Thanks to juuree for the Ko-fi!
At 11 PM, everyone was still stuck in the practice room. The amount of training had increased recently, and after a few consecutive days of it, everyone looked a bit tired.
Except for Jian Rong.
He wore a focused expression, and his brows were furrowed very slightly. “Xiao Bai, give me a speed boost and shield, I’m gonna tower dive and kill their mid laner…”
Before he could finish, Xiao Bai’s Lulu raised her magic wand. With a thunk, he slaughtered the minion right in front of Jian Rong.
Xiao Bai: “…”
Jian Rong: “.”
Xiao Bai: “If I said I was extremely sleepy so I rubbed my eyes and then gripped my mouse a little too hard so I accidentally killed your minion—would you believe me?”
Jian Rong’s in-game character froze in place for quite a few seconds before it continued pushing forward. He spat out coldly, “Three.”
Xiao Bai said, stupefied, “Three what?”
Jian Rong: “Since I joined the team, you’ve stolen three minions from me in total.”
“??” Xiao Bai regained his energy. “Are you a grudge-holding spirit?!”
Jian Rong said frostily, “Who made you run over to my mid lane to sleepwalk? Can’t you go screw over Pine?”
Pine: “No. I’m a solo laner tonight, you guys do whatever you want.”
“Play properly. It’s the last match, after this we can rest.” Lu Boyuan checked his gold. “I need 200 more gold to buy Black Cleaver, we can team fight once I get it.”
Jian Rong withdrew when he heard that. “Come eat this wave of minions at mid, I’m going back to base.”
“?” Xiao Bai felt like this was unreasonable. “I eat one of your minions, and you write my name down in your grudge book, but when my ge comes, you immediately let him have a whole wave of minions??”
Jian Rong paused. “Did you not hear him? He’s 200 gold away from buying Black Cleaver.”
“I’m also 200 gold away from buying Ardent Censer, so what?” Xiao Bai said seriously, “There’s no such thing as idols in practice matches. Please be a little more professional, don’t bring your love for my ge into the game…”
Lu Boyuan’s champion halted for a second before he directly and efficiently cleared the wave of minions.
“Like hell I’m bringing…” Jian Rong grinded his teeth. “I just look down on supports, that’s all, and I don’t want to let supports have any gold. What about it?”
“Damn.” Xiao Bai said, “I’m gonna repeat what you just said in its entirety to your fans who play support. You’re finished.”
Though Jian Rong said that, he still ended up flashing in and saving Xiao Bai in the ensuing team fight, at the cost of being instakilled by two clicks of the enemy mid laner’s spells.
Xiao Bai said, touched, “On behalf of supports, I forgive you…”
“No need.” Jian Rong opened the shop to buy items. “Doing this makes me seem a little weaker, this way the opposing team won’t target me when we’re playing against them in a match.”
Xiao Bai: “.”
Right after they won the game, Ding-ge walked in and announced that their training was finished for the day. He told them to go downstairs to eat midnight snacks.
“I’ve already played two mahjong games, and you guys only just finished practice?” Fu-ge was sitting on the sofa, watching TV. At the sound of movement, he didn’t bother looking over as he said, “Come, eat midnight snacks. I got someone to buy a little seafood.”
He said “a little,” but in reality, the coffee table was almost completely covered by red plastic bags filled with all kinds of processed seafood.
Originally, Jian Rong wasn’t very hungry, but his stomach couldn’t help but grumble once he smelled the fragrance of salt and pepper.
They sat down directly on the carpet and started eating.
“I heard Lao Ding say that you guys are guaranteed to enter the playoffs?” Fu-ge lit a cigarette. “If you play well in the spring season this time and place in the top three, I’ll give everyone a big red envelope.”
Ding-ge instantly said, “What top three? We’re aiming to be the champion.”
“If you become the champion…” Fu-ge pondered briefly. “In addition to the red envelopes, I’ll also give each person a car?”
Jian Rong: “?”
Lu Boyuan looked down to see their team’s mid laner get smashed by the car that dropped from the sky, after which Jian Rong became distracted and proceeded to viciously prick himself on the thorny shell of the mantis shrimp. He sucked in a breath through his teeth from the pain.
Jian Rong was indeed distracted. He was thinking—
What color car should he pick?
He had to find some time to get his driver’s license.
He would probably have to spend some money to buy a parking spot too…
As he was lost in his thoughts, someone grabbed his wrist and tugged it over.
