Chanyeol looked at Baekhyun getting uncomfortable inside the little ice-cream shop. He must not be used to small and simple things like this.
- If you want, we can go to the Baskin Robins down the street. It's more...
- No, it's fine... It's just... it's my first time in town... I didn't even know that there was something else other than school and the food cart where we buy the noodles near school.
Chanyeol opened wide eyes.
- Your first time? I... I actually don't know much about you he said sheepishly scratching his head and getting all red in the face. How long have you've been in Seoul?
- It's my first time living here. I have pass by before but only for a day. I came straight to school from Ere... from Greece... And I don't really get out that much...
- 안되겠어 (Andwaehesseo. This is not okay). Let's get you a tour. It's pretty fun living here and maybe you'll want to stay for the long term... I mean, I know that your parents must want you back but...
- I can't stay for the long term. Baekhyun said before turning to the window.
Chanyeol wanted to ask more but bit his tongue. Tonight, something was strange about Baekhyun. He was not the same loud and obnoxious boy that he could have smack on the forehead. It almost felt like he had a stranger in front of him. Like Baekhyun was trying to put up a wall between them... Was there something wrong with him? Was his condition worse than the doctor told them...
Chanyeol suddenly frowned. In fact ... the doctor never told them what actually was wrong with Baekhyun. He opened his mouth to ask him but stopped. He got the impression that if he tried to rush him, Baekhyun will close himself forever to him and for a strange reason, he didn't want that. He wanted his old Baekhyun back...
- Let's get the ice cream to go Chanyeol said getting up.
Baekhyun followed him to the stall and watched him paid for their mint and chocolate chip ice cream. The girl behind the counter winked at the handsome jock. He simply smiled back and like it was normal for them, he took Baekhyun's hand and dragged him out the little shop.
They spent the next 30 minutes walking around town. Chanyeol showed him around, telling him stories about each place, memories he had with his parents, with his older brother who already moved out to England, with his friends. At one point, Baekhyun even caught himself smiling. He quickly corrected his facial expression, but at Chanyeol's victorious air, he was sure that the jock did see that.
Chanyeol turned to him and looked at him straight in the eyes, without saying a word. After a while, Baekhyun looked away, blushing.
- What? Why are you starring?
- You smiled. That's mean you forgive me, 맞아? (Matja. Right)?
Baekhyun snorted. He saw what? He didn't smile! Maybe Chanyeol needed glasses or something.
- I didn't smile... And even if I did, I... what the are you doing?
Baekhyun was looking at him, stunned. Chanchan was holding his hand and jumping in place like a little puppy.
- Baekhyun-ah, Baekie, 나의 아기 Baekhyunie (Naui agi. My baby). Forgive your Chanchan. Hum? Hum? Hum?
- Stop this! This is so embarrassing! They are people around! 창피해! (Changpihae. So embarrassing)!
- Then say that you forgive me.
Baekhyun opened a big mouth, amazed by his shameless attitude. And the gods thought that he had tick skin! They haven't met Park Chanyeol yet! Baekhyun finally really took his time to look at him. Chanchan was still smiling at him, his eyes almost turning into crescent moons. He suddenly got scared, scared of that smile, scared of the warm feeling invading his chest, scared of Chanyeol.
Both jumped a little and turned to see Suho, D.O, Sehun and a girl coming toward them.
- Hey guys! Said Chanyeol, smiling to his friends. What are you doing here?
- We're going to meet Luhan and Lay at Gary's. D.O is enraged; he just found out he got Kai as partner for Social... and you? Asked Sehun, eyeing at Baekhyun. Did you guys make up? Are you on a date?
Baekhyun quickly removed his hand from Chanyeol grip, face close. He was not on a date with him!
- Baekie! Said Chanyeol, grabbing his hand again. Let's go to Gary's with them. It's the burger place I was telling you about. You haven't eaten yet, right? And... Little Zeus is there, you can tell him about the plan you made for us for the project.
- It's a good place said D.O, his scary gaze becoming softer. You will love burger Baekhyun-ah... and please, if you're still mad at Yeollie, just come with me, I'll need a partner in crime to help me come with a plan to murder that lazy Kai.
Was it wrong that multiple scenarios, all involving Kai's violent death, immediately pup up on Baekhyun's mind?
