The night is long, and sleep is far.

Author: Wu Zhe, Translated by Ami <3

  The folded piece of paper Jiang Cheng pulled from underneath his pillow was his notes.

  As though composing an essay, he had spent two whole nights perusing various gay forums and ‘instructional’ articles, and drew conclusions on how best to do it to maximize pleasure and minimize pain. And keeping in mind that the would-be recipient of this information was a power-slacker among slackers who got through homework by copying, and who didn’t even bother copying during exams, he lived up to his overachiever title and went so far as to write down a summary of the key points.

  Jiang Cheng had planned to let the power-slacker do some last minute cramming before going on stage, but didn’t expect the Mini Tyrant of the Steel Works to suddenly go all ‘respecting the elderly’, and cede this opportunity to him.

  Of course, Jiang Cheng also didn’t expect that after all the mental buildup he did, after so much time spent imagining the scenario of lying down and taking it, that it only took a few simple words from Gu Fei to make him jump on him without the slightest pause.

  Impatient pervert.

  …….This is probably how they behaved.

  Even further out of his expectations was that the techniques and methods already committed to memory by his overachiever brain, would be so easily blown into pieces under the force of these two words from Gu Fei.

  Want it?

  The explosion gave off a blast of golden light.

  After which, not even a single particle was left in his brain.

  Gu Fei’s body, and the smooth taut skin, with what almost felt like an electric current running beneath it. He had run his fingers and lips over it countless times.

  The neck, collarbone, chest, abdomen, and waist.

  He thought he was already very familiar with Gu Fei’s body, but when he touched it again on this day, it was suddenly an entirely different sensation. It was as if he went back to the moment of that first time they touched each other intimately. Fluttering, quivering, anticipating……

  The content on that folded piece of paper, the stuff he had long committed to his memory, there was absolutely no way he could make use of it now, even if it hadn’t already gone up in fireworks. Jiang Cheng firmly believed that if he went by the notes, he would break the floodgates wide open before he even got half way.

  An experienced driver’s summary was indeed only suitable for experienced drivers.

  People like him who had just gotten their licenses had no other choice than to lunge and nibble, kiss and nibble, then after nibbling take a little lick, then after that just grab onto whatever was there. Every gasp sounded like war drums in his ears, reverberating so loudly it made him dizzy. Every sense organ had been put in hyperdrive.

  He could hear panting, but couldn’t tell who it belonged to; could hear heartbeats, but couldn’t tell who it belonged to. He could see the toned skin reflecting a soft glow under the light, that belonged to Gu Fei; could feel breaths sweeping over his ears, that also belonged to Gu Fei. He could even feel a fine electric current as muscle rubbed against muscle, in their bodies, in all the moments of contact, crackling with life.

  He couldn’t bother with experience, couldn’t remember any summary. As a wanton youth holding a grenade with a sparkling fuse, it was enough hassle for him to stop and put on a condom and squeeze out some lube.

  “Gu Fei,” Jiang Cheng pressed tightly against Gu Fei’s back, and nibbled gently on his earlobe; his hands grabbed onto Gu Fei’s sides and legs and kneaded hard. “I……”

  Gu Fei didn’t say a word, just turned and pecked at the corner of Jiang Cheng’s mouth, and ran the tip of his tongue gently over his lips.

  Jiang Cheng felt a mist come over his vision, and suddenly nothing else remained in his eyes or heart.

  He straightened up and roughly pushed Gu Fei’s shoulder back. Everything thereafter he did entirely on impulse. He might be a new driver, but instinct is not something one has to learn. The desire from deep within him anxiously overcame all sorts of planned foreplay, as he went straight for the main course.

  ”Mnnn ah……”

  Gu Fei let out a repressed moan as Jiang Cheng entered, a sound he never before heard from Gu Fei’s mouth, it was sultry and enticing. He couldn’t even bear to give Gu Fei a moment to breathe and get used to the sensation, before driving straight in, the tightness inside was making him lose control.

