“Seeeuungyoouunnn…!!!” Yibo shouted loud and snapped opened his eyes. He was panting and felt his throat was so dry.
“Yibo…?” a voice called him.
Yibo turned to see. It was Xiao Zhan.
“Are you okay?” Xiao Zhan grasped his hand.
Yibo roamed the room. Judging from the all-white decoration around him, he must be in a hospital. And then he remembered Seungyoun.
Yibo abruptly lifted his body, only to get slumped back again as the shot of pain around his torso attacked.
“You can’t move yet,” Xiao Zhan helped him to lie.
“Seungyoun…” Yibo whispered.
“I need to see Seungyoun.”
“You cannot. Not now.”
“But I wanna see him.”
Yibo gently pulled away from Xiao Zhan, threw his gaze anywhere except Xiao Zhan’s eyes.
Xiao Zhan tilted his head in annoyance “What now?” Xiao Zhan puckered his lips.
Yibo didn’t know if he should talk about what had happened but one thing for sure, he didn’t want to see Xiao Zhan right now. “I want to be alone,” he whispered.
Xiao Zhan didn’t reply.
“Leave me alone.”
Without saying a word, Xiao Zhan stood up and walked out of the cubicle, leaving Yibo cried silently. He didn’t know what he was feeling right now; hated at himself, both liked and hated at Xiao Zhan, felt sorry for Seungyoun, angry with Chuyue, all mixed up and bulged in his heart. He just wanted to scream out loud until his voice ran out.
Yibo abrutply wiped his tears when the curtain slid opened and Yixuan and Sunjoo came in. Yixuan sat on his right while Sungjoo stood on his left.
“You okay?” Sungjoo asked.
“What happened?” Yixuan asked.
“What time is it now?” Yibo muttered.
“Almost midnight,” Yixuan replied.
“Where am I?” Yibo asked again.
“Beijing Jishuitan Hospital. You’re in the ER,” Sungjoo replied this time.
“And Seungyoun?” Yibo looked at Yixuan.
Yixuan sighed and looked at Sungjoo.
“What?” Yibo threw his gaze at Sungjoo who cued back at Yixuan.
“What had happened actually?” Yixuan asked again.
Yibo propped on his elbows, tried to sit. Yixuan and Sungjoo hurriedly helped him.
“Water,” Yibo pointed at the bottle on the bedside next to Sungjoo who obediently handed him.
Yibo drank slowly. His throat felt so sore from the shouts and the groans. “Some people beated us up,” he finally said.
“Do you recognize them?” Yixuan asked.
Yibo looked down at the bottle, didn’t know what to answer.
“Yibo?” Yixuan called him. “Was it Xiao Zhan?”
Yibo choked to that name. “No.”
“I’m not sure because I didn’t see clearly,” Yibo said. Not until he settled everything with Xiao Zhan, he wouldn’t say a name.
Yixuan nodded and patted his leg.
“Seungyoun?” Yibo looked up at Yixuan and then at Sungjoo.
Sungjoo took a deep breath. “He’s actually fine. As in breathing, and heart beating. But… he… got broken ribs and nose… and it might take long to recover.”
Yibo nodded, relieved somehow. “When can I see him?”
“He’s being treated right now. Let’s just wait,” Yixuan said.
Yibo nodded again. “His parents?”
“We’ve called them and they are on his way here.”
“Let me know when they’re here,” Yibo said.
“We also called your parents,” Sungjoo added.
“My parents?” Yibo raised his eyebrows. What should he tell them? How this could turn so fucking complicated?
“Yibo…?” Yixuan called him, “You might wanna talk to him?”
It took a moment for Yibo to realize that Yixuan was talking about Xiao Zhan.
“He’s waiting, and was really worried about you,” Yixuan said again.
“If you don’t mind delivering my message,” Yibo looked at Yixuan.
“Tell him to wait for me at the dorm. Here isn’t a right place to talk,” Yibo said.
Yixuan nodded and smiled a little. “Talk properly, okay?”
“Xuan-ge want to stay here?” Sungjoo asked.
“I guess so,” Yixuan replied.
“Then I’ll just with Seungyoun in case he needs anything. Besides, someone has to check if his parents were here,” Sungjoo said.
Yixuan nodded. “Sure.”
Sungjoo waved a little and walked out of the cubicle.
“Well, let me talk to Xiao Zhan,” Yixuan got up. “I’ll be a minute.”
Yibo nodded. He was well awared that Xiao Zhan was out of this mess but he just couldn’t face him right now while his anger was still bulged up. Eventhough he felt sore everywhere, but it wouldn’t stop him from punching him when things were out of hand.
The first who came was Yibo’s parents. Yibo insisted that it was him who wanted to watch the competition and forgot the curfew.
“Mom, Dad, please… talk to his parents not to send him back to Korea,” Yibo pleaded.
“Yibo, Seungyun is their son. It’s their decision. Not ours,” Yibo’s mom said.
“Is he really that bad?” Yibo looked at his mom.
“I don’t know. The doctor wanted to discuss this only with his parents.”
“That would only mean that Seungyoun’s wound is really bad,” Yibo’s dad added. “Lucky, you only got bruises and wounds, although they are severe but the doctor allowed you to go home.”
Yibo looked at his dad. “Please, Dad, talk to his dad… I’m really sorry…”
“Yibo,” his dad called him in a sharp tone. “Let his father decide.”
A few minutes later Sungjoo sneaked his head into the cubicle and told him that Seungyoun parents arrived. With Yixuan help, Yibo came to meet them outside the ER.
“I’m really sorry,” Yibo said while bending his body, his voice trembled. “I am… sorry…”
“Yibo…” Seungyoun’s mom grabbed him and straightened him up. “Look at you, you’re so…” she couldn’t continue her words. Her hands shakingly hovered above Yibo’s swollen cheeks and cut lips.
“Sir, I’m sorry. This is all my fault.” Yibo looked at Seungyoun’s dad.
Seungyoung’s dad looked at him, and then at his parents who was standing behind him.
“I’ve talk to the doctor, Seungyoun had to bed-rest because of the broken ribs, and his broken nose need a surgery,” Seungyoun’s dad said.
Yibo looked at both parents hopelessly.
Seungyoun’s dad put his hand on Yibo’s shoulder. “I know this isn’t your fault but Seungyoun’s condition needs him to be back with us. Besides, the Lunar New Year holiday is coming. Seungyoun only takes his holiday earlier.”
Slowly, Yibo felt the hotness at the corner of his eyes, so he gritted his teeth to stop the tears from falling. “I want to see him.”
Seungyoun’s dad nodded and took Yibo.
Seungyoun was… fine, in the outside, except for some bruises like Yibo’s.
“Doctor gave him some pain relief because if he’s awake, it would be hurt so much for him even for breathing,” Seungyoun’s dad said.
Yibo let a breath, looked at Seungyyoun in concerned.
“They will use an artificial rib-cage around his torso to support him as we take him back to Seoul, to prevent worse condition that might occurr, and also to reduce the pain as he moves,” Seungyoun’s dad added.
“When can I talk to him?” Yibo asked. He really wanted to talk to Seungyoun before he left.
“I don’t know. He might not be able to talk that much, it will cause so much pain.”
Yibo nodded, swallowed hard.
“I’ll tell him to text you as soon as he wokes up.”
Yibo nodded again.
The sun was starting to rise. Yixuan and Sungjoo have already gotten back to the school, leaving Yibo with his mom in the cafetaria while his dad assisted Seungyoun’s dad in preparing their way back to Seoul.
Yibo looked at his hot tea blankly.
“You can just go back with us to Luoyang,” his mom said. “You can take early holiday like Seungyoun.”
Yibo didn’t reply. He thought that the doctor might have given him the pain-relieved drug earlier because he didn’t feel pain that much. It was right that the Lunar holiday was coming – in two weeks. But he was hoping to finish his elective course before going home.
“Yibo!” came his dad’s voice. “Seungyoun is ready to go home, if you want to see him.”
Yibo abruptly got up and followed his dad to the intensive care.
Seungyoun was already wrapped with artificial rib-cage but he was still unconscious; he would remain unconscious until he reached Seoul for his own safety. The medical staff put him into an ambulance that would take him to the airport where Seungyoun’s dad’s private jet was waiting.
“Call him everyday,” Seungyoun’s mom hugged Yibo. “He would be very bored alone in the house.”
Yibo nodded. “I will. And I will make sure that he won’t delay his elective course.”
The siren rang loudly and the ambulance pulled away from the lobby, leaving Yibo with emptiness.
“What are you going to do now?” Yibo’s dad looked down at him.
“I want to go back to the school,” Yibo replied.
“Are you sure?”
“Fine. Besides, I need to have a talk with the headmaster.”
Reaching the school, Yibo went straight to the dorm. He climbed onto his bed and curled, eyes locked on the bed where Seungyoun used to sleep before he himself succumbed in a deep sleep.
Yibo woked up early on Wednesday morning and had breakfast alone after refusing Jiacheng and Zifan who offered him their companion after three days of self-healing in his dorm. All the students looked at him in curiosity, wanted know what the real story was. Classmates gave him condolence about Seungyoun and also support.
