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Home is Not a Place, But a Person

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Baekhyun knows the moment it happens he can’t do anything about it.

Chanyeol and him had only been dating three months when Chanyeol told him the news that he would be going abroad to study for many years. Baekhyun believed it was a cover up for his father being involved in some shady stuff the media had been shedding some light upon recently. They’d move to America for at most six years, Chanyeol had three years of university to finish over there but he was a very family orientated person so Baekhyun believed he would stay with his family as long as he deemed necessary, which who knows how long it could be. Baekhyun also knows that this is the end of their relationship, he knows they can’t do long distance, Baekhyun is too much of an affectionate person and Chanyeol didn’t need to be held back like that, and Baekhyun knew all of this. It didn’t mean he liked it, the days counting down Baekhyun could feel Chanyeol distancing himself and Baekhyun chest ached at the realisation of it. Baekhyun knew Chanyeol was doing it for both their sake, trying to do it as slowly as they could instead of it being all of a sudden. But the slowly loss of love leaving Chanyeol’s eyes was definitely a stab to Baekhyun’s heart. Baekhyun felt a little lost, he wasn’t sure if he could approach Chanyeol, if he wanted that but Baekhyun knew he had to see him off at the airport and that’s where he was now.

Sitting in a too small chair beside the security scan in, the rest of Chanyeol and his friends were there speaking to him while his parents went a fixed everything else for their flight and check in to run smooth. Baekhyun sat back and just watched until Chanyeol approached him. They’d been friends for two years before they dated so you think this wouldn’t be awkward but it was. “Uh… I guess this is it.” Chanyeol smiled while scratching the back of his head. Baekhyun just smiled and walked closer to the tall lanky man who hugged him tight. “You know we can still stay in contact and talk once in a while Baek, I don’t want to completely cut you off.” Baekhyun scoffed, yeah, not completely, just a little. It hurt and Baekhyun felt like he had more in this relationship than Chanyeol ever did with the way he was acting. “I’m serious Baek.” Chanyeol groaned. “Have fun in America, Chanyeol.” Baekhyun stepped back and smiled before waving slightly and leaving the airport, the air suffocating his small body.

Baekhyun mostly missed Chanyeol’s eyes for some reason and Baekhyun was no poet but he felt the need to write out what he was feeling, Chanyeol’s eyes being the main memory etched on the insides of his eyelids so that’s what he scribbled down.

I feel like people don’t romanticise them enough.

Your eyes: Brown eyes.

They, unlike blue or green are less harsh.

They’re soft… Melting almost.

But I feel that soon enough someone else will have you.

And won’t love your eyes like I do.

So I’ve written this as you leave, before I forget, before I make myself forget you

because it’s too hard to remember.

So I can remember.

I love your almost heart melting eyes and so I remember how they slowly lost the spark as you came to love me less and less each day.

And Baekhyun hardly ever thinks of Chanyeol again, he gets the odd update from his friends every now and then but even they don’t hear from his as often as Chanyeol had promised. And after about a year the memory of Chanyeol is just that: a memory. A reminiscence of their younger years, before they had become adults and began to only see each other once a week if they were lucky, university for those who were still in it took up all their time but for Baekhyun it truly was his small vet that he had opened once he got his veterinary diploma that kept him happy. He felt at peace with animals and ever since he was a kid he wanted to help them as much as he possibly could, he was rolling in debt from the loan he had taken to buy the lace and get it started but he was content with living his life like this, losing half his income to pay it each week. As long as the animals stayed safe and happy Baekhyun really didn’t mind, he even had his own room in the Vet, he slept their and even has a small kitchen. Yes Baekhyun lived at his practise but that was fine, right? Baekhyun thought so.

