Soulmates are peculiar, Baekhyun thinks, as he takes a seat in the third row and settles down. There’s an itch inside him that seems to tickle his heart and his rib cage feels tight. He finds it a little difficult to breathe and it makes him lightheaded. The unfamiliar pair of eyes currently trained on him feels impossibly close, personal. Baekhyun decides he’s handsome though. Chanyeol’s monologue from the seat next to his becomes white noise as Baekhyun holds the gaze, thinking… thinking if this is even his to hold. The man frowns, blinks and looks away to see the rest of his class.
Baekhyun sits back and Chanyeol’s voice now fills his space.
“Hey, you okay?” Large hand waves before him.
“I think I just find what’s mine,” Baekhyun hears himself says. Dare he believe it? Soulmates come to people differently, they say. Sometimes you just feel it right in your bones, and now Baekhyun’s whole body feels strangely tingly. Somehow, he feels whole even when his heartstrings are tugged.
“Huh.” Chanyeol contemplates.
“He’s new, right?” Baekhyun asks as his eyes follow their lecturer now greeting students at the front row, chatting quietly with a smile that is quite disarming. There’s a yearning in him that Baekhyun never knew he could feel.
Chanyeol nods. “Yeah, I’ve never seen him around before. He doesn’t look half as old as the others though.”
At least Baekhyun can be relieved that his soulmate won’t be fifty years of age already. Their university is stacked full with old lecturers and staffs, Baekhyun and Chanyeol and everyone else agree on this. And Baekhyun has been wondering when he will ever meet his person. It just never occurred to him that it would be one of his lecturers.
Their new lecturer looks rather young though and, as Baekhyun takes him in again and again, has a great body (Baekhyun appreciates lovely things). His smart baby blue button up hugs his body snugly. Baekhyun dares to catch his eyes again when he finally stands at the section where Baekhyun is seated.
The frown is back coupled with pursed lips. He’s looking at Baekhyun, eyes hard as if trying to read him. Has he ever thought that his person would be a student of his? Baekhyun doesn’t know but he thinks he’s already taken by the man standing just two rows apart from him. The pinch look on his face is rather cute.
So Baekhyun smiles brilliantly at him. The tingles in his body vibrate throughout and his heart feels ticklish. He feels light. A giggle escapes from Baekhyun. Chanyeol gasps loudly.
At the front of the lecture hall, Kim Junmyeon walks back to the center and starts his first lecture formally.
Junmyeon’s office is eerily silent as he engages in a stare off with Baekhyun sitting on the other side of his office table. Baekhyun doesn’t look perturbed at the least.
Right after Junmyeon ends his first class, which only lasts for less than an hour for an introductory course, his… student has come up to the front of the class and persistently wait until the rest pile out of the small lecture hall.
Junmyeon definitely does not missed his other tall student whom he presumes to be Baekhyun’s friend wiggling his eyebrows before throwing a salute at both of them and all but run out of the class with his gangly limbs. Junmyeon has deliberately taken his time putting his laptop back into his briefcase. He knows what this is about.
He has woken up in the morning feeling slightly disoriented and his heart is strangely ticklish. It’s only when he gets to his class and sees a certain student of his settling down and looking at him does he realizes what it means. Obviously that student knows what is going on as well. Junmyeon doesn’t know what to make of it. And then Baekhyun has tapped on the table to get his attention after Junmyeon keeps avoiding his eyes, smiles in a somewhat rectangular way and says Hello Professor Kim, I’m Byun Baekhyun.
Of course Junmyeon knows his name. After all he has made a roll call in class to put names to faces and purposely lingers for a while as he looks at Byun Baekhyun and tests the name in his mind over and over again. He doesn’t really want to admit this but Junmyeon is nervous as it is for his first class in a new university. He spent many years abroad teaching students from countries not his own that he isn’t exactly sure what to expect. Thankfully this particular class has a friendly crowd with some quiet ones but Junmyeon can manage that. He’s not sure if he can manage Baekhyun though.
“You’re a third year student?” he asks, small talk to break the tension. Hastily, he adds, “Baekhyun.” It’s a nice name though.
Baekhyun beams. “Actually, I’m in my second year,” he says. “It’s my first semester for the year too.”
