"Are you sure that this is what you want?"
"You do know that you will lose everything?"
"I do. I do.."
"If this is what will make you happy, I will give it to you. But once I do, I will not be able to take it back. You can never come back."
He woke up disoriented. He was lying in a field of grass with the rays of the late afternoon sun touching his face. "Is this it? Am I really here?" Baekhyun asked himself. He touched his face. He felt warm. This is the first time he felt anything on his skin. He heard a gentle rustling and suddenly his vision of the sky was blocked by the shadow of a person hovering above him.
"Hello? Are you alright?" the person asked. He crouched nearer and Baekhyun saw his face. And for the first time he knew how it felt to lose one's breath.
"Ummm... can you hear me?" His eyes were a little bit worried.
"Yes.. I.. I can." Baekhyun answered, still short of breath.
"Whew! I thought you'll never gonna answer me. But are you alright? I just saw you as I was passing by the park. I thought you collapsed or something so I came over here. This isn't really a place where one would want to lie around in." He said with a small laugh.
Baekhyun tried to sit up and the guy helped him. He looked around to see that he was lying in a field of not grass but of weeds. Still trying to get his bearing, Baekhyun returned his gaze to the person crouching beside him. And this time it hit him. He really was here.
"I'm glad you’re ok, by the way my name's Chanyeol." He said with a great big smile. A smile Baekhyun has known all of his life. After all he was once Chanyeol's guardian angel.
There are only two things in this earth that Chanyeol can't live without. One is his guitar (Well, yeah.) and Baekhyunnie. The former because he feels a certain high when playing and the latter because... just because. He is the bestest friend a weirdo like him can ever have. When everyone covers their ears when he plays his guitar, Baekhyun listens as if he is a guitar god. When everyone else thinks he's nuts, Baekhyun thinks he's unique. And when everyone else raises their eyebrows at him, Baekhyun smiles at him as if he was perfect just the way he is. He was lucky he found him that day when he was so depressed. He didn't know why he was so down at that moment. One minute he was as normal as can be and the next he felt as if he's so alone, or as if he lost a limb. But that changed when he saw Baekhyunnie on the abandoned park track lying amidst overgrown weed. It's as if he felt whole again and everything was back where it should be. He could still remember their conversation when they were walking to Chanyeol's place.
"So uhm.. Where are you from?" Chanyeol asked with a sidelong glance to the guy walking beside him.
The guy looked up at the sky and then back at Chanyeol. "I came from somewhere... very far away."
"Oh." At a loss for words, Chanyeol tried to draw him into conversation again. "What's your name?"
"I'm called Baekhyun." Baekhyun answered but promptly became quiet.
They were already nearing Chanyeol's place. "Where are you staying?"
"Just somewhere. Somewhere near," came the faint reply.
"Well, this is my place. I'm going in now." Chanyeol said as they stopped in front of his dorm building. "See you around then." He waved and turned to the building entrance. Still feeling Baekhyun's gaze, Chanyeol looked back and saw him still standing on the sidewalk, looking lost.
Exasperated, Chanyeol proceeded to open the door and without looking back he said, “You really have no place to go, don't you? Well, don't just stand there. Come on in." He didn't see Baekhyun half walk, half run towards him, but he felt the other one smile as he came nearer. When Baekhyun reached him, Chanyeol looked at him from head to toe. "We really have to do something about those clothes."
Baekhyun just offered him a shy smile and followed him inside his dorms.
Chanyeol felt a certain kinship with him that he didn't think twice of inviting Baekhyun to live with him seeing as he doesn't seem to have anywhere to go to. All he had were the clothes on his back which is just a drab gray coat over drab black shirt and drab black pants.
Living with Baekhyunnie was like living with a puzzle. And Chanyeol isn't really good at solving them.
It was fascinating how Baekhyun seem to know and not know a lot of things. Their first breakfast together Baekhyun, looking like a child wearing Chanyeol's big shirt and too long pajamas, watched him as he ate. When Chanyeol told him to eat too he stared at the tableware and looked at them as if they were complicated machinery. He had to teach his friend how to use them. Weird, that. After the lesson, Baekhyun easily took over the kitchen and has been cooking for him since.
