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[personal profile] surgicalfocus
Title: Until The Day

Pairing(s): Chanyeol / Baekhyun

Rating: R

Genre: Romance, fluff

Warning(s): Language, mild sexual activity, lots of corn

Disclaimer(s): Any lyrics / texts used do not belong to me.

Length: oneshot (~9,200)

Summary: Nearly two years later, Baekhyun and Chanyeol return to England, this time to finally get married. Baekhyun is nervous about taking this next big step. Chanyeol helps him remember why he's doing it in the first place. (This fic is the final part of an earlier chaptered fic I wrote called ‘Coffee and TV’, and will make more sense if you’ve read that first.)

“Chanyeol, please tell me you’ve finished packing…” Baekhyun said, trying his best not to sound irritated. They were due to leave the next morning, and he had the sinking feeling that history was about to repeat itself, and that they’d be boarding their flight by the skin of their teeth again, just like they did last time.

Chanyeol lay on the sofa with his feet up on the armrest, engrossed in a book – Northanger Abbey, which Baekhyun had recommended to him, since it was one of his all-time favourites. He kind of regretted having done so now, at least a little.

“Relax, babe… I’m done,” Chanyeol replied, without looking up. “All packed, all good to go.”

Baekhyun clasped his hands together in a desperate plea; whether this was directed at Chanyeol, or to some higher power to intercede on his behalf, he didn't know. “So you’ve got your—”

“My tux? Yes. All my other clothes? Yes. Shoes, toiletries, contact lenses, medications, wallet, money-belt, keys, phone, passport, rings, vows, all other necessary documentation? A thousand times, yes,” Chanyeol droned monotonously. “Now, please… just relax. Sit down and have a break. Have a KitKat, or a beer, or something… just calm your farm.”

Baekhyun sighed in relief and sank down onto the armchair opposite Chanyeol. It wasn’t that he didn’t like to see Chanyeol reading so much… if anything, he was overjoyed. They made an honest effort to embrace each other's personal interests these days, and Baekhyun felt that they'd never been closer than they were now – so much so that he sometimes wondered if they'd reached the pinnacle of their relationship. It was a terrifying thought, in a way; if this was the top, where else did they have to go, except back down to where they were before? Chanyeol's loving reassurance and unshakable optimism were the only weapons he had to keep these unwelcome thoughts at bay.

But now wasn’t the time to sit around reading; they were getting married – finally, after all this time – in barely a few days, and Baekhyun had spent the whole day packing and unpacking and repacking and making sure he was ready. If he was to be honest with himself, he still felt very far from being ready.

It had taken them a long time to get to this point: almost two years, to be precise. They’d known for a while that they wanted to get married; it was just all the logistics and formalities that they had to sort out. “Why not go back to England, since it's legal there now?” Chanyeol had suggested, back when they’d first sat down together and started planning everything, and Baekhyun had of course agreed. To him it seemed there’d be no better location to get married than the very place where they’d fallen in love all over again. It seemed so fitting, perhaps even symbolic – the perfect place for new beginnings. Together they’d chosen the lush gardens of St. John’s College in Cambridge as the location for the ceremony. The reception (if one could call it that) would be a small, low-key affair in a private room they’d reserved at a local restaurant, for neither of them wished for anything more. It would just be the two of them and a small selection of their close friends and family; Joonmyun was given the honour of being Baekhyun’s best man, while Chanyeol's sister Yura would be his 'best woman', as he jokingly called her. Chanyeol’s parents had also accepted the invitation gladly.

Baekhyun had all but given up on hearing back from his own parents – at least until the phone rang next to him on the coffee table, startling him out of his reverie; he scrambled around to pick it up, and nearly dropped it in surprise when he realised who was calling.

“Hello, Baekhyun,” said a woman’s voice: it was his mother. She and his father would regretfully not be attending, she said – which Baekhyun had already guessed, given that the wedding was in two days and there’d been no prior response – but she expressed her best wishes for their happiness. It all sounded so stiff and proper, Baekhyun thought bitterly as he held the receiver to his ear; like declining an invite to a formal dinner party – one hosted by someone you didn't like very much.

“We're happy that you're happy,” his mother continued, “but we thought it was probably better that we didn’t come.”

“Why..?” Baekhyun asked. He’d expected this, granted, but it didn’t make it much easier to swallow; he could feel his heart sinking into the pit of his stomach. “Please… if it’s about the cost, you know I’d have paid for you both.”

“You know it's not about the money, Baekhyun,” his mother said, her voice gentle but nonetheless firm, and Baekhyun let out a heavy sigh, knowing he couldn’t argue. He thanked his mother for the call anyway and hung up.

“What's up, babe?” Chanyeol asked, looking up from his book at last. His brow was furrowed with concern. “You sound upset..”

“That was my mother,” Baekhyun replied, putting the phone back down on the coffee table. He looked down at his hands in silence, twisting the gold engagement ring around on his finger so that he could read all the words engraved on it: words he couldn’t understand, but knew the meaning of all too well.

Think of me, God willing… Baekhyun silently threw the borrowed sentiment to his estranged family, hoping for it to be carried to them on the wind somehow. Chanyeol closed the book and looked at him, his eyebrows raised in expectation.

“And? What did she say?”

Baekhyun bit down hard on his lower lip. “They're not coming,” he said, almost in a whisper, and Chanyeol nodded in silence. He put the book down on the floor and sat up, holding out his hands in Baekhyun’s direction.

“Come here,” he said quietly, patting his knees encouragingly. Baekhyun did as he was told, and Chanyeol pulled him down by his hands, having him sit in the space between his legs. He wrapped his arms around Baekhyun’s shoulders, holding him tightly.

“I'm so sorry, love,” he whispered into Baekhyun’s hair. “I know how much you wanted them to come... I really wanted them to come too. For you.”

“It's okay,” Baekhyun said; he didn’t feel like crying or anything, really, but nestled his head against Chanyeol’s shoulder for comfort anyway. “I didn't expect much from them… which makes it hurt a bit less, I suppose.”

