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The door bursts open.

"Chanyeol-ah!"

Chanyeol grunts as a familiar weight is transferred unto him. He stumbles a step back but manages to wrap his arms around his best friend's form. The blond boy, who had launched himself at the taller unexpectedly, simply grinned and squeezed his arms around Chanyeol's neck tighter.

"Hey Baek," Chanyeol manages. He lets out a quiet sigh of relief when he is allowed to breathe normally again, but quickly looks to grin at the boy in front of him. "Welcome back."

"I missed you," Baekhyun had slid his arms down to hug Chanyeol around the waist, burrowing into his chest. He smelt like home. "You should've come with."

Chanyeol squeezes Baekhyun tighter before pulling back to smile down at Baekhyun's pout. "I had to go toー"

"Your grandmother's, I know." Baekhyun huffs, finally pulling away from their too long embrace. He walks to the couch and takes a seat, lightly glaring at Chanyeol. "I still don't understand why couldn't have brought me with, then. Your grandmother absolutely adores me."

It's not hard to. Chanyeol bites back his words.

"Yes, but Baekbeom hyung's back and you made it pretty clear that you'd missed him dearly when he wasn't around for Christmas last year." Chanyeol reminds him, laughing lightly at the way Baekhyun scrunches up his face in the memory. 

"It was cold and I wasn't thinking clearly," Baekhyun argues, watching as Chanyeol closes the still wide open door to their apartment, dragging his forgotten luggage further in as he walks back to where Baekhyun is. "I've spent enough time with him since he came back from the military, anyway."

"So, how was Bucheon?" Chanyeol effectively steers Baekhyun's attention from his slight grudge against the taller boy. He watches as Baekhyun's face lights up as he starts to talk about his vacation. Chanyeol's heart does flips at the way Baekhyun's eyes twinkle, and he moves to take a seat on the couch next to Baekhyun. As if reflex, Baekhyun moves to settle closer until his jean clad legs are thrown over Chanyeol's, a heavy hand on his knees keeping him in place.

"—but it still would've been better with you there." There's a twinkle in Baekhyun's eyes as he looks at Chanyeol, the ghost of a smirk on his lips. It's as if he knew the taller had zoned out of their conversation and opted to simply ogle.

"Yeah, it would've been better with you there, too." Chanyeol mumbles softly, his eyes downcast a shy smile on his lips. Before Chanyeol can see the way Baekhyun's cheeks flush a pretty shade of red, the shorter boy jumps off the couch. Chanyeol looks up at him.

"I'm going to go change." Baekhyun mumbles, moving to grab the handle of his luggage. He pauses at the frame of his door to look back at Chanyeol who had turned his body around to watch Baekhyun. "What are you making for dinner?"

"What do you want?" Baekhyun smiles at the nonchalance of his answer, but his heart twists slightly at how domestic all of this feels.

"Surprise me."

By the time Baekhyun finishes cleaning up and changing into his sleepwear — which consists of an oversized hoodie, boxers, and fluffy socks — Chanyeol is setting up the table for dinner. The hoodie belongs to Chanyeol but he has never commented on it and Baekhyun takes that as an affirmative to raid the younger's closet every other week to hold onto a new one (he makes sure to take one that was worn at least once for that signature Chanyeol-scent). Baekhyun shuffles into the kitchen and lights up at the sight of a familiar golden pot in the middle of the table.

"Ramyun!" He exclaims, bounding to his seat excitedly. From across him, Chanyeol grins as he hands Baekhyun his chopsticks.

"I figured you've had your fill of home food and opted for something to help adjust back to reality?" Chanyeol offers.

Baekhyun laughs heartily. "That doesn't even make sense, but I have missed your ramyun so I'm going to dig in."

"Look who isn't making sense," Chanyeol quips, waiting for Baekhyun to finish filling his bowl. "It's just mixing things together, Baek."

"You're talking to a person who can barely boil water, Park." Baekhyun deadpans around a mouthful of noodles. Chanyeol should find it at least mildly disgusting, but he can't help but internally coo at Baekhyun's puffed cheeks.

