carrisauce (pleaseuu) wrote in chanteol,
carrisauce
pleaseuu
chanteol

A Whole New World

title: A Whole New World
rating: pg-13
pairing: kim jongdae & byun baekhyun
length: ~3500w
disclaimer: i do not own anything but the plot.
summary: jongdae and baekhyun has to take care of baekhyun's four year old niece while her parents go away on a week-long trip. many things don't go as planned.
a/n: originally posted on chenpionships for sardothien!!! :)




"Haejin is afraid of the cold, so make sure she sleeps with her pajamas on every night -- if I come back and she has a flu, I will haunt you. Make sure you read her a bedtime story, and you have to watch her fall asleep before you leave the room. Oh wait, remember to turn on the night lamp by the side of her bed, do you need to me to show you where it is--"

"It's alright hyung." It's Jongdae who steps in, polite smile plastered on his face. He pats Baekbeom's hands in reassurance, "Haejin is a sweet girl, I'm sure we'll be able to deal with her."

The look on Baekhyun's hyung doesn't look all that convinced. "I don't know, Haejin's at her cranky stage right now..."

Baekhyun laughs. "Hyung, you trust me right? Your little girl is in good hands, I swear. Now go enjoy your trip with noona, the flight to Thailand won't wait for the both of you. Just buy lots of souvenirs for us!"

"Baekbeom-ah, Baekhyun's right. Let's go now," Baekhyun's sister-in-law lightly tugs his wrists, tugging away the frown previously on his face as well.

"Well, okay... Haejin, come here." The little girl comes flying between Jongdae and Baekhyun and into her father's arms. Even while Baekbeom is kneeling, she still has to tiptoe in order to properly hug her dad. So cute.

Haejin hugs her mother as well, and then they're both off, luggage all loaded into the trunk of the cab and ready for their second honeymoon trip.

"Thanks for offering to help Baekhyun out with this," Baekbeom tells Jongdae before getting on the cab, "I wouldn't trust Haejin's life with Baekhyun if he were to take care of her alone."

"I have the honour of being his boyfriend, unfortunately," he answers, pretending to shrug and sigh. Inwardly, though, there is a Satan waiting to burn Baekhyun on the stake.

Baekhyun squats to Haejin's level and tells her to wave her last goodbye.

"Umma, Appa, bye bye!" Like the overenthusiastic little girl she is, she jumps around, skirt bouncing up and down. She waves until she no longer sees the yellow cab in the distance. That is when she looks at the two adults standing right next to her.

"How long will Umma and Appa be away?"

"One week, Haejin-ah. Are you feeling lonely already?"

"No!" If possible, she looks even more excited than before, an even bigger bubbly ball of energy. "Umma and Appa said both of you will play with me until they come back! Now we have one week to play!" Alone, she cheers and runs back into the apartment, leaving the two outside by themselves.

Jongdae is the one who makes the first move after she's left and latches onto Baekhyun's neck, making the latter yelp. "I can't believe you tricked me into doing this! You absolutely suck!"

"Well I couldn't reject my brother's request! And you know I'm shit at doing household chores! Haejin will die sooner or later under my care."

"You made me take a no paid leave off work for a week, claiming that I have a surprise for you, i'm sure you'll love it!, but guess what, I haven't had any experience with children and i really don't wish to start it right now!" Jongdae is pretty sure that he's seething, insults ready at the tip of his tongue to be thrown at Baekhyun, but the latter places a chaste kiss on his lips, hands hanging loosely on his thin waist, and pulls them closer together.

"I'm really sorry, okay?" Jongdae hates it when Baekhyun has those puppy eyes on, circling in on him, because he can feel his fists relaxing already. "We can take care of Haejin, and have fun together. I promise."

Baekhyun has always known that he forgives and forgets easily, especially when it comes to himself. This is an extreme weak point that Jongdae thinks should need to be changed in the immediate future, but for now, he steps closer to his boyfriend, own arms wrapping around his neck. "I'll only forgive you if--"

"I'm hungry!" The both of them immediately break away, startled by the sudden intrusion. Haejin stands on the spot, giving expectant looks to them.

Baekhyun clears his throat awkwardly. "Yes, uh, food. Haejin-ah, just stay in the living room, uncle Jongdae and I will cook. Be obedient!" And he scuffles Jongdae away, red pertinent on his cheeks.


///




It's actually terribly ironic that they first meet in a Home Economics class. Jongdae had taken it because he needed to fill up that empty slot on his timetable, and well, he had always wanted to be able to cook anyway.

