Description: Chevy very bravely enters the enemy territory of Team Blaze's dojo to save Hawksley from a life of takeouts. What starts as as simple cooking lesson soon switches into something a lot more messy.
This feels... clandestine. Maybe even traitorous.
As Chevelle Beaumont finds herself staring at the cherry-red Thunderbird parked outside the Ryu Zui Ken Dojo, she feels... highly conflicted. On the one hand, she'd spent the majority of the past few weeks in close contact with her teammates. Their friendship has blossomed instantly, their ties as secure as with friends she's known all her life. But on the other hand... this is the headquarters of Team Blaze itself -- if all goes right, her team's -opponents- in the next stage of the New Fighting Generation season.
To make matters worse.
It's a Ford.
Her right thumb picks nervously at the weathered straps of her rucksack. Her left hand lightly swings a picnic cooler to and fro, as she, with some reluctance, steps away from the Thunderbird, making her way for the entrance of the dojo. The hiking rucksack looks a -little- out of place in the midst of Sunshine City; so too does her decidedly Southern attire of denim shortalls and a pastel-striped t-shirt. But she's not trying to make her agent happy with this trip -- this is more of a personal visit.
Chevy looks through the entrance. And, after a moment, raps lightly on the doorframe.
"Hey y'all, anyone hooooome?"
The freckle-faced girl flashes her brightest smile. She has a clear -preference- for who would answer. But there's no way of knowing who -will-.\
It's been a couple of days now since Hawksley's fight with Kenzo and he's making a slow recovery. Although the stomach scar is still vivid beneath its dressing, the damage is well disguised by the clothing he wears. Dressed casually in a pair of black jogging pants, a plain black tee and a dark green hoody and sneakers, he makes his way to the door at the sound of the rapping.
Seeing Chevy standing there, his face lights up with pleasure. "How you doing, cailin?" he greets her warmly, stepping to the side and beckoning her inside.
"Make yourself at home if you don't mind entering enemy territory."
The main room of the dojo is dedicated to all things fighting and training related, but off from here are some modest living quarters, including a small sitting area, two bedrooms (one for Hawksley and Brian and the other for Coco and Iris), a bathroom and a cosy kitchen, which is where the duo's destination will be today.
"I got all the things from the list you sent" he informs the Southern belle. "It was a bit confusing when I realised that chicken-fried steak is actually beef" he laughs. "Also that the gravy is white instead of brown."
Whew! Chevy smiles with relief as Hawksley is the one to answer the call. "Hey! A little... -shaken- actually, but I'll tell ya 'all about that in a minute..." She stares at the threshold for a moment, and it almost seems that she's about to step in.
And then, as surely as if a knife were driven between her shoulderblades, she freezes up at the words 'enemy territory.' An anxious, deer-in-the-headlights half-smile turns to Hawksley -- did he -know- she was still worked up about that? Is he -teasing- her, or what? A whirlwind of conflicting thoughts whips through her mind through that split second...
A tension which is mercifully broken as she breaks out in laughter. "Ha! That -was- what was goin' through my head, you know! I done thought you'd mastered the art of mind-readin' there, Hawksley..."
Thumb hooking back in place at her rucksack strap, she eases into the dojo, looking around. The little time she'd spent in Japan was enough to teach her that dojos are places to take shoes off -- she'd slip out of her canvas shoes if the locale calls for it, but keeps them on otherwise.
"Oh, yeah -- the chicken's a little misleadin'! I figure it's just called that since you fry it like you fry chicken."
Even if she did make light of the 'enemy territory', she's still wary of bumping into the others -- and is happy to let Hawksley lead her to the kitchen.
"Brown gravy's alright, but white gravy's better for bringin' out the kick of the pepper. It just ain't true Southern style, without..."
Chevy smiles at the kitchen arrangement. It may be a little on the spartan side, but she's made due with less. Setting her cooler on the counter, she slips the rucksack off and extracts a cake pan from the main pouch. "I was figurin' we should start on the apple stack cake first, since that's gonna need time to chill. Oh, and I went ahead and picked up some green beans and corn, too. Grits go good with darn near anythin', but it just ain't right without some kinda veggies to go with!"
