Chapter 4 : Textured Batter
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A few beams of sunlight streamed through her crooked curtains which she’d hastily yanked shut last night before diving into bed. Cody groaned, clutching her head and squeezing her eyes closed as she swung her legs over the side of her bed. Not quite a hangover, but definitely not a pleasant feeling. She slowly opened one eye, then the other, and chanced a glance at the clock. Just barely past eight. Way too early for a Sunday morning.
Using the walls as support, Cody hobbled into her bathroom and relieved herself. She stood stationary for a second, contemplating, then began to brush her teeth methodically, almost subconsciously. It felt easier this way, not having to think. Unfortunately, something was still bothering her; why couldn’t she remember what it was?
Shrugging a little apprehensively, Cody swished some mouthwash though her teeth for half a minute. She was really starting to worry now; if only that thick brown envelope from Hippograph would arrive… then she could fully relax. Well, perhaps not relax, per se, as it would indicate a monumental amount of work to come, but at the very least stop worrying incessantly. She was nearly convinced that premature worry lines were beginning to appear on her face. Cho would definitely not be pleased, and would probably advise her to not stress so much.
Looking down, Cody noticed that her matching Jimmy the Fooh pyjama shorts were slightly crooked. She straightened them and realized that her legs were quite dry and cracked. Distractedly, she reached up behind the bathroom sink mirror and got her bottle of honey, then proceeded to slather the viscous substance all over her legs. She hesitated for a minute, then decided to apply an avocado face mask as well; the alcohol didn’t exactly work wonders for her skin.
“I’ll go boil some water for coffee, then take a shower,” she decided, and headed out towards her kitchen, padding out of the bathroom on bare feet, which were below legs that were also bare save for the coating of golden honey.
As she reached the doorway of her kitchen, Cody froze. Her eyes bore into the back of her couch, where a corner of one of her old comforters was swung over the side. Her heart began to hammer as she approached the couch, her head throbbing without comprehension and her vision not completely crystal clear.
The door spun uncomfortably as she grasped her wand and held it out in front of her, not quite menacingly. Letting out a blood curdling war cry, Cody jumped forward and jabbed her wand at the lump located beneath the familiar comforter.
Oliver Wood, who until bare moments ago had been sound asleep, abruptly woke up at the sudden screech. His eyes shot wide open, only to be met by a face close to his own, clumpy green in color and rather reminiscent of a swamp monster.
Letting out a roar of his own, he scrambled to get away from this atrocity but managed to only fall rather painfully off of the couch, hopelessly tangled up in his blankets. His brain was acting on autopilot, and he groped around for his wand, but before he could find it, his attacker appeared to get a grasp on the situation.
“Oliver?” said the green faced swamp monster, letting her wand fall. A hand flew to her mouth. “Ohmigosh, I’m so sorry! I totally forgot--didn’t mean to scare you or anything--”
Oliver squinted at his newly requited Seeker. “What’re you playing at, woman?” he roared, a few drops of spit flying from his mouth. His chest was still heaving heavily from his early morning scare. Unbelievable. This was what he was stuck with as a Seeker? A little part of him died inside; they were so screwed.
“Er…” said Cody meekly.
“Scared the shit out me there! Fine way to treat your captain.” He took in her face mask. “And what the hell is that?” he demanded, pointing at her face mask. “You look like a swamp monster,” he added as an afterthought.
“I’m... moisturizing,” said Cody a little defensively. “Not my fault I was genetically plagued with dry skin.” She was starting to get annoyed now. “Damn wine from last night… I knew I was forgetting something. Not thinking very clearly this morning…”
Oliver gave her a lopsided grin. “Nah, it’s alright. I don’t seem to be having a heart attack, so no harm done. Well… that’s not entirely true either.” He stood up and circled round the couch, and Cody was suddenly struck by the their close proximity and his formidable figure, not to mention his finely formed features. Oliver glanced down and noticed her legs. “What is that?”
“I’m not even going to ask.”
He let out a snigger. “Jimmy the Fooh pyjamas. Really, Wronski?”
“They’re really comfy,” protested Cody, starting to smile as well in spite of herself.
Oliver guffawed. “Great. Just wonderful. I’ve hired a twelve year old child for my new Seeker!” Cody tossed a pillow at his head. Oliver ducked, laughing.
“Know how to cook, Wronski?”
“Yeah,” came the indignant reply.
“Okay. I’ll make you some of my world class famous pancakes. Special occasion and all that. Guarantee they’ll be better than anything you’d be able to whip up.”
“Oh ho! Is that a challenge, Wood?”
“Is that how you see it, Wronski?”
“My waffles are so many times better than any flapjacks of yours,” retorted Cody.
Puzzled, Oliver cocked his left eyebrow. “Flapjacks? Waffles?”
“Right, I forgot. Flapjacks is just another word for pancakes. Waffles… Wood, you’ve seriously never had waffles before?”
“Unless there’s another term for those as well, no.”
