Translated by Ra forgot to sign her masterpiece UwU
Zhou Du was awakened by the morning sun shining through the window. He covered his eyes subconsciously, half-awake.
Soon, he realised something didn’t seem right. Different bed, different smell from the pillows. This wasn’t his home!
Zhou Du instantly came to his senses; he sat up abruptly and saw Xia YangYang was standing beside the bed, looking at him.
Xia YangYang was looking at the strange man on his dad’s bed dumbfoundedly with a jewel-like pair of eyes covered by a long curly eyelashes, his mouth was half opened.
Zhou Du couldn’t catch up to the moment; he reached out and softly pinched YangYang’s cheek.
Xia YangYang didn’t cry or make a scene as he let Zhou Du pinch his face. He then opened his mouth and called, “Daddy.”
Zhou Du didn’t say anything.
Xia YangYang ran out of the room with his small feet hitting the floor; he made his way to the living room and called again, “Daddy.”
Then, a familiar voice came to Zhou Du’s ear. Xia Yao was preparing breakfast in the kitchen. He heard the word and answered, “YangYang, what’s wrong?”
Xia YangYang continued running into the kitchen, he hugged his dad’s leg and pointed towards the bedroom.
Xia Yao looked at his bedroom door through the kitchen and saw Zhou Du standing there with a bewildered expression.
Xia Yao bent down and picked Xia YangYang up. He put him down onto the children’s dining chair beside the dining table, and then brought him a small bowl of noodles.
Zhou Du continued standing still, but his eyes remained fixed on Xia Yao.
Xia Yao embarrassedly looked Zhou Du and said, “Bathroom is over there. Breakfast will be ready in a minute.”
Zhou Du looked in that direction and went into the bathroom without saying a word.
Inside the bathroom, toothpaste had already been spreaded on top of a toothbrush and put aside. A towel was next to it as well. Zhou Du looked at himself in the mirror and touched his own face.
This doesn’t seem like a dream, he thought.
While brushing his teeth, he tried to recall what happened last night. He only remembered that Wang Hao dragged him out for a drink, and then Zhang Yang came to pick Wang Hao up. He remembered he was drunk, so the bartender helped him call his friends. Could it be that he called Xia Yao?
Zhou Du sped up his movement when he heard the sound of bowls and chopsticks clinking. He took a peek at the toiletries and discovered that there were no traces of other young woman or man living in this house; he couldn’t help himself from smirking.
When he came out of the bathroom, he resumed his expressionless appearance.
A “family of three” had a harmonious breakfast just like that; neither of them spoke about what happened last night.
After Xia YangYang finished a small bowl of noodles by himself, he looked up at his dad with a happy face, asking for praise.
Xia Yao patted his little head and said, “Good boy.”
Zhou Du looked at his empty bowl and couldn’t help also looking at Xia Yao’s face, but Xia Yao pretended he didn’t see anything and continued to eat his noodles with his head lowered.
Zhou Du glared at Xia YangYang resentfully.
After everyone had finished eating, Zhou Du stood up, and when he was about to carry all the bowls and chopsticks to the kitchen, Xia Yao quickly pressed down Zhou Du’s hand and said, “Let me do it.”
Zhou Du looked down at the place where Xia Yao touched him; Xia Yao seemed to remember something and hurriedly took his hand away.
However, Zhou Du still stubbornly carried the bowls and chopsticks to the kitchen.
Xia Yao stood behind Zhou Du, planning to wash the dishes after Zhou Du had gone out, but Zhou Du suddenly turned around. The kitchen was smaller than the dining room, Xia Yao could immediately feel Zhou Du’s breath coming at him.
He couldn’t but take a step back.
Zhou Du furrowed his eyebrows; he took the bowls from Xia Yao’s hands and put them in the sink. When he turned the tap on, Xia Yao said, “I’ll do it.”
Zhou Du glanced at him silently and continued to wash the bowls.
Xia Yao stood beside him helplessly. Outside the kitchen, Xia YangYang was amusing himself with piles of building blocks.
Zhou Du soon finished washing the bowls; only by then did Xia Yao come to his senses and hand him a towel to wipe his hands.
“Thank you.” This was the first sentence Zhou Du said to Xia Yao after he had woken up.
Xia Yao couldn’t help looking up at him.
Zhou Du put the towel aside and looked around the kitchen, then he asked, “Where’s godmother?”
Xia Yao was stunned for a minute before he realized the godmother in Zhou Du’s words was his mother.
“She went to the old people’s square dance competition in the neighboring city.”
