Translated by Rikko of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The next day, except for Wang Hao, all three of them had caught a cold. Wang Hao was gloating at Zhou Du’s misfortune, but ended up being mocked by Zhou Du, “Looks like the saying ‘idiots can’t catch colds’ is true.” Wang Hao’s face went livid at once.
To Zhou Du, the only inconvenience the cold brought was that he couldn’t kiss Xia Yao, since both of them had a blocked nose. At the moment, Zhou Du and Xia Yao were in the last toilet cubicle. Xia Yao pressed his hands onto Zhou Du’s chest, a dash of red in the corner of his eyes, “We have to get back to the classroom.”
It was the first time Zhou Du kissed Xia Yao in school, so he found it thrilling. He had his eyes fixed onto Xia Yao’s lips, which were slightly reddened from the kiss, while mumbling in discontentment, “We only kissed for 30 seconds.” Xia Yao replied nasally, “That’s because both of us caught a cold.” Once Zhou Du heard that, he lowered his head, giving Xiao Yao a peck on the lips as he muttered, “I hate colds.” Xia Yao chuckled helplessly.
The days were getting colder and colder; the first snowfall descended together with the final exam. Since Xia Yao didn’t expect it would be snowing, he only realized that he forgot his umbrella when he was about to head home after the exam. It wasn’t snowing heavily outside. Xia Yao turned to look at Zhou Du, who was in the classroom, and noticed he was already by his side. “I’ve brought my umbrella. Let me send you home.” Zhou Du smiled at him, revealing a set of pearly white teeth.
The third years finished their exams the last; the first years and second years were already in their holidays. Currently, the school wasn’t as bustling as usual. Zhou Du hugged Xia Yao’s shoulders, holding him in his arms, as the both of them sauntered out of the school. “Now that the winter holiday is here, we won’t be able to see each other every day.” Zhou Du exhaled out a puff of white air once his mouth opened
Although Xia Yao couldn’t bear to part with him as well, he wasn’t willing to express his emotions. He merely comforted Zhou Du, “It’s alright. The school will reopen on the 8th; it’s just a few days.”
“Just a few days?” Zhou Du stared at Xia Yao, sulking, “But I want to spend everyday with you, even during the weekends.” Once those words were blurted out from Zhou Du, Xia Yao casted a panicked glance all over the surrounding. Fortunately, as it was snowing, passersby were hurrying along their way and too busy to notice the two of them. Zhou Du continued with his voice lowered, “I want to enter university right away.”
Remembering that the universities they attended situated in different cities, Xia Yao uttered gloomily, “We might be separated once we entered university.”
Zhou Du grasped Xia Yao’s shoulders tightly before stopping and fuming at Xia Yao, “Who said so? We have to get into the same university.”
Xia Yao shook his head as he answered, “It’s impossible, Zhou Du. Judging by our grades, it’s impossible for us to get in the same university.”
Zhou Du was stumped for a bit. After a glimpse at Xia Yao, he muttered to himself, “If the worst comes to the worst, I’ll just score a bit lower then. I want to be in the same university as you in any case.” Hearing that, Xia Yao’s expression became stern immediately. “Zhou Du,” this was the first time Xia Yao called Zhou Du in such a serious manner, “if you really did score lower on purpose to be together with me, I would feel really guilty about it.”
Zhou Du asked, “Don’t you want to be together with me?”
“I do want to be with you, but life is unpredictable. We can never be certain that we will always be together. Do you mean that you will stop loving me if we don’t live together?”
Xia Yao’s rhetorical question made Zhou Du answer at once, “Of course not!”
“Same goes for me.” Xia Yao tilted his head and looked at Zhou Du, “The distance between us would make me miss you even more, but can never stop my love for you.”
The abrupt confession stunned Zhou Du. He inched over to Xia Yao, his blush spreading to the tips of his ears, “What should I do? I really want to kiss you now.” Xia Yao turned his head to one side purposefully, feigning ignorance of what he had just heard. “But even if we won’t be in the same university, we can try to get into universities in the same city. Xia Yao, which university are you planning on entering?” Zhou Du asked.
Xia Yao replied after thinking for a bit, “I want to get into W University in B City.” He had always liked English. Failing to get into W University was a regret he’d always had, so in his current life, he wanted to try his best to get in.
