Baekhyun shrieks and jumps away from the arms that were snaking around his waist. He loses his grip on the mug he was trying to wipe and watches in horror as it goes sailing through the air. In a weak attempt to catch the flying mug, he ends up bumping his hip into the counter and knocking over a tray of plastic spoons. His momentum ceases with him clutching his hip and leaning on the edge of the counter, with his other hand pressed against his chest, breathing heavily.
The flying mug’s now safely in the hands of a grinning brunette, who looks way too pleased with the repercussions of his whispered observation.
“Kim Junmyeon,” Baekhyun’s voice is dripping with betrayal and shock. “How dare you scare me like that!”
Baekhyun sneaks a glance at the few customers in the café and flushes when he sees their wide eyes over their commotion. He raises a hand in silent apology. His flush deepens when he sees a guy wearing one of the utmost amused expression and turns back to Junmyeon with a glare.
“I’m sorry.” Junmyeon does not look the slightest bit sorry. “It was hard to resist, and your reaction was priceless! If only Minseok was here to record that.”
“I can’t believe you would do that to me,” Baekhyun’s fake sniffles do nothing to incite remorse in Junmyeon. “I could have had a heart attack!”
“Well, if you were paying more attention instead of ogling cute customers, you might not have almost broken one of our mugs,” Junmyeon teases.
“You caught it!” Baekhyun protests loudly. “So there was no damage! Come on, Junmyeon-ah!”
Junmyeon chuckles and reaches out to ruffle Baekhyun’s hair. Before Baekhyun can even blink, Junmyeon’s fingers brush gently over his pouting lip.
“Enough ogling.” Junmyeon whispers, making Baekhyun’s stomach flip wildly. “Get back to work, you slacker.”
He moves away quickly, narrowly avoiding the harsh flick of the cloth Baekhyun was using to wipe the mug. “I’m not a slacker!” Baekhyun whines. “I raised this café with my own two hands you know!”
“Pretty sure one of those hands was mine but anyway!” Junmyeon laughs and ducks through the door headed to the kitchen.
“Slacker.” Baekhyun hisses under his breath once Junmyeon has disappeared. “I’ll show him what a slacker really looks like later.”
The bell tinkles as a couple enters Bean Through, and Baekhyun makes his way to them with menus. He takes their order and passes it on to Junmyeon, who begins to make their drinks. Baekhyun checks up on their few remaining customers of the night and saves the best for last.
“Is everything okay here, sir?” He asks the cute guy he was admiring earlier.
“Yeah, thank you.” Cute kitten lips quirk into a smile and Baekhyun immediately smiles back. He’s about to move away when the guy speaks up once more. “Actually…”
Baekhyun turns back to him, expectant. Cute Guy gestures to his opened laptop and sheepishly asks, “Sorry to trouble but… what’s the Wi-Fi password?”
“We’ve bean through this.” Baekhyun grins.
The Cute Guy’s eyebrows furrow in confusion. “Uhm, no we haven’t.”
Baekhyun can’t stop himself from laughing. “Our password is ‘ wevebeanthroughthis ’.”
Confusion quickly transforms into understanding, then disbelief, and finally amusement as the Cute Guy starts to laugh. “Oh my God, seriously?”
Baekhyun lets out a defensive whine. “What’s wrong with it? It’s a cute password!”
“Yeah,” the guy chuckles. “I just can’t believe that’s your Wi-Fi password. Do you change it or is that the original password?”
“The owner and I take turns every week.” Baekhyun pouts. “This was his choice, not mine.”
The Cute Guy laughs a bit more, causing Baekhyun’s cheeks to redden. “Thank you for the password,” he says sincerely. “I have to admit, I like it.”
A smile tugs at Baekhyun’s lips when he returns to the counter. Junmyeon’s eyebrow is raised in question as he glances to the cozy window seat where the cute guy is busy on his laptop. “What was that about?”
“You’ll never believe this, Junmyeon-ah.” Baekhyun huffs, “He outright laughed at our Wi-Fi password!”
“We’ve bean through this?” Junmyeon’s pout mirrors his own. “I thought it was cute.”
“Junmyeon-ah.” Baekhyun cups his face with both hands and coos, “You’re cute, but your dad jokes are not.”
Junmyeon groans and pushes him away. “Why are you like this!”
“That’s for scaring me earlier!” Baekhyun cackles and ducks away as Junmyeon aims to swat at him.
A soft piano melody fills the air as they fall into step with each other to finish cleaning up for the night. The bell’s tinkle intermittently interrupt them as customers leave and soon, the velvet sky greets them as their closing time draws nearer.
Junmyeon’s hip casually bumps against Baekhyun’s as he cleans the coffee machine. A quiet cough interrupts them and they both pause to attend to their last customer.
“Here’s your change.” Junmyeon smiles as he hands the guy his money and receipt. “Please do visit us at Bean Through again!”
“I can’t wait to see what your next password is.” The Cute Guy’s eyes twinkle as he chuckles.
