Title: Shoot Me Out Of The Sky
Word Counts: 10,081 words
Side Pairing(s): Mild Friendship!Baeksoo (baeksoo makes me tingle)
Disclaimer:The celebrities' names/images are merely borrowed and do not represent who the celebrities are in real life. No offense is intended towards them, their families or friends. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. No money is being made from this fictional work. No copyright infringement is intended.
Summary: Chanyeol is a grumpy writer and Baekhyun is the noisy neighbour (puppy) who moves in next door.
Author's Note: It's a bit rushed, and I changed my prompt many times throughout this exchange period, so I hope you can bear with me! This is the longest thing I've ever written, so I'm mildly proud of myself! I apologize if the tenses are kind of weird, because I'm so used to writing in past tense. But I wanted to try something new, and challenge myself, so! Happy BAE-ing! (And a big thank you to all the people who've encouraged me, given me support. And to the BAE mods, for being such wonderful, sweet people.)
Chanyeol wakes up to the sound of a loud horn honking outside his opened window. It jolts him from his bed and almost causes him to fall off.
There’s a light breeze that sneaks up his spine, and he tugs the blanket closer to his body. He runs a hand through his messy hair and looks for his phone, blindly, and without his glasses.
He finds it nearly underneath his bed, and reaches down to pick it up, turning the screen on to look at the time.
He stayed up too late last night.
His deadline is at midnight, and he still has five more chapters to write until the current novel is complete.
Dragging himself off his bed, he adjusts his t-shirt and shuffles into the bathroom. Looking at his reflec-tion, he notices the dark circles under his eyes, and sighs to himself. How long has he locked himself in his apartment just to meet this deadline? A few days? Weeks? Chanyeol doesn’t remember, nor has he bothered to check a calendar.
Splashing some cold water on his face, he looks up at himself again and—nope, still looks like he was punched by a fat sumo wrestler in both eyes. He pinches the bridge of his nose, mentally preparing him-self for another long day (and night) of hard work and meeting deadlines.
Don’t get Chanyeol wrong, he loves his job. Being able to stay home and do what he wants is all he can ask for, but the late hours and constant thinking left his mind deprived of, well—life.
Putting his glasses on, he quickly makes himself breakfast, or, lunch (which consists of a cup, some noodles, and some hot water), and takes a seat at his desk, where his laptop sits.
Under highlights, pens, and piles of paper.
Actually, there’s paper everywhere, on the desk, on the floor, in little balls in the garbage can, and even on his chair, where he crawled off to bed last night after finishing the new rough drafts for the previous chapters.
He makes room for his noodles and carefully removes all the papers to avoid getting noodle splashes on them and turns on his laptop.
Baekhyun struggles to open the door to his apartment, struggles to keep himself upright, as he juggles multiple grocery bags in his hands. It doesn’t cross his mind that he can simply set the bags on the floor, making it easier to unlock his door, but it’s okay, because he’s okay.
After minutes of almost dropping everything in his arms, he makes it into his apartment and sets every-thing on his kitchen counter.
Wow, his own apartment.
This is his first place outside of living with his parents, and he is darn proud of himself for getting here. A space, just for himself, where he can do whatever the heck he wants. He can leave all his clothes littered on his floor, or keep his cabinets stocked with junk food, or even adopt a cat, and no one can stop him.
Smiling widely to himself, he begins to unpack the bags of groceries, shoving the items carelessly into their spots.
He just moved in yesterday, and he’s already going to host a home welcoming slash birthday party (today is his birthday) party, at the requests of his friends.
Baekhyun doesn’t like to party much, but when he does party, he parties hard. Hard like i-don’t-understand-why-i’m-barfing-and-i-d
Finished with the groceries, he pulls out a pot, getting ready to cook a bit for the party tonight. He already bought some chips and other finger foods, but he also wants his guests to have something that they can fill their stomaches with, so they won’t have to drink with empty stomaches (and also because he is currently craving some mac and cheese. and maybe chocolate cupcakes).
Heating up water in the pot, he begins to make the mac and cheese, occasionally looking over at his phone to see if he gets a notification from Jongdae.
Kim Jongdae’s his best friend, and also the alcohol supplier of this party. They attended elementary and high school together, up until they split to attend different colleges, but even then, they managed to meet every week and spend time together. Baekhyun felt really blessed to have Jongdae in his life, because he was there for every moment that had Baekhyun stumbling, or falling, or crashing and breaking into a thousand pieces, and Jongdae was the one who picked them up, piece by piece. Then he would call him an idiot, and they would go out and eat ice cream until their stomaches hurt.
Baekhyun himself offered to buy the alcohol, since it was his party, but Jongdae argued with the fact that it was his birthday and that was the least he could do, after what happened last year and the lack of a birthday present.
So he lets Jongdae buy the alcohol.
He remembers Kyungsoo telling him yesterday that he was going to come over earlier to help with the decorations and maybe some food too, and Baekhyun can’t be anymore thankful.
Do Kyungsoo studies baking at the college Baekhyun attends, and one faithful incident where Kyungsoo dropped his perfectly baked, decorated cake because Baekhyun accidentally crashed into him, led to them becoming good friends, while Baekhyun apologized over and over again while helping Kyungsoo bake a new cake.
Sometimes Baekhyun was a little too much for Kyungsoo to handle, and the latter would get annoyed. But it was never hurtful to Baekhyun, because he knew that he was a handful sometimes. And anyways, Kyungsoo would always come back hours later with Baekhyun’s favourite baked sweets in hand, wide, heart shaped smile erasing any type of negative feeling Baekhyun had.
And of course, with Kyungsoo always came Jongin, who was Kyungsoo’s little love-struck boyfriend. Baekhyun was not kidding when he calls him love-struck, because Kim Jongin was royally whipped for Do Kyungsoo.
He remembers how they started dating, back in freshmen year of college. They met through frosh (which was an event purposely for freshmen to make new friends and welcome themselves into the college), when shy Kyungsoo was paired up with also shy Jongin for a treasure hunt. Apparently, they ended up dropping out and opting for a little 'not date' (as they called it then) at a nearby cafe.
Baekhyun smiles and begins on the cupcakes, grabbing a large mixing bowl and cracking out a few eggs. He is so blessed to have wonderful friends that love him and care for him so much.