“Then I’ll just get into S University in B City.” Zhou Du’s tone was brimming with confidence. S University was the third best university in the country. Xia Yao felt that Zhou Du had the capability of entering it. “It’s a promise then,” Zhou Du looked at Xia Yao with sparkles in his eyes, “let’s go to B City together.”
Xia Yao smiled at him as he promised, “Alright.”
When the two of them reached the school gates, Xia Yao noticed his mother was standing there with an umbrella in her hand, glancing around. Xia Yao hurried over in an instant and yelled out, “Mom!”
Xia Yao’s mother shifted the umbrella to shield her son once she saw him, “I realized you didn’t bring your umbrella along, so I came over to bring it to you. But I’m not allowed inside.” Xia Yao kneaded his mother’s chilly hands, tears threatening to fall due to the heartache he felt for her.
“Godmother.” Zhou Du walked over as well to greet her. Xia Yao’s mother’s sight could only reach to her son’s shoulders. Thus, Xia Yao took over the umbrella on his mother’s hands instantly and helped to hold it for her. “It is snowing today, so I didn’t open my stall; don’t worry.” Xia Yao’s mother gave her son a pat on the shoulders, before turning to Zhou Du, “Do you want to come over for dinner?” Zhou Du was shocked momentarily. He didn’t expect Xia Yao’s mother to invite him, so he nodded immediately.
Days are short in winter; by the time Xia Yao’s mother finished preparing the dinner, the rows of streetlights outside had already been lit up. The rich fragrance from the chicken soup filled the air of the tiny house. Xia Yao helped serve the dishes and set the table. Zhou Du wanted to help out too, but was stopped by Xia Yao’s mother, “Since you are visiting us, you’re our guest. How could we let guests help out?”
Zhou Du smiled, “Godmother, that’s not true. I’m your son too; there’s nothing wrong in helping you, right?” He took over the dishes from Xia Yao’s mother without waiting for a reply.
Xia Yao’s mother wiped her hands on her apron, her lips curling up gently to form a smile, “Alright, let’s wash our hands and start eating.”
After dinner, Zhou Du and Xia Yao took upon themselves to clean up. Noting that the both of them didn’t want her to get involved, Xia Yao’s mother could only sit by the side. When the cleanup was done, Xia Yao’s mother glanced at the weather outside and frowned, “It’s still snowing and the sky has gotten dark. Do you want to call our family over to fetch you back? I should have thought this through. Why did I call you over for dinner during such a snowy day?”
“It’s alright,” Zhou Du picked up Xia Yao’s cup on the table and took a sip, “I’m a man, so there’s nothing to be afraid of. I’ll go back myself later.” Xia Yao’s mother deepened her frown when she saw how little Zhou Du wore, “Perhaps you can share a bed with Xia Yao tonight. I don’t know if your parents will agree to it though. It is too cold outside; with what you are wearing now, you are definitely going to catch a cold on the way back.” Zhou Du choked on the sip of water, coughing vehemently with a beet-red face. Feeling that her idea was a bit too sudden as well, Xia Yao’s mother added on right away, “It is just a suggestion. I think it’s better for you to contact your parents.”
Zhou Du peeked at Xia Yao guiltily, before setting the cup back onto the table and whispering, “Can I really stay overnight?”
Xia Yao’s mother smiled at Zhou Du, “So long as you don’t find it too squeezy. Well you know, our house is small, Xia Yao has always been sleeping on a single-sized bed.”
“Not at all, not at all,” Zhou Du responded hastily. Truth be told, Xia Yao’s mother was quite fond of Zhou Du, finding him handsome and well-behaved. Xia Yao was currently boiling water in the kitchen. As their house was tiny, the conversation between Xia Yao’s mother and Zhou Du was crystal clear to him. He couldn’t stop his face from turning crimson red.
Xia Yao’s mother went to bed after a shower. Before she slept, she still went over to take a look at the blankets on Xia Yao’s bed, checking if they were thick enough. To Zhou Du, it was all the better if the blanket was thinner, as Xia Yao would definitely shrink into his arms if he felt chilly.
