Allegiance's forum posts
James sighed, knowing he wasn't going to enjoy this breakfast just like the ones he ordered before with Kurt.
"Gotta learn patience, son. Good thing I watch my fair share of competitive eating."
In less than fives minutes, they were out of the restaurant, leaving a neatly organized stack of plates for the busboy to pick up and a twenty for both him and the waitress. James refused to let Kurt put a cent on the table.
"First thing's first, Kurt. We've had our breakfast, so let's do the same for someone else,"
Instinctively, the All-American headed towards the Gothic City soup kitchen in the slums. The homeless huddled around burning barrels all waved at him, knowing him by face. Just in time for the delivery trucks, too. James climbed into the back, having sheathed his shield a long time ago.
"Fresh eggs and bacon, potatoes for soup, and enough loaves of bread for an army," he went over the supplies, audibly checking them off.
"Some blankets in the other trucks too. Plenty of fliers for new job openings as per usual," Pat, a thick man from the heart of New Orleans, chimed in. His burly arms folded over his chest, swelling with pride.
"Good good," James muttered. Kurt knew Pat by now. They've been doing this for months now, though James and Pat were old friends and did this kind of stuff as often as possible.
Jumping back out, the Super Soldier opened the door. "Breakfast, everyone, you know the routine,"
The room shuffled with a groan as he clicked on the lights. Those who were left out in the cold night moved in to be first in line, and the people who were inside moved to the back. Orderly, safe, and efficient. Just like always.
"In times of peace, prepare for war you said. Maintaining the confidence of our citizens is the most important part of that philosophy Kurt,"
Pat roared happily, greeting his familiars as he wobbled into the kitchen, a small battalion of chefs and friends that might as well be family following him. Two eggs cooked however which way, three slices of bacon, and two pieces of toast with butter and jelly. Job offers were marked off as they were taken, and the kitchen would see less and less people as time went on. A foundation for the downtrodden.
A little piece of hope.
James pondered on this. Peace...never easy to come by, and even harder to maintain. He rubbed the stubble on his chin thoughtfully - a wise man, despite what he might try to convince others of.
"When it's quiet, that's when it's the most dangerous,"
To the common man, James was perhaps a statuesque man. Physically perfect. Morally unshakeable. Heroically inclined and unstoppably patriotic. Yet, for each second he spent not moving, he had an inescapable ringing in his head. Doctors told him there was nothing wrong. Specialists told him there was nothing wrong.
But he knew there was something wrong.
Just a normal patrol out into the jungles.
Bullets cascade out from the canopies.
Comrades start screaming.
He runs to the nearest person, but his femoral artery is compromised.
He's praying for help.
Try to patch him up the best he can.
Can't let him bleed out.
Hands are red.
Can't let him bleed out.
His skin is fried around the entry wound.
James puts his hand over his eyes, rubbing them. He blames it on not enough coffee and drains the mug down his throat. He grunts.
"Because that's when you don't know what's about to happen."
Being up and early wasn't new to him. Sometimes, he never even slept. Those were the coldest nights.
But right now, a warm mug of coffee sat in his gloved hands. Much better than drinking it out of a metal tin. At the same time, it felt less real. Even now, a civilian routine seemed foreign to him. Staring into the drink itself, he didn't recognize the waitress's inquiry about his order until the second time she asked. He quietly appreciated her patience, especially at four in the morning.
"Oh right, sorry," the humble Southern farmboy smiled an honest smile. "Three pancake platters, one with a double order of bacon, one with a sirloin medium, and the other with the sugar ham. All sunny-side up eggs, please. Kurt, you can order anything you want."
He patted his wallet.