Cupcake shop AU. Tony/Loki for the time being, but there will definitely be other pairings. Sorry if there's any OOC-ness.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters. Just borrowing them from Marvel.
Beep! Beep! Beep!
Loki groaned as he slammed his hand down on the alarm clock, effectively shutting off the infernal racket. He slowly got up and stretched before padding over to his bathroom and flicking on the lights, squinting as the harsh light flooded the room. Walking with all the sluggishness of a man who just woke up at 4:00, he made his way to the shower and turned it on to the desired temperature before heading back out to pick out his clothes. Once he found a suitable outfit (a bottle green button-down shirt and a pair of black jeans) and the water was at his preferred temperature, he shrugged off his pajamas and stepped into the shower and sighed as the hot water cascaded down his body. This is heavenly he thought to himself.
Twenty minutes later he had finished his shower and was currently towel-drying his hair. Unlike his brother, Loki preferred to leave the house with dry hair, thank you very much. Most days it would be the towel, but some days he would borrow their mother's hair dryer instead. He finished drying his hair, got dressed, and brushed his teeth before leaving his room, careful to not wake up the rest of his family.
He walked into the kitchen, yawning a "hello" to Thor who was already up preparing coffee. Loki went into the large pantry and returned with a box of wild berry PopTarts. Thor nodded, opening one of the cabinets and pulling out two plates and two mugs. Loki opened the packets and dropped the pastries in the toaster before going over to the refrigerator and grabbing a carton of milk for his coffee. After a few minutes, the brothers were ready to tuck into the breakfast of PopTarts and coffee.
"It's a good thing Mother is still asleep," Loki said, adding sugar to his coffee, "for she would not approve of our choice in breakfast." Thor grinned around a mouthful of pastry. "Aye," Thor said after swallowing, "she would have disposed of this and made us a proper breakfast. And then we would have been late."
"Indeed." Loki agreed, pouring milk into his mug. He took a sip and gave a pleased smile.
"Delicious. Just the way I like it." Thor chuckled.
"I do not see how. It is more sugar and milk than coffee." Loki wrinkled his nose before taking a bite out of his PopTart.
"You sound like Father. I just prefer my foods to be sweet." Loki said. Thor gave him an easy-going grin.
"No arguing with you there, brother. If it were not for your sweet tooth, we would not be where we are now." He said before finishing the last of breakfast.
It was a little shop tucked away between a boutique and a music store. If one wasn't paying attention, it would be easy to miss. It was small, big enough to only hold five small tables and a few cozy armchairs clustered around a low table, a bakery case, and a counter that almost ran the width of the store. Behind the counter was another shorter counter with coffee supplies (three carafes and an espresso machine), a mini fridge, a sink, and several stacks of boxes. At the end of the second counter was a doorway that led into the kitchen. The kitchen was Loki's least favorite thing about the building; it was too small. Unfortunately for him, in order to get a bigger kitchen, he would have to get a bigger store.
The brothers arrived promptly at 5:30, parking in the sketchy parking lot behind the store. Quickly, they exited it the car and entered the shop. Thor locked the door while Loki turned on the lights, bathing the kitchen in flourescent light. Counters and cabinets in a bright white, two ovens and the refrigerator in a hideous ecru, two tables each with matching gunmetal grey stand mixers, and assortment of bowls, pots, pans, mugs, and cupcake liners littering the surfaces. Loki hated it and loved it at the same time.
Loki and Thor removed their jackets and put on their aprons, black and red respectively. While Loki headed over to the large refrigerator to get the bowls of batter, Thor turned on the ovens before pulling out the cupcake pans and liners. When they had first started the shop, Loki had been hellbent on making the batter fresh each morning, insisting that pre-made was simply unacceptable. After about two months of waking up at two a.m, Loki had decided that it wouldn't be the end of the world if the batter was made the night before. Thor, who would constantly oversleep during that time, agreed.
"I have pre-heated the ovens, brother. What shall we start with?" Thor asked as Loki placed the last bowl of pre-made batter on the counter.
"Start with the vanilla and the chocolate. I'll get started on making the frostings." Loki said as he headed into the pantry.
