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Chubby cheeks.

Flabby arms.

Belly fat.

Those are just some of the things Baekhyun hates about his body.

And at the moment, they stand out even more because Baekhyun needs to look at himself in the mirror while lifting weights – and in that mirror, he also sees the reflection of his personal trainer, Jongin, whose physique is the complete opposite. Muscle wherever you look, no fat, just a perfectly toned body.

It makes Baekhyun jealous. Sure, he could try to achieve the same thing, work out more and eat nothing but flavourless chicken breasts and drink protein shakes, but the problem is that the two things Baekhyun likes the most in the world sitting at home playing games and food. Working out is not exactly on the list of activities he enjoys.

Actually, the only reason he decided to go through with signing up at the gym is because he wanted to get back at his ex-boyfriend, who broke up with him. When they were still together, Minseok had this perfect body that made Baekhyun feel so insecure. And although Minseok ended things because of other issues, Baekhyun thought he would at least make him feel bad about it by getting all fit and hot.

At the beginning of this painful journey, which was like two days after Minseok had broken his heart, it looked like it would work. Baekhyun found the gym with the best reviews, immediately hired a personal trainer and started working out. But that fire that came from being rejected died out pretty quickly. And now, after one and a half months, Baekhyun is stuck here because of expensive membership, hating every second of doing anything physical and only becoming more aware of much he dislikes the way he looks. Yeah, let’s face it, the way Baekhyun sees it is that he basically has to pay way too much money so that fit people around him could make him feel bad about himself. What an investment.

Probably the only positive thing about this whole madness is that Jongin is pretty cute and when he does not try to completely ruin Baekhyun, he can be fun to talk to. Initially, Baekhyun even had a small crush on him but quickly realized that the fact that Jongin has seen him at his worst and most embarrassing would not be a good start to a relationship. After all, you really don’t want to date someone who has witnessed you crying on a treadmill unless you are very desperate. Which Baekhyun is not… well, not yet at least.

“Fifteen, okay, you can put those down,” Jongin says and helps Baekhyun with the weights that probably weigh like nothing to him. “Good job, man.”

“Thanks,” Baekhyun starts stretching his shoulder and tries not to wince but fails miserably.

“You know what,” Jongin gives him a cursory glance. “I think that’s it for today.”

“Really?” Baekhyun’s eyes light up, and in his head, he starts thanking all the deity he can think of.

“Yeah. But there’s one more thing I need you to do. Go one floor down and get some massage therapy. Tell them I send you, okay?”

Baekhyun gulps. Getting naked in front of a stranger after this intense session of self-hatred does not sound like an opportunity he would jump at right now. “There’s no need, I feel fine,” he tries to wave it off, hoping Jongin will let it go.

“Nonsense. You’ve been working hard, so you deserve it. Plus, it’s a part of your membership, and it would be a waste not to make use of it.”

“Okay, okay, I’ll try it,” Baekhyun lies to get Jongin off his back.

Which apparently works because Jongin just gives him a thumbs up. Relieved that the deceitful plan worked, Baekhyun collects his things and heads out with a spring in his step. He can’t wait to get out of this building he hates with every fibre of his being.

“Oh, and Baekhyun,” Jongin’s voice suddenly stops Baekhyun in his tracks.

“Yes?” he turns back to face his trainer.

“I’ll check with them later if you stopped by.”

~

As Baekhyun opens the door to one of massage rooms, he wonders who can be blamed for all this misfortune that has befallen him. Ultimately, it is probably Minseok again. If Minseok hadn’t broken up with him, Baekhyun wouldn’t have signed up for the gym. And if he hadn’t had signed up, he wouldn’t have met Jongin, who obviously enjoys forcing Baekhyun to do things that make him uncomfortable.

Baekhyun shakes his head and sighs. The receptionist told him to go in but there is nobody else in the room And since Baekhyun has no idea what to do next and running away is not a possibility, he starts studying the space.

It is nothing special, the walls are white, there is a massage table and way too many plants. There is also a lot of light in the room thanks to a big double casement window. Overall, quite generic. The only thing that catches Baekhyun’s attention is a big shelving unit with lots of different lotions, oils, candles and incense sticks. It truly does not seem very personal as there are not that many indications that this room is used by one specific person except for a phone charger and a picture of a dog. Well, at least Baekhyun has guessed it is a dog because it looks more like a black smudge that is running somewhere. Cute.

“Hi, my name is Chanyeol and I – oh, you’re still dressed.”

Baekhyun turns around to explain he had no idea he was supposed to undress already but ends up completely speechless once he lays his eyes on the person who has just entered the room. Wow, another cute entity.

Anyway… it is a guy. An extremely handsome, tall guy. In white yoga massage pants and a white tank top. And if it was not for the fact that he is dressed like a massage therapist, Baekhyun would totally think that he is another personal trainer simply based on how fucking huge his arms are. Damn, Baekhyun’s mouth suddenly feels dry.

That is probably why it takes him a minute to realize that they are now just staring at each other, the other guy waiting for Baekhyun to say something.

“H-Hi… I’m Baekhyun… I didn’t know I was supposed to –”

“No problem, I’ll leave the room to give you more time,” Chanyeol (that was the name he said, right?) smiles at him. “You can change behind the curtain and leave your clothes there. Just wrap a towel around your waist and then lie down on the table, okay?”

“Okay, thanks.”

And with that, Chanyeol leaves the room.

Oh, how Baekhyun wishes he could do the same. If they weren’t so high up, he would quite possibly jump out of the window. That is how much he doesn’t want this hot guy to see him naked. And it does not matter that it will only be his back. He can totally figure out that Baekhyun’s body is in horrible shape just based on that.

But alas, they are on the sixth floor, so Baekhyun will have to suffer and completely repel this guy who looks like a walking ad for sex. Seriously. He is so hot that it does not make sense that he simply gives massages to people every day. On the other hand, imagine the tips he must get after he puts his big hands (oh yeah, Baekhyun noticed) on people. Okay, now it makes a little bit more sense, Baekhyun admits in his head.

As he wraps a towel around his waist, he pats his belly with a solemn expression. He reminds himself that it doesn’t matter. A guy like that would never be interested in someone like Baekhyun anyway. Because people like Baekhyun are perhaps kind of cute but average-looking whereas people like this guy Chanyeol are born to be admired and to show people like Baekhyun that they are way out of their league.

While this realization might sound depressing, it sort of helps Baekhyun calm down and stop feeling so uneasy about the whole massage process. Once he lies down on the table and puts his head into the headrest, he has actually come to terms with the fact that Chanyeol will be in the position to judge his body – well, he is not happy about it, but he no longer wants to rip his head off because of it, so that is progress.

“Can I come in now?” Chanyeol’s deep voice carries through the door and makes Baekhyun feel many things he needs to repress as much as he can.

“Yeah.”

Baekhyun hears the door open and close again and senses that Chanyeol has approached the table.

Well, here it is now. Time to start. At least, Baekhyun feels relieved that he does not have to look at Chanyeol while going through the whole ordeal. Wow, he has actually managed to find one positive thing about this experience, good for him.

“Baekhyun, I’m going to start the massage. If my hands are too cold, let me know. Also, any time you feel any type of extreme discomfort, tell me. At some points it might not be quite pleasant, it has to be, but we don’t want you to suffer.”

“Fine, but what if I live my life in a constant state of extreme discomfort?”

Shit.

Baekhyun can’t believe he said that. Those words really did leave his stupid mouth. He usually only says that self-deprecating stuff in his head or in front of his best friend. Why? Why did it have to slip out right now? In front of someone who is probably too zen to understand that?

However, Chanyeol surprises him. He actually lets out a laugh. “Then let me know if we reach a point when it becomes extremely extreme discomfort.”

“Okay, thanks,” Baekhyun chuckles.

Before he can fully process the fact that Chanyeol is not exactly who Baekhyun expected him to be, the massage begins. And oh wow. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. That feels so freaking good.

“So, I hear that Jongin is your trainer. Is he the one who sent you here?”

“Yeah, he is. He insisted and – damn, mmm, this feels really good.”

“I’m glad,” Chanyeol says with his deep, warm voice. “And yeah, there is no point in arguing with Jongin. Once he decides on something, he will not let it go.”

“Oh, do you know each other well?”

“Not well, but we are friendly. And he comes to me to get massages and physical therapy.”

“I see. And, mmm, I’m not surprised, you are so good with your hands.”

It does take Baekhyun a second to realize the hidden double meaning, but he does not have time to dwell on it as Chanyeol presses the palm of his hand in a very specific spot between his shoulder blades, which makes Baekhyun moan. And now he has a completely different thing to be embarrassed about, great.

“Thanks,” Chanyeol responds and does not say anything about the humiliating sounds Baekhyun makes. Perhaps those are normal, but how would Baekhyun know? This is his first time being touched like that. “Anyway, tell me something about yourself.”

“Umm, like what?” Baekhyun asks and wonders if that is small talk or if Chanyeol is genuinely interested in hearing about his live. The way he said it sounded like it is the latter option but Baekhyun has hard time believing that.

“Well, for example, what do you do for a living?”

“I work in, mmm.” Damn, Chanyeol could really be considerate and time the moments he makes Baekhyun groan and moan in a way that would not interrupt him mid-sentence. “I work in executive research. Basically, we provide specialized recruitment services.”

“So, you are like a headhunter?”

“Yeah, but I don’t like that word. It sounds like I hunt and decapitate people for fun.”

“I see. Which I guess is more of a hobby than a job, right?”

Baekhyun laughs. This guy is funny. “Yeah, mmm, I do than because I like it, not for any money.”

“How selfless of you. But to get some money to buy food… and the equipment for decapitating, I suppose.” Baekhyun interrupts Chanyeol by letting out another chuckle. “To do that you then go and find people to work at different companies. Do you like it?”

“I do, mmm. While I might not seem like it, I have pretty great people skills and it is fun to do something where I get to use what I’m actually good at.”

“Sounds pretty nice to me. But why do you think you might not seem like you have good people skills?”

“I don’t know, perhaps because, mmm.” Baekhyun has to take pause because this time Chanyeol hit another special spot, which makes repressing the moans impossible. Wow, that guy is good. “Perhaps because the second piece of information I told you about myself after my name is that I live my life in extreme discomfort?”

“Oh, yeah, that,” Chanyeol laughs. “You obviously didn’t mean to say it, you were just nervous about the massage. Which is why I’m very happy that you seem to be enjoying it right now.”

“You make it impossible not to enjoy.”

“You say that now, but we haven’t gotten yet to that part where I have to make it hurt a little to help you.”

“And when are we – fuck, that shit hurts!” Baekhyun cannot help himself but scream out when Chanyeol gets to his shoulders.

“Does it really hurt that much?”

Baekhyun stops to think about it before answering. The initial shock was pretty bad, but now he only feels slight discomfort. “No, you just surprised me,” he admits.

“Sorry. But you’ve got some muscle knots in your left shoulder we need to work on to make you feel better later. So, you think you can handle it?”

