Time: 2:34 in the afternoon at China's house.
Kaoru sighed, lying on his back on the floor, legs propped up against the wall. How is it even possible for it to get this hot out? he thought irritably. And it's utterly ridiculous for a person to be this bored…
Kaoru sat up and looked at the clock. Not even a minute had passed. Sighing again, he flopped back down onto the floor of his older brother's house. Suddenly, a loud crash came from the front door, and someone stumbled in.
"Chiiiiiinaaa! Da-ze!" The embodiment of the nation of South Korea, Im Yong Soo, bounced into Wang Yao's house. Kaoru slapped his hand to his forehead, groaning.
"What do you want, Soo?" he barked. Yong Soo walked into the room Kaoru was lazing in, grinning.
"Is Yao here?"
"No…he went out to discuss trade with…someone…not sure who…anyway, why are you here?"
"No particular reason, da-ze. I was feeling rather bored today, so I came over." Yong Soo sat down next to Kaoru, a little too close for comfort. The younger boy sprung up.
"So what do you want?" he snapped. Kaoru was already annoyed enough by the wave of heat and boredom today, and was certainly not in the mood to babysit a Korean with ADHD.
"Jeez, Hong Kong, I just wanted to hang out a little bit," Yong Soo said, still grinning. Suddenly, a devious idea popped into his head. "Heeyy, Kaoru~" He scooted closer to him. "You wanna play a gaaame? It's one me and Yao play all the time."
Kaoru scooted away and shook his head. "I'm aware of that, but I did not need that picture in my head. And no, I do not want to play that game." He rolled his eyes, shooing Yong Soo out of the house.
"Aw, I was just kidding, da-ze! Why do you all hate me so much?" Yong Soo said, now facing the front door, Kaoru behind him, attempting to literally push him out of the house.
"It's not that we hate you, Soo. It's just that we all find you highly irritating." Yong Soo sniffed, glaring at Kaoru. He sighed. "Okay! That was too harsh. I'm sorry."
"So can I chill here a little bit, da-ze?"
"Sure, why not." Muttering below his breathe, Kaoru added, "As long as you don't make a mess or break anything. The reason China left me at his house is so you wouldn't come and trash the place while he was gone…" Yong Soo perked up at hearing this.
"Whaat? I would never do that, da-ze!"
"You've done it before!"
"Pffft, yeah, on accident. So that doesn't count da-ze."
"No, it still counts. Anyway…have you heard from Thailand lately?"
"No, I haven't…how has he been doing since the tsunami?" Yong Soo asked, becoming more serious.
"I don't know…I mean, it's been almost a decade. But he's been so busy cleaning up; we've barely had any contact with him," Kaoru said, sitting back down and thinking. Yong Soo nodded and sat down next to him. As he sat down, suddenly Kaoru stood up.
"Well that was really rude!"
"Oh…what? Oh, sorry. I got up because I have an idea. Last time I saw Jaidee he was meeting with Yao right here in his house…it was about a week ago. I didn't get a chance to talk to him, but I think that they were discussing the topic of trade. Specifically trading rice and you know that Jaidee has really good rice. He left a couple bags here last time. Come one, I'll show you where they are." Kaoru led Yong Soo down a hallway and into a cool storage room. The temperature in here was a nice contrast to the heat in the rest of the house. "Here it is," he chimed, picking up a large sack of rice.
"W-w-whoooa!" Kaoru cried as he toppled over, bag of rice landing on his stomach. "Oof…" Yong Soo chuckled, helping him up.
"Maybe I could give you some help with that, da-ze. What are we going to do with Jaidee's rice anyway?" he questioned. Now the two were carrying the bag of rice between them into the kitchen.
"I suppose we'll cook something for him. And then go to his house and say hello. Perhaps we'll see if he needs anymore help cleaning up. I mean…the last time we helped him out after the tsunami was…seven years ago. I wonder how he's been doing since then…" Kaoru speculated, setting the bag of rice down in the kitchen. Yong Soo smiled widely, excited about cooking something yummy and seeing one of their brothers.
"Alright! So…what are we cooking, da-ze…?" he questioned. Kaoru shrugged.
"I…I'm not sure. What do Thai people like to eat…?" They both sat in thought for several minutes. "Wow…we're all brothers, but we sure don't know each other that well, do we…" Suddenly Yong Soo sprung up.
"Let's Google it! To the internet, da-ze!" he cried, heading towards Yao's work-office-place-thing where there was sure to be a computer. He flipped open the screen of the laptop and booted up the device. Once they had gotten to the internet, Yong Soo typed in "what do Thai people like to eat?" When he hit the search button, the answer that came up was: "Thai people like to eat food." Yong Soo huffed. "Well, someone thinks that they're so clever da-ze."
Kaoru rolled his eyes. "We certainly know that it's not you," he muttered under his breath, taking the computer from Yong Soo. "Easy Thai recipes" he typed in. After a good ten minutes of searching through different foods and how to make them, they decided on Coconut Sticky Rice with Mango.
Back in the kitchen, Kaoru was busy setting out the ingredients while Yong Soo poked around Yao's house, looking particularly interested with several samurai swords hanging on his wall.
"Yong Soo, get back in the kitchen!" Kaoru called, wondering who really was the older of the two. The nation he called for lumbered back into the kitchen, and then struck a pose, mock saluting to Kaoru. He grinned stupidly and asked what he should start doing. Kaoru rolled his eyes, and set a pot in front of him.
