Apart Part II

The Marriage Life of Mr. Byun
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APART PART II

(A/N: Please listen to this song first before you read to add more imagination to the story)

 

“It’s gonna be fine,” you say, lacing your fingers with your best friends whose cheeks are reddened by the cold air. When she doesn’t say a word you give her hand a reassuring squeeze. “You said you wanted to see him, right? I’m here to make sure you get your wish.”

 

Your friend—the one who’s after tonight will no longer be known as Mrs. Park Sera—smiles this little smile that does nothing but break your heart a little more. She used to be so radiant, with a happy-go-lucky attitude that never seemed to end. Park Chanyeol was like that too, which was why they were so perfect together. Chanyeol was the one who made her burn even brighter and she was the one who kept him glowing. You didn’t notice since when did they start becoming each other’s shadows instead.

 

“Yeah,” she whispers, looking at Chanyeol’s bar from across the street where the two of you are standing. The sky is already dark, starless and even the moon seems too sad to make an entrance. “Yeah, I want to see him.”

 

Rather than that, she looks as if she wants to say ‘I miss him’ instead.

 

You don’t understand how a bond like that can be broken into pieces as if it was only tied by a thin thread. After going through with Chanyeol’s drug-addiction phase, you thought nothing would break them apart. Chanyeol was very awful back then—even Baekhyun couldn’t stand him and smashed his fist against Chanyeol’s face a couple of times. But she stayed. She always did. So why now?

 

Why are they breaking apart now?

 

In the end, perhaps reality is a sharper knife and just like any other cord, once the bond is separated, no matter how strong it is, you can never glue it back.

 

 “He’s keeping the name,” she laughs a little, a broken sob in the quiet night her eyes fall to the small wooden board next to the door with the word “NUGGETS” written over it. “Idiot,” she whispers. “Why are you still keeping that name…” And when she says, “Idiot Chanyeollie,” you just want to turn her around and wipe away the threatening tears in her eyes.

 

It’s so clear to you how much they want to fix things right; how much they don’t want things to be over. The problem is, they just can’t seem to find the path to go there.

 

“Let’s go,” you say, smiling softly and hold her hand tighter. “It’s Friday night. Baekhyun and Chanyeol are performing, we don’t wanna miss the show.”

 

She blinks, eyes still glittering with tears before she eventually smiles and nods. “Yeah, let’s go.”

 

***

 

“Hey, ByunBaek?” Chanyeol asks, making sure that his lips are far enough from his microphone so the audience won’t hear him. Baekhyun is in the middle of smiling and smoothly talking to a bunch of girls near their stage. It’s not much of a stage, actually, just two wooden stools standing in the back of the room with two standing microphones, and one acoustic guitar on Chanyeol’s lap with its amplifier near his feet. Chanyeol and Baekhyun have been doing this for a month by now, providing live music every Friday night and free drinks for the ladies to attract more customers. It’s working quite well, and Baekhyun can always use some little tips from the flirty ladies to buy new tiny socks for the future female twins. You’ve allowed him to do a necessary amount of flirting as long as it doesn’t include touching and exchanging creepy ual innuendos that you know Baekhyun is capable in making.

 

“Yeah?” Baekhyun asks, excusing himself from the ladies that are throwing sultry smiles at him. “What’s up, Yeol?”

 

“It’s umm…” Chanyeol scratches the back of his head, looking a bit uncomfortable. “Sorry for such a short notice, but for our next song… I was wondering if we could, umm, change it?”

 

Baekhyun blinks. This is the first time Chanyeol has ever initiated anything. Baekhyun is usually the one who gets to pick what songs to perform—he’s the singer, Chanyeol’s only accompanying him with his acoustic guitar.

 

Baekhyun eventually shrugs and says, “Sure, what do you have in mind?”

 

“Umm…” Chanyeol heaves a deep breath, looking nervous and fidgety. “Re-remember that song I showed you a few weeks ago? That one I wrote for… For…”

 

Baekhyun waits but Chanyeol never finishes, not even giving a vague answer. He just glances away, bringing his eyes down to the guitar that’s been lying on his lap before he weakly smiles and gives up. “You know, what? This is a bad idea—“

 

“Whoa, whoa, whoa,” Baekhyun exclaims, “I haven’t even said anything yet—”

 

“Whatever, I mean…” Chanyeol throws one hand carelessly in the air, laughing dreadfully under his breath. “It’s stupid. Let’s just stick to your song—”

 

“No.”

 

“Baek—”

 

No,” Baekhyun says, “Let’s do it. Your song, let’s play it.”

 

Chanyeol immediately lifts his face up, staring at his best friend with wide eyes. Baekhyun clicks his tongue; faking annoyance when he narrows his eyes and grumbles, “Stop looking at me like that, dork. I just feel sorry that you’re being such a girl. When a man wants something, he has to do what it takes to get it, don’t your parents ever tell you that? If you want me to sing your song, then let me sing it for you.”

 

Chanyeol is almost speechless. “But Baek, I—”

 

“Shut up, just give me the lyrics.” He harshly throws out his hand. “You brought the papers, right?”

 

“Uuh… Y-yeah…” It takes another two seconds for Chanyeol to realize that they are actually going to do it. Even though Baekhyun once called that it was the sappiest and most depressing song Chanyeol had ever written (though he never claimed it to be awful), he still allows him to do it. Chanyeol wonders how heartbroken does he look right now that even Baekhyun can’t dismiss his request.

 

“It’s not that I hate it anyway,” Baekhyun comments, as he receives the lyric and the music notes from his friend. “I just found it kind of depressing.”

