Title: The Kitchen Menace Author: Magier Characters: Obi-Wan Disclaimer: The usual disclaimers apply. Summary: This was a characterization exercise written for another site. The prompt was to show a character preparing food. The purpose of the exercise was a snap-shot that didn't necessarily need a beginning, middle, and end. Oh, and it had to be under 500 words. ~~~ The knife cut rhythmically into the pile of crushed gayl?k root, grinding it even finer. He worked slowly, not with Qui-Gon?s blinding speed or finesse. Obi-Wan preferred to keep all his fingers intact. ?Stir every ten minutes,? he mumbled, reading the instructions displayed in front of him. ?Blast!? It had been at least fifteen. He remembered all too vividly what happened if the gel-like sauce was allowed to boil too long. It formed a congealed mess on the bottom of the pan. N?orian glass noodles was one of Qui-Gon?s favorite dishes. It was actually the very first dish the Jedi master had made for Obi-Wan, in this very kitchen. Obi-Wan had attempted to make it several times, but never succeeded on his own. As Qui-Gon had put it ? it was a finicky dish. Obi-Wan lifted the lid on the sauce pan, wincing as wisps of steam slid past his wrist. The sauce was bubbling, near frothing, but thankfully not thick. He stirred, finally beginning to think he might be able to pull it off this time. Then, he could declare to Bant that he was no longer a menace in the kitchen. The pot with the noodles chose that moment to sputter and foam over onto the heating element. Thick curls of smoke rose, dancing dangerously close to the smoke detector. He would never hear the end of it if he sounded an alarm ? again. He called a towel to his hand with the Force and began to fan the smoke, shutting the heating element off with his other hand. The noodles were probably done. It had been twelve minutes, and the directions had said ten to fifteen. The sauce ? he remembered, and rushed to stir again, knocking a spoon to the floor with a loud clang. ?Are you okay in there?? came a voice from the other room. ?Fine. Everything is under control,? he called back. ?It will only be another five, maybe ten minutes.? He hoped. He drained the noodles and poured them onto two plates. Raising the lid to the sauce, he grimaced slightly. Thick, but at least it wasn?t a sticky mess. He poured it over the noodles. Now to wait five minutes before serving ? that?s what the directions said to do. Come to think of it, he didn?t remember Qui-Gon ever waiting that long, or even using the kitchen timer, for that matter. Qui-Gon had always seemed to approach the culinary arts with the same disregard for rules as he did the rest of life. Maybe that?s why he had always been the better cook. Obi-Wan sprinkled the minced gayl?k root over the two dishes and stepped back to admire his handiwork. He cast a worried glance toward the other room, hoping the meal would pass muster. He wasn?t sure if could handle being compared to the infallible Shmi Skywalker yet again.