Akane Can Cook 0
Made for Iron Fic 6
Disclaimer: Neither Yakitate! Japan nor Ranma ½ are owned by the writer of this fanfic.
Akane sat down on the side of the road, dejected that once again, she had failed to cook something that was worthy of being tasted. She had tested it out on P-chan, the pig that had usually loved her cooking. It knocked out the poor guy. She was afraid as to what it would do to Ranma and did not want to deal with the insults to her cooking ability this time around, and threw it out. Instead, she went out looking for some new thing to try.
Coming across the store Pantasia Southern Tokyo Branch, she smiled. Having heard good things about the bread here, she walked in.
"Welcome to the store!" Came from a pink haired boy that was manning the register. "How can we help you today?"
Akane smiled at the boy. His cheery greeting was infectious. "Oh, I'd just like a few loaves of melon bread. I have the money."
"Sure thing, the melon bread will be ready in about ten minutes." The pink-haired boy walked into the back of the store, presumably to get her bread for her. She sat at one of the waiting tables and sighed. In here smelled so delicious, why couldn't she prepare things that were as amazing as this bread was? She sighed again.
"What's wrong, little girl?" Akane looked at the source of the voice and gasped. A tall man wearing dark sunglasses and having a large afro on his head stood right next to her. The man was ripped, but the afro scared her. "I like all my customers to be happy. Did one of my employees not make your bread correctly? Did they insult you by giving you bad bread?"
"No. I wish I could make bread as well as the people here. It all smells so delicious, and my fiancée won't even eat my own cooking!" Akane started to glow with an angry aura.
"Calm down, little girl. Your cooking can't be that bad, you're a girl after all. Why don't you come to the back and we'll take a look at how well you can bake bread? We have a surplus of materials this month, and if your bread is inedible, we'll just throw it out." The man stated.
"Thank you so much, but I really must get this home!" Akane said.
"Nonsense, I insist. Kawaichi! You have a delivery to make! Please take Miss..." The man looked in what appeared to be askance to her.
"Tendo, Akane Tendo." Akane supplied.
"Miss Tendo's bread to her home for her family. We're giving it to her free of charge as well!" The man exclaimed.
"Yes Manager!" A blond young man about Ranma's age stepped out from the back of the store with two bags of melon bread. "The Tendo Dojo in Furinkan-cho, right miss?"
"Yes, that's it. I don't know why you're helping me, but thank you, sensei!"
"I'm not your sensei yet, girl. We need to see how much work needs to be done first before you can call me that." The man pushed up his sunglasses and smiled. "Now let's go the back and get started, shall we?"
In the back room, Akane worked. Akane started with a simple bread recipe, with the manager onlooking. Each knead of the dough, every ingredient added, every bit of flour used, the manager noted it down on a notepad.
Akane was actually having fun. She could not disappoint the manager here, not after he gave her this chance. Hmm... did that recipe say to add two teaspoons of salt or two tablespoons? Might as well go with two tablespoons, after all, it's better to have too much than too little, right? Now for the yeast... Would half a cup really be enough to have it rise? No. Four cups should be enough.
She preheated the oven... but she considered something. If it took one hundred and twenty minutes on two hundred degrees centigrade, it should only take twelve minutes on two thousand degrees centigrade. Molding the dough into the shape she wanted. It'd be a P-chan Pan, she popped it in the extremely hot oven.
Not even a minute later, smoke started wafting through the room and the pink-haired boy opened up the oven with fire-extinguisher in hand.
"I can see we'll need a lot of work with you, Miss Akane." The manager stated as the pink haired boy sprayed the fire extinguisher once more. "A lot of work indeed."
Akane leaned over, dejected.
"But I will be your sensei, at least for the afternoon and the rest of the week. If I can not fix your cooking problems, then I will personally bake a large loaf of French bread with my sunglasses in the dough."
Akane looked to the man. "Thank you, sensei!"
"We begin now, student. Grab the flour!"
Day two of training:
"No no no, you add two eggs, not fifteen!"
