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Day 9: Hanging Out with Friends

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Eiji grabs his phone as he hears the timer go off. He pulls his blue and white bunny oven gloves onto his hands and opens the oven, pulling out two trays full of freshly baked donuts. Eiji smiles at the smell. The donuts were perfectly fluffy and golden brown. and were ready for decorating. Eiji had spent the past hour making these donuts, and now he had twelve donuts in total. While he was waiting for the donuts to bake, he made purple, orange, and black donut glaze and got his frosting and edible decorations ready for decorating the donuts.

Eiji had been meaning to make themed Halloween donuts since the beginning of October, but he hadn't really gotten around to it until today. It was a quiet, Wednesday morning. The gray clouds outside shone in threw the window and muted the already dull colors of the apartment, making the whole place feel extra quiet and empty. It felt as though all of New York City had started to drift off into a sluggish slumber, and Eiji was the only one awake in the city.

Ash wasn't home. He'd left earlier, just after Eiji had woken up. When Eiji had asked Ash where he was going, Ash simply murmured a vague response about taking care of some business before shutting the door behind him, the gentle click of the lock echoing through the lifeless apartment. Eiji had stood there for a moment, staring at the door, his heart sinking into his stomach. Eiji shoved the gnawing feeling inside him away in favor of cheering himself up by making something nice.

Eiji took off his oven gloves and left them on the counter next to the sink. He takes out a gray tray and places a sheet of baking paper on the tray before moving the cooling rack full of donuts and placing it on top of the tray so that when he decorates the donuts, he doesn't make a mess on the countertop. Eiji grabs a piping bag full of black glaze and starts to cover one of the donuts in glaze when he hears a knock at the door. Eiji looks up towards the door cautiously before setting down the piping bag and walking silently towards the door.

"Anybody home?" A familiar voice singsongs from the other side of the door. Eiji looks through the peephole in the door and sees someone with a mess of bright purple hair and black sunglasses standing next to another much shorter boy wearing a blue and white bomber jacket.

"Hello!" Eiji says as he opens the door and stands to the side to let Shorter and Sing into the apartment. Shorter strides in with his hands in his pockets. He has on an unzipped blue hoodie and jeans along with white sneakers and a black tank top. Sing was wearing a white shirt underneath his unzipped jacket and he was wearing black jeans, black fingerless gloves, and blue sneakers.

"What's up, Eiji?" Shorter says.

"Hey," Sing says. Eiji closes the door and locks it. Shorter smiles as he takes in Eiji's appearance.

"What are you wearing?" Shorter teases, making Eiji blush. Eiji was wearing a long sleeve red shirt and dark blue jeans. The sleeves of his shirt were rolled up and to top it all off, Eiji was wearing a pink frilly apron patterned with hearts. The strings on the sides were tied into a bow in the back.

"I was making something," Eiji stammers as Shorter snorts. Sing wanders over to the kitchen where the donuts lie on the countertop. The kitchen was connected with the living room, so the whole thing was one whole room.

"Donuts?" Sing asks, leaning over to look at the plain confections. Shorter wanders over to the kitchen to look at the donuts as well.

"Yeah," Eiji says, walking over to join them.

Sing asks "Why?" as Shorter asks "Can we have some?" at the same time. Sing raises an eyebrow at Shorter as Shorter smiles sheepishly. Eiji smiles.

"I was bored so I decided to make some," Eiji says, pausing to walk over to the counter and grab his piping bag full of black glaze. "And yes, you can have some after I finish decorating them. Why are you two here?"

"I was looking for Ash and Sing just happened to tag along," Shorter says, shrugging. "I was going to ask him if he wanted to try the themed Halloween donuts with me at a pastry shop, but homemade donuts sound better!"

Sing picks at the dirt under his nails as Eiji speaks. "Oh, I thought you were here for something important. It's a relief to know you are here for anything serious."

"Hey! Halloween donuts are a very important and serious matter," Shorter protests as he leans against the counter, making Eiji smile wide. Shorter's playful tone melts away as he asks another question. "Today's been pretty slow. Where's Ash?"

Eiji's smile fades as he stares at the donut he's currently frosting. "I don't know."

Sensing the heavy air, and the silence emanating from Sing, Shorter quickly changes the subject. "Can we help decorate? Please Eiji—"

Shorter gets cut off by Eiji chuckling before he can whine any further. "You guys can help."

"Eiji, you're an angel," Shorter says, dramatically clutching at his chest with one hand and resting the back of his other hand on his forehead like a dramatic fainting lady. Eiji giggles again.