“Sure. Don’t spare me. I can handle it. I’ve been recently broken up with by a man who I’d thought I would spend the rest of my life with. Some stupid knots don’t scare me.”

“I’m sorry to hear that,” Chanyeol says, and Baekhyun can hear in his voice how sincere he is. “But you are right, after that muscle knots are like nothing.”

“Exactly.” Right after that though, Baekhyun yelps and once again feels pretty embarrassed. But he does appreciate Chanyeol not making fun of him. “By the way, what about you? Do you like your job? And how did you decide you wanted to do this?”

“I love my job. I’d always wanted to work somewhere where I would help people. And when I used to work out quite a lot, I visited a lot of places like this and appreciated the people who made me feel better. And it seemed like it would be nice to make others feel like that. So, I decided to work hard and get my massage therapy and physical therapy licence.”

“That’s a really nice story,” Baekhyun says. “I just have one question though – you used to work out a lot? An emphasis on the used to part?”

“Yeah. When I was in college, I was really into it. Like working out every day, watching what I eat all the time, that stuff. Now I’m way more relaxed about it.”

Baekhyun can’t believe what he’s hearing. Chanyeol has a body like that and he doesn’t really care that much about working about anymore? How is that fair?

“And how did you get into it? Please, tell me, I could really use some tips.”

“Hmm, it was probably because as I got older, I got really skinny. I was a chubby kid, but then I grew taller and stretched out.” Great, after hearing that Baekhyun is reminded that he sometimes hates his height as well. “I wanted to build some muscle and got carried away. What is your motivation?”

“This is going to sound really lame, so please don’t judge me. My ex has this great body and when we went out, I felt pretty self-conscious because of it but didn’t do anything about it. And when he broke up with me, I thought I would show him what he is missing out on by getting muscular and hot.”

“I don’t think that it is lame at all,” Chanyeol says and his hands move to the lower part of Baekhyun’s torso. Apparently, they are done with the awful muscle knots. “But I must say that he is missing out on a lot, whether you get some muscle or not.”

“Oh.” Suddenly, Baekhyun feels hot all over his body. “Thanks, but… I don’t know if I made good enough of an impression for you to say that.”

“I would have to disagree, but it’s not about that. I believe every individual is special and worth getting to know and appreciate for as long as possible.”

The first thing that comes to Baekhyun’s mind when Chanyeol says it is: well, that is some spiritual bullshit. And how can Chanyeol appreciate Baekhyun’s humour and be funny himself but still believe in such motivational and spiritual crap? Those two things just don’t go together in Baekhyun’s opinion.

However, when Baekhyun actually takes in the meaning of those words, it sounds kind of nice and perhaps even liberating. If everyone is worth getting to know, it might not be necessary to worry so much about making others like you. Yeah, now Baekhyun understands why someone would subscribe to that idea. Still, something does not quite add up for Baekhyun though.

“So, how do you choose those people who become your best friends or romantic partners if everyone is special?”

“Oh, it’s quite simple,” Chanyeol says while he spreads some product, probably a type of oil or something, all over Baekhyun’s back. “While everybody is an amazing human being, we tend to gravitate towards those who make us feel better about ourselves and who can offer us something we are missing. I think those people become the closest to us.”

“Interesting,” Baekhyun mutters under his breath.

He is certainly not ready to accept this mantra or whatever, but it does sound intriguing. And like it could make his life a lot easier if he believed in it.

“Okay, we are done,” Chanyeol interrupts his thoughts. “I would like to recommend you to come again soon so I can help you with those knots even more, but of course that’s just my recommendation, I can’t force you to do it. However, if you enjoyed the massage today, I can guarantee that the next one will be even better.”

“I did enjoy it, thanks, and it helped a lot. So, I guess I’ll see you again soon.”

“Perfect.” Baekhyun can tell just from Chanyeol’s voice that he is smiling right now. “I’ll be looking forward to it.”

~

Baekhyun runs into a restaurant, panting and frantically looking around to find the person he is meeting. Once he locates them, he makes a beeline for their table and flops into the other chair.

“Kyungsoo, I’m so sorry I’m late, don’t be mad, I got stuck at the gym because Jongin forced me to get a massage and then I took a long shower and got lost in my thoughts and before I knew it was time to meet you, so I ran here as fast as I could, but apparently not fast enough! Sorry. And the dinner is on me!”

Baekhyun’s best friend takes in his whole appearance (messy hear, sweaty forehead, dishevelled clothes) and sighs. “Okay. It’s fine, I’m not mad. But I am really hungry, so I advise you to spend as little time as possible picking out what you want.”

“Got it,” Baekhyun grins. He knows how Kyungsoo can get when he is hungry. Nobody would want to deal with that monster.

Fortunately, the waiter comes to get their order quite soon after that. Kyungsoo, the foodie that he is, gets both soup and a shrimp appetizer and then steak with some impossible-to-pronounce French sauce, just overall the fanciest things one could find on the menu. Baekhyun, on the other hand, chooses salad as his appetizer and baked fish fillet as the main course.

“Why are you ordering something so plain? Isn’t the whole point of going to this restaurant to splurge and not care about calories?”

“Yeah, but I worked out today and I want to make it count,” Baekhyun pats his belly.

“Okay,” Kyungsoo pushes up his glasses. “Who’s the guy?”

“What guy?”

“You know what guy.”

“No, I don’t. What guy?”

“The guy you recently met who is probably way out of your league because you only get attracted to people like that and then develop crushes on them too quickly and easily and get your heart broken once they do not reciprocate your feelings. That guy.”

“Oh. That guy,” Baekhyun rubs the back of his neck sheepishly. “It’s nobody important.”

“Yeah? The same way Minseok was nobody important? Just a guy you were seeing, as you described him. And then you became too invested in your relationship, as you always do, and started to think you would spend the rest of your lives together, dreaming all of it up after two months of being a couple.”

“Fine, I get it, I get it, I enjoy dysfunctional relationships,” Baekhyun rolls his eyes because he does not need to be reminded of that, he is quite aware of his own shortcomings.

“Baekhyun, you know I’m not saying that to be mean. I just don’t want to see you get hurt again.”

“I know,” Baekhyun breathes out. “But I promise it’s nothing. I am attracted to him, that I will admit, but at the same time I’ve already embarrassed myself in front of him and he’s seen me almost naked, so I realize there’s no hope for us.”

Kyungsoo chokes on his water. “What do you mean by almost naked?!”

“No, please, no, it’s not what it sounds like!” Baekhyun starts calming his best friend down. “He works as a massage therapist at my gym. That’s it.”

Kyungsoo heaves a sigh of relief. “Good. But you should really stop hating your body so much. You look great. You know, when I said you pick people out of your league, I meant that you find people who seem perfect to you, put them on a pedestal, and then you start feeling bad about yourself because of it. When in fact they are not that special and most of the time you are the one who’s out of their league.”

“Oh, my dear Kyungsoo,” Baekhyun reaches out for Kyungsoo’s hand and squeezes it. “If you were not obligated to say things like that as my best friend, I would really be flattered.”

“Please, I’m not obligated to say shit,” Kyungsoo rolls his eyes and swats Baekhyun’s hand away. “You just can’t take a compliment because you are too busy hating yourself.”

“Well, you’re not wrong about that,” Baekhyun shrugs.

Self-loathing has been Baekhyun’s companion for a very long time. It is probably the only thing in his life Baekhyun can always count on – people disappoint and leave, life changes, yet the fact that he hates himself stays with him no matter what.

Baekhyun wants to share this fun realization with his friend but gets interrupted by the waiter who has brought them their appetizes. Yum. He completely forgets about his thoughts and starts shoving pieces of lettuce into his mouth.

Kyungsoo squints at Baekhyun as he himself hasn’t even picked up his spoon yet but ultimately doesn’t comment on his behaviour. After all these years of friendship, he has gotten used to Baekhyun’s table manners… more or less. Well, except for the sounds he makes when he eats, but Kyungsoo has been able to train him to tone it down a bit when they eat together.

“So, tell me, what’s he like?”

“Who?” Baekhyun asks with his mouth full, which is met with another, this time much more reprimanding, squint from Kyungsoo. “Sorry,” he swallows his food and chuckles. “Who are you asking about?”

“That guy. The massage therapist from your gym.”

“Oh,” Baekhyun breathes out. He puts down his fork and takes a sip of his water. “I don’t know, he’s… he’s nice.”

“Please, don’t try to downplay it,” Kyungsoo sees right through him. “You ordered salad. Salad. He must be more than nice.”

“Fine, fine, you’re right again,” Baekhyun runs his hand through his hair. It is frustrating how well Kyungsoo knows him. “He’s really nice. He… I thought he would be really zen and pretentious and all that bullshit because of his work, and he kind of is in a way, not pretentious I mean, just zen, but he’s also pretty funny and easy to talk to. And I don’t know, it felt like he was not one-dimensional… like there’s more to him than meets the eye.”

“Uh-huh,” Kyungsoo hums as he moves from his soup to his shrimp dish. “It sure sounds like it’s totally nothing, just like you said before.”

“It is nothing! Like I said –“

“Oh, I heard you the first time. Let’s skip all that crap and tell me what he looks like.”

Baekhyun looks down at his plate. “I don’t want to say.”

“Damn,” Kyungsoo stops eating and leans forward. “Taller than you?”

“Yeah.”

“How much taller?”

“A lot taller.”

“Oh no. Muscles?”

Baekhyun only nods this time. Kyungsoo hums and bites his lip.

“Broad shoulders?”

“Yep.”

“Handsome face?”

“Uh-huh.”

“How handsome on the guy I slept with after you poisoned me with tequila to the guy you slept with after you poisoned me with tequila scale?”

“Like a the guy I slept with and half.”

“Shit. Now that’s a problem.”

Like Baekhyun doesn’t know it himself.           

“Come on, what else?” Kyungsoo nudges the other man with the handle of his fork.

“Everything,” Baekhyun quickly convers his face with his hands. “Big, beautiful eyes and a wide, cheerful smile. Big ears, which should probably look horrible, but on him they look way too cute. Oh, and a deep voice.”

His best friend opens his mouth to say something, but Baekhyun cuts in with: “And he probably owns a very hyperactive dog!”

“Well,” Kyungsoo clears his throat. “You’re fucked.”

“Tell me about it.”

As they both sigh because of Baekhyun’s misfortune, the waiter approaches their table to ask them if everything is okay and if he can do anything else for them before he brings them their main course. Kyungsoo is about to assure him that they are okay but then he looks at Baekhyun and decides that there actually is something else they need.

“Actually, we’d like to order a bottle of rosé, please.”

Baekhyun lifts up his head.

“There’s nothing better for being royally screwed than rosé,” Kyungsoo kindly informs him, and this time it is him who reaches out to squeeze Baekhyun’s hand.

~

The next morning, Baekhyun comes into his office and collapses on the sofa, which is fortunately there for his meetings but more often than not serves as his temporary bed. Given his current state though, Baekhyun has realized that the sofa has yet another function: if he presses his face against the pillows, it helps muffle his loud groans.