"Speaking of who can't cook, I know someone who can." Baekhyun gulps down some water before continuing. "When's Kyungsoo coming? Wasn't he supposed to introduce his boy toy to us weeks ago?"

"He's still hesitating because you guys keep referring to Jongin like that." Chanyeol reprimands him lightly. Baekhyun laughs and manages a not-so-convincing apology.

"But, they're definitely coming tomorrow. He called this morning and reminded me that we're it, this time." Baekhyun groans at this.

Every month, without fail, their group of friends since high school meet up for a round of drinks and catching up. It had been Sehun's idea when he had come back from an exchange program in America during his third year of high school. He had just broken up with his Chinese boyfriend of a year due to the strain of long distance and bawled his eyes out about not wanting to lose his brothers. Weak to their youngest, everyone had agreed and the tradition had been religiously upheld since.

The cycle was pretty simple as their destination depended on their order by age. Given that Baekhyun and Chanyeol lived together, they counted as one and so their choices were mainly Junmyeon's , Yixing's (in the event that he was around), Chanyeol and Baekhyun's, Jongdae's (a place he shared with his partner, Minseok) , and Sehun's.

"That's right, Yixing hyung's still in China." Chanyeol realizes the reason for their forgetting of the schedule. Baekhyun nodded, a slight pout on his lips. It had been a while since they'd last seen the soft-spoken Chinese man.

"He missed last month as well," Baekhyun says. "I hope he can make it next time."

"He'll make it," Chanyeol reassures him, in hopes of banishing the frown from Baekhyun's face. He is successful as the latter cracks a grateful smile before bowing his head to shovel more noodles into his mouth.

"Does Sehun have any special requests? It is almost his birthday this time around." Chanyeol asks. Baekhyun hums thoughtfully as he chews.

"I don't think Sehunnie mentioned anything." Bobbing his head lightly, Chanyeol pushed back the voice in his head freaking out about Baekhyun's choice of words. He had given almost everyone nicknames; Chanyeol was supposed to be used to it by now (he had taken the brunt of the worst ones during their immature stages of life). And yet, he can't help but sometimes frown at the way Baekhyun let Sehun cling unto him, or the look away whenever Baekhyun would wrestle Kyungsoo into a rather one-sided embrace.

The sound of the refrigerator door extracts Chanyeol from his thoughts. He looks behind his shoulder to see Baekhyun's form bent over to rummage through their bare fridge. He gulps and looks back at the small portion of noodles that lay soggy and cold in his bowl.

"We definitely have to go grocery before our get-together. Those people eat like pigs and we've gotten nothing to feed them." Baekhyun sighs as a if a workaholic mother talking about her unruly children. Chanyeol doesn't comment on the part of his sentence that technically made him be the father in the relationship. Chanyeol had a wild imagination.

"Sure, are you coming along?" They usually took turns to do the groceries as it was usually done at a time when they were free. Being free meant not being with each other as when together, almost everyday had an unspoken schedule.

"What part of 'we' do you not understand, Yoda?" Baekhyun teased as he leaned against the side of Chanyeol's chair, bringing a bottle of strawberry milk to his lips.

"Just making sure," Chanyeol shrugs. He picks up their dirty dishes and deposits them in the sink. Before walking out, he turns to smirk at Baekhyun. "It's your turn to do the dishes, Baekhyunnie."

Chanyeol laughs at the incoherent curses Baekhyun mutters under his breath before retiring for the night.

"Are you sure? The bakery's nearby, Baek. I'm sure it'll be fine if we–"

"No," Baekhyun huffs, abruptly stopping. Chanyeol yelps before pulling back the shopping cart to avoid hitting Baekhyun. The latter was in the middle of picking out eggs for the cake that he insisted they make. He spared Chanyeol a glance before picking up a small tray and peeking in.

"I want to bake Sehunnie a cake, and there's also Kyungsoo's boy-that-is-a-friend to impress."

