"The black bits; they're raisins? Burned raisins?" Jim hoped so. At least that would mean they'd started out edible; he had a horrible feeling that what he was picking out of his teeth was less organic than former grapes.
"You're the Sentinel! Use your taste buds!" Blair called from the kitchen area, his voice stress-tight and strained before it cracked in an anguished wail. "Shit, why are they sticking? I buttered! I swear I buttered! The butter burned; it's not supposed to burn…"
"I would if they were still working!" Jim snapped. "Like my nose, I think they've shut down out of self defence. You scared them with the pecan tartlets."
"Very funny." Blair straightened, another, oh God, another, tray of cookies in his hands. "Now, these have raisins in, since you're such a fan…"
Not really, Jim thought pitifully, trying to remember he loved this man very much. That thought had gotten hard to hold onto somewhere around the coconut kisses.
"Can you just stop burning them, at least? Please, Chief? I can tell you when they're done if you'll just let me sniff --"
"That would be cheating." Blair sounded tempted, though. "Megan bet me that I couldn't produce better cookies than hers working solo. Solo, Jim. She's doing this by herself and so am I."
"What, you don't actually think she's baking, do you?" Jim shook his head, a fond incredulity washing over him. Naïve. So very innocent… "I saw her going into that bakery on Fifth at lunchtime and I bet she tries to pass off their lemon snaps as hers. And we're partners; we're not supposed to tackle dangerous situations solo; there's a reg about that, I'm sure there is."
"And you were planning to tell me about this when?" Blair demanded. He thrust floury hands through his hair, loosening it from its tie with agitated jabs of his fingers. "Jim, they're sure to be closed now, and I have to have my cookies in the break room at the start of the late shift in -- oh, shit. An hour. I'm screwed."
Jim had known this moment would come. He savored it like a melting mouthful of shortbread, like the richness of a chocolate chip against the tongue. Smiling, he reached down behind the couch and held up a paper bag of luscious, spicy gingerbread, studded with crystallized chunks of real ginger, glowing amber and gold, coated with whisky flavored frosting. "Actually, Chief, I'm kind of hoping I'm going to be. Right here, right now, hard and fast as you like, since we're on a tight schedule."
He managed to swallow the last glutinous lump of whatever the hell was wrapped around his tonsils just before Blair's mouth crushed against his in an exuberant, grateful, sticky kiss.
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