Title: It Feels Better Biting Down
Pairing(s): Chanyeol/Kai, brief sufanxing
Warning(s): descriptions of injuries
Park Chanyeol is sore and bruised. Park Chanyeol is currently in a stuffy, overpriced suit, typing away and filing papers inside a cubicle. Park Chanyeol is anxious and high-strung, skittish and uneasy. His right leg won't stop bouncing and he's constantly making errors in his typing because of his shaking hands. Park Chanyeol especially does not expect it when Baekhyun whispers harshly in his ear, passing by to enter his own cubicle, and it makes him jump.
"You promised you'd stop."
His shift ends soon. Fifteen minutes and he's free to go. Free to bid good riddance to his suit, to his slacks, to his button down, to his daily stress.
Trying to pacify the older man, Chanyeol shoots him an apologetic glance and resumes typing. He ignores the scoff of disbelief Baekhyun sends him and tries not to feel too guilty about breaking his promise to Baekhyun. Again. And again. And again.
Successfully able to avoid working overtime despite being late this morning, Chanyeol neatly stacks the paperwork he had finished, and places it on Baekhyun's desk to have the older man put them in their proper place the minute his shift ends. Chanyeol's hand moves almost mechanically as he unlocks his phone to check the time.
Five more minutes.
His eyes are trained on the screen of his phone. Chanyeol gnaws on his lip, clamping his teeth down before scraping his teeth over his lower lip again. Rubbing at his thighs nervously, Chanyeol wipes his hands on his slacks, sweaty palms dampening the fabric slightly.
He's not sure when, though, but it comes sudden, all of his nervous ticks stopping completely. His leg ceases its endless bouncing, his teeth cease its worrying. His hands stop shaking, and the small twitch in his right eye comes to a rest. On the outside, Chanyeol seems completely calm, completely still, save for the gentle rise and fall of his chest.
Two more minutes.
Baekhyun had swiveled around in his chair to watch Chanyeol more or less make an absolute fool of himself. Although Baekhyun hated wasting his nights away like this, he couldn't help but feel amused at how jittery Chanyeol would get. It reminded him a lot of when they had been younger, and Chanyeol tried to confess to Im Jinah or when Baekhyun would drag him to the nurse's office after a fight, scared that they might get caught or yelled at by their parents.
Though he’d done well academically, Park Chanyeol had always been a troublemaker, and always had a penchant for getting into fights. His first fight, his first real fight had been when he was seventeen years old. He'd seen a much smaller boy, whom he now knew as Byun Baekhyun, being bullied by a number of upperclassmen.
Chanyeol had always wanted to be seen as a hero of sorts, someone others would look up to, someone others would adore beyond belief. But he'd also never been able to weigh a situation correctly, had never paid attention to how much thicker, bigger, and stronger his opponents were.
So when he’d punched one of the upperclassman straight in the jaw, feeling the quick, sloppy impact of knuckles against bone, he hadn't at all expected to enjoy it. He hadn't at all expected to enjoy the rush of adrenaline and slight urge to throw up when he’d received a jab to the stomach, doubling over when the breath gets knocked out of him forcefully, body curling into itself almost immediately.
Chanyeol hadn’t been given some kind of manual for how to grow up as a correctly functioning teenager in today’s society. And so, in the midst of getting the—for lack of better words—absolute shit beaten out of him, he’d figured this was normal. No wonder dumb teenage boys got into fights so much.
It was fun.
Chanyeol had taken it upon himself to stick around Baekhyun, for after encountering Baekhyun being bullied by upperclassmen two other times that same week, he figured out that trouble—and fights—tended to follow the small boy.
Baekhyun didn't really mind.
As long as the bullying stopped, Chanyeol could do whatever he wanted. The two grew up this way. Upperclassmen picking fights with Baekhyun soon turned into drunken, middle-aged men in bars hitting on him and grasping absently at his hips. Clumsy, nerdy Chanyeol who’d cried whenever the atmosphere and mood got serious, more or less turned into Baekhyun's bodyguard, shielding him from said unnecessary hands.
Chanyeol bolts out of his cubicle, and subsequently the office building, the second the clock on the screen of his phone hits 7:00PM. He speed-walks his way to the subway and slides his T-Money card through the slot, paying for the nearest train heading to Bucheon from Cheongdam. It'll take approximately an hour for him to change at an old childhood friend's small studio apartment and get to tonight's meeting place in time.
