"Is the dish ready?" Beerus asked from his folding chair, enjoying a nice cold glass of orange juice with Goten and Trunks blowing cold wind from each side towards him. He directed the question to an anxious Bulma fidgeting in place nearby, her eyes practically glued to the entrance of the building.
"Huh?" She registered his question a few moments too later. "Oh! Oh yeah!" She faked smiled. "They're probably just putting the finishing touches on!"
"You should hope that's the case, for your sake," He chewed a piece of ice floating inside the glass. "Even if he does show up with it, I doubt it'll end up as one of the finest dishes I'll ever eat."
"I wouldn't dismiss the possibility so quickly, Lord Beerus," His traveling companion, the weird looking guy with the crazy hair called Whis walked up to them with a tray of sliced fish. "Ours is a universe of many possibilities after all."
"If I thought it outright impossible, Whis, this planet wouldn't exist anymore," The cat-God said with a disturbingly conversational tone. "Complete dismissal and a healthy dose of skepticism are not the same things."
"All I ask is that you keep an open mind," His companion advised, receiving a barely audible grunt from Beerus.
Bulma barely paid attention to them, opting to stare back at the door on the other side of the pool. She unspokenly agreed with Beerus' suggestion, to hope their choice to cook so close to the time limit will end up helping out in the moment of truth.
"Hey everybody!" Goku's sudden appearance and yell almost make her heart stop. Snapping her attention to the pool area, she saw him smirking there with the rest of the search party.
She practically ran to the four warriors and leaned close to Goku's ear. "Did you find them?"
"Oh we found them alright," Her husband replied with a smug voice and grin to match it. "We stole them right from under Pilaf and his gang of thieves. In fact, they never saw it coming!"
When he all but cackled, Bulma stared at him in disbelief. Particularly because of how anxious this entire situation made him today. With how pleased he looked right now, you'd never guess that.
"So, you've recovered I see," Beerus lazily commented. "I thought you'd be down for at least a week."
The grin Goku gave him made Bulma very, very nervous. "Don't worry Lord Beerus, I'll do better next time!"
Gohan, for some reason, looked how Bulma felt but when Goku turned around and winked at him, he seemed to calm down. Before she could ask what that was about, Krillin's voice got her and everyone else' attention.
"Hey everyone!" He called out. "Yamcha and Ox-King are coming out!"
The doors of the Capsule Crops main building exploded open, literally, smoke fire and booming and everything. unleashing fire and smoke from the inside out. Before she could shout at them for breaking her property, a big, blinding white light, well, blinded her and everybody else.
Two shadowed people suddenly showed up against the light, fire, and smoke. When they walked out into the backyard, there was a big gasp from basically everyone there.
Yamcha and Ox-King looked like they'd been fighting for their lives, not cooking! Yamcha's already long hair was tied in a bow, reaching down to his waist and there was a massive, rugged looking beard on his face. His muscles from what she could see through his torn up and bloody clothes were ridiculously ripped.
Ox-King looked ripped too, if she or anyone else thought he was obese, then they were so very wrong because all of that fat was actually muscle. His beard was going halfway through to his belly, his hair was wild and running down his back and both of his helmet horns had gotten three times longer.
It didn't help that both of them looked like they were ready to smash somebody skull in with those scowls.
"H-hey, guys,..." Krillin stammered out, gulping. "Y-you okay?"
They turned towards him the same way Vegeta did whenever one of the neighbors started complaining about his noisy training.
"Sure thing man!" Yamcha's whole face changed back to normal. "We're just a little stressed, y'know?"
Krillin nodded and watched them go up to Beerus who was also looking at them like they'd been to a war, not cooking a dish.
"You sure they were cooking and not in the Room of Spirit and Time?" Goku nudged Vegeta who just mumbled something about shutting up.
"Cooking on this level's pretty intense Goku," Ox-King said, winking at his son-in-law. "It got a lotta unique challenges, just like martial arts!"
"Please," Vegeta scoffed, getting over his shook. "Any clown can do what you've done in under a minute, much less a few hours."
"You're more than welcome to prove that, Vegeta," Ox-King smiled at him. "After all, there's five minutes left to the deadline."
"Yeah, Vegeta," Yamcha backed him up with a smug look. "Go for it! According to you, you'll make half a dozen amazing dishes in five minutes!"
"I quite like the sound of this idea, myself," Beerus thirded the suggestion with a toothy grin. "It can't possibly be worse than your little dance number, after all."
