Chapter 10: Cook-Off Champion - Starfire and Cyborg
"Ladies and gentlemen, dudes and dudettes," Beast Boy said in his best announcer's voice, holding the microphone too close to his mouth and causing feedback, "I present to you the ultimate Titan cook-off!"
Robin and Raven, from their seats at the table, exchanged miffed glances. "So you got blackmailed into this too, boy blunder?" Raven asked dryly. Robin returned his gaze to the scene before him, his silence answering her effectively.
"Introducing Cyborg," Beast Boy rambled on excitedly, gesturing to the half-robot teen at his place in the kitchen. He flexed impressively in his "kiss the cook" apron, giving his award-winning smirk. "Our all-time cook-off champion!" Fireworks exploded in the shape of cuts of meat behind Cyborg as he struck a pose.
"Introducing Starfire," Beast Boy cried, the microphone squealing. Starfire beamed, still hovering in her place in the kitchen. "The challenger of the title of Cook-Off Champion!" She giggled and did a flip in the air.
"Who will win?" Beast Boy asked. "There's only one way to find out! Both competers will have-"
"Competitors," Raven corrected, obviously bored.
Beast Boy cleared his throat and shot her a glare. "Both competitors will have exactly sixty minutes to complete their best dish and then present them to our judges, Robin and Raven! They will decide who has the better dish, and the winner will receive the title of Cook-Off champion!" As a side-note he added, "The loser has to do dishes for a month."
Robin set the timer in front of him to sixty, and Beast Boy held the microphone up to him. He looked down at Beast Boy's expectant gaze, and inwardly sighed. "Readysetgo," he mumbled.
Cyborg immediately went to work, filling a bowl with flour, salt, pepper, and other ingredients. Then he went to the refrigerator and slapped big hunks of bloody meat onto a plate (Beast Boy shuddered) and went back to his workspace. Starfire hovered over the ingredients, looking at each one thoughtfully. In her hand was a bottle of mustard, her go-to condiment.
In a matter of moments, Cyborg had rubbed his concoction into the meat and had set to work melting butter in a pan on the stove, and preheated the oven to the desired temperature. The first cut of marinated meat began sizzling in Cyborg's pan, and he started to whistle.
Starfire had finally picked up the pepper shaker, and was now searching out her third ingredient. Robin was painfully aware that Starfire was wasting time, but as a judge he couldn't do anything. Raven had hidden a book in her lap and was ignoring the cook-off. Beast Boy was looking from Cyborg to Starfire. Each time his eyes locked on Starfire's indecisive expression, his concern grew. Cyborg had nearly finished, and there was only thirty minutes left on the clock.
"Friend Cyborg," Starfire said suddenly, turning to him.
Cyborg looked her, almost in surprise.
She held up two different pans. "Which one should I use for the cooking of the mustard?"
"Uh," he said, blinking at her. "I don't really think you should cook the mustard, Star."
"I see. Then I should cook the pepper?"
Cyborg hesitated and looked back at his meat galore. He suddenly felt horrible. Starfire was an in-well, more than inadequate cook, and here he was pulling out the big guns on her. He should have gone with something simpler.
"Actually, Star," he said, "you should cook some meat with that pepper and mustard. You can't just cook one thing at a time."
"I see." Starfire looked at the ingredients again and threw some lettuce in a pan, then smothered it in pepper and squirted an unhealthy amount of mustard onto it. "Like this, Friend Cyborg?"
Inner Cyborg nearly fainted at Starfire's naivety. He sighed. He'd definitely have to give the girl some cooking lessons after this.
"Maybe some meat in there, girl?" he suggested, holding out one of his own chops.
Starfire's face only grew brighter as she accepted it and dropped it into her pan. Then she set the pan on the stove and turned on the burner, watching her creation expectantly. "Oh, I nearly forgot," she exclaimed, going to the cabinet. "The oil."
Before Cyborg could stop her, she untopped the cap and poured the oil into her pan. Much of it slopped out. As per the nature of oil, it instantly caught fire and set the kitchen ablaze. Luckily, Raven had thought ahead and used her magic to step in with the fire extinguisher. The disaster was over before it could spread and destroy everything.
"Ding!" sang the tiny timer in front of Robin.
"Glorious!" Starfire said happily, turning. She dumped the blackened contents of her pan onto two plates and placed them in front of the judges. Cyborg, trying to hide his wince, did the same. There was no question that Cyborg, though his was incomplete due to Starfire's accident, was the winner.
But still Raven and Robin exchanged a glance, and a brief look at Cyborg meant he felt the same. Beast Boy had retreated to the couch when the fire had started and had yet to come back in case Starfire's cooking decided to burst aflame once more-or worse: come to life.
First they tasted Starfire's since she had delivered it first. It was awful, and they could barely contain their tears and moans of disgust. But somehow, under Starfire's hopeful gaze, they both managed to swallow. Then they tried a bite of Cyborg's. Luckily, his was juicy and tasty and helped with the aftertaste of Starfire's.
"Would the judges now cast their votes?" Beast Boy said, having deemed it safe to return.
Robin and Raven both wrote a name on their index cards and handed them to the changeling, who reviewed them. He immediately broke out in a grin and help up the microphone. "And now, introducing the Cook-Off Champion...drumroll, please..." He looked at Robin meaningfully, and the leader sighed loudly before drumming on the table. "The Cook-Off Champion is...STARFIRE!"
Starfire's jaw dropped, and the rest of the Titans applauded her, even Raven.
"I do not believe it!" Starfire said, tears of joy in her green eyes. "Friend Cyborg, I have done it! I have cooked a glorious, award-winning meal!"
"Yeah," Cyborg smiled at her. "You did." He removed his chef's hat and bestowed it to Starfire, and she threw herself at him in grateful hug.
"Thank you, Friend Cyborg. I could not have done it without you."
"Ah," he smirked, winking at the other smiling Titans, "I think you could have."
A/N: Thanks to everyone for reading and supporting me! I'm sorry this one came out later than the others, but I had a lot to do yesterday, and plus I was having trouble coming up with a good idea. :)
Anyway, this story is now complete, I will be moving on to yet another story! ^-^b
You guys are the best, and please have a nice day / night.