Fandom: Pacific Rim
Summary: Written for everbright for the prompt 'Mako Mori and Stacker Pentecost disagree on what constitutes tea. They work it out.'
"Tea?" Stacker asks.
Mako nods. Her hands tighten on the handle of the Chinese laundry bag that holds all her worldly possessions. Stacker closes the door behind her. He pulls out a high stool for her at the counter, and Mako tucks her bag neatly under the stool before she climbs up to take her seat.
He makes the tea just as he always does, two sugars and one splash of milk, in thick-rimmed pottery mugs covered in Jaeger slogans.
Mako regards the tea warily as he slides one mug across the counter towards her.
"Be careful," Stacker says. "It's hot."
Mako takes the biscuit he offers her. She makes no move towards the mug.
"Drink your tea," Stacker tells her.
Mako gives the cup a scornful glance. "This is not tea."
Stacker worries for a moment that she might have brain damage or else post traumatic stress disorder, but he comforts himself by reminding that English is not her first language. "It's good tea."
"It is not proper tea."
Stacker gives the tea up as a lost cause. He tries Earl Grey the next morning, but she doesn't drink that, either.
He mentions the episode to Tamsin later, in the hospital, when they're both trying desperately not to talk about her cancer. Tamsin laughs. "She's Japanese," she says, as if he hadn't noticed. "Try matcha."
"Japanese tea." She punches him on the arm. "Where have you been? Take her to Starbucks; buy her a green tea latte or something. She'll love it."
Stacker isn't so sure.
Still, he picks a box of green tea from a whole aisle of the stuff with the groceries on his way back from the hospital. Mako's face brightens. She unwraps the box like it's a Christmas present. The fine green talc inside reminds Stacker of high explosive. It looks as appetising as arsenic.
He waits patiently as Mako searches through his cupboards and brings out a pair of cereal bowls, an egg whisk, and a teaspoon. She spoons a generous amount of green powder into the bowls, pours boiling water straight from the kettle, and beats the tea to froth with the egg whisk. When she is finished she hands Stacker a bowl and watches him expectantly.
He regrets it almost immediately.
The matcha is not the worst thing Stacker's ever tasted, but it comes close. His taste buds (which were expecting tea or else something very similar) are bitterly disappointed. The liquid tastes nothing like tea. It's astringent and sharp, but weak at the same time. It tastes like washing up water.
Stacker makes a face.
Stacker drains the bowl. He tries not to gag as he reaches for a mug and drops a teabag inside. He adds sugar and puts the milk in second, like always. "Digestive?"
Mako clasps her hands around her bowl. "No thank you."
Stacker dunks his biscuit. They sit side by side, tea in hand.
"Good tea," Stacker says after a while.
Stacker points to her bowl of green tea. "I'll get some more of that next time. Maybe some coffee, too. Whatever you fancy."
Mako gives him a tiny smile over the rim of her bowl. "I hate coffee," she says quietly.
"That's good," Stacker says. "I can't stand the stuff."