  The palms of his hands burned on Gu Fei’s hips, as did Gu Fei’s body around him.

  The night is long, and sleep is far.

  All was quiet inside and outside the room, so quiet that Jiang Cheng worried about the walls having ears as he listened to both of their panting. Though at this very moment, even if someone were to hide under the bed…… no, even if someone were to stand next to the bed glaring at them, he wouldn’t care.

  Sure enough, lust grants one courage.

  His arms were wrapped around Gu Fei in a tight embrace.

  “Loosen your arms a little,” Gu Fei said. “I need to catch my breath.”

  “Catch your breath later.” Jiang Cheng had his eyes closed while nuzzling the tip of his nose gently against the back of Gu Fei’s neck. At last he was in this spooning position, and didn’t want to let go.

  He couldn’t remember where he had seen it from, something about how people are attracted to each other because of their smells; certain smells you can’t consciously detect, but your nose will be able to capture. There will always be someone whose smell entices you.

  Jiang Cheng didn’t know if he was attracted to Gu Fei because of this, but he did very much like the way Gu Fei smelled. He couldn’t say what exactly it was, but he could distinguish it from others…… though it wasn’t as if he had smelled anyone else this way.

  “Hey,” His heart rate slowly went back to normal after a while of lying there with his arms around Gu Fei…… He only realized today that it took longer for his heart rate to recover after doing this than after running several kilometers. “Um, Gu Fei?”

  There was no sound nor movement from Gu Fei.

  “Gu Fei?” He called again.

  Still, no reaction.

  “Did you fall asleep?” He propped himself up to look down at Gu Fei’s face. “Gu Fei?”

  “I’ve suffocated to death.” Gu Fei said with his eyes closed.

  “Damnit,” Jiang Cheng started laughing. “I let go already.”

  “Which is why I can talk now.” Gu Fei said.

  Jiang Cheng leaned down and gave him a firm kiss on the cheek, “Shower?”

  “Mmn,” Gu Fei opened his eyes, and turned to look at him. “What time is it?”

  “Dunno,” Jiang Cheng sat up as his eyes swept over the used tissues on the floor, and felt a little embarrassed. He turned around and saw another clump of tissue at the foot of the bed, and suddenly felt a wave of self-consciousness out of nowhere. He swiftly kicked the tissue to the floor. “Are you going to take Gu Miao to that treatment thing tomorrow?”

  “Today.” Gu Fei corrected him.

  “Today,” Jiang Cheng pinched Gu Fei’s waist. “It’s in the afternoon, right? I’ll go too.”

  “It’s at 2 o’clock in the afternoon.” Gu Fei flipped over to lie flat on his back. “I’ll take you two there.”

  “You mean we are taking Gu Miao there.” Jiang Cheng got off the bed, then glanced at him, and finally asked after a second of hesitation. “I’ll go shower first?”

  “Mhm.” Gu Fei smiled, and reached over to grab his phone to play Aixiaochu.

  Jiang Cheng took the opportunity while Gu Fei was staring at his phone to quickly bend down and throw the tissues into the nearby trash can. He only realized when he straightened up that there wasn’t a single thread of clothing on his body, and instantly felt a little shy. He grabbed a change of clothes to block the crotch area, and half-ran into the bathroom.

  It wasn’t the first time he and Gu Fei faced each other so starkly like this, but today was different. He didn’t even have the face to ask Gu Fei if he’d hurt him, let alone take a shower together.

  It was only when Jiang Cheng was standing in the shower letting the hot water wash over him, that he began to slowly recover from the nerves, awkwardness, embarrassment, and all the other emotions that overwhelmed him before.

  He didn’t take very long in the shower, he didn’t want to leave Gu Fei on the bed by himself to play with his phone. Rinse, lather, rinse again, brush teeth, and wash face; all of this took less than ten minutes, then he dashed out of the bathroom.

  When he came back to the bedroom, Gu Fei was flopped belly down on the bed, playing on his phone. He was surprised to see Jiang Cheng walk in, “So fast?”

