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Soft-Baked

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     At first, Jin thought he was just hallucinating. Maybe he did put the baking spatula in the second bottom drawer, and perhaps he had put the measuring cups back in the utensils drawer last time he used them.

     But after a while, the eldest member knew something was up.

     Surely he’d remember if the stand mixer was put to the left of the sink instead of the right.

     And he wasn't old enough to forget that he used the oven last night, even if the cooling racks in the washing machine and the plate of lemon blueberry scones sitting innocently on the dining table said otherwise.

     “Jin-hyung did you make these? They’re so good!” Taehyung asked, making some of the members wince as the crumbs flew out of his mouth while others nodded and hummed contentedly in agreement.

     Thankfully, Jin had taken things in stride upon seeing Yoongi’s eyes widen in…nervousness? Insecurity?

     “They are good, aren’t they? I’m glad the recipe worked out,” Jin responded as he bit into his own scone, “but don’t talk when you’re eating, Taehyung-ah. You’re going to have to clean up the crumbs yourself.”

     Yoongi inwardly preened at the praise, flashing the eldest member a small, grateful smile which grew wider when he received a teasing wink in return.

     Everyone knew the kitchen was sacred territory for Kim Seokjin. Namjoon was forever banned from stepping even a foot into the tiled floor after having broken the fridge door not once, twice, but thrice, and Taehyung was also barred from entering after having made a huge mess by forgetting to cap the blender before turning it on. But, if Min Yoongi was going to continue making more of these heavenly scones, who was Jin to stop him?

     After all, Jin mused chewing on the flaky goodness, more free food for him.

--  

   This was prime time for The Amazing Tae-Tae to act upon mission: Have Kim Taehyung Be a Part of Cypher Pt. 5, or HKTBPCP5 for short. The rest of the house was sleeping, and having come back home late from filming Hwarang, Taehyung knew no one could stop him in getting to his goal —Yoongi-hyung’s lyrics notebook. After all, what better way to be a part of those dope-ass cyphers than to impress Yoongi-hyung by having already memorized the lyrics? Ad maybe even adding some verses of his own?

     The Amazing Tae-Tae was going to be a part of Cypher Pt. 5 -no, wait, Cypher Pt. V. He just knew it.

     Having already shucked off his winter coat and peeled off his boots, Taehyung surveyed the living room warily. One wrong move and he could very well be dead, by either being choked and ambushed by a sleepy (murderous) Yoongi-hyung or having his stash of king-size Twix bars confiscated by a disapproving (also murderous) Jin-hyung. Either way, it was death to poor Tae-tae. He must be alert.

     Ninja-crawling through the dark room, The Amazing Tae-Tae slowly got closer and closer to Yoongi and Jin’s room. Creeping as silently as he could The Amazing Tae-Tae, with his  ever so impeccable memory, dodged the pile of books by the elder hyungs’ door, before slowly turning the knob.

     Silence.

     Only the even breathing of Jin-hyung could be heard, and when Taehyung squinted towards Yoongi’s bed, he was relieved to see it empty. Seems like Yoongi-hyung was still at the studio.

     Perfect, Taehyung silently cackled as he inched closer toward Yoongi-hyung’s bed, his hand going under the frame and pulling out one of the drawers there. The Amazing Tae-Tae has struck again!

     Now, which one of the notebooks held the lyrics to his beloved Cypher Pt. 5?

     Having thought once more of a fabulous idea, the Amazing Tae-Tae fished out his phone from his back pocket. He unlocked his phone, letting the dim glow softly illuminate the contents of the drawer. There were a few notebooks inside, all looking pretty worn down, probably from Yoongi-hyung taking them everywhere he went. Positioning his phone so that it was wedged between the bottom of his chin and above his collarbone, Taehyung fished out the nearest notebook. He flipped through the worn pages, eyes searching for keywords, like ‘cypher’, ‘pt.5’, cuss words, or savage verses and burns. Alas, after having gone through 3 notebooks, he still couldn’t find any sign of his beloved cypher. But, the Amazing Tae-Tae never gives up up! He spies a leather notebook hidden away in the corner of the drawer and grabs that one instead. Flipping through the worn pages, his brows furrowed when he scanned through pages of steps and…diagrams?

     It was only when he came upon a certain page did things click into place. Lemon Blueberry Scones, the top of the page read in scrawling handwriting.

