Genre: Romance, comedy, drama
Length: Not set, but definately going to have a chapter limit.. (Whoa, Fara's actually planning.)
Sypnosis: As touring comes to a near end, Chanyeol still doesn't know where to begin with Byun Baekhyun.
A/n: This is Crank the Bass' multi-chaptered sequel. Things will make more sense if you read it, but it's not necessary.
“Sound check! Get the sound check right! Where’s Jongdae? The light’s too weak. This needs to be higher. The fans won’t see him. The…”
It pleasurable to strum the strings of his guitar, and Chanyeol’s head swayed from side to side as he caught rhythm to the sound. His eyes were shut as he tried to focus on the fine sound of his newly bought electric, but the voice of his music tour’s coordinator, the short stump that went by the name of Byun Baekhyun, was ruining the mood.
Jaw locked, he lifted his eyes and glanced sharply to the right where the perfectionist was impatiently tapping his foot, watching Jongdae, the light manager of the set, fix the settings for the opening act’s light show. For a split second, he contemplated getting up and telling the raunchy male to shut the hell up, but he settled to glaring at his backside until his eyes began wandering to areas clearly defined by the coordinator’s tight sense of fashion.
Inwardly sighing to himself, Chanyeol closed his eyes again, leaning his head off to the side as he went on to attempt losing his state of mind in his music, but he found it difficult, snapping his eyes open again at the sound of the brunette laughing. It was a soft type of laughter, almost too quiet to hear for anyone else around them, but Chanyeol’s ears were keen on the sound and he looked over to his side again, giving his attention to the coordinator.
He was fully aware that he was rather unpleased by the fact that the perfectionist was irking his patience. It wasn’t the fact that he was laughing, but because the brunette was enjoying the company of another. Shooting his eyes in the direction of Jongdae, Chanyeol stopped strumming his guitar.
The urge to bark at the two was stronger than the last, but Chanyeol kept himself at bay. Mentally, he was commanding the coordinator and the lighter director to break apart from one another, and graciously, life granted him his wish.
After jotting down a few things on his clipboard, Baekhyun fixed his earpiece and microphone as he usually did every other minute and began walking in the musician’s direction. Satisfied with his silent victory, Chanyeol went on to strum his guitar once again, though it was only for show. He knew that.
“Alright, Mr. Park,” Baekhyun greeted, though with no eye contact, “They’re setting up the—Can you stop and listen for a minute?”
Ignoring the last part, Chanyeol tilted his head up to face Baekhyun, but the latter was far too sucked into his clipboard to notice. “When will you start addressing me as Chanyeol, Mr. Byun?”
“That’s rather informal of you to even ask,” Baekhyun replied sharply, tearing his eyes of his papers to look at him. “I’ve said it time after time. Have you been listening or have you gone deaf from playing your terrible ensemble again and again, one country after another? I won’t be calling you by your first name, and that settles that. Now, the mic stand’s being set up. We need to double check the sound so you need to—”
Tuning him out, Chanyeol lowered his head and began stroking the guitar’s strings. “You had no problem screaming my name in bed back in Tokyo. I don’t see why you can’t address me by my first name now that we’ve—”
Even without looking to see the damage he’d done to his concert coordinator, Chanyeol could just sense the burning flame of hate raging from the man in front of him. However, it didn’t bother him at all to have the perfectionist pricked and emotionally bleeding from the reminder of that night. In fact, he dwelled in it, satisfied with rendering the brunette speechless.
“You know what? Never mind,” Baekhyun growled. His grip on the clipboard was so hard, Chanyeol could even hear it. “I asked you to do this simple thing. To double check the sound for the concert you’re about to put on tomorrow, but I guess you’re not up for it.”
“I never said I wasn’t up for it,” Chanyeol replied smoothly.
“Then why don’t you do us a favor and quit bothering me about stupid things like how I should address you, Mr. Park. Don’t worry. I know your first and your last name. It’s written all over the place—the contract, the concert ads, your chair, even on your little water bottles. Preference wise, however, I prefer to keep us on a surname basis.”
Drawing his lips in a thin like, Chanyeol let his guitar rest on his knee as his shoulders slanted. “We’re past the stage of formality.”
