Warning: this really has no plot whatsoever. NOTHING HAPPENS.
Disclaimer: EXO belongs to themselves and SME
Notes: part 3 of my idol&bodyguard!au. this was supposed to be the turning point of the fic but it ended up like this and I'm sorry.
Summary: Kyungsoo gives Chanyeol "The Talk" and Baekhyun is very sick. Some kiss happens.
Chanyeol is the one who holds Baekhyun in his arms after he faints in the loud, crowded backstage of the charity event in Singapore. Someone calls the ambulance while Kyungsoo talks to the hosts.
His voice is clear and limpid in the middle of the dark aisle, shooting fast, concise words to explain why his idol won’t be able to attend at the dinner gala. Lots of people walk up and down carrying costumes and schedule papers and microphones, while Chanyeol folds Baekhyun against his chest and pray for the doctor to come a bit sooner because the boy is both burning and shivering, unconscious in his arms.
His pulse is faint and Chanyeol might be overreacting but it seems like he’s not…
“Do-ssi,” he chokes on the words, clearing his voice because if he strains to hear his own voice, how will Do Kyungsoo do it? “Do-ssi, Do Kyungsoo-ssi!” Finally the manager turns towards him, with a puzzled look on his face. “I- I think he’s not breathing.”
Kyungsoo is at his side in a moment, together with a staff-noona from the makeup team who’s holding an ice pack in her hands. Kyungsoo checks Baekhyun’s breath, then his eyes stab Chanyeol’s as he stiffly replies, “He is breathing. Can you move him to his waiting room? I have to wait for the doctor here. Yeoyeon here will help you.”
Her smile is warm and reassuring and Chanyeol is happy that he’s not alone with Baekhyun.
He forces himself to calm down, timing his breaths until the world stop spinning too fast around him. Baekhyun mumbles the lyrics of his debut song against the jacket of Chanyeol's suit.
The manager has the face a broken man as he closes the distance between them to sit on the row of chairs opposed to Chanyeol’s.
“He’s resting. The doctor said that he’s not in danger, just tired, dehydrated and sick. He’ll probably sleep for a while.”
Chanyeol finally manages to swallow the sour knot nestled against his throat. He wants to shout at Do Kyungsoo, grab his shoulders and scroll him back and forth, him and Baekhyun. He’s been claiming that this wasn’t a good idea for days but no, Baekhyun wanted to sing and Kyungsoo wanted him to sing and… He shakes his head, realizing that his furious expression gives his thoughts away and it’s not the right behaviour to show in presence of his client.
Kyungsoo sighs. “There’s no need to make that face, I know it’s my fault.”
The words surprise him, and more than the words the lack of courtesy behind them. Kyungsoo is talking to him like he would to a friend, not to an employee. Kyungsoo is talking to him like he does with Baekhyun, annoyed and no bullshit. Except Chanyeol is just Chanyeol.
“I don’t understand, sir.”
“Oh, please. You’re doing it. That face, yes, that one. It’s the customary why no one ever listens to me also known as the I told you so face. Baekhyun gives me this shit all the time.”
“Pretty hypocritical of him, considering that this time it was also his fault.” The words tumble out of his mouth on their own will, and Chanyeol does nothing to stop them. He may be a professional, and he usually doesn’t go around talking like this to people that sign his pay check, but Kyungsoo started it, when he decided to talk to him like they were old friends. No, Kyungsoo and Baekhyun started it. When they decided to treat him like a member of their twisted family, ignoring his purposeful silences and forgetting that he was not supposed to get tangled in their friendship if he wanted to be detached enough to do his job suitably.
Kyungsoo’s eyes widen at his overly familiar tone and the evident lack of honorifics. Chanyeol dies inwardly just thinking of the possible consequences of his words.
“Let’s be honest, Park,” Kyungsoo turns towards him, and again, like always, he manages to make Chanyeol feel like a little kid caught cheating during the math text, “I think you’ve reached the turning point. Do you enjoy working with us?” he asks, and Chanyeol nods in return.
Kyungsoo waits for him to finalize his answer, and in the end, when it becomes obvious that the conversation won’t progress unless Chanyeol says something, he mutters, “I would’ve never believed it but yes, I like working for you. Byun-ssi is very,” he teeters on the edge of the wrong word. Endearing, amazing, flawless, charming… He can’t use these words, but he thinks them. In the end he settles for interesting and Kyungsoo snorts under his breath, but keeps looking right at him with his wide, penetrating eyes as he nods.
“Interesting, indeed,” he says, and it’s so low that he could be as well be talking to himself.
Chanyeol doesn’t know what to expect from this conversation, but Kyungsoo never fails to make him feel like every single one of his words is the wrong one.
“Baekhyun really likes you,” Kyungsoo says, gentler than before, taking Chanyeol by surprise.
