In the end, Yan Yixi had to lead the little one back inside. It seemed the property managers were quite diligent; the power returned soon after he paid the bills.
The two sat down on the sofa. Wiping the little one’s eyes, Yan Yixi felt both somewhat amused and somewhat distressed.
“Why are you that scared of the dark?”
“It’s not the dark,” the little one obediently lifted his head so Yan Yixi could wipe his face.
“I’m afraid of being alone in the dark.”
“Did something happen before?” Yan Yixi was somewhat surprised.
The little one nodded, then gave a brief explanation.
After his parents’ divorce when he was five, Lin Xiangdong lived with his mother. Single parenting wasn’t easy. Chen Qing originally brought her son to work every day, but because her co-workers would point and gossip, she stopped no more than a year later.
Since he was six, Lin Xiangdong would go to and leave kindergarten by himself. The neighbors would also help out. Because the little one was so sweet and well behaved, they would often invite him over for dinner and let him stay until his mother left work. If Chen Qing was too late, they would take Lin Xiangdong home and the boy would precociously assure them that he was fine by himself.
When he was seven, his mother was being evaluated for a promotion and became busier than ever. One evening, she was able to make it home for dinner but was called back to work soon after. Lin Xiangdong obediently went to bed after finishing his homework.
In the middle of the night, he was awoken by some sounds. Thinking his mother was home, the little one left his room, only to come face to face with a burglar. Said burglar hadn’t dared to turn on the lights, but the little one naturally flicked them on. Under that yellowish light, the burglar’s face was especially vicious.
If it hadn’t been for the neighboring aunty opening the door for her husband and seeing that Lin Xiangdong’s door wasn’t closed properly, that burglar might have already slit Lin Xiangdong’s throat.
With the neighbor’s help, the burglar was caught and delivered to the police. When Chen Qing arrived at the station, the seven year old Lin Xiangdong was quietly sitting with a cup of warm water.
The boy’s tears slowly started falling when his mother hugged him. He turned his head to look at her, letting his tears fall into his cup.
“Mom, I was really scared just now.” He said calmly, despite his watering eyes.
Chen Qing cried her eyes out that night. The mother and son only made it home with the police officer and neighboring aunty’s assistance.
The next day, Chen Qing promptly resigned. After bidding their neighbors farewell, she took Lin Xiangdong and moved.
The little one had slept with the light on ever since. But with the light on, he would be reminded of that burglar’s ferocious face and be too scared to sleep. In that case, he’d crack open his door and peek at his mother working in the living room. Then, he’d quietly return to his bed, falling asleep to the lullaby of his mother’s keyboard.
As time went on, the little one continued to be scared of being alone in the dark. But his mother gradually became busy again, so he asked to live in the dorms, saying that it’d be easier to get along with his classmates that way.
In his second year of middle school1, his teacher had told Chen Qing that her child was quite smart and could reasonably skip grades. Chen Qing disagreed; rather than raising her son a genius, she wanted to see him study and play with other children his age, enjoying his childhood as he should. That was why she’d let her child dorm.
The little one told his story as lightly as he could, trying to give the impression that this was all in the past – when he was less brave than today. Yan Yixi felt his heart twist painfully for the little one.
Yan Yixi seemed to have cast all his previous worries2 and concerns away on his way home.
He took the little one’s hand in his own. With his other hand, Yan Yixi stroked Lin Xiangdong’s cheek, then inched closer and gently kissed the little one’s forehead.
The little one widened his somewhat swollen eyes, his mind filling with questions he was too scared to ask.
“Little one, would you like to be able to call me every time you find yourself scared of the dark?” Yan Yixi’s lips quirked up at the little one’s comical expression.
The little one nodded dumbly.
“Then wouldn’t the prerequisite be that you continue staying with me so I can keep looking after you?”
“Then what should you say?”
“Ah?” The little one made another silly expression.
“W– Would you like to marry me3?”
“Pfft.” Yan Yixi couldn’t help but laugh.
“You skipped a couple steps there, how about we become boyfriends first?”
It took the little one a solid ten minutes to comprehend. Once he did, his eyes widened even more and he rapidly nodded.
“Yes, yes, yes!!!!!”
The “Boyfriend Chasing Plan” was useless!!!! If he’d known all it took was to tell the other he was afraid of the dark!!!! Then he’d have said it long ago!!!!!
While Yan Yixi was trying to figure out how he’d coax the little one to sleep, the little one pitifully held onto Yixi’s hand, saying that he didn’t want to sleep alone. Thinking of his promise, Yan Yixi could only bring the little one into his own bedroom.
The little rascal rolled around on Yan Yixi’s bed happily. But seeing as they’d only just confirmed their relationship, he kept some semblance of self control. Moments later, he happily rolled back over to leave some space for Yixi.
“I’ll go take a shower; you go ahead and sleep first.” Yan Yixi leaned over and pinched his cheeks.
The little one may have agreed, but how could he fall asleep with the sound of running water emanating from the bathroom? He rolled around some more, then finally remembered to share the good news. Lin Xiangdong ran to the living room, retrieved his phone, then ran back to the bed and sent Yin Xu a WeChat.