After Yibo got back to the school, he was called to the headmaster office and talked about what had happened. His parents were also there. Yibo told them the chronology, except the Chuyue part that he wished to settle this thing privately with Xiao Zhan. The school board was intended to ask for the police help if Yibo wanted to bring an action against those people but Yibo refused. The school board didn’t push Yibo but this incident had made them put stricter rules regarding going out of school area.
It was lunch break and Yibo sat alone in the classroom. He looked at his new phone his parents gave him because his previous one was broken. He had texted Seungyoun last night but he hasn’t replied yet. Maybe Seungyoun was still under the painkiller effect and wasn’t be able to acknowledge clearly his situation.
Yibo sighed and lifted up his face, just in time Wenhan walked into the classroom and sat on Seungyoun’s seat while putting a lunch box on his desk.
Wenhan smiled. “How are you doing?”
Wenhan tilted his head left and right, inspecting Yibo’s face. “You looked awful tho.” And then he chuckled.
Yibo smiled a little. “Mmn.”
“How’s Seungyoun? I heard he was sent back to Seoul…”
Yibo nodded. “He needs intensive treatment.”
“Normally, it takes about six weeks for broken ribs to heal on their own.”
Yibo looked at Wenhan seriously.
“Even after those six weeks, you still need to consult the doctor if it was okay to play basketball in that amount of time. And skateboard too.”
“Since Seugyoun’s not here, you can look for me if you need anything.”
Yibo nodded again. “Thank’s,”
Wenhan smiled. “You’re welcome. All I can do right now is to support you.”
Yibo looked down at his phone again. “Don’t.”
“No matter how hard it is, please stay away from me.”
Wenhan suddenly chuckled. “I remember telling you to stay away from Xiao Zhan, and now it’s you who’s telling me to stay away from you. Funny, isn’t it?”
Yibo looked at Wenhan.
“Yibo…” Wenhan sighed and got up. “I’ve stayed here longer than you. I can take care of myself.”
Yibo grinned sheepishly.
“Now that you’re with Xiao Zhan,” Wenhan said again, “You should take care of yourself more.”
Yibo curved his lips and nodded.
Wenhan smiled and waved a little before walking out of the classroom.
Yibo walked slowly out of the class. Now that Seungyoun wasn’t with him anymore, he was kinda clueless what to do. He walked down the stairs, stopped when he spotted Xiao Zhan waiting.
“Can we talk now?” Xiao Zhan asked when Yibo was close enough. Eventhough his tone was calm, but it was also demanding.
Yibo didn’t answer and Xiao Zhan simply considered it as a yes, so he walked with him.
“What happened that day?” Xiao Zhan asked again.
Yibo took a deep breath and threw his gaze to the distance. “We were beaten up.”
“Who did it?”
Yibo didn’t know how to answer this. Part of him wanted to just confrontated Peng Chuyue without Xiao Zhan knowing, and the other part of him wanted to ask Xiao Zhan if he knew about this.
“Yibo…” Xiao Zhan blocked Yibo’s way, looked at him annoyingly. “Who did it?”
Yibo looked back at Xiao Zhan in irritation. He curved his lips in frustration and shoved him away to keep walking.
“Yibo!” Xiao Zhan grabbed Yibo’s wrist.
Yibo stopped walking but didn’t turn around. He let his hand hung in Xiao Zhan’s grip, felt his heart clenched from the warmth of touch.
Impatiently, Xiao Zhan dragged him to a quiet place at the back yard of the academic building.
“Talk…” Xiao Zhan put him against the wall, hands on each side of Yibo’s head.
Yibo looked at him in the eye, licked his lips as he got to see Xiao Zhan’s dark and dominated eyes in this closed gap. Slowly his eyes darted to his lips – the lips that he always wanted to kiss. Finally Yibo’s eyes fell on Xiao Zhan’s shoulder and chest, and how he liked being hugged against them.
Yibo gritted his teeth and lower his head, slowly closed his eyes as he put the top of his head against Xiao Zhan’s chest.
“Oi…?” Xiao Zhan sounded confused.
“It was Chuyue…” Yibo finally said.
“What?” Xiao Zhan sounded surprise.
Yibo lifted his head and looked at Xiao Zhan. “It was him who locked me up that day, and it was also him who beated me and Seungyoun,” Yibo said bitterly.
Xiao Zhan narrowed his eyes. “Are you sure?”
“I’m sure. And I don’t care if you don’t believe me.” He pushed Xiao Zhan away.
But Xiao Zhan held him, pushed him back against the wall.
“I know it’s hard to believe and I don’t wish you to believe me,” Yibo said again. “But the fact Seungyoun got hurt really got my nerve.”
“Tell him that I’m gonna find him and make him pay for what he has done to Seungyoun,” Yibo said.
“So you have decided… without me?”
“This is my problem… me and Seungyoun.”
“And your problem is mine, remember?”
Yibo sneered. “How considerate of you!”
Xiao Zhan’s eye twitched. “Do you have any idea how worry I am? How furious I was when I saw you at the hospital?”
“Oh… I’m sorry for bothering you then. You shouldn’t have come to see me.”
Xiao Zhan tilted his head. “Are you pushing me away?”
“Are you pushing me away, Wang Yibo?” Xiao Zhan’s tone was lower but sharper.
Yibo swallowed hard. It wasn’t Xiao Zhan whom he was pusing away. It was himself. Because he coulnd’t stand the guilty for what had happened to Seungyoun.
Yibo started to breathe shallowly as he felt the hotness at the corner of his eyes. He was aware that the tears might leak at anytime so he turned away his face from Xiao Zhan, looking anywhere except him.
But Xiao Zhan’s gentle palms cup his face and brought it back to face him and slowly leaned in.
“Are you pushing me away?” Xiao Zhan whispered.
Yibo involuntary put his hands on Xiao Zhan’s chest and tried to push him. “Yes. Yes.”
Xiao Zhan caught his hands and snickered. “Really…?”
Yibo tugged their hands. “Yes. I hate you.”
But Xiao Zhan grasped them tighter. “Hmm…?”
Yibo looked up at him. “I hate you. I hate you so much!”
Suddenly Xiao Zhan put his weight against Yibo and kissed his lips full and eagerly.
Yibo gasped and before he could think of anything else, his lips move on their own and kissed Xiao Zhan back.
How could he hate Xiao Zhan? He never hated him. He liked him. He liked Xiao Zhan so much that he didn’t care what would happen to him. He would take all the risks just to be with Xiao Zhan. He didn’t care if he had to go to hell and back.
But Seungyoun didn’t deserve this. Seungyoun got all the shit for the mess he made with Xiao Zhan. It wasn’t even fair. If Chuyue got problems with him, then let’s deal and fight like men. Don’t be a pussy and targeted Seungyoun.
Xiao Zhan pulled away slowly, gave a light peck on Yibo’s lips and brushed their lips lightly. “Still hate me?”
Yibo swallowed hard. “I hate myself.”
“Hmm…?” Xiao Zhan pecked again his lips.
Yibo breathed into the peck. “I hate myself for liking you, and hurting Seungyoun.”
Xiao Zhan cupped Yibo’s face and brushed his thumbs against Yibo’s wet cheek. “Such a cute cry-baby,” he teased, chuckled when Yibo glared. “What are you going to do now?”
Yibo leaned into the touch and looked at Xiao Zhan’s eye seriously. “I wanna fight man to man with him.”
Xiao Zhan looked at him, thinking, before finally nodded. “Okay. Give me some time. After Lunar holiday.”
“After Lunar holiday you’ll get your payback, I promise.”
Yibo finally got Seungyoun replied him three days later when he was just done with his lunch. Turned out that he changed his number and got Yibo’s number from his dad. Ever since he was alone, Yibo had lunch in the classroom.
I hate taking painkillers, it makes me feel stupid.
Yibo grinned. But it will make you less painfull.
I can deal with the pain, Bro! Do you think I’m that weak?
But your dad said the opposite, Yibo wrote.
Oh, so now you’re on his side? Thank you very much, asshole!
Yibo frowned. You’re sick but you’re as rude as always.
I’m proud of what I am, mate!
Yibo sighed. He wanted to ask Seungyoun if he knew that it was Chuyue’s doing. His tumbs moved lightly above the keypad; he coulnd’t find the right words to ask. How’s your elective course? Instead, he asked.
-meh emoji- Do you really have to bring that up now?
Yibo rolled his eyes. Final exam is next month.
Stop. Don’t even try to talk about that.
Okay, at least give me time to breath properly!
You can breathe while reading…
Wang Yibo! –glare emoji-
Yibo grinned sheepishly. Fine. Whatever makes you comfortable!
Cool. I’ll tell Xiao Zhan to tell you that he loves you!
Yibo knitted his eyebrows. Why Xiao Zhan?
Because I can’t tell you I love you. My love is for Chen Yu… -heart emoji-
I bet you have free time to mess with him now that I’m gone. Has he knocked you up?
Yibo’s eye twitched. The fuck…?
- laugh emoji – Just wondering if you took the bottom or the top. But I bet all my whole year pocket money that you take the bottom.
Yibo actually grinned to this sentence. Do you wish to die?
Aaawww… I am right, aren’t I?
No, HE fucks you!
Yibo rolled his eyes.
I miss Chen Yu.
Tell her, not me!
I wanted to! But I forgot her number…
You don’t have it in your cell?
Nope. Tell her my new number, okay?
At least I can say I miss you, Yibo!