His entire expression melts when he’s talking about his best friend, in a way it never does when he’s talking with Baekhyun himself, as if he doesn't want to let his guard down. Kyungsoo guards his feelings with meticulous attention, but he guards Baekhyun's with even more care. They must have a long story behind them, a story that has nothing to do with Chanyeol, but lately he feels less like an intruder during a special party and more like a main guest with the golden invitation.
Then the weight of Kyungsoo’s words sinks on his fatigued mind like lead on deep waters, leaving lazy circles on the surface.
“Does he?” he blurts out. Because really, does he?
Chanyeol’s had that impression, but only Baekhyun knows the rules of the game he’s decided to play. It’s difficult to not let himself be swallowed by Baekhyun’s subtle tactics, and Chanyeol has spent too much time wondering what was a joke and what was real. Baekhyun’s feelings are always out of Chanyeol’s reach, hidden behind the ghosts of his pretences.
“He’s not usually,” Kyungsoo tastes the words on his tongue carefully before letting them out, “this blunt, you know? Baekhyun flirts with everyone but he’s actually very shy.”
Baekhyun who sits next to Chanyeol, always leaving enough space for a third person to sit between them, only to slowly, imperceptibly scoot closer. Baekhyun who resolutely looks at the window when he asks Chanyeol if the new hairstyle looks good on him. Baekhyun who doesn’t want anyone to see him without his makeup on but he never covers his face for Chanyeol.
The bodyguard blushes. How cute, Byun Baekhyun.
“He may not be the best at showing it but yes, he likes you. More like he has a soft spot for your dumbness. I wouldn’t be here talking with you if he didn’t. I’ll let you know that I’ve been the most important person in Baekhyun’s life until now. We’re almost kin, and I’m not really keen on sharing him with you yet.” Kyungsoo shoots him a killer glance, taking in his whole figure and then shaking his head dejectedly. Chanyeol likes Kyungsoo, despite the creepy eyes and slightly manic habits, and he has the distinct feeling that Kyungsoo would even like him back if he wasn’t constantly worried about Baekhyun.
“Well, I guess that if Baekhyunnie is so adamantine on becoming best buddies with you there’s nothing I can do about it. His life, his choices. But remember. You hurt him, I kill you.”
“I don’t plan on hurting him. To be honest, I wasn’t planning anything at all. It’s not like Baekhyun was extremely clear about this liking me thing, either. He’s quite difficult to read, your Byun-ssi.”
Kyungsoo bumps his shoulder, and for such a little man his punch hurts like hell.
“You’re lucky he’s sleeping, he’d bitch at you for hours if he heard you right now. He hates honorifics.”
His eyes fall on his lap. “To be honest, it wasn’t exactly my place to say what I said, but things were starting to become a little too obvious. I’m not only here as Baekhyun’s friend, but also as your employer. A scandal wouldn’t be good for Baekhyun, not now, not ever.”
Chanyeol grimaces, not knowing where he should stand after this talk. It looks like Kyungsoo kind of gave him some sort of permission to do some sort of thing with Baekhyun, but it’s difficult to grasp exactly what he’s allowed to do and what he shouldn’t do. Instead of clearing Chanyeol’s doubts his words only left him more dumbfounded. Of course, he couldn’t have been more cryptic even if he wanted it.
The manager must feel his confusion, because he smirks at him, raising his hand in surrender. “I’m sorry, that’s the farthest I can go with confessions. If you want some other explanation you should talk with Baekhyun himself, maybe.”
He gets up, looking more relieved than before, like he’s finally get rid of a burdensome weight. Letting it fall right on Chanyeol’s shoulder.
“I’m going to grab a coffee and then head to the hotel to have a good night of sleep. Baekhyun isn’t going to wake up before tomorrow, anyway. Do you want to come?”
He slowly shakes his head. “I’m still his bodyguard, waiting for him is part of my contract. And I want to be here when he wakes up,” he adds in the end, biting his tongue at Kyungsoo’s disgusted face.
“Eww, cheesy. I’ll tell the nurse to bring you some coffee then. Don’t mess up, Park Chanyeol.”
And with a brief gesture of departure, he disappear behind the elevator’s doors.
It feels like the end of something. Maybe the end of a game that started with Baekhyun and a pink kigurumi, ice cream and Chanyeol’s sister, pretty as always during the evening news. Chanyeol had apologized and Baekhyun had sniffed and asked to be called just Baekhyun. It's sad, to think that their little play of hide and seek, of stolen glances and hidden smiles is going to come to an end. Chanyeol hopes this can also be a start.
From now on, he only wants to play truth or dare with Baekhyun.
Butterflies of light fly on the ceiling of the little hotel room. Baekhyun can feel them quivering even under his closed, heavy lids. The glass panel, so thick that it even manages to drown the low rumble of the city traffic of Singapore, can do nothing against its countless lights. Pinwheels and comets, multicolour beams that explode like fireworks in the sky seep through the thick curtains to dance on Baekhyun’s face.