- Wang Fang is here too. She got stuck with me said Suho.
Baekhyun merely shrugged and let himself being dragged away by the merry group. He was quite happy about how the events were going but he would become a demon first before admitting to that. He cached a glimpse of the Wang Fang frowning at his entwined hand with Chanchan. Ah! True! Some humans in this age and time were having issues with non heteroual love. Baekhyun shrugged. Well, he have seen more than he can count and he was from Greece, from Mount Olympus where love was never define by a gender... Not that he was in love or anything. He was just stating facts!
They were almost at Gary's, the atmosphere lively, Suho and Sehun getting on Chanyeol's nerves and D.O explaining to Baekhyun how he planned to murder Kai when a luxurious back car suddenly pulled out. Chanyeol, who was still holding onto Baekhyun's hand, felt him tensed and instinctively stood in front of him.
- 도련님 (doryeonim) said a man, built as a bodyguard, getting out the car with two other guys.
Hercules!! Baekhyun opened big eyes and the demi god politely bowed to him before opening the car door.
- You should go back 도련님 (doryeonim). You missed a really important call from your mother.
Chanyeol felt the tremble and the sweat forming on Baekhyun's hand.
- We were just going to get some burgers he said, facing the man who looked down on him. Since he already missed the call, he can stay and eat, right?
- No, he cannot. 도련님 (doryeonim), please get in the car.
Baekhyun squeezed Chanyeol's hand to stop him from retorting and freed his hand. He took a discreet breath and turned to the teenager's group.
- I believed we settle everything for the project Park Chanyeol. You should go talk to Lay Zhang. I'll text you guys the plan. Good night.
He then turned and got in the car that quickly drove away. The group just stood there, not sure what just happen.
- Guys, what the was that? Said Luhan's voice.
As soon as they were in the car, Hercules turned and hugged the Erebus prince.
- Calix!! How have you been? I just came back to Mount Olympus and Zeus told me about what happened between you and the Morai... those old hags!
Calix laughed and hugged the demi god back. Hercules had always been his friend. He was the first one who actually played with Cerberus and defied the Morai to save Megara, the mortal woman he was in love with.
- You are taking too much after me kid... Don't mess with those women, they are vicious.
His face showed an immense pain and Calix felt it. Megara's life cord had been cut and her soul was fed water from the forgotten river. She had crossed the reincarnation bridge and had forgot about Hercules a long time ago... Being a mortal had really changed him, Baekhyun used to make fun of Hercules every time he had that look on his face but now, he couldn't help but pat his back.
- I'm sorry... Hercules, why you're here?
- Did Zeus really give you Asi?
- The golden whistle. The heavenly weapon.
Baekhyun nodded, frowning. Why was Zeus telling everyone about this? It was against the rules as he was not supposed to have his powers! This old man was becoming senile with age!
- Show me your wings said Hercules.
Calix opened big eyes. ! He had forgotten about his wings. He opened them and felt a pang on his heart. Half of his white wing was covered in black feathers...
- What the ?? I'm not going to last 90 days like that!
- You used Asi, it's against the rules, that's why... But... what is... why do you have a golden feather on your black wing?
He turned the other way and scratched his head, puzzled. On the center of her black wing, he had a beautiful golden feather.
- What is that? The Morai never said anything about golden feathers!
- I... I'll look into it and let you know. Go back little boy, Theseus is waiting for you.
He waved goodbye at Hercules and got out the car that was parked in front of Empire.
He turned to Hercules who had his head out the window.
- That kid who was with you, the one who bravely defended you, he had your smell all over him. Give him Asi, it will repel all the hellhounds as the kid will appeared blessed by Zeus grace.
Calix smile widen. That was true!! With the heavenly weapon, marked by Zeus himself, the essence that will be all over Chanchan will be Zeus scent itself and nothing will haunt him down, and he would be able to stay next to him!
- Hercules, you're the best!
- Always trying to be. See you around kiddo.
He waved goodbye and left.
Baekhyun opened his locker door, trying his best to ignore the stares that were following every single move he made. The fact that he had a "male nurse" following him around was enough to make stories about him goes wild again. In order to make sure that he stayed away from Park Chanyeol and that he does not use Asi more than necessary, Theseus had put one of his puppets next to him and tighten the security around him. Baekhyun felt like cursing: he would have not used the freaking damn thing if he knew, he felt more judged than before and was even having problems breathing now.
