"That's all for today."
The basketball team breathes out a sigh of relief when their captain finally announces the end of their three-hour intensive practice.
"About time, I thought I was going to drop dead there," Sehun jokes as he throws an arm over Chanyeol's broad shoulders. "Let's go to the showers, you're starting to smell really bad."
"It's not me, it's your mouth that stinks," Chanyeol retorts, rolling his eyes as he tries to punch him, but the younger laughs as he dodges his hit.
"Jeez, your punches hurt, y'know?" Sehun rolls his eyes playfully. "Now come on, we won't be able to shower if we stick around for long."
Chanyeol waves his hand.
"Nah, you go ahead. I'm staying back."
Sehun gives him a look - or what it seems like it, since the kid rarely ever changes his expressions.
Chanyeol looks over his shoulder and turns to the bleachers. There in one spot sits a lone boy with dark raven hair clad in an oversized black shirt, knee-length shorts and Converse, hands tucked within his pockets. His eyes were on the group of rowdy boys leaving for the shower rooms, but when he feels Chanyeol's stare on him, he immediately shifts his gaze to him and he brings a hand up, face lighting up with a cute rectangular smile in greeting.
"Byun Baekhyun?" Sehun chuckles as he follows Chanyeol's gaze. "That boy really won't leave you alone, huh? Had he been here all this time?"
"He actually followed me here," Chanyeol says.
"He's the most persistent among your admirers, gotta give him that," Sehun nods, impressed. "But what I'm more impressed about is the fact that you're actually talking to him. Why are you even entertaining him? He's plainer than the others."
"None of your business."
Sehun rolls his eyes again.
"Whatever," he pats the taller's shoulder. "I'll go first, you go entertain the midget."
Chanyeol nods at him before Sehun walks off with his bag to the shower rooms.
The basketball player stops a smile from slipping across his face as he looks at Byun Baekhyun skipping towards him, arms swaying around at odd angles and fluffy raven hair flopping at each of his movement. The boy reminds Chanyeol of an overexcited puppy most of the time.
"It's late Baekhyun, you should have went home," Chanyeol says when the shorter boy stops in front of him. It is hard to believe that this person is actually a couple months older since he acts so childishly.
Baekhyun tilts his head to the side cutely. "I can't miss out on the chance to walk home with you."
Chanyeol chuckles lightly to himself. "You will survive at least a day of not walking home with me, y'know?"
He pouts. "But my day won't be complete without you ending it…"
Chanyeol laughs, amused at how sappy Baekhyun could be sometimes. He doesn't usually get affected by the advances of all the girls and boys who have been with him, always thinking that romance is so cheesy and someone like him who has big dreams about getting into a good university and being recruited into a national team shouldn't bother himself with it.
Well, that's until Byun Baekhyun happened to him.
It's junior year when Chanyeol is sorted into a section with Baekhyun. At first he didn't exactly know who this person was, only having seen him a couple of times around, feeling the boy's gaze lingering on him more than it necessarily should. It was a week through the first month of classes when Baekhyun finally introduced himself to him.
"Hey," the short boy greeted him during break in front of the vending machine outside the school building. Chanyeol wanted to drink his usual energy drink and it was by chance that Baekhyun had been buying something from it too.
"Hi," Chanyeol greeted back casually.
Baekhyun turned to the machine again for a moment. When he turned back to Chanyeol, he has two energy drinks - the exact same one Chanyeol always drinks, fyi - and he hands one to the basketball player.
"Here, take it."
Like a normal person, Chanyeol had qualms about receiving the little gift. He barely knew the guy except being classmates with him, so he had no grounds that he could base on if he receives the drink.
Nevertheless, something pushed Chanyeol and he took it with a silent 'thanks' despite not even making up his mind if he does want it.
"You don't know me, right?" Baekhyun said as he opens the top of the can with an easy pop.
"I know you by face," Chanyeol answered.
"That's a good start," Baekhyun winked, and Chanyeol couldn't help but think he's so cute when he did that. "Anyway, I'm Byun Baekhyun."
"Nice to meet you, I'm Park Chanyeol."
Baekhyun nodded. "I know you."
Chanyeol raised an eyebrow. He hadn't been in the basketball team that time yet and somehow the concept of him being desirable have been shoved to the back of his mind.
"How do you know me?"
"It's hard not to miss the person you like, you know?"
Chanyeol suddenly froze like a lake in Alaska during winter, taken aback by the sudden and abrupt confession from the shorter boy who didn't seem flustered about it at all as he chugged down his energy drink.
"Was that… was that a confession?"
