The Great Yamaku Holiday Bake Off (S9 submission)

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The Great Yamaku Holiday Bake Off (S9 submission)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:00 pm

Hey everyone!

Had a lot of fun reading everyone's Secret Santa prompts this year! It might take me a bit to get to reading all of them but I really enjoy this little tradition the second year we have running!

Victim: gibzx

Prompt:
"The student council had planned to take a trip to the Hakamichi household for Christmas, but much to their disdain, a heavy snowstorm has halted all nearby train services and roads, leaving them stuck within the walls of Yamaku.

Now Hisao, Misha and Shizune must make do with what they have, and decide to host an impromptu Christmas celebration (feel free to make said party just for the trio or include more students)"
I had a really hard time with this prompt because Shizune is my least favorite character to write for, but I'm glad it gave me the chance to challenge myself!

I hope you all like it!

The Great Yamaku Holiday Bake Off

“We’re not going anywhere,” I sigh, resigned when I see how hard the snow is coming down outside.

[That’s a lot more snow than the weather report called for,] Shizune signs, her face a mixture of appreciation and dismay.

Misha seems to be more downtrodden than the two of us combined. “We can still make it if we just go slowly.”

[We would need snowshoes to get down the hill at this point.]

“I can go get some tennis rackets from the track shed!” Misha exclaims, leaving us both with no doubts that she would actually do it in a heartbeat.

Shizune’s already shaking her head. [Even if we made it down the hill, we might miss the bus to the city. If we’re going to be stuck, it might as well be here at the school.]

I set my bag down with a heavy thud. “That settles it then. Might as well call Jigoro and let him know we aren’t going to make it tonight.”

“I’ve never seen it snow like this so early before. Usually it waits until February.”

Shizune sits down with a huff, clearly not pleased. [I was really looking forward to it. Maybe it will let up enough tomorrow to let us get back to my house.]

“At least Jigoro said they weren’t planning on doing dinner until tomorrow anyway.”

“But I’m hungry now, Hicchan~!” Misha whines, her shoulders slumping. “What are we going to eat?”

“You know that has nothing to do with tomorrow night, right?”

“Shicchan, do something! Hicchan’s teasing me~,” she pouts. I just shake my head.

[We might as well see what we can scrounge from the cafeteria. Hopefully they won’t only have instant noodles and sandwiches left over.]

“Man, I hope not. I didn’t eat earlier. I thought we were going to be able to get something in town.”

[We’d never even make it to the Aura Mart right now.]

“But what if we won’t make it out of here tomorrow, Hicchan? I was really looking forward to the party at SHicchan’s...”

Shizune looks thoughtful at this, then the corners of her mouth curl up into a dangerous smile. [What about the student council room? Why not have a gathering there?]

“That’s a good idea! We could even order in~! We have enough left over in the student council budget for this year~!” Misha says happily, completely forgetting that ordering food in is an impossibility with the weather outside.

“Uh, Misha…”

[We’ll make do,] Shizune signs, already grinning the way she always does when presented with a new challenge to tackle. [We can just get what we need from the vending machines in the cafeteria. For everything else, I’m sure we can liberate whatever else we need.]

The glint in her eyes when she signed the word liberate gives me just enough pause to realize I probably shouldn’t inquire further for sake of plausible deniability.

----------

“I’m back!” I shout as I trudge back into the student council room, taking a moment to properly take off my coat and hat. It’s not terribly cold outside, but the snow is coming down harder than it was about half an hour ago.

“Hey Hicchan~” Misha’s voice greets me, causing me to look in her direction. I didn’t think Misha would get back before I did, but then again I guess she didn’t find anyone. “How’d it go?”

“Well, the only person who opened the door was-”

“Merry Christma-dude, you’re blocking the door.”

I take an incredulous and reflexive step to the side, releasing a sigh as I do so. Kenji proudly steps in, a hand in his pocket and the other one holding his bookbag.

“Where was I? Oh yeah, Merry Christmas!” he finishes, his tone appearing to be genuine - well, as genuine as I think I’ll ever see Kenji get.