“It’s his turn next week,” Junmyeon points his thumb in Baekhyun’s direction. “It’ll probably be something boring”
“Excuse you, Mr ‘wevebeanthroughthis’!” Baekhyun cries indignantly, causing the guy to laugh.
“I’ll see you guys next week, then.” The Cute Guy bows and throws them both a wink before leaving. The tinkle of the bell is final, and breaks them out of their frozen disbelief.
“I feel like I should be offended by him,” Baekhyun says, “But all I feel is challenged now.”
“Me too.” Junmyeon’s eyes are full of curiosity as he locks the door and finishes cleaning up. “It’s up to you now, Baekhyun-ah. Make me proud with your password choice.”
Baekhyun grins widely. “Challenge accepted.”
Baekhyun wakes to arms wrapped loosely around him. He stretches his legs and hisses when his foot dips out from under the blanket. The cold air has him retreating deeper into the blankets and into Junmyeon’s embrace.
Junmyeon’s arms tighten around him and Baekhyun sighs, feeling warm and content once again. He hums and closes his eyes, reveling in the coziness of his boyfriend’s hold.
He drifts in and out of sleep. He knows they both need to get up soon, but it’s so cold and he’s too comfortable to care. He feels Junmyeon shifting and reaching for his phone without letting go of Baekhyun.
“Baekhyunnie,” Junmyeon whispers. “We need to wake up now.”
Baekhyun whines and burrows deeper into Junmyeon’s chest. His protest is muffled yet he still feels the rumble of Junmyeon’s laughter.
“Come on, you puppy,” Junmyeon throws the blanket off of them and tries to pull Baekhyun into a sitting position.
Baekhyun shrieks, “The cold! It’s too much! I’m f-freezing!”
“It burns!” Junmyeon joins him in shrieking. “Man down, we’re going under!”
Junmyeon latches onto Baekhyun and starts to tickle him. Thanks to his limbs being heavy with sleep and the cold, Baekhyun struggles to fight back, and soon they end up in a heap on the floor, breathless with laughter.
“There we are,” Junmyeon’s hand stretches to card through Baekhyun’s messy bed hair. “Now it’s not so cold, huh?”
“You hate me.” Baekhyun says mournfully, staring at him with puppy eyes. “You embarrass me in front of customers and try to let the cold end me.”
“You’re so adorable.” Junmyeon smiles softly. “If you hurry, I’ll wash your hair for you and sneak you one of Kyungsoo’s pastries when he’s not looking.”
Junmyeon rises, leaving Baekhyun tangled with the blanket on the floor. Baekhyun stares at the ceiling of their bedroom and hears Junmyeon pad to their bathroom. He contemplates Junmyeon’s offer, and his mouth begins to water at the thought of Kyungsoo’s baking.
“I lied!” Baekhyun scrambles to wake up and run after his boyfriend. “I love you! Wash my hair and steal food for me, please!”
Junmyeon catches him as he almost slams into the bathroom door. “I know,” he whispers, making Baekhyun shiver. “I love you, too.”
The next week finds Baekhyun glancing up every time their little bell tinkles. His face is filled with the hopes of the new customer being the cute guy, who he’s affectionately dubbed ‘The Person who laughed at our Wi-Fi password’.
“Why do you look so disappointed?” Minseok asks after he’s finished serving a customer. “Did Junmyeon say no to getting a puppy again?”
Baekhyun’s frown deepens at the mention of his futile attempts to convince his boyfriend to get a pet. “No,” he whines, “I was just hoping it would be ‘The Person who laughed at our Wi-Fi password’.”
“The who , now?” Minseok laughs, “Are you really going to call him that?”
“Yes.” Baekhyun glowers at him, “That’s all I have until he tells me his name. I’m offended, hyung. He outright laughed at Junmyeonnie’s password!”
“It was his typically cheesy password,” Minseok shrugged. “Albeit one of his better ones.”
“Exactly!” Baekhyun waves his hand and narrowly avoids knocking over a mug. “No one laughs at his lame and cheesy passwords except for me.”
“Is it not because he’s cute? It’s because he laughed at your boyfriend’s password?” Minseok teases.
Baekhyun’s frown vanishes as his cheeks redden. “Hey! Junmyeon thought he was cute too!”
Minseok’s only reply is a laugh and a light hand stretched out to ruffle Baekhyun’s hair. He accepts it with minimal grumbling and sets out to clear some dishes. He finds his mind drifting to passwords, Junmyeon, and ‘the Person who laughed at their Wi-Fi passwords’ only a few days before.
He’s really excited to reveal this week’s password to him.
Baekhyun and Junmyeon met in university, when Baekhyun was his clumsy self and spilt coffee all over an unsuspecting passerby. Luckily, they were both headed home, so a coffee-soaked shirt didn’t completely ruin Junmyeon’s day.
A promise to compensate for spilling coffee on Junmyeon seemed like it was going to go unfulfilled. Baekhyun had never seen Junmyeon until that moment, so he had no way of contacting him. Perhaps it was fate, or perhaps it was Baekhyun finally opening his eyes beyond his own social circle, but suddenly he began to see Junmyeon everywhere .
