How Not to Bake a Cake

Cornett Residence

This house has been sectioned off into two living spaces, separated by floor as opposed to wall throughout the middle. The first floor has been reserved for a renter while the second floor has been claimed by the owner of the duplex. The living space is large and spacious, perfect for a summer's day when the windows are open. Much the bachelor pad, it is sparsely decorated. All the basics that are required are there but rarely used and so the area is immaculate. A large living area and kitchen lead to a hallway which contains the doors for the bathroom, master bedroom and guest bedroom. The only difference between the two bedrooms is that the master room contains a computer desk and laptop.

Bobby is not home.

Bobby is at work.

And Hope is in the kitchen.

In what could be construed as disastrously amusing a la "I Love Lucy", Hope is trying to bake a cake for her not-at-home boyfriend. Only, she dropped a bag of flour, and it is currently covering the majority of the kitchen, a powdery dust filling the air, and covering her from head to toe. Unlike Lucy, she's not crying or whining at the top of her lungs, she's just standing in the white haze looking totally surprised at the sudden storm of indoor snow.

Mellie did knock, really she did. It was just sort of a glancing pass though, as she was already making to open the door so she could poke her head inside. But at least she is still pretending to respect Bobby's space enough to pretend to knock; who knows how long that will last. "Hello?" she calls out, head poked inside, followed by her upper body, and then finally a step over the threshold. She knows someone is home, having heard the movement from down below, and she assumes it's Bobby, not having bothered to keep track of his schedule to such an extent.

"Kitchen," Hope calls. She may not like this sister, and she may not agree with Bobby renting the downstairs apartment out to her, but she /is/ Bobby's sister, and so she's being cheerful and nice. "Just, watch where you step please!" The voice having drawn her out of her shock, she picks up the busted bag of flour and sets it into the sink, leaving a few small footprints in the mass of white on the floor.

Cheerful and nice being two of Mellie's favourite things, of course. An eyebrow arches at the voice, one far more feminine than she was expecting. She finishes stepping inside, pushing the door shut behind her as she crosses to the kitchen, coming to a halt in the doorway to stare around at the cloud of flour with a surprised expression. "Are you-" But she can't even think of a sarcastic question to ask. "What are you doing?" She waves a hand in front of her, making a face at the few granules that dare get too close.

"Baking a cake?" Hope, who looks rather ridiculous covered in flour, finally wipes the white powder from her face, leaving a streaky mess. "Rather, I was /trying/ to bake a cake when the bag of flour exploded everywhere." Looking down at the floor, she sighs heavily. "I really don't want to track this all over the house. Would you mind getting me the broom and dustpan?" A floury smile is offered to Mellie. "I don't suppose there's anyway to keep this just between us girls, is there?"

"Was gonna say. Not the way I bake a cake. If I did ever bake a cake. Or anything," Mellie replies, still giving the room a rather suspicious look, as though it's deliberately intending to ruin her black-on-black outfit. She manages to seem a little put upon by the simple favour, but rolls her shoulders in a shrug. "Where are they?" The second request is given a little more consideration and she leans a shoulder against the door frame as she gives the room, and the flour-covered woman, another once over. "I really don't think he's going to care that much that you can't bake a cake."

Hope bites her lip when Mellie hits on her concern so concisely. "I've just never had to bake one before," she defends in a childish little manner, pouting slightly. Her body is given a shake, more flour allowed to fall to the floor, though she'll definitely have to shower to get it all out of her hair. "The front closet? I think? I'm absolutely not positive at all, it's not my house."

"Could have fooled me," Mellie mutters under her breath as she turns away to go check the front closet for this mythical broom and dustpan, her voice low but not quite low enough to cover her meaning. There's the sound of the closet opening, a bit of rustling, and then the closing door, before the teen makes her way back, items in hand. She stays in the doorway, just holding these out to Hope. No sense them both getting all floury. "Next time you might want to just try a mix. Or a bakery."

The broom and dustpan are both taken, and Hope begins to sweep up the mess as best she can. "I am not usurping your place with your brother, you know. Once he's feeling a little better, I'll be going home." At least, that has been the plan. "A bakery would be alright, I guess. But then it's not made from scratch, and I wanted to surprise him."

