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Someone's in the Kitchen with Delia

Discussion in 'Shipping Fics' started by His Lemony Freshness, Nov 13, 2007.

  1. Shipping: Kitchenshipping, and it's about goddamn time.

    Rating: PG for now; might go as far as NC-17, but I'll give ample warning (it's currently on ff.net and aff.net; I suspect this is going all the way).

    Someone's in the Kitchen with Delia
    Part 1​

    A casserole dish.

    Brock thought that he might actually, really cry for a second; he had always wanted to make an honest casserole, but had never gotten up the nerve to buy an honest casserole dish. Now, here he had a simple glass affair, its price slashed to ribbons by the grand opening bargains at Viridian’s new Kitchen City, and he had no choice.

    He grabbed the boxed dish with its bright, marked-up price tag off the display, doing his best not to ruin the moment with the growing realization that he had spent well over his budget. He blamed the knives: the store had brought in a knife demonstration as part of its grand opening festivities, and even though Brock knew that the knife folks had scripted and rehearsed every part of the demo, from the chopping an apple mid-air to cutting through a coin with the kitchen sheers, that didn’t change the fact that they were damn impressive knives. More importantly, they were damn impressive knives with a free carrying case, and Brock had been cooking on the move long enough to see the value there.

    The casserole dish landed on his cart. Brock realized, though he failed to see the irony, that he would need to cut back on his food spending for a little while to afford his new cookware.

    Can’t argue with these savings, though, you just can’t…but I’d better get out of here before I see anything else I can’t argue with, he told himself, and this time he meant it. He turned the cart around and tried to push his way out of the cookware section, “tried” being the crucial word there. Hundreds of dutiful cooks had turned out for the grand opening, mostly women, and mostly women who hadn’t found babysitters at that. If the store had opened up in Pewter, then Brock wouldn’t have particularly cared about the sudden crowd; the place had supply to meet demand, and the longer lines would only have cost him a little more of his afternoon.

    But Brock looked at his watch. The bus to Pewter City left in ten minutes, and not for another four hours after that. It wasn’t a very popular bus route; if he wasn’t at the corner bus stop inside ten minutes, he was pretty well done.

    He had had awoken from the dream of the casserole dish to find the cookware section a war zone. Here was a woman admiring the selection of roasting pans while a kid, presumably hers, was jumping up and down next to her cart; there was another woman, her substantial rear taking up more than its share of the aisle as she bent over and compared prices on saucepans; and beyond her, a pair of women, standing behind their cart and clucking like hens as they looked through the sales brochure, oblivious to those trying to move around them.

    He looked at his watch. Nine minutes.

    Brock focused. Brock went inside of himself. Brock saw the open aisle ahead of all these women and their obstacles; he kept his eyes on that goal as he gripped the handlebar of his cart and advanced.

    He conquered Madonna and Child easily, with just a passing “Excuse me.” This was apparently one of those last few mothers who tried to teach their children courtesy, taking her son by the hand and pulling him over to the side to make room for Brock. He honored the sentiment with a sincere “Thank you,” smile, and nod before storming on.

    Princess *** was more difficult; she looked up at his opening “Excuse me” with a look of…was it impatience? Was she really judging him because she was taking up most of the aisle and he needed to get by? She shuffled forward a little bit, giving Brock another few inches, but it seemed to Brock that Princess *** was making a conscious effort to not give him enough room to get by.

    She wants to start something. Here. Now. Brock nodded. I have no time for her games.

    “Sorry, sorry, in a rush,” he sang, steering his cart right against the wall as he passed by, just barely brushing against Princess Ass: as he suspected, she had not left him enough room. “Oh, sorry, ma’am! In a rush, excuse me!”

    That last “excuse me” was warning enough for the Hens, and as Brock had expected, it went unheeded. He was close, though, and any second now, someone else could swerve into the cookware section and complicate matters even further; in the main aisle, the central thoroughfare leading to the cash registers, there were still shoppers aplenty, and they weren’t all headed for the checkout. Diplomacy had failed; giving violence a try, Brock allowed his cart to stop just a bit too late, gently tapping the Hens’ cart. It worked; they looked up as one from their brochure, they all exchanged apologies, and the Hens made room for Brock to pass.

