The bus stop was still some distance away from their home, so after getting off the bus, they needed to walk for a while to reach the small villa.
The lighting in the nearby villa area was good, so they didn’t have to worry about the road being too dark on their way back.
As soon as Gu Yang got off the bus, he felt uncomfortable with the wetness inside his shoes. He decided to take them off and walked barefoot on the road, leaning on Fan Yuan’s arm for support.
Fan Yuan frowned slightly, looking at the road.
Gu Yang knew what he was worried about. He raised his fair foot and splashed the accumulated puddles, sending water droplets flying and reflecting the light under the streetlamp.
“Don’t worry, I’ll be careful,” Gu Yang reassured.
With that, Gu Yang took a big step forward, preparing to step on another small puddle, but found that it had frozen into ice.
After that, no matter where Gu Yang stepped, a thin layer of ice quickly formed under his feet.
Even though Gu Yang had given assurance, Fan Yuan still worried that there might be sharp objects on the road that could cut Gu Yang’s feet.
Gu Yang’s original plan to play with the water failed, but he wasn’t disappointed. Instead, he slid along the ice that Fan Yuan had created, playing happily all the way, and even threw away one of his shoes.
Fan Yuan followed slowly behind Gu Yang, bending down to pick up the shoes he had thrown.
Seeing this, Gu Yang threw away his other shoe as well, standing barefoot on the ice. He stuck his tongue out at Fan Yuan, mischievously made a face, and then ran away. He slid forward along the ice, having so much fun.
Although there were not many people passing by in this small villa area at night, it wasn’t completely deserted. Despite their carefree play on the frozen ice road, Gu Yang didn’t worry at all.
He looked back at Fan Yuan, who was holding both of his shoes, and noticed that countless small, winding ice trails spread out behind Fan Yuan. These ice trails seemed to be exploring, allowing Fan Yuan to know what was happening nearby.
If anyone happened to pass by, the ice road Gu Yang was sliding on would instantly melt and disappear.
Fan Yuan always prepared everything, but he never told Gu Yang exactly what he did.
But Gu Yang understood Fan Yuan; he knew what Fan Yuan did for him even without him saying anything. Because he knew Fan Yuan’s heart.
Gu Yang slid all the way back to the small villa. As soon as he entered the house, Fan Yuan immediately pushed him into the bathroom, telling him to take off his wet clothes and take a hot shower.
Even though Gu Yang wasn’t feeling cold at the moment, Fan Yuan’s concern for him didn’t diminish.
After the first rain in spring, it seemed to signal a continuous rainy season in the following days.
With each rain, the weather became hotter.
The rooms after the rain were always stuffy, so Gu Yang simply pulled Fan Yuan to move their study battlefield to the poolside of the small villa.
The temperature near the pool was much cooler. They turned on the bright lights around the pool and sat at the table, studying.
After completing one page of questions, Gu Yang looked up at Fan Yuan.
Fan Yuan was concentrating on solving the problems, his dark lashes lowered, casting a shadow on his face.
Feeling Gu Yang’s gaze, Fan Yuan looked up and asked, “Why did you stop writing?”
Gu Yang put down his pen, leaned on the table, and yawned while looking at Fan Yuan’s neat answer sheet.
“I’m a bit bored, tired of writing.”
Fan Yuan raised his hand and brushed away the stray hair from Gu Yang’s forehead. Suddenly, he grabbed their exercise sheets and led Gu Yang to the poolside.
He sat down with Gu Yang by the pool, rolled up his trousers, and soaked his legs in the icy water.
Gu Yang splashed the water a few times with his feet before finally taking the exercise sheets from Fan Yuan’s hands, placing them on his lap, and resting his head on Fan Yuan’s shoulder as he wrote.
“It’s getting hotter. I’ll cool off with you,” Gu Yang said with a smile.
Fan Yuan didn’t say anything but the coolness around him grew stronger. Gu Yang felt enveloped by the coolness and couldn’t help but laugh happily.
Gu Yang tried to avoid the exercises he didn’t want to do, but in the end, he still completed them with Fan Yuan’s company.
They finished their study tasks for the day, and it was already past midnight.
The night was quiet, and everything around was tranquil. Gu Yang looked at the calm water in front of him and suddenly said, “Fan Yuan, can you teach me how to swim?”
Gu Yang had a fear of water. When he first arrived here, he couldn’t even swim as a mermaid.
