“It seemed somewhat inappropriate –or perhaps down-right hypocritical– to ask
Nate to start
drinking again, what with how concerned we’d all been about his drinking in the
“Hold a knife like this, cuts through an onion. Hold a knife like this... cuts
through, like, eight yakuza in four seconds. Screams, carnage. People are like
knives. Everything's in context.” ~Eliot Spencer, “The Wedding Job”
men who cook are sexy, alright?
because you can’t spell “Nathan” or “Eliot” without one!
Warnings: -Drunk vs
-Cooking with Eliot
-Stupid cliché apron
Main Pairing: …uh, not quite Eliot Spencer/Nathan Ford? It could be
considered pre, I guess, but I’m not going anywhere else with it.
during season 2? I was re-watching the first two seasons when this idea jumped
on me and wouldn’t leave.
Eliot takes the lead! (First Person POV)
Nate was… different when he was sober. Eliot’s not sure if he should remain that way or
Additional ANs: Uh, this isn’t supposed to be for the pairing, really. I mean,
not that I have anything against it. This is just me exploring some of Nate’s
impulse issues when he’s sober during season 2.
And, hey! First brand-new one-shot fic of 2014!
1301 words about being sober, being distracting and being a little freaked out!
I couldn’t help but smile at the way the knife felt in my hand. Cooking gave me joy –joy that just didn’t come from the other way I could use this knife. Taking a deep breath, I quickly diced the green bell pepper and slid it off to the side with the knife’s blade. As I was peeling my onion, the scuff of footsteps on the carpet drug my attention away from the task at hand. Even though I had a pretty good idea who it was, I couldn’t keep my attention from jerking to the sound or my eyes from verifying it wasn’t a threat. As I had thought, it was one restless Nate Ford, who had resumed his pacing across the living room floor. Telling him he would wear a hole in the carpet would do no good. Neither would telling him to sit down. If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that his restless motion was probably a coping mechanism –the only thing that stood between him and bottle he was attempting to crawl out of. I just wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing. There was no way I could be the only member of the team noticing how …different Nate was when he was sober. Yet, so far, none of the others had commented on it –not even Sophie, who was incredibly sensitive to all things Nate. His body seemed to pulse with restless energy at all times, and the pacing had become rather standard. As far as I could tell, he’d traded in his alcohol dependence for an adrenaline dependence, which might actually be worse. He took bigger and bigger risks, with himself and with the team, always chasing that next adrenaline high. He’d nearly gotten all of us killed on several occasions and only our close personal acquaintance with Lady Luck had saved us –and then only barely. His impulse control seemed to be shot all to hell and back. Oddly enough, his understanding of “personal space” seemed to have evacuated, as well. Drinking was bad for the liver and adrenaline was hard on the heart. If he ever managed to give up both, I was all but certain he would take up smoking and go for a third major organ. Perhaps that was why I was still debating whether or not another intervention was a good idea. After all, we all remembered what had happened the last time our team had staged any sort of intervention for Nate. We’d lost our offices and more. It seemed somewhat inappropriate –or perhaps down-right hypocritical– to ask Nate to start drinking again, what with how concerned we’d all been about his drinking in the first place. So far, I’d chosen to just let it be –even though hi constant motion continually caught in my periphery and was about to make me crazy. It seemed better not to rock the boat until someone else commented on it. Sighing, I turned my attention back to the onion in my hand, now peeled and clean and ready to chop. With short, efficient chops, I diced the onion down finer than I had chopped the pepper before laying the knife beside it on the wooden cutting board. Trying to ignore the onion scent on my hands, I slipped on the apron Hardison had made for me during one of his screen-printing binges in his basement. “Kiss the Cook!” was printed in red across the chest of the black apron. He’d told me once that the other option had been “I see the assassins have failed” and I have to admit, that was more of a message I could wear proudly. But it had been a gift from him and I would have to listen to him whine and gripe if it went unused. So I kept it in this kitchen rather than my own and made use of it when I cooked here. Grabbing the cutting board and turning to the bubbling red sauce in the pan on the stove, I added the fresh chopped vegetables quickly, swiping them off the cutting board with my hand. I gave the whole concoction and brisk stir and made sure it was at a good simmering heat. Satisfied, I went to the sink and began to wash my hands, applying baking soda and water until I had a good paste and rubbing it all over my hands for two solid minutes. Then I washed the concoction off with dish soap until I could no longer scent the onion on my skin. Figuring that the sauce shouldn’t take much longer, I got out the Pyrex pan, the cooking spray, the pasta, the eggs, the cottage cheese (much cheaper than ricotta, but basically the same thing anyway), and two bags of shredded white cheese, wanting to be sure I had enough for a good layer of cheese on top. Opening one cupboard, I pulled out a few small mixing bowls to combine the few ingredients that would need to be stirred together. Homemade lasagna was actually pretty easy to make, so long as you had the time to throw it together and bake it. I, personally, required a bit more time than that, since I made my own red sauce, but I always thought it was worth it. I knew Parker had been sort of hoping I would cook again for a while now. It wasn’t as though the others wouldn’t enjoy the meal, as well. For the most part, their idea of a home-cooked meal came straight out of the freezer case at the local grocery. I liked to cook –especially for people, because most of my recipes would leave me with leftovers overflowing my freezer if I made them for one person. This way, I got my cooking therapy and did not have a mountain of leftovers. It was a pretty win-win situation, if you asked me. The sauce was beginning to get fragrant and I stirred it briskly, glad to see it hadn’t scorched to the pan while my mind had wandered. Grabbing a teaspoon from the silverware drawer, I scooped up a little of the red sauce from the pan and tasted it. Of course, I was distracted by the footsteps approaching from behind me, so I swallowed the hot sauce without really tasting it at all, much to my chagrin. Spinning on my heels left me face to face with Nate. I couldn’t say I was surprised. After all, his restless motion had been distracting me for quite some time now. “What are you making?” he inquired, peering past me to the skillet I was using. “Lasanga,” I informed him, stirring the sauce with the wooden spoon once more. “The sauce is the part that takes the longest to prepare, so the rest of it will come together pretty fast.” I offered him a teaspoon full of the sauce. “Care to taste it?” His eyes flickered from the proffered spoon to my face and then back again. Without giving me any time to wonder what he was doing, he leaned into me and licked the pasta sauce off of my lower lip. We stared at each other for a moment, each of us completely stunned. Then he murmured something about my ‘stupid apron’ and made a well-timed tactical retreat. Wiping my mouth with the back of my hand with a grimace, I quickly turned off the burner and shifted the pan to a cool burner before hurrying off in search of Sophie. I didn’t care if anyone agreed with me –we were having an intervention for him and it would be this evening after dinner! After I burned the apron, too. People are like knives, but honestly, some contexts are just wrong!