“Nor did I, admittedly,” Chanyeol replied, and he rubbed Baekhyun’s shoulders gently. “Still, I feel terrible about it.”

“Why?” Baekhyun asked, turning his head to look Chanyeol in the eye. “Because yours are coming? Don't be silly… I couldn't be happier for you. Given the choice, I'd rather your family came than mine.”

Chanyeol smiled and touched one side of Baekhyun’s face with his fingers. Then the smile faded and he looked solemn again.

“Your parents love you no matter what, Baek – despite what they might say and do at times,” he said. “You do know that, right?”

Baekhyun sighed and nodded his head. “Yes. Well, I think so… I'm not so sure, really.”

“They do,” Chanyeol insisted, “I know they do. If anything, I think it's me they're not so fond of..”

“You're what matters most to me in the world,” Baekhyun said quietly. “How could they really claim to love me without accepting you too..?”

Chanyeol returned to rubbing Baekhyun’s shoulders and looked pensive for a moment. “I don’t know… I think stealing their beloved son away from them had something to do with it,” he said, smiling a little. “But if that’s the case, then so be it – they can call me a thief all they want. I had to go through hell and high water to make you mine, and I’m never-not-ever giving you back.”

Baekhyun had to laugh in spite of himself. “I’d never expect you to..”

“Anyway, whatever happens, pretty soon I'll be your family,” Chanyeol said quietly, and he pulled Baekhyun closer, pressing a soft kiss to the side of his head. “And my family will also be your family. I know it's not quite the same… but I hope it's enough.”

Baekhyun smiled and turned his head back so Chanyeol could kiss his lips instead. “Of course it is..”

“Good,” Chanyeol whispered. His lips had moved down to Baekhyun’s neck in the meantime. “Maybe it’s not a good time, but would you like some cheer-up sex? It’s a bit like make-up sex, but without the anger.”

“Well…” Baekhyun said, trying to keep his grin in check, “if you’re all packed and ready like you say you are, then I suppose it couldn’t hurt..”

“Not at all, unless you want it to,” Chanyeol said with an impish grin of his own; he led Baekhyun to their bedroom by the hand, and there he made him forget about his problems, at least for a little while.

* * * * *

“I forgot just how much I love this place,” Chanyeol gushed happily, and one at a time he extended his long legs out the open door of the cab, which had at long last pulled up outside their little hotel. Baekhyun tried to keep his smile on for Chanyeol’s benefit, but the long, uncomfortable flight to London, followed by the train trip to Cambridge, and then the (thankfully short) cab ride from the station had collectively sucked all the wind from his sails. Chanyeol had apparently sensed this, his expression softening as soon as his gaze fell upon Baekhyun’s heavy eyelids.

“Are you alright, love?” he asked, visibly concerned as he helped Baekhyun out of the cab. “You look half dead..”

Baekhyun shook his head and smiled up at Chanyeol; a few lungfuls of crisp, fresh air had already made him feel a little better. “I’m alright. I just need a good rest before tomorrow, and I should be fine.”

As soon as they arrived at their room and unpacked their things, they collapsed onto the big, comfortable king-sized bed with the intention of taking a brief nap, and soon fell asleep in a mess of tangled limbs. By the time Baekhyun woke up to the sound of his phone vibrating, it was already late afternoon; he picked the phone up and read his messages – one each from Joonmyun and Sehun, saying that they’d arrived safely and would see him tomorrow – then gently shook Chanyeol awake. Chanyeol grunted in reply and lifted his head up from the pillow, blinking his eyes repeatedly in Baekhyun’s direction. A strand of drool hung from the corner of his lips; smiling, Baekhyun reached over and wiped it away with his thumb.

“We slept for over two hours,” he said, and Chanyeol fumbled around on the nightstand for his glasses. “I don’t think we should nap any longer, or we won’t get a proper sleep tonight..”

Chanyeol rolled off the bed and got to his feet, yawning and stretching. “Well, how about some room service, then?” he suggested, “and we can follow it up with a long, hot soak in the tub before bed.”

Chanyeol always looked so adorable when he’d just woken up, Baekhyun thought, and it made him smile to himself. "Sounds great," he said.

They ordered burgers and fries and ate them in bed, laughing and mucking around as they fed each other the fries; every so often Baekhyun would find a really long one and put one end of it in his mouth, teasing Chanyeol with it. Chanyeol would attack the other end in little bites until their lips eventually met, and they’d kiss until their lips felt numb, leaving the rest of their food to grow cold and forgotten in the meantime.

After eating, they piled into the little clawfoot tub in their bathroom and soaked in each other’s arms for a while, kissing occasionally, and saying nothing much at all. Baekhyun had come to love the moments they spent like this: wearing nothing at all, but nonetheless comfortable in their nakedness and shared silence, their lingering touches and sleepy kisses leading nowhere in particular – except, perhaps, to more touching and kissing. Baekhyun was free to fully appreciate Chanyeol’s body at such times, which he usually forgot to do when they were busy with, well, getting busy. There wasn’t a single thing about Chanyeol physically that Baekhyun didn’t love: his elfish ears; his long legs; his slender yet muscular arms; his taut, pale stomach; his full lips and his soft brown eyes and his big, gentle hands… he’d even grown to love the things he once had reservations about, like Chanyeol’s feet, and his knobby knees, and his flat, almost non-existent bottom. Hell, even his—

“Cocktail?” Chanyeol asked, promptly scattering Baekhyun’s thoughts; he picked up the strawberry daiquiri he’d ordered from room service earlier, took a sip and offered it to Baekhyun. Baekhyun cleared his throat nervously and shook his head, declining the offer; Chanyeol shrugged as if to say suit yourself and put the glass back down on the tiled floor next to the tub.

“I’m all wrinkly,” Baekhyun announced, inspecting his fingers with vague distaste. “Shouldn’t we get out soon?”

“What’s the hurry?” Chanyeol asked; he had his head back against the edge of the tub now, his eyes closed. “Where do you have to be in the morning..?”

Baekhyun laughed. “Well, at my own wedding, for starters..”

“Ah, yeah. I almost forgot about that,” Chanyeol replied, laughing a little himself, and Baekhyun pinched one of his nipples in playful protest, making him squeal.

“Come on,” Baekhyun said, “let’s get out… I’m tired. I want to be well-rested for tomorrow, and you should be too.”

Eventually he managed to lure Chanyeol out of the tub, but only with the promise of a good, long make-out session before bed – and possibly a bit more, if it came to that. It was only while they were rolling around and kissing, still naked and slightly damp from their bath, that unsettling thoughts of the next day really began to creep into Baekhyun’s consciousness. He suddenly pulled away from Chanyeol’s embrace.

“About tomorrow,” he whispered, looking down at Chanyeol. “Are you scared? Because I think I am..”

Chanyeol thought about it for a moment. “I don’t know,” he said at last, looking downwards, his eyelashes casting shadows over his beautiful face in the lamplight. “Not really scared… a little nervous, I guess, but that’s normal. Why?”

Baekhyun rolled away until he lay next to Chanyeol on the bed and sighed heavily.

“I mean, I know we’re doing the right thing. It’s just so… big, you know? It’s such a big thing to do..”

“You’re already my whole world, Baek,” Chanyeol said quietly; he reached over to grab Baekhyun’s hand and squeezed it gently, then held it to his lips and kissed it. “It doesn’t get much bigger than that for me.”

“Yeah. I guess so,” Baekhyun replied, and they lay in silence for a while, still holding each other’s hands.

“I’m actually more scared that I’ll cry than anything else,” Chanyeol said, breaking the silence after some time had passed. Baekhyun laughed a little and rolled over on his side to face him.

“Why would you cry..?”

Chanyeol shrugged. “I don’t know… I might be overwhelmed, that’s all. Who’s to know how I’ll react when I see you standing there in front of me, knowing that I’ve wanted this for so long?”

“Please don’t actually cry,” Baekhyun pleaded quietly. “You might set me off too..”

Chanyeol laughed and pulled Baekhyun closer to him, wrapping his arms around him tightly. He kissed him noisily on the cheek. “You’ll be fine. I promise.”

“How do you know?”

“Because I said so.”

“I don't know why I’m so nervous all of a sudden,” Baekhyun said quietly. “I really, really want this. I really do.”

“Isn't it natural to be terrified of getting the things we want most?” Chanyeol mused, “I mean… maybe, deep down, we fear we won't want those things anymore… that we'll just turn to wanting something, or someone else.”

Baekhyun shook his head. “That won't happen,” he said, and then he smiled in spite of himself. “Hey… aren’t we not even supposed to see each other the night before we get married? I thought it was bad luck or something.”

Chanyeol laughed. “Traditionally, yes… though we are anything but traditional, Baek,” he said. “If it makes you feel better, I can't really see you properly without my glasses anyway.”

Baekhyun rolled his eyes. “Well, I can still see you, you dork..”

Chanyeol sat up and leaned over to hit the switch on the lamp next to the bed, instantly enshrouding the room in darkness. “Better?”

“Yes…” Baekhyun whispered, “although perhaps not conducive to any impending bedroom activities.”

Chanyeol laughed huskily and pulled Baekhyun into his arms once more. “Nonsense. What do we need to see for… do you think I don't know this body by now, Baek? Your body is my home. And if my eyes can't see you, then the rest of me will love you all the more to compensate… my lips, my hands… my heart, above all else. All of me.”

Chanyeol’s hands began to roam all over his body, and Baekhyun shivered a little in pleasure. He raised his hips up off the bed, pressing his nakedness against Chanyeol’s in earnest; anything to get closer to him, all of him… lips, hands, heart. Skin on skin. Have me, he wanted to say, but it sounded silly; take me… at this point, he didn’t care where. All he could think about was Chanyeol’s hot, wet mouth, and the cool tips of his fingers; his own heart pounding in his chest; the dull, heavy ache of his arousal.

“Put your hands on me too, my love… let them wander,” Chanyeol whispered; his lips were warm against Baekhyun’s neck. “I don't think we spend enough time doing that, just touching each other… not only while we’re making love, but at other times as well.” He took one of Baekhyun’s hands and held it over his heart, pressing it firmly against his chest, his voice soft and low in Baekhyun’s ear. “Can you feel that? It’s all for you, babe. The day it stops beating for you will be the day I die.”

God I want you,” Baekhyun said; his voice cracked a little, straining against his throat as the words tumbled out, and it made him feel embarrassed. He soon forgot his embarrassment when Chanyeol kissed him again; a soft, lingering kiss, his tongue just shy of entering Baekhyun’s mouth. The tip of it teased the edges of his lips until they parted, and Baekhyun’s tongue came forward to meet it, shyly beckoning it inside.

“Keep your hand here while I kiss you,” Chanyeol murmured when he pulled away, his hand still resting on top of Baekhyun’s, pressing it closer to his heart. “Feel my heart as it slows down and speeds up… see how it thrills at your touch, how it does your bidding whether I want it to or not. It's your heart now, Baekhyun. All yours.”

Baekhyun searched around for Chanyeol’s other hand in the darkness and held it against his own heart. “And this one is yours. It always will be.”

Chanyeol laughed softly and kissed the corner of Baekhyun’s mouth. “I’m happy to trade. I like your heart better than mine anyway.”

“Yours is beating very quickly right now,” Baekhyun observed quietly.

“So is yours,” Chanyeol said, and Baekhyun could hear the smile in his voice. “You must want me pretty badly, huh?”

Baekhyun wondered if Chanyeol could sense him smiling in the darkness too. “I think you already know the answer to that question..”

“Of course I do. I just like hearing you say it.”

“Then I think you should come a little closer, babe,” Baekhyun whispered, “and give me something else to think about, other than how nervous I am about tomorrow.”

As soon as he said this, he felt the warm breath on his neck from Chanyeol's laughter.

"Your wish is my command, my love.”