  “Was I?” As soon as Jiang Cheng saw Gu Fei in this position, he was immediately worried, such that he couldn’t even bother feeling embarrassed about his question. “Are you…… uncomfortable?”

  “Hm?” Gu Fei blinked, then laughed. “Nah, just don’t want the phone to fall on my face.”

  Now that he made a head start, Jiang Cheng threw all the awkward or otherwise feelings to the wind, “You really don’t feel any discomfort? Any pain? Or……”

  “A little…… you know,” Gu Fei sat up. “But it’s not that bad.”

  “Oh,” Jiang Cheng nodded. “Then you wanna go wash up?”

  “Pass this level for me,” Gu Fei handed the phone to him, and walked over to the wardrobe. “I’m taking your clothes okay?”

  “Mmn go ahead, take whatever you want.” Jiang Cheng said, and Gu Fei walked out with the change of clothes. 

  Jiang Cheng cradled the phone in his hands, but all of his attention was on Gu Fei’s naked body in his peripheral vision.

  Gu Fei took a couple steps toward the door, then turned and came back to his side, reaching a hand out in front of his face.

  “Hm?” Jiang Cheng immediately lifted his head to look at him.

  “The screen went dark.” Gu Fei pressed his finger to the screen, and said with a hint of a smile.

  “Ah! Right! It did!” Jiang Cheng yelled half-heartedly like a person forcefully disrupted from sleep but hadn’t quite woken up. 

  Gu Fei didn’t say anything else, just smiled as he turned to walk out.

  Jiang Cheng stood by the bed and zoned out for a long time before collapsing onto the bed with the phone, “Ah……”

  Ah how embarrassing, contestant Jiang Cheng!

  That smile on Gu Fei’s face as he walked out was pure mockery!

  “Ah……” Jiang Cheng flipped over and looked at the phone, the screen was dark again. “Ah fuck.”

  By the time Gu Fei came back from his shower, Jiang Cheng was still leaning against the headboard, holding the phone and staring into space.

  “Did you beat the level?” Gu Fei asked.

  “……It locked again.” Jiang Cheng handed the phone back to him.

  “Oh,” Gu Fei took it and shot a glance at him. “Then are you gonna keep playing for me?”

  “Ay… Unlock it.” Jiang Cheng sighed.

  Gu Fei unlocked the phone and handed it back to him. As he started in on the game, he could hear Gu Fei laughing. Jiang Cheng was going to ignore him, but Gu Fei couldn’t stop laughing, so he had no choice but to look up with a glare, “What are you laughing at?”

  “You, of course.” Gu Fei said as he giggled.

  “You wanna bet I’ll……” Jiang Cheng continued to glare at him, then after a while started laughing himself. “Shit.”

  “Hurry up and play,” Gu Fei laid down on the bed beside him. “Or else Li Yan is going to pass me again.”

  “Why does he have so much free time,” Jiang Cheng tsked audibly and put his head down to concentrate on the game. “Is it because he doesn’t have a boyfriend!”

  “I’ll make sure to ask him tomorrow.” Gu Fei said, then turned away to laugh again.

  “Are you done yet,” Jiang Cheng glared at him sideways. “The way you’re fucking going on you’d think I came early or something.”

  “Oh,” Gu Fei kept it in for a while, then started cackling again. “No you didn’t actually.”

  “…… Ay!” Jiang Cheng yelled out a sigh, and didn’t speak again. He trained his eyes on the phone screen, at the heads of the little animals.

  However, what he just experienced was indeed like nothing else, even his best study trick of one-second mind focus wasn’t working. He stared for a while at the animal heads, and couldn’t find a single row to clear.

  He tried to push through, but after wasting two hearts, he tossed the phone to the side and wiggled down onto the pillow, “Forget it, I’m just wasting turns.”

  “What’s wrong?” Gu Fei turned over and wrapped his arms around him.

  “A million thoughts.” Jiang Cheng reached out and flipped off the light. As darkness enveloped them, Gu Fei’s warm breath by his ear gave him a sense of comfort one only experienced after the exhaustion of excitement.

