Title: Chansons d’amour
Word Counts: 9,665
Side Pairing(s): slight!Baekhyun/Kyungsoo
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: And suddenly, all the love songs started making sense again.
Author's Note: This has been super rushed and out of context. I don’t have a background in songwriting, but I truly did my best to write the “songs” and incorporate them into the plot. OP, thanks for sharing your lovely prompt with the world, I hope this is somewhat close to what you’d expected. BAE mods, thank you for bearing with my indecisiveness! M, thanks for holding my hand and motivating me throughout this whole ragtag mess of a fic. S, thank you for cheering me on and sending me more love than I could ever imagine.
The first time he tried writing a song, Park Chanyeol was eight. And he was, according to his sister, an emotionless brick.
At five, the tall, lanky boy was considered a musical genius. First, there were his small fingers prancing and treading along ivory piano keys. Then there were melodious tunes of violin sonatas produced from tiny hands: the other perched peculiarly upon the bow, the other carefully placed on tuned strings.
While other kids his age went out to enjoy the sun and the early dayspring breeze, Chanyeol immersed himself in the assonance of his own music. The notes, the rests, and the entire familiarity of the staff—they were his only company.
Where the other children held and familiarized themselves with the illustrations of storybooks, Chanyeol would acquire new music sheets in the morning and have the whole piece memorized by sundown.
For his sixth birthday, he received a guitar that was almost twice his size. And in two weeks, Chanyeol discovered solace in the company of his guitar. It was the first time that his fingers really felt like they’ve found home.
By then, piano solos and violin concertos no longer resonated from the Park household. Instead, in its place were hearty strums and soulful ballads played by the seven-year-old boy who grew to love his own six-stringed instrument more than anything else.
When he turned eight, it was words that Chanyeol fell in love with. He spent his time reading books and prose—a breath of fresh air from the dull, complicated music sheets that he grew up with for so long. It was then that he found out how he would be able to enjoy both his forte, music, and his new hobby of writing songs.
So he did. At the age of eight, Park Chanyeol wrote a three-stanza song with the simplest of chords to accompany it. It was a song written about the children who played outside his house each morning. The melody was lively and vivid, a reflection of Chanyeol’s budding personality.
The lyrics made as much sense as a song composed by an eight-year-old would, but Chanyeol had everyone in his family jamming along with him, nonetheless, whenever he sang it. His sister, however, wasn’t convinced.
“Chanyeol, darling,” Yoora told Chanyeol one day, “That’s not how songwriting works. You have to feel it, Yeol. It’s not always about the way it’s sung. It’s the way it’s felt. It’s how you are able to convey your feelings.”
It was a conversation that he was yet to understand, but what else would he have been able to do? It didn’t help Chanyeol that Park Yoora was one of South Korea’s most sought-after songwriters in the modern Hallyu era. The subject of headlines, and already the recipient of numerous awards of recognition at a young age.
Even the largest music companies were at Yoora’s mercy, for she was, apparently, the finest composer that the Korean music scene has witnessed in a long, long time. But Chanyeol was determined to change that.
By the time he was twelve, Chanyeol had completely ditched everything related to the classical genre. The music sheets were neatly stacked upon each other, placed within a chest underneath his bed. His trusty violin was safe inside its container, locked away and left to gather dust inside his family’s storage room. Chanyeol’s hands no longer touched the grand piano that he once played night and day, and in its place now stood a keyboard.
Chanyeol found satisfaction in the nights where he held his guitar close and cradled it until dawn broke and gave way for the sun to say it’s first hello. The chords were his company as his own music engulfed him with warmth even in the coldest of the winter days.
Some days, he would play at the pavilion by the block, garnering crowds around him as they stared in awe at the boy who had the sweetest taste for music and the most alluring way with words. One fateful day in November, a few days right before Chanyeol’s thirteenth birthday, a man in a suit came to see for himself the talented boy who had been the talk of the town for months on end now.
“You’re Park Yoora’s brother, aren’t you?” The man in black asked, earning himself a nod from the child. The man’s lips tugged into a promising smile. His hand reached into his pocket, a small card resurfacing between his fingers. He proceeded to place the card carefully in front of Chanyeol.
“How would you like to be a star?”
It took no second words or pardons for Chanyeol to squeak out a nervous sure, why not?
Four years have passed since Chanyeol first entered the boisterous, complicated world of the music industry. At seventeen, he’s got the world ahead of him, as well as the energy to enjoy it. As a trainee in one of the most prominent music companies in the entirety of Seoul, Chanyeol’s been taught everything that an idol should be. He doesn’t just live in the idol life, he breathes the idol life.
He sees all his imperfections vanish and dissipate into naught throughout the years. All he’s ever doubted about himself, are all nothing the staff and his mentors can’t fix. To be an idol is to be the epitome of absolute perfection, so they’ve been taught. And for four years, it’s all Chanyeol have had his eyes set on: to be perfect.
He might have been, might still be, a musical genius, but he was anything but the embodiment of grace and fluidity. He was a concoction of a lanky frame, a clumsy combination of limbs, and not enough sense of balance and coordination. That, they were able to remedy, too. Chanyeol would find himself dancing in front of a mirror until the wee hours of daybreak, to a point where he would just collapse with exhaustion on the cold, marble floors.
The idol life isn’t always just about the glitz and the glamour—this, Chanyeol learned the hard way. This, Chanyeol learned the first time he got scolded on by one of his mentors for moving too fast or going too slow. This he learned the first time he tried to starve himself because his trainer told him that it was time for him to lose some weight.
This, he understands, every time he just feels like giving up on the life he’s always wanted to lead. For every time that he silently weeps himself to sleep at the thought of the family he’s left back home, or at the doubt that he could’ve chosen an easier, and less harsh path.
But this is his home now. They say home is where the heart is, and here lies not just Chanyeol’s heart, but his whole life, as well.
The thing is, Chanyeol lives off some kind of superiority among the other trainees within the company. His sister is a deity in the music industry, after all, and of the respect everyone has for her, Chanyeol thrives, as well. This entitled him to several privileges—like getting some hours where he has the whole music room to himself, and having complete access to one of the company’s recording studios.
