Word Counts: 4303
Side Pairing(s): slight!chanyeol/kyungsoo
Warning(s): character death
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: There are an unfathomable number of stars in the universe, but to Chanyeol, only he shone the brightest.
Author's Note: I slightly deviated from my usual writing style and tried something new, I actually hope it works. Recipient, I enjoyed your prompts, so much that I accidentally wrote two fics for you. I hope you enjoy both. M, thank you for dealing with this. Please go get some rest and stay healthy \o/
Chanyeol has never been one with a vast interest with the complexity of stars. He simply does not understand how they workㅡwhy they exist, what keeps them up there, what components they're made of. He, however, does like laying on his rooftop every night, under the thin veneer of stars that decorate the night sky.
Though he likes stargazing, he never bothered to know or study what these twinkling lights are. He also happens to know a lot of quotes involving stars.
It's February. He doesn't know this, but he's sitting directly under Canis Major, the Great dog. He, of course, doesn't have an idea of what Canis Major exactly is. He notices the patterns above but doesn't know what they are.
Chanyeol continues admiring the beauty of the stellar skies, not knowing that in another neighborhood, at this time, there is a boy who's doing exactly what Chanyeol is.
But unlike Chanyeol, he knows all those patterns, those twinkling lights. He knows he's sitting under the light of Sirius, the brightest star in the whole universe, and he knows that Sirius is a member of the constellation Canis Major.
Baekhyun also knows that despite his eyes telling him so, stars don't really twinkle.
What he doesn't know is that in a few month's time, for a certain person, it will be him who shines brighter than Sirius, Rigel, Canopus, and all every single one of the brightest stars that has ever existedㅡcombined.
The 6th of May sees Baekhyun running towards a faulty fountain sitting at the heart of the school yard. In the background, the other students can be heard sneering and calling out insults about him.
Virgo, millions of light years above him, hears him sobbing, uttering atrocious adjectives that all pertain to himself.
Apparently, Virgo is not the only one who hears him doing so.
Baekhyun hears hesitant footsteps behind him, quickly wiping his tears on his shirt sleeve and turning around to see whom the footsteps belong to.
They belong to a tall, lanky boy, who sported the normal guy dresscodeㅡa simple tee, denim jeans, and worn-out Chucks. He wore glasses that consumed about half his face, and his expressionㅡconfused, concerned.
"Are you alright?" The boy spoke, with a voice that might've been too deep for someone with a face like his. To this Baekhyun nodded, but more tears that had fallen from his eyes prompted the boy to sit snuggly beside him.
"I don't think so," the boy said. "So, what's the matter?"
Baekhyun wouldn't have been so confiding to talk about personal issues with a stranger, but he did anyway.
(Little did he know that doing so would be the best decision he'll ever make in years.)
The boy, who was now associated with the name Chanyeol, spoke comforting words and made a lot of references to stars.
"We're stars, you know." Chanyeol told him, pointing to the glittering sky. "Different, distant, young and old, but we're all made of the same stuff."
Baekhyun smiled. "You like stars as well?"
"Yeah, they're beautiful! I just like looking at them, though. I don't know anything about their names and composition and all those geeky stuff."
"Me too, but I could say that I know some things about them." Baekhyun said, and Chanyeol turned to him resolutely, eyes twinkling with curiosity.
"Really? Can you tell me some?"
Baekhyun stood up and looked for a spot where his view of Virgo would not be obstructed by trees. When he found one, he gestured for Chanyeol to stand beside him.
"See that?" He says, pointing to the constellation. "That's Virgo, the Virgin. And see that star up there? That's Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo."
"Cool!" Chanyeol exclaims, not taking his eyes off the sky. "I don't even care if I get a stiff neck later, please tell me more!"
And Baekhyun does, lecturing him about the night lights even after everyone else has gone home. When he accidentally mentions that it's his birthday today, the taller boy even sings him a birthday song.
