A.N: Let me explain. On Sunday, I was making a cake thingy 'cause I was bored, and we didn't have a dessert. Well, we don't usually eat dessert in our family anyway, but we have one on sundays sometimes. But anyway, that's not the point lol. So yeah I was making this dessert, and a plot bunny literally hopped out of the mixing bowl and splatted me in the face. Let's be honest, how could I ignore that? I think there's such a lack of Mikey/Leo relationships, don't you think? So I hope you enjoy it! Set a few weeks or so after Leo returns from Japan
Disclaimer: Not mine! Don't sue! Won't get!
Michelangelo hummed merrily to himself and dried his pruney hands off on a kitchen towel. Finally the dishes were finished! He didn't mind doing the dishes really because he didn't have to do them very often. Cooking all the meals every day certainly had their perks! He did enjoy cooking though, almost as much as his comics and video games. After all, where else could he be so creative and messy? Of course, his family didn't exactly appreciate some of the crazy concoctions he invented, but that was fine by him.
He hadn't felt like preparing something too special today. It was just too hot! He liked cooking meals in the Winter best. He loved making all those stews and pies, real Wintery foods that you just had to eat in front of the fire all warm and cosy. Of course, summer was fun too, as nothing was more entertaining than a good old barbeque. But he didn't feel like barbequing or anything like that this afternoon, so he just went for something simple.
Turning around to look for his cat to pacify him with some leftovers, Mikey saw his big brother in the doorway, a thoughtful look on his face. The younger turtle wondered how long Leo had been there, he was so damn quiet sometimes it wasn't even funny. Mike could be pretty stealthy himself when he wanted to, but that was only when times were serious, or he was playing a prank on his brothers of course. But now was not a serious time and neither did Mike think Leo was about to spring a joke on him, Leo just wasn't that type of guy, so there must have been some other reason for his catlike entrance.
"Hey bruv," Mike greeted cheerfully.
In truth, Mikey felt he wasn't as close to his oldest brother anymore, not since Leo had returned from Japan. Leonardo had come back a changed person, and Mike wasn't sure how to handle it. But anything was better than the depressed and angry teenager he was before. But, whether it was for the better or not, Leo was different now, and because of this, Mike wasn't sure if he really knew his brother anymore. He wasn't even sure if he knew him in the first place.
He didn't know him like he knew Raph and Donny. Mike knew what their favourite foods were, what music they liked, even people they admired. But he didn't know Leo's favourite food, or music, or idol, and he was pretty sure Leo knew his. However, Mikey wasn't too worried. He knew it was only a matter of time, and Leo would open up to him in the end. It was just a case of getting comfortable around each other again, that was all.
"Hiya Mike, are you finished?" Leo asked with a small smile, coming inside the kitchen properly now. Mike gave a shrill whistle before answering and in a flash, Klunk trotted in, eager for titbits.
"Yeah, only a chicken salad. Here you go buddy, look what daddy's got for you!"
Leo laughed and watched his brother feed and pet his ginger tabby lovingly. His little brother really did adore the adopted cat. Well, they all did really, but Klunk belonged to Michelangelo, he was the cat's 'daddy'.
Leonardo had been observing his younger brother prepare dinner in fascination. He would have helped with the dishes, but he was pondering his sudden captivation. He'd never been interested in food and cooking it before he went to Japan, and certainly not like Mike was. He hadn't had to cook whilst with the Ancient One either, they had servants for that sort of thing. And when he was on the road, he just ate fruit and similar things, things you didn't need to cook. Watching Mikey prepare their meals every day made him realise he really ought to start learning.
He hadn't actually tried to make something in the kitchen since he was very young, ten or so, and that had been a disaster. Mike had actually burst into tears at the injustice of charred chocolate chips, then banned him from cooking for life. No one had thought anything of this threat, until Leo tried to help make fairy cakes a couple of days later and Mike attacked him with the wooden spoon. So from then on, the most Leonardo was allowed to do was make tea and prepare a bowl of cereal.
He hadn't minded really, he didn't like cooking all that much, it was Mikey's thing. It was like a subject at school, if you didn't like it you weren't going to do well in it, like Raph and meditation. However there will come a time when you will need that subject whether you like it or not, and Leonardo had decided he might need to know how to cook something remotely edible somewhere down the road. He wasn't sure where exactly, but it was better to be prepared, right?