My god, he is so fucking hungover.

He and Kyungsoo ended up finishing two bottles of rosé at the restaurant, by which point they were both already pretty drunk, but of course they couldn’t just stop, idiots, they had to go to Kyungsoo’s to drink some of his ridiculously expensive whisky.

Baekhyun doesn’t remember much of what happened after that. But he does remember the morning, waking up in Kyungsoo’s living room on the sofa feeling like shit. Kyungsoo, on the other hand, appeared to be completely fine (he always is, so unfair), simply standing there, looking down at him and telling Baekhyun to get up if he plans to make it to work on time today. And because Baekhyun can’t afford to call in sick, he had to get up, take a cab to his apartment, have a quick shower, change clothes, and get to work. Damn his life, seriously. And damn Kyungsoo for making him drink so much and then being as fresh as ever.

Although Baekhyun would love to spend more time cursing his life and his best friend, that is not an option since there is so much to do. Therefore, he decides to enjoy one more minute of groaning into the pillow and then go get some coffee because there is no way he survives this morning without it.

Luckily, the coffee does make him feel a bit better, and he dives right into work, which helps distract him from the state he is in at least a little bit.

By noon Baekhyun looks up at the clock in his office and realizes two things: he has been working without any sort of break for quite some time now, and he has actually started to feel like himself again, which is a welcome surprise. He stretches in his chair and praises his own body for that quick recovery.

At that point, his phone vibrates on his desk. He expects it is some kind of snarky text from Kyungsoo, asking if Baekhyun is having a great day, but he is pleased to discover that it is actually from one of the job candidates he has recently worked with and really got along with during the process. She is asking if she can take him out for lunch since she happens to be near his office.

Baekhyun readily agrees. He is in fact quite hungry because he skipped breakfast, and he would also love to see her, so this works out great. Plus, as soon as he sees what restaurant she suggests for their lunch, he gets even more excited as it is one of his favourites in the area.

~

When Baekhyun arrives, he spots his lunch date right away. After all, the woman is probably the most beautiful and elegant person wherever she goes. Therefore, she stands out quite naturally from the rest. But, as Baekhyun has realized, since she is so nice and down-to-earth, you can’t really hate her for it.

“Yoora, hi!” he approaches the table with his arms spread out.

“Baekhyun! It’s so nice to see you again,” Yoora gets up from her seat and gives him a warm hug.

“You too. And let me just say, you look great,” Baekhyun says as they both sit down. “Being the new general manager at a major fashion company suits you.”

“Please,” she waves it off. “But I’m glad you mentioned it because it is actually the reason why I wanted to see you and buy you lunch. It’s the least I can do since you basically got me the job.”

“Come on, Yoora, that’s not true at all,” Baekhyun shakes his head. Knowing what he knows about her résumé, he can’t believe she is selling herself this short. “Your skills got you that job. Plus, don’t forget that I don’t work for you, I work for the company. It would be unethical for me to push for someone to get the job just because I personally enjoyed spending time with them.” Yoora raises her eyebrow once Baekhyun says that. She definitely sees right through him. “Well, yeah, okay, I might have said something like that you’d be perfect for the job… but you still had to win them over during your interview at the company!”

“Hm, now that I think about it, it actually made the interview a lot harder because they expected a lot from me,” Yoora chuckles and takes a sip of her water. “But still, I owe you one, so order whatever you what.”

“I don’t think so. Shouldn’t it be me buying you lunch to celebrate you getting a really good job?”

“A really good, well-paid job,” Yoora adds to Baekhyun’s statement. “So no, today’s on me.”

Baekhyun lets out a hearty laugh. Now that it benefits her, she finally starts bragging about her job. Good for her. Anyway, he wants to disagree with her again and insists on covering the bill, but before he can do that, her phone starts to ring.

“Oh, it’s my brother,” she says after she glances at the screen.

“Take it,” Baekhyun beckons to her with a warm smile.

Yoora hesitates for a second, not wanting to be rude, but in the end she returns Baekhyun’s genuine smile and takes the call. And Baekhyun, who does not wang appear nosy by just staring at her and listening to the phone call, decides to study the menu even though he knows it by heart at this point. It is his favourite restaurant after all.

“Hi, what’s up?”

“Mom told you?”

“Thanks, that’s so sweet.”

“Really? I’m actually in the area.”

“Oh, sorry, I’m getting lunch with the –“ Yoora’s side of the call gets interrupted by Baekhyun leaning over the table.

“Tell him to join us,” he whispers.

Yoora doesn’t seem to be convinced that it is okay though, judging from her furrowed brows and pursed lips. It takes a couple of encouraging nods and gestures from Baekhyun for her to actually start speaking again and invite her brother to join them. The brother, on the other hand, seems to agree immediately because the call ends soon after that and Yoora puts her phone down with a deep sigh.

“That was really not necessary. I see him all the time, it’s not a big deal.”

“But I could tell he wanted to see you after he found out about your new job,” Baekhyun explains his decision. “Moreover, it will satisfy my curiosity to see him. I really want to know if good looks run in your family.”

“Well, I don’t know about that, but people do say we look similar,” Yoora shrugs. “Other than that though, we are quite different. He is the opposite of the corporate type you and I are.”

“I wouldn’t describe myself as a corporate –“

“Baekhyun,” she gives him a knowing look. “Don’t try to fool me. You’re a corporate cynic and you know it.” Baekhyun giggles at the way she says it. Of course he knows she is completely right. “My brother, on the other hand, is a dreamer who only sees good in people. Oh, speaking of…”

As Yoora’s face lights up and she starts waving her hand, Baekhyun turns around in his chair to check out this idealistic brother. He hopes he does look like Yoora because that means he must be really handsome and Baekhyun wouldn’t mind looking at some hot guy during his… oh damn.

So, let’s summarize, Baekhyun says to himself after his heart stops for a second and he has to remind himself how to breathe. The guy heading in their direction with a wide smile is truly handsome. There is no denying that. Therefore, Baekhyun gets exactly what he wanted: an eye candy to admire during lunch. The problem, however, is that Baekhyun has already met this handsome guy and managed to develop a little crush on him.

“Chanyeol,” Yoora hugs her brother, and Baekhyun cannot help but stare at the two as he questions how this is even possible. “Please, meet my friend, B–“

“Baekhyun! Hi!” Chanyeol’s face lights up immediately as he recognizes Baekhyun. “What a coincidence!”

“Um, yeah, hi,” Baekhyun says, showing off his brilliant conversation skills. Dammit, he could not sound more awkward and stupid.

“You two know each other? That’s great!” Yoora sits back down and motions to Chanyeol to take a seat as well.

“Yeah, we actually met yesterday for the first time. Isn’t that crazy?”

“So crazy,” Baekhyun agrees before he reaches for his water and takes a drink. Why does his mouth feel so dry all of a sudden?

“Baekhyun’s my new massage client,” Chanyeol provides context for his sister. “And how do you two know each other?” Before Yoora can answer though, Chanyeol figures it out by himself. “Oh, he must be the headhunter you told me about! That makes so much sense.”

“How come?” Baekhyun furrows his brows. He totally thinks that it was meant in a negative way. After all, that is a part of his personality, to always believe that the worst possible option is the correct one. Especially when it comes to what others think of him.

“Well, Yoora told me you two got along great, and I can totally see that. She loves people like you.”

“People like me?” Baekhyun has no idea what Chanyeol means by that.

“Yeah, people like you. Funny, sarcastic, pretty cynical but still kind of cute about it. Her fiancé is exactly like that.”

“Oh, which reminds me!” Yoora interrupts Chanyeol while Baekhyun dies inside. Cute? Cute?! “You still haven’t told me who your plus-one is for my wedding. I needed to know like a month ago.”

“You’re getting married?” Now Baekhyun is shocked because of a completely different thing. For some reason, he did not expect Yoora to be the marrying kind.

“Yeah, this weekend,” she answers, and from her expression alone it is pretty obvious how excited she is about it. “Which is why I need to know who my brother is bringing to my wedding.”

Chanyeol opens his mouth to say something, but then the waiter comes, and they all realize none of them knows what they want to order yet. Luckily, the waiter is patient enough to wait for them to quickly go through the menu and make their decision.

“So?” Yoora asks as soon as he leaves with their finalized order.

“So what?” Chanyeol pretends that he doesn’t know what she is talking about. But Baekhyun saw how relieved he looked once the waiter interrupted them. There is something more to this whole plus-one deal.

“So, who are you bringing to the wedding?”

“Can we change the subject, please? We are being rude to Baekhyun by talking about things he is not involved in.”

“Okay,” Yoora says with a sigh before Baekhyun can point out that he does not mind at all. “So, Baekhyun, tell me, how was Chanyeol?”

“Ex-excuse me?” Baekhyun is completely thrown off by the innocent question because his mind just doesn’t seem to work properly. Especially around Chanyeol, as it became pretty obvious yesterday. “Oh, you mean as a massage therapist? Great! Just great.”

“He is great, isn’t he?” Yoora smiles as she squeezes Chanyeol’s hand. “There is nothing better than having someone like that as your family member.”

“I’m sure,” Baekhyun nods and clears his throat. God, why is this so awkward? Well, at least for him it feels like it. The two siblings appear to be just fine. He is the only one dying here.

“Yeah, and there is nothing better than having a sister who calls you at ten pm to come give her a massage in her office,” Chanyeol remarks, which actually makes Baekhyun both chuckle and also relax a little bit. Somehow Chanyeol has managed to make the whole situation feel more familiar just by taking a jab at his sister. “How you found the time to meet someone and get him to marry you is beyond me.”

“What can I say, I got lucky,” Yoora readily admits.

“And how did you meet your fiancé?” Baekhyun asks.

“Well, I –“

“Please, let me tell the story, you always make it sound so boring when it is actually incredibly romantic,” Chanyeol interrupts her. He then turns to Baekhyun and looks him in the eye, which is technically common when telling a story, but it still makes Baekhyun’s heart skip a beat. “So, Yoora used to manage some photoshoots for her last company when there was no one else available. And one day, she was at this photoshoot and she tripped over some cord and broke her heel. In her typical workaholic fashion, she simply took off her shoes and continued working. However, after like half an hour she noticed that there was a shoe box next to her chair. She asked around but it wasn’t from anybody from her company and no one saw anything. Nevertheless, she ended up wearing the shoes. And then, to her surprise, the next day there was a cup of coffee next to her chair. And the next a flower bouquet. Yet she still had no idea who it was from. That’s why she decided to experiment. She said pretty loudly that she would kill for a pizza and then told one of her assistants to wait near the entrance to see if there was anybody bringing any pizza in. And sure enough, the pizza appeared like an hour later. When she asked her assistant about it, she discovered that it was the photographer’s assistant who brought it in. So, naturally, she confronted him about it, and the rest is history.”

“Wow,” Baekhyun breathes out. “That’s like from a movie. And also pretty much everybody’s dream.”

“Is it?” Yoora wonders, pursing her lips.

