With fingers splayed with soothing cream, Baekhyun swiped his fingers against Chanyeol’s red face. When Baekhyun pressed too hard, Chanyeol barked at him to be gentler. Since Baekhyun knew he was back on the job, he just cocked his head at Chanyeol—who frowned in response—and very formally said, “I’m sorry.”
Chanyeol scoffed as he kept his head up to face Baekhyun. “Sorry doesn’t cut it. You left me outside and now I probably can’t move—much less work— for days.”
“You know,” Baekhyun said as he rubbed more gently against Chanyeol’s tender face, “If you had just put on sunscreen, maybe you wouldn’t have been burnt.”
Chanyeol creased his brows. “Maybe if you hadn’t left me outside—”
“—Maybe if you hadn’t gone outside—”
“Maybe you should just apply the damn cream on without talking,” Chanyeol cut in.
Baekhyun smiled down on him. “Don’t you like my voice?”
Chanyeol rolled his eyes. It wasn’t that he didn’t like Baekhyun’s voice. Hell, the guy had a nice voice, but, again, Chanyeol wasn’t in the mood to compliment. “No. I don’t,” Chanyeol lied.
Finished with Chanyeol’s face, Baekhyun pulled back away from the sitting giant on his bed for a second. “That’s too bad. I think I have a nice voice,” Baekhyun lightly defended, not taking any offense. Then he motioned his hand and clicked his tongue. “Off with the shirt. Come on.”
Chanyeol grunted, but nonetheless, tried to take the piece of clothing off. He had trouble with ridding of it and took more time than Baekhyun would’ve liked. In the end, Baekhyun helped him out, but ended up roughly pulling the shirt away, brushing it harshly against Chanyeol’s damaged skin.
“Fuck!” Chanyeol yelped. He felt like punching Baekhyun at the moment. “Gentle! How many times do I have to fucking tell you!?”
Baekhyun winced at the tone of Chanyeol’s voice for the first time, honestly feeling a bit guilty for being as rough as he was. “Sorry.”
Chanyeol glared, but relented when he saw the look on Baekhyun’s face. He didn’t know whether he felt guilty for scaring him or slightly satisfied. Either way, Chanyeol ended up glancing away to avoid looking at Baekhyun. “Whatever.” Then Chanyeol moved his limbs. “Do the arms.”
Baekhyun nodded, but then his eyes caught something. “What about your neck?”
Chanyeol raised his brows. “Are you gonna try and strangle me?”
Quickly, Baekhyun’s grin was back on his face—which, oddly, made Chanyeol feel better— and his head was tilted mockingly to the right. “Who will write my paycheck at the end of the week?”
Chanyeol mocked the grin on Baekhyun’s mouth. “You think you’re funny.”
Moving back to Chanyeol’s side and applying a new coat of cream on his arms, Baekhyun shrugged. “I might be.”
Chanyeol snorted. “When you’re done with my arms and neck, you’re free to go—wait. I didn’t mean that in a way that you could do whatever you wanted. Go clean the bathrooms or something.”
Baekhyun gave him a bland look. “Fine. I’ll scrub your nasty tiles.”
Chanyeol met Baekhyun’s eyes. “You might wanna change your attitude, Baekhyun.”
Blinking, Baekhyun mentally shot himself in the foot while keeping that static smile on his face. “I’ll happily clean your expensive tiles.”
For a moment, Chanyeol regretted asking Baekhyun to change his attitude. The fake enthusiasm in Baekhyun’s voice was cringe-worthy. Chanyeol decided he’d rather have stupid, sarcastic remarks—along with stupid facial expressions—than a creepy, plastered smile and a shrill voice that could only be featured in corny horror films.
After Baekhyun covered Chanyeol’s arms and neck, he stepped back to observe the shirtless, burnt, and red giant. “What about your legs?”
“I think I can handle it.”
“Wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself, though.”
Chanyeol rose from the bed and gave Baekhyun a sarcastic look. “If you really wanted that, you would’ve have left me out to fry,” he said as he began to walk his way over to the door.
Baekhyun’s eyes followed him before his body moved and began to walk behind Chanyeol’s stiff self. “I told you,” Baekhyun mumbled, “You should’ve put on sunscreen.”
Chanyeol wasn’t about to have the same argument again. He grabbed the door handle and swung the door open. “Go clean some bathrooms, Baekhyun.”
“Fine,” Baekhyun grumbled. As Chanyeol was walking across the large hall over to his bedroom, Baekhyun called, “Hey, can I tell you something?”
