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[personal profile] surgicalfocus
Title: Running Up That Hill

Pairing(s): Chanyeol / Baekhyun

Rating: R

Genre: Romance, drag queen AU

Warning(s): Language, sexual content, allusions to queerphobia / queerphobic slurs. This fic features a genderfluid character and I apologise in advance for any possible misrepresentation.

Disclaimer(s): Any lyrics used do not belong to me (the song performed by Baekhyun is 'Wuthering Heights' by Kate Bush)

Length: Oneshot (~5,900)

Summary: A drag performance gone wrong has Baekhyun questioning himself and his identity all over again. Chanyeol offers his support. Baekhyun thanks him in his own way. (This fic is a continuation of 'dude looks like a lady' but can also be read on its own.)

And if I only could, I’d make a deal with God
And I’d get Him to swap our places.


“Slow down, Chanyeol! And keep your eyes on the bloody road..” Baekhyun whined; he sat in the front seat next to Chanyeol with a compact mirror held up to his face, attempting to paint his lips red without smearing lipstick all over himself, which so far proved to be a challenge. Chanyeol tried in earnest not to be distracted, but he couldn’t help it; there was something riveting about watching his boyfriend ‘putting his face on’, as he called it, even though he’d seen it a thousand times by now, and his eyes kept drifting over in Baekhyun’s direction – of their own accord, it seemed.

“Sorry,” he said, zipping into the next lane to overtake the driver in front of them – why did the really slow ones always seem to crawl out of the woodwork whenever he was in a hurry? “I thought you said you were running late, that’s all..”

“I am – why else would I resort to finishing my face in the car? Especially with the way you drive,” Baekhyun replied flatly; he rubbed at the corner of his mouth with the tip of a finger, fixing an area where he’d gone slightly over the natural outline of his lips, and then used a black eyeliner pen to darken his beauty spot. “But I still want to get there alive, and with my lipstick inside my lip-line, if at all possible.”

“Mmm,” Chanyeol grunted in reply. “So what are you singing tonight, then?”

Baekhyun snapped the compact mirror shut and opened the glove box, tossing it inside. “Well, my love, you’ll just have to find out, won’t you?”

Chanyeol groaned at that. “Aww, come on… you’re no fun.” He pulled up out the front of the club at last, and before his boyfriend could reach for the door handle he leaned over the centre console and put an arm around Baekhyun’s shoulders, pulling him closer to steal a goodbye kiss.

“I’ll have to re-do my lipstick now..” Baekhyun sighed, but it didn’t keep him from kissing Chanyeol anyway.

“Break a leg, and both arms,” Chanyeol whispered against his boyfriend’s lips – he always jokingly said this to Baekhyun before a performance – and then Baekhyun threw his arms around Chanyeol’s neck, one last kiss turning into three last kisses, and then four… until the car behind them beeped its horn to hurry them along, startling them out of their little romantic moment.

“Thanks – see you after the show,” Baekhyun said quickly, giving Chanyeol one final peck on the lips, and he flashed a little smile over his shoulder on his way out of the car, closing the door behind him and waving at Chanyeol through the window. Chanyeol blew him a kiss and absently rubbed at his mouth with his fingers before driving off to look for somewhere to park. “The perks of driving a Mini..” he muttered under his breath as he squeezed his car into the closest available space he could find, which happened to be tiny. He unfolded his lanky frame and stepped gingerly out of the car door – one of these days, he kept telling himself, he’d buy something better suited to his height, but he knew Baekhyun was very fond of their little blue Mini, and for that reason alone he was reluctant to trade it in. Having a few minutes to kill before the show, he stopped at a florist nearby that was still open, where he bought a bunch of long-stemmed red roses to give to Baekhyun after his performance. It seemed corny, perhaps, but Chanyeol figured he’d appreciate the gesture.

The drag club Baekhyun regularly performed at was called Glitter; it was a small, intimate venue, but in every other aspect it lived up to its name. There were sequined drapes adorning the stage, a mirrored disco ball spinning in the centre of the ceiling, and an arsenal of coloured flashing lights that assaulted Chanyeol’s eyes as soon as he stepped through the door, making him blink repeatedly until he finally adjusted. There was smoke drifting everywhere, and he could barely hear himself think over the collective din of loud music and chatter. The place was already packed to the rafters with all sorts of colourful characters, some decked out in their most flamboyant ensembles – leather and feathers, mesh and satin as far as the eye could see. By comparison, Chanyeol felt rather boring in his slim black trousers and grey button-up; he usually dressed to be comfortable, to blend in, but in this sort of environment he was clearly the odd one out. No one seemed to give him a second glance anyway, for which he was thankful.

Chanyeol found a vacant seat near the stage on the right-hand side of the room and sat himself down, putting the roses on the floor beneath his chair. He fidgeted anxiously while he waited – for some reason, he was always a little uneasy before watching Baekhyun perform. He didn’t really know why; Baekhyun himself always seemed more than happy to take the stage. He’d only taken up drag performing as a hobby, or so he always told Chanyeol, but Chanyeol knew it meant much more to him than that. He sometimes wondered if the person he saw performing onstage was the real Baekhyun instead, and not the one he woke up next to every morning. Perhaps, in some way, they both were.