 

“Yeah.” Chanyeol chuckles a little but it sounds dry and Baekhyun secretly questions if it’s just for politeness or a mask to cover his sorrow. Perhaps, both. “I think you’ve told me that before.”

 

“And like, so sappy.”

 

“Yeah.”

 

“And horrendous. You’re now like a two-meters version of Taylor Swift with a tiny and a horrible haircut.”

 

That actually does make Chanyeol laugh, but only for a bit. “Thanks, ByunBaek.”

 

“And…” Baekhyun turns away from the other guy, busying himself by fixing his standing microphone. “I hate it that whenever you sing this song, you get all sad and wounded because of her. Music is supposed to make you happy, you bastard. Not the other way around.”

 

Chanyeol stares in silence, smiling softly to Baekhyun’s back. “Music is supposed to convey our feelings. You used to do that too, remember?”

 

There’s a small blush creeping to Baekhyun’s cheek when he remembers the song he wrote about you—the song that still makes your breathing stutter when you recall your memory. The sight of him, so small and delicate behind the grand piano, with soft eyes and honest smile, singing about love and how precious you are too him. “Don’t you dare say anything about it, Yeol.”

 

“I’m not saying anything,” the tall man immediately responds. Both of them stop speaking for a few seconds and for Baekhyun, it’s awkward because he can practically sense that Chanyeol is about to mock him about it. As he prepares the microphone, Baekhyun keeps glancing at Chanyeol and the other man just shrugs and says, “Still not gonna say anything, Baek, but yes, keep glaring at me. It’s not like it makes me uncomfortable or anything.”

 

Baekhyun sighs and finally lets his guard down. He’s just beginning to flirt with another lady in a red mini dress—who, by the way, does a fantastic job in accentuating her cleavage—when suddenly Chanyeol speaks, or rather screams, to the microphone.

 

Even if I lost eternal life,” Chanyeol sings, sounding too playful as he mocks his best friend, “the reason why I’m happy—”

 

Baekhyun’s face almost blow up. “YAH PARK CHANYEOL!” He immediately turns around and lunges himself at Chanyeol. Considering their height difference, it’s pretty easy for Chanyeol to dodge Baekhyun’s girly punch.

 

“—is because my forever is now you—”

 

“SHUT UP!”

 

“—I’M ETERNALLY LOVED WHOAA—OOF!”

 

Chanyeol finally gets his face slammed with Baekhyun’s palm but it’s okay. It manages to take his mind off her a little. He laughs at Baekhyun’s red cheeks and even dares to poke one of them with his index finger. Some girls are giggling at their childish antics and rooting for Chanyeol to tease Baekhyun more.

 

“He looks so happy,” Sera says, eyes never leaving Chanyeol’s face and you frown at her in respond. He doesn’t look happy at all and you’re sure she knows that too. But for some reason, you decided to just go along with her and hum, “Yeah, maybe.”

 

After Baekhyun sent one kick to Chanyeol’s knee, he begins to take his seat back and adjusts the standing microphone closer to where he’s sitting on his stool.

 

“Hey, Ladies, are you enjoying your night?” Baekhyun asks, confidence stands vividly in his voice. He used to hate performing in public but now, from where you are standing near the bar with your friend, Baekhyun sounds tough and downright alluring. “Thank you for coming here, everyone. I’m Baekhyun and this is Chanyeol,” Baekhyun gestures to the man who sits close beside him. “He may look like a retard, which he is, but he’s the owner of this place so if you want to get free beers from him, don’t be a .” That attracts a few chuckles from the audience.

 

“That’s such a sweet introduction, Byun Baek,” Chanyeol corrects him, smiling to his own microphone. “But unfortunately, I don’t give free beers anymore.”

 

Baekhyun moves his gazes back to the audience. “Well then, that’s the more reason why you guys should be a toward him tonight.” This time, the audience laughs louder.

 

“But not in your case, right, ByunBaek? You’re already a .”

 

Baekhyun whistles to the microphone when the crowd jeers at him. “Wow, tall and snarky. Take him home, Ladies.” And some girls are actually wolf-whistling at them and shouting, “I’d tap that cute !” Baekhyun laughs because those ladies surely had too much to drink.

 

But Chanyeol doesn’t even crack a smile. In fact, he freezes when his gaze lands at one point of the room. His dark orbs are shaking as he stills his breath. There, hidden behind the crowd next to his bartender table, is Jung Sera, the girl he wrote this song for.

 

You notice Chanyeol is looking at you when your friend suddenly holds your hand tighter to the point it was almost hurting you. She looks shaken, wanting to get away from there but at the same time she can’t move under Chanyeol’s heavy stare. They both lock their gazes at each other and all you can do is just stand at the side, glancing back and forth worriedly from her to Chanyeol. They both look like they’re seeing a ghost.

 

And perhaps that’s true. They’re seeing the ghost of their past together.

 

Baekhyun, though he tends to act insensitive for most times, is the first one to take an act and shatter that glass of tension between them. “We’re going to play you a song,” Baekhyun says to the microphone. His throat feels somewhat uncomfortable as if the tension between Chanyeol and his wife—ex-wife—is physically jabbing at his throat. “This is actually written and composed by this guy right here and you guys are the first people who are going to hear it live so…” Baekhyun doesn’t finish because no matter what he says, he can’t seem to dismiss the awkwardness between Chanyeol and his former lover.

 

So Baekhyun adjusts his microphone again and nudges Chanyeol with his elbow. “Yeol,” he calls and when Chanyeol doesn’t budge—still busy staring at that one point of the room—Baekhyun calls louder. “Chanyeol, babe, please notice me!”

