He settled pretty fine in college, that’s how Jihoon thought would go. But god was he wrong, at the moment he’s trying his best to escape from this dispute between Seojun and the dance team because both were arguing and somehow, the poor valkyr got stuck while he was supposed to bake a few cakes. Yesterday, he remembered heading over to the cafe just in front of the university’s entrance because he wanted to get a cup of coffee before resuming his shift at the bakery that he got a part-time job at. He wasn’t sure what it was about the very bread that’s been popular for the past week with the students, but Seojun got into an argument with Ryan, who’s the president of the dance club, over a loaf of bread. Okay, it’s not just over a loaf of bread, it’s the last stock of the chocolate bread he had worked with Freyja. 

He didn’t think people liked it that much that it sold out for the first three days and now his grumpy roommate who was ready to tear the other guy in shreds is also one of the many who’s fighting for it. “Cats are so sensitive…” he muttered, Seojun reminds him a lot like Dae. Speaking of which, he missed the niveis. He lifted his head up from the couch where he found himself sleeping on, after spending the entire night finishing the cakes. He supposed he could've finished them much earlier if it wasn't because of the incident yesterday but he was glad he could diffuse the tension between the two. 

Jihoon craned his neck and stretched out his arms "I really shouldn't sleep on the couch overnight…" he groaned, the ache was very much there but it's bearable. He took a quick shower and changed out of his work clothes into something more casual before heading out with the cakes in the containers. He promised to give Yeon and Dae the first taste, and the valkyr intends to keep his promise. Perhaps he was daydreaming about how delighted Freyja would be if he came visiting with another cake because the last time he surprised her at the cafe while she was doing her work, she took the cake pretty well. He ought to bake her another next time, just the thought of seeing that face light up with happiness and excitement is more than enough for a payment.

Of course, while he was walking down the pavement with the containers in his hand, daydreaming about his crush, the last thing he'd expect was a bike was heading his way.

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It had been a pretty busy week at the cafe the last few days, it felt like the time was practically flying by each day because there would be customers pretty miuch constantly and he would be dashing around here, there and everywhere to keep things in order. At first he thought he’d hate the work there but it had grown on him in time, he had good colleagues there which made the long days feel shorter and aside from the odd pushy customer here and there, mostly people were polite enough.

It had been a crazy kind of morning shift where he’d barely been able to process anything but the next order he was handling before he headed to check on the next table. Thankfully it was only a short shift for him and before long he was gathering his things and getting ready to head out of the restaurant, he tucked his uniform into his bag and headed to walk the distance towards Han’s place. It was quite a long trip for him but he never minded taking the scenic route most days, he liked having time to himself.

He had his headphones on, a catchy rhythmic song playing to keep his mind off all the people around him. Everyone was heading out to lunch he was sure. He looked up from his phone for a moment just to see a cyclist speeding down the path, swerving in and out of the pedestrians and almost knocking down people as he went. Realizing it was about to collide with a guy wandering on the path he quickly moved to nudge the unsuspecting male to the side, stumbling a little to keep his own footing as the cyclist narrowly went past him, not even uttering a sorry as they continued on their way.

Sunmin grumbled and dusted himself off “Asshole” he cursed before turning his attention to the male he had knocked out of the way who seemed to have fallen oven in the whole ordeal “Anything bleeding?” he questioned.

Cake. That's the first thing that went through bi's head when he stumbled on his steps and totally hit someone else. He didn't care what happened to him, okay maybe he did care what would happen to the person who bumped against him, but not himself, that's for sure. Not when the cakes he made after staying up the whole night are at risk. He was cursing at himself for not seeing the bike heading his way but it took him a few seconds for everything else to register because his cakes… his precious cakes. 

Jihoon was staring at the pitiful state of his crushed cakes when the stranger who helped him earlier by tipping off about the cyclist, asked if there was anything bleeding. "My heart… if you're counting that one too" he whined and sighed heavily, putting his head into his hands as he groaned in response, he couldn't believe he had been so reckless and ruined what he stayed up all night for. "I stayed up all night to make this… Now it's oh my god it's ruined…" It obviously couldn't be saved anymore. "I feel like a whole year worth of work just went out the window… I was supposed to share this with my friends… what am I supposed to tell them now…" 

Judging from his erratic and tired state, it was clear that the valkyr really did spend an amount of work on them. He picked up the container and looked up at the younger male "You don't happen to be a baker… right? A really really good one at that too?" The look in his eyes was hopeful because he can't recreate this on his own...

