Title: City of Light
Word Counts: 5063
Side Pairing(s): onesided sebaek, hunhan, kaisoo
Warning(s): wow sehun’s characterization is so off oops. also like two curse words. also angst. and [OKAY ACTUAL SPOILER] implied 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: Chanyeol has magic, Baekhyun doesn’t. It’s as simple as that.
Author's Note: so it’s a magic au (based on fairy tail) i hope that doesn’t count as supernatural? if it does, i’m sorry (i realize now that i should’ve asked otl). other than that, i hope you like it!
Throughout all of the years Baekhyun had known Chanyeol, he’d come to realize that whenever Chanyeol would burst into his room asking for “a favor,” it was because Chanyeol had most likely gotten himself into trouble again.
“What happened now?” Despite how many times it has happened, Baekhyun would always help. That’s what friends are for, after all., Eespecially lifelong best friends. “Burned down another city?”
Chanyeol raises an eyebrow suggestively. “Maybe.” He laughs gets his laugh when Baekhyun gapes at him incredulously. “No, that was only once.”
“Sure, but you’ve also decimated a harbor and all the boats in it. And wasn’t it a row of houses another time? Then a mansion? You really have to start learning how to control your magic, Yeol.” He’s exasperated, but also a little jealous. He’d never admit it, how he had always wanted to be able to do powerful magic like Chanyeol, and also to just be able to be next to him every day, and to be able to work on jobs together. In their world, it was a blessing and advantage to be able to use magic. Some people were born with the magic in them, like Chanyeol, while, and some were born with the potential, and were able to use magical objects to unleash their power. Baekhyun had waited and longed for some sort of magic spark to pop up, but it never had. After a decade, he just gave up - he figured if he hadn’t discovered it in his early teen years, it never existed in the first place.
Chanyeol, on the other hand, was born with fire magic. He never got cold, never got hot, and was always a human body warmer when Baekhyun needed one. He also was able to shoot flames out of his hand and withstand fire and therefore was qualified to join a guild. A guild is a gathering place for mages and there are many of them spread across the country. Chanyeol joined one of the biggest and most powerful, SM, when he was a teen. Baekhyun watched as he made friends with other kids his age who could do magic, and watched as they went on jobs together, and benefitted grudgingly from their split rewards.
“I already know how,” Chanyeol protests. “But it’s not about that.”
“You know how I’m in a team with Jongdae and Kyungsoo?” Chanyeol calls them by their real names, but Baekhyun knows them as Chen and D.O., pseudonyms for when they go out on missions. He supposes that, because Chanyeol is close to them, maybe Baekhyun should be too, but he’s honestly never tried to, and doesn’t know if he wants to at all. “We were featured in Weekly Sorcerer a couple weeks ago, for taking down that demon on that island? Did I tell you about that?”
“Every detail,” Baekhyun says drily. “What, now you’re super famous because of that?”
“Basically?” Chanyeol offers. “I- yeah, that’s kind of it? But do you remember when we went out the day before yesterday?”
At this, Baekhyun turns wary. “Yeah, why?”
“Well, someone caught a picture and now they think we’re dating.” Chanyeol blends his words together in his rush to speak. “And I don’t know if you’ve seen the news already, but I just wanted to tell you so that you wouldn’t be shocked, and- and… I guess that’s it?”
“That’s all? Why don’t you just tell them that we’re not dating?” For some reason, there’s a strange feeling inside Baekhyun’s chest. “Please don’t tell me that you want us to fake date.”
“No, but some of the fans do.” Chanyeol isn’t cringing in awkwardness anymore, but then he says, “And so do some of the sunbae. And Jongdae and Kyungsoo, too. Everyone wants us together.” Chanyeol chuckles, looking away awkwardly.
Baekhyun gives him a look, scoffing. “And you?”
Chanyeol takes a moment before responding. “I don’t know. We’re best friends.”
“That’s not an answer,” Baekhyun mutters. “Let’s go on a date.” At Chanyeol’s surprised choke, he rolls his eyes and says, “Let’s go on a fake date.”
Hesitantly, Chanyeol asks, “Where?”
“There’s a new pasta place near the market. You’re paying this time.” Baekhyun grins and sits up.
“Is that why you want to fake date? So I can pay for everything?” Sighing, Chanyeol pushes himself off of Baekhyun’s bed and stretches. “Fine. Let’s go.”
