"Chanyeol..." Baekhyun looked up,
"I brought you some food, some real food... I didn't like the idea of you living off leftovers from god knows how long ago, so I figured I'd bring something over... you need to get better so...well, that's why I came..." Chanyeol trailed off, slowly getting up, offering his hand to Baekhyun, who took it, and pulling him up as well.
Chanyeol took the plastic bag from the floor and placed it on the coffee table, taking out the containers lining them next to each other.
"He could see it, you know?"
Baekhyun gave him a confused look, "What?"
"Minjae. He... he didn't want to worry you, so we had a promise, if anyone ever even tries to harm him, he should come to me, I promised I'd protect him and he promised he would tell if anything was wrong as long as I didn't tell you. Nothing happened to him, don't worry, it was just-- just a promise. You know how it is..." He added after seeing Baekhyun's scandalized expression at the thought of his son being hurt and not telling him.
"He didn't want to worry you, but that night at the hospital, we were waiting and he told me he'd give up on that. He'd give up on me protecting him if I could promise to protect you instead. He just... asked me to protect you. I promised I will always protect you. Both of you." He put away the last of the containers, looking back at Baekhyun,
"That night, I called that jerk, to see if he could come stay with you, you said he wasn't the jerk from before so I believed you but... but when he answered, he was still the same asshole I knew from your old stories, and when I saw that, earlier, all I could think of was how much better you deserve. You're so much better than him, Baek. You're worth so much more... more than you'd ever realize."
And for what seemed like a very long time they stayed like that, silent, avoiding each other's eyes.
"Then why am I so stupid...?" Baekhyun's soft voice broke the silence,
"All those years ago... it was all the same, wasn't it? When I met you, just after breaking up with him for the first time... why was I stupid enough to think we can't do it? To think I should let go before I get hurt? Why was I stupid enough to not admit I was wrong when I realized it?"
Baekhyun took a deep breath,
"You were perfect, Yeol. Stupid, dorky, clumsy...but perfect. You were you. Even back then at dorms, you hardly even knew me when you helped me get through that phase... you stayed by my side when I said I can't do this, you were my best friend, you stayed even when I left you for...for this and..." Baekhyun smiled bitterly,
It’s always been you...
"I was stupid enough to convince myself that I need somebody else to notice me... that you can't have your best friend and be in love with him too... Because it was you… I couldn’t… I..." He saw them, Chanyeol's glassy eyes, and felt his own tears rolling down his cheeks before a pair of long, familiar arms wrapped around him, bringing him closer to the other's chest.
"I'm sorry." He murmured, voice muffled against Chanyeol's shirt.
Baekhyun wasn't one to cry a lot, but it seemed ever since he came back nearly every time they met, all he's been doing was crying.
"No, I am. Baek...I'm sorry for not seeing this, for letting you go, for thinking I was the only one who still felt this way... for trying too hard to only be your best friend and nothing more...” Chanyeol whispered, but his words were clear to the only person meant to hear them, to the only one who mattered,
"I love you. I've never stopped."
Everything in the world finally made sense to Baekhyun as he listened to the younger man's heartbeat. Fast yet steady, it calmed him down for some reason.
He slowly let go, leaning back so he could look up at Chanyeol, hesitant.
"You're beautiful..." Chanyeol said, smiling down at him.
Baekhyun snorted. He felt Chanyeol's thumbs gently whipping the tears that were drying on his cheeks,
"I'm serious, how can you even be that beautiful? Even when you're crying...Not that I want to ever see you cry again--"
"Idiot..." Baekhyun cut him off, face flushed.
"Yeah… I am. But would it be okay to be your idiot? once again?"
He didn't even have time to come up with a comeback, Chanyeol closed the gap between them, brushing their lips together, it was soft, gentle, their lips moved against each other slowly, there was nowhere to rush, not with Chanyeol, not now, not anymore.
"You've always been, haven't you?" Baekhyun smiled a cheeky smile as they separated,
Chanyeol laughed, pecking him on the lips once again, making Baekhyun giggle into the next kiss.
It felt like college again, when they were still young and stupid, making out for hours and hours, all messy and clumsy and what not, and maybe they were still kind of dumb like that, but now was different. It was better, it was...
"Hey... what time is it?" Baekhyun asked, letting his head fall to the other's shoulder.
"You have enough time to give me another kiss before we go pick him up." Chanyeol chuckled after a glance at his watch and Baekhyun rolled his eyes but kissed him regardless.
Even as they made their way to Baekhyun's car, he couldn't help but wonder, was this for real?
He wasn't just going to wake up, all alone on his couch, was he?
It happened too fast, but thinking about it now, it took them the longest time, didn’t it?
