That would not only ruin the mood, but also look extremely stupid!


Author: Wu Zhe, Translated by Ami <3

         Gu Fei looked at Jiang Cheng, for a second there he felt that nevermind giving an answer right now, he was struggling to even express any emotion aside from shock and disorientation.

         How many times has it been? That Jiang Cheng bombarded him so suddenly like this leaving no room to think.

         Gu Fei called Jiang Cheng here simply to ease his worry. He had sent Jiang Cheng a message immediately after Liu Fan and Li Yan wrapped up his leg with the fake splint and left. He didn’t know how Jiang Cheng was faring on the other side, but he knew that he would be anxious with worry after seeing him fall over on the roof, he simply wanted Jiang Cheng to come see for himself that he was alright, so he could be at ease.

         Never in a million years did he imagine that Jiang Cheng would suddenly spring this on him.

         In that spark-filled fraction of a second his brain had spun around itself for at least thirteen thousand rotations, the thoughts that flitted through his mind were enough to fill a football field.

         Whether he meant to or not, Jiang Cheng’s question certainly left himself enough room, at least he didn’t ask directly if Gu Fei wanted to go out with him.

         However he answered the question, Jiang Cheng would still have the space to maneuver around it.

         But he knew without a doubt what kind of answer Jiang Cheng really wanted. It was a question that appeared accommodating on the surface, but in reality could only have one answer.

         Yes, I have considered it, with you.

         Gu Fei wanted very much to give a response like this, but the words that should’ve been blurted out were all of a sudden difficult to say out loud.

         Because he didn’t know what kind of boyfriend Jiang Cheng wanted, he figured that Jiang Cheng himself hadn’t even thought about that.

         After all, that’s what they’re supposed to be like at this age, even if one was to mull over it, the mulling wouldn’t extend very far. Do I like him? Yes. This is me liking him, this is me giving in to it, and this me wanting to be in a romantic relationship …… What else does one need? Nothing.

         Yet he had thought about it, a little too much.

         Perhaps Jiang Cheng was acting impulsively; perhaps Jiang Cheng wasn’t being impulsive, but simply chose a seemingly impulsive timing.

         Either way, Gu Fei felt that he couldn’t determine exactly what Jiang Cheng was thinking in such a short amount of time, nor express his own thoughts on the matter. What kind of boyfriend are you looking for? What kind of relationship are you after?

         Any answer he gave under these circumstances would seem too casual.

         He figured that his only path forward at this moment was to stall, so that both he and Jiang Cheng could work out what the other one was thinking.

         “Ah forbidden… puppy love?” Gu Fei managed to squeeze out, then shut his mouth immediately. [1]

         “Did you hit your head just now?” Jiang Cheng gazed at him with a conflicted look in his eyes that seemed to be reserved for pitying on dim-witted children. Gu Fei felt like his own measure of dorkiness had just leveled up following the incident of smiling idiotically into a random building in the night.

         “What I meant was……” Gu Fei quickly gathered his thoughts in an attempt to explain further.

         But Jiang Cheng suddenly stood up.

         Gu Fei instinctively stood up with him. He didn’t want Jiang Cheng to walk off at this moment, he especially didn’t want Jiang Cheng to think that after all the things they did that were out of the normal range of ‘desk-mates’, that he would still hesitate on this question.

         Before he was able to get a word out, Jiang Cheng frowned and made a retching sound.

         Gu Fei was simply unable to contain his shock. Was Jiang Cheng so disgusted by his words?

         “Washroom?” Jiang Cheng asked him through clenched teeth.

         “Back there,” Gu Fei pointed. “Next to the kitchen……”

         Jiang Cheng bolted off before he even finished his sentence, dashing through the back door and into the courtyard.

         Gu Fei quickly grabbed a bottle of water from the shelves and followed him out.

         When he got to the washroom, he found Jiang Cheng bent over with his hands on his knees staring into the toilet. He paused for a second, “What’s the matter?”

         “I suddenly feel nauseous.” Jiang Cheng said.