Before he can do anymore thinking to himself, his phone rings and—oh, it’s Kyungsoo.
He wipes one hand on his pink, teddy bear apron before pressing the answer button, making sure to tap the speaker button as well. There’s an oily smudge on the screen of his phone, but Baekhyun can take care of that later.
"Hello?" Kyungsoo’s melodious voice. Good voice, smooth, like chocolate. Especially when he sings.
He should sing more.
Baekhyun will make him sing tonight.
"Soo? Are you here already?" He asks, picking up the whisk and tipping it into the cupcake mixture, find-ing amusement in the clumpy consistency.
Kyungsoo responds with silence, before muttering a quick yes. Baekhyun figures that he was nodding before, and only remembered that he was talking over the phone, so Baekhyun wouldn’t have been able to see him nodding.
"Alright, go to the keypad and dial 566." Kyungsoo hangs up, and a few minutes later, his cellphone is ringing again. Baekhyun answers and taps the number, opening the security lock down in the lobby. His apartment has a security lock, where you either have to have a card, or you have to call up to the person you’re visiting and have them give you access. Baekhyun thinks it’s pretty neat, since he’s lived in a house all his life and never experienced these things.
He runs his hands quickly under a stream of water before going over to his door and unlocking it for Kyungsoo. He opens the door wide and sticks his head out until Kyungsoo arrives. There’s a proud smile on Baekhyun’s face as he has his very first guest in his new apartment.
"Welcome, to the Castle of King Baekhyun!" He lets out a laugh and waves his arms around, gesturing to the space that he has only occupied for one day.
Kyungsoo rolls his eyes at Baekhyun’s self-proclaimed royalty, but smiles anyways, because he knows how much Baekhyun’s been wanting this.
"Nice place you got here Baek, I’m impressed." Baekhyun beams.
"It’s great, isn’t it?"
Kyungsoo takes his shoes off and leaves them neatly at the entrance, where the homey welcome mat was placed. He closes and locks the door behind him before inspecting the place.
"You’ve surprised me Baekhyun, I imagined the place to be a lot messier." Oh yeah, Baekhyun is a very messy person. He often leaves everything around and doesn’t clean until he absolutely has to, and also at the very last second.
Kyungsoo chuckles when he sees Baekhyun’s pout and walks up to ruffle his hair, even though Baekhyun is taller (only by a bit, but Baekhyun’s not going to admit that).
"I’m just kidding. I’m happy for you, finally getting your own place. And you’re another year older today, happy birthday!" Baekhyun gets a big birthday hug, and grins.
He leads Kyungsoo into the kitchen, where his usual messy self left prints all over. He has a few pots and pans on the floor, beside the oven (where he took everything out from), there’s a bit of flour on the floor and counter, and an egg shell on the floor.
Baekhyun’s right at home.
"Just finished making the mac and cheese. It’s sitting on the dining table, if you want to go and try a bit."
Kyungsoo shakes his head and puts a hand on his stomach, rubbing in a gentle circle. "Nah, I’m good. Just had lunch at work. I’ll try some in the evening."
Right, the party.
"Okay, well, I started the cupcakes, just the chocolate ones. Do you want to make vanilla cupcakes, or do you want to make something else?" Baekhyun just asks for the heck of it, because he knows Kyungsoo would make something else, the baking major has to show off some of his skills.
"I’ll make something else." Kyungsoo washes his hands and they get to the baking.
Occasionally, there would be a couple of smearing frosting or edible liquids on each other’s faces, some giggling and and a ton of Kyungsoo breathing down his neck while Baekhyun ices the cupcakes.
Kyungsoo is a perfectionist.
A scary one.
Three hours later, they’re clean, and on the couch, their creations cooling down before the party. The TV is on, and playing some drama that was popular back in 2010.
"Really though Baekhyun, you’ve got a nice place. I’m really happy for you."
Baekhyun replies with a happy smile, and gives Kyungsoo a thumbs up.
He’s really happy too, to finally become independent and on his own. Don’t get him wrong, Baekhyun loves his family to death, but one can only depend on their family for so much, and for so long, before they have to go their own way.
Hours later, the guests start piling in, group by group, and soon enough, Baekhyun’s entire apartment is filled with people. When he and Jongdae made the guest list, they made sure to invite everyone they wanted to come, and a plus one.
Or two, or three, from the looks of it.
Baekhyun doesn’t mind though, because he trusts that the people won’t steal anything of his (not that he really has anything worth stealing) or break anything.
There’s a (quickly growing) pile of presents in the corner of the living room, ranging from boxes the size of his pillow to the size of his phone sitting messily on top of each other. Baekhyun hopes no one falls over those and squishes them, because that would be a shame.
Jongin arrives a quarter after seven, which is forty-five minutes earlier than the set time for the party, but he probably wanted to see the place before it was buried behind many, drunk people.
Jongdae arrives fifteen minutes after Jongin, and pelts Baekhyun with birthday beats, reminding him that he’s already 24 years old before handing him his present and a smooch on the cheek (which Baekhyun pretends to be grossed out over, wiping his cheek furiously with the back of his sleeve before smiling at Jongdae and pulling him into a big hug).
Jongdae then demands Baekhyun to open his present right then and there, because he wants to see Baekhyun’s reaction before Baekhyun got drunk silly. This leads to Jongin and Kyungsoo also joining in and getting him to open their presents as well.
They sit in a circle on Baekhyun’s fluffy carpet in the living room, with the presents around them. Of course, Jongdae insists on his present first because he is his 'best childhood friend and that he should just open his first'. Kyungsoo and Jongin laugh at Jongdae’s childish request, but agree nonetheless.
Jongdae orders him to close his eyes and hold out his hands, "No peeking!", and he hears the sounds of the box being opened, before something warm, moving, and tiny claws—
"A hamster!? You got me a hamster?!" His eyes are wide open by the time he screams those words, star-ing at the adorable eyes of a small grey, Russian dwarf hamster in his hands. Jongdae seems very pleased with himself as he nods.
"You’ve always wanted a pet, but your mom being allergic to them, you weren’t allowed. I thought about getting you a cat, but you see enough of those at your job. Also, I thought a smaller animal would be ideal for you because you’re just moving out on your own and probably didn’t need more stress. So a hamster. I didn’t name him yet, so feel free to choose whatever cheesy name you want for him."