After what felt like ages, the lights finally dimmed, leaving only a large spotlight in the centre of the stage. The first performer of the night was a spirited individual named Anna Conda, and to the crowd’s delight she sang an excellent rendition of Born This Way, dressed in nothing but a flesh-coloured body stocking, with only a few clusters of strategically-placed rhinestones covering the vital areas. Baekhyun (or ‘Miss B. Haven’, as he called himself while he was performing) was introduced next, and he strutted out onto the stage amid cheers from the audience, a shimmering vision in his silver spangled dress, his long black wig cascading in waves to his waist. Chanyeol couldn’t help holding his breath when he laid eyes on him. It didn’t matter how many times he’d seen Baekhyun perform before; he always had the air stolen from his lungs whenever his boyfriend took the stage, and that was before he’d even sung a single note.

Baekhyun quickly found Chanyeol’s eye as he stood in the centre of the stage, and he looked right at him while he adjusted the microphone for his height, giving him a little wink to acknowledge his presence. As soon as he was ready, a piano tune began to play in the background, and he started to sing. The song he’d chosen was very high – higher than could be sung comfortably by most men – but Baekhyun somehow managed to pull it off, his falsetto perfect and unfaltering. The song told a story, one that Chanyeol had heard somewhere before; the picture painted by the lyrics was almost nostalgic in its familiarity.

Out on the wily, windy moors
We'd roll and fall in green
You had a temper like my jealousy
Too hot, too greedy
How could you leave me
When I needed to possess you?
I hated you… I loved you, too

Bad dreams in the night
They told me I was going to lose the fight
Leave behind my wuthering, wuthering
Wuthering Heights

Heathcliff, it's me, your Cathy
I’ve come home – I'm so cold!
Let me in your window!

Oh, it gets dark! It gets lonely
On the other side from you
I pine a lot. I find the lot
Falls through without you
I'm coming back, love
Cruel Heathcliff, my one dream
My only master…

During the performance, Chanyeol was tempted to look around at the other people present, just to see if they were as spellbound as he was, but he couldn’t tear his eyes away from Baekhyun for a single second; the passion and pathos with which he sang, the fluid gestures he made with his arms that told a tale all their own, all held his attention captive. Oh! Let me have it, Baekhyun sang, holding his hands out in Chanyeol’s direction, the longing clear as crystal in his eyes, so wide and doleful behind the delicate veil of his false lashes. Let me grab your soul away—

“Hey, little ladyboy – where did your nuts go for you to sing so high? Did you stuff 'em in your bra?” a voice yelled out from somewhere nearby, and it snapped Chanyeol out of his trance. The people surrounding him all looked around curiously, muttering disapprovingly amongst themselves. He must have heard, Chanyeol thought, his heart squeezing inside his chest at the flash of mortification on Baekhyun’s face when he registered the insult; he paused for a moment, thrown off by the disruption, but in true professional form he carried on singing, even if his voice began to crack noticeably at certain parts. Chanyeol turned his head to search for the source of the voice, finding it almost instantly – a middle-aged man leaning against the wall a few metres behind him, nursing a half-empty glass of beer. He was clearly drunk, and sneering at Baekhyun with narrowed eyes, his teeth bared in a crooked grin.

Before Chanyeol had time to reconsider, he leapt up from his seat and walked over to the man, grabbing him by the collar and spitting out the words “what the fuck’s your problem?!” with as much venom as he could muster, making him drop his glass. It smashed into pieces on the floor just shy of Chanyeol’s foot, splattering beer on his trousers. Chanyeol was vaguely aware of the fact that Baekhyun had by now stopped singing altogether, and when he turned his head back towards the stage he saw that his boyfriend had vanished completely. His eyes widened, darting left and right to see where Baekhyun had gone, and while his attention was elsewhere the stranger gave him an almighty shove, sending him tumbling backwards onto the floor. He landed hard on his backside; before he could get up again, two bouncers were upon him and his attacker, hauling them both towards the exit, where they were both pushed out onto the street.

Chanyeol stared at the door, momentarily dazed, as it shut in his face; he soon came back down to earth again, woken up by the sound of Baekhyun’s harasser spitting in the direction of his shoes before stumbling off down the street, muttering something about ‘faggy ladyboy lovers’ under his breath. Chanyeol watched him walk away for a moment and then fished his phone from his pocket, dialing Baekhyun’s mobile number and holding the device to his ear with a shaking hand. The call went straight to voicemail and he swore, stuffing the phone back into his pocket before making his way back to his car. There he sat in the driver’s seat with the radio on, listening to some dreary love song dedications program, and waited for a while to see if Baekhyun would show up, or at least call him back; he dialed Baekhyun’s number every few minutes in case he finally decided to pick up, but he didn’t. It was entirely possible that he’d left the club without remembering to pick up his bag from the dressing room, but Chanyeol didn’t even want to think about that; the thought of the phone ringing endlessly in an empty room with no one to hear it only made him more anxious.

It soon drove him nuts, just sitting and waiting like that, with nothing – no nicotine or a single drop of alcohol in his system – to calm him down. His body was still flooded with adrenaline from the confrontation earlier, and not knowing where Baekhyun was or what state he was in made Chanyeol feel sick to his stomach. After a while he finally gave in, starting the car and pulling away from the curb; he tore through the surrounding streets for a good half an hour, just to see if he could find Baekhyun walking around somewhere – anywhere. He would surely have stuck out a mile away in that sequined dress, Chanyeol thought, teetering around on those towering stilettos – which he could barely walk in, given that he only ever used them to stand in one spot onstage. But Chanyeol’s efforts proved fruitless, and with a sinking heart he finally gave up and turned in the direction of home, praying with all his might that he would find Baekhyun there — shaken up a little, perhaps, but otherwise safe and well.

