by Tany Z
Disclaimers: Not my characters, and not my profit either.
Author's Notes: Food-related H/C. Originally posted to Sentinel Angst. Extra points if you know what 'capsaicin' is.
"What the....?" A yawning, bleary-eyed Blair Sandburg stumbled out of his room, startled out of his sleep by the odd sounds emanating from the kitchen.
"Jim!!" Abruptly wide awake, Sandburg sprinted for the kitchen and rounded the counter - only to be brought up short by the sight of his friend bent double over the sink, mopping at his eyes with a dishrag. "What the hell happened?!"
"Dinner? What, you got mugged by a menu?" He moved quickly to the Sentinel's side. "C'mon, Jim, tell me what happened!"
Jim turned his face towards him. Sandburg noted with dismay that his face was blotched and reddened, his eyes half-closed and streaming tears. "Rrrrrrgggghhhh...marinade. Dinner. Thai."
"Thai...oh, jeez." Belatedly, Sandburg observed the cutting board off to one side, little pieces of chopped orange something scattered across it and the counter. Little pieces of...
"Aw, Jim, please don't tell me you did what I think you did. Here, come on..." he pushed the Sentinel to one side of the sink, keeping his head over the basin. Grabbing the sprayer attachment, he turned the water on until it was a tepid, gentle spray. "Bend your head sideways, Jim - more, that's it - ok, just hold still."
"YAAARGH!! Sandburg, that was my !*@!#! ear!!"
"Sorry, man, but quit wiggling!" Blair carefully aimed the water across Jim's eyes. "Now, you wanna tell me what you did to yourself? Not that I haven't guessed from the *evidence*, detective."
"Mmmmmrrrgh...smart-ass. Was trying out your new cookbook...thought I'd try that ACK! (splutter) Damn it, Sandburg, the eyes, not the mouth!"
"Sorry. You were going to try what?"
"That marinated spicy beef dish you liked so much at Thai Orchid. Found what looked like the equivalent in the book (blub). But the market was out of Anaheim peppers."
"So you thought you'd substitute HABANEROS?! Those are like point nine on the Scoville scale of peppers, Jim! Just *handling* them barehanded would've been hard enough on your sense of touch, but I *know* what you did, o large doofus...you were chopping them up and you rubbed your eyes, didn't you?"
"Aargh. Yeah. Damn. I wasn't even *thinking* - I just barely touched 'em - Jesus, that was incredible! Thought I could just ignore it when it started to sting a little, but then it turned into actual pain. It no-shit *hurt*!!"
"Yeah, no kidding. You'll be lucky if you don't get blisters on your corneas."
"Ugh - thank you for that image, Chief. Try to make you a nice meal, and you make jokes about my poor eyeballs."
"No joke, man. Not with *your* sensitivities. How're they feeling now?"
"Way better. Lemme up - I think you got me pretty much washed out now. Wow..."
(WHAP) "Hands *down*, Ellison! Don't you dare rub 'em again! Here, park on the sofa while I get a washcloth."
"And a few kleenex." (whonk!)
"Eeww. Comin' up, snot-man."
(sigh) "Can't believe I did that. Dumb, dumb, dumb. You'd think I would've known better."
Returning with his hands full, Sandburg flashed back on a memory of the Sentinel rubbing Golden into his eyes and bit back an unworthy reply. "Yeah, well, bet you will from now on. Here, just sit back and drape this wet washcloth across your eyes. And here's a towel. I've got some extra-gentle eyedrops we can try in a little bit. In the meantime, I'll just dig out the rubber gloves you *should* have been using and I'll finish up this marinade." He moved into the kitchen and began to rummage.
"Thanks, Chief. Boy, do I feel like an idiot."
Sandburg manfully repressed a smirk and said nothing.
"Hey, you *could* contradict me!"
"Guide contradict Sentinel? Not happen, kemo sabe."
"Smart-ass Guide. Just goes to show - no good deed goes unpunished."
"Yeah, yeah, Jim. Your heart was in the right place - too bad your fingers weren't!"
"Not bad for the capsaicin-impaired, man." Sandburg picked up the flung pillow and tossed it back on the sofa, and carried on chopping. He raised one gloved hand and waved it at the Sentinel. "See? Practicing safe cuisine."
Jim groaned and flopped back onto the sofa.
Endnote: I should be totally embarrassed to admit this vignette borrows from real-life experience....I mean, I'm Hispanic. Shouldn't I have had some sort of ethnic pre-knowledge of what would happen if I touched my face in the midst of chopping habaneros? But nooooo....