* * * * *

The next morning, Joonmyun came past just before eight o’clock to whisk Baekhyun away, taking him to his own hotel room to help him get ready. Baekhyun had been lying awake since six anyway, too wound up to fall back asleep; by seven o’clock he’d given up, stumbled out of bed and showered, and was waiting around watching a soap opera he didn’t recognise on the lowest volume possible when Joonmyun came knocking. Chanyeol was still sleeping soundly when he left; Baekhyun didn’t have the heart to wake him, so he left him quietly with a gentle kiss on the forehead. Anyway, he knew Yura would soon be there to haul him out of bed too.

When they got to Joonmyun’s room, Baekhyun hung the pale grey suit, all pressed and ready to go, up on the hook on the back of the door. He traced his fingertips over the fabric and sighed.

“Are you alright?” Joonmyun asked him. He turned back to look at Baekhyun from where he stood, in front of the full-length mirror outside the bathroom. He was fastening silver cufflinks to the cuffs of his white shirt, starched to crisp perfection.

“Yeah,” Baekhyun said glumly; he sat down on the edge of Joonmyun’s bed. “Just a little nervous, that’s all.”

Joonmyun looked at Baekhyun’s reflection in the mirror as he began fiddling with his bowtie. “About getting married? Or about being married..?”

“More about getting married, I think,” Baekhyun said. “Being married won't be drastically different to the way things are now; it just gives us an official reason to stay committed to each other for life. But the ceremony itself... I've never been one to parade my love around in front of other people, Joonmyun; call it reticence or force of habit or whatever you want, but I’m not that kind of person. And I’m ashamed to say that my vows are kind of awful… I struggled with them so much that I, uh, had to get a little help from somewhere else.”

Joonmyun turned away from the mirror; he looked very handsome in his tux, Baekhyun thought. “Can I read your vows?” he asked, holding his hand out towards Baekhyun expectantly. “Only if you’ll let me, of course… I can give you my honest opinion.”

Baekhyun hesitated for a moment. “Well... okay,” he said reluctantly, and he dug out a crumpled sheet of paper from the pocket of his jeans, which he handed over to Joonmyun. He watched Joonmyun’s eyes scan carefully over the words as he began to dress himself in his wedding outfit, his jittery fingers struggling a little with the tiny buttons on his shirt.

When he’d finished reading, Joonmyun cleared his throat. “Um, Baek… this is—”

“—Complete shit?” Baekhyun butted in; without waiting for a reply, he sank down onto Joonmyun’s bed again, pressing his fingers into his eye sockets, hard, until he saw ominous black and red shapes. “Oh god… it’s terrible, isn’t it..?”

“No,” Joomyun said quietly, to Baekhyun’s surprise. “Not at all… It’s really beautiful, actually. Beautiful, and appropriate.”

Baekhyun kept his head firmly buried in his hands, refusing to believe what he’d just heard. “Chanyeol probably came up with something amazing and heartfelt and original, and I had to rip some lyrics off from someone else’s song to let him know how I feel,” he groaned, and then he felt the weight of Joonmyun sitting down on the bed next to him.

Joonmyun put his arm around Baekhyun’s shoulders, rubbing them gently. “It doesn't matter if the words weren’t originally yours,” he said, giving Baekhyun’s back a reassuring pat. “Chanyeol will love them either way. It's what's in your heart that counts… and these words express that perfectly. At least, I think they do.”

Baekhyun lifted his head and turned to look at Joonmyun earnestly. “Be honest with me: I’m doing the right thing, aren’t I..?”

“Do you love him?” Joonmyun asked quietly.

Baekhyun nodded. “Yes,” he said, without hesitating. “More than anything.”

“Then even if I didn’t think you were doing the right thing, there would be nothing I could say right now that would convince you otherwise,” Joonmyun said, smiling at him. “But for what it’s worth, I do think you’re doing the right thing, because I can really see now how much you want this… how much you love each other. And I’m so happy for you, Baekhyun – for both of you.”

Having said this, Joonmyun pulled Baekhyun into a tight hug; Baekhyun sighed happily and patted his friend’s back in return. “Thanks, Joonmyun.”

Joonmyun grinned back at Baekhyun as he pulled away, and handed the paper with the vows on it back to him. “You're welcome. Now,” he said, looking down at his watch, his eyebrows raising a fraction when he saw what time it was. “Are you ready? We have to go. Everyone will be waiting for us at the grounds by now.”

“Yeah,” Baekhyun said, shoving his vows back into his pocket. “As ready as I’ll ever be, anyway.” He slowly got to his feet and looked down at himself, smoothing every last microscopic crease out of his suit. “How do I look..?”

“You look fantastic,” Joonmyun reassured him. He smiled as he fixed Baekhyun’s bowtie, then secured a white rose to the lapel of his jacket and brushed a stray lock of hair back into place. “You look so very handsome… my only worry is that your future husband will fall down dead at the sight of you. Now, let’s get you outside; our ride will be here soon.”

A black vintage car with silver ribbons tied across the bonnet was waiting for them out the front of the hotel, and they hopped inside, sitting next to each other in the back seat. Baekhyun was by now too anxious to speak, but every so often he caught Joonmyun’s eye, and his friend’s reassuring smile made him feel a little less afraid.

When they arrived at the college, the driver made his way through the front gates and into the grounds, pulling up near a huge, ancient-looking willow tree, its tendrils trailing over the grass. Beneath it there were two groups of white chairs, arranged in rows with a narrow red carpet rolled out in between; the stately sandstone buildings of the college itself loomed in the background. The guests were already seated: as Joonmyun helped him out of the car, Baekhyun saw Sehun with his boyfriend Luhan, and their other friends Kyungsoo, Minseok and Yixing, along with their respective partners. Chanyeol’s parents were seated in the first row, but his sister Yura was standing at the front talking to his childhood friend Jinki, who had generously offered to sing for the occasion. There was a photographer setting up his equipment, and a man dressed in black, whom Baekhyun recognised as the celebrant. Yura wore a strapless floor-length gown in a deep blue, her hair pinned up at the back with a few dark curls framing her face. She looked beautiful – not that anyone could ever doubt she would.

