The fourth day ensued after the third and it was to the same boring, unenthusiastic, and unspontaneous routine as the days before. Baekhyun woke him up with a formal attitude, a ghostly touch, and a monotone voice. Chanyeol hated it at that point.
When Baekhyun touched his shoulder to gently shake him, Chanyeol grabbed him by the wrist. He turned on his back and stared up Baekhyun, who didn’t so much as flinch or look like he was caught off guard. And even as Chanyeol looked at him with eyes that secretly challenged Baekhyun to do something radical—or even crack a gay joke—Baekhyun didn’t respond.
Instead, Baekhyun pulled away in a forceful, yet graceful manner. “Good morning.”
When Chanyeol continued to frown up at him, Baekhyun gave him a slight nod and a sad attempt to turn the corners of his mouth into a small smile. “Breakfast’s ready.”
In the afternoon, Kyungsoo had gone off to the beach while Sehun followed in tow with a bucket and tiny shovel for their occasional sandcastle building break. That left Chanyeol alone in the eerie house. Before Baekhyun came along, it was a nice feeling to be alone at the house while hearing the ocean not too far away, but right then, it was disturbing to him knowing that he had a ghost in the there.
Sighing, Chanyeol hesitantly walked to Baekhyun’s room. He knew that Baekhyun was there because of the way he had been retreating there after all his duties were done. It wasn’t until Chanyeol had reached Baekhyun’s open doorway and knocked on the frame that he realized he didn’t have any excuse for being there.
He saw Baekhyun sitting at his desk, turning his head slightly towards the door to see who was there. “Hi…”
“Hey,” Chanyeol replied awkwardly. He stood at the doorway—not saying anything—for a few seconds before Baekhyun pursed his lips and turned back around.
Sensing that he was appearing out of character, Chanyeol ran a hand through his hair and entered the room. He looked to his right and his eyes were immediately caught on to the bag that he had given to Baekhyun—though indirectly through Sehun. It didn’t look touched. In fact, it looked like it was just placed there and never even bothered with.
Then Chanyeol’s eyes darted on Baekhyun’s windowsill where he kept his books. In the times that he had looked or stepped inside Baekhyun’s room, those book were disorganized in fashion—some were standing while other books laid flat on their sides. Now, every book stood side by side each other, making Chanyeol irked.
Setting a hand on the corner of Baekhyun’s desk, Chanyeol stood behind him as he leaned over. “I wanted to ask you if you wanted anything to eat—as like a snack or something.”
“No, thank you,” Baekhyun replied.
Though Chanyeol couldn’t see anything, but the top and back of Baekhyun’s head, he knew that the guy’s face remained as static as it had been. When Baekhyun continued to feel Chanyeol’s presence behind him, he spoke up again. “Is there anything else you need?”
“No…” Chanyeol didn’t know what to do at the moment. He looked down and saw that Baekhyun’s hand had stopped doing what it was that he was doing previous to his entry. Slowly, Chanyeol’s eyes glazed over the paper in front of Baekhyun.
“What’re you doing?” Chanyeol asked out of curiosity.
“Nothing,” Baekhyun mumbled.
Chanyeol shook his head at the answer even though he knew that Baekhyun couldn’t see. “Those look like equations.”
Baekhyun gave a small shrug, keeping eyes down on the paper. “Simple exercises with a few numbers that I pulled out of my head.” Mindlessly, Baekhyun flipped his paper over to stop Chanyeol’s eyes from looking at it, but forgot that he had done other work on the other side.
Baekhyun grimaced. “Drawings…”
“You draw machines then do math,” Chanyeol said in an amused tone.
Shrugging, Baekhyun dismissed him. “I remember telling you that my family’s in the robotics and technological business.”
“But I thought you had no interest in that stuff.”
“Old habits die hard,” Baekhyun mumbled. He tapped his pencil a few times against the desk before asking, “Do you need me to do something? Why’re you here?”
Chanyeol frowned as he removed his hand from the desk and pulled back. “I wanted to check up on you…”
With his back still turned on Chanyeol, Baekhyun creased his brows and frowned deeper. “Why?”
Chanyeol opened his mouth, but decided “fuck it”. He reached with both hands and gripped the back of Baekhyun’s chair. With a force, he pulled the chair away from the desk, creating a loud screech in the room. Baekhyun, in turn, gripped the seat so that he wouldn’t suddenly fall off because of the sudden movement. Then, Chanyeol moved the seat again so that Baekhyun would be facing him.