Vegeta tried to keep a neutral expression but Bulma noticed the finer details giving away how scared he was. The small bits of sweat on the side of his forehead, the small twitch of his right eye and the shallowness of his breathing. It doesn't help he actually gulps a little when Beerus lets out a small, mean sounding laugh.
"Relax, Vegeta," He leans back into the chair. "I won't force you into such a task. Watching you squirm just now was more than enough for me. Back to the matter at hand, are you prepared to present your mind-blowing dish to me?"
"Yes, Lord Beerus!" They say in unison with a respectful bow. "We have the dish you so humbly requested!"
She noticed Yamcha reach into his pocket and take a capsule out, gently placing it on the table before it vanished in a puff of smoke. Everyone leaned closer and closer to the dissipating cloud, eager and/or fearful of what exactly they've prepared for the God of Destruction.
A moment later, they have their answer: a simple glass, no bigger than a closed fist with a bit of chocolate pudding inside and a tiny spoon to eat it with.
As she stared at the bowl in stone-faced horror, Bulma remembered all the times she wanted to smash Yamcha's face in. Either for doing something stupid or reckless or for flirting with other women or just because she felt like it.
Right then and there? She'd felt that urge more strongly than ever before. From the looks on everyone else' face, except Goku's, of course, they agreed with lynching him and maybe even Ox-King for this.
"Quite an appropriate choice," Whis commented after sucking down on another piece of sliced fish. "The meal responsible for getting you into this mess is what may get you out of it."
"That's kind of what we were going for," Yamcha admits with a small chuckle, clearly oblivious to the fact they were all ready to gut him.
"We thought the irony would amuse you," Ox-King explained as Beerus takes the bowl into his hand. His tiny nose wrinkled inches away from it as he takes the scent of the pudding in. This simple act made everyone feel even more terrified. Even Vegeta, usually too proud or stubborn to admit fear was almost chewing on his own nails at the back of the gathered group. Through his gloves!
"Indeed it does," Beerus confirmed with a smile directed at the chefs. "Well, you've made a good first impression, at least, but the true test lies with the actual meal."
He took the spoon, making the metaphorical edge everyone was on that much worse. With a simple swipe of his hand, a chunk was cut off and went right down his mouth.
First impression? His eyes going blank and that creepy purple energy showing up...
Meanwhile, Sacred World of the Kai
"Quite a fascinating discovery you've made here," Elder Kaioshin admitted as he gazed into the crystal ball situated on the ground with his younger, less experienced fellow Kai standing next to him. Together, they observed into the past of Planet Saiya, during the appearance of the first Super Saiyan a millennia ago.
"Indeed! According to these images from the past, it seems the original Super Saiyan managed to combine his Great Ape form with that of a Super Saiyan!" Kibito Kaioshin explained as images of the golden, towering ape revealed his destruction of the original Saiyan homeworld. "This could hold the key to attaining the power of a Super Saiyan God!"
"Perhaps," Elder Kaioshin mussed. "Still, this seems to make the user quite violent, if we're to deliver this information to Goku and Vegeta, we must be careful-"
Without warning a pillar of orange, cascading energy pierced from the cloudy sky and smashed into the crystal ball, vaporizing it under the weight of its power. The two Kai's scampered off as the pillar burrowed into their planet, creating a tornado effect which nearly sucked them into it.
"What in the world is happening, great ancestor?!" Kibito Kaioshin asked as they dodged the multitude of rocks and trees flying towards them.
"The idiot humans have angered Beerus, that's what!" He cursed the inhabitants of Earth. "They've killed us all!"
Meanwhile, Sorbet's Ship in space
"What is the meaning of this, Tagoma?!" Sorbet, the diminutive acting leader of the Freeza Force demanded from his equally frightened lieutenant. Mere moments after receiving word of a Basian rebellion, a pillar of purple energy caught their ship in a sort of tornado effect, pushing them towards it.
His much taller, usually far more stoic right-hand man could hardly stand as their vessel shook horribly from energy-sucking them in. A look of sheer terror graces his facial features.
"I don't know sir!" He yelled just before finally smashing face first into the ground. "I've never seen anything like this!"
"Damn it all!" Sorbet yelled, cursing the incompetence of his men. Pressing down on the handle of his chair, he brought up communications with the engineering section. "Mister Free! Get us out of this mess before we're all killed!"
"I cannot do it, captain!" The main engineer shouted back as the engines exploded all around him. "I don't have the power-"
Suddenly, a loud creaking noise echoed throughout the ship just ahead of it snapping in half. In vain, the soldiers capable of flight and survival in space tried to escape but it's useless, the cascading energy was simply far too powerful for any of them. Soon enough, they, along with their vessel vanished inside it and were completely vaporized.