When Chanyeol finally arrived back at their apartment, he saw a dim rectangle of light filtering out through the gap beneath their bedroom door, and he breathed out a sigh of relief. He gently pushed the door open and found Baekhyun slumped on the floor against the wall, still wearing the silver dress, his wig in a tangled mess on the carpet next to him. He was busy hacking away at a mass of shiny black fabric with the kitchen scissors, and Chanyeol soon realised it was his favourite dress – a slinky silk-satin number with a long train at the back that had cost Baekhyun an arm and a leg back when he bought it, and which held the added sentimental significance of being the very first dress he’d ever worn out in public.

Baekhyun eventually sensed that he was being watched and looked up at Chanyeol with a stunned expression, still wielding the scissors, the remains of his dress in a nest-like pile of tatters surrounding him. His face was red and puffy, his eye make-up smudged a little – he’d obviously been crying, Chanyeol thought. Baekhyun blinked a few times in Chanyeol’s direction, his mouth slack with shock, and then his expression softened a little.

“Um… surprise,” he muttered, half bitterly, half in jest.

“Baek, what are you doing..?” Chanyeol asked, staring back at Baekhyun with wide eyes; he approached him carefully, as though he were a caged animal that might attack at any moment, for any reason.

“I don’t know,” Baekhyun sighed; he let the scissors fall onto the floor beside him and buried his face in his hands. For a moment Chanyeol thought he was crying again, but when Baekhyun finally lifted his head, his cheeks were still dry; he simply looked exhausted.

"I tried to call you several times,” Chanyeol said, breaking the silence at last. “Why didn’t you answer? How did you even get home? You know I worry about you running around dressed like that… especially alone.”

"So I bloody walked... what’s it to you?” Baekhyun snapped, narrowing his eyes at Chanyeol. “Do you think I can't take care of myself? How could you do that to me, anyway? I could’ve handled it just fine on my own if you hadn’t caused a scene… it’s not the first time I’ve been harrassed, and it sure as hell won’t be the last.”

"I’m sorry… it just made me really mad, that’s all,” Chanyeol replied, heaving out a long sigh, and he sat himself down on the edge of the bed with his knees apart, leaning on them to be closer to Baekhyun’s eye level. “I didn’t mean to wreck your performance. But I couldn’t just stand there and let that dickhead get away with it, either… I mean, look at you, for god’s sake. You wouldn’t be slashing your favourite dress to bits if you weren’t upset, Baekhyun, so don’t pretend that it doesn’t affect you. I know for a fact that it does.”

Baekhyun’s eyes widened as he took in Chanyeol’s words, and then he nodded for a moment in silence. His gaze was unblinking, merciless. "Does me dressing like this make me seem weak in your eyes, Chanyeol..?”

Chanyeol rubbed his temple wearily; he could already feel a tension headache coming on. "Baekhyun, please… don’t put words in my mouth.”

"I want to know something,” Baekhyun said, his eyes still searching Chanyeol’s, burning with that same scorching intensity they always had when he was angry. “Does it make you feel like less of a man, fucking a ‘ladyboy’ like me? Being fucked by a ladyboy like me..?"

"I'm much more of a man with you than I am without you,” Chanyeol said quietly. “You know that. And don’t call yourself that… that’s not what you are.”

Baekhyun opened his mouth to say something, but then thought better of it and let out a long sigh instead.

"But still… don’t you ever think your life would be easier if I didn’t have these feelings? I know mine would be..” he muttered, more to the floor than anything else. His slender fingers toyed with the ankle strap of his stiletto, repeatedly slipping it in and out of the tiny diamante-studded buckle.

"Don't do this to me, Baek,” Chanyeol said. “I feel like I'll be wrong no matter what I say.”

"It’s not a test,” Baekhyun replied, shaking his head. “I just want to know. You’re always indulging each and every one of my little whims without a single objection, but you never tell me how you really feel about things. So tell me. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”

Chanyeol shrugged helplessly, unsure of what to say. "I don't know… when I look at you, I don't necessarily see a man or a woman, or someone in between. I only see you."

Baekhyun laughed bitterly and wiped his eyes in an attempt to keep new tears from falling. “God, you probably think I actually like being this way… but you’d be wrong. You don’t know what I would give to be like you, Chanyeol – knowing who I really am, who I’ll be when I wake up in the morning. I want to look at a woman in the street and admire her shoes, without ever wanting to walk in them. I want to be me, as I am right now, and I want that to be enough… but it’s not,” he said, and then his voice faded away to nothing. Chanyeol could see in his eyes that there were various things at war within him, an internal unrest that he himself could never hope to truly understand. Still, he really wanted to try, for Baekhyun’s sake.

Chanyeol got up from the bed and sat himself down on the floor next to Baekhyun; he picked up his boyfriend’s hand and stroked it gently, then lifted it to his lips, holding it against them for a moment.

“I’m really sorry, Baek,” he whispered. “I didn’t realise you were struggling. You always seem so comfortable with who you are. I really wish you would tell me these things sometimes… how can I be there for you if I don’t know how you feel?”

"If you want me to stop doing— well, all this,” Baekhyun said, gesturing towards himself, “then just say so, and I'll stop. The only thing I hate more than feeling confused is the thought of you walking out on me because you’ve had enough.”