Yibo gave him a punch emoji. No. That’s disgusting!
Seungyoun gave him a laugh emoji.
Hey, lunch break is over. Gotta go! Yibo wrote when he heard the bell rang.
Yep. Text to you later.
Yibo shut down his phone and shoved it into his pocket pants.
“Chen Yu…” Yibo called Chen Yu after basketball practice.
Chen Yu turned around and smiled. “Wang-laoshi, what’s up?”
Yibo handed her a paper. “Seungyoun changed his number and he forgot yours. So, text him.”
Chen Yu took the paper and smiled. “I will.”
“Is he… better?” Chen Yu asked.
“Well, at least he can breath properly now. You better ask him.”
Chen Yu nodded. “Thank’s, Wang-laoshi.”
“Seungyoun will have his final examination, right?” suddenly Wenhan came from behind.
Yibo turned to look at him and nodded. “He will.”
“He really needs to study hard on his own.”
Yibo nodded again, started to walk when Wenhan did.
“Then—,” Wenhan didn’t continue when he spotted Xiao Zhan coming after them. He smiled a little at Yibo and then walked away without even looking at Xiao Zhan.
“He hates me,” Xiao Zhan said, and then walked with Yibo.
“He doesn’t…” Yibo replied.
“How do you know?”
“Because I know…”
Xiao Zhan knitted his eyebrows, turned to look at Yibo annoyingly. “Oh, so now you know him?”
Yibo also knitted his eyebrows and looked at Xiao Zhan in confusion. “Are you jelaous, again?”
“Tch! I can never be not jealous when it comes to him!” Xiao Zhan replied. His eyebrows twitched as he looked at the direction where Wenhan went away.
“You’re annoyingly possessive…” Yibo mumbled.
“Don’t care, as long as I can keep you.”
Xiao Zhan smirked. “Hey, what do you say if we had dinner in my room?”
Yibo smiled mischievously. “Sounds suspicious.”
“Well, since my roomates are all gone dating, and we’ll be having the room to ourselves…”
Yibo frowns. Okay, that was tempting; to have the room to themselves and have Xiao Zhan all over him.
“What do you say?” Xiao Zhan suddenly whispered into his ear, made Yibo jump.
Yibo turned to look at Xiao Zhan who was smiling wickedly, and then smirked. “Okay, Zhan-ge.”
Xiao Zhan smirked, bit his bottom lip. “Wang Yibo…”
Yibo turned away to hide his nervousness yet his excitement, walked a little faster into the dormitory building and got in line to buy dinner.
The gossip about Yibo and Xiao Zhan dating actually began to spread when people saw them a lot in the library during Yibo’s school service. Liberal Art students started to take the rumor seriously when Yibo’s photos circulated; they knew that Xiao Zhan took photography for elective course.
Seeing two guys dating actually wasn’t a rare thing. This became interesting because it was Xiao Zhan. All the students knew well how Xiao Zhan’s attitude at his first and second year, not to mention how the relationship started for him and Yibo. And now seeing them together got in the line for dinner, the students simply couldn’t ignore them.
But both Yibo and Xiao Zhan seemed don’t care. They were serious in their own world talking.
“I don’t like spicy food,” Yibo said when Xiao Zhan suggested sauté mushroom and bell-pepper.
“Oh…” Xiao Zhan curved his lips, his eyes roamed the food in the counter.
“I’ll just take noodle-rice,” Yibo said, and then asked the waiter to wrap him one with chicken broth.
“I’ll take that too, with tom yam sauce,” Xiao Zhan said while giving the waiter the money.
Yibo raised his eyebrows, held back a smile.
“What?” Xiao Zhan stole a glance at him from the corner of his eyes. “Boyfriend treat, is that weird?”
Yibo rolled his eyes and walked away with the take-outs. “I said nothing tho.”
“Tch! Your eyes said it!”
Yibo ignored Xiao Zhan and walked to the third grade elevator. “You sure it’s okay for me to visit third year area?” he asked, remembered how Wenhan said that third year area was private.
“You’re coming with me,” Xiao Zhan said smugly. “Who dares to say no?”
“What a privilegy…” Yibo muttered while stepping into the elevator.
Xiao Zhan smirked. “Be thankful for being my boyfriend.”
“Thank you, Zhan-ge,” Yibo said sarcastically.
Xiao Zhan grinned, gestured Yibo to be the first to walk out when the door opened.
“Where’s your room?” Yibo looked to his left and right to check on the number on the doors.
“This,” Xiao Zhan said while gesturing a door.
Yibo followed him into the room. It was dimmed but clear enough for Yibo to notice that there were four beds; two on the right and two on the left, with four desk next to each bed and four armoires. Third year dorms were really huge. “Where is the light?” he asked.
“No need…” Xiao Zhan said while grabbing the take-outs from Yibo’s hand and put them on a desk along with their bags before shoving Yibo against the wall and ravished his lips.
Yibo was happy to welcome Xiao Zhan’s hot and wet kiss, didn’t even resist when Xiao Zhan pulled him without breaking the kiss until they fell onto the bed with Xiao Zhan on top of him.
Yibo involuntary whimpered when Xiao Zhan brought his fingers beneath his shirt and teased the bare skin around his waist while peppering light kisses along his neck, made him breathed out ‘Zhan-ge’.
Xiao Zhan chuckled teasingly. “Someone’s eager…”
“Ah, fuck…” Yibo mumbled, tried to catch his breath.
“Well, why don’t we just have our dinner first and enjoy our companion…” Xiao Zhan said, untangled himself from Yibo after gave him a peck on his lips. “The night is still young, isn’t it?”
Yibo didn’t reply. He propped himself by the elbow, panting, and when he was calm enough, he got up and joined Xiao Zhan who was unpacking their dinner by his desk. “Can we just turn on the light?”
Xiao Zhan curved his lips, thinking. “Fine,” he said finally. He turned on the light and suddenly chuckled.
“What?” Yibo turned to see him and froze when he realized that one of Xiao Zhan’s roommates was there all along, lying on his own bed with comforter covering him to his shoulder.
“I know you hate the lights on when sleeping, but me and my boyfriend here are trying to have dinner,” Xiao Zhan said to his roommate giddily.
His roommate sighed and tugged away his blanket that was covering him.
Yibo got even more shocked. It was Peng Chuyue.
Chuyue looked at Yibo irritated, but his gaze turned soft when he looked at Xiao Zhan. “It’s okay. It’s my fault tho. I said earlier that I wanted to go out.”
Xiao Zhan looked at him, forced a smile. “Exactly. I thought you were going out.”
Yibo looked at him sharply, anger boiled inside of him. He fisted both his hands to keep him from punching that asshole.
Xiao Zhan came towards Yibo, only to wrap his hands around his waist and cupped his cheek-ass gently, whispered against his lips, “You’re so sexy with that look.”
Yibo hissed and shot a look at Xiao Zhan who was smirking excitedly.
“Why don’t we just crash in your room?” Xiao Zhan asked Yibo playfully.
“You don’t have to!” Chuyue said in a sudden. “I’ll just spend the night at Zhao Lei’s dorm.”
Yibo looked at him over Xiao Zhan’s shoulder and his eye twitched as Chuyue passed them by.
“Say hi to Zhao Lei for me,” Xiao Zhan said when Chuyue put on his sneakers.
“You know he was there all along,” Yibo said irritated when Chuyue was already out of the dorm.
Xiao Zhan untangled himself. He took his take out and sat by his desk after dragging a chair for Yibo to sit. “So what?”
Yibo sat on the chair, looked at him seriously. “What are you implying?”
Xiao Zhan shoved the food into his mouth. “Helping you to get a payback.”
Yibo curved his lips in annoyance, grabbed his dinner. “How come we made out in front of his naked eyes would help me paying back?”
Xiao Zhan sneered. “Eat your dinner.”
Yibo ate his dinner quietly. He really didn’t expect that Xiao Zhan shared the same room with Chuyue. He cursed on his stupidity for not reading the names of the occupants on the door before coming in.
“My relationship with Chuyue was complicated and I don’t know how to explain this to you,” Xiao Zhan suddenly said.
Yibo chewed slowly and looked at Xiao Zhan. “What do you mean complicated?”
Xiao Zhan didn’t answer. Instead, he put down his half-done dinner and just stopped eating. “You’ll find out later.”
“Why not now?”
“Because I don’t have all the answers now.” Xiao Zhan calmly got his drink.
Yibo knitted his eyebrows and put down his dinner, took the drink Xiao Zhan offered.
Xiao Zhan smiled, and then got up.
Yibo’s gaze followed Xiao Zhan who lounged himself on the bed. His heart clenched when Xiao Zhan gave him a smile – a very handsome and inviting smile.
A wave of Xiao Zhan’s hand, and Yibo launched himself at him.
The next morning, Yibo woke up in a haze. He breathed slowly. Eyes locked on the celling above, he felt really content. A shy smile appeared on his face as he recalled what happened the night before in Xiao Zhan’s dorm; they made out intensely that led to give each other handjob.
Yibo shivered to the feeling and decided to just wake up, hissed when he realized that he was hard.
Stupid Zhan-ge, Yibo cursed, and jumped into the cubicle to have a cold shower.
