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Head over Hoops (in love with you)

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“Come on, Yeol!”

A picture of tousled hair that’s a little too long and has started to curl around his ears – they’re pointed, somewhat pinched, and people have a knack for pulling on them – and wet with sweat and soon slicked back by the hand that’s free of the ball, Park Chanyeol intercepts halfway through the court.

The team captain’s advances have a few students cheering, those who would stay behind after classes just to loiter around in the stalls, in the corners of the gym, to watch the college basketball team practice. Some swoon as he nears, at the sight of him biting his plump bottom lip in concentration, of strong legs that are endlessly long, or maybe it’s his arms – bare and toned as he runs. It could also be the little smile he sends towards the bleachers, lips tilted to one side like he’s smug and grateful at the same time, with almond shaped eyes that shine with mirth.

His focus is soon back on the ball. He dribbles nearer to the first half of the court, manoeuvring around the player before he bends his arm to make a hoop.

Until something crashed into his side and sends him to the floor.

“You think you got skills, Park?”

Chanyeol stares up in disbelief as Byun Baekhyun hovers above him, standing there with his hair bright red, red as his flustered cheeks, small eyes shaped like crescents because he finds this all too funny – Chanyeol can tell – with the ball clasped under his arm. He stands there with his too tight jeans, too loose t-shirt, and a red plaid shirt tied around his waist. Chanyeol’s eyes stop on his boots, clean but with the laces untied, and the captain knows they’re inappropriate for basketball. His presence is loud, too, even if he’s just taunting Chanyeol with a blinding smile.

Neither pay attention to the groans from the team, some already heading to the bench for their water bottles while some drop to the floor in exhaustion. Some of them, though, cheer half-heartedly when Baekhyun attempts to dribble around a weary looking Chanyeol before he’s running up to the hoop on the other side of the court, boots heavy on the gym floor, and he misses the hoop completely.

The team still cheer but Baekhyun looks appalled, “don’t you guys think your hoop may be a little too high?”

Yixing, the new transfer kid who had joined them at the start of senior year, looks between Chanyeol’s narrowed eyes, his burning face and his lips that are pressed thinly together. And then he looks at the music major, the one he usually sees singing in the courtyard. So, he steps forward a little, cautious, because the captain looks a little too annoyed and Yixing isn’t sure he wants to see a fight break out. Even if the other team members seem fond of the violinist, as they walk by and ruffle his hair before disappearing into the locker rooms one by one to head home soon, he just doesn’t understand who Byun Baekhyun is.

And he’s not sure he still knows when he finds himself standing there, duped and highly confused as Baekhyun bounces over to Chanyeol with his too heavy boots and bright red hair and kisses him square on the lips. Then the basketball team’s captain is smiling, eyes softening while he wraps his arms around the shorter guy to nuzzle his nose into his hair, and Yixing thinks he should leave.

Lockers rattle and the towels are whipped across skin, the boys playing around as they shower and change. Sehun is slouching against Jongin’s locker in one corner and Minseok is singing loudly in the open shoulders; they’re all rowdy as Yixing walks in.

“That was Byun Baekhyun,” Sehun suddenly says, patting the space next to him for Yixing to join them, offering him a half full water bottle when he does. Yixing takes it, intently listening as he slips out of his basketball uniform, “Park’s boyfriend since freshman year. He’s a music major, you know, like Jongdae – it’s kind of obvious; he’s loud and never stops singing. He comes around sometimes during practice to annoy Chanyeol. Calls himself a basketball prodigy but can’t even reach the hoops. Chanyeol just loves him too much to kick him out.”

Yixing nods his head absentmindedly, smiling, because it makes sense.

In the little time he’s been attending the college, he finds Chanyeol to be charming, most of the time, but brooding when he’s annoyed and when it’s cold because it’s winter and there aren’t uniforms that keep them warm enough. He’s tall, too, looming over everyone, but he only turns intimidating when his eyebrows are furrowed and he’s scowling. His arms are heavy and thick, especially when he’s roughhousing around with his team players or when’s he’s slapping them across the back to say well done. He’s just big, tall and handsome, and Yixing understands.

There’s also Byun Baekhyun. Just as strong, thick thighs behind his tight jeans and arms that can lift up Chanyeol when he wants to. But he’s on the shorter side, barely coming up to the other’s chin, and he has eyes and a smile that sparkle when he has to look up at the tall basketball captain. The music major can get broody, too, especially when none of the music rooms are available and he has to practice on top of Chanyeol’s car, on the bonnet, as the parking lot empties out after four. Yet, he’s mostly smiles, like a puppy almost, seeking attention from Chanyeol and nuzzling into his sides, under his arms, into his neck, when he doesn’t get it. Yixing thinks it makes sense why they’re in love.

Baekhyun soon comes fumbling into the locker room, Chanyeol’s head between his arms, his knuckles rubbing harshly against the taller’s head. The team captain only winces and yells at him to let go.

