Funnier in Latin

Title: Cooking Up A Storm
Author: Rach
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: BtVS Season 7 and AtS Season 4
Summary: Fred’s cooking for the gang, and Willow drops by.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, and probably never will!

“Damnit!” Fred slammed the tray she was holding into the oven and waved her hand around in the air, trying to cool down the burn. As she kicked the door shut, she leant over and turned on the cold tap, sticking her hand under it. Surveying the mess she’d made in the kitchen, she sighed, wiping her other hand down the side of her apron.

Ticking off items in her mind, she was satisfied that everything was well under way, and pulled off her apron, heading through into the other room to begin setting the table. As she pulled her best tablecloth out of the dresser there was a knock at the door.

“Go away, you’re early!” she yelled through the door, laughing.

“Uh, Fred? It’s Willow.” Fred dumped the tablecloth down on the table and ran to the door, unhooking the chain and opening it.

“Willow! Hi!” She grinned at the redhead standing on her doorstep. “What are you doing here?”

“I called the hotel earlier to see if you guys would be around,” she started. “There was no answer, and yours was the only address I could remember – I hope you don’t mind me stopping by like this!”

“Of course not! We’re not actually at the hotel any more, but you picked a real good night to stop by, I’m cooking for Angel, Wes and Charles. You’re more than welcome to join us; I think I’ve made far too much as it is.”

Willow smiled. “Only if you’re sure you have enough.”

“I’m absolutely positive.” Taking Willow’s coat and bag from her, she hung them on the back of the door. “Take a seat, make yourself at home, see what’s on TV or something, I just have to go get changed.”

Noticing the half-set table, Willow called after her. “Hey, Fred, is there anything I can do to help?”

“Its fine, everything’s taken care of,” she replied. “Just sit down!”

“I’ll make a start on the table then,” Willow muttered, a slight smile on her face. Shaking the tablecloth out, she moved the cutlery onto one of the chairs, and smoothed the cloth down over the table.

She began to set out the placemats, humming to herself as she went, and was jolted out of her reverie when the phone rang.

“You could get that, if you don’t mind,” Fred called from the bedroom.

Willow looked around her, trying to figure out where the phone was, and finally spotted it on a table by the door. “Sure thing.” Picking it up and pressing talk, she put the receiver to her ear. “Hi, this is Fred’s place, Willow speaking.” She listened to the exclamation of surprise on the other end and grinned. “Wesley, hey! You guys are in for a treat, this food that Fred’s cooking? Smells delicious.” She paused, letting him speak. “Well, how late? All of you?” She sighed, not wanting to disappoint Fred. “All right, I’ll tell her. Yeah. Bye, Wesley.” Just as she hung up, Fred came out of the bedroom wearing a short black halter neck dress that was still open at the back.

“Could you do me up?” She gathered up her hair and turned her back to Willow. “Who was that?”

Willow jiggled the zip. “Wesley. He said that the three of them have been called out to somewhere urgent, that they’ll be late, and –” she pulled the zipper all the way to the top of Fred’s dress and grinned triumphantly. “That they’re all really sorry and we should go ahead and eat without them.”

Fred let go of her hair and turned back to Willow. “Oh. I see. Maybe I should just stick everything in the refrigerator and reheat it when they get here; I mean, the whole point of tonight was that we’d get to spend some time together as a group.”

Willow shrugged. “I guess that’s up to you, but … well, everything smells so wonderful. I mean, I’m sure it’ll still be nice later, but it won’t be as good as if we eat it fresh. We could put some away for them, and at least we two would get to taste it the way it’s meant to taste.” She grinned a little. “And besides, you look absolutely gorgeous. Wouldn’t want all of your effort to go to waste, hey?”

“I guess not,” Fred offered, smiling a little and blushing at the compliment.

“That’s settled then. You get back to the kitchen and I’ll finish up the table. And then I’ll go change into something that, while it mightn’t be as great as what you’re wearing, will be at least a little more worthy of a dinner party of this calibre. Okay?”

Fred nodded. “Okay.”

Willow quickly finished setting the table and searched through the bag she’d brought for something suitable. She could tell Fred had put a lot of effort into tonight and she wanted to make sure the Texan had a night to remember, even if it didn’t end up being quite what she’d intended.

Pulling a long black skirt and halter-neck top from her bag, she poked her head into the kitchen. “Bathroom?”

“That way, first on the left,” Fred pointed, smiling.
As Willow went to change, Fred turned down the heat on the oven and pulled two soup bowls from the cupboard. Pouring a little into each bowl, she pushed the pan to the back of the stove and turned the burner off.

“The soup is chicken,” she called out, picking up both bowls and heading into the lounge area. “I hope that’s all-” she looked up as she entered the room and set her eyes on Willow. “Wow.”

Willow grinned and did a little twirl, dropping her jeans by her bag. “I wasn’t expecting to be invited to a gourmet dinner, so I hope this will do.” She stepped forward and gestured to the table. “I found some candles in your dresser. I hope you don’t mind; I just thought it would be nice.”

Setting the dishes down on the table, Fred blushed. “I … uh … again, wow!”

“I couldn’t find any matches, though.”

“Oh, right. I’ll, uh … I’ll just get them.” As Fred lit the candles, Willow lowered the lights and smiled.

“Much better.”

Fred turned back to Willow as she put the matches away. “Willow, are you … trying to make this a date?”

Willow stepped forward and lowered her voice to a whisper. “Would that be a problem for you?”

Fred moved closer to Willow, as if the redhead was drawing her in. “Surprisingly, not as much as I would have thought,” she whispered back.

As Willow leaned in to kiss Fred, she lifted her hand from the table and gently laid it on the younger girl’s waist. Fred’s arm snaked around Willow’s back, and gently worked under her top, her hand grasping the clasp of Willow’s bra.

“Well,” Willow murmured with a small smile. “You learn fast.”

“I have a good teacher.”