Genre: Romance, Angst
Word Count: About 3k
Summary: Marriage was nothing like they imagined that it'd be, but Baekhyun regretted nothing.
The time kept ticking on by and Baekhyun waited patiently for a sign that Chanyeol was coming home. He looked at the clock and saw that it was already past twelve.
In his head, he added all the hours that he had already waited for his husband to come home—added the amount of time it took for the food that he labored for turned as cold as the room he was in from the bitter loneliness that he felt.
His eyes drifted down to his ring and remembered the bliss he felt when Chanyeol had gotten down on one knee and asked for him to share his life with him—to marry, to love and to hold forever—but nothing lasted forever. Soon, the happy memories that came with that ring vanished and the months of arguing and fighting filled his head.
They were young when they got married a year ago. Neither of them had any idea about the rough edges of marriage. To them, getting married held the image of a happy couple that would never fight and forever love each other, but the two of them soon found out that marriage meant more than that.
Trust. It was something that the two of them thought they had, but the long hours of work and the long nights of either working or being alone did its toll. Insecurities broke out and every attempt to talk about their feelings and to fix these "insecurities" ended up in fighting—yelling about the lack of trust one had for the other.
It always resulted in Baekhyun taking the bed and Chanyeol sleeping in the living room—though recently, Chanyeol had resorted to leaving the apartment and not coming back until the next day from god knows where. Baekhyun didn't want to know. He didn't want to know where or who Chanyeol spent the nights with because as much as the fights angered him, he still loved his giant and it would've broken him in shatters knowing. At least being blissfully ignorant meant that he could continue living on the fantasy that Chanyeol was being faithful whenever he left, but in the darkest part of his heart, Baekhyun suspected otherwise.
Divorce had been put on the table. It was after one of their fights and Baekhyun had broken down crying. Chanyeol stood in front of him, watching his small husband sob into his hands out of frustration and a breaking heart. Inside, Chanyeol didn't want that—everything he had envisioned for them was falling apart and he couldn't take it anymore.
"Let's get divorced..." he said in a strained and hoarse voice.
Baekhyun lifted his head up with his eyes beet red from all the tears. His face morphed, giving Chanyeol the most hurtful look he had ever given him. "What?"
Chanyeol couldn't bear to look at him. His eyes dropped down to the floor. "This isn't working out, Baek..."
Anger rose inside of Baekhyun, but tears came out instead. Never had he thought about hitting Chanyeol in a million years, but the fact that he had even suggested divorce—the quickest way out—broke him.
Taking his fists, Baekhyun began to hit Chanyeol on the chest while uncontrollably sobbing. Chanyeol defended himself by grabbing a hold of Baekhyun's wrists and keeping them away from him. Knowing his efforts were futile, Baekhyun pulled his hands away and furiously smeared the tears off his face.
"God damn it, Chanyeol..." Baekhyun choked. "You're such an idiot..."
Chanyeol gulped as he stepped forward to try and touch Baekhyun. "I was just—"
Baekhyun pulled back and refused to meet Chanyeol's eyes. Pursing his lips, Chanyeol dropped his hands at his side and locked his jaw. Without saying another word to his weeping husband, Chanyeol snatched his jacket from the coat rack and left the apartment.
Despite all the fights and the bitter word exchange—even the idea of divorce— Baekhyun was still willing to give everything a try. He wanted to be with Chanyeol like he promised at the altar because he still loved his stupid giant. After thinking about it for the longest time, he decided that he was willing to fix his faults if Chanyeol was willing to work on his own and fix the cracks in their relationship.
Baekhyun's first attempt at trying harder was that night—their anniversary, one year after their simple wedding. He went to the store, bought a gift that he later made into his own, and was able to buy the ingredients needed to make Chanyeol's favorite food, but as time ticked on by with no calls and no texts—not even any replies—Baekhyun saw that his efforts went to waste.
Seeing that Chanyeol wasn't coming home, Baekhyun got up and started taking his hard work off the table. He took the meat that he carefully cooked and put it on a plate, which he later placed outside for the stray cats. At least something would appreciate him.
Just as he was done with washing everything and wiping his hands, his cellphone rang. Thinking that it might've been Chanyeol, Baekhyun quickly grabbed it and answered the call only to find that it was Kai.
Baekhyun had to concentrate. The music and the loud background noise made Kai a little hard to hear. "Hey...What's going on?"
"Nothing—You weren't sleeping yet were you?"
Baekhyun thinned his lips. "No...I was waiting for Chanyeol..."