“‘Hello, Setou,’” Misha translates for Shizune, who only distracts herself for a moment from setting up a table along the far wall. I see a pile of snacks, each one in an individual wrapper. There’s a dozen cans of soda and coffee at the other end of the table, arranged neatly. While Misha and I were sent on a quest to round up anyone who might still be at the school and snowed in like the rest of us, Shizune made good on her promise to end up buying a ton of food from the machines in the cafeteria. Probably not the most cost efficient method of securing what she was after, but definitely effective.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Misha found anyone else. Even more unfortunately, I did.

When I turn around to address Kenji again, he’s not there. As I furrow my brow in confusion, I hear a loud thud from the table Shizune was working on. When I look at it, Kenji seems to have magically teleported over to it and has set a rather large bottle down on it.

“Kenji...is that…?”

“Yep, my contribution to the party. It’s just rude to show up empty handed. There’s an order to these things, you know? Don’t mix it with anything lighter colored than it, if you want my advice.”

“That’s not-”

“‘Did you seriously bring a bottle of whiskey?’” Misha translates, although I’m not sure if the surprise in her voice is her own or part of the translation.

“Single malt, aged twelve years!” he answers with pride.

“‘I can’t overlook this.’”

“Hey, it’s up to you if you want some or not. But don’t begrudge the rest of us if we want to be festive. Besides, I’m calling in that favor you owe me for the teacher’s lounge.”

Upon having this translated, Shizune’s face first registers shock, then sinks into a scowl. Her hands fidget, a sure sign she’s rattled and doesn’t quite know what to say. Finally, after a few seconds of impotent frustration, she just folds her arms and turns her nose up, clearly conceding defeat even though she’s not happy about it.

When I glance back and forth at Kenji and my girlfriend wondering what the hell just happened, Shizune shoots me a death glare and signs to me in quick, chopping motions.

[I’m not talking about it.]

“So...um, am I allowed to drink or not?” Misha asks, confused.

Kenji stands up and moves over to what has become the impromptu bar. “You can do whatever you want. I’m getting krunk.”

--------

A few drinks later, the four of us have seemed to settle down somewhat. I’m not surprised that Kenji was gung ho, but I am surprised that Shizune finally relented after everyone else took care of themselves. Three of us are in the middle of a discussion about some show we remembered watching when they were younger, but nobody remembers identical details about.

Kenji, on the other hand, has his head down on the desk. I disengage myself from the conversation with the dynamic duo and give him a gentle nudge.

“Kenji?”

“What’s up?” he replies, lifting his head and turning towards me. I can see he’s refilled his cup again, but I have no idea how much whiskey he poured into it.

This could be...dangerous.

“Why did you agree to come here? I mean, I guess I never thought of you coming to one of these things...”

“Nah man, it’s Christmas. Perfect time to call a truce.” He gestures towards me with the cup. “They did it in one of the World Wars. Besides, I’m not one to turn down free food.”

“I see.”

“Yeah. I thought I was prepared for something as silly as a snowstorm, but then I found out the non-perishable food I had stashed away was more perishable than I thought. Then you knocked on the door.”

“Uhhh…”
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Sun Dec 30, 2018 2:53 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Great Yamaku Holiday Bake Off (S9 submission)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:02 pm

“Besides, there’s only a few months left. If anyone was going to poison me or kill me, they would have done it by now and they’d have to be really shitty to do it on Christmas.”

“What exactly did you mean by the teachers lounge?” I ask, my curiosity getting the better of me.

“Speak softly and carry a big stick,” he smirks knowingly.

I have absolutely no idea what he’s talking about. There’s the return to normalcy I was looking for.

Half the bottle later, things are going pretty well. Kenji seems to be genuine in his efforts of fostering a cease-fire, and even was able to hold an engaging conversation with Misha about video games, of all things. He’s on his third drink, keeping right on pace with Shizune.

Now that’s something I never thought I’d see. Not only are her cheeks flushed, but her signing is a bit slower. I guess that would be the equivalent of slurring?

[This is nice,] Shizune signs, sitting down next to me.

“You certainly look like you’re having a good time.”

[It’s the last time we’re going to get to do this, and I want to have fun,] she relays, pouting at me. It’s not a look I see from her much, and it makes me smile.

“Hey, there’s only one piece of cake left!” I hear Kenji exclaim. “Weren’t there like, three here a minute ago?”

“No, there were only two,” Misha answers.

“How do you know?”

