Chapter 2: The two of us
After getting off on his stop, he felt like he was perfectly clear-headed, yet also terribly confused. He had seen Xu Huaiming, but it couldn’t be him. It wasn’t until a familiar voice spoke out, “Ah Lu, it’s me.”
Only then did it hit him. It had indeed been him.
In his blurry vision, Tan Xilu rubbed his eyes with his wet hand, the rainwater stinging his eyelashes, making them ache. He desperately tried to see Xu Huaiming clearly, fearing that this might be an illusion, that the person he had longed for might not be real.
“Mr. Tan, is this your friend?” Lin Zhiyuan asked, looking at Tan Xilu, who seemed dazed.
Tan Xilu seemed to come to his senses at this point. He turned to Lin Zhiyuan and let out an “Hmm,” followed by, “Mr. Lin, maybe you should go ahead. I might have some personal matters to attend to.”
Lin Zhiyuan hesitated, glancing at Xu Huaiming and then at Tan Xilu. He felt that there was a story between these two, so he said, “Alright.”
Tan Xilu had thought that when he saw Xu Huaiming again, he would be overwhelmed with emotions, perhaps shouting and hitting him, crying and asking, “Where have you been all these years? Why couldn’t I find you?”
Or maybe they would have a good cry together and formally break up. After all, he had spent seven years waiting.
However, when he actually saw the person, Tan Xilu found himself surprisingly calm. The intense desire he had once had to find Xu Huaiming had gradually faded over the years, replaced by a sense of emotional stability. He felt no strong emotions, just a slight physiological chill when he laid eyes on him.
He walked up to Xu Huaiming, gazing at this person he hadn’t seen in seven years.
Xu Huaiming seemed unchanged, at least in Tan Xilu’s eyes.
He was still not prone to smiling, and he was undeniably good-looking. That was why when Xu Huaiming had confessed to Tan Xilu all those years ago, he had accepted without hesitation.
Tan Xilu, someone who swung the other way, couldn’t resist when a handsome man confessed to him. Why would he?
Tan Xilu’s gaze moved down from Xu Huaiming’s beautiful peach blossom eyes to his rosy lips. He had kissed those soft lips countless times, even leaving a scar from a love bite during one passionate encounter.
“Ah Lu, are you feeling unwell?” The man’s voice was deep and magnetic.
Xu Huaiming lowered his head, his peach blossom eyes gazing at Tan Xilu affectionately. If Tan Xilu tilted his head just a bit, he could kiss Xu Huaiming.
But he didn’t, because his body felt weak at the moment.
Just as he was wondering why Xu Huaiming had suddenly asked if he was feeling unwell, the next moment, he got the answer.
His vision turned black in an instant, and then he felt numbness. In his fading consciousness, he sensed himself falling into warm arms. It was different from the unfamiliar embrace on the bus; this one radiated safety, familiarity, and comfort.
—He had fainted.
Xu Huaiming lifted Tan Xilu’s limp body into his arms. It was like a programmed memory; as soon as he touched Tan Xilu’s body, he recalled all the things they had done together.
Kissing, watching movies, going on dates… and being in bed together.
They had been so intimate, deeply in love.
With the implanted programs, Xu Huaiming remembered that Tan Xilu’s apartment was on the second floor, but he didn’t know the door code.
—The previous door had a lock.
He carried Tan Xilu to the front of the apartment door, where Tan Xilu’s face was flushed due to the rain, his entire body drenched. His wet hair clung to his cheeks, and he frowned, looking uncomfortable.
He must be sick, Xu Huaiming thought.
Tan Xilu’s body was burning with fever. For a normal human, their body temperature should be around 37 degrees Celsius, but Xu Huaiming felt that Tan Xilu’s temperature was higher than that. He needed medicine or something to bring down the fever.
The door code was a mystery after failing to input it the second time. Xu Huaiming attempted to rouse Tan Xilu, using his slender fingers to move aside the wet strands of hair and gently massaging his forehead. He leaned down, whispering softly in Tan Xilu’s ear, “Ah Lu, what’s the door code?”
Tan Xilu seemed to respond slightly but didn’t fully wake up. He just moved a bit and weakly called Xu Huaiming’s name, “Xu Huaiming…”
Xu Huaiming paused for a moment, realizing that it was pointless to ask a sick person for a door code. But Tan Xilu’s body was so hot that he was worried it might get worse. So, he cradled Tan Xilu in his arms, providing some temporary relief from the fever.
But this could only be a temporary solution.
Xu Huaiming hadn’t expected that on the first day of his visit to Tan Xilu, he would encounter such a challenging situation.
