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Title: Bake
Pairing: Gideon and Reid friendship
Rating: PG-13
Summary: Some favours are more trouble than they're worth.
Disclaimer: Criminal Minds, its characters, actors, etc do not belong to me.

Written last August after a disasterous baking attempt by my sister and myself. Part of my Reid FF100 series.

"Thanks for doing this, Gideon," Reid repeated for the dozenth time. "I really want to do something nice for my mom's birthday this year, and she's always had a bit of a sweet tooth."

Jason shook his head dismissively with a smile. "It's my pleasure, Reid. I think it's great you want to make her homemade cookies. I'm sure she'll love it."

"I've never baked anything before," the younger profiler stated, standing nervously in the middle of his boss' immaculate kitchen, an appropriate amount of awe on his face. Although he'd taught himself to cook after his dad had left, Reid had never had a need to try his hand at baking. He'd been unsure how Gideon would respond when he'd asked the older man to teach him how to make cookies. Gideon's enthusiastic agreement had surprised him, but the invitation to his house had been a real shock. Reid knew how private his boss was, and how closely he coveted his personal space. For him to allow Spencer into his kitchen, of all places, spoke volumes about the amount of trust he had in the young genius.

"Baking isn't that difficult. I'm sure you'll get the hang of it in no time," Jason assured him, opening the recipe book to a marked page. "I thought we'd try this one: M&M cookies with frosting. They're pretty simple to make."

Spencer nodded his approval, his hands still in his pockets as if afraid of accidentally defiling his mentor's house. Gideon gave a small smile at the action, by now used to the innate awkwardness of the BAU's youngest member. He went about the kitchen, gathering the ingredients and bowls they would need. Once assembled, he pointed to the first instruction on the page, beckoning Reid closer.

"We mix the dry ingredients separately from the wet," he informed his student. "So, first, we measure out four cups of flour for the smaller bowl."

He demonstrated, leveling a cup of the powdery substance and emptying its contents into the silver mixing-bowl, before making Reid do it. The young profiler's hands shook slightly as he attempted to make the cup level on the first try. Gideon cleaned the spilt flour with a damp rag, assuring Spencer that accidents were bound to happen. They continued measuring, both taking turns as they read out the instructions.

"Good," Jason complimented as Reid managed to empty a cup and a half of sugar into the bowl without spilling. He knew that the young genius was prone to clumsiness whenever he was nervous or over thinking things, so the best course of action was to put him at ease as much as possible. He handed him a smaller bowl. "Now, I want you to break two eggs and put them in here."

Reid accepted the bowl and set about his task with all of the dedication and precision of a bomb diffuser, something akin to pride in his eyes as he set the full bowl back in front of his mentor. It almost broke Gideon's heart to have to correct it.

"Generally, we don't want to leave egg shells in them," he advised, keeping his tone light as he watched Spencer flush with embarrassment. "But we can just spoon those out," he assured the younger man.

They slowly progressed through the recipe, Gideon occasionally throwing out pointers that Reid followed to the best of his ability. They had just thrown the cookies in the oven and started making the frosting when a high-pitched noise startled them both. Gideon took out his pager and looked at the name on the screen.

'Jessica.' His girlfriend.

He glanced at Reid, whose eyebrows had developed a slight crease as he read the next line of instructions for the frosting. Gideon was hesitant to leave the inexperienced baker to his own devices. On the other hand, the young man had an IQ of 187, and if Gideon ignored Jessica's call, he'd be paying for it for a week.

Spencer turned, noticing Gideon's frozen form behind him.

"Is everything alright?"

Gideon nodded. "I have to return this call," he informed him, gesturing to his home office. "I'll be back in a few minutes."

Reid opened his mouth to protest, fear in his eyes, but Jason cut him off.

"Just keep following the directions like we've been doing. You'll be fine," he soothed, unsure whether he believed that himself as he made his way to hall and into his office, closing the door.

Spencer watched his departure, accepting Gideon's confidence in him. He turned back to the recipe book with determination. It was only cookies; how hard could it be?

- ~ * ~ -

"...I know we haven't gone anywhere in a while," Gideon sighed, sitting at his desk. "But you know what my schedule's like."

He paused, listening as Jessica argued.

"-Look, I promise I'll take you out soon," he interrupted. "We'll go somewhere nice. Just the two of-"

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

Jason looked up in surprise at the noise. The emotion was soon replaced with mild alarm as he realized that the smoke detector was going off. He jumped up from his desk before remembering that he was still on the phone.

"Jessica, I can't talk now," he stated, trying to control the emotion in his voice. "I'll call you later, I promise."

He hung up on her, opening the door to his office and rushing back into the kitchen.

Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.

The kitchen was filled with smoke, but small orange flames were still visible through the haze. He grabbed the fire extinguisher off of the wall, rushing towards the flaming oven and covering it with a small layer of foam, ignoring the sting in his eyes as the smoke briefly increased. Satisfied that the flames were gone, he set the extinguisher on the floor with a sigh, coughing and blinking as his eyes attempted to focus.

Gideon waved the smoke away with his hand, and instantly wished he hadn't, as the rest of the room became more visible. The once pristine kitchen had been transformed into a disaster area. Pink, runny frosting dripped from the ceiling above the blender, landing on the counter and floor, both of which were already covered in pools of milk. The ground and open oven were littered with still-smoldering cookies, most of them charred beyond any recognition.

In the midst of it all stood a bewildered and overwhelmed Reid, covered in frosting and cautiously nursing his left hand.

Gideon shook his head in disbelief.

"What happened?" He questioned, gesturing at the kitchen that had once been his pride and joy. Reid looked at the ground.

"I was following the recipe, just like you said," he rambled. "I was blending the frosting, and then smoke started coming out of the oven, so I tried to take the cookies out, but then the smoke was everywhere, and the lid came off the blender, and then I forgot I only had one oven mitt so I burnt my hand when I grabbed the tray, and I dropped them on the counter but it knocked over the milk and the tray fell off-"

Gideon waved his hand, cutting him off. He guided Spencer toward the sink, handing him a cold washcloth for his injured hand, which thankfully wasn't burnt all that badly. Both men then turned to survey the kitchen once more.

Reid tore his eyes away from the scene to glance nervously at his motionless mentor. Gideon stared passively at the mess. Finally, he reached into his back pocket and got out his wallet, pulling a twenty-dollar bill from within its folds. He silently handed the money to a hesitant Reid.

"What's this for?" Spencer asked confusedly, accepting the billfold in his good hand with some apprehension.

Gideon's eyes made another sweep of his destroyed kitchen. He sighed, grabbing another nearby washcloth, and began what was sure to be the thankless and time-consuming task of cleaning up.

"Do us both a favor, Reid; - go and buy your mother some cookies."


Keep Smiling! ;)


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 24th, 2008 11:57 am (UTC)
Ahaha, I know exactly how he feels. I can't crack egss, either and I'm more likely to set the kitchen on fire, than to get anything done. LOL
May. 24th, 2008 03:38 pm (UTC)
I'm the same on occassion. This fic was spawned from two hours of cleaning strawberry creme off my kitchen walls lol. Thanks for the review!
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )