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Baekhyun only has an hour left in his shift and he likes to fill up a certain quota of customers he’s served in a day and this customer is taking up his time. He might have served five customers by now if it weren’t for this. Baekhyun needs to do something. “Sir, would you like for me to recommend you something? Our bacon & cheese burger meal is a really big hit this week.” Baekhyun smiles.

Hopefully this customer accepts his suggestion. Baekhyun wouldn’t want a replay of what had happened when he once suggested a meal to a customer. It was a traumatic experience.

He just wanted to help the lady and the queue was getting long already. He suggested chicken nuggets with his Authentic Baekhyun Smile and then the next thing he knew, he was being screamed at.

“Uhhh, yes, yes, that would be great. That would be my order,” the customer effectively snaps Baekhyun out of his reverie. Thankfuly, because God that is such an awful memory.

“That would be $5.79, sir,” Baekhyun says. It’s a good thing Baekhyun has the menu memorized or else he would waste about 15 seconds and he can’t afford to lose more time.

“Sure, uh, here,” the customer handed him a $10. Baekhyun handed him his change and receipt. “Thanks again, uh,” the customer mumbles while squinting his eyes at Baekhyun or more accurately, at his uniform. “Thanks, Baekhyun,” the customer smiles and Baekhyun thinks his heart melted.

+

Three…two…one… the door chimes ring. And there he is, The Customer. Baekhyun noticed he always comes at 9:00 in the evening. Not that Baekhyun is waiting for him or something. Or maybe he is…but he’s not telling Jongdae or Chanyeol. Or even Minseok or Luhan. It’s the best decision to just not tell anyone right now. He’s not even sure if he likes likes The Customer.

He sits at his usual table and before he leaves he waves at Baekhyun and bye Baekhyun, see you tomorrow! He smiles at Baekhyun, practically beams. And Baekhyun thinks fuck all of these, I definitely like him now.

+

Baekhyun is the cashier and works regular shift hours with Jongdae and Chanyeol at The Burger Joint (“what a fucking lame name,” he whispers to Jongdae when they applied for the job together.) so that means 8 hours of pure torment. And Today’s Daily Dose of Torture comes in the form of Jongdae when he asks Baekhyun about The Customer and how can you still not know his name? It’s been weeks already.

Baekhyun ignores Luhan’s incessant questioning about The Customer. He doesn’t need this right now. They’re playing Jenga and the loser will have to pay for their biweekly Korean barbeque night out. He can’t lose.

“It’s not that hard, Baekhyun, seriously,” Chanyeol cuts in the same time the door chimes ring. Baekhyun would’ve rushed to the counter by now if it was The Customer but it wasn’t. It’s Sehun, the new part-timer.

“You just ask his name after you ring his usual order up,” Chanyeol motions to the cash register. “Don’t you know it’s so fucking weird to call him The Customer all the time? It feels like we’re in some spy movie or something,” he adds then looked thoughtful for a second, “although spy movies are awesome.”

“Baekhyun’s gonna ask for whose name after ringing his order up, Chanyeol?” Minseok asks them before sitting closely and cozily beside Luhan, asking him if he has eaten yet. “Yes, I have!” Luhan smiles at Minseok before kissing his cheek. “Baekhyun gave me a bacon & cheese burger.”

Luhan gets free food because of Boyfriend Benefits. Minseok is the owner of The Burger Joint. Well, technically, Minseok’s dad owns The Burger Joint (amongst other things), but he made Minseok manage it because he’s too old for a burger joint. Baekhyun is curious if other Boyfriend Benefits include making out in the break room for hours and making other crew members eat outside the Joint because well, they can’t eat inside the break room now, can they?

“Baekhyun’s gonna ask his future boytoy his name, hyung.”

“Go take a nap, Chanyeol, nobody asked you,” Baekhyun begins then whines at Minseok, “my lord and savior has come! Help me, hyung! They’re ganging up on me!”