Lu Boyuan wrapped a napkin around Jian Rong’s index finger and pressed his thumb, through the napkin, against the place where Jian Rong was bleeding.
Driver’s license, parking lot, whatever, it all flew out of his head immediately. For a few short seconds, Jian Rong was only able to feel the warmth of Lu Boyuan’s finger and the sound of his own heartbeat.
“Boss, you’re amazing!” At once, Xiao Bai felt like the seafood in his hand was no longer appetizing. “Then I’m done eating, I’m going to practice. Boss, decide what car brand you’re gonna buy from first, and I’ll let you know which car I want right after the spring season is over!!”
Xiao Bai was hauled back by Pine, who asked coolly, “With your playing condition tonight, who are you trying to screw over in ranked? Eat first.”
Yuan Qian rubbed his hands. “Does that mean I’ll have my wedding car?”
“It’s your car, you guys pick. You can choose anything that’s under two million, I won’t intervene.” Fu-ge propped his elbow up on the couch cushion, the words “nouveau riche” written all over him. “Since it’s Xiao Qian’s wedding car, you can pick a more expensive model… what kind of car does Xiao Lu like?”
Lu Boyuan released Jian Rong’s finger. After confirming that it was no longer bleeding, he threw away the napkin and looked up. “Anything’s fine.”
Fu-ge nodded. “That’s true, it’s not like you need a car from me. What about the little bluenette? Little bluenette, you got a car yet?”
The little bluenette was called out twice, and he silently retracted his hand. “Not yet.”
“Then think about it carefully. After all, this is your very first car.” Fu-ge finished off his cigarette before he patted his thighs and stood up. “Oh right, I lost track of time playing mahjong. If I go back now, I’m going to be scolded by my wife, so I have to stay the night. I’ll tell her tomorrow that I was playing games here… One of you should clear out your room for me.”
Everyone else was startled.
Ding-ge promptly said, “I can take you to a hotel outside.”
Fu-ge shook his head. “That won’t do, my wife is extremely clever. She’ll check my hotel reservation history, and it doesn’t work if someone else uses their identity card either… in short, she’ll always be able to find out. Also, I don’t feel like going through all that trouble.”
Xiao Bai reminded him, “Boss, we have guest rooms in our base.”
“I know.” Fu-ge threw away his cigarette. “I looked at them earlier. Those guest rooms look like they’ve been unoccupied for several centuries now, they smell too strongly and the bedding’s dirty. Uninhabitable.”
As Fu-ge spoke, he really did end up going upstairs to pick a room.
Xiao Bai instantly howled, “Boss my room is full of stinky socks!! It smells even worse than those empty rooms!!!”
Yuan Qian also said, “Boss, my room isn’t too convenient either. My toilet is broken, property management is only coming to fix it tomorrow.”
Pine said calmly, “I don’t have a bed in my room, I’ve been sleeping on the floor these past few days.”
Lu Boyuan contemplated for a moment. “I…”
“Actually, I’ve already made my decision.” Fu-ge said, “I’m staying in Xiao Lu’s room, his bed is big. Xiao Lu, go and squeeze with someone else tonight?”
Half an hour later, Jian Rong stared at the extra pillow that appeared on his bed, feeling a bit lost.
Outside his door, Ding-ge was saying in a lowered voice, “Boss drank some alcohol earlier in the evening and fought a little with his wife, so just let him sleep in your room. I’ll tell the auntie to change out your bedding tomorrow.”
Lu Boyuan went silent for two seconds before he said, “Got it.”
Ding-ge nodded. He was about to leave when he saw Jian Rong pick up his blanket in the room and survey the floor.
Ding-ge frowned. “Jian Rong, what are you doing?”
Jian Rong didn’t look up. “Finding the best location for me to sleep on the ground.”
“You don’t have to.” Lu Boyuan said, “This is your room. If anyone should be sleeping on the ground, it’s me. You sleep on the bed.”
Jian Rong didn’t even think about it. “How could I make you sleep on the floor…”
Lu Boyuan lifted an eyebrow. He was about to say something, but he was interrupted by Ding-ge.
“Ai, that’s not it…” Ding-ge was bewildered. “What’s wrong with two grown men sleeping in the same bed? Why does someone have to sleep on the ground??”
Jian Rong stared blankly.