Sunmin was looking over the other male for any signs he was hurt but it was evident he was far more interested in the box he had dropped on the floor, the young star raised his brow wondering if something priceless or breakable was inside. He scoffed when the other male worded that his heart was bleeding before gesturing to the box, which upon closer inspection seemed to contain a bunch of smooshed-up cake “Won’t it taste the same?” he commented but it was clear from the male’s expression that he was really disappointed by the turn of events.

So much for helping someone, it seemed like the other male wasn’t hurt at all but not even a thank you? He shook his head slightly “You could tell them that a psycho cyclist and a walking zombie collided to create crushed brains?” he commented sarcastically, really he should have been paying more attention to where he was going so this didn’t happen in the first place. Still, Sunmin knew the feeling of staying up all night and working hard on something only for it not to turn out the way you hoped so maybe he did feel a little pity for him.

Sunmin arched a brow when she asked if he was a baker “I don’t think your luck is that good” he responded and shook his head slightly “Just because I make a few cakes at the cafe doesn’t mean I’m going to be making anything remotely near that….fancy” he could see the cakes were iced in some fancy way and he was sure the ingredients were expensive.

His heart felt like someone just took it and stomped on it a few more times for a lasting effect. He stayed up all night to make that for Dae and Yeon, in a way. For a baker such as him, to see the sight of a smashed cake like that is enough to send him in a whirlwind. He narrowed his eyes slightly and pouted when the other male gave a sarcastic remark, admittedly it was his fault for not looking where he was going. Perhaps if he had, he would've noticed there was a cyclist recklessly going his way and this wouldn't have happened. But still, he still needed to find a solution to this problem and there was no way he could make a new one on his own as soon as possible. 

His ears perked and his eyes lit up when he heard the mention of Sunmin baking a few cakes at a cafe, that's more than enough. "You bake? At a cafe too? You see, that's more than enough for qualification… originally I was just gonna ask even if you've made just as much as instant noodles…" He murmured and gave him his pleading eyes "Can you please… please help me? I really need to make a new one, I promised them I would let them have the first taste and now it's ruined… but I can't do it without help… please? I'll get the ingredients, hell, I swear we still have enough to make one more from what I left… what do I have to do to make you agree to this?" It was clear that Jihoon was utterly desperate and there was nothing separating this man and his cake.

Sunmin eyed the other male for a moment, noticing the way he was practically mourning the cake he was holding like it was some prized possession. He couldn’t begin to understand how important it must be to the other male but he did feel a little bad when he saw the way he pouted in response to his words. Was it really that valuable? He furrowed his brows a little in thought, Sunmin wasn’t really a good samaritan kind of person but he wondered if maybe he could learn a thing or two, it wouldn’t hurt to try and gain some new skills, perhaps then he’d get that raise he was shooting for.

The moment he gave an inch the other male was ready to take a mile though, he frowned for a moment but it was hard to be harsh with someone who just seemed so hopeful and excited “You’re really going to marry this cake one it’s finished aren’t you?” it was somewhat amusing to the younger male, he had always wondered what went into to making something elaborate like this, he’d never even been able to buy himself a cake that fancy before, let alone make one for himself.

He pursed his lips for a moment “Fine, I’ll help…as long as you let me take a small cake home for myself” he bargained in return, that seemed like a fair trade right and he was meeting Astraea to work on the garden tonight so he figured he could treat her “And it has to be strawberry” he added to the demand before looking at him sternly to see if he would agree to it.

A ruined cake wasn't a foreign sight for the baker. No no that's not the problem. To Jihoon, he can easily wrap something up in less than an hour if he screwed things up. But this particular cake was one he had already spent hours on prior to the accident. He literally spent an hour on thinking about the decoration alone, much less the whole process of it. So when he accidentally bumped into someone and his carelessness resulted in his pretty cake being destroyed, it felt as if he spent hours of no sleep for nothing. 

The valkyr was a naturally positive person though so of course he would try his best to find a solution to this. He would try to find a way around this and that's exactly what he's doing. He stared at the young celestial in front of him and pursed his lips "That's an exaggeration… I wasn't going to marry the cake excuse you… it's just a cake I made for special someone's…" He murmured, he really wanted them to try the cake. One he has worked hard on. He raised his eyebrows when Sunmin said he'd do it, as in he'd help him with the new cake as long as he gets to bring something home.

Judging from his reaction and body language, it's clear that it's for a special someone too. Which was tempting Jihoon to tease him about it. "Strawberry cake? Yeah sure, that's easy. I had new fresh stock from two days ago anyway…" Strawberries came easy to the baker mostly due to the fact that he had a really good friend who owns a strawberry farm and supplies to him directly. He beckoned for Sunmin to come and follow him back to the bakery he was working at. "Is the cake for your girlfriend? You seem pretty adamant and clear about how the cake must be strawberry. Or maybe your little sister? Someone's birthday?"