“Because I ate one of them~!”

“Damn, now what are the rest of us supposed to do?”

“‘Well I’m sorry they only had two pieces of cake in the machine. We can have a rock-paper-scissors tournament for them if you all want.’”

[You out or in?] Shizune signs, adjusting her glasses and looking expectantly at the rest of us. Nobody needs a translator to see what she’s getting at.

“I’m in!...’You already had yours. You don’t count.’ Aww...oh! I know! There was cake in the cafeteria yesterday. Maybe there’s some left over~?”

Kenji scowls. “Nah, I got the last slice yesterday. I wasn’t sure if it would be good or not but I didn’t want to take the chance of missing out if it was good. It wasn’t, by the way.”

“Maybe we can make one...can you bake, Shicchan?”

Shizune smiles and adjusts her glasses. “‘Please. It’s easy for someone like myself. It’s a perfect blend of art and science, and I have an appreciation for both.’”

Kenji crosses his arms defiantly, his cheeks and ego flushed from the alcohol. “Art-shmart. Baking is a science. Only a truly scientific mind can understand it fully.”

“‘Are you saying you’d be able to bake a better cake than me?’”

Don’t say it. Don’t say it. Don’t say-

“Hell yes I am!”

I immediately throw my head back and finish my drink.

“‘Prove it! We can go down to the cafeteria right now. There should be everything we need!’”

“Uh, maybe we should all calm down a second,” I try to interject, causing Kenji to snap around to me.

“You’re on! You two versus the two of us! Winner gets the rest of the whiskey!”

“Wait, what?” I ask, confused. “What do you mean-”

Misha cuts me off. “Wahaha, good idea! That way we’d have two cakes to try~!”

I shoot a look at Shizune, hoping to convey my desperation. She just gives me a smirk however, and I realize I’m not going to get any help from that angle.

“I’ve never baked anything in my life,” I say, trying to raise another objection.

“Me neither,” Kenji shrugs. “But how hard can it be?”

“Wait, what?” I proclaim again. “You’ve never done this either?”

“Relax, all we have to do is find a recipe. I’m sure there’s one here in the library. All we do is just follow it and then add a touch of panache and we’ll be good to go. That should be easy enough.”

I turn to look at Shizune and Misha, and the two of them are in a heated discussion. Misha has the same dumbfounded expression on her face that I’m wearing, and Shizune has a firm determination on hers that matches Kenji’s somewhat flustered confidence.

“Shicchan says she’s never baked anything before either,” Misha says, looking at me in sympathy at being dragged along into something like this. There’s no way Shizune is going to back down, even if she looks slightly flustered signing to Misha.

I really don’t think this is going to end well, but if Shizune’s never baked anything before, then maybe…

“Who would judge?” Kenji asks.

“What do you mean?”

“Come on, don’t you know anything? There has to be a judge. They’ll tell you everything they like about a dish and then because they have to, they’ll tell you everything wrong with it. Then they make a big deal about announcing who wins. Damn, you really don’t have any sense of showmanship, do you?”

Image

“I still don’t know about this...” Yuuko says, her voice uncertain.

“‘You’ll do great~! Your experience selling desserts at the Shanghai make you perfect!’”

“O...okay, if you think I can help,” she sighs, still looking a bit apprehensive.

The trip to the library was fruitful for two reasons. We found a simple cake recipe in a cookbook, and more importantly, we found Yuuko. She didn’t need much convincing, although the combined assault from Kenji and Shizune seemed to overwhelm the poor girl just a tad.

And that was only the beginning of the craziness that was the last hour. We were able to scrounge everything we needed from the rather extensive pantry of the cafeteria, and looking over the recipe a third time gave me the confidence that we’d at least be able to do something passable. I was even more confident after Kenji laid out his strategy for this contest - do everything exactly like the recipe, with no alterations. He believed that Shizune’s competitive spirit would get the better of her, and that the two of them would overreach and get in a bit over their heads. It might be considered a dirty move, but if it worked...I still can’t think of something that would be nearly as effective.

It’s not a bad idea, but one hour and one giant mess later...I don’t think it worked.

Kenji was right that Shizune would try to go all out. Their cake actually has two layers with a red frosting between them - something even more impressive considering Shizune demoted Misha to icing detail after the latter ended up dumping half a bag of flour over the shoes of the former.

