Author's Note:

Sadly, I don't have time to answer reviews this time. So very sorry!

Tomorrow, I go offline. *whimper* I'll see you guys here and there in the next two months, though.


© 2011 by Aleine Skyfire.

All rights reserved.


5. Kitchens, Cooks, and Cuteness==

There are still days that Kathleen wears trousers rather than dresses, though she never steps out the door in such apparel unless in disguise.

Perusing a cookbook, she leans now against the kitchen counter, clad in the "blue jeans" she wore when she first arrived. She once joked to Watson, "You can take the girl out of the 21st century, but you can't take the 21st century out of the girl." I suppose that would be true of any time-traveller.

Mrs. Hudson has been removed from the line of fire: she is visiting with her sister until this conflict is over. This means that Kathleen and I must fend for ourselves in terms of housekeeping and cooking. Thank heaven that my postmodern counterpart is an excellent cook, though we do often eat out for convenience's sake.

"Do you need help?" I ask from my vantage point at the kitchen door.

She smiles over her shoulder. "Can you cook?" That she lights up almost every time I make an appearance has not slipped past my attention.

"Actually, I can."

Her smile turns into a grin. "Wash up, then, and c'mon over. I'm trying to figure out dinner here."

"Certainly."

"So," she says as I scrub my hands clean, "how do you know how to cook? I mean, it's not like it's a requisite skill for squires' sons."

"Ah, my mother knew, and she taught me."

"Ahhh. …Holy cow, I've gotta take the pie out of the oven."

The air did indeed smell delicious. "What kind of pie is it?"

Kathleen opened the oven and removed the large pie plate. "Um, apple."

I cocked an eyebrow. "Apple pie?"

"That's right—I forgot. It's an American thing."

"I see." I craned my neck over her shoulder to get a better look at the dish.

She twisted her head around to shoot me a pointed glare. "And it's for dessert."

I took a step back and gave her a pitiful look that I've discovered works wonders with her willpower. "I cannot take just one bite?"

Her shoulders slump, and she glances heavenward. "Oh, for crying out loud…"

"Just one little bite?"

"Nein. It'd burn your tongue right now, anyway."

"Later, then!"

"Sure thing—right after dinner."

"Kathleen!"

"Sherlock!"

We burst out laughing at the same time. "No means no means no means no," she gasps out between laughs.

"You are cruel, Kathleen Aubrey Stewart," I return between my own laughs.

"And you're shameless." Catching her breath, she continues, "Don't tell me your mother let you eat sweets like that as snacks."

"She didn't," I shrug nonchalantly. "Mrs. McIntire did."

"Your cook."

I nod.

She sighs. "I can definitely see that happening—if you can pull off those puppy eyes so well as an adult, I'd hate to think of how much more devastating they must have been in your childhood."

I chuckle. "You said you were planning dinner?"

"Trying to," she corrected, holding out the cookbook. "We have a chicken, though I'm not sure that it's ready—I've never cooked a whole chicken before. Closest I've come to that has been helping Mama with the turkey on Thanksgiving."

"Hum, I've cooked chicken and partridge before, but that was a very long time ago. I'm not sure I'd trust my memory."

"We'd better not chance it, then."

"Indeed. What do we have in the pantry?"

"Well, come take a look for yourself." She opens the door to the pantry, and I flip through the book as I glance around the shelves.

"Good heavens," I mutter as I glance back and forth between the book in my hand and the foodstuffs on the shelves. "Kathleen, I'm not certain…"

She makes a sound that is part-sigh, part-growl—she is tired and frustrated. "Great. We keep having either something modern that I can manage to make out of what we have or soup out of whatever I throw together. I was hoping to have a true Victorian dinner."

"We could settle for the pie," I suggest reasonably. She turns a withering glare in my direction. "Perhaps not, then."

She rakes her fingers through her pulled-back hair. "Maybe we could improvise with leftovers," she murmurs.

"Between the two of us, I'm sure we can come up with something decent," I agree gently.

She favours me with a weary smile. "You would think. Well, we have a thing of ham…"

I smile privately at her postmodern American slang.

"Some veggies—green beans, peas, and carrots, I think… oh, and celery…"

"Perhaps some biscuits would be in order?"

"Yes! Biscuits! Can you make that?"

"That—" I slam the book shut decisively—"I can do."


Author's Note:

And again we have no Watson. Dreadfully sorry about that—he doesn't seem to want to participate! Then again, he does have a practice and a wife, so… yeah, I can see how he'd be too busy. But, John, you'd better make it next time!

This scene was originally longer, and actually had a kiss at the end. …It did not work out. These two don't seem to want to cooperate about that, and when I make them do it, they take revenge by acting all out of character about it. *sighs* Hopefully, we can still see something in the not-so-distant future… *glares at two certain private detectives*

Btw, if there's something specific you'd like from this series, let me know! Give me a prompt if you like—I'm open to ideas! =)

Well, God bless y'all! Catch you later!

Please review!