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sleep tight, starlight

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The city is dead silent.

 

Chanyeol shifts uncomfortably in bed, a sigh escaping him. The noise breaks the barrier the time created, bursting the imaginary bubble he’s in. Was in, at least.

 

The sheets rustle underneath him as he rolls over, reaching out blindly for his phone and grasping the device on his nightstand. The light from the screen illuminates the room, and he blinks wearily at the sudden brightness. The time on the top reads 3:46 am, and another sigh escapes him.

 

At least I got two hours this time. He thinks to himself, managing a grim smile for his twisted sense of humour.

 

He checks his notifications, glad to see an influx of comments on his newest cover. It wasn’t anything fancy, a simple guitar arrangement of an English song he’s been listening to lately, but it was sure to please his viewers. Owning a decently sized youtube channel specialising in making covers and remixes of popular songs in both Korean and English, it’s safe to say LOEY is more than a part-time project for him.

 

It’s not what he usually does to fall back asleep, but it’ll give him something to pass the time. Chanyeol’s pretty sure there’s not a chance he’ll fall back asleep anyways, the silence of the world is overbearing instead of comforting, and he briefly debates getting out of bed entirely.

 

It wouldn’t be the first time he’s managed stay up all night. In the daytime, Seoul is bustling and awake, pleasant and safe. At night, when the lights dim and the city falls quiet, the lack of noise is jarring to Chanyeol, who lives his life in music. He’s never had the best luck sleeping, but he’s thankful for whatever hours he can get at this stage. An hour was better than none, two even more so.

 

Since his pills stop working like they used to and his doctor has run out of medication, Chanyeol’s only choice is to fall asleep naturally or work until he’s so exhausted he passes out. It’s not exactly a task tipped in his favour, and more nights are spent awake than not. He curls up into a little ball, as much as he could considering his size and plugs in his earphones when it becomes apparent he’s not going to fall asleep again.

 

The music he recorded just a few days ago plays in his ears. It’s not a pop song, rather a ballad in Korean Chanyeol found when he was searching for musicals and instantly clicked with. He recorded a piano cover and uploaded it on a whim. The soft notes befall him as he tips his head back and allows it to rest on the wall, exhaling.

 

Fleetingly, he remembers a suggestion his doctor gave him, something about whispering and ASMR. He remembers the concern in his doctor’s eyes and lets out a little snort. It’s not like his pity will help Chanyeol sleeps better at night, but he doesn’t really have any better options at this point, so he exits out of his own cover and does a quick search.

 

It leads to pages worth of giggly girls who can barely keep quiet during the video or equally unsatisfying trinkets making sounds. He’s about to give up when Korean characters catch his eye, a logo of a corgi wearing a pair of bunny ears greeting him. It’s cutely drawn, and Chanyeol stifles a little giggle before remembering there’s nobody to hear him.

 

He’s always liked dogs anyways, and the familiarity of Korean characters draw him in.

 

Baekhyunnie The characters read, and Chanyeol reads it again to make sure he’s reading them right. It’s a masculine name, and the follower count is quite high. It's only a few thousand behind Chanyeol’s own account, a number higher than what Chanyeol would have expected any ASMR uploader to have.

 

What’s more surprising is that one of the channels link to this has a familiar logo of a dinosaur with little warbling music notes next to it. The name next to the logo reads “DAEnosaur”. Chanyeol recognises that as Jongdae’s channel. Jongdae is a popular Korean YouTuber who posts acapella and vocal covers. They occasionally collaborate, one of the people Chanyeol was somewhat close to who he’s met through youtube.

 

If Jongdae is friends with this guy, Chanyeol feels a little more expectant when he clicks on the first video. The logos they use have similar styles, now that Chanyeol is aware of the connection. They probably had the same person draw them. Chanyeol’s own logo is a stylised guitar made out of two crescent moons in an abstract style. It’s the design of one of his tattoos, spreading across the length of his forearm.