Baekhyun's eyes shifted back to him. He brought his bottle down and pursed his lips to lick off the remaining residue from the drink. He then showed him a seemingly teasing grin as he suddenly poked the taller boy's side with an elbow.
"Why do you look so shaken? Aren't you supposed to be used to people confessing to you?" He laughed easily.
"I-It was so sudden," Chanyeol blushed, bringing a hand up to cover the bottom half of his face. He freaking blushed!
"Sorry," Baekhyun smiled at him, genuinely this time. "What kind of confession do you prefer?"
Chanyeol looked away, scratching his head. How was he going to be able to deal with someone this… this open and easy-going?
"Why would you ask me that?" he asked, playing it off as being a bit irritated. "Figure it out yourself."
"I'll go straight in then," Baekhyun said as he steps forward, suddenly too close into Chanyeol's space. He was just literally a couple of centimeters away from him, and it felt like he was directly under his nose the way he could take a whiff of the strawberry scent on the smaller mixed with something a bit more musky.
"Park Chanyeol," Baekhyun said each syllable with so much care, tongue rolling over each word. "I like you so much. Will you go out with me?"
Chanyeol smiled and shook his head.
But that hadn't been the last time that he and Baekhyun talked. In fact, it was just the start of a strange relationship. Ever since then, it would be a normal sight to see Chanyeol walking around school on his own - but not technically alone, because he had a bubbly Byun Baekhyun trailing after him like a happy little puppy, keeping him company since his own friends were all from different schools or were much older than him. Chanyeol didn't mind much because even though Baekhyun had been all too casual when he first confessed, his admiration for him didn't really come off as 'into his face'. Being with Baekhyun just felt like being with a friend so he wasn't at all that uncomfortable with him. The only times that he felt a little bit awkward and a bit more conscious of himself is when Baekhyun spouts off stuff that reminded Chanyeol that he wasn't just a friend - he was someone who held romantic feelings for him.
"Hey, you think I can try that out?"
Chanyeol is brought back out from his reverie when Baekhyun speaks up and points at the basket ball still in his arms. The player looks at it for a moment before he raises his eyebrows and asks, "This?"
"Yeah," Baekhyun smiles. "I just want to try."
"Bet you can't even dribble," Chanyeol teases him as he starts dribbling the ball, splitting his legs apart as he dribbles the ball between his legs in front of the shorter who is starting to slowly look offended by the little comment.
"I know how!" Baekhyun cries out in annoyance. "I used to play basketball, but it's been awhile."
"Really?" Chanyeol smirks as he brings the ball up and balances it on his thumb. He then makes it turn, distracting Baekhyun for a moment, eyes fixated on the ball as it spins around in orbit.
"Play with me then."
Chanyeol suddenly bounds forward with the ball, looking over his shoulder. He smirks again when he finds Baekhyun coming back to his senses and he dashes after him with a determined expression across his face - eyebrows furrowed and lips pursed cutely together.
"Park Chanyeol!" Baekhyun exclaims when he makes it behind him and he tries to swipe the ball out of the taller's hands. Chanyeol laughs as he dribbles the ball out of Baekhyun's grasp, whose chest was sticking close to Chanyeol's back as he reaches out with his shorts arms for the ball.
"It's not fair!" Baekhyun whines when Chanyeol bolts away from him and moves to stand just a few meters away, enticing Baekhyun to come for the ball with a mocking and challenging look across his face.
"Come on Byun," Chanyeol gestures at him to come hither with two fingers. "Show me what you've got, I know you're better than this."
Baekhyun pouts as he stands in place instead, not heeding to Chanyeol's encouragement.
"Hey, I wanna make a bet."
Quickly piqued by this, Chanyeol straightens up, taking the ball in his arms as he walks back towards the shorter boy.
"What bet?" Chanyeol carefully says.
Baekhyun tilts his head up and puffs his chest out, feigning confidence as he clears his throat. He points at the basketball ring and says, "If I get a three-point shot, you will have to date me."
Chanyeol's eyes widen in surprise.
"And if I lose, you get to do whatever you want with me."
He eyes the smaller critically, trying to gauge in his expression but all he sees is determination. Finally making up his mind, he shrugs his shoulders and throws the ball to the ground, letting it bounce off into Baekhyun's awaiting hands.
"It's a deal," Chanyeol grins.
Baekhyun only smirks at him in a seemingly arrogant way, but the player could definitely feel him exude a sort of nervousness as he takes the ball and walks towards the three-point area.
