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this busy city won't wait for you

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Around 24 years, you get your Jupiter return for the second time. Every time, he opens a door. Or many doors. Jupiter amplifies everything it touches.

Be more balanced. Don’t lose yourself by wanting too much. Control your feelings.

14.8.5.61.12

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“I don’t get it,” Chanyeol says, frowning. “What does that mean?”

“Huh?” The boy behind the counter extends his arm. He wants the tiny paper. Chanyeol gives to him, shaking the remaining pieces of the cookie. The boy – the tag says “Mark” – laughs.

“You choose by your year. It means that now, you’re passing by a Jupiter return.”

“I choose my birth year, but I’m 25…” Chanyeol mumbles. “What does that mean?”

“24 years, this is not age, man,” he laughs harder. Chanyeol is still frowning. “It’s like international age.”

“Oh…” Chanyeol nods. “So, what does that mean?”

“What’s written on the paper,” Mark gives him the tiny piece of paper back. “Jupiter is a planet of good luck and exaggeration. It’s Sagittarius' ruler.”

“Oh,” Chanyeol claps, pointing to himself. “I’m a Sagittarius!”

Mark nods. He’s really young, Chanyeol notices, but he has blonde hair like he’s a celebrity. The boy gives him the rest of his bags. Chanyeol holds them carefully.

“Enjoy your good luck, then,” Mark laughs. “The astrological luck cookie never fails. And be careful with that booze, man.”

“That’s not just for me,” Chanyeol nods. “But thanks, take care!”

 

Chanyeol smells the food; he’s more excited to eat tasteful things. He’s been out for six weeks now and he doesn’t get tired of food and his bed. He’s still getting used to the new phone apps and he spent his free time getting into new music and series. Now, he’s using his first salary after the service to have real fun.

Jongdae and Baekhyun are waiting for him at the front of the store. They’re also ready to party, also greedy for having new experiences. Baekhyun got less time, Jongdae got more, but in the end, they’re back together. And nothing feels better than meeting his old friends, knowing that if the service or adult life haven’t divided them, then probably nothing will.

“Come on,” Jongdae whines. “These things in my eyes are melting.”

“The names are eyeliner and eyeshadows,” Baekhyun says, slapping him. “It’s not that hard.”

Jongdae isn’t a man of much adornment, but he agreed to makeup – he looks out of words, even with a simple black button-up shirt and jeans. Baekhyun is borderline a Drag King now, in shiny clothes and dark eyes, but Chanyeol doesn’t blame him at all. Even himself - not a big fan of dressing up or caring too much about those things, - he put on some effort on his look. He needs to do every little thing that he couldn’t before. He feels like he just lost two years.

Baekhyun starts driving as soon as Chanyeol closes the door. Jongdae turns his face to talk.

“So, tell me about your new job,” he smiles. Jongdae is still the same sweet guy. Nothing in the world could affect him.

“It’s kind of boring,” Chanyeol yawns. “I have to write emails and bring coffee, mostly. Once in a while, I can see some famous people in the rooms. But the people who work there are nice.”

“Well a recent barista let me say that at least you can do nice things on the Radio in the future,” Baekhyun complains. “Working exclusively for money sucks.”

“It’s not like… easy,” Chanyeol says. “I’m trying to make friends there.”

“Don’t worry, Chanyeol, I’m sure you’re going to succeed,” Jongdae smiles. “My classes are pretty boring too and being an assistant is kind of… I don’t know.”

“You said the professor was hot,” Baekhyun grins, Chanyeol can see through the mirror.

“He is, very young, very hot and also gay,” Jongdae says. “And his boyfriend is a head taller than me. You can flirt with the clients.”

“Yeah, for tips. It’s like… softcore prostitution,” Baekhyun says. “Oy, Chanyeol! Don’t sleep!”

“I won’t sleep,” Chanyeol scratches his back and move his legs. He shouldn’t have picked his most comfortable jumper. Now his body thinks he’s going to stay in bed until he passes out.

“I should have brought coffee,” Baekhyun mumbles. “We’re not used to this anymore.”

“Isn’t this going to be at Kyungsoo’s house? He must have coffee,” Jongdae says.

Chanyeol blinks.

“What?” He pushes his body up, sitting straight. “Kyungsoo? I thought we were going to Jongin’s birthday party?”

“Yes,” Baekhyun laughs. “They were born almost on the same day, don’t you remember?”

“But…” Chanyeol tries to focus. “I haven’t heard about him in years…”

Jongdae laughs. The song on the radio is that one about Piña Coladas and the noise of the dices hanging on the mirror makes it sound like a remix.

“It’s because he enlisted just after high school,” Jongdae explains. “Then he started working in an animation studio. I heard he’s pretty good there.”

“No surprises,” Baekhyun says, looking at the road. “Kyungsoo was good at everything. I miss his expressionless face. Tiny cute guy.”

“You’re not that big yourself,” Jongdae points.

Chanyeol can’t think straight. Literally. He’s gay and his high school’s biggest sexual fantasy is going to be at the party. He should have dressed better. He can still remember Kyungsoo bending to pick a pen on the floor… great times … When he used to skip class to play guitar and when he still thought he was going to be famous someday. Now his knees can’t even bend right.

“Fuck, man,” he whispers.

“Chanyeol had a crush on him, right?” Baekhyun laughs. “On his ass, to be more precise.”

“Ah, Chany. You used to be such a hormonal teenager…” Jongdae mocks. “Good to see nothing has changed.”

“Is he single?” Chanyeol asks, ignoring their fun. “I mean, is he dating? Kyungsoo was so dedicated back then. He must be married by now.”

“Not that I know,” Jongdae says. “I only speak to Jongin these days. I mean, from our class, I guess I only met Amber… I saw Juhyun-noona… And Seulgi, she’s close to Jongin, so I guess she’ll be there.”

“Ah, pretty girls,” Baekhyun sings. “That’s what we need to see…”

Chanyeol’s mind is screaming. He could… He didn’t even think about Kyungsoo in the last years. When he was a teenager, he would spend his entire time following Kyungsoo around. They were good friends, after all. Kyungsoo was a fun, nice guy, but too quiet sometimes, keeping parts of him to himself. Chanyeol was a flirting teenager, but he never got the guts to be that careless with Kyungsoo. Kyungsoo was over focused when Chanyeol was dispersed; they parted ways in adult life in a quite regular way.

“He still doesn’t have any social media?” Chanyeol sighs. “How do I know about Jonghyun getting married and I don’t know a single thing about Kyungsoo? We used to be so close…”

“Yeah, Kyungsoo doesn’t even have facebook,” Jongdae nods slowly, frowning. “That’s kind of sad. Remember the sleepover at your house? He was there…”

“I do,” Chanyeol says and he’s getting angry, for a reason – he’s definitely not sleepy anymore. “He slept in my house many times. He was my mother’s favorite.”