Jongdae ends with a soft smile, and Baekhyun has to stop rubbing his cheek against the tiny creature (and also had to place him back in his cage, that Jongdae also brought along, with food and bedding too) to give Jongdae a tight hug.
His best friend is simply, the best.
"I’ll call him Chen. I’ll put him in my room and no one is allowed in there, so he won’t freak out."
After placing Chen in his room, he opens Jongin’s and Kyungsoo’s gifts. Kyungsoo got him a big book with tons of baking recipes from all over the world, and promises to help him with some of them. Jongin got him a cute, cat shaped white vase, because he knew Baekhyun liked having flowers in his home.
Baekhyun hugs the heck out of the three of them, struggling to keep the tears away before they joke about him being a cry baby.
Then the first guest arrives, with others piling in afterwards.
Baekhyun gets drunk pretty quickly. It is easy, when everyone around him is insisting him do shots with them.
He feels the thundering drum beats of the music that is playing on his speakers, and he does a little dance around the living room, with other people joining in.
Wow, he feels great.
It’s nice to let loose once in a while.
At the end of the night, with everybody gone, Baekhyun lays on his couch with Jongdae, who is also drunk as heck.
"Great party Baek!" Jongdae screams, and Baekhyun giggles, because Jongdae has his arms in the air, waving them around like a madman.
Baekhyun nods multiple times, wincing to himself as the room starts to spin, but continues giggling at nothing in particular anymore. Everything was just, funny.
"Thank you for the hamster Jongdae!"
He receives no answer, and lifts his head slightly off the couch to look at his best friend.
Oh, Baekhyun thinks Jongdae fell asleep.
Maybe Baekhyun himself should sleep too.
The next morning, Baekhyun wakes up with a splitting headache, and a throat as dry as a desert. He feels gross all over, and probably smells gross as well, just like the rest of his apartment. He tries to sit up, and manages, but grabs at his head when the room spins.
Just when his head stops spinning, he feels the sudden urge to empty his stomach’s contents from yes-terday, rushing into his bathroom (and accidentally knocking his knee against the bathroom door) and upchucking into the toilet until there is nothing left. Taking a breath and wiping his mouth with the back of his hand, he slumps against the wall, panting.
This is why he doesn’t party much.
He groans to himself and tries to stand up. His entire body aches.
Dragging himself over to the sink, he splashes some water on his face and rinses his mouth from the nasty taste of alcoholic barf. Running a hand through his hair, he stumbles out of the bathroom and back into the living room.
Jongdae’s missing from the other couch, so he takes it that he left for work or something. Baekhyun lets himself fall back onto the couch with a little oof, noticing a little sticky note near his phone, which is sitting on the coffee table.
Sorry to leave you alone, but got called to work. I’ll make it up to you next time, trust me! I left some medi-cine for you and heated up some mac and cheese from last night. It’s probably sitting in the microwave. Drink the water!
P.S. If it makes you feel any better, I’m going to work smelling like barf, sweat, and alcohol. :)
He smiles at the P.S. and chugs down the glass of water with the medicine. Then he flops back down onto the couch and closes his eyes. Maybe a few more minutes before he gets that mac and cheese would be okay.
And he should really open up a window or something.
It’s already ten at night and Chanyeol is struggling to meet his deadline. The moon is out, and up high, shining brightly, amongst the tiny stars, but Chanyeol looks at it with an annoyance, because it’s like the moon is laughing at him and rubbing the fact that it’s so carefree and not stressed. No worries in the world, besides rising, and setting, opposite to the sun. His window is closed shut, and he has earbuds jammed into his ears, attempting to drown out the noise from his neighbour.
His new neighbour decides to host a damn party on the day of his deadline.
He knows that it’s his new neighbour, because ol’Ben was usually quiet (Chanyeol only ever saw him tak-ing walks, or, whenever Chanyeol was invited over, watching TV), and he didn’t think Ben would have knowledge of the music in the twenty-first century. Ben was almost eighty years old, he highly doubts the old man could host a party anyways.
He’s already gone over twice, to tell them to kindly shut the fuck up so he can meet his deadline without any problems, but his attempts were of no avail, because the music was turned up so loud they couldn’t hear his furious knocking (banging).
So he has to deal with it for the rest of the night, or until they pass out. But even then, the music still might go on.
Chanyeol is frustrated. He’s on the last part of the last chapter, and after he finishes it, he’ll have to go over the entire thing once before he submits it to his editor.
A loud bang against his wall freaks him out, causing him to knock his knee into the leg of his desk. He winces and doubles over, clutching his injured knee with curses flowing colourfully out of his mouth.
He isn’t liking his new neighbour very much, and he hasn’t even met the person.
So he manages to finish, and submits his rough draft of his book, minutes before the clock strikes mid-night, and he leans back in his wheely chair with a relieved sigh.
And his next deadline is probably in a week or two, when his editor sends back the edited copy and Chanyeol has to correct, and/or change words, scenes, whatnot.
He is still pissed at his neighbour though, because even at midnight, there is still music intruding through the walls and into his apartment.
Just how long can you party for?
And wouldn’t you go deaf from hours of constant music blaring from speakers?
He makes sure to remind himself with a sticky note on his wall, to go over tomorrow and complain about it.
That’s the last thing Chanyeol thinks before he drops himself onto his bed, finally able to get some well deserved sleep, without waking up the next morning worrying about deadlines, or plots, or characters, or any of that sort.
He rubs a hand over his tired face, before turning on his side and passing out.
There’s an obnoxious knocking (more like banging) on his door, that makes his head pound more than it already does. He groans and picks himself off the couch (where he drifted off to sleep again after he woke up to puke), dragging his feet to open the door.
He pushes his messy bangs out of his face and rubs the sleep out of his eyes, trying to wake his body up from any reminding traces of alcohol.
There’s a tall, lanky stranger in front of him (looks Baekhyun’s age), in a simple black t-shirt and a pair of grey sweats. The stranger has dark circles around his eyes, and looks like he hasn’t slept in a while, but Baekhyun thinks he’s still strangely, good-looking all the while.
"Hi, how may I help you?" Baekhyun’s throat feels dry, and he knows his voice fails him when he hears himself crack. He clears his throat and blinks at the guy, trying to seem more awake, more alive, instead of the bag of bones he currently feels like.