"But Baek," Chanyeol dismisses the embarrassment at the whininess of his tone. "How are you supposed to bake it if you're, and I quote, "a person who can barely boil water"?"

"Baking is different." Baekhyun frowns as he carefully places his chosen dozen of eggs into their shopping cart. He then straightens up and turns around swiftly. Baekhyun gently pulls the shopping cart from the front and Chanyeol obediently follows.

"Baking is harder. You can't play around with the ingredients because once it's in the oven, there's no saving it."

"That's why I have you as my trusty helper." Baekhyun turns to beam at the frowning giant. Chanyeol sputters before coughing in an attempt to compose himself as Baekhyun skips ahead. How could he argue when Baekhyun smiled at him like that with his eyes turning into crescents behind the large frames of his glasses? It didn't help that he was, once again, donned in one of Chanyeol's jackets.

"Hey Yeol," Baekhyun starts cautiously. He is holding a box in his hands and is reading the back when Chanyeol moves closer. "I think we might need Kyungsoo's help."

"I swear, if this wasn't for Sehun," Was Kyungsoo's welcome when Chanyeol opened the door for him, shortly after he and Baekhyun arrived home. Luckily for them, Kyungsoo lived in the same building, 3 floors higher. Chanyeol was grateful when he trailed off and didn't continue his threat. He had a feeling that it had something to do with the man that held onto his friend's hand tightly.

"Hi, I'm Chanyeol. You must be Jongin." Jongin offers a polite nod and a soft, "It's nice to meet you."

"Jongin?" Baekhyun comes into view and grins widely at the joined hands of their guests. "Hi! I'm glad you finally made it, I was starting to think Kyungsoo's imagination had gone too far and he was just making up such a wonderful character." Baekhyun sends a charming smile their way. 

"Baekhyun, I have all the right to just leave you here, right now."

"I'm kidding. Jeez," Baekhyun pouts at Kyungsoo's unwavering glare. "Well, come on, we've got a lot to do."

When they reach the kitchen, Kyungsoo proceeds to push half of the population out. "Out," he says to Baekhyun and a confused Jongin. "I want both of you nowhere near my kitchen in the next hour."

"Uhh, technically it's my kitchen–"

"Chanyeol where the hell do you keep your bowls?"

"Well," Baekhyun turns to a still very confused Jongin and laughs at the younger man's furrowed brows and pouting lips. "Come on, Kyungsoo doesn't like being bothered when he's busy. I'd say it's the perfect opportunity for some getting-to-know-you round of Mario Kart, what do you say Jongin?"

"Uhh," Jongin rubs at his neck shyly, finally taking his gaze off of Kyungsoo's busy back and Chanyeol's clumsy limbs (impressively, he had yet to knock over anything). "Sure."

It's two hours later when their guests finally arrive. Baekhyun and Jongin had played countless rounds and had set the table in the living room, upon Kyungsoo's order. Chanyeol had almost dropped the glazed cake (because Oh Sehun's cake needed to be as extra as himself) and earned quite a beating from Kyungsoo.

Minseok and Jongdae came in bringing booze in matching grins and Junmyeon had practically barreled in to announce that Sehun was currently in the parking lot looking for his keys that the former had 'dropped' to stall for time. When Sehun was able to finally enter the premises, he was able to express five different emotions in the span of 10 seconds.

"Hyung," Sehun whines as Baekhyun spills his overflowing shot of vodka all over the younger. They were playing a round of Never Have I Ever with a twist, the twist being that the person had to take a shot for everything he had done. The statements had started off tame enough with everyone trying to uncover the most embarrassing moments of the past, but somewhere along the way someone (read: Jongdae) had taken a turn that led the game down a more R-rated path.

The most sober of the group was Minseok, but that was mainly due to the fact that he could handle alcohol really well – he had taken a few shots in the more risque statements thrown, much to the majority's surprise. Baekhyun was next in line, by a rather large gap, but his alcohol tolerance was not as fortunate. Sehun who was sitting to his right cringed every time Baekhyun's hand reached out for a shot, slapping it occasionally when the blond seemed to mishear and misunderstand what exactly he was aiming to take a shot for.