"Hey, whatever. It isn't like I care. Not my business what Bobby does," Mellie replies, since she's done such a bang up job of seeming uncaring about this so far. And even better when she follows it up with a suspicious: "Home? For how long?" Hey, her sister is already planning the wedding, so she's assuming the relocation would be temporary at best. "Well, if you're looking to surprise him, I guess a kitchen covered in flour would do that…"

"Don't be silly. Of course you care. He's your /brother/." Hope smiles at the girl and then turns her back on Mellie to continue sweeping up the mess. When the dustpan is full, she goes to empty it in the garbage, then comes back for more sweeping. "That's a very odd question," she says, pausing a bit and glancing back at the girl. "Hopefully the kitchen won't be covered in flour by the time he gets home."

"Yeah, well, I think a lot of our new-found closeness is going to take a lot of pretending we don't care what the other does," Mellie points out shrewdly, giving the Fellow of the Sun a pointed look. "I'm an odd girl. And that's not an answer." She casts another glance around the kitchen, surveying the progress in cleaning up so far, and can't really come up with anything more clever than a shrug. "Then I guess you'll be needing another surprise."

Hope nods to the shrewd reply, then wonders if there's any validity in it. "Does that honestly work? Pretending not to care what one's sibling does?" It would be great if she could quit caring about what Rose is doing. "It's an odd question, Mellie, because I don't know what you're talking about. Unless you're wanting me to go and not come back?" Her head tilts, and she sighs and continues sweeping. "I suppose so."

"So far, so good, I guess," Mellie replies, not really having any further data to back up her 'pretend not to care' idea. "You might want to ask Bobby instead." After all, she's not known to be the one with a problem for worrying, and as far as her reputation is concerned, she'd like to keep it that way. To the matter of her odd question, Mellie gives Hope a pondering look. "If I'd meant that, I would have said that." Not that she's exactly going to claim she doesn't want that, but it wasn't what she was angling at. "I meant … how long? How long until you're back here for good? Or are you guys going to move?" That would screw her own plans a bit, admittedly.

She will definitely have to try this with Rose, to see if it makes any difference. Hope exhales a slight sigh, swishing the broom back and forth to scoop up more of the flour in the dustpan. "Fine, you didn't mean it then," she says, giving the girl another smile. "I don't know." Then her eyes fall to her left hand ring finger and she shifts her gaze away from Mellie. "Probably a while. I'm only twenty-one, you know." Not really /that/ much older than Mellie.

Mellie takes all this in, especially the glance to the ring and the averted gaze, though she's not sure what to make of that. "Hey, I'm not trying to rush things," she replies as Hope points out her young age. There might be just the littlest emphasis on 'I'm' in that sentence too. "And like I said, not my business what Bobby does." And she's doing a very good job of minding her own business here too. "Anyway, congratulations and all that."

"Oh! I totally didn't think you were trying to rush things, Mellie. It's a 'someday' ring. I guess, like a promise ring?" Hope finishes with the sweeping, and decides she'll need a shower before she continues. The floor will need washing to get the miniscule granules out of the tiny spaces. "I would like it to be your business though. I mean, if we're eventually going to be family I'd like to be able to think of you as my own sister." Pause. "Even though we won't see eye to eye on things, I know that you're not an awful person deep down." A little more shyly, "When… when it does happen, would you consider being one of my bridesmaids?"

Mellie just stares at her for a few moments, not sure where to even begin answering that. "Well, I'm not wearing pink," is all she can come up with, a weak start before she manages to rally a bit. "And, um, thanks, I guess. Deep, deep down, I can almost believe that." That she's not an awful person, or that Hope actually thinks as much, it's hard to say. "But if you make him happy…" She trails off with a shrug. "You fuck him around though, and I do know people who can disappear a body." Making that just a little creepier is the small smile that accompanies it. But at least it shows she kinda does care about her brother?

Hope actually giggles, looking quite happy despite the flour debacle. "Well what about a compromise? Black trimmed in pink? Maybe a pink bow for a splash of color at the waist?" No, Hope has not been dreaming about a wedding for her whole entire life, not at all. "It looks pretty classy." But then her look gets a little more serious. "Mellie, I have only loved two guys in my life, and one of them is dead. I love your brother for who he is. I'm not going to change him, I'm not going to take him away from his family, and I'm not going to hurt him."

Mellie looks pretty skeptical that anything involving pink could be classy. "I … don't do pink." So what if it's not her wedding (as if such an apocalyptic event would ever come to pass). As Hope turns more serious, Mellie's gaze goes more keen, and she isn't shy in the least about peering at and studying the woman suspiciously. "Yeah, well, just see that you don't. He's kind of broken enough right now." If he gets any more broken, she might have to care, and she's already been over how she doesn't like to do that. "This other guy - you didn't kill him or anything, right? Just checking."

