This post is inspired by this tweet:
I typed it out and couldn’t get the idea out of my head and so I had to make that YOUR problem.
First off: if you continue reading this little short, you may be spoiled. You will meet new characters you haven’t met and they will have relationships you don’t know about yet.
Second off: just because these characters may exist in books one, two, or even three, doesn’t mean they all live happily ever after. Doesn’t even mean they live! That’s why I wrote this scene. So that we could pretend that they all did get some therapy (and are continuing through it, let’s be real) and have set aside some heavy grievances. This is best-case-scenario-I-wanted-to-have-fun Alternate Universe.
And thirdly: I haven’t edited this and I don’t know what anyone is wearing or what anything looks like. This is how first drafts go for me, enjoy this peek behind the curtain, oh wait, there’s no curtain.
If you read on, take it in the fun spirit it’s meant to be, and remember–none of this has any bearing on the actual Magic of the Lost books. Enjoy!
Magic of the Lost Gay Brunch AU
“You’re getting really good at this, love,” Luca murmured in Touraine’s ear. She kissed the ear, then nipped it.
“I am, huh?” Touraine let herself feel a little smug. She let herself enjoy the feeling of Luca behind her, Luca’s hands on her waist, Luca’s warm breath on her neck.
Touraine waited for the pancake to start bubbling, then waited another moment more before grabbing the handle of the griddle, shaking the pancake loose and then flipping it with a jerk of her wrist. It landed perfectly, and the top was perfectly done–golden and delicious. Or at least, the test pancake was delicious.
“Show off.” Luca smirked and kissed her once before going for the batter. She picked up the mixing spoon and licked it.
“Ew.” Touraine wrinkled her nose.
Luca darted her tongue out and Touraine recognized the suggestive smile twisting her lips.
“Oh no you don’t,” Touraine said as Luca curled her arm back around her waist. Her hand pressed against Touraine’s stomach and slid down toward the waist of her jeans. Her body pressed against Touraine’s back. “There’s no time, they’ll be here any minute, my pancakes–!” Her voice rose an octave as Luca slid her hand inside her underwear.
Just in time–or unfortunately early, Touraine couldn’t decide–there was a knock on the door.
Luca gave a frustrated groan. “Hold that thought for me, would you?”
Suddenly, Luca was gone and the air was chilly on Touraine’s flushed skin. She heard Luca laughing in the entry way, but she turned back to focus on the pancakes. Batter almost gone, the stack on the plates growing. Just a couple more batches.
A few minutes later, Touraine felt the ghost of a presence behind her, then hands at her waist. Bigger hands than Luca’s. She smothered the grin spreading across her face as Sabine popped her head over Touraine’s shoulder. Her cologne was heavy and sweet, more like autumn than the winter outside.
“Hey, stranger,” Touraine said. She watched for the bubbles in the batter, then flipped the pancakes. Only then did she turn her head and kiss the other woman.
“Mmm, and that’s why I keep coming back,” Sabine said, smiling into the kiss.
“Are you distracting her?” Luca said.
Touraine heard a slap behind her and Sabine jumped away. She knew that Luca had just whipped a towel at Sabine’s ass. Touraine looked over her shoulder. Sabine had stolen the towel and was holding it behind her, whipping it out strategically to catch Luca on her own backside, while Luca held Sabine by the waist, trying–not very hard–to snatch the towel back. Unsurprisingly, it ended with Luca grabbing Sabine by the collar, kissing her hard, and snatching the towel back while Sab was distracted.
Suddenly, Touraine was also very distracted. Then she caught a whiff of burning.
“Damnit, fuck!” she cried, turning back to the stove. “You guys are both–”
There was another knock at the door.
“Ah.” Luca stopped horsing around and turned to Touraine. “You should get that.”
“Pancakes??” Touraine gestured angrily at the half-burnt pancakes.
“It’s her. Just go. I’ll watch them. We can handle it.” Luca looked over at Sabine. “I can handle it.”
“Fine,” Touraine grumbled. She flipped the dish towel over her shoulder and went to the door, her slippers scuffing against the floorboards. The knock came again, even more insistent.
“Helloooo! Open up, assholes!” Pruett, constant and unmistakable.
Touraine opened up. Pruett flung an arm wide, swinging a heavy, grease-stained paper bag in her hand and grinning. Pruett shoved the bag against Touraine’s stomach before crushing her–and the bag–in a hug.
