favoritism (park chanyeol x reader)
“Why doesn’t boss ever pay attention to the shit you manage to steal?”
“Meh,” you groan, shifting the cap perched on your head and rubbing your shoe over a dirt smudge on the tiled floor. College was shitty and you couldn’t wait to steal some food from someone’s serving tray.
“You’re not even that appealing,” Baekhyun adds while examining himself in his handy compact mirror.
“You’re just jealous that Chanyeol favors (y/n) instead of you, BaekByun,” Kyungsoo yawns and you puff your cheeks up. Baekhyun huffs and bumps your shoulder as he makes his way towards the register he’s supposed to man for the day.
Working part-time in a burger joint named “Exo burgers” is the last thing that you wanted in life, but, circumstances were dire, and college tuition, which can only be described as an ocean that can be crossed only when one is armed with wads of green cash that were crafted with nothing but your tears required you to man cash registers and scrub French fry stains from tables. What it didn’t require was you stealthily picking food off of the storage buckets when no one’s looking, or cajoling Junmyeon, one of the guys who worked in the kitchen, to give you a slice of meat or sneak you a milkshake. You knew it was wrong, but you never got caught anyway, so, what was wrong with it as long as you’re doing your job?
“Guys!! Guuyssss!” someone whispers from the kitchen. It’s Amber, one of the cooks who works with Junmyeon and Sehun.
“What? Oh my god…what have you done to your hair!?” Baekhyun gapes at her, or more like her head, which now sports tufts of fiery red hair.
“Used ketchup instead of shampoo, listen, Pcy is coming in a minute,” she puckers her lips in disdain, the fluorescent light from above casting a shadow on her nose.
“Baekhyun, shut up and man your goddamn register while eating mango lip balm,” Kyungsoo narrows his eyes as if he’s utterly done with everyone’s shit and greets a lady who now stands infront of him. Minho, the last one who’s on register duty today has yet to come in.
“Basically, do the only thing you’re good at,” Amber comments before her head disappears from the door edge and she gets back to frying more meat. Baekhyun shoots Kyungsoo and the door a withering look before slipping a round egg shaped object, his lip balm, and rotates it multiple times around the curve of his lips, and greets the customer infront of him.
You laugh, and turn around to greet another customer infront of you and you hear the shrill noise of the door ring throughout the store. Just like Amber predicted, the store manager strolls in casually, leather jacket slung over one arm and a helmet tucked in another, nose scrunched up due to the dust that his bike managed to steal off the pavement and throw onto the air. He nods to Kyungsoo and Baekhyun and disappears behind you.
Park Chanyeol liked to believe that he was a bad boy, but behind all the attiude he seemed to give everyone for their shitty attempt at doing their jobs, he was a huge softie. It’d be a miracle if Chanyeol was ever kind to anyone of your coworkers. Kyungsoo almost lost his job because his attempt at “smiling” made a ten year old burst into tears. Chanyeol had to call Junmyeon, who was the only one who was anywhere near good with kids and the matter was settled peacefully. Chanyeol always got on everyone’s nerves. His tall stature allowed to spy on everyone from his vantage point, which was his tiny office next to the kitchen so nothing went unnoticed by him.
Strangely, you’d never spoken to Chanyeol face to face for more than ten minutes, if only it was on matters regarding your pay. Even more strangely, Chanyeol never seemed to have any complaints regarding you stealing food. Which was crazy, because last week, you decided to perform a tiny experiment by stealing a huge ass piece of chicken right before his eyes, and devouring it as slowly as possible as he watched on from his chair in his office. He didn’t even bat an eyelash. Now, this was something you were ready to exploit. You had to admit that he was really cute, and the tiny crush crush you had on him was slowly growing.
“You know what, last week, I even complained to Mr. I have a stick up my ass but my height covers it up, about you stealing food and you know what that drumstick did?” Baekhyun tells you as you punch in someone’s order of a coke and burger later that day.
