Rating: Greenish-Blue Cortina (established relationship Sam/Annie, some thinky thoughts as well as some fluffy fluff, plus some vague sexytime references)
Word Count: About 3.2k words
Prompt: Sam/Annie, please! :D Fluff would be lovely. Prompt: Christmas cake.
Notes/Warnings: Here you go, my dear! I hope this... little monster I've made for you is a suitable use of your prompt. ♥ I had so much fun writing it though, I really hope you enjoy! *HUGS*
Summary: The big day hasn't come yet, but there are countless other little days for them both to enjoy.
Annie only remembers ever having had Christmas cake once before, and that's a very vague memory from when she was very, very young – she wouldn't be surprised if, somewhere along the line, she left out some very important detail, which means she's remembering it all wrong. The way it went was (she thinks), her dad had wanted to try something different, since her mum preferred Christmas puddings, and her mum must had been in a very forgiving if also agreeable mood. Dad always took great pleasure in dousing said puddings in brandy before settling them on fire, and maybe that's why mum had decided a little change could be a good thing – the kitchen had almost caught fire too many times to count. Only this time it was the cake that ended up burning, and not because dad had been too liberal with the brandy.
Sam started working on his masterpiece at the end of October – it's going on eight weeks now, of course she's been counting. She doesn't know all that much in the way of baking a Christmas cake, and all the follow up – what she does know is, it needs plenty of time to mellow before it gets eaten.
Annie's been right there with him each step of the way, giving moral support, not going so far as to offer anything physical. Annie's just not as good in the kitchen as Sam is, she wouldn't know where to start (though, she can take care of herself just fine – the thing is, Sam wants to take care of her). She marvels at how natural, how easy, he makes it all seem – it's fascinating, and if she could just figure it out better, then that should help her in regards to figuring out Sam.
He says it's because there were always more women in the house than there ever were men – he doesn't offer to talk about his father, and Annie thinks about Vic Tyler and how Sam had thought that was his father, so she knows the less that gets said, the better. So she watches him, and doesn't pick at him for being such a whiz in the kitchen. She backs off, instead, gives him all the room he needs: while she'd love to help him out, she'd hate to get in the way.
It's not their first Christmas together, but it is the first they'll be all on their own. Christmas Eve's to be spent with the Guv and his missus, and her parents hope to have them over for breakfast Christmas morning. Christmas day, and night, and dinner, that's a bit of a foggy void and Annie's not too certain as to how it's all going to go – all that she knows is, it's all up to her and Sam alone.
It's a new flat, their flat. That's Sam's ring she's got on her finger. They haven't pinned down the specifics yet, but they're going to get married – the question itself was the biggest obstacle, beyond Sam's tendency to overly complicate every thing he set out to do. She'd always known the question was coming, it was just as inevitable as up and down, or night turning to day. Maybe she hesitated on giving him her answer, but it was mostly for show – her yes was just as inevitable as anything else. Annie's never been happier, and this is more than just a flat – it's growing into their home.
She can easily see herself spending the rest of her life with him, and each time he looks at her, she knows he feels the same way.
Sam hasn't done this is forever, and he's terrified he's going to forget something and screw it all up. Annie's told him not worry too much, she'll love it no matter what, but that hasn't stopped him from wanting to get it just right. Oh, for a search engine – or if he could just ring up his mum. He wishes he could, of course he does – but that's in the past, the way the past is now the present, and Sam's happy with the choices that he's made. His mum and Aunty Heather had always done their best to make things special for him as a child, and he doesn't think he appreciated it as much as he could have – at least, not the right way. It's not like he can do this with his mum, so making sure it's done right for Annie is more than just the next best thing.
He'd like to ask her if she'd like to lend a hand, because he knows she's better around the kitchen than she gives herself credit for. It isn't just his kitchen now, anyhow, this is her place just as much as it is his – if she wanted to help out, he wouldn't tell her no. But should he ask? This is the bit where it gets harder and harder, not just in general, but in specific: ie, figuring Annie out. He's never been as good at this sort of thing as he'd like to have been, even when all that amounted to was just dating. He's never asked someone to marry him before, though he thinks he could have asked Maya eventually – but fate led him to Annie instead. He still can't believe she said yes.
He's still a little lost, but at least he has Annie – and Gene, and the rest of their team, and they've more than just accepted him at this point, which means his decision to come back was the right one now, he believes that through and through. He doesn't expect it to be any easier than real life was, before he chose to make this real life. They're going to have good days, they'll have bad days. They also have each other.
Still, he wants wants his and Annie's first Christmas as a couple to be special, and if that means doing these little extra things for her, then he's going to try his best. The yearly Christmas cake was a Tyler household tradition, and if he hadn't had his head stuck up his arse last year, he'd have treated Annie to one that much sooner. Case in point, he hadn't, but hindsight's always 20/20.
This needs to be special, so much is counting on it. Sam's made lists, made plans on top of more plans, and he can only hope that in trying enough he doesn't try too hard. He knows that has to be why they haven't settled on a wedding date yet, not that Annie would ever be so cruel to point it out – even Sam knows he has some control freak tendencies, and he wouldn't want any of that getting in the way and ruining it for them both.
