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I can't believe I only have ten more of these to go.  My mom and brother arrive tomorrow afternoon though and will be visiting for a week so writing the rest is going to be tricky.  I'll probably have to get up early with Josh (he starts working at 6:30am) ugh.  This story/drabble is from some great prompts I received from [livejournal.com profile] lil_1337.  And inspired by a post I read on the Cooking Community here on LJ years ago where someone did the exact same thing as our poor darling boy, Quatre.


The atmosphere around the table could only be described as tense.  Chairs were shifted and throats were cleared but nobody seemed able to break the silence or make eye contact.

“Oh!  I forgot the garlic bread! I’ll be right back!”  Quatre suddenly jumped up and dashed back toward the kitchen.

Duo who had been turning progressively redder in the face allowed himself to cough finally, trying to keep the hacks buried into his napkin while Heero patted his back.  He was doing much better though, blinking through red blurry eyes.

“Don’t drink any water, it will only make it worse.”  Wufei was wheezing slightly, but seemed to be managing better then the others.

“Jesus Christ, Wufei, how are you still alive?”  Duo managed to get his coughing under control and looked over at the other man.

“I’m also impressed by the number of bites you have managed so far.”  Heero stared at the forkful of food in his hand and then set it back down with a shudder.  “Is there a trick we should know about?”

Wufei gave them an apologetic look and shrugged, “We ate a lot of spicy food on L5, my clan came predominately from the Hunan region on Earth and there are a lot of peppers used in the traditional dishes.  I think I’m just used to it.”

He looked at Trowa though and raised an eyebrow, “Even still, what did Quatre put in this?”

Trowa took another forkful of food, examining it before putting it down again.  “I don’t know.  But you know how excited he was to have us all over to try his first attempt at cooking so I don’t care if this is our last meal, we’ll choke the stuff down with a smile.”

Duo grimaced and poked at his plate, “Well sure, I wouldn’t want to hurt Quatre’s feelings but man, this is pretty awful.  I mean I know there’s a learning curve to everything but I figured we were safe with this .  . . I mean how can you fuck up spaghetti bolognaise?”

“Shhh! He’s coming back.”  Heero nudged Duo’s shoulder and they all sat up straighter, pasting smiles on their faces when the other man returned, proudly carrying a basket of bread.

“Here you go!  I can’t believe I almost forgot!  You can’t have spaghetti without bread!”

“Thanks, Q.  Hey man, the sauce on this is really something.  What did you put in it to get these flavors?”

Duo grabbed a piece from the basket.  As he was leaning over to hand it to Wufei, the other man whispered in his ear, “Eat as much bread as you can, it should help absorb some of the heat.”

Quatre beamed, picking up his fork to take his own bite.  “Nothing special, just the usual herbs and stuff.  I was surprised though, the recipe seemed to call for an awful lot of garlic.”

Heero’s eyes widened, “How much garlic did it ask for?”

“More then we had!  It needed four large cloves and we only had one so I had to make a second run to the grocery store!”

Trowa suddenly started coughing and had to take a quick drink of water.

Quatre looked at him in confusion but shrugged and took a large bite of his spaghetti.  The other men couldn’t help but stare in morbid suspense, waiting for his reaction.

It was slow at first, Quatre chewed but while his expression started out pleased it then slowly dropped to surprised, horrified and then pained as he started gasping.  “Holy hell, this sure has some kick!”

“Quatre.”  Trowa spoke gently and looked guilty about what he was going to say, but plunged on, “I think you confused cloves of garlic with heads of garlic.”

“What?”  Quatre stared at him, eyes watering and Wufei silently passed him the basket of bread.

“Holy shit, did you put four heads of garlic in this?”  Duo stared down at his plate in fascination.

“Cloves of garlic grow together to make a head.  The recipe wanted you to use four of the pieces in one head.”  Heero inched his chair back from where Trowa was clearly trying to kick him under the table and he raised a hand, “Not that I’m saying it’s bad, it’s just quite a lot of garlic.”

Quatre stared at him in horror.  “Oh dear.”

Later they would never be able to say who started laughing first.  Trowa said it was Duo, but Duo claimed it was actually Wufei, who was clearly trying to hide his giggles behind the basket of bread.  Either way the table erupted into painful guffaws.  And then every time they would start to calm down, someone would mutter, “Four heads of garlic!” And they would start all over again.

Eventually they managed to settle down and it was decided that the dinner wasn’t completely ruined. Wufei and Duo went back into the kitchen and made several more batches of tomato sauce to add to the first dish while Trowa and Heero made a salad and Quatre started another batch of pasta.

Forty minutes later they sat down again and ate dinner.

“Well I think Quatre’s first meal turned out a huge hit.”  Duo smiled at the group, raising his glass in a toast.

Everyone around the table nodded in agreement, “After all, the best meals are made together.”
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December 2016

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