Up above, Spica bears witness to the start of a beautiful friendship.
In June, Polaris oversees Chanyeol and Baekhyun celebrating their first month of being friends. Chanyeol brought in a feast, all from his mother's restaurant, to the place where they first met.
"You've been 18 for a month now. Too old, Byunbaek. Too old," Chanyeol says, grinning, earning his own arm a slap from the older boy.
Over donuts and iced tea, Chanyeol reminisces the incunabula of their friendship. Baekhyun didn't want to remember the tears he had shed one month earlier, so Chanyeol left those parts off.
"Remember when you told me about Virgo and Spica?" Chanyeol says, mouth full of bavarian-filled donut. "I haven't forgotten. We even stood on that spot over there."
Baekhyun nods, pushing up his glasses, which were slipping on the bridge of his nose. "We could go stand there again, you know. This time we'd see Polaris, the North Star. My favorite star, actually."
"I've heard Polaris before. I don't remember where, though. I think I've read it off one of those Marvel comics. Isn't he Quicksilver's half-sibling?"
"Yes he's Magneto's child, but I don't know other facts beside that. I do know, though that Polaris is part of the constellation Ursa MinorㅡThe Lesser Bear or the Little Dipper."
"Ohh," Chanyeol says, looking up and checking Polaris for himself. "So it's like the opposite of Ursa Major! Why is Polaris your favorite star, though?"
"You could say that. Well, I don't know. I've always seen Polaris as a sign of hope. A beacon of light. It's what gets me through the year, actually."
"Awesome! You know, Baek, I admire you a lot," Chanyeol says, draping an arm over Baekhyun's shoulder. Baekhyun shrugs it off playfully. "I could never remember everything you tell me about these twinkling stars."
"How many times do I tell you that stars do not twinkle?" Baekhyun sighs, shaking his head. "Their 'twinkling' is caused by a turbulence in the sky. In reality, they don't twinkle."
Chanyeol smiles. "See, I couldn't even remember that. Everytime I go stargazing all I could remember is you. Not what you've told me."
Baekhyun feels his a warm sensation rising up to his cheeks over Chanyeol's statement. They lay over mats on the concrete surface, as Chanyeol asks more questions about celestial bodies. Baekhyun points out Bootes, the Herder. Within Bootes lies Arcturus, another one of the brightest stars.
"Wow, two bright stars in one night! You must be really happy when it's June, Baek," Chanyeol says, resting his hands behind his head.
Baekhyun laughs softly. "Wait until we get to January."
"Baekhyun, I think I'm in love," Chanyeol says, and Baekhyun shrugs. "He's beautiful, Baek. He has come into my life like the light of the sun and the radiance of the moon and its starsㅡ"
Chanyeol goes on, like a poetic puppy delving into love for the first time. It's the first time Baekhyun has seen Chanyeol like this. While he's very happy for his best friend, he can't help but feel annoyed. Irked, without an actual reason.
"Chanyeol, don't get this wrong," Baekhyun whispers, when the taller boy finally ceases his spiel. "I'm really happy for you, but I'm sure you've heard all those rumors about Do Kyungsoo, and I'm sure you do realize that almost all of them aren't positive."
"Well, I guess love really does make you blind," Chanyeol retorts, all googly-eyed as he watches the small, owl-eyed boy make his way into the room. "He's gorgeous, despite all that."
"Oh Chanyeol, the stars tell me courting him isn't a good idea." Baekhyun says, sighing in chagrin.
"It's morning, Baek. It's technically not a proper time for stars to be telling you anything."
"Shut your trap, there is no shortage of fault to be found amidst our stars."
Chanyeol turns to Baekhyun. "Hey, you got that from me!"
Baekhyun groans, opening his textbook to do some advanced reading as Chanyeol continues to drool over Kyungsoo.
That night on his rooftop, Baekhyun asks Antares, the brightest star of The Scorpion, why he feels so inexplicably miffed over the life decisions his best friend makes.
