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The Trial of Dessert

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“Why is the cheesecake… bleeding?”

To be fair, Bond has never been good at baking.

His style is more of instinctively adding spices and seasonings until things taste good, and that’s why he’s better at cooking up savory dishes rather than baking sweets and pastries and cakes and whatever else.

Baking requires specific requirements and measurements, and Bond has neither the patience nor concentration to do that because frankly, he can sit in the same place for one whole day waiting for his target with the utmost, unwavering focus. But he doesn’t want to do that when it’s supposed to be his downtime.

“It’s, uh…” Bond gestures at the… mess (yes, that’s what it is; there’s no doubt about it) that he’s made of his once rather decently likable creation. “It’s a… well, it’s supposed to be a mirror glaze cheesecake.” He clears his throat, trying not to fidget outright. “Obviously, the mirror glaze was too thin, so… all of it ran off…”

And leaves behind red-stained, gooey-looking patches that make it look like the cake is, well, bleeding.

If it isn’t for the rack, the entire thing would absolutely seem even more like it’s sitting in its own pool of blood.

Generally speaking, the cake appears very unappetizing.

“Wait!” Bond starts when Q just unceremoniously pokes a finger into the pooling mirror glaze and pops it into his mouth.

“What?” Q mumbles around the digit, eyeing Bond curiously. “It tastes just fine; it’s the consistency that’s off. I’m sure you know that you’re just lacking some extra gelatin. The white chocolate itself is very good.”

Something in Bond incrementally relaxes at the fact that Q actually enjoys at least that much. “You weren’t supposed to be back this soon,” he says suddenly.

Q shrugs. “‘Figured that R could hold down the fort well enough for me to sneak off a bit earlier every once in a while.” He arches an eyebrow at Bond. “What? You sound like you were seriously considering the option of scrapping clean all this and start over or something before I got home.”

If Bond is to be honest (which he mostly isn’t), he really doesn’t know what he would’ve done.

After all, he may know how to probably fix a too salty pot of soup, sure, but he technically doesn’t know what to do when a bloody mirror glaze refuses to stick.

Which is a somewhat ridiculous thought, given the fact that he’s killed people through many improvised ways before.

Q huffs a fond laugh, and because Bond is still busy frowning holes into his gory little cheesecake, he doesn’t catch it until Q has already closed in to capture his lips in a soft kiss.

“It’s salvageable. Promise,” Q murmurs with a smile once they part, barely an inch between themselves. “Let me help you with it.”

“It was supposed to be a small surprise for you,” Bond says, strangely disappointed.

“It still is, and I love it. So stop sulking like a big ol’ cat.” Q grins.

It’s Bond’s turn to smirk as he slips an arm around Q’s waist. “Certainly not the worst thing someone’s called me by.”

“Yes, of course not,” Q replies, a knowing glint in his mischievous eyes. “Now, come on. We’ve got some gelatin sheets to soak.”