--

     In a dorm of 7 boys, there were many chores to be done. And one of the most important chores was grocery shopping —after all, 7 boys meant 7 hungry stomachs to feed. Four broken egg cartons later, it was quickly learned that Namjoon, despite his good intentions, could not be entrusted with the task. Taehyung and Jungkook were also out of the question, especially after they failed to resist temptation and spent a good portion of their money buying candies and a growing Iron Man merch collection.

     So the task was usually handed off to Jin, Hoseok, Jimin, and —surprisingly —Yoongi. Most of the time, it was the former three getting the groceries because of Yoongi’s unhealthy habits of staying locked up in the studio. But when it was his turn, the pale rapper never complained.

     Like today, it was Yoongi and Hoseok’s turn to stock up the fridge. They were going down the list Jin had given them, having gone through about half of the items. Hoseok hummed a tune under his breath as he pushed the cart along, looking for the tomatoes. Scanning through the aisles in front of him, the dancer smiled triumphantly when he spotted the produce section, the cart’s wheels squeaking as he made his way there. Picking up a few of the red fruits? vegetables? he weighed them in his hand, slipping a few into the produce bag before turning to ask Yoongi how many they needed —except the pale rapper was nowhere to be seen.

     “Hyung?” Hoseok frowned as he looked around, perplexed at the absence of said rapper. He’s been in this grocery shop before, so he couldn’t have gotten lost, right?

     Luckily, he only had a few minutes to panic before Yoongi showed up, a small frown (pout) on his lips.

     “Yoongi-hyung!” Hoseok sighed in relief, “Where were you? You scared me! I thought I lost you…”

     “Seok, I’m fine” Yoongi responded, “but I need your help? We need more flour, but it’s on the highest shelf…”

     The dancer smiled a bit at the flustered rapper, agreeing to help but lets get the tomatoes first, hyung, how many did we need?

     After picking a few more tomatoes, the duo trekked towards the flour section, Yoongi directing them towards a specific brand tucked away in the corner.

     Hoseok gave a little frown at the brand, “You sure this is the one we usually get, hyung? It looks different…”

     “It’s a different one,” Yoongi shrugged, “Jin mentioned he wanted to try another brand that had firmer consistency.”

     The dancer nodded in understanding as he grabbed the bag and dropped it into the cart. “Anything else on the list?”

     “We still need strawberries and unsalted butter, I think.” Yoongi hummed, pushing the cart towards the milk and butter section.

     Hoseok followed the rapper, scratching the back of his neck while deep in thought. He didn’t recall seeing strawberries or butter on the grocery list? He shrugged, maybe he somehow skipped over them.

     When they were back at the dorm putting away the groceries, Hoseok noticed a few strange things. One, there was still a lot of flour leftover —Jin wouldn’t usually ask for more until he was running out. Two, Yoongi had hidden the strawberries in the back of the produce tray in the fridge, underneath the cabbage —maybe he really wanted the red fruits to himself? And three, Hoseok mused as he stared at the discarded grocery list that had fallen out of Yoongi’s pocket, was the lack of three items on the grocery list: flour, strawberries, and butter.

     It was only a few days later, when he came back to the sweet smell of strawberry tartlets, did all the pieces come together.

--

     It was a unanimous decision amongst the members to have Jungkook in charge of the laundry. Not only was the maknae sensitive to smell, but he actually enjoyed the sight of the washing machine.

     So, because he was in charge of doing the laundry, Jungkook knew all kinds of things. Like who was the true culprit behind the recently deceased succulent that Yoongi totally-did-not-adopt-or-care-for. The small patches of dirt staining Taehyung’s sweatpants reeked of guilt.

     The maknae also sometimes liked to figure out the reason why each article of clothing had to be washed. So far, Namjoon’s laundry has always kept him the most entertained, since the leader always somehow got into the messiest situations. In this week alone, Jungkook mused, the clumsy rapper had managed to snag one of his sweaters to his key chain (thank goodness Hoseok knew how to sew or else half of their wardrobe would have been thrown out already), muddy a pair of his denim shorts (somehow Namjoon had managed to trip and fall into the only muddy puddle in the park), and partially ripped off the seam lining the pocket of his pastel hoodie.

     Truly, the leader was a force to be reckoned with.

