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The Magic of Cooking

Chapter Text

                                                                           Image result for green tea

Karkat slammed his head against the table of the meal block, grumbling loudly beneath his breath and cursing everything to have ever existed. Not failing to include the other eleven grubfucking insane trolls and four even more grubfucking insane humans that he was forced to share on this stupid think pan addling meteor. He wouldn’t even bother getting into the events that led to them all getting stuck here, because what did it matter when they were still. Fucking. Stuck THERE!?

But it wasn’t the fact that they were trapped living on a suspicious meteor hurling through space—to who the fuck know’s where. No, if it was just that, then Karkat believed he would capable of losing his shit fewer times a day than he currently was. No, the problem on this damn meteor was one thing:

Relationships.

Before any fucking asshole can laugh, it should be noted that Karkat was the Unquestioned—shut the fuck up—Supreme Leader of this shithole. And, as a result, it was his duty to make sure none of these nooklickers actually killed each other. So far, there had only been some multi-colored bloodshed and nearly fatal wounds—but so far they were surviving.

But, as pleased as Karkat was about the lack of death, there was still the fact that all the fucking relationship drama was. Driving. Him. Fucking. Insane. It seemed that everyone was caught in some sort of ridiculous conflict or another.

Honestly, he’d about had it everyone; particularly, Eridan. Especially Eridan who seemed to be part of multiple Quadrant issues. Not only was he obviously taking advantage of his moirail, Feferi, but there was some type of shit going on between Sollux, Eridan, and Vriska. While Sollux and Eridan had been blackflirting for as long as he could remember—no matter what those idiots said, it was true—but Vriska kept trying to pull Eridan into her Pitch Quadrant—with poor Kanaya being forced to ashen between them—and Eridan, being the wishy-washy bitch he was, had yet to make a decision. That, of course, ruined life for everyone within a million mile radius and was a big cause for bloodshed. It certainly stressed out Feferi and Sollux’s status at matesprit, the pitiful Heiress trying her best but honestly unable to handle it. Karkat didn’t mind when Eridan came to him for relationship advice—which was often—but he couldn’t even begin to figure out how to solve this mess!

Meanwhile, Vriska and Terezi were screwing around in the Pale Quadrant and Gamzee with Tavros in the Flushed Quadrant with non4 of them actually doing something about the obvious feelings! He would lock them in some abandoned room like every cliche movie if he wasn’t certain that Vriska would tear down the door and Gamzee would be content to ‘sit and chill’ until he and Tavros starved!

Karkat would almost be glad for the humans if they weren’t also causing relationship issues! Particularly, Vacilitation Issues. Or, at least, John and Rose were. John was somehow oblivious to the Flushed and Pitch flirtations that Vriska and Terezi keep sending his way—though, to be fair, Karkat had to be fucking blunt as possible for John to understand and reject him all that stupid time ago—and causing all sorts of dumb problems as a result.

And, Rose. There was some sort of weird Pale-Flushed thing going on with her and Kanaya, but recently there seemed to be issues even with that. Now, while Karkat’s was Pale-Dating Gamzee, Kanaya and he had been very close friends for years and he really felt pity for the girl for having to deal with that shit. But he couldn’t even begin to figure that out, so yeah.

(Then there was Dave who Karkat felt emotions for but couldn’t figure out which—)

And also about the humans, there was this weird ‘siblings’ thing that had apparently thrown their ‘relationships’ (but not romantic ones) out of whack. The best that Karkat could relate it to was Blood Brothers and Scourge Sisters, but apparently, it was some weird human gene thing that ‘wasn’t’ like Ancestors at all. He had no fucking clue, but it was causing problems as well.

Honestly, the only relationships that seemed to be fine were Nepeta/Equius and Sollux/Aradia, but they were both Pale Goals so Karkat wasn’t really surprised. Of course, he could be wrong, but they all seemed to be fine…

He groaned, feeling a headache come on just thinking about it all. And, the worst part, no one seemed to fucking appreciate his goddamned efforts! He understood that everyone was going a bit stir crazy being stuck on this damn meteor, but did you see him falling apart and wrecking all his quadrants—though, he technically only had his Pale Quadrant with Gamzee at the moment; and he was the ‘chillest motherfucker’ ever so Karkat could at least appreciate that even if he understood only a quarter of what came out of that clown fucker’s mouth—and causing near homicide and the destroying the wits of their leader—aka, him.

He groaned, slamming his head against the table again, raising his arms to the air without bothering to look. “For the pity of whatever fucking freak exists out there that enjoys wrecking my life, is it so much to ask for everyone to not be grubfucking insane!? To fucking get along and appreciate me as leader!? Seriously, anyone out there—

THWAP

Karkat cursed up a storm as something landed on his head, bouncing off his cranial headset before falling to the ground. He shot up, looking around wildly for whatever fucker thought it smart to mess with him at this moment—

…There was no one there.