“Not that it was a challenge. Didn’t she catch me and Jongdae making out once?” Baekhyun laughs.

“Awkward,” Jongdae laughs too. Baekhyun stops the car, parking messily. Chanyeol looks around and sees Seungwan and a girl walking the street.

“Fuck, is that…” he forces his vision, gluing his face to the window. “Yeri??? Wasn’t she a… kid?”

“She’s eighteen, still a minor…” Jongdae says, opening the door. “But well, she’s not like… twelve anymore.”

Chanyeol feels a hundred years old, but he’s not worried. When he leaves the car, the night breeze hits his face and he can hear the song in the other side of the street, a slow, dark The Killers song that makes his heart beat faster. He fixes his jumper and walks him, chatting with the girls. He doesn’t see Kyungsoo immediately, but he reunites with many old friends. Yixing, the exchange student, Hyoyeon, Seulgi, Minho, Taeyeon… Seems like the time moved backward and he’s walking around in his old school. It’s not the same, of course. Some of them are married and most of them are already settled down. Chanyeol only sees Jongin after bumping into a lot of people.

“Chanyeol-hyung,” he smiles brightly, beautiful like always. “I’m so happy you came!”

Chanyeol, of course, doesn’t miss the chance to pick him in his arms, carrying him bridal style and spinning. Jongin laughs hard, holding on him.

“You’re heavy,” Chanyeol says, putting him down. “I see you’re working out even more.”

“I am,” Jongin says, standing up elegantly. “It’s hard for me to be sitting all day at work, so I guess I get too happy when I go to the gym. But you’re all buff too, hyung.”

“Well, that’s the only good thing,” Chanyeol sighs. “I mean, besides survive skills, drama knowledge, and few friends. In case you want to feel my muscles, you just have to say and I’ll let you touch everything.”

Jongin snorts. He’s holding a beer, but he doesn’t seem drunk. His clothes are expensive and fashionable, but that’s no news.

“My girlfriend is in the other room, hyung, please,” he smiles sincerely, his soft hair moving on his forehead.

“So, you got a girl, that’s okay, I’m not a jealous guy,” Chanyeol mocks, just to make Jongin laugh again. “How about Kyungsoo? That one didn’t speak to me in whole five years, I think.”

“He’s around. He offered his place so he could lock himself in his room, I think,” Jongin smiles again, because he’s not bitter at all, especially when it comes to Kyungsoo. “But he’s exactly the same, hyung. Works too much, hardly complains and helps everyone… He’s tired, I think, but he would love to see you.”

“Really…?” Chanyeol asks hopefully but changes the subject after. He doesn’t want to look that much interested, because… well. He’s not expecting Kyungsoo to be interested in him. At all. He spends his teenage years being thirsty and he doesn’t want to spend his remaining adult years just wanting it too. He can find another nice ass around.

He does find some nice asses and even flirts, but he does it more because he misses being carefree. Still, it doesn’t sound the same like he used to; there’s a heaviness, sobriety that Chanyeol is sure that’s never going to leave him. Chanyeol drinks to forget some ghost feelings of being too rigid, trying to make his body softer. He starts the cycle of peeing, which means that the alcohol already went too deep on him. About the third time he goes to the bathroom, he notices that the only locked room is now slightly open. It’s pretty loud, so he walks to see what’s going on. He shouldn’t, of course, but he’s not thinking right anymore.

“… hyung, can you please leave the room,” Chanyeol recognizes immediately Jongin’s voice. “ At least for a minute. It’s your birthday too, let’s sing happy birthday together.”

Oh, Chanyeol blinks.

… I told you I’m not in the mood. I’m tired, Jongin.” Kyungsoo’s voice is even deeper and Chanyeol skips a breath. He tries not to move, but he’s unconsciously getting closer to the door.

Please, hyung. Everyone is expecting to see you…” There’s a small noise, like something being dropped on a table. “ Do you know who’s here today? Chanyeol hyung. He was asking about you, why don’t you go there and talk to him?”

Chanyeol gets closer as he listens to his own name.

Chanyeol is the last person I would like to see right now,” Kyungsoo answers and he sounds offended. “He’s exhausting. Please, just go. I don’t want to see anyone. Just leave.”

Chanyeol is frozen on the spot, but he almost runs when he hears steps. His heart is palpitating hard, and his hands are slightly shaking, so he doesn’t pay attention and hits his shoulder on his way out to the balcony. It hurts and he holds himself, letting his cup fall on the floor. A random girl frowns and approaches him.

“Are you okay…?” She asks and she sounds genuinely scared. Chanyeol can’t focus on her face and he mumbles, yeah I’m fine , but he’s not sure if he said loud enough for her to hear. He walks on the balcony and tries to breathe fresh air, but the place is filled with smokers. Chanyeol gives up and goes back to the party – the music suddenly seems too loud, the people too strange and he feels truly disconnected.

A hand holds his non-hurt shoulder.

“Chanyeol,” a soft voice says. He looks down. It’s Yixing.

“Yixing… hyung…” he whispers.

“Come with me,” Yixing says, rubbing his arms. Chanyeol follows him, even if it’s hard for him to avoid the people walking around. Yixing is leaving the apartment and he holds Chanyeol’s hand firmly. Chanyeol just stares at the ceiling.

“Look at me,” Yixing says and holds his other hand. Chanyeol looks at him again. “You’re at a party, with his friends and you’re fine. You’re just a bit drunk. How long since you drank this much?”

“Two years… two years and a half… I guess…” Chanyeol says.

“Okay, sit here,” Yixing points to the wall and helps Chanyeol to sit on the floor. “Wait for me. Until there, breathe slowly. Close your eyes. It’ll help.”

“Yes,” Chanyeol closes his eyes and breathes slowly. He has no idea of how long it takes to Yixing to comes back, because he’s sure he blanked out at least for some seconds. When he wakes up, his head is on a pillow and he’s on the floor. He tries to sit down, but his head is spinning.

“Calm down, hyung,” he hears and he recognizes Jongin’s voice. “Go slow.”

“What?” He blinks. Jongin, Baekhyun, and Jongdae are standing next to him. Jongdae squats to look better at Chanyeol.

“You just… passed out, friend,” he smiles, unbothered as ever. “Yixing brought water but you didn’t wake up. We were already ready to put you on the couch and call the emergency.”

“Sorry, I guess I’m not used to alcohol anymore,” Chanyeol rubs his face with both hands. Baekhyun offers him a mourn mug. “What’s that…?”

“It’s a tea to help you to get better,” Jongin says. Chanyeol takes the mug and drinks it vigorously. “Hey, calm down! You don’t have to drink that fast… Kyungsoo made more in case you need it…”

Chanyeol stops drinking at the exact moment he hears Kyungsoo’s name. There isn’t much left, anyway. He gives back the mug to Baekhyun.