He’d see Junmyeon as he was going into class but he’d be too far to grab Junmyeon’s attention. Or he’d pass him by but they were both rushing to a destination. It frustrated Baekhyun, until one rainy day found them running to the nearest coffee shop.
They fell into easy conversation, going as far as to stay in the coffee shop way after the rain stopped. The night sky greeted them when they parted ways outside, Junmyeon’s number saved on Baekhyun’s phone.
Not many years later, Baekhyun graduated along with his best friend and they set out job hunting. The most interesting offer came from Junmyeon, now Baekhyun’s boyfriend of almost two years.
As a business major, Junmyeon had a desire to create a coffee shop in one of the less busy areas in the city. He roped in Kyungsoo as the main baker, Minseok as the head barista, and Baekhyun as the co-owner and graphic designer.
The four of them set out with a burning idea and after many, many paperwork pains, failed marketing strategies, and ideas, Bean Through was born.
The name was, without a doubt, Junmyeon’s idea. Baekhyun conceded because it was cute, and it was also a pun on one of his – their – favourite songs. He couldn’t deny his boyfriend, as sappy and cheesy as it was.
Now, not even close to 3 years of Bean Through’s opening, the coffee shop’s popularity has elevated. It’s a favourite for many reasons; the main one Baekhyun likes to think being the soft and romantic atmosphere they’ve worked so hard to create.
He should be refilling the coffee machines but instead, his attention is currently caught by Junmyeon talking to a customer. He watches as Junmyeon smiles softly and moves to the next customer. Baekhyun is captivated by him; his every move is so gentle and meticulous that it draws one’s gaze like a beacon of warmth.
Baekhyun doesn’t realise someone is speaking to him until Minseok nudges him with his hip. Baekhyun jerks his gaze from Junmyeon’s back and sheepishly turns to their newest customer.
“Hello and welcome to – oh! It’s you!”
“Me again!” It’s ‘The Person who laughed at their Wi-Fi password’.
Baekhyun catches Junmyeon’s eye and grins. He takes down the cute guy’s order and subtly waits for Junmyeon to reach the counter.
“Will that be everything?” Baekhyun asks as he totals the order.
“One more thing. So, tell me,” he glances at Baekhyun’s name-tag, “Baekhyun-ssi. What is your Wi-Fi password this week?”
“Oh!” Junmyeon interrupts with a grin. “Is this ‘The Person who laughed at our Wi-Fi password’?”
The guy’s eyebrows raise and a smile dances across his kitten lips. “Is that what I’m being referred to? Have I earned my very own reputation at this coffee shop?”
“This is Junmyeon,” Baekhyun introduces, trying to fight off a lovesick look. “He’s the co-owner of this place.”
“It’s nice to meet you,” ‘The Person who laughed at their Wi-Fi password’ bows slightly. “My name is Jongdae.”
“Ah! So we finally have a name,” Junmyeon returns his bow. “Having to call you that was a bit cumbersome but our Baekhyunnie here insisted. He’s… very particular about naming things.”
“Hey!” Baekhyun protests as they both laugh. “He laughed at your password, you should be annoyed with him, not bond with him by making fun of me!”
Junmyeon pinches his cheek in an apology and Baekhyun huffs. He almost misses the way ‘The Person who laughed at their Wi-Fi password’ – no, Jongdae’s – smile falters.
“Anyway!” Baekhyun exclaims, “This was my week to choose the password, so here it is: trythecheesecake .”
The two co-owners watch Jongdae’s reaction with bated breath. A crease appears between Jongdae’s eyebrows and he looks torn between laughing and grimacing. It makes for a weird expression, yet somehow Jongdae looks so cute being stuck between contrasting reactions.
“Ah,” Jongdae bites his lip to stifle a sudden giggle. “It’s definitely better than wevebeanthroughthis .”
“HA!” Baekhyun waggles his eyebrows and sticks his tongue out Junmyeon. “Take that, Myeon-ah!”
Junmyeon’s pout is halted by Jongdae’s next words, “But it’s not that much better.”
Jongdae fails to hold in his laughter and his shoulders shake as he releases his amusement. Baekhyun and Junmyeon watch with twin expressions of disbelief and offence.
“Wow,” Jongdae wipes a small tear from the corner of his eye. “As bad as that was, I liked it.”
“That feels like such a backward compliment,” Delight shines in Junmyeon’s eyes, “I don’t know why I feel so proud.”
“I can’t wait to see what next week’s password is,” Jongdae turns to Junmyeon, “It’s your turn, right?”
“Yeah,” he grins, “I have so many ideas. You’re not gonna laugh this time!”
Jongdae smiles and ducks his head, “Thanks for the coffee. And good luck with the passwords!”
He walks to the table he occupied the previous week and immediately sets up his laptop. Baekhyun and Junmyeon turn to face each other and share a grin.
“Are we feeling competitive now?” Baekhyun teases.
