It was only a while after finishing that Chanyeol and Sehun slipped out of the shop to let Luhan and the rest of the workers man the crowd. Chanyeol was reluctant, though. He didn’t like leaving the place knowing that Baekhyun was still clueless about him—being busy and all—but he also knew that the scene wasn’t the ideal scene for him to explode on the guy.
By the time six-thirty came around, Baekhyun had already graciously let his three employees go home to close up on his own. His last customer left ten minutes prior, which was perfect because he no longer had to stay at the front to entertain them.
He left the goods that were made that day in the display cases, but took the ones that had been there for more than a day out. He put all of those in a box before pivoting to place them in the backroom to donate later that night to the homeless shelter, which could always use a range of gigantic, sugary cupcakes.
As he was in the back, Baekhyun heard the faint ring of the bell that hung above the store’s door. The first thought was a thought telling himself that he forgot to turn off the open sign. Quickly, Baekhyun set the box on a table before making his way back to the front. If it was a customer, he was going to attend to them despite hours being done.
When Baekhyun was walking through the door, he wiped his hands on his black apron before looking up. “Hi! Welcome to Pabo’s Caf—” Baekhyun stopped short. “Café…”he muttered out.
In front of him, Chanyeol stood there. He wasn’t necessarily glaring or intently looking at him. It seemed like a soft gaze to him. Oddly enough, the look in Chanyeol’s eyes made Baekhyun feel uncomfortable. It was because they had this feeling in them. Baekhyun didn’t mistake the feeling in Chanyeol’s eyes with anything. He knew what it was.
After an entire fleeting eternity, Baekhyun found his voice. “H-Hi…” When Chanyeol didn’t move or say anything new, Baekhyun lowered his gaze, dropping the eye contact between them. “How?”
Finally, Chanyeol moved forward. He looked away from Baekhyun for a moment only to find the small gate separating the shop from the area behind the counter. “Sehun,” Chanyeol mumbled. Then he lifted the lock and walked in.
When he did that, Baekhyun watched as the distance between them became smaller and smaller. Still, he stood his ground. He didn’t back away or run off to the backroom. Baekhyun was tired of running. Three years of always having to be on the go was enough…
Just because Baekhyun decided he wasn’t going to turn and run, that didn’t mean that he was going to fully surrender himself to the man in front of him. Chanyeol was married for fuck’s sake! The reminder of Chanyeol’s marital status took a stab at Baekhyun’s chest.
“Chanyeol, go home…” Baekhyun started. He heard his own voice pleading.
Chanyeol stopped four feet of his runaway bride. “You really expect me to just turn around and leave?”
Baekhyun waited for a few seconds before giving Chanyeol a small nod. “It’s only right.”
Creasing his brows, Chanyeol glared. “What do you mean it’s only right?” he demanded. “Do you live in some wayward world, Baek? A world where I’m perfectly okay without you? Or a world where we don’t exist? Do you really think that after finding you—after waiting an entire empty lifetime—that I’d just turn around and leave?” Chanyeol shook his head. “I didn’t come here to see a glimpse of you. I didn’t come here to just fucking see you…”
Raising his eyes, Baekhyun pursed his lips. “Then what did you come here for?” he asked in a hushed voice.
Chanyeol’s expression changed as it began to look like he was going to break. “You,” he said in a soft tone. “I’m here because of you...Because I’m done having the shittiest years of my life. I’m tired of thinking about where you are and what you’re doing. I’m exhausted trying to live when half of me is already dead just because you’re not around.”
He paused for a second before spilling more words. “I hate waking up knowing that you’re not mine anymore. I hate the feeling I get when I wake up and feel that you’re not with me where you should be.”
Baekhyun bit his lips. He’s married, he’s married, he’s married! His entire mind was screaming at him, but his heart was relentlessly beating with every confession. Finally, Baekhyun left his stance. He took a step back while shaking his head. “Chanyeol, stop—”
Chanyeol didn’t abide. “I've missed you like hell, Byun Baekhyun.” He took a step forward. “‘Miss’ doesn’t even explain it all. It doesn’t explain the craving I still have for you.”