He can't mess that up – hopefully, they'll never have another reason to do it again (unless, some years down the road, they feel like renewing their vows). Even this, one more first in a series of first, he'd hate himself forever if he messes up this cake. Maybe by then they'll have made their minds up and set a date for the big day, because then they can both work extra hard to make sure their first Christmas together as husband is wife is better by far.
Of course, by that point, he doubts they'll be able to keep Annie's family away any longer. The best part of Christmas traditions is watching them change and grow.
Sam's at it already. Dinner's nearly ready to be eaten, but he's pulled the cake out and is busy feeding it tiny drinks of brandy. The more brandy, he'd explained to her back at the start of it, the moister the cake. Of course, too much brandy and you'll ruin it... it's a very careful balancing act. Do you understand? He'd sounded so serious as he tried to explain himself, but that was just more of Sam being Sam. God is in the details, every little one. He must have known what he was doing – dad's cake burned, but Sam's didn't. What that had to mean was, everything else? It was going to be fine.
Annie takes a moment to check on the meat and veggies that Sam had left simmering on the hob, stirs it about. She's at least that comfortable in the kitchen, the things she cooks doesn't tend to burn. Sam makes it seem to effortless, though, when all Annie does is try and try and try.
Sam's humming, attention on the cake. Annie smiles, and she switches the heat off. Sam already had already set out a pair of dishes for the food, so she starts plating it out. Sam stops, humming paused, and shoots an appreciative smile in her direction.
'Thanks, Annie. Guess I lost track of time.'
'Don't be so silly, Sam – there's no need to apologise. Though...'
She leaves him hanging, and gives the slightest of shrugs, a tiny smirk growing on her lips. 'Just starting to feel like there's something going on between the two you of, that's all... you spend more time with that cake of yours than you do with me.'
Sam chuckles, not taking her teasing to heart. 'It's hard to explain, but... well, this sort of thing takes time, patience...' He pauses, searching for the right word, gesturing somewhat absently with one hand. 'Dedication. You know?'
She stops what she's doing, sets the spatula to the side. 'Like a relationship, you mean?'
His smile widens, brighter than before. 'Yeah, something like that. Don't worry, there's no need for you to get jealous – all of this is for you, after all.'
Annie could roll her eyes – he's being a bit of a sap, and she's eating it right up – but she eyes her ring, then glances over at the bloke who slid it on her finger, the one she so wholeheartedly said yes to. She leaves their plates on the worktop and heads over to where Sam's standing, down closer to the sink. 'Thank you. You've been working so hard on it, almost seems a shame that we'll be eating it next week.'
'It'll be well worth the wait.' Sam slides an arm around her waist, tugs her close. 'At least, that's what I'm hoping. Haven't cooked one of these in...' He trails off, and Annie hooks an arm around him. His expression's gone a bit funny, funny like it used to. She still worries about him, sometimes more than others – this is one of those times. He's got so good at fitting him, at just being himself. 1974's been all she could have hoped for, them growing closer and closer. Is she going to have to tell him that it's going to be 1975 soon?
'Sam?' She kisses his cheek, gives him a tight squeeze. He chuckles and shakes his head, coming out of it like he'd been caught up in something of a daze.
'Sorry – it's been a while, that's what I was trying to say.'
'It's going to be perfect. You've worked so hard on it, I won't accept anything else.'
His cheeks go a bit pink, and he's smiling all over again – that's much better. He goes to kiss her cheek, stops, presses his mouth to hers instead. Annie sighs and leans into the kiss, Sam's arm about her waist tightening its grip. The hand that slides up into her hair is intimately familiar, and she shivers as she's unable to bite back a moan.
'Dinner's going to get cold,' he says, eventually. She's grinning now, but so is he, and she knows they're acting like a pair of lovestruck fools, giddy in each other's presence.
'If you're trying to start something, it's awful rude of you to leave it unfinished.'
His grin widens, something devious sparking in his eyes. 'We wouldn't want that, now would we? Just... let me cover up the cake first.'
Annie giggles and pinches Sam's side. He yelps and bats at her hand and she pinches him again. 'Oh my God, what are we even doing?' He laughs and catches her about the waist, pinning her arms to her sides. 'I wasn't trying to get out of anything, you know. I love you.'
'I know! I love you.'
She wriggles and Sam picks her up, kisses her with a laugh. Oh, what are they doing? Maybe just a little extra something to make this new flat of theirs feel like a home. She leans into the kiss, licking at Sam's tongue. He pulls back, looks a bit dazed. He takes her face in his hands and he stares into her eyes – when it seems to stretch on into forever, Annie opens her mouth to say something about making it snappy.
Sam leans back in to kiss her, something hot running through her and hitting her in the knees – she moans into his mouth and her knees buckle rather spectacularly, Annie being given no choice other than to grab for his arms as they both tumble to the kitchen floor. Everything goes very silent, and very, very still – when they look at each other once more, Sam brushes back a stray lock of her hair, and that proves the catalyst to them dissolving back into helpless laughter.
