stardustproxy: Clap. Clap. Slap. (Reno)
Title: Tidus's Misadventures In Life, Part 1: Cooking Misadeventures
Characters: Tidus/Yuna, Lulu
Fandom: Final Fantasy X-2
Rating: PG-13
Summary: There's a reason Tidus isn't allowed into Yuna's kitchen.
Notes: Cracky, fluffy, ficcy goodness. Enjoy. A weekend top off to Fluff Fic Week/Spring Break Extragavanza. The first part of a potentially three-part fic.

“This isn’t how the recipe said it was supposed to look,” mumbled Tidus under his breath as he studied the very blackened chicken before him and compared it to the picture of the lightly baked chicken in the cookbook lying on the counter.

Okay, the cookbook was mostly smeared with flour and barbeque sauce and other unidentifiable foodstuffs. But the chicken in the book definitely looked golden brown and most certainly was not smoking. Tidus sighed and pulled the tray of chicken before him. Nervously, he carefully cut a small corner of the chicken he’d prepared and took a cautious bite.

Before spitting it out seconds later, hacking and gasping and running toward the sink for a glass of water to drown out the awful taste with.

“Okay, so the chicken’s a bust,” thought Tidus aloud as he surveyed the rest of the kitchen. The sight that greeted him caused him to wince more than a little. More than a dozen dirty pots littered the countertops, which themselves were stained a rather unfortunate shade of brown, a far cry from their normal yellow hue. Dirty plates, spoons, measuring cups and other cooking utensils were piled high in the sink, and an upturned bag of flour covered the floor in a fine layer of white dust.

“Yuna’s gonna kill me if she sees this kitchen,” mused Tidus. With a sigh, he turned to study the egg salad, which was also looking to be inedible. It looked vaguely runny, and glancing at the recipe, he noticed that the words keep cool until just before serving were printed near the end of the page.

“Er, and that’s probably been setting out for a couple hours now, so it’s probably a loss, too,” said Tidus to no one in particular. So far that meant he was 0 for 2 on the whole Romantic Picnic for Yuna plan.

With a frown, he tossed that mix into the garbage can, on top of the remains of the charred blueberry pie he’d tried to make earlier. “Okay, fine. 0 for 3.”

“Well, what’s left?” he said to the messy kitchen. “Pie, version two, I guess. And maybe the chocolate dipped strawberries? Yuna’s probably not going to like having just dessert. Maybe the wine is okay, and um, let’s see about that caesar salad.”

Tidus leaned over and tasted a sip of the wine before spitting it onto the flour on the floor of the kitchen. “It’s vinegar!” he whined.

Eying the salad, he noticed mold growing on the lettuce leaves, and bit back a cringe. The strawberries looked all right, but a taste revealed that the chocolate he’d used was baker’s chocolate, so the fruit tasted terrible. And the sugar was inexplicitly not added to the second version of the pie.

“Damn, and Yuna’s coming back in less than an hour,” grumbled Tidus as he studied the clock hanging over the kitchen table. The sunflowers on the tablecloth were too bright and cheery for his mood right now, and were clearly mocking him. “What to do, what to do…” he thought, continuing to speak to himself out loud.

The light bulb slowly clicked on above Tidus’s head and with a sigh, he realized he was going to have to throw himself on the mercy of Lulu. Yuna’s older sister (in every way but blood) was an amazing cook. And she might be able to get Tidus out of the mess he had (quite literally) managed to get himself into.

Not even bothering to remove the KISS THE COOK apron from over his clothes, Tidus ran out the side door of the little house he and Yuna shared. Brushing flour from his bleached blonde hair, he bolted full speed toward Lulu and Wakka’s house next door. Figuring that Lulu would be home at this time of day, Tidus sprinted toward their back door and began pounding on it like a man possessed.

“Hold on, hold on,” said Lulu, with an edge of impatience to her voice. “Vidina just fell asleep, so if you wake him up—” she let her voice trail off, leaving Tidus to ponder the implications of that threat for himself. He gulped.

“I’m sorry, Lulu, but you know Yuna and Rikku and Paine spent the weekend shopping and spending time together in Luca, right? Well, she’s coming back in uh, forty-eight minutes and I wanted to take her on a picnic since that’s supposed to be romantic and Yuna likes romance, right? So I was trying to do this thing for her and I pretty much ruined it.” Tidus stopped and gasped for breath.

Lulu smirked. “Do I even want to see your kitchen right now?” At Tidus’s frantic headshaking, Lulu sighed. “I see.”

“Please, Lulu. Can you help me? I wanna do this for Yuna because she says I’m a dork and never romantic enough for her and the kitchen! The food! I can’t cook!” Tidus looked panicked, and the frown on his face hid the possible threat of tears. “I’ll do anything, Lulu.”

“Anything?” Lulu raised an eyebrow, crossing her arms over her chest.

“Anything, Lulu,” swore Tidus. “I need to do this for Yuna. It’s bad enough I broke her favorite teacup before she left last week.”

“Fine,” said Lulu after a long moment of silence. She reached toward her pantry and pulled down a large-sized wicker picnic basket from the top shelf. She set that on the island counter of her kitchen, and proceeded to rummage through the contents of her pantry and refrigerator.

Tidus just stood in the doorframe and watched Lulu work, dumbstruck. The woman was clearly a genius in the kitchen, and her quick efficient movements left Tidus in awe. Within fifteen minutes, Lulu had stuffed the basket with a thermos of lemonade, two large slices of her famous chocolate cake, homemade potato salad, a bag of freshly cut carrot sticks, and sandwiches made with her famous honey-glazed turkey and stuffed with fresh lettuce and homemade tomato-pesto mayo and a slice of Swiss cheese.

Lulu presented the basket to Tidus with a triumphant half-smile. “I expect my basket back in one piece, and I trust you can find utensils in your own kitchen?”

Tidus nodded. “Thanks again, Lulu. You’re amazing!”

Lulu shook her head and reached for her washing pail and industrial strength soap. “Greet Yuna at the docks and don’t let her see the kitchen. I’ll take care of it. Wakka should be home in a few minutes, and he can watch Vidina.”

“What do I owe you?” asked Tidus belatedly.

“Right now I recommend you go home and take a shower, because you look like a wreck,” said Lulu. “And as for what you owe me? Well, I hope your schedule for next week is very, very open.”

Tidus gulped as the implications of that dawned on him.
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