What: Gokudera bothers Nanami while she's cooking and gets more than he bargained for
Where: The kitchen on the Vongola ship
When: Saturday early evening
Warnings: Awkward turtle. Awkward turtle. Awkward turtle. General fluff wtf? Long log is long.
The scent of something sweet cooking permeated the air while a quick and steady chopping sound could be heard beyond the kitchen walls. The blond girl was chopping vegetables, her favorite thing to do, with a very small smile showing as she sliced the celery evenly with a very large knife. She was humming softly to herself and looked rather content at the moment.
Gokudera rarely ventured into the kitchen, but he was taking a break from his training and figured that eating something would be a good idea. At first, he peeked in hesitantly, wanting to make absolutely certain that the person he heard in the kitchen was not his sister. It took him a moment to recognize the shimmering blonde standing before the cutting board, but he wasn't going to act like it mattered, so he casually greeted her with a "You planning on burning that, like everything else?" The cigarette between his lips jerked as he spoke.
Nanami wasn’t used to people entering the kitchen especially when she was in there except for that horrible woman who wanted her dead and she had been gone for several days now. This, however, did not stop Nanami’s conditioned response to having someone enter the kitchen while she was preparing food. The response usually included her jumping about three feet out of surprise and losing grip of anything that she happened to be holding; in this case she happened to be holding one stalk of partially chopped celery and one giant kitchen knife which were now flying in the air in Gokudera’s direction. Lastly, she dropped to the floor behind the counter panting wildly and looking for her escape.
Gokudera went from surprised to frowning. Luckily for him, he had experience avoiding knives. "Jesus! Watch what the hell you're doing!" He snapped, snatching up the celery and watching as the knife clattered noisily on the ground. He picked it up as well, and took it to the sink, wondering what the girl's reason was for hiding from him. However, he didn't dwell on it, assuming she was just weird like everyone else. The silver-haired boy ran water over the knife and set the celery back on the board, rolling his eyes.
The girl had her back against the counter when she heard the exclamation come out in a male’s voice rather than the female she had been expecting. She peaked out over the counter just in case before standing up fully. "Oh, it’s just you," she stated in a somewhat relieved tone. She eyed the knife in his hand before he set it down. There was no apology and she hadn’t actually heard Gokudera’s first question over her panicking.
Gokudera's question had been more of his typically rude greeting. He hadn't been expecting an answer, but he hadn't been expecting Nanami to freak out and toss a knife at him either. He eyed her condescendingly and dried the knife before setting it beside the celery, "Did I scare you?" He didn't care. Really. The Tenth had mentioned once about how he was scary though so maybe he should.
"No," she lied, "I was just surprised is all." She had her eyes closed and nose up in a way that said "hmp". The blond adjusted her frilly lavender apron trying to hide her embarrassment of having to finish chopping the newly retrieved celery and knife. Nanami picked it up, a small blush crossing her cheeks as she began chopping again this time with a little more purpose.
Gokudera had little to no experience with cooking, so watched her curiously, leaning back on the counter and glancing at her busy hands with an air of nonchalance. "What're you making?" He asked, wondering if he should make something for himself or just start finding leftovers of some kind. As long as it wasn't purple, he wouldn't be picky. Food was food and he was rather hungry. However, he wasn't going to admit this to Nanami. No, it wasn't her business.
"It’s a chicken casserole," she replied simply. Nanami, being used to an audience, was not at all uncomfortable under Gokudera’s watchful eyes. It was a pretty simple recipe and since she had been serious about learning to cook because Reborn had told her it was part of training, she had actually improved rather quickly. It wasn’t the best, like she was used to at home, but it was still pretty good. She finished chopping the celery and glanced over to where he was standing. "Mr. Gokudera, would you please hand me the water chestnuts?" She motioned to the two cans that were sitting on the counter next to him.
"Oh." Gokudera continued to watch her, then glanced away since watching her chop celery wasn't exactly the most riveting of actions to watch. "Who's it for?" He hardly thought she'd be making it for just herself. Casseroles were normally made for large groups of people, alongside a main dish. He'd never had one, since he stuck to foods he was more familiar with. He'd learned at an early age that certain purple foods could easily hide in the scoopable contents of such dishes. He remembered a particular dish he'd had where everything had been pleasant until he'd spooned up a chunk and found it connected to the entire casserole by a worm. A fat, writhing, stretched out, grayish purple earthworm. Gokudera hung his head, eyes shadowed as his stomach made a sick sound in protest. He heard her talk but not what she said, so tilted his head, peeking up through his silver fringe, "Hn?"
