Blast from the Past
A/n: sorry for typos I'm sleepy
When Chanyeol woke up to an empty and cold bed, there was no doubt in his mind that Baekhyun had left. And when the dog was nowhere to be seen or heard from at all in his search, it confirmed Chanyeol’s hunch that the duo was long gone.
There were multiple reasons as to why Chanyeol was angry as hell. The main reason was the fact that Baekhyun had avoided the entire issue by leaving in the middle of the night after having the audacity to selfishly accept his body.
Kyungsoo kept out of his employer’s way, casually and calmly telling him to settle down as he cooked. Out of everyone else in the house, Kyungsoo was the only one who was unfazed by Chanyeol’s yelling and cursing. Having worked for him for so long, Kyungsoo had already seen it all.
When Chanyeol failed to make an appearance during breakfast, Kyungsoo took it upon himself to go in search of his emotionally unbalanced boss. After searching the office and Baekhyun’s old bedroom, which was left untouched unlike everything else in the house, Kyungsoo sighed as he stepped inside Chanyeol’s master bedroom and followed the sound of running water.
The moment that he stepped inside, Chanyeol came out of the shower completely bare. Out of respect and discomfort, Kyungsoo looked up and kept his eyes on the ceiling.
“Everyone’s eating,” Kyungsoo said nonchalantly as if it was completely normal for one to stand in front of their naked boss.
“I’m going to need you to pack me something to eat,” Chanyeol replied as he grabbed a towel, quickly trying to dry his hair.
As Kyungsoo’s eyes wandered the ceiling, he asked, “Are you going somewhere in particular?”
“Baekhyun probably went back home,” Chanyeol muttered, taking a dry towel and wrapping it around his waist. “He’ll be at his parents’ house so I’ll find him there.”
Creasing his brows, Kyungsoo paused for a moment before he finally leveled his head and looked Chanyeol in the eyes. “Maybe you shouldn’t,” he simply said with a voice that meant no harm. “Maybe you should give him time--some space, you know.”
“Kyungsoo, I can’t--”
“He’s not going to listen to you,” Kyungsoo suddenly said in a much sharper tone. “He left in a the middle of the night, Chanyeol. And he ran away from home because he didn’t want to get married. There’s a fat chance that if you go after him now, he’ll just run away again.”
Chanyeol stopped what he was doing and gave Kyungsoo a baffled look. At first, he seemed as if he wanted to oppose, but as seconds passed, Chanyeol’s reaction settled down until he was eventually slanting his shoulders, showing signs of defeat.
“Then what should I do?” he quietly asked.
“Don’t go after him,” Kyungsoo responded calmly. “Give him time. When he’s ready, then you can try again. For now, leave Byun Baekhyun alone.”
Sometimes Baekhyun wondered if romance novels ever corrupted his mind from what realistic love should be like. Maybe his knight wasn’t as obvious as the characters in the stories that he read. Often times, all he had to do was look on the cover and instinctively know who the female heroine was going to bicker and fall in love with.
As Baekhyun sat on the curb of a semi-busy street, he sighed, pulling his knees in towards him and hugging them.
If love was possible in the books, Baekhyun was sure that it’d all be possible in real life. He knew that some aspects in romance novels were absolutely ridiculous, but the general basis that love was never impossible was something Baekhyun believed in.
Finding that love, however, was a challenge.
As Baekhyun lathered himself with his thoughts, he reverted back to thinking of the giant that he left behind.
Deep inside, Baekhyun had a vague checklist of how he pictured his perfect someone to be. Chanyeol didn’t fit anything on his wish list, but Baekhyun found that at the time, he didn’t care. Chanyeol was just above and beyond everything he thought he’d ever want.
When he left, Baekhyun had time to calm himself. On the train back to the city, Nugget slept on his lap as he stayed up contemplating everything. The moments when Chanyeol and he made love earlier that night seemed like a distant memory to him as he saw the light of the outside world pass by in a blur.
For a day, Baekhyun doubted everything he ever accused Chanyeol of ever doing. Maybe the giant was genuine. Perhaps Chanyeol really did care about him and maybe their relationship wasn’t so much based on sex and money as it was on honest attraction.
Baekhyun held on to the hope that he was wrong for twenty-four hours, but later hated himself for being foolish in doing so. Holding out for a lover that was never real to begin with was hard.
Whenever heroines left their lovers with a broken heart after a quarrel, the man would always go after them regardless of whatever it was that they were fighting about. There was a fleeting hope inside Baekhyun's heart as he wished that Chanyeol would pursue him the moment he found out that he was gone. If anything, it would’ve been some sign that Chanyeol cared enough to get him back.
But as the hours passed and the sun of the first day disappeared in the horizon, Baekhyun suppressed all of his expectations, ultimately telling himself that they were childish expectations that belonged only in the books.
Using the money that he had on him at the time, Baekhyun paid for one night at a hotel until he found that he didn’t have enough for another stay. He had his credit cards and family bank card, but thinking about everything they stood for disheartened him so much, he refused to withdraw any money from the bank.
