Breakfast with Jack and Vincent
What: Anything about Jack and Vi!
When: Summer before 12th grade
Word count: 858
commissioned by @cekorax
“You’re really not talking to me?”
Vincent doesn’t say a word. He doesn’t need to since he opts to walk around the kitchen island, taking the longer, less convenient route back to the stove and successfully avoiding even the briefest eye contact.
“I’m...” Jack stops himself with a light huff, then spoons cereal into his mouth to cover it. He wants to say sorry for getting Vince in trouble again, but he promised he wouldn’t anymore. Gavin asked him not to before him and Mom left for their brunch date.
So now they both get to suffer.
As if to revel in that suffering, the bane of their co-existence marches into the kitchen after a pause and a luxurious stretch. King, Vincent’s Bengal kitten, pads after his owner without a care in the world or so much as a glance at Jack.
“What are you making?” Jack can’t help but try again.
Vincent ignores him.
Several more minutes pass of Jack trying to find entertainment in the back of the French Toast Crunch box, but he quickly ends up surreptitiously watching Vincent prep his breakfast instead. The flour is out which had gained his immediate interest. Vince never messes with baking stuff. Oh, unless—
“Are you making pancakes?”
Ignored again. He finally decides he’s going to give up for real this time… until the unmistakable smell of burning batter reaches his nose. Accompanied by the familiar sound of Vincent’s quiet swearing. Oh, boy. Should he say something? Every time he opens his mouth, it just seems to make things worse. Hopefully, he hasn’t added extra baking powder again. Maybe he could just check things out…?
Sneaky. Jack is operating with such stealth right now. The sink is close enough to the stove that he’s able to sneak a peek at Vincent’s work. There’s a lot of batter. He watches him flip over the pancake with thinly veiled interest and immediately sees the issue.
“Oh… it’s pale.” And burnt around the edges and in the middle somehow.
Vincent’s head snaps to him with so much ferocity, it threatens to make Jack’s own neck hurt. He offers a nervous smile and takes half a step away.
“I don’t need you to tell me that,” Vincent remarks, every ounce of the annoyance on his face leaking into his tone. “I have eyes.”
“Right, sorry.” Vincent moves to throw this failed pancake out which lets Jack notice the open recipe book on the counter next to a plate of distinctly anemic, though not burned, rejects. King stands on his forelegs, propped up against the counter, his attention focused on this precarious pile of pancakes, tail swishing. Jack quietly nudges the plate a safer distance from the edge. That tiny thing has a reach. Hm… “Um, you might want to raise the fire a bit? Instead of leaving them in for longer.”
Vince sighs over the trash. Then, after a tortured pause, he drags his feet back over to the stove.
“I can’t do that,” Vince mumbles, staring at his yellow pancakes. “They always come out like that. No matter what I do.” He pores over the simple recipe again, probably for the third or fourth time. “They never brown if I up the heat; they just burn.”
“But if they aren’t browning, they’re probably undercooked,” Jack says, as gently as he can. Vincent doesn’t reply but Jack’s mind churns as he stares at the pancakes. They don’t look undercooked… Might as well try one.
“Hey.” Vincent admonishes Jack but the taller boy doesn’t register it.
“Wait a sec. Vince—”
“These are perfect!” Jack takes another bite. “Better than perfect, oh my God.”
Vincent sighs, irritated.
“Don’t give me that, Goodnight. They don’t even look like pancakes, they look like…”
Vincent throws him a flat look.
“Yeah! Because they’re light and fluffy but also crispy at the edge, like—man, these don’t even need butter! You can just go straight to syrup.”
Vincent stares at Jack for a prolonged moment, then looks away, rubbing his arm.
“That’s only because if I don’t use a lot of butter they burn on the outside before they cook inside…” He turns the stove off, an uncomfortable look on his face. “That’s probably why they come out looking weird.”
“But they don’t look weird! They’re cute.” Jack beams, holding up what’s left of the pancake he snatched. By now, Toast has trotted into the kitchen—which makes sense for the butter-loving retriever. “And they taste great, that’s the best part.”
Vincent crosses his arms for a second before quickly uncrossing them. He stands there awkwardly for another moment before opting to get another plate out.
“Well. If you like them, just have some.” He practically shoves the plate into Jack’s chest. “I’m fed up with getting it wrong over and over.”
“I can have some?” He’s not hungry anymore but he definitely has room for these.
“Yeah, just…” Vincent mumbles something to himself. Jack smiles.
“Thanks. You know, you could call them angelcakes instead.”
“Oh, or sunshinecakes?”
“I said stop it.”
“Shut. Up, Jack.”
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