“You don’t ever have to be afraid of that,” Chanyeol told him. “And I don’t want you to stop performing at all… not unless it’s making you unhappy, or putting you in a position where you’re not safe. Other than that, I don’t have any problems with you wearing whatever you want to wear, or being whoever you want to be. I never have.”

Baekhyun watched Chanyeol playing with his hands and offered him a weak smile. "Was I good tonight, at least..?"

Chanyeol nodded. He traced the lines in Baekhyun’s palm with his index finger, lost in thought. "You were wonderful, as always,” he said softly. “I was very moved. Until… well, you know."

“Yeah, I know. We won't worry about that anymore,” Baekhyun sighed, and he leaned his head back against the wall, closing his eyes. “I’d rather forget about it, if that’s okay.”

Chanyeol leaned over and cradled Baekhyun’s face, caressing it lovingly with his hands until he opened his eyes again, and then he kissed him softly on the lips.

“Don't you want to get out of that dress now?” he whispered when they pulled apart, their foreheads still touching. “It doesn’t look very comfortable.”

“Trying to get me naked already, are we? Typical,” Baekhyun said, rolling his eyes.

“I’m just trying to be considerate, that’s all,” Chanyeol pouted. He could feel his face warming up slightly.

Baekhyun laughed at that. “I know how the male mind works, Chanyeol – I do have one myself, you know.” Having said this, he gently rubbed Chanyeol’s lower lip a few times with his thumb. “You’ve got some of my lipstick on,” he added, and then he smiled again – a genuine smile this time, and not just the ghost of one. It was the smile Chanyeol had been waiting for since he walked in the room, the one that meant things were okay again – or at least on their way to being okay. He felt his stomach unclench a little, his lungs felt lighter, and before he knew it he was smiling back.

“I’m sure that colour looks better on you than me,” he said, and Baekhyun laughed. He slowly got to his feet, holding out his hand to help Chanyeol up.

“Go and sit on the bed,” he said quietly, pushing Chanyeol gently towards the bed with both hands; he seemed solemn all of a sudden, and Chanyeol nodded and did as he was told without asking any questions.

As soon as he sat down on the bed, Baekhyun began to undress, and Chanyeol watched, mesmerised, as he underwent his transformation. He started by unzipping his dress, sliding it down over his body and letting it fall to the floor at his feet, until he stood there in only a padded lace bra, skimpy matching panties and flesh-coloured stockings. Chanyeol swallowed, unable to tear his eyes away from the sight before him as Baekhyun leaned over, unbuckling his shoes before kicking them off, and then slowly and carefully rolled each stocking over his legs. He always found it fascinating how Baekhyun seemed to slip out of one skin and step into another so effortlessly; it was such a beautiful, intimate thing to witness, and Chanyeol dared not utter a word.

Still looking into Chanyeol’s eyes, Baekhyun carefully pulled off his false lashes and wiped the last traces of lipstick off his mouth with the back of his hand, until his lips were only faintly stained with a hint of cherry red. His eyes were still smudged a little from crying, but he left them that way. His gaze never left Chanyeol’s as he reached back and unhooked his bra with a practised hand, shrugging it off his shoulders and tossing it carelessly aside. One of his hands trailed its way down over his stomach, slow and deliberate – apparently for Chanyeol’s benefit, or perhaps, as was more likely, his undoing. Closing his eyes, Baekhyun dipped his hand beneath the elastic of his lacy underwear; he untucked himself, still soft and unwoken, from between his legs and slid the panties down over his thighs, letting them drop to the floor at last.

“What… you’ve never seen a boy getting out of a dress before?” he asked, winking at Chanyeol, and he stretched, arching his back a little and biting his bottom lip – all for show, of course. A sweet little smile was already tugging at the corners of his mouth, as though he didn’t know why Chanyeol was staring at him, utterly transfixed – oh, he knew. He knew all too well what he was doing, why Chanyeol was already loosening the buttons on his own shirt without thinking, his body on autopilot, the fire in Baekhyun’s eyes enough to burn him up completely. It felt far too hot in that room for clothes, too hot even for the skin he was born in.

Chanyeol shook his head, one hand still toying mindlessly with his buttons, undoing them and doing them up again. “You are without a doubt the sexiest thing alive,” he whispered, “and it’s slowly driving me insane.” Chanyeol loved Baekhyun in all his incarnations, but the Baekhyun standing before him now was his favourite of all: radiant, coquettish, seemingly happy in his own skin – and wearing nothing but his own skin, which was itself an important detail.

Baekhyun smiled, but it quickly faded again. “Leave your clothes alone,” he said quietly; he was standing at the foot of the bed now, clothed only by light and shadow. Chanyeol stopped fiddling with his shirt and reluctantly let his hands fall by his sides on the bed, fists clenching and unclenching around nothing, his fingernails biting into the soft flesh of his palms. He swallowed and signaled his compliance with a single nod, but no words, for he had none left to give.

Baekhyun settled himself down on the bed next to Chanyeol, leaning over him with his dark hair falling into his eyes; with his gaze lowered, he popped the remaining buttons one by one in silence.

“Baek..” Chanyeol whispered, but the rest of Baekhyun’s name died on his lips at the first contact of cool fingertips with his bare skin. Baekhyun didn’t reply; he was kneeling over Chanyeol with his legs on either side of his body, spreading his shirt open over his chest. He leaned forward and pressed his lips to Chanyeol’s sternum, slowly trailing kisses down to his stomach.

