Feb. 23rd, 2014

vanillafluffy: (Justified -- Raylan smile)
Justified, Raylan/Rachel, he kinda likes being put in his place

Justified -- Suppertime Blues

Raylan hates the hospital. He's been stuck here for 24 hours, being observed for a possible concussion and having his fractured leg set, but he's getting antsy. So far, Art's been in to give him Hell for screwing up in pursuit of the suspect. Boyd has visited and written rude things on his cast while he was doped up. Loretta has called looking for a ride to some concert or other.

Of course, that's in between having his temperature and blood pressure taken every time he gets comfortable and being fed questionable-looking things that don't taste like anything in particular. Supper is brown and green. Theoretically, the brown part is some kind of meat with gravy, but he honestly has no idea what kind of vegetable the other stuff is supposed to be. Hell, maybe it's soylent green.

There's also a little side dish of apple sauce. It does taste vaguely like apples, but awfully puny ones. Just thinking about what it ought to taste like puts him in mind of his Aunt Helen's apple crisp, tart and spiced with cinnamon, the apples cooked until they're soft, and how the crunchy topping was sweet and buttery. He regards the ersatz goo on his tray with disfavor.

There's no knock on his door, just a blur of pin-striped charcoal and Rachel enters carrying a plain brown shopping bag.

"You know I caught your suspect, right?" is her greeting.

"Art said. "

"Honestly, Raylan, what were you thinking, charging after her down those icy steps?"

"That she was wanted on fifteen counts of cashing Social Security checks that weren't hers," he says, sniffing. "Rachel, what's in that bag?"

"Nothing you'd be interested in." She looks at the tray in front of him. "Seeing as you already have a perfectly good dinner...."

"I wouldn't feed this slop to pigs," he grumbles, "and if I did, I'd probably get in trouble with the Humane Society."

There's a glint of mischief in her eyes. "You know, Raylan, there are starving orphans--"

"Technically, I *am* an orphan, and if I don't get some real food soon, I *will* be starving."

Rachel laughs and opens the bag. "You'd better eat it all," she says, mock-threatening.

The aroma makes his stomach growl audibly. He nods, licks his lips.

"We have fried chicken." Two golden-tan drumsticks emerge from a packet of foil. He sinks his teeth into the first one as a plastic container joins the feast. Rachel cracks the lid One whiff and he knows it's collards with bacon. "And I hope you like greens. If you're good and finish it all, there's dessert."

"You're an angel," he says fervently, grabbing the hospital's plastic fork and digging into the tender greens. They're moist and delicately salted from the bacon in them.

"Biscuit," she offers, unwrapping one from a napkin, and he uses it to soak up the juice from the collards.

"Pot-licker", they'd called it at home. His mama and Aunt Helen had both made it the same way, not surprising--thery'd both learned how from Granny--but Winona had never been much of a cook. Her biscuits came out of a can, and she didn't even like collards--said they smelled like burning rubber cooking.

Raylan doesn't have to be urged to eat. He applies himself to Rachel's gift and lets her scold him about his reckless ways, and it could be his mother or Aunt Helen chiding him for tearing his Sunday shirt or giving him what-for for any of his many boyish misdeeds. He chews and nods, and when the aide comes in to take his dinner tray, he just holds on to the foil and tupperware and makes sure that's all she takes.

There's nothing left when he's done. The drumsticks are gnawed down to the nub, the collards are gone, the container wiped clean with the biscuit, every crumb of which he's devoured.

Rachel looks at the scant remains and smiles. As she reaches into the bag, Raylan says, "If that's apple crisp, I'll marry you."

"Lucky me," she says. "It's chocolate cake. Coca-cola cake, to be exact."

"That's good too," Raylan says with alacrity. Aunt Helen made that every year for his birthday, and he flashes on her big pottery mixing bowl and being allowed to lick the spoon.

This has a layer of fudgey frosting atop dark, rich cake and the first divine chocolate mouthful makes him moan with contentment.

"Marry you?" Rachel chuckles, stashing the foil-wrapped bones and the empty tupperware into the bag. "Why in the world would I want to do that? I get enough of you at work. "

"You could stay home and cook."

"Not me. You'd be back in here with food poisoning on a regular basis."

"Introduce me to the cook," he suggests, words slurred by a forkful of chocolate.

"It would serve you right if I did," Rachel says, and starts talking about her aunt, and how jealous her uncle is, and Raylan just smiles and eats his cake.

These version is somewhat longer than the one posted due to their comment size limit. See http://comment-fic.livejournal.com/503879.html?thread=74030151#t74030151
Follow-up of sorts to http://comment-fic.livejournal.com/486469.html?thread=72788293#t72788293



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