pumping iron

"I worry about Kurosaki-kun sometimes," Orihime said as she tenderised the steak with a big wooden hammer.

"Why?" Maya asked.

"Mmm." Orihime frowned thoughtfully and delivered a couple of pounding blows to the oozing red meat. "Well, whenever I try to talk about food, recently he's been getting this habit of going all pale and either going, "Yes! The fresh blood! The taste of battle! The delight of the gods!" or otherwise he twitches and puts his hand to his head and presses his lips together and goes to have a cold shower."

Maya passed the pepper and mustard to rub into the raw beef. "Do you think it might be anaemia?"

Orihime chewed her lower lip. "It'd explain a lot," she said. "I had wondered if he was ill. I tried getting Ishida-kun to look up porphyria but he said that Kurosaki-kun couldn't possibly have it because he didn't have eyebrows meeting in the middle or hairs in the palm of his hands or a dislike of daylight, even if he did have ravening bloodlust and so on."

"So what do we do to help?" Maya asked.

"Spinach is good!" Orihime remembered.

"Spinach, right." Maya began to go through the contents of the vegetable rack. "Anything else? Liver? Tofu? Lentils?"

"This calls for a stew," Orihime said firmly. "With extra black-eyed peas and molasses."

"We should really do the steak as raw as possible," Maya said reluctantly. She prodded the slab of meat. "But I like my steak nice and well done. Maybe if we do several steaks?"

"Several steaks sounds good," Orihime agreed. "We can have the spare ones on standby in case we need to feed him more."

"Right," Maya said. "And onions. There have to be onions. And mushrooms. Do mushrooms have iron?"

"Maybe if you roast them on iron skewers with just a sprinkling of cinnamon."

"Cinnamon?" Maya said uncertainly.

"It brings out the flavour," Orihime explained, eyes sparkling with sincerity. "And then you fry garlic and have it with fresh bread together with them as a first course. Then we have the steaks with the molasses liver tofu stew on the side. And we finish off with really dark chocolate melted on a fondue grill and brandied cherries and chilli peppers to dip into it. It can't fail."

"We need some wine to drink with it," Maya said wisely. "I think red wine has iron in it. I'll ask Mr Edgeworth for suggestions. He knows all about that sort of thing."

Orihime clapped her hands together in sheer joy. "Kurosaki-kun will be totally fixed!"

"We'd better get twice as many steaks as planned," Maya said, wiggling her eyebrows. "Men have their appetites."

"Women do too!" Orihime said indignantly.

"Yes, but if he gets carried away, he might try and steal our steaks," Maya said. "And that would never do."

"You're right," Orihime agreed. "It would spoil the evening for him."

"Right," Maya said, only a little unconvincingly. "Can't have that."

(Later history records that the Save Kurosaki Ichigo From Horrible Anaemia And Save The World From That Evil Aizen Person While We're At It plan was a total success, due to Kurosaki Ichigo's Inner Hollow refusing to emerge from the lavatory on the grounds of severe constipation, and entirely missing the big fight that was going on.)

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