Actions

Work Header

When a little squid tames a Gun's God - A Go Go Squid fanfiction

Chapter Text

Love, at first sight, may sound like a cliche fated to fail but, if there's one thing to be told and admired about Tong Nian that's how well she knows herself. She knows how she feels, she knows what she wants, she knows what she is capable of and once she wants something, she does her best to get it, no matter what.
That's why when the handsome, tall, and taciturn Adonis enters her auntie's cybercafe while she was covering her cousin's shift for a couple of hours, the first thing she thought was "Wow, that's a real man". Later, when she leaned over the counter to give his login information "accidentally" showing a little too much cleavage he didn't even try to take a look at her boobs, which made her think "He is respectful". A quick search for his name that she had seen in his identification document at Baidu showed that he was a very important and successful figure in the world of eSports. It shut down the market for the girl who had never been interested in a man before. "I think I'm gonna fall in love." was her last thought.
For almost 2 hours she watches him play. The way that his fingers move shows technique, speed, and precision that only long hours of practice can bring. His long-fingered hand flies lightly over the keyboard... Is that the kind of man she likes?
A tall, taciturn, handsome, with long-fingered hands that kill enemies with cold detachment? She makes a cup of coffee and brings it to him only to have the excuse to check the object of her sudden interest in the opposite gender.
When she gives him the coffee she noticed two other things about the mysterious man, he smells nice, a sandal scent and something else... Something that makes her want to bend over him and lie down on his large chest. The desire surprises her... She had always been a strong and independent woman despite her loli face and short stature, but his scent exuded virility and suddenly she thinks that having someone's protection may not be so bad. The second thing that she noticed was his bright smile. The man was already beautiful with a grumpy expression on his face, but when he smiles it looked like the sun was showing out through the clouds after a storm. She couldn't stop herself to smile back just like a sunflower facing the sun.
He stayed for another hour and so did her, before he arrived she was ready to leave as soon as her cousin returned. Her cousin arrived a long time ago, but she was still there, willing to stay in his presence as long as she could.
When he got up to leave, she hurriedly waved to her cousin who was looking at her curiously and ran after him with the ID card he had left on the counter. Maybe was the high adrenaline after the race or just the fear of not seeing him again, but after return his document she gathered all her bravery and asked for his WeChat ID.
" My WeChat ID? To pay for the coffee?"
For a moment of shyness and insecurity, Tong Nian was tempted to say yes but honestly is the best policy, so she just split the beans.
" No. It's for me."
For what felt like an eternity but was only a few seconds he just looked at her, then he extended the cellphone, his QR code on the screen, and she finally exhaled.
"Thanks. Maybe we can grab a coffee somewhere one of these days." Thank God her voice sounded firm regardless of how nervous she was, after all, it was the first time that she invited a guy out.
"Your boyfriend won't mind" - He was still staring at her like a hawk.
"My boyfriend?" - She was confused, what he means? She was obviously single. " I don't have a boyfriend."
He pointed his head to the cyber cafe and she finally gets it.
"He is not my boyfriend. He is my cousin Hu Dounan. His family owns the shop, I just help him when he needs to go out."
"So you don't work here?"
She noded.
"That's nice. A girl shouldn't work in this kind of place at night." She smiled. Was he worried about her? YAY! He cares.
"So, about that coffee..."
"I'll be traveling for work in the next few days. Maybe later."
-------------------------------------------------------
Han Shangyan really doesn't have time or interest in dating, he knew that, but the girl in front of him is so pretty and cute. Besides that, part of him just wanna talk about something that doesn't involve CTF or K&K. What's the problem about a couple of dates with a pretty girl? She probably would lose interest as soon as she finds out how busy he was. Nothing wrong with having a good time before it.
"OK." She smiles at him and he smiles back without really thinking about it, the girl really was cute, he couldn't help himself.
"I will text you in a few days then..." She said without looking at his face. He smiled. She was just like a cat pretending to be a tiger.
"Alright. I'll wait for your message." He smiled at her for the last time and then walked away.
After a few meters, he noticed that she was following him.
"What?" He asked her wondering what else she could possibly want.
"Ahn? Oh, nothing. I'm just going to the bus stop over there." she pointed in the direction. "My cousin is back so, I'm going home."
Her cousin was back at least an hour ago, but he didn't comment that. Looks like the little fairy waited for him. The thought made him kind of satisfied.
"Are you going to be ok by yourself? Take the bus alone at this time may be dangerous."
"It's ok. My house is just a few blocks away."
"My car is nearby, I can give you a ride."
"Oh no, it's not necessary. I don't want to be a burden."
"You are not. It won't take much time and you give me coffee after all so it's almost a date isn't it? She blushed. "Ok, thank you."
As she said, her home wasn't far away and they barely scratch the surface of the conversation, but he finds out that she is pursuing a master's degree in software engineering with an emphasis on artificial intelligence and is currently writing her thesis. And he told her about his degree in industrial design and management. He also told that he was managing a Chinese subsidiary of a company based in Europe. Before he was ready to say goodbye, they arrived at her house.
In the end, he stays to watch her unlock the gate and enter after wave at him. He felt a little vibration of something in his stomach, was that anticipation?