"I was only messing with you, Chevy" Hawksley grins. "You're among friends. Nobody here thinks of you as an enemy as far as I know."
Since he's wearing sneakers himself, there's obviously no rules about having to be barefoot here. As they make their way to the kitchen the Irishman informs her. "I'm pretty sure we've got the place to ourselves. I saw Zog for a bit earlier but he was muttering on about fruit and then he left. I checked to see if he'd stolen our apples but they seem to be safe and sound."
The kitchen smells like a combination of coffee and burnt toast for some reason. It seems like someone is badly in need of that cooking lesson.
"So what's got you shaken up? I know it can't have been your fight 'cause you kicked arse there. I loved watching the two of you going at it. It was quite the show. Anyway, apples!"
He takes the fruit from a wooden crate they've been stored in. "Funnily enough, I got these very apples from the store your match was at."
He adds brown sugar, flour, spices, eggs, butter, buttermilk, baking soda and baking powder to the counter, followed by a large mixing bowl. There's already a stock pot waiting ready on the stove.
"I think that's everything we need?" He frowns at the collection of items as if he's forgotten something important.
"Hah... yeah, I s'pose that's true. I might not've left the best impression with Iris, though, I mean..." She laughs softly to mask her nervousness. "I don't think it was anything -bad-, but I can't really keep up with her. Maybe it's, like, a Cambridge thing...?"
Chevy does seem to lighten up as Hawksley suggests that they might have the place to themselves. So that means no awkward run-ins with Brian Storm. Hopefully. Though, as she runs down the list of other people that could be bumped into, Chevy falls silent for a moment. "... Huh... I never thought about it before, but ain't Brian Storm's like... the only one -not- from the Isles on your team?" She smiles faintly. "That's gotta be a little odd, travelin' all across the world to end up on the same team together." She flashes a good-natured grin, at that.
Chevy's nose wrinkles, though, at the scent of burnt toast. "... Hmm, that reminds me." From her rucksack, she pulls out an old-style oven timer. The bell clangs a little, even though she sets it down gently on the counter. "This should keep the cake from endin' up like the toast. Your handiwork?" She can't help but snicker a little, at that.
Chevy -does-, however, seem thrilled to see the apples. "Aww yeah, those -did- look good! I'm glad you picked some up, it totally slipped my mind to nab some while I was over there."
As she looks over at the gathered ingredients, she pulls out a few things from her rucksack: a roll of parchment paper, a smaller plastic mixing bowl, a small spatula, measuring spoons, and an electric mixer. As well as the aforementioned cans of corn and green beans. "Mm, yeah! I think that's it, yeah!"
Chevy takes one more look at the spread, and takes a deeeep breath. "Okay! I ain't never made apple stack cake before, but it looks like it'll be easy." She sets the recipe on the counter, and starts measuring out ingredients for one of the mixing bowls. "So... hmm. Tell me about some of the stuff you miss from home?"
"It's really strange about Iris" the Cork City man confides. "The thing is, I never actually see her and Coco said the same, even though they are supposed to share a room."
He nods his dark head at Chevy's assessment of Team Blaze. "Yeah, we've got two English women and me, plus Storm. Brian's not a bad fella. I was trying to get him to go for a beer or two with me, till I realised he was teetotal."
He glances unashamedly at the toaster as Chevy notices the smell. "Yeah, but only because some eejit turned the dial up to six. I usually have it on four, so I didn't think to check it. The bin got me breakfast."
He picks up one of the apples and holds it in his hand, tempted to take a bite but resisting the urge. He'd bought exactly the right amount that the recipe stated and he didn't want to risk ruining the cake.
As he watches Chevy work he moves a little closer. "Shall I do the stirring and whisking?" he offers, making a fun show of flexing his muscles.
"This does take me back to Ireland as it happens. I'd often chat to mammy while she was cooking. I mostly miss the talking and the hugs you know, but food wise I think I'd go for her stew. Gawd Chevy, it's gorgeous. There's lamb, there's bacon, potatoes obviously, then onions, carrots and bay leaves. It tastes like home to me."
