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section b through c

Title: section b through c
Author: onlysparrows
Fandom: EXO
Pairing: Baekhyun/Chanyeol
Length: 2628
Disclaimer: Total, complete fabrication.
Summary"They keep you here for your personality and customer service," their part-time coworker Kyungsoo once told him. "Though I have no idea why, because all you ever seem to do is creep everyone out and knock shit over." Chanyeol is pretty sure Kyungsoo just finds him adorable.

A/N: This is for the wonderful Marji, aka skies_breaking. A while back we got to talking about Baekyeol music store AU ideas and as a result she drew this amazing thing, and I wrote this. Hers is better. Sorry for this stupidity. Please go check out her art, it is fantastic!!



The amount of hatred Chanyeol felt to the record store's welcome mat was currently at around 97.8 percent.

This was an all-time high.

He knew the store in question like the back of his hand; he knew the exact location of Miles Davis, Green Day and Elvis Presley amongst the shelves, and the precise spot of carpet in the corner where he'd spilled his coffee that one time (he was the reason the owner had put a 'no food or drink' sign in the window. To be honest, he felt rather proud).

The stupid welcome mat always got the best of him, though, as he'd come to find yet again, his face flat against the carpet after a particularly dramatic and unflattering fall, gangly limbs sprawled out around him. His shoulder bag had flown off of his arm and was now spilling its contents out onto the floor somewhere in-between Bob Dylan and Dong Bang Shin Ki.

(It could be the fact that the laces of his barely-hanging-on Converse kept coming undone after his walk to work and tripping him, but his shoes were special, so he chose to believe that it was the mat's doing.)

A chair creaks from somewhere in the back of the room, followed by footsteps - one, two, three - and a hitch of breath.

"Don't you-"

He's cut off instantly by laughter, a good minute's worth, before a hand finally reaches down and motions for his. Chanyeol places his large hand into Jongdae's smaller one and lets himself be hauled up.

The other boy is still laughing when Chanyeol locates his glasses in the doorway and dusts them off before slipping them on. He huffs. "Have you no sympathy for your co-worker?"

Jongdae simply grins. "You used up your sympathy quota right around the fourth time you tripped over your own feet and landed face first onto the floor. Which hasn't been vacuumed in like two months, by the way." He readjusts a stack of jewel cases and turns to head around to the desk in the back of the room.

Chanyeol ignores the comment, brushing a dust bunny off of his sweater and bending down to reorganize his bag. He really should invest in one with a zipper.

He collects everything and hauls it back onto his shoulder, joining the other boy. This is how things usually go: Chanyeol arrives at the store at nine AM every morning, more or less (most of the time he's a little late), to find Jongdae already working and tanked up on 1.5 bottles of cola. Occasionally he'll trip over the Doormat Of Evil. Other times he'll shout 'I'm here!' enthusiastically and knock the coat rack down.

("They keep you here for your personality and customer service," their part-time coworker Kyungsoo once told him. "Though I have no idea why, because all you ever seem to do is creep everyone out and knock shit over." Chanyeol is pretty sure Kyungsoo just finds him adorable.)

Jongdae mans the cash register until Chanyeol arrives and takes over, and then he switches to shop assistant duty. It's safer for all parties involved, they discovered, that Chanyeol not be around the stock.

"You know," the younger of the two begins, wagging his half-empty soda bottle at Chanyeol in proclamation, "the first time I saw you, you were all meek and quiet and I thought you'd be kind of elegant." He laughs. "I was wrong, Chanyeol. Deeply, horribly wrong."

If Chanyeol's look of displeasure is rude, he's not that concerned.

"Don't you have a bookshelf to dust or something?"

-----------------------


Tuesday's a slow day, which isn't good for business but is fantastic for his Words With Friends high scores page. Eventually Jongdae figures there's nothing else left out of place in the CD racks to organize and pulls out his iPhone to join. Chanyeol beats him four times out of five and feels vindicated for being laughed at earlier.

The tiny bells over the door jingle right around the time they're figuring out where to go for lunch. A young guy dressed in all blue is standing in the doorway, looking a little lost but mostly determined. After a moment of looking around the store, he takes a step inside and heads directly for the 'S' section.

Jongdae's still studying the sandwich menu, so Chanyeol stands up from the wheelie chair behind the desk to greet the newcomer instead.

"Can I help you find someth-" He drifts off when the customer plucks a CD from the rack he's flicking through and holds it up with a triumphant little wiggle.

"Found it," he calls cheerfully. He heads to the front desk and sets the CD down (SNSD's latest EP) before reaching into the pocket of his blazer for his wallet.

