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Of Paper Planes And Paper Cranes

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"And he can't even speak without stammering, okay? Also, like, he's always got sweat stains under his arms. It's disgusting, Jongdae," Baekhyun huffed as he tried to keep pace with his friend who was walking too fast.

When his friend did not respond, he continued. "You would think he'd get rid of those before approaching me. I've been having nightmares about them, Jongdae!"

Still no attention from the other. "Do you even understand my suffering? I think I really need to tell him how off-putting it is!"

This got his friend to stop on his tracks, turn towards Baekhyun and grab his shoulders. He looked him dead in the eye. "Yes, Baekhyun. Do that. Tell him like you tell every one of your little fanboys how repulsive they are but let's just hurry to class right now, okay? I do not want Mr.Choi to throw us out again!"

Baekhyun pouted but stayed quiet after that because after all, Jongdae had pointed out the truth. He wasn't a 'bad boy' figure who smoked after school hours and oozed off a mysterious aura or a 'flower boy' who charmed people's pants off with just a flutter of his eyes but for some reason, he had a shit ton of admirers (or fanboys, as Jongdae called them– which was weird because they weren't really his fans) who always seemed to pop out of nowhere.

Even though he wasn't sure why, every week some new guy would come up and profess his love for him. It was a thing that had begun in middle school and continued even until now, that is, his third year in high school. What also became a habit was Baekhyun sending them all away.

It wasn't like he wanted to hurt them by pointing out all of their unappealing characteristics. He just simply wanted them to go away. From the very start, Baekhyun had always disliked the idea of someone liking him. No, it did not involve some childhood trauma or backstory. It was rather this feeling that he couldn't explain. Knowing that someone liked him just made him cringe internally. It felt as if they were putting some burden on him that he did not need, giving him a part of themselves that he did not asked for. This was the closest he could come to describing it in words.

His trick (almost) always worked, though. His admirers would all stop with their admiration upon discovering the mean streak he has to him. He wasn't really mean, though. He was just honest and sometimes, brutally so. If they can't handle the truth, they definitely can't handle Byun Baekhyun.

***

"Hey Baekhyun." A petite boy with purple hair smiled shyly as he passed by the former's table.

"Ugh." Baekhyun grimaced. "I could see his chest hair from here. He has a jungle underneath that shirt, Jongdae."

"Leave fanboy number 79 alone. What's wrong with chest hair? It's manly," Jongdae replied and put a spoonful of rice into his mouth.

"Really?" Baekhyun turned towards his other friend. "Kyungsoo, don't tell me you find chest hair attractive too?"

"I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative," his bald friend declared.

"Pft, your boyfriend's chest is slick as hell," Jongdae teased.

"Keep your eyes away from him."

This resulted in Jongdae laughing wildly and Baekhyun frowning because he found nothing funny.

"Anyway," Jongdae wiped a fake tear. "Where's fanboy number 61? He's late."

"Baekhyun."

Baekhyun rolled his eyes. Speak of the devil. Standing in front of his table was another one of his fanboys- Park freaking Chanyeol. He usually didn't even know their names but in this case, he shared one of his classes with the man and happened to sit on the seat right beside him.

"I got you pudding," Chanyeol spoke, the tips of his huge ears red, as he put a bowl next to Baekhyun's tray.

"No one asked for it, Dobby," he spoke mockingly as he passed a mocking smile to the other.

"I know." The other returned a genuine smile. "I'll see you in class!" He then, rather cheerfully, went towards one of the other tables.

"Ugh." He grumbled but still dug his spoon into the strawberry pudding.

"If you hate it that much, why do you eat that every day?" Jongdae said, his mouth still full of food.

"I can't waste food, okay?" His finished one third of the pudding in a single bite.

"I see you throwing away cucumbers every day."

This resulted in the said vegetable being swung into his friend's face. Baekhyun was an honest person, okay? He only ate it because it'd be wrong to throw it away and he had to eat it daily because Park Chanyeol, a.k.a fanboy #61, bought some daily for the past six months. Yes, six months. He groaned internally at this thought.

All of his admirers would give up after a few weeks of courting but Chanyeol remained an exception. It had been six months since the boy saw him in their shared class for the first time (and then confessed his crush a week later) yet he still hadn't run away despite all of Baekhyun's spiteful comments and glares.

It was, at the present, becoming hard to find more insults for the fanboy since it seemed to Baekhyun that he had already used them all up. It was sort of understandable because he had been using them approximately three times daily for the last six months.

The first one came right in the morning when Baekhyun would be collecting his stuff from his locker. Just as he'd be about to shut his locker, without fail, the giant would be standing behind him with some sort of origami in his hand. Being the stupid person he is, he would smile shyly and rub the nape of his neck as he offered the paper object to him. Baekhyun would pluck the thing off his hands and throw it into his locker (which needless to say, was overflowing with this stuff now).

Usually, it would be something simple like a rose or a crane but occasionally, the giant would come with a super intricate and complex design like a 3-D stallion or eagle. Baekhyun would throw the latter a little more carefully. Once, Chanyeol had actually brought an entire dragon (one with scales and everything) and Baekhyun had to keep his mouth from hanging open because he had to have some mad skills to make that!

This morning, he had received a simple rose –which he knew was an easy design for Chanyeol because sometimes the fanboy would tear a page of his notebook during their shared class and with swift folds, make one in seconds (and then put it on his desk) – and in response, Baekhyun had compared him to a pole. For these early meetings, Baekhyun would reserve remarks about the fanboy's height. They were the easiest to come up with in his rather drowsy state.