They learn how to make chocolate chip cookies in their first lesson. It's easy enough a recipe to do, and Jongdae finds himself with a tray filled with deliciously smelling cookies, enough to earn the teacher's praises. But something bitter wafts into the way of the smell of his victory cookies. He wrinkles his nose, and when he turns his head, he spots another boy taking out a batch of cookies from his oven. They're all horribly burnt, and there's no way to tell whether he had added in chocolate chips into his cookies anyway. And when the boy looks up to see Jongdae staring at him, he even looks kind of sheepish.

"I thought Home Economics meant they trained us to stay at home and count money for the rest of our lives," the boy says as an explanation. It is a terrible explanation, actually, but Jongdae swats away his thoughts and smiles.

"Hi, I'm Kim Jongdae. And I can, uh, help you out in future if you need it?"

The boy brightens up, face brighter than the state of his cookies. "Well I'm Byun Baekhyun! Nice to meet you! I'll bet that with your help, I'm going to better my cooking skills at the end of this whole thing!"


///




Ten years down the road, and Baekhyun's still a shit at cooking. This is not a surprise, Jongdae reminds himself, when Baekhyun calls the spatula in his hand 'the giant spoon thing'. He has learnt years ago, during that one school camp, that Baekhyun is not safe within vicinity of the kitchen. In fact, he is very flammable.

("It's not that I'm flammable," Baekhyun had argued, "It's just that I'm too hot to handle."

"You nearly burnt down all our supplies and yourself," Jongdae points out, and effectively shuts Baekhyun up.)

"You should. Just get out of here," Jongdae says, effectively stopping Baekhyun from adding in salt instead of vinegar. "Take care of Haejin, I won't let you guys starve."

But Baekhyun, ever persistent, wraps Jongdae in his embrace from behind, head heavy on his left shoulder. "But Jongdaeee," he whines, hot breath tickling the hairs on Jongdae's neck, sending involuntarily goose bumps along his back and arms, "I thought you wanted to spend some alone time with me." Jongdae replies by hitting his elbow with the mighty spatula.

"You're a piece of shit, stop trying to do things with me while there's a hungry child waiting to be fed," is Jongdae's verbal reply when Baekhyun screams. But even as he chides, he smiles despite himself (and Baekhyun, who claims that he's the hungry child), because it's already turning out to be an interesting week ahead.


///




Haejin eats everything on the table up without much resistance, much to their happiness. Even though it had taken them a while to realise that they had to cut up the fishballs and take out the veggies for Haejin to start eating ("Mummy never gives me veggies"), Jongdae thinks that lunch was considered a pass.

Even cleaning up is a breeze. Haejin stays out of the kitchen, opting to lay on the carpeted floor and play with her dollhouse while Baekhyun and Jongdae splash soap and water at each other instead of washing the dishes. But when they step into the living room, finally soap and water-free, Haejin runs up to them and tugs the hems of their shirts. "Play with me," she requests simply, pointing at the mess of Jenga blocks she's created.

But.

Haejin's idea of fun is definitely not their idea of fun. In fact, they have no fucking idea on how to entertain children, Jongdae realises when Haejin doesn't exactly play Jenga with the both of them, but instead knocks down their tower like Godzilla after they painstakingly built it up. It's amazing how he still can smile (tightly) after a couple of the blocks hit his thighs with the sharp ends, but he supposes that the way Baekhyun whimpers after he's sure to dig his fingernails deeply into the other's palms is satisfying enough for now.

He excuses himself for a toilet break after the failed attempt at family bonding (which he takes a long time for various reasons including sending Joonmyun hyung a variety of line stickers to express his dismay at the current situation and his determination to beat his current high score of 9 in Flappy Bird, damn that stupid game). When he gets back to the living room, Haejin is fast asleep on Baekhyun's lap. It's almost sinful to destroy the peaceful moment between the uncle and niece, Jongdae thinks to himself, but then Baekhyun whips his head up like a deer in headlights and spots him standing by the entrance. He motions Jongdae to come over and pats the empty seat next to him.

Jongdae carefully lifts Haejin's legs up and slides right next to Baekhyun, his head automatically situating itself upon his boyfriend's shoulder.

Jongdae is cold despite the end of winter, and Baekhyun radiates warmth in his maroon cotton jumper. It doesn't take much willpower in him to snuggle closer, really. Baekhyun smells like the flowers in spring and Jongdae wants to pluck each and every one of them and tell them reasons why they're perfect in his eyes.

He can feel Baekhyun smiling against his hair, planting light kisses in them. "I turned on the television and Haejin got really interested in that show with dancing and singing people in bright costumes," Baekhyun says, other hand moving to hold Jongdae's. "Wasn't too fond of their muppets though, but whatever floats her boat, I guess."


