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Let Me Stay

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When he finally unlocks their apartment door and steps in with a quiet murmur of “I’m home”, what greets him is the sight of Bai Yu sprawled on the sofa in the middle of their living room, diligently scrolling on his phone.

He barely even looks up from his phone as he responds, “Long-ge, did you have to be so obvious?”

“Hmm? What are you talking about?”

“..what do you mean what am I talking about?,” Bai Yu finally looks up at him and turns his phone to show him a picture of himself that was taken by a fan at the airport, “That!1

Zhu Yilong looks to where Bai Yu is pointing at and finally catches on. He grins and teases a little bashfully, “I just wanted to bring you2 along with me.”

“Well you could have just asked~”

At that, Zhu Yilong tenses before letting out a mirthless laugh and gives Bai Yu an unimpressed look. They both know that it would be an impossibility, and that they can absolutely not be seen within 10 feet of each other. He wonders when Bai Yu will finally fulfill his promise of taking him on a vacation. It will not be happening any time in the near future, that’s for sure. Probably not even in this lifetime. He knows Bai Yu is just making a light-hearted joke but he could not help his initial reaction or stop his next train of thoughts. 

 

It has already been almost 3 years.. Almost 3 years of pretending that they were strangers who never crossed paths and changed each other’s lives irrevocably, that the web series that propelled them to greater heights was non-existent, that such a significant part of their lives could be dismissed at the drop of a hat.

They couldn’t like or leave comments on each other’s Weibo posts, couldn’t mention each other, couldn’t interact at all in any public setting. Such simple, innocent acts that even strangers on the internet are allowed to partake in. They used to be able to do that, but not anymore and he still could not wrap his mind around what made management agree to this absurdity.

It was a double-edged sword that no one saw coming; that the web series which had a rather significant impact on both of their careers would also make them bleed. ‘Guardian’ had led them to each other, and boosted their standings within the entertainment industry so substantially, but it had also led to their eventual “falling out”.

One day he was just Zhu Yilong, an average-looking guy who somehow ended up in the world of acting, and the next day he was Zhu Yilong, a rising star in the acting field. While it was rewarding to have his efforts recognised and acknowledged, he loathed some of the other aspects that came with the sudden surge in popularity, namely the complete lack of privacy.

 

Bai Yu and him were still dancing around each other after filming wrapped, and they enjoyed a few peaceful, bliss-filled months of banter and flirting. The both of them seemed to have an implicit understanding of wanting to give each other enough time to ensure that they have successfully slipped out of their respective drama roles before reaffirming their feelings. By the time they finally got together, it was around the time when ‘Guardian’ had made its impact and they seemingly became superstars overnight, losing all semblance of privacy and having to tread on eggshells wherever they went.

At times Zhu Yilong thinks he would rather have all the normalcy than have to deal with all this hiding around. He thinks about leading a mundane life, about meeting Bai Yu under different circumstances, but he is unable to deny that he actually loves what he does now. He holds a fierce passion for his craft, and he would go through hell and back for the sake of creating something good, something he can be satisfied with and look back on fondly as he grows older.

Even so, he laments not being able to see or hold Bai Yu as often as he would have liked. He could not even appear as a friend to support Bai Yu for goodness’ sake..

He must have been stewing in silence for an abnormally long amount of time, for when he looked up he was faced with a worried looking Bai Yu. He looks a little like a deer caught in headlights, but his gaze seems questioning and he is biting at his lower lip, looking hesitant to break his concentration.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean it like that.. It’s just..,” he manages to mutter before he is being pulled into a tight embrace by Bai Yu. He is cocooned in Bai Yu’s warmth and he feels at peace, all the sombre thoughts from earlier fading away fast. It tugs at his heartstrings that he is unable to announce to the world of his love for this man. This man who understands him so deeply, who loves to tease him, annoy him, laugh at him, laugh with him, who shares so much of himself with him. This man who knows him better than himself. His lover, his partner, his home. Xiao Bai. Bai Yu.

“Long-ge, it’s okay. I know.. Our time will come. Iceland. You and me, no fans, no crowds, no pesky paparazzi. Just us.”

“Just us,” he repeats with a smile on his face and wraps his arms around Bai Yu’s waist. He holds onto him for a little longer before pulling back slightly just to look at Bai Yu.

 

“Welcome home, Long-ge,” Bai Yu greets belatedly and he feels his heart skipping a beat at the tenderness in his voice.

He slowly brings up his right hand to brush at Bai Yu’s cheek briefly before finding purchase on his nape and leaning in for a long-awaited kiss. 

Bai Yu is responsive under his lips and touches, giving as good as he gets and they slowly shuffle towards their bedroom without breaking apart. The need for oxygen does eventually pull them apart but they stay rooted to their current spot and both take a moment to drink each other in.

His gaze lands on the fading red spot on Bai Yu’s Adam’s apple and he is reminded of the posts he happened to see in their CP supertopic on Weibo. Fans were speculating that he must have given Bai Yu the ‘hickey’ and he could only laugh at the wild headcanons they had spun up. While he is unable to deny that his possessive streak runs a mile wide, he would love to remind fans that he is a Professional. He would never do something so juvenile just one day before Bai Yu has a professional engagement to attend to and is required to suit up for.

He unintentionally lets out a giggle at that thought and decides to really give the fans something to talk about. He starts off by alternating between licking and biting at the same area, while keeping Bai Yu distracted with his hand lest he catches on to what he has planned. Bai Yu is left squirming in his arms and begging for release by the time he has managed to make his mark. When his teeth broke skin, Bai Yu had only flinched momentarily before letting out a breathy moan.

“Long-ge.. Bedroom, now..”

Who was he to deny his baobei? He makes a sound of agreement before forcibly tearing himself away from Bai Yu’s throat and all but drags him to their bedroom.

After a vigorous night of reunion, both of them slept through their alarm clocks the next morning. No matter, they had the next 3.5 days all to themselves, and Zhu Yilong couldn’t wait to make up for lost time and finally spend his birthday with Bai Yu by his side.