I am SO creative with my titles, can't you tell?

Also, I know next to nothing about cooking, so apologies if I get stuff wrong. And since I already know nothing about cooking, I just figured I'd write what little I know, so we're just gonna assume that for today, they're living in the twenty-first century with modern kitchen appliances and tools and stuff (not that that helps them much).

I'm gonna keep saying this, but I still hate the fact that you can't list more than four characters. -_-


"I'm bored."

In retrospect, that should've been a clear warning sign.

Yuliy ignores Philip's proclamation and keeps sharpening his weapon blades. The professor is out meeting with an informant, and it's storming too badly outside to leave their temporary quarters. Although Yuliy can't say that he's not bored either. He might even welcome the distraction and excitement of the hunt, despite the pouring rain and thunder, if they had any solid leads. As it is, Willard decided to have them take the day off unless something urgent comes up.

Fallon sighs, tossing a book onto the coffee table, and leans back, head lolling over the back of the sofa listlessly. "Same."

And at this point, alarms should've been blaring left and right.

Dorothea, who's doing some maintenance work on her sniper rifle, mirrors his sigh and rolls her eyes. "Great. Now we've got to find something to keep you two occupied before you both burn down the house or something."

An offended look crosses Philip's expression for a moment before he shrugs, conceding the point. Fallon doesn't even bother protesting.

Looking back, she really spoke too soon.

"Hey!"

Yuliy bites back a curse when he nearly cuts himself at Philip's sudden shout, and he looks up, irritated.

"It's almost Christmas," the blonde declares. "We should make gingerbread cookies! I saw some cookie shape cutters in the kitchen when we got here."

Fallon agrees enthusiastically, and the two are off to the kitchen before either of the black-haired individuals in the room can say a word. They exchange a glance.

"If your goal was to stop them from burning down the house…" Yuliy starts, trailing off, and she sighs again.

"Oh, boy." She packs up her sniper rifle quickly, and the two go to try to do some damage control.

In hindsight, they never stood a chance.

o0o0o

To be fair, it starts out okay. Dorothea, arguably the most organized person in the Jaegers (besides maybe the professor, but when he gets really into work, his desk is a dumpster fire), quickly assigns everyone some roles to maintain some kind of order. And for a group of people who constantly work together in life and death situations to fight vampires, watching each other's backs and covering each other's weaknesses regularly, one would think making gingerbread cookies wouldn't be such a difficult task, but apparently, when it comes to cooking, the kitchen is a minefield and they're all about as graceful as blind bears in a porcelain shop.

"Gosh—dangit-"

"Have you never cooked before?" Dorothea asks in amusement, looking back from where she's rummaging through the pantry. "This was your idea."

Philip scowls, quickly scooping the egg yolk and some of the white from the countertop and into the bowl. "Of course I've cooked before!" Luckily, they sanitized the area beforehand.

"What, instant ramen?" Fallon teases, looking through the equipment cabinets.

"Shut up!"

Yuliy wanders over with some measuring instruments in hand. "You left some egg shells in there."

"I-I knew that! Ugh…"

"Don't worry about it. We only learn from our mistakes," Fallon says affably, reaching out to ruffle Philip's hair.

The blonde yelps irritably, nearly losing his grip on the other egg in his attempt to evade the redhead's hand. "Would you stop that?!"

Laughing, Fallon takes the measuring equipment from Yuliy. "Thanks. Hey, Dorothea, did you find everything?"

"There's no vanilla extract, but there's everything else."

"Eh, that's probably fine."

"Here, you can start measuring out the dry ingredients."

Yuliy looks around. "Where's the flour?"

Dorothea glances back. "Hmm? Oh, it's in the freezer. Laundry room by the door." She hands him another bowl. "Here, get-" She checks the recipe. "Three and three fourths cups."

He's in the middle of doing that when he hears exasperated voices coming from the kitchen. More resigned than anything, he quickly finishes his job and comes back.

"I don't want to just throw it out, though," Fallon is saying, rubbing the back of his neck.

