Title: Like Butter (for Bing)
Word Count: 417
A lot of things come easy to Kris Wu, and understandably so, for a man who is smart, tall, and good-looking.
Moving to a different country is easy. Learning English, getting used to the new shades of skin and ways of life, that's easy. Making the school basketball team is easy. Getting into his girlfriend's pants on prom night is infinitesimally easy.
So when he gets offered to train with one of South Korea's biggest entertainment companies, Kris is surprised, because that seems way too easy. And so it begins all over again, the new language and the tall sky scrapers of Seoul. Kris charms his way into advanced trainee classes, into private dance sessions with the instructors. And when Kris finds himself suddenly friends with a boy who grins, loose and lopsided, he's relieved.
Friendship with Chanyeol is easy, Kris thinks, because Chanyeol is so very giving of himself, always so generous with his heart and belongings. Kris shares headphones and Pocari Sweat and instant noodles with Chanyeol, and it's light hearted and uncomplicated enough that he doesn't dwell on how Chanyeol's legs are five miles long or how his smile burns bright on the backs of his eyelids.
Yes, friendship with Chanyeol is easy; loving him is not. Watching Chanyeol walk around in a shirt stolen from his own closet is difficult. He can't explain why his throat constricts just so when their arms brush. He doesn't know what it means when he and Chanyeol share bedsheets, share airspace, share a bit too much of their own skin and heartbeats for Kris to call this easy.
Chanyeol wraps his fingers around his wrist at Disneyland and tugs him along, happy and excited, and Kris thinks it's easier to just allow Chanyeol to drag him all over this damn park instead of resisting. Kris will let Chanyeol be difficult later, will let the unsettling feeling in his gut overwhelm him when he's mouthing along the collar of Chanyeol's shirt. Kris doesn't understand it, how Chanyeol enters so easily into his life, yet slips away like butter.
And Kris could very well stand back and let it pass, but just this once, Kris decides to not take the easy way out.
Title: Into Silk (for Megan)
"Jongin, it's three in the morning," Baekhyun's sleepy voice crackles through the speaker.
Jongin presses his cell phone tight to his cheek, butterflies wild and frantic in his chest. "Hyung, can you come to our room?"
"…. Are you serious?"
Jongin hears Baekhyun sigh and hang up. The sound of sock feet echoes through their hall until the door of his room swings open and Baekhyun is standing there in soccer shorts and a loose tank.
"What do you want?" Baekhyun sounds tired but resigned, and his hair sticks up in the back.
Jongin sits up in his head, and glances at the space his roommate usually occupies. Kyungsoo is home visiting family, and he's not sure if he can take being alone right now. "I can't sleep."
Baekhyun squints through the dark. "Kyungsoo not here to occupy you?"
"It's not like that," Jongin says sharply.
"Then what?" Baekhyun sounds annoyed now.
Jongin plays with the edge of his sheets. "Can you sing me a song?"
A thick, awkward silence stretches between them. "Right now?" Baekhyun asks, hesitant.
"It doesn't have to be long," Jongin says quickly, feeling embarrassed. "It can just be one of our songs or whatever."
With an exasperated heave of his shoulders, Baekhyun settles himself onto Jongin's bedspread. "You are so demanding," he mumbles, then launches quietly into the chorus of Angel.
Jongin thinks that Baekhyun is exceedingly lovely like this, eyes closed and voice a breathy stream of melodic lyrics. Jongin lies back into his pillows, biting his lip, and lets the older boy's singing lull him into drowsiness.
And somewhere in between sleep and awake, Jongin thinks he might have felt gentle fingers card through his hair but he's not entirely sure.
The next morning, Baekhyun gives him a soft smile over his cereal, and Jongin feels the flutter in his stomach again. He remembers sweet melodies and phantom fingers in his hair, and yearns.
Because, sometimes, Jongin is a little bit selfish for wanting all of that to himself.
Lu Han turns around carefully. "You found me," he echoes.
Yixing takes a careful step, mindful of his dress shirt and polished shoes, and furrows his eyebrows. Lu Han is standing near the tinted window of his upstairs parlor, the one that gives a full view into the ballroom below. From up here, the playful chatter of the guests is soft and muffled, and the lights from the chandeliers cast flickering shadows onto Lu Han's face. Yixing thinks he looks exceptionally lonely.
"You're missing your party," he says quietly.
Lu Han laughs low in his throat. "I'm not missing anything."