Junmyeon’s eyes twinkle. “He’s cute, even though he laughed at both our passwords. May the best password creator win, Byun.”
“Good luck,” Baekhyun echoes Jongdae’s words, “Looks like you’re going to need it.”
Baekhyun leans back from his desk, his gaze straying from his laptop to a random spot beyond it. His mind wanders from graphic designing to potential passwords for their café’s Wi-Fi.
He catches himself after several moments pass and shakes his head. He needs to focus on this project. He’s not a struggling freelance graphic designer per se, but he appreciates whatever work comes his way.
His attention wanders for the nth time and he gets up with a groan. He’s not scheduled to work at the café today, but perhaps some coffee would do him some good. And maybe one – or a few – of Kyungsoo’s pastries.
Baekhyun lazily walks down the stairs and enters through the door that connects the café and his and Junmyeon’s apartment. He’s immediately met with the smell of something baking and whines loudly, “Kyungsooooooo!”
A head pops up from behind the kitchen door and glowers at him. “Baekhyun, what are you doing practically salivating over there?”
“I can’t help it,” Baekhyun all but whimpers and follows Kyungsoo into the kitchen. “Whatever you’re making smells so good!”
Kyungsoo’s glower lacks any heat as his lips twitch into a small smile. “I’m trying a new recipe for some muffins. You can be my guinea pig. I’m sure you came down to try and swipe something.”
“Excuse me!” Baekhyun tries to be offended but ends up grinning instead, “You know me too well!”
Kyungsoo rolls his eyes fondly. “Go on, I know your next stop is to worry Minseok-hyung for coffee. I’ll bring you a muffin in a few minutes.”
“I love you, Soo-yah!” Baekhyun grins and bounds out of the kitchen. He passes one of their part-timers and waves to her enthusiastically. She bows and ducks into the kitchen.
Baekhyun enters the café and instinctively surveys it. There are a few customers scattered around the café, Minseok is by the coffee machines, and Junmyeon is checking on customers. Or rather, he’s rooted in one spot, talking to one customer.
A closer look reveals Jongdae, whom Junmyeon seems to be entertaining, judging by the crinkling of his eyes. Baekhyun finds himself smiling at the sight as he walks towards Minseok.
“Minseok-hyung!” Baekhyun’s voice carries a playful lilt. “Are you feeling generous today?”
Minseok turns to face him with a raised eyebrow. “It depends on who I’m being generous towards. What’s up, Baekhyun-ah?”
“I’m trying to work on a project but all that’s on my mind are password ideas!” Baekhyun groans in frustration.
“Is it just the passwords? Or is it the passwords plus a certain someone?” Minseok teases.
Baekhyun lets out an exasperated huff. “Maybe both, I don’t know.”
Minseok studies him for a moment before glancing to the tables by the window, where Jongdae is seated. “Junmyeon seems to like him,” he observes.
Baekhyun follows his gaze and smiles, “Yeah. It makes me feel better about it.”
“Do you like him?” Minseok asks. His gaze is open and sincere.
“I don’t know him well enough to like him,” Baekhyun answers honestly. “But I do find him very attractive.”
“What does Junmyeon think?”
“I haven’t spoken to him about it. But…” Baekhyun trails off and glances to where his boyfriend is laughing with Jongdae, “Judging by that, he seems to find Jongdae attractive as well.”
Minseok nods and stays silent for a minute. He starts to prepare a coffee for Baekhyun and speaks as the milk is frothing.
“Why don’t you talk to Junmyeon and see what he says?” Minseok shrugs, “You shouldn’t let the past hold you back from anything. Don’t be afraid to let someone into Junmyeon and your life. IT happened a long time ago, and you two are stronger now.”
Baekhyun bites his lip in contemplation. He keeps thinking that history will repeat itself, without even giving Jongdae a chance. “Yeah, you’re right.”
He’s still thinking it over when Minseok hands him the coffee, with a perfect heart drawn in the milk.
“Thank you, hyung.” Baekhyun grins and conveys his gratitude for more than just the coffee.
“You’re welcome.” Minseok ruffles his hair fondly. “Good luck on the project, Baekhyun-ah. Both of them.”
“So, it’s your week to choose the password,” Jongdae says in lieu of a greeting as Baekhyun approaches his table. “Am I going to be amazed this time?”
“You’re always amazed,” Baekhyun drops into the seat opposite him. “You’re just the first person to ever laugh at our passwords.”
Jongdae closes his laptop slightly and grins, “Really, the first person ever?”
“Okay, well,” Baekhyun sputters, “The first person to ever outright laugh at, not one, but all of them!”
“Choosing passwords is definitely not yours or Junmyeon-ssi’s speciality.” Jongdae laughs. “What is your choice this week?”
“ Horololo .” Baekhyun folds his arms and sits back in glee.
Jongdae’s laugh is loud enough to startle Minseok all the way at the counter. His eyes are wide and he looks back down a moment later, the tips of his ears red.
“What even is that?” Jongdae asks once he’s calmed down. “Is that even a word in any language?”
