It took a week for Chanyeol to get himself together, but once the time to interrogate Baekhyun came around, he had gotten the nerve to actually go through with the barbaric plan to drunken the guy into submission.
The cool ocean breeze filled the house since many windows were open. Sehun finished with his job and was swinging in a hammock that he took from the house and tied to two, strong trees on the property. Kyungsoo was off in his room sleeping since the nice weather and breeze lulled him to sleep with ease.
The house was unbearably quiet. As Chanyeol walked along the hall, he could hear his own footsteps marching on the dark wooden floors. With every door passed, Chanyeol took his time making his way over to Baekhyun’s room, which was oddly quiet, but Chanyeol figured that the atmosphere must’ve sedated Baekhyun’s normal, outlandish self.
When Chanyeol reached Baekhyun’s bedroom, he was about to knock, but then noticed that the door wasn’t even closed. It was slightly open so Chanyeol decided to give it a minor push instead. As the door gave way, he saw Baekhyun lying on his bed.
There was a lot for Chanyeol to take in when he opened that door. Baekhyun had decided to go “Casual Friday” despite the day being a Wednesday. He had slipped out of the outfit that he wore that morning and had gone to full on “I don’t care” mode.
Baekhyun was wearing boxers, which had the words “superstar!” written all over them. To Chanyeol, there was no doubt in his mind that Baekhyun thought of himself as a “superstar”. Oddly enough, even though Baekhyun’s bottom half was only covered by the mediocre boxers, Baekhyun was wearing a soft gray shirt accompanied by—of course—one of his cardigans.
If Chanyeol was judging Baekhyun’s fashion taste, he’d give Baekhyun a failing score. He understood the need to be comfortable, but what was the point of being fashionably correct on top, but be so god damn wrong when it came to the bottom part? Chanyeol didn’t understand.
It wasn’t just Baekhyun’s appearance at the moment that amused Chanyeol enough to raise his eyebrows at the weird guy. The fact that Baekhyun was just lying with his legs spread apart and his arms out open made Chanyeol mentally step back. The guy looked like he had given up on life. Not only was Baekhyun’s position striking, but he also had a book right on his face.
Chanyeol shook his head. Byun Baekhyun was a genius with mechanics and was gifted with great memory. Baekhyun, on the other hand, was a lazy maid with questionable choices in clothes who couldn’t even remember being told that the milk in the fridge was way past due and ended up drinking it by accident anyways.
Sighing, Chanyeol decided to knock on the wall. He didn’t know if Baekhyun was sleeping or if he was just being weird again, but knocking was a modest way of finding out. Not soon after, Chanyeol heard Baekhyun groan.
“Please don’t make me go clean anymore bathrooms,” Baekhyun whined. “Go away instead.”
Chanyeol grinned at the tired response as he walked over to the bed. Leaning down, Chanyeol swiped the book off of Baekhyun’s face only to be greeted by two dark eyes looking straight at him.
“What’re you doing?” Baekhyun mumbled.
Chanyeol was caught in Baekhyun’s gaze and had to quickly snap himself out of it. “Getting this book out of your face—what is this, by the way?” Sensing an opportunity to break eye contact, Chanyeol took it. He looked over at the book title. “‘Once a Princess’?” Chanyeol muttered.
With a bored look on his face, Baekhyun lifted a hand. “Can I have that back?”
Ignoring the request, Chanyeol kept staring at the book. “Is this a romance novel?”
“Does it concern you?”
Flipping the front cover was a mistake. On the second page was a photo of a man and a woman clinging erotically to each other in a swamp-like setting. Chanyeol pursed his lips before slowly closing the book. “This is…umm…”
“Mine,” Baekhyun finished. “It’s mine, Chanyeol.”
Chanyeol handed the book back. “Interesting choice of genre.”
Setting the book aside, Baekhyun snorted. “Whatever. What do I owe you for this visit, anyways?”
Chanyeol looked around the room and found a chair at a nearby desk. Taking it, he scooted it next to Baekhyun’s bed. The proximity between them was very close—too close for Baekhyun’s taste. Baekhyun moved and got on his elbows before eventually sitting upright.
When both of them settled in sitting positions that they were comfortable with, neither of them did anything to stop the awkward silence that followed. Baekhyun was watching Chanyeol just as Chanyeol was watching Baekhyun. Neither said a word. Both only watched and waited for the other to say something.
Then Baekhyun glanced off up at the ceiling for a second. “Chanyeol, you didn’t answer my question.”
Then Chanyeol remembered that Baekhyun had asked him a question. Mentally slapping himself for forgetting, Chanyeol tried to play it off as if he casually forgot. “Ah, yeah…I came by to ask you what you wanted to eat for dinner.”
Baekhyun gave Chanyeol a suspicious brow. “Something preferably edible…” When Chanyeol gave him a look, Baekhyun quickly defended himself. “I wasn’t sure if that was a trick question. If I had said ‘Anything is fine’ then I'd probably be eating sticks and leaves tonight.”
Chanyeol frowned. “Stop it. I was being serious,” Chanyeol said as he folded his arms and leaned back in the chair. “Tell me what you want.”