Yibo let the board down and dived his foot against the pavement. The skateboard slid smoothly as he maneuvered between students who were walking to the academic building. Reaching the Lunar New Year, the ice has gotten rare so Yibo could use his skateboard. He jumped off of the board when he saw Xiao Zhan at the main entrance; leaning against the pillar with hands inside his pocket pants, eyes on Yibo.
“Hey…” Yibo smiled.
Xiao Zhan smirked.
“What?” Yibo frowned.
Xiao Zhan inhaled deeply. “I can’t get your sexy voice out of my head.”
Yibo’s eye twitched. “Pervert.” And then he walked into the building. “Why are you waiting for me here?”
“Don’t like it?”
“Rare of you.”
“That’s what boyfriends do, right?”
“It’s not what YOU do.”
“After having you last night, I think I couldn’t stay away from you. You got me whipped,” Xiao Zhan said playfully.
Yibo cringed. “What the fuck…”
Xiao Zhan chuckled. “Well, see you at lunch,” he said when Yibo reached his classroom.
Yibo involuntary shivered, what the hell was wrong with Xiao Zhan acting so sweet? He was about to put his bag when he noticed a paper folded on his desk.
Yibo crunched the paper and tossed it into the trash bin.
It was Chuyue. He knew this was going to happen – sooner or later.
Yibo walked to the rooftop while once in a while took glances to find out if Xiao Zhan was around. He climbed the stairs and pushed the door open to the view of Chuyue already sitting.
Chuyue glanced at him in hate, got up as Yibo walked closer. “You got balls to come.”
“I’m not a pussy, strangled people and blindfolded them.” Yibo smirked as Chuyue curved his lips. “Or maybe hire jocks to beat us up.”
Chuyue suddenly laughed. “So brave of you, Wang-dog!”
Yibo raised his eyebrows.
“You knew it was me, yet you didn’t retreat from Xiao Zhan’s side.”
Chuyued scoffed. “Xiao Zhan doesn’t deserve kid like you.”
Yibo snickered. “And do you think Xiao Zhan deserves a pussy like you?”
Chuyue shot a serious expression. His jaw tightened. “Xiao Zhan loves me.”
“Oh…? Should I believe that?”
“Because his mom promised my mom!” Chuyued suddenly shouted. He looked at Yibo in anger. “Because of you, Xiao Zhan turned his back on me! He’s supposed to love me!”
Yibo tilted his head. He remembered Xiao Zhan told him that his relationship with Chuyue was complicated. “What kind of relationship you have?”
“Xiao Zhan is my everything. His mom promised my mom that Xiao Zhan would take care of me. Only me!” Chuyued shouted again, histerically.
Yibo narrowed his eyes, inspecting Chuyue. Was he sick or something? What has Xiao Zhan done to him? What has his mom promised them?
Chuyue gritted his teeth and before Yibo could register what was going on, he found himself slumped onto the ground and his jaw stung.
Yibo wiped his bloody mouth and turned to look up at Chuyue who was launching himself at him. He abruptly raised his hands to protect his face as shower of punches landed on him.
Chuyue let out his anger on Yibo, punched him like a madman while groaning histercally.
Yibo tried to pull away by bringing his knee up to his chest and kicked Chuyue by his stomach, made him thrown backwards. Panting, he got up abruptly without taking his eyes off of Chuyue who was staring back at him.
“You should have known from the first, that Xiao Zhan only uses you for fun,” Chuyued said, laughing amusingly. “A cutie virgin. A submissive bottom.”
Yibo’s eye twitched.
Chuyue laughed histerically again. “Just wait until he popped your virgin cherry, and then he would just leave you like garbage!”
Yibo swallowed hard, looked at him in confusion.
“Xiao Zhan never loves you, dog!”
Yibo lost for words. He turned on his heel and walked away as Chuyue’s laughter slowly became inaudible.
Yibo climbed down the stairs in a rush and burst into the bathroom, didn’t care the look from the students who saw him in horror. He stood in front of the sink and looked at his reflection; bruises covered his face.
Yibo leaned against the sink, head hung low. He was aware that he didn’t know Xiao Zhan that much, but he never thought that he would have complicated past.
Yibo hated complicated things.
But he liked Xiao Zhan. So much.
And Xiao Zhan… did he like him too? As much as he liked him?
Yibo sighed and turned on the faucet. He scooped the water with both hands and took it to his face, wiped gently his bruises and cuts. Another scoop to the top of his head and brought his hands to brush his nape.
Suddenly his phone rang.
Yibo pulled it out of his pocket pants and his heart clenced from the name; Zhan-ge. He put the phone on the counter sink and let it ring, coldly looked at the name.
The ring stopped. It seemed like Xiao Zhan gave up.
Yibo grabbed the phone and walked to his class, felt the relieved when he noticed that there was no Xiao Zhan waiting for him.
Yibo and Xiao Zhan really needed to talk. It would be better if Xiao Zhan settled his relationship with Chuyue first, and also to find out about what Chuyue said.
Whatever the answer would be, Yibo had to deal with it.
And so, ater the class ended, Yibo roamed the Liberal Art building to find Xiao Zhan. He could just called him back and tell him that they needed to talk but for some reasons, Yibo felt like he wanted to know what were the Liberal Art classes like.
Yibo turned around and saw Yixuan, who frowned at his bruises. Yibo grinned and bowed his head. “Yixuan-ge.”
Yixuan sighed, but grinned back. “What are you doing here? Looking for Xiao Zhan?”
Yixuan seemed hesitated. “He… went that way…” he pointed at the hallway.
“Thank’s.” Yibo bowed and turned around.
Yibo stopped and turned around.
“Be careful…” Yixuan smiled.
Yibo tilted his head in confusion but then nodded. He continued walking along the hallway that ended up to the toilet and a janitor room.
Should he just wait here?
But it was a boys’ toilet after all. What was wrong with getiing into a boys’ toilet when he was one indeed?
Yibo put his hand against the door and was about to shove it when he heard two boys arguing. He abruptly stopped and after listening attentively, he noticed that one of them was Xiao Zhan.
Yibo slowly retreated, roamed his surrounding to find where they were exactly, knitted his eyebrows in confusion when he realized that they were at the emergency exit.
Yibo shoved the door carefully to not let out any noise and sneaked his head out; Xiao Zhan and Chuyue were talking at the end of the stairs. Arguing, to be exact.
“I’ve told you not to touch Yibo!” Xiao Zhan said angrily. His face was tensed and his eyes flared up.
“I can see that he’s the most important for you,” Chuyue said weakly. “You don’t care about me anymore.”
“You and him are different, Chuyue!”
“I don’t care. It’s me or him!”
“Choose! Me or him?!”
Xiao Zhan swallowed hard, brushed his hair in frustration.
Chuyued grabbed the collar of Xiao Zhan’s blazer. “Me or him, Xiao Zhan!”
Xiao Zhan looked into Chuyue’s eyes seriously. “Wang Yibo. I choose him.”
Chuyue chuckled weakly, hands of Xiao Zhan’s collar. “You chose him.”
“I love him, Chuyue. I’m falling so hard.”
Hearing those words passed Xiao Zhan’s lips made Yibo felt warm. He leaned back against the wall and smiled.
“What about me? You don’t love me?” Chuyue asked.
“You’re family, Chuyue. How could I not love you?”
“I don’t want to be your family!” Chuyue said histerically. “I want to be your lover!”
Yibo choked to the words. Chuyue and Xiao Zhan were family?
“Chuyue!” Xiao Zhan shouted.
“Listen, Xiao Zhan, if I could never have you, then that kid would never have you either,” Chuyued said in frustration.
Suddenly Xiao Zhan pushed Chuyue against the wall and put his fist against his chest. “I warn you, Chuyue, if you ever lay your hand on him, you’re dealing with me.”
Chuyue gritted his teeth and stared back at Xiao Zhan.
“Don’t joke with me!” Xiao Zhan patted his cheek.
Chuyue grabbed Xiao Zhan’s wrist and pushed him away.
Yibo abruptly walked out of the emergency exit and ran along the hallway to the park and slumped against a bench. Throwing his head back, he tried to breathe. Minutes later, he spotted Chuyue walked out of the Liberal Art building; anger was clearly seen on his face.
So Chuyue and Xiao Zhan were actually family? What kind of family that allowed Chuyue to think that he could be Xiao Zhan’s lover?
Listening to Chuyue and Xiao Zhan’s conversation, Yibo wasn’t sure anymore about the payback. Chuyue was clearly sick. A payback wouldn’t make everything better. Xiao Zhan really needed to deal with him seriously.
Then no need to tell Seungyoun that it was Chuyue who beat them up. Well, unless he asked. At least Seungyoun didn’t have to deal with Chuyue for the next six weeks.
Yibo got up and walked out of the academic building. The thought of being alone in the dorm made him walk to the library building instead. Besides, his elective course couldn’t wait any longer. He needed to finish it at the end of this month because he wanted to focus on final exam next month.
Yibo roamed the ancient Chinese shelves and when he found what he was looking for, he sat by a desk and started taking notes.
“Does it hurt?”
Yibo tore his eyes off of the book and looked in confusion at the person who was sitting in front of him. Xiao Zhan.
“You were so serious. I’ve been sitting here for a while,” Xiao Zhan gave him a playful annoyance.
“Oh… really?” Yibo then smiled. “Sorry.”
