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all these places feel like home

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“Will you stop pacing around?"

Baekhyun freezes mid-pace and slowly turns around. Chanyeol is leaning against the doorway, arms crossed over his chest, an eyebrow raised in amusement.

“I'm... not,” Baekhyun defends himself, even as he turns around again and goes around the length of the living room. He stops once in a while, in seeming deep thought, lower lip stuck in between his teeth.

“Yes, you totally are." Jongdae appears from behind Chanyeol and grabs Baekhyun by the shoulders. "Stop worrying," he tells him. "There's a reason he's allowing you to pack his things even when he's not around."

"Yeah," Chanyeol agrees, plopping down to the floor since there isn't any furniture to sit on. "He wouldn't even trust me--"

"Or me," Jongdae pipes in, sitting on one of the boxes lying around.

"To help with the packing," Chanyeol finishes, rolling his eyes at Jongdae. "He doesn't trust us with his stuff. He doesn't even trust us with you."

“That’s because you kissed him, you idiot," Jongdae reminds him, kicking the tip of Chanyeol's shoes, which is only what he could reach of him. "So don't drag me into this. Kyungsoo trusts me with Baekhyun very much because he knows I'd rather throw up than so much as even think of him in a romantic way."

"Gee, thanks," Baekhyun mutters, making a face at Jongdae, who responds in the same manner. "It's true though," he then agrees with Jongdae. "You did kiss me, Yeol." He wrinkles his nose. "And it wasn't very good one too."

"I am a very good kisser," Chanyeol sputters, sitting upright, looking devastated. "I'll have you guys know that--"

"No one cares," Jongdae declares way too happily.

“To be fair, you were drunk,” Baekhyun tries to pacify him as he does his best not to look too displeased at the memory.

Chanyeol had been heartbroken and had taken it upon himself to invite his friends for a party. Baekhyun was sitting on the couch, nursing a practically empty cup of beer, which he really had just been holding for appearances sake, when Chanyeol climbed onto his lap. This wasn’t all that weird, being friends for too long to know the kind of weirdos they all are. But when Chanyeol cupped his face and kissed him… it became weird. Because Baekhyun had only been seeing Kyungsoo for like a day (an exaggeration—it had been a month) then and he was pretty sure Kyungsoo wouldn’t be too happy to see another guy’s tongue in his mouth, much less Chanyeol’s.

Chanyeol sported a black-eye for a week.

“No one still cares,” Jongdae repeats, smirking at Chanyeol, who lies back down and curls into himself.

Baekhyun sighs loudly and sits on the floor, resting his back on the box that Jongdae is sitting on. Jongdae runs his fingers through Baekhyun’s hair.

“I don’t know what you’re so worried about,” Chanyeol breaks the silence. “His stuff is all packed. He’s letting you take care of any last minute things and he has us helping you with them. If that isn’t a yes on all fronts, I don’t know what is."

“I hate agreeing with Chanyeol,” Jongdae then says. “His opinions are usually bogus, except for this one.” He ignores Chanyeol’s noise of protest. “Baek, Kyungsoo is giving up this amazing apartment for you. And now, he’s out for a business trip and he’s letting you finish up with the packing so that when he comes back, he’s going to come home to you. It’s that domestic honey, I’m home shit that you’ve dreamed about with him since you were like twelve."

Baekhyun hides his grin in his arms, resting them on his knees. Chanyeol and Jongdae are right. He’s being ridiculously worried over nothing. It’s just that moving in together is a step he didn’t think Kyungsoo would be ready for since Kyungsoo values his own space so much. It took Baekhyun a while before he got around to sleeping over at Kyungsoo’s because he didn’t want to impose. He’s pretty sure that Kyungsoo doesn’t actually mind, because Baekhyun really does impose when he’s there. He cooks, cleans, rearranges things (no matter what anyone thinks, he’s a pretty neat and orderly person). Kyungsoo’s always seemed fine with it and even indulges Baekhyun by watching him work around his apartment.

“I guess I’m just worried that this whole decision will backfire on me,” Baekhyun admits, lifting his head up and leaning it back. Jongdae pulls lightly at his hair and pats his head. “You know I’ve been in love with him practically my whole life, right?” He giggles and Jongdae slaps his head.

“Stop,” Jongdae complains. “We’ve witnessed your whole love story. We don’t really need a retelling."

“That, and we really need to get started with these boxes,” Chanyeol reminds them, getting up and stacking two boxes one after the other. “I’ll carry these downstairs.” He grunts as he picks them up and walks out of the apartment.

Baekhyun pushes himself off the floor and goes to the rooms to make sure that nothing is left behind. When he comes back out, Jongdae has pushed all the boxes near the door so that it would be easier for them to bring it downstairs to the truck.

“Hey,” Jongdae pulls Baekhyun aside as he’s getting ready to lift a box. “We were kidding earlier. But do you want to talk about it?"

Baekhyun leans his head on Jongdae’s shoulder and sighs. “I’m just being ridiculous,” he confesses.

“I think you are,” Jongdae teases and Baekhyun whines. “But if you’re worried, then you’re worried. Doesn’t mean what you feel is not valid.” He pauses for a second, patting Baekhyun’s head that makes Baekhyun feel like a puppy but doesn’t do anything to stop it. “You know, Kyungsoo had come to me once. He asked if he should ask you to move in with him since you weren’t asking."

Baekhyun almost hits Jongdae’s chin with how fast he lifts his head. “What?” he demands.

“Because you took so long to ask him,” Jongdae snickers at Baekhyun’s dumbfounded expression. “He was so sure you were going to ask him right after graduation."

“Why didn’t he ask me to move in with him then?” Baekhyun demands, frowning a little. But the telltale blush on his cheeks shows how pleased he is at the thought that Kyungsoo truly wants this as much as he does.

“Because you were the one who kept on going on and on about it,” Jongdae tells him, rolling his eyes. “That, and he didn’t want to pressure you. And he really thought you would want to do the asking.” He shakes his head. “Man, you two are weird. You think alike and just… ugh.” He makes a disgusted face.

Baekhyun just grins at him, all worries banished from his mind. If Kyungsoo had thought about asking him to move in, it must be something he’s thought about as much as he did.

“You okay in there?” Jongdae asks, knocking at Baekhyun’s forehead.

Baekhyun surges into Jongdae’s arms and giggles like a lovesick school girl. “We are going to be that domestic honey, I’m home kind of couple,” he declares, his voice wobbling with giddiness. “I think I’m more than okay."





-





Baekhyun is exhausted by the time he finishes cleaning the apartment. He's not sure when the last time he really cleaned up was. But since he's at Kyungsoo's most of the time, it didn't really seem to matter. He regrets that now.

He flops down on the sofa. He's covered every bit of the place, every nook and cranny is sure to be free of dust. Baekhyun has vacuumed everywhere, changed the sheets of the bed, made sure that he had all of the toiletries that Kyungsoo normally uses, put up new towels, had the curtains replaced… He’s not sure what else he’s supposed to do to make sure that Kyungsoo’s first day moving in is as comfortable as possible. He should pick a DVD in case Kyungsoo wanted to watch a movie and relax.

Baekhyun grunts and decides that he’ll sort the DVD rack and whatever else he may have forgotten later. Kyungsoo won’t be home until a couple of hours anyway. For now, he’ll just close his eyes and rest for a second.





-





When Baekhyun opens his eyes a few minutes later, the living room is dark. He scrambles to sit up and grabs his phone to check the time. As it turns out, a few minutes of sleep actually became two hours. Groaning, he stands and stretches his arms above his head. He can’t believe he overslept. There are still things left to be done. He just remembered that he hasn’t cleared out a space for Kyungsoo’s clothes in the closet. Sure, Baekhyun had taken all of Kyungsoo’s clothes out and had refolded them, even washing some of the others. But he hadn’t put it in the closet because it seems so personal and Kyungsoo might like them a certain way or something.

He freezes when he realizes that he’s not in the living room as he originally was. Turning around, he sees the bed with the new navy blue sheets rumpled. When did he get up from the couch to sleep in the bedroom? Brows furrowed, Baekhyun walks out of the room and looks around. The living room is still dark but there’s a light in the kitchen. Nothing seems to be out of the ordinary as he flips the light switches on. Still, there’s prickling feeling at the back of his neck as he walks towards the kitchen.