He paused, suddenly a bit more cautious. He didn’t hear or smell anyone—shut up, Strider, trolls were not ‘bloodhounds’ or whatever the fuck that is—nor did he hear any quick footsteps signifying someone running off or giggles. Of course, it could be one of the humans—probably Strider, asshole had started bothering him lately—flying around like the immature wrigglers they were, but he… kind of got the feeling that this wasn’t it.

Tensing, he looked down to the floor and saw what looked to be… a book? His face twisted in confusion as he cautiously reached down and picked it up, flipping it over the rainbow-colored book—what the everloving fuck?—and seeing the title.

The Magic of Cooking

He flipped again, but didn’t see an author. The front cover was a strange design of the colors of the rainbow—with a few added shades, what the fuck?—and various images of food that Karkat swore changed or shifted every time he looked at it.

“Okay,” he said finally. “Who the fuck is messing with me and wants their internal organs on the outside of their body?”

There was no answer.

Angry, Karkat threw the book to the side—why the hell would he want a cookbook?—where it landed on the countertop, flipping open to a bright candy red page.

A chill went up his spine at the color, already tensing and looking around if anyone had seen. After a moment of feeling ridiculous—there was no one out to kill him, or, at least, not for his blood color; not anymore—he cautiously went over to the book and warily looked at the page.

Blended Apple Tea

Long used for relaxation, this apple-themed tea has a wide variety of herbal ingredients and blends that make for a light, refreshing, and stress-relieving tea.

A perfect way to show someone your appreciation!

His eyes caught that last word and he instantly recalled what he had been saying the moment that it had landed on his head. His eyes narrowed. No way. No fucking way. What the hell was this!?

“That’s it, we’re done. I’m not having whatever the fuck this is,” said Karkat to no one in particular before closing the book—or, at least, he tried to close it.

It wouldn’t close.

Karkat’s brow furrowed and he tried to grip the book by the edges, looking for any crack that would allow him leverage—how the fuck had this gotten stuck to the counter!? He’d blame some fuck for not washing the countertop after using it but no one came in here!—but finding no give.

Completely done with everything—life, relationships, this fucking book—he threw his hands to the air, metaphorical rope threatening to snap at any moment. “Fine! The Universe wants me to make fucking tea? Well, the joke’s on you! THERE’S NO INGREDIENTS—

A cabinet door flung open, narrowly missing Karkat’s face—what the hell!?—and revealing its contents. Which, you know, was odd given that, the last time Karkat checked, this meal block was empty as all hell besides the communal thermal hull—or ‘refrigerator’ as the grubfucking humans called it.

Despite what he knew to be true, Karkat couldn’t deny the fact that, at least, this cabinet was filled with things. Looked to be some random green boxes with leaves on it and some sweet-smelling brown sticks…

…there was no fucking way. 

Warily, he returned to the recipe and looked at the ingredients.

Ingredients

8 Ounces Sliced Dried Apples

6 Cups Cold Water

2 Cinnamon Sticks

2 Parts WFN Dried Chamomile Flowers

2 Parts WFN Dried Rosehips

2 Parts Dried Peppermint

2 Parts Kava Kava

Honey

He looked back at everything in the cabinet. As far he could tell, everything—or at least various boxes and containers labeled as such—was there. While severely creeped out, he decided that it was best not to question it and pulled them all down on the countertop before looking at the actual recipe. What the fuck, not like he had anything else better to do.

He looked at the First Step:

  1. Bring the Six Cups of Water to a boil in the kettle before reducing heat and simmering.

Karkat’s nose scrunched together. He was about to ask where he was going to get a pot, before stopping and looking at the cabinets wearily. He reached up, feeling stupid as fuck, before opening it with a slow cccrreeeeaaakkkk.

There, on the shelf, and why the fuck wasn’t he surprised, was a shiny metal stovetop kettle. Of course, why the fuck 

He opened a random drawer and pulled out the measuring cups he found inside—honestly, this was creepy as all fuck—before turning on the faucet. He measured out six cups of water—you’d have to be a fucking idiot to have difficulty doing that—and dumped them into the pot. He turned on the stove, watched it for a moment—not sure it wouldn’t explode or some shit on him—before returning to the instructions.

  1. Combine the Dry Ingredients (except the Cinnamon Sticks) in the jar and cap tightly. Shake together.

Glancing back at the ingredients on the countertop—and a convenient jar that certainly wasn’t there before that was the ‘perfect size’ for shoving things in—he picked out the dry ones—it was easy; dry obviously meant they weren’t fucking dripping everywhere—and threw them into the jar. He started to shake them, feeling like a dumbass but deciding he had already committed to this mindfuckery.

Bored—because, really, what was there to do when shaking this shit together—he decided to look down at the recipe page again. Huh, apparently there were blurbs around the page that told about the ingredients. Weird, he swore that he didn’t see that before. Deciding to look at the last ingredient—because he especially didn’t know what the fuck ‘Kava Kava’ was—he read the words out aloud to himself, just to drown out the weird silence.

Kava Kava,” he recited, as he shook the ingredients together—how the fuck long was he supposed to this? A crop that reduces anxiety, induces calmness and stress-relief to chill a person out.

