Word Counts: 2K
Side Pairing(s): Chen/Suho
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: Baekhyun and Chanyeol have liked each other for centuries, and Jongdae is still trying to get them together. But when you have an eternity, there’s no reason to rush.
Author's Note: Thanks to S for all your help!
February twenty-ninth (or thirtieth on leap years) is the only day of the year that all the Months are gathered together.
They file into the Court in order: Sehun, Luhan, and Baekhyun as Spring; Zitao, Junmyeon, and Jongdae as Summer; Yixing, Yifan, and Chanyeol as Autumn; and Kyungsoo, Jongin, and Minseok as Winter.
There’s tension in the air as Junmyeon calls the meeting to order.
Sehun stands, at the far end of the table, the first of them to speak. “The first flowers are blossoming. But it’s too late into the year, and winter was too long.”
This is directed at Minseok, who only blinks. “They’ll be fine.”
“Remember the assigned dates,” Junmyeon says, scribbling something down on the long scroll he’s diligently taking notes on. “Minseok, you stepped off a day too late. Next.”
Sehun sits down with a satisfied smile, content that his complaint had been heard.
Luhan’s next, but he only shakes his head. “It’s been a good year,” he says, and then it’s Baekhyun’s turn.
Everyone seems to still, watching in rapt attention. Baekhyun looks around dramatically, taking his time standing. “You,” he says the moment he’s up, pointing an accusing finger at Chanyeol. “You killed my flowers! The light bringers that illuminate the night.” They were a work of genius, a species that had taken Baekhyun years to develop.
“It’s not my fault,” Chanyeol says, standing as well. He towers above Baekhyun, but Baekhyun looks up at him defiantly. “You forgot to include seeds in your plants. If they had seeds, they would survive another year.”
“But we came to an agreement last time! You said that you wouldn’t kill the plants, didn’t he?” Baekhyun shouts, addressing the others around him. They nod slowly in agreement. “See! It’s your fault.”
“I only lowered the temperature a little. It’s within the limits,” he says, and Junmyeon nods. “It’s not my fault your plants were so badly designed.”
“Badly designed!” Baekhyun echoes, glaring at him. They were the work of many lifetimes. “Like you could do any better.” They were made for a noble cause—to guide the lost home across dark roads. They were like the stars of the earth.
“I could, if you kept the blueprint.”
Baekhyun doesn’t need a reminder. It’s true, he might have ripped his years of research notes in his moment of excitement. But he shouldn’t have needed them. “You killed them on purpose!”
“I didn’t!” Chanyeol protests.
The spectators look from one to the other, at loss as to how to stop them. Junmyeon slumps in his seat helplessly. This always happens at every meeting, these arguments between Baekhyun and Chanyeol. They’ve given up trying to stop them, and they just let the two scream and let out their frustrations.
“It’s because they haven’t seen each other in so long,” Jongdae had informed Junmyeon once. “Ah, young love.”
“May I suggest a solution?” Junmyeon speaks up hesitantly, when there’s a break in the argument. “The two of you should try a project together.”
“Are you crazy?” Jongdae hisses, and Kyungsoo shoots him a murderous look while Yixing slaps the side of his head.
“Make fireflies,” Junmyeon continues, like he hadn’t been interrupted.
“Fireflies?” Baekhyun repeats, stressing each syllable.
“Light-bearing insects. I know, it’s not the same,” Junmyeon adds quickly. “But this way, they won’t die during certain seasons. Even if Chanyeol hadn’t killed your flowers, they would have died during the winter. They can’t survive extremely cold weather. This would be better. Okay?”
“If Baek wants to,” Chanyeol says, sitting down again.
“You think you can do better?” Baekhyun taunts, but he sits as well.
Junmyeon clears his throat awkwardly, looking visibly relieved that the encounter was over. He makes another note on his scroll, but the argument had been nothing out of ordinary. Most of the tension evaporates from the room. The worst part of the meeting was done, and now it’s Zitao’s turn.
The rest of the meeting goes on without a hitch, but no one misses the intense staring contest between Baekhyun and Chanyeol.
“It’s like they’re eye fucking each other,” Jongdae muses aloud, and yelps as he receives five kicks at the same time.
Junmyeon calls the meeting to an end when they’ve all spoken. “That was good. I’ll report this to Zeus,” he says, and all of the Months stand.
The meeting had only lasted an hour, which was relatively short compared to the six-hour long shouting sessions they’ve witnessed before.
Baekhyun stretches his arms above his head as he walks out. The meeting hadn't been all that eventful, but it was still better than the paperwork that they had to endure the other days of the year. The Court is one of the few days that he can look forward to in the year, not including his own month, when he can plant beautiful flowers that blossom in the spring. (Until, of course, they are killed by a certain someone.)
Chanyeol passes him, raising an eyebrow. “Still can’t touch the ceiling?”
Baekhyun scowls, lowering his arms to hit the other. “Shut up.”
Chanyeol’s laughter echoes in his ears as he walks away, and Jongdae’s teasing laugh isn’t much better.
“Are you guys still flirting after all these years?” he says. “Have you guys even reached a base yet?”
Baekhyun rolls his eyes. “Not everyone’s as obvious as you and Junmyeon.” He takes pleasure in Junmyeon’s blush (like that hasn’t been obvious for centuries), but Jongdae, the shameless rascal, only laughs louder.