"It’s for everyone who will have it," she sighed inwardly since most people had been coming up with all sorts of excuses why they weren’t hungry or that they’d just make something on their own. Nanami stared at him expecting the cans to be passed along but instead she heard what sounded like indigestion. Ladies do not speak of such things so instead she asked, "Are you alright, Mr. Gokudera? You look a little pale."
"I'm fine." Gokudera said, staring at her solidly in order to command his mind to pass on the note to his stomach that this was not Bianchi. "Your casserole is going to be delicious." He said and then blinked. Ooops, he hadn't meant to say it out loud. The silver-haired teen turned and grabbed the cans, thrusting them forward at her suddenly. "Did you want these?!" A slight embarrassed blush sprinkled his cheeks, but it was nothing he couldn't scowl off.
She returned his response with a rather blank look and that look cemented itself in place as she heard his next sentence. It took her a moment to understand the words fully "It will be!" She interjected energetically with one of her award winning smiles; that was so nice of him to say so. If it was a shoujo manga, sparkles would have probably filled the panel at this point. Her excitement was cut short as the cans were shoved in her general direction, "Oh, oh thank you." She took the cans from him, setting them on the counter and then rooting around in a drawer looking for the can opener.
Gokudera nodded at her, " ...welcome" he muttered and glanced about as though he was also searching for something. Long, pale fingers tapped on the counter-top as he stood on his toes and rocked forward slightly.
Her hand finally grasped the handle and she drew it out before shutting the drawer with her hip—she was getting far to used to being in here by now. She was locking down the rotary blade as she heard the tapping. Nanami stopped and looked up at him. "…"
"What?" He glanced at her quickly, eyes narrowed before he straightened up and walked over to the fridge, searching for something to eat. "I hate kitchens..." Gokudera slammed the fridge door shut and stomped over to a cupboard, searching for a glass so he could get something to drink. After slamming several cupboard doors, he let out an exasperated sigh. Suddenly, his eyes widened and he grinned, moving his finger in the air to spell out "glass." Nothing happened. He needed more practice. Determined, he continued to spell the word repeatedly.
A confused expression flashed across her face, after all, wasn’t she the one who should be asking that? But the boy seemed to get distracted and she went back to what she was doing while he searched around for whatever it was he was searching for. Once she had the cans open she glanced up at him again as he seemed to be following an invisible bug in the air with his finger. "…" She didn’t want to know.
She was about to drain water out when a timer went off. "Oh! Cookies are done!" She hurried over to the oven with mitts in hand just past the crazy person and checked them with a toothpick. She went ahead and pulled them out setting them on some blank counter space.
Gokudera had followed her out of curiosity, finger still waving idly. "Cookies?" He asked, standing directly behind her and looking over her shoulder. He hadn't had an honest cookie in ages and couldn't help that the scent made his mouth water slightly. The sound of glass shattering made him jump and he looked down at a large pile of broken glass between them. "Ah!" He frowned as he noticed that he had not conjured up the glass he'd intended, but had made large glass letters that he now had to clean up. "Stay there." Gokudera said, glancing around as he wondered where he could find a broom. He didn't want Nanami stepping on the shards.
It was probably a good thing she had already set the pans down because they may have gone to waste after the sound of shattering glass came out of nowhere. She spun around to see what had just happened. Nanami leaned back against the counter surveying the glass that was miraculously all over the floor. She looked around the kitchen in a paranoid manner, was someone trying to kill her again? "…Um… where did that even come from?" She whispered.
"Me." Gokudera answered as though it was something normal. He seemed to be having an internal struggle as he looked at her, and then gave up. Besides, no one else was in the kitchen. He carefully stepped over the large pile, "I'm going to pick you up." He said with a serious expression on his face.
It was Mr. Gokudera who was trying to kill her? Nanami’s rather bizarre thought process stopped as she realized that if he was going to kill her, there’s no way he’d have missed at such a close range, and death by glass was just silly, unless he was just trying to cut her for some reason? Again her thoughts were derailed when she heard his voice. "Y..you’re, what now? Huh?"