Clearly, Fan Yuan also thought about Gu Yang’s embarrassing past. He glanced at Gu Yang and asked, “Do you really want to learn?”
Gu Yang nodded, vigorously kicking his feet in the water, splashing water everywhere and wetting both of their clothes.
“Yes, I want to learn. With you here, I’m not afraid,” Gu Yang replied.
Fan Yuan slid down and jumped directly into the pool, reaching out to hold Gu Yang’s little legs, which were constantly stirring the water.
“Come down?” he asked.
Seeing that Fan Yuan went into the water with his clothes on, Gu Yang didn’t hesitate. He straightened his waist and jumped in, landing directly in Fan Yuan’s embrace.
Their clothes were soaked and sticking coldly to their bodies. Fan Yuan adjusted their position and had Gu Yang hold the edge of the pool to practice treading water.
Gu Yang held onto the pool’s edge, feeling Fan Yuan’s cold palm supporting him near his belly, helping him float on the water.
He obediently followed Fan Yuan’s instructions, treading water up and down, his fair and slender legs appearing and disappearing in the splashes of water.
The pool area was only illuminated by one large lamp they used for studying, and the splashes of water created by Gu Yang’s legs turned into sparkling stars under the light.
The starlight fell on Gu Yang’s little legs, making them look particularly attractive.
Suddenly, Fan Yuan withdrew his hand from under Gu Yang’s body, causing him to sink. Gu Yang wanted to stand up, but Fan Yuan grabbed the necklace around his neck and pulled him underwater.
The underwater world was quiet, everything around was a deep blue. Gu Yang opened his eyes underwater and saw Fan Yuan in front of him.
Fan Yuan held Gu Yang, preventing him from floating up, his arm around Gu Yang’s waist, still bringing him down.
Despite his fear of water, as long as Fan Yuan was there, Gu Yang was not afraid of anything.
Fan Yuan suddenly leaned in and gave him a kiss underwater, using the first mouthful of air to feed Gu Yang.
Gu Yang greedily absorbed it and wrapped his arms and legs around Fan Yuan.
Their black hair floated in the water, their chests pressed against each other, and their heartbeats magnified underwater.
Fan Yuan didn’t let Gu Yang float up; he held onto his shoulders. Every time Gu Yang needed to breathe, he surfaced to take a breath before sinking down to kiss Gu Yang again.
Gu Yang stayed underwater the entire time, relying on Fan Yuan’s every kiss to breathe.
He relaxed his limbs in the water where he should have been afraid, looking at Fan Yuan with clear eyes.
The glimmering light on the water’s surface reflected in Gu Yang’s eyes, without any impurities.
Gu Yang’s trust in Fan Yuan was unparalleled.
Finally, after countless kisses underwater, Fan Yuan brought Gu Yang back up to the surface.
The suppressed breath was thoroughly released, and Gu Yang could finally indulge in taking deep breaths.
He immediately threw himself at Fan Yuan, hugging him tightly around the neck, and offered his warm lips. He playfully complained, “We couldn’t kiss properly underwater.”
Fan Yuan’s fingers around Gu Yang’s waist suddenly tightened, firmly holding onto his wet shirt.
As the shirt was pulled tightly, some of the buttons on the front popped open, revealing Gu Yang’s chest covered with water droplets. His slender but not thin body was exposed, and the dark, mysterious dao companion mark on his chest stood out prominently.
Fan Yuan brushed Gu Yang’s wet bangs to the back of his head, gently kissed his forehead, and then passionately kissed his lips.
Gu Yang’s legs in the water also tightly wrapped around Fan Yuan. He obediently let Fan Yuan kiss him without any resistance, just like underwater.
What Fan Yuan wanted, Gu Yang gave him without reservation. Underwater, they passionately kissed, and Gu Yang noticed that Fan Yuan had rewarded him with two more points of favourability, bringing it up to 82.
Gu Yang was carried into the house by Fan Yuan, still amused by the earlier frenzy. He buried his face in Fan Yuan’s chest, feeling childish.
“Immature,” he murmured silently.
For anyone, being deprived of breath and held underwater was terrifying. It meant entrusting one’s breath and life entirely to another person. However, Gu Yang’s reaction was to only deem it “immature.”
Since Gu Yang said he wanted to learn to swim, whenever they studied outdoors, Fan Yuan would take him into the water to practice treading water.
Gu Yang was like a stubborn 100% land duck. No matter how Fan Yuan tried to teach him, he either couldn’t or refused to learn. When Fan Yuan let go, Gu Yang sank into the water. But even then, he wasn’t afraid and would just look at Fan Yuan with innocent eyes, waiting to be rescued.
