The sound of birds chirping outside their bedroom window woke Audrey up from a formless dream, and she stretched her arms with a tiny yawn. It was only when her arms hit empty sheets that she opened her eyes fully and saw that Seymour had already gotten up.
She smiled a chipper smile and sat up, just as she heard something from the master bathroom. Her brow furrowed and she swung her legs over the side of the bed, standing up slowly and calling out in a voice a bit scratchy from sleep, "Seymour? Is that you?"
She barely heard his response: a weak, muffled "I'm fine" before a violent dry heave.
She lunged to the door and tugged it open, seeing Seymour kneeling in front of the toilet with his face hovering close over the bowl. His eyes were wide and glistening with tears and the hand he had resting on the porcelain was bleeding onto the floor.
Her hands flew up to cover her mouth and she knelt beside him, rubbing his back and saying in a panicked tone, "Seymour, sweetheart, what's wrong? What happened?" She kept one hand on his back and cupped his cheek with the other.
He gestured with the hand that was bleeding and said weakly, "I'm sorry Audrey, I didn't mean to wake you up, I just woke up early to plant some tulips for you, it was going to be a surprise, but the p-pruning shears slipped, and-"
His voice trailed off, and the color drained from his face as he said, "It just… reminded me of-" quickly resting both hands back on the bowl and dry heaving weakly. Audrey's expression fell, but she knew what they both needed was a distraction.
"You were plantin' tulips, for me?"
"I remembered how much you liked doing the Easter arrangements, but if you don't like them I can always give a few to the neighbors-"
She let out an excited squeak and ran her manicured nails through his curls, saying, "Seymour, that's so sweet! I didn't know you remembered that!"
She stood up and grabbed a washcloth from the towel rack, wrapping it gingerly around his hand before saying excitedly, "C'mon, I'll help you plant them after we have breakfast!"
He offered her a queasy smile and followed her out of the bathroom and into the kitchen.
She started gathering everything she would need for pancakes, setting out a pan and the different ingredients before freezing in her tracks. She turned to see him bashfully entering the kitchen, and said while digging around one of the drawers, "Ya can't hold that washcloth on your hand all day, here, I'll get ya a bandage."
He stepped closer and held out his hand when she asked for it, wincing only slightly as she wrapped a clean bandage around it. She taped it in place and gave him a sweet smile, cupping his face and wiping a tear from his cheek with her thumb. He returned her smile and said softly, "You're an angel…"
He looked over at the things she had set out on the counter and said, "So what're we making?" She paused and opened her cookbook to the page she wanted, saying distractedly, "Pancakes… if I can find the page…" Her face lit up and she placed her finger on a page. "Here it is!"
She grabbed a mixing bowl and emptied the ingredients inside, squinting at the cookbook with Seymour as he put the frying pan on the stove. She knocked an egg against the side of the bowl a couple times, but instead of breaking cleanly like it showed in the book, the shell just caved in on itself.
She furrowed her brow and said, "I can never get 'em to break easy!" He shrugged before saying, "Could I try…?" She nodded, opening the egg carton again and handing him an egg.
He held it with both hands and whacked it against the bowl, only for it to shatter in his fingers. Audrey held back a small laugh before turning on the faucet, letting him wash his hands as she took out a tablespoon and another egg. She held it over the mixing bowl and hit it gently with the spoon until it cracked all the way through. Her eyes widened and she gingerly pried it open, letting the egg fall into the bowl.
She smiled widely and tossed the shell in the trash, before starting to stir her ingredients into something she thought resembled batter well enough. Seymour rested his elbows on the counter and watched her work with a small smile on his face.
After a little bit, Audrey stepped over to the stove and turned on one of the burners, pouring a bit of batter into the pan she'd set out. He hesitated for a second before kissing her on the cheek, saying softly, "I'll go get started on the tulips." She caught him before he could leave the kitchen, saying in a chipper voice, "Okay! I'll tell ya when breakfast's done!" giving him a quick kiss on the lips.
His face turned bright pink as he smiled and left the kitchen, this time trying to be a little more careful with the pruning shears.
She waved at him through the kitchen window with a wide smile before focusing on the circle of batter cooking in the pan, holding her tongue between her teeth.
Cooking, as she was slowly growing to learn, was very much a labor of love, while Better Homes and Gardens made it seem like something that just came naturally. The first few pancakes she tried flipping over with just the pan ended up falling onto the stove, but after she tried using the spatula, the next few cooked a lot easier.
After she had a decent plateful, she set them down on the dining room table and opened the kitchen window, finding Seymour planting a row of tulips underneath it. He looked up and smiled brightly, heading inside.
They slowly ate all of the pancakes together, sitting across from each other and exchanging shy smiles between bites.
The same bright blush stayed on Seymour's face until they finished their breakfast. He stood quickly and grabbed their plates, bringing them to the sink before saying to Audrey, "Alright, now, close your eyes!"
She smiled giddily and stood up, shutting her eyes and rocking on her heels. He gently took her hand and led her out of the dining room and through the kitchen.
He opened the door to their backyard and took one final look at his handiwork, saying softly, "Ok, open your eyes," and taking a step back.
She found herself standing in front of half a dozen large flowerbeds, filled with rows and rows of different colored tulips. She clapped her hands over her mouth and let out a small squeak, crying, "Seymour! Ya did all this for me?"
Seymour took a small step towards her and said, "I thought it'd be nice for you to have a pretty place to sit outside," an enormous smile spreading across his face.
She turned around and threw her arms around him, placing a large kiss on his cheek and saying, "It's beautiful!" He returned her hug eagerly, smiling against her shoulder.
He almost thought he saw a small pod in one of the beds in the back, but he could have been mistaken. She cradled his face in her hands, kissed him slowly, and that was all he could focus on.
A/N: I promise there's plot coming ಠ﹏ಠ