Rating : K
Pairing : AliciaXRufus
Characters : Alicia, Rufus
Genre : Romance, Fluff
Preview : Her first attempt to cook doesn’t turn out well.
Rufus takes a piece of -oh so whatever- from his bowl and begins to chew carefully. If it was a tasteless lump then it would be much better. His tongue tastes salty, sweet and bitter at the same time. Moreover, he feels hot on the tip of his tongue. Man, must be chili or something. Water starts to form in the corners of his eyes. In case you didn’t notice, elf’s tongue, as well as elf’s ears and elf’s nose are way more sensitive than those of a human. This must be the worst thing he has ever eaten in his entire life !!
However, he can never bring himself to say so. As long as this is his princess’s cooking, for him. She spent hours in the smoky kitchen to proudly present him with this-bacon-or that’s what she calls. He tries his best to restrain his tears, not wanting the princess to get disappointed. She spent so much effort on this and yet, her inability to cook is absolutely NOT her fault. She was a princess, after all and he bets Silmeria never taught her how to prepare a proper meal. The blonde Valkyrie might be a wise, trusted leader, a fearsome warrior on battlefield but when it comes to cooking, she has to be a total disaster. Has to be !!
No matter how hard he tries, he can’t restrain his tears for long. Alicia is quick to see water rolling down his cheeks.
_ Does it taste….OK ? She humbly asks.
_ No…No…Tastes good. Liars quickly escapes his lips.
_ You’re lying, right ? She looks at him, straight in the eyes. Somehow, her gaze sends a chill sensation down his spine.
_ No, I’m not. He objects, pretending to be annoyed by being accused of lying. On the other side, he curses his stupidity. The princess doesn’t like to be fooled, he knows that so well. It is honesty that she always want from him, the only one she can believe in, like she said before.
_ If you’re not, then why are you blinking ? Silmeria told me when someone lied, he blinked a lot.
” That works only for an amateur.” He thinks.
_ And aren’t they tears. She continues, her index finger points slightly at those hints of waters on his eyes.
_ OK. I’m lying-he admits. Just take a bit for yourself !
She does as she’s told. There again are the same reactions that have just been shown on his face a few minutes ago.
_ I’m sorry. She says ruefully through her sniff, of which he does not know the cause. Did she feel remorse or it was just the heat of chili ?
_ It’s fine. Don’t blame yourself for that. This is the first time you cook, right ? I’m pretty sure that you’ll do it better the next time- He tries to reassure her.
_But if I won’t ?- Tears starts to roll down her cheeks uncontrollably. There was no doubt that I did follow the recipe carefully. I put in the sugar, salt and some chilies…
_ You put in a little too much, didn’t you ? Rufus knows that now on his face, he’s wearing a strange look that quite resembles those in manga.
_ I just want it to be…spicy, to suit your taste. You often complain how tasteless those food at the inns are.
_ Then…had you tried it before you served me ?
_ No- True apology in her voice- I want you to be the first to taste, the first to eat my cooking.
Her words truly startle him. He knows he is blushing, his face turns as red as a cherry. She did that just for him ? He always loves her but at the same time, he’s always afraid that she won’t feel the same. Her bond with Silmeria seems to be a never-broken one. He’s afraid that he’s only a mere replacement for the Valkyrie. And now she’s just said those words. When a girl say she wants a man to eat her cooking, what do you think she means ?
He smiles, reaches out to touch her hand. With a slight tug, he quickly pulls her to his lap. Surprisingly, she makes no effort to escape his embrace. His fingers caress her cheeks, gentle wipe her tears away.
_ Let’s just give it a rest, OK ? He says, before placing a kiss on her forehead, and then, both her cheeks.
Alicia’s face turns red, and oh-so hot. She was blushing to the ears. It’s not like she has never been kissed before. Her mother often kissed her to say goodnight; she and Dallas often kissed each other’s cheeks when they played wedding game. But these kisses are completely different as they come from HIM. Wrapping her arms around his neck, Alicia manages to hide her blushing face.
_ Next time, I’ll do it better, I promise. I’ll ask Celes to teach me how to cook something good…for you- She whispers, her breath is a warm, pleasant breeze against his ears.
_ I doubt she can even cook. Ask Ehrde or Roland instead- Rufus can’t help but laughing out loud.
[ Note : This fic take place after chapter 4, when Silmeria was already taken away from Alicia, probably on their long journey to the Forest of Spirits. My fastest fic ever, finished after only 1 hour, inspired after a one-sentence fic ( if you could call that a fic ) : ” It was a dry, tasteless lump, but he ate his share (and Arngrim’s too) because it wasn’t her fault that no one taught princesses to cook, and for once he’d like to see her proud of something that Silmeria had no hand in. ” ]