As the leader of District Nine it was Connor McKinley's job to ensure everyone had a good birthday. He was in charge of parties, gifts, and, most importantly, the birthday cake.
However, as Elder Thomas' birthday came around, Connor decided that he needed to do something special. Chris was his best friend and companion, a normal birthday cake just wouldn't do. He needed to make something unforgettable, something that would make his companion's face light up with joy.
And so, after hours of researching and careful planning, Connor had finally created an idea that was sure to make Poptarts smile. The idea involved butter, sugar, and a lot of self belief. He'd need some help, and he knew just who to ask.
"You want me to do what?" Kevin asked loudly.
"I need you to help me bake a giant poptart for Elder Thomas' birthday." Connor repeated.
"But why me? I've never baked in my life! Anyway, I'm too busy, you should ask someone else."
"You're… sensible." Connor reasoned, "And I trust you with food preparation more than the other Elders."
This bit of flattery seemed to convince Kevin, as he sighed and followed Connor into the kitchen.
"So how is this going to work?" He asked, scowling at the large pile of ingredients in front of him.
"I have a recipe, it can't be too hard."
"Whatever you say, Elder."
It turned out, that even with a recipe, baking was, in fact, hard. Within half an hour Kevin was ready to give up.
"I swear to Heavenly Father, Elder, my arms are going to fall off. Can't you take over kneading for a minute?"
Connor was too busy reading the recipe to hear Kevin, his brow was furrowed in concentration and he was absent-mindedly fiddling with a spatula. Kevin tried not to stare at the light dusting of flour on the smaller man's nose, smiling as he watched the concentration on Connor's face.
He quickly turned his head as Connor looked up. "I'm sorry, Elder Price, did you say something?"
"N-nothing!" Kevin went pink, ducked his head and concentrated on kneading the dough.
"Looks like you've worked that enough, Elder." Connor said, coming to peer over Kevin's shoulder. "Now, the recipe says we should cut the pastry up into even slices, but since we're making one giant poptart, I guess we just have to split it in half…"
"Right, yeah." Kevin said, removing his hands from the mess. "You do it, I don't know how."
"It's not hard, look!" Connor reached for the dough, accidentally brushing against Kevin as he did so. "Oh, sorry Kev- um, Elder."
"Look, lets just call each other by our first names, okay? We really don't need to be so formal all the time. We're friends, right?"
"Yeah, friends." Connor smiled sadly at his hands as he worked the dough into two equal rectangles.
An awkward silence fell between the two of them, Kevin reached for the recipe and stared hard at the piece of paper.
"So, now we need a filling what are we using?"
"Well, I was thinking we could just use strawberry jam… I think we have a jar in the fridge."
"Um, yeah, okay." Kevin quickly fetched the jar and placed it on the counter next to Connor.
"Thanks." Connor said, still looking at his hands.
"Hey, are you okay?" Kevin had never seen Connor like this before, it was strange to see him without the familiar smile that Kevin was so accustomed to.
"It's nothing, really."
"It's just, I didn't know we were friends." Connor admitted, going red.
Kevin was shocked, he had thought he'd been pretty friendly with most of the Elders in this district, especially Connor.
"N-not that I don't like you, Kevin, it's just that, you know."
"I don't know."
"I didn't think you'd want to be friends with someone like… like…" Connor gestured wildly towards himself.
"Like what, Connor?" Kevin said softly, catching one of Connor's hands and holding it still.
"Like me!" Connor cried, snatching his hand away.
"There's nothing wrong with you." Kevin said slowly, not making any other attempt to touch his friend. "Look, it's okay."
"It's not okay, and it never will be." Connor blinked, trying not to cry, "We need to finish this for Elder Thomas, we need to get back to work."
"No, we're going to sit down and talk." Kevin said bluntly as he guided Connor towards the nearest chair.
"There's nothing to talk about, I'm fine."
"Connor…" Kevin was surprised by this outburst, though he should have known something like this would happen after Connor's constant advice to 'turn off' his problems.
"I promise, I'm okay!" Connor gave an artificial smile as he stood up.
"No, you're not getting away with that." Kevin said, grabbing Connor's hand. After a moment of silence, Connor's face crumpled and he began to cry.
"I'm just, it's so…" Connor sobbed.
"Hey, hey." Kevin said, rising from his chair so he could look Connor in the eye. "Was it my fault? Connor? Connor!"
"It's nothing, I'm being silly."
"That's not true, Connor." Kevin crossed his arms. "Look, you don't have to tell me, but I want to help you. Like I said, we're friends."
Connor looked away and wiped his face on his sleeve before replying, "And like I said, I didn't think you'd want to be friends with me. You're perfect, you're like a Mormon poster child. And look at me, a disappointment."
Kevin pulled Connor into a sudden hug, which surprised both of them. They stayed like that for a while in an awkward embrace, silent apart from Connor's occasional sniffles.
When they finally pulled apart Connor had stopped crying completely and seemed to have regained his composure.
"Better?" Kevin asked, wiping a tear from his friend's cheek.
A strange look glazed Connor's eyes as Kevin touched his face, causing the taller Elder to pause, worried he'd done something wrong.
Suddenly, Connor raised himself onto tiptoes and planted a quick kiss on Kevin's lips.
"Better." He said, blushing. "Now, we really must finish baking this if we're going to get it done on time."
Kevin smiled as he touched a finger to where Connor's lips had brushed his and allowed himself to be lead back towards the abandoned pastry.
Author's Note: This is the most cliché thing I've ever written. Amazing. This happened after a discussion about how the Elder's manage cooking and things just kind of went from there.