This isn’t good. If someone had broken in, while he was asleep, and had taken anything, that would occupy the honeymoon time he and Kyungsoo are supposed to have. Which won’t be a good thing because then Kyungsoo might regret moving in with Baekhyun in his apartment. Maybe they should have moved into Kyungsoo’s much nicer apartment instead. But then Kyungsoo had argued that it would take Baekhyun to get to his work longer than he should. Baekhyun smiles at how Kyungsoo looks out for him.

There’s no one in the kitchen, which is weird because the lights are on and he’s pretty sure they weren’t before. Baekhyun makes his way to the front door to check the locks, which is when he sees the suitcase. It’s the same one that Kyungsoo brings to his business trips. But Kyungsoo can’t be here yet because--

“Hey,” Kyungsoo greets him when he walks into the apartment. He’s still in his slacks and light pink long-sleeved collared shirt that Baekhyun remembers picking out for Kyungsoo. Kyungsoo had said he’d never wear something so… colourful and yet here he is, standing in Baekhyun’s—their—apartment wearing it.

“Hey,” Baekhyun echoes, not knowing what else to say at the sudden sight of Kyungsoo. “Hi.” He scrunches his brows together because he sounds so unexcited.

Kyungsoo smiles a little and holds up two brown paper bags. “I bought dinner,” he announces. Baekhyun gapes at him because he had totally forgotten about preparing any sort of food. “Honey, I’m home?” he teases, smile widening.

Baekhyun’s not sure what sounds comes out of his mouth but it’s probably something really lame because Kyungsoo continues laughing even as he’s hugging him. He slaps Kyungsoo’s back and pulls away with a pout.

“Yah, this is no way to greet someone you haven’t seen in a long time,” Baekhyun complains halfheartedly, even as he grabs Kyungsoo back for another tight hug. “I missed you. I’m so glad you’re back,” he mumbles through Kyungsoo’s hair. It’s only been three days but whatever.

It feels so nice to hold Kyungsoo like this. They’ve hugged a lot of times before because Baekhyun is touchy-feely always likes to cuddle with Kyungsoo (even when Kyungsoo hates it) when he gets the chance. But there’s something different about hugging in the hallway of what is to be their home now.

Kyungsoo puts all the food he bought onto plates and bowls, while Baekhyun sits down and watches him move around the kitchen with ease.

“I feel bad that you’re the one who bought the food and is preparing them,” Baekhyun says. He grins and stays seated when Kyungsoo shoots him a look. “I like it, though.” He wiggles his eyebrows up and down. “But I really feel bad,” he goes on, frowning a little. How could he have not thought of food of all things?

Kyungsoo moves around the table to touch the back of Baekhyun’s neck. “It’s the least I can do after you moved all my stuff in and cleaned the whole apartment, which I’m really glad you did, by the way,” he admits. “I was hoping you would clean up or I wouldn’t have moved in."

Baekhyun stiffens but plays it off with a loud laugh. If Kyungsoo notices, he doesn’t say anything about it and just sits down across from him.

“Why do you think I made all the effort?” Baekhyun wiggles his eyebrows up and down once more because he knows it annoys and makes Kyungsoo laugh at the same time. True enough, he’s rewarded with a laugh.

“Yeah, well, it was about time,” Kyungsoo tells him as he pokes at his curry ramyun. “You know, you could have just put my clothes in the closet. I wouldn’t have cared."

“Well I wasn’t sure where to put what,” Baekhyun replies. He arranges his clothes via color and type. “There’s so much black.” He smirks when Kyungsoo kicks his feet under the table.

“That way when you do laundry, you wouldn’t have to worry about mixing,” Kyungsoo knowingly states.

“Who says I am the one in charge of laundry?” Baekhyun immediately interjects, pushing his plate away as he finishes eating.

“You’ve been living here for almost three years,” Kyungsoo reminds him. “This is your apartment. Of course you’re in charge of laundry."

Baekhyun straightens up in his seat, pausing for a second, hoping his surprise at the statement isn’t obvious, before taking the empty plates to the sink. “I’m going to bleach all your clothes and then everything you own will be white,” he announces with a stiff laugh. “And then what will you do?"

