Nigella's-Kitchen

… the fact that everyone makes a dish a little differently, that what comes out of our kitchens bears our own stamp, is precisely the essence of real home cooking. Not adhering to professional standards in the kitchen doesn’t show our limitations, but is indicative of our liberation and individuality.
—  Nigella Lawson (Nigella Kitchen : Recipes from the Heart of the Home, 2010)
Make A Wish

“Yifan.” you called his name. He closed his eyes, lying next you and you lied on your stomach as you poked your finger on his cheek. “Are you going to stay home tomorrow for your birthday so we could do celebrate it together?”

 “I can’t.” he slowly opened his eyes as he forced a smile. You knew that this was coming. Even when the both of you were in the same country, and his schedules were not as tight and chaotic, it would not be easy for him to spend his free time with you.

 “Work?” you asked. You tried to smile and cover your disappointment, but he saw through you.

 “Yeah…” he sighed, running his long fingers trough your hair. “I’m sorry.”

 “It’s fine.” you shook your head as you kissed the back of his hand. “We could celebrate your birthday the day after.” you said as you were hoping that he would not have anything on his schedule that day. You could tell that he also wanted the same thing from the look of his face.

 “But I will try to come home before midnight.” Your ears perked up when he said it, but the thought of Yifan rushing trough his busy schedules just to be with you made you feel slightly uneasy. You knew he was the type to take things very slow and precise, especially when it comes to his job. “The staffs and director would probably take me to get drinks after work, but I’ll tell them I have someone waiting for me.”

“Hmm, okay.” You agreed. You were relieved that at least he would not be rushing on his schedules. “Should we go out for dinner tomorrow?” you asked as you sat up, reaching for something from the end table.

 Yifan smiled when he realized you were looking trough different restaurant brochures because he knew you took your time collecting them. He loved to take you out to a nice restaurant but he wanted to do something different. “Sweetheart, can you cook for me?”

 You put down the brochure from your hand to your lap as your eyebrows went up, “We just had dinner half an hour ago.” And he chuckled at your answer.

“I mean for tomorrow.” He said, giving you a soft smile that makes you want to say yes, but unfortunately cooking was not exactly your forte. You knew that this was coming, you knew he would ask you to cook for him. That’s why you have been watching cooking shows instead of reality shows for the past week. They made it seems so easy. Mixing the ingredients all together, to the stove they go, and ta-dah, a perfect meal. As if they used a magic spell. Real life did not work like that. “What do you think?” he asked.

“Yifan, you know I can’t cook.” You whined. “Let’s just go to this place, they have—”

“You can cook!” He exclaimed, louder than it should. “Please, please, please?” He held both of your hands tightly.

“I’m no Nigella Lawson in the kitchen, Yifan.”

“What— Who’s that?”

Oh right, you forgot he did not watch Nigella Bites every Friday night. At this point you started to feel bad for saying no. He said he’d try to come home early to celebrate his birthday with you, maybe you should try to do something for him too. “Ugh, okay.” You sighed. “I will bake a cake for you, we could order the food from somewhere else.”

Yifan agreed to your suggestion and you spent the next day looking for the ingredients. You decided to make a good old classic chocolate cake for him, it was the easiest recipe you could find and all you needed to do was following all the steps carefully.

It started out pretty well and easy for you, mixing all the ingredients together and putting the batter into the oven. You could finally take a breath as you sat on the floor. You look at the kitchen counter and saw the mess you made. That is why you were not fond of cooking. You did not like dirty dishes and you hated doing them, but at that moment you did not care about it at all because you were about to celebrate Yifan’s birthday for the first time.

It was still pretty early in the evening and you wondered what Yifan was doing with his friends. You wanted to call him and tell him not to drink too much, but you thought, he has the right to have fun with his friends, it was his birthday anyway.

So you sat there on the kitchen floor, waiting for the chocolate cake to get cooked while constantly trying to keep yourself awake, but it was too quiet and your eyes felt heavy. Maybe you could take a little short nap and you were so sure the oven would make a sound when it is done. You were just about to lie down on your back even though the floor was covered with flour and chocolate powder when you head a rattling noise from the front door, and you knew it was Yifan because it was his habit to throw his keys to the table as soon as he walks in.

You looked around the kitchen again and felt your cheeks were getting hot from the embarrassment. Not to mention the stains on your apron and probably the batter that stuck in your hair. You did not want Yifan to look at you like this. “Yifan?” You called out. “Could you stay where you are right now?” you asked politely.

