There were several things that Mace was very good at, if she said so herself.
Cooking was not on that list.
But, she tried, Lord, did she try.
It was a birthday, or an anniversary, or something and she had wanted to do something nice for Fee.
She spent all day gathering ingredients and when the recipe in the book didn't make sense, she did what she always did with complex explosives and other things when what she was working with stopped cooperating.
After all, if four boxes of chocolate stuff was okay, well then, eight would be better. Why make yourself pick between pudding and mousse when you could use both? That meant that she of course had to double the whipped topping, too. And honestly? The recipe would only make what looked like two cups or so? That just wouldn't do. There had to be leftovers for Fee to take home. That's what happened at gatherings, right? The host -- Mace -- made enough food for the guest -- Fee -- to take some home later.
Much, much later if things went as well as Mace hoped that they would.
So, she had the boxes of mousse and pudding and she had gotten the extra whipped topping. While she was shopping, though, she had found the chocolate flavored whipped topping and decided to get some of that, too. She was a firm believer in the idea of the more chocolate you had, the better everything would be.
The first problem came when she discovered that she had somehow forgotten to purchase Kahlua. She couldn't run to the liquor store for it while the oven was on and she couldn't call Fee and ask her to bring some since the dessert was a surprise. Frowning, she was trying to decide what to do when she set her eyes on her laptop.
You could find anything on the internet and in a few minutes, Mace had found out exactly what was in Kahlua. Well, hell. She had all of that stuff and she could just make it in her own kitchen.
A few moments later, she had ground the coffee and it was brewing as she was measuring out the corn syrup and pulling out a bottle of vodka. The recipe for Kahlua didn't say how much vodka you had to use, but, to Mace, liquor could be like chocolate. If she was making a full urn of coffee, then she should use double the amount of vodka to coffee because you didn't want all of the alcohol to get burned off by the coffee. That's why you drank coffee after getting drunk, or so she heard. Personally, she couldn't handle coffee until well after she was awake the next day after drinking too much.
The second problem came when the recipe she had got a little singed by the burner and the last part of the recipe was destroyed. However, she was a soldier -- she had been playing with explosives and chemicals all of her life. She had read the recipe a few times and was confident that she could remember the measurements of everything and how long to cook everything.
When Fee let herself into Mace's flat that evening, she immediately smelled the aftermath of a fire. With concern, she shut the door quickly and started down the hall.
"Sarah?" The fact that she used Mace's given name was a good indication of the worry the smell of smoke in the flat had caused.
"I'm in here," came the morose reply. "The dining room."
Fee stopped in her tracks when she caught sight of Mace sitting on a stool at the bar, poking at something in a bowl in front of her.
It wasn't the poking that alarmed her, but the fact that the kitchen was a disaster area. The oven was missing its door and there was scorch marks on the wall and floor around it. What wasn't scorched was covered in bits of some kind of thick brown and white substances. Even as she watched, several blobs of the stuff plopped onto the floor. She looked back at Mace and noticed that she was also covered in the same substance. There was also the tinge of vodka in the air and ... coffee?
"Mace? What is all over you?"
"Chocolate. Whipped cream. Probably some vodka, too." She poked at the mix in the bowl again. "I blow things up for a living. I've mixed explosives for years. How could it be so damn hard to make a cake?"
Now that she was sure that the only thing hurt was Mace's pride, Fee found a small smile tugging at her lips. "You were baking a cake?" If she asked what kind of cake would result in the kitchen exploding, she just knew she would giggle and she didn't think Mace needed that right now.
"Death By Chocolate," Mace explained. "I was making homemade Kahlua because I forgot to buy some when I was out last night."
Fee swallowed hard, and then swallowed again. When she was certain she wasn't going to laugh she managed to ask what she thought was a logical question. "Why didn't you phone me and ask you to pick some up on my way here?"
The look that Mace gave her was one that Fee didn't think she had ever seen on the other woman's face in the entire time they had known each other.
"I was trying to do something nice for you and if I asked you to bring a major ingredient, then the surprise would have been ruined."
She was at a loss at what she could do to make Mace feel better when her eyes sparkled with a shameless idea.
"But sweetie, you have given me something much better than a cake."
Mace's eyes were confused as she looked up at Fee. "Yeah? What's that?"
Fee grinned and leaned in to kiss Mace, before dragging the edge of her tongue along the chocolate that was across the other woman's cheek. "I get to be the one to clean you up," Fee whispered into Mace's ear.
"...and that's why we don't allow Mace in the kitchen unless Fee is in a mood for that much chocolate," Becker finished explaining to a softly giggling Jess as they watched the couple across the room going through take away menus.