“I’m sorry for causing trouble, guys,” he says, standing up with difficulty. “I’ll go home…”

“You don’t have to, hyung,” Jongin says gently. “You can stay—”

“No, thanks,” Chanyeol says, trying to focus. “I miss my bed. I need to rest a bit.”

“I’ll take you home,” Jongdae says, smiling. “I’m also very sleepy. I had fun, but it’s enough…”

“Are you sure?” Baekhyun frowns. “We can take him home and then come back…”

“No, I’m serious, I’m sleepy…” Jongin reassures them. “I’ll just drop him safely then sleep too.”

“Fine,” Baekhyun nods. “I’ll take a cab home… take him, but please call me if he throws up or anything like that…”

“Don’t worry,” Jongdae says, grabbing Chanyeol’s arms. “Let’s go, Yoda, I’ll be your Luke Skywalker tonight!”

“So you’ll carry me?” Chanyeol laughs, pretending he’s not feeling like he’s about to die.

“If you were Yoda’s size, sure…”

The stairs are a problem, but the car moving is even worst; Chanyeol feels nauseous, but he knows he won’t throw up. The street lights pass by too fast, the chill music on the radio makes him dizzy and he really wants to cry, for some reason he can’t explain.

“Hey,” Jongdae says while driving, not looking at Chanyeol. “Are you good?”

“Yeah, just dizzy,” Chanyeol says. “Thanks for taking me home. Sorry if I ruined your night.”

“You didn’t,” Jongdae snorts. “You gave me a nice excuse to leave.”

“The party wasn’t cool…?” Chanyeol looks at him. Jongdae looks different, driving like that. His eyes are kind of sad, Chanyeol concludes.

“No, it was lovely. I was really happy to see our friends again…” Jongdae says, gulping. “I am just tired… I don’t know. I’m not in the mood for partying all night, drinking my ass off and flirting. I just want to go home after a while.”

Chanyeol let his words sink, closing his eyes to avoid the lights.

“It’s weird to feel like things will never be the same again?” Chanyeol says and he gulps slowly. “Like when we were young… I mean, we are young, but…”

“Things can’t be the same because we changed,” Jongdae says simply. “Some of us can still enjoy the things we did before, some don’t. I… think I want to do other things now. I don’t feel like partying. I used to do those things because I wanted to experiment, but now it doesn’t make sense anymore.”

Chanyeol opens his eyes and he nods slowly.

“I think those weeks being lazy kind of fucked up my body,” Chanyeol says absently, resting his had on the window. “I need to work out. Train again.”

“Don’t we all…” Jongdae laughs.

“Can I sleep in your bed tonight…?” Chanyeol asks quietly. “I don’t want to sleep alone…”

“What happened?” Jongdae frowns and looks at Chanyeol for the first time. “You look sad…”

“Nothing,” Chanyeol dismisses him. “Kind of tired too…”

 

But at the end of the night, even if he’s sleeping in Jongdae’s bed, Chanyeol can’t forget.

Chanyeol is the last person I would like to see right now.

 

He’s exhausting.

 

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When the alcohol leaves his body, Chanyeol starts to run. Only in the morning, when he wakes up, since his radio schedule is a mess. He even goes out to buy healthy food, but as he gets home, he doesn’t know much what with them. Jongdae prepares few things, but Chanyeol has to use his money to consult a nutritionist and he didn’t actually expect her to give him nothing but some diet, but she actually gives good advice.

“I talk to many men like you, you know, who just left the military,” she puts her arms over her immaculate white table, inspecting the results of his exams. “It’s always the same… nothing wrong… besides few vitamins, but… just one or two fruits and cereals will help…”

Chanyeol frowns, confused.

“The problem isn’t here, understand?” She points with her long nails to the paper, but she’s looking at him. You are healthy, but you’re not used to your new life. The problem is in your mind.”

“So I need a psychologist?” He asked and move in his seat, uncomfortable.

“Well, we all need one,” she says, picking a pen. “Try to make some sport instead of running, something competitive, with rules, that give you some sense of objective. A type of fight? Maybe. I will pass you a new diet, then you come back here to tell me how you have been adapting, ok?”

He watches her writing and he feels like she’s right, somehow, but he can’t help but feel lost. Feeling lost is exactly the feeling. He knows that he can’t sit down and wait for the things to adjust to him, but… His sister is about to marry, his parents are too busy working, his friends are trying as hard as him to fit into their new lives and the ones who have settled already, well, they’re living their lives – in very different ways.

 

“A fight, she said,” Jongdae says thoughtfully, munching his hamburger. “Like Martial Arts?”

The place is crowded. It's the new popular place in town; Chanyeol wanted to see, even if he knew he was going to pay an astronomical price for a simple hamburger. The music was loud and there were so many young people that he felt like he was back to his partying days. They all look younger than him, somehow, but he wasn’t sure if it was true or just because he was feeling old.

“Hey,” Jongdae continues. “I think I know a nice place where you can train. I mean, I know a nice boxing gym near home… Every day I pass by it when I stop to buy some bread… I would visit it, but I’m a bit shy about going by myself…”

“I thought you and Baekhyun were going to work together… what happened to your give-a-ride schedule?”

“I don’t know, we’re lazy,” Jongdae shrugs and then takes a huge bite of his burger. “Also, Amber recommended me the place. She says all her friends go there.”

“He lives upstairs,” Chanyeol says dryly. “You can take the elevator if you’re tired.”

“When do you want to visit?” Jongdae ignores Chanyeol’s complaints. “We can go on Monday after work…”

“Fuck, no, Monday I take the night shift,” Chanyeosl says and he finished his burger in two bites. He continues, still munching, “how about Thursday? I only work in mornings.”

“Done,” Jongdae asks for a high-five, munching. A lady accidentally bumps into his shoulders while passing and he, of course, apologizes first.

“No problem, it was my fault,” she says, smiling and bowing. She’s using a tight rainbow dress and she looks out of this world, all long black hair and stunning pretty face. “Wait… Jongdae-oppa?”

“Huh?” He asks, a bit shy. Chanyeol wants to laugh; Jongdae is threatened by her beauty and scared at the same time. “Do we…?”

“Sooyoung, I used to go to Juhyun rehearsals, we did that wonder girls cover…” she points to herself. “Do you remember me, Chanyeol-oppa? People would call me Joy in high school…”

“Ahhh, of course,” Jongdae snaps his fingers. “How are you doing…?”

“I’m great, I’m just having a break from uni and—”

“You’re in uni…?” Chanyeol gapes. “How old are you now?”