Chapter Text

    As soon as she arrived home, Tong Nian went to her room and search for him on Baidu, after all, when she searched it before she was in a hurry and just check the basic info. Han Shangyan, 28 years old, was born on August 13, 1990, in Norway. At the age of 18, he chose Chinese nationality and moved to China, where he became the legendary Gun's God, mainly striker for the Solo team. Two and a half years later the Solo team disbanded and the Gun's God disappeared. He was out of the spotlight winning individual awards in the CTF world for almost five years until 2013/2014 when he founded K&K which started to gain international notoriety. In 2017 the K&K division in China was founded and in 2018 he returned to lead them.

Wow. That was a lot more than "Managing the Chinese subsidiary of a European company" as he told her earlier, but it's not like he lied to her. He just omitted a little detail, he was the CEO and one of the founders of that company.

Maybe he just wanted a conversation that didn't involve his profession, he looked upset when he walked into the cafe. At first, she thought that he might have argued with a roommate or a girlfriend, which would explain his presence at that late hour. Looking at his information, she doesn't think that he would have a roommate, and since he makes sure that she was single before accepting her invitation, he was probably single. Whatever bothered him might be related to his work.

She spent a little more time looking at his website and whatever was available about him on Baidu. Unfortunately, there wasn't much. He seems to be a very private person. There wasn't much about his personal life. No mention of family members or ex-girlfriends. 

She lets her fingers remain on his face in the picture. He was handsome 8 years ago, but he looks even better now. Growing up from a teenager to an adult made him a lot of good, he became more imposing and manly. She wonders what he will think about her age. She told him that she was finishing her master's degree, so he must think that she is at least 25 years old, but that was a topic for another day, maybe over coffee.

Two days later she went to a coffee shop and remembered that she promised to text him. Pulling her phone out of her pocket,  she sent him the following photo with the caption "Since my guest is very busy, the only option left for this poor student is getting her next correction alone.😉😅 Going back to studies, Good luck with your work. Jia You! "

Tomar mais de 3 xícaras de café por dia eleva em 4 vezes o risco de pressão  alta - ISTOÉ Independente (Picture from Google)

From that day on, they exchanged a few more messages. She's busy with research and exams and he's also busy with his work, so they make vague plans to meet on the holidays and that's enough for now.

_________________________________________________________________________

Guangzhou's airport is full and she was already late. Her flight was delayed so she was frantically looking for signs that would tell her where to get a taxi when she saw them.