“These are for her,” Pruett said. She chuckled darkly as she kissed Touraine on the cheek. “You remember Kiras?”
“Hey.” Kiras jerked her head. Then she raised a platter with a galette under a plastic lid. “This too.”
“Hey, man.” Touraine bumped her fist against Kiras’s, then took the tray. “Thanks. Pancakes are coming soon, I’m trying a new recipe.” She kicked the door open with her heel and wheeled around, paper bag in one hand and galette in the other.
She led them into the kitchen, where Luca and Sabine were trying and failing to flip a too-raw pancake. Touraine cleared her throat.
Luca and Sabine spun around. The spatula in Sabine’s hand spattered batter across the kitchen. Sabine grimaced sheepishly.
“Pruett, Kiras!” Luca transitioned flawlessly. She limped over and kissed Pruett on either cheek before moving to Kiras. “How are you?”
“Oh, you know, wondering why I’m still baking pastries when I could be–what is it you do again?”
“Shall I pour you a mimosa?” Luca asked, evading the question.
“And ruin the champagne?” Sabine wedged herself between Luca’s orange juice and the bottles. Touraine had never seen her so offended.
“I told you to bring something cheap,” Luca sighed, rolling her eyes. “Besides. This is fresh squeezed.” She swilled the glass carafe.
“It is cheap! I still don’t want you to ruin it. They’re still my grapes!”
Touraine peered at the label under Sabine’s arm. Her stomach gave an anxious flip. It was not cheap. She was never going to get used to this.
“Guys!” she snapped, jerking her head toward the other room. “Out of my kitchen before you burn my fucking pancakes. Again. Take these. They’re from them.”
“You shouldn’t have,” Luca said graciously, taking the bag and the galette from Touraine and smiling tightly at Pruett. She narrowed her eyes suspiciously at the bag. “I’ll put them on the table with the rest.”
The four of them filed out, leaving Touraine in the kitchen alone. She flipped the last of the pancakes, smiling as she listened to the music of her friends giving each other shit in the other room. A minute later, pancakes toasty pale brown on both sides, she slipped them off the griddle and onto the stack already waiting. She was getting the hang of this.
With a plate of pancakes in each hand, she strutted into the dining room. The table was already set with their drinks, various condiments, the galette, and a pile of croissants and pain au chocolat that must have come from the brown bag.
“These look great,” Kiras said to Touraine.
“Ah. I–ahem.” Sabine coughed and swallowed the bite of pain au chocolat she’d taken, then took a healthy swig of her mimosa-without-orange-juice. “These are, um. Good. Where did you get them?”
“Oh,” Pruett’s smirk widened. “This place I know. Supposed to be the best, I read it in–what was that magazine, Kiras?”
Kiras cleared her throat and busied herself with another helping of pancakes.
“Pru…” Touraine raised an eyebrow at Pruett, who only looked more innocent which meant–
Touraine stretched across the table to reach the pile of pastries. The outer layer of the pain au chocolat was crisp–normal, sure. Light. Touraine sniffed it, fearing the worst, but no–it definitely smelled like chocolate. From the corner of her eye, she saw Luca holding her knife and fork delicately over her two pancakes, lips pursed wryly, waiting.
Touraine bit into the pastry. Dry and chewy and definitely not on any magazine’s ‘Best Of’ list. She gagged it down.
Pruett blinked innocently, then looked up at the ceiling, and pretended to count. “Oh, I think they’re just our day olds…or maybe two or three–” She broke off in a shriek of giggles as Touraine pelted the rest of the pastry at her head. She batted it down with a shower of flakes.
“Ah.” Luca chewed and swallowed her bite of pancake and put down her knife and fork. “Let’s just skip to the galette, hmm? That’s fresh at least, isn’t it? Tour, love, do you want to do the honors or shall I?”
Pruett snorted. “Of course. You think you’re going to be king for the day?”
Luca smirked and slouched back in her seat, throwing one arm over the back of her chair. “Maybe.” Then–in front of fucking everyone–she raked Touraine up and down with her eyes. She winked and Touraine felt her face go hot. “Maybe not me.”
“You know,” Sabine started, “coincidentally, it’s a long drive back home, and as you know, I’ve been drinking a fair amount–” She drained her champagne flute in two gulps. “Oh no, look at that.”