- This is the girl bathroom he said turning his cold eyes to the puppet. If you dare to follow me inside, I'll break you so bad that the death angel will come with a bucket to collect your soul. Is that clear?
The puppet quickly back down. The young prince had always scared him to death and today he was even scarier. His eyes were turning ice blue every time he talk, his voice was even lower than before, and the puppet was shivering every time he even took a breath. He was not sure he could do this job for long before dying of a heart attack. He was so afraid that he did not even flinch at seeing the young prince go into the girl bathroom. He was not about to lose his life to correct the Erebus prince.
- I'm telling you, Park Chanyeol already moved on from Ye Jin. Rumors as it that he's dating the new boy!!
- Impossible!! Everyone knows that Chanyeol only have eyes for Kim Ye Jin. He literally kisses the ground she walks on... There's that rumor that he became a jock, so he can see her more because she's a cheerleader. And it makes sense: he's an Art major. Why is he playing football?
- But why would Ye Jin not date him? We're talking about Yeollie. The freaking awesome Park Chanyeol. That guy is so gorgeous. He just has to stand there and he's perfect and when he smiles... oh my God!! How can Ye Jin resist that??
- Well, Kim Ye Jin is Empire's saint but... I don't think she is that indifferent to him... on exam periods, she always put warm milk in Yeollie's locker because she know that he will skip all of his meals because of study session. And the new boy is weird... with his weird hair and they say his eyes keep changing colors too... No way that our Yeollie will go for him! First: Yeollie is not gay and second: even if he was, he have been friend with Oh Sehun for so long, it will make sense for them to get together or even with Lay... Just imagining it I think my ovaries are going to explode!
- But I'm telling you!! They have nicknames for each other. That weird boy call him Chanchan and Yeollie call him 아기 (Agi. Baby). And also, last night, Yeollie and that Byun Baekhyun boy were together in town, holding hands and they even went to Gary's with the crew!!
Baekhyun shook his head inside his stall. He was getting a break from his puppet inside the bathroom (he knew perfectly well that he was in the girl's bathroom and he also make sure that no one was in there before coming in) when a group of gossiping girls went in and started to talk about him and Chanchan and Ye Jin. So, they have a thing for each other? That's why the cheerleader captain was so bitter about him dating Park Chanyeol? Why didn't they just date each other already then? Baekhyun snorted. Mortals are so stupid. Always complicating the simplest things.
- Yeollie is so cute though... Because he actually never said anything to Ye Jin, my hopes were high... I mean, he's nice, handsome, good at sport and that smile! And that voice! Heaven...so dreamy....
- His friends are nice too... Ah, Oh Sehun is so my type!!! I don't like it!! That new boy just came in and is already chummy with them!! I've been on this school since forever and the most I got from any of them is hi!! If I ever saw him face to face, I'll tell him some....
The girl next words got stuck in when a bathroom stall suddenly opened, and Byun Baekhyun got out; face impassible like they were not even talking about him and like this was not the girl's bathroom. He was so comfortable that the girls actually thought that they were the ones mistaken and went to the boy's bathroom.
Baekhyun went to the sink and started to watch his hands. He looked up in the mirror and said to the girl.
- 말해. (Malhae. Say it). You said you wanted to say something to me if you saw me face to face. 말해. (Malhae).
- So, you can call your bodyguard to beat me up?
- This is the girl bathroom, he can't get inside... and why should I call him to beat you up? First, he's a nurse and second, you should ask the fat girl if I need anyone helping me for an whopping. I'm a black belt in taekwondo he said before drying his hands. Last chance of saying what you want... or shut up forever.
He went to the door, leaving the girls dumfounded. So.... the weird boy was a who like to use the girl's bathroom? Was he trying to peek at them or was he trying to become a girl to steal Park Chanyeol away?... All of that went trough their head in the next 5 seconds and Baekhyun seemed to sense it. He cursed at himself for exposing his presence in the bathroom.
He went back on his steps, turned to the group and said in his most threatening voice, not even caring about his eyes turning blue.