The stranger doesn’t speak for a few minutes, before he shakes his head and rubs his face in his hands. He takes a breath, and looks at Baekhyun.
His eyes are nice. Kinda crazy looking, but big and pretty. Like orbs.
"So, you were the one hosting the party last night, right?"
Whoa, his voice is friggin’ deep. And it doesn’t match his appearance, not one bit.
Baekhyun lets a dorky smile escape, as he’s reminded of Kyungsoo and his chocolate voice. But this guy’s voice isn’t as smooth, a little rougher, but he likes it.
Then he remembers that he was asked a question, flailing his arms a bit as he tries to recall the question, nodding when he does.
"Yep, were you there?" He says, with an eye smile.
The guy’s eyes kind of widen (Baekhyun didn’t think that it was possible), and he stays quiet for a mo-ment before shaking his head.
"No," Baekhyun furrows his eyebrows, "but I was next door."
"Are you my neighbour? Was it too loud?" The guy nods.
"Sorry, I would have invited you but—"
"Did you know that other people had lives, other things to do besides listening to your drunken partying?"
Wow, he was—is mad.
Baekhyun scratches the back of his neck and offers a sheepish smile. "I’m sorry, I usually don’t—"
The guy turns on his heels and is about to go back into his apartment, but Baekhyun manages to grab at his sleeve.
"Look, I’m really sorry, okay? I didn’t mean to bother you all night, really, I mean it. And I know you’re mad, but I don’t want us to meet like this. I mean, we’re going to be neighbours for how long? I don’t know, but I don’t want to start off on such a bad note."
The guy stills, and Baekhyun takes this chance to grab his hand, offering a cute, bright smile.
"My name is Byun Baekhyun, hello, I’m your new neighbour."
He receives no response, and watches the guy pull away, not looking at him.
And he almost misses the quiet Chanyeol.
Baekhyun smiles so wide, he feels like his lips would fall off his face.
The next day, Chanyeol is sitting on his couch, feet propped up on his coffee table, enjoying a nice cup of tea while watching whatever he finds is interesting on the TV, which is pretty much nothing.
Seriously, there is never anything good on TV anymore, Chanyeol isn’t even sure why he has a TV, it’s useless.
But Chanyeol stays on the couch, keeps the TV on, because he likes this feeling of relaxation. This luxury that he usually doesn’t get to have, of feeling… bored or unoccupied, or something like that. He can think, without it having to lead somewhere.
He tilts his head back after setting his cup of tea down, and looks at the ceiling, before closing his eyes.
The show on TV buzzes in the background, but he focuses his ears on the traffic outside. He remembers getting irritated at the drivers outside his window, childishly getting angry at them for beeping in the mid-dle of the night, or revving their engines too loudly.
Chanyeol shrugs to himself, because they really shouldn’t be bothering people at such late hours with noises that they purposely create (just like a certain new neighbour who holds loud ass parties, he notes).
A knock on his door drags him off his couch and to the door, looking through the peep hole to find his noisy, weird neighbour, with what looks like a container of frosted cupcakes.
Those look good, is Chanyeol’s first thought, but then he remembers how he was barely able to submit his drafts on time, and how much stress this kid ran him through, and he scowls.
He doesn’t answer the door, opting to go back to his couch and mindlessly stare at a TV while relaxing with a fresh cup of tea.
He hears the knocking again on the door, and ignores it, wondering if he should turn the TV up a little louder when he hears the guy calling his name through the door.
Nope, Chanyeol refuses to build a friendship with him through little, cutely decorated cupcakes (that are probably filled with some kind of procrastination drug that prevents him from meeting deadlines), or one at all.
He closes his eyes again, and lets his body sink into the couch that he barely sits at (there’s a firm imprint of his flat butt on his wheely chair though), and it’s all fine and dandy until he feels the couch shift suddenly.
Startled, he moves himself away from the new weight on the couch, causing his knees to hit the coffee table and—his tea is all over his favourite grey sweatpants.
He’s so fucking glad the tea’s gone cold.
He looks over and—of course it’s Baekhyun. It seems like the more Baekhyun gets near Chanyeol, the more trouble comes his way. Baekhyun is like some kind of bad luck charm, or curse, or something.
"What are you doing here, jesus!" Chanyeol asks, pulling a handful of tissues from the tissue box and dabbing his sweatpants with it. Great, some of the tea got onto the carpet. He’s going to have to wash the carpet later.
"I think you didn’t hear my knocking on your door so I came through the window!" Baekhyun says it so unbelievably cheerful, like it’s absolutely completely fucking normal to sneak into somebody’s apartment through their opened window with a container of cupcakes, just because they didn’t answer their door.
"I could have been out!" Chanyeol blurts, and scolds himself later. He should have said right then and there that it is definitely not okay for Baekhyun to sneak into his home.
He watches Baekhyun shrug and place the container of cupcakes onto his coffee table, away from the spilled tea. "I heard your TV through the door. I thought that maybe it was too loud and you couldn’t hear that someone was at your door, so I checked your window through the fire escape. Luckily for me, it was open!" Baekhyun smiles, but Chanyeol ignores him and tries to pat his carpet dry.
"Anyways, I baked you some cupcakes to apologize for the noise yesterday. I hope you like chocolate, because I do!" Baekhyun opens the container and takes out a cupcake for Chanyeol, holding it out to him like a five year old kid.
Chanyeol doesn’t have the heart to turn him down, placing his tea-soaked tissues on the table and taking the cupcake. He mutters a quick and quiet thanks before looking at the chocolatey cupcake in his hand. It’s about half the size of his palm, and the paper cup is decorated with little animals, ranging from cats to dinosaurs. He then lifts his gaze to the rest of the cupcakes, and notices that they actually spell I’m sorry Chanyeol, with a little apologetic puppy face on the last cupcake (which is the one he’s holding).
Catching Baekhyun’s eager gaze, he realizes that the other is waiting for him to eat the cupcake. Great, no pretending to be thankful and trashing them out, or giving them to his niece or something.
So he slowly peels back the paper cup, enough so that he can take a bite out of the cupcake, getting some frosting on his upper lip as bits of cake crumbs fall into his other hand that is cupped underneath.