Then there was one time, as Chanyeol was heading for the door to go to school, Baekhyun called out to him to remember to tie his left shoelace or else he was going to trip on the last step of the stairs again like he does every day. How did he know he always forgets to tie his shoelace? Chanyeol just shook his head and thought that maybe Baekhyun just saw the bruise on his right knee which was there everyday because of the stairs.
There were a lot of curious things about his new friend that Chanyeol gave up on questioning every one of them and just accepted that maybe Baekhyun just grew up in a place where, well, everything is different. It's easier that way. It also made it easier for him to see that Baekhyun was just a simple teenage boy with a big heart. He's always there when he needed someone to talk to, someone to laugh with. For the first time in years, his dorm room became inhabitable with Baekhyun keeping the place neat and organized. He just always took great care of Chanyeol. Chanyeol doesn't really understand it but he's grateful nonetheless.
Chanyeol was excited to go home because today was Baekhyun's "birthday." It was actually the anniversary of the day he found him and they were celebrating it with Baekhyun's favorite strawberry cake. He can't wait to see his friend's eyes light up when he sees it. He especially requested the store to put in more strawberry frosting as it was a special occasion.
"What else did I miss?" Chanyeol asked himself as he was mentally listing the things he bought for Baekhyun's party. Party maybe a little bit of a stretch because it's only the two of them celebrating but Chanyeol is resolved to make it as happy as any party can be.
"Baekhyunnie will be surprised with it." Chanyeol said as he thought of the fireworks he bought from a corner store. "He is so fond of sparkly things he'll definitely love this!" This was typical Chanyeol, talking and smiling dopily even when walking in the street alone. It was a also a relief that he was able to persuade Baekhyun to stay at home for a change cause his friend does tend to follow him around. Everywhere.
Whenever he goes outside, Baekhyun is always there walking unobtrusively two paces behind to his right. Always following him, occasionally whispering to him warnings that significantly lessened Chanyeol's bruises from tripping or whatnot. At first, Chanyeol was uncomfortable with it. But when he tried to ask Baekhyun to stop following him, his friend looked so heartbroken that he quickly took back his words. Now, he is used to it and actually finds it a bit comforting cause it's like somebody is always watching over him.
He once asked Baekhyun to study with him since he is in the university all day but Baekhyun said that he doesn't need to. He already knew what was there to learn. He was content in following Chanyeol around. Chanyeol just shrugged then, afterall it was mostly through Baekhyun's help that he was able to solve those stupid math problems.
For some time, Chanyeol's classmates teased him about bringing his pet to the University everyday but they soon got used to Baekhyun's presence near the gate waiting for Chanyeol after class that they don't mind him any longer.
But today was different. Baekhyun wasn't waiting for him at the gates. He asked Baekhyun to clean the dorm 2 times over with the excuse that Chanyeol was feeling a little sick because of the dust in the dorm (which is really impossible cause no dust ever accumulates with Baekhyun cleaning it everyday). As far as excuses went it was absurd but nothing worries or agitates Baekhyun more than hearing Chanyeol got sick, is sick or would be getting sick. So even though he doesn't get to follow Chanyeol today, he agreed to clean every nook and cranny of the already immaculate dorm.
Chanyeol saw Baekhyun sitting on the sofa as he entered the door and watched as his friend's smile lit up his face. He felt his own smile widen even more in return. He couldn't help it. He was home.
Baekhyun felt happiness and relief as he saw Chanyeol walked from the door to him and promptly dropped himself beside him. A big tangle of bag, cake box, grocery bag and mischievous grin. "I have something for you!"
Baekhyun felt it was a gift enough that he got home safely but he was no proof against Chanyeol's smile so he asked. "What is it?"
"You and I, my friend, are gonna have a parteeey!" Chanyeol announced.
"A party? Why?" Baekhyun asked confused.
"Don' t you remember what day it is? C'mon, it's May the 6th!"
Baekhyun doesn't really know what is so significant with the date. He must have a blank look on his face since Chanyeol snorted with laughter and playfully hit him on the shoulder.
"You don't remember? It's your birthday! It's exactly one year since I found you on your ass near the park!"
Baekhyun was surprised that Chanyeol would choose to celebrate it. "But why do we have to celebrate?"
