H5O* H5O* H5O* H5O* H5O
′Uncle Roo′ had happened on a rainy day when things were just out of control, silly. Family night at the Grovers over family-friendly movies, endless go-rounds of Go Fish card games and an impromptu game of tag in the front yard that had left everyone in hysterics, despite the rain.
Over-tired and giggling madly as his Uncle Lou had tickled him endlessly in the wet grass, Charlie had shouted out in laughter for his uncle to stop. But Uncle Lou had come out more like Uncle Roo ... which had made everything just more funnier. And so it had stuck. Big time: Uncle Lou was now officially Uncle Roo. And the man in question, couldn’t be more pleased about the new moniker. It was admittedly all cute until Steve’s cooking came under fire.
“They’re just pancakes, Steve,” Danny said far too mockingly from the kitchen sink. “How long is this going to go on for, huh?”
“Pancakes,” Charlie agreed as he nodded sagely before adorably screwing up his nose at what Steve was aiming to put on his breakfast plate. “N’there ... not Uncle Roo’s.”
“No, they’re not Uncle Roo’s ... I mean, Lou’s,” Steve explained ever patient. “These are ultra special Uncle Steve pancakes.” He was sure he had it down pat this time; the perfect recipe of banana, chocolate chunks and sprinkling of walnuts. Hidden in the fridge was a small side of home-made whipped cream. Danny would likely disapprove the mix for breakfast, but as far as Steve was concerned, the concoction was spot-on for a five year old. Heck, after trying one for himself, he was more than ready to dig in, too. These were pancakes to beat all other contenders, hands down. The problem was, his anticipated taste-tester - the one he wanted to impress the most - was adamantly resistant.
“Ultra special?” Danny actually giggled before stifling the sound.
“Shut up, Danno,” Steve whispered harshly over his shoulder only loud enough for his partner to hear. “Help me out here, would-ja?”
Danny was standing behind him and smirking when Steve glanced over his shoulder. He was holding back his laughter and the situation probably was funny. Somewhere. Somehow. But not in Steve’s very own kitchen and Steve didn’t quite know where to land yet because he’d just whipped up a batch of very special Charlie-sized pancakes and the five year old was refusing to try them.
“Aren’t you taking this a little bit too seriously?” Danny whispered back.
“Not at all,” Steve replied under his breath before turning back towards the table and where Charlie was sitting. “You’re going to love these,” he said to Charlie, probably a little bit more subdued than he should have and holding back his proud mental thoughts that these pancakes were far better than Uncle Roo’s. He didn’t’ want to tip the scales too much in his favor. Or maybe he did. His feelings were just a tad injured after being supplanted by Uncle Roo’s culinary skills in the pancake department. Besides, he felt awkward standing there frying pan in one hand, spatula in the other, poised with one perfectly formed, small pancake ready to be served to one equally small, little boy ... who evidently not only had a discerning palate, but a stubborn streak wider than his old-man’s.
“It’s banana,” Charlie declared. “Uncle Roo makes ... pineapple and papaya ones.”
“I don’t know. Steve,” Danny added not so helpfully. “How can you compete with the self-proclaimed Pancake Master?”
“Because he’s just that!” Steve argued back. “Self-proclaimed! And besides ...”
“Pancake Master,” Charlie whispered nearly in awe, his eyes huge, his fork fisted in one hand, prongs pointed skywards. “Uncle Roo makes special Pancake Surprise.”
“... and besides ... pineapple, Daniel? While you feel pineapple has no place on pizza, I feel that it’s got no place in a pancake,” Steve retorted after turning around to glare at Danny, his look menacing for adding fuel to the fire. “Because ... that’s just ... weird. Pineapple and papaya? Who does that?”
“It’s not weird, Uncle Steve!” Charlie objected. “It’s soooo good! Right, Danno?”
“Right, Danno?” Steve practically hissed at his partner. “Pineapple? Your all time most favorite thing in the whole, wide world, Danno?”
"Hmmm ... well,” Danny murmured thoughtfully as he met Steve’s glare with a funny one of his own; a look that agreed that he still detested pineapple in some things and that Steve was quite right about it being merged into pancakes, too.
“Might be ... well, okay ...Uncle Steve might be right about that, Charlie.” He walked forward to stand by the kitchen table, flanking Steve. “I think you need to try out Uncle Steve’s special pancakes. What’s in there besides banana?”