They leave to go to Baekhyun’s suggested place, but somewhere along the way Baekhyun gets sidetracked and they end up at an ice cream cart in a street full of vendors. They run into Chen and D.O. there, who were apparently on their way to meet Chanyeol.
Baekhyun offers to leave and turns away, missing the pointed look D.O. shoots Chanyeol. He turns back when his name is called.
“It’s not that important.” Chen smiles at them and grabs D.O., pulling him away. “We’ll tell Chanyeol at the guild tomorrow. Have a nice date!”
“We’re not dating!” Chanyeol shoots back. “Sorry,” he says to Baekhyun. “Should we keep going?”
Later that night, when they’re laying side by side on the roof, looking up at the stars, Chanyeol breaks the news. “I’m going to be testing for the A-class.” And even though Baekhyun isn’t a mage, isn’t in a guild, he knows what that means. Chanyeol will be testing to prove himself as a strong magic user, someone worthy of taking on more important, but more difficult and dangerous jobs.
“Congratulations,” Baekhyun offers. There’s an ache in his chest that comes on suddenly.
Chanyeol turns toward him with a reassuring smile. “Don’t worry, I’ll be with Kyungsoo and Jongdae and the A-class mages of SM will be there, and so will Teacher. They’re the strongest people in the country, we’ll be perfectly safe.”
“If you say so,” Baekhyun replies, forcing his reply to be cheeky instead of sullen. “When are you leaving?” He rests until Chanyeol says, “Tomorrow,” and the blood chills in his veins again.
He doesn’t fall asleep that night, and he suspects that Chanyeol doesn’t either. When it’s still dark, the mage sits up and sighs. and Baekhyun closes his eyes and evens his breathing until the door to his apartment clicks shut. and Tthe silence fills his mind and he can’t take it anymore.
“Good luck,” he whispers to thean empty room. “Please come back safe.”
A week later, Baekhyun is invited to the celebration of the A-class mage’s return - Chanyeol passed, and they were all safe. Baekhyun feels like he can breathe again and smiles brightly at the messenger, a bored young boy who introduced himself as “Sehun.”.
He doesn’t notice that he’s acting weird until Sehun blinks at him curiously and says, “Are you in love with him? Chanyeol, I mean.” As if he could have been talking about anyone else. Baekhyun freezes like a bucket of ice water was dumped on his head.
“You are, aren’t you.” But Sehun says it simply, like a fact, and adds a little smirk to the end. “Then you should come to the party. They’re supposed to be home soon, and the guild is throwing them a surprise party.”
Baekhyun forces another smile and nods. “I’ll get my jacket and then we can go.” Sehun ends up going inside with him, and Baekhyun berates himself for not letting the younger in earlier.
When he’s ready, Sehun leads the way to the guild hall. They don’t stop and sightsee on the way there, like Baekhyun had with Chanyeol the one time he’d visited the guild before., and Sehun isn’t one to keep the conversation going no matter how many times Baekhyun tries to instigate one, so their walk is a silent one.
Baekhyun doesn’t mind too much, he’s busy thinking - worrying mostly, over how well the guild will take to him showing up at their party, but also Sehun’s earlier comment. Are you in love with him? Chanyeol, I mean. Sehun had brushed it off easily enough, the comment itself was probably meant as a light joke, not a real suggestion.
Of course Baekhyun loves Chanyeol. As friends. They’ve been friends for almost twenty years - how could he not? But as more than friends, well that would be another question entirely, and Baekhyun is reluctant to say yes.
His inner conflict, however, doesn’t stop the relief when he gets to the guild and they welcome him with open arms (although it’s more than just bear hugs - there’s a mug of beer, or something that smells like it, that’s been pushed into his hands., and Hhe also thinks that the shouts of welcome might have damaged his hearing just the slightest bit).
The fuss is quickly settled, though, as everyone knows that the returning mages are close by and getting closer. Some people hide by the doors, and the only sound that Baekhyun can hear as he’s waiting in his own tense anticipation is the stifled breathing and hushed whispers of the dozens of other people crouching down in wait.
(If not for his own impatience, Baekhyun might have laughed at how there were so many grown men and women who could easily beat him up squatting on the floor and hiding behind chairs and under tables waiting to surprise their friends and congratulate them on a job well done - and, perhaps, if not for the fact that this gesture also touched his heart, because it’s not everyone who has tens of people waiting anxiously for you to arrive home after a having a hard time, and he’s so happy for Chanyeol to have these kinds of friends.)
