“Was it the sofa or me?”


Author: Wu Zhe, Translated by Ami <3

          “Then…” Gu Fei put a piece of jerky in his mouth, and slowly chewed while leaning against the other side of the couch.

          Jiang Cheng stared at the beef jerky in his hand, as if he could see the pit he personally dug for himself. He needn’t even guess what Gu Fei wanted to ask, it was a reaction any normal person would have.

          “What about you?” Gu Fei asked.

          Jiang Cheng sighed in his heart.

          He didn’t want to lie, but he didn’t know how to begin with something like this. He didn’t even know how to explain, so as to not come off like a player who gets around with members of both sex.

          Gu Fei just continued to sip from his cup after he asked the question; he didn’t keep hounding him.

          This considerate attitude of his made Jiang Cheng a little pissed, as if he actually had something reprehensible to hide.

          “I used to…” He hesitated for a moment. “Have a… um… girlfriend…… Though it didn’t even count really, mmn, she was from my class…”

          “A girl?” Gu Fei turned to look at him in surprise.

          “Mhm,” Jiang Cheng lit another cigarette. The charcoal fire in the room had started to flourish; the waves of warm heat poured toward them, warming the alcohol in his body to just the right level of comfort. It gave him the sudden illusion that nothing he said would really matter. “She sat in front of me in class.”

          “Oh,” Gu Fei was still staring at him. “I thought you… didn’t like girls.”

          “I can’t explain it,” Jiang Cheng leaned back with his head against the sofa cushion. “For me, I’ve never had a boyfriend, so I don’t know what that’s like, I’ve just……”                              

          Jiang Cheng cleared his throat, and stared at the ceiling very slowly spinning before his eyes, “Always… to guys…… But when she pursued me it didn’t exactly feel wrong to me either. I ended up being annoyed by her not because she’s a girl, but because she’s just annoying.”

          “Everybody annoys you,” Gu Fei chuckled. “When I first saw you I thought you could start a fight with someone in any second.”

          “I’ve just got a quick temper, but I try my best to keep it under control most of the time. If I fail to control it then I guess it sucks to be whoever the fuck has to deal with it.” Jiang Cheng laughed along with him. “But with her it really wasn’t because I…… you know. It’s just some girls when they start to fuss it gets pretty ridiculous, you give them a pair of wings and they can fly it all the way up to Mars.”

          “I can’t relate,” Listening to his experience, Gu Fei laughed for a good long while. “I’ve always been reluctant to get close to girls.”

          “I can tell. You were afraid that Yi Jing was gonna ride on your bike today, weren’t you?” Jiang Cheng cocked his head. “Ai yoo, gunning for it like that, you’re not even worried about the awkwardness if she sees through it.”

          “That’s at least better than giving her a chance to confess, then rejecting her.” Gu Fei said.

          “True,” Jiang Cheng gave him a thumbs up. “Good man.”

          Gu Fei pushed away his hand which still held a lit cigarette that almost made contact with his own face, “You and your girl… friend, you broke up already?”                    

          “Mmn, broke up before I came here. Honestly in total we were only together for a few days.” Jiang Cheng stubbed out his cigarette, grabbed Gu Fei’s jacket from the side and started rummaging around in the pockets. “I don’t think she misses me very much either. She reached out a couple times, then stopped, probably moved on to someone new. Anyway, for so-called romantic relationships between high schoolers, even being in different grades is enough to be considered long-distance, it wouldn’t have lasted.”

          “Looking for the mint candy?” Gu Fei asked. “It’s in that pocket.”

          “Oh,” Jiang Cheng switched to the other side and plucked out two pieces of candy. He unwrapped one and put it in his mouth, letting it melt slowly while the minty cool flavour cleared a messy path from his throat to his nose, to his brain, which then promptly disappeared. “Actually, you say you don’t like to get close to girls, but it’s not entirely accurate. Aren’t you pretty close with Ding Zhuxin?”

          “Mmn, I guess she’s the exception.” Gu Fei opened a bag of peanuts, took one between his fingers and slowly rubbed the skin off. “She used to live downstairs from us, I would go play at her home all the time. Every time my dad gets violent, I just go hide at her place.”

          Jiang Cheng let out a quiet sigh.

          “I guess her home was my…… safe harbour when I was little.” Gu Fei threw the peanut in his mouth. “I’ve always been scared of my dad. One bellow from him was enough to keep me up all night, and even if I fell asleep it’d be a night of nightmares.” 

          “How much older is she?” Jiang Cheng asked.

          “Five years,” Gu Fei said. “She wasn’t that old back then either, but she was very good at consoling people, and had a mind of her own. I just felt like she was someone I could lean on.”

          “Ah, the boss’s boss.” Jiang Cheng exclaimed.

          Gu Fei laughed, “I was a little shit when I was younger, don’t have a lot of friends either, but I could talk to her. It used to be that any problems I came across, I could talk it through with her first.”

          “Really,” Jiang Cheng was somewhat surprised, it seemed that Gu Fei wasn’t as naturally composed as he appeared. “She really does give off… a formidable aura.”

          Gu Fei didn’t answer.

          “And now……” Jiang Cheng looked at him, and thought of the message Ding Zhuxin sent the other day.

          “We don’t talk much these days.” Gu Fei said. “The connections between people will change eventually. There’s no relationship that will stay the same indefinitely.”

          Given Ding Zhuxin’s attitude, Jiang Cheng could pretty much deduce the meaning of Gu Fei’s words. A prodigal overachiever’s brain worked even faster after a couple of drinks, and not to mention had less inhibitions when speaking.

          “She likes you, doesn’t she?” He asked.

          Gu Fei arched his brows, “Is it so obvious or are you just overly sensitive?”

          “My intellect is probably higher than yours by at least a hundred units of Wang Jiuri.” Jiang Cheng pointed to his own head.

          “A head full of Wang Jiuri,” Gu Fei laughed and picked up another peanut. “Seems kind of inappropriate, when his head is full of Yi Jing……”

          “Fuck off!” The finger pointed at his own head swiftly changed directions to point at Gu Fei.

          Gu Fei stopped talking, just laughed. Jiang Cheng sighed and took a sip of baijiu, relishing as it burned all the way down to his stomach, and laughed along with him.

          “Hey,” Jiang Cheng rubbed his forehead. “She knows about you, right?”

          “Mhm. Confession, rejection, plus coming out. All done in one sitting.” Gu Fei said.

          “Real fucking brutal.” Jiang Cheng looked at him and said.

          “That’s why I said, it’s better to keep the distance from the start, beats rejection.” Gu Fei said.

          “…Yeah,” Jiang Cheng closed his eyes. “It’s exhausting to even think about.”

          “Why, you used to have a girlfriend.” Gu Fei said.

          “Nah, that’s different.” Jiang Cheng shook his head. But the whole room started spinning as soon as he moved his head, so he stopped immediately. “I don’t dislike girls. If they’re attractive I’m more than happy to look. But I don’t feel the… impulse, you know. I don’t have improper thoughts toward pretty girls, that’s not right at all.”

          Gu Fei laughed so hard he almost spilled the alcohol in his cup, “But you have improper thoughts about handsome guys?”

          “Sure,” Jiang Cheng felt at the moment, that alcohol has been drunk, and the conversation is where it was, so going along with the tipsy feeling, his emotional rollercoaster of a night made him much bolder than usual, feeling like he was ready to let it all go and just vent. “Don’t you?”

          Gu Fei coughed twice, but didn’t answer.

          “Would you deny it?” Jiang Cheng narrowed his eyes and looked at him. “Way to be disingenuous.”

          Gu Fei took a drink of alcohol in an effort to provide some buffer for his emotions, but as he swallowed, the burn seemed to undo his inhibitions even more. Hence this thing known as alcohol, it could not only undo a thousand worries, but could also undo a thousand robes. 

          Jiang Cheng’s tolerance wasn’t bad, which was why he still hadn’t passed out even now. Only, he had drunk himself into a different persona. 

          “Man up.” Jiang Cheng turned his body and curled one leg up on the sofa, and braced his arm against the back cushion.

          That phrase again. Gu Fei sighed, “I do, yes.”

          “There we go,” Jiang Cheng started to laugh, but then probably felt dizzy, so he rested his head on his arm. “It’s so normal.”

          “Mhm.” Gu Fei nodded.

          It was all normal, but if Jiang Cheng knew he had been ‘normal’ toward him a few times already, who knew what his reaction would be.

          “I…” Jiang Cheng laughed for a while then stopped, his voice was low. “I might have had too much to drink tonight.”

