Set in the WiP WRE verse. 445 words. No warnings apply.
“They’re awful,” El said, turning her back on the cookies, almost tearful.
Romaine had never seen perfectionist El before. But then last Christmas, when they were both working at the helpline, she’d booked leave and gone on holiday with her family. He’d never witnessed the intensity of her yuletide celebrations firsthand.
“They don’t look that bad,” Romaine said. A couple were scorched, a few had come out more ovoid than circular and one star shape had one mutant looking point, but the tree shaped ones all looked fine to him. There were a lot of cookies – El would normally call them biscuits but this was a recipe from an American relative so she used the term cookies – and more were perfect than were not.
Besides they weren’t for show, they were for eating, and so taste had to be more important than the look of them. He wisely did not say this aloud.
El shook her head. “That one looks like it got mangled in the oven.”
She pointed. Romaine snatched it up. It was still warm, almost hot, and he juggled it between his fingers and thumb, eating it quickly while still attempting to savour it.
“There. I’ve eaten the evidence,” he said. “And it was delicious.”
A reluctant smile tweaked her lips.
“Didn’t you say you were going to ice them?” Romaine asked. “They’ll look even better once they’re decorated.”
“I suppose so.”
“The hard part will be stopping Kit from eating them all before then.”
El nodded. “I’ll put some in that Tupperware box and you can hide it on the top of the cupboard where even you can only just reach it without resorting to the stepladder.”
“We have to let them cool first, yes?”
“Yes,” El agreed, switching on the kettle. “So, tea first. You want to help with the icing?”
“I’ll probably make a mess,” Romaine said. “I don’t think I’ve ever decorated cookies before.”
“Then you have to,” El said immediately. “It’ll be fun.”
She would allow him to be imperfect, and maybe that would let her be satisfied with the cookies overall. And it would be fun. Romaine surreptitiously grabbed a slightly ovoid cookie to eat in the meantime. Kit would eat practically anything, cookies included, but cookies were a weakness of Romaine’s own.
“I saw that,” El said, as Romaine guiltily licked at his lips for stray crumbs.
“They’re too tasty,” Romaine said. “If we eat too many now, maybe you could make more?”
El grinned. “You could help make another batch.”
“I’d like that,” he said truthfully. “Does that mean I can have one of the star shaped ones with my tea?”