Xiao Zhan propped on his elbow. “No need. Your serious face was so sexy just now.”
Yibo rolled his eyes, but then smiled again as he recalled what Xiao Zhan said earlier at the emergency exit – wider smile this time.
“What are you doing?” Xiao Zhan asked, took a peak on the book.
“Collecting materials for my elective course,” Yibo lifted the book for Xiao Zhan to see.
“The Bamboo Annals?”
Yibo shook his head. “Hundreds Schools of Thought.”
Xiao Zhan knitted his eyebrows. “Changed subject?”
Yibo continued writing. “Wenhan suggested me that.”
“And you gladly obliged?”
“Zhan-ge, please stop.” Yibo lifted his face and looked at Xiao Zhan.
“I hate that guy.”
“Because he hates me.”
“And because he likes you.”
“But I don’t.”
Xiao Zhan knitted his eyebrows and looked at Yibo amusingly.
“I like you,” Yibo said, smirking.
Xiao Zhan smiled playfully.
“I like you a lot, Zhan-ge.”
“Because I might launch at you here and now, and then kiss you.”
Yibo frowned. “This is library.”
“And do you think I give a damn?”
“Don’t try me, Wang Yibo!”
“I like you so much, Zhan-ge.” And then Yibo lifted the book to cover his smiling face.
“I’m so gonna ravish you,” Xiao Zhan mumbled. “You just wait!”
“Mmn…” Yibo replied between his soft chuckles.
Yibo waved at Seungyoun on the monitor and closed all the applications before turning the laptop off. A few days ago Seungyoun called Yibo if he could attend certain class online and when he asked Wenhan, he gladly helped.
“Yibo, are you done?” came Wenhan’s voice as he walked into the classroom.
“Mmn.” Yibo handed Wenhan the laptop.
“Did everything work out?” Wenhan asked as they walked.
“Good. Seungyon could hear the teacher’s voice clearly.”
“That’s good. I hope he would be ready when the exam comes.”
“We’re having a competiton after the exam,” Wenhan said. “I’m hoping you could join the team.”
“Yep. Too bad Seungyoun can’t join.”
“Don’t tell him.” Yibo grinned sheepishly.
“Because he would stubbornly join the practice.”
Wenhan chuckled. “That’s so like him.”
“Okay, I’m heading to the Student Affairs. See you at club,” Wenhan waved.
Yibo nodded and headed to his locker to get his basketball shirt, froze when he smelt blood. Could be that Chuyue put something inside?
Yibo input the code and slowly opened it, hissed silently when he saw what was inside; head of a dead chicken revoked by force from its body and its blood smeared inside his locker.
Yibo abruptly closed his locker and hoped that no one saw it. He stared at it seriously, thought about the person he needed to tell. Yixuan? Xiao Zhan?
Or maybe no one.
Chuyue was definitely sick, and now he couldn’t get his basketball shirt. Yibo’s eyes darted at Seungyoun’s locker next to him and suddenly the idea to wear his shirt popped in his head. His eyes gazed again at his locker and decided to clean it up after the club so no one would see.
Yibo dived his board to the dormitory to get Seungyoun’s shirt and dived again to the club.
Wenhan looked at him in confusion when he noticed the ‘Seungyoun’ name at the back of the shirt that Yibo was wearing. “What now?”
Yibo scratched the back of his head, thinking. “Couldn’t find mine.”
Wenhan walked away without saying a word but Yibo was aware that Wenhan knew something. Even though Wenhan had tried to cover for him when the coach asked, but Yibo still got his punishment for being indiscipline with his own belongings.
As Wenhan told earlier that the club was having a competition after the exam, the coach was starting to pick the team. As expected, Wenhan was the captain and second year mostly got the bench, but the coach said that things might change if they worked hard.
“Let’s work hard!” Wenhan said as they left the building.
“Mmn.” Yibo nodded.
“I hope you can join the main team.”
Yibo dived his board to the academic building as soon as Wenhan out of sight.
The academic building was kinda quiet eventhough Yibo knew that some students might still be around, either for extracuriculaire or any other affairs. He leaned his board against the lockers and slowly opened his.
Yibo cringed as the smell of blood attacked, even getting worse that before. Fucking sick, Yibo cursed. He looked hopelessly at his basketball shirt and books.
“Are you intended to keep this to yourself?” came a voice behind him.
Yibo jumped in surprised and groaned in relieved when he saw that it was Xiao Zhan. “Fuck…”
Xiao Zhan folded his arms on his chest and looked at him in annoyance. “Did it even cross your mind to tell me this?”
Yibo cleared his throat. “This…”
Yibo didn’t reply. He pulled out a plastic glove and a plastic bag from his backpack.
Xiao Zhan grabbed the plastic bag and held it for Yibo.
Yibo put all the stuff into the plastic bag, and then he wiped all the blood with a wet-sterilized tissue.
Xiao Zhan helped him collect the used-tissue and threw them into the trash bin.
Finally, Yibo spray antiseptic into the locker.
They both worked in silence. No one had the initiative to talk – at least for Yibo. He really didn’t know if he needed to speak up his suspicion on Chuyue.
Yibo closed the locker and changed the passcode.
“It’s useless,” Xiao Zhan finally said. “He would just hack the new passcode easily.”
“Why?” Yibo looked at Xiao Zhan.
“Because he’s a freak,” Xiao Zhan said coldly.
“Who’s he?” Yibo narrowed his eyes.
Xiao Zhan shot a look. “We both know who.”
Yibo grabbed the plastic bag but Xiao Zhan held him.
“Let me,” Xiao Zhan said, “You just bring your board.”
Yibo nodded and carry the board.
It was nearly sunset when they got out of the academic building. Yibo walked silently besides Xiao Zhan, shoulder bumped against his a few times, sent him warmth.
The lanterns around the school were starting to lit. Wenhan was right. The red ornaments were really beautiful. The wind rang the windchimes and gave the feeling of longing for home.
“Are your parents gonna pick you up?” Xiao Zhan asked.
“No. I’ll take the train,” Yibo replied. “You?”
“Oh.” Yibo nodded.
Yibo stopped and looked at Xiao Zhan who stopped walking.
Xiao Zhan put his free hand around Yibo’s waist and leaned in. “Be a good boy during holiday, okay?” And then Xiao Zhan smirked.
Yibo raised his eyebrows in annoyance. “Are you my parents?”
“I’m gonna miss you.” Xiao Zhan leaned in and kissed him.
Yibo scoffed softly. “Really?’
“Shut up and let me kiss you,” Xiao Zhan grumbled playfully.
Yibo’s family actually consisted of only him and his parents but his parents had sisters and brothers, and so Yibo had cousins, nephews and nieces, and that made the Lunar New Year dinner noisy and lively.
Yibo’s favorite was Luoyang Water Banquet. It’s a traditional Chinese cuisine consisted of twenty-four dishes. The eight cold dishes are first served, followed by sixteen hot dishes which are held in blue-and-white porcelain plates of different size.
Of the twenty-four dishes, the peony banquet is the main course of the feast. The classical dish is made by steaming white carrot, needle mushroom, black mushroom, white bamboo shoots and egg yolk cake is specially-made soup. The egg yolk cake is sliced into thin layers shaped like peony flowers. That is why it is called ‘peony banquet’.
Yibo ate as much as his stomach could reserve. He never complained about food, but food at New Year was always the best and sometimes, certain dishes were only served during this time. Thus, he could only eat those dishes once in a year.
Eventhough Yibo had three weeks holiday, but his parents didn’t. There were lots of feasts and banquets during New Year so instead of spending their times with Yibo, they had to work.
Yibo had called Seungyoun who happened to have the same problems with him; home alone, and the holiday made him bored to death.
“I would have gone there if I’m not in this shit,” Seungyoun said in annoyance. “I can go feasting Lunar with you and watch some spectacles.”
Yibo sighed. “I can go there. But then what?”
“You could help me doing some favor.”
“Get me things.”
“At least you can go around the city, buy these and those, eat and snack, watch this and that…” Seungyoun grumbled.
“Not really, I’m finishing my elective course.”
Yibo could hear Seungyoun gasping. “You took books on holiday?”
Yibo grinned. “Why? Three weeks.”
“Yibo… no books on holiday!”
“You’re so annoying…”
“Aarrghh… get lost!”
Yibo rolled his eyes when Seungyoun hung up. He tossed the phone onto his bed and walked out of his room, donwstair.
Yibo roamed his living room, frowned when he realized that his house was too big for himself. Why should their parents build such a big house if they were barely at home?
Yibo plopped himself on the couch and turned on the TV. Most of the channel reported the Lunar New Year Celebration. He changed the channel a few times until a channel about trip and adventure caught his attention.
“Need companion?” a low and husky voice suddenly tickled his ear.
Yibo jumped and his eyes widened in shock. “Zhan-ge!” He patted his chest gently and tried to catch his breath.
Xiao Zhan smirked happily and took a seat next to him.
Yibo looked at him in disbelieved. “You… here?”
Xiao Zhan nodded. “I’m here.”
“I mean why.”
Xiao Zhan smiled slyly, slowly pushed Yibo down and hovered above him. “I miss you.”
Yibo smiled, his eye twitched.
“Brat,” Xiao Zhan whispered against his lips.
