Editor(s): Mariabel, fujoshisarah
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After much effort, Tianhe finally moved Guan Yue onto the bed.
“Hoo!” Tianhe wiped his sweat. Guan Yue’s body smelled of wine; his shirt and trousers had traces of spilled vodka.
This vodka wasn’t bad. It seemed there were occasionally good wines at that bar, Tianhe thought.
“Hello.” Tianhe patted Guan Yue’s handsome face. Guan Yue just lay quietly, his eyelashes were thick and beautiful and fluttered gently as if he was dreaming.
Tianhe untied Guan Yue’s tie, pulled it off the collar, and took off his wine-stained shirt. The leaner his chest muscles were, the better his outline was.
“Need an electric shock?”
“We need to prepare the washing machine to wash his clothes,” Tianhe said. “Sorry, I forgot you can’t do anything about it.”
Tianhe continued to unbuckle his belt. He took off his suit trousers, and socks; stripping him of all his clothing then put them on the sofa. As long as Aunt Fang smelled the wine, she wouldn’t ask. She’d naturally wash and dry them in advance.
Guan Yue was stripped naked, left in only a pair of black briefs. Tianhe wiped some stains from his chest with a towel, pulled up the quilt to cover him up, and put a glass of water on the bedside table.
Pro, “I suggest you continue to observe him for at least four more hours. Every year, there are up to 11,400 worldwide asphyxiation deaths caused by drunkenness and vomiting...”
Tianhe changed into his pajamas, climbed into the bed, and covered himself with the quilt as well.
“Pro, turn off the lights,” Tianhe said. “I’m really sleepy. I hope he won’t beat me when he wakes up tomorrow.”
All the lights in the house went off in an instant.
“This is the first time I have slept in the same bed with someone other than Zijian since I broke off our relationship, and still it turned out to be with him.” Tianhe turned over and said in the dark.
Pro, “I suggest you move the room’s furniture rack to the living room. If he wakes up in the middle of the night to find water to drink, he will probably hit the wall first then kick the foot of the bed. According to my predicted trajectory, he will eventually stumble in front of the sofa then grab the furniture rack, knock down your model airplane, and lose his balance, one foot...”
Tianhe, “Give me a break. My arms are no longer my own. He can’t be that stupid. If it breaks, let him compensate me. Chairman Guan’s family is a big undertaking. Nothing in the world can’t be settled with money...”
Then there was silence in the darkness, only the sound of breathing could be heard. Tianhe was tired and immediately fell asleep.
He didn’t know long he slept until he heard a loud noise and painful hum. Tianhe woke up instantly, bounced up, and shouted.
Guan Yue, as expected, got up to look for water but accidentally bumped into the wall and stepped back dizzily. He looked for the light switch everywhere, kicked the foot of the bed, stumbled in front of the sofa, grabbed the rack, and knocked down Tianhe’s model airplane.
“Don’t move!” Tianhe responded in the dark. “Don’t touch anything, keep your original posture!”
All the lights turned on. Guan Yue had a splitting headache and was in great pain. Tianhe lifted the quilt and got up. He stepped on his model airplane with one foot and was suddenly half-dead with pain. He took Guan Yue’s wrist, let him sit back on the bed, and then handed him the water. Guan Yue closed his eyes tightly and drank all the water. After feeling relieved, he lay down again.
Tianhe went out to pour Guan Yue another glass of water and turned off the lights. The model airplane was first stepped on by Guan Yue then Tianhe. It had been completely crushed. He knew he should have listened to Pro.
Forget it... Sometimes, things get together but will eventually leave. Nothing is immortal. It’s all external things.
Tianhe dragged his tired body back to bed. Guan Yue turned over and laid one hand on Tianhe’s waist from behind. Tianhe tried to pull his hand away but he was afraid of causing the slightest movement.
Guan Yue was just like before. His whole body leaned over and hugged Tianhe, which was embarrassing.
Guan Yue spoke two English words in a low voice and fell into deep sleep again. Tianhe had slept with him for countless nights. As soon as he heard it, he knew that he really was asleep, not taking advantage of it.
The next day, the rain stopped.
“Guan Yue is dead!”
A sudden cry came from afar. Guan Yue woke up, sat up, and searched for the voice.
Who? Who is talking?
Guan Yue, “???”
Guan Yue’s face was puzzled as he lay down once again. Suddenly remembering what happened in the middle of the night, he immediately turned around and saw Tianhe unconsciously hugging him.
The smell of a man’s skin and the warm touch made Tianhe instantly wake up. He slept restlessly and dreamed the whole time.
Tianhe rubbed his eyes. For a brief second, the two looked at each other. Tianhe immediately separated himself from Guan Yue then stared at the ceiling without speaking.
