au, romance, fluff.
Kyungsoo sells sweets, but nothing compares to the boy who stops by every afternoon with tanned skin and pretty lips.
|kyungsoo doesn't like sweets, but he likes to make them. it may sound ridiculous, but he enjoys waking up before the sun with his mother to make cupcakes, muffins, cookies, and everything else their small bakery downtown sells.
at first, kyungsoo could never get the sweetness down right. it was either not sweet enough, or much too sweet. but his mother would only smile encouragingly and tell him to try again.
so he did. again and again and again, until one day, as he bit into a cupcake he just baked, he felt like he was in heaven. it was amazing. almost perfect, he dared say, and he could barely contain his glee at the smile that spread over his mother’s lips as she took her first bite.
that marked the beginning of kyungsoo’s “official” spot as the cupcake maker of their small shop. he was sixteen and proud.
kyungsoo is eighteen. he is less proud but more talented, and he bakes whenever he isn’t busy with studies and other school activities. he stays at the bakery late into the night, even after his mom goes home, trying to perfect whatever recipe he wants to try out.
he’s moved onto tarts. they’re fun, but kyungsoo still prefers cupcakes above all other sweets they sell. he spends a lot of time on them: their mix, their frosting, their looks.
one morning, kyungsoo is preparing a fresh batch of red velvet cupcakes when he hears a knock at the front door. he wipes his hand warily, thinking it’s baekhyun, his best friend who usually sneaks old cookies into his jacket before running off to his vocal lessons.
when he gets to the front, he sees that it isn't baekhyun. the stranger at the door is taller, tanner, and better-looking. he also lacks the eye-liner that baekhyun is never seen outside without.
"is anyone in there?" the boy asks, knocking again, trying to peek in. but it's useless with the lights off inside and the shades down, making it difficult to see in from the outside. he squints, trying to find someone.
kyungsoo wonders if he should reply. after all, he rarely does; the sign with closed in big, red letters should be an indication that no one is there. and even though kyungsoo is there, he doesn't want to be bothered with people who need to use the bathroom, or people who want bread early, or other excuses he's heard in the past.
but there's something about the boy outside that has kyungsoo standing there, shifting his weight from his right foot to his left over and over, as he thinks about replying. the boy has really nice lips, after all, and kyungsoo wouldn't mind talking to those.
he doesn't realize how long he has been standing there, staring at the boy outside, until said boy almost gives up and walks away.
"aish, why are all the stores closed," he mutters, running a hand through his hair as he turns away.
"because it's six in the morning," kyungsoo replies before he can help himself. his voice is louder than he expects, and the boy stops immediately and turns back around.
"is someone there?" he asks, his eyes widening as he tries to search but fails to see.
kyungsoo sighs, gnawing at his bottom lip in defeat. he's already metaphorically revealed himself, so he might as well keep answering.
"ah... yeah..." kyungsoo answers slowly, still hesitant though. who knows who this boy is? maybe he's a thief, or one of those hoodlums. he kind of looks like he could be one.
the boy outside looks torn, and kyungsoo smiles a little at that because it's cute. he's obviously trying to suppress his anger at kyungsoo for not replying earlier while at the same time keeping calm and polite so kyungsoo will answer.
"may I help you?" kyungsoo finally asks, turning on the light. the boy outside's face brightens as he can see him through the small opening. he waves, and kyungsoo frowns. does he know him?
"I need to buy bread!" the boy yells, as if kyungsoo can't hear him properly, although that obviously isn't the case if he could hear his mumbling earlier.
"we don't have bread," kyungsoo deadpans.
the boy's expression darkens again. "but this is a bakery," he says, unbelieving.
"yeah, but my mom makes the bread, and she isn't here yet," kyungsoo replies, crossing his arms.
"but I need bread," the boy repeats, hanging his head.
"is it that important? we open in an hour. can't you come back then?" kyungsoo asks, annoyed because 'closed' means closed, which means no sales until they open at seven. it isn't very hard to understand.