Yibo chuckled softly when Xiao Zhan finally kissed him, long and languidly – longing.
“Happy New Year,” Xiao Zhan whispered.
“Happy New Year, Zhan-ge.”
Xiao Zhan sighed and climbed down, pulled Yibo along to let him sit properly. “What were you watching?” he threw his gaze at the TV.
“Nothing interesting tho,” Yibo relplied.
“Let’s go outside then. Any interesting events in Louyang?”
Yibo curved his lips, thinking. “Sure,” he finally replied. “Come on.”
“So, where are we going?” Xiao Zhan asked when they were in the car. In the backseat to be exact. Yibo had his driver took them.
Xiao Zhan nodded in exctiment. “The temple where Guan Yu’s head was buried.”
“It was really an ancient story.”
“You came here, what about your family?” Yibo couldn’t help the curiosity because Lunar celebration should be celebrate with the family. Usually.
“What about them?”
Yibo curved his lips. “It’s only the sixth day, but you went out. Didn’t your family mind?”
“We’ve had enough. Besides, I really miss you.”
Yibo grinned. “Cheesy.”
“So, how long are you gonna stay here?”
“I don’t know.”
Yibo knitted his eyebrows. “What do you mean you don’t know? At least you bring something if you wanna stay a little bit longer.”
Xiao Zhan smirked and laced his fingers with Yibo’s. “How long do you want me to stay?”
Yibo rolled his eyes but glady squeezed back his fingers against Xiao Zhan’s. He accidentaly looked at the rear view mirror and noticed his driver’s lips were moving, holding back a smile. He lifted his chin, stared intensely until the driver caught his eyes and Yibo glared. The driver grinned sheepishly and Yibo tore his gaze from the mirror.
They finally reached the Guanlin Temple. Just like the normally temple, there were halls, tablets, small stone lions and cypress. The only thing that made this temple one and only was the Tomb of Guan Yu. On its main gate are a series of reliefs telling the well-known stories of Guan Yu.
“I never know you like ancient Chinese,” Xiao Zhan said while roaming the reliefs of Guan Yu.
“Well, I like those Three Kingdom Stories in any versioin.” Yibo grabbed Xiao Zhan hand and took him to the field to watch a lion performance.
After the lion performance, they roamed the field outside the temple to look for some souvernirs. By lunch, they buy cold dishes and continued to the next temple.
“Here,” Yibo gave Xiao Zhan a souvernir when they were in the car.
“What is this?” Xiao Zhan opened the wrapper and pulled out a key-chain blade-miniature.
“It’s guando,” Yibo said. “The Green Dragon Crescent Blade. Guan Yu’s famous weapon.”
“Eventhgouh I don’t know the story that well, but thank’s.”
“Mmn.” Yibo nodded.
Xiao Zhan shoved the souvenir into his bag. “Remind me to buy you something at The White Horse Temple.”
“You want to buy me souvenir from my hometown?” Yibo scoffed.
Xiao Zhan laughed.
Yibo silently smiled. He would never have thought that someone would visit him in new year, took a look around the city, had random talks about small stuff, got to know each other preference – this was definitely a date.
“White Horse Temple’s architecture is quite simple,” Xiao Zhans said. He grabbed Yibo’s hand and walked through the main gate.
“Mmn. This is the first Buddhist temple in China.”
“Did you walk around a lot?”
“Not really. I spent my junior high school in Seoul.”
“But you seem know well your hometown.”
Yibo snorted. “Who doesn’t?”
Xiao Zhan laughed.
Yibo led Xiao Zhan to the indoor field and bough some peony-shaped snacks.
“Which one do you like the most? China? Korea?” Xiao Zhan asked. He shoved a peony mochhi into his mouth and muched it excitedly.
“Is that even a question?”
Xiao Zhan grinned.
Yibo led him to another counter that sold fruit based drinks and they bought orange and apricot juice.
“I was jealous at first at Seungyoun,” Xiao Zhan suddenly said when they were walking out of the temple.
Yibo grinned in confusion. “Why?”
“I though he was your boyfriend.”
Yibo couldn’t help smiling.
“But then after knowing that he’s your bestfriend, I got even more jealous.”
“What the fuck…” Yibo muttered.
Xiao Zhan shot him an irritated look. “He’s just a bestfriend, yet he’s with you wherever you go.”
“Are you idiot?”
Xiao Zhan shrugged. “Coulnd’t help it.”
Yibo stepped into the car and told the driver to get back home.
“Here, I bought you something,” Xiao Zhan took something out from his bag.
Yibo shook his head but a happy smile appeared in his face. He opened the wrapper and saw a red rope necklace with a red stone pendant.
“Lucky charm. And a reminder that I love you.”
Yibo involuntary cringed. “Zhan-ge, you’re creepy. What’s gotten into you?”
“Tch!” Xiao Zhan snatched the necklace and tried to wear it on Yibo.
“Oi!” Yibo grabbed Xiao Zhan’s wrist and glared, gesturing the driver.
Xiao Zhan smirked. “Let him,” he mouthed.
“Pervert.” And then Yibo snatched back the necklace. “I’m wearing it. It’s not about the necklace.”
“So what was it all about?”
“Your words.” Yibo put the necklace around his neck. “Your words are freaking creepy.”
Xiao Zhan smirked. “Do you like me talking creepy?”
Xiao Zhan laughed and silently sneaked his arm between Yibo’s back and the backseat, lingered around Yibo’s waist.
The rest of the trip was… lively. And naughty. The driver really needed to hold back his smile seeing those two boys talking annoyingly.
It was already dark when they reached home and Yibo just found out that Xiao Zhan actually brought his spare clothes when he saw a travel bag in his room.
“Your maid took it for me,” Xiao Zhan said.
“No wonder I didn’t see it. You can have your bath first,” Yibo said while pointing at a door, “That’s the bathroom. I’ll be a minute.” And then he walked out of the room, to the kitchen.
Yibo roamed the fridge and the counter to find something to snack. When he walked into his room, Xiao Zhan was done. He grabbed his towel and hit the shower.
“So, he didn’t find it weird seeing you dating a boy?” Xiao Zhan asked when they were lounging on a rug in his room.
Yibo leaned against his bed, next to Xiao Zhan, shoulder to shoulder. “He’s quite open-minded.”
“And your parents?”
“They are too. They support me openly.”
Xiao Zhan nodded and smiled. “That’s good.”
“My parents are open-minded too. They don’t mind me dating boys.”
“It’s good for us, right?”
“But… Chuyue’s parents… are not,” Xiao Zhan trailed off.
Yibo knitted his eyebrows. He then remembered Xiao Zhan and Chuyue’s conversation at the emergency exit. “Are you and Chuyue really family?”
Xiao Zhan took his time before answering. “Not family, but I consider him as one. Chuyue’s father and mine are best friends since high school, and that make our mothers best friends too. I didn’t know he enrolls the same high school until I saw him.”
“It was Chuyue who acknowledge me first. During the first year, we weren’t that close. During the first year break, he and his parents came to Chonqing. Turned out that his parents were freaked out after finding out that Chuyue was gay, and their visit was to ask for help from my parents.”
“You mean, his parents didn’t accept him for being gay?” Yibo asked.
Xiao Zhan nodded.
“What kind of help were they hoping?” Yibo knitted his eyebrows, confused on the ‘help’ thing.
Xiao Zhan shrugged. “I don’t know. His mom cried so much and I pitied him, for some reasons. I pitied him for not being accepted by his own parents. I pitied him for not being able to stand for himself. I pitied him because his father saw him as a failure, and if Chuyue chose to stick with his sexual preference, his father would cut their ties.”
Yibo formed his lips into a thin line. Suddenly he pitied Chuyue too.
“His mom was scared, for many things, and so my mom promised her that I would take care of him during his study here.”
Ah, that promise, Yibo thought.
“My father agreed that I would protect him and if things went well, Chuyue could keep his gay in the closet and no bullying, his father would let him continue his university here.”
“But then Chuyue misinterpreted the promise,” Yibo added.
Xiao Zhan curved his lips. “I don’t think misinterpret is the right word. Chuyue simply became possessive on me.”
“He was so sweet at first and I really considered him as little brother,” Xiao Zhan continued. He opened the lid of his mineral water and drank it. “I really took my time for him, protected him. But then things got out of control.”
“Out of control how?” Yibo took a potato chip and tore the wrapping. He grabbed some and offered Xiao Zhan.
Xiao Zhan took the potato chips and crunched them while talking. “He became so spoiled. If he disliked someone, he would ask me to beat him up and if I refused, he would threaten to kill himself.”
Yibo frowned. “He’s sick.”
“I realized that. But since I didn’t know to handle him, I always ended up doing what he wanted.” Xiao Zhan smiled weakly.
“You’re really the worst.” Yibo shot him an irritated look, and then hit him with a pillow-couch.
Xiao Zhan ducked. He put the potato chips only to grab the pillow and hugged it. “I know. But I had no choice that time. Later, I found out how to avoid beating up people and kept him sane at the same time.”
“To retreat myself from society,” Xiao Zhan said bitterly, looking at Yibo. “He was happy to see me stay beside him all the time and that made his mood content.”
“You were under his control without you realizing it,” Yibo said. “How could you be so kind, Zhan-ge?”
“It was for his parent.”
“I don’t know if you’re an idiot or an angel,” Yibo said sarcastically.
