Series: The Best Moves
Disclaimer: Wholly original work.
Characters/Pairings: Sandy, Tracey
Summary: When Sandy is stuck on a problem, she bakes.
Notes: origfic_bingo - cookies.
Despite the passage of time, Tracey still wasn't used to coming home to find the house smelling of fresh baked cookies and other treats. And yet it kept happening. Normally, he was the first in, after work and before classes. Sometimes there was also breakfast, which was bordering on strange. Well, it would have if Sandy wasn't usually still there, cleaning and baking and doing little fix-its.
And her presence was in the lease, after all. She came with the house, and they'd all signed up for her. The cookies were always amazing, though, and he supposed it was good for Sandy to be out and doing other things. Getting ideas. Whatever.
She'd told him, more than once, that baking helped her puzzle through the plots of her novels. And that she'd gained fifty pounds one year just from writing and the subsequent baking. So baking for her tenants was all the benefit with none of the weight.
On a cold, rainy March morning, reeking of the diner and half-dead on his feet and thankful it was a Saturday and not a school day, Tracey let himself into the house and was instantly buoyed by the smell of baked goods.
"Welcome home," Sandy's voice called from the kitchen. "I brought over some bacon and pancake mix and a few other things to go with cookies... and a cake."
"I need to run and shower," Tracey called back. "I stink. But thank you and I'll be right there."
He wasn't entirely sure that he wanted to even face breakfast food, to be honest. But there was a difference between the uniform and uninteresting pancakes he'd been making for the last few hours and the creations that Sandy made. She just had a touch with food, just like she had a touch with words.
Once upon a time, Tracey had hated her for that - for being annoyingly perfect. But after hearing about the fifty pounds and some of the other ridiculously bad things that got her somewhere good, he just couldn't begrudge her for living the kind of live she wanted to live.
He figured he'd get to do that at some point, too, instead of just getting by from day to day. He had dreams.
The shower felt amazing, but knowing there was a delicious meal waiting for him kept Tracey from lingering in the hot spray. He dressed quickly in a t-shirt and sweatpants and combed his hair back enough that he didn't look half-drowned.
Sandy was doing dishes already when he stepped into the kitchen. There were cookies, brownies, pancakes, bacon... Tracey blinked.
"I'm really stuck," she admitted. "Really stuck. But I had some ideas, between the brownies and the pancakes, so I feel a little better."
"Which series?" Tracey asked as he reached for a plate. "May I?"
"Of course," Sandy replied. She looked like she'd been up most of the night, which Tracey figured was pretty normal for her when she got writing. "Mm. It's a new one. Doesn't have a name yet, which is only a tiny bit of what I'm stuck with. I was just hit with an idea a couple of days ago and started writing, but of course, after about thirty-thousand words, there's a tangle and I'm just starting to figure out a few things about a few of the characters."
Tracey helped himself to a couple pancakes and poured syrup on them. "Anything I can help with?"
"Not really," Sandy admitted. She dried her hands on her apron and watched him a long moment. "But you can eat. That'll make me feel better. And then maybe I'll see if the gutters need to be cleaned..."
"I can help..." Tracey started, only to be interrupted.
"No, it's okay. I think it'll be better if I do it myself. You look pretty tired." Sandy smiled. "If I'm still stuck after that, I'll just make more cookies."
Drink Lemonade! Tip Your Waitress!