Lu Boyuan turned his head and glanced at him, seemingly accidentally.
Ding-ge didn’t notice that anything was amiss. “Do you think it’s too crowded? Jian Rong’s bed is a bit smaller, but there’s more than enough room for both of you to fit… it’s already harsh enough on your bodies sitting in front of the computers every day, if you go and sleep on the floor too, do you even want your back anymore? Listen to me, just squeeze together for the night, nobody’s allowed to sleep on the floor!”
After Ding-ge left, Lu Boyuan closed the door and looked back to see Jian Rong still standing in his original spot, hugging his blanket. For some reason, he seemed a little silly.
Lu Boyuan restrained a smile and negotiated with him, “I’ll sleep on the ground.”
Jian Rong refused at once. “No.”
Lu Boyuan said, “In that case, let’s sleep together.”
In short, there was no option for Jian Rong to sleep on the ground.
Jian Rong didn’t move or speak. A beat later, Lu Boyuan understood something, and he picked up his pillow before he started to put it on the ground—
“…let’s sleep together then.” Jian Rong’s left hand gripped his blanket while he energetically raked through his hair with his right hand. He ducked his head and didn’t look at Lu Boyuan. “But I don’t have good sleeping habits, if I do something in the middle of the night… you can just kick me straight off the bed.”
In reality, Jian Rong didn’t know how he behaved after he fell asleep either, but every time he woke up in the morning, more than half of his blanket could usually be found on the ground. His posture was also always different from the position he had fallen asleep in.
After returning the blankets and pillows to their original positions, Jian Rong absent-mindedly picked up his clothes and went to shower.
Lu Boyuan came over after showering in his own room first. He sat down on the bed and answered a few messages before he couldn’t help but lift his head and look around Jian Rong’s room.
It was much messier than it had been when Jian Rong first moved in—well, it couldn’t be called messy; it now contained the aura of someone living there.
Two pieces of clothing were thrown over the back of a chair. A hat was slung casually over the headboard, and the desk was a bit chaotic. Jian Rong’s phone sat crookedly on his bed.
Meanwhile, the wooden coat rack that the clothing items and hats should’ve been hung up on was completely bare. The only thing hanging from it was a pair of underwear.
White with black edges, quite small in size. Action Mask1 was printed on the back, and it looked like Jian Rong had just taken it back to his room not too long ago after air-drying it.
Lu Boyuan paused, averted his eyes, and lowered his head to continue replying to texts.
Soon after, he heard the water stop in the bathroom.
Then, five minutes passed.
Lu Boyuan tossed his phone onto the bed, stood up, and picked up the article of clothing from the coat rack before he knocked on the bathroom door.
The person inside asked swiftly, “What’s wrong?”
Lu Boyuan said, “Open the door.”
A moment later, the bathroom door was opened. Nearly all the steam inside had dissipated already. Jian Rong tilted his head to the side, revealing half of his face; his wet hair stuck to his forehead, and the depths of his eyes glistened slightly. There were still drops of water stuck to the tip of his nose and his eyelashes.
Lu Boyuan met his gaze quietly for a few seconds. Then, he held up the underwear in his hand.
He was holding it very politely, only pinching one corner. He didn’t touch any other part of it.
Jian Rong, who had searched through his pile of clothing for quite some time and was unwilling to face the reality that he had forgotten to bring underwear in with him: “…………”
Jian Rong numbly took the underwear from Lu Boyuan and squeezed out a “thank you” from his throat.
Lu Boyuan lowered his eyes. “Mn.”
It took Jian Rong two seconds to realize that Lu Boyuan was staring at his… Action Mask. “…discount, 70% off, that’s why I bought it.”
Lu Boyuan gave another “en.”
Jian Rong: “Really, my other pairs don’t have this kind of design on them…”
Lu Boyuan blinked, and then laughed.
Jian Rong watched him laugh, while he himself froze completely on the spot.
What the fuck am I saying?
“Pretty cute.” Lu Boyuan consolingly gave him a final evaluation and said, “Put them on, then come out and sleep. We still have practice tomorrow.”
Jian Rong exploded a little.
However, he could only explode internally; he didn’t dare to display a bit of it on the outside. He put on his clothes, exited the bathroom, got in bed, and turned off the light—then, he laid there flat on his back like an ancient mummy, placing both hands interlocked with each other over his stomach.
There was indeed enough room for both of them on Jian Rong’s bed. There was even still a fairly wide gap remaining between them.