    He allowed himself a moment of weakness as he saw his way laid out clear in front of him. It would be cutting it close, but he was in the clear.

    Just as he pushed his way out into the main aisle, though, the front of the cart seemed to jerk away from him, the handlebars turning of their own accord in their hands. He heard glass break before he realized that the casserole dish had tumbled out of his cart; it was several seconds later, as it so often is, before he realized that he had been in a cart accident.

    “Oh, I’m so sorry! I was going too fast, it’s all my fault, I’m…” A woman rushed ahead of his cart and picked up the fallen casserole dish; she turned to apologize personally, and recognition slowly dawned. “Brock?”

    “…oh, hi, Mrs. Ketchum!” He was surprised, but he decided he shouldn’t have been; of course a fellow gourmet like Mrs. Ketchum would have turned out for the grand opening, particularly with Pallet Town so close to Viridian. He was still a little surprised; he wouldn't call her skirt too short or her tank top too low-cut, but they just weren't what you'd call mom clothes, either.

    “Brock, dear, how are you!” Still holding his casserole dish, she shrugged her way over to him gave him and gave him a nice, civil hug. “What brings you to the big city?”

    “I’m doing fine, Mrs. K. I’ve been home in Pewter for a little while.” He looked at his cart, and then at Mrs. Ketchum’s. “And I think we both know what brings us here.”

    Mrs. Ketchum giggled. “I know, it’s incredible, isn’t it? Sorry about your dish, dear, it was my fault. I see all these kitchen sales going on, I get excited, and maybe I push the cart a little faster than I should.”

    Brock recalled himself a minute earlier and decided that he could relate. “Don’t worry about it – I really shouldn’t even be getting that thing, I’m over my budget already.”

    Mrs. Ketchum looked at the cardboard box holding the casserole dish, reading over the price tag in particular. “Oh, it’s so nice having a good casserole dish, though – and at that price, you can’t afford not to.” She put the box with the broken dish in her cart. “Tell you what, why don’t you go grab another one and I’ll buy that one for you, too?”

    Brock waved his hands defensively. “Oh, no, Mrs. Ketchum, you don’t have to do that! I can pay for that broken one, too; I should have stacked the cart better.”

    Mrs. Ketchum waved her own hands, dismissing him. “Nonsense, it was my fault. Think of it as gift, one chef to another – you really ought to have your own casserole dish, Brock.”

    She’s right, he thought to himself, and he surrendered, leaving his cart to go back into Cookware. Mrs. Ketchum followed him, back past the Hens, back past Princess ***, and back past Madonna and Child.

    “So where’s Mr. Mime?” Brock asked, scanning the shelves for the same brand. “Doesn’t he usually help with your shopping?”

    “Oh, Mimie doesn’t like crowds, and I thought it would be about this bad.” Mrs. Ketchum looked up and down the shelves herself, quickly picking out a larger and different dish. “Here; this is a brand you can trust. You’ll use this one for the rest of your life.”

    “Oh…Mrs. Ketchum, that’s not the one I picked.” More specifically, it was not the price tag that he had picked.

    Mrs. Ketchum looked around, then leaned and whispered. “Brock, do you know why there are so many people here?”

    He raised an eyebrow. “I was wondering about that. I never thought that this many people love to cook.”

    “This many people love to save money.” She nodded her head toward Princess ***. “Between you and me…I bet you she eats out five night a week, and she uses whichever saucepan she gets twice in her life.”

    Brock nodded; he realized it could have seemed rude or callous to nod at an accusation like that, but Brock and Mrs. Ketchum knew it was the vibe they got off of her, not just a function of her being heavy.