Well shit, these were good. Like his sister’s baking good.
Baekhyun stares at him, waiting for a reaction, compliment, anything, little, delicate hands clasped in his lap. Chanyeol can see that his grip on his fingers is tight, because his knuckles are almost white. Why is this kid so worried about cupcakes?
Swallowing, and licking the sides of his lips, he nods, keeping his eyes away from Baekhyun’s. "It’s good."
And just that, just a simple it’s good sets the pup off. Baekhyun grins proudly, showing his pearly, sharp teeth, and—his smile is in the shape of a rectangle, how interesting…
"I’m glad you like it. Maybe I can bake you some more next time!"
Turns out that 'next time' came more often than not, because after that day, Baekhyun sneaked into Chanyeol’s apartment almost every day, sometimes with food, sometimes without. And even though Chanyeol never invited him in, he never told him to stop coming (might have even unconsciously kept the window open during the day, just for that little beansprout to hop through the window from the fire escape).
It was weird for Chanyeol, because he’s never really stuck around someone like this. Or in this case, he’s never had anyone stick around, stick so close to him like this. It was like Baekhyun just ignored all the signs of Chanyeol being an unsociable person, and just, went head first. Even Yifan, who Chanyeol calls his best friend (who’s his childhood friend, when his family lived next to Chanyeol’s and they were forced to play together by their parents) never sticks around like this, because Chanyeol was—Chanyeol is boring.
Or something like that.
That’s why he chose to be a writer, because it didn’t require him to interact with many people. And also because of the fact that Chanyeol loves telling stories, loves thinking and day dreaming about other worlds, other universes, where things aren’t always unclear, like they are in this world. Places where he can be in charge, and where he can decide whether unicorns are real or not, where he can say fairies live in bathtubs and no one can question him, because it’s all make belief.
Sometimes Baekhyun goes into his apartment when Chanyeol isn’t home, whether he’s buying groceries or working part-time as a caretaker at a senior’s home. And Baekhyun would stay there, doing god-knows-what until Chanyeol comes home, and then they’d talk about random stuff.
Oh, and here’s a thing. Baekhyun has read his novels.
But not really his novels, because he writes under a pen name, Kim Yoora. Yes, everyone who reads his books think he’s a girl, and Chanyeol has no problem with that. Even his sister (who he stole the name from) doesn’t know, and Chanyeol is totally fine with that. No one needs to know that those ideas and books come from an slightly anti-social 23 year old.
Baekhyun says some things that give him ideas for his books, and Chanyeol has to pretend to take a washroom break to type them down on his phone so he can remember for later.
"Chanyeol, where do you think Kim Yoora gets her inspiration from?"
Chanyeol shrugs and stuffs his mouth with a cookie. He might need to go on a diet because Baekhyun’s been stuffing him with so many sweets.
Baekhyun looks at him with an amused smile, and takes a bite into his cookie too. It makes Chanyeol wonder if Baekhyun eats sweets all the time, because it certainly doesn’t look like it from just looking at the guy physically.
"So Kim Yoora’s life is that interesting huh? I wish mine was as interesting as that." Chanyeol watches as Baekhyun zones out, and it’s probably how Chanyeol himself looks when he’s daydreaming.
Except, Chanyeol probably doesn’t look nearly as cute.
Baekhyun’s got a cookie stuck between his teeth, but he hasn’t bitten it off (doesn’t look like he’s planning to any time soon, actually), and his little, cute nose is a little scrunched up, with his glazed over eyes, staring at nothing in particular. But Baekhyun doesn’t notice that he’s staring at nothing, because his brain is probably far away.
Probably in the realms of the possible, where Chanyeol’s mind floats to on a daily basis. He thinks it’s absolutely beautiful when someone is thinking there, because they don’t have anything to worry about there. Everything and anything is possible.
Chanyeol takes another cookie and continues to admire—watch—Baekhyun, that is, until the cookie in his mouth finally drops and gets onto the carpet, which leads to Baekhyun snapping out of it and apolo-gizing, with Chanyeol ignoring him, trying to quickly pick out the little bits of crumbs out of his carpet.
He definitely needs to wash this carpet soon.
Baekhyun ends up staying over, and Chanyeol doesn’t mind, because what the hell right? Baekhyun lit-erally lives a few steps away. He’s been in Chanyeol’s apartment pretty much every day since they met, besides disappearing a few days, or nights. But he tells Chanyeol it’s because he either has work or school. That leads to Baekhyun asking Chanyeol to come visit him at work, and Chanyeol doesn’t know what makes him agree, but he does.
"So where do you work again?" Chanyeol has his hands tucked in his pockets as they walk.
"Just at a cafe up ahead. You’ll love it, I’m sure you will!" Baekhyun points excitedly in front of them. Chanyeol isn’t sure what’s exactly so exciting about a cafe, but he goes with it. He always goes with it, goes with Baekhyun’s excessive energy (probably because he was too lazy for that shit, yup).
They arrive at the cafe doors, and Chanyeol visibly pales.
Cats. Baekhyun works at a cat cafe.
Now Chanyeol understands why he sneezes a lot more when Baekhyun is over, why he has to keep a packet of tissues with him, just in case he sneezes too much and his nose gets runny. But one look at Baekhyun’s happy face forces back his words, and Chanyeol follows him inside. This is going to be a long night, because Chanyeol agreed to walking back with Baekhyun after his shift is over.
"Interesting, huh? You don’t really see many cat cafes around!" Baekhyun says to Chanyeol, waving to his co-workers and leading Chanyeol to the backroom, where he changes into his work uniform (which Chanyeol has to admit, looks fucking adorable with those little cats all over) and exits with a smile.
Baekhyun brings Chanyeol over to a table, and tells him that he’ll be around, and to wait for him until he finishes, which is in four hours. Chanyeol can only nod, and hope that he doesn’t sneeze too much all over himself while Baekhyun works.
The cats are kept separately from the tables where the customers ate, so Chanyeol is at least thankful for that. But he can literally see the amount of cat fur floating in the air, and it brings goosebumps all over his skin.
An hour later, he’s already sneezed many times. He orders a coffee, and tries to control himself from running out of the cafe like a fucking madman. Settling back at the table Baekhyun left him at, he stares at the brunet who is now working at the counter.