“Oh,” Zhou Du nodded.
They both went silent again. Xia Yao felt that for two people to be standing in this small room was a bit stuffy, so he turned around and went out of the kitchen.
Zhou Du also followed behind him, “Has your family been living in B City?”
Xia Yao turned his back to Zhou Du, “Yeah, I just came back to the country this year.”
“Are you going to leave again?” Zhou Du asked quickly.
Xia YangYang saw his dad come out and cheerfully called, “Daddy, look!” Xia Yao looked at his son and smiled at him with approval.
And so, two adults stood beside Xia YangYang and watched the building blocks he had built.
Zhou Du’s Adam’s apple moved up and down for a while before he asked with difficulty, “Is this your son?”
Xia Yao nodded silently, not daring to look at Zhou Du.
Zhou Du couldn’t ask Xia Yao about Xia YangYang’s mother whereabouts. A trace of irritation rose inside his heart. Zhou Du couldn’t help himself but look at YangYang with an eyes of jealousy.
Children were the most sensitive. Xia YangYang soon found Zhou Du’s unfriendly eyes, and so he quickly moved closer to his dad’s side to get some sense of security.
Xia Yao picked Xia YangYang up, looked at Zhou Du and said, “I’m going to take him out to the aquarium today, so…”
Xia Yao was making an excuse to force Zhou Du to leave, but Zhou Du pretended not to understand his intention and put on an act, “Oh, I have nothing to do anyway. Let’s go to the aquarium together.”
Xia Yao didn’t say anything.
After Xia Yao had packed up his things, Zhou Du already had someone to bring his car over. There were even children’s seats in the back of the car.
Xia Yao looked at the car and said nothing. Zhou Du explained awkwardly, “This was installed before.”
Xia Yao did not ask why a single man would install a child seat in his car. He put Xia YangYang in the back seat. Zhou Du nervously held the steering wheel. He saw Xia Yao didn’t seem to have the intention of sitting in the front seat beside him, he couldn’t help but feel dejected inside.
Xia Yao sat next to Xia YangYang. He was silent for a moment before saying to Zhou Du, “Thank you.”
Xia YangYang kept on glancing back and forth curiously between Zhou Du and his dad.
Many people brought their children to the aquarium on weekends. Xia Yao was afraid that Xia YangYang might get lost in the crowd, so as soon as he got out of the car, he hugged Xia YangYang in his arms.
Zhou Du volunteered to buy tickets; Xia Yao looked at Zhou Du’s back with a complicated look.
Xia YangYang hugged Xia Yao’s neck and leaned on his shoulder. When he saw an ice cream truck behind him, he drooled silently.
Zhou Du came back with the tickets and a balloon in his hand. He saw lots of children with balloons in their hand, so he also bought one for Xia YangYang.
Xia YangYang showed a happy face.
Xia Yao tied the balloon to his wrist and said softly to him, “YangYang, say thanks to uncle.”
Xia YangYang stared at Zhou Du and called, “Daddy!”
Xia Yao quickly covered his mouth and apologized to Zhou Du, “He’s only learned how to talk recently, so he doesn’t know many words yet. I’m sorry.”
On the outside, Zhou Du said it was okay, but inside he was all giddy when he imagined how Xia YangYang would call him daddy in the future.
Xia Yao held Xia YangYang in his arms and prepared to stand in the line. Zhou Du put his hand on his mouth and coughed softly, “Switch with me, you have been holding him for a long time now.”
Xia Yao looked Xia YangYang hesitantly; he didn’t expect that when Zhou Du clapped his hands, his son would immediately jumped into Zhou Du’s embrace and hugged Zhou Du’s neck.
He kept silent, though.
It was summer vacation, and the weather was hot. The children were holding ice creams in their hands. Xia YangYang stared at them and was drooling all over Zhou Du’s neck.
When Zhou Du looked over his shoulder, he noticed Xia YangYang’s hope.
“Want one?” he asked Xia YangYang in a low voice.
Xia YangYang nodded his head.
Zhou Du took a peek at Xia Yao. Xia Yao was already at the front of the line. Thus, Zhou Du quietly took Xia YangYang to the ice cream truck next to them and let him choose the flavor.
Xia YangYang was super happy. Zhou Du coaxed him into saying, “Call me dad.”
Xia YangYang shouted loudly, “Dad!”
Zhou Du raised his eyebrows, pleased with himself.
Never did he think that a woman next to him would suddenly say, “Chairman Zhou, I didn’t expect you to have a son already?”
Zhou Du turned around and saw a well-dressed woman standing behind him. A four or five years old boy was next to her; he was busy eating his ice cream.