          “It’s not like you’re doing it every day,” Gu Fei slid down against the sofa, his head resting atop the cushion. “Once in a while is nothing, I……”

          Before he finished the sentence, he felt Jiang Cheng’s slightly cold fingertip touch just below his earlobe. He was dazed for a second, then when he recovered, his first instinct wasn’t surprise, but the thought that Jiang Cheng’s fingers were cold even after a whole night of drinking.

          The tiny tinge of coolness slowly traced from beside his ear down to his neck, and only when it arrived at his collarbone, did he abruptly jerk his head around to stare at Jiang Cheng. 

          “And toward me as well?” Jiang Cheng cocked his head and asked.

          Gu Fei suddenly had the urge to get a bowl of cold water from the bathroom and throw the whole thing on Jiang Cheng’s face. The idea that Jiang Cheng, who had always been evasive around these kinds of topics, would suddenly ask a question like this… they must’ve had counterfeit alcohol.

          Gu Fei immediately glanced at the bottle of liquor on the table. A 56% erguotou, even during promotions a whole case of twelve bottles would come to just over a hundred yuan. Li Yan had no reason to fall for cheap knockoffs just to get a good deal…… 

          Jiang Cheng’s finger flicked against his cheek, “I asked you a question.”

          “No.” Gu Fei replied.

          He admitted that this whole sequence of actions and words from Jiang Cheng had about the same effect on him as dumping a whole bottle of liquor straight into his veins, his impulses at this moment was enough to drive through a steel board… but his habitual restraint led him to put in this last little bit of effort.

          “Fuck,” Jiang Cheng said in a low pitch. “Do you have a problem or are you just a fucking coward?”

          To that, Gu Fei was rendered momentarily speechless.

          “The other day at the photoshoot,” Jiang Cheng suddenly stood up, still braced against the back cushion with one leg kneeling on the seat, and looked down on him from above. “Don’t tell me you got hard from looking at the sofa?” 

          FUCK! ME!

          Gu Fei felt booms of thunder roll through his brain.

          He never in a million years thought that Jiang Cheng would notice that kind of detail, not to mention bring it up so bluntly like this.

          It was way out of line with Jiang Cheng’s usual persona.

          “I have great eyesight,” Jiang Cheng’s finger flicked him again, this time on the tip of his nose. “I don’t wear glasses.”

          As utterly shocked as Gu Fei was at this moment, he couldn’t help but laugh at this, “I have a very mild prescription.”

          “Don’t change the subject,” Jiang Cheng stared at him. Gu Fei could see that his eyes weren’t completely in focus, but the danger in them was still evident at a glance. “Was it the sofa or me?”

          “You.” Gu Fei answered.

          Jiang Cheng didn’t speak, only turned and spat out the candy in his mouth.

          Gu Fei wanted to comment how it was rather impressive to keep a candy in your mouth for such a long time, but he didn’t get a chance to.

          Jiang Cheng suddenly leaned down and planted a kiss on his lips.

          Gu Fei had no such experience, but judging by the way Jiang Cheng usually carried himself, ready at a moment’s notice to slash people with his hand out of sheer reflex should anyone dared to touch him, he was probably just as inexperienced in the matter.

          Though with things like this…… 

          When Jiang Cheng’s mint-flavoured tongue reached in from between his teeth, Gu Fei grabbed his collar and pulled him down even closer.

          Jiang Cheng’s hand slipped on the backrest, so he went along and put the hand around Gu Fei, and yanked on his shirt, then reached his hand in and made a hard grab at Gu Fei’s waist.

          At that moment, Jiang Cheng felt as though the thing known as the brain had ceased to exist. He had no feelings and no thoughts, even vague notions such as ‘fuck that felt great’ had dissipated into thin air.

          As if all organs in his body had all disappeared, he was left without even a sense of touch Only his lips and tongue, and that source of all evil in his lower body, seemed to have escaped from consciousness and control, and deployed to their full potential all on their own.

          Gu Fei’s reaction was fierce. Jiang Cheng’s brain waves which were all scattered in the surrounding warmth wanted several times to bite down hard, as if only by fighting back, could he release the desire that was building up within him, that was growing hotter and more unbearable by the second.

          Occasionally when his hearing returned he could hear panting, his, and Gu Fei’s. He couldn’t distinguish which was higher or lower, or if one of them was heavier or lower.

          Occasionally when his sense of touch returned he could feel Gu Fei’s taut and smooth skin against his palm, and the electric currents when Gu Fei’s hand caressed his own skin

          The two of them fell into the sofa. Jiang Cheng’s hand reached into Gu Fei’s pants, and at the same time Gu Fei yanked open his waistband. Only then, did the various parts of his body start to come back to life once more.