  Gu Fei didn’t say anything, just gently rubbed Jiang Cheng’s belly.

  “Gu Fei,” Jiang Cheng took his hand, turned to face him, and asked quietly. “It uh…… really didn’t hurt?”

  “Didn’t I say,” Gu Fei smiled at him. “It’s not that bad.”

  “Oh.” Jiang Cheng took a long pause, trying to figure out how to phrase his next question so as to not sound like a pervert, but ended up just throwing it out directly. “Then did it…… feel good?”

  “Geez,” Gu Fei chuckled. “So blunt.”

  “I couldn’t find a more roundabout way of asking.” Jiang Cheng also smiled.

  “It felt pretty good.” Gu Fei said.

  “For real?” Jiang Cheng couldn’t tell whether Gu Fei was telling the truth or just trying to console him.

  He was pretty out of it for the entire process, and felt like his head was spinning the whole time. Gu Fei filled up his vision, his hearing; everything he saw, heard, touched, and felt, was all heightened exhilaration

  But he couldn’t be sure if Gu Fei really felt good. Theoretically, there was not much good to be felt, they were both new drivers on the road after all. If one was in a wheelchair day in and day out, and suddenly decided to join a road race, their techniques would probably not pass the test, and their bodies probably wouldn’t be used to it either.

  “You can try it yourself.” Gu Fei said.

  “Hah?” Jiang Cheng was a little out of it.

  “Then you’ll know if it’s for real or not.” Gu Fei said.

  “Damn it,” Jiang Cheng was suddenly a little embarrassed. “I was originally planning to…… try.”

  This made both of them laugh, they faced each other and giggled for a long time, breathing all over the other person’s face.


  When he woke up the next morning…… no, the afternoon, Jiang Cheng reached beside him but didn’t feel Gu Fei’s  presence. This woke him up instantly, he yelled out with widened eyes, “Gu Fei!”

  “Ay,” Gu Fei appeared in the doorway a few seconds later with a cigarette between his lips. “Here.”

  “Whatcha doin’?” Jiang Cheng asked.

  “Having an ‘after’ smoke by the window all by my lonesome self.” Gu Fei said.

  “The fuck,” Jiang Cheng sat up. “You may continue then.”

  Gu Fei gave him a smile, then turned and walked out.

  Jiang Cheng yawned as he stood up and tugged his pants up. He walked to the bedroom window, lifted the curtains, and looked outside.

  Every year around summer break, everything from the air to the scenery would be suddenly filled with the flavours of summer. The greenery outside filled one’s vision, the sun dazzled, the air was warm with a touch of dry heat, even this ramshackle building was showing some signs of life under the sunlight.

  Jiang Cheng slept very well the night before, all the embarrassing awkwardness and the excitement, mingled with a struggle for appropriate emotional reaction, were all gone. When he walked out of the bedroom and saw Gu Fei’s back lit up against the window in the living room, he was only left with a head full of joy.

  “Let’s eat out for lunch?” He went over and put his arms around Gu Fei, resting his chin on his shoulder. He even squeezed Gu Fei’s sides a couple of times for good measure. 

  “We can, or we can eat the cake?” Gu Fei put out his cigarette.

  “Oh right, there’s a cake. We’ll have that then,” Jiang Cheng mused. “There’s another one at your place too.”

  “We can eat that one tonight,” Gu Fei pulled out his phone. “Let’s also order some noodles for later, otherwise it’s too much sweets.”

  “Mhm,” Jiang Cheng nodded. “I want a large bowl of gravy noodles, with an order of meat sauce on top.”

  “Anything to drink?” Gu Fei asked. “They have freshly squeezed juice here too.”

  “What kind of juice?” Jiang Cheng asked.

  “Just two kinds, cucumber…… juice,” Gu Fei’s voice was suddenly tinged with laughter. “And ‘cheng-cheng’ juice.” [1]

  It took Jiang Cheng a few seconds to make the connection, “Fucking hell.” 