They weren’t much, but they were just enough for Chanyeol to get his mind off toxic things whenever he needed a break from the world that creates him yet destroys him all the same. These two vital locations were where he hung out whenever he needed the quiet, serene warmth of music, where he rested whenever he needed to unwind.
One day, right after a tedious practice session, Chanyeol headed straight to the music room, hoping to have it all to himself—only to find that someone was already there. And of course, as awkward as Chanyeol was, he chose to hide from the stranger rather than approaching them.
Chanyeol heard a melodious progression of notes, a beautiful one, that was. The way the piano was played was fluid, passionate. Filled to the brim with emotions and feelings. It was a grand succession of harmonies, but what caught Chanyeol’s ears was the voice the piece accompanied.
Saccharine sweet, the voice reminded Chanyeol of spring. The performance lured Chanyeol into a reverie that he didn’t notice that the stranger had stopped playing.
To this Chanyeol snaps awake, shaking his head. He sees the stranger now. Jet-black hair, and a cute button nose, the stranger was a boy who looked like he was no older than fourteen. He wore a pullover that was quite a few sizes too big on him, denims, and worn-out Chuck Taylors. He reiterates his statement with confusion, “Excuse me?”
In a state of bewilderment, Chanyeol blurts out, “Are you supposed to be here?”
“No, I’m sorry,” the boy says, actually looking apologetic. “Everyone else was busy, and I saw that the music room was open, so I took the chance. It’s not every day that I get to play. Actually, it’s been a month since I last laid my hands on a piano.”
Chanyeol can’t help but notice the small trace of eyeliner upon the boy’s lids, but it’s one he chooses to ignore. After a short spell of silence, it’s the stranger who speaks again, “You won’t tell them won’t you?”
The boy edges closer to Chanyeol until he’s directly in front of the taller boy. The proximity that exists between them makes Chanyeol’s chest constrict—and the thing is, he doesn’t even know why.
“Promise me you won’t tell! Please! The managers are going to kill me!”
“A-alright,” Chanyeol squeaks, “Alright, I won’t tell.”
Chanyeol hears a succession of footsteps right outside the music room and they both flinch. He gestures for the boy to go on and exit, as if to say, I’ll take care of this.
“Thank you, thanks so much!” The boy mouths. He watches the boy stride towards the door with a newfound spring in his step. Chanyeol hears the door slam shut behind him, and the stranger doesn’t even look back.
But just as Chanyeol is positioning himself in front of the piano, he hears the door creak open again. For a second there, he feared that it might be one of the managers reminding him that he has another practice session in 30 minutes. But to his surprise, it’s just the stranger that he’d met earlier.
The boy had beads of sweat upon his forehead, and his hair was disheveled in all directions. He looked like he’d ran a marathon. Smiling, he peeked between the gaps of the slightly open door, calling out, “And by the way, it’s been nice meeting you, Park Chanyeol! Thanks a lot and see you around!”
Chanyeol nods, reciprocating the smile, but it took him a tad bit too long to realize two things: a) he forgot to ask the boy’s name, and b) the stranger just called him by his full name when he doesn’t even remember introducing himself.
Chanyeol turns around, only to see the boy he’d met a few weeks ago calling out for him. He watches the boy walk towards him with a welcoming smile. Chanyeol feels himself tense under the stranger’s gaze. He doesn’t know why. He doesn’t want to know why.
“I forgot to introduce myself. My name’s Baekhyun,” The boy says, reaching out his hand. Chanyeol takes it a bit too quickly. “It’s nice meeting you… well, for the second time around.”
Baekhyun. The boy with the golden voice now has a name in Chanyeol’s mind.
“It’s nice meeting you too, Baekhyun.”
There is a short duration of silence between them before Baekhyun resumes the conversation. Screw you, brain, Chanyeol thinks, screw you for not being there when I need you the most.
“I want to thank you again for saving my butt out there. If anyone found out, I’d be screwed,” Baekhyun says, letting out a nervous and hearty chuckle. “So, I’d like to treat you. Where do you want to eat?”
“Where do you want to eat? I know this place around the block where they make really good—“ Chanyeol doesn’t let the shorter boy finish. He grabs him by the wrist and takes him to his favorite café just outside the building, and he doesn’t care if he’s taking everything too fast. He was starving.
Chanyeol doesn’t care if the lunch break’s ending in 15 minutes. These last 15 minutes and the next hours that’ll come right after hold a lot of potential. In the next moments, he found himself a new friend in the personality of Byun Baekhyun. In the next moments, he found himself sharing laughter and tears with a boy he’d just met.
And his parents had warned him about strangers in the streets, but never the ones with a golden voice, beautiful fingers, and a heartbeat.
As the seasons died and transpired into something new, Chanyeol found himself discovering more and more about Baekhyun. He’d learned that the latter had also been training for 2 years now, and that he’d wanted to be an idol since he was 8 years old. Baekhyun was also a fan of a lot of musical acts and artists, his voice ramps up some octaves higher whenever he talks about his idols.
Which Chanyeol found… endearing. Was that right? Endearing? Chanyeol shakes his head at the thought. No, no. Interesting. That’s the word. Chanyeol found it interesting.
After two years, they were inseparable. Baekhyun was everything Chanyeol never had. He was his best friend, his adviser, and to Baekhyun, Chanyeol was, too. They’d teach each other tips and tricks that the other didn’t know, and they’d add in a few techniques along the way. Through this, they helped each other become a better musician, and as much as they’d hate to admit it, a better person in general.
Where there were gaps and holes in their hearts, they helped the other fill it with something else. Something bigger, something more essential. Neither of them knew a world without each other by their side. They no longer remember being alone, they only remember being together. While Chanyeol once had that superiority to himself, he now has Baekhyun to share it with.
They were the envy of other trainees in the company for when everyone else disdained solitude, Chanyeol would always have Baekhyun, and vice versa.