As he speaks he blinks back tears from his brown eyes and wipes them with the sleeve of his hoody.
"Jesus woman, you've got be bawling like a baby now."
"Mm. Kinda like they say, two ships crossing in the night, or some such, yeah?" Chevelle smiles and nods at that. "It's... kinda been like that for Tamaki and Miss Ichijo. I know they're -there-, but whenever I get back from a trip they're either sleepin' or just flat-out gone."
She seems perfectly content to keep nodding along with small talk about teammates, right up until Brian Storm is called out as a teetotaller. "... Hold on." She holds up a hand, eyes widening. "Brian Storm. He... doesn't -drink?-" The American is barely able to choke back a laugh. "I guess it's true, huh? That he's like totally putting on an act for the crowd..." Chevy smiles and nods cheerily to herself. "I guess I just never thought about it. He's so cool on stage, I just figured for sure he'd be the type to go out an' drink."
Miss Beaumont smiles at the explanation for the burnt toast. "That'll do it every time. I'm super forgetful, so I gotta habit of always checkin' the knobs and dials."
She catches sight of Hawksley holding the apple. Though the -moment- he even -thinks- about raising it to his lips she narrows her eyes. Of course, she's quick to smile again when he relents.
"Sure, just gimme a sec..." Chevy still has a little bit more to do before she can hand the bowl over. Her innocent quest to find out what sort of food he enjoyed, though, had an unexpected result. "Aww... hey, I'm sorry about that. I know you miss her fiercely." She smiles faintly, seeing he's got the waterworks -somewhat- under control, and slides him the bowl she was working on. "... Reason I ask is, there's some other things we can try next time. Potato can go great with a lot of things. If you're down for some seafood, maybe we can work up a seafood boil! ... Though, it might be a bother to scrounge some Old Bay this far west."
She reaches for the eggs, but stops herself. "Oh, hey, essential cooking skill comin' up -- if you haven't cracked eggs before?"
"Brian is a real sweetheart it seems" Hawksley smiles, all signs of his glistening eyes gone.
"He's a wrestler though, so you know how good they can be at putting on a show."
He nods his head at the mention of his mammy but doesn't dwell on the topic. "I love seafood. It's just about my favourite thing other than stew. My favourite way to have it is with some soda bread and butter, but I'm open to new ideas."
As Chevy reaches for the eggs, a mischevious grin appears on Hawksley's face. "Sure, I've cracked eggs many times. By throwing them at people's houses."
"Hah! Yeah..." Chevy smiles. Sure, kayfabe is a thing -- it really did take getting into the world of fighting to really understand just how -much- of a thing it can be.
"Oh wow, that sounds heavenly... I like fish by itself, but sometimes I jus' want a good shrimp boil," she says while cracking open an egg. She makes a point of showing her technique, in case Hawksley wants to try -- just one light rap against the corner of the countertop, then splitting apart the shell. "And pretty simple. You just gotta find the right cooker. Toss in some fresh corn, sausage, shrimp, and potato. Mix in some Old Bay spice, pepper, and some butter an' lemon juice. Then you just let it boil up."
She'd let Hawksley crack the eggs if he chooses to, as she mixes in the buttermilk, along with some syrup, salt, and vanilla extract. It all has to be stirred anyway!
"Mm. So, Hawksley... do you ever have run-ins with fans?" She asks that, and then she just about stamps on her own foot, because she -knows- he has. "... Had a run-in with some of mine on the way over, apparently!"
Hawksley is happy to have a go at the eggs and he manages to do a cracking job!
"That sounds delicious" he almost drools at the talk of the seafood. We can do that next time." Apparently he's booked himself in for a whole course of cooking lessons.
"I have had some runs in with fans as it goes, but nothing I couldn't handle. Why? What happened? Nobody fecked with you did they? Are we talking creepy obsessive or downright rude?"
There's a real look of concern on his face as he questions her. Sunshine City is a dangerous place by anyones standards and he doesn't like the thought of her being hassled by some nutcases.
Chevy looks at the cake pan... and then realizes what was wrong. She digs back around in another pocket of her rucksack to retrieve the other two cake pans. "Okay, now that we've mixed these up good, can you stir these together? I'll work on the pans..."