Baekhyun giggles but proceeds to drink up what little was left in his shot glass. "I have to drink, Sehunnie." Technically, the everyone except Jongin had to take a shot as Baekhyun had said, "Never Have I Ever seen Sehun naked."

"You're not playing it right, Baek," Chanyeol guffaws from Baekhyun's left, throwing a heavy arm around the smaller in a side hug. Baekhyun simply giggles even more and turns to burrow himself into Chanyeol's chest. Somewhere across them, Baekhyun thinks he hears Kyungsoo sigh.

"Hyung," a weak whimper fills the silence once the hysterical duo quiet down. Everyone's head turns to Jongin who was looking rather sick. Kyungsoo reaches to wipe away the sweat from his face worriedly.

"Jongin? What's wrong?"

"I think I'm going to be sick." The younger mumbles before quickly slapping a hand over his mouth as if trying to stop the bile from climbing up his throat. Kyungsoo slowly brings Jongin up with him and they wobble to the direction of the bathroom quietly.

"Well," Minseok speaks up, his voice unsurprisingly firm and collected. "It's pretty late, I think it's time we all head home."

"Yeah, I'll be taking Jongin upstairs. He isn't feeling too good." Kyungsoo says as soon as they come back into view. He is supporting Jongin with an arm around the younger's waist.

"I'll help you. The elevator might not help his stomach." Chanyeol speaks up, voice groggy but trying to be alert. Baekhyun shivers at the rumble he feels when Chanyeol speaks and pouts when the taller untangles their limbs to stumble to his feet.

"Hyung," Sehun pokes Baekhyun who looks at him through bleary eyes, but manages a questioning hum. "I think Junmyeon hyung's passed out again."

"Aish, this kid never learns." Minseok stops from trying to lug a giggling Jongdae from the floor and turns to Junmyeon with his hands on his hips. "Baekhyun, can he crash the night? I don't think we'll be able to drag him all the way to my car seeing as I already have to deal with this." Minseok looks down at Jongdae who is now trying to silence his laughter with his hands.

"Mhmm," Baekhyun waves a hand towards his bedroom vaguely and goes to curl up next to a still laughing Jongdae.

"I'll help, hyung." He faintly hears Sehun and Minseok grunt as they try their best to get Junmyeon to a bed without bumping into anything.

"Hyun," Jongdae manages to blurt out during his fit of laughter. Baekhyun moves his head to rest it on Jongdae's shoulder, looking at the other. "Did you do it yet?"

"Wha?" Baekhyun mumbles tiredly, he was too drunk to possible infer what Jongdae was hinting at.

"Did you confess?" At this Baekhyun's clouded mind sobers up slightly. Pouting, he turns to rest his cheek on Jongdae's bony shoulder.

"No." Jongdae sighs. Neither notice when his hysterical fit had died down.

"You're being unfair to him, you know?" Baekhyun is confused as to how Jongdae seems to be thinking too rationally all of a sudden. He would have thought that the latter isn't drunk and had just been faking it the whole time if not for the slight slur in his words. But what confuses him more is why his chest suddenly tightens and his eyes sting. "He's only waiting for you to tell him you're ready, you know? Don't you think it's enough?"

"I can't lose him, Dae," Baekhyun hates himself for the way his voice cracks at the end and for the tears that fall from his eyes.

"You won't lose him." Is the last thing Jongdae says before Minseok is pulling him from Baekhyun's grip.

"Sehun's staying with Junmyeon in your room. Should we wait till Chanyeol gets back?" Minseok gently runs a hand through the younger's hair, missing the moisture in his cheeks.

"No, I'll be alright, hyung." Baekhyun sighs at the soft pats Minseok gives him. "You still have to drive for a while, you should get going."

"Alright, I'll leave the door unlocked for Chanyeol. Good night."

"Take care, hyung," Baekhyun listens to the pair's unsteady footsteps leave before closing his eyes and quickly succumbing to sleep. 

