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Title: If You Leave Me (Can I Come Too?) – Part 1

Pairing(s): Chanyeol/Baekhyun

Rating: PG-13

Genre: Romance, slight angst

Warning(s): Language, sexual references

Length: ~11,000

Summary: After discovering that Chanyeol still hasn’t told his mother they’re dating, Baekhyun decides to break off their relationship and moves out of their shared apartment. Plagued by heartbreak-induced sleep disturbances, Chanyeol soon finds himself waking up in places where he and Baekhyun shared memories together, with no recollection of how he got there.

Chanyeol wasn’t quite sure how to tell his mother that she’d ruined his life. It was a heavy load to dump on one person’s shoulders, but it was true. You are responsible for the irreversible mess I am in right now, he would have told her if she were still standing in front of him, but how do you break something like that to your own mum? Do you take her out for a drink or two beforehand and sandwich the unpleasant delivery between two compliments, just to soften the blow a little? Hey ma, your hair looks lovely tonight, you’ve fucking ruined my life, by the way have you lost weight..?

His mother did like a stiff drink… so maybe he’d go with that approach. Then when she was nice and hammered he’d tell her you can never, ever visit me, ever again, in the gentlest way possible.

You are banned for life, woman, he’d say. From now on, all our interactions are confined to days of obligation: Christmas, Mother’s Day and birthdays. And I’ll still call you once a week to tell you my life is going better than it actually is, but everything else is off the damn table.

The only flaw in this otherwise brilliant plan was that if he told his mother that she had ruined his life, then he would also have to tell her why.

But then, it wasn’t entirely Mrs. Park’s fault. A large part of it was her fault – but it was also his own fault too, in a way, for being a ‘horrible, shitty lying piece of shit’, as Baekhyun had called him during that fit of passionate, violent rage that seemed like it was never going to end. Thankfully he’d had the good sense to wait until Chanyeol’s mother had gone home before he let fly, which sort of meant he was in on the lie too, but Chanyeol had thought it best not to point this out – the timing just didn’t seem right.

Also, between all the wailing and yelling, he couldn’t really get a word in.

Anyway, as guilty as Chanyeol’s mother was in this situation, it didn’t change the fact that he drove the last nail into the coffin of their now deceased relationship himself, and he did it by uttering the most deplorable, regretful sentence of his entire life: “this is Baekhyun; my roommate.”

His roommate. Fucking hell, what was he thinking..? But he hadn’t expected his mother to show up on his doorstep at 11am on a sunny Saturday, with a box of his favourite chocolates tucked under her arm – there was no courtesy call beforehand to warn him that she was visiting. Chanyeol had chosen to live and work far away from his hometown specifically for the purpose of discouraging such spontaneity; it was always him who went to visit her, and that had always suited them both just fine, until now. He usually drove down to see her once a month, which occasionally provoked a twinge of guilt – she’d raised him alone, after all, and he was all she had – but keeping his private life private was more of a priority.

So why did she have to go and topple everything he’d carefully put together with one ill-timed surprise visit? Why did he let those awful, cringe-worthy words escape his lips for her benefit?

“Your roommate?” Baekhyun yelled, loudly enough to give their neighbours cause for complaint. They’d just returned from an excruciatingly leisurely lunch at the café on the ground floor – a desperate suggestion on Chanyeol’s part, for he wanted to lure his mother away from the apartment, lest she begin poking around as mothers sometimes like to do. If she did, she was bound to happen upon some indicators of the true nature of their relationship – the presence of only one bed, for example, or the sexy things on the nightstand, or the toothbrushes leaning against each other (in a more-than-friendly way) in the same cup next to the sink. The place was a minefield of incriminating evidence; he had to get her out of there as quickly as possible.

During the meal, Baekhyun had made polite conversation with Mrs. Park as if nothing was wrong, with many a filthy look being subtly thrown in Chanyeol’s direction over the rim of his wine glass. Chanyeol could already tell at the time that he was storing up his anger for when they got home. As it turned out, he was right.

