Can you try not to appear so thirsty, please!


Author: Wu Zhe, Translated by Ami <3

         As big as me topping you.

         Or as big as you topping me.

         On: The Post-Awakening Development of Juvenile and Adolescent Sexual Awareness.

         Cut off the sinful thoughts in your heart.

         Study hard and improve everyday.

         Help: Will long-term abstinence impact physical development.

         ……

         Turn the rolling commentary on/off

         Off.

         “How big do you think?” Jiang Cheng looked at Gu Fei.

         “Where?” Gu Fei lowered his gaze and swept it over his lower half. “About the same as me, probably.”

         “Control yourself.” Jiang Cheng tsked audibly.

         Gu Fei smiled and backed away a few steps, returned to the urinal, and unzipped his fly, “Are you joining me?”

         “I’m just saying,” Jiang Cheng walked to stand at the urinal next to him, and they stood facing the wall together. “You must’ve taken photos of so many hot men and women before……”

         “No.” Gu Fei answered immediately.

         “What do you mean no, do you mean to tell me your past works had all been ugly themed?” Jiang Cheng said.

         “When I take photos of other people, I’ve never……“ Gu Fei glanced at the washroom door. “Gotten hard.”

         “Shit, why do I find that so hard to believe. From what I’ve seen, every time you take photos of me……” Jiang Cheng also glanced at the door. “You get hard. The way this is going you’ve gotta be one of those people who would raise a flag if the bus gets even a little crowded.”

         Gu Fei laughed at the wall for a good while, “It’s not like that, I need a specific target. My boyfriend, for example.”

         “Yell a little louder why don’t you.” Jiang Cheng finished peeing and zipped up, then looked sideways at Gu Fei. “Dost thou have a prostate problem or something? You’ve been standing here for forever and still haven’t gone.”

         “I didn’t come in for that in the first place,” Gu Fei said. “I might as well go while I’m here, but don’t I still have to wait till this goes down?”

         “…… I can’t continue this conversation with you.” Jiang Cheng turned the tap on to wash his hands.

         “Don’t wait for me, you’ll need to change into another look, you should go get ready.” Gu Fei said.

         “I didn’t say I’d wait for you.” Jiang Cheng gave him another look, then walked out.

         Before leaving the washroom, Gu Fei faced the mirror and gave himself a warning: this is work, there should be a limit to your shamelessness, it’d be bad if this affected your money making.

         Jiang Cheng half leaned against the back of the chair, allowing the makeup artist to go to work on his face, and said weakly, “Isn’t it just changing the lipstick colour, why do we have to redo the eye makeup too……”

         “Of course you need a different backdrop for a different style.” She explained while smiling.

         “Ah……” Jiang Cheng sighed.

         Gu Fei readjusted the lighting and walked to Jiang Cheng’s side with his camera.

         “I’ll smack you if you keep sneaking impromptu snaps.” Jiang Cheng said with his eyes closed.

         “Hm?” Gu Fei looked at him through the viewfinder. “You know I’m here?”

         “No shit, I felt a little breeze.” Jiang Cheng said.

         “Remember yesterday, that summer, the moment the breeze blew past……” Gu Fei sang a line out loud, and clicked the shutter. [1]

         Jiang Cheng tsked.

         “It’s not of you,” Gu Fei said. “I was taking a picture of Nini.”

         “Nini?” Jiang Cheng opened his eyes a slit.

         “Me,” The makeup artist smiled. “He sometimes takes some working photos of me, so I can post them on my Friend Circle.”

         “Why aren’t you taking photos of me?” Jiang Cheng opened his eyes all the way and looked at Gu Fei.

         “…… Coming.” Gu Fei pointed the camera at him and clicked the shutter again.

         The lipstick featured in the second set was a bright red. Jiang Cheng turned to glance in the mirror before going on set, and once again froze, “My god, what the hell is this?”

         “This is our newest colorway,” The designer laughed. “It’s cold, glamorous, and sexy, with a touch of seduction.”