The moment the doors creak open, the bright light framing the mages, all the people lying in wait spring up, dozens of voices saying, “Surprise!” in unison.
Baekhyun can’t forget the look on Chanyeol’s face then: shock, gratefulness, elation shadowing the tiredness from the past week. He stays in his spot as the crowd around him starts moving, the mages assimilating back into the guild as the guild chatters and takes out food and drinks. A nudge from Sehun pushes him towards Chanyeol, and he stumbles a bit before putting more confidence in his steps and weaving through the tables to get to his friend.
After becoming an A-class mage, Chanyeol gets busier and busier. The jobs he goes on take days to finish, and when he comes back he’s too tired to do anything but eat and sleep. There’s no more talking until late at night or spontaneous trips to the park or market. Baekhyun wonders if Chanyeol is as lonely as he is- but how can he be, with the whole guild by his side and his teammates to take Baekhyun’s place by his side when Baekhyun isn’t there?
But instead of staying still and wallowing in his resentment, Baekhyun decides to learn magic. It’s not entirely impossible, even though he does naturally use it. IBut it would take time and effort, for unguaranteed results - Baekhyun would be risking a lot to do something like this. But it’s that risk against the risk of losing Chanyeol, and Baekhyun values his friend and is willing to take the risk, so the next job Chanyeol goes on, Baekhyun decides to take a little trip of his own as well.
There’s a well known witch near their town who Baekhyun seeks out first, a small lady with sleek brown hair and a crooked smile. The only thing she does is tell Baekhyun that he “has determination, but not potential” and houses him for the night, because by the time he gets to her house there aren’t any trains going back to his. But in the morning she slips a little book into his travel bag, and he takes it out to find that it has tips on developing magic, and a name for him to go train under someone else. “Determination, and therefore potential,” she amends on the inside cover.
Baekhyun is eager to look for his new teacher (he’s decided that for sure, this time, he’ll be able to learn how to do magic) but also commits to keeping his plans secret when Chanyeol shows up out of the blue, drunk on Bakehyun’s doorstep for the first time in a year.
Chanyeol makes random, unintelligible noises when he’s drunk and asleep - “mmurgh”s and “agabawaa”s and snores. “Mmrmph Bhaekhhyun...”
Heart constricting because for the first time in forever Chanyeol looks actually vulnerable and relaxed, Baekhyun looks over from his research. “Are you awake, Chanyeol?”
“I missed you.” It’s the first distinct sentence Chanyeol has said all night, and Baekhyun softens is irritation. A drunk confession is the closest thing to a confession Baekhyun will ever get from Chanyeol, and a drunk Chanyeol is better than no Chanyeol at all.
“I missed you too,” Baekhyun replies. Then he remembers, from months ago, the congratulations party and what Sehun had said, and he adds, “I think I might be in love with you.”
But now Chanyeol is passed out on his couch and Baekhyun sighs. He gets a blanket to cover the giant and decides to go to sleep himself. In the morning, Chanyeol will be hungover and it’ll be up to Baekhyun to take care of him until Chen or D.O comes looking.
Chanyeol, however much he professes to miss Baekhyun, can function perfectly fine without him. Baekhyun doesn’t ask why he got drunk, and Chanyeol doesn’t provide the answer himself.
They move on like that, putting the drunken stupor and midnight confession behind them.
Hey. You must be wondering where I am. Why I’m not home, why this letter is here for you instead. I’m on a trip, actually. I told Sehun about it, told him not to tell you until you asked (don’t blame him). I decided to make myself useful, so I don’t know when I’ll be back. But considering we haven’t talked in almost a year now, will you even miss me?
Sorry, was that uncalled for?
Don’t miss me too much.
BREAKING: SM Mages Chanyeol, D.O., and Chen Reported Missing
SM A Class Mages Dead?
What’s Happening to SM?
A Class Mission Defeats A Class Mages D.O., Chanyeol, and Chen
After six years, Baekhyun hadn’t expected going back to SM Town would hurt so much. There were so many good memories of Chanyeol there, but it’s been so long, and it wasn’t like they were on good terms when he’d left, anyway. It was hard to be on good terms when you weren’t even talking. Of course, it was harder to be on good terms if one of them was presumed dead. Baekhyun doesn’t know if he would prefer to have been best friends with Chanyeol to the end, or if they had broken it off sooner. Perhaps the thing he regrets the most is not having done either.
