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“Hey, Yanuo?”

“Hmm?”

“What do you think happens when you die?”

Yanuo turns over. Zifeng is propped on the palm of one hand, eyes gently shining. Yanuo knows that look, like he's halfway to getting lost in this thoughts but unwilling to part with Yanuo for the length of the journey.

It seems that on this morning, he's reconciled by taking Yanuo with him. What do you think happens when you die?

Yanuo thinks on it a moment, tracing shapes on the bed sheets with one finger. “I don't know. There's no way to know now, but I'll find out one day, so trying to figure it out… there's really no reason for it.”

Zifeng nods. His eyes flick over Yanuo carefully-- everything he does is careful, gentle, like the moment will shatter. “There is no reason. But have you really not thought it about it, anyway?”

He can't help but grin, just a little. “Alright,” Yanuo concedes. “I guess I like to think we'll be reborn as someone else, to try new things and make different decisions.”

This, Zifeng accepts with the quirk of his lips and the ghost of his fingers through Yanuo’s hair. He says nothing, just breathes the words in and holds them in delicate hands within him.

It's a little strange, sometimes, to be next to someone as beautiful as Zifeng. “What do you think?”

There's a moment. It's not silent, not with the birds just outside their bedroom, nor still, with the wind swaying the trees that cast shade over the angles of their faces, but it is light and soft and precious.

“I've always thought that this is it,” Zifeng says finally, his hand coming to cup Yanuo’s face and pull him so slightly closer. “Just this, nothing else.”

That face falls a little. “You don't seem sad about it.”

He shakes his head. “I'm not. I would prefer nothing over being born again.”

“Why?”

Zifeng focuses on Yanuo’s eyes, doesn't dare look away as he says, “I can't stand the thought of spending another day of any life without you.”

“Zifeng!” Yanuo smiles, halfway to giggling, and a blush falls over his cheeks.

“I'm serious.”

“I know you are.” He takes the hand from his face and holds it to his chest, coming a little closer. “What if you got to meet me again, in the next life? Would that be worth it?”

Zifeng thinks on it, curling his hand in the safety of Yanuo’s. “I'm not sure I trust myself to be this lucky twice, or to live well enough to deserve you again.”

“I think it's up to me if you deserve me or not” Yanuo says, fingertips gliding lightly over knuckles. “And I know you are. And as for being lucky… just trust me, then.”

Zifeng pulls closer, close enough now that his breathing washes calmingly over the red of Yanuo’s cheeks. “What are you saying, Yanuo?”

“I'm saying that nothing is for certain, in this life or the next. But if there is a next life, just give me some time, alright?” He looks into those eyes, always gazing so fondly, always at him. “I'll find you.”

“Is that a promise?"


Lips press once over the back of Zifeng’s hand. Quietly, into the gentle morning, Yanuo hums, “It's a vow.”