“I’ve been pestering you for months to take me to meet her, just once," Baekhyun said, "and all this time, she never even knew I existed..”

“I kinda haven’t told her I’m gay…” was Chanyeol’s feeble response, but Baekhyun wouldn’t have a bar of it. And then the unforgettable ‘horrible, shitty lying piece of shit’ line was delivered, shortly before the moving, heated final act. This mainly involved an increasingly incensed Baekhyun grabbing anything that wasn’t bolted down and throwing it onto the floor, before storming offstage to the bathroom and remaining locked therein for nearly three hours – which was a little inconsiderate, to be fair, given that there were no other toilets in the apartment. Chanyeol ended up having to pee in one of the pot-plants in the living room – only after returning it to its proper upright position and scooping all the soil back in, of course. The pot-plant was just one of the many victims of Baekhyun’s wrath that day.

It was after dark when Baekhyun finally emerged from the bathroom, his face tear-streaked and puffy, and it was only then that Chanyeol started to feel really bad.

“I’m sorry, but I can’t do this,” Baekhyun said, wiping his eyes on his sleeve. He avoided Chanyeol’s gaze as he said it. “I don’t think it’s working anymore.”

Chanyeol stared at him blankly. “Are you breaking up with me..?”

“We’re just… it’s obvious that we’re not on the same level, Chanyeol. I don’t want to waste my time with someone who doesn’t take me – us, as a couple – seriously.”

“But… I do take us seriously..”

“As evidenced by the fact that you referred to me as your roommate in front of one of the few people who actually matter to you,” Baekhyun replied coldly, still sniffling.

Chanyeol couldn’t argue with this, so he said nothing. He simply watched in helpless silence from where he stood, leaning against the doorframe, while Baekhyun pottered around their bedroom, carefully selecting items of necessity and then, to be contrary, angrily jamming and throwing and stuffing them into a travel bag. Chanyeol had never seen him like that. Baekhyun usually held himself together so well, but the way he stared into the gaping, zipper-toothed mouth of the bag with those blank, faraway eyes was a sure sign that the man Chanyeol knew and loved was lost to him – perhaps forever. And he wanted nothing more than to grab Baekhyun and hold him until he stopped trembling; to kiss the furrows out of his brow, and the frown away from his lips… but he couldn’t. He couldn’t even muster up the guts to ask where Baekhyun was going, in case it was somewhere too far away for him to fathom.

But it came out eventually in a frightened whisper, because he had to know… he just had to. “Where are you going..?”

Baekhyun shrugged; by now he seemed more resigned than angry. “Maybe to Kyungsoo's for a while… just until I figure some things out. I'll be back later to collect some more stuff.”

“Okay,” Chanyeol said quietly. There wasn’t really anything else to say... at least until Baekhyun was halfway through the front door, overstuffed bag in hand, and then the words came tumbling out of their own accord.

“Don't go, please. I love you.”

Baekhyun turned back to look at him, and Chanyeol could see he was wavering, if only slightly.

“I'm sorry,” Chanyeol whispered. “I’m so sorry.”

Baekhyun shook his head. “Not as sorry as I am,” he said quietly, and the door clicked shut behind him.

* * * * *

Silence could be horrifically loud, as Chanyeol discovered that night; he feverishly tossed and turned to the sound of it until morning. It was the first time in a long time that he’d spent the night alone, and for all his rolling around, he had no luck in warming up that big bed all by himself.

At long last he fell asleep, soothed by the familiar, reassuring scent of one of Baekhyun's old t-shirts, which he’d wrapped around his pillow. And then he woke up again, pulled violently back into consciousness, with the memory of what had happened crashing down upon him mercilessly. He wanted to seek refuge in sleep again, but sleep wouldn’t come; it slowly ebbed away until all that remained was that horrid feeling of being simultaneously wide-awake and exhausted.

After a while Chanyeol got up and stood there, staring at their empty bed, with its twisted, tortured landscape of sheets and blankets. Just looking at the bed stirred a multitude of memories. Their last kiss was shared yesterday morning beneath those very covers, mere hours before his mother had arrived on their doorstep, bringing the house down around them when she left.