Baekhyun noticed Chanyeol last; he was facing away from them, sitting alone on a stone bench beneath the willow tree, its branches swaying around him in the gentle spring breeze. It was a beautiful day, but still quite crisp; Baekhyun could feel it even through his jacket as he followed closely behind Joonmyun. Everyone turned around to look at them as they approached, and Yura hurried off to call Chanyeol over. It was then that Chanyeol finally turned around and saw him, and Baekhyun’s heart stopped for a moment when he saw the look on his soon-to-be husband’s face; he wondered if Chanyeol’s heart had done the same, because he looked dazed for a moment, blinking hard before finally getting to his feet and allowing Yura to lead him by the hand towards the rest of the wedding party.

Jinki sang softly, accompanied only by his acoustic guitar, while Baekhyun made his way up the aisle behind Joonmyun. He cleared his throat nervously and kept his eyes trained to the back of Joonmyun’s head, trying to dodge all the eyes that were, at this very moment, fixed on him. He couldn’t bring himself to look at Chanyeol until he was standing right in front of him, and even then it was difficult; Baekhyun had seen him wearing his suit once before – he was there when Chanyeol hired it – but Chanyeol looked so wonderful in it now that Baekhyun found it hard it breathe. The rose pinned to his lapel, instead of being white like Baekhyun’s, was the same blue as Yura’s dress.

“Um… hi,” Baekhyun murmured, the greeting directed towards the rose pinned to Chanyeol’s jacket instead of his face, and Chanyeol laughed softly; with one hand, he gently tilted Baekhyun’s head upwards until their eyes met.

“Hello,” he said back, and smiled; he left his hand beneath Baekhyun’s chin for a moment before moving it away. He was wearing contacts for once, even though Baekhyun honestly would have preferred him in glasses – not only because glasses really suited Chanyeol, but because without them the raw emotion in his eyes seemed even more real. It was so intense that Baekhyun almost wanted to look away, but he didn’t. He couldn’t.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, laughing nervously to lighten the mood. “Do I have something on my face..?”

Chanyeol shook his head. “You’re perfect,” he said quietly, almost somberly. “Pardon the obscenity, but you look absolutely fucking beautiful.”

Baekhyun looked down at the ground, toeing the grass with his shoe. “Naw. Well, you look beautiful too,” he said, laughing shyly. “You really do.”

“God,” Chanyeol whispered, “I’ve never wanted to kiss anyone so badly in my entire life..”

Baekhyun laughed again and grabbed one of Chanyeol’s hands, giving it a gentle squeeze; he realised he couldn’t tell whose hands were sweating more. “You’ll get to,” he said. “Pretty soon.”

Chanyeol nodded and exhaled loudly, running his free hand through his neatly-styled hair; Yura or someone else had apparently straightened it for the occasion. “Good… I don’t know how I’d get through this otherwise.”

“So you’re nervous too, now, huh..?” Baekhyun asked. Jinki was still singing in the background while they waited for the celebrant to prepare himself.

“Yeah,” Chanyeol replied. “Fuck yeah… but good nervous. Definitely good nervous..”

“Okay,” Baekhyun said, nodding. “That makes me feel better then.”

“Alright, boys… are we good to go?” the celebrant said at last, smiling at them both. They’d met him over Skype before they arrived, and had chosen him for his friendly manner and good sense of humour, as well as the fact that he spoke both English and Korean. As soon as they were both ready, he began the ceremony; Baekhyun kept his eyes fixed to the man as he spoke, if only to avoid Chanyeol, who was still staring right at him. He loved it when Chanyeol looked at him adoringly under normal circumstances, but in the present moment he found it a little unnerving.

“We are gathered here today to celebrate one of life's greatest moments – the joining of two hearts – and to give recognition to the worth and beauty of love as we see this couple united in marriage,” the celebrant began, and he raised his eyes to the guests seated before him. “Should there be anyone here who objects to this union, I hereby invite you to keep your unpopular opinions to yourself.”

There was a titter from the guests, and Baekhyun flashed Chanyeol a quick smile before turning back to the celebrant.

“For these two men, out of the routine of ordinary life, the extraordinary has happened,” the celebrant continued. “They met each other, fell in love, and are now finalising it with their wedding. A truly wonderful marriage has little to do with destiny; it is not merely written in the stars, but must be created and nurtured by the two people involved. It is not only about marrying the right person, but being the right partner. I now invite the couple to say their vows.”

Chanyeol nodded and pulled a piece of paper from his pocket, which he unfolded and smoothed out until it was flat. Taking a deep breath, his eyes met Baekhyun’s briefly and then returned to the paper in his hands.

“At a wedding, it’s traditional for a bride to have something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue,” he began, his gaze still fixed to the paper. His voice wavered a little, but he didn’t stumble. “Baekhyun and I aren’t what you’d call a traditional couple, and obviously neither of us is a bride, but I decided I wanted to rise to the challenge anyway. So right now, I’m wearing socks so old that they’re more hole than sock: that’s my something old. As for something new, well, this tux is new… let’s see if I don’t completely wreck it by the end of the day. The rose pinned to my jacket is blue. The only thing I didn’t have was something borrowed…” Here Chanyeol turned back to Baekhyun. “So my vows today have been borrowed from Mr. William Shakespeare, whom I know you love very much, Baekhyun – almost as much as you love me, I’m sure… but hopefully not more. And while I’ll have to return these words to him afterwards, just like I’ll have to return this suit, I promise that the man standing in front of you right now is yours to keep… all yours, forever. Body, mind, heart and soul. All of it – all of me – is for you.”

Chanyeol paused for a moment and took a deep breath as he flipped the sheet of paper over. “If I fuck up the pronunciation, I’m sorry,” he murmured, and then let out a nervous chuckle. “Also, I’m sorry for saying ‘fuck’ at my own wedding just now..”