Sehun groans, but he still looks at them fondly, “idiots made for each other.”

 

~

 

Park Chanyeol wasn’t always in love with Byun Baekhyun, rather he didn’t like him at all.

They met in freshman year of college, both eighteen and young, and in different social circles that their paths never really crossed. Maybe they did sometimes, when Baekhyun was attempting to play the trombone as a whiny Jongdae screamed at him about germs and uncoordinated playing, right there in the middle of the college canteen. Chanyeol would sometimes notice him, all sorts of bothered, scowling up at the then pink haired music major standing on top of a table. The basketball team captain’s first impression of Byun Baekhyun was: annoying.

And that first impression lasted for a while, even a month later as Chanyeol had walked into the gym hall with Sehun and Jongin to do some free practise for the term try-outs. It was a cold winter day, the parking lots empty, the sun having set an hour ago and the dim streetlights around campus were flickering slightly while students trudged back to their dorms and their apartments. It would have been fine; Chanyeol was in a happy mood, energised and already dribbling the ball in his hands. But it didn’t last long as the three of them came to a halt four steps into the gym, standing there perplexed as Byun Baekhyun jumped to score a slam dunk but had ended up falling onto another music major named Kyungsoo.

“There is no way you could ever reach the hoop with that height of yours.”

Chanyeol’s voice is deep, a low timbre that sounds heavy and loud in the empty gym, and very, very, intimidating that it has both Baekhyun and Kyungsoo flinching. Even Jongin and Sehun had taken a step back as they looked between their captain and the two strangers.

“E-Excuse me?” Baekhyun huffs out, scrambling up to stand up. He pats down the front of his hoodie, tilts his nose a little in the air and then eyes Chanyeol up and down like he’s not ready to bolt for the gym doors, “I’m not short. You’re just a beanstalk.”

“What did you just say?”

“Can you not hear from up there?”

That’s how Park Chanyeol’s and Byun Baekhyun’s first meeting goes, abruptly cut off by Kyungsoo, who had grabbed Baekhyun by the wrist and pulled him away from the basketball players. The violinist, however did manage to stick his head back into the hall, so he could pull one of his cheeks down and stick out his tongue to taunt the captain. Chanyeol’s grumbles fall on deaf ears but Sehun just guffaws, claps him on the back, and passes the ball to him.

 

~

 

Baekhyun doesn’t develop a crush on Park Chanyeol after that, but Kyungsoo insists.

“The guy can’t stand you,” the pianist starts, his eyes wide and blinking while he sits across from Baekhyun and unwraps his sandwich for lunch, “and now you have feelings for him because he looks good while playing basketball. It’s because he’s tall, isn’t it?”

Baekhyun just splutters, flabbergasted because how could Kyungsoo accuse him of such a thing, “I-I don’t have feelings for him! He… he just looks really cool while handling the ball, you see.”

“What does that have anything to do with his ears? Do you know you haven’t stopped talking about them ever since you saw him seven months ago in the gym?” Kyungsoo asks, and he looks knowingly at Baekhyun, eyes bigger than usual like he’s lost or has no idea what he himself is taking about, but Kyungsoo knows too much.

Baekhyun begins to refuse but instead, he finds himself blushing heavily as Chanyeol and his team mates stroll in through the canteen, sweaty and tired and still in their jerseys from practice. At least he’s not wearing a suit, Baekhyun thinks, like he does once every few weeks as a business major. Because maybe that makes Baekhyun swoon more than usual. But even in his basketball uniform, with his captain band tight around his bicep, growing tighter as he leans back into his chair and places his arms around the top of the chairs, it still leaves Baekhyun flustered.

Even more so when Chanyeol catches Baekhyun staring. His gaze is hard and set on the music major, like he has no intentions to look away, but Baekhyun is already looking back at Kyungsoo. The pianist looks a little alert at his best friend’s sudden mood change and so, he turns back briefly, only to see Park Chanyeol still staring at their table. He stares long enough for Sehun and Jongin to notice, until they’re also staring at the table. And even when Baekhyun and Kyungsoo fumble around with their bags and music sheets, not wanting to be late to vocal class, Chanyeol’s eyes never leave Baekhyun till he’s stumbling out of the canteen.

Yet, it’s a month later where Chanyeol is the one stumbling. His teammates groan loudly at the sight of the basketball hitting Byun Baekhyun’s right in the face. Most of them wince, especially Chanyeol himself, as the music major lets out a sharp cry before Jongdae and Kyungsoo are worrying over him. The team captain doesn’t know what to do. Sehun shoves at his shoulder, prompting him to go check on Baekhyun; it has him panicking a little, maybe a lot.

