Baby’s On Fire Chapter 3
“Yuki, Yuki, Yuki!” the excited shriek penetrated the entire apartment, making a certain romance novelist cringe. If he'd been a less courageous person, Yuki Eiri night have crawled under his desk to hide from his pint-sized lover. As it was, he didn't make it to the door of his study to close and lock it in time. An excited pink ball of fluff bounced into the room under his arm, waving bags of groceries around wildly. “I got all the stuff!” Shuichi cried. “When can we do it?!”
Yuki sighed, rubbing at his eyes under his glasses. “How about the seventh of never?” he muttered tiredly.
“Yuuukkkiii!!” his lover wailed, whirling around to confront the writer. “You said you would!” his amethyst eyes were filling with tears, and that deadly lower lip was trembling dangerously.
The blonde pinched the bridge of his nose as an impending headache began to throb behind his eyes. But he knew if he kept refusing, then the little singer would make his life a living hell. And not only had he promised, he worried that if he truly refused then Shuichi would try to do it himself. And that thought thoroughly terrified him. After that last time...
“All right,” he said. “We'll have our first cooking lesson in ten minutes. Just give me time to put on my asbestos apron and grab the fire extinguisher.”
Shuichi beamed, refusing to be insulted by his words. “Great! I'll just go put this stuff in the kitchen,” he bounced back out the same way he'd come in, leaving Yuki Eiri trying to figuratively gird his loins for the horror that was coming shortly. But it had to be done. After the Jiffy Pop fiasco, he'd vowed never let Shindou Shuichi be alone in the kitchen ever again. So he'd gone slightly insane and promised to give his lover cooking lessons. What had he been thinking? He supposed that it had been the sight of the ghastly blisters rising on his small lover's white skin that had made him lose his senses. And now he had to pay the penalty for his madness.
He entered the kitchen with a feeling of apprehension, to see groceries littering the counters. Shuichi had apparently bought at least three of everything on the list. He frowned as something caught his eye, dragging his attention away from the tight little ass displayed as the singer bent over, putting something in the refrigerator. He blinked as he reached out to pick up a glass bottle off the counter. It was labeled 'curry'. His brows furrowed. Curry? The simple recipe he was going to supervise Shu in trying out did not contain curry as an ingredient. Why had the little terror bought curry? “Baka,” he said aloud, and Shuichi straightened up so hurriedly he hit his head on the rack in the refrigerator. He squealed and clutched at his head in pain as Yuki rolled his eyes.
“What is it, Yuki?” the singer finally asked when he could speak again, tears of pain still standing in his eyes as he held his throbbing head.
“If you're done braining yourself, could you please tell me why you bought this?” the writer held up the glass jar of curry powder.
“Oh,” the singer walked over to peer at the herb jar. “That. It was on the list,” he pulled out a crumpled, dirty piece of paper from his pocket, holding it up triumphantly.
“No it wasn't,” Yuki snatched the piece of paper from his grasp with a grimace of displeasure for how filthy it was. He opened it, scanning the list. Nope, no curry powder. “There's no curry on here.”
A slim finger pointed to a word on the list. “There,” Shuichi replied.
Yuki wanted to slap his forehead with one hand and say “D'Oh!” a la Homer Simpson. “That is NOT curry, Baka. That is cumin. Yes, they both have 'cu' in the word, but they are two entirely different herbs.”
“Oh,” Shuichi's face fell. “I was kinda in a rush, so I just grabbed what looked like the right bottle from the shelf...” his shoulders hunched unhappily.
Yuki set the jar on the counter. “It's all right, Shu,” he said. “We'll just work without it. It's no big deal.” his soothing words had the right effect; the pink-haired singer brightened up again immediately.
“Are you sure, Yuki?” he asked.
“Definitely. I can even find a substitute if I have to. Come on, show me what else you bought.”
They spent the next few minutes verifying that Shuichi had gotten the right ingredients for the other parts of the dish that Yuki intended to teach him to cook. When the writer was satisfied, he had the singer assemble what he needed on the butcher block while he himself fetched the cook book that he wanted. It was the most helpful one he had; it had large clear full-color pictures, and the wording was simple. Even someone like Shuichi should be able to follow the directions properly, but if he couldn't Yuki himself would be standing by to correct any errors he made. And the writer would make sure that the temperature dial was set right on the oven, thus insuring that his lover didn't set the apartment(or himself) on fire.
Finally Shuichi was ready. He'd donned a rather frilly apron with the words 'Kiss the Cook' on the front. Yuki was happy to follow these instructions, and this so distracted them that they almost forgot about the lesson altogether. Unfortunately for a certain novelist, it wasn't quite enough. The singer's tiny brain could only hold one thought at a time - and at this point, that single cogitation was about making the simple chicken dish that Yuki had picked out as his first lesson. So he finally pulled away from the writer's grip and whirled around back to the butcher block. “What do I do next, Yuki?” he asked eagerly.
The blonde could think of a few things – and none of them actually involved cooking right at that moment. That butcher's block was really sturdy, after all...he sighed. “You're going to need to chop some things” he said grimly. He SO did not want to put a sharp knife in Shuichi's hands. The very thought made him sweat.
“Okay!” chirped the singer, as though he sliced and diced vegetables every day of his life.
Yuki walked over, slowly and reluctantly, to fetch a knife from the drawer. He prayed fervently as he carried this implement over to his lover, gritting his teeth as he gingerly handed it to the singer. “Start with the celery,” he said tightly. “Dice them fine.”
Shuichi grabbed a handful of celery stalks and laid them on the cutting board. Holding the knife in an awkward manner that made the hairs stand up on the back of Yuki's neck, he whacked at the vegetables as though he were in serial killer training. He did a very good job of slaughtering the poor hapless celery – it was near mush after a moment. Yuki said loudly: “That's enough, Shuichi!”
