In the final home stretch of the reconstruction project, Chanyeol found it easier to work alone in refining his ideas and final drafts without Kris’ inputs at every corner at every decision made. He found that it was easier to work efficiently when the other male wasn’t around to distract him with mindless talks that sometimes referred to Baekhyun sexually, which Chanyeol didn’t appreciate nor want. Towards the end of his work, he finally made the decision to kick Kris out of the room, ordering him to go do something elsewhere.
Boredom didn’t take long to set in. Nothing pleased Kris more than to gladly let Chanyeol do the rest of the work and get a day off, but as soon as he stepped into the kitchen, Kyungsoo, who was bickering angrily with his assistant cook, suddenly stopped, walked towards him, and thrusted a white sheet of paper onto his chest.
“You look like you’re not busy,” Kyungsoo reasoned when Kris reluctantly took a hold on the paper. “I need you to go make a run into town and do the groceries.” Turning to look at Kai, who was glaring at him with an intensity that challenged the sun, Kyungsoo pursed his lips. “Kai can help you. That’s what he’s paid for to do.”
Going over the list, Kris saw that Kyungsoo had written down every possible item known to man. In the back of his mind, he couldn’t help but feel as though the cook wrote down anything that would stall whoever had the list. “Do you really need all these things?” he asked slowly, cautious of Kyungsoo’s current mood.
“You’re such a liar,” Kai called from behind. Then he looked up at Kris. “He just wants to get rid of me.”
With a frown stationary on his face, Kyungsoo whipped around toward Kris. “Just take him with you. Take as long as you need. I’ll be right back. I’ll go get the grocery money for you.”
Without another word, Kyungsoo walked past the tall male and headed toward his room. When Kris could see that Kai meant to go after him, he felt the epic need to intervene, sidestepping the younger when he tried to follow like a lost puppy. For a second, the two of them shared a cold exchange of the eyes until Kris decided to break it off and sigh.
“What’d you do to him?” Kris asked, nodding in the direction Kyungsoo disappeared off to.
“I didn’t do squat,” Kai muttered. “He’s just--frustrating. He’s frustrating.”
Kris shrugged, but nodded slightly in agreement. “Well, you probably did something to him. I don’t know what, but I’ve been around his pretty ass long enough to know how he acts when so and so happens--”
“What?” Kai threw him a look. “His pretty what?”
Kai creased his brows at Kris. “How do you know it’s pretty?”
Kris tilted his head. “I might’ve seen it.”
“Well, why do you care?” Kris laughed as he moved away to go sit in the living room.
Before Kai could respond, the back door opened and the house’s power duo burst in. Nugget, wet and dripping, decided it was a good idea to shake all the water off of him right in the open. Baekhyun followed the dog with his wet hair sticking to his face. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary to either Kris or Kai, but when Baekhyun stuck his head in the house and quickly scouted the room, Kris raised his brows.
“What’re you doing there, Baek?” Kris asked, looking at Baekhyun’s dripping appearance and watching as the male cautiously stepped foot in the house.
“Nothing,” Baekhyun replied curtly before throwing a smile on his face.
“You look like you did something you weren’t supposed to,” Kai commented.
“It’s not that I did--” Baekhyun stopped. “Okay, well I’m not supposed to go far, but I kind of did. Did you guys hear me scream?”
After sharing a glance with Kai, Kris cleared his throat. “No.”
Quirking his lips, Baekhyun hummed. “Hm, so Chanyeol was right. No one’s going to hear me if I drown…” Closing the door, he grinned at the two. “Anyways, I gotta go change. I wasn’t even supposed to go skinny dipping.”
Quickly, Baekhyun padded his way across the room and headed to the hallway before looking back. “Oh, by the way! What’re you two doing? Is that the grocery list?” he asked, looking at the list in Kris’ hand. “Is Kyungsoo going today?”
Looking at the paper in his hand for a second, Kris bobbled his head. “Yeah--Well, Kyungsoo’s not. I am.”
Suddenly, Baekhyun’s ears perked. “Can I come?”
Kai turned his head toward Kris before looking back at Baekhyun. “Do you want to?”
Baekhyun checked for Chanyeol behind him first before smiling back at Kris. “Yeah!” he said. “I mean, you’re gonna have to smuggle me out of here, but I really need to go get Nugget his dog food--Oh, plus, I wanna get away from the house for a bit. I need a breather.”
Without questioning Baekhyun’s intentions, Kris nodded. “You can replace Kai. I’d rather have you as a sidekick than him.” When Kris caught Kai’s stare, he snorted. “No offense.”
“None taken.” With the curve of his lips turning upward, Kai ran a hand through his hair. “I’d rather stay here anyways.”
“Of course you would,” Kris muttered as he walked over to the couch and lied down, “you sexually frustrated amateur.”
Sensing that Kai was about to retort in a non-friendly way, Baekhyun slanted his lips and ran over to his side, grabbing his hand. “Help me get ready.”
