Chocolate Rum Cake 1 cup almond flour 2 cup all purpose flour 1 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar 6-8 tbsp cocoa 1 tbsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp salt 2 tsp vanilla ¼ cup rum of your choice 2 tsp vinegar ½ cup olive oil 1 cup strong coffee 1 cup water
Rum Glaze 4 tbsp agave nectar 4 tbsp rum of your choice 2 tbsp cocoa powder
I am finally getting more fanfic up on AO3, having finally gotten less worried about posting things.
This is little (750+ words) but as it’s not an AU or Bloodswap, I felt a little less anxious over it. I’m going to be writing a series soon about Aradia Medigo going on adventures, but for now, have some Jane/Roxy sadstuck.
Rumcake, pt. 6 Halloween, Chili Night, and Scars in Bed
They settled into a routine after that first night. Jake would meet Cassie on his lunch break and take her out to eat every other Tuesday and Thursday. Cassie would bring Jake something to eat if he had to work through his lunch break those days, she always stayed and talked to him complain about whatever he was working on. Jake would invite Cassie to dinner at least three times a week, cooking whenever she came over. On the nights she came over for dinner, Cassie always stayed the night, watching TV cuddled up on the couch until it was just after 10. At 10 they went to bed, taking turns changing in the adjacent bathroom. Cassie always slept against the wall, curled into Jakes uninjured side, his arms sprawled out over the bed, his injured leg hanging off the far side, just barely touching the floor.
It was on a night like that when Jake, his eyes closed, his breathing mostly steady asked, “So Cassie, what about your scars?” He spoke softly, his chest barely moving with the words. “You’ve seen my physical scars, but all I’ve seen of yours the the claw marks on your hands. Do you have any others?” Jake asked, his tone hesitant but filled with curiosity. “You don’t have to say anything if you don’t want, I’ll understand.”
Cassie laid one arm across Jake’s abdomen, resting her hand over his scarred fingers. “I don’t really have that many scars. The only ones I have are the ones that you’ve seen. Although when I was sixteen or so, I got a chip taken out of both my canine teeth,” Cassie shrugged at this point, a smile popping up on her face. “I don’t remember exactly when it was or what happened, but I think a Frisbee caught me in the face after school one day. There was enough left for them to just give me a kind of filling, basically remaking the tooth. They didn’t have to pull them and give me partial dentures or anything like that.”
Jake raised an eyebrow, looking down at Cassie, his face blank. “I would’ve never known that if you hadn’t told me. You must’ve had an amazing dentist.”
Cassie nodded, “Yeah, Dr. G was pretty great. He said it was actually a blessing in disguise it happened. Turns out I had been wearing away at my teeth subconsciously over the past few years. I was grinding them together or something. I just don’t remember ever doing it,” Cassie placed a kiss against Jake’s shoulder, pausing for a moment. “So what about you? Any mouth scars that you’re hiding?”
Jake laughed a short quiet laugh, kissing Cassies forehead. “Actually yeah I do. I was hoping you’d either never notice or not ask,” Jake replied, drawing his upper lip higher, showing criss-crossing strips of pale white scar tissue.
“Those look really interesting,” Cassie said, leaning forward for a closer look. “What exactly happened?”
Jake let go of his lip, running his tongue over his gums, pausing to think. “You have to try not to laugh ok?” Jake asked, a blush forming. “So uh, I got those around the same time I got my hand scars I guess. See Marco used to have braces. And we were best friends. And he had this girl he had went on a few dates with, and was getting to that point where he was expecting to be able to kiss her. So he suggested that we ya know…” Jake paused here, taking a deep breath. “Practice kissing since we were good friends and it wouldn’t make it weird. We practiced french kissing too, but every so often practicing, his braces would get the little hooks caught in my gums. They caused little tears in my gum line.”
Cassie looked up at Jake, biting her lower lip, silent giggles shaking her shoulders. “So uh, I guess you guys must have practiced quite a bit together. There sure are a lot of scars.”
Jake nodded, his face bright red. “Yeah actually. I actually realized during that time that I was bisexual, and so I didn’t mind helping him practice.” He cleared his throat, coughing once.
Cassie smiled up at Jake, leaning up and kissing the tip of his chin. “I’m glad you told me. You could’ve lied and I’d have never known the difference. You were honest with me, and that’s really really important to me,” As she settled back into the bed and the crook of Jakes shoulder, she spoke one last time before drifting off to sleep. “I’m bisexual too by the way. Just thought you should know. I’ll make you a deal, I’ll point out any cute people I see if you do the same for me.”
