All things unsatisfying and irksome descended on Kyungsoo faster than he could blink his eyes. The agenda of following after Baekhyun hadn’t gone as planned. Being wretched away in attention by teachers was painful business to deal with, and there wasn’t much to appreciate about the situation. As he spoke formally and respectfully to the supervisors, he had caught a certain tall individual move from his designated booth to put his used tray and utensils in the wash bin. No doubt in Kyungsoo’s quick-moving mind that Chanyeol had the very same idea that he had prior to being pulled aside.
There was a burning in him that hated the frivolous and bold actions of the athlete, and he couldn’t fully piece together his reasons as to why. On one hand, he knew he absolutely disliked the defiant manner of the giant, and on the other, Baekhyun’s responses to him were bothersome to watch. With friendship and love deeply rooted in their history written in stone, Kyungsoo could see the crumbling walls of Baekhyun’s fortified shelter, but what he couldn’t stomach down to see was the brunet putting such half-assed effort in protecting himself.
Countless times Baekhyun had confided in him the details in Chanyeol’s character that he found to be flawed, and yet, the isolationist would only put in half a foot of effort against Chanyeol’s persistency. The entire scene back in the woods had thrown Kyungsoo off his guard, and when he saw the expression on Baekhyun’s red, flushed face, Kyungsoo felt as though he had caught the latter in his raw state; the state that was being stripped of every control, every modesty by the charming basketball player whose smiles were enough to pull Baekhyun’s gaze away from his LED devices.
After he was dismissed by his superiors, Kyungsoo was quick to maneuver his way out of the crowded dining hall, but fate was not benevolent enough in his favor to spare him the distasteful encounter with the troublesome soccer captain who crossed his path on his way to the door. Eye contact was forged, but offense on Kyungsoo’s part immediately blundered down as Jongin rolled his eyes at the president’s sight and continued on his way.
Hands were tight in a grip and a murderous look was given to the back of Jongin’s head before Kyungsoo simmered down with the reminder that he was in public. With dark intents shoved on the back burner for later plans against the captain, Kyungsoo hurried out, well aware that the likeliness of stumbling on another disgusting scene put on by Park Chanyeol on his best friend was more than that of lightning striking him dead.
The gut feeling the president had that consumed him on his search for the lonesome individual proved to be on point when he stood on top of a high slope, looking down at his brunet and the loud basketball player walking together—indiscreetly laughing—back in the direction Kyungsoo stood in.
His knuckles turned white and his breathing became suffocated until his lungs revolted at his actions. Gasping for air, Kyungsoo unclenched his fists and turned to march back to the dining hall. As he made his way up the wooden stairs to reach the elevated cafeteria, he was oblivious to the eyes that watched him through the icy window.
“So, that’s why you have a job at that store.”
Chanyeol chuckled and Baekhyun could only snort at him. The hood of the giant’s jacket fit around his face, giving him an appearance that Baekhyun couldn’t take. He looked ridiculous.
“Yeah,” Chanyeol confirmed, stretching his arms up in the air and yawning. “I accidentally broke some of my mom’s plates and I need to replace them all. Plus, you know, playing a sport is kind of expensive. There’s…ah, there’s a lot of money that has to go into things like transportation and all that.”
“I don’t understand why you feel the need to play a sport if it’s too bothersome to even play in the first place with all these fees.”
Shrugging, Chanyeol tilted his head in Baekhyun’s direction. “If you love something, then it should be worth it, right?”
“I suppose,” Baekhyun platonically replied. “Of course, circumstances will always exist.”
“Nonetheless, some things will always be important.”
“Like basketball,” Chanyeol said, confirming so.
They walked in silence for another short term until Baekhyun asked, “If I were to ask you to give up playing, would you do it?”
Chanyeol stopped walking, consequently affecting Baekhyun by making the brunet halt as well. They looked at each other for a handful of fleeting moments until Chanyeol began taking steps again, grabbing Baekhyun’s hand in his, pulling him along. “No. I don’t think that I’ll ever have to make that choice. You wouldn’t ask me that.”