Only Zhou Du and Xia Yao were left in the narrow living room when Xia Yao’s mother went to sleep. Xia Yao took out a basin and filled half of it with warm water, “Why don’t you soak your feet before bed?” Zhou Du’s line of sight had never strayed away from Xia Yao once. His stares followed Xia Yao wherever he went, as those of a large dog eyeing on a bone. Xia Yao pulled out a small stool from somewhere, setting it beside the basin and asked Zhou Du, “Mind if the two of us soak our feet together?” Of course, Zhou Du wouldn’t mind.
After the foot bath, Zhou Du helped pour the water away and place the stool back. Zhou Du’s eyes glimmered as he eyed Xia Yao, “Let go to sleep.”
Embarrassed by Zhou Du’s staring, Xia Yao’s ears burned red, “Why don’t you go to bed first? I think I’ll wait for a bit before—” Xia Yao was hauled into his room by Zhou Du before he could finish his sentence.
“It’s too cold to sleep alone; it’ll be warmer if the two of us sleep together,” Zhou Du made a perfect excuse for himself.
The bed was indeed too small for both Zhou Du and Xia Yao, but Zhou Du found it very much to his liking. It would be much better for Zhou Du if the bed were even smaller, so Xia Yao would have no choice but to sleep in his arms, unlike now, where there was still space for the two of them to sleep sideways.
Xia Yao had his back facing Zhou Du. Initially, Zhou Du was rather well-behaved when he had just gotten into the bed. However, after a while, he couldn’t resist the urge to shift closer to Xia Yao and whispered Xia Yao’s name. With a blush, Xia Yao lowered his voice as he whispered to Zhou Du, “My mom is just beside us.”
Zhou Du laid his hands on Xia Yao’s waist. Seeing that Xia Yao didn’t display any signs of rejection, he hooked one of his legs over Xia Yao’s leg. Next, he pushed his luck even further, enfolding Xia Yao into his embrace, doing nothing but silently shower light kisses onto the back of Xia Yao’s neck.
Xia Yao bit on the edge of his pillow as he tried his hardest to steady his breaths. However, the person behind him had no intentions of giving him a break. A hand slid into Xia Yao’s shirt, swimming up slowly. Xia Yao grabbed that mischievous hand and muttered, “Zhou Du, no. My mom is just beside us.” He kept his volume very low. Zhou Du let Xia Yao grab his hand without any refusal or word voiced out, still continuing his kisses on Xia Yao’s nape.
Believing Zhou Du had given up, Xia Yao was about to heave a sigh of relief when the Zhou Du behind him let out a burst of stifled yet ecstatic pants. Xia Yao whipped his head around at once to face Zhou Du, only to find out that the other person’s hand was ‘having fun’ with his lower body. Blood could almost ooze out from Xia Yao’s scarlet red cheeks. He shot a death glare at Zhou Du.
Immediately, Zhou Du pouted, “But I can’t bear it any longer.” He shamelessly pressed his nose against Xia Yao’s own, as he seduced Xia Yao with an alluring hoarse voice unique to teenage boys, “Please help me, Xia Yao.” When Xia Yao was just opening his mouth to form a reply, Zhou Du took the chance to seal his lips, sneaking his tongue in naughtily.
(Please fill the rest of the scene with your own imagination.)
Zhou Du quivered while crawling out of bed. He took some tissues from the table and helped to wipe Xia Yao’s hands thoroughly. Xia Yao pulled him back into the blankets, whispering, “Alright, let’s sleep now.”
Zhou Du was over the moon. With his heart swelling in pleasure, he had no intention of sleeping at all. The two of them shifted their heads close together, as though whispering sweet nothings to each other.
“When we grow up, let’s buy a house and live together.” Zhou Du murmured tirelessly into Xia Yao’s ears, “Do you like dogs? We can raise a dog in the future. I can try to learn how to cook too, so when we get off work, we can cook together. We can also…” his voice grew smaller and smaller.
It was snowing ever more fiercely outside. As Xia Yao listened on to Zhou Du’s murmurings in his ears, the corner of his lips perked up unconsciously. The life Zhou Du depicted was too picturesque. Xia Yao couldn’t help hugging Zhou Du even tighter, so that he could confirm to himself that the Zhou Du in front of him right then really did exist, and wasn’t just an incredible dream of his.