"Oh, great, we're already at that point," Yuliy mutters under his breath, flour in hand.

Dorothea grins briefly. "He mixed up half teaspoon and teaspoon."

Philip scratches his head, accidentally getting brown sugar in it. Then he perks up and suggests, "Why don't we just make two batches?"

Fallon brightens up. "Great idea! There's five of us, after all. Oh, and there's brown sugar in your hair."

"Ah, crap!"

"Better get more flour," Dorothea says dryly to Yuliy, who sighs and turns to leave.

When he gets back, they've transferred everything to a bigger bowl, and he dumps the flour in.

"Okay, time to start mixing!" Fallon declares, grabbing the whisk enthusiastically.

A little too enthusiastic, apparently. Yuliy jumps back from a light shower of flour, cinnamon, ginger, baking soda, and whatever else is in there, also narrowly avoiding knocking over other ingredient bowl. Dorothea, who's popping the blades into the hand mixer, was out of range and just looks up with a 'hmm?' at the commotion.

Philip isn't so lucky, however, and trips over a chair trying to get away, still ending up with some of the mixture on his face and of course in his hair, yelling, "Fallon, stop!"

He pauses, looking up to survey the carnage. "Ah...oops."

Dorothea untangles the hand mixer cord and suggests dryly, "Maybe tone it down a bit."

He chuckles sheepishly. "Right…"

Ignoring Yuliy's offer of a hand up, Philip scrambles to his feet. "Honestly," he huffs, grabbing a towel to dust off his hair, again.

Shaking her head in amusement, Dorothea plugs in the hand mixer and puts a thumb on the lever. "Okay...and go."

Yuliy winces at the sound of the blades hitting the sides of the bowl. Small globs of butter and sugar fly out of the bowl without warning, nailing him in the cheek. Fallon ducks just in time, leaving most of it to hit Philip.

At Philip's indignant squawking, Dorothea quickly turns it off, and he splutters, "Wh-what the heck was that?!"

She checks the lever again. "Oh, I had it on 'high' instead of 'medium'. Whoops. I guess this thing's just really powerful on high."

"Ugh…"

Fallon grins, reaching out. "Here, let me help-"

"No!"

Dorothea is very obviously trying not to grin too widely. "I think you're cursed today."

Philip wrings water out of a towel and glares. "No, really?" He flicks some water with his fingertips at Fallon, making him back away, hands held up in surrender.

Luckily, the rest of the mixing process goes by as smoothly as it could be—apparently, the gods of cooking or whatever are laughing too hard to mess with them again for now.

"And now we split it in two pieces, wrap them up, and leave them in the fridge for two hours," Dorothea states, doing just that.

They get a phone call from the professor in the meantime. In an attempt to stave off the boredom, they plan out some various courses of action, study the city layouts and make up games to help them memorize the maps, and play conspiracy theorist over what the vampires are going to try this time (mostly Philip and Fallon). Their theories get wilder and wilder as they get more and more bored, and by the time it's been two hours, Fallon is suggesting, mostly joking, that maybe the vampires are being brainwashed by aliens who want to take over the whole solar system.

"-and then once they've blown up Earth—hey, it's been two hours!"

"We still need to let the dough sit for a few minutes so it won't crack when we roll it out," Dorothea tells them as they all make their way back to the kitchen.

Philip frowns impatiently. "Can we microwave it?"

"Let's not push our luck here," she says quickly. Considering how much of an absolute success it's been so far without even touching a heat-related appliance, none of them can really argue with that logic.

After another not quite ten minutes, they decide it's been long enough. Dorothea unwraps the dough, and Philip goes to get some extra flour so that the dough won't stick to the board. At this point, Yuliy's not even surprised when Dorothea turns too quickly and accidentally jostles the bowl in Philip's hands, scattering some flour onto the floor.

"Here, want me to roll it out?" Fallon offers, but Dorothea gives him a look.

