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What is love?

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Sitting on a big sofa, Zhu Yilong was once again finding himself giving an interview. Even though he doesn't really like interviews he appreciates having to know that people want to learn more about him. It was much of an honour to let people slowly but surely know more about him, especially since many were supporting him for years already. He wouldn’t be where he is right now, wouldn’t it be for all his wonderful fans.

Not so long ago he had played the first lead in a romantic sitcom, which was currently airing on Youku and had brought a high following and trending several times on weibo. Zhu Yilong’s character - Hua Li - was a man, who no longer believed in love, someone who has been hurt too often to still believe in the possibility of happiness. Of course this meant many tearful and heartbreaking scenes in the show before the female lead and him would get together, kissing each other under the snowy sky. Hua Li snow-covered running after the female lead, who was ready to get into the taxi and leave him forever.

“Even though your character, Hua Li, is pretty much a pessimistic lover, you stating that you aren’t that pessimistic about love, brews lots of questions within us including the audience. So we would like to know what do you think of love. How would you define the feeling of it?”, the female interviewer asked with a handsome and reassuring smile.

“Hm, love? That’s a hard question. Well... I would need some time to think about it if that’s okay?”, Zhu Yilong asked with his typical doe-eyes, making sure he wasn’t taking too long and offending anyone.

Within seconds his mind starts playing a particular memory in front of his eyes.

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Zhu Yilong woke up with the soft warm rays of sun shining on his face. Apparently they hadn’t pulled the curtains fully shut yesterday, which made the busy sun visit them in the early morning hours. A small glance to the clock on his phone, he realized that it was way too early for waking up on a free day. Especially when he had been waiting to sleep in for a long time. With a resigning sigh he turned towards the evil window and the similarly evil sun that had awoken him, ready to glare at them for just a bit. Maybe they will think about waking him up more than once the next time.

But before he could even glare at the sun, a familiar face interrupted his view and Zhu Yilong realised with dawning clearity that he wasn’t alone in the bed. In fact Bai Yu was sleeping right next to him, his hair tousled and his naked torso only halfway covered by the blanket. With the sun lightening up the room, he could see some barely visible hickeys planted all over Bai Yu’s delicate skin and all the blood shot up to Zhu Yilong’s ears. His eyes promptly hushed away from Bai Yu’s torso and instead settled on his face.

When he discovered Bai Yu’s face, a fond smile made itself a home on his face. The pretty sleeping face of his beloved was a view to behold. Zhu Yilong could hear his heart bump loudly against his ribcage, making his blood rush to his ears and painting them even redder than they had been before.
Bai Yu was really beautiful. His face was lit from the behind by the slowly dawning sun, painting his fluffy hair in a mixture of brown and red. As Zhu Yilong
stared at his lover, he noticed small moles all over his face and a particularly hidden one on his sweet plump lips.
Don’t they say that you have moles, where your soulmate has kissed you in your past life? Zhu Yilong can only hope that it had been his past-self, who had planted this many kisses all over Bai Yu’s body. Marking him as his with small dark dots for everyone to see.

At this moment he didn’t want anything more than to kiss that man laying right beside him, planting his lips on his and then on every little mole, making sure that Bai Yu remembered every one of them as a lovely part of his body. But before he could even act out the kiss on Bai Yu’s lips, slightly opened brown eyes greeted him.

“Good morning.”, Bai Yu said, barely getting his teeth open while talking but smiling loop-sided. Zhu Yilong’s heart started fluttering as he heard the raspy voice of the man facing him.

"Good morning, Xiao Bai.", is the only thing he can muster getting out of his mouth as he thinks about Bai Yu's knowing look. He knows that Zhu Yilong has been watching him sleep and if Bai Yu wasn't going to say something teasing now, he will add a remark to it later. Zhu Yilong's eyes rushed to Bai Yu's torso, resting on the soft-looking, slightly tanned skin. Since Bai Yu had to work a lot in the glaring sun lately, his skin has darkened a little. Even though there had been jokes about him no longer being Bai You but Hei Yu, neither Bai Yu nor Zhu Yilong cared for it. He was beautiful no matter what.

"Like what you see?", Bai You asked with a smug grin as he stretches his body and lets out a loud yawn. Zhu Yilong watched him stretch his limps from himself almost in a catlike manner. His arms were pushed above his head, almost clashing against the wall in the process. Due to the movement the blanket that had covered half of Bai Yu's torso has now granted full view on his upper body. Automatically his eyes followed the falling blanket and looked at the view to behold.
Who has allowed his handsome friend to be even more beautiful when he is awake?

