Author Note: Just wanted to write out this short detailing a cooking lesson gone sour :) or sweet :D hopefully I can add more one-shots about the kids and their parents and grandparents and Corona itself :D Suggestion-read at least the first chapter of 'This is the Story' if you want to understand who the kids are in terms of age and personality. Hope you enjoy it! :D
Soli Deo Gloria
Disclaimer: Disney owns Tangled, its characters, and its story
"Anyway, the next thing Chef Arnold said about your pancake mix is that it has to be smooth and avoid lumps."
"Lumps." Thomas repeated, smirking slightly.
His father, resplendent in a flowered apron, looked down at his son, "Lumps?"
"It's a funny word."
Eugene grinned, "That is kind-of funny."
Rapunzel elbowed him in the ribs, hissing, "Dear, our daughter is trying to speak to you. Pay attention."
"As I was saying," Annabelle continued, "you want to keep the batter nice and smooth."
"And avoid lo-umps." Eugene said, earning a grin from his son.
Annabelle glared at them, and both sheepishly returned to stirring their bowls.
The royal family had decided, since the cooking staff had the day off, to use the kitchens as a way to spend time together. Well, technically, it had been Rapunzel's idea, and her daughters were only too eager to go along with it. Eugene and Thomas, however, were slightly less eager. One could even say that they groaned a good deal before Rapunzel told them they could eat the pancakes afterwards.
Ginger, however, had grown bored listening to her sister talking about batter. Instead, she had resorted to making faces out of the chocolate chips lined up on the countertop. She had already finished doing one of Hook-hand by the time the rest of her family had reached the mixing stage of the recipe.
Then suddenly, she had an idea. Quite an ingenious idea for a five year-old.
"Annie?" She asked, sidling over to the bowl of batter her mother was patiently stirring.
Her sister looked at her, "Yes?"
"Do you need all this stuff to make pancakes?"
Annabelle frowned, glancing at her mother, "Um… well, yes. I guess. Why?"
"Oh—I just had an idea." Ginger said, casually sticking her hand into the batter.
"Ginger, don't do that. You'll make a mess." Rapunzel said calmly.
Then, about half a second later, Thomas gave a yelp as he was knocked off his stool. Eugene quickly knelt down next to his son, "Thomas?"
The boy moaned, "Ow… something hit me." He felt his forehead, "Ugh—it's sticky…" his eyes brightened, "Dad am I bleeding?"
"No it's—pancake batter?" Eugene muttered, confused.
Thomas leapt to his feet, "Gin'! You're gonna pay for that!"
"No—Thomas! NO!" His father restrained him, grunting, "You cannot hit your sister. Imagine what will-."
Eugene felt something wet and sticky trickling down his neck. He was also certain that his hair—his beautiful brown hair—had just been introduced to a new type of shampoo. He turned his head slowly to look at his wife, Thomas still in his arms.
Rapunzel smiled, holding up a batter-smeared hand.
"You know," he said as batter steadily dripped onto the tile, "this means war."
"I'm ready when you are."
"Split up the teams evenly?" Eugene suggested.
"Boys against girls!" Thomas shouted, grinning madly.
Eugene's eyes widened, "What? No—you don't know how good your mother's aim is!"
Abruptly, he had to duck as more batter came flying out of nowhere.
"Thomas, grab that bowl!" Eugene bellowed as he dodged another pancake missile. He raced to the other end of the kitchen, overturned a small table, and jumped behind it. Then he heard a strange yelling noise and looked out from behind his barricade to see his son, clutching the bowl of batter, hurtling towards him as dough whistled past his ears. The boy made it safely to the stronghold, panting as he crouched down next to his father.
"Good job, Thomas."
Meanwhile, on the other end of the room, Rapunzel and her youngest had managed to create a small fort out of a wide table and two chairs. The princess called to Annabelle, "Come on, Annabelle! You're in no-man's land!"
The girl looked at her completely ruined cooking lesson. Batter was already dribbling steadily off the counter and half the stools were knocked over. She sighed and grabbed one of the remaining bowls of batter, muttering, "This is a waste of good pancakes!"
"Maybe, but," Rapunzel pulled her daughter out of range as a single shot nearly struck her in the shoulder, "we can't afford to worry about pancakes right now."
"Why is it, that whenever you and Dad get into the kitchen, you always end up having a food-fight?"
"Let's just say I've never forgiven him for beating me in our first snowball fight. I mean—it was the first time I saw snow before so I don't really think he was being fair."
"I was being plenty fair!" Eugene hollered from across the kitchen.