"Hey Mike, can I ask you a favour?" He asked, walking up towards the counter nearer his baby brother.
"Sure thing bro," Mike straightened up and dusted strings of chicken meat from his hands onto the floor for Klunk to finish happily. That cat would eat anything.
By the guarded, attentive look on his older brother's face, Mike knew it was important. Leo rarely asked for favours, and even when he did they were pretty small and he hated to ask them. Whatever it was, Mike didn't mind. He had nothing to do, and he wanted to get to know his real big brother.
"Can you...will you...teach me to cook, please?"
Mikey couldn't help but stare and struggle to keep a straight face. It sounded so odd, those hesitant yet polite words coming out of Leonardo's mouth. Yet Leo appeared so determined, Mike realised he couldn't deny him, despite the peculiarity of the request. It should be an interesting challenge, one the Battle Nexus Champion would naturally rise to. Besides, it would be interesting to be the teacher for once, and Leo the complete beginner. For the sake of sheer opportunity, Michelangelo would gladly obey his brother's request.
"Of course I will dude!" He chirped, letting his laughter slip through.
"Thanks Mike," Leo smiled widely, seeing the humour in the situation. Who would be a better teacher than Michelangelo? No one of course!
"Why the sudden desire?" Mike asked with a grin, pulling down his apron and yanking it over his head. Naturally the slogan said 'kiss the cook', did you really expect anything else?
"I don't know really," Leo shrugged, eyeing the apron with some apprehension. "Something new to learn I guess,"
Mike smirked in amusement and tossed his brother another apron from the cupboard, this one thankfully a plain white. As Leo wrestled it on, he began to take out various bowls and ingredients, something simple to start with. He didn't want to make too much of a mess, and he could very clearly remember Leo's chocolate chip disaster. He'd never looked at chocolate chips the same way again. There would definitely not be any of those within Leonardo's reach for today's lesson.
"Welcome to your first lesson of Food Technology. I am Professor Hamato and I shall be your teacher for this afternoon,"
"The day you become a professor will be a very sad one indeed Mike," Leo chuckled, feeling at ease. Mike winked, glad his big brother was relaxing a little more now.
"Right, the first thing you always do, is wash your hands. Even if they look clean. 'Cause we don't want any nasty germies eating our food, okay?" He washed his hands once more then dried them as Leo stuck his own hands under the icy jet.
"And to stop them contaminating our food?" He asked with a raised brow and a smirk.
Hands sufficiently clean and dry, Mike guided his elder brother to the table, which was decorated with a number of different utensils and ingredients they would be needing. He laughed at Leo's overwhelmed look, realising all that stuff would look a little daunting to someone who had never even made toast before. He pulled a big plastic bowl and a set of scales towards them.
"I thought we could make a Victoria sponge cake, they're dead simple really bro, honest," He said kindly, clapping a reassuring hand on Leo's shoulder.
"Sounds good," Leo nodded meekly, staring at all the different items anxiously.
"Right, the first thing I want you to do, is to weigh out eight ounces of butter, use that metal spoon there, that's it, then put it into this bowl here,"
Obediently, and feeling very humbled, Leo began to scoop a few spoonfuls of the sticky buttercup yellow substance into the scales. Peering at the number on the dial, he was surprised to see it go up quite quickly. His eyes widened after a rather large amount led him a little over the eight-ounce mark and instantly began to ease out the butter tiny amount by tiny amount.
"Hey, hey! It doesn't need to be exact, silly! That's fine, you dumbass," Mike snickered, grabbing his brother by the wrist.
"Oh, sorry," Grinning in embarrassment, Leo set the spoon down and emptied the butter into the mixing bowl.
"It's okay, as long as you're not way below or above the amount you need. Now you need to measure the same amount of sugar and pour that in with the butter,"
Leo carefully poured out the white grains into the scales. It wasn't exact again but he let it slide this time, knowing Mike would laugh again if he tried to get it exactly on eight. Once he'd tipped it into the bowl, Mikey licked his finger and dipped it into the sugar then sucked on it happily.