 

The laughter of the audience seems to reach his ears. Chanyeol blinks as if he was being slapped awake. “Y-yeah?”

 

“How dare you neglect me in front of these pretty ladies!” Baekhyun says, feigning annoyance and nudging his head toward the audience that stood before them. “What’s up, are you getting a cold feet? I’m not asking you to marry me, Yeol,” he jokes to the microphone to ease the tension and sends a flirty wink to the audience when he adds, ”well, not yet anyway.” That manages to get a cheer from some fangirls in front of him. It’s unbelievable that some girls there actually love it when Baekhyun acts like he’s interested in having homoual love with his best friend. Even one time, one of the girls actually shouted, “THE GAYER YOU GUYS GET THE MORE I WANT TO EAT YOU UP!” And Baekhyun had to fake a smile and say “Why, thank you, that’s very nice of you,” even when he had shivers running down his spine from the horror of not only being ‘eaten’ by a girl who was probably twice his size but also having his ‘tapped’ by his best friend. Experiencing it one time with Lu Han was enough to give him the fear of a lifetime.

 

At the moment, Chanyeol looks lost but he drags his eyes and fingers back to the strings of his guitar. Baekhyun lets him recollect himself for a few second and breathes in relief when Chanyeol takes a deep breath and nods his head.

 

“Yeah, let’s do this.”

 

He begins to play.

 

There’s a soft intro being played and the soft tunes coming from Chanyeol’s acoustic guitar is filled with bliss but it doesn’t make you feel like that in the slightest. All that reaches your ears are sadness—his sadness—and a pure form of longing.

 

When the intro ends, Chanyeol momentarily takes one hand off the guitar and brings his own microphone closer to his lips. He closes his eyes for a few seconds, and most people would think Chanyeol was building up the hype for the song, but you can tell that he’s trying to calm himself down so his voice wouldn’t shake.

 

Baekhyun looks unmistakably nervous sitting on his own stool. He keeps staring at his best friend through his peripheral vision, inwardly counting the seconds that are spent in silence.

 

Then Chanyeol opens his eyes again and begins to sing.

 

“I’ve been living a lie.” His fingers are plucking the strings on their own. “The world I knew before is a memory.”

 

He closes his eyes again, and people would think he’s sinking into the song, putting more feelings into it. But you catch the look in Baekhyun’s eyes as he stares at his best friend worriedly. It’s as if Baekhyun’s telling him not to force himself by doing this but at the same time, he doesn’t want Chanyeol to fail halfway because as a musician himself, once he has decided to do a performance, he has to finish it till the end, no matter what happen—even if it means losing his voice, breaking his fingers, or having the person he’s supposed to hate standing and listening to the song he wrote about loneliness and how much he wants her back.

 

And I,” Chanyeol continues and this time, you can hear the slight tremble in his voice, “keep thinking about her. I never knew I could feel this empty.”

 

It’s weird and downright heartbreaking, you think, but not because of the lyrics. It’s because Chanyeol, despite everything, is singing that line with a smile. And he never, not even once, drifted his eyes to where you and his ex-wife are standing.

 

People would probably think that Chanyeol didn’t want the song to sound too sad. You, on the other hand, as you watch your friend looking like she just saw a ghost walking in front of her eyes, just think it’s cruel of him to sing that song. Chanyeol should’ve stopped. Or at least, he shouldn’t have smiled. He shouldn’t have sung it like it was just another song about love and not a compilation of feelings and secret wishes he wrote about her.

 

It’s like Chanyeol is taunting her. Despite carrying a song that enunciates sad lyrics about her, Chanyeol is acting like this song doesn’t affect him at all. He pretends like losing her doesn’t hurt him anymore.

 

That’s just an utter bull.

 

Baekhyun seems to notice that as well but he doesn’t do anything. His part comes after that and he takes a breath before he sings to his microphone. “The price,” Baekhyun sings, husky voice turning melodious. “I pay it everyday, I’m wearing myself thin, but I can’t stop… I need you.”

 

Baekhyun glances at Chanyeol for a split second. The tall man is no longer staring at anything; just bringing his eyes down to his guitar. Chanyeol is biting his lower lip as if he was trying to contain himself from saying or doing something out of place. Baekhyun doesn’t want to guess what’s on his mind so he focuses back to his singing.

 

I’m gonna hold on,” Baekhyun sings so beautifully and at the same time tragically with his eyes closed and his lips nearly grazing his microphone. “I don’t want to give you up. I’m betting everything that I got on you and me—”

 

Chanyeol suddenly takes charge, cutting Baekhyun off from his next lines with his own singing. They sang this song twice before and Baekhyun always sang the entire chorus so the sudden change startles him a bit but it doesn’t ruin the whole song. In any case, it adds more improvement to it.

 

Honey, you’re the only one,” Chanyeol says, his deep voice reverberating through the entire room in a sweet, agonizing melody. “I can never let you go. I’ve already lost it all if I can’t make you see…” And for the last line, Chanyeol lets himself go. He finally drags his eyes back to his former partner but this time, his gaze isn’t stern or scared to face the truth. This time, it’s soft and sincere, filled with nothing but honesty. “I’ll do anything to win you back for good. I’m betting everything.”

 

It’s too bad Sera already brought her eyes down to the ground. She never saw him looking at her that way.

 

Chanyeol ends his part and focuses back to playing his guitar and that’s the moment where you can feel your friend’s breath stutters. “Why…” She murmurs quietly under her breath. “Why are you doing this…”

 

You had to avert your gaze away from her face because the music suddenly rises with more passionate play and singing. Baekhyun climbs down his stool and wraps his long fingers along the microphone. The audience begins to jeer and clap their hands in appreciation.

