27 – It’s Settled
After a few seconds of panic, Fang Mo took a deep breath, and then in his heart, inwardly expressed his heartfelt thanks to Zou Shun.
Xu Xiran, whose lips were almost on his ear, whispered, “Let’s see if he’ll come over again.”
“He probably won’t…” Fang Mo shrank his neck, “Last time was really just a coincidence.”
Xu Xiran’s breath seemed to hit the skin of his cheeks as he spoke. Half of Fang Mo’s body went numb, his hand that held Xu Xiran’s was about to sweat, and his voice and limbs were incomparably stiff. He kind of hoped that Xu Xiran would stay in this position for a while longer, but also hoped that he would quickly put his hands away and sit back.
He felt that some parts of his body were starting to lose control.
“Okay, okay, look, he didn’t…” Fang Mo awkwardly said but got stuck halfway.
This was because, in his line of sight, his close friend Zou Shun was approaching quickly with a malicious look on his face.
“What are you two doing?” Zou Shun was clearly trying to hold back his laughter, and couldn’t help his eyes from drifting toward the hands they clasped together. “In public with all these people, holding your hands like this, isn’t this too…”
Whether from his expression or his tone, from Fang Mo’s eyes, it was obvious that he came here to ruin the moment and tease him while he was at it. But to Xu Xiran, who has been suspecting him of stealing the axe, this had a completely different meaning.
He let go of his hand, sat back, and then smiled stiffly at Zou Shun. Immediately afterward, Xu Xiran lightly bumped Fang Mo with his elbow.
Fang Mo roughly understood what he wanted to convey.
You see, just as I predicted, he didn’t want me to be too close to you.
Fang Mo looked at Zou Shun, who secretly winked at him and was clearly a little excited, and then looked at Xu Xiran next to him, who had a serious and thoughtful look on his face, and was dumbfounded and speechless.
The mood in the air was strange. Fang Mo didn’t know what to do, so he could only awkwardly laugh.
“I know, this kind of thing is hard to digest,” Xu Xiran sat across from him and tried to enlighten him earnestly, “so I hesitated for a long time on whether to say this or not. After thinking about it, I feel that it’s better for you to know sooner. Better for you and better for him.”
This sounded a bit similar to Yang Lin’s bitchy tone from yesterday. But when he said it, it seemed very sincere.
Fang Mo lowered his head and used his chopsticks to poke at the slices of roasted pork on the plate in front of him, hesitating to speak, “Eh…”
“Ai,” Xu Xiran sighed while busy working the barbecue grill, “It’s not easy for him either.”
“Why do you say that?” Fang Mo asked tentatively, “Don’t you always dislike being pursued by the same sex?”
“That’s not good to say,” Xu Xiran shook his head, “those are two different things.”
After he finished speaking, seeing that Fang Mo was still looking at him, he suddenly seemed a little embarrassed.
“The difference is whether there’s respect,” he tilted his head and scratched his hair, “that is… some people can want to take advantage of you, while others can genuinely like you. Those are not the same. If someone is sincere, even if you don’t accept them, you won’t hate them, right?”
Fang Mo having heard what he said, nodded.
He roughly understood what Xu Xiran meant. Lust and love were not the same thing. Most of the same-sex attracted to him only wanted to have fun with him, harassing him verbally or physically against his will. He was uncomfortable with this and despised this.
But in his eyes, Zou Shun was not this type of person. According to his brain, Zou Shun had been enduring his infatuation, without harming him or asking for anything, and simply stayed by Fang Mo’s side, secretly hurting inside, so not only did Xu Xiran not dislike this, but he also felt that it wouldn’t be easy for him.
This was of course a misunderstanding of Zou Shun. The person who really fit this description, wasn’t this Fang Mo? Since Xu Xiran was moved by this, wouldn’t this mean he had a chance?
“Then… if it were you, what would you do in this situation?” He was eager to try.
Xu Xiran answered without hesitation, “We can only distance ourselves.”
Fang Mo, who originally wanted to say something, closed his mouth.
Xu Xiran misunderstood again. He lightly shook his head, patted the back of Fang Mo’s hand on the table, and said, “I encountered this sort of thing when I was in high school, it was very hard to bear.”
Fang Mo immediately asked, “Can you tell me more about it?”
He wanted to know about the failed experience of this defeated predecessor, so that he could learn from him.
Xu Xiran thought that he wanted to refer from another angle, so he earnestly told him about it.
“At the time, I had a classmate, a boy, and we had a close relationship, and agreed that we would apply to the same university,” he lowered his eyes and sighed, “I visited him during the summer of sophomore and junior year, and while I was at his home, I accidentally saw his diary.”
“Did you peek?” Fang Mo asked.
Xu Xiran was silent for a bit, “I don’t know if it counts as peeking, but in any case, I saw it. He knew that I was coming, and yet he spread out his diary wide open on the table. After I thought about it later, I think he may have done it on purpose and was hoping that I’d see it.”
