Kai was the first to figure it out.
He met Baekhyun and Chanyeol on the first day of high school. They were practically glued to each other’s side, which was pretty comical, considering their height difference. He learned pretty soon that they were a package deal, because where ever Baekhyun was, Chanyeol would be following not too far behind.
They were both in his English class. Chanyeol sat two seats in front oh him, while Baekhyun sat in the front corner of the room. It really didn’t take long for Kai to realize that Chanyeol really, really liked Baekhyun.
Chanyeol would always watch the back of Baekhyun’s head like it was the most interesting thing in the world. And whenever Baekhyun was called on to read, he would get this stupid, kind of crazy smile on his face. At first, Kai would smirk because it was a case of puppy love in the cutest way possible, but then he frowned because Baekhyun was more than oblivious towards anything Chanyeol felt.
Kai had always been observant. He noticed small things about their relationship all the time, and that was before they even became friends with him. He noticed the way Chanyeol would grip onto Baekhyun’s jacket as they walked through the over-crowded hallway, and the way Chanyeol would beam when Baekhyun so much as looked his way.
It was sort of creepy, Kai would admit, but watching Baekhyun and Chanyeol was just like watching some fluffy drama. Not that he watched dramas… anymore.
Then, after getting switched out of Im Yoona’s group in English (which made him super mad then, but looking back he guessed he was grateful), he ended up with Baekhyun and Chanyeol. They were friends within weeks.
Actually, he was more of Baekhyun’s friend, because Chanyeol was… well, it was weird. Baekhyun and Chanyeol would sit with Kai and his friends at lunch, but Chanyeol would never talk to them. He only talked to Baekhyun and he did so with their heads pressed close together so no one else could hear.
Kai thought it was strange, but then again, a lot of things about Chanyeol were strange. Kai had never met anyone who twitched so much before.
Now that he was here, though, observing their relationship up close, he could truly see how crazy Chanyeol was for Baekhyun, and how pathetic Baekhyun was for not noticing.
Kai really couldn’t get mad at him though. He’d soon learned that Baekhyun was not the brightest kid. And even though to Kai, Chanyeol’s feelings were quite obvious, they weren’t to anybody else. He’d also learned that Baekhyun was pretty popular with the… err, boys? Not that Kai was against it or anything, but people were literally lining up to date the little, clueless boy. First year, Baekhyun had four different boyfriends, and none of them lasted longer than a month.
Thankfully, Baekhyun’s serial dating slowed down during Second Year, but Chanyeol was as hopeless as ever. He spoke to Kai now, sort of. Whenever Baekhyun would leave to grab something or arrived late to lunch, it would just be Kai and Chanyeol. Previously, Chanyeol would play with his fingers or puff his cheeks out and his constant fidgeting would put Kai on edge.
Finally, Chanyeol tried to strike up a conversation with him, which was often very awkward, but he didn’t really expect anything less.
‘The weather is nice’ he would say, even though it was raining. Or ‘I’m asking for these shoes for my birthday’ even though his birthday had just passed. Still, Kai liked Chanyeol for some unknown reason. Maybe because he felt bad for him. He didn’t know.
While in the beginning, he thought Chanyeol and Baekhyun’s relationship was all smiles and rainbows and cute unrequited love that Baekhyun would soon give into, he couldn’t have been more wrong.
It wasn’t until the end of Second Year that Kai even noticed, and he felt like an idiot for not doing so sooner. Chanyeol was under Baekhyun’s complete control. And Baekhyun tried his hardest to keep his best friend under lock and key. Only, he didn’t do it consciously. At least, Kai didn’t think so.
It almost made Kai sick to watch Baekhyun pull Chanyeol close and fawn all over him whenever he felt threatened. And then some guy would come along and Chanyeol would be left in the dust, his eyes not as bright and his smile not as wide.
His heart went out to the kid. He knew what it was like to be rejected. But to be rejected over and over again by the same person, your best friend? Kai couldn’t even imagine.
Carefully and silently, he got closer to Chanyeol. He knew Baekhyun would absolutely lose his if he found of they were being all buddy buddy.
During the summer, Baekhyun got a job working at some café, and was also obsessing over some stupid barista kid so Chanyeol was often Baekhyun-free. Kai and Chanyeol hung out on an almost daily basis, and Kai soon learned that as their friendship progressed, Chanyeol didn’t become less awkward like he had thought. He just became even more random and crazy and Kai started wondering what the hell was wrong with Byun Baekhyun, treating someone so wonderful that terribly.