What is this I'm feeling? Is this love? He asks, and waits for an answer, but even after all the city lights have been turned off and a new day has begun, he doesn't get one.
Baekhyun was doing his homework on his porch, under the light of Lyra, The Lyre, when he heard sobs and hurried, forthcoming footsteps.
He knew who was responsible for those tears the minute Chanyeol broke into his house and started crying.
"I t-thought he l-loved me back," Chanyeol stutters, in between sobs. He has found his way into Baekhyun's arms. "W-we didn't even l-last a monthㅡ"
Baekhyun slides his palm back and forth over Chanyeol's back, because he knows that had always calmed the younger boy down. "Shh, it's okay, it's okay."
"Y-you were right, Baek, I'm sorry. I'm so so sorry. So, so, so, soㅡ"
Baekhyun ran a hand through Chanyeol's hair. "Chanyeol, stop. Calm down, go to rest."
He let Chanyeol use his bed for the rest of the night and before Chanyeol's tired, puffy eyes finally close, he whispers, "I'm here for you. I'll always be here for you."
And Chanyeol smiles, but it's what Baekhyun doesn't see.
In the past few weeks, Chanyeol had been acting very differently around Baekhyun. Some days they don't see each other at all. At one point, Baekhyun even lost contact with him.
And for the past few days, Baekhyun found comfort in Cygnus, the Swan.
The next week, however, Chanyeol comes back to Baekhyun as if nothing ever happened.
"Where were you?" Baekhyun asks, to which Chanyeol only grins. They were sitting beside the fountain when Chanyeol brings Kyungsoo up again.
"Kyungsoo tried to get me back today," Chanyeol says, and Baekhyun slowly turns to him, eyes filled with alarm and hesitation. "He told me he wanted another chance. Or something like that."
"Well, what did you say?" Baekhyun asks, even though a part of himself tells him he doesn't want to know the answer.
"I said no, of course. I walked out on him. He's given me too much emotional pain and distress in less than a month."
"Good," Baekhyun says, "I thought you'd be dumb enough to fall for him again."
"He might've slightly destroyed me, but he's good for me, I guess. If it weren't for him, I wouldn't have realized it."
The expression splayed across Baekhyun's face looks quite puzzled and cynical. "Made you realize what?"
"That my heart is already taken by someone else."
There's that heart-wrenching sensation again and Baekhyun feels something stirring, yanking in his gut. It was similar to what he felt when he watched Chanyeol confess to Kyungsoo.
His voice slightly trembles when he speaks, "Again? You know sometimes, Chanyeol, your feelings and your teenage hormones confuse meㅡ"
"He's even more beautiful than Do Kyungsoo," Chanyeol says, standing up, his faraway thoughts imminent in his eyes. "He's smarter, too, and kinder. To me, he shines brighter than those stars you've told me about."
Baekhyun stands up, too, wobbly knees and all, "Even Sirius?"
"Even Sirius, and all those other stars combined," Chanyeol says. Do you want to meet him?"
"Of course I do, I need to do evaluation, sir. I only want the best for my bestestestestest friendㅡ" Baekhyun's words are cut abrupt when Chanyeol hands him a mirror.
Chanyeol only smiles, "I've kept my pictures with him away, I've used them as decorations for my room."
Baekhyun examines the hand mirror. Its posterior is adorned with the evening sky map, and on it was every constellation, every star he has told Chanyeol about.
"I figured out he would also like this," Chanyeol says, reaching for Baekhyun's wrist and clasping a silver bracelet around it.
From the bracelet, hung a small pendant. On the pendant, engraved were the initials BBH. Turning it over, Baekhyun sees that the other side has Polaris' coordinates on it.
Chanyeol brings his wrist up, and around it was a chain identical to what Baekhyun was wearing. His lips curve into a smile. "I also figured out he would like us to match, but here I've got Spicaㅡthe star that saw the beginning of us."