    “Most of these people are here because something’s on sale. They’re going to buy their pans and paring knives, feel good about themselves, and then never use them.” She tucked the casserole bin under one arm; negotiations were over. “It’s a lot rarer to find someone who really loves to cook. That’s why I’m getting you this one.”

    “Um…thanks! Thanks a lot, I’m always coming across these casserole recipes, but I’ve never…” You’ve lost track of time. Brock looked at his watch. “…Oh, man! The bus to Pewter leaves in three minutes!”

    “Oh, my, I’m sorry I held you up!” She looked down at the casserole dish under her arm, and she shooed Brock along. “Go! Get on line! I’ll mail this over with some of my old standby recipes to break it in.”

    “Thanks, again, Mrs. K!” Brock called back as he danced through the aisle, reigning in his cart and charging for the line.

    Ten minutes later, Brock was standing on the corner outside, both arms completely weighed down with kitchenware. The Pewter bus had been a few minutes late, as Brock had been hoping; unfortunately, it was not late enough, and Brock got to see the bus pulling away just as he waddled his way out of Kitchen City.

    Another four hours in Viridian City, with the sun going down, the wind starting to blow, and his arms already getting tired did not seem like an attractive prospect to Brock.

    “Come on. Pallet’s right down the road.” Mrs. Ketchum called to him; she had a smaller frame than Brock, but as she walked out of the store she was somehow managing to carry even more than him. Her car keys jingled between the two fingers she could spare through all her bags.

    “Are you sure? I mean, that would be a big help, but I don’t want to impose,” Brock called back as he walked over with great difficulty.

    “Nonsense; the Pewter bus leaves from Pallet, and I know it doesn’t leave very often. As I recall, you’re also an outstanding houseguest,” Mrs. Ketchum assured, smiling. “Remind to me get your casserole dish out of these bags, by the way. Now, come on! It’ll be just like old times!”

    She IS a good cook. “You’ve convinced me. Thanks so much, Mrs. Ketchum, I don’t know what I was going to do otherwise.”

    She smiled again. “How long have we known each other, Brock?”

    “Um…I don’t know. Four years? Five?”

    “Telemarketers call me Mrs. Ketchum, Brock.

    “Call me Delia.”
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2007
  2. Gazmof

    Gazmof Zephyr Trainer

    Finally a fellow Kitchenshipper to arrive at the forums! About time too. And NC-17 does not equal a bad thing (though I think you have to get moderator permission before posting such chapters).

    Your writing style is very good, you went through the scene at a good pace and seemed to hit both Brock and Delia's personalities very well (though I always like to see her exaggerated flakiness). The only thing I would suggest writing-wise would be to add some more descriptions of both Brock and Delia - I know it seems redundant as we're all aware what they look like, but it can really help involve the reader a lot more (or at least me anyway).

    But yeah, great to see a rather underrated ship appear here. Any idea how many chapters this will consist of?

    I'll be eagerly following this :D Good job!
  3. EmberGryphon

    EmberGryphon Meowth Fanatic <3

    I hate to start a reply off like this an' I hate to sound like a jerk, but quick nitpick:
    isle = island
    aisle = lane in a store
    It's tiny but it bothered me. ._.

    On to more relevant things! Kitchenshipping isn't a huge favorite for me (MILF ships aren't my forte, persay) but I was drawn in as I always am by a fic for a ship I haven't read about before, and found this chapter to be really entertaining. It has personality! It has quirks. It has amusing nicknames for customers that, as a chick who works retail, I could well have met yesterday. I can totally see Brock weaving through a crowded department store with an overflowing cart and a precariously balanced Perfect Cassarole Dish, on some sort of chefly mission, and it's a supremely amusing an' entertaining sight.

