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And Now You're Live!

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Donghyuck loves mornings. Especially on the weekends. The mornings when the sun is shining and the scent of freshly made coffee fills the air. He loves the soothing sounds of songbirds, wispy piano, and screaming.

Screaming?

Ready to scold whoever decided to ruin their lungs at 9:30 in the morning, Donghyuck rolled off his bed and winced when his bare foot touched the wood floors. He made a mental note to convince Mark to go shopping with him again to buy a rug or two. He passed by the full length mirror in his bedroom, lightly fixing his hair before walking out the door.

Perhaps he should’ve spent more time looking at his reflection in the mirror? Or maybe he should’ve never woken up today. Regardless of what he could’ve done, he would never prepare himself to find his two best friends screaming on his new couch.

He stood there with his mouth gaping open, not comprehending the scene in front of him, “What the fuck.”

The sentence sparked an awkward moment of silence, and the three boys stood staring at each other. The blinking red light from Jaemin's camera caught his attention. That fucker was filming again.

Yet there was a bigger problem than Jaemin and Jeno's dirty shoes on his couch. A slithering problem. A defined hiss erupted from under the furniture, and in the next second, Donghyuck was on the couch with them.

"Why is there a snake here? Did you bring a damn snake into my apartment?" Donghyuck yelled accusingly at Jaemin.

Jaemin made a dramatic gasp, "You think I wanted to hold a snake only to terrorize you?" He pointed at the scaly animal with his free hand, "That thing was already in here!"

Donghyuck paused. He thought about it, why would Jaemin and Jeno bring a snake? They both had no benefit from scaring Donghyuck, and if they did plan on scaring him, it would be with a longer schedule. However, it didn't explain why Jaemin was holding a running camera while with Jeno.

"Jaemin, I thought I made it clear that we don't film on weekends."

His friend looked down at the camera in his hand. His mouth opened to say an explanation but once again, the snake made everybody aware of its presence. The slithering animal started to move slowly toward the trio of boys. They started to scream again.

After 10 minutes of frantically avoiding the snake and calling the only responsible person available, Mark showed up with a concerned expression and animal control.

When the snake was successfully taken out of his apartment complex, Mark sighed and glared at the boys, "Who brought the snake here?"

The trio looked at each other.

"Not me!"

⋆⋆⋆

 

Seated on the white leather couch, the four boys were lazily scrolling through their phones or watching the television ahead. The snake free silence was comfortable for them, they cherished the rare calm atmosphere.

“Hey Jaemin, you didn’t answer my question.”

Jaemin looked at him with a puzzled expression, and Donghyuck imagined a gear moving above his head.

“Ah! The camera.” He glanced at the said object, “It’s going to be our 100th video!”

“Really?” Donghyuck should’ve remembered an important milestone like that, so he thought about the ideas he could film for his viewers.

“Jeno asked Chenle and Jisung to come over.” Jaemin continued, “You’re doing a baking competition against them.”

Donghyuck groaned into the shoulder of Mark. He recently cleaned his kitchen after procrastinating on washing the dishes for five days. And now with the additional people, it was bound to be a mess. Especially for Jisung (and Mark!).

Jaemin went on about the details of the incoming video, and Jeno started to set up the kitchen for ideal filming. The baking competition consisted of the four boys attempting to make cupcakes, and Jaemin knew that he set them up for failure due to a certain pair of boys.

It was 4 pm when they started to film. The apartment complex was bound to get a noise complaint due to the ear-splitting volume of the six boys. It was midway through when Jisung started a small fire because he misheard Chenle’s directions of “prepare the cupcake liners and the oven.”.

After Jisung’s unfortunate mishap and temporary ban from the kitchen, the decorating portion began. Jaemin and Jeno watched as their friends fumbled with piping bags and miscommunication. Every few minutes, Donghyuck would playfully scold Mark because he kept smearing the dual colored frosting on him. Chenle and Jisung weren’t too great at keeping the kitchen clean either, it felt as if the piping bag would explode any second due to the stress Chenle held on the bag.

Once the timer was nearing its end, Jaemin sneaked away from behind the camera. He paused at the door, before hearing light knocks and opening the door. The pink haired boy smuggled another human into the unsuspecting presence of the five other boys.

The timer set off a noisy ring, indicating that the competition was over. The chorus of groans caused Jaemin to chuckle at his friends’ antics. “Okay now put your cupcakes on the table, and we’ll judge them.”

“We? Isn’t Jeno filming?” Jisung looked at him confused, Jaemin was the only other person who could judge.

At that moment, Renjun popped up from behind Jisung, and yelled. “Surprise! Your favorite hyung is here!”

So, possibly scaring Jisung wasn’t the best idea?