Having said this, he began to read:

“Thy bosom is endeared with all hearts,
Which I by lacking have supposed dead;
And there reigns Love, and all Love's loving parts,
And all those friends, which I thought buried.
How many a holy and obsequious tear
Hath dear religious love stolen from mine eye,
As interest of the dead, which now appear
But things removed that hidden in thee lie.
Thou art the grave where buried love doth live,
Hung with the trophies of my lovers gone,
Who all their parts of me to thee did give,
That due of many now is thine alone:
Their images I loved, I view in thee,
And thou hast all the all of me.”

When he’d finished, Chanyeol folded the piece of paper and returned it to his pocket. “How did I do?” he whispered to Baekhyun, barely audibly, and Baekhyun smiled at him.

“You were great,” he mouthed in reply, and receiving the celebrant’s nod of approval, he turned towards the guests.

“I’m just going to keep this short and sweet,” he said, and then he turned back to Chanyeol with a smile. “I can’t promise much, I’m afraid… except that the word ‘poop’ definitely won’t pop up in there somewhere..”

Chanyeol laughed at that; his eyes were already shining with new tears, and he wiped them away with the back of his hand.

“Chanyeol,” Baekhyun began, and he took one of Chanyeol’s hands in his own. “You’re the most beautiful, loving, unselfish person I know, and words can’t express how proud and happy I am to call you mine. And I’m also happy that you chose the words of Shakespeare for your vows – especially because, as it happens, I’ve borrowed my words today too, albeit from a slightly more modern poet..”

Baekhyun took his own sheet of paper from his pocket and unfolded it, briefly meeting Chanyeol’s gaze before he opened his mouth to speak:

“As around the sun the earth knows she's revolving
And the rosebuds know to bloom in early May
Just as hate knows love's the cure,
You can rest your mind assured
That I'll be loving you always.

Just as time knew to move on since the beginning
And the seasons know exactly when to change
Just as kindness knows no shame,
Know through all your joy and pain
That I'll be loving you always.

Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky
Until the ocean covers every mountain high
Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea
Until we dream of life, and life becomes a dream.

Until the day is night, and night becomes the day
Until the trees and seas just up and fly away
Until the day that eight times eight times eight is four
Until the day that is the day we are no more.”

When Baekhyun looked up again, Chanyeol’s eyes were glistening and he had one hand covering his mouth.

“Oh, Baek,” he whispered, and then turned to the celebrant. "Sir, can I kiss him yet..?"

“Soon,” the celebrant assured him, laughing, and the guests all laughed along with him – apart from Yura, who by now was well and truly crying, as she’d promised not to do. “Thank God for true love and waterproof mascara,” she said through her tears, and everyone laughed at that too.

“Chanyeol, repeat after me,” the celebrant said. “I, Park Chanyeol, take you, Byun Baekhyun, to be my husband, my partner in life and my one true love. I will cherish our friendship and love you today, tomorrow, and forever. I will trust you and honour you. I will laugh with you and cry with you – through the best and the worst, through the difficult and the easy… whatever may come, I will always be there. As I have given you my hand to hold, so I give you my life to keep.”

After Chanyeol had said his vows, Baekhyun had his turn, and then the celebrant turned to Chanyeol again.

“Park Chanyeol, do you take Byun Baekhyun to be your husband? Do you promise to love, honour, cherish and protect him, forsaking all others and holding only unto him forevermore?”

Chanyeol squeezed Baekhyun’s hand and looked into his eyes as he said, “I do.”

“And Byun Baekhyun, do you take Park Chanyeol to be your husband? Do you promise to love, honour, cherish and protect him, forsaking all others and holding only unto him forevermore?”

“I do,” Baekhyun said.

Joonmyun then stepped forward with the wedding bands on a blue velvet cushion, and Chanyeol took one from him. He took Baekhyun's hand and lifted it to his lips, pressing a soft kiss to the palm; he closed his eyes and held it there for a moment, then moved it away and slipped the white gold band onto Baekhyun's ring finger.

“I, Chanyeol, take you, Baekhyun, to be my husband,” he said quietly, repeating after the celebrant. “To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, in joy and sorrow, and I promise my love to you. With this ring, I take you as my husband, for as long as we both shall live.”

When Chanyeol was finished speaking, Baekhyun took the other wedding band from Joonmyun, and he also kissed Chanyeol’s hand before gently sliding the ring onto his finger. After he had said his own lines, Baekhyun held Chanyeol’s hand, giving it a gentle squeeze, and they turned to face the celebrant once more. Baekhyun quickly looked at Joonmyun, who smiled at him. He then looked at Yura, who did not smile; she was too busy sobbing into the back of her hand.

“By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and husband,” the celebrant said, and then he winked at Chanyeol. “He’s all yours.”

Baekhyun turned to look up at Chanyeol, who looked down at him and smiled before leaning down to kiss him; his breathing quickened as soon as their lips touched, but he recovered soon enough, his hand cradling one side of Baekhyun’s face, and his fingers trembled against his cheek in a way that Baekhyun wasn't prepared for. He stood on his toes, his arms around Chanyeol’s neck, pulling him closer. He knew there were people cheering and wolf-whistling in the background, but they sounded so far away, drowned out by the pounding of his heart, and the breaths Chanyeol drew between each kiss. How long they stood there like that, Baekhyun didn’t know; all he knew was that he would have stayed that way forever if they’d let him.

“Come on,” Chanyeol whispered when he finally pulled away, but his forehead was still resting against Baekhyun’s. He grabbed Baekhyun’s hand and held it in his own. “Shall we go?”

“Uh-huh,” Baekhyun said, grinning at him, and he stole another quick kiss before they turned to face the crowd before them. Chanyeol lead him by the hand, down the aisle and across the college lawn, their friends and family following in a procession behind them, until they reached the banks of the river Cam; there several punts awaited them in the water, and Chanyeol stepped carefully into the first one, holding out his hand to help Baekhyun get in after him. A punter stood at the back of the boat, pole in hand, and he smiled at them, congratulating them warmly as they sat themselves down at the front.

