“XiaoYu, do you live alone?” QiYao asked. When they were done kissing, he’d locked XiaoYu, who was about to go up in smokes from embarrassment, in his arms for a session of gentle soothing.
“I want to try out your cooking, if there’s a chance. Can I?”
“Sure. What do you like?”
“Anything’s fine. I’m not picky.”
“Do you have anything on tonight?”
“There’s a restaurant nearby with great reviews. Have you been there before? Interested?” While QiYao knew XiaoYu might not like talking about going out, he still asked. Now that his relationship with XiaoYu was confirmed, he wanted to at least know why the other was running away from reality. If it was possible, he hoped to help XiaoYu walk out of this stage of his life.
“…I can’t go out,” XiaoYu dejectedly reply. “I’m sorry,” he added.
Just as QiYao thought.
He raised XiaoYu’s head up. Their eyes met. XiaoYu couldn’t see an ounce of dissatisfaction in his eyes at the refusal. That handsome face was still soft with kindness.
“XiaoYu, I really do want to know why.” QiYao paused. XiaoYu was visibly troubled by his words. The other’s eyes kept avoiding his. “But,” he continued, “I like you. So I won’t force you to do anything you don’t like.”
“Thank you,” XiaoYu replied.
“Do you remember what I said? If there’s anything you need to vent about, you can come to me.”
“Mn.” XiaoYu still remembered how grateful he was at the offer.
“The offer still stands, but now I hope you can look at me first for support. Otherwise, I must be a failure as a boyfriend.”
“Hehe. Okay.” XiaoYu let out a laugh at the QiYao’s doe eyes and cutesy tone.
“But now I don’t have any dinner. How do you plan to compensate me, XiaoYu?” If anyone else saw QiYao acting so entitled, they would definitely pinch themselves to make sure they weren’t dreaming. However, QiYao himself didn’t seem to realise that. He just exposed his childish side to the one he loved without any care.
“Then…I’ll cook for you?”
“Mn. I look forward to it.” No day was better than today. QiYao really wanted to taste XiaoYu’s cooking. It must be known that there were so few people these days who knew how to cook.
“I haven’t cooked in a while though. It might taste a little weird.” The noodles XiaoYu had cooked up this morning was so salty he had to down a few glasses of water straight after. It seemed like his days spent in AO had affected his reality.
“It’s fine. If I end up with food poisoning, you’ll just have to take care of me for the rest of our lives.” XiaoYu’s strait-laced and honest personality always made the prankster in QiYao perk up.
“Um…” Why does that feel a little, just a little bit, unreasonable? XiaoYu slightly pursed his lips.
“Hehe. Your cooking won’t be that bad.” Still, QiYao wasn’t joking about being with XiaoYu for the rest of their lives. “But, XiaoYu, what I mean is I want to be with you forever. Don’t ever lightly take back the chance you gave me, please?”
“Yes.” While QiYao loved pranking and teasing him, there were so many more things QiYao had done, had said, that moved him much more. Perhaps that was why XiaoYu decided to try dating QiYao. Now, he had fallen prey to the same emotions QiYao did.
XiaoYu hugged QiYao. He wanted them to go on like this forever too. Day after day, he understood more of what it meant to love someone.
Thonk. Thonk. Thonk. Thonk…
An apron thrown over his clothes, XiaoYu was busy fluttering about in the kitchen.
QiYao was watching the television in the living room all alone, but his mind wasn’t on the screen. He’d occasionally turn around to look at XiaoYu cooking. A sticky-sweet feeling of happiness swelled in him at the sight. Maybe the love he was looking for wasn’t the romantic and passionate kind. Maybe what he wanted was this type of tranquil and cosy slice-of-life love.
“Ah,” XiaoYu exclaimed. All his attention had been on the vegetables he was rinsing. Out of the blue, a warm body leaned against his back. A pair of strong arms wrapped around his waist.
“Did I frighten you?” The prankster didn’t sound remorseful at all. In fact, there was an underlying hint of devilish joy in the question.
“I’m okay. What is it, Yao?” XiaoYu curiously asked. The other man should be occupied with the television. Why did he run in here all of a sudden?
“Nothing much. This just feels like we were just newly-wedded,” QiYao replied as he placed his chin on XiaoYu’s shoulder, his arms clenching tighter around the man in his arms. No one else in the world could understand how satisfied and content he felt right then.
The vegetables XiaoYu was holding fell into the rinsing basin. Blood could be visibly seen swiftly rising up from his neck and spreading across his face. W-What did Yao say? Why did the other man think of newly-weds?
QiYao let out a sigh in his mind. His XiaoYu was just too shy. At the same time, he was thankful that such an innocent child was his. He’ll have to thank XiaoYu’s parents for keeping his beloved so well protected.
“Um…Yao…?” XiaoYu was shaken out of his thoughts by the sound of water rushing into and overflowing out of the wash basin. He stared down at the water flowing down the drain as he remembered something important.
“I can’t cook now. =.=” This time, it was XiaoYu who had to resort to a childlike tone. He hadn’t finished rinsing these vegetables yet and he hadn’t cut those he had just finished washing. He still had to heat up the wok with oil…But there was now a large dog slumped on him. He couldn’t move at all.
“Hehe. Then, kiss me.”
XiaoYu was rendered speechless by that. He suddenly felt like questioning the other man. Was he really Hei QiYao? Why was he so different to his in-game behaviour? Why was he constantly acting like a kid now? Wait, no. Recently, whenever the two of them were alone, QiYao would act like this too. Was this his true nature?
He obediently turned his head around to kiss QiYao on the cheek, but the man moved at the last minute and the kiss landed on the other’s lips. Shocked, XiaoYu was about to move away when he found a hand pressed against the back of his head. There was no way he was escaping this kiss.
XiaoYu was still used to kissing with closed lips, but this kiss felt different. QiYao was constantly nipping and licking at his lips. A numbing chill ran down his spine. His legs might not hold him.
“XiaoYu, remember to open your mouth next time we kiss,” QiYao said, a finger tapping at his own lips. Then, he happily strolled out of the kitchen and back to the television, leaving behind XiaoYu who was still feeling confused over the strange feeling he felt and what QiYao said.
1. Doe eyes/Cutesy tone: These were supposed to be “innocent” eyes and tone, but that doesn’t translate well. This is my best attempt at translating what the “innocent” refers to, aka the eyes and voice used by cute little “innocent” kids/pretending to be “innocent”.
2. Entitled: Technically, the translation is an adjective for “blaming someone else out of laziness/non-virtuous reason”. A negative adjective usually used for sleezy bums and entitled people (seen as positive at times because it’s “cute” like a kid throwing a tantrum/being stubborn on wanting the thing).
3. Rinsing basin: Some readers might not get what it is, so I’ve placed an image here to properly draw out what this is. Commercially called a wash basin, it’s usually made of plastic and are used to “wash” vegetables free of the dirt hiding in between stalks. Some readers might think it’s a strainer, but it’s not. It usually doesn’t have holes. If it does, it’ll come with an option to keep the water in/block the holes. This method saves more water as the tap doesn’t have to be kept running. Some people also think it’s better for the vegetables as running water bombarding the vegetables throughout the process might ruin/wilt the vegetables. Obviously, XiaoYu here is not part of that group of people.