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Title: A Little Is Alright

Pairing(s): Chanyeol/Baekhyun

Rating: PG-13

Genre: Romance

Warning(s): Language, sexual references, allusions to homophobia

Length: oneshot (~3,200)

Summary: Chanyeol doesn't really mind how much Baekhyun loves him, just as long as he does. (Inspired by The Who’s ‘You Better You Bet’.)




‘I don't really mind how much you love me... a little is alright
When you say “come over and spend the night – tonight.”’



Chanyeol stood outside Baekhyun’s door like he did every Saturday evening, armed with a bunch of blue orchids he’d picked up from the florist on his way there. He didn’t know if Baekhyun liked orchids, or if he even liked flowers at all, but the electric violet-blue of their petals had caught his eye on his way past, and he’d turned on his heel to go back and get them. He inspected the bunch while he waited for Baekhyun to come to the door, and realised he’d lost a few buds in the stairwell during his frenzied dash up the five flights of stairs.

Chanyeol sighed. A week without could make a man go crazy.

“Are these for a special lady?” the florist had asked when he bought the flowers, flashing Chanyeol a lovely smile as she curled the ends of the purple ribbon with a pair of scissors. Purple, Chanyeol had thought, the colour of sexual frustration. He’d laughed softly in reply.

“Something like that,” he’d said, reassuring himself that the omission was more for Baekhyun’s benefit than his own.

Baekhyun eventually answered the door, wearing a t-shirt that was too big for him, and Chanyeol would have bet his life savings that there was nothing underneath it; not that he was a gambler by nature, but it was a pretty safe bet. It was always the same t-shirt – an old, threadbare David Bowie one from Chanyeol’s uni days, one he’d left at Baekhyun’s place ages ago – and he’d never asked for it back because the sight of Baekhyun wearing it whenever he answered the door was well worth the sacrifice. He’ll probably wear it until it falls off, Chanyeol thought; he didn't even know if Baekhyun ever washed it, but he didn't want to ask. Anyway, Baekhyun always smelled so good that it didn't matter, and the shirt was usually on the floor within a few minutes of Chanyeol arriving.

Baekhyun stood there leaning against the doorframe, and his eyes landed on the orchids. “What's with the flowers?” he asked. He wasn’t smiling.

Chanyeol shrugged, looked at the flowers himself, and scratched his head thoughtfully with his free hand. “I don’t know... I just thought you'd like them.”

Baekhyun smiled with one side of his mouth, which was a good sign; it meant he was thawing a little. “Since when have I liked flowers..?”

“It was more of an apologetic gesture, I guess, for that little tiff we had last week,” Chanyeol said, and Baekhyun shook his head.

“Not necessary,” he replied, reaching out to take the bouquet, “but thank you.” He turned away from Chanyeol and set the orchids down upon the kitchen counter, still in their cellophane wrapping, and then headed towards his bedroom, pulling the Bowie t-shirt over his head and dropping it onto the floor on his way there. Chanyeol swallowed, the sound like gunfire in his ears, his feet following Baekhyun blindly without any thoughts passing through his mind at all. The words ‘you might want to put those orchids in water’ died on the tip of his tongue.


* * * * *



“You might want to put those orchids in water,” Chanyeol said a little later, when the blood had mostly returned to his brain. Baekhyun grunted “not right now” in reply and rolled over onto his back. His eyes were closed. He often pretended to be sleepy to get out of doing something, and Chanyeol was so weak for such things that the success rate was very high.

Chanyeol settled himself on top of Baekhyun, his head resting upon his stomach, and dotted a little kiss just above his bellybutton. “I love you,” he whispered, more to Baekhyun’s tummy than anything else; he never quite knew if he should say it out loud. It still made him nervous because the response he got was always different, but consistent in that he never got a straight 'I love you' back. But Chanyeol could read between the lines; he felt these things were implied, like through the gentle way Baekhyun was stroking his hair right now, and the evident happiness in his sighs.

He hoped they were implied, anyway.

“You bet your sweet ass you do,” Baekhyun said at last.

Chanyeol lifted his head reluctantly; Baekhyun's stomach was more comfortable than any pillow he'd ever slept on. "Don't you love me too..?"

Baekhyun didn’t open his eyes. “Sometimes,” he said.

“Like when?”

“Whenever you're here, I suppose. Except when you piss me off.”

