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my phoenix boy alight

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The swarming crowd of excited fans predominately shielded Baekhyun from the icy air of Seoul in January. Pulling his long coat closer to his chest with one hand and gripping his heavy camera in the other, he shuffled forwards to make his way to the front of the crowd, neck craning to catch a glimpse of the outdoor stage being set up in anticipation of the forthcoming performance. In just a few minutes the numbness in Baekhyun’s toes would all be worth it when Korea’s idol superstar, Park Chanyeol, makes his appearance. It was to be a short performance followed by a fansign, purely a treat for fans as Chanyeol wrapped up promotions for his latest mini album LOEY, but Baekhyun was still buzzing. He’d been following Chanyeol for years now. The first teaser SM Entertainment released back in 2011 of their latest solo artist to debut, Baekhyun was hooked. He started taking photos after Chanyeol’s first music show performance, and now three and a half years later with over 200,000 followers under his belt, Baekhyun had cemented himself as one of Chanyeol’s most popular fansites. The most dedicated group of Chanyeol’s fans who followed him everywhere with their cameras in hand all knew who was, and he them. Most of them were at the event today, all scattered throughout the crowd to catch the perfect shot of Korea’s hottest solo artist. By the time the music started ringing in his ears and the idol’s deep, deep voice washed over him, Baekhyun was glowing pure pink. Something about Chanyeol continued to captivate him. As Chanyeol came to the front of the stage Baekhyun quickly snapped as many shots as he could of the idol in action. The way he moved with such confidence and fluidity perfectly matched the upbeat yet smooth music that blasted its way out of the speakers. Everything for Chanyeol worked in perfect synch, creating the hypnotising image of a seemingly perfect performer. Baekhyun felt his heart hammering out of his chest as he looked out on the stage.

His untouchable boy was truly in his element.

 

Baekhyun stood nervously in the line, hands shaking as he clutched Chanyeol’s latest album, his perfectly hypnotising expression looking up at him on the cover. In all his years of following Chanyeol and his hectic schedule, this was the first time he’d be truly face to face. Baekhyun’s mind was racing, hurriedly trying to decide what few sentences he could say in the limited time he had Chanyeol to himself. There was still a relatively long line in front of him, he still had a bit of time.

And yet it seemed to fly by, soon enough there was only one shy looking girl in front of him. His hands gripped the album tighter as his wobbly legs went ahead of him as the security called him, and there he was.

Chanyeol seemed to be even more handsome up close, handsome face and shiny, tousled hair that sat perfectly framing his features. He gave Baekhyun a small smile in greeting and the boy felt his insides practically melt.

“Hi Chanyeol-sshi, I’ve been your fan since debut,” he managed out, voice cracking on the last syllable. Baekhyun shakily handed over his album trying not to let his eyes water.

“Thank you for cheering for me!” Chanyeol exclaimed brightly, clearly excited to have such a dedicated male fan. “What’s your name?”

“Can you write it t-to Phoenix Boy?” Baekhyun asked tentatively, Chanyeol nodded happily in response.

“You’re my fansite! I’ve seen a few of your pictures actually, they’re so great! I never imagined they came from someone so…cute though.” Chanyeol gave him a confident smile as Baekhyun’s face went completely scarlet. Was Park Chanyeol flirting with him? Him? Byun Baekhyun? Was this really happening?

“Th-thank you,” he stammered out, “I’ll always be cheering for you!”

With that the security motioned him to move along, his time with Chanyeol was over. He gave Chanyeol a grateful bow before scurrying off to the side, sobs threatening to break out of his chest.

Once he was back to his seat, he allowed the tears to drip down his cheeks. Not from sadness, but the pure wave of overwhelming joy that was currently flooding through him. Baekhyun couldn’t believe that the signing had gone how it did, looking down at the signature made his cheeks ache.

 

To Phoenix Boy

Thank you for cheering for me throughout the years! Stay warm this winter, I’ll lend you my coat.

 

The message was followed by his signature and small but distinct heart. Baekhyun felt his stomach fluttering, he couldn’t wait to share the message with his fellow Chanyeol fans that followed his every post.

But another part of him couldn’t help but want to keep it to himself, the message seemed more personal than he’d expected, a capturing of the moment that was just for himself and Chanyeol. Baekhyun shook his head, it couldn’t be that special, he was still after all, just a fan. He’d also announced on his twitter that he’d be attending the fansign, his followers were expecting the update from him. He snapped a few pictures of Chanyeol’s signature and posted it promptly, captioning the tweet with a multitude of crying emojis along with a ‘yeol-aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh’. The reactions were instantaneous, retweets and replies invading his phone, congratulating him and praising Chanyeol’s fan service. Baekhyun scowled, it wasn’t just fan service, to him it wasn’t. It had felt more than that, Chanyeol had truly seemed genuine.

Once Chanyeol had gotten through the array of fans waiting for his signature, he spoke for a little longer before waving a very long goodbye as his management urged him off the makeshift stage. The audience whined and wished him well as he disappeared behind the curtain and Baekhyun sighed, part of him missing the idol already. The fan sign was Chanyeol’s last schedule for the meantime as he prepared for his solo concert.

As he travelled home on the subway, cheeks still dusty pink he stared at the signed page ever so fondly, pondering over if Chanyeol really had meant what he said. As silly as it sounded with the blistering winter outside, looking at the sentiment across the picture of Chanyeol’s handsome face made Baekhyun’s heart feel nothing but warm.

 

*

 

As the winter breeze blew into February, Baekhyun found himself waiting at the main gate of Korea University. Jongdae was, of course, late to meet him for their first day of class.

“A design class? Really? I hardly have time as it is,” Baekhyun had whined at Jongdae’s suggestion.

“Come on, Baek, it’ll be fun!” His friend had insisted. Looking back, Baekhyun resented giving in to Jongdae’s request so easily. An extracurricular course wasn’t really what Baekhyun needed on top of his regular course load for the semester, plus half of his time was spent following Chanyeol’s schedule.

 

baekhyunnie

10.47am

where r u??? i’m waiting at the front gate

 

10.52am

jongdae??

 

10.55am

kim jongdae!!!! you signed us up for this and you’re not even here! i’m going inside you better be there before we start.