"I'm not good at decorating," Sing states as Shorter rolls his eyes and shoves a piping bag full of light purple glaze towards Sing's chest.

"It's fine," Shorter says, dragging out the 'i' in 'fine'. He picks up the piping bag full of orange glaze.

"Yes," Eiji agrees as he finally finishes covering one donut in black glaze. "They will still be delicious even if they don't look great."

Sing a noise of doubt and hesitates before he starts to cover a donut in purple glaze.

"Wait!" Eiji exclaims. "Wash your hands!"

Shorter and Sing both wash their hands. Sing takes off his fingerless gloves and shoves them into on of his pockets before doing so.

"Did you make all of these yourself, Eiji?" Sing asks, trying his best not to get his hands covered in glaze. Shorter, on the other hand, was purposely getting glaze on his hands so he can lick the glaze off of his fingers.

"Yes," Eiji replies. "I made the glaze, the frosting, and the donuts, but I bought the decorations."

"Eiji, this glaze is delicious!" Shorter exclaims, pouring more onto his hand and licking it off.

"Shorter, don't finish the glaze!" Eiji cries. "Finish decorating the donuts first!"

"Fine," Shorter whines.

Eventually, the three of them finish covering the donuts in glaze. As Shorter was eating all the leftover glaze and Sing and Eiji were getting the frosting and decorations ready, they all heard the sound of keys unlocking the front door. The door opens and in steps the famed Lynx.

"Ash!" Shorter calls from the kitchen. Ash jumps slightly from the noise. He stays tense as he turns around to see Shorter, Sing, and Eiji all standing together in the kitchen, hunched over something on the counter. Are those donuts...?

"Hey," Ash says as he shrugs off his coat and walks over to the kitchen. "Why are you guys here?"

"Wow, what a warm welcome," Shorter says as he rolls his eyes. "Remember the pastry shop we went to a couple months ago?"

"Yeah?" Ash replies, crossing his arms and leaning back against the kitchen island.

Eiji and Sing continue opening the bags with the decorations and spooning frosting into the piping bags silently as Shorter and Ash talk.

"They made Halloween themed donut!" Shorter says with a smile. "So I came over to ask if you wanted to check it out since I can't call you because my phone broke but you weren't home and Eiji was making donuts so we decided to help out and, oh, Sing is here too—"

"Hey," Sing says, turning around to face Ash. Ash nods towards him.

"Eiji, you made all of this?" Ash asks, his tone suddenly warm enough to make Eiji melt. Eiji blushes, not wanting to turn around and have Ash see him wearing the silly apron his younger sister had gotten for him a while ago.

"Yes," Eiji says, grabbing a piping bag full of white frosting. He starts decorate one of the black donuts. Ash frowns, wondering why Eiji won't face him.

"Come help us decorate, Ash," Shorter says, dragging him over to the countertop where the donuts lie.

"The four of us aren't going to be able to decorate at the same time..." Ash trails off as he notices the pink apron Eiji is wearing and fails to hide a smirk. Eiji turns more red as he stares at his donut and continues to wrap white frosting around it, determined not to look at Ash.

"Nice apron," Ash says, snorting.

"My younger sister bought it for me because she is an airhead," Eiji mutters, finishing his decoration. Now, there was a white spider web on the black donut Eiji was decorating. The spider web looked nice and symmetrical.

"Let's move the tray to the island," Sing says, referring to the kitchen island. "We can work on the donuts without bumping into each other."

The kitchen was small, so two of them could stand on either side and decorate the donuts together.

"Sing, you're so smart," Shorter says as Eiji moves the tray, the decorations, and the piping bags to the island. "You're the smartest person in the world."

Sing rolls his eyes. "Shut up, Shorter."

Shorter fakes offense. "So rude!"

Sing sticks his tongue out at Shorter.

Ash washes his hands and rolls up the sleeves of the long sleeved black shirt he's wearing. The four of them start to work on decorating the donuts in silence for a few minutes before the silence is broken by Sing.

"Oh my god, Shorter! What are you making?!"

The donut Shorter was decorating was a mess of red, brown, and black frosting on top of an orange donut.

"It's a pumpkin spice latte!" Shorter exclaims. "And it's amazing!"

"That looks like you threw up on the donut," Ash states. Eiji giggles.

"It looks like someone died on it," Eiji says, making Ash and Sing laugh.

"Eiji, I thought you were on my side!" Shorter exclaims, mouth agape, pretending to be hurt.

"Sorry, Shorter," Eiji giggles. In Shorter's offended fervor, he accidentally gets frosting on Sing's jacket. Sing lets out a surprised noise, red frosting streaking the white of his blue and white jacket.