Chanyeol does go to him in the end, hurriedly, and he doesn’t know what he’s thinking when he plucks Baekhyun’s hands away from his face and replaces it with his own ones. Chanyeol’s hands are warm against the soft skin of Baekhyun’s face, the callouses of his fingers somewhat rough but gentle, too. And he thinks he’s lost it as he crouches down before Baekhyun and smiles sheepishly at him, watching as the shorter boy’s droopy eyes water with tears, his face also turning a furious shade of red.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I- I was meant to pass it to Sehun and I didn’t see you there. I didn’t mean to hurt you,” Chanyeol blabbers. He quickly takes the ice pack from Sehun, who lingers next to Kyungsoo and presses it gently to the growing bruise on Baekhyun’s cheek. “You shouldn’t really be sitting this close to the court.”

Baekhyun stays silently and he’s not sure if his face is red from the impact of the ball or if it’s because Park Chanyeol’s face is too close to his - his dimple too deep and his eyes too soft. It would have been fine if it stayed like that, maybe the team captain will worry over him a little more, maybe he will leave after making sure Baekhyun keeps the icepack against his face, but instead he stays because Kim Jongdae can’t keep his mouth shut.

“He only sat this close to the front because he wanted to see you, Park.”

That had Chanyeol whipping his head back to Baekhyun. It has the smaller jumping back a little in his seat because it happened so fast. But Baekhyun still focuses on the way the team captain’s mouth pouts a little, words slightly slurred but his voice is just as deep in his chest, “me? You came here to see me?”

Baekhyun nods slowly, unsure.

Chanyeol grins like he’s amazed.

 

~

 

Two months later, Baekhyun is choking on his strawberry milkshake.

“What- What was that?”

Kyungsoo looks bored as he fidgets with the wrapper of his straw, waiting for their food to be prepared at the diner Jongdae works at part time. He only sends Baekhyun a tired glance but he watches silently as his best friend turns the same shade of pink as the leather booths they’re sitting in, almost like the colour of his hair if he continues to blush brighter.

“You and Chanyeol are dating, right?” Kyungsoo asks again.

Baekhyun replies back with an incredulous look and stuttering words, “w-what makes you think that?”

“Let’s see. He hugs you every time before he leaves for practice. He always picks you up after your classes even though our building is on the other side of the campus. He even let you meet Toben, and from what I gathered, he doesn’t just bring anyone home to meet Toben. Jongin told me.”

“Since when did you know Jongin—”

“You’re also wearing his jersey right now.”

“How does that mean anything—”

“And Chanyeol slipped up and called you his boyfriend when we were discussing your birthday plans.”

Because it just happened. From friends who only sent smiles and waves to each other whenever they crosses paths on campus, from friends who would make fun of Junmyeon whenever they had the chance, and to boyfriends whose eyes would soften and sparkle all at the same time. It went from Baekhyun’s tiny – huge – crush, one that blossomed whenever Chanyeol would hug him like he’s the warmest to soft forehead kisses he would leave when they’d say goodbye. And anyone could see that because Byun Baekhyun is the only one who can interrupt basketball practice and attempt slam dunks horribly for Park Chanyeol.

It wasn’t quite love then, but now it’s just that.

 

~

 

Sometimes they’re both stubborn.

“They’re not talking?”

“They’re not talking.”

It’s a movie night at Jongdae’s apartment, one he shares with Minseok. Everyone has gathered around with bags of popcorn and chicken wraps that Jongdae almost burns after reheating them in the microwave. Jongin and Sehun and already lounging against each other on the carpeted floor, Kyungsoo not far from them as he goes through Junmyeon’s DVD collection – because all Jongdae and Minseok have are video games – with Yixing. It all seems like every other movie night, save for the absence of Baekhyun sleeping noisily next to Chanyeol. He’s sitting where he usually sits, huddled up in the corner of the grey couch. Any other day, it would be chanyeol who is squishing himself into the corner with Baekhyun in his lap but this time, it’s just Baekhyun.

The team captain is there, too, sitting there on the single seat closer to the windows. His face is blank and fine like there’s nothing wrong. Baekhyun is the only one visibly sulking and he’s also the only one stealing glimpses of his boyfriend, only to scoff loudly as he presses himself harder into the couch.

It’s spring and it’s humid, the room sweltering even with the little fan standing on top of the TV stand, even with the windows wide open as Chanyeol sits beside them in nothing but his shorts and a loose, mesh jersey shirt. Baekhyun had come in his baby pink pyjamas with the stripes and a little stain from the strawberry jam he had spilled on it an hour before – their apartment is only four doors down anyway. He thinks Chanyeol should have come in his pyjamas as well because there is absolutely no reason he should be sitting there with his toned arms and his toned legs like that. Even if it’s like a hundred degrees.

Minseok joins Jongdae in the kitchen and he watches the latter for a few seconds as he smothers the chicken wraps in every sauce there is in their refrigerator. Jongdae soon spots him and gestures for him to come over and starts speaking to him with a mouth full of chicken, “they fought.”

“I think we figured that, Dae.”