"Man, I sincerely can't believe you're asking me that!" Chanyeol said, rolling his eyes. Chanyeol stood up and balancing the cake box and the grocery bags in one hand, held out his free one to Baekhyun. "Help me out, will you? Let’s get this party started. Woohoo!"
Baekhyun can't help but laugh at Chanyeol's expression. He really looked earnest and excited. He did not think it was necessary to celebrate anything but who was he to spoil Chanyeol's mood?
"Ok." Baekhyun said reaching for Chanyeol's hand and standing up. "But I'll do the cooking."
"No arguments there pal! Hahaha."
A few hours later, Baekhyun felt content sprawled on the floor in front of the sofa with his back leaning against it. He gazed at Chanyeol beside him who was munching on his slice of cake. He couldn't help but be grateful that he was given the chance to be with Chanyeol, to really be with him. Before, when he was still an angel, all he could do was hover protectively behind Chanyeol while the guy doesn't even know that he exists. Now he can sit beside him, talk, and laugh and just be with him. Baekhyun sometimes feels that he'll combust with sheer happiness. He had long dreamed of moments like this when he can feel Chanyeol's warmth by being this close to him. During the first moments when he became human, Baekhyun was so confused of what was going on around him. There was a jumble of colors, all unfamiliar. He was used to seeing everything in black and white. He was also unfamiliar with the sounds filling his ears when he awakened. He had never heard anything before. As an angel, he listens with his heart. So when Chanyeol came into his view that day, even when he was in full color and shouting at his ear with that impossibly deep voice, Baekhyun didn't panic because his heart recognized Chanyeol.
"What are you thinking about?" Chanyeol asked.
"Ah.. Uhm.. I'm thinking you eat too much!"
"What? This is just my first slice!" Chanyeol said indignantly. "That's your second!"
"Well,as you told me, it is my birthday. I get to have privileges.. I think." Baekhyun laughed.
"Then I might as well give you your third!" Chanyeol shaved the cake frosting with his finger and promptly wiped it on Baekhyun's nose.
"Whaa..." Surprised Baekhyun lost his hold on his plate and it fell on his lap, slice of cake and all, where it made a sticky mess.
Chanyeol laughed so hard he didn't see Baekhyun pick up the fallen cake slice with his bare hand and slobber it over Chanyeol's cheek. Chanyeol abruptly stopped laughing and stared with rounded eyes at Baekhyun.
"I... I'm sorry. I didn't mean to... It's just, it was...”Baekhyun tripped over his explanation, worried that Chanyeol got angry with what he did. But he shouldn't have bothered because he heard him start laughing even harder this time.
"Now, don't apologize! Do you realize," Chanyeol asked in between laughs. “That was the first time you got back at me! You did it! You finally retaliated!"
He was right, Baekhyun thought. He never did anything to his friend like this before. And he actually liked it. Ha!
"I wondered how long you'll be able to keep that evil side of you! Haha." Chanyeol leaned towards Baekhyun and looked at the frosting he put on his nose. "Pure evil with icing on top."
"I 'm not evil." Baekhyun whispered, feeling suddenly out of breath with Chanyeol's face just inches from his.
"Yeah, you're not evil. What you are is... sweet." And then Chanyeol surprised them both by kissing Baekhyun on the tip of his nose. They both froze. Baekhyun felt electrocuted to the tips of his toes. Chanyeol also looked as shocked as he felt but he quickly recovered. He stood up, smiled, and for the second time that day, held out his hand to Baekhyun and said, "Come to the rooftop with me, let's light up the fireworks!"
Baekhyun thought that it was unnecessary, cause when Chanyeol's lips touched him he already felt the fireworks begin.
"What happened back there?" Chanyeol asked himself as he lit the sparkler he was holding. He stole a glance at Baekhyun who was having fun waving his own sparkler around. It's kinda unfair how his friend looks carefree and happy playing with the fireworks while he was still in shock with what he did downstairs in the living room. He never meant to kiss Baekhyun but he looked so adorable with the cake on his face that he couldn't help himself. Good thing that his friend seems to have already forgotten the incident. That's the reason he quickly invited Baekhyun to go to the roof after he... did it.
