Title: Scattered Showers
Word Count: 3.1k
Summary: Baekhyun is self-centered, Yixing is sweet, can a chance encounter between them spell out sunny skies or will their forecast take a turn for the worse?
Notes: written for orange_unicorns
On Tuesday night, it rains like Niagra Falls and a tropical storm met, had a torrid affair, made sweet, passionate love and then produced a water-logged baby which, upon reaching an age of maturity and financial independance, relocated itself snugly between Baekhyun’s place of work and his humble abode and then proceeded to completely ruin any hopes Baekhyun had of a nice, dry commute. Wet does not even begin to describe the deluge of rainfall, overflowing gutters and exponentially-increasing puddles that is Baekhyun’s walk home. He’s soaked. Even his underwear is somehow sodden and squelching water into his asscrack.
It’s fucking miserable and the only thing keeping him from just giving up, diving in and trying to doggy-paddle his way to safety is the umbrella that he stole off Chanyeol’s desk while his co-worker and cubicle-mate was in the bathroom. He does not feel even the slightest bit guilty about this. Why would he? Chanyeol has no need for an umbrella. His nest of curly hair constantly looks like an array of hedgehogs is about to spill out from it and Baekhyun’s delicate, baby-fine strands need all the protection they can get from a stolen novelty umbrella. It was selfish of Chanyeol to keep it for himself, honestly.
The umbrella is Baekhyun’s solitary lifeline, his one buoy in a sea of rainwater and he clings to it desperately as he trods through the submerged streets on the way home. Each step makes him wetter and wetter and fuels his bitterness about the situation. This never would have happened if his hand model career took off! He could be on an island somewhere, right now, getting his hands oiled and photographed on a warm sandy beach, instead of huddling under Chanyeol’s shitty umbrella. He could have been living the dream! Losing himself in fantasies of hand pampering, day-drinking and beautiful sunny weather, he doesn’t even see the man shivering under the awning of a greengrocer until he practically falls on him, the wet smack of their bodies colliding swallowed up by the roar of rainfall.
Baekhyun backs up half a step, startled.
“Sorry,” the stranger says, soft and sweet, as he rests a thin hand on Baekhyun’s forearm to steady him, “Are you alright?”
Baekhyun rakes his eyes over the stranger. He is just as wet as Baekhyun, his white shirt now see-through and dark hair sluicing drops of water past sleepy eyes and pouting lips. The overall effect is strangely appealing - very cute with just a hint of vulnerability, like an adorable kitten getting his first bath. Except Baekhyun fucking hates cats.
Completely unprepared for a chance encounter with cute boy on the wettest day of the year, Baekhyun experiences some kind of small panic attack. His heart pounds and his right eye starts to spasm in a strange tic. For the first time in his life, he hopes the weather is bad enough that no one can see his face. Before he can get ahold of himself, his stupid, pretty hands betray him and hold out his ill-gotten umbrella in a silent offer.
Take me, I’m yours.
Let’s set the record straight right now: Byun Baekhyun is not a nice guy. And he’s okay with that. He’s better than okay, actually. Baekhyun delights in being a perfect shit to everyone he knows. He’s spent years carefully cultivating himself into a selfish, mocking, penny-pinching mean girl and damn it feels good. Offering a stranger (even a stranger whose nipples he can kind of make out through his now transparent shirt)
Frozen in shock at his own kind-hearted actions, Baekhyun stands still, filled with a chilling, bone-deep regret. Is it too late for him to swing the umbrella away, yell tricked! and continue his wet journey home? It surely must be too late by now, it feels like he’s been holding his hand out way longer than it should take someone to accept an umbrella. Moments tick by with only the sound of the rain as a distraction. Neither man moves from their position. Baekhyun’s eye spasm increases in both intensity and frequency. What the hell is going on here, why won’t this guy just take the damn umbrella? Baekhyun has gone out of his way to be nice to some tragically ill-prepared street person and his incredibly kind, nay, his benevolent offer is being rejected? This guy should be on his knees (now there’s a nice mental image that Baekhyun may or may not recall in his shower later tonight), thanking his savior, not blinking innocently at Baekhyun like they’re living in a terrible, cliche rom-com.