She sees about buttering up the pans as she continues her story. "Eh... oh, it wasn't -that- bad." She laughs. "I just didn't know anyone bothered to take notice of me, really! But apparently there's like a whole community out on the web or somethin'." Chevy snickers. "They had t-shirts with like, a bucket runnin' over with water. Can you imagine!"
Hawksley starts to stir the mixture with a wooden spoon. Initially he chooses a simple circular method before switching to a figure of eight motion.
"Course I can imagine it" he laughs, as Chevy relays the details of her community of fans. "You're a pretty girl prone to getting her t-shirt wet. It kinda writes itself."
Once the mixture is fully absorbed, he sets about getting out the dry ingredients in another bowl. As his gaze falls on the flour he finds himself scooping some out into the palm of his hand and throwing it at poor Chevy!
Oh dear. It seems like it was too much to ask to expect him to behave himself for an extended period of time.
Miss Beaumont's face turns beet red. It's... probably a good thing that she's busy working on getting the pans ready for the mix, because she's too busy thinking of the -right- thing to say that she doesn't really manage to say -anything-.
Right until she gets nailed by a flour ball. Which surprises her so much she practically -barks- out a laugh. "Ha! I thought you wanted to try this out!"
But she's not above retaliation of her own. Hawksley may have the sugar bowl. But -she- has the bag of flour. And with a quick flick of her fingers, she tosses a handful of flour back his way!
"I do wanna try it, Chevy. I bet it's delicious but this is just so tempting" he grins.
As she gets her revenge on the troublemaker he laughs loudly, the flour sending his dark hair white as it lands on his face and head.
"Okay it's war" he declares, trying to wrestle the bag of flour from her.
This only serves to send it flying into the air from where it finds its way back down to both fighters, covering their clothing with the powdery substance.
"-What's- tempting, what?" She's on the verge of laughing again, which makes speaking difficult enough, but then Hawksley makes a grab for the flour. "Hey, we don't have a ton of--" But before she can reassert control of the bag, it's blasted into the air -- and detonates its payload of flour onto both the would-be cooks for the evening!
Chevy's ruddy-colored hair is ghost white, and her face is even paler than usual now. She -does- shut her eyes as the worst of the cloud hits, but now, her blue eyes blink back through a paper-white mask. She might not be able to see herself, but she can see him just fine. "Hah! You look like a crime scene, Hawksley!" She starts to laugh, covering her mouth with a hand -- though the airflow is disturbed just enough that the ensuing cloud starts a minor cycle of wheezing, which just causes more -laughter-, which just causes more -wheezing-...
"A crime scene with a hell of a lot of cocaine" Hawksley agrees, looking back at the equally messy Chevy.
"Aw, Jesus. I'm sorry if I've ruined things, cailin. It was grand of you to come over here and try and save me from myself. I think I'm past redemption though."
He shakes himself off, which just sends more flour particles into the air. Someone is going to have to clean this up at some point but he hasn't thought that far ahead.
He smacks Chevy on the back as she starts to wheeze, but this just makes even more flour escape into the air.
Amidst the cooking chaos enters a cute little bearcat seeking out the sound of the voices he hears. Spotting the pile of flour on the floor, he promptly starts to roll in it, making delighted chuckling sounds.
Chevy shakes her head -- no! She doesn't think he's past redemption! Thankfully, it doesn't take long after Hawksley whacks her on the back that Chevy's able to break the cycle, covering her nose so that she can't inhale even more flour. The trick now is just getting the overly-stressed out girl to finally stop -laughing-.
Eventually, yes, after just one more coughed out chuckle, she works herself to a stop. When she notices the binturong rolling around in the flour, though, the cycle -almost- begins anew, before she rocks her heel onto her toes to quell the urge.
"Ha! No getting out of it that easily. Momma taught me to make the most of happy lil' accidents!" She pauses to smear some of the flour away from her forehead and cheeks -- flour doesn't bother her as much as clay dust, but it can still get hot if left unattended.
Though, as she looks back to the cheerful binturong, she decides to crouch down and give him some of her attention. Smearing the flour away from her forehead, she grins down at the critter. "Hey there, Cap'n Morgie, thanks for helpin' out! If this big guy tries any more funny business I want you to holler, alright?"
