In the Cat’s Ear Ch3 Ficbit – New Tricks

“-No way!” Yuzu’s voice was bright and happy next to the eggs. “It’s just a manga. No one can just flip raw eggs and vegetables together like that in one toss. It’d go everywhere.”


Uh-oh. That was Li sounding thoughtful.

“You’d have to have really good reflexes,” Li went on thoughtfully, moving older eggs from main shelf to the discount section. Ichigo made a note to give Chad a call; the prices looked decent for the age, and if Li was shifting things he’d bet every dozen was intact. “But I wouldn’t try it in China.”

“Maybe.” Yuzu’s blonde brows scrunched down, as the twelve-year-old considered improbable recipes. And possibly shinigami flash step. “But why not in China?”

Li glanced from one end of the aisle to the other in an obvious look of subterfuge, then leaned closer. “Don’t eat raw egg in China. Trust me. Bad idea.” Straightening again, he smiled at Ichigo. “Kurosaki! Is this your sister? You didn’t say you had a chef in the family.”

“Um,” Ichigo managed.

Yuzu was pink, heading toward red. “I’m not a chef yet! I just like to cook. I don’t really do anything fancy.”

“Good simple meals are the best,” Li nodded. “So what were you planning?”

And she was off, hands waving as she listed off ingredients for hot-pot and what setting worked best with the old rice cooker and recipes she might try the next time someone in the house needed a treat. Ichigo listened, and shook his head. He could talk about recipes and the housework with Yuzu, he’d taught her how to get started, but actual cooking? He didn’t burn rice, and he could put together a decent sandwich. That was more or less it.

Though it was more Yuzu talking and Li just putting in a word or two as he worked. Huh. Like conversational judo. Ichigo let the happy babble wash over him, waving as his sister hit the cash register and skipped out the door. And trying not to sigh or snicker as Yuzu did a quick sidestep, almost bumping into Kirsi and Uncle Kuno as they headed for the bulletin board. “Could I do that?”

“You just need practice.” Folding his apron neatly, Li tucked it into his employee locker and picked up a battered green duffel bag that’d been hiding behind cartons of soba noodles. “The trick is really caring what they say.”

29 thoughts on “In the Cat’s Ear Ch3 Ficbit – New Tricks

  1. And this is why Izuku picks you, Hei. This is why. Now, need to go find out if someone can help me figure out the sweater patterns in Airwolf. Because I’m not sure I have enough projects in my life, I say as I work on the queen size bedspread for my cousins wedding. Also, thank you for introducing me to Airwolf. It is beyond worth it.

    Also, Hei, you precious inlaid dagger, this is why we love you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. *G* I admit I’ve never tried to figure out Airwolf sweater patterns. Good luck with that!

      And yes. Airwolf is awesome. 🙂

      BTW – Izuku? Is there a DtB/BnHA fanfic out there somewhere? ‘Cause if someone could pull that off, it’d be odd but interesting….

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ichigo, there are people all over the place who can’t manage that much without setting their kitchen on fire or something.

    Don’t ask how someone manages to ruin a sandwich. You don’t want to know.

    “The trick is really caring what they say.”

    *thoughtful nod*

    Amazing what you can pick up by actually giving what someone is saying your attention.

    And how much people value being listened to. Especially if they are used to people tuning them out. Or always wanting to cut the conversation short because it is nothing they are interested in or they are bored with the topic.

    Yuzu probably gets that a lot from her age group. She very likely isn’t the only one in her class that likes to cook but most of her classmates probably aren’t doing the bulk of the family meals.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. *Whimpers* I know about the sandwich. Believe me.

      (I can no longer physically handle bread without a rash, or I would be faced with “make that so I don’t ruin it!” myself. As it stands… you’re on your own, guys.)

      And heh. Yes. Good spies and operatives are less James Bond, and more that nice quiet guy in the corner nodding attentively. 😉

      Yuzu and Karin don’t stand out as much as Ichigo does, but it’s made clear (if not emphasized) in canon that they do stand out. Someone willing to just take them as they are and listen has to be hard to find.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wow. That’s a serious allergy there.

        So do you do the lettuce roll with sandwich fixings inside, or the riceball with sandwich fixings inside, or….?

        I’ve heard that PB&J riceballs are pretty decent.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. I’d be willing to try lettuce roll or riceball, but I usually end up cooking for several people and they wouldn’t. Sigh.

        …Peanuts, unfortunately, are another allergen. Drat it all – I used to live off PBJ in grade school, and I loved salted green peanuts.

        I blame the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. It wasn’t just the oil, it was all the stuff they dumped willy-nilly to “clean it up” – which actually just broke it into smaller, inhalable droplets. Within a year or so of that I came down with a long list of food allergens I’d never had before.

        Figuring them all out took years, a lot of self-experiments, and you wouldn’t believe the arguments with family about no, I cannot eat X anymore. I’ll cook it for you – if I can, I can’t even breathe flour without scary reactions – but I won’t eat it!