“How do you know I won’t?” Baekhyun asked, weakly attempting to pull his hand away. “You don’t know me well enough to make that judgment.”
“Well, I mean, you’re always underestimating me and not giving me enough credit for things,” Chanyeol replied back. “This is just one of those times. Now, if you don’t hurry and walk a little faster, we’re going to have to turn back around and change again. We’re going to get soaked, and I’m worried that my clothes will start sticking to my body. You’ll see things that you shouldn’t be seeing until we’re married.”
The instant Chanyeol looked down and saw the way a quick blush covered the brunet’s cheeks, he laughed. “I’m kidding,” he said, squeezing Baekhyun’s hand ever so slightly. “You don’t have to wait until marriage if you ask me nicely.”
It was hard for either of the two to subsequently decipher whether it was a drop of rain or a pitiful tear rolling down Chanyeol’s face that followed after Baekhyun’s casual stomp on the giant’s foot. Hissing, Chanyeol covered his mouth with his free hand as he silently gaped at the tiny bit of pain the smaller male had given him. “You’re so…cute,” he wheezed through his clenched teeth. “Absolutely adorable, you know that?”
There was no reason for Baekhyun to keep his hand locked with Chanyeol’s, but he never thought that far into logic as he continued to tug the other forward. “Flattery leads to nothing, Chanyeol. Narcissus flattered himself. What became of him was that he doomed himself to death by falling in love with his reflection and drowning in a body of water.”
Letting out a broken laugh meant to humor no one but himself, Chanyeol recovered as quickly as he could. He only limped for a few of steps before being able to walk normally again, and to him, it was a grace. “My appraisal of you is nothing like Narcissus’ case,” Chanyeol argued. “Don’t create parallels of my compliments to tragic Greek mythology. It’s depressing.”
“I’m surprised you know it’s Greek,” Baekhyun muttered.
“Well, I’m surprised you don’t think I read.” Chanyeol chuckled to himself before he reached over and pulled Baekhyun’s hood securely back over the brunet's head. “I wish you packed a jacket that’s not this type of fabric. This soaks up water like crazy, you know.”
“I don’t own windbreakers,” Baekhyun said, glancing at Chanyeol’s own jacket. “I don’t usually do things out in the rain, anyways.”
Clicking his tongue, Chanyeol swung their hands in back and forth motion. “You could’ve told me and I could’ve gotten you one. I usually have to wear one for when I play at the park court out in the rain, or when I take a morning run with Kris—sometimes Jongin. It really depends on who’s free Saturday mornings.”
Pulling his hand against Chanyeol’s motions, Baekhyun ended the swinging of their hands. “Certain things are hard to fathom. Why would anyone want to run in the morning? Saturday, even…”
Bumping Baekhyun’s shoulders, Chanyeol smiled. “The morning air is nice.”
“Sleep is nice, also.”
“I haven’t been able to sleep all that well nowadays, anyhow,” Chanyeol said, shrugging. “I’d say that it’s your fault, but I wouldn’t want you feeling guilty.”
“Your insomnia’s not my issue.”
“You say that even if all the causes point to you.”
In the back of his mind, Kyungsoo knew that appearing as a solo individual hogging an entire booth near the large glass windows that overlooked the pathways and courts below the dining hall was a bad image to put in public, but he couldn’t help himself. There was burning in him that itched to see his friend and the giant together as if he wanted to emotionally and psychologically tear himself apart like a masochist.
He waited for minutes on end, constantly preparing to see the two in view, but even then, Kyungsoo had no idea which card to play when that moment happened. The chattering made by the other school students and teachers behind him began to sound like white noise the more in depth he delved into his own thoughts.
The moment came when around the corner of the building near the hall came the two people he was preparing to see. As Kyungsoo expected, they walked together, but to his dreadful surprise, he could see with clear focus how their hands were locked together. Baekhyun’s face was turned away from the giant, and yet, Kyungsoo spotted that familiar curve on his lips, the shy indication that Chanyeol had said something pleasing and Baekhyun had the desire not to flatter him by openly showing his pleasure.