The little singer stopped what he was doing and looked at the writer over his shoulder. “Did I do it right, Yuki?” he asked hopefully.
The writer looked at the green mess on the cutting board. “It's fine,” he said, not wanting to precipitate a bout of waterworks by telling his lover what he really thought of Shuichi's culinary skills. As the singer beamed at him, he deftly took the knife from slim hands and carried it over to the sink. “You'll need a clean one for your next me...err...ingredient,” he said. “We'll try onions next.”
Okay, onions had been a bad choice as an ingredient, the writer acknowledged to himself a few minutes later. Tears were streaming down the pink haired singer's face, and he obviously couldn't see very well anymore. He kept making swipes at the vegetables that were missed or near misses, and were coming perilously close to his own fingers instead. Yuki didn't want to startle him by trying to grab the knife from his hands, so he merely spoke slowly and calmly instead. “Stop cutting, Shu.” Then he sighed in acute relief when his tone of voice worked like a charm, for the singer stopped his rather erratic movements and blinked at his lover out of still streaming eyes.
“We'll use those pieces,” Yuki said, not caring that some of thew onions were still in big hunks. He just didn't want Shuichi to cut at them anymore.
“Okay...what do I do next?” the singer asked, sniffling as his nose ran from the stinging onion juice too.
“Wipe your eyes and nose,” Yuki replied in affectionate exasperation, handing him a tissue.
The little singer did so, snorting a bit as he blew his nose. Yuki thanked the Gods that he'd picked a dish that called for deboned as and deskinned chicken breasts. He had Shuichi get out a glass cooking pan, then lay the breasts in the pan side-by-side. Shuichi hummed to himself as he followed these simple directions, pleased that everything seemed to be working out. Then the writer had the singer pour light olive oil in a bowl, and mix in the celery mush, onion chunks, and the herbs the recipe called for(except for the cumin). He made the little singer measure out the herbs carefully, since it would be very easy to add too much and have an inedible over spiced dish. He wanted Shuichi to succeed at this just as much as the singer did, because it made him feel bad to think of how wretchedly miserable his lover had been over his failure with the Jiffy popcorn and the cake before it.
“All right,” he remarked when the happy singer had carefully poured the seasoned oil and vegetables over the breasts. “Now watch me carefully, Shu. This is the temperature dial on the oven, which has to be set on 375 degrees. See me turn it to the right temp?” he demonstrated, then turned it back to 250 and stepped back. “Now you do it,” he told his little lover.
The singer warily approached the stove, which was his sworn enemy. But he'd watched what his lover had done carefully,m so was able to duplicate it. His chest visibly swelled with pride as he turned the dial back to 375 degrees. Yuki nodded. “Okay. Now we turn the oven on with this switch...” once again he demonstrated, and once again the singer imitated what he'd done. “And while its pre-heating, you set the timer so that it'll go off when its done cooking. What does it say in the cookbook about how long it should cook?”
Shuichi consulted the book, his lips moving as he ran a slim finger down until he'd found the information he needed. “Forty-five minutes,” he told Yuki.
“So you set your timer for forty-five minutes, like this,” this time the singer observed with extra care, for this part was a bit more difficult. But the writer watched him like a hawk, and nodded in satisfaction when he saw that his lover had done it right. “Now push this button, and put your dish in the oven,” he said. Shuichi did so, his tongue sticking out of the side of his mouth in such a cute manner that it made certain parts of the writer's body stir to life. Now what, he mused lasciviously, could the two of them do while they were waiting for Shuichi's chicken dish to cook?
The little singer straightened up triumphantly, starting to turn toward his lover. But before he could make it, a pair of strong arms closed over him and drew him up against a tall body. A thoroughly aroused tall body, he realized with a little gasp as something big and hard was pressed into the small of his back. “Shu,” Yuki murmured in a lusty tone of voice, then blew hot breath onto the back of the little singer's neck, making him shiver. “Let's do something else while its cooking, hmm?”
“Yukkiii,” the singer said, his whole body turning boneless.
“I'll take that as a yes,” the writer said in tones of amused satisfaction, before he picked his little lover up bodily and carried him off to the bedroom without any objections from his pink-haired terror at all.
They both got so wrapped up in what they were doing(three times) that they forgot the chicken entirely for hours. And because the bedroom door was closed, neither heard the timer going off in the kitchen. It was only when the smell of smoke penetrated the bedroom that either of them recalled the fact that Shuichi was supposed to be cooking. A wail of distress arose as a naked pink-haired singer dashed out of the bedroom and down the hall into the kitchen, with a nude romance writer at his heels. Once again, black columns of smoke were rising from the oven. Shuichi plunged into the gloom in the kitchen, scrabbling for a hot pad. He grabbed at the handle of the oven, pulling to open and coughing in the cloud of black smoke that puffed up into his face. He rescued the blackened chicken(REALLY blackened) from the oven, cries of unhappiness still being torn from his throat as he set the glass dish(which was now smoke grey rather than clear) onto the butchers block. Then he burst into tears.
“Yuki!” he sobbed, throwing himself on his lover. The writer patted his bare back comfortingly.
“This isn't your fault, Shu,” he crooned. “It's mine. You were doing just fine before I distracted you. This isn't because you're a bad cook. We can try again some other time, and I promise to keep my hands off of you when you do.”
A snuffling, woebegone singer looked up into his lover's worried golden eyes. “Yuki,” he said softly, just before he kissed his lover to show his appreciation for the author's kind words. He didn't care about the chicken having burned, not when his Yuki admitted that it was his fault that it had done so, not the singer's for once. That was better than perfectly cooked chicken breasts, any time.
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