Disclaimer: I don't own them.

Summary: The path to anyone's heart is through their stomach. Jason gives Courtney a few pointers in the kitchen. One-shot.

Author's Note: Does not follow any current storylines, takes place any time Jason and Courtney were happy and together. Written because it's summer and we all need some fluff. We all love the fluff right? Right?

Sadly, it's not as graphic as I'd have liked… but that's not to say I won't come back and change that at a later date. For now, it's just good old-fashioned PG-13 summer lovin'.

Thank you to Asia (Splendor734) for suggesting this idea to me the other night! I know it's not what you exactly had in mind… but I'm hoping you especially enjoy it. :cough: read her story, "Sins of the Soul" :cough:

As always, feedback is never required but it's always appreciated!

30 Minutes or Less

"Thirty minutes my ass!"

Jason froze in the doorway as he heard the frustrated yell from somewhere in the apartment. The crash that soon followed let him know it was coming from the kitchen, and he shut the door quietly, wondering when it would be safe to venture in. He waited until she slammed a few more things down and then entered the kitchen cautiously.

He wasn't sure what to expect when he got there but he really hadn't expected this. Every inch of surface was covered. Pots and pans, utensils, food in various stages of preparation, it looked as though the kitchen had exploded. And in the center of it all stood his wife, looking extremely frazzled but lovely nonetheless.

"You're…cooking?" he hoped by turning it into a question he covered the dismay in his voice.

Courtney spun around and looked at him. Nope, she most definitely had picked up on his original tone. "Yes, I'm cooking," she said, her voice full of irritation and her hands resting on her hips. "Is that so hard to believe?"

"No," he quickly assured her, crossing the kitchen to take her in his arms. He kissed the top of her head lightly. "I just didn't know you were planning on it tonight. He wiped off of a spot on the counter and lifted her up on to it. "So, what's on the menu?" he asked, looking around.

"Pasta del Magnifico alla Garga; sautéed veal with lemon on a bed of broccoli rabe; and champagne freezes," she recited in a tiny voice and not looking at him. She could feel his eyes on her. "What?" she asked defensively as he burst out laughing, as he no longer could hold it in.

"Nothing, other than that's an awfully big production coming from the girl whose last meal for me was undercooked grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Pasta del what?"

"Rachel said it could be done in thirty minutes!" Her tone of voice suggested that this truly wasn't out of the ordinary.


She sighed, blowing a strand of hair from her eyes. "Rachel Ray," she said, pointing to the television set that was sitting on the counter.

"I'm still not following."

"Jason, you know that I love watching cooking shows on TV, right? Well, this one's my favorite, and every episode she makes a meal she claims can be done in thirty minutes. She's always done in thirty minutes! I figured, what the hell? I had nothing better to do today so why not try and make a real dinner for my husband?"

Jason smiled at her and leaned in to kiss her mouth. "Well the gesture is appreciated but I don't think there's any saving this meal, is there?" he asked, looking around the nearly destroyed kitchen.

She stifled a giggle as she followed his gaze. "I tried though, and that counts, right?" she asked sweetly, biting down on her lower lip as she batted her eyelashes at him.

"It counts," he agreed, reaching over and turning off the television, unable to take the perky smile and voice of the host any longer. "How about we make a deal?" he suggested, helping her back down from the counter.

"What's that?"

"If you promise to stay out of the kitchen for the rest of the night, I'll teach you how to make this meal tomorrow."

Courtney's face twisted as she considered the offer. "In thirty minutes or less?" she asked hopefully.

"In thirty minutes or less," he agreed.

"And can we order pizza tonight?"

"If it keeps you out of the kitchen, absolutely." He dodged out of the way as she tried to swing at him and laughed as he handed her the phone. "Go into the living room and call in the order. I'll clean up in here."

"You are the perfect husband," she declared, smacking her lips against his cheek loudly. She practically skipped out of the kitchen as he shook his head.

He wasn't sure what he was thinking as he began cleaning. Courtney in the kitchen was never a good thing, it was probably worse than having Carly in there and now he had just promised to teach her how to cook, and in half an hour or less? He shook his head as he just swept stuff from the counter directly into the garbage can.

It wasn't his fault, he decided as wiped off the stove. It was hers; for looking so damn irresistible in tiny cutoff shorts that he never let her wear outside of the penthouse and barefoot. Okay, so in the five weeks they had been married he didn't think he had said no to her once, but again, it wasn't his fault.

Jason sighed as he ejected the tape from the VCR connected to the television, smirking slightly as he realized his wife actually taped cooking shows. That would be good mocking material to save for later. He decided he'd have to watch this tape later, when she was asleep though he wasn't sure how much it would help. He already knew how to cook and really didn't think this could be done in the time frame Courtney seemed so insistent on.

