2010-03-20: Kitchen Nightmares



Date: March 20, 2010


Now you can't have any of my ratatouille.

"Kitchen Nightmares"

Cody's Safehouse and Grille

Erin sits on the couch, glaring into a handheld mirror at the absolute mess that is her face. The worst part is, the break wasn't actually that bad. In fact, it hardly even hurts anymore, unless she touches it — which she makes a point not to do. Or, it also kind of hurts if she moves her face, or smiles, or… Okay, so it's still sore. What really sucks is the fact that her face is black and blue across the bridge of her nose and under her eyes.

The TV is on, low volume, as she tilts the mirror upward to look at her eyes. It's amazing — recently, they've just been normal. They hadn't been since she got out of Building 27. The blue actually looks kind of dull now. Maybe after this, she can go without wearing sunglasses everywhere, and she'll certainly be promoting the wonders of Tai Chi and meditation.

Notably, the downstairs area smells of burned food. Erin's attempted to hide the evidence that she tried to cook, but she couldn't do so completely. Notably, there's pancake batter seared onto the counters. And the ceiling somehow, despite its height. It's really best not to ask. Ever. Also, the hard-as-rock pancakes have simply been stuffed down the sink's drain, and the skillet used to make them is in the trash with a pancake stuck permanently to its surface.

A shopping list stuck to the fridge reads 'Teflon skillet.'


After the needling about his weight that Matt has gotten on more than one occasion since his rescue, it's his turn to mess with the others by taking a turn in the kitchen himself. Whatever it is he's cooking, he's been working on it for the better part of an hour… and with Cody's hot-as-hell chili and Erin's Let Us Never Speak Of This Again casserole setting the bar high to begin with, he's gathered pretty much every single thing that could conceivably count as a food ingredient and arrayed them on the counter. It smells okay, but what the hell is it going to taste like? More importantly, will it finish the job that Erin started and destroy the entire place?

The one thing he hasn't commandeered is the ice packs in the freezer, on account of Erin might need to put them on her face to help the swelling go down faster.


KeLyssa wandering about the building has become a favourite past time of KeLyssa's. Unless, of course, she can sneak out all reckless like. Then she attempts to wander around the outside world. Today, as she wanders around, she happens upon the kitchen to grab herself a snack, only to find the kitchen a mess and Matt in it cooking. "Great heeby-jeebies in crocks an' a birthday suit, what in the 'gator blazin' Bourbon Street, Mardi Gras celebrations happened in here?" She frowns, sniffing slightly. "Smells like somethin' was burnt." She shakes her head. "I might hafta take on the cookin' m'self ta make sure the place ain't burnt to a crisp." She says, finally looking directly at Matt.


Being the weekend, Cody's not at work. Thankfully though, she's out of the house and quite oblivious to the havok that Erin created in the kitchen. The familiar sound of the locks twisting and clicking open may cause a little bit of tension but only as long as it takes the agent to wind her way around the door and close it behind her. She has a little black medical bag that Erin might recognize as her bag n' tag case hanging from one hand, the other is currently tossing her keys into a bowl near the front door.

Then she freezes.

Then she shoots a look toward the kitchen where Matt and KeLyssa are standing.

"What in the hell are you do — " A swift glance is shot up to the ceiling to see the splatter of… "What in the hell.." Her voice drifts for just a moment before she takes a breath to let it out in a bellow, "PARKMAN!!!!"


Matt isn't alone in the kitchen. He's picked up a little helper, at least as far as prep goes. The planning and implementation is solely in his hands. Chopping and slicing is easy enough for Alex, and pretty cathartic too, so that's what she does; whatever sizes or shapes or whatever needs to be prepped. "Bourbon Street and Mardi Gras, hm?" Alex fires at KeLyssa, since, you know, that's kind of where she grew up and all. But! There's not a whole heck of a lot of time for her to get an answer as Sgt. Slaughter busts in and starts screaming. It makes her hop a little, and look at the doorway.


Out in the living room, Erin takes one look at Cody and…

Well, when all else fails, blame someone else! Getting to her feet, she heads toward the kitchen, which seems to be where everyone's congregating. "Wonderful, what'd he do now?" she asks angrily, though the look on her face - that smile she's offering Matt - suggests she knows exactly what's going on here. Likely, Erin'll have to 'fess up eventually, anyway, considering that as soon as Cody sees the hand-written shopping list, she'll just know.

Might as well have fun while it lasts, though. And also, while Erin can still speak, because she has this nagging feeling that one day, Cody's just gonna haul off and collapse her trachea. That won't be a good day. "What'ja do, Parkman?"


Never get involved in a land war in Asia. Never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line. And never try to frame a cop, not even for a few seconds. « Oh, no you don't, » he projects at Erin, « you're going to tell her exactly what you did in here right now. »

Outwardly, he's all smiles, not even batting an eye at KeLyssa's more colorful (if less piercing) criticism. "Actually, I'm working on some ratatouille. Pretty simple when you get down to it. Here, hold this a minute?" Adding a dash of some herb or spice or something to the veggies that Alex has been dicing, he hands the container to KeLyssa and goes over to rinse off his hands.

What, you thought he wouldn't know how to cook? He's been divorced for nearly four years now, and you can't eat take-out (or Mohinder's Indian cuisine) all the time; you'd go crazy.


