Hi Mel! It's been awhile since I've seen your work but may I request Darcy & Jane bakery au? Thank you!
OMG IM SO SORRY I TOOK SO LONG IN WRITING THIS!!!!!!
I’m also very sorry for any errors because it is freshly finished and absolutely not beta’d so I hope you enjoy! I worked on it intermittently because work days have been very taxing these days
I am also very glad you let me include a little bit of ShieldShock in this little AU about two nerdy friends who own a bakery :)
“Janey!” Darcy called through the kitchen of their bakery, “we got a big order!”
The only response she got back was a grunt of recognition, which meant that her partner in confections was deep in food science mode. They didn’t become a popular for no reason.
Jane had a truly uncanny ability to combine ingredients and flavors on suck a molecular level that the cakes and cookies and other sweets she baked up were packed with ridiculously amazing flavor. What made her baking/ food science abilities even more incredible was the fact that she could bring the flavor while maintaining the perfect texture, from the lightness and moistness of the cakes, to the density and texture ratio. She was a genius when it came to baking.
Darcy’s claim to fame in their mutual business venture - aside from being unlikely best friends - was her awesome decorating skills. Which served dual purpose, as she also designed the logo of their bakery ‘Sweet Gastronomy’, in addition to creating the different decorations for their most popular line of cupcakes and cookies.
Her favorite, and not so coincidentally, their best selling line of sweets were a play on the name of their shop. She and Jane met in university during a semester of Astronomy. The class was just a non major elective for Darcy - law being her main focus - whereas Jane was a serious science major. But the two of them had hit it off after a very detailed debate and logistical discussion of pop tarts and how to make them better.
It had turned into a kitchen experiment and they posted the recipe that Jane had developed only for it to go viral. The blog was Darcy’s since Jane had too much to focus on and Darcy liked to not focus on things and distract herself with the internet. At that point in their lives, neither in of them had even considered starting their own business. They were both young and slightly jaded by the shit job market in relation to their respective fields of study. Only when they started getting a multitude of comments on Darcy’s blog claiming enthusiastically that they should open a bakery, did the thought even take root.
At first, Jane in her hyper focused pragmatism was solely focused on employment in her career of choice, but when she actually started sending out her credentials to various employers, she kept getting passed up for men, or anyone that had a bit more experience than her. Given that Darcy was having the same problem, she tried to convince Jane that it wasn’t her fault that she was brilliant and that she would find something - all those assholes not hiring her best friend didn’t know what they were missing out on.
They’d been commiserating and stress baking when the topic of baking as a business came up again. Darcy had actually put a lot of thought into the idea on her own already, as well as a lot of research on start up business loans and properties, and admittedly it was something that she was secretly very excited about. She didn’t actually think that Jane would go for it, but she had been very frustrated in her luck at finding any job prospects that at the eight month mark, she humored Darcy with a mock up menu and some actual facts samples that blew Darcy’s mind.
In truth, the whole plan that Darcy had concocted seemed good on papers and spreadsheets, but the reality of the situation required about a year long period of online sales. The experience they gained from that venture was actually very beneficial - it gave them a better concept of turn around time per order, how to manage their menu, how to manage their finances, and the added benefit they hadn’t considered when they’d started out, of custom orders and catering and the licensing process that would eventually prove helpful for a standing bakery.
They had also already developed their presence online, so when their regulars and referrals heard that they were opening a physical location, they already had the client base to sustain the risky first year.
“Yoo-hoo, earth to Jane, did you hear me? We got a big order!”
Jane finally looked up after meticulously measuring out even cupcakes to ensure even and consistent baking of the product as well as maximizing the use of oven time. Her face was mottled with flour, and she huffed an exasperated breath and asked hesitantly, “oh…great…how big?”
“2000 cupcakes! And 2000 cake pops! For an end of charity marathon celebration. And the best part… it’s Wonder Woman themed!!!”
At Jane’s look of distress and horror, Darcy continued, “omg, don’t be so dramatic! We’ve got two months until the event. Plenty of time.”
Jane visibly relaxed though she mumbled - loud enough for Darcy to hear, though she chose to ignore - “and I’m the dramatic one…”
Darcy knew that Jane was happy for the business, even when it got overwhelming seeing as it was just the two of them with the occasional part time help behind the sales counter when Darcy was needed in the kitchen. She just didn’t show it as enthusiastically as Darcy did. She couldn’t help it though, and Darcy knew that. It was just who she was and how she processed things. It was also the reason Jane insisted that Darcy handle all the public affairs and customers on a daily basis. They had a system that worked for them and their system was successful for business as well.
“So,” Jane spoke up, changing the subject, with a slight grin, “did I hear Rogers here earlier picking up his order?”
Of course she would bring it up. Of course. Because sometimes, and by sometimes it really meant all the time, Jane was a little shit about things that she knew would rile Darcy up. And Steve Rogers, one of their very regular customers, and the most gentlemanly hottie to ever fire up one’s attraction levels to near scorching levels, was absolutely one of those things. And just when Darcy had gotten her heart rate under control.
If she was being completely honest, the following customer and the resulting big charity event order was a good distraction from the overwhelmingness that was her crush on one Steve Rogers.
“Yes.” She sure as hell wasn’t going to give an elaborate response, especially since the last time she did, Jane actually stopped the food science to scold her for not taking a fucking chance already.
Darcy always used her convenient excuse that it would be unprofessional to seek a personal relationship with a client, to which Jane usually rolled her eyes.
This time, though, Jane simply raised a questioning brow before handing Darcy a few ready pans of batter and nodding her head towards one of the ready ovens, “can you pop this in?”
She grabbed the pans an placed them in the oven as requested, while Jane set her timer and started clearing a little space to start the ganache that was to fill up the cupcakes. They were a popular seller, because the ganache wasn’t overly sweet, and the cakes weren’t too cake-y. The change in task was also a good opportunity to redirect the conversation back to the topic of their new big commission, which Jane in all her baking genius was already planning flavor combinations while Darcy had tons of ideas for decorating the sweets in keeping with the theme of the event.
Jane was also starting to calculate the amount of ingredients that she would need for her flavor combinations if they were going to offer - as Darcy suggested - a small assortment of flavor combinations for variety, but of course in keeping with the theme of the event.
The two were so focused on their plans as well as their current project, of which was getting the final touches thanks to Darcy and her surprisingly adept visual aesthetics, when her phone rang.
She didn’t really think much of it, mostly due to the fact that her hands were covered in surgery decorations stuff, until Jane piped up all of a sudden, a mischievous smirk on her face.
“Oh, by the way, I slipped your number in Rogers’ weekly order.”