfriend was also apt to run around putting out fires a lot (sometimes actual fires), and he saw to it to ensure she slowed down on occasion. But at any rate, he set the serving platter on the kitchen counter and took the covering off, and all those smells wafted toward them - heat and spice and hopefully what he deemed as comfort. The bottle of wine was also placed carefully. “Well, the wine was brewed back in Wakanda. I simply wanted to share it with my friends here. I don’t have to stay if you’d rather be alone, I just wanted to see how you were doing in person.”
Technology was marvelous (and he would know) but there was nothing like an in-person check-in; it was a lot warmer, he thought.
Pepper had to almost restrain herself from dropping her jaw. “This smells amazing .” The spices were so wholesome and in a way, exactly what she needed. Bustling in the kitchen, she pulled out plates and wine glasses on the island and reached for the bottle. “I am always so honoured when you share your culture with us.” She gave him a cheeky look. “Especially when it’s in the form of alcohol.”
With little effort, she opened the wine, and poured out a more than adequate glass for each. “Should we toast? To family and friends? I hope your mother and sister are doing well. Have they any plans to come visit or will you be going there?” She wanted to ask if Natasha had already met his family, but she bit her tongue on that.
As much as Pepper loved gossip, she wasn’t going to start that train of conversation. She’d get it out of Tony later.
T’Challa nodded, “To family and friends,” he agreed, and then clink - he touched his glass to hers. He was happy that Pepper wanted to share in everything now - sometimes you just needed a good meal and some company to really feel revitalized about everything. And it seemed like there was always something going on, low-key or otherwise. Just - always something.
“My mother and sister are indeed well. Shuri loves to come to the States, and she does so rather frequently because of her duties at the Outreach Center in Oakland,” he explained, arranging some of the food on those plates. “My mother not so much - it is not that she doesn’t enjoy it here, but she is less apt to want to travel. However, next time Shuri is here I am sure she will want to say hello.”
He lifted his glass, taking a sip of the honey wine - it was just as good as he remembered. “You and Tony are well? How is Morgan?”
Normally, Pepper would intercede and take over, but T’Challa was one of those people who exuded confidence and hey -- he made the meal, so clearly he knew how it was meant to be served. Taking her own tentative sip of the drink, she was surprised to see how sweet it was, and yet how subdued at the same time, which she stated.
“I’ve never had anything quite like this,” she mused, looking into her cup. “Tony probably has, and he would no doubt tell a story about the time he tried to replicate it and instead solved nuclear fission.” There was an amused look on her face. “And he’s doing well, thank you for asking. The heart attack was a wake up call, of sorts. It’s been easier to convince him that he needs to slow down, relax, and not take the weight of the world on his shoulders.”
Reaching for a fork, she took a small piece of the roll and grinned happily. “Oh this is decadent...Morgan would hate it. She’s in that phase where if it looks different or smells different, she won’t touch it. And sometimes, she makes us add food colouring to things because it looks better that way.” Pepper gave a little shudder. “Have you ever had pink chicken noodle soup? It’s not pleasant. I never gave much thought to the whole ‘you eat with your eyes first’ concept until I had to watch her devour that bowl.”
Pepper needed another bite of the delicious food to get over that memory.
“Are you finding you have a lot of downtime here? Or are you back and forth quite a bit?”
T’Challa had to laugh a little as Pepper relayed Morgan’s antics. “Sometimes I think Shuri is still in that stage,” he quipped. His sister loved American food - which meant fried everything, and using at least a stick of butter in most recipes. She was such a little sprite with the metabolism of a hummingbird though, so he didn’t put up many protests. Some of the time.
“It is mixed, a bit,” he said about his downtime. “I try to split my time easily, and the jet also makes it easy to travel.” Besides, Wakandan tech had done away with the concept of jet lag by now - something so trivial wouldn’t trip up this King. “I am determined to make it work but sometimes it can wear me down,” he admitted. “But the Avengers need me here too.”
Pepper nodded. It was nice to hear that he also had his moments. “It’s tough, leading multiple lives. Being pulled into many directions...I should really start doing site visits, but I don’t want to leave Tony. Not after everything, and I don’t think he should be travelling so much either.” She didn’t want to admit it but that health scare of his had terrified her.
