The camera clicks on, and a pair of men in aprons face the viewers, frame in an expansive and well-stocked kitchen. A large poodle, the Katsuki-Nikiforovs' Instagram-famous Makkachin, sits beside them while panting happily.
"Hello," says Viktor Katsuki-Nikiforov, smiling and waving, while at his side, Yuuri Katsuki-Nikiforov gives a small smile. Their aprons are light blue and covered in cartoonish pictures of poodles. "Today, my husband Yuuri -- as in Yuuri Katsuki-Nikiforov!" He flashes a bright gold ring on his finger, beaming. "We just celebrated our six month anniversary! Anyway, Yuuri and I are going to bake a cake for you! This is part of the Cake Wreck Amateurs Instagram Challenge, hashtag Cake Wreck Amateurs, so be sure to like and subscribe!"
Yuuri pushes up his glasses and gestures at the counter in front of them. On Viktor's side of the counter are several kitchen utensils, ranging from spatulas to whips, next to several mixing bowls, measuring cups, and baking pans. On Yuuri's side are several ingredients, ranging from flour and butter to eggs and whipped cream.
"Neither of us have much baking skill, but we're ready to show you the best. Viktor, shall we?"
Viktor picks up a spatula and brandishes it at the camera. "We shall!"
Yuuri reaches for the bag of flour first, but Viktor stops him, tutting.
"Yuuri, Yuuri, Yuuri. We're supposed to mix the wet ingredients together first!"
Yuuri gives him a side glance, then decisively picks up the bag of flour and takes a bowl from Viktor's side. "There's no reason for us not to mix both at the same time."
"No, Yuuri! We can't mix everything together at once!" Viktor says, aghast, and Yuuri snorts.
"I know! I'm just going to mix the dry ingredients, and you can mix the wet ingredients."
Viktor sniffs. "Fine."
They carry on with mixing. The background noise of the video has no music, but contains the sounds of a bustling city from an open window off to the right, the curtains fluttering with the breeze. As Yuuri measures flour and mutters over two boxes of baking substance, Viktor sets up an obviously expensive mixing machine and starts cracking eggs into the bowl. Yuuri notices too late.
"Wait, Viktor, you only need two eggs!"
"Three sounds right," Viktor says blithely. "That's how many eggs I have for breakfast every morning. A three egg omelette is a great way to start the day!"
"No, really, it says two eggs right here," Yuuri tries to insist, a note of worry entering his voice, but Viktor ignores him and happily throws in a cup of milk and several squeezes of lemon juice. Yuuri glances between the recipe and Viktor's bowl, obviously dubious, then turns back to his flour with a mutter. He chooses baking soda in his distraction.
After the eggs and milk, Viktor throws in the butter and sugar and starts mixing it all together. At the sound of the machine turning on, Makkachin whines and walks away, unimpressed by the noise.
After glancing at the mixture, Yuuri decides this is probably right, since it starts to come together pretty quickly, then moves to join Viktor, carefully pouring his flour mixture in as the whisk rotates. For some reason, he keeps shifting nervously, a flush coming to his face often, which Viktor doesn't seem to notice. Soon they have a pale, lumpy cake mix -- to which Viktor adds several drops of red liquid, promptly turning it pink.
"What are you doing, Viktor?!" Yuuri cries, snatching the food dye away, but the cake batter has already been affected.
"I'm making it pink!"
"Because it will match my Cadillac," Viktor says with a wide smile.
Yuuri can only stare at him. "But it's a lemon-flavored cake."
"Then it will be a surprise," Viktor teases, putting a finger to his lips, and Yuuri throws his hands in the air. The stand mixer beats on, undisturbed as it happily overmixes the cake batter, while the two remain oblivious.
"Fine... wait, did you add the lemon zest?"
Viktor glances quickly at the pink mixture. "Yes, of course." He looks so sure of himself that not even the viewers doubt him.
Yuuri eyes him narrowly, but Viktor's smile is wide enough that he finally gives a sigh and reaches past his husband, turning off the mixer. "Okay, fine. Let's just put these in the oven and get them baking."
"As you wish, darling!"
The two make a show of pouring the batter into two round cake pans, then pushing them into a heated oven. The video changes scenes to the same oven door, opening to reveal two risen cakes, freshly baked.
Viktor pulls the two cakes out and sets them on the counter, before putting aside his poodle-covered gloves. At his hip stands Makkachin, who gives the cakes a cursory sniff before walking off, her tail wagging in the air.
The cakes are a deep, luscious pink color, tinged golden brown at the edges.
"They're so pretty," Yuuri says, amazed. Viktor beams.
"Now we have to let them cool! In the meantime, Yuuri and I will prepare the icing!"
