Disclaimer: I do not own the manga D.N. Angel. Yukiru Sugisaki does.
Risa Harada was eating lunch in the park. It was a hot Saturday, and she was bored and a bit lonely. Normally she would be with her twin or looking for Dark, but Riku was on a date with Daisuke, and Risa didn't much feel like chasing down the thief today. She picked up a riceball, a little absentmindedly since she was bit drowsy from the heat, but before she could eat it, a familiar person plopped down without warning and swiped it from her.
"Wha-, hey, Takeshi!"
Said boy shoved the chopsticks in his mouth, ignoring a certain Harada's angry glare. Instantly, the color of his face became a mix of dark purple and pale green. Spitting out pieces of food, he turned to the brunette, his expression torn between astonishment and disbelief.
"No way! How can a person screw up riceballs? Risa, your hopeless!"
Risa shot him an incredulous look.
"I thought I was getting better! Its not that bad, right?"
In reply, Takeshi dumped the contents of the bento in the nearby trashcan.
Risa Harada sputtered indignantly, blood rushing to her cheeks in her rage.
"How dare you? You have no idea how long-"
Her rant was cut short by Takeshi leaning close to her face; His eyes narrowed beseechingly, his hands clasped hers tightly. His voice was deadly serious, though slightly deadpan, when he spoke.
"Risa, you have GOT to let me teach you how to cook."
Risa Harada bristled at the statement, pulling her hands away. Crossing her arms, she turned her head defiantly.
"I know how to cook."
This was said with a stubborn pout that most would find adorable. Takeshi, however, found her actions anything but.
"Risa," he said this in a patient, matter-of-fact way, "your cooking is terrible. You burn your food, undercook it, add too many seasonings, or drain the flavor, and you use canned ingredients. You need help."
Risa's shoulder's slumped in defeat. Releasing a sigh of long-suffering, she stood up and faced him with a small, tolerent smile.
"Okay, Takeshi, you win. Tell me what to do."
Looking as if he had just won the lottery, Takeshi jumped up and grasped Risa's hand excitedly, leading the way to his place.
'We'll start off with something easy. Let's begin by making Oyako-donburi-'
'-Is what he said, but...what the HECK? This is so difficult! And all I'm doing is making rice! Yeesh!'
Risa's thought/flashback was cut short when Takeshi pointed out yet another mistake. First, she had added too much water, then, she hadn't added enough rice. While she wondered what she did this time, Takeshi complained that she had overcooked the rice. How do you overcook rice? Then, she saw that the pot was smoking. Risa turned off the stove and removed the pot, flushing darkly. Thankfully, the rice wasn't ruined, and Takeshi only scolded her lightly, reprimanding her for inattentiveness.
After that, it Was one incident after another. Risa wanted to beat the eggs since it would be faster, but Takeshi declared the eggs not fit to use, ("you have to do everything a certain way when cooking. You can't just do it your way.") After stirring the eggs correctly, Risa promptly moved on to the chicken. She cut the pieces too big at first, and while trying to make them smaller, she cut herself. When she finally got done with the chicken, ("this sucks. I can't believe I cut myself. I'm such a klutz.") Risa then proceeded to wash and cut the onions - and cut her fingers again. Quite a few times, I might add. At that point, she wanted to quit, but Takeshi POLITELY informed her of what would happen if she did.
"You can't give up now. Besides, what will Dark say if he has to force a piece of food you cooked for him down his throat?"
It wasn't a very nice way to persuade a person, but it worked.
Risa fumed, but wordlessly moved on to the sauce. To her surprise, Takeshi praised her on combining the ingredients as she boiled the sauce, then added the pieces of chicken, and onion. But, when she added the eggs and wanted to stir them, he stopped her.
"Risa, you have to let the egg spread NATURALLY. Okay?"
Once the eggs started to bubble at the edges, Risa was given the go-ahead to stir once. At that point, Takeshi turned off the stove and set the pan on a different burner.
This was the part that Risa knew she couldn't screw up. With extreme care, she divided the rice into donburi bowls. With a large spoon, she then scooped a portion of the egg and sauce topping, and placed it on the rice.
Risa grinned smugly at the product of her finished work, while Takeshi took a tentative taste. His eyes widened, and Risa held her breath.