 

The first thing he notices, when the video loads, is the soft blue wool sweater. The person in question is standing up, face hidden outside of the frame. The camera shakes a little and the microphone is rearranged and fixed into place with skilful hands before the figure drops down into a plush spinning chair.

 

Chanyeol blinks at the man who appears on his screen. He has a mop of light brown hair and delicate features. For some reason, Chanyeol really wants to bop his nose. He taps his finger once onto the screen, accidentally pausing the video and bursts into snickers. Chanyeol concludes that he is sleep deprived. Very sleep deprived.

 

He gives the paused screen another look, noticing the background. The way the room is set up, it's clear that it’s a specific recording room, soundproof boards padding the walls. Chanyeol is familiar with the brand, he has the same alining the walls of his recording room. The microphone set up is a professional one, and instantly Chanyeol is viewing the man with a newfound sort of respect despite him not even having spoken a word.

 

He presses play on the video again and watches the man settle down.

 

“Welcome to another session with me. I’m Baekhyun, and I hope you enjoy your stay,” The man whispers into the microphone, and Chanyeol is struck by how soothing his voice is.

 

Baekhyun continues to talk about his day, professional and remaining at a quiet volume despite how agitated he gets at points. Chanyeol wants to coo at him, it’s refreshing, just to listen to the lull of Baekhyun’s voice talking about where he’s been. Chanyeol recognises some of the places Baekhyun has pointed out and determines that he likely lives in Seoul too.

 

Chanyeol ponders the chance of them meeting and promptly drifts to sleep before the video is even halfway through.

 

(He wakes up again long after the sun has risen, the clock by his bedside reading 10:10, feeling more rested and refreshed than he has in a long time. One of his earbuds has fallen onto his lap, the other still stuck in his ear. There’s a crick in his neck from how his head had slouched to the side halfway through his sleep. His hand is still loosely curled around his phone, and when he unlocks it, the same video of Baekhyun was still up, paused from where his phone had gone to sleep.

 

He exits the video, and clicks subscribe.)

 

~

 

2.

 

Chanyeol can’t sleep in cars. He can barely sleep in a proper bed, never mind a moving vehicle. He breaths out, trying to ignore a headache forming in his head.

 

He’s invited to a music convention in Korea, something about performing and how other musicians will be there as well. The downside was that it was in area two or three hours outside of Seoul, and because he didn’t think it was necessary to drive or hire a driver, he trapped in a tiny compartment on the train, three hours away from his destination. The rumbling of the train paired with his headache annoys him. His guitar is stowed away, so he doesn’t have a chance of even practising and his lyrics notebook is in his suitcase.

 

He’ll be staying down there a few days before returning, thankfully cost-free as the convention will be providing for him. Originally, he was going to deny the offer, but Jongdae and Kyungsoo both texted and asked if he was going, and he was at least excited to see his friends again.

 

The train pasts over a bend, throwing his centre of gravity towards the right. He jostles, almost falling over, and lets out a groan of annoyance. The train is mostly empty, leaving him to a compartment of his own, and he scrolls through his phone in an attempt to pass time more quickly in boredom.

 

He stutters to a stop when he sees the Corgi logo, a new thumbnail he’s never seen before and “uploaded 39 minutes ago”.

 

With a sudden sense of excitement, he taps into the video. Baekhyun rarely uploaded videos in the middle of the day, often at night, and Chanyeol was desperate for a release. The video length was longer than usual too, almost a full two hours instead of the usual one.

 

With a relieved sigh, he plugs in his earphones and waits for time to pass.

 

When he arrived at the train stop, three hours later, having nodded off twenty minutes into the video, he rewinds the video by a couple of minutes from where it’s paused and gets off, groggily wiping at his eyes.

 

It’s safe to say his sleeping quality had improved after stumbling upon Baekhyun’s videos, but still, many times did he find himself awake in the middle of the night with no escape in sight. It wasn’t an optimal situation for him, but he supposes he’ll take any hours of sleep he’s been able to get in the past few weeks.