    I agree with Gazmof, and principally on two ideas: NC-17 is not a bad thing if you pull it off well (and, based on the humor and appeal that're lingering in this chapter, I think you will. =3) and also, I'd love to see more of Delia's... oddness. Though you got her mother-hen aspect pretty well down. ^^

    Great job on this. =3
  4. Thank you both for the feedback!
    Gazmof - Yes, physical description is usually one of my weaker points, and it's particularly easy to take for granted in fanfiction. I'll keep it in mind as I revise and write further on, particularly since this Mrs. Ketchum is coming off just a tad randier than normal. Perhaps Empty Nest Syndrome has led to wardrobe changes? Things I will now consider.
    No idea as to chapter number. I was expecting this to be a slow burn, but as I said, this kitty might just have claws. I personally don't know where this is going and cannot yet give an estimate.

    EmberGryphon - Thanks, I never would have caught the isle/aisle thing. My brain can think of too many possible etymologies for it being "isle". I'll make the change.
    Kitchenshipping has been my primary pokemon ship for a while. There are hardly any of us out there, but I like it. It's challenging, it's hard to take too seriously, and it gets Simon and Garfunkle songs stuck in your head.
  5. Edited part 1. Still haven't added physical descriptions - I suck - but I did do a little minor housekeeping.
    Moving right along: not sure how I feel about this part yet. It's seeing a private release here before it greets my public in Greater Ficdom; lemme know what you think.

    Part 2​

    “That’s no fair!” Brock said as they sped along the main road leading out of Viridian. It would have taken him all day to walk to Pallet; driving, they’d be there in forty minutes. “I traveled with them all; I’ve put my time in. I want to hear your answer first.”

    “I know you traveled with them! That makes you the expert!” Mrs. Ketchum – Delia – insisted. As they slowed for a traffic light, she gave him a smirk. “Come on, who did you think was best for Ash?”

    “I know I’m the expert. Experts are busy people – you have to make this worth the expert’s time.” Brock crossed his arms and stood his ground.

    Delia sped up again as the light turned green; she sighed and gave up. “Fine, fine, Mr. Expert…they were all such nice girls, though.”

    “Great girls, all three,” Brock agreed. Delia didn’t respond, and Brock let the pause play out for a few seconds before adding “But…”

    “But…well, Misty’s too old for him.”

    “How do you mean? Like, mature?”

    “Misty’s the girl that Ash is going to want to date in five years,” Mrs. Ketchum elaborated. “I love the girl and the poor thing is crazy about him, but Ash…”

    When she trailed off, Brock finished. “In a lot of ways, Ash is wise beyond his years. He’s allowed to still act like a kid in other matters.”

    Delia nodded, still smiling. “Thank you, Brock, that’s a very nice way of putting it. I mean, to blow off Misty, May, and Dawn, all in a row, it’s…it just must not be something he’s thinking about yet, you know?”

    “I know exactly what you mean Mrs. Ket…I know exactly what you mean, Delia.”

    “That’s better!” Delia looked over her shoulder, put her left turn signal on, and merged onto Route 1. Traffic looked pretty sparse; Brock imagined they’d be able to make pretty good time. “How about you? Still the little Casanova?”

    Brock chuckled. They had just been discussing the romantic failings of this woman’s son for the past ten minutes, so Brock felt like the table was pretty well open. “Be fair. Casanova actually got the girls; I just make a fool of myself.”

    “Handsome young man like yourself?” She took her eyes off the road quickly, sneaking him a sly, doubtful glance. “Handsome, handy young man like yourself? Young man with domestic skills and family experience? I’m sorry, Brock, I find that difficult to believe. If you want, I could pass your resume out to some of my girlfriends, I guarantee you’ll get some offers.”

    Brock almost said that he wasn’t looking for a job, but stopped himself. Then again, if I’d said it, she would have understood the “making a fool of myself” thing a little better.

    “Really? Exactly how many friends do you have with a thing for little boys?”

    Delia snorted. “None that I know of, dear, but plenty that have a taste for good, sensible men.”

    “Hmmm…” Brock didn’t actually consider the offer, if indeed there was an offer being made, but he wanted to play along. “Any of them good looking?”

