~Slice of Life…and Butter~
"___________..." your friend, Lukas Bondevik, called you over from a few paces away in the school yard. You promptly responded by walking over to him.
"What's up, Lukas?" you asked tilting your head in a curious manner. You watched as Lukas knelt down and picked a bright yellow dandelion that had bloomed from a small patch of dandelion weeds. He stared at the dandelion he had picked for a few seconds. Then, he looked up at you with his pale azure eyes and began to hold the dandelion out to you.
Even though you had always seen dandelions as weeds, you couldn't help but feel touched at the thought of shy and socially awkward Lukas offering you a flower. By reflex, a smile began to creep across your face.
"Thank you, Luka—"
Before you could finish, Lukas held out the dandelion past your hand and right underneath your chin leaving you stunned and confused.
"L-Lukas…What are you…?"
"You like butter," Lukas said.
Well that couldn't have been more random coming from Lukas. What in the world did dandelions have anything to do with butter?
"I-I don't follow…" you stammered feeling the fuzzy yellow flower tickle your chin.
"It's something I learned from Arthur," Lukas told you retreating the dandelion from underneath your chin and lowering his eyes to the yellow puffball-like flower. "You put a yellow dandelion flower underneath someone's chin, and if the reflection glows a golden-like yellow on that person's skin, then that means that person likes butter."
You giggled at such an innocent practice. It was just like one of those things you learned as a child where if you stepped on a crack, you would break your mother's back, or if a girl kissed a boy, he would get "cooties." This, on the other hand, was irresistibly cute; it was even more amusing that Lukas actually thought to try it on you.
"What about you?" you asked. "Do you like butter, Lukas?"
Lukas began to bat his feminine eyelashes bashfully. His eyes began to look for a different place to focus on, and eventually, they remained glued on the dandelion he was still holding. You weren't sure if it was your imagination or not, but you could have sworn you saw a hint of red showing on Lukas' usually pale face.
"Y-Yes, I do," he answered. "There's no reason to try the dandelion thing on me. It's just in my nature to naturally like butter."
"That last sentence was kind of redundant," you laughed earning a low, embarrassed grunt from your Norwegian friend.
"Hey, you two! There you are!" a loud and obnoxious voice shouted from the other side of the schoolyard. If the voice wasn't recognizable, the owner's appearance certainly was. Mathias Køhler's towering height made him stand out above the crowd and if that wasn't enough, his sandy blonde hair fashioned in upright tufts did.
"What're you two doing out here in the field like this?" Mathias asked getting comfortable in between Lukas and you. Your Danish friend noticed Lukas holding the dandelion.
"What's that for, Norge?" Mathias asked. "Don't tell me you were thinking of giving that to _____________, were you?"
"Idiot," Lukas coldly hissed under his breath.
"He was showing me this little thing with dandelions," you answered in Lukas' stead since he looked like he was about to break into a fit of blushes. You bent down and picked another dandelion from the same patch Lukas picked his. "You take a dandelion and put it under your chin, and if there's a golden glow on your skin, that means you like butter."
"Oh! Try it on me!" Mathias beamed excitedly.
"Alright," you giggled and held the dandelion underneath Mathias' chin. Sure enough, there was a soft golden glow dancing underneath his chin. It came as no surprise since Mathias enjoyed his flaky pastries and butter spread.
"How about that?" you laughed. "You like butter, Mathias."
"Of course!" Mathias grinned. "Hey, can I try it on you?"
"I already did," Lukas told his friend in a monotonous voice.
"Yeah, but I want to try it on ____________, too, Norge," Mathias said and took the dandelion from your hand so he could try out the little test as well. You giggled and played along waiting for Mathias to see the yellow light on your skin.
"I don't see anything," Mathias said bending down to get a better look.
You furrowed your eyebrows. "But Lukas was able to see it just fine."
"Maybe you should tilt your chin at a different angle," Mathias suggested.
"Like this?" you asked tilting your chin upwards to the sky.
