1963-11-19 - The Twelve Labours of Phobos: #1 - Kitchen Nightmares
Summary: Phobos tackles the kitchen after an Asgardian Feast.
Related: None
Theme Song: None

It would almost seem as though Sif wasn’t very happy with Alex of late.

Sent by his father to the Asgardian Goddess of War, in an effort to teach him some discipline and self-control, Alexander Aaron, the son of Ares, and the God of Fear in mortal form, has been training. But more than training, he’s been working. Today’s task? Dishes.

If it were just dishes after a meal, though, it would be one thing. That Alex could do. But dishes after an Asgardian feast is another matter entirely. Plates, and bowls, large oversized mugs, piled high and precarious, like something out of a cartoon. Precariously balanced, but balanced nonetheless. Dripping with leftover bits of meat and gravy, bread crumbs and some other unidentifiable substances that must have been food to someone. And it would have been fine if he had been ordered to the task earlier, but now everything has had time to sit, crust over over, congeal, and decompose just enough to be disgusting. The smell permeates the kitchen, but thankfully goes no further, yet. Alex steps in, and makes a face, surveying the utter wasteland that the kitchen has become. “Are you /fucking/ kidding me,” he says out loud to no-one, because no-one would dare enter the room for fear of being faced with the mess.

He heaves a sigh, and rolls up his sleeves, resigning himself to the task. There’s no fighting it. He doesn’t want to make Sif angry again. That didn’t go over well last time.

Carefully, Alex starts to try to organize the dishes, scraping the food scraps into the bin while the sinks fill with hot, soapy water. It takes time, and care, if he doesn’t want to knock the whole pile of plates over. This is a Nordic household, not a Greek one; broken dishes aren’t a sign of good fortune. One by one, the pile shrinks, and a slightly smaller, better organized stack of plates, and then bowls, is assembled.

The God of Fear next sets about the task of actually cleaning them. The hot water may be hot enough to scald most mortals, but Alex doesn’t wince when he puts his hands in, even though his skin immediately reddens. One by one, dishes are set to soak, and he starts to scrub the ones that need it. Tedious, monotonous work, and he’s certainly not enjoying it, but that’s rather the point, isn’t it?

After about half an hour of work, Alex has barely made a dent. And he’s been working hard. The combination of heat from the room, and the labour of movement has sweat starting to bead on his forehead. The door opens, and a young woman enters, immediately making much the same face that Alex had made on his entrance. She stops, and here eyes go to the young man soaked in dishwater, suds up his arms, and bits of food stuck to his shirt. “I was wondering who Lady Sif would task with this mess,” she muses cheerfully, her alto tone of voice a pleasant sound. “My sympathies, but you’ll understand my relief to not be the one responsible for putting it back in order,” she says, moving to the fridge. “And I’m sure you will not mind one more dish. I am famished.”

Alex half rolls his eyes, but is facing the sink at the time. Hopefully it won’t be noticed.

“We haven’t been introduced. I am Brenna, the third of Lady Sif’s handmaidens,” the girl states, emerging from the fridge with a platter of leftover meat, which she places on the table before moving to retrieve a clean pan from the cupboard. Her movements are quick and precise, and before long she has a haunch of meat removed from the main chunk. Another quick motion puts her at the oven, and the pan is inserted, heat turned on.

“I’m Alex,” the young man says, continuing to work at cleaning. Scrub scrub scrub. “Lady Sif’s ward.” For the time being, at least. More like slave labour, he doesn’t say, but thinks it awfully loudly.

“Oh, the Greek!” Brenna says, a bit excitedly. “Well, Alexander, Son of War,” she says in a tone that might not immediately imply a sense of respect for the title; being the handmaiden to her own Goddess of War, it stands to reason that the gods of other Pantheons might not warrant the same level of reverence. “Welcome to the Bellator. I apologize for not having introduced myself before now, but the Lady Sif keeps us busy with our own duties,” she says, moving to stand beside Alex. “I hope this will not take you all evening to finish, but it seems a fool’s dream, I’m afraid. There are normally at least three assigned to such a task.. I hesitate to ask what you did to deserve such a labour, unassisted. But it is not my place to question. I wish you the best of luck, Son of War,” she says with a smirk, and then leans over to give the young man the briefest of pecks on the cheek, in a teasing fashion, careful not to get any of the mess on her clothing or skin.

“Thanks,” Alex says with some hesitation as the young woman retrieves her food from the oven, and departs with the plate to the other room, leaving Alex alone with his mess once more.

One dish at a time, Alex. One at a time. It’ll only take you until dawn.

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