Kiras snorted into her glass as Pruett groaned. “Jesus, get a room, you guys.”
“We have a house, in fact,” Luca said tartly.
Sabine poured herself another glass, saying, “And they’ve used it well, from what I–”
“Sabine!” Touraine and Luca growled at the same time.
“What?” She shrugged and topped off Kiras’s flute when the quiet woman held it out.
“For once, I agree,” Pruett said. “You’re going to make me sick. Changing the subject, now, let’s find out who reigns. If I’m king, Luca’s taking us all to dinner tonight. Somewhere expensive.”
“Oh, I like her,” Sabine said, saluting Pruett with her glass. “If I win…you two know what I want.” She waggled her eyebrows at Touraine and Luca.
Pruett gagged. “What about you, princess?”
“If I’m queen,” Luca said, “you make us a cake.”
“A cake?” Pruett’s lip curled in confusion. “Like, today? You want me to make you a cake?”
“Not today.” Luca met Touraine’s eyes.
An embarrassed flush flooded Touraine from her head to her toes. She swallowed and shook her head slightly.
Pruett had known Touraine too long for the exchange to go unnoticed.
“Assholes. A cake. For. What.” Pruett jabbed her knife in Touraine’s direction. “Why the fuck is she blushing?”
Touraine cleared her throat, which didn’t work, so she took a gulp of a mimosa, but the bubbles caught in her throat and made her cough which made her face even hotter–
“If I’m king,” Touraine wheezed between coughs, “You guys can–clean up the kitchen.”
“Ah, c’mon.” Kiras’s soft voice came from Touraine’s other side, along with a hearty thump on her back. “That’s boring.”
“Fine,” Touraine said. She finally got a deep breath. “Those two–” she pointed to Luca and Pruett “–have to clean the kitchen. Better?”
Kiras snorted. “I guess, yeah, if you wanna start World War III.” She shrugged. “If I’m king, I just want to make it out of here alive.”
“Welp,” Pruett said wickedly. “Here we go…” She gave the platter a deft spin and all of them leaned close over the table, watching the pastry spin and spin until Pruett stopped it, slid a cut triangle onto each person’s plate, and sat down. She held up a finger.
“Wait for it…wait for it…” She was enjoying the moment with as much showmanship as Sabine would have.
Touraine blinked away the tears blurring her vision so she could better see her weird little family better. Pruett and Luca, smiling wickedly at each other over their slices, Sabine and her tipsy sideways slouch, and Kiras, staring with unveiled amusement at her lover.
They attacked the galette, everyone, even Luca, foregoing utensils. But when each slice was gone, no one had found the fève.
“Did we eat it?” Luca asked. “Sabine, did you eat the fève?”
“Because you’re the only one drunk enough to eat it and not notice–”
“What about Touraine, or Pruett? Or Kiras, I filled her–”
While they bickered, though, Touraine noticed Pruett sniggering. Under the table, the other woman was fishing in her pocket.
“Pruett,” Touraine said in a low voice, “you fucking did not–”
Pruett pulled a tiny figure out of her pocket and dropped it on the table. Silence fell as it clattered to a stop. “Huh. Guess I had it.”
Kiras covered her face with a hand, hiding her silent laughter but she couldn’t hide her shaking shoulders. Sabine blinked slowly from the very not-baked figurine to Pruett.
Luca, on the other hand, put the pieces together immediately.
“Oh my GOD, I’m going to kill you–” Luca lunged over the table.
“Ah-ah-ah!” Pruett wagged a finger back and forth. “I’m the king. You owe us dinner. Also…I want to know. What do you need a cake for?”
“Nothing!” Touraine rushed. She wasn’t ready to tell, after all, as much as she thought she was, even though she and Luca agreed it was time–
“Liar. You can’t lie to the king.”
“You’re not even the real king!”
“I made the cake, I make the rules.”
Touraine felt Luca’s warm hand on hers.
“Hon? We have to tell them some time. Unless you want to wait until the day of?”
“I–” Touraine swallowed.
“Oh.” Sabine put down her champagne as she stared at Touraine and Luca. “OH.”
Then Pruett– “OH HOLY SHIT.”
“Uh. Heh?” Touraine smiled and shrugged shyly. “So, uh. Yeah? That.”