"That's a bad habit," Leo remarked, pulling a face. Mike grinned and shrugged.
"I'm the teacher, I can do what I like," He chortled, eyes twinkling cheekily.
"Yes sir. Now what?" He asked, rolling his eyes and turning back to the sugar-coated globs of butter.
"You cream it 'til your arm falls off that's what," Mike said with another casual grin, watching a look of pure confusion dawn on Leo's face.
"...Cream it?" He repeated with a frown. He had no clue what that meant besides the squirty kind in a bottle.
"Yeah, like mix it real hard until it's all fluffy," Mike laughed, brandishing a wooden spoon in front of his brother's bewildered face.
Nervously, Leo gently took the spoon and lowered it into the bowl, remembering very clearly the incident in which Mikey assaulted him with the alien weapon. After a couple of uneasy stirs, he realised it wasn't going to be enough. The sugar was like grit between wood and spoon and the butter kept sticking to the sides of the bowl. Ignoring Mike's sniggers, he mixed it harder, bringing the sugar and butter together. Gradually, it began to resemble fluffy pale yellow clouds, and Leo did indeed feel his arm was about to drop right out of his socket.
"That's it bro, well done," Mike beamed, giggling as Leo thankfully put the bowl back onto his table and massaged his arm ruefully. "Now you need to get those four eggs there, crack them into this jug, then beat them with a fork,"
Gingerly, as if afraid it would smash beneath his fingers (Mike had thrown one at him before and the mess had been unbelievable), he took an egg and eyed the jug intently. Trying to stifle his laughter for what felt like the millionth time, Mike gently took Leo's hands, encased them within his own, then firmly guided him to crack the egg on the side of the jug and pull it apart so the contents fell into the container with a satisfying plop. After only one mishap where half the shell fell in with the egg, he started to beat them together, until the clear liquid merged with the yolk.
"Great, now you need to add the eggs little by little to the butter and sugar, just mixing it in, okay?"
Leo nodded and retrieved the cursed wooden spoon once more. Hesitantly he eased the jug over the rim of the bowl, and the eggs unexpectedly rushed over the edge so fast nearly half of the liquid was in the mixing bowl before he realised what had happened.
"Was that too much?" He asked frantically.
"That's fine," Mike shook his head, cleverly suppressing a grin by scratching his beak innocently. Leo nodded and stirred the egg into the mixture.
"It's sloppy," He observed disappointedly, adding more egg, but carefully this time. Whenever he saw Mike make cakes they always seemed stiffer than this before they went into the oven.
"That's because we haven't added any flour yet bro, be patient," Mike laughed softly. Leo shrugged and added the rest of the egg, feeling quite ignorant. "Now you want just a teaspoon of this vanilla extract in there, okay?"
Not wanting another egg mischance, he tipped the small bottle with a precise amount of attention. Satisfied he had enough essence, he emptied the spoon into the bowl and looked at Mike for his next batch of instructions. Proudly, Mike took the vanilla essence back and handed him a bag of self-raising flour and nodded towards the scales.
"Another eight ounces. And it needs to be sieved," He inclined his head towards the sieve lying innocently on the table.
Leo glared at another unfamiliar object then proceeded to measure the desired amount of flour. That finished, he took the sieve and laid it over the bowl. Cautiously he dumped the flour into the sieve all at once. Needless to say it got stuck and he was left with a great mound of flour sticking out of the utensil instead of the bowl. Mike was cutting some brown paper into circles over onto the counter, watching him with a small smile.
"Just tap the side of the sieve gently, and if you have any lumps left, just push them through," He said kindly, finding his brother's helplessness sort of cute. Where else would you find Leo at a total loss as to what to do?
Leo bit his lip and nodded, looking back at the flour. He gave the sieve a shy tap and fine specks of flour fell into the bowl like dust. Feeling a little more confident now he knew the flour wasn't going to explode in his face, he sifted it into the bowl and then laid the sieve aside, wondering what it was he should do next.
Mike was preoccupied with trying to make the brown paper fit into two circular tins, so Leo decided not to bother him. Besides, it was obvious what he would have to do next, he had to cream it again, just like with the butter and sugar. No problem now he knew how to do it. He picked up the wooden spoon once more and began to cream the mixture like he did before.
