Cutting Corners

Niko let the spoon sit loosely on his lips as the peanut butter stuck to the roof of his mouth holding it in place. He needed to keep his hands free to divvy up the bread on six plates for six sandwiches. Theo liked hers with extra jelly and the crusts cut off, and he briefly wondered if he should cut the crusts off for T’Chantem as well. Theo said it was fancier, calling them finger sandwiches. The prince likely had people following him around with no other purpose than to cut crusts off things, because that's probably what royalty did. He scowled as he contemplated what would happen if the Prince ordered a McDouble because the bun was literally nothing but crust, and the thought held him up for a brief second. Wait, were demigod’s the fancy crust-off sort? And Ghost Spider Girl was a kid, kids hate crusts, don’t they? Then it didn’t seem right giving Sam the only sandwich with crusts, so his were cut off too. Making sandwiches for more than just him and Theo was hard.

He didn’t mind, mostly because it only took an extra second, just like he didn’t mind looking after Theo. He flipped the spoon over in his mouth. He was on the cusp of turning six the first time he was charged with that, but of course, that was Sokovia and the situation had been very different. It’d been on the speedster’s mind a lot that day, mostly because of the rampaging murderbots.

“Get to the ships! Don’t stop for anything, don’t look back, and whatever you do, you take care of Theo! Run, Niko, now! ” His father’s voice echoed in this head. He had the same speed as your average five year old, slowed down even further as he held fast to his little cousin’s hand, even back then she was stubborn as a mule when she wanted to be, and boy, that day did she want to be. But that was a long time ago, Sokovia. Things were different now. Easier. They weren’t little kids and Theo was doing just fine.

“Niko! The janitors are coming for me again and you need to look at my endocrine system. I missed too many of my dietary supplements and killed a superhero with my mind.”

So much for being fine! Niko found Theo before the spoon even clanged against the linoleum floor. There she was, buck ass nude just like all those times on city busses, and his shoulders slumped. “It’s okay, Miskja.” He soothed, quickly holding out Aunt Wanda’s red leather coat for Theo to slip into. Anytime his cousin ranted about the janitors chasing her or pulled something like this - it had always been because she stopped taking her medication, but he'd been so good about it, so careful! “I’ll take care of the Janitors. I got you new juice boxes, haven’t you been drinking your juice boxes?” Inwardly he worried about the ‘superhero’ she killed with her mind. Please let that be in her head. Don’t let me find Thorson's body. Don't let someone else find Thorson's body. Let Thorson be okay.

“I love my juice boxes.” She replied. “They’re good shit.” Niko inwardly seethed. How? He always put her medication in juice boxes, crushing it to a fine enough powder that it'd dissolve completely. If she were drinking the juice boxes - Why hadn’t he noticed something was counteracting her medication sooner? Maybe dosages had to be increased? She’d been eating a lot of churros…. Again he cussed at himself. Wasn’t that one of the things Dr. Lollis said to watch out for? A craving for sweets/junk food? -- Was there any other kind of craving though? He thought she just plain liked Churros. “What about the superhero?” She asked.

Niko hugged his cousin, kissing her on top of the forehead. “Shhh. It’s okay. I saved him… her… them at the last second. I’m fast, remember? I’m super fast.”

“Theodosia Maximoff has returned to the compound.” H.E.L.E.N. said out of nowhere making Niko jump. He’d swear he heard his cousin hiss. “Shall I alert Erik Foster? He was concerned.”

“He’s alive?” Niko asked quickly, adding a more matter-of-fact aside to his cousin, “computers sometimes need to be reassured of things like that.”

“Erik Foster is currently en route to the hanger.”

Perplexing, but not the topmost concern at the moment. “And the others, Computer Wall?” Niko asked. “Ghost Spider Girl and Sammy and The Prince?”

“Gwen Parker, T’Chantem Munroe and Sam Rogers are in the atrium.”

Niko nodded. “Please tell them that there are sandwiches in the kitchen.”

“Okay. Gwen Parker, T’Chantem Munroe and Sam Rogers, there are sandwiches located in the kitchen. The crusts have been removed.”

"This is the atrium?" Niko let out a slow breath and turned around. “Theo could use a few minutes, but there's food if you're hungry. Sammy! Looking sharp. Ghost Spider Girl, Your Princeship, did you find anything good?”

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