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Let Us Be (What Is The Answer)

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The peasant life wasn’t one Baekhyun had imagined himself in when he had left his small village to come to the capital.

 

All throughout his childhood he had been told that life was always better there, that you would step over a gold-encrusted entryway and suddenly everything would be ok, your life, your problems, would all be washed away by the magic of the capital.

 

Today, as Baekhyun lived his third month in one of the small colonies formed by people who could also not afford to live in the capital, he once again squashed his dreams of riches

and hopped on his horse, his lifelong companion, and rode out into the woods to hunt for another day’s food.

 

Now, if Baekhyun wasn’t as stubborn as he was, he could have totally ridden back to his village, returned to his family and his friends, and accepted the defeat that came with not being able to survive in a place where he was told he would thrive, but he was stubborn.

 

Stuck in the mindset that everything would get better for him, he continued to live the way he did, making some acquaintances and trying the best he could to feed himself and keep his horse alive.

 

Now, Baekhyun had been riding these woods for around 2 months, killing food for himself and letting his horse graze in clearings and (if he was feeling adventurous) the edge of other people’s fields. But he had never seen anything like this. There was a group of people riding through the forest.

 

Not just a group of people, a group of people with the royal crest gracing the sides of their horses, their armour, the fancy compact bows on their backs that made Baekhyun’s hard work on his wooden one look like child’s play.

 

And in the middle of them all, the king to be, prince Chanyeol.

 

Baekhyun froze in his spot, pulling his horse to a standstill.

 

There he was, in all his royal glory, prince Chanyeol of the city of the stars, and here was Baekhyun, wearing the same clothes he had worn for the past few days, not having brushed his hair in like a week, and just sitting on his fucking horse like an idiot.

 

So, of course, he did what he did best, and fucking embarrassed himself in front of a group of people he didn’t know.

 

He fell off his horse.

 

Immediately all of the royal guards stopped in their path, pulling out their bows and pointing them all at Baekhyun, who froze in his spot on the ground and whimpered.

 

God, this was it. by the stars, if he didn’t die right now it would be a miracle straight from the sky itself.

 

Baekhyun pressed his eyes closed, not wanting to watch the arrows fly out of their nocks and hit him in the heart, when a strong voice rang out.

 

“Stop. He’s a civilian.”

 

Baekhyun cracked an eye open, and the prince hopped off of his horse, pushing through his guard and taking a step closer to Baekhyun.

 

“My prince, are you sure?” One of the guards asked, and the prince looked back at him.

 

“Yes. Let me do this,” he affirmed, stepping closer and closer to Baekhyun, who was frozen in shock for a few seconds before he scrambled up and bowed deeply. He could feel his bow sliding off of his back a bit but at this point that was the least of his concerns.

 

The fucking prince was right in front of him. What the fuck.

 

The prince let out a chuckle and Baekhyun has the sneaking suspicion he said that out loud.

 

“Rise,” the prince said, and Baekhyun took a breath.

 

“With all due respect, your majesty, I’d rather not.”

 

The prince huffed.

 

“Call me Chanyeol, yeah? Also, why not? I want to see your face again.”

 

Baekhyun was taken aback at the prince’s forwardness. Where did all of the tales of the prince’s cold, icy, personality come from if this was how he was acting around Baekhyun.

 

“I’ll have to decline, my prince,” Baekhyun said, but he stood up this time. Blood was rushing to his face and it was kind of uncomfortable.

 

The prince pouted.

 

“Why not?” he whined, and Baekhyun’s brain couldn’t decide whether that was cute or he was a spoiled brat.

 

“It’s not respectful to call you by your name,” Baekhyun said.

 

“Well,” the prince countered, “what’s your name! If I call you yours then you have to call me mine!”

 

“My prince,” one of the soldiers warned, but the prince waved him off.

 

“Baekhyun,” Baekhyun said.

 

“Ok!” the prince said, a smile breaking out on his face, “Hi Baekhyun, I’m Chanyeol, and since you didn’t try to kill me we’re going to be friends!”

 

Baekhyun blanked.

 

“What?” He asked.

 

“We’re going to be friends!” Chanyeol repeated, sticking his hand out for Baekhyun to shake.

 

Baekhyun reached out hesitantly and shook it, knowing that this really wasn’t a suggestion and that he was being forced into a friendship with the future leader of his country.

 

“My prince, we must go,” said one of the guards, and Chanyeol glanced back, tightening his grip on Baekhyun’s hand.

 

“Do I have to?” He whined, and his guard collectively sighed, like they had to deal with this every day.

 

Baekhyun extracted his hand from Chanyeol’s gently.

 

“You should go,” he said, “I’ll be here every other day. You can look for me then.”

 

Baekhyun hadn’t really warmed up to the concept of being friends with the prince yet, but he surely would over the next few weeks. Every other day—Monday, Wednesday, and Friday—Chanyeol and him would hang out in the forest.