 

Baekhyun shoved his phone back in his coat pocket and strode inside the campus. He hurriedly navigated his way to the lower ground building where the class would be held. By the time he found his was to the right room, class was two minutes from starting. He sat down at an empty desk with two seats, across from two guys both dressed in all black whispering lowly to each other. As Baekhyun eyed the door, keenly waiting for his supposed friend to show up for something that had been his own suggestion. The sound of the door opening had Baekhyun siting up, eyes narrowed ready to barrage his friend for, one being late and two ignoring his messages, once he sat down in the empty seat next to him. The door swung open and Baekhyun’s eyes nearly bulged out of his head in shock when he saw the person who came through, that was definitely not Jongdae.

His face was slightly shielded, wearing his instantly recognisable black cap, his matching black mask pulled down to his chin. His eyes were down and his outfit rather non-de-script but Baekhyun would recognise that silhouette anywhere, years spent seeking him out from the airport to dark concert stages.

Park Chanyeol was a mere few metres away from him.

Baekhyun felt as if he couldn’t breathe, his throat had gone completely dry and thoughts of barraging Jongdae for pulling a no show had completely gone out of his head. He tried his best to remain silent as the rest of the class seemed to have paid no attention to the celebrity arrival. Baekhyun gripped the edge of the table and forced his eyes towards the board where their teacher was arranging papers, preparing for class. Keeping himself from hyperventilating became even more difficult when he realised Chanyeol had selected the seat literally right next to him.

 

Okay, breathe, breathe, don’t freak out

 

The class began with a course outline, the people around Baekhyun writing notes diligently as the projects for the next eight weeks were explained. Baekhyun had a shaky grip on the pen as he tried to pay attention to the teacher’s voice. But how could he when perfectly amazing, handsome, talented Park Chanyeol was sitting right there. Should he say something? Should he introduce himself when the class was over? His mind flashed back to the fan sign last January, would Chanyeol remember him? Would he be uncomfortable spending the eight week course with his own fansite?

Probably.

Baekhyun began to feel sick. His thoughts were continuously racing, the situation seemed so ridiculous, straight out of one of his dreams. But now, living it, sitting right next to this man he’d idolised for years he felt nothing but anxiety pumping through him, he didn’t realise how long he’d been in his head until the deep vibrato of Chanyeol’s voice interrupted his reverie.

“So I guess we’re partners?”

Baekhyun felt his chest seize, partners? For what? He really should’ve been paying attention.

“P-partners?” He stammered out, eyes darting to the board to confirm that a partner presentation was to be their first assignment. He’d missed half their first lecture lost in his own worries over Chanyeol.

“Right, sorry yes, we’re just partnering with the person we’re next to I guess?” Baekhyun didn’t know why his voice came out two octaves higher than usual. The two boys across him that had been talking before class were leaning over each other’s notes, the taller writing in the column of the owl eyed boy’s notebook. Chanyeol just gave a small nod in response, Baekhyun felt his palms starting to sweat as he desperately tried to think of the right thing to say. He guessed from the people around him they were supposed to be discussing ideas with their partners. He couldn’t believe that he was having this opportunity to talk to the person who meant the whole world to him, but in this unexpected context he felt like he was nothing but a burden, breaking into a part of Chanyeol’s life he wouldn’t normally share despite having no intention to. Sitting in silence Baekhyun realised he was most likely coming off as horribly shy at best and an idiot with no ability to speak at worst.

“So um, any ideas for the…project?” Baekhyun tried, desperately trying to look at the notes on the board to decipher what the assignment even was. Their conversation was relatively minimal, Chanyeol mainly kept his attention to the notes on his laptop, occasionally showing photos of design ideas to Baekhyun but otherwise keeping to himself. Baekhyun felt his heart sinking, he’d thought about being able to have a real conversation with the idol over and over again and now he was miraculously here, he was completely blowing it. Maybe Chanyeol was shy too, he wasn’t exactly rude but…he did seem indifferent, especially compared to the ever smiling and bubbly stage personality Baekhyun was used to. By the time 12pm hit and their class was dismissed Chanyeol said a brief goodbye, telling him he’d bring some ideas for their assignment on Friday before quickly bustling out of the room. Baekhyun looked on as the door shut, his chest tightening as Chanyeol went out of sight.

 

baekhyunnie

1.02pm

jongdae you are so dead

 

*

 

 

“Wait so you’re telling me that the Park Chanyeol, as in your idol Park Chanyeol, as in the person that you spend 90% of your time following like a leech….is in that art and design class?!” Jongdae exclaimed, eyes blown wide in disbelief.

Yes,” Baekhyun hissed, “and keep your voice down!”

They were seated at their usual table at Cafe Universe, slowly sipping their galaxy themed iced drinks while Baekhyun recounted the unbelievable occurrences of his first day of class. Bet Jongdae regretted ditching him now.

Cafe Universe was their regular haunt, often meeting up to study at their usual table during the University semester. Even now in their Winter break they seemed to wind up at the Cafe every other day, except when Chanyeol had a schedule of course.

“Wow, see Baek, good thing I did dump you in that course! You’ve met the man of your dreams!”

“Well I haven’t exactly met him…I barely spoke to him the entire time.” Jongdae gave him a look of utter confusion.

“What do you mean? You didn’t even talk to him?” Baekhyun shrugged sheepishly,

“I mean…what if he recognises me as his fan? As his fansite? I don’t want him to feel uncomfortable in the class thinking I’m going to share that he’s even there online, or anything that he says.”

“And aren’t you?”

“Of course not!” Baekhyun assured, “imagine all the fans waiting outside the classroom, he’d probably have to withdraw from the course, the commotion it would cause.”

“Okay, but Baek come on,” Jongdae whined, “this is your dream man! You’ve dedicated years to following him around, supporting him to the point I’m quite worried for you-”

“Hey!”

But,” Jongdae continued, “this is your golden opportunity! To get to know him, and not the idol Chanyeol, but Park Chanyeol, the person. Who knows! Maybe you’ll hit it off and be his first scandal.” Jongdae smirked suggestively, Baekhyun leaning over to hit his shoulder.