He’s barely aware of it, just like he’s barely aware of his body. He can feel the ends of it, if he struggles enough, but his limbs are heavy and uncooperative. No matter how much he struggles to move in the delirium of the meds, his body won’t budge an inch. He feels trapped inside his feverish corpse, but now and then a strong, piercing quake of red pain shakes through his body, from the head to his toes, reminding him that he’s very much alive.
Baekhyun dreams of Chanyeol and his fingers on his body. In his dream, the touch is so feverish that he can only feel it because his skin is burning, his sensibility in overdrive. Every stroke against his sides sends an electric tsunami against his body, the sensation unbearably similar to the pain fits that not even painkillers managed to kill, but ten times more tingling.
The dream is dark, and he can’t open his eyes to look at Chanyeol, but he just know it’s him. He’s watched Chanyeol from afar with enough tearing intensity in the last few months, wishing nothing more than to attract him closer like a dark hole would do to a red giant star, that by now Park Chanyeol’s presence belongs to Byun Baekhyun’s senses.
Chanyeol drags his hand on Baekhyun’s skin, soothingly, lovingly, with a tenderness that lingers behind. He scratches lightly on Baekhyun’s tummy, where the shirt is bunched up to expose soft, naked skin, and then he travels on the heavily raising and falling expanse of Baekhyun’s chest. Up, up, Baekhyun cries in surprise when Chanyeol’s fingers grace his right nipple through the fabric of the designer shirt, but the shout gets tangled in his throat only to end up as a garbled moan that makes Chanyeol pause in fear. Baekhyun cries at the sudden loss and hand comes back on his neck, where the shirt ends and the vein is desperately standing from the effort to breathe through his burning throat.
Baekhyun’s skin is searing hot and Chanyeol’s touch should feel cooler in comparison, but Baekhyun can only feel warmth everywhere, solid like a blanket draped all over him. Warmth in the gentle slide of Chanyeol’s fingers on his cheek, slowly tilting Baekhyun’s face upwards and drawing slow circles with his thumb; warmth in the strands of hair falling in his face, tickling his eyes and making his lashes flutter; warmth in the puff of breaths landing on his lips.
Byun Baekhyun wakes up after two days of incoherence spent in a hospital bed to a realm of warmth and Park Chanyeol kissing him.
Baekhyun has never seen Kyungsoo so pale and dishevelled. Ok, actually he has, back when everything was simpler.
They used to be in the same music class, he and Kyungsoo, always competing to see who was the best vocalist until their voices faded out and their moms had to punish them for singing recklessly and risking damage to the vocal cords. Then Kyungsoo’s accident happened, close to Baekhyun’s birthday during their last year of high school. Car crash with no serious consequences for Kyungsoo’s life. Kyungsoo almost wanted to jump out of the roof of the school when they told him that the probability of him being able to sing again like before was almost null.
Baekhyun knows, and understands, that sometimes Kyungsoo’s tenacity in promoting Baekhyun as a singer is fuelled by the piercing fragments of his broken dreams. But there’s a thin line that Kyungsoo crossed this time. They both crossed it.
Baekhyun is stupid and cares about his career much more than he does about his health, but Kyungsoo should’ve been the reasonable one. He should’ve stopped him from stepping on that stage for the charity event. But he hasn’t, and now Baekhyun lies in a hospital bed, acutely aware that Kyungsoo is no doubt accusing himself for something that both of them could’ve prevented but neither of them didn’t think about. He raises his eyes to look at his best friend, scared to death and kneeling at his bedside.
The first thing he receives is an arm around his neck. Baekhyun is a hapkido expert while Kyungsoo was more like the judo type. He kept training all of those years even when Baekhyun had to skip martial arts gym in favour of training rooms better fit for dancing than for kicking. Well, the hold around his windpipe is not crushing, more mocking than threatening. Baekhyun has seen Kyungsoo disarming a robber with his bare hands. The poor, unfortunate man had ran away screaming for his life, while Kyungsoo rolled satisfied curses in his mouth. This time, though, Kyungsoo is not trying to crush his breath out of him in revenge for a missed work date or a stolen embarrassing pic.
“Wow, Kyungsoo,” he weakly laughs, “I’m starting to think that you really wanted to hug me this time, instead of killing me.”
The hold around his shoulders tightens, imperceptibly.
“I’m trying to kill you,” is what Kyungsoo says, but his voice trembles and his nose against Baekhyun’s neck is cold and maybe wet. It’s difficult to understand if he’s joking or crying. Kyungsoo sniffles and Baekhyun squirms, ticklish.