He got the impression that Jihoon was one of those people who could spin around nearly any situation to make it turn out in their favor, he wasn’t sure whether to feel immediately exhausted or envious because it really did take sheer determination to be able to put on a smile after something disappointing happened. “Don’t worry, I’ll let you two have privacy you need…wouldn’t want to get in the way of your relationship” he jested, still he couldn’t be too mean because it was clear the whole situation was important to him.

“So is it for your girlfriend or something?” he questioned wondering if that was the reason he was so bothered about it being broken, after all, if he was trying to impress someone then showing up with a smooshed cake probably wasn’t a good start. Sunmin nodded slightly when he affirmed it wouldn’t be too hard to add a strawberry cake to the order, if he was going to spend his time on this, it had to be worth something for him too right.

He followed behind the other male, still shaking his head a little in disbelief about how ridiculous all of this seemed but regardless, he’d let himself get roped into it so he was the real fool here “Not girlfriend…just my best friend, she’s…a big fan of sweets” and he knew she would be so touched upon him bringing a cake for them to share. “Strawberry is her favorite” he reiterated and nodded his head, yes, it had to be strawberry. Before long they reached the bakery and Sunmin followed him inside, heading into the kitchen and naturally picking up an apron without being prompted. Habit he supposed.

Was he disappointed that the cake he baked the entire night is now a mushy mess? Yes. But it is so not Jihoon to just break out a scowl, especially in front of a stranger who obviously didn't mean to bump into him. The guy in front of him looked very young like he was no more than in his very very early 20s if not his teenage years. He had to refrain from asking how old he is because someone can be youthful-looking but most teenagers these days are often mature instead. It's quite refreshing. He had strong and distinctive features, a handsome man overall. He bit his lip when the other male teased his relationship with the cake "Hey excuse you, this cake is very much important. People can have love towards stuff you know..." He was pouting throughout the whole time. He couldn't help himself.

It was a very important cake after all, but then again every pastry and everything he made had clear importance to the valkyr. When asked if the cake was for his girlfriend, the valkyr shook his head and cleared his throat "No... I don't have one. But it is for a special someone, sort of. I promised I'd let her and my roommate have the first taste." Freyja was not his girlfriend, and he was also saving some for Daniel and Seojun. His roommates would not let him live it down if he did not give them a taste of one of his new recipes. That is saying something considering one of them can actually eat him whole. But then the question went back to the male, who was the cake he wanted to make for? His girlfriend? Much to his chagrin, he denied it and said it was not for his girlfriend but for a girl + friend instead. "Aha, so not a girlfriend girlfriend but still a girlfriend huh?" he teased. Two can play at the game after all.

He did however notice how the male was very disciplined because upon arriving in the kitchen, the first thing he did was take up an apron. Jihoon put on his apron and washed his hands before taking out the strawberries from inside the fridge and a few more ingredients for baking, placing them all on the counter. "I never caught your name. Mine's Jihoon. Figured I need to put a name to you.Is your girlfriend allergic to anything? Nuts maybe?"

Sunmin chuckled in an amused manner and then shrugged his shoulders, he’d never been a very material person considering that he never really had that much to begin with so he supposed it was hard for him to understand. But effort going to waste, that certainly was frustrating “All of that for something which will be gone so quickly” he commented but bit his lip softly “At least it’ll be enjoyable for a while” he mumbled softly.

He tilted his head slightly when the other male so quickly refuted the fact that he had a girlfriend but then immediately went on to mention some girl who wanted to try it “Ah so she’s not your girlfriend but you’re really wishing she was” he said the words like they were purely face and didn’t allow the other male much room to refute them. He scoffed slightly when the other male teased him back “Who knows, friendships can make everything confusing when it comes to all that” he mumbled softly, he narrowed his eyes for a moment and sighed, why was he talking about her to someone she just met.

Sunmin wasn’t a stranger to a kitchen after working at the cafe for all this time so it was easy for him to fall into a rhythm, putting on his apron before going and washing his hands in the sink before eyeing the ingredients on the counter “Sunmin” he responded abruptly in response to his introduction as he slowly trailed his gaze around to take in his surroundings “Not allergic…no” he’d seen Astraea eat plenty and she was mostly open to anything “Actually…she’ll eat pretty much anything…she’s not picky at all” though she always had a soft spot for fruit.