“Yah! Jongdae don’t say things like that.” Despite his statement he couldn’t help the blush that made its way onto his cheeks at the thought. Him and Chanyeol? He couldn’t pretend the thought had never entered his mind. Many years being dedicated to Chanyeol and his music meant various daydreams often played on his thoughts, some of them more far fetched than others. Although, with Chanyeol now spending a whole two hours only a metre away from him twice a week, they didn’t seem as incredulous as before.

“You might charm him Baek,” Jongdae said, interrupting his reverie, “and you better tell me all about it.”
“I don’t know Dae-”

“At least try to talk to him, he probably won’t even recognise you outside of the usual fan context! You’re his assignment parter, it’s not like you have no reason to.”

“I guess you’re right.”

 

*

 

By the time the Friday rolled around and Baekhyun was due back in class, he couldn’t fight off the onslaught of nerves he felt at the idea of seeing Chanyeol again. Besides Jongdae he’d told no one that the popular idol was his classmate, and as he sat at the same seat waiting for him to arrive he was having trouble controlling his breathing.

Chanyeol arrived exactly one minute before the class began, wearing nearly the same outfit as the few days prior. He gave Baekhyun a brief nod in greeting as he slid in the seat next to him, eyes drifting back to his phone as he tapped out a multitude of messages. When it came time to discuss their ideas for their assigned project, which Baekhyun had now figured out was to create a story through a series of six images, Chanyeol silently showed him picture ideas whilst scribbling his own notes. Baekhyun figured his own nervous silence wasn’t helping forge their working relationship much either.

“You don’t talk much huh?” Chanyeol murmured as Baekhyun was typing in silence.

“S-sorry, I’m just nervous I guess.” Chanyeol’s eyes narrowed in what seemed like alarm,

“And why would you be nervous?” Baekhyun gulped, looking back at him in panic.

“No sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you it’s…it’s just me I’m really nervous around people I don’t know,” he bluffed, eyes looking down to avoid Chanyeol’s questioning gaze.

“Right.” Chanyeol shifted his attention back to the laptop screen. Their eventual dismissal was followed by a quick nod from Chanyeol before he once again hurried out of the classroom. Baekhyun exhaled and slumped his chin onto the desk.

“Finding it tough?”

Baekhyun looked over to see two faces peering over his desk, the same two boys that had sat across from him both classes. One was exceedingly tall, probably nearly as tall as Chanyeol, with a broad frame and sharp angled face. The other was smaller, especially standing next to his friend, with big round eyes and an impassive expression.

“Partner work is hard I guess,” Baekhyun said, sitting up to look at them probably.
“I’m Kyungsoo by the way,” the smaller of the two introduced, “this is Sehun,” he gestured over to this friend. Baekhyun gave them a hesitant smile,

“Baekhyun.”

 

*

 

Sehun and Kyungsoo became fast friends with Jongdae, his extroverted nature looping them into his and Baekhyun’s conversation as soon as they were introduced. The four of them sat at Jongdae and Baekhyun’s usual table at Cafe Universe, the three design students pouring over sample drawings as Jongdae blabbered in an attempt to distract them.

“You know, you’d feel more included in this conversation if you actually attended the class,” Baekhyun pointed out. Jongdae shrugged,

“I’m content to just watch you three struggle.” Baekhyun rolled his eyes before turning back to look at his notes. He’d been working hard for their assignment, he and Chanyeol had decided on a mixed media piece, with Chanyeol’s drawings and Baekhyun’s photography. Baekhyun had shyly mentioned his array of camera equipment that he owned, passing it off as a hobby rather than a collection used to shoot his own assignment partner. Baekhyun looked back at his laptop screen, he wanted to show Chanyeol he was putting work into their project. He’d collected images as inspiration for his shots, desperately hoping his ideas would resonate with Chanyeol and maybe allow them to have a conversation longer than thirty seconds.

 

*

 

“This is actually really cool,” Chanyeol said, eyes peering over the test shots Baekhyun had taken over the weekend. They’d agreed on a composition of landscape images, contrasting the urban, bustling streets of Seoul with the city’s quiet forest.
“Thanks,” Baekhyun murmured feeling his cheeks grow hot. Chanyeol gave him a small smile.

“I’ve been working on some sketches too,” he pulled out a heavily worn notebook and laid it nervously in front of the other boy.

“It’s still pretty rough, but I thought the first sketch could be done in charcoal, and then it develops into something with colour.” Baekhyun curiously admired the drawings in front of him, he’d always known Chanyeol as a talented musician and handsome idol, seeing this other artistic side to him felt completely endearing, like he was seeing an unseen piece of someone he’d thought he’d known entirely.

“You’re really good,” Baekhyun mumbled out lowly, eyes glancing over to Chanyeol’s anxious expression. Baekhyun was having trouble comprehending the whole situation, was the Park Chanyeol actually….nervous to hear what he thought of his work?

“You think so?”

“Yeah, you’ve got a great eye for detail,” Baekhyun offered, drawing his attention back to the sketches as he flicked through the books pages. Looking back at his partner Baekhyun made a conscious effort to hide the shock that was most likely evident in his expression…was Chanyeol actually blushing?

This was all becoming too much for Baekhyun to take.

 

*

 

Chanyeol hastily slid into the car waiting for him outside the University gate, on time as always. His manager Junmyeon gazed at him from the front seat as he quickly shut the car door.

“How was it today?”

Chanyeol glanced over at Junmyeon’s concerned expression.

“It was fine hyung, same as usual.”

“Nobody recognised you?”

“I don’t think so, no one’s said anything.” Junmyeon was constantly worrying Chanyeol’s idol image would somehow be compromised if took classes in person. Chanyeol’s thoughts drifted back to his assignment partner’s reaction when they’d first met, the subtle blush that found it’s way on his cheeks. Chanyeol had found it quite…cute. Something about the small boy seemed familiar, he’d spent time studying Baekhyun’s soft and albeit pretty appearance. But he still couldn’t quite pinpoint where he’d seen the shy boy’s face.

“You okay back there?” Junmyeon asked, gazing at him from the rearview mirror, Chanyeol shrugged and stared at the city rolling by. It was pointless to get distracted by his cute project partner, he knew it couldn’t mean anything, even if he wanted it to.