         “No offense but,” Jiang Cheng sighed. “Are you trying to make these concepts and descriptions incomprehensible? I definitely don’t get it, but I guess I’ll try to find the vibe on my own.”

         The others all laughed. Nini pointed at Gu Fei, “He gets it.”

         “You do?” Jiang Cheng looked to him.

         “I can make a pretty good guess, ” Gu Fei raised the camera at him. “Turn your head a little to the right…… and we need a little more light on that side……”

         Nini immediately went to adjust the lighting.

         “Look at me, don’t look at the camera.” Gu Fei said. “Put your finger by your jaw somewhere, find a pose you’re comfortable with.”

         “Mhm,” Jiang Cheng answered, and tilted his face slightly to the left. “Where should I be looking?”

         Gu Fei lowered his voice, “At your teeth-mark.”

         Jiang Cheng paused, then curved his lips up in a smile and snuck a glance at his collarbone. Gu Fei quickly pressed the shutter.

         The shape and contour of Jiang Cheng’s face were especially suited for high-contrast light and shadows. The lines were clean and the shapes well defined, but at the same time it didn’t lack a certain gentleness. The red was particularly eye-catching when juxtaposed in the middle of the black and white, giving it a somewhat mysterious vibe.

         His fingers were very attractive as well. Jiang Cheng followed Gu Fei’s directions and tried to find a good place to rest his fingers near his jaw and lips, but Gu Fei didn’t wait for him to finish settling down the finger before snapping a photo. Jiang Cheng’s fingers shifted, drew close, and moved away; the whole time Gu Fei pressed away at the shutter.

         “Give the lipstick a wipe.” After a round of clicking sounds, the designer chimed in and said.

         “Wipe…… how?” Jiang Cheng didn’t understand.

         “Just put your finger on your lips,” The designer demonstrated on her own face. “Then drag it down or to the side……”

         Jiang Cheng looked at her, then a few seconds later turned his face away and burst out laughing. It took him forever to finally stop, and throughout this time Gu Fei kept clicking away with his camera.

         “Don’t laugh,” The designer couldn’t help but be infected by his laughter. “Anyways, just like that, you get? Just don’t be like me and look like a dumbass while doing it.”

         “Got it,” Jiang Cheng nodded while still laughing. “You didn’t look that dumb.”

         “Can I deduct your pay?” The designer said.

         “Don’t,” Jiang Cheng said. “You’re very beautiful.”

         Jiang Cheng understood what the designer meant. Frankly, it wasn’t anything too innovative, easily half of all editorial photos purporting to champion individualism tend to feature some imagery of messily wiped lipstick.

         But when Jiang Cheng put a finger on his lower lip and gently tugged down, Gu Fei still thought at the moment, the Jiang Cheng in his frame had a handsomeness that was entirely different from those dolled up wannabes. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t the seductive vibe the designer was looking for, it was a little more feral instead. 

         The innate energy Jiang Cheng exuded could not be quashed by any outfit or makeup. His pride shone through the mess of scarlet, and the look in his eyes was as untamed as ever.

         “Wipe it again with the back of your hand.” Said the designer. Jiang Cheng could tell from her voice that it wasn’t what she had envisioned, but she was still satisfied with the outcome.

         “Back of my hand?” Jiang Cheng glanced down, hesitated for a moment, then lifted his hand and dragged it across his mouth in one smooth motion.

         Gu Fei figured Jiang Cheng was probably manifesting the spirit of a napkin-less ill-mannered person wiping their mouth with their hand after a meal. However, the frames he managed to capture of the moments immediately after, as Jiang Cheng’s hand was just barely away from his lips, were surprisingly stunning.

         “Let’s do a full body shot,” The designer said. “The guard dog position will do.”

         “What dog?” Jiang Cheng was once again baffled.

         “Are those clothes ok?” Gu Fei asked. They were shooting close-ups of the face today, so Jiang Cheng was wearing his own clothes, a black t-shirt and a pair of brown pants.

         “It’s fine,” The designer nodded. “It’s good contrast.”