“Buy you black clothes and sneak them into your closet until you own only black,” Kyungsoo’s quip is so fast and makes Baekhyun laugh for real.

“Shut up,” Baekhyun says. “I won’t let you.” He nudges Kyungsoo when he stands beside Baekhyun by the sink to help wash the dishes. “Let me,” he insists. “You should go take a shower and get some rest.” He pretends to sniff Kyungsoo. “Besides, you stink."

“Is that right?” Kyungsoo wraps his arms around Baekhyun, pressing his chest to Baekhyun's back, and tucks his face to Baekhyun’s neck. He smirks when Baekhyun squeals, almost dropping the plate he’s washing. “Now you stink like me. Want to join me in the shower?” he asks, his lips brushing against Baekhyun’s ear.

“Oh my god, control yourself,” Baekhyun laughs, even though he’s feeling like he should finish the dishes later and do exactly that. When Kyungsoo’s smile dims a fraction, Baekhyun does stop washing and faces him. “It’s not because I don’t want to,” he assures him, rolling his eyes. “It’s like you don’t even know me.” He grins when Kyungsoo chuckles. "You’ve been working a lot these past few days and you just got off a plane and went out to buy food for us. I just think you deserve a bit of rest,” Baekhyun finishes.

“You don’t think we should christen the place?” Kyungsoo presses teasingly.

“Like we haven’t done that when I first moved in,” Baekhyun laughs.

Kyungsoo sighs, pretending to be annoyed. “Fine,” he gives in. “I should go unpack too. You’ll come when you’re done?” One of his arms linger around Baekhyun’s waist.

Baekhyun makes a face at him and kisses him on the cheek. “What else would I do?” he says.

Baekhyun takes a deep breath when he hears the bedroom door close. So far it’s going well. Granted that it’s only been one night, it seems like a good sign of things to come. He should really stop worrying and overanalysing things. Kyungsoo seems to be okay with things. He even seems happy that Baekhyun actually cleaned the apartment for him.

Thinking of ways on how to make Kyungsoo more comfortable, he finishes up in the kitchen, turns off the lights so he can join Kyungsoo in the bedroom. He sees Kyungsoo's suitcase and decides to unpack it in the living room instead. Kyungsoo is probably preparing to go to bed.

The living room, however, is not empty. The yellow lights are dimmed and the couches are pushed back. Kyungsoo, still in his pink long-sleeved shirt and black slacks, is standing in the middle of what used to be where the table was placed, holding a bouquet of flowers.

“What are you doing?” Baekhyun can’t help but blurt out.

“Giving you flowers,” Kyungsoo tells him like it’s obvious. “What do you think?"

“Why?” Baekhyun asks, laughing a little as he comes closer to Kyungsoo and takes the bouquet.

“I haven’t helped with us moving in together,” Kyungsoo says, taking Baekhyun’s hand and pulling him closer.

“So you’re bribing me with flowers?” Baekhyun clarifies, sounding incredulous, his eyebrows almost disappearing under his hair.

“No,” Kyungsoo replies, shaking his head. He takes the bouquet from Baekhyun, places it on the nearest couch, and pulls Baekhyun back close to him. He wraps Baekhyun’s arms around his neck, while he places his around Baekhyun’s waist. “I’m bribing you with a dance."

“Why am I the girl in this?” Baekhyun complains, even when he feels his heart fluttering. Kyungsoo isn’t completely unromantic, but moments like these are a bit rare and Baekhyun almost hates himself for ruining it.

Kyungsoo rolls his eyes and switches their places, wrapping his arms around Baekhyun’s neck instead. “I’m fine with this,” he agrees. “That way it will be easier to strangle you."

“You just want to strangle me because you know it turns you on,” Baekhyun snickers. Kyungsoo’s cheeks turn pink and he leans forward and kisses both his cheeks. “You are adorable. Thank you."

Kyungsoo hums a random ballad as they move around slowly in the living room. Baekhyun can’t help but think how nice this is. It’s almost as if moving in together has made Kyungsoo a tiny bit more romantic. If this is the Kyungsoo that he’s getting from now on, well then, carry on. He’s already very much in love with the Kyungsoo that he has. A romantic Kyungsoo will just make things better.

