AN: The lovely greeneyedAlice91 asked me to write her something for her birthday, insisting that it have a failed baking attempt and lots of kisses, and this is what I came up with.

Disclaimer: I do not own Dead Poets Society, otherwise I wouldn't be writing fan fiction.

Todd returns home from work on his birthday to find the apartment filled with scent of smoke.

"Neil? Why does it smell like smoke?" Todd yells to the apartment at large.

"Todd! You're home!" Neil's voice comes from the kitchen. "And, um, no reason."

Todd shakes his head, smiling slightly, walking towards the kitchen, the smell of smoke getting stronger with each step. When Todd walks into the kitchen he finds Neil standing in the middle of a mess, baking ingredients and dirty dishes are everywhere, and there seems to be a fine layer of flour over everything. A charcoal black cake sits on top of the oven, smoking slightly.

"Happy birthday?" Neil says guiltily.

Todd doesn't say anything, the look on his face indicating that he is either going to start laughing or yelling.

"I…um, tried baking you a cake. But obviously that didn't go very well." Neil says, hanging his head.

Todd's inner struggle ends when laughter bubbles it's way out of Todd throat.

"Come here, you. You have batter in your hair." Todd laughs.

Neil stands still, looking embarrassed as Todd chuckles to himself and makes his way across the kitchen to where Neil stands. Todd reaches up and wipes the cake batter out of Neil's hair.

"You're not mad at me, are you?" Neil asks.

"No. I think it's sweet." Todd says.

"Even though I burned the cake and the kitchen is a mess?"

"Mm-hm." Todd murmurs, leaning in and giving Neil a kiss.

"You taste like cake batter." Todd says when he pulls away.

"I may, um…have had to taste the batter, just to, you know…make sure I was doing it right." Neil says, blushing.

"Were you?" Todd asks.

"Yeah, until I burned the damn thing." Neil says. "Sorry about that."

"Don't be." Todd says, shaking his head and giving Neil another kiss.

"But I wanted to do something special for your birthday." Neil pouts.

"I know. And you tried. It's not your fault that the cake decided to burn itself into a brick."

"…yeah, stupid cake." Neil mumbles.

"Exactly. And who says we need cake to celebrate anyway?" Todd reasons.

"I'll just clean this up, and then we can celebrate for real, okay? Go read or something in living room. I'll let you know when I'm done." Neil says, pushing Todd towards the living room.

"M'kay." Todd says, giving Neil a kiss on his way out of the kitchen.

It takes Neil a while, but eventually he's able to clean the kitchen completely. Todd sits on the couch, as instructed, reading a book of Walt Whitman poetry when Neil walks into the living room, an apple with a single candle sticking out of it in his hand. Neil starts singing 'Happy Birthday' and Todd's head whips up in surprise. Todd smiles as Neil makes his way over to the couch, singing and holding the apple out in front of him, kneeling in front of Todd when he reaches the couch. When Neil finishes singing he looks at Todd expectantly, but Todd just smiles back.

"Well go on then, make a wish." Neil says.

Todd bites his lip, closes his eyes tightly and blows out the candle.

"I know it's not the cake, but it's the best I could do." Neil says as Todd opens his eyes.

"I love it." Todd says.


"Really." Todd says, leaning in a giving Neil a kiss.

Neil moves to sit beside Todd on the couch and holds the apple out to Todd. Todd takes the apple, takes a bite.

"Don't you want a bite of my cake?" Todd asks, holding the apple out to Neil.

Neil smiles, chuckles, and then takes a bite of the apple. They sit in silence, taking turns taking bites of apple, sharing kisses. And although this isn't the most extravagant way Todd has celebrated his birthday, he's pretty sure it's his favorite.