“Looks like Valentine’s Day is already over. Good luck next year.”
Baekhyun shakes his head as he opens his mailbox. What they don’t seem to understand is that after all these lifetimes, the years seem to blur together. In fact, it seems like the mailbox had only been created yesterday.
Hermes had stopped by recently, so Baekhyun finds his box full. There are the typical bills and letters, and Baekhyun flips through them disinterestedly. At the very bottom of the box, however, there is an inconspicuous box.
Baekhyun tosses the bills to the side and picks up the box carefully. There’s no return address, and it’s wrapped messily. Nevertheless, Baekhyun opens it carefully, undoing the wrapping paper in neat little rolls.
He already knows what’s going to be inside, but the gift never fails to intrigue him.
It’s a wind chime, a light blue color with strips of gold along the side. The chimes are attached by thin, nearly invisible thread, and it sings beautifully when Baekhyun moves it.
Baekhyun has thousands more wind chimes in his palace, hanging in neat rows from the ceiling.
He receives one every year, but it never fails to bring a smile to his face as he admires the carefully crafted object. He knows who the sender is, and he also knows that a few hallways away, Chanyeol will be opening a box of his own to find a cleverly crafted vase.
“You guys are too old to be doing this secret admirer stuff,” Jongdae had said, but Baekhyun doesn’t think he understands.
There are many different kinds of love in this world, and you don’t have to speak your commitment aloud for the other to know.
When you have an eternity, a year doesn’t seem to be so long.
Nothing’s ever simple, and if Junmyeon thought that a simple project was going to fix the grudge that Baekhyun and Chanyeol had built for each other over the thousands of years, he was gravely mistaken.
Their planning took place during the summer, during the months when they had a break. The planning shouldn’t have taken long, since they already had most of the work done beforehand, but there were arguments.
That summer, the heavens seemed to echo with their loud, screaming voices, and even Junmyeon couldn’t prevent the thunderstorms from ruining most of the summer.
When they weren’t arguing, they would sit in a room and just glare at each other, doing very productive things with their time.
This bickering and deadlock situation might have continued for another decade or so if Yixing hadn't decided to step in that winter. When Baekhyun had pointed out that it was supposed to be their project (and no, he was not trying to buy “couple only” time), Yixing had pointed out that they’d gotten nothing done.
So although Baekhyun and Chanyeol were later credited for the invention of fireflies, it was a well-known fact that Yixing had done most of the work. He had taken over, offering compromises for every disagreement they had. (And his name is written in the credits, if you squint hard enough at a very strong magnifying glass.)
Yixing had declined the invitation to participate in the ceremony that would unleash the fireflies into the world, opting to stay in the background and watch.
So that night, it was just Baekhyun and Chanyeol in a large grassy plain, holding a large jar of fireflies in their hands, their fingertips brushing as they smiled at each other.
“Two minutes in, and they haven’t killed each other yet,” Jongdae says from the background.
It’s a new moon, and only the stars are there to witness the event. There seems to be a pause, a moment of unspoken communication between Baekhyun and Chanyeol, and then they open the jar together.
The fireflies fly out slowly, unleashing their brilliant light. They’re a work of art, glowing in the darkness, little fluttering wings bringing them to the furthest corners of the world.
When they’re gone, Baekhyun and Chanyeol are just holding an empty jar, smiling at each other in a secretive way that none of the others can understand. It’s a sweet moment, with a few stray fireflies circling around them lazily, but their eyes are only for each other, the way they’ve been for an eternity now.
Then the moment is broken when the sun peeks out again, and Jongdae’s left cursing loudly.
“That would have been the perfect time for a kiss,” he laments to whoever is there to hear him.
But when you have an eternity, there’s no rush to do everything now.
There are still fireflies today, like the magic lights of the darkness. They’re known to bring the lost back home, and they’re little burning lights of love, created in love. If you look hard enough, you can find one, the stars that exist on the ground. And if you’re lucky enough to capture one, you’ll be able to find your way home.
The creation of the fireflies doesn’t necessarily mark an end in the tension between Baekhyun and Chanyeol.
“It’s not like they hate each other,” Jongdae says. “They just pretend they do because…”
And Kim Jongdae is still trying to understand their relationship. (It’ll probably take him an eternity.)
But they say that sometimes, if you listen close enough, when the first winds of autumn start blowing, you can also hear a soft but beautiful ringing sound, the most delicate wind chimes in this world. Some interpret it as a song of longing, the tale of two lovers that were never destined to be together. (But this, of course, is not true.)
They also say that, if you look hard enough, even when autumn comes and the cheerful flowers of spring are smothered by falling leaves to make way for the dancing snowflakes, there are flowers hidden somewhere in the corners of the world. These, they say, blossom in vases too delicate to be crafted by human fingers.
Some say nature is the most simple and beautiful example of a tragedy, of lovers that were never meant to be. There are legends of the sun and moon, the sky and the earth, even spring and autumn.
But they don’t seem to understand that it’s not a tragedy, it’s just another way of telling a story that will last for eternity.
And some say that, when eternity ends, the fireflies will bring spring and autumn together again, to somewhere they were always meant to be.