His eyes had widened significantly, a feat Baekhyun didn't know was possible.
"Wow, really Baekhyunnie?" His voice had taken on the sort of reverent tone usually saved for church. "To Beijing? As in China?!"
"Yeah, but only if we get #1," Baekhyun tried to explain, but Chanyeol was already busy staring dreamily off into space, no doubt imagining the giant amusement park that would be Beijing. Baekhyun frowned. Was he really buying it? "You can't go around telling the other members, Yeol-ah, not even Kris-hyung or the others. It's supposed to be a secret."
Chanyeol broke free of his reverie and gave Baekhyun an bright, earnest smile, and he suddenly felt his guilt multiply tenfold.
"Don't worry, Baekhyunnie! I won't tell anyone," he quipped. "I'll try my best so we can go to China! You too, okay?"
"Y-yeah, sure." Baekhyun could only watch in amusement as his bandmate skipped cheerily off to their room.
The next few days, all the other members had a hard time dealing with Chanyeol's sudden new intensity during practice.
"Come on, you guys," he would plead breathlessly, his forehead and neck glistening with sweat. "Let's just go through it one more time."
"Hyung, we already did it six times," Jongin would snap. Baekhyun didn't blame him; his waist injury had put him on edge constantly, and every little thing would set him off.
Then Chanyeol would turn around to face Jongin, his eyes painfully bright and honest and god, Baekhyun was a terrible person. "Don't you want to win first place, Jonginnie?"
"Technically," Kyungsoo would begin dubiously from his place on the floor, "First place would probably go to SHINee-hyungs or CN.BLUE-hyungs—"
"Oh come on," Chanyeol would practically whine, dancing up and down on the spot. "Just one more time couldn't hurt, right Baekhyunnie?"
Chanyeol's eyebrows were furrowed, bottom lip caught in between his teeth. Baekhyun could see just how close he was to bursting out about China, the reward that didn't exist, and his intense burning guilt forced him to say, "One more time wouldn't hurt," if only to see Chanyeol's face light up like that.
Jongin sighed and uttered a low, "Whatever," while Kyungsoo scratched his head sheepishly.
Joonmyun cleared his throat uneasily and fiddled with the stereo. "From the top, then?"
"I think I did something bad," Baekhyun mumbled into his webcam sometime later that night.
"Without me?!" came Tao's mock offended voice from the other side of his screen. "Hyung, you're not supposed to be naughty when I'm not there!"
"I'm serious, Tao-yah, I think I messed up," Baekhyun said gloomily, and Tao's face lost some of its grin.
"What'd you do, hyung?"
"I told Chanyeollie that we'd go to Beijing if we won Music Bank."
"What?! Seriously? You guys are gonna come here?"
"No, we're not," he groaned. "Manager-hyung took me aside a couple of days ago and asked me to say something to Chanyeol to 'improve his performance,' and you know how sensitive Yeol gets about… those kind of things…" Tao nodded in agreement.
"So I thought if I pretended we'd go to China, it would help," Baekhyun finished lamely.
Tao's face looked tired in the light of their Beijing dorm as Baekhyun watched him shake his head.
"Wow, hyung. I don't know what to say. Maybe you should tell him you were kidding?"
"If I tell him that, he'd be crushed, and then for sure his performance wouldn't get better," Baekhyun protested.
EXO-M's youngest shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know what to tell you, hyung."
Baekhyun was about to complain some more but then Tao was suddenly pushed out of the screen and was replaced by Jongdae's grinning face, clearly delighted to see a native Korean speaker again, and Baekhyun forced himself to not think about it anymore.
When SHINee won Music Bank with "Sherlock," Chanyeol's behavior on stage had been no different. His face had spread wide with his signature grin, laughing and hugging their sunbaes and congratulating them for their victory. Baekhyun had laughed too, accepting the hug that Jonghyun draped all over him and got confetti in his mouth several times.
As they left the venue though, Chanyeol grew quieter and quieter on the car ride home, and soon he only thing audible was Kyungsoo's gleeful fanboy-ing over SHINee's performance.