"You don't have to be so tense, Baekhyun," Chanyeol softly says, looming behind him as he watches Baekhyun position himself with a stance that didn't seem so bad in the basketball player's opinion, just that his shoulders seem stiffer than usual.
"Shut up Chanyeol," Baekhyun says through gritted teeth as he experimentally stands on his tiptoes a couple of times, eyebrows furrowed together and tongue poking out of the corner of his lips in concentration.
The atmosphere is starting to shift from easy to tense, matching with Baekhyun's emotional state. Even Chanyeol is starting to feel a bit uncomfortable, the thick tension surrounding them making it a bit too difficult for him breathe.
And then suddenly, Baekhyun throws the ball.
It sails into the air, Chanyeol's breath picking up as his eyes follow its movement. The ball seems to travel at such a slow speed, only breaking away from the slow movement when it reaches the ring and circles across the top.
And it bounces off.
"Ooh," Chanyeol whistles as the ball falls to the ground with a thud as it bounces away to the side.
"Too bad. You lost."
"No!" Baekhyun turns around, distress etched across his face - eyes watery and droopy and lips pouted. "Let me go for another round!"
"Nah," Chanyeol smirks. "You lost and I won. Now listen up."
Baekhyun visibly sags, shoulders slumped and a crestfallen look across his face as his lips wobble and tears form in his eyes. The smirk that Chanyeol had been sporting drops, realizing that while he had just been joking around, Baekhyun is taking it so seriously.
"Don't cry," Chanyeol says.
"I'm not going to cry!" Baekhyun snaps at him, but he wipes his arm across his eyes. "I'm not going to cry, you're stupid…"
"Hey…" Chanyeol softly says, gazing gently at the smaller as he walks towards him. He places his hands on Baekhyun's cheeks, tracing his thumbs over the dampness on his face, hands slightly squishing the little baby fat in his cheeks. Baekhyun visibly flinches at the sudden touch, the area where their skins meet turning red.
"Come on, stop crying."
"Let go," Baekhyun grumbles as he grabs hold of both of Chanyeol's wrist, but he doesn't make any move of removing them from his face, much to Chanyeol's amusement once more.
"You're so cute, Baekhyun."
"Shut up!" Baekhyun cries out in annoyance, stomping his feet as he glares at the taller, but not really pulling away from Chanyeol's grasp.
"Cry all you want, doesn't change the fact that I won, loser," Chanyeol smiles teasingly.
Baekhyun rolls his eyes. "You don't have to rub it in."
"And because I won, you have to do exactly what I want you to do."
The sadness in Baekhyun's eyes transformed into anxiety upon realizing his fate. He stares up at Chanyeol nervously, wondering what he had in mind. Maybe the basketball player will finally tell him to stop bothering him like he had been doing for the past year in the hopes of grabbing his attention (and maybe even his feelings), using this opportunity to get rid of him once and for all.
"Close your eyes," Chanyeol orders him.
Baekhyun obeys. He closes his eyes, letting himself be overrun by the frantic beating of his heart.
Chanyeol smiles as he closes in, watching the worry and anxiety in Baekhyun's face for a moment.
"Relax," Chanyeol mutters softly as he slants his lips over Baekhyun's soft ones.
Baekhyun is unresponsive for a few moments as Chanyeol molds his lips against his. Not to exaggerate, but Chanyeol could literally feel sparks flying, the chemistry between them reacting so much that it's sending little jolts of electricity through his system. Despite this, Chanyeol continues kissing Baejhyun, pressing shy little innocent kisses over the pink flesh at first, as if calming a startled deer. When his non-reaction was starting to feel a bit concerning, Chanyeol leans away, meeting gazes with Baekhyun who had opened his eyes and was staring in bewilderment at him.
"W-Why…" Baekhyun trails away, still stunned.
Chanyeol laughs lightly.
"You're too irresistible. It's inevitable for me to fall as well, one way or another."
Baekhyun gives him an annoyed look.
"Knowing an asshole like you, you probably liked seeing me struggle."
"Don't be angry," Chanyeol chuckles as he places his hands on Baekhyun's hips and pulls him in for a kiss on his forehead. "How do I make it up to you?"
Baekhyun crosses his arms and looks away.
"Ask me out on a date, maybe."
"Then will you be my boyfriend and go out with me?"
Baekhyun's eyes widen, startled that he'd ask him that so quickly.
"D-Do you really even like me?"
"Chanyeol raises an eyebrow. "How do I prove it you, then?"
Baekhyun averts his gaze, cheeks reddening even more as he coyly whispers, "K-Kiss me more?"
Chanyeol doesn't hesitate.