54. (Secondary CP): A Random Collection of Short Stories (1)
Ruan Sijia x Luo Haoxuan
Xiao Ruan is a child with an extremely strict family upbringing. His parents have established numerous rules since his childhood, and the core theme is: learning. Learning. And more learning.
Meals are scheduled and portioned, and no one is allowed to eat after a meal. Snacks are even more out of the question. On the way to the elementary school spring outing, Ruan Sijia had his first ice cream in his life, a small pudding worth fifty cents that his classmates treated him to it.
Middle school starts with a busy academic schedule, and he rushes straight to cram school after school. Dinner is taken care of in the car. In reality, it’s not necessary. Ruan Sijia believes he can keep up with his learning progress without enrolling in tutoring classes, but since everyone else is doing so, his parents are afraid he will be left behind.
“Leaving home before dawn, returning when the night moon is high.”
Ruan Sijia sat in the car, listening to his dad complain about the traffic. His gaze wandered aimlessly out the window, neon lights colorful and vibrant, advertisements scrolling on the LED screens of tall buildings. A handsome man passed by in a flash, and Ruan Sijia remembered he was a recently popular actor, with all the girls in his class talking about him. It seemed his name was Luo something..
Ruan Sijia couldn’t really explain when he started paying attention to Luo Haoxuan.
Perhaps it was after being urged by Meng Baichuan to skip tutoring and watch that movie.
A man carrying a worn-out guitar fell into the trap of the bustling city, busking on the streets, working in bars, carrying dreams and recklessly venturing forth, only to fall on the eve of success.
The works he painstakingly wrote were attributed to others, and the man became a supporting backdrop, a mere green leaf.
Unable to put down his beloved guitar with the candid love for writing music, the musician became ordinary.
At this point in the storyline, Ruan Sijia could only feel regret.
However, tainted by the scent of smoke and fireworks, the man who had learned to accompany social drinking picked up his guitar again at a certain moment.
In a small underground concert, standing on the stage, the man sang out all the bitterness, agony, and untamed ambition, making it hard for anyone to look away.
The majestic vitality pierced through the screen, landing in the depths of Ruan Sijia’s heart, taking root and sprouting.
At first, Ruan Sijia thought that Luo Haoxuan was also an actor who had come out of a small town. Later, he found out that Luo Haoxuan was actually a local from City A and came from a well-off family.
Once he entered university and moved out of his home, Ruan Sijia’s communication with his parents gradually decreased.
His family would often urge him to come back home for the weekends, but Ruan Sijia would use the excuse of working for the clan leader to decline. Eventually, he realized that breaking free from his parents’ control wasn’t as difficult as he had imagined.
One weekend, a program crew came to University A to record a variety show, and Luo Haoxuan was a part of it.
Ruan Sijia signed up as a volunteer, and fortunately, he was selected.
Sitting in the audience seats of the gymnasium, Ruan Sijia saw the actor who had accompanied him through his high school years.
The man looked much more radiant than his movie characters, but what remained the same was the vitality they both possessed, something Ruan Sijia lacked.
The man threw a three-pointer and flashed a brilliant smile at the audience as he landed.
Along with the cheering crowd around him, Ruan Sijia started banging an inflatable stick in excitement.
Now, Ruan Sijia sits in Luo Haoxuan’s apartment, with a chubby Garfield cat yawning on his lap.
Luo Haoxuan brings over potato chips and juice. Seeing Ruan Sijia busy wiping the cat’s face, he helps to open the packaging.
“My favorite movie when I was a kid was ‘Garfield’,” Ruan Sijia rubs the cat’s head, “Back then, I always thought that when I grew up, I’d definitely have a Garfield.”
The day he visited the cat villa, Ruan Sijia held the Garfield cat the most. Luo Haoxuan specially picked this one for adoption.
He taps the Garfield cat’s nose and says, “This little one was abandoned and doesn’t have a name yet.”
Due to its flat face, which makes tear stains hard to manage, and its skittish nature, among other reasons, the abandonment rate for Garfield cats is quite high. Ruan Sijia raises his head in confusion, “You’re usually so busy with work, what about the cat?”
Luo Haoxuan, who has already arranged for housekeeping, hesitates for a moment and then invites, “If I’m busy, could you come over and take care of it?”
Ruan Sijia stares at him and just when Luo Haoxuan thinks he might refuse, Ruan Sijia nods, “Sure.”
“Then, would Teacher Luo need to tell me your home password?”
Luo Haoxuan’s brain freezes for a moment. Ruan Sijia silently shifts his gaze to get a drink. The cat jumps off him, brushing past Luo Haoxuan and accidentally stepping on his foot, waking him up.
Luo Haoxuan stands up in a rush, “I-I can just register your fingerprint!”
Ruan Sijia takes a sip of orange juice, and Luo Haoxuan adds, “We can do it now.”