All the noise coming from the kitchen was eventually going to draw some attention from the other denizens of the dojo. Of course, the intrepid Captain Morgan was the first to show up. Curiously, though, the bearcat wasn't wearing a hat when he arrived, as he almost always does.
Perhaps this can be traced as the reason for the next arrival.
"Morgie! Where have you gone off to? Mummy's got your little chapeau for our walk!"
In through the doorway comes Constance Coalbridge, carrying a little Sunshine City Dragons baseball cap sized for a child - or, in this case, a binturong - in both hands. She stops just short of stepping into some flour on the floor, her jaw dropping open as her eyes move up first to the flour-dusted binturong, then the Team Thunder member showing the binturong affection, and finally up to Hawksley, also incriminatingly flour-coated.
"Oh," she says, her expression going blank for a moment. "How lovely." Then, quickly composing herself, she forces on a smile. "You're not going to b-bake my bearcat, are you?" she asks, trying to sound light-hearted and casual, but there's a tension in her cheeks and jaw that causes her to stutter briefly and sound more serious and warning. "Because I would be very cross, you know. He's an endangered species. It's illegal."
"Oh my, would you look at Captain Morgan." The sight of the binuturong covered in flour is fecking hilarious to Hawksley.
He's pointing, he's laughing, he's having himself a grand old time until he spots Coco standing in the doorway of the kitchen.
"Pops" he simply says, immediately detecting the ice in the English woman's voice. "We're just making ourselves some apple cake. There's no Morgie on the menu."
Clearly from the chaos around himself and Chevy, not a lot of cooking has been going on at all.
"I might have got a bit over excited though and turned it into a flour fight. Wanna play?"
The question is clearly a joke. Coco is obviously not in the mood for games. He breaks the tension by bending down to pet the Captain too, wincing as he feels his wound sting in protest.
The bearcat chuckles away and looks directly at Hawksley. It's as though he understood Chevy's suggestion. If the creature was going to holler every time he got up to funny business however, there wouldn't be much peace for anyone.
"I didn't realise you were home" the Irishman insists to Coco, which probably doesn't help his case.
Chevy looks up from her apparently 'predatory' position to see Captain Morgan's human standing over her. "Hi, Miss Coalbridge!" She flashes a silly grin at Coco and is more than happy to let Hawksley do the explaining at first. And... she's kind of eager to see how the full Southern hospitality angle works on her, now that shy anxiety isn't in charge of her emotions.
"... Yeah, I... gosh. I haven't been in a good flour fight in, like, -ages-. All's I know is you definitely don't wanna jump straight into the shower unless you want a gummed up drain."
She hops back to her feet, still in relatively good cheer. "Um... so I can get these cake layers back on track, but we should probably clean up before starting on the steaks and grits, yeah?"
"Of course," Coco says with a laugh that's trying too hard, "I didn't think you were actually going to eat him. Obviously you've just left all this lovely flour on the floor for him to roll around in. Hardly surprising; you are easily excitable, after all."
Somehow, Coco sounds even more posh than usual. Perhaps it's because poshness and thinly veiled disapproval associate so easily with each other.
"I'd rather not play, if you don't mind. I've never been in a flour fight, but I have seen people rolling around in white powder before, and I'd rather forget my uncle's parties."
Her eyes flit once more down to the floor flour. "I presume if you're making anything to share that it won't be having any bearcat hairs in. And I was out for a walk around the park with Morgie, Hawksley."
She eyes the Irishman with a frosty smile. "Not that there's any reason it should matter whether I'm here or not, should it? After all, it's the sponsors' job to say whether we're allowed company from one of the other squads."
She looks to Chevy with a slightly warmer smile. "Before you go literally buttering him up, just to let you know, he won't go easy on you even if you do end up paired off in the next round. Bit of a brute, he is, our Hawksley."
She starts to turn away. "Anyway, I'm feeling a bit of a fourth wheel. Just make sure he's clean when he's done playing and doesn't go eating anything he shouldn't." She pauses, then adds, "Oh, and same for Morgie."
