Rhonda/Harold one shot "Domesticated"

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Rhonda/Harold one shot "Domesticated"

Post by Perhapsormaybe on Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:12 am

Author's note: It felt weird only to link to stories, and I like giving friends 'previews', so this is a one shot that has not been seen anywhere else before. I blame squirreltamer's gorgeous Harold/Rhonda fanart for this, as it popped into my mind while I was cooking dinner and I felt like I had to write this. And yeah, one scene is heavily influenced by "The Princess and the Frog". So...here we go!

Rhonda sighed as she rang the doorbell, wishing that she didn't have to be here. Everyone knowing she had to get a tutor was bad enough...knowing it was Harold, of all people, just made the situation worse. But what could she do? He was the best student at cooking in their entire Home Ec class, and it wasn't like she'd chosen him. The teacher had paired them together, and Harold still needed the extra credit to make up for how horribly he'd done on the sewing unit.

"Come on in," Harold said, pushing the door open and closing it behind her when she crossed the threshold.

"Are you wearing an apron?" Her eyes narrowed in on the offending clothes article. The words "Big Love, Big Barbecue, Big Appetite" were printed in big, red letters across his stomach.

"Yeah, I've got one for you, too," he lead the way into the kitchen and grabbed it off the hook. This one was bright blue, lacy, and possibly the most hideous thing Rhonda had ever seen.

"I am not wearing that!"

Harold shrugged. "I just thought you'd want to keep your clothes from gettin' dirty. You know, since you like keepin 'em so nice and they're so expensive."

Rhonda sighed. "Give me the apron," she snatched it out of his hands and put it on. "The things I'll do to pass tenth grade, I swear! So, what exactly are we doing?"

"Miss Rainer said we just have to bring her a plate of food tomorrow for her lunch, and if it's good, you'll pass. We‘re gonna make steak and potatoes," Harold explained. He retrieved something from the fridge, then pulled out a rolling pin and handed it to her. She gasped at the weight.

"Aren't these things usually made out of wood?" she asked, inspecting it closer. The handles were wooden, but the actual rolling center was marble.

"It's heavier, it works better and things don't get stuck to it too much."

"What do I need this for, anyways? I thought you just said we’re cooking steak and potatoes.”

"Mr. Green taught me a trick," Harold set the steaks out on the chopping block and grabbed the rolling pin back. First he rolled the steaks, then he started pounding them with the pin.

"What are you doing?" Rhonda demanded. "You’re making the...blood," she said the last word distastefully, "splatter all over the place!"

"It's to tenderize it," Harold explained. "That means it'll be easier to chew."

"I know what it means!" she hissed. Harold shrugged her off.

"Don't have to get upset about it or nothin', I was just telling you. Here," he handed her some potatoes, "Wash them, but don't peel them."

"I don't think so. I am not here to wash vegetables," Rhonda crossed her arms and turned away, sticking her nose into the air. Harold wiped his hands off on his apron.

"Well, then, I guess you're gonna fail. Cause I'm not doing it all for you."

The two glared at each other before Rhonda finally broke. "All right, I'll wash the stupid potatoes." Harold grinned. "But only so this goes faster. The sooner I'm done here, the better, so far as I'm concerned." If the statement was bothering Harold, he didn't let it show.

“Oh, and go ahead and start the oven while I spice the steaks, would ya?” Rhonda rolled her eyes, but did what Harold asked her to do. He turned around to grab the salt, and suddenly he started laughing. “That’s so stupid!”

“What is?” she demanded.

“You set the oven to bake!”

“Yeah, so?”

“So, we’re making steaks. You broil ‘em, duh!” he turned the oven off then pressed the ‘broil’ button. “Man, I thought everybody knew that.”

“Some of us don’t spend much time in the kitchen,” once more her nose seemed to go into the air, “We’ve got a personal chef at home, I really don’t need to learn any of this.”

“So why’d you take Home Ec, then?” Harold asked, his expression quizzical.

“Mother insisted. Said it would make me more lady-like. How about you?”

“It’s the only class you get to cook in, and you get to eat it!” Harold patted his stomach. “It’s awesome!” He set the steaks in the oven. “You gonna chop the potatoes or do you need me to do it?”

“I do not need anything from you,” Rhonda hissed.

“Kay. Go home then.” Harold said it so matter-of-factly it took Rhonda aback for a moment.

“Fine,” Rhonda grabbed the knife Harold extended to her and started hacking away at the potatoes before his laughter stopped her. “Oh, what now?” she groaned. Being laughed at by Harold, looking like a fool in comparison to him? The idea made her sick.

Harold smiled and came around behind her, gently picking up the knife so he could demonstrate how to properly chop the potatoes. “They gotta be ‘uniform’ - that means all the same size,” she rolled her eyes. She knew the word was probably new to Harold, but she’d known what it meant for years, “so that they cook even. Here, you try,” he handed the knife back to her, but he didn’t move. His arms were essentially wrapped around her, and she found herself blushing. She tried to shake it off and concentrated on the potatoes, mimicking the movements Harold had just used. “Yeah, that’s it!” he moved away from her, and Rhonda felt almost…disappointed. He smelled like cologne and some spice she couldn’t name.