         “What did I say that had……” Gu Fei was almost speechless. “Such power?”

         “Fuck off.” Was Jiang Cheng’s brief response before he dry heaved again, and still didn’t manage to throw anything up.

         “Are you feeling sick?” Gu Fei was a little worried now. “Did you catch a cold? There’s still someone on staff at the community clinic, let’s go get checked out?”

         “No need,” Jiang Cheng sucked in a breath and straightened up. “This is just a side effect of my fear of heights.”

         Gu Fei was frozen for almost ten whole seconds before he managed to ask, “Fear of heights?”

         “Uh huh,” Jiang Cheng didn’t end up barfing anything out, he walked to the basin and washed his face. “Is that so strange.”

         Gu Fei was quiet.

         Jiang Cheng wiped his face and turned to face Gu Fei, “This isn’t really appropriate to say in the bathroom, but since we’re already here and I already started it off, I won’t be bothered with the timing or location.”

         “Mhm.” Gu Fei answered.

         “What I said just now, take the night and think about it.” Jiang Cheng said. “I’m gonna head back, I suddenly feel really drowsy, I need to sleep. Give me a call when you get up tomorrow.”

         “Alright.” Gu Fei said.

         “Goodnight.” Jiang Cheng waved at him and turned back into the store, making his way to the front door.

         Gu Fei wiped at the water droplets Jiang Cheng splattered onto his face and followed.

         From his words to his actions, Jiang Cheng had executed everything with an effortless ease. He was cool and poised up until the moment he walked up to the front door, but his two failed efforts at pulling up the rolling shutters somewhat disrupted the aesthetic.

         “What the hell is wrong with your door?” Jiang Cheng peered at him while still half bent, a displeased look on his face.

         “Let me.” Gu Fei went over and yanked up the shutter for him.

         Jiang Cheng ducked out before the shutters were fully up, then said again outside the door, “Goodnight.”

         “Goodnight.” Gu Fei kept his hand on the door and looked back at him.

         Jiang Cheng climbed onto his bike and rode away without a backward glance.

         After shutting the door again, Gu Fei sank down into the little stool on the side, and got lost in his thoughts.

         Jiang Cheng wanted to go right to sleep once he got back, but considering the night he had, crawling around on a rooftop littered with dirt and garbage, he forced himself to take a shower first.

         As he collapsed onto the bed, he felt like he must’ve fallen asleep before his head even hit the pillow.

         His body felt leaden, but his heart was light. As light as a feather.

         Maybe it was because everything was over. What needed to be done was done, what needed to be considered, he did, and what needed to be said was said. Everything that weighed his heart down, whatever feelings it contained, was all gone.

         Whatever tomorrow would bring, whatever happens, none of that mattered anymore.

         Ah, feels good.

         This feeling of ease was probably akin to what Pan Zhi described as “after getting beat on by my pops I sleep as soundly as though I just got a massage”. 

         He sank into his pillow and smiled.

         When the dawn broke the next day, it was the first time Jiang Cheng’s biological clock failed to pull him out of the heavy slumber. He could hear the birds chirping outside his window, could hear the sounds of grannies going outside to exercise, and excited kids screaming the whole way as their parents took them out to play……

         Yet he still didn’t wake up. It was a rather delightful feeling, the awareness that he was asleep but while still sleeping soundly and comfortably.

         It wasn’t until his phone rang the second time that he opened his eyes reluctantly.

         Second time?

         Oh right, it was the second time. The first time was probably when the grannies were going about their exercise.

         He pulled his phone close and struggled to make his eyes focus on the too-bright screen, and saw that it was Gu Fei calling.

         Gu Fei?

         ……Gu Fei!

         All of a sudden he was wide awake, even his vision became crystal clear.

         Even though he had already concluded yesterday that Gu Fei’s answer no longer mattered, he simply wanted to express that, I kinda like you a lot, and if we can be in a romantic relationship then that would be pretty great too. 

         He simply wanted to throw the idea out there, to Gu Fei, then no matter what Gu Fei’s response was, he no longer cared. Or rather, he never thought to imagine what Gu Fei’s response would be.