Hawksley looks between the two lasses before rising to his feet. Although he's not done anything wrong (unless you count the reckless wastage of flour), he has a familiar feeling like he's in trouble about something. It's one that dominated most of his childhood. A frequent visitor to the headmaster's office and used to being giving a stern talking to by the local Garda, he's had more than his fair share of lectures and warnings over the years.
For now, he sets about considering the clean up. Always the downside of the delights of a good old food fight. "We've got some sweeping brushes in the cupboard. I'll fetch one after we finish the cake."
His eyes then fall back on the purple haired posh girl. Her silver eyes seem cold even when her lips form into a smile. "There'll be no hairs. I got extra flour" he explains. "This can all be binned. As for the sponsors, I doubt they care about Chevy coming over. What's she gonna do, steal all our secret strategies?" The way he says this suggests there are definitely none of these going on.
"And Chevy knows full well that friendship doesn't matter to me in a fight. We talked about it when I ran into her on the bus and she gets it. Everyone has an equal right to be punched in the face by me."
As the fancy female flounces off he calls after her "I'll eat whatever I bloody well want to, woman."
"Okay, sounds great!"
Chevy feels like she's stepped in the middle of a mess here -- the kind that can't be addressed with brooms and dustpans. Thankfully, she's seen enough of the rapid repartee between Hawksley and Coco to know to just keep quiet and let the two use their words -- largely because her words will come out far too slowly to make much of a difference. So, rather than offer any rebuttals, she simply tends to brushing the flour off her shoulders and arms while the Irishman and the Briton hash things out.
The idea of picking up secret techniques earns a snicker from Chevy. "So far the only thing I've learned is that -someone- here likes their toast charred. I ain't real sure how that applies to a fight."
Chevy snickers as Hawksley explains about how far friendship will get her in a fight. Her mouth parts as if she might chime in, but weighing her words against the 'be polite' doctrine she holds herself to, she decides to change her response to a simple smile.
Similarly -- as Coco states her intention to make an exit, Chevy nods quietly -- and then seems to offer an olive branch of sorts: "Oh, okay! I'm happy to teach if you -did- want to stay, Miss Coco." Dusting off her shortalls, she adds, "But either way, the cake won't be ready for a while yet. I'm sure there'll be some left for you when it's all said an' done."
Regardless, with herself considerably -less- floured, she snags the mixing bowl and stirs it up. She seems to be ready for work again!
"I'm sure you will, regardless of the warning label," Coco shoots back at Hawksley. "And I like my crumpets crispy, thank you. Feel free to use that information as you will."
She gives a dismissive fluttering of her fingers at the invitation from Chevy to stay and learn.
"No, no, I'm going to go film myself practicing yoga in the yard. I've got a little fanclub that have asked me to make some videos. You three have fun."
With that, she flicks her hair and brushes it back, smiling wanly before stepping out the door.
"Be careful nobody pushes you over" Hawksley calls after Coco.
"Alright, I'm ready to behave now" he says solemnly to Chevy. "You're in charge."
He fetches the fresh flour from the cupboard and opens the packet as he awaits further instructions. "Don't take her mood personally by the way. I just seem to bring it out in her for some reason."
He glances over at Morgie, who is now washing himself in the manner of a kitty cat. "Thankfully the little fella still seems fond of me."
Crispy crumpets would explain the toaster setting. For Coco, Chevy's answer is a simple smile. But Hawksley's response is enough to draw a few snickers from the farm girl.
"You're... sure about that, now? If something bad happens to those apples you've been eyeing, we're gonna be in a lot more trouble."
She shakes her head in reply to Hawksley. "Oh, I ain't, I'll be fine. You're a sweetheart for sayin' so, though!" She grins, favoring Captain Morgan with a warm smile. "Aww, he's good people. Great to have him around."
She claps her hands together, forming a small cloud of flour; she holds her breath till it disippates. And then, she gestures to her now-willing student: "Okay! So we're -almost- done with the layers, we just gotta roll it into the pan like so..."
Log created on 16:13:13 07/03/2023 by Hawksley, and last modified on 18:42:09 07/04/2023.