For those of you who enjoyed 'Need to Leave', I present 'Never a Disaster'. Anyway, for those of you who didn't know I don't own Fruits Basket. If I did, Kyo wouldn't have a chance with Tohru. (There are rational reasons behind this, I promise!)
Yuki Sohma, cursed rat of the Zodiac family, narrowed his lilac eyes in frustration. Tohru had rushed off to take care of Uotani who was suffering from her usual spring allergies, Kyo had been dragged off by an excited Kagura, and Shigure was…Well, Yuki didn't like to think about that.
The point was, however, Tohru hadn't had time to cook dinner in between school, work and Uotani. Yuki's stomach growled at the though of the delicious meals that Ms. Honda cooked.
Today, he supposed, he would have to brave the kitchen and try not to create too much of a mess for Tohru to have to clean.
"Hmm… Now where does Ms. Honda put the rice?" The rat wondered aloud. He had no idea what strange device was the rice cooker so he pulled out a regular pot and added a cup of water.
After searching through what must have been every cabinet in the kitchen, Yuki found the box of rice sitting on the counter. Tohru must have been in quite the rush to leave it out so carelessly.
The instructions on the back told Yuki to bring the water to a boil. Yuki added more water, this time the amount the back said to, turned the heat on high, and waited. And waited.
Giving up on the pot boiling while he was watching it, Yuki got himself a glass of water and sat down at the table to read Shigure's newspaper. He flipped through and became engrossed in a report about the affects of constantly screaming and chasing boys on a young women's mental development, particularly the stunning inability to communicate effectively while the object of her affection was nearby.
Yuki thought of his fangirls and shook his head in silent amusement as he read on.
A loud sizzling noise from the kitchen had him running and he switched off the heat on the stove. There were marks where water had boiled over and fizzed into evaporation.
He could hear the stupid cat now.
("You burned water? Man, if everyone at school knew about this you wouldn't be so popular pretty boy.)
Kyo's imagined laughter rang in his ears. Of course, the real Kyo didn't know that rejection was his biggest fear, so he couldn't be that bad, but he still wouldn't ever let Yuki live this down. Shigure would be just as obnoxious.
Yuki sighed and poured the box of rice in. He figured there wasn't that much left and it looked to be a good amount for one person.
He stirred the dry rice in with the water and waited for it to cook. After about five minutes, he remembered to turn the heat back on.
'Idiot.' He thought to himself. He knew he wasn't good in the kitchen, but this was ridiculous. Yuki stirred the rice once more, absently noting that it was beginning to soften, and went to raid the kitchen for materials with which to make rice-balls.
"What does Ms. Honda usually put in her rice-balls?" He wondered aloud, checking a container in the refrigerator. There was some kind of fish, which Yuki thought might be salmon, so he put the bowl into the over to warm it up.
He knew dried seaweed was used as a wrap and he found it surprisingly fast, just in time to take the rice off of the stove. It was still rather watery, so he decided to let it sit for a moment or two more while he got the fish filling out of the oven.
Unfortunately, since he didn't wander into the kitchen very often (and had never been allowed to at the Main House) Yuki didn't realize how fast plastic would melt at 200 degrees (around 400 degrees F).
The rat grabbed an oven mitt and yanked the now out-of-shape bowl into the sink. Most of the former Tupperware went into the pool of cold water, but some had cooled on the mitt and was now stuck. His thin shoulders drooped. He had ruined one of Ms. Honda's oven mitts.
Feeling rather disappointed with his lack of common sense, Yuki left the mitt on the counter and started to form rice-balls. The rice mushy and cool, but he was hungry enough that he didn't care. Besides, he could always warm them up after he made them since he wasn't sure his salmon was warm enough either.
Using the scoop that near a white appliance, Yuki piled some of the gooey rice into his hand and tried to imitate the way he had seen Kyo form it. After a few minutes he had it into a semi-decent ball (though there were pieces of rice all over the floor), but he hadn't put the fish in yet.
"I guess I won't eat it then." He grumbled. Anyone else would have been joking with himself, but not Yuki. He found a bowl that looked big enough and picked the edible parts of food out of the ruined one in the sink. He then put the bowl into the refrigerator.
"Now to make the rest of dinner." Yuki said to himself. Somehow, there seemed to be a lot more rice now that it was cooked.
Half an hour later found Yuki still struggling to mold balls with his hands. He was seconds away from giving up when the front door opened and a loud voice boomed throughout the house.
"Yuki! My dear sweet brother I have come to save you!"
Yuki groaned. There were times he would rather be alone than with his brother.
"Yuki, where are you? I know you're in here." Ayame called loudly.
"Go away." Yuki grumbled. Ayame didn't listen and poked his head into the kitchen.
"There you are." The snake ignored his negative attitude. "What are you doing?"
Yuki's pale face flushed in embarrassment as Ayame examined the mis-formed lumps of rice.
"Leave me alone."
"Did you make these?"
"Do you see anyone else here?"
Yuki glared, but his anger turned to surprise when his brother popped on of his hideous creations in his mouth.
"Not bad, not bad!" Ayame praised. "Though we could work on your shaping skills."
"I could show you if you have any rice left." Yuki still wasn't amused, but he pointed to the pot.
"You didn't use the rice cooker?" Ayame motioned to an off white appliance on the counter near the sink. "Oh well, it's not that important."
"How do you know how to cook anyway?" Yuki wondered.
"I do live on my own baby brother. I had to learn." The elder picked up a scoop of rice, then looked curiously at Yuki. "This rice is cold. And this is a cup scoop. No wonder you had trouble."
"Care to explain?"
"The rice won't stick if it's not warm, and a half cup would work much better."
"What do I do with all of this?"
"Hmm…If you add milk, sugar and cinnamon you have rice pudding."
Yuki silently fetched the milk, though he didn't really know where the spices were. The sugar was already on the counter so he didn't have to worry about it.
"The cinnamon is over there." Ayame pointed to a cupboard on the wall. Yuki retrieved it with a frown.
Ayame had already portioned the rice from the pot into bowls and had poured milk into them.
"Add as much sugar and cinnamon as you like, but be careful of adding too much."
"…" Yuki sullenly followed his brother's instructions.
"What's wrong? Do you truly despise me so much?"
"When I'm around you're always so quiet. I never see any of the smiles that 'Gure and Princess Tohru tell me about."
Yuki shook his head. "You…do irritate me, but I don't despise you."
"Tell me when I bother you."
"I have. You don't listen."
"I'm sorry. I guess I'm not very good at listening." Ayame sincerely apologized. "Now what's wrong tonight?"
"I was a disaster in the kitchen. I should have ordered in. I don't know why I though I could do it."
"It wasn't that bad."
"Yes it was. I ruined a bowl and an oven mitt. I'm a complete disaster!" The volume of Yuki's voice increased.
Ayame wrapped Yuki in a warm hug. "You, dear brother, are never a disaster."