Phone Calls

Bruce Banner's cellphone jingled on the kitchen table. Trouble was, Bruce was in the lab working on a delicate experiment. He'd deliberately left the phone so he wouldn't be distracted at a critical moment.

The vibrating phone buzzed across the slick table, until Clint Barton caught it before it could leap to its doom. Clint recognized the name that showed on the screen, so he thumbed "answer."

"This is Dr. Banner's secretary," the archer said in as snooty a voice as possible. "Dr. Banner is not available at the moment, may I help you?"

"Clint? Why are you playing with Bruce's phone?" Steve Rogers asked.

"Bruce left his phone in the kitchen because he's up to his armpits in an experiment. He warned me not to disturb him under any circumstances."

"Oh. I'm at the store," Steve said. "Bruce wanted some special salt for cooking, I know he told me 'not good old Morton iodized salt' but I should have gotten more details. I didn't realize there were so many kinds!"

"How many kinds of salt could there be?" Clint asked in amusement.

"Are you kidding? Besides iodized salt, there's kosher salt, sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, Hawaiian red sea salt, Persian blue salt and Pacific blue kosher sea salt!"

Clint stifled his laughter. "I think it's obvious you should get the blue salt, Cap," Clint said seriously. "Pink salt is for girls."

He hung up on Steve's sputters.

Having asked a sane person in the grocery store for help, Steve came home with kosher salt and, as a gift for Bruce, a sampler pack of colored salts to experiment with.

The colors came from different minerals so they might impart distinctive flavors to foods, the Food Network addict explained to the attentive Super Soldier. That might not fit with his friend Bruce's recipe.

"I don't know how I can thank you," Steve told his helper.

"I know," she said with a grin.

Steve accompanied the woman around the store and fetched cans from top shelves and a carton of milk stuck way in the back of the cooler.

"Thank you, kindly tall person," she said, waving as she went to the checkout line.

"She was a lot nicer to a stranger than you were to a teammate," Steve told Clint severely, when he tracked the archer to the locker room.

Clint was searching for his cellphone. "Quit complaining and help me look," Clint said. "I set it down when I went to the showers, and now I can't find it."

"So ask Jarvis," Steve suggested.

The tall Super Soldier could see the phone on top of the locker, just out of the sharp-eyed archer's view, but Steve wasn't inclined to help Clint after the unhelpful prank.

"If I ask Jarvis, he'll tell Natasha that I lost it again. She's been on me for being forgetful. I'm not forgetful, it's just that this phone is sneaky," Clint grumbled.

Steve chuckled.

"Come on, call me so I can find my phone," Clint urged.

Steve tapped on Clint's name in his contacts and the cellphone buzzed from the top of the locker. Clint snatched it down with relief. Steve shook his head when he saw the phone was decorated with sparkly pink stickers.

"Thanks. I can't believe I'm always losing this. I must have a mental block because Nat put these silly stickers on it."

"You should do what we did with phones in the old days," Steve said casually.

"What's that?"

"Put a cord on it and fasten it to the wall," Steve said. He went out the door leaving Clint with the impression of a Cheshire cat grin.

Clint kicked his locker shut. "I can't believe I fell for that!" he said in disgust. He stalked out of the locker room — leaving his phone on the bench behind him.

A/N: Sorry, I'm a little late today. I couldn't finish this Team story until I got all my chores done this morning. To my 600-plus followers, my muse has been Cap-tivated by "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." I'm working on a multi-part story called "Enemies List" about what was happening with the other Avengers during the climactic battle of Cap2. I do have two stories about Steve going on a road trip after the end of Avengers. It's set in the Team-verse, but I was planning to run Road Trip as a separate multichapter story. What I'm trying to say is, this might be the last A Very Good Team story for a bit. But it won't be my last Avengers story, so you might want to follow me instead of following A Very Good Team, or look for a new Qweb story next Saturday.