“Stop being a drama queen, Baekhyun,” Minseok slaps his arm. Baekhyun hits Chanyeol in the arm too, humoring Minseok and the others. Chanyeol then hits Jongdae, Jongdae hits Luhan and Luhan playfully hits Minseok in the arm too. Minseok acts like he’s offended but can’t stop his laughter.

“You know, hyung, that short guy who always wears black,” Jongdae explains to Minseok. “And with a perpetual ‘I’m ready for your funeral’ face,” Chanyeol added.

“Oh, so you meant Kyungsoo?” Luhan finally speaks. Maybe he noticed he was the only one busy sending heart eyes to Minseok while everyone is worrying about Baekhyun’s love problem. “Eyes with large white parts? Heart-shaped lips?”

“Yes, hyung, that’s the one! That’s Baekhyun’s The One! Baekhyun’s soulmate! God, it’s so nice to finally know his name,” Jongdae almost yelled while holding Baekhyun’s hand like he won the lottery.

“Jongdae, for the last time, he isn’t The One nor is he my soulmate,” Baekhyun calmly says. His stomach, though, is flipping. Kyungsoo, what a pretty name.

“Everyone and their mothers know you got the hots for Kyungsoo,” Jongdae bites back, “and it’s remarkably noticeable he feels the same.”

“Minseokkie, remember Kyungsoo? From the glee club in university?” Luhan asks Minseok while thumbing his bangs. Baekhyun wants to puke.

“Ahhh yeah! What was his major again?” Minseok asks.

Kyungsoo’s major got lost in the conversation because Baekhyun thought of something. “Maybe…” Baekhyun begins, “he just doesn’t like you that’s why he’s always scowling when you look at him.”

“Fuck you, Baekhyun. I’m pretty likeable,” Chanyeol says with a glare.

“Raise your hands if you think Chanyeol is likeable,” Jongdae yells to the other crew. Besides them, there are a two others who are working at this hour. Sehun, the lanky part-timer kid, and Jongin, Sehun’s best friend, who is always sleeping in the break room. It’s amazing he’s not fired yet.

No one raised their hand.

“I told you,” Baekhyun smirks at Chanyeol.

+

Later, when Minseok and Luhan left, Chanyeol asked Jongdae if Luhan gets free food on special days to which Jongdae answers with not just on special days, literally every day.

Chanyeol looks shocked. “All the time?” he asks both Jongdae and Baekhyun

“All the time. Even if he has money to buy it,” Jongdae says while mopping the floor. It’s almost closing time and Kyungsoo still hasn’t stopped by. Not like he has to.

“But isn’t Luhan hyung like, super rich?”

“Exactly. Minseok hyung insists though so Luhan hyung has no right to decline.”

“Minseok hyung has a sister, right? Man, I need to date Minseok hyung’s sist—ow! What was that for, Jongdae?”

“Rule number one of The Burger Joint, talk shit, get hit,” Jongdae continued mopping the floor as if nothing happened to Chanyeol, at all. “Minseok hyung’s sister is off limits, Park Chanyeol. Baekhyun tried and he sported a bruise for weeks.”

He can’t be bothered to retaliate because he remembers. He remembers that Kyungsoo smiles at him, sometimes, when he remembers to, Baekhyun thinks.

+

“Welcome to The Burger Joint! May I take your order?” Baekhyun greets the customer with a wide smile. It’s the last hour of his shift and his favourite customer, as Jongdae would put it, hasn’t arrived yet. Not that he’s waiting for him or something. Baekhyun’s just used to Kyungsoo arriving at this time.

“He’s probably just late today, Baekhyun. Traffic is awful,” Jongdae says in a relaxing tone.

“He doesn’t have a car, Jongdae,” Baekhyun says in a matter of fact tone. “I mean, maybe he does. But he walks going here.”

“Wouldn’t you know,” Jongdae teases. Baekhyun’s having none of it because guess who’s rounding the corner. That’s right, bitches. Kyungsoo. Kyungsoo with his black clothes and his permanent scowl.