Sometimes, Fan Yuan would quickly lift Gu Yang out of the water; other times, he would keep him underwater for a kiss. No matter what Fan Yuan did, in the end, he had to carry Gu Yang back to the house himself.
May quickly passed, and the third round of mock exams went by quietly.
When the grades were announced, all the teachers and students praised Fan Yuan’s scores and were astonished by Gu Yang’s performance. Gu Yang had achieved second place in the grade during the third mock exam, opening up nearly a twenty-point gap with the third-place student.
Holding his report card, Gu Yang stood tall and straight. With such grades, he was already qualified to attend the same university as Fan Yuan.
At this moment, Gu Yang finally let out a sigh of relief in his heart. All his efforts hadn’t been in vain.
Teacher Zhuo was also very satisfied with the results of the whole class. In her short teaching career, this was the most satisfactory group of students she had ever taught.
She distributed a bunch of sticky notes and asked the students to write down their future wishes and dreams, then stick them to the back wall of the classroom.
Gu Yang looked at the sticky notes in front of him and was a little lost for words.
Fan Yuan also held a pen but hesitated to start writing.
Without looking at each other or discussing it, they seemed to have reached a tacit understanding and began writing together.
After finishing, Gu Yang hid his sticky note behind him and pasted it on the back wall, walking around Fan Yuan’s side.
Several classmates also came to stick their notes, passing by and seeing Gu Yang’s sticky note, they couldn’t help but giggle.
After Gu Yang finished, he came back, looking seriously at Fan Yuan, “You stick yours on the other side. Don’t peek at mine, and I won’t look at yours either. We… we’ll wait until after the college entrance exam to see them together.”
Fan Yuan didn’t say anything in response, but he didn’t refuse either. Following Gu Yang’s instructions, he pasted his sticky note on the other side, far away from Gu Yang’s.
The entire Class 3 posted their sticky notes filled with dreams, wishes, and futures on the back wall, creating a colorful collage, reflecting their vibrant and diverse youth.
Although Gu Yang had said not to look at them, he was the first one to sneak a peek. But Fan Yuan was surprisingly well-behaved and never turned around during class to look at the sticky notes.
Throughout the day, Gu Yang would sneak glances at the sticky notes, but eventually, Fan Yuan turned around and confronted him, their eyes locking for a moment.
Gu Yang pouted and sighed, then lowered his head to focus on his work.
Until the bell rang for the end of the school day, their classmates started packing up and leaving, and the classroom quickly emptied.
Fan Yuan and Gu Yang remained seated, not moving or packing up either. They buried their heads in their work, but their writing speed gradually slowed down.
Not knowing which one of them moved their chair first, they both pushed away their chairs and ran to opposite sides of the wall. Gu Yang went towards the sticky note that Fan Yuan had placed, while Fan Yuan went to the one Gu Yang had posted.
Their daytime agreement to wait until after the college entrance exam to see each other’s wishes and dreams was broken that night.
Neither of them could resist waiting to find out what the other had written.
Gu Yang looked at the sticky note in front of him, staying silent for a long time.
On the small sticky note were a few bold words:
Fan Yuan’s signature at the bottom was wild and unrestrained, but the future wish written above was just two careful and cautious words, as if reflecting the mood of the writer at that moment.
Fan Yuan’s future, his wishes, and dreams all boiled down to just two words: Gu Yang.
Likewise, in front of Fan Yuan, the sticky note with Gu Yang’s name only had two familiar words: Fan Yuan.
They were each other’s future, wishes, expectations, and dreams.
Gu Yang turned his head to look at Fan Yuan, who also happened to be looking at him at that moment. Everything felt perfect.
Then Gu Yang raised his head and gently kissed Fan Yuan’s sticky note.
“Who writes someone else’s name as their future wish?” he mumbled.
Fan Yuan curled his fingers and gently tapped Gu Yang’s sticky note with his knuckles.
“And what about you?”
These two sticky notes were only on the wall for a day before they were both torn down and hidden away by the other.
Their future, wishes, and dreams didn’t need to be known by others; knowing each other’s was enough.
After the third mock exam, Mother’s Day was approaching.
Coincidentally, on Mother’s Day, it was also their homeroom teacher Zhuo Wan’s birthday, which happened to fall on a Sunday.
