Lin Qingge’s body was pathetically weak, so weak that just taking a few steps would make him gasp for breath. His own family treated him like he didn’t exist. His birth mother died when he was young and his father promptly remarried and knocked his stepmom up. His father didn’t like him, his stepmom looked askance at him and his step siblings coveted his position. Who told him to be the lawful eldest with inheritance rights?
When Lin Qingge was eighteen he came out of the closet, creating a huge rift between him and his family. It was all for that guy, Liu Yang. He’d whispered sweet nothings in his ear, saying things like he’d protect him and bs like that. Lin Qingge’s old man blew his top when he found out and promptly disowned him. That didn’t matter to Lin Qingge, he had Liu Yang afterall. He fully believed in that guys words and goodwill.
If only he wasn’t so stupid…
Ultimately Liu Yang was like a vampire sucking his wealth dry, leaving a husk behind. After pushing Liu Yang to a high position, Lin Qingge finally collapsed in his apartment. It was a sad sorry sight. Closing his eyes, he knew this was the end of him. Who knew he would wake up instead in a different time and a different place?
Eh? What’s this? Well fine! This time I’m gonna hug that brother’s thigh real tight and never let go!
Picked this up from an NU forgotten title thread. Why’s it good? It’s a serious giggle inducer even if you’re not into BL.
**As always, if anyone wants to pick anything up, feel free. You do yours and I’ll do mine, is my motto. Official raw link to translate from is above if you want to support the author. Do use caution as it doesn’t look like it’s a secured site. Freebie raw is in the plot summary page.**
“Lin Qingge, if you want to bring shame to the Lin family for the sake of a man, then you don’t have to be a part of this family anymore. From today onwards we are no longer father and son!”
Lin Qingge lay in bed remembering his father’s words and how the other had cussed him out in the morning. The man was a gold digger and only married his mother for her wealth. Her body was barely cold before he shamelessly remarried.
Lin Qingge looked up and surveyed his surroundings. He couldn’t help but sigh in his heart after taking a look around. He was only beaten a bit by his father but it was still enough to cause him to black out and be sent to the hospital.
He remembered it was the same in the previous timeline as well. No one in his family wanted him back. Lin Chengyu, his father, was particularly intent on severing their familial ties. His family took the opportunity while he was in the hospital to pack up his belongings then sent a family steward to deliver his things.
Lin Qingge had no doubt that his mother planned for this day. It was said that his maternal grandmother had the ability to foresee the future after all. How else could he explain why his own mother left him so many options. The so called “parents love their sons and so think deeply about their future.” It was a pity though that his mother fell in love with the wrong person. Lin Chengyu was really not worthy of being the object of her benefaction.
Lin Qingge reached out and touched the bracelet on his wrist. A boy wearing a bracelet was a little strange, but then again this bracelet was itself also a little ususal. The bracelet had its own unique dimensional space. He was completely disbelieving when his mother told him about it at first, he was after all a young boy living in the twentieth century. He didn’t believe his mother. Honestly how could he? This was practically something from a xianxia novel. So his mother made him prick his finger a little and place the blood on the bracelet. He humored her and did so. To his shock, this act bound the bracelet to him, acknowledging him as its owner and allowing him to view the hidden dimensional space inside. Although the space inside was only about fifty meters, it was still fifty meters of secure space.
Though his mother’s family was on the decline, when she married his father she still had a sizeable dowry. This bracelet was one of the items in it.
She gave it to him as a gift when he was younger and since then he had always worn it. Thinking about the items in the bracelet reminded him of Liu Yang.
He was incredibly stupid in his previous life and believed all the sweet nothings Liu Yang said to him. If he was more prudent and kept his head straight, he would not have lost all his money and ended up so poor.
Brother Jing was the person who helped him when he was at his lowest. It was because of Brother Jing that he was able to break away from Liu Yang and finally be at ease.
His mother helped to sponsor Yujing when he became orphaned. His full name was Duan Yujing and his parents died in a car accident when he was fifteen. He was left alone to care for his younger brother who was six at the time. Though this brother was his father’s illegitimate child, Duan Yujing was still devoted to raising him. He had tried his best to develop his business to support the two of them. Although the business he built from the ground up was precious to him, he was willing to risk it all against the Lin family, nearly going bankrupt in the process.
Lin Qingge recalled his memories of Duan Yujing. They had met for the first time at a festival. He was ten and Duan Yujing was fifteen. Later on Duan Yujing had sent him a simple greeting card with some general greetings written inside. The second time was when he was leaving the hospital after his father disowned him. He was eighteen then and intended to go with Liu Yang but fainted on the road partway. Duan Yujing came and tried to convince his past self to go with him. Of course he was not convinced and instead chose to follow Liu Yang. The third time they met was in the hospital. Duan Yujing came for two reasons. The first was to take care of him and the second was to get him justice from the Lin family and from Liu Yang. In fact, he spent quite a bit of money and years of hard work to accomplish this goal.
Just as Lin Qingge recalled these events a well-dressed middle aged man came in. Lin Qingge propped himself against the bed and smiled insincerely. “What is it?”
The man deposited two suitcases by the door before speaking. “Young Master, this is what the Master ordered me to bring to you. Everything has been cleared out. The Master says that after this you are no longer a Young Master of the Lin family and you are on your own.” He promptly left after relaying the message. His tone had been neutral neither disrespectful nor polite.
Lin Qingge sighed after looking at the suitcases. These were all the belongings they allowed him huh? It was fortunate he moved most of his things into his bracelet, else he would be bereft. Currently his entire savings of five million was inside. He resolved to not touch it unless absolutely necessary. It was the money his mother left him before she passed away.
He also had a cash card. Although his father didn’t care for him, he did pay for his living expenses and didn’t hesitate to use money on him when needed. He had a stipend of twenty thousand every month. Since he was usually in poor health and didn’t go out much, he ended up saving most of it. Because of this, there was two million left on the card, making him a rich young man.
Since this money was in his own personal account, he wasn’t worried about his family trying to take it from him. It was definitely enough for him to live off of. Then there was also all the jewelry from his mother. Each piece had a unique origin. If he became desperate he knew he could sell them and get enough to feed himself. Although he didn’t have many vivid memories of her, he was grateful she planned so much for him. As long as he was not imprudent, he would be able to live comfortably with the resources she left him.
His thoughts turned to Liu Yang. That time when he first came out of the closet, he had been financially supportive of Liu Yang but had not confessed his love yet. At the beginning he had a strong sense of propriety and willingness to sacrifice, wanting first to wipe away all obstacles in their path before moving in together. Back then although he mostly interacted with Liu Yang at school, the two were not particularly affectionate in front of others. After the college entrance exams Liu Yang didn’t have much time for him, instead Liu Yang was busy trying to please a certain Miss Xu. Lin Qingge sighed.
He didn’t know where he to go from here. With his weak chicken like body, he could only stay in the hospital for a while, especially since Lin Chengyu was footing the hospital bill anyways. He remembered that Brother Jing would always pay attention to him and always be the first to help. Otherwise how could he live so easily after losing all his money? These were all things he knew from the previous timeline.
In a company office in Qing city a well dressed young man sat behind a desk listening to his reports.
“Mr. Duan, Young Master Lin had an accident and is currently resting in the hospital. The news of him being gay and his father disowning him is already well known gossip in the city.”
Duan Yujing kept tabs on Lin Qingge and hired a bodyguard to watch over him from a distance.
“How is he?” Duan Yujing frowned not understanding why Qingge declared his gender preferences so suddenly. But if Qingge liked men, then ... did that mean he had a shot? Although this made him hopeful, he was also concerned. Since Qingge came out, the Lin family was very clear about their stance regarding him. His health was already so poor, how much more would he suffer? He wanted to help him as much as he could.
“Young Master Lin is physically weak right now. The two people I have watching him say that only one family steward visited him since he was hospitalized.” Duan Yuchen gave his report.
“Get me the earliest flight there.” Duan Yujing made his decision immediately. His decision was influenced by his emotions in the past year and the financial support Auntie had given him. There was no way he was going to let Qingge come to harm.
Duan Yujing still remembered when his parents died. His relatives shunned him and refused to provide any assistance. Left with no recourse, he was forced to take his little brother to an orphanage. Just when he thought it was hopeless, Qingge’s mother appeared and offered to help him and his brother.
It was also because she helped fund his education and shared her business knowledge that he was able to build the foundations of his business today. It gave him the knowledge and ability to create “Liu Jing” now the largest and most renowned food company in all of Qing[notes] city. The company was so successful that they were able expand to out of the domestic market and export their products internationally.
“Yujing, you want to go overseas to meet the Young Master?” The one speaking was his friend and the one who knew him best, Shen Ningyu, the second master of the Shen family. The Shen family led the entertainment industry and Shen Mingyu, his older brother, was the president of Interstellar Entertainment. Despite these connections Shen Ningyu chose not to enter the entertainment industry, and instead chose to follow Duan Yujing and work at his company.
“Yes, Qingge broke off relations with the Lin family so he’s on his own. I promised Auntie I would take care of him and help him if anything happened. So how can I stand idly by and stay here while he’s suffering over there? I’ll have to trouble you and Little Chen to take care of the company while I’m away.” Little Chen was Duan Yujing’s younger half brother. They didn’t know where his biological mother was, but up until Duan Yujing’s parents death, the four had been living together as a family. Because of this they had bonded well and were actually very close.
Duan Yuchen knew his big brother would be uneasy about Qingge’s situation. Although this was only the second day of the incident he figured his big brother would most likely take a business trip and visit Qingge for a few days. At home it was just the two of them. Since he would be absent for a while, Duan Yuchen would stay at Shen Ningyu’s place until his return.
Shen Ningyu laughed heartily before saying, “No worries. Just go and get him. I’ll take care of things on this end.
Lin Qingge was laying bored in bed staring up at the ceiling when his door suddenly opened. Duan Yujing walked in wearing a dark casual suit and a solemn expression on his face. His suit fit him well and showed off his wide shoulders, narrow waist and long legs. It made people take note of his face, deep facial features and beautiful eyes. He walked in and headed straight for Lin Qingge. Eh? Wasn’t he supposed to come tomorrow? In his first life, Qingge would go and find Liu Yang himself after being discharged and the trio would end up meeting each other along the way. But that wouldn’t happen until tomorrow. Why was he here earlier by a whole day?
Lin Qingge looked at the man in front of him. His temperament was still good despite having a difficult childhood where he had to struggle tremendously just to survive. He had the ability to overcome adversity and rise up. Some people just had that kind of strength, while others, even if you gave them a company and made them president, would never become anything more than a small fry. And Liu Yang was the smallest fry ever.
Lin Qingge was angry and distressed. Who was Liu Yang? Would he have been able to handle it? Probably not!
“You are...?” Lin Qingge wanted to present a good image so he tried to sit up to greet Duan Yujing properly. This was technically the second time the two had ever met, at least in this life anyways. From his previous life he knew that Duan Yujing had a special place in his heart for him. Would he confess this time as well? And if he did, how should he answer? Should he hesitate and be a bit reserved or should he immediately agree, pack his bags and go home with him?
It was a pity that Lin Qingge forgot to consider the reality of his weakass body and its need for IV drips. Just as he sat up, envisioning Duan Yujing’s confession, his hand pulled the needle, yanking the IV bag towards him and slamming it straight into his face.