         “You’ve done these before, just stand straight with your arms down, no need to do any poses.” Gu Fei said as he changed lenses. “That, is the guard dog position.

         “…… I thought I’ll have to squat down.” Jiang Cheng dropped his arms.

         “If you want to squat that’s fine too,” Gu Fei laughed. “Stick out your tongue while you’re at it.”

         “Go away.” Jiang Cheng said.

         “No need to tilt your head. Relax your shoulders.” Gu Fei finished changing the lens and held up the camera again, then took a few shots.

         A young man and his unbridled stubbornness.

         Very good.

         Shooting took two afternoons in total. Jiang Cheng realized that it wasn’t easy being a model; it was only two afternoons, but he felt like his lips were almost cracking from the overuse.

         When he was putting on the last look, Gu Fei went out and bought him a chapstick.

         “You can put this on once we finish here.” Gu Fei said.

         “Uh huh,” Jiang Cheng took it and turned it over in his hand. “Is it tinted?”

         “…… What colour do you want? I’ll go buy it for you.” Gu Fei said.

         “Fuck off.” Jiang Cheng pointed at him.

         Gu Fei laughed, and was about to respond, when the door to the studio opened.

         Jiang Cheng glanced over. The plump jiejie had come by only two times over the last two days, the only other people who sometimes came in were staff members. However, the person standing at the door right then wasn’t the plump jiejie, and based on his clothes, nor did he look like a staff member.

         In the doorway stood a man of about 27 or 28 years old. He was dressed in tailored slacks and a button-up shirt with his sleeves rolled up, looking casual but not that casual.

         Jiang Cheng glanced at Gu Fei with one of his eyes. He was hoping to see if Gu Fei would introduce the newcomer to him, but he found that Gu Fei’s face had already become overcast.

         It’d been a long time since he saw this disgruntled expression on Gu Fei’s face.

         “What a coincidence.” The young man nodded at Gu Fei.

         Gu Fei acknowledged him halfheartedly. If he wasn’t standing so close, Jiang Cheng wouldn’t have been able to tell whether Gu Fei made a sound with his mouth or simply huffed out some air.

         “I ran into Tang-jie yesterday while having tea, and she said you’re going to be here for a couple of days.” The man didn’t seem to mind Gu Fei’s attitude. “I happened to pass by today, so I dropped by for a look.”

         “Oh.” Gu Fei sat down on a nearby chair with his camera, and started playing with his lenses, showing no interest in speaking to him any further.

         The man stood at the door for a while, and after also greeting the designer and Nini, went to sit down next to Gu Fei.

         Jiang Cheng only heard Nini call the man Lin-ge, and nothing else. After that, Lin-ge sat down beside Gu Fei, which was a little too far away for him to hear if they’d said anything else.

         Jiang Cheng perked up his ears and listened intently for a while, but still couldn’t catch a single word. He could only see that Gu Fei had his head down the whole time working on his camera, showing no desire to engage in conversation. Lin-ge said a few more sentences here and there, then kept quiet as he leaned back in the chair and looked in this direction.

         Jiang Cheng had to draw his gaze back.

         Of Gu Fei’s friends, he only knew Li Yan and the others, plus Ding Zhuxin. He had never even heard Gu Fei bring up this Lin-ge before, therefore he wasn’t likely to be a close acquaintance.

         However, the change in Gu Fei’s attitude when he saw him was clear as day, it didn’t seem like the appropriate reaction to someone he didn’t know very well.

         Jiang Cheng felt a weird pang in his stomach all of a sudden.

         Who the fuck is this!

         What the fuck is his connection to Gu Fei!

         Why did he just sit down and refused to fucking leave!

         What the fuck is he looking at!

         If Jiang Cheng’s past jellies were mostly forcefully consumed for funsies, then this time the sour taste he was feeling in his guts couldn’t be more real.

         It was like he’d just tattooed a fire torch onto his butt, the flames of which made him unable to sit still. He felt an overwhelming urge to go over there and demand an answer.

