Chapter 89:

Short Circuit

The Y-files [GL]

When we got back to the brasserie, I noticed it was really busy. Mom and Frank were not there, and the place was being run by Tory and Mari who were going insane. When Tory saw me, she immediately came to me and asked “Great Claire, Now that you are here, can you get your mother and take Emma over from Frank? We are being swamped. Your mother went to check how Sam was settling in but never came back. I thought we would be working with 3 waitresses today, but this is just crazy.”Bookmark here

Anna and I made our way to the apartment. When we opened the door, my wish for a quiet evening with Anna fell to shreds immediately.Bookmark here

Frank was having a fight with a pink-haired girl, that had to be Sam. I was surprised Frank was in such a petty fight, he was usually so calm and friendly with anyone. But one thing was clear. Those two could not stand each other.Bookmark here

Mom noticed us and came toward me. “This is just terrible. Those two have been fighting almost since the start. It went a little better while I was with them, but now they started again and aren't even listening to me anymore. This time it is about how you should bake pancakes, and who could make them the best. Him or her.Bookmark here

I noticed Emma was in the room where they were having their fight. That was most likely why mom did not leave and let Tory and Mari fend for themselves in the brasserie. This could not go on.Bookmark here

ENOUGH!” I yelled. I was ragingly mad. “This fight ends NOW,” I said. “Or are you forgetting that our little Emma is here?” Both of them looked at the fearful Emma, and I noticed they both felt bad about what they did.Bookmark here

I went to Emma, but instead of consoling her, I asked her loud enough so everyone could hear “What should people that have a row do?”Bookmark here

Shake hands and make up!” she said.Bookmark here

I glared at the two and said “You heard her.”Bookmark here

But Sam did not seem to want to let go, and said “Only if he admits my family's way of making pancakes is superior.” I could see Frank was about to explode. She attacked him on his pride as a chef, and Frank's pancakes were served at the brasserie and were top-notch.Bookmark here

Anna then interfered and said, “I guess there is only one solution then.”Bookmark here

Everyone looked at her “The both of them will have a cook-off and make pancakes for us. Emma will decide who makes the best.”Bookmark here

Emma seemed happy at the prospect of pancakes and Frank and Sam both seemed determined to show the other what they were made of. But I just lost the chance to cook tonight. I would have to eat their pancakes, even though I promised to make Anna dinner.Bookmark here

That is all nice and well, but Tory and Mari are in a pinch and need help,” I said, delivering Tory's message.Bookmark here

Oh, dear!” Mom hurried to the brasserie.Bookmark here

You can have the kitchen upstairs, I will bake pancakes, while I tend to the brasserie.” Frank stepped in determined strides to the kitchen.Bookmark here

When Frank had left the room, I noticed Sam calmed down. She introduced herself to us, and we did the same. “Ah, I guessed you were the daughter. You look almost exactly the same as your mother in the pictures we have at home from when she hung out with my mom. Bookmark here

So this must be your girlfriend. Lisa told me you were on a date, but I did not think it would be with a girl. Must run in the family.”Bookmark here

What did she mean by that? I wanted to ask her, but then I saw she noticed Anna's mark and said “That must have been some date! Where did the two of you go?”Bookmark here

I started blushing again. Anna was remaining calm like earlier and explained everything we did in the Wellness center, obviously leaving out the more intimate parts. But then Sam said “Not one, but even two marks. Which treatment caused those?”Bookmark here

I noticed Anna put two and two together, and suddenly the embarrassment hit her too. Of course, she could not see it herself. How stupid of me to think she was just remaining calm. I was glad to see she was human after all.Bookmark here

The two of you are so cute together,” she said noticing us being embarrassed together. “Can you show me where everything is in the kitchen? I need to put that man in his place.”Bookmark here

I sighed. I realized the calm at our place was over. These catfights would go on for eternity and I was pretty sure the pancakes would not be the end of it. I hoped they would not fight when they were on the job. I showed Sam around the kitchen, but they'd better not get in between me and my kitchen again though. I would not forgive that twice.Bookmark here

When I got back to the living room, Anna was playing with Emma, when I heard the innocent question leave Emma's lips “What are those dark spots in auntie Anna's neck? Did you hurt yourself? Shall I give them a kiss to make them better?”Bookmark here

I turned completely red and heard laughter coming from the kitchen. How would we save ourselves from that one? Anna simply replied like it was nothing “That is very sweet of you, but auntie Claire already gave those spots a kiss.” Then Anna blew me a little kiss and gave me a wink.Bookmark here

Auntie Claire is really good at making the pain go away with kisses,” Emma said in a really serious tone. Another bout of laughter came from the kitchen. It seemed Sam was the type to enjoy herself at the expense of others.Bookmark here

That is true,” Anna said. “I didn't feel any pain after those kisses.”Bookmark here

All those innuendos, the laughter, and the innocent replies from Emma... It was becoming too much for me, I needed to change the subject and quickly.Bookmark here

Now Anna is here, shall we read a story together?”Bookmark here

Emma's eyes started to sparkle and she nodded enthusiastically. “Then go get your book.”Bookmark here