 

Chanyeol’s guard would always escort him there (the first few times they stayed to make sure Baekhyun didn’t kill Chanyeol even though he literally had no weapons) and back to the castle after they were finished, Chanyeol and Baekhyun usually having the entire morning and afternoon together on those days, just sitting and talking and eating whatever Chanyeol had brought for lunch.

 

It was fun, Baekhyun learned so much about the castle and Chanyeol that he never would have known otherwise, all of the secret passageways, how Chanyeol knew the guitar (he had brought it out once. he was really good.) All of the gossip his maids and servants shared with him, his favourite caretaker from when he was a kid, and everything in between.

 

In return Baekhyun told him all about his life, his parents, his home village, all of the songs his mother had taught him as a kid (Chanyeol always wanted to hear him sing, saying that he was one of the best he had ever heard) and about his journey to the capital. Baekhyun soon found himself referring to Chanyeol differently, from my prince to Chanyeol to simply Yeol, which Chanyeol himself adored.

 

Baekhyun and Chanyeol shared secrets and hopes and dreams, things that they had never told anyone before.

 

For both of them, the other was their safe space.

 

Their relationship went from strangers to acquaintances and finally to best friends.

 

And then to more.

 

Baekhyun didn’t know when it started but after a while every time Chanyeol hopped off his horse with a fresh basket of fruit and bread Baekhyun would feel his chest flutter, like there was a cage of butterflies all over his insides, consuming his feelings.

 

Whenever Chanyeol laughed he could feel his face flush.

 

Whenever Chanyeol hit him out of excitement he felt his chest burn.

 

Whenever Chanyeol got teary-eyed he felt himself tear up too, as if he was connected to Chanyeol’s emotions.

 

It all came to a stop one day. The two were sitting in the clearing again, and it was a monday, the first of their tri-weekly get togethers.

 

Chanyeol was sitting sprawled beside him, their legs entangled, and was feeding him berries as he regaled him with tales of his cousin.

 

“-And so then Junmyeon told me I was a shitface! Who says shitface?!” Baekhyun giggled at Chanyeol’s outrage.

 

“Well, maybe you shouldn’t have hit him with your sword,” Baekhyun swallowed his berries and leaned closer to Chanyeol.

 

Chanyeol pressed his forehead to Baekhyun’s, leaning close enough that Baekhyun could smell his breath. It smelt like berries and mint.

 

“Maybe if he wasn’t a wimp, he could have done something about it himself,” Chanyeol whispered.

 

Maybe Baekhyun was reading too far into Chanyeol’s sentence, but he felt like it had a

double meaning.

 

So Baekhyun leaned in and kissed Chanyeol.

 

“Baekhyun...” Chanyeol whispered, pulling back before leaning back in.

 

Suddenly, Baekhyun heard the release of an arrow, and felt an arrow pierce through his back. Chanyeol coughed up some blood, and Baekhyun knew he had been hit as well.

 

“Disgusting,” someone said, before Baekhyun heard the rustling of leaves and someone pulled the arrow out of his back.

 

Baekhyun coughed again, and felt Chanyeol shudder against his chest.

 

He could feel the life draining out of him, and the last thing his felt was Chanyeol’s hand gripping his shirt and a whispered mutter of his name.

 


 

Chanyeol needed coffee.

 

He was tired as hell from pulling almost 2 all nighters in a row for his musical production class, having got around 3 hours of sleep between the two days.

 

He decided that now was as good as a time as ever to grab one, since he had just finished

production on the last part of the track he needed for class. Now, all he needed was vocals, but he hadn’t finished going through the other music majors to see who had the voice he needed.

 

He exited his apartment and almost immediately stepped in a puddle of water from the rainfall the day before. Fucking mondays.

 

He grumbled, deciding to just continue on his way and get his coffee before complaining to Junmyeon about his shoe.

 

He pushed his way on the little coffee shop closest to his apartment, strolling up to the counter with his eyes on the menu.

 

“Hey, welcome to starry knight cafe, what can I get you?”

 

Chanyeol hummed to let the man know he heard him but kept his eyes on the menu, eyes landing on a coffee called ‘forever’ and the (literally) perfect mix of ingredients.

 

“I’ll get a—“ he stopped, finally looking at the barista behind the counter.

 

“Baekhyun,” he whispered, and an influx of memories started flowing into his brain.

 

“Hi, uh, do I—oh!” Baekhyun said, leaning further over the counter, “Chanyeol.”

 

Chanyeol didn’t even care about the awkward angle, he reached over the counter and wrapped Baekhyun in his arms, letting out a choked off sob as he remembered his last few moments with the other man.

 

“You died in my arms. I remember,” he said, and Baekhyun tangled his fingers in Chanyeol’s hair, feeling the same pain as the younger did.

 

“We’re together again now. Wait until I get off of my shift, then we can go out and do something.”

 

Chanyeol nodded tearily into Baekhyun’s shoulder, letting out a wet laugh.

 

“We’re together again.”