There was a pause on the other line before Kai spoke again. "Was tonight the night?" When he received no answer, Kai knew. "Baekhyun—"
"No," Baekhyun quickly cut in. "Don't apologize for him..."
"But he fucked up, damn it," Kai cursed.
"Yeah, but I've been fucking up, too, so tonight's nothing," Baekhyun mumbled. "Why'd you call me, Kai?"
Kai sighed. "Chanyeol's with me and he's drunk. He can't even see or think straight anymore."
"Baek, come get him." Then Kai added something else that set off a little fire inside Baekhyun. "Come get him before he goes home with one of these girls."
Baekhyun left the apartment as soon as he could. He wore a jacket for the cold night air and brought another jacket along for Chanyeol just in case he was cold since he left that morning without one.
When he got to the elaborate bar that Kai had told him to go to, Baekhyun slipped inside. He passed by a few beautiful people, but all of which acted indecently. He felt eyes on him as if they were undressing him of all the materials of clothing that he had on. Truth be told, Baekhyun felt uncomfortable for many reasons. He didn't like anyone eyeing him with lusty eyes unless those eyes belonged to Park Chanyeol. Then he also felt uncomfortable at the thought of Chanyeol frequenting the place. Maybe this was where Chanyeol spent his long hours of "overtime".
Baekhyun pushed the thoughts aside. He reminded himself that it was because of thoughts like that they had trust issues.
Just as Baekhyun was about to turn a corner to where the bar supposedly was, he stopped in his tracks when he heard Chanyeol's distinct laughter and loud voice just beyond that corner. He tried to move again, but then he heard his own name come up.
What Baekhyun heard next tore him up inside. His Chanyeol—the smiling idiot that he fell in love with; the one he married; the one who "accidentally" took his coffee order by mistake just to talk to him—that Chanyeol was gone. Instead—without even seeing him—Baekhyun heard a drunkard, slurring his name and listing all his regrets, but it wasn't until the last regret that Baekhyun felt his chest constrict.
"I regret this..."
Baekhyun heard a small clink despite the loud noise around him. It was obvious that Chanyeol was hitting his wedding ring against some glass like it held no meaning. Every time Baekhyun heard that sharp noise, his heart bled.
"God, how much money did I spend on this?" Chanyeol laughed for a second before letting it bitterly die. "I could've spent that money on something I actually wanted..."
Baekhyun slid down the wall and tried to stifle his crying enough to pain himself with hearing the rest.
"I don't even know if I want this anymore...God, I'm so tired of it..." Chanyeol let out a dark chuckle. "Every time I see this, I just...I don't know. I don't feel anything anymore...All we do is fight and this entire marriage, it feels like a fucking sham..."
A bottle was harshly slammed down before Baekhyun heard Chanyeol grunt.
"I don't wanna say it...I really don't...But we just went into this way too fast..."
"What don’t you want to say exactly?" someone asked.
Baekhyun recognized the voice as Kai's.
"I've been starting to regret ever marrying him..."
Baekhyun shot up and ran to the nearest bathroom. He pushed all the drunks aside and locked himself in a bathroom stall. The door shut out the rest of the world and the bathroom echoed out his cries. He heard the sound of something breaking. Perhaps it was some drunk outside who had slipped and dropped their bottle, shattering it, but to Baekhyun, it was the sound of his own heart finally collapsing into pieces.
Minutes went on by before Baekhyun told himself to get a grip and to put up a strong front. He left the stall and washed his hands, and then he splashed water onto his face, recollecting himself.
When he finished making himself look as normal as possible, Baekhyun calmly exited the bathroom and went back to retrieve his husband as he had planned. As he turned to the corner that he had listened to Chanyeol talk about them, he saw that Chanyeol had passed out.
Kai looked up at him, but didn't comment about the look on his face. He, instead, helped Baekhyun carry Chanyeol inside a cab, even riding all the way to their apartment and helping Baekhyun drop Chanyeol in bed. After Baekhyun said a small "thank you", Kai left, leaving Baekhyun to stare at the love of his life, who regretted ever marrying him.
Baekhyun sighed heavily and fully accepted that his chest hurts so much that it was hard to function. Slipping Chanyeol's shoes off, Baekhyun unbuttoned the top buttons on Chanyeol's shirt since his husband never liked anything too tight around his neck for comfort's sake. After getting a damp cloth, Baekhyun gently wiped Chanyeol's face clean. He couldn't do anything about his husband's reek of liquor and possibly women, so the least he could do was wipe his face gently clean.
