Throughout the course of the next year, plenty of changes occurred to the six Chosen. Takuya introduced his younger brother to his friends, and Shinya and Tomoki instantly clicked. Mrs. Kanbara was glad her sons were making friends instead of fighting with each other and openly let the gang hang out at the house.
It was Shinya's birthday again, and Mrs. Kanbara planned the whole party, so it was a surprise when her husband apologized again that he couldn't make it until later the night, something about meeting with a group of old pals that couldn't be pushed off till later, and all her sons' friends came as one collective group, shooing her, and Takuya and Kouji, out of the kitchen, the youngest one taking control.
She watched as Tomoki relayed orders to Izumi and Junpei. The two instantly go to work, Izumi mixing up the salad dressing while Junpei dealt with the meat. Tomoki and Kouichi started to chop up the onions, making it into a game of who would chop the most in the shortest time. Tomoki won.
In the living room, Takuya, Kouji, Teppei, Katsuharu, Chiaki, and Teruo played videos and watched games with Shinya, laughing every time Takuya lost. It wasn't long before the smell from the kitchen filtered into the living room. Stomachs growled from the group in front of the TV, and the former gogglehead got up, checking on how the food was going.
Mrs. Kanbara couldn't help but hold in a laugh as she watched her oldest son get driven out of the kitchen by a girl.
"No!" Izumi yelled out, "Out of the kitchen! We don't want another repeat of that time!"
That time? Yuriko frowned, what time could Izumi be talking about? For the entire year since her son's abrupt change in character, she couldn't recall a time when he was in a kitchen. She continued to watch from her seat as Takuya just laughed it off.
"Fine, fine. How's the food coming along?"
Izumi pointed a finger into the air, "You can't rush a good burger. It'll take a few more minutes, right Tomoki?"
"Right!" Tomoki peeked from the counter. We just have to mix the onions with the eggs and the salad dressing." He turned away, "Junpei-san, do you have the sesame seed buns ready?"
"Right here, Tomoki!" Junpei held them up triumphantly.
"What kind of burger are we making anyway?" Kouichi looked up from the onions, "I never asked before we started."
Izumi moved away from the counter, stirring the dressing, "Tomoki's original Pure Burger. He came up with it by an accident, but it ended up saving our lives."
Junpei nodded, "Yup. It was back whe-" He stopped, as if realizing something bad, "Uh." He grinned sheepishly, "Nevermind. You weren't there when it happened. We didn't know you at the time."
Kouichi looked down, "Oh."
A elbow shot into Junpei's abdomen and he doubled over, "I-Izumi-chan! I didn't mean it! I forgot!"
The girl huffed but let it slide. "How are the burgers?"
Tomoki got on top of a foot stool. He grinned, "They look about done!"
Yuriko came over to the kitchen doorway, observing still, "How's everything going in here?"
The children smiled, "Almost done." Izumi brought the bowls with the salad dressing and eggs over to Kouichi and the two started to pour the chopped onions into the egg bowl. Then they took the onions out, pouring them then into the salad dressing. Tomoki waited patiently, flipping over the burgers now and then to see if they were fully done. Once he was sure, he turned to Izumi, giving her a thumbs up. She returned the gesture.
Junpei brought out the sesame seed buns, placing one on each plate. Izumi took this opportunity to call the others over as Junpei then placed a burger on a bun, followed by Kouichi and Tomoki putting the dressing onto the burger.
As they sat down at the dining room table, Shinya at the front, everyone smiled. Takuya gave his little brother's head a light ruffling up, before he looked at the others, "It's a perfect day to reintroduce Tomoki's Pure Burger to this world! Thanks for the food!"
"Thanks for the food!"
As Yuriko took a bite into the burger, she couldn't help but admit it DID taste good. Very good. She'd have to ask for the recipe.