Baekhyun sighed as he started driving, biting his lower lip, wondering how is he supposed to even tell Minjae something like that?
It’s not like the boy knew exactly what ‘dating’ someone meant for real, it’s not like he could just come to him ‘Well you see, now that we know uncle Yifan was a bad person, uncle Chanyeol will be daddy’s boyfriend now!’.
It was ridiculous.
“What’s going on in that beautiful head of yours that makes you look so worried?” Chanyeol asked at some point, when they were waiting for the red light to switch back to green.
“Urgh, I forgot how cheesy you can be. Gross.” But Baekhyun smiled, feeling Chanyeol’s hand on his thigh,
“I’m just… I never thought I’d…we’d… and I’m not sure how to tell Minjae and—“
“Baek.” Chanyeol cut him off,
“It’s fine. You don’t have to say anything, to anyone, until you’re ready, we don’t have to rush… okay?”
Baekhyun didn’t reply, he just squeezed the younger man’s hand on his thigh for a moment before the light switched to green and he looked back to the road, driving on.
Chanyeol watched Baekhyun’s face as they drove.
He came over to the other’s place with the intention of clarifying everything, to make sure he’s alright, to make sure he’s eating, to talk everything over…
He wasn’t even sure himself what he wanted the moment he got out of the elevator, but when he saw Yifan and Baekhyun…
That moment his mind went blank and after everything he just couldn’t hold it in anymore, he never expected Baekhyun to do what he did.
He didn’t dare to hope but…
“Chanyeol…” Baekhyun’s voice shook him out from his thoughts,
“We’re here,” There was a hint of worry mixed in Baekhyun’s smile as he spoke,
“Maybe… maybe I should… go? If you don’t want—“
“Chanyeol, stop. Minjae will be happy to see you and…just come with me.”
On the way home, Minjae was cheerfully telling them how he and Wonshik played together today.
“And then we had to play a game with numbers with the teacher! We had to split in teams and we won daddy! Uncle Chanyeol! We even got a sticker!”
Chanyeol and Baekhyun laughed and praised the boy as he showed off his sparkling dinosaur sticker in the backseat.
Baekhyun has already parked and they were about to get out of the car and get the boy from behind when he asked,
“When are you going to kiss daddy?”
Both men froze, exchanging mortified glances and swallowing hard before turning back to the boy.
“Minjae-ah… what made you say that..?”
“Teacher Kim said people who love each other need to kiss! Daddy kisses me all the time! But daddy and uncle Chanyeol never kiss! Right? And Uncle Kyungsoo said the only person daddy likes more than me is uncle Chanyeol! Then why not?”
The adults were left speechless for a moment, before Chanyeol broke in laughter, pressing a soft, innocent kiss to the corner of Baekhyun’s mouth, shocking him for a moment,
“Does that mean it’s okay if uncle Chanyeol kissed daddy every day from now on?” Chanyeol chuckled and the boy beamed,
“Does that mean uncle Chanyeol will come to play every day too?”
Baekhyun joined Chanyeol’s laughter,
“Only if uncle Chanyeol promises to not annoy daddy too much.” He feigned annoyance before finally getting out of the car and opening the back door to help his son out as well while Chanyeol circled the car to get to them.
“Uncle Chanyeol promises to come even if he annoys your daddy and even if your daddy tries to kick him out.” He smiled, crouching to the boy who grinned and ruffling his hair.
“Fucking finally.” Was all Kyungsoo said when Baekhyun told him everything over the phone.
“About fucking time.”
“That bad?” Baekhyun asked,
“You guys are the worst, I swear. And while you were in your personal fairytale, I’ve been saving your boyfriends’ job and ass.” The younger man sighed from the other side of the line,
“Jongin asked me a favor, so here I am doing the stupid commercial your boyfriend was supposed to be supervising but is too busy playing Romeo with you to do properly.” But Baekhyun could nearly hear the smirk on Kyungsoo’s lips.
“Somebody’s grumpy, too stressful to get any, is it? Huh, does that mean you guys finally told his friends though?”
“About fucking time.”
“Shut up Baekhyun.”
“So… when do we get to see the infamous princess?” Jongdae smirked at Chanyeol one afternoon when they were collecting their things after a meeting.
“Oh, come on!”
“Only if you stop calling him that!” Chanyeol argued, making the other man pout
“But you always do!”
“Well, I happen to be his boyfriend. Now shut up or I won’t let Junmyeon hyung bring you as his date.” He added, a smile playing on his lips as he put his laptop back in its’ case.
Chanyeol laughed before explaining,
“Baek’s birthday is in a few days, so we’re throwing a little party this weekend. He doesn’t really have too many friends here yet, so he said it’s okay to call you guys in.”
