"So you come back to Seoul and first thing you do is end up crying in fucking Park Chanyeol's arms, I thought you said you guys weren't--"
"We're not!" Baekhyun shook his head, "We're not getting back together, it's just... it's nice... having him back. It's nice to be back, Soo. I..." He sighed,
"I know, Baekhyun, god, you're such a pain in the ass... anyway, back to business, you said he wanted Captain America themed party?"
"Well, I talked him out of this and more into, um, just super hero themed, should be a bit easier but yeah."
"I guess we have some decoration shopping to do then, you're paying for lunch, by the way." The younger man added as they made their way into the shopping mall.
They were trying to decide on the amount of balloons they were getting when somebody called Baekhyun's name behind them.
Baekhyun turned around, surprised.
A tall young man was looking at him, frowning as if he wasn't sure he got the right person.
Hold on, that's...
"Yifan." He said, taking in his ex-boyfriend for the first time in almost twenty years.
His hair was black and short now, but other than that he hasn't changed much.
"What are you doing here? Vacation?" Kyungsoo was glaring at the taller man and Baekhyun elbowed him, only to get his elbow caught in Kyungsoo's death grip. He winced and rubbed it once the other let go.
"I'm sorry-- What's up? It's been...ages."
"Oh, not much, and no, Kyungsoo, I'm here for business actually. We're opening a new brunch in Seoul soon, our first in Korea."
"Skin care products was it? Really?"
"Yeah, how have you been, Baekhyun?" Yifan ignored Kyungsoo who just kept glaring at him as if he was about to commit a murder just right there and then.
Baekhyun knew why, hell he should be even more pissed than Kyungsoo is right now, except... it's been over a decade already, they were all young and stupid back then, maybe it's about time to let go...
It's not like he's ever going to see him again anyway, they were adults now.
"I'm doing great, actually."
"Baekhyun, we have to finish up here, it's like 3 and you need to get your son by 4:30, right?"
"Son?" Yifan looked at them, confused, "You have children? Got married?"
Baekhyun just shrugged, why would it be so surprising if he did?
Kyungsoo, next to him, just rolled his eyes.
"I have a son. And Kyungsoo is right, we should be leaving already, it was nice seeing you, Yifan."
"Wait, what if we-- I mean, I'll be in Seoul for awhile, with all this project, would it be okay...to keep in touch?"
Baekhyun smirked, who was chasing who now?
He thought back to the day Yifan told him he was being too clingy and called it off. On a Skype call.
He would let go of the stupid hard feelings but...
"If you still have my number you could try." He replied, ignoring the surprise on Yifan's face,
"I do." The older man recollected himself after a short moment.
"Well then." Baekhyun took two packs of balloons and followed Kyungsoo to pay.
It wasn't until they got into Kyungsoo's car that the younger man sighed, looking at Baekhyun.
"Are you. fucking. insane?!"
"What? Why?" Baekhyun frowned, confused, still trying to get his seat-belt in place,
"You're going to keep in touch with the one fucking person who had you depressed for god knows how long until we even managed to get you out of your house? Please don't tell me you still think--"
"I don't! I'm not...you're over-thinking, alright? It was years ago, we were all young and dumb back then, we're adults now...it's different. And it's just...keeping in touch."
Kyungsoo just glared at him,
"I know you, Byun Baekhyun. I know how that stupid brain of yours works. keep in touch my ass, he just wants in your pants again. Don't do this to yourself." His expression softened,
"You deserve better than that."
"I'm not doing anything, Soo. I won't. Now let's go or we'll be late to get Minjae."
Kyungsoo started the car, frowning again,
"Just don't come to me crying when it all ends up wrong, you can cry to Chanyeol instead."
They drove in silence, and the last sentence replaying in Baekhyun's head even as he went out of the car to pick up his son.
Kyungsoo was just overreacting. It's not like he just jumped back into Yifan's arms or anything. For all they know Yifan isn't even interested.
Bullshit. Said the voice at the back of his head, and Baekhyun sighed, of course he was.
Keep in touch my ass, he just wants in your pants again.
Perhaps Kyungsoo was right, but then again, so what? It's not like there were guys lining up to get into his pants anymore, not like he could afford to actually look around for those anyway, could he?
He shook those thoughts off as Minjae ran straight into his arms,
"Dad, you're late!" The boy whined,
"I'm sorry, sweetheart. But hey! I brought uncle Kyungsoo with me! Didn't you say you missed him?"
"Would uncle Kyungsoo make us dinner again?" Minjae's face brightened,
"Maybe if you ask him nicely he will," Baekhyun chuckled as they made their way back to Kyungsoo's car.
"Uncle Kyungsoo! Uncle Kyungsoo!" Minjae bounced up and down as they reached Kyungsoo's car.
"Hey there!" Kyungsoo waved at the boy,
"Would you make us dinner uncle Kyungsoo? I don't want daddy to burn the kitchen again..."
Kyungsoo looked from Minjae to Baekhyun, who was rubbing his neck in embarrassment, before they all burst into laughter,
"Come on you two, we still need to get some things done in there."
"Uncle Kyungsoo is the best!" Minjae grinned as he hopped onto the backseat and let Baekhyun fasten the seatbelt around him.
"You did...WHAT?!" Kyungsoo was gaping at him, eyes even wider than usual as Baekhyun winced,
"I... I didn't mean to it just... it just came out."
"Why would you fucking invite that...guy to your son's birthday party?"
"I don't know, alright? He just asked me if I want to hang out and I said I can't because Minjae's party is in a few hours and... and he asked if he could come too, so...I just..."
Kyungsoo rolled his eyes,
"You're unbelievable. I hope you know what you're doing. Speaking of which... is Chanyeol coming?"
"Of course he is, I don't want my own son to rip my head off, I mean, I'd invite him anyway but Minjae specifically asked me to make sure uncle Chanyeol is coming. You definitely have competition for his favorite uncle." He grinned, and Kyungsoo just rolled his eyes again, but Baekhyun could see a hint of a smile playing on his lips.