“See, the craving I’m talking about,” Chanyeol continued, ignoring Baekhyun, “involves me wanting you. I still want my stubborn-as-fuck vixen.”
Baekhyun flinched at the word. Vixen…The stupid name that Chanyeol had stamped on him the moment they met. “Chanyeol, don’t—”
Chanyeol clenched his hands. Then his eyes glanced down at the distance between them. “Why?” He sighed. “Baek, I’m not going to walk out of here until you and I are together again. I’m not going to walk away just to stand and watch you pass me by.”
Taking two large steps forward, Chanyeol grabbed Baekhyun by the forearm before he could further the space between them again by taking a step back. “I’ve finally caught up to you, Baek...Now, you just need to accept the fact that you belong to me just as much as I belong to you.”
Chanyeol tugged at Baekhyun, trying to pull him closer in, but Baekhyun pulled back, shaking his head. “No…”
Exasperated—and not wanting yet another rejection—Chanyeol demanded an answer. “Why not? Tell me, Baek!” He let go of Baekhyun’s arm and took him by the shoulders. “Why? Why can we be together again? Hm?” Then, an idea flashed through Chanyeol’s mind. “There’s someone else, isn’t there?” he asked with a cracking voice. “Damn it, Baekhyun!”
Chanyeol shook him. “Who is it!? What’s their name? Tell me who this person is, Baek!” With lips quivering, Chanyeol’s locked his jaw. “Tell me who it is…Please. I want to know who replaced me—”
Baekhyun was exasperated as he watched at the Chanyeol hurt himself with thoughts. “Shut up, Chanyeol!” he cried. “I’m not seeing anybody! There’s no one, alright?”
“Don’t lie to me, Baek—”
It was at that moment that Baekhyun had the upper hand. “If anyone’s lying here, it’s you,” Baekhyun said as he tried to pry Chanyeol’s hands off of him.
“I haven’t lied to you,” Chanyeol defended. “If you think I’ve lied to you with everything I just said—”
“That’s not it!” Baekhyun couldn’t release himself so he gripped Chanyeol by the arms, unconsciously digging in his nails. “You’re not lying to me! You’re lying to other people! Like—Like Yoona,” Baekhyun said, sounding as if he was in pain. Refusing to make eye contact, Baekhyun kept his eyes down.
Chanyeol was thrown off track, but that didn’t stop him from recovering quickly. One of his hands left Baekhyun’s shoulders to cup his vixen’s face into looking at him straight in the eye. “Why’re you bringing her into this?”
Baekhyun scrunched his brows. “Because she’s your god damn wife, Chanyeol!” he snapped with a teary look on his face. “What the hell’s a married guy like you having sex with other people on the same plane his wife’s on!? What’re you doing here, telling me things—messing with my fucking head—when you’ve got a wife—Yoona—sitting at home, probably thinking that her husband’s so god damn faithful to her!”
Chanyeol couldn’t respond fast enough before Baekhyun was spouting again. “Stop telling me things, Chanyeol! Stop it! Stop telling me how you want us back again when you have a wife, for crying out loud! I don’t want to be a mistress or whatever the fuck you call a side boyfriend, Chanyeol.” Baekhyun was at his limit. He bit hard on his lips to swallow down the choking sob attempting to escape from his mouth. “I’ve missed you, too, you know! I miss my idiot—my fucking pabo—my giant, my friend, my boyfriend, my lover, my everything, okay!? You’re not the only one that’s been walking around half dead inside!”
Baekhyun kept talking even as he felt the first streak of water run down his face. He kept gasping out words even as he felt his back hit the counter from Chanyeol gradually moving their bodies.
“I can’t have you, because you’re married, Yeol!” Baekhyun rasped. “Which is how it should be! It should be like this! It should be you with a wife, who can give you kids, because I know that that’s what you want. You like children and you want some of your own, but that’s the thing! I can’t do that for you! I’m incapable!” Baekhyun took a moment to take a breath. “So just go home, Park Chanyeol.”
Chanyeol waited for a moment, letting Baekhyun calm down before he ran a thumb across his vixen’s gushing face. “Are you done?”