No. 7 had implanted many memories, but it hadn’t prepared him for how to handle a situation like this.
With Tan Xilu in his arms, Xu Huaiming pondered for a moment. He couldn’t just stand there indefinitely, waiting for Tan Xilu to wake up. It might take a while.
After some thought, Xu Huaiming heard some noise from the neighbor’s apartment.
He adjusted Tan Xilu’s position, holding him closely. Then he approached the neighbor’s door and knocked.
The door was opened by a seven or eight-year-old boy holding a video game controller. He looked up at the unfamiliar man and asked, “Mister, do you need something?”
Xu Huaiming didn’t expect a young boy to answer the door. He hesitated for a moment and said, “My partner has a fever, and I can’t get into our home. Can you help us?”
“Your partner?” The young boy hesitated for a moment, then glanced at the drenched person in Xu Huaiming’s arms. “Is that Mr. Tan?”
Recognizing him, Xu Huaiming breathed a sigh of relief. “Yes, we need help.”
The young boy turned and called out to someone inside, “Brother, Mr. Tan is here, and he’s sick. There’s another man who says he’s Mr. Tan’s boyfriend, and they came to our house.”
“Boyfriend? How is that possible?” A male voice from inside called out, “Mr. Tan’s boyfriend isn’t…?”
But when the voice trailed off and the person saw Xu Huaiming, he stopped abruptly. “…dead?”
“You’re not dead?” The man named Lin Changyu widened his eyes in surprise.
In the seven years since Xu Huaiming had disappeared without a trace, no one had been able to contact him. Most people had assumed he was dead. Xu Huaiming paused for a moment, then awkwardly replied, “I’m still alive.”
“Ah,” Lin Changyu said, looking at him and then at Tan Xilu. “Is Mr. Tan running a fever?”
Before Xu Huaiming could answer, Lin Changyu added, “I don’t have any medicine at home. Mr. Tan should have some at his place. I usually go to his place to get it.”
As Lin Changyu spoke, he stepped out of the door, bypassing Xu Huaiming and heading to Tan Xilu’s apartment. He pressed a few buttons and, with a beep, the door unlocked.
Xu Huaiming, still holding Tan Xilu, watched Lin Changyu’s actions with a slight squint in his eyes.
“Seems like there’s no hot water,” Lin Changyu said as he walked to the kitchen, filling a kettle with water and plugging it in.
Seeing Xu Huaiming standing in the living room without moving, Lin Changyu shook his head and said, “Big brother, Mr. Tan is still wet. You should at least change his clothes for him.”
Xu Huaiming seemed a bit slow to react, but after Lin Changyu’s reminder, he replied with an “Hmm” and carried Tan Xilu into the bedroom.
Xu Huaiming remembered where the bedroom was; it was the room furthest inside. Program 7 had implanted the memories, and he pushed the door open with his arm, entering the room.
The room was clean, and there was a faint scent of lemons in the air.
Xu Huaiming laid Tan Xilu on the bed and then turned to search for clean clothes in the wardrobe.
Tan Xilu’s wardrobe was unusually monotonous, filled with light-colored clothes, particularly white shirts. Xu Huaiming found a gray T-shirt and knee-length shorts that seemed suitable for home wear, hidden deep inside.
However, when he was about to change Tan Xilu’s clothes, he hesitated.
Tan Xilu’s white shirt was completely soaked, clinging to his body and outlining his slim, beautiful figure. Xu Huaiming could even see the buttons fastened tightly under the collar, revealing the prominent collarbones.
Xu Huaiming furrowed his brows and pursed his lips. In the past, it had been no. 7 that had been intimate with Tan Xilu. Now, having to undress Tan Xilu, who was essentially a stranger to him, felt somewhat awkward.
“Uh, that someone… Mr. Tan’s boyfriend, are you still with him? And has Mr. Tan’s clothes been changed?” Xu Huaiming heard Lin Changyu’s approaching footsteps outside, and he looked at Tan Xilu, pausing for a moment, uncertain of what to do next.
T/N: Hey there! There is plenty more where that came from, so stay tuned! And stay healthy! Straighten your posture, so some stretches and drink some water before continuing hehe~
If you like my translations, feel free to donate to my ko-fi!
I really, really appreciate all the support from my readers <3 It goes a long way and motivates me lots!
Also, check out the other series we have on HoH!
If you like cats, check out Revenge of the Garfield
What about the perfect, most non-toxic male lead ever? Laws of Love
How about MC nursing ML back to health? Forced into the Deep
Thank you for all your support <3 Leave a comment if you like 🙂 I love reading them!