"He actually volunteered to help and pick up Minjae today, so we have enough time to have everything ready by then." Baekhyun added,
"That's going to be interesting though..."
"Oh, nothing. Are you just going to stand there? Those balloons are not getting on that wall on their own."
Baekhyun chuckled, reaching for the balloons,
"So, how did your secret date go?" He asked, smirking.
Kyungsoo rolled his eyes,
"It's not secret if you know about it, you dumbass. And it was okay."
"Okay? Just okay? No getting laid? No amazing romantic--"
"Shut up before I leave you to deal with all those children alone, I'm going to check on the food." And with that, the younger man went into the kitchen, leaving Baekhyun to decorate the living room.
The hour he set for everyone was 3:30pm, Minjae and Chanyeol were supposed to get there around 3 and it was 2:45 when the intercom rang.
"Someone's early." Kyungsoo looked up from the table where he was setting a huge bowl of nachos and dip.
"Chanyeol must have forgotten the code, I'll get it." Baekhyun yawned, walking to the door to buzz them into the building.
Except a couple of minutes later, it wasn't Chanyeol or Minjae he opened the door to.
"Yifan." He blinked,
"Baekhyun." The taller man entered his apartment,
"I'm sorry I'm that early, I figured you might need some help."
Baekhyun blinked dumbly, surprised. Was that really Yifan right there?
"He's getting some help alright." Kyungsoo muttered, loud enough for the both of them to hear, not moving his eyes away from the cutting board.
"Don't take him too seriously," Baekhyun smiled sheepishly,
Yifan ended up not being very helpful,
"As expected..." Baekhyun heard Kyungsoo muttering under his breath as Kris accidentally flipped over a bunch of plastic plates all over the floor while trying to set them on the table.
But he just chuckled and kneeled to help the older man collect them all.
"Daddy! Daddy!!! We're home!!!" Minjae bounced into the apartment, making Baekhyun turn around and get smashed into a hug by the now 5 year old.
"Well, there's our birthday boy!" Baekhyun laughed as he released the boy from the embrace and watched him grin and bounce off to greet Kyungsoo when Chanyeol came into view.
Baekhyun looked up at his best friend, he was wearing dark jeans and a blue buttoned shirt, his hair sticking out everywhere in a huge mess from the wind outside and yet, he looked quite...stunning.
Wait, what? He's your fucking best friend Baekhyun, don't go there.
He mentally shook off the thought, getting up to greet the younger man properly.
"Thanks again for getting him, I don't think we would have made it without you." He smiled and Chanyeol grinned,
"Anything for you, princess."
It's been so many years since you called me that.
"I told you to stop doing that, you idiot. I'm taking it all back, you suck."
"Owww but you love me!" Chanyeol teased, playfully ruffling the elder's hair.
"Shut up, you idiot."
"Uhhh...Baekhyun? Where do you want me to put those?" Yifan finished collecting the plates and caught their attention.
"Just...spread them around the table?"
"Who's that?" Chanyeol whispered, following Baekhyun to the hallway and Baekhyun figured he wouldn't remember what Yifan looks like, debating for a moment whether he should just lie but...
Chanyeol's eyes widened in shock, not that Baekhyun expected anything else, "THAT Yifan? The one I swore I'd castrate the second I see him if Kyungsoo doesn't beat me up to it?"
"Come on, Yeol, we're all adults now. No need for violence."
Chanyeol looked at him scandalized,
"You mean Kyungsoo didn't punch him in the face the second he saw him? And what the fuck is he even doing here?"
"I invited him. For once, we could all just act like fucking grown-ups and just hang out all together, okay? Now, I'm going to help Minjae change and all. Make yourself useful before Kyungsoo throws a fit."
Chanyeol sighed as he entered the kitchen,
"I take it you have met Yifan." Kyungsoo said the second he saw him.
"That I have. What the fuck, Kyungsoo?"
"Don't ask me, ask your princess."
"I thought... I thought he hated that guy... I thought..." He was at loss for words, frustrated, angry, jealous?
"I'm just as clueless as you are, but Baek seems to... well, I don't know. All I know is that I don't want him to get hurt again, and I really don't like that jerk being around again. The only reason I haven't cut his balls off yet, is because Baek asked me not to. Then again, your turn to figure this out." Kyungsoo looked up at him knowingly and Chanyeol gulped.
"Don't think I don't know, Park. Baek might be dense as fuck, but I'm not. Don't mess this up." And with that Kyungsoo lifted the tray of food he was preparing and exited the kitchen, leaving Chanyeol alone, dumbfounded. Kyungsoo knew...but how..? He didn't even tell Junmyeon because he knew Jongdae would talk but Kyungsoo didn't even know them to begin with except...
He nearly hit his head against the wall, making a mental note to never ever talk about his feelings again with anyone on earth. Ever. Preferably... maybe... yeah.
By the time Chanyeol made it back to the living room, there were already some children around Yifan who was awkwardly trying to be friendly with them.
"Uncle Chanyeol! Look!" It was Minjae, pulling at the hem of his shirt, making Chanyeol look down,
"Look! Daddy got me a new Captain America shirt!" The boy grinned, proudly pointing at the T-shirt he was wearing.
Chanyeol broke into a smile, "Woah Minjae has the coolest shirt ever! I wish I was that cool!" He whined playfully.
The boy scrunched up his nose in a way that resembled Baekhyun so much that Chanyeol couldn't help but laugh before he kneeled next to the boy and tickled him playfully, making the boy giggle loudly as he squirmed.
"Should we give the birthday boy a piggyback ride to his friends?" Chanyeol suggested and Minjae nodded, excited and the man let him climb up his back, carrying him towards the table.
Baekhyun chuckled to himself at the sight of the children fighting over who would get a ride on Chanyeol's back. He wasn't even slightly surprised to see him in the center of the kids' attention. You'd make a great father one day...