“Ignore her,” Chanyeol comments on it. “She’s been courted her entirely life, so she does not really get it.”

“Yeah, like you’re any different.” Those words leave Baekhyun’s mouth before he can pause to evaluate if they are appropriate or not. Damn his bad habit of speaking before he thinks.

“Sure I am!” Chanyeol does not seem to mind though, so that is a relief. “I told you yesterday, I was chubby as a kid. And then skinny and weird as a teenager.”

“How convenient that you forgot to mention your collage phase,” Yoora remarks casually.

“Collage phase?” Baekhyun seriously needs to know what it means. Like right now.

“Ignore her, please,” Chanyeol quickly says. This attempt at avoiding the topic does not work though since right after that Yoora explains what she exactly meant by that: “Chanyeol got hot and… hm, which words to use…”

“I think I get it,” Baekhyun stops her before she has the opportunity to embarrass Chanyeol even more. Although Baekhyun would enjoy seeing the man get even more fluster than he already is (he looks so damn cute), he also does not want him to suffer. He knows what it feels like to be the younger sibling.

Plus, it also does not hurt that Chanyeol looks at him gratefully after that and flashes him a bright smile.

After that whole sibling bickering time, the rest of the lunch goes quite well, as far as Baekhyun is concerned. They get their food and talk about normal stuff like work, weather, and interesting things they’ve seen or read lately. It might not seem like anything special, but Baekhyun has fun. A lot of fun. Chanyeol and Yoora are both great to be around and having a conversation with them makes Baekhyun feel good. Which is something that does not happen to him that often, so he decides to appreciate every second of it.

As they finish eating, Chanyeol excuses himself to go to the bathroom, and Yoora turns to Baekhyun with a dazzling smile.

“I’m so glad it worked out like this. Otherwise I might have never found out you guys know each other.”

“Well, we met once, and –“

“Sure, but Chanyeol could use more people like you in his life,” Yoora’s expression turns more serious as soon as the words leave her mouth, which does not happen very often.

“What do you mean?”

“He’s just so nice and kind and…” Yoora trails off. “You know what, forget I said anything,” she shakes her head and waves her hand in a dismissing way. “Just take it as a compliment. You’re a good person to have around.”

“I’m not sure about that, but thanks,” Baekhyun chuckles.

He respects Yoora’s wish and does not try to find out more about what she meant, but there is no way he is going to forget what she said. It seemed to Baekhyun that she was quite worried about Chanyeol… but why would that be?

It really makes Baekhyun wonder. And even more so as he sees Chanyeol returning from the bathroom, all tall and handsome and radiating positive, friendly energy.

~

“Shit, that hurt.”

It is two days later and Baekhyun is back for another massage. He thought it would be better after the first one, just as Chanyeol promised, but it seems to be quite the opposite.

“I’m sorry. But you are so much more tense than you were the last time. Is there anything that’s been bothering you? Like at work? Or in your personal life?”

Now, Baekhyun cannot possibly tell Chanyeol that the reason he has been so tense lately is actually the fact that he hasn’t been able to stop thinking about him.

It has been this vicious cycle of thinking about Chanyeol, thinking about how much he is thinking about Chanyeol, and hating himself for thinking about Chanyeol and for thinking about how much he is thinking about Chanyeol. All in all, he is a total mess.

Also, it does not help that he got kind of drunk yesterday after he came home from work and masturbated to the photo of Chanyeol he found on the gym’s website. Later he got so embarrassed about it, he thought he would not be able to go through with the massage today. However, he also wanted to see Chanyeol very badly, so he figured he would just have to find a way to deal with it.

“I don’t know. My best friend’s been kind of annoying, I guess,” he says instead of admitting to his weird obsession.

And it is not a complete lie. Kyungsoo has been annoying, asking about Chanyeol all the time. Baekhyun really shouldn’t have told him about the lunch with Yoora. It only made things seem worse. And they are worse… but that does not mean they have to seem like it, especially if it means Kyungsoo won’t get off his back now.

“I’m sure he means well,” Chanyeol responds and his hands move lower on Baekhyun’s torso.

“Yeah, he does, that’s the most annoying part,” Baekhyun sighs. “Man, how do you do that? How are you so positive and optimistic when it comes to people?”

“I don’t know,” Chanyeol chuckles. “It’s just a part of my personality.”

“I honestly don’t know if I should admire it or pity you,” Baekhyun says and right after that moans as Chanyeol starts massaging his lower back. “Hey, how are the wedding preparations going, by the way? Is Yoora stressed out?”

“Umm, I don’t really know… I… we… we haven’t talked much lately.”

“Why not?” Baekhyun wonders, way too relaxed to notice how strained Chanyeol’s voice is.

He does notice, however, when Chanyeol’s hands move away from his body. He starts missing that touch right away.

“Is everything okay?” No response. “Chanyeol?” Still nothing.

Baekhyun lifts his head up from the headrest and looks around. He is surprised to find out that Chanyeol is no longer standing next to the massage table. Instead, he is leaning against the wall with his head lowered and a solemn expression.

“Hey, what’s wrong?” Baekhyun asks again and starts getting up, carefully wrapping a towel around his waist and draping the sheet from the massage table over the rest of his body. “Should I leave?”

“No!” Chanyeol suddenly speaks up, startling Baekhyun. “Please, don’t leave. I’m… I’m so sorry, this is very unprofessional of me.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Baekhyun assures him. He then proceeds to hop off the massage table and slowly approach Chanyeol. “Is there anything I can do to help?”

“I don’t think so. I just… I can’t deal with all the pressure that comes with the wedding. It’s so soon and I just can’t.”

Baekhyun thinks to himself that seeing Chanyeol this broken is something he could never even imagine. How does he go from that bright person to someone so sad and lost? Baekhyun does not even need to know the details and reasons. Simply seeing him in this state is enough to recognize how bad it is.

“So tell Yoora. I’m sure she’ll understand.”

“No, she won’t,” Chanyeol shakes his head. “She expects me to bring someone to her wedding and she won’t accept the alternative without asking any questions. And I can’t tell her the reason. I really can’t.”

Baekhyun has no idea how to respond to that. Especially since he and Chanyeol don’t really know each other that well. How does he react to being comforted, for example? What works the best on him? Baekhyun certainly does not want to make things worse by choosing the wrong approach. Hence, he ends up just standing there, wrapped in the massage table sheet, feeling helpless and also very sorry.

“I’ve been seeing someone for some time.” It is Chanyeol who shatters the heavy silence that has fallen over the room. “Like casual seeing. He isn’t really someone who can commit. But I thought… I truly thought he would come with me to the wedding if I asked him. Because it’s the only thing I’ve ever asked of him. But he won’t. I waited, and he won’t.”

“I’m so sorry.” It breaks Baekhyun’s heart to discover what Chanyeol has been going through. He wishes there was something, anything he could do to make him feel better. “Is there anything I could do for you? Anything that would cheer you up? Like ice cream. Or going for a walk. Or we could go see a movie.”

“No, thanks. But it’s really sweet of you, I appreciate it,” Chanyeol smiles. His expression turns more serious after a second though. “You know what, come to think of it, there actually is something you could do for me.”

“Anything.”

Yes, anything. Baekhyun would literally do anything to help cheer Chanyeol up. He wants to see his usual self again.

“Would you be my plus-one to Yoora’s wedding?”

What? As soon as Chanyeol utters those words, Baekhyun’s jaw almost hits the floor. He did not expect that at all.

“Are you serious? Me?”

“Very serious. It will get Yoora off my back. Plus, I’ll have someone fun to spend the wedding with. So, what do you say?”

And Baekhyun, without thinking too much about it, says the only thing he can say. Yes.

~

“I mean, you could have said no.”

Kyungsoo clearly does not agree with saying yes being the only option after Baekhyun recounts the whole story to him the next day. To be honest, he meant to keep it from best friend (for obvious reasons, such as the fact he wouldn’t hear the end of it), but then he needed Kyungsoo’s objective opinion when picking out the suit he would look the most amazing in at the wedding. Which is in two days, so there is no time to waste.

“Why would I say no? It’s just a wedding.”

Baekhyun steps into the changing room to try on the first suit they picked out. It is a slim-fit striped black suit with a vest, which Baekhyun is not so sure about, but Kyungsoo insisted it would look great on him.

“I don’t know, maybe because you have a huge crush on him? And you won’t probably even get to enjoy the wedding because he’ll be too bummed out about not having his boyfriend there.”

Yeah, Baekhyun screwed up by telling his best friend about that part. Once again, it is his big, loud mouth which gets him into trouble.

“I told you, he’s not his boyfriend. They’re casual.”

“Yeah, but he wanted to bring him to the wedding. I think it’s pretty clear he wants him to be a bigger part of his life. Do you really want to get in the middle of all of that?”

Normally, Baekhyun prefers to stay out of messy relationships. Well, at least those that are not his own. Because as far as his own relationships go, it is one big hot mess.

However, this is Chanyeol we are talking about. Sure, Baekhyun has known the guy for less than a week, but this is the strongest he has felt about someone in a very long time. He didn’t feel this way even about Minseok, and he fell in love him after they exchanged like two sentences. Yeah, when Baekhyun falls, he falls hard.

“It will be fine. Plus, I don’t expect anything to happen at the wedding. I just want to keep Chanyeol company and make him have a good time.”

And Baekhyun is telling the truth. He is not expecting anything. Nevertheless, if there was something to happen between them, he certainly wouldn’t mind. And given how freaking hot he looks in his suit he has put on, it might be a real possibility.

“Tell me I look amazing,” he steps out of the changing room and strikes a pose.

“You look amazing,” Kyungsoo says without any emotion in his voice. “But there are like four more suits to try on.”

“Yeah, but I feel like this is the one, you know?” Baekhyun looks at himself in the mirror and adjusts the vest to fit him better.

“And that’s your whole problem, isn’t it?” Kyungsoo sighs as he puts his hands on Baekhyun’s broad shoulders. “Once you find something that looks and feels amazing, you forget everything else and immediately become convinced that it is the best thing for you and that you must have it as soon as possible. Without considering any other options or weighing up pros and cons.”

“What is that supposed to mean?” Baekhyun frowns.

“Nothing,” Kyungsoo shakes his head. “You do look amazing, so let’s just look for a shirt and a tie that will go with it.”

“Hey, come on,” Baekhyun catches his friend’s forearm before he can move away. “What did you mean by what you said? What other options are there? And what cons?”

“I don’t know. I thought the boyfriend thing was a big con. Or the fact that he asked you to go with him to the wedding just to avoid having the talk with his family.” Baekhyun feels like that is quite unfair of Kyungsoo to say, but he can’t bring himself to contradict that. He wonders why. “And other options… there are so many. You could have any other guy. One that you don’t just look up to and put on a pedestal. One who doesn’t come with a complicated relationship. One that actually wants you.”

That hurts. Baekhyun can almost feel an actual physical pain in his chest. One that would actually want him. Like that would ever happen.

