Hey everyone! God, it's been ages since I've posted anything here (I think we're talking years at this point), but I had the weirdest urge to write today, and this is what happened. Hope you like it!
You know the drill: I don't own these characters, much as I wish I did.
Despite the cooking class he elected to take sophomore year, Blaine doesn't know much about cooking. The first time he'd tried to make dinner for Kurt, he'd basically destroyed Carole's rice cooker. Finn had given him a high five for being an even bigger menace in the kitchen than he, while Kurt just chuckled and pressed a quick kiss to his cheek before offering to take him out instead.
The second time he'd decided to play it safe. After a quick trip to Safeway, picking up some vegetarian lasagna and a box of garlic bread, he'd returned to the Hummel-Hudson home with more than enough time to prepare before Kurt returned from his bi-weekly coffee date with Rachel. The instructions on the box had seemed easy enough, yet when Kurt strolled through the door at exactly 6:30, Blaine was running around frantically, smoke pouring out of the oven.
"It's the thought that counts," Kurt had told him, pulling the charred pasta out of the oven and setting it on the stove to cool before throwing it out. "Just promise me next time you'll use Carole's pans instead of mine. She buys them from Kmart, not Williams-Sonoma."
Blaine had promised, though he honestly couldn't tell the difference between the two.
Now he's standing in Kurt's kitchen, wearing Kurt's "kiss the cook" apron, spaghetti sauce splattered across it. It's in his hair, on his face, and, somehow, in his socks. He doesn't even know how that happened, but the sauce is cool against his skin as it drips down his ankle.
"Spaghetti should not be this difficult," he mutters, staring intently at the cookbook he has propped up on the counter. There's a large clump of sauce on it, which has leaked through quite a few pages, and he knows he'll probably have to buy his boyfriend a new cookbook to replace it, but that isn't even an issue at the moment. These damn instructions are.
"How do you mince garlic?" he asks no one in particular, holding three rather large cloves away from his body as if they might be contagious. With what, he doesn't know, but he's scared of them all the same.
He glances up at the clock, his pulse racing when he realizes he's way behind schedule. Kurt will be home in less than an hour, and he really needs to finish setting the table. Not to mention actually finish cooking. So he gives the garlic a cursory chop and tosses it all into the pot. Adding a bunch of random spices he found in the pantry and the sausage Carole had prepared for him earlier (he didn't want Kurt to get E coli because he couldn't cook meat properly), he turns up the heat and watches for a moment as the surface of the liquid starts to bubble.
"Not half bad," he comments, pleased with the results. The sauce looks pretty close to the picture in the recipe, if not a bit darker, and maybe a little too chunky, but he has a feeling he may have actually done something right for a change.
Turning his back on the stove, he tilts his head and studies the table. He tries to envision everything just the way he wants it before pulling supplies out of his bag: a crisp white linen tablecloth, candles, and his mom's best china. He had to break into her hutch to get them, which had involved bribing his brother to distract their parents with another attempt to finger paint the fridge. There's a bouquet of roses, too. White, because he knows they're Kurt's favorite. And chocolate covered strawberries which, now that he thinks about it, he should've put in the fridge a long time ago.
Once the table's set, everything arranged just so, Blaine stands back to survey his work. The vase he found underneath the sink works perfectly with his Lady and the Tramp homage, and he smiles proudly before disappearing into the guest bathroom to change. He hears the door open just as he's reemerging, and dashes into the front hallway to stop Kurt from entering the kitchen. He still hasn't cleaned up the counters, and he doesn't want to be scolded for ruining Kurt's favorite cookbook yet.
"Hi!" he says, skidding to a halt in front of his boyfriend, whose eyebrow is quirked, a hand placed jauntily on his hip.
"Why does my house smell like a burnt version of the Olive Garden?" Kurt asks, trying to hide a smile. He knows Blaine is determined to prove he can cook, but has a feeling it will never actually happen. Not at this rate, anyway. He got a peek at the kitchen before his boyfriend showed up, and it isn't pretty.
Blaine starts to pout before he takes a whiff and realizes Kurt's right. "Oh no," he whines, spinning on his heel and disappearing into the other room, Kurt right on his heels. Sure enough, the pot on the stove is bubbling furiously, a thick black rim lining the inside where the sauce has burnt itself to the metal. Blaine turns the burner off and sighs, stirring absently at the unappetizing liquid that resembles gasoline more than it does pasta sauce.
Kurt, feeling particularly brave, dips a finger in and licks it experimentally off with his tongue before cringing and quickly filling a glass with water.
"Blaine," he says sternly, "how much garlic did you put in there?"
Blaine shrugs helplessly. "Three teaspoons?"
Kurt reads over the recipe, then looks back at the pot. "Do you actually know how much three teaspoons is?"
"I know what a teaspoon looks like," Blaine mutters, glaring at the floor. "I took Home Ec with Mrs. Larson last year, remember?"
"Wes told me you got a C- in that class, and the only reason she passed you was because you sang at her son's wedding."
Blaine doesn't bother denying it; he just rubs the toe of his shoe into the linoleum and sighs. He hears paper wrinkling, then winces as Kurt begins reading off his list of purchases.
"Garlic bread, ten tomatoes, three cloves of garlic…" He pauses. "Three cloves, Blaine? No wonder this sauce tastes weird. That's the equivalent of, like, a million teaspoons."
"Seriously?" he asks, distraught. He tosses the apron onto the counter and sinks into a chair. "God, I can't do anything right."
Kurt laughs quietly and pulls his chair beside Blaine before sitting down and taking his hands in his. "You can do lots of things right," he says.
"Oh yeah? Like what?"
"For one thing, you're really good at pouting," Kurt teases, which makes Blaine smile a little bit, even though it probably shouldn't. "I'd like to point out the obvious: that you're an excellent singer. You can also play six instruments, which is six more than me. You somehow manage to make old men's clothing look sexy, and I'm pretty sure you have the most amazing smile in the entire world."
Blaine smiles at this, but says nothing.
"You also have a better memory than anyone I know." He gestures to the table setting. "No one ever remembers that I like white roses instead of red, and only my dad seems to know Lady and the Tramp is my favorite Disney movie."
"It's my favorite, too," Blaine says, squeezing Kurt's hand. "Which is why I was trying to make Italian. I know it's your favorite."
"It is," Kurt nods, getting to his feet and pulling Blaine with him. "Unfortunately, Italian doesn't taste very good when burnt."
"One of these days I'm going to get it right," Blaine says, his voice regaining its usual confidence.
Kurt's not so sure, but he nods anyway. "I look forward to it. Until then, how about you leave the cooking to me?"
Reluctantly, Blaine nods and leans in to give his boyfriend a quick kiss. "Deal." He surveys the kitchen and reaches into his pocket for his keys. "Since I ruined dinner, how about I take you to Breadstix to make up for it?"
Kurt bobs his head happily and leads the way out to the car. As the two pull away from the house, their fingers lace together over the dash, he turns to his boyfriend, eyes sparkling mischievously. "Oh, and Blaine?"
"I think you owe me a new cookbook."