The lights in his room dim as his mood grows darker, but Baekhyun lets them. He’s tired, after thinking of Chanyeol all day. It’s been exactly twelve years since the accident happened (or what everyone assumes is an accident. No one really knows, because there were no trails to follow, no hints to guess at, nothing at all to even suggest that something had gone wrong.) and he’s always remembered this day. He works hard to put Chanyeol out of his mind.
“Baekhyun hyung!” The lights turn back on.
“I’m fine, Sehun.” Twelve years makes a tradition out of Sehun coming to visit on this day, at first checking to make sure Baekhyun was okay and functioning, later to just catch up and make company. Sehun has never missed the date, even that one year he had confessed, hoping that Baekhyun would get over Chanyeol. He had been rejected, at the risk of losing the comfortable friendship, but Sehun didn’t begrudge Baekhyun and stayed.
“Hey, we have to go out to celebrate your coming back to town! I need to introduce you to someone. Have you thought of joining the guild? It would be awesome.” Sehun looks so hopeful.
“I should,” Baekhyun replies. “Not now, though. I need time to settle down.”
“Come on, the guild is waiting for you.” Sehun finds BAekhyun’s jacket and throws it to him.
“You told them?” Baekhyun pauses, eyeing Sehun.
“Of course. They wanted to see you again. They knew how close you and Chanyeol were. We’re having a feast, with some visiting guilds. Taehyun’s gonna be there, please come?”
Baekhyun sighs and relents.
SM manages to get alcohol into Baekhyun - though he’d wanted to drink more than he was willing to admit. There was little talk of the missing mages, but a lot of friendly chatting and pep talks and reminders. The person Sehun had wanted Baekhyun to meet was Luhan, a new member of the guild. It seems like even Sehun was moving on, Baekhyun mused. He thinks of everything he should have done back when he still had Chanyeol. He thinks of what could have changed if he hadn’t left. He wonders what Chanyeol was like in the time after he had found the letter, and before he went missing. By the looks he’d received, Baekhyun gets the inkling of the thought that it wasn’t pretty.
“Are you Baekhyun?”
The words are slurred together - the man approaching is definitely drunker than Baekhyun is, stumbling and using tables for support. There’s anger in his eyes and Baekhyun’s defenses flare up, though the alcohol in him dulls his magic. Baekhyun doesn’t recognize him, but by the way he swings out a fist, the man must have some kind of grudge against him.
“Jongin! Calm the fuck down, will you?” Sehun shouts from a few tables over, standing up to come to Baekhyun’s defense. But Jongin doesn’t listen and keeps talking.
“It’s your fault, you know?” Jongin’s hand trembles as he points it at Baekhyun. “They’d still be here if it wasn’t for you. He loved you too much.”
“Chanyeol?” Baekhyun isn’t shaking from the alcohol.
Jongin nods excitedly, but that’s all he can do before he doubles over gasping.
Sehun approaches, scowling. “I told you to shut the fuck up, didn’t I?”
Baekhyun looks warily from Jongin to Sehun. “What happened?”
“I just took the air out of his lungs for a second. Not long enough to hurt him, but long enough to get him to stop talking.” Sehun relaxes slightly when Luhan comes over, but the fight doesn’t leave his eyes.
“Not that.” Baekhyun drops into the nearest seat. “With Chanyeol. What happened with Chanyeol?”
Sehun glances at Jongin, now being taken care of by Luhan, and sits down across from Baekhyun. “Do you really want to know?”
“Yes.” Baekhyun nods, even though he thinks he might know the answer already.
“I don’t think I should tell you.” Sehun frowns, and he ages before Baekhyun’s eyes as he continues. “After he found your note… he didn’t take it too well. Felt guilty about a lot of things. Everything. I don’t know. Things like that. He almost gave up. I told him that it wasn’t like you were dead, it wasn’t a suicide note. He went on a trip, with the rest of his team. Everyone was really worried, trying to stop him from going, who knew what his mental state was like? But it wasn’t supposed to be a difficult mission for an A Class, and Kyungsoo and Jongdae were going with him. You know what happened after.” He stops and gestures to Jongin. “He and Kyungsoo were dating. Really loved each other a lot. Jongin hyung used to be really sweet, but he hasn’t really been the same since. No one has, really. It’s not your fault, Baekhyun, so don’t worry about it.”