Baekhyun shrugs. “It honestly sounded like something one of my friends said when he was drunk. I thought you’d enjoy that one.”
“That’s the best one so far.” Jongdae’s kitten lips quirk up into a grin. “Junmyeon will have to step up his game next week.”
“I’m gonna tell him that and watch him worry about a better password.” Baekhyun is gleeful.
Jongdae bites his lip and seems to be holding himself back from speaking. Baekhyun’s eyebrows furrow at the indecisiveness on his face and gestures to his laptop.
“What are you working on?”
The initial indecisiveness is gone as Jongdae’s eyes light up. “Oh, not much. I’m just editing a few photos for a client.”
He opens his laptop and angles it so Baekhyun can see as well. “I’m a photographer.” He explains.
A picture of a couple is open on his laptop. It’s clearly been taken on their wedding day. They’re in a field of flowers and the focus is on the couple as they stare into each other’s eyes. It’s not an ordinary photo; the slightly blurred flowers around them together with the lighting and angle of the photo make it very beautiful.
“Wow.” Baekhyun whistles lowly. “That’s amazing!”
“Thank you.” Jongdae blushes and closes his laptop. “I don’t only do weddings. I also photograph in my free time. It’s more of a hobby turned into career.”
“You’re a great photographer.” Baekhyun is in awe. “I’d love to see more of your pictures someday.”
“Thank you.” Jongdae blushes slightly. “What about you? You’re the co-owner here, right?”
Baekhyun nods. “I’m also a freelance graphic designer. The café takes up most of my time but I enjoy what I do on the side. Junmyeon’s the one who runs almost everything here, though. He has a degree in business so I guess it helped with the café.”
“You’re quite the power couple.” Jongdae observes, and a flash of uncertainty appears on his face.
“I guess,” Baekhyun shrugs in a mixture of embarrassment and pride.
“Speaking of that…” Jongdae seems to hesitate but continues when Baekhyun quirks his head up in encouragement, “You two are a couple, right?”
“Yeah,” Baekhyun can’t help the fondness that seems into his voice. “We’ve been together ever since university and opened this café together with two of our friends. This café is our baby, in a weird way.”
“I wasn’t sure, at first,” Jongdae’s laugh is strained, awkward. “Sorry, I think I’ve been flirting with both of you and I didn’t know you were a couple.”
Baekhyun panics; he doesn’t want this to end before it even begins.
“We were flirting with you!” He blurts, and then claps his hands over his mouth.
Jongdae’s eyes are wide with surprise and confusion. “Uhm… thanks, I think?”
“We both find you attractive,” Baekhyun rushes to explain, his cheeks suddenly heating up. “I certainly do and I’m sure Junmyeon feels the same. I’ve yet to speak to him about it.”
Baekhyun rubs the back of his neck awkwardly. “I’m sorry if that makes you uncomfortable. We try to keep the PDA to a minimum in the café.”
“I’m not uncomfortable.” Jongdae reassures him with a grin. “On the contrary, I’m relieved and honored. Not one but two hot co-owners find me attractive? That’s good for my ego.”
He’s reassuring both of them and Baekhyun feels a huge weight lifted off of his shoulders. “Oh, so you have a big ego, now? Are we going to have to rethink this?”
Jongdae laughs and Baekhyun finds himself smiling fondly. “Thank you.”
“For what?” Baekhyun is confused.
“I was worried and… I didn’t know how to bring it up.” Jongdae taps a finger against his laptop.
“Are you… interested by any chance?” Baekhyun bites his lip to quell his flare of hope.
Jongdae takes a moment to answer. “Yes.” He says, softly but surely. “In both of you.”
Baekhyun exhales in relief, “Well, that’s good to hear.”
“So…” Jongdae says after they spend a minute just smiling at each other like dorks. “How does this work?”
“First things first: a date.” Baekhyun grins. “I’m gonna have so much fun planning this!”
He whips out his phone and hands it to Jongdae. “Let me know when you’re free and I’ll text you details.”
Jongdae is grinning as he adds his number to Baekhyun’s contact list. “Okay, I look forward to it.”
“Kim Jongdae.” Baekhyun reads when he gets his phone back. “You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into.”
Baekhyun grins and Jongdae shrugs. “Somehow, I don’t think I’ll regret it.”
Baekhyun is already snuggled under the covers when Junmyeon joins him that night. Their room is dark, save for the bedside lamp Junmyeon has on so he can do a bit of reading.
Junmyeon settles into his spot and soon Baekhyun is turning over to wrap himself around Junmyeon like an octopus. Baekhyun’s eyes close now that he’s comfortable under the blankets and holding onto Junmyeon. He’s reached a level of comfortable that he’s certain he won’t be able to reach again.
He’s almost asleep when he remembers what happened earlier, and opens one eye to peer up at Junmyeon.
“Junmyeon-ah.” Baekhyun whispers.
Junmyeon carefully rests his book on the table and looks down at him. He trails his fingers through Baekhyun’s hair, and if Baekhyun was a cat he’d be purring very loudly right now.