Baekhyun wakes up to a light poke to his cheek and a murmur of, "Baek. Baek. Wake up."

Grumbling, Baekhyun rubs at his eyes with closed fists and looks up at the blurry image of Chanyeol looking down at him. His hair is messed up and so are his clothes, Baekhyun vaguely associates that to Jongin.

"C'mon, let's get you to bed."

Chanyeol isn't a heavy drinker, per se, but he sobers up pretty damn quickly. This is extremely handy for his lightweight best friend who can always count on the taller to take care of his wasted self.

Chanyeol slides one arm under Baekhyun's knees and the other behind his shoulders, the latter immediately wrapping his arms around Chanyeol's neck in a firm enough grip. With a grunt, Chanyeol manages to bring them up without bumping Baekhyun against the couch or his own back against the low coffee table behind him. He then proceeds to step over throw pillows and stray belongings that were left behind in everyone's haste to go home and get to bed.

"Yeol," Baekhyun mumbles, half-asleep. Chanyeol hums in question, before stopping in front of his bedroom.

"Baek, can you get the door, please?" Chanyeol's breath is warm as it fans Baekhyun's forehead where strands of hair have stuck to his face in sweat. Baekhyun carefully twists in Chanyeol's arm to reach for the doorknob, his right arm securely hanging onto the younger. Chanyeol kicks the door all way open and Baekhyun goes back to clinging onto him like a koala.

Chanyeol gently lays Baekhyun on his bed before going rummaging in his closet for some pyjamas to lend the younger. Sitting next to Baekhyun's sprawled body on the bed, Chanyeol sighs at his best friend's state almost fondly. He helps Baekhyun sit up before dropping the shirt and pants on his lap. But before Chanyeol can get up and get clothes for himself, Baekhyun is whining and pulling at his sleeve.

"Help me," he says before pushing the clothes off his lap and lifting his hands above his head.

"Spoiled," Chanyeol breathes out but his tone holds no malice. He reaches for Baekhyun's shirt and helps the elder out of his clothes. Chanyeol tries his best to avoid staring for too long, but the alcohol in his system isn't helping his body, especially with Baekhyun looking too adorable trying to fit head through the arm hole of Chanyeol's old shirt.

"It's too hot, Chanyeollie." Baekhyun kicks at Chanyeol when he tries to get the other's flailing legs into the pyjama bottoms and yelps when Baekhyun lands a hit on his arm. Baekhyun immediately stops resisting and turns to look at Chanyeol with guilt in his glassy eyes. "I'm sorry, Yeollie. B - but I really d - don't want to wear those."

"Okay, fine." Chanyeol gives up and brings the pants with him back to his closet. When he turns back to Baekhyun after picking out his clothes, the latter is leaning against the headboard with his knees pulled up to his chest, watching Chanyeol quietly. Before heading to the bathroom, Chanyeol can't help but go over to ruffle Baekhyun's locks. "I'm not mad. Go to sleep."

Despite this, the taller still finds Baekhyun awake and seemingly waiting for him by the time he finishes getting ready for bed. Chanyeol goes to sit next to him and Baekhyun shuffles slightly to give him space. Chanyeol takes the water bottle on his dresser and takes a sip before offering it to Baekhyun who quietly accepts the drink.

"I'll be out in the living room, okay?" Chanyeol speaks quietly, gauging Baekhyun's reaction. Despite his usually predictable mood when sober, a drunk Baekhyun often went on a rollercoaster of emotions – Chanyeol didn't miss the tear tracks from earlier and reaches out to brush the ghost of the tears away.

Leaning into his touch, Baekhyun closes his eyes and holds Chanyeol's hand against his face. "Stay."

"Okay." That's all it takes for Chanyeol to slip into bed, pulling the covers over them as they both settle on their sides.

Baekhyun doesn't let go of Chanyeol's hand and he holds onto it with both of his. When Chanyeol pulls the covers over their heads, Baekhyun moves closer until he once again feels Chanyeol's breath on his face and smells the faint trace of the cologne he'd sprayed earlier that day. With one hand entwined with Chanyeol's he uses other to tug their hands to his chest, fingers lightly wrapped around Chanyeol's wrist and feeling his pulse.