They pull apart, pink-cheeked and burning all over, but Annie changes her mind and scoots right back over to him, pulling herself up onto Sam's lap. She runs the fingers of one hand back through his hair, kisses his lips, his cheek, the line of his jaw, Sam groaning beneath her, all but vibrating with his impatience.
'We can always just heat it up later though, I guess,' Sam mumbles, still sounding pleasantly dazed, smiling and kissing her – she hopes it never ends. He slides an arm about her waist, gives a tight squeeze, his other hand gliding up beneath her skirt, his touch light yet self-assured.
She's done a lot of new things because of Sam – maybe she jumped off a bridge into a weir before she ever knew him, but she's never fooled around like this on cool linoleum tile. Maybe they are a little too sappy for their own good, but they're safe and secure in the privacy of their own home – who could condemn them, who would even care? What they're doing here is private, even if they are veering off course.
Sam's groaning now. His fingers are skirting lightly at the edge of her knickers, and she's lowered a hand down to massage at his trousers, nails scraping across the course fabric. 'Is this a good idea?' she asks, licking at his lips, jolting some at his touch. She bucks up but he doesn't let her rocket away, not with his arm wrapped about her, holding her so close. She rocks against him, and Sam moans beneath her, but Annie's biting at her lip and moaning her own pleasure in the same breath. Sam's fingers are so slick and insistent.
This is definitely a good idea.
'I plan on frosting it tomorrow,' Sam says – oh, countless minutes later, not that he's been paying attention to abstract, unnecessary things like the passage of time, not when there's been a naked, happy Annie in his arms, glowing and warm. Now her hand is resting at Sam's bare hip, the engagement ring glinting in the overhead light. They're both sticky, and a bit of a mess – after they managed to get their clothes out of the way, somehow the bottle of brandy had got involved.
Annie blinks, gaze a bit glazed. She leans against him, snuggled across his lap, and Sam squeezes her tight, and kisses her neck. 'Am I going to have to repeat myself? You're looking a little lost.'
'Probably should repeat yourself, then,' Annie giggles, letting her head lean back as Sam nuzzles at the sweat on her skin, kisses her, hand stroking from down her side to up along her arm. 'But you know, I could stay like this forever.'
'Oh?' He slides his thumb across her ring, strokes back further, across the back of her hand. 'I think I'm stuck to the floor, don't worry. Don't plan on moving any time soon.'
Annie giggles, and rubs against him. Sam opens his mouth but she sets a finger to his upper lip, so he stops and shuts his mouth, watches her instead. 'Frosting it, you said?' she asks, and Sam nods, nipping at her fingertip.
He closes his mouth, Annie's finger rubbing from side to side, languidly brushing across his lips. 'Could I...?' She stops, shaking her head, snuggles in close instead. 'Never mind, it's a bad idea.'
Sam laughs weakly, hugging her tightly. 'We've just had very messy, sticky sex on the kitchen floor. There are no bad ideas left to be had.'
'That was a good idea! You agreed with me an' everything!' Annie laughs. 'But what I was going to suggest, it was just rubbish.'
'Come on, Annie,' he gives her another little squeeze. 'Please?'
He stares at her, and she back at him, and as he starts to grin, she starts to frown. 'You're terribly wicked, you know that, don't you? How can you look at me like that, and not expect to get what you want?'
'Honestly, if you really don't want to tell me what it is – ow!'
Annie tugs on his ear, hard, and while Sam can't see his own face he knows he's just given her the sulkiest of his pouts. 'What was that for?'
'I know what you're doing, Sam Tyler – and oh okay, whatever.' She sighs, but snuggles in even closer, sticky skin and all, endless stretches of it. She tilts her head up, sets a line of kisses along his jaw, across his cheek, closer and closer to his mouth. 'Would you, you know, like some help tomorrow? With frosting the cake?'
Sam's eyes widen, and he smiles, forgiving her for tugging on his ear and pulling her back up for a proper kiss. 'Yes,' he says, once he's finished with her, when Annie's flustered and squirming in his arms, glowing all over again. 'I've never done this all on my own, I've either been the assistant or had an assistant. I'd love it if you wanted to help out, an' all... I mean, frosting it, that's the second best part.'
She thinks about it, but doesn't make him wait nearly as long as she did when he asked her to marry him. One of her sticky hands comes up to curl at his cheek, the other sliding back through his hair, and she kisses him, quite decisively, stealing nearly all of his breath and wit.
'I'm glad you asked,' she says, stroking his cheek. 'I wanted to, but I was afraid I'd just get in the way.'
Sam turns, eyes slipping shut, kissing her fingers, the palm of her hand. 'You never get in the way.'
'Guess we should both listen to our instincts more often, huh?'
Sam smiles, and Annie laughs softly, pressing in closer, turning his chin back towards her, claiming his lips. The kiss is slow now, slow but just as decisive, and Sam's properly breathless when she finally lets him go. 'If frosting it's the second best part,' she starts to ask, in the quiet that follows, 'then what's the first?'
Sam strokes the back of the fingers across her cheek, gives her a possibly cheesy, if also very whole-hearted grin. 'You.'
She laughs again, cheeks gone even pinker, and she must like the answer he's given her, because by that point, she's kissing him again.