Jake hugged Cassie tightly, stroking her back as she settled into his arms. “Deal, but I want you to know that I think you’re the cutest person I know. Good night Cassie.”
Cassie mumbled something back at Jake, her eyes already closed and her breathing already steady.
Jake fell asleep a few moments later, knowing that it would be a nightmare free sleep.
Another part of the routine was family introductions. They spent Sundays between four and 6 doing something with Jake or Cassie’s family, getting to know everyone. It was the fourth, maybe fifth of these kinds of days with Cassie’s family when Jake had the misfortune of entering the Freedman household and smelling chili.
“That smells really good Cassie. What is it?” Jake asked, taking deep breaths through his nose.
Cassie’s face paled at Jake’s words, a look of terror on her face. “That’s my dads infamous chili. You know, the stuff that can strip paint from walls and make the horses shy away from him if he breaks wind after eating it.”
Jake laughed for a moment, smiling at Cassie before drawing her into a hug, kissing her softly. “I’m sure it won’t be that bad babe. Remember I had to eat army food for the better part of the last 2 years, pretty sure everything tastes better than Igor’s cooking.”
Cassie returned the kiss, smiling at Jake as he talked. “Yeah, I know about the army food, but you also have trouble with Taco Hell hotsauce, so I worry that it’ll be too hot for you. I know that you’re a big tough army man who isn’t afraid of any enemy, but I really wanna be able to spend the night with you and my parents. And you getting sick from the heat of the chili might put a crimp in that plan.”
At this point, Michelle Freedman walked into the foyer, seeing Jake smiling down at Cassie, both of them smiling small secretive smiles. “Oh Jake dear, when did you get here?” Michelle asked, rushing over and placing a hand on his shoulder, smiling between the two.
“I actually just got here Mrs. Freedman. Cassie was busy warning me about the chili being hot,” Jake replied, smiling back, standing just a little straighter.
“Jake, honey, I’ve told you to call me Michelle. And to call Cassie’s dad Walter. You don’t have to be so formal around us. And if the chili heat will bother you, we’re also having sandwiches. I’ll tell Walter so he won’t get offended,” Michelle replied, hugging Jake, once tightly. “It’s always nice to see you Jake.”
Jake returned the hug with one arm, the other sliding from around Cassie’s shoulders to rest against her arm, their fingers twining together. “Always nice to see you too ma'am. Thank you for the help with dinner, I’m just a bit of a whimp when it comes to spicy foods.”
Cassie rolled her eyes with a smile on her face, brushing Jake’s knuckles with her thumb. “Sooooo… wanna watch a movie while we wait?” Cassie asked, gently pulling Jake toward the living room, smiling wider at the feel of him following easily.
“Sure. You pick the movie though, I had a movie marathon last night with Marco and we watching every Sylvester Stallone movie from the 80s forward. I can’t think of a single movie that doesn’t have him in it right now,” Jake replied, plopping down on the couch, his head lolling back.
“Ah, you were hanging out with your other man. Now I see why you didn’t text me back,” Cassie joked, sitting next to Jake, taking the chance to get comfortable cuddled up to him. As she situated herself to make sure Jake had room to move his leg if it started giving him trouble, she leaned up, kissing the edge of his jaw line lightly.
Jake smiled at Cassie, wrapping his arm around her, his shoulders slumping, his body relaxing now that she was in his arms again. He started softly stroking her shoulder as the opening credits for the movie rolled. “Hey, what can I say. It’s the hair, it gets me every time,” Jake teased back, kissing the top of Cassie’s head as the movie played.
Jake ended up dozing off as the next scene began in Memento, trying valiantly to stay awake, interested in the movie. Cassie wasn’t far behind him when Walter walked in, “Kids, it’s time for din…” He trailed off, seeing Jake dozing. “I have an idea,” He spoke quietly to Cassie, going over his plan, winking at her as she nodded along with it.
When Jake awoke, he saw two portable tables sitting infront of him and Cassie, the one closer to him with a sandwich on it. Cassie’s held a bowl of chili with her sandwich, glasses waiting to be filled.
“Morning there Jake,” Walter spoke, a genial tone in his voice between bites of his chili. “Cassie told us you had some issues with sleep and being woken up quickly. After everything that happened to you… overseas, we want you to feel at home here. So we set this up so we could eat as a family still, but not put you out as our guest.”