     Anyhow, Jungkook always made sure to put the damaged clothes in a separate laundry bag, so that Namjoon’s clothes would still be somewhat salvageable at the end. Humming parts of We Don’t Talk Anymore under his breath, he methodically shoved clothes into the washing machine. Maybe he’ll make a cover of this song, Jungkook thought absentmindedly as some of Hoseok’s knee-high socks were crammed into the washer. Halfway through Yoongi’s clothes, the maknae paused when his nose picked up something…sweet? Picking up one of the few pastel sweaters the rapper owned, Jungkook glanced the sleeves, frowning when he spotted a few patches of faded white, as if someone tried to wash off the mess they made. Upon further inspection, the maknae identified the sweet smell as cream —to be more specific, pastry cream.

     Why was that smell so familiar?

     Ah, right. The strawberry tartlets; Jungkook remembered seeing those in the kitchen the other day. Perhaps Yoongi had dropped one? Or maybe one of his sleeves had snagged the cream? The maknae brushed it off, shoving the dirty sweater into the washer. It was probably nothing.

     Except it wasn’t just nothing.

     The week after, Jungkook found himself staring at another batch of odd stains littering the front of Yoongi’s t-shirt, this time smelling vaguely of sugar and…chocolate?

     The maknae frowned. The only thing he could think of that contained chocolate this past week was the cake Yoongi had brought for Seijn, their beloved manager’s, birthday. So why would there be chocolate staining his hyung’s shirt?

     Jungkook wasn’t dumb; it took a few minutes for him to piece it together, but it was easy to figure out why, especially after having seen grains of flour lightly dusting the hem of said shirt.

--

     A little sharper, Jimin frowned has he redid the footwork once again, it needs to be more dynamic. The dancer had been going through these motions for hours now, because he needed to get them down perfectly.

     Jimin often worked himself to the bone. It was just a thing he did, a result of his hardworking personality and previous insecurities. Of course, now he had supportive bandmates and fans that constantly reminded him that you’re always enough, fuck what the haters say you’re perfect just the way you are, and abs don’t define you, Jimin.

     But even then, Jimin just liked feeling the strain in his muscles after a good, long workout, and the feeling that he’s accomplished something for the day. And tonight just happened to be one of those nights the dancer had spent almost the whole day at the dance studio, engraving the harder parts of their newest choreography into his bones, muscles, and body. Panting, the dancer had taken a small break from breaking down parts of the complicated footwork he had been struggling with in their newest song, Not Today, eyes widening when he noticed it was already 2AM. He had promised Jin-hyung that he’d be back at the dorm by the latest 2AM because of their plans to surprise manager Sejin with a birthday party. Jimin had volunteered to help set up the party decorations and help the eldest hyung with the food. Quickly packing his things, Jimin finally made his way out of the dance studio, breathing in the crisp, cool air that greeted him out in the deserted Seoul streets.

     Hopefully Jin wouldn’t be too mad at him —Jimin really did lose track of time, as dancing usually resulted in him doing so. There was just something so…therapeutic about dancing by yourself in the studio. It brought about a sense of calm to the dancer, something he treasured as much as he valued the time spent with the other members.

     Sometimes he was as bad as Yoongi-hyung, the dancer thought with a wry chuckle as he walked up the steps to the dorm, as both of them tended to work themselves until the wee hours of the morning. The make-up artists usually had a field day trying to conceal eye bags the size of shopping bags later that day.

     Coming to a stop in front of their dorm, Jimin fished out the keys from his back pocket, picking out the correct one before unlocking the door and stepping into the heated room. Quietly closing the door and toeing off his shoes, the dancer made sure to skip the second step of the staircase —it always creaked, but they never really bothered to fix it.

     He passed through the hallway with quiet steps, making his way to —was that chocolate?

     Puzzled, Jimin turned towards the source of the smell —the kitchen. Oddly enough, the lights were on, and the dancer knew Jin should’ve been sleeping by now. So who was using the kitchen in this hour?

     Creeping closer to the kitchen, Jimin gave a small gasp at the sight. The oven light was on, showing a tray full of what seemed like cupcakes being made. The kitchen itself was in a state of organized chaos, with bags of baking ingredients scattered around the counter and used utensils in the sink. Bits of flour and sugar dusted the countertop, and grains of chocolate powder lazily spilled from the edge of the countertop every time the air conditioner turned on. Frowning a bit at the mess, Jimin decided he’d think more about it later —he needed sleep.