Right as Baekhyun was falling asleep behind the front desk of his practise after everyone had already left the bell above the door rung very suddenly and a tall man covered by a quite large, bloody golden retriever stumbled in. “I found him on the side of the road, Help!” The man was muffled from the dog loosely clinging to him and Baekhyun was suddenly so alert he told the man to follow him and lace the dog down on the table, Baekhyun checking his vitals right away, stethoscope pulled from his neck and resting on areas of the quite old dog, Baekhyun worried he wouldn’t survive due to his age but Baekhyun also knew the dog had a lot of willingness to stay alive, the injuries the dog had sustained would have killed many large animals. He had internal bleeding as well as a few large open gashes and probably a broken leg, maybe even two. “I’ll have to operate I have to ask you to wait outside, I don’t allow others with me.” Baekhyun smiled but never left his eyes of the whimpering dog in front of him, the stranger grunted and left, Baekhyun quickly put the dog on a drip before calling one of his nurses, Wendy, who only lived in an apartment building down the street and before Baekhyun knew it she was there ready and washed up to help him. It may have taken them three hours to stabilise the dog as they nearly lost him a few times baekhyun helped the amount of blood loss as much as he could and checked the dogs other injuries for any other signs of something wrong with the dog. Baekhyun also put both the dogs back legs in casts just to be safe, one was a clean break but he couldn’t quite tell with the other so just while he was recovering Baekhyun would have to do that. He set him in one of the larger crates they had for the dog to recover and he thanked Wendy before she left. “I’ll have to get your details-“ Baekhyun started as he walked out with the clipboard in his hand to address the man who had brought the dog in but the stranger was curled up on himself asleep and when Baekhyun approached closer he realised not only was the man asleep but the man wasn’t any stranger and he was actually Park Chan-fucking-yeol. “Fuck.” Baekhyun mumbled, stumbling for his mobile in his pocket and rushing for the back of the practise. “Baekhyun what are you calling me at nearly four in the morning, this better be an emergency.” Sehun’s groggy angry tone rang through the phone. “Park Chanyeol is curled up on my waiting room lounges asleep as we speak.” Baekhyun’s voice was full of disbelief. “I’ll be right there.” Sehun rushed out right before he hung up and Baekhyun sunk to the ground.

It had been four years without a single word from the man but Baekhyun remembered the feeling of almost grief he experienced at loosing someone he held so close to him. But Baekhyun couldn’t feel anything but hatred towards the man right now. He understood the situation but Baekhyun just couldn’t help feel the bubbling hate inside his guts. The bell went off at the door and Baekhyun stuck his head out from the backroom right as Chanyeol stood up, he looked at Baekhyun with wide eyes who looked at Sehun who looked at Chanyeol in disbelief. “You… You didn’t sleep together or anything did you?” Sehun mumbled out in an awkward way as tension filled the room. Baekhyun grabbed the closest thing to him which happened to be a bone shaped dog toy and flung it towards Sehun, it barely missed the man but he still protested against the attack. “You’re the one that called me in distress because the love of your teenage life showed up! I don’t deserve this kind of disrespect!” Sehun shouted. “Sehun…Baekhyun.” Chanyeol mumbled, not really talking to them but more so testing out the sound of their names in his mouth but after a few seconds his head snapped up. “B-Baekhyun!” Chanyeol moved toward him but stopped himself. “I’m… uh.” Chanyeol muttered. “Yeah you fucked up blah, blah, blah, I’ve heard it from a lot of people don’t bother.” Baekhyun rolled his eyes. “He brought in a dog can you please deal with getting his details, I can’t do this right now.” Baekhyun grabbed his hand before waving his hand at Sehun and turning to leave. “Baek I really didn’t know you would be here but can we please talk, I did intend to come see you.” Chanyeol had moved to grab Baekhyun’s hand. A rush of emotions came tumbling back into Baekhyun’s heart. The first time they held hands when it wasn’t platonic, even before then, the rushing feeling it gave Baekhyun and how it warmed his entire body, their first kiss and the many that followed after that causing Baekhyun’s heart to skip a beat and his warm eyes, the eyes that Baekhyun had worked so hard to forget, the ones he knew would come back to be etched into the insides of his eyelids at least once more in his life time, he just didn’t expect it to be now, not now when he was doing so well and so soon. “You have five minutes, follow me.” Baekhyun never let go, just tugged him along to a room close by for privacy. As soon as they got in the room Baekhyun let go of Chanyeol and pulled two seats out from under the desk. “My dad cut off all my contact to you because… well your father was the detective on his case, I know you didn’t know that and neither did I but my father… on his deathbed he told me.” Baekhyun nodded along, feeling slight empathy for the boy in front of him, he had to move to a foreign country because his dad was a criminal and then his father had died, but Baekhyun wondered why he didn’t try and make contact with him sooner. “I thought you told me family was the most important thing for you.” Baekhyun remembers the huge conversation they had when Chanyeol had broken the news to him. “Baekhyun, my dad passed away a week ago, I came back as soon as I could because you are my family, you always have been even if I was a shitty person, even if I was the one that hurt you and I am so sorry but I really couldn’t change it. You are my family Baek and I-I…” Chanyeol sighed. “Your five minutes is up.” Baekhyun mumbled looking at his watch. Chanyeol just gaped at Baekhyun like a fish. “But I hope… I hope there is a lot more five minutes where that came from.” The two burst into laughter at Baekhyun’s cheesy line. “So what do you do now?” Baekhyun asked, he wanted to be filled in on Chanyeol’s life. So that’s what they did until the sun started to rise, Chanyeol told him about how he had gotten into music producing and who’s albums he had produced in America, some big names surprisingly. Chanyeol ranted on about how he couldn’t believe Baekhyun was a vet and he followed his dream and how he now had a practise and how everything seemed to be going so well for him. But Baekhyun scoffed and told him about the loan and debt and his struggles although he did make note that he was fine with it and actually happy. Baekhyun got Chanyeol’s number, for business and personal reasons and Chanyeol left because Baekhyun needed to open up the practice.