Until the day they feared finally crept its way through their lives.
Shaky hands and wobbly knees, the rush of adrenaline imminent in the air. A new boy group had just been debuted by the company, their debut album topping the charts and music shows. But even then, the company already felt the need to conceptualize the next batch of moneymakers.
Trainees and staff alike were nervous, always keeping eyes and ears out for new announcements. Especially the trainees, fueled with the promise of debut for already far too long. These are the same people who have seen their co-trainees come and go, arrive and give up, believing they deserve something better than this.
And at last the announcement arrives: The company is going to be debuting a solo artist. The premises are immediately filled with groans and statements of disappointment, but amidst it all, a spark of hope. The chances are slim, as there will only be one debuting now, but most of these trainees have come too far to lose hope now.
Chanyeol and Baekhyun are a part of this majority. There they sat with hundreds of other trainees, all waiting for their name to be called over the PSA. And then, it comes. And when everyone expected to hear only one name, they hear two.
“Park Chanyeol and Byun Baekhyun, please make your way towards the main office.”
Chanyeol doesn’t remember how exactly he got here, it had all been a blur of colors, faces, and footsteps. The next thing he knew, he was at the CEO’s office, by Baekhyun’s side, awaiting the big reveal. Awaiting the CEO, that is.
And he feels a nudge from the boy sitting beside him.
“You ready?” Baekhyun asks, smiling, but Chanyeol can hear his voice trembling. Chanyeol manages to nod and reciprocate that smile. “Me too,” Baekhyun replies, “I’m so ready for this.”
But they both know that wasn’t so.
A few moments later the CEO arrives, and tells them the gist. Chanyeol knew only one artist will debut, which is why he had been so confused from the moment he and Baekhyun were called to the office. Maybe they’ll both debut? Maybe the company has already changed its mind over debuting a soloist? Maybe it’ll debut a duo instead? Maybe—
“I know both of you are inseparable. I know you couldn’t bear not being by each other,” the CEO says, his stoic face opposite Chanyeol and Baekhyun’s nervous expressions. “But this is a choice you have to make.”
Oh. Only one will get to debut. Chanyeol has seen this coming.
“I called both of you so you can think this over. You are two of the best trainees in this company today, but we cannot debut you as of the moment. So you’ll have to talk about this over who gets to debut. Please let me know your decision as soon as possible.”
Chanyeol can feel his heart beating so loudly against his chest. He’d never seen this coming, and if he did, he saw himself debuting before Baekhyun. He’d been in this company for five years, which practically earned him major points on the rankings. He never saw himself in this situation, forced to choose between his best friend and his career, his dreams.
And then Baekhyun speaks.
“Chanyeol must debut, sir,” he squeaks, rather nervously. “He’s been in this company far longer than I have, and he deserves it. He deserves it a whole lot better than I do.”
Chanyeol remembers all the things they’ve talked over, he remembers all Baekhyun’s little quirks and squeals whenever he talks of debuting, he remembers the way Baekhyun’s eyes lit up whenever he talked about his excitement over finally getting into the industry. He remembers, and then suddenly Chanyeol is struck with a decision.
And that moment, he is stepping forward, nudging Baekhyun aside, and he’s speaking.
“No,” he blurts out, “No. I’m not going to debut. If there’s only one who debuts between both of us, it’s Baekhyun. He deserves it better than I do, and I think I can handle more years of training before I debut.”
Baekhyun tries to interrupt, but Chanyeol finishes his statement with finality and certitude, “Besides, I’m not yet ready. I have to nurture my talents more. So, sir, let Baekhyun debut. I’ll just stay in the sidelines. That’s final.”
The CEO nods, acknowledging their decisions. “Alright, that’s settled. Chanyeol, you may leave. Baekhyun, I need you to stay so we can work over—“
As Chanyeol is being ushered out of the office, he hears Baekhyun interrupt the CEO. “Sir, I have one request of you now.”
Though quite hesitant, the CEO agrees. Baekhyun conveys, surprising everyone who stood in the room, “I want Chanyeol to write all my songs.”
“Sir. Please. I also want to write some of my songs with him. Should I debut, I also want his name on my album.”
The CEO spares a glance at Chanyeol, and then to Baekhyun again. Finally, he accepts.
“Alright, Baekhyun. If that’s what you want.”
Baekhyun looks at Chanyeol and flashes him a bright smile, and Chanyeol can feel himself flashing the same, vivid smile back. To this moment he still couldn’t believe all the decisions made that day, that he’d decided upon putting his best friend first before his dreams and aspirations, but it has been decided upon.
At least now, he still gets to do what he has always loved—writing and composing songs, pouring his heart out through melodies and lyrics. But now, he gets to do it with his best friend while they both wait for his debut.
Nothing could go wrong now, Chanyeol thinks to himself as he sets to work.
Not until he let his heart gets the best of him.
They start writing the songs two weeks after the notice. Chanyeol offered to give Baekhyun some of the songs he’d already written back then, but the company told him he’d need to write more. And this is how Chanyeol hits his all time low, when he finds himself splayed on his couch with no ideas in his head whatsoever.
That’s when Baekhyun gives Chanyeol the brightest idea he’s ever had in a few days.
“Why don’t you write about yourself?” Baekhyun asks. “Write about you being my best friend or something. It’s me who’s gonna be singing it, anyway, so you can go do that, right?”
A few seconds later, Chanyeol finds himself pushing Baekhyun out of his flat in an effort to spend some time with himself alone. “Alright, alright, I’ll go write that. Now go practice your songs or something and I’ll go write this song for you!”
“See you later, Baek!”
Chanyeol slams the door shut, gets some pen and paper, retrieves his guitar, and he’s back to work.
7 months later and the world is waiting for Byun Baekhyun’s much-awaited debut, in the form of a showcase. Prior to May 6th, his debut date (and birthday, as well) his SNS accounts are bombarded with well-wishes from fans and friends alike. Sometimes, he lets Chanyeol read it for him and reply to them.