     Making his way to the living room, Jimin was about to set his bag on the couch, but set it by the coffee table when he noticed it had been taken up by something, or rather someone, else. Jimin’s heart melted at the sight. Yoongi always looked so soft and young when asleep —his worries and stress having eased out of his body. The dancer gave a quiet giggle when he heard the small rapper’s quiet snores. It was good that Yoongi-hyung was catching up on his sleep —after all, they had a big day tomorrow.

     Going towards one of the closets in the living room, Jimin pulled out one of the fluffy blankets, making sure to wrap it securely around the sleeping rapper. He gave an inward coo at the black tuft of hair that peeked out from the burrito of blanket. The dancer was about to also turn in for the night when he noticed a smear of brown on Yoongi’s cheek. Jimin frowned and thumbed it off, getting a whiff of the smell —chocolate?

     And it suddenly all made sense. The dancer felt his heart melt even more; because of course Yoongi-hyung would always give his 120% at everything. And judging by the sweet smell of chocolate enveloping the dorm, it was going to be an effort well enjoyed by everyone.

--

     It wasn’t a secret that Namjoon was an aesthetics hoe. Sure, he was an idol and had the image of a ‘badass rapper’ to maintain, but the leader had long since mellowed out. At first he was worried, because what if this side of Namjoon wasn’t what ARMYs were looking for? But it seemed like he had nothing to worry about, since the fans seemed to like it, often raving about his dimples, kimdaily posts, and whatnot. Bighit was also pretty lenient about the whole thing, having allowed Namjoon to gradually shift his initial image to one that was more…him.

     But sometimes, Namjoon frowned, he wished he had a bit more freedom. He understood that being an idol had its rules, but goddamn did the rapper want a way to show off his aesthetics to the world.

     Aka. Kim Namjoon, leader of Bangtan, wanted his own Instagram account dammit.

     He’s seen all sorts of posts, ranging from sprawling cityscapes to finely plated dishes to cute couple shots. He wanted his own aesthetic feed too, dammit.

     The leader sighed, scrolling down the feed of his private Instagram account. Sure, he could have his own account, but he knew better than to post any defining pictures of himself and his life. If fans nowadays could pinpoint Jungkook’s identity in Masked Singer from just the way he held the mic and his breathing pattern, then Namjoon knew it was only a bit of time before his private account became not-so-private. So the leader could only follow blogs he admired on the social site, hoping to gain inspiration form said aesthetic shots to post on the group twitter.

     He needed some way to cater to his aesthetics cravings, after all.

     And lately, Namjoon has been getting his fill of aesthetics through a certain blog —glossdsugasweet. It was an odd name, sure, but it was actually a new baking blog that was quickly gaining attention; whoever ran the blog had one of the most aesthetic feeds Namjoon had the pleasure of viewing. Even though their updates were far and few in between, each post contained some of the most photogenic desserts the leader had ever seen. It was honestly such a shame that glossdsugasweet didn’t run a shop —he would have ordered from it long time ago, regardless of whatever the idol diet said otherwise.

     Today, Namjoon was pleasantly surprised when he found a new post by glossdsugasweet while scrolling down his home feed. This time, a picture of a box full of dark chocolate cupcakes iced to look like succulents took his breath away. Never had Namjoon thought such a creative concept could be pulled off, yet here the baker was, creating another masterpiece to add to his growing feed.

     Namjoon wondered what kind of a person glossdsugasweet was.

     Checking the time, the leader cursed as he hurried to gather his stuff —it was only a few minutes before 3, when the members and him had planned to surprise Sejin, their manager, with a party to celebrate his birthday. Making sure to also bring his gift, Namjoon did a quick scan of his workplace before leaving.

     Luckily, the leader hadn’t managed to break anything during the party, and no one had let the event slip, so Sejin was pleasantly surprised. The presents were given, the maknae line having pooled together to buy the manager an elaborate set of glass terrariums, while the eldest trio had bought a set of pretty succulents. And, Namjoon mused staring at the bag in his hand, he had bought a few of the basic supplies needed to take care of the plants. See, the thing was Sejin had always mentioned wanting a garden of his own, but because Seoul was so expensive, the chances of him fulfilling that dream were little to none. So this year, the band had planned the presents out together, so that their manager could at least have a bit of green in his abode.