Stopping midway, Chanyeol turned his head. “What?”
“Your nipples look like pepperoni,” Baekhyun whispered before shutting his door.
Chanyeol stood there looking confused. Just as he was about to make a three-sixty turn around to Baekhyun’s door, his ears heard Baekhyun putting the locks in his room to good use.
Over the next few days, Chanyeol had the pleasure of being laughed at the moment that he woke up. Baekhyun would wake him up the usual way: by shaking his bed, and telling him to go out and smell some grass. Afterwards, when Chanyeol would refuse to move—due to the burns—Baekhyun would walk over to his side of the bed and flip the covers off of Chanyeol’s face so that the sunlight from the windows would directly fry his eyes if he didn’t move like Baekhyun wanted him to.
It seemed like every morning someone up in the heavens would hit a restart button for Baekhyun’s memory because, to Chanyeol, Baekhyun would laugh at his appearance everyday like the bastard hadn’t seen it all before. By the time the fifth day of Chanyeol’s bodily torture came around, Chanyeol was pretty sure that Baekhyun was on some sort of laughing schedule since he would always start laughing the moment the covers were flipped, and would only stop when he had kneed Chanyeol’s bed—rocking it—and turned back around to leave.
The most frustrating thing about being burnt was that moving at all and touching anything hurt a bit. Therefore, working at home sucked. In his work room, Chanyeol often found himself too preoccupied with how his body felt instead of focusing on drawing and fixing designs for prototypes. After he realized he couldn’t do anything in his condition, Chanyeol gave up trying, deciding that since it was practically his company, he could finish things when he could and wanted without any deadlines.
A week and a half went by and Chanyeol’s condition was better. His skin was back to its normal color, except that it still had a very slight shade of pink to it. During this time, he observed and put a careful eye on Baekhyun. By doing this, he learned a few things.
Baekhyun didn’t like to work. This was obvious by the way he’d give Chanyeol the stink eye after being asked to do simple tasks like turning the television off. But, even though he had a poor mental work ethic, Chanyeol would find that the bathrooms were cleaned properly, his clothes were cleaned—and even folded— and the house was never in a mess. In the end, Chanyeol had to hand it to Baekhyun.
Another thing Chanyeol learned was that Baekhyun could sing. It was when Sehun was humming to a song one evening in the living room. Apparently, it had been a song that Baekhyun recognized. He joined in and for a moment, his voice sounded very angelic to Chanyeol’s ears…But that was until Baekhyun decided to fuck things up by changing his voice midway, trying to sound like some old fart with throat issues.
When that happened, Chanyeol almost felt stupid for thinking the guy’s voice was “angelic”. He had to remind himself that his grandmother hired a freak who liked cheesecake, soda, work breaks, and laughter, but hated working and cleaning even though he was fantastic at doing so.
Chanyeol pieced together that Byun Baekhyun hated responsibilities. But to Baekhyun’s credit, Chanyeol didn’t piece that information all by himself. In fact, it was one afternoon after asking Baekhyun to wash the dishes that Baekhyun dragged his feet and moaned, “I hate responsibilities.”
Chanyeol proceeded to ask him why he took the job if he hated responsibilities so much. Baekhyun gave Chanyeol a dead-pan look before saying, “Because of responsibilities. Do you see my problem?”
After that question, Chanyeol decided that yes, he did see Baekhyun’s problem. Baekhyun’s problem was that he was weird.
It was no wonder to Baekhyun why Chanyeol kept losing maids. Kyungsoo and Sehun had told him that it was all because Chanyeol’s female maids in the past would try funny things to try and land Chanyeol after falling in supposed “love” with him. These maids were fired the moment they tried anything, apparently.
But, from Baekhyun’s experience, he thought that they all left because they all realized that scrubbing and cleaning five regularly used bathrooms and three unused ones was too much bullshit to deal with.
From Baekhyun’s point of view, Chanyeol was a slave master. All he was missing was a whip, which Baekhyun sometimes suspected was under his bed.
By the time Baekhyun had survived two weeks at the house, he felt like he figured out the house dynamics between Chanyeol, Kyungsoo, Sehun, and him.
It was through small glances and a careful eye that Baekhyun figured that Chanyeol had a bit of a gay liking for Kyungsoo, the cook. When the thought first came to mind, Baekhyun made a face to himself, thinking that it was stupid. But then Baekhyun started noticing the smiles Chanyeol would give and he’d hear that slave-driving giant’s deep voice laugh along with Kyungsoo on whatever topic they were on.
