The pie was a masterpiece, if he did say so himself: Fresh rhubarb and strawberries from the Hope Street farmer’s market, the kind of extra perfect pie crust that only happens once in every thousand times, and a braided lattice carefully glazed. All told, it had taken him the better part of the day, but Jack wasn’t due back from his scheduled Best Bro Break (a weekend spent with Shitty in Boston) until late afternoon, and he didn’t really have anything better to do with his time. Anyway, it was just nice, wasn’t it, to come home to the smell of a fresh baked pie? It was the least he could do, really.
When he hears Jack’s key scraping against the lock, the pie has just gone in the oven and Bitty is elbow-deep in suds.
“In the kitchen, sweetheart!” he calls out after the door slams shut. A soft thud—fastidious as he is about everything else, Jack has a terrible habit of leaving his bag right in front of the door—and then plodding footsteps and a pair of strong arms circling his waist.
“Hey,” Jack says, nuzzling into Bitty’s neck. “Smells good.”
“Strawberry ’n rhubarb. It’s gonna be so good, just wait. How’s Shitty? Did y’all have fun? He’s not working too hard, is he? Lord, I worry about that boy sometimes.”
“He’s fine. He says hi.” Jack presses a kiss to the soft skin under Bitty’s ear; Bitty shivers and, setting the last of the dishes to drain on the side, turns in Jack’s arms to deliver a proper welcome home kiss, which Jack returns enthusiastically.
“Hey,” Bitty murmurs as he draws back for breath, hands smoothing down Jack’s neck and shoulders. Jack’s wearing one of his favourite travelling shirts, a beat up old Lynyrd Skynyrd tee that Bitty would gladly burn given the slightest chance, though it is one of the softest things of all. “Missed yo—hey, what’s—" There’s … something on Jack’s arm, just peeking out from under the sleeve, all browns and oranges; he’d write it off as a bruise if Jack had been on the ice recently, but it’s the off season and he’s been sticking to off-ice training.
“Oh, uh—“ Jack scratches the back of his head awkwardly with his other hand.
“Is that—did you get—oh my God, Jack Zimmermann, did you get a tattoo without telling me?!”