Baekhyun is stuttering as Chanyeol walks over to him until the distance between them was almost nonexistent. It was a good thing no one was around because Baekhyunㅡhe was blushing quite furiously.
"Byun Baekhyun, I'm sorry if I hadn't realized this earlier. I'm sorry for whining over someone who didn't even care about me," Chanyeol takes both of Baekhyun's hands into his own, and he can feel the smaller boy slightly trembling in his grasp. "It was when I came to you, crying, and you told me you'll always be there for me. And then I realized, it was you. I was destined for you, it has always been you."
"Byun Baekhyun, to me you shine brighter than all the stars you'll ever see in the skies above, and everytime I see the night sky all I'll ever look for is you, and all I ever want to do is bask in the beauty of your smile."
It's when Baekhyun closes his eyes that Chanyeol places a soft, chaste kiss on his lips.
Baekhyun has yet to taste the stars, but he was certain for one moment that if he had, the stars, in all their beauty and entirety, would taste like Chanyeol.
October began with sparksㅡOctober is characterized by cuddly, stargazing sessions and study sessions that almost always lead to more cuddling. October began on Chanyeol's rooftop, with Cepheus, the King, smiling down Chanyeol and Baekhyun.
"It's been 5 months since we've met, how fast time flies," Baekhyun murmurs, caressing Chanyeol's hair. The taller boy had rested his head on Baekhyun's lap. "This time five months ago we were seeing Spica. Now we're under Alderamin."
"Tell me more AlderㅡAldraㅡAldermㅡ"
"Yeah, that, tell me more."
"Alderamin," Baekhyun began, heaving a deep breath, "is the brightest star in the constellation Cepheus, the King. Cepheus is the name of a Greek king. He is the husband of Cassiopeia, the Queen, and father of Andromeda, the chained princess."
Chanyeol nods defiantly, taking every word Baekhyun utters into his mind and making sure he keeps it there.
"Alderamin is kinda close to Earth, though. It's only 49 light years away from here."
Chanyeol smiles. "When we're gone, I want stars and constellations to be name after us, too."
"Well there are only 88 recognized constellations out there. 48 of them were from the Greek people though, and I doubt they'd be naming more anytime soㅡ"
"There are going to be constellations named after us, and people are going to marvel at our beauty. Let's say 30 to 50 years from now, there are going to be constellations named The Prince, that's you. And The Phoenix, is gonna be me."
Baekhyun rolls his eyes, poking Chanyeol's cheeks. "But Yeol, there already are constellations like that. Perseus, the Prince, and Phoenix, The Fire Bird."
Chanyeol looks downright disappointed, but makes an attempt to hide it. He scoffs. "W-well, Chanyeol's Prince, then. Baekhyun's Phoenix. We could go with that."
"I don't know, man, but 'Baekhyun's Phoenix' sounds like something you'd want inside your mouth on a nightly basis."
There is a moment of silence before Chanyeol was able to take in what Baekhyun's just said.
"Hey!" He sits upright, looking absolutely degraded and violated, sending Baekhyun into fits of uncontrollable laughter.
Nights like these make Baekhyun feel thankful for the stars that hang above them, because if not for them, his and Chanyeol's common denominator, he wouldn't have known how it felt to be this blissful.
Chanyeol continues talking about possible star names and it's Baekhyun's turn to listen. In fact, he doesn't even listen at all. Instead, he loses himself in the pulchritude of Chanyeol's eyes.
Phoenix, the Fire Bird, marks November's night sky.
And come the 27th of November, Baekhyun bakes him a fondant cake with the constellation Phoenix on top of it.
"Happy birthday, liebling," Baekhyun says, placing kisses all over Chanyeol's face. The latter playfully pushes him away, but to no avail. "This is all I could give you, I'm so sorry. Liebling is darling in German. I learned that word yesterday!"
"It's okay, babe," Chanyeol says, and Baekhyun shoots him a death glare because the petite boy absolutely hates getting called babe. "Alright, I'm sorry."