Mathias shook his head. "No, no, not like that. Maybe lower. I think that way your chin will be closer to the dandelion."
"So…like this, then?" You lowered your chin just enough so you were able to see Mathias grinning like a maniac a little lower than your eye level. Then, out of the blue, the sly Dane moved forward and kissed your full on the lips.
Both you and Lukas ended up hitting him.
"What's the big idea, ____________?" Mathias whined rubbing the places where you and Lukas had struck him.
"Idiot…" Lukas growled in a low, seething voice.
"I-I didn't see that coming!" you babbled, your face flushed crimson red. "S-Stupid Mathias! That was my first one, too!"
"Ah, sorry, sorry," Mathias apologized rather dismissively. "How about I make it up to you by treating you to some of my pastries at my place? Norge was right, by the way; you like butter."
You snorted. Mathias did know how to make delicious pastries so how could you refuse? Besides, it wasn't like you were going to be alone. Lukas was invited, too.
"I'll only go if Lukas goes," you replied.
Lukas blinked. "I'll go."
"Great!" Mathias beamed and wrapped his arms around both yours and Lukas' shoulders. He was quick to forgive you for hitting him—that or he was completely oblivious to that fact that he had made things incredibly awkward between you and Lukas. Nevertheless, the three of you ended up going to his house.
"When you invited us over, I didn't think we would actually have to make them with you," Lukas frowned wiping some flour off of his dark sleeves.
"But making them with friends makes the pastries taste better!" Mathias laughed oblivious to the dark cloud that was swirling around Lukas. He tuned his attention to __________ who was lining up the butter to form the flaky layers when they baked.
"Hey, ____________, do you think you could go fetch the jam?" he asked ___________. "It's in the cellar next to the sugar."
"Sure," ___________ said wiping down her buttery hands with a towel and heading towards the cellar. When she was out of hearing range, Mathias turned back to his friend who had been diligently working the entire time.
"Hey, Norge, you haven't been yourself since after school ended. You feeling okay?"
Lukas bit his lower lip. "Since when do you pay attention to anyone but yourself, you oblivious Dane?"
Mathias frowned. "I pay attention to my friends."
Lukas hopelessly shook his head. "If you did, then you would have known that I…" His voice trailed off.
"That you what?" Mathias wondered giving his friend his full attention only to be brushed off by his cold demeanor. Lukas only sighed and lowered his head so he could continue working on forming the dough into perfect round braids.
"It's nothing," Lukas frowned refusing to look at Mathias.
"If you don't tell me, then how am I supposed to know if I can help you?"
Lukas threw Mathias a hard, icy glare that burned with a fiery look of contempt.
"You're the one who's the problem, you know that, Mark?" he growled in a low voice.
"I am?" Mathias stupidly asked.
Lukas rolled his eyes. "See what I mean? You can't see what's going on even when it's right in front of you. You're a lost cause."
"How am I supposed to know what's wrong if you don't even tell me?" Mathias frowned.
That was it. Lukas couldn't take anymore of his friend's inability to recognize his feelings.
"I'm talking about ___________!" he nearly shouted. "Weren't you listening when I told you how I felt about her? Haven't you been seeing how…awkward I've been when I see her? I…" Lukas shook his head and left the counter. "You're an idiot, you know that?"
"What? Hey, Norge, where are you going?!"
"Out!" Lukas shouted before slamming the backdoor.
When you returned with the jam, you noticed only Mathias was in the kitchen, but he wasn't working.
"Mathias, where did Lukas go?" you asked as you set down the jar of strawberry jam on the counter.
"He's just having a little trouble with his love life," Mathias smiled in a far-off way.
Confused, you raised an eyebrow. "I don't get it."
"Then let me ask you something, ___________. Do you like Lukas or me?"
"I like you both," you answered.
Mathias shook his head. "Not like that. I mean which one do you like like?"