Lu Boyuan was already asleep. His breathing was steady, and his blanket rose and fell very slowly.
Jian Rong let out an extremely long exhale before he pursed his lips and decided to sleep, but when he closed his eyes, his mind was full of the image of Lu Boyuan’s hand holding his underwear.
That was a world champion’s hand!!! Like hell your damn underwear has any rights!!!
Feeling a bit of deja vu over those words, Jian Rong cursed in his head before he reached out and rubbed his face.
A few seconds later, something suddenly vibrated.
Jian Rong was startled, and it took him quite a while to realize that it was coming from the phone that he had thrown onto the bed.
He subconsciously stretched his hand under the blanket, searching in the direction of the vibration. Then, he gripped onto a warm and soft source of heat.
This sensation was one that Jian Rong had felt a mere hour ago.
As if he had touched something that couldn’t be touched, Jian Rong instantaneously released Lu Boyuan’s hand and rapidly picked up his phone to turn off vibrations. He dropped it on the table without even bothering to check his messages, before he closed his eyes and forced himself to fall asleep.
Jian Rong practiced the most every day, and also the hardest. Approximately half an hour later, Jian Rong’s breathing thoroughly evened out.
In the darkness, Lu Boyuan slowly opened his eyes, and his fingers, which had just been held, twitched very slightly. A long time passed, but the sensation on his fingers still didn’t dissipate. Just like the scent of milky shower gel lingering in the room, its presence was scorching and potent.
After an indeterminate amount of time went by, he finally closed his eyes again and regathered the strands of sleep.
Just as he was about to fall asleep, the person next to him shifted.
Recently, Shanghai’s temperature was going back up, so the base didn’t turn the heating on anymore. Late at night, the temperature inside was less than 20 degrees Celsius2.
When Jian Rong moved closer, for once, Lu Boyuan was stunned.
Jian Rong really wasn’t trying to be modest when he said that he had an awful sleeping posture.
He liked to kick off his blankets while sleeping, but in this kind of weather, if his hands or feet were exposed outside, it was very easy for him to wake up from the cold. As a result, the dreaming Jian Rong reflexively sought out the only warm thing on the bed.
Their arms pressed together underneath the blanket. This turn of events happened too quickly, so Lu Boyuan didn’t even think to dodge him.
Jian Rong had already changed to sleeping on his side. His head drooped downwards, and he pressed his forehead against Lu Boyuan’s shoulder. In order to find a comfortable spot, he even rubbed his face against him.
Lu Boyuan was wearing short sleeves, so Jian Rong rubbing against his shoulder didn’t actually matter that much…
Jian Rong’s arm was very slender, but he had still ended up putting some meat on his bones.
Jian Rong had an impulsive temper and spoke harshly, but his body was exceptionally soft. Fingers, arms, ears… all of it.
Lu Boyuan’s Adam’s apple bobbed lightly, and he shut his eyes. A few seconds later, he frowned and opened his eyes again. He lifted his hand and carefully placed it over Jian Rong’s forehead before he very gently nudged him back towards his own spot.
Jian Rong ducked his head, and Lu Boyuan’s fingers sank into his hair.
Lu Boyuan looked down at him for a moment before he ruffled his hair with extreme helplessness and decided to give up.
Then, Jian Rong suddenly bent his leg and hooked it upwards, the way he usually did when he was hugging his pillow—he didn’t manage to hook onto anything; he only stroked very lightly against Lu Boyuan’s calf.
Lu Boyuan’s breathing caught in his throat, and one… countless not so good thoughts emerged in his head.
He was given a start by these thoughts, but at the same time, he vaguely felt like it was to be expected.
Every second passed by particularly slowly at night. Some unknown amount of time later, Lu Boyuan spoke: “Jian Rong.”
His voice was hoarse, and he said, “If you don’t get up soon…”
If he didn’t get up soon, then what?
Lu Boyuan was momentarily stalled.
In that beat of silence, Jian Rong abruptly moved.
Lu Boyuan thought that he had woken up, but unexpectedly, Jian Rong only lifted his chin a bit. His eyes were still closed as he murmured, “Zhuang Yibai…
Yan: Thank the heavens, thank the earth, thank you Ding-ge for giving us the There Is Only One Bed trope *bows three times*
Wei: Let’s all praise Ding-ge, unwitting matchmaker~