 

My life,” he says in that beautiful, husky singing voice of his. His smile is blindingly beautiful, colored with confidence and charisma. “Was black and white.” Then your heart thumps a few beats faster because Baekhyun is suddenly fixing his gaze on you, and all you can do is try not to fail your breathing. “But you came and colored in my everything.” He smiles shyly but in the way that still makes your toes curl underneath your shoes. “And I don’t wanna be blind, no. But without you there is nothing I can see.”

 

This reminds you to the same time when Baekhyun stood on the stage and sang his written song “Angel” for you in front of the three hundreds people. This side of Baekhyun, no matter how cheesy he’s being, is the part of him that you secretly like the most. Baekhyun looks honest and composed, conveying his feelings out through the lyrics of the song when most of the times his words couldn’t.

 

But you can’t smile and be happy about it. Not when your friend stands next to you with trembling fingers and her lower lip caught between her teeth. “I’m sorry, I thought…” she says, and you squeeze her hand tighter. “I thought I could do this...”

 

“Do you want to leave?” you immediately ask and she nods, tears threatening to fall from her beautiful doe eyes. “Okay, let’s go.”

 

You place one hand around her waist and turn her around. As you take the steps to the exit door, she seems reluctant to move because Chanyeol is still playing that song and though she can’t bear to hear it, part of her wants to.

 

“Sera,” you call her name, cupping her cheek with one hand and lift her face up. “If you want to stay, I’ll stay with you. But if you want to go—”

 

“I want to go,” she says, smiling brokenly again. “Chanyeol wants me to go. He doesn’t need me anymore…”

 

It’s not true. It’s not true at all. You clearly saw that gaze Chanyeol had when Sera wasn’t looking. He was really begging her to stay. “Sera, I think—”

 

“Please?” She croaks out a sob and you notice that she’s tearing apart. “Can we please just go?”

 

A few people that stand around you start paying attention, whispering, “What’s happening to her?” to each other. With a more determined heart, you take her by the hand and walk out the door.

 

Chanyeol watches her figure disappear from the crowd. He knows she’s leaving. He knows that this is wrong and unfair for him to play this song in front of her, but he just had to let her know. He still loves her so much and he doesn’t want her to leave while thinking that he has stopped loving her.

 

“Come back to me,” Chanyeol sings to the microphone the exact second Sera has the door closed behind her.

 

Come back to me, Sera.

 

***

 

When you finally take a step outside, Sera steps to the side of the street and rests a hand to the wall of Chanyeol’s bar to balance herself. It’s still painted mahogany brown—Sera’s favorite color and that makes her feel even more sick.

 

She steps away, going faster and faster until she begins to run and you have to scream her name and follow her through the amount of crowd walking on the sidewalk. It’s in your favor that she chooses to take a turn at the nearest junction and stops at a dead-end street where there are almost no people in sight.

 

“Sera,” you call, focusing in catching your own breath first before you speak again. “Hey, you can’t just run…” Your voice disappears when you see how shaken she is. “You okay there?” you ask, approaching her but still giving her the space she needs.

 

She smiles back, weakly, and looking like she finally found some air to breathe. “Sorry, I can’t stand being near there.” She fakes a laugh again, leaning against a wall of a bakery shop that’s already closed. “Too many people, they’re making me sick.”

 

You can’t stand it anymore. You know you’re not allowed to ask this, but you just can’t control yourself. “Sera, can I ask you something?”

 

Her posture grows stiff but she doesn’t say a word.

 

“You…” Your tongue feels somewhat heavy in your mouth when you try to speak. “You know how he actually feels about you, right? Chanyeol doesn’t want this to end, and I know you don’t want to either, so why—”

 

“Tell me,” she suddenly says. She has one hand over her stomach as she inhales once more to fill what her lungs need. “What would a woman do when she can’t give her husband the one thing she’s supposed to be capable of?”

 

“Huh?” you unconsciously raise your eyebrows. “What do you mean?”

 

She doesn’t answer, but her clutch around her stomach grows tighter. She bites her lower lip, looking so frustrated and vexed at herself—disgusted even. Sera looks down to the ring she has around her finger. The glimpse of Chanyeol going down on his knees, fumbling adorably with his words as he tried to convince her that he’d fight against the whole world just to be with her, resurfaces to her memory but she tries to push it away.

 

That memory only gives her the more reason to hate herself.

 

And that’s when it comes crashing down to you. Of course. Of course. Why couldn’t you read all of those signs before?

 

“When he found out…” She says, now softly pulling the ring out of her finger. “When he found out that I couldn’t carry his child, he was smiling. Chanyeol was smiling and told me that it was fine. He didn’t care as long as we still grew up together. And that was when he lied to me. After what happened in college, he promised that he wouldn’t lie to me anymore. And he lied. He lied to me again.”

 

You grow speechless. This is the first time you hear something about her not being able to become a mother. You know how long she had tried to have a baby with Chanyeol but you thought that it just wasn’t her time to be pregnant yet. But to know that she’s infertile? Even though this shouldn’t have changed anything, it still changes a lot.

 

“H-he…” You clear your throat. God, you sound awful. “He probably just didn’t want to make you worry.” And that was such a terrible answer but you honestly don’t know what else to say. “Sera, listen to me.” Shut up, you tell yourself, shut up, you’ll only make things worse. “It’s—it’s okay, we can find a way to—”

 

“You won’t know how I feel!” She suddenly yells and you take a step back. Your heart is thumping loudly. “You won’t know how it feels like to be so useless. I’m supposed to make him happy and having kids is what Chanyeol and I both want since back then when we weren’t even engaged! And I can’t give him that!”