"Knowing you, you'd accidentally roll it as thin as paper," she says dryly. He grins ruefully but doesn't refute the accusation. "Yuliy, can you preheat the oven to three fifty?"

"Okay."

She quickly rolls out both pieces of dough into flat sheets, and Philip declares, "I'm gonna go grab the cookie cutters!"

After a little bit of bickering over how many gingerbread people and trees and candy canes snowflakes and they should make, they squeeze as many shapes as they can onto the sheets of dough. Dorothea goes to peel the shapes out.

"...Shoot, they're sticking. Why are they—oh, we-" She suddenly facepalms. "We forgot the flour." Which is sitting in a bowl off to the side, silently mocking them.

A few minutes later, after they scraped the dough off and rolled it out again, the shapes are sitting on a piece of parchment on two baking sheets. They stick them in the oven quickly, before anything else can happen to them, and leave them to bake for ten minutes.

"So, like I was saying, once the aliens blow up the earth, they'll…"

o0o0o

"...then it'll turn all the aliens into zombies, and then they'll turn on each other, which is all part of the revolution-"

Philip suddenly sits bolt upright. "Crap! It's been half an hour!"

Everyone dashes to the kitchen, fearing that all of their efforts and mishaps earlier were for naught. Though there's a strange tickling sensation that something might be missing…

The four of them gather in front of the oven. Dorothea grabs an oven mitt and pulls open the oven.

They are not greeted by a gust of hot air—or the stench of smoke or the aroma of gingerbread cooking, which they should've smelled twenty minutes ago. After poking it experimentally, they realize the dough isn't even cooking.

"Did you forget to turn it on?" Philip asks Yuliy accusingly, narrowing his eyes.

He frowns, mildly offended. "I might not know how to cook over anything but a campfire, but I can read a button that says 'start'."

"Well, did you not hit it?" he asks sarcastically.

Yuliy glares irritably at him. "I definitely hit it. Look, the light's on."

One can practically see four 'buffering' symbols circling above their heads as they stare at the apparently malfunctioning oven.

Then Dorothea startles them all by clapping her hands together and throwing her head back, laughing. Philip and Fallon both chorus, "What?" as she keeps laughing so hard that tears form in her eyes.

"Yuliy," she says, still laughing, "what did you set it to?"

He blinks and glances briefly at the numbers, wondering if he got them wrong, but he only ends up more confused. "Three hundred and fifty degrees for ten minutes, like you said?"

She leans a hand on the top of the oven in mirth, and in the back of his head, Yuliy wonders how she's not getting burnt.

"You set it to ten degrees for three hundred and fifty minutes," she tells him, and then keeps on laughing.

Philip facepalms loudly, and Fallon joins Dorothea in laughing so hard they can't breathe. Yuliy doesn't have a better answer than, "...Oh."

About twenty-five minutes later (fifteen minutes for the oven to preheat to the right temperature, and then ten more for the cookies to bake), they're finally able to savor the smell of gingerbread cooking as they pull the trays out of the oven. Philip, in his eagerness, burns himself on the oven. Twice.

"We should make frosting," Fallon suggests. "They can cool off while we do it, and then we can decorate them!"

Philip looks up from where he's washing his hand under cool water, again. "I saw some chocolate chips in the pantry!"

"Yeah, that's what I'm talking about!"

"And then we are never cooking together again, ever," Dorothea mutters under her breath as the two boys move to grab more ingredients, and Yuliy sighs in agreement.

Making the frosting goes without incident, except when they run out of red food coloring, which is but a minor inconvenience. That in itself should've been a big red warning sign to them, but hey, if they learned to read those, they wouldn't be here to begin with.

They scoop the frosting into plastic bags with the corners cut, and then they eagerly sit down at the table with a huge platter of cookies in the center and smaller plates of their own to decorate. Some of them are set aside for the professor when he gets back, per Yuliy's suggestion.

"Maybe we should taste-test them, just to make sure they're good," Philip says hopefully, reaching for the plate, but Dorothea pins him down with a stern look.

"No eating until we're done decorating," she warns, "or you guys won't leave anything to decorate."