“Careful.” Duan Yujing thought he would see a decadent youth lounging in bed, who would have guessed that said youth would actually try to greet him properly? He helped reposition the IV bag and its stand before bringing a pillow over to help Lin Qingge prop himself up with.
After pouring a glass of water he thought about how to start the conversation. “Do you remember me? I’m Duan Yujing, I promised your mother I’d take care of you. Will you come back with me?”
Lin Qingge stopped the glass part way to his lips and blinked a few times. In what world is this considered a confession? “Eh? No sorry. You’re a stranger. I can’t go with a stranger.” He was not budging unless he heard a full on confession! Living with someone in that way just wouldn’t be right. Lin Qingge was very traditional. You didn’t live together unless you were in a declared committed relationship! He hadn’t lived together with Liu Yang in his previous life exactly because Liu Yang never declared his intentions toward him. Liu Yang only said that he liked him. In reality he was treated more like a cash machine and was coaxed by pretty words to part with all his money.
His nose turned sour and his eyes got a little red from remembering his foolish self. Was it so unreasonable to want a thoughtful lover? If Liu Yang couldn’t do it, then he shouldn’t have pretended!
Duan Yujing felt really helpless upon seeing Lin Qingge’s aggrieved expression. Were my words really that bad? Does he think I don’t care? He used a tissue to wipe Lin Qingge’s tears. “Qingge do you really not remember me? I’m Duan Yujing. Auntie introduced us once. Remember? I really like you. Come home with me OK? I promise to take good care of you.”
Lin Qingge sniffed, his eyes still red. “What did you just say?” The confession came too fast and was too basic! What about the good parts? The sweet words! The promises! There needed to be a good and proper declaration.
Duan Yujing’s face took on a hint of color as he smiled and looked at Lin Qingge. There was warmth and tenderness in his eyes as he reached out and held the youth by the shoulders. He spoke earnestly, “I said, I Duan Yujing like you, Lin Qingge, and that I Duan Yujing, want to take care of you and be with you for the rest of our lives. Are you willing?”
He spoke with confidence, clearly and slowly, with no trace of hesitation, but in reality he was dying of nervousness! Did Qingge come out of the closet because there was someone he already liked? In that case, the best he could do was guard him and prevent others from doing him wrong.
“OK.” The youth bowed his head and whispered softly. His heart was jumping with joy.
“It’s okay, you don’t-” Duan Yujing thought that maybe he was being too aggressive, maybe he was scaring him. He was about to placate him and tell him he didn’t have to reply right away when he heard the soft whisper. Wait. What did he just hear? Just to be clear he asked, “You are willing? If you don’t want to, you don’t have to. Don’t force yourself.”
“Would you ever do me wrong?”
“No, I’d try to always make you happy.”
“Would you ever force me to do something I don’t like?”
“No, you can do whatever you want. I’ll make the money, you spend it.” Duan Yujing laughed.
“My health is rubbish. Are you gonna hold it against me?” Lin Qingge asked. His body was too chicken weak. Intimacy could be a problem. Even if the other really liked him, it was still troublesome.
“No problem. I have a doctor friend with awesome medical expertise. He’ll be able to help you make any adjustments you need.”
“Well that’s fine then. It’s not like I have any place to go anyways.” Although he spoke in a light tone, inside his heart was screaming. Brother Jing hurry up and take me away already! I don’t mind if I lose my virginity to you!
Duan Yujing breathed a sigh of relief. As long as Lin Qingge was willing, it didn’t matter if his heart was somewhere else right now. Just wait, he’d definitely win him over!
“Do you hurt anywhere?” Duan Yujing reached over and carefully touched Lin Qingge’s face where a red palm print still clearly showed. He was really distressed about it. This youth’s skin was really just too tender! To even hold onto a slap mark for so long.
Lin Qingge’s face felt a little hot where Duan Yujing’s fingers lay. Even though Liu Yang swindled him with sweet words, they never had much physical intimacy. This was all very new to him, so Duan Yujing’s sudden closeness nearly made him jump out in surprise. His touch combined with his words really made Lin Qingge’s heart pound. He was so nervous ah!
“It’s okay, the doctor put some ointment on it.” Lin Qingge whispered. He didn’t trust his voice and tried hard to restrain his impulses, reminding himself he couldn’t fall, definitely couldn’t fall in love.
“In that case, we can leave whenever you want to. Do you need to go back to the Lin house to pack anything?” Duan Yujing really wanted to laugh when he saw Lin Qingge’s empty blank expression. How was it that after so many years, his first time meeting him again, he would have such a dopey look, a bit shy, a bit simple? It was honestly too adorable! His defenses dropped with a few sweet phrases, it was just too easy to read this youth’s heart.
“I don’t have to go back. My things are all there.” Lin Qingge pointed to the two suitcases in the corner.
“Ok then I’ll just verify your condition with the doctors. If they clear you, do you want to leave today then?”
“Can you promise me one thing?” Lin Qingge asked, unconsciously twisting his fingers and leaning over.
“What is it?”
“I’ll go back with you, but you can’t bully me and you can’t wrong me either. And you can’t be jealous of other people. If you can’t promise me these things, then I won’t go with you.” It took a lot for him to screw up the courage to ask those things. Although he knew in his heart that Duan Yujing was sincere, he still wanted him to promise. It was just a way for him to get some peace of mind.
If Lin Qingge’s mother could witness this scene she would have sighed at how serious the two were being. It had always been like this for their family. When they fell in love, they fell wholeheartedly, never turning back, never giving up. Unfortunately, this kind of loyalty in love was what made the family decline in power and prestige. She herself had fallen in love with the wrong person. Despite knowing this, she couldn’t change her feelings. The only thing she could do was try to leave her child in the care of someone kind.
“Yes, all these things I promise you.” Duan Yujing looked at Lin Qingge in the eyes and spoke with conviction.
Upon hearing this Lin Qingge laughed joyfully, his catlike eyes shining crystal clear with charm.
Duan Yujing sighed. This youth was so honest and true. Despite knowing the treacherous hearts of people, he still chose to treat them with kindness and sincerity. His purity came from the fact that he still believed in people despite knowing how deviously they could behave.
“Brother Jing, I want to eat peaches! Since you weren’t here earlier, there was no one to help me peel them.” Lin Qingge laughed as he pointed to a peach on the cabinet. He really couldn’t contain his cheer since Duan Yujing confessed to him. Then and there he made a promise. He would treat Duan Yujing with his whole heart, honestly, and truly.
Indeed there are people with some strange abilities in this world. To be able to sell themselves with such good cheer, it was fortunate that the buyer was a normal and good person ah!
Duan Yujing wasn’t sure if Lin Qingge’s constitution could handle citrus fruits yet. “Can you eat this? Let me ask the doctor to come and see. If it’s safe then I’ll cut it up for you OK?” He could tell Lin Qingge was in a good mood and he didn’t want to ruin it by denying him, but he wanted to check first with the doctor.
“Yes!” Qingge was in such a good mood that he forgot there were certain things he couldn’t eat too much of.
“I’ll be back.” Duan Yujing left after tucking Qingge back under the sheets.
Qingge hummed to himself and settled under the blankets with the back of his hands on his cheeks gripping the edges of the blankets with his eyes just barely peeking out.
A few minutes later Duan Yujing reappeared with a white haired middle aged doctor. Qingge laid in bed looking at the two approach. His eyes were bright and his smile was hungry. If he had a tail Duan Yujing was sure it would be wagging right then. He was so glad he decided to take the earliest flight over. “Doctor can you check on him? Does he still need to be hospitalized or can he be discharged soon?” He walked over to help Qingge sit up.
The Doctor took a look before declaring, “The patient seems fine. He just lacks nutrition so his body will be a little weak and his emotions may fluctuate. A good exercise and diet regimen should be all he needs. He should stay away from cold and spicy foods. Some fruits are OK but don’t overdo it. Try eating warm foods. He should be careful of the cold and be sure to bundle up when going outside.” He took off his stethoscope and looked at Qingge. “You’re too young to have a body like this.”
Qingge knew the doctor would nag him about it. He hated coming to the hospital because he’d get lectured every time. He really wanted to just roar out in frustration. His body was weak because he was born that way, he had no choice in the matter. He really did try! The only thing he failed at was taking his medicine. They were bitter and he really hated them. He wasn’t sure if Brother Yujing would spoil him and let it slide.
“Stick your hand out. I’ll pull the IV out for you.” The Doctor added, “Don’t worry, I’ll be gentle,” when he saw the look on Qingge’s face.
Qingge’s arm disagreed! It was quite painful!
Duan Yujing held his hand while the Doctor pulled the needle out. A cotton swab was quickly pressed onto the spot the needle used to be by Duan Yujing. Qingge’s heart, that had just recently calmed down, began to beat frantically again at the light touch. How is this guy so alluring?!
For his part Duan Yujing listened attentively to the Doctor only asking a question every now and again when he needed clarification, such as what other types of foods to look out for and what types medicines and herbs to use. He was particularly interested because he had a friend whose family owned the Qing city hospital, and thanks to an old mentor, this friend also had a strong interest in traditional Chinese medicine.
After the Doctor left Duan Yujing reached for the peach and a knife. Before peeling he asked, “Wait, are you allergic to peaches?”
“I don’t think... I... am.” Qingge’s answer trailed off towards the end as he tried to shrink further into Duan Yujing’s arms making himself as small as possible. It had been so long that he honestly forgot. He wanted to cry but had no tears. Could he change this body please?!
Duan Yujing grabbed a handful of peaches and put them to the side. “Why don’t we try apples first? I remember the first time I met you Auntie gave you an apple pie. You didn’t seem to have an allergic reaction to it at the time.”
“Can’t I eat the peach? It’s been so long.” Qingge tried to bargain. “Just a small bite?”
“You can try a small bite but you have to stop eating if you start to feel uncomfortable though.” Duan Yujing gave in without much of a fight and peeled the peach cutting it into small bite size pieces easily. He gave the smallest piece to Qingge.
“If I’m not allergic you have to leave the rest to me.”
“OK.” Duan Yujing couldn’t help but laugh at his determination. “Since the Doctor says you’re OK to be discharged we’ll just wait another twenty minutes after you finish eating to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction.”
“I’ll take this entire peach then.” Qingge nodded obediently while holding a piece of peach in his hand. How great would it be to have a healthy body? Unlike him who had to worry about an allergic reaction to even simple things like peaches.
Duan Yujing left to get a few things. By the time he came back it was about half an hour later and Qingge had not only made his way through the entire peach but had also started in on the apple as well. Ah! He really liked peaches! He could just picture a room full of them with their fragrance filling the air. Lord knew he would never actually try something like that at his father’s house. If he had a severe reaction those relatives of his would probably pretend not to see him, instead leaving him to wherever he probably fainted, only calling for help when it looked like it was too late. Because of this his diet was usually light without much variety or change. He just didn’t feel safe trying new things there.
“Did you eat it all?” Duan Yujing looked at the empty plate on Qingge’s lap. He rubbed Qingge’s head and asked, “Do you feel any discomfort?”
“No, just tired of eating apples every day.” Qingge smiled a little when he saw the insulated box Duan Yujing held. Curious he asked what it was for.
Duan Yujing saw the look on Qingge’s face. He really does look like a cat with that spoiled smile of his! “Our flight is a little long and the food may not agree with you. I didn’t want you to get hungry so I bought some light porridge with shiitake mushrooms and scallops. See if you can handle it.”
“OK.”It’s so good to have a lover who’s observant and considerate and takes good care you! Ah! This is so wonderful! He was definitely going to hold firmly to this thigh.