- Next time you want to gossip about me and Park Chanyeol, make sure I'm not in there or I'll make sure any of you can't talk anymore. And please, STOP ING CALLING HIM YEOLLIE!! HIS NAME IS PARK CHANYEOL!!
Ye Jin entered the cafeteria, followed by her friends. They had a good practice today and felt ready for the match on Friday. Even if it was a friendly game, the fact that it was between the two biggest departments, made it felt like it was the play off.
- Oh! It's Baekhyun!! He's on the team now, right? Asked Mei Li, turning to the back of the cafeteria. Let's go seat with him!!
Ye Jin's grip hardened on her tray, anger flaming inside her for a moment. Byun Baekhyun. She looked at the boy eating alone, his male nurse standing by his side. That new boy who somehow got Chanyeol so fast that no one even saw it coming. Did they know each other before? According to Suho, no, they met the same day everyone else at Empire High met that weird prince, when he broke into his dorm room. They were also no clues about Chanyeol getting closer or even talking to him and just like that one day, they were inseparable. Suho didn't recall how it happened at all. Ye Jin did not ask the bubbly boy if Chanyeol and the new boy were really dating, she had her pride... but the rumors did bother her... a lot. Was Chanyeol really playing in both teams? She could have swear that the guy was straighter than a ruler but the fact that Wang Fang saw them downtown, holding hands like they were on a date, going to Gary's with the guys... Sehun and D.O never really like her, thinking that the way that she was threating their best friend was trash but for that Byun Baekhyun... they had no issue about their best friend being called gay...
- 아니 (Ani. No) let's not bother him.... He's not comfortable with us yet. We should let him eat in peace and try to bond with him on the court.
- True said Da Chung, let's go seat now. I'm starving.
The cheerleaders made their way through the cafeteria, saying hello to a few people and getting whistled at from a few guys. They sat to eat, talking about their grades, their practices and the upcoming match when Wang Fang suddenly said.
- We didn't want to bother the new boy, but the guys clearly don't care! Look! They went to seat with him!!
Ye Jin raised quick eyes to the back of the cafeteria and had to almost physically restrain herself from going there and ask Chanyeol to stand up. No matter what he needed to tell Byun Baekhyun, he didn't need to sit so close to him!!
- Well... I guess there is something going on between Park Chanyeol and the new boy whispered Mei Li.
Baekhyun opened large eyes and it took him a few seconds to realize that he was surrounded by jocks and their foods. He made a quick head movement to stop the puppet from intervening.
- Baekhyun-ah, did everything go well last night? Did you get punished by your uncle? Asked Suho.
- No one has a curfew around here when we're out the school and Yeollie didn't tell us that you have one continued D.O.
They were all talking to him like he was their friend and that last night was not weird at all. An aluminum fold was placed in front of him and he turned confused eyes to a smiling Chanyeol.
- I know that it was you who saved me last time regardless of your own safety. Thank you for saving me Byun Baekhyun. I went home last night, and I explained to my parents what happened on the field. I had to restrained my mom from coming to see you last night. She wanted to say thank you and sent this instead. My mom's sandwich. She insisted.
- Yeollie's mom sandwich!! Said Sehun, eyes twinkling like stars. Oh, Baekhyun-ah, you're so lucky. She makes the best sandwich in town and...
- No, you can't have some said D.O.
They all started to laugh in front of Sehun disappointed face.
- Don't worry said Chanyeol, she's coming to the game, you all know what that's mean.
- Hum said Suho turning to Baekhyun to explain. He's going to make a lot of food – by food, I mean sandwich- and bring them for the team. Even if we don't play, we get to eat because we are friends.
They all started to cheer, laughing, talking, yelling, and throwing stuff at each other. Baekhyun was still looking at the food in front of him, not touching it, like it was a nuclear bomb. A sandwich. Park Chanyeol's mom made him a sandwich. Why? He never met the woman and was so rude to Chanchan last night.
- What's up guys? Baekhyunie, are you okay?
He raised his head and smiled at Lay Zhang. He had his food tray and just slide next to Baekhyun.
- Guys, we're eating here today. He said to his friends.