         However, when they started shooting, Lin-ge only watched for a few minutes, and then left.

         Jiang Cheng stared at Gu Fei and scrutinized him for a while. That weird all-over uneasy feeling from earlier was gone from the moment Gu Fei picked up the camera and pointed it at him.

         After a long time of scrutiny, he still couldn’t make out anything.

         “Xiao-Jiang’s attitude here is great,” The designer praised. “That look of…… annoyance? Or maybe……”

         “Anger.” Gu Fei said.

         “Right, just really irritated.” The designer nodded. “That’s exactly it.”

         Jiang Cheng turned his face and swept a glance over Gu Fei. 

         Asshole, so you can tell.

         “What did Lin-ge come over for?” Gu Fei asked the designer. “Is Tang-jie collaborating with him?”

         “I think so, Tang-jie wanted him to help organize a small launch event.” Said the designer. “They’re still discussing it.”

         “Oh.” Gu Fei looked at Jiang Cheng.

         Jiang Cheng held his gaze for a moment, aware that the question was asked for his benefit, it was to let him know that this Lin-ge was closer with the plump jiejie than with Gu Fei.

         And yet.

         That didn’t explain the change in Gu Fei’s demeanor when he saw this person.

         Little dude, can’t hide anything from us overachievers. Not to mention this one’s not near-sighted!

         After the photoshoot was over, Nini helped Jiang Cheng wash off the makeup, as Gu Fei exited the studio.

         By the time Jiang Cheng finished with everything and walked out the door while aggressively applying the chapstick to his lips, he found Gu Fei leaning against the wall outside, with a cigarette between his lips.

         “All done?” Gu Fei asked when he noticed him come out.

         “Mhm.” Jiang Cheng nodded.

         “The remaining half of the payment should be coming in tomorrow morning.” Gu Fei said.

         “Mhm.” Jiang Cheng stuffed the chapstick in his pocket. He felt pretty tired, so much so that he couldn’t even tell if he was hungry.

         Gu Fei didn’t mention Lin-ge. Jiang Cheng wanted very much to ask, but hesitated between whether or not he should. Gu Fei was clearly unhappy to see the guy, if he asked, it might make him even more unhappy.

         But if he didn’t ask, it might seem too intentional.

         “Wanna get cold noodles?” Gu Fei asked.

         “Sure.” Jiang Cheng answered.

         They took a cab there. As they got out of the car Jiang Cheng still had to ask, “Was that Lin-ge, a friend of yours?”

         “Not quite,” Gu Fei didn’t hesitate at all in his reply. “An acquaintance.”

         “Oh.” Jiang Cheng wasn’t sure how to continue this line of questioning.

         “We…… knew each other from before,” Gu Fei frowned. “When I played in the band.”

         “Ah is that so,” Jiang Cheng looked at his furrowed brows. “That’s a pretty long time ago then.”

         “Mhm.” Gu Fei nodded. “I don’t really have much contact with him, but he has a studio and sometimes I’d use his models during photoshoots, so we run into each other from time to time.”

         “Got it.” Jiang Cheng rubbed his nose, suddenly a little embarrassed. This out of nowhere onset of jealousy was a little childish, he thought.

         Even though he didn’t know why Gu Fei had such an attitude for someone he was merely acquainted with, he didn’t much feel like getting to the bottom of it anymore. It seemed that Gu Fei didn’t want to get into the details, and there was no point for him to continue probing, except to make both of them unhappy. Not to mention, Gu Fei already said there was no other connection between them. For an open and considerate overachiever such as him, it’d be unseemly to keep pursuing the matter.

         After all, when it comes to boyfriends, trust is a very fundamental element.

         After they finished the cold noodles, Gu Fei was about to follow him to the apartment and keep him company in revision, but halfway back he got a call from his mom, who said that Gu Miao was throwing a temper tantrum at home, and she couldn’t calm her down.

         “You should go back,” Jiang Cheng said. “Is she maybe unhappy that you haven’t been eating at home these last couple of days?”