You really would...
His gaze shifted from Chanyeol to Yifan who was standing on the side, towering above everyone yet helpless and alone. Baekhyun sighed.
"I hope you're not too bored, I mean, after all, it is a party for a 5 year old. Never been your kinda thing has it?" He saw Yifan flinch in surprise as he spoke up next to him.
"Yeah...I haven't had...too much interaction with kids? I guess?"
"Alright everyone, why don't we all get to the table?" He called to the kids as Kyungsoo came back from the kitchen with the ready homemade pizza, that had the sauce and cheese designed into the form of Captain America's shield, courtesy of Kyungsoo's kitchen skills.
"Woah!" Chanyeol exclaimed as he noticed the food-art.
"Wouldn't Soo make the best housewife ever?" Baekhyun grinned, earning a smack on the shoulder from the said man,
"What??? I was trying to compliment your skills!"
"You're lucky it's your son's birthday. Next time you're on your own Byun Baekhyun."
"Uncle Chanyeol! Uncle Chanyeol!" Minjae pulled Chanyeol's shirt when everyone went back to playing around.
"What is it?" Chanyeol crouched to the boy's eye-level.
"I wanted my best friend to meet you!" The boy beamed, gesturing to a boy who was slightly chubbier and taller than himself, next to him.
"Oh, hello there! What's your name?"
"My name is Kim Wonshik..." The boy bowed, and Chanyeol gave Minjae a surprised look, the boy just grinned and Chanyeol quickly shifted his gaze back to the other boy, giving him a bright smile,
"Nice to meet you, if you're Minjae's friend I hope we can be friends too!" Chanyeol winked, and the boys giggled.
It wasn't until few hours later, after all children left and Minjae was already napping in his room, Chanyeol was helping with the cleaning when he noticed how Baekhyun stood on the tips of his toes to kiss Yifan's cheek as he bid him goodbye and thanked him for coming, he didn't quite hear what they said, but judging from Yifan's smirk, he was flirting.
His blood boiled, after all these years, after all that time...
Why are you so mad Chanyeol?
He's your best friend.
That's right. He's your best friend and you need to protect him, as a friend.
"Can I at least ask you out sometime?" Yifan asked as Baekhyun bid him goodbye,
"Asking me out?"
Yifan looked at him dumbly for a moment before giving him a nod and Baekhyun laughed,
"It'd have to be a morning date you know,"
The older man smirked, "I'm going to take that as a yes. I'll text you."
Baekhyun sighed as he closed the door behind him. It wasn't that bad, was it?
He then noticed Chanyeol was glaring at the door and mentally face palmed at the furious expression on the other's face, making his way towards the man,
"What's gotten your panties in a twist?"
"I... It's nothing." Chanyeol said, flustered, making Baekhyun laugh.
"Really?" He looked up at the taller man, unconvinced
"Alright guys, I just got a call from work, need to be on scene for something, interview some poor souls off the street I'm guessing. Their stupid reporter is still on sick-leave or something, urgh..." Kyungsoo grabbed his jacket and cellphone,
"I'll see you tomorrow, Baek. Bye Chanyeol." He added before rushing out.
Kyungsoo was filling in for that reporter for the past month or so, therefore he kept getting calls to go on scene at very odd times of the day. It was probably a miracle he even made it so far without being called in.
Baekhyun made a mental note to thank him again later.
"Come on, I'll help you clean up this mess," Chanyeol offered, picking up paper cups and plates off the ground.
Baekhyun couldn't help but smile, how did he even survive without them all those years?
He looked at the other man on his knees, collecting trash from all over the place, and wondered, what if he was making the wrong choice? Again?
Park Chanyeol has been his worst first date ever, but he's also been his best.
His best partner, his best friend. Best friend.
He shook his head, he couldn't. He wouldn't.
"Look, I like you. A lot. But... as a friend. I think... I think that's what we should be." Baekhyun said that day.
It's been a few months and things were starting to get a bit more serious, a bit more than just dating and he...
He couldn't do this. He just couldn't. He didn't want to lose Chanyeol, he really did like him a lot, he didn't want to break up on bad terms, hell he didn't know what he wanted except...
He just couldn't do this. Not yet.
"Baek... I..." Chanyeol looked up at him, eyes confused, worried.
"Have I done anything wrong...? I'm sorry if I--" Hurt?
"No! I... I mean it when I say I like you. I want us to be friends, I don't want to ruin this and screw everything over... can we... can we do this? Please?"
He expected Chanyeol to get mad, be furious, maybe break something, slap him perhaps? Or just leave him there and then.
He didn't expect Chanyeol's arms to wrap around him, bringing him closer to the other's chest, holding him tight in place.
"If that's what you want...we can. Just let me hold you like this, one last time?"
Baekhyun leaned in, letting himself get lost in Chanyeol's warmth, his scent, his everything.
"Thanks..." He murmured against Chanyeol's sweater, bringing his arms around the taller man, wondering if he was making the right choice.
And maybe he did, if he hasn't said that back then, who knows how would they end up?
Over the years he's told himself that over and over again - He wouldn't trade the friendship they have developed for anything in the world.
"Daddy! Daddy!" Minjae came running to him, breaking his trail of thoughts, bringing him back to the present.
"Hmm?" He hummed, smiling at the boy,
"Look what uncle Chanyeol got me!" He was waving at him with an Iron Man figure.
Baekhyun laughed, "Wow! Is that an Iron Man to play together with Cap?! That's so cool!!! Did you thank him properly?"
"Right?!" Minjae turned to Chanyeol who came back from the kitchen,
"Thank you uncle Chanyeol!!!" He bowed properly before looking back up and hugging the man, more like, his legs, until Chanyeol crouched over to give the boy a proper hug,
"Happy Birthday buddy, I'm glad you like it." He smiled, and Baekhyun's heart swelled.
He was happy.
For once, he was truly happy.
