”How is it?” After being groped, Tong Yan sought Zhuo Xiang Ming’s appraisal.
Zhuo Xiang Ming got up and pulled his hand out from Tong Yan’s hand. He already couldn’t remember the objective of Lin Yue Hua sending him upstairs. Tong Yan persistently asked again: “Hello? How is it?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “There’s meat.”
Tong Yan also felt embarrassed, hearing this, he whispered: “See, I told you so…”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Let’s go down and eat.”
Tong Yan was uneasy: “But what about what Auntie asked me to do?”
He looked at Zhuo Xiang Ming hopefully, Zhuo Xiang Ming said: “I’ll say you’ve already added more clothes.”
The temperature in the house was high enough, and everyone changed clothes after entering the house. It was indeed okay not to wear thicker clothes now. Plus, Zhuo Xiang Ming’s heartbeat was abnormal, the task of educating youngsters was temporarily shelved, intending to discuss it again after they got home.
But as soon as they opened the door, they ran into Zhuo Jia Shuo, who had his hand raised to knock on the door. Tong Yan was startled: “Why are you here!”
Zhuo Jia Shuo: “That was rude.”
Tong Yan modified his question: “Why are you at our bedroom door?”
”…” Zhuo Jia Shuo handed him the clothes he was carrying, “She said to go up and add clothes, but does my brother even have anything you can wear?”
Tong Yan rejected: “Thanks, but no thanks.”
He stealthily tugged Zhuo Xiang Ming’s hand, and Zhuo Xiang Ming said: “Yeah, no thanks.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo looked at him suspiciously: “You can wear my brother’s clothes?”
Tong Yan: “Why not? I just have a slight build, that’s all.”
He tugged Zhuo Xiang Ming again, and Zhuo Xiang Ming said: “Yeah, very slight.”
Tong Yan felt a little guilty. He walked ahead, and Zhuo Xiang Ming followed him, leaving Zhuo Jia Shuo standing at the door for a moment or two.
Before dinner was severed, he went to Tong Yan’s side: “Haven’t you obviously not added any clothes? Can’t Zhuo Xiang Ming’s cover up be more clever? Do you guys think I’m stupid?”
Tong Yan quickly changed the channel to find a horror movie, saying: “Oh my, I never meant to imply that.”
His “Oh my” received an eye roll from Zhuo Jia Shuo: “I noticed how good and honest you pretend to be in front of my brother.”
”When?” Tong Yan said, “I also point out brother’s mistakes when appropriate.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming had gone to the kitchen to help Lin Yue Hua. The two were bored waiting, so they bantered a little. Zhuo Jia Shuo bowed his head and continuously sent texts to someone. Tong Yan didn’t find a horror movie, nor an ethical drama, so he reluctantly chatted with Zhuo Jia Shuo: “Who are you texting?”
At first, Zhuo Jia Shuo didn’t say who, but a moment later he said: “Tong Yang.”
”Why don’t you guys go on a date instead of texting?” Tong Yan couldn’t understand, “Is a date no good? We spend every day together, but we still think that it isn’t enough.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo blocked his show: “We broke up.”
Tong Yan was surprised: “Eh?”
Tong Yan asked: “You still text that much after breaking up?”
Zhuo Jia Shuo was indignant: “Hey, shouldn’t you ask why we broke up?”
Tong Yan: “Why did you break up?”
Zhuo Jia Shuo said: “I don’t know either!”
”Okay.” Usually, he was cheeky with Zhuo Jia Shuo, but now, after digging up a big lump of material, Tong Yan didn’t know what to say for some time, he comforted, “Don’t be too sad ah.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo: “Don’t tell your brother that I told you about him.”
Tong Yan sincerely said: “Don’t worry, I haven’t seen my brother this week either. He hasn’t replied to any of my texts.”
”Is he very busy?” Zhuo Jia Shuo asked stiffly.
Tong Yan thought about it, then said, “He should be, dad said that he was doing… what was it, don’t remember, but he should be very busy.”
Tong Yan was still thinking about calling Tong Yang later, but while he was saying these words, Zhuo Jia Shuo’s phone beeped several times. He opened it, looked, looked, snorted out a laugh, then turned his face blank again.
Tong Yan asked him: “What are you laughing at?”
Zhuo Jia Shuo ignored him, and Tong Yan demanded: “Show me.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo threw the phone to him, and Tong Yan discovered that it wasn’t a joke, but the text exchange that he and Tong Yang started ten minutes ago.
Tong Yang: What are you up to?
Zhuo Jia Shuo: Buzz off
Tong Yang: Are you home? Can we meet tonight?
Zhuo Jia Shuo: I’m blocking you
Tong Yang: Speak properly, did no one teach you?
Zhuo Jia Shuo: Buzz off Buzz off Buzz off
Tong Yang: Are you a primary school student?
