"is it just me," chanyeol mumbles, "or is he getting brattier?"
the mentioned he is baekhyun, the cute little dog hybrid that chanyeol and his boyfriend, jongin, had taken in on a cold, winter day some five years ago. baekhyun had looked so pitiful then, all skin and bones with big, watery eyes. both chanyeol’s and jongin’s hearts just about shattered into pieces at the sight of the poor thing, and they knew they couldn’t just leave him to starve or freeze. they’d given him all the food and love he truly needed, and now here they are, five years later. things are different now, very different. chanyeol and jongin aren’t just baekhyun’s caregivers, they’re his lovers. the love the three of them share is pure, soft and warm. and almost a year ago, baekhyun had begun to express his interest in having puppies. his own puppies, mind you. at first he only mentioned it a few times in passing, until his human lovers finally picked up on his desire. they’d taken him to a breeder during his last heat, since hybrids can’t have children with humans, and now baekhyun is very much well on his way to getting what he wants most.
"chanyeol," jongin sighs, setting his hand on chanyeol’s broad shoulder. "be a little more sympathetic, honey. he’s going through a lot right now."
"i know that, but it’s getting worse, nini. his attitude is getting out of hand."
the hybrid had been quite sassy when they’d taken him in, but they’d loved that quality in him. unfortunately, pregnancy seems to have taken the sass and amped it up. chanyeol has noticed, though, that baekhyun never sasses jongin. only him.
"it has not, yeol."
"you’re just saying that because he doesn’t have an attitude with you."
"i am not. why don’t you try it, then? carry a few puppies, yeol, and then you can whine about baekhyun’s attitude." jongin rolls his eyes, crossing his tan arms over his chest.
"how about we talk when he cops an attitude with you? come see me when it happens."
chanyeol decides the conversation is over, because he’s hungry and it’s just now dawning on him that he missed lunch. he makes his way to the kitchen, idly searching for something to eat until a pair of thin arms wrap around his waist.
"chanyeollie," baekhyun whines, smushing his cheek against chanyeol’s shoulder blade. "i’m so hungry... can we have early dinner?"
he sighs, closing the fridge. early dinner sounds wonderful, but that means they’d have to cook.
"early dinner sounds great, pup, but we still haven’t gone grocery shopping. i don’t have anything to cook right now."
"then... let’s go to the store and get groceries!" it would be a fine plan, except for the fact that baekhyun is very, very pregnant. grocery shopping with him is, to put it lightly, a pain in the ass.
"you’re gonna complain if you go with me, puppy." chanyeol points out gently, turning around to hug the pup closer to him. baekhyun’s bulging tummy prevents him from hugging the hybrid very tightly. "unless you wanna stay here with jonginnie while i get what we need?"
"no." he can almost hear the pout in baekhyun’s voice. "i wanna go, yeol."
"fine. go get jongin, then. one of us will have to entertain you." he’s only teasing, but he knows baekhyun might get a little cranky if he doesn’t get attention. he watches baekhyun waddle away in search of jongin with a sigh. maybe he should’ve just gone grocery shopping on his own, without saying anything at all. and that’s how they all end up at the grocery store, and of course chanyeol was right about baekhyun. the hybrid doesn’t cling to jongin, though. he clings to chanyeol, whining about how chanyeol is too busy and how he’s deprived of ‘yeollie snuggles.’ chanyeol wishes baekhyun wouldn’t do this at the store. there’s nothing wrong with humans and hybrids loving each other, but no one wants any kind of lovers spat in public. so he lets jongin take the grocery list from him so baekhyun can have his attention. pregnancy is making him weird. he’s sassier, clingier, and overly emotional, which is to be expected. chanyeol had once witnessed jongin comforting baekhyun because chanyeol wouldn't let him have a snack right before dinner. but he’s softer, definitely. baekhyun thinks he’s unattractive with all the weight he’s gained over the course of the pregnancy, but chanyeol likes how soft he’s gotten.
