Robert could remember the last time he did this, cooking for Aaron.
It was the middle of May and since then they had spent so long apart and Robert had spent his time just fighting to stay sane, but now he had Aaron back, he was living in the Mill and he woke up every morning thanking whatever gods existed that he had his life back, his husband back.
He wants to make every day count.
The stove has one pan and one pot cooking, and Robert is stirring furiously in the chanterelle and cream sauce while the steak is resting in aluminium foil on the table. Aaron said he would be home two minutes ago and if he is much later the steak will be too done. Robert curses himself for bad timing, for not messaging to hear if he was on his way. The sauce smells just as it should, the chips in the oven are turning brilliantly golden and the beans he is frying in butter are close to perfect.
Robert looks at the clock on the wall and sighs.
The steaks are definitely going to be too done. Aaron likes his steak medium-rare and Robert likes his rare but he knows exactly how to cook them to perfection to their preferences. Not if Aaron is late though.
Footsteps sound outside and next the sound of someone fumbling with a key. Robert pulls off the apron he is wearing (Aaron wouldn’t let him hear the end of it but he isn’t going to let his favourite shirt get stains) and turns around just as Aaron walks in with two pizzas in hand.
Robert tries to keep his face from falling but Aaron notices immediately.
“What’s all this?” he asks, hanging his jacket on its peg.
“Well,” Robert begins, “seeing as it is a month since we agreed to move in together, I thought I would treat you to a meal…” He looks down at the boxes in Aaron’s hand and sighs. “I guess I should’ve asked first.”
“No, I -” Aaron sighs and walks to the kitchen, places the pizzas on the counter. “I figured you’ve been cooking so much lately, you’d want a night off… I should’ve asked.”
Robert smiles. It’s such a small thing, such a small gesture but it is so Aaron, always thinking of him. It makes his chest expand and his heart flutter.
“I wanted to treat you, I know you complained that the mushroom sauce at that restaurant was poncy but I saw you taking seconds so I decided to make it for you… I’ve got steaks all ready and cooked, but they might be closer to well-done now…”
Aaron wraps his arms around Robert’s waist, pulls him in and cuts him off with a kiss, slow and gentle and full of love.
“Thank you,” Aaron says, “I missed your cooking, you know.”
Robert grins at his words. Aaron has made a habit of telling him exactly which parts of Robert he has missed and every new one fills Robert with pride. Pride at being himself, pride at being wanted and missed and loved by someone as wonderful as Aaron Dingle.
“What d’you reckon we put the pizzas in the fridge and have them for lunch tomorrow instead?” Aaron asks, and Robert absentmindedly rubs his arm.
“Thought you had lunch with that contact in Leeds tomorrow?”
“I’ll move it. Want to have lunch with you.”
Robert leans in, steak be damned, and kisses Aaron for as long as he wants, stubble grazing skin and lips soft against his own. It’s everything he has missed for so long wrapped into one; a sense of belonging in a single gesture.
“I love you,” he says when he pulls away, rests his nose against Aaron’s.
“I love you more,” Aaron replies. He presses in and gives Robert a quick kiss. “Right, this smells amazing! Where’s Liv?”
“She suggested going to Gabby’s for the night to give the two of us some time to ourselves…” Robert speaks while putting the food on the table, and Aaron helps. “She knew it had been a month and wanted us to celebrate without being scarred.”
Aaron chuckles and smiles as Robert sets the wine down on the table.
“I know you’re not much for wine, but with this steak a beer would be a tragedy.”
“I’m alright with wine you know… as long as I can have a beer after.”
They eat while talking about everything, nothing, their day, their happiness. Aaron places his hand on the table when he has finished and Robert places his hand on top of it.
It took a long time to get here; Aaron’s better, Robert’s better, mistakes forgiven and a relationship built anew. It’s tender in a way it never was before and Robert has never felt more loved. It’s enough, he thinks, as Aaron clears the table and offers to do the dishes. Aaron’s all he ever needed in life.
I know Winston’s in command here, but for today, and today only, this old soldier’s taking back the reins. We’re all on a special mission today - The mission to make our very own Reinhardt’s birthday one hell of a blast!
So here’s the details:
Party starts at 1630 sharp, down by the beach. I fixed up the barbecue so there will be steak, hot dogs, currywurst and various beverages of the alcoholic and non alcoholic kind. If you’re a vegetarian, bring your own leaves. If you’re a vegan, fuck off. All steaks will be done rare, medium rare or medium. If you want well done, kindly go jump off a cliff.
There’ll be fans and cooling units for the omnics, in case you’re at risk of overheating.
There’s one cake so far, black forest, but feel free to bring more. Condiments, snacks etc. are also appreciated. Please do bring gifts. Show the guy some love, yeah?
There’s a playlist set up to play 1980ies hits. He likes them, so keep your paws off. I’m looking at you, Lucio!
If you wanna help decorating, come down to the beach early. Been there since the morning and it’s looking pretty good, but I could always use a few more hands.
I expect all of you to be on your best behavior! Let’s bring it together for Reinhardt, yeah?!
“I was shunned by my teammates for my puns, but I’m glad you absolutely like them!”
Akashi chuckled before giving one of his own. “I once said a pun about all motion stopping, but they gave me an absolute zero.”
Izuki’s eyes brightened. “Ooh, that’s a good one! You know, if our school ever arranges a marathon, it should be called ‘the Seirun’.”
“Our school’s mascot is a racoon— everybody treats it like a real person and even gave it an honorific, calling it 'Raccoon-zan’.”
“Well, what about this? What do you call two mexicans playing basketball? It’s a Juan on Juan!”
“They kicked Cinderella off the basketball team because she ran away from the ball.”
“What part of the gym is never the same? The changing rooms.”
“On the other hand, you have different fingers.”
“What’s a British physicist’s favorite food? Fission chips.”
“Why can’t you trust atoms? Because they make up everything.”
“A steak pun is a rare medium well done.”
“What do you get when you put root beer in a square glass? Beer.”
“Santa’s elves are just a bunch of subordinate clauses.”
“What if there were no hypothetical questions?”
“You know, I’m no photographer, but I can picture us together,” Izuki said as he stepped closer to Akashi. “And people say I’m a pretty puntastic person.”
Akashi also took a step closer. “Then on a scale of one to eagles, how free are you tonight?”
Izuki almost swooned at that.
While the two were exchanging more puns and making goo-goo eyes at each other, the rest of Seirin and Rakuzan were shocked with this sudden development.
Or was it really far off? They seem to be close because it’s easy for them to relate with one another. Both of them had those freaky eye abilities, the same basketball position, and a lousy sense of humor.
“What the hell,” Hyuuga muttered, summarizing everyone’s reaction about the matter.