Xiao Zhan laughed. “Brat!” And then hit Yibo with the pillow.
Yibo laughed dryly as he remembered his conversation with Yixuan back then about Xiao Zhan’s change of attitude. “Did you tell your parents?”
“I did. At New Year.”
“Oh…? What did you tell them?”
“I didn’t talk into details. It was just a slight of introduction that Chuyue was actually a different person from we’d thought. That he was being possessive and it became harder for me to take care of him.”
“And what did they say?”
“My father didn’t say much. Just a slight of worried expression and told me that he would talk about this with his parents. And mother only said ‘do what I could do and let go if things were out of my reach’.”
“She’s so wise.”
Xiao Zhan sighed. “And then, Chuyue started to choose friends for me and I don’t mind that. I could just make friends with anybody.”
“You mean like Gu Jiacheng and Zhao Lei?”
“Yeah and then Xia Zhiguang. Soon people acknowledged me as bastard.”
Yibo scoffed. “You deserve that!”
Xiao Zhan frowned and brushed back his hair.
Yibo bit his bottom lip. “Do you think, he loses himself because of the rejection from his parents?”
“Could be. It was also the inner fight that stressed him up. He had to suppress real hard his feeling for another boy tho…”
“Just like the way how I felt for you…”
Yibo turned to look at Xiao Zhan, eyeing seriously.
“It was Chuyue who acknowledged you first.”
Yibo raised his eyebrows. “What?”
“He said ‘Xiao Zhan-ge, there’s a new kid, second year. He’s handsome but he likes to show up!’” Xiao Zhan chuckled.
Yibo rolled his eyes to the words ‘like to show up’.
“And then I saw you, with Seungyoun, playing skateboard…” he trailed off. “You were so… free. Full of energy. So alive.”
Yibo curved his lips, felt so funny recalling the first days he and Seungyoun enrolled here.
“And I felt in love with you…” Xiao Zhan added.
Yibo bit his bottom lip from the sudden warmth that was creeping up his body. “And then you got jealous.”
Xiao Zhan nodded. “And then I got jelous.”
“And Chuyue sensed this.” Suddenly Xiao Zhan’s tone turned bitter.
“And he asked you to beat me?” Yibo asked.
Xiao Zhan shook his head. “No. He said that he would kill himself if I dare to fall in love with you, which I had, obviously.”
“The more I ignored you, the more I fell deeper. He confronted me but I didn’t admit it. I told him that I didn’t love you. He challenged me that if I didn’t love you, I should have no problem beating you up.”
“And so you did.”
“Because you promised his mom,” Yibo cut Xiao Zhan.
Xiao Zhan nodded.
Yibo snorted irritantly. “Jerk!”
Xiao Zhan shot an apologetically look. “I coulnd’t hit you and love you at the same time. So I gave him pressure that if he kept asking me to beat you, I would leave him.”
“But…” Xiao Zhan continued, “Turned out that he himself beat you up.”
“I knew that.”
“His strategy now is to make you leave me because I definitely won’t.”
“But it didn’t work.”
Xiao Zhan knitted his eyebrows and looked at Yibo amusingly. “Didn’t work?”
“It didn’t. And it won’t.” Yibo smirked back.
Xiao put the pillow away and turned around to face Yibo. “Actually, it crossed my mind to leave you because I didn’t wanna see you hurt.”
“But you were so hot that I just couldn’t help myself…” Xiao Zhan said softly, slowly leaning in and brushed his lips against Yibo’s.
Yibo swallowed hard, parted his lips slightly to catch Xiao Zhan’s lips.
“Damn it, Yibo…” Xiao Zhan hissed softly, “You don’t have any idea the struggle I had, fell for you yet I had to beat you up.”
“But you did good beating me up,” Yibo whispered back into Xiao Zhan’s lips.
“It took all my power not to lauch at you, and kiss you every time my hands caught you…” Xiao Zhan whispered, put his arms around Yibo’s waist and pulled him closer.
Yibo choked a breath from the heartbeat, boldly leaned up and took the initiative to kiss Xiao Zhan; put his arms around his neck while bringing him down. Xiao Zhan’s lips and hands were all over him, made him felt hot and dizzy. But he didn’t want him to stop. Every touch and kiss were never enough; the needier Yibo, the greedier Xiao Zhan. The chant of ‘Zhan-ge’ led to the ‘I want you’, the kiss on the skin led to thrust. The whimper and moan of pleasure filled up the room, made the air thick from slow and deep sex.
The night was young, and Yibo complied with anything Xiao Zhan wanted even if it took a whole night.
The students got back to school two weeks before final exam, including Seungyou. During that pre-exam, all the students had to give their elective course, complette their assignements, attend the remedial for unsufficient marks and any club activities were suspended until the end of the semester.
Eventhough he was able to go outside and did his regular acitivities, but Seungyoun wasn’t allowed yet to play skateboard and basketball. Luckily there was Chen Yu who could distract his boredom and took him to study together.
Seungyoun got pissed off when he knew that Yibo managed to get into the main team for the basketball competition in summer.
“Listen, Wenhan, I can do it,” Seungyoun tried so hard to convince Wenhan. “I’m okay now.” Seungyoun walked backwards in front of Wenhan.
“I know you can join the practice, but I’m not sure about the competition. The practice would be intense,” Wenhan said, trying to avoid him.
“Aaarrggghhh…! Fuck that asshole who made my ribs broken!” Seungyoun groaned in annoyance.
“That asshole is dead,” Yibo said sarcastically. He finally decided not to tell Seungyoun that it was Chuyue.
“Yeah, I really wish that he was dead with severe broken bones!” Seungyoun muttered.
Seungyoun finally walked properly next to Wenhan. “At least let me take the bench.”
“Just practice, Seungyoun. Practice and practice,”’ Wenhan said. “Besides, exam is just a couple more days and there will be no practice until next semester.”
“Focus on your date and then your exam,” Yibo added from behind, made Wenhan turned around and chuckled.
“He’s right,” Wenhan replied. “You got a date tomorrow, right?”
Seungyoun raised his eyebrows in confusin. “How come everybody knows I have a date?”
“It’s your big mouth!” Wenhan replied, took the stairs to dormitory building and got into the canteen.
Seungyoun followed. “What did I say?”
Yibo odered for a simple hot pot and took his seat, ignoring the on and off pleading from Seungyoun at Wenhan to get a spot on the team.
Closing to spring, the weather was changeable. The temperature rise and fell frequently and sharply with a big difference between day time and night time. The climate was still cold and windy.
Yibo tightened his jacket as he walked out of the library. Xiao Zhan came from behind and put his arm around Yibo’s waist while slinging his bag over his shoulder with his other hand.
“Don’t do this at school,” Yibo muttered.
“Why? Everbody knows we’re dating.”
“All done, except my swimming,” Xiao Zhan said again.
Yibo nodded. All students have to pass the swimming-skill test before graduation. “Then you’ll graduate.”
Xiao Zhan chuckled. “Someone is moping.”
Yibo frowned. “I’m not moping.”
“I was just saying that you’ll be out of this school soon.”
“And you mope.”
Yibo rolled his eyes.
“Oh, come on, just mop. I like you moping,” Xiao Zhan teased Yibo.
“I like you too, Yibo.”
Yibo threw his face away and silently smiled.
Xiao Zhan let go off his hand of Yibo’s waist when he felt his phone buzzing. He knitted his eyebrows when he read the caller-id. “Chuyue,” he said to Yibo.
Yibo stopped walking and gave Xiao Zhan time to answer.
“Chuyue?” Xiao Zhan said to the phone, turning on the speaker.
Xiao Zhan knitted his eyebrows. “Chuyue?”
Xiao Zhan’s high tone made Yibo looked at him tentatively.
“Chuyue is that you?” Xiao Zhan asked again when got no reply, and then he looked at Yibo in confusion. “Chuyue answer me, what is going on?”
Slowly came Chuyue’s voice, humming.
“Chuyue?” Xiao Zhan asked again.
“I know Xiao Zhan-ge is the kindest person in this world,” Chuyue finally said. His tone was slow and calm. “I believe that no one loves me like Xiao Zhan-ge.”
Xiao Zhan’s face became tensed and looked at Yibo seriously. “That’s’ right.”
“So I won’t believe that Xiao Zhan-ge is dating Yibo. It wasn’t Xiao Zhan-ge who’s dating him.”
Yibo suddenly got tensed.
Xiao Zhan widened his eyes, gesturing Yibo that something must be happening to Chuyue. “Chuyue, where are you?”
“I’m waiting for my Xiao Zhan-ge…” Chuyue replied.
Yibo roamed the surrounding, widened his eyes when he noticed that Chuyue was at the edge of the rooftop of dormitory building. He nudged Xiao Zhan’s arm and pointed at the rooftop.
Xiao Zhan gasped. “Chuyue, what are you doing in the rooftop?”
Chuyue laughed. “I was looking for my Xiao Zhan-ge. He barely spent his time with me lately.”
“Chuyue, wait for me,” Xiao Zhan said seriously. “You sit down and wait for me.”
“Xiao Zhan-ge is coming for me?” Chuyue asked.
“I’m coming, I’m coming!” Xiao Zhan hung up and half-ran to the rooftop.
