20, please! <333
20: Cookies [Xavier/Gaspard]
Oatmeal. Chocolate. Ginger spice.
It starts in their college days, probably, when they end up neighbours with their doors facing each other’s in their dorm. Gaspard appears to have a wilder personality than the very first impression indicated and Xavier doesn’t know what to think of him during the first week or two, at once fascinated but a little disgusted also with his partying habits (spitting beer - ugh!). But soon enough, studies begin to settle them down, and their particular dorm reverts to the sort of self-absorbed hush demanded of them by academia; better suited to Xavier’s domain, in other words, and then he can come out and spend long hours in the kitchen, nursing coffee mugs and chatting to all who come by and the scent of cinnamon and butter forever soaked into his clothes.
Later it turns out that there’s no better scent to get Gaspard’s attention.
Xavier isn’t asking for it at this point in time, but Gaspard gives it to him anyway. Something about working late and sugar cravings and Xavier smelling far too good in the middle of the night. They get talking during a midnight baking session, and by four in the morning, they are very reluctant to stop, not to mention that Xavier’s tempted him over to his side with an extra large hazelnut and chocolate chip.
They become friends after that. And what’s more - reciprocity is in the cards.
Christmas comes and Xavier bakes up five trays of sugar cookies to distribute, pleased with the taste but fussing about the aesthetics of it. Gaspard rolls up his sleeves, fetches the food colouring, and over the course of three hours makes such artwork out of them that Xavier has to be cajoled with tears and begging just to persuade him to give them away as originally intended.
Xavier might be the better baker, yes, but nobody can ice like Gaspard. They don’t just share in fond things, they are complimentary, two sides of one coin.
Xavier thinks he might be in love.
Over the years to come, they share in more things beside cookies. They’re in a different dorm building for their second year, becoming next-door neighbours that time, and then in the years to come they move off campus and learn to manage being on different floors. Hardly a day goes by when they aren’t over at each other’s places, exchanging music and notes (for the couple of classes they do share) and art and knowing glances and some more of those delectable baked goods they’ve developed a taste for. Whether it’s a full-on dinner invite or Xavier turning up barefoot with cookies still loose on the baking tray - here, guess who wound up with too many, Gaspard, just take them off me already ‘cause it’s freezing out here - they feed each other with such gladness that word starts to get around. It makes them blush, but it doesn’t stop the exchanges, nor does it stop whatever they get up to in their respective love lives.
Xavier’s sometime girlfriend loves to cook the same things as he does. Gaspard’s girlfriend isn’t into cooking but is very well-versed in the art of drink. They all learn to make do. But at the heart of it is still the exchange between Xavier and Gaspard, who by that point have improved beyond simple chocolate chip or sugar cookies to fancier recipes - because, whether they know it or not, they are now cooking to impress.
And impressed they are. It takes some trial and error because for all the things they share, they are not very verbal people, and more than once they misinterpret who the other one is trying to flatter. But eventually they get it, and come graduation time they walk arm in arm with each other with certificates rolled up in one hand and the aroma of celebratory Siena-spice cookies already driving them to pleasure.
And who could blame them? - Ah, tasting each other’s wares for so long have made them curious for the taste of each other. “Needs more vanilla.” Gaspard comments quietly the morning after, mulling over the taste of the batter on his tongue, before drawing Xavier’s bare finger further between his lips. “But let me… mmh… make absolutely sure, just in case.”
“Gaspard,” Xavier breathes, already heaved upon the kitchen table, a sugar-dusted apron the only thing covering his body. It is swiftly untied and pushed to the floor as Gaspard moves over him, licking all over, before claiming his sugared body as his own at last. “ahh.”
(They never manage to bake that batch. It’s too thin by the time they’re done. “You’re a darling,” Xavier says nonetheless, pressing a kiss to Gaspard’s throat. “I mean, we have sweeter things to think about, yeah?”)
And so their student days come to an end, all the caffeine-haze days of busy schoolwork and complimentary baked goods passed out on the floor. All the people they’ve known move on to elsewhere, but as the years go by Xavier and Gaspard remain together, never once forgetting what brought them together. What began as a way of soothing the spirit, then bruised by academia, has evolved into a method of purely and simply charming others: forget Pedro’s raclette parties, what the two of them bring to the table together never fails to bring the house down. That’s either food or music, and in all honesty, there’s probably not that much of a difference between the two categories at this point.
What is it that ties them together? Why, pleasure, of course.
Call it sophistication or growing up or whatever you’d like. Only when Xavier and Gaspard learnt to see beyond the physical exchange of goods were they able to flourish; yes, pleasure is the essence, the warmth of the soul that comes with sharing and understanding and simply existing together, bettering themselves day by day. Becoming champion bakers has proved to be more of a side effect - but well, who wouldn’t want to be? Blessed is their life together.
Macaron. Florentine. Almond tuile.