Chanyeol looks into Baekhyun's eyes and relaxes as he feels the other's heartbeat. His arm goes around the smaller's waist to bring him closer until he can bury his nose in Baekhyun's blond lock, taking in the fading scent of strawberries. "Go to sleep, Baekhyunnie."

"I love you, Chanyeollie." He hears Baekhyun whisper into his chest and his grip around the other tightens with the twisting of his heart. "I'm sorry for being so unfair."

Chanyeol lets out a shaky breath before pressing a kiss on Baekhyun's head. "I love you, too, Baekhyun."

When he feels tears start to soak his shirt, Chanyeol pulls away and tilts Baekhyun's head to look at him. The other looks back through wet lashes and Chanyeol immediately cups his face to wipe the tears away. "Why are you crying?"

Baekhyun's bottom lip trembles at the sound of Chanyeol's voice. He sounds so scared and tired. Baekhyun doesn't blame him. Anyone would sound just like that if their best friend continuously confesses to them when drunk.

"I'm being too cruel to you," Baekhyun sniffs miserably as Chanyeol's rough fingers trace soothing circles on his cheeks. "But, you never say anything about it a - and you're s - so good to me."

"I don't know what you want me to say, Baekhyunnie. You only ever say this when you're drunk and I know you mean it, but I don't know if you mean it the way I do." Chanyeol whispers, his gaze helpless and torn. He hates the way Baekhyun's face twists in pain as the tears flow, but he goes on, "I want you to say it when I'm sure that you mean it. Aren't I the one being selfish?

"I just want you for myself, but I can't let you think that it's that easy. You already own so much of me, but don't know whether or not that means I'm a part of you or if I'm just something to collect. And, honestly, I don't know if I'd mind, either way. That's what scares me; I'd do anything for you, Baekhyun."

With his own eyes glazing over in tears, Chanyeol smiles at Baekhyun sadly. "My heart's always been yours. I just want to know when you're ready enough to let me in and give it to you."

Baekhyun frowns. "What?" His hazy state of mind was making it hard to keep up with Chanyeol. Did he just get confessed to?

"Y - you won't leave me?"

Chanyeol is silent and Baekhyun's heart thrums in his ears as he watches the smile fall off the younger's face, only to be replaced with a frown that mirrored his own. Chanyeol sighs tiredly before pulling Baekhyun impossibly closer until their noses almost touch.

"Look here, you fucking idiot," Baekhyun whimpers. "If I wanted to leave you I would have done it the first time you did this back in eleventh grade. If I even thought about leaving, I wouldn't have answered you every single time. Baekhyun, if you let me, I'll always be here to stay."

Not finding his voice nor the words to respond, Baekhyun chooses to simply act. He places a trembling hand on the back of Chanyeol's neck and bring him down. Their eyes flutter shut right before their lips connect and Baekhyun's fingers somehow get lost in Chanyeol's hair.

It isn't much of kiss as it is just a prolonged moment of pressing their lips together, but Baekhyun is willing to take what he can get. A part of him wishes to throw caution to the wind and just climb on top of Chanyeol to engage them in a make out session, but the rational part of him ー which is surprisingly still functional ー resists that urge as he is sure he stinks of vodka the butter liquor they'd been downing. Baekhyun pulls away first and Chanyeol chases after him to press their foreheads together.

"I love you," he breathes out. Baekhyun feels the way his long lashes flutter as he gazes at the elder. Baekhyun smiles and opens his eyes, meeting Chanyeol's warm gaze. He sniffs the remnants of his sadness away and surprises the other with a quick peck.

"I love you, too, Channie."

"–Hyun hyung. Baekhyun hyung. Wake up. Hyung," the whining becomes louder as Baekhyun slowly slips out of his beautiful slumber. Groaning loudly, Baekhyun rolls away from the source of noise and burrows further into the pillows. He exhales contentedly as Chanyeol's scent fills his nostrils. Speaking of the giant, where the hell as he?