 

You remember how she used to tell you her imagination with Chanyeol, how the four of you would be neighbors in the future and how your kids would end up dating each other so you’d truly be a family. Looking back at it now, it really feels like a child’s dream.

 

“I can’t do it anymore,” she says through gritting teeth. “I can’t stand knowing how every night he would just smile at me and kiss me goodnight, and when he thought I was asleep, he would move to another room and just sit there thinking about everything that went wrong. He wouldn’t tell me anything anymore. I knew sometimes he cried, but he wouldn’t tell me. He kept pretending as if this matter didn’t bother him in the slightest when I know how much it broke him—I broke him.”

 

You sink your own fingernails to your palm to keep your mouth shut and just listen to her.

 

“To know how much I fail him like this… To know how I…” She begins to break apart, clutching harder to her stomach to the point you begin to worry that she’s sinking her fingernails to her skin. “Even though I love him so much, I… I can’t ever give him the one he wants the most…”

 

And this time when she cries, she cries loud and clear. All of her masks are gone. She just cries like a child with her face buried in her hands. All of the desperation, and frustration, and everything she felt for Chanyeol—she lets them out right there. God, you don’t know how much you want Chanyeol to be there, to wrap his long limbs around her waist, and to tell her how much he truly loves her despite everything.

 

But Chanyeol isn’t there. He’s in his bar, choosing to stay with those overly-attached ladies and letting his wife go by herself.

 

You’re just about to cry yourself but you keep your shoulders straight and walk up to her until you can finally wrap your arms around her.

 

And this time, you don’t say a word.

 

***

 

 

“Ready to go, Yeol?” Baekhyun asks with his coat folded on his arm. Chanyeol jolts and the glass he’s been cleaning almost falls to the floor.

 

“Baek, you scared me,” he says, gaining back his posture and smiling at the other man.

 

A couple of waitress, already dressed in warm clothes to head back home, come by and ask, “Mr. Park, we’ve already finished with our cleaning. Is it okay if we head home first?” Then, noticing how Chanyeol still hasn’t done with wiping his tequila glasses even when he’s been doing it since more than half an hour ago, one waitress with short cropped hair adds, “Do you want me to help you with that?”

 

“Huh?” Chanyeol blinks and stares at the glass in his hand. “Oh no, it’s fine. I’m almost done. You girls should go back now before it’s late.”

 

The two waitresses exchange worried glances and Baekhyun can tell that even they know something is wrong with Chanyeol. “Okay, Mr. Park, if you say so. We’ll be taking our leave. Great performance today, by the way. Mr. Byun told us it was your song. It was a bit sad, though, but it’s beautiful.”

 

Chanyeol smiles back—which makes Baekhyun snort because that’s a really bad lie—and waves them goodbye. When they’re out of the bar, he zones out once again.

 

“I am seriously,” Baekhyun says, surprising Chanyeol again, “going to hit you with my shoe if you start dozing off again. And please mind that I just stepped on some dog s this morning. It won’t be pretty.”

 

Chanyeol sighs, finally going back to wiping his glasses. “Why aren’t you home yet, Baek?”

 

“Because I’m waiting for you, Jackass,” Baekhyun kicks the back of Chanyeol’s leg first before he walks to the other side of the bartender table and sits in front of his friend. “Can you hurry up and close the bar? People have already left.”

 

Chanyeol takes a look around. “Wow, it’s really only the two of us left,” he says, and sends Baekhyun a teasing look. “Should I be worried about this? Are you going to molest me now?”

 

Baekhyun doesn’t fall for his joke. “When are you going to tell me what happened to you, Yeol?”

 

Chanyeol pretends like he doesn’t listen. “You don’t have to wait for me, you know. You can go back without me.”

 

Baekhyun waits for two seconds more and when nothing comes to answer his previous question, he jumps down his stool and throws his coat over his shoulder. “Fine, don’t talk to me,” he says, his tone icy cold. “Have fun Mr. Park.” And he walks away without ever looking back.

 

There’s an uncomfortable silence between both men. Chanyeol’s grip around his glass is so tight; it’s a miracle that it hasn’t cracked yet. “I didn’t run after her,” Chanyeol suddenly says, his voice tinted with anger not directed to anyone but himself. “I didn’t—I should’ve chased her and yet… I didn’t.”

 

Baekhyun stops walking and looks down to his feet. Stupid son of a .

 

“You are so extremely frustrating, do you know that?” Baekhyun says, turning around to face Chanyeol again but not closing the three meters distance between them. “You’re such a wimp. First you wanted to let her go. Then you wanted to run after her but you didn’t and now you’re regretting the whole thing. What the heck do you want, Yeol?”

 

Chanyeol places both hands on the table, steadying himself. His teeth are clattering behind his tight lips. “I don’t know….”

 

“Bull,” Baekhyun spits back. “You know what you want. You’re just scared.”

 

That manages to light up Chanyeol’s temper. “Then what am I supposed to do, Baek?!” He screams, nearly throwing a dozen of tequila glasses to the floor by one swing of his arm. “Even if I had run after her, she wouldn’t have listened to me! And even if she did, there’s no way she’ll trust me again!”

 

“Dude, you ed up once, I get it!” Baekhyun says, throwing an arm in the air. “But now you’re trying to patch things up with her again, aren’t you? That’s all that matters! That’s all you need to do!”

 

Chanyeol closes his eyes shut and fervently shakes his head. “It’s not that simple—”

 

“It is!”