 

Stumbling off the train, he exits the station and hails a taxi to the hotel he and the other people attending the convention will be staying at, eager to settle down for the day.

 

The hotel is a comfortable one, and he’s ambushed two hours later when he exits freshly showered for dinner by Jongdae, followed by a sullen looking Kyungsoo.

 

Both of them were famous for posting vocal covers, although Jongdae preferred pop songs and Kyungsoo was known for his heavenly R&B voice. He’s made a few collaborations with both of them in the past, the most famous being “Sunday Morning” with Jongdae and “Boyfriend” with Kyungsoo.

 

It was also fun to meet up with people through YouTube, especially people who did music, and it was an added bonus that Jongdae and Kyungsoo were both Korean. It made the three of them a close band of friends that could communicate easily.

 

They head out for dinner, both of them having arrived earlier in the day. The conversation is easy until Jongdae turns to Chanyeol with a glint in his eye. To the side, Kyungsoo sighs.

 

“So, Chanyeol. A little birdie told me you’ve been watching all of his videos lately,” Jongdae smirks, and Chanyeol stifles a gulp. “Whats the deal?”

 

Chanyeol blinks at him for a moment, brain trying to find a logical conclusion in that sentence. The only person whose videos he’s been watching in the past few weeks have been Baekhyun, and suddenly he’s reminded that it’s likely Baekhyun and Jongdae are friends.

 

He swallows his mouthful of rice, choosing his words before settling on “His voice, uh, helps me sleep better,”

 

Kyungsoo side-eyes him, his eyes sliding towards something closer to sympathy. Jongdae raises an eyebrow at him, but his shoulders slump.

 

“That’s all?” Jongdae inquires, tilting his head at him. Both of them know about Chanyeol’s condition, which his fans don’t know about. He’s been doing his best to cover up in the past few years in front of his viewers so that none of them will be able to tell that he has insomnia.

 

“Yeah,” Chanyeol says decisively. “Why?”

 

Jongdae sits back down in his seat, swiping up another piece of meat. “He’s my best friend, you know, was just interesting when he told me about it,”

 

“Ah,” Chanyeol hums. “Can you think him for me? He’s done a lot for me even though he doesn’t know it,”

 

Jongdae exhales over the table, chewing on his mouthful of rice. “I can probably do better than that. He’s going to the convention we're supposed to be attending next month. You can tell him yourself then,”

 

Chanyeol makes a small noise of understanding, resuming the meal. The rest of it is spent in comfortable conversation.

 

The convention ends up pretty fine, the crowd howls when Chanyeol sings “All of me” the song which burst him into the fame he enjoys today. It remains the superior video on his channel, and commonly is the song people recognise him by.

 

The audience screams as he bursts into his infamous cover of the popular girl group Twice’s “Signal” the excitable and popular song turned into a mournful melody under his piano cover. The day passes in a blur, and Chanyeol just remembers meeting countless fans. He remembers doing a small workshop about remixing with Kyungsoo and enjoying it thoroughly.

 

When he falls back into the hotel bed at the end of the day, the bright lights still shining behind his eyes, he lies in silence for a while, just shutting his eyes and trying to let exhaustion take him naturally.

 

When he rolls over after half an hour, realising it’s clearly not working, he picks up his earphones and loads up Baekhyun’s video.

 

He faintly thinks back to Jongdae’s words and wonders what the man on his screen will be like when they meet at the next convention.

 

Afterwards, it’s easy to unease the video and fall into an easy slumber with the soft whispering of Baekhyun’s voice in his ears.

 

~

 

3.

 

The month flies by in a blur and before Chanyeol knows it he’s heading to the next convention. His smiles to himself as he checks the latest comments on the cover he uploaded. Shaking his head at the occasional hate comments, he avoids jolting to the side on the subway. Thankfully, the convention is closer to the centre of Seoul in a jam-packed area, and Chanyeol is probably attracting a lot of attention with his big guitar case.