         “No,” Gu Fei sighed. “She has a little blanket that she has to hold every night. It’s all smelly so I washed it yesterday……”

         “Can’t you just give it back to her after it dries?” Jiang Cheng asked.

         “But the smell is different, it has the smell of laundry detergent.” Gu Fei said. “She’s already thrown a fit this morning, but probably remembered it again just now.”

         “Hurry up and go then,” Jiang Cheng felt anxious at the very thought of Gu Miao’s screaming. “Comfort her properly, otherwise just…… wrap it around yourself and go for a run, or do some pushups or pullups or something, sweat it out and make it stinky again.”

         Gu Fei chuckled, “Alright, I’ll try.”

         After bidding goodnight to Gu Fei at the intersection, Jiang Cheng stood on the spot and watched Gu Fei’s silhouette. Probably out of worry for Gu Miao, Gu Fei didn’t turn around today, but instead strode briskly in the direction of their home.

         Jiang Cheng had originally thought to take a few perfunctory glances before heading back. He still had homework to do, and a bunch of practice questions he wanted to get through. But serious words like running, pushups, and pullups, all became dirty little yellow words in his mind as he stood there and watched Gu Fei’s receding silhouette.

         Sweat, muscle, lines, rising and falling, tightening, relaxing……

         Jiang Cheng quickly crossed his eyes and stared at the tip of his nose. As a top student, he knew long ago that “eyes to the nose, nose to the heart” wasn’t actually commanding people to stare at their own nose, but the dumb misunderstandings formed in one’s childhood often accompanied one throughout their whole life…… [2]

         Just as he crossed his eyes, he noticed in his peripheral vision that Gu Fei had turned around.

         He immediately uncrossed his eyes again and looked forward. Gu Fei raised his arms and mimicked a sniper, tilting his head and taking aim.

         “Dumbass.” Jiang Cheng said as he quickly moved his right foot back, and raised up his arms as if he was drawing back a bow.

         After their dumb and dumber goodbye ceremony, Gu Fei turned and jogged away. Jiang Cheng lifted his arms up to stretch, then slowly sauntered back to his apartment.

         The final exams were coming up. When the midterm results came out, Jiang Cheng had made the bold claim that he’d pass the second place by more than 100 points. Even though words like that belonged in the category of bullshit boasting, it was still based in reality. He didn’t have a habit of making unrealistic claims; if he said it out loud, he’d try his best to achieve it.

         After finishing the homework, he took a shower with thoughts of Gu Fei’s body still on his mind, then sat on the bed in his pyjamas with his practice questions, and began to work through them.

         This way he could fall asleep and wake up readily and easily, he was used to being in this state when revising for tests. He’d never be like other top students and say that he spent the whole night before a test playing video games. If anyone marveled at his grades, he would tell them honestly, “I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in two weeks.”

         The reason I got good grades is simply because I churned harder than you did. That was the greatest feeling of all.

         Tsk tsk tsk.

         Jiang Cheng grinned down at the questions, grabbed a notebook for scrap notes, picked up the pen Pan Zhi had gifted him, and started to revise.

         Even though it was impossible for ‘drowsiness’ to manifest while his brain was turning the whole time, it was still possible to fall asleep.

         In the past he had also fallen asleep while revising, but would usually wake up again after about 20 minutes. Today was no different, except for the manner in which he woke up.

         He was jolted awake by a nightmare.

         “HE WANTS ME TO DIE!” Screamed Li Baoguo.

         The instant Jiang Cheng woke up he felt like even his breathing was in shambles, and his heartbeat a little out of whack. He stared at the pen in his hand and took a long time to finally calm down.

         He thought he’d already successfully sealed away Li Baoguo and his death, that it would no longer disturb his life. These days he had indeed gone back to his old way of life, but didn’t expect to face this scene again in such an unguarded state.

         He closed his eyes and gently pinched between his brows with the fingers of his left hand, while spinning the pen rapidly in his right. After what seemed like forever, he finally let out a long breath, and switched subjects to revise for English.

