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because you’re here with me

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Yanjun likes standing still under the sun, basking in its warmth as gentle breezes roll past. 

 

He enjoyed the feeling of running his fingers through his hair after it had been warmed by sun - it was most likely a sign that he had been standing outside for too long and should seek shade, but he found pleasure in it nevertheless. Perhaps he also appreciated the sun’s rays for providing him with a reason to wear sunglasses; the world seemed to look better tinted a warm grey, and Yanjun believed that he himself looked better with large, dark frames perched upon his nose. He had never stopped to think about it before, but it was small, insignificant moments in time like this in which the world seemed to stand still, time seemed to stop, his surroundings seemed to silence in order to grant him a moment of peace-

 

“Lin Yanjun, wait up! You promised to wait for me!”

 

Yanjun turned to face the owner of the familiar voice, greeted with the sight of Zhangjing hurriedly rushing out of the dormitory. Despite his sharp words, there was a warmth in his voice that seemed to parallel the ball of warmth in the sky, and the Taiwanese boy could only attempt to suppress a grin as Zhangjing flashed him his signature gummy smile, small bunny teeth on full display, curly hair already tousled by the wind despite having stepped out for half a second. Yanjun noted that Zhangjing’s brown hair visibly lightened a shade under the sun, that his eyes held an extra twinkle in them. Turning away from Zhangjing to start in the direction of the new restaurant down the street, Yanjun absentmindedly smiled.

 

His peace and quiet may have been interrupted, but he’ll let it slide since it’s Zhangjing.

 

 


 

 

Yanjun likes taking hot, steaming showers to clear his mind and retreat into the comfortable corners of his mind. 

 

His members know this, his fans know, everybody around him knows of his love for notoriously long showers. There was something he enjoyed about just standing there, hot water beating down on his shoulders and running down every inch of his body, steam rising in all directions to fog up mirrors and glass alike, the steady sound of droplets beating down on the tiles below his feet. It was times like this, when the bathroom had been consumed by a haze, that he was able to think clearest, lose himself in his thoughts. 

 

Often, he’d find himself reevaluating decisions made and actions taken throughout the day. Sometimes it was small things; were the pictures he uploaded onto Weibo good enough? Surely they were. Were his white shoes clean? If he remembered correctly, he had last cleaned them two days ago. Should he have refrained from sneaking Zhangjing another box of banana milk? He would never openly admit it, but seeing Zhangjing’s eyes light up as he did so left him no regret. 

 

Other times, he’d contemplate slightly more important subjects; Should he have sprinted away from the crowd of fans at the airport? He had his reasons for doing so. Was his family back at home healthy and well? His mother had sent him pictures of a recent family gathering at a hotpot restaurant, and everybody seemed happy. Zhangjing seemed like he had a fever earlier, should he buy medicine for him? Yes, most definitely yes.

 

Most often, however, Yanjun found himself pondering the future. What were his company’s plans for himself and Zhangjing after the disbandment of Nine Percent? Would he ever regret rebelling against his father’s words and joining the entertainment industry? Did he mean as much to Zhangjing as Zhangjing did to him? These, he had no answers to.

 

And as if integrated into his shower routine every night, a crisp knock cut through the thick air before he had the chance to throw himself into another downward spiral of thoughts, followed by a familiar voice.

 

“Lin Yanjun, hurry up and get out of the shower. You’ve been in there for more than an hour!”

 

And so he did.

 

 


 

 

Yanjun likes curling up in bed while surrounded by soft blankets - a side of him that unfortunately, citizen producers weren’t able to capture a glimpse of. 

 

What people did know, however, was that Lin Yanjun is not a morning person - he never was. If, by chance, he woke up early, he would simply stay in a single position, blankets pulled up to his chin, and observe. There was a time where he had mysteriously awoken in the middle of the night, and simply stared into the seemingly never-ending darkness while listening to Chaoze’s soft snores, until he had returned to his peaceful slumber. Another time, a flock of birds had circled above their dorms as the sun began to lend its light to the waking world. He had silently watched as the room was drained of darkness and filled with a golden warmth, slow to realise that he had forgotten to draw the curtains closed last night. He reminded himself to do so tonight.

 

This morning, however, Yanjun didn’t quite mind his eyes magically cracking open at 6am; it provided him with time to observe the man peacefully wrapped in his arms. Soft, curly brown hair tickled his chin slightly, and Yanjun could smell only the gentle aroma of Zhangjing’s honey and vanilla shampoo. He grew aware of the tingling sensation in his left arm as the smaller boy’s head had definitely been resting on it for several minutes too long, but, afraid of awakening the sleeping angel before him, he decided to sacrifice his arm to ensure Zhangjing received proper rest. His right arm was stretched over the slight curve of the elder’s waist, chest pressed flush against Zhangjing’s back, and Yanjun smiled fondly, cherishing these quiet moments in the mornings, wrapped in soft blankets, golden light and a comforting serenity. 

 

Underneath the blankets, although still engulfed in slumber, Zhangjing’s hand managed to find its way to Yanjun’s. 

 

It did every time.

 

 


 

 

Yanjun likes reading, particularly on the couch with the quiet hum of outdoors rainfall contributing to the tranquil atmosphere. 

 

The atmosphere provided him with ample space to navigate his thoughts as he compared concepts explored in the books to his experiences in life, quite taken to the ideas of self reflection, moral evaluation, personal improvement. This wasn’t to say that he only read non-fiction books, however, as Yanjun was a believer of fictional worlds being the most effective mirror to real-life circumstances and contemporary issues. 

 

As he reached the final words of the page and flipped it, Yanjun basked in the split-second satisfaction of the crisp sound of paper cutting through air, before beginning to redirect his attention back to his book.

 

Before he had a chance to immerse himself in the fictional world once more, however, a soft clink was heard as a cup of hot tea, still steaming, was placed on the coffee table before him. Yanjun’s eyes trailed up the arm before eventually reaching a shy and gentle smile, a pair of comforting eyes. Zhangjing. 

 

Thanking the smaller man, Yanjun’s eyes continued to follow the vocalist as he sat himself down on the opposite side of the couch, their legs quickly becoming a tangled mess, providing Yanjun with a sense of warmth he didn’t realise he was lacking. Zhangjing let out a soft giggle before fishing his phone out from his pocket, resuming what Yanjun assumed to be scrolling through Weibo. Content with this quiet company, Yanjun returned to reading the novel. Perhaps it had slipped from his mind or he had just failed to realise, however, as the Taiwanese boy found himself confronted with the last few pages of his book - in fact, now that he thought about it, it made sense as he had begun reading this novel two weeks ago. 

 

“He found what a grotesque thing a rose is”, Yanjun whispered underneath his breath, his heart crying out in sympathy for the man who gave up everything for a love that failed him, a society that failed him. A part of Yanjun believed that maybe, just maybe, it was the protagonist himself that failed him, almost a sense of self-defeating energy. 

 

Briefly pausing his actions on his phone, Zhangjing glanced up at Yanjun, his usually playful eyes replaced with pools of depth and maturity. “Roses are only grotesque if you perceive it to be so; Rather than focusing on the thorns, take a step back and look at the broader picture. You’ll be surprised at how beautiful a single rose can be.”

 

Resuming what he now assumed to be a game, Yanjun was once more left to his own thoughts in a state of reflection and somewhat confusion, accompanied only by the intensified pattering of raindrops angled to hit the window. But rather than ponder the weight of Zhangjing’s seemingly wise words, Yanjun chooses to simply shrug and accept what he assumed to be a metaphorical life lesson he would come to understand sooner or later.

 

After all, who would he trust if not Zhangjing?