Chanyeol doesn’t know if it’s a good thing he hasn’t been near him the entire shift so far or not, because half of Chanyeol wants Baekhyun to see the state he’s in and let him out of the cafe, but the other half knows that Baekhyun would be absolutely heartbroken, so he doesn’t want Baekhyun to know.
He groans quietly to himself and takes out his phone. Maybe he can work on his books a little bit, and try to get his mind off the cats. He looks at the list of things he needs to do for his books, and—yes, Chanyeol needs to introduce a new character.
Someone who’s annoying, who will bother the main character to no end, but the main character will still have a soft spot for them, because their annoyance is endearing. It’s perfect for the storyline.
Hours later, Baekhyun is done his shift and he goes over to the cats, gesturing Chanyeol to go with him. Chanyeol shakes his head, and attempts to stick to his decision, but Baekhyun marches over and takes a hold of his wrist, easily standing Chanyeol up to his feet (maybe because Chanyeol lets him) and over to the cats.
"Before we leave, I need to introduce you to my favourite little buddy. It’ll just be a second." Baekhyun turns back to him with large, puppy dog eyes that could rival an actual dog’s face, and—Chanyeol might have just crumbled into millions of pieces, just like the cookie crumbs in his carpet that he still needs to clean.
Baekhyun beams, and turns around to search for his little buddy, cooing when he finds the feline lying on his side, belly—hairless belly facing out.
The cat is hairless. Chanyeol thinks it looks like a hairless, giant rat. He watches as the hairless, pink bundle of skin paws it’s way to Baekhyun, sniffing his fingers before pushing it’s head against him. Baekhyun laughs and gently scratches the top of the cat’s head, and Chanyeol can hear it purr.
"This is Biscuit, and he’s a Sphynx cat. Their breed actually has short little hairs that you have to get real-ly close up to see, that’s why all you see is skin. But they’re so much more cuddly than other cats, be-cause they don’t mind getting warm."
Because it’s hairless. Chanyeol doesn’t say that to Baekhyun, and only nods, giving a small smile. He feels a sneeze coming on, so he turns his body away from Baekhyun and sneezes into his tissue. He can’t remember how many he’s used by now, but he knows he’s finished at least one of the tissue packets he brought with him.
"Bless you." Thank you.
Baekhyun grabs Chanyeol’s wrist and guides it to the cat. Chanyeol thinks that it might be okay, since this cat pretty much had no hair, so maybe he wouldn’t start itching.
The cat leans in and sniffs at Chanyeol’s fingers, before also brushing it’s head against his fingers. The cat is warm. And its skin feels weird, but a good weird. Chanyeol likes this, even though his head is slightly pounding from all the sneezing, and his nose is hurting from being rubbed raw with tissue.
Baekhyun smiles when Chanyeol moves closer without a word, brushing his finger tips down the cat’s back.
They arrive back at the apartments when it’s already evening, and by now, Baekhyun’s already found out about Chanyeol’s allergies to cats.
"Why didn’t you tell me?! You stayed there for hours!" Baekhyun isn’t angry, because honestly, Chanyeol doesn’t think Baekhyun can ever be angry, at anything (not even when they first met and Chanyeol ignored him at the door).
"Dunno. I just didn’t want to bother you." Chanyeol shrugs, keeping his hands in his pockets, kicking aside a pebble.
"But something serious could have happened to you! I would gladly have had you bother me." Baekhyun looks down, and Chanyeol knows Baekhyun feels really bad. Chanyeol doesn’t know what to do, because he’s never really had to cheer anyone up, or anything like that.
So he just walks closer and takes one of Baekhyun’s hands, and squeezes it gently in his large ones. Really, Chanyeol has no idea what he’s doing, but he writes these things, so he guesses that he can apply them to real life too. Plus, his body is basically doing all the thinking.
"It’s okay. If I didn’t stay long enough, I wouldn’t have met Biscuit. And I really like Biscuit." He offers a small smile, and sees Baekhyun’s eyes light up a bit.
"He’s also one of the—scratch that, he’s the only cat that I could get near and not itch my head off from." And at that, Baekhyun cracks a smile.
It makes Chanyeol feel warm, a nice warm.
"Biscuit is a really great cat." Chanyeol nods in agreement, and they stand in front of the entrance of their apartment building, with Chanyeol still holding onto Baekhyun’s hand, before the two of them realize that they’re still holding hands, and quickly lets go.
Chanyeol brings a hand up to his forehead and runs his fingers through his hair, while Baekhyun fiddles with the ends of his shirt, both of them dodging each other’s eyes.
"So, uh," Baekhyun starts, "I’ll see you tomorrow then."
Chanyeol awkwardly coughs into his hand and nods. "Yup." He pops the p and walks to the door, opening it for Baekhyun, who thanks him and goes through. They take the elevator silently up to their floor, and bid each other goodnight, before entering their own respective apartments.
Chanyeol locks his door, and leans against it, rubbing his face with his palm.
He feels really weird. It’s nice, but it also scares him, because he’s never felt anything like this before.
Was it the cats and his allergies that made him, like, go a little crazy?
He nods and pushes himself off the door.
Definitely has to be the cats.
After a shower that clears his nose and makes him feel a thousand times better, Chanyeol’s sitting in front of his laptop, a towel draped on his head. He needs to start planning how the new character was going to add to the story, and maybe start the next book.
The boy in front of him was shorter than Richard by half a head, and he was just so petite. He had brown hair, with side-swept bangs that he occasionally flipped his head to fix, droopy, puppy dog eyes, and thin, pinkish lips. There was a mole on the top right of his upper lip, which made him more endearing.
The boy had the prettiest smile Richard has ever seen, with his rectangular shaped smile, his sharp little canine-like teeth, and his adorable eye smiles.
His voice was a slightly raspy, sandy, tenor, and Richard loved hearing him speak. Maybe that’s why he never spoke as much when they were together, because he got so caught up in listening to his voice.
His personality was the best though, because no matter how much Richard pushed him away, he would always come back. Richard didn’t know why, but he was very thankful for it.
He had a kind heart, one that would want to help anyone or any animal in need. He worked at a cat cafe, and the entire experience—though tiresome and full of sneezing because he was allergic—was wonderful.
He enjoyed watching Baekhyun
That’s when Chanyeol stops typing, and that particular name he just typed stares back up at him with intensity.