Because he's your best friend. And that's your son. They're both precious and they're getting along so well that it's kind of amazing. It's natural to be happy.
Once Minjae was off back in his room, playing, Baekhyun collapsed on the couch while Chanyeol brought them tea from the kitchen. When did they get so old? He mentally laughed at himself as he made himself comfortable next to Baekhyun, carefully placing their cups on the coffee table.
"So... are you guys...getting back together now?" He asked softly, taking a sip from his tea.
Baekhyun frowned, confused for a moment,
"You mean...Yifan?" Chanyeol gave him a nod.
"I... I don't know." He sighed, truthfully. He really didn't.
"Baek... I... " Chanyeol put his cup back on the table, then crouched in front of Baekhyun,
"I really, truly, just want you to be happy, okay?" He said, looking up at the older man's confused eyes,
"So just... whatever you do... whatever happens... I'm here, okay? I wasn't here for you for so long...and I know that, but I don't want you to get hurt. If he does as much as trying to pull something I swear I won't play nice." He said, so serious that Baekhyun couldn't help but let out a soft chuckle.
"You can't even hurt a fly, let alone do something to Yifan. But it's okay Yeol, we're not dumb teenagers anymore, I can defend myself if I need to but... thanks." He smiled,
"You're such a dork, Chanyeol." He added, laughing softly as he sipped his tea.
"Urgh. why. why why why is he so fucking stupid?!" Kyungsoo cried out in frustration, messaging his temples.
"What's wrong?" Jongin sat down on the couch next to him,
"Stupid Byun Baekhyun happened. Who does that? He fucking got back with his stupid ex-boyfriend, and I told him. I fucking told him I won't be picking up the pieces this time I--Urgh."
Jongin chuckled, bringing his hands up to the elder's shoulders, gently messaging them.
"He's an adult just like you Soo, he even has a son that he took care of quite well from what I hear, he sure can take care of himself too, right?"
"But that's the whole point, he's so stupid and he can't. And Chanyeol that idiot. Six years and he still hasn't mastered the courage to fucking just confess already? Why am I even friends with these people?" He sighed,
Jongin smiled, leaning closer to his boyfriend, pressing gentle kisses along his neck and up his jaw until he finally reached the elder's lips, successfully distracting him.
"Hey, Soo..." He asked awhile later,
"Speaking of that... Do you think...maybe it's about time..?"
"Do you want to?" Kyungsoo turned in the younger man's embrace to face him, "Hell might break lose if the media actually catches on this time..."
"I know. I just... it feels wrong, you told Baekhyun and it turned out alright, didn't it?"
"It will be alright with the guys too, Kyungsoo..."
"Hey... it's me, I can't make it tonight, but do you think you could find a babysitter for this weekend? We could do something?"
Baekhyun sighed, this wasn't the first time Yifan canceled on him, he understood, his company was doing well, it got busier.
It's not even that he minded, he has been feeling horrible in the past few days, he has been filling in for another makeup artist from his department who quit until they find a replacement so he found himself being late to pick up Minjae more than once.
"I...I'll think about it but... I was going to spend the weekend with Minjae, we haven't done anything together in awhile...but you could join? If you'd like?" He offered,
"It'd be so much nicer if we could just-"
He was tired.
"But we can't."
"I have to go now! Talk to you later babe!"
Baekhyun kind of hated that nickname, it just didn't sound right... except, he really wanted to make this work, for once. So he ignored it and let it be.
It's been almost two months since the day Baekhyun invited Yifan to Minjae's birthday party.
It's been almost two months since they started dating.
And it's been almost a month that he's been trying to keep himself together, hold it in, for once try making it work.
When they did end up spending time together without his son being around, it always ended with sex. Which wasn't supposed to be a bad thing, except it felt like it.
Getting laid was something he hasn't done in about 6 years, except for maybe that one time when Minjae was almost 4, he slept over at Baekhyun's parents' house and Baekhyun was all too stressed, so stressed that his mother nearly pushed him out of the door.
So went out for the first time. It didn't actually get quite to the actual sex part, he kind of fooled around a bit, he didn't even remember the guy's face the next morning.
With Yifan, it didn't take long to get there, he kept to himself for the first two dates, but one thing led to another and they ended up in his bed not even two weeks later.
And now that they have gotten busier, he was demanding more and more of it, and if it meant Baekhyun had to give up time with his son for that, so be it. He wondered if Yifan genuinely just does not understand...
Maybe they're not both mature enough... Maybe it's just...
"Daddy?" His son's voice brought him back to reality,
"Can uncle Chanyeol come over for the weekend? He promised he would bring his guitar and play next time he's here! Isn't that cool?!" Minjae's eyes were wide and pleading,
Baekhyun sighed, chuckling to himself, Chanyeol would...
"I don't know, uncle Chanyeol might have plans for his weekend...but hey, uncle Yifan might come over, how about that?" He offered, but even as he said those words, he hardly believed them himself. Would Yifan really even consider an activity that did not include them ending up naked in bed anymore?
I have a child now, Yifan. You have to understand that, you can't date me if you don't.
- I understand, you have a son and he comes with you. It's a package deal, and it's not a bad thing.
Those words were said before the first time they slept together, maybe he really was just trying to get into Baekhyun's pants...
Why don't you break up with him already? He could hear Kyungsoo's voice in his head,
But I can't, if I do... who will ever have me like this?
"But I don't want uncle Yifan! He's no fun!"
Baekhyun sighed, that was true too, Yifan wasn't exactly the best when it came to entertain children.
Minjae didn't complain about adults being boring often, he got along with Kyungsoo and sometimes he even favored Chanyeol over his friends who were his age.
Yifan just didn't work.
"We'll see how it goes, okay?" He smiled, but as the boy danced his way back to his room, Baekhyun felt his chest tightening, is it really worth it like this?
Then again... who else will pay attention to you like this?
His head was pounding, maybe he could put on some cartoons and sneak in a short nap...