          An intense, never-before-experienced tremor, made a path up from his lower abdomen through his heart, and flooded him in a single moment.

          The fire was still going strong, they could see the flames dancing in the pit. 

          Jiang Cheng sat on the floor with his back to the sofa.

          His head was still fuzzy, he felt tired and jelly-like all over. Because of the alcohol, but also because after extreme elation… it was as if his whole body had been emptied out.

          He didn’t know how he ended up sitting on the floor, but by the time he regained his senses he was already sitting there. Gu Fei was sitting back on the sofa, both of them quiet.

          His butt could sense the cold seeping through from the ground, but he didn’t feel like moving. He stared at the crumpled up tissue and the cup Gu Fei had thrown on the floor, along with the spilled but not yet evaporated alcohol.

          A short while later, Gu Fei tossed a cushion to his side, “It’s cold on the floor.”

          He dazed for another long time, then finally reached over, grabbed the cushion, and sat on it.

          “Want a cigarette?” Gu Fei asked.

          “An after-the-fact cigarette?” Jiang Cheng turned and gave him a look.

          Gu Fei smiled and didn’t reply, only offered the pack to him. He pulled one out and lit it, then continued to space out.

          “If you don’t want to go back,” Gu Fei said. “You can sleep here, this sofa expands to a bed.”

          “What time is it?” Jiang Cheng asked.

          Gu Fei patted all around him but didn’t find his phone, “I don’t know where my phone went.”

          Jiang Cheng looked around and didn’t see his own phone either.

          Both their phones were on the sofa, but had now disappeared together…… His face suddenly felt very flushed. It was only a mutual handjob, but they made such an earth-shattering ruckus. He felt that if the sofa wasn’t already without legs, then perhaps today was the day it would lose them…….

          But come to think of it, how did the legs break off in the first place?

          A series of inappropriate images flashed across Jiang Cheng’s mind.

          Shameless!

          Gu Fei found their phones under the bunched up sheet on the sofa.

          Jiang Cheng took a look at the screen, it wasn’t yet midnight.

          It wasn’t early, but not very late either. He was too lazy to go all the way back now, but to spend a night here, seemed like it would be a long one.

          Gu Fei didn’t seem to have the same internal struggles. He sat down next to the fire pit, and tossed a few yams he found in a nearby box onto the charcoal.

          “You’re hungry?” Jiang Cheng asked.

          “Mhm,” Gu Fei got a stick and poked the fire until the yams were buried in the charcoal. “You want some?”

          “Will it cook through like this?” Jiang Cheng was a little worried.

          “Here’s where you city folks are ignorant,” Gu Fei said. “We country people always eat the charcoal with the yams.”

          Jiang Cheng laughed, “Fuck off.”

          After the exhilaration his body felt empty, and so he was cold. Jiang Cheng kicked a small stool to the side of the pit, so he could sit down and warm up by the fire.

          When his peripheral vision swept across the bunched up tissue on the floor, he suddenly felt an intense wave of embarrassment. As if someone could walk in at any moment and see at a glance what the hell these tissue papers were used for.

          He quickly walked over and picked up all the crumpled up tissues, disregarding any ownership issues. Then having circled the room and discovering no garbage can, and not wanting to continue holding on to the handful of stuff, he ended up throwing them all in the fire.

          The crumples instantly turned into golden balls of flame, and a black smoke rose up from the fire.

          “The fuck?” Gu Fei was bewildered. “What did you just throw in there?”

          “The paper…. from before.” Jiang Cheng said.

          “The used ones?” Gu Fei looked at him.

          “Ah,” Jiang Cheng looked back at him. “No shit, why would I throw in unused ones.”

          “There’s food down there, and you throw that stuff in……” Gu Fei sighed. “Nevermind, they all died in the fire anyway.”

          “Shit,” Jiang Cheng didn’t know what to say in response. “I never would have thought that you were so particular.”

          “I’m not particular, I was too lazy to even clean that up.” Gu Fei said. “I’m just randomly lamenting.”

          Jiang Cheng no longer wanted to continue this particular conversation, so he sat down beside Gu Fei and stared at the fire, spaced out.

          The effects of the alcohol hadn’t yet worn off, but the tipsy feeling had slowly spread out until it turned into general weakness. Jiang Cheng was tired just sitting there. He shifted the stool back until he could lean against the wall, and extended his legs out.