This seemed like an invitation to fire a round of questions, so Chanyeol took it. “Why don't I come over more often then, so that you can love me all the time?” he said, propping himself up on his elbows. “Better yet, why don't you move in with me..?”

“I need my space,” Baekhyun said, firm but not unkind; this was his standard response whenever Chanyeol asked that question. “But this is nice, isn’t it? I like our little arrangement… why spoil it?”

“Once a week isn't enough,” Chanyeol sighed, returning his head to Baekhyun’s stomach. “I get cravings, you know.”

Baekhyun laughed through his nose. “Cravings, huh.”

“You have no idea. Usually by the time Friday night rolls around, I’ve gone howl-at-the-moon batshit crazy. I shut myself in, drink myself silly and listen to Cosmic Dancer on repeat until it starts to make no sense.”

“It already doesn't make any bloody sense.”

"Don't be mean to Cosmic Dancer..” Chanyeol grumbled. It had been playing in the background during their first time, and neither the sex nor the song choice had been planned, but he now considered both to be a happy accident. He still couldn’t listen to the song without blushing at the memory, which was why he usually listened to it drunk. "It's very special to me."

“Do you dance alone in front of your mirror?” Baekhyun asked. Chanyeol could hear the amusement in his voice. “I can just see you doing that for some reason.”

"Sometimes," Chanyeol said, smiling. "Anything to keep all the naughty thoughts about your bangin' body at bay." He never really did do anything like that, but there was nothing wrong with telling a tiny fib or two if it made Baekhyun smile.

Baekhyun laughed and then was quiet. “You managed to quit smoking, somehow,” he said eventually. “I’m sure you could quit me too if you had to.”

“Never,” Chanyeol whispered, but it came out so soft that he wasn’t sure if Baekhyun heard. His head rose and fell with each of Baekhyun’s inhales and exhales, and in the silence of the room he could hear all the vital processes of his body - his breathing, his heartbeat, his internals churning up whatever it was he'd eaten last. Baekhyun used to hate Chanyeol listening to them - he was embarrassed about an occasional phenomenon that Chanyeol lovingly referred to as 'inside farts' - but Chanyeol loved it all because everything about Baekhyun was still endlessly fascinating to him, and only continued to be despite the passing of time. Being with Baekhyun was, to Chanyeol, like discovering the world all over again with heightened senses.

“I'm hanging on for a time when I don't need to wait for you to call me and tell me to come over,” Chanyeol said quietly. “When I can just come over and surprise you myself. Or maybe I can take you out… I'd love to take you out again, babe. It's been a while.”

“I don't want to go out,” Baekhyun said, and moved his hand away from Chanyeol’s hair. The tone of his voice was flat, which Chanyeol usually took as a sign that he should probably change the subject, but he was feeling argumentative again.

“Why?” he asked. “I don't care what people think. Why do you?”

“I'm not as thick-skinned as you, I guess.”

“Nonsense. We'll just stick to places that are a little more… well, open-minded.”

“I don't know, Chanyeol..”

“I'd just like to do something different, you know? All we do is sleep together and argue. Not that I don't love the first option, but the second, well, I can kinda take it or leave it.”

Baekhyun just sighed in reply – a comfortable sigh, the kind he made before he settled down to sleep – which was a sure sign that whatever Chanyeol said last was being ignored.

“I want more, Baekhyun,” he whispered, but Baekhyun was silent. Chanyeol waited for his breathing to slow down and knew he was asleep, or otherwise pretending to be. He could never really tell.

* * * * *



When he showed up at Baekhyun’s place the Saturday after, Chanyeol came with offerings of food and wine instead of flowers. Baekhyun answered the door in Chanyeol’s t-shirt as usual, and bit his lip as though he was trying not to laugh. “Um… what are you wearing?”

Chanyeol looked down at his outfit – trousers and a checked button-up instead of his usual jeans and tee. He’d gelled his hair a little too much at the front, but hadn’t had time to wash it out and start again. “Can't I look nice for you once in a while..?”

Baekhyun nodded. “Course you can. What's all this, then?”

“Well,” Chanyeol said, walking past him into the kitchen. “I thought, if I can't take you out for dinner, how about I bring dinner to you..?”

Baekhyun watched in silence as Chanyeol pulled containers of Thai takeout from one paper bag and a bottle of white wine from another, putting them all on the kitchen table.

