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“Eww this tastes dirty!”
“Yeah, Casca, it tastes too weird!”

“Hmph! Why don’t you goons give it a try huh?” The ebony brunette snorted at the navy blue haired male and the young blonde boy.

“Actually they did,” the white haired leader calmly spoke. “They made a better honey dish then you did, Casca. But it’s okay.” He smiled with compassion in the end.

“Oh don’t give me that, Griffith,” Casca twisted her lips at the leader of the Band of the Hawks. “I’ve spent the whole day making those damned cupcakes!”

“Well you could make them with a little finesse, Casca,” the other older blonde snickered, stressing on the situation.
“Shut it Judeau,” She sneered at the calm blonde who simply shrugged.

“Jeez, commander,” Gaston leaned over to the larger, quieter male besides him. “Are they really that bad? I know the honey was ruined because of Corkus’ little tricks trying to impress the ladies but it ain’t that bad, is it?” The larger male simply sighed in reply.
“That bad huh?” Gaston nervously peered down at the honey slowly pouring from his half eaten cupcake, before shifting his gaze towards Pippin simply chowing down the meal.

“See!” Casca had noticed Gaston’s point of attention, “Pippin doesn’t think it’s bad!” She tried to defend her bad cooking.
“Pippin eats everything, Casca,” the navy blue big nosed Corkus sneered.
“Hm,” Pippin nodded silently.

“Ugh!” Casca sat up from the table in frustration and marched out of the tent, leaving the rest of her bandmates tutting behind her.

“She really tried her best guys, maybe we were too hard on her?” The young blonde Rickett fiddled with his fingers feeling guilty.
“Oh shut it!” Corkus grunted, chomping down a pork chop.
“Oh you just want a reason to tease her don’t you?” Rickett pointed at the oblivious male eating his meat while the rest turned their attention to the new quarrel on the dinner table, except Griffith who stared at the silent male across from him.

“How about you, Guts?” The white haired male sipped on his wine, “You were the only one not to comment on Casca’s honey cupcakes.”

No reply from the swordsman.

“I don’t think we need to add more fuel to the fire, Griffith,” Judeau commented resting his hand on top of his palm, slouching towards the male in question.

“Hmph,” Guts simply took a large whiff of breath and continued nibbling on the cupcake.

“Hm, see Guts hates it so much he doesn’t even need to speak otherwise he knows Casca will go for his throat!” Corkus laughed before slightly choking on his pork chop. Guts simply sighed before finishing his meal and headed out, probably to train.

“Yeah, come to think of it,” Rickett scratched his chin. “Guts almost always has something to say to Casca, it’s strange.”

“Nothing to say at all is still something to say,” Griffith simply commented and left everyone at awe once again at his wisdom.
“See that’s why Griffith is our leader!”
“Please be quiet, Corkus.” Griffith simply hummed, earning a groan from his solider.

Somewhere near the river Casca cursed everyone and God as she took her frustrations out on the dirty dishes. With every wince and every hiss, she would scrub and rub a dirty plate in the gentle flowing river. Her big eyes filled with unusual rage; she was used to being reprimanded for her performance, she considered it as an opportunity to improve herself. But she took pride in her dinner making skills, especially when they involved honey.

Being allotted the duty to prepare a celebratory dessert for the Hawks’ latest conquest was an honor and a stress-reliever for the female. She enjoyed cooking, albeit her tendency to be more in the battlefield and chop heads off. And when Griffith had ordered her to make dessert, she was more than excited to do so. Maybe a tad bit too excited.

The major complaint shared? Too much honey. Apparently the dough was too dry that it didn’t match well with the excess of honey. A little salt would’ve balanced things out, as Judeau suggested. But it was too little too late. According to Casca dinner was ruined and she hated it.

“….and to think I worked my butt off for them! Huh! And Griffith, how could he?” She hissed before scrubbing an innocent plate to its breaking point, smashing the clay into the flowing water. She groaned loudly, cursed some more as she felt little shards of the clay impaling her palms. She pulled the shards out in haste and hatred, drawing blood.

“Ugh I cooked those damned muffins just right!” She growled mispronouncing her own made food. Then she heard faint yet heavy footsteps, her mind alerted her to prepare her sword as she crouched into position, wielding the blade.

“Ugh great, enemy raid,” she hissed, she reckoned her anger would easily dismantle the poor bastard who tried to invade the camp. Oh what a bad day to be on Casca’s bad side, let alone try to attack her.

She jumped and rushed towards the footsteps, drawing her sword before nailing a strike, only it to be blocked by a familiar large sword.

“Damn it, what’s wrong with you?”
“What are you doing here Guts?”