Rapunzel retorted back, "No you weren't! You attacked me when my back was turned!"
"And you shoved snow down my shirt! Half of which was ice!"
She smiled slightly, admitting to her daughter, "I did. But it was so funny. He squealed like a little girl."
"I did no such thing!"
She ignored this comment, and instead grabbed a handful of flour and tossed it onto the floor. Rapunzel quickly scrawled out a near-identical copy of the kitchen and began to explain the battle plan.
At the other end of the room, Thomas glanced up at his father, "Did you really squeal like a girl?"
"No way. If I made any sound it was more of a manly grunt of surprise."
His son still looked doubtful. Just then, there were some fairly noisy thuds on the other side of their overturned table. Apparently, the warning shots were being fired.
Eugene dipped his hand into the bowl and began to pack together a batter ball. He told his son instructions as he did so, even as Thomas pulled out his slingshot and made tiny dough missiles.
"Way to think creatively, son." His father complimented, smiling. "Now, our goals are to not get hit and to not forfeit."
"What does forfeit mean?"
"Surrender—which we will never do."
"Right Dad." Thomas grinned, testing his slingshot.
Eugene nodded, "Okay, now I know the enemy is our family. I know that you love your sisters and your mother very much. But we can't give in—no matter how cute they may be."
"I don't think any of them are cute." His son replied, rolling his eyes.
"Oh—right. Well, just keep me from being distracted by your mother's gorgeous green eyes or her freckled nose or the way she seems to-."
"Dad, you're getting distracted."
"Boys," Rapunzel called across the floor, "are you ready for the first skirmish?"
Eugene popped his head out from behind the table, yelling, "Bring it on, vile temptress!"
"WHAT did you just call me?"
"Um… fire away Thomas! Quick, before I say something really stupid!"
"You got that right!" His wife shouted, loading up her hand with a batter ball.
Annabelle looked at her sister, "Oh yeah. Dad's going to pay for that one."
Ginger grinned and rose up on her feet, sending a dough-ball pelting towards the opposite camp. There was a faintly injured whimper, and then Eugene called, "Honey, there's no need to throw so hard!"
"That was Ginger, dearest!"
Eugene looked at his son, "Apparently," he said, mopping batter from his shoulder, "Ginger-snap's inherited your mother's throwing arm."
"What did I get?"
Eugene stared at his son, suddenly at a lost for words. Finally, he said, "You got my awesome physique and my indomitable spirit to never, ever surrender!"
"All right!" He did not know what indomitable meant, but he liked the sound of it.
More batter struck their barricade, and one particularly sloppy missile sailed overhead and hit the wall. Eugene looked up at it, "Ah, and Annie's helping too."
"Eugene Fitzherbert!" Rapunzel shrieked. "Stand up and fight like a man!"
Thomas said quietly, "Mom's talking to you, Dad."
"I know she is. Her voice carries. Okay, Thomas. Let's get out there."
Then, yelling, the two seized their missiles and darted out from behind the table. Immediately Thomas received a firm blow to his stomach, but he responded with a fairly accurate ejection from his slingshot. A scream of shock told him he had done his job. His father, meanwhile, had managed to bean Rapunzel at least twice before a painful slap of dough to his leg made him drop to his knees. Clearly, Annabelle was not as bad as an aim as he had thought she was.
Rapunzel congratulated her daughter with a high-five, "Great shot, Annie."
"No problem, Mom." Annabelle grinned, batter plopping out of her hair.
Ginger reared back and sent another batter ball flying, howling in delight when she hit her brother. "Haha! Take that!"
Thomas yelled in revenge, pulling back his slingshot and shooting a missile at Ginger. She barely dodged it, giving Eugene just enough time to leap back up and chuck a ball towards them. Instead of striking the enemy, however, the prince consort knocked an open bag of flour off the counter. A deluge of powder turned Rapunzel and her daughters white. She coughed and wiped the flour from her eyes.
"That was a cruel trick, Rider!" Rapunzel cried, grabbing up another handful of batter.
Eugene smirked smugly, "Thank you, my love!"
Suddenly, something wet splattered against his flowered apron, and Eugene fell to the floor. Thomas grabbed at his father's hand, ducking another missile.
"Hurry, Dad—we've got to get cover!"
Eugene sprang to his feet, slipping on the batter-strewn floor as he and his son raced back to their barricade. They huddled underneath the protection of the table, wincing as blow after blow slammed against it.
"I don' know how long this thing will hold." Eugene muttered, even as another missile thunked against their table.
