Where the Magic Happens

Walter & Astrid. PG-13. ~400 words. Walter being Walter.
In the words of every Hollywood FBI agent ever, she so did not get paid enough for this shit.

Astrid looked up from the microscope and sighed. Any inclination she’d previously held towards children of her own had hightailed it to the hills along with what was left of the world’s sanity. She had Walter. He was like triplets.

She wouldn’t have minded a raise, though. In the words of every Hollywood FBI agent ever, she so did not get paid enough for this shit.

“Whatever that is, Walter, it’s burning.”

“Oh?” The ladle in Walter’s hand remained motionless. “Hm, yes.”

“Walter! Burning!”

Walter started and blinked back into this plane of existence. “Oh my goodness. I’m sorry, I was thinking about the last time you and I whipped up a batch of–Oh, Agent Farnsworth, it’s you. I thought you were Tim.”

“What is that, anyway?” Astrid asked, wandering over to peer cautiously into the boiler. “It smells like tomatoes.”

“That’s because it is tomatoes! Exactly 2.32 pounds of vine-ripened roma tomatoes!” He gave the spoon a victorious twirl about the thick bubbling liquid. “They’re the best for a robust sauce, you know.”

Astrid sniffed again. It smelled pretty good, but then so had the ear omelet and she’d known better than to get too close to that one. “Didn’t we agree not to cook in the lab anymore?”

“Well.” Walter’s shoulders slumped, and he took a quick, sneaky glance around. “Peter isn’t here right now, and I was hungry.”

“You stopped stirring again,” Astrid said.

“Oh dear.”

With weeks and weeks of practice under her belt, it was easy enough to gently nudge Walter out of the way and usurp the spoon. “There. I’ll stir, you tell me what else needs to go in. Do you want all of these mushrooms?” she asked, dumping about three-quarters of the bowl in.

Water watched the last one sink into the sauce. “Those were magic.”

The pot burbled. Astrid sighed.

“Oh, it’s all right, that’s what they were for.” Walter smiled and patted her shoulder. “I just wanted you to know.”

“Okay,” Astrid said, “but no powdered worm bits. And I’m not taste testing it for you this time.”

“Quite all right, Agent Farnsworth.” He gave her shoulder another friendly pat. “I suspect the fumes will be more than enough for you.”


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