Misao's Cold and Aoshi's Cooking

Note: I think I've posted this in amml before. I'm not sure anymore...

It was a wonderful summer day in Kyoto. The skies were as blue as they can possibly be at this time of the year and the birds were chirping their merry way pecking at pieces of food on the ground—that is, until a tall, seemingly stoic man walked down the same path making those same birds chirp in annoyance and fly away. Yes, Aoshi sama was back from his recent trip to the market and after two hours, he's finally found a decent and rightly priced pack of tissue.

Who knew that a pack of tissue could be overpriced? The usually silent and controlled Aoshi found his fingers itching to just grab his kodachi when he found out how much some vendors were selling a pack. And when he gave them his best "you're doomed" death glare, they just smirked and gave the glare back. Then, he found himself doing something very out of character in a ditch effort to obtain a properly priced pack— he found himself haggling. HAGGLING! Somehow, everybody knew he was in desperate need of a new pack.

"AAAAAA--- CHOOOOOO!!!!"

Aoshi sighed as the realization hit him. A sneeze like that could probably be heard all over Japan. No wonder those vendors had the guts to defy him. Usually they just cower in fear— after all he is taller than most and has the coolest looking trench coat around. (wind- blowing on trench coat pose!)

Yes, Misao has a cold. And he wants her to get better quickly—if possible, Soujiro- fast. This type of unfair pricing mixed with the guts to do it has to stop. They (the vendors) know what his weakness is-- the sneezing girl inside the Aoiya.

Aoshi knocked on the shouji door praying to Kami that Misao's fever would've subsided by now. A series of sneezes answered his arrival followed by a faint: "Come in if you want." He slid the door open and his heart sank. Not only was the floor littered with tissues but Misao still looked flushed with the fever and flu. Her blue eyes were still slightly watery and her braided hair fell limply on her shoulders.

'Wow, so this is what I looked like last week' He thought as he took a few steps into the tissue- lined room. He handed her a new pack she could ravage through for a few days.

"Achoo!"

Or not.

Misao watched as her mentor took a small bag and started picking up the mess she had made. 'It's not my fault!' She thought defensively as embarrassment made her pink cheeks red. ( Can she be anymore flushed?) 'He has lethal germs.'

"Um.. Aoshi- sama, you don't have to do that…" But against her protest, he continued on cleaning up.

The room looked inhabitable after a few minutes and with a bag full of used tissue and Misao's warnings of getting sick again if he stayed—'Horror of horrors!' He thought—He left the room to breathe some fresh air.

He walked towards the temple for some meditation but his thoughts were obviously somewhere else. 'There has got to be a way to make her better faster. I can neither be inferior to those vendors, get sick again nor stand this ridiculous silence!' Ideas started rushing through his head. Megumi was in a whole different city. Okina and the rest have conveniently gone to some trip – again. He reached the foot of the stairs leading to the temple and looked up at the sky.

'Exorcism?' He thought as the sight of his favorite hiding place (the temple) came into view.

'Hmmm... No no no. There's something easier.' His face scrunched up concentrating on his train of thought. 'There's that thing.'

He now looks more menacing than ever. 'That well intentioned soup she tried to poison me with.'

Aoshi stopped in his tracks and turned pale at the memory of the blue soup. A chicken was crossing the path he was in clucking happily-- that is, until it saw a slight almost undetectable smirk from Aoshi.

"Chicken soup." He said as he brandished his kodachi with flair. The chicken... was in trouble.

--

After a few times of missing the chicken by chasing it and trying to grab it, Aoshi's temper started to flare. He tried to regain his composure and began a move called Ryusui (lots of Aoshi circling the chicken). The chicken started getting dizzy not knowing which Aoshi was going to attack him. Aoshi smirked. 'Animals are so easy.' He thought. He attacked the the chicken with his secret Kaiten Kenbu maneuver-- and missed. The chicken had fainted.

"Damn it!" He complained to no one in particular. But to the chicken, it was its wake up call. The chicken started running around with Aoshi tailing it once again.

--

Soujiro walked the side streets of Kyoto happily. No one was giving him a second look. Maybe everything he did with Shishio has been forgiven and forgotten after all. Or maybe it's just because he looked like a happy kid traveling without a care for the world.

He's seen a lot of things in his young life. He's seen one of the greatest battles in history. He's masterminded a few great fights himself. He's seen the greatness of the restoration and the fires of hell in the rebellion with Shishio. But nothing could ever beat the sight he was staring at now. His eyes grew wide open. He let his bag slip and hit the ground. A small breeze blew past, letting his hat fall by the way side. His eyes met ice blue eyes. (sound effects: ''ting!'' Freeze frame here.)