In response to the calmness in Chanyeol’s voice, Baekhyun glared at him, trying to move his head away from Chanyeol’s hold, but to no avail. “Chanyeol, I said—”
“Shut up, because I heard what you said,” Chanyeol ordered. “But, Baek, you’ve never been so painfully fucking wrong in your life.”
“The only thing wrong here is—”
“Byun Baekhyun,” Chanyeol said, keeping Baekhyun still and stable, making sure that their eyes were locked in that moment. “I’m not married.”
Baekhyun didn’t believe the answer. He struggled against Chanyeol’s hold and managed to push him away for a moment. That moment didn’t last. Chanyeol took the ring on his ring finger off and caught Baekhyun’s right hand. When Baekhyun tried to fight back, Chanyeol pushed him back against the counter again.
“I’m not married,” Chanyeol repeated. Then he quickly slipped the ring on Baekhyun’s wedding finger.
Thoughts raced through his mind. Did Chanyeol just fucking slip his wedding ring—the one he married Yoona in—on his finger!? Baekhyun felt bitterly sick. He used his other hand to take it off. In the midst of getting ready to fling the piece of jewelry, Chanyeol caught his hand again. “Look at it.”
Baekhyun felt his eyes sting again. What the fuck was Chanyeol doing? Baekhyun didn’t want to see the ring. Hell, he wanted it gone.
“Byun Baekhyun,” Chanyeol warned. “Read the inside of that god damn ring, or so help me, I will throttle you if you think we can’t be together because of a fucking misconception on your part.”
Baekhyun creased his brows. “Chanyeol, I—”
Reluctantly, Baekhyun’s eyes moved to the engraving on the inside of ring. As his eyes saw the three letters, his struggling stopped and his gaze went back to Chanyeol, who loosened his grip. “This is—”
“—The ring that you gave back to me?” Chanyeol finished, cupping Baekhyun’s face again. “That’s the fucking ring I’ve been wearing all these years because that was the only thing connecting me to you.”
Baekhyun glanced back at the ring that he had secretly loved in high school. “So you weren’t lying…”
“The only one I’m ever going to get married to,” Chanyeol muttered closing in on Baekhyun’s lips, “is an asshole named Byun Baekhyun, who literally went to the ends of the earth just to avoid me.”
Just when Chanyeol’s lips were going to touch his, Baekhyun moved his head back. “Yeol, this is still…I—I still can’t give you what you want—”
Exasperated, Chanyeol let Baekhyun go and ran a frustrated hand through his hair. “Baek, how many times do I have to tell you!? You! I just want you, damn it!”
Baekhyun frowned. “What about kids, Chanyeol? I know you want them. I’ve always known, but—”
“Damn it, Baek!” Chanyeol cried. “We can always fucking adopt!”
Baekhyun shook his head. “But you wanted ones that were legitimately yours…Chanyeol, I can’t give you kids with your eyes…or your face. I can’t—”
“Baek…stop,” Chanyeol said, softly interrupting. “I’d rather have you. I don’t care about legitimacy. I don’t care, because any child that you and I fucking adopt—or whatever dog you and I decide to fucking rescue—they’ll be ours anyways.”
There was something in Baekhyun’s heart that felt a spark after all those years. Chanyeol’s outreach caught him. “Yeol—”
“Baek, can you just be mine again?” Chanyeol asked dead-pan on. “Tell me right now that you still love me—As a matter of fact, say the same exact fucking words you said to me through the phone all those years ago, but never said to my face, because after all this time, I think I deserve that much.”
When Baekhyun didn’t speak up, Chanyeol moved back to him, lifting Baekhyun's head up to him as he pressed their bodies more against the counter. “Say it.”
Baekhyun’s lips quivered for a few ticking seconds before he softly said, “I loved you back then, Chanyeol…”
Bending his head down, Chanyeol brushed his lips against Baekhyun’s, teasing himself with the touch of something that he could finally have back after waiting for so long. “What about now?”
A paused happened before Baekhyun let out a breath and grabbed Chanyeol by the face. “I still do…”
“I still love you,” Baekhyun rasped out. Before moving his lips over Chanyeol’s and initiating the kiss, Baekhyun whispered, “I’m still in love with my impulsive pabo…”