Yibo followed closed, but stopped at the door when they reached the rooftop, let Xiao Zhan walked closer towards Chuyue.
“What’s wrong?” Xiao Zhan asked gently, sat next to Chuyue at the edge.
Chuyued didn’t reply. Instead, he looked at Yibo and shot a look. “What is he doing here?”
Xiao Zhan grabbed Chuyue’s wrist, gently brought him away from the edge. “Why don’t you tell me what happened? Come here…”
Chuyue let Xiao Zhan dragged him away but he didn’t take off his eyes of Yibo. “What is he doing here?”
“He told me that you were here,” Xiao Zhan said.
Chuyued tugged his hand from Xiao Zhan’s grip. “Why do you have to take him here?”
Yibo understood that Chuyue didn’t like his presence, and maybe Chuyue wanted to be alone with Xiao Zhan, but Yibo didn’t allow that; Chuyue might do something dangerous in this situation. The fact that Xiao Zhan didn’t even gesture him to leave also made him sure that Xiao Zhan wanted him to be there. He lifted his chin up and looked back at Chuyue coldly.
“Why were you looking for me?” Xiao Zhan asked. From his tone, it was obvious that Xiao Zhan was trying to calm Chuyue down.
Chuyue looked at Xiao Zhan coldly. “You really are trying to get rid of me…”
“What? No…” Xiao Zhan replied.
“Then why did you bring him here?”
“I don’t want him here.”
“If he stays, then I’ll go,” Chuyue said, suddenly turned around and walked to the edge.
Yibo gasped, and looked at Xiao Zhan who was abruptly grabbed his wrist and dragged him back.
“Xiao Zhan, let go! What’s the point of keeping me if you won’t be with me!” Chuyue shouted, trying to let go.
Yibo gritted his teeth – this was complicated. There won’t be any use talking now. They had to drag Chuyue from the rooftop and kept him in a safe place, then talk.
Yibo was only taking a few steps when Chuyue pointed at him. “Stop! Don’t come near me!”
So Yibo stopped.
Chuyue looked at Xiao Zhan. “Do you love him?”
Xiao Zhan nodded. “Yes. I love him.”
Chuyue tilted his head. “Do you love me?”
Xiao Zhan nodded again. “I do.”
Chuyue chuckled. “Then who do you love the most?”
Xiao Zhan gapped.
Chuyued laughed in frustration. “You are a bad liar, Xiao Zhan!”
Xiao Zhan looked at Yibo in frustration.
Yibo’s eye twitched and walked closer.
Chuyue noticed Yibo. “Stop! I said don’t come near me!” He shouted in anger.
Yibo stopped abruptly, looked at Xiao Zhan.
Chuyue suddenly smirked. “That’s right. Xiao Zhan, you love him, but you also love me. And since you can’t choose, you can’t have us both, not one of us…”
Xiao Zhan looked at him in confusion.
Yibo knitted his eyebrows and suddenly widened his eyes when he realized what Chuyue meant. “Fuck,” he cursed while walking towards Chuyue who was wrapping his arms around Xioa Zhan.
Chuyue laughed histerically, dragged Xiao Zhan to the edge while looking at Yibo amusingly. “If I can’t have Xiao Zhan, neither can you, dog!”
Xiao Zhan realized what was going on, struggled to let go. “Chuyue, what are you doing?”
“Chuyue, stop!” Yibo shouted in panic seeing Chuyue was getting closer to the edge with Xiao Zhan in his hands. He tried to find right moment to launch himself at Chuyue and drag them both.
Chuyue laughed louder. “At least I can die with him!”
Xiao Zhan suddenly landed his fist on Chuyue face, made him wobble and lost his grip around Xiao Zhan’s hands. Xiao Zhan grabbed the collar of his uniform and shouted at his face. “Get a grip!”
Chuyue launched a punch at Xiao Zhan’s face, made him stepped back.
Yibo grabbed Chuyue by his waist from behind and dragged him away from the edge, but Chuyue struggled with all his power to let go and Yibo’s smaller posture troubled him a lot.
Xiao Zhan grabbed Chuyue hands and helped Yibo dragged him away.
Chuyue arched his back, made Yibo slumped onto the ground and lost his grip. He then tugged hard his hands, only to grabbed Xiao Zhan’s wrists and dragged him back to the edge.
“Chuyue, look at me! Stop this!” Xiao Zhan shouted.
Chuyue hit Xiao Zhan’s face and when Xiao Zhan lost his balance, Chuyue strangled him and dragged him, laughed histerically. “We’re going together, Xiao Zhan…”
“Fuuccckkk…!!!” Xiao Zhan cursed, tried to untangle Chuyue hands from his neck, got choked once in a while.
Yibo threw himself on the ground and grabbed Xiao Zhan’s foot.
Xiao Zhan lost balance and fell on the ground, the strangle around his neck loosened.
Chuyue wobbled backwards unstably.
Realizing what was going to happen, Yibo widened his eyes in horror. He abruptly got up to grab Chuyue’s hand. “No.”
It was merely a breath away; Chuyue’s foot stumbled, crossed the edge of the rooftop and then he flew down freely onto the field below.
Yibo rushed to the edge and looked down; Chuyue lying on the field with blood gushing out of his cracked head, making a pool.
Xiao Zhan followed, looked down at Chuyue in horror.
Seconds later, screams were heard and Yibo and Xiao Zhan ran down the building like crazy.
Yibo and Xiao Zhan looked from afar when the police removed the police-line from the place where Chuyue fell. It’s been a week since Chuyue’s death and the school mourned him – bad or good, Chuyue had been enrolled there. It was also a bad timing around the exam.
Xiao Zhan and Wang Yibo had been taken to the police station for their statements. With two days and a night of interogation and collecting evidence, Yibo and Xiao Zhan were temporary released and forbid to leave the school until further investigation on Chuyue’s mental issue.
Yibo’s parents were furious at first. His dad scolded him in irritation on ‘I was just here a month ago and now I have to get my ass back here?’ And Yibo could only look at him hopelessly but he promised to tell them the whole story as he got back home when the semester ended, including his relationship with Xiao Zhan. They didn’t meet when Xiao Zhan came to Luoyang on New Year to visit him.
Xiao Zhan pleaded forgiveness so many times to Chuyue’s parents for not being able to protect him – Chuyue even died in his own hand. After a long and private talk between Chuyue’s parents, Xiao Zhan and his parents, Chuyue’s parents withdrew the case and considered this as an accident.
Everybody was actually curious about Chuyue, but both Yibo and Xiao Zhan avoided the topic. Even Yibo sealed his lips when Yixuan asked him.
But Yibo did tell Seungyoun after the exam.
“I didn’t know how to tell you back then, that it was Chuyue who beaten you up,” Yibo said in the dorm after they took dinner, looked at Seungyoun across his bed while leaning backwards against the wall. Yibo took Jiacheng and Zifan absence’s to talk about this.
“That fucking asshole!” Seungyoun groaned in annoyance. He lied flat on his bed, stacked his hands with the pillow under his head.
“That fucking ashhole is dead now,” Yibo said. “With severe broken bones just like what you wished for.”
There was a moment before Seungyoun said again.”Sounds creepy, but I think it’s better this way.”
“Yep. If he were alive, he wouldn’t be able to love. He would going even crazier and might harm another people worse than before.”
Seungyon tilted his head and looked at Yibo in confusion. “I don’t know if I had to feel sorry or happy…”
Yibo grinned sheepishly. “Me too.”
Seungyoun lied on his back, used his hands as the pillow. “Well, at least you and Xiao Zhan are now good.”
“I just came here, now I have to say goodbye to Chen Yu again.” Seungyoun grumbled.
It was only a few days left for them before going back home again for semester break.
“Well, I can always stay at your house and be able to visit Chen Yu anytime,” Seungyoun said again.
“No fucking way!” Yibo frowned.
Seungyoun sat up and looked at Yibo. “Why?”
“Because I might not be at home during the break.”
“Huh…? Where are you going?”
It took a moment for Seungyoun to realize that it was Xiao Zhan’s hometown. “Traitoorrr…!!!” Seunyoung shouted annoyingly.
Yibo grinned. “Just take Chen Yu to Seoul. Take her to have a proper holiday.”
A smile appeared on Seungyoun’s face. “I love that idea, Yibo!”
Yibo snorted and pulled the blanket to his shoulder, ignoring Seungyoun’s babble about his plan to take Chen Yu to Seoul.
Yibo slung the backpack against his back and looked at Xiao Zhan who was walking towards him.
“The train is here?” Xiao Zhan asked.
“Okay. Have a safe trip home.”
“Mmn. You don’t have to come with me to the station tho.”
Xiao Zhan grinned, shoved his hands into this pocket pants. “Spoiling my boyfriend.”
Yibo frowned. “You’re the worst.”
Xiao Zhan smirked, and winked.
Yibo’s eye twitched and shook his head. “I’m going, Zhan-ge.”
Xiao Zhan nodded. “I’ll be waiting in Chonqing.”
“Mmn.” Yibo waved and walked into the check-up gate.
It would be a four hour trip by train to Luoyang and usually Yibo found this really boring. But now, he had Xiao Zhan who would text him and accompany him until he reached Luoyang.
Wish for love. Yearn for romantic love. Expecting spring breeze.
Spring comes. Flowers bloom. I’m in love.