sunhawk16: (Lev hawk)
[personal profile] sunhawk16
We actually have new stuff. Written this very week! Which is going to do nothing what-so-ever except prove how rusty I am. *sigh* I tried to find the link to the original story that this is a sequel to, but... I can't figure out when I posted it. Oh! Duh! Wait.... (I can't believe I just wasted the last twenty minutes digging through my own journal. *facepalm* )
Here is the original, just for context...

For no reason that I can name at all, I was randomly inspired to write a sequel to something I think I wrote something like seven years ago. Still blaming this on [ profile] turnippatch
No warnings except stupid humor...

I hate cauliflower. I didn’t used to hate cauliflower, but after two days of having to test taste every cauliflower soup recipe the internet had to offer… I completely and totally hate cauliflower, and if I never see another one of the damn things again, I will not miss the lack.

I love Duo Maxwell. He is my partner, my lover, my friend and the light of my life. But I knew if he came at me with one more bowl of noxious vegetable soup, those feelings were going to change. Drastically. And not for the better.

Which is why I was spending Sunday afternoon very neighborly mowing the Mugilicutty’s lawn. I’d just done our own, after all, so it certainly wouldn’t be too out of character for one of the two of us to just make a few extra passes and do the neighbor’s yard too. Which, of course, would lead to either Mr. or Mrs. Mugilicutty coming out on the front porch when I was done, with the offer of an ice cold lemonade. Which it would, of course, be rude to not accept. Which would lead to us sitting on their front porch and talking for ‘a spell’.
And since I happened to know that Mrs. Mugilicutty had gone shopping with her daughter and granddaughter… would mean a bit of male bonding with Mr. Mugilicutty.

Who I felt might be just a touch more reasonable about parting with the mysterious and much guarded old family recipe for cauliflower soup that had gotten me into this mess.

The next time we are invited to a ‘pot luck’, we would be going to the local deli and taking store bought potato salad and there would be no bones made about it. There is nothing wrong with store bought potato salad.

‘Looks like hot work,’ Mr. Mugilicutty called, as he always did when we’d done some chore for them, and he waved that predicted glass of lemonade in my general direction. I smiled my thanks and made haste to join him on his front porch.

‘It is a little warm today,’ I replied and ensconced myself in a deck chair, wishing there was a garden plot in the yard that would facilitate my turning the topic to cauliflower. But I suppose I shouldn’t move too fast. Instead I took a big gulp of my drink and sighed appreciatively.

Mr. Mcgilicutty sipped at his and smiled. ‘Hits the spot when you’ve been out working, doesn’t it?’

I readily agreed, and took another swallow to prove it, though… to be honest, I’d have rather had tea. I’m not really a huge fan of lemons.

‘Wasn’t expecting to get my yard mowed today,’ he commented, waving his glass in the general direction of the neatly clipped grass. ‘You know… since I’d just done in on Thursday.’

I tried to ignore both the sly look he was giving me and the blush that was creeping up the back of my neck.

‘Really? Must have mowed it while I was at work…’ I mumbled and drank more lemonade.

‘Well,’ he said genially, ‘won’t have to mow it again until next weekend now.’

We sat in our respective deck chairs, surveying our respective front lawns while I regrouped. I couldn’t find any way to link that around to the topic I was hoping for, and was floundering just a little over whether I should be apologizing for premature mowing or not. But then he took the decision out of my hands, turning the topic for me.

‘So how did that dinner party go?’ he asked, the sly little smile starting to look vaguely like a smirk.

‘Great!’ I enthused, perhaps just a little bit too much; the delight that he’d brought me to my own topic coming out. ‘The soup was a big hit. Everybody was raving about it.’

‘Muriel will be mighty pleased to hear that,’ he said and sipped his drink.

I sipped along with him; planning my next comment… it was too soon to just ask for the damn thing. There needed to be more lead up. ‘It was very nice of her to make it for us; neither Duo or I have much cooking experience.'

Mr. Mcgilicutty chuckled in a kind of… odd way. ‘Yes, I’ve noticed that when you boys go shopping, you mostly bring home boxes.’

The blush started at the tops of my ears this time, and I tried hard to not let the return chuckle sound defensive. ‘I suppose we do eat a lot of pre-packaged meals…’ I mumbled.

‘That’s why it surprised me so much to see you hauling in all those bags of cauliflower the other night.’

I saw the error of using my sips of lemonade as a stalling tactic when I choked on one.

I got another of those odd chuckles and he reached across to pat me on the back.

‘And that right after your partner calling to ask Muriel about her recipes,’ he mused and I gave up any effort to fight the blushing.

Well, I suppose there was really not much point in continuing with my obviously lame and somewhat pointless attempts for smooth conversation.

‘Look, Mr. Mcgilicutty…’ I began, deciding to just come clean with it, but he cut me off.

‘Call me Frank,’ he said, sitting back and going back to his sipping.

Alright, that seemed good… he wasn’t mad at least. ‘Ok, Frank… it’s just that there was kind of a misunderstanding…’

‘Your friends think the two of you made that soup, don’t they?’ He asked, and turned to give me a look that made me feel like I was five years old.

‘I… well… it wasn’t really on purpose,’ I blurted and winced.

Frank chuckled again, and the odd tone was still there but more identifiable now; the man was having a blast leading me around by the nose. He’d had me figured out from the minute I fired up the lawn mower.

‘So let me guess… ‘ he grinned, ‘Duo has been spending the weekend desperately trying to reproduce that pot of soup?’

I sighed, and found my head hanging because it was getting just a little bit hard to meet his gaze.

‘Pretty much,’ I sighed. ‘We never intended to pass the soup off as our own, but apparently assumptions were made and then when one of our friends as much as made the accusation… well; Duo has never handled embarrassment very well…’

There were a long couple of minutes while we sipped and surveyed before he spoke again.

‘That recipe has been handed down, oh… probably, four or five generations now,’ he said, setting his empty glass aside. ‘There are spices and things in there I have to drive up to the big world market to get for Muriel when she makes it.’

I groaned and drained my lemonade in a gulp, wishing it was something a hell of a lot stronger. ‘I’m doomed,’ I muttered.

He laughed right out loud at me, and shook his head in a kind of sympathetic way.

‘Heero,’ he told me, ‘I’ve seen the recipe and there is no way Duo is every going to be able to reproduce it exactly.’

I groaned again and sat back, letting my head fall back so I was sort of talking to his porch roof. ‘Frank… you have to help me; if he brings me one more damn bowl of stupid soup to get my opinion… I’m afraid I’m going to drown him in it. Duo is nothing but stubborn… he’s not going to give this up. I can’t take much more of this.’

I got a pat on my shoulder, and another chuckle that was just too damn amused for my frame of mind. I find it in very poor taste to laugh at a desperate man.

But then the man leaned forward, propping his elbows on his knees and I felt his gaze intensify.

‘So…’ he said, that amusement all gone and a completely different odd tone in his voice. ‘What’s it worth to you?’

And that would be how I ended up spending the summer painting the Mcgilicutty’s house and garage, and will be cleaning their gutters every fall for as long as they live. Even if they move.

But cauliflower has been banned from our home. Forever. Even in forms that are not soup.

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