As soon as the punt began to float down the river, Baekhyun rested his head on Chanyeol’s shoulder and sighed happily.

“What's up, love?” Chanyeol asked. He took Baekhyun’s hand in his own and linked their fingers together.

“Nothing,” Baekhyun replied. “I'm just really happy.”

“Me too,” Chanyeol said quietly. “Like, I could burst right now, because there's no room in me for all this happiness.”

“If only it could be this good all the time,” Baekhyun said, and Chanyeol turned his head until they were looking into each other’s eyes.

“It will be,” he whispered, “even when it’s not. Does that make sense?”

Baekhyun smiled up at him. “Yes. Somehow, it does,” he whispered back, and Chanyeol leaned forward to kiss him, cradling Baekhyun’s face in his hands.

“Get a room!” they heard a familiar voice call out, and Chanyeol broke the kiss, looking up to see Sehun waving at them from where he was seated in the punt behind.

“We have got a room,” he called out to Sehun, cupping his hands around his mouth to amplify his voice. “If I recall correctly, it’s right next door to yours. The walls are thin, my friend – enjoy the show!”

“Eww!” Sehun called back, and Baekhyun and Chanyeol both laughed at him before turning back to each other and kissing again.

* * * * *

“Make way – incoming newlyweds!” Chanyeol hollered as he threw open the door to their hotel room; he staggered through the doorway with Baekhyun in his arms and dropped him gently onto the bed.

“Goodness me, you're heavy these days, darling,” he said, pretending to wipe the non-existent sweat from his brow. “Didn’t I tell you the Brick Diet was just a fad..?”

Baekhyun rolled his eyes, but he laughed anyway. “Insulting your spouse right before the wedding night – a sure-fire way to get laid.”

“Oh, don't be like that,” Chanyeol said, collapsing next to him on the bed. He rolled over on his side to face Baekhyun. “But I guess if you really don't want to, perhaps we can just cuddle..”

Baekhyun narrowed his eyes at his husband. “Um… are you fucking kidding me..?”

“Well, alright then… settle down,” Chanyeol replied, laughing. He rolled off the bed and made his way into the bathroom; Baekhyun heard the sound of the taps being turned on.

“I think I left the lube in the drawer next to my side of the bed last night..” Chanyeol called out.

Baekhyun rolled over to the other side of the bed and pulled open the drawer on the nightstand, rummaging around inside it. There was nothing in there but a notepad bearing the hotel’s logo, and a standard issue hotel-room Bible. “No lube in here, babe,” he called back.

“Oh. I must have put it away then,” Chanyeol replied when he emerged from the bathroom, already unbuttoning his shirt.

Baekhyun was too busy flicking absently through the Bible to reply. “Have you ever read the Song of Songs, Chanyeol?” he asked after a moment’s pause.

“No,” Chanyeol replied, shaking his head. “I have no idea what that is.”

“It's a book from the Bible,” Baekhyun told him. “A sort of ode, I suppose, from one lover to another. It's actually very romantic and beautiful.”

Chanyeol laughed and sat down on the edge of the bed, turning to shoot a skeptical glance at Baekhyun over his shoulder. “Since when do you read the Bible, you little heathen..”

“Actually, I used to go to Sunday school as a child,” Baekhyun replied, and he smiled a little at the memory. “We used to flip over to the SOS, as we called it then, and we’d giggle about all the times the word ‘breasts’ was mentioned whenever the teacher left the room.”

“Wow. I learn something new about you every day,” Chanyeol replied, clearly amused. “Care to read some to me?”

“Sure,” Baekhyun said, biting his lip to keep himself from chuckling (it somehow didn’t seem appropriate when he had the Good Book in his hands). He began to read aloud, affecting the deepest, sexiest voice he was capable of producing:

“Your lips cover me with kisses;
Your love is better than wine.
There is a fragrance about you;
The sound of your name recalls it.
No one could help loving you.
Take me with you, and we'll run away;
Be my king and take me to your room.
We will be happy together, drink deep,
And lose ourselves in love.

The taste of honey is on your lips, my darling;
Your tongue is milk and honey for me.
Your clothing has all the fragrance of Lebanon...”

Baekhyun stopped reading and looked over at Chanyeol, who was quiet for a moment, his brow furrowed in contemplation.

“That’s not the Bible,” he said eventually, wagging an accusing finger at the book in Baekhyun’s hands. “That’s an erotic novel wearing the wrong jacket.”

“Oh, it's definitely the Bible,” Baekhyun assured him, laughing. “I’d know..”

“Wow,” Chanyeol whispered, apparently impressed. “…Is the rest of it like that..?”

Baekhyun laughed again and shook his head. “Sadly, no.”

Chanyeol rolled closer to Baekhyun on the bed and lay down next to him. “Keep going then, babe. I kinda like it..”

“Why don't we read it to each other?” Baekhyun suggested, turning to face Chanyeol with a mischievous smile. “Do you want to read the female parts or the male parts?”

Chanyeol thought about it for a moment and shrugged. “I'll be the girl… why not? YO-”

Don't say YOLO..” Baekhyun warned, glaring a little, but then his expression relaxed and he handed the book to Chanyeol.

“Start here,” he said quietly, underlining a passage with his finger. Chanyeol picked up Baekhyun’s hand and kissed it; then, putting his glasses on, he began to read aloud in a laughably high-pitched voice:

“My lover has the scent of myrrh
As he lies upon my breasts
My lover is like the wild flowers
That bloom in the vineyards at Engedi.”

Baekhyun fell about in peals of laughter at his husband’s antics, with Chanyeol soon joining him, and when they had calmed down a bit he took the Bible back and resumed poring through the passages. “Oh, but this part is so beautiful,” he said quietly. “Listen to this:”

“Close your heart to every love but mine;
Hold no one in your arms but me.
Love is as powerful as death;
Passion is as strong as death itself.
It bursts into flame,
And burns like a raging fire.
Water cannot put it out;
No flood can drown it.
But if any tried to buy love with their wealth,
Contempt is all they would get.”

