Word Count: 1192
"It's like…cake. Or something."
Tezuka paled, and fiddled with the spoon in his hand. The cake, as Ryoma put it, sat tauntingly in the middle of the plate. It was round and full, with chocolate icing and sprinkles. The words Happy Birthday Buchou ran messily over the front.
Ryoma's face peered up at him. "It's cake. I made it myself."
"Yes," Tezuka nodded. "It's cake. You're very thoughtful for making it."
A solemn expression crossed Ryoma's face, and he pushed the plate right up to Tezuka's chest. "Eat it," he instructed, eyes hard. Tezuka was careful not to swallow in dismay, and maintained steady eye contact. It was a challenge, one that said I put time and effort to make you a damn cake, so you better not complain.
"It looks…lovely." Tezuka stared at the dessert, and wiped sweat from his forehead.
Ryoma glared at him. "Eat it."
If there was one thing Ryoma got defensive about, it was his cooking, which Tezuka could say from experience, was quite horrible. There was no other way to put it. He simply did not know how to cook a decent meal, whether it was cereal in the morning or a fancy gourmet pasta. Ryoma insisted he had skill. He insisted people just had no taste in good food.
"Buchou," Ryoma's voice dragged. "It's not that hard. It tastes good."
Tezuka lifted an eyebrow. "You tried it?"
The cake was nudged even more forcefully. "No. But I know."
If even Ryoma himself hadn't had the courage to take a bite, Tezuka knew he was doomed. He poked the fork unwillingly into the smear of vanilla décor, praying that it tasted as good as it looked. Ryoma's eyes were bright and focused as Tezuka put the piece in his mouth, and Tezuka forced himself to remain impassive as he chewed.
"So, how is it?"
Tezuka grimaced, and coughed. "Good. Echizen, you're getting better."
He swallowed, and tilted his head away from Ryoma's eager eyes. If it was tennis, he would have been harshly honest, but cooking wasn't important. And saying something bad about Ryoma's cake could earn him consequences. As he grimaced, chewed, and grimaced some more, it occurred to him that Ryoma somehow wore the pants on their relationship.
"Here," Ryoma cut a slice out and slid it into the plate.
Tezuka swallowed. "Ah…what's this?"
"The rest of the slice. You can't be full after one bite."
Of course he could be full. In fact, he didn't have the slightest urge to eat. Tezuka finished off his original bite and refrained from making a face. "Actually, Echizen, I'm quite content with just a piece. If you'd like, we can store it in the fridge for later-" Tezuka paused when he found Ryoma glaring at him, face full of mirth.
"You said you liked it."
"I…it was decent."
"Then eat at least a slice," Ryoma's voice bore a whine. "I worked hard on it."
Tezuka's flinched at the request, and his fingers tentatively held the spoon once again. He stared down at the cake, pretty and brown, absolutely foul compared to its aesthetically pleasing look. Ryoma's face was full of expectancy, and Tezuka cut the spoon deep into the cream to take another bite. The utensil hovered in front of his lips.
Ryoma leaned forward. "Eat it."
And Tezuka, unable to refuse the homemade present, had no choice but to do just that.
The bathroom door swung open, and Tezuka walked out. His face was pale, and sweat beaded his forehead. Ryoma frowned as his boyfriend tiredly slipped into the bed, hair disheveled and glasses askew on his nose. "You know," Ryoma tried not to sound offended as he handed a water bottle to Tezuka. "You could have said the truth."
Tezuka took a small sip to get the aftertaste of throw up out of his mouth. "It wasn't bad," Tezuka explained. "It was just…"
"Bad enough to cause you to barf?" Ryoma rolled his eyes, and flipped onto his back. "And I thought buchou was honest."
Ryoma heard a sigh, and the sound of the covers being shuffled as Tezuka's head landed on the pillow. Humid summer rain pounded on the windows. Ryoma stretched, and crawled so he was inches away from Tezuka's face. The older had his eyes closed. "Buchou," Ryoma whispered against the cheek. He moved a strand of brown hair from the captain's face. "There's still some more cake left. In case you're hungry."
"I'm full," Tezuka's response was immediate.
Ryoma smirked, and nuzzled his nose against Tezuka's forehead. "Thought so."
Tezuka turned and his arms went around Ryoma's waist. He pulled him to his chest. "You didn't eat anything," he said nonchalantly, in such a deep 'buchou' voice that Ryoma barely caught the sass. "Aren't you hungry? Birthday cake is for everyone, even the baker."
Ryoma pressed his face against Tezuka's chest, concentrating on the steady heartbeat. Tezuka's fingers stroked through his hair, and he struggled to think up a comeback. After a moment, he just said 'che' and snuggled under his chin. Tezuka continued to card his fingers through Ryoma's hair, and held him at the waist. "It was very thoughtful."
"It would be a shame to let it go to waste."
"We could give it to Momo," Ryoma grinned. He shifted so his right thigh brushed against Tezuka's. Tezuka narrowed his eyes and shook his head, but Ryoma mentally decided that was exactly what he would do. It would be fun to see Momo choke and sputter at the horrible taste of his cake. Wait. No, that wasn't right. His cake was good, but nobody just had any sense of taste.
"They say you should never go to sleep with a hungry stomach," Ryoma finally murmured.
Tezuka replied in an utterly serious voice, "There's leftover cake in the fridge if you're hungry."
"You can eat it tomorrow," Ryoma turned and faced him. Their noses touched. "I don't like sweet things."
Tezuka raised an eyebrow. "That goes for Ponta too?"
Ryoma cursed mentally, and wondered when Tezuka had gotten so good with his dry comebacks. At the start of their relationship, Tezuka had never retorted to his sass, but slowly, he was starting to realize that he couldn't let Ryoma get away with it. Ryoma wasn't sure if he liked this or not, but Tezuka's faint smile of satisfaction was worth it.
"Buchou's being mean," Ryoma finally settled for.
Tezuka gripped him. "I think we should go to sleep. It's been a long day."
The sentence was the finality of their argument, and Ryoma curled up against the warm of Tezuka's flesh as the latter pulled the covers over the both of them. Rain clattered against the window, and the small fan by their bedside whirred in tune. Ryoma, eyes already half-closing, thought about how incredulous the day had been. He had dragged Tezuka to the amusement park (and Tezuka hated rollercoasters) and then fed him cake that made him throw up. A smile dimmed Ryoma's face as his eyelids fluttered shut.
It was probably Tezuka's best birthday yet.