After an hour, the first batches of vanilla cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes were cool on the large bakery rack and Thor was carefully placing coffee flavored and peanut-butter ones in the ovens. Loki had made three big bowls of frosting (vanilla buttercream, chocolate, and peanut butter fluff) and was getting ready to start on the fourth (a rich lemon crème). Once the cupcakes were completely cool, they would begin frosting them. Once frosted, Thor would take them out to the bakery case and put them on display while Loki started making more batter. This would continue until about nine o'clock, when they would stop prepping the cupcakes and start getting the store ready for open.
Loki would start preparing the coffee while Thor wiped down the tables. Once the coffee was hot and the tables were sparkling, Loki would write up the day's menu on the big chalkboard above the back counter and Thor would copy it on the smaller one that went outside. Once everything was ready, Loki would cast a critical eye about the room and everyday he would say the same thing.
"Almost perfect." And Thor would smile, shake his head, and flip the sign on the door from "Sorry, we're closed :(" to "Yes, we're open :)".
At exactly 10:15, the bell above the door dinged, signalling that Loki's first customer had arrived. She was a young woman with brown hair, dressed casually in a pair of slacks and a jean jacket with a messenger bag slung over her shoulder. As soon as she stepped inside, Thor gave her a big smile.
"Miss Foster! How are you this morning?" Thor boomed. Jane smiled, used to his over-zealous greetings, and stepped up to the counter.
"I'm doing well, Thor. I'll have my usual, please. For here." Thor nodded and picked up a small white dessert plate and a fork before going back over to the case and taking out a lemon cupcake with vanilla buttercream and placing it on the plate. Smiling, he handed the plate to Miss Foster before turning around to make her usual morning latte (double shot of espresso).
"Here you are, Miss Foster. Your usual vanilla cupcake and latte. Please be careful for it is very hot." Thor said, placing the cup on the on counter. Miss Foster smiled before reaching in her bag and pulling out her wallet.
"Thank you, Thor. Still three twenty-seven, right?" Thor nodded.
"Aye, it is." Jane nodded, pulled out a five and placed it on the table.
"Here, keep the change. Oh, and call me Jane." She said, grinning before picking up her cupcake and coffee and heading over to one of the armchairs. Thor looked elated.
At 10:35, their second customer was pushing through the doors. He was a mild-mannered man with thick, wavy black hair. Wearing a button down shirt and black slacks, he, too, carried a messanger bag. He gave a nod to Jane before heading up to the counter.
"Morning, Thor." The man said amicably.
"Dr. Banner!" Thor greeted. "I hope you are well this morning."
"Not too bad. I was up all night grading papers, so I'm a little sleep-deprived. A cup of English Breakfast, please. For here." Dr. Banner said, stifling a yawn. Thor nodded and busied himself preparing the tea exactly how Dr. Banner preferred it: steeped for exactly four minutes, two tablespoons of honey, and the barest hint of milk.
"Where's your brother? In the back?" Dr. Banner asked.
"Aye. He wishes to experiment with some new recipes for the autumn season." Thor replied.
"Well, if he needs a guinea pig to test them on, I'm your man." Dr. Banner said, pulling out his wallet.
"I will let him know. Two dollars even." Banner handed him the cash before placing another dollar in the tip jar next to the register.
"Thank you, Dr. Banner. Here is your tea." Banner smiled, murmured a thanks and went over to one of the tables in order to finish grading his papers before his first class.
It continued along in the same vein, the regulars trickling in one by one mixed in with a few new faces. Thor would continue to take orders while Loki busied himself in the kitchen, occaisionally coming out to replenish the cupcake supply or to say hello to a customer. Around 11:30, Loki emerged from the kitchen with a small plate of freshly made mini cupcakes.
"What flavor are these, brother?" Thor asked as made another cup of tea for Dr. Banner.
"Pumpkin with a cinnamon-cream cheese frosting. I want to put them on the menu next week." Loki said, setting the plate next to the register. He pulled out a small card and scribbled "Free Sample" before placing it in front of the plate.
"If you want, I can take over here. I'd like a break from baking." Loki said.
"Then I shall go to the back and relieve you." Thor said, wiping his hands on his apron as headed towards the back. Loki smiled and took his place at the cash register.
Tony Stark was in Trouble. Big Trouble. The amount of trouble he was in was over 9,000. He was in so much trouble that Jarvis almost felt sorry for him. Almost.