"This...is...DELICIOUS! We did a pretty good job, huh Risa?"
Risa's smile quickly faded.
"We? Hello! I did everything. YOU just ordered me around."
Takeshi waved his hand airily.
"Yeah, yeah. I'm just relieved that it's edible. You have really come a long way, and in such a short time."
He flashed her a jocular, yet, sincere grin.
The brunette turned a pretty shade of pink. She bowed her head to hide her lightly flushed cheeks. Shifting from one foot to another, Risa fidgeted with her bandaged fingers, a clear sign that she was nervous.
"Uh, Takeshi, can you do me a huge, huge, favor?"
Takeshi contradicted Risa in body language. He nodded airily, giving her a confident smile.
"Sure. What is it?"
"I want to...learn how to make cookies f-for Dark."
Not missing a beat, Takeshi moved around the kitchen, grabbing every ingredient they would need. Setting it all on a counter, he whirled to face her with a sober, no-nonsense look.
"Let's get to it!"
Risa smiled at the neat box of heartshaped, (she had insisted on using a cookie cutter,) green tea cookies on the counter. Takeshi, on the other hand, was looking appalled at the sight of the kitchen. His dad was going to murder him.
"Their so kawaii! Oh, Takeshi, thank you!"
Suddenly, Risa hugged him. She simply threw her arms around his shoulders and squeezed without thinking. Takeshi was caught off guard by the unexpected embrace. When the full realization of what she was doing hit him, his cheeks heated with a flame that would make the sun itself jealous.
Not knowing what to do, Takeshi stood perfectly still and stammered her name to get her attention.
Said girl froze and shoved him away from her with surprising force. Brushing nonexistant dust from her ruffled pink skirt, she coughed harshly, trying to shake away the feeling of embarrassment.
"Sorry about that. I don't know w-I mean, I didn-"
Takeshi, having calmed down after she pushed him, laughed easily.
"S'okay. Hey, do you mind helping clean up? Dad'll kill me if he sees the place like this."
Risa nodded and began clearing the counter off. Normally she hated cleaning, but he did help her, and she was really grateful to him for it.
The cleaning would have been quick and quiet - if her cleaning partner wasn't someone who loved to talk. He talked first about Daisuke, ("did I tell you about the time he..."), then about Dark, ("I got some great photos-" "You have photos of Dark? Really?"), and, finally, the conversation turned to school, and other boring subjects.
When they finally finished, Risa took the cookies, and said she had to go. She wanted to find Dark and give him the gift.
"Risa, wait! Can you take some of the Oyako-donburi? We seem to have made too much. Anyway, I threw away your lunch, so this can make up for it."
Risa turned and started to take one of the bowls.
"Hold it! Let me wrap it up for you."
He wrapped the bowl with practiced skill and handed it to her. Risa took it, flashing Takeshi a radiant smile. The poor boy was dazed by the brilliance of the smile, and the beauty of the girl before him.
"Thanks again. I won't forget this."
Then she left, leaving a stunned, and, for once, speechless Takeshi.
The following afternoon, Takeshi was cooking lunch for his dad, ("Takeshi! Tea!" "Jeez, again?"), when the doorbell rang. Takeshi went to answer it, ignoring his dad's constant calls for his drink, and found there was no one there. At first, he thought it was a prank, until he looked down and saw a white box. Picking it up, he removed the lid, and looked inside. A clear bag of sugar cookies stared innocently back, along with a note. He took out the note and unfolded it, growing suprised at first, then amused as he read it.
Takeshi, I know that I am still not very good at cooking. I have to practice more and improve my cooking skills a lot before I am as good as you. Still, I wanted to say thank you for everything that you have done for me. Enjoy the cookies, and don't you DARE throw them away.
Takeshi burst out laughing, and couldn't stop for a long time. He couldn't believe that girl. He reached in and took out the bag, setting the box and note on the floor for now. He opened the bag with a huge grin.
'These better be good, Risa.'
Sinking his teeth into one, he flinched. It was just a little hard. Good thing his teeth were strong. Biting down into it, he saw that passed the tough exterior, it was actually really good.
He chewed it and swallowed, pausing to savor the aftertaste. It really wasn't bad at all.
"Risa, you'll become a great cook yet."