ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for today's fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] librarygeek and [personal profile] rix_scaedu. It belongs to the series Love Is For Children, where it takes place considerably later than previous entries.  All my fluffy fluffness, let me show you it!


"Keep the Homefires Burning"


The Avengers were supposed to go shopping today,
but Steve looked out the window at the wet snow falling
and said, "I reeeaaally don't want to go out in that."

"We could stay home instead," Phil said.

"I hate to let everyone down ..." Steve said,
hesitation heavy in his voice, but it was
clear that he wanted to stay in.

"No problem," Tony said. "JARVIS, call
the Personal Shopping Department and
see who's on duty this morning."

"Miss Goldberg has just completed
a trip for Ms. Potts," said JARVIS, and
the large viewscreen switched on to show
a young woman bundled in a fashionable coat.

"Hi, guys!" she said, waving. "I get to shop
for the home team today? Woohoo, dream job
is dreamy! Where are we going next?"

"Where are you now?" Tony asked.

"Fifth Avenue and 57th," she said,
turning in place. Whatever camera
JARVIS had on her panned along
and caught the street sign.

"Oh, just turn around and go back
the way you came," Tony said.
"Some of us need new winterwear
and some are looking for gifts."

"Sounds great," Miss Goldberg said,
saluting them with a white chocolate mocha
that steamed gently from a Starbucks cup.
"I'll call back as soon as I'm in position."

The street view flicked off, replaced by
a map of the neighborhood with a green star
showing their personal shopper's location.

"That girl drinks way too much caffeine,"
Bruce said, shaking his head, but
he was smiling anyway.

"Well, Brucie-bear, why don't you
make us something better," Tony said
as he threw an arm around Bruce.

"I could go for cocoa," Steve said
and Bucky added, "Yeah, with spices."

"I'll do it," Betty offered. "I know
some good recipes for mulled cocoa."

Tony raised his hand. "Are you pondering
what I'm pondering?" he said. "Because
I really want my jammies right now."

"Everyone go change, and we'll
reconvene here in a few minutes,"
Phil said, shooing them away.

Quickly he went to his quarters
to change clothes, and then
returned to the common room.

"I wish we had a fireplace,"
Bucky said wistfully.

"We have all the fireplaces,"
Tony said. "JARVIS, showcase."

The floor-level viewscreen underneath
the mantelpiece lit up with tiles, split between
Live Feeds and Popular Recordings.

"That's nice, but it's not the same
without the smell," Steve said.

"Yeah, I know, but we couldn't
get LEED Platinum certification if we
were killing trees and blowing carbon
everywhere, so," Tony said. "JARVIS,
pull up the incense menu."

The screen blanked and refreshed with
Natural Wood Incense and Wood Chips.
"Pick your pleasure, mix and match,
whatever," Tony said. "JARVIS has
has a smoker box attached to
the air handling system."

"Oak or hickory, maybe?" Bucky said,
and JARVIS flicked them to the top
of their respective columns."

"I want something that smells
like the holidays," Steve said.
Fir balsam and piñon floated up.

"Could we do something fruity?"
Bruce asked. "I don't want to risk
upsetting the Other Guy with anything
that smells like a forest fire. Or home.
But he's okay with fruitwood smoke
because we've only ever smelled that
in a restaurant or a barbecue."

"Oh, now you've done it, I want
barbecue for lunch," Clint said.

"Ordering from Hometown Bar-b-cue
in Brooklyn," JARVIS replied.

"I like apple," Steve said as he
pored over the wood chip menu.

"Our Moose Trek lodge in Colorado
is currently burning hickory and apple
in the main hearth," JARVIS said,
displaying a sample video.

"We'll take it," Tony said.
"JARVIS, light up the incense."

"Lighting," JARVIS said as the video
went fullscreen and the audio added
a gentle pop and crackle to the fireplace.

A minute later, the fans turned on
and wafted sweet smoke into the room.

Steve and Bucky bailed off the couch
as if with one mind, huddling onto the floor
in front of the blazing viewscreen.