 

*

 

Back in the classroom the tense atmosphere between himself and Chanyeol seemed to have percolated since they last saw each other. If possible, Chanyeol seemed even more distant than usual, speaking no more than a few words to Baekhyun whenever it was necessary. Baekhyun felt nothing but disheartened. Talking to Jongdae, Sehun and Kyungsoo had given him some small hope that things between him and the person he revered most in the world would somewhat improve. Sehun shot him a sympathetic look from across the room, noticing the two sitting in uncomfortable silence. Towards the final minutes of the class Baekhyun cleared his throat tentatively, pushing his notes to the side and drawing his attention to the boy sitting beside him.

“So, is there anytime we can actually start shooting? I know you’re busy…” Baekhyun began before realising his mistake,

“I mean I don’t know but, I would assume you have other things on I-”

“It’s fine, I can make time,” Chanyeol interrupted, pulling out his phone and handing the device to Baekhyun.

“Type your number in, I’ll text you when I’m free.” Baekhyun felt like he was going into shock, was he, Byun Baekhyun, really getting Chanyeol’s actual phone number? This felt beyond the realms of known reality. Trying to stop his hands from shaking, Baekhyun quickly wrote his number and handed the device back to Chanyeol with his unreadable expression. Chanyeol quickly called it as Baekhyun’s phone began to vibrate.

“There, now you have mine too,” Chanyeol said, smiling quickly as he tucked his phone away. Baekhyun could merely gape in shock, eventually mumbling a small thanks as he tried to process exactly what was happening.

“I’ll message you,” Chanyeol said as he stood up to leave, “we’ll meet before next class?” Baekhyun nodded, hands going clammy at the thought of hanging out with Chanyeol in private.

“S-sure, see you then.” Chanyeol eyes looked at him kindly, smiling in assurance for a brief moment before briskly leaving the room.

 

chanyeol

3.22pm

tomorrow, 1pm? meet outside the university gate?

 

baekhyun

3.24pm

 

yep ^^ see you then

 

Baekhyun felt his hands shaking not only from the cold as he waited for Chanyeol to arrive. He anxiously checked his phone to see if Chanyeol had messaged him to say he’d be late, but there was nothing. He’d shown up ten minutes early to avoid leaving Chanyeol waiting, but now he thought that was probably unnecessary. The sound of an engine pulled him out of his thoughts, a sleek black town car pulling up on the curb which Chanyeol hastily climbed out of. Baekhyun held back rolling his eyes,

 

He could at least try to be subtle about his identity

 

“Hey, sorry to keep you waiting,” Chanyeol said as he walked up to the smaller boy, checking back as the car pulled away.

“You have your own driver?” Baekhyun asked,

“Oh that,” Chanyeol looked slightly panicked, “just a friend who was in a rush.” Baekhyun nodded, concealing his small smile at Chanyeol’s poor attempt at lying.

“I’ve got my camera,” Baekhyun said, gesturing to the DSLR slung around his neck, Chanyeol nodded,

“I’ve got the draft sketches,” he answered, holding up his notebook with their plans for the assignment. They decided the subway would be the best way to get to Jongno 3-ga, where they would take their first set of photographs. Chanyeol wore a cap and mask on the train, spending most of the time staring at his shoes. The subway was packed as usual and Baekhyun ended up with his side pressing into Chanyeol’s, slightly sheltered under his arm, outstretched and holding on to keep them both steady. The close proximity had Baekhyun blushing slightly, cheeks feeling at hot as he was practically pressed up against Chanyeol’s chest.

They spent the afternoon wandering Jongno’s streets, framing their photographs just right, in a way that Chanyeol would be able to replicate. Chanyeol gave him multiple compliments on his photography skills, Baekhyun couldn’t help but feel delighted, despite concealing the fact his impeccable talents were all practiced when photographing his own project partner. As the afternoon drew on and the light began to leave them, Baekhyun felt so much more relaxed. Although slightly awkward at first, the conversation between himself and Chanyeol was more friendly than ever.

“Want to go eat? I think we’ve got enough pictures for one day.” Baekhyun’s eyebrows shot up into his hair,

“Really?” Chanyeol shrugged,

“Yeah why not, my treat, I think we’ve earned it.” Baekhyun’s heart started thumping even faster, he was actually going out with Chanyeol? Not out out but….still, he felt like his head was spinning.

They chose a small barbecue restaurant, cozy with a sizzling grill ready and waiting for them.

“I haven’t been out in ages,” Chanyeol remarked, tucking his long legs in. Baekhyun shifted, eyes darting up and back down as his nerves overtook him.

“Order whatever you like,” Chanyeol said as Baekhyun shakily poured them both cups of water, attempting to be polite. They decided on a sogogi and samgyupsal set menu, conversation beginning to flow between them as Baekhyun sipped on his shots of soju, Chanyeol throwing them back like they were nothing. The grilled meat tasted even more delicious sharing it with Chanyeol, warming his cheeks as Chanyeol placed it on his plate from the grill.

“You know, you’re pretty cute Baekhyun,” Chanyeol drawled, cheeks flushed from the heat of the restaurant and most likely the alcohol he’d been drinking. Baekhyun felt himself choke on the piece of pork he was swallowing,

“Wh-what?!”

“You are, come on, I always see you staring at me.”

Baekhyun felt as if his face was on fire.

“I’m sorry,” he mumbled, Chanyeol quickly shook his head.

“No, no…that’s not what I meant. Don’t be sorry.” He reached over to rest his hand over Baekhyun’s shaking one,

“I like it.”

Baekhyun felt his heart stop in his chest. Was Chanyeol actually…interested in him? His head was a few flirty comments away from exploding. The sound of Chanyeol’s phone blaring its ringtone broke the moment between them. He answered it hurriedly but with an apology in Baekhyun’s direction, mumbling quietly into the phone and hanging up.
“I’m really sorry but I have to head back now,” he pouted, shoulders shrugging in disappointment.
“No, no don’t be sorry!” Baekhyun insisted, reaching out for his jacket. Chanyeol paid before Baekhyun could say anything, which he thanked him profusely for. They took the subway back to Anam, pressed closely with small smiles for majority of the trip. The same black car that had dropped him off was waiting for Chanyeol when they came out of the station.