Often times, Kyungsoo noted how desperately clingy and unwanted both men and women become the moment they start acting foolish based on romantic desires, but when he stood up from his lone booth to begin marching out the dining hall to separate the two, he justified himself and his own actions. To him, he wasn’t acting as a clingy friend, nor was he acting as a jealous ex, which was something he swore to never be. If anything, he folded all his cards for the sake of keeping Baekhyun away from harm and Park Chanyeol was definitely an imminent threat to the brunet’s happiness. This, Kyungsoo was sure.
He kept his expression neutral and when individuals who passed him by smiled at him, Kyungsoo returned the favor, but he had one objective in mind and he moved like an efficient hurricane. He was a brewing storm and he knew that the moment he reached the two, it would be comparable to a category five hurricane hitting the mainland. There wasn’t an obstacle that he foresaw to deal with, but out of nowhere, the instant he stepped out on the wet, rain-drenched deck to take the stairs down to meet Baekhyun and the athlete, Kyungsoo felt a hand grip on his arm, pulling him back from taking the descent.
“Whatever you’re planning to do, stop it.”
Whipping his head around, Kyungsoo looked back to turn his face at the fiend who dared tear his objective off track. “What the hell are you doing, Jongin?”
“That’s a nice question to be asking yourself, don’t you think?” The soccer captain threw Kyungsoo’s arm aside the moment the latter began to pull attempts to release himself from his hold. “You sit around waiting for opportunities to rise just so you can break it down. Stop being a fucking psychopath and pull yourself out of their business. You’re beginning to resemble a leech.”
It was laughable the way Kyungsoo was suddenly being compared to the very parasite that he adored to call all else around him. He threw a glare in Jongin’s direction, bent on ignoring the lousy male’s advice to do anything at all, but when he took a step down on the staircase, he was pulled back again by the touch of a hand holding tightly on his shoulder.
“Behind your plastic persona, you’re honestly the most selfish, narcissistic person that I know. Are you so attached to Byun that you won’t let him have other relationships besides with yourself because that’s how it’s starting to seem, Do Kyungsoo.”
Gritting his teeth in a fury, Kyungsoo twisted his body around to push Jongin’s hands off of him. The feeling of being contacted by a person of distasteful manner was so offensive to him on so many levels, Kyungsoo felt sick. “You know nothing, Jongin.”
“I know everything there is to know just by looking at you.”
A pressure felt like it was crushing his chest and Kyungsoo began to realize that it was anxiety striking at him like a hot hammer on smoldering iron. The words pierced and it terrified him. The absolute raw feeling to being sliced open, to have his act exposed and to bear the pain of having his true nature ripped from the hiding of his mask and thrown out for the world to see was enough to make him feel like he was ten thousand feet underwater. Jongin saw more than Kyungsoo ever wanted to expose and he felt naked knowing that no lie could cover his nature the way he graciously did in front of the eyes of the gullible others.
He gulped, palms beginning to sweat, and he threw a finger in Jongin’s direction. Opening his mouth, he prepared to snap back with the intent of ripping the latter’s head off by the sheer power of his sharp words, but before he could do so, Kyungsoo foolishly took another step down on the staircase without glancing to see his footing. Then, with the wooden staircase slick with rain and the badly put positioning of his foot, Kyungsoo became unstable and fell backwards, tumbling down the hard wood that knocked him unconscious halfway.
a/n: When I was on my Key Leader retreat in the woods for Key Club, it rained all 3 days that weekend. Then, this girl named Jackie, after dinner, was standing on top of the wooden stairs that people could take from the cafateria and back down to the main ground. Well, she was wearing boots, and ones that didnt have that much friction, and even I skidded on that wooden deck sometimes, it was that slippery. Then, Jackie slipped on the stairs and she fell all the way down. Oh.