 

“IT’S NOT!”

 

And there are sounds of glasses meeting the floor, but Baekhyun doesn’t even flinch. He has expected it coming. Chanyeol always goes violent when he can’t control his temper. The drugs used to keep him calm, but ever since he went into rehab and had Sera taking care of him, she was the one who kept him in check. Now he lost her and not even drugs can cover the pain of being alone.

 

Being alone is one thing, Baekhyun thinks, but what if he was abandoned? After all, Baekhyun still doesn’t know the first thing about what’s happening to his friend.

 

He stays silent, looking at Chanyeol with stern eyes and noticing how underneath Chanyeol’s long sleeve, there are bandages wrapped around his left wrist. It’s also been bothering him since morning because Chanyeol always rolled up his sleeves whenever he was wearing his button-up white bartender shirt. Today’s exception must have something to do with the pressure he’s having of no longer being able to call Sera his wife.

 

“We’re not the same,” Baekhyun says, paying attention at Chanyeol’s wrist and not the way Chanyeol is trying hard to suppress his emotion to the point his entire body is trembling. “We have different traits and I don’t experience the things that you’ve gone through so I guess you’re right, it’s not that simple. But if I were you, Yeol, I wouldn’t give up. I will never give up on her.” Baekhyun turns around on his heels and walks toward the exit door again. “Not as long as she still sees me with those eyes.”

 

Those eyes?

 

Chanyeol saw them. He noticed back then when he first laid his eyes on her when she entered his bar. He noticed how she, despite everything, still looked at him with that stare like that time when they first lay together in his bed and told them she loved him.

 

Chanyeol lifts up his face, wanting to speak but Baekhyun is already gone.

 

Chanyeol sinks his teeth to his lower lip, his fingers curling into balls of fists. He hates it. He hates how Baekhyun is right. He hates how cowardly he’s being right now.

 

“Stop blaming me for things I didn’t do when you can’t even carry my child!”

 

Damn it…” Chanyeol slides down to the floor, his jeans clad knees meeting the dusts of broken glasses and they crack a little more underneath his weight. When he presses his palms to the floor to steady himself, the glass cut his skin and he doesn’t even care that he’s bleeding. “Why did I say something like that to her…?”

 

It’s too late. It’s too late. Even if he apologizes, she still won’t trust him anymore.

 

Sera, I’m sorry…”

 

This time, he doesn’t stop himself from crying.

 

***

 

When Baekhyun arrives back to your shared apartment, you’re already waiting near the front door. Baekhyun closes the front door behind him and leans his back to it, looking troubled and mentally exhausted when he exchanges stares with you.

 

“I want to comfort you about Sera,” Baekhyun says, displaying a weak smile. “But right now I seriously have no idea what to say so…”

 

You nod and walk up to him. Baekhyun doesn’t need to be notified that you want him to hug her. He lets you tangle your hands around his waist and kisses your temple when you sigh. “Are you okay?” he asks, and you simply reply with a nod. “Want to go to bed?” You nod again.

 

Baekhyun takes off his coat and hangs it on the nearest dining chair before he lays an arm around your shoulder to guide you to the bedroom. “Sera told me that she can’t get pregnant,” you say and Baekhyun doesn’t reply anything back. He just sinks down to one knee as you take a seat in the bed and begins taking off your socks one-by-one. “Did you know about this?”

 

“No,” Baekhyun says, standing up to untangle your salmon colored scarf from your neck. “But I’ve had a hunch for a while. I just didn’t want to believe it, I guess. Lift your arms.”

 

You do as he says and let him take off your sweater. You’re now left in a thin shirt that leaves nothing to his imagination. Your hand finds it way to your stomach again and you rub the baby bump when you feel your babies moving slightly. “They don’t actually need to break up, do they? Why can’t they just adopt a child together?”

 

“It’s not that simple,” Baekhyun says, grabbing your striped maternity gown and you stand up also to let Baekhyun dress you up.

 

“I wish it was,” you sigh, feeling comfortable that now you’re in your loose pajamas. You unhook your bra and take it out from underneath your clothing.

 

Baekhyun takes off his own sweater before he goes down to his knees once again. Exhaling heavily, he circles his arms around your waist and lays his head on your stomach, hearing the faint sound underneath your skin. “You know how we used to fight about having kids?”

 

Baekhyun feels so warm under your fingers. “Yeah?” you ask.

 

“We kept on fighting for such a long time. You got cranky over every small thing and I always stormed off before you even got to finish your words.”

 

“That’s because you were so stubborn,” you say, smiling a little as you ran a hand through his fluffy hair.

 

“Yeah, and you were such a too.”

 

“Hey, come on. Not in front of the babies.”

 

“I’m sorry,” Baekhyun says and kisses your palm once before he lays his head down on top of your thighs again. “Now imagine what probably happened to them. You know how violent Chanyeol became whenever he grew upset. And despite how fragile she looks, Sera isn’t necessarily one to always let things go. They must have fought a lot.”

 

“But they looked so happy…”

 

“That’s not true. You know they’re not happy. They haven’t been in a while.”

 

That’s right, you know. You just don’t want to accept it.

 

“We’re such a lousy friend to them, aren’t we?” you sigh, closing your eyes and feeling your head throb.

 

“It’s not like we could’ve done anything for them.” Baekhyun lifts his head up and brushes your bangs away from your eyes. He stares at you with a pair of worn-out eyes but he still tries to smile. “It’s probably bad of me to say this, but… I’m glad we managed to get over our problems.”

 

You gaze back and let Baekhyun kiss your lips chastely before you whisper. “What would you have done if we were in the same position? What would you do if I can’t give you the one you want the most?”

