Also: I liiiiive!
It is a quick year, mercifully, and it passes without Chanyeol thinking too much about Sunny and her family, her nephews and nieces and potential children.
He graduated from university, and moved from student dorms into shared accommodation with his three best friends from university; Byun Baekhyun, Kim Jongdae and Do Kyungsoo. It made sense to live together; they all liked each other’s company and the rent was much cheaper with four of them squeezed into a three-bedroom flat. Chanyeol and Baekhyun shared a room, because Jongdae worked funny hours and Kyungsoo had threatened to kick both Chanyeol and Baekhyun out of the flat due to unsightly sleeping habits if they made him share.
Six months through their first year, Baekhyun moved in with his long-term girlfriend, and two months later Jongdae transferred to a bigger office and moved out to live closer (Chanyeol is pretty sure he has a girlfriend there, too). They still see each other regularly so it isn’t that weird that the house is suddenly down two noise-makers. The third bedroom, now spare, quickly becomes a music studio; both Kyungsoo and Chanyeol have always enjoyed music. Chanyeol likes to compose on his guitar in his free time, and Kyungsoo is always happy to sing for, or with, him. It also helps for work.
Kyungsoo and Chanyeol have always been close; they met in the same halls of residence during their first year at university, and had clicked instantly. They are vastly different; Kyungsoo a lot quieter and more stoic than Chanyeol, who often feels like the life of the party, but they bonded over Marvel films, One Piece, a similar taste in western pop music, and soju—Chanyeol likes peach soju, which Kyungsoo always makes fun of him for, but he always buys it for him anyway. Kyungsoo is probably Chanyeol’s best, of the three of them, friend, and even though Kyungsoo likes to pretend otherwise, Chanyeol knows he’s probably his favourite, too.
It’s easy living alone with Kyungsoo, who always makes time to have dinner with him or drive him to work. When four of them had lived together, and they’d all worked on different sides of town, spending dinner together and carpooling to work had been an impossibility.
They have a tradition, the two of them. Every Saturday is movie night; Fridays being sacred for work outings or group outings with the other two. Only Kyungsoo works on Saturdays, but they both have time in the evenings to spend together. Kyungsoo used to like going to the cinema on his own, when they were still in university, but now they have shared Netflix and Sky Store accounts, and they always manage to find something they both want to watch. It costs less than going to the cinema, and they get to do it in the comfortable privacy of their own shared home, on their nice blue sofa, with cheap bowls of nachos and sweet-and-salty popcorn in front of them.
On one such Saturday movie night, an hour into the new Star Trek film—not something either of them had been a fan of prior to these films, but which is enjoyable anyway—DΞΔN’s bonnie & clyde starts playing. Kyungsoo wordlessly pauses the TV and Chanyeol scrambles to grab his phone before they start singing along.
He doesn’t recognise the phone number. Not many people ever phone him, to the point he can list them on the fingers of two hands: his mother, his father, Yura, Jongdae, Baekhyun, Kyungsoo, his (stupidly chill) boss Joonmyun.
This—this is different.