Baekhyun didn’t respond immediately. “It’s fine. I’ll just tell Kyungsoo what I want later.” Then Baekhyun yawned. “Can you leave now cause I—”
“—No,” Chanyeol interrupted. “Just tell me what you want to eat tonight, Baekhyun.”
Baekhyun paused. “I told you. I’ll go tell Kyungsoo later—”
“Kyungsoo’s not going to be here tonight, Baek,” said Chanyeol, calmly informing the confused guy in bed. “Neither is Sehun.”
Baekhyun rolled his eyes before throwing his body back on his bed. Turning his face on the pillow, he looked up at Chanyeol. “Can I not be here also?”
Chanyeol scoffed. “No.”
“Because I always give them an entire evening off once a month to do whatever they need or want,” Chanyeol said. “They both go to visit family members and usually don’t come back until midnight or the morning after.” Nudging Baekhyun’s bed, Chanyeol added: “But since you’re new—plus the fact that you were homeless before you found your way here—I figured you’d stay here at the house and we could try to like each other more.”
“You wanna spend some male-to-maid bonding time...”
Chanyeol held his tongue. He didn’t want to bond. He wanted to interrogate, but hell, whatever it took to get the job done, he’d do it. “Sure,” Chanyeol said, giving Baekhyun a small smile. “Bonding time.”
Baekhyun stared at him. “Gross.” He heaved a sigh. “Don’t smile at me, please.”
Chanyeol only smiled harder, except, now, it was to annoy Baekhyun. “People love my smile.”
“Oh, is that what they tell you?” Baekhyun threw back. Unable to not laugh at his own sarcasm, Baekhyun turned his head back to the pillow momentarily, laughing to himself for a while.
Chanyeol glowered, but then softened his face when Baekhyun was looking at him again. “But really, tell me what you want to eat tonight. I’ll cook.”
Baekhyun didn’t bother to turn his head away this time. He just openly laughed right in front of Chanyeol. “I’m not letting you cook my food, Chanyeol. One, I don’t eat crap—which is probably how the food’s going to turn out. And two, I don’t want to die yet because you’re probably going to poison me.” After wiping a single tear away, Baekhyun said, “I’ll cook tonight.”
“How do I know that the food’s not going to turn up like crap or be poisoned?” Chanyeol mocked.
“Because if you died,” Baekhyun responded, “I wouldn’t have an income anymore, meaning I can’t buy books—or even worse, cardigans.”
Rolling his eyes, Chanyeol sighed. “What the fuck is with you and cardigans?”
Groaning, Baekhyun sat up into a sitting position. Then he threw his legs over the bed so that he was completely facing Chanyeol. Using his hands, Baekhyun re-explained his reasoning. “I told you. T-shirts and cardigans say ‘I’m c—’”
“—Casual,” Chanyeol finished, remembering the explanation. “Right, right. Casual—which you are, by the way. Sometimes too casual. Like your boxers right now.”
About down-right done with Chanyeol judging his comfortable choices in clothing, Baekhyun stood up right in front of Chanyeol. Since Chanyeol was sitting in a chair, he ended up having to look up at Baekhyun since the only thing that would’ve been in front of his face if he was looking straight was Baekhyun’s lower torso and crotch.
“What’s wrong with them?” Baekhyun asked, touching the fabric of his underwear. “It’s a nice color and it fits nicely. It’s perfectly breezy for the wind right now, so everything inside gets some nice air—”
“—I don’t feel squished or pressured like I would with the jeans I usually walk around this god-forsaken house in—”
“—So tell me what exactly is wrong with wearing boxers in my own room,” Baekhyun demanded, leaving most of his weight on one leg as he leaned back and crossed his arms.
Chanyeol frowned, but at the same time, he felt like he was in some awkward position. All he wanted to do was ask Baekhyun what he wanted to eat and here he was in a chair being told that everything inside those boxers was feeling “breezy”. The entire situation didn’t turn out like Chanyeol had thought it would.
Answering Baekhyun’s question, Chanyeol tried to keep an un-phased look on his face. “I’m just saying. Maybe you should at least put on your stupid pajama pants.”
“I’m in my own room, though,” Baekhyun pointed out. “I didn’t really expect anyone to come in here.” Then, Baekhyun let out a frustrated sigh before tilting his head, looking down on Chanyeol.
“Honestly, there’s nothing wrong with this,” he said, motioning to his “superstar!” boxers. “I’m not going to get a boner, if that’s what you’re worried about, okay? My dick’s not gonna rise like dough, stick out of this little tiny hole in the crotch area and head straight for a little oven called your mouth.”
God, Chanyeol wanted to die. The visual that Baekhyun had given him was too extreme. A boner that rose like dough? Into a little oven called his mouth? Chanyeol couldn’t keep eye contact anymore. He looked down, but that was a big fat mistake since he ended up staring at where Baekhyun’s boner would be if he had one. Chanyeol didn’t like the situation. He either had to look Baekhyun in the eye or look at Baekhyun’s crotch. None of the options seemed pleasing so Chanyeol opted out.