         But now considering that Gu Fei was very likely calling to give him an answer……

         suddenlynervous.jpg

         He stared at Gu Fei’s name for a long time, then remembered to pick up the phone, but before his outreached hand even touched the screen, the call ended. 

         Good good good, very good, good thing the call ended.

         He tossed his phone to the side and sat up, glancing at the time, it was just past 8 AM.

         Gu Fei was up this early on a Sunday morning? Then the missed call from earlier…… he picked up his phone again to check who the first caller was. 

         The phone chimed once, there was an incoming text message from Gu Fei.

         – not up yet?

         Jiang Cheng didn’t reply, he first checked out the missed call from earlier, 6:45, Gu Fei.

         “The fuck?” Jiang Cheng was a little shook, Gu Fei had gotten up before 7?

         It was nothing short of a miracle. Jiang Cheng couldn’t help but check the time again, and confirmed that it was currently morning, and the time stamp said 6:45, not 16:45.

         – just woke up

         He sent Gu Fei a reply.

         Just as he rose from the bed, his phone rang again. This time it wasn’t a notification, it was his ringtone.

         Jiang Cheng picked up the call.

         “Did you want to date me, or did you want to go on a date with me?” Gu Fei opened with a question before he even said hello.

         Jiang Cheng dragged his slippers over to the window and opened the curtains, the bit of trepidation in his mind vanished just as suddenly as it appeared, “Thou art not concerned about forbidden puppy love then?”

         Gu Fei was quiet.

         “Is there a difference?” Jiang Cheng said. “I just wanted to let you know that I thought about it and I…… like you a lot, and if you want……”

         “Come downstairs.” Gu Fei interrupted him.

         “What?” Jiang Cheng paused.

         “I’m outside your building,” Gu Fei said. “Come down and have some breakfast, boyfriend.”

         Jiang Cheng froze for several more seconds before he was able to chase out the mess of noise bouncing around in his head, “I still have to wash up and get dressed.”

         “Mmn,” Gu Fei said. “The breakfast stall from yesterday then, I’ll go get us a seat first.”

         Jiang Cheng hung up the phone and blanked out for a while longer. 

         What the fuck what’s the meaning of this?

         A few sentences later and just like that his relationship with Gu Fei changed?

         What the fuck?

         It was just a little bit fantastical…… He tossed aside his phone and went to brush his teeth in a daze. Then while he was washing his face, he stared at himself in the mirror for a while. 

         I have a boyfriend now? I don’t look any different though, still so…… handsome.

         No no, something was different. His sense of logic was all gone. 

         When he finished washing up and opened the door to his wardrobe, he suddenly didn’t know what outfit to wear. 

         Even though he would usually try on a few different outfits before stepping out the door anyway, until he found the one that best expressed his ‘handsomest of the day’ energy. But today, he couldn’t even pick out a backup option.

         “Fucking hell.” Jiang Cheng blurted out after standing in front of the wardrobe for a few minutes. It was just Gu Fei after all, just a person who transformed from his desk-mate to his boyfriend, waiting for him to eat a fried pancake together at the breakfast stall downstairs. Was this necessary? He pulled out a pair of pants at random and put it on, closed his eyes and yanked a t-shirt off the hanger, then grabbed a light jacket and walked out the door.

         When he got downstairs, he was able to spot Gu Fei from a long way away. Gu Fei usually stood out from the crowd on a normal day, but today especially so, Jiang Cheng could hit the splint board on Gu Fei’s leg with a slingshot even if he was 20 meters further from where he was currently standing.

         He quickened his pace and approached. It was past the prime time for breakfast at that point, Gu Fei had a table all to himself, and it was piled high with breakfast dishes. He sat his butt down onto the seat across from Gu Fei.

         “Took you long enough.” Gu Fei glanced at him.

         “Us overachievers like to put effort into getting ready,” Jiang Cheng looked back at him. “If I recall correctly sir, you haven’t even changed your pants from yesterday?”

