Author: Wu Zhe, Translated by Ami <3

         If they wanted to go to one of the better cinemas, they had to go to the shopping centre downtown. Normally, Jiang Cheng would be pretty reluctant to ride his bike all the way from here to the shopping centre all the while carrying another person on the backseat; it’s fucking far.

         But today was different. The person on the backseat with his head pressed into Jiang Cheng’s back and hands in Jiang Cheng’s pocket — which really was pulling his collar down and digging into his neck — was his boyfriend Gu Fei. Before 8 o’clock that morning, the guy was still just his desk-mate, but now he was his boyfriend. What a fantastical turn of events.

         Jiang Cheng had often imagined what ‘dating’ would be like, not unlike the various fantasies anybody at this age would have, but during the short time when he was with Yu Xin, he couldn’t match the experience with any of the supposed feelings no matter how hard he tried. He thought perhaps his expectations had been too high.

         Not until now, with this person on his back seat wrapped in real and fake bandages on their way to see a movie, did he suddenly get a rush of what ‘dating’ feels like.

         It was a kind of relationship he had always been avoiding, rejecting, and afraid of, but all the fears and trepidation he’d felt since realizing there was something ‘different’ about himself was now buried under a mountain of elation and happiness. 

         At first, when Gu Fei suggested they go see a movie, he didn’t quite understand. Why go hang out at such a crowded place? But on the way there, as they rode with the wind around them, he suddenly understood.

         It was the feeling of being among a crowd with their own little secret.

         Look, all these people, and we’re here too. We came here together, we’re leaving together. Among the crowd, under the gaze of strangers, there is a sense of concealed safety.

         Behind him, Gu Fei’s head that had been resting against his back suddenly slipped to the side, followed right after by his body swaying to the side as well.

         “Oh shit,” Jiang Cheng quickly steadied the bike and turned around. “Did you fall asleep?”

         “Mhm,” Gu Fei put his head back in position against Jiang Cheng’s back, and readjusted the grip of his hands in Jiang Cheng’s pockets. “You keep going, I was just having a false snooze.” [1]

         “Do you even know what a false snooze means you illiterate,” Jiang Cheng said. “You’re straight up taking a nap back there.”

         “I was having a false snooze, but then it accidentally became a real snooze.” Gu Fei said.

         Jiang Cheng laughed, then sighed after a pause, “Maybe we shouldn’t go to the movies, why don’t you go back home and sleep for a bit?”

         “Nah,” Gu Fei said. “At this point I won’t be able to sleep properly anyways. I just want to watch a movie with you.”

         “What if you fall asleep in the movie theatre?” Jiang Cheng said.

         “I won’t,” With the hand that was in his pocket, Gu Fei suddenly caressed Jiang Cheng’s leg. “We’ll pick a more exciting movie, with a more exciting sort of viewing tactic……” 

         “Fucking watch yourself!” Under Gu Fei’s touch, Jiang Cheng almost crashed them into the electric scooter beside them. 

         “Mn, I’ll keep snoozing.” Gu Fei stopped moving. 

         Since they were at the shopping centre downtown, they were unlikely to run into anyone from the Steel Works. Once they arrived, before Jiang Cheng even finished locking up the bike, Gu Fei already made a beeline for the sporting goods store.

         “You can at least slow down a little,” Jiang Cheng said as he followed. “The way you’re trudging along like this, you won’t even have time to put up an act if we run into anyone we know.”

         “The Steel Works is way too far from here, I only come a couple times a year at most.” Gu Fei sauntered along slowly between the aisles. “Those guys usually never go shopping, even if they do, they mostly hang around the bridge area, the retail strip near Jiuri’s restaurant.”

         “Really,” Jiang Cheng considered for a moment. “No wonder they’re all dressed like that, you can’t even piece together their style with the stuff found in the shopping centre.”

         “What style?” Gu Fei chuckled.

         “Every one of them is as skinny as a toothpick, but wears such tight-fitting tops, and tight-fitting cropped pants. If you don’t look carefully you won’t even notice that they have legs.” Jiang Cheng recalled the crowd from the night before, and suddenly felt his rage boil up all over again. “I’m telling you, from where I was I could hit a strip of wood no problem, but I’d have trouble if you want me to hit one of those guys……”

         Gu Fei picked up a baseball glove and couldn’t stop laughing, “They’re not all skinny, there are buff ones too.”

