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02 August 2011 @ 10:48 am
Sometimes I Can't Believe It... [#024]  
Title: Sometimes I Can't Believe It... [#024]
Fandom: Iron Chef (Japan), general
Characters: Takeshi Kaga, brief mentions of different Iron Chefs
Prompt: 024. Sound the bugle now - play it just for me; as the seasons change - remember how I used to be
Word Count: 991
Rating: G (including the f-bomb once)
Summary: At the 21st Century battles, Kaga looks back on his reign as Chairman.
Author's Notes: The 21st Century battles were two battles filmed after the regular series. I don't own anyone.

This is it. I’ve never exactly realized how special I was to be the Chairman of Kitchen Stadium, but let’s face it - not being around the place was becoming quite depressing. The thought of not being around the Iron Chefs was saddening. If I had to sit in front smack dab in front of the television, watching what could have been again, I would have had to throw my remote straight through the screen. And I wasn’t ready to buy myself a new television.

But somehow, Fuji TV wanted to try something different. Sure, they wanted me to revive my role as the Chairman of the Gourmet Academy, but they wanted to do something new. They had asked me if I was interested in doing something called the 21st Century battles. I wanted to ask them just what they were, but all they told me was that they had picked two guys who wanted redemption. I wasn’t going to ask them just who they picked. I wasn’t in the mood to do it.

I finally accepted the offer after they told me that they wanted to make my entrance extra special. I wasn’t sure just what they were planning, but whatever it was, I wasn’t going to be ready for it. After the phone call to confirm my reappearance as Iron Chef’s flamboyant Chairman, I sat back in my chair. Just what the hell was I thinking, anyway?

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The audience sat in their seats, waiting for not only my entrance, but also the entrances of the Iron Chefs. Fukui-san and Hattori-san sat at their announce table, with a plethora of guests (okay, so it was four of them and I probably made that an overstatement), and the Iron Chefs were underneath the dais, ready to rise once again.

Myself, on the other hand? Well, I was glad that I wasn’t afraid of horses. Fuji TV finally announced just what was going to be so special about my entrance, and I gave them such a dirty look on the white horse that I was sure that someone was going to have my head on a silver platter afterward. The only thing that I could say about my dramatic entrance?

“You have got to be fucking kidding me.”

Alas, they weren’t. And so here I was, on a horse, getting led into the actual set by a handler and about four trumpeters. I could hear the fans in the seats cheering me wildly as I made my way into the proper position; signs in Japanese supporting not only myself, but the chefs themselves. As I noticed everyone cheering, I couldn’t help but smile. These people were so amazing. They were like the family I never even knew that I had.

Thank you. You’re so kind, you’re so kind…

And the trumpets and fans cheering started to remind me of what life was like back in 1993 all over again. When Ishinabe-san, Michiba-san, and Chen-san rose to life for the first time. I didn’t think that it was going to happen again because so many things went wrong. Chefs were only allowed to use the set’s knives and everyone was slower than molasses in August. I had called them my own chefs, and I asked them (fantasy world-wise) to cook extraordinary dishes. They had succeeded time after time, and I wasn’t disappointed. Maybe there were a few times when dishes weren’t up to par, but in the end, I realized that everyone was so talented that somewhere down the line, I would have to (fictionally) give them up.

It was when I was about to introduce them in the here and now, however, when I had belted out something along the lines of, “They no longer belong to me. They are culinary assets of the world.” It was absolutely true. And I didn’t mind giving them up like that. They had made myself and the rest of the culinary world so proud.

I could see it all in the back of my mind. Every change of guard within the Iron Chefs, every new addition to the circle, and every new dish that was brought to me after the hour. I saw a spectacular arrangement or two in the 2000th Plate battle, when Sakai-san and Ishinabe-san led a team of all French cuisine chefs against Chen-san and a team of all Chinese cuisine chefs. It was the only moment in the show’s history in which I had to break a tie, and I was not ashamed of that decision at all. Ever. I didn’t mind picking my favorite.

Then there was the King of Iron Chefs tournament which closed Kitchen Stadium for good (until this point in time). It was an extravagant display of each individual Iron Chef’s talents, and it was the one moment where I wished I could have had these four men in a tag battle. Yes, I know that I had an all-IC tag battle before, but that was when honorary Iron Chef Japanese Nakamura-san was part of the team. Now, I wish Morimoto-san was on the team at the time so I could see him work with Chen-san.

Ah, yes. The memories just kept on coming and coming. Both the good and the bad. More good than bad, obviously, but that was the point. Each memory that came was just an idea of how far we’ve all come. And how far this place had come. I would miss this place after everything was said and done.

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As all of these thoughts encircled my mind, I was still working as Chairman Kaga the character. Chairman Kaga the person, on the other hand, was thinking about everything that had went on for the last six years. The character still had a job to do - introducing the four current and three honorary Iron Chefs.

Things just weren’t the same in more ways than one, and I fully supported it.