Ah, this turned out longer than I was expecting. Sorry for the inaccuracies, I’ve never taken home ec, so I don’t know much about how it works. ^^’

Also, this fic is full of awkward ahh. xD

                 Despite having overslept, Rin had arrived to the classroom with ten minutes to spare, and was glad to see not everyone had shown up yet.

“Ah, Matsuoka-senpai!” Aiichiro waved Rin over to a seat near the left of the class.

                 Rin’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion as he walked over. “Nitori? What are you doing here?”

                “Well, I’m enrolled in the class, so…”

                “No, no. I mean, I thought you were a first year.”

                “Oh! I am. Home Ec. is a combined class!”

                “Ah. Right, right.” Rin took a glance around the class, shrugged, and took his seat next to Aiichiro. A few more students began to file into the classroom during the long silence between the two boys.

                “I…I tried to wake you this morning, but you were acting really grumpy, so I didn’t want to make you angry.

                “Oh, sorry. I didn’t get much sleep last night. Don’t hesitate to wake me again if you need to. I won’t get mad or anything.”

                “Oh. Okay, Senpai!”

                Another silence. Rin felt slightly awkward; he hadn’t really spoken much to Aiichiro except at swim practice, but even then, he was the one to do most of the talking. “So,” Rin attempted the break the silence. “How are you, um…liking Samezuka?”

     Shit, what the hell kind of dumb question was that?

                “Oh, it’s really nice! Everyone here is so ambitious, it intimidates me a little bit.” He rubbed the back of his neck. “But it also makes me want to work harder, so it’s inspiring too, I suppose.” He smiled brightly at Rin.

                “Ah, that’s cool, I guess.”

                Damnit, the least you could do was come up with a better response after that stupid-ass question.

                It was silent again, and Rin felt like crawling into a hole. Aiichiro looked completely unfazed by the silence, so why was it so damn awkward for Rin? Thankfully, more students filled the classroom and the teacher began giving instructions when the class started. Their assignment was to pair up with one or two other people and bake a cake of their choice; just so long as it wasn’t anything too fancy.

                “Wanna be partners, Matsuoka-senpai?”

                “Uh, sure.” It wasn’t like he knew anyone else in the class, but he figured he’d pair with Aiichiro anyhow.  “So, a cake, huh? What kind of a cake were you thinking?”

                “Well, we have to be simple, right? Do you like chocolate?”

                “Yeah.”

                “Okay, let’s make a simple chocolate cake then!”

                “Right.”

                Aiichiro smiled and hummed as he opened one of the recipe books and started to gather the ingredients.

                “How much baking experience do you have, anyway?” Rin asked.

                “Not much other than the few things my mom taught me. How about you?”

                “Ah, well…” Rin had never baked a thing in his life. Wait, no, scratch that. He vaguely remembered helping his mom and Kou bake a few batches of cookies once. He’d rather not be in the class at all, but it was some dumb requirement he had to fulfill. “I don’t really know anything about baking…”

                “That’s okay, Senpai! I’ll help you out!” Aiichiro smiled at him again.

                This kid sure smiled a lot. It was actually kind of cute. Wait, cute?! No, that’s not at all what I meant!

“Okay, the book says to preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Can you do that for me while I start the cocoa powder mixture?”

                “Uh, yeah…” Rin awkwardly walked over to the oven.

                Preheat the oven? That means you turn it on, right? And set it? Um…how do I do this? Ah shit, Rin, it’s not that hard. You’ll just look like an idiot.

                After awkwardly fiddling with the knobs for a bit, Rin finally figured it out. Thankfully, Aiichiro hadn’t seemed to notice him struggling with it.

                “Okay, next we have to mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. And then mix the butter and sugar together. Wanna sift the flour while I handle the butter and sugar?”

                “Yeah, okay.”

                Wait, sift? Shit, what the hell does THAT mean?

                Rin looked to Aiichiro who was happily mixing away.

                Why is this kid so happy all of the time, Christ!

He looked back to the table and at the ingredients sitting before him. It was no use, he’d have to have to ask for help. “Um, Nirtori? What is…sifting exactly?”

                “Oh! Sorry, I figured you knew!” He rushed over and retrieved a mug-like thing from the cupboard. “You put the flour in this and shake it out into the bowl. It’s supposed to make the flour fluffier!”

                “Ah, okay.” He reached over to take the sifter from Aiichiro and felt his fingers brush lightly over his. Rin flung his hand away instantly at the touch, which seemed like a dumb move, but Aiichiro hadn’t seemed to notice and walked back to his station to finish mixing.

                Crap, what the hell was that?! Guh, stop acting so weird, Rin!

                Rin went to sifting the ingredients and set the bowl aside once he finished, feeling quite proud of his work. “Okay, so what’s next?”

                “We need to beat the eggs into the butter one at a time, then add the flour mixture and the cocoa powder mixture.”

                “Hmm, right.” Rin grabbed an egg and cracked it over the bowl, at least this he knew how to do. As he mixed the eggs in one by one, Aiichiro stood by and added the flour and the cocoa powder to the bowl. “Oh, Nitori. You have some flour on your cheek.”

                Not thinking, Rin reached out and brushed his thumb over Aiichiro’s cheek to wipe off the flour. He froze in place once he realized what he was doing and then withdrew his hand at lightning speed and turned away to hide his heating face.

               “Oh. T-thank you, Senpai…” Aiichiro murmured, this being the quietest he’s been all day.

               “Yeah…no problem.”

                Shit, Rin. What the hell is with you today?! Why are you blushing?!

                “Um, so we just need to put the mix into the cake pans and it’ll be ready for the oven!”

                “Ah, r-right.” Rin cleared his throat and emptied the mix into the pan while Aiichiro smoothed the surface out. They both reached for the pan at the same time and bonked their heads together. “Ow, shit, Nitori! Your head made out of steel or something?”

               “Ah, s-sorry, Senpai!” Aiichiro stammered, rubbing his head.

                Rin rubbed his head too and glanced up at Aiichiro who was now wiping a stray tear from his eyes.

                Huh, I never noticed his eye color before. They’re actually…really pretty.

               “Your eyes are nice.”

               “What?”

               Shit. I said that out loud?!

              “Um…your eyes. They’re a pretty color. I never got a good look at them before now, so…”

               A blush spread across Aiichiro’s face. “Eh? Th-thank you very much, Matsuoka-senpai!”

              “So, um…we gonna put this thing in the oven or what?”

              “Y-yes! Of course!” Aiichiro grabbed the pan and put in into the oven while Rin set the timer.

              They actually did pretty well for timing, being one of the first groups to get their cake into the oven. Once all the cakes were done, the teacher walked around and tested each of them. Rin and Aiichiro received a B+ for their cake, which Rin happily accepted since he’d never baked anything before.

              They were allowed to take the cake once class got out and the two took it back to their dorm and shared it that night after swim practice.