Said man shakes his head and holds a finger up, swallowing his food with a grimace, before he speaks, “Baekhyun was playing with Chanyeol’s balls – not like that – and knocked over his trophies. They didn’t break but you know how Chanyeol gets with his awards.”

“So Baekhyun is at fault.”

“Not entirely,” Jongdae mumbles with another mouthful of food and Minseok wonders why he’s dating this man, “Jongin told Sehun, who then told Junmyeon, who just had to tell Kyungsoo and was overhead by Yixing, who I obviously got the news from, that Chanyeol didn’t really have to shout at Baekhyun like that.”

Minseok wants to wipe away the sauce on Jongdae’s chin but he’s mildly disgusted, so he just asks, “like what?”

“You know, like the time Baekhyun broke the hoop in the gym by hanging from it,”

“Oh, that.”

“Yeah, that.”

Baekhyun has been sulking ever since. Not that he had tried to talk to Chanyeol himself. Instead he had just trudged after him as the taller had locked the door to their apartment and walked down the hallway without a word. Baekhyun was this close to throwing his slipper towards the back of Chanyeol’s head but Kyungsoo has opened the door and looked pointedly at the violinist, displeased. Baekhyun should have known from right then that the night wasn’t going to go so well from his because it’s just his luck that Yixing chooses a horror movie, and he can’t stand those.

“That wasn’t even a jump scare, Baek!” Jongdae hollers from where he’s sat propped up against the front of the couch, mouth now filled with buttered popcorn, “if you’re going to be this scared, go to your boyfriend. He’s sitting over there.”

Baekhyun lets go off his pillow and starts to retaliate, but Sehun decides to pipe in, “he rather pee his pants than go sit next to Chanyeol hyung right now.”

The shorter boy gasps, even if he’s nodding a little in agreement because Sehun is right. He hopes Chanyeol knows that. And maybe he does because the basketball player pretends like he’s no longer interested in the movie and bores holes into Baekhyun’s face by staring at him intently. His big eyes are hooded from sleep and his mouth is pulled down a little into a frown. Then Baekhyun finds himself stuck in a dilemma, glancing between the TV, his pillow and Chanyeol, worrying his bottom lip because he doesn’t want to give in first.

Later that week, Baekhyun will deny leaping out of his spot on the couch and into Chanyeol’s arms once the taller had let out a mumbled sigh and opened his arms in defeat. Jongdae also resorts to making fun of him the entire week for crying into his boyfriend’s shoulder throughout the entire movie. He had clung onto him even as everyone started to leave one by one, crying about monsters lurking by the apartment block staircase. Chanyeol had only bid everyone goodbye with a yawn and dragged Baekhyun back home four doors down.

 

~

 

Sometimes Baekhyun treats Chanyeol like a giant baby.

It’s a Friday match against the college from the next town over, broody, serious Chanyeol playing as captain. Baekhyun is there in the first row, waving his foam finger around until he accidentally hits Kyungsoo in the eye, which sends Jongdae chortling too loudly next to him. His laugh abruptly stops when Baekhyun suddenly yells, mad and annoyed, because a member from the opposing team deliberately shoves himself into Chanyeol’s side, sending the captain into the benches.

“Number twelve in the blue, I will hunt you down!”

Kyungsoo manages to calm him just a tiny bit by pinching him on the waist softly, absentmindedly murmuring assuring words as Baekhyun seethes in his seat until half time. When the buzzer finally rings to give the teams a break, the music major tumbles out of his place in the stands and rushes over to Chanyeol, smacking into his chest so hard that it has the captain letting out a pained groan. The taller boy pulls Baekhyun away by the shoulders, holds him there and eyes him, wondering as his boyfriend holds up a hand and breathes heavily.

“I leapt over the bench so high, I think I pulled a muscle.” Baekhyun huffs out.

Chanyeol doesn’t get a word in when the violinist abruptly pulls him down by the back of his neck, till the basketball player is slouching uncomfortably in front of him. He almost worries when he suddenly feels his hair being tugged up, pulled together as Baekhyun ties up his hair with a band. Even if most of the strands are already falling out and there’s really no point, but now his big eyes aren’t hiding behind his slightly long hair. And if that isn’t enough, he soon feels Baekhyun hugging his head to his chest to kiss his forehead loudly in front of everyone. His teammates snicker and Chanyeol’s scowling again.

“Now you can see where you’re going. Also, show the other team who’s boss.”

“Baek—”

“Keep up the great work, Yeollie!”

As soon as his boyfriend returns back to his seat in the stands, Chanyeol throws his water bottle at Sehun’s face to stop him from cooing. Jongin almost falls over from laughing too much. But Baekhyun is back in the audience, waving his foam finger around wildly with that smile that just seems so beautiful, and Chanyeol knows why he’s in love.

 

~

 

Nearly almost all the time, Chanyeol attends Baekhyun’s recitals.