"Sir, I've been reminding you everyday for the past six months about this."
"I know, I know and you think I would've paid attention. I'm so screwed!" If Jarvis had eyes, he would have rolled them.
"Didn't you go through this last year? And the year before? And the year before that? And the year—"
"Yeah Jarvis, I got it. You don't have to labor the point. Pepper's going to kill me when she finds out I forgot her birthday. Again." Tony moaned, head in his hands.
"Shall I place a call to Cartier and have them select something and deliver it to her, sir?" Jarvis asked. Tony shook his head.
"Then she'll definitely know I forgot. Remember, I sent her jewellery the last two times?"
"What about flowers, sir? I can order two dozen roses—"
"Did that the three years before. What can I get her to show her that I didn't forget her birthday?!"
"How about something that took some time and thought, sir?" Jarvis suggested. Tony stood and snapped his fingers.
"Jarvis, you're a genius!"
"I should hope so, sir. You designed me."
"Quick, give me the address for a bakery close to Stark Industries. I'll pick her up a cake or something." Tony said, picking up his jacket.
"Sir, it would seem that the closest bakery is a cupcake-specific bakery by the name of Bifrost. Shall I alert Mr. Hogan as well as program the GPS?"
"Yeah, that would be great. Thanks Jarvis."
"Anything for Ms. Potts, sir."
Twenty minutes later, Tony was en route to Bifrost. Happy had given him a knowing look when he opened the door but said nothing when Tony had told him to step on it. They finally arrived at the store and Tony told him to go to the nearest florist to pick up a dozen roses, just in case. Happy saluted before driving off, promising to meet him in a half hour. Tony waved and slipped on his sunglasses, hoping that it would be enough to keep people from recognizing him.
It was a small, low building with a neat wooden door flanked by two big windows on either side. Above the door was a small wooden sign that read "Bifrost Cupcakes." Tony pushed open the door and was greeted by dark green walls and polished wood. It was a small, cozy shop with a few tables and chairs scattered around some comfortable-looking armchairs. The walls were decorated with pictures of various baked goods. The bakery case was well-stocked with an assortment of cupcakes. He walked up to the counter, passing a pair of college-aged girls who immediately began whispering to each other once he walked by. Tony smirked, still got it.
The counter was staffed by a young man with shoulder-length black hair and vivid green eyes. When he saw Tony, he gave him a pleasant smile.
"Hello, welcome to Bifrost Cupcakes. How may I help you?" he said, with a hint of an accent. Tony returned the smile.
"Hi. I'll take a dozen cupcakes, please." The clerk smiled before picking up a green box and opening the bakery case.
"What kind, sir?" Tony cocked his head to the side, studying the case, hoping that Pepper wasn't allergic to anything in there.
"Um..." Tony wasn't really one for sweets and he couldn't remember for the life of him what Pepper's favorite flavor was. Better play it safe.
"What do you recommend," Tony glanced down at his nametag, "Loki?"
"Well, it depends on what you're looking for. The chocolate is very popular, as is the coffee. My favorite is the vanilla with lemon crème."
"Alright, I'll take four of each." Tony said. Loki smiled and loaded up the box with the cupcakes.
"Here you are, sir." Loki said, placing the box on the counter before motioning to the plate of mini cupcakes. "Would you like to try a sample? It's pumpkin with a cinnamon-cream cheese frosting."
"Naaah. I'm not a big fan of sweet stuff. This is for my assistant. Hopefully she'll like them." Tony said, pulling out his wallet.
"I should hope. That will be $13.54, please." He said. Tony nodded and pulled out a fifty, placing it on the counter and picking up the box. He turned around and was about to walk out before Loki stopped him.
"Excuse me, you forgot your change." Tony waved it off like it was no big deal.
"Don't wory about it. Keep it." Tony said, grinning. Loki looked shocked.
"Seriously, don't worry about it. You just saved my ass." Tony said before walking out the shop. His limo pulled up and Happy hopped out and opened the door for him. Loki was left standing at the counter with his mouth open, watching him ride away. Thor came out, carrying a tray of coffee flavored cupcakes.
"Is everything okay, brother?" He asked, opening the case. Loki blinked, shook his head and picked up the fifty.
"No, everything is fine. Perfect, really."