From Beijing to Seoul
—Three years later—
The time was nearing and soon people were going to start coming in one by one—slowly at first, but then in a large, packed line. The supplies were checked. The complimentary items were put on each seat. The carts were restocked thirty minutes ago, but was doubled checked anyways. The temperature of the aircraft was set to seventy-four degrees in Fahrenheit and the ovens keeping the food at a warm temperature was checked twice.
Baekhyun pulled out a compact mirror and put a few stray hairs that refused to go down back in their place. He then checked his eyes and dabbed the corners with a small, soft napkin. With a hand, he uncapped a chapstick and attended his lips until he was fully satisfied with how they felt.
Once he was done with himself, he walked over to the rest of his co-workers, who were standing near the main entrance. They all knew where they were supposed to be stationed at, but it was part of Baekhyun’s job as the head flight attendant to go over everything.
He took the magnetic clipboard off its place and began to run things over. “Luna, you’ll be with Krystal in section two, the middle of the plane. Then, in the back will be Victoria and Dara. Jessica, Seohyun, and I will man the front and section one.” There was more information to be said, but Baekhyun decided to put the clipboard back since he no longer needed it. “As for the First Class section, I—and everyone else serving section one— will tend them. While we do so, you guys have to make sure the people from our section are fine.”
Jessica grinned. “Same procedure on every flight.”
Baekhyun smiled back at her. “Yes, but it makes me feel more comfortable getting everything out there before starting anything,” he said, laughing a bit.
“You’re conventional,” Dara said in a calm tone, poking fun at Baekhyun.
Baekhyun just rolled his eyes, grinning at his co-worker’s comment. At that moment, they heard from the airplane’s intercom the announcement that the First Class boarders were on their way. Baekhyun clapped his hands together. “Alright. Let’s get this show on the road. Did everyone have their coffee? It’s going to be a long night flight from Beijing all the way back to Seoul, you know.”
Everyone nodded, assuring Baekhyun. He took his place near Jessica, hands nicely put together in front of him, plastering a smile onto his face. The first passenger to board the flight was an elderly woman, holding what looked like a designer carry on in one hand. A few more people passed by before a woman with a small child, who seemed about five years old, walked in. Baekhyun immediately remembered something that he forgot to do. He forgot to check to see if any children were in First Class.
Mentally groaning, Baekhyun leaned in towards Jessica. “Hey, I forgot to put a children’s fun packet for the kid in First Class. There’s extras right?”
Keeping the smile on her face, Jessica nodded. “Of course—Hello—In the back.”
Baekhyun nodded at her, but kept up with his happy face. “Thanks.”
Baekhyun curtly turned around and walked down the aisle, leaving Jessica and Seohyun to greet the rest of the incoming First Class boarders. Dara saw him as he made his way past the section two attendants area and mouthed a question. “What?”
When Baekhyun was close enough, he told her what he needed. “There’s a kid in First Class. I forgot that there was one. I need an extra one of those thing packets for the kids—”
Dara was way ahead of him. She went behind a wall meant for attendants only and pulled out a box, opening it. Inside, there were plenty of packets. She took one and handed it to him.
“Thank you, Dara,” he said, taking the item.
“It’s nothing!” she said brightly, reminding Baekhyun why she was perfect for her job.
After turning back around, Baekhyun saw that the elderly and the disabled were already done boarding, meaning that he had missed the rest of the First Class train of boarders. Baekhyun didn’t mind though. It was fine.
He walked back to the front, minding his form and his facial expression as he passed by the old folks. When he got to the front, Jessica turned around to him, holding out her hand. “I’ll take that for you.”
Not arguing, Baekhyun nodded and gave the packet to Jessica, watching her as she went through the small arch way that essentially separated First Class from the rest of the other classes.
Taking her place, Baekhyun stood in the front, greeting the new, steady, yet heavy flow of Economy Class passengers.
Take off had gone just fine. Once they were in the air and it was finally okay for some activity, Baekhyun and the rest of his co-workers unfastened themselves from their seats and proceeded to continue on with their jobs, checking to see if everyone was fine and comfortable.