“That’s my boyfriend.”

Jongdae blanches at that, still sipping through his straw as he looks at Chanyeol sitting next to him. The team captain seems jittery, long legs unstill, left eye twitching and smile too wide for a recital that mostly consists of ballads, violins and pianos and maybe even a harp. Chanyeol sits in between Jongdae and Yixing, impatient, even though he’s been sat here for three hours and has said he wants to pee at least six times.

“We know that.” Jongdae belatedly replies before scavenging through his backpack for some snacks. He offers a sandwich to Yixing and then to Chanyeol, who politely declines as he straightens up in his seat. He has a bow tie on and everything. Jongdae wants to snicker but Chanyeol is a ten feet tall man and he’s too far from the exit to make his escape.

“Don’t you see him perform all the time?”

Chanyeol furrows his eyebrows at that, momentarily confused while he pouts. The pout stays so his lips are slightly puckered, words slurred but sure and deep, “it’s- it’s not the same. This is Baek in his element – just him and his violin on that stage. When I’m there, he plays it for me. But when he’s on a stage with too many people in one crowd, he does it from himself. When he plays for himself, that’s when it’s the most beautiful, right?”

It’s silent then. Even Yixing stares at Chanyeol, just as Jongin does from the other side of him. Jongdae just stops mid bite of his sandwich and stares up at Chanyeol, expressionless. It’s pin drop silence, unnecessarily, Chanyeol thinks, but all of his friends are looking at him like that and he’s not sure what he said.

That is until Jongdae puts down his sandwich and visibly cringes, opting to shuffle further away in his seat until his elbow is digging into Sehun’s side. His voice is as whiny as Chanyeol expects it to be, “this is as weird as the time you almost go ‘ball is life’ tattooed on your shoulder blade. Baekhyun really does have you whipped, Park.”

Chanyeol doesn’t stay offended for too long because Baekhyun is stepping onto the stage with his violin, composed but also somewhat flustered, so he ignores Jongdae for the rest of the recital. And he’s a goner – Sehun announces – once Baekhyun scans the crowd briefly, spotting his boyfriend in his bright red bow tie and sends him a blinding smile.

“That’s my boyfriend!”

“Chanyeol, shut up.”

 

~

 

Sometimes they get naughty.

“You think Jongdae’s going to propose to Minseok?”

“Can- can you not talk about Jongdae and Minseok while I’m literally inside of you?”

Baekhyun nods with a frown, lost in his thoughts like Chanyeol isn’t driving into him slowly against their couch. The TV is on, background noise that’s almost muted under the taller’s groans as he nuzzles his nose into Baekhyun’s neck and rolls his hips forward. His warm hands tremble as he holds the back of Baekhyun’s thigh, bending him in half so he can slip in deeper, while Baekhyun has his other leg wrapped around his boyfriend’s hip. And it’s thrilling, like it always is, even if it’s slow and lazy because Chanyeol has his left arm wrapped around Baekhyun’s waist. His hand feels big and hot, pressed into the small of the shorter boy’s back, bringing him closer as Chanyeol thrusts in and out of him.

“But Yeollie,” Baekhyun keens, tightening his hold around Chanyeol and he rakes his fingers through the latter’s long hair, still wet from the shower he had only come out of half an hour ago, “Jongdae’s threatening us with orange suits. Orange! I might just opt out of being one of his best men if I have to wear orange.”

Chanyeol pulls his face away from the juncture of Baekhyun’s neck and shoulder, his hair pushed back from his face so Baekhyun can see his perplexed gaze.

His voice is drowsy, lost In Baekhyun, as he speaks with swollen lips, “you could wear a rainbow striped suit and you’ll still be the most beautiful to me.”

The smaller sends him a bashful grin and squeezes tight around Chanyeol’s member, rocking his own hips back and forth in a sluggish but soft manner. They’re surrounded by an air of teasing, coy and bright, yet there’s also love when Baekhyun reaches up to kiss Chanyeol’s jaw as the basketball captain pushes his boyfriend into the corner of the couch and starts to pound into him. It’s fast, rough, with the way Chanyeol is holding onto the edges of the sofa, on his knees, while his skin burns all around, molten and lovely.

He comes heavily into Baekhyun, turning all the blues and the greys of their living room and the reds and the pinks of Baekhyun’s thoughts into light. Even as the knocking against their door doesn’t cease.

“You guys invited us around for movie night but you’re frick fracking in your living room. Who’s gonna sit on your sofa now, huh? I think you guys broke Sehun and Jongin; I’ve never seen them this horrified. Hello? Woohoo, are you two done?”

But before that, sometimes they make out whenever.

It would be soft kisses in the morning, against the bathroom sink, as Baekhyun tiptoes just a little to peck Chanyeol’s lips, once, twice, thrice.

