SM Trainee Park Chanyeol carries music sheets, pages and pages of black and white grids with notes that he might one day sing, words he might rap. He carries pictures of his parents in his wallet, and the elation he hopes he'll bring them. Chanyeol carries plastic files in his backpack, not knowing that they will soon house the many contracts SM will have him sign. He carries old homework assignments, car magazines, photocopies of SHINee's album jackets. When he's feeling down about himself, Chanyeol will pull it out and stare at Taemin's determined looking face and convince himself that if a boy younger than him made it, so could he.
He carries M&Ms and potato chips and Chilsung Cider, snacks bought from secret 2AM trysts with other trainees. He carries these specifically because they're not allowed to eat them, so he pops the bag open when no one is looking and eats them indulgently, one by one.
Chanyeol carries energy drinks for nights when he gets only two hours of sleep. In the morning, the circles under his eyes will echo the way Chanyeol carries his body through the haze of Seoul—tired, stiff, and aching.
Most of the things he carries have a proper function. The phone in his back pocket, a T-money card for the subway, headphones for his MP3 player. Chanyeol carries other things too, things that have no significant value. Things like receipts he'll never look at again, glass pebbles from the bottom of an empty fishbowl, candy wrappers that he forgets to throw away.
Chanyeol carries secrets. He carries fears that go largely unfounded, dreams that he prays will never shatter, and an undying sense of optimism that his dad said had come from his mother. He carries himself with a sense of hushed dignity, though this, he learns, is something they all carry. Through the hustle and shuffle of dejected teenage bodies that pour from the gleaming doors of SM Entertainment, Chanyeol thinks that it's because there needs to be something that will carry them onwards, forwards.
The others carry things just as he does, some familiar and some completely foreign, but Chanyeol thinks he gets it.
Jongin carries, around his wrist, the bracelet his parents gave him. Kyungsoo carries six oatmeal bars in his jacket pockets, ready to hand out to whoever says he's hungry. Sehun, on the other hand, carries too much gum.
Yixing carries around his Chinese passport, claiming the red covers alleviate his homesickness. Wufan snorts and calls him stupid, but Chanyeol knows that Wufan has Canadian dollars stuck somewhere in between the pages of his notebook.
Chanyeol doesn't blame him one tiny bit.
Byun Baekhyun shows up one day in 2011 carrying a backpack so huge Chanyeol thinks it might swallow him. Baekhyun has small, dainty feet and feminine hands and a smile that reaches up into his eyes.
Chanyeol carries this image of Baekhyun with him forever.
The company herds them all into an office one hot night and Lee Soo Man walks in with twelve black binders. He looks tired, the way all of them feel, and says in a grave voice that things will steadily become busier. Now that they're officially going to debut, he will need to see major change, and he'll need to see it fast.
Despite the ominous words, Chanyeol glances at the rest of them, and it finally hits home that these are his group mates, his band members. Strange as it is to be thrust into a group with eleven more heads, thoughts, ideas, Chanyeol finds that he likes it. He relishes the thought of being part of a family, of joining a tradition that will require them to, unwaveringly, carry each other.
As this truth seeps comfortably into his bones, Chanyeol feels a soft touch to his wrist. He cranes his head and sees Baekhyun beaming up at him, radiant and excited, and Chanyeol can't help the smile he offers back.
Baekhyun, they all discover, is a force to be reckoned with. Baekhyun's infectious grin makes them laugh during exhausting practices, his small body pressing up against everyone and anyone, and Chanyeol loses a piece of his heart to the way Baekhyun's hair sticks up after dancing.
They attempt rehearsing without a vocal backing trap for the first time, and it's Baekhyun's silky tenor that guides them through an otherwise trainwreck of a performance. Baekhyun's position is Lead Vocal for a reason, and his lovely, dulcet voice carries the chorus of History when the rest of them are too tired to barely dance, let alone sing.
Chanyeol thinks that Baekhyun carries him in another way, that somehow, amidst the flurry of teaser shoots and photo spreads, Baekhyun might have carried away his heart.
Their first kiss is in between takes for the MAMA music video. Baekhyun is dressed all in black, eyeliner artfully smudged and hair in his eyes. Chanyeol is wearing the stupid arm prop the coordis gave him, but Baekhyun looks perfect, looks beautiful, so Chanyeol drags him behind the set and presses their mouths together.
Baekhyun's eyes are bright and wide when he pulls away, and Chanyeol stares at floor pointedly.
"Is this okay?" he asks.
Baekhyun's face breaks out into a dazzling smile. He winds his skinny arms around Chanyeol's shoulders and breathes, "Yes."
They carry their relationship tucked away inside of themselves, secrets no one else can know, and it burns hot like fire in Chanyeol's chest.
Baekhyun is small, which makes it easy for Chanyeol to heave him up over his shoulder, ignoring his delighted protests, and dump him playfully in Jongin's bedroom. Baekhyun doesn't weigh very much. Chanyeol likes carrying him like this.
There are times, though, when Baekhyun sits heavy, hitched over Chanyeol's waist as he fucks himself frantically on Chanyeol's cock. Baekhyun's voice is still beautiful when he cries out, high and pitched and about to come. Chanyeol presses his fingers tight to Baekhyun's hipbones and realizes that this weight is a little different. The weight of things like this is so much more substantial.
Baekhyun's head suddenly dips and he tenses up, body squeezing and contracting around him, and Chanyeol lets his head fall back into the pillows as he's hit with wave after shuddering wave of ecstasy.
When it's hours later and they're both still lying, tangled up in Chanyeol's sheets, he looks down at Baekhyun curled up into his side. Baekhyun looks happy when he sleeps. Chanyeol thinks this is something he can wake up to for the rest of his life.
It's approaching debut, and people are starting to crack. Zitao has broken a mirror for the second time, and Joonmyun looks constantly on the verge of a mental breakdown. Instructors are beginning to work them harder, criticisms and remarks growing ever more sharp and biting.
Chanyeol catches Baekhyun crying after a particularly grueling vocal lesson. Baekhyun looks up at him tearfully and Chanyeol takes him into his arms and lets him cry into his shoulder.
Chanyeol has never been good with comfort, but Baekhyun is all wet eyes and heartbreak and trust, so Chanyeol tightens his fingers in Baekhyun's hair and carries him for this little while. He has a feeling this won't be the last time.
When EXO-K wins the 2012 Rookie of the Year award, Chanyeol is overwhelmed—relief, excitement, expectation building up in his chest and all he can do is let out a resounding whoop and tug his band mates into tight hugs while streamers rain down around them, glittering and bright.
Kyungsoo is crying, but Chanyeol just laughs, swipes at under his eyes and pushes him into Jongin. Chanyeol feels a pair of slender arms go around his waist and a weird sensation of tightening and pressure and he turns around to see Baekhyun. He has confetti in his hair and a funny expression on his face.
"What are you doing?" Chanyeol shouts over the screams of their fans, because Baekhyun had definitely been trying to do something, he's just not sure what. But Baekhyun just smiles and god he is stunning, and the stage lights are bright and flashing around him, illuminating his face and casting him into a glow.
Baekhyun wraps around him again, beaming up at him, and Chanyeol feels lighter than air.
HI MEGAN I HOPE YOU LIKE OK.
felt like writing some breakfast couple. i actually really like how this turned out <:
if you liked this, i would appreciate a fic rec on tumblr~ thanks for stopping by!