“Twenty-one…” She smiles – she’s using gloves and that would look ridiculous in anyone who doesn’t look as good as she does. “I mean, almost twenty-one, I’m legally twenty.”

Chanyeol and Jongdae stare at each other and laughs. Sooyoung crosses her arms, but she smiles.

“What?”

“Sorry,” Jongdae says politely. “It’s just that we kind of spent a long time traveling before doing service and it seems that we found every high school kid now and you’re all grown up.”

“Yeah, I forgot you guys didn’t stick around, Sehun was just talking about that—” She was pointing when Chanyeol makes a loud, indignant sound.

“Oh Sehun, you asshole,” he screams, before even spotting Sehun talking in a table just a few meters away from them. “You were supposed to meet us an hour ago!”

Some people look at them, curious, but Chanyeol couldn’t care less. Sehun and Yeri look at him shocked; they look all ready to go to a party. Sehun goes to them, giggling.

“Sorry, hyung,” he smiles and Chanyeol already forgave him. “I just bumped into the girls and got distracted. I hope you two have already eaten.”

“Don’t worry about that,” Jongdae says, wiping his mouth with the napkin and Chanyeol is almost amused by him trying to show some manners. “Chanyeol already ate three. He’s out of control lately.”

“I never wait for people when the thing is about food,” Chanyeol agrees, rubbing his belly.

“Is this how you got so big, hyung?” Yeri asks, half-mocking, half shocked. “I think your arm is like … Joy’s waist or something.”

“You can touch, if you want it,” Chanyeol flexes, pushing his short-sleeve up. “But not too much, because you’re a minor and this is a whole over nineteen body.”

“But as you can see, he’s still the same dumb guy,” Sehun says plainly. Chanyeol punches him slightly and Sehun makes a face like he’s suffering. Sooyoung and Jongdae both laugh.

“Don’t worry, Hyung, I’m taken,” Yeri says, nodding. Her tiny loose ponytail shakes. “Ah, talking about that… I and Joy were on our way to meet my girlfriend at the party and Sehun is coming with us, want to come too?”

Chanyeol blinks. He’s not even surprised by Sehun’s betrayal, the annoying pop song that it’s been replayed over and over again or how Jongdae looks at him, blinking, too worried. He’s just surprised how casually the word was dropped, how simple it was.

“By the way, she’s calling me, so we better hurry,” Sooyoung says, distracted. Sehun and Yeri seem to be more aware of Chanyeol’s sudden discomfort. Jongdae taps his knee under the table.

“Let’s go,” he says gently. “I can’t let you eat another hamburger. You’re losing your control these days.”

“I’ll pay for it,” Sehun smiles. “To apologize for… my delay.”

“You didn’t even come,” Chanyeol frowns. “You’re only here because Sooyoung found us.”

“Shut up or I won’t pay for your food,” Sehun smiles.

“Fine,” Chanyeol nods.

 

He feels a bit better after walking a little. He’s still getting used to staying awake until late at night, but he wants to see people and maybe drink again. He will drink less, of course, to not be a burden to his friends. The street is full of people and most of them are new faces, even if Chanyeol stare at them trying to recognize someone. He’s tired, because he ran in the morning and worked a lot, climbing stairs to pick papers and bring coffees, making his knees too weak, but he would be better with some company. When he’s alone at home, he thinks about how he has no idea of what he wants to do, because there’s so many things he wanted to accomplish and he can’t sit down to materialize them. It’s like he’s in living in a weird hiatus that he didn’t planned, in between two realities that he can’t define yet.

And sometimes, he thinks about his parents’ expectations, his friends were too busy chasing their dreams and… Kyungsoo’s words. He didn’t expect to be so hurt after that but… he never did anything wrong to Kyungsoo. Ever. Even if Chanyeol was clearly attracted to him, he tried to not show this often because he was scared that Kyungsoo would reject him – and Chanyeol couldn’t imagine another scenario, really. He tried so hard to be Kyungsoo’s friend and then… Chanyeol was just annoying him. Or maybe everyone.

“Chanyeol,” Jongdae holds his arm. Chanyeol blinks and then stops walking. “We’re here.”

The girls are already crossing the street, but Sehun is waiting for him. Chanyeol nods, looking at the small club. It was a house, painted all black and there were people drinking outside and lights inside. After they cross the street, Chanyeol can see better and he spots a tiny, discreet rainbow flag on the main door. Chanyeol gulps, looking around. Everyone is just talking, hugging and drinking; well dressed and smiley.

A tall guy comes to hug Sehun and Chanyeol and Jongdae just watches them, two steps away.

“Oh, you should have warned me you were coming,” he says in a sweet way, holding Sehun’s shoulders. “I would’ve pick you at home, honey.”

“Ah, I told you I was going to meet my friends,” Sehun gets out of the way. “Chanyeol is the tall one and Jongdae is the tiny. Hey guys, this is Zitao…”

“Nice to meet you,” Jongdae smiles brightly. “I’m tiny…”

Zitao laughs. He’s… like a movie star, Chanyeol thinks. He has platinum hair, pushed up, makeup is done and he’s dressed in all black and shiny clothes that seem expensive. He even has a bag.

“Nice to meet you,” Chanyeol says enthusiastically.

“Well, I don’t think I have seen these two yet…” Zitao says gently. “Your other friends are here… I mean, some of them.”

“Sehun has a thousand friends…” Jongdae nods, smiling. “It’s awful. We can’t even blink and he’s gone…”

Zitao smiles, nodding and it’s like a scene of a movie when you can see two people slowly meeting their romantic pair – maybe Chanyeol is spending too much time watching Netflix, but the music on is an oldie by Boa and it feels kind of nostalgic. Maybe the lights on the back hit them accidentally, but Chanyeol just stares at Sehun uncomfortable because he doesn’t want to be some cockblocking friend. Sehun takes the hint.

“So, where are the guys at?” He coughs to break the long staring between Zitao and Jongdae. “I want to talk to them.”

“Oh, of course,” Zitao blinks, clapping. He’s using some 90’s bracelets and it looks weirdly fitting in a man of his size. “Do you guys want to drink anything? We kind of exaggerated, because you know, my friend just left home today and he never fucking leave home…”

He says while walking and he waves his long arm, smiling. Chanyeol looks around, a bit excited and afraid to meet people. They are sitting in a small table next to the club, that looks like any other garden table. There are boys and girls sitting in simple chairs and lots of bottles on the table and the ground. Only now Chanyeol realizes that Yeri and Sooyoung have disappeared of their sights. He thought they were the girls kissing on the other side, but then he realized they were too small and stopped staring.

“Hey,” Jongdae laughs. “Look at where you heading to, I’m in your way…”

“Sorry,” Chanyeol hasn’t noticed that he bumped to Jongdae or that he was surrounded by people. “Ah…”

He looks at the table and now he can see “Sehun’s friends” that basically consisted of people they met in school time plus some random beauties like him. Jongdae runs to talk with Amber and Chanyeol just smiles and bows.