For the second meeting with the man, which took place during lunch when he'd receive the strawberry pudding, he saved remarks about the other's ears. He kept having to reuse a lot of the old ones these days.

His third meeting with the fanboy took place during their shared class. Sitting to his left, Chanyeol did sometimes listen to the teacher but mostly spent the entire class looking at Baekhyun. It was creepy. Very creepy. If he got a chance during the class, Baekhyun would spew insults about him being a weirdo.

Sadly, despite being slammed by Baekhyun thrice a day, Chanyeol would only smile whenever he saw the former. Baekhyun had, by now, come to the conclusion that the fanboy was just really stupid for not getting the hint and leaving him alone.

It's about to be seven months, he thought with a sigh and finished the rest of the pudding.

***

Baekhyun was pissed. Actually, he was beyond pissed. The day hadn't even begun but everything was already going wrong. Yesterday, he had fallen face flat in the living room after stepping on the floor where his mom had spilled orange juice and consequently, twisted his arm and pulled a muscle. Moreover, he had barely been able to get any sleep because he slept on his left side which he couldn't do last night for putting weight on his arm hurt.

It didn't end there. His mom forgot she had promised to wake him up and he was in such a hurry to leave the house that he hit his arm on the door frame and cried in silence for ten minutes.

Oh no, it still didn't end. On his way to the school, he received a text from Kyungsoo telling him he had forgotten to collect his geography test paper and that he had gotten a C- on it. A 'C' freaking minus. Baekhyun was fuming at that point. Sure, he could've studied better but more than that, he blamed Park freaking Chanyeol. If the fanboy didn't spend all of their geography periods staring at him and, as a result, distracting him, he could've actually concentrated in class and done better on the test. He knew that he was being a little unreasonable but his anger had reached a level where he didn't care anymore.

If a normal Byun Baekhyun had been mean, a pissed off Byun Baekhyun was an incoming storm. The people around him seemed to realise this as they cleared the way for him in the hallway.

The purple haired boy – fanboy number 78? 79? He did not remember or care – saw him and was about to greet him until he met his eyes and Baekhyun's glare sent him toppling over into the lockers. He was is no mood to deal with this fanboy shit. He was a storm and he was going to sweep away anything that came in his way.

When he reached his locker, he shoved his hands insides and started frantically whirling them in every direction, causing the papers and origami objects to fly around inside. All the while, he kept grinding his teeth and making a noise that sounded something like 'JJJJjjjJjjJj'. It was after a few minutes that he pulled his hands back since he was out of breath.

This was not a good way of taking out his anger for now his left arm throbbed even more. He was so close to crying in frustration but all his sadness was replaced by pure, unadulterated fury when a deep voice – a deep stupid voice – called out his name from behind.

He turned around sharply and met a sparkling pair of honey coloured eyes. The giant standing in front of him shyly held the nape of his neck, not realising that he had just walked into a storm. With his free hand, he produced an origami rose. Unlike yesterday's deep red flower, this one was made using a bright yellow sheet.

"I, uh, made this for you. So, like, I was thinking about what to get for you today and I literally gave you a rose yesterday but then I thought..." Baekhyun's mind drowned out Chanyeol's voice. The winds churned up by the storm seemed to close his ears and shut his senses until all he could hear was the fury boiling inside of him.

Before Baekhyun could conjure up any thoughts, his hand was already moving. He snatched the yellow rose from the other's palm, crumbling it in the process, and with a jolt, threw it across the hallway. As he did so, he felt a sharp pain shoot up his arm but he didn't think about it. He didn't think about the few students who had stopped to watch them. He didn't think about anything. He couldn't think about anything.

"Stop it!" His voice was low but he felt as if he had shouted these words.

Chanyeol just blinked, as if still trying to comprehend what was happening. "W-what?"

"Stop it! Stop all of this shit you've been doing all this year! Don't you get it? Is it so hard for you to get it through your thick skull?! Or is your head so high up there that you can't listen to anything?! Are those elephant ears as useless as the rest of you?! I'm so so so freaking done with you. I don't even know- Are you stupid or what? It shouldn't be this hard to understand something so simple!" His volume kept increasing with every sentence and by the time he finished, he was panting.

Something flashed through Chanyeol's face once Baekhyun was done. He turned around and ran down the corridor. Baekhyun watched his figure disappear as he took longer and deeper breaths to relax himself.

He could feel some sort of a negative feeling growing within him. He didn't know what it was but it felt similar to when one went down a rollercoaster but their heart remained stuck in air; mixed with how one felt when they stole all of their mother's favourite jam and watched her dejected face as she stared longingly at the empty jar.

Just as he was getting lost in these thought, his phone beeped. As calmly as he could with his shaking hand, he slid his finger across the screen to unlock the device.

FROM KYUNGSOO:
A-* typo, lol. Sorry.

That negative feeling only kept increasing.

***

As the day went on, Baekhyun tried to dismiss the thoughts of the fanboy and his retreating back from this morning. He was pretty successful in doing so–until the lunch break, that is.

"Number 61 hasn't ever been this late," Jongdae observed. It had been a while since he had finished eating. He was now sitting with his head on the table and annoying Baekhyun. Kyungsoo, with his face hidden behind a book, had decided to ignore the two.

"Like I care," Baekhyun mumbled in response. Yet, he couldn't help but agree with Jongdae. Only 10 minutes were left until the lunch period got over and there was no sign of any giant coming his way to deliver pudding.

For the umpteenth time, the image of Chanyeol's face just before he ran away crossed his mind. He shook his head and looked around once again. No long limbs and elf ears.