Duan Yujing opened the containers and brought a small table over. “Then sit and eat. Also it’s windy outside. You should wear more layers.” He walked over the suitcase by the door. “Do you mind if I look through these?”
“It’s fine. The butler packed it for me.”
Qingge spooned some porridge out and timidly dipped the tip of his tongue into the spoon to test it out.
“What are you looking for?”
“Getting some clothes for you.” Duan Yujing smiled and began to fold the messy pile of clothes in the suitcase into a semblance of order. Out of the pile he decided on a light blue shirt, beige sweater, thin windbreaker, and a cotton pair of trousers. The other case was filled with Qingge’s computer and books. These he also packed back neatly in place.
Qingge sipped the porridge one careful spoonful at a time while he watched Duan Yujing organize his things. The more he looked the more handsome that guy became. He’d never been in such a situation before and had to keep telling himself to keep calm.
Duan Yujing was on the phone arranging their flight and transportation. His assistant booked the tickets and a car would be sent over to pick them up shortly. He looked up to find that Qingge had finished with his porridge and was now staring at him with his big shining eyes. He wondered what this little kitty was thinking. “Are you full?”
Duan Yujing gathered up the dishes and cutlery and threw them into the rubbish bin, then wiped his hands clean with a wet nap.
“Are we leaving? Are we going back to your home?” Qingge grinned as he stretched out his hands so Duan Yujing could clean them.
“Oh. I’ve been negligent. I didn’t tell you clearly. Qing city's Liu Jing Corporation is a company I created. I have an apartment in a pretty good location with a few neighbors around. It’s pretty nice. You won’t be bored. My brother lives with me too. He can be a little awkward and shy around people but you’ll like him.” Duan Yujing tried to make the situation as clear as possible so Qingge wouldn’t feel shocked. “You don’t have to worry about anything. My home is your home. I love you.”
“I know. I believe you. I just finished my college entrance exams this year. I should be getting my results soon.” Qingge smiled thinking about it. “I’ve thought it through. It’s not a big problem, but I wanted you to be aware of it. My body isn’t very strong so going to a school too far from home won’t work.”
“No worries. We actually live really close to a university. You can feel the lively atmosphere even from where our house is. I’d say it’s about a two mile walk. I should be able to send you off to school before work in fact.”
“Oh that’s good!” It was so perfect Qingge couldn’t contain his laughter. Staying in school all day would be tiring but he felt that a half day was doable.
“Happy?”It made his heart flutter to see Qingge laugh so innocently. Before he knew it he’d reached over and stolen a kiss from those soft cheeks. There was a faint scent coming from Qingge. “You should change your clothes. I can help you change, or do you want me to leave and you can do it yourself? Either way we do have to leave soon.”
It was such a sudden kiss Qingge wasn’t sure how to react. His face felt really nice where Duan Yujing touched. He could still feel a lingering breath on them, making him blush. It made him feel a little awkward. “We are lovers, it does not matter.”
“So naive. Later don’t trust people so easily. You’re gonna end up getting sold.” Duan Yujing laughed as he unbuttoned Qingge’s shirt and pulled it off to reveal a pale smooth torso. Since Qingge had a weak physique he rarely went out other than to go to school. As a result he was very pale skinned, completely untanned. He inherited his mother’s figure and was himself very slender. This combined with his youthful developing teenage body made him look really ethereal.
Duan Yujing just barely glanced at him though. Quickly pulling his gaze away and redressing him in the clothes he picked out earlier. Even if his lover looked fine, he couldn’t ignore his body condition. If he got sick from the cold it would be a catastrophe. Better to bundle him up quickly.
“Brother Jing.”Even if Qingge was shy he knew how things worked. He had many years of indulging in novels to know one should be frank when facing one’s lover, otherwise the potential for misunderstandings would wreak havoc on the relationship.
Aye. No! No! No! Qingge quickly shook his head and banished those novels from his mind. This was not appropriate. He used to be such a pure hearted boy in his previous life. How could he think that Brother Jing would have such thoughts, this was just changing clothes after all. He was making too much it.
“Brother Jing I’m only eighteen so you may think I’m very young. I can be headstrong, stubborn, even unreasonable at times, but don’t give up. Just talk to me about it. I really like you and I do want to go with you. You’ve been very good to me. I’ll try my best to be good to you.” Qingge sighed in relief after letting it all out. It wasn’t as hard to say as he thought it would be. He knew that he could be headstrong and difficult to deal with. He didn’t want that aspect of himself to hurt Brother Jing, so he was letting him know beforehand.
Duan Yujing listened attentively to Qingge until he was done speaking, then he replied with, “I know you’re sensible and I’m certainly willing to tolerate your willfulness and your stubbornness. Just be yourself. I’ll always support you. Now let’s go home together.”
“Great! Now you’re talking. I’ll hold you to your words then!” Qingge threw his hands in the air and hugged Duan Yujing enthusiastically rubbing his head in the other’s neck while secretly smirking to himself.
“OK.” Duan Yujing hooked his lips up in a smile and after disengaging himself from the hug, continued to help Qingge put on the rest of his clothes. “I won’t be letting you go, just so you know,” he said very earnestly.
In the end Qingge was bundled up in a sweater with a shirt underneath and a windbreaker overtop. For pants he had on plain cotton trousers. Duan Yujing wanted him to wear a scarf too, but because it was summer he decided against it since it would make Qingge feel too self conscious. He did give him a pair of boots though. While lacing them up he reminded Qingge, “The wind outside is pretty strong so it’ll be cold for you.”
Qingge sat obediently with a stupid smile on his face as he watched Duan Yujing lace up his boots. The joy in his heart was so overpowering he wanted to jump up and down and run around the room. It felt like he could die from happiness, hopefully his little heart could handle it.
“OK, all done! Let’s go.” Duan Yujing stood up and held his hand out to Qingge. Standing next to each other Duan Yujing’s 1.85 meters (6’) was just a little taller than Qingge’s 1.78 meters (5.8’).
They headed to the reception desk to properly check out and wait for their ride. Once it came the bodyguard handled the baggage and put it in the car for them. Despite the bright Sun shining in the sky, the air was cold and brisk. This was because the city was next to the sea and had strong winds to help lower the temperature even in the middle of summer. Duan Yujing helped Qingge settle into his seat before he buckled himself in as the car began it’s slow journey to the airport.
The scenery from the car window didn’t hold Qingge’s attention for long; he’d seen it all before in his previous life. Now that he was with Duan Yujing, his world would be a hundred times more beautiful than the previous one.
Duan Yujing noticed Qingge’s odd expression. “Are you uncomfortable anywhere?” He felt Qingge’s forehead, finding no temperature he smiled in relief. “Just rest if you’re tired. I’ll wake you up when we get there.” He was worried the sudden changes were too much for Qingge to adapt to, after all this was only their second meeting. I hope he’s not too embarrassed or too worried. I just want him to live a carefree life.
Qingge’s eyes brightened, and he surreptitiously glanced at the driver and the bodyguard in the front seats before shifting his body slightly. Have to be reserved. Don’t act like a crazy man. Brother Jing is precious and rare. Got... to... be... have!
Duan Yujing saw Qingge’s movements and he felt oddly really happy. He reached over and pulled him onto his lap.
!!!! Qingge’s eyes widened in surprise but he still wrapped his arms around Duan Yujing’s neck automatically.
Duan Yujing adjusted his position to hold Qingge more comfortably in his lap. He whispered softly, “Don’t be afraid, I’m not going to do you wrong, nor do I want you to be reserved around me. Just be at ease OK?” as he nibbled on Qingge’s ear. He had pitched his voice purposefully low so only Qingge could hear, but it still made the young man blush to hear these things.
Because Duan Yujing was so close to him, Qingge could distinctly feel the warmth of his breath on his skin. It tickled a little so he couldn’t help but shrug his shoulders up to make his neck smaller. I won’t be afraid. I’ll have faith in you Brother Jing. Even if no one believes in me I know you will. And I know you worked really hard in the previous life to save my assets and to deal with Liu Yang. You even took a lot of pressure from the Lin family for me. If my body wasn’t so damaged I would gladly spend the rest of my life with you.
Qingge didn’t want him to think he was afraid so he leaned his head against Duan Yujing’s shoulder and whispered back. “I’m not afraid and I believe in you. We are lovers after all. Brother Jing, the physical things you want from me I… I will try my best to give.”* There! I said it! But now I sound like I’m begging him for sex. Aye yi yi! My pure image. The previous life me… I spent too much time reading dirty novels. Now my mind is dirty too! Once down this road, it’s impossible to turn back!
Duan Yujing didn’t expect that. He stared at Qingge and tightened his embrace. “Ah… if you’re willing then I will try my best to be gentle.”
“I’m going to nap now… so don’t disturb me.” And with that Qingge buried his head like an ostrich into Duan Yujing’s neck.[notes] It was a good enough strategy, just bury his head like an ostrich and hide.
Duan Yujing couldn’t help but chuckle, he really couldn’t take his eyes off Qingge who was trying to sleep while on his lap. It felt like his whole world was encompassed there inside his arms. After eight years of yearning he was finally able to hold onto what he wanted.
The two subordinates in the front were actually really surprised to see their boss reveal such a bright unrestrained smile. He had always said he couldn’t afford to lose so his actions were calm and deliberate, only made after diligent research. But that smile of his was very spontaneous, as were his actions just now.
When they arrived at the airport Duan Yujing didn’t wake Qingge, instead he just picked the other up and carried him directly to the plane, then buckled him in and covered him with a blanket. After settling down on the seat next to him, he angled his shoulder so Qingge could use it as a pillow.[notes] Later he would be his cover and shield from the rain and the Sun.
Qingge hadn’t slept so well in ages. Throughout his nap he felt someone jostling him, as though he was being picked up and carried. It disturbed his rest a little and made him frown. His butt was especially sore too. Perhaps it was all the sitting, but it aggravated the site where the doctors had given him a shot. He especially hated doctors that liked to give shots, proclaiming that it was good for the body. There was something warm next to him and he snuggled closer to it, pressing his face into the warmth. He would have been fine if it wasn’t so noisy. Why was it so noisy? Qingge wrinkled his brow and muttered some complaints under his breath.
“Go back to sleep,” Duan Yujing whispered when he noticed Qingge seemed uncomfortable and was rousing from his nap. He wrapped him up more tightly in his windbreaker trying to keep him warm. He didn’t want him to wake up when he was just sleeping so soundly earlier. Once the plane landed he unbuckled himself and picked Qingge up and the two deplaned together like that.
“Big Brother!” Duan Yuchen yelled excitedly when he saw his brother in the crowd of people. He knew his brother was coming back early, so he when he saw Shen Ningyu head out, he figured it would be to go to the airport. He kept bugging Shen Ningyu until Shen Ningyu relented and agreed to bring him along.
“How come you’re here too?” Duan Yujing asked when he saw his little brother.
“Little Chen kept insisting I bring him along. Is that the Young Master Lin?” Shen Ningyu nodded to the person in Duan Yujing’s arms. He knew that this was the person Duan Yujing liked, but he didn’t expect him to look so soft and weak. He looked curiously at the sleeping person but unfortunately he couldn’t see the other’s face. However based on his figure and skin tone, he was on par with the stars his brother signed at the company.