“Hey,” she says, smiling into Jongdae’s tight hug. She still looks like a mischievous kid. “Finally, you guys showed up!

Sehun gives Chanyeol a beer.

“Wow, you look… even bigger, Chanyeol,” Amber says and they half-hug like “bros”; a tradition since teenagers. “What are you eating? I can’t get muscles like that…”

“Everything,” Jongdae says, pretending he’s sad. “He’s eating like he’s possessed. I can’t let food be unattended anymore…”

She laughs hard and Chanyeol slaps his friend.

“I’m starting a diet tomorrow,” Chanyeol says solemnly.

“You have said that every day since last month,” Jongdae retorts.

“I have the diet now,” Chanyeol bickers.

“You guys haven’t changed at all,” Sunyoung says, passing an arm around Amber’s shoulders. Her hair is long and brown, with short bangs and the bright yellow shirt she’s using has written on big pink font ‘LIKES GIRLS’. “I could recognize your whining from far…”

“He’s provoking me,” Chanyeol whines.

“Ah, there’s something missing… where’s Baekhyun?” Amber asks.

“He doesn’t leave home anymore,” Sehun says. “He’s changed.”

“He’s working on his line of clothes and he’s kind of obsessed…” Chanyeol explains. “But sometimes he goes to parties. “

“Ah, I know what it is,” Sunyoung says, nodding. “Hey! Kyungsoo!”

She turns her head while she screams – she was always a good singer – and they all turn to see where’s she looking even before realizing who’s she calling. Chanyeol stares, in shock at Kyungsoo, sitting quietly in the corner, sitting next to Seulgi. He’s just like he used to be: short, cute and eating something. Chanyeol’s stomach does that thing that he feels like vomiting and laughing at the same time and he can’t help but check Kyungsoo out. He’s in all black, his clothes so dark that the sneakers look like they’re a part of his skinny jeans.

“Ah, didn’t seen him there,” Jongdae smiles. “Kyungsoo!”

“He’s camouflaged,” Amber says, winking.

Kyungsoo stares at them and, to Chanyeol’s horror, he gets up and walks to them, still munching whatever he’s munching. He looks so good, Chanyeol thinks, now he’s using that undercut and the right glasses to his chubby cheeks… Chanyeol wants to slap himself.

“Hello,” he says and his deep voice is still a heavenly sound. “Nice to see you again…”

“Hello,” Jongdae imitates him. “It’s too cold to stand on your own, friend. Or are you like Chanyeol that goes out with gym clothes in winter?”

Kyungsoo stares at Chanyeol. Chanyeol gulps.

“Oh, hi, Chanyeol. I saw you weeks ago, but you were sleeping…” he says casually, and he gives Chanyeol that heart smiled that used to make teenager Chanyeol’s heart goes crazy in his chest. Now, Chanyeol kind of wants to punch that squishy face. Yeah, he’s cute, but he won’t fool Chanyeol anymore.

“Yeah, sorry about that,” Chanyeol says dryly. “I didn’t mean to be a burden. I don’t drink that much anymore…”

“It wasn’t a problem…” Kyungsoo says quickly, somehow apologetically. Jongdae frowns. “I even asked Jongin to make you stay in case if you—”

“But I didn’t, thank you for being so nice,” Chanyeol says, angry, and he sips his beer. The girls are completely confused and Zitao pops up with a cute looking drink in a martini glass.

“A friend of mine is doing drinks inside, anyone wants one?” He offers, completely unaware, and Sooyoung picks the drink, happy.  

“I want one,” Jongdae says and Zitao smiles. “Can you tell me where…?”

“Come with me,” Zitao says, a bit shyly and Jongdae just follows him, leaving Chanyeol in astonishment. He looks at Segun and that’s all they need, to express their mutual shock.

“I give them thirty minutes,” Amber is the only to verbalize the happening. “If much.”

“Is everything okay with you?” Kyungsoo asks suddenly, staring at Chanyeol. “It’s been a long time since we talked. I know you just left service… you look nice.”

He’s being gentle and worried, as always and it’s nauseating to Chanyeol to hear each word.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Chanyeol sighs, not looking at him. “And you…?”

“I’m good,” Kyungsoo says and Chanyeol can’t see his face but he can sense his anxiousness.

“Good,” Chanyeol says pointedly and he turns to Sehun. “I want to see what’s like inside, let’s go?”

Sehun is making a face; he seems as lost as the girls, but he nods slowly. Amber shrugs and snorts.

“Be careful while you’re inside,” she says secretly. “Seungri is here with his new boy.”

Sehun rolls his eyes to the orbits and now Chanyeol is the one who’s not getting. Sehun grabs Chanyeol by the arm.

“Congratulations, hyung. You’re my fake boyfriend for the night.”

“I love being a fake boyfriend,” Chanyeol says, laughing. “But then you’ll have to tell me why.”

“Later,” Sehun pleads. “We’re going!”

“Bye girls,” Chanyeol says, waving. “Nice to see you two.”

They walk slowly, trying to not bump into anyone. Chanyeol doesn’t look back, doesn’t even try to pretend he knows Kyungsoo is still there.

“Why are you treating him like that…” Sehun asks in a low voice, and he sounds a bit sad. “What happened?”

“Nothing,” Chanyeol lies. “You can’t tell me shit but I have to talk?”

“Fine,” Sehun stops and looks over Chanyeol’s shoulder. “Seungri is my ex.”

“Fuck…” Chanyeol blinks. He suddenly needs a beer. “Fuck every kid here is dating…? Does everyone is now… you know…?”

“There’s a reason why we all became friends,” Sehun says casually. “It’s never a coincidence…”

Chanyeol thinks about that. It kind of makes sense.

“What happened between you and hyung…” Sehun asks again and he looks like a sad puppy. “You used to be best friends.”

“Not everyone stays as friends in adult life.”

Sehun lets go of Chanyeol’s arm and stands in front of him, crossing his arms. He’s so tall and broad now, Chanyeol thinks. He used to be just a mess of bones when he was seventeen. He stares at Chanyeol, waiting, and even if the place is a mess around them, Chanyeol feels a bit intimidated to be pressured by a friend like that.

“What?” He asks, almost pouting.

“No offense, but like, even the guys from google’s satellites must know you were into Kyungsoo. Being discreet was never your strong point, hyung.”

Chanyeol shrugs, looking down.

“It was a long time ago. I don’t like him anymore.”

“You don’t like… someone?” Sehun frowns even harder. “That’s even hard to believe. If you would have said you two had a fight, then ok… but that?”