The kitchen was under control again so he wandered back into the living room. Courtney was sprawled out on the sofa, painting her toenails. Her eyes kept flicking up to the television and he groaned when he saw she was watching yet another cooking show.

She smiled brightly as he sat down next to her, taking her feet and settling them in his lap. "Pizza will be here in about half an hour," she said, her eyes wandering back to the television screen. "Maybe we could do Italian instead tomorrow?" she suggested, gesturing to the screen with her nail polish brush. "I mean, it can't be called Everyday Italian if it isn't easy to make right?"

Jason shook his head as he reached over her and snatched the remote, turning off the set despite her objections. "No more television for you," he said, tossing the remote across the room, knowing she wouldn't get up to retrieve it. He grabbed her ankles to pull her closer, intent on making the most of their time before the pizza arrived.

"Jase! My toes!" she tried to protest as he playfully pinned her against the cushions.

"Don't worry about them," he dismissed as his lips crashed down on hers. "Don't think I haven't noticed all of the nail polish you've already gotten on this couch."

"It's not just me, its Carly too!" she giggled between kisses. She laughed even harder at the look on his face and slid her hands around his neck as he kissed her again. "Mmm," she sighed happily a few minutes later but still pushed him off of her. "The pizza should be here soon," she said breathlessly, not wanting them to get ahead of themselves only to have to stop too soon.

Jason shrugged at her as he ran one of his hands up and down the length of her tanned legs. "What was it you said earlier?" he asked, his other hand sliding under her shirt as he bent to kiss her again. "Thirty minutes or less?"

Her peals of laughter could be heard all the way out in the hallway were Max was standing guard. He just shook his head and grinned as the pizza delivery boy appeared through the elevator doors. He handed the teenager a fifty dollar bill, suggesting that he deliver a few more pizzas and then come back to deliver this one.

"I'm ready!" Courtney stated cheerfully as she entered the kitchen with a flourish of her hands and smiled at Jason.

He looked up from the grocery bag he was unpacking and nearly dropped the tomatoes he held in his hands. She was standing in the doorway wearing yet another pair of barely-there cutoff shorts and a green halter-top that was knotted at her ribcage. From the looks of it she didn't seem to be wearing a bra (not that he minded) and she was barefoot again. He silently thanked god for the heat wave sweeping through Port Charles and just shook his head at her.

"So I watched this Rachel Ray thing," he said, gesturing to the same television she had the night before.

"Yeah?" she asked eagerly, pulling her hair into a ponytail and securing it with a band from around her wrist. "What did you think? Isn't she amazing?"

"She's definitely high-strung," he said, shutting the door to the refrigerator. "So, are you sure you want to do this?" he asked. "Last chance to back out."

"No way!" She flashed him another dazzling smile and he just shook his head as she went on. "I'm excited for this! I can't believe that in just half an hour, you and I are going to be sitting down to this fabulous meal that we both cooked!"

"Yeah, you definitely spend too much time watching this show," he said dryly, not wanting to comment on how she sounded just like the host. "Well all right then. Let's get started."

She clapped her hands and joined him at the stove. "What first?" she asked impatiently.

He sighed. "You can boil the water," he instructed as he began washing the broccoli.

"Boil the water?" she echoed, her eyes narrowing. "Is that the best you can do?"

"No, it's the best you can do." He ducked to miss the flying dishtowel. "Okay fine." He looked around the kitchen. "Why don't you—"

"Wait!" she interrupted loudly and he dropped the broccoli in the sink.


"Aren't we going to watch the show as we do this?" she asked.

"Do we have to?"

"Absolutely," she said firmly, reaching over to turn the television on. "Now we'll know exactly what to do when."

"I already know what I'm doing," he responded. He watched her as she watched the dinner unfold on the screen. "We won't finish if you just sit and stare."

She stuck her tongue out at him. "I'm going to make the pasta," she announced. "You can make the veal."

"What if I wanted to make the pasta?"

"You can't," she said simply.

"Why not?"

"I won't touch raw meat," she said with a wink. "Now, where's an orange…" she looked around until she found one. Jason watched out of the corner of his eye as she searched for something else.

"Problems Court?" he asked as he put the veal into a skillet.

"Hmm? Oh." She looked at him sheepishly. "How would I zest this?"

He chuckled, taking the orange from her. "I got it covered. You just get the pasta on the stove okay?"

"'Kay." She dropped dry pasta into the boiling water and smiled satisfactorily as she was able to assemble the sauce on her own.