Chanyeol could recall that last kiss in greater detail than he wanted to. He remembered that it felt much the same as their first kiss – slow and gentle, with wandering hands and curious lips, the best kind of kiss. It was cruel that history had a habit of repeating itself in such unassuming yet unexpectedly meaningful ways. Baekhyun had smelled the same yesterday as he did that day, the clean scent of soap lingering on his skin. Chanyeol remembered thinking it at the time, even in the fuzzy state between asleep and awake, just how strong the feeling of déjà vu was.

He lifted his fingers to his lips, tracing around them before pulling his hand away, as though touching something unbearably hot. It was a comfortable kind of kiss. Yes… comfortable.

They had reached that point in their relationship where they were comfortable – or at least, Chanyeol had been comfortable. He couldn’t speak for Baekhyun… but he thought they were good. Surely they were. And then all of a sudden he was thrust into a world where Baekhyun wanted to be as far away from him as possible; where kisses and companionship and comfort didn’t exist.

Where had Baekhyun really slept last night, he wondered.

Chanyeol collapsed onto the bed and buried his head in his hands. Apart from Baekhyun himself – his physical being, his presence, his smell, the sound of his voice, and other things like that – the kissing was probably the thing he would miss the most. Chanyeol had never met anyone else who loved kissing quite as much as Baekhyun did; he even did it in his sleep, occasionally waking Chanyeol up with kisses on his neck, trailing lazily over his jawline and across to the corners of his lips. Chanyeol was never one to refuse; he’d always pull Baekhyun on top of him and give him as many kisses as it took until he was satisfied.

Chanyeol especially loved kissing Baekhyun during those midnight hours. There was a combination of things that made it wonderful: the sleepy urgency, and the fact that Baekhyun seemed completely uninhibited under the cover of darkness… less restrained in his affections. Sometimes it led to more, sometimes it didn't, but Chanyeol never felt cheated when it didn't; just kissing Baekhyun was pleasure enough.

There were times when they'd kiss for so long that the sun would be peeking through the blinds before they stopped. But that wouldn't be happening anymore.

In fact, there were a lot of things that wouldn’t be happening anymore, like the sound of Baekhyun working the coffee machine in the morning, which usually woke Chanyeol up before his alarm did. There would be no one to fight over the bathroom with. No one to walk to the subway with. No one to kiss goodbye before they each went their separate ways for the day, and no one to kiss hello when they returned home again.

There would be no one to go on morning jogs with – they hadn’t done that in a while, but still. Now that it seemed like it might never happen again, Chanyeol realised he missed the forgotten ritual terribly.

And what was he going to do today? Sunday was their special day together… he’d have to spend it alone. The thought of an entirely empty day without someone to share it with seemed frightening somehow, and he longed for it to fly by so that he’d be saved by weekday distractions as soon as possible.

There would be a lot of new things to get used to – a lot of changes – and none of them could possibly be any good.

* * * * *

By Monday morning Chanyeol’s sleep debt had caught up with him, and he ended up wandering into the office an hour later than he should have, wearing Friday’s crumpled suit and muttering excuses under his breath that no one seemed to pay any mind to.

“What’s wrong with you?” Jongdae whispered to him, popping his head up over the cubicle wall. “You look like shit..”

“Well, Baekhyun and I, we kinda… split up.” It sounded weird, saying it aloud… sort of like it made it even more of a reality. As it was, the whole situation was already far too real for him to cope with.

Jongdae rolled his eyes. “Is that all? Baekhyun ‘breaking up’ with you is a bimonthly event, Chanyeol. You know he’ll forgive you by tomorrow.”

Chanyeol shook his head. “Nah… this time it’s, like, the real deal. He’s moved out.”

“Oh,” Jongdae replied, his voice trailing off into awkward silence. “Damn.”

“Yep,” Chanyeol sighed. “Damn indeed..”

“Did he say why..?”

“Well, long story short, my mother still doesn’t know I’m gay…” Chanyeol said quietly. “And then she came over on the weekend without warning, and I panicked. So I, uh… introduced Baekhyun to her as my roommate.”