 

“Well, I don’t like him anymore and it’s true,” Chanyeol whines. “Come on, I want to drink…”

 

Sehun doesn’t seem to be convinced, but he agrees. Chanyeol asks for a drink with Vodka and he inspects the place while drinking. Sehun doesn’t need him all night. He disappears and Chanyeol suspects he found a real company this time. Chanyeol finds Jongdae dancing, but apparently Amber’s prediction isn’t that right and he’s only talking with Zitao. After a while he stops moving and rests a bit, leaning against a wall. That’s the first time he realizes that he’s also being watched. Two guys in the corner are staring at him but trying to be discreet and the barman now is not being as discreet as he was when Chanyeol was asking for the drink. He blushes and turns his sight, but he feels… good. He doesn’t feel… ready, which is weird, because sometimes he’s sure he’s ready to do anything. But it’s his first time there and he wants… he wants to feel confident; this is something that he can’t reach in this moment.

He sends a message to Jongdae asking if he’s ok with Chanyeol leaving early. Jongdae, as always, answers soon, informing Chanyeol that’s fine.

Chanyeol comes back home on his own, grabs some food and watches a funny movie while enjoying being a bit high. He thinks about Kyungsoo smiling softly at him and how much it bothered him. He gets up, picks a glass and throws it against the wall with full force.

 

He wakes up alone. Jongdae’s room is open and his bed is untouched. Chanyeol is a bit worried, but he waits until Jongdae calls him to tell he’s fine.

The doorbell rings.

Chanyeol opens the door, ignoring that he’s only in underwear, sleepy and hungover. There’s no problem because it’s just Baekhyun and he’s looking even worse than Chanyeol.

“Please tell me there’s food here,” Baekhyun begs; Chanyeol is sure he saw Baekhyun using those clothes three days ago.

“Yeah…” Chanyeol mumbles, blinking. “Are you okay, man?”

“Sorry,” Baekhyun pushes Chanyeol away gently and walks in. “I only have three days before going back to work and many shit to fix, I was living off delivery food, but I got no money left for that, now.”

“Ah, fine,” Chanyeol closes the door. “You’ll have to cook your own food. Jongdae isn’t here…”

Baekhyun keeps walking, but he glances at Chanyeol before disappearing in the kitchen.

“He’s not? Where is he?” He asks.

“No idea,” Chanyeol yawns and he picks the first shirt he sees. “We went to a party with Sehun yesterday and he didn’t come back.”

“Ah,” Baekhyun laughs. “Sehun told me. He sent me messages today to ask me to “spill the tea”.”

“The tea,” Chanyeol asks from inside the shirt. “What tea?”

“The tea is like… he wants to tell me a gossip,” Baekhyun laughs. “You used to be a connected guy, Chanyeol, what happened?”

“I don’t know, “Chanyeol says as he enters the kitchen. “I guess I’m still getting used back to things…”

Baekhyun is putting the ingredients to spaghetti on the table. Last time he did it, he burned the whole sauce. Chanyeol sighs.

“Ok, let me do it for you,” he says. “I guess I need to eat and you do look cute while you eat, so…”

Baekhyun beams, bowing many times. Chanyeol follows the recipe on his mind. He survived with less the last months, having so much food to cook won’t be hard. Baekhyun puts on a song because they have been friends for too long and they know how to work best. Chanyeol holds the tomatoes and cuts one by one, singing the song and moving his body in the rhythm.

“So,” Baekhyun says, sitting by the table. “What’s the tea?”

“About Jongdae?” Chanyeol frowns. “I don’t know, man. He probably banged one of Sehun friends.”

“I see,” Baekhyun says. “Sehun asked about you and Kyungsoo, but it’s good to know.”

Chanyeol puts the tomato pieces on the bowl and takes a long breath.

“No tea, I guess.”

“He said you mistreated Kyungsoo,” Baekhyun said, making a face to his phone screen. “That can’t be true. I can’t imagine that not even in a thousand universes.”

Chanyeol feels that anger again, now tied to the fact he also feels like he’s the dumbest man in the world.

“Maybe I’m not interested in being his friend anymore…”

“Yeah, you? If I introduced to the devil, you would take pictures with them for your insta,” Baekhyun says. “You still have an instagram, right?”

“I do,” Chanyeol grunts.

“Are you mad at Kyungsoo…?” Baekhyun asks confused, watching Chanyeol measuring the spices. “From all the people in the universe, why him?”

“He doesn’t like me too. It’s a mutual feeling,” Chanyeol says.

“I doubt it,” Baekhyun says. “If Kyungsoo didn’t like someone, I guess no one would ever find out, he’s so polite…”

That’s it, Chanyeol thinks. He was so damn stupid. He would never find out – he would keep following Kyungsoo around like a dog just to find out Kyungsoo hated him all this time. He sighs and turns to Baekhyun.

“Listen, I don’t want to talk about him anymore, okay? I’m done. I don’t like the guy, it’s over.”

Baekhyun gapes.

“Well… fine…” he says, nodding slowly. “You don’t need to get mad at me too…”

“I’m just…” he goes back to cooking. It’s hard to explain.

 

When he and Baekhyun finish preparing the meal, he takes a picture and puts it on his Instagram; the first pic in years.

Something new :)



Jongdae is fine. He’s so fine when he gets home that he keeps his happy mood until Thursday and visits the boxing gym with Chanyeol. It looks small outside, but it’s ample and comfortable outside. Everything is black and glassy like someone tried to create a contrast between hidden and open. Jongdae looks around curiously, checking the names on the wall, the punching bags, the hanged gloves and twirling around the room. There are some guys walking around and even girls so Chanyeol feels more comfortable to walk to the biggest boxing ring – it stays in the center, under the lights. He likes it and he touches the jumping ropes someone left there.

“Hello, how can I help you,” a tall man walks to them. He’s not very muscular, but there is something scary about the way he walks.

“Hi,” Jongdae smiles, bowing. “We want to know more about the gym…”

The man checks Chanyeol and Jongdae before answering.

“Trying to work out or a more professional thing?”

“Work out,” Jongdae says.

“I could try the professional thing,” Chanyeol says. “Anything is better than my job lately.”

Jongdae snorts and the man gives him a small smile; Chanyeol considers it a victory.

“My name is Yifan. I’m a trainer here,” he says simply. “I was a fighter few years ago. But then I got hurt and now I train here.”

“Ah, you don’t look hurt,” Chanyeol frowns.

“Internal,” Yifan points to his torso and they get tense immediately. “But as I was saying, I need to know what kind of training you want, to know exactly what to show around the gym.”

“Since we are beginners, the simplest? I mean, Chanyeol can take some punches, but I’m a bit skinny…” Jongdae tries. The man rubs his hands together and the whistle. A tiny girl comes running to them, fully dressed like she’s about to fight – except she’s not using gloves, but some sort of elastic ribbon around her hand.