///




Night falls quicker than Jongdae had though it would, and by the time he's under the blankets, he's beat from basically just watching Haejin and making sure she doesn't trip over her tiny feet and fall flat on her face. He mentally groans at the thought that it's only the first day -- he can't be this tired on just the first day when there's six more to go.

Jongdae flutters his eyes open when he feels the dip in the bed on his left. Baekhyun looks equally as beat as him, but he makes the effort crawl into the space Jongdae's left for him, entangling their legs together in the process. Baekhyun purposefully slumps his head hard on Jongdae's chest, knocking the wind of him. It earns him a playful smack on the head.

"I'm so tired," he whines, "I nearly fell asleep on the cold hard ground just now while waiting for Haejin to sleep herself. It's your turn tomorrow, I don't care."

"Mmm," Jongdae mumbles in reply. He strokes the back of Baekhyun's head, feeling the soft hair slip past his fingers. The smell of his strawberry-flavoured shampoo still lingers.

"Are you tired?" Jongdae doesn't even open his eyes to agree. But once again, his eyes snap open when Baekhyun's hands slip under his shirt to trace the lines on his stomach.

"Baekhyun, what the fuck--"

"I know how to make you not sleepy anymore."

"You better not--" Laughter bubbles up at his throat before he can finish his sentence. Jongdae flails his limbs wildly in an attempt to throw Baekhyun off, but Baekhyun only straddles himself around Jongdae tighter, tickling his sides harder.

"I'll only stop if you confess that you took the last nutella packet the other day," he whispers teasingly against Jongdae's ears.

"I fucking swear that I did not even touch any of them that day--"

The door creaks open without warning and the both of them freeze. Haejin's the one standing by the door, blearily rubbing her eyes while holding her small-sized bolster.

I thought you took her to sleep, Jongdae's eyes stare into Baekhyun, watching him give an apologetic shrug, slowly detaching himself from the other male.

"I can't sleep, can I sleep with you?" Jongdae puts on a smile immediately and rolls out of bed, ushering Haejin to lay down between the both of them. Baekhyun pulls her into his arms, and she doesn't reject. Jongdae watches as Baekhyun pats her back timely and with rhythm, cautiously whilst humming a tune he recognises as the song Baekhyun had serenaded to him on their first date. Its sweet melody fills his ears like it had back then, and for a moment, before he drifts off to sleep alongside Haejin, he thinks that he's gone back to knowing the clumsy boy ten years ago, with his sheepish smile but bright spirit.


///




Jongdae wakes up from the sunlight filing through the slits of the curtains without the two Byuns by his side. When he pads out of the bathroom after washing up, he is greeted by Baekhyun setting down breakfast on the table and Haejin sitting prettily in her chair, awaiting it.

Jongdae only side-eyes. "Are you sure it's safe to eat," he says rather than questions. Baekhyun rolls his eyes in response. "It's only bread, Jongdae. I can't possibly ruin that." He takes a huge bite in front of him to prove his point, munching on white bread obnoxiously. Jongdae clucks his tongue at him as he himself takes a seat next to Haejin, almost too disappointed to find out that it is indeed edible.

(He doesn't say it out loud though, because Baekhyun is too much of a narcissist for his own good.)

Over breakfast, Baekhyun suggests going to the nearby park to have a picnic lunch, and deviously dubs it a "2 + 1 date". This is how their morning passes by in a flurry, too, with them flying all over the kitchen and later making a quick trip down to the supermarket to get everything they need. Jongdae ends up buying a whole nutella jar for Baekhyun, even though he swears up and down that it wasn't him who had taken the last packet (he suspects that it's Sehun, who he had last seen sneaking around the refridgerator during their weekly night gatherings at Baekhyun's place).

The park isn't very crowded at this time of day, filled with only a couple of people milling about. Haejin twinkles with laughter as she swings herself about, using Baekhyun and Jongdae's arms as self-made swings.

They find a nice shady spot under the cover of trees and lay out the picnic mat. Jongdae puts Haejin in his lap, giggling when she does the same, and starts taking out the food for the picnic. There's fruits and other perishables, most which are easy to eat. Jongdae peels a banana for Haejin to eat.

"I like this place," Baekhyun suddenly says out loud. Jongdae turns to face him. "It's so peaceful. Next time, we should come over here by ourselves. No children allowed."