“Why’re you doing this?” Chanyeol asked. “Why the hell are you making me feel like shit?”
Baekhyun watched him with static and emotionally barricaded eyes. “I’m not—”
“Bullshit,” Chanyeol called. “You’re doing whatever the fuck I’m telling you to and you’re not fucking arguing with me on anything. You don’t talk anymore or act out—for the love of god, break that fucking look on your face! You’re being so formal—you’re following orders, doing your job the way you’re supposed, but this is just…I…”
Even as Chanyeol trailed off, Baekhyun’s face remained untouched by any slight emotion that would dare give away his thoughts. “I don’t see how doing my job is making you mad...”
Chanyeol creased his brows, frustrated from the fact that he couldn’t form his argument correctly—if he even had an argument, because in all retrospect, he was yelling at Baekhyun for doing his job right. Logically, it didn’t make sense for him to be angry at Baekhyun for what he was doing, but Chanyeol knew better. He knew that the depressing air around the house was because of all the things that had suddenly gone his way.
Gritting his teeth, Chanyeol rubbed his forehead. “This is about that stupid fucking dog, isn’t it?”
Baekhyun didn’t respond. He wanted to, but he held his tongue. Chanyeol needed to stop using the word “stupid” and cut out the word “fucking” when it came to Nugget, but Baekhyun couldn’t do anything about it. If Chanyeol could so easily give away something that did nothing wrong, Baekhyun figured he’d be next—he’d be back out in the world again, forced with no other option than to go home.
When Baekhyun didn’t answer, Chanyeol stepped forward and forced him to raise his head higher. “Answer me—for fuck’s sake, Baekhyun! Do something—anything, damn it!” Baekhyun remained static, sitting at his stationed seat. Chanyeol—growing more angry—grabbed Baekhyun by both sides of his face. “Or cry—I don’t care anymore. Just do something. If crying will make you feel better about giving that dog away, then fucking cry!”
Baekhyun stared in Chanyeol’s eyes for a moment before answering his request. “I’m not going to cry over anything.”
“Because I’m not eight years old anymore.”
With his hands in his pocket, Chanyeol waited. The noise around him was annoying and the smell was slightly strong enough to make him want to cringe, but nonetheless, he waited. He tapped his foot as he waited for the woman in charge to come back with the solution to his home problem. After five minutes, the woman he had been waiting on finally came around. As she got closer, Chanyeol’s eyes locked with a pair of black eyes that were looking straight at him.
“Well, here he is,” the shelter manager said as she leaned close to Chanyeol to transfer the happy pup.
Chanyeol took the transfer, taking Nugget in his arms. It took a few seconds for Nugget to settle down because of the fact that Chanyeol was holding him wrong. Nugget’s legs were dangling and paddling like he was trying to look for some surface. The woman helped out by showing Chanyeol the correct way to support the pup’s bottom. After that, Nugget didn’t struggle so much anymore.
“So what made you change your mind?”
“I decided that we can keep him,” Chanyeol said in a nice voice.
The woman smiled and nodded. “Well that’s good. This is as happy as I’ve seen him since you brought him in. All he’s done is sit and wait by his little cage, watching people as they come and go.”
“Hn. Is that so…”
“Yes, well at least he gets to go home now,” the woman piped as she gently shook Nugget’s paw even though Nugget had no idea what the heck was going on other than the fact that Chanyeol smelled nice.
After that, Chanyeol left the shelter and carried Nugget over to his car. When he reached the car, he quickly unlocked it and opened the passenger door. Chanyeol placed Nugget on the seat, but when Nugget tried to follow him as he pulled away to close the door, Chanyeol patted him back. Then, he tried to shut the door again, but Nugget ensued once more.
Groaning, Chanyeol pushed Nugget back in his seat and forced the dog to sit. When Nugget was about to stand up again, Chanyeol pointed a finger at him. “For the love of god, sit back down or I’ll give you away again.” As if understanding the threat, Nugget sat back down.
When Chanyeol got in his seat and turned on the engine, he looked over at the dog, who was looking right back at him. Frowning, Chanyeol asked, “What the hell are you looking at?”
You came back for m—
“I didn’t come back for you,” Chanyeol grumbled to himself as he switched gears. “I came back for me—because I don’t need a fucking poltergeist at my house silently trying to kill me with stupid feelings.”