It would be them sneaking in kisses as they fill in an empty cinema hall, sitting two rows behind everyone else to laugh against each other’s smile. They’re in their seats, Baekhyun’s legs resting on top of Chanyeol’s thighs, his hands and his smaller self drowning in one of his boyfriend’s hoodies, the hood pulled up as Chanyeol ducks down to kiss him again. The noise from the speakers drowns out any noise, even Baekhyun’s giggle as Chanyeol pulls at his bottom lip with his teeth. But Jongin being Jongin still turns around and stares up at them horrified, mouth agape and eyes bigger than ever, until Sehun also turns around and copies his expression.

“We’re watching a Disney movie! There is no room for tongue action here!”

It would be hot kisses in the kitchen as Baekhyun sits on top of the counter and pulls Chanyeol closer by the front of his jersey. They’re not soft but fervent that it has Chanyeol almost stumbling back but Baekhyun is apologising with a soft laugh and he’s pulling him back. Hands are cradling Baekhyun’s face and thumbs are dipping into the corners of his mouth as Chanyeol deepens their kisses, hot enough that it has the violinist groaning into the taller’s mouth. They’re so lost and so deep, with Chanyeol’s nose pressing into Baekhyun’s cheek, lips swollen under Baekhyun’s mouth.

And it’s hot and heady, hands trailing under tops and Baekhyun leaving open mouthed kisses, until Jongin and Sehun walk into the kitchen.

“Junmyeon hyung said you two were making cupcakes! This doesn’t look like cupcake making!”

But mostly, it would be soft kisses against each other’s cheeks. It would their friends lounging around the big cherry blossom tree in the middle of the campus field, limbs thrown across each other, backpacks discarded, and food shared. As Chanyeol sits up against the trunk of the tree, Baekhyun would be in his lap, littering his face with his kisses. His eyes, his nose, his cheeks until Chanyeol’s laughing loudly into his shoulder.

And so, sometimes it’s only for the bedroom.

The skin of Chanyeol’s bicep burns, the muscles straining as he holds himself up above Baekhyun. His boyfriend is still mouthing at the skin of his arms, nipping the toned skin here and there. Baekhyun is on his front, against the soft covers of the bed, with his head tilted to the side so he can muffle his sounds into Chanyeol’s bicep as they tighten under Baekhyun’s mouth.

It’s red and bruised with kisses and  bites because Baekhyun’s mouth is hot and burning, but Chanyeol loves the way he trails over his tattoos with his lips. The smaller boy reaches for the one wrapped around Chanyeol’s upper arm, a design so intricate that no one understands, yet it’s inked into his skin so beautifully. Baekhyun closes his mouth around it and sucks. It’s lewd, the way he does, because it’s loud and muffled.

They’re clothed, save for their shirts they had discarded over the sofas in the hotel room. Chanyeol’s family had rented out a floor for family and friends to attend his sister’s wedding, having just taken place yesterday in the courtyard. After vows, dances and too much cake on Baekhyun’s part, the guests had started to leave, to retire for the night once Yoora left for her honeymoon. Except for Chanyeol and Baekhyun, of course.

Instead, they lay in bed, Chanyeol on top of Baekhyun, his bare chest against Baekhyun’s back. They’re still wearing the slacks of their suits but the red-haired boy has never felt so bare, the skin of his back burning a little as he arches up against Chanyeol, rubbing back into him. Then it’s Chanyeol fumbling with the belt of his slacks, pulling them down just a little so he’s left in his boxer briefs, doing the same to Baekhyun as he slides the latter’s pants down until they’re at his thighs. And just like that, it’s enthralling because it’s all around Baekhyun, and inside of him once Chanyeol leaves them completely exposed to the moonlight shining in through the tall windows of the hotel room. It all happens like that as he bites Chanyeol’s upper arm, muffling his screams. It’s white and blinding in the end.

 

~

 

Sometimes Chanyeol cries and Baekhyun holds him.

They’re all at the Park family household, just on the outskirts of town and almost two hours away from the city. Even Yixing, who had rushed over once Junmyeon called him, is there. The air is solemn, and it might be a little unusual because it’s so personal, nine boys in the living room with red eyes and frowns. They’re all just too fond of Grandma Park and so they were devastated when they heard that her health wasn’t doing too well, feeling stupid for being so fearful because they know she’s strong. But Chanyeol can't hide his heart that well, sobs running out of his mouth, even though his mother sits beside him, running her hands over his shoulders and his hair.

Baekhyun stands a few steps away, next to Minseok and Jongdae, giving them distance but also giving himself some because he feels that terrible ache in his throat from seeing Chanyeol so hard. He almost refuses when Chanyeol doesn’t stop and Mrs Park calls him over gently. She silently asks for him to take her place because she doesn’t know what to do. But Baekhyun doesn’t either.