They've got Chanyeol's rooftop all to themselves. A soft, slow ballad can be heard over the radio Chanyeol had installed there.
That song happens to be Baekhyun's favorite.
Chanyeol holds his hand out to the smiling brunette. "May I have this dance, dear prince?"
"You need not ask, my dashing knight."
Chanyeol takes Baekhyun into his arms, swaying side by side. One of them steps on the other's foot on a regular basis, but neither of them minds.
"I'd like to spend more birthdays with you. I don't care how long it takes, I want you by my side forever, Byun Baekhyun, and I hope you don't mind spending more years beside me, too."
Baekhyun rests his head on Chanyeol's shoulder, and like this, he decides, is how he wants to spend the rest of his life.
December comes in a whirl, like a blizzard, and it can be used an excuse for Chanyeol and Baekhyun to cuddle during the cold, icy nights, consumed in each other's warmth.
They decided they didn't need scarves to keep themselves warm, because having each other and a nice, roaring fire was enough.
"Do you think we could stay like this forever?" Baekhyun asks, out of the blue after Chanyeol just finishes humming to one of his favorite Coldplay songs.
"Of course I do!" Chanyeol exclaims with conviction. "After we graduate I could go work at Walmart and be miserable but I'd still look forward to coming home because I know you'd be waiting for me."
"I would," Baekhyun says, "and we'd be going to Disney World every year to celebrate our anniversaries. It's going to be tradition."
"Even in different universes I'm sure I'd still love you. Even if I'm a devil and you're an angel or vice versa I know we'd find ways to be together. We'd break the rules for each other."
"And if we die, we'd get reincarnated as stars. We'd be binary stars, and we'll always be together." Chanyeol says, and Baekhyun realizes that dying by Chanyeol's side would probably make it at least a bit bearable.
"But, serious thought. You're going to be a doctor, Yeol."
"I am. And you're going to be the world-famous singer who'll be known for his golden voice, his weird infatuation with stars, and his super-hot and super-smart doctor husband."
"I wouldn't want you to be known! I wouldn't want anyone to steal you away from meㅡ" Baekhyun says, feigning sadness.
"Then I am all yours, monsieur."
For once, the cold isn't bothersomeㅡeven if they have to deal with misty glasses and windows most of the time.
They welcome the new year on Baekhyun's rooftop, which gives them a clear view of the dea below and the vast, glimmering firework explosions up above. Baekhyun doesn't like fireworks because he thinks they obscure the night sky with smoke and smog.
It also prevents him from seeing Orion, The Hunter, one of his favorite constellations, on New Year's eve.
"Aw, come on, Byunbaek. We have the rest of January to spend watching Betelgeuse and Rigel and Bellatrix and Orion," Chanyeol pleads, tapping Baekhyun's arm. "Please?"
"Alright, you humongous puppy."
Chanyeol lets out a sound of triumph, just in time for the new years countdown.
"Are you ready?" Chanyeol asks, taking Baekhyun's hand. The latter nods.
"Byun Baekhyun, you are the light by which my spirit is bornㅡ
"You are my sun."
"You are my moon."
"And you are all my stars."
"Happy new year, Byun Baekhyun. I love you."
Baekhyun's new year tastes like love. He spends the rest of the night huddled in Chanyeol's arms, looking into his eyes as the taller boy whispers sweet nothings into his earㅡtheir plans for the upcoming year, and more declarations of love.
Chanyeol's eyes mirrors the sky above and Baekhyun's high off the way Chanyeol says i love you, Byun Baekhyun, and he's pretty damn certain his new year tastes like galaxies.
March brings them closer together. Canis Minor, The Lesser Dog, sees them going on a roadtrip togetherㅡexploring parts of the country they've never been to before, even managing to get Disney World into their itinerary.
"I thought we were going to save Disney World for our anniversary?" Baekhyun asks, to which Chanyeol replies a nonchalant, "We could always go back there anytime."