With what he had left, Baekhyun bought a bag full of junk food for him and a few cans of dog food for Nugget. During the second day of their new hobo life, Baekhyun settled the two of them at the park. While he ate, he let Nugget roam free. The children at the park approached the pup and for the first time since Baekhyun left the house, he smiled.
When night fell, the two of them dozed off on the grass and were left uninterrupted until morning when Baekhyun was woken up by the sound of kids calling out to him, asking if he was alright. After a few minutes of looking around him, it sunk in again that he wasn’t at Chanyeol’s house anymore. The sound of cars honking in the background was proof of that.
Never in a million years did Baekhyun ever think that he would be living the homeless life. By the third day, he realized that he couldn’t continue living the lifestyle. His back hurt and his hair was crying out for a wash. Nugget was on his last can and eating nothing but junk food had lost its appeal.
But, however depressing his life war at the moment, Baekhyun refused to go home.
He passed by his family’s company building a few times, contemplating whether or not he should enter and ask for money with no strings attached, but in the end, Baekhyun always walked away.
Never being an individual to worry about money, Baekhyun realized how he couldn’t do anything without it. Technically, he had money, but his stubborn side rebelled against the logic. For a while, Baekhyun thought about getting a job until he realized he had no skill whatsoever.
Being Chanyeol’s maid was the only job he had ever signed up for, but the experience ended bitterly.
There wasn’t much he was good at besides math, engineering science, and mechanics, but all three of those things reminded him of Chanyeol, and the sole purpose of leaving was to try and forget about the giant. Doing anything related to the three topics would’ve been counterproductive and Baekhyun didn’t sleep in a park just to run around in circles.
On the fourth day, Baekhyun was ready to cave in and use his credit cards, but as fate would have it, he encountered someone from his past. As he was walking shamefully towards a nearby bank, Nugget attracted a stranger wearing a pair of dark sunglasses. Being friendly to the stranger, Nugget playfully barked and circled the man’s feet.
Baekhyun nervously laughed before he tried to pick Nugget up only to be stopped by the stranger. Blinking, Baekhyun raised his brows as he watched the man carry Nugget and cooing things a person would say to their pet.
“What’s his name?” the man asked, not tearing his eyes away from Nugget, who was trying to lick anything that he could put his tongue on.
“He’s Nugget,” Baekhyun said with a smile.
“Nugget?” Then the stranger turned his head to look at Baekhyun, but found his voice trailing off. “That’s… Wait, Baek?”
At first Baekhyun didn’t think he heard correctly, but the moment the stranger took off his glasses, Baekhyun immediately remembered who was standing in front of him. “Luhan?”
Baekhyun watched as Luhan set Nugget down and closed the space between Baekhyun and him. When he tried to give Baekhyun a hug, Baekhyun side stepped him and avoided it. “I haven’t taken a bath in four days. You don’t want to touch me,” he said, giving Luhan a fair warning.
Understanding, Luhan nodded his head. Around them, people passed by, taking glances at them as stood by the sidewalk. After a few seconds of pure silence, Luhan glanced around a bit and asked, “So, what’re you doing? Are you heading home?”
“Uh, no,” Baekhyun replied, slanting his lips. “I’m kind of homeless right now, so…”
“Did you get disowned?” Luhan asked, sounding concerned.
“I just don’t want to go back home.”
Then it clicked in Luhan’s mind. “Oh, you ran away.” When Baekhyun shrugged indifferently, Luhan’s statement was confirmed. “Do you have a place to stay?”
“I sleep at the park,” Baekhyun said, shrugging as if it was no big deal.
Looking down at Baekhyun’s dog, Luhan mentally thought of his options. To Baekhyun, it seemed as if he was contemplating hard on a decision and was surprised to meet the male’s eyes once again. “Do you want to stay with me? My apartment’s not far from here.”
Baekhyun didn’t expect the offer. He looked around him as if to see if anyone else was willing to lend him some advice. Then he gave Luhan a small smile and decided to take the help offered to him. “I’d like that.”
“Great!” Turning his attention back at the pup again, Luhan picked up Nugget. “Does he get along with other animals just fine?”
Never having thought about it, Baekhyun shrugged. “He’s never around other animals, so I don’t know.”
“It’s okay,” Luhan assured as he began to walk, making sure Baekhyun knew that he should follow, “it’s just that I have some animals back at my place. They’re harmless and friendly so if Nugget’s temperament is fine, it should be fine.”
Keeping pace with Luhan, Baekhyun stuffed his pants into his pockets. They walked without exchanging words for moments on end. It wasn’t until they had crossed the street twice that Baekhyun tried to make conversation.
“Aren’t you going to ask me why I’ve been homeless for the past few days?” Baekhyun casually asked.
“We should talk at back at my place,” Luhan answered. “It’s feeding time. Nugget can join Tabby and P.B.”
Assuming that the last two names were the names of Luhan’s pets, Baekhyun grinned. For a few minutes, they stopped at the corner of yet another block, waiting for the cross walk sign to turn. Baekhyun kept his eyes in front of him, only glancing at the side to see if Nugget was properly behaving. Then the light gave the go and they continued on their way.