"Whoa! Stop! Leo!"
Leo paused in bafflement and looked up at his baby brother's frenzied face. His mystified expression however began to make Mike laugh once more, reminding him Leo had no idea what he had done wrong. He tenderly plucked the wooden spoon from his hands.
"You don't thrash it bro, not this time. This time you fold it in, like a figure of eight, otherwise you'll knock all the air out it and it'll collapse," He chortled, guiding his brother's hand again, this time to lightly fold in the flour.
"Will it be okay?" Leo asked reluctantly, now mixing in the flour by himself.
"Should be, it'll still taste fine if it does," Mike lifted his shoulders up and down carelessly with a grin, bringing the tins over to the table.
The mixture looked a little more like Mike's now, only it still seemed a bit watery to Leo. Hopefully it wouldn't turn out too bad for his first try. If it did, well there would be plenty more chances. Leo suspected Mike had too much fun this afternoon to refuse him another lesson. He still didn't enjoy using the wooden spoon though. Either it was because Mike's onslaught with it had actually hurt, or it was simply because he was used to metal in his hands he didn't know. Nevertheless, there would be enough time to adjust.
"That's it Leo, all you need to do now is split it between these two tins and spread it out," Mike smiled, gathering up any dirty dishes and utensils they'd used.
Leo did so compliantly, making sure the division was equal, then evened them out flatly with the back of the spoon. Once he had finished, Mike, still smiling broadly, slid them into the oven and shut the door. He was proud of his big brother. But then again, he did have such a fine teacher. Laughing to himself, he began to fill the sink with water ready to clean up.
"I'll do these," Leo offered, dunking his hands into the soapy water and beginning to wipe away the dirt. Mike shrugged and lounged against the counter, watching.
"It should be ready in about twenty-five minutes, then we can start the filling," He said absent-mindedly.
Leo nodded, putting the bowl they had used onto the draining board to allow the water to drip away before drying them. Mike laughed out loud at the sight of a blob of cake mixture on his brother's nose neither of them had noticed before. Leo looked at him in puzzlement and he wiped off the mixture with his finger before licking it off. It must have flicked onto his nose when he had started to cream the mixture instead of folding it.
"That has raw egg in it Mikey," Leo reprimanded, but his voice was light and amused. Mike shrugged off his brother's warnings of possible food poisoning and took the towel off the side to begin drying the items Leo had already washed.
"Leo, what's your favourite food?" He asked all of a sudden, drying the dreaded wooden spoon.
"White rice and chicken," His big brother smiled fondly at the question, knowing Mike had never known the answer.
"And your favourite band?" Mike continued in interest.
"The Goo Goo Dolls," Leo replied, emptying the sink now it was devoid of dishes.
"What about TV programme?"
And the conversation continued in this matter for a good majority of the twenty-five minutes in which the cake took to bake. Mike discovered a lot if details about Leonardo that he never knew before and as a result of this, felt he was starting to know his big brother once more. These lessons would have to take place more often, keeping things simple of course and keeping well away from chocolate chips.
"Right, let's take a look at your first sponge cake dude,"
Once the time was up, Mikey wrapped a towel around his hands to protect them from the heat, opened the door and took out the two cake tins. They didn't look bad at all, in fact they were pretty good. They hadn't risen as well as they could have thanks to the little creaming episode but they weren't burnt and they smelled pretty good.
"Wahey, look at these big bro!" He laughed proudly, turning them out of their tins to let them rest and cool before filling them. So that was what the brown paper was for, to stop them sticking to the tins!
"They're okay," Leo smiled at his handiwork, feeling quite proud himself.
"Now let's get to the best bit! Filling!" Mike sung brightly, opening the fridge door to pull out yet more ingredients.
And so they went about preparing the butter icing for the insides of the two cakes. Tipping the bag into the scales once more, they were shrouded in a cloud of icing sugar. The kitchen was filled with laughter and the smell of warm cakes once more and eventually the icing was ready, despite the place being covered in sweet white dust.
"You spread the jam on this one, and I'll put the icing on this one, 'kay big bro?"