Yet, he doesn’t need to do much because as soon as he sits beside his boyfriend and thumbs the tip of the taller’s ear, Chanyeol hugs him tight like he’s scared. He doesn’t need to be because Grandma Park is better by morning, however in that moment, he holds onto Baekhyun like he’s never held anyone before. Until Chanyeol’s cries die down and he’s sniffling into Baekhyun’s jumper, but it’s okay because it’s Chanyeol.

“Hey, hey, I’m here, baby. It will be okay.”

 

~

 

Sometimes they fight, and they hate it.

“Do you want to break up, Park, cause you sure sound like you want to.”

Minseok rushes in to intervene as he spares a glance at Chanyeol. He looks angry and hurt at Baekhyun’s words, sitting still at the dining table near Jongdae’s kitchen, trying to seem unbothered. The basketball team captain doesn’t do anything, just looks at the lines of his hands, anything, to distract himself.

Baekhyun had stormed into the apartment after stomping into their own, not finding Chanyeol anywhere.

“You’re- you’re never home anymore. You… you’re always somewhere, always at training like it’s all you ever do, but you’re never anywhere with me. It’s like… it’s like you don’t want to be. You don’t want to be with me,” Baekhyun speaks but the shuddering intake of breath feels painful against his throat, against his chest that seems too tight under his sweater, “what’s wrong, Yeol. Are you falling out of love with me? Is that what’s wrong?”

That has Chanyeol livid.

“How could you ever think that?”

Jongdae tries to help, “hey, Chanyeol-“

The team captain stands up from his place at the kitchen table, all sorts of upset and helpless. He doesn’t move but Baekhyun doesn’t stop staring at him either. The violinist is red, shaking as he holds his jacket between his fingers, ready to bolt out of the door, but Chanyeol looks distraught.

“You… you want to break up, Baek?”

Baekhyun doesn’t reply; he just looks down at the floor as he trembles in place.

“Do you not want to do this anymore?”

But it’s when he sees Chanyeol cry that he lets out the little sob stuck in his throat. Yet at the same time, his breath is caught in his throat and his chest aches too painfully because this is hurting Chanyeol. The same Chanyeol who has been feeling a void for days that just seemed so endless, with worries he didn’t want to bother Baekhyun with so he pushed all of those into training. The same Chanyeol who made sure Baekhyun would always be happy.

“I love you. You know that, right?”

All it takes is one, broken shake of his head from Baekhyun for him to hold Chanyeol against himself. The taller hugs him back just as tight, crying into his shoulder as his own shoulders shake. They stand like until the sun has set and Jongdae and Minseok have slipped into one of the rooms, with Baekhyun running his fingers through Chanyeol’s hair, leaving it more dishevelled than it was. They share their whispers and their apologies and Baekhyun also says ‘I love you’ as he holds Chanyeol’s face between his hands. His almond eyes are puffy and his cheeks are red and stained with tears, his cry turns into a laugh a while after, and Baekhyun think he’s beautiful.

I could never fall out of love with you.

 

~

 

Sometimes Baekhyun is mad but Chanyeol still loves him all the same.

“Really?” the basketball player asks, leaning against the front door in his practice attire, peering down at Baekhyun. The latter doesn’t answer, deciding to stare at the blank space on Chanyeol’s jersey as he holds a potted plant close to his chest, stoic but a whole lot restless. Chanyeol’s the tiniest bit amused, and it’s clear in his voice, “you really just came all the way to my parent’s house to find me? I’m kind of surprised, Byun Baek.”

That has the violinist snapping his head up, eyes set on Chanyeol and narrowed as he breathes heavily through his nose.

“Who said I’m here for you?”

Chanyeol just arches up an eyebrow, his gaze heavy with questions as he eyes the plant and then his boyfriend. Yet, he looks too smug, against the door frame with his arms crossed over his chest, his lips pulled to one side like Baekhyun’s being funny. He’s not. Most definitely not.

“No,” the shorter boy starts just as he shoves past Chanyeol, takes of his shoes and strolls into the living room, with the potted plant and all, “I came here to see Mama. She wanted to see my plant, so I thought about giving it to her as a gift. You know, another collection to her garden. Do you have a problem with that?”

Baekhyun doesn’t wait for Chanyeol to respond, scoffing under his breath instead as his boyfriend gapes up at him, maybe in disbelief or maybe in betrayal – he isn’t sure. The team captain still trails after him, heavy and looming, even more so when Baekhyun can feel him breathing down his back as he steps through the kitchen and into the backyard. He ignores it as so does Chanyeol’s mother, who just warily stares up at her son before beaming at the sight of Baekhyun. They share a hug and a soft-hearted giggle while Chanyeol scrutinises the both of them.

Then there’s discussions over potted plants and what soil is the best to use. Chanyeol sulks the entire time, crouched beside them as he dusts off the weeds Baekhyun has putting into his lap. He sits there for the longest time, on the grass, growing louder with each sigh. Baekhyun still doesn’t look at him.

