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attempting to cook

scarecrow_mask in narukorp

What's Cooking? [Closed Log] [Kakami] [Rin]

Backdated to August, just after the Gala.

There it was. Just sitting, waiting to defeat her once again, as it had many times in the past. Kakami narrowed her eyes, then sighed and walked into the kitchen before staring at the stove before grabbing the kettle and setting it on to boil.

Tea was all well and good but it wasn't exactly filling. Shibuki-san's take out was also very much well and good, but take out had a tendency to get a teensy bit expensive if you constantly ordered it. She could actually go out and maybe get something that could just be popped into the oven but that seemed a bit like cheating.

...Kakami couldn't remember exactly, but she was fairly certain it had been her father who'd done the cooking. Maybe the non-cooking thing was a family dysfunction. Or maybe she could just finally get over it and ask Rin to show her a few things, like he'd offered to a while ago. And now was probably a good time, seeing that a broken arm made working in the kitchen somewhat difficult.

She shifted from one foot to the other for a moment, staring at the closed cupboards. Maybe there was a cookbook or something that she could start out with as a reference? Pick something and then go get Rin to oversee her efforts. And perhaps, with some luck, there'd be something that was, at the very least, edible by this evening.

Of all the things he could reasonably (and unreasonably) expect to find Kakami doing when he got home, Rin somehow hadn't ever factored a kitchen-related incident into those possibilities. It made the confusion on his face as he shrugged off his satchel and padded through to the sun-warmed kitchen all the more apparent, especially when he had to crouch down to peek at Kakami as she hunted about in the lower cupboards. Maybe she'd misplaced a kunai and it had wound up in the cutlery drawer?

"Ne, Kakami? Whatcha looking for?" he asked, cast-bound arm resting on his knee and curiosity plain in his brown eyes.

So intent had she been on figuring out exactly what she was doing and inspecting the various drawers and cabinets for inspiration, that she nearly missed Rin entering. She paused to look at him and then back at the...well, Kakami wasn't actually sure what it was but it seemed to be some sort of cooking related device (how were some of these things not weapons?) and then shrugged casually.

"I didn't have much paperwork today." Slight lie but then Kakami never really paid too much attention to that sort of thing - she did what seemed vital and left it at that. "And well...we've been eating a lot of take out." She put the object back and stood. "I was looking for a cook book."

She'd found some cards that didn't really look like they had Rin's handwriting...and the directions were abbreviated in a way that it seemed they were meant for someone who knew what they were doing. Clearly not her.

Fortunately Rin hadn't been holding anything, or else it would likely have just hit the floor. Surprise replaced curious confusion, but that didn't last long in place of the grin that appeared on his face. Wonders really never did cease. He closed the door on the pressure cooker she'd just replaced and ran his good hand back through his brown hair as he looked at her with a slight shake of his head.

"Okay, well before we go any further I just have to ask who you are and what you've done with Hatake Kakami?"

He'd only spent about twenty years asking her if she wanted to learn, after all! Doppelganger-suspicion was a perfectly valid response to the confession that she'd been looking for a cookbook... even if he knew he was being cheeky.

Kakami sent him a wry glare that was really only half-hearted. Yes, yes she had deserved a bit of teasing after all this time. Still, it was only the presence of his broken arm that had saved him from Kakami giving him a playful shove over.

"Be nice or I'll make you my guinea pig." she mock threatened, the barest hint of a smile pricking at the edges of her maskless mouth. Then it faded and she ruffled her bangs a bit with a free hand. "This entire notion is your fault anyway, so you might as well be responsible and start telling me something useful to start out with."

Rin couldn't help a quiet chuckle at that, and he nodded contritely as they both stood and leaned against the counter. "Well if it's my fault I suppose lending a hand the only thing to do, right? Let's see what you've... oh."

His eyes fell to a small, incredibly familiar box resting on the counter. "You've already found where to start," he said, voice not quite giving away what his expression immediately did - a sense of sudden remembering, and surprise at ever having forgotten. He picked up his mother's recipe box, the dusty oak inlaid with gently curving swirls exactly how his father had made it before he'd been born. He gently tipped open the lid, looking down at ranks of slightly yellowed but perfectly legible recipe cards that hadn't seen the light of day since before he and Kakami had ever met.