The jam was harder to distribute onto the flat side of the cool cake than he thought, especially with lumps of strawberries sticking out everywhere, but Leo managed it eventually. Once Mikey had finished with the butter icing, they carefully laid one sponge on top of the other, the jam and icing sandwiched together. It wobbled a little then held strong. Mike dusted a little icing sugar on the top of the golden coloured dessert, then they stood back to admire the work.
"I'd say that's good enough to eat after dinner bro," Mike beamed, hands on hips.
"Well I had a decent teacher," Leo smiled slightly with a shrug.
"That you did dude, who else can boast they had the Battle Nexus Champion teach them how to cook?" He bragged, puffing out his chest. Leo rolled his eyes and went to wash the dishes they'd just used.
They washed and dried in silence for a little while, the cake's scent lingering in the air. Soon their chore was finished and they covered their work and put it out of the way, where it wouldn't be destroyed before they had the chance to sample it.
"I was thinking we could try making pasta and a sauce from scratch tomorrow, how does that sound?" Mike asked, leaning against the counter and watching Leo make his cup of tea.
"I say it sounds good. And thanks for this Mike," Leo smiled warmly at his baby brother, and Mike couldn't help but smile back, it was so contagious.
"Hey no problem, I had fun!"
"Yeah, me too,"
Leo finished preparing his tea and waited for Mikey to finish feeding Klunk his dinner before walking over and embracing him. It had been such a long time since they had hugged each other, Leo couldn't remember the last time. Mike smiled to himself. He had just known him and Leo would connect today, but he'd had no idea it would be through cooking lessons. He laughed quietly as they withdrew and went their separate ways without a word to each other. They didn't need to.
"Man, that was some fine cake Mike," Raph groaned in appreciation, stretching backwards in his chair, his stomach full. Leo and Mikey smirked into their bowls.
"I didn't make it actually," The youngest replied jovially, licking the ice cream and cake on his spoon. What was the point in eating if you didn't savour every mouthful?
"You didn't? But I don't remember April bringing us one with the groceries," Don frowned, laying down his spoon next to his empty dish.
"I made it," Leo grinned broadly, standing up and taking everyone's empty dishes.
"What?" Raph gawked, causing Mike and Leo to laugh out loud. "Seriously?"
"Yes, seriously," Leo chuckled, amused at his brothers' stunned expressions.
"And you didn't...make anything explode?" Donny asked in awe.
"Nope, everything's all in one piece dude," Mike smirked.
"So that is what you two were up to all afternoon," Master Splinter smiled softly.
"That's right. And that's also why Raph and Don have to do the dishes tonight!" Mike crowed gleefully, getting to his feet and bounding out of the kitchen.
"What? Hey!" Raph squawked loudly, but one look from their Sensei sent him grumbling to the sink.
"Well done on your culinary achievements Leonardo," Splinter smiled very slightly, then returned to his rooms without another word, like he did every night.
Leo stayed sitting at the table for a few moments, listening to Donatello and Raphael squabble over who would wash and who would dry. He didn't know exactly how to thank his baby brother for the lessons, but he was sure something would come up soon. Maybe when he was good enough, he could make him a cake or something? Nah, didn't seem right.
Finally he stood up and made his way out of the kitchen, leaving his brothers to their meaningless quarrel. He felt full and sleepy now but decided it was far too early to go to bed. Retrieving a book from his room, he travelled back to the living room to find Mikey curled up there, comics in his lap.
Wordlessly, Leo sat next to him, sinking into the soft cushions and letting his book fall open. As he read, he felt Mike lean more and more against him, the pages of his comic turning slower and slower, until they stopped altogether. Looking over, Leo smiled and shifted so his brother's head would find a more comfortable spot on his plastron. It had been a tiring afternoon for the both of them. However, he was certainly looking forward to his lessons in the future.
Holding his book with one hand and turning the pages with the same one, Leo let him sleep against him, his other arm coiled tightly around Mike's shoulders. Soon enough, the pages became less and less interesting, and Mike's soft breathing as he slept were peaceful and he sat in silence, not wanting to move an inch. He was more than happy enough to sit there all night.
He just hoped to god Mike didn't drool in his sleep...
A.N: Knowing Mikey he probably does haha. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed that as much as I enjoyed writing it lol. Please review and take care!