There's a reason. It's at the bottom. Enjoy the muffiny goodness. And throw tomatoes at the fluff. Drown it.

Disclaimer: I own just my library card and a fantastic collection of movies.

Abby wiped the sweat from her forehead. She hated this part of baking. Taking things out of the oven was such a chore. She didn't mind the mixing, or picking eggshells out of the batter, or even cleaning up afterwards. But the oven scorched her face and neck with blistering heat that was nearly unbearable. She grabbed the muffin tin quickly so that the heat wouldn't seep through her mitts and burn her hands.

Slamming the door shut with her foot, Abby placed the fresh pastries on the cool stovetop and leaned over them to adjust the temperature knob on the fiery beast of baking.

"What's cookin'?"

"Gah!" the voice had startled her into falling backward. Strong yet skinny arms caught her as she nearly made fast friends with the linoleum floor of her kitchen. Feeling the callused hands on her arms, she knew who it was, but looked up at him anyway as she regained her footing.

"Gilligan, you'd better explain yourself before I rearrange your face with a whisk!" she waved the utensil threateningly under his nose.

He pushed away the beater-turned-weapon and grinned. "You sound like my Grandma."

Abby set down the mess of wire and returned his grin sarcastically. "Gee, thanks." She said dryly, "I don't suppose you're here to help me clean up."

Hoagie shook his head, still smiling as he leaned his lanky frame against the kitchen counter. "Just came by to see what you were up to. What's with the muffins?"

Abby shrugged. "I wanted muffins. So I made muffins."

"Logical choice. Need any help?"

"With the baking or the eating?"

"I'm more inclined toward the latter." Abby threw an oven mitt at him, which he deftly caught as she poured cake batter into the clear glass pan atop the stove. Braving the blast of heat, she popped it carefully into the square cooking box and quickly closed the door. Or at least she tried to.

As Abby straightened before closing the oven, her wrist was two inches from where it should have been to clear the edge. Her arm bumped the hot inside of the box and the effect was instantaneous; Abby yelped, slapping her left hand over her right forearm as it seared with pain. Confusion and worry flitted across Hoagie's features before he knew what had happened. Crossing the kitchen in two long strides, he kicked the oven door shut and peeled Abby's hand off her arm so he could see the damage.

She wasn't burned, but it obviously stung, if the tears threatening to fall from her eyes were any indication. Turning the tap on the kitchen sink, he stood to her right and held the injury under the cool water. Abby could have done it herself, and in normal circumstances would have shoved him away in a heartbeat for babying her, but this was not a normal circumstance and if her best friend since age five wanted to baby her for a minute, then so be it.

The pain cooled and Abby realized that she was leaning into Hoagie as her mind cleared. Yanking her arm away, she grabbed a tea towel and dried her hand before tossing it to him.

"Thanks," She murmured, rubbing the spot, examining it like one who had just been shown an interesting snowglobe.

"No problem," he said, grinning as he mopped up the water that had splashed above the stainless steel basin. "That's what friends are for, right?"

Abby nudged him with her elbow playfully. "And who's your best friend?"

Hoagie rolled his eyes, but his smile betrayed his annoyed act. "Abby. And who's Abby's best friend?"

She pretended to think hard about it as she hopped onto the counter between the flour and sugar bins. "Hm…Kuki? Nigel? No wait…what was that one guy's name? He's always over here…that weird Gilligan kid, right?"

He laughed and flicked a bit of flour at her. "And don't you forget it. When's the cake gonna be done?"

Holy nuts, guys. I've been here a year and a day already. So I dug this scribble out of the ancient archives of my flash drive and after a little dusting, it seemed okay to put on display. A bit of fluffy 2/5 for your enjoyment.

It seems that I was out of my mind lately. Please forgive me. Anyway, I love you all, and for the record, I'm here for the long haul.

"East bound and down, loaded up and truckin'. We gonna do what they say can't be done. We got a long way to go and a short time to get there, I'm east bound, just watch ole Bandit run."-Jerry Reed, Smokey and the Bandit

Love always,