"To start with…you can measure…well, let's see, it says follow directions on the rice package on how to cook it, but make sure that you use half coconut milk and water when you cook it…okay, so Yong Soo, go fill this pan up with half water and half coconut milk. Then put rice in it," Kaoru commanded.
"Jeez, bossy much!" he complained, going off to do what Kaoru had instructed. The smaller Asian nation just rolled his eyes again. Yong Soo set the mix of coconut milk, water, and Thai rice on the stove and turned it on high to get it to boil.
"Okay, great. Now let's see…it says to add one tablespoon of brown sugar and one tablespoon of salt…salt? That sounds…odd…" Kaoru mused, reading off the directions from the paper they had printed out.
"Hm…well, sometimes the food that Jaidee cooks can be a little odd da-ze," Yong Soo concluded, now watching the rice as if it might turn into a cat, die and spontaneously combust right in front of his face.
"Well…if we make strange food, strange people will like it, and Jaidee…is a bit of a strange person. I think it's safe to say that he'll like this." So the two Asians continued on cooking until the rice had soaked up all the liquid and had the right amount of salt and brown sugar. Kaoru was working on making the sauce when he asked Yong Soo to cut up a mango.
Soo stood in front of the mango on a cutting board with a knife in his hand, staring it down with a totally blank expression. Kaoru looked over at him. "Having trouble comprehending a mango?" he teased. Yong Soo shook his head, still glaring at the fruit in front of him.
"I…have no idea how to cut a mango, da-ze," he said.
"Well…it can't be too hard," Kaoru replied, leaving the sauce to caramelize in the pan on the stove. He took the knife from Yong Soo, and stared at the mango…just as blankly as Yong Soo had been before. "Well…I suppose…you just have to…um…well…let's try this," he said, attempting to cut the mango like you would an apple. The knife became stuck halfway through. He pulled it out and tried again. "There's like a pit or something that I can't cut around."
"Here, let me try." Yong Soo now took the knife from him, making his own attempts to cut the stubborn fruit. When they were done "cutting" the fruit, they had a pile of mushy orange mango.
"Well…it says 'serve with coconut sticky rice.' There's no way we can 'serve' that with the rice and make it look edible…I'm pretty sure that it would taste the same but look better if we just added it in, right?" Kaoru said. Yong Soo nodded, now mixing everything together in a big Tupperware bowl.
"And let's make some green tea to go with it when we bring it over to Thailand's house," he suggested. Kaoru nodded.
Jaidee sighed, wiping his brow. It was a remarkably hot day in Thailand, but everything seemed to be going good. He smiled as he looked out over one of the beaches that had been hit by the tsunami years ago. You can barely tell that any damage had been done in the first place. He smiled. Something nudged his hand. He looked down. There was his beloved little elephant, beaming up at him, trunk playing with his hand.
"Hungry?" he said. Jaidee nodded.
"Come on, we'll go home now and get some food."
When Jaidee and Toto got back to their house, they noticed South Korea and Hong Kong sitting on the porch, a large Tupperware bowl in between them. Yong Soo waved at Jaidee.
"Heeey, Thailand! It's been a while, hasn't it?"
"Hello, Thailand. Oh, hello, Toto," Kaoru said as the small elephant playful wrapped his trunk around his wrist. Jaidee smiled.
"Uh, hello, both of you. Would you like to come inside, ana? I could make something to eat for all of us, and we can have some tea..." he started brightly.
"No, that's okay! We brought something for you." Kaoru walked up to Jaidee holding the big bowl of coconut sticky rice and mango. He handed it to him. Jaidee stared down at it and blinked. He looked back up at him and grinned.
"Uh, let's go see what it is!" he chirped, walking into his house, followed by Yong Soo and Kaoru. Once in the kitchen, they gathered around the bowl and Jaidee. "Um…judging by the smell, it looks like it's coconut sticky rice with mango, am I right, ana?" he said. Kaoru and Yong Soo nodded in unison.
"That's right. Now try some and tell us what you think!" Yong Soo urged. So Jaidee dished up a bowl of each of them and they ate the rice. Even Toto got a dish to himself. Kaoru rolled his eyes at how much Jaidee doted over his pet.
If he keeps rolling his eyes like that, they're going to fall out of his head, Yong Soo thought, snickering as Kaoru continued to glare at Toto. They sat in silence after the first couple bites were eaten. Well, it for sure didn't taste great, but it wasn't necessarily bad either. All in all…it was okay. But they all just smiled and pretended to be enthusiastic about liking it anyway. It was all well and merry until Kaoru declared that he had a terrible stomach ache. Jaidee exchanged looks with Yong Soo, and they both looked down at Toto who was heartily enjoying her rice.
"Uh…Toto certainly seems to like it, ana!" Jaidee said, bluntly setting down his bowl of rice in next to him. Yong Soo copied him, and all three of them spent the night at Jaidee's house with horrible stomach aches, although Toto seemed to be perfectly fine even after five bowls of rice. Jaidee chuckled as he came to curl up next to him on the floor of the living room with the other two nations. They were all almost sound asleep.
"Um, Hong Kong? Korea?" he said. Yong Soo replied with a loud snore and Kaoru propped himself up on his elbows.
"What is it, Thailand?"
"Thank you guys for coming over today. I can't remember the last time I had such a good time with my family. Thank you."
Kaoru smiled in the dark. "You're welcome, Jaidee."
And with that, they were all sound asleep within ten minutes, all of them feeling it had been a pretty successful day.