Slice of the Cake
The Microfic/Drabble Meme
For: Lil Samuu
Prompt: "Wedding Cake"
Flower: White Gerbara
Ice-cold air washed over his face, making his nose crinkle slightly from the sudden difference in temperature.
Their freezer was always packed with food. Always. Packed. Completely full. He was certain that, even if he tried, he couldn't find enough room for his little finger. Colette was good at keeping all of their frozen goods neat and tidy.
It was the rest of the house she seemed to have a problem with.
But that was okay. He rather enjoyed the clutter; it made their house a home. It didn't make her any less of a friend, any less of a woman, any less of a wife. They'd been married more than a year, but sometimes they still felt like newlyweds, shy and awkward around each other, blushing at the most inopportune of times… It was quite silly, really, and something he'd never, ever admit to Genis. His best friend would probably never leave him alone, refusing to let the subject drop.
No, better yet, he'd save the story for Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner, and it would become a traditional tale at the Irving and Sage's festivities. Every year. Forever.
The thought bothered him a little bit, but he shook his head to rid his mind of the potential humiliation and worked up the courage to carefully wedge his fingers around a box that contained a beef pot pie. As gently as he was able, he wriggled it out from its place between a frozen pizza and two perfectly stacked cartons of vanilla ice cream.
One down, one to go.
His tongue poked out of his mouth as he reached behind it to get a second pot pie. Colette would be home from the animal shelter she volunteered at in less than an hour, and she'd certainly be hungry. He'd cook for her, if he possessed the skills, but while his cooking was better than Genis's older sister's, it certainly wasn't something he'd want to eat, let alone feed his wife.
With a mighty yank, he pulled on the red cardboard box…and half the contents of the freezer fell to the floor, one right after another, a landslide that he thought would never end, though it finally did, with a bag of frozen corn landing on his head.
At least it would ice the lump he no doubt received from the ice cream, he thought as he scrambled to his feet.
Now, how could he possibly manage to put everything back the way he'd found it? It was all so neat and tidy and organized, also known as frightening.
He cringed as he bent over to pick up the frozen pizza, and tried to recall where everything had gone.
That was when he noticed it.
A white box.
The pizza fell from his hands, landing safely on top of the pile of frozen food. His curiosity piqued, Lloyd found himself reaching to the back of the freezer. He'd never seen that box before, at least, he didn't remember having seen it in his freezer. Of course, Colette had taken it upon herself to organize and watch all things frozen, so he hadn't spent much time poking around in the tiny world of ice and cold, but…
The box had no labels, no name, just a date scrawled across the top in Colette's neat handwriting.
It was the day they'd officially met. As kindergarteners, Genis had thrown a snowball at Lloyd's head, but he'd missed and hit Colette, then blamed it on Lloyd. It was a day Lloyd would never forget. At the time, he'd been so indignant about the whole thing because, of course, it wasn't his fault! He hadn't done anything wrong!
But Colette had smiled, forgiven him, and then declared herself his best friend.
It was also the day they'd been married, standing amid the snow, freezing half to death… The reception had started with, of course, the throwing of a snowball.
Smiling, he opened the lid of the box, and nearly dropped it in surprise. There, sitting right in the middle, was a piece of cake.
It looked tasty, of course, but Lloyd only blinked and tilted his head to the side. It was a slice of the wedding cake. He might have been forgetful about a lot of things—feeding Noishe being included in those things, of course—but the taste of good food was something he couldn't rid himself of.
Regal Bryant, an excellent chef and one of their many friends, had spent weeks testing different combinations of icing and cake to find the perfect choice for a winter wedding. It was strawberry cake with white icing and blue snowflakes piped all across the top and sides. Not only had it looked perfect, it had tasted perfect, too.
He wondered why Colette had saved it, but shrugged as he put it back in its place in the corner of the freezer. She probably had her reasons, he told himself, and that was that. So he shoved the frozen foods back into the remaining space—though it looked nowhere near as good as it had before he'd destroyed it—and preheated the oven.
"I have this…crazy hungering for ice cream." It was the first thing she said to him when she walked in the door. On the way to the freezer, she poured another cup of food into Noishe's bowl.
Swinging open the door, she stared inside for a good long minute before turning to face him.
"Lloyd, what happened to my…my…" She fumbled for the word.
"Winter wonderland?" he asked, looking up innocently from the oven, where his hands were covered in huge oven mitts. He reached inside to take out the sheet that had the pot pies on it as she nodded.
"Well, you see, the frozen pizza was jealous of the attention I was paying the pot pies…"
She laughed, "Lloyd, be serious!"
"A snowmobile by the name of Lloyd drove through your winter wonderland, leaving the snow kind of slushy and brown," he told her, setting the baking sheet down in the center of the table with a muffled yelp.
"Fair enough," she said.
"How was work?"
"Wonderful!" She smiled widely as she took the seat across from him, and reached out a hand to take his, lifting it to her lips to give the burn on his finger a light kiss. "Snowball and Buttercup were adopted today, by really nice people."
He gave her fingers a squeeze and handed her a fork. "Dig in," he told her, and they did, both of them blowing on the hot food to keep from scalding their tongues. Their silence was broken by Lloyd when he made it halfway through the golden-brown crust, as he deposited a pea in the center of his mouth, tilting his head back to swallow it whole so that he wouldn't have to taste it.
"I saw the cake," he said before he could stop himself.
"O-Oh." She looked down, blushing furiously, just like she had when he'd made an embarrassingly sloppy attempt at kissing her for the first time, years ago. She looked so cute that he couldn't help but smile, despite the fact that she seemed so uncomfortable.
"Why'd you keep it?" He spoke with genuine curiosity. Saving a slice of any cake seemed pretty wasteful to him—or rather, to his stomach—and saving a slice of the best cake he'd ever had was downright insane.
She glanced up at him through her eyelashes, looking embarrassed. "It was such a beautiful cake," she said. "I didn't want to forget it."
"We had Sheena take pictures," he said matter-of-factly, swallowing another pea.
She bit her lower lip and looked down at her food, shoving a bite into her mouth. After she managed to swallow it, she blushed harder. "I know… It's silly, isn't it?"
He paused, fork in his mouth. "Yeah," he finally answered after some careful thought—something he'd learned how to do very soon after entering the dating world. "It is silly."
She looked hurt for a fraction of a moment, so he plowed on.
"But you're silly, and that's one of the things I love most about you."
She gave him a winsome smile. "So I can keep the cake?"
"I guess," he told her, and reached out to ruffle her windblown hair. "If things get really rough, though, and it's the only food we have left in the house…we might have to eat it."
She rolled her eyes and nudged him playfully. "So," she said, changing the subject. "How jealous was that pizza?"
Just something fun and sweet. A lot of people save a slice of the wedding cake as a kind of memento. I could totally see Colette doing something like that.