“I’ll be fine,” the stranger says, a small frown forming on his stupidly-good-looking face as he flicks his eyes over Baekhyun’s head, “Hurry up and go home before your nice hair gets wet.”
This seemingly innocuous comment causes Baekhyun’s blood to boil. Not only was his umbrella rejected, a very serious offense to Baekhyun’s ego, but now this guy is trying to pay him a compliment? Is this damp peasant trying to out nice-guy Byun Baekhyun? Uh-uh, bitch. Not on his fucking watch.
“No, I insist,” Baekhyun says, gritting his teeth and pushing the umbrella forward again. This guy is not going to get the upperhand on him. To seal the deal, Baekhyun tosses out his most winning smile. He knows for a fact that this particular smile looks like sunshine and is irresistible to mere mortals.
“No really,” the stranger says, “I’m alright.” He cracks a small smile in return and Baekhyun’s jaw drops. If his own skillful grin is like sunshine, then this stranger’s smile is sunshine dipped in honey and rolled around in rainbow sprinkles and then topped with a fucking dimple. Goddamn, this is one conniving bitch. But there’s no way in hell Baekhyun is going to back down. He’s a winner, damn it, and he’s not going to lose this competition.
“Just take it already!” Baekhyun barks angrily, shoving the umbrella into the shocked stranger’s hands. Before his magnanimous offer can be refused again, Baekhyun bolts, running away with the practiced speed of someone who spent the majority of his youth avoiding his comeuppance. As he jogs off, splashing in puddles and feeling the rain completely ruin his hair, a strange sense of lightheartedness comes over him, warming him from the tips of his toes to the ends of his traitorous fingers. A fiendish grin pulls across his face and he finds himself almost… happy as he continues his mad dash home. While he storms past a mother with a stroller, dousing her and her young child with a particularly well-placed puddle jump, he contemplates how good it feels to have emerged victorious in a vicious battle of one upmanship with a cute stranger. He might just have to try this “playing nice” routine more often.
The glow of victory is still brightening Baekhyun’s life in amazing ways throughout the next day. He feels the phantom warmth of the stranger’s hand in Chanyeol’s coffee as he adds salt instead of sugar and Baekhyun doesn’t say a word, he hears his melodic voice in the cry of someone in the next toilet stall who runs out of toilet paper while Baekhyun viciously flushes down half an unused roll, and he sees his face at the front desk, standing politely with the umbrella clutched carefully between long, thin fingers as he speaks with the receptionist there. Baekhyun blinks. Oh shit. That’s… not some strange fantasy Baekhyun is having - the man from last night is actually there! The receptionist points towards the cubicle Baekhyun and Chanyeol share and the formerly-wet (now gorgeous in a nice, dry shirt and slim cut pants) stranger turns towards him. Baekhyun has barely a moment to run his hands over his hair (still perfect, as always), before the man is there, leaning against the cubicle wall and holding out the umbrella sheepishly.
“Hi, Chanyeol?” he says, his voice cute and unsure, “I’m Yixing, from last night? Your umbrella had a “If lost, please return to” label on the handle, so I thought I would…. return it.”
For the second time in twenty-four hours, Baekhyun is frozen in shock. Does he look like the kind of person who loses so many of their belongings that he has to start labeling shit with his name and work address? Does he look like someone who would own a weirdly-expensive Rilakkuma umbrella? Does he look like someone named Chanyeol? Oh god, this is all turning out so badly. Why did his stupid, pretty hands give away Chanyeol’s umbrella to the one guy in the world
“The name is Baekhyun,” he says, ripping the umbrella from Yixing’s hands and throwing it onto Chanyeol’s desk. It clatters into a jar of pens and knocks a stack of papers onto the floor. “Chanyeol is… my dog’s name.”
“Oh, that’s… strange? But it’s great to meet you, Baekhyun,” Yixing says with a small smile, “It was so nice of you to loan me your umbrella last night.”
Nice? Nice?! Baekhyun is not nice! If he wrote a book about his life, it would be called Nasty Bitch and it would be a mother-fucking best-seller. How dare Yixing come into his place of work and spread around these false accusations of his niceness??