“Are you seeing anyone?” Luhan asked along the way.
“Not anymore,” Baekhyun mumbled as he made eye contact with one driver who was waiting for them to cross. “We broke up.”
“Love’s tough. I don't know why you bother,” Luhan remarked with no pity or sense of sympathy for the male beside him.
Baekhyun, however, did not mind.
When Luhan began to pick up his pace as they neared a building, Baekhyun inferred that they had reached their destination. As Luhan punched in his resident number, Baekhyun observed the structure, taking note of how basic and adequate it looked. It seemed simple and middle-class, but Baekhyun wasn’t expecting much anyways. It wasn’t as if he cared.
Once inside, they used an elevator to go three floors up before stepping off. Baekhyun followed not far behind. He knew he should’ve been the one carrying Nugget, but Luhan kept on insisting to carry the black pup the entire way and Baekhyun couldn’t bear saying no.
When Luhan placed his eyes inside the door, Baekhyun could heard the distinctive bark of an animal just behind the door. The moment Luhan pushed the entry way open, a small dog made a run for his legs, hugging it in excitement before letting go and running around hyperactively.
“Who’s this?” Baekhyun smiled, stepping into the home and kneeling down to pet the dog.
“That’s P.B,” Luhan replied, shutting the door with his foot. “Short for Pan Blanco which means white bread.”
Looking at the dog’s fur, Baekhyun laughed. “I get it.”
Leading Baekhyun to the living room, Luhan cocked his head in the direction of an orange fur ball that was sleeping on the couch. “That’s Tabby. She’s lazy.” Then to Nugget, Luhan whispered playfully, “she won’t bother you. She’s lovely.”
After that, Baekhyun took a seat next to Luhan’s cat while Luhan made a quick visit to the kitchen and began to serve the animals. He took notice of the apartment, noting how furniture was minimal and a few boxes were stacked as if Luhan was in the midst of moving. Baekhyun felt a curiosity for answers, but knew that he had no business prodding for it.
As Tabby and P.B ate side by side, Nugget ate in a corner all alone but content at the fact that he didn’t have to share space with other animals.
While the animals ate, Luhan turned his attention back on Baekhyun. “You wanna take a shower?” he asked.
Standing up, Baekhyun nodded and followed Luhan until they reached the bathroom in the small hallway of his former classmate’s apartment. Before stepping in, Baekhyun touched Luhan by the shoulder.
“I don’t have any clothes with me,” he said with a shame in the world.
Luhan shrugged. “That’s okay. You can wear some of my things. You always wore my clothes back in college anyways,” he pointed out as he left Baekhyun in the bathroom to retrieve some of his apparel.
During the time that Luhan was gone, Baekhyun took it upon himself to start undressing, eventually becoming nude within a few minutes before turning on the shower. When he was waiting for the water to warm, Luhan returned with a shirt, a pair of shorts, and fresh, new underwear that he had gotten from an unopened pack.
Seeing Baekhyun naked didn’t faze the man. He only walked over to the counter and set the clothes on top of it before crossing his arms and smirking at Baekhyun who was constantly checking the water temperature.
“You haven’t really changed much physically,” he said.
Baekhyun turned his head back, giving the male a sarcastic, yet teasing glare. “I’ve matured.”
“Not since the last time I saw you.”
Luhan laughed, but Baekhyun couldn’t help but roll his eyes at the remark. Once the water was fit to his liking, he stepped in despite the fact that Luhan hadn’t left yet. Having no reserves, Baekhyun began to wash without ever closing the curtain. After a while of being aware of Luhan’s presence, Baekhyun raised his eyes from under the trickling water and gave him a look.
“Do you want to join me or something?”
Luhan cocked his head before dismissing the idea. “No… Sorry, I’m just a little bit pent up. Seeing a naked body right now is frustrating.”
“How long as it been?” Baekhyun asked as he quickly thumbed through Luhan’s different shampoo brands.
“A few months.”
Shrugging, Luhan sighed. “Yeah…”
Understanding where Luhan was coming from, Baekhyun paused for a second to give the male a sympathetic look before continuing on to rub the shampoo gel into his hair. “You could watch me shower if you wanted then,” Baekhyun said with ease. “You can take a seat on the toilet and we can talk in here--”
“I’d rather sit on my couch with Tabby,” Luhan grinned before deciding that he should head out and allow Baekhyun some privacy. “Thanks for the offer, but I’m going to need something a little more physical than watching you shower. Anyways, I’ll wait out in the living room.”
As he rubbed the shampoo in his air, Baekhyun smiled at Luhan as the male made his way out. “The offer’s always out there,” he kindly.
Luhan snorted as he began to close the door behind him.
“We’re too casual about this,” Baekhyun called, making sure to get the word in before Luhan closed the door completely.
Luhan grinned back in Baekhyun’s direction, catching the male’s eye for a second. “We’re ex-lovers. How else are we supposed to act?”
“Awkward,” Baekhyun said, shrugging as he went about his business.
“That’s lame,” Luhan replied before shutting the door.
And when Baekhyun was finally alone in the bathroom, he glanced up, slanted his lips and mumbled, “I guess.”