They leave traces of themselves all over the countryㅡthey make love on top of cars, they kiss in secluded corners even though their teeth and their glasses get in the way during some hasty bouts with unwanted spectators.
They made a home out of every place, every nook and cranny of the universe that they have been to, but home has always been in each other's arms.
In March, neither knew that all it'd take to lose home was one single kiss, one single declaration of love, one single glance off the road.
March is characterized by a screech of tires, then a loud crash resonating through the silent night, followed by the blare of multiple sirens and hurried, agitated voices.
Beyond this, the silence of the trees around them and the stars above is deafening. They seem to be peaceful, unmoved by the scene happening in the middle of the paved road.
Beneath the gigantic, smoking rubble of collided metal, Baekhyun reaches for Chanyeol's hand, and does not let it go even when the medics take them away.
Neither Baekhyun nor Chanyeol sees Leo, The Lion, in April, because they both sleep through the whole month.
But as Baekhyun is bound to wake up in a week, Chanyeol never does.
A group of friends huddle around Baekhyun's hospital bed, whispering words of assurance to him and wishing for him to get well.
They sing him birthday songs and read him birthday messages that he doesn't hear, bring him birthday cakes and food that he won't even be able to eat.
Chanyeol is gone, one of them sobs, and all his other friends are surprised when a tear falls from Baekhyun's closed eyes.
Stay strong and wake up soon, Baek. Stay strong for Chanyeol because the last thing he did was hold on for you.
Unraveling his sleeping mat against the soft bed of grass, Baekhyun places his hands behind his head for support as he laid down and fixated his gaze on the stellar sky. It's clear tonight, and above him hung thousands of bright, twinkling lights.
He feels the cold chain around his wrist. From the chain hung a circular pendant, which had BBH engraved at the front, and on the backside, a series of numbers and letters that looked like coordinates.
The coordinates of Polaris, The North Star.
Somehow the chain left his heart recklessly, inexplicably empty. It felt heavy, but it was hollow.
And around his left wrist, hung a similar chain, with a similar pendant. This one, though, had PCY engraved on it. And flipping it over, a different set of coordinates.
He recognizes that the coordinates belong to Spica, the brightest star of the constellation Virgo. He looks up, and sure enough, he sees Virgo there.
The light of the night sky reflects on both the bracelets Baekhyun is wearing.
Baekhyun caresses the tombstone beside him and smiles. "Hey there, buddy. How've you been? Sorry I haven't visited for so long."
Baekhyun is sure that he didn't know the owner of the tombstone personally, but ever since he awoke, he keeps finding himself going back to this cemetery. Without an actual reason.
What's odd is that no one, not even his parents, makes an attempt to stop him from visiting a stranger's grave.
A stranger who died on his birthday.
"Hang in there, Spica's right above us tonight. You know, I used to know someone whose favorite star was Spica. I don't remember his name, though."
A single tear rolls down Baekhyun's cheek, one which Baekhyun hurriedly tries to wipe off.
You are the light by which my spirit is bornㅡ
He remembers wide smiles and warm winter nights, he remembers stargazing sessions.
You are my sun.
He remembers stolen kisses and bright holidays. He remembers passionate, heated ones during trips to Disney World.
You are my moon.
"Sorry, I just get really emotional without an actual reason. I don't remember his name, but I'm almost sure that at one point, I loved him."
And you are all my stars.
Baekhyun stares far off into space, while more tears cascade down his cheeks. "I don't remember a lot of stuff anymore. Except for stuff about stars. Useless information, really, but do you want to hear some of it?"
The reply comes in the form of rustling leaves, a cool breeze caressing Baekhyun's being. He smiles as he traces the inscription on the tombstone with cold, trembling fingers.
November 27, 1992 ㅡ May 6, 2011
Though my soul may set in darkness,
it will rise in perfect light;
I have loved the stars too fondly
to be fearful of the night.