"why don’t you just take him back to the car?" jongin suggests, when he hears baekhyun’s whining. "i’ll probably be able to get this done faster on my own anyways..."
"sure." chanyeol rolls his eyes, then taps baekhyun’s shoulder. "hey, puppy, let’s go wait for jonginnie in the car."
"but i’d rather help."
"aren’t you deprived of yeollie snuggles? let’s go snuggle in the car, baekhyunnie."
baekhyun pouts, but he relents and promises to go with chanyeol if jongin gives him a kiss first. they go back to the car and as soon as chanyeol has started it up so they can use the air conditioner, baekhyun starts complaining.
"yeollie," he whines, resting his little hands over his swollen stomach. "my belly hurts."
"go lay down in the back, then. you haven’t been resting much." chanyeol sighs. it’s just like baekhyun to do things like this.
"will you lay with me?"
"well, sure i can. if you want me to, i suppose i can."
"come lay down with me, yeol. and please rub my belly."
and because he’s a good lover, chanyeol sits in one of the backseats and lets baekhyun lay against him. the poor pup seems so uncomfortable, it makes chanyeol a little sad. at least baekhyun seems to relax a little once chanyeol starts rubbing his round tummy. the puppies are rather active, so maybe it was a good idea to have baekhyun relax.
"are you not feeling good because of the puppies?" chanyeol asks softly, gently patting the swell of baekhyun’s soft belly.
"yeah." baekhyun huffs. "it’s jongdae’s fault, yeol."
"but you said you liked mating with jongdae."
"yeah, at the time i did, but i don’t like how much the puppies move around and it’s his fault because they’re his puppies."
"you make sure to tell him that. i’m sure he’d love to hear it."
"yeol," baekhyun sighs, resting his head against chanyeol’s shoulder. "i’m so glad you and nini are gonna be the ones to help me raise these puppies. they’ll be so much better behaved this way."
"not if they take after you," chanyeol teases, kissing the top of baekhyun’s head. the hybrid’s hair is soft and fluffy, and it seems like it’s only getting softer. his little corgi ears perk up when chanyeol kisses him. "they’ll be energetic little rascals if they take after you."
"but they’ll be little rascals that you and nini helped raise!"
"i don’t think that’ll make them any less energetic, honey."
"well, whatever. there’s only three of ‘em, yeollie. we can handle it." baekhyun is quiet for a moment, and then he whimpers. "it hurts, yeol."
"what does?" chanyeol’s heart thuds in his chest suddenly, worry consuming him very quickly. "are you okay?"
"my tummy, chanyeol." baekhyun pouts. "it still really hurts. these puppies are so active and they’re not even born yet!"
"aw, it’s okay, pup." he pats baekhyun’s head, petting his little ears. "don’t worry. we’ll go home soon and you can lay down somewhere more comfortable."
baekhyun breathes out a little sigh that sounds more like a whine, leaning against chanyeol and closing his eyes. he’s right, the puppies are very active. chanyeol can feel every kick and bit of movement under his palm. he feels bad for baekhyun, too. sure, the hybrid had wanted puppies, but he probably didn’t know he’d be in so much pain all the time. he’s been in pain since the puppies inside of him started moving. but still, chanyeol is proud of baekhyun, for carrying three tiny lives inside of him with minimal complaints.
"i’m proud of you," he mumbles into baekhyun’s ear. "you’re doing so good, baekhyun."
"i just want it over with already," baekhyun responds. "i wanna hold my puppies already!"
"it’s getting closer to puppy time, baby," chanyeol says. "they’ll be here before you know it."
"i hope so."
the conversation ends there, because jongin comes back with all the groceries. he and chanyeol put them in the back of the car hurriedly so they can get baekhyun home. early dinner isn’t so early after all, but chanyeol, jongin, and baekhyun (and the puppies) all eat well enough. chanyeol lets jongin cuddle baekhyun to sleep, opting to stay up a little later to work on something. the next few days will bring pleasant surprises, they just don’t know it yet.