Jongdae shook his head in disbelief. “Wow. You done fucked up, man. Seriously. Congrats on your stupidity.”

“Thanks… I think.”

“Well, maybe it’s not too late... has he taken all his stuff?”

“Nah,” Chanyeol replied, shaking his head. “Just the essentials. But he said he’d be back to pick it all up.”

Jongdae’s expression softened. “Well, keep your chin up, stupid. I’m sure things will work out. And if not, well… maybe this will be a good thing for you, in the long run. When one door closes, another one opens, right..?”

Chanyeol nodded. He knew his friend was merely quoting from the collection of motivational posters tacked up on the walls of his cubicle; Jongdae was an aggressive optimist, and believed there was no hole so deep that you couldn’t dig yourself out of it. As clichéd as those words were, Chanyeol was grateful for the encouragement, and even found himself brightening up a little by mid-morning… but by the end of the day he had wilted completely, and wanted nothing more than to go home, roll into bed and possibly cry himself to sleep.

Jongdae, it seemed, had other plans for him.

“So what stage of grief are you at right now?” he asked while they were walking to the subway together, and Chanyeol shrugged.

“At the moment, I’d say somewhere between denial and anger.”

“Well, why don’t I take you out for a drink? Or fifty. We can push you right past anger and straight on to memory loss.”

Chanyeol couldn’t help laughing at the idea. “On a Monday night..? You must be joking.”

Jongdae’s expression suggested that he was deadly serious, which was a little worrying. “Now that you’re a free man again, who’s to say you can’t have a night out on the town?”

“I really don’t think that will help..” Chanyeol replied hesitantly, but Jongdae’s hand had already clamped itself around his wrist. There was no way he was getting out of this one, he could already tell.

“Come on,” Jongdae insisted, pulling Chanyeol back in the opposite direction. “I know you’re hurting right now, but it could always, always be worse. I mean, you could accidentally stab yourself with a chicken bone and get septicemia and die – I read about it happening to some guy once. That's what I call unlucky.”

“Uh… I suppose,” Chanyeol replied absently. He was too preoccupied with trying not to bump into other people to pay much attention.

“See? All you need is a bit of perspective,” Jongdae piped up cheerily. He came to a halt outside a suitably seedy-looking bar and pushed Chanyeol through the door. “And be forewarned – I’m not letting you go home tonight until you're completely off your tits.”

* * * * *

Jongdae was a man of his word; it was safe to say that Chanyeol had never been so off his tits in his life, which was no easy task given that he didn’t have any.

By 11pm, he already felt a lot better about his situation. Maybe it was the bad ‘80s music… or perhaps the eleven piña coladas had something to do with it. Or maybe it was the simple fact that Jongdae was right, as much as someone like Jongdae could be right – a change of scenery couldn’t be all bad. Chanyeol could even get used to it, having all that space to himself; there were cons to being alone, for sure, but there were also many pros. There would be no one to order him around anymore… no one to hog the TV or the bathroom, or kick him in his sleep, or tell him that Froot Loops weren’t an acceptable dinner option, despite Chanyeol’s untenable assertion that his daily five fruit and veg were represented by each different colour. But then the booze really began to kick in, and it appeared that Jongdae had forgotten one vital piece of information since they’d last hit the town together: that Chanyeol could be an incredibly depressed drunk. And naturally, looking at his problems with double vision meant that there suddenly seemed to be twice as many as there were before.

Chanyeol spent the rest of the night (what he could remember of it) hunched over on the grimy floor of a bathroom stall, alternately sobbing and puking his guts out while Jongdae sighed heavily and rubbed his back in a feeble attempt at consolation. He couldn’t recall what happened after that. At some point there came a period of blissful unconsciousness, where sleep cradled him gently and showed him a few hours of unexpected mercy; in his dreams, Baekhyun was still lying next to him, sleeping soundly with his arms wrapped around Chanyeol’s waist, as he usually did.