Emma took off. I put myself next to Anna on the sofa and hugged her. I needed a hug after all that teasing, even more so, because there would be no relief in my kitchen for me tonight.Bookmark here

When I looked back up from my hug, Emma was staring at us with puppy eyes with a pink book in her hands. That was not one of her books... That was one of my yuri novels!Bookmark here

Emma, what did we tell you about taking books that are not yours? They can be really scary!”Bookmark here

Emma kept her puppy eyes on and said “But auntie and grandma were smiling so bright when they were reading this. Emma wants to smile like that too.”Bookmark here

I wanted to protest, but Anna took Emma on her knee and opened the book. Luckily it was one of those really wholesome ones, where nothing would go further than intense hand-holding.Bookmark here

But when Anna began telling the tale, they followed the pictures but had really nothing to do with the printed text. It was brilliantly funny and cute, and Emma was shaking from laughter. I put my shoulder on Anna's head, to show her how grateful I was.Bookmark here

After a while, we were called to the dinner table. Both Sam and Frank presented their pancakes.Bookmark here

There was a spread of types of sugar, marmalade, and syrups. Sam and Frank were awaiting Emma's verdict.Bookmark here

After tasting both several times, she said “I like this one more.” I saw a smile coming on Sam's face, but then Emma added “ But they are best like this.” Emma took a piece of both and put them in her mouth at the same time. “Pancakes should be enjoyed together.” She giggled at her own joke.Bookmark here

It is still my win. There is no way anyone can make a better pancake than our family recipe!”Bookmark here

To which Emma immediately said “That is not true. Auntie Claire's pancakes are way better! My Auntie Claire is the best chef in the world!”Bookmark here

Everyone at the table became quiet and was looking at me and Sam. Sam was clearly measuring me up, and then said “That is impossible! Prove it!”Bookmark here

Put her in her place sis!” Frank saidBookmark here

I was happy with the chance to show off my skills, but I did not like this situation. Now they were using me to continue their fight.Bookmark here

No, not like this,” I said. Everyone looked at me like I was sick because I did not jump at the chance to show off my cooking.Bookmark here

The both of you will follow me to the kitchen, and I will teach you. That way you can learn to do it too. I will not be in the middle of your fights. So if you can't make up, I won't teach you.” It was really hard for me to do this. I really wanted to cook, but I did not want to solve their fights every day.Bookmark here

Frank and Sam looked each other in the eye, then looked the other way and both said “Hmph” looking the other way while crossing their arms. Frank noticed the look on my face and in response stretched his hand out as some form of truce offer. Still not looking at each other Sam accepted the offer and they shook hands. It was still not ideal, but for now, it would have to do.Bookmark here

I went to the kitchen and took out all the ingredients and then said. “It is funny, but Emma already told the two of you, how to make it better. It appears she takes after her auntie.”Bookmark here

What do you mean?” Sam asked. Frank looked very interested in what I was about to say too.Bookmark here

It is the flower. Sam, you used this harder flower, didn't you?”Bookmark here

Sam was clearly surprised that I could tell by the taste. “And Frank, you used this softer, more glutinous one.” Frank simply nodded. Well, he knew I knew how he made them for the brasserie.Bookmark here

Well, if you mix them, the result will give you a more agreeable texture.”Bookmark here

Both of them nodded very interestedly, but when they noticed they were both interested in the same thing they both hmphed and looked away again. Really? How old are they?Bookmark here

The next thing is the vanilla. Frank used an extract, again Frank nodded, and Sam used superior vanilla sticks, boiled in milk. Sam looked a bit smug until I took out a little metal box. “This is pure vanilla powder This is what they use in high-class restaurants.” Sam looked like she never knew that existed.Bookmark here

I continued baking the pancakes, and when I made one for everyone, we went back to the dining room, where Anna was entertaining Emma. Emma spurted back to the table.Bookmark here

When everyone took a bite out of the pancakes, I could hear their moans of enjoyment. The atmosphere at the table became very homey and everyone seemed very happy. Sam was looking at me with eyes full of disbelief. “Remember that you can do it too now,” I said.Bookmark here

Then Frank said “You should give up on beating Claire in cooking. She is just out of category. I know nobody that can cook at her level, and I know most chefs in Brussels.”Bookmark here

That seemed to put Sam on edge. “Only because you don't try. You should raise your bar some. It just means she put the work in!”Bookmark here

Okay, I could see why she short-circuited with Frank that is usually just a big teddy bear that gets along with everyone.Bookmark here

Frank was about to explode, but I interfered and said “Frank beats me easily in brasserie cuisine management. We all have our strengths.”Bookmark here

Frank seemed to calm down at that. Sam looked at him again and hmphed again.Bookmark here

After dinner, Frank hurried back to the brasserie to help out Mari again. He would have to do something for Mari to make up to her. So I said “Just, give Mari the rest of the pancake batter and the recipe. She will understand what kept you then.”Bookmark here

Sam decided to go downstairs too, so she could observe the brasserie where she would be working starting Monday.Bookmark here

Anna and I proceeded to read Emma the rest of her story and afterward put her to bed. Then we just watched some anime in the living room, while I put my head on Anna's lap. I loved it when she caressed my hair. I wished we had more of these peaceful moments with just the two of us.Bookmark here

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