Hi everyone. My name is is Tentai.t and I am a SIH/JR addict. (Hi Tentai.t…)
This is my first fanfiction story ever written. It was a very persistent horny rabbit (a.k.a. plot bunny) that was just dying to get out, so I caught it by the ears and now, present it to you.
Rated M for profanity and adult sexual content/situations. So if you aren't 18 yet, wait a couple years ;) Hope you all like it!
A very, very special thanks to Cerberus Revised for being the brawn to my scrawny story. You and your writing are what got me into this rabbit hole in the first place.
Oh and also to Procrastination, because in an oxymoronic way, it helps me get my shit done.
Characters of SekaiIchi Hatsukoi are property of Nakamura Shungiku.
This story takes place after Onodera collapses from overwork and is made to eat a meal a day with Takano.
Dinner at Takano's
December 3, 2013
Chapter One: Appetizer
It was a Friday, the middle of the cycle, and things had been getting crazy again at Emerald.
The end of the day found a weary Takano and Onodera walking home, side by side from the train station. Onodera was too wrung out to even complain about how closely Takano pressed beside him, especially since the sidewalk wasn't all that crowded.
Takano cast a sideways glance at his junior. "What do you want for dinner?"
"Eh? I brought stuff with me to work on."
Golden eyes narrowed at this response. "You can do it after dinner. A meal a day, remember?
"So, I'm asking you again. What would you like for dinner? Do you want to go out? It's not too late to get stuff from the convenience store and make something simple."
Onodera sighed, knowing any real resistance was futile.
Takano's just going to steamroller me into agreeing, anyways.
"Whatever you want is fine."
A wave of relief rolled over Onodera when this answer drew a quick nod and Takano's keen gaze shifted again to the sidewalk in front of them.
"OK. Tonight, I'm teaching you how to make spaghetti."
Knowing his cupboards, Takano steered them into the nearest convenience store to pick up the essentials: pasta, a can of tomato sauce, a small pack of ground beef, two tomatoes, a small onion, garlic, a packet of spices, bread, and pre-made salad.
Staples secured in his basket, Takano walked over to where the alcohol was carried, brow furrowed as he decided between wine or sake. Looking over his shoulder, he glimpsed Onodera browsing the magazine section. This image brought back a flash memory from high school, Onodera lurking between the racks.
In addition to memory, other wheels in Takano's tired brain began to turn and an idea seized him. Going for the gold, he reached for the red wine.
Minutes later all items gathered, Onodera joined him at the cashier's. As Ritsu started to reach for his wallet, Takano stopped him.
"My treat. Besides, I'm putting you to work tonight. Everyone should know how to make a decent plate of spaghetti."
Onodera frowned and looked as though he was about to have one of his outbursts for only a moment, before huffing another beleaguered sigh and sticking his hands in his pockets. Takano was hard pressed not give into the grin that pulled at the corners of his mouth at this quickly stifled resistance.
Finally you're learning. It's a small victory, but it's progress.
Back at his apartment, after laying out all the supplies, Takano took out a small wok and turned the heat on the stove to high.
He glanced over to his green-eyed assistant chef, imagining how cute Ritsu would look in an apron and sighed, knowing that there was no way in hell he'd be able to cajole the younger man into one.
"Ritsu, you have to brown the beef before you add anything to it or else it won't brown right."
Skeptical eyes shifted from the skillet to Takano. "And you know this because?"
A grunt of annoyance escaped Takano, wounded that Ritsu had no confidence in his cooking skills, not that he'd given any real previous demonstration of his culinary abilities.
"I read. A lot. Come here and grab the spatula."
Onodera reached for the spatula and with Takano's brusque tutelage, soon set to his task to break up the meat and move it around the wok with the same intensity that he approached his work at Emerald. After few minutes, once the beef began to sizzle and spit, he glanced over at Takano, cheeks pinking.
"This is one of my good shirts. Do you have an apron, Takano-san?"
Takano smiled to himself. I guess I get to see him in an apron tonight after all… And I didn't even have to ask.
"Yeah, it's hanging behind the fridge."
Throwing a dishtowel over his shoulder, Takano shifted his stance so he could watch Ritsu don the apron without being obvious. Between eyefuls of an aproned-junior-editor, Takano used his santoku knife to peel the garlic cloves and mince them, one hand on the dull side of the knife and the other on the handle.
Chop, chop, chop, slide…
Now adequately outfitted, Onodera felt his eyes pulled from his pan by the sound of the cutting and noticed that Takano was actually handling his knife quite skillfully. He couldn't help but admire how adept he was.
After putting the garlic on a small plate, Takano grabbed for the onion.
"Oi, I have a way to cut the onion so it doesn't make you cry."
Onodera couldn't pretend he wasn't interested in this feat: he was keen on anything that helped him cry less in front of his old senpai. He watched carefully as Takano sliced the top and bottom off of the onion and, standing it upright, made one slice down the middle. Takano threw the ends and outermost peels of both halves into the sink.
"The secret is to keep the onion together as much as you can when chopping them, and keeping those," Takano gestured with the knife toward the sink, "away from you."