“What?” you ask, your curiosity bleeding through the single word.
“He fucking blushed and laughed it off!”
“Oh,” you hide your smile into your palm.
“Don’t ‘Oh’ me, what are you doing to warrant such special treatment?” Baekhyun pouts.
“Don’t feel bad…If it helps, even I don’t know why he does, to be honest,” you console him. But Baekhyun continues pouting, mango lip balm making his lips shine.
“How about I buy you some doughnuts to make up for it?”
“Really?!” his eyes light up in excitement.
“Yeah, I heard the shop sells good doughnuts for a cheap price!” you grin at him.
“You’re buying doughnuts because they’re cheap!” he wails.
“I’m sorry, this month’s money is a bit tight~” you pout. He leans over to punch your shoulder while scrunching his face up in misery. You lean over and ruffle his hair. Baekhyun was in his last year of Highschool, which explains the choding he oozes all the time.
“Baekhyun, stop trying to lick your coworkers’ shoes, get back to your work.” Chanyeol comments from his office. Baekhyun gives the ceiling a withering look before he gets back to his work.
Saying that money was tight was a huge understatement. Your account book had withstood several frustrated scratches of addition and re-addition and despite many attempts to skip the luxury of chocolate and more meat in the plastic wrapper at the market, you had a bit of trouble with your rent for your apartment. Which brings you to your current problem, travelling from work to home and vice-versa was mostly by bus, whose tickets were pricey in your opinion, but walking all the way took too much energy and you had homework to do too. Sadly, you had no other option than to walk all the way back to your apartment.
“Get on,” someone calls out as you’re passing the bus stand which you won’t have the luxury to stand under.
It’s Chanyeol, you identify from the voice. He’s got his helmet on and jerks his head back to the pillion seat of his bike. It’s the first non-work related thing he’s told you.
“You aren’t catching the bus, are you?” he says, chucking a spare helmet towards you.
“…what are you planning?” you give him a suspicious look.
“J-just come on, I promise I’ll deliver you safely.”
“You sound like a pregnant woman,” you comment as you slide the helmet on and get on behind him.
He doesn’t say anything but gives out a sound which sounds like a kicked puppy before he zips off, leaving you feeling like your lungs have been squeezed of all their air. You don’t notice him choke on his spit as you loop your arms around his waist and hold on for dear life.
“Ever seen a pregnant lady do that?” he says as he finally slows down.
“Actually, I wanted to ask how you even know where to go, because I haven’t mentioned even once where I lived.”
“I-I…have a habit of memorizing my employees’ addresses.”
“Oh…okay.” you say, disappointed by his answer and he zips off again.
“Thank you for the ride, I appreciate it a lot. I’ll work extra hard to make it up to you,“ you tell him as he stops infront of your apartment.
“Steal some more food?” he raises his eyebrows in mockery.
“…I’m just a hungry child…” you tell him, handing him his extra helmet. He bursts into a fit of giggles and smiles warmly at you.
“Say, there’s this thing next week…”
“Is it a staff outing? Are we finally getting a taste of freedom?” your nose quivers in anticipation and your eyes light up.
“N-no…I wanted to take you out…just you and me,” he clarifies with hopeful eyes.
“Where?” you ask him without a second of hesitation.
“You’ll see,” he smiles at you and you can almost picture both of you sipping out of wine glasses and eating an overpriced dish in a restaurant overlooking the Han river.
“I…I’m so sorry for your loss,” you tell the fifteenth crying person you encounter in the crowd of mourning humans.
“It’s a shame she had to leave us so soon…I had a grand time watching her from my window,” Chanyeol comments from his permanent position beside you.
He brought you to a funeral in your neighbor’s house.
“I’m sure she was a wonderful bird…” you spot him consoling a lady whose tears are flowing freely down her chubby cheeks.