“Your friends back,” Baekhyun remarked as the reached the top of the steps, gesturing at the waiting vehicle. Chanyeol looked slightly perturbed.

“My friend he’s very…prompt,” he remarked, turning to face his partner.

“I’ll see you next class?” Baekhyun smiled,

“Of course, thanks again for dinner.”

“Don’t mention it, Baek.” Baekhyun went red at the nickname,

“You’re blushing again,” Chanyeol said with a cheeky smile. Baekhyun playfully hit his shoulder,

“You better get going,” he smiled, eyeing the car waiting for Chanyeol. The idol gave him one last smile before running over, hopping in quickly and the car starting up even faster. Baekhyun sighed as watched it disappear into the night.

 

*

 

The next time he saw Chanyeol was a few days later, arriving in class at the exact same time as usual. Baekhyun had uploaded most of the pictures from their day out to his laptop, eager to show Chanyeol their hard work. He felt like something between them had shifted, he was no longer itching with nerves at the thought of seeing his idol, he was excited. Not only that, but his excitement didn’t feel like it came from being Chanyeol’s fan, from being near someone so famous and talented, there was something so warm about Chanyeol when he let it show. A warmth not from being so revered and idolised, but a sincere quality Baekhyun looked for in a friend.

“Hey,” Chanyeol smiled as he slid into his designated seat, “I brought my sketch book, how did the photos turn out?”

“Really good!” Baekhyun exclaimed, hastily opening up his laptop to show Chanyeol their images. His eyes widened in a panic as his screen lit up.

Stupidly he’d left his fansite page open, glaring in all its glory as he’d been scrolling through it’s layout the night before. Baekhyun swore he never exited a tab faster, luckily it seemed Chanyeol hadn’t noticed, allowing Baekhyun’s panicked heart beat to slow slightly. He cleared his throat and once it was safe to do so, tilted his screen to Chanyeol’s line of sight.

“I haven’t started editing that much but I think they look pretty good.” Baekhyun flicked through the various images they’d captured throughout Jongno. Baekhyun was pretty pleased with them overall, the captured the overwhelming and electric mood of the busy Seoul area, which would heavily contrast with the empty streets Chanyeol had planned to sketch. Chanyeol nodded looking at the pictures, nudging Baekhyun gently.

“These are really good Baek, you did a great job.” Baekhyun looked down shyly,

“It was a team effort,” he insisted, eyes flicking over to Chanyeol’s pleased expression. They spent the class discussing their assignment further, filled with shy glances and red cheeks on Baekhyun’s part as Chanyeol continuously complimented the smaller boy’s work. He was practically in disbelief on how different Chanyeol was now that he’d begun to open up more, to allow himself to be comfortable around Baekhyun. He couldn’t help but feel something even more for the taller boy sitting so close by, bright smile directed only it him. The surge of emotions running through him wasn’t excitement over an idol, it was genuine. He felt like he was learning about Chanyeol all over again, only finding out he cared for him in a much deeper way than he ever had before. All those years running around, chasing Chanyeol’s schedule and updating his fansite page whenever he could seemed to pale in comparison to the suspended moment right there in that classroom, with Chanyeol’s bright eyes looking right into his own.

“Baekhyun?” Chanyeol waved one hand in front of his face, pulling him out of his thoughts.
“Sorry I…spaced out, I guess.” Chanyeol gave him a cheeky smile,

“And what were you thinking about? Me perhaps?” Baekhyun once again felt his cheeks going red at Chanyeol’s blatantly flirty nature,

“Just thinking.”

Kyungsoo gave him a knowing smile from across the table, Sehun who had his arm slung over Kyungsoo’s chair, gave him an incredibly conspicuous wink. Baekhyun swore he saw Chanyeol blushing.

 

*

 

Chanyeol’s eyes remained glued to his phone as his manager drove him back to his dorm. He’d been texting Baekhyun nonstop since they’d left class that afternoon. He couldn’t help it, the other boy was so adorable, sending him flirty messages and cute emoticons alongside them.

“Who are you messaging so much?” Junmyeon asked, peering suspiciously at the idol from the drivers seat.

“Just my assignment partner,” Chanyeol answered truthfully, despite Baekhyun being much more than simply his classmate to him, even though that remained mostly unspoken. Junmyeon’s eyes narrowed in suspicion.

“Wouldn’t think you’d be smiling so much at just a classmate.” Chanyeol rolled his eyes at his managers persistence.

“Don’t frown so much, hyung. You’ll get wrinkles.”

“I’m just saying be careful, you can’t get too attached to strangers.” Chanyeol simply shrugged in response. He felt deep down he could really trust Baekhyun, with him he experienced something that he’d struggled to find over the years he’d spent in the entertainment industry. Sincerity. He smiled as the notification of Baekhyun’s response to him popped up on the screen.

 

baekhyunnie

4.22pm

counting down until next class with you ^^

 

*

 

Baekhyun had been so caught up in his close up encounters with Chanyeol he’d almost forgotten about his solo concert as Chanyeol the idol.

Almost.

He’d had the ticket for months, repeatedly posting about his excitement for the event on twitter whenever Chanyeol had posted something related to his solo tour. His ticket was in row C in the front section close to the stage, enabling him not only to take great photos for Phoenix Boy but to see Chanyeol right up close. The idea seemed laughable now he spent many hours of the week sitting right next to him. The thought of not attending crossed Baekhyun’s mind, feeling like he was breaking some kind of trust between the Chanyeol he’d gotten to know and himself. He quickly pushed it aside, he’d been looking forward to this day since its announcement and the venue would be filled with thousands of excited fans, it’s not like Chanyeol would know he was there.