Baekhyun rushes to the counter before Jongdae even gets to it.

“Hi Baekhyun,” Kyungsoo smiles at him.

“Hi Kyu—,” Goddamit Byun Baekhyun.

“I’m sorry, what was that?” Kyungsoo asks him while taking off his earbuds.

“Uhh, nothing,” Baekhyun quickly dismisses. Thank God he has an earbud on one ear or else he’s dead. Kyungsoo doesn’t know and it will stay that way, he thinks to himself. What would happen if Kyungsoo knew? Yes, that is correct. He would think Baekhyun is a stalker and he would find another burger joint to frequent to and Baekhyun would be stuck with Jongdae and Chanyeol (And Minseok and Luhan) forever. “It’s nothing,” Baekhyun smile and continued on getting Kyungsoo’s order for the day and guess what, it’s still the same bacon & cheese burger meal.

+

Kyungsoo still doesn’t know Baekhyun knows his name and it’s going to stay that way—

“Hello Kyungsoo! Are you here to see Baekhyun? He’s in the break room but—“

“PARK CHANYEOL!” someone shouts from the break room. Maybe it was Jongdae or Baekhyun or Sehun or whoever.

Shit. I’m sorry…just pretend you didn’t hear me call you Kyungsoo or talk to you about Baekhyun. Just, okay. Just forget it,” Chanyeol mutters.

+

Jongdae served Kyungsoo that day and Baekhyun spent his last hour in the break room. Minseok and Luhan is there, too.

“Look Baekhyun, I’m really sorry okay. I kinda rambled on and—ouch! What was that for, hyung?”

“Talk shit, get hit, Park Chanyeol, don’t you remember? Look at what you’ve done!” Minseok gestures at Baekhyun then sighs, “Baekhyun’s all mopey and shit now. You know it’s harder to deal with him when he’s…” Minseok pauses, “sad.” He grimaces at his own choice of word.

Jongdae nods at the side. Chanyeol parts his lips as if to say something but closes his mouth anyway. He wouldn’t want to get on Minseok’s bad side.

+

It’s Jongdae’s day-off and Chanyeol is on sick leave and Sehun and Jongin are taking forever to take out the trash so it’s Baekhyun who serves Kyungsoo his meal. “So you all know my name?” Kyungsoo asks him when Baekhyun reaches his table. He forces every inch of his body to not answer with a yes, since day three actually.

“Yeah…Minseok hyung saw you leaving the restaurant once,” Baekhyun lies. Kyungsoo motions for Baekhyun to sit across him asking would you sit with me today? And thank God there are no other customers to serve because he would really like to talk to Kyungsoo more.

“Where’s your boyfriend?”

Baekhyun almost answers with a he’s here, sitting across me. But he wouldn’t want to ruin his chances with Kyungsoo. “Boyfriend?”

“The tall guy with large ears,” Kyungsoo murmurs and Baekhyun laughs to death because really? Kyungsoo thinks his boyfriend is Chanyeol? Really? When he deems he’s sane enough to answer Kyungsoo’s question, he mutters out a no.

+

“Baekhyun, your admirer is here! You know, the one with the heart-shaped lips. What’s his name again?” Jongdae whisper-shouts to Baekhyun in the break room. Ears reddening at the mention of Kyungsoo, he quickly finishes his sandwich and proceeds to the counter. He almost forgets to put on hand moisturizer. “He’s not my admirer,” Baekhyun grits through his teeth. If anything, it’s Baekhyun who is admiring Kyungsoo. “And it’s Kyungsoo. His name is Kyungsoo. We’ve known it for weeks, Jongdae.”

“Okay, whatever you say,” Jongdae winks at him before he flops himself on the sofa. “Go. We wouldn’t want Kyungsoo to wait, now would we, loverboy?”

He really wants to strangle Jongdae sometimes.

