[identity profile] finkpishnets.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] ivoryandgoldd
some things don't come with recipes
food network rps | jason/joshua | pg | ~1,927
culinary school era.

a/n: another fic from the hidden vaults of my personal journal. gosh, i really hope these dudes don't think to google their names together (they probably do).

+++


When Jason meets Joshua his first thought is oh God, does he ever shut up? shortly followed by who thought that rooming us together would be anything like a good idea? Joshua’s loud and enthusiastic and arrives wearing jeans with holes in the knees and he dumps his backpack on the spare bed carelessly, grinning up at Jason like they’re not total strangers.

Jason shuffles his feet and mentions something about meeting a friend from high school for dinner and doesn’t feel too bad about abandoning his new roommate on their first night.

Dinner’s okay; the food’s pretty standard and the company’s better after a few beers, and he tries to be quiet when he gets back but he needn’t have bothered because apparently Joshua found something to do with his evening anyway.

He doesn’t hear the door open before he falls asleep so he assumes it’s a good night.


+


“Hey,” Joshua says, sliding into the stool next to him in class the next morning, and Jason smiles a little in acknowledgment before turning back to where the teacher’s handing out lists of the key items they’re going to need this term.

“So,” Joshua says, grabbing a sheet from the person in front of him with a casual grin, “have a good night?”

“Yes,” Jason says. “You?”

“Sure,” Joshua says, laughing lightly. “Did you know there’s a place in town that does dollar pitchers? And, as I found out, they also serve the most awesome sliders.”

Jason hums. “You went by yourself?”

“Oh, no. I met some guys from the Culinary Arts course in the quad. I didn’t know those dudes could be so cool.”

“Right,” Jason says, not thinking about how he’s already been here a week and has only got as far as exchanging hello’s with anyone.

“So,” Joshua says, leaning closer. “Ready to bake?”

“Always.”


+


It turns out Joshua’s good, and that’s something Jason can appreciate. Sure, he still wants to be top of the class and he plans to work his ass off but he has to appreciate Joshua’s construction skills, and his decoration is pretty great.

“Want to get something to eat?” he says, because he should probably start being sociable or at least cling to someone who people are drawn to like ducks to water.

“Yeah,” Joshua says, sounding pleasantly surprised. “Definitely. Any preference?”

“As long as it’s not cake,” Jason says, and Joshua laughs.

“I hear there’s a place that does award winning ribs somewhere around here?”

“Sounds good,” Jason says, and he’s surprised to find that it really does.


+


As it turns out the company’s infinitely better than the night before.


+


Somehow Jason and Joshua become friends, and not just the sort that cling to each other because they’re new to a city and don’t know anyone else, but the sort that spend all their time together and watch TV sprawled out on the floor on the evenings Joshua’s not dragging Jason on a tour of all the bars in a fifteen block radius and become known as the Two J’s amongst their course mates.

Jason’s had friends of course, but they’ve never been so tactile or managed to throw an insult at him that feels more like a compliment because it’s said with the biggest smile and a glint of something in Joshua’s eyes that makes him feel like he’s part of a joke that belongs to the two of them.

In class they’re a force to be reckoned with; partner work comes easily to them and Jason’s professionalism combined with Joshua’s charm is enough to land them the best grades and the respect of their teachers.

Jason stops minding so much that Joshua doesn’t seem to own jeans that aren’t ripped and that he speaks a mile a minute and that he has no concept of personal space. In fact, everything’s kind of awesome.

And then Joshua says, “Oh, hey, Jase, this is Christopher,” and everything falls apart.


+


Joshua apparently met Christopher in the five minutes he and Jason haven’t spent together, and Jason doesn’t know how he managed to somehow gain a boyfriend in that time but it all seems ridiculous.

Jason knows he shouldn’t be so annoyed; neither of them have ever come out to each other because it seemed unnecessary, but if Joshua’s kept it quiet because he thinks Jason would care then maybe they aren’t as close as he thought they were.

He knows he has no logical reason to hate Christopher but he does anyway. Joshua’s never around anymore and when he is he’s making out with his boyfriend on his bed like he doesn’t share the room with another person, and Jason’s spent years building up walls to stop himself showing the world his every thought but right now all he wants to do is throw a pan at them and tell them to stop being so fucking obnoxious.

It’s only when he’s downing his sorrows in cheep beer and sliders that he realizes exactly why he feels like someone’s shoved a knife between his shoulder blades, and, yeah--

That just makes everything a thousand times worse.


+


Jason is perfectly aware that the mature response isn’t to avoid Joshua like the plague but maybe Joshua’s rubbed off on him over the last few months because he makes sure that over the next fortnight the only time they see each other is in class.

When they have to work together he makes sure everything’s on-topic and, okay, so maybe their work isn’t as good when they’re not firing ideas back and forth but they’re going to have to learn to create great cakes alone at some point so it might as well be now.

He even manages to ignore Joshua’s hurt puppy eyes which may be the hardest thing he’s ever had to do (and, fuck, isn’t that pathetic).