 

Since the convention will be spanning over a couple of days, he’s going to have to make the commute for a few days. At least he’ll be able to store his guitar at the venue after the first day. The train rolls on the tracks at high speed and it’s only half an hour later does he finally navigate through the maze of a subway station and into the light of Seoul.

 

The convention centre isn’t far away from the station, so he makes the trek to the looming building, whipping out his id when he comes to the back entrance. From there, he’s given a lanyard which he wrinkles his nose at and a pass for the backstage.

 

The actual convention doesn’t start until tomorrow, and he’s got a full day to set up with a small event in the afternoon to announce the start of the convention for the next few days.

 

A voice calls to him and he turns around. He finds a tall tanned man, waving to him.

 

“Jongin!” He exclaims, excited to see his friend again.

 

Kim Jongin, one half of the infamous Korean dance duo, more commonly known by their youtube channel name “ShakingTheSeKai”, and partner to Oh Sehun. The two of them got popular but uploading dance covers together, and although they have separate channels, the main channel for both of them was the most popular.

 

Chanyeol had always been a fan of their dance videos. He had originally stumbled upon them through Jongin’s own channel, “KAIoticDANCE”, and found Sehun, “SehoneyDANCE”. From there, it was easy to realise they shared a common channel. Since then, they’ve met in conventions a few times and Chanyeol’s composed a few songs for them to make original choreography to.

 

He waits until Jongin is close enough before pulling him closer into a hug. He giggles lightly to himself when he remembers the brief period of time when he had a crush on Jongin and couldn’t speak to him for a good few months. At least he and Sehun became easy friends so it was never too awkward.

 

Sehun jogs into his view and he releases Jongin before crushing Sehun into another hug.

 

“How have you been doing?” Sehun asks, a bright look in his eyes as he smiles at Chanyeol.

 

Chanyeol grins, delighted to have already found friends, and leads the two of them upstairs to the stage while carrying an easy conversation. The three of them made their ways until finding their separate exhibition spots before breaking apart, waving goodbye to each other.

 

As he’s putting up his guitar stand, figuring out the best spot to put it without moving the keyboard, he hears a soft giggle to the exhibition space next to him, and he whips his head up and his jaw drops open as he realises who has the spot next to him.

 

The now familiar face come into view, a coy smile and pretty features. Chanyeol swallows, recognising the man as Baekhyun.

 

“Hey there,” Baekhyun starts, and Chanyeol remembers with sinking horror that Baekhyun is aware he watches all of his videos. “I guess you’re my little admirer,”

 

“I,” Chanyeol starts. “You have a really nice voice,” He stammers lamely. Baekhyun is likely unaware he has insomnia, so he probably just assumes Chanyeol really likes his videos.

 

“I can tell you think so,” Baekhyun deadpans. Chanyeol feels the blood rush to his face, and to his right, he can spot Jongdae grinning at their direction in a feral manner. He narrows his eyes at him and watches as Jongdae scuttle off.

 

Baekhyun follows his line of sight and lets out a dainty laugh, the sort that you would hear on gentle spring days with flowers blooming in the background, and Chanyeol already feels a little enamoured.

 

“Let’s start again,” Baekhyun says, and oh, he’s coming closer to Chanyeol. Channel is reminded of Jongin and curses his inability to speak in front of cute boys. He’s gotten about four hours of sleep the night prior and definitely does not look his best.

 

“I’m Baekhyun, although you probably knew that,” Baekhyun reaches out with a hand and his fingers are so long and pretty and Chanyeol feels like he can’t breathe.

 

How does he tell Baekhyun that his voice has been the reason Chanyeol can even sleep for a few hours at night? That Baekhyun unknowingly has done so much for Chanyeol and he has no way of repaying him and that Baekhyun is so beautiful and Chanyeol just wants to bow at his feet and offer his everlasting thanks?