Chanyeol sees the occasional Good job, bro. Will be waiting for your debut, from Baekhyun’s friends in high school, and sometimes, See you soon, darling! Do well! From his aunts and cousins all around the world.
What Chanyeol does see all the time, though, are the OPPA! CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO DEBUT! I love YOU!!!s and other messages which are probably going to be too traumatic for Baekhyun to read.
Chanyeol was proud of himself, to say the least. He had his name all over Baekhyun’s album, as the sole songwriter to almost half the songs. The other half, they wrote together. Baekhyun specifically asked for none other than both of them to write these songs. This, of course, with the acknowledgment of the company.
But of course, Chanyeol was the proudest of his best friend. He’d seen the past 7 months of Baekhyun working his ass off to practice everything: his vocals, his choreography. He’d even put effort to enhance his piano-playing skills. While watching him, Chanyeol realized that his kid truly deserved his impending debut.
Sometimes, he’d even wonder what he did to deserve him in this lifetime.
Two nights before Baekhyun’s debut, their co-trainees decided to throw him a celebration. They rented out a noraebang booth, to last them the night. The other trainees were in charge of refreshments and snacks. It was a party, indeed.
Chanyeol wasn’t really the wildest party animal, but Baekhyun specifically asked him to attend so he did. He didn’t plan to sing, though. He was just there for the ride. He’d taken his scooter on the way there. Baekhyun took a taxi.
Once all the attendees were complete, Jongdae, one of Chanyeol and Baekhyun’s same-age trainees, proposed a drinking game: A person would pick a random song off the song book and whoever gets the lyrics wrong would have to take a shot. Chanyeol opted not to join, but Baekhyun forced him to.
“Come on, Chanyeol! I’m not really good at games, but that’s exactly the point, right?”
So the game commenced and Chanyeol is one of the contestants. He absolutely aced the game, so far he’s sang all the songs without any mistakes so he didn’t have to take a shot. All the other trainees, who are already quite tipsy from all the shots, sat there in awe as he sang the songs perfectly.
Baekhyun, on the other hand, was not faring well. He hadn’t the slightest idea of the songs that were being picked out for him, so he had to drink and drink. He looked like he was having fun, though. He was absolutely wild, shouting and cheering for the other trainees.
“Hey man, how ‘ya doing tonight!” he exclaims at Chanyeol’s face, to which the other boy laughs. “Come on, man! The night is young and so are weeee!”
“Baekhyun, I think we should go—”
“Chanyeol, no, please. Please stay,” Baekhyun says this really quietly amidst the ruckus and boisterous atmosphere of the noraebang booth and Chanyeol wonders how he was able to hear it. To Baekhyun’s request, he stays.
Three more rounds later, and Baekhyun is asleep on Chanyeol’s shoulder. He’s the sore loser out of them all, committing the most mistakes and in turn, taking the most shots. All the other trainees would just laugh at him, and they continued singing but they stopped the game so as to prevent getting more people wasted.
Baekhyun’s head is on Chanyeol’s shoulder and his mouth is hanging open, he seemed so peaceful, so tranquil. There was absolutely no trace of the boy who had been wasting his life away an hour earlier. He seemed so vulnerable, so small alongside Chanyeol and he couldn’t help but stare at his slumbering best friend.
“Hey, Chanyeol!” Jongdae calls over the microphone, “Live a little, man! Sing a song! Tell me what you want to sing, I’ll punch it in for you!”
Chanyeol almost refuses but the other trainees are chanting and cheering for him to take Jongdae’s offer so he does, but he lets Jongdae choose the song for him. Eventually, Jongdae chooses SNSD’s I Got A Boy and hands Chanyeol the microphone.
“Ayo, let me introduce myself…”
And then Baekhyun’s eyes bolt open and he is alive, he snatches the microphone from Chanyeol’s hands and leaves the taller boy surprised and confused. “This is my jam, y’all, holy shit!”
“HERE COMES TROUBLE! DARAHAE! OH, OH AYO—”
A couple more songs sung by the other trainees, and all the snacks have been devoured down with the refreshments. Before they knew it, the night was over and they were preparing to go home. Chanyeol had not one sip of alcohol, whereas Baekhyun was wasted and was blabbing over things that didn’t really make sense.
“Okay, I’m goin’ home now Chanyeol! Lemme just hail a taxi here, right here—”
“No, you aren’t taking a taxi. You drank too much and now I’m taking you home.”
He hopped onto his scooter and Baekhyun did, too. They both wore their helmets (Chanyeol had a habit of bringing an extra helmet for Baekhyun). Chanyeol felt the shorter boy’s arms tightly wrapped around his waist. Chanyeol feels his cheeks burn, but he waves the feeling off.
“Where to, my prince!” Baekhyun exclaims with a hiccup.
“Home, prince of Wastedland and Tipsylandia.”
“Oh, okay! I like the sound of that!”
Baekhyun clings on to Chanyeol even tighter, but this time resting his heavy head upon Chanyeol’s back. Chanyeol takes the ride slow, so as not to compromise their safety, and so as not to disturb Baekhyun’s rest. He hears the boy whisper, “I’m tired, Yeol.”
“We’ll be there soon, Baek,” he whispers back, and Baekhyun just mumbles an incoherent answer.
“Let’s stay like this forever, Chanyeol. I don’t want to go back...”
And with that he falls asleep, and Chanyeol smiles at his best friend who looks so helpless, clinging onto him for dear life. He wouldn’t miss this for the world. He wouldn’t trade this for anything else right now.
He’s sure Baekhyun’s too immersed in his slumber to hear, but he still replies. Slow and hushed, he says, “If only we could run away and never look back.”
Chanyeol shakes his head, doubting his own words. He’s thankful that Baekhyun’s asleep and wasn’t able to hear what he’d just said. With this, he just keeps his eyes on the road.
What he doesn’t see is the contented smile that makes its way to Baekhyun’s lips as they rode along the dimly-lit streets of Seoul.
His debut was the most successful the company had ever seen in ages. For a soloist, that is. The world loved Baekhyun, his golden voice, and the overall aura that he exudes. He was a hit in variety shows, making both the audiences as well as the hosts laugh at his hearty jokes while keeping himself polite and proper.