Baekhyun drops his head. “How can I not? Jongin is right, this really is my fault.” His voice comes out as a hoarse whisper in his revelation. “I think I should leave now. I don’t want to start anything else.” He stands, but Sehun stands with him.
“I told you, it’s not your fault, hyung.”
“Please don’t, Sehun.” When Baekhyun looks up to leave, he tries to avoid eye contact with anyone else, but there’s someone blocking his way.
“Baekhyun? You should listen to Sehun when he says it’s not your fault.”
Baekhyun feels everyone’s eyes on him and he almost breaks down.
“Chanyeol knew what he was doing. He’d known everything since he’d dreamed of being an A Class. Nobody blames you, so don’t blame yourself.” The man’s eyes are kind, and he shifts to allow Baekhyun to see past him. There are people staring, but Baekhyun looks at the ground to avoid them. “I won’t block you if you still want to leave, Baekhyun, but we’d like you to stay.”
Baekhyun doesn’t feel anything as a tear slips out sliding down his cheek, and then another, and another. He drops back down and wipes at his eyes, stifling his sobs with a hand over his mouth. He feels someone, probably Sehun, patting his back, used to comforting Baekhyun.
“It’s not your fault.” Sehun repeats his mantra until Baekhyun falls asleep out of exhaustion, the tears still drying on his cheeks.
Baekhyun wakes up tired. It seems like he’s always tired, recently, but today is worse with his head pounding when he tries to move. He’d drunk more than he’d intended last night, but he remembers crying - and, after a moment longer, remembers why exactly he had cried. He stays still and stares up at the ceiling, not knowing how to feel about everything.
How would things have changed if he had stayed? How would things have been different if he had confessed to Chanyeol when the latter wasn’t drunk at the time? He wonders how long Chanyeol had harbored his secret crush, if it had been longer than Baekhyun had hid his. He was certainly better at keeping it a secret. It was too late now to find out that Chanyeol had liked him back, that way. To be honest, Baekhyun regrets leaving. If he hadn’t left, none of this would have happened either. Finding his magic wasn’t worth losing Chanyeol. Nothing was worth losing Chanyeol. He can feel the tears starting to well up again, and blinks to get rid of them, which in turn makes his head hurt. Baekhyun longs to stop feeling anything at all.
It takes Sehun and Jongin bursting into his apartment to get Baekhyun to look at the time. “What are you doing here, Sehun?”
“Actually, I was the one who asked Sehun to bring me,” Jongin says, voice small. He doesn’t meet Baekhyun’s eyes when he talks, but offers a small smile. “I’m sorry for trying to hit you last night. I was drunk - but that’s no excuse. I’m sorry.”
Sober Jongin is more pleasant than Drunk Jongin, Baekhyun decides, and he knows that he’s too tired to hold a grudge. “Don’t worry about it. It wasn’t your fault.” When you say something enough times, you start to believe it. Baekhyun figures he’s talking to both himself and Jongin. “I know what it’s like to lose someone you love.”
“It wasn’t your fault either,” Jongin mumbles back.
“If I hear that phrase one more time, I might just hit the person who says it.” Baekhyun can feel the ghost of a smile flit over his lips. “Does your head not hurt? You drank more than me last night, and mine was killing me when I first woke up this morning.”
“I’m making hangover soup,” Sehun pokes his head through the door.
“Do you know how?” Jongin asks in disbelief.
“Nope.” With a grin, Sehun disappears back into the hallway. “But I can try!”
Jongin looks so alarmed Baekhyun almost laughs. “He’s joking. He’s taken care of me for so long, I’d be dead if he didn’t know how to cook.”
Now Jongin shifts uncomfortably at what was implied, and Baekhyun gives him a real smile this time. “I’m fine now.”
Jongin nods and, for the first time since entering the apartment, looks at Baekhyun. “How did you handle it? Oh- wait. You don’t have to answer. Pretend I didn’t ask. Should I go check up on Sehun?”
Baekhyun blinks. “No, it’s okay. To answer your question, I didn’t. I couldn’t handle it at first. I wouldn’t eat, wouldn’t talk, I stayed in my bed and gave up. Sehun was the only person I told when I left, and he found me like that. He started coming everyday to make sure that I was still alive. I couldn’t handle it, but Sehun made sure that even if I gave up, he didn’t. I owe everything to him, you know? To get over something like this, I guess you have to have someone you can reply on. That way you can let go and get over it.”
