LWS V3C64 Out of Practice?

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It took them half an hour to even set up everything they needed to play Mahjong. Well, it had always only been Mister and Madam Su and their son. How would they play Mahjong with just three people? They only had the opportunity when there was a guest they could convince to play with them. After Su Yan moved out, there hadn’t been any reason to keep the game pieces around so they had long been kept away.
At the prospect of playing a round of Mahjong with his darling son and keeping him at home for a few more hours, Mister Su volunteered to search for everything though and thus the Su family and Nie Chang soon sat around the table, the Mahjong tiles in front of them.
“Let’s start shuffling!”
Su Yan happily reached over and everyone else followed suit. Ah, he loved playing Mahjong! He turned to look at Nie Chang and gave him a big grin.
“I’m very good at Mahjong! So you can’t be angry if you lose!”
Nie Chang leaned over and ruffled his hair. “Don’t worry. If you win, I’ll feel as if I won myself.”
Su Yan’s hands stopped moving and he blinked his eyes. “Ah? How so? It’s clearly me who won!”
Mister Su opposite him coughed. Had they let their son win too often in the past? Why did he automatically assume that he would win? He even said it as if the game was already over!
Madam Su just smiled and kicked her husband’s leg below the table.
Mister Su tensed but thankfully his son’s attention was completely diverted by the bastard next to him. Mister Su narrowed his eyes and continued to shuffle the tiles. Argh, how could this shameless guy flirt with his son right in front of him?!
Nie Chang wasn’t finished though. “Well, we’re a couple now. Your win is obviously my win too.”
“Awr, you said that well!” Su Yan stopped shuffling and leaned over to give Nie Chang another kiss on the lips.
Madam Su barely held back a smile. If those two continued like that, then she might need to call an ambulance soon. Her husband certainly wouldn’t be able to take this much longer. Look at that! His face was changing color already!
She cleared her throat to let him off the hook. “That should be enough!”
With her reminder, even Su Yan paid attention again and the four of them started stacking the tiles.
Mister Su was the dealer for the first round. He threw the dice and started to draw the tiles, the others following suit. Nie Chang had actually drawn the spring tile and had to draw again for a replacement. Then everything was prepared.
Su Yan looked at his tiles with sparkling eyes. Ah, it had been so long since he played Mahjong! He really wondered if this was something where you could get out of practice. If that was the case, then it wasn’t anything good. He hadn’t played in the last few years! But, well, his parents certainly hadn’t either. That only left …
Su Yan turned to Nie Chang and pursed his lips. “Ah Chang, say, have you played Mahjong recently?”
Nie Chang faced him and raised his brows. “Don’t tell me you forgot the rules. Didn’t you just say you’re very good at this and that I shouldn’t be sad if you win?”
Su Yan pursed his lips even further. “What are you saying? Of course, I didn’t! I was just … just worried about my parents! They haven’t played in so long! What if they’re out of practice and lose terribly? Wouldn’t they feel bad then?”
“Oh. So it’s like that.” Nie Chang looked at his tiles and tried to hide his smile. It was quite obvious who his little darling was really worried about. “I don’t think you have to worry about that. I played a few times with Old Lao and Gong Gong but I’m not that good.” And he’d need to be an idiot to try winning this round. Wasn’t it obvious that Su Yan was going to win?
“What do you mean you played with Old Lao and Gong Gong?”
“Well, before you started working at the repair shop we sometimes spent our after-work-hours together. We did play Mahjong a few times too.”
“But …” Su Yan furrowed his brow and lifted a hand. He slowly extended one finger, then two and finally, the third one, his lips moving while he obviously repeated the names. “But that’s only three people!”
“Well, there are variants with just three …” Nie Chang shut up when he saw the look his boyfriend was giving him.
He gulped. Why did he suddenly feel as if he was an uncultured swine? Hadn’t he just played Mahjong with his employees? They had missed a fourth player, ah! He looked at his mother-in-law for help but this time Madam Su kept uncharacteristically quiet. Mister Su grinned but hurriedly looked away when he caught the look his wife gave him.
Nie Chang rubbed his brow. Why did it seem as if he had just stumbled upon some family secret? Actually, he could very well imagine this. Most likely neither Madam nor Mister Su had had the heart to let Su Yan lose when he was smaller. Thus a certain child had thought he was the best at playing Mahjong and wanted to play nothing else. As a last resort, his parents had probably pretended that you definitely couldn’t play with less than four people and Su Yan had somehow believed them.
Uh, he definitely couldn’t blow the whistle on his in-laws. Thus Nie Chang coughed and looked up at Su Yan with an apologetic smile. “Well, we were only three people so we had no other chance than getting creative. But isn’t that good too? Now, you don’t have to worry about your parents anymore since I’m only used to playing with three people. I’ll probably take the last place since we’re playing with four.”
“You can’t!”
“You can’t take last place! You said it yourself. We’re a team now. So if I get first place and you get last place, that’d be a draw overall! You have to take third place!”
Nie Chang’s lips opened and closed. In the end, he only nodded. Sure, if it made his little darling happy, then he’d get third place. It couldn’t be that hard with three people working together.

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