+

If Kyungsoo is Baekhyun’s favorite customer, Chanyeol’s favorite customer is Hyesoo. So when she enters the restaurant and he’s manning the counter, he takes his chance on his revenge against Chanyeol.

“What can I get for you, Hyesoo?” Baekhyun winks. At the side, Jongdae says, “Don’t mind him, Hyesoo-yah. Chanyeol’s not here, by the way.”

Hyesoo blushes at that and then, “Two cheeseburger to go please,” Hyesoo smiles.

What’s boggling Baekhyun’s mind is Hyesoo never eats her burger outside the Joint nor does she order two burgers. He leads Hyesoo to the door to open it for her and he thinks they’re probably close enough to ask whom the other burger was for. “They’re for Chanyeol,” she smiles.

Once Hyesoo stepped outside the restaurant, Baekhyun starts singing baby come back, any kind of fool could see, there was something in everything about you. Hyesoo laughs, waves at Baekhyun and just when Baekhyun is about to start the second line, Kyungsoo is staring at him and he’s probably about to laugh. Shit.

“So you have a girlfriend, then?” Kyungsoo asks him when they he goes back inside the restaurant.

Jongdae whispers a is that your revenge? and guffawed.

 

+

Kyungsoo got a bacon & cheese burger meal today. “Doesn’t he always? If his everyday of ordering bacon & cheese burger isn’t his way of proposing his undying love for you, then what is?” Someone says to him, he’s not sure who because all he can see is Kyungsoo rounding the corner and he’s wearing a suit.

“What’s with the suit?” he asks Kyungsoo when he reached the counter and it’s my kid’s recital today and Baekhyun’s heart drops.

+

It took three days till Kyungsoo brought up the Hyesoo incident.

He’s idling at the counter when he asks Baekhyun where his ‘girlfriend’ is. Baekhyun laughs at that because honestly, Kyungsoo is so clueless. How can someone be so slow

“No,” he starts, “but there’s this guy that I really like…” he thinks that’s too much of a giveaway and hopes Kyungsoo would finally pick up.

It seems like he didn’t even hear Baekhyun’s pseudo-confession because he’s eyeing something on the counter and then he’s holding Baekhyun’s hand, playing with the fingers. “Wow, you have like, really pretty fingers,” Kyungsoo says to him. He probably noticed Baekhyun tensing up because he’s already apologizing. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it in like...a different way. I just… I’m sure you have way pretty hands than mine. I have normal fingers,” Kyungsoo holds up his hands, “but you really have pretty fingers. And I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have held your hand.”

Baekhyun never wants to wash his hands again.

+

They’re at Luhan’s today (sans Luhan and Minseok) because it’s his turn to host the manslumber party (“The fuck kinda name is ‘man slumber party’, Chanyeol?”) but he forgot to buy snacks and beer.

Luhan had assigned him to pick out movies they’re going to watch from his Extensive DVD Collection. This month’s theme is romcoms (according to Chanyeol) and he’s already picked When Harry Met Sally, 10 Things I Hate About You, 13 Going on 30, The Proposal, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. “Eternal Sunshine isn’t a romcom. It’s pure Pain,” Jongdae says and scares the living shit out of Baekhyun. “Can you fucking knock?” Baekhyun almost screams at Jongdae, clutching his chest, “you scared the shit out of me.”

Halfway through Eternal Sunshine, the only ones awake are Baekhyun and Jongdae. They both decided to clean up the room before continuing the movie so they can sleep as soon as the movie ends. It’s quarter to three and there’s still almost an hour left in the movie and nobody really wants to clean up at 4 in the morning.

“You know what, Baekhyun, you need to stop being a pussy,” Jongdae suddenly says. “You need to let yourself go and start dating. Seriously. Let it go, let it go, can’t hold it back anymore,” he starts singing and Baekhyun aims the popcorn bowl at him.

“The fuck are you talking about, asshole?”