"Shorter!" Sing exclaims. Shorter sticks his tongue out at Sing as he quickly grabs a napkin and wipes off the frosting. Sing pouts. He stands on his tiptoes and gets black frosting onto Shorter's mane of purple hair.

"No!" Shorter cries. "My beautiful hair! This means war!!!"

Sing swiftly dodges as Shorter attempts to get more red frosting on him. He ends up getting frosting on Ash's arm. Ash raises an eyebrow. Sing hides behind Eiji.

"Don't you dare," Ash warns, dead serious. Shorter smirks and purposely squirts more red frosting on Ash's arm. Ash suddenly squirts green frosting all over Shorter's clothes at lightning speed. Shorter tries to land another hit on Ash but misses. Ash races towards Shorter who swerves around him and hides behind Eiji. Both Shorter and Eiji clutch at Eiji's clothes.

"Guys, stop, that tickles," Eiji giggles, squirming.

"Shorter, you're like ten feet tall," Ash states, holding his piping bag of green frosting in front of him like a knife. "You can't hide behind Eiji."

"Sing, let's team up against Ash," Shorter pretend-whispers.

"Sing, do you want me to end you?" Ash asks.

"I'm staying out of it!" Sing declares, clutching his piping bag to his chest.

"Eiji, step aside," Ash says, his face still and serious. He struggles to keep the smile off of his face, while Shorter and Eiji openly laugh.

"No, Ash," Eiji giggles, wrapping his arms behind him around Sing and Shorter's arms. "Have mercy!"

"Don't make me do it," Ash says, stepping closer with his green frosting bag in his hand.

"I'm not afraid!" Eiji stands up straight and readies his blue frosting bag.

"Our savior!" Shorter exclaims. Sing snorts.

Ash shakes his head and tuts. "Such a shame. You're so cute. We could've been great together."

Eiji blushes as his words sink in. He stammers. "W-Wha—"

Suddenly, Ash grabs Eiji away from Shorter and Sing and squirts green frosting all over his head, shoulders, and hair. Eiji squeals and squirms in Ash's grasp, giggling.

"AH! No, Ash!!!" Eiji squeals. Ash's grip was tight and inescapable. He held Eiji close as he emptied out all the green frosting onto Eiji.

Ash leans in close, his nose just barely brushing against Eiji's, a smirk plastered onto his face as he whispers. "Gotcha."

The smile on Eiji's face was so wide that it was starting to hurt his cheeks.

"SURPRISE ATTACK!!!" Sing and Shorter scream from behind Ash and Eiji, who were so caught up in each's presence that they hadn't noticed the duo sneaking up behind them. Shorter and Sing had cut open their piping bags in advance so it would be easier to empty out the frosting onto Ash and Eiji. Eiji cries out and Ash's eyes widen as black and red frosting came crashing down onto them. They all giggle together, their clothes and the kitchen a complete mess, the undecorated donuts forgotten on the table.

"You're are cleaning this up," Ash says, his statement very clearly directed at Shorter.

"You made a mess too!" Shorter cries.

"Sorry, Eiji," Sing apologizes, holding up his empty bag of frosting. "I guess the donuts won't be properly decorated."

"It's fine," Eiji says, still smiling. "The donuts are still colorful."

"Let's eat!" Shorter exclaims, heading towards the donuts. Ash stops him before he can grab one.

"Uh, you don't deserve a donut, Shorter," Ash teases, holding him back from the kitchen island.

"I definitely deserve a donut," Shorter says, his hands on his hips.

"For what? Making a mess?" Ash says, raising an eyebrow.

"Yes," Shorter grins.

As the two of them continue to playfully bicker, Sing and Eiji each pick up a donut from the tray and take a bite. Sing makes a satisfied noise as he chews.

"This is delicious," Sing says with his mouth full. Eiji finishes his bite before replying.

"Thank you," Eiji says.

"Gimme one!" Shorter says, grabbing a donut off the tray. He takes a bite and moans excessively at the delicious, sugary taste.

Ash grabs a donut and takes a bite as well. His eyes widen as he tastes the sweet treat.

"This is amazing," Ash says, and Eiji can feel his heart bursting because of Ash's approval.

"Thanks for making these, Eiji," Sing says, taking another bite.

"And thanks for letting us steal some," Shorter winks, wrapping an arm around Eiji's shoulders, already onto his second donut.

"Yeah, thanks, Eiji," Ash murmurs, his voice so soft and warm Eiji can feel his whole body warm up.

"It's no problem," Eiji smiles, shyly looking away from Ash as he takes another bite of his donut.