"Jase, look!" she exclaimed, pointing to the sauce. "It looks just like it should!" She looked so proud that he decided against laughing at her.

"Looking good," he praised, leaning forward to give her a quick kiss.

"What next?" she asked, her eyes shining. He gave her a few more ingredients, instructing her on how to make a second sauce. While she was busy with that he started the water for the rice.

"Finished!" she announced a few moments later. She looked at the clock. "It really can be done in thirty minutes," she said in awe.

"We'll see," Jason said not wanting to get her hopes up too much. She was looking at him expectantly. "What?"

"Well the sauce is done," she said. He nodded blankly. "I got a kiss for the first one," she explained in a tone that suggested he was a three year old asking why he couldn't touch the stove.

"Oh." He moved forward and kissed her again. He tried to pull back but she captured the back of his head in her hands. "Thirty minutes or less," he murmured against her and she reluctantly let him go. He laughed at the look on her face, she was thinking very hard on something and he was almost afraid to ask what.

Her smile deepened and she spoke before he could ask. "You did get the veal going, and you zested the orange for me," she pointed out.


"So that's two kisses for you!" She spoke plainly and stepped closer, turning her face up to his. When he didn't move she just shook her head and stood on her toes and kissed him herself. They weren't touching, the only contact was their mouths fused together and Jason gripped the side of the counter as she forced his mouth open, her tongue seeking his. He groaned as she found it and moved to touch her waist when she broke the kiss and turned back to the television.

"What next?" she asked innocently. He stared at her for a moment and just shook his head exasperatedly.

"You can chop the parsley," he said finally, realizing that there wasn't much left for her to do, as all that was left to be done still was just letting the broccoli and veal cook.

"And how would I do that?" she asked. He didn't hide the laugh this time. She really was clueless in the kitchen, and he found it extremely attractive on her.

"Here," Jason said, deciding it was his turn to have some fun with her. He spread the parsley out on the cutting board and set the knife down beside it. He moved to stand beside her, boxing her in between him and the counter. He showed her how to hold the knife and how to slide it through the green leaves, his hands wrapped around hers as they worked. He bent down and nipped at her earlobe and she jumped, dropping the knife. He chuckled softly and she sent him a withering stare as she picked the knife up again and concentrated on chopping. He crooked his head to one side and watched her. She looked so determined to do this right, holding her hands exactly as Rachel had on the show.

Jason waited a few seconds more before he kissed her left shoulder. He couldn't help it, it was just taunting him, the bare skin that had a bit of shimmer to it, shimmer that smelled like strawberries, and well, it just screamed kiss me.

"Jason!" Courtney hissed at the contact and once again the knife clattered against the tile. "Do you want me to cut my fingers off?"

"No, I most definitely don't want that," he said in as serious of a voice as he could. He took the knife and set it in the sink out of her reach. "Is that better?" It was his turn to smirk innocently as she turned around to face him. He was startled when she efficiently wiped the look from his face by grabbing either side of his face to pull him close and dove her tongue into his mouth, this time not waiting for his permission. There was no playfulness in this kiss at all, only desire.

Jason backed her up against the counter, his hands running down her arms to encircle her wrists. He trailed his lips down her neck, feeling somewhat victorious, as he was the one to evoke the moan from her throat.

"Thirty minutes or less," she whispered, ducking out of his grasp. She walked all the way to the other side of the kitchen figuring the more space between them, the better. This was ridiculous, she thought as she rubbed the back of her neck and looked at him. There was no reason they couldn't make a simple dinner in thirty minutes and keep their hands off of each other at the same time.

Jason grinned at her before turning back to the stove and checking on the various skillets. "Would you like to start dessert?" he asked her as he threw a handful of the now-chopped parsley into one of the pans.

"What do I do?" she asked, still not coming any clearer.

"I don't know, ask Rachel." He laughed as he felt the lemon bounce off of his back and roll across the tiled floor. When he turned around, she was busy getting things out of the freezer and in that moment he was positive she wasn't wearing a bra.

He must have stared too long because soon she was throwing ice cubes at him. "Cool down there, Mr. Morgan," she said with a roll of her eyes. She looked at the clock on the wall and her eyes widened. "Quick! We only have a few minutes left!" He watched her as she began scooping lemon sorbet into the blender, pouring the necessary alcohol in after it. While she did that he finished everything else, even managing to arrange everything on two plates, as it needed to be. He turned off the stove and turned around just in time to watch her begin blending.

"Court—" the words didn't come fast enough and she turned the blender on. She shrieked as she was instantly covered in an icy concoction and she fumbled to turn the blender off, finally just yanking the cord from its outlet.