"but I'm hungry," the boy continues. "please! day old bread would do! or anything! I just need to get something for my sisters and I."
kyungsoo narrows his eyes at him. he hears this often: I'm hungry, I need food, one piece of bread won't hurt. it's cliched and tiring, and kyungsoo has half a mind to turn off the light and walk back into the kitchen.
but the other half is persuasive in keeping kyungsoo around, and it might have to do with that stranger's amazing jawline.
taking a deep breath, kyungsoo turns on his heels and walks back to the kitchen. he tries to find some old bread, but there is none. usually, if it's leftover, they eat it or give it away to friends and neighbors. he's about to give up when he remembers the cupcakes he was working on before the knock.
well, at least I can get someone else's opinion on it before putting them on sale, kyungsoo thinks to himself as he hurried frosts the top of two cupcakes (he chooses the ones that didn't bake to the top), and walks back out.
he sees the stranger still there, worriedly looking for kyungsoo, who disappeared without a word. he smiles when kyungsoo returns with two cupcakes in his hands and a tired expression.
"you better leave after this," kyungsoo warns before opening the door. he stares the boy dead in the eye, and all the latter can do is reply with an eager nod.
his mind is telling him that he's stupid for doing this as he opens the door and sticks out two of the cupcakes.
their fingers brush as the stranger takes them with a grateful smile, and kyungsoo almost drops the cupcakes.
"thank you," the boy says after kyungsoo has closed the door.
"you're welcome," kyungsoo mumbles, fumbling with his hands as he tries to make the tingling go away. he's about to return to the kitchen and scrub his hands when the boy suddenly speaks.
"I'm jongin," he says quickly. "in case... in case you see me around and uh... want to..."
"I have cupcakes to return to," kyungsoo interrupts, frowning. he does not understand why this boy isn't just leaving. he has his food. what more does he want?
"then um... I'll go now."
"you said you would after I gave you the cupcakes," kyungsoo says with a nod.
"... see you around?"
"hopefully during our open hours," kyungsoo mentions, and he misses the pink on jongin's cheeks.
kyungsoo waves before leaving, turning off the light after him as he re-enters the kitchen.
when he tries the cupcake again, it's not as sweet as he remembered.
the same boy shows up again the next day during the afternoon, hands stuffed awkwardly in his pockets with his shoulders squared. he's looking through the selection when kyungsoo walks over, recognizing the jawline and perfectly bronzed skin.
"you liked them?" he asks, leaning in to take a look at jongin without the glass in between. he's (unfortunately) more handsome face-to-face.
startled, jongin takes a step back and almost hits the display behind him. kyungsoo frowns at the mess he makes when some boxes tumble over.
"sorry!" he immediately apologizes upon seeing kyungsoo's face, and he hurries to pick them up and place them back where they originally were. kyungsoo is still annoyed - jongin's organization is messy - but it helps when jongin says, "and I liked them a lot."
he smiles a little at that and nods. "I worked hard on that recipe. was it sweet enough?"
"it was the perfect amount of sweetness," jongin says, returning the smile with his own bright one.
"thanks," kyungsoo beams. he always likes to hear people praise his cupcakes.
"but they're not here," jongin continues, pointing at the array of cupcakes in the glass and how the red velvet one is not there. "why not?"
"I'm still working on the frosting," kyungsoo answers. frostings are an essential part of any cupcake - it must complement the cupcake's taste and look.
"oh. I thought it was good," jongin says, looking down.
"thanks," kyungsoo repeats with a soft laugh. "you can try a different type, though. I like the vanilla one a lot."
jongin looks up, and their eyes lock. kyungsoo is reminded of coffee suddenly while looking into jongin's deep, brown orbs, and he wonders if that should be his next experiment.