His son groaned, "But we can't let them win, Dad!"
"Absolutely not. I'll never hear the end of it if they do. Reload, Thomas—we'll show the enemy who's stronger!"
Thus, it was that batter began to fly everywhere. It slapped against the walls, it ricocheted off the pots hanging from the ceiling, and it skidded along the floor. Dough ball after dough ball took flight as the fight went on, hitting various objects and sometimes even the person aimed for. Shouts echoed off the tile, and grunts of pained surprise accompanied them. Both teams were putting up a terrific onslaught of missiles, hammering each other along with some of Chef Arnold's most prized cooking instruments.
Overall, the battle was going along splendidly.
But then Eugene realized something. They were running out of batter.
"Thomas," he said, even as his son let another batter ball fly, "we've got a problem."
"What's that, Dad?"
"We're running out." He indicated the dangerously low bowl at his feet.
"What are we going to do?"
Eugene sighed, "I'm afraid there's only one thing we can do."
He and his son peeked out over the top of their table, spotting the remaining bowl sitting upon the counter. There was a victorious crow and Ginger sent a spiraling dough ball towards them. Eugene pulled his son down just in time as the missile sailed over their heads.
"You don't mean-." Thomas asked, gaping at him.
"Yes, we have to go out there. Together."
"But what if we get hit?"
"That's a chance we'll have to take. But seriously," he gestured at himself and his son, "we're covered in the stuff already."
"Okay," Eugene said, handing his son a pot lid, "here's your shield."
"Shield." Thomas said, grasping the handle.
"And here's your helmet." Eugene set the pot belonging to the lid onto his son's head.
"What about your helmet?"
"Don't need one." Eugene tapped his forehead, "Head's hard as a rock."
"It's true!" Rapunzel shouted from the other end of the kitchen.
"Yes, thank you dear!" Eugene called back, half-annoyed, half-amused.
Thomas nodded, nearly jumping up and down in anticipation, "So, when are we going out there?"
"I'll give the signal, and then we run. Remember, duck and weave and avoid your mother and Ginger at all costs."
"What's the signal?"
Eugene thought for a moment, and then he grinned, "Lo-umps."
His son laughed, waving his slingshot in the air, "Lo-umps!"
They both charged out into no-man's land again. Eugene grabbed a nearby frying pan—not the one he was familiar with—and used it to deflect the batter coming towards him.
"Use their own missiles against them, Thomas!" Eugene barked, striking a strong blow back to what he thought was his wife.
Thomas kept his sights on the bowl, and then he saw, out of the corner of his eye, that Ginger was racing towards his goal.
"No you don't!" He howled, speeding faster. "Stay away from that bowl, Gin'!"
His sister screeched at him, slipping as they both tried to reach the remaining batter. Both scrambled up onto the countertop as dough continued to soar from all directions. They grabbed the bowl at the same time and began to tug, sloshing batter all over the sides and onto the already incredibly messy floor.
"It's ours!" Thomas growled, leaning backwards.
Ginger's eyes narrowed, and she snapped, "No! It's ours!"
"Don't let her get it, Thomas!" Eugene roared, scooping up some of the dropped batter and throwing it over the enemy's ramparts.
"Got it, Dad!" His son replied, successfully wrenching the bowl from his sister's grasp. Ginger, unbalanced, began to fall off the counter. Eugene's eyes widened, and he tossed aside the frying pan, launching himself forward to catch his daughter. He caught her just in time, sliding across the floor on his stomach. Ginger looked at her father in surprise.
"You're welcome, Ginger-snap." He stood up, gently setting his daughter onto her feet. Then, before he knew it, everything went dark as batter nailed him straight in the face.
Eugene woke up to sticky hands tenderly stroking his equally sticky face. He opened one eye, since his other one refused to open, and saw that his wife was leaning over him.
"Ow…" he mumbled as his eye throbbed painfully.
"Are you okay?" Rapunzel whispered.
"Nope. Um—I can't really see that much."
"That's because your right eye is swollen shut."
"Ah." He gazed up at her flour-streaked face and hair sticking up in all directions like a porcupine. She still looked completely attractive, which, while pleasing, did not help much.
"You know, ever since I met you, I've been knocked unconscious a lot more than usual." Eugene muttered, easing himself up into a sitting position.
Rapunzel nodded, grimacing, "I know."
Her husband glanced around at the battered kitchen. His children were sitting next to his wife, each one looking a little worse for the wear. Ginger was completely covered in pancake mix, having spent a good bit of the battle diving into the bowl of ammo. Annabelle had more flour on her than anything else, but she still bore some batter on her shoulder. Thomas, his partner in crime, had batter all over his front while his hair was gelled towards the right.