They look like a sports team or something, all dressed in black and walking purposefully through the crowded corridors, definitely catching the attention of people around. She couldn't help herself and stopped to watch them. That's when she saw him. Walking behind them, talking on his phone was the one who was always on her mind, Han Shangyan. Pa rt of her wanted to call his name or run after him, but she was already late and her suitcase was heavy, so she gets into a taxi and sent him a message on WeChat.

I guess that I just saw you at the airport. Were you with a group of people wearing a black uniform?

Are you in Guangzhou?

Yes! I'll participate in an event here and I was already late, so I didn't stop to say "hi". 

Which event? We're here for a two-day competition. 

NetEase Music Festival. They invited me to sing. Must be done around 3 p.m. Is it a CTF competition?

How did you know about it? Were you stalking me?

Believe it or not, usually, I don't ask for the WeChat ID of strangers that I met in a Cybercafe. I had to make sure that you weren't a psycho before texting you. 😜

Haha. Smart girl! We'll compete for most of the day. Wanna join us?

Sure!😍 

I'll let a pass for you at the reception. Just show them your ID and take it.

Moments later, he sends her the address. Turns out that they are in the same location as her, only a few meters away. Seems like fate really wants to bring them together. 

Luckily, they asked her to sing in the opening show. As soon as her signing session ends she asked Lan Mei, that would do the closing show to take care of her paycheck. She went to the e-sports venue excited about their meet.

____________________________________________________________________

Why oh why did she bring so many clothes for a two-night stay? Dragging her suitcase is becoming uncomfortable. The delay of the flight meant that she did not have time to check in at the hotel before the event. If I don't find the place soon  I'll leave my suitcase right here, she thinks to herself.

Han Shangyan, true to his words, left a pass for her at the reception and she couldn't help noticing that it was not just a ticket, but a pass claiming that Tong Nian was part of K&K's support team. After the local staff gave her some directions, she went to the main hall and looked for a seat.

She saw Han Shangyan sitting in the front row along with a few other boys wearing the black and white uniforms that seem to be Team K&K's signature and goes meet him.

"Hiii, I am here." What's up with her voice? She intended to sound sure of herself, but her voice comes out breathless and high. It was all fault of the heavy suitcase she had to drag. It is certainly not because of her excitement to finally be with him.

"You came! Was it easy to find the address?"

She nods and points to the seat next to him. There's a black K&K jacket on it and she's not sure if someone was sitting there, but Shangyan pushes the jacket aside and gestures for her to sit. K&K is on stage, but she has no idea what the commentators are saying so embarrassed, but determined to learn she turns ready to interrogate him.

"Is your team winning or losing?"

" Winning. This is our last match today, as we don't have to play a tiebreaker."

Oh. She's a little disappointed. She just arrived and they are about to leave.

"We will go out for dinner later. If you want, you can join us."

Before she could reply, her stomach rumbles. Seeing the embarrassed look on her face, Shangyan couldn't help but laugh making her blush. In her urge to see him she had forgotten to eat.

Pretending not to be affected, she replies. "I feel like my stomach answered that question for me, but yes, I would love to."

In the arena, the crowd goes crazy and she brings her attention back to the game. Shangyan tries to explain what is going on while K&K guarantees victory.

Nian applauds with a great enthusiasm with the rest of the crowd as the team receives their praises. Soon Shangyan, praiseworthy, is picking up his belongings and carrying her suitcase.

"Let's go backstage and get the team, okay?"

"If you're going to bring my suitcase, the least I can do is carry your jacket", she says taking it from his arms. "Show me the way."

As the two head backstage, the team members left on stage were staring at them with expressions ranging from amusing curiosity to absolute surprise.

"The Great Demon is talking to a girl?"

"I didn’t know that Boss knew girls, especially a beauty like her."

"She looks familiar... I think I saw her at the airport."

"Maybe she is the boss's wife?"

"In that case, she is definitely the jealous type, I mean, we don't hire female players, and even our manager is married."

Poor Nian Nian