He didn’t just top the charts, he destroyed them. But of course, amidst the gratitude and appreciation he conveys to the public, he doesn’t forget one name: Park Chanyeol. Park Chanyeol, brother of world-renowned Park Yoora. The genius behind Byun Baekhyun’s hit ballads and serenades.
As the months passed by, and as they got to be closer over the turning of the days, Chanyeol began to feel quite differently. It was Baekhyun’s smile that began to make every day of his life. He no longer saw Baekhyun as a best friend, but as something else. He sees him as his light. Some kind of guide. The little quirks that Baekhyun had, are those that Chanyeol enjoys seeing now.
Chanyeol doesn’t even try to question it. But one thing he doesn’t do, is tell Baekhyun anyway. He realizes it will be the end of them once he tells him. This will cause them to drift apart. It will ruin Baekhyun’s career, and that’s the last thing he wants to do now.
He remembers his words from 7 months ago: I’ll just stay in the sidelines. And that’s what he vows to do now, because he regards himself as a man of his words. As long as he sees his best friend happy, he’s contented with that. Because, he realizes, that’s what he put himself up to once Baekhyun arrived in his life.
Sure, the world may love Baekhyun, but as much as Chanyeol hates to admit it, he’s going to love Baekhyun better than the world will. That, he’s sure of.
And suddenly, all the love songs started making sense again.
Along the way, Chanyeol creates a playlist of songs he’d written by himself. The first song it contains is the other song he wrote for Baekhyun’s first album. He’s still working on the rest of the songs, though.
He spent 2 hours thinking of a title, and in the end, he gives up. He gives it a temporary title and goes to sleep.
Playlist 1: Baekhyun
The Songs He’ll Never Get To Hear
By Park Chanyeol
When the world burns and mountains crumble,
Would you remember me?
The life we've shared
And the universe we've conquered
When the world is filled with regret
For you are who I'll never forget
Baekhyun's having the time of his life upon the soaring wings of fame. The glitz, the glamour, he sees it all. Though these bright lights didn't blind him out, it only made him more vivid—and radiant, in his entirety. The world continued to love him, cherish him. And through it all, so did Chanyeol.
Things were going well for the both of them. Until, that is, the company decided to have Baekhyun paired with a boy from another entertainment company, a year after he graced the debut stage.
"Byun Baekhyun, you are to debut again in a sub-duo with Do Kyungsoo," the CEO says, and Chanyeol was there. He was there to witness it all, from the swift change of expression in Baekhyun's eyes, the fleeting glimpse of doubt and anxiety.
Chanyeol knows this Kyungsoo. Another rising star in the industry, he had the charms of a teenage boy. The media's sweetheart, or at least that's what they called him. Kyungsoo debuted 6 months just as Baekhyun had, and he had complete control of the charts—that is, until Baekhyun took them over.
Chanyeol felt something brewing at that very moment. He wasn't sure what it was, but he does know one thing: It wasn't excitement.
"Chanyeol," Baekhyun says, at Chanyeol's apartment that night, "What if things don't pan out the way I see them? What if this doesn't work out? What if..."
What if he takes you away from me, is what Chanyeol thinks, but it's what he doesn't say.
"All these 'what ifs' again? Baek, you're gonna be fine."
"No, really. You managed to debut by yourself, and this time you get to do it with someone else. How bad could it be?"
"Idiot, I didn't debut by myself," Baekhyun says, looking at Chanyeol. "I only made it this far because I had you by my side."
And with Baekhyun's statement, Chanyeol's mind and his heart (what's left of it, at least. He reckons this boy has snatched him penniless) go into overdrive. Suddenly he's stuttering and sputtering and all he manages to say is, "Thanks, Baek. Don't worry about it too much."
Even after Baekhyun has left, Chanyeol can't get his mind off his best friend's words.
"I only made it this far because I had you by my side."
And his feelings, are what Chanyeol writes into a song.
Years passed and I've been by your side
Watched the world spin and twirl
Years have passed and I wonder what's in store
Tell me, would you mind spending a little bit more?
Yeah, spend a little more time
Spend forever with me
Chanyeol sees the way Kyungsoo looks at Baekhyun and he is not amused. He isn't amused one bit. Adding insult to injury is how Kyungsoo treats Chanyeol—like trash, like his existence doesn't matter one bit to the wide-eyed boy. If it weren't for Baekhyun, Chanyeol would have ditched working with this guy the moment they'd met.
Chanyeol guesses that idols are just how the cameras perceive them to be. They are what the industry molds them to be.
That's how Kyungsoo's not-so-subtle pursuit of Baekhyun begins, and how Chanyeol's there to witness it all. From the stolen glimpses at rehearsals, from the way Kyungsoo always buys food and other stuff by the pair but there always isn't enough for Chanyeol, to the way Kyungsoo's hand lingers on Baekhyun's three seconds too long whenever they hold hands during bows and encores.
Chanyeol's there, and he's seen it all.
Chanyeol's there, and he can't bring himself to look knowing those are things he'll never be able to do with Baekhyun—perform with him, hold his hand in front of the whole world, as if to say, "he's mine."
And Chanyeol just heaves a generous sigh because, how long will he have to keep dreaming?
During one dinner with both Baekhyun and Kyungsoo, Chanyeol finds the need to excuse himself as to freshen himself up. The place they were dining in was nice, not too many fans lurking around and asking Baekhyun and Kyungsoo for their autographs.
But when he returns, he accidentally overhears something he'd been expecting for so long—but never believed he'd actually be there witness.
"Baekhyun," Kyungsoo says, "I have something to ask of you."
"What is it? Fire away."
"Baekhyun, I fell in love with you the moment I saw you. And I'm taking this moment to ask, will you be mine?"
That's when Chanyeol runs. He doesn't know where he's going, but he just took the back door exit and he's running to where his long legs (he guesses they do come in handy, after all) are taking him. He runs, amidst the busy streets of Seoul, not knowing where his destination lies.