“Myeon,” Baekhyun fights to stay awake. “Do you like Jongdae?”
Junmyeon’s hand stills in his hair. “That was abrupt,” Junmyeon laughs. He snuggles lower into the blanket so that he’s lying down more than sitting up. It’s difficult, considering Baekhyun is practically latched onto him. A few minutes and some complaints later, he’s facing Baekhyun with his head on his pillow.
“I think he’s cute.” Junmyeon replies breathily.
“Yes, but do you like him?” Baekhyun asks more insistently. “He asked if we’re a couple today, because he wasn’t sure and he’s been flirting with both of us.”
Junmyeon’s eyebrows raise. “Do you like him, Baekhyunnie?”
“Not fair!” Baekhyun whines and places his cold toes on Junmyeon’s ankles. “I asked first!”
Junmyeon hisses at the contact and moves his feet away from Baekhyun’s. Baekhyun follows and as a result, they end up more on Junmyeon’s side of the bed rather than the center.
“Okay, fine,” Junmyeon chuckles. “I do like him, just a little bit.”
“Me too.” Baekhyun’s smile lights up the room. “Glad to know we both like him.”
“You’re up to something, aren’t you?” Junmyeon regards him with suspicion.
“Of course not!” Baekhyun gasps loudly. “Why on Earth would you think that?”
“Because I know you all too well.” Junmyeon laughs. “Whatever you’re up to, I trust you.”
“I love you.” Baekhyun swiftly presses his lips to Junmyeon’s nose.
“I love you too,” Junmyeon’s smile is sweet, trusting and ever so heartwarming. “Now please, get your cold toes away from me!”
Jongdae and Baekhyun start texting and don’t seem to stop. Baekhyun passes Jongdae’s number over to Junmyeon and soon both of them are glued to their phones, whether they’re together or apart.
They manage to arrange a dinner date for the upcoming Saturday. Baekhyun and Junmyeon figured they’d rather meet on familiar ground, and scheduled the café to close slightly earlier than normal. Kyungsoo offered to make them something extra nice and Minseok offered to open the next morning so they could sleep in if they wanted to.
Baekhyun was a nervous wreck come Saturday morning. He woke up late, almost broke a mug, and tripped over his own feet too many times. Eventually, Junmyeon catches him around the waist and drags him to the kitchen.
“Hey, hey,” Junmyeon places his hands firmly on Baekhyun’s waist and stares into his eyes. “Baekhyunnie, are you alright?”
Baekhyun tries to squirm out of Junmyeon’s grasp but his hold only tightens. Baekhyun sighs and stills under his hands, “Yeah… I’m just super nervous for later. I don’t want to scare him away.”
“I think our passwords would do that job,” Junmyeon jokes. When Baekhyun merely huffs and rolls his eyes, Junmyeon removes a hand from his waist and smooths his thumb over Baekhyun’s furrowing eyebrow.
“Don’t worry, Baekhyunnie. I’ll be there with you; we’re doing this together, remember?”
“Yeah.” Baekhyun’s frown melts away under Junmyeon’s soft touch. “I’m just… scared of what happened last time. I don’t want a repeat of that. I don’t want to lose you as well.”
“Now who ever said that would happen?” Junmyeon chastises lightly. “I said I’ll never leave you, especially after last time.”
“I know.” Baekhyun exhales heavily. “I’m just scared.”
Junmyeon presses his lips to Baekhyun’s forehead. “Baekhyun-ah, I promise you that whatever happens tonight won’t change a thing between us. The best thing that could happen is that our two becomes a three – and three’s a party!”
“And the worst?” Baekhyun’s eyes are uncharacteristically vulnerable, and he sees Junmyeon’s expression soften.
“And the worst is that we remain undivided,” Junmyeon promises. “I love you, Baekhyunnie. And I don’t think we’ll scare Jongdae away easily.”
“Our passwords will do that for us!” Baekhyun echoes his words earlier and grins.
“That’s the spirit!” Junmyeon cheers and leans in to kiss him.
A loud cough has them wrenching away from each other and blushing under Kyungsoo’s glare.
They’re sheepish and apologetic as they’re waved away with a hiss from Kyungsoo. “No PDA in the kitchen!”
Baekhyun finds strength in Junmyeon’s smile and goes back to work, his heart feeling lighter and more optimistic than before.
They can do this. They’ll be okay.
“Hello! Welcome to Bean Through, the cutest café ever! Would you be interested in a lame pun by the other owner? Or a funny password by yours truly?”
“I’m pretty sure it’s Junmyeon’s turn next.” Jongdae deadpans from the entrance of the café. “Thanks for the introduction, though.”
He’s dressed nicely in dark jeans, a white turtleneck sweater and a dark denim jacket thrown over it. His hair is subtly styled and Baekhyun would love nothing more than to declare this look ‘Absolute Boyfriend Material’.
Baekhyun pouts. “You’re no fun. You look nice though. Handsome even, dare I say.”
Jongdae blushes. “Thanks… You too.”