Gu Yang prepared an extra-large gift box for his mom, containing the gifts he and Fan Yuan had prepared together. They both sent this grand gift box to her.
The day before Mother’s Day, Zhuo Wan specifically instructed her Class 3 students not to give her any gifts or waste their time and energy on her. She wouldn’t accept any presents.
The energetic Class 3 students all agreed loudly, but secretly, they were chatting excitedly in their class group without Zhuo Wan.
They brainstormed and finally came up with a wonderful birthday gift.
On Mother’s Day, Zhuo Wan walked into the classroom with a puzzled expression, looking at the well-behaved students, she sighed, thinking that this group of students had finally listened to her words and didn’t waste time and money preparing gifts for her.
Sunday didn’t have evening self-study, so when the bell rang, the Class 3 students rushed out of the classroom quickly.
Gu Yang pulled Fan Yuan along, feeling a bit excited as they were about to prepare Zhuo Wan’s birthday gift.
Looking at Gu Yang’s happy expression, Fan Yuan’s lips curved up as well.
Affected by the malicious mirror, Fan Yuan couldn’t feel the excitement of the other students, but as long as he knew Gu Yang was happy at this moment, it was enough for him.
Zhuo Wan was working overtime in her office when she was suddenly pulled out by Pan Fei and brought into the empty classroom.
Pan Fei and Chai Jingqiu were the logistics personnel for this operation. They closed the classroom curtains tightly and turned on the projector on the blank wall at the side.
A city map immediately appeared on the wall, and there were many red dots blinking on the map.
Zhuo Wan was puzzled, “What are you guys doing? Why aren’t you going home to study after school? What’s going on here?”
Zhuo Wan’s words came to a halt as the little red dots on the map suddenly started moving.
On the nearby streets, Gu Yang was riding his bicycle, and he pressed the voice button on his phone, “Are you all ready, comrades?”
New message notifications kept coming in, all containing the same sentence:
Gu Yang shouted the last sentence into his phone and quickly pedaled his bicycle forward.
All the students of Class 3 in their senior year were distributed across different streets in the city. They had opened their route records and began biking according to the planned routes.
Gu Yang pedaled his bike quickly, heading straight ahead.
The endpoint of his route was where he would meet Fan Yuan.
After biking this route, he would be able to see Fan Yuan.
Because of the fast-paced biking, Gu Yang’s loose hair was blown back by the wind, and he had a pure and joyful smile on his face.
The scenery on the roadside kept receding as Gu Yang rode faster and faster. For a moment, he even forgot why they were riding on opposite sides of the streets at this moment.
At this moment, Gu Yang’s mind was filled with one thought: faster, even faster. He wanted to see Fan Yuan, to see him right away.
Even though they had only been apart for a few tens of minutes, those few minutes were enough for Gu Yang to start missing Fan Yuan ardently.
Sweat dripped down his forehead, and the rapidly spinning wheels of his bike rolled over fallen leaves, kicking up little specks of dust.
The intersection with traffic lights appeared in front of him, and Gu Yang rapidly pedaled his bike, anxiously watching the green light count down to zero.
His longing to see Fan Yuan had become so intense that he could barely endure the time it took for a traffic light to turn red.
When the green light reached zero, Gu Yang hit the brakes, stopping the bike with one foot on the ground. He felt a bit disappointed as he looked at the crowd passing by in front of him; he hadn’t managed to cross before the light turned red.
Just then, Fan Yuan’s figure suddenly appeared across the crowd.
Fan Yuan was also riding a bicycle and stopped on the opposite side.
Gu Yang’s slightly disheartened eyes lit up again. He stared at the red light countdown timer, eagerly waiting for it to turn green so he could rush to Fan Yuan.
Fan Yuan suddenly waved at Gu Yang from across the crowd, and when Gu Yang looked over, he saw Fan Yuan mouth something to him.
“Wait for me.”
Gu Yang was taken aback for a moment. Being used to following Fan Yuan’s orders, he obediently stood in place when the green light lit up.
He watched as Fan Yuan got back on his bike and approached him. Gu Yang lowered his head and looked at his left palm.
82 points, Fan Yuan was riding a bike.
83 points, Fan Yuan was halfway to Gu Yang.
84 points, Fan Yuan passed through the crowd and stopped in front of Gu Yang.
85 points, Fan Yuan leaned his bike against a wall and embraced Gu Yang.
Once again, the traffic light changed, and the crowd moved back and forth. Fan Yuan and Gu Yang stood on the street corner, hugging each other.