He focuses on Jongin again. “I don’t remember a lot of it. I didn’t want to remember, so I kind of pushed it away. But I think after a while, Sehun found some way to convince me that there was something I had to do. Something important, so I couldn’t give up yet. I don’t remember what it was. He took me to see my family. I’d been away for so long, but they welcomed me back anyway. I started to care again. And now I’m here.”
The room is silent, the two thinking their own thoughts. Sehun interrupts the silence with a call for dinner.
“Jongin.” Baekhyun stops him from leaving. “It helps a lot to just talk to someone. I’m always here if you need me, and the guild seems like one big family always willing to help. It gets better. You’re still alive, which means you still have a future. Don’t give up, okay?”
One of Baekhyun’s favorite places in the city is the top of the clock tower. You can see the whole city from there, and it’s quiet and peaceful- the bell hadn’t been rung since before Baekhyun left, even though the clock worked fine. He climbs up from the inside and sits with his back to one wall, overlooking the port and sea. The sun sets there, and it makes for a beautiful, once-in-a-lifetime sight.
Once the sun sets, Baekhyun makes a ball of light in one hand and carefully makes his way to the other side, the one that looks down on the city. There are lights on on every street, and he can see the map of the city in the lights, like a city of lights. He can see everything from up here.
There are people still out, at parties and bars, roaming the lighted streets filled with laughter and music. He finds his own house from the top of the tower, and looks into the window - that’s weird. Baekhyun frowns. None of the lights should be on, since he was out. He stands up, trying get a better look inside, and a figure catches his eye.
He must be dreaming.
That was a figure he would have recognized anywhere. Baekhyun’s heart skips a beat. The way down is dangerous if you didn’t know where you were going, but Baekhyun is in too much of a hurry to care. He sprints through the streets with only one thought on his mind.
There’s a figure leaving his apartment just as Baekhyun turns the corner.
The figure, Chanyeol, stops in surprise, turning around. Baekhyun lights up - literally - so he can see Chanyeol’s face, and waits for the recognition to light Chanyeol’s eyes.
“Baekhyun?” His voice hasn’t changed.
All of a sudden, Baekhyun feels like crying. “This isn’t a dream, right?”
Chanyeol hurries over to Baekhyun’s side. “Are you okay?”
Wiping at his eyes, Baekhyun replies, “I should be the one asking you that question. What happened?” They stop, silent on the street until Chanyeol offers up a smile.
“It’s kind of a long story. Can we go inside first?”
Baekhyun shakes his head. “Let’s go to the guild. They need to hear this, too.”
Soon, everyone is gathered in the guild hall, staring at the three mages with mixed feelings of shock, relief, disbelief, and love.
Baekhyun searches for Jongin, not letting go of Chanyeol’s shirt until he finds the younger talking quietly to Kyungsoo.
Joonmyun, the man who had told Baekhyun that really wasn’t his fault that night, is the first one to speak up. “Jongdae?”
Jongdae, who in the moments prior had told Baekhyun to call him just by his given name, grins brightly. “Sorry for disappearing for four years. It was four years, right? We’re not too clear on what happened, either, other than we were on our way to the mission and we got taken away somewhere. We kind of just woke up one day in the middle of nowhere. Well, not nowhere, it was an alternate reality where magic doesn’t exist, and there was a momentary rift between the worlds that sucked us in, which is how we got there. Actually, everyone has another version of them there. It’s really cool. We were in a company called SM, instead of this guild. All of you were there, too. We were singers. Who danced.”
Joonmyun raises an eyebrow at Jongdae. Immediately putting on a more serious face, Jongdae continues, “We didn’t know anything about the world, but we were working to find a way back. There was actually someone else who had crossed into that world years ago, but stayed. They helped us get back here. And here we are.” Jongdae nods and starts smiling again. “Though I’m not too clear about what happened here while we were gone.”
“A lot of stuff,” Joonmyun says. “But let’s talk while we celebrate your return.”
Baekhyun looks up at Chanyeol. “Is this true?”
“You’re the same in both worlds,” Chanyeol replies. “But do you want to tell me why you left? When did you come back? How did you do that back outside your house? Baekhyun?”
Baekhyun drags Chanyeol over to a table. “First, I have to tell you that me leaving wasn’t your fault.” He can feel himself smiling at those words, and for the first time in years, he’s truly happy.