         “Mmn,” Gu Fei looked down at the splint and said quietly. “This board was attached so professionally, I couldn’t get my pants off.”

         “Shit,” Jiang Cheng couldn’t help but laugh, he also lowered his voice. “Take the splint off first then.”

         “I can’t be bothered to,” Gu Fei said. “I’ll just leave it for tonight.”

         Jiang Cheng didn’t say anything more as he put his head down and took a sip out of a bowl of soy milk.

         Once the conversation came to a stop, the mood suddenly became very strange.

         While he drank the soy milk, Jiang Cheng felt that the way he was holding the bowl was all manners of awkwardness, even though he had been holding bowls this way for almost twenty years.

         He couldn’t even taste whether the soy milk was sweetened or not.

         Nervous, awkward, and a little panicky.

         But not uncomfortable. He snuck a glance at Gu Fei, who was chewing on a stick of fried dough fritter and watching him without any expression on his face.

         “Did I not wash my face properly?” Jiang Cheng asked.

         “I’m just looking,” Gu Fei chuckled. “I look at you all the time anyways.”

         “Oh, continue then.” Jiang Cheng picked up a little soup dumpling with his chopsticks, he suddenly felt like this strange and slightly awkward atmosphere was rather enjoyable.

         What the hell is wrong with me.

         “Oh yeah,” Gu Fei finished the dough fritter and said as he wiped his hands with a napkin. “I have a little…… gift for you.”

         “Hm?” Jiang Cheng was dumbfounded.

         Gu Fei looked around them, probably making sure that there weren’t anyone around who knew the two of them, then pulled something out of his pocket and handed it to Jiang Cheng, “Let’s just say this is a…… Labour Day present.”

         “Would’ve been great if you just called it a Children’s Day present.” Jiang Cheng accepted the thing and looked down at it. It was a fairly large and squishy bundle.

         “It’s a little early for June 1st,” Gu Fei said. “I also have to get Er-Miao something for June 1st, I’ll get you two something each then.” [2]

         “Go away,” Jiang Cheng answered shortly, and realized that he was holding a soft and squishy ball made of blue yarn, with a loose yarn sticking out from the top. He held the yarn ball up by the loose string, and was more than a little surprised. “A sunny doll?” [3]

         “Mhm, may all your days be sunny and bright.” Gu Fei said. “It’s supposed to be white, but I just remembered that skein of yarn you bought last time was never used for anything, so I knitted a……”

         “What did you stuff it with?” Jiang Cheng gave it a squeeze, it was soft.

         “It’s also yarn, I stuffed the leftover bits I had in there.” Gu Fei said. “There’s actually still some left, I gave it to Er-Miao to play with, it’s not enough to make anything else anyway.”

         Jiang Cheng was quiet as he looked down at this blue sunny doll.

         The doll had eyes too. Probably due to it being made of yarn, and blue yarn at that, it was hard to draw the eyes on, so where the eyes were Gu Fei had sewn on two little buttons.

         Classmate Jiang Cheng!

         Please control your emotions!

         Please do not cry at a breakfast stall where you have to squat at a wooden plank bench to eat!

         That would not only ruin the mood, but also look extremely stupid!

         “You weren’t too lazy to undo the splint and change clothes yesterday, were you.” Jiang Cheng pressed the round head of the doll to his eyes for a second, then looked up at Gu Fei. “You didn’t even sleep, right?”

         Gu Fei didn’t say anything, just smiled.

         “Did you have to do that,” Jiang Cheng didn’t know what else to say, he clutched the doll tightly in his hands. “You could’ve just grabbed a bag of snacks from the store……”

         “Too many things happened yesterday, I couldn’t really fall asleep anyways.” Gu Fei said. “I just figured that if I came over, and brought a flower with me…… you’d probably stand at the front door and kill the flower with the slingshot first before walking out, so I made this thing, it’s pretty simple anyway.”