"Wait, I thought we were using whipped cream," Yuuri interjects, earning a patient smile.
"We will, but not just that, my love," Viktor says, earning a small blush. "Royal icing! Since we are kings at our chosen sport, of course."
"I thought royal icing was for --"
"And here we go!"
The video changes again, showing a montage of mixing icing, spreading icing on a cake, and getting icing everywhere in the kitchen. At last, the montage shifts to reveal a two-layer cake sitting on the counter, drizzled with the lumpiest royal icing ever seen. The cake might have been designed by a four year old, if the four year old was actually a dog. The spread of the icing has no rhyme or reason, no delicacy to its contours, and one side of the cake is distinctly shorter than the other.
Makkachin walks by again, looks at the cake, then gives a judgemental snort. She turns her back and walks away, content to carry on with her morning.
"It's beautiful," Viktor says, eyes sparkling. Viktor's apron, by this point, is covered in icing, flour, and other questionable substances, just like Yuuri's. Yuuri is too busy staring at his husband in slight awe, cheeks flushed, to notice how terrible their cake looks. He doesn't seem to notice the bit of icing on his cheek.
"Yeah," Yuuri says, distracted. Then he shakes himself and turns away, moving to mix something off screen, while Viktor moves around the cake to take at least a hundred pictures with his phone. When Viktor turns away to look at the pictures and post a few on Instagram, Yuuri enters the video again, carrying a tub of whipped cream -- colored a lurid pink, even more horrendous than the cake batter from earlier. With a smile, he starts to pile the pink whipped cream on top of the royal icing.
The moment the whipped cream lands on the cake with a plop, Viktor turns back around. His eyes go wide.
Yuuri freezes, a spatula dipped into his carton of whipped cream, and looks over his shoulder. "What?"
"You're doing it all wrong!" Viktor all but shouts, grabbing the spatula and trying to wrestle it away from Yuuri, who holds on for all he is worth. What follows is a wild scuffle where Yuuri tries to pile on as much whipped cream as possible, while Viktor tries to push him away and save the cake. Just before the last dollop of whipped cream is set on the cake, Viktor succeeds and brandishes the spatula once more. His hair is messy and his face is flushed with laughter, as is Yuuri's. Both of them are covered in icing and whipped cream.
The cake somehow looks a little better than before, but that's not saying much.
"I win!" Viktor breathes in triumph. He looks far too pleased with himself.
Yuuri elbows Viktor aside and picks up another spatula, looking determined.
"I want to do this part," Yuuri insists stubbornly, and for his cheek, Viktor smacks his backside lightly with the spatula with a soft crack! Yuuri jumps and goes stiff, his eyes widening and his cheeks turning an interesting pink beneath his spot of icing. A small, breathy moan escapes his mouth.
Viktor notices, of course. He stares at Yuuri for a long moment, eyes slowly narrowing, while Yuuri proceeds to pay very close attention to a speck of flour on the counter. "Yuuri... are you --" He can't seem to finish his sentence, eyes darting to the camera.
Yuuri says nothing. His cheeks turn even darker.
Viktor's eyes seem to gleam. "You've broken a rule, Yuuri. You know what that means. Assume the position."
Yuuri takes a deep breath, then bends over the counter. Viktor raises the spatula.
The video changes again. The two bakers stand side by side once more, though they are now considerably messier than before. Viktor's apron is haphazardly tied, his clothes no longer neat, and Yuuri seems to be missing his shirt. The two smile lazilly at the camera, Viktor's arm wrapped around Yuuri's waist, straying a bit too low to be proper, but Yuuri seems happy with the closeness, leaning into Viktor's side with his arm wrapped around Viktor's back. Both of them have flushed cheeks and the grins of two people who are quite satisfied with themselves.
The spatula is nowhere in sight.
The cake looks like it has seen better days and can't remember them for the life of it. The whipped cream has melted and spread across the cake in a pink, foamy manner that doesn't look appetizing in the slightest, and the sagging side is even more obvious than before.
"We present to you our cake for the Cake Wreck Amateurs Instagram Challenge! Please vote for Katsuki-Nikiforov!" Viktor says proudly. "We had a lot of fun today!"
"Even more fun than that time we rode the zamboni together," Yuuri says, with a straight face.
Viktor coughs loudly. "Yuuri, will you do the honors?"
"I will, Viktor," Yuuri says, and his voice sounds scratchier, as if he has been yelling a lot. Perhaps he has.
Carefully, Yuuri cuts a slide of their creation, revealing a ridiculously pink cake topped with royal icing and pink whipped cream. As they set a piece onto a plate, another soft smack is heard, followed by a yelp and a giggle.
Makkachin pokes her head back into the kitchen, looking faintly exasperated. At last, the video ends.