Maybe after he talks to Chanyeol he will...
"I'm sorry I have to ask out of the blue, but Minjae wouldn't stop whining how some idiot promised to play guitar for him, do you have any plans for the weekend?"
Chanyeol hummed thoughtfully, smiling
"Well, I do have that best friend who has been neglecting me so much that I was thinking to maybe cook something good for his son and him and see he can remember I still exist? Might be a bit busy!" He replied playfully, successfully making Baekhyun laugh, even though his laughter was weaker than usual, or was Chanyeol just imagining things?
"What a coincidence, I have that one friend whom I haven't seen in awhile and I was wondering if he could come over so I could remember what his ugly face looks like."
"Oh come on, you love this face! Don't deny it! You want to see it and you think I'm handsome."
"That you are, my friend. That you are. So is it really okay? Would you come over?" Baekhyun asked again,
"Sure, why not? Do you want me to stay with him while you're out with your boyfriend again or am I actually going to see you this time too?" He was joking, mostly, but he really did want to see Baekhyun. He missed him. Heartaches aside.
"I'll be home. Chanyeol I..."
"I didn't really mean it, Baek. Chill, it's all good. I'll come over Friday afternoon." He added, regretting that remark from the moment he had made it. Baekhyun didn't owe him any explanations for anything. He had a boyfriend, he had a son. There were priorities.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah...Just tired..." Baekhyun nearly whispered it,
"I'm fine. See you on Friday?"
"I'll be there. Try resting a bit?"
But even as he placed his phone back on his desk and looked back at the computer screen, Chanyeol couldn't shake off the feeling that something was off.
"What are you frowning at, hyung?" Jongin's voice startled him,
"I thought I told you guys to knock..." Chanyeol sighed, shifting his gaze to the documents scattered all over his desk.
"Well I did, you were too busy sulking so you didn't hear me and I really, really need help. Like. Now. And Junmyeon hyung is on some emergency meeting or whatever," The younger man seemed stressed as he sat in the chair in front of Chanyeol, who looked at him, confused,
"Well... the pastry shop ad we have been working on? Le Doux Rêve? Jongdae just called in to say they denied every single one of our ideas, we're back to square one, he's on his way but it's supposed to air in less than two fucking weeks, what are we supposed to do?! They also said they don't want a female model, which I have no idea what the fuck is their problem, urgh, but... well, whatever. What do I do hyung?!
"So they want a man to promote for them, what else?" Chanyeol set everything else aside, looking for the folder of that certain project on his computer as Jongin told him everything he got from Jongdae's call.
So here they were, three hours later, Jongdae, Jongin and Chanyeol were sitting around his desk, with a new pile of sketches and scripts and what not, while Junmyeon was on the phone with some agencies they had connections with, trying to get them a male model or actor or whoever he could find.
"Alright, I'm out of options." He sighed, collapsing onto the nearest chair when he came back.
"Everybody's booked, Tiffany was going to do this for us, she and her agency already agreed and everything, hell we were going to sign the contract tomorrow if they agreed. Why wouldn't they agree? Urgh." Junmyeon buried his face in his hands, and Jongdae moved his chair closer to the older man, rubbing his back soothingly,
"Don't worry...we'll find someone. Right? Don't you guys have any celebrity friends? Come on Chanyeol, your boyfriend works on fucking KBS he must have at least one friend who can do this for you--"
"He's not my boyfriend and he just came back after a very long time not long ago and--"
"I...I think I might have someone." Jongin murmured softly, so quietly that they didn't realize he spoke for a second, until he got up, reaching for his cellphone,
"I'm going to make a call." He rushed out, leaving the others exchanging confused looks.
Chanyeol wondered if he was actually calling Kyungsoo, that really was Kyungsoo that he saw from the bus that day, right?
He decided back then to not ask unless any of them actually brings it up, mostly because it wasn't really of his business but also because, what if his eyes were just playing tricks on him and he was wrong? Or maybe they just met there but Kyungsoo was not really the boyfriend?
"Yeah?" He looked back at Jongdae dumbly,
"Your phone is ringing."
He frowned, reaching to fish the device from his phone, that was indeed ringing.
Chanyeol blinked at the screen, didn't they just talk a few hours ago? Baekhyun sounded horrible back then, he said he was just tired and going to try resting...
"Uncle Chanyeol!" Minjae?
The boy sounded scared? hystatic?
"What happened buddy?"
"Uncle Chanyeol can you come here? Please come here! Daddy-- I think he's sick, please come here, I'm scared..." He sobbed from the other side of the line, Chanyeol's heart dropped.
"I'm coming. Can you wait for uncle, Minjae-ah?"
"Please be fast..." Minjae whispered weakly,
Baekhyun's apartment building was only a street away, if he ran he could make it in less than five minutes,
"Hyung," He looked at Junmyeon, who just shook his head,
"Do what you need. We'll manage it here, it's a commercial not the end of the world. Go."
And Jongdae nearly pushed him out of the door when he started apologizing, so he ran.
"Is something up? Is Chanyeol hyung okay?" Jongin asked, confused and worried as he came back to the room.
"Not sure... we'll find out later I guess, something to do with Baekhyun? I think his son just called. Did you get us anyone?" Junmyeon looked at him hopefully,
"Yeah... I... well, I was hoping you'd all be here but. Well, we have a model for that but... and you guys have to swear you won't be embarrassing jerks and make him break up with me."
"You're finally telling us about your secret lover and it's a guy and he's a model?!" Jongdae jumped up, almost knocking Junmyeon off his chair next to him.
Jongin took a deep breath. They were going to do this anyway, so while not the ideal time... he may as well...
"Do Kyungsoo? THE Do Kyungsoo? Dating you?! How on earth did you guys even..?"
"Why do you look so scandalized? It's not like...we don't run into famous people in our line of work... he's even friends with Chanyeol hyung's best friend, boyfriend, whatever he is. But that's off topic, yes okay? It's Kyungsoo, and he said he's available to do this, we just need to get in touch with his manager to make it official and all, but...yeah. Don't make me regret this, please?" The last few words came out more pleading and desperate than he had meant them to be.