A week later after constant texting and late phone calls with Chanyeol Baekhyun finally got the old group together for a group birthday celebration for the may birthdays, not telling them why and surprising them nicely when he showed up with Chanyeol beside him, they were questioned a lot but Sehun helped fill them in a deflect the awkward ones, so basically all the ‘are you dating?’ type questions. Chanyeol had told Baekhyun that he had inherited a bit of money from his father’s death so Chanyeol offered to pay the entire bill and the others half-assed complained but eventually gave in. The next day Baekhyun trudged to the bank, tired but happy. He took out his bank book and walked up to a window to put in his payments, the woman knowing him well by now. She smiled at him and shook her head. “You’re no longer in debt to us Mr. Byun.” She smiled but Baekhyun just looked at her very confused before she produced a cheque with a hefty sum of money written on it and a signature he barely recognised but it clicked. “Ch-Chanyeol?!” he stuttered before rushing out of the bank, he needed to get back to the vet so he could call Chanyeol. But when Baekhyun got to the vet there Chanyeol was, holding a bouquet, smiling. “Happy late birthday?” Chanyeol shrugged, Baekhyun stood there in shock before approaching, and he took the flowers beginning to blush. “Thank you Chanyeol but I really can’t accept that…” Baekhyun was still in disbelief. “I wouldn’t want to spend it any other way and trust me there is a lot more, my father was a rich dickhead.” Chanyeol laughed but Baekhyun just stared, Chanyeol’s warm brown eyes had that spark back in them, the one they slowly started to loose before he left five years ago. “C-can I kiss you?” Baekhyun stutters out and Chanyeol just nods silently before placing his arms around Baekhyun’s waist. Baekhyun leaning up to kiss Chanyeol hard.

Chanyeol pulled away first, smiling like Baekhyun had never seen before, resting their heads together. “I’ve been waiting so long to do that again.” Chanyeol muttered before kissing Baekhyun himself. This time it was Baekhyun who pulled away. “God I missed you, dork.” Baekhyun sniffled but wouldn’t let tears escape and Chanyeol just picked the still small man up and pulled him flush against his body while Baekhyun rested his head in Chanyeol’s neck.

“I told you, you’re family. I was always going to come back for you.”