It sucks but it’s better than accepting that he’s in love with his stupid, oblivious roommate.


+


“Want to explain why you’re being a dick?” Joshua says, slamming the door shut behind him and staring Jason down. Jason’s trying to work out how the hell he’s supposed to make a classy cake for a bachelor event held on a party boat (he expects the fiancé was being optimistic about the lack of strippers) and he’s really not in the mood.

“Sorry?” he says coldly, raising an eyebrow.

“No, seriously, what the hell is going on with you?”

His cheeks are flushed red, his fingers curled into his palms like all he really wants to do right now is throw a punch, and God, Jason shouldn’t find that hot.

“Nothing’s going on with me,” he says, voice even. “Though I am trying to work. Didn’t you have plans with your boyfriend?”

Joshua blinks and then lets out a bitter laugh.

“I see,” he says, and then: “That’s pathetic Jason.”

When he storms out Jason feels cruelly pleased.


+


In hindsight picking up a guy in a bar probably isn’t the best way of handling things.


+


“Have fun last night?” Joshua spits when Jason slides into his seat just as the teacher comes in chanting about fondant. His head is splitting and his skin feels clammy, yesterday’s clothes heavy over his shoulders, and the unkind thrill he gets at making Joshua angry is mostly outweighed by regret.

“Shhh,” he hisses, rubbing his thumbs over his temples.

“Do you even remember his name?” Joshua asks, and, okay, so at least there really wasn’t any confusion about that point, but it doesn’t make Jason feel better. If anything it makes him feel much worse.

“I’m pretty sure that’s not the point of a one-night stand,” he whispers, throwing Joshua a glare, and he’s pleased to see Joshua flinch.

“This is so fucked up,” Joshua mutters, and, yeah.

At least they can agree on that.


+


Jason only finds out that Joshua and Christopher have broken up when he catches Christopher making out with some guy outside Starbucks.

To be fair, he’s pretty sure his fist hurts more than Christopher’s jaw.


+


“You broke his nose?” Joshua says blankly, staring at Jason’s swollen knuckles.

“Sorry,” Jason says, and Joshua nods slowly.

“You’re an idiot, you know that?”

“Yeah.”

It seems stupid that violence should be the thing to get them talking again, but to be fair, they may be bakers but they’re still guys.

Joshua’s running his thumb gently across Jason’s hand and Jason’s trying not to react, keeping his breathing even and staring at a spot on his sleeve so he doesn’t have to catch his eye.

“You mad?” Jason asks, but Joshua shakes his head.

“No,” he says, “well, kind of. Christopher didn’t really deserve to be punched.”

“I thought he was cheating on you,” Jason says, and Joshua nods because they’ve been over this already.

“So,” Joshua says after a while, and when Jason looks up there’s a smile playing at the corner of his mouth, “does this mean you care again?”

“Shut up.”


+


After that everything seems kind of stuck.

They’re talking again, their heads bent a little too close in class, bodies angled towards each other even when they’re with other people, and it’s intense to the point where Jason’s skin feels pleasantly tight all the time, but that’s it.

Neither of them seems ready to make it something more, and that’s fine, really, except Jason’s not sure how long he can take it before he does something stupid, and Joshua really needs to start wearing more than a pair of boxers to bed. Really.

He’s not thinking, too tired from a long day in the kitchen, when he says, “How long are we going to keep this up for?” into the darkness. It’s silent for a moment and Jason wonders if Joshua might be asleep already, but then there’s the sound of him twisting around under his comforter.

“I don’t know,” he says quietly, and Jason hums, chewing a little at his lip.

“Not too long, okay?”

“Sure,” Joshua says, “not too long.”


+


“Want to go out for cheep beer and sliders?” Joshua asks, throwing his bag onto his bed and keeping the door propped open with his foot.

“No,” Jason says, but he goes anyway.

The bar’s not too crowded, the Tuesday night crowd mostly students and tourists, and they grab a booth easily enough; the TV over Joshua’s shoulder is showing a baseball game Jason doesn’t particularly care about, and tries to hold back a mean snort when the waitress flirts with Joshua as she takes their order.

“You’re grouchy,” Joshua says when she leaves, and Jason rolls his eyes.

“No kidding.”

“I think,” Joshua says, rolling his straw between his fingers, “that you need to get laid.”

Jason feels he’s totally justified in kicking the bastard in the shin.


+


It turns out that Joshua’s right of course, but Jason doesn’t apologize until afterwards.


+


“I could make breakfast,” Joshua says, chest vibrating under Jason’s cheek, and Jason swats at him halfheartedly.

“Shut up,” he says, “too early.”

“Are you always like this after sex?” Joshua asks sounding way more amused than he has any right to be.

“If you don’t let me sleep you’ll never have more data in order to find out.”

Joshua laughs and Jason pushes him out of bed.


+


The thing about sleeping with your roommate is that it’s sort of going to end up being a relationship even if you didn’t intend it to be.

Jason’s just really glad he intended it to be.

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