  “Why don’t you get the cucumber juice, and I’ll have the ‘cheng-cheng’ juice.” Gu Fei said.

  “Hold on,” Jiang Cheng clucked his tongue. “Can we talk like normal people please?”

  “Sure, Jiang Cheng-cheng.” Gu Fei looked at him.

  “Your great uncle,” Jiang Cheng shoved him. “Gu Fei-fei.”

  “I’m ordering now,” Gu Fei said. “After we eat and rest for a bit it’ll be time to take Gu Miao out.”

  Jiang Cheng wasn’t too hung up on the concept of a birthday cake. He was never allowed to have it in the past, so as time went on, he gradually lost interest. Besides, he was never that keen on sweet foods to begin with, he couldn’t even remember if he had cake during other people’s birthdays, he only had the dumb youthful memories of smashing it into people’s faces.

  He was rather looking forward to the cake Gu Fei made, since there was nothing unique about the one he bought. Although, this was the first birthday he got to plan on his own and the first time he was able to eat cake for his birthday, which in itself made it all the more meaningful.

  And so he and Gu Fei brought the cake out, intending to complete the birthday rite.

  “Let’s close the curtains? It’s too bright.” Jiang Cheng said.

  “Mn.” Gu Fei nodded.

  Jiang Cheng pulled the curtains shut, but it was still too bright, so he went and closed the doors to the bedroom and washroom. The living room dimmed.

  He got back to the table just as Gu Fei was sticking eight candles onto the cake.

  “Why only 8?” Jiang Cheng asked.

  “Because we’re both 8 years old.” Gu Fei lit up the candles one by one.

  “Don’t play cute.” Jiang Cheng tsked audibly.

  “Because they only gave you a total of 12 candles for free,” Gu Fei glanced at him. “If you want to light 18 candles…… I’ll go out and buy another pack?”

  “No no, no need,” Jiang Cheng paused. “I don’t have any expectations for this, I never used to have cake on my birthdays.”

  “Oh.” Gu Fei’s hand paused for a second, then finished lighting the rest of the candles.

  “Do we blow them out now?” Jiang Cheng leaned against the table.

  “Wait,” Gu Fei thought for a moment, then quickly pulled the candles out and set them back in new positions, and added the remaining ones from the pack as well, forming them into the shape of “18”. “Now we’re 18 years old.”

  Jiang Cheng started laughing, “Now can we blow them out?”

  “Mhm, do you wanna make a wish?” Gu Fei asked.

  “I’ve been doing that this whole time,” Jiang Cheng said. “Already done.”

  “Go ahead then,” Gu Fei said. “On one, two, three.”

  The two of them huffed and puffed at the candles until they were all extinguished, knocking a few over in the process.

  “Ayyy…” Jiang Cheng sat down in the chair. “I just realized, I only asked them to write happy birthday, without any names. When they asked me what I wanted to write on it I just thought, you need to ask?”

  “I wrote it on mine,” Gu Fei brought a knife, and said as he cut the cake. “I’ll go get it tonight.”

  “What did you write?” Jiang Cheng asked.

  “I wrote,” Gu Fei looked at him solemnly, and after a pause, suddenly waved his arm and yelled. “CHENG-GE CHENG-GE, NO ONE’S PRETTIER!”

  “What the,” Jiang Cheng was startled and shifted back, then a second later started giggling. “Such shameless words, did anyone see you write it?”

  “Yeah,” Gu Fei said. “The people at the baking shop.”

  “Did you really write that?” Jiang Cheng looked at him. “I don’t believe that one bit.”

  “You’ll see tonight.” Gu Fei cut a slice of cake and handed it to him, and put the chocolate medallion with the happy birthday writing on top of the slice.

  Jiang Cheng took a bite. He had to admit, the cake tasted fairly mediocre, but there were probably no good bakeries around this area.

  However, it was a rather wondrous feeling to be sitting here across from Gu Fei, with a slice of cake each.