“In the future, if you want to come and see Softy, you can come in anytime.”
Ruan Sijia chokes on his drink and looks up, confused, “Softy?”
Luo Haoxuan’s hand covers his mouth, he clears his throat gently and avoids eye contact, “Um, yeah, that’s the name I just came up with for the cat.”
“Let’s call it, Ruan Ruan.”
The orange juice in Ruan Sijia’s mouth is subtly sweet, reminding him of the small pudding he tasted during an elementary school outing.
That was the first time he had ever tasted ice cream.
It was also the first time he experienced what it felt like to be liked.
In addition to a contract fee in the tens of millions, Meng Baichuan also has income from live endorsements and more. He earns a lot, yet his expenses are the lowest among the entire team, even comparable to the trainees.
On ordinary days, he lives and eats at the base, wearing whatever is comfortable and only buying things that catch his eye. He can buy T-shirts that cost a few thousand, and he can also wear things that cost a few dollars at street stalls.
If you were to mention his biggest expense throughout the year, it would be donations to various welfare institutions.
Without a fixed donation target, just like choosing clothes, he donates wherever the donation channel seems reliable whenever he feels like it.
Meng Baichuan himself doesn’t know whether he’s genuinely kind-hearted or something else; he simply can’t spend that much money, and he doesn’t know how to use what’s left in his hands. It’s better to donate some of it.
These past few days, the temperature hasn’t been particularly high. With a new endorsement just negotiated by his manager, Meng Baichuan is in a good mood and decides to go to the bank to transfer some money.
It’s not too hot in the morning, but it suddenly warms up around noon. Under the blazing sun, Meng Baichuan walks out of the bank and sees a familiar figure on the roadside.
The man who’s about to get into a car pauses, glancing in Meng Baichuan’s direction.
“Hey.” Meng Baichuan waves and runs over, noticing the data sheet in the man’s hand. He casually asks, “Are you also here for something at the bank?”
Vincent pushes his glasses up and offers a simple “Yeah.”
“Last time you bailed me out, and I haven’t thanked you yet.” With nothing to do that afternoon and not wanting to stay at the base, Meng Baichuan invites, “Let me treat you to a meal.”
Vincent remains oddly silent for a moment before nodding, “Sure.”
Actually, just from Vincent’s appearance, one wouldn’t feel that he’s very old. Meng Baichuan calling him “uncle” doesn’t sound strange. Yet, Meng Baichuan feels there’s a sense of twilight about Vincent, a lack of vitality. Adding to that, he had been lectured by Vincent when they were at the police station, so he casually addresses him as “uncle.”
Vincent doesn’t seem to have any intention to argue.
Now that Meng Baichuan knows Vincent is a vampire, he figures the twilight aura might be due to having lived too long.
Considering a vampire’s taste, Meng Baichuan suggests going to eat spicy hot pot, but Vincent gently declines, “Too greasy.”
Even his taste is health-conscious.
In the end, Meng Baichuan respects the elder’s preference and takes Vincent to a high-end Japanese restaurant where the average spending per person is over a thousand.
After all, this person helped him get out of trouble.
Meng Baichuan’s impression of Vincent is that of a reserved, cold-looking uncle. However, when they engage in a serious conversation, Meng Baichuan finds Vincent to be quite talkative. Perhaps from living too long, he seems to know everything and can discuss a wide range of topics.
Delicate dishes are served in sequence, and the timing is well-managed. Soft music plays in the restaurant as Meng Baichuan listens intently to Vincent’s many past stories, all of which are very interesting.
“Why does it feel like you’re trying to entertain me like a child?” Meng Baichuan takes a bite of ice cream and laughs, “You’ve been telling me stories all along.”
“Don’t you want to hear them?” Vincent looks at him.
“Well, it’s not that I don’t…”
When they’re finished and about to leave, the waiter tells Meng Baichuan that Vincent has already paid the bill.
Meng Baichuan catches up to Vincent and says discontentedly, “We agreed I’d treat you.”
Vincent doesn’t explain, he just says, “I’m older than you.”
Meng Baichuan: “…”
“Fine~ You’re older.” Meng Baichuan grabs Vincent’s wrist and pulls him towards the neighboring shopping mall.
“What are you doing?” Vincent furrows his brows.
Meng Baichuan: “Just follow me, Uncle.”
They enter the mall and head into an arcade. Vincent’s brows furrow even more tightly, “Why are we here?”
“This kid wanted to play.” Meng Baichuan sweeps the automatic coin exchange machine, trading it for a few hundred game coins. Without waiting for an answer, he grabs Vincent and leads him into the arcade.
Vincent quickly grasped the skills, but he clearly wasn’t compatible with these noisy machines. His long fingers operated the game joystick stiffly, and the gaze behind his lenses was as serious as if he were conducting a morning board meeting.
