Categories > Anime/Manga > One Piece > The Life I Live

Casper The Stoic Old Cook

by I-Dont-Like-I-Obsess 0 reviews

Assigned to her new job on the submarine, Summer meets the surly cook who will be overseeing her work.

Category: One Piece - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Humor,Romance - Published: 2019-10-13 - 2368 words - Complete

"So you're the new recruit, eh?" Casper glanced her over with arms crossed over his chest. From what she had heard about him, she was a little nervous to meet him at first. They both stood in the kitchen; the crew could be heard conversing in the mess deck just outside. Summer was dressed in an apron and waited as the cook sized her up.

He was older with salt and pepper hair and aging skin. What got her most were his eyes. They were wise and looked as if they knew everything. He had a deeper voice, almost what she imagined a father to sound like. Though when he spoke, she detected a hint of bitterness and caution. Even now, she didn't know exactly how to respond to his question. In reply, she nodded.

"Hmm." He said, still examining her as she was forced to stand there under his gaze. Her eyebrows furrowed in confusion.

'That's it? All I get is 'Hmm?''

Casper turned his back to her and began placing cookware on the counter. He seemed completely at ease, though she could see he was alert at all times around her. "I assume you can cook since Captain sent you to work with me." She rolled her eyes as her cooking skills once again came into question. "Well, let me get something straight." He said, turning back around and giving her a hard stare, his dark brown eyes piercing her violet ones.

She held his gaze evenly. "What?"

His eyes narrowed slightly. "This is my kitchen, so don't think you can just do what you want here. You'll be under my supervision, so listen to my instructions." She glared.

"I'm 23 years old. I think I can handle myself." She turned away and looked at the recipe they were making. A vegetable soup.

'Easy enough. I've made this plenty of times before.'

Reaching for a cabinet to look for ingredients, her hand was smacked away with a wooden spoon. She jerked it back and held it to her chest.

"Ah! What the hell?" She swung around to look at the old cook and found him with arms crossed, still holding the spoon, glaring at her.

"I told you to listen to what I say. Don't go looking for things before I tell you to." She glared back as she rubbed her injured hand.

'God, a little territorial, much?' Summer sighed in frustration. If this continued-her trying to accomplish something and him watching with such a critical eye-they would never finish dinner. Holding her hands up in surrender, she stepped aside.

"Alright, alright. Just get on with it then." He silently glared at her for another moment before he stepped up to the counter and began to work, probably deciding that that was as close to obedience he was going to get right then.

"First, you need to become familiar with the kitchen." He opened all of the cabinets and drawers as he showed her where all of the equipment was, instructing her which knives were used for what. His explanations were extensive but surprisingly easy to follow. Much as she hated to admit it, she did learn a few things from him as they cooked the crew's dinner.

They worked mostly in silence, save for the few instructions he gave her and the chopping of their knives. When he wasn't explaining how his kitchen worked to her, he really didn't speak much at all. And, just as the two engineers told her, he didn't smile. All his attention was on his work. She watched him as he worked, noting the intensity at which he concentrated when chopping a vegetable or stirring the soup. She began to understand how he worked.

"Put the carrots in now." He said. She did so, stirring the soup a few times to prevent the bottom from sticking. The soup boiled for another few minutes to let the vegetables soften. She looked to him for further instructions. He pointed to the cabinets with bowls and spoons. "Start serving."

Summer returned with the bowls, waiting as he ladled food into each one. He nodded, and she brought the two in her hand out to the mess deck. As soon as she appeared, the ruckus grew louder, everyone eager to eat.

The layout of the room and how the crew was sitting made it a little difficult to hand out the food, but she managed. As she distributed, she was able to meet the rest of the crew. Surprisingly, she didn't see Law.

"Summer-Chan! We're hungry! Feed us first!" Penguin shouted across the room. Shachi waved his arms in the air. She shook her head, grinning slightly.

"You'll get it when you get it!" She said, walking back into the kitchen. It took a few minutes to feed everyone; the sound of spoons hitting bowls commenced. She stood in the doorway, observing the crew as they ate. Despite how noisy and rambunctious they actually were, each one remembered their manners. Though many of them started playing poker in the middle of dinner. She grinned, though it quickly went away as her stomach grumbled loudly. She covered her midsection with a hand in an attempt to quiet the sound. A few of the men nearby heard and they looked up and laughed good-naturedly.

"Hey, girl!" She heard from the kitchen, causing her to frown. Throughout making dinner, he didn't call her by her name once. She had assumed Law had told him her name beforehand, though she wasn't sure now. Turning around, she headed back inside.

"My name is…"

"I know who you are, Red Hunter." He said, interrupting her before she could finish. His glare was as menacing as they came. She was about to retort but closed her mouth instead. She realized she had no right to get angry at him for being suspicious of her. As an unknown person onboard, he had every right to be wary around her.

'He has a point.' She thought to herself.

He pointed to a bowl on the counter. "That there is yours. Eat quickly." He turned away, picking up a tray of food from the counter and walked out the door. She wondered briefly who it was for before realizing that she hadn't seen Law at all during the course of dinner. Finding a spoon, she started eating. Once again, she thought the soup a little bland, but still delicious. Already, men were finishing up their meals. It bugged Summer to see them leave the dirty dishes on the tables.

Eventually, the crew filtered out of the mess deck and out into the hallways, presumably to head off to sleep. The quiet inside the room was strange after listening to the endless noise during dinner. Having finished her own meal, she began collecting the bowls and spoons left out by the crew. The sink rapidly filled up with dishes, and Summer realized that it would most likely be her job to clean it all anyway.

