Karkat trying his damndest to bake dave a apple pie and Dave literally crying when he receives said pie. He doesn't even taste it at first, just cries cause no ones ever baked him something before and-"Oh god Karkat I love you marry me and have my babies"
“You know,” Jake said, as though his input was at all invited or even slightly welcome, “Watching that thing in there is most definitely not going to finish it any faster.”
“Funny how I don’t remember asking you,” Karkat ground out through gritted teeth, keeping his eyes defiantly on the innards of the electric baking device.
“I know you’re trying your absolute hardest,” Jake went on, blithely, “But I figure when your books talk about melting glares and looks that could melt steel and all that they’re not being precisely literal.”
“I am not –” Karkat cut himself off, straightened up and growled low in his throat. He refused to turn around. “Fuck off!”
“I admit I question the purity of his motivations,” a new voice chimed in, and Karkat groaned, helplessly, resting his forehead against the wide handle of the device. It was almost too warm for comfort. “But Jake is right, Karkat. A watched pot never boils, you know.”
“I am not watching a pot,” Karkat said, speaking slowly, enunciating every word as clearly and kindly as possible given the situation, because he had to admit, he wouldn’t have made it half this far without Jane’s help in the first place. Human cuisine was far too fucking complicated. “Neither am I waiting for water to boil, so thank you, Jane, I’ll file that tidbit away for the future, when it might be even slightly relevant.”
He heard Jake snort and Jane sigh, and god, the seconds were taking fucking hours to pass, and still the crust of his stupid pie remained woefully pale. It was like, six thousands fucking degrees in there, how could it take so long to cook?
“Have it your way,” Jane said, and Karkat did steal a look over then, a momentary panic blasting through him.
“Wait, are you leaving? What if something goes wrong? What if –”
She laughed at him, and he snapped his mouth shut immediately, telltale heat climbing up his traitorous cheeks. “You’ll be fine, Karkat,” Jane assured him. She had her eyebrows up at him and was wiping her hands absently on her apron, smiling faintly. “All that’s left is to let the darn thing finish! You’re managing to make even me nervous, just standing there waiting impatiently like that.”
“See?” Jake said, nudging his chin in Jane’s direction. “She knows her stuff. You’d best follow her advice. You wouldn’t want to go serving a certain someone a defective pie, would you?”
“Oh, stop teasing him,” Jane said, but there was absolutely no vigor in it. She was practically laughing at him.
“Never,” Jake said, solemnly, and Jane whipped at him with her apron tassels. Jake crossed his arms and stood fast against this fabricated assault, and in response, Jane picked up a rolling pin and brandished it at him threateningly. This received the expected response – Jake immediately turned tail with a half-sincere yelp, and they both went scampering out the back door one after the other, letting it slam behind them.
Which left Karkat alone with his fledgling attempt at human baking and an entirely too enormous surplus of time, most of which he spent fidgeting aimlessly and feeling like an idiot, because Dave was going to laugh his guts out at this ridiculous gesture even if the thing didn’t turn out – well, defective.
An hour later, he was fully armed and loaded with a frankly absurdly hot fruity human confection… and he very nearly meekly deposited it in the garbage before he could go embarrass himself by actually presenting it to its intended recipient. But, no. Dave loved apples, and he loved pies, and Karkat was absolutely sure on at least several separate occasions he had tried unsuccessfully to charm Jane into combining the concepts for him exactly like this.
He’d like it.
Jane had told him to let it set for a few hours before taking it off the rack, but the thought of doing so made him want to die, so here he was, buried in baking mitts up to the elbows, carrying out a steaming platter to find his frankly undeserving boyfriend before he lost his nerve.
Said nerve ebbed slightly with every step, and truth be told, he almost didn’t find him in time, after all.
And when he did, he didn’t know what exactly to say or do. There was no occasion to hide behind. No excuse to hold up like a shield and pretend had forced him to do this extremely stupid thing. Dave looked up from a desk covered in eye-searingly shitty scribbles and Karkat could see his brows hunch together even behind the idiotic shades.
“What the fuck?” Dave said, and Karkat nearly, so fucking nearly just chucked at him and ran.
Instead, he ground his teeth and held it out, shrugging like it was no big deal. “I got tired of you constantly debasing yourself in front of John’s mother,” he said, deciding on the angle on the fly, “so I thought I’d spare you at least some measure of future humiliation by putting together a… um,” he stumbled a bit, fuck, he was losing his conviction fast, “Hopefully… acceptable substitute, for you know, it’s not going to be nearly as good as the shit she puts out, but it’s my first try, and I probably should have left it on the fucking rack like she told me to but you know what, fuck that, what kind of precious fucking nourishment needs to set for twice as long as it needs to fucking cook?”
He stopped. Swallowed. Dave was just looking at him, head titled slightly.
“Fuck,” Karkat muttered. “I’m picking up all your shitty ramble habits.”
Dave stood up, and he was frowning, and Karkat’s stomach dropped straight to the floor, but he just kept standing there holding the stupid thing because what else was he supposed to do?
“You, like, made that? Yourself?”
“Uh, yeah. I just fucking said that, didn’t I?!”
“Jesus Christ, Dave, I’m not repeating every god damn word I just projectile vomited all over the space between us! Please just take this stupid shitty thing and do whatever you want with it, okay? Toss it out, for all I care! Just take it!” He held it out, insistently, and then his eyes widened and he snatched it back, half turning away. “Actually, don’t do that, you’ll burn the shit out of yourself. Let me just –” Fuck, this was going so much worse than he’d imagined it would. “I’ll just put it here,” he mumbled, stepping fast around Dave and setting it on the desk atop a discarded set of shitty, shitty drawings. He pulled the gloves off and threw those down, too, and then turned to flee – and ran right back into Dave, who had somehow silently moved directly behind him.
“Fuck,” Karkat complained, “Move your ass, I need to go crawl into a hole and never come out, now.”
“Why?” Dave demanded, and Karkat winced back with a panicked shrug.
“Because I’m fucking embarrassed, okay? I don’t know why I thought this was a good idea! Can you please just let me retreat with some modicum of dignity intact, please?”
“No, I –” Dave’s expression darkened even further, and Karkat narrowed his eyes at him, glaring. “I just mean, I don’t get…” Dave looked from him, to the table, and back again. “Never mind,” he said. And he just stood there. Karkat shuffled his feet, uncertain.
“I can take it away,” he said.
“Nah,” Dave replied, but he still didn’t move. He was standing, in fact, very, very still. Karkat studied him, brows knitting, watching his lips flatten and the muscles in his throat spasm suspiciously.
He felt himself deflate. Not with disappointment or shame or anything, just – relief, almost? Okay. He understood this, he thought, although Dave probably didn’t want to hear it. He crossed his arms. He stared at the floor, because Dave probably didn’t want him watching, well, him.
“It’s funny, right?” Dave said, finally, a few minutes later, and there was no sign anything had happened at all except his voice was a little off, maybe. Karkat envied him that. His face always got all puffy and wet and frankly disgusting when he cried. “It’s just a fucking pie. Not that, uh. I mean. I don’t mean –”
“I get it,” Karkat said, quietly.
“Thanks,” Dave said, and Karkat nodded.
“You’re welcome, idiot. But please remember, it’s probably really fucking bad. Defective, really.”
“I don’t give a shit what it is,” Dave said. “It’s goddamn perfect, whether we have to eat it ourselves, or trick John into eating it instead.”
Karkat laughed. “Yeah, okay,” he said, warmth spreading all through him, along with the vague notion that maybe this hadn’t been a completely idiotic idea after all. “Excellent point.”