The King is in the Kitchen
It’s the famous “my special person is sick so i’ll cook him a bowl of warm porridge to make him feel better” trope… Sinja style. Because when I thought of the phrase “the king is in the kitchen” for the first time, it didn’t leave my head. My brain somehow thinks that it has a nice ring to it… It’s been stuck ever since so here’s a one-shot.
It’s my first magi fic ever ever ever ever ever
“The King is in the kitchen.” – Now that is not something you hear from a general of Sindria everyday. Hinahoho paused and raised an eyebrow, while Spartos only paused from his work long enough to look back at the older man and say, “He is, last time Sharrkan checked.”
“Why are you doing paperwork?” Hinahoho asked, watching as the young man supervised the government officials who were all fussing over the usual loads of documents. The King was nowhere to be seen, as was his adviser. In Ja’far’s place stood Spartos, who was visibly struggling with the task but was impressively holding up with dignity.
“Ja’far-san asked me to take over for a while.” Spartos answered. He was reading through a very important document distractedly. He had never supervised this much parliamentary tasks before.
He was woken up that morning by Masrur telling him that Ja’far had called for him. Apparently Sharrkan and Pisti went to drop by an early morning visit for the King but instead found the government officials worried over why Ja’far hasn’t come in yet. Because Ja’far hasn’t risen up for the day, it was natural that the King was still very much asleep in his chambers. No one woke the King up – it was an unspoken rule that they let the freckled general handle that.
Sharrkan and Pisti found Ja’far sick in his bed and yet all the former assassin said with his horse voice was “Someone wake the King up and tell him to go to work… Is Drakon back? If he’s not, please make Spartos take charge of the officials because I don’t trust the two of you…” Then Ja’far coughed and said, “Please ask Yamuraiha to fetch me some herbs from the healers… I’ll resume my duties as soon as I feel better, probably by lunch-…”
“Ja’far, it’s already lunchtime.”
Ja’far cringed. “Get. Sin. To. Work. Now.”
Sharrkan and Pisti did as they were told but when they woke the King up (which involved Sinbad blindly pulling Sharrkan with him to bed and groping the poor young man until Pisti’s screeching woke him up – “so that’s why it felt different…”; they wondered how Ja’far managed it every morning but then it probably always involved the king strangled by red strings) and Sinbad heard about his adviser’s condition, he all but flew to Ja’far’s room. They found Masrur and Spartos attentively taking instructions from Ja’far before hurrying to carry out their tasks.
Sinbad sat beside the young man on the bed and immediately checked the general’s temperature. “Ja’far, are you alright? You’re burning up! How do you feel?”
Ja’far coughed. “Sin, go to work…”
“We kept asking him how he’s feeling but he just orders us around.” Pisti complained. “And he looks even worse now…”
Sinbad ignored that, frowning as he looked down at Ja’far’s closed eyes and furrowed brows. “Headache?” – he got a sigh followed by a nod. Sharrkan and Pisti gaped as they saw Ja’far meekly answer the inquiries that followed – “Can you move? – Do you feel cold? – Did you eat something bad? – What did you do last night?” – they had been asking Ja’far about his condition when they first found him and all they got was more “wake sinbad up go to work all of you i’ll be alright just go to work you’re all wasting so much time!!!”… but now the King was fussing over Ja’far like a doting mother and Ja’far was answering like a very tired child.
“Sharrkan, get water and a towel. Pisti, tell Yamuraiha to hurry up with those herbs so I can see to them first. Ja’far doesn’t take well to some herbs and he doesn’t like taking medicine unless he has eaten something first.”
Both nodded. Sharrkan asked, “Shall we tell the cooks to prepare something then?”
“No, I’ll do it myself.”
Two out of three generals blinked. One groaned.
Sinbad shrugged. “I’ll cook.”
Spartos sighed as he finished telling Hinahoho what he heard from Sharrkan before the swordsman ran off again to watch the king destroy the royal kitchen. “Sharrkan and, presumably, Pisti went to watch King Sinbad cook. Can he even do that?”
When the younger general looked up, Hinahoho was smiling an odd smile. “What you don’t understand, my boy, is that Sinbad may very well be the only one qualified to do just that.”
Spartos blinked in question.
“I’ll go check on them.” Hinahoho said, stiffling a chuckle as he began to exit the room and head towards the kitchen.
“Please. I’m afraid I’ll be the one doing the auditing if anything explodes…”
When Hinahoho came to the kitchen, he was greeted by the sight of Sharrkan, Yamuraiha, Pisti and the palace cooks gaping in awe as their King maneuvered the place quite efficiently. Sinbad wasn’t making a fancy meal from the looks of it, but he obviously knew what he was doing as he poured neatly-sliced and prepared ingredients in a bowl and began stirring, adding condiments and spices while on it. He was also ranting about all the palace cooks offering fancy and rare herbs and spices when he only really needed the basics. Over-all, they were surprised that the King of Sindria knew such a task…
“Hinahoho!” Pisti called as the older general stood behind them and watched the rare sight. “Did you know that the King knows how to cook?”