“I’m in!” Jongdae grinned, murmuring something about having the perfect present in mind, and Chanyeol wondered if he should be worried.
Jongdae didn’t even know Baekhyun, having joined their company a short while after Baekhyun left Seoul.
He sighed as he locked up the room, dating Baekhyun.
For days he couldn’t stop grinning like an idiot. Even now he kept smiling to himself whenever the thought crossed his mind.
His to keep.
It was when he opened the door without knocking, receiving an armful of Minjae the second he walked in.
It was when he laughed at the boy’s excited story-telling of his day.
It was when Baekhyun walked out of his room, wearing loose shorts and an oversized gray t-shirt that was probably one of the shirts Chanyeol has left there over the past few weeks, hair a fluffy mess on his head, leaving the empty hot chocolate mug on the table before tiptoeing to playfully kiss his son’s cheek, and only when both Minjae and Chanyeol made faces at him, he smiled and kissed Chanyeol’s cheek, or more like, the left side of his chin, as well.
It was when they all burst into giggles and unstopping laughter, when Chanyeol tickled the boy until he begged for mercy and to be put down, which he was.
It was when Chanyeol had Baekhyun in his arms later that evening, Minjae sitting comfortably on the matt in front of the couch, watching one last cartoon before bedtime.
When Baekhyun turned around in his arms, smiling mischievously before pecking his lips.
It was then, that Chanyeol realized, maybe he has won his race.
Or maybe, they were just beginning a new one together again.
Maybe there was no such a thing at all, maybe he was wrong all along.
He realized he didn’t need any big philosophic theories about love and human beings and connections, it was all bullshit in the first place anyway.
And maybe he knew, from the beginning, from the moment they started dating for the first time all those years ago, that there was, is and will be only one for him. As cheesy as it sounds.
And Baekhyun was there, again, real and breathing and no matter how long it took and how stupid they were on their way, at the end of the day, they were together.
Best friends, boyfriends, lovers – it didn’t matter. As long as he had Baekhyun, as long as Baekhyun had him. As long as they had each other…
It was their own little world now, and finally, he smiled to himself, holding Baekhyun even closer as he did, he was happy.
Nobody can possibly know where it’s going to lead them, nobody can assure they will be fine tomorrow, nobody can make sure they won’t make stupid mistakes again.
One thing he knew for sure, he was going to give his all now, to Baekhyun, to Minjae, to them.
He won’t be giving this up any soon. Hopefully he never will.
For now they were happy, they truly were.
Chanyeol smiled fondly to himself as he recalled that one night, hardly even a week ago.
“But…why me?” Baekhyun asked the first night they spent together, it wasn’t really their first, but it felt like it was a different lifetime. It was a different kind of first.
Minjae was asleep in the other room and they had to be quiet.
It was slow. It was gentle. It was everything Baekhyun hasn’t felt in years. It was everything he wanted so badly all along. Whispered ‘I love you’s and soft caresses, gentle kisses and almost non-audible sweet nothings muttered into bare skin.
They were still wide awake, lying on Baekhyun’s bed, facing each other, later that night.
That was when he asked.
That was, just for a moment, mixed emotions - sadness, regret and worry seemed to have replaced the mirth in Chanyeol eyes.
Only for a moment.
“It had to be you, Baekhyun.” He whispered softly, cupping his cheek in his hand, thumbing at the corner of his eyes, gentle smile on his lips.
And Baekhyun will never admit it out loud and Chanyeol would never dare to call him out on it, he cried.
He might have even cried a little during that second time that night as well, when Chanyeol hovered above him, fingers intetwining above their heads, lips nearly touching, deeper and closer than ever.
“It always has to be you. Forever only you.”
A/N - Hi guys!
So it’s been over a year since I last posted anything, sorry about that. I’ve been working on this fanfic for (I think?) around the past half a year?
It’s been quite a journey from making up Minjae’s name to falling in love with him (even if it makes me weird since I'm the one who made him up)
The original idea came to me when I watched the film The Switch a while ago, it was actually going to have something to do with MPREG at first and then well, you know the drill, this fic has probably changed more times than I can recall in so many aspects, but I think I can finally post it and make peace with it. (I think.)
Hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it, thank you so much for reading and please leave a comment if you liked it, I’d love to know what you think! :)
This one is dedicated to my friend Denden who stayed up and responded to my endless rumbling and mess of ideas and read every single version of this fic that has ever existed (and seriously there must have been at least 10 of them, and I'm being optimistic lol) and without whom this probably would have never been completed. <3
PS – I just started university, so it will definitely take a while, but I don’t think I’m ready to end this AU completely just yet.
Have a lovely day/night/whatever it is wherever you are! <3