Before they could say anything else, Shangguan Yu’s mother came out, pushing a container of food into Ao Jing’s hands. “Here you go! Don’t starve yourself. I know you young people often forget to eat. I’m always worried that Xiao Yu isn’t eating well in university either. At the very least, I can make sure that he does when he’s home now. Since you aren’t living with your parents right now, you have to take care of yourself. Don’t just skimp on your meals, alright?”
Ao Jing’s lips curved up in a smile and even his eyes formed little crescents. Even when he had been living with his family, he had never felt that they cared this much about him. It was a nice change. “Thank you, auntie. It’s really nice being cared for by somebody. I will definitely do as you say.”
Madam Shangguan gave a smile as well and patted his shoulder. “That’s a matter of course. Xiao Yu’s boyfriend is, of course, a part of our family as well. Now, I shouldn’t keep you from saying goodbyes for today.” She smiled cheekily and then went back inside, leaving the two of them alone.
Ao Jing waited for the door to close before he turned to Shangguan Yu. “Your family is nice.”
“Mn.” Shangguan Yu nodded and gave a hum but didn’t say anything else. He just looked at Ao Jing. Their first date … it had played out in a completely unexpected fashion but thinking about it, he still felt happy. After all, they had gotten along quite well and if they could navigate an embarrassing situation like today, then they should be able to deal with other things in the future as well. What couldn’t they weather if they were able to overcome obstacles together?
Ao Jing didn’t quite know how to continue. “Then …” He looked in the other direction, hugging that container of food against his chest. He knew they had to say goodbye now but, actually, he didn’t want to. He’d have liked to spend even more time with Shangguan Yu.
In the end, it was Shangguan Yu who reached out and lightly touched his arm. “It was a really nice day and I’m looking forward to seeing you again. You should still leave now. It’ll get dark soon. It’s better if you get home before then.”
Ao Jing nodded but still didn’t move. “What do you want to do tomorrow?”
Shangguan Yu smiled. “Are you stalling for time?”
“I am.” Ao Jing didn’t have any difficulty admitting to it. Yes, he was stalling for time. What about it? He just liked this person so much that he loathed being separated even if it was only for a short time.
Shangguan Yu just laughed and then tugged at his sleeve. “You’ll have to leave sooner or later. Come on, I’ll bring you to the car.”
Ao Jing followed him over and put the container inside before turning back to Shangguan Yu. “We are really going to see each other tomorrow, right?”
Shangguan Yu nodded. “We are. What are you being so nervous for?” He reached up and cupped Ao Jing’s cheek, reveling in the warmth of his skin. “Don’t you have any confidence in yourself?”
Ao Jing just smiled wryly at that. “Not if it concerns you, it seems.” He couldn’t help but laugh at himself. Yes, since when was he this cowardly? He rubbed his neck and took a deep breath in an attempt to gather his courage. Then, he reached down and gently grabbed Shangguan Yu’s hands. “Then, we will see each other tomorrow.”
Shangguan Yu nodded but once again didn’t say anything.
Ao Jing glanced at the car next to them and still didn’t feel like getting in. Turning back to Shangguan Yu, he gave a faint smile. “Would you mind if I kissed you?”
“Is that a goodbye kiss then?”
Ao Jing kept quiet for a moment and then leaned down, his lips lightly brushing Shangguan Yu’s cheek. “Can I decide that after the kiss?”
Shangguan Yu chuckled and then turned his head, their lips meeting halfway. For a moment, the two of them just held onto each other, relishing in the sensation. Shangguan Yu’s fingers brushed Ao Jing’s cheekbone while Ao Jing squeezed his hand and then leaned closer to hug him. When they eventually separated, they both kept quiet, just closely standing together and trying to enjoy the moment for as long as possible.
In the end, Ao Jing leaned his forehead against Shangguan Yu’s and sighed. “Actually, I want to leave even less now.”
Shangguan Yu laughed and then kissed his cheek before playfully pushing him away and stepping back himself. “Alright now, get into the car. We’ll see each other later in the game. And tomorrow …”
“Tomorrow, we’ll see each other again in real life.” Ao Jing continued to look at him for a moment before he finally opened the door and got into the car. He couldn’t help but glance at Shangguan in the mirror before he finally drove off.
Still, his thoughts were still completely with Shangguan Yu and they still didn’t move anywhere else when he finally reached his own apartment and walked up the stairs. He unpacked the food that Madam Shangguan had given him as if in a daze, ate a few bites, and then immediately sat down in front of his laptop, putting on the headset and logging into the game.
As soon as he opened his eyes there, what he saw was his husband’s character. Not even thinking about it, he pulled him into his arms and kissed him for a long moment before stepping back again.
“Call me crazy but I missed you.”