Renjun caused an unfortunate chain of events, starting with Jisung. The poor boy collapsed on the floor and caused Chenle to let out his dolphin-like laugh which rang in everybody’s ears. And Mark clung onto Donghyuck’s shoulder as if he was going to even protect him, which he wouldn’t.

“Wow, those are ugly.” Renjun made a skeptical expression at his friends’ cupcakes.

Donghyuck glared at the older boy, “You’re ugly!”

Jeno sighed. He would need to cut that part out of the video. The longer his friends bickered and forgot that they were on camera, the more he had to edit. He didn’t hate his job. It was amusing to rewatch all the nonsense that goes on, and he liked exaggerating Donghyuck’s reactions while editing.

In fact, they all enjoyed their jobs. When the boys weren’t doing university classes or working part-time in a cafe owned by their older friends, they would be filming videos like today. Donghyuck wouldn’t consider himself a popular Youtuber, gaining a decent 30k subscribers over the five month period. He was grateful for his willing friends to record themselves doing stupid stuff with him. From dressing up as cows at Taeil’s cafe to going to Taeyong’s dance class on three hours of sleep.

The bickering died down and the judging session began. Mark and Donghyuck appeared with a platter filled with red and green cupcakes. Donghyuck began an excessive dialogue on his desserts while Jaemin stuffed his face with the red velvet flavored confection. He flashed a thumbs up in approval but Renjun inspected the dubious frosted cupcake.

Renjun sighed, “Mark, is this thing supposed to be watermelon themed?”

There was a slight pause, Renjun looked up to see his older friend with a sheepish look on his face. “It is watermelon themed.”

Donghyuck snickered beside him, mumbling a phrase into his that made Mark’s face change into a deeper red. The blonde boy maintained his composure and pushed the smirking boy. He focused his attention back to Renjun who was in the midst of tasting their cupcake.

The critical judge looked baffled due to the cupcake, he glanced up to see 6 other boys watching him in curiosity. “It’s… Not bad?”

Cheers erupted from the two creators of the dessert but it soon died down once Renjun glared at them and continued his judging, “It’s still ugly. 7/10.”

Donghyuck deflated which made Mark hold a reassuring arm on his shoulder and whispered something into his ear. Still, the shorter of the two bakers whined, “It’s not. You’re just weird.”

His friend scoffed, “Well first off, I don’t know why you decided to make Mark decorate. You know he has barely any artistic talent even if he makes fancy coffee all day. Also, this cupcake is slightly overcooked but I don’t blame you due to the time limit. The chocolate chips were a nice touch and the icing isn’t overly sweet. So, 7/10.”

“Okay Gordon Ramsey... “ One of the boys mumbled.

“I heard that. 6/10.”

A soft dolphin-like chuckle was heard from Chenle and Jisung’s direction. The sound stopped once Chenle felt the intense glare from Donghyuck. He stuck out his tongue and hid behind Jisung to avoid the consequences of mocking his older friend. Before Donghyuck could walk over and threaten the younger boy, Jaemin started his judging statement.

“Good.”

The group of boys burst out laughing at the simplicity of Jaemin’s statement, and Jeno slightly giggled to avoid moving the camera too much. The pink haired boy appeared a bit bewildered at the behavior of his friends, but soon laughed along them.

It was now Jisung and Chenle’s turn to be judged. The duo appeared with a dramatic display of visually chaotic cupcakes. Renjun listened closely to the awkward explanation of the pair’s cupcakes that looked quite unique. Jaemin, being as patient as a puppy, bit into the baked sweet.

He started to show a thumbs up but slowly put it down and pulled something from his mouth, “Huh?”

It was a cupcake wrapper.

The boys grimaced and Rejun decided to break apart the cupcake in caution of choking on a stray cupcake wrapper. Thankfully, he would not have to receive the heimlich maneuver that day. Renjun took a small bite of the cake and frosting before spitting it out on an empty napkin.

With a displeased look, he gave a score, “3/10.”

“Fair enough…” Chenle mumbled.

Jaemin had pity on the boys, so he gave a polite 5/10. The score made Jisung give a faint smile to his older friend. The four boys lined up behind the marble top counter and waited for the results to be finalized. With a dramatic re-entrance, Jaemin and Renjun held up the names of the winner in sparkly pink ink.

“The winner of the baking contest is... Mark and Haechan!”

⋆⋆⋆

 

Hours later, once the kitchen was back to it’s clean state and the house was extinct of five loud college boys, Donghyuck finally rested. He laid on his couch and drifted away into his nap while his roommate made tea in their kitchen.

Mark sat down next to the sleeping boy and smiled. “Hope you rest well.”