Gokudera was no "gentleman" but he wasn't going to treat Nanami like a sack of potatoes, especially since she was making them all food that was bug-free. He sighed impatiently and took one of her hands, guiding it over his shoulders as he reached down and snuck the other against the back of her knees, easily lifting her up. He may look tall and skinny, but there wasn't a single bit of fat on him, just lean muscle, and he knew how to use it. "Relax." He turned to step over the glass. "I don't want you stepping on it."
Nanami’s mouth dropped open slightly and most of the cries of protest were cut off by her surprise as she was being lifted into the air. "M..Mr. Gokudera," she looked up at him with a small blush. She hadn’t been held like this for a long time and what a gentleman for worrying about her safety!
"Quit calling me Mister. I'm not calling you Miss. It just sounds odd." It never seemed odd when Ipin called him 'Mr.Gokudera' but that was because he'd known her since she was little. He stepped over the glass and only when he was sure that she wouldn't step on it and track it everywhere for other people to step on did he set her down. "Just... Gokudera is fine."
Nanami was feeling very light headed and would probably go along with just about anything at this point. She nodded absently as he set her down. "Thank you… Gokudera," she tried it out bashfully.
"Hn." He gave her an odd look, "Where can I find a broom?" He asked, tapping his bottom lip thoughtfully and glancing about. Was something wrong with Nanami? She'd gone from staring at him as if he were some kind of every-day-freak to... someone who wasn't an every-day-freak. Gokudera didn't linger on it and carefully walked around the glass shards.
"Oh, there should be one in the utility closet, but let me take care of it for you," the blond smiled sweetly before spinning on her heal and trotting off to get the broom and dust pan.
"Whatever." Gokudera said as he used the side of his shoe to push several stray shards into the central pile to make cleanup easier. He glanced at the counter as he stuck his hands in his pockets and spotted a glass that had been blocked from his view by Nanami while she'd been at the cutting board. Grinning, Gokudera retrieved some water and then frowned, wondering why he'd wanted water in the first place. It certainly wasn't doing anything for his empty stomach. He glanced over at the forgotten cookies, wondering if she would notice if he took one.
Nanami returned quickly with a noticeable spring in her step. She grinned over at him before commencing the clean up. Now normally, Nanami would never be caught dead cleaning up shattered glass, after all, this was the girl who was used to using men as bridges over puddles. Currently, however, doing this for Gokudera made her sincerely happy, even though she had never used a broom before, and it wasn’t working like it did on TV either. "MMmmpphh!" She squeaked audibly. Yeah, she’d just cut herself somehow on the glass. She attempted to cover that by clearing her throat and continuing like nothing happened although her wide eyes said otherwise.
"Yeah, it would work if you held it correctly." Gokudera rolled his eyes and chuckled a little under his breath as he stepped behind her once more, setting a hand on the broom and moving one of hers to better position it.
Her face turned a rather reddish hue as he began correcting her positioning. "Um… um…" she protested slightly, "Gokudera…"
"What?" He asked, raising an eyebrow, "You sweep like this and we're all going to cut ourselves." The silver-haired teen left his hands on hers as he looked down at her.
"I…I’m sorry, I got blood on you!" She said referring to the fact that her finger was bleeding all over the place and he was touching that hand. Nanami bowed forward in apology only to hit her head on one of the lower cupboards. And then another timer went off. With her head resting where it had hit she muttered, "chicken’s done—".
"Huh?" Gokudera blinked at the blood now on his hand and snorted a laugh, "Oh. So you did. S'alright, don't worry about it." He dismissed her apology and grabbed a paper towel. "This will work until I get back with the bandage." He said, examining her finger to make sure there wasn't a sliver of glass lodged in it or anything. The bomber tore a slender piece from the towel and wrapped it about her finger, tucking it under the wrapped layers to ensure it stay there. He turned away from her and left to find her a bandage.
Nanami held her newly bandaged finger up in front of her face and then gently touched her forehead, it probably would bruise, but it may have scrambled her brains a little bit. She sighed and pushed herself off the floor and patted her cheeks forcing a smile back on her face, after all she still had to finish dinner! After managing to get the chicken out without burning herself she left it on the counter to cool and slid down to the floor with her back against the counter where she had been working and away from the glass. She held her hand over her head and applied pressure to stop the bleeding while waiting for Gokudera to return.
