I own absolutely nothing. RG Veda and all its characters belong to CLAMP.
Cooking: Ashura helps Ryuu cook. Things don't really go well.
Ryuu: Oh great. We're doomed!
Ashura: Hey! How do you know that?
Ryuu: The summary, genius!
Sim: Calm down you two!
Ashura leaned back, watching the clouds go by. Today had been a relatively quiet day for the rebellious group. No one had lead an army to attack them, and they were making steady progress heading back north, according to Souma and Yasha. Now that the sun was beginning to set, everyone had stopped to make camp.
Souma and Yasha had gone out to patrol the area, in case some of the other gods had caught up to them. Ashura had gathered all the firewood, and was now relaxing. And Ryuu...
Ashura sat up and watched as Ryuu carefully stirred the water that was beginning to steam in the pot. Where does he keep that thing? Ashura thought as the dragon lord added some salt into the mixture of water, meat and vegetables.
Feeling bored, Ashura got up and approached the small camp. Ryuu didn't really seem to notice; he was focused on the stew. "Ryuu?"
"Yeah?" Ashura blinked. Maybe he wasn't as engrossed in the stew as she thought.
"Can I help?" Ryuu stopped stirring, turned around, and stared at the girl.
"Huh? Since when do you want to help?"
"I'm bored," Ashura explained with a shrug. Ryuu rolled his eyes.
"That explains a lot," he muttered under his breath. Ashura glared for a second, but didn't really feel like fighting right now.
"So, can I?" Ryuu frowned a bit, rubbing his chin thoughtfully.
"I don't know. Have you ever cooked anything?"
"Uh huh! I used to help Yasha before we met you!" Ashura proclaimed proudly. Ryuu chuckled a bit.
"Fine, you can help."
"Yay!" Eager to help, Ashura sat down beside the dragon lord, and then asked, "What do I do?"
"Well, since the stew is almost done, you can help me with the potatoes." Pulling over a small bag, Ryuu passed the dusty brown vegetables out, and then started to poke holes in them.
"Ryuu?" Ashura asked as she imitated the older boy. "Why are we poking holes in them?"
"If you don't, they'll explode when you put them in the fire," Ryuu explained. Ashura's eyes widened for a second, before she realized Ryuu was teasing her.
"Yeah right," Ashura replied as she attempted to stab the gourd. Ryuu reached out and bopped her on the head.
"Hey, I'm serious. These things can hurt." Ashura rolled her eyes as Ryuu turned away. She reached for the last one, and then just placed it in the pile. Vegetables don't explode. But if he didn't want to tell her why there were holes, that was fine. She'd just ask Yasha later.
Four potatoes later, Ryuu carefully slid the vegetables into the fire. "I'm gonna head out and look for Lord Yasha and Souma, they sure are taking a while. Keep an eye on everything while I'm gone," Ryuu said as he slid the Dragon Fang sword over his shoulder and headed out.
"Okay," Ashura replied as she settled back to watch the flames dance. She liked watching the fire, it reminded her of her own flames, and gave her an opportunity to practice. She focused, and a small orb of golden fire appeared a few centimeters above her hand. Ashura frowned as she tried to bend it between her fingers like Souma had told her.
Just as she was getting the hang of it, a high pitched whining reached her ears. Ashura glanced around, letting the flame fade as she tried to find the source of the whine. Leaning closer to the fire, Ashura's eyes widened slightly as the noise became louder and louder.
Ryuu was muttering to himself about forests in general when a scream echoed through the trees. His eyes widened. "Ashura!" he called as he bolted back towards the campsite. As he burst through the trees, imagining an army of gods surrounding the supposedly 'cursed' child, Ryuu's eyes widened at the scene.
The stew pot was lying upside down a few feet away from the fire. Small white pieces of a former potato were scattered around, and Ashura was lying curled up on her side, hands pressed over her left eye. "Ashura! Ashura, are you okay?" Ryuu asked as he raced over to the girl and pulled her into a sitting position.
The one eye he could see was full of tears. "I...I thought you were kidding about the exploding part," she whimpered.
Ryuu cursed under his breath and reached for a small canteen. Pouring the water onto a small cloth, he gently pushed away Ashura's hands. The burn was a dark red, and coated the skin , but it looked like her eye hadn't been damaged. Ryuu pressed the cloth to the burn, and held her still as she winced.
"Hey, we've gotta keep this cool until Souma gets back. She'll probably..." Ryuu's voice trailed off as he felt a pair of eyes glaring angrily at him. Swallowing, Ryuu glanced over his shoulder to see Souma and Yasha looking at him. Souma just looked worried, before turning and heading over to her pack to pull out some medicines.
Yasha on the other hand looked furious. Ryuu fought the urge to shiver when he noticed the red eyes; the last time he saw those, he'd seen Yasha turn a god into a pillar of salt. Then, he feels Ashura trying to wriggle out of his arms. "Yasha," she whimpered quietly.
Much to Ryuu's relief, Yasha's 'I want to destroy you' face quickly changed into his 'Ashura needs me' face, which thankfully occurred much more often than the first. He strode over and boldly lifted the child out of Ryuu's arms, and then headed over to where Souma was waiting.
Ryuu watched as Ashura whimpered as Souma rubbed a cream on her face, telling her that the pain would ease in an hour or so. Yasha stroked her hair gently, trying to stop the tears still pouring down her face. Ryuu shifted guiltily, and began to clean up the camp.
A few hours later, Ryuu was sitting watch, staring at the fire. The other three were fast asleep, with Ashura curled up between Yasha and Souma. A small bandage held the salve on that was soothing the burn.
Ryuu still felt guilty about that. He was sure he had taken care of the potatoes correctly, and yet Ashura still sat there with a burn on her face. They hadn't eaten much that night, the food had been completely destroyed, and there was a crack in his cooking pot from the potato. How did that even happen? He asked himself as he leaned back to look up at the stars.
"Ryuu?" Ryuu sat up and saw Ashura untangling herself from Yasha's death grip. She stood up and made her was across the camp to sit beside him. "I'm sorry."
"Huh?" Ashura was always good at confusing him. "What are you sorry about?"
"I didn't put the holes in the last potato. I didn't think vegetables exploded." She looked at the fire guiltily. "I'm sorry I ruined dinner."
Ryuu rubbed his face, feeling exhausted, but relieved slightly. "Next time, listen to me, alright?"
Ashura's head shot up and she stared at him in shock. "You mean, you'll let me help you again?"
Ryuu rolled his eyes and ruffled her hair. "I have to teach you how to cook right so you don't end up poisoning someone or something! If someone dies, that'll be on my head!" Ashura giggled a little and then leaned against the dragon king.
"Thanks Ryuu." Ryuu grinned down at the girl who'd become like his little sister.
"Just do me a favor and let Yasha know before he kills me over this." Ashura nodded and closed her eyes.
Sim: Oh my god! That was so hard to write!
Ryuu: I can't believe you blew up a potato!
Sim: And the moral of this story is remember to poke holes in potatoes so they don't explode in the microwave.
Ashura: The stories have morals now?
Sim: grins This one needs it. Read and review.