Chanyeol stares at the guy for a moment. Or perhaps an eon. He's not entirely sure in retrospect.

It's just that the guy is really cute. He has kind of perfect hair, and skin, and he has this really pretty little puppy smile with beautifully straight teeth and, oh, damn, he's staring. He's staring at Cute Guy.

Cute Guy notices and sort of gapes back after a moment of looking over his shoulder as if the object of Chanyeol's creepiness is somewhere behind him and not, well, him. Jongdae's looked up from his menu and is gaping now, too, but for the most part he looks like Christmas came early.

Chanyeol blinks frantically, shaking himself out of his reverie. "Uhh, that'll be fifteen thousand won-" he starts, at the precise moment Cute Guy says, "why are you staring at my face?"

Jongdae actually starts cackling, the jerk. If Chanyeol could die from a mix of rage and mortification, he'd already be ten feet under.

"Sorry," he mutters. "I wasn't?" Realizing the denial tactic isn't going to do him any favors, he flushes red and stares at Taeyeon's face on the cover of the EP. "I like your hair," he mumbles quickly. Jongdae sputters with laughter, and Chanyeol attempts to elbow him in his side, but the movement really just turns into a flaily limb spasm of fail.

When Chanyeol finally looks up, he sees Cute Guy seems to be somewhere in-between freaked out and flattered. "Thanks?" he offers. "I like your glasses?" He pulls a credit card from his wallet and hands it over.

Chanyeol shrugs a shoulder shyly as he zips the plastic through the machine. "They're new. I got them with a coupon and saved twelve percent."

"That's great, Chanyeol, just keep going."

"Jongdae, could you perhaps not?"

Chanyeol rips the receipt from the printer as soon as it's ready, and hands it and the card back to Cute Guy - Baekhyun, he observes on the card -  who signs along the line with one of the plastic flower-topped pens that sit in the cup by the register.

"I don't need a bag," he says, slipping his wallet back into his pocket and picking up the CD. "Thanks, have a good day." With one more pleasant smile, he slips through the door. Chanyeol watches him walk past through the shop window outside, sparing a half-glance back before he disappears.

Jongdae begins collecting his bag from the hook on the wall. "You are a gift," he says, and pats Chanyeol soothingly on the back where he's draped himself over the desk, smacking his forehead pitifully against the fake wood.

-----------------------


To the complete surprise of possibly the entirety of East Asia, Baekhyun actually returns at around the same time the very next day, whilst Jongdae has gone out to get lunch.

Chanyeol lurches out of his chair the moment Baekhyun slips inside. "You're back!" he cries. The other boy looks like he can't quite believe it himself.

"Yeah," he replies, heading back to the rack he was at just the day before. "I didn't get the photocard I wanted, so here I am again." Chanyeol notices how he's standing over the SNSD CDs and wiggling his fingers as if he's casting a spell over the records. He does this for about two full minutes, as if this ritual will help him get the photocard he wants, before finally choosing one and bringing it up to the register.

"Not to be rude," Chanyeol drags, "but why are you here? Because I thought I probably scarred you for life earlier."

"You did," Baekhyun says, but he's smiling. After a moment he shrugs noncommittally. "All the other stores are closed. It's Sunday."

"Oh."

Chanyeol reaches out to take Baekhyun's credit card but pauses. "Wait, open the CD first."

"Sorry?"

He sighs. Why does nobody just listen? "Open it first so you can make sure you get the card you want before you have to pay."

Baekhyun looks taken aback. "What? Why would you do that?"

"Because I want to make it up to you for before, okay? I feel bad. Can you just-"

He's cut off as Baekhyun rolls his eyes, then leans over the desk and swipes his card through the machine. Chanyeol stares, stunned, as the other boy enters his pin number. This is probably against store policy, he realizes, but all he can do is just stand there and gape.

The printer churns to life as it spits out Baekhyun's reciept, who promptly rips the paper off at the end.

"What-" Chanyeol begins, but now Baekhyun is tearing into the clear wrap of his album with determination. He shoves the plastic into the pocket of his jacket before opening the case, a grin blooming on his face.

He holds up a little slip of cardboard. "Tiffany, my favorite. See? You didn't have to do that, I would have gotten my favorite anyway."

Chanyeol would really appreciate it if the ground would swallow him up so that he'd never be seen again by humans. Especially cute ones with eyeliner and So Nyeo Shi Dae obsessions like Baekhyun.

"I just made myself look even dumber, didn't I?" he says, wrinkling his nose.

Baekhyun tucks the photocard back into the album booklet. "Don't worry about it. Thanks, okay? That was nice of you."

This time when Baekhyun leaves, he turns around to ask Chanyeol quickly, "what's your name, by the way?" and he looks back through the shop window as he walks past, only this time he's still smiling, brightly.