"Look…" Starting off with at the end of one half, he made a slice and thrust out his index finger to steady it. Continuing on until he reached the end, he turned the onion and made crosswise slices down to the middle, then flipped the remaining quarter on its other side to finish it off.
"Look Ma, no tears. Now you try it." Takano set his knife aside and took a few steps in his small kitchen before reaching around Ritsu to turn the meat down to medium high.
Onodera slid out from under Takano's open embrace over to the cutting board. He picked up the knife and shot a doubtful glance back.
Surely, it can't be that hard.
"Hey, curl your fingers in. I'd appreciate not having any fingernails in my food, thank you."
Onodera frowned at the critique.
Then he tried again, curling his fingers in while remembering to keep the slices from falling apart. Finishing the task, he smiled to himself.
Well, that wasn't bad at all.
Takano watched the maneuver with keen eyes as he absently moved the meat around; it had started to brown and the liquid was almost dry. He left the pan for a moment to allow the oils to simmer.
"So when you're done browning the meat, you have to drain the saturated fats with a strainer."
"Why do you have to do that?"
"Well, if you want to keep your hard ons when you get older, you'd better. Otherwise, you'll need to start taking blood pressure pills and-"
"How in hell do you know that?!"
Takano was pleased with Onodera's shocked look, but he suddenly found himself wondering if mentioning 'hard ons', while his reluctant lover was holding a knife was such a wise idea. Rather than give his brunet spitfire any ideas, he turned his attention back to the wok.
"Like I said… I read… A lot. Get with the program. You're starting to sound like a broken record.
"Bottom line, we'll use olive oil for sautéing. It's healthier. Besides…" Takano smirked, too enticed by an aproned Onodera to play things entirely safe, "I gotta try to keep this body sexy for you."
Ignoring the indignant huff he received in response, Takano turned off the meat and reached down for the strainer and a pot for the pasta to boil in.
"Here, start the pasta, will you?" As he poured the beef into the strainer, Takano used the spatula to press out the remaining oil.
Relieved that Takano was busy fiddling with meat other than his, Onodera took the pot that had been set on the counter for him and stepped over to the sink. After he'd filled it about half way with water, he moved it to the range and set a burner on high.
"Cover that, it'll boil faster." Takano growled. "Save energy, save the Earth, yadayadaya." He shifted the wok back to the stove and turned the burner back on to medium high.
"Here," Takano handed the spatula back to Ritsu and indicated the beef and all the chopped spices. "Show me what you got."
"But I don't know how."
Suddenly Ritsu was suffering from flashbacks of his early days at Emerald: knowing that he was expected to do something without any really clear idea of what that "something" was. He felt his cheeks grow hot, and not just because the small kitchen was growing increasingly warm.
"Don't worry, I got your back."
Takano wiped his hands with the dishtowel and then threw it back over his shoulder. The accessory gave him a domestic air; one, Onodera realized with dismay, was also hotter than the kitchen.
He turned away with a new blush.
If Takano noticed, he spared Ritsu's comment, saying instead, "Start with the olive oil, then the garlic, then the onions, then the beef. Go on."
Onodera did exactly as advised, making sure to control the spatula, careful that it didn't spill any of the ingredients over the side of the wok. He allowed Takano to show him how much of the other spices were needed.
"Spice the meat before you add any liquids so that the flavors stick. Salt, pepper, this Italian seasoning, and a little sugar to cut the acid in the tomato sauce."
The two men stood there watching the wok, the smells of the mix filling the air. Ritsu was thinking about how much hungrier he had been than he'd realized, when Takano's voice broke into his thoughts.
"Oi, get the tomato sauce open and pour it in while I chop the tomatoes."
Why does this feel so familiar, Takano bossing me around? Onodera snorted lightly at how much their actions in the kitchen were mirroring their dynamics at work. Still, he did as he was told.
"What do we do now?"
"We cover it and let it simmer while we boil the pasta. The goal in cooking is having everything get done at the same time.
"We're going to preheat the oven now, too, for the garlic bread. Here, set the oven to 375 degrees F. There's a pan in the drawer under the oven that you can use."
Takano watched as Onodera set the oven. He couldn't help but admire the curve of Ritsu's ass, set off by the apron ties, as the younger man bent to retrieve the pan.
We really should cook together more often.
Hiding his desire, Takano instead moved over beside Ritsu and, after slicing up the fresh loaf from the store, showed him how to butter the bread on both sides and sprinkle the slices with garlic powder, salt and parsley. After doing a few pieces in example, he turned the rest over to Onodera to do the same.
Takano cocked his head slightly, seeing the look Onodera was giving him. He raised a brow in question.
Onodera lifted the spice bottle that had miraculously appeared from one of the editor's cupboards. "You have parsley?"
Onodera's voice was incredulous. "Why? That's like the most useless herb there is."
"It makes the bread look good," Takano said, as if this sounded reasonable enough to satisfactorily answer the question.