"Of course. I always like seeing you.", Zhu Yilong finally answered after a long time, his view finally settling on Bai Yu's face again. With a smile Zhu Yilong noticed how Bai Yu's face got slightly red, as if he hadn't thought about getting an answer with so much honesty in its delivery. A small laugh escaped Zhu Yilong's mouth as he took a hand up and caressed Bai Yu’s warm cheek. “I really want to kiss you.”, he then mumbled, not realising that the words he had meant to think had escaped his mouth instead.

“Then do it.”, Bai Yu responded with a smile and pulled the hand that had been resting on his cheek to his lips, kissing it tenderly before he looked up at Zhu Yilong with big brown eyes and a soft smile lingering on his lips. This smile. It always, without a doubt, made Zhu Yilong weak on the knees, knocking his breath out of his chest. With a shaking breath Zhu Yilong skidded closer to Bai Yu, so close that their breaths mingled before Zhu Yilong finally connected their lips.

Every kiss felt like the first kiss they had, his heart still beating fast, skipping beats in between and making the blood pump through his veins in record speed.

Suddenly there were busy hands on him, which started roaming around his upper body and then sliding down to his waist. Slowly brushing towards the skin under the shirt Zhu Yilong had been wearing to sleep. But instead of staying caressing the skin, they began to tickle him. Zhu Yilong instantly put some distance between him and Bai Yu, who only watched him with a child-like grin.

“Oh no! no, you won’t-” Zhu Yilong started saying before the 1.8m big man launched himself on top of Zhu Yilong, taking the opportunity of his new found tickle spot against Zhu Yilong. The poor man could only thrash around, trying to wiggle himself free while Bai Yu started tickling without hesitation. His loud laughter resonated in the room, making Bai Yu grin even more. Wheezing under the hands of Bai Yu, Zhu Yilong tried to think about a way to get back to Bai Yu. With the last remaining thought Zhu Yilong pushed on hand under Bai Yu’s chin, tickling him there. Bai Yu instantly tried to block Zhu Yilong’s movement but he had been too late. Now both of them were laughing loudly, Bai Yu gave Zhu Yilong a moment to breathe as he was going to get his hand from under his chin. This gave Zhu Yilong the upper hand, which he promptly used. With perfect precision he put another hand under Bai Yu’s armpit - another of Bai Yu’s many ticklish spots - and used the weakness of the wheezing man to push Bai Yu off himself.

Since Zhu Yilong didn’t want his Xiao Bai to pass out from oxygen deprivation, he let go of Bai Yu as soon as he was off him. He was still laughing when he looked over at Bai Yu whose face was red as a tomato from all the laughing. When he had finally caught his breath Bai Yu started grinning at Zhu Yilong, who only answered with a similar grin.

“So childish.”, Zhu Yilong mumbled which promptly resulted in Bai Yu pushing his torso up a bit and looking at him unbelievably.

“I’m childish? Ju-laosi, you are hurting your poor friend here!”, he exclaimed dramatically. Zhu Yilong was sure that he would have swung his arms around in a similar dramatical if he hadn't used them as a support.

“Aiya, Bie-laosi is just overreacting.”, Zhu Yilong barked instantly, shaking his head and throwing his hand away in a gesture.

“You dog!”, Bai Yu instantly said with a laugh, letting his torso fall down on the soft bed again and smiling undiminished. He stretched one of his arms out to Zhu Yilong, grabbing the air since he couldn’t reach the man from this distance. Zhu Yilong slid closer, cuddling closer to Bai Yu and planting a small kiss on his cheek.

“Love you, Xiao Bai.”, Zhu Yilong mumbled against his cheek before resting his head in a portion of Bai Yu’s neck. His heart hammered hard against his chest, as he was waiting for Bai Yu’s answer. He could feel a warm hand resting on his back, as Bai Yu was pulling him closer to himself. The next thing Zhu Yilong felt was a soft kiss on his head and the softly spoken words next to his ear:

“I love you too, Long-Ge.” and a smile that remained hidden from him on his lover's face.

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“I think love is a unique feeling, which everyone experiences differently. It can be about the things one likes or appreciates, it can be about somewhere you feel at home with. Love...love is a hard to grasp feeling and concept, it’s something everyone of us feels in some kind of way. Some stronger, some less. Some platonic, some romantically.”, Zhu Yilong said with a soft smile. “But in the end, love is special. To all of us.” The interviewer nodded, apparently really pleased with Zhu Yilong’s answer.

Zhu Yilong had found his answer to love a long time ago.

Love is waking up next to the person you love on a lazy morning. The sun shining in your face and enlightening the soft face of your significant other. Love is watching them slowly open up their eyes and greeting you with a smile as soon as they realize that you were staring at you. Love is kissing them first thing in the morning, cuddling till both of you need to get up. Love is….

Bai Yu.