Derrick placed the batteries and zip ties on the opposite side of the table from the food, folded the bag, rolled up his sleeves, and started hacking at an onion rather than respond.
“Helps to peel it first,” Mason muttered. Stilling his hand and retrieving what was left of the mangled onion. He peeled it before returning it and taking a step back, no doubt out of the way of flying onion bits.
“I guess I could walk, not like it’s much safer, but I see what you’re getting at,” Derrick said as he started massacring the onion a bit slower this time. “I hate driving that car, but I don’t want to risk wrecking the bike if someone skids into it.”
“How about not risking wrecking you ’cause that was the part I was worried about?” Mason grumbled as he moved around to the other side of the table and fiddled with the zip ties Derrick had left out. “Do I even want to know what you were planning to do with these?”
“Huh?” Derrick glanced up to see Mason shaking the zip ties at him, before a sharp flash of pain made him drop the knife and shove his finger in his mouth. “Ow, fuck,” Derrick growled around the bleeding digit as he turned away from the cutting board to rummage around on the top of the fridge for the first aid kit his mother had always kept there when he was young. Sure enough, it was still there, shoved almost to the back.
“Let’s see what the damage is.”
Shivering at the low, rough voice in his ear, Derrick turned his head enough to see Mason watching him intently.
“It’s fine,” he muttered, shuffling away so he could run his finger under the tap. Before he could fish out an alcohol wipe to clean it, Mason tugged it over, so he could inspect it.
“A little deep, but nothing that needs stitching,” Mason remarked, reaching for the wipe himself and cleaning it. “You’re lucky you didn’t take half of it off, the way you were going to town on that onion. You don’t cook much, do you?”
Grimacing, Derrick turned toward Mason with a sigh. “Not particularly, but I found a recipe that looked easy enough to follow. Figured I couldn’t screw it up that much.”
He held still as Mason smeared a bit of antiseptic cream over the wound, then covered it with a band aid.
“So, what is this supposed to be?” Mason asked, gesturing toward the table.
“Pan fried potatoes and chicken wings.”
Derrick watched Mason scratch the space between his eyebrows, attention going from the table to Derrick and back again. “Okay, tell me you have recipes for both.”
“Yeah, umm, side of the fridge,” Derrick replied as he washed his hands. Scooting up beside him, Mason did the same, before they stepped up to the fridge to read over the recipes.
Mason was tapping a finger to his nose. It was an old tick, something he’d always done when he was thinking about something.
“How about I take over the chopping, if only to insure we don’t end up in the ER tonight with severed body parts, and you take the chicken? Not that I cook often, but I can at least cut things up without risking serious bodily harm.”
“Wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t been waving the damn zip ties around,” Derrick grumbled. “And to answer your question, I was planning to use them to bundle up extension cords neatly, so I could hang them from pegs in the garage. It’s a pain in the ass to untangle them every time I need one. Noticed a couple broken shower curtain rings too, so I figured I could use a few of the smaller ones there as well, least until I can manage to go get a replacement set. Nearly lost the lid to the recycle bin, so I thought to secure it to the bin like I’d done the trash can lid. One morning of chasing it up the street was more than enough. Besides, it can’t hurt to keep them around, they make pretty good drain snakes in a pinch.”
“Practical,” Mason replied with a slight chuckle as he cleaned the knife Derrick had nicked himself with and went back to cutting up the onions. “Not quite what I had in mind, though.”
Snorting, Derrick pulled out a large bowl and dumped in a cup of flour. “Yeah, and what did you think I was gonna do with them?”
“Well between them and the batteries, I figured you had one hell of a night in mind.”
“Huh?” Again, Derrick forgot to pay attention to what he was doing but at least the only result was shaking the garlic powder a few times before realizing he hadn’t opened it. “What that’s supposed to mean.”
“Take a moment, and think outside of the box, Derrick,” Mason remarked as he continued to chop.
Derrick tried as he added pepper, salt, paprika and cayenne pepper to the flour and stirred them together with a fork. “I still don’t get it.”
The only response from Mason was a laugh as he set about washing the two large red potatoes Derrick had purchased.
“I tell you what, after dinner I’ll show you what I mean.”
Derrick cocked an eyebrow at him, huffed and shook his head, before putting the bowl aside and moving to get out the wings. “Not sure I wanna know.”
“That’s up to you.”
The steady thunk, thunk, thunk of Mason cutting up the potatoes filled the room, as Derrick patted the wings dry and dumped them in the flour, turning them over and over to get them coated in the seasoning mix. Recipe said to set them aside in the fridge for twenty-minutes to and hour, so he shoved them in and went about lining two baking sheets with foil and preheating the oven.
“Seriously?” Mason remarked without even looking over. “What did you do to yourself now.”
“Nothing. Just can’t stop thinking about the damned zip ties now, thank you very much.”
“You’re welcome,” Mason remarked, snickering as he continued to chop.