“You got blackout drunk,” Tianhe said. “Do you remember what happened last night?”
Guan Yue rubbed his hand against his forehead, obviously suffering from a hangover. Tianhe added. “There are bathrobes and pajamas in the wardrobe. It’s my second brother’s, please make do with them. Just turn right to get to the bathroom.”
Guan Yue got up, opened the wardrobe, and looked for a bathrobe to cover his mostly naked body. As Tianhe watched his beautiful bare back muscles, he thought that this kind of temptation was unbearable.
Guan Yue’s desire was also unbearable, he quickly put on a bathrobe and heaved a sigh of relief.
It’s better to take a cold bath than to be hot-blooded. He wouldn’t worry too much about that.
After Guan Yue put on Wen Tianyue’s bathrobe, he looked at the shelves that were overturned on the ground and the model airplane that was trampled on last night. He bent down and picked it up.
“Don’t worry about it. Aunt Fang will clean it up.” Tianhe said.
Guan Yue opened the door and went out of the room. Tianhe quietly added. “You’re speaking less and less.”
“Good morning, Aunt Fang.” Guan Yue greeted.
Aunt Fang was preparing breakfast. She smiled without looking back. “When I saw the clothes, I knew it was you. It’s been a long time.”
Guan Yue nodded and walked to the bathroom. Aunt Fang added, “The toothbrush and towels are all ready for you. It will take another hour for your clothes to dry. After you finish, let’s have breakfast.”
“Thank you, Aunt Fang.” Guan Yue politely replied then went inside the bathroom.
Tianhe didn’t want to get up yet. He was lying idly in bed when he heard the sound of running water in the bathroom. When he woke up just now, he had turned around and inadvertently hugged Guan Yue. He was half-asleep at that time. The feeling of adrenaline rush and sudden heartbeats made him feel that he hadn’t had sex for a long time.
When he was alone, immersed in programming, he thought little about sex. However, after meeting this damn Guan Yue again these past few days, his already calm heart stirred once more.
The sound of running water stopped. Guan Yue took a cold shower, blow-dried his hair, and spoke a few words with Aunt Fang that Tianhe couldn’t hear clearly.
After turning off the hairdryer, Aunt Fang handed Guan Yue a cup of milk tea. Guan Yue took the cup, wore a pair of cotton slippers, and turned around the house twice to observe.
“Do you remember how old you were the last time you came?” Aunt Fang spread his shirt out in the laundry room and asked Guan Yue smilingly.
“Eight years old.” Guan Yue replied. “Tianhe was four years old that year.”
“The next year, Tianheng left home and went to the research institute.” Aunt Fang wore her glasses, ironed Guan Yue’s shirt, and smiled. “In order to keep important secrets, he never returned home or called these past years. Even their father’s death was handled by Tianyue. The house hasn’t changed at all. I always feel that the three brothers are still here. Is your grandfather well?”
Guan Yue nodded, lowered the cup, went to the parrot rack, and whistled gently.
Guan Yue, “…”
The parrot tilted its head and stared at Guan Yue. One man and one bird looked at each other silently.
“Xiao Jin was bought in Colombia when you took Xiao Tian out to play.” Aunt Fang laughed. “Do you remember?”
Guan Yue nodded and looked at the macaw.
Hearing their conversation from inside the room, Tianhe was suddenly scared out of his wits, broke out in cold sweat, and ran out barefoot.
Thank goodness — the macaw’s mouth was tied with a ribbon.
With its head tilted to the side, it swung over and stared at Guan Yue from left to right. It seemed like it was holding back all its words and couldn’t vomit them out. It also happened that the bird’s beak was tied.
Guan Yue made an “um” sound.
Aunt Fang explained, “It had diarrhea a few days ago so I gave it medicine. I was afraid it would spit it out so I tied its mouth.”
The macaw lifted its right-wing and nearly slapped Guan Yue, but he swiftly stepped back. However, the parrot flew up so adamantly that the chain on its foot dragged the bird rack to and fro. Guan Yue immediately raised his hand to capture it and pushed it back onto the bird rack.
“It still remembers you.” Tianhe casually said, looked at Aunt Fang, and nodded his head gratefully then went to the dining room.
Tianhe and Guan Yue sat at the table in their bathrobes. Guan Yue drank milk tea and read The Financial Times, while Tianhe drank coffee and watched the Silicon Valley news.
Guan Yue ate bacon with bread, fried eggs, and baked beans with tomato sauce. On the other hand, Tianhe ate oatmeal. Aunt Fang changed the sheets in Tianhe’s room and put on Bach’s “Five Canon Variations.” The music conveyed fresh air after a storm, just like every morning when they lived together in Cambridgeshire. Those days were close and familiar as if it never changed.