Normal Jihoon would probably just alugh at this incident and call it a day. But seeing as this was made for someone, it was hard for him to do that. How can he when he spent the entire night making it? Still, it wasn’t as if he could blame the celestial. It was his fault too for not looking where he was going.

To hear him talk about Freyja made him blush because yeah she wasn’t his girlfriend but she was… a girl… friend. A special one too. “She’s not my girlfriend… but she is however, a girl… friend” he mumbled shyly. He is so easily exposed. “No I don’t wish that she was… I would never… be so unprofessional… I…” Did he not wish that? Was he not just saying the truth that he was too afraid of facing? He felt suffocated.

“You say it like you’ve had first hand experience with ‘friendships’ such as that. Pray tell… did you?” Sunmin was pretty clean and neat, it didn’t not take him to get dressed in an apron. “Sunmin… Jihoon. “ he introduced himself and then repeated their names a few times. When he was told that it was very likely the special friend of his wouldn’t be allergic, he smirked and chuckled lightly “She’s not picky? Is she good with sugar though?” He knows that different people had different likes, not everyone would like certain type of sugar and he’s one of them. The valkyr hates the usual sugar, he needs very fine sugar, the ones who could probably pass as dust.

“So… is that girl really not your girlfriend? Because the way you talk about her, I’d be a fool not to notice the signs.” He murmured, that’s what everyone says to avoid having to talk about their relationship and expose their intimate affairs. “I think she would love it when she finds out you made it for her. So for us to do that I will need your hands on skill alright?”

Sunmin chuckled lowly at Jihoon’s response to him asking if this girl he was so worried about making something for was his girlfriend “You should try to say it without looking like a tomato if you want me to believe it” he commented bluntly and shook his head slightly “Besides if she’s not a teacher then what’s so unprofessional about it?” he heard everyone dated plenty in college so this wouldn’t really be any different to that right?

“But if you want to stick with that line I’ll respect it” he added and shrugged slightly when he turned it back on him and said he probably had experience with complicated friendships. Sunmin scoffed and pressed his lips together for a moment “I don’t really have many friends at all, people are jerks” he responded and shrugged his shoulders slightly.

He bit his lip softly when Jihoon mentioned sugar, Astraea did like sugar a lot but she wasn’t really supposed to have it, she’d only had it around him once and while she really enjoyed herself, she felt on edge and nervous of the impact it would have. “Are there…any good alternatives to using sugar…I heard there are…sweetners?” maybe they could find something acceptable right?

He shrugged “She’s not my girlfriend” he confirmed nodding his head “And…I don’t want anything to change” he didn’t dare cross that line because if she didn’t want more…their friendship would be weird and it was all he was holding onto. It was too important. “I’ll work hard” he affirmed in response as he prepared himself to be instructed “I’m pretty good at art if there’s any decorations I can focus on while you do the…big stuff” he didn’t want to be ruining anything for his special project.

He looked at his own reflection against one of the utensils and saw his red cheeks. He instantly tried to cool himself down because the last thing he wanted was to appear like a whole clown. “Shut up….” He muttered softly under his breath as a responss to his comment. “She’s not a teacher… but she is my boss. That is pretty inappropriate… don’t you think? Employee-employer type of relationship? That’s not supposed to happen in any handbook.”

Jihoon wanted to be as ethical as possible and he loved his current job, he didn’t want to lose that either. “I’m not a jerk” he quipped coyly when Sunmin said he didn’t have many friends because people were jerks. “You’re bound to find a few bad apples in a basket but hey, not everyone is as bad. Your friend the one you’re baking a cake for isn’t, right?” Clearly that doesn’t work for everybody.

The valkyr raised his eyebrow in curiosity and amusement when he asked for another sweet alternative “And he’s very peculiar too it seems” he commented and brought out the sweetener. “We have powdered sugar too but sweeteners are a good alternative. If she’s allergic to sugar, which I feel sorry for anyone who is, because they’re probably diabetic, why give her something sweet?” He didn’t know how it works but he was damn curious about why the other male wants to bake something sweet rather than savoury.

“We can have something savoury… not necessarily sweet but you seem to want to make something sweet. Why?” When Sunmin said he didn’t want anything to change, Jihoon leaned against the counter and tilted his head slightly in confusion “Because you’re afraid? With the rate you’re going at, you might lose her to another at this point. She’d find someone else who tried to have her attention… so why not crush those hopes and make it known she’s yours?” It sounded like something Daehyun or Yeon would say. He took the bowl and started mixing, telling Sunmin to take some icing to his liking.

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