 

Simple, he doesn’t.

 

He grasps Baekhyun’s hand in his own, giving a small shake, ignoring the way his throat constricts. “I’m Chanyeol, but you probably knew that already too,”

 

“And indeed I do,” Baekhyun snickers. “How could I not notice somebody liking my videos all the way from two years back?”

 

Chanyeol flushes further, if it was possible, at that. “They’re nice, and the effort you put into them is clear,” He mutters, at last.

 

Baekhyun preens at that, easily pleased by the compliment. “You know I sing? That’s how Jongdae and I met. I’ve watched a couple videos and you’re not as bad yourself!”

 

Chanyeol bits down on his lip, holding back a face-splitting grin. “Do you?” He asks, pretending he hasn’t seen and listened to every clip of Baekhyung singing to exist on the internet. Baekhyun’s voice was clear and soft, a different contrast to Jongdae’s powerful tone and Kyungsoo’s deep and soothing one.

 

“Yeah! It’d be nice if we can make a collaboration one day,” Baekhyun suggests, blinking up at Chanyeol through his eyelashes and Chanyeol wonders how anybody can deny him while looking like that.

 

He stumbles through a confirmation and watches in a daze as Baekhyun proceeds to enter his own number.

 

When he collapses back into his bed that night, the exhilaration still running through him, he finds himself lying awake. Grinning to himself at the thought of the next few days of spending time with Baekhyun, he turns on his phone and sends Baekhyun a quick message, pulling up a forgotten tab to resume where he left off.

 

Baekhyun’s voice fills his room and he falls asleep without another word.

 

~

 

4.

 

So they talk, and they fall into a rhythm with each other. The days blur into weeks and before Chanyeol knows it, he’s been regularly talking with Baekhyun for three months.

 

It’s almost odd how well they click together, how the most mundane things can be talked about like they’re the secrets of the world. The weather seems like a spell when it’s Baekhyun and the worlds slots back into place.

 

Channel grins at his phone as he spots another message from Baekhyun, telling him to sleep so they can have fun the day after.

 

Since Baekhyun’s offer of making a collar together, Chanyeol’s schedule has been booked full where it just wouldn’t have a decent amount of time to film a video. The two of them talked and complained about it for weeks until the busy period finally passed and they settled on a weekend.

 

Even though he usually only covers songs when he’s collaborating with other YouTubers, but he’s got a song he’s half written a bit back and decided he wanted to sing it with Baekhyun. It’s a softer, fun ballad type song which he thought would fit well with Baekhyun’s voice.

 

He texts Baekhyun back, telling him that he’s going to sleep, a twinge of guilt in him as he knows sleeping is the last thing he’ll be doing.

 

Booting up his music software, he looks at where he’s left the song off. It’s pretty much finished, but needed a lot of work, especially in the lyrics and the melody. Settling down, he picks up his notebook, marking down changes in lines and flipping back pages to find snippets of lyrics he’s written when he’s had inspiration.

 

Working through, he doesn’t notice the time passing quickly. He realises he’ll probably look tired when he sees Baekhyun tomorrow, but he’s got eight hours of sleep behind him since he slept through the afternoon when fatigue hit him, so he’ll probably be fine.

 

He glances at the clock after completing the chorus and both of the verses, penning in lyrics for the bridge, grimacing to himself as he realises it’s well past 4 am. He’ll probably take a quick nap just to freshen up, maybe an hour or two.

 

Standing up, he stretches and leaves his pen and paper where it is and saves his progress on the track. The song itself is finished, just the lyrics needing work on, and Chanyeol can probably finish it off in less than an hour, sleeping for an hour or two can’t hurt.

 

The bones in his back shift back into place and he sighs at the feeling, flopping down on his bed. Thankfully, unconsciousness takes him easily.

 

When he wakes up again, blinking tiredly, it’s close to 6 am, and Chanyeol stifles a yawn as he shuffles out of bed and back into his seat after cleaning up.