         “Oh,” Jiang Cheng looked down and squeezed the doll again, then held it by the string and gave it a gentle shake. This chubby sunny doll that was at least three times larger than regular sunny dolls was as cute as a penguin when it swayed in the air. “Then I’ll give you a little gift too.”

         “It’s not a gift exchange or anything.” Gu Fei said.

         “Are you going to refuse?” Jiang Cheng looked at him.

         “Nope.” Gu Fei said right away.

         Jiang Cheng grabbed his backpack and unzipped it.

         “You really are the overachiever,” Gu Fei marveled. “Bringing your backpack out with you even when there’s no classes.”

         “It’s not like there are any books inside,” Jiang Cheng said as he put the doll in the bag. “I just have a habit of carrying a bag with me, gives me a sense of safety, plus it looks bad to have bulging pockets full of stuff.”

         He pulled out his slingshot from the bag and set it down in front of Gu Fei, “You can have this, to commemorate the day when you showcased your extraordinary acting skills.”

         Gu Fei laughed as he picked up the slingshot and examined it, then pulled on the elastic, “Doesn’t that mean you won’t have one to play with?”

         “I feel like Pan Zhi would bring a new one for me.” Jiang Cheng said. “The last time he came to visit he brought me a tin whistle, if he were to bring me another little trinket this time then it’ll have to be a slingshot.”

         “When is he coming?” Gu Fei put the slingshot in his pocket.

         “Labour Day.” Jiang Cheng said. “Not too far away now, do you guys have anything fun around here? He’ll probably be staying for three or four days, I can’t exactly take him shopping in the main square every single day.”

         Gu Fei gave him a look but didn’t say anything.

         “Hm?” Jiang Cheng looked back at him.

         “I’m thinking.” Gu Fei said.

         “Preferably somewhere nearby, not too far, otherwise it’ll be a long trip.” Jiang Cheng said again.

         “Hm,” Gu Fei thought about it as he picked up a steamed dumpling and took a bite, and eventually said after a while. “There’s an amusement park on the newer side of the city, they opened a haunted house last year, I heard it’s pretty good. It even made it on the news, apparently it’s really scary.”

         “Is it big?” Jiang Cheng asked right away with great interest.

         “Pretty big, three levels in total including the basement, and it covers a pretty big area,” Gu Fei said. “Though I’ve never been.”

         “Come with us then,” Jiang Cheng said. “Who would’ve thought that this shitty little place would have a haunted house.”

         Gu Fei didn’t say anything, just clucked his tongue a few times as he ate his steamed dumpling.

         “You got something to say?” Jiang Cheng chuckled.

         “Nothing to say,” Gu Fei said. “To be honest, if it wasn’t for this haunted house I don’t even know what else to suggest, the only thing left is the nearby mountain, but the snow has already melted so there’s nothing to see there.”

         After breakfast, Gu Fei stood up and stretched, “You’re not studying today then?”

         “Mn,” Jiang Cheng answered. “Do you have any plans?”

         “Nope,” Gu Fei thought about it. “How about we go…… watch a movie?”

         “How do we get there?” Jiang Cheng glanced at his leg and said quietly. “Should I be pretending to support you?”

         “No need, I came here on my bike.” Gu Fei said.

         “Fuck, aren’t you afraid that Monkey’s guys would see you!” Jiang Cheng was all of a sudden frantic as he grabbed Gu Fei’s wrist and pulled his arm onto his own shoulder, then wrapped his arm around Gu Fei’s waist. “If someone were to see you, it’d be a total waste of your acting performance yesterday!”

         “…… I peddled here with one leg,” Gu Fei leaned himself on Jiang Cheng. “It was super convincing.”

         Jiang Cheng supported Gu Fei as they walked toward his bike. 

         It was…… a strange feeling.

         He had touched Gu Fei’s waist before, not only that he had squeezed it too. But this was the first time, out on the street, that he so publicly and openly put his hand on Gu Fei’s waist.

         It was a well-toned waist, he could feel the muscles shifting under his palm as Gu Fei hopped along on one leg.

         He couldn’t help but give it a squeeze, or two.