“Is this Brother Auntie’s son?” Duan Yuchen asked as well. He was really curious. He was only six the first time he met Lin Qingge so he didn’t remember too well.[notes] But even at that age he knew that it was because of Auntie that he and his brother were able to leave the orphanage and go to school. Otherwise his older brother would never have been able to open his own company.
“Yes but his body is not very strong right now. You must treat him gently.” Duan Yujing knew his little brother’s temperament pretty well. Because they lost their parents so young, Little Chen was a lot more mature than the rest of his peers. He knew the two of them would get along.
“Wow. I thought you’d be gone for a few days at least, didn’t think in half a day you’d be back. I guess that’s the power of beauty for ya.” Shen Ningyu laughed and tossed the keys to one of the guards. “Let’s go back.” And so with their luggage all stowed away in the car, the party headed back home.
Duan Yujing’s house was located in a small well secured residential area. The grounds were well kept and exuded a charming elegance, very much in keeping with its location in the ‘golden’ zone. Most of the other residents in the neighborhood were well paid white collar workers with a high degree of education, such as university professors, so crime wasn’t really an issue in the area.
His house was a freestanding two story condo. It wasn’t overly big. There were two bedrooms and an additional guest suite, but obviously Qingge wasn’t going to stay in the guest one. He didn’t think Qingge would object to sleeping together so he carried him over to his own bedroom. The large room was decorated in a simple European style with a wardrobe, a desk, and the usual items. He didn’t have too many things so he knew it wouldn’t take him long to tidy up and create space for Qingge’s belongings.
Duan Yuchen followed his brother into the room pushing the luggage in front of him. He was really excited and incredibly happy that there was an addition to their little family.
I know Big Brother is considerate of my feelings so he comes home on the weekends, but he doesn’t talk much, probably because he’s tired from working. If he isn’t at home then he’s at the company taking care of business. He really works so hard trying to take care of us! I hope this Brother Qingge will make Big Brother happy and Big Brother won’t be so tired anymore. Thinking up to here Duan Yuchen had a stupid smile on his face.
Shen Ningyu on the other hand was thinking something else entirely. This Young Master Lin was able to make Yujing[notes] carry on an unrequited love for how many years? Yujing you idiot. You don’t normally bring your lover to your house and make him share a room with you. To get to that level, you should have at least done the deed a few times. Seriously, would it kill you to prepare a special place for him? Lovers need their own space too you know. Ugh, too naive. Anyways when things go south I hope you don’t come to me and start bawling.
Duan Yujing was oblivious to what his friend was thinking. He only knew that he wanted to keep the promises he made to Qingge earlier at the hospital, to show he was serious. Since Qingge said he wanted to come with him, then he had to try his best and be a reliable lover.
I should probably say something. Shen Ningyu decided to speak up. “Ah… Yujing. Don’t you think you should give him his own place? You have to remember he was the Young Master of the Lin House. I’m afraid he may not be used to rooming with other people.”
“Oh! Let Brother stay in my room!” Duan Yuchen volunteered. “It’s the same as this room and the lighting there is pretty nice.”
“No it’s alright. Don’t worry about it.” Duan Yujing laughed as he spoke. He was pretty sure he understood Qingge’s personality. He was too easy-going to get angry at something like sharing a room. Otherwise how could he be bullied by the other members of his family so easily?
“Well OK then. Little Chen why don’t we go cook something to eat? You’re hungry right?” Shen Ningyu pulled Duan Yuchen out of the room. Let’s not be third wheels here.
After they left Duan Yujing went and opened one of Qingge’s suitcases looking for a change in clothes. He leaned Qingge against his side and swiftly changed Qingge into pajamas, tucked him in, and set the thermostat in the room. Then he unpacked the rest of Qingge’s luggage before going downstairs.
Shen Ningyu sat in the living room playing on his phone. He was a Young Master so obviously cooking was not a skill he needed. Earlier when he said “we” he meant Duan Yuchen. Because of his family circumstances Duan Yuchen was very good at cooking despite his age. In fact, he’d already cooked a soup course and several dishes just in the short period of time they were downstairs.
Although Duan Yujing was CEO of his own company, at home he was just an ordinary older brother. They didn’t have any servants so the two brothers relied on each other and did everything themselves.
“Big Brother, do you want to eat? Is Brother Qingge hungry?” Duan Yuchen had just finished the last dish when he saw his brother come down.
“No, let him sleep a little longer. I don’t think he slept very well at the hospital these past few days. I gave him some porridge earlier before the flight so he should be OK for now.” Duan Yujing went to the fridge and took out a small squash and a few red jujube dates as well as a bottle of milk and a bag of oats. These should help warm up his body. Qingge likes sweet things so he should be amenable to eating them.
He knew the characteristics of some foods because he was in the industry. Although he wasn’t a professional dietician, he figured he knew enough to keep Qingge healthy.
“Are you making something delicious?” Shen Ningyu had never seen Duan Yujing make anything with that combination of ingredients before despite coming over a lot. He normally stayed over because it felt comfortable here. His own house felt too empty because his parents were usually out and his younger brother was at college. Although his older brother lived at home, he was too serious to play around with. So there really wasn’t anyone for him to interact with. As for girlfriends... he was a playboy. He had several but no one he was serious with.
Duan Yujing ignored the question and instead said, “I’m taking Qingge out to the hospital for a check up early tomorrow so I won’t have time to go into the company.” He didn’t look up as he spoke, intent on cutting the squash into small bite size pieces. Then he poured the milk and jujube dates into the pot and adjusted the temperature.
“No way! You can’t do that. It’s summer now and the orders are coming in like crazy. Do you know how busy it’s been these past few days? Don’t start behaving like Emperor Tang Xuanzong with his consort Yang Guifei.”[notes] Shen Ningyu declared passionately. It took him a lot of work but he finally got a date with a really hot actress. He didn’t want to cancel tomorrow.
His official title in the company was Deputy Chief, and although it was a position that entailed a great deal of responsibilities, he was normally able to get by with just three days of work in the office. Even when he did show up, he ducked out early to go on dates with his girlfriends. This was all possible because Duan Yujing was such a workaholic. Shen Ningyu didn’t have to worry about the company with him there, so he himself was able to slack off a great deal of the time. To suddenly be told he’d have to spend all day at the office was too harsh! Unbearable!
Duan Yujing could pretty much guess the reason for Shen Ningyu’s outburst. “You know I don’t normally get in the way of your dates, but I need you in the office tomorrow. Also, Qingge is not like Yang Guifei,” he said before taking a few bites of food on the table.
Shen Ningyu looked at Duan Yujing and decided to take pity in him. “OK, but you have to come in the day after tomorrow. Don’t let a beauty distract you from fulfilling your obligations. After all, the best way to keep a beauty is by making sure everything is taken cared of.”[notes]
“I know.” Duan Yujing glanced over at him. Shen Ningyu was the type of person who was happiest when he slacked off. He wasn’t incompetent though, in fact he was really good at his job… when he took it seriously. Otherwise his older brother would never allow him to fool around outside the house. Who knew what suspicious people would take advantage of him then?
After awhile Duan Yujing kicked Shen Ningyu out and went to his study to work. He was only teasing him for he knew his friend’s personality pretty well, that guy was used to being spoiled. It was nice to have him around but right now he wanted to have some peace and quiet to work on company matters. In a short time he had everything in order.
Qingge woke up around 6pm after sleeping for several hours. He unconsciously gripped a corner of the bed. Ah… soft. Warm. Quilt? Am I not on the plane?
Qingge bolted upright accidentally pressing down on the spot where the doctors had given him his shots. So painful! He turned his head left and right looking around the room. “Yeah. Not the plane.” From the decor he figured it was Duan Yujing’s room. It was a style he had seen before.
Am I going to live with Brother Jing now? Do I get to lay around in bed all day? Ah! This is great! He’s such a gentleman. I have to treat him right. He even put my pajamas on me. I wonder how long I was asleep for. It’s so comfortable here. It’s like I’m being lulled to sleep.
Even though it was really comfortable he felt it was time to get out of bed, so he got up and walked to the bathroom, his hair a complete bed head. His guess was correct. Duan Yujing did make a good husband. Definitely a ten out of ten!
Speaking of Duan Yujing, he was in the study just finishing up. When he saw that it was already 6:30pm he got up intending to wake Qingge. It was good to sleep, but he didn’t want Qingge to get hungry in the middle of the night and be uncomfortable. It was just the two of them in the house since Duan Yuchen had left some time ago to study at the library.
Qingge had just finished showering and was feeling quite refreshed and comfortable. Previously at the hospital he wasn’t able to wash up. It really was too sad to even remember. He opened the bathroom door only to find Duan Yujing standing on the other side.
“Ah, Brother Jing.” Qingge smiled with a head of hair still dripping water down his face and neck. He had loosely put his pajamas back on so a bit of skin was exposed. Qingge’s mother really did give him some great genes. He looked fantastic standing there.
“You didn’t dry your hair?” Duan Yujing frowned at the sight. “Come here.”
Wow even a frowning Brother Jing is good looking. Qingge felt a little weird inside but nonetheless obediently walked over. “OK.”
Yujing made Qingge sit on the side of the bed while he went to get a blowdryer. He carefully smoothed Qingge’s hair out as he moved the blowdryer around making sure the heat never touch Qingge’s skin too much. Soon every strand was dry. Duan Yujing saw the look of contentment on Qingge’s face as he pulled his hands away. He gave Qingge’s bangs a slight push and watched as the hair strands scattered on Qingge’s forehead. He had such a babyface. Don’t want him to get cold. With that thought in mind Duan Yujing went to a drawer and pulled out a cardigan.
Qingge was just enjoying the wonderful hair service when he felt a something go around him. Their eyes collided when he turned his head to look. So deep, so hot, so mysterious! His heart about leapt out of his chest. Too close! It was no use! He really couldn’t control himself. His ears turned bright red and his heart thumped like a drum.
Being able to see a beauty so often, he wasn’t sure how long he’d be able to maintain a proper outward appearance. The little devil in his heart was urging him to throw himself at that hot body in front of him. Must.. practice... restraint! He tried with all his might to keep his body still.
He wasn’t the only one trying. For his part Duan Yujing was trying to maintain a calm and gentlemanly facade. He didn’t want to appear too emotional or aggressive, otherwise he feared he would scare Qingge. It was hard when he looked at that defenseless face that seemed to completely rely on him.
He couldn’t keep the smile off his face as he asked, “Qingge do you want to stay in my room with me? There’s space for your clothes in the wardrobe and the shelves are clear for you. Feel free to use the computer too.”
How could Qingge turned down such a good offer? He nodded like a bobble head, and then became embarrassed at his own enthusiasm. “Brother Jing I don’t sleep very quietly. I tend to toss and turn a lot. But don’t mind it. Please, continue to stay with me.”
“Silly melon head. Stop being so polite towards me. We’re lovers. Whatever you need, just let me know,” Duan Yujing could not stop smiling. “You should be hungry now right? Let’s go eat something.”
Qingge sat in the living room pretending to watch a television program when in reality he was secretly perking his ears and straining his eyes towards the kitchen where Duan Yujing was. Something wonderful and warm bloomed in his heart. So happy! This life… this life is the best! He was miles away from the leech Liu Yang and he was living with the one who loved him most, who coddled him, and spoiled him. This life was turning out really well!