"Can I..?” he asked, and raised himself again to look up into Chanyeol’s eyes. He traced one finger across the skin just above the waistband of Chanyeol’s trousers, making him buck his hips a little at the unexpected touch.

Chanyeol rolled his head back against the bed and squeezed his eyes shut. "Yes,” he whispered. “Please… don’t tease me, Baek. I don’t think I can handle it..”

Slowly, Chanyeol lifted his head up off the mattress again and watched as Baekhyun finished undressing him, still without saying a word. He did so at a pace that was a little too leisurely for Chanyeol’s liking, and shrugged him off whenever he tried to assist in an attempt to make things faster. In a more playful mood, Baekhyun might have made a smart remark about how easy it was to get Chanyeol going, how he’d already erected a noticeable tent in his boxers… but instead his expression was contemplative, almost sombre. Chanyeol could have cried out in relief when the boxers finally came off and the first whispers of air finally kissed every last secret place on his body, cooling his heated flesh… but he didn’t. The mattress sagged and creaked a little as Baekhyun lay down next to him at last.

“Roll over,” he whispered, and he guided Chanyeol gently with his hands until he lay on his side, cuddling up to him from behind. One of his hands rested on Chanyeol’s belly, lightly tracing patterns over the taut muscles until they trembled beyond his control.

"What are you thinking about..?" Baekhyun whispered; he began softly kissing Chanyeol’s shoulder.

“I’m thinking about you touching me, if you want to know the truth,” Chanyeol whispered back, his voice already cracking a little with longing – and the tiniest hint of embarrassment at how turned on he was.

“Touching you where?” Baekhyun asked, all too innocently. He was still kissing his way across Chanyeol’s shoulder, pausing when he reached his neck.

“Everywhere,” Chanyeol replied, his voice already breathy and strained, and Baekhyun answered by sucking a love bite into the side of his neck, then tracing over Chanyeol’s fluttering pulse with his tongue. Chanyeol groaned softly and arched himself back into his lover’s body, which by now was pressed firmly against him; as good as Baekhyun was at generally hiding his excitement, his arousal rubbing against Chanyeol’s rear was more than enough to give him away.

“Take my hand,” Baekhyun whispered, and he slid one of his hands beneath Chanyeol’s, their fingers linking together over the warm skin of his stomach. “Show me where you want me to touch you, babe.”

Chanyeol realised he was breathing really heavily, entirely without thinking; there were times he thought he could get off on the sound of Baekhyun's voice alone, and this was one of them.

“You can start right here,” he whispered back, and he moved Baekhyun’s hand upwards, making slow circles over his chest, one of his favourite places to be touched.

“Mmm,” Baekhyun hummed in reply; he sounded pleased with himself. He grazed Chanyeol’s left nipple with his thumb, the soft pink bud becoming hard as a pebble, and kissed his ear before whispering into it again. “Like this?”

“Uh-huh.” It was barely a grunt, but Chanyeol couldn’t manage anything more anyway.

“What about here?” Baekhyun asked, and he moved his hand down to Chanyeol’s stomach, and then below it, caressing the fine trail of hair that grew beneath his navel. “You like that..?”

“Baek, please..” Chanyeol whispered; he took Baekhyun’s hand again and guided it lower, and then lower still. He could barely hold back a moan when it reached its intended destination, but after a few measured strokes Baekhyun pulled his hand away.

“Uh-uh,” he said playfully, “I'm not going to touch you there. Not just yet.”

Chanyeol nearly groaned aloud in frustration, but a soft whimper was all he could get out.

“Patience, my love,” Baekhyun said; he’d resumed sucking hickeys into the soft skin where Chanyeol’s neck met his shoulder. "I could get you off pretty quickly, if fucking you senseless was my intention… but that’s not what I want. Not tonight.”

Baekhyun had always taken good care of his hands; they were always perfectly manicured, always soft and gentle, and he knew how to use them. Chanyeol felt those gentle hands warming him up, working him loose, unraveling him thread by thread; the hands of a lover and a healer, at once soothing him and setting him aflame as Baekhyun prepared him expertly and patiently, murmuring words of praise and adoration in his ear.

“Relax,” Baekhyun whispered, and when they were both ready he sheathed himself in the tight warmth of Chanyeol’s body with quiet reverence, one hand rubbing comforting circles over his hipbone. As soon as they were joined together, Chanyeol turned his head back to look into Baekhyun’s eyes, already half-closed and heavy with desire.

“I love you so much,” he whispered. “I wouldn’t change a single thing about you, or us. You know that, right?”

Baekhyun smiled and took Chanyeol’s hand in his own, holding it against his cheek for a moment before pressing a soft kiss to the palm. “I know… and I love you too. You’ve always made me feel beautiful, Chanyeol. I want to do the same for you."