Then sleep dumped him unceremoniously into the cold, brittle arms of early morning; it sent Chanyeol over the edge of the bed, the sheets still tangled in a rough-and-ready noose around his neck. He opened his eyes to an absence so real he could feel the weight of it on his chest, crushing him hard against the wooden floor, and his head throbbed so violently that he couldn’t bring himself to move for a further half hour.

As soon as he could summon the strength to get up, Chanyeol called in sick and crawled back into bed, still wearing Friday’s suit – which had just become Tuesday’s suit, and, let’s face it, in all probability would also be Wednesday’s. He figured he could be excused for a day, given that he was heartbroken, hungover and thus of no real use to anyone.

At midday he got up, showered and put on some fresh clothes. As soon as he felt slightly more human again, he wandered down to the convenience store for a microwave burrito, which he scarfed down, only to throw it back up again less than five minutes later – vomiting and breathing seemed to be the only bodily functions he was still capable of performing. Afterwards, feeling bored, miserable and somewhat masochistic, he sat down and began to compile his own breakup mixtape for something to do; Baekhyun had occasionally joked about making one for him if they ever broke up for real.

But he didn’t hang around long enough to do that, did he? Chanyeol thought bitterly. It was a silly thing to feel cheated about, but he allowed himself that little indulgence anyway.

He was in the middle of cutting It’s All Been Done and If You Leave Me Now (one was too bittersweet, the other too imploring) when his phone buzzed in his pocket. It was Jongdae, sounding worried.

“Hey. Just making sure you’re still alive.”

“Yeah, just barely,” Chanyeol assured him. “What happened last night..?

“You were in pretty bad shape, so I took you back to my place and put you to bed,” Jongdae said. He sounded faintly irritable now. “When I woke up, you were gone. You left the front door wide open, you ass. Were you born in a tent..?”

Chanyeol rubbed his temple. “I don’t even remember coming home. I just assumed you’d escorted me here.”

“You were probably still off your face when you wandered off. That’s the last time I take you out, man… you were a disaster.”

“I’m sorry,” Chanyeol replied, trying to sound apologetic. “Thanks for taking care of me though.”

“That’s alright… what are friends for? I guess I’ll see you tomorrow?”

“Yeah. See you,” Chanyeol replied, and hung up. He gave up on the mixtape idea and stumbled off to bed again, where he fell asleep to the sound of things too vague to mention, and too unsettling to forget.

* * * * *

Chanyeol reads aloud from the sign above them. “ ‘Victory Pier: Open All Day – Every Day’…”

“—Except today,” Baekhyun says drily. “Do you reckon anyone ever comes here..?” he asks, lowering his voice – for what reason, Chanyeol can’t tell, because there’s no one around to hear him anyway.

“I doubt it. It's super creepy at night, but I like it. I like places that are challenging, I guess..”

Chanyeol stops for a moment, his expression suddenly growing serious. He moves towards Baekhyun slowly, backing him up against the rattling red shutters, never breaking eye contact for a single second.

Baekhyun says nothing, not with his mouth… but his eyes seem to dare Chanyeol to kiss him. Then they flicker down to Chanyeol’s lips, just for a second, before fluttering closed.

Chanyeol closes his own eyes and leans forward.

* * * * *

Chanyeol awoke the next morning to the sound of waves… waves lapping against something solid, and the wind whistling in his ears. Furrowing his brows in confusion, he stirred and rolled over without opening his eyes, and his cheek rubbed against something hard and rough; the texture of weathered wood.

Then there was the loud shriek of what sounded suspiciously like a seabird, coming from somewhere above. Chanyeol’s eyes snapped open. Blurred forms in white and sky-blue slowly came into focus, and he sat up, rubbing his eyes and surveying his surroundings.

“Victory Pier..?” he whispered to himself. He was alone, and still in the same shorts and t-shirt he’d been wearing when he went to sleep. He couldn’t recall walking down to the pier… the last time he’d been there was with Baekhyun, back when they still used to go on morning jogs at the beach together. Victory Pier had closed down years ago; now it was nothing more than a deserted curiosity, a decaying skeleton of rusted filigree railings and flaking weatherboard. The only reminders of its glory days as a place of amusement were an empty gumball machine and a long-forgotten, coin-operated children’s ride in the form of a pirate ship, which probably didn’t work anymore.

