Renjun stares at YangYang's hunched figure behind the wall of books.
"Okay," he sighs as YangYang lets out another muffled scream. "First off, we're in a library. Can you please keep it down?"
YangYang pauses mid-scream, as if considering the idea, before banging his open palm on the table.
Renjun rolls his eyes. "Alright, I guess not," he mutters. "Anyway, you've got to calm down. I'm sure it won't be that bad."
YangYang shoots him a glare from behind the wall of books. "Not that bad?!" he hisses. "I am not ready to move in with some random guy who couldn't even show up to that meeting I arranged to make sure he isn't a serial killer. Because of that, he literally could be a serial killer!" He points an accusing finger at Renjun. "This is all your fault! If you didn't have to move in with your boyfriend, I wouldn't have this crisis right now!"
Renjun closes his book. "This is barely considered a crisis," he says, crossing his arms over his chest. "Also, aren't you the one who told me to move out? You said you were tired of seeing Donghyuck in my room every time you got back from classes."
"I didn't expect you to move out!" YangYang cries. "I thought you would stay in his apartment more, or at least tell him to stop coming over!"
"You should have talked to me about it then," Renjun deadpans. "Or him."
"It's too late," YangYang groans as he throws his head back. "And we know Donghyuck would just laugh and come more often to spite me."
The library lights situated on the ceilings almost blinds him so he snaps back in his upright position, blinking rapidly. He sees spots of black every time he blinks, but he doesn't miss the judgemental face Renjun is giving him.
"I mean, you've got to expand your social circle," Renjun points out. "This new roommate of yours could do you some good."
YangYang raises an eyebrow. "You're talking as if your social circle is bigger than mine," he counters. "Stop talking."
Renjun repeats after him under his breath with a mocking tone and YangYang kicks his shin underneath the table. The older boy hisses and immediately steps on YangYang's shoe, as if on instinct.
YangYang narrows his eyes and he would've continued tormenting Renjun until the guy got purple shins by tomorrow morning, but his eye catches sight of a certain male standing in front of the library, as if waiting for someone.
Renjun follows his line of sight and once he realizes who it's focused on, he sends a teasing smirk towards YangYang.
"Imagine if your roommate was Zhong Chenle," he muses, chin in his palm and leaning close to YangYang. "Now wouldn't that be cute?"
YangYang flushes at the thought, but quickly dismisses them away. He suddenly has the urge to wipe that smirk off Renjun's face.
"Like hell Zhong Chenle will live in the on-campus dorms. Isn't he rich?" he asks. "But," he mutters, leaning back onto the chair, "That's just what I've overheard."
Renjun shrugs. "I'm not sure, I can ask Donghyuck to ask for you. They're lab partners."
YangYang furrows his eyebrows. "They are? How come I've never heard of this?" he questions.
"You never asked," Renjun hums as he takes a quick glance at his phone. "I have to go," he announces, picking up his bag. "I have a date with Donghyuck."
YangYang waves a dismissive hand. "Yeah, yeah. Go be sappy with your boyfriend. Goodbye."
"Tell me what your roommate is like tomorrow," Renjun says. "Have fun meeting them."
"I'll try," YangYang sighs, eyes trained on Renjun's retreating figure. "I have a feeling I won't like them very much, though."
YangYang wants to walk back out of the room and enter again to make sure he's not seeing things, but he knows that it'll be considered rude so he instead just stares at the figure sitting on the floor organizing items from his boxes.
"Zhong Chenle?" he asks, even though there's no need to. He'd recognize Chenle from a mile away.
The boy whips his head back in shock after hearing his name. "Hi!" he says with a smile on his face, and YangYang might as well just melt on the spot. "I'm Zhong Chenle, your new roommate! Though you probably already know." He scratches the back of his neck awkwardly.
YangYang clears his throat. "Ah, I'm Liu YangYang." He glances at Chenle's half-open box. "Do you need help with those?" he asks. "I already unpacked yesterday."
"That'd be great!" Chenle smiles. It just reaches his eyes. "Thank you so much!"
"It's fine," YangYang swallows, as he kneels down next to Chenle.
A short silence passes before Chenle finally speaks up. "I'm sorry for not showing up for that meeting you arranged a week ago. Xiaojun, the one who you've been talking to, forgot to tell me about it until the day came, and I was on the other side of the city that day, so I wasn't able to meet you." Chenle bites the inside of his cheek. "I'm not sure if Xiaojun told you or not, but I wanted to apologize myself."
