Thunder nodded at her answer. He expected as much, oddly enough, and he was going to do what he always did.
Take care of her and the others before he took care of himself.
"H’now what kind of older brother would I be if I placed my needs before that of yours and our companions, little one," he asked, a gentle, good-natured laugh escaping him before he stood up, looking her in the eye.
"That’s how its always been, little one. You know this..
I always take care of you and the others before I take care of myself…
Nothing has changed. That’s how it was before I disappeared…”
He returned his attention back to the fridge,
”..and that is how it will stay…”
He looked towards her, offering her a kind and comforting, reassuring smile,
”..though I do greatly appreciate your concern..”
He did, even though he knew she cared deeply about him.
It was just refreshing…
He looked at what was left in the fridge and hummed, thoughtfully..
The most I can make with this is a hot stew and a couple of sandwiches…
..and least there will be enough for everyone..
He reached in the fridge and pulled out what he could, placing the ingredients on the counter. Then, he went to the sink and washed his hands.
When he had finished that, he turned to his ingredients, preparing to make the stew when he suddenly stopped, looking up..and turning around..
He had almost forgotten something…
So as not to break tradition, he grabbed his white chef’s hat which sat on the hook, undisturbed after these past few months, and placed it on his head.
A wave of nostalgia took over him, resulting in the doofy smile that decorated his face…
and with that, he set of to make dinner with the little that they had.
Even after he had been gone for months, even after he had been practically starved, Thunder still insisted on taking care of her and the others before himself. Vanellope would have been lying if she said she expected anything different from him. This time, she wasn’t about to resist. Thunder was willing to do this for them, and that was something she appreciated deeply.
"It was worth a shot, wasn’t it?" she asked. Of course it was. Vanellope wanted to return the care he offered to her and her companions even if he insisted on continuing to do everything with nothing in return. At least, that may have been how it appeared on the surface. Vanellope knew well enough what she did for Thunder. She provided him a reason to live… Perhaps coupled with the same reason Lightning had.
Her eyes followed Thunder as he went to the sink to prepare, and her brow creased a little the longer she looked. Those bruises… Vanellope couldn’t deny that she was curious about how he had gotten them. She knew Thunder got into fights, mostly to protect her, but it was still strange to see them decorating him again. This wasn’t the time to ask, though. Vanellope would get her chance soon enough.
"Y’know Chip’s gonna be as excited as ever to get some of your cooking. I doubt he’s gonna complain," Vanellope said. She knew the pudgy Pokemon wouldn’t be all that thrilled about having only a small selection of food, but he’d gotten used to it by that point. Thunder’s cooking would be more than enough to convince the Munchlax that it was nothing to complain about.
"Ah, heck… I know everyone’s gonna be pretty excited. They probably gave you a really warm welcome, am I right?"
I Will Always Return