Hinahoho laughed. “Come on! He captured seven dungeons and founded his own country but that doesn’t mean he was born a King with servants to do his cooking!”
Sharrkan shook his head. “B-B-But still-!”
“When we were travelling, just me, him, and Ja’far, who was a wee kid, who do you think cooked?”
Yamuraiha, Sharrkan and Pisti all answered quite quickly and surely – “Ja’far.”
Hinahoho smirked. “Nope. Ja’far can’t cook to save Sindria.”
Instead, the giant walked towards the busy king and greeted him. “Sinbad, what’re you making?”
Sinbad was concentrating hard on his work. “Simple lamb soup because we have lamb. I’m adding in vegetables too.”
Hinahoho nodded, as if encouraging a young child in his new crazy project. “And?”
A shrug. “The usual. Milk with honey.”
When the king was done, he carried his work in a tray and thanked his cooks for letting him use their kitchen (“But this is your kitchen, your Majesty!” – “What are you talking about?”). They all remembered that it was lunchtime and that the rest of the occupants of the palace needed to eat so they got back to work quickly. The generals marched after Sinbad as he went back to Ja’far’s room.
Masrur had just replaced the towel on the young man’s forehead when they went it.
They watched as Sinbad sat himself on the bed and set up for a meal in bed. “Can you move now?”
Ja’far struggled to sit up. “Sin, you should have just done your work.”
“Nope.” was the king’s cheerful answer as he picked up the spoon. “Not until you feel better.”
Ja’far watched him scoop up some soup and offer the food to him. “No.”
“Yes.” Sinbad said, blowing lightly on the soup to cool it a bit.
“Yes. Say ‘aaaah’-”
“Sin! I’m not a kid anymore!” Ja’far insisted, glancing warily at his co-generals. Sharrkan and Pisti were sniggering and while Yamuraiha’s face was hidden behind her frame of hair, her shoulders were shaking too hard for her not to be stiffling a loud laugh.
Sinbad didn’t seem to notice the others. “You’re still Ja’far.”
“I can eat by myself-”
Ja’far was rudely cut off when the spoon was shoved inside his mouth and he was forced to swallow the soup. He glared at the king as he made began to offer another spoonful.
“C’mon. You know you throw up the medicine when you take it with an empty stomach.”
Grudgingly, Ja’far accepted the food and let himself be spoonfed for a few more minutes. Sinbad simply smiled fondly.
“You cooked this?” the adviser asked, wary.
The king nodded proudly. “I know you don’t like fancy soup when you’re sick.”
Ja’far looked away and huffed. “It tasted better the last time.”
Sinbad pouted. “I haven’t cooked for years!” – he didn’t notice when Ja’far had taken the spoon and started feeding himself.
Ja’far was looking down at the bowl of soup when he mumbled a small “Thanks.”
Sinbad simply ruffled the other man’s hair and watched him as he ate in peace. Ja’far really wasn’t a kid anymore, he knew – Ja’far didn’t let himself be spoonfed until the last drop of soup this time.
When Ja’far finished the soup, he looked up. “Happy?”
Sinbad had a silly face on as he said, “You’re so cute, Ja’far~” – and even though Ja’far was sick, the adviser managed to hit his King on the head. When he drank the milk, he almost choked when the other generals clapped their hands and cheered for their King.
“Go do your jobs, all of you! Sharrkan, lend Spartos a hand, I’m sure he’s having a hard time! Pisti, there’s a meeting between representatives this afternoon and you should be welcoming our guests! Yamuraiha, same with you – you should be looking out for our barrier! They should be arriving by now! Masrur, I told you to be in charge of our guards in place of Spartos!” – then the adviser groaned and clutched his head. “The headache came back…”
Sinbad grabbed the other man’s shoulders. “I’ll kiss it away-”
“No, go take a bath and get dressed! You stink!”
“You need me-”
“I need medicine-”
“Ja’far, you’re not being cute!”
As they argued further, Hinahoho laughed and inwardly sighed. It’s been many many many years since they first travelled together, all three of them. He remembered the first time Ja’far got sick under their wing. Sinbad cooked vegetable soup and made the boy drink milk with honey because it was what his own mother always did whenever he got sick. That time, the young Ja’far adored the kind and friendly man in front of him and meekly let Sinbad spoonfeed him. Hinahoho remembered walking in on them the next morning, Ja’far stroking the older teen’s hair gently as Sinbad slept with his head slumped in the bed – the dungeon capturer must have fallen asleep in the night as he was watching the boy.
Back to the present, Hinahoho realized that the other generals were gone and when he turned to the bed, he saw Sinbad trying to kiss his adviser (“C’mon Ja’far it will make you feel better~”), and Ja’far struggling weakly but putting up a good fight (“No, you perverted idiot!”)
Finally, the giant stepped forward and did what he always did when things ended up as such. He pulled Sinbad back by the man’s ponytail and said, “Don’t. You’ll catch it. I can’t have both of you sick.”
The next morning, the King was sick and Hinahoho simply sighed in exasperation.
Stopping Sinbad never worked anyway.