 

The stadium was buzzing as the fans filled in, Baekhyun had taken his seat, his camera hidden inside his bag. He felt excitement pumping through him, the music was loud and the stage lit, the spot where Chanyeol would soon arrive in his perfect line of sight. Baekhyun couldn’t help the grin that broke out on his face. As the concert began, his excitement increased tenfold. The screaming was unparalleled as the lights went on and the intro music started. Chanyeol slowly rose up from below the stage, expression focused and an electric guitar in hand. He struck the first note with such intensity Baekhyun felt the note run straight through him, swooning at Chanyeol’s natural charisma. Hastily, he pulled out his ready camera and began snapping a few shots, hiding away whenever a staff came in closer proximity to his section. The concert was incredible, Chanyeol sang, rapped and smiled with such perfection Baekhyun almost forgot this was the same boy he’d shared barbecue meat with last week. As he went into his final song, Chanyeol moved down towards Baekhyun’s section, the fans around him screaming and jumping up and down in excitement. Baekhyun peered through his lens as he captured shot after shot of the idol at such a close range, he smiled with please, looking back to the stage as Chanyeol leaned down to brush the hands outstretched in the front row. For a moment, Baekhyun forgot everything that happened between them, his dedication in following Chanyeol’s schedule for years seemed to cultivate to that moment, and he screamed out Chanyeol’s name along with the rest of the fans around him. The lights suddenly became brighter around him as Chanyeol lent over the stage to wave, eyes looking out at each person he could attempt to see before locking in towards Baekhyun’s direction.

Baekhyun froze.

At first Chanyeol seemed confused, eyes squinting as if he was trying to figure out who he was looking at, but then it hit him. His eyes widened in realisation, briefly flicking between the camera in Baekhyun’s hands to his face very clearly staring out at him from the crowd. He looked utterly shocked for a few seconds before snapping back into his professional exterior, giving the crowd one last smile before running off to the other side of the stage, Baekhyun felt his hands shaking.
“He looked right at you, oppa!” The girl beside him squealed excitedly.

I am so fucked

 

*

 

Following the concert, Baekhyun spent a considerable amount of time staring at his and Chanyeol’s chat, fingers hovering over the keyboard in an attempt to type out some kind of explantation. But nothing seemed like it could even hold some semblance of truth, Chanyeol surely knew who he was by now, or at least had some idea.

All he could do was wait until he saw the other boy again.

He didn’t have to wait long. As he waited in class at their usual table, Baekhyun was wringing his wrists in nervousness, would Chanyeol even want to speak to him? Would he ever trust Baekhyun again? Or would he just presume he was some crazed fan who’d stalked his way into the class with him?

Chanyeol’s stiff arrival broke his rushing thoughts, eyes looking up to Chanyeol’s expressionless face. Baekhyun mumbled a quiet hello as he sat down, but Chanyeol remained silent. Baekhyun felt his heart sink as his fears were confirmed. Throughout the class Chanyeol reverted back to his previous indifference, if not even more so. He barely spoke to Baekhyun at all. When the class wrapped up and Baekhyun hurried to pack up his things, he was distracted by a small tap on his arm.

“Lets talk outside, okay?” Chanyeol said, eyes staring right through him. Baekhyun nodded, following the taller out of the room, feeling his nerves chewing him up. They sat at a nearby bench, their surroundings devoid of anyone else. Chanyeol sighed before looking over at him.

“How many people did you tell?”

“Sorry?”

“That I was in the class, how many?” He was outright glaring, “have you posted pictures? Sold them? Did you somehow figure out I would be here and followed me?” Baekhyun shook his head insistently.

“No never, I never said anything about this, and I would never do that.” Chanyeol looked over in suspicion,

“There’s no point lying Baekhyun, I know who you are. I always thought you looked familiar, and then when I saw you, right there in the crowd holding your camera it all clicked. You’re Phoenix Boy, you’ve been with me for years. I was an idiot for not realising earlier.”

Baekhyun felt his breath catching in his throat at Chanyeol’s revelation, he’d screwed up royally, and now Chanyeol would never trust him again, he’d be surprised if he wasn’t banned by Chanyeol’s company from his schedules for the rest of Chanyeol’s career.

“Look,” Baekhyun began, voice quiet and shaking, “I know you have no reason to believe me, and yes you’re right. That’s me, I’ve been a fan of yours for years, and I never told you after we met but…I swear I never told anyone that you were coming here except Jongdae, he was the one who signed me up for this class, we were supposed to do it together but he ended up bailing on me and then…you were here. I honestly could barely believe it, I felt so nervous and sick with anticipation over being near you, yet unbearably giddy at the same time. But I would never post about your private life, I wouldn’t do that to you, Chanyeol.” Baekhyun gulped pulling out his phone to his twitter profile, reluctantly handing it over.

“This is my page, have a look for yourself. You’ll see I post nothing but photos from your public schedules. I don’t expect you to ever want to speak to me again, but please just know I would never violate your private life. I have nothing but respect for you, I care about you so much Chanyeol, I really…” Baekhyun trailed off,  “it doesn’t matter anymore, it shouldn’t matter how I feel but I just want you to know that I shouldn’t have lied to you, and I’m sorry.”

Chanyeol nodded but said nothing, Baekhyun knew it wasn’t an acceptance but he did seem less angry than before.

“Just have a look, Chanyeol. Just know I wouldn’t do anything to hurt you, not intentionally.” With that Baekhyun pocketed his phone and stood up,

“I’m sorry for wasting your time,” he managed out before turning away, holding back the tears that were blurring his vision as he beelined for the subway station.

 

*

 

It had been a week since he’d heard from Chanyeol. Their class was on break in order to finish preparing their final assignment for the presentation, but he was too scared to contact Chanyeol. He’d sent his final edited photos in a blank email to his partner, only writing in the subject line what they were. Baekhyun wasn’t even sure if he’d received them. He sat with Jongdae, Kyungsoo and Sehun in Cafe Universe, sipping his coffee slowly as his eyes stared out the window, thoughts far away.

“You can’t be hung up on this forever, Baek.” Jongdae interrupted, foot nudging his knee gently. Baekhyun shrugged, eyes downcast.

“I screwed up so bad,” he murmured.

“Doesn’t mean he won’t forgive you,” Sehun countered, Kyungsoo nodded beside him as they shared one large armchair.

“You were honest in the end, that’s what matters,” he assured, wide eyes looking at Baekhyun with nothing but sincerity. Baekhyun sighed, reaching out for his mug again. He sat quietly, letting his friends’ conversation wash over him, eyes glancing towards the big windows to watch the bustling of people outside.
“Uh, Baek,” Jongdae said sometime later, eyes glued to his phone.

“Yeah?”