"No, a vampire tore his throat out and turned my twin sister's brain to mush. You know, that girl that's been on the television? The one that looks like me? Her." Hope's voice doesn't tremble. It doesn't waver. It does sound a lot more harsh and stern than her previous joviality however. "Your brother helped me when my sister was kidnapped and made to think she was a vampire. I'm going to help him through this, and you know what? I'm here if you want to talk too. Which you don't. Because you're trying not to care. I understand that." And there /will/ be pink on the dress, if Hope has to sedate Mellie to make it so.

Mellie is quiet for a moment as Hope explains what happened to this previous suitor. If she'd been having this conversation a month ago, she might have been glib, but as it is, her own brush with violent murder is just a little too raw to make light of another's. "Oh. Well, that sucks." She isn't exactly dripping with sympathy and concern, but it's sincere enough, as Mellie has the capacity to be. "Yeah, not real big on the talking. Never really saw the point of sobbing our feelings out." Tough girl shields back up. As for pink, well, sedatives or at least a great deal of alcohol may be required.

"Cute pun," Hope says, a sad little grin on her face. "But yes, it does. He was our best friend, and then I nearly lost my sister too. She's better now though." Which is reason enough to be happier. "It's not about sobbing the feelings out, you know. It's about a forced membership into a club no one wants to be in. The one that says you have to have a dead loved one before you can be a member." She'd reach out and comfort the tough girl, but she's still a bit floury. "Heck, even if you just want to scream and yell, or have someone to sit quietly with, I'm here, okay?"

"I wasn't trying to be smart," Mellie replies, frowning a bit at the fact her poor word choice made a joke when she didn't really mean to. Though it was probably better than the alternative that came to mind: 'that bites'? "Glad she's okay, I guess." She lets out a little sigh then, posture turning more defensive as this treads onto more and more sensitive territory, and her without any booze in hand to wash it away. "Thanks, but I'm fine. Not like anything is ever going to change anything, so…"

A knowing nod is given, then Hope falls a little quiet. "Either way, the offer stands. I'd like it if we could at least try to be friends, and if not that, at least be cordial to each other in your brother's presence?" She leans the broom and dustpan against the wall, and grabs for a tea towel to begin wiping herself down a little more. "By the way, I got you something for your apartment, since I wasn't sure if you had one. It's in the front closet too. I promise it's not wrapped in pink. It's in the shopping bag behind the shoes."

"No promises, but I'll try to play nice," Mellie replies with an indifferent shrug, not too sure how much she likes that suggestion, but then, she does have a good thing going right now, and she's not so confident Bobby would pick her over Hope if it ever came down to that. There's a slight pause then, as the present catches her genuinely by surprise. "You … got me something?" She does like gifts. "What is it?" She cuts a quick glance over towards the front closet.

"It's just a coffee pot. I didn't know what all you had for down there, but I figured that you probably liked coffee, and if not if you had people over they might." Hope seems a little flustered at the gift, and very uncertain if it will be liked. "But you know, I wanted to get you a house warming present, and I didn't want to snoop around to see what you had."

"Huh," Mellie replies, considering the gift, and how much Hope is worrying about her liking it. The latter might actually be more appreciated than the former, even, since she does enjoy the attention. "That's cool," she determines with a nod, passing casual judgement after letting it hang for a moment. "No one's really ever got me a house warming present before. Of course, some the places I've been, probably the best gift would be to burn them down."

A soft sigh of relief is issued, and Hope smiles again. "Well now someone's gotten you something. If you need anything else, let me know? I've got a few duplicate appliances back at my apartment, and whatever else your missing I don't mind picking up when I'm at work. The kitchen shop is right across from the food court." The tea towel is tossed on the counter, the girl having given up trying to get all the flour off that way. "I think I'm going to need to go take a shower, then finish cleaning the kitchen."

"I'll … keep that in mind," Mellie replies, just a little suspicious of such unadulterated niceness, even if Hope has already explained wanting to be friends for Bobby's sake. It comes belatedly, a little grudgingly, but at least it does finally come: "Thanks." And then Mellie is moving on promptly. "Yeah, you looking like that would probably blow the non-surprise of the whole … non-cake thing," she agrees, giving floury Hope a quick glance and then stepping back to make sure she's not in the way.

"You're welcome." Then Hope scoots through the doorway, and to the guest room to grab a change of clothing before she heads off to the shower. She'll probably need a second one after cleaning the kitchen more fully, but at least she can get the flour out of her ears and hair!

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