         “Right, the meat on their tummies are pretty buff.” Jiang Cheng said.

         “Ayy…” Gu Fei finished laughing and sighed. “But aren’t there also people like me.”

         “You’re not one of those people,” Jiang Cheng gave him a look. “Even though you were dressed pretty flashy yesterday. How come you’re not wearing that leather motorcycle jacket today huh?”

         “It’s torn from the fall of course,” Gu Fei thought about it for a second. “But when it comes to tight-fitting clothes, I really did used to have……”

         “If you still wear them now, I promise that we won’t even be desk-mates.” Jiang Cheng said.

         “Ooh, scared me.” Gu Fei put on the baseball glove and tossed a ball up and down in his gloved hand.

         “You’re buying this? You guys at the Steel Works won’t even play basketball without weapons,” Jiang Cheng said. “With this, are you planning to throw grenades?”

         “It’s for Er-Miao,” Gu Fei said. “She saw it on TV the other day and wants one too.”

         “Why not get a child-sized one, isn’t this too big?” Jiang Cheng said.

         “It’s got to be adult sized, these things don’t break that easily. When she gets older and the glove is too small for her, if I change it, she’ll throw a fit, if I don’t change it, she won’t be able to fit her hands in and will throw a fit anyway.”

         “…… Alright.” Jiang Cheng sighed. Who knew how many problems one had to consider as Gu Miao’s older brother.

         After they bought the glove and ball, Gu Fei forcefully stuffed everything into Jiang Cheng’s backpack.

         “…… I’ll stop carrying a backpack with me from now on.” Jiang Cheng said.

         “I’ll carry it.” Gu Fei said.

         “Give it up already you disabled person,” Jiang Cheng said. “It’s not like I’m a girl.”

         “I should’ve bought them when we’re leaving.” Gu Fei said.

         “Ah,” Jiang Cheng looked at him. “Right? Why did you buy them now?”

         “Yeah why?” Gu Fei looked back at him.

         “I don’t want to laugh,” Jiang Cheng turned and walked briskly away. “Seriously can we make a pact, no more idiotic giggling from now on, day in day out like this it’s way too dumb.”

         “Mhm.” Gu Fei followed with him an extremely solemn look on his face.

         Jiang Cheng felt rather accomplished that he finally managed to kill the urge to giggle before it bursted out of his nose.

         “Which floor is the cinema on?” Jiang Cheng asked when they were standing on the escalator heading upstairs.

         “Dunno,” Gu Fei looked around and pointed at a sign behind them. “Fifth floor.”

         “You’ve never been here?” Jiang Cheng asked.

         “No,” Gu Fei thought about it, then said quietly in his ear. “I think the last time I watched a movie was at the reform school, when the school gathered everyone to watch some documentary about prisoner interviews.”

         “That can’t possibly count as a movie,” Jiang Cheng suddenly felt a pit in his stomach. “And before that?”

         “When I was in elementary school, my mom took me to see some kind of animated film, I can’t remember.” Gu Fei said.

Jiang Cheng felt an ache in his heart, “You never just come watch a movie with somebody?”

         “With whom?” Gu Fei gave him a little smile.

         Jiang Cheng paused, and didn’t say anything else.

         Right, with whom? If Gu Fei’s usual demeanor is any indication, it couldn’t possibly be with classmates. With friends…… Not A Good Bird didn’t seem like the type who’d want to go to the movies either. As for family…… the fact that Gu Fei’s mom took him to see a movie even once was already a surprise to him.

         Suddenly, he realized that the reason Gu Fei wanted to watch a movie with him might not be entirely to find a corner among the crowd for two people to hang out close together, it might also be because he had hardly ever watched a movie before.

         At the cinema, they looked up at the rolling display, there weren’t any good flicks playing at this time. They sat down on the sofa together, and Jiang Cheng pulled out his phone, “I’ll check the promotions first.”

         “Let me,” Gu Fei said. “I……”

         “You probably still have to install the app,” Jiang Cheng said. “Don’t fight me on this.”

         “Then you go ahead,” Gu Fei leaned back on the sofa and said while smiling. “Don’t forget to buy snacks.”

         Jiang Cheng scrolled around for a while on his phone, but didn’t manage to find anything he wanted to watch. He turned around to look at Gu Fei, “Do you think made-in-China horror movies count as a somewhat exciting flick?”