Other than the damage to the kitchen, and his burning eye, no one else seemed to have gotten hurt.
"We surrendered, Dad." Thomas said sadly.
"That's okay, Thomas. We gave it our best shot."
Rapunzel smiled, "You guys did a wonderful job."
"Thanks." Eugene muttered dryly.
Annabelle looked up as batter dripped slowly down from the ceiling, "Mom, we should probably clean up."
Her mother nodded and got to her feet, "All right, girls, we can wipe down the counters. Thomas, you gather up the dishes and wash them. Your father will take care of mopping the floor."
"I can hardly see." Eugene protested, standing up to lean against the counter.
"We'll get you some ice." Rapunzel replied as she and all her children went to work.
Her husband watched them, amazed that at one word from his wife, his daughters and son immediately obeyed. How on earth did she have such command over them and he did not? He had to ask her about that some time.
Groaning, Eugene felt his sore eye and muttered, "Do you know what's going to happen tomorrow at the trade meeting?"
"What, dear?" Rapunzel asked, sweeping a wet rag over the counter.
"Harold of Orae will see that I have a black eye. Since my normally stunning visage is devoid of a black eye, he will ask me where I got it. Do you know what I'll have to tell him?"
"What's that, Eugene?"
"I'll have to tell him that my wife hit me in the face with pancake batter. I don't even know how that batter got so hard."
Annabelle shrugged and proceeded to scrub down a table, murmuring, "Well, Dad, Chef Arnold did warn on the recipe that leaving it out for too long makes the batter turn to cement."
"Thanks, Annie. That's really helpful now."
"So what will Harold do, Eugene?" His wife asked as she switched places with Ginger.
Eugene sighed dramatically, "He'll laugh at me—all throughout the trade meeting. And then your father will laugh at me, and then every other pompous noble will laugh at me."
"Is my father a pompous noble?"
"No. But he will laugh at me."
"I'll take care of you, even through all your humiliation. And I promise I won't laugh."
Eugene glanced at his son, who was toting an armful of dishes to the sink, and said, "This is one of the perks to being married, Thomas. Your wife takes care of you after she hurts you."
Rapunzel rolled her eyes, "Oh come on, Eugene. Don't be such a baby. Help us clean up."
"What about my ice?"
"I'll get it for you later, dear."
Eugene grunted and retrieved the mop and bucket from a nearby corner. After filling the bucket with soapy water, he started to run the tool across the tile, leaving shining wet stripes where a moment before had been nothing but flour and batter. It would take a long time before the entire kitchen was cleaned to his wife's satisfaction. By the end of the morning, he knew that the pancake mix in his hair and goatee would have hardened, making it impossible to remove short of cutting it out. He sighed. That trade meeting will be murder to sit through.
Eventually, after much sweeping and wiping and rinsing, an hour or so later the kitchens were clean. Rapunzel had sent their children up with the nursemaids to take baths. She and her husband remained in the kitchen, making sure that everything was put back in the right place.
Eugene sat on one of the stools, untying the stained apron from his waist. Rapunzel handed him ice wrapped up in a rag, "Sorry about your eye, dear."
"It's okay." He pressed the ice to his face, smirking somewhat as his wife tallied up the inventory sitting on the counter in front of them.
"You do realize we'll have to tell Chef Armando-."
"-everything that happened today, don't you?"
"Yes, Eugene. But," she smiled in satisfaction, "at least the girls won."
He frowned, "Only because you pegged me in the eye."
"I thought you said it was okay." Rapunzel glared at him.
Eugene nodded hastily, "It is—and I'm not blaming you for it. But I think it would be more fair to consider this a draw rather than a complete conquest."
His wife walked over to him, frowning, "And why, when you surrendered, should I consider this a draw?"
"Fine, you don't have to consider it a draw. But do I at least get a consolation reward?"
She smiled, "And what's that?"
"A kiss from my wife whom I love and adore and who looks remarkably beautiful despite being covered in pancake batter." He grinned at her winsomely, wiggling his eyebrows.
His wife shrugged, "I suppose you deserve some kind of reward."
"I think I do."
Rapunzel smiled and sat down on his lap, putting her arms around his neck and kissing him. Then, slowly, she felt something wet and extremely cold slide down her back as Eugene dropped several pieces of ice down her dress.
"Eugene!" She cried, jumping up and shivering.
Her husband laughed, grinning as he declared, "Revenge is sweet."