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Cooking for Keeps

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The first time Dumo makes him dinner, Beau doesn't think anything of it. He's just moved in, and it seems like the sort of thing new roommates do for each other. Sure, the mushroom risotto and herbed chicken is a lot fancier than the pizza Beau and Borts had when they first moved in together, but Beau already knew Dumo liked to cook, so whatever.

If Dumo likes to get fancy that's fine with Beau. He's not gonna complain. Especially if it's always as good as the mushroom risotto and herbed chicken.

*

The second time Dumo cooks for him, it's an off-day, so it makes sense. They don't have any obligations, there's no skate, they don't need to be on a plane later that evening. Beau spends the day sleeping in, skyping with his mom, and being lazy.

Dumo spends it in the kitchen.

When Beau comes out of his room to investigate the delicious smells, he finds Dumo pulling a prime rib roast out of the oven. There's a pressure cooker hissing away on the stove, and—

"Is that pie?" Beau asks.

Dumo startles a little and looks up. His face is red, probably from being in the hot kitchen all day. "It's cheesecake, you moron," he says, "and don't touch it. It's not ready yet." He slaps Beau's hand with the flat of his spatula for emphasis.

"When'll it be ready?" Beau asks, shaking out his hand.

"I gotta make the raspberry sauce and the creme fraiche," Dumo says.

"Okay, cool," Beau says, like he knows what any of Dumo's kitchen talk means. Up until moving into Casa Dumo, he basically lived on Chipotle and pizza, so anything more than picking out toppings is pretty beyond him. Dumo eyes him judgingly, so Beau smiles and nonchalantly leaves the kitchen, leaving Dumo to his own devices.

When it's finally ready, Beau pretty much faints from how good it is. "Never leave me," he groans around a mouthful of prime rib and au jus.

Dumo turns beet red. "Okay."

*

The third time Dumo cooks for him, it means Beau has to turn down an invitation from Olli and Ian to go get Chipotle. They both look at him like he's grown an extra head.

"You're not coming to Chipotle?" Olli asks, dumbfounded.

Beau shrugs. "Dumo's making chicken tagine and couscous. And we've got homemade strawberry custard ice cream for dessert."

Ian stares.

"Who are you and what have you done with Beau?" asks Olli, squinting at him.

"Shut up," Beau mutters, squirming.

Ian finally finds his words. "Is this like a date?" he asks.

"It's not!" Beau insists, probably more hotly than the question really warrants. "We're just roommates, and he likes to cook."

"Are you sure?" Olli asks.

"Yes," Beau insists.

He starts to wonder, though, when he comes out of his room after showering and changing clothes to find Dumo setting the table with, like, candles and wine glasses and shit.

"Are you trying to seduce me?" Beau asks when they sit down to eat. He regrets it immediately, because Dumo goes ghostly pale and almost drops the tagine on the floor.

"No?" Dumo squeaks, and okay, even Beau can see through that lie.

Beau waits for Dumo to put down the tagine before he says, "It'd be okay if you were. I like being seduced." And then, because he feels like he should probably clarify, he adds, "I like being seduced by you."

Dumo blushes and says, "I was trying to be subtle."

Beau laughs and says, "Didn't they tell you? Subtlety doesn't work on me."

"In that case," Dumo says, "I'm trying to seduce you. Is it working?"

Beau's grin feels like it might split his face in half. "Yeah," he says. "It is."

[end]