But he had to think ahead. The results for the entrance examinations would come out soon. In his last life he’d tossed everything aside, including his spot at the prestigious Haishi University in order to follow Liu Yang to Qing City. Although they were able to enter the same university there, they had different majors, so were in different departments and different class rotations. Liu Yang’s major was in computer science while his was in economics. It was mind bogglingly hard for him. He didn’t understand a single lesson. His brain was practically fried everyday, he tried so hard! But Liu Yang wanted to start his own company and having someone knowledgeable about the financial aspect of a business would be useful. Because of this he stuck it out and kept his major in economics.
So that was the previous life. What profession should he choose for this life? Duan Yujing was strong and capable, smart and rich; he certainly didn’t need someone to grease the wheels or prop him up financially. Can too much competency make a person annoying? I know he wouldn’t mind being my sugar daddy, but I mind. Besides, it’s not like I’m short on cash. If I want to stand tall beside him and be his equal then I have to find something to do. Can’t be something too physical, this body won’t holdout. Can’t be something too time consuming, won’t have time to spend with Brother Jing. So what kind of career should I go for? It has to be something that lets me earn money but won’t be too tiring and still lets me spend time with Brother Yujing. As a result of his deep concentration and lack of answers Qingge had a very confused look on his face.
When Duan Yujing came out with the congee he caught a glimpse of that expression. His heart crumbled into a complete shamble at the sight. To outsiders he always appeared calm and cool headed, but to Qingge he was very gentle and considerate. “What are you thinking?”
Qingge looked at the porridge in Duan Yujing’s hand. This wasn’t the first time Qingge had one of Duan Yujing’s porridges. When he was chronically ill and teetering on the brink of death in his previous life Duan Yujing had attended to him very conscientiously, catering every meal to his tastes. His sweet tooth was left very satisfied. His meals had a lot of variety so he never got tired of eating. There was always some kind of nutritious soup as well. On top of that, Duan Yujing would always watch over him and made sure he finished everything.
In fact in the end of it all he had indeed fallen in love with the gentle Duan Yujing. Perhaps it was at that moment that the Heavens yielded and gave him a second chance, allowing him to give it his all and cherish every moment.
Drinking Brother Yujing’s porridge now felt very different, unlike in his previous life. This time around there was no regret, his heart felt full and his mind was clear. How can I let such a wonderful target get away? This handsome considerate gentle kitchen god is worth more than gold! I need to move towards Brother Yujing and build a good and proper intimate relationship with him. Got to hurry up and devote my talents to him so we can live together well!
“Your porridges are tasty Brother Yujing.” Qingge fluttered his lashes opening his eyes wide as he looked at Brother Yujing.[notes] “Brother Yujing, what do you think I should major in?”
Duan Yujing thought carefully before answering. “Do you have a major you prefer?”
“Oh. Let me think... There’s nothing specific that I like. Stuff like banking and financing just make me confused. I enjoy reading though.” Qingge tilted his head to one side. Thinking about it he probably liked reading because he couldn’t do the same things as other people. His physical limitations meant he couldn’t join in on the hubbub, go out, or goof around like everyone else. So gradually he learned to love reading.
“The literature department here is good. All the professors are nationally renowned authorities in their field. The official website has a lot of detailed information, so if you look there you should be able to find out alot. Or if you want, later I can bring you to the campus and you can explore in person.” He felt that Qingge shouldn’t rush so much. He just wanted to protect Qingge and allow him to be happy and do what he liked.
Literature Department? That sounds good. Reading books everyday would be nice, especially for people like me who prefer to just mind their own business. Plus I’ve actually already written some stories on Jinjiang. I won’t tell Brother Jing about that though. But if I pursue a degree in literature I could actually do it professionally.
Jinjiang was a nationally recognized website dedicated to publishing stories online. As long as you were motivated and had something to write, you could post. He had registered for the site when he was at the hospital two days ago. Originally it was just a way to pass the time.
Being reborn again he had some ideas about upcoming literary trends. He wasn’t picky about what he wrote, any genre was fine be it romance, fantasy or even smut. Even if I haven’t actually eaten someone’s tofu I’ve seen how it works! All those novels I read were not PG! I definitely have exposure and can be considered a pro at this![notes]
Consequently Qingge decided to set his ambitions on being an author. Good writers can even make enough to support themselves. Yeah! I definitely have to give it my best so I can stand next to Brother Jing!
“If I have time later I’ll look at their presentation online. If the conditions are too strict I won’t bother. I am the kind of person who enjoys being idle after all.”[notes] Qingge confidently expressed his views as he handed the empty bowl to Duan Yujing for seconds. He demolished the refilled bowl like it was his final meal, practically inhaling the food making his cheeks look like an overstuffed hamster’s.
Duan Yujing smiled softly gazing at Qingge in front of him. In his mind he was thinking that it would be good for Qingge to be idle. His body was so weak it made Duan Yujing anxious just thinking about him going out and working. What if he gets tired? What if he’s rebuffed by others? Plus Qingge’s only eighteen, he shouldn’t have to worry about earning a living. Him working… we can talk about it later. But right now it’s out of the question. Even if he wants to be a professor… students these days were really fierce, what if they bully him? Duan Yujing couldn’t help but be anxious.
“Good! We’ll do it that way then. We’ll figure out what your likes and dislikes are and just take it from there.” Duan Yujing ruffled his sweetheart’s hair. This carefree attitude of his is good too!
“OK! *hiccup*” Qingge’s hunger was satisfied after drinking both bowls of porridge. His stomach was completely crammed full of food so he could only sit and watch as Duan Yujing cleared up the tableware and brought everything to the kitchen. Eventually he got up and leaned against the door frame of the kitchen watching as the other man cleaned up. It wasn’t that he was trying to behave like a Young Master in front of Duan Yujing, it was just that his body was weak so he could only laze around unable to help with the housework.[notes]
After Daun Yujing finished cleaning up he turned around to find Qingge leaning against the doorframe looking around like a curious cat with its tail wagging, strands of his hair rebelling and waving around making him look adorably silly.
“What is it? Did you want to go out for a walk? We can take a constitutional walk around the neighborhood if you want. The doctor did say you needed more exercise.”
“Yeah!” Qingge nodded his head excitedly. It had been a while since he’d gone outside and since it would just be him and Duan Yujing alone together.. well that was practically a date!
“OK go and change first. Make sure to dress warmly, it’s cool outside.” Duan Yujing smiled at Qingge’s obvious excitement. He wanted to take the opportunity to buy some fruits, especially the peaches that Qingge loved.
Qingge quickly ran back to his room to change. He dressed casually in a pair of light colored jeans and a long sleeved shirt. It was a slim fit and drew the eyes to his slender hips and pert bottom. This combined with his fashionable high top sneakers gave him the graceful air of the cool bro next door lady-killer type. He looked youthful and lively, gone was the sickly pale appearance he had at the hospital.
The reality was that although Qingge’s debility was congenital, the severity was mutable. Depending on what he did it could be serious or light. For example, although his constitution was worse than average - often getting sick when the seasons changed - as long as he was nursed back to health and didn’t stress his body too much, then he would be fine. He just needed to exercise and maintain a good level of physical fitness to keep his health in good shape.
However he had been living in the Lin House without a mother since early childhood. His father ignored him and his stepmother and her children weren’t exactly kind to him. There had been no one to support him or nurse him when he got sick.
Duan Yujing couldn’t help but stare at the young man in front of him. He exuded such a relaxed pleasant demeanor. His understated style complimented his personality really well, serving to make him even sexier.
Originally Qingge was pretty confident in his appearance, after all his mother was a beauty and he had inherited all her good traits. His eyes and brows were delicate and fine, yet didn’t appear too effeminate. However, Duan Yujing’s silent stare made him question his fashion choice and doubt rose in his heart. Did he not look good in Duan Yujing’s eyes?[notes] He nervously tugged at his clothes before asking, “No good?”
Duan Yujing couldn’t contain his smile. “You look great. It’s just that it’s my first time seeing you dressed this way. It’s quite good on you, simple and uncomplicated. Suits you very well.”
“Ah! Say that sooner next time! You scared me.” Qingge mumbled to himself under his breath. He quickly broke out into a smile though. “Let’s go!”
Duan Yujing laughed and walked over to hold Qingge’s hand. The action made Qingge quite happy.
Duan Yujing led Qingge around the neighborhood. It was an expansive area with lush greenery acting as a natural divide between the houses and apartments. Qingge enjoyed the pleasant feel of the breeze as it ruffled through his hair. The sound of the leaves rustling and the critters chirping were wonderful. Eventually they came upon a neighbor who’d just returned from his white collar job.
“Ah! Mr. Duan is this your friend? What a nice looking young man.”
“Hm.” Duan Yujing gave a noncommittal reply. He and Qingge were more than just friends, they were romantic partners. Although same sex relationships were becoming more acceptable and few had to fear discrimination, it still wasn’t common enough that it wouldn’t raise eyebrows. He didn’t want people to judge Qingge and give him any grief, thus the evasive reply.
They only had a nodding acquaintance and Duan Yujing was a nice person who was easy to get along with, so the neighbor didn’t pry and simply nodded his head before heading on his way.
“Brother Jing the atmosphere here is really nice. The elderly and the young all look happy.” Qingge smiled as he spoke. A breeze blew by and he couldn’t help but shrink into his clothes a bit. Strange. The wind wasn’t so strong before. How did it get so cold all of a sudden?
Duan Yujing noticed Qingge’s slight movement. “Cold?” He reached his arm over and hugged Qingge to his side. The two of them looked like an ordinary couple taking a stroll together, enjoying the evening air after supper.
Two men embracing each other’s shoulders as they walked was a little unusual and was bound to arouse people’s curiosity. Qingge didn’t mind though, if anything he wanted the whole world to know Duan Yujing, this amazing man, was his. I’ve lived through a lifetime already and the people here don’t seem to mind about that kind of stuff. There’s really no need to be secretive.
Qingge got a pretty good feel for the neighborhood after walking around for a bit. He felt a lot more comfortable and found he really liked the quiet and the slow pace. He didn’t have to think about work or stress out over anything. It was a home that truly suited him.
Qingge turned his head slightly and peeked at Duan Yujing out of the corner of his eye. I really do feel at ease here. Brother Jing has such a discerning eye. But with such an eye, why did he fall for me? Mm. It makes no sense. Wanting to understand Qingge finally worked up the courage to ask directly.
“Brother Jing.” Qingge leaned towards Duan Yujing slightly as he spoke. “Why do you like me? It can’t be for my wealth, you’re plenty rich on your own. There’s nothing special about me and I’m so sickly. If you’re doing this because you feel you have to repay my mom’s kindness… you really don’t have to.”
He had wondered about this question since his previous life. Although he himself fell in love with Duan Yujing, he didn’t understand why the other cared for him so much. Especially since in this lifetime they had only met once before.
Duan Yujing looked down and saw the melancholy expression on Qingge’s face. He pulled the other closer to him. “I like what I like. If you want a reason, then I guess… It was the first time I met you. I remember me and Little Chen[notes], we were going through the hardest times in our lives back then. Actually thinking back on it, I didn’t even think much of it when your mom invited us to meet you. Maybe I was a little curious, but that was about it. But that first time I saw you… I remember not being able to look away. It was like I’d just found the love of my life.”
Qingge could feel his ears burning. It was the first time he’d heard Brother Jing use terms of endearment. It was crazy he’d conclude something like that based on one glance.