Chanyeol closed his eyes and inhaled deeply. Somehow the feelings of isolation seemed at home here, where there was fresh sea air and the stillness was expected. Back in his apartment, it was hard to breathe in all the way. He could feel it suffocating him slowly, the stale air and man-made silence… but here he could breathe freely, and his mind felt much clearer.

Incidentally, the pier was also where they’d shared their very first kiss, right after their very first dinner date. Now that he was here, Chanyeol remembered it even more vividly; how he’d pushed Baekhyun up against the roller doors beneath the faded sign at the entrance, gentle but insistent. He remembered the way Baekhyun had gone limp in his arms. He remembered his soft, sweet lips and his warm tongue and his sighs of satisfaction, his arms wrapped snugly around Chanyeol’s neck…

Chanyeol opened his eyes again, the fantasy evaporating into thin air. He didn’t want to think about all that right now; the emotions were still too raw, too jagged at the edges. He looked down at his watch.

6.30 am. He had to be at work in two hours.

Sighing, he hauled himself to his feet and made his way home to change.

* * * * *

“Hey,” Jongdae greeted Chanyeol when he waltzed into the office – freshly showered and thankfully on time. “Rough night..?”

Chanyeol leaned against the partition, pondering an appropriate response. He opened his mouth to mention where he’d woken up that morning, but then thought better of it; it would only mean having to explain things that he didn’t particularly care to explain.

“Did I miss much yesterday?” he asked instead, and Jongdae shrugged, his eyes still glued to the email opened up on his screen.

“Not really… we had a party for Joonmyun’s birthday. By ‘party’ I mean someone bought one of those convenience store mud-cakes with a yellow half-price sticker still stuck to the plastic lid. We found mould growing on the frosting. Poor bastard, he tried his hardest to look enthusiastic.”

Chanyeol wrinkled his nose in disgust. “Gross..”

“Well, you know what they say… when a man has everything, give him penicillin.”

“God,” Chanyeol sighed, sinking down into his swivel chair. “Why is life so depressing..?”

“You’ve just been dumped,” Jongdae reassured him from the other side of the wall. “You won’t feel that way forever.”

“Thanks for the reminder,” Chanyeol muttered, and he knew that it was true... but when that time would come, he didn’t know. All he knew was that it seemed an awfully long way away.

* * * * *

“Want a bite of mine..?”

Baekhyun leans over to take a bite of Chanyeol’s burger, the combined juices from the meat and tomatoes dripping down his chin. He wipes his mouth on the sleeve of his t-shirt.

“Classy…” Chanyeol laughs. Baekhyun isn’t quite as refined as he looks most of the time, but he likes that about him. “Verdict?”

“I don’t know if I’d call it the best burger I’ve ever had…” Baekhyun replies thoughtfully. “But it’s pretty good.”

“Lies,” Chanyeol says, shaking his head in dismay. “Every single word a complete and utter falsehood..”

Baekhyun shrugs, unmoved by Chanyeol’s teasing. “It’s just a preference… I like the Homer Junior better, that’s all. There’s less… stuff on it. Can I borrow your napkin? Mine blew away.”

“No, you cannot borrow my napkin – I am currently making a list for you on this napkin,” Chanyeol replies sternly, scribbling something down onto the piece of tissue with a ballpoint pen. “A very important list..”

Baekhyun looks at him blankly. “What kind of list?”

“The top five parts of your body that I like to kiss the most,” Chanyeol says, his tongue poking out in concentration. He finishes the list and passes it over to Baekhyun, grinning widely.

“Now don’t you wipe your mouth on that... I worked long and hard on it.”

Baekhyun rolls his eyes and reads aloud from the napkin:

“My top 5 favourite parts to kiss on Baekhyun’s body, by Park Chanyeol, age 23 and a half:
1. Lips (always the winner)
2. Neck
3. Chest
4. Tummy
5. …”

Baekhyun looks up at Chanyeol with a puzzled expression. “Where’s number 5..?”