He looked up from them to Kakami's pale and curious face, and couldn't help the odd sense of connection he'd never quite felt before as he handed the box carefully to her. "These were my mother's, and definitely what you were looking for. Do you see anything that looks good?"

Kakami took them, carefully and face unreadable for a moment. The box suddenly felt a little heavier and more awkward. Rin's mother had apparently liked to cook...which, with Rin's ability and love for it made sense.

"I see." she said quietly, glancing at him before setting the box down and using a gentle hand to look through them. It took a few moments to find the recipe for pork Shogayaki which, at a glance, seemed very simple. Kakami wordlessly handed it to Rin, with a soft and only very slightly unsure smile.

Pushing his glasses up over his nose, Rin looked down at the card as he took it from her fingers and smiled. Perfect. Looked like Kakami had that tactician's knack even when it came to this. As if he'd ever expect anything less. He looked down at his mother's neatly etched card, at handwriting which his would look like if only he weren't a scrap-lettered doctor, and nodded. He knew it by heart, of course, but this was the part where he showed Kakami something new.

"Perfect," he told her, giving her a smile. "Alright, see this column here is our ingredient list. This abbreviation is for the ingredient, the figure next to it is the volume we'll need, and in the bracket is the shape we need it in. Sliced, rolled, diced and whatnot. And next to it, we've got an outline of the preparation and cooking times."

He set reached over and flicked down a stubby wooden clipboard, one-handedly levering the catch up and letting it thump down with a final snap - a starting bell - to hold up the card where they could see it. The motion was so automatic he hadn't even thought about it, and he didn't now. "What it doesn't tell you is what utensils and pans we'll need. So let's get those first, ne?"

A frying pan, a chopping board, a set of knives, a mixing bowl, a spatula... they were all in here somewhere!

Kakami had spent quite a bit of time rummaging through the kitchen earlier and with a few questions as to what was needed, was able to find some of the tools rather easily. They sat on the counter, a collection of plastic and metal that felt just slightly alien to her.

Under Rin's tutelage, Kakami carefully peeled and then grated some ginger root and placed it in a bowl that soon also held several other ingredients for a sauce. That was set aside and some cold pork was set on the cutting board and sliced thinly. So far it wasn't terribly difficult and Kakami even had hopes of something edible appearing soon!

Watching Kakami oh-so-carefully go through steps he'd speed through without a moment's pause made Rin remember how he'd felt learning to put together each of the meals on those cards. Tentatively working through each stage and trusting somebody else's instincts and advice to manage something as crucial as feeding yourself. He'd learned how to learn as he'd been taught to cook, sometimes he wondered if it showed.

"That's perfect," he said, adding a pinch of dried herbs harvested from the garden (along with the fresh ginger) to the marinade they'd put together. Kakami's neatly sliced pork was cut with almost military precision, which made Rin smile to himself despite it all as he picked up the board and slid the meat into the wide ceramic dish containing the marinade. "In the future, when you plan to make a meal in advance, a good idea is to put the pork or whatever meat your using in the freezer for just a little while before bringing it out to cut it. That way the work is easier for you."

He gave Kakami a wooden spoon and pushed the bowl carefully over to her on the counter. "Make sure it's all under the marinade, and I'll just get the rice started and show you how to heat a pan properly for frying. Then we wait a little while, and get to the exciting part."

Kakami nodded, storing away that information, like the other few, small tips he'd given thoughout the "lesson" back in her mind. So far, this wasn't proving so very difficult...but then again she hadn't actually turned on the stove. A few quick stirs made sure the pork slices were properly coated.

After washing her hands and rinsing off the cutting board and knife, she fished out the rice cooker for Rin and then a pan for herself. She watched him measure the rice grains and water carefully, figuring she'd have to learn how to use the thing eventually and not break it.

....Although...if she remembered rightly...

"This one's guaranteed to stay in one place right?" she asked, just a bit of teasing under her voice. The spectacular kitchen mess that had occurred the night that had started their romantic relationship (so to speak) still stood out in her mind...if only for the fact that it had seemed terribly unlike Rin.

