“I really don’t know what you were thinking,” Louis says, blinking. The flour on his eyelashes makes everything a bit fuzzy. “I’ve told you before that me and the kitchen are a terrible idea.”
“Well, Tommo—” Niall takes a moment to brush the flour off his shirt. “The directions do say to ‘sift gently’ not ‘sift as though you’re single-handedly trying to power Madison Square Garden during an Ed Sheeran concert’.”
Harry reaches between the two of them, taking the sifter and the bowl from Louis’ hands. “That’s oddly specific, Niall.” He moves over to the counter nearby and starts sifting the remaining flour.
It earns him a shrug, then a grimace as Niall tugs at his collar. “Think you got flour down me shirt, Lou. Jesus.”
“Just take it off.” Louis waggles his eyebrows, only it causes more flour to fall off his face and he ends up half-blinded. Closing his eyes, Louis flails about at Niall, tugging at the hem of his shirt. “C’mon, Nialler. It’s all the raaaaage—”
Niall steps out of Louis’ reach, mumbling, “Not very sanitary, is it?”
Louis scoffs, wiping at his face and opening his eyes again. “Harry does it all the time. Caught him just the other morning doing a fry up in nothing but his pants. A dangerous game, that.”
“We all know I like to live on the edge,” Harry throws over his shoulder. He’s still mixing, eggs and milk now, and Louis gets caught in the play of muscles in Harry’s arm for a moment.
“Nutter,” Niall murmurs, but seems to make up his mind. Tugging the shirt over the top of his head, he shakes out his hair, a fine white dusting floating around him. “Christ, Louis. Did you leave any in the bowl?”
Louis reaches out, digging his fingers into Niall’s armpit and getting a slap and another curse for his troubles. “Come help me with the icing, you loon,” Niall mutters. “You can handle butter, right?”
“Grease me up, Nialler,” Louis replies, rubbing his hands together with enthusiasm. Shaking his head, Niall pulls him over to the table and puts him to work.
“I really don’t know what you were thinking,” Louis says again, thirty minutes later. Harry’s stood next to him this time, the bright green splatter of frosting looks as though a giant bug has exploded on his shirt. “It looks like a giant bug exploded on your shirt,” he adds helpfully.
Reaching out, Louis drags a finger through it, smearing it further across Harry’s chest. “Tasty though,” he says, licking the icing off his finger. “We did good, Ni.” He runs his finger over Harry’s shirt again. “Wanna taste?” he asks, titling his head to the side, eyes wide as he offers the frosting to Niall.
The look Niall gives him is suspicious and Louis feints bopping him on the nose with his frosting finger, laughing when Niall grabs at his wrist to hold him still. He’s still smiling, watching Niall’s lips wrap around his finger when movement from the corner of his eye catches his attention.
Harry’s just removing his shirt, several curls breaking loose from his bun. The tattoo on his stomach is still ridiculous, but the way Niall’s lips have gone loose around his finger means Louis’ not the only one noticing the view is still very nice.
Louis about to suggest they give up on the cookies and just head back to bed when there’s the cool smear of icing across his cheek. Yelping, he jumps back. Niall looks well pleased with himself, smirking as he sucks the rest of the icing off his finger.
“We did do good,” Niall says. He smirks at the look on Louis’ face. “What, Tommo? Can dish it out, but can’t take it?”
Louis narrows his eyes.
When Liam walks into the kitchen, the three of them are sat at the table, calmly icing cookies.
Harry’s curls are dusted in white though, half his bun falling out, and Liam thinks there might be icing under his chin. There’s definitely icing on Niall - two very distinct handprints, one over his stomach, the other across his right cheek. Louis’ down to his pants, no other marks on him.
“I don’t even want to know,” Liam mumbles, and walks back out.
He does take a cookie later, when Harry offers it. One without icing, of course.