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pie at thirty places (the waitress' interlude)

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1. this isn't pizza I swear pie [tomato and cheese in a savory crust]

The day Suzette opens Thirty Places goes about as well as can be expected for a muggy summer's day in New York City. There are a handful of commuters who stop in because the Starbucks down the block has a line out the door, a few tourists who seem more interested in escaping the heat than in eating pies that haven't been reviewed on Yelp, and a man Suzette thinks might be homeless.

The homeless man eyes the lunchtime pies suspiciously while Suzette watches him. He glances up at her and says, "Is that deep-dish pizza? In New York City? Do you have a death wish?"

Offended, Suzette snaps back, "That's not a pizza. It's a pie."

The man stares at her just long enough to be weird about it, and then he says, "I'll take two slices to go."

"That'll be fourteen seventy-two," Suzette tells him as she bags it up.

Homeless guy mutters something indiscernible, but he hands her a twenty and says, "Keep the change," when Suzette starts to count it back.

"Are you sure?" she asks, more than a little surprised.

"Yeah, I'm an Avenger, I can afford it." He waves the hand not holding his bag of food. "See you later!"

Suzette marks the encounter down as just a weird thing that happened, but a few days later the guy shows up again.

"Hey, you got more of that pizza pie?" he asks with a hint of a smirk.

Suzette takes a deep breath and lets it out before saying, "It's not pizza, it's pie, and yes, we do."


2. just a man in a can pie [jack daniels coconut chocolate pecan]

The day Pepper Potts comes into Thirty Places is the day before Suzette's business takes off to the point that she has to hire two new bakers, three new servers, and a new espresso machine. Ms. Potts is easily the most famous person to date to have frequented her shop. It's nothing short of a miracle that Suzette doesn't drop the plate of pie and demitasse of coffee on her way to personally serve the Stark Enterprises CEO.

"Thank you," Ms. Potts says, a friendly smile on her face.

When Ms. Potts has finished eating and her coffee cup is empty, Suzette returns to take her dishes. "How was everything?"

Ms. Potts smiles that friendly smile again. "It was delicious, thank you."

"Thank you. Can I ask how you heard about us?"

Ms. Potts laughs. "Oh, a little bird told me about your place. And while I don't normally trust Clint Barton's opinion on anything besides arrows, he really does know his pie."


3. primordial soup pie [beef bourguignon shepherd's pie]

All good things must come to an end, or in Suzette's case, Pepper Potts and Tony Stark are spotted frequenting a biscuit shop in the East Village, and thus Thirty Places' popularity finally plateaus.

To be perfectly honest, Suzette is more than happy to settle back into the general routine of her regulars and the steady but not exhausting stream of tourists who decided against braving the line at Shake Shack in favor of getting pie.

She's expecting the latter out of the two women who come into her shop, shaking off the buckets of rain that are pouring outside. They look, well, untidy would be kind, but downright disheveled might be more accurate. The one takes off her fogged up glasses and wipes them on her shirt, though Suzette thinks they might be just as wet as they were. The other, a little more slender, a little bit older, steps up to the counter and says, "Is it true, what Darcy told me? Do you really give a discount based on how many decimal places of pi you have memorized?"

Suzette blinks at her. "Yes?"

"I told you, Jane! It's fifty cents off for every ten places!" the other girl says as she sheds her coat and hangs it on the back of a chair.

"She's right," Suzette says. "Fifty cents per ten."

"Good." Jane smiles and then begins rattling off numbers, holding up her fingers as she goes. When she hits the 39th decimal place, she stops suddenly, and her face falls. "Um. That's all I know."

Suzette raises her eyebrows. "'That's all'? You're the first person to get past ten places."

Darcy grins from behind Jane. "Jane's an astrophysicist. Of course she's better than everyone."


4. star spangled son of a gun pie [bourbon apple cherry pie]

"Look, Steve, they've got a pie named after you!"

Suzette watches mutely as Captain America himself leans down to inspect her take on apple pie. (After the Pepper Potts Incident, you'd think she'd be able to handle the unexpected appearance of national icons, but clearly she hasn't gotten there yet.)

He glances up at her and asks with a smile, "Can we get this with ice cream?"


5. smooth as silk stockings pie [mint chocolate mousse in graham cracker crust]

Suzette is contemplating closing the shop early on account of the snow when the door chimes and in walk a passel of women. She recognizes Jane and Darcy immediately--they've become regulars, stopping in for coffee and gossip as much as the pie--but then Captain America's redheaded friend walks in behind them. Half a moment later, two tall and somewhat forbidding women follow them in, and it isn't until Darcy starts rearranging chairs that Suzette realizes they're all together.

Jane sidles up to the counter, and before Suzette can ask if she wants the usual, she says, "Got anything special today? Sif's never had pie before."

"Never had pie?" Suzette asks, a little skeptical and a lot intrigued. There's far more than meets the eye to Jane and Darcy if they're spending time with Captain America's girlfriend(? she wonders). She's a little upset it's never come up before.

"She's not from here," Darcy interjects. "And Jane doesn't mean she's never had pie, just that she's never had your pie, Suze."

"Oh. Well, what do you like?" Suzette asks, projecting her voice so it's clear to Sif that she's being addressed.

"Sweets," says the taller of the two dark-haired women with their arms still linked. "Your people have the best desserts."

Suzette smiles. "I believe I have just the thing."