Cassie leaned into Jake’s shoulder, wrapping him in a quick hug. “I hope you don’t mind me telling them. It’s just, I wasn’t sure how you’d wake up, and I know my parents are understanding. Grandpa Williams was in Vietnam and he came back with his own hidden scars.”
Jake nodded as Cassie spoke, his eyes watering up, his voice scarecely there as he spoke. “No, it’s really okay that you told them Cassie. It’s just…” Jake paused, taking a shuddering breath, pausing to wipe his eyes, “This means more to me than I can say. That you and your parents accept me. Even knowing how broken I am,” Jake’s eyes meet Walter’s once before looking at Michelle for a moment, returning to Cassie’s at the end. “You and your parent’s are wonderful loving people, and I can’t say thank you enough.”
Jake didn’t stop smiling for the rest of the night, and he was told by Michelle as he was leaving, “Jake, my daddy never got over what he saw in those jungles over there, and I don’t know what happened. I won’t pry, but I want you to know that if you need, I know of a wonderful psychiatrist, he handles P.T.S.D. cases specially, and only works with people by recommendation. Let me know if you want his name ok?”
Jake nodded, tears springing back into his eyes. “Thank you Mrs… Michelle. It means a lot to me.”
The final bit of routine was centered around holidays. On birthdays within their group of overlapping friends, national holidays and any day Rachel decided that she wanted to enjoy herself by poking fun at them, Jake and Cassie would go out to the bars with their group of friends and dance and talk and generally have a good time.
It was two days before Halloween, and two days after Tobias’s birthday when they went out to party. “So,” Tobias drawled, running a hand through his dirty blonde hair, shyly reaching out for Rachel’s hand as he looked around the table. “Everyone been looking forward to hanging out tonight?”
At the enthusiastic yeses and the head nods, Tobias relaxed further, a smile tugging at his lips. “I’m really glad guys. I’m sorry my schedule put us back so much, but I had to get the artwork finished and to the gallery.”
As Tobias leaned backwards, Rachel leaned forward with a gleam in her eye. “So Jake, you planning on dressing up and scaring kids this coming Halloween? You know, like the one back when we were 15 and you dressed like some Darth Maul meets Wolverine love child?”
Jake galred daggers at his cousin as Cassie sat forward quickly. “Oh you have got to tell me this story. It sounds great.”
“Marco, you swore to me that you wouldn’t bring that up to any girl I dated. Ever,” Jake muttered, leaning over to talk to his friend.
“Hey Big Jake, don’t look at me. I didn’t say a word to your lady friend now did I?” Marco replied, thinking for a moment before continuing, “However I may have accidentally brought up embarrassing stories of yours when I ran into Rachel yesterday. But is it really fair to blame me for this?”
“Oh, it was great Cassie,” Rachel began, speaking just loud enough for the table to hear. “Jake went whole hog for this costume. He basically got a leotard, painted it so it looked like lava, covered his skin in the painting too so he looked like he was a walking lava person. He even added some like half ping pong balls or something like that to go over his eyes. They were painted robins egg blue if I remember, made his eyes look crazy cool,” Rachel trailed off for a moment, thinking. “Hey Jake, what did you ever call that costume thing? A screamer or something?”
“Howler,” Jake replied, his tone frosty.
“Oh yeah, so this ‘Howler’ also got wolverine type claws and had a howl that Jake made himself. Recorded and mixed sounds of some big predators together and made that it’s howl,” Rachel looked at her best friend. “It was a pretty cool costume all things considered, and Jake put tons of time and effort into it. But when he went out to try and scare people… nothing happened. Everyone thought it was some rip off of Darth Maul from star trek.”
“Plus, it was a kinda weird idea Jakey boy,” Marco replied as Rachel ended her explanation, pulling his wallet out and handing a picture to Rachel silently. “It was cool and all, but weird.”
“Hey, that’s not to bad Jake,” Tobias spoke up, clearing his throat roughly before continuing, “I one time dressed up as a bird.”
“You mean like Hawkman?” Marco asked, confusion clear on his face.
“No, like just a regular bird. I painted my jeans so they looked like a birds legs, painted the scale pattern on and everything. I got a hoodie and tailored the entire thing so when the hood was up you couldn’t see my face and it looked like a hawk was staring back at you. I even added red to the hem of the jacket to imitate plumage. It was because of this birds meadow I used to sit in to relax after fighting with my uncle. He watched me draw and stuff, and I told him what was going on. I even kept going after I moved in with my mom again, despite the extra mile I had to walk to get there,” Tobias suddenly realized all eyes were on him and immediately ducked his head, blushing furiously. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to talk so much.”