“Are you still mad at me?” Chanyeol asks suddenly. He watches the way Baekhyun turns to face him, bored looking and tight lipped, but the manic glint in his eye is a little terrifying, “you can’t be mad at me. It was you who mixed my red socks with your-”

His mother hums gently as she stands up, strolling back inside without a word. Chanyeol quickly shuffles closer to Baekhyun.

“your white panties.”

“Don’t call them that.”

Chanyeol rolls his eyes, half-heartedly, and he continues to speak with a teasing lilt to his low voice, “fine, fine, white underpants. Yeah, it was your fault, so why are you angry at me?”

Baekhyun has his head tilted up a little towards the air, where the shape of his nose seems more rounder and his cupid bow more pronounced, and Chanyeol knows that this is him trying to avoid his eyes. He also knows that Baekhyun does this to discreetly blink away any stubborn tears that pool whenever he’s frustrated, a stupid, aching lump in his throat he doesn’t want to talk with because Chanyeol will be able to tell he’s upset. But Chanyeol knows anyway.

Although he doesn’t do anything because he waits, resting back onto his elbows and humming under a little under his breath. But he smiles and it’s all soft, fond, when Baekhyun finally looks up at him with his shiny eyes and wobbling bottom lip. Then he cries, quiet at first before he’s wailing, rubbing at his red eyes with his fists because he’s frustrated, and Chanyeol knows. He muffles his cries into the taller’s shirt once the latter opens up his arms, crawling into them and just falling into Chanyeol’s arms.

“Bad day, huh?”

Baekhyun’s hold on Chanyeol tightens when his boyfriend soothes his hands through his hair, fingers smoothing over the red strands, over his eyelid and against his earlobe.

“M-More like bad week.”

Chanyeol sighs, nodding, and Baekhyun feels it against his head as the taller wraps his arms around him and rocks them back and forth. His voice is gentle but it’s loud against Baekhyun’s ear from where he has his head pressed into Chanyeol’s chest, “ah, we’ll get through it together.”

Baekhyun is unsure but Chanyeol squeezes him tighter, “we will?”

“Of course we will. We’ll even buy you new sets of white panties.”

“Underpants.”

“Sure, sweetheart.”

 

~

 

And just all the time, they’re in love with each other.

Even more so, six years later.

“Did you see that?” Baekhyun exclaims, bewildered, pointedly staring at Chanyeol, who does nothing but laugh, “did you not see that? He just threw the ball at my face. At my face!”

“He’s only three, Baek.”

And Chanyeol feels chubby hands grabbing at the back of his thigh, fingers digging into his skin through his shorts as Chanhyun refuses to come out of his hiding spot. The toddler only peeks out once in a while to steal glances at Baekhyun before he’s pressing his face into Chanyeol’s leg, like it’s the safest spot in the world. And Baekhyun smiles at the sight, like he does every time.

“Chanhyun,” Chanyeol suddenly starts, voice full of mirth, “papa isn’t as good as you and daddy at basketball, so we need to go easy on him, okay? Do you want to go apologise for hitting him in the face? I think his cheek has turned all red.”

At that, the little boy grows alert and pushes Chanyeol to the side to rush over towards Baekhyun, who lays on the ground like he’s lifeless and miserable. Chanhyun doesn’t see the tell-tale signs of Baekhyun trying to hide his smile but he sees the pale red mark on his papa’s cheek, and he worries. Before Baekhyun knows it, little hands are grabbing at his cheeks and he’s staring up at Chanhyun. Chanyeol looms over the both of them with the basketball under his arm.

“Papa, you okay?” and his eyes, the same shape as Chanyeol’s but with a nose like Baekhyun’s, both scrunch up in that cute way all their friends find adorable. His voice has a little lisp and it trembles when he holds Baekhyun’s head against his chest, “it okay, papa. Daddy will kiss it better and Chanhyun, too, and then—and then we… we… I love you.”

Baekhyun scrunches his nose up just the same, nuzzling into Chanhyun’s chest where he hides his blooming smile. It brightens when he looks up at Chanyeol, too, before hugging Chanhyun tighter.

It’s when they’re heading over to Uncle Jongdae’s house for their weekly dinner meeting, strolling through the park and into the city, with Chanhyun dawdling a few steps in front of them when Chanyeol turns to Baekhyun. The smaller man is attempting to dribble with their basketball, fumbling with it as he tries not to let it slip out of his hands. He does in the end and Chanyeol catches it before it rolls into the road, but he also catches Baekhyun, who crashes into him with a whine.

“You know I love you, right.”

And of course Baekhyun does because Chanyeol’s been in love with him since forever, but it still has the music teacher stumbling and stuttering in his spot as he peers up at his husband. He’s blushing bright red and he feels it burn his cheeks when he leaves Chanyeol behind and walks closer to Chanhyun.

It’s only when Chanyeol laughs, bright and lovely that Baekhyun turns back around with a smile that never falls, and says, “I love you, too.”

 

 

 

The End.