A blush began to creep across your face. "Oh…that…" You hesitated. "Um…I—" Before you could finish your answer, Mathias kissed you on the lips again leaving you a blushing mute.
"How did that feel, _____________?" Mathias asked. "Tell me the truth."
"It…" you ran your fingers across your lips that were still tingling from the kiss. "It didn't feel like anything. It was just something that was there."
Mathias sighed and smiled sadly—quite unusual of him.
"I knew it," he said in a dull voice. "I should have seen the signs. You like Norge, don't you?"
Now your face was redder than before. "Wh-What? Where did that come from?"
Mathias shrugged. "Just a hunch, but Norge has been dropping signs about how he's been feeling about you." He scratched the back of his head. "To be honest, I was a little envious. I didn't think there was anyone out there that Lukas could like outside of his family and friends so when he told me he liked you…I don't know, I just wanted you to myself. It's selfish, isn't it?"
"Oh, Mathias…" you sighed and wrapped your arms around your Danish friend's waist. "You've always been a friend to me. I…I'm sorry, but I like Lukas."
"I thought so," Mathias smiled and hugged you back. "I think you'd better go outside and talk to Norge. He's pretty mad at me for trying to steal you away."
"I will," you said releasing Mathias and heading towards the back. "Thanks, Mathias!"
"Sure thing, _____________," Mathias sighed with a bittersweet smile.
When you found Lukas, he was busy blowing off steam by pacing around in circles around the yard. Perhaps the thought of leaving you alone with Mathias prevented him from leaving the Dane's house altogether.
"Lukas!" you called after your Norwegian friend.
Lukas looked up and saw you walking towards him. "___________? Did that Dane ask you to come and get me?"
You shook your head. "Not exactly. Listen, Lukas, I—" Suddenly, from the corner of your eye, you spotted a lone dandelion sprouting out of the ground. "Oh! It's a dandelion. Hey, Lukas, I know you said you already tried out that dandelion thing, but do you think I could try it on you, anyway?"
Lukas blinked and lowered his gaze just like last time. "There's no need to."
"Yeah, but Mathias is making pastries for us. We might as well see if you really like butter."
"I do, _____________," your pale blonde-haired friend impatiently told you. "You really don't need to try it on me—mmgh!"
When you removed your lips from Lukas' soft ones, you could clearly see Lukas' face blushing a full beet red out of surprise and confusion.
"__-__________..." he stammered. "Wh-What…? Why?"
"Stupid Lukas..." you grumbled. "I was planning on doing that dandelion thing Mathias pulled on me, but you were so stubborn."
Lukas was at a loss for words, his usually mellow azure eyes now alert and wide awake from the kiss you had given him.
"D-Does this mean you like me, ___________?" he quietly asked.
You cracked a smile and gave Lukas your answer in a second kiss stroking his silky blonde hair that reminded you of the color of butter.
"Did that answer your question?" you giggled enjoying the bashful expression that was dancing on Lukas' face.
"Y-Yes…" Lukas smiled softly and looked away. He was still shy around you.
"___________! Norge! The first batch is done!" Mathias called from his house.
You smiled and looked at Lukas. "Let's go, Lukas."
"Yeah…" he nodded, his face still riddled with splashes of light pink.
When the two of you joined Mathias in the kitchen, he noticed something different about the two of you.
"Hey, so what happened out there?" he asked in between bites of a Danish. "Did you two make ou—uh, I mean, make up?"
"Idiot…" Lukas frowned and nibbled at his pastry to distract himself from thinking about the kisses you gave him.
"You can say that," you laughed and took another bite of your pastry catching Mathias staring at you with an enigmatic twinkle in his blue eyes.
"These are delicious, by the way, Mathias."
"Thanks, ____________," Mathias smiled. "I used extra butter in these seeing as how we all like butter so much."
Lukas sighed and narrowed his eyes. He didn't say anything this time, but both you and Mathias could see the rush of blood on his cheeks as you all ate your butter-filled pastries.