Kai and Luhan sat down and started to eat to ignore the awkward atmosphere. The table that was full of laugh a minute ago was now grim. D.O was sending death glare to Kai who was trying to ignore him, Chanyeol was making a face because of Lay talking to Baekhyun, Sehun was getting all red in the face every time Luhan opened his mouth to put food in it, and Suho was just confused by the situation. Why were his friends always that weird every time they met with Lay's gang?
- Little Zeus, did Chanchan told you that we are in the same group for the social project?
- He mentioned something like that. I couldn't reach you last night because I don't have your number.
Baekhyun happily and proudly pulled out his phone and gave it to Lay.
- Give me your number. I have a phone.
While Lay was busy with the phone, Chanyeol pulled a little on Baekhyun's hair.
- Eat. I'm sure you didn't have breakfast this morning because I wasn't there.
Baekhyun smiled at him and patted his head.
- Thank you, my savior... I have something for you...
He put his hand around his neck and removed a thin gold chain that had a strange medallion.
- I want you to wear that and never removed it until I ask for it back.
- What is that? Chanyeol asked looking at the golden whistle.
- It's... for protection. In Greece, it's considered for protection.
- Then you should keep it, you need more...
- Chanchan!!! Take the damn thing she said trying to put it around his neck.
As usual, they started to fight. Baekhyun literally got on Chanyeol's lap and put the necklace on him. To celebrate his victory, he flicked the jock's forehead.
- And now, if I ever find out you removed i t, just know that I will murder you with my bare hands!
Chanyeol just smiled at him before turning to his friends, changing the conversation to turn Kris and his friends attention away from Baekhyun. Every time the white haired boy really looked at him, he felt like he could read him like an open book. Like right now, he was actually serious about murdering him but he was also sincere in wanted to give him his necklace. Without knowing it, Chanyeol found his hand under the table and gently squeezed it. Guess he will bring more sandwiches to school now.
- Baekhyun-ah, what are you doing? Asked Suho
Chanyeol turned to see him, with just one hand – the other still entwined with his under the table – putting all his rice in his tray.
- You should eat more rice he scolded him. Look how skinny you are for an athlete. I'm sure if someone from the other team body slam you, you will fly higher than the ball!
He turned to Lay and squeezed his bicep real quick before turning back to him.
- Look at Little Zeus, all muscles. This is what a man is supposed to look like!
To which all the guys started to laugh, teasing him. But Chanyeol's heart got warm and the little hand in his finally responded back. To other people, Baekhyun's nagging may sound like he was belittled him but to him, he knew that it came from his heart. That boy had always showed his emotions in a weird way: calling him a peculiar nickname in front of everyone, making him becoming his servant in waking him up in the morning, making him turned into a butler in carrying his bag, making him bring him breakfast... him, Park Chanyeol, his parents most precious possession. But he was glad to have Baekhyun as a friend. With Suho, D.O and Sehun, he had always thought that he had enough friends for the rest of his life, but Byun Baekhyun proved him wrong. Chanyeol gave him a big happy smile before taking a huge spoon of rice.
- Are you cheering for us on Friday? Asked Luhan with his melodious voice
Baekhyun quickly denied it with his head, his face expressing how unbothered he was about that all cheerleading business.
- No... I got in too close to the game... Ye Jin talked about something... beverages, I think. I'm not sure.
- The cheerleaders usually sell beverages during the games to raise funds for the Children's Hospital... Guess you guys will make a fortune on Friday said Kai...because you're absolutely breathtaking he said to Baekhyun's questioning eyes.
Baekhyun blushed. For some reason, that got Chanyeol mad. He turned murderous eyes to Kai but was beaten by a more upset D.O.
- Are you sure you're really in love with me?? How could you flirt with anything that moved at every chance you get??
A deadly silence fell on the table as Sehun, Luhan and Suho had their jaws on the floor. What in the name of everything that is Holy was happening?
- What... Kyung Soo-ah... what... mumbled the poor Kai, that's not it... Everyone that has eyes can tell that he's really pretty and what kind of person do you think I am?? I will never flirt with Park Chanyeol's boyfriend!! I only love you!
Baekhyun was already opening his mouth to correct them. He should put an end to that nonsense rumor about him and Chanchan. He didn't want to be in his way of getting to be with the love of his life when Kai last words got to his brain. He loved D.O? Like in love?