He feels his phone vibrate in his pocket. It's his sister, Yoora, calling him.
"Chanyeol-ah! Just calling to ask how things have been going back there. Is everything alright?"
Chanyeol makes a quick flip-through of how he's been doing the past few days. Was he really alright? And then he realizes, the past few days didn't matter: the future days to come are what will.
He imagines Baekhyun coming home, possibly with his new boyfriend, Kyungsoo. He imagines the two of them getting extra clingy and extra touchy during rehearsal sessions, more so than before. He imagines them hiding, trying to turn the bright flashes of the cameras from themselves.
He imagines them, and the sight is what sends Chanyeol heaving, on the brink of tears, dragging his heavy heart with the weight of his footsteps.
"I'm fine, noona. There's absolutely nothing to worry about me. I might just be the strongest guy you've had the pleasure of meeting!"
"Alright. Don't stay up too late now and get to rest!"
He manages to text Baekhyun, "Sorry I had to go. I wasn't feeling so well. Enjoy the rest of the night!"
Chanyeol contributed to his playlist a lot that night. He guesses that people weren't joking when they said that heartbreaks make the best stories.
"Baekhyun, I fell in love with you the moment I saw you. And I'm taking this moment to ask, will you be mine?"
Silence ensues between both of them. Kyungsoo awaits his answer, but Baekhyun's hesitation was already the answer he was looking for.
"Kyungsoo, I... am already in love with someone else."
Kyungsoo smiles, albeit a very sad one.
"It has always been him, hasn't it?"
Surely enough, Baekhyun decides to visit Chanyeol the day after that, a giant smile gracing his face.
"Good morning, my bestestest friend in the whole world!"
From that moment, he already knew what Baekhyun's answer had been last night when Kyungsoo asked him that question.
"Well, someone's extra cheerful today."
Baekhyun barged right in without even knocking or sparing Chanyeol a second glance. "Well, I'm having a nice day so far. I had a nice night, after all."
Oh, God. Chanyeol can feel his insides imploding on itself.
"Anyway, I'm just off to the studio. Recording with Kyungsoo. Do you want to come?"
And it strikes Chanyeol. Baekhyun's actually asking him if he wants to come, like it's some sort of option. Accompanying Baekhyun to rehearsals never really was compulsory for Chanyeol, it was mandatory. It wasn't an option to him, it was part of his routine.
"Why are you actually asking me if I want to go? That's something new. Usually you just drag me with you and I get no say in this."
"Well, you weren't feeling well last night so I thought you might not have the strength to go with me today."
Oh, right. That little white lie he'd made last night. Still, he gets ready and leaves his apartment with Baekhyun—to work with Baekhyun's new boyfriend.
He doesn't like the idea of it, not one bit, but ah, the things that love makes you do.
The way you look at him,
Oh, I should've known
From the way your eyes light up
And flutter when he's around
The way you look at him,
Is what it pains me to watch
Oh, the things I'd do
To have you look at me like that
"It has always been him, hasn't it?"
Baekhyun smiles at the mention of his best friend's name. "Yes. I guess. How'd you know?"
"I see the way you look at him, Baekhyun. You look at him like a dog to his master, you are attracted to him like butterflies are to flowers and moths are to light—and I thought,"
Baekhyun thinks to himself, was he really that obvious? If so, has Chanyeol ever noticed?
Will he even care?
"'Why couldn't you look at me that way, too?'"
"I'm sorry, Kyungsoo."
"It's alright. We don't get everything in this world. I've got the fame and the glory, sure, but fame and glory don't exactly render themselves as the greatest company."
"I hope this doesn't change anything between us. We'll still be making bomb-ass music, right?"
Kyungsoo smiles, and this time one more hopeful and lively.
"Tell you what, I'll even help you get him."
"The best way to do that, of course, is to let the whole world know he is yours..."
"Chanyeol! Kyungsoo and I are gonna be having our first solo concert ever!" Baekhyun squeals, just exiting the main office. Chanyeol opted to stay at the waiting area while the CEO talked to Baekhyun and Kyungsoo.
"Really? Wow, that's great. How'd you end up getting a solo concert?"
"Well, Kyungsoo suggested it to his boss and he ended up somehow agreeing. They talked things over with our boss and vòila! A solo concert for Byun Baekhyun and Do Kyungsoo!"
"Great! Make sure I get my own stage appearance, you hear me?"
"Oh!" Baekhyun exclaims, his expression bordering glad and almost a little bit cheeky. "You will, Park Chanyeol. You will. Just you wait."
Chanyeol doesn't see this, though.
"After all, how could I ever forget my best friend?"
Rehearsals for their solo concert finally started. Most of the time, Chanyeol doesn't watch. No thank you, he did not want to witness some unnecessary skinship initiated between Kyungsoo and Baekhyun. No thank you, he no longer wanted to think of how it should've been him performing with his best friend.
It could've been him, it should've been him.
Little did he know, that by choosing not to pay attention to the entirety of these rehearsals, he's missing out on so much.
And little did he know, he's in for the biggest surprise of his life.
After 3 months of rigorous rehearsals, the solo concert was finally going to be staged tonight. The tickets sold out a month ago, when they were released, and every last ticket was sold within 5 minutes of release. Baekhyun was elated. He couldn't stop telling Chanyeol how excited he was for this concert to take place.
The stage has been set, the sound check has been done. Technical rehearsals have already been done, 30 minutes later and people were already being ushered to their respective seats. Chanyeol, with all his privileges, gets to choose where he is seated, so he chose front row. Not in the middle, but somewhere at the right side.
He chooses to drop by the backstage to greet Baekhyun and wish him luck. After a few dialogues, he goes back to his seat.
The clock strikes 8PM, and at the very moment that it does, the lights flash. The band starts to play, the first song being Baekhyun and Kyungsoo's latest comeback single, a bop song different from the ballads and serenades they always sing (courtesy of Chanyeol, of course).