Having said this, Baekhyun leaned down and kissed him again, his warm tongue slipping past Chanyeol’s parted lips, teasing out soft moans from his mouth. He was still holding Chanyeol’s hand when they began moving slowly together, their legs entwined with each other, toes flexing and curling into the soft cotton sheets. Chanyeol kept his head turned so they could kiss, and at times when they weren’t kissing he kept his eyes on Baekhyun's face, both captivated and aroused by all the ways in which pleasure could write itself into his lover's expression: his cheeks flushed and lovely, his pretty mouth panting, spilling out curses and praises all within the same sentence. His eyes fluttered closed for a moment, and when they opened again they were so dark, so filled to overflowing with love that Chanyeol wanted to look away, almost afraid he’d lose himself within them, but a part of him wanted nothing more than to be lost for good. It was easy to feel detached from himself at times, his senses the only things keeping him anchored: the taste of Baekhyun’s lips, the sounds he made, the smell of him. So many times they’d done this, so many times… and yet he could still never quite believe that it was happening.

“You feel so good…” Baekhyun whispered, his breath hitching with every word. He moved a little faster, buried himself a little deeper, and all Chanyeol could respond with was a broken moan of Baekhyun’s name. Baekhyun finished him off with his hand, and as soon as he was done, he licked his fingers clean, looking Chanyeol right in the eye as he did it; Chanyeol stared back at him, fascinated that such a lewd gesture could be carried out with such an expression of eager innocence. When Baekhyun was finished he kissed Chanyeol again, who by that time was too spent to protest about tasting himself in his boyfriend’s mouth.

“How are you feeling?” Baekhyun asked some time afterwards, when they were lying together on the bed, his arms wrapped around Chanyeol’s waist. “You’re not saying much.”

Chanyeol was quiet for a moment longer, and then a random thought popped into his head, making him laugh a little through his nose. “I just remembered that I bought some roses to give to you after the show… but I left them under my seat back at the club.”

Baekhyun laughed too, and he leaned over to press his lips against the side of Chanyeol’s face, mouthing soft kisses along his jawline. “Oh well. It’s the thought that counts.”

Chanyeol laughed again and rolled over to face Baekhyun, taking him into his arms and sighing happily. “Do you want another one of my thoughts then?”

Baekhyun leaned forward and kissed Chanyeol softly on the lips. “Sure,” he said.

“I think,” Chanyeol whispered between kisses, “man, woman or otherwise, to me you are the most beautiful person in the entire world. And I refuse to let anyone make you feel like anything less.” He could feel Baekhyun’s lips pulled tight in a smile as he kissed him back. “So no more being sad, okay? To borrow a phrase from the honourable Lady Gagger, you’re on the right track, baby – you were born this way.”

“That’s Lady Gaga to you,” Baekhyun huffed, but then his expression softened, and he gently brushed Chanyeol’s fringe out of his eyes to see them better. “And you’re beautiful too,” he whispered. “So beautiful. I can’t believe I’m admitting this, but you might even be as beautiful as me.”

“Really, now?” Chanyeol asked, the amusement evident in his voice. “My, my. This is a new development..”

“Well… sort of,” Baekhyun said; he tapped his chin with a finger, as though giving the matter some serious thought. “Almost,” he added soon afterwards, and Chanyeol couldn’t help smiling.

“I’m sorry about your dress,” he said after a moment’s silence, “but maybe we can get it fixed. If that fails, we’ll get you a new one.”

At the mention of the ruined dress, Baekhyun let out a heavy sigh. “I think it’s beyond saving… but it’s alright. I’ve got enough damn dresses anyway.” Then a light went on in his eyes, and he looked suddenly mischievous as he turned his head to look at Chanyeol. “We could always go and buy you one instead… we both know how well you can fill out a dress, Chanyeol,” he said playfully, and Chanyeol laughed. He pulled Baekhyun closer to him and planted a sweet little kiss on the end of his nose.

“Mmm. I’ll think about it.”


Date: 2015-05-02 11:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This, Genna, is one amazing piece.
It's mature, insightful and so well thought over.
I was deeply moved by it, it's message of tolerance, acceptance and understanding.
In a world where so many people live, there would be people with different identities, be they sexual or gender ones. Sometimes both. Some people do embrace them, some people don't, some people try to but don't dare do it in broad daylight.
What we need is understanding, tolerance, acceptance of the other and to throw away the fear of the unknown.
I absolutely love the way you treated this very tricky topic, without judgement. You exposed it in a raw and realistic fashion, without excessive and unnecessary ornaments, even though I might not be very enlightened on the subject due to my semi-ignorance.
Anyway, I truly appreciated the depth of your story, the peaceful and loving message it brought along.
Also your characterisations of both Baekhyun and Chanyeol were A+, may they be brief and probably very OC.

Why are you still writing fanfics, Genna, when you could be writing genuine books? The world needs to read stories like this, with people like you and me and everyone else behind wigs, fake lashes or even just a categorisation as 'queer', 'drag', 'bisexual', etc.

I know it seems like I got carried away but it's how I feel, and to me it's very important that messages of tolerance are delivered everyday and everywhere through pieces of art.

So, your fic is important. To me, at least, it is.

+Baekhyun biting his lip on purpose BECAUSE HE BLOODY CAN
++ever-perfect Chanyeol (is he Ghandi's reincarnation or something?!)
+++I choked at 'Lady GAGGER'


Date: 2015-05-03 07:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Lol this comment is more than I deserve IMO but thank you so much ;_____; I was so hesitant about posting this to be honest. Originally it was just meant to be a lighthearted continuation of 'dude looks like a lady' but then it grew into something with a bit more drama and... well, yeah, haha. I'm so glad you found it meaningful though because I was worried it was mostly just gratuitous faux-smut with a bit of half-arsed plot tacked on at the beginning and end u____u I can tell when I've written something funny because it will make me laugh too, but when it comes to any other virtues my writing may have, I'm mostly blind to them. So feedback like this is really important to me, and also brings a big smile to my face, haha.