Cody paused, thinking how best to explain it. “We-ell… waffles are basically made from the same batter as pancakes, usually. The difference lies in the fact that waffles have texture.” She nodded to herself a little. “The texture is everything.”
“Texture?” echoed Oliver, looking a bit sceptical.
“Yeah, I’ll show you in a second. I’ve gotta go wash this gunk off,” said Cody, indicating her green face mask and legs husked in honey, which drew a laugh from Oliver, “but in the meantime, why don’t you go boil some water for tea--or coffee, if that’s what you prefer.”
Twenty minutes later Cody walked silently through her kitchen doorway and froze slightly. Oliver had his back to her, humming slightly and seeming oblivious to her presence. His dark caramel hair was slightly mussed from sleep, sticking up a smidgeon more on the left side. Begrudgingly, Cody had to admit that he did have rather nicely toned legs and arms. She could definitely see why Playwitch magazine chose to repeatedly feature him.
But more disturbingly, he seemed to almost fit in her kitchen. A sense of belonging, almost, and for a brief moment Cody had a sliver of thought; perhaps it was of the deepest insight, or perhaps it was simply silly folly. For some bizarre reason, imagining Oliver as a family man, not necessarily with anyone in particular, but just in general, seemed shockingly fitting. Cody shook her head vehemently--who was she to judge? After all, her own perceptions of family were warped beyond recognition to normal people. She took a step forward and immediately stubbed her toe on a chair leg. “Oh--for the love of Musty Merlin--”
Startled for the second time that morning, Oliver spun around. “Wronski? Took you long enough--I’ve made enough batter for both my pancakes and your waffles. I would’ve waited to just beat you in cooking, but I got hungry.” He looked at her clutching her toe. “Er--are you alright?”
“Dandy!” squeaked out Cody, a octave higher than her regular speaking voice. Wincing a little, she straightened up, walked over to her new Quidditch captain, and peeked into the bowl at the batter. Sensually, she dipped in a slim albeit slightly strangely shaped index finger and slowly licked the batter off. “Mmm… gotta tell you, Wood, as much as it pains me to say so, so far so good.”
Oliver looked at her incredulously. “Good? Only good?” he thundered.
“Well, what am I supposed to say?”
“How about ‘magnificent’, or ‘best batter I’ve ever tasted’, or ‘Oliver, you’re the most talented person I’ve ever had the fortune to meet in my life’?”
Cody laughed. “Don’t be silly, Wood.” A mischievous grin took over her features, her whole face lighting up. “Besides, I’d call it more of a misfortune, if you catch my drift. It’s decent now, but I’m sure it’ll taste awesome once they’ve got some texture.” She nudged Oliver a bit and reached into the cupboard for her waffle pan. “Here,” she said, taking the batter bowl from Oliver, their hands brushing briefly in the process. She poured in some of the viscous substance and plugged in the waffle pan.
“Should we use the rest for pancakes?”
Oliver hesitated. “Nah. You say that the… texture really makes that much of a difference?” Receiving a nod, he continued, “Well then, waffles it is.” A devilish look flitted across his face. He dipped in three fingers so that they were covered by the goo, and then proceeded to flick them at Cody.
Surprised, Cody let out a little squeak. “What was that for?”
Oliver could barely reply through his laughter. “The look,” he sputtered in between peals of laughter, “on your face. Priceless!”
“In that case,” Cody grinned back before retaliating with her own handful of gooey batter.
Before long, the situation had escalated to a full blown batter fight, the two jumping and twirling around the small kitchen, seeming almost as if they alone were engaged in a spiritual dance. Batter flew everywhere, coating the walls and floors while the waffles cooked calmly and unaffected on the counter.
Finally, the batter ran out and Oliver approached Cody cautiously, one hand extended. “Truce, truce!” he cried.
But just as their hands clasped, Oliver slipped on a puddle of batter on the now slippery linoleum, dragging Cody down with him.
“Oomph,” Cody said, flinging the last of the batter from her fingers at him as they landed painfully beside each other on the cold, hard, unforgiving floor. “Ouch.”
Simultaneously, they each individually noticed their suddenly close proximity to each other. Cody’s hair brushed against Oliver’s upper arm, tickling him slightly. Oliver’s breath blew caressingly against Cody’s bare shoulder exposed by her Jimmy the Fooh tank top.
Oliver cleared his throat a little uncomfortably. Both of them were covered pretty much head to toe in batter.
Cody laughed a little nervously, border lining hysteria. How did she manage to get into such a situation with someone she barely knew, and her Quidditch captain to boot?
Oliver laughed too. “You look ridiculous.”
“You’re not looking much better yourself, Wood.”
He grinned. “At least we’ve got the rest of the day off; we’ve some serious cleaning up to do.”
Author's Note: A fair bit of Oliver/Cody fluff this chapter, hopefully it wasn't too much or too cliche (was it?). I seem to have temporarily misplaced the story outline notes, so this may have deviated a little from the original plan. There's probably going to be more action next chapter though. Look at that; three chapters within a relatively short time of each other. You know what that means :) Reviews, feedback, concrit is greatly appreciated.
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