         “…… Is there nothing else?” Gu Fei asked.

         “Only ones left are arthouse films.” Jiang Cheng said.

         “Chinese horror it is then.” Gu Fei nodded.

         Jiang Cheng ordered a combo with extra large popcorn and drink, then hesitated again when it was time to pick the seats. This showing was still mostly empty, so initially he picked seats in the middle, then after some pondering, figured it might be too centered, and if they were to do anything…… He cancelled it and switched their seats to the very last row, but then felt it might be a little too shameless, as if he really intended to do something. He snuck a glance at Gu Fei sitting beside him; Gu Fei was looking down at his phone, playing the idiotic Aixiaochu.

         Fine, let’s go for the middle route. Jiang Cheng cancelled the seats on the last row, and picked two seats on the second last row, then pressed confirm.

         After that was done, when he stood up to get the ticket from the machine, a staff member approached them pushing a wheelchair, “Gentlemen, this is the wheelchair provided for you by our cinema.”

         “Huh?” Jiang Cheng froze.

         “The theatre is a bit of a walk,” The staff member said. “This is more convenient.”

         “Oh,” Jiang Cheng looked at the wheelchair. “Thank…… thank you.”

         “When you come back out after the movie, just return it to the service desk.” The staff member left, leaving them with the wheelchair.

         Jiang Cheng turned and looked at Gu Fei, Gu Fei had already been laughing for a while on the sofa with his hand over his face.

         “Sir, do you need this?” Jiang Cheng looked at him. 

         “Yes,” Gu Fei nodded. “Why don’t you push me in.”

         “Damn,” Jiang Cheng was a little speechless. “If the producers knew that we’re so desperate to watch their horror movie without ghosts that we’d go in a wheelchair, they’d probably shed tears of happiness.” [2]

         “Hurry it up,” Gu Fei glanced at the rolling display and said while laughing. “It starts in 20 minutes.”

         After retrieving the ticket, Jiang Cheng pushed the wheelchair next to Gu Fei’s legs, “Come on then Mr. Gu.”

         Gu Fei struggled to stand up while supporting himself on the sofa armrest, hopped on one leg to turn around, then lowered himself into the wheelchair slowly, “Done.”

         “Look at this acting,” Jiang Cheng said. “I doubt anyone in the movie we’re about to watch is going to surpass you.”

         “You’re too kind.” Gu Fei set his feet on the footrest. “Ah, feels good.”

         Jiang Cheng pushed the wheelchair over to pick up the snacks. Large bucket of popcorn, a large drink, along with the complimentary water and wet wipes, all were placed onto Gu Fei’s lap.

         As he pushed Gu Fei to the theatre, he could feel the somewhat surprised looks from the people around them.

         Oiyoo this guy must be bored to such an extent that he’ll come out in a time when nothing good is playing to watch a movie in a wheelchair.

         “Which theatre are we in?” Gu Fei cleaned his hands with a wet wipe, then asked as he munched on popcorn.

         Jiang Cheng didn’t answer.

         “Hmm?” Gu Fei turned around.

         He stared down at Gu Fei, “You’re really enjoying this aren’t you?”

         Gu Fei immediately picked a piece of popcorn coated with lots of caramel and held it beside Jiang Cheng’s mouth, “Here.”

         Jiang Cheng quickly glanced around, there wasn’t anyone nearby. He swiftly took the popcorn into his mouth.

         “You bit my finger.” Gu Fei said.

         “Shut up.” Jiang Cheng said.

         Gu Fei munched on a few more kernels then picked another few well coated ones and held it up, Jiang Cheng lowered his head and took them into his mouth again.

         A bit silly.

         And yet…… even though he felt like a stupid hamster being fed by hand, it still made him very happy.

         As they rolled up to the theatre, the ticket attendant at the door was looking around in boredom. When she spotted them, a look of shock appeared on her face, and she quickly approached, “There are steps inside, I’ll help you.”

         “Oh no it’s alright,” Gu Fei waved his hand right away. “I’ll just hop my way in.”

         Perhaps it was because there were very few people watching this showing, the attendant had nothing better to do. She ended up forcefully carrying the popcorn in for them, then went back and pushed the wheelchair to the bottom of the steps, before walking away while looking back at them every other step.

         “This accommodation.” Jiang Cheng sighed.

         “Why didn’t you pick the last row?” Gu Fei sat down.

