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With One Hand

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“Ben?”

“Mm?”

“I think you’re slowly getting the hang of this,” Finn says. “You did that one really well, not nearly as much shell as in the first one.”

Having just shown Ben how to break eggs with one hand, Finn watches him crack a third into the large Pyrex bowl on the bench. They’re making Rey a cheese-free omelette.

“Thanks,” Ben says, turfing the shell into the ceramic basin of scraps beside him. “And in this one…”

Ben stoops and studies the freshly cracked egg.

“...I only got, like, one piece of shell in this one. That’s pretty good, Finn, right?”

“Yeah,” Finn says, encouragingly. “That’s pretty good, Ben. Well done.”

Finn stands on Ben’s left, watching him in profile. Between his long fingers Ben holds one half of the egg shell he’s just broken. He fishes around with it inside the contents of the Pyrex bowl for a moment, until he collects the shard with the edge of the much larger piece in his hand. He drags that shard up the side of the bowl, then throws it all into the scraps. Ben nods slowly at the bowl, then glances at Finn.

Finn smiles approvingly and passes Ben a fourth egg. He watches Ben inspect it and then adjust his grip. Carefully, Ben taps it once against the edge. With one hand, he opens the divided shell with his thumb, and the yolk and white drop.

“No shell,” Ben says happily, straightening up and smiling at Finn.

“That was very good, Ben,” Finn says, looking up at him. “You’re very good at that now.”

Finn holds Ben's gaze there for a moment. Ben’s eyes narrow a fraction and he smirks just a little down at Finn.

“Are we doing this again?” Ben asks.

“Doing what?”

“You know what, don’t pretend.”

Finn presses his lips together. Puckers them a little. Thinks. And after a moment Finn smiles again at Ben, and says,

“Want to? I mean, you know I know you like it…”

Ben turns his face away from Finn’s and smirks into the bowl of raw egg.

“Sure,” Ben says. “Why not?”

Finn shifts his feet on the floor, turning away from Ben and leaning back against the stove. He passes Ben a fifth egg. When Ben accepts it, Finn folds his arms in front of his chest and raises his eyebrows, still watching Ben closely.

“Do it again, Ben. Just like I showed you.”

With one hand, Ben gives the egg a sharp rap on the bowl’s edge, divides the shell with his thumb and the contents drop, just like before.

“That was nice, Ben,” Finn praises. “But…”

Finn frowns.

“You did get just a little bit of that egg white on your thumb now, didn’t you. Hm?”

Ben discards the shell and inspects his thumb. Finn watches Ben frown at his thumb.

“I think you could do a better job than that, Ben,” Finn says. “Don’t you? I mean, you’ve done a nice job, but I think you could do a very good job again, Ben. With no egg white on your thumb this time.”

“I probably could,” Ben concedes.

“You probably could?” Finn says, frowning up at him.

“I mean, I could,” Ben says. “I could do a better job. I could.”

“I know you could, Ben,” Finn says. “I know you can.”

Finn hands him a sixth egg.

“I want you to do a very good job this time, Ben.”

Ben cracks the sixth egg and then Finn leans over to inspect both it and Ben's thumb.

“That was very good, Ben,” Finn says. “You have done a very good job cracking all of these eggs into this bowl. You’re a very good boy, Ben. You’re a very good Ben.”

Ben looks at Finn with very earnest eyes.

“And you wanna know something, Ben?” Finn says.

“Yes,” Ben replies.

“I liked watching you crack all those eggs,” Finn says.

“Really?”

“Yes,” Finn affirms. “I really liked it, Ben, and do you wanna know why?”

“Yes,” Ben repeats. "I really do."

“Because you, Ben, did a really great job cracking all those eggs into that bowl.”

The corners of Ben’s mouth start to lift.

“When you did that, Ben, when you cracked all those eggs into that bowl, you know what?”

“What?”

“You made me feel really proud,” Finn says. “When you cracked all of those eggs so well like that, into that bowl, you made me feel really proud of you, Ben. Really proud.”

“Really?”

“Oh, yes,” Finn says. “Oh, yes you did.”

“You want me to do something else for you, then? I could do something else.”

Finn smiles.

“Yes, Ben. I do want you to do something else for me, yes, I do. Because you look like a good Ben. A very good Ben.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“I want you to whisk those eggs, Ben,” Finn says. “I want you to whisk those eggs real good, because you look like a real good Ben and I want you to make me just as proud whisking those eggs as you just made me breaking those eggs into that bowl. Just as proud. Like a real good Ben.”

Finn uncrosses his arms, reaches across to the drawer in front of him and inside that he finds a whisk. He hands that whisk to Ben.

“Do it,” Finn says. “Whisk those eggs real good, Ben.”

“Finn?”

“Yeah?”

Ben smiles as he starts to whisk the eggs.

“Do you get off on this?”

“Huh?”

“You heard what I said.”

Finn watches Ben’s wrist. He has a nice action. The muscles of Ben's forearm contract when he whisks. Finn watches the flexors work hard.

Yes I do, Finn thinks to himself. Yes I do get off on this.

“Do you?” Finn asks, smiling and still watching Ben’s forearm whisk hard.

Ben snorts and Finn does, too. Ben whisks harder.

“That’s really excellent, Ben,” Finn says, after awhile of just watching Ben's arm whisk. “You have a really strong wrist action. It’s really strong and I’m really proud of you...”

Ben stops whisking. Once again he looks to Finn with earnest eyes that seek approval. And Finn looks down at the bowl.

“Well done, Ben, this is a really excellent start,” Finn says. “But I do think, if we're both really honest - which we are - that you and I both know really well that you could do an even better job here on this now. I mean, Ben, just look at you.”

Finn touches his fingers to the inner muscles of Ben’s right forearm; the forearm holding the whisk. Ben doesn’t flinch, and Finn notes this. Ben lets Finn stroke his flexors.

“These,” Finn pets, “Are really strong muscles, Ben. And do you know what that means?”

Ben looks down at Finn.

"No," Ben breathes. “What?” 

“That means, Ben, that I’m expecting a lot from you now, because I know how strong these muscles are. And I know that so do you.”

“Yeah,” Ben says, grinning. “I’m really strong…”

“Well, go on, then,” Finn says. “Show me how strong you are, Ben. Beat those eggs in that bowl for me now.”

With one hand, Ben does it.

“Perfect,” Finn says, as he folds his arms again and watches Ben start to sweat as he whisks harder than he ever has before. “That’s really perfect, Ben. You are doing a really perfect job beating those eggs. You’re a perfect Ben. Now, pour that into the pan. Rey is gonna love that omelette.”