Under normal circumstances, this is where Baekhyun would say his customary idiot joke, something like “You almost did it!” or “The cold already tried to do it.” Only this time he doesn’t, because seeing Kyungsoo so guilty and dead worried is starting to scare him too. He hugs back, and Kyungsoo relaxes into his body. This is the first physical contact that doesn’t involve a threat to Baekhyun’s survival they’ve had in years. The last time was before the Minseok fiasco, a long forgotten story that never failed to bring tears to Baekhyun’s eyes for months after it happened.
Baekhyun waits until his best friend his ready to collect his thoughts. He knows that they won’t talk about this moment of weakness again because Baekhyun is extremely emotional, but it’s rare for Kyungsoo to lose his composure like this.
“Come on Soo! I know that you love me but this is not a cheesy drama!” he tries to joke, when he deems that Kyungsoo’s breath has calmed down enough. Kyungsoo takes advantage of their position to stick his cold nose on Baekhyun’s neck, pinning him to the bed despite his wiggling and pressing inexorable until tears pools in Baekhyun’s eyes for the tickling sensation.
“Pity,” he screams hoarsely, and Kyungsoo jumps back just in time to avoid being caught by the nurse while he torments her patient. She sends them a long, penetrating look before leaving the room again.
“Oh god, Soo, you really want to kill me then,” a breathless Baekhyun says, when she’s gone. Kyungsoo grabs a packet of biscuits from the mountain of gifts on the chair next to Baekhyun’s bed and starts to munch on one, looking pensive.
“I ought to, now that I think of it.” His eyes are piercing against Baekhyun’s forehead. He doesn’t dare to raise his own, having a bad feeling about this. Kyungsoo snaps his fingers on Baekhyun’s face. “What did you do to make your bodyguard run away like that?”
Baekhyun munches on his lip. His heart feels heavy and he’s just… Well, he and Park-ssi aren’t even good friends, but knowing that the other boy chose to disappear rather than talking things out with Baekhyun is a bit disappointing. “What do you mean he ran away. Did he come back on his own?” he dares to ask.
“Yes,” Kyungsoo nods. “His agency called this morning to assure us that he has some kind of urgent personal problems and that he can’t take care of this assignment anymore.”
“This assignment means me,” concludes Baekhyun.
“You don’t have to think this is personal, Baekhyunnie, maybe he truly has something else to do,” tries to soothe him Kyungsoo, but Baekhyun quickly shakes his head.
“He kissed me,” he blurts out in anguish, regretting it as soon as the words leave his mouth, when he see an immense, raging fury cross Kyungsoo’s pretty face.
“HE DID WHAT.”
Oh, you did it now Byun Baekhyun.
“I mean, it probably was a mistake-”
“I’m going to kill him. Painfully. He kissed... How dare he. And then he ran away. I’m sorry Baekhyun, but there’s no way I’ll let your crush live after he did such a stupid thing.”
The crack of his knuckles is loud and menacing, just like the action movies. Baekhyun is still torn between laughing at his best friend’s dramatic antics and crying because Park Chanyeol when the nurse opens the door and look at Kyungsoo with an annoyed expression. The manager smiles unapologetically and starts to collect his things.
“Wait, Kyungsoo!” Baekhyun knows his voice sounds whiny but Kyungsoo is taking his coat from the hanger behind the door and ringing the bell to call the nurse. “We’re not finished here, I wanted to tell you what happened…”
Kyungsoo turns towards him and cards his hand in Baekhyun’s hair, tenderly. “I know, silly, but the nurse only gave me five minutes, and I spent most of it hugging you like a frightened baby. Don’t ever scare me like that, Byun Baekhyun.” He pinches his cheek, “Don’t worry, I’ll come back tomorrow. You try to rest. Your body needs to recover before we can even think of bringing you back home.”
He doesn't want it to show but he's terrified. Hospitals were never his thing. A whine gets caught in his throat.
"Don't give me that look, or the nurse will kill me. She's a fan of yours and she hates me," Kyungsoo confesses in hushed tones. "Now excuse me, I have phone calls to make, people to threaten, and the painful elimination of your former bodyguard to plan."
He steals a kiss at Baekhyun's cheek and he's gone.
The nurse closes the door with a satisfied expression him away and checks on Baekhyun’s I.V. twice before bidding him good night. Before he can even think about the kiss, Baekhyun falls asleep.
I AM VERY SORRY. i feel like this story is becoming too big for me and the characters are slipping from my hold and i'm UGH.
this is very confusing tbh, the kissing scene from chanyeol's pov and also what happened right afterwards will be explained in the next part. as for baekhyun, he was awake after two days of being high on meds, i'm going to blame the meds and his health condition if he wasn't coherent or IC.
basically this whole part is shit and it shouldn't have happened. this is like 180 degrees away from the original plot and i'm probably going to delete it after a few days and we won't talk of this unfortunate incident ever again.