Title: Easy-Bake
Author: Beer Good
Pairing: Willow/Tara
Rating: PG13
Timeline: Early season 6
Word count: 591

"I go to bakeries all day long/There's a lack of sweetness in my life" (Jonathan Richman)

Easy-Bake

(When Willow was six years old, she found her mother's secret stash of cookies and over the next three days ate them all, hoping Mom wouldn't notice.)

"Mornin', sleepyhead."

Tara awakes to the smell of coffee, freshly baked bread, bacon, eggs, pancakes, the aroma of orange juice mixing with the sun seeping in through the curtains. "Mmmmorng..." She blinks against the light, everything still a bit slow and syrup-y half-sleepy, before looking up at Willow who's balancing a breakfast tray that looks to be bigger than her, and a proud grin on top of it.

"Hungry?"

"Um... sure." Tara glances at the alarm clock: 8.13 AM. Then back at the loaded tray. "You baked? How long have you been up?"

"Little while. Scooch." Somewhat awkwardly, Willow manages to get under the warm covers without dropping the tray.

"Eee! Your feet are cold!"

"I guess you'll just have to warm them up then, don'tcha. Anyway - tadaa, your breakfast, ma'am."

"Any special reason I'm getting the full hours-to-prepare breakfast in bed?"

(Willow's mother had books saying cookies are bad for you, too much sugar, have an apple instead. Which only proved that Willow's mother didn't get the point of cookies at all.)

"I need a reason to spoil you now? Well, it's... the feast of, uh, Tuesday, does that count?"

"Absolutely. Tuesday's an important one." Tara grins and takes one of the coffee cups off the tray.

"Or, y'know, as some people call it..." Willow shrugs in mock casualness and butters a slice of bread. "Dawn-is-off-on-her-school-trip-and-Buff

y's-chaperoning-and-we-have-the-house-to-ourselves-for-once-day. So I figure," she makes sure Tara sees her licking the melting butter off her finger, "we start off with a big breakfast to give us plenty of energy and then see if we can come up with something to do?"

And everything is so warm and so close and smells so good and feels so right and Tara can think of a few things.

"Oh no, you don't," Willow giggles. "Breakfast first, snuggles afterwards, missy. You'll ruin your appemmfff-" The china on the tray clatters as it gets pushed out of the way and one of the coffee cups falls to the floor. "Hey! Painstakingly prepared food here!" Then there's that wicked gleam in her eye. "Awww, look at that. You got bacon grease on your pajamas. I suppose they'll have to come off."

They quickly agree that most of the food will keep for a while.

(Eventually, her mother worked out a system. Willow could have one cookie after dinner three times a week if she'd done her homework and finished her vegetables. Willow tried to argue that getting the cookie – or even cookies – first would be a much better motivator. There was disagreement.)

Tara comes into the kitchen later, on a mission for ice cream. She gets the Ben & Jerry's from the freezer and quickly barefoots it back upstairs, humming to herself. She doesn't notice that the stove is cold, that all the pots and pans are still in the cupboards, that there are no bacon wrappings or orange peels in the trash, and that nobody has used the kitchen since last night. Nor does she notice (at the time) that when she gets back to the bedroom, the stains on the carpet and her pajamas are gone - as if by magic.

(The trick to stealing cookies: make sure there are always a few left in the jar, and don't leave any crumbs. As long as nobody catches you bending the rules, you can have all the cookies you want.)