Jensen paused mid-step in his doorway, and the bag he was holding dropped with a thud to the ground. He spared only the tiniest thought for the laptop that had hopefully survived the fall.
“Jensen!” Startled, Jared looked up at him in helpless dismay. “You weren’t supposed to be back this soon!”
“What? Wha—? Y-you. . . Mph?” The spectacle of Jared on his floor had managed to drive away all coherency. The air in the room seemed dangerously thin, even with the breeze blowing in from the open door, and Jensen had trouble catching his breath. After an uncomfortably long moment of staring, Jensen managed to form words.
“Finished early,” he said in a whisper. “What are you doing?”
Jared looked down at himself and threw Jensen a sheepish grin. “It was supposed to be a surprise. You know, a giant cake in the room. Then I’d jump out and scare the shit out of you. But,” Jared raised his icing-covered hands and shrugged, “I didn’t think it would be this hard to do.” A piece of the crushed cake that stuck to his hands dangled from a finger and fell to the floor.
Jared sat in the middle of a giant circular wall of cakes that he had built around himself around himself like a bricklayer. Plain chocolate cakes were stacked in a column beside him, still waiting to be placed. A giant bowl of pink—and, really, pink?!—frosting sat on his other side. Jared had obviously begun to kitty-corner the right side—probably to work towards making a cake roof, though at this point Jensen wasn’t willing to bet on Jared having any sort of strategy. The front of the cake wall had collapsed inward under the weight, partially covering him. Chunks of chocolate cake stuck to Jared’s hair and to his bare chest. Jensen couldn’t tell through the mess, but he didn’t see any evidence of clothing, and he suspected Jared was naked under his covering of cake and icing. Pink streaked the length of his arms, and it was dotted with enough crumbs to give him a tar and feathered appearance.
“Hollow,” Jensen said, still wrapping his mind around the spectacle. “Cardboard.” He gave up and began to laugh. “It . . .you . . .” he said between gasps. “Not a real cake!” He braced an arm against the wall as he bent in two with laughter.
With his icing encased fingers held up out of the way so no more cake would stick to them, Jared twisted around as he tried to figure out how to stand up without making things worse.
“Hang on.” Jensen wiped the tears from his eyes. “I’ll help you up.” With no chance of making it out with clean clothes, Jensen stripped off his shirt. He could feel the weight of Jared’s gaze as toed off his shoes. He undid his pants and let them pool around his ankles before stepping out of them and losing his socks. Picking his way carefully across the sticky floor to Jared, Jensen offered him a hand. Jared’s eyes crinkled, and before Jensen brace himself, Jared seized the proffered hand and yanked. With a squish of icing, Jensen fell into the mound of Jared and cake. And, sure enough, no matter where his hands slid, Jensen couldn’t feel a stitch of clothing on Jared.
Later—much later—Jensen, exhausted and sated, lay across Jared’s chest listening to Jared’s racing heartbeat gradually return to normal, as they both sprawled in the cakey mess. He wasn’t sure how they were going to get the ground-in cake and icing out of the small spaces between the wooden floorboards. Jensen frowned when the doorbell rang. Lifting off Jared’s chest needed extra effort now that the frosting was drying out and pretending to be glue.
“Expecting someone?” Jensen asked.
“Oh. That must be the strip-o-gram,” Jared said with a languid smile as he placed a kiss on Jensen’s cheek, swiping a lick at the frosting that adorned Jensen’s earlobe as he pulled away. “Now is about the time I expected you back.” At Jensen’s arched eyebrow Jared continued. “It was in case you didn’t find the cake, and me. The directions were going to be mimed out in great detail,” he added. Then he studied Jensen’s face with a knowing grin that sent a zing of anticipation throughout Jensen’s body. “Oh, and I sort of roped Jeff Morgan into doing it. As a favour. . . but only if you want to . . .”
The doorbell rang again, and Jensen slipped on an unusually thick gob of icing and banged his knee as he hurried to open the door.