< Somnolence >
Somnolence (alternatively "sleepiness" or "drowsiness") is a state of strong desire for sleep , derived from the Latin "somnus" meaning "sleep".
“Can I sleep with you?”
“I mean!!! It’s not like I want to sleep with you!!!! But it’s all your fault!!! It’s because of your horror story!! You knew I would be scared but you still…….”
Yanjun tuned out Zhangjing’s ramblings and surprised both of them when he let out a soft
Zhangjing looked at him in shock.
Yanjun lightly chuckled.
“Yeah, I’ll sleep with you, Mr. You Zhangjing.”
It started out as a one-time thing, a temporary solution to Zhangjing’s problem that fateful night which stemmed from Yanjun’s “harmless” stories. When both of them woke up the next day finding themselves in each other’s arms, it only took 0.5 secs for them to jump away from each other, scrambling to hide their tomato red faces.
Yanjun doesn’t understand why he feels like this, after all, Zhangjing was the one that asked him to sleep with him, so why does his face warm up everytime the image of them cuddling pops in his mind? He, a man, was just helping out another man, which is his best friend! So it’s fine, he convinces himself, a one-time favour from a bro to another bro.
But at night, when Zhangjing gives him those sparkly brown eyes silently asking for permission, Yanjun opens his arms wide, and they both slept well for another night, another night, and another night.
The duo’s sleeping arrangement wasn’t a secret to the other members, as they found out after Fan Cheng Cheng caught them sleeping in each other’s arms while he was looking for his tennis racket.
“They looked…… so peaceful and normal.” He said animatedly. “It looked so natural like they were supposed to sleep like that…….. hey Justin, maybe we could try….?”
“But they looked so comfortable….” pouted Cheng Cheng.
“Some people are meant to be Chengcheng.” Justin looks over to the Yanjun and Zhangjing who were on the sofa bickering about something, completely oblivious.
“And some…… are too dumb for something like that. At least for now.” After giving him a meaningful look, he left Fan Chengcheng alone at the table.
Chengcheng sat still for a long time, before shaking his head.
“I’m sure he was talking about me, but I still don’t understand why I have to be smart to share a bed with someone else”
Somewhere in the house, Justin is throwing away Fan Cheng Cheng’s snacks, with Zhu Zhengting gleefully assisting him.
After it has been established that cuddling each other to sleep is now a regular thing, Zhangjing and Yanjun now seemed closer together. When Zhangjing wants to go out to grab his Americano in the early morning, Yanjun would get up, frowning and all, but never complaining. When Yanjun wanted to go outside to have a walk, Zhangjing would bounce up from his couch and happily hop over to put on his coat, and Yanjun would make sure he’s all zipped up properly. They used to be close with each other back then, but these days, it’s as if they are glued at the hip, following wherever the other goes.
No one noticed the change more than Yanjun. Opening your eyes to find your best friend sleeping soundly millimeters away from you was easier to get used to than he thought. Suddenly, he is used to the extra warmth under the sheets, and finds himself inching closer to Zhangjing sometimes, which freaked him out. This is wrong. He thinks as he finds his arms resting on Zhangjing’s shoulder casually. I’m not supposed to do this, as he finds himself automatically passing over an extra bottle of water to Zhangjing during fanmeets, stopping himself from helping him wipe his sweat, too. Suddenly everything, every action, every thought Yanjun makes is about Zhangjing, and Yanjun doesn’t understand.
Until suddenly the person that’s always there suddenly isn’t there anymore.
After the fanmeet, each member of the group got busy with their respective solo schedules. Yanjun who was always the first to know about Zhangjing’s activities suddenly had to rely on the NPC group chat to keep up with his life, and vice versa. During the day, he had all his activities to keep him busy, flying around China for endorsement events and flying out of China for photoshoots, however when the hectic days ends and it’s time for him to sleep, he lets himself miss his best friend. He does miss him, a lot. He misses the person who would always blow dry his hair after his 2 hour showers, he misses how that person has a habit of bouncing slightly on the bed (3 times) and pats the pillow (twice) to “make sure the bed bugs know that they should leave” he explained to Yanjun, who was trying not to laugh at how silly he sounded. But most importantly, he misses hearing his voice, the voice that used to be the first thing he hears in the morning, and the last thing he hears before he sleeps.
He checks the NPC group chat. “Congrats Kunkun for your award <3”
3 minutes ago. He takes the chance and calls the number at the top of his contact list. It dials once, twice, then-- “Lin Yanjun~”
There. That’s the warm feeling in his chest again. Everytime Lin Yanjun sees or hears Zhangjing, heat blooms from deep within, making him tingly all over. “Hey Zhangjing.” He rolls over on his back.