     Sejin had loved it, making sure to hug and thank each member after the reveal of the gifts, already having decided to dedicate seven of the succulents after each member. They had then directed the manager towards the food table, where a wide array of plant-themed foods sat.

     And immediately, it caught Namjoon’s eye. A box full of dark chocolate cupcakes iced to look like succulents. His brow furrowed, because those were the exact same ones he had just seen in his screen minutes ago.

     Jin, having caught him staring at the cupcakes, nudged him a little with a smile. “Cute, aren't they? Yoongi was the one who brought them!”

     Oh, Namjoon thought as he gave a distracted nod while his mind whirred to life.

     Oh indeed, the leader blinked, before turning to stare at…glossdsugasweet. Gloss. D. Suga. Yoongi.

     He’s going to have to ask the elder rapper tips on how to cultivate a good aesthetic later. And maybe how to bake those scones Jin-hyung seemed to have recently taken a liking to…for, you know…research.

--

     It wasn’t that Yoongi was ashamed of his baking pastime —but that kind of was what it was. Min Suga of Bangtan was a hardcore rapper, who wrote biting lyrics, composed mellow melodies, and had since long ago run out of fucks to give —not some soft, pliable idol who enjoyed doing things that screamed husband material. Growing up, he had always had a sort of affinity for the culinary arts —although baking was what stuck with him, especially since that was one of the few things he could do to really bond with his mother. But he quickly understood that baking wasn’t for boys —it was a girlish, feminine thing reserved for girls pining after their crushes. Not for boys who wrote verses and fragments of raps in the margins of their notebooks. His father made sure to make that point very clear to Yoongi at a young age, having wanted a filial, successful son, not a weak, feminine one.

     Baking was something people did once they settled down and were starting to get domestic —and Yoongi didn’t plan on settling down anytime soon.

     But, well. After having been placed into the seven member group that was Bangtan, the pale rapper had slowly, but surely warmed up to the clusterfuck that was their mess of a family. And after a while, his walls had slowly come down.

     Yoongi wasn’t too sure what prompted him to pick up the spatula again. It was probably somewhere after their promotions for Danger, which didn’t fare as well on the charts as was expected. At that time, the rapper had been stressed, the heavy load on his shoulders even heavier at the need to produce and compose something that sounded new, revolutionary, yet fitting for the group. He had pulled all-nighters like never before, once having stayed up for 3 consecutive days with scattered power naps while running on 7 cups of coffee and a few cans of redbull. The rapper had been a mess at the end of that third day, his studio littered with crumpled up papers and aggressively scratched out lyrics since nothing he created seemed to fit. Namjoon and Hoseok had to forcefully drag his overworked body back into the dorm, where Jin-hyung proceeded to ground his tired ass to the dorm for the rest of the week.

     So Yoongi had 4 days of doing…well…nothing. And after having slept through pretty much all of the first day, he had spent the first part of the next day wondering what the fuck he should do.

     It wasn’t until he came upon the spatula when searching for a pair of chopsticks to make kimchi rice did Yoongi pause in his search. Perhaps he could uptake his old hobby once more? The other members were out doing their own things, and the eldest rapper did have the dorm to himself. A pale hand crept towards the spatula, before stopping. Maybe another time, Yoongi frowned, it’s been so long, who’s to say he even remembered anything?

     With that, the rapper quietly made his kimchi rice, his thoughts keeping him company throughout the process. Yoongi ate with a busy mind, hoping his brain would settle down sometime soon, because Jin would blow a fit if he saw that Yoongi had written even a fragment of a lyric anywhere. Being grounded meant relaxing, the eldest hyung had stressed, and Yoongi’s ass was grass if he found out that the rapper was doing anything but.

     After having finished his meal and washed the dishes, Yoongi was curled up on the couch, looking for something to watch. News? Boring. National Geographic? Eh. Music Core? More stress, more like. Baking. Yoongi stared at the screen, where an older lady was gathering the ingredients to make a batch of snickerdoodle cookies.

     Cookies. It’s been a while since Yoongi had last eaten cookies.

     The rapper gave it some consideration.