East: I have a boyfriend now!!!! He accepted hehehe
Yin Xu didn’t respond immediately, likely enjoying some time alone with his own boyfriend. Skipping ahead again, the little one wondered when he and his newfound boyfriend would reach that step.
The thought had only just formed when the bathroom door opened. His boyfriend walked out wearing dark gray pajamas and his hair half dry.
“Still not sleeping? Not very obedient, hm?”
“Without you, I couldn’t sleep. Oh, Gege, let me blow-dry your hair!” The little one sprang up.
Seeing the little one’s excitement, Doctor Yan decided not to say that he wasn’t planning to blow dry his hair. He could only obediently stand in front of the sink and let the little one dry his hair.
Lin Xiangdong was too short to comfortably reach the other’s hair, so Yan Yixi had to lift him onto the counter. Only then could the little one dry his boyfriend’s hair.
As with most short-haired people, Yan Yixi’s hair dried very quickly, but the little one refused to come down.
“Hug, Gege.” He put his arms around Yan Yixi’s neck and played spoiled.
“You can get down yourself.” Yan Yixi purposefully acted stern.
“Can’t.” The little one smiled, then suddenly kissed Yan Yixi’s lips.
“You sure?” Yan Yixi’s eyes flashed.
“En.” The little one nodded.
“Then you should pay a deposit.” Yan Yixi dipped his head and kissed the little one.
The little one’s lips were soft, his mouth warm, and he himself dumbly sticking his tongue out to reciprocate, unaware how teasing his actions were.
As they deepened the kiss, the little one tightened his arms around Yixi’s neck as the corners of his eyes turned red and he unconsciously wrapped his legs around Yixi’s waist.
Yan Yixi turned back and passionately kissed Lin Xiangdong again despite finally having let go. The little one didn’t know to refuse, and even fell deeper into the moment, pitching a tent in his light blue pajama pants.
“Want Gege to help you?” While kissing, Yan Yixi’s hand reached down and gently stroked that place.
“Yes.” The little one spoke honestly, his entire body practically hanging off of Yan Yixi.
“Gege… ” He moaned softly.
In the end, the little one finished in Yan Yixi’s hand, his face entirely red. However, he still reached out and tugged at Yan Yixi’s pants. Yan Yixi stopped the little one’s hand, then pecked his lips.
“Good boy, go sleep now.”
“Be a good boy, alright?”
The little one could only nod and let Yan Yixi lift him off the counter. Unwilling to leave Yan Yixi’s side for even a moment, Lin Xiangdong left his dirtied clothes in the bathroom.
In bed, the little one fearlessly wrapped himself around Yan Yixi, only resigning himself to rest when all his strength was kissed out of him.
Yan Yixi pulled the little one into his arms, patting his butt in a pretended fierce but actually gentle manner.
“You have school tomorrow; hurry up and sleep.”
Between Yan Yixi’s coaxing and the fear and excitement from earlier today, Lin Xiangdong soon fell asleep.
After the little one fell asleep, Yan Yixi gently kissed the corner of his eyes.
“Little rascal,” he scolded lightly.
With the little beauty in his arms and nowhere to release his urges, the pitiful Doctor Yan almost lost control.
Despite having classes in the morning, the little one refused to get up even after the alarm went off. Yan Yixi spent forever coaxing him out of bed. What Doctor Yan didn’t know was that in the past, the alarm only needed to sound once before the little rascal hopped out of bed.
Yan Yixi also made breakfast. Then, since they were both up and Yan Yixi happened to be on vacation today, he planned to take the little one to school.
When Lin Xiangdong finished showering, Yan Yixi was frying eggs. He planned to make the usual egg and ham sandwiches; there wasn’t enough time to make anything fancier.
Yan Yixi had already become Lin Xiangdong’s boyfriend, so the little one could finally act unabashedly spoiled. He ran up to the man and hugged him from behind. Sticking his cheek against Yan Yixi’s arm, Lin Xiangdong tiptoed so that his head might reach the other’s shoulder.
“Morning.” Yan Yixi let him be, continuing to calmly fry the eggs.
“Get the toast.”
Lin Xiangdong dutifully carried out the order; grabbing a clean plate, and retrieving the toast from the toaster. Unsure of how exactly Yan Yixi made the sandwiches, the little one came back and scooted closer to Yan Yixi.
“Gege, where should I put this?”
“You can put it on the table.” Yan Yixi turned off the fire, then turned his head to peck the little one on the lips.
“Oh.” The little one licked his lips and couldn’t hold back a laugh. As if afraid Yan Yixi would laugh at him, the little one turned around and scampered back out.
Moments later, he came back and obediently took the plate of eggs and ham to the table. Yan Yixi brought two cups of warm milk and followed the boy out. Seeing the little one’s youthful excitement, he also smiled.
The two sat face to face. Yan Yixi picked up the toast and made a sandwich, which he handed to the little one. When Yan Yixi finished his sandwich, the little one was only half done. He was likely already full, as he was only nibbling at the sandwich.
“No need to finish it if you’re full.” Yan Yixi said.