"I'll have one vanilla cupcake, then," jongin says, grinning.
kyungsoo nods and thinks he really should have a cup of coffee now - he's feeling quite disorientated.
jongin comes back everyday at three, each day trying out a different cupcake. kyungsoo would always ask if he liked the one from the previous day, and jongin would always reply with, "it was perfectly sweet." and that never failed to make kyungsoo smile stupidly.
after two weeks, jongin runs out of flavors to try. he asks for the red velvet cupcake one more time, and kyungsoo refuses him for the nth time.
"it's not ready yet," kyungsoo grumbles as he hands jongin a cookie instead.
"it's been two weeks," jongin argues. "and it was good the first time I tried it! you should just put it out now. it'd sell like hot cakes."
kyungsoo rolls his eyes. "it's not ready," he repeats. "besides, I don't even know what it's missing. I'm learning how to make tarts now."
"ew. tarts." jongin's nose crinkles, and kyungsoo chuckles as he rings up jongin's order.
"they're good," kyungsoo defends.
"I don't know... not the ones I had. but maybe if they're yours, they will be," jongin says, and it's cheesy, and kyungsoo doesn't even like savory foods, but he finds himself smiling without fail at jongin's words. there's a flush on his face that he hopes jongin doesn't notice.
but as jongin turns to leave, he turns back, a wry grin on his face, and says, "you should get out more often, kyungsoo. the heat of the kitchen is getting to you."
one day, jongin shows up with a friend. his friend is tall like jongin but his skin is fairer and hair lighter. he's cute, though, and kyungsoo doesn't know what he feels when he sees the two walk in together, close with their hands almost touching.
"kyungsoo!" jongin immediately greets, smiling at him. the boy beside him is grinning, and kyungsoo is envious of his pretty face, but there is something about him that he can't put a finger on.
"hi, jongin," he replies with a nod.
"this is sehun, kyungsoo," jongin introduces, gesturing to the boy beside him. "he dances with me."
"you dance?" kyungsoo asks, eyes widening.
jongin and sehun exchange a look before laughing, and sehun is saying, "he really does have big eyes."
"cute, right?" jongin replies, and kyungsoo eyes widen even more at that, but they're too busy talking to notice.
"yes," sehun agrees, and kyungsoo notices he has a slight lisp. "but not as cute as luhan."
jongin bumps his shoulder, rolling his eyes, and kyungsoo wonders if he should let them have their moment because he's being ignored now. he goes back to wiping the counter, and jongin immediately follows.
"so I've been telling sehun all about your cupcakes," jongin says, grinning. "and he wants to try some now."
"okay... which one?"
"vanilla! and I should get luhan one... what do you think he'll want?"
"he likes red velvet," sehun answers.
kyungsoo almost expects jongin to look at him with pleading eyes and ask - as he always did - for the red velvet cupcakes once more. but, to his surprise, jongin just shakes his head and says, "there are none." he doesn't even bring up the fact that kyungsoo is still working on his.
"I guess he'll settle for strawberry, then," sehun replies with a shrug. he pays, jongin excitedly informs kyungsoo about a dance competition coming up and how he should come (to which kyungsoo hesitates and says he'll think about) and then they leave together with two cupcakes and a scone (for jongin).
the next day, kyungsoo asks why jongin did beg for the red velvet cupcake yesterday with sehun.
"because that cupcake is mine," jongin says with a smile. "I don't want luhan to fall in love with it because it's mine."
kyungsoo's never heard anything so stupid but so sweet.
kyungsoo realizes jongin is younger than him by a year after he goes to watch the dance competition that jongin invited him to. baekhyun and chanyeol accompany him eagerly - "I can't believe you're actually inviting us to do something that doesn't have to do with baking or cupcakes or singing!" - but kyungsoo loses them halfway through when they wander off to buy food.
then he sees jongin, getting ready with the rest of the group at the corner of the stage. he also sees sehun and another boy - a boy he recognizes. it's luhan! kyungsoo recognizes him because he sometimes comes by to pick up tao, a transfer student in his grade, with other chinese men. he also has been seen around with...
sehun! now kyungsoo remembers why sehun was familiar. they go to the same school. in fact, sehun's only a year younger than him. and he remembers that sehun and jongin are the same age - jongin talks about them, calling sehun one of his best friends his age - and the realization is startling.
startling and pleasing.
then jongin's group is called to perform, and kyungsoo is brought out of his reverie when the music begins and jongin's entire aura is changed as he becomes 'kai'.
kyungsoo's realization is no longer pleasing when he realizes that the young boy is much sexier and tempting than he'd ever like to admit.