He hears faint voices and scruffles on the other line. “It’sYanjun!” he hears Zhangjing whisper to someone beside him while giggling.
“Hey Yanjun! Do you know who am I?” He hears another voice pipe up.
He can’t help the jealousy that blooms in his heart. I should be there right now, filming with Zhangjing. And it was supposed to be him at first, until the company decided to pick up another cooking show last minute for him, causing so much trouble for him and the producers.
“What’s up Justin? Is filming doing great over there?” and curses when he hears jealousy lacing his tone.
“It’s doing great bro! Zhangjing is getting along so well with the female guests!!! I always thought you were the ladies man-” Justin can be heard struggling to breathe, with Zhangjing probably causing it.
Excuse me? “Oh? Is that so?”
“It’s not true!!!!!” You Zhangjing yells while presumably fighting with Justin for the phone. Justin with the longer arms would obviously win, and quickly says “Why Yanjun-ge? Are you jealous?”
Jealous? Is this feeling called jealousy? Wait a minute why should he be jealous?
“Why would he be jealous?” Zhangjing chuckled nervously. “Is it because I’m getting more attention from girls than him nowadays?”
Yanjun frowned, no, that’s not it, but there was still a sour feeling in his gut, and he did not like it one bit.
“So, why did you call?” Zhangjing asks softly.
I…...I missed you. “I couldn’t sleep” Yanjun says finally, after an internal struggle. He hears the elder giggle so cutely he felt like his heart would burst. “Lin Yanjun? The boy who could fall asleep anywhere? Unable to fall asleep in his posh hotel?” Zhangjing made a noise that didn’t sound human. “That’s something new!”
Yanjun could feel the corners of his mouth going out “Hey don’t tease me? What was that sound? Was it an animal?” He found himself laughing along with his best friend. After a few moments…. both of them descended into comfortable silence. Just listening to Zhangjing’s breathing somehow gave his mind some much-needed peace.
“Hey, why don’t I sing you a lullaby?” Zhangjing says softly. “I do think I have a soothing voice!”
Yanjun hesitated. “Are you sure it’s okay? I mean, you should probably save your voice-
Chuckles erupted on the other end, forcing Yanjun to smile a little himself. So contagious. “It’s fine, Yanjun. I’m not going to belt out a high note for a lullaby, and actually, it’s the least I can do for my Prince Charming.”
When Lin Yanjun woke up the next morning, it slowly dawned on him that he might have some feelings for his best friend.
It wasn’t a sudden realization, rather, it was just a confirmation? He had always known that he placed Zhangjing in a special place in his heart, in a different place from the rest of the gang. When did it start?
After that night, Yanjun found that he couldn’t sleep unless he had some form of contact with Zhangjing first. At first, listening to one of his songs were enough, he would drift off to sleep to the voice of his not-only-best friend. But as weeks without Zhangjing turned to months, he started going on Zhangjing’s tag on weibo, watching videos and interviews of him to soothe his lonely heart.
Lonely. Yanjun was very lonely. And it’s getting harder day by day to cope with this crushing cold emptiness. Sure, he was surrounded by good people everyday, his managers are always by his side, but all of them simply ain’t Zhangjing.
He didn’t realise how badly the situation has gotten, until one day he woke up to himself holding his phone with one fantaken picture of the boy of his dreams showing on the screen, dried drool all over it. He did try to make calls to Zhangjing, but the main vocal is also busy with recordings and schedules.
In the day it was fine as he was always on his feet, rushing to the next schedule, sometimes it gets too hectic to even think. But when he goes back to the hotel room his thoughts starts running wild. He thought back to all those videos he saw before he slept. Zhangjing is close and touchy to everyone. Hmph. A bitter taste bloomed on the back of his throat, ugh why am I jealous? I’m his best friend, I have zero right to be. But I wish I was….. something more to him.
Picking up the bottle of pills he started bringing around on the bedside table, he popped two into his mouth before crashing his body onto the bed. See you in my dreams, Zhangjing.
“You are both not allowed to interact too closely with each other”
It was like an execution order for Yanjun. What the fuck?
His manager sighed, and patted Yanjun’s back comfortingly. “You and Zhangjing will resume group activities next week, and although I know how close both of you are, your fans however…… would prefer it if you keep up your cold exterior to everyone….. including your best friend.”