"It's warm!" Bucky exclaimed,
holding his hands out to the display.
"How did you even do that?"

"The tower is powered by arc reactor,
with a variety of heat-emitting arrays and
vents in the habitable areas," said JARVIS.
"The hearth area is equipped both with
radiant heat and vent options."

Uncle Phil looked at them squirming
around on the carpet, sighed, and got up
to fetch an armload of blankets so they
could make a more comfortable nest.

Soon Aunt Betty came in with a tray full of
two cocoa pots, a creamer, a stack of cups,
and a bag of miniature rainbow marshmallows.
"Okay, take your pick: Bruce's cardamom recipe
is mild, but my Aztec hot chocolate has a kick."

Uncle Phil went right for the Aztec,
which as promised had a bit of chile
along with the cinnamon.

Steve poured himself half a cup of
cardamom cocoa, added a quarter cup
of heavy cream, and topped it with
a whole handful of marshmallows.

Bucky chose the Aztec, took one sip,
and winced. Then he poured in some cream,
tried it again, and grinned. "This is good!"

"Thank you," Aunt Betty said.

"Miss Goldberg has reached
the first store," JARVIS announced.
"Shall I engage one-way video now?
It is no trouble to guide her using
the Bluetooth, as Ms. Potts does."

Uncle Phil looked at the floor
full of giggling Avengers
and said, "Engage."

The view showed Miss Goldberg
entering the first store, alongside
a display where busy ladies were
handing out free pinecone candles.

Uncle Phil watched as some of
the frazzled shoppers turned
from frowns to smiles.

It never ceased to amaze him
how one small act of kindness
could change everything.

Uncle Phil tucked the blankets
around Steve and Bucky, then said,
"Good morning, Miss Goldberg. If you
don't mind, I'll be directing the route
using a floor map of the stores.
You may begin on your left ..."

And they were off.

* * *

Notes:

Some stores employer personal shoppers for their customers. Other personal shoppers work freelance and will go from store to store for clients. Stark Industries has a Personal Shopper Department because most geeks don't care about fashion and Pepper wants them to look presentable. Also because she loves being pampered and this way she can shop and work at the same time. She uses the PSD like most people use desktop games.

Fifth Avenue & 57th Street is the heart of Manhattan retail.

White Chocolate Mocha is among the highest-calorie offerings at Starbucks, which can also pack a lot of caffeine if you load it with extra espresso.

"Are you pondering what I'm pondering?" is a tagline from Pinky and the Brain.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification comes in several levels.

Incienso de Santa Fe makes a selection of natural wood incense, but not fruit flavors. H-E-B sells wood chips for smokers and grills, but you can throw them in your fireplace for fragrance.

Hometown Bar-b-cue in Brooklyn is one of New York's best barbecue restaurants.

Learn how to make hot chocolate from scratch like Steve does. This recipe includes cardamom, although personally I think I'd prefer using cardamom powder to pods. Betty's Aztec hot chocolate is more assertive. You can also buy a similar version in mix format. Mini rainbow marshmallows come fresh or freeze-dried. Betty brought the fresh kind this time. Clint will eat the crunchy kind right out of the can.

Pinecone candles are popular during the holidays.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-12-06 11:43 pm (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
I never took Cap for a marshmellow guy... yeah, I can munch a whole freakin' can of crunchy ones. Dangerous.

*gives Brooklynite BBQ the hairy eyeball* I'm hoping at least one of the people in the back either speaks Southron or ain't white. Even better if that Carolina is the sweet kind we both like. Though it's already got something going for it, knowing to serve Shiner Bock with the brisket... none of this Mississippi-river-made swillwater, proper BIER the way Gott intended!

Come on. BBQ. It's a religion thing. Kinda like football. (Either kind.)

BBQ

Date: 2017-01-01 07:28 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Yup. I've gotten into, shall we say very heated and pointed arguments over the ingredients in my BBQ sauce... And nearly left the table when someone bragged that their sauce was "homemade" because they mixed two parts brand A with one part brand B! (UUUUGH. HORROR!)