(although jongin squeezes it out of him later that week, and kyungsoo kicks him out of the bakery soon afterwards, a bright red as jongin laughter rings in his ears.)
in about two and a half months, jongin has tried everything in the bakery at least once, and kyungsoo is worried that once he runs out of foods to try, he'll stop coming back.
this is ridiculous, kyungsoo thinks to himself as he stirs the frosting. you didn't even want him here that first day, and now you're hoping he doesn't stop showing up. maybe you really should get out more often. he takes in a deep breath and sighs, stirring even faster now.
he's holding his breath all day, as if jongin really won't show up anymore after he finished the last food left - ironically enough, it's the bread he wanted the first day. he doesn't even realize how fast his heart is beating in his chest as it nears closer to three.
when the bells of the front door jingle, kyungsoo immediately looks up.
it isn't him.
his heart falls, and he moves to return to the kitchen when the bells jingle again and jongin comes walking in with his earphones hanging around his neck.
kyungsoo almost faints at his stupidity.
"you look like you're listening to some mandarin cooking show," jongin chuckles, and kyungsoo frowns at the bad joke, if it can even be called that.
"what does that even mean?" kyungsoo asks with a huff, although he's incredibly relieved to see the boy.
"you look worried," jongin says with a shrug. "what for?"
kyungsoo just stares. there is no way he'd tell jongin why he seemed worried. he's already been embarassed various times by the younger. no way, no chance, no -
"he was worried you wouldn't show up today," chanyeol butts in, and kyungsoo wonders why he ever gave chanyeol a job as a cashier.
"chanyeol!" kyungsoo objects, sending daggers at him.
"what? it's true! you were even pacing, and you only do that when you're anxious," chanyeol says, but kyungsoo pushes him away to help the next customer, and when he returns, jongin has a grin stretched across his face.
kyungsoo pretends not to hear jongin cooing in his ear about how he could never stay away (but he can't deny how happy it makes him to hear that).
it's raining the day jongin asks kyungsoo out. he stumbles in, soaking wet, and kyungsoo is ready to chastise him for not checking the weather report and knowing to bring an umbrella when out fall six words from jongin's pretty lips.
"will you go out with me?" he breathes, and kyungsoo is almost knocked off of his feet.
"I - what are - jongin, you must be coming down with something," he finally settles for, frowning as he reaches out to see how warm jongin is. he has to be sick or something to say something as ridiculous as that.
"no," jongin says, grabbing his hand instead, and he is indeed warm, although it probably isn't from a cold. "I'm fine, and I-I asked you a question."
kyungsoo pulls back immediately, startled by the intensity in jongin's eyes. it's like the first day they meet, and jongin forces words out of kyungsoo's mouth that he doesn't want to say with just the look on his face.
and so he stammers, "n-no," and retreats to the back without even taking another glance at jongin.
now he really needs coffee.
it's six in the morning when there is a knock at the door. kyungsoo is baking. that's all he's been doing the last week, actually. jongin didn't show up after his accidental (it was accidental, right?) rejection, and the only distraction kyungsoo knows of is baking.
but it became frustrating as he starts to lose his touch on sweetness, and even baekhyun - who eats anything kyungsoo gives him - tells him that his cupcake isn't sweet enough.
he's working on a coffee cake recipe - he can't stop thinking about coffee these days - when he hears the knocking.
his heart jumps, and a tiny part of him is wishing that it's who he wants it to be. but he doesn't let himself get his hopes up as he wipes his hands clean, checks himself in the oven's reflection, and hesitantly makes his way to the front.
he lets out a breath as he sees who it is.
jongin, tired and messy, standing out in the cold. he has a large coat on, though, and he has one hand behind his back and the other continuously knocking at the door as he tries to peek in.
kyungsoo is immediately at the door, opening it and deciding that he can think about what to say, what to do after he sees jongin. really sees him, really sees his eyes and his lips and his perfect face.