“Ooh, fancy…” Baekhyun said wryly. “I’d better dress appropriately for the occasion, I think.” He padded down the hall to his bedroom in his bare feet, and yanked opened the drawers of his dresser, rummaging around for something to wear. His t-shirt rode up a little when he leaned over – on purpose, of course, for Baekhyun never did anything that wasn't carefully considered beforehand. As usual, he wore nothing underneath, and Chanyeol tried not to watch him as he set the table for dinner, but ended up doing so anyway. Baekhyun never closed the bedroom door when he dressed; he wasn’t shy about things like that, for which Chanyeol was eternally grateful.

When Baekhyun returned he was wearing only a simple grey sweater and black jeans, but somehow managed to look a million dollars in them. Chanyeol stared at him for a moment, and then looked down at the spread on the table. The food suddenly seemed less appetising, somehow.

“This is nice,” Baekhyun said, sitting down at the table opposite Chanyeol. “Candles and everything… you went all out.”

“And for dessert,” Chanyeol replied, spooning green curry onto Baekhyun’s plate, “we have you and me naked, some strawberries, and a can of whipped cream. I thought I’d keep it simple.”

Baekhyun accepted the plate from Chanyeol and looked at it for a moment. He made no move to eat.

“What's wrong..?” Chanyeol asked, his stomach clenching. “You love Thai food..”

“How about we go out for dessert instead?” Baekhyun said, looking up at him. There was uncertainty in his eyes, but he seemed resolute.

Chanyeol nearly dropped his fork. “Really..?”

Baekhyun nodded and ate a mouthful of curry in silence.

Chanyeol swallowed. “Will I be able to hold your hand this time, or will you keep me at arm’s length like I’m a friend or something..?”

“We'll see,” Baekhyun replied, and he continued eating without looking up from his food. Chanyeol watched him eat for a while, letting the idea sink in.

“Okay,” he said at last. “Great. I mean, I was kind of looking forward to covering you head-to-toe in whipped cream and licking it all off… but don’t get me wrong, this works too.”

Baekhyun nodded and smiled at Chanyeol before downing half the wine in his glass in one go. The smile seemed a bit forced, but Chanyeol tried not to notice.


* * * * *



When they were walking down the street looking for somewhere to go, Chanyeol leaned over and grabbed Baekhyun’s hand. Baekhyun’s brow furrowed, as though he were worried about something, but he didn’t pull away.

“It's fine,” Chanyeol said to him. He looked around at all the people passing them by, minding their own business, nursing their own worries. “See? No one cares. They've got their own shit to deal with.”

Baekhyun nodded but didn’t reply; he stared straight ahead as they walked. His grip on Chanyeol’s hand was loose, half-hearted.

“How about the crepe place on the corner?” Chanyeol suggested. “I could murder a Nutella crepe right now.”

“Okay,” Baekhyun said quietly.

When they entered, Chanyeol ordered his crepe at the counter, but when he asked Baekhyun what he wanted the latter only shook his head. They sat down at a little table for two, next to each other instead of opposite, and Chanyeol took Baekhyun’s hand in his own once more. Baekhyun stared down at their joined hands in silence.

“Are you alright?” Chanyeol asked; there was only so much of overhearing other people’s conversations he could take. “Because you’re being awfully quiet.”

Baekhyun nodded. He looked around at the other tables, at anything but Chanyeol’s eyes. “I’m fine,” he said.

Chanyeol sighed. “Maybe we should go back… do you want to go back? You look uncomfortable.”

Baekhyun shook his head. “I'm sorry. It's not you..”

“Well, what is it, then..?” Chanyeol tried to avoid sounding upset, but he couldn’t help it.

“We’re surrounded… by couples,” Baekhyun said quietly.

“So? How is that a bad thing..?” Chanyeol asked, looking around, and he noticed they were indeed surrounded by couples. But there were no couples like them.

“I meant straight couples,” Baekhyun replied.

“Ah,” Chanyeol said at last, and sighed heavily. “I see.”

Baekhyun nodded and said nothing; he looked like he wanted to hide under the table. At times like this, when Chanyeol knew he shouldn't, the urge to kiss Baekhyun was always at its strongest -- not out of any need to validate their relationship in front of other people, but simply to reassure him that he was loved. Sometimes he'd find himself leaning forward without thinking, but he was always too mindful of Baekhyun’s feelings to follow through. Besides, it hurt when Baekhyun leaned away from him reflexively; that was something Chanyeol could never get used to, no matter how much he tried. So he wouldn’t try.