Re: BBQ

Date: 2017-01-01 08:31 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Very true: is the baklava still homemade if I use prepared phyllo dough? (I say it is, because phyllo needs not only proper handling, but proper resting times, too.)

For sauce ingredients: Worcestershire sauce would be a freaking nightmare taste if simply mixed together; they MUST age in an oak cask for months to mellow into the taste we know. Catsup... it's so hard to find one that doesn't have corn syrup in it that I honestly do not care whether it needs aging, because I have so few commercial options to begin with for that product.

Re: BBQ

Date: 2017-01-01 01:38 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Not only have we wandered off topic so far we can't SEE it from here, now I want sloppy Joes!

Since it is so far off topic (evil laugh), I'm going to go digging for your Sloppy Jane recipe today, intending to use half-and-half ground beef/sausage and grains.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-12-06 11:46 pm (UTC)
kyleri: (Default)
From: [personal profile] kyleri
Hygge. :)

(no subject)

Date: 2016-12-06 11:48 pm (UTC)
redsixwing: Picture shows a red-winged angel staring at a distant blue star. (Default)
From: [personal profile] redsixwing
>>JARVIS has / has a smoker box<<

Caught a repeated word.

This scene is so warm and fuzzy! *squee*

Cardamom cocoa sounds delightful. There used to be a store here that sold various flavors, from a simple vanilla-nutmeg flavor to chili and orange peel, hot hot HOT. I'm a bit nostalgic now!

The personal shopper job sounds honestly really fun.

(no subject)

Date: 2016-12-07 12:09 am (UTC)
helgatwb: Drawing of Helga, holding her sword, looking upset. (Default)
From: [personal profile] helgatwb
Love, love, love!

*melt*

Date: 2016-12-07 01:21 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
SQUISHY SQUISHY SQUSHY! YAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY! *BOUNCEBOUNCE BOUNCE* puurrrrrrrrrr :D :D :D *mrrrt* *snuggles in blankie* *pours tea* purrrrrr

Re: *melt*

Date: 2016-12-07 02:10 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
*pads softly into room with an inquiring 'mrpt?'*

Re: *melt*

Date: 2016-12-07 06:03 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
*purr purr purr*

All the fluffy fluffy poems, let met wrap up warm in them on a cold cold night.

Re: *melt*

Date: 2016-12-07 06:58 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
*purrs, rereads, snuggles up cozily*

Re: *melt*

Date: 2016-12-07 06:22 pm (UTC)
librarygeek: cute cartoon fox with nose in book (Default)
From: [personal profile] librarygeek
Works well for this Fox too! :-D I needed the fluff.

Bing, Bing, Bing, brain! Wonder if I have marshmallow fluff for cocoa? :-D

(Pads quietly off)

Re: *melt*

Date: 2016-12-08 02:41 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
*purrs at the fox*

(no subject)

Date: 2016-12-07 03:32 am (UTC)
thnidu: warm red heart on orange streaked background (heart)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
So sweet! (Literally as well as metaphorically.)

• their respective columns."
> Delete close-quote

• powered by arc reactor
?-> an arc reactor

• handing out free candles
> I initially misread that as "candies". Was it supposed to be that?

(no subject)

Date: 2016-12-10 04:02 am (UTC)
zeeth_kyrah: A glowing white and blue anthropomorphic horse stands before a pink and blue sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] zeeth_kyrah
"powered by [device]" can also be understood as "powered by means of [device]".

(no subject)

Date: 2016-12-10 04:06 am (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
That's why I flagged out with a question mark: it could have been either.

Warm fluff

Date: 2016-12-07 06:43 pm (UTC)
librarygeek: Cartoon drawing of a nine tailed Fox, or kitsune, with the caption of "I give zero fox" (Kitsune)
From: [personal profile] librarygeek
I needed this. Thanks, Ysabet! The chronic fatigue isn't my heart going kerflooey (YUP, very technical term there!), but my thyroid finally trying to quit.