He definitely did not expect to be smashed in a group bear hug a few seconds later.
"Kim Jongin. You're my hero." Said Junmyeon, which earned him a smack from Jongdae, who in his turn winked at the youngest,
"So... some hot insight?"
"Minjae-ah? It's me, it's Chanyeol, let me in?" Chanyeol called after knocking, breathless from running, he could hear the boy shuffling as he unlocked the door.
He came in, the boy latching himself onto his legs, hugging them tight,
"Please make him wake up..." Minjae cried, and Chanyeol crouched down, gently unwrapping the boys arms from his legs, only to raise him up in his arms,
"Is he in his bedroom?"
Minjae shook his head, pointing at the sofa that was wih its' back to them,
"There were cartoons, and daddy fell asleep, but then he was crying and...and I tried to wake him up but...and I just...called uncle and..." The boy sniffed as Chanyeol made his way around the living room, finally putting the boy back to the floor and crouching next to Baekhyun.
There were indeed trails of drying tears on his cheeks, mixing up with drops of sweat.
Chanyeol placed the back of his hand to Baekhyun's forehead, he didn't even need to compare with his own to know the other man was burning in fever.
Why didn't you say you were sick?
The ambulance took about 15 minutes to arrive, 15 minutes that felt like 15 hours.
He placed a dump towel on the older man's forehead after gently cleansing the mess of tears and sweat.
He tried calling Kyungsoo to see if he was busy, but there was no reply.
He considered calling Jongin or even Jongdae but decided against it. They had enough problems without him.
He didn't want Minjae to have to stay at the hospital...
Yifan? He frowned at the thought, but then again...wasn't he Baekhyun's boyfriend?
He took Baekhyun's phone and looked up Yifan's name, dialing it.
"What the fuck Baekhyun? I told you I'm busy!" Came the man's annoyed reply as soon as he picked up, and Chanyeol boiled from inside, but with a glance at the boy clinging to him and the still unconcious Baekhyun, he sighed,
"Yifan? It's Park Chanyeol, we have met before at Minjae's birthday party. Baek collapsed and--"
"I said I'm busy, Park."
And the calll went off, leaving Chanyeol taking deep breathes to calm himself down.
The ambulance sirene echoed from outside, and his phone was ringing.
He held Minjae closer as he took the call, soothingly stroking the boy's back in hope to be any kind of comfort.
He held him up in his arms as he went to unlock the door for the medics to come in, and kept him from looking, going out to the hallway after filling them in on whatever details he had on his best friend's condition.
"Is...is daddy going to be okay?" Minjae sobbed, voice weak and shaking,
"Yeah... your daddy is strong, he will be okay... we just need to let these guys do their job, okay?" and the boy nodded.
Please be okay...
In the hospital, Chanyeol has been told to wait outside with the child, and he didn't argue for once, because he had to take care of the boy first. For Baekhyun.
He wouldn't do any good inside anyway.
After what felt like hours, but was probably not even more than a hour, a nurse came up to them, asking if they were related to Byun Baekhyun.
"He's going to be alright, it's just a bad cold that we're guestting got mixed with stress and his system couldn't keep it up. They are still running some check ups but he will be transferred to another room soon, you'll be able to see him in a few minutes, somebody will let you know." She added,
Chanyeol bowed, feeling Minjae's tightening his hold on his hand, and the nurse bowed her head a little before leaving.
"Uncle Chanyeol?" Minjae looked up at the man,
"What is it?" Chanyeol smiled softly, crouching down to him
"Remember you said everybody has their bullies? Even adults?"
"And that you would protect me if anything bad ever happened?"
He nodded again, concerned but he let the boy continue,
"What if... what if I gave it up so uncle Chanyeol can protect daddy?"
It a few moments of silence for the words to sink in.
He knew Baekhyun wasn't fine, he knew he has been tired, he knew he has been stressed, and he found out just how much of an issue that relationship with Yifan actually was.
If Minjae noticed... it was that bad, wasn't it?
Why do you have to always keep it to yourself, Baek?
"Did...anyone hurt daddy?" He asked carefully,
"Just promise you will protect him, please?" The boy pleaded, and Chanyeol's expression softened,
"Of course I will. You don't need to give up anything, okay? There's enough uncle Chanyeol for both of you. I came here, didn't I?"
Minjae seemed to relax upon hearing that.
"Thank you." He murmured, closing his eyes,
The boy opened his eyes again and shook his head,
"It's okay, come here," He collected the boy in his arms again,
"You can sleep, uncle will wake you up when it's time, okay?"
He felt the boy nodding against his shoulder and smiled in relief.
A few minutes later, another nurse came to tell him he could go up to the room they were keeping Baekhyun in, just for the night, until he wakes up, to see everything is alright.
Chanyeol slowly made his way to the elevator, trying to move as gently as he could, to keep from waking the sleeping boy in his arms.
When Baekhyun woke up his head was still throbbing, but something felt off.
It smelled like....disinfectants?
He opened his eyes only to find that he's surrounded by darkness, and this was definitely not his living room.
He almost jumped off bed, but everything was spinning around him, so he leaned back and tried to look around as he got used to the darkness.
"You're awake..." A soft, familiar whisper took him by surprised,
"You gave us quite a scare there, how are you feeling?"
"I'm...head, hurts... Minjae?" Was all Baekhyun managed to say, his head was a mess.
"He's asleep, just right here," Chanyeol swapped the curtain that was around Baekhyun's bed away and revealed another bed, on which Minjae was soundly asleep, hugging a pillow.
Baekhyun sighed in relief.
"He's a smart kid. He called me the moment he noticed something was wrong. Good thing he did." Chanyeol was smiling but he looked tired. Horribly tired.
Wait. What time was it?