“Oh, we’re not past anything, so if I were you, I’d reevaluate that notion. Now,” Baekhyun said, pointing to a lonely mic stand on the center of the stage. “There’s the mic. Move your stool and start playing. I’m going back stage to discuss something with the sound check guy. If it’ll satisfy you to hear this, then I can tell you it’ll only take a minute. After that, a short rehearsal of some parts of the show and we can go back to the hotel.”
“Hn.” Chanyeol’s eyes moved from the mic stand to Baekhyun’s strict face. “What about you? After this, where’re you headed off to?”
“My affairs have nothing to do with you,” the brunette said shortly after the question. “Just get your ass over there and we’ll be doing absolutely fine—Hello?” Pausing, Baekhyun stared blankly at the ground as he listened to his earpiece. “It’s supposed to be fixed. They said it’d be—you know what? Stay right there. I’m coming.”
Waiting for the coordinator to begin paying attention to him once again, Chanyeol watched as Baekhyun flipped through his notes and fumbled with his pen. He seemed like a disorganized mess, bustling about from one place to another, but as far as everyone knew, Byun Baekhyun was perfect. But Chanyeol saw the other side of him, the side that found frustration and mumbling to be a common thing.
“Please just go over there and practice a song or two,” Baekhyun ordered, rubbing his forehead. “The faster you do this, the faster we can get through the rest of rehearsal and go back to the hotel to rest.”
Shrugging, Chanyeol rose from his seat, lifting his guitar and stool with him as he walked towards the mic. Following behind him, Baekhyun dragged the cord that plugged to the amplifier. After handing it to the musician, Baekhyun immediately pulled back and began walking away and talking to an assistant through his communication device.
The musician gave one last sparing look before ramping up the volume of the amp and practicing his guitar solo, surely bothering the brunette who was practically yelling into his small mic just to communicate with the individual on the other line.
It was undoubtedly wrong for the Chanyeol to bring up that night in Tokyo, but it was hard to contain himself on the matter. Quite frankly, it didn’t bother his conscience to see the tiny perfectionist become flustered at the mere mention of that night. Clearly, Baekhyun was bothered at the memory, but Chanyeol found no shame in insinuating that he wanted that night again. If anything, he wanted a picture frame of that night as the best sex he’s had tour.
Baekhyun didn’t want to remember it as that, though Chanyeol was exceptionally aware that the prideful coordinator enjoyed the one night stand as much as he did. After getting dressed and swallowing the pain relieving pill Chanyeol had provided for him, Baekhyun left the hotel room and made no more appearances until they inevitably had to share a van to the airport.
Ever since then, it was more obvious than not that the latter pushed the memory aside and tried his damn hardest to go on acting like it never happened. Even in the way that Baekhyun spoke to him and others, there was a clear contrast in his tone of voice that made it seem as though the brunette was attempting to burn any connection—friendship, love, or lust—that was made by that night, often talking about professionalism and how everyone should just “do their job”.
As Chanyeol turned his head out to the blur outside his window, he frowned, thinking about Baekhyun’s burning attitude towards him. It pissed him off to a degree to have the runt acting so calm and platonic when they should’ve been more. It wasn’t like Chanyeol was asking for another fuck, though it was always in the back of his mind when the sun went down and his body parts were actively up. Simple things like a nice conversation or perhaps a small bit of friendship here and there would’ve sufficed him to know that at least that night had some consequential value to it.
But he was dealing with a maniac who wanted nothing to do with him past that night.
Looking beside him, Baekhyun sat in his seat, typing away on his messenger, too planted on the device to notice Chanyeol’s gaze. The giant paused for a second before reaching over and pulling out one of the brunette’s earbuds.
“Call the hotel and tell them to reserve space for a staff dinner with hot food. Do it before we get there.”
Slashing him with an irked expression, Baekhyun shook his hand away. “I’m off the clock. Call your manager.”
Chanyeol leaned back in his seat. “I wasn’t asking for much, short stuff.”
“Mr. Park, I’m busy. The next time you want something done for you, ask your manager or at least a staff...”