It couldn't be that his words from this morning actually sent the fanboy away, could it? It wasn't like they were very different from what he usually said to the taller– except he had never insulted everything about the giant in one go. Also, he had never shouted at him while doing so. Also, he had never crushed or thrown away any of the origami the fanboy got him. As his thoughts progressed, the unfamiliar feeling from this morning started coming back.

"That's it," he announced as he stood up from his seat.

"What?" Jongdae asked, sitting straight. "What happened?"

"If he's not coming, good. If he's finally given up, even better. Now I can have the dessert of my choice," he huffed. With that, he stomped towards the dessert counter and bought himself some chocolate cake.

As he sat on his table, trying to finish the cake which was too sweet and spongy for his tastes, he couldn't help but look around yet again.

After this, the feeling didn't disappear at all. It stayed even when he glanced at the empty seat next to him during the geography class.

***

The next day, Baekhyun stood anxiously waiting by his locker. Yes, anxiously. After an entire day of thinking thoughts that he had tried to throw away, he came to the conclusion that the weird feeling was actually a mix of guilt and anxiety. He was, essentially, an honest person and, therefore, he had decided to confront these emotions.

Just before he had run off, Chanyeol had looked hurt, so hurt that it kept tugging at Baekhyun's heart whenever he remembered the former's face. He had, over the years, said a lot of rude things to keep a lot of guys away. Most of them had felt bad. This, however, was very different. None of the earlier fanboys were able to match the intensity of ache in Chanyeol's eyes. This was where Baekhyun's guilt stemmed from.

The fact that he had thrown the other's artwork was simply eating at him. As much as he didn't want to admit it, he had liked looking at the works the taller would bring to him. Most of the mornings, he'd actually be curious about what object was it going to be that day. Sometimes, the gesture had even made him inwardly happy.

This didn't mean that Baekhyun liked the giant's attention or was suddenly into him, though. He still wanted to get rid of him like he did of every other fanboy. Rather, he just simply regretted the way the things happened. That was it, yes.

Pressing his lips together, he passed awkward smiles to people who walked by eyeing him curiously. There should be nothing weird about him standing in front of his own locker but the nerves were making him feel like everyone within one metre of radius could read his thoughts.

He was planning to be nicer to the fanboy when he came around today and accept his origami work with a smile. He was sure it wasn't as tough as his mind was making it to be. However, in order to do this, the giant actually had to come and there was a huge possibility that he had decided to stop courting Baekhyun after their last... conversation.

Baekhyun felt more conscience-stricken and repentant when the fanboy failed to show up in the morning. His lunch was spent grumpily eating the food and then forcibly taking teeny-tiny bites of the chocolate cake he had bought. Jongdae and Kyungsoo had exchanged knowing looks but he did not know what they knew and this only served to worsen his mood.

It was during Geography that these feelings were replaced by something akin to worry when he found the giant absent for the second time in a row. Were his words so harsh that the fanboy had to skip school twice? His expression whilst leaving had been so different from the sweet and nervous smile he usually wore.

Baekhyun didn't like it.

The boy had looked really upset. He couldn't have fallen down the stairs or hit a vehicle, right? Or ended up with a fever due to the distress? Surely Baekhyun would have found out if that were the case... but then, why would anyone even inform him out of all people about Chanyeol's state?

He silently groaned. He couldn't let his imagination venture into the wilderness this way. He needed focus on fixing everything. When he thought about what had started this ordeal, there seemed to be only one thing he could do... or at least try to.

With a firm resolve, once the school was over and he had said his goodbyes to Jongdae and Kyungsoo, he headed to the mart one block away.

***

When the second day since the incident began and the giant did not show up by his locker, Baekhyun felt a certain sense of hopelessness engulf him. The fanboy must have really given up on him.

He remained distracted throughout his morning classes and lunch passed as a dull affair yet again full of the rough texture of bread and the sickening sweetness of chocolate.

When he walked into geography five minutes early, he hadn't expected to see much, especially not the giant who was sitting on the chair left to Baekhyun's. His heart skipped a beat when his eyes rested on the other's huge frame from the back door. He quickly shuffled over to his seat, feeling something weird build up in his stomach– something new but not entirely unwanted. These feelings, however, were soon replaced by the same despondence from this morning when even 5 minutes past Baekhyun's arrival, the taller paid him no heed. Usually, the latter would be smiling away shyly and stealing glances of the smaller.

Today, the fanboy just sat, glum, lost in thoughts. Baekhyun realised that he was staring but that did not stop him. Suddenly, as if brought out of a trance, the fanboy sat up and fished out a paper cutter from his bag. Baekhyun's eyes widened. This only meant one thing.

Soon enough, there was blank paper on his desk and the giant was expertly marking it with cuts. Baekhyun leaned over a little to observe closely. How does he do it?!

It only took the taller a minute to make the cuts. Next moment, he was folding the paper. Baekhyun was sure that he could have had a blindfold on and still have been able to work in the exact same way. It wasn't long before the fanboy was twisting a rose, complete with a tiny stem, between his fingers. Baekhyun suppressed a smile, waiting for the giant to hand it to him.

"Oh, hey! That's so cool." Some blonde haired guy, who had appeared out of nowhere, slapped Chanyeol's shoulder.

Baekhyun narrowed his eyes. The blonde looked familiar. He had to wrack his brain to remember that the dude was one of his fanboys last year and now occupied the corner-most seat of this class. His name was Crisp. Or something like that.

"Um, thanks," Chanyeol muttered, his free hand naturally curling around his nape the way it did whenever he was unsure. Baekhyun had no idea why he knew this.

"Can I have it?" asked Crisp-or-whatever-his-name-was, eyeing the artificial rose.

"Oh," Chanyeol blinked. "Sure."

Wait, what?