Sighing tiredly, she found a sponge and soap and set to work. The old cook didn't come in once as she washed the dishes, which she found strange. She shook her head, forgetting about it. Her hands pruned up after awhile. The pile of clean dishes rose, but despite her hard work, the dirty pile never seemed to shrink.

Her exhaustion was beginning to eat at her; it grew steadily harder to keep her eyes open and she yawned multiple times. There were still dishes to be done, so she kept on. Summer wasn't sure how much time had passed before the dishes were all clean. The piles rose high and dozens of spoons sat on a towel to dry, though she couldn't remember doing most of them.

She fell asleep before she realized it.

Casper came back with the tray of food, an hour later. He resigned himself to the chore of dishes with a tired sigh.

'I'm getting too old for this.' He thought as his back popped into place as he walked. The mess deck was dark, but the kitchen lights were still on. Frowning, he internally scolded the girl for leaving them on. His steps were the only sound as he stepped through the kitchen door.

What he saw almost made him drop the tray. The counter was piled high with cleaned dishes. On the floor, the girl sat asleep with her back against the cabinets. Her head was rested on her shoulder and she didn't wake up when he walked in.

He stared disbelieving at her, impressed that she had managed to accomplish so much while he was gone. The girl had literally worked herself to sleep, it seemed. Looking back and forth from the pile of dishes to the sleeping girl, Casper put the tray on the counter. Picking her up bridal style, he carefully walked her back to the infirmary.

Something he didn't expect to feel swelled up in his chest: guilt. He had just come back from his talk with the captain asking him to task her to another job. He had adamantly argued that she was doing more harm than good being his assistant, stating that she blatantly rebelled against his instructions right from the get-go.

Now, as he carried her to the infirmary, he regretted every word he had said. While it was still true that he still didn't trust her fully, he now saw that she was a harder worker than he could have ever imagined. She had passion, which he admired. One wouldn't just clean an entire kitchen of dishes just for the fun of it. He didn't like just anyone in his kitchen either. They had to earn their way there.

Upon arriving at the double doors, he pushed one open quietly with his foot. He saw the captain look up from his medical books at his arrival. The doctor's eyebrows rose at the sight of the old cook carrying his new crewmember.

"And what is this?" Law asked with great interest. He stood as they approached. The cook stopped and sighed.

"She worked herself to sleep cleaning almost the entire kitchen's dishes." Law indicated for the cook to give her to him, which he gladly did. The weight was starting to get to his arms. The girl groaned in her sleep as she was handed between men. Law carefully brought her to the infirmary bed, mentally reminding himself to figure out her sleeping situation soon. Once he ensured she was comfortable, he turned back to the older man.

"You could have left her in the kitchen." He said, the cook nodded.

"I could've." Law crossed his arms, interested to see this strange turn of events after their previous conversation.

"But you didn't."

The cook looked at the girl now sleeping soundly on the bed. He didn't say anything at first, thinking carefully over his words. The captain watched his face with interest.

"I've seen her in a new light. I believed her to be lazy and stubborn, but she showed me different, much as I might hate to admit it." Now both men were watching as the blonde woman slept, both thinking over their own thoughts.

"She certainly did." The captain said, a hand on his chin in deep thought. It fell silent after that, only disturbed by Summer's even breathing and the machines attached to Luffy. Law turned to the cook.

"Perhaps you should head to sleep. It's been a long night." The cook nodded and turned to leave. He stopped and faced him.

"I'd like her to continue helping me in the kitchen. She proved she's a hard worker." Law smirked by his cook's decision.

"I think that would be best." The cook nodded again and silently slipped through the door. The doctor turned his attention back to the sleeping woman, walking over to her side. He moved a piece of hair from her face, studying how peaceful she appeared while asleep. In the morning, it would once again take on that mask of indifference.

"For one so adamant about leaving this crew, you don't seem to put up much of a fight." He said aloud.

"If you want me to do the dirty work for you, it won't be cheap." Viper said into the Den Den Mushi. His easy grin was replaced with a twisted smile as he thought of the money he could make from this deal.

"Oh I assure you, you will be payed handsomely for your services." The voice on the other end replied. Viper crossed his feet on top of his desk, leaning back further into his padded chair.

"I want half beforehand and the rest when I deliver her to you." A laugh resounded from the other end, and Viper's grin fell slightly.

"Now, now. Don't be so hasty. Half is quite a sum. I will send a third beforehand and the rest after." Viper thought it over a moment, weighing his chance of bargaining with the man. Deciding that this was the best deal he was going to get he grinned again.

"Alright, we have a deal. Where should I bring her once I have her?" He stood up, walking over to the window in his quarters and looking up at the sky.

"Take her to Punk Hazard as soon as she is captured. I don't want any unnecessary attention being paid to this operation. Quickly and quietly is what I want." The idea made Viper laugh.

"She won't exactly come quietly, you know." He stuck a finger in his ear in an attempt to scratch an itch.

"Well, that's not my problem, now is it? Figure something out." Viper scowled.

"Just have the money sent and I'll set my course." He was about to hang up when the man spoke again.

"And Viper? I know you're known for your brutality, but I want her alive and well when she gets here. Any unnecessary damage will not be tolerated. If she dies or is unusable to me, the deal is off." The call ended, leaving Viper to seethe on his end. Angrily, he slammed the phone onto the table, shattering it to pieces.
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