Title: Kitchen Chaos
A/N: Michael's attempt at cooking dinner is once again a disaster.
Written for the prompt 'smell' at fanfic100 and 'dinner' for 25fluffyfics.
Idea inspired by tigerstriped86
“What the fuck is that horrible smell?” Hunter said, walking into the kitchen.
“What?” Michael turned from the counter to face his son.
“The smell dude! The one that hits you the minute you walk in the door.”
“I’m cooking dinner as a surprise for Ben.” Michael replied, a proud look on his face.
Hunter reached past his father, picking up the recipe book from the counter.
“1001 Never Fail Recipes” He read out. “Guess they hadn’t met you when they wrote this!”
“Give me that!” Michael snatched the book from Hunter and slammed it on the counter, before turning back to the pan on the stove and giving it a stir, a frown crossing his face, which Hunter noticed.
“What?” Hunter asked, peering over Michael’s shoulder.
“It doesn’t look like the picture in the book!” Michael said, shaking his head.
“And that surprises you because….” Hunter began.
Michael glared at Hunter. “Don’t you have homework to do?”
“Yeah…but this is much more interesting!” Hunter responded, unable to contain his laughter.
“Shut up!” Michael stated. “Go do your homework, and I’ll call you for dinner.”
”You really expect me to eat that?” Hunter asked, eyeing the pot suspiciously.
“Enough! Go!” Michael ranted, waving the spoon in front of Hunter, who realized he had pushed his father far enough and made a fast exit.
Michael turned his attention to the recipe book, following the instructions and adding the rest of the ingredients. He gave it one last stir before putting the lid on and turning it to simmer. He began cleaning up the mess he’d made on the counter and a smile crossed his face when he heard the front door close.
“Michael?” Ben’s voice called.
“Kitchen!” Michael replied as he closed the dishwasher.
“Hey baby….do you know what that strange smell is?” Ben asked. “It seemed to get stronger the closer I got to the…………oh………” Realization dawned as Ben saw the recipe book and the large pan on the stove.
“First Hunter and now you!” Michael stormed.
“Forget it, ok.” Michael replied, turning off the gas and walking from the kitchen.
“Michael….baby…..wait!” Ben called out at Michael’s retreating figure but Michael ignored him as he ran up the stairs, and Ben heard their bedroom door slam.
Michael’s cooking skills, or at least lack of them, were a sore point with Michael, and no matter how many times he told his husband that he enjoyed and didn’t mind cooking every night, he knew Michael felt guilty that he didn’t do his fair share.
Ben reached over, lifting the lid from the pan, giving the contents a stir and deciding that it actually looked better than it smelled. He grabbed a spoon from the drawer and dipped it into the pan, letting it cool slightly before tasting it. Not too bad, he decided. Now all he had to do was convince Michael of that he thought as he headed upstairs.
Michael lifted his eyes briefly as Ben walked in the door and over to the bed, but he continued to ignore his husband as he climbed onto the bed next to him.
“Michael?” Ben said, reaching for his lover’s hand.
“What?” Michael replied quietly, still not looking at Ben.
“I’m sorry I said your cooking smelled strange.” Ben said.
“Yeah well, it’s not the first time is it!” Michael answered. “I try really hard you know, but it just never turns out how it’s meant to. But don’t worry that’s the last time I try to cook something special for you….”
”Michael stop….” Ben said, trying not to laugh at the pout on his husband’s face.
“Don’t you dare say whining cause I’m not. I don’t whine I….”
“Sulk?” Ben said, with a smothered laugh.
Michael finally looked up at Ben and couldn’t help but laugh at the amused look on Ben’s face.
“Maybe.” Michael answered, a small smile twitching at his lips. “I just want to help. You work long hours and have lessons to prepare and papers to grade every night, and I thought if I could help with the cooking…”
He shrugged not knowing what else to say.
“And I appreciate it Michael, but I’ve told you before I love cooking.” Ben answered, leaning in and dropping a kiss on Michael’s still pouting lips.
“And the fact I can’t cook for shit doesn’t come into it?” Michael asked, snuggling up against his husband.
“Well maybe a little bit.” Ben said, continuing quickly when he saw the downcast look on Michael’s face. “I’m teasing. I think the problem is you don’t actually enjoy it, so you try too hard and everything goes wrong.”
“I just don’t understand after growing up with Ma and Uncle Vic why none of their skills rubbed off on me.”
“Perhaps because your Mother never let you near her kitchen?” Ben suggested.
Michael grinned up at his husband. “You’re very perceptive Professor.” Michael replied. “And as usual right. I remember when I was about twelve I decided to cook dinner to surprise her when she got home from work. I found an easy recipe and everything was going okay until Ma came home and kinda….”
“Yeah.” Michael replied. “And after that I never tried again because I felt I would never able to do it as good as she could.”
“What about when you left home?” Ben asked. “Didn’t you try again then?”
“Not really.” Michael answered. “I lived with Em, and you know what a great cook he is, then with David, and we ate out or he cooked, then back with Em and then with you so I never really got the chance and by then I’d decided I was pretty useless at it anyways.”
“You’re not useless Michael. You just haven’t had the opportunity to learn properly.” Ben replied. “So how about we set one night aside every week for you to cook?”
“You’re willing to risk that?” Michael laughed.
“Why not!” Ben replied. “And remember if you screw it up there’s always take out.”
“Thank you for your vote of confidence!” Michael huffed, but Ben could hear the laugh beneath his words.
“It’s up to you baby.” Ben answered dropping a kiss on Michael’s head.
“Well if you’re prepared to eat it, I’m prepared to try.” Michael said.
“Good!” Ben answered. “So how about we go and see if we can salvage what you cooked tonight.”
Michael shook his head. “Somehow I think that’s beyond redemption.”
“Actually it didn’t taste that bad.” Ben said and was rewarded with a beaming smile from his husband.
“Really?” Michael asked unable to keep the surprise out of his voice.
“Really!” Ben replied. “You really need to have more confidence in your abilities Michael.”
“I think I’m better at some things than others.” Michael answered, reaching up and finding Ben’s mouth, covering it with a deep kiss.
“Like what?” Ben asked when their mouths parted.
“If you eat all your dinner, maybe I’ll show you!” Michael winked.
“Now that is an offer I can’t refuse.” Ben replied, taking Michael’s hand and pulling him off the bed and out the door, eager to get dinner over so he could get what he knew would be the perfect dessert to finish off the meal.