Baekhyun looked on dumbly as the the blonde grabbed the rose – his rose – and walked away grinning.

The teacher came and Baekhyun spent the rest of the class sulking. His only activity apart from that was thinking of ways to talk to the taller without seeming ridiculous or embarrassing himself.

His help came in the form of Mr. Minho announcing, amongst other pairs for the geography project, Chanyeol and Baekhyun as partners. Baekhyun inwardly celebrated and watched Chanyeol noticeably gulp.

Once the class was dismissed, Baekhyun, a little too insecure after the blondie incident to talk to the giant directly, tore a page in a haste and quickly penned his message.

'Do you want to start with the project work today?'

It felt odd passing it as a chit so Baekhyun turned the paper into a simple, three fold airplane. Once he was satisfied with its structure and able to stop himself from fidgeting, he swung his arm and let the plane glide through the air. It landed on the fanboy's lap with ease (which was bound to happen since the latter sat right next to Baekhyun).

The fanboy, who had been packing up his stuff, flickered his eyes towards the smaller in surprise. Hesitantly, he opened the page and scanned through letters.

His expression was unreadable as he wrote a reply and folded the same sheet into a more complicated looking airplane. Baekhyun wanted to scoff. The giant was definitely a show-off.

With a flick of his wrist, he sent the plane back to the smaller and left the classroom with his backpack dangling over his shoulder. Baekhyun frowned at his cold behaviour but then directed his focus onto straightening the paper. The corner of his lip curled when he read the response.

'Meet me by the gate when school's over'

***

He was now 15 minutes late thanks to Jongdae who had insisted that he needed Baekhyun's company whilst visiting Mr.Minseok's room in order to submit an essay that had been due last week. When Baekhyun finally exited the school grounds, he found the fanboy leaning against the bricks of the boundary wall.

"Hi." Baekhyun stopped next to him.

The giant jolted and proceeded to peer at the smaller for a minute before replying. "Hi."

"Sorry for being late. I got caught up with something." He pursed his lips.

"Oh." Chanyeol rubbed his neck. "I... I thought you weren't coming."

"No! I was- I just... got stuck somewhere."

The fanboy nodded. "Do you want to go to your house or mine?"

"Anywhere is fine."

"Let's go to my place, then? No one will be home right now."

"Okay."

"Um, it's this way," the taller gestured with his head and started walking in the direction he had pointed towards. He stopped briefly to make sure that the smaller was following before continuing.

The journey remained a silent one, with Baekhyun trailing a step behind the other. The giant's house, almost a 10 minute walk away from school, was about the same size as Baekhyun's and had tons of tiny flower pots lining the front.

When the fanboy opened the door, Baekhyun was greeted by the smell of lemongrass. It felt somewhat refreshing. The first thing that Baekhyun noticed, once inside, was warmth and pastel colours of the interior. It was a lot like the fanboy. The second thing that caught his eyes was the origami. Everywhere – on the cupboards, the table, the window sill, the top of the freaking television set – were tiny paper objects, replacing the glass and marble showpieces most houses displayed.

Baekhyun was in awe as he followed the taller towards his room. "Did you make all this?"

The giant stopped to look back at him. "Make what?"

"The paper stuff," he explained.

"Ah, yea."

"You must really love paper crafts," he observed.

"Um, yes. I do." The boy seemed to be too shy to confess this while facing Baekhyun so he turned around and resumed walking. "I enjoy it. It makes me happy."

Baekhyun nodded, forgetting that the other couldn't see this action.

"And um, that's why I tried making stuff for you," the taller continued. "I thought it might make you happy too..."

Baekhyun didn't know how to react to that. All he understood was that his guilt had skyrocketed. He wanted to tell Chanyeol that it did make him happy but these words were somehow caught in his throat.

The giant was, apparently, not waiting for a response for he moved on to open the last door in the hallway. Baekhyun walked inside as the other boy turned on the lights.

Once the room was lit, Baekhyun's eyes danced across the it and studied all the paper decorations that either sat on the shelves or hung from the walls or the ceiling. They stopped their movement when they found something particularly interesting.

"What did you wish for?" Baekhyun gestured towards the flock of cranes hanging by the corner near the window. Anyone could've guessed at their number.

His partner blushed a deep red when he realised what Baekhyun was asking about. "N-nothing," he muttered and sat cross-legged on the carpet besides the coffee table, right in front of the bed.

Chanyeol began to take out books from his bag and Baekhyun continued his exploration of the space, playing with the origami aquarium, snickering at the giant's childhood pictures, tapping the guitar that– wait, Chanyeol played the guitar?

When the smaller finally went to join the taller on the carpet, he found that the other boy had already started to scribble away on a notepad. His eyebrows were furrowed in concentration and mouth parted as he wrote.

He looked sort of cute.

Baekhyun wanted to pinch his cheeks.

Or maybe press a finger to his forehead to ease the creases that were forming.

Instead, Baekhyun just sat down next to the taller and asked the question that had been killing him. "Why did you skip school?"

The fanboy snapped his head towards him and stared, surprised.

"Was... was what I said so hurtful that you had to miss school for two days?" Baekhyun added.

Once his shock wore away, the giant looked conflicted. He was pulling at the skin of neck while contemplating his answer.

It was after a decade that Baekhyun received a reply. "It wasn't you. Not really. Just, something happened."

Baekhyun blinked. "What happened?" He wasn't intruding by asking this, was he?

The fanboy was biting his inner cheek. Did the question make him uneasy? "Um... I found out that my parents are getting divorced, so I was kinda upset but then I went to school anyway because I had to give you the flower," he sighed. "And I thought seeing you would make me feel better but then... I must've done something really annoying, I guess."