“No, Tobias, that was really really cool,” Marco enthused, leaning across the table. “That was actually super cool to hear about man. Tell me more about your costuming, and about your art work. My mom buys a lot of art from gallerys in town, I wonder if she has any of your works.”
Tobias blinked once, leaning across the table, starting to speak to Marco quietly, both nodding their heads, Marco occasionally clapping his hands or exclaiming love for a certain piece of art Tobias was talking about.
Cassie took her seat next to Jake again as the two men talked, leaning her head on his shoulder. “For what it’s worth, I think the costume sounded really cool, and the picture they got made it look awesome.”
“Thanks Cassie,” Jake replied, giving her a hug. “Wanna dance?”
Cassie said nothing, just grabbed Jake’s hand and lead him out onto the crowded, noisy dance floor.
They danced the rest of the night, with only eyes for each other.
Cassie was slowly waking up, doing her best to enjoy the relaxing warmth of cuddling up with Jake and working through the confusing and quite frankly overwhelming emotions swirling around in her head. She had just established that yes, she did like Jake and yes, she was probably already falling in love with him. She had also decided that there was approximately less than a snowballs chance in hell of her ever telling Jake how she feels, at least until she worked it out for herself. As she buried her face in the crook of Jakes shoulder, a smile slipped onto her face.
As she was planting a kiss on Jake’s chest, she heard a rather loud vibrating. As she looked up, she saw her phone, shaking across the floor, the screen lighting up with Rachel’s name clearly visible. ’Oh shit. I was supposed to go back to Rachel’s after I was done hanging out with Jake.’ Cassie was still following this same train of thought when she felt a small squeeze and the feel of Jakes lips along her temple.
“Good morning, again, beautiful,” Jake said softly, his lips still close to her temple.
“Morning Jake,” Cassie replied, her breath warm against his chest, returning the hug before pushing herself up. She climbed out of the bed, grabbing her phone and pulling a shirt on before answering the call trying to come through, “Hey, Rachel? What’s up?”
As Cassie was busy talking to Rachel, Jake took the chance to stand, stretching, working his left knee, attempting to wake his leg up and work out the kinks from the old wound. He started gathering up his clothes from the night before, grabbing a change of clothes and sliding into the bathroom quietly. After throwing his old clothes in the hamper, he grabbed his robe, throwing it on before walking back into his room, grabbing a towel on the way out.
As Jake reentered the room, he saw Cassie with an exasperated look on her face. “Yes Rachel, I’ll be there in like an hour, just give me some time to shower and change. Bye Rach, see you soon,” Cassie said, her voice growing louder at the end, talking over the other person on the phone.
Jake saw the look of exasperation warring with a smile on her face, the smile eventually winning out. “So,” She started, a blush quickly forming, “Any chance I can borrow your shower?”
Jake nodded, handing Cassie the towel grabbed earlier. “Of course. You go ahead, I’ll grab the next one,” Jake says, a blush forming as he looks slightly over Cassie’s shoulder. “Ummm Cassie, I know this might not be the best time but, I really like you. Like I said earlier, I feel like I’ve known you for a very long time. I’d really like to be able to take you out again, and I’d like to be able to see where this,” At this Jake makes a vauge motion between them, “Leads to. But I don’t want this to just be about sex or passion or whatever it is. I want this to be about liking each other. I just…”
Cassie touches Jake’s shoulder, cutting him off as gently as she could. “Jake, I feel the same way. I’m not super comfortable with sex all the time. Last night was a major anomaly for me. I just… the feeling I talked about, feeling like I knew you so much, it just jump started something in me, and I wanted you. In a way that I haven’t felt for someone else before. It wasn’t just this sexual way, it was more of a desire to be close to you, and my brain decided to use physical intimacy to show that. But this morning, with that emotional closeness, that was just as good,” Cassie shrugs, fiddling with the hem of her shirt, “I wouldn’t mind that emotional closeness staying, and I definitely agree about letting the physical closeness develop naturally. It almost never ends well by just jumping into a super physical relationship. Although, I don’t think I would mind waking up in your arms again, that was really nice.”
Jake nodded, “That sounds really nice Cass. I’ll call you tonight, if that’s ok with you?” Jake said, more question than statement.