"I knew that SHINee-hyungs were gonna win," he was saying excitedly, his round eyes shining, "I mean, CN.BLUE-hyungs are good too, but SHINee-hyungs are just so awesome and—"
"Okay, hyung, we get it, you're a hardcore Shawol," Jongin said smirking from his seat in between Baekhyun and Chanyeol, and Kyungsoo had shut up, blushing.
Baekhyun cast an uneasy glance over at Chanyeol's silent figure, staring outside at the passing lights, and felt a sinking feeling in his stomach.
Baekhyun woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of someone crying. Blinking blearily in the darkness, he saw two figures sitting on Chanyeol's bed, one with his arm around the other's shoulders. In the quiet of the room, Baekhyun heard Chanyeol sniffling and Joonmyun's calm whispers.
"I know you really wanted to win, Chanyeollie," he was saying. "But we've just started out. It's not your fault, you know. We'll have plenty of chances to win."
"B-but," Chanyeol hiccuped quietly, "You don't understand, hyung. I really, really wanted to g-go—" and he broke into silent sobs again.
Joonmyun's confusion was almost audible when he asked, "Go where, Chanyeollie?"
And Baekhyun pointedly kept quiet, watching their leader grapple with this for a moment.
"Chanyeol-ah, who told you that?"
At this point, Joonmyun turned around to glance at Baekhyun's bed, and met his eyes in the dim light. Baekhyun tensed up, preparing to be scolded, but Joonmyun said nothing and turned back to his bandmate.
The burning sensation in his stomach had reached his face now, and Baekhyun sank guiltily back into his blankets, wishing he could just hiding under them forever.
The last things he remembered hearing were Chanyeol's shaky breathing and the low, soothing voice of their hyung, lulling him to sleep.
If the excited shriek hadn't been enough, what really woke him up was the sudden and very unwelcome extra weight jumping on top of him. Baekhyun gave a strangled yell and nearly fell out of his bed, only to be caught in the endless tangle of Chanyeol's limbs.
"OW—Yeol-ah—what the hell—"
"WE'RE GOING TO BEIJING, BAEKHYUNNIE," Chanyeol screamed in his face, legs dangling off each side of his bed.
"Seriously, get off me—wait what?" Baekhyun blinked up at the excited creature sitting on his chest, Chesire cat's grin too wide for his face.
"Beijing, Baekkie! As in China!" exclaimed his roommate happily, bouncing slightly on him.
Baekhyun stared, dumbstruck, up at him. "Beijing? Really? When?" How could this possibly be true?
Chanyeol looked up at their ceiling and shrugged. "Dunno. Suho-hyung told me we could be scheduled for a vacation there after our promotions. So soonish? Maybe?"
Suddenly, Joonmyun appeared in the doorway of their room, catching Baekhyun's eye and winking.
Jongin came up behind him, shirtless and clearly still half asleep. "What's all this racket about Beijing?" he yawned, and stretched.
"Oh god, hyung, be decent and put a shirt on," said Sehun as he passed, talking on his cell phone.
"Tell Luhan I said hi!" Jongin yelled after him.
"Hyung, are we really going to Beijing?" asked Kyungsoo, who also wandered into the room.
Joonmyun smiled secretively. "We'll see, but it's a good possibility," he said, guiding Kyungsoo into the kitchen.
Chanyeol made a sound of delight and fell forwards into Baekhyun's shoulder. "Ahhh, China! I'm so excited, Baekhyunnie!" he said happily, squirming his way under Baekhyun's blankets. "Tasty food, cute girls, our brothers!"
Baekhyun couldn't help but laugh and scoot to make room. Chanyeol was still in his pajamas, eyes bright and hair all over the place, looking for all the world like it was simultaneously his birthday and Christmas morning.
In about five minutes Chanyeol was asleep again, snoring loudly into Baekhyun's pillow and Joonmyun re-appeared in their doorway.
Baekhyun smiled gratefully at him over the mess that was Chanyeol's hair and said, "Thank for you not telling."
Their leader shook his head, also smiling. "Next time you want to plan your own vacation to China, make sure it's not at the emotional expense of someone, okay?"
Baekhyun nodded sleepily and took Chanyeol's hands under the covers.
Then he, too, went back to sleep.