Vitamin D deficiency, TSH levels high, and always, ALWAYS tired. But it's not the B-12 genetic error, and it's not my heart. I will light my tiny candle happily off that. :-D

Oh, saw on the LiveJournal post of this, Bucky will have difficulties dealing with anyone coughing or gasping after helping Stevie for so long? Right, Tony, Phil, or Clint have an inhaled allergy trigger or get asthmatic bronchitis. I had the latter, antibiotics, emergency inhaler, and I called and apologized to my kid sister for EVER even thinking she was faking her asthma attacks as a kid. I am 10 years older than her, smart enough to help and know what was dangerous while babysitting, NOT wise enough to understand that emotional triggers on asthma STILL meant she couldn't control that she couldn't breathe! I grew UP, and so did she. :-p

Re: Warm fluff

Date: 2016-12-08 02:36 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
puuuuurrrrrr *rolls around and bats at the pretty dangling threads* purrrrrrrrrrrrr

Re: Warm fluff

Date: 2016-12-08 03:04 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
*pounce*

Re: Warm fluff

Date: 2016-12-09 07:09 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
*watches pouncing Other Cat; crouches down, tailtip wavering*

a visit

Date: 2017-01-01 07:33 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Now, I would actually LIKE to visit the tower, and JARVIS. (NOT so for canon Marvel!)

Could I politely pet kitties? Do foxes want petting from a human? I'd end the year in human-purring-bliss if so!

((HUGS)) and gentle {squishes} for Phil, Betty and the "kids," too!

You're awesome, and thanks

Date: 2017-01-28 02:20 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I've just finished reading through everything in this series again, and I just wanted to let you know how much I love it. I love the detail you put in. I love the ageplay. I love the perspective on Hulk, and JARVIS. I love the interplay between the characters. I'm not a major fan of poetry, to be perfectly honest, but I do like most of yours, particularly the ones that read more story-ish (like this one!). I really appreciate the end notes, though I usually skip over them in favor of the story itself. It shows how much effort and thought you put into the stories, and I do enjoy reading what links do catch my attention.
Most of what's been posted since Hide and Seek I've only read once - well, twice, now, but some of the earlier stories have been read a lot. Particularly Touching Moments - I like that one as soothing comfort reading.
Anyways, just wanted to let you know how awesome I think this all is. And maybe plead a little for some more, but I realize you're buzy with other stuff, so thanks for what's up.
-Lady Bria

(no subject)

Date: 2017-02-18 03:20 am (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
Oh this is adorable
/Embli

(no subject)

Date: 2016-12-07 03:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] songspinner9.livejournal.com
Oh, fluffy fluff is just perfect tonight. It's frigid air and exhaustion around here, and I definitely needed that. The thing about the right smell is good - I cannot be around actual smoke due to environmental sensitivities/asthma, but the faint scent makes me think of some very nice memories.

Thank you!

Date: 2016-12-07 03:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
>> Oh, fluffy fluff is just perfect tonight. It's frigid air and exhaustion around here, and I definitely needed that. <<

Yay! :D

>> The thing about the right smell is good - I cannot be around actual smoke due to environmental sensitivities/asthma, but the faint scent makes me think of some very nice memories. <<

A good fireplace doesn't make the room smoky. On the other hoof, without any smell of smoke, a gas or video "fireplace" doesn't register as real. While some people react badly to smoke, more people can enjoy a faint trace of it -- which is what you get if you put incense into a very large space. (This is one reason why Catholics burn frankincense & myrrh in their huge churches; it's usually an outdoor incense, but if they used the indoor kind, most people couldn't smell it more than ~20 feet away.) The tower system is designed to compartmentalize air flow in case of emergency, which means that people who enjoy incense can have it without bothering people who find it uncomfortable. This is important for the Avengers because Bucky would freak out if anyone started coughing or wheezing.

Thank you!

Date: 2016-12-08 05:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
I'm glad you enjoyed this so much.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
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