Not his neighbors’, but the female turkey that the man owned. Someone decided to sneak into their lawn one uneventful night and slaughter the bird, stealing a majority of its body and leaving behind scattered feathers as the only indication of the heinous crime.
“They lodged a police complaint, I’m pretty sure they’ll nab the culprit any time this week!” Chanyeol clenches his fist. You give the pile of feathers a look of pure aversion and sigh loudly.
“Don’t be sad, she’s in a better place now.”
“Yeah, in someone’s intestines?”
Chanyeol ignores your comment and rubs a person’s back in sympathy and you’re one second away from turning back and running the fuck away from the tiny house. Chanyeol drops you back infront of your apartment.
“You’re kidding,” Baekhyun comments, slathering more lip balm onto his lips.
“No, he actually took me to his neighbours’ turkey’s funeral, I kid you not. I feel like my soul has left my body, Baekhyun,” you whimper in pain that all the standing bestowed on your feet.
“…I’m literally speechless.” His mouth hangs open.
“There, there…” Junmyeon comments from the sidelines, sliding a vanilla milkshake infront of you.
“I love you…” you tell him and proceed to take a hearty sip from the semi-warm beverage.
Chanyeol’s out for a meeting with the vegetable suppliers and the staff is taking a break since customer flow is sparse at this time of the day.
“He really likes you, though,” Kyungsoo says, chewing on a piece of his burger.
“I like him too…but what if every date he takes me to is a funeral?” you comment with wide, questioning eyes.
“Go easy on him, it’s his first crush,” Junmyeon says. Chanyeol and Junmyeon were college buddies. You whimper and nod at everyone before taking another sip of your milkshake.
“So…are you going to keep watching me creepily from there until I finish scrubbing this stain off?”
“I’m just waiting to close up the shop!” Chanyeol squeaks at being discovered.
“So, anymore funerals on your to-do list that you need a partner for?”
“…it was a dare from my sister’s boyfriend…“ he whispers and you almost miss it because of the simultaneous shrill scrape of metal against the tiled floor. You give him an incredulous look before bursting into laughter so loud that you end up slipping on the towel that you drop on the floor. Chanyeol catches you right in time and you both stare at each other and burst into more laughter.
“You…you took me to a fake turkey funeral for my first date?”
“…It was your first date?!”
“Why was everyone crying?”
“Because they wanted dibs on the turkey meat,” Chanyeol grins.
“…I honestly have no words,”
“Can I make it up to you by taking you on a better date?”
“Can you promise me that it isn’t another funeral?”
“We’ll eat Jjajangmyeon, I’ll buy it for you!” he beams.
“You know, you can atleast berate me a tiny bit for stealing food, your man-crush was so obvious since I joined,”
“Yeah…Baekhyun thinks there’s something fishy going on,” Chanyeol says, hesitantly reaching for your hand.
“Can I kiss you? I’ve been staring at your lips, and I really can’t leave this shop without kissing you atleast once,” you tell him. He nods shyly and wraps his hands around your waist, pulling you in noiselessly while his lips slowly attach themselves with yours. He leads you back until your back hits the counter where the cash registers are perched and you wrap your legs around him while pulling at his hair, your back hitting a particular register.
“YES! FUCK YES! HE’S GOING TO BE IN A BETTER MOOD NOW THAT HE’S GETTING SOME! I CAN ALREADY SMELL THE NEXT ZERO IN MY NEXT CHECK!” Baekhyun screams and grunts while clenching his hands. The rest of Exo burger’s staff is currently hiding inside the coffee shop opposite their store. Amber and Minho are sleeping on each other. Junmyeon is almost crying as he whispers “my children, I’m so proud, mom is so proud…” and sips his Americano. Sehun is playing with his phone. Baekhyun’s strawberry shortcake is forgotten as he makes celebratory noises and grunts out “oooh, she’s going for the butt!”
Kyungsoo is the only one who’s sitting rigid, his face ashen and his hot chocolate now forgotten.
“That’s my cash register you heathens…”