But Chanyeol realized he cannot simply forget. His feelings for Baekhyun have grown so much more complicated. He couldn't even put it into words. He was so happy living with Baekhyun. He loved waking up knowing that Baekhyun will be downstairs preparing his breakfast. He also loved how they talk endlessly into the night, falling asleep with Baekhyun on the bed and Chanyeol on the floor since his bed was too short for him anyway. He loved how Baekhyun likes to imitate CFs when he thinks Chanyeol isn't looking. He loved.. "I love him." Chanyeol realized. He looked up at Baekhyun again. He saw his friend wave at him giddily with the sparkler and his heart said This One.
He jerked his gaze back at the sparkler he was holding, watching as the bright flare ate up the stick. He watched as the flare reached its end and the sparkle died. How can something that burns so hot and bright just end like that? Does it mean that this happiness he's sharing with Baekhyun can also end just like that?
"What did you say?" Baekhyun moved closer to Chanyeol, who didn't realize that he said the word out loud. The sound of his heartbeat was pounding through his ears and was afraid that Baekhyun might hear what his heart was screaming.
"I've been thinking..." Chanyeol started as Baekhyun stood in front of him.
"Yeah, I noticed. You were so quiet. I was actually waving and jumping up and down but you didn't notice." Baekhyun laughingly said.
"You see," Chanyeol said seriously while holding up an unlit sparkler."It takes approximately two minutes for this to light up and burn to its handle. So.. What I mean is it's just two minutes and... God, that's too short, right?" Baekhyun was looking at him expectantly probably wondering what drivel he's spouting. Chanyeol has never been really good with words and he was botching this but he drove on. "Once you light this up you have around 2 minutes to enjoy it and then it... poof! Gone. You understand?"
"I think so?" Baekhyun asked, clearly confused. "You're saying we should buy the longer ones?"
"Yes. No! I mean no. What I mean is you and I, you know, we should light up already so we can sparkle together. You know? Before it ends... so we can enjoy the full 2 minutes."
"Uh... You lost me. Or I lost you?"
Chanyeol rolled his eyes and held on to Baekhyun's shoulders with both hands.
"Really? It's actually so easy, I can't believe you don't get it." Chanyeol muttered to himself.
Chanyeol drew a breath and looked straightly at Baekhyun's eyes. He drew a deeper breath and his words came out in a rush.
"I'm in love with you and I don't want to waste another moment not telling you and I love you. Did I say that already?" Chanyeol saw Baekhyun's eyes round with shock but he still continued because if he stopped he might not be able to do this again. "And because see, if 2 minutes is all we have I would want to spend every second of it loving you... With you loving me back, too."
With his heart on the table, Chanyeol waited for Baekhyun to respond. As the seconds ticked with still no sound from his friend, Chanyeol felt embarrassed and unsure. Thinking that he'll never get a response, He slowly straightened up and removed his hands from Baekhyun's shoulders. He was already turning away, thinking of passing everything off as a joke when Baekhyun held on to his arm. Chanyeol looked back to see Baekhyun's wobbly smile. His eyes... are those tears?
"Chanyeollie, didn’t you know?" Baekhyun said a little shakily. "I lit up and sparkled for you a long time ago."
"And I'm still sparkling."
With that, Chanyeol snatched Baekhyun into his arms and held on tight. "Let's make this last forever, you hear?" He said against his forehead. He looked down at Baekhyun and felt his heart flare up. "I love you. I really, really, really love you." Now that he'd said it, he can't seem to stop.
Chanyeol felt Baekhyun's hand touching his cheek. "I love you, forever." Baekhyun looked as if he wanted to cry in earnest. Chanyeol wanted to cry, too. So before they start sobbing like two old ladies, Chanyeol leaned closer and kissed him. On the lips this time.
Baekhyun had never spent a weekend with Chanyeol like the last one. They can't seem to bear to separate for more than a minute without missing each other. It went by so fast that it's now Monday morning and in a few minutes Chanyeol would go down to eat breakfast. He was still suffering from the after effects of the weekend and was so lightheaded that he didn't notice that he cooked enough food to feed an army. But instead of being dismayed when he finally noticed what he's done he just laughed out loud and laughed some more.
"Well, someone sure is happy today."
Baekhyun jumped at the sound of Chanyeol's deep voice. He was so occupied with his recollections that he didn't notice his boyfriend standing behind him. Boyfriend. Baekhyun couldn't stop it, he giggled.
Chanyeol just rolled his eyes at him and looked at the food on the table. "What's with all this? Your imaginary friends coming over?" He joked.