Baekhyun. Why did he just type Baekhyun’s name?
Chanyeol re-reads everything he typed, and almost smacks himself on the face. Right from the very start, he was writing Baekhyun.
Chanyeol wonders if the allergies are still on full blast, and that they were making him do and think weird things. But Chanyeol felt fine after his shower, he doesn’t understand what could bring him to this point. He reads the description over again, and feels his chest get a little warmer, and there’s this explosion that’s yearning to just erupt everywhere.
This is weird. Chanyeol’s never based a character on the people he knows in real life. Not even his moth-er.
So why Baekhyun? They haven’t even known each other long enough for Chanyeol to really consider writing him in the books as a character, but here’s Chanyeol, dedicating a character in his book, to Byun Baekhyun, who was just a nuisance to him when they first met.
And Chanyeol said to himself that he wasn’t going to 'build a friendship with him through little, cutely decorated cupcakes', but that clearly didn’t go as he planned.
He’s confused as fuck.
Chanyeol barely sleeps, his mind refusing to let him fall asleep until he’s figured out why everything is all weird and shit, which leaves him feeling like shit when the sun rises. He doesn’t know how to face Baekhyun, and honestly, he’s too tired to pretend that he’s okay in front of Baekhyun right now.
So he locks his window, and pulls the blinds all the way, so Baekhyun couldn’t see inside his apartment. Chanyeol doesn’t want to hurt Baekhyun, but he’s scared of everything that’s happening. He feels kind of fragile, and he hates it.
When Baekhyun comes around and knocks on his window (probably confused as to why the window was locked today), Chanyeol tries to ignore it by shoving earbuds into his ears and playing his music while lying on his bed.
Chanyeol’s glad they never exchanged phone numbers (because Chanyeol said that he didn’t like using his phone very much and often left it unattended and ignored, and also because he prefers talking to Baekhyun in real life rather than through technology), because he’s pretty sure that Baekhyun would be bombarding his phone with messages and sad faces. Because that’s just Baekhyun for you. He just won’t leave you alone, no matter how much you want him to.
The outline of Baekhyun’s body disappears with the sun, and soon enough, it’s dark outside. But Chanyeol doesn’t feel like he usually does when it’s night. There’s a tension in his stomach that he doesn’t know how to relax, and he attempts to go to bed again.
Like the night before, he’s still unable to fall asleep.
He’s really glad that Yoochun called him early in the morning, asking if he could work today, because he really needs to get away from the apartment for a few hours without accidentally bumping into Baekhyun outside, or something like that.
Chanyeol gets cleaned up and dressed, and leaves his apartment quickly, taking the stairs instead of the elevators because he was afraid of encountering Baekhyun.
He waits nervously at the bus stop, sighing in relief when the bus comes around the corner. He hops into the bus, gives his fare, and goes to the isolated back of the bus until it gets to his stop in front of the senior home.
It’s weird, because Chanyeol doesn’t like interacting with people, but he’s okay working at a senior home.
Okay, he’s not exacting working working, but he’s still there. He gets paid, but it’s not an every day job. He goes in every week, whichever day Yoochun (the manager of the senior home) calls him in. His job isn’t to really take care of the seniors, it’s more to provide them entertainment. And his form of entertainment didn’t really need him to talk.
Chanyeol walks into the building and greets Yoochun silently with a wave.
"Good to see you Chanyeol, how have you been?" Yoochun pats his shoulder, smiling at him. Yoochun is like his older brother, who knows how he is, how he doesn’t exactly fit in with people, and offers him a "part-time" job while he writes books.
"Good." And Yoochun doesn’t need Chanyeol to ask him back to tell him about his week, about how he and his boyfriend Junsu just recently got engaged, and how he proposed, and now nerve-wrecking it was, but how he’s happy he was able to get over his fear and just go for what he wanted.
And Chanyeol turns to Yoochun, looking straight into his eyes. Of course, Yoochun is surprised, but he waits patiently for Chanyeol to speak.
"How do you know what you want?" Yoochun’s eyebrows scrunch up, probably because Chanyeol would usually never ask anything like this.
"You just, feel it? Like, I want to spend time with Junsu, and I don’t know, I just want to be with him."
Want to spend time with him, like yearning? Like, yearning explosions? Maybe.
He thanks Yoochun, not wanting to take up much of his time, and grabs the guitar case in the corner of the room, before making his way to the room with the stage. It isn’t a grand stage, just one of those small stages where little kids would perform whatever the teacher could jam into their heads in the span of a few months.
There is already an audience, and they’re talking to each other as they wait for him.
The seniors love him (and love squeezing his flat buttocks), and aside from touching inappropriate places, he loves them too. He would probably never be able to tell them that, but he hopes they understand from his performances, and how he comes back every week to perform for them.
He takes his guitar out and tunes it with the piano, and at this point, the elderly already know he’s in the room. Eyes on him, and it would normally make him nervous, but he’s been performing for them for two years now. He’s gotten used to it.
He sits on the chair placed in front of the microphone and gives them a small smile, before preparing to play the first chord, breathing in to sing the first word.
After that night, when he invited Chanyeol to the cat cafe, where Chanyeol held his hand, and then they departed to their own apartments, Chanyeol had been acting weird. Like, weird to the point where he doesn’t even want to see Baekhyun.
And Baekhyun can’t deny that he’s slightly hurt over that. He knows that he has feelings for Chanyeol. The guy was kind of, interesting, in a good way. He drew Baekhyun towards him, even though they’re pretty opposite of each other.
Chanyeol kept to himself a lot, only speaking when he needed to, and only revealing information about himself when he needed to as well. But Baekhyun likes to think that Chanyeol’s revealed more to him than he usually does, and that maybe Chanyeol also feels a little something different towards him as well.
Baekhyun likes to remind himself that Chanyeol did keep his window unlocked, and that if he really didn’t want Baekhyun around, he would have kept it locked the day after Baekhyun snuck in.
That’s why Baekhyun keeps checking everyday, to see if Chanyeol unlocks his window or not. And on sunny days, when he wasn’t busy, Baekhyun would sit on the fire escape until it got dark, and then go back into his apartment.
But finally, after more than a week of being avoided, Baekhyun finally catches Chanyeol outside his apartment. And as soon as he sees the taller try to get away, Baekhyun quickly grabs his wrist and stops him.