The cake we ended up finishing looks exactly like the one in the cookbook, which is in itself an accomplishment. If the contest was to follow the recipe, I’m pretty sure we’d be guaranteed the win with a simple single-layered yellow cake and white frosting. Kenji ended up preparing the cake while I ended up working on the frosting, so at least our efforts were equal in that regard.

It was a valiant effort, but I can admit it pales in comparison. Kenji doesn’t seemed to be phased, however.

“‘Try ours first!’ Shicchan’s right, you really should!”

Shizune proudly sets her cake down in front of a captive Yuuko. She may be sitting in a standard cafeteria stool, but she may as well be strapped to an electric chair.

At least Shizune thought to provide a fork, knife, and second plate. Considering Kenji ended up assembling our cake on a styrofoam tray, I don’t think he realized that presentation was something we’d be graded on.
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Great Yamaku Holiday Bake Off (S9 submission)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:02 pm

With all eyes on her, Yuuko cuts and plates a piece, tentatively poking at it with the fork a few times before taking a tentative bite. Her eyes close in surprise and her eyebrows end up furrowing themselves.

“The cinnamon is...very strong,” she says, the last word coming out as a cough. “It’s a bit...overpowering...”

When Misha translates this, Shizune first looks on in triumph before realizing Yuuko might be expressing a negative opinion. Her eyes express confusion, doubly so when Yuuko returns the second bite of the cake back to the plate before she places it in her mouth.

“‘We decided to add a little bit of cinnamon to the cake to give it more of a Christmas theme.’”

“How much did you use?” Yuuko asks, reaching for a glass of water.

“‘Only a teaspoon,’” Misha translates, before looking apprehensive. “Well, we may have used more than that…”

Shizune and Misha rapidly start signing back and forth, and as good as I’ve gotten at sign language over the past few months, I still can’t keep up.

Misha grins sheepishly. “I didn’t see it was teaspoon, so I put in a tablespoon instead.”

“That still tastes a little strong…”

“Well I really like cinnamon so I added more than what the recipe called for…”

[How much more?]

“...maybe four times as much?”

Yuuko coughs again, taking another drink of water. Her facial expression seems to be a mixture of true regret over tasting the cake and an apologetic grimace over sharing a negative opinion.

“A tablespoon is three times larger than a teaspoon...and you used four of them…”

Shizune gets it instantly, flashing an angry glance at Misha. [You used over ten times the cinnamon I told you to! What happened?]

“Shicchan, you know I’ve never been good at math…”

[I said teaspoon! Not tablespoon!]

“But when I did it looked like it wasn’t enough!”

[Now they’re going to win because we messed up!]

While the two of them argue and Yuuko takes a minute to recover her composure, I look over to Kenji to see him smiling knowingly. “Told you it would work,” he whispers to me smugly. I’m impressed. Proud might be a step too far, but impressed nonetheless. He might be right afterall, and I will admit I’m a bit enticed at the idea of winning against my girlfriend for a change, despite the potential for hell banishment to the doghouse might cause me.

“We might actually win this,” I tell him.

“Quick, make her eat it now while she still remembers how horrible the other one was.”

Without further ado, I present our cake to Yuuko and set it down in front of her, hoping that she’ll be willing to overlook the extremely pedestrian presentation. Yuuko looks a bit confused for a second because I didn’t give her all the bells and whistles that Shizune did - just a fork. She eventually settles on digging out a bite from the cake itself.

“We got this in the bag,” Kenji confidently whispers to me as we both watch Yuuko pop the confection into her mouth.

Her face instantly changes, an involuntary yelp rising from her throat as her eyes widen in what I can only describe as confusion and abject horror. Yuuko desperately looks around her and ends up grabbing a napkin out of the dispenser next to her, spitting the chunk of cake into it with as much dignity as she can hold onto.

“Why is it so salty?” she sputters out, reaching again for her water with an urgency not shown earlier.

“What do you mean, why is it so salty?” Kenji echoes, grabbing an extra fork and scooping up a taste for himself. His expression matches Yuuko’s so quick that I don’t even see the transition...and I think it’s a good idea to believe the two of them and not sampling it for myself.