"I just got a little bit carried away..." Baekhyun said sheepishly. His face broke into another smile when he saw how Chanyeol was eating. He asked for an army right? Chanyeol was already halfway to finishing the entire meal. Chanyeol paused, saw Baekhyun's smile and still with mouth full said "What? You cooked this for me right?"
"Nothing." Baekhyun felt himself fall for Chanyeol even more, if that's even possible. After a while, Chanyeol stood up from the table.
"Hurry up then or I'll be late for school." He then passed by Baekhyun to get his bag upstairs but not before he leaned close and kissed Baekhyun on the forehead. How is Baekhyun supposed to hurry up now when his knees were shaking?
As Baekhyun started following Chanyeol outside, he couldn't help feeling a bit embarassed with the way he's acting. He couldn't stop from smiling dopily, or even giggling, whenever he thinks of Chanyeol. Although he couldn't stop from feeling a little disappointment as well because Chanyeol seems a bit cool and offhanded about this. He hoped he was not making a fool of himself infront of his boyfriend.
"What are you doing?"
Baekhyun was startled out of his reverie. He saw Chanyeol had stopped walking and was looking back at him with a pout.
"I've already tripped three times and I almost fell into a pot hole. I haven't heard any warnings from you at all." Chanyeol said sulkily.
"I'm sorry. I was just... a little preoccupied."
"Well, come here." Chanyeol turned his back at Baekhyun and pointed at the place beside him. "Stand here."
Baekhyun hurriedly stepped forward, worried that Chanyeol was upset with him. His eyes widened when Chanyeol took his hand and resumed walking.
"Now, that's better." Chanyeol gave him a sideways glance. "You get to see me clearly and more importantly, I get to see you, too."
Baekhyun couldn't help but stare at their linked hands. After a while, Chanyeol spoke.
"You're so quiet. You know I was just messing with you, right? I just didn't know how to ask you to do this. I was just, you know, nervous. It's my first time." Chanyeol said, smiling shyly.
Baekhyun was kinda relieved to know that he was not the only one unsure and nervous in this relationship. Loving how their hands fit, he smiled at his boyfriend. "You could have just said that you wanted to hold hands."
Chanyeol looked at him incredulously. "Where's the fun in that?"
Baekhyun laughed. It certainly was more fun walking hand in hand with Chanyeol. Baekhyun thought that he couldn't possibly feel more in love than that moment but he was proved wrong later that evening when they were relaxing in their favorite spot in front of the sofa watching a late night movie. Baekhyun's mind was more on memorizing the past three days since they became a couple than on what they were watching. He was surprised when Chanyeol shifted closer to his side and leaned his head to Baekhyun's. "I love this. I love you."
And really what else can Baekhyun say to that? Almost choking with emotion Baekhyun whispered. "Didn't you know? I was born just for you. I've spent all my life waiting for this moment and I'm really thankful God gave me this chance with you. I'm so lucky to have you love me back in return." Then Baekhyun decided to tell Chanyeol the truth. "You see, I am.. I mean I was your guardian angel. When I was asked if I was willing to give up my wings and everything I've known as an angel for a life with you, I never had second thoughts. I'll love you even when you tire of me and don't love me anymore. I'll protect you. Forever."
A snore was Chanyeol's reply to Baekhyun's confession. Baekhyun looked sideways at his boyfriend and saw that the latter already fell asleep. "Oh, Chanyeol." Baekhyun smiled. Confessions would have to wait another day. That night, they fell asleep safe in each other's arms.
It was their first fight.
Chanyeol had to admit it was mostly his fault. Oh,OK. It was ALL his fault. It was Friday night and he had a surprise for his boyfriend. Wow. It felt good to say that Baekhyun was his. Anyways, he prepared an evening picnic in the park for Baekhyun. And he did it all by himself (well, except for the food. That's why they invented takeout!).
He had spread a nice blanket on a nice patch of grass under the nice full moon. All in all it was a nice, romantic evening date and he ruined it by making the call.
"Hello?" Baekhyun answered on the first ring.
"Baekhyun? Baekhyun!" Chanyeol sounded like he was out of breath and in pain.
"Chanyeol? What is it? What happened? Where are you?" Baekhyun frantically asked.
