Su Yan finally slowed down when they left the flood simulator and went outside to the animal exhibit. His eyes twinkled when he saw the little cottontails and foxes and he couldn’t help but tug at Nie Chang’s sleeve and pull him over, crouching down on the ground.
“Ah Chang, say, do you feel like taking in another pet?”
“Even if I’d say yes, we still can’t take them with us. Neither of us has a bag and even if we can steal them, we won’t get them back home to China.”
Su Yan looked up at his boyfriend, blinking his eyes. Was he seriously considering this? “I mean after we’ve gotten married and then had our honeymoon and return to China, we should get another pet. Wouldn’t that also be good for Xiao Bai? He’d have somebody else to play with other than me.”
Nie Chang couldn’t help but tease his darling when he looked so serious. “I thought he had me.”
“What are you even talking about? Didn’t I just say that?”
Nie Chang’s brows raised. “I thought you were talking about yourself.”
“That’s the same!”
“Ah?” Once again, Nie Chang was left befuddled by Su Yan’s way of thinking. “How is that the same?”
“Well, you’re my boyfriend — no, my fiance! — so you’re like my other half. Naturally, it’s the same whether I play with him or you play with him. Don’t try to change the subject! Do you want another pet or not?”
“Well …” Nie Chang thought of his conversation with Gong Gong this morning and couldn’t help but feel that it wouldn’t be a good idea. He felt bad about it though. Su Yan had seemed so happy when he suggested it just now …
“You don’t?” Su Yan did indeed deflate as soon as he realized this.
Nie Chang winced. “Darling … It’s not that I can’t imagine it at all but we already have to take care of Xiao Bai. Do you really think it’d be good to get another pet?”
Su Yan pursed his lips. “You mean we won’t have enough time for Xiao Bai then?” He rested his arms on his knees and then put his chin on top, looking dejected. “I guess that’s also true. He’d certainly be unhappy if we neglected him because of a pet that came after him. He loves us so much.”
“Mn. That’s true.” Nie Chang reached out and ruffled Su Yan’s hair. “Anyway, I think he’s already very happy with just us. And we could just go and see other people who have pets every now and then so he can play with them. What about that?”
Su Yan was instantly invigorated. “That’s true!” Then, he froze. “So … who has a pet?”
“Uh …” Nie Chang rubbed his neck. Yeah, who had a pet? Gong Gong and Old Lao definitely didn’t. He coughed and then got up, pulling Su Yan to his feet. “We can think about that when we get back. For now, let’s continue with our tour. Did you know that there’s a desert garden with lots of cacti?”
Su Yan blinked his eyes before an expression of doubt appeared on his face. “What’s so great about that? I’d much rather continue to look at the bunnies!”
“I bet you would. But …” He pulled his darling closer to his side and leaned down to him with a conspiratorial smile. “What if you have to write some chapters in a desert once? Don’t you want to know how it could look? I’m sure such a garden would have a lot of varying cacti there, not just the same old ones that every author describes.”
Su Yan’s eyes went wider the longer his boyfriend talked, making Nie Chang fear that they might plop out the next moment. Then, his darling pulled him down the path. “What are you waiting for? I think those cactuses are very interesting. We shouldn’t lose any time!”
Nie Chang laughed and then pulled him in the other direction. “Yes, we shouldn’t. Anyway, it’s this way. Ah, right, there’s also an amphitheater on the way there. I think there’s not that much to see there but we could take a short look for the mood, what do you think?”
Su Yan who had already been sold on two sights that he hadn’t originally been interested in nodded his head eagerly. “Yes, yes! It could be something like a place for a duel when I write about it in a novel!”
“I’m pretty sure that’s the kind of thing they were used for back in Rome.”
Su Yan glanced at him strangely. “What does that have to do with Las Vegas? Isn’t Rome in Europe? This is America.”
Su Yan nodded and patted his arm. “It’s good if you know. That’s common knowledge. I’d really look down on you if you didn’t.”
“Well …” Nie Chang leaned down and rubbed his head against Su Yan’s. “Didn’t somebody say I was his other half before? I’m pretty sure I count as smart as long as you know the things I don’t.”
Su Yan pondered and then rubbed his head back against his boyfriend’s. “True! But you also have to keep some things in mind. You can’t expect me to remember everything for you!”
“Mn. I’ll do that.” Nie Chang laughed and the two of them continued further.
They really just walked a round through the amphitheater before they went over to the desert center but with Su Yan already in research mode, he still looked around everywhere with excitement.
On the other hand, Nie Chang almost didn’t take notice of their surroundings. Rather than looking at that, he felt that looking at his little darling was even more rewarding. This kind of smile and these sparkling eyes were what he wanted to see for the rest of his life. He could hardly wait for the moment they would finally get married and truly become each other’s other half.