“Baekhyun,” Kyungsoo instantly gives his friend a big, comforting hug once he notices the pained expression on his face. “Was I supposed to keep my mouth shut? I will from now on if you want me to, I promise.”

“No, no, that’s not it,” Baekhyun assures him. “The fact that you will always tell it to me straight and never hold back is the reason I tell you everything. I know it might not seem like it because I always do the opposite, but I do listen to your advice.”

“Yeah, I’ve noticed,” Kyungsoo grins. “Look, I’m not telling you not to go to the wedding now that you’ve said yes. Or not to have fun. I simply want you to be mindful of the circumstances.” As a response, Baekhyun nods with a reassuring smile. “Okay, now let’s get the rest of your outfit. I saw this amazing skinny tie that will go great with the suit.”

~

It takes them one and a half hours to pick out the whole outfit: the suit, tie, handkerchief, shirt, and even the dress shoes, which weren’t originally a part of the plan, but both Baekhyun and Kyungsoo agreed that Baekhyun does not have a pair that would be the best fit for the whole look. Moreover, they spend another half an hour looking at some silver brooches because the outfit needs little something extra special. They want to take it to the next level after all.

“I think this was a huge success,” Baekhyun announces once they arrive at his apartment and he puts all of the bags on his sofa. He then immediately starts stretching after carrying all that weight. “Anyway, as promised, it’s my treat tonight. But we should order in, I don’t feel like going anywhere. What are you in the mood for tonight?”

“How about some pasta?” Kyungsoo suggests as he sits down in one of Baekhyun’s armchairs, obviously pretty exhausted himself from all the shopping.

“Sounds great. The usual?” Baekhyun doesn’t even wait to hear the answer, he just takes his phone out and puts in their typical order from their favourite restaurant. “By the way, I don’t have any of that fancy whisky you drink at your place, but I do have all the ingredients to make us some mean tequila sunrise. What do you say?”

“Well, our tequila history is not the best, as you know very well yourself, but I guess nothing that horrible can happen if we are not around other people.”

“That’s the spirit,” Baekhyun chuckles as he takes out glasses for their drinks. “Plus, I don’t plan on getting drunk. I need all the energy I can get to groom myself tomorrow.”

“Groom yourself?” Kyungsoo sounds rather concerned. “Oh my god, Baekhyun, please tell me you’re just talking about putting on a face mask and stuff like that.”

“Sure, that too. And also… I know nothing is going to happen between me and Chanyeol, but it never hurts to be prepared, right?”

“Please, kill me now.”

Baekhyun literally cackles since he could hear the sound of Kyungsoo facepalming. He loves making his best friend uncomfortable by talking about sexual stuff. It might be true that Kyungsoo is no virgin, but he is a pretty private person so talking about sex and other intimate things is something that he finds quite embarrassing. And Baekhyun, the little devil he is, loves abusing this weakness of Kyungsoo’s.

Speaking of being the devil, he also adds a little bit more tequila into Kyungsoo’s drink, which is kind of a revenge for being such a better drinker than he is. This way they should be at least at the same level.

Baekhyun laughs under his breath about this genius plan of his and starts garnishing the drinks with some orange slices and cherries. He does not get to finish though as his phone suddenly rings.

“Kyungsoo, it’s Chanyeol!” he rushes into the living room with the phone in his hand and a bewildered expression on his face. “What do I do?!”

“Dear god, calm down. Just take a deep breath and then the phone call.”

Baekhyun listens to his best friend’s advice and takes a deep breath. He had no idea Chanyeol would call when they exchanged numbers – he simply thought they would text each other details about the wedding. He was certainly not mentally prepared to receive a phone call.

But that does not matter now. There is no time to get mentally prepared, he just needs to do it and hope for the best.

“Hello?”

“Hi, Baekhyun! Is this a good time?”

Baekhyun looks at Kyungsoo in his armchair. “Sure. What’s up?”

“Umm… things have changed a little.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, it turns out I can have the plus-one to Yoora’s wedding I was hoping for.”

“Huh?” Baekhyun does not get it for a second. Isn’t he his plus-one? Is that what he was hoping for? Damn, is this a – and then it hits him. It hits him so hard he almost blacks out. “Oh. Your… erm, friend agreed to go?”

“Yeah, he did. Is that okay? I mean, I know I asked you to go so if you –“

“Please, of course it’s okay!” Baekhyun says way too fast and way too loudly. “I’m happy that it worked out like this. Good for you.”

“Thanks. I just hope you didn’t go through any trouble because of the wedding.”

“Please, no,” Baekhyun glances at the bags on his sofa. “Not at all.”

“And I am sorry for the sudden change of plans. I was really looking forward to having you there.”

Baekhyun knows Chanyeol means well, but he also kind of hates him for saying that. Because how is that supposed to make him feel?

“No need to be sorry. Just congratulate Yoora for me and have a great time, okay?”

“I will, thanks. Oh, and if you happen to be in the gym on Monday, stop by. I’ll save you some of the wedding cake to make it up to you.”

“Sounds great,” Baekhyun says through gritted teeth but tries to sound as casual as possible.

“Perfect. Okay, thanks again for being so understanding. Bye.”

“No problem, bye.”

The moment the call ends, Baekhyun scurries off into his kitchen with an unreadable expression on his face and then soon appears again with a bottle of tequila and a shot glass in one hand and one tequila sunrise in the other. He then proceeds to hand the tequila sunrise to Kyungsoo while pouring himself a shot.

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” Kyungsoo questions his friend’s behaviour.

“It’s a better idea than thinking Chanyeol might actually care about me,” Baekhyun shrugs and takes the shot. Ugh. His face immediately twists into a grimace. “And you fucking called it.”

“I don’t think I –“

“And do you know what the worst things is about this whole shitshow? That he told me he was looking forward to having me there! What kind of bullshit is that?” Baekhyun pours himself another shot. “If he’d been looking forward to it, he wouldn’t have fucking cancelled on me. He’s so full of shit.”

Kyungsoo doesn’t even have to say anything for Baekhyun to continue: “I know, I know, that’s unfair. He has no idea how I feel. But still! It’s a pretty shitty thing to do. Even to an acquaintance or whatever the hell I am to him.”

“Look, he is obviously in a dysfunctional relationship. And people usually don’t think very straight in those. You know that pretty well yourself,” Kyungsoo reaches out his hand to squeeze Baekhyun’s shoulder. “Anyway, I’m really sorry it didn’t work out. I know how excited you were.”

“Yeah, I was,” Baekhyun knocks back his drink in one go. “Like a fucking idiot.”

“You’re not an idiot, come on,” Kyungsoo squeezes Baekhyun’s shoulder a bit harder. “I tell you what, let’s wait for our food and then go out. How about that?”

“Hmm, I don’t know, I don’t feel like going anywhere. I just want to get drunk and watch bad TV if I’m being honest.”

“Great, then let’s do just that.”

“Perfect.” Baekhyun says drily and reaches out for the tequila bottle to get himself another drink.

~

Baekhyun hates working out on Mondays. Because if he does, it usually means he did not go to the gym during the weekend and spent his time simply lying around and playing computer games. And doing any kind of physical activity after being that lazy for two or more days is damn hard.

Today it is even worse because he spent his whole weekend trying to recover from drinking way too many shots of tequila with Kyungsoo. He basically only got up from his bed to go to the bathroom or to get the takeout that was delivered to him. And even that felt exhausting.

Moreover, he is dreading seeing Chanyeol. Naturally, he has considered conveniently forgetting about the wedding cake he was promised and avoiding Chanyeol from then on. However, he soon dismissed the thought when he realized that he does not want Chanyeol to find out how much he was hurt by the whole being uninvited to the wedding fiasco. Plus, if he started to avoid him, he is pretty sure Chanyeol would seek him out at the gym and ask him about it, which could once again lead to Chanyeol finding out about Baekhyun’s true feelings.

Therefore, Baekhyun has no other choice than to actually go see Chanyeol. But that does not mean he cannot try to put off the terrifying ordeal. For the first time since they started working out together, he actually asks Jongin to make him do some more exercises and weightlifting once the trainer says it is enough for the day.

Jongin is more than surprised by the sudden interest. His eyes immediately widen and his jaw drops. He is basically left speechless. Fortunately for Baekhyun though, he does not try to investigate the reasons of this unexpected turn of events. Once he recovers from the shock, he starts beaming with pride (probably thinking that Baekhyun is finally getting excited about working out, poor guy) and then demonstrates to Baekhyun the exercise he wants him to do next.

The workout continues for what feels like an eternity to Baekhyun, he hates every minute of it, but does not say a word. However, at the same time, it does not last long enough because Jongin soon announces to him that another customer is waiting for their workout session, so he and Baekhyun will have to finish for the day.

For a brief moment, Baekhyun considers talking to that other customer and asking him if it would be okay to take that session. He would even pay them for it. But that would probably look very suspicious, and Baekhyun does not need Jongin interrogating him about what is going on.

So, instead of going ahead with this crazy plan, Baekhyun leaves for the locker room where he once again stalls as much as he can. He has a really long shower and then takes his time getting changed. As he locks his locker though, he knows that the whole charade needs to end. He has no choice but to admit to himself that now it is the time to stop being a coward and get it over with.

So, he heads out to the spa area of his gym, nervously biting his lower lip and reminding himself to take deep breaths.

“Hi, is Chanyeol busy right now?”

The receptionist looks up from his computer with a smile and kindly informs Baekhyun that Chanyeol is in fact free to see him now but that he would have to check in with him to see if he is open to taking a customer since he is currently on his break. Which means that Baekhyun has to explain to him that he is not there as a customer but as a friend. It feels wrong to use the word but at the same time what else is he supposed to say? Calling himself an acquaintance would be weird and way too formal.

The receptionist, on the order hand, does not seem to question them being friends at all (Baekhyun wishes he could do the same) and simply directs Baekhyun with a sweet smile to the employee break room, which is down the hall behind the reception desk.

Baekhyun nods in understanding and thanks the man for being helpful. He tries not to let it show how nervous he is, but he feels like he is failing miserably.

Should he just leave?

No. No! It is too late to chicken out now. He needs to do it.

He takes a deep breath and musters the courage to approach the break room.

When he reaches the entrance, the door is open, so he can clearly see inside the room. And yes, Chanyeol is in fact there, siting at a table and looking at his phone.

One more deep breath.

“Hi, can I come in?”

Chanyeol turns around in his seat to find out who it is. “Baekhyun! Hi,” he gets up. “Are you here for the cake?”

“Of course, why else?” Baekhyun tries to be his usual playful self. He hopes it will distract Chanyeol from noticing how much he is shaking right now.

“Oh, that hurt,” Chanyeol chuckles. He then makes a turn and opens the break room fridge to take out a small cake box with a white bow on top of it. “Here you go. But I should warn you, it is a calorie bomb. A very delicious calorie bomb.”

“Hey, I worked out today, I think I’m allowed a nice calorie bomb,” Baekhyun takes the box from Chanyeol and sneaks a peek inside. “Wow, that looks really good. Thanks.”