 

Baekhyun blinks, looking at you with analyzing eyes. “You know it won’t matter to me. You already gave me everything that I want.”

 

“I’m serious, Baekgu,” you say, running your thumb across his cheekbone as you cup his face. “What if I can no longer give you something you need? Like, for example, what if I can’t get pregnant?”

 

“I’m okay with adoption.”

 

“What if I get terribly sick and can’t even stand up anymore?”

 

“I’ll lie around with you in bed all day.”

 

“What if I can’t ever have with you again?”

 

“It’s okay. Joonmyun’s wife can satisfy me with her S & M’s hobby—AW AAW THAT HURTS!”

 

“Then what if I don’t love you anymore?” You ask, finally loosening your fingers from trying to separate his nose from his face. “What if I suddenly wake up, and decide that I won’t love you anymore? What if one day, I grow sick of you and decide that I’m better off without you?”

 

Baekhyun, with his nose still red from your violent pinching, almost glares at you for that question but when he sees how you’re trying your best to keep your emotions in check and not panic over the fear of your thoughts becoming reality, he only sighs, pats your head once and stands up.

 

“If that actually happens, I’ll let you go,” he says, walking to the cupboard and pulling his shirt over his head. The muscles on his bare back flex a little because of it and you can’t stop yourself from staring. “But if we meet again somewhere in the future, and I notice that you’re looking at me in the same way like you used to look at me, I will get you back.”

 

That sends shiver down your spine. Baekhyun is now standing in front of you only in his dark jeans and a white towel hanging over his shoulders. He bends forward to place his eyes in the same height as yours and places one palm on his knees to steady his balance and another one on your head.

 

“I won’t make any mistake Chanyeol did tonight,” he says, gazing straight into your eyes with such serious expression; it makes you breathless. “If I see that you still love me, even if it’s only a glimpse, even if it’s not much, I will get you back.”

 

“What if…” You gulp. Standing before those beautifully striking eyes is overpowering. “What if I’m already with some other guy…?”

 

“Doesn’t matter.” He smiles, a mixed between confidence and determination. “You’ll come back to me. You always do.” Then he closes his eyes and kisses you deeply, overwhelmingly, and breathlessly. “Because you’re mine. You’ve always been, and nothing in the world can change that.”

 

You blush, feeling your heart thumping loud that it begins to scare you. “You…” You avert your gaze, looking to your side to hide your shame. “How can you say such embarrassing thing? And you’ll be stealing someone’s girlfriend, you know? Isn’t that the number one on your Not-To-Do list in your Bro Code?”

 

Baekhyun chuckles, kissing your forehead almost childishly and walks over to the bathroom. “If I’m on my way to get you back, no rules can confine me to do so, Sweetheart.”

 

When he steps into the bathroom and you hear the shower running, you exhale loudly and fall back to your bed, feeling your heartbeat running wild. It’s been a while since you hear Baekhyun speaking something so intensely like that. To be honest, he’s just so irresistibly hot, it makes your head swirl.

 

You feel your babies softly moving in your stomach and you immediately place a hand over the bump and rub it softly. “I know,” you say, still feeling your cheeks heating up over the conversation. “Mommy always loses when it comes to Daddy.”

 

***

 

You don’t intend to fall asleep but before you know it, you found yourself lying on the bed with the lights of the room already off. You have your favorite quilt covering your body from shoulders to toe but somehow it doesn’t feel warm enough. With bleary eyes, you turn around to face the opposite direction and find your husband lying next to you with his chest bare and his face young and soft like a baby.

 

It’s rare of you to see Baekhyun’s face when he’s sleeping—mostly because you’re usually the one who falls asleep first and once you do, you’ll sleep like the dead until the morning comes and the sun light burns your face. Baekhyun isn’t actually a heavy sleeper like you, but tonight, even as you struggle to move closer and lay your head on one of his arms, he still sinks deep into his slumber.

 

You want to call his name but decide not to, considering you can’t risk having him awake. His sleeping face is too cute; you feel like you want to take a picture (or thousands) of it and make an entire album to last you for a lifetime. Baekhyun’s eyelashes are surprisingly long, though not as long and feminine as Lu Han’s, and though they are pretty, nothing can ever beat that cute, pouty little mouth he has. Baekhyun has his lips slightly parted, enough for you to hear his soft, deep breath as he sleeps. His lips look so pink and soft, you just want to prop your body on your elbows and lean over to steal a kiss from him. You can’t though, not with your bloated preggy stomach in the way.

 

But a little touch won’t hurt.

 

Gently, hesitantly, you raise your arm and trace your index finger over his lower lip. You were about to wonder how many times have you kissed it before but then you realized you don’t care. Even if you had already done it a million times, it still won’t be enough.

 

“Look, girls,” you whisper, chuckling to yourself. “Your daddy is so pretty when he sleeps.”

 

Baekhyun unconsciously frowns and moves around in his sleep. You immediately clamp a hand over your mouth, holding back your breath and laughter because oh no, oh no, he’s going to wake up. But it turns out he doesn’t. Baekhyun just rubs his nose once with his eyes closed, letting out a cute puppy-like sound, and then falls back to sleep, producing that soft, calming breath again.

 

“So…” you blush, admiring him from the side. “So cute!”

 

You can’t believe that even after marrying him for years, you’re still obsessing over him.

 

Hearing your voice, his hand—which you’re currently using as a pillow—jolts a little and without knowing why, you immediately close your eyes shut and do your best at pretending to be asleep. Baekhyun moves, the sound of the sheet rustling reaches your ears, and on the next second, you can feel Baekhyun’s warm minty breath (guess it still hasn’t passed long since he took a shower) upon your cheeks. He has unconsciously wrapped his other arm around your waist, snuggling closer to you in his sleep and seeking warmth.