The giant’s eyes were fixated somewhere on the opposite wall and Baekhyun was glad for the same. He was sure if the other boy was looking at him, he'd start crying out of the guilt. He had unnecessarily shouted at someone who did not deserve it.

This was it, he thought and pulled his backpack closer. It took him a few seconds to find what he needed.

"Chanyeol," he called and held out the object in his hand. "I'm sorry."

The fanboy's gaze drifted to his face and then to his hands where he held a yellow origami rose or at least something that looked like one.

"Um, It was too shitty of me to destroy the one you made." He bit his lower lip. Even if the other boy had been irking him for ages, it had been nasty of him to act like that. "I don't know... I was having a bad day and it just happened. I'm sorry."

When the giant did not move, Baekhyun continued. "I know it's not as nice as the one you made..." He eyed the glue marks and the fingerprints that were clearly visible on the paper. After buying the material, it had taken him 2 hours and umpteenth attempts to get to this but it still wasn't close to anything that the fanboy could make. "But, I tried. Will you accept my apology?"

With every minute that the giant passed as a statue, Baekhyun grew more anxious. Was this a stupid idea, after all? Why would the giant even want to accept a flower that looked like a banana gone wrong?

Shit. He had really messed up.

He had made someone pure like Chanyeol sad and then offered a shitty excuse for an apology.

Baekhyun looked away and started pulling his hands back. Just as he was about to stuff the paper back into his bag, the taller snatched it away. When he glanced at the fanboy, he was smiling– not the small, forced smile that Baekhyun had received earlier but the 100 watt smile he had become used to seeing by his locker daily.

He felt his heart soar.

That smile was back.

He couldn't help but grin too.

The giant got up to place the rose on a shelf that displayed his best works. He twirled it once like it was the most wonderful piece of art he had ever seen.

They continued beaming at each other when they opened their books and resumed work.

Somehow, Baekhyun wanted to poke the heck out of the giant's dimple, which was weird because he disliked touching people unnecessarily. Except his mom, obviously.

"Chanyeol?"

"Hm?" The boy put down the book he picked up.

"Have you given up on me?"

The taller puffed his cheek while considering this, making them look like globes. Baekhyun gulped at the action. "No. I don't think I ever can. I tried to, when you first made fun of my ears... And Kai – he's dating your friend, Kyungsoo – told me to not bother..."

He couldn't stop himself anymore.

"But then I couldn't stop thinking about you so I gave up on giving up," the giant was saying.

Baekhyun's hand was in the air.

The fanboy sighed. "The last two days were just me taking a break to sort my mind. So much happened so suddenly..."

Just as Chanyeol announced "But I still like you, a lot", Baekhyun's palm touched his jaw. The fanboy stilled.

Baekhyun felt the skin beneath his fingers. It was softer than he had imagined, softer than the plushie he had at home. He pulled at the giant's cheek.

It was very stretchable.

He shifted closer and cupped the fanboy's face with both of his hands. With his big eyes, plush lips and smooth skin, he could've been a doll. Baekhyun felt himself getting overwhelmed by how adorable the other boy was.

He pulled at the taller's ears. Even though they were big, they were really squishy and flexible. His next target was Chanyeol's chin and he proceeded accordingly.

Once Baekhyun had completely mapped the other's face, he sat back. It took a few seconds for realisation to hit him and a few more for him to stop internally panicking.

Passing the taller a small smile, he faked nonchalance. "About the project, I think we can use your neighbourhood as a case study."

It was later as he ate dinner that Baekhyun noticed that he hadn't cringed when the other boy had told him that he liked him. He was, surprisingly, also aware of the reason.

It hadn't just been some fanboy confessing to him this time. It had been Chanyeol– Chanyeol who loved origami, who played guitar and bought him strawberry pudding, who had the biggest and the most foldable ears and who was definitely the sweetest person he had ever met.

***

Chanyeol strummed his guitar, humming a familiar tune. Baekhyun joined in, trying to remember the song. They were both sitting on the fanboy's bed and the smaller had finally been able to convince the giant to show him his playing skills.

"Did you learn?" Baekhyun asked once the taller finished and placed the instrument next to him.

"Not really." Chanyeol leaned to rest his back on the headboard. "Sometimes I watch videos online but it's mostly by ear."

Baekhyun put the guitar away and shifted to settle besides the other, their shoulders brushing. "You're a show-off."

Chanyeol punched him lightly. "Yah! You're the one who asked."

Baekhyun giggled. Over the course of two weeks, he had grown closer to the taller. Chanyeol was a nice fanboy but also a nicer friend. He would patiently listen to Baekhyun whine about everything and comfort him with kind words and pats on his shoulder. He also cooked for Baekhyun – he had done so thrice now – when the latter's stomach would grumble during a study session.

And talking to him was really fun. They'd both share the details about their day and plans for the evening. Occasionally, one of them would make a joke and other would collapse on the floor laughing. Baekhyun discovered that teasing the giant was pretty entertaining for the boy would get all shy and defensive.

Now that the conflict was solved and over, Baekhyun would eagerly wait for the taller to give him origami objects in morning and strawberry pudding in the afternoon. Jongdae had given him a sly smile when he had witnessed this development.

"How are you so talented?" Baekhyun wondered out loud and placed his chin on Chanyeol's shoulder to look at him directly. "You can craft, play guitar and cook all the while being able to get decent grades. Hooow?"

"What are you saying?" Chanyeol blushed but then flicked Baekhyun's forehead.

***

"I can't do this anymore!" Baekhyun threw the pen on the coffee table and curled up on the carpet. Chanyeol followed and soon they lay facing each other.