Zhou Du looked at the beautiful woman with red lips and short hair in front of him. He also greeted her politely, “Chairman Liu, what a coincidence. Are you also visiting the aquarium with your son?”
The woman called Chairman Liu was Zhou Du’s work partner. The headquarters of her company were in the US, and Mrs. Liu was the head of the branch in B City.
She looked younger than 30 years old; Zhou Du always thought she hadn’t married yet, so he didn’t expect her to already have a son.
“Yeah,” Liu Qi stroked her son’s head and patted him, “Hurry up and say hello.”
The child’s mouth was covered in ice-cream. He looked up and uninterestedly greeted Zhou Du, “Hello, uncle.”
Zhou Du also curtly nodded back.
Liu Qi looked at Xia YangYang in Zhou Du’s arms. Her eyes sparkled, “Your wife is a foreigner, I see. Oh dear, a mixed child is really beautiful, he looks just like an angel. Had I known earlier, I would have had a mixed child myself.”
Liu Qi’s son looked at his mother in spite. However, the moment he looked at Xia YangYang, he was stunned.
Mom was right, he just saw an angel!
Zhou Du smiled and did not give much explanation. He only said to her apologetically, “I’m going first then. We’ve actually sneaked out here.”
Liu Qi naturally understood what he meant, so she nodded to him and said, “Bye bye.”
When it was about their turn, Xia Yao turned around to call Zhou Du, but he did not find neither Zhou Du, nor Xia YangYang.
Xia Yao was panicking.
Zhou Du carried Xia YangYang in his arms, and ran faster when he noticed Xia Yao was looking for them everywhere.
When Xia Yao saw Zhou Du was coming with Xia YangYang in his arms, he sighed in relief.
When Zhou Du came by his side, he asked softly, “Where were you guys?”
Xia YangYang was busy licking the ice-cream in his hand. Xia Yao looked at him, trying to withhold himself. He was worried that Xia YangYang would have a stomachache from eating cold stuff, but when he saw how much Zhou Du like YangYang, he didn’t know what to do in that moment.
After the three of them entered the aquarium, they followed the crowd into the long glass tunnel. Xia YangYang was immediately attracted by the scenery around them. Xia Yao conveniently took the ice cream from his hand.
Zhou Du raised his eyebrows and asked, “Do you want to eat some? I’ll go out and buy one for you.” He was ready to go out as soon as he finished his sentence. Xia Yao quickly grabbed his arm, “No, I was just afraid that he might feel uncomfortable from eating too much.”
Zhou Du finally understood how unthoughtful he was. He looked at Xia Yao embarrassingly and said, “I have no children so I have no experience, I will pay attention to it next time.”
Xia Yao shook his head in understanding, and they walked slowly along the crowd.
Xia Yao put down Xia YangYang on the ground between Zhou Du and himself in order to protect him.
Xia Yao’s eyes were set on the fishes while Zhou Du’s eyes were set on Xia Yao.
When Xia Yao turned his head to talk to Zhou Du, he met Zhou Du’s affectionate eyes. Xia Yao’s face turned red, even his heart beat faster. The ice cream on his hand began to melt and the cream dripped down from his fingers to his wrist.
Zhou Du held up Xia Yao’s wrist to his face and took a big bite of the ice cream.
“If you don’t eat it, it’ll melt,” Zhou Du explained himself.
Xia Yao’s face was hot; he hummed in agreement.
Zhou Du looked at his appearance and deliberately asked, “Shouldn’t you eat it, too?”
Zhou Du clearly just took a bite of the ice cream; Xia Yao embarrassedly glanced at it, not sure what to do.
Zhou Du continued to hold his wrist and took another bite in front of him. He looked at Xia Yao and said, “It’s sweet.”
Xia Yao felt his breath speed up. Zhou Du took the ice cream from his hand.
Xia YangYang suddenly called his dad.
Xia Yao and Zhou Du responded and looked down at the same time.
Xia YangYang put his hands on the glass wall, pointed to a fish inside and said, “I want.”
Xia Yao squatted down and shook his head, “No, we can’t.”
Xia YangYang immediately turned his head to the left and said to the other man, “I want.”
Zhou Du paused. He looked at Xia Yao in confusion, and then confusedly looked at Xia YangYang whose face was full of expectations. After a minute of pondering, he said to Xia YangYang, “I’ll buy you one after.”
Xia YangYang was so happy that he shouted loudly again: “Dad!”
Zhou Du felt unexplainable happiness rush throughout his body.