Chanyeol glanced down at Nugget. “You better not fall off your damn seat when I’m driving. I’m not gonna fucking pick you up.”
When Chanyeol started driving, Nugget hit the back of the chair and Chanyeol pretended not to notice. The pup tried to be balance himself as the car kept moving. Again, Chanyeol pretended not to know what Nugget was trying to do.
As they neared a stop light, the light changed from orange to red, forcing Chanyeol to halt quickly. Due to the leather seating and his furry bottom, Nugget slid right off his seat and landed on the floor.
Chanyeol watched as Nugget whined, trying to jump and climb back on, but ultimately failing in the end. Nugget gave up and sat on the floor. Chanyeol frowned even more when the pup decided to concede to his failure. Then Chanyeol glanced at the stop light before he parked the car, took off his belt, leaned over and lifted the dog back onto the seat.
Then, Chanyeol reached over and pulled the seatbelt across, clicking it in. He took the bottom strap of the belt and put Nugget’s arms over it so that the single belt secured his torso to the seat. Chanyeol looked at his handiwork and deemed that it looked stupid even though he knew that it’d keep the dog at bay until they got home.
When they arrived back at the house, Chanyeol didn’t know how he’d present the dog, but in the end, he decided to wing it. He walked through the house with Nugget, who was sticking his tongue out and trying to wag his tail even though he couldn’t because it kept brushing on Chanyeol’s jacket.
Sehun was the first one to see them. He looked up from his project and noticed the dog almost immediately. “So we are getting a dog,” he said, answering the question he had asked everyone else days before.
Chanyeol only grunted in reply as he passed by Kyungsoo, who couldn’t hide the smile trying to escape on his face. “He’s cute, Chanyeol.”
On the way to Baekhyun’s bedroom, Kai walked by. They made eye contact before it was broken when Kai looked down at Chanyeol’s arms. “Is that Nugget?”
Kai shrugged and watched as Chanyeol passed on by and eventually disappear with a corner turn.
Entering Baekhyun’s room, Chanyeol found Baekhyun at his desk again. Without even looking back, Baekhyun asked, “What do you need?”
Chanyeol didn’t answer. Instead he just walked across the room with Nugget struggling in his hold, excited as hell. When Chanyeol reached Baekhyun’s desk, he promptly dropped Nugget on top of the paper full of numbers.
It took a split second for Baekhyun’s mind to render the paws in front of him. He pulled back and looked. “Nugget?”
Nugget, in response, trotted on Baekhyun’s paper, distracted by the noise that it made. Without hesitation, Baekhyun scooped him up in his arms, letting the dog wiggle in joy after being reunited with his daddy. Turning around, Baekhyun planned on thanking Chanyeol, but Chanyeol was already gone.
Throughout the rest of the day, Baekhyun tried to thank Chanyeol, but Chanyeol would wave him off, dismiss him, or cut him off, not allowing Baekhyun to say anything to him. Even so, Baekhyun was determined to let the giant know.
The next morning, Chanyeol woke up in a whole new way. He broke out of his spell when he felt something wet up against his right cheek. It didn’t render in his mind at first, but when the constant wetness kept coming back, his eyes began to open.
“Fuck…Baek, stop,” Chanyeol groaned.
Then, he heard Baekhyun laugh. “Hear that, Nugget? He thinks it’s me.”
Nugget? Chanyeol’s eyes snapped open just in time to see Baekhyun dipping Nugget back down for another lick fest.
“Good morning, handsome,” Baekhyun complimented.
Chanyeol heard the “handsome” part loud and clear before placing a hand on his cheek. Then he forced himself to calm down as he looked up at his glowing maid. Before he could even say anything, Baekhyun beat him to the punch.
“You’re looking awfully good looking this morning, Mr. Wonderful.”
“Baek,” Chanyeol groaned.
“Listen, we just wanted to thank you,” Baekhyun said. Nugget let out a small yelp. “So Nugget wanted to kiss you as thanks.”
“And I will, too.”
Chanyeol didn’t get to ask what Baekhyun meant by that because he felt it. Baekhyun leaned over and placed his soft lips against Chanyeol’s for a few seconds before retracting them. Chanyeol was left in utter shock with his heart beating faster than it should have while Baekhyun laughed and danced with Nugget in his arms.