Pursing his lips, Chanyeol pulled out his phone and began to text his orders to his manager. It didn’t take long to get a confirmation that the job was done, but it didn’t feel as good as it probably would’ve been if the brunette had done it for him.
Mindlessly, he plugged in his own headphones and closed his eyes shut.
It was no longer a surprise to see that information about his hotel location was leaked. When the van pulled nearer and nearer to the front entrance of the building, the screams of girls pushed past a lineup of guards, heading to the van and Chanyeol was forced to put his own music on pause, deeming it useless to try and ignore the crowd any longer.
When the van came to a stop, the body guards outside the hotel approached his side of the car, and the second they knew it was safe to do so, they opened the door. In a routine fashion, Chanyeol unbuckled himself and grabbed his guitar case off the floor, hooking the sling on his shoulder before stepping out.
Casually, he walked between the guards and nodded at the fans, who were mostly girls, endowing on them a grin that melted more hearts that he could even begin with. Shortly after passing through the hotel doors, he looked back with no surprise in seeing his coordinator looking displeased as he squeezed through the girls who crowded around the door after their idol passed.
Chanyeol had the split second mind to stop and keep the latter in his company, but figured it was a stupid decision to even make. To his left, his manager, Kris, spoke about check-in and the musician merely nodded as he followed, stepping aside as he waited for the man to finish the transaction. His eyes maneuvered over to Baekhyun who walked to an open counter and promptly gave his name and reservation information. Being that he only had himself to check in, the process went by faster and he received his cards far before the woman serving Kris had all of his and the rest of the members’ names on her screen.
Without sparing a glance at the peering musician, Baekhyun smiled and gave a small wave to the other band members. It was a rather bitch move for him to do that, and Chanyeol raised his brow at the gesture. For someone who constantly kept reminding others to remain professional, the act was anything but.
Accidentally, he turned his head toward the glass entrance and was reminded of the fans watching his every move. Inwardly sighing, he mustered another grin before moving his legs, following Baekhyun’s path as the brunette was striding over to the elevators. From the back, he could hear Kris call his name, but it wasn’t surprising to either how it went ignored.
“Baekhyun!” Chanyeol said loudly, enough for his voice to attract the attention of others in the hotel’s grand lobby. To him, it was clear he was being avoided in the way he could see the way Baekhyun’s finger kept tapping the up button. “Mr. Byun.”
The coordinator tensed. After arriving to the conclusion the door weren’t going to open in time, Baekhyun turned around, hand tightly gripping the handle of his small suitcase. “What do you need, Mr. Park?”
“The staff’s having dinner and drinks tonight. Kris managed to pull through. For once, why don’t you come?”
“Thank you, Mr. Park, but I don’t think I’ll be joining them tonight. I have too much to—”
Interrupted by gasps and inaudible, excited mutterings, Baekhyun stopped, turning his head to see the elevator had arrived, carrying down with it a few girls, obvious fans of the man behind him. They bustled out and Baekhyun moved out of the way, taking their space in the elevator.
“Actually, it doesn’t matter. Don’t stay up too late.” Holding up his hand, Baekhyun made a brief wave just as the doors began to close. “Good-night, Chanyeol.”
The private room was raging loud, conversations and songs booming from every direction. Chanyeol took another shot of alcohol, squeezing his eyes when the drink gave his throat a slight burn. He cursed, putting the shot glass back on the wooden table. With his attention drifting, Chanyeol watched as the others enjoyed themselves, occasionally answering and joining in the talks around him, but for the most part, he kept himself away.
On his left, Jongin, the drummer, toyed with his cellphone, playing the introvert of the entire group. It seemed, however, that even the most anti-social member of the tour was present. Frowning deeply, Chanyeol poured himself another shot.
“Seven months into a tour and he still hasn’t come down to join us?”
Stopping just as the liquid hit the brim, Chanyeol listened in, tempted to turn his head, but he kept himself in place by the fact that he had no desire to be so obvious. He put the bottle down and feigned interest in his drink.
Chanyeol snorted in the midst of a sip. The reference was neither a mistake, nor an assumption too far from the truth, but he found it bitter sweet. Under his breath, he laughed.
