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Better Together

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It’s been a long time since he did this, so he’s a little rusty. It doesn’t help that he doesn’t really know where anything is anymore, not since Greg reorganized his – their – kitchen. And he’s not really much of a cook, so it’s not like he’s gone looking for his griddle in awhile, but he finally tracks it down in the bottom of the drawer under the stove.

Once the griddle is on the stove and heating he finds a bowl and carefully measures the flour, sugar, and baking powder. He manages to crack the egg without dropping any shell into the bowl, adding the buttermilk last and stirring with a fork until the batter looks roughly the same as his mom’s always did.

It takes him another minute to track down his favorite knife, but finally he finds it in a drawer and slices a couple bananas. He pours three almost-perfect pools of batter onto the griddle and drops a few banana slices in each one, watching to make sure the pancakes don’t run together before he turns his attention to the electric kettle.

And this is a totally new skill, but he’s watched Greg carefully for a few weeks now, and he’s pretty sure he has the routine down. Nick fills the kettle and turns it on, then takes the coffee out of the freezer and measures five perfect scoops into Greg’s coffee press. It’s a gamble, because if he screws it up Greg’s just going to bitch about wasting expensive coffee trying to show off. But it’s worth the risk, because if he gets it right…well, it’s still showing off, but Greg will appreciate it.

He flips the pancakes while he waits for the water to boil, humming under his breath as he digs the syrup out of the fridge and sticks it in the microwave. He’s so focused on getting the coffee right and making sure the pancakes don’t burn that he doesn’t hear Greg sneaking up behind him until a hand lands on his waist, warm lips brushing his cheek and Nick turns to find Greg grinning at him.

“What’s all this?”

“Breakfast,” Nick answers. “Banana pancakes. My mom used to make them all the time when I was a kid.”

Greg reaches for a mug and pours a cup of coffee, leaning against the counter and watching Nick move around the kitchen. “Smells good.”

Nick’s not sure if Greg means the coffee or the pancakes, but when Greg takes a sip and doesn’t spit it back out, Nick lets out the breath he’s been holding.

“So what’s the occasion?”

Nick shrugs in response, because the truth is he doesn’t have a good answer. “It’s been awhile since we had the same day off, I figured we could eat at home for once.”

He fills a plate and hands it to Greg, then passes the warm syrup. And he feels a little silly about the whole production now, but at least Greg doesn’t laugh at him for being sentimental. In fact, he looks pretty impressed by the whole operation, and when he takes a bite his eyes go a little wide.

“These are good.”

“You don’t have to sound so surprised,” Nick says, but he laughs and reaches around Greg for his own mug. As he pulls back Greg leans into him, a hand coming up to rest on his neck and drag him forward. Greg’s lips are sticky with syrup and he tastes like bananas and coffee, but his fingers feel good in Nick’s hair and when he pulls back and smiles Nick’s heart skips a beat.

“Thanks,” Greg says, and Nick isn’t sure if he means breakfast or something else, but it doesn’t really matter, because the answer will always be the same.

“Any time.”