Zhuo Jia Shuo: You’re the primary school student
Tong Yang: No you
Zhuo Jia Shuo: No you
Tong Yang: No you
This “No you, no you, no you” exchange repeated n times. A moment ago, when Zhuo Jia Shuo was talking to Tong Yan, Tong Yang fired off two screens of “Zhuo Jia Shuo is a primary school student”.
Tong Yan understood, they were not breaking up, they were probably flirting.
Thinking about it this way, Zhuo Jia Shuo had love experience, Tong Yan suddenly thought about the matter that he’d been hesitating on for a few days, maybe he could ask him.
”I want to ask you something.” Tong Yan said, “But you have to keep it a secret.”
Zhuo Jia Shuo: “I won’t tell a soul!”
Looking at his gossipy expression, Tong Yan wasn’t very convinced. Zhuo Jia Shuo said hurriedly: “Come on, who hangs someone’s appetite like that? I said I’ll keep it a secret, so it’ll definitely be kept secret!”
”Your brother, Zhuo Xiang Ming, do you know about his celibacy?” Tong Yan asked.
Zhuo Jia Shuo nodded: “I know.”
Tong Yan slowly asked: “Then … do you know why he’s celibate?”
Zhuo Jia Shuo stared blankly and said: “I don’t know … celibacy, that’s what he told you? I just know that he told my parents that he wouldn’t look for a mate, and he wouldn’t get married.”
After he said “wouldn’t get married”, he saw Tong Yan’s complexion change, and hurriedly said: “Aren’t you guys dating now? That’s right, you guys are together, why on earth did he tell you about this?”
”He told me before we got together.” Tong Yan pursed his lips, “I don’t understand, maybe he’s still celibate? After all, I pursued him first, I don’t know what he thinks about it.”
Tong Yan looked very distressed, but Zhuo Jia Shuo didn’t even understand his own thoughts, how could he solve love troubles for other people? It’d be a blessing if he didn’t screw it up.
Moreover, his time spent with Zhuo Xiang Ming was severely lacking. He didn’t grow up together with him, and he could only remember their hurricane like fights during childhood. They saw each other more frequently as adults, especially recently, but the only things he knew was that his older brother shouldn’t be messed with, his pheromones were hard, and his fist was also hard. He didn’t understand why Zhuo Xiang Ming was so good to Tong Yan, and everything else was even more confusing.
Zhuo Jia Shuo probed: “If you don’t know what he’s thinking … then why don’t you ask him? Aren’t you two very lovey-dovey? You’re how old? He stares at you when you use the stairs, like he’s afraid you’ll trip and fall.”
Tong Yan immediately said: “We’re very lovey-dovey!”
”…” Zhuo Jia Shuo said, “Can you not stick the knife in, brother?”
Tong Yan: “Then one more question, do you think Zhuo Xiang Ming’s the type of person to change his mind easily?”
”No.” Zhuo Jia Shuo said in a “Isn’t that obvious?” tone, “It’s not that he doesn’t easily change his mind, he won’t change his mind. Do you know what a pivot is? My brother’s more inflexible than a pivot.”
Tong Yan nodded silently, saying a moment later: “I know.”
After dinner, Tong Yan and Zhuo Xiang Ming didn’t stay overnight, returning home instead.
It gradually started snowing, and the snow from yesterday on the sidewalks and the mountains in the distance had not melted away, appearing lustrously white under the illumination of the street lights.
The cold air could be felt through the car window. During dinner, Tong Yan thought about many things, so he didn’t pay much attention to eating. Probably because he sucked in cold air when he stepped out, on the way home, his belly started hurting.
Zhuo Xiang Ming saw him leaning listlessly and not talking, even repeatedly groaning, so he asked uneasily: “Tong Tong?”
Tong Yan hummed, and Zhuo Xiang Ming asked: “What’s wrong?”
Tong Yan shook his head: “My stomach hurts a little, maybe I ate too much.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming moved closer, holding the hand he’d rested on top of his stomach: “Which side hurts?”
”It’s all right.” Tong Yan shook his head, Zhuo Xiang Ming turned on the overhead light, revealing Tong Yan’s slightly pale face.
Seeing this, Zhuo Xiang Ming no longer listened to Tong Yan’s “all right”, immediately ordering the driver to head to the hospital.
But after the doctor’s inspection, there really was nothing wrong. He prescribed two kinds of digestion easing medicines to make him not feel like he was full to bursting after drinking a little water. It also might be appropriate to go for a walk before going to bed.
Tong Yan suddenly realized, this was already the second time he and Zhuo Xiang Ming ran to the hospital for something minor. Last time, because of the estrus scare, his name was in the headlines for two or three days.
Thinking about it that way, he laughed, and Zhuo Xiang Ming asked: “Are you in a good mood?”
At dinner, Tong Yan seemed somewhat absent-minded. Zhuo Xiang Ming looked at him several times but he didn’t react. After leaving the Zhuo family home, the two of them sat in the back seat, not talking even more.