“You okay?” He arched an eyebrow at her. Rhonda huffed.

“I’m fine. Let’s just finish.”

“’kay,” he started sprinkling spices over the potatoes. Rhonda watched with only mild interest until the scent of the final spice caught her attention.

“…What is that?”

“Rosemary,” he explained, before dashing the potatoes with olive oil. He removed the steaks, switched the oven back to ‘bake’ and set the potatoes on the top rack. “Whyzzat?”

“…No reason,” Rhonda said, drumming her nails on the table counter and studying them as though they were the most interesting thing in the world. She wondered if that's the scent she'd smelled on him earlier. “Umm…Harold? Thanks. For helping me with this.”

“S’no problem,” he shrugged.

“You know, you’re really smart. At cooking, anyways,” Rhonda gave the slightly insulting compliment as she flipped her hair back.

“Thanks.”

Words had run out for the pair, and neither was sure what the energy passing between them was. Rhonda sighed and leaned forward, her gaze catching Harold’s. Before she knew it, they were both leaning forward, their eyes starting to close as their lips began to pucker…

“Harold, what are you doing in here?” Harold jumped and Rhonda’s eyes snapped open. His mother was standing in the kitchen with her arms folded. She smiled knowingly at Rhonda. “Oh, I see. You got yourself a little girlfriend.”

“MOOOM!!” he moaned. “She is not my girlfriend. Rhonda’s just a friend who’s a girl that I’m helping with cooking!”

“If you say so, Harold….oh, and it smells like those potatoes are done, you wouldn’t want them to burn now, would you?” Harold gasped and turned the oven off before retrieving the potatoes. “I’ll leave you two alone.” She winked and then walked back into the living room.

Rhonda and Harold were both too shaken by his mother’s sudden appearance to do anything. Feeling far too embarrassed by the situation, Rhonda finally stood up. “Look, I’ll take the food home so I can take it to Miss Rainer tomorrow,” she barely managed to stop herself from adding ‘because otherwise you’ll eat it during the night’.

“Yeah. Umm…okay.”

Rhonda fixed the food on a plate and wrapped it in aluminum foil Harold provided her with before she excused herself and left his house.

Harold sighed and looked up at his kitchen ceiling. “What just happened here?” he finally asked out loud.

The end

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Re: Rhonda/Harold one shot "Domesticated"

Post by NintendoGal55 on Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:50 am

Okay, and no one has given feedback WHY?

Well! Someone now has to! I guess I'll start off. 8D

Yes, I read it. I was curious, and decided to take a gander at it.

You know what? I can so see this happening. I felt like it was a possible episode, even with the tuned up near-kiss! You had them in character so well, and how they'd feel around each other. Awkward, given the circumstances, but quiet and comfortable at the same time when things get better and more relaxed. I don't know, that's just me. XD

True, Harold may not be the brightest crayon in the box, but he can be smart, and I can see him being a very good cook. And Rhonda is...Rhonda. What can I say? X3

So yeah, this is really good. :3 I think all fans of this pair should read this. It's a good step forward in building them up together, it really is. Good story!

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Re: Rhonda/Harold one shot "Domesticated"

Post by Perhapsormaybe on Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:04 am

Aww, thanks, you are so sweet! *glomps you*

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Re: Rhonda/Harold one shot "Domesticated"

Post by Squirreltamer on Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:27 am

Awwwww! SO CUTE! I really love love loooooved that you had Harold teaching Rhonda something. I love seeing him get to be smart at stuff! Everyone's good at something, but sometimes you just gotta play to your strengths.

I also really enjoyed the cooking bit where she describes his scent. <333

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Re: Rhonda/Harold one shot "Domesticated"

Post by Perhapsormaybe on Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:29 am

I believe Harold's smart, he just doesn't apply himself. I got part of the idea from "Egg Story" when he cooked the egg...because at 9 I could bake cookies, brownies, just about anything...but I couldn't cook eggs, so the first time I saw it I thought it meant Harold was some genius chef. Since then I've been convinced he'd be a good cook, and I liked the idea of him teaching Rhonda cooking, so....I wrote this. ^_^ I'm so glad you liked it!

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Re: Rhonda/Harold one shot "Domesticated"

Post by Perhapsormaybe2 on Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:52 am

And now, part 2, set many years later:

Rhonda set the oven to preheat and then set her attention on the box on the counter. It wasn't her birthday, Christmas was still a little ways off and her mother always gave her things in person. The kids were still of ages were their idea of presents for mommy were cards littered with misspellings and too much glitter. Of course, Rhonda loved those dearly and put each one on the fridge, but her reasoning right now was that the only culprit left was her husband.