         It wasn’t until he got up the next morning that he discovered his pillows, duvet, and pyjamas were all covered in splotches of ink, as a result of his fervent pen spinning the night before.

         “Fuck,” He leapt off the bed and into the bathroom, and stared into the mirror at the ink splotches on his face. After a while of staring he hopped a few times on the spot while clapping his hands and said in a high-pitched voice, “Aiya so handsome!”

         Then he started brushing his teeth.

         The night of dreamless slumber put him in a very good mood. At this moment it wouldn’t matter even if he’d poured a whole bottle of ink onto the bed, let alone a tiny bit of splatter.

         “Looks like contestant Jiang Cheng is in good spirits this morning,” He finished washing his face, then said as he changed. “Yes, it doesn’t look at all like he stayed up studying the night before…… but if a slingshot athlete is out of practice for a long time, will it impact his performance? Rumours has it that he even gave away his prized slingshot to his mystery boyfriend?”

         Jiang Cheng sent a message to Gu Fei: you up yet?

         Mystery boyfriend messaged back a whole five minutes later.

         – Sleepy

         – Sleep then, i’m off to school

         – Noon

         – Mhm

         By “noon”, what mystery boyfriend meant was that they will have lunch together at noon. He often devolved to using these ultra-minimalistic expressions when he was extremely sleepy.

         “Any skill needs to be honed, but for a prodigal contestant such as this,” Jiang Cheng put on his shoes, slung his backpack over his shoulder, and went out the door. As he walked down the stairs, he continued quietly, “There is no need to worry.”

         Going from his apartment to the school took him past Gu Fei’s convenience store, but it wasn’t yet open at this hour. He glanced at the locked door when he rolled by on his bike, and out of nowhere felt a fluffy warmth in his heart.

         It was a magical feeling. When you like somebody, the mere sight of anything related to him will become a ball of fluff in your eyes.

         He was already very familiar with this path, even with his eyes closed he could tell what he was passing along the way. There were various businesses: some old and rundown, some newly renovated, some decked out in a tacky punk style, some purporting to be high-end indie, others still were styled as back to the roots. They were all still closed at the moment, giving off a sense of strange familiarity.

         Interesting. Jiang Cheng made a turn against the wind.

         After riding forward for a while, an old signage flitted by the corner of his eyes.

         He couldn’t stop his brow from arching uncontrollably, as he quickly turned and stole a glance before turning back again to direct his eyes forward.

         Adult.

         Toys.

         Fuck! How did I not notice the presence of a shop like this before?

         He whipped his head around again, then immediately turned back to stare straight ahead.

         Fuck! It wasn’t a trick of the light!

         Humans were like that sometimes, when they were thinking of something, they’d start seeing it everywhere…… And as a youth with a newly grown yellow mind……

         How big was he thinking?

         How big?

         Probably big enough to warrant a stroll around that shop.

         But…… Jiang Cheng looked back again, damn if this shop didn’t look a little too rundown! It didn’t seem like a serious business at all, it gave off the vibe that every condom in the store had been punctured by the owner. 

         “Watch it!” Somebody yelled nearby.

         “Ay!” Jiang Cheng turned around in time to see an uncle about to cross the street a few meters ahead of him, and squeezed the brakes right away. “Sorry about that.”

         “What were you staring at anyway, you’re gonna crash into a tree like this.” The uncle said.

         What were you staring at!

         Contestant Jiang Cheng, what were you staring at!

         Can you try not to appear so thirsty, please!


Footnotes:
[1] Gu Fei was singing the first lines of this song

[2] “Eyes to the nose, nose to the heart” is an often repeated mantra for meditation and general centering of one’s mind

Some Stats

  • Raw character count: 6265
  • TL word count: 4400
  • TL time: 5:54:58
  • Edit time: 1:21:13
  • Curse words: 8x fucks, 3x shits, 3x asses

TL’s Notes:

Don’t mind the mess, i’m fumbling around still :3