Meredith's Magnificent Seven Insta-fics

Food Critics

Disclaimer: The Magnificent Seven belong to Mirsch, Trilogy, MGM, etc.
Author's Note: For those of you who are wondering, an insta-fic is a short fic, quickly written, slightly longer than a drabble, but less than a full fic focusing on one quick scene or idea and usually of a humorous nature.
Universe: LB- ATF
Rating: FRC - Fan Rated Suitable For Children
Characters: Nathan, Raine, Vin, JD
Food Critics

Nathan shot another glare toward Raine. "You didn't have to make fun of my pancakes in front of the boys," he griped again. "I only had problems with the first batch."

Rain smiled as she watched the boys playing on the driveway outside the kitchen window. "That's because I took over after that," she teased.

Nathan crossed his arms and glared at his wife again.

Vin and JD were spending the night with them since Chris and Buck had been ordered out of town for a few days to attend to some official business. Raine had readily volunteered to watch the two boys and Nathan had no objections.

Thursday night had been a little rough as the boys adjusted to the temporary change, but several phone calls from their fathers and multiple assurances from everyone that Chris and Buck would be returning Saturday evening finally settled them.

Last night, Friday, had been a little easier, but there were still several calls involved.

Knowing his nephews, Nathan had retired early, well aware of Vin's penchant for getting up early.

It wasn't long after rising that Vin and JD started making subtle hints about breakfast. Since Raine was still sleeping, Nathan had asked the boys what they wanted and JD had expressed a preference for pancakes.

Taking down the cookbook, Nathan found a recipe and mixed it up. He had just finished the first batch when Raine walked into the kitchen, greeting all three of "her men" with a kiss before looking to see what Nathan was cooking.

"Mmm. Pancakes," she observed with a smile, resting her head against Nathan's arm for a moment before her brow furrowed in puzzlement. "Nathan?" she asked, reaching for the cooking tool to take a closer look. "What exactly did you do to these?"

Nathan turned and gave his wife a puzzled look. "What do you mean? I followed the recipe."

Raine raised an eyebrow in question. Picking up the pancake turner, she lifted one of the cooked cakes and let it fall back into the pan. It made a decided "chink" sound. She watched as Nathan just stared at the object. "Honey, these things are hockey pucks. Why don't you go sit down and I'll see what I can do."

Nathan felt frustration building. He was a decent cook and anyone could follow a recipe. He had no idea what he'd done wrong. Turning to sit at the table, he noted the two sets of wide eyes focused on him. Unable to take the looks of admiration and awe, he finally asked, "What?"

"You made hockey pucks," JD said, wonder evident in his voice.

"I never knew anyone who could do that," Vin breathed, equally awed by his uncle's accomplishment.

Nathan stifled a groan as he listened to his wife's suppressed giggles. It was then that the phone rang. Buck and Chris were calling to let the boys know they were about to head home. Nathan could feel his cheeks begin to burn as he heard the excited retelling of his endeavor to make pancakes and making hockey-pucks instead. Raine was laughing aloud now and he knew he would never live it down.

Eventually they got through breakfast and the boys were sent outside to play for a while. Raine was standing at the sink doing the dishes and watching the duo.

Nathan watched as Raine suddenly snorted with laughter before finding herself unable to suppress her mirth any longer.

"It's not that funny," Nathan complained. "Now Chris and Buck know so I'll never hear the end of it," he huffed. His wife's laughter continued to increase and Nathan became concerned. "What are you laughing at?"

Trying to control her hilarity long enough to answer, she gasped, "Boys… pancake… can … dent…"

Unable to make heads or tails of his wife's words, Nathan moved toward the window to see what she was pointing to. Looking outside, he noticed the boys leaning down in front of one of their metal garbage can's looking at something.

Heading out the door he went to see what had caught the two boys' attention. As he approached two guilty and sorrowful faces turned to look at him.

"We're sorry, Uncle Nathan," Vin said. "It was my fault."

"What was?" Nathan asked, kneeling down in front of the obviously upset boys.

"The dent," Vin whispered. "We were just playing when I kicked it too hard and it hit the can. I'm really sorry."

Nathan smiled and circled his arms around both boys drawing them in for a quick hug. "That's OK," he assured. "It's just a garbage can and the dent gives it some character." He waited while he saw some of the guilt and fear leave the boys' eyes. Worried about the boys playing with something that could dent a garbage can, he asked, "What were you playing with anyway?"

JD perked up and lifted one of his hands. "We were playing with this hockey puck you made at breakfast!" he explained excitedly.

The End

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