          There was no awkwardness at the moment, only a vague sense of aimlessness.

          Neither of them spoke until the yams were finished roasting, but it didn’t seem to be from embarrassment.

          Gu Fei wrapped a paper plate around them and handed one to him.

          The outer layer was burnt to a crisp, but once peeled open, the aroma overwhelmed his nose.

          “It smells pretty good.” He said.

          “Mhm,” Gu Fei got one for himself. “When I was little, I liked to hide somewhere with nobody else around, dig a pit, light a fire, and roast yams to eat.”

          “Sounds like you were pretty lonely when you were little.” Jiang Cheng said.

          “Yeah,” Gu Fei nodded. “But not anymore since Er-Miao came along, so annoying.”

          Jiang Cheng laughed.

          After finishing the yam, when he finally got some warmth in his belly, Jiang Cheng started to get sleepy. He could hardly keep his eyes open.

          “You should sleep. There’s a comforter here, Li Yan brought it before, I don’t think it’s been used.” Gu Fei threw some more coal into the fire, then got up and pulled a bag out of the crumbling closet. “I… I’m gonna go in a bit.”

          “……Go back at this time?” Jiang Cheng was surprised.

          Gu Fei looked at him, then looked into the bag, “There’s only one comforter in here.”

          “……Oh.” Jiang Cheng replied.

          After spacing out some more he couldn’t stand it any longer, so he dragged the sofa out until it flattened into a bed, then lay on it. He instantly felt much more at ease, so he pulled the cover over himself.

          Gu Fei still sat there, unmoving. Jiang Cheng’s eyelids were struggling to stay open. He didn’t bother asking again, and simply closed his eyes.

          Just as he was about to fall asleep completely, he felt the sofa shift under him. Gu Fei had sat down.

          “You’re not going back?” Jiang Cheng opened his eyes.

          “You’re not asleep yet?” Gu Fei turned to meet his eyes.

          “Not yet,” Jiang Cheng said.

          “I don’t wanna move again either.” Gu Fei grabbed a cushion to put under his head, and lay down. “Shall we squeeze?”

          “Mmn.” Jiang Cheng gave him some space under the comforter.

          He was pretty tired, but after Gu Fei laid down beside him, he couldn’t fall asleep anymore. He was so tired that tears were streaming down his face, but still sleep would not come.

          Guess it’s gonna be a sleepless night.

          “Are you awake?” Gu Fei asked beside him.

          “Mmn,” Jiang Cheng said. “Can’t sleep.”

          “Are you only able to sleep in your own bed?” Gu Fei asked.

          “No,” Jiang Cheng sighed. “Where’s your phone?”

          “What’s wrong?” Gu Fei turned.

          “I’ll just get through those stupid levels for you,” Jiang Cheng said. “Usually these dumb pointless games will have me asleep in no time.”

          “Damnit.” Gu Fei laughed and handed the phone to him.

          Jiang Cheng liked to call this thing dumb, but the higher levels were actually pretty hard. The fact that Gu Fei got this far was a feat in and of itself.

          He couldn’t just get past any level that he chose to either, luck was still an important factor.

          On days like today, after the drinking, after the drunken shenanigans, after all the luck probably having been ejaculated from his body, the idiotic Aixiaochu had turned into annoying Aixiaochu.

          Gu Fei had accumulated more than 20 hearts, but he only managed to get past one level after using up half of the hearts.

          “Ayy…” He sighed quietly. “Luck isn’t on my side today, all this time and only one level.”

          There was no sound from Gu Fei.

          He glanced beside him, and found that Gu Fei had already fallen asleep.

          “Fuck.” Jiang Cheng was a little mad as he threw the phone to one side and pulled up his cover. Level up your great uncle. 

          They didn’t turn the light off. Even though the shitty lamp wasn’t very bright, it was more than enough to see Gu Fei’s face very clearly.

          He stared at Gu Fei’s profile, watched as the image of Gu Fei’s profile slowly multiplied in his eyes, then slowly turning into a blur, and eventually fading into darkness.


Footnotes:

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Some Stats

  • Raw character count:
  • TL word count: 4061
  • TL time:
  • Edit: 0:21:33
  • Curse words: 10x fucks, 4x shits

TL’s Notes

No thoughts only screaming ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ok one thought: the version of this chapter currently on jjwxc has a couple of sentences ommitted, but I included the original here, because I love you and I love them <3 (you should still buy the chapter there though)