Baekhyun turned perplexed eyes to Chanyeol and Kris and they were still eating, like it was normal for the captain of the Sciences Department football team to apologize to a very scary looking Do Kyung Soo. Chanyeol leaned to him and whispered.
- That happens almost every time... One day Kai just came up to our dear D.O and confessed to him. D.O was so confused that he told me about it and Kai actually told Lay too. D.O keep saying that he have no feelings for Kai but I saw him giving detention and going extra hard on his duties as the Student council president at all the girls who approached Kai... As you can see, the others weren't aware of this... and don't worry about D.O and Kai fighting. They do that all the time... but it's nothing that a few kisses can't fix...
Kisses?? They kissed??? Baekhyun turned to Chanyeol, mouth agape and he smiled.
- Yes. D.O kept saying that he doesn't like Kai that way but everytime that Kai said that he'll gave up, my "manly" friend here will make a move and they end up kissing...let's just say a lot. The janitor's closet is their favorite place.
Chanyeol then frowned a little and released some of his hold on Baekhyun's hand.
- Does that bother you? Are you...
- It doesn't Baekhyun said, grabbing his hand again. It doesn't at all. I've seen so many orgi... I mean who cares about gender? It's just a something that mortal have come with, it had nothing to do with feeling something! I'm surprised by Kai. I had always thought that he was pretty simple, even for a mortal but he's the one who actually got my respect now.
Chanyeol looked at him smile and the proud look he threw to a now smiling Kai who was almost purring as D.O hand was patting his hair. Chanyeol turned his eyes to Baekhyun's perfectly comb hair and wondered how it would feel to pass his hands on his loosen silver hair. He looked so cute with that hair falling all over the place the first time they met... why was he combing it now? He didn't like it.
- Yeah, you're right, he got my respect too.
- Hello Ye Jin! Said Luhan, suddenly.
Eight pairs of eyes turned to the cheerleader that was smiling softly in front of their table. Baekhyun suddenly felt ashamed and quickly released his hand from Chanchan's hold... not like he cared, his gaze still fixed on the beautiful girl in front of him.
- Hello guys... I just wanted to remind you of the sale going on for the Children's Hospital and...
- Yes, Baekhyun already told us. He's in charge of it, right? Don't worry, we will buy everything from the pretty boy said Sehun, smiling.... Why are you kicking me?? He yelled at D.O.
Ye Jin had a force smile then turned to Chanyeol.
- I was wondering if we could talk for a minute?
The jock was already up, almost dragging the cheerleader out of the cafeteria.
- I'll be back guys.
A tense silence followed as he left as the guys turned to look at Baekhyun. They all felt a little disappointed to see that his face was a mask of indifference, meaning no murder was happening today in Empire High. He was still eating, like nothing happened. Sehun sighed internally. He really was not going to go after his ChanChan?
- They... He will come back said Suho
Baekhyun did not even raise his eyes to him.
- Yeollie is an idiot said D.O but his heart is soft and in the right place... don't worry too much.
- Baekhyunie, do you know how to play this game? It's really fun.
He turned her attention to Lay and shook his head.
- I don't play games. It's illegal.
- Try this one. I assured you it's legal said Lay laughing and you will really like it.
He shoved his phone in his hands and Baekhyun had no other choice than to take the device.
- Look, it goes like this.
While Little Zeus was busy explaining the rules to him, his eyes turned to the cafeteria door were Chanchan and Ye Jin disappeared. He should really let the guys know that Park Chanyeol represent nothing for him and the fact that he went to have a talk with his potential girlfriend did not bother him at all. Baekhyun caught a glimpse of his puppet looking at him. He quickly adverted his eyes and looked away. The puppet was frowning. Baekhyun retained a sigh. He forgot to control himself, he forgot about his parents, Zeus and Theseus spy. He forced herself to look away from the door and smiled at little at D.O worrying gaze before sadly looking at his hand, the one that Chanyeol was holding earlier. He saw the puppet narrowing his eyes and he quickly clenched his fists under the table. Get a hold of yourself Calix! he scolded himself. He had a purpose and did not have the luxury to let anyone get in the way, especially not Park Chanyeol and his warmth.
"We should hold on into whatever keeps us warm inside"