Thanks again wifey xx

Date: 2015-05-03 01:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Will read this later :3

Date: 2015-05-03 07:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
no probs, hope you enjoy! xx

Date: 2015-05-03 03:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
oh god, this is so so so good <3 I am in love with what you write :'

Date: 2015-05-03 07:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
thank you so much, you're too kind <333

Date: 2015-05-03 07:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

is this like somewhat a continuation of dude looks like a lady? cause baek mentioned that yeol looks good in a dress. anyways kudos to you for this work. :)

Date: 2015-05-03 07:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
hahah yeah it is.. I probably should have mentioned that, actually. It can be read on its own though.

Thanks so much! xx

Date: 2015-05-03 09:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
(if i could up vote park_noodles' comment I would, because they said everything i want to say, but in a way that actually makes sense). here's my attempt though:

wow. you outdid yourself. I already loved Dude Looks Like a Lady for how it approached this subject matter, but this fic was even more impressive to me. It was sensitive and intimate, but also not biased in any way... Baekhyun's insecurities felt very real, especially when it came to chanyeol's perception of him. I agree that your writing is very mature... i think too often gender identity/fluidity/etc is dealt with as more of a fetish or a plot device than a real character identity that comes with struggles and insecurities. So it's really nice to see a character like Baekhyun in this story, who's confident but still has very real weaknesses and issues to deal with in regards to figuring out who he is.

Even more than the way you approached this though, i genuinely really love these characters. their flaws are apparent, but that's why they compliment each other so well. i think their dynamic is special, and even in these little moments their intimacy feels almost, like, tangible.

the not-smut-smut was spectacular as always. //slow claps and high fives//

thanks for sharing ^^
Edited Date: 2015-05-03 09:53 am (UTC)

Date: 2015-05-04 12:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
haha don't be silly, this makes perfect sense. I'm so happy you felt that the subject matter was handled well, because I was kinda worried I was going to get a negative response to this fic for that reason, haha. And it's a subject that is important to me, so I wanted to do it the justice it deserved.

Haha, not-smut-smut is my specialty ;p glad I could deliver in that respect too.

Thanks so much for reading and for this lovely comment! xx

Date: 2015-05-03 01:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
okay finally have time~~


secondly: I love this, truly. I love it for so many reasons - the obvious ones being a more 'strong' baek, who is very sure of himself and a chanyeol who is comfortable in his skin and how it doesn't matter how they have sex, because it doesnt reflect on who they are - that is so important to me. It's everything I want when I read baekyeol having sex.

But the biggest highlight here is definitely how you represented a drag/non-binary character. It's such a delicate subject - especially with making Baekhyun the character in question considering how this gross fandom views Baekhyun in general (like this girly soft boy). Making him a non-binary gender would almost be like giving him an excuse to be super femme and pretty much a girl in boy's skin, at least for a lot of other writers - not you. I have a lot of respect for drag performers, and on some level I am quite fascinated by them. It's true not all drag artists are non-binary, some are not even gay. It's a lifestyle, it's something they do to enjoy - the expectations we place on them - that they must clearly want to be a woman is wrong. I love how you wrote Baekhyun and his gender identity here. How he's not dressing and performing as a woman to be a woman, it's just something he wants to do. It's not about the female identity - its about expression. When he wants to try on womens' shoes, its because he wants to wear them, not because he wants to be like a woman and wear womens' things.

Having said that, I really appreciated how you showed his struggle. Despite Baekhyun being strong and sure of himself, no one can be unshakable. I imagine people who are non-binary really do struggle at times. I can understand how a comment like "ladyboy" would hurt him. Because he's not a lady, he's a man, who likes expressing himself in different ways. He's just Baekhyun, and you can't step all over him, and you can't take him down because he's stronger than that. I just love how you wrote their sex scene, because it shows how Baekhyun isn't this pushover dainty character, he's still strong and he's still so, ugh, complete as a character. There's no missing holes or confusing grey areas. He is who he is and what he likes to do, or what people want to call him, wont change that.

I also love how you wrote Chanyeol - even though I feel this fic was about Baekhyun more than anyone else, I like how he was also so nonplussed about everything. He doesnt question himself or his relationship - its what makes him happy, and so no amount of judgement from the outside will affect that. It doesn't matter what people think or say, what goes on between them and in their bedroom is their business. The only thing that matters is how they feel about their relationship and each other. And that message is SO IMPORTANT for people to get to read. So I'm so proud that you managed to show that in a mere 6k!

This piece is really really beautiful T_T thank you so much for writing it, thank you so much for sharing it, and thank you so much for being brave to tackle on this subject and to do it with such maturity and compassion!!

Date: 2015-05-03 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
This is beautiful - thank you so much ;; I will respond to this properly later when I have some time - I kind of felt like the comment below needed more urgent addressing, haha xx

Date: 2015-05-04 12:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Okay, I'll respond to this properly now. I apologise in advance for my rambling.

First of all, I completely agree with you that it shouldn’t matter how they have sex, and that it shouldn’t determine their respective ‘roles’ in the relationship. The role thing especially kinda bothers me. To be honest I tend to use one of my friends and the boyfriends he’s had over the years as something of a model when it comes to same-sex relationship dynamics… they were always just two guys, except they were together. Neither one was ever the ‘girl’ or the ‘boy’… I really don’t know where this obsession comes from with one of the men being ‘the woman’. I don’t read lesbian fics, but it makes me wonder if they cop it too, except the other way around… I’m sure they do, lol.