“You might want to look at this,” he said, guilty expression adorning his features as he handed his phone over to a confused Baekhyun.

 

Breaking: Top Idol Chanyeol caught on date with unknown male

 

Top Idol Chanyeol, known for hits such as ‘Heaven’ and ‘Let Me Love You' has been pictured with an unidentified male out in Jongno two weeks ago according to sources. The two seemed very close and cosy. Is Chanyeol hiding a secret relationship from his fans? Pictures Below.

 

Source: Naver

 

[+5453 -364] wow it seems chanyeol was really dishonest…hiding a boyfriend for however long. his fans are sure to leave him now

 

[+3494 -353] hehe looks like his perfect image is finally ruined!! he’s clearly a liar

 

[+2972 -2374] he really does look happy tho…i’m sad as his fan but happy if this guy brings our chanyeollie happiness

 

[+8772 -4563] how could he do this to us i’m so upset, we trusted him!!

 

[+1534 -256] wow his boyfriend is totally cute kkkkk go chanyeol!!

 

[+365 -12] the other guy kind of looks like that fansite phoenix boy….

 

 

Baekhyun felt the colour drain from his face, it was all there. Pictures of the two of them out together, taking photos, smiling at each other, even at the barbecue restaurant with Chanyeol’s hand over his and Baekhyun’s expression nothing but lovesick. Chanyeol had a mask on in most of the photos but it was still undeniably him. Baekhyun felt his hands begin to shake, he’d done nothing but bring Chanyeol burden after burden, if he didn’t hate him already he certainly did by now. His eyes fell to the comments which made him feel just as awful. Looking at his phone the notifications were going off like mad, people tagging and mentioning him in the article, asking if it was really him. Being at Chanyeol’s events so frequently over the years and being a male fan who was reasonably attractive, Baekhyun was quite known amongst Chanyeol’s fans. Which now, he was realising, was to his detriment in this situation. He deleted the twitter app in frustration after tweeting ‘rest’ in order to avoid explaining his absence and sighed back into his chair, Jongdae, Sehun and Kyungsoo all giving him the same worried expression.

“God, what do I do?” He moaned, pressing his fingers into his now aching temples.

“I know you won’t want to but..” Jongdae started,

“You need to talk to him, this is more than just an argument between only the two of you now,” Kyungsoo said with finality, Sehun nodding in agreement. Baekhyun knew they were right, but the likeliness of Chanyeol wanting to talk to him seemed slim to none.

 

*

 

By the time night rolled around Chanyeol was exhausted. He’d spent the days in meetings and getting yelled at by his overprotective manager, which was never fun. The article containing the photos of him and Baekhyun had spread like wildfire, and his company was struggling to determine the best way to respond. The whole thing made Chanyeol’s head hurt. Ever since his debut, dating had pretty much been the furthest thing from his mind. All he’d focused on was building his career, practicing tirelessly and working as hard as he could. He could barely remember the last time he’d actually felt something genuine for somebody.

Until Baekhyun had come into the picture.

But now that was all messed up to, upon reflection, Chanyeol felt abhorrently guilty for the way he’d reacted. Yes, Baekhyun hadn’t been exactly explicit with the truth but he’d never done anything to hurt him. Chanyeol had spent the previous days reading through Baekhyun’s tweets and seeing his photos, smiling at the cute way he reacted to anything the idol did. Pulling out his phone he found his way back to Baekhyun’s Phoenix Boy twitter, hoping to see some kind of nice tweet from the boy.

 

@PhoenixBoy1127: rest.

 

Chanyeol felt his guilt increase even further, the replies on Baekhyun’s tweet were bombarding him with questions and accusations towards their so called ‘relationship’. Chanyeol exited out of the app and pulled open his messages. This whole thing was incredibly unfair, his company had spent the day working out what was best for him yet he’d had no idea the toll this would take on Baekhyun when people figured out his identity. They were suffering for a relationship they didn’t even have, but he was beginning to realise it may be one that he wanted. Chanyeol began typing out his message when another one came through.

 

baekhyunnie

2.47pm

chanyeol i know the last thing you need right now is somebody bothering you but i really think we should talk. i can’t begin to say how sorry i am for all the trouble and hurt i’ve caused you. please message me back if you can.

 

Chanyeol sat up quickly, reading the message over a few times before sighing resolutely and pressing Baekhyun’s contact.

“Chanyeol?”

 

*

 

The two had planned to meet at the Baekhyun’s usual haunt, Cafe Universe, meeting at an early hour where the coffee shop remained mostly empty. It was just after 10am as Baekhyun sat inside, waiting to see if Chanyeol would even show up. He fiddled with his coffee cup, nervously casting his eyes over to the door every few seconds. Baekhyun looked down at his sneakers, he was idiotic for thinking Chanyeol would actually come today, who was he but a nobody who’d spent the precious time he’d had with him lying? He’d had his chance and he’d blown it, and now this whole mess had extradited to the point where it was affecting Chanyeol’s career, Baekhyun didn’t think he could feel worse.

“Sorry I’m late,” a gruff voice said above him, sightly muffled by the mask over the speakers mouth. Baekhyun looked up to see Chanyeol in all his handsome glory, eyes sticking out of his signature black cap and eyes looking surprisingly kind.

“Thank you for coming,” he said as Chanyeol sat down opposite him, the nerves rushing through him once again. Chanyeol sighed, glancing down at his shoes and pulling his mask down to his chin.

“First I want to say I’m sorry, Baek.” Baekhyun’s eyebrows shot up in surprise,

“You want to say sorry to me?” He asked incredulously. Chanyeol nodded firmly,

“Yeah, I was a real jerk to you before I even gave you a chance to explain. And now just from being seen with me your whole life’s been turn up down, I know you didn’t ask for that so I just want to say I’m really sorry.”

Baekhyun felt at loss for words, he never thought Chanyeol would be the one apologising to him. Yes, this whole media mess had left him pretty worse for wear but he never thought that was Chanyeol’s fault, rather the person who felt their privacy meant nothing by leaking the photos in the first place.

“Chanyeol I don’t blame you for any of it, I mean yeah it hurt when I could tell you were angry with me but…I wasn’t exactly honest with you either,” he relented. Baekhyun pushed his coffee cup forward across the table and sat up straighter.