“No work today?” Tianhe asked while watching the news.
Guan Yue looked at the newspaper and replied, “I’ll go to the company later... Then, I’ll visit my parents and grandpa in Taiyuan next week.”
Tianhe, “The clothes are ready.”
Guan Yue, “Hmm.”
Aunt Fang arranged the shelves in the room, put the plants back to its original place, took out the fragments of the model airplane and an all-purpose glue, put on her reading glasses, and began to study how to restore it.
“Don’t put it back together,” Tianhe said. “Throw it away.”
Guan Yue looked more closely at Tianhe.
“I’ll try to fix it well.” Aunt Fang laughed.
The deck was trampled in half while the batter and the watchtower were all broken. The plane broke and the “royal ark” of the sun-setting empire looked like it had been heavily bombed by missiles, which was simply horrible to see.
Guan Yue said, “Your temper has changed so much.”
Guan Yue, “Tianheng made it for you. If he hadn’t disturbed me for a month, it wouldn’t be finished.”
Tianhe said, “How is that the same? That was before, it’s different now. When you’re in love because you are close to one another, you subconsciously forget to disguise yourself in front of the people you love the most. Now that you are a friend, I can’t be angry with my friend, right?”
The atmosphere became silent. Tianhe added, “I didn’t think you would save my phone number.”
“I’ve forgotten so many things since I returned home.” Guan Yue said. “I’ll change it.”
Tianhe, “What do you want to change it to?”
Guan Yue, “You can decide.”
Tianhe,“How about ‘that pesky guy'?”
Guan Yue, “Not bad.”
Tianhe, “I’ll save your contact as ‘wallow president,’ how about that?”
Guan Yue, “I don’t understand what you mean. What did you do to me last night?”
Tianhe, “You got drunk in the bar. Then you ran out, stood on a manhole cover, started crying and tap dancing, and shouted, “The capital age is dead! Long live Communism! I want to protect my country!” Next, you went straight to the ATM, entered my birthday password, and took out twenty thousand cash...”
Guan Yue, “...”
Aunt Fang, “...”
Guan Yue realized that something was wrong. Did he really do that all? How else would Tianhe know that his credit card password was his birthday?
Tianhe, “...Later, the guests from the bar chased after you and watched you happily throwing money in the air while jumping left and right. You ran to the east station along the way and took the cards at the ticket window, shouting in Shanxi dialect: ‘Buy an 80% new harmonious bus and I will take everyone to build a new socialist China!’”
Guan Yue’s expression became extremely complicated.
Tianhe, “Do you want to see the video I recorded last night? Ten yuan for a look.”
Guan Yue almost believed it. As he was about to get up, he observed Tianhe’s expression and saw that he’d been tricked again. He sat down and said, “I get drunk but I never go crazy.”
Tianhe, “You’ve never been drunk, how would you know that? And if you hadn’t, how would I know your credit card password?”
Guan Yue immediately replied, “You guessed it. All my passwords are still the same. I haven’t changed them since I returned to China. Just because you haven’t seen me drunk, doesn’t mean I never get drunk.”
Tianhe, “So it’s true that you jumped around and threw money in the air after getting drunk.”
Guan Yue, “Never.”
“Xiao Guan.” Aunt Fang interrupted Tianhe and asked, “Can you help me look at it?”
Guan Yue sat down in front of the sofa, bent down to inspect the aircraft carrier, and stumbled across the back of the deck where the words that Tianheng and Guan Yue had burned together was, to his younger brother Tianhe.
Guan Yue watched the bird for a long time while Tianhe’s silly blue cat paced around his ankle. Guan Yue lowered his head. The cat’s paw scratched him before letting Guan Yue hold it. One person and one cat looked at each other for a minute straight. The silly cat took the initiative to lean against him and let Guan Yue rub its head. Guan Yue pinched its head with his fingers.
The cat, who hadn’t made a sound in a long time, actually “meowed.” The parrot that had been noisy for a while became silent. Tianhe only felt that the atmosphere was strange today.
Aunt Fang said, “Little thing, I didn’t know where it went. My eyes aren’t good. I even had to turn off the sweeping robot to look inside the box, hoping that I could find it.”
“Chairman Guan,” Tianhe distressingly. “Aren’t you going to the company? Leave it alone. Put the cat down or it’ll pee on you.”
Guan Yue, “I helped Tianheng make it that year. Let me compensate you. Aunt Fang, stop gluing.”
Aunt Fang laughed. “I forgot, Xiao Guan’s hands-on ability is very skillful.”