They stand there for a moment, just staring at each other and blushing, until they’re startled out of their stupor by Junmyeon.
“Jongdae-yah!” Junmyeon beams, “You’re here! You’re just in time. I started to heat up the food for us.”
“Did you guys cook?” Jongdae asks as he’s led to a table. Baekhyun sits first and watches as Junmyeon pulls out the chair for Jongdae, and then sits down in his own chair.
They set up the table in the middle of the café, with help from Minseok and Seulgi, one of their part-timers. Seulgi had taken it upon herself to hang up a string of fairy lights, so that it looked a little more romantic. Baekhyun makes a mental note to thank her for that tomorrow.
“Not tonight,” Junmyeon chuckles, “Our food was lovingly made by Kyungsoo today. Neither of us cooks as well as he does.”
“I guess I’ll just have to cook for you two, one day,” Jongdae grins, and Baekhyun feels something tug in his stomach. The prospect of more dates makes him equally timid and thrilled.
“Oh!” Junmyeon jumps up suddenly. “I forgot the wine!”
He’s halfway to the kitchen when he turns back sheepishly and calls, “Wine is okay? Or would you prefer something else?”
“Wine is fine,” Jongdae replies. Junmyeon nods and disappears to fetch the bottle.
“I’m more of a soju guy,” Jongdae turns to Baekhyun. His conversational tone automatically makes Baekhyun feel relaxed. “But I don’t mind wine. It took me a while to get used to the taste of it.”
“Me too.” Baekhyun twists his face in agreement, “I still can’t get used to wine. I’ll take soju any day.”
Junmyeon returns with the bottle of wine and another smaller bottle. He pours wine for Jongdae and himself, and hands Baekhyun the smaller bottle.
“Why is Baekhyun getting juice?” Jongdae laughs loudly when he sees the smaller bottle.
“Because Baekhyunnie has a very low alcohol tolerance,” Junmyeon’s eyes twinkle.
Baekhyun sputters and clutches his juice to his chest, “Hey! No fair!”
Junmyeon and Jongdae laugh as he rolls his eyes and pouts. Junmyeon ruffles his hair in apology and he huffs.
“I don’t know why but I’m nervous.” Jongdae takes a sip of his wine and looks at them both. “I’ve never done this before and, well, I don’t know how. Dating one person is a contest, a regular one but a contest nonetheless. Dating two people? Who have been dating for years?”
“If it makes you feel any better, we’re just as nervous as you.” Junmyeon confesses.
“We’ve done this before.” Baekhyun chimes in, and Jongdae’s eyes widen.
“Baekhyunnie, I thought you said we weren’t going to scare him away!” Junmyeon complains, even though there’s a smile dancing on his lips.
Jongdae glances to him and the fondness that he regards Junmyeon with seals the deal for Baekhyun. It’s small, but the fondness almost mirrors Baekhyun’s own.
“Well, he should know!” Baekhyun sticks his tongue out at Junmyeon and smiles ruefully at Jongdae. “A few years ago, we thought it would be interesting to add another person to our mix. It’s not that we found each other lacking or anything, it’s just that we were open minded. And, of course, there was a reason for this.”
“We really liked him, both of us,” Junmyeon takes over, wistfulness laced in his voice. “He seemed to fit between us. We didn’t know, we still don’t know, how to make it work but somehow the three of us worked.”
“It took a few weeks but we started to notice things,” Baekhyun continues, his eyes hardening. “He’d want to meet with either me or Junmyeon, but never together. He fed us different stories, told us lies and tried to turn us against each other.”
“He tried to break us apart,” Junmyeon says softly. Remorse clouds his features, “We noticed it before he succeeded. We broke things off with him and we grew closer than ever.”
Jongdae stares at them with sympathy in his eyes. “I’m sorry that happened to you.” He says, “I swear, though, I would never try to break you two apart. I’m here for both of you.”
“And we’re here for you.” Junmyeon reaches out to clasp one of Jongdae’s hands.
“We don’t know how to do this either,” Baekhyun takes Jongdae’s other hand and his free hand instinctively finds Junmyeon’s. “But we can try, yeah? The three of us, together?”
Jongdae’s smile outshines any of the lights in the café. It even outshines the luminescent moon lighting up their side of the world.
“Of course,” Jongdae says sincerely. “I like you both and I’d love to try.”
Junmyeon and Baekhyun exchange relieved grins. Baekhyun squeezes Junmyeon’s hand and sighs when Junmyeon’s grip tightens.
“On one condition, however.”
“What is it?” Baekhyun is floating on a cloud of happiness, and it’s lifting him higher and higher into the sky.
“I get a few turns to name the Wi-Fi password!” Jongdae smiles triumphantly at them. “Maybe then it’ll be less cheesy.”
Baekhyun gasps and places a hand on his chest in mock hurt, “This was your ploy all along, yeah? You just want to date us so you get more chances to laugh at our Wi-Fi passwords.”
Jongdae holds his hands up in surrender, “You caught me.” He laughs.