“Whatever you need from me, I’ll do it. If you need me to help you deny the rumour or stop going to your events then, I can do that. Whatever’s going to fix that I’ll happily go along with-”

“Baek-”

“Wait please, let me say this. The truth is I’ve loved you for the longest time, looked up to you for years and always just wanted to support you. So actually meeting you was completely surreal, I actually got to know you, know at least a part of you not just the ‘idol’ you. The point is, I really want you to be happy, Chanyeol. So whatever you or your company needs from me…I’ll do it, I just want to make things right,” Baekhyun finished, chest feeling light from finally letting everything go. Chanyeol stared at him, completely flawed and seemingly speechless before he finally cleared his throat to talk.

“W-wow Baekhyun, that…that means a lot, truly.  You see, the truth is that the last thing I want to be is away from you. Honestly, I really like you, as crazy as that sounds.”

Baekhyun swore his heart stopped beating, Chanyeol smiled at him warmly as he continued.

“You’re so sincere and sweet, and really cute. If we’re gonna have to go through this whole media mess about our ‘relationship’ well then, we might as well spend time together at least?” Chanyeol gave him a shy shrug, eyes nervously casting over Baekhyun’s shocked expression.

“So what you’re saying is…”

“I’m saying I like you, Baekhyun, and if you let me, I want to be the one to make you happy.”

Baekhyun’s smile was near blinding.

And as they strolled back to Chanyeol’s waiting car outside, the kiss the idol gave him left him glowing for the rest of the afternoon.

 

*

 

It had been nearly six months since Baekhyun’s life had changed completely. Dating Chanyeol was far from easy, despite the fact that their relationship was known to the public, to retain privacy most of their time together was spent inside cars or in Chanyeol’s apartment, otherwise going out in masks and caps.

But Baekhyun wouldn’t change it for anything.

Chanyeol proved to be the most caring boyfriend he could ask for even amongst his busy schedule. He brought Baekhyun coffee or food or even flowers if he was feeling especially sappy, usually for no occasion, phone calls when Chanyeol was busy on a schedule that lasted late into the night.

Tonight was one of Chanyeol’s rare nights off, they had gone out to grab coffee earlier in the evening and were now snuggled up in Chanyeol’s apartment with Baekhyun’s legs slung over Chanyeol’s lap as they exchanged kisses on the couch.

“I missed you today,” Chanyeol mumbled against Baekhyun’s lips as he gave him another sweet kiss, Baekhyun couldn’t help the giggle that escaped him.

“You texted me that already,”

“I know,” Chanyeol relented, granting Baekhyun another kiss, “but I always miss you.”

“You’re such a sap,” Baekhyun grinned, pushing his boyfriend’s slightly too long hair off his face.

“Yeah but you love it.”

“You’re right, I do,” Baekhyun whispered, resting his head on Chanyeol’s shoulder.

“I love you,” Chanyeol murmured, sliding his hand from his boyfriend’s waist to hold onto Baekhyun’s own. He looked up to face him, eyes glassy at what had just come out of his boyfriend’s mouth.
“You’ve never said that before,” Baekhyun stuttered out, voice shaking. Chanyeol gripped his hand tighter,

“Well, I mean it. I love you Byun Baekhyun.” Baekhyun leant over to kiss him, slowly, softly, trying to pour every good feeling he had for his boyfriend into the kiss.

“I love you too.”

Chanyeol carried Baekhyun to his plush bed with nothing but adoration in his eyes. They kissed with vigour, removing their clothes slowly as Baekhyun felt himself fall into the soft sheets. Chanyeol pulled away for a second to retrieve the bottle of lube in the draw, Baekhyun eyes following him as he came back to give him a firm kiss.

“Ready, baby?” Baekhyun nodded holding onto Chanyeol’s wrist.

“Please,” he murmured, leaning up to kiss his boyfriend softly once again while he felt the first finger tracing his entrance. He sighed and gasped, lying back and enjoying as his boyfriend slowly worked him open.

“I’m ready, I’m ready,” Baekhyun moaned minutes later, cheeks flushed in arousal. Chanyeol smiled as his hand traced over Baekhyun’s chest.

“So needy, so good for me aren’t you,” he whispered, laying kisses down Baekhyun’s delicate neck.

“Only for you,” were the last words Baekhyun managed out before becoming lost in the pleasure his boyfriend gave him. Chanyeol was always gentle, except when he asked otherwise, but tonight the mood between them seemed the most romantic Baekhyun had ever experienced. It was more than just sex, as Chanyeol made love to him Baekhyun felt as if every inch of love he had for his boyfriend was moving between them, a delicate thread tying them together, souls blending into each other as they became as close as they could be. When he came, Chanyeol whispered that he loved him, and although Baekhyun could only manage a strangled moan as he was lost in blinding pleasure, he held Chanyeol’s hand tightly, his anchor holding him steady as Chanyeol came with him. Breathing heavily as he came down from his high, Baekhyun smiled and Chanyeol kissed his neck before pulling out gently, moving Baekhyun to lie over his chest.

“That was…”

“Amazing,” Chanyeol supplied with the most pleased grin over his face.

“Wonderful,” Baekhyun agreed, lazily kissing his boyfriend once more.

“Let me get you cleaned up,” Chanyeol whispered, he quickly disappeared to the ensuite to come back with a warm wet towel, cleaning over Baekhyun and tossing it to the side. He slid back into the bed, wrapping his arms around his small boyfriend.

“It’s so strange, a year ago I could have never imagined I’d be here, with you,” Baekhyun whispered into the comfortable silence. Chanyeol smiled, kissing his soft cheek.

“Me neither, Phoenix Boy,” he said teasingly, Baekhyun pushed his shoulder lightly.

“You’re my Phoenix Boy,” Baekhyun whispered back, eyes glazed with happiness.

“All yours,” Chanyeol whispered, giving him one last kiss before his eyes slid shut, the exhaustion overtaking him. Baekhyun took a second to admire his handsome features before succumbing to sleep himself. Here, in that moment, he felt nothing but loved, with every facet of Chanyeol playing on his thoughts as he slipped into his dreams.

 

@PhoenixBoy1127: OPEN. Love for him, always.

 

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