         “Hey,” Gu Fei straightened up a little and grabbed his hand. “I’m ticklish.”

         “Let go!” Jiang Cheng quickly scanned their surroundings. Arm on shoulder, arm around waist, these were all completely normal based on Gu Fei’s current condition, but grabbing his hand like this, that’d be a little too much.

         Gu Fei didn’t release him, just grabbed his hand and shoved it into his pocket.

         Jiang Cheng was quiet. Gu Fei’s jacket was loose-fitting with large pockets, at a quick glance nobody would see that there were two hands inside. 

         Besides, he didn’t really want to take his hand out either.

         This faint sense of excitement that stemmed from feeling not quite different from normal but actually different in every single way, this feeling of the two of them, was very satisfying.

         “What’s playing today?” Inside the pocket, Jiang Cheng squeezed the tip of Gu Fei’s pinky finger.

         “Dunno,” Gu Fei slipped a piece of round candy into Jiang Cheng’s palm. “Let’s just see what’s there, our primary objective isn’t to watch the movie anyway.”

         “…… Shit,” Jiang Cheng gave him a look. “What are you gonna do? Do you not know that the security cameras in the movie theatres are all infrared?”

         “I’ve never actually thought about that…… wait,” Gu Fei looked at him in surprise, then started laughing after a long pause. “Cheng-ge are you maybe overthinking this?”

         “Fuck off!” Jiang Cheng clenched his teeth.

         “I was thinking of something a little simpler……” Gu Fei said.

         “Shut up.” Jiang Cheng sighed.

         “I just wanted to find a dark corner,” Gu Fei said. “And hang out there with you.”

         “…… Why does it have to be a dark corner?” Jiang Cheng let go and took the bike keys out from Gu Fei’s pocket as he did. “I’ll take you there on the bike?”

         “Ok.” Gu Fei nodded.

         “Why does it have to be a dark corner?” Jiang Cheng asked again as he unlocked the bike and got on.

         “At the breakfast stall just now,” Gu Fei said. “If I touched you, don’t tell me you wouldn’t have jumped all the way up to the street lamp?”

         “Ah,” Jiang Cheng paused. “The fuck you’re not thinking any less than me!”

         “Really?” Gu Fei got onto the backseat. “I think you’re talking about bigger movements that could be clearly captured with infrared surveillance. If it’s just some hand holding and leg touching, no need to be concerned about whether the cameras are infrared.”

         “Never mind, stop talking about this.” Jiang Cheng tsked.

         Jiang Cheng had already rode out for several meters, but then suddenly stopped the bike again. He turned around to look at Gu Fei, “There’s something I wanted to say formally, even though I think I’ve already said it once.”

         “I really like you,” Gu Fei said. “I will keep on liking you until you don’t need me to like you anymore.”

         Jiang Cheng stared at him with his mouth half open, not able to get a single word out. He could only feel buzzing in his head.

         I really like you. This sentence coming out of Gu Fei’s mouth made him a little dizzy. 

         “What were you going to say?” Gu Fei rubbed his back. 

         “…… Forgot.” Jiang Cheng said.

         The corners of Gu Fei’s mouth twitched but he didn’t say anything.

         “Oh,” Jiang Cheng rubbed his nose. “I remember, it’s…… I really do like you very much, I have never liked anyone the way I like you.”


Footnotes:

[1] 早恋: In China, any sort of romantic relationship before 18 is strictly forbidden by teachers and parents because it distracts from academic studies. Of course, this is enforced in varying degrees in different regions and within different families. Literal translation is “premature love” or “early romance”.But considering everything that Gu Fei was actually concerned about, it was maybe the dumbest response he could give XD

[2] May 1 is Labour Day, June 1 is Children’s Day, so this is probably some time in April.

[3] Otherwise known as a teru teru bōzu.

Some Stats

  • Raw character count: 6313
  • TL word count: 4412
  • TL time: 4:39:03
  • Edit: 0:52:50
  • Curse words: 8x fucks, 3x shit

TL’s Notes

Anyways, *screams*