-----------------------


The following Wednesday, Kyungsoo takes Chanyeol's morning shift as penance for laughing too hard at his recount of the events with Baekhyun and knocking half a shelf's worth of Muse CDs onto the floor (that Chanyeol had just finished neatly organizing not an hour earlier).

Chanyeol uses the opportunity to buy cake.

Though he's 20, he still lives at home, and if he had to guess, he'd say that his light amount of income from the store was split mostly between video games, clothes and food. Food that he picks out is a luxury (one can only stand so much of his mother's seaweed soup after two decades), so he allows himself to be immature and spend most of his food allowance in the pastry shop by the subway.

It's a pretty long line, surprising as he rarely comes here in the mornings due to his schedule. Usually he shows up around six in the evening, when the sky is starting to dissolve from blue into murky violet and the baristas are doing their mandatory sweep-up around the legs of the wooden tables that freckle the shop. By that time the sesame buns in the display case aren't far from starting their descent into 'stale' territory but he loves them all the same.

The ambiance has always been nice, and it's even better in the busy mornings. Chanyeol takes his place in line, looking eagerly over the shoulders of the people in front of him to see what sort of drinks are on the specials menu today.

People curve away from the line gradually,until eventually it's just him and the person directly in front. The guy steps up to the counter, bowing a little to the girl at the register.

"Good morning. Can I get a half-dozen powdered donuts, please?"

Chanyeol starts at the voice then sneakily and quietly shuffles a little bit closer. The guy turns his head just slightly, and Chanyeol reflexively spins back around instantly. Of course. Out of all the pastry shops in the city, he had to run into Baekhyun here.

From his place trying to look inconspicuous (or, as inconspicuous as a six-foot person can be in the middle of a pastry store at nine in the morning) with his back turned to the register, he hears Baekhyun thank the shopgirl, and moments later the other boy passes by, a large white takeaway box in his hands. He's almost to the door when the wallet he has perched on top of the box slips off the edge, falling to the floor with a quiet thump.

The other boy doesn't seem to notice, and without stopping to think, Chanyeol gives up his place in line and springs forward to collect the wallet, calling as he does so, "Baekhyun-ah, wait!"

The other boy turns around, eyes widening when he sees Chanyeol standing back up, sheepish smile on his face. "You dropped this," he says, and takes a tentative step forward, placing the wallet gently back on top of the box.

Baekhyun blinks once, twice, then says, "Chanyeol. Why aren't you at work?"

Having expected Baekhyun to just make an excuse and leave, Chanyeol is a little taken aback, though pleased all the same. He smiles. "I had the morning off. Look-"

"-Chanyeol."

The younger boy trails off. The two stand there awkwardly for a moment, unsure, before Baekhyun seems to take the silence as a cue to continue and he does.

"I really do like your glasses, you know." Well that wasn't exactly what Chanyeol expected to hear. He pushes said glasses up his nose subconsciously. Baekhyun's expression is soft, earnest, and suddenly they both begin to speak at the same time again.

"Hey, listen, I don't work on Tuesdays or Thursday afternoons. If you wa-"

"-great! Are you free this Thursday?"

"-nted to avoid my stupidity you should come back on those- excuse me?"

Baekhyun's just smiling at him, still. That perfect, cute smile.

"Excuse me?" Chanyeol repeats. He's having trouble finding words aside from those.

Baekhyun sighs and readjusts the box of donuts in his arms. "Actually, are you free now? I thought you were really cute that first time, even though you're beating yourself up for it. Then the other day when you were going to let me open the CD before paying it just so I could have the card I wanted…." he shuffles his feet a little, smiling softly. "I don't know. I thought it was sweet. You like me, right? I actually came here to bring you something at work to say thanks, hence the insane caloric count I hold within this box here."

Chanyeol's lost his spot in line, he's hungry, and it's probably going to rain later on in the day. But not one bit of those things matters because Baekhyun likes him, actually likes him back.

"Baekhyun, to say I like you would be like saying I like cake."

The other boy raises an eyebrow. Chanyeol grins, big and completely, utterly carefree.

"I like cake a lot."

-----------------------


When Baekhyun starts hanging out at the store from that point on, neither Jongdae nor Kyungsoo ever comment on it. They're kind of cute, the way they sit by themselves, thin headphone wires split between them, fingers just inches away from tangling.

Besides, Chanyeol hasn't knocked anything over in weeks, and who are they to disturb his good luck charm?













'section b through c' as in ' baekhyun and chanyeol'


Tags: baekhyun, baekhyun/chanyeol, chanyeol, exo
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