Gu Yang’s hands trembled slightly at his sides.
Fan Yuan used his cold body temperature to dispel the heat from Gu Yang’s body after the exercise.
“What’s wrong? Suddenly became crazy?”
Fan Yuan lowered his head and gently kissed the corner of Gu Yang’s lips amidst the dense crowd.
Gu Yang’s trembling hands slowly rose and stroked Fan Yuan’s back, holding him tightly.
He lifted his head, and the small violet pendant on his slender neck swayed intensely.
Gu Yang lifted his head with force and kissed Fan Yuan back, hot tears escaping from his tightly closed eyes.
85 points, Fan Yuan walked towards Gu Yang.
It was Fan Yuan who walked towards Gu Yang, not the other way around.
Sitting in the classroom, Zhuo Wan watched as the red dots on the map rapidly formed a series of red lines, intersecting and stretching across the map to create large characters.
“Happy Birthday, Teacher Zhuo!”
Just before her choked-up words could escape, Zhuo Wan covered her mouth, tears streaming down and smudging her mascara.
These were the students she had personally taught for three years, and those three years had been her precious time. In life, how many sets of three years could one have? At this moment, Zhuo Wan was absolutely certain that these three years were not wasted in the slightest.
At this moment, she suddenly felt incredibly happy.
She was a teacher, a teacher of the people.
A notification sound for a voice call came from Pan Fei’s side, and she immediately answered. From the call, came the bustling sounds of the street, followed by one vibrant birthday wish after another.
“Happy Birthday, Teacher Zhuo!”
“Happy Birthday, Teacher Zhuo!”
Pan Fei and Chai Jingqiu also looked at Zhuo Wan and made a giant heart shape with their hands.
“Happy Birthday, Teacher Zhuo!”
After Gu Yang shouted “Happy Birthday” multiple times into the phone while holding Fan Yuan, he finally ended the voice call.
He looked at Fan Yuan’s slightly bleeding lips and didn’t feel a hint of remorse.
People passing by occasionally glanced with curiosity at Fan Yuan and Gu Yang, but most of them hurriedly moved on.
Gu Yang gently tapped Fan Yuan’s lip, asking him, “Does it hurt?”
Fan Yuan held Gu Yang’s wrist, lowering his icy-cold cheek onto Gu Yang’s warm palm.
“What do you think?”
Gu Yang gently caressed Fan Yuan’s cheek, his smile undiminished, and his whole body filled with youthful vitality.
“Whatever, I’ll let you bite me back!”
With that, Gu Yang quickly pulled his hand back, propped up his bicycle, and rode off into the distance.
Fan Yuan immediately got back on his bike and followed closely.
Inside the classroom, Zhuo Wan was wiping away the mascara smudges from her eyes with a tissue. Her mascara had left two dark marks on her face. Despite feeling touched, she almost got scared when she saw her own reflection in the mirror:
“If I had known, I wouldn’t have put on makeup today. You guys are so clever, with so many ideas.”
Pan Fei chuckled and comforted Zhuo Wan, “Teacher Zhuo, use waterproof makeup next time! You look beautiful even when you cry!”
Zhuo Wan laughed again, looking at her reflection in the mirror with the markings like a talisman, feeling that it was proof of happiness.
As Pan Fei turned to put away the projector, she saw two red lines from the “Sun” character on the map suddenly deviate from their course, stretching far away.
The two red lines chased each other until they overlapped, disappearing into the distance beyond the range of the projector.
In the end, Fan Yuan pinned Gu Yang against the wall in a small alley, fiercely kissing him.
A little puppy from an unknown home wandered over, seeing the two of them, and immediately wanted to join in the play.
Gu Yang reached into Fan Yuan’s black hair and slightly opened one eye to look over, using his other hand to wave at the puppy, shooing it away.
The little puppy whimpered in a pitiful manner, then shook its head and walked away.
Gu Yang hugged Fan Yuan’s neck tightly again, allowing Fan Yuan to ravage his lips.
It was only when Fan Yuan released him that Gu Yang had a chance to catch his breath and said with a breathless voice, “Fan Yuan, do your best in the college entrance examination.”
Fan Yuan lowered his head again and replied softly, “I will do my best in the college entrance examination.”
In early May, just before the college entrance examination, a new memory was added to Gu Yang’s mind – a small alleyway.
The walls of the alleyway were hard and rough, but what Gu Yang was more aware of was that Fan Yuan’s lips were soft.
Summer was approaching.
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