“You’re welcome. It’s the least I could do all things considering.”

“Please,” Baekhyun waves it off. He is glad Chanyeol is apologetic, but at the same time he does not want him to feel bad about it. It is Baekhyun’s fault for getting his hopes up and ending up hurt because of it. “So, how was the wedding? Did you have fun?”

“The wedding was really beautiful. And Yoora never looked happier.”

Baekhyun nods with a happy smile and waits for Chanyeol to continue, which does not happen for quite some time. Baekhyun wonders if there is anything wrong. He decides to say something, but then Chanyeol beats him to it.

 “I actually ended up going alone. He did not show up.”

Baekhyun feels like someone punched him in the stomach. “That… that must have sucked. I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t be,” Chanyeol shakes his head. “It’s actually my fault. You know, for getting my hopes up.”

Damn. This feels way too familiar to Baekhyun. How is it possible that one situation has made two people feel this horrible way?

“Don’t say that. You shouldn’t blame yourself when he is the one who behaved like an asshole.”

Baekhyun only realizes that it might have been too strong of a word to use when Chanyeol looks up at him with a shocked expression. Up until this moment, Baekhyun had no idea that calling someone’s boyfriend or whatever an asshole if he is being an asshole would provoke such a reaction. Well, we never stop learning new things.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have… that was stupid. Sorry.”

Now that Baekhyun thinks about it, it makes a lot of sense. Chanyeol is a very nice person who thinks the best of everybody and probably tries not to judge people. It is quite possible he would never call anyone an asshole. Let alone someone he really cares about.

“It’s okay. You’re right. He… well, what he did was a bit inconsiderate, let’s just say that.”

A bit inconsiderate? Baekhyun can’t believe it. That is the worst thing Chanyeol is able to say about that prick after he bailed on him like that?

“But what hurts more is the fact that he hasn’t returned any of my messages or calls since. And, on top of all that, I have to deal with Yoora.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, she was really excited when I told her I was bringing you to the wedding,” Chanyeol explains. “So, when I called to tell her that I’m actually bringing him, she wasn’t pleased. And you can image how she reacted when he didn’t show up.”

“Wait, why wasn’t she happy that you were bringing him? Just because of me?” Baekhyun would hate to be the one who is the source of any sort of disagreement between the two of them.

“Not exactly,” Chanyeol sighs. It is more than obvious that this is a very painful topic for him. “It was because she… she doesn’t like him very much.”

“Why not?”

“Well, this is not the first time something like that has happened.”

Oh. Now it makes so much sense why Yoora said that Chanyeol could use more people like Baekhyun in his life. Baekhyun doesn’t know the full story, that is true, but it sure seems like this person hasn’t treated Chanyeol very well. Like he has exploited the fact that Chanyeol is so nice and kind. Like he has been hurting him for some time now. It makes Baekhyun so fucking angry because he knows for a fact that Chanyeol deserves so much better.

“I’m really sorry.” Baekhyun has no idea what else to say.

“As I said before, don’t be. It’s really my –“

“No, it is not!” Baekhyun actually raises his voice. He doesn’t mean to, but it happens. “He is obviously an asshole who treats you like shit. How could it possibly be your fault?!”

Chanyeol appears to be quite stunned by the outburst. But Baekhyun is not going to apologize for using those words. No, not this time. Not when he knows what he knows. Which is not much, but it is definitely enough to say what he said.

“You don’t know the whole story,” Chanyeol says weakly once he recovers from the shock. “I’m the one who keeps coming back to him. I’m the one who wants to be more than we are even though I know it is not something he is interested in.”

“That still does not give him the right to treat you the way he does.” It pains Baekhyun that Chanyeol seems to truly believe that he is the one to blame. “And I think you just need to accept the fact that you have fallen in love with someone who’s not worth it.”

Chanyeol expressions darkens. No one has probably ever told him those exact words even though they have been on their mind. There is no doubt about that.

“Chanyeol, what are you doing tomorrow night?” Baekhyun suddenly says.

“Why?”

“Let’s go out. My friend and I want to go to this new, fancy club, and I think you could really use a night out. So how about you join us?”

Baekhyun knows how it might seem like. But it is not like that at all. He simply wants Chanyeol to have fun and forget about how awful he feels for a moment. Nobody deserves to feel this way, but Chanyeol especially.

“Are you sure? I mean, won’t your friend mind?”

“Not at all.” Kyungsoo will be more than excited. Well, to see what Chanyeol looks like. He will be pretty pissed about Baekhyun meddling in this whole mess though. “So, what do you say?”

“I guess…” Chanyeol trails off. And Baekhyun understands that. They don’t know each other that well, although they might be getting there, and he is going through some tough times right now. Plus, Baekhyun is pretty sure that the club scene is not exactly his thing. “Okay, yeah. I actually think it could be nice to go out and have some fun. Count me in.”

~

“So?”

“Fuck! I mean, fuck, Baekhyun, he is so fucking hot! And nice! How the fuck is he real?!”

This conversation occurs right after Chanyeol leaves their table to go buy all of them some drinks at the bar. He showed up only a few minutes ago and offered to do that right after he noticed that their glasses are empty. What a great guy.

“I know! He’s basically perfect.”

“Totally,” Kyungsoo shakes his head in disbelief. “But that does not change the fact that I’m still mad at you for inviting him. What did I tell you about getting in the middle of his messy relationship? It’s a really bad idea.”

“And I told you I’m not getting in the middle of it. I’m just trying to cheer him up. You should have seen him yesterday.”

“Fine, I get that you feel sorry for him. But you should also take into consideration your own wellbeing. Are you really okay with spending so much time with him? And risking you’ll fall for him even more?”

Kyungsoo knows Baekhyun more than he knows himself. So, he is aware that Baekhyun never takes his own wellbeing into consideration, especially when it comes to making people he cares about happy. It does not matter if he is okay as long as he is able to make Chanyeol feel better.

“Okay, let’s hope I got this right,” the man in question appears at their table with drinks in his huge hands, which haven’t stop haunting Baekhyun in his dreams. “Whisky on the rocks.” He hands Kyungsoo his drink. “Cosmopolitan.” Then Baekhyun. “And gin and tonic for me.”

“Perfect,” Baekhyun beams at him and then takes a sip of his drink. How come it tastes so much better when it is from Chanyeol?

“I’m glad. So, Kyungsoo, tell me about yourself,” Chanyeol takes a sip of his drink as well.

“Um, there’s not much to tell really,” Kyungsoo shrugs. “Being a food editor and babysitting Baekhyun takes up most of my time, so there’s not much left for hobbies and stuff.”

“I hate you,” Baekhyun says with a fake smile while Chanyeol chuckles. “And it’s not true that he doesn’t have time for hobbies. They are just all food or drink related, so it’s not really that interesting.”

“I see. So you must really like your job.”

“Well, most of the time,” Kyungsoo admits. “Not when we have to care more about the deadlines than the final product.”

“Kyungsoo here is a perfectionist,” Baekhyun provides more context and enjoys the way Kyungsoo glares at him because of it. “And his perfectionism is at its worst when it comes to food.”

“Really? But I think there’s something really intriguing about being a perfectionist. I truly admire people who always try to do their best.”

Kyungsoo looks at Baekhyun who only nods back. Yes, Chanyeol is actually as nice and kind as Baekhyun said.

“What?” Chanyeol asks, confused by the whole exchange of looks.

“Nothing, don’t worry about it,” Baekhyun waves his hand. “And you’re right, it is admirable, but not when he is being annoying because of it.”

“You’re the worst,” Kyungsoo glares at his best friend. “Chanyeol, can you believe I’m still friends with this guy?”

“Actually, I think you compliment each other really nicely.” Here he goes again, in his typical positive Chanyeol fashion. “How did you two meet anyway?”

“We had the same part-time job in one restaurant,” Kyungsoo begins to tell the story. “We really hated each other at first though because there was this really cute regular who we both had a crush on. We would argue all the time about which one of us would wait on him that day. That is until he showed up with a boyfriend one day. We both were pretty heartbroken because of it and later became close by sharing our misery. And we’ve been friends ever since.”

“True,” Baekhyun nods in agreement. “Although, just for the record, I’d like to mention that Sehun was obviously way more into me than he was into you.”

“Sehun?” Chanyeol’s expression quickly goes from amused to serious.

“Yeah. Why?”

“Quite tall, skinny, broad shoulders, short dark hair?”

“Sounds like him. But that could be anyone,” Baekhyun says. There is no way that it is the same Sehun, right? And who is the Sehun Chanyeol knows anyway?

Baekhyun doesn’t manage to inquire about it though as Chanyeol takes out his phone. It then takes him only a few seconds of swiping before he turns it around and shows the screen to Baekhyun and Kyungsoo.

“Is that him?”

Baekhyun and Kyungsoo move in closer. They look at the screen. They look at each other. They look back at the screen. What Chanyeol is showing to them is a photo of him kissing the cheek of another guy. A guy that both of them are pretty familiar with.

“Shit. That’s a really weird coincidence,” Kyungsoo is the first one to break the silence.

Baekhyun wants to agree with him but he is worried that if he opens his mouth he will literally throw up on the table. That is how sick he feels right now.

He does not understand. How come his life has come to this? It seems like anything he touches just falls apart.

“Yeah, it is,” Chanyeol is the one who speaks next. Surprisingly, he does not appear to be all that bothered by this revelation. “Although I have to admit that it is quite common to come across people who have been interested in him at one point. You’d be surprised how often that happens to me.”

“Is he…?” Baekhyun does not have to finish the question, the rest is rather obvious. And to be honest, he is pretty sure he knows the answer but still needs to hear it coming from Chanyeol.

“Uh-huh. That’s him. Do you still feel the same way about him after finding out?”

“What do you mean?” Baekhyun’s quizzical look confirms he really has no idea.

“Well, you called him an asshole yesterday.” Wow, Baekhyun can’t believe Chanyeol said the word himself. “Do you still feel the same way?”

“Sure I do. Why wouldn’t I?”

“You used to have a crush on him, didn’t you?”

“Yeah, because he was cute.” This is so weird. He used to have a crush on the person who is breaking Chanyeol’s heart. “Cute people can still be assholes. In fact, they often are.”

“True,” Kyungsoo readily agrees. “No offence,” he then immediately says to Chanyeol.

“Huh? Why would I be offended?”

“Oh, yeah, I forgot. Baekhyun told me you used to be a chubby kid and then a weird teenager. That is probably why you still don’t realize you grew up to be really cute.”

Baekhyun literally wants to slap Kyungsoo. Why would he say that? Why would he let Chanyeol know how much Baekhyun actually talks about him?

“Umm, no, I know how cute I am,” Chanyeol has the audacity to wink after that statement, which makes Baekhyun immediately forgot about how much he wanted to hurt his best friend. “But that does not mean I’d get offended on behalf of all cute people.”

“I see,” Kyungsoo chuckles. “You know what, Chanyeol? I think I really like you.”

“Thanks. I think you’re cool too.”

