Andreil & Baking
Yesterday I posted about craving chocolate chip cookies, which lead me to crave an andreil baking hc and thought of how nice it would be. Sooo I wrote one? Just for my own self indulgence. That and I’m not sure if I’ve seen many andreil & baking scenarios? Anyway enjoy and sorry if it’s a bit shitty.
Confession: Originally it was just Andrew & Neil. Until I remembered Neil doesn’t like sweets & I cursed myself wildly at my ignorance.
“Are you sure this is right?” Neil asks Andrew, cocking his head at the mixture of flour and egg inside the bright fluorescent orange bowl. Neil isn’t used to baking. Most meals he had were cold slices of left over pizza or burgers from whatever restaurant was the most convenient. So the idea of taking all these base ingredients to actually create something that should turn out to be as Nicky said “Unfathomably delicious”, was entirely a foreign concept, especially to someone who more or less didn’t harbor or tolerate sweets of any sort. But Andrew sat atop the counter a few feet away, legs dangling over the wooden cabinet doors, his nose buried in the cookbook they were using.
Andrew flicks a chocolate chip from the bag next to him, into his mouth before looking unconcerned at Neil.
“Well it’s certainly not wrong. I mean,” Andrew flips the book towards Neil and points to the title. “..not like it says auto repair manual.” He answers matter of fact.
Neil huffs out an annoyed breath and stops stirring the wooden spoon in his hand before addressing Andrew again.
“You know that’s not what I meant.” Neil says, more frustrated than anything else. Andrew had to understand his unease with this newness of baking. This uncharted territory in Neil’s ever expanding world voyage of things he’s already done and things he never had a chance to enjoy. Something as simple as baking cookies like this was not common in the Wesninski household. He was too busy mixing hair dye and assuming new identities than he was busy with mixing eggs and sugar and flour together to create a taste of comfort, of warmth and sweetness that tasted of safety and reassurance. There had never been time for those intangible feelings. If there had, perhaps his sweet tooth would be as insatiable as Andrew’s.
“No? Then what did you mean?” Andrew stares, his legs swinging still, the gap between his legs to the ground makes Neil smile.
“Stop it.” Andrews golden gaze levels his. “What did you mean?” Andrews eyes focus on him like a cat catching sight of movement in a patch of tall grass. Focused. Insistent.
Neil’s smile doesn’t fall when he answers Andrew. “I don’t know what I’m doing. I’m going to mess this up.” Neil remembers the honesty they agreed upon. Truth for truth. He figures it’s the best path to take right now.
Andrew folds the book face down in his lap. Reaching over, he grabs a few more chocolate chips from the bag, popping them in his mouth again before addressing Neil’s confession.
“There’s nothing to mess up. I’m reading off every step required. You’d have to be truly incompetent to think that it’s possible to mess up, all things considered. Unless you don’t trust my directions.” Andrews voice curls into a tone usually reserved for the other foxes, his walls slowly sliding up, his eyes slit to harden hues of topaz.
Neil back peddles, tripping over the right words to stop Andrews wall from locking into place.
“ No..” Neil closes his eyes, gripping the bridge of his nose with his right hand that is covered in flour after one too many zealous strokes of the mix.
“No you don’t trust-” Andrew starts but Neil cuts him off before he can continue to interpret his unfinished comment.
“No. That isn’t what I meant. I just, I’m nervous, okay? You say this is simple and I truly want to believe that but nothing is ever as black and white as it seems and even in it’s simplicity, there’s room for error.” Neil admits.
There’s a thunk sound, the shuffle of feet heading closer to him. Neil turns his head and finds the 5ft blonde beside him, staring into the mix. He sets the cookbook face up on the counter, visible to both Andrew and Neil.
“Okay.” Andrew tells him. “Hand me that measuring cup there.” Andrew flicks his head over to the pile of measuring cups to his right. Neil grabs the nearest one and offers it to Andrew.
The roll of Andrews eyes eludes Neil to the realization of having already messed up again. “What is that?” Andrew asks him.
“Um. The measuring cup you asked for?” is the only answer Neil has because it was the only answer it could be.
“Wrong. I swear, I’d be afraid too if I were you. You are oblivious.”
Neil’s brows furrow, confusion twisting into his face. “But you asked me for the measuring cup?” Neil defends.
“This is a 1/3 cup. I need the 1 cup. But you’d know that if you’d look at the instructions in front of you. That’s step 1.” So Neil leans over the counter, scouring the page for the step they were currently on. Finding that in fact it did say 1 cup and not 1/3. But could it have hurt Andrew to specify for once in his life?
“I’m not psychic.” Neil spits back. Using Andrews own words he’d once used against Neil.
“Clearly not, other wise you’d realize I have about 2% patience left with you. You’re clearly not a very avid reader either, otherwise you’d know to look at the directions before freely reaching for whatever measuring utensil is available first.
Neil plucks back the incorrect measuring cup from Andrews hand, his fingers barely brush Andrews but the roughness of them eases some of the uncertainty in his chest.
Tossing the cup back onto the pile, Neil grabs the matching orange measuring cup that is clearly marked 1cup and hands it to Andrew. It takes less than 2 minutes as Neil watches Andrew step in and fill the cup with sugar, pouring it into the bowl. Neil reaches for the spoon again to start mixing but then Andrew is repeating his last step of filling the cup again and dumping a second cup of sugar into the mix.