Tong Yan hugged the digestive medicine he’d just taken: “I’m not in a bad mood ah.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming looked at him: “Really?”
Silent for a while, Tong Yan said: “I’m thinking about something.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Can you tell me?”
Tong Yan also looked at him, but he didn’t explain, spreading his arms to him first: “Hug.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming promptly leaned forward to draw him in, hugging him tightly. Tong Yan put his chin on Zhuo Xiang Ming’s shoulder, after a while, he asked: “Can you also hug me when we get back?”
Maybe because his stomach was still uncomfortable, Tong Yan spoke listlessly, but this spoiled behavior made people’s heart soften even more. Zhuo Xiang Ming caressed his back: “I can, I’ll carry you to your room.”
”I still need to take a bath,” Tong Yan said, rubbing against his shoulder, “I haven’t taken a bath.”
The two chatted idly, but in the end, Tong Yan didn’t say what he was thinking. After arriving home, Zhuo Xiang Ming really did carry him into the house and upstairs. Tong Yan hugged Zhuo Xiang Ming’s neck, saying: “Your family driver saw us.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming: “Doesn’t matter.”
”What if he tells your mother?”
Tong Yan had already prepared this question, working very hard to ask it naturally. It seemed that he’d really succeeded, because Zhuo Xiang Ming nonchalantly said, “What’s wrong? Are you shy?”
”If he tells your mother that we’re dating, is it all right?” Tong Yan asked.
Zhuo Xiang Ming seemed to somewhat understand what Tong Yan was hesitant about tonight. He first carried Tong Yan to his bedroom, then put him down on the bed. He crouched between Tong Yan’s legs and looked up: “Tong Tong, what do you want to say?”
Tong Yan looked at his gentle expression, the courage that he could not find in front of Zhuo Jia Shuo coming a bit: “Can we tell our families? Tell my dad, brother, and your parents about us dating.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming smiled: “Of course, do you want to say it?”
”I want to.” Tong Yan nodded, saying in a quiet voice, “I’m going back home this week, my dad asked me to bring you over. I want to tell him.”
”Then why didn’t you tell me?” Zhuo Xiang Ming didn’t mention the fact that his family already knew. He just rested his hands on Tong Yan’s waist and shifted closer, Tong Yan putting his hands on his shoulders.
Their stance was very intimate. Tong Yan looked at Zhuo Xiang Ming’s encouraging expression and said, “Because, because I didn’t know if you’d want to. You told, you told me you were celibate before … you like being alone, I thought, I shouldn’t …”
Tong Yan’s confused and uneasy expression made Zhuo Xiang Ming feel deeply guilty.
He didn’t know Tong Yan was so anxious, he should’ve recognized and eliminated those anxieties a long time ago. Just like how Tong Yan loved him frankly and unquestionably, he should also let him know how much he loved him.
Hidden love wasn’t admirable, because love was sublime, it couldn’t be concealed and it was extraordinarily intense. The same was true for missed love, if it doesn’t come at the right time, its usefulness, in Zhuo Xiang Ming’s opinion, was equivalent to zero.
Zhuo Xiang Ming thought that he understood these things, but he’d made the same mistake.
”I’m sorry.” Zhuo Xiang Ming said, “I should’ve made it clear earlier, I made you uncomfortable.”
Tong Yan immediately said: “I’m not uncomfortable, I just, I just thought that I didn’t want to make you uncomfortable. I want to make you happy. I love you, are you happy?”
He felt shy again, after saying I love you, because of his discomfort, his somewhat pale face turned red at a speed visible to the naked eye.
Zhuo Xiang Ming was hit by these three words, feeling dazzled, he laughed happily: “Happy? Of course I’m happy. I’m very happy.”
Tong Yan also laughed. He was quite easy to coax, or more precisely, he could be easily coaxed by Zhuo Xiang Ming.
Tong Yan’s eyes curved when he smiled, he lowered his head, bumping Zhuo Xiang Ming’s forehead, deliberately asking: “Then, do you still like being alone?”
Zhuo Xiang Ming cupped his face: “I like being with you.”
”A world of two.” Tong Yan dubbed, then said again, “Zhuo Xiang Ming, I really, really love you.”
Zhuo Xiang Ming was wrapped in Tong Yan’s sweet words and pheromones, his patience finally stretched to the limit, he stood up and kissed him.
after digging up a big lump of material- lit. translation, not sure what it means tho. Guess he’s calling it baggage
Can you not stick the knife in, brother- Think this is a reference to something, but I couldn’t get concrete proof. It works when literally translated, so that’s good
Pivot- 軸, Zhou, axle, axletree, Pivot, axis. I guess he’s saying the world moves around him, but ZXM stays in the same spot
A world of two- TongTong made a pun. Celibacy is lit. One-body ideology, so he made up Two-person ideology
I sometimes forget this is omegaverse, then I see the word pheromone lol