“No, it’s shameful to waste food.” He took another bite. “Especially since you made it personally.”
Yan Yixi gave up and reached over to split the remaining sandwich in half.
“Then we’ll each have half. Eat a little faster or you’ll be late.” He gave the smaller half to the little one.
The little one watched as Yan Yixi polished off the sandwich he’d bitten from in a couple of bites. Whatever thoughts passed through his mind just then caused his ears to turn red, and he immediately looked down and stuffed the rest of his own half into his mouth.
“Little one, are you a hamster?” Yan Yixi chuckled at his cheeky attitude.
The little one’s mouth was full so he could only send the other a questioning gaze.
“Nevermind, eat. Careful you don’t choke.” Yan Yixi laughed again at the boy’s face.
Silly and sweet kid.
Yan Yixi dropped the little one off at the school entrance; Lin Xiangdong said there was no need to actually drive inside. Despite this, the little one was a little reluctant to leave.
“Then, I’m off?” He said for the third time.
Yan Yixi agreed for the third time. Seeing the little one still refusing to leave, he reached over, pulled the little one’s head closer, kissed him, then laughingly spoke.
“Hurry up and go now. Let me know when you finish class and I’ll come pick you up.”
“Will you eat lunch with me?” The little one was pleasantly surprised.
Yan Yixi nodded.
“So, you should go to class now, love.”
The little one’s hand had already reached the door, but hearing that term of endearment, he couldn’t help but kiss Yan Yixi again.
“Ok, I’m off. Bye-bye, boyfriend!” As soon as he said that, Lin Xiangdong practically flew out of the car and ran for the school.
It wasn’t because he was embarrassed — he was actually going to be late.
Yan Yixi watched the little one leave. He facepalmed and laughed again.
Lin Xiandong had classes all morning, so Yan Yixi went home first. When it was nearly lunch time, he drove back to school, parked his car, then walked into the school. He had asked the little one where his class was. The little one replied with “the 5th building,” before saying that he would come out himself since Yan Yixi wasn’t familiar with the campus.
What the little one didn’t know was that Doctor Yan was also an A university alumni and it was quite easy for him to find the building. So when Lin Xiangdong walked out with Yin Xu and saw Doctor Yan, his face bloomed into a smile.
“Gege!” He ran straight towards Yan Yixi.
The nearby students stared wide-eyed as the school sweetheart leaped into a strange man’s arms! Damn! Who?! Who managed to snatch up our sweetheart?!
Only Yin Xu stood off to the side, acting as if he already understood everything. This was the power of love — painting pink hearts behind their little genius.
Yan Yixi wasn’t expecting the little one to come straight at him either, but still managed to catch the boy in his arms. Then, the suspicious, shocked, and annoyed gazes of all the surrounding people bored into him.
Hm, it seemed the little one was quite well-liked at school?
Yet Lin Xiangdong didn’t seem to notice his classmates who looked as if they were suffering from empty nest syndrome. He happily turned to Yan Yixi.
“Gege, can I bring my friend to lunch too?”
“Of course.” Yan Yixi could reasonably guess who this friend was.
Hearing this, the little one turned and waved to Yin Xu.
“Xuxu, let’s go! Come eat lunch with us.”
Yin Xu agreed then walked forward to greet Yan Yixi and the two introduced themselves to each other. Then, as if completely unaware that he was third-wheeling, Yin Xu followed them to lunch.
At the start, Yin Xu actually didn’t approve of Lin Xiangdong chasing Yan Yixi. After all, their adorable little Dongdong was only 18 years old and he had plenty of pursuers on campus. Was it really necessary for him to hang around a bar, trying to catch some other man?
But after this meal, Yin Xu realized that older men have their benefits too. At the very least, he took very good care of their precious Dongdong.
Their Dongong deserved to be well taken care of. Yes, maybe an older man was better.
The two students still had classes in the afternoon, so they had lunch near the school. After eating, Yan Yixi walked the two back to campus.
Lin Xiangdong held Yan Yixi’s hand the entire way back, wearing the word “dating” on his sleeve and all his happiness on his face. The hearts of many young men in his school broke that day.
Yan Yixi saw their heartbroken gazes, but only held Lin Xiangdong’s hand tighter and leisurely kept walking. This little one was his.
Once inside the school, Yin Xu left saying he needed to wash his hands and finally stop third-wheeling.
“This is Lake Suming. Because it sounds like destiny4, the couples on campus all like to meet here.” The little one spoke in what he hoped was a natural manner.
“There’s a saying at our school that those who kiss by Lake Suming will stay together for a lifetime.”
Yan Yixi stopped and turned around, then promptly kissed the little one when he wasn’t paying attention.
“Love, I forgot to tell you that I’m an A Uni alumni.” He whispered against the little one’s lips.
Lin Xiangdong: ???????????
“I’m not lying!!!”
The saying was just quite new!!! Really!!!!
second year of middle school: 8th grade if you live in the US
worries: worries about giving the little one the wrong impression
marry me: the little one’s using the term for a girl getting married.
sounds like destiny: destiny (谐音 su4 ming4) same sounds but different tones (the lake is su1 ming2)