Slightly distracted from Kris’ previous comment, Kai reluctantly allowed himself to be pulled along by Baekhyun who was cooing at him about what Nugget did in the water just minutes ago. After they disappeared down the hallway corner, Kris was once again left alone with only his thoughts to keep him company. The silence was only broken ten minutes later when Nugget--fully refreshed and moderately dried--came running in the living room and decided he wanted to jump around happily.
Amused, Kris sat up on the couch and listened to Nugget's paws thud around every time he came back down from his miniature jumps. Following soon afterward was Baekhyun. Surprisingly, he didn’t look too bad for someone who only spent a few minutes getting dressed. His hair was ruffled and damp, and when Kris asked why it looked the way it did, Baekhyun pointed at Kai, who was behind him, and answered by telling him that Kai didn’t know how to work the blow dryer.
“Well, you look sexy anyways.”
Taking the compliment as he fixed his cardigan and shirt, Baekhyun smiled brightly at him. Teasingly, he brought a finger to his lips. “Don’t let Chanyeol hear you--However, thank you.”
“Let me tap you sometime.”
Baekhyun’s face remained smiling, but it was an awkward kind of smile that was afraid to fall and ruin the atmosphere. “Well,” he said with a small unsure shrug, “maybe if Chanyeol’s okay with it--”
Kai snorted as he passed behind him and went to the open kitchen, taking a seat on a stool near the island. “Fat chance.”
“It’s still a chance,” Kris pointed out as he stood up. Moving on, he motioned for Baekhyun. “Are you ready to go?”
Baekhyun nodded quickly. Then he clicked his tongue and patted his thighs, calling for Nugget, who was quick to respond. Picking him up like a child, Baekhyun used a hand to rub one of Nugget’s paws playfully before grinning back at Kris. “He’s coming along. He gets to pick out what he wants to eat.”
“You’re letting the dog decide?”
From the kitchen, Kai said, “He lets the dog decide a whole bunch of things. This isn’t surprising.”
After launching a glaring look in Kai’s direction, Baekhyun walked up to Kris and looked up at him. “Can we go now?”
“Sure--” Kris paused. “Where do you guys keep the car keys?”
“I think…Chanyeol has it all in his room…” Baekhyun glanced up at the ceiling, trying to recall correctly. “I’ll go get it. Do you have money for the shopping trip?”
“Kyungsoo was supposed to get me the money--Now that I think about it, he’s been gone for a while,” Kris muttered.
Bored with being the third wheel in the room, Kai got out of his seat and headed down the other wing’s hallway. “I’ll see what’s keeping him.”
Quirking his lips, Baekhyun shook his head and stopped Kai momentarily. “No, it’s okay. Never mind. I have the money. I’ll just pay for it.” Tilting his head up at Kris, Baekhyun asked, “I’ll just be back with the keys, alright? Here.” Handing Nugget over to Kris, Baekhyun turned on his heel and began walking to Chanyeol’s room. “I’ll be back.”
As Baekhyun left, Nugget began to struggle in the arms of his uncle. It wasn’t until Kris whispered threats of what he’d do to his dad if he didn’t stop that Nugget ceased his struggle and obediently let Kris carry him to the doorway where they patiently waited for Baekhyun to come running back with the keys clutched in his hand.
Kris never thought that he’d be out shopping as if he were the husband and his partner in crime was his wife. At the moment, that was exactly what it felt like. When Nugget was put in the backseat and ordered to sit down by Baekhyun, Kris felt like he was witnessing his first born child being put into a booster seat. When Baekhyun was speaking on and on about his chores around the house, Kris felt like he was the dutiful husband patiently hearing out his wife’s woes. But then Baekhyun began to talk about Chanyeol’s constant need of him and suddenly all the warm sentimental thoughts were pushed against the back burner of Kris' mind and he felt like he was listening to his hormonal and sexually active daughter go on about her boyfriend.
Kris hadn’t been able to understand much about Chanyeol’s constant nagging about Nugget’s weight until he was abandoned by Baekhyun at the store only to find the guy trying to haul two large bags of dog food with his dog trailing behind him. Back at the house, Baekhyun had secured a small miniature backpack meant for dogs on Nugget’s back so it was no surprise to anybody that the dog had treats and a small can of whatnot in his puppy bag.
Often times, Kris would wonder why Chanyeol had to scold and bicker with Baekhyun about doing simple chores and jobs that maids were often expected to do. Seeing as how Baekhyun became dead weight right after he got what Nugget and he came for, Kris could finally understand why Chanyeol had to drag Baekhyun to the bathrooms with a bucket of gloves and cleansers at hand.
Long after they arrived at the store, Kris stopped looking at Baekhyun as if he was his wife and Nugget was their child. The moment Baekhyun got bored and wandered away, Baekhyun had become the child and Nugget had become the wife, trailing after Baekhyun to see if his dad was doing anything dangerous.