~

“What was that?” Baekhyun slaps Kyungsoo’s arm when Chanyeol goes to the bathroom. “Why did you say you like him?!”

“Because I do! And I think he understood I meant it in a friendly way, don’t worry.”

Baekhyun rolls his eyes. Actually, that is the least of his worries. His biggest one is that they are having fun and getting drunk and if that continues, he might soon say something stupid and inappropriate or come on to Chanyeol. And that cannot happen. He cannot let him know how he feels about him.

“And I mean, how crazy is that thing with Sehun?” Kyungsoo covers his face with his hands. “That’s like out of a movie or something.”

“Tell me about it,” Baekhyun sighs and downs his drink. Shit, a bad decision. He should really pace himself. At this rate, he will climb on Chanyeol’s lap in an hour or so. He knows himself well enough to predict that situation. “And how the fuck am I supposed to compete with that?! Chanyeol is fucking in love with this gorgeous human being. If I stood next to him, I would look like a potato. A fat, ugly potato.”

“You’re exaggerating,” Kyungsoo pats Baekhyun’s back in a reassuring manner. “You would just look like a regular potato.”

“Ha, ha, very funny,” Baekhyun swats Kyungsoo’s hand away. “But you have to admit I have literally no chance. No chance at all.”

“I thought tonight was not about you trying to hook up with him or whatever.”

“Well, no, but like… I don’t know,” Baekhyun lets out a resigned sigh. “It’s his fault for being so attractive and nice and great. I’m only a human being. That stuff affects me!”

“Sure, keep telling yourself that,” Kyungsoo says, mocking his best friend. “So what? Do you want me to leave you alone with him?”

“I don’t know. Do you think I have a chance?”

“How the hell am I supposed to know? But even if you did have a chance, I don’t think you should go through with it. The thing with Sehun is clearly far from over. You would only get hurt.”

“You’re right.” Of course Kyungsoo is right. Baekhyun would have to be really stupid not to acknowledge that. “But what should I tell him when he asks why you decided to leave?”

~

“Please, make yourself comfortable.”

In his own opinion, Byun Baekhyun is a horrible person. After Kyungsoo left, he and Chanyeol still had a lot of fun talking about their lives and stuff, but things were not moving anywhere. At least not where Baekhyun wanted them to be. So, he decided to invite Chanyeol to his apartment under the pretence of not having to pay for the expensive drinks in the club anymore and perhaps having some ramyeon. And now Chanyeol is exactly where Baekhyun wants him to be (and has wanted him to be for quite some time now). On his sofa.

“So, what can I get you? There’s not much, but I can make you a gin and tonic. That’s your drink, isn’t it?”

“That’d be great, thanks.”

Baekhyun gives him a thumbs up, disappearing to the kitchen. And to his surprise, Chanyeol decides to follow him. Even though he ends up simply standing there, leaning against the kitchen counter, and watching Baekhyun make their drinks.

“You know, I’m really glad you invited me. I did not realize how much I needed this.”

“I knew you could use a night out,” Baekhyun chuckles. He is glad Chanyeol has been having fun.

“True, but it is more about spending time with friends.” A radiant smile spreads across Chanyeol’s face. “Is that okay, by the way? To call you my friend?”

Well, that answers the question whether they are friends or not. At least Baekhyun no longer has to think of himself as Chanyeol’s acquaintance. Although, it also makes things a lot more confusing for him. Does it mean that Chanyeol only sees him as a friend? And if so, is that permanent?

“Sure. More than okay.”

“Great. I think I’m really lucky to have you as my friend.”

“Well, aren’t you sweet,” Baekhyun nudges him with his elbow. “Okay, drinks are ready, let’s move to the living room.”

As they sit on Baekhyun’s sofa and Chanyeol tells him more details about Yoora’s wedding, Baekhyun wonders if he has made a mistake. Perhaps he should have really stayed away from Chanyeol as much as possible, like Kyungsoo said. First of all, there is a slim chance Chanyeol is interested in him. Second of all, even if he showed any interested, Sehun would still be the one he wants to be with. And third of all, Baekhyun is sure he is not ready for another heartbreak so soon after Minseok. It would probably ruin him. Well, excuse him, it will definitely ruin him.

“Yoora’s so lucky to have found someone who loves her and would do anything to make her happy. You should have seen her husband when she was walking down the aisle. There was so much love in his expression.”

“Yeah, they are both very lucky.” Baekhyun takes another sip of his drink. Okay, enough of this. It is time to do something. Anything. “You know, you could have that too if you wanted.”

“One day maybe.”

“No, I mean literally right now.”

“What? I don’t think now is the time to get married to the love of your life.”

“Well, not exactly that. But you could be lucky and happy. With someone who cares about you.”

“Right now?”

“Yes,” Baekhyun nods. Here it goes. “Chanyeol, do you find me attractive?”

“Huh?” Okay, so Chanyeol was not expecting that at all. That is not a good sign. “Why?”

“Why do you think? Look, it’s okay if you don’t. Perfectly fine. But if you do, I’d be more than glad to do something about it.”

“Um, Baekhyun,” Chanyeol clears his throat. “You know there’s Sehun, right?”

“Yeah. But you guys are not exclusive. He certainly does not act like it. So why should you?”

“I… I’m not like that. It’s not normal for me to cheat. Even if it’s not technically cheating.”

Baekhyun wants to say something else but stops himself from doing so. Sure, he would very much like it if something happened between them. That does not mean he will try to persuade Chanyeol to compromise his morals. He could. But he won’t. Damn, he wants to though.

“Baekhyun, are you… I mean, do you have feelings for me?”

Now, there are to options how to answer that question. Either he can tell the truth, or he can lie. Telling the truth would mean that Chanyeol finds out about his feelings. And perhaps later decides that it would be best if they stopped seeing each other. You know, like the good guy he is, because he does not want to make things difficult and painful for Baekhyun. Lying, on the other hand, would mean that Baekhyun gets to continue hanging out if Chanyeol. If he does not screw things up any further, that is.

“I don’t,” Baekhyun says. You know, like a liar. “I know it might seem like it, but it’s not that. I just find you attractive, and I thought it would be nice if we made each other feel better by… you know, enjoying each other’s company. But don’t worry about it if you’re not up for it. I wouldn’t want you to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.”

That last part is the truth. Baekhyun cares a lot about Chanyeol. He doesn’t want him to feel uncomfortable or regretful. Which he probably does right now anyway because of Baekhyun suggesting the whole thing.

“Okay. I needed to make sure I was not hurting your feelings. Because that’s the last thing I want.”

“I know. Really, don’t worry about it.”

“And just so you know, I am attracted to you.” Baekhyun almost lets out a scream once Chanyeol says it. Is he dreaming right now? “Which makes this even harder. No pun intended.”

Baekhyun stares at him. He stares some more. And then he dissolves into fits of laughter.

“How are you even real?” he wipes off some of the tears caused by laughing too much.

“What do you mean?”

“Who makes a joke like that in such a serious situation? And you of all people! Jeez, you never stop surprising me.”

“Thanks?” Chanyeol chuckles. “I was being serious though. Well, except for that last part. But I do find you attractive and I like the thought of us two making each other feel good. I just don’t know if that’s an okay thing for me to do.”

“That’s up to you to decide.” Baekhyun is proud of himself for saying that. What he would actually like to say is: you don’t owe Sehun shit, he doesn’t care about you anyway, and you guys are not even exclusive.

“I know. But how do I decide?”

“Okay, look. How about I help you make a decision?” Chanyeol shoots him a confused look. “Stop me whenever you want to.”

Baekhyun starts moving closer and closer to Chanyeol, not breaking eye contact, until he is sitting right next to him. He puts one of his legs over Chanyeol, then moves his whole body to straddle him. Once he is fully nestled in his lap, he leans his forehead against Chanyeol’s.

He does not move any further, and neither does Chanyeol. They only look into each other’s eyes, not saying anything. Soon though, their regular breathing becomes a lot heavier. And that is actually Baekhyun’s cue.

He presses his lips against Chanyeol’s, and their kiss starts really soft. Their lips are working together, in unison, in one rhythm. But once Baekhyun opens his mouth to lick Chanyeol’s lip, the manner with which they kiss completely changes. Suddenly, it is more like a fight to see who can kiss the other deeper.

And as soon as that happens, Baekhyun starts to move his hips. He grinds them against Chanyeol’s lap in a steady rhythm. Chanyeol then grabs his ass, pulls him closer and bites his lip, which makes Baekhyun both moan with pleasure and pick up the pace. His legs also clench more tightly around Chanyeol’s body to allow him to grind against him with more urgency. And it works like magic because he soon can feel Chanyeol’s erection pressing against his thigh.

“Bedroom, now,” he commands.

“On it.”

Before Baekhyun can do anything, Chanyeol starts standing up. That leaves Baekhyun with no other choice than to wrap his legs around Chanyeol’s waist and hold on for dear life. Which actually proves to be pointless because Chanyeol apparently has the strength to hold him up for as long as he needs to. My god, that is so freaking hot.

“Where –“

“To the hall and then left.”

When they get to the bedroom, Chanyeol basically throws Baekhyun onto the bed, proving once again how freaking strong and hot he is. He soon joins him there, leaning over him, and continues their steamy make out session. During that, they also manage to get rid of their all clothes except for underwear, either by taking off each other’s items of clothing or doing it themselves if that mutual thing proves to be difficult.

And let Baekhyun just say wow. Wow, wow, wow. Chanyeol’s body is even better than he expected it to be. And, what’s equally as important, from what he can see in his underwear, everything seems more than fine in that region as well.

He certainly wants to explore it more, but Chanyeol appears to be really keen on making out, which Baekhyun appreciates. For like a few seconds. He needs more. And he needs it now.

“Okay, let me get all of the things we need,” he turns over to lie on his stomach and reaches into the drawer of his nightstand to take out his lube and a condom.

He then wants to turn back over, but that proves to be impossible because Chanyeol starts planting kisses along his spine, starting at the top and slowly moving down. Baekhyun’s back arches due to the pleasurable sensation, and he starts moaning in delight. Damn, that feels good.

“On your knees,” Chanyeol commands, and Baekhyun listens.

You know how Baekhyun has been dreaming about Chanyeol’s huge hands? Well, let’s just say that he was right to do so. He has never experienced being prepped like that. Literally never. And it is not just the size. Chanyeol takes his time. And he constantly asks how Baekhyun is feeling. And he makes sure to press kisses on Baekhyun’s back from time to time, especially when he feels like Baekhyun has trouble adjusting. Overall, ten out of ten.

The only problem is that he might even be doing too good of a job.

“Okay, okay, let’s stop that, I don’t want to come just yet.”

As soon as Chanyeol’s fingers leave Baekhyun’s body, Baekhyun moves from the position on his knees to a sitting one with Chanyeol right behind him. He then lets his hand wander behind his back and starts stroking Chanyeol’s dick and rubbing its tip against his ass from time to time. Whenever he does that, Chanyeol groans and leans his head on Baekhyun’s shoulder. And later, as the groans get louder, Chanyeol actually starts rolling his hips to make his dick press harder against Baekhyun.