Neil feels flabbergasted, why would he intentionally try to sabotage these? They were for a Foxes fundraiser that Renee helped set up with a few of her acquaintances from a local church. It had been a good idea. Getting their name out there, not to mention the publicity that the notoriously delinquent Foxes were partaking in a charity fundraiser.
"I can read your face Josten. Trust me, I didn’t mess it up. You’ll see.” Andrew tells him confidently.
“But you just doubled the required amount of sugar? Isn’t that going to mess up the rest of the ingredients in the recipe??” Neil asks him, honestly curious.
“I said trust me.”
Neil nods, closes his mouth to hold in any more comments. Andrew asked, no told him to trust him. He had yet to fail Neil but he began to seriously doubt how well these cookies would turn out.
After 45 minutes & 375° later, a rack of 16 moist and chewy chocolate chip cookies sit, cooling off. They wait a few minutes before Andrew grabs one of the cookies, the middle slightly buckling from the weight of the chocolate chips (also doubled thanks to Andrew).
Andrew hands the cookie over to Neil with a “here eat this.” As if Neil were Andrew’s personal royal food tester, searching for any poisons.
“You know I don’t like sweets.” Neil reminds him. An irritated sigh escapes Andrew lips.
“That’s right. Pity.” Andrew tells him. Just then, as if on cue, Matt walks around the corner into the kitchen. Last Neil knew, Matt had gone over to the girls room to help Dan and Renee since Allison had refused to get dirty the $200 manicure she’d just gotten done.
“Matt will try it. Ask him.” Neil suggests, gesturing to him as he walks closer.
“I asked you. I didn’t ask him.” Andrew retorts.
“Yeah, and I told you no. Sugary sweet things do not tempt me in the slightest.”
Andrew looks at him a beat before returning with “You like kissing me.” A fact, no question behind it.
“I don’t see the relevancy to that in this situation.” Neil lies. Clearly Andrew was referring to the kisses they shared and how Neil never turned those down. And yeah, he didn’t. Andrews kisses were sweet but it wasn’t the same kind of sweetness. They were welcomed. That sweetness didn’t turn and twist unpleasantly in his stomach later.
“Hey Matt, will you try this?” Neil calls over his shoulder. Matt, who hadn’t said anything, trying to keep off Andrew’s radar even just in passing, looks up beaming when Neil asks.
“Oh totally. Is this your contribution for the fundraiser?” Matt looks to Neil and then to Andrew, whose eyes were still lingering on Neil.
Neil nods his head yes, taking the cookie from Andrew before turning toward Matt, cookie outstretched.
Matt accepts it, lifting it to his mouth wrapping his lips around it. Neil braces for the worst after Andrew’s impromptu and hastily doubled ingredients but Neil is shocked when Matt’s face lights up excitedly before taking another large bite.
“This is amazing.” Matt’s jumbled words spill out of his mouth, along with a few cookie crumbs, staring at Andrew & Neil in awe. Visibly taken aback that they could create something so unbelievably good.
“Dude, I need the girls to try these. These are going to be so dope at the the fundriasier. You might want to make an extra batch!” Matt tells them. “Do you care if I grab another to take next door?” He asks.
A “No” and a “Yes” simultaneously fill the air. Matt freezes because the “Yes” came from Andrew.
“It’s fine Matt. Go ahead, you helped us so you have earned another.” Neil tells him. Andrew stays silent, which Matt takes as permission to do as Neil said. He pockets another cookie and heads out the same way he came in.
“Seriously, these are fantastic. They’ll be a hit tomorrow.” Are Matt’s last words before he vanishes back outside.
“I told you to trust me.” Andrew tells Neil. His face as stoic as ever, it’s only the flicker of a lightness in his eye that Neil can tell Andrew is pleased with Matt’s reaction.
“But. How did you.. You didn’t follow the directions though. You improvised, how did you know they would turn out so great?” Neil asks
“Sometimes the best things in life call for new plans of direction.” Is Andrews only reply.
Neil knows Andrew is talking about more than just baking. Their whole lives were built on forming plan A’s, plan B’s and plan C’s. Sometimes D’s & E’s, sometimes more.
Andrew turns to leave but Neil calls out a “where are you going?” before Andrew stops, turns and walks back up to Neil. “I’ve got some things to take care of. Box those up and start another batch, but this time follow the directions exactly as they’re written.” Andrew reaches behind Neil, grabbing a cookie for himself and taking a bite of it.
Neil stares at Andrew, perplexed.
A fraction of a smirk slips onto Andrews mouth, invisible to the untrained eye. But Neil’s eye had been trained, fixated on Andrews mouth for long enough to spot each time one of these almost smiles appears.
“This batch is mine. I trust you can handle the rest from here on out. You completed your first real baking challenge Josten. Congratualtions, you didn’t fuck it up. Now prove you can repeat this success.” Andrew’s hand lifts to the corner of Neil’s mouth and wipes away what must be a smudge of chocolate that he inevitably smeared on himself. Without hesitating, Andrew brings his thumb up and slips it into his mouth. Neil sees a flicker of his tongue swirl around it, cleaning it off successfully.
“See you later, maybe. Don’t forget, Renee said to bring two dozen of them.”
And with that, Neil watches Andrew exit out the door, leaving him with a new fondness for baking and a secret plan to “accidentally” share Andrew’s batch of cookies with the other Foxes once he finishes the next two. Batches he was already planning on using those improvised two cups of sugar on, going against Andrew’s instructions .
Neil was aware that Andrew liked to play these little games of his but Neil was getting better and better at playing them too.