Halfway through the list, Baekhyun came from around an aisle with junk food that Kris figured Chanyeol would never let him buy under normal circumstances. After putting the items in their cart, Baekhyun stared at Kris for a few seconds nodding before explaining what he had in mind.
“I was wondering, but does this town have a computer café?” Baekhyun asked, tilting his head to the side. “I want to get on the internet.”
Slowly pushing their cart off to the next area for the next three things on Kyungsoo’s list, Kris made a face as he creased his brows down. “Does Chanyeol not let you get on the internet or something? I’m pretty sure nothing’s too inappropriate for you.”
“I know,” Baekhyun said as he walked in step with the cart. “It’s just that this time, I’m going to need a little more privacy with my online search. This is more important than my porn history.”
“Why do you watch porn, Baek?” Kris asked with a distracted mind.
“So I can touch myself,” Baekhyun replied casually.
“When do you even have the time?”
Shrugging, Baekhyun gave Kris a dumb look. “I don’t know. I’ve only touched myself once or twice this week.”
“Yeah, I was mad at Chanyeol for making me rewash our master bathroom’s shower glass so I got in it and decided to masturbate on his wall…” Baekhyun paused as he gazed off. “But then I finished and realized I had to clean it up because I didn’t wanna get yelled at…”
“All that masturbating for nothing,” Kris snorted as he reached up and took a box of cake mix from a shelf.
Baekhyun slowly nodded. “Yeah--oh, but I’m not planning on touching myself anymore for a while.” When he saw Kris’ face, Baekhyun pursed his lips. “It’s because of other reasons, but I’m kind of embarrassed by my load nowadays. It’s too thin for my liking…I don’t know how Chanyeol does it. His is always thick, which makes it a pain in my ass to clean out. Ah…It’s just embarrassing.”
Rolling his eyes, Kris scoffed as Baekhyun covered his cheeks with hands and patted them. “Of all the things to be embarrassed about. I don’t even think Chanyeol cares.” Glancing up and down at Baekhyun’s figure, he slanted his lips. “I don’t see how he’d have anything to complain about.”
Baekhyun grinned. “You’re lucky Chanyeol’s not here.”
“And you’re lucky Chanyeol already claimed your ass.”
“Yeah, he stuck his flag into my territory a long time ago,” Baekhyun hummed, stuffing his hands into his pockets.
After a minute of silence, Baekhyun remembered his original question and stepped in front of the cart, halting Kris. Nugget, who was riding inside, toppled over and Baekhyun was quick to rub the puppy back up before making his point.
“Anyways, do you mind if I leave you for a bit?” Baekhyun put out. “I’m gonna go look for a computer café or something.”
“I don’t know…” Kris muttered. “I won’t know where you are and I’m pretty sure Chanyeol’s going to come out of his room for a break and realize you and I are both gone.”
Baekhyun’s lips thinned. “He’s going to think you’re off violating me…”
“See? Exactly,” Kris said, pointing a finger at Baekhyun. “I can’t prove my innocence if you’re not present.”
“I have my cellphone…” Baekhyun mumbled, pulling out his device from his back pocket. “You can call me.”
“I don’t have your number.”
“That can be fixed!” Baekhyun said brightly as he held out his hand. “Give me your phone.”
Kris hesitated giving his boss’ lover his cellphone for a minute before he realized he didn’t necessarily care if Chanyeol was going to yell at him or not. Giving Baekhyun his cellphone, Kris watched the smaller male carefully as he quickly made his way over to the phonebook.
After Baekhyun put in his info and took what Kris thought to be an unnecessarily cute selca, he gave back the phone. Immediately after looking at the contact info, Kris frowned. “I’m sorry. I can’t have this ‘I’m cute’ footnote in your info. Chanyeol uses my phone and I’d like to keep my job.”
Baekhyun laughed. “I know you’re his subordinate, but it’s not like he’s really your boss. I don’t think he has that power.”
Eyeing Baekhyun, Kris gave him a look. “He has more power over me that you probably think, Baek. He--”
“Well,” Baekhyun said, interrupting. “I’m going to go.”
Patting Nugget on the head when he tried to get out of the cart, Baekhyun went on to tell him to behave for his uncle, to which Nugget protested, knocking over items in the cart and whining. Baekhyun pouted at the desperate pup, but then looked to Kris.
“Take care of my baby,” he said. Just before he turned to leave Kris all alone with their shopping list and Nugget, Baekhyun dug deep into his pocket and pulled out a few coins. “There’s a rocket ship ride right outside the store. If Nugget behaves, put him in it and put the tokens in. It’ll last about a minute and a half, but it should keep him entertained.”
As Baekhyun left, humming all the way out of the store, Kris stood in the middle of aisle five corrected. He was left with the shopping list, the dogs, and the rocket ship tokens.