KeLyssa nods at Alex. "Ya heard me right. I may've lived elsewhere in the great state o' Louisiana, but I've heard rumours o' the craziness o' Bourbon Street 'round Mardi Gras." She shakes her head. "Seemed like the that's what happened in here." She eyes the kitchen. When Cody's booming voice resounds, however, she scuttles behind Matt. "That don' sound like no good thing." She states simply, taking the container from Matt. "Let's just hope ya live ta enjoy yer ratatouille."


"Something tells me he can handle it…maybe." Alex grins slyly at Matt, putting an elbow gently into his side. There's a bit of a cushion there anyways, so her bony little arm won't do much hurt to him. "Ratatouille is right up my alley as well, hard as that is to imagine. And like Matt…dorm food in my case, however…only gets you so far. Eventually you have to learn to cook!" Even as she chats up KeLyssa and Matt, she ping-pongs her eyes back and forth from Cody to Erin to see how this is gonna go down.


The agent's long hair is already braiding itself into a long ponytail. When it is finished, the blonde hair rises up over her head, looking very much like a scorpion tail. It's eerie, and quite uncanny, the way it shifts with every turn of her head as she glares between each of her new room mates. "The kitchen… is a disaster," she growls as her hands tighten into fists at her sides. Then in a roar befitting the incredible hulk, the long tail strikes upward at the ceiling and scrapes the half cooked, half burnt pancake from the ceiling only to land in the middle of the chopped vegetables.

"I'm going upstairs to hit something with a stick, when I come back down… I certainly hope this mess will be cleaned up." Then, perhaps to prove her point, the long tail arches and strikes again. This time it's into the sink where the other pancakes have been jammed, spinning and then spitting them out in a fury of dry crumbs.


Erin, who isn't exactly the most truthful person, suddenly feels a weird compulsion to tell Cody and everyone else in the room exactly what happened. For just a moment, she seems confused, before she turns to her roommate and says, "I burned the pancakes. And ruined the skillet. We'll prolly need a new one." She points up to the ceiling. "Think that might be a record."

In the past, Erin's been very… easy to sway by suggestion. Hell, her first roommate almost made her jump out a window. Still, after she points out the pancake on the ceiling, she still seems confused. Maybe it's just because she knows how easy she falls for that sort of stuff. Unfortunately, it's one thing she can't pin on Matt, because it barely even registers that she heard his voice at all. Looking at Cody, she offers a very perplexed, "…Sorry?"


As he washes up, Matt glances sidelong at Alexandra. How'd she pick up what he was thinking? Must've pushed a little too hard at Erin; he'll have to be more careful about that. He's distracted enough that the ex-pancake flying right in front of him catches him off guard. "Ah!" he yells, backing up and leaving the sink running and his hands dripping onto the floor. Another foot and he might've run into Alex or KeLyssa and made them bump into the oven.


KeLyssa tries to hide as best she can from the angry Cody. Speaking up at last, "Ain't no reason ta get yer hair in a knot, none! Yer angry 'bout this, but don't some o' us here got reasons ta be even angrier at ya? Sure, yas got as out, an' that's somethin' ta be super grateful fer, but ya're also the one who put some o' us in there. An' that's much more angerin' then messin' up the kitchen somethin' awful. So take a chill pill, relax, an' control yer hair, or I'm gonna freeze it off've that pretty li'l head o' yours!"


Alex watches Cody with interest. Not so much surprise or fear or anything like that. Just interest. At a loss for words, KeLyssa seems to sum it up pretty well, so…"Yeah! What she said! It's just a kitchen. No need to get so, ah, angry about it. Especially since we're trying very hard to be agreeable houseguests, even after all we've been through. You think I wouldn't rather be back at home, the place you smoked me out of?"


Given Erin's confession, Cody has calmed and softenned somewhat. That is until her temporary bout of anger is confronted by the little Ice Princess and the Queen of Dirty Jobs. "Means to an end," is all she says before turning on her heel and moving toward the stairs. She leaves Erin to explain, after all, she knows the agent better than nearly anyone on the planet.. aside from her boss.

The blonde takes the steps two at a time until she reaches the top of the third floor and is out of site. Perhaps only a few moments later, the trio downstairs will hear the steady drum of a stick as she pounds the heavy weight bag into oblivion. Take that Jensen, Danko, Sayf Udeen… and Lane, Marcus II and Robert respectively.


Erin's eyes narrow as she recovers from the non-verbal comand Matt gave her. That still doesn't feel right, but she'll worry about that later. "If any of you use your powers on either of us in here, I will personally see to it that you get a really severe case of rabies." There would be more of an angry expression on her face, except for the fact that it hurts to make any expression at all.

Unfortunately, Erin can't really argue KeLyssa's logic. Erin hates that Cody put people in there - People who might never escape. There wasn't another way. "You're here 'cuz you were some of the people lucky enough to get out of that shit hole. Show a little gratitude." She allows her lip to curl a little. It hurts, but it drives the point home.

Then, her eyes turn on Alexandra. One might expect another torrent of ill-will, but Erin just sighs, her hands running through her hair. "Sorry. Sorry, look." She sits at the counter. "Have any of you ever been tortured? Really tortured? I have. It sucks. We've all been through a lot. But none of it compares to what she's been through…" She nods toward the exercise room. "What she did? Deplorable. I dunno if I'll ever forgive her for it, and she's my friend. But look… Her doing what she did? Might have saved thousands of lives. There are people out there who are trying to make people like you and me into weapons. Without people like Cody, we'd all still be in that place. I guarantee it. So guys… At least try to give her a break."

(to be continued)

Outtake: Cops fall, everyone dies

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