“…What was written in it?”
Xu Xiran didn’t go into detail, and only stiffly smiled at him.
“Then, what happened after?” Fang Mo asked.
“At the time I was so shocked, and there was a… a feeling of betrayal that I just couldn’t accept,” Xu Xiran said, then let out a long sigh, “I cut contact.”
His last three words were said in a downplayed manner, but at the time, the process must have not been easy.
Fang Mo was silent for a while, then asked, “Did you ever regret it?”
After being quiet for a moment, Xu Xiran nodded, “A little bit. I was immature and impulsive at the time, and the things I did and said were a bit hurtful. I clearly could’ve handled it better.”
Fang Mo lowered his head and bit his lip, not making a sound.
“You should handle it properly,” Xu Xiran said. “If you feel awkward, I can think of another way for our club. You don’t need to worry too much.”
Fang Mo was feeling down, but for a completely different reason than what Xu Xiran had guessed. He looked down, and after a long time, he slowly shook his head.
Seeing this, Xu Xiran put all the meat from the grill onto his plate, “I understand, I know how you’re feeling right now, I really do.”
You know jack shit, Fang Mo thought to himself.
Gentle, considerate, and attractive straight men were simply the most wicked creatures in the world. The flaws all over his body were enough to tug at his heart and shatter all hope.
Seeing that he wasn’t doing well, Xu Xiran was anxious and began to casually say things to cheer him up.
“Actually, it could also not be true, maybe I was thinking too much,” he tried to squeeze a smile in front of Fang Mo, “I’m not the most perceptive in this regard. It’s very possible that I’m wrong.”
Fang Mo looked up, “That’s right, I really met the man that he has an unrequited love for!”
It took him a lot of determination and courage to say this sentence, but right after, he suddenly felt a little regretful. Because just in that half minute, he had another terrible thought.
Xu Xiran’s doubts could fully be exploited. The excuses were all there and ready to use, and Xu Xiran himself just used them when he was in the club room. For example, in order to determine whether Zou Shun really liked him, one or two tests were not enough. More tests had to be tried later to carefully observe his reaction. Another example was if Zou Shun really thought that way, he could pretend to be a couple in front of him in order to make him retreat. In other words, Xu Xiran had to be physically close to him.
What a good opportunity.
Fang Mo felt that he was too great to just give up this benefit on his own initiative. After last night, his ideological boundaries had simply taken a qualitative leap.
Xu Xiran spread some meat on the grilling pan, then put down the tongs and withdrew his hand. He tilted his head and propped his chin, thought for a while, and said, “I have an idea.”
“…What is it?”
“The results of the two tests today may not be accurate, so we can’t rule out the possibility of coincidence. Maybe we can find more opportunities to try in the future to see his reaction?”
“If he really likes you, we can also pretend to be a couple in front of him. If he knows that you have someone, he would give up, right?”
“What do you think?” Xu Xiran asked.
Fang Mo looked at his face and swallowed.
You fucking asked for it yourself, he thought.
“What do you say,” Seeing his hesitation, Xu Xiran urged.
Fang Mo nodded earnestly, “It’s settled.”
Right after returning to his dormitory after dinner, Fang Mo received a call from Zou Shun.
“Aren’t I tactful?” He said with a sly smile, “I let the two of you have dinner alone.”
After his costume fitting, they had originally agreed to have dinner together, but when the time came, Zou Shun suddenly pretended to answer a phone call and left early.
“Then may I ask, why did you keep coming over to interrupt us in the club room?” Fang Mo asked.
“Hahahahahaha,” Zou Shun laughed, “because your expression was so funny!”
“What’s the situation now?” Zou Shun was a little excited. “Why are you two so ambiguous all of a sudden? After what happened last night, was he enlightened?”
Fang Mo fell into hesitation, fearing that Zou Shun would collapse when he knew the truth.
“Say it,” Zou Shun asked, “Even a straight man wouldn’t hold hands that casually?”
Fang Mo sighed and decided to explain to him the truth, “He thinks that you have a crush on me.”
Zou Shun was silent for a moment.
“I told him it was a misunderstanding, and he said that it was better to do an experiment to see if you would come disturb us if we acted that way.”
“Why the hell did you come over?” Fang Mo said, “Couldn’t you be more kind?”
“Didn’t you say his nerves were thick?” Zou Shun’s voice trembled, “Why would he care about such details and overthink this much?”
“How would I know,” Fang Mo sighed, “I told him that I had met your crush, but he still wouldn’t listen.”
“Fuck, I’m so embarrassed!” Zou Shun was getting a bit anxious, “What should I do, should I bring that person in front of him to prove my innocence?”
“You can,” Fang Mo said, “but… it’s better if you bring him in later.”
“Why?” Zou Shun was puzzled, “Is there a reason?”
Fang Mo lowered his head and touched his nose: “…hehe.”