 

Baekhyun’s set to arrive at around 10 am, so he’s got plenty of time to finish up the song before Baekhyun comes and play if off as a song he’s written a long time ago.

 

Lying to Baekhyun doesn’t exactly feel nice, but Chanyeol isn’t sure what Baekhyun would think once he realises Chanyeol has issues.

 

Baekhyun’s arrival at his apartment comes soon enough, and Chanyeol forgets about how tired he is when Baekhyun’s laughing next to him, grinning as they attempt to record the song. Baekhyun had raised an eyebrow when he said it was an old song, but gave in without any more complaints.

 

It’s near the end of the day when they’re cleaning up after the mess. The video they filmed was simple and just in Chanyeols apartment where he set up two microphones. The end product ended up being something Chanyeol was really satisfied in, even knowing it would probably have to go through serious editing.

 

They fall back into the couch, lying side by side, just breathing beside each other for a while. Chanyeol thanks the silence in-between them is a comfortable one, one that he thinks he could sink into and never leave if given the choice.

 

“Hey, Chanyeol?” Baekhyun begins after the apartment had fallen quiet. “Why do you watch my videos so much. I know just thinking my voice is nice can’t be all there is to it. You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, but I’ve been thinking about it,”

 

Chanyeol takes a deep breathe, contemplating his choices at this state. From all the time he’s spent talking to Baekhyun, he doubts Baekhyun would think badly of him, but he’s not sure if he wants to risk it.

 

Although, as Chanyeol takes a glance to his right and finds Baekhyun serenely lying down, eyes closed as he faces the ceiling, he thinks that Baekhyun is worth the risk.

 

“I….” He starts, unsure of what to say. “I have anxiety. It leads to insomnia so I have a hard time sleeping. Your voice, or well, I suppose ASMR videos, they help,” He trails off.

 

Baekhyun cracks an eye open to turn his gaze on Chanyeol, and he shivers from the concern and realisation written across Baekhyun’s face.

 

Baekhyun’s probably picked up on signs of Chanyeol’s insomnia, commenting on how late he slept and how tired he looks at times, but he doubts Baekhyun’s ever thought Chanyeol had a genuine problem.

 

Chanyeol exhales and watches Baekhyun shuffle until he’s lying on Chanyeol’s shoulder, breathing heavily against Chanyeol. Chanyeol shifts until they’re both comfortable, tensing slightly at the proximity. If Baekhyun notices, he doesn’t comment on it.

 

“It’s nice knowing I’m able to help then,” Baekhyun whispers. Chanyeol shudders at that, remember days of hearing the same voice over his earphones.

 

“Do you want me to sing? Maybe it’ll help you better.” Baekhyun murmurs softly, pillowing Chanyeol’s head on the back of the couch.

 

“Please,” Chanyeol breathes back, caught in the moment.

 

Baekhyun hums softly, his voice, sweet as ever, letting Chanyeol drift off to sleep. Chanyeol’s eyelids draw to a close and the world is fading to black soon enough.

 

(When he wakes up, there’s a blanket over him and Baekhyun is nowhere to be seen. He takes a glance at the kitchen clock, eyes widening as he realises he’s slept for half a day.

 

He wipes his eye, flinching back in surprise when it comes into contact with a piece of paper. He peels the sticky note off his forehead, laughing a little at Baekhyun’s antics.

 

All it says it a simple “Hope you slept well” and a cute smiley face and a heart. Chanyeol stares at the paper for a while, feeling better than he has in ages.

 

The unfurling feelings in his chest probably mean something, but he dismisses it as he starts a new file and titles it “Tender Love”.)

 

~

 

5.

 

Their talking doesn’t stop, and the little fluttering emotion in Chanyeol’s chest doesn’t either, but as the months pass and the collaboration videos are made one by one and the times they see each other become an inevitably large number, Chanyeol realises it’s about time he addresses it.