Chanyeol gestures for Baekhyun to lean closer and whispers in his ear. When Baekhyun moves away again there is a visible flush colouring his cheeks.

“You dirty bastard. I’d castrate you right now if the cutlery here wasn’t made of plastic…” he says, but he’s smiling.

* * * * *

The next morning, Chanyeol woke up to someone tapping him on the shoulder.

“Hey… you're here early…”

Chanyeol opened his eyes. He’d apparently been slumped at one of the green fiberglass tables outside Homer’s Burgers, and now the owner, Minseok, was staring at him worriedly. A seagull landed in front of them on the table.

“Get out of it!” Minseok hissed, waving an arm to shoo it away.

“I don't even know how I got here, to be frank...” Chanyeol told him groggily. “But since I am here, how about a breakfast burger with the lot, to go..?”

Minseok nodded and rolled up the shutters of the kiosk. “Sure thing. One egg sunny side up?”


“Haven't seen you in a while. No more morning jogs with Baekhyun, huh..?”

Chanyeol shook his head. They'd both been avid morning joggers once upon a time… it was how they'd met. Then the habit had fallen by the wayside, smothered by the comfortable complacency that often comes with any blossoming romance. So they jogged together less and less, and over time, piled on a few kilos apiece. Chanyeol personally liked Baekhyun even better after he’d filled out a bit more; he wasn’t sure how Baekhyun felt about his weight gain, but if he had a problem with it, he never said so.

“Nah,” Chanyeol said at last. “We sort of broke up.”

As soon as it came out of his mouth, he regretted it. Why did he even say that? It wasn't like Minseok needed to know the gory details of his private life.

“Oh, damn,” Minseok replied, looking up from the grill. “You were such a sweet couple.”

“Yeah,” Chanyeol shrugged. “I guess.”

Minseok wrapped up the burger with deft hands and popped it into a brown paper bag. “I love how he used to wear one pink and one yellow shoe on each foot… I miss that. No one else around here does that.”

“I know,” Chanyeol said quietly. “I miss it too.”

“I’m sure you do. Come and get it while it’s hot.”

Chanyeol nodded and walked over to the counter to pay. As soon as he was far away enough from the shop to be outside Minseok’s field of vision, he sat down at a public bench and unwrapped the burger. He pulled off the top bun, and beneath it he found about three times more bacon than usual.

Chanyeol sighed and put the bun back in place. A pity burger – just what he needed.

He quickly polished off half of the burger and left the rest of it on the bench for the birds before skulking off home.

* * * * *

“What if someone sees us..?” Chanyeol asks. He’s tipsy, and so is Baekhyun – a bit too much wine with dinner, apparently. If the sea air is cold, then they’re too pickled to notice.

“They won't,” Baekhyun reassures him. “No one walks beneath the pier this late at night.”

“We do,” Chanyeol quite rightly points out.

“Mmmhmm. Because we're deviants.”

The funny thing about the two of them being drunk is the role-reversal that inevitably occurs – it always seems like booze turns Chanyeol into the voice of reason, and Baekhyun into a risk-taking delinquent with a penchant for indecent exposure.

“I think I've got sand in my pants,” Chanyeol whispers solemnly.

Baekhyun giggles and grabs him by the collar, pulling him closer – so close Chanyeol can smell the wine on his breath. “Speaking of pants, why aren't you undressing me right now..?”

“Don't you have your own two beautiful hands to do that?” Chanyeol says, taking the hands in question and tenderly kissing each finger.

Baekhyun leans forward, pressing open-mouthed, hungry kisses over Chanyeol’s neck. “I like it better when you do it,” he whispers. “It really turns me on..”

“What if the vibrations from our torrid lovemaking session cause this rickety old pier to collapse on us?”

“I don't care,” Baekhyun replies, the words muffled against Chanyeol’s skin. “I want you..”

“Well then… what if a tidal wave comes all of a sudden and washes us away..?”