Cassie returned the nod, walking past Jake to the bathroom, pausing in the doorway, “I was actually kinda hoping I could come by after I spend some time with Rachel. Unless you had other plans, I wouldn’t mind hanging out some,” Cassie waited to hear Jake’s muttered affirmative before closing the door and starting her shower.
After a quick, methodical shower, Cassie stepped out of the bathroom wearing a towel and a sheepish look. “Hey Jake, I know I’m probably being a major imposition at this point, but is there any way I could borrow some clothes? I know it’s probably hugely inconvenient and I…” Cassie trailed off as Jake gestured to a pile of clothes stacked neatly on the bed.
“I may have accidentally thrown your clothes into the washing machine, so I laid out some clothes that I thought would fit you. I’m really sorry Cassie, I’m just not used to having guests over and I just threw them in the wash without thinking,” Jake replied, scratching the back of his head, “If you need a belt or an undershirt they’re in the middle drawer in the bedside table.”
Cassie moved to the pile of clothes, starting to pick out clothes that looked small enough to fit her. “Thanks Jake, you’re a life saver,” She said, leaning over and giving him a quick kiss on his cheek. “If I show up to spend time with Rachel in the same clothes I wore last night, I may never hear the actual end of it.”
Jake chuckled, nodding in agreement. “Believe me, I understand what you mean with Rachel. I’m gonna grab me a shower too. If you’re already gone when I get done, then I’ll see you tonight. Just knock on the door when you wanna hang out.”
Cassie nodded once. “Sounds good. See you later tonight.”
As Cassie was walking to Rachel’s apartment from Jake’s, she couldn’t help but tug on the shirt. It wasn’t that it was uncomfortable, quite the opposite, it was soft and comfortable, but it just wouldn’t lay right. She was still fidgeting with the shirt, trying to get the shoulders just right when she knocked on Rachel’s apartment door, and was greeted with Rachel, a knowing smile on her face.
“So, you never came back last night,” Rachel began, her smile firmly in place, ushering Cassie inside. “And I heard some very interesting, and disturbing things coming from my cousins apartment last night. I mean, at first I just assumed it was Marco with another floozie, until I heard some very loud name calling at like 4 AM.”
Cassie blushed under Rachel,s stare, looking at her feet as she stood just inside the doorway. “Yeah, that uh… that definitely happened last night,” Cassie stuttered, refusing to meet Rachel’s eyes.
“Wait… really? You guys seriously hooked up?” Rachel said, her eyes wide, her mouth agape. “I was honestly just trying to make a joke. I didn’t even hear anything last night. I mean, I know you and I know Jake, we’ve been friends since diapers. Were you guys super drunk or something?” Rachel asked, beginning to pace along the floor. “Did Jake roofie you or something? Like, what the actual HELL Cassie? This isn’t like you.”
Cassie stared at Rachel, an incredulous look leveled at her best friend. “Jake didn’t actually initiate anything. I did. It just, it feels like I’ve known him, like forever. For hundreds of years, like I’ve fallen in love with him a thousand times before. Last night… we talked about last night this morning. And we decided that we both wanted to take it slow.”
Rachel nodded, taking everything in. “One question. I know how you feel about sex and all that, so why did you initiate it? You were, a few days ago, one more awkward pass from some skeevy dudebro away from running away to a convent. What changed?”
“Nothing I guess. Just, I found someone that I wanted. It was like standing inside a bonfire. And last night burned the excess passion off, so I just feel like I’m standing in a bed of embers. The desire for closeness is still there, but I’m not about to do something so hormonally fueled again,” Cassie replied, hugging her best friend tightly. “It was just kinda like having a spring inside of you, that you didn’t know what tightening every day, and it tightened every day for years and years, until one day you finally realize it’s there, and it’s tight and it releases all at once. That was kinda how my feelings were last night.”
Rachel laughed, her face screwing up at the mental image, “Ok Cass. Well as much as I love to hear about you wanting to be with my cousin, how about inviting our good friends Ben and Jerry over and watching the rest of Season 1 of Teen Wolf?” Rachel asked, already headed to the fridge.
“Sure,” Cassie replied, laughing at her friends antics.
They ended up finishing season 1 and most of season 2 before Cassie finally begged off, hugging Rachel and thanking her for a great hanging out time and bull session.
As Cassie reached the door, Rachel spoke up, “I noticed you wearing Jake’s clothes. But that’ll be a story for another day. I actually have to get to bed here soon. I have a practice trial in the morning. If I impress everyone, it’ll help me find a job after I finally finish law school.”