She’d seen him after countless benders, wondered what he’d taken, watched him take on bad guys and monsters 100s of times his size, and he’d survived. And it was a heart attack that took him down? That heart of his …
“So I’ve been using a lot of video conferencing and other tools but still. I feel bad I can’t give all my attention to one thing or the other.” She lifted her glass and smiled. “The joys of family life and business life coming together, no?” Taking a sip, she raised a brow. “Don’t tell Tony, but if Shuri has any tech she’d like to share to help me with this, I’d be more than happy to look at it. Your sister is amazing.”
“Oh - I think we can help with that,” T’Challa replied. He reached into his pocket, removing a bracelet with one glowing blue bead in the center, additional beads strung beside that one - maybe it looked innocuous, but it packed quite a punch, and it was highly technologically advanced. “Please, take this - use the kimoyo beads to communicate. The center bead also contains a lifetime’s worth of medical knowledge. But when you use the communication beads, they produce holographic images and recordings. It may be easier to divide your attention this way.”
The medical knowledge also meant that, if push came to shove, Pepper would have something at her disposal to help Tony immediately - should anything else happen. He understood that the heart attack scare had, well, scared her. Such was the case for someone you loved.
“I have one of my own,” he added, holding up his wrist. “They are common in Wakanda. I am happy to share this tech with a friend.”
Pepper’s eyes widened.
“Oh, T’Challa! I can’t accept this! This is too much!” Translation: there was no way to keep this tech away from Tony, and he would completely take it apart and do all sorts of horrible crimes of science trying to make it work again.
It would be so handy though…
Tentatively, she reached out and took the beads in her hands. For something so powerful, it was so light and it intrigued her.
“Are you sure this is okay?”
T’Challa fought a smile at Pepper’s reaction; it didn’t work too well, because the corners of his mouth tilted upward anyway. He meant the bracelet to be for her, but he knew Tony wouldn’t be able to resist the siren’s call of such advanced technology - though he trusted his friend with it. He wouldn’t cause any damage, or let the tech fall into the wrong hands.
“I am certain,” he nodded, setting down his wine glass. “And I will - what is the saying? Get out of your hair now? I just wanted to deliver a few things. Check on you.” His friends were important to him - it would be lonely otherwise, if he didn’t have his loved ones surrounding him when he needed them, and when they needed him.
Pepper looked up suddenly. Of course someone who was as busy as he was would appreciate short visits. To be fair, Pepper felt that same tug often.
“Well, thank you, T’Challa. I really did enjoy this.” She was still playing with the beads, looking forward to exploring them more later one. “It’s very sweet of you, and I will be sure to let Tony know you stopped by. Perhaps we could schedule a longer visit in the near future. You could bring a guest as well.”
And then Pepper would finally get to see if the rumour were true about him and Natasha.
“It would be lovely.”
If anyone didn’t know about him and Natasha by now, he’d be surprised (and she definitely had met his family - Shuri especially liked her, then again, Shuri liked most everyone). But he got the hint, at what Pepper was insinuating there. “Of course,” he smiled warmly. “Dinner, perhaps? I can cook something besides what I just brought. I would love to have you and Tony over to the penthouse at 30 Warren. I will have a guest too,” he added, tone amused. “I promise you.”
He and Sam had discussed double dates as well - it was a concept that was initially foreign to him, but overall sounded fun. Very carefree - they could all use some of that.
“Wonderful.” Pepper finished her drink and closed her eyes in happiness. The warmth was slowly creeping through her body and she could feel her face flush a little. Maybe now she would be able to face her family.
With a grin, she set the cup down and sighed happily. “I look forward to it. And I’ll bring something as well. Bought, most likely since I am not a cook, but it’ll be delicious none the less.”
Maybe she could ask Wanda to make her something in exchange for watching the twins for a bit. Moms had to help each other out, after all.
“Thank you again, T’Challa.” She moved to show him out the door, her step a bit lighter than before. “This impromptu visit was nice. It’s hard to remember that spontaneity is a concept in our jam-packed lives.”
“I agree completely - but you’re right, a little spontaneity is good here and there,” T’Challa nodded, heading to the door with Pepper. He wished he could stay longer, but he did have official duties to attend to - dividing his time between New York and Wakanda was difficult, but he persevered.
And he could always make time for friends as well.