Jason laughed as he crossed over to her. "You okay?"

"What happened?" she looked at him, wiping lemon sorbet from her face.

He shook his head and held up the lid to the blender. "I had no idea you were this bad in the kitchen," he teased. He secured the lid in its proper place, plugged the machine back in and turned it on. She blushed crimson and he had no other choice but to wrap his arms around her. She giggled as his tongue darted out to taste the sticky mixture on her cheek. He glanced at the clock and drew back, surprising her. He turned the blender off and poured its contents into the champagne glasses she had ready.

"Well look at that."

"What?" she asked, following him to the other side of the kitchen. He set the two glasses down next to the plates he had already garnished and then pointed at the clock. She clasped her hands together delightedly and bounced up and down on her toes.

"We did it! It's so pretty!" she squealed, throwing her arms around him, covering him with the now melting dessert as well. Her mouth found his in a celebratory kiss and she giggled as he lifted her up and she wrapped her legs around his waist.

"You know," she said when he finally set her down. "I can't eat like this."

"You can't?" He looked at her, confusion evident in his eyes.

"Oh no." Her voice raised a few octaves and she shook her head to emphasize her point. "Look at me Jason, I'm all wet." She winked at him and went on before he could comment. "I should change my clothes before we eat. Maybe you could help me?" She slithered out of his grasp and was out of the kitchen before he could blink.

He sighed and followed as he heard her call to him using that same flirty voice. She had paused to wait for him in the dining room and he caught her by the hand before she got any further, pulling her flush against him and kissing her again. He wasted no time in unhooking the clasp that held her halter-top up and peeling the thin cotton from her body. Despite the blender mishap her skin was still hot against his tongue and he was once again thankful for the heat wave as he tried to walk her into the living room, thinking they most likely wouldn't make it upstairs to their bedroom.

Little did he know Courtney wasn't even banking on the two of them making it out of the dining room. He realized it soon enough as she countered his walking and pushed him instead to the table in the corner of the room, grinning devilishly and tearing the tablecloth away from it, letting it float to the floor. She hopped up on the table and crooked a finger at him as she swung her legs back and forth, smiling and laughing the whole time. And as always, it was impossible for Jason to resist her.

Courtney stared mournfully into the kitchen as Jason finished buttoning his jeans and joined her in the doorway.

"It's ruined," she said sadly, looking at the meal they had put together on their own. Okay, she conceded. Jason put the meal together she was there merely as eye candy that did minimal work. She didn't know what she had been thinking when she had pulled Jason out into the dining room, but they had eventually found their way into the shower after that, and their bedroom after that, dinner be damned.

Jason laughed as he looked down at the food. The dessert had long since melted into a sugary mess, and everything else seemed to have just congealed together and none of it looked as appealing as it once had.

He sighed and wrapped his arm around her as she leaned her head against his shoulder. "Do you want to order the pizza tonight or shall I?" he whispered in her ear, causing a smile to grace her features again. She laughed merrily as she grabbed the phone from the counter and dragged him into the living room where they collapsed onto the sofa and she settled herself in his lap as he called in their order.

"Well?" She used her position on his lap to gently force him back against the pillows and stretched out across him. "How long til the pizza gets here?" she asked, a knowing hint in her voice.

"You know the answer to that," he said with a shake of his head. He wasn't going to say it. Not this time. She brushed her lips over his once. Twice. On the third time he caught her lower lip with his teeth.

"How long?" she repeated. Her giggles were back and he wondered if she had been sneaking sips of the alcohol while they had been cooking.

"Courtney, no," he complained.

"Jason!" She pouted down at him. When he didn't budge she gasped again. "What? My charms don't work on you anymore? I can't believe it, and here I thought we were still in the newlywed phase of our marriage. But that's fine I see how you are. You're set in your ways old man; you're done being spontaneous; you're done making your wife smile and laugh and blush and—" He cut her off then, pressing his lips against hers and flipping them over so he was on top.

"Please," she asked sweetly, her lips curving up in a salacious grin that could weaken even the strongest man's resolve.

He sighed and lowered his mouth to hers once more and they both knew she won. He spoke the words she was waiting to hear.

"Thirty minutes or less."

Heh, I know, that was cheesier than a Kraft factory but I simply couldn't help it! There hasn't been any new Journey fluff in ages and I felt the need to fix that. I'm really interested in what you all thought of it though, so please… tell me and be honest!

Oh! And as a side-note, I actually did make this meal in 30 minutes and Rachel Ray is a genius, if a tad too perky for most people's liking. The recipes were taken from an episode fittingly entitled 30-Minute Love Potion.