There would be plenty of time for kissing when they got back to the privacy of Baekhyun’s apartment; by then they would be sick of holding back and would probably be all over each other. Baekhyun would practically tear Chanyeol’s clothes off, both of them breathing heavily in anticipation – they wouldn't even make it to his bed. They'd do it on the floor, wait until they could breathe properly, get up, go to bed, and as soon as they were physically able, do it again. Maybe there'd be a few pit stops on the way there – in the shower, against the wall in the hallway, the possibilities were endless.

But this was all nothing but Chanyeol's fantasies running away with him, because it never happened that way. Baekhyun never went wild with desire, as far as Chanyeol could tell; he was far too reserved for that. Chanyeol couldn't help wondering sometimes if Baekhyun even wanted him at all, but whenever they made love he always seemed to enjoy it, if the sounds he made were anything to go by. The sex had perhaps lost the lustful excitement of their early days, but it was gentler, more familiar, more loving. Baekhyun always pulled Chanyeol’s arms around his waist when they were both satisfied and let him sleep like that until late on Sunday morning, when they sometimes made love again, one last time before Chanyeol got dressed, kissed Baekhyun goodbye and went home – not because he was ever explicitly told to leave, but because he felt he probably should. He occasionally got the impression that Baekhyun wanted him to stay longer, but he never asked, and so Chanyeol never did. Perhaps tomorrow morning he would.

Chanyeol knew Baekhyun would call him back the following Saturday and ask him to come over that night, in that voice he couldn't ever refuse, even if there were more pressing engagements to attend to. He knew Baekhyun would quickly answer the door in nothing but that t-shirt, like he'd been standing behind it all day. He would kiss Chanyeol like he really wanted it, sighing into Chanyeol’s mouth like he'd been waiting a whole week just to breathe again, waiting just like Chanyeol had. Baekhyun seemed to want all of these things just as much as Chanyeol did. It was just the other parts of a relationship – outside the terms of their 'arrangement', as Baekhyun called it – that he wasn't ready for.

And that was fine, Chanyeol decided. That was okay. He would give up on wanting more until Baekhyun was ready to give it, in order to keep everything they had right now. He had little say in the matter anyway, because he was hooked; a secret love was better than no love at all, and Baekhyun's love, if it was love, was addictive.

A young waiter put Chanyeol’s crepe down on the table in front of him, politely bowed his head and walked away, scattering Chanyeol’s thoughts.

“Hey,” he said, and Baekhyun looked up at him. “How about we take this home and share it?”

Baekhyun chewed his bottom lip. “Really..?”

“Yep,” Chanyeol replied, and smiled. “And then we can have dessert number two – which is, of course, you.”

Baekhyun nodded and stood up from his seat. He waited outside the shop while Chanyeol requested for his crepe to be packed away, and then let Chanyeol hold his hand again while they walked home.

When they got back to Baekhyun’s apartment, they shared the crepe in bed, feeding it to each other with their hands, licking Nutella off each other’s fingers. Baekhyun sprayed whipped cream right into Chanyeol’s mouth, making him laugh, which in turn made cream go everywhere; Baekhyun cleaned up every spot of it with his tongue, which Chanyeol enjoyed immensely. When they were done, they held each other like they always did, and enjoyed each other’s silence for once, instead of quarrelling about things that didn’t matter.

“Chanyeol,” Baekhyun murmured sleepily, and nuzzled into Chanyeol’s bare chest. Chanyeol wrapped his arms around Baekhyun more tightly, pulling him closer and tracing lazy circles over his back with his fingers.

“Mm-hmm.”

“Love you,” Baekhyun mumbled, his voice coming out slightly muffled, but not so much that Chanyeol couldn’t understand what he said.

He’s half asleep, Chanyeol thought. Maybe it didn’t count.

No. No, it definitely counted.

He stroked Baekhyun’s hair, watching him slowly fall asleep, and quietly whispered his reply.

“You bet your sweet ass you do.”



________________________________


Date: 2015-01-11 12:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] charliebnim.livejournal.com
Awww man:< ......

Date: 2015-01-19 09:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] for-you-i-am.livejournal.com
I suppose it's not the happiest fic, haha

Date: 2015-01-11 01:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kfangirl4.livejournal.com
Wiping a little happy tear out of the corner of my eye from the sweetness.....thank you, authornim, for sharing your wonderful story.

Date: 2015-01-19 09:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] for-you-i-am.livejournal.com
Thank /you/ for reading! xx

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