Day three of training:
"Add salt there, just a pinch!"
"Like this, sensei?"
"I said a pinch, girl! Not a handful!"
Day four of training:
"Ah, my fierce tigress Akane Tendo, I see that you are learning to make your place in the kitchen, but do not despair, the Kuno family chefs are amazing. Once you and I are wed, we will-GAH!" There was suddenly a hole in the roof of the Pantasia South Tokyo Branch.
"Kawaichi! Get on fixing that hole!"
Day five of training:
"Wait! Look at what you're holding. That's Linseed oil, not vegetable oil. Linseed oil is toxic!"
"But aren't both oil?"
"Listen to me, student!"
Day six of training:
"Here we are, girl. The moment of truth. Knead that dough!"
"Wait, how much yeast did you add into that dough? It's growing at an alarming rate!"
"Just four cups!"
"The recipe called for half a cup, girl!"
Soon the entire kitchen was filled with dough.
"Go home, girl. You're a lost cause. I'll bake my sunglasses into the loaf tomorrow." The manager sighed.
"But sensei, I really feel I'm going somewhere!" Akane exclaimed. "Please, you have to keep teaching me!"
"I would, but there's no way. Unless...." The manager smirked.
"Unless what, sensei? I'd do anything!" Akane yelled.
"Are you willing to train harder than you've ever trained before, girl? Are you ready to give up what you know and to become a better baker, nay, a better chef?"
The man reached up into his afro and pulled out a business card. "Go to the address on this card and show them it. They will teach you, hopefully they will succeed where I have failed."
"Thank you, sensei, I won't let you down!" Akane grasped the card and fire shone in her eyes.
Akane walked along the streets of Tokyo until she came to the address on the card. From the looks of it, it was an old cathedral, and the topiary had grown into a most odd shape. She did a double-take. The topiary resembled her sensei. The building itself had an afro.
Shaking her head like it was a coincidence, she went inside the building. There two women in nun habits greeted her.
"So you're Matsuhiro's new pet project, eh? Guess we'll have to show him how well women can teach. Come girl, and we will make you into a competent chef in no time at all!"
And so Akane began her intense training.
Two days later, in the Tendo Household:
Ranma sat upside down, reading a manga while a panda and Soun Tendo played shogi next to the shoji.
"My, I do wonder where Akane's disappeared off to. It isn't like her to go off like this without leaving a single clue as to where she will be." Kasumi stated as she came in from the kitchen.
"Eh, the tomboy probably did not get kidnapped again, nothing around to kidnap her." Ranma said, not even looking up from his manga.
Then the lights dimmed and a disco ball lowered in the center of the room. A spotlight shone on the person entering, who was dressed in bellbottom jeans, a tight blouse, wearing a pair of dark sunglasses and sporting an afro. She thrust her hips in time with a beat that seemed to come from speakers in the walls and pointed her finger into the air.
"I... have returned."
"Akane!" Came the cry from everyone in the room and there was a growf from the panda.
"Waah! My baby girl thinks that disco is back!" Soun cried out.
"Out of the kitchen tonight, Kasumi. Dinner, is on me." Akane smirked as she slid over towards the kitchen, dancing the whole while. "And don't worry, it will be amazing."
"Waah! My baby girl wants to kill us all!" Soun cried again.
Not even an hour later, Akane came out, balancing a few platters on her arms, and one on the top of her afro.
Ranma took another look at Akane. Sure she looked weird, but he sensed no danger from her. Perhaps this change was a good thing. Anything that caused the tomboy to learn to cook would be a good thing in his book. Besides, if he remembered right, Kuno was raving about her trying to bake at some point. The food smelled great, anyway. He'd been wrong before, but now he'd try it.
Akane served the entire table, which now consisted of three people. Kasumi, Ranma, and Ryouga, who came from nowhere. If the others wanted to miss out on her meal, so be it.
Each of the people there took their first bite warily... before digging in outright. Akane smiled as she surveyed her work and took a bite of her own. She was successful, and as she thought: It was delicious.