“This will sound weird, but it’s like your body filters out all the wickedness and corruption in the air making it easier to breathe. I can’t help but want to be near you. You’re like my salvation. Honestly, you don’t have to do anything. Just having your quiet calmness near gives me the motivation to keep moving forward.”[notes]
Duan Yujing recalled that summer he met the ten year old Qingge. He had been facing the world alone and desperately trying to survive when Qingge’s mom miraculously appeared. Although she gave him financial support and provided for his physical necessities it was Qingge who saved his soul. His heart was dark and overflowed with resentment. He resented the accident that killed his parents, he resented the relatives who tried to kick him while he was down, he resented even more those who looked on with cold indifferent eyes. He hated that he and his brother were left behind. He hated that they had to struggle so hard just to stay alive.
He had been spiraling into a black abyss, but when he saw Qingge it was like a ray of sunshine finally reached him. It made him feel like it was OK to discard his pent up resentment. It made him want to live a good life and keep moving forward. As corny as it may sound, it was like I’d found my salvation that day.
“Oh, so I was really that awesome huh?” Qingge couldn’t help but grin at the description. He really had to thank his mother for giving him such a wonderful partner.
“Yes.” Duan Yujing nodded his head very seriously.
This guy is too much. I really want to just kiss him! But there’re too many people around. How crummy! Qingge was so preoccupied with this thoughts that he was surprised to look up and find they had somehow made their way to the supermarket.
Duan Yujing was careful to protect Qingge, so despite the stream of people around them no one jostled even a strand of Qingge’s hair. Eventually they arrived at the specialty produce section.
Holy crap! Peaches! Snacks! In an instant, a greedy dragon took possession of his heart. Qingge immediately thought of the best way to take all the peaches home. He wanted to cram the refrigerator full of them!
Duan Yujing watched helplessly as his gluttonous lover pushed the cart around and heaped it high with all kinds of goodies. Qingge’s eyes darted left and right all around the store. It was the best supermarket in the district, with fresh inventory stocked everyday. Even though he had assistants who could get him lunch, he would come over sometimes on his own to get food and drinks here too.
“Oh my goodness, you’re like a greedy fruit worm. Only pick out a few apples and peaches. This way we can test out if your body can handle them. If it’s OK and you’re craving more we can always come back and buy more.” Duan Yujing brought over a red plastic produce bag as he spoke and selected a few pink ripe looking peaches out of the bunch.
Qingge looked bitterly at the partially full bag of peaches. Eh?! The bag isn’t even stuffed full! There’s still space left. Brother Jing is too wasteful. Plastic bags are expensive, we should at least utilize every available square inch![notes]
Qingge began listing several fruits and counting them off on his fingers. “Can’t eat mangos, can’t eat gooseberries, can’t eat green dates. These three things will definitely make me break out in hives. Other things I’m not sure about. I have eaten a fruit salad at the Lin House before though.”
Duan Yujing laughed at that. “Ah I see. Is there anything you like? Other than peaches that is. If you like fruit salad why don’t we make some when we get back home tonight?”
“Yeah! Yeah! Definitely!” Qingge nodded his head like it was on a spring. It was obvious he wanted to try eating all the foods he had been afraid of trying before. With Brother Jing there I won’t have to worry. He’ll definitely take care of me if I get sick from any of the stuff I eat. Life is great!
In the end they ended up buying a bag of peaches, pears, dragon fruit, passion fruit, strawberries, walnuts, and chestnuts. Qingge was delighted, his eyes sparkled as he watched Duan Yujing checkout with the produce. He looked around at the crowd in the store as he waited. It seemed he wasn’t responsible for anything other than eating and drinking. Wasn’t this just like being a kept woman? Qingge shook his head to get rid of the image in his mind. But no matter how I look at it Brother Jing is the one taking care of all my expenses. But it’s not like I don’t have my own stash though! I have to tell Brother Jing about it, otherwise he might think I’m a broke mooch. Him thinking that… it was just too embarrassing!
Qingge may have had these thoughts but the reality was that Duan Yujing was already paying for everything at the cash register. Once he finished he carried everything over to Qingge and said, “Let’s go home since it’s getting dark. If you want, we can come out again later.”
“Brother Jing, do you need a hand?” Qingge looked at the bag bulging with groceries amazed they got so much. He was beaming to say the least.
“No it’s OK. I’ll carry them, you just worry about enjoying them.” He reached out to hold Qingge’s hand with his free one.
Qingge gripped Duan Yujing’s fingers between his, reveling in the feel of their entwined fingers. It made him feel like he was cocooned in a warm, embrace really putting his heart at ease.
Duan Yuchen[notes] stayed at a boarding school so he only came back for meals during the day and on weekends. Currently it was only the two of them in the house.
Qingge sat in the bed with his bracelet in hand. He had taken everything out and was looking at what he had. There were two cards and an assortment of rare and unusual jewelry from his mom. With the exception of the two cards he was actually pretty poor!
*knock knock* Duan Yujing stood outside with a plate piled high with different fruits.
Qingge was confused for a moment before he remembered he shared a room with Duan Yujing. He called out lightly, “You can come in Brother Jing.”
Duan Yujing pushed the door open. “Hungry? I made a fruit salad. How about trying some?” He walked inside and raised his eyebrows in question at the pile of scattered objects on the bed. “What are you doing?”
Qingge blinked several times before moving over to the side to make room for the other to sit down. He pointed to the objects on the bed saying, “My reserves.”
Duan Yujing laughed in spite of himself. He speared a piece of peach with a fork and brought it to his lips for a bite. “Your reserves huh? It looks pretty small. How about I supplement it for you?” He offered the fruit plate to Qingge as he said so.
“Brother Jing I just realized I’m pretty poor! These are all the things my mother left me. I don’t have anything else. I’m so upset!”
Duan Yujing gathered the scattered items on the bed into a pile in the center before standing up and looking at Qingge who, despite his earlier words of dismay, was busily forking fruit into his mouth. His motions hadn’t slowed down one bit. Considering his enthusiasm one had to wonder if he was really upset… Duan Yujing jokingly said, “Think of these things as your dowry,” before continuing in a more serious tone. “They’re your reserve fund. You should put them away. If you need cash, just use mine. I’ll support you.”
*cough cough!* Qingge ended up nearly choking on his fruit. Dowry?! What dowry?! I was trying to explain what this stuff was, not ask for a treasury supplement from you! Besides isn’t this kind of small for a dowry...
Duan Yujing secretly smiled while patting Qingge on the back. “I really mean it. This is your inheritance from your mom and her family. Don’t sell it for money. Just use mine instead. I don’t mean anything else by it. We’re lovers right? I’m more than happy to share what I have with you.”
Qingge’s face suddenly turned very serious. He counted out on his fingers as he spoke, “Brother Jing, the food I eat is all yours, the clothes I wear are all yours, and now you’re telling me to use your money as I see fit? People are gonna think I’m a gold-digging gigolo. This kind of reputation…”
Qingge’s distress would have been more believable if his happiness wasn’t so obvious. Duan Yujing saw the smirk on Qingge’s face and couldn’t help but laugh at his coyness. He moved closer to kiss Qingge on the corner of the lips. “Once again, so what? I’m yours. Don’t tell me you actually care what others think? I want you to always be by my side. I want to hold you and love you spoil the hell out of you. I’ve never thought of you as some kind of gigolo. I don't doubt that eventually you’ll become independent and have the ability to stand on your own. At that time if you want to you can support me. How about that? I have no problems at all with being your gigolo then.”
Qingge was incredibly happy! He decided then and there to have the lofty ambition of being a successful author. He needed to make lots of money so Duan Yujing would be his gigolo! Hm.. yes! I like that idea. I like that idea a lot. I even know of some good stocks to buy. I’m definitely gonna go and buy them tomorrow ASAP!
Duan Yujing couldn’t help but snort out in laughter at the look on Qingge’s face. His lover was such a little money grubber. He could tell Qingge was definitely thinking of ways to make money. He pulled out his card and checkbook. Liu Jing[notes] had been very profitable and he spent most of his time at work so he rarely used his discretionary funds. As result his net worth was very high.
He handed both the bank card and check book to Qingge. “These are all my savings over the years. Darling beloved, every month please remember to pay the water and electricity bill as well as the HOA fees on time. Also please remember to give Little Chen some pocket money. These things and responsibilities I now hand over to you. You are the sugar daddy of this household. From now on please take good care of me.”
Wait? What?! Qingge was in shock. How did this happen? Weren’t we just discussing my reserve fund? When did it turn into Brother Jing handing over all his money to me? This is a little much!
Duan Yujing’s cheeks were cramping up from smiling so much. The dazed and stupidly foolish look on Qingge’s face was truly priceless. He was quite happy with himself.
Qingge could only stammer, “Brother Jinge… aren’t... aren’t you too carefree?” as he slowly came back to reality. “Aren’t you afraid I’ll run off with all your money and leave you a pauper?”
“Nope. Not at all. But if you want to go somewhere please remember to take me with you. You are my sugar daddy afterall. Just remember to pay the utility bills first, otherwise the house will be cut off and we won’t be able to cook any rice.” He had complete faith in Qingge.
Although Qingge was the type of person who would get confused easily, he had a good and kind heart, unlike those rich Young Masters who led a pampered life of debauchery. In fact Qingge had to endure a lot growing up. Knowing this only raised Duan Yujing’s opinion of him. Qingge was a strong and honest person. The kind that would make an excellent wife!
People in love were just that way. Everything their lover did was looked kindly upon where flaws became assets and assets became even more amazing.
“Then Brother Jing please remember to give me the utility bills. Also how much should I give to Little Chen for pocket money? Also if you give me your bank card how are you going to pay for lunch if you go out to eat? Wouldn’t it be inconvenient if you can’t pay for your own meals? Here you should take the card back.” Qingge jumped into his role as the sugar daddy in the relationship without a moment of hesitation.
Duan Yujing listened attentively. He laughed silently in joy while listening to Qingge rattle off this list of questions. Working together to manage these tiny details of living… wasn’t this what spending a lifetime together was all about? Did it matter who played the role of the earner or who played the role of the spender? What did it matter how other people saw them as long as they lived for each other? Gigolo, sugar daddy… who cared about these terms?
Qingge became self conscious when he realized Duan Yujing was staring at him. How long had he been doing that? What was up with that look?
Suddenly Duan Yujing spoke up, “Qingge, you’re so good!” From his position above he moved forward kissing Qingge gently on the lips.
Qingge was surprised but he didn’t mind the closeness; he really liked Duan Yujing. Although he responded slowly and awkwardly because of his shyness, the simple kiss soon escalated into an impassioned one like a small flame igniting an explosion. His pajamas felt suffocating. Soon enough his chest was bared and his pajama bottoms strings came undone.
Duan Yujing’s eyes shone with an unusually aggressive light, the spark of desire clearly showing through. He looked at his lover’s body laying underneath him, his gaze lingering on Qingge’s lips. They were red and his face was slightly hot to the touch. Duan Yujing took several deep breaths before getting off the bed intending to head to the bathroom to take a cold shower.
He didn’t get far before Qingge reached over and grabbed his hand. “Brother Jing I feel really uncomfortable.” Qingge’s body felt overheated; an unfamiliar excitement and a desire to unleash something left him feeling strange. This was the first time he felt this way. His eyes looked a little hazy and his breathing was irregular. His throat was dry so his words came out a little hoarse.
Duan Yujing originally intended to end things there, restraining himself out of consideration for Qingge since his lover was still unwell. He leaned over and kissed Qingge again, kneeling into the bed as he did so, happy he had the foresight to purchase everything they needed earlier at the grocery store. The two were thoroughly absorbed in each other, grinding and kissing as though they couldn’t get enough skin to skin contact.