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I’ve long had some food intolerances, but the known long term stuff likely has a different mechanism from allergies. It also turns out that I am massively allergic. Which might have been caused by a combination of factors in a particular incident.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. Where I come from, we eat whatever the cook puts on the table. If people want to eat different stuff, they can cook it themselves.

        It is possible that you will “grow out” of your allergies. I had pretty bad geraniol sensitivity for years (roses, flavorings, the smell of cut grass, orange rind, etc.), in my late twenties and early thirties. But it went away gradually, after several years staying away from stuff.

        If not, then the heck with Nature for trying to kill you! Those ungrateful ingredients are not worthy of feeding you!

        Liked by 2 people

      5. There’s some interesting work being done on autoimmune issues that may turn up answers and solutions for some of the nastier allergic type stuff. Mast cell disorder comes to mind.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. “And heh. Yes. Good spies and operatives are less James Bond, and more that nice quiet guy in the corner nodding attentively. 😉

    This! So much this! stories where the spy just listens and passes intel back, for a long time, are more interesting then the james bond style wetwork intrigues.

    with yuzu getting such nice introduction, maybe it will make Hei calmer, first introduction with isshin.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. *Crosses fingers, knocks on wood.*

      One thing I am sure of is that Ichigo will warn Li about Isshin’s normal behavior first. Reduce the startle response, lower the chances of anything going wrong!

      And yes. I would so love more quiet-intel-spy stories. Though given my bunnies always want the fantastic in there, it’d have to have urban fantasy spies…

      The Mrs. Pollifax mysteries are a good series for “spy, who me, do I look like a spy?” 😉

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Heheh, that just reminds me of the very first Mrs. Pollifax when our dear lady in question, depressed and feeling without purpose, goes into a government agency to state flat out – at the front desk no less – that she wanted to be a spy. Right as one of the higher ups was taking a walk and fretting over details for an important meet-and-exchange where they were lacking a suitably discrete agent to do the meeting.

        He took one look at her, a sweet elderly woman who wouldn’t hurt a fly, and went ‘she’s p e r f e c t’. And everything snowballed from there.

        Even years later that scene still sticks with me. Defining character moment.

        Liked by 3 people

      2. 🙂 “Mexico! I’ve never been to Mexico!”

        …And the passing of the playing cards. Yes! That is tradecraft!

        *Snrk* And then the callback a few books later. “Have you ever gone down a rope before?”

        “Yes, once, in Albania… oh dear, I never should have said that….”

        Liked by 2 people

  4. They were after an agent who couldn’t possibly be an agent. So Mrs. P with her flowered hat, twinkle, interest in people and enthusiasm was perfect.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Re: allergies. For pollen-based allergies, at least, in my experience eating local, unprocessed honey seems to help alleviate them. “Local” being more “regional” — basically, you want honey made from the same pollen sources you’re allergic to. “Unprocessed” doesn’t mean “raw” (that’s a vague term anyway), just not-pasteurized (which most, if not all, mass-market honey is) or hyper-filtered (which a LOT of mass-market honey is, probably to disguise its origins).
    I’m not aware of any serious medical research on the subject, but my working hypothesis is that the broken-down allergens in the honey help train the immune system out of the over-reactions that make up allergic responses. A tablespoon’s worth a day, maybe two, seem to help most of the people I know.

    For non-pollen allergies… I doubt honey would have much effect, since there wouldn’t be any broken down allergens in them (honeybees don’t process mold or animal dander, after all). However… Rheumatoid arthritis and MS are both, IIRC, autoimmune disorders, and beekeepers seem to have little occurrence of the former. As to the latter, well, the AMA wouldn’t say it publicly last time I checked, but more than a few doctors actually suggest “off the books” that their MS patients buy some bees and get stung deliberately — under strictly controlled circumstances, mind you! I know at least 3 MS cases who *swear* they’ve gotten back sensation and function by getting stung a small number of times a week. Again, no *scientific* grounding for this (the plural of “anecdote” is not “data”, after all), but my working hypothesis on that front is that the venom has some sort of “calming” effect on the immune system (unless you’re allergic to the *sting* in which case… yyyyeah).

    At any rate, I’m not sure I’d *recommend* bee sting therapy for non-pollen allergies, but if the reactions are bad enough, it might be something worth considering.

    As a countervailing data point: my father is in his mid-70s, has been an insulin-dependent diabetic for over 40 years, gets stung about 50-100 times per week (doesn’t even swell up anymore) on average over the past 20 years of beekeeping, and *still* gets custom-made allergy shots for his non-pollen allergies (which were never anaphylactic-shock intensity, just bad-head-cold level). OTOH, he treats his *seasonal* allergies with honey, has no signs of arthritis of any kind, and is far healthier than anyone his age with his medical history should be.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’ve heard of allergy shots, right? There’s a similar technique using sublingual drops which probably works using the same principle as the shots and honey. This one guy I know is in the wrong neck of the woods for you, but…

      Liked by 2 people

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