Although Chanyeol knows that he blends in with the other businessmen on the train heading back home, he also knows that the closer he gets to Bucheon from Cheongdam, the crowd of businessmen will begin to thin out, leaving him more exposed than before.
Coming out to Bucheon tonight is a risk when he knows so many people who live here, not to mention disapprove of his fighting. Those who wouldn't mind blabbing to Baekhyun of his habit. And even though he knows that Baekhyun knows, he always feels much guiltier when someone else breaks the news to Baekhyun.
But the money he'd get from tonight’s fight would be good, and it'd be easy to win. He predicts it'll be the same old crowd, and he's been fighting with them for seven years now, since he’d graduated at the ripe age of eighteen. No one has brought in new rookies, not in the past four years, not since Chanyeol had been twenty-one, and had accidentally bitten and torn off part of eighteen-year-old Oh Sehun's ear. The kid had been young, and Chanyeol had gotten too excited at the prospect of being much bigger and much stronger in a fight this time round.
The only way he wouldn't be able to win tonight would be if Kim Minseok fights. The smaller, older man is far too swift, and way too cunning. He knows just how to use that body mass to his advantage. Although Minseok is often teased by other crews for fighting like a ‘woman,’ or a ‘little bitch,’ not once has he been beaten.
But Chanyeol’s close with Minseok, or close enough to know that he’s off visiting a couple of old friends in China, and won't be back for another two weeks. He’s safe whenever Minseok’s gone; it means one hundred percent of the fight money will go to him. But even the times where they’d get paired up against each other, despite Chanyeol losing, Minseok would always give Chanyeol a small percentage of what he'd won.
Neither really need the money, but Chanyeol is still grateful either way. Minseok apparently sees a lot of his younger self in Chanyeol, and Chanyeol likes to take that in stride, a compliment from his senior..
The train finally comes to a stop. Rushing off of the subway and onto the platform, Chanyeol fishes his cell phone out of his pocket and sends a message to let the crew know that he's on his way.
Finally on ground level, Chanyeol maneuvers himself around the rushing mass of bodies around him with haste. He speeds through five streets until Kyungsoo's apartment building falls into his line of vision. Pushing the doors open, Chanyeol doesn't bother to stop to take the elevator. Instead, he races up the stairs, taking two at a time. Soon enough, he reaches the fifth floor and knocks repeatedly on Kyungsoo's apartment door at the end of the hall.
The door opens to Kyungsoo standing there, hip cocked to the right, leaning against the door frame, lifting an arm to run a hand through his hair. A chopstick sits perched in the corner of his mouth, a bit of sweet and sour sauce on his nose along with it. The other chopstick twirls deftly in his other hand, arm still bandaged and in a sling. He'd gotten into a non-profit scuffle with Yifan. Although Kyungsoo had still won against the taller man, he'd been seriously injured, and had been forced to rest by Yixing.
Still bruised, in sweats and one of Chanyeol's old shirts, Chanyeol thinks his childhood best friend looks cute like this.
"How many times do I have to tell you, Chanyeol?” Kyungsoo exhales in exasperation but the tone in his voice is fond. “You don't have to knock, my door's always open for you."
Before he can cower, knowing the inevitable is coming and assuming the younger, shorter man is going to hit him, Chanyeol’s pulled into a hug, but his relief doesn’t last long when Kyungsoo gets on the tips of his toes to land a hard smack to Chanyeol's head. Chanyeol yelps when Kyungsoo pushes him toward a change of clothes on the coffee table, an old bruise on his back suffering from the strength of Kyungsoo’s shove.
Quickly stripping and stumbling into a pair of sweatpants, Chanyeol patters over to drop a light peck to the top of Kyungsoo's head, before rushing out of the apartment. Kyungsoo yells, rubbing sourly at the spot Chanyeol had kissed, fighting off a a grin despite himself.
"You've got seven minutes, you punk!"
Chanyeol surges through the dwindling crowd of businessmen and middle aged women, nearly knocking over a small elderly woman pushing a portable ddeokbokki stand when he takes a too sharp turn. Chanyeol shouts an apology over his shoulder, continuing on his way to the small stream heading down from Gyeongin-ro.