He paused, eyes narrowing before looking at the ceiling. “What the fuck is that supposed to mean, Universe? You saying I need to calm down!?”

The Universe, obviously, didn’t answer, so Karkat simply grumbled before deciding that he had ‘shook the ingredients’ enough and it damn well better be mixed by now. He looked at the next step on the recipe pages:

  1. Add the shaken Dry Ingredients to the kettle and allow to steep for 10 minutes.

He dumped the jar full of ingredients into the kettle, watching some pieces settle and float the water while others sank to the bottom, before looking at the next step.

  1. Mix the tea with Cinnamon Sticks, letting them dissolve naturally during the 10 minutes of steeping. For added relaxing effect, breathe in the smell deeply as you do so—but be careful not to be burned by the steam.

Karkat wondered what the hell kind of instruction that was. It was like, oh! Here’s a way to make you feel better! But, if you’re not careful, it’ll make you feel a thousand times worse! Have a great fucking day! Honestly, it would be just Karkat’s luck to do just that, but he certainly wasn’t stupid enough to fail at freaking smelling something.

Vindicated, he inhaled deeply… and… wow… it… it actually did smell kind of good. He breathed in again, letting the aroma rest swirl around his head.

He pulled back, dropping the second-half of the cinnamon sticks in the tea since the first-half had long since dissolved. He suddenly felt a bit… drowsy? It was ridiculous, and he’d accuse someone of slipping him sopor if he hadn’t stood over this fucking thing and made it completely himself.

Made completely himself…

Karkat grinned, suddenly feeling a spark of victory. That’s right, Universe! He had made it’s stupid tea and it was all for him! Did the Universe want any, too fucking bad! If It had, then It should have materialized and made it It’s fucking self!

Karkat absently wondered when the last time he had slept was, before disregarding it.

He decided to stop thinking about the strangely weirdly soothing tea and read the next, and last, instruction.

  1. Wonderful job in getting this far; get ready for a treat! Strain the tea over a net and sweeten with Honey as desired.

Karkat’s eye twitched—this Book was fucking mocking him—before opening a random drawer and pulling out a strainer—because the entire fucking meal block was in on this supply conspiracy and Karkat didn’t bother questioning it anymore—and followed the instructions.

He placed the strainer on top of a drink container—which he also pulled out from the cabinet he swears he got the kettle from before and didn’t fucking see anything else—and carefully poured the tea into it. Steam rose, filling him with that relaxing aromatic scent once more, as he dripped every last drop into it.

Removing the strainer, he picked up the weird honey beast—bear, as the humans would say— and poured four big drops of honey—how the fuck was he supposed to know how much to add? It also made him nervous since it looked a lot like Mind Honey—before setting it off to the side and stirring it some more.

Opening a cabinet, Karkat reached in and grabbed an outrageously cute teacup with little apples on it—what the fuck, why not?—and poured some of the Blended Apple Tea into it. He swirled it around, appreciating the relaxing lime color, before going over to sit at his previous spot where the Book had hit him before.

He sat back, swirling the mixture in the cup for a moment before deciding it was cool enough and taking a swallow. His eyes popped before drifting shut. It was surprisingly good. If he had thought it smelled good before, it was nothing compared to how it actually tasted.

Suddenly, Karkat felt quite a bit of vindication and, strangely enough, satisfaction. That’s right, he had made this delicious tea and only he could drink it! Even if everyone else wasn’t fucking asleep, he had made this and certainly wasn’t going to share! Spoils to the victor and Karkat was certainly the victor!

Sipping at the tea, he found himself enjoying the silence around him. It was very different from during the day—or whatever the hell was day in this fucking place—where the creepy halls of the meteor were filled with arguments and random strifes that Karkat was forced to break up. It was quiet. Peaceful. Dare he say it, relaxing.

He slouched further, that unusual… content feeling seeming to grow stronger as his stomach grew warm with the tea. While he was certainly not cured of all his ails and worries, he would admit that this recipe was better than he gave it credit for. And it wasn’t think pan addling like that Faygo or sopor-pie shit that Gamzee had. No, this was even healthy, Karkat was almost giddy to note.

To be honest, the whole process hadn’t been that bad. While he knew he would have to eventually clean up the mess he made, he almost found this whole thing to be worth it.

Before he knew it, the tiny tea cup was empty of all its Blended Apple Tea and Karkat was left staring at it before looking at the kettle where another five cups waited for him. He considered it before walking over to the stove, about to pour another cup when he noticed the Book. It wasn’t like it had changed shape or form, but it seemed… different somehow.

Cautious, Karkat reached over and poked it. To his surprise, it actually moved. Blinking, he picked up the edge and found that it would now lift up, no longer fucking stuck to the countertop. Still thinking it had to be a trick, he slowly placed the pages together until the cover shown again. It had closed…

He glanced at the Book’s title—The Magic of Cooking—before back at the container full of steaming tea. He smirked, pouring himself another cup of tea and putting the Book under his armpit before walking out.

He could clean later. For now, he had some delicious Blended Apple Tea to enjoy.