         “…… What are you planning to do?” Jiang Cheng looked at him.

         “Haven’t decided yet,” Gu Fei smiled and pointed at the seat beside him further away from the aisle. “You sit here.”

         “Just go ahead and shift over,” Jiang Cheng said. “What’s the big deal.”

         Gu Fei didn’t say anything, but raised his bandaged right hand and waved it in front of Jiang Cheng’s face.

         Jiang Cheng instantly understood what he meant, and in that same instant felt his heart rate increase, as his cheeks suddenly started burning, as though he’d put it right up to a radiator.

         He brushed ever so slightly against Gu Fei as he squeezed his way past, and immediately felt his root of all evil start to rear its head.

         “Ayy…” He sighed quietly as he sat down, and tugged on his pants. 

         “Young people huh.” Gu Fei sat down again and took a sip of his drink.

         Jiang Cheng turned to look at him.

         “I’m still calm as water right now,” Gu Fei looked back at Jiang Cheng, then down at his own crotch. “See?”

         “The hell do I see!” Jiang Cheng felt the strong urge to give it a big slap.

         Gu Fei sipped on the drink as he looked straight forward, and smiled without a word.

         “Honestly,” Jiang Cheng said. “I never would’ve imagined you to be this kind of person.”

         “I also never imagined that,” Gu Fei pulled up the armrest between the two seats, and shifted a little closer to Jiang Cheng so that they were pressed against each other. “As the one feared by all in and around the Steel Works……”

         “Alright enough already,” Jiang Cheng cut him off, then chuckled again after a second. “Really though, your little sister is way cooler than you are.”

         “Don’t you think about my sister,” Gu Fei reached out and grabbed hold of his hand. “Just focus your efforts on me.”

         “Oh.” Jiang Cheng squeezed his hand back.

         Gu Fei’s hand was very warm, even though the weather was warmer now, and even more so in the theatre, he still found the warmth of Gu Fei’s hand extremely pleasant.

         Jiang Cheng looked behind them, there was nobody sitting in the last row, though the theatre wasn’t as empty as he expected. Especially when in the last few minutes before the movie started, some twenty odd people suddenly entered in pairs at a time.

         It was obvious from a glance that they were all little lovers coming in on a date. 

         Jiang Cheng suddenly felt a little…… peculiar. When mixed in among this crowd of people whose intentions were obvious, he felt that he and Gu Fei’s intentions also became much more obvious.

         Fortunately, the next group to enter was a family of four, who seated themselves a few rows in front of them.

         Jiang Cheng immediately let out a breath of relief.

         He wondered why he was such a wuss all of a sudden..

         He stole a glance at Gu Fei sitting beside him, and saw that Gu Fei was busy munching away at the popcorn on his lap, his expression calm as ever.

         “Gu Fei.” Jiang Cheng said.

         “Hm?” Gu Fei turned. 

         He actually wasn’t sure what he wanted when he said Gu Fei’s name, he didn’t really have anything to say.

         When Gu Fei turned to him, the lights in the theatre suddenly dimmed.

         Gu Fei’s face was immediately plunged into darkness, leaving only a slim outline of his face backlit by the light from the screen.

         Without even thinking, Jiang Cheng leaned over, but as soon as he moved, Gu Fei was already there, planting a gentle kiss on his lips.

         The theatre had just gone dark, there were still people moving about around them, with some people still chatting.

         At the moment, the atmosphere hadn’t become quite reassuring enough, yet Jiang Cheng still stopped breathing momentarily from the kiss. His heart was a little slower in its reaction, it only started beating wildly after two seconds had passed, so violently in fact, that he felt like Gu Fei’s face was shaking along with it.

         Gu Fei did not make any more advances, only kept his lips gently pressed against his, neither of them moving.

         Compared to the various forms of contact they’ve had in the past, this kiss really wasn’t that big of a deal. They’ve jerked each other off two times already, but Jiang Cheng felt something in this moment that he had never experienced before.

         As a prodigal overachiever, he could not for the life of him find the appropriate word to describe this feeling.

         After a while of quietly pressing their lips against each other, Jiang Cheng licked Gu Fei’s lips with the tip of his tongue.

         It was sweet.

         The movie had started playing, but Jiang Cheng did not feel the urge to turn back to the screen at all. Gu Fei’s lips were still there, the moist lips tinged with a hint of popcorn aroma was still there beside his tongue.