"Floor doesn't look that comfortable." Gokudera said as he walked in, motioning for her to stand up because it was silly for her to be sitting on the kitchen floor and he'd look dumb if he joined her. That look on her face seemed very familiar, but he wasn't going to dwell on it since it probably didn't concern him. Instead, he handed her the band-aid and grabbed the broom, sweeping it into a dust pan he'd found on his journey for the bandage and dumping it into the garbage.
It wasn’t, but she had wanted to sit and there wasn’t a chair. She carefully stood up using her undamaged hand to help her along the way. She took the band-aid with a slightly weakened smile and made her way to the sink to sanitize the cut. "Feel free to help yourself to some cookies," she called from the sink, "they should have cooled down by now, but don’t ruin your appetite!"
Gokudera was going to tell her that he wasn't hungry, but his stomach ached and made a liar out of him, so he approached the cookies, "Alright. You want one?" He asked, placing the cookie between his lips where the cigarette had been and taking a bite from it. It was really good. He had no complaints about it, like with most well-made food, and a content look spread over his face.
With band-aid in place, Nanami continued to prepare dinner. All that was left was to cube the cooked chicken, mix all the prepared ingredients together and then bake it for 25 minutes. "Not right now, thank you," she replied picking up the serrated knife this time. Truthfully, she had been snacking all afternoon, but she wouldn’t admit to that. She anxiously glanced over at Gokudera from the corner of her eye as he tried a cookie. "Are they any good?" She was the type of girl who needed her positive reinforcement verbally or physically rather than visually, besides, it was hard to see his content look from her angle.
"Hmmn?" Gokudera swallowed his bite before speaking and gave her a small and very rare smile, "Yes. Very good." He set the cookie on the counter as he took another long drink of water and sighed, "I haven't had a cookie that good in a long time."
She looked up at him just in time to become intoxicated with that small smile. Frozen in time she stared dreamily at him until his wonderful voice filled the air once again. "REALLY?" She beamed brightly with child-like innocence. "I’m so glad!" Her expression softened as she looked back to her work. "I’m really glad," she repeated softly.
Gokudera's eyebrows shot up as he looked at her in surprise. Well, he certainly hadn't been expecting that much enthusiasm. He turned back to his half-eaten cookie and then waved it at her, turning to leave and then stopping, "Hey... Have you been affected by this whole power swap thing?" He asked, cocking his head to the side.
Nanami’s smile faded rather quickly at the mention of the power swap and perhaps if the normal human eye could see in the ultra violet spectrum, he might have been able to see the clouds of depression gathering over her head. "I don’t want to talk about it," she grumbled and avoided any eye contact at all. She didn’t want to talk about being trapped in that ugly girl’s body for several days, or the fact that nabbing Gon’s "magic" hadn’t been the best idea either as her "brother" simply turned out to be his normal womanizing self and an illusion to boot. That was a rather embarrassing and depressing to think about. The knife in her hand fell much heavier on the meat she was currently cubing.
Gokudera was horrible at reading people but the tone she used now was vastly different from the ecstatic reply he'd gotten earlier. "Oh. Alright." He didn't want to pry but he also didn't want her to get too upset and cut herself or something. "Eh. You're back to normal, so that's good!" He tried to come off as somewhat cheerful, but it was a foreign sound in his throat. If it didn't work, he was just going to give up and get back to his training instead of distracting her.
"Eh," she managed to get out hoarsely and looked up with a sort of uncomfortable smile, "I still don’t have mine back. Hey, Gokudera, what did you get?" She added on curiously.
"I can draw words in the air and sometimes they materialize into what I've written." He walked up to the sink and drew "JELLY" in the air. Brightly colored jelly letters were suspended in the air above the sink for a few seconds until they all fell at once.
"Hmmmm," she mused for a moment watching the letters take shape. "Ah, is that where all that glass came from," she stated more than asked. "Some people have some pretty useless powers, huh? Who does that one belong to?"
"Levi." He said and shrugged. "It can be useful in tight situations. I wish I'd had this ability when I was stuck on that island..." Gokudera said, looking down at his hands. Of all the things he could do with his hands, this was not his favorite.
Nanami tilted her head and pondered what Gokudera was talking about for a moment, the example with jelly gave her a pretty good idea at least. "… how did you figure out you had something like that?"
"I was taking notes and I usually spin my pencil over the paper before I write. I spelled out 'water' and soaked a good notepad." Gokudera sounded rather upset about it, since he liked his notepads. "Any idea what power you have now?" He also hated talking about himself, so if he could make this about her, he'd be more comfortable.
She scooped the food mixture into a dish while listening to his explanation then put it into the oven and set another timer. Nanami shook her head, "and if it’s anything like the last one, I’d rather not find out about it. I’d just like to get mine back, it’s really putting a damper on my training and I haven’t a clue as to who has it. Another cookie?" She held up a cookie sheet.
"Oh, no thanks." Gokudera said. "What's your normal ability?" He asked, raising a hand as she suggested another cookie.
The blond pouted slightly but set the cookies back down. "Uh… well I use swords," she replied vaguely scratching lightly at her cheek with a nail.
"So you lost your sword skills?" Gokudera asked. He leaned against the counter once more, only to wince and straighten back up. "Tough break. I haven't figured out if I've lost anything..." The bomb-expert wondered if for once in his life, he was just lucky.
"Ah, well it’s more… I lost the actual weapons themselves," she fiddled with her apron hem, "It’d just be weird for someone else to have them, to uh, be able to get them." She laughed nervously. "Anyhow, if you haven’t figured out what you lost already, then I wouldn’t worry too much about it."
Gokudera frowned, perplexed, "Do you summon them?" He asked. He'd heard of such things. After all, he could summon words randomly from thin air whether they were metal, nets, wood, or even fire. Summoning a sword didn't seem all that unusual. It was way cooler than Squalo and Yamamoto, who just had them all the time and swung them about. If they actually lost their weapons, they'd probably be screwed.
Nanami’s face flushed a bright red color, "Uh, yes, that’s it, sort of…" It was something that only the student council members knew about, and of course people on the Grand Line had seen it happen; she was pretty sure there was only a small handful of them. Not only that, it was awkward to talk about and even more awkward to actually "summon" them. "Ah, you’re probably very busy right now, right? Um, dinner will be ready in about 20 minutes. Don’t feel like you have to keep me company or anything!"
Gokudera looked disappointed but nodded in acknowledgement. "I was taking a break, but I should get back. Maybe I'll try some of your casserole when I'm done." He said, looking hopeful. He hardly expected for there to be any left over, but he wasn't going to ask her to save him some. He'd just.. find something if he got hungry.
"I can bring you a plate when it’s done," she offered with a sweet smile, like there was any way she was going to let him miss out on the casserole she worked hard on, not after he had taken such good care of her.
"Really?" He said before noticing that it came out sounding a little too happy. Gokudera put on his usual 'it doesn't matter' expression. "You don't have to." He said, taking a cigarette from the pack in his pocket and bringing it to his lips.
"I want to," she said folding her hands bashfully behind her back and looking down at the foot she crossed in front of the other, "I mean, if you’ll have it anyway."
"Oh. Sure." Gokudera said. He normally missed meals because he was too focused on his work, and then ended up eating in the middle of the night while everyone was asleep. Why was it that practically every girl he met seemed to care about him? Then he remembered that for some reason back at Namimori, he had a fanclub. This girl reminded him of them, all eager to please him and sigh over his 'badboy' attitude. "Hope it's as good as your cookies." This girl was their cook though, and he'd rather be on her good side so she wouldn't spit in his food.
Nanami hoped so as well. "Where will I be able to find you?" She wouldn’t want the food to get cold while she ran around the ship looking for him.
"Up on deck." Gokudera said. He'd usually be in his room, pouring over books or scribbling out battle plans, but he wanted to get more training with his box weapons. Fortunately, the deck was wide and open enough to serve as a training room since he hadn't ventured about and found one yet. "You'll probably hear me if you don't see me." He said.
"All right, be careful and I’ll be out shortly with your supper." Nanami sighed a content sigh and turned back toward the cabinets having decided to whip up some vegetables and biscuits to serve with the meal.