“How do you want to –“

“I really don’t care, just fuck me.”

With that, Chanyeol literally flips Baekhyun over to make him lie on his back. He then proceeds to move closer to him while he grabs all the necessary things. And Baekhyun simply watches with his legs spread apart and a hungry expression on his face as Chanyeol puts the condom on and covers his dick with a generous amount of lube.

Baekhyun really wants to tell him to hurry up and finally put it in but he does not get the chance to do so as feels the tip of Chanyeol’s dick approaching his entrance.

“Ready?”

“Hell yeah.”

It takes a moment before Baekhyun can take all of Chanyeol in but as soon as he adjusts to it, he assures him that it is okay to start moving.

The process is almost the same as with their kissing. They start out slow. Chanyeol rolls his hips in a steady, slow rhythm, leaning over ever so often to kiss Baekhyun. As soon as Baekhyun starts being more playful with the kisses, biting and sucking on Chanyeol’s lips, Chanyeol reciprocates it by experimenting with the pace. He quickens and maintains it for some time, then slows it down, then increases it again.

“F-faster,” Baekhyun breathes out as he brings his knees towards his chest to allow Chanyeol to push into him deeper.

And Chanyeol listens. He presses himself closely against Baekhyun and picks up the pace. Baekhyun immediately starts moaning as Chanyeol’s dick starts hitting just the right spot, and he wraps his arms around Chanyeol’s torso to bring him even closer. That is it, oh my god, that is it.

They remain in that position for quite some time but as the pauses between Baekhyun’s moans become shorter and shorter, Chanyeol straightens up and grabs Baekhyun’s knees to spread his legs even further apart and make more room for himself. He then holds onto the knees as he slowly starts getting back into the rhythm, which soon gets faster and faster.

Baekhyun can sense that they are both very close, so he wraps his hand around his own dick and starts stroking it, falling into the same rhythm in which Chanyeol is pounding into him.

“That’s it, yeah, that’s it, baby, come for me,” Chanyeol starts repeating when Baekhyun closes his eyes and his moans get longer and louder.

And with that, Baekhyun lets out one last moan and comes into his hand. He is so dazed and fucked out by that point that he barely registers that it takes Chanyeol a few more seconds of thrusting to come as well. He then rolls over right next to Baekhyun and deeply breathes out.

“That was…”

“Yeah, I know.”

It was fucking great. That is what it was. Baekhyun can’t believe that he has just had such great first sex with someone. It felt like as if they have been sleeping together for some time now. The way Chanyeol responded exactly how Baekhyun wanted him to. The way they fell into the rhythm that worked for both of them. Seriously, the best first sex ever. It makes Baekhyun wonder what will come next.

Wait. Will there be a next time? Or is it just a one-time thing? Chanyeol can’t possibly let it be a one-time thing if they had such a great time, right?

Shit. Baekhyun needs to stop freaking out about it right this minute.

“So, um, you can stay the night if you want to.”

“Thanks, I appreciate that, but I know you have to get up in the morning and I don’t want to bother you.”

Chanyeol really does not understand. He doesn’t get that Baekhyun wouldn’t mind being bothered by literally anything Chanyeol related. But who can blame Chanyeol? Baekhyun told him, like a liar, that he didn’t have feelings for him. And sure, if he hadn’t, they probably wouldn’t have ended up having amazing sex. That would be a shame. But still. It makes Baekhyun wonder. Did he do the right thing? Or will it eventually bite him in the ass? Who knows.

~

How did Baekhyun end up like this? How did he end up bent over the massage table while Chanyeol slams into him hard with each thrust?

Don’t get him wrong, the sex is great. But it is also just that. Sex. Chanyeol still has no idea how Baekhyun feels. And he is probably also still in love with Sehun. Not that they talk about him. Baekhyun is too afraid to ask, and Chanyeol does not mention him anymore.

God, it feels like an eternity since this has been going on when in fact it has only been like two weeks since they slept together for the first time. When Baekhyun told Kyungsoo about it, his best friend called him a masochist. And there might actually be something to that. Although Baekhyun does not necessarily enjoy the suffering, he sure as hell doesn’t try to avoid it.

“So, thanks for the sex,” Baekhyun says once they are finished.

“Thank you,” Chanyeol chuckles. “Any plans for tonight?”

“Nothing much. I need to do some shopping, and then I’ll probably just play games. What about you? Any plans?”

“Yeah, I’m meeting friends for drinks.”

Baekhyun wonders if Chanyeol talks to his friends about him. If he is important enough to at least mention. Probably not, but it sure would be nice.

“Have fun then.”

“Thanks. And, um, when can I see you again?”

“I don’t know.” Baekhyun wishes he had the guts to break it off. He wishes he didn’t like Chanyeol so much. “I have a session with Jongin on Friday.”

“Okay. How about I book you a massage for the same time as today? Does that work?”

“Sure, sounds great.”

“Perfect.” Thinking they are done here, Baekhyun turns around to leave but Chanyeol’s voices stops him in his tracks. “Actually, Baekhyun, would you like to join me and my friends for drinks?”

“Me? Really?”

“Yeah, I… I would really like you to meet them.”

Baekhyun has no idea why that is something that Chanyeol would like. But he does not question it. After all, this means he has the opportunity to spend more time with him in an environment where he feels comfortable. And yeah, Baekhyun likes him way too much to pass up a chance like that.

~

Chanyeol’s friends are all actually quite nice. The problem is that there are too many of them. Baekhyun is used to hanging out in groups of no more than three (and usually it is just two, him and Kyungsoo), so being around nine other guys makes him feel kind of uneasy. Moreover, it also means that there are many other people who Chanyeol needs to pay attention to and he cannot exactly be right next to Baekhyun all the time. And Baekhyun gets it, he really does.

“So, I’m glad that we finally get to meet the famous Baekhyun who’s the one that helped Chanyeol stop thinking about Sehun for a second.”

Baekhyun turns around to look at the person that said it. If he remembers correctly, his name is Junmyeon. “Famous?”

“Yeah. It’s been a really long time since Chanyeol mentioned anyone else other than that guy. So, how did you do it?”

“How did I do what?”

“How did you make him forget about Sehun?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well, it must have been some pretty powerful stuff. It makes me think that I would like to get some of that as well,” Junmyeon says very loudly for some reason as he puts one of his hands on Baekhyun’s upper arm.

Baekhyun thinks about it for a second. The guy is really handsome. So much so that if Baekhyun wasn’t so in love with Chanyeol, he would probably develop a crush on him. But alas, his feelings for Chanyeol are way too strong to even consider this option.

Baekhyun is just about to tell Junmyeon that (well, not exactly that, probably only that he is not interested) when Chanyeol suddenly appears at his side and swats Junmyeon’s hand away.

“Stop hitting on him! Jeez, you never learn.”

“Sorry, sorry, from now I’ll keep my hands to myself.”

Junmyeon moves away from them but as he does so, he turns around for a quick second and gives Baekhyun a wink. What the hell. And what is weird is that it does not feel like a flirty wink. It feels like a conspiratorial one. That certainly confuses Baekhyun even more.

“I’m sorry about him.” Baekhyun’s focus is right back on Chanyeol as soon as he speaks. “He does this every time I like someone.”

It seems like Baekhyun realizes what Chanyeol has just said way sooner than he does. But when it finally happens, his expression changes to embarrassment.

“I’m so sorry! I did not mean… well, I did, but…”

“Outside,” Baekhyun commands and heads out of the bar. He literally cannot deal with this while being surrounded by so many people.

Chanyeol trails behind him the whole time until they get outside. Then he leans against the wall and lowers his head, which looks just so familiar.

“Are you mad at me?”

“What? Why would I be mad at you?”

“Because I said I like you?” Chanyeol explains. “I understand if you are mad.”

“Again, why do you think I’m mad?”

“You have every right to be. I’m a complete mess. I mean, I just said I like you… but I still care about… you know who. That’s not fair.”

“Well, that’s true.” It is not fair, but Baekhyun hasn’t exactly been fair to Chanyeol himself, so who is he to judge. “Do you still see each other?”

“Yeah. But we haven’t slept together since you and I did. I told him I don’t want that anymore. But it’s hard. He’s been an important part of my life for a really long time.”

“Okay.” Baekhyun can understand that. “And do you still love him?”

“I don’t know.” While Baekhyun appreciates Chanyeol’s honesty, it might be better to lie at times like this to spare the feelings of other people. “I’m sorry, I’m just really confused. I’ve loved him for so long, but then you appeared… and I don’t know. It’s been very hard to sort out all of those feelings. But I guess none of that matters if you don’t feel the same way.”

“Of course I feel the same way!” There is no point in pretending anymore. It is either go big or go home. “I have for some time now.”

“But you said –“

“Well, I lied. I’m sorry I did but I was worried I might scare you off. I did not want you to start avoiding me because I’d developed feelings for you.”

“Yeah, that makes sense.”

Even though Chanyeol doesn’t appear to be that angry about it, Baekhyun does feel bad. And he feels even worse because of what Chanyeol is going through. If there was anything he could do…

Baekhyun takes a deep breath. He slowly approaches Chanyeol and wraps his arms around him. Sure, a hug might not seem like much, but it is not like he could help him in any other way.

“I’m so sorry,” Chanyeol whispers as he hugs Baekhyun back.

“Don’t be. You can’t help how you feel.”

“I wish I could.” Chanyeol squeezes Baekhyun tighter. “I want to stop loving him, but I don’t know how to do that. At least not right now.”

“Chanyeol,” Baekhyun looks up at him. “Nobody expects you to stop loving him right away. It does not work like that.”

“Yeah, but that means that we… you and I, we can’t see each other anymore. I don’t want that to happen.”

“Me neither. But I do not think that we have to stop seeing each other.”

“Baekhyun,” Chanyeol lets out a sigh. “You can’t expect me to be okay with you feeling hurt. And I know you would feel like that.”

“Yes, I might, but what is the other option?” Baekhyun rests his head against Chanyeol’s chest. “To wait for you to stop loving him completely? And not see each other until then? Or we’ll just give up what we have now for good? I don’t like any of those options.”

“Neither do I, but what else can we do?”

“Be together!” Baekhyun almost screams out. “And be happy. Be happy together. That’s what I want. I’m not saying it will be easy, but I am willing to give it a try. Although, I do have one condition.”

“What condition?” Chanyeol gives him a puzzled look.

“You have to promise me that if we do get together, you’ll convince Jongin to let me quit the gym. And give me my money back.”

~

Chubby cheeks.

Flabby arms.

Belly fat.

Those are just some of the things Baekhyun hates about his body.

But as he lies in his bed next to his boyfriend who repeats to him for the hundred time that he is just imagining those things (well, except for the chubby cheeks, but those are more cute than anything), at that moment Baekhyun feels like he could never really hate anything that Chanyeol loves so much. So, he decides to give loving himself a try.