Onodera grumbled, annoyed that Takano could still surprise him, "If I didn't know any better, I'd say you're probably a closet 'The Kan' freak."
"Tsk." Takano snorted, though secretly he was pleased. "I have it because I knew that I was going to be feeding you a meal a day, so, I stocked up on spices. We'll have to do some more concentrated grocery shopping together later. Yes? "
Ritsu was appalled that Takano would alter his cupboards for him, it spoke of a level of care he didn't want to acknowledge.
"I can take care of myself, you know."
"Apparently not." Takano snorted again. His eyes grew sharp in case Ritsu decided to revolt so early into this new regime. "Besides, you have to admit, it's a little fun cooking together. Neh?"
He turned and moved before Ritsu could truly go off, and opened the oven door, placing the tray with the garlic bread mid-rack.
Hearing the "hmph," beside him, Takano looked up. "Your water's boiling almost as much as you are right now, Ritsu."
He cracked a wicked grin at the new heat flooding Onodera's cheeks at this comment.
"Put a little oil and a little salt into the water before you add the pasta. Then stand the noodles straight up from the pot and release them so they cascade. Hurry up…"
Takano realized that he shouldn't have flustered Ritsu so much when the young man grabbed the pot lid without caution and pushed it aside.
"Oi! Careful you're going to burn yourself!"
A pained hiss escaped from between Onodera's teeth as he quickly pulled his hand back, dropping the lid to the stovetop. Hand red from the steam, Ritsu stumbled to the sink and twisted the tap, dowsing his scalded flesh with cold water.
Takano looked on with concern, allowing Onodera a moment to gather himself before he stepped over and turned the water off.
"Let me see. Are you ok?" Gently, Takano lifted Ritsu's hand from the sink and inspected it. Seeing that it was ok and not going to blister, he raised the still-pink palm to his lips.
When Ritsu realized what Takano was about to do, he snatched his hand back before he could kiss it.
"It's alright, I'm not a baby!" The scowl on his face however, was actually more from the pain than Takano's sappy antics.
Damn, that hurt.
"You sure you're ok? I can take over from here if you'd like."
Seeing Ritsu's reluctant nod, Takano stirred in the pasta and then agitated the simmering sauce.
While he allowed the noodles and sauce to cook he moved over to the cupboard and pulled out the plates and wine glasses to set the table. Next, smaller plates were pulled out and the salad arranged atop them. A drawer was opened once the salads were finished and the meal's utensils selected.
"Pick out a salad dressing, they're in the fridge door."
Onodera untied his apron and pulled it off over his tumbled brown head. His hand was still stinging as he opened the fridge. Takano took another appreciative sideways glance at Onodera's fine ass as the younger man bent down to make his choice.
"Takano-san, ranch ok with you?"
After a swallow and a cough, came the strained 'Uhuh.'
Takano shifted his hungry gaze back to his pots and checked the pasta. He lifted a steaming strand and bit the noodle's end.
"The pasta should feel just a little bit softer than this. When you bite into it, it should stick to the teeth." Takano stepped over to his now-straightened kouhai and fed one end of the noodle to warm pink lips. He was hard pressed not to lick his own as he watched the noodle disappear, sucked into Ritsu's delicious mouth.
"Then, we'll drain the noodles and drizzle them with olive oil. Never rinse it with water or the sauce won't stick." After another quick stir of the sauce and the pasta, Takano walked out of the kitchen to the genkan to pull some of his emergency candles out of his earthquake kit.
Onodera stepped out from the kitchen as well and eyed the long cylindrical candle with apprehension.
"What the fuck is that?"
Ritsu's head jerked is surprise and his emerald eyes sparked. "What the hell for?!"
"Oh, just quit your yapping." Takano grabbed a second candle and moved back into the room. He set these on the table.
Ritsu shook his head: things were starting to look appallingly romantic. "I'm going the fuck home!"
As he stormed past the table, Takano grabbed him by one wrist.
"Wait, stay. Come on, we've never gone out on a proper date and I know you're hungry because I didn't see you eat lunch earlier.
"Stay. Dinner's almost ready."
Ritsu forced himself not to look at Takano, knowing how those golden eyes held him. While the man hadn't said "please" his tone hadn't been harsh, in fact, it had almost been…
"There'd better not be any funny business." Ritsu knew he was on a slippery slope and could find his feet out from under him at any moment if he stayed.
His worst fears were confirmed when Takano released his wrist and murmured quietly, "I can't promise that."
He watched as Takano moved with the grace of a big cat into the kitchen and pulled open the oven door. "Bread's ready."
The aroma of the garlic bread that wafted out of the oven and filled the apartment hit Onodera at that moment as hard as any Saga-senpai pheromones ever had.
His stomach rumbled, letting him know he'd never be forgiven if he left the apartment now.
Fine, I'll stay.
There are two more chapters to this fic. I was hoping to make it a one-shot but the bunny ended up being a were-rabbit. Who knows, maybe if you leave some review-carrots around it'll end up getting a mate and have cute little plot bunnies running amok. Love it or flame it, I'd still want to hear from you. Thanks, all!