I saw quite a few drag shows when I was younger, so I have immense respect for drag performers too. They’re the most hilarious people, as well… I’ve never seen a single drag queen perform who wasn’t a natural comedian. But their ‘womanliness’ always came in varying degrees… I mean, some didn’t even shave their legs or put boobs in. They weren’t in it to be convincing, they were purely in it to entertain. And I suppose Baek in this AU takes it a little more seriously because he cross-dresses in his own time as well, but in the end I wanted him to be doing it because he loved it, not because he wanted to actually be a woman. Sure, he’s confused about his gender, but so am I… and I have never wanted to actually become a man. I just consider myself to be at neither end of the spectrum, and I suppose Baek in this fic is the same – perhaps just a bit closer to the male end, lol.

Anyway, I’m so happy you enjoyed the fic. I wasn’t originally planning to write you something this… I don’t know, personal? It just came out that way. But it makes me really happy that you appreciated it so much, because I really came close to scrapping it (until a certain someone read my first draft and convinced me not to lol), and yeah… I’m glad I didn’t, because I can see you’ve picked up on every single thing I was trying to say (and even some things I had no idea I was saying, lmao..)

Thanks again <3
(deleted comment)

Date: 2015-05-03 08:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
First of all, thanks so much for leaving this comment - I know it's hard enough for many people to comment at all because they are too shy, and to comment with feedback that can be construed as criticism is even harder, so I appreciate that you went to the effort and put yourself out there. I need comments like this because they help me to improve my writing and give me an opportunity to make things clearer for my readers, so thank you!

I will say though, I think you're maybe reading into the last part a little too much. To me, baek isn't trying to convince yeol anything, necessarily... I guess he's saying 'you make me feel beautiful - I'm going to show you how beautiful you make ME feel, by making you feel beautiful also' - as a kind of thank you, I suppose, for comforting him, he wants to make chanyeol feel good too. I don't know if it's fair to say that just because yeol isn't insecure, he doesn't need baek to make him feel beautiful,... but that's okay, don't worry about that too much. Maybe I worded it strangely, I don't know OTL

The second thing you said actually worries me a lot more, because that's not what I intended /at all/. Now I'm worried that it comes across that way, because I would never ever assume that about someone's relationship - even a fictional one I made up in my own head... so I'm really glad you told me this because it gives me a chance to clear it up once and for all. This is part of why I feel annoyed when people say 'baek can't top, he's not manly enough' - it has /ab-so-lutely nothing/ to do with being manly or proving your manliness!!!!!!. There are effeminate gay men who still like to top, and ones who are not effeminate but prefer to bottom - I'm actually not defining their roles at all, it's all down to the reader's assumptions. Baek topping Yeol /does not determine/ his role in the relationship, nor does he do it to prove he's a man, or to be dominant, or whatever - in this particular relationship, they switch, and so he felt like being on top, so he asked Yeol and Yeol said yes. That's literally it. (Though I suppose I should mention that I originally wrote this fic for the commenter above you, and she happens to love top!baek, so that was the main reason behind that choice.) I've said this before many times though, and I'll say it again now - whether you are top or bottom DOES NOT NECESSARILY DETERMINE your role in the relationship - for many people it is simply a *personal preference*. I'm not trying to attack you here, or even defend myself, because I see no need to, so don't take this personally. It's just that I'm pretty sure a lot of people make the same assumptions, and they are exactly that - assumptions. But anyway, thanks so much for your sweet comment, and for letting me know that that particular part wasn't clear for you - I hope I at least cleared it up somehow, haha xx
(deleted comment)

Date: 2015-05-04 01:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hmmm. I mean, I don't really know what to tell you. You're free to interpret things how you want, but I can't make everyone happy - in the end I wrote this for one person only, she liked it and that's the best I can do. I'm sorry if you thought yeol was used to prove baek's manliness because that wasn't my intent, although I still think you're being too concerned with supposed gender roles, because yeol wanting to beat up baek's attacker doesn't mean he's the manly one - I know girls who would beat someone up easily if they were provoked, haha. But anyway, I'm not going to explain myself anymore. Don't feel bad, having an opinion is fine, but so are my choices as a writer.

Date: 2015-05-03 10:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
awww so sweet and cute :)
poor baek but chanyeol's there to help :)
idk what else to say :P but that was good, that was nice

Date: 2015-05-04 12:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Thanks so much! Glad you enjoyed the fic ^^ xx

Date: 2017-04-03 08:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'd love to leave a longer comment to express how beautiful I find this story but my mind right now doesn't seem to work properly Q_Q
This is so deep and beautiful and it hit me on a personal level. People often forget that not everyone feels the same and that being different from what is considered 'normal' (what exactly is 'normality'? That's such a relative thing imo) isn't necessarily a bad thing. With this you gave such a beautiful message ;-; I wish people were so considerate and understanding 😔

Date: 2017-04-04 12:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm really happy you were able to take away something personal from this fic; it wasn't an easy subject to write about and I almost didn't post it because I was worried I'd offend someone lol.. but I think sometimes the things we are afraid to write about are the things that we /should/ write about, so I'm glad I did it. Thanks so much for reading and for leaving this sweet comment, I really appreciate it xx

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