But of course it would only fuel his curiosity as he walked into the kitchen with an amused smile on his face. “Sweetheart, did we get robbed?” he asked jokingly.

“See? This is why I shouldn’t cook.” You sputtered, grabbing a saucepan and put it on the stove. You ignored his presence and continue trying to melt the butter and chocolate together for the frosting.

Yifan had no idea what you were making but he could see you were having a hard time. “Do you need help?” He asked as he wrapped his arms around your waist.

You wanted to say no but you did need help. “I think the cake is done, please take it out of the oven.”

He did what exactly you told him to, and you could not help but smile when you saw the cake came out perfectly. One thing left to do was to make the chocolate icing and you would have a tasty classic chocolate cake. “Are you using dark chocolate?” Yifan asked, pointing at the chocolate sauce in the pan.

“Uh… yeah.” No, it was not, it looked dark because you burned it. You were not sure how it would taste either, but it was too late to start over. “Thank you for helping.” You said, hoping he would go away.

“I want to help decorate the cake.”

No!” you exclaimed. “It’s your birthday, you should go do something else, like… roll around the house or something.”

“Did you just make fun of my rap part again?” He asked, furrowing his eyebrows as he waited for you to answer his question, “The ‘roll like a buffalo’?”

“I did not.” You denied as you removed the pan from the heat. “But seriously though, someone should take the song writer to see actual buffaloes because I don’t think such thing as rolling buffaloes exist.”

All you had to do was coating the cake with your chocolate icing, but you had to make sure the taste was okay so you could come up with a back up plan. After taking a deep breath, you dipped your finger to the chocolate and butter mixture and slowly putting it into your mouth. And yeah, it was bitter and weird. You tried not to make a face since Yifan was there and you did not want him to find out something was not quite right, so you came up with an excuse. If he noticed that the chocolate was bitter, you would say that you used really high quality dark chocolate with no added sugar. So you grabbed your palette knife and started spreading the chocolate all over the cake. You did not have the time to make it all neat and pretty since it was almost midnight, and you were done before you know it. Well, that was easy.

“Can I try it now?” Yifan asked, looking over your shoulder.

“I need to find the candle first!” You said as you started searching frantically for the cute baby blue candles that you bought. “Okay… here it is.” You found them beneath a pile of plastic bag. Gosh, the kitchen was a disaster.

Yifan was happily helping you setting them all over the surface. You also bought a bunch of cutesy stuffs you could put on the cake, and Yifan had never been happier. He loved decorating the cake, and the cake ended up looking like an art project. “Shall I make a wish now?” Yifan asked after lightning all the candles.

“Yeah, hurry up!” you smiled, pointing at the clock.

You watched him slowly closing his eyes, putting his hands together as he made a wish. It was the first time you have ever seen him like this. He looked so different, in a good way. It felt like he was back to his old self, to the guy you first met a few years ago, and to the man you fell in love with.

By the time he opened his eyes and blew his candles, you couldn’t hold your tears. You began sobbing and Yifan wrapped his arms around you, pulling you closer to his chest. You had no idea why you were crying. You were just so happy that he was finally free to be himself again.

“Why are you crying?” He softly muttered in your ear as he was stroking your back.

“Because I’m happy,” you wept, “To see you happy again.” You said, pulling away from him as you stood on your toes, kissing him. “Don’t eat the cake… I burned the chocolate.”

“I know.” He smiled. “That’s why I’m taking you to my mom’s next week.” He proposed an idea while his hand was playing with a strand of your hair. “So she could teach you how to cook.”

“Shut up, Yifan.” You retorted. “You told me to cook for you and this is what you get.”

Yifan laughed before leaning down to kiss you. “Yifan.” You gasped, encircling a hand around his neck as you whimpered when he bit your lower lip. Your heart was pounding, and it was getting hard for you to breathe. You pushed him away before things got carried away. He looked down and smiled. “Happy birthday.” You said softly.

“Thank you.” 

A/N: I know it’s really late but I needed to fix some parts of this scenario. And yes, I’ve done my research and I don’t think buffalo can roll around. I went to youtube and google looking for a rolling buffalo but I could only find a bunch of EXO fans. Anyway, I hope you like this birthday special scenario, and I need a suggestion on whether I should do Chanyeol or Luhan mini series, Thank you for reading!

-Admin N