     Fuck it. Yoongi stretched as he got up from the couch, going to the fridge to see what they had. Spinach, carrots, potatoes, cheese…ah. Raspberries, and…nutella! Taking the last two ingredients out, Yoongi rolled up his sleeves and pulled up the recipe on his phone. Let's fucking do this.

     He was surprised to find that despite having been out of practice for at least a good seven years, his fingers still remembered most of the tips his mom had advised on simple things —knead the dough like you’re massaging someone, Yoongi; don’t forget to whisk the eggs well, you can’t over whisk as long as there’s nothing dry in there; cut the dough into smaller pieces like this so it doesn’t dry out too quickly. And, the rapper had to grudgingly admit, it was all very soothing.

     A few hours later, a platter of freshly-baked raspberry nutella cookies sat on the kitchen countertop. Yoongi had made sure to clean up after himself, so all the ingredients and utensils had been washed and safely stowed away from any prying eyes.

     When Hoseok had asked him, mouth stuffed with the baked treat, where the cookies had come from —because wow hyung, they’re really good —the elder rapper had barely any time to think before his mouth moved on his own and said that he got them delivered from a nearby store. Well, the dancer had said as he took a few more cookies for himself, you should buy more from that place, hyung, ‘cuz these cookies are some of the best I’ve ever eaten!

     Yoongi had found it hard to keep the smile from his face for the rest of the day.

     While it was fun to bake once more, the eldest rapper was still very much concerned about how the rest of the band would take it. Sure, they’ve all been very supportive to one another, not having judged at all when a teary Jimin had admitted he was gay, or when a few days later Namjoon and Yoongi outed as bisexual and pansexual, respectively. They all been each other’s grounding anchor when the pressure got too much, and the group had most definitely been there for each other during the rough patches in their idol career —from the incident with B-Free, to the gun threat during their New York concert.

     And yet it was still hard for Yoongi to just come clean to the rest of the members about his…effeminate hobby. The eldest rapper knew it was dumb to worry, since the members have been nothing but accommodating, but still…

     So the pale rapper decided fuck it, he was going to let the members know through the way he usually did things —that is to say, Yoongi was going to keep mum about his not-so-secret hobby while baking the shit out of all the available ingredients in the dorm until the rest of them found out at their own pace.

     A couple weeks later found Yoongi returning home from a particularly productive session at the studio. The break had really helped, and it seemed like inspiration all but seemed to seep into his entire body and mind. But the pale rapper had to admit that another reason why so many more ideas were coming could also be explained through the batch of lemon blueberry scones sitting on the kitchen counter. And, Yoongi mused when he and Jin-hyung exchanged knowing looks over said scones, probably this, too.

     Fast forward a few years, and he’s now baked quite a few batches of treats for the dorm (BangPD must never know or else Yoongi would be so fucked because he was kind of the reason why their previous idol diets wasn't exactly working). Yoongi had to admit out of all his baking projects, the one he was most proud of were probably the cupcakes he made for manager Sejin’s birthday. If their beloved manager liked succulents, then he was going get those succulent cupcakes dammit. He had also (secretly) created his own Instagram to show off his culinary masterpieces, and was pleased to see it’s ascent to fame (he was still kind of reeling that he had 9.3k followers by now). And yes, it was kind of against company rules to have a personal social media account, but ignorance is bliss —it’s not like he was ever going to show any part of his face or body in it anyway.

--

     All the members minus Yoongi had talked it through, none of them really surprised that they had all somehow managed to find out the not-so-secret hobby their eldest rapper enjoyed. And, well, with March rapidly approaching, what better way to put their new-found knowledge into use than in the form of presents?

     They all had already bought their own gifts for Yoongi, but it wouldn’t hurt to pool together some money to make a baking gift basket—it was the least they could do, since God knows how many times the pale rapper had overworked himself for the group.

     When brainstorming for gift ideas, Namjoon had suggested these things he saw online —Russian piping tips —that seemed really neat and easy to use. Jin’s face had lit up at the suggestion, eagerly agreeing to the idea, explaining that they were a really easy way to ice flowers and leaves to the other confused faces.

     Remembering the strawberry tartlets, Hoseok brought up the idea of purchasing a tart pan. The maknae line scribbled it down quickly, their mouths watering at the memory of those delectable tartlets that they may or may not have been guilty for eating more than half of?