“Banana and ...,” Steve started to explain and then was bluntly interrupted by the five-year old.
“No,” Charlie said as he pursed his lips, the grin on his face fading to a childish scowl. “Don’wan banana.”
“What do you mean no?! First of all, you love banana,” Danny said as Steve watched them as if watching a tennis match. “And secondly, don’t interrupt your Uncle Steve when he’s talking.” Danny leaned forward at the waist, eyes sparkling. “Besides, I bet Uncle Steve makes super good pancakes too.”
Steve grinned as Danny bowed over at the waist, beckoning him to continue with a flourish of his hand. “So,” Steve said as he plated the pancake and then popped another from the pan right on top of the first one. “Thank you. So ... this masterpiece of culinary delight is called Chunky Monkey,” Steve explained proudly, jumping to the heart of the matter and enjoying the way Charlie’s eyes suddenly lit up when he saw the chunks of chocolate oozing out on top next to the bite-sized pieces of banana.
“Oh!” Charlie whooshed out in excitement as he sat taller in his chair.
“Hold on! Wait!” Steve said as he virtually ran to the fridge and pulled out the bowl of whipped cream. A large white dollop went on top of the pancakes and Charlie made a small, surprised noise, his eyes growing larger by the minute.
“Chunky Monkey?” Danny asked. “What ...? Oh ... Steve? Umm ... maybe ...”
“Bananas, chocolate chunks, a bit of walnut and ...,” Steve ran his finger lightly over the top of the whipped cream in the bowl and grinned a split-second before he dabbed it rudely onto the bridge of Danny’s nose, ignoring the somewhat stricken look that flashed across Danny’s face.
“Whipped cream!” Charlie shouted as he dug his fork into his breakfast, breaking off a bit to shove joyously into his mouth, chocolate marring his lips.
“Chocolate. And whipped cream,” Danny sighed out as he wiped the white from his nose with the side of his hand. ”Chocolate and whipped cream ... for breakfast?”
“You bet, Danno. It’s the perfect combination,” Steve replied smugly. “And how are they, Charlie? Huh? Do you like them?”
“These are the best, Uncle Steve!” Charlie gushed as he took another hefty bite of his pancakes, soaked now in the whipped cream. “Best ... ever!”
“And they’re the best,” Steve grinned happily as he watched Charlie dig in with gusto. “There you have it.”
“Oh you sure do,” Danny muttered under his breath, his eyes rolling towards the ceiling. “You sure do have it ... big time.” Chocolate not only smeared Charlie’s lips, but also part of one cheek and a bit of his chin.
“See? What did I tell you? Uncle Roo ... take that!” Steve smirked as he took a picture of Charlie with his cell phone, and then two more, texting them quickly over to Lou Grover in glee.
“Yeah well.” Danny raised an amused eyebrow as he watched his son kneel on the chair next his fork poised over the bowl of whipped cream which Steve had left within his reach. “Charlie!”
Charlie grinned almost wickedly at his father as he took his fork, jammed full of chocolately-banana pancake, and dipped it directly into the bowl. The sound that the five-year old made as he shoved the entire wad into his mouth and smacked his lips proved Steve’s breakfast a definitive hit.
“Oh leave him. He likes it,” Steve said as he put the pan back on the stove for another batch for himself and for Danny. “I assume you’re having some, right?” He was pleased as Danny nodded in agreement, but just a bit perplexed by his partner’s odd expression as he not so covertly took the bowl of whipped cream off the table so Charlie couldn’t help himself so freely to it.
“He definitely likes it,” Danny said as he patted Steve on the shoulder almost condescendingly ... maybe even in pity ... or, soothingly. Steve wasn’t sure and he dismissed the action and what it could mean quickly as Danny made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
“How about I clean the kitchen in exchange for this fantastic, awesome breakfast you whipped up for us? You take care of the kid ... clean him up ... maybe play with him a bit?”
“You wanna clean up this mess? Okay, fine. You’re on,” Steve replied happily without turning around from the stove. The next batch were just beginning to bubble up nicely on one side and Steve was grinning happily to himself, humming under his breath, as the chocolate chunks melted to make thick, dark swirls before he flipped them to cook on the other side. He completely missed the amused look on Danny’s face as he watched Charlie pick up his plate to lick the chocolate smears from one end to the other, the blue eyes piercing over the rim of the china.
~ End. ~
I do not own Hawaii Five-0 or any characters.
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