“He’s probably upstairs entertaining someone in bed.”
“That might be why he refuses to share a room with any of the other staff members.”
“Doesn’t he pay for his own room?”
“Might feel too guilty using the company’s money for his…private business—”
”Fuck!” Chanyeol slammed his empty shot glass on the table. Aware that he had caused a ruckus, garnering attention, he laughed afterwards, lightening the mood that he had darkened within seconds. “Are you two talking about Byun?”
The two individuals, a man and woman who worked with set up, nodded cautiously.
“He is a real stuck up bitch, isn’t he?” the musician joined. “A real kick in the fucking ass…”
His ear drowned the responses he received. Mindlessly, he gave them a grin and nod, unaware of their words as he stood up and excused himself for a drag somewhere less crowded. As he left the private room, he snagged an unlit cigarette from Kris’ hand, giving no apologies to the manager as he promptly pushed the doorway out of the social space.
From his balcony, Chanyeol could see the fans who were making camp despite the hotel staff’s constant visits to demand them off the property. Putting the stick to his lips, he took a drag, slowly blowing it out with the night wind. Tired, his pinched the bridge of his nose before dragging his fingers through his dark, messy hair. After a minute, he looked at his watch and frowned. It was getting late—early to be completely truthful. In the back of his mind, he pictured the short runt telling him to sleep.
Going back into his hotel room, Chanyeol locked the balcony doors and put the cigarette out on the provided ash tray. Turning his head, his attention went to his cellphone, practically dead, lying on the table of the living space. He stared at the device for a short while, even pacing back and forth, before damning himself and striding over to take the cellphone.
Baekhyun’s number wasn’t saved under his name. In fact, it had no name, and that was at the ridiculous insistence of the brunette who made it a point that the musician should never contact him until it was truly an emergency. However, the detail slipped from his mind as he hit call, holding the cellphone with a hand as he multitasked, working on taking his shirt off to prepare for a shower.
The phone on the other end rang a few times before he received a response by the time he made it to the bathroom. He made no comment about the groaning he heard, choosing to ignore the fact for the sake of his sanity.
“It’s Chanyeol.” The call was taken as an annoyance, and Chanyeol knew that as he looked around the bath.
It didn’t bother him at all, or even to a point, that he had made the brunette angry with his late night call. Chanyeol, in the opposite, found it amusing as much as Baekhyun found it terribly rude. Snapping the front of his jeans, he laughed at the grumbling on the other end.
“No kidding. Why’re you calling?”
“Well,” Chanyeol said, glancing at the reflection in the mirror and turning to see the bareness of his back. His image was flawless, at least to him. A lot of work and hours spent at the gym seemed to have done him well in the end and Chanyeol liked appreciating himself. “I need to talk to you about the song queue. I don’t want—”
“Are you serious? It’s one in the morning. This doesn’t constitute as an emergency, Chanyeol! Go to sleep,” Baekhyun muttered, not meaning to groan out the last bit of Chanyeol’s name as he rustled back into his sheets. “And next time, please, please, please call me using my room’s telephone. I gave the number to Kris, so he would’ve given it to you gladly if he wasn’t drunk. I’m going back to sleep. Let’s talk about tour matters tomorrow. Good-night.”
With a serious frown on his face, Chanyeol walked over to the shower, pushing aside the beige curtain and reached to begin the water flow. There was no logical reason for his call. Merely, it was just out of his curiosity to see if the latter was sleeping or entertaining a man or woman as the other staff members joked about lightly. To his unbeknownst relief, Baekhyun had been sleeping—and not with anyone.
“Hold on. Actually, it is an emergency. This is my tour and I know what’s best for it.”
“Mr. Park, if you’re going to take a shower at one in the morning, then do it and let me sleep.”
“You haven’t listened to me yet,” Chanyeol protested, feeling the water’s temperature swing hotter by the second. “I—”
“I’ll talk to you tomorrow. I said we’ll discuss whatever it is that you need, but at breakfast. Is that clear enough for you, Mr. Park?”
“Fine. Then we’re keeping the song line up.”