"Why is he making us handwrite the project?" Baekhyun pouted.

"You heard him. He doesn't want us to plagiarise."

"We wouldn't have plagiarised anyway," Baekhyun remarked and extended his right hand to play with the taller's ear.

"I know," Chanyeol sighed.

They stayed frozen, afterwards, studying each other in silence. The only movement was that of Baekhyun's fingers as they folded and unfolded Chanyeol's ear like the other did his origami sheets.

"Chan?" Baekhyun whispered after a while.

"Yea?"

"Do you think I'm mean?"

"Sometimes," the other boy stated. "You can be mean when you want to."

Baekhyun sat back up, frowning. "You think so?"

Chanyeol copied the action. "As in, I know you only say stuff to push guys away, but it can hurt people's feelings, you know, since it's usually stuff they can't help."

Baekhyun bit his bottom lip. "But, they must know not to take it seriously."

He had been thinking about his ways with his admirers ever since he got to know Chanyeol better. Maybe he had been too harsh towards them all.

"I don't think it changes stuff even if they know that." Chanyeol crossed his legs. "Like, I always knew you didn't mean any of what you said but sometimes it did make me feel bad."

"Really?" Baekhyun tilted his head.

"Okay, let's do this," Chanyeol chirped. "We can try it on you."

"How?" Baekhyun was digging his teeth so hard that it could've drawn blood. He caught the giant's gaze momentarily flicker towards his lips.

"Tell me that you like me and I'll respond like you usually would."

Baekhyun nodded. That didn't sound like a bad idea.

"Okay." He positioned himself so that he was sitting right in front of the giant. He took a deep breath. There was no need to feel nervous. They were just pretending. Just pretending.

With his gaze fixated on his hands, he repeated these words in his mind to calm himself before he spoke. "I-I like you, Chanyeol."

The other boy took his time to respond. Baekhyun could feel anxiety grow within him. Just pretending. Why was his heart beating so fast? Pretending. Pretending. PRETENDING.

"Really?" The tone that the taller used was so unlike him that Baekhyun couldn't stop himself from looking into his eyes. It was ridiculing and scornful. It felt like a jab to his heart. "First of all, have you seen yourself? You know what's worse than being a giant? It's being a midget. And dwarfs jumping around can be cute if they are sweet and shy but you're too touchy and aggressive which is, if I must say, really unattractive. And that button nose that you have doesn't go along with the rest of your face. It makes you look all weird and disgusting. And I'm trying to ignore those sounds you make. It's like you're whimpering all the time. Are you an animal or what? Except that even animal don't unnecessarily make sounds."

Baekhyun tried to hold it, he really did, but the tear was still able to escape. Through his blurry eyes, he could see Chanyeol trying to catch his breath.

He knew this was just pretending and that Chanyeol didn't actually believe all that but did he really? The taller had sounded so sure and confident as he spurted those words. They sounded so true! And in all probability, they possibly were so.

Now, he wasn't only mean. He was a strange-sound-making midget with a stupid nose who was mean. Of course, the other boy would reject him. He didn't even try to stop his eyes from leaking anymore.

Through the unclear vision, he saw Chanyeol's eyes finally rest on his face.

"Shit, Baek. Shit," Chanyeol muttered, his face stricken in panic.

Baekhyun was suddenly enveloped into a warm embrace. One large hand rested on his back and the other pressed his face into the giant's chest. "I'm so sorry, shit, Baek," Chanyeol kept saying. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean any of it. I love the sounds you make. Shit."

The taller pulled back but continued to hold the smaller's face with his hands on his ears. Somehow, Baekhyun's tears kept falling when he saw regret plastered all over Chanyeol's visage.

"I'm sorry," the taller said and planted a chaste kiss on his left cheek. If he tasted the salt of the tears, he didn't say anything.

"Don't cry." Another one on the right cheek.

"Sorry." One on his temple.

"Stop crying." One on his nose.

"Please." One on his lips.

"Please." Another one on his lips.

Chanyeol then distanced himself only to gaze into his eyes intensely.

Baekhyun's heart was racing but at the same time, he felt calmed by the taller's gesture, which was odd considering he had never been kissed on the lips before. Even though this was an unknown territory for Baekhyun, being in Chanyeol's arms felt so homely.

Chanyeol's lips on his felt so homely.

And they were so soft, like the rest of him. In fact, they could’ve been the softest part of him. And the warmest, too. He felt comfortable – so comfortable – even though he had never been hugged by anyone other than his family. Being held by Chanyeol was a feeling similar to when his mother would tuck him into bed as a kid and he could snuggle up to the blanket. He wanted more of it.

He wanted more of Chanyeol.

"Hm?" He received another peck on the lips. This time, he sniffled and nodded.

"Thanks," Chanyeol smiled the classic Chanyeol smile.

It was when the giant started to move away from beneath him that Baekhyun realised that he was sitting on his lap. However, it didn't matter. What mattered was that the comfort of Chanyeol's embrace was edging away. So Baekhyun did what his mind and body told him to and held on tight, wrapping his arms around the taller's neck to prevent him from leaving.

All he knew was that he wanted more of the feeling. He pressed his lips to the taller's but then stayed still, not knowing what else to do. He wanted more but he wasn't sure how to get more. Apparently, Chanyeol knew for he began to move his lips against Baekhyun's and soon, Baekhyun copied the action.

Chanyeol's hands sneaked in through his shirt and after tracing a path upwards, came to rest on the curve on his waist where they started massaging the flesh. What started as a slow and deep kiss, turned into a passionate one with both the sides being equally demanding.