One of the most feared fighters he had ever met, Aoshi Shinomori, was chasing a chicken-- and losing.

Soujiro smiled at Aoshi as he approached the Aoiya's backyard. Aoshi's ninja uniform was already covered in dirt and grime chasing a chicken that was fearing for its life. Soujiro took a piece of cloth to draw his sleeves back. "Need some help with the chicken?" He offered his services to his former foe.

Aoshi eyed the happy looking boy as he jumped the fence of the Aoiya. 'Can I trust this person to help me catch the chicken and turn it into soup?' The boy has deceived a ton of people in the past, most of which are not alive to tell the story.' Will he keep the chicken for himself?' He looked at the scared chicken and back at Soujiro. The chicken seemed to pose a greater threat. Aoshi caught chicken cock it's head to one side. 'That's one dead chicken' He thought. After all, he's won over a match with the boy before but the chicken was proving to be difficult. Plus, the boy was fast.

But he needed to reply to the smiling boy's offer. His reply must not reveal any weakness. It doesn't matter that he was already dirty. Showing weakness is a sin. "Aa" He replied as he nodded his head to the smiling boy.

Soujiro got himself ready by tapping his sandals on ground. "I'll go left and if dont capture the animal, it should go right. Then we'll go from there." He stated pointing out exactly where his approximations were. Aoshi nodded in agreement with the new plan. "Ready... GO!" Soujiro shouted.

The boy's speed was amazing as he flanked the chicken on its left side in what seems like a second. But as he reached for the chicken, the feathers slipped by his fingers. The chicken ran to the opposite direction where Aoshi was already waiting, sword in hand. As Aoshi bent down to snatch the fowl from the ground, the chicken jumped gently nudging him on the face. Aoshi sneezed as he threw one of his swords in the direction of the escaping chicken. He missed only by a feather's width. The scared chicken started to make a run for the fence. Soujiro ran and tried to go at the chicken from the side. But at the last minute, the chicken changed its direction. Soujiro ended up diving into the pond instead. Aoshi threw its other kodachi at the chicken and missed yet again. The chicken now had a clean break for the fence. The chicken passed the fence. 'Freedom!' It thought-- but too soon.

Aoshi and Soujiro watched as the chicken ran away from them just to be easily picked up by an old woman passing by. "Oh. Whats this?" She said as she inspected the chicken's wings. "I'll trade you this chicken with this one." The old woman brandished an already skinned dead chicken from her market bag.

A soaked Soujiro smiled at the old lady as he did the exchange. "Arigato Obasan." He bowed slightly. Aoshi silently groaned as he let his body collapse on the ground. (The score: Chicken 1, Aoshi 0 )

True to his intentions, Soujiro left the exchanged cleaned chicken in Aoshi's care. True to his stoic nature, Aoshi took the chicken and curtly bowed his head and said "Arigato."

"Don't let that run away. Ja ne!" Soujiro bid the former okashira farewell not wanting to know what Aoshi needed a chicken for. He left the city of Kyoto that day in high spirits. Not only did had he proven to himself that Aoshi and, therefore, the Oniwabanshu were no longer his enemies but he also left armed with very valuable blackmail material in case he and Aoshi ever end up in opposing camps again. And that fact is enough for Soujiro to smile a little bit brighter.

--

"Why is it so freaking noisy!" Misao tossed her blanket over her throbbing head trying to cancel out the racket outside. "Why can't he just meditate like he always does?"

--

"Alright!" Aoshi entered the kitchen, chicken in hand. "Chicken soup." He said to himself with conviction. This was what he had to make to help Misao get well. This was THE soup. He grabbed an apron from the shelf and noticed that a piece of paper came fluttering down. In an instant, he recognized the owner of the script that penned his name.

He looked at the note suspiciously. "That old man knew this would happen. Okina's dead when he comes back" He muttered making a mental note of the pain he must inflict on the elder. He opened the note and started reading.

(Enter: Iron chef reminiscing thing)

"Dear Aoshi," it read, "it looks like you've found this note. It looks like you would attempt the holiest of soup-- the soup that will re energize the sick, the hot broth that will bring comfort to those who have been brought down by the common cold. This soup is called Chicken soup."

Aoshi's reaction-- sweatdrop

"Below is the recipe for this soup. Be sure to give it to my angel Misao with loooooots of looooove from you. Ohohohohoho (drawing of okina with a peace sign) Love and peace, Okina!" It continued.

Aoshi's reaction-- more sweatdrops

Pot. Check. Knife. Check. Chicken. Damn right check. Apron. (ties apron behind him). Check. Veggies Check.

