London. Life.

“I feel like cooking today…” said Marc, as they walked along Regent’s Canal towards Broadway Market.

“Have you been watching Masterchef again?” asked Charlie.

“That’s not the point…” dismissed Marc. “I just feel like doing some baking. Maybe a cake.”

“I feel like this is leading somewhere…” sighed Charlie. “Stop being so French and just get to the point.”

“It’s Stephen’s birthday today…” said Marc.

“Stephen Yao?” asked Charlie.

“Yes!” exclaimed Marc. “Stephen! My boyfriend! You know exactly who I’m talking about, stop being such an idiot!”

“You’re baking Stephen Yao a cake for his birthday?” asked Charlie. “That’s sweet.”

“I thought maybe I’d invite a few people over, for some impromptu drinks and some birthday cake…” suggested Marc. “Would you be up for that?”

“Actually, I don’t think I’m going to be able to make it…” replied Charlie. “I’m busy tonight.”

“Doing what?” demanded Marc.

“I’m really behind on my Netflix…” explained Charlie. “I haven’t watched this week’s Star Trek yet, and there’s that New Zealand movie that I want to see - The Breaker Upperers. Plus, we’ve got more Drag Race starting next week.”

“You’re an idiot…” sighed Marc. “So, you’ll come to drinks?”

“I don’t know…” mumbled Charlie. “I just feel so awkward around Stephen Yao. Are you sure that he even wants me there?”

“Why do you feel awkward?” asked Marc.

“Well, I don’t think he’s forgiven me for that Facebook post I made after he broke up with you…” explained Charlie. “I was pretty direct.”

“You’ve deleted that, right?” confirmed Marc. “How about we leave the past in the past. What’s going to be awkward is if my friends don’t want to be in the same room as my boyfriend! Anyway, it’s going to be a surprise.”

“A surprise!” exclaimed Charlie. “Are you crazy? What, so he’s going to walk into the flat, and out jumps a group of people shouting Happy Birthday, and they’re the last people that he' wants to see on his birthday. Is that what you’re planning?”

“Pretty much…” nodded Marc. “You don’t think that’s a good idea?”

“That is a terrible idea…” said Charlie. “But it does have a kind of car-crash fascination. I’ll be there. What sort of cake are you making?”

“Well, he’s lactose intolerant, but I’ve found a chocolate cake recipe that’s dairy free…” explained Marc. “I thought I might get some berries or something from the market to help decorate it.”

“It’s February…” said Charlie. “It’s not really berry season. What about some edible flowers?”

“I’m so glad that you’re on board with this!” grinned Marc, wrapping his arm around Charlie’s shoulders. “I can’t wait to see Stephen’s face!”

“Neither can I…” smiled Charlie. “Total car-crash.”