“It’s a deal,” Junmyeon says after exchanging a look with Baekhyun. “I’ll forfeit my upcoming turn to you.”
Jongdae throws his fist up in victory. “Well then, I think this is going to be the beginning of something wonderful.”
“Me too,” Baekhyun can’t help but smile affectionately at him. “You’re something special, Kim Jongdae.”
Junmyeon opens his mouth to say something, when his eyes suddenly widen and he gasps.
“Junmyeon-ah?” Baekhyun frowns, “What happened?”
“Oh no!” Junmyeon shrieks and races to the kitchen, “I forgot about the food in the oven!”
Baekhyun and Jongdae burst out laughing as they hear him wailing. “Come on,” Baekhyun gestures, “Let’s go see if our dinner is salvageable or not.”
Jongdae takes his proffered hand and smiles, “Sure thing. Let’s go, Baekhyun-ah.”
As the three of them go to inspect the remains of their dinner so lovingly cooked by Kyungsoo, Baekhyun can’t help but let contentment flow through him. He watches as Junmyeon and Jongdae converse naturally, and enjoys rolling his eyes with Jongdae whenever Junmyeon cracks a lame joke. He pouts when Junmyeon and Jongdae team up to tease him. Junmyeon and Baekhyun take turns in finding out more about Jongdae and time passes as they talk more into the night.
The feeling of utmost serenity and happiness never leaves Baekhyun. Looking into Junmyeon and Jongdae’s eyes, he’s pretty certain they feel the same.
“Hey, Minseok-hyung,” Baekhyun hears as he exits the kitchen, “Where are Junmyeon and Baekhyun?”
“There’s your boyfriend,” Minseok jerks his thumb to the door when Baekhyun comes into sight, “Well, one of them at least.”
Baekhyun sticks his tongue out at Minseok as he goes round the counter to greet Jongdae. He falls easily into Jongdae’s arms and smiles when he feels the press of Jongdae’s lips against his cheek.
“Glad to see these two haven’t chased you away with their combined lameness,” Minseok comments offhandedly.
“Are you kidding me?” Baekhyun snorts, “Jongdae is just as lame as we are! He just hides it well behind his cuteness.”
Jongdae laughs loudly and says, “What can I say, these two bring out my lameness.”
“Boo!” Junmyeon suddenly appears and wraps his arms around both Jongdae and Baekhyun. He pouts when no one jumps. “You guys are no fun.”
“That’s not what you said last night,” Jongdae smirks and Baekhyun has to hold onto him for fear of falling on the floor out of laughter.
“By the way,” Minseok interrupts them, his eyes crinkled into a fond smile, “Nice password, Jongdae-yah.”
“Thank you, hyung!” Jongdae puffs his chest out in pride. “Tell these two here that I’m the best at choosing passwords.”
“I gotta admit,” Minseok laughs. “Sorry you two, but Jongdae is indeed the best.”
“Fine.” Baekhyun sniffles. “Take his side, of course. I would too.”
“Coffee,” Junmyeon muses. “It’s a good password. It’s a bit too obvious but also kind of unexpected.”
“The best things are always unexpected,” Baekhyun shuffles them to a table and smiles.
“Not always,” Jongdae interrupts with a mischievous grin, “Rain is unexpected, and then you realize you forgot your umbrella so you’re bound to get wet. That’s not a good thing.”
Baekhyun groans loudly as Junmyeon and Jongdae high five. He glowers at Jongdae but it lacks heat behind it; his lips are fighting back a smile.
“Are you free for the rest of the day?” Junmyeon asks as he absentmindedly plays with Jongdae’s fingers.
“I’ve just got a few pictures left to edit, but other than that I’ve got nothing planned,” Jongdae shrugs. “What do you have in mind?”
“Movie marathon and dinner?” Baekhyun proposes eagerly, “You can stay over. We can kick Junmyeon out of the bed!”
“That sounds promising,” Jongdae mirrors Baekhyun’s evil look. “Sure, I’m game for that.”
Junmyeon narrows his eyes at them. “You wouldn’t dare.”
“Oh, but Junmyeon darling,” Jongdae croons, his voice low and eyes dark. “But we would.”
Jongdae stands and smirks at them. He walks to the counter, deliberately swaying his hips and speaks to Minseok for a moment, before going through the kitchen door to head to their apartment.
“Oh man,” Baekhyun whistles. “What did we get ourselves into?”
“I have no idea.” Wonderment seeps into Junmyeon’s voice and he grins at Baekhyun. The lovesick look in his eyes emulates Baekhyun’s own. “But I don’t regret it at all.”
As they rush after Jongdae, Baekhyun feels the sentiment deep in his heart. He doesn’t regret bringing Jongdae into their lives at all. It was their best decision yet. Jongdae didn’t fill an empty space between them - he wormed his way around them and created his own space.
Baekhyun loves Junmyeon and Jongdae equally, fiercely, with his entire body and soul. He wouldn’t give up these two for anything in the world. And he’s certain they feel the same. They’ve been through this before.
Junmyeon was right: three really is a party.