"Relax Baek, it's fine. He did the right thing. You should have said something if you weren't feeling well... I'd come over, I'd keep an eye over Minjae if you need to rest, you're back here and I might not be as good as your parents at this but... you can lean on me when you need to... okay?"
Baekhyun smiled, closing his eyes.
"Okay..." He whispered back, he was still tired, so tired...
His eyes were closed, so maybe he imagined it, but he thought he felt Chanyeol's hand on his own.
"Sleep well princess."
And he did, and it was fine. Just like before...
Baekhyun was discharged the next morning, after a few more checkups, prescription for vitamins and a warning from the doctor to not overdo it again.
"Daddy, daddy! Uncle Chanyeol said he will stay with us today and make food!" Minjae bounced up and down as he and Chanyeol came back to the room Baekhyun was staying at once the doctor left.
"Oh really?" He grinned at the boy who happily nodded.
"You really don't have to--" Baekhyun started quietly on their way out, but Chanyeol shook his head in disbelieve,
"I don't have to. I want to, besides, this little fellow needs to eat and his big strong father is sick, we don't want germs all over his food, right?"
"Ewww germs!!!" Whined Minjae from his place between them, he insisting on holding both Baekhyun's and Chanyeol's hands.
Chanyeol caught them a cab and paid for it as they got off, despite Baekhyun's protests that only stopped when Chanyeol reminded him that he doesn't even have his wallet on.
"I'll pay you back later,"
"Just leave it alone, let's go-- no, doctor said no physical stress!" Chanyeol whispered when Baekhyun made an attempt to lift his sleeping son up from the seat between them,
"Seriously, get out Baek, I'll take him." He then carefully unbuckled the boy's seatbelt and lifted him up in his arms, carefully getting out of the taxi.
Baekhyun looked at Chanyeol as he slowly placed Minjae on his bed, a soft smile playing on his face as he did, that slightest hint of a smile that has always been just enough to make Baekhyun's heart skip a beat.
He sighed, his throat was dry and his head was starting to ache again.
"Are you feeling okay? Need me to get anything?"
"What?" Chanyeol looked genuinely confused,
"I...I'm fine, you don't have to do this. You stayed with me, with us, for long enough, you must be exhausted and... just, I'll call Yifan soon and-"
Chanyeol's expression darkened,
"No you won't, I heard him last night, Baek he doesn't even give a shit, does he? Why... I know you're not happy...so why?" He pleaded,
Baekhyun looked up as the taller man came closer,
"He doesn’t deserve you..." So close...
"He really, really doesn't."
There was something sad in Chanyeol's eyes, as if there was something else he wanted to add, as if...
Before he could realize what he was doing, Baekhyun tiptoed, lips conecting for a brief moment, just one brief moment of comfort, of honesty, just once...
He backed off, shocked with himself, only daring to meet Chanyeol's wide eyes for a second before looking down.
Baekhyun was shaking. What a coward.
'Chanyeol, he doesn't do the whole dating thing. Not really, not since you left. '
You can be the perfect boyfriend when you want, so why?
Chanyeol's hand was on his cheek, and he was closer than Baekhyun remembered him being,
"Baek, look at me."
Baekhyun shook his head,
"I need to rest. And so do you. Minjae and I will be okay, we still have some food left from yesterday, it's fine. Just...just go home now, please?" Stay.
Just stay with me and let me forget how much of an idiot I've been.
Just stay and let me remember what it's like to be wanted for real...
Chanyeol took a deep breath, as if he was still thinking, unsure of how to react,
"If that's what you want... but are you...are you sure you're okay?"
"Yeah... Thanks for...for everything Yeol..." Don't go...
"I'm sorry." He murmured when Chanyeol finally left.
Baekhyun kissed him.
Just for a second, and almost-not-there, but he kissed him.
Even as Chanyeol collapsed on his own bed, about a whole hour later, he couldn't quite wrap his mind around this.
Baekhyun kissed him, and then told him to go away...
Maybe he should have stayed...
You give up too easily Park Chanyeol, that's why he left you in first place...
He buried his face in his pillow.
He will let Baekhyun rest for today, but tomorrow, he will come over after work and make things right.
Or at least try to.
Or at least...
Tomorrow he will try harder.
"So, is everything alright? Is your princess all nice and healthy?" Was the first thing Jongdae asked him when Chanyeol walked into the small conference room.
It was too early for other people to arrive yet, but he had to get an update on everything from yesterday and Jongdae was setting up everything for the meeting with the clients, represents of a new music equipment brand. Chanyeol has been working on their project for the past month, but Jongdae took over since Junmyeon let Chanyeol miss the day before, which he was thankful for to the both of them.
"I told you to stop, and yes he's fine... well, kind of." he sighed, he really, really didn't want to talk about it, not now.
"Anyway, Junmyeon hyung said you got Kyungsoo to do this for you? What the rest? Script?"
"Took care of it, Jongin and I presented it yesterday and got a go, just let's hope they won't back off again." Jongdae added as he plugged his laptop in to connect it with the projector.
"Did you know," Jongdae smirked as he finally looked up back at Chanyeol,
"That our Jonginnie is dating Do fucking Kyungsoo though?"
Chanyeol raised an eyebrow, he was more surprised that Jongin has finally caved in than anything but Jongdae didn't have to know that or he will never hear the end of it for not saying anything earlier.
"That's... interesting. But I guess... maybe they kind of fit each other."
"Oh, you know him, I keep forgetting that." Jongdae blinked,
"How comes you didn't know then?!"
Chanyeol frowned, "Because...uh... we don't talk much and it never came up? I don't know, he's Baek's friend, I just...happen to know him? We're not very close..." And yet he knows more about me than I'd like to admit. He added in his head, recalling the conversation they had back at Minjae's birthday party.
"Don't think I don't know, Park. Baek might be dense as fuck, but I'm not. Don't mess this up."