"I'm at the park, near the playground... I'm.. aaaah.. it hurts."
"Hold on, I'll be there as fast as I can. Don't move. I'll be there." Chanyeol heard Baekhyun hang up. He's betting Baekhyun will be there in five minutes. He's excited to see his boyfriend's expression when he sees what he prepared for him.
"Can't wait!" Chanyeol sat down on the blanket and imagined how Baekhyun will feel so touched that he'll be speechless and will probably weep in happiness. Or if he's lucky Baekhyun will be the one to kiss him this time. Or if... Chanyeol was distracted with the sound of footsteps running towards his direction. He looked up to see Baekhyun getting near him.
"Chanyeol! What happened? Where does it hurt? Where?" Baekhyun worriedly asked as he kneeled infront of Chanyeol and checked him everywhere.
"Is it your head? Your back? What?!"
"Hey, calm down. As you can see I'm perfectly fine." Chanyeol spread his arms wide to show Baekhyun.
"But on the phone... you said.." Baekhyun frowned in confusion.
"Haha! I was just joking. I wanted to show you this," Chanyeol waved his hand over the food and blanket he prepared. "Tada!"
But Baekhyun's eyes never left Chanyeol's face. "I thought you were hurt. I thought something bad happened. I thought.. I thought I'd lose you. And to you it was just a joke?!"
Chanyeol felt nervous as he saw Baekhyun's blank expression. He could have felt easier if he saw him angry but Baekhyun's face was devoid of any emotion. "Baekhyunnie?"
Baekhyun stood up, looked at Chanyeol with that haunted look and walked away.
"Wait!" Chanyeol quickly gathered his things and followed Baekhyun home. When he arrived, Baekhyun wasn't in the living room nor in his room. He went up to the rooftop and found him looking up at the stars.
"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you or anything. I just wanted to surprise you. You see, I prepared for this picnic...”
"I know you didn't mean to," Baekhyun said quietly. "But just the thought of you getting hurt hurts me a thousand times more."
Chanyeol didn't know what to say. He's done a lot of stupid things in his life but this sure tops it all.
"My heart," Baekhyun continued looking at Chanyeol's face. “cannot survive with the thought of losing you. Please. Never do that to me again."
Chanyeol rushed to his side and embraced him. "I'm sorry, so damn sorry." And hugged Baekhyun tighter. "I'm an idiot. I'm sorry I scared you. I'll never do that again. I'm a stupid jerk. I love you. Please, please forgive me." Chanyeol pleaded.
"I can never stay angry with you." Baekhyun said against Chanyeol's chest.
"The sad thing is I know that," Chanyeol confessed. "And I know with how my stupid brain works that I'll probably do more idiotic things in the future. I'll probably need you to forgive me a lot of times soon. But I'll never scare you again like that. I'll definitely lose my head too if I knew something bad happened to you."
They stood that way for some time, with their arms around each other when Chanyeol said, “The reason I was there in the park waiting for you was because I wanted to show you something." He then let go of Baekhyun and took that something out from his pocket. He held up a silver chained necklace, its pendant was a silver figure of an angel with crystal wings. "I had a dream the other night, don't laugh, where you told me that you were my guardian angel and that you said you'll protect me always. Yesterday, I saw this when I was passing by a jewelry store and it reminded me of you. I realized that since I met you, you have always taken care of me even when I don't deserve to be. You wake up early and stay up late just for me. You follow me to school and back, so I have fewer bruises now and those I get when I 'm not with you or when I don't listen. I appreciate that you don't follow me as much now because you trust me enough to think that I can go out by my own. I needed that. But I still miss you every minute we're apart. You have always protected me and I guess, my dream was true. You are my angel."
"It's beautiful." Baekhyun said looking at the necklace in Chanyeol's outstretched hand.
"You're more beautiful to me." Then Chanyeol held up the ends of the necklace with both hands and fastened it around the neck. His neck.
Baekhyun looked a little surprised and confused. "Ah... I thought...”
"This is mine. You are an angel already, you don't need this." Chanyeol explained. "Looks good on me, right? I get to have a mini Baekhyunnie near my heart. Always." He said with his big toothy smile.
Baekhyun couldn't help but laugh. "Park Chanyeol, what do I do about you?"
"You? Just love me."
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