At the sound of a faint beep, Chanyeol knew the call had ended. He looked at the phone with plain judgment and put it on the bathroom counter. Stripping away with the jeans and ridding himself of his briefs. Chanyeol had the wandering thought whether to change the temperature of the water to something cooler before he stepped inside.
The morning after, the musician felt slightly hung over. His mood was sour; his body was tired. For a moment, he forgot about the previous night until the cellphone lying on his bed stand reminded him.
It was five in the morning when he rolled out of his bed, eyelids heavy as hell. A knock at his door woke him from his half-slumber. Trudging to the entrance and opened it without checking the peephole. It was a mistake, but one not too awful.
“If I had been on those crazy fans of yours, then possibility of you getting raped just sky rocketed.”
Rolling his eyes at the runt, Chanyeol turned his back, leaving the door open for Baekhyun’s use. “Good morning to you, too, honey,” he yawned.
He could hear the coordinator mumbling to himself as he shut the door. Chanyeol stretched his arms and waited for Baekhyun to catch up at the end of the hall. “What brings you here to my suite, Mr. Byun?”
“To wake you and everyone else up,” Baekhyun replied seemingly annoyed. “This is why I don’t attend those after parties or whatever it is you call them. All of you get dead drunk and it’s just a mess trying to work with you the next day after.”
Snorting, Chanyeol gave him a grin as Baekhyun passed him by. “It’s called living a little.”
“That isn’t living, Chanyeol.” After stopping in his tracks to inspect the suite, Baekhyun whipped his head back around. “What’re you standing there for? Get dressed. Breakfast opens at five-thirty, exclusive for our crew and yourself. I wouldn’t take it for granted unless you want to be mobbed later with the general crowd.”
“It’s too early to be thinking about that.”
“Well, you’re awake now so I suggest you put on a pair of jeans and a shirt and head downstairs. We’re in Ballroom A.” Raising his wrist, Baekhyun clocked in the time. Chanyeol watched him, taking notice of the smaller male’s attempt to keep a professional image. “I have to wake up the rest of the drunks that attended last night. Oh, and if you don’t remember our conversation because, for all I know, you were probably drunk as hell, too, I said we could discuss the song arrangement and that’s fine. Just write down your new lineup and I’ll see if it will work out and get back to you. Is that good? Great. I’ll see you in a few.”
Stiffly, the conversation seemed to halt, and it did. Chanyeol let him pass, saying nothing in objection at the sound of each step being taken. Just as the brunette’s hand laid a touch to the door handle, he stopped.
“You know, I’ve noticed that you haven’t been trying to fuck one of your harem girls in a while.”
Raising a brow at the fact that the strictly professional individual would bring up such a subject, Chanyeol cocked his head. “Didn’t you tell me to stop?”
“I told you to refrain from doing anything stupid that could jeopardize the tour, because that’ll ruin me as well,” Baekhyun quickly clarified. “However…I never said you couldn’t sleep with anyone at all. Just don’t be stupid about it, make sure they’re legal and it’s all consensual.”
Crossing his arms, Chanyeol couldn’t resist the opportunity to tease. “Aren’t you part of my ‘harem’? You are a fan of mine, Baekhyun, and you are very much legal.”
“But I hardly think anything will be consensual, Chanyeol.”
Intrigued, Chanyeol bit his lips for a moment, slowly taking one forward at a time. “Why do you switch on and off between calling me by my name and calling me ‘Mr. Park’? Didn’t you say you wouldn’t call me by my first name?”
“I think that question is irrelevant,” Baekhyun simply said, waving the other off as he opened the door just slightly. “Just to be clear, don’t be stupid with your choices. I don’t want anything leaking out on the internet about you sleeping with a minor.”
“Last time I checked, you’re not a minor, Baekhyun.”
Baekhyun’s lips pursed together. A blush rushed to his face as he hissed, “Can you be professional for once?”
“Telling me who I can and can’t sleep with isn’t professional, either, runt.” Chanyeol closed the distance between where he and Baekhyun stood. Then, towering over him, Chanyeol leaned against the edge of the door, looking down on the flustered, pissed off professional perfectionist. “Now, get out of here before I make you my breakfast, Baekhyun… I’ll see you soon enough.”