All the bitterness YangYang originally had held towards his new roommate completely disintegrates once he realizes that he wasn't Chenle's fault. "Ah, it's completely fine!" he reassures him. "Xiaojun didn't tell me anything, so I was a bit upset and confused, but it's fine now. Thank you for letting me know."
Chenle purses his lips. "Yeah," he says, turning away. "Um, I think I can do the last few boxes myself," he tells YangYang as he stands up with a pile of clothes in his arms. "Thank you for helping me, YangYang. I'll pay for dinner tonight."
He walks off into his room without leaving a second for YangYang to say or rebut anything, but that was probably the reason as to why Chenle had done that.
'Dinner, huh?' YangYang thinks as he smiles to himself in the middle of the living room. He runs his fingers through his hair, feeling his face heat up. 'Zhong Chenle as my roommate. Never in a million years would I have thought.'
YangYang doesn't even remember how he grew a crush on Zhong Chenle.
All he remembers is that he found Chenle really cute after passing him in one of the hallways, and the next thing that happened was that all his friends began teasing him whenever they'd see him across the campus. They've never even had a proper conversation before the big reveal of YangYang's roommate.
"What did I tell you?" Renjun teases once YangYang tells him who his new roommate is. "You should be happy I moved out, or else you wouldn't be staying in the same room as your long term crush right now."
YangYang shoves the last bite of his sandwich into his mouth. "I'm not sure if I should be thanking you right now," he grumbles. "He's so cute, by the way. His favourite food is hotpot and he got upset when he realized we couldn't order hotpot." He sighs wistfully. "Renjun, I think I'm in love."
Renjun raises an eyebrow. "Sure, buddy. Just don't do anything weird because he lives with you."
YangYang gives him a disgusted look. "I would not do anything weird you're thinking of." He brings a hand up to his chest. "I'm offended that you think I'd do anything like that ."
Renjun purses his lips. "Who knows?" He shrugs. "Just making sure."
Renjun's eyes light up the moment Donghyuck slides down into the seat next to him, and YangYang can't help but wonder if that's what he looks like every time he sees Chenle a few feet away from him.
"What are we talking about here?" Donghyuck asks, wrapping an arm around Renjun's waist, bringing him closer to him.
"We're talking about how YangYang's new roommate is Chenle," Renjun says as he smiles fondly at Donghyuck, pinching his cheek.
YangYang feels like a third wheel whenever he's alone with Renjun and Donghyuck.
"Chenle?!" Donghyuck gasps towards YangYang. The latter nods, confirming it. "Whoa," Donghyuck blurts out. "That some good luck, being paired up with the love of your life. You now owe Renjun and me one."
YangYang shakes his head. "That's exactly what Renjun said. You two sure are made of each other," he frowns. "Also, he caused me two weeks of stress because he dropped the bomb that he was moving in with you one evening when I was playing Persona 5, so no, I don't think I owe either of you anything."
Donghyuck frowns as Renjun leans his head on his shoulder. "Awh," he pouts. "Alright, but it's still thanks to Renjun and I so remember to mention us in your vows."
YangYang stares at him. There's a reason why YangYang doesn't tell anything to Donghyuck, he speaks too much nonsense.
"Anyway," Donghyuck says, changing the subject. "Did you two do anything yesterday. Or did you just unpack?"
YangYang thinks for a second. "Yeah, we just unpacked his stuff and ate dinner together. He paid for it cause I helped him unpack." YangYang bites back a shy smile. "He's really fun, and really nice too."
Renjun nods whilst frowning. "But what about the meet-up you arranged? He never showed up."
"Ah, it was a miscommunication between the two of us and out middleman," YangYang says. "He still apologized to me though, because he wanted to. He's such a nice guy," he says with stars in his eyes. "He's like an angel, but without wings. Or with hidden wings. Whatever."
"That's nice to know," Renjun muses. "Well, I'm glad to know that it was a misunderstanding."
"Me too! I was kinda worried about being roommates with him, but it doesn't seem like it'll end too badly in the end after all." YangYang stretches his back out. "I'm kinda excited."
"Now we're gonna have to listen to him talk about Chenle every second day," Renjun says to Donghyuck, shaking his head.
"Hey! You're acting like you didn't talk about Donghyuck constantly before you guys got together," YangYang accuses.
Renjun flushes into a shade of pink as Donghyuck's eyes grow wide. "You talked about me?" he asked Renjun, wrapping his arms around his neck. "Renjun you talk about me?"
"Of course," Renjun says quietly. "Why wouldn't I?'
YangYang wants to throw up.
Living with Chenle proved to be easier than YangYang had originally thought.