Baekhyun wraps his arms around Kyungsoo’s waist tighter, accidentally stepping on Kyungsoo’s socked feet. He giggles and it breaks the comfortable silence.

“You’re a menace, you know that?” Kyungsoo mumbles, his lips pressed against Baekhyun’s neck. “I shouldn’t have agreed to move in with you. I’d probably end up killing you.” Baekhyun’s breath gets caught in his throat as he stills for a second before recovering and laughing. “Why do you keep doing that?” he asks, pulling away to look at Baekhyun.

“What?” Baekhyun asks, taking a step back, eyes wide, feeling caught. “What are you talking about?"

“You keep on…” Kyungsoo drops his hands and runs one through his hair, face contorted in frustration. “You keep on freezing up, like you’re scared of something. You’ve been doing it all evening. What’s wrong?"

“Nothing,” Baekhyun insists, frowning a little. He knows he’s been worried but he didn’t think he’s been obvious about it. “Did Jongdae or Chanyeol say anything?"

“No,” Kyungsoo answers. “I haven’t even spoken to them yet since I got back. I went straight home and found you asleep. Then I bought dinner because there wasn’t any food—Baek,” he cuts himself off when Baekhyun takes another step back. “What’s wrong?” He looks concerned now.

“Nothing,” Baekhyun repeats, shaking his head. He picks up the bouquet and leaves for the kitchen. He really shouldn't have forgotten about the food. “I’ll put this in some water."

Kyungsoo follows him to the kitchen and watches as Baekhyun fills an empty vase with water and then takes the flowers out of their wrapping to put them in. “Listen,” he starts. “We don’t have to do this."

Baekhyun’s heart skips a beat as he turns around to face Kyungsoo, his mouth open in surprise. He can’t mean… “What are you saying?” he presses.

“We don’t have to move in together,” Kyungsoo clarifies. He sighs as he leans against the counter. “I mean, it might be too fast a move and maybe you're not ready—"

I asked you to move in with me,” Baekhyun cuts him off. He bites his lower lip. Now he’s confused with the way Kyungsoo’s acting. “Why would I do that if I wasn’t ready?"

“I don’t know,” Kyungsoo counters. “Maybe you felt pressured or something or you thought this was the logical next step so you did it."

“This is the logical next step, Kyungsoo,” Baekhyun agrees with him, sounding even more confused. “We’ve been together for years and I’ve always thought… Do you not want this?” He watches carefully as Kyungsoo’s eyes fly up to meet his in obvious shock.

“Why would I agree and actually move in with you if I don’t?” is Kyungsoo’s annoyed response. “Of course I want this. You’re the one who’s acting like you don’t.” He runs a hand through his hair again and sits down on one of the chairs, sighing loudly. “Look, Baek—"

“I want this,” Baekhyun blurts out, sucking his lower lip in between his teeth at the admission. Kyungsoo looks at him. “I really, really want this. I’ve wanted it for a while now and I didn’t think you would too. But then you agreed to move in with me, even though I asked you in the worst way possible, without any fanfare or like anything special to it. But you agreed and I thought…” He leans back against the sink and blows out a breath.

“Baekhyun, do you not believe that I want this?” Kyungsoo’s tone is coloured with surprise and disbelief. Baekhyun hates the sound of it.

“I’ve been worried, still worried actually,” Baekhyun corrects himself with a chuckle, playing with his fingers. “What if we move in together and you realize you don’t really want to? Or that you—"

Kyungsoo cuts him off by getting up from the chair and standing in front of Baekhyun, his fingers under Baekhyun’s chin. “I seem to be the only one who appears like he’s going to change his mind about us,” he says.

“Well, I’m not going to change my mind about you ever,” Baekhyun stoutly declares, pouting a little at the insinuation that he’s ever going to stop being in love with Kyungsoo. His heart thuds in his chest because this isn’t how he envisioned their first night to be. They shouldn’t be fighting. “I’ve been in love with you before I even hit puberty and I’m certainly not going to stop now."

Kyungsoo laughs. He laughs even more when Baekhyun looks affronted at his reaction. “Guess what,” he pacifies him, leaning closer. “You’re not the only one. You’ve been a pain in my ass since the moment I met you, but not even that has deterred me from falling even more in love with you. I don’t think moving in together is going to change a thing. If anything, I think I’ll just fall even harder."