“He has already been notified yesterday, and he agreed. Remember why you’re here Yanjun. To be a star.”
He agreed? But….. why? Yanjun snorted when the thought came to mind. He knew exactly why the higher-ups had to do this. The stan culture in China could be extremely toxic these days, everyone had to pledge their loyalty to only one celebrity….. anyone else and you would be branded disloyal. Fans, with their humongous buying power basically could control who their artist could interact with, and whoever they deem has a negative impact on their “gege”.
Although Yanjun hated how he was treated more and more like a piece of meat as time went on, he remained extremely grateful to his Evanisms. And he is sure Zhangjing is even more thankful for his Xiyous, that’s why he probably agreed without any hesitations. When Yanjun started calming himself down with logic, his phone pinged.
You Zhangjing: See you next week~
You Zhangjing: You’ll be my roommate right~
Yanjun let out a soft chuckle. Of course, just because they can’t look close on camera, doesn’t mean they can’t be close in private. There was really nothing to worry about afterall.
It amazed Yanjun sometimes, how his best friend knew exactly what to say to him to make him feel better.
Lin Yanjun: I guess I’m gonna be stuck with you huh. See ya.
The moment Yanjun saw Zhangjing again, it was like letting out a breath he didn’t remember holding. Finally. His best friend was in the midst of speaking to another team member, afterall, it has been awhile since any of them have seen each other. When those brown eyes turned his way however, his eyes crinkled to cresents, so beautiful it hurts. He took small light steps towards the taller until Yanjun had to tilt his head downwards to look at him. “Hey jerk”
And Yanjun swore his heart burst into a swarm of warm butterflies.
They finally had the chance to catch up with each other in person, and they practically had to force themselves to move away from each other the moment the red light of the camera blinked on. They put on a show, tried to force their line of sight to move away from the other, tried to not to secretly share an inside joke behind their teammate’s back when an amusing topic was brought up, and Yanjun had to stop himself from mentioning Zhangjing’s name, over and over again.
Zhangjing. You Zhangjing. Azora Chin.
When they got back to the hotel, both of them immediately hopped onto their beds and relaxed. Yanjun on the right, Zhangjing on the left. Like it has always been. After a few minutes of them lying around like logs, Zhangjing deemed that it was late and pulled Yanjun up to unpack and rest for the night.
“I’ll help you unpack! Wow Yanjun your bag is so big but it’s so empty-” He paused mid sentence as he stared at something in the bag.
“What is this?” Zhangjing started accusingly. His warm brown eyes were not warm anymore, they were blazing hot like balls of fire.
“It’s nothing. It’s just something to help me sleep.” Yanjun let out softly, hoping desperately that his friend would change the topic. “Hey look at thi-
“Do you know how unhealthy this is? Don’t lie to me Lin Yanjun this bottle is half empty ” Zhangjing shook the cursed bottle once, and the rattling of the tablets sounded like the rattling of bones.
“I said It’s nothing. Now drop it.” Yanjun growled, and instantly regretted it. The fury in the shorter’s eyes suddenly crumbled, and he could see tears starting to form in those pretty eyes. No.
“Since when did we keep secrets from each other? I’ve been asking the others about you, you know. They said that you never really reached out to them, and even when they did, you would always be cold. Why are you so cold Lin Yanjun?” He took in a shaky breath before he continued. “Why is it so hard to care for you? Why can’t you open up to them like how you opened yourself up to me?”
He choked back a sob before he continued: “Are you going to start being cold to me, too?”
And that was the last straw.
Getting up from his seat, Yanjun strode over to to the shorter male and leaned in close. “I can’t sleep because you weren’t there.” He could feel hot tears searing tracks on his face, he didn’t care, it was time for him to know. “It was because…….. the nights kept being filled by the thoughts of you.” and he closed the distance between their lips.
At first, he could feel the other boy stiffen, and Yanjun immediately regretted it. He doesn’t like it, he doesn’t like you, you’re wrong, he’s disgusted, you’ve ruined everything.
But suddenly he feels Zhangjing kissing back.
“You don’t have to take those pills to sleep anymore, Yanjun.”
And Yanjun smiles so bright, just like how Zhangjing always describes him between practices, in front of the camera, in whispers, and in yells.
“You have always been the only one shining in my heart.”
"Can I sleep with you?"
"You don't have to ask Lin Yanjun, we've been cuddling for months"
"No I mean."
"Would you sleep with me forever?"
"Forever is a long time."
"But I want to spend it with you"