Scooting the chair back so he wasn’t so close to Baekhyun, Chanyeol got up and was soon the taller of the two. “Alright! I get it. Your balls are feeling breezy and that’s putting you in a fantastic mood. Fine. Wear whatever you want.”
When he was pivoting to leave, Baekhyun said, “As for the food tonight, take out the steak in the fridge.”
Chanyeol turned around. “You’re gonna make steak?”
Shrugging, Baekhyun sat back on his bed and scoffed. “I’m gonna marinate the meat. You’re gonna be the one to go outside and barbeque. ”
Chanyeol was about to argue, but then he reminded himself to go with whatever floated Baekhyun’s breezy boat. Anything to make the job easier, Chanyeol was going to do.
It was around five-thirty that Sehun and Kyungsoo were getting their shoes to leave. Baekhyun had changed into more decent bottoms, which Chanyeol was silently thankful for when he saw Baekhyun come out in jeans.
At the door, Baekhyun was chatting to Sehun and laughing as he played with his hair. Sehun kept telling him no, but never seriously pushed him away. It wasn’t until Chanyeol joined the three of them that all the shenanigans stopped and Sehun put a cap on, not bothering to fix the ruffled mess that Baekhyun made.
“Baek, I’ll be back in a few minutes,” Chanyeol said as he quickly slipped his shoes on. “I’m just going to drop them off at the bus station.”
“Okay.” Then Baekhyun turned to Kyungsoo and Sehun. “How far away are you guys traveling?”
Kyungsoo smiled while gripping onto a small bag that Baekhyun saw a while back. It was filled with tiny gifts, which Baekhyun figured were for children. “My family’s house is just a thirty minute drive from the station.”
“Mine’s forty-five minutes,” Sehun said as he stuffed his hands in his pocket. “Kyungsoo and I go on the same bus. He just gets off first. On the way back, I’m usually on the bus first, then Kyungsoo comes aboard later. We try to get back as soon as we can. Personally, I like being here more. That’s why I don’t spend too much time back home.”
“As for me, I can’t leave you guys to starve, so I try to get back late at night. Someone needs to be here in the morning to cook breakfast,” Kyungsoo said.
Baekhyun was about to respond, but Chanyeol finished putting his shoes on and had opened the door. Instead, Baekhyun smiled at the two and held up a hand. “I guess I’ll see you two tonight maybe.”
“We’ll try,” Sehun responded. “At least I will.”
Once Sehun and Kyungsoo were out the door, Chanyeol turned around to Baekhyun who was leaning on the door frame. “Marinate, but don’t start the grill until I get back. I don’t want my house to be on fire when I return. If it is on fire, then, Baekhyun, you better be inside.”
Scoffing, Chanyeol turned around and began to follow Kyungsoo and Sehun to his car. “Keep the doors locked! Don’t listen to anything so loudly that you can’t hear a possible break in! Don’t play with electricity. Don’t answer the doors to strangers. Don’t—you know what? Just marinate, Baek. Just marinate and stand in a corner.”
As Baekhyun listened to Chanyeol’s stupid “do-not-do” list, he just smiled and nodded. When Chanyeol got in the car, Baekhyun just kept nodding, earning himself a frown from Chanyeol even as the car started to back away from the driveway.
Deciding to play with the guy, Baekhyun waved good-bye and stepped back inside the house without closing the door. Baekhyun stood against a wall and started to look over his nails. It wasn’t long before Baekhyun heard Chanyeol yell from his driver’s window.
“The door! Close the damn door!”
Laughing, Baekhyun turned back and closed the door properly.
In the backseat, Sehun couldn’t stop himself from cracking a few laughs. “He did that on purpose.”
When Chanyeol got back home roughly fifteen minutes later, he walked in Baekhyun working diligently in the kitchen. In the corner, Chanyeol saw that Baekhyun already had rice cooking in the rice cooker.
Chanyeol joined Baekhyun in the kitchen. Of course, Baekhyun didn’t greet Chanyeol back home like a normal maid—or a normal person—would. Instead, Baekhyun told Chanyeol to go outside and start the grill.
Not arguing, Chanyeol went to a nearby closet and grabbed a jacket for the cool, night breeze. When he returned, Baekhyun had finished with soaking the meat in the flavored liquid, but decided that he wasn’t quite ready to wash his hands just yet.
Instead, Baekhyun decided to walk up to Chanyeol and slap him right on the face with his dirty hands. Chanyeol froze for a second as he felt a few areas start to drip down his cheeks.
It only took the sharp voice of Baekhyun dying of his own laughter to snap Chanyeol out of his frozen state. He reached out to try and grab a hold of Baekhyun—possibly to try and strangle him—but Baekhyun was able to evade.
Chanyeol ended up trying to catch Baekhyun and circling the kitchen island a few times. The chase only ended when Baekhyun slipped on a small area where he had accidentally spilled some vinegar a while back. When Baekhyun fell, he tried to break the fall with his hands, but since they were slick and wet, they just slipped right under him and he ended up falling on his face.
The tables were flipped and it became Chanyeol’s turn to laugh at Baekhyun comical misfortune.