Harold worked in the construction business these days (said he got a kick out of demolishing things) and Rhonda, much to her own surprise and therefore certainly everyone else's around her, had become a stay at home mom. Not that she didn't entirely have a career - no, she sold her own clothing designs to some of the hottest names in fashion, for a much larger sum than even Rhonda believed they were worth. But, no matter. The kids' college fund was in nice shape, and when Rhonda decided she or the kids deserved a special treat, she went and got it without any complaints or arguments from Harold.

She checked the top of the box for a note, but nothing was there, not even a tag to say who it was for. Finally, her curiosity was too much and she popped the lid off. Inside was a note and beneath that a large layer of crumpled butcher paper was wrapping whatever the actual gift was. Rhonda snatched the note up first.

Rhonda,

Hey, sorry I went through your sketchbook. But I know you hate the apron my mom gave you and I'm sick of you whining about ruining your clothes when you make dinner. And to thank you for putting up with me.

Love,
Harold


Rhonda scowled at the line where he'd accused her of whining (it was one time and that dress was Versace and sure, she shouldn't have been cooking in it in the first place but it had been their anniversary and she wanted to look nice and she wanted him to have a home cooked meal...). She shook her head and smiled, though. He meant well and if he'd been there to say the line in person she knew he would have smirked and winked at her, enjoying giving her a hard time.

The oven dinged at her to let her know that the preheat was over and her cookies could be popped in now. She did so, and then sat at the kitchen island to open the package and to think. She ripped open the paper to reveal a seemingly simple red apron outlined in black, the same one she'd put in her sketchbook just a few months ago. The design wasn't meant to be complicated, but a few designers had made offers on it anyway. She'd turned them all down, though she couldn't figure out why at the time.

She pulled the apron the whole way out of the box and tied it around her waist. She'd actually named this particular design after her husband - this wasn't meant to be a fashion accessory, after all. It was a blending, she guessed, of what she and her husband both loved. All those years ago she couldn't stand cooking, and her mother had even offered to get the pair a personal chef as their wedding present. Harold had been the one to turn the offer down, and just said that he'd do the cooking if Rhonda really didn't want to. But the construction company Harold worked for promoted him to a foreman's position shortly after they returned from their honeymoon and his shift turned from 8 hours to 10 or 12. He was too tired and Rhonda didn't like him eating nothing but fast food like he did for the first few weeks after his new position started. Finally, she'd started going through his cookbooks and learning how to make lunch and dinner herself.

It wasn't long before she actually started enjoying doing it. They'd sit down to dinner together, discuss their days and then plan out the rest of their future together. Rhonda had fully intended to get a job outside of the home, but when she got pregnant the first time she mentioned wanting to stay home with the child and Harold had fully supported her.

Nadine called it the "Harold/Rhonda paradox". As Nadine had put it the last time she'd been over "Yeah, Rhonda, you changed Harold a bit. He's lost a little bit of weight and he seems happier these days, but..." Nadine had grabbed one of the cookies Rhonda had made that day and took a bite, swallowing before continuing "I think he had a stronger effect on you. Rhonda Lloyd Wellington baking cookies and cleaning house all day? I never thought I'd see it," Rhonda had started to protest, but Nadine cut her off "I'm not insulting you. You look happier than I've ever seen you before. Rhonda, it's great that you two are happy together. No one thinks any less of you."

"Well, if they did they'd only have to check out the latest fashion magazines. Six of my designs were selected this time. And I sent in seven, so I would say that's a win on my part." Rhonda had said it more defensively than she meant to, but Nadine had understood. Rhonda was still coming to terms with how she'd changed and how different her life was than she had really expected.

But for right now, the timer was going off and her cookies were done and the kids were due home any minute now. Rhonda smiled satisfactorily that the cookies were not burnt this time (her son, Lancelot, was a very picky eater and would not touch anything that looked the slightest bit overly done - though his sister, Courtney would gladly devour his share).

Her cell phone buzzed in her pocket and she whipped it out and answered it. "Hello, Harold."

"Hey, Rhonda. Sorry, gonna be home late tonight. New project," He sighed so loudly into the phone that it crackled and she couldn't quite make out his next few words.

"What was that?"

"Oh. I said I won't be home for dinner," he repeated. "Could you save me some? And make sure the kids don't eat all the cookies this time? Pleeeeaseee?" He drew out the request as long as he could. Rhonda rolled her eyes, even though she was smiling.

"Doofus," she laughed. "After the kids get home we'll swing by and bring you a plate. And some of the cookies."

"Yes! Thanks, Rhonda! I love you!"

"Love you too," Rhonda smiled and hung up the phone. Her smile got a bit wider as she realized just how true Nadine's dissection of Harold and Rhonda's relationship was. "Well, so what if I've changed?" she asked the empty house. "I think it was for the better, after all."

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Re: Rhonda/Harold one shot "Domesticated"

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