"Chanyeol, you're spacing out, I said, it's ready, you can go over the presentation now, we still have a bit before it's time. I mean, I didn't really change anything you had here, just added two slides, I think? For the ending?"
Chanyeol nodded, walking over to look at the laptop, trying to ignore everything on his mind that didn't concern this project and concentrating on the presentation.
"Also, Junmyeon said we don't need you here, you have like loadshits of days off, so he's being the angel he is and letting you off so you can take care of your princess. This may or may have not taken a bit of persuading but I don't think I can handle the sexual tension anymore." Jongdae grinned before leaving the room.
Chanyeol rolled his eyes.
Then again, he could use some time off... he needed to make sure Baekhyun is alright.
That they are alright...
Baekhyun tossed around in his bed, having dropped Minjae off earlier in the morning, he was trying to get some rest like he was told to do.
He was forced to take a few days of sick leave, and despite his protests, he was now glad that he didn't have to work.
His throat was better, and he didn't have fever anymore but his head was still throbbing.
He hasn't talked to Chanyeol since yesterday.
His felt his face go warm at the memory, why did he have to kiss him?
He wasn't even feeling any guilt for technically cheating on Yifan, it was more that... He shouldn't have done this. He's been holding it for so long, why was he so stupid?
What if Chanyeol stops speaking to him? What if Chanyeol gets mad? What if...
What if he lost his best friend, again, by being stupid like this. By doing the one thing he wasn't supposed to...
Sighing, he made his way to the kitchen to get some painkillers when his phone started ringing,
"Hey, Baek are you working?" It was Yifan.
"Now? No I was actually about to rest, not feeling too well--"
"Well open the door for me,"
"What?" Baekhyun frowned, he was there? Now?
"I was in the area, finished a meeting early, thought I'd check on my sexy boyfriend, can't I?" Baekhyun could mentally see him smirking as he made his way to the door, unlocking it.
Maybe he just missed him, maybe he got worried...
"Hi there," Yifan leaned down to kiss him, kicking the door closed behind him as he pushed the smaller man against the wall.
Who was he kidding?
I heard him last night, Baek he doesn't even give a shit, does he?
I know you're not happy... why are you doing this?
Baekhyun squeezed his eyes shut, recalling Chanyeol's words, he didn't even realize his hands were on Yifan's chest when he pushed him away.
"What the fuck Baekhyun?!"
Baekhyun bit his lower lip,
"I just... I'm not in the mood now... I'm sorry, I really meant it...I haven't been feeling well and I just came back from the hospital and--" But Yifan's lips cut him off once again.
"Mphhhh!!" He tried pushing him away again, but he was larger and he was forcefully holding him against the wall, lips leaving Baekhyun's only to lean lower to his neck,
"S-stop! Ahhh--stop it!" He cried,
"Stop? But sweetheart we haven't even started, I've been dying to touch you for so long..."
"I said fucking stop why can't you--ah!" The other man's hand slipped under his shirt, squeezing his nipple as he sucked on his neck.
"Not in the mood my ass..."
"Baek? You didn't answer and it was open so I--" Chanyeol froze, the grocery bag he was holding dropped to the floor.
He definitely did not expect walking in onto Baekhyun and his boyfriend going at it on the floor of the living room.
They haven't talked since yesterday, Chanyeol came with peace offering in the form of food, with the slightest hope to maybe figure out what was going on between them... just maybe... if he could but...
"Stop it..." Baekhyun's muffled voice came broken from beneath Yifan, they didn't seem to have heard him entering.
"Oh come on baby, you're enjoying it!"
Chanyeol blinked, taking in the scene unfolding in front of him - Baekhyun miserably trying to push the taller man off himself,
He didn't even think and before he noticed he was yanking Yifan away by his shirt, pushing him away from Baekhyun, who was red and panting, anger and pain mixed in his eyes.
"What the fuck?!"
"Are you drunk?! Can't you see he doesn't want that?" Chanyeol was furious, it was Baekhyun. His Baekhyun. He deserved so much better than this...
"ARE YOU?! Get the fuck away from my boyfriend--" But Yifan never got to finish his sentence as Chanyeol's fist connected with his jaw, effectively knocking him down to the floor.
He grabbed the older man by his collar,
"You. Get. The Fuck. Away from him."
Yifan kicked his stomach from beneath, taking him by surprise,
"He is mine, don't fucking tell me what to do with my property you little shit."
"Shut up." Baekhyun's silent voice caught them both off guard.
"Shut the fuck up. Both of you. Yifan. Get the fuck out of my apartment. I don't want to fucking see you. Ever." His breathing was shallow, anger obvious in his eyes.
"You heard him." Chanyeol got up from the floor,
"You will regret this, babe. You will fucking regret this when nobody else even looks at a little worthless single father who can't even have sex properly like yourself. You will fucking crawl back to me, mark my words." Yifan gave them one last look before slamming the door close behind him as he left.
Baekhyun fell to the floor,
"He's right..." He muttered, looking down
"Baek..." Chanyeol whispered, carefully approaching the smaller male,
"Hey... look at me, his pride was hurt, he was trying to hurt yours instead... his words are worth nothing, Baekhyun look at me..." He cupped Baekhyun's cheeks between his hands,
"But he's right... I am worthless... I'm no good for anyone anymore, I do stupid things that will end up making me loose one of the only few people I have left in here and--"
"That's not true. Baek, fuck, you're anything but that. You... you're amazing..." He meant it. He really did.
"Look at you, you have raised, still are, a wonderful child, you're a great father, you're strong, you're a wonderful friend and you’re incredible… just because… it’s you." He took a deep breath,
"You're everything for me Baekhyun."
This was not how he imagined saying those words. But Baekhyun needed to know. He needed to know because he wasn't worthless, he wasn't anything of what Yifan has just claimed him to be and he could see the hurt in his eyes, he needed him to know that 'stupid kiss' was not stupid at all, that he wasn't loosing anyone... he looked so hurt, so broken that moment, Chanyeol couldn't bear it.