Beep. Beep. Beep.

“Quentin, can you check in the oven to see if they’re ready? My hands are a bit full right now and I don’t want them to burn!” Yael calls out from his studio, the door wide open so he could hear the timer he had set up for the cookies he’d set up in the oven just half an hour earlier, less really.

He doesn’t expect them to be ready, perhaps why he has gone to his studio to bring out the painting he has been working on and off since he’s first moved in. It has changed in ways that are not all that hard to explain but still are a sight to behold. He’s almost done with it, that painting where they all are in there, at least the version where they all look as they do now and not the olden-day version.

He listens to Quentin’s echoing footsteps as they enter the kitchen, straining his ears a little. He barely hears the click of the oven door being open but he hears it thump shut a minute later. “You should come and see this, Yael, they’re beautifully golden and the scent of them, oh man this is divine, do we really have to share?”

Yael laughs as he looks down at his setup. He shakes his head, puts his palette down along with his brushes and he heads off into the kitchen, knowing he’ll have to wash his hands and arms before he can do anything at all. How he ended up covered in paint splatters he’s not exactly sure, not that he cares.

As he steps into the kitchen, the scent of freshly baked, warm cookies fills his nose and he sighs. This is one of the reasons why he loves spending time in the kitchen when he can. It hardly is his preferred method of spending time but he still loves being in the kitchen, mostly for baking.

“Quentin, I’ll have several dozens of these when they’re done, I made them to be shared so yes, they’ll have to be shared, even though you might think you should gobble them all down, especially while they’re still steaming hot. You can have one and then you can feed me one before I wash my arms up. Did you put the second batch in?”

Once given the go-ahead, Quentin uses a small spatula to slide two of the delicious looking cookies closer to him and off the pan. He gobbles one right up, burning his tongue slightly as he goes and he sets the second one briefly to the side to give it a few second to cool so he can let Yael have it. “I did put the second batch in and those are so good I don’t know that I’ll be able to not eat them all, love.”

Yael laughs and shakes his head. He nods towards the little timer sitting on the counter and Quentin turns it back up to twenty minutes. Then he takes the slightly, just barely, cooled cookie and Yael opens his mouth, chewing on it once Quentin dropped it past his lips. “This is tastier than I expected it. The recipe was leaving me a bit uncertain, honestly so this is a good result. I’m glad. I think, though, that I’ll stick out here while they all cook since I expect I might otherwise come to find plenty missing when they all are done because someone, or even several littler someones decided they wanted to sample more than just one.”

Quentin sticks his tongue out but steps away from the kitchen, knowing that if he does stay he’ll be more than a little tempted to eat more than a single cookie until Yael gives him another go-ahead to essentially pig out on them.

“If they turn out to be a success, I’ll just have to make a habit of baking them. I’ll bake them so often you’ll get sick of them and at that point I’ll be able to let everyone else enjoy them as they should.” Yael snickers as Quentin moves back down the hall to his own working room and Yael lets him, knowing better than to follow and ask him what he’s working on.

The scent of cookies has filled the whole house, no room seems to be an exception and no matter where he steps, he can almost taste those cookies. As he steps into the kitchen, he notices a small plate with a handful of cookies on them and a little note.

All yours. Is all that is written on the note and Quentin chuckles softly, picking one of the cooled cookie and putting it into his mouth. He stretches a little, looking to the side and to Yael’s closed studio door. He’ll leave him to work, knowing that the large painting of everyone on their ‘family’ is coming along well and he figures that adding in minute details is all Yael has left to do though there are a lot of those details. He’s plenty fine with that.

Half an hour later, when he’s still making sure to take his time to eat those cookies left out for him, Quentin notices Yael’s studio door easing open, a soft creaking sound coming from the hinges. He takes note of it, reminding himself to do something about that as he rather likes the idea of doors swinging open and closed without even the hint of a sound.

Yael steps out, arms and hands still covered in little splotches of pain. Quentin notices that there even are some in his hair and he laughs softly, shaking his head as he does. “I think we’re going to have a bit of a soak, Yael. A soak and then a good wash up though we could just go with the washing up but you’ve got paint up in your hair. I swear at times I think you forget you have your brush in your hand and you scratch your hair. It’s the only explanation I can think of.”

Yael stops in the kitchen, peering at his reflection in mirror sitting above the sink. There are bits of extra colour to his hair and one particularly long streaks of bright blue that shouldn’t be there. He shakes his head, amazed at his inability to keep clean when he paints. He can’t understand it. “I think a shower should be enough. We’ll bring in that water-safe stool and you can have a rub-a-dub-dub at my hair to get all that paint out. I honestly feel more like a steam than a soak so I think that a quick wash up before we steam should be okay?”

Quentin nods, offering one of his last saved cookies over. Yael chuckles as he takes it, murmuring a soft thank you before they start on their way towards their shared bathroom.

“I’m almost done with that big painting. All the details though, they’ll take some time. The bits of shading left but the hair stands, the detail in the eyes. I have to add the piercing in Mira’s ears and Agni’s eyebrow. Little things that have changed since I’ve added everyone in. At times I feel bad that I’ve had to erase Zora from it but she didn’t really fit anymore. I don’t think she ever fit, not with how she acted around all of us. Does that make me a bad person?”

Quentin shakes his head, leaning into the shower to drop the stool in and get the water going. “She always acted as though she wasn’t comfortable around us, despite that we were all like her, Armin aside, that is though he’s like us in his own way. It’s not like we went out of our way to make her uncomfortable, hell Eoghan did all he could to make her as comfortable as he could. She just preferred to go her own way, that’s all there is to that. You shouldn’t think too much about it. Let’s just have ourselves a shower, all right? After that, I can show you what I’ve been working on, I think you’re going to like it. I certainly do like it myself and I’m pretty proud of it.”

“Anything you make is beautiful, Quentin. I’m sure it’ll be awe-inspiring.”


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