Qingge was tired and sleepy from the afterglow of their consummation. He easily fell asleep in Duan Yujing’s embrace.
Duan Yujing held his lover in his arms feeling incredibly happy they were able to meet again after so long, that their reunion was so joyous. He wasn’t sure how Qingge would feel afterwards since it was his first time. Wanting to lessen the other’s discomfort he wrapped Qingge in the bedsheet and carried him over to the bathroom. After filling the tub up with warm water Duan Yujing carefully placed him inside proceeded to give him a bath, being as gentle as possible. Before finishing he went back to the bedroom, changed the bedsheets, and grabbed some ointment. After applying some on Qingge’s skin Duan Yujing carried him back to the bed. He checked the other man’s temperature to make sure he didn’t have a fever. Feeling reassured he finally fell asleep beside his lover.
Duan Yujing woke up early the next morning and made some mung bean millet porridge and jujube cake, put the sheets from last night in the dryer, and boiled a cup of honey water. He brought it back to the room.
Qingge woke up feeling horrible; his mouth was dry and his body was screaming in discomfort.
Duan Yujing walked in to see Qingge frowning. He went over and massaged Qingge’s waist using moderate pressure. It seemed to alleviate Qingge’s discomfort as his frown disappeared.
Qingge was still a little confused from having just woken up. He opened his eyes to find Duan Yujing at his side massaging his waist. It felt nice and he turned over to face the other man only to stop immediately as an intense pain shot through his lower half. This reminded him of last night and what transpired. He was suffering so much because of it, but he was the one to initiate it wasn't he?
"Be careful, just hold on to me." Duan Yujing whispered as he looked at the tight frown on Qingge's face. He held onto Qingge's hand as he helped him sit up, leaning Qingge against his body while patting him gently on the back and comforting him like a child.
"Brother Jing, it hurts." He leaned against Duan Yujing's chest as he said so groaning in the process. Although he didn't regret giving it to Brother Jing, he couldn't help but feel a bit of grief over the whole matter. It was really painful and he was suffering. It was his first time so it was understandable it would be uncomfortable, but why did it have to hurt so much?!
"It's my fault for not being good to you. You must feel like I've wronged you. Here drink some honey water. I'll give you a massage OK?" How could Duan Yujing miss the grievance in Qingge's voice? Even in the Lin house, although they neglected him and were verbally rude to him, no one dared to physically abuse him. Duan Yujing wondered if he had been too hasty, Qingge was only eighteen after all.
Qingge took the drink and felt better as the honey moistened his parched throat. The hand at his waist also did wonders in alleviating his discomfort and combined with the honey water served to completely dispel the thread of grievance in his heart. He became more awake and alert as his head cleared. It was then that he realized he had no clothes on. Blushing uncontrollably, he said, "Brother Jing, my clothes. I want to get dressed."
"OK, but let me know if you feel uncomfortable anywhere else. Don't suffer in silence OK?" Duan Yujing patiently coaxed Qingge. He stood up and picked out some clothes for Qingge to wear. Duan Yujing specifically paid attention to Qingge's behind as Qingge dressed. He was relieved to find nothing unusual.
"En. Just now it wasn't that I felt you did me wrong. It was just that it hurt more than expected," Qingge awkwardly tried to correct the misunderstanding. He didn't make a fuss about Brother Jing checking out his rear, after all it wasn't like the other party hadn't already seen everything.
After dressing and washing up Duan Yujing carried Qingge downstairs. It wasn't that Qingge was so pained he couldn't walk on his own, it was just that his legs were a little tired. That this was the only issue was amazing. He was originally worried his body wouldn't be able to handle it, and wasn't sure what he would do if things fell apart. Fortunately, everything worked out.
This was all thanks to the aftercare Duan Yujing gave him, ministrations that Qingge was completely oblivious to. Duan Yujing had soaked him in really hot water and rinsed him clean before bringing him to bed and covering him oppressively with thick blankets, cocooning him like a mummy and forcing him to sweat profusely. Qingge did have a slight fever but because Duan Yujing kept his body temperature so high, he was able to sweat it out in his sleep.
Duan Yujing carried Qingge to the living room and deposited his lover on the couch. With a smile he said, "Sit here. I'll get breakfast going."
Breakfast was mung bean porridge. Duan Yujing purposefully added extra sugar to sweeten it up. There was even a jujube cake on the side. It was such a wonderful way to wake up, how could anyone complain or want to be a slouch in bed?
Supporting a lover who loved food wasn't bad. This lover of his had a big heart who would let bygones be bygones as long as there was something good to eat. Duan Yujing calculated how much food to buy for the menu he had in mind. He wanted to diversify their meals as much as possible so Qingge wouldn't get tired of eating the same things everyday.
After they finished breakfast Duan Yujing carried Qingge to the car, treating him like some kind of sacred treasure, holding him very dearly to his chest the entire way. Their destination was his friend Huo Siming's hospital.
"Do you want me to carry you or do
you want to walk on your own?" Duan Yujing asked once they arrived. He reached over to the side and touched the figure next to him. Today Qingge was wearing an ash gray hoodie vest and khaki skinny jeans paired with leather loafers. He'd always been a Young Master of a rich house, but now he really looked the part.
He smiled in reply. "No need. I can walk on my own."
The distance and sense of estrangement between the two had completely vanished after last night's intimacy. In fact the way they were gazing at each other now was sickeningly lovey dovey.
Qingge broke eye contact and got out of the car. He held out his hand towards Duan Yujing waiting for the other man to coming around so they could hold hands. At the contact Qingge laughed joyfully. They walked into the hospital comfortably in each other's company.
Duan Yujing quietly listened to Qingge talk about this and that, occasionally adding a comment here and there to introduce a new topic if needed. He was never too attached to any one particular topic, but neither was he absentminded, always giving Qingge his full attention. A skill he developed from being a successful businessman was the art of conversation. He knew when to take the initiative and when to follow, as a result the two conversed smoothly and happily together.
"Brother Jing, this is my first time meeting your friend Huo Siming. Isn't it bad for me to show up empty-handed? How about we go out and look for a present first?" Qingge tilted his head up at Duan Yujing as he asked. The wind messed with his bangs blowing it about and bringing attention to his eyes. They shined with intelligence while his face showed joy and embarrassment.
"It's not your first time."
Qingge: "?" Do you know I met him in my previous life?
At Qingge's inquisitive look, Duan Yujing explained. "He came over last night with Shen Ningyu when you were asleep."
"Eh?! That's too impolite. You should have woken me up," said Qingge with a furrowed brow on his face. We're partners. My behavior will reflect on you. How can you let me make you look so rude? Qingge was adapting to being Duan Yujing's wifey without even realizing it.
"It's nothing. They're both very easy to get along with. You don't have to be anxious. You're so amazing, who wouldn't like you?" Duan Yujing had a huge smile on his face as he lifted their linked hands up. "Even if something is wrong, so what? You're my lover. You'll always have me no matter what."
Hearing this reminded Qingge of a really catchy song on the internet back when he was in university in his first life: I'm Not Money. It's Impossible to Be Loved By Everyone.
Eh! Am I. Am I in Brother Jing's heart comparable to money? Wait no. I have Brother Jing's bank, I'm even more important than money!
That last thought made him blush. I need to work hard and strive towards my goals so I can say those lines back to Brother Jing and be able to back it up. Don't worry Brother Jing, even if everything falls apart, you'll still have me to rely on. Note to self: must work hard!
Qingge was in charge of paying all the bills since he had the bank. All of a sudden a random thought entered his mind. I wonder what kind of expression Brother Jing would have if he's eating out and he discovers he can't pay for the meal.
"Pachu! Chh...chh...chh..." Qingge fell into a fit of giggling as he imagined the scene. It was so funny he found it hard to stop despite trying his best to cover up his giggling.
"Why are you laughing? I'm very serious here?" Duan Yujing grumbled as he leveled a disgruntled look at Qingge while pressing the other against a wall. Duan Yujing began to wonder if he'd gotten too starry eyed and revealed too much to his lover.
Qingge laughed shallowly as he reached out to wrap his arms around Duan Yujing's waist. Acting coquettishly like a spoiled child he said, "Brother Jing, my butt's still sore, can you carry me?"
It was still early morning so the hospital corridor was deserted. Duan Yujing didn't waste time and just directly picked his childhood love up and walked down the corridor.
"Brother Jing, I was laughing earlier because I have your bank. Those words you said earlier, shouldn't it be me saying it to you?" Qingge wrapped his arms more tightly around Duan Yujing's neck as he jokingly said, "Brother Jing, I'll try my hardest to be the man who supports you from behind."
Duan Yujing's lips lifted up in a smirk as he said, "That's good. It'll be the beginning of the month soon. Please don't forget to pay the utilities." But really you only need to rest, wash, eat, and lounge around the house.
"Hahaha. I will definitely remember. I'll also be sure to give you extra pocket money too." Qingge didn't expect that the ever serious Duan Yujing would be able to go along with him and joke in this kind of way. It was an unexpectedly a very lovable side of him. Qingge was full of good cheer, his infectious laughter ringing down the corridor. It felt like he was back to his carefree days as a small child.
In no time at all they reached an office. Inside was a young doctor in a white lab coat intently studying a file on a laptop. From time to time he would pause and use a fountain pen to notate something down before going back to reading the file. Duan Yujing knocked on the side of the open doorway.
"Come in," he said as he closed the laptop and put it away to the side. Only then did he look up to see who the visitor was. Duan Yujing stood by the doorway holding a young man in his arms princess style. Huo Siming raised his eyebrows at the sight of his normally reserved friend being so intimate with someone. Even Duan Yuchen didn't get such treatment. Thinking this Huo Siming concluded the young man had to be the Young Master of the Lin family people were gossiping about.
"Hey Jing, why are you so early?" Huo Siming smiled slightly as he spoke. He walked over to the sofa and sat down to pour some tea for them. "This person is...?"
"There's something I need your help with. This is Qingge. He's my lover," Duan Yujing said as he released Qingge and laid him down on the sofa.
The Huo family and the Shen family were both well known influential families in Qing city. The former specialized in trade imports and exports while the latter dealt in the entertainment industry. Both were powerful families that wielded considerable influence in their respective fields. As the second oldest male in his family, Huo Siming didn't have the obligation of taking over the family business, allowing him to pursue the medical sciences. His parents didn't pester him about his career path because of his accomplishments in the field. Case in point he owned the privately held Qing city hospital.
Huo Siming wasn't the only amazing one in the room, in fact Huo Siming quite admired Duan Yujing and his ability to befriend other people despite his natural reservedness. For him to be able to befriend both the stupid Shen brothers and me and my brother is really quite a feat. We don't normally open up to others because of our backgrounds, but somehow this guy managed to do it. And it's not a shallow friendship about gains or sabotage either. We're actually genuinely friends.
"Hello, I'm Huo Siming. Yujing and I are friends." Huo Siming smiled as he reached out his hand toward Qingge, sizing the other man up with his eyes.
Qingge extended his hand to the other man for a handshake, while giving his introduction. "Lin Qingge. Duan Yujing's lover." In his previous life Qingge had met Duan Yujing's close friends before and knew they were just naturally haughty and a little standoffish, so he didn't think too much about the once over Huo Siming gave him. He knew there was no hidden malice in the gaze so didn't take it personally and give Huo Siming an attitude.