Guts didn’t reply. He simply drew his heavy blade back peacefully, walking around the ebony and squatted near the broken plate, picked up another dirty one and preceded it to simply rinse it in the river. 
“Griffith sent me after you,” he simply answered back. “Ordered me to check you out and issue you an apology.” Hearing Griffith’s name softened the female’s expressions a bit, but remembering his snarky comments caused her eyes to twitch. Or it could be the fact that he was favoring Guts to do a task, again. Even if it was this simple.

She snored, “It’s fine.”
“Doesn’t seem so.”
“Shut up, Guts.” She sat beside him and proceeded to wash the dishes again. “Why would he send you anyways?” Guts shrugged.

“You didn’t even bother to say something about the cupcakes.”

“That’s because there wasn’t anything to say,” he answered with a soft sigh, continuing to assist her.
“Oh, so my cupcakes are so bad that they cannot even elicit a reaction from the almighty Guts huh? Well screw you,” She mocked the larger male in a nagging tone, firmly placing her hands over hips as she stuck her tongue out at him.

Guts didn’t answer; he simply whipped out a half eaten cupcake from his little pouch and proceeded to calmly eat it work. That irked Casca.

“Oh so you’re here to mock me too huh?!” She snarled at the male. Guts simply ate his cupcake. Then Casca noticed his facial expressions, instead of a flinch, a twitch or  any other signs of disgust, she saw tranquility. Even a slight hint of enjoyment.

“I think they’re just fine,” he muttered as he continued eating the cupcakes, “delicious even if I may.”

She shifted back, her eyes slightly widen. Her expression now completely softened. She shifted her weight to a straight arm as she leaned back. “What?” She said, trying to sound sarcastic.

“Did I stutter?” Guts swallowed the last bit of the cupcake before reaching for his pouch and pulled out another one. Casca reached over to his pouch and saw that it was filled with her cupcakes. She felt a trail of sweat trickle down her forehead.

Guts simply continued washing the dishes contently, munching down on the honey cupcake. She was stunned. Guts was always the one to shudder at the notion of Casca cooking, let alone enjoy it. He thought she deliberately would dinner just to irk him and he thought that it was some sort of inside joke or prank the rest of the Hawks would play on him. Even if that didn’t make any sense at all, just like Casca enjoying cooking. But this one instant, Guts tried all his might to hide his pleasure as he first took a bite out of the honey cupcake. Thick, gooey honey oozed into his mouth and mingled with his tongue as the slight saltiness and dryness of the dough teased his taste buds. For the first time in his life, he felt as if he was eating something ‘heavenly’, a word rare in his vocabulary, even nonexistent. He tried his best to keep his face as stiff as a stone, whilst his insides were singing praises for the cupcakes. Up until that point he wasn’t aware of who had actually made them. It wasn’t until the whole Casca uproar that he found out, and that hit him harder.

Casca could cook. And amazingly so. She was truly more than met his eye.

And then there was Casca herself. As she sat there stunned and watched Guts finish the chore she was supposed to do, she couldn’t help but wonder where this was coming from. Was it some elaborate prank? Some cruel joke? The ultimate insult to her insufficient culinary skills? No, she knew Guts well enough to realize it wasn’t simply his style. He was blunt, clear, transparent, too transparent at times. Enough for her to sometimes have a glance of her own self, like looking into a mirror. At least that’s how she felt.  And there he was; singing praises to her crummy cupcakes.

“There done.” And while she was lost in her trail of thoughts she didn’t notice Guts finishing off the rest of the dishes, “You’re welcome.” He stiffly said before getting up.
“Wait!” Casca reached for him, before earning a cocked eyebrow from the swordsman and backing away, blushing slightly, “Thank you.”
“It’s fine.”

“Guts I—”

Whatever Casca was about to say was rudely interrupted by the huge rumbling coming from the pits of her stomach. She covered her belly flustered, earning a slight chuckle from Guts. He sat down and handed her one of the cupcakes form his bag.

“Eat,” he realized she didn’t eat at all; she is already weak and not eating at all would not be good for her. She took the cupcake and gently nibbled it. Content, Guts sat across from her and ate another cupcake.

“I see why the guys didn’t like it,” she slightly croaked as she ate the cupcake. “It’s really dry.”

“I think they’re perfect,” Guts smirked.
“Oh shut up,”
“Hmph.’ He continued eating the cupcake.

“You really like them?” She gave him an inquisitive look, still not believing that he liked something she prepared.
“Casca,” Guts sighed. “I understand the pressure you have to deal with cooking; you hate it. You’re a woman and you don’t like cooking, but this is really delicious.”  She slightly smiled at his observation, either at him liking her cupcakes or the fact that he paraphrased her exact sentiments, she didn’t know.

“Hmph, well thanks,” she flashed him a gently smirk of herself. Guts nodded in reply as they both ate the honey cupcakes besides the lake.

Since that day, whenever Casca would cook she would always bake a pair of her honey cupcakes. Excessive honey, and dry dough. Just like her friend liked.

She was starting to appreciate his friendship.