Baekhyun and Kyungsoo grace the stage, exuding charisma in whatever they were doing. Chanyeol wished he was the one up there, having fun with Baekhyun where they truly belong—the stage, performing with him. But alas, it wasn't so.
The way Baekhyun performs, is what enthralls Chanyeol so much. The way he's taking the stage as his own little wonderland, his little paradise. The stage is his and there's no doubting that. This might not be Baekhyun's solo concert, and he might be performing with someone else, but that doesn't stop Chanyeol from paying attention to only him.
And then Kyungsoo's performing his solo stage, a soulful rendition of his debut song. Played slow and solemn, it features Kyungsoo singing at the center, surrounded by an orchestra.
Then it's finally time for Baekhyun's solo stage. Chanyeol has no idea what the shorter boy's going to do, or perform, because since then Baekhyun has kept his mouth zipped over the matter. But tonight he's going to find out.
The stage starts with the lights dimming out. The orchestra is gone, and the only thing left on stage is Baekhyun with a grand piano. He smiles at the crowd, earning him wild croons and energetic screams.
"So this song that I'm going to perform is one that I wrote myself."
Cue more screams and squeals.
"And actually, I wrote it for the one who writes me all my songs. I figured out, it's time I give him what he deserves. It's time I tell him how I feel. I also promised him he’d get an appearance tonight so, you’ll be seeing him in a bit!”
The first time I saw you,
I knew I had my future laid out right in front of me
Chanyeol is swept in a whirlwind of confusion because really, what was happening? It was all a blur of bright lights and music, Baekhyun's golden voice luring him, enthralling him the way it did when he'd first encountered the boy at the music room.
How lonely, the life I had known
For so long music had been all that I lived for
My only company, my only light
And then you came and saved me from this plight
Baekhyun's fingers dancing over the ivory keys are all that matters, and the sweet melody resonating throughout the whole arena. It's all Chanyeol pays attention to, and suddenly it strikes him that the lightsticks that surround him all look like stars. Stars that once were his only companion at night, and now it's all coming back to him in a tempest of memories.
And now I have you by my side
I'm no longer alone
For I know this is where I truly belong
Beside you, alongside you
Yeah, right by your side
Is where I truly belong
Baekhyun looks at Chanyeol, smiling at him. And suddenly the cameras pan towards Chanyeol, thereby projecting his face onto the large screens on both sides of the stage.
Whether you stay
Or push me away
Is up to you
But I hope you choose to stay
I hope there won't be another way
And then there he is for the whole world to see, it's quite embarrassing for he had never quite enjoyed the spotlight just yet. But there is Baekhyun, introducing him once more to the world who already knew him as Park Chanyeol, the child prodigy. Park Chanyeol, the brother of world-renowned musician, Park Yoora.
There's Baekhyun, introducing him not as the world knew him to be, but as his best friend. As Byun Baekhyun's musical genius of a companion. Byun Baekhyun's sidekick.
And most of all, the love of his life.
That's when Chanyeol remembers that at one point in his life, he didn't want anything but greatness. He was always on the lookout for better things, always striving to get to the top. But when Baekhyun entered his life, for the first time, he was contented in the sidelines. He found solace in the shadows.
Baekhyun's song ends and it sends the crowd wild one more time. Surrounding Chanyeol were some people who were crying, some even telling him that he was so lucky he had Byun Baekhyun as his best friend. And now, lover, they called him. The mere term makes Chanyeol's heart burst. The shorter boy smiles at him again, and this he reciprocates.
Chanyeol hangs around for the rest of the show, until it ends. The fans beg for an encore, so Baekhyun and Kyungsoo give it to them, anyway. They bid them good night for the second time around and the dimmed lights turn on again. Fans exit the venue, some choosing to hang around in case Baekhyun and Kyungsoo decide to come out again.
But they didn't. And Chanyeol, heads straight to the dressing rooms. He spots Baekhyun and Kyungsoo, laughing, until they spot him and they stand up.
Kyungsoo walks towards Chanyeol, and suddenly whispers, "I didn't like you, you know. Perhaps it's because you don't notice how in love he is with you. But now you know, and I also know you'll be taking care of him."
Chanyeol nods, and for the first time, Kyungsoo flashes him a genuine smile. The wide-eyed boy proceeds to exit, saying, "Well, I'll leave you guys to it. We'll have dinner after this, so just come out when you're ready."
The door closes and the silence between Baekhyun and Chanyeol is loud enough to hear a pin drop. It's deafening, but it's Chanyeol who speaks first.
"So," he says, evading Baekhyun's eye contact, "I take it Kyungsoo's not your boyfriend?"
"Oh, heavens no!"
"B-b-but I heard him ask you... During that night..."
Baekhyun giggles. "Well, I guess you could deduce then what I told him for an answer."
"Your words, Baekhyun... Did you mean them?"
"Silly," Baekhyun says, as he edges closer to the taller boy, "Would I risk my life writing a song I didn't mean? Think about it. Of course I'd meant every word.
This is a surprise to the both of us, isn't it? I guess I should've told you this earlier but I never found the right time. Do you remember the day we met? At that music room?"
"You never introduced yourself to me, but I mentioned your full name. Didn't you ever wonder? How we had never met before and yet I knew who you were?"
There it was. The mind-boggling question that has been haunting Chanyeol for ages, but he never remembered to ask it. And now it's time for the truth to be known, for the real deal to be spilled.
"The thing is, I've loved you before I met you. I saw you on TV once, you know. When we were still children. You actually inspired me to fall in love with music. For you I learned the piano, for you I entered the industry in hopes of meeting you."
Chanyeol needs a moment to take this all in. How is this even real? It's like a daydream too good to be true, but now he doesn't ever want to wake up. This reverie is one he'd prefer to have for ages, and if this was a dream, he'd rather not wake.
"I saw you in the company one day, and I knew I was in the right track. But you never saw me. You never looked at me. Until that day at the music room, I thought the universe was conspiring against me meeting you. But then, I did.
"And then debuting had to be a choice between me and you. I would've fought for it, you know. I really wanted you to debut before me. But I was caught tongue-tied. It should have been you standing where I stood, Chanyeol."
