Title: Kiss the Cook

Author: bdrake07

Summary: Sarah makes ribs. Derek appreciates this. S/D.

A/N: Basically what happened is I had ribs for dinner. Inspiration and randomness ensued.

Disclaimer: I don't own Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.

Derek Reese would be a vegetarian, if he could stand to give up all of this shit. Sarah is a little disgusted by the fact that every time recon seems to coincide with a meal, Derek insists on stopping somewhere wholly unhealthy, where he gets his hotdog, hamburger, or taco absolutely loaded, and then proceeds to stuff his face.

In response to the look that usually graces her features, Derek usually replies that in the future they have no napkins.

But where as John complains every night about spaghetti or sandwiches or pancakes, Derek can't seem to get enough of Sarah's bad cooking. She takes it as a compliment, although she knows he'd eat anything that didn't come freeze-dried in a pack. It's the little things you appreciate after Judgment Day.

So Sarah knows that she can slap a plate of anything from lima beans to deep-fried twinkie in front of Derek and he'll eat it like he hasn't seen food in months. This makes his reaction all the more surprising the night she goes all out and cooks up a batch of ribs.

Even John helps cut the vegetables, lingering in the kitchen just for the smell. Sarah imagines even Cameron looks jealous when she doesn't serve her a plate. For once, Sarah feels as if she is playing the role of a domestic housewife, and strangely, it relaxes her, even though she knows she'd never want that.

She sets a plate in front of Derek, the veggies still steaming, ribs still sizzling, complete with a buttered roll. She knows he's had a tough day of recon—been on his feet for hours. The tiredness has reached his eyes and they stare, unblinkingly, at the food on his plate.

"Christ, Sarah." He says slowly. "Are these... ribs?" Is she just imagining it, or is the tone of his voice kind of... loving?

"Yes, Derek, they're ribs." She replies, equally as slowly. John, across the table, seems to think this exchange is rather funny. Sarah shoots him a look. In the future they don't have napkins...

Derek looks up at her, in all seriousness, and says, "I could kiss you."

Sarah freezes, involuntarily, just for a second as John laughs and Cameron stares blankly. A ludicrous image has just popped into her head—she's clad in quintessential 50s housewife-ware, taking an apple pie out of the oven as Derek arrives home from a hard day of work, removing his suit jacket and discarding his briefcase before he pulls her into a kiss.

Maybe it was that stupid, dreamlike flash that made her shrug off Derek's intense gaze, the gaze that would have told her what something as simple as a decent, home-cooked meal meant to someone like him, if she had bothered to listen.

Instead, "They're just ribs, Derek," she says, "I'm glad you like them." And she picks up her napkin, arranges it on her lap, takes up her silverware and digs in, forcing Derek to abandon his impromptu staring contest with her.

If she had bothered to pay attention, Sarah would have remembered that this was the first time Derek had used a knife and fork since he'd got here.