Oh. Junmyeon’s class is meant for third years though there is no restriction for the years below it to take it. But it would mean that Baekhyun would have to have not just an excellent grasp of the basic theories, but a strong analytical skill ready at hand. It’s a demanding class. Junmyeon feels his left eyebrow perks up at this thought.
“How old are you?”
Baekhyun’s grin is still in place. He looks all soft around the corners, no sharp or rough edges. He seems sweet. And he’s- “I’m twenty!”
Oh, Junmyeon thinks again. He sinks back into his seat, rubs his face roughly with his hand and tries not to groan inwardly. That’s his Korean age, isn’t it? That means Baekhyun is actually nineteen. And Junmyeon is already thirty five. Junmyeon’s… soulmate is sixteen years younger than him. And his student. This can’t go well. Junmyeon is suddenly desperate to call his best friend and former colleague to bemoan his fate. Kevin would laugh but he’ll offer some words of comfort too and maybe help Junmyeon see things in hopefully a bright way.
He takes another look at Baekhyun. Junmyeon has come across soulmates and knows that everything goes any way but he hasn’t thought that he could end up fate bound to a much younger partner. He’s thought before, many times when he was abroad, wondering if his soulmate is somewhere there considering that Junmyeon has been particularly fond of the place already. But even he knows that he can’t bend his fate, no matter his feelings. Then when he finally decides to come back to his home country, Junmyeon prepares for a possible chance of finding his soulmate here.
And there he is-a young student named Byun Baekhyun currently sitting in front of him. Baekhyun looks impossibly young in a pastel pink sweater and a brown scarf wrapped around his neck. Junmyeon thinks the weather isn’t cold enough to warrant this bundle of clothing. Summer is only beginning to end. Junmyeon hasn’t even placed all his sweaters and cold weather shirts on the section of his wardrobe meant for daily clothing.
Baekhyun still smiles and his hair is inky black. They cover his eyes slightly. His hands rest atop one another on the table, a polite demeanor and yet he looks at Junmyeon like he’s determined to win him over.
Junmyeon almost gives, honestly. But he’s wary of… everything. He sighs instead. Junmyeon is not ready for this.
“Don’t you have classes to go to?”
Baekhyun pouts. “Not until two later,” he says. It’s only a little after ten in the morning now.
And then Baekhyun is leaning forward, his eyes widen slightly. “Are you kicking me out already? Don’t you want to know anything about me? I’m majoring in Sociology, and I take Philosophy as my minor,” he supplies eagerly. Junmyeon’s a little impressed though he doesn’t say anything, which leads to Baekhyun quickly adding a, “I join this university’s choir club!” His voice rises at the end, in a desperate and shrill manner as if trying to think of anything to say.
But all Junmyeon can think is that Baekhyun will be a handful, and he’s going to talk a lot. Junmyeon likes his quiet.
Baekhyun is biting his lower lip. Maybe he’s contemplating if Junmyeon has enough of him already or not. Junmyeon’s not exactly welcoming right now.
“Look, Baekhyun,” Junmyeon says tentatively. His fingers tap on the table mindlessly as he thinks of what to say next. Baekhyun waits. Junmyeon needs to lay out the truth. “I’m your lecturer. You’re my student. This isn’t exactly practical, don’t you think?”
“But I’m your.” Pause. Baekhyun pouts some more. There’s a frown between his brows. “I’m your soulmate. You know that, right? Prof. Kim? I can feel it this morning.”
“You can-” Looking at Baekhyun carefully, Junmyeon amends, “we can wait, Baekhyun.” There it goes, not a definite no but Junmyeon would like to buy some time before Baekhyun takes it upon himself to corner Junmyeon at every opportunity he gets.
Because soulmates work peculiarly, Junmyeon thinks. And Junmyeon really wants to believe in being fate bound because how can he not? All lives are fated, don’t they? Soulmates, the beginning of life. The end of a life. And his heart is still ticklish and the whole of his body is tingly. He’s not going to seal the fate readily, because Junmyeon has responsibilities-other responsibilities- that he needs to see to first. This-they can wait. After all, they just met.
On the other side, Baekhyun pinks a little. (Junmyeon can’t help it but he already likes him, really, because he understands.) He finally offers Baekhyun a small smile and asks the student to step out of his office.