Monday, May 13, 2013

Shards To A Whole:Chapter 88

McGee-centric character study/romance. Want to start at the beginning? Click here.

Chapter 88: April

“Thank God, you’re both here!” Abby said rushing to sit down next to Tim and Jimmy. They were grabbing some lunch and  hadn’t expected her to join them.

“What?” Tim asked, dread in his voice, Abby looked really upset.

Ebony, crimson, and snow
“Tim! It’s awful! The Adam’s House called and they can’t get the linens in crimson, ebony, and snow. They’ve only got scarlet, midnight, and cream. But if we do scarlet and cream that means we’ve got to change the flowers because they won’t look right, but the florist tells me the that cream colored roses don’t grow in the late fall, and if we want the roses to match, the linens have to be snow and not cream, and the black cala lilies are more of a warm black, but the midnight linens are a cool black and there’s no such thing as a cool-toned black lily, and even if they dye them it won’t look right, because the underlying tone won’t go, and I’m about to laugh so hard I’m going to wet my pants, you should see the looks on both of your faces right now!” And with that Abby did start laughing.

“Everything is fine?” Tim asked once he realized he wasn’t about to have to deal with a bridezilla moment. So far there hadn’t been any, but both Gibbs and Palmer seemed to think it would happen any day now, and that for all intents and purposes you aren’t really married until you’ve talked your bride out of jumping off a cliff because some stupid screwed-up wedding detail that no man in the history of maleness has ever cared about.

She sat next to him and wrapped an arm around his shoulders, kissing his cheek. “April first, baby.”

Jimmy sighed, hard. “Don’t do that! You just gave me a flashback to my wedding when Breena really did freak out because the flowers weren’t going to match the napkins.”

“Yeah, she told me about it, which gave me the idea. Don’t worry, I know you two can’t even see the difference between snow and cream or scarlet and crimson, let alone care about it. Okay, I’ve got to get back to the lab. Have a good lunch!”

Abby bopped away, and Jimmy looked at Tim. “I don’t know if she’s evil or the coolest woman ever.”

“Coolest woman ever. Have I mentioned she didn’t cry when I told her I couldn’t care less what color anything was?”

“I was there, sitting next to you, silently begging you not to say it, waiting for her to explode about how you obviously didn’t love her if you didn’t care about the wedding details.”

“Coolest woman ever!” Tim said with a grin as he took a bite of his burger.

Some parts of planning the Sciuto-McGee wedding were going to be a whole lot of fun.

And while it was true that there were aspects of the wedding that Tim literally could not care less about, pretty much anything involving how the place looked for example, there were some things he really did care about.

When he’d explained the idea of what they were going to do to Gibbs, he’d just stared at him in stupefaction. Apparently back when he married Diane (The last time he’d had a wedding. He and Stephanie eloped) wedding cake came in one flavor: sawdust, and the only decision was how many layers you wanted.
So, on a bright and sunny Saturday afternoon in mid-April they were heading to the bakery to figure out what sort of cake they wanted.

Options, so many options, and all of them so, so good. They were sitting at a small table, with a collection of cupcakes in front of them. They’d already narrowed the twenty or so options from the menu down to four. But going from four to one was a killer.

See, the thing about a family only wedding, and not having tons of family is that you don’t need a big wedding cake. Which pretty much limits you to one flavor. And picking just one out of the four in front of them… Black Forrest cake: dark chocolate cake soaked in rum and cherries with a sinfully deep vanilla frosting. Lemon-Raspberry Cake: lemon pound cake, raspberry mousse filling, raspberry gelle, and white chocolate frosting. Peanut butter cake, peanut butter mousse, chocolate ganache. And finally almond cake, chocolate ganache, cherry gelle, vanilla frosting. They sat there, happily munching away, more or less agreeing that all of them were the best thing in the history of cake and that deciding on one of them was impossible.

Finally, Sherri, the baker said to them, “You don’t have to pick just one. You need enough cake to feed forty, right?”

Abby nodded.

“That’s not a big enough cake to make different tiers a good idea, but we can do cupcakes. The ones in front of you are pretty plain, but we can make them fancy if you like. They cost more, because it takes more work to make and decorate a lot of little cakes, but…” And she let the idea trail off as Tim and Abby stared at the cupcakes in front of them.

Then Abby looked at him, licked a bit of white chocolate frosting off her fork, and smiled.

Tirimisu Cupcakes
Tim grinned back, grinned wide. There was one sort of cake he’d been very interested in, but it didn’t make the final cut because Abby doesn’t like coffee. But if they were going to get a lot of flavors instead of just one, it could go on the list. Tiramisu cake: white sponge cake soaked coffee syrup, whipped mascarpone frosting, chocolate sprinkles. “Can you make the tiramisu cake as a cupcake?”

“No problem.” Sherri stood up and was back a minute later, placing small, creamy café au lait colored cupcake sprinkled with cocoa and a chocolate curl propped on the frosting in front of Tim. “It’s one of our better sellers.”

Tim bit into it, and groaned with pleasure, it was exactly as good as he had hoped it would be. He looks at Abby, smiling, very pleased with this idea.

“How many cupcakes do you recommend for a group of forty?” Abby asked.

“We usually suggest eighty. Though, if you’ve got a lot of kids in your group, more might be a good idea.”

“Not a lot of kids. Lot of hardcore coffee addicts, but not a lot of kids,” she said, watching the expression of utter, sublime joy on Tim’s face as he chewed his cupcake.

Sherri smiled. “So, would you want sixteen of each? We do a minimum order of six, but anything over that is fine. If you want, we can make them all look the same, cover them with fondant and whatever decorations you want, or we can decorate them so it’s fairly obvious what they are. We can arrange them on a tray or do tiered clusters, so they’d look more like a traditional wedding cake. Pretty much whatever you can imagine, we can do.”

And so, but the end of the afternoon, an order for eighty cupcakes, each decorated to show what they were on the inside, displayed on eight black pedestals, each at a different height, with white roses and chocolate covered strawberries strewn around them was placed, and Tim and Abby were one step closer to having a wedding planned and ready to go.


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