Maybe it was just a little bromance. Maybe they were just close. Or maybe, it was because of that stupid idea popping into Baekhyun’s head that Baekhyun began to see everything that Chanyeol did around Kyungsoo as “gay”—in big, bold, rainbow colored letters.
If Chanyeol blinked? Gay for Kyungsoo. If Chanyeol sighed? Gay for Kyungsoo. If Chanyeol sneezed? That sneeze was gay for Kyungsoo.
Moving on from Baekhyun’s suspicion over Chanyeol’s relationship and feelings for the house cook, there was Sehun. After asking, Baekhyun had found that Sehun was much younger than him. Baekhyun found out that Sehun was nineteen with a not-so-rich background. Working for Chanyeol was apparently providing enough money for him to send to his struggling parents since Sehun didn’t have to spend the money on housing for himself.
Baekhyun hated school—even though he graduated college with high honors—but he knew that going to college could lead to bigger opportunities, which really meant opportunities with big money. When Baekhyun asked why he was watering Chanyeol’s sparse grass and poorly organized flowers, Sehun shrugged and said that he wasn’t financially able to.
It was at that moment that Baekhyun came to another conclusion about Chanyeol. He knew Chanyeol was rich—or at least had money. He could’ve helped Sehun go to some sort of college, but no. According to Baekhyun's theory, Chanyeol refused to fund Sehun’s education because Baekhyun knew that education was the mortal enemy of dictatorship.
The conclusion came to an end with a simple statement: Chanyeol knew that if Sehun got educated and found other opportunities, no one would be left to water his plants.
It all made sense to Baekhyun. Chanyeol was a gay, slave-driving dictator, who disliked education.
Last, but never the least, there was Baekhyun and his own relationship with Chanyeol.
Baekhyun figured that he had worked there long enough for Chanyeol to “get his style”, which he was right about. Chanyeol never reprimanded or punished him—oddly enough since back at Baekhyun’s house, if a maid or butler talked back, they’d immediately be fired by his pretentious parents.
Even though Chanyeol bossed Baekhyun around—when in reality, he was just asking Baekhyun to do his job— Baekhyun found that he didn’t really mind so much anymore. It had become a daily thing to fix beds, change sheets, dust—though he would do this task lazily— and wake Chanyeol’s large ass up.
In terms of actual jobs that actual maids did, Baekhyun did clean every room in that house, all for one and that was Chanyeol’s precious work room. Baekhyun never questioned why that place was off limits to him—even though he had seen Sehun go in there once or twice to talk to Chanyeol about things—but Baekhyun never really cared. Chanyeol could stash however many porn videos in that room of his. It wasn’t Baekhyun’s problem to dust and clean them.
As for appearances, Baekhyun knew that Chanyeol was good looking. Even the sunburns on their first day of meeting each other didn’t take away from that fact. Sometimes Baekhyun would stare at Chanyeol, cursing his handsome genetics. Most of Baekhyun’s staring sessions would end up with Chanyeol turning his attention right back at him, and then they’d have this strange, almost awkward, eye contact. Out of natural defense, Baekhyun would scrunch his face and shake his head, leaving Chanyeol to wonder what the hell his freak-of-a-maid was doing.
Chanyeol’s body wasn’t bad, either—as Baekhyun noticed. For someone who stayed cooped up in some work office at home all day, he was well built. His had nice arms, which was something that Baekhyun gathered from rubbing that cream all over it.
Their interactions often involved arguing and back talking. There were more moments than that though. Once, Baekhyun heard Sehun humming along to a song that he often listened to back in his college years. Since it was fit to, Baekhyun jumped in and began to sing as Sehun smiled and continued to hum. After a while, Baekhyun’s eyes left Sehun’s and dragged on over to the kitchen island where Kyungsoo was preparing dinner and where Chanyeol was trying to “get some kitchen action”—according to Baekhyun’s gay-dar.
When his eyes left Sehun and moved, Baekhyun almost regretted it. He locked eyes with Chanyeol, who didn’t look back at him with annoyed eyes like he usually did. Instead, Chanyeol's eyes were calm and almost in some sort of trance with Baekhyun. Not liking the warm, emotional connection, Baekhyun scrunched his face—like he always did—and changed his voice, trying his best to sound nasty and croaky. It all worked, though. Chanyeol snapped out of that weird gaze and went back to frowning, giving Baekhyun that “what the hell are you doing” look.