A Chronicle of Discoveries
By Chiharu Tanaka
A/n: I'm happy with the response I'm getting, although this story is meant to be choppy and fluffy...kinda like scrambled eggs. Mmm. But they are connected chronologically (otherwise I'll end up confusing myself)
Note: Let's just say Pascal moved in on Friday of Week 1.
2. Hubert discovers that she has bad habits -
The beeping of the alarm clock woke him up, effectively pulling Hubert out of his unsettling dream. The content of the dream wasn't all that frightening - after all, he was partly to blame since he only fell asleep at 3 in the morning - on a Friday night. Why, one would ask, when even Law students knew to avoid books on Friday nights?
Simple - it was because of a certain woman currently living under his roof.
Groaning as he slammed his palm on the alarm clock, Hubert put on his glasses and got out of his bed groggily. He pulled on a robe and slipped on a pair of slippers before making his way into the living room at seven in the morning.
A frown came across his face when he saw that woman - the same one who he had been worrying all night - sprawled on the sofa, still in her blouse and trousers. She looked so peaceful whilst snoring quietly. A sigh escaped his lips.
Honestly...she still sleeps like a child.
He briefly remembered how she used to snooze under the large tree at the meadow while Asbel poured over his 'homework' and he would be with them, trying to help Asbel whilst taking a peek at her sleeping self from time to time.
Hubert's lips then stretched downwards, proving how low his frown could go. What time did she come back? Asbel had been the 'last' to retire for the night after watching a rerun of CSI, but Hubert was secretly still up that night, waiting for her to return.
Fine, she does have a lot to do, considering that she has just moved into Barona. Whatever reason she has for coming back at an ungodly hour is probably justified.
Convinced that he had eased his conscience, he walked over to the kettle to boil some water. To his surprise, there was a plastic bag on the counter with bananas inside, and a couple banana peels were scattered across the floor. He groaned, knowing well that it was Pascal's doing as bananas were her absolute favourite fruit, even as a teenager. He tossed the peels into the trash bin before retiring to his room to take a shower.
Even so, nothing was easing the fluttery feeling in his stomach. Yesterday was the worst day of his life, and this month of April could very well be the worst month yet.
Pascal woke up to the smell of pancakes which reminded her of the warmth of her old home, and when she rose from the sofa, rubbing her tired eyes, she sauntered over to the kitchen. Her hair was a tousled mess, but she couldn't care less. "What's cookin'?" she asked, appearing at the doorway.
Hubert almost dropped the spatula in his hand when he abruptly turned to see her. It didn't help that he was dressed in a blue apron, but she didn't seem to notice. "Oooh, pancakes!" she exclaimed before he could answer, narrowing the proximity between herself and the pancake stack on the table in a sequence of scurried steps.
Without warning, she pinched off a large piece of the pancake and stuffed it into her mouth.
"Pascal!" he began, glaring at her.
"What?" she asked in between chewing.
"You're supposed to eat that with a fork and knife! Even if you choose to pick at it, you could have at least asked for permission and washed your hands beforehand!"
"But Lil' Bro, they smell soooo goood! And I'm soooo hungry!" she said, slapping her hands together in an apologetic way as she held them level to her head. "Forgive me?"
Hubert sighed. "Fine," he said. "Sit down and eat them properly. I have to make more for Asbel."
He returned to the stove, and watched as Pascal devoured the stack of pancakes; literally stuffing each layer into her mouth after every swallow. "Pascal," he said, the irritation clear in his voice - he was taught in an elite boarding school, after all - "When was the last time you ate a proper meal?"
Pascal stopped her own rendition of 'Girl vs. Food' and looked at him. "I don't know...maybe yesterday, when I saw Asbel and he brought me out to lunch. I kinda got all absorbed in all the unpacking at the lab, and I was too tired to order take out and all I wanted was bananas...hey, where'd the peels go?"
"I threw them away. I told you to clean up your own mess, yesterday, didn't I?" he asked.
"Oh yeah. Sorry, Lil' Bro."
He was about to respond to that, but instead watched as she licked the syrup off her lips and wiped some off her chin with her thumb before licking it off as well. He cringed slightly.
How in the world did I ever...I can't even say it. I was such a fool as a boy...to be blinded by such infatuation...
"I smell pancakes," said Asbel, coming into the kitchen with a bright smile on his face. Hubert envied that - at least his brother had enough sleep last night. "Morning, Hubert, Pascal."
"Goof forming," Pascal greeted with her mouth full.
"Good morning, Asbel," said Hubert, stacking the last pancake on a plate before handing it to Asbel. The older Lhant grabbed a bottle of maple syrup and helped himself to a generous squeeze. "Going somewhere?"
"Yeah, Richard's coming to get me. We're gonna go swimming - though I'm pretty sure he's gonna beat me again at a race. Speaking of which, he'll be psyched to find out Pascal's here."
"Richard? You mean 'Richie Rich' Richard? He's here?" Pascal said, eyes wide.
"Yeah. He's a senior, though; and he's doing Business and Commerce. He's gonna inherit his dad's company someday."
"Wow, that's crazy! Richard's gonna be totally loaded, as if he ain't rich enough. What about Cheria? Where's she at?" asked Pascal. Asbel had already explained that his parents were well and that Sophie, now 15, was attending high school in Gralesyde when they met over lunch yesterday.
"She's in the Culinary Institute of Windor, doing culinary arts. She's always wanted to be a chef, and I'm glad she got in," he said. "But we don't see her that often, since she lives in Wallbridge."
Pascal nodded. "But Lil' Bro could totally give her a run for her money. I mean, these pancakes are de-li-cious!" she exclaimed as Hubert was about to take a seat with his own plate of pancakes and a cup of coffee. "Where'd you learn to cook so well?"
Hubert blushed; a flare of pink across his cheeks and the tips of his ears. "I...I taught myself, okay? With a little help from Cheria every now and then."
"Yeah, and I was always the tester. Luckily for me, both of you are naturals at cooking," commented Asbel.
"That's sooo great! I can't cook to save my life! I always end up burning something, or making it taste totally blah..."
The rest of the breakfast hour resumed normally - or as normal as it could be since Pascal was their guest - where she broke into a long explanation about what her current experiments were and what kind of robots she was developing at the present.
Hubert watched her as she chatted animatedly, and a little part of him admired her still. She was only 23, and she had already completed her first master's degree in robotic mechanics the northern country of Fendel, and was now doing her second master's degree in Artificial Intelligence at Barona University, the best higher learning institute in the country. She was a brilliant woman, and somehow he always knew she would achieve great things in her life.
Asbel left when Richard called him on the cell phone, indicating his arrival, which left the two sitting alone at the dining room-cum-kitchen. Pascal was about to stand up and leave when Hubert reminded her. "The rules, Pascal?"
"Oh, right. Gotta wash my own dishes!"
She picked up the plate and scurried over to the sink. He then picked up his own and stood next to her, where he had the chance to catch a whiff of her hair. His eyes twitched just as his nose did. "When was the last time you washed your hair?"
"Washed my hair?" she said, before tapping her chin with her finger. "I dunno...I only do that when I take a bath. The last time I took a bath was...hmm..." she started counting her fingers. "Some time before I left for Barona, which makes that 5 days ago," she said.
"Five...FIVE DAYS ago? You mean to tell me you haven't bathed since then?" Hubert was now fuming in the ears. He was not afflicted with an obsessive-compulsive disorder (although Asbel swore he was), but five days was preposterous for his standards of hygiene.
"That's what I just said! Aw, c'mon, Lil' Bro, 5 days is a piece of cake. I could totally go for a week!"
Hubert clenched his fists, knuckles turning white. "Pascal...listen to me very carefully..." he mumbled, his tolerance for her at its threshold.
"Y'okay. What's up?"
"Leave the plates in the sink," he began. "And for heaven's sake, take a bath!"
"But the dishes..."
"I'll wash them for you! Go and take a bath - if you even care at all for your own health!"
Pascal raised her hands. "Okay, okay...I'll go. Geez, Lil' Bro, you don't have to be angry."
"I have every right to be angry! Especially when your state of cleanliness...ugh...I'm not even going to...just go, now," he said, still in a state of shock and disbelief that a member of the female kind could be so...dirty.
"Y'okay," she said, before walking off to the guest room. Hubert gave a sigh for the umpteenth time and placed a palm to his face. Was Pascal always like this? Perhaps he knew less about her than he initially thought.
I don't know how much longer I can last...
- and he isnt' particularly pleased about it.
To be continued
A/n: And it's the end of another short chapter. Please review!
Next chapter: Pascal discovers Richard's favourite food