Philip sinks back into his seat with a pout, and Yuliy glances at Dorothea. "You seem very confident they turned out edible."

"I mean, we followed the recipe and everything, and they smelled good when we took them out of the oven. We just had a few...mishaps...along the way."

Fallon bursts into a fit of coughing that sounds suspiciously like laughter. Dorothea gives him the stink eye and clears her throat primly.

"Here, why don't we each try making gingerbread people that look like us?" she suggests, pointedly ignoring Fallon.

Of course, Philip and Fallon get into a competition immediately. Yuliy takes the black frosting first, shakily doodling some strands of black hair on the head of his gingerbread person. He hands the black frosting to Dorothea and grabs the white, splashing a chunky-looking strand of hair on the left side. Two uneven blue dots make up the eyes, and a few blue lines lacing the arms and legs and collar create a jacket.

After a moment of consideration, he reaches for some sour gummy belt and tears off a light green strip to use as a scarf, and he sits there for a second, contemplating his creation.

Philip's snickering draws him out of his thoughts, and he glances over to see Fallon's gingerbread person sporting what looks like an afro of baby pink hair. The redhead pouts.

"Stop laughing, we ran out of red food coloring!" he protests, and Philip downright cackles. The blonde's gingerbread cookie actually looks pretty good, especially the hair, which isn't all that surprising, to be honest.

Still looking vaguely offended, Fallon reaches for the green frosting. Philip exclaims wordlessly when the redhead knocks over a jar of sprinkles, scattering them all over the blonde's lap, and more importantly, his gingerbread's pristine yellow frosting hair.

"Um...sorry."

Yuliy and Dorothea exchange a nervous look, and both of them scoot their chairs backwards instinctively.

o0o0o

Willard sighs as he hangs up his coat and takes off his shoes, both of which are more than a little damp. He pauses when he hears a significant amount of commotion from the kitchen. And is that gingerbread he can smell?

With a bit of gentle coaxing, he manages to flip the inside-out umbrella back to its rightful state and sets it up in the foyer to dry. After briefly wiping some rain off his monocle, he goes to investigate the situation, and stops short in the kitchen threshold.

It looks like a warzone. And all the Jaegers have been in actual battlefields, so he feels like that's not an exaggeration. There are kitchen implements piled haphazardly in the sink that need to be washed, as well as colored frosting and candy and sprinkles everywhere—on the table, on the floor, and most notably, on two of his coworkers sitting defeated in their chairs.

Finally, the professor finds his voice again. "What am I looking at here?"

Two heads of black hair pop up from behind the island counter.

"Oh, hey, professor," Dorothea greets with a wave. "We made gingerbread cookies."

"We saved you some," Yuliy adds, the top of his head and his eyes barely visible.

That...does not really answer his question, although he can put it together by looking more at the scene. "I take it that didn't go so well."

Fallon runs a hand through his hair, sending sprinkles cascading to the floor, and sighs. "You don't know the half of it."

Philip, his hair now more rainbow than blonde, gets to his feet with a groan. "You know what, I'm just gonna go take a shower now," he grumbles, trudging past Willard.

Fallon leaves to go clean up too, although he grabs a few cookies on his way out, including the severed head of a cookie with what looks like a pink afro. The professor carefully picks his way around the kitchen to grab one of the undecorated gingerbread cookies. He scrutinizes the sugary treat with probably more trepidation than it warrants (then again, maybe not, considering the people who made it) before taking a bite.

"How is it?" Dorothea asks curiously, making her way over with a similar amount of caution. "I don't think any of us actually got to eat any."

"It's good."

"I think next time," Yuliy starts, reaching for the plate, sounding mildly traumatized (again, more than the situation seems to warrant), "we should just buy them from the store."


And here's another omake!


"Dorothea."

"Yeah?"

"Remember when you said we should find something to do before they burn down the house out of boredom?"

"Yeah."

"We've blown stuff up before. It might've been easier to deal with."

"...Yeah."