“Don’t look so serious, Uncle.” Meng Baichuan seized the opportunity, pressed the red button, and slowly lowered the claw, accurately grabbing a large plush goose by its long neck.
After using the last two coins, Vincent finally managed to catch a plush goose.
Meng Baichuan bent down to retrieve the fallen goose and stuffed the silly-looking plush goose into Vincent’s arms.
The loose fur from the plush toy stuck to the suit, and Vincent lowered his head to look at the goose in his arms, a barely noticeable smile tugging at the corner of his lips.
Meng Baichuan stared at the eyes behind the lenses that exuded a peach blossom aura and said contentedly, “That’s better.”
Vincent looked up, and Meng Baichuan grinned, “Uncle, it’s the 21st century now. Don’t always dwell on the past. Experience some modern life!”
【Daniel x Huo Ye】
Daniel had visited Huo Country once before, accompanying Sue to visit her atavistic son.
With Sue’s introduction, Daniel coaxed his cousin into manifesting cat ears and took a photo with Sue.
Before his cousin could start calculating the favor, Daniel sneaked out alone to explore a street full of snacks.
Coincidentally, he found a lost child there.
The little boy sat in a corner, wiping tears with his overalls, his knee scraped and his hands dirty, turning himself into a messy little cat.
In the dimly lit alley, only Daniel noticed the quietly sobbing child.
He took a bite of his candied hawthorn skewer, approached, and using his mediocre Chinese, he said, “Hello?”
The little boy gazed at the handsome blond guy with a cat’s face and hiccupped, muttering, “Angel… angel…”
Daniel tilted his head, not understanding.
The boy burst into loud sobs and between cries, he asked, “Angel big brother, did you come to take me to heaven? Sob… I don’t want to go to heaven yet…”
Daniel decided he should learn Chinese properly with Sue when he got back.
He handed over half of his candied hawthorn skewer to the boy who was crying his eyes out and looked at the kid’s bloody knee. He pricked his own finger and pressed it against the boy’s lips.
The little boy looked at Daniel in confusion, not sure whether he should continue crying.
Little boy: “…”
Seeing the boy hesitate, Daniel directly wiped the blood on the boy’s mouth with his finger and fed him a hawthorn skewer.
With the sweet and sour flavor of the skewer, the little boy belatedly realized he shouldn’t eat things given by strangers.
But then he thought again, he was about to go to heaven anyway, and having a nice meal from his angel big brother didn’t seem like a problem.
The boy sniffled and took a bite of the skewer.
That night, Daniel carried the sleeping child on his back to the police station and left him there before departing.
It wasn’t until Xiao Huo Ye was awakened by a police aunt that he realized his injuries had healed.
He had a bit of a fever and a foggy mind, but he knew that a kind angel big brother had helped him.
He still had time to say thank you.
Later, Huo Ye asked Daniel if he had really bitten him during the hypnosis at the hotel, and Daniel said he hadn’t.
That was the first time he had let go of his catch.
Daniel was a person of fleeting interests. As expected, the new rising star, Little Sweet Bean, practiced only half of the way through and had already lost interest in debuting.
Huo Ye watched every one of Daniel’s performances, and for that, he learned how to vote, show support, and make merchandise.
Looking at the looping stage performance on his iPad, Daniel curiously asked, “Aren’t your classmates asking about this?”
Huo Ye honestly replied, “I told them I’m boosting my wife’s view count.”
“And then they said I’m a fanboy and kicked me out.”
Daniel chuckled, leaning against Huo Ye’s shoulder.
Huo Ye asked if Daniel wanted to debut. Daniel said he would follow fate.
He was always capricious, running all the way to Huo Country to participate in the talent show, and he had also worked as a dealer in a casino out of curiosity.
“Both President Yan and your clan leader have been taken advantage of by me.” Daniel put down the cards in his hand and said to the youth across from him who had been defeated, “Don’t be too discouraged~”
Huo Ye shook his head.
He pushed aside the cards and leaned forward, kissing Daniel’s lips.
The past that Daniel had casually brought up were all views that Huo Ye had never seen before.
He always seemed to be on his way to the next big event, while Huo Ye was just a brief stop for him.
But Huo Ye thought he was willing to accept that.
Huo Ye didn’t know how long Daniel would be an idol, nor did he know how long he would love him.
“Take me with you next time.”
They leaned their foreheads together, and Daniel lowered his eyelashes as he whispered, “Hmm?”
Huo Ye kissed him again and chuckled softly, “Even if you don’t take me with you, I’ll still follow you.”
He wouldn’t let his angel go again.
(Originally planned to wrap it up, but the more I wrote, the longer it got QvQ… The next chapter will still be a short story, featuring the grudge between the puppy and Cat Yan~)