     At the end of the talk, the members had agreed on also buying some silpats (it was every baker’s dream to have one, Jin had explained, because it made baking and cleaning up so much easier), a set of measuring cups, and pair of oven mitts. Before they checked out the items though, an enthusiastic Taehyung showed the other members his findings.

     “We have to buy this for Yoongi-hyung,” Taehyung whined, “it’s perfect for him!”

     And looking at the (surprisingly non-Gucci) item displayed on the screen, everyone else had to agree that gaudy and sketchy as it was, it definitely suited the eldest rapper. So against everyone’s better judgement, it was bought.

     The items had arrived a few days after (thank goodness for Amazon Prime), and Jimin and Jungkook had helped arrange the baking supplies into a nice gift basket, wrapping it up all pretty with wrapping paper and sticking a bow to top it all off.

     And then, it was time to wait.

     “Yoongi-hyung probably won’t even remember its his birthday” Taehyung flashed a boxy smile.

     “Wanna bet?” Jin grinned confidently.

--

     It was a good decision to take up baking again, Yoongi reflected as he continued to stare up at the ceiling, wrapped up in the heavenly cloud that was his comforter. The other members have also noticed the decreasing amount of days that the eldest rapper stayed holed up in the studio, along with his slowly diminishing stress levels. And —the rapper was interrupted from his thoughts when his stomach growled. A quick glance at the clock told him that it was 3PM —a godly time to get up. Heaving himself up, Yoongi slowly inched off his bed, still wrapped up in blanket burrito because fuck if he was going to abandon the epitome of comfort just to function like a normal human being.

     All too soon, the blanket burrito that was Yoongi sluggishly made its way to the kitchen. And imagine the rapper’s surprise when he was met with not one, not two, but six overly excited members, who had gathered around the dining table waiting for him to finally get up and out of the comfort of his room.

     “What’s the occasion?” Yoongi yawned as he padded towards the coffee machine, because caffeine made the world go round. Even at 3PM. He unconsciously tuned out the members in favor of listening to the hissing of his beloved espresso machine.

     “See?” Taehyung crowed victoriously, “I told you Yoongi-hyung would forget!” The brown-haired singer slammed his palm to the table, “C’mon, give it up!”

     Jin groaned as he handed a few bills over, “Dammit Yoongi, I put my faith on you and this is how you repay me…” Jungkook and Jimin sighed in agreement as they also shoved some bills into Taehyung’s awaiting hand.

     Taehyung, Namjoon, and Hoseok shared a triumphant set of high fives as they divvied the money amongst themselves.

     “Why’re you guys so loud in the morning?” Yoongi mumbled, having heard the tail end of the ruckus.

     “It’s 3PM, hyung.” Jungkook pointed at the clock hanging in the kitchen.

     “I know what I said,” the eldest rapper replied, attention now turned back to his now ready cup of coffee. Which was promptly taken out of his hands by a grinning Hoseok, and placed on the dining table.

     “Come on Yoongi-hyung,” Hoseok steered the now pouting rapper to sit at the table with the other members, “you really forgot, huh?”

     “What’d I forget?” Yoongi’s forehead ceased in confusion, because he had finished the demos for the new album, right? And run by Namjoon a few ideas for future songs? Why was Jin-hyung sending him a wounded look?

     The rest of the members just sighed fondly, used to Yoongi’s oblivious nature towards anything but music. And suddenly, there were balloons coming out from under the table, with —was that glitter? —being thrown in the air, and a chorus of party horns blaring their hearts out. “Happy Birthday Yoongi!” The members cheered, and then gifts were being shoved into a growing pile in front of a stunned Yoongi, because was it already March 9th? Also, how the fuck did he not notice all the decorations?

     And then his eyes caught Jin taking something out from the back of the fridge —was that a Kumamon cake? They really had gone all out this year, Yoongi thought with a fond smile.

     “Thanks, guys” the eldest rapper’s cheeks were starting to hurt from smiling so hard, “you really didn’t have to…”

     “Of course we had to hyung!” Jimin puffed his cheeks, “You’re always out working yourself to the bone! This is the least we can do!” The rest of the members nodded and hummed in agreement.

     The maknae line had already inched their way towards the cake, but Jin pinned them down with a look that stilled their grabby hands. “Lets open gifts first, Yoongi.” The elder hyung suggested with a smile.