 

It, of course, is the fact that his crush on Baekhyun may have spiralled beyond a crush.

 

He’s not really sure where he wants these feelings to lead if he wants to date Baekhyun or not. It’s possible this attraction had only started because Baekhyun’s voice is the reason he can sleep well at night if he’s developed some sort of Stockholm syndrome for him.

 

Although thinking about it more deeply, it’s not like Chanyeol can’t live without Baekhyun. His days are the same as before, just with the added addition of something to look forward to every time he checks his phone and there’s a new message from him.

 

It’s universally undeniable that Baekhyun is attractive, and Chanyeol’s been comfortable with his own bisexuality for a long while. He’s not exactly sure if Baekhyun has any romantic or sexual inclination towards men, but it’s not exactly impossible, especially because Sehun has hinted to once had a thing with him before.

 

Speaking of Sehun, Chanyeol thinks he got into a relationship with an older dancer also pretty popular within the Korean YouTube community. He thinks his name is Minseok, going by the name Xiumin, but he’s not the best with names.

 

It’s interesting, since the two of them have been openly dating for the past few months, and seem unbothered by the responses. There have been both good and bad responses, haters having a field day with the new information and viewers showing hesitation or discomfort. The most prevailing comments were the ones complaining that they thought Sehun had been dating Jongin.

 

Chanyeol knows that the two of them were just best friends, and Jongin was pursuing Kyungsoo the last time he checked up on them.

 

Still, he muses, fingers dancing across his keyboard as he makes changes to the new song he’s been working on, maybe he and Baekhyun could have something similar. It almost seemed too good to be true, seeing how happy Sehun was. But if it could work out for Sehun, there should logically be no reason it shouldn’t work out for him as well.

 

So that’s that the chasm Chanyeol is stuck in front of. If he took the first step and asked Baekhyun there’s no saying where it could go. Their relationship, their friendship could go either way.

 

Maybe it would turn out for better, but Baekhyun is a good friend of his, and Chanyeol would be devastated if he lost this friendship for a shot at a relationship he wasn’t completely sure he wanted.

 

Even then, what were the possible losses? At least Chanyeol could have said he tried, and he doubts it’ll be a friendship he will be unable to patch.

 

But he’s scared, unsure of himself, fearing the unknown. So he keeps quiet.

 

It’s not until another two months later does it happen.

 

He’s finishing up an original song, one that he’s proud of, fixing the last bit that didn’t sync up in the outro, making notes at the vocal arrangement for the song and penning in the last of the lyrics.

 

His fans have been curious lately, wondering why he was writing so many love songs, speculating if he had gotten a girlfriend or something. He had laughed blithely at the comments, they were so far from the truth.

 

He wonders if he can get Jongdae or Kyungsoo or even Baekhyun to help him sing the song. It’s a vocal-heavy song, one he’s not entirely sure he can deliver justice to the song. While he’s not ashamed of his singing, his deep and heavy voice making a good baritone sound, he knows thee are better people than him to sing this song.

 

He stretches, saving the file on two separate USBs just in case, looking over at the clock on his wall. It’s close to 3 am, meaning most of his followers should be asleep.

 

Just in case there’s a few of them pulling an all-nighter, he takes a quick picture of his screen, showing just the last few notes of the new song, posting it onto SNS and Twitter with a quick “finished a new song!!” as a caption.

 

Even in the late hours, quite a few responses come flooding back, some in English Chanyeol tries to read but fails miserably to do so.

 

He’s always shocked when he finds he has international fans, fans that watch his videos outside of Korea. When he had started the channel it was only meant to be a side thing while he tried to work towards being a producer. As it is right now, Chanyeol can’t imagine life without being a Youtube star.

 

A notification pops up, a familiar logo with a corgi wearing bunny adorning it and Chanyeol’s eyes widen in surprise. Clicking on it, he finds a comment Baekhyun left just seconds on. “Go to sleep, you big oaf! The song will still be there tomorrow!! I can’t wait to hear it!”

 

He smiles, walking a room over and dropping himself into his bed. He’d probably try to sleep, but knowing his situation it’s likely he won’t be able to.

 

At that point, his phone rings, and he slides the button towards the right, knowing there was only a person to call him at this ungodly hour.

 

“Yeol?” Baekhyun’s voice filters through his ears, and he gives a soft sigh, burrowing into his blankets.

 

“Hey Baek,” He mutters, wide awake even if he wishes he wasn’t.

 

“You should be sleeping,” Baekhyun’s saying, and there’s so much adoration in his voice.

 

“So should you,” He answers.

 

“I will after this, so you should,” Baekhyun stops mid-sentence, stifling a yawn and failing. Chanyeol wants to coo at him. It’s almost too much, having Baekhyun whispering to him in the middle of the night.

 

Chanyeol laughs a little. “Baekhyun?” He starts.

 

Maybe it won’t lead anywhere, maybe they’ll crash and burn. But Chanyeol just wants to give them a try, even if it doesn’t work out.

 

“Hmm?” Baekhyun hums over the line.

 

“Do you want to maybe go on a date with me sometime?” He murmurs, eyelids fluttering closed.

 

There’s a short pause through the line before he hears Baekhyun’s laugh and “Of course, I’ve been waiting,”

 

“That’s great,” Chanyeol breathes back feeling the tendrils of sleep draw him closer and closer. “I’ll see you soon,”

 

“Now go to sleep,” Baekhyun whispers, and Chanyeol’s out even before Baekhyun finishes his next sentence.

 

(He wakes up to one text with a location and a date, and a question mark next to a heart.

 

He smiles to himself and types back his confirmation without hesitation.

 

Sometimes things really are worth the risk after all.)

 

~

 

+1

 

The peace and contentment don’t come immediately.

 

It takes months, closer to a year, for them to settle into normality, but when they do, Chanyeol’s the best he’s ever felt.

 

Slowly, they let him come off his medication, and the pills are stored in the corner of a cabinet only to be used in serious situations.

 

He’s not completely fine, it’s hard to be, but he thinks he’s fine. He’s better, more alive, more healthy, and it reflects in his daily life.

 

Eventually, after a lot of coaxing from Baekhyun and nights spent awake, he comes out to his viewers and tells them about his personal struggle.

 

The support he receives in return was overwhelming, fans rushing to pour out their love and care for him, only wishing him the best.

 

His friends have nothing but good wishes for him, and he eventually meets a few more YouTubers who have a similar experience. They talk easily, and Chanyeol’s friendship circle eventually expands to include another singer named Joonmyun going under the name “YourSuho” and a dancer from China named Yixing who channel name is “LayItDown”.

 

He also finally meets Minseok, Sehun’s boyfriend of two years at this point. It was fun going on double dates with the two of them with Baekhyun, eventually turning into triple dates when Kyungsoo finally agreed to go out with Jongin.

 

So Chanyeol thinks life is pretty good overall, yeah.

 

But in the little moments, the moments where he and Baekhyun lay in bed in the dead of the night, simply letting the silence settle around them in a comfortable halo, Chanyeol thinks life is the best.

 

He’s no longer afraid of the silence which haunted him for days until there was no end. It’s a friend now, something Chanyeol has become familiar with.

 

It’s fine though, when Baekhyun’s drifting off to sleep on his chest, cute little nose scrunched up as he shifts closer to hide his face, pulling the blankets towards him as he curls up slightly.

 

Chanyeol lets a hand reach out to stroke Baekhyun’s hair gently, dropping a quick kiss to his forehead.

 

He closes his eyes and just feels the weight of Baekhyun lying on him, the safeness and comfort and contentment he feels just be having Baekhyun close to him, the infinite care and love radiating off both of them.

 

He falls asleep with a smile on his face.