When they pulled away, they were both flushed and panting.

"We should..." Baekhyun spoke between breaths. "We should get back to the project."

***

"Baek!" Chanyeol grinned as he walked towards Baekhyun's locker.

"You're late!" Baekhyun whined.

"Sorry, I wasn't able to complete it last night," the taller searched his bag for the origami work of today. "It took me the entire morning to get done with this."

"What is it today?" Baekhyun giggled.

"Hold on." The giant continued to look into his bag.

Baekhyun smiled fondly. He had only grown closer to the fanboy during the last few days. They'd still talk, still work and still play around but now, all of this was accompanied by stolen kisses. They'd kiss when they'd reach Chanyeol's house. They'd kiss when Baekhyun would leave for his own. And, between those two kisses, there were a lot more.

"I'll check the front pocket," Baekhyun declared and started helping the giant in his search. After a while, it was clear that the artwork wasn't in the bag.

Chanyeol rubbed his nape. "I think I may have left on the kitchen table."

"It's alright. I'll grab it after school." Baekhyun reached his hand up to move some stray stands of hair from the giant's forehead.

"Still, I'm sorry," Chanyeol pouted.

"Why are you sorry? Idiot!" Baekhyun stood on his tiptoes to peck the other's lips.

He heard some gasps. Oh wait. They were in school! He put his heels on the ground and looked around to see multiple pairs of shocked eyes staring at them.

Oh, well.

***

The two boys lay on Chanyeol's bed, worn out after spending an entire hour trying to take out one of their project sheets that had flown into the tiny space beneath Chanyeol's cupboard.

"Why are you so careless?" Baekhyun groaned.

"You had the chance to catch it but you didn't," replied the giant.

"It's your cupboard's fault."

"Don't say that about Knitty!"

"Who's Knitty?!"

"My cupboard."

Baekhyun rolled so that half of his body was on top of Chanyeol's and glared at the other boy. "Why in the world does you cupboard have a name?"

"You know my parents were never home. The furniture was my only company as a kid. And I was nine or something when I gave them names." He wrapped an arm around Baekhyun's waist and pressed him to his side.

Baekhyun rested his head on Chanyeol's shoulder and closed his eyes. "Okay, okay, I get it."

After a while, Chanyeol's voice broke through silence. "Baekhyun?"

"Chanyeol?"

"Do you like me?"

Baekhyun's eyes snapped open and he raised his head to look at the taller. "I–"

"Please don't play with my feelings," Chanyeol cut in, his voice serious.

Baekhyun sighed when the fanboy repeated his words. "Tell me. Do you like me, too?"

He put his head back on the other's body before replying. He had been thinking about this for a while too. "Chan, I-I don't know," he conceded. "I mean, I do know that I feel something for you but I'm not sure if it can be considered love. T-this is my first time- I don't know what it means to like someone."

"Oh," Chanyeol murmured, considering the smaller's response. He moved his hand to caress Baekhyun's hair. Just by this action, Baekhyun knew that the giant had understood his words and worries.

"The thing is, Baek," the taller then started. "That liking someone is different for different people but... I guess there are similarities too."

Baekhyun made a sound to show that he was listening.

"How about I ask you questions about your feelings and then maybe we can determine what they really mean?" Chanyeol suggested.

"Yes! Okay," Baekhyun approved, smiling. If it was something that'd help him figure out his emotions, he'd wouldn’t say no.

"Hm, so let's start with this," Chanyeol chuckled. "Do you think I'm cute... or, I don't know, hot?"

"You, Park Chanyeol," Baekhyun answered. "Are the most adorable human being I know to exist."

Baekhyun didn't have to see the fanboy's face to know that he was blushing. The giant cleared his throat. "Okay, so, do you like making me happy?"

"Yea, I like your smile," he beamed. "And I love your dimples."

Chanyeol's hand left his hair to squeeze his shoulder. "And... do you like kissing me?"

Baekhyun snorted. "Why are you asking this? If I didn't, why would I always keep doing it?"

"Fine," Chanyeol responded. "Do you like spending time with me?"

"I do!" Baekhyun sang.

"Do you miss me when we're not together?"

"I do!"

"Do you keep, ummm, thinking of me no matter what you're doing?"

"I do!"

"Do you think you'd be happy if I started kissing someone else?"

"I do– wait, no, I don't." Baekhyun narrowed his eyes and sat up. "Did you kiss someone else?"

"Why would I if I have you?" Chanyeol grinned and tugged the smaller so that he ended up on top of him. He then drew him into a deep kiss.

When they pulled away, Baekhyun's eyes were twinkling. "So, Doctor Park, what was the result of the test?"

Chanyeol sniggered, rubbing Baekhyun's back. "I'm afraid to say that it came out positive. Looks like you've caught feelings for Park Chanyeol."

"Oh no," Baekhyun furrowed his eyebrows. "Is there no cure?"

"Nope," Chanyeol answered, popping the word. "It's chronic."

With that, he turned them over so that he was the one hovering over the smaller. Baekhyun yelped at the unexpected movement.

"So," Baekhyun chuckled after catching his breath. "Does this make us boyfriends?"

"I think so," Chanyeol guessed.

"Okay, boyfriend," Baekhyun teased.

"Don't say it like that!"

Baekhyun's laugh was loud. "Come on, let's seal it with a kiss!" he made the best fishy he could.

"Stop!" Chanyeol shrieked but closed the distance anyway.

They resumed their kiss. This time, it was more heated and more fervent. Baekhyun's hands combed through his fanbo– boyfriend's hair as he brought him so close that their bodies were flush against each other. Chanyeol pushed his hands underneath Baekhyun to grip and massage his ass cheeks.