A guilty cough and a definite blush under his stripes met that little jibe, but it didn't deter Rin from finishing his task and sealing the cooker. Of course, once he had, he just couldn't help the impulse to reach over and lift Kakami's hand so he could place a small kiss on her knuckles. "Well if this one breaks too I'm hoping there's a distraction similar to the first time to keep my mind off of it," he said cheerily.

She gave a half chuckle, rewarding him with a sincere smile before they turned to the stove. It was turned on and the pan placed over the heat before Kakami pulled out a glass bottle of oil. Rin showed her how to hold her hand just above the bottom of the pan to feel as it heated and when it reached the right time for the oil, a little was poured in.

A few minutes later, the oil had heated and the pork was dropped in and began sizzling immediately. Kakami quickly stirred to spread it out, then let it sit, then stirred and so on as Rin directed. It was actually smelling quite nice and Kakami's stomach perked up at the scent. She half glanced at Rin, gave a brief smile and then turned her attention to the cooking meat.

Many would have called it taking their lives in his hands, but Rin just leaned against the counter and let Kakami get on with the business of monitoring their meal as it cooked. It hardly took a few minutes before the pork was ready, and the rice followed swiftly. Rin was almost sorry it had been such a quick meal to put together - it made him smile to watch Kakami learn and try something so new. In particular, watching her nose twitch at the changing scents of the pork and rice was enough to nearly have him laugh.

It only took a second to fetch a few bowls, dole out the rice and watch Kakami proudly portion out the meat over the top. A pair of chopsticks in had, and they both gave each other a glance from opposite ends of the round kitchen table.

"On three?" Rin asked, bright humour clearly bouncing around in his eyes.

"On three." Kakami agreed jokingly, face just a tad flushed from the hot stove she'd been standing over. Chopsticks poised for a moment before they both scooped up a bite and put it in their mouths.

...More relieved than she would have ever admitted, Kakami gave Rin just a slightly crooked smile as she finished chewing. It wasn't amazing or nearly as good as most of the dishes Rin put together but it was edible and that was improvement.

It was just as well that Rin was eating, or else he'd have burst out laughing at the look of stunned relief on Kakami's munching face. What did she think might happen? They weren't eating bufotoxins or anything. As it was he very definitely inhaled his portion, and then had to laugh into his hand just a little.

"It's tasty, Kakami. Good job." And then he grinned and shook his head a little for her expression, resting his cast-bound arm up on the table gently. "How's yours?"

"Its good." she answered softly, just the hint of a pleased blush pinking her cheeks a little more. Then she grinned a little sideways. "Some of your talent must have rubbed off or something."

Another bite and then a teasing, "Or you know, you had Shibuki-san come over and bless the kitchen while I wasn't here." Kakami's eye laughed just a little bit.

"Damn, you've got me," Rin replied, smiling broadly at her. "It was such a cunning plan, but then you had to come along with your genius brain and foil it." He gave her a teasing look as he itched gently behind his ear. "Suppose that means you don't think you could cook anything else on those recipe cards..."

Kakami raised an eyebrow.

"That was very close to almost sounding like a challenge." she said, mock-musingly. Kakami glanced at the box of cards, that was still sitting on the counter and then back at Rin. "I wouldn't mind trying another one soon though."

Especially if he was around to help. Although the two of them really needed no excuses to spend time together, Kakami liked to feel she might be contributing a little more on the practical side of things.

"Well," Rin said, getting up to his feet and crossing around to place a proud and congratulatory kiss on her silvery-haired head. "There's always dinner, ne?" He looked down at her and smiled, almost glad that his arm was in a cast if it led to more moments like this. There was dinner to teach her, a hundred tricks and talents to show her how to make her own... there was a whole world to introduce her to. One that was in his blood honestly, a real Kiyoyama family tradition.

"I've got to say you're the best student I've ever had."

It was an odd surge of gratification that flooded Kakami when he said that. And that was the cause for the quiet smile that quirked lips as she gathered up the dishes and took them to the sink.

"The right teacher can do wonders." she told him softly, looking over at him. Kakami smiled a little wider, before she turned back to wash up. So here it was, another step, another way that Rin's influence was slowly becoming more and more important in her existence. A year ago, she would have convinced herself that she only half cared.

Now, it seemed like the world sometimes.



Backdated to August, just after the Gala.

[psst--gala was in april, with everyone coming home in early may <3]