About forty-five minutes in, it was time to begin serving out dinner. Baekhyun and Seohyun covered the first section, whereas Jessica went off to serve the people in First Class. The entire process went smoothly until Jessica grabbed him by the arm as he was placing the cart back in place, locking it at its station.
When Baekhyun turned to look at her, he saw the look on her face and was immediately concerned. “What? What’s wrong?
“A man from First Class downed too much alcohol,” she said.
Baekhyun looked at her. God, how he hated it when people took advantage of their free alcohol service. “Didn’t you cut him off?”
Jessica nodded her head. “He was being insistent though! He pushed me aside to get to the cart. Then a slight turbulence happened and he spilled it on himself. Now he’s angry at me! He’s making a commotion. I don’t know what to do!”
Baekhyun saw how frustrated she had gotten so he put a hand on her shoulder. “Alright. I’m always prepared for these types of scenarios,” he said, sighing. “In the very back, there are a few extra pants and shirts. Find ones that look like they could fit the guy. I’ll go in first. Come back when you have it, okay?”
Jessica nodded. “Alright.”
They soon separated with Baekhyun leaving his section fully in the hands of Seohyun. He entered the First Class section and it didn’t take long to spot the guy Jessica was talking about. He looked like a drunk with a slight beard. Baekhyun mentally prepared himself before approaching the man, who was swinging the bottle around a bit, cursing here and there.
“Sir, I—Sir!” Baekhyun said, trying to keep a diplomatic voice. When the man paused to glare at him, Baekhyun gritted his teeth. “Sir, give me the bottle.”
The man scoffed. “I’m a faithful traveler to this airline and I know damn well that alcohol is a complimentary service—”
“—Which is a privilege you shouldn’t abuse,” Baekhyun was quick to point out.
The man gave him a sharp look. “Don’t back talk me. You’re supposed to serve passengers and that bitch that was just in here refused to give me any more of this,” he said, holding the bottle in Baekhyun’s face. “Which is a complete refusal of everything I paid for! Then she got me drenched in this bullshit—”
“Sir, I would appreciate it if you didn’t talk so loud. I’d also appreciate if you sat back down and minded your own language.” Baekhyun gave the guy a threatening look. “There’s a kid sitting three seats away from you.”
Rolling his eyes, the man grumbled something under his breath. “Like I give a shit.”
The guy infuriated Baekhyun. He hated carelessness, especially people like this guy who didn’t give a care in the world. Nothing else mattered, but himself, and that pissed Baekhyun off so much. Moving quickly, he snatched the bottle from the man, who looked angrily at him.
Baekhyun looked behind him and saw Jessica right there, holding the extra clothes in her arms. Baekhyun held the bottle to her, exchanging it for the clothes. Turning back to the man, Baekhyun offered the generic clothes off to him. “Go change in the First Class passengers’ restroom, then come back and sit down.”
The man scowled. Baekhyun didn’t really appreciate standing there having to deal with the unbearable situation, especially on an aircraft. When the man didn’t take the clothes, Baekhyun pushed it towards him again. “Sir. Take the clothes. Go change. Then come back.”
What happened next was unexpected to Baekhyun. The man stepped forward and laid a hand on him. With a shove, the man—despite his drunken state—managed to hit Baekhyun right on the chest. Much to Baekhyun’s luck, the plane shook, adding onto his failing battle to stay up.
Much to his surprise, Baekhyun didn’t bang his head on the floor like he expected. Instead, he fell right back into a body that held him by the waist, saving him from his inevitable fall. Before Baekhyun could stutter out a thanks, the guy who caught his fall took the clothes from his hands and moved him aside, stalking to the drunk man.
He shoved the clothing in the unbearable man’s arms, but then grabbed his collar. He said a few things, and as Baekhyun noticed, his voice was familiar and very deep. “You’ll do what he says, you hear me? If you lay a hand on him again, I will make you regret it, you understand?” When the man didn’t answer, the guy who broke Baekhyun’s fall shook him, loudly asking, “Do you understand!?”
Baekhyun couldn’t see his fall-breaker’s face, only his back, but he was able to see the man who was causing everyone a shit load of trouble. The man scowled, but nodded, pulling away and taking the clothes in hand. Then he finally conceded and moved towards the bathroom on the end.