Unaware of Baekhyun’s internal struggles, Yixing continues, “I thought maybe I could repay your kindness, perhaps by taking you to lunch? My treat, of course.”
He looks at Baekhyun hopefully, his big brown eyes so soft and dewy that Baekhyun wants to hurl. Seriously, the look Yixing is giving him makes Baekhyun’s stomach feel all fluttery and twisty, like a thousand snakes or butterflies or some kind of horrible combination of the two are inside him and desperately trying to burst out. He does not feel very well at all. Yixing watches him carefully, his eyes searching. Baekhyun’s first instinct is to say no, chalk up another point for himself, and call it a day. But something holds him back. He hesitates, trying to think about the situation logically.
The thing is, accepting a free lunch is not something a nice person would do. Taking advantage of a stranger for complimentary food is a pretty dirtbag move, so Baekhyun should feel no qualms about saying yes to Yixing’s offer. He nods to himself, satisfied.
“Let’s do it,” Baekhyun says, standing up and grabbing his coat. Yixing grins at him and the snutterflies in Baekhyun’s stomach start doing cartwheels. How peculiar, Baekhyun thinks as he wraps an arm around Yixing’s waist and steers him towards the most expensive restaurant in the neighborhood.
Conniving bitch doesn’t even begin to describe Yixing’s over-the-top gentlemanly behavior during Baekhyun’s free meal. He opens doors, pulls out Baekhyun’s chair for him, and even flings sticky-sweet compliments about Baekhyun’s appearance, manners and healthy appetite for costly seafood at him. By the time Yixing walks him back to the office, Baekhyun is a firestorm of rage and disbelief. Yixing smiles at him, all disgusting sweetness and charm and begins to make his escape, like he thinks he’s just gonna buy Baekhyun’s lunch for him and walk away as the victor and therefore the better man? Don’t think so, bitch.
“Yixing wait,” Baekhyun says, taking hold of Yixing’s hand in his, “Do you want to do this again? Saturday night? My treat!” Baekhyun says with an exaggerated wink. Yixing’s face explodes into a smile. Seriously, it fucking explodes, there’s smile residue everywhere: it’s there in his creased eyes, tugging at the corners of his mouth, and digging a hole into his cheek for his dimple to rest in.
“Sounds great, I’ll text you later!”
“Sucker!” Baekhyun thinks victoriously, grabbing his phone to make a dinner reservation for Saturday while watching Yixing walk out of the office.
Dinner on Saturday leads to drinks on Monday and then a movie on Thursday and before Baekhyun knows it, it snowballs into seeing Yixing practically every day. He doesn’t know how to properly describe their relationship of burning hatred and constant one-upmanship (a meeting of worthy adversaries??), but Baekhyun finds winning against Yixing is strangely addictive and he can’t get enough of competing against him. He even adorns his desk with a framed picture of Yixing’s smiling face, so he can study his opponent and learn his battle strategies. He stares at it at least seven times per day.
Across the cubicle, Chanyeol sighs at him dramatically. “Can you stop making eyes at your boyfriend and get back to work, please?”
Baekhyun whips his head around to face Chanyeol, a look of confusion on his face. “Boyfriend? What boyfriend?”
“Um, Yixing? You know, the cute guy who brings you lunch every day? Walks you home in the evenings? Always touches you on the butt when he thinks nobody's looking, even though we all are totally looking…?”
“That’s not my boyfriend, that’s my mortal enemy!”
Chanyeol rolls his eyes and sighs, turning back to face his computer screen.
“Whatever dude, just get back to work,” he says dismissively.
But Baekhyun can’t get back to work. The idea wiggles around in his head, shitting all over any other thoughts he might have had. Most of them about his fabulous hair. That night, he brings it up to Yixing over dinner. The boyfriend thing, not his hair - Yixing already complimented his hair three times before even getting him out the door, that scheming bootlicker.
“Today Chanyeol called you my boyfriend,” Baekhyun says faux-casually while stealing shrimp from Yixing’s plate, “Can you believe that?”
He stuffs three shrimp into his mouth and laughs around them obnoxiously. Across the table, Yixing looks away, rubbing the edge of the tablecloth between his fingertips.