Aoshi turned around and faced the Chicken on the counter top and nodded with perfect determination and a steely glare. "Ready for battle," he stated, "Let's do this."

--

'SFX: ting '

Saitoh tried to stop himself from laughing out loud. After all, he wouldn't want to disturb the cooking master chef. He came to the Aoiya looking to enlist the former okashira in a little mission but the Aoiya's restaurant was closed. No one was answering the door no matter how loud he was trying to be shouting insults to the Oniwanbanshuu and its Weasel girl to get any sign of life. But all was in vain! Nada, zip, donuts. It was like the place was abandoned. He couldn't believe he just got away with what he said too. But then he noticed that smoke was coming from somewhere so there must be some one inside. What else was a Mibu wolf to do::Evil Grin :: He let himself in and worked his to the kitchen where he expected Misao to be cooking up something poisonous that killed off everybody else-- which would explain the silence.

But no, instead, he was greeted by Aoshi, cooking master chef, donning a white apron with ruffles. Aoshi's back was facing him but it didn't matter. 'How is it that he doesn't sense me at all?' Saitoh thought. This was Aoshi Shinomori he was talking about.

'Some hardened ninja.' He smirked and tried to backtrack out of there before the former okashira could notice his presence-- before he was skinned alive.

However, there was a change of plans. Saitoh was pushed forward by his companion. The same ally he had strictly told to wait outside.

"Oi! It smells good in here! I'm getting hungry." Sanosuke Sagara sauntered in the kitchen with his hands behind his head and a toothpick between his lips."What's cooking..."

Aoshi's concentration broke. He turned pale. 'No. This CANNOT be happening.' He slowly turned around to prove to himself that the voice he hears is just a figment of his imagination.

"Weasel..." Sano continued. But he stopped walking when he saw Aoshi standing motionless.

"Girl?" SFX: 'ting! Sano's jaws dropped when he saw the full picture. "Shinomori? Cooking?" He asked in shock. It was as if the two words shouldn't even go together. "That doesn't make sense." He continued as a wide grin started to form. "Shinomori. Cooking."

And that was his breaking point. Sano started to laugh uncontrollably. He placed one hand on the counter to help him balance. Saitoh himself started to chuckle. And Aoshi just stood there mortified. Inside, his brain was in a spiral shouting "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

--

"Hajime. Sagara." Aoshi said coldly, his fingers were itching to reach for the set of knives on the counter.

"Yes chef-- I mean, Shinamori?" Sano answered while wiping tears from his eyes.

The pot started to bubble furiously.

Aoshi's fingers yearned for the knives even more. 'Twitch' "What are you doing here?" He asked in the same stoic manner.

Saitoh grinned evilly. "I could ask you the same question." He couldn't help his reply. It was all too easy.

And as if on cue, a series of sneezes could be heard echoing through the whole Aioya.

Saitoh watched as Aoshi clenched his jaw and gave them both death glares. But somehow, the glares that used to inspire even a little bit of fear in him seem extremely funny and amusing now that it was being given by a large man in black with a ruffly apron inside a messy kitchen.

A burning smell and a ton of steam started to come from the pot.

"Maybe we should've tried the Battousai first." He let a chuckle escape and dragged the still laughing and oblivious Sanosuke out of the door. "We'll come back tomorrow-- when you're..."

"Not a housewife!" The rooster head finished for him. They're laughter echoed through the empty restaurant as they left.

The lid of the pot fell by the wayside and the soup erupted as it overflowed.

Aoshi looked up at the ceiling in desperation. 'Can this day get any worse?!" He thought exasperated.

Another series of sneezed echoed throughout the area.

"Maybe exorcism WAS easier."

--

Without anymore interruptions, Aoshi finished making the soup. It wasn't the best looking chicken soup in the world but it should do the job. He was convinced it would.

He could hear Misao sniffing as he walked down the hall to her room. 'At least I hope it does.' He thought as he laid the tray down on the ground and slid the door to her room open.

"Aoshi- sama?" Misao said weakly as she forced herself to a sitting position.

Aoshi nodded as he poured some soup to a bowl. "This should help you with your cold." He could smell that the soup was a bit burnt. But then, she shouldn't be able to tell because she's sick. 'Thank Kami- sama for that.' He thought as he handed her the bowl.

"What is it?" Misao asked suspiciously eying the Aoshi's soup creation.

"Chicken soup." Aoshi stated matter- of- factly.

Misao looked at the soup, then at her Aoshi-sama, and back to the soup again.

"Aoshi sama?" Misao asked meekly.

"Is anything the matter, Misao?"

Misao bit her lower lip. "... Why isnt it blue?" SFX: 'ting!'

Aoshi collapsed to the floor.

-- The end

Ja,

Blue C