Chanyeol was too big of a challenge to change in terms of clothes so Baekhyun had to leave him the way he was. He pulled the covers over his giant and fixed his pillow before gently putting it under him. He fixed every edge of the bed and made sure that Chanyeol was safely put before he stepped back.
With eyes admiring his sleeping husband, Baekhyun felt himself drained, but knew he had to keep moving. Leaning down, Baekhyun kissed Chanyeol on the cheek. He had meant to pull away immediately, but his lips lingered there for a moment before he realized he was lightly crying again.
Baekhyun slowly pulled away and stepped back. He looked at Chanyeol one last time before moving to their closet, taking out one of their suitcases.
When Chanyeol woke up the next day, it was already in the late afternoon and he felt absolutely awful in the head. He groaned, clutching onto his face. He could smell himself and he hated it. Seconds went on by before he forced himself to sit up and look around to see what crap-shit hotel he decided to stay at for the night. When everything looked familiar, he realized that it was Baekhyun and his' bedroom. Running his eyes, Chanyeol noticed two pills and a glass of water, which Baekhyun obviously set for him.
He sat on the bed for ten minutes, trying to orient and rest for a moment before he threw the covers away. Chanyeol slowly walked himself from the bedroom, calling out Baekhyun's name. He listened, but he never got a response.
Chanyeol kept calling because in his mind, Baekhyun was always there. He was always at home whenever Chanyeol needed him—and with that headache, he needed Baekhyun there badly.
Reaching the kitchen, Chanyeol expected Baekhyun to be there, perhaps cooking with headphones, therefore unable to answer him, but Chanyeol didn't see his husband anywhere. What he did see was a set table.
On the table, a small vase was centered with a few fresh flowers that Chanyeol figured Baekhyun bought for decoration purposes. A plate was on the table as well, but it was covered by a metal lid meant to keep the food warm.
When Chanyeol lifted the lid, he saw food and a small note sitting on top of something under it. Disregarding the note, Chanyeol's hand picked up the plate of food, but immediately put it back down when he found that it was cold.
Figuring that Baekhyun was in the apartment somewhere, Chanyeol called out his name again, but like all the other times, all he heard was his own loud voice. Chanyeol's heart beat began to pick up when he became convinced that Baekhyun wasn't in the apartment. Wondering where his husband was, Chanyeol took out his phone from his pocket where he had left it last night.
He dialed Baekhyun's number over and over again, but every call went straight to voice mail. A small voice inside his head told Chanyeol that something was wrong considering the fact that Baekhyun had his cellphone off, which was something he never did.
Chanyeol moved to the living room and plopped on the couch. He blinked for a few seconds before lying down on the seat. Eventually, he decided he'd take another dose of sleep, thinking that when he’d wake up, Baekhyun would be at home.
It was more time than he expected to ever sleep. When Chanyeol woke up, he looked at the clock and saw that it was already six in the evening.
"Baek?" he called in a hoarse voice. "Baekhyun, where are you?"
Receiving no answer, Chanyeol looked around the apartment. When Baekhyun was nowhere in sight, Chanyeol tried to call him again, but the cellphone was either dead or off. He had no way of contacting his small and delicate husband, and the sun was beginning to set.
Where was he? Chanyeol started to become frantic as the possibilities of what could've happened to Baekhyun surfaced in his head. His small love could've been walking home and kidnapped. Possibly even murdered.
The dark thoughts swarmed and engulfed Chanyeol so much, he was one moment away from calling the police and reporting a missing person's case.
Just as he was about to leave the apartment to find his missing husband, Chanyeol suddenly remembered the note; the note next to the cold food that he picked up when he woke up.
Racing to the dining room, Chanyeol threw aside the lid and snatched the note up. As the note was snatched up, it revealed the tiny item that it sat on. Before Chanyeol could even start reading the small note, his eyes were glued onto the wedding band sitting there.
Knowing all the problems that they had been having, Chanyeol suddenly became afraid to even read the small note that only contained a few words. His hands were shaking in fear and all he could think of was "No, no, no, no..."
Then, it hit him like a ton of brick—he had missed their anniversary because he went to a bar instead.
The guilt and the regret washed over him, and Chanyeol couldn't bear to know what the note said, but with time, he gathered up the meek courage to read the tiny message that his husband had left him along with his wedding band.
Our marriage wasn't perfect. We fought a lot and perhaps we married too soon, but I never regretted marrying you.