The taller then bit his lip and pushed his tongue into the smaller's mouth. Baekhyun squirmed beneath him, his body and mind going into overdrive with need. All of a sudden, he felt Chanyeol's thigh brush against his groin and a wave of pleasure shot up his spine. He moaned into the kiss.

Shit.

It was then Baekhyun registered that he had a raging hard-on. The blood that hadn't already travelled down south rose up to grace his cheeks and he broke away from the kiss. This was embarrassing. He couldn't let Chanyeol notice the tent in his pants.

"Baek," the taller panted. "Why'd you stop?" He searched Baekhyun's face. This only resulted in the smaller turned redder.

When Baekhyun's eyes flickered towards his pants for a few second, Chanyeol followed his gaze and realisation dawned upon him. The taller chuckled. "Baek, are you embarrassed because of your dick?"

Baekhyun could only gulp, a small way from becoming an entire tomato. "It's alright," Chanyeol reassured. "I have the same problem."

And sure enough, Baekhyun noticed the tent between Chanyeol's legs too. This made him feel a lot better. He wasn't a creepy and horny teenager for being turned on by kissing the taller.

"Let me fix this," Chanyeol declared and positioned himself so that their members were right in front of each other. He then lowered his body, pressing into Baekhyun's groin. They both groaned because of the feeling.

Baekhyun, still self-conscious, hid his face into the taller's nape when the other began humping against him. Even if Chanyeol could hear his whimpers, at least he couldn't see his expression.

When the feeling became so strong that it was unbearable, Baekhyun had to throw away his awkwardness. "Chanyeol! This is not fixing!"

The other boy chuckled between his groans. "Okay, Sorry, I'll–" Chanyeol's hand moved towards Baekhyun's trouser and opened the button and the zipper. Baekhyun was past feeling shy. He really really needed to get off.

He moaned when he felt the cold air hit his member and then the warmth of Chanyeol's hands enveloping it. It only took a few tugs before Baekhyun was coming on his stomach with Chanyeol's name dancing on his lips.

When he opened his eyes after coming down from the post-orgasmic bliss, they met Chanyeol's who was gazing at him with his mouth open. They then travelled downwards, where Chanyeol was working on his own member whilst sitting atop him.

Baekhyun had to bite his lip to contain his gasp. It wasn't only Chanyeol's ears, eyes and body that were giant.

"I'll do it," Baekhyun announced and rearranged himself into order to switch the giant's hands with his own. The taller did not protest.

"B-Baekhyun," Chanyeol groaned as Baekhyun wrapped one hand around his cock and used to the other to bring him in for a kiss. Initially, Baekhyun pumped the member lazily, trying to adjust to the other boy's girth. Once he had fixed his grip, he increased the pace.

It wasn't long before Chanyeol came, moaning against Baekhyun's lips. The latter couldn't help but grin.

***

"Chanyeol, how are you so soft? Do you use baby oil?" Baekhyun was sitting on Chanyeol's chest, playing with his ears as the other boy lay on the bed.

"What are you talking about? You're clearly softer!" Chanyeol proclaimed.

"Pft, have you ever felt your skin, Chan?" he scoffed.

"Yes, I have and I have also felt yours and I can say with surety that you are softer."

"Nooo," Baekhyun protested, rubbing Chanyeol's collar bone. "Feel this. You have a bone here but it's still so soft!"

"What's that got to do with a bone?"

"Just feel it!" Baekhyun demanded.

Chanyeol touched the skin Baekhyun wanted him to.

"It's pretty normal," he declared, once done.

"Park Chanyeol, you don't know your own body." Baekhyun shook his head disapprovingly. As he himself continued to feel and gaze at the taller's bone, an idea popped into his mind.

"Chan, can I try something?"

"Sure," The giant answered, closing his eyes.

Baekhyun bent down to plant his lips on the taller's body and started sucking. Chanyeol gasped when he understood what Baekhyun was trying to do. The smaller chuckled at this reaction and went on with his ministrations, biting and licking at same spot.

When he parted from the skin, his eyes met a fresh and bright hickey which seemed to be smiling up at Baekhyun. "I always always wanted to try this," he informed his boyfriend.

Chanyeol simply groaned. "Just how will I hide this?"

Baekhyun couldn't help but cackle the next day when Chanyeol appeared to the school wearing a turtleneck.

***

"And make the opposite corners touch, then press," Chanyeol said and demonstrated the same with the origami sheet in his hands.

"Like this?" Baekhyun lifted the paper he was using to follow the taller's instructions.

"What?" Chanyeol looked up to study the smaller's sheet. "Oh my god, no! When you're folding it into half, the two sides should completely overlap, Baek!" Chanyeol grabbed the paper with a horror stricken face.

Baekhyun pouted and allowed Chanyeol to fix his work. "Why am I learning how to make a rose? I wanna learn something cool like that." Baekhyun pointed towards the realistic looking rhinoceros that sat on one of the shelves.

"Baek, That's made using wet-folding! You can't create that when the only things you can make using paper are airplanes or cranes," Chanyeol argued.

Baekhyun crossed his arms, sulking. "Well, then I'm sorry those are the only things I can give you. I clearly can't even make a rose without messing it up." He thought back to the flimsy rose he had given the giant a few months back.

Chanyeol sighed and put down the paper. "I'm sorry." He shifted towards Baekhyun to draw him into his arms. "Those are enough. Anything you make is enough."

He planted a kiss on Baekhyun's ear and the smaller buried himself into Chanyeol's arms– a place that now felt warmer than his blankets back home, a place that belonged to him and only him and a place that he wanted to stay in forever.

***