Yixing smiles wryly. "Oh yeah? Half of the people in West Egg think you don't exist, Lu. Everyone down there thinks you're just a legend, just a name fabricated to bring people to this mansion."
Lu Han peers down into the ballroom, where small glasses of absinthe are being passed around. "Well, they're right, aren't they? Mr. Gatsby isn't real, after all."
Yixing steps up beside him, and watches as Jongin gropes Kyungsoo's leg under the table, lips pressed tight and intimate to his ear. "This isn't healthy. You keep throwing away money on useless parties when you can be doing other things with your time."
Lu Han closes his eyes and rests his forehead on the glass. "You don't get it, Yixing. I just want to feel alive, even if for a few hours."
Yixing bites his lip. "You can do that without the alcohol and the cigarettes. You're just wasting your time."
Lu Han faces him directly, eyes and lips schooled into a calm indifference, but Yixing knows how tired he really is. "It's not a waste of time," he says, and reaches down to take his hand.
Yixing stares at their laced fingers. "Why's that?"
Lu Han smiles wanly, and squeezes. "Because it works. You're here, aren't you?"
When Yixing doesn't answer, Lu Han reaches behind him and pulls out two flutes of champagne, shimmering and golden, and places one in Yixing's hand.
He takes it without protesting, staring into the bubbles. "Who are we toasting to?"
"Anything, really," Lu Han says quietly. "To you. To me. To us."
"To Mr. Gatsby," Yixing says.
Lu Han's lips quirk upwards. "The shoes I never want to fill, ever."
Yixing grins and swirls his glass. "I'll drink to that."
Since they were trainees, Joonmyun has felt an obligation to take care of them, to be the parent figure they were all so lacking. He’s scared, sometimes, that he won't be able to keep it up. They all look to Joonmyun with such reverence and respect that he has no choice but to stand up for them, to survive the blows that rain down and to answer the questions none of them have answers for. Joonmyun is like that, has spent seven desperate years practicing for this very moment. He will be their steadfast rock in a sea of frustration, a sponge to be squeezed and to absorb.
Joonmyun never complains, because he loves his members and he knows his place. And yet, he notices pieces of himself being slowly chipped away. He doesn't know what he'll do when he cracks.
And Wu Fan likes to pretend that Joonmyun is fine, that he can't tell that Joonmyun is slowly wasting away. Wu Fan isn't stupid. He can see it when he looks at him, the circles under his eyes, the slightest quiver of his mouth, the momentary flash of exhaustion on his face when they Skype from over five hundred miles away. Wu Fan wants so badly to help him, to be even the smallest amount of relief, but it's a futile effort and he knows it. Joonmyun will never ask for anything (maybe this is something he learned over those seven painful years), so Wu Fan never offers. He stands back and lets EXO-K's leader go about his ways. Acting like he doesn't know any better.
Wishing that he actually didn't.
When Baekhyun pushes the door to their bathroom open, he does not mean to walk in on one of the M members with eyeliner smudged over half his face.
Lu Han turns around and smiles, holding a makeup remover wipe. "Oh, sorry! Taozi is taking a really long time in our bathroom so I came here."
"That's okay," Baekhyun says critically, eyeing the gray smear along Lu Han's cheekbones. "You're really bad at taking makeup off, hyung."
Lu Han laughs, bright like bells. "I don't know Baekhyun, whoever invented waterproof mascara should probably be slapped."
Baekhyun grins and takes the wipe from the older boy. "Here," he says, tilting Lu Han's chin down, and presses the damp cloth to his quivering eyelids. "You have to hold it for a bit, so the makeup loosens up."
"Duizhang usually does this for me," Lu Han admits from behind the white fabric, sounding slightly embarrassed. "But I guess he's busy right now."
"That's okay," Baekhyun says, and slides the wipe along Lu Han's lashes. The eyeliner comes off easily.
"Wow," Lu Han says, examining his clean face in the mirror. "You're pretty good at this."
Baekhyun smiles sheepishly and shrugs. "The makeup noonas love to put lots of eyeliner on me, so I had to learn how to take it off."
"Maybe you should be in charge of removing my makeup," Lu Han teases before brushing past him into the hall.
Baekhyun isn't surprised when Lu Han shows up again with a questionable amount of blush in two hours. Instead, he just reaches for his face cleanser with a grin and accepts the fact that their second oldest will always get his way.
THIS STARTED OUT AS ME WORKING ON EXO SHIPPING CHALLENGE
BUT IT QUICKLY EVOLVED INTO GIFTFIC OTL
i hope i did all your ships right ;~; <3 ily guys~~~~