"hi," kyungsoo breathes.
"hi," jongin replies, and he seems to be just as shocked as kyungsoo is, if not more. they stand there, staring at each other, before jongin clears his throat and says, "can I - can I come in?"
kyungsoo doesn't remember jongin ever sounding so unsure before, and it's unnerving. he moves to the side and lets him in, closing the door behind him and locking it.
minutes pass, and kyungsoo can't bring himself to move or talk, and jongin is looking everywhere but at him. he feels like all the regret is crashing down on him right at this moment, and he wants to apologize to jongin and tell him that he maybe, possibly, very-likely would actually like to go out with jongin and that what he answered earlier was a terrible, thoughtless mistake.
but instead, he looks at the box jongin is holding behind his back - hiding it very poorly - and points to it. "what's that?" he asks dumbly. he just wants to talk to him, though.
"a cupcake," jongin replies, finally holding it out. it's light pink and it has white polka dots.
"buying them from another bakery now, are we? traitor," kyungsoo tries to joke, because he just wants the awkwardness to disappear and he wants to talk to jongin like he did before, with cheesy lines and stupid grins.
"no, I made this," jongin says quietly, his gaze on the ground. kyungsoo frowns, but tries to keep the conversation going.
"so you can bake?"
"no... but I wanted to try for you."
the words make kyungsoo flush with glee because jongin didn't forget about him and jongin still maybe, hopefully wants that date. but jongin doesn't notice how happy kyungsoo looks, only thinks that the floor is clean right now and kyungsoo's shoes are dirty and -
"can I see it?"
jongin looks up, and he's awestruck by the smile on kyungsoo's face. he barely manages a word as he lifts the box up and hands it to kyungsoo, their fingers brushing and it feels like it's been too long since kyungsoo's gotten that tingly feeling again.
he opens the box up slowly and peeks in.
well, it's the effort that mattered, right?
the frosting is sloppy and messy, and kyungsoo can barely see the cake underneath it. he peels back the paper and sees it's red velvet, which makes him chuckle despite himself. he takes a bite of the cake itself, and it's a bit dry, but he doesn't say anything.
then he takes a bite of the cake with frosting.
and he swears he falls in love.
he doesn't understand how jongin did it, but somehow he created the perfect frosting with the right amount of sweetness for the cake, and kyungsoo is leaning over the counter and presses his lips against jongin's without thinking.
yes, it's perfectly sweet.
kyungsoo still doesn't like sweets, but he likes to make them. it may sound ridiculous, but he enjoys waking up before the sun to make cupcakes and sneak kisses with his new helper whose frosting completes his cupcakes.
and even though kyungsoo doesn't like sweets, he thinks he's developing a sweet tooth because jongin's kisses are perfect and taste like frosting.
a/n: kai is cute in this story. it disturbs me to write him like this lol. even though he really IS cute... but still. bothers me. and I think I made kyungsoo seemingly more masculine at times...
umm I usually don't write like this (like in all lower caps), but I was in one of those moods again. those writing moods where you stop caring about capital letters and sense in general, and you just write fluff. it's an interesting mood. and by interesting, I mean bothersome lol
but uhhh why is there so much angst for kaisoo fics? :( my heart cannot handle angst right now, and I just want fluff or cliches or something cute... /pouts. not that the angst isn't good (because it really is o.o) but... yeah.
thank you for reading, though ^^ I hope you enjoyed!