    “Good looking? Priorities, Brock!” Mrs. Ketchum replied quickly. “I know how much you like pretty girls – who doesn’t? – but pretty girls get old. Sometimes their metabolism changes and they put on a few pounds. Not that there’s anything wrong with an older or heavier girl, but…I don’t know.

    “Don’t think I’m just picking on you. I think we’re all a little too slow in realizing that we don’t want the pretty girl or the handsome boy, that we don’t just want someone who makes us laugh or makes our heart flutter for… for a little while.

    “What you need, Brock, is someone who understands you, someone who appreciates exactly who you are. That’s where you get a connection going; that’s what actual love is.”

    Brock had no response. He looked over at Mrs. Ketchum in the driver’s seat. She wasn’t smiling anymore. It sounded, just for a second, like he’d look over and see tears in her eyes, but she didn’t actually look like she was going to cry. Not quite.

    No. She can take it.

    She’s been here before.

    Not for the first time, Brock thought about how he’d never heard Ash talk about his father.

    “Hm…well, anyway, their looks aren’t the problem. For girls of my ripe old age, they’re a good looking bunch.” She smiled again, small but sincere. “It’s their husbands that might give you problems.”

    “Uh, husbands?”

    “Uh huh. These things get a lot more complicated as you get older, dear.”

    They got back in just as the sun started setting and the first cold breaths of night air hit the wind. Brock wasn’t worried about the time; as Delia said, the Pewter bus left from Pallet town, the next bus leaving in just over three hours. More than enough time for dinner at the Ketchum house, and that was what really held his interest. He’d had an early lunch before starting off for Viridian, and food kept infringing on his thoughts every few seconds, like a need to go to the bathroom.

    “All right,” Mrs. Ketchum said as she turned the car off. “I’d say this was a pretty productive day for both of us, but I’m famished.”

    Brock needed no further indication. He opened passenger’s-side door and practically jumped out of the car. “Let’s get cooking…”
  6. Did a little more housekeeping in part one. Lemme know if you think the description of Mrs. Ketchum's clothing works or if it sounds like a quick fix, and, again, if you think Part 2 is too talky. Thanks!
  7. Jo-Jo

    Jo-Jo blows stuff uhup

    Oh, this fic is fun. :D There's a really good sense of character and setting. Brock is totally Brock-ish, and while I agree with the other posters that it would be nice to see some flakiness from Delia, it's not like she's out-of-character, either. Her generosity and hospitality are very her. I like the way you incorporated touches of realism, like Brock having a budget and needing to catch the bus - so many fics gloss over this kind of thing entirely. And the touches of un-realism were good, too, like Delia carrying even more bags than Brock with seeming effortlessness, or the passage about the knife demonstration (I would watch something like that :p).

    I was especially impressed by the way that the store in this fic wasn't just a backdrop; it almost had a personality of its own. I'm really bad with settings, so I appreciate them in other people. ;)

    I think the description and the dialogue levels are exactly right at the moment, so I wouldn't bother messing around with them. I cringed a bit when Delia stopped smiling in chapter 2 and Brock thought she was going to cry, but the moment pulled itself back from the brink of potential cheesiness when she didn't. My only real complaint is that I wanted to hear Delia's opinions on May and Dawn!

    I hope you write more, and that you get more readers, because quality fics shouldn't be ignored just because Kitchenshipping is an obscure(ish) pairing.
  8. Gazmof

    Gazmof Zephyr Trainer


    A very short chapter two, but enjoyable nonetheless. The bits where Delia was commenting on the three girls and Ash made me squeal with delight - it's something I'd always like to hear Delia's opinions on and at times in the anime you think she's about to say something, but the writers disappoint us once again T_T

    Excuse my Kitchenshipping fanboyishness, but I've just got to say how totally freaking AWESOME this fic is turning out to be and I demand that you update it quickly! I need to know what happens!

    Seconded! Come on, I need my Advanceshipping hint, even if it is only a fanfiction! *gets banned for forcing his opinions on other people*

    Great job, and I'm looking forward to chapter 3!

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