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Introduction to the Kitchen

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Henri Skinner ignored the lesser cooks of his kitchen as he walked through with the mail, and glared at the one who dared to elbow him. It was La Rousse who had dared and the man had a smile on his face.

"Hey, boss! Look who's here! This is Linguini, Renata's little boy," La Rousse said, gesturing to a gawky young man with an unruly mop of red hair. The boy had been sitting on an overturned bucket and stumbled to his feet as he heard his name.

La Rousse said something more before turning back to his station, but Skinner didn't hear what he had said. Something about Renata? He stared blankly at the boy. Why was he here? "Ahh yes. How are you, uh..."

"Linguini," La Rousse supplied.

Skinner resisted rolling his eyes. "Yes. Linguini. So nice of you to visit. How is--?" Who was this boy related to?

"My mother," the boy said at the same time that La Rousse said, "Renata."

"Yes. Renata. How is she?" Skinner asked, though he really didn't care. These papers needed to be filed, and this was such a waste of his time.

The boy stuttered out something, and Horst cut in, "She died."

Skinner looked up in shock. Renata had died?   How was this the first that he had heard of it?  Surely someone would have mentioned something to him!  He and several of the other chefs in the kitchen had known her!

"Oh. I'm sorry," Skinner offered.

The boy stuttered out something about the afterlife, and Skinner couldn't help but stare at him, completely perplexed. What was he blathering about?

The boy then handed him a purple envelope to him. "What's this?" Skinner sneered.

"She left it f-for the owner. I think she hoped it would help. Me. Get a job. Here--?" The boy looked around awkwardly.

"Of course, Auguste wouldn't hesitate!" La Rousse butted in again. "Any son of Renata's is more than--"

Skinner cut him off. Really, why did he have to put up with this kind of disrespect!? "Yes. Well, we could file this, and if something suitable opens up--"

Skinner had started to walk away, when La Rousse said, "We've already hired him."

Skinner's eyes went wide. A new chef was the last thing this kitchen needed. How dare La Rousse go behind his back!

"What?!" Skinner shouted.  "How dare you hire someone without my-!"

Before it could go further, Horst cut in, "We needed a garbage boy."

Skinner stopped in the middle of his rant. "Oh. Garbage. Well...I'm glad it worked out," he finished, giving the boy a thin smile before he finally escaped to his office.