"Baek," Chanyeol finally speaks, "I—"
But Baekhyun cuts him abrupt, continuing his explanation.
"So I begged the CEO to have you write my songs. I know it's what you loved doing, and that's what I used as an excuse, but it just wasn't so. It wasn't the only reason—it was because I didn't want to debut if it meant not doing it with you. And I thought, what for should I relish in the spotlight if I don't get to do it with the boy who brought me here in the first place?"
Chanyeol doesn't speak. There are tears in his eyes, he can see tears forming in Baekhyun's eyes, as well, but none of that seems to matter anymore. Chanyeol just thinks, what the heck, and he pulls Baekhyun close, like he's always dreamed of doing so, and kisses him.
At this point Chanyeol's lost all his composure, these are his pent-up emotions coming back and releasing themselves in ways Chanyeol never imagined. He's kissing Baekhyun, his best friend, the boy he's in love with, and Baekhyun is kissing him back.
The happiness that Chanyeol has in his heart is enough to take him above the clouds and just let his whole being soar. This is the sort of happiness that Chanyeol is thankful of being able to finally feel.
"I love you, Baekhyun. You are who I love, you are the music that I live for. All the songs I write are for you. They have always been for you, I'm sorry if I didn't do enough to make you feel like they were. You are the only song I'll never get tired of listening to."
And Chanyeol pulls him closer, this is the moment he'd never ever want to let go. Baekhyun buries his face snug and warm against Chanyeol's body, holding him tighter. "I love you too, Chanyeol."
The door bursts open and Kyungsoo comes in, clapping and cheering. Behind him, hundreds of other staffs and members of the production team, cheering like Kyungsoo. The area is resonating with happiness and joy, the jovial melody of love filling the atmosphere.
For so long, Chanyeol didn't know what he wanted to live for. For so long, he'd been so confined to what he was brought up to believe in, and he'd never envisioned that one boy would enter his life like a hurricane and change everything he ever thought to be right.
For once, everything is different. For once, Park Chanyeol is in the sidelines, watching the boy that he loves as he grows and becomes a better person. As he does, Chanyeol does, too. This, Chanyeol realizes, that by loving you become a better person. Loving, it pushes you to grow, in ways you've never expected to.
No, Park Chanyeol is not yet an idol. No, Park Chanyeol hasn't made his official debut in the music industry. But he's no longer the emotionless brick that his sister perceived him to be when he was 8 years old. He's no longer the lonely boy who only had music as his companion through moments when he'd despised being alone.
Even so, he's happy. Chanyeol is happy, with what he does, with whom he's doing it with. He's happy, and it's all that matters to him as of the moment.
He's happy, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Chanyeol, help me out!”
The days dwindled on and witnessed Chanyeol and Baekhyun’s relationship grow and nurture over time. A few months nearer to their anniversary, Chanyeol receives a special gift: The announcement of his upcoming debut.
It might as well seem that Baekhyun is more enthusiastic and delighted than Chanyeol himself. He hasn’t stopped blabbing about it since the day they heard the good news. Chanyeol wanted a duet between him and Baekhyun on his album, so he asked the older boy to write the song they’ll be singing. To which, the older boy agreed.
And well, this isn’t really what Baekhyun expected. He’d written a couple of songs before, so he really thought he’d ace it this time and blow the taller boy away with his amazing (or so he says) musical prowess, but tonight has hit the record for the most unproductive night ever and Baekhyun is under a sheer amount of pressure and stress.
Which brings him to their current situation: Baekhyun on Chanyeol’s couch, his pen and blank paper laid out in front of him. His hands are on his face, in a fit of frustration. That’s when he feels the other side of the couch dip and he sees Chanyeol sitting beside him.
“Well, what do you need help for?”
“If it isn’t obvious yet, I’m helping you construct your album and I’m having so much trouble sopleasehelpmeoutI’mbeggingyou.”
Chanyeol laughs and Baekhyun huffs, because excuse me, my misfortune is no laughing matter.
“Okay, sorry. Geez. Haven’t you written songs before? How are you having trouble this time? You said ‘it runs in my blood and I am—’”
“Alright, alright! That’s enough for tonight I don’t need anymore flashbacks,” Baekhyun blurts out, putting a hand over Chanyeol’s mouth, who in turn bursts out laughing. “Just help me out, Chanyeol.”
“Of course. Well, first off, think about your feelings. Think of the ones that hurt, as well as the ones that make you happy.”
“B-but you’re the only one that makes me happy—
“And the one that hurts?”
“When you refuse to make me my favorite omelette for breakfast.”
“I love you too, Baek.”
They laugh about it for several minutes before Chanyeol tells Baekhyun to concentrate and focus.
“Okay, I’m back to thinking,” Baekhyun says, proceeding to hum to himself and tapping his nose with his pen. After a few minutes, he ends up getting an idea.
“Aha!” Baekhyun exclaims, losing his grip off his pen out of excitement and in turn, sending it hurling towards Chanyeol. It hits his right eye and he shrieks in pain.
Baekhyun immediately hovers over Chanyeol, seeing what had happened to him. He apologizes over and over, “Ah, I’m sorry, darling, I’m so sorry I didn’t mean to—”
He tries blowing air on the taller boy’s eye, he’s not even sure if that’s been scientifically proven or if it’s even safe, but he does so anyway. “There, does it hurt less now? I’m so sorry—”
His words are cut short when Chanyeol catches him off guard and plants a kiss on his lips. Baekhyun feigns a gasp and Chanyeol grins like he’s winning at life and there’s nothing to be done about it. Baekhyun puts his face incredibly close to Chanyeol’s, his hands clasped at the back of the taller boy’s head.
“Oh, so that’s how you want to play it, don’t you?”
Seconds later and the couch is empty, the pen sitting where it had landed after hitting Chanyeol’s face, the blank paper still empty and all forgotten. The lights in the living room are all still on and running, but there are hurried footsteps heading towards the bedroom.
The door slams shut, and the rest is history.