 

You slowly open your eyes, taking a peek and Baekhyun is still sleeping like before. You almost breathe in relief for no reason.

 

With his face being this closed, you have all the opportunity to admire him as much as you like. His cute little chin, his tiny nose, the somewhat y mole on the right top of his mouth and his lips, his lips, his lips—

 

“I love you,” you whisper, leaning closer and momentarily brushing your lips against his. “I didn’t get to say it today, but I do. I love you, Baekgu. Forever.” And you kiss him one more time before you’re finally satisfied and bring your face down to the crook of his neck. Exhaling his familiar, comforting scent one more time, you try to fall asleep once more.

 

But then, Baekhyun moves and brings you closer into his arms. “Me too,” he suddenly says, and you blink twice in shame because oh my God, did he hear me earlier? He’s supposed to be asleep! You awkwardly freeze and let him embrace you more. Please, please say that he’s only sleep talking, God. I don’t want him to remember this in the morning. You can just imagine how cocky he’s going to be if he did. Baekhyun is a pain in the when he gets all cocky and confident.

 

But then Baekhyun speaks again with his voice heavy with sleep.

 

“I love me too.”

 

You’re trying your best not to punch him in his sleep. Even when he’s sleep talking, he’s so undeniably annoying. But Baekhyun isn’t Baekhyun if he’s not so you decide maybe he’s still worth to love.

 

“Idiot,” you say, and plant a soft kiss to his chin. “Good night, Baekgu…”

 

A soft chuckle, and a pair of lips grazing your temple. "Good night, Sweetheart."

 

, he knows.

***

*waves hand shyly* H-hi... *covers face, cries, tries to run away but comes back again to your arms* KILL ME KILL ME FOR BEING SUCH A LOUSY WRITER KILL ME FOR NOT UPDATING MY STORY FOR SO LONG KILL ME FOR ABANDONING YOUR LOVE KILL MEEEHHHHHH

I hope you guys still remember me. I know how mad you are at me for abandoning this story for so long. So yeah, I got a job now, and as a manager, I got to work from monday to saturday and I'm pretty much worn out on sundays so all I do is sleep, try not to die, then sleep again. I haven't fangirled over EXO for so long, I didn't even know Lu Han took off until my friend told me! MY LIFE IS SO SAD but the salary makes it worth it though lol

anyway, I actually wrote like 3/4 part of this story a long, LONG TIME ago but it felt like it had too much drama in it so I decided to postpone it for a while (and of course, because I'm busy). Now though, since I no longer have much time to write and edit those 'dramatic' parts, I decided to just post it the way it is and pray to God you guys will love it no matter what. I hate doing this to Chanyeol. Seriously guys, I want him to be happy too. But happens, and he screamed at her about the one thing he's NOT supposed to mention at all so yeah, they got divorced. HA AND YOU THOUGHT I WOULD POST SOMETHING ROMANTIC SINCE IT'S VALENTINE'S DAY WELL BOO-HOO ERS! (Though I did wrote some kind of a fail!fluff at the end because I know how much you guys miss baekgu)

I apologize in advance for the typos and grammatical errors. And for like, you know, the usual crappy storyline.

Next chapter will be happier, I promise! Little Babies Byun are on the way, people! Unless I decided to throw our beloved OC in a car crash and then she ended up losing her babies YOU WOULDN'T WANT THAT TO HAPPEN WOULD YOU SO GET DOWN TO THE COMMENT SECTIONS AND LEAVE ME SOME MESSAGES DOWN THERE YOU PRECIOUS LITTLE UNICORNS

I love you just as much as Baekhyun loves himself :*

btw, do you guys know where I can download Luhan's movie? A little help here, babe!

oh and right, thank you Royal Pirates for the ULTRA DEPRESSING SONG YOU LITTLE HANDSOME SONS OF ES I LOVE YOU GUYS

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Comments (6813)

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EXOSSS #1
Chapter 34: its been more than a year :( pls update soon ilyy
Eunsmoon 73 streak #2
Chapter 34: They're finally having the babies! I don't know if you still update this at l but I'm going to stay subscribed cause its super cute.
Eunsmoon 73 streak #3
Chapter 17: Ok this is the fluffiest, cutest chapter I have ever read. I love this so much! I hope that I get a proposal like this :)
maral_exo_l
#4
I've read this fic in persian.....I luv it!
It's so funny and this type of baekhyun is so hot
baekthoven
#5
Chapter 34: It's been two years since the last update, yet I still find myself always coming back to this masterpiece. It's my favourite fanfic of all time tbh - as in favourite of all EXO fanfics and all fanfics in general including different fandoms. I hope life is treating you well, and want to express my gratitude for this story and the fact that you left all your great work up for everyone who loves it to keep rereading it! Thank you <333
EXOSSS #6
rereadingg
windyocean
#7
visiting this story again~~~~
fgtalks #8
Chapter 34: The babies probably two yo now. Well. Hello. I hope you're always healthy and happy author. And i hope the babies are okay. Yay. Uhm. This story is fantastic. Well, but if you don't want to continue this, uhm. I'll try to be fine. It's okay. As long asthe babies are okay. And maybe now Chanyeol is finally happy again, right? Either he's moved one already or just got back together with his ex. Have a good day (^^)/
fgtalks #9
Chapter 27: I love them all! And i can't see Chanyeol got broken heart ㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ He deserves to be happy too!