“Do you think it’s a sin to be turned on by someone reading the Bible..?” Chanyeol asked after a moment’s pause, and Baekhyun smiled at him.

“Maybe… I have no idea. But since it’s working for you…” he said, stifling his laughter with the back of his hand, and when he had composed himself somewhat, he continued reading.

“The curve of your thighs is like the work of an artist.
A bowl is there, that never runs out of spiced wine—”

“That’s it – I’ve had it: I want some of your spiced wine!” Chanyeol cried out, and he pushed Baekhyun flat against the bed; Baekhyun gasped in surprise and dropped the Bible onto the floor with a dull thud. Chanyeol stared down at him for a moment, his hands still resting on either side of Baekhyun’s shoulders, and then his expression softened.

How beautiful you are, my love,” he whispered, looking deep into Baekhyun’s eyes, and he smiled – a bashful little smile, so far removed from the big, goofy grin he usually wore – but Baekhyun loved his shy smiles better anyway.

“Are you quoting, or was that one from the heart..?” he whispered back, and Chanyeol tenderly brushed a strand of hair away from his eyes with one hand.

“A bit of both,” he said quietly, and then he captured Baekhyun’s lips in a passionate kiss, his fingers expertly loosening the buttons on his shirt – with considerably less difficulty than Baekhyun had had in doing them up, he thought... but then it was amazing what the promise of sex could do for one’s dexterity. Baekhyun sat up on the bed, still kissing Chanyeol, and slid the shirt off his shoulders, gently dropping it onto the floor beside the bed; by now Chanyeol had already conquered the zip on the front of his trousers. The trousers quickly joined the rest of the clothes on the floor, followed by Baekhyun’s underwear, and then Chanyeol’s, and when they were both naked they lay next to each other on the bed in silence, simply running their trembling hands over each other’s bodies without speaking, devouring each other’s nakedness with their eyes. The last time they made love still fresh in his mind, Baekhyun kept his hand firmly pressed against Chanyeol’s chest all the while, feeling his lover’s heart pound beneath his fingertips. “I love you, I love you, I love you,” Chanyeol whispered, in Baekhyun’s ear, into his hair, into his mouth, over and over, until his whispers melted together with Baekhyun’s own sighs of adoration, his own pleasured moans, his own laboured breathing. We sound so beautiful together, Baekhyun wanted to say, but he was robbed completely of the ability to speak, and then, at last, to think.

After what could arguably be called the best sex of his life (at least to date), Baekhyun laid his head on Chanyeol’s chest, listening to his heart beating. Chanyeol immediately draped an arm over his shoulders, and Baekhyun snuggled closer, his fingers splayed atop the warm skin of Chanyeol’s belly.

“What was your favourite part about today?” Chanyeol asked after they’d lain in silence for a while.

“Mmm,” Baekhyun said, chewing his lip in contemplation, and then he smiled. “Is ‘all of it’ a valid response..?”

Chanyeol laughed and poked Baekhyun playfully in the ribs. “No, seriously, babe… I want to know.”

“Maybe the punt ride after the ceremony,” Baekhyun replied, rolling over onto his back. He sighed contentedly. “Or maybe when your dad got drunk and danced around the tables to Do Ya Think I'm Sexy..

“Oh dear...” Chanyeol said, laughing breathlessly. “And here I was, hoping to repress that memory.”

“Well, I've got it all on camera, love. I’ve got it alllll on camera.”

“Mmm. Of course you do.”

Baekhyun sat up again and looked down at Chanyeol, his expression suddenly serious. “Really though… I’d have to say my favourite part about today was the look in your eyes before you kissed me,” he said quietly, and he picked up Chanyeol’s hand, pressing several soft kisses to the inside of his wrist. “I'd never felt so in love with you as I did then... as I do now.”

Chanyeol smiled up at him and nodded. “Call me unoriginal, but I was going to say the same thing. And I also loved seeing you walk down the aisle towards me… although I perhaps didn't enjoy it as much as I should have while it was happening, because I felt like I was having a heart attack at the time.”

“I have a few more to add,” Baekhyun said. “Dancing with you while Jinki sang In Your Eyes. And your sister crying throughout the whole ceremony, and repeatedly apologising for it..”

Chanyeol laughed. “And me accidentally saying 'fuck' right before my vows… and Sehun's drunken whining when it occurred to him that there wasn’t going to be a bouquet for him to catch..”

Baekhyun flopped back down onto the bed next to Chanyeol and sighed. “I can't pick any one moment. I know it sounds corny, but... the whole of today was wonderful; I can't fault it at all. If I could turn back time, there's absolutely nothing I would change… I would just live through it all again.”

“It was the perfect prelude to a lifetime of happiness,” Chanyeol added quietly; he took Baekhyun’s hand in his own and began playing with his fingers. “And there will be some sadness too, of course... but that's okay, Baekhyun. With you, I feel like I can conquer anything.”

Baekhyun nodded but said nothing; for a moment he was too choked up to speak. Then he heard his phone vibrate on the nightstand next to him and he rolled over to pick it up. When he looked at it, he found a new text message from a number he didn’t recognise.

Sehun told me you got married… wishing you all the best. Kai

Baekhyun blinked at the screen in front of him for a moment in surprise; then he smiled and began to key in his reply before pressing the send button.

Thanks ^^

“Who was that?” Chanyeol asked, already sounding sleepy. He had one arm draped over his eyes, his chest rising and falling in a slow, steady rhythm.

“Oh, just another well-wisher,” Baekhyun replied, still smiling. He returned the phone to the nightstand and resumed his place next to Chanyeol, cuddling up to his husband and quickly falling asleep.


As now can't reveal the mystery of tomorrow
But in passing will grow older every day
Just as all that's born is new,
You know what I say is true
That I'll be loving you always

Until the day the earth starts turning right to left
Until the earth just for the sun denies itself
Until dear Mother Nature says her work is through
Until the day that you are me, and I am you.


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