         In a moment like this, nevermind a movie, it might take him a few seconds to wake up even if somebody he knew was standing right beside them……

         But reality tends to slap you on the face.

         It was obviously not a very scary horror movie, but unfortunately, the theatre had amazing acoustics.

         A piercing scream that suddenly reverberated from all around them drew startled sounds out of the whole audience.

         Jiang Cheng’s pounding heart, which was already in somewhat of a hurry, almost split in two at this sudden sound, his whole body bounced a little in the seat.

         It seemed like Gu Fei was also startled by this, he bounced almost at the same time.

         The two of them turned and glanced at the screen together, then turned back and stared at each other in the darkness. It took a while before Gu Fei finally said quietly, “Fuck, it almost withdrew back into my body from the scare.”

         Jiang Cheng paused for a long time, then when the thought finally registered, he could no longer hold it in anymore, he bowed his head down and started laughing through clenched teeth.

         “Can you spare a little sympathy please?” Gu Fei said quietly also with laughter in his voice.

         “Oh,” Jiang Cheng answered, then turned to look at him, and asked while trying to keep a straight face. “So did it or did it not draw back inside?”

         “Nah,” Gu Fei said. “Do you want to……”

         Jiang Cheng figured there must be poison in the theatre’s air freshener, maybe the poison was in the popcorn, or even on Gu Fei’s lips…… Either way, with these symptoms, he must’ve been poisoned.

         He suddenly reached out his hand to touch Gu Fei, and in the process almost knocked over the popcorn on Gu Fei’s lap.

         The laughter that Gu Fei had been trying to suppress suddenly disappeared, his body stiffened ever so slightly.

         Jiang Cheng could feel under his palm that it clearly did not withdraw back inside. And the reason that it did not retreat, was probably because of little Gu Fei’s impressive resilience……

         The fuck?

         What are you doing Jiang Cheng?

         Are you really so thirsty! It hasn’t even been two minutes into the movie! The supporting character had come out and screamed only once! She didn’t even have time to die yet!

         Suddenly, he didn’t know what to do with the hand on Gu Fei’s crotch.

         After blanking out for a few seconds, he made up his mind to overcome all adversity and take his hand back, but it was then that Gu Fei suddenly tossed the popcorn to the seat beside them and pulled his hand into his grip. 

         “Are there really infrared cameras?” Gu Fei pushed his hand down and leaned over to whisper in his ear.

         “I don’t know,” Jiang Cheng answered quietly. “Should we be…… holding back a little?”

         Gu Fei didn’t answer. He slid down a little in the seat as he let go of Jiang Cheng’s hand, then without any warning, stuck his own hand directly into Jiang Cheng’s pants.

         Jiang Cheng’s head was instantly overwhelmed with all sorts of images of movietheatre.avi, as he also shifted down in the seat and yanked on Gu Fei’s waistband.

         The movie was still playing, and for the sake of “holding back”, even though he and Gu Fei were squeezed together side by side, both of them were still facing forward with eyes glued to the screen. Even if Jiang Cheng had no idea why the woman on screen was running up and down the house. 

         Before him was a criss-crossed show of light and shadow, it was a flick that was entirely inexplicable and nonsensical but was made to take on a certain peculiar aesthetic in his thirsty fire-addled mind.

         The only thing was…… the screaming.

         The screaming supporting character was already lost to who knows where, the female lead kept up the work where her friend left off.

         After three consecutive screams, the two of them were a little too immersed in their shameful activity to be thoroughly frightened, but still they felt each other’s hands tighten slightly.

         “We picked the wrong movie.” Jiang Cheng shut his eyes briefly.

         “Cheng-ge.” Gu Fei cocked his head and said his name.

         Jiang Cheng turned, and Gu Fei leaned in for a kiss. 


[1] 假寐: false snooze is an expression used when you close your eyes and rest while still staying conscious.

[2] Horror movie without ghosts: the term for horror movie is literally “ghost movie”. Chinese govnt media censorship (vaguely) dictates that modern broadcast media must not contain explicit supernatural elements, which means horror movies cannot contain monsters/ghosts.

Some Stats

  • Raw character count: 5864
  • TL word count: 3971
  • TL time: 5:02:25
  • Edit: 0:34:02
  • Curse words: 4x fucks, 1x shit

TL’s Notes

first date 😉