Yuuko looks embarrassed, but instead of it being her usual default setting, I can see it’s embarrassment for us.

“Did you use salt instead of sugar for this?”

“...shit,” Kenji says, staring down at what looks to be an absolutely perfect cake otherwise. “Good job, partner.”

“Excuse you?” I reply sardonically. “I wasn’t the one that forgot the difference between salt and sugar!”

“They both look the same to me, alright? It was your job to double check! You should have known I’d have a problem seeing what I was doing. That’s what you were there for.”

“How is this my fault? The batter was your job. How did you not taste it once before you put it in the oven?”

“I’m not eating anything with raw eggs in it, are you crazy? I don’t need salmonella.”

I pinch the bridge of my nose, giving up on even arguing with him.

“So who ends up winning?” Misha asks. I have no idea how she ended up with some of the frosting above her left eye, but somehow it happened.

Yuuko looks at all of us, giving us a helpless expression. “I’m sorry, but I can’t really eat either of these…”

Kenji reaches for the whiskey bottle and pours a bit into a new cup. He then promptly downs a swig before handing it to Shizune, who looks confused.

“I can admit when we make a mistake,” he says, handing me the freshly poured cup. “Here’s your share of what’s left, man. He turns towards Shizune and Misha. “The rest is yours.”

I can tell that Shizune would have much rather had the victory than what can only be at most about two or three shots of whiskey, but she’d never accept one by default when she messed up so badly. Misha has no qualms however and happily tops off her drink.

“If you want,” Yuuko begins, causing the rest of us to look at her, “there should be enough ingredients left to where we can bake a proper cake with all of us working together...what do you think?”

Shizune’s eyes gleam a bit as she’s offered a shot at redemption - either from her own failing or another chance to one-up Kenji and myself. Kenji ponders it for a moment and then agrees. Misha is excited for another chance at cake, and I admit that I’m getting hungry.

And so it goes. It takes another hour and we all manage to somehow make a bigger mess, but at the end of it we’re left with a small yet serviceable cake with two layers and two different colors of icing that tastes absolutely delicious.

“Is there any coffee left?” I ask. “I could really use a cup.”

“I’ll get it,” Kenji says. “Anyone else want anything while I’m up?”

The three girls shake their heads. Kenji shrugs and addresses me again. “Cream or sugar, man?”

“Just a little of each, thanks.”

[Merry Christmas,] Shizune signs as she moves to sit next to me, placing her head on my shoulder.

“It was a fun one, wasn’t it?”

[Definitely eventful. But I did end up having a lot of fun.]

“This cake is great~!” Misha exclaims loudly upon finishing her second piece. “Yuuko, do you make this one down at the Shanghai?”

“No...they don’t really let me come up with any recipes. I just bake the ones they have when I’m not working as a server…”

“Waha, you should! It’s really delicious. I’d love to eat more of the stuff you can come up with!”

“Really?”

“Yeah~!” Misha affirms, and the two of them spiral off into a discussion about the sugar plums dancing in their heads.

All in all it’s not a bad Christmas, I think to myself...right up until the point Kenji hands me my coffee and I realize he’s made the exact same mistake as he did earlier.

~Fin
Stuff I'm currently writing: Learning To Fly: A Saki Enomoto Pseudo Route
Two Turtledoves - A Lilly/Hisao Christmas Oneshot
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Re: The Great Yamaku Holiday Bake Off (S9 submission)

Post by BristerXD » Sun Dec 30, 2018 1:19 am

The idea of Kenji saying krunk makes me imagine him the Soulja Boy music video for crank that.

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Re: The Great Yamaku Holiday Bake Off (S9 submission)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:15 pm

Well, that was fun!
I didn’t think Misha would get back before I did
Why did he shout if he didn't think Misha was already back?
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: The Great Yamaku Holiday Bake Off (S9 submission)

Post by ProfAllister » Sat Jan 19, 2019 10:51 am

Well, this is a good demonstration of the saying that dumb fun is the best kind of fun. And it's always fun to venture out of your comfort zone every once in a while. The character interactions are fun, with solid comedic timing. Well-done overall.
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Re: The Great Yamaku Holiday Bake Off (S9 submission)

Post by Oddball » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:45 pm

That was just nice good solid pointless fun.
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