Mrs. Fields Ain't Got Nothing On Him

Spot Conlon made the best Christmas cookies.

This wasn't opinion. This was a cold, hard, fact.

Everyone knew it. Just taking a bite out of one of those Christmas tree cookies, covered in those little green glittery sugar-crystals . . .it was like Heaven. Cookie Heaven.

Of course, nobody said anything. Spot didn't like people advertising the fact that he was a master cookie baker. Race wondered why Spot didn't just stop making them, if he didn't want people to know. Then he figured that, if Spot stopped because of other people, that would make him look weak. So Spot kept doing it, while silently intimidating everyone to keep their big mouths shut about it. And they did. At least to his face.

Along the way, Race had somehow become Spot's Christmas cookie handler. Race thought it might be on account of the fact that he had known Spot the longest. If anyone else asked Spot for cookies, they'd just end up with a glare and, "Make your own damn cookies."

On the other hand, when Race asked on behalf of his poor, cookie starved friends, he would usually just get a grunt and a noncommittal shrug. However, the next day there would always be a new batch of cookies in Race's locker, ready to be delivered. It wasn't like Spot didn't know that Race was delivering Christmas cookies to other people. Race made it a point to never ask for cookies for himself. It wasn't that he didn't think Spot's Christmas cookies were delicious. He did, and he snagged at least one from every batch Spot made. But the idea of asking Spot to make cookies for him just felt . . . wrong. It was an unwritten rule in their friendship. In fact, it was so unwritten that Race honestly didn't know if Spot cared about it one way or another. However, even if he knew Spot didn't care, Race still wouldn't ask. Other people asked Spot for cookies. Not him.

He hadn't given this policy much thought, until he made a particularly surprising discovery. See, it turned out that he kinda liked watching Spot bake. In a less-than-totally-pure-intentions kind of way. Race had come to this realization totally by accident. He and Spot had plans to go to the mall, since Race still needed to get presents for his family. He had dropped by Spot's house and, as usual, just walked right in. Spot was in the kitchen, as usual, baking away.

Now, it wasn't like Race had never seen Spot bake cookies before. Hell, in a few misguided attempts at bonding he'd even helped Spot. Or rather, Race had tried to help him. So there was nothing particularly unique or special about what Race had seen.

Except . . .Race hadn't really noticed Spot baking before. He hadn't noticed the way Spot focused so intently when he was measuring ingredients. Or the way his face screwed up against the heat when he was grabbing things out of the oven. Or about a million other things that Race hadn't noticed until he did, and it changed everything.

He had just stared for a few minutes, unaware of how much time had passed, until Spot turned to him and said, "You ready to go yet?"

Instantly it had snapped Race out of his trance, and he quickly looked away and attempted to give the impression that he had been fixated by the magnets on Spot's refrigerator before answering, "I've been waiting here long enough."

They had gone to the mall, and Spot hadn't said anything about the incident, and Race sure as hell wasn't going to bring it up. He had a few theories about this sudden noticing, none of which made him feel particularly comfortable with himself.

The obvious solution to the problem would just be to avoid Spot while he was baking. This didn't completely erase the problem, but at least made it easier to ignore. However, trying to avoid Spot while he was baking was more difficult than it sounded. It was pretty easy to stay away from Spot's house. But Spot had the tendency to use Race's kitchen for baking, particularly if he had a lot of cookies to make, since Race's kitchen was both larger than Spot's and easier to maneuver. And, considering that Race's house had the same open-door policy for Spot as Spot's house did for Race, it was pretty hard to avoid the sight of Spot working in the kitchen. Race tried to distract himself with homework and games, but he couldn't help the occasional sideways glance.

As a last ditch effort, Race decided to adopt the policy of total avoidance. If Spot was around, Race was very conspicuously not. It definitely wasn't the most well thought out plan, but Race was desperate. Honestly, him crushing on Spot actually made a lot of things in his life make more sense. Like how Race could stand to be around Spot for so long. Still, Race was kinda hoping that he had some kind of non-Spot-Conlon-specific cookie-baking fetish or something. It would make his life a whole lot easier. Weirder, but easier.

Race was lying on his bed, contemplating his predicament, when he heard a knock on his bedroom door. He stood up, and before he could reach it, Spot had already barged in. As Race was standing there, Spot shoved a wrapped package at him and said, "You're a moron, you know that?"

Race looked down at the package that had been forced in his hands, then looked back up at Spot. ". . . What's this?"

Spot gave Race his patented, "Why do I have to waste my time dealing with idiots like you?" look. "Do I really gotta tell you?"

Race slowly opened the package. They were still warm. Race figured Spot must have pulled them out from the oven and then come over to Race's house. It took Race a second to keep up with what was going on. He hadn't ordered cookies for anyone else. Which meant . . .

Race gave the cookies in his hands a long look, then looked back at Spot, who seemed simultaneously annoyed, exasperated, and a little awkward. He caught Race's gaze, and held it. If there was one thing Race knew about Spot Conlon, besides the fact that he was an amazing Christmas cookie chef, it was that Spot Conlon wasn't stupid.

And so, Race decided that it was his turn to take a chance. It was a gamble, but if there was any possibility that they were on the same page, then it was definitely worth taking, no doubt about it. Race leaned forward, slowly, haltingly, giving Spot the chance to move away if he wanted to.

The kiss was barely one at all. Just a light touch of lips. But the second it happened, Race knew there was absolutely no going back. He had fallen for Spot Conlon, and no amount of ill-planned avoidance was going to change that. If Spot was now going to hate him forever, well, Race would just have to live with that. Race moved back. Spot still looked slightly annoyed, but now he had the smallest hint of a smile. It wasn't often that Spot genuinely smiled. Race took this to be a good sign, and smiled back. Then smirked, and said, "I really hope you don't do that with everyone you bake cookies for."

Hey, he could only handle so much sincerity. For his part, Spot rolled his eyes and fired back with, "Why else do you think your mom keeps asking for more?"

Not even a cheap "Your Mom" shot could bring Race out of his good mood. He grabbed one of his cookies, and took a bite.

"Merry Christmas, asshole."

Spot flashed him a quick smile. "Yeah, yeah. Merry Christmas."