Chanyeol's long legs serve him well, and he reaches the meeting point soon enough, a quarter of the way down the stream where five silhouettes stand idly. Approaching them, he spots Yifan's back to him. Letting out a call of his name, Chanyeol leaps up, wrapping his legs around Yifan's waist, arms securing around his neck.
It takes a while before he’s shaken off. Yifan had inevitably come out more injured than Kyungsoo after their scuffle, and his back is in no condition to be housing overgrown giant toddlers, one in particular being Park Chanyeol. Through the pain, Yifan greets Chanyeol with a grin, tackling the younger to the ground, scuffing a knuckle goodheartedly against the top of Chanyeol's head.
Despite the light rough-housing and both their towering sizes over the others, Yixing pulls the two apart and berates them before pulling Chanyeol into a tight hug. Patting Yixing’s back gently, Chanyeol pulls away and takes note of which members from the crew are here tonight. Sehun, Joonmyeon, and Jongdae stand a few feet away, resuming talking amongst themselves after greeting Chanyeol.
From this angle, Chanyeol can see exactly where his teeth had sunk into the soft flesh of Sehun's ear, all those years ago. The memory brings back a surge of adrenaline, and Chanyeol's heart speeds up in anticipation.
Chanyeol walks toward Yifan who had sat down next to Yixing, well out of the way, not wanting to get caught in the crossfire. Kicking at Yifan's boot gently he stuffs as much of his large hands as he can in the pockets of Kyungsoo’s sweats, before asking, "Why aren't we starting yet? You and Yixing aren't fighting because you're injured but we usually go with even numbers. We should be fine with what we have, right?"
"We're waiting for someone else. Joonmyeon isn't fighting, this time around. He doesn't fight without me, and I don't fight without 'Xing. You know how it goes, Chanyeol."
Chanyeol huffs slightly, and begins to make a mental list of who isn't already there. Chanyeol stalks away when Yifan won't tell him more, and plops down beside Sehun. They can’t be waiting for Minseok because he’s in China, and Baekhyun doesn’t fight, and Kyungsoo couldn’t, because of his arm. There’s no one else left, unless Henry’s made a split-second decision to join them. But then again, he usually texts Chanyeol when he does. He recalls Henry being in Canada for a wedding anyway, so he's off the list.
While he wracks his brain for answers, Chanyeol fails to notice a lean figure silently heading towards their designated meet-up spot. Wearily rubbing at his eyes, the figure passes Chanyeol without so much as a glance, and steps straight into Joonmyeon's arms.
Now that he's close enough, Chanyeol notices that he’s wearing a black wife-beater and a pair of sleep shorts. The black material clings to his torso and makes him seem much smaller, much more lean, than he actually is, the sleep shorts in turn revealing his long, thin and muscular legs.
Chanyeol watches curiously as Joonmyeon pets the boy's messy hair and rubs at his back soothingly. Joonmyeon's signature gentle smile doesn't budge at all, and actually seems to brighten as he looks into those sleep-creased eyes. The way Joonmyeon is speaking to him is the same way he’d spoken to Sehun at his first match before Chanyeol had scarred the boy, all hushed whispers, gentle smiles, and a sadistic spark in his eye only visible to those who've known him for long enough. Joonmyeon likes watching the new kids get the shit beaten out of them just as much as he likes beating the shit out of the new kids.
Ever since Sehun, it was rare for Chanyeol to be allowed in matches where Joonmyeon brought in rookies. Everyone, Chanyeol included, is always afraid that he'll go too far, and so the rookies are usually trained and fought in matches where Sehun has the much greater advantage. But it seems like no one else besides Joonmyeon and Sehun know tonight’s kid.
If Chanyeol's right, and this is a rookie that Joonmyeon's brought in, then he'll have no problem fighting the kid. There are enough places to grab at, and the kid looks light enough for Chanyeol to carry over his shoulder with no problem. The only thing Chanyeol has to watch out for are his teeth, probably, and to make sure he doesn’t get too rough with the rookie.
Chanyeol doesn't realize he's been towering over from behind and glowering at the rookie until Joonmyeon clears his throat and gestures with a flourish.
"Everyone, this is Jongin. He's a childhood friend of Sehun's and will be taking my place in tonight’s match."