"Qingge, you don't have to stand on ceremony. Siming is my very good brother. Nowadays he's studying traditional Chinese medicine. Yesterday you and I talked about visiting the hospital to get you checked out; that's why we're here now." Duan Yujing took the tea and brought it over to Qingge to warm his hands, completely unconcerned about present company.
Qingge laughed; his expression not arrogant or fawning; his eyes were honest and clear when he spoke. “It’s not politeness. Young Master Huo is so young yet managed to achieve so much in the medical field. I’m very curious about him.”
Huo Siming raised his eyebrows and laughed in return. “You don’t have to call me Young Master Huo. Since you’re Yujing’s man and he’s my brother, and since I’m older than you, you can address me as elder brother.” He didn’t expect the Lin family would raise someone as clever as Qingge.
Despite this Hou Siming found it hard to accept Qingge. He didn’t think the young man was good enough for his friend; Duan Yujing was too talented to be stuck with a person as underwhelming as Qingge. His words were rude and clearly showed he only acknowledged Qingge out of respect for Duan Yujing.
The dissatisfaction in his voice was hard to miss. Duan Yuijing raised his eyebrows at Huo Siming’s antics. Normally he wouldn’t care, but this involved Qingge.
Realizing he was being glared at Huo Siming turned his head to face Duan Yujing, his gaze completely fearless. He was rather excited in fact. [Is his pipsqueak lover going to blow up in anger? Hahaha.]
Ah… but Huo Siming was destined to be disappointed. Having lived through an entire lifetime already, Qingge’s sense of perspective was different from that of an ordinary person his age.
[Please, like I care. Brother Jing is already my man.] The thought made his heart speed up when he realized how true the words were after last night. They were… definitely together!
“Elder Brother Siming then,” Qingge responded with a big smile. He poured a cup of tea saying, “Although I’m embarrassed to claim such an esteemed connection, allow me to offer you a cup of tea to celebrate.”
Huo Siming looked at the tea cup in front of him and his lips quirked up in an ironic half smile. [This child’s heart is too good. But then that’s not bad either. Well whatever. Since the relationship’s already there why hide it?] He drank the tea with a smile. “In the future please remember to be wifely and take good care of Yujing. He’s been single for so long, it’s been hard for him!”
“If you’re going to accept it, accept it properly. Give you an inch and you take a mile.” Duan Yujing glared at Huo Siming. [Aren’t you just a year older than me? What a shameless loathsome person. Acting up even though you already accepted the tea from my wife already.]
“Mm, of course.” Contrary to expectations, Qingge earnestly nodded his head, feeling as though he just received the approval of a parent or guardian. His happiness at being recognized was clear.
With that kind of earnestness how could Huo Siming keep teasing Qingge? It was time for a new target. He smiled in an easy-going manner and said, “There’s nothing for it Yujing. You haven’t been with anyone in so long, this brother of yours is afraid you’d become a cold fish.”
Duan Yujing, “…”
Qingge burst out in laughter at this. Huo Siming and Duan Yujing both stared at him. One had a look of glee while the other looked aggrieved. Qingge waved it off and leaned into Duan Yujing. After some effort he was finally able to calm the smile on his face, however, because of the excitement his cheeks had a rosy blush to them. He raised his head to placate the man next to him, “Brother Jing, just now Brother Siming was just joking. I can testify. You’re quite passionate.”
Qingge… At the pivotal moment stood by his man, defending Duan Yujing’s honor. Huo Siming raised his eyebrows at the sight. [What a good proper bottom! He handled that really well.] Huo Siming nodded. [Hm. Hm!] Finding a good person, one who wasn’t two-faced, was hard. Whenever he joked about sex to any of Shen Ningyu’s girlfriends, they would put up a pretense of modesty, instead of being bold and admitting the truth. As a result, Shen Ningyu often got roasted for his lack of discernment when it came to women. [Unlike that stupid Shen Ningyu, when Yujing tries, he comes up with a most excellent bottom.]
The most excellent quality bottom Qingge: [ω]
Duan Yujing wasn’t the only one with a significant other; Huo Siming also had a special someone in his life. Huo Siming and this person had been good friends since their university days. Somewhere along the way their platonic friendship became a romantic one. Huo Siming’s boyfriend wasn’t a doctor, but a professor at a nearby university. Their families knew about the relationship and had no objections. As long as the two were sincere and serious about each other, then it was fine. As for children, that was no problem either. It would be easy to find a surrogate match with modern technology.
With both Duan Yujing and Huo Siming in committed relationships, the only one still single was the playboy Shen Ningyu.
“Qingge’s body isn’t very good. I brought him here specifically because of this. Can you have a look at him?” Duan Yujing looked directly at Qingge as he spoke. It was clear how fond he was of the other man.
“OK.” Huo Siming smiled as he replied, taking Qingge’s hand and seriously reading the pulse there.
As soon as Huo Siming finished taking Qingge’s pulse, Duan Yujing asked, “So? Are there any problems?”
Huo Siming gave his assessment without beating around the bush. “There aren’t any major issues, but there are a bunch of minor ones, mostly due to Qingge’s poor physical fitness, resulting in a weakened immune system.” Huo Siming addressed the last part to Qingge. “I’m guessing you get a cold whenever the seasons change. You tend to get sick when you’re worked up or overly emotional too, right?”
Qingge nodded. “Yes.”
“You have a weak constitution, but if you take care of yourself you should be fine. Make sure to have a well-balanced diet and pay attention to your body. I’ll write out a prescription for you, but you have to make sure you take it regularly.” Qingge’s condition wasn’t anything worrisome, in fact traditional medicine was perfect for his condition. As long as he stayed on track and healed himself carefully and deliberately, he would be fine.
Huo Siming’s examination of Qingge didn’t take long, so it was still early morning when they finished. Since this was the case Duan Yujing took Qingge out for a stroll around the area. Neither had a destination in mind; they were just interested in being in each other’s company, walking around as if on a date.
As they walked Duan Yujing remembered Qingge’s lacking wardrobe. He had been surprised at the meager amount Qingge had when he went through his lover’s suitcase to organize everything. Just remembering it made him annoyed. It was obvious the Lin House treated Qingge poorly. Otherwise how could the House’s Young Master have so few belongings? He led Qingge to a shopping center nearby, intent on getting his love some new clothes. He patiently accompanied Qingge as the young man tried on one garment after another. If it fit and was appropriate, it didn’t matter the price, it was purchased!
Qingge was confused about Duan Yijing’s motives for having him try on so many so suddenly. But since it was what his man wanted, he didn’t mind going along with it. It was a thoughtful gesture that touched Qingge. The only other person to bring him shopping had been his mother.
Qingge would have been surprised if he knew the motive behind the shopping spree, after all his lack of material things wasn’t his father’s fault; he had been too lazy to go shopping for clothes. Being sick constantly made him dislike going out. Plus it was boring to shop by himself. The clothes he already had were enough for his needs.
Aside from shopping for clothes they also bought a bunch of books for Qingge. They made a complete circuit of the shopping center and even bought a few household things.
[I really am like a kept mistress, a complete gigolo!] thought Qingge amusedly. It was clear his only responsibility was to find things he liked and buy them with Duan Yujing’s money. This was not bad. Qingge quite enjoyed the perks of having a sugar daddy. He successfully swiped Duan Yujing’s card to pay for several things.
Since they were living together, did it matter who used whose? It would probably hurt his husband’s feelings if he made a fuss over it. Besides, at this point in his life Qingge didn’t have a job. Why stress over nonsense?
Later for lunch, they went to a well-known traditional restaurant in Qing city that served medicinal cuisine. It was a good meal. Once done, Qingge called the waiter over and asked him to pack several of their signature dishes to go; then he asked for the check. He had a huge smile on his face the whole time.
Duan Yujing laughed at the sight. “Why ask for so much to go? If you like it that much, we can just come back again.”
“We didn’t see Little Yuchen yesterday, and today we’ve been out all day. I want to bring some back for him to try,” said Qingge with a smile.
This surprised Duan Yujing. He normally didn’t have to worry about his little brother. If he was busy and didn’t have time to make anything, he knew Duan Yuchen would take care of his own meals.
Qingge’s thoughtful gesture warmed his heart. There was a saying that went along the lines of: you can gauge how much someone loves you from the way they treat you and those important to you. It was obvious that Qingge cared and was serious about them living together.
“Well, we should hurry then. Day classes lets out soon, at about five. And his evening classes start at seven.” Duan Yujing looked at the time. “It’s not five yet. We should be fine if we leave soon.“
“That’s good.” Qingge nodded as he got up. Even if it was only a trivial matter, it was important to him, his way of being a good and virtuous wife.
When Duan Yuchen returned home later that afternoon, he walked in to find Qingge sitting on the couch tapping away on the laptop. His brother was nowhere to be found, surprising him quite a bit. An onslaught of thoughts came to him. [How could Big Brother leave Brother Qingge alone?! He should have taken Brother Qingge out to play. What a shame! There are so many fun attractions in the city. Big Brother is too serious about work all the time. What if Brother Qingge feels neglected? What if Brother Qingge runs away? No! No! No!] Duan Yuchen shook his head. [I must do my duty as a good little brother and remind Big Brother!]
When Duan Yuchen walked in, dressed in his school uniform with a schoolbag slung over his shoulder, Qingge had just finished posting a dark fantasy novel entitled “The Immortal Liu” on Jinjiang **(online writing platform) using the titular pen name Qingge Liu. It was a story of a man on a journey to increase his cultivation. This kind of plot, with vague innuendos, were the most popular - especially with those rotten women. So there’s like a male protagonist and he’s on a journey or something to become like an immortal and cultivate. Along the way there’s like brotherhood and finding good times, bros before hoes you know. Nerdy topics with OP characters were popular.
“You’re Brother Qingge right? I’m Duan Yuchen,” said the younger Duan brother. He quickly smiled, albeit a bit awkwardly at Qingge on the sofa.
Qingge looked at him. The two brothers had a strong resemblance to each other, inheriting the same delicate yet stubborn features of their handsome father.
“Oh! Back from school? Can I call you Little Chen?” Qingge gestured at the sofa he sat on. “You don’t have to be so formal with me. Come, sit down. I’m your older brother’s….” Qingge trailed off unsure how to approach it. [Lover? Will Little Chen be put off by it? But Little Chen from the previous life wasn’t prejudiced against this kind of relationship.]
“Lover,” supplied Duan Yuchen. He spoke earnestly enunciating his words clearly. “Big Brother says, the one he’s been waiting for, the one most important to him, is you Brother Qingge.”
Qingge unconsciously stroked the tip of his own nose. Such praise from someone so young made him very bashful. That he could take it… his skin had definitely grown thicker.
“Little Chen, go eat first. There are some delicious dishes in the kitchen. Go on, before it gets cold OK?” Qingge spoke through a smile.
“Isn’t Brother Qingge going to eat too? Is it alright if I eat here? I won’t disturb you.”
“No. I already had some with your brother. You go on ahead and eat.” [Ugh! This child is too adorable! I can’t take it!] Qingge couldn’t resist reaching over and ruffling Duan Yuchen’s hair. Understanding and thoughtful children, he liked these kinds of children the most!
He thought about his past life’s Duan Duchen. He [Chingge] did not have a younger brother himself, his fraternal ties to the Lin house were essentially nothing. He quite liked this thoughtful and considerate child, particularly because he was Jingge’s only (text omitted)