Baekhyun watched as the man stumbled past him to go to the bathroom. When he went in and closed the door, Baekhyun turned back to finally thank the guy who intervened, but as the guy turned around, Baekhyun’s words were caught in his throat when he saw those eyes pierce right through his.
People changed. Their styles changed. The way they carried themselves changed. The guy in front of Baekhyun definitely changed. He looked more lean. His hair was now black, styled fashionably up. His style was even slightly different. It was more clean cut and straight to the point, now. One thing didn’t change, though: those eyes. Baekhyun recognized them the moment he saw them looking at him. He knew who they belonged to. And because of that, Baekhyun felt his heart skip a beat.
Realizing how many seconds had passed, Baekhyun cleared his throat. “Thank you, sir,” he said, formally. Then, he had to force himself back to his professional mode, setting private things aside. “But please take your seat. Only stand when—”
Baekhyun took a breath. “Only stand when you need to go use the restroom. In other cases, press the assistance button provided in your seat and one of the attendants will get to you as soon as possible.”
Before Chanyeol could say anything else, Baekhyun turned around and crooked a finger at Jessica, who was making her way back from putting the bottle away. “I’m going back to Economy. Refrain from serving that man alcohol anymore. Don’t let him touch you, or push you again. If he does, come to me and I’ll get the armed officer on board.”
Jessica understood. “Alright. Thank you, Baek.”
Baekhyun grinned. “Safety’s always first.” Then he turned his head back around to see Chanyeol still standing there in the aisle. “Make sure he takes his seat…Wouldn’t want a passenger to topple over and get hurt.” Ending with that, Baekhyun exited the First Class area.
If they were still in Beijing, then it would’ve been past twelve forty-five in the morning already. Most of the people on the plane had either gone to bed or were beginning to doze off due to the dim lighting now inside the craft to induce peace.
It was always at this point in his job that Baekhyun could finally take his invisible hat off and have some time for himself, rather than spend most of his energy on others. His job required a lot of time and energy, but being able to travel and see different places was the biggest perk that Baekhyun could ever ask for. That perk was one of the things that Baekhyun would miss when the flight was over, though, since this was his last flight before putting in his resignation and starting a new adventure.
Baekhyun would have liked to start a new adventure with a clean cut from this one, but with Chanyeol being on the same plane, it was like a sudden déjà vu. The last time he opted out of a situation, Chanyeol was the last thing on his mind. Now it was just gonna have to be the same damn thing all over again.
Mentally tired of everything, Baekhyun carefully walked over to the restroom for the attendants. He looked at the sign near the handle, which depicted the color red, meaning that no one was inside.
Baekhyun went in and promptly closed the door behind him. He moved his body over to the sink and pulled out some paper towels from a contraption. He turned the faucet on and dipped the towels in, wetting it enough to be satisfied with. Then, he began to wipe his face with it, dabbing the corner of his eyes before cleaning the rest.
He was in the midst of pulling out another sheet when a knock came from the door. Baekhyun frowned. “It’s occupied,” he said before getting back to business. He thought that it was all said and done until another rattling sound was banging again.
Annoyed, Baekhyun put the paper towel down. “If you’re a passenger, there’s specified restrooms for you. This one happens to be for attendants. For passengers, there’s one in the back, in the middle section, and near the front exit.”
After he said all of that, Baekhyun was sure that the person on the other side had finally gone away. But, this thought and assurance was broken not a second later when another pounding knock was descended on the door. Baekhyun was a little too tired to have any more tolerance, despite being in the airlines business for two years.
He unlocked the door and slid it open. “Like I told you, passengers—”
Baekhyun never got to finish his angry, diplomatic sentence. He felt a hand on his chest, then a force, pushing him carefully back into the restroom. Baekhyun felt the base of the sink at his foot and shot his hand to grip the surface in order to steady himself. When his eyes finally focused on the figure that pushed him, his entire body tensed.
“Don’t you fucking ‘sir’ me,” Chanyeol’s voice warned. “Three fucking years, Baek. You and I have a lot of catching up to fucking do.”