"Hyu—"

"I'm up. For fucks sake, stop yelling," Baekhyun means to yell at the intruder but his voice comes out dry and groggy. He hears Sehun scoff from behind him.

"I'm not even yelling. Breakfast is ready, if you don't get your ass out of bed you won't be getting any," are Sehun's last words to him before he hears heavy footsteps run in the direction of the kitchen.

Baekhyun lets out another whine before kicking off the blankets and sitting up. He rubs at his eyes and tries to comb through his hair as he makes his way out of his ー Chanyeol's room. The sight of Junmyeon miserably nursing a cup of coffee greets him, next to Sehun who was too busy inhaling his food. He silently walks up to Chanyeol who was flipping pancakes and leans his head on the taller's broad back to inform the other of his presence. He feels Chanyeol flinch and tense against him before a kiss is dropped at the crown of his head. Chanyeol turns back around to stack the last pancake on a towering pile and turn off the stove before turning to envelope Baekhyun in a hug.

"Sehunnie was being noisy," Baekhyun's voice is muffled against the fabric of Chanyeol's shirt as the latter rocks them from side to side, his arms wrapped securely around Baekhyun.

"I asked him to wake you up for breakfast, Baek." Chanyeol chuckles into his ear and Baekhyun hums distractedly. He could probably fall asleep again right now with Chanyeol being so warm and comfortable.

"Which will be gone soon," Junmyeon grumbles as he lightly pushes the couple to the side to retrieve the pancakes that Chanyeol had left on the counter. He looks at the two with a soft smile but then grimaces. "Baekhyun, put some pants on."

Suddenly feeling more awake, Baekhyun squeals at his state of undress and rushes to his bedroom, the door slamming behind him. Sehun snorts unattractively into his cup of cold milk as he watches Chanyeol's eyes follows Baekhyun's in a trance. "Whipped."

"He's beautiful." Chanyeol sighs dreamily, sinking into the chair next to Sehun. Resting his head on his fist he turns to his friends who are wearing equally bored expressions.

"You finally had the guts to do it, huh?"

"Yeah," Chanyeol blushes under their gaze – Junmeyon's soft but sending non-verbal warnings to never hurt one of his children and Sehun's unreadable and steely.

"Do you love him, hyung?" Chanyeol looks at Sehun with a hint of hurt in his eyes. Sehun cracks a gentle smile and Chanyeol doesn't know how to feel. "He's only ever been hesitant this whole time because he thinks there's somehow a possibility that you'd leave him, you know?"

"I've been with him since we wereー"

"He knows that, and yet, here are." Sehun interrupts, his smile dropping and tone suddenly sounding too firm and mature.

"Then I'll just have to prove it to him. Even if it takes me a lifetime, I'd do anything to prove to him that I'm not leaving. I love him." Chanyeol matches Sehun's tone and he exhales in relief when he sees the younger's facade crack.

"What the hell are you talking about, you giant oaf." Baekhyun's flustered voice comes from his side and he feels the smaller's fist weakly punch his arm before he sees him. Chanyeol flashes him an innocent smile but says nothing more.

Baekhyun continues grumbling before eating what's left of Junmyeon's pancakes. He still has a bed head, sleep marks on his face, and now stray crumbs on his cheeks, but Chanyeol can't help but feel as if he's the luckiest person in the world to witness Baekhyun at his purest states (despite the slight furrow of his eyebrows at the slight throbbing, tell-tale of a headache). He takes the hand Baekhyun isn't using (to stab into his food) and brings it to his lips.

"I love you," he murmurs, low enough for only the two of them to hear.

Baekhyun blushes and averts his eyes bashfully, cheeks still puffed as Chanyeol caught him mid-chew. Swallowing his food, Baekhyun meets Chanyeol's eyes through his lashes. The smile that slowly takes over his face matches Chanyeol's brilliant grin as he replies with a soft, "I love you, too."