Jongin, still looking weary, bows respectfully, mumbling a greeting. When Jongin straightens up, Chanyeol takes in his features a little more; he's actually quite good looking. Chanyeol's eyes are immediately drawn to soft, pink lips and the gentle slope of broad shoulders.
Chanyeol catches himself staring far longer than necessary.
Sehun, Jongin, Jongdae, and Chanyeol move to form a large circle, while Joonmyeon, Yifan, and Yixing move further away. The movements seem natural to everyone except Jongin, who shuffles unsurely and awkwardly after Sehun. Jongin clings to Sehun's arm, his fingers digging into the soft cotton of Sehun's pullover sweater. The circle ends up as more of a triangle and Chanyeol fights the urge to roll his eyes.
Jongin continues to just gaze at the group, still sticking close, even when he's gently nudged off Sehun's arm. There's enough room for Sehun to land a blow on Jongin, but not enough for Jongin to defend himself against Sehun. When Joonmyeon blows the whistle to start, Jongin’s eyes flutter shut for the briefest of seconds, and he licks his lips. Chanyeol hates how mesmerizing the action is.
Launching himself forward, without much thought to either Jongdae or Sehun who had launched themselves at each other, Chanyeol curls his fingers into a fist and gets ready to smash his knuckles against Jongin's pretty, damp lips.
Deciding to head for Jongin first had been a mistake on Chanyeol's part. The second Chanyeol swings at the tan male's face, Jongin completely dodges the attack, spinning away with the grace of a dancer, almost like a twirl. All the fatigue that had laced Jongin's eyes earlier was gone and replaced with a dangerous glint, a smirk forming slowly. The edges of Jongin's lips curl upwards.
While Chanyeol is more or less stunned, Jongin takes that as his chance to land a blow against Chanyeol's temple, but he runs short of the blow. His knuckles crack loudly against Chanyeol's nose. Despite the tears welling in his eyes, sharp pain, and the slight disability to breathe, Chanyeol grins as a small trickle of blood runs down over his top lip.
The sounds of Sehun being called out from the fight seem almost distant as Chanyeol watches Jongin's leg extend to kick Jongdae in the chest, throwing him back. Jongdae is left panting harshly for breath, tears welling up and threatening to spill over. Doubling over, Jongdae dry-gags, before dragging himself over to Sehun.
"Why the hell did you get me out if you were gonna lose, you asshole?!"
"It's your own damned fault for bringing this kid. He uses his legs, Sehun, legs. Legs in fights aren't normal, what the hell is this kid?!"
"He's a dancer, man, I don't know, Jesus..."
The sounds of Sehun and Jongdae bickering are faint underneath the deafening sounds of blood rushing through Chanyeol's veins and his heart rate speeding up when he gets ready to charge at Jongin once more.
Before he can dodge again, Chanyeol grabs Jongin's right hip in retaliation and knees him in the stomach on the pull in. Jongin reaches up, pulls at Chanyeol's ear and socks him in his temple. Chanyeol bites at Jongin's wrist. Jongin scratches from Chanyeol's cheekbone diagonally down to his lip. Chanyeol bites down hard on a finger when Jongin removes his hand, and Jongin digs his nail into Chanyeol's tongue and gums.
The two continue to go back and forth, Jongin's tan arms ridden with bite marks and Chanyeol's encompassed with scratches that will feel like hell tomorrow at work when his stiff suit and button up rub against them, until Chanyeol sharply knees the tender flesh of Jongin's lower back and waist.
Jongin crumples immediately, and Yixing rushes over to Jongin to check his waist. Even through his injuries, harsh panting, and Yixing and Sehun fretting over him, Jongin looks up at Chanyeol through dark hair, and his smirk widens.
Joonmyeon walks up to Chanyeol to hand him the rolls of cash, but his eyes don't leave where a bloodied, bruised Jongin is beautifully sitting cross legged as Yixing interrogates him, rubbing gently at his waist. Neither do Chanyeol's.
"He's good, huh? He has really good endurance, and leans more towards defense. But the more he works with you, he'll have to wean off of that, wouldn't he?"
Chanyeol nods dumbly, only paying attention to half of what Joonmyeon is saying, and watches as Sehun and Jongin joke around, poking and prodding at each other's bruises.
He’s definitely looking forward to working with Jongin again.
Remember This When You Are King
When It's Cold
- It Feels Better Biting Down