"Park Chanyeol, don’t you dare walk away." Chanyeol stills, but his back is still towards him. Baekhyun can see his shoulders shaking, and his eyes soften.
"It’s been a little more than a week…" Baekhyun doesn’t want to pout, but he feels his bottom lip jut out. Chanyeol doesn’t say anything, so Baekhyun continues.
"I miss you. And I’m worried about you."
It takes a moment but Chanyeol turns around, and Baekhyun bites his lip, because Chanyeol looks horri-ble. It doesn’t look like he’s been eating properly for a while, and hasn’t been getting a lot of sleep either. His hair is a bit of a mess, like he didn’t care enough to even comb it.
"You know Baekhyun," Chanyeol’s voice sounds so tired. "I don’t get it."
Baekhyun tilts his head, confused. "What do you mean?"
"I don’t get it." Chanyeol repeats, and his eyes look hard. "I don’t get how it’s so easy to think about ro-mance in stories and fairytales, but when it comes to the real thing, in real life, nothing is easy at all."
"Chanyeol, why don’t you just tell me what’s going on instead of avoiding me like I’m the plague?" Baekhyun didn’t mean to make it sound so, so… full of self-pity, but he’s sort of glad, because Chanyeol’s eyes soften a bit, and he shakes his head.
"It wasn’t anything wrong with you Baekhyun… It’s just," Chanyeol rubs his face with his free hand and lets out a frustrated sigh. "Look, I’ve been trying to think things through lately, okay? I might have felt a little—different that night you brought me to the cafe, and this hasn’t ever happened to me before, okay? So I panicked, and shut you out. I—I don’t know, it felt really weird and foreign, and part of me wanted it to continue, but the other wanted to get away. It felt like my insides were being poked at. You know, I’ve pretty much been alone my entire life… because my parents were always busy, and my big sister was always busy studying. And—And I don’t mean to make this a sob story about me, alright? I’m just, ex-plaining. Anyways, at school, I didn’t have many friends because I didn’t fit in with the rest of the kids, who liked cars and sports while I liked fairytales and stories. Yifan, my childhood best friend, was only introduced to me because his parents were just as busy as mine, and we were put together to play and grow up."
Baekhyun wants to stop Chanyeol, because he feels like it’s too early for Chanyeol to tell him everything about himself and his life, but at the same time, he wants to continue learning more about Chanyeol. Maybe, slowly though, bit by bit.
So, he slaps a hand over Chanyeol’s lips.
"Chanyeol, you’re telling me your life story."
He tries not to chuckle when Chanyeol tries to apologize. It’s funny how different Chanyeol is now com-pared to when Baekhyun first met him. He knows that Chanyeol thinks that he’s different from everyone else, and that he was cold, or boring, or whatever Park Chanyeol thought about himself, but it’s just that Park Chanyeol is a bit harder to get to know. But underneath all that, is another living, breathing, feeling, human being.
"Chanyeol, you know, the one thing that’s always bugged me was that you were always so harsh on yourself. You never gave yourself a chance, you know? You always shut yourself out, so quick to say that you aren’t the type of person people usually like to hang out with. You know what I think?" Baekhyun takes a step closer, staring straight into Chanyeol’s eyes.
"I think you’re just a human, like all of us. You take a bit more to open up, but under that, you’re every-thing you want to be, and more. You’re unique, you know, with your weird, I-want-everything-to-be-perfect-and-clea
"So give yourself a chance, and open up to me. And—I’m not asking for everything at once, okay? We do this step by step, together, because that’s what any relationship is like. Friendships, family relationships, other relationships…" He trails off, a light blush settling on his cheeks.
Chanyeol is quiet for a bit, but he seems to be leaning into Baekhyun’s hand on his cheek. They’re stand-ing in the middle of the hallway, just staring at each other.
And then Chanyeol speaks.
"I think I like you, Baekhyun. I mean—I’ve never experienced this, and I guess it’s kind of embarrassing, since I’m 23 years old already, but it’s the truth. I don’t know jack shit about these things—these emo-tions, and when I started to feel it, my brain couldn’t register what it was. Then I got scared. Kind of, felt like I had lightning crackling in my stomach, or something like that. I couldn’t sleep that night, because my mind just wandered everywhere, so I just ran away, under the excuse that I needed time to think. But the truth is that I was just pushing the problem away until I couldn’t anymore."
He opens his mouth to say more, but Baekhyun’s laughter stops him. "You know Chanyeol, you write cheesy, romantic novels with the frequent sex scenes in there, but you don’t know a thing about love in real life."
Chanyeol’s eyes bulge out of his head as soon as Baekhyun says those words, and he looks like a gap-ing fish. "Wait, what did you just—"
"Yes, Miss Kim Yoora, I know that’s you."
"There isn’t much to do at your apartment when you’re not there for me to bother, you know."
"You looked through my drafts?!"
"No, you dumbo! I read an article of an interview given by Kim Yoora, and she’d given out the title of her next novel. And I just so happened to see the same title on one of your rough drafts that you, good sir, left out in plain sight."
"You little shit!"
Baekhyun giggles and dodges Chanyeol’s almost tackle, and holds up a hand. "Okay, wait, hold on, let me finish what I was saying earlier though." Baekhyun flips his bangs out of his face.
"Anyways, you don’t know a thing about real life romance do you, Park Chanyeol? Were you thinking all this time that I would never have any feelings for you or something? You may be the big man—or, well, woman—" And Chanyeol glares at him, "in your books, but you aren’t in this world, okay, Mr. Park? Don’t think that you know my feelings, without me telling you straight up."
And Chanyeol stands there, nodding his head with his lips parted, slightly in surprise. Did Baekhyun just tell him that he has feelings for him?
"Now, can you be up front with me, and—I don’t know, tell me whatever you’re feeling that’s weird?"
Chanyeol nods again, not knowing what to say, because Byun Baekhyun has managed to shut him up. Because he likes him.
Byun Baekhyun actually likes him.
"Okay, so chocolate cupcakes, Miss Kim Yoora?" He doesn’t even glare, and lets Baekhyun pull him into his apartment.
Is it possible to be whipped without even being in a relationship?
Because that’s how Chanyeol feels right now.