“Then I'll climb on top of you and use your naked body as a raft,” Baekhyun sighs impatiently.

Chanyeol can’t help grinning at that. “You'll ride the waves on me, huh?”

“Uh-huh. I'll ride you all the way to shore and give you the kiss of life. Are you satisfied now..?”

Chanyeol nods. “I think so.”

“Good. So satisfy me, then..”

Baekhyun grabs Chanyeol’s hand and gives his index finger a little kiss before taking it between his lips, sucking it slowly from base to tip. He gets a bit of sand in his mouth and makes a disgusted face, leaning aside to spit it out.

Chanyeol has to laugh in spite of himself; Baekhyun tries a little too hard to be sexy when he’s drunk. He doesn't even need to try; never has, never will.

“You're filthy sometimes, babe,” he says, transferring his attention to the row of pearlescent buttons on the front of Baekhyun’s shirt, shiny and inviting and just begging to be popped. “But I think I like it..”

Baekhyun watches in silence while Chanyeol undoes each button, slowly and carefully sliding the smooth cotton garment down over his arms. He rolls his head back against the pillar behind him and moans softly when Chanyeol’s thumbs brush against the bare skin of his shoulders. When it becomes too much to bear he impatiently yanks his arms out of the sleeves, and Chanyeol smiles, biting his lip in an effort to hide it. He sheds his own shirt, casting it aside carelessly onto the sand, the cool breeze caressing his body and making him shiver pleasantly.

“Touch me,” Baekhyun whispers, pulling Chanyeol closer to kiss him, his hands roaming over his back, through his hair, anywhere and everywhere within reach.

“You're beautiful… so beautiful,” Chanyeol whispers back, again and again, losing entire syllables in Baekhyun's mouth; he fills in the blanks with his hands instead, tracing words of love all over Baekhyun’s body. Laying Baekhyun down upon the sand, he kisses him all over, tasting the salt from the sea air on his skin, marveling at the way he seems to glow in the moonlight.

“So beautiful,” Chanyeol whispers again, fumbling with the zip on Baekhyun’s trousers. His hands tremble with anticipation. “Fuck… I can’t even stand it...”

“Chanyeol..” Baekhyun sighs. “Chanyeol, Chanyeol, Chanyeol...”

* * * * *


Chanyeol opened his eyes, one at a time.

This time he lay with his head propped up against the concrete seawall where it ran beneath the pier, the top few buttons of his shirt undone, his fly halfway unzipped. He quickly zipped it up, his eyes darting around in search of anyone nearby.

He slowly and painfully sat himself upright, shaking his head to remove any stray grains of sand. After a minute or two, a couple of morning joggers ran beneath the pier, shooting him pitying glances on their way past – a man and a woman. Both of them wore white trainers.

Chanyeol closed his eyes and collapsed against the wall again in defeat. He could still taste Baekhyun on his lips. Everything about Baekhyun was too much… too much. Far too much for him to handle.

“Baekhyun...” he whispered to no one, his eyes focused on nothing in particular. “Baby, why do you torture me so..?”

He lifted his arm to check his watch and groaned. He’d have to run today, if he wanted to be at work on time.

Perhaps I should take up jogging again, he thought as he stood up and dusted the sand from his clothes, but it was just that – a passing thought, and nothing more.

* * * * *

Chanyeol couldn’t find the energy to run home before work, so he went there dressed the way he was, still in yesterday’s clothes. He doubted anyone would notice anyway; they hardly ever looked up from their computers even when he was abnormally late.

Jongdae popped his head over the cubicle wall as soon as Chanyeol sat down in his chair. “Morning. Um… are you okay..?”

Chanyeol shook his head – there was no point lying to Jongdae; he wasn’t thick enough. “I woke up down at the beach this morning.”

Jongdae frowned at him, raising an eyebrow. “I know you’re still grieving and all, but I think we’ve established that booze and sad Chanyeol are not a good mix..”

I wasn’t drinking… I was sleepwalking, Chanyeol wanted to say, but he didn’t. He had a hard enough time believing it himself anymore.


Part 2

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