“See that girl,” he says pointing to her. “Our best female lightweight, Taeyeon. She may look fragile to you, but she can take you down. Even you, Mr. Big guy.”

Chanyeol wants to snort, but the girl raises her eyebrows and leans her head.

“Wanna try, boy?” She asks slowly.

“No… no, I’m good,” he says, gulping. Jongdae tries to contain a laugh. The man seems satisfied, nodding. Two or three guys are looking at them.

“Taeyeon, show them the basic training route,” he says. “I hope you enjoy the place. In case you want to stay, talk to me.”

They nod and the man leaves. She points with her head to the right.

“Follow me newbies, what are your names,” she asks absently, waving to the guys. “These will be your colleagues if you stay at the gym… at this turn…”

“I’m Jongdae and he’s Chanyeol,” Jongdae says, also waving to the guys.  Chanyeol shakes his head, smiling. He’s such a—

“They are ours or from upstairs?” One of them asks.

“Let’s see…” she smiles knowingly and keep walking. She shows him the pretraining, easy repetitive exercises. It does sound exhausting, even if they aren’t difficult.

“Can we see people fighting?” Chanyeol says, touching a water punching bag. “Nice.”

“If you get in, you’ll spend weeks and months before you even get to punch a person,” she explains. “And the first time is just a simulation, even for the professionals. Don’t get too excited about it.”

“What’s upstairs?” Jongdae asks.

“Oh, they are a part of a gym, but small rooms,” she answers. “Yoga, Pilates and Physiotherapy.”

“I don’t understand why… why did they ask…” Jongdae frowns.

“Ignore it. It’s a joke. Some of the guys here are dumb,” Taeyeon says simply. “Too much testosterone affects the brain. And men aren’t shit.”

It’s not like Chanyeol or Jongdae will deny in her face.

“So,” she says, opening her arms. “What do you think?”

“I’m in,” Chanyeol says.

“Count me in,” Jongdae nods.





Chanyeol was fully back at his social media routine. He can now use his only privilege at work and take pictures with famous musicians and talk a lot about the radio routine. That’s what changes in his schedule in two months, besides the gym. He stills has a Netflix addiction, he can’t go to parties and he’s constantly tired. He doesn’t know what he’s doing most of the time.

Nothing is too different.

Maybe Sehun’s birthday party. But no confrontation happens.

Baekhyun and Yixing sit while holding hands and to no one’s surprise but Chanyeol, they apparently are dating. Everybody acts like normal. Chanyeol pretends he’s okay with that information, mostly because Jongdae also doesn’t care – he’s too busy disappearing at weekends to care that much.

And then, Jongin, his girlfriend, Kyungsoo and Amber are sitting in the corner, talking and when Chanyeol talks to them he doesn’t spare Kyungsoo a look before sitting far away. Kyungsoo doesn’t do anything. Life goes on.

 

“I really don’t understand,” Jongdae says, putting on his sneakers. The gym gets really crowded at night and in the morning, but after lunch, it’s empty for some reason. Chanyeol is trying to change his shirt, but he’s so sweaty that the fabric glues on his skin.

“Fuck, I need to buy the clothes,” he complains.

“Are you going to ignore me?” Jongdae slaps Chanyeol’s arm, then makes a face. “You’re so gross, go take a bath."

“What do you want,” Chanyeol says angrily. “What the fuck, man.”

“You just stopped trying to hang out with Kyungsoo and Jongin. You barely look at them,” Jongdae says. “You don’t expect me to believe you just stopped liking people.”

“I don’t like straight people,” Chanyeol says, out loud. He’s been having trouble not get into fights. Some guys at the gym still make some… remarks. One of them suggested that Jongdae should do yoga, instead of boxing, because he was ‘too soft’ to fight. If he wasn’t saying in a suggestive tone, Chanyeol would agree. But with that smile, he had to come really close to the man and say ‘sometimes tough guys are soft too, you know?’, slowly and clear, checking him out. The man took a hint.

“Stop it,” Jongdae laughs. “I told you.”

“I don’t like them too, but stop screaming,” Taeyeon says, walking by. “Chanyeol, if you want to get naked, go to the men’s changing room.”

“Sorry,” he apologizes. He wasn’t in the mood to climb the stairs, but he had been called out before. He picks his bag, screams ‘wait for me’ and then runs to the next floor. It’s a different air upstairs, literally: it smells like incense and air conditioner. It’s a lot colder and cleaner and Chanyeol always feels weird walking in the corridor. He looks around and notices there’s someone coming, so he hides himself, jumping back some degrees.

“… so basically, we have three sessions this week,” a female voice says. Chanyeol is almost sure is one of the instructors. “But only one of then is women-only, on Friday night.”

“… Ah, I can’t come Friday night…” another woman says quietly. “Do you know if there are a lot of the guys on Wednesday night?”

“Ah, no, I mean, just five…” the other woman says. “I know the boxing dudes may scare a bit, but the men on our floor aren’t the same, you know, they just want to workout and fixes problems…”

“The boxing guys did scare me…”

They laugh. Chanyeol secretly agrees. At least half of the guys in his training session just wants to reinforce their masculinity.

“Ah, why don’t you try Friday morning? There’s just Kyungsoo in the room, I guarantee you,” the woman says.

Chanyeol widens his eyes and almost falls. He’s torn between staying there or going back and he just… waits. There were many Kyungsoo’s in the world. Many. It could be another Kyungsoo. He never heard about Kyungsoo going to the gym, anyway. He never bumped into him… well, Chanyeol has never gotten into the gym during Friday mornings… But it couldn’t be, he says to himself. It couldn’t be Kyungsoo.

He remembers who recommended the gym to Jongdae.

Amber.

“Amazing,” Chanyeol mumbles. “Fucking amazing.”

He can’t hear any voices anymore so he takes a deep breath and climbs the rest of the stairs.







His boss is staring at him, incredulous.

“So,” she says, looking so soft in her rainbow top and heart earrings, “you’re telling me that you want to trade your Friday morning shift to work Friday night? Voluntarily?”

“Yes,” he says, smelling the coffee. It’s weird to be the one drinking it. “I don’t really go out on Friday night.”

She puts her elbows on the table and supports her face on her hands.

“Are you okay, Chanyeol…?” She asks. “You’re a good assistant here, but sometimes I worry.”

“Yes,” he smiles. “Thank you for worrying, Steph.”

“Fine,” she says. “If you say so, I think now I have to inform that a lucky someone can be free during Friday nights.”

“Thank you,” he says, nodding.