“If you’re not gonna do anything about it, you’ll regret it. You’re gonna regret it more than breaking up with Sorin back in high school, or dumping Jaebum after your first date.”

“But I’m giving hints!” Baekhyun throws his hands in the air like he’s got nothing else to do.

“Baekhyun, you’re not a white girl. Stop giving hints. Ask. him. out. on. a. date.”

They’re at the living room now but Jongdae won’t let him continue the movie without an answer. “God, fine, fine. I’ll ask him out on a date when he stops by the Joint. You’re so annoying, fuck.”

“Oh but you love me.”

Baekhyun literally throws the throw pillow at him.

(Baekhyun is full on sobbing as Jongdae hands him a tissue, “what did I tell you about Eternal Sunshine?” “Shut up, they ended up together, okay,” Baekhyun says through his tears.)

+

After the pep talk with Jongdae the other night, Baekhyun conditioned himself. He talked to the mirror, talked to the empty seat, even practiced what he was gonna say to Kyungsoo at the counter. “I can make you a standee,” Chanyeol joked and Baekhyun almost says yes give it to me, Chanyeol but Kyungsoo is already, yes, rounding the corner.

Today, like all other days, Kyungsoo got the bacon & cheeseburger meal. He finally asks Kyungsoo why he never orders another meal (Hallelujah.).

“It’s because you recommended it,” Kyungsoo smiles.

Baekhyun feels like the second coming of Jesus has come.

+

They don’t talk after that because Baekhyun is speechless and replays it’s because you recommended it inside his head. It’s not until Jongdae swatted his head that he realized Kyungsoo already left. “What did we talk about the other night?” Jongdae asks, “run after him! Ask him out on a date.”

So run after him, he did. Nevermind that Kyungsoo thought his boyfriend is Chanyeol; he’s dating Hyesoo now. Nevermind that he thinks Kyungsoo is a dad; there are lots of single dads out there.

If there’s one thing that Baekhyun’s thankful for right now it’s that Kyungsoo’s a slow walker because looking tired and sweaty while asking someone out isn’t something Baekhyun would do.

“Kyungsoo-yah!” his voice cracked and this girl passing by giggled at him.

This is it. I’m going to die. Out of embarrassment.

Baekhyun clears his throat and baby come back, any kind of fool could see, there is something in everything about you. Some pedestrians are staring at him but he really just wants to date Kyungsoo. He starts the second line with a cough, baby come back, you can blame it all on me, I was wrong and I just can’t live without you.

Baekhyun almost chokes at the last line and Kyungsoo looks like he’s about to cry from embarrassment. “I mean, please go out with me!” It comes out as a shout so Baekhyun said it again with his normal, speaking, non-high pitched voice.

“What?”

“Like on a date,” Baekhyun has never been more nervous in his life. He wasn’t even this nervous when Minseok found out he was dating Minhee. “Even if you have a kid,” he added. “We can go to your kid’s recitals,” he smiles, or tried to.

It took maybe ten years until Kyungsoo answered him with a “I don’t have a kid, Baekhyun.” Now it’s Baekhyun’s turn to say what. “But I thought you—recital—kid—your kid’s recital?”

“I’m a teacher,”Kyungsoo smiles—beams. “And yes, I’d like to go out with you.”

(THIS JUST IN: Byun Baekhyun is the luckiest man on Earth.)

+

It’s Kyungsoo’s class’ recital and he’s wearing a suit and Baekhyun wants to sit on his lap.

Baekhyun is whispering stuff in Kyungsoo’s ear and bites at the lobe. “Hasn’t anyone you that you’re so annoying,” Kyungsoo whispers back. “You’re so annoying you give my dick a headache,” Kyungsoo says while rubbing his temples.

“I can help you with that,” Baekhyun winks, eyeing Kyungsoo’s crotch and he barks out a laugh, whispers we’re only on our first date, kisses Baekhyun’s cheek with those luscious lips and now Baekhyun is sure his heart melted.