“Oh, um, is it too early to call you my boyfriend?” Yixing says, sliding a few more of his shrimp onto Baekhyun’s plate, “Because I kind of already told my mom and she wanted to meet you? But if it’s too soon for you, I can just let her know…”
His voice fades out and Baekhyun swallows the crustaceans in his mouth uncomfortably. Yixing looks at him, half nervous, half hopeful and Baekhyun’s stomach drops out from under him. Could it be possible that all this time, Yixing was just a genuinely nice guy and actually interested in Baekhyun? It was strange how they were always unfailingly polite to each other and how Yixing never rubbed his victories in Baekhyun’s face and yeah, he was kind of shocked that time they made out on Yixing’s couch for an hour and even more so the second and third time they did it, but it felt amazing and Baekhyun wasn’t really going to complain about it. But damn, seriously? They’re…. boyfriends? People who actually like each other? Dear god, Baekhyun had never considered the possibility. The shrimp falls into the sinking pit of his stomach.
Does he….does he like Yixing? He does think about the other man an awful lot. And his lips are really soft, almost pillowy. And Baekhyun’s heart starts beating a million times per minute any time Yixing looks at him or smiles at him or is anywhere within twenty feet of him. Baekhyun grabs a glass of wine and starts chugging it down while Yixing watches him, concerned. Like seriously, actually concerned and not just faking it so he seems like a nice guy. And the thing is, Baekhyun doesn’t want him to make that face anymore. He… actually…. wants Yixing to be happy.
Baekhyun slams his glass back down on the table and signals towards the waiter for a refill. Yixing smiles at him hesitantly and Baekhyun’s heart explodes in sunshine.
Oh fuck, he thinks, wishing there was a vat of wine he could dive into. Is this…. love?
The next day, after his hellacious hangover ends (seriously red wine, you are the devil), guilt begins to eat away at Baekhyun. He knows he’s a jerk. This is not an image he’s ever tried to shy away from. But he’s not a total fucking asshole, either. Yixing is kind and sweet and he doesn’t deserve to be shackled up to Baekhyun’s one-way train ride of bitchy rage and pettiness. Baekhyun needs to bite the bullet and end this. He has to tell him. Tonight.
The minutes of work tick by slowly, while Baekhyun watches the clock anxiously and frets over how to break Yixing’s heart. He tries to tell himself to just man-up already. He’s never had trouble hurting someone’s feelings before, he can surely do it again! Normally the anticipation of completely crushing someone’s spirits is enough to give Baekhyun kind of a stiffy, but this time around, he’s not looking forward to it at all.
The time for Yixing to pick him up from work finally arrives. Baekhyun’s hands begin to sweat as he spots Yixing by the door and he makes his way over to his desk.
“Hey handsome,” Yixing says with a smile, leaning down for a kiss.
“Yixing, wait,” Baekhyun says, sliding out of range, “I have something I need to tell you.”
Baekhyun can read concern in Yixing’s eyes but he can’t stop himself. He’s come this far, he has to finish his confession.
“I’m not nice!” he declares, finally ready to end this whole charade, “I’m a manbitch! I make people cry! I’m constantly sabotaging my deskmate, I write spoilers for popular TV shows on the internet without any warnings, I literally steal candy from babies! I took a lollipop from a child three days ago and I ate it and it was delicious!”
Yixing freezes, his mouth partially opened. The seconds slow down to a crawl. Baekhyun tries to swallow over the lump forming in his throat. It feels like eons have passed when Yixing finally speaks.
“Oh thank god!” he says, dropping down into Chanyeol’s empty chair and letting out a relieved breath, “This nice guy routine has been so fucking hard to maintain! You don’t know how many times I’ve had to hold myself back from making sarcastic comments or yelling at loud children in the streets. Seriously parents, manage your shitty kids!!”
Baekhyun stares at him in shock. His mouth hangs open uselessly.
“Close your mouth, you’ll catch flies that way,” Yixing says flippantly, “So what’s up, dinner or skip it and just head back to my place?”
“I…. I think I’m in love with you,” Baekhyun says, starry-eyed.
“Great, let’s go, bitch,” Yixing says, swiping Chanyeol’s umbrella off his desk and heading for the door. Baekhyun is only too happy to follow.