"Yeah, definitely," he replies with a smile, playfully opening his mouth for Baekhyun to throw in the potato chip in his hand. It isn't a wonder that Baekhyun misses his mouth by a long shot, and soon Jongdae has to control his laughter while trying to stop Baekhyun from pelting too much salt on his face. Baekhyun's aiming gets deadlier, and Jongdae has to crawl further back into the mat to avoid having a potato chip smashed into the bridge of his nose. When he feels soft grass grazing his fingertips, he realises something else.

"Baekhyun," his voice arising with panic, "Where's Haejin? I don't see her around, where the hell is she?!" He can see the colour draining from Baekhyun's face at an increasing pace as he darts his eyes from one spot of the park to the other. "God fucking dammit," he mutters under his breath, letting go of the bag of chips to stand up and survey the entire area more clearly. Jongdae does the same thing, and realises that Haejin is nowhere to be found.

Baekhyun's face is void of emotion as he says, "She couldn't have run off very far. I'll look for her at this side and you'll look at the other end, okay?" Jongdae can only gulp as he agrees, the worst scenarios playing in his head.

It's a feeling he's never really gotten. Once, when he was ten, Jongdae had lost his pet turtle when he had let it roam around the house. Another time, he had sent a picture of Chanyeol cross-dressing to his university professor by accident by he was supposed to send in his nearly overdue report instead. Both times had resulted in forms of cardiac arrest, but right now, it's a feeling that's multiplied by many folds. Jongdae can feel his heart beating wildly and painfully against his chest, mind and limbs equally numb as he yells out Haejin's name over and over again. Passersby all stare as he runs past them, but he can't be bothered to care, because Haejin is four and vulnerable -- the worst really might happen.

It's what he hears that makes him slow down -- the sound of an ice cream truck, blasting nearly obnoxious cheerful music in the midst of everything. From afar, Jongdae can see Haejin, just standing at the spot, looking expectantly at the ice cream man in her bright yellow overalls.

The breath that he doesn't know he had held gets let out.

Baekhyun arrives quickly after Jongdae's call, hair unruly and messed up from all the running. But he looks more furious than relieved, grabbing Haejin roughly and turning her to face him.

"You can't just run away like that! Haejin, I'm really mad at you, it's wrong to leave without our permission!"

"But I want ice cream!"

"What if you got lost? What if someone took you away? Do you want us all to worry for you just because you ran away? It's selfish!"

It's at this point that Jongdae wonders if he should step in, because Haejin starts to bawl at Baekhyun's raised voice. He has never seen Baekhyun so agitated before, and he really doesn't know how to deal with crying children. But then he sees Baekhyun's eyes soften at his niece, and then scoops her up in his embrace, patting her gently and running his fingers through her hair.

"You understand that you shouldn't make trouble for everyone, right?" And even though Jongdae can barely make out the "Yes" Haejin mumbles against the fabric of his shirt, he can see it in the upturned smile on Baekhyun's lips.

"So don't cry anymore. Haejin, stop crying."

(Baekhyun may be snotty all over at the end of the day, but Haejin got her ice cream and they all had fun.)


///




Nothing gets more traumatizing than second day, and the next few days pass as fast as they come. Jongdae finds out that Haejin and Baekhyun have similar level of dancing skills, and is always left snorting on the couch as the two of them badly imitate the cast members of Hi-5. It's all fun and games, and Baekbeom even calls in twice to ensure that Haejin's well, but her infectious laughter and proclamation of "Appa, don't come back so soon, I want to play!" more than reassures him. They even manage to teach her how to play Jenga properly.

It's no wonder that Haejin gets pouty when her parents get back home, freshly rejuvenated from their week-long vacation to Thailand, but Baekhyun and Jongdae promise to come back and play. They link pinkies to signify their promise, and soon, they're on their way back to Baekhyun's apartment.

Jongdae stretches his limbs and yawns. It might have been fun, but it was extremely tiring. He blearily pokes Baekhyun and comments, "Baekhyun-ah, I think that even if we got married, I wouldn't want to adopt any children. They're so troublesome. I can't even deal with one for a whole week."

Baekhyun is strangely quiet. "Even if we got married?"

"Yes, why?"

"So you want us to get married."

"Yes-- wait what."

"It's okay, Kim Jongdae, without you I am a useless fool. Now let me let my original Home Economics dream come to life."

It's a really unromantic way of proposing, but when he sees Baekhyun smile his goofy smile and the way his eyes are looking into him like he's the only one he has ever laid his eyes on, he thinks that it's okay for Baekhyun to be just Baekhyun, because that's the one he's gotten to know and the one he's gotten to love.

Tags: fandom: exo, member: baekhyun, member: jongdae, pairing: baekchen
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