  He didn’t want to speak or move. He only wished to stay like this forever, taking one bite after another.

  The rehabilitation place Gu Fei took Gu Miao to was likely not cheap. The teachers led the kids in all sorts of games and activities, Jiang Cheng thought they seemed very professional and patient. He didn’t enter the room, only observed from the window. Compared to the other kids, Gu Miao seemed to be a little better off, at least she was able to do some limited communication. It was the kids who had no reaction at all when hailed that really made one hurt with feelings of hopelessness.

  The activities didn’t last very long, probably taking into consideration the limited attention spans of these kids, they usually ended before the kids became restless.

  Gu Miao looked to be in a pretty good mood when she came out at the end, still holding her skateboard. Gu Fei was still inside talking with the teacher, so Jiang Cheng took her out to the sidewalk and skated around while waiting for Gu Fei. He sighed softly as he watched Gu Miao flit back and forth in front of him, with little beads of sweat on the tip of her little nose.

  When Gu Fei came out, Jiang Cheng was crouching beside a bed of flowers by the sidewalk clapping for Gu Miao, and didn’t even realize when he was standing behind him.

  Gu Fei reached out and gently poked his shoulder, Jiang Cheng barely gave him any time to react before he reached back with his elbow and jabbed him on the leg.

  “Hey!” Gu Fei rubbed his leg. “Still so nimble aren’t we?”

  “Geez,” Jiang Cheng turned around. “Why didn’t you call out to me first, if I aimed any higher you’ll have to keep lying down tonight……”

  Jiang Cheng broke off halfway, and quickly glanced around.

  “Tonight?” Gu Fei bent down and asked quietly by his ears with a smile.

  “Shit,” Jiang Cheng stood up, and looked at him with an expression as though they were discussing an academic problem. “That’s not something we need to talk about in the open on the street.”

  “Alright,” Gu Fei nodded solemnly and pulled out a folded piece of paper from his pocket. “Then I’ll just……”

  Jiang Cheng swept his eyes over the piece of paper and his eyeballs practically dropped out of his head, “What the fuck! What are you carrying this thing around for? Is your brain stuffed up with cake?! Do you need me to help you cough it up?”

  “It’s my boyfriend’s secret handbook,” Gu Fei said. “Of course I have to keep it with me and study wherever I go.”

  “Hurry up and put it away,” Jiang Cheng said in a hushed voice. “Before someone sees!”

  “Relax,” Gu Fei laughed. “With handwriting like yours, I can’t even read it without conjuring up some qi first. If you were to show other people, they might not even recognize it as writing.”

  “Quit bullshitting,” That made Jiang Cheng laugh. “Is it that bad?”

  “It really is,” Gu Fei flicked the page. “Didn’t you say you’ve been writing things one stroke at a time now, how come I can’t tell at all.”

  “No shit, do I look like I’m so thickskinned as to write dirty memos like these one careful stroke at a time!” Jiang Cheng glared at him. “Put it away.”

  “Alrighty.” Gu Fei folded the paper and tucked it back in his pocket, then whistled in Gu Miao’s direction.

  Frankly, regarding whether it was going to be tonight, and whether he was going to be lying down or kneeling, Gu Fei hadn’t thought very much about it. But looking at Jiang Cheng’s silhouette in front him now, slowly strolling along with Gu Miao in tow, he suddenly realized that if he were to think about, there was quite a lot to think about.

  Especially when Gu Miao reached out to tug on Jiang Cheng’s shirt, and the smooth lines of his waist and back became clear under the tightly stretched fabric…… 


  Gu Fei quickly looked up and stared at the sun, then sneezed two times to ruthlessly suppress the flag raising ceremony before it had a chance to begin.


[1] cheng [橙] = orange; cheng-cheng = Gu Fei being cute

Some Stats

  • Raw character count: ?
  • TL word count: 4466
  • TL time: 5:20:24
  • Edit time: 1:42:50
  • Curse words: 5x fucks, 4x shits

TL’s Notes: