Disclaimer: All rights belong to their proper owners.
A/N: Hello, hello! I originally wrote this as a big memory of Usagi's homecoming dinner for ch.13 of Fragmented Destiny, but decided to cut it out because it went in an entirely different direction than I had intended. I suppose it could be seen as an alternative memory instead.
A three-year-old Usagi was sitting at the kitchen island watching her new adoptive mother move back and forth between the stove, counter, and fridge. The little blonde had finished exploring the house an hour earlier.
From what she had seen of the house, the kitchen was located in the left corner. It was an open layout showcasing itself towards the dining and living rooms. There was a four person dining room set to the right of the kitchen with a pair of sliding glass doors leading to the backyard behind one of the dining room chairs. Beside the dining room were the stairs leading up to the bedrooms. Across the stairs were two doors leading into two different rooms. The first room closest to the stairs was empty, but it was moderately large with a plush white carpet, powder blue walls, and two windows side by side each other being framed by gauzy white curtains. The second room was a small bathroom consisting of just a sink and toilet. After the bathroom was the walkway towards the front door and then the living room which circled back to the kitchen.
From her vantage point, Usagi cradled her chin upon both of her hands as she observed the messy kitchen. There were plates, pots, bowls, and little puddles of… something littering every available counter space. Even the chopping board was covered to the edge with pieces of chopped vegetables spilling over the sides! There were some neatly sliced carrots - Usagi liked carrots, especially baby carrots, they always tasted so sweet – then there were also bits of celery, some green vegetable called bra-co-lee, and a small pile of the white vegetable that always made you cry when you cut it.
Noticing that her little girl had been watching her for some time, Setsuna came up with an idea, "Usagi? Would you like to help me make dinner?"
Brightening up at the suggestion, Usagi quickly slid off of her seat and rounded the island. She stepped up onto the stepping stool that Setsuna had retrieved for her and waited expectantly for her instructions. Setsuna placed a small bowl and two eggs in front of Usagi. She first demonstrated how to crack an egg by gently tapping it against the sides of the bowl and then carefully pulling the two halves of the shell apart. When Usagi tried to follow her lead, her first attempt ended up with her cracking the egg too hard on the bowl causing an explosion of shell and yolk to cover her hands. During her second attempt she accidentally crushed the egg trying to pull the halves apart. Her third attempt was much more successful and she let out a happy 'Yay' when the egg joined its comrade in the bowl.
The rest of the dinner prep was spent much in the same fashion with Setsuna showing Usagi how to do things and Usagi trying to mimic her. Soon enough everything was cooked and dinner was being served onto the plates.
Sitting down at the dining table, Usagi clapped her hand together and said, "Itadakimasu!" She eagerly dug her spoon into the fluffy fried rice and brought the spoonful into her mouth. Setsuna was just about to take her first bite when she saw how frozen Usagi was.
"Usagi, is something wrong? Is it the fried rice? Does it- does it taste bad?" Deep down she knew why Usagi was reacting like this, but she had to ask anyways.
Seconds ticked by in silence before Usagi finally swallowed her mouthful with difficulty and placing her spoon down. Yes, it tasted bad, really bad, but she didn't want to hurt Suna-chan's feelings by saying that. So instead, Usagi picked her spoon back up and forced more scoops into her mouth and down to her stomach.
Setsuna received her answer. The little blonde's actions had said enough. Watching Usagi force herself to eat even though it was clear she didn't like it pained the young mother, but she also knew that this is what her princess is like. She'd rather sacrifice herself (in this case her stomach) than hurt another person whether it be physically or emotionally. Sighing, Setsuna knew she had to put a stop to this before her little girl made herself sick.
"Usagi, stop. I know it's bad. You don't have to keep eating; you'll get sick if you do." Seeing that Usagi's attention was on her, it was time to come clean. "The truth is that I don't know how to cook. This is my first time cooking and I wanted to celebrate your first day home with a home cooked meal, but I guess it didn't go as well as I'd hoped," she confessed with a sheepish smile.
Usagi lowered her head to stare at her plate as her bangs fell across her eyes to shield them from Setsuna's gaze. Her small shoulders began quivering and quiet sniffles could be heard from across the table. Setsuna, thinking that Usagi was upset because her homecoming dinner was ruined, quickly tried to console her.
"Oh, Usagi, I'm sorry dinner wasn't very good! But you know what; how about I order us some takeout instead? Here, I'll get rid of this for you."
Setsuna rose from her seat and leant over the table. As her hand reached across the table to take Usagi's plate, the blonde's head snapped up and she threw her arms around the plate like a defensive animal guarding its prey. She shook her head furiously from side to side in refusal, her curly pigtails whipped around her head with the motion, as she yelled out, "No!"
"Usagi?" Confused at her behavior, Setsuna froze in her position still leaning forward and arm outstretched. Her garnet eyes widened at the sight of tears gathering at the corners of those cerulean orbs. Swallowing thickly, Setsuna was unsure of what to do as both females locked gazes at each other. Soon enough though Usagi's eyes narrowed into a glare just daring her mother to try and take the plate away from her.
"U…sagi?" Setsuna repeated in a lowered though still confused voice.
"No! I'm not letting you take my dinner away! I'm not!"
"And why not?" Setsuna asked softly.
"'Cause Suna-chan made it for me and it took a long time too 'cause Suna-chan kept getting ouchies," At that remark both females glanced down at the many band-aids adorning various spots on Setsuna's hands from accidental cuts. Setsuna looked back at Usagi as she continued, "My mama used to let me help her cook and it always tasted yummier 'cause mama said it was made with our love put together."
She paused slightly to look back down at her half eaten food. The gathering tears overflowed and made twin tracks down her cheeks.
"Suna-chan is my new mama and this is something special that I made with Suna-chan filled with lots of love." Each word slowly became quieter until it drifted off into silence.
The new mother hastily rounded the table to Usagi's side. Her heart melted at the blonde's admission as she enveloped the crying child within her arms and rested her cheek against the crown of her head. The soft fly-away wisps of hair tickled the tip of her nose as she rubbed small circles on Usagi's back and made shushing noises to calm her down.
"It's okay, Usagi, I understand. Your mama was a very wise woman and if you want to eat the rest of dinner then I won't throw it away. In fact, I'll help you too! How does that sound?"
She felt Usagi's tiny head nod in agreement against her chest. She let Usagi go and reached across the table to bring her own untouched plate to sit beside her daughter. Soon dinner had resumed in companionable silence; each bite bringing forth the occasional cringe and gag until both plates became devoid of even the tiniest grain of rice.