     “Open this one first hyung!” Taehyung pushed an oddly shaped package towards him.

     Tearing the wrapping paper open, Yoongi was greeted with a chile-shaped travel pillow. “Cuz you’re hot and spicy like a chili pepper hyung!” The 95-liner grinned.

     “Thanks Tae,” the rapper put it around his shoulders. Comfy. “How’d you know my last one broke?”

     “I pay attention to those kinds of things,” Taehyung shrugged, before he was shoved aside by an enthusiastic maknae.

     “Yoongi-hyung! Open mine now!” The maknae insisted, picking off a smaller gift from the pile and thrusting it into the rapper’s arms.

     “Alright, alright” Yoongi laughed, taking a moment to admire the wrapping before opening the gift. “Gift coupons?”

     “Yeah! To that lamb skewer place we haven’t gone to in a while!” Jungkook gave a bunny smile which Yoongi returned with a gummy one.

     “I almost forgot about that place,” Yoongi laughed, “thanks, Kook.”

     The rest of the gifts were given in a similar matter —Namjoon and Hoseok had pooled together money to buy the pair of headphones Yoongi had been eyeing up for months, while Jin and Jimin had bought the rapper a light blue polaroid camera and some film.

     At the end, Yoongi’s cheeks were most definitely hurting from how big his smile was, and his cold, dead heart was most definitely melting from the kindness his members were showering him with. But just as he thought it was over, another gift was revealed from under the table. The pale rapper was confused —everyone had given their gifts, so why was there another one?

     “It’s from all of us,” Jin explained, probably sensing Yoongi’s confusion. “just our way of saying thank you for taking care of us, in your own way.”

     Yoongi frowned, because honestly they didn’t have to, can’t they see that they themselves did so much more? But that didn’t stop him from tearing the wrapping paper when his curiosity continued to nag him.

     His hands froze in the middle of tearing a huge piece of colorful paper when a glint of metal caught his eye. Were those? With a strong tug, the rest of the wrapping paper was off, exposing the contents to Yoongi’s scrutinizing gaze. They were… the rapper mused, taking in the measuring cups, tart pan —oh were those silpats? He’s been meaning to buy some…Another small box caught his attention. Opening it, he shook out the contents, staring at the odd piping tips that rolled around in his palm.

     Sensing his puzzlement, Namjon piped in, “Those are Russian piping tips, hyung. I found them online —they’re supposed to ice flowers and leaves.”

     Yoongi looked at the piping tips with a new appreciation, “Thanks, Joon. I…didn’t know these were a thing.”

     And finally, a peek of pink teased the corner of his vision. Lifting the tart pan, the rapper was greeted with the gaudiest apron he’s ever seen. Pastel pink and white frills stared back at him, the words “Fuck off I’m Baking” scrawled elegantly in white along the front. Matching pastel pink oven mitts came with it too, and Yoongi could do nothing but stare. It was also quite possibly the most horrific thing the rapper had ever seen (or maybe the most beautiful, but you didn’t hear that from him).

     The rest of the members stayed silent, unsure of what Yoongi’s silence meant. Had he not meant for them to know? Did they offend him somehow? Was it the apron? Because goddammit Taehyung.

     But nothing could have prepared them for the sight of their resident grumpy marshmallow tearing up. “T-thanks, guys…” Yoongi sniffled, trying to wipe away the tears with the heels of his palms before they fell. “T-this means a l-lot to me…” the rapper hiccuped.

     Hearts melting at the sight, the other members gathered around the crying rapper, engulfing him in a giant group hug.

     “The strawberry tartlets were really good Yoongi-hyung,” Jimin hummed, “you should make them again soon!”

     “Not before he makes those lemon blueberry scones,” Jin huffed, “because those were culinary masterpieces. Masterpieces, I tell you.”

     Yoongi let out a teary giggle, still overwhelmed with the fact that they knew. They knew and they were ok with it. They accepted him.

     An excited Taehyung chimed in, “So when are you gonna wear the apron, hyung?”

     “Not anytime soon, that’s for sure” Yoongi grumbled affectionately, ruffling the younger’s hair, “but thanks, brat.”

--     

     And if Yoongi had worn the gaudy —beautiful —apron the next day while making matcha brownies, well. No one needed to know, right?