Chanyeol just wants to be sure. That’s all. He doesn’t even tell Jongdae about his shift change. He won’t notice, because he doesn’t even stop at home during Fridays. Chanyeol goes to the gym alone with his bag, feeling half stupid and half excited. He doesn’t know why, but he’s motivated, training harder. He looked up the Pilates schedule and he knows Kyungsoo’s session starts at nine a.m. and finishes almost at eleven. He doesn’t see Kyungsoo in the time he’s supposed to enter the gym, so Chanyeol isn’t even sure if he’s there.

Maybe it is another Kyungsoo.

Chanyeol is trying to get out of his shirt when he’s punched in his back.

“Fuck,” he screams, finally taking off the shirt.

“Why do you never learn?” Taeyeon sighs. She’s looking like a kid in a big shirt with the Gym’s name printed on it. “Upstairs, in the changing room.”

Chanyeol nods. He really wanted to pass by the second floor. The Pilates room has a glass entry and he sometimes caught people rolling in big balls like it was a toy room or something. That kind of thing fitted Kyungsoo, he thinks, climbing the stairs. He would look cute while doing it. Chanyeol slaps himself. You dumbass.

Chanyeol gets on the second floor and looks at the glass door, trying to see if he can see anything. He only sees a bunch of girls, vene after minutes trying. The corridor is too cold for him to be shirtless and they may think he’s a creep if he stands there.

“… Chanyeol?”

He turns back quickly. Taeyeon is going to eat him alive.

It’s not Taeyeon.

“Ah, it’s you,” Kyungsoo says quietly. “I recognized by the ears.”

He’s using a simple short sleeved black shirt and shorts, holding a bottle of water. His face is all sweaty and his lips are so red… Chanyeol blinks.

“Oh, hey… huh, Kyungsoo,” he coughs. “What a surprise.”

“Yeah,” Kyungsoo nods. “Are you in the yoga class or the physio? I’ve never seen you here before.”

“Downstairs,” Chanyeol says, straightening his posture. “I train in the boxing gym with Jongdae.”

“Oh,” Kyungsoo says and he looks uncomfortable. “Ah, of course.”

“It was nice to see you again,” Chanyeol says dryly, trying to hide his nervousness. His palms are sweating. “But I have to go. See you someday.”

He tries to walk but Kyungsoo intercepts him.

“Listen…” Kyungsoo says hesitantly. His eyes look impossibly wide now he’s not in his glasses. “I don’t know why you’re angry at me, but… if I did anything, I’m really sorry. I don’t want you to be angry at me.”

Chanyeol looks at him for a few seconds while his brain refuses to work correctly since Kyungsoo is holding his arm.

“Don’t have to,” Chanyeol says coldly. “I know you’re doing this because you’re polite, but you don’t have to pretend to be my friend if you’re not.”

Kyungsoo seems to be taken aback by Chanyeol’s words.

“I… know w-we aren’t friends anymore…” he’s stuttering and red on the cheeks. Chanyeol frowns. Is he embarrassed because he found out that Chanyeol knows…?

“So, tell me,” Chanyeol says, licking his lips. He feels… powerful. “Have we been friends before? Do you think so…?”

Kyungsoo frowns.

“Yes,” he says firmly and lowers his eyes. Chanyeol isn’t getting what’s going on.

“What the fuck you want, Kyungsoo?” He says, frustrated, moving his arm, so Kyungsoo would set him free. “I don’t have time—”

He stares at Kyungsoo staring at him.

“for this… bullshit…”

Fuck.

Kyungsoo was staring discreetly at his naked chest. Chanyeol wants to laugh. Kyungsoo wasn’t embarrassed because he was caught – he uncomfortable because Chanyeol was topless, and he… Holy shit, Chanyeol realizes, watching how Kyungsoo’s body is shrinking like he’s trying to hide something.

Kyungsoo wants him. There is nothing else in the way he looked at Chanyeol. It was clear as water, even in the way he was hesitantly holding Chanyeol’s arm.

Chanyeol holds Kyungsoo by the arm, instead, pushing him.

“What—” Kyungsoo says, dropping his bottle. Chanyeol pulls him while walking and presses him against a wall, the furthest he can from the stairs and the rooms. “What are you doing?”

Chanyeol looks around on the corridor and checks if someone’s coming. Chanyeol turns back to Kyungsoo and lets his arm go. He bends so he can be in the same eye level as Kyungsoo and gets so close that he can feel how their breaths are mingling.

Kyungsoo doesn’t say a word. He just stares at Chanyeol expectantly.

“Tell me,” Chanyeol finally says. “Do you like what you see…?”

Kyungsoo blinks and imitates Chanyeol’s gesture, looking to his side to check the corridor.

“Why are you asking me that…?” He answers and Chanyeol has chills down his back watching how Kyungsoo stares at his mouth. Chanyeol is not in the mood for talking, so he grabs Kyungsoo hand and slowly puts it over his crotch. Kyungsoo’s breath is getting faster and Chanyeol is too excited, almost salivating, feeding in Kyungsoo’s reaction. He moves closer to Kyungsoo’s shoulder and whispers,

“You may have it,” Chanyeol says, smelling Kyungsoo’s shoulder. “If you ask gently.”

Kyungsoo just breathes and Chanyeol keeps moving to his neck, up to his ear – then, he licks gently the ear lobe, just to suck in his mouth after. Kyungsoo makes a tiny, strangled noise and that’s it. Chanyeol is burning.

“What--?” Kyungsoo asks, trembling. Chanyeol presses Kyungsoo’s hand harder against his bulge.

“Just beg,” Chanyeol whispers again, straight in Kyungsoo’s ears. “I can see you want it.”

There is a second of anticipation that seems to be an hour long.

“I want you,” Kyungsoo says simply and it’s so easy Chanyeol wants to rip himself. “Please.”

It’s no trophy to put in your room, but damn, it feels good.

Chanyeol throws his head back, putting some distance between their bodies and stare at Kyungsoo, smiling. Kyungsoo looks… well. Chanyeol can see himself fucking Kyungsoo until they can’t move. Those lips… ah. They were made for things.

“Yeah?” Chanyeol asks.

“Yeah,” Kyungsoo answers. Chanyeol can call him anything but a coward, so he breaks the distance between them and kisses Kyungsoo, licking his mouth like he licks the bottom of a plate. Kyungsoo lets out a small breath and opens his mouth, lets Chanyeol presses him against the wall harder, lick inside his mouth. Chanyeol can’t resist rubbing his hands on Kyungsoo’s tights, but he stops just before he can grab the ass. He knows his own limits and he breaks the kiss.

“I bet you do, you little bitch,” Chanyeol spits, walking back. “But I would rather die than fuck with a liar like you.”

Kyungsoo blinks, confused. His mouth is open, wet, and he’s just…

Chanyeol can’t put it in the words, but it’s too good. He licks his lips as he walks out the corridor.

Tastes like victory.

 

 

.