Meanwhile, the Moon
Beerus' energy destroyed it.
Meanwhile, Earth, Capsule Corp HQ
Growing up with Goku and the others, Bulma knew what it felt to see their power rip. From blowing up planetoids to shaking the entire Earth to firing off attacks capable of annihilating suns, she'd seen and/or felt it all before.
But this? This was completely different and terrifying in ways she could never have imagined. The weather itself shifted around Beerus' energy beam.
One second it was perfectly sunny, then a mass of gray, creepy clouds showed up and rained a hailstorm on them, a hailstorm which changed into a snowstorm, then the clouds disappeared, replaced by night time before shifting again into the daylight.
Pieces of rock, water, trees and anything not strong enough to resist the strength of Beerus' energy sucking everything towards is sent flying or sucked in and probably annihilated.
And so it went with only Beerus' attendant, Whis, standing perfectly still and calm in the middle of this storm. Everyone else? They were barely hanging on.
Bulma managed to look around in spite of the gust of wind blasting all around her, all of the fighters capable of flight were totally powered up, trying desperately to fly opposite of the pillar with all the power they had.
In the storm, she caught sight of Yamcha and Ox-King, held by the waist by Gohan and just by looking at their pained expressions, whatever anger she felt vanished. The shame, guilt,... it was all there. Everyone else was too busy on just staying alive to care.
But, just when she thought it was all actually over this time, the energy vanished as though it never happened. What debris still flew across the air comes flying back down, making her ruined backyard look like the perfect stage for a post-apocalyptic movie.
Beerus landed back on the ground, his face covered by shadows, somehow, and his entire body as stiff as a statue. Everyone was staring at him, and somehow the total silence made the inevitable even more terrifying than the noise.
"Humans," He said with a flat voice, his head almost robotically turning in the direction of Yamcha and Ox-King. "Your dish..."
His aura thing started flaring up again and his fist was clenched tight. Glancing around, she saw everybody else readying themselves for a fight.
"... Was delicious..." And with that, he fell face first into the crater with a loud thud, as stiffly as a statue would fall if it got knocked over.
"Congratulation to you two," Whis said with a clap. "I haven't seen Lord Beerus love a dish quite so much in at least 900 years! The fact you've managed to almost literally blow his mind... Simply astounding!"
He tossed the God of Destruction over his shoulder before turning back to address everyone. "On his behalf, I both apologize for interrupting your celebration and thank you for having us! Truly, it's been a wondrous experience!"
He tapped his weird staff against the floor twice before vanishing into a ray of bright, green light in the sky. In a second, they were both gone.
No one said anything for who knows how long, they were too busy processing what just happened. The first thing to break the silence is a laugh, a small, timid but genuine laugh. One belonging to Yamcha.
"We did it..." He said in a whisper to Ox-King. "We... actually did it..."
The older man looks at his cooking partner and lets out a heartier laugh. "We did it...!" He jumped back on his feet, causing a small earthquake in the process before punching the air. "WE DID IT!"
On cue, everyone erupted in cheers, joining the two cooks in celebration: they did it, they saved the world! Almost everyone that could do it lifted the two of them off the ground like some rockstars.
"Yamcha! Ox-King! Yamcha! Ox-King! Yamcha! Ox-King!" They cheered with even Piccolo and her own, highly skeptical husband giving the duo genuine smirks of respect and appreciation. Though, of course, they didn't join in.
Neither does Bulma, not that she didn't want to but after everything that happened? She counted it a miracle she could still stand at all. For the first time that day she thought she was getting way too old for this kind of stuff. But seeing the two stars, Ox-King and especially Yamcha that happy somehow made all the craziness worth it.
"Told you he'd pull through in the end," Roshi walked up next to her, his glasses not masking his own pride at the success of his students. "For any the regrets, those two may have after today, they'll always have this. This victory is theirs and theirs alone, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
"You know something, old man?" She smiled at the so-called drunken old man next to her. "Neither would I!"
And so, Yamcha and Ox-King successfully saved the world! I originally intended for them to have botched the original dish and just give Beerus regular pudding but once again, that'd be cheapening a genuine victory for a cheap gag and I didn't want to do that, not for these guys.
I also never intended on showing the actual process of them cooking the dish. For one, I know fuck all about a side of jack shit about cooking and secondly, their mastery of cooking is so amazing, no writer, least of all me, could ever do it justice by actually showing it.