Chenle keeps everything that belongs to him neat and tidy in the living room, which is a huge upgrade from Renjun. He also cleans the rooms every week or so and buys groceries often. He keeps to his side of the room, which means any mess of him never crosses over to YangYang. In other words, it's a blast.
The younger made a rule that they have to sit together for dinner every evening, to build up their bond, or so he says. YangYang thought the rule was kind of weird at first, but he finds himself waiting for Chenle every evening not too long after.
"How were your classes today?" Chenle asks, taking a mouthful of chicken.
"They were fine," YangYang replies. "I had a chat with the guy I was sitting next to."
"Oh?" Chenle seems interested. "Who? What did you guys talk about?"
YangYang pauses. He doesn't quite remember his name, let alone the topic they were discussing. "Um, I don't remember what we were talking about, but I think his name was... Xikan?" He squints his eyes. "Yeah, I think so."
Chenle's face lights up. "Ah! Li Xikan! I know him." He claps his hands together. "He's in my Criminology class!'
YangYang isn't interested in whatever his seat mate's name is, instead, he focuses on Chenle's bright smile as he talks about his encounters with this Li Xikan. He's cute, really cute when he talks about something he's passionate about.
YangYang had expected his small crush to go away once he started living with Chenle, as when you live with someone, you learn about all their bad habits. But not with Chenle, instead, living with him seemed to have made YangYang's feelings towards him even stronger. It really isn't fair on YangYang's end.
"You're really cute," YangYang blurts out.
Chenle stops mid-sentence and turns red. "Thank you," he mutters shyly. "That was so out of the blue," he laughs.
"Yeah," YangYang scratches his forearm. "Sorry if that was weird."
Chenle seems flustered. "No! It's fine. I promise."
YangYang looks up and sends Chenle a warm smile from across the table. "Alright."
YangYang awakes to the sound of thunder.
It’s pouring heavily outside. Normally, the sound of rain would bring comfort to YangYang, but tonight it’s quite the opposite, with the loud, thundering sounds booming from outside his window.
Back before, Renjun would voluntarily go up to check on YangYang, to make sure that he’s okay, but Renjun ditched him for his boyfriend and thus YangYang’s comfort friend is no longer here to hug and sing him to sleep.
YangYang knows that he won’t be able to sleep as long as the thundering goes on. He has an exam tomorrow which he knows he’ll fail if he doesn’t get his daily eight-hour sleep. He considers going to Chenle, but decides against it, as he doesn’t want to freak the younger out.
Another bang and another jump from YangYang leads him to standing in front of Chenle’s closed door. He feels bad for disturbing him so late at night, but Chenle’s understanding. He’d understand, right? Or so YangYang tries to tell himself.
A soft knock and Chenle emerges from behind the door.
“YangYang?” he asks in a small voice. His hair is all tousled, and his eyelids are half-opened. YangYang feels bad for waking him up.
“I’m sorry for waking you up,” he says slowly. “You’re a light sleeper?”
Chenle ignores the question. “What are you doing up?” He opens his door a little wider. “Come in.”
YangYang takes a step in and Chenle sits him down on his bed. YangYang wraps himself up in his blankets.
“Sorry,” he begins. “I don’t do well with thunder and Renjun would calm me down back then. Sorry, I just need someone to be with.”
Chenle takes hold of YangYang’s hand. “Hey, it’s alright,” he says, rubbing his eyes. “Do you want to sleep with me tonight?”
YangYang feels faint. “Would that be.. okay?” he quietly mumbles.
“Of course,” Chenle replies, lying back down onto his bed. “Come.” He pats the empty space next to him.
YangYang hesitantly lies down beside him. “Thank you,” he whispers. “Thank you.”
Chenle finds YangYang’s hand in the dark. “It’s alright,” he says back. He laces their fingers together. “Thank you for trusting me enough to come to me.”
YangYang smiles softly. “Chenle, I think I really like you.”
YangYang can’t see clearly in the dark, but he feels Chenle shift. He’s worried, for a second, but the next few words that Chenle says makes him freeze on the spot.
“I think I like you too, YangYang.”
Oh, he didn’t expect that. But it’s nice. It’s nice, YangYang thinks.
“You should sleep now,” Chenle says. “You have an exam tomorrow, right?”
YangYang tiredly nods.
“Go to sleep,” Chenle mumbles. “I’ll be here in the morning.”
That sounds promising enough, so YangYang closes his eyes.
The younger one brings himself closer to YangYang. “Goodnight, YangYang.”
Chenle will still be here in the morning, and maybe that’s just enough for YangYang.