“Forget it,” Tianhe said. “I might as well buy a ready-made one now that I’ve found your assistance too sticky.”
During the summer vacation of that year, Guan Yue lived in Tianhe’s home and helped Wen Tianheng assemble this aircraft carrier. The two had been building it for almost a month. Although the process of tormenting the dead had almost been forgotten, it had been done before, of course it certainly can be done now.
Guan Yue looked at it for a while, got up, and changed from his bathrobe back into his suit. When he left the living room, his image of the overbearing president was restored. He took the car keys hanging in the hall and said, “Aunt Fang, I’ll go now. I will come to see you again when I’m free.”
Aunt Fang replied, “Come here often, and say hello to your grandfather for me.”
As soon as the ribbon on the macaw’s mouth pulled off, it immediately shouted, “Guan Yue is dead—,” flapped its wings, and flew towards the gate aggressively. However, with a chain tied to its foot, it could only make a few bravado shouts.
Aunt Fang helplessly exclaimed, “What a good child! Why scold him like this all day long?”
“I don’t know!” Tianhe’s mood was also quite complex while he explained, “Second Brother jokingly said it several times, it originally didn’t learn well but still remembered those words.”
In July of that year, Tianhe had just returned home. While he was watching programs in his study, Jiang Zijian occasionally came over and asked about Guan Yue several times. His second brother, Wen Tianyue, jokingly commented that Guan Yue is dead. The parrot listened to him and promptly learned the phrase.
As for “A Shares crashed again,” Wen Tianyue talked to himself a lot in his study and was overheard by the macaw again. As strange as it was to say, this parrot hadn’t learned a word for six years since it was bought back from Columbia. Soon after it came to China, it suddenly burst with words and learned three sentences in a row. It even tossed and turned and combined the three sentences in various ways.
Tianhe had planned to teach it a few other words, such as “RMB has broken seven,” or “the house price has halved,” or teaching it two of Mao Mu’s curse words. However, this parrot had the same virtue as Guan Yue. It didn’t eat daily necessities. If you try to teach it anything, it will only reply “Guan Yue is dead.” Later on, Tianhe didn’t have the energy to continue correcting it.
He still remembered when they traveled around the world and Guan Yue took him to Columbia on a luxury cruise ship. When the two landed in St. Malta and visited the port market, Guan Yue saw the macaw and bought it from the sailor — among the many parrots, this bird alone couldn’t say a word, as if it was a blank sheet of paper that was worth teaching.
After that, he shipped it back to London. When Tianhe came home from his classes, he occasionally saw Guan Yue talking to the parrot, trying to teach it to talk. However, Guan Yue stopped teaching the parrot after Tianhe kept laughing at him. It seemed really silly to teach parrots how to talk. After a full year of lessons, the parrot still refused to speak, so Guan Yue gave up.
At that time, they were so in love. Tianhe was 18-years old and Guan Yue was 22-years old. Guan Yue’s words were not as few as they were now. For Tianhe, Guan Yue resembled the first brother of the Wen family. Although he wasn’t good at expressing himself, he took good care of Tianhe’s solitary days.
Second Brother didn’t hate him as much as he did later — the day Guan Yue announced their love affair to both of their families. He incurred Wen Tianyue’s violent rebound.
“I let you take care of my brother, yet you get him off?!” Wen Tianyue growled towards Guan Yue.
At that time, Tianhe resolutely stood on Guan Yue’s side. He didn’t even speak with his elder brother 一who’d raised him一 for a full year. What Wen Tianyue predicted was basically fulfilled by Guan Yue. This made Tianhe feel guilty towards his second brother after he broke up with Guan Yue.
However, one year later, Guan Yue’s prediction of Wen Tianyue also came true. Both sides successfully lifted their cards. In this face-to-face counterattack, Wen Tianyue finally fled — Life is far more wonderful than TV series.
Now, when he thought about it, Guan Yue and his second brother had a subtle tension since he was a child. Usually, it was just to keep the appearance of courtesy on the faces of both parents. Guan Yue himself also said that he and Wen Tianyue were not the same kind of people. Tianyue was a liar. He disdained the company of liars and could not talk with them.
Tianhe, himself, could blame his second brother, but he didn’t want to hear Guan Yue commenting on Tianyue this way, which also became one of the guiding factors that broke off their love affair. Fortunately, Guan Yue admired their eldest brother, Wen Tianheng, very much and thought he was a gentleman. Many conflicts could still be eliminated.
A person should be like Wen Tianheng, who was upright and never gave up. He should apply the intelligence inherited by the Wen family on the right path.
In this regard, Tianhe is more like his eldest brother.
This chapter is migrated and/or formatted by our fellow chicken enthusiast(s), Cat, Joyce and Caro.