Baekhyun beams at the confession and then controls himself, scrunching up his nose and pushing Kyungsoo a little. “Stop,” he giggles, unable to help himself. “This is so unlike you. I’m the cheesy one in this relationship."

“That’s what you think,” Kyungsoo scoffs. “Who bought flowers and asked you for a dance again?”

“Nope,” Baekhyun says, shaking his head as he pulls Kyungsoo back into his personal space. He loops his arms around Kyungsoo’s neck, Kyungsoo’s arms automatically encircling Baekhyun’s waist. “Still me. Always me."

Kyungsoo smiles that soft smile he reserves for when something Baekhyun does makes him all fond and soft and nods. “Always you,” he repeats.

Baekhyun sighs into Kyungsoo’s neck as they sway from side to side in the kitchen. “I’m sorry,” he whispers. “I’m an idiot. I just really want this to last forever."

Baekhyun can feel Kyungsoo’s smile with the way his lips move against his ear. “You’re not the only one,” he admits, which makes Baekhyun grin. “I already have this planned in my head, you know."

“Oh really?” Baekhyun teases, pulling back so he can look at Kyungsoo.

“We stay here for about a year or two and then we find a bigger place,” Kyungsoo starts, smile widening when Baekhyun’s eyes widen with surprise. “We can’t very well have pets in this small space. Plus, your building doesn’t really allow pets."

“You want us to have pets?” Baekhyun feels like he’s melting. He also really wants to coo at how cute and perfect his boyfriend is being.

“Well we can’t handle kids just yet,” Kyungsoo says this like it’s the most natural thing for them to be talking about kids. “But who knows in two years, we might be. So we’ll see."

“You want us to have kids?” Baekhyun’s voice is practically just a whisper with how shocked he is. He’s thought about it, but has always kept it to himself. Having kids is a serious thing and isn’t something one just brings up in a relationship.

“Of course we’ll have to get married first,” Kyungsoo goes on.

Baekhyun chokes and starts coughing, his eyes watering. Kyungsoo’s dropping bomb after bomb like he doesn’t know what it’s doing to Baekhyun and his heart. And Baekhyun’s heart feels so, so full, like it’s always been and more.

“That sounds like a wonderful life,” Baekhyun says, smiling, his eyes watery with emotion this time.

Kyungsoo beams at him, his lips shaping like a heart. “It really does,” he agrees. “It will be a wonderful life."

Baekhyun whimpers and surges forward to capture Kyungsoo’s lips in a kiss. Kyungsoo clings onto him as he kisses back with equal fervour and Baekhyun wonders how he could have ever doubted him and their relationship.





-





Much later, a few days after Kyungsoo moved in, when they’re in a cafe, hanging out with Jongdae and Chanyeol, Baekhyun brings it up again.

“You better be ready for one hell of a proposal,” Baekhyun tells him with a sweet, innocent smile.

Kyungsoo looks up from his phone and raises an eyebrow. “What makes you think you’re the one who’s proposing? I brought the idea up,” he returns.

Baekhyun scoffs. “I asked you to move in because you were too chicken to, remember?"

Kyungsoo smirks. “That doesn’t mean anything."

“Just you wait,” Baekhyun says determinedly.

“No, just you wait,” Kyungsoo interjects.

“How about you two shut up?” Jongdae snaps. “I swear you guys have gotten worse since you guys moved in together.” He turns to Chanyeol, who’s smiling happily at his friends. “Why are you smiling?"

"What, they're happy," Chanyeol says with a shrug.

"You just want to stay on Kyungsoo's good side," Jongdae complains.

"There's nothing wrong with that," Chanyeol argues.

As their friends snipe at each other, Baekhyun leans towards Kyungsoo with a grin on his face.

"If you think that's going to change my mind about proposing, you're mistaken," Kyungsoo immediately tells him.

"What if I just wanted to tell you I love you?" Baekhyun innocently responds.

Kyungsoo snickers and leans forward, kissing him on the lips. "I love you too, but nice try," he says.

Baekhyun laughs as he happily leans back on his seat, Kyungsoo intertwining their fingers together. He's never felt more excited for their life together.