And then, they started their Third Year and Baekhyun set his sights on ing Kim Jonghyun and it didn’t take a genius to notice that Chanyeol was getting tired. Of everything. Even Sehun and Minseok and Jongdae noticed, that’s how bad it was.
At that point, Kai knew Chanyeol was really, truly in love with Baekhyun. He had gotten so easy to read. The hard one was Baekhyun. Kai couldn’t tell if he loved Chanyeol and was just hopelessly clueless to his feeling, or if he really didn’t feel that way towards him. Baekhyun was the epitome of jealousy when it came to Chayeol, but then again, he could ditch him for someone else in a matter of seconds.
Kai sort of wished he hadn’t even bothered paying attention to Baekhyun and Chanyeol all those years ago in English class. But he did, and now he couldn’t rest until things were resolved. He felt a liability as their friend. He also felt like ing Oprah. Or something.
As Third Year went on though, it became more and more apparent to Kai that maybe Baekhyun didn’t feel the same way about Chanyeol. Chanyeol was clearly suffering and Baekhyun was painfully oblivious. Kai just… really couldn’t take it anymore.
He let Baekhyun have it. He couldn’t even help it. After seeing him laughing all happy with Kim Jonghyun at lunch, he couldn’t control it. The words spilled out and before he even knew, he was verbally tearing into the shorter boy on their way to the bus stop.
Baekhyun played dumb, just like Kai suspected he would. For the next few days, their friendship went from one extreme to the other. Kai had a permanent headache. He was too deep into all this to back out now, even though he really sort of wanted to.
“Chanyeol,” Kai grabbed the tall boy’s arm, just as he was preparing to head to his bus stop. Kai cocked his head in the opposite direction. “Walk with me, today.”
Chanyeol blinked and looked around for a minute. Kai knew exactly what (who) he was looking for, but didn’t say anything.
“Okay,” he said slowly. “But my house is that way.”
“Just come over to mine,” Kai offered up. Chanyeol rubbed the back of his neck.
“But I really just wanna go home,” he said and Kai huffed. Really, this kid could be so difficult.
“Fine,” Kai sighed. “I’ll walk with you then. Is that cool?”
Chanyeol shrugged and started walking away. Resigned, Kai followed him.
“Chanyeol,” he said again. “You and Baekhyun—“
“I know,” Chanyeol said, kicking at a rock with his shoe. “I think… well… I’m not really sure what to do anymore.”
Kai just nodded, ready to let Chanyeol talk. He could tell from the way his hands were gripping his backpack straps that something was bubbling up, just under the surface. Some strange part of him really just wanted to see Chanyeol yell at Baekhyun. To lose that reverence and awe that he held for the shorter boy who didn’t really deserve it at all.
“He really likes Kim Jonghyun. More than he’s liked anyone else. I can tell.”
Kai couldn’t argue with that. He’d also noticed that Baekhyun’s crush on the senior was a bit more serious than it usual.
“If he’s not going to… love me…. like that, then I think… the thing to do would be to give up. It… it really hurts to see him with him. And I don’t know how. I don’t know how to tell him that I don’t like him being with Kim Jonghyun all the time.”
“Chanyeol,” Kai muttered, at a complete loss. He expected this, he really did, but hearing the words come from Chanyeol’s mouth so brokenly was taking a harder toll on him than he thought.
“I told him I couldn’t hang out with him, anymore,” Chanyeol said. “I think I need… time to myself. Yeah. That’s what I need. Because I think I’m going crazy. And it’s like you said, I need to live my own life.”
“I didn’t really—“ Kai bit his lip, not sure if what he had assumed to be a helpful piece of advice was going to tear this friendship apart.
“But I won’t give up on him,” Chanyeol suddenly said, a newfound determination etched on his face. “Kim Jonghyun will be gone in a few weeks, I’m sure of it. Then, it’s my chance. I’ll do anything. I just… I really…”
Kai couldn’t even form words anymore. Chanyeol stomped down the sidewalk with his mouth set in a thin line, his face the picture of someone who would not back down without a fight. Kai continued to walk further and further away from his bus stop as he watched Chanyeol in fascination, truly questioning what Baekhyun did in a past life to deserve someone that could love him so relentlessly.
so now you know. kai really didn't do anything. he was just the catalyst that caused chanyeol to finally stand up for himself. sort of.
i don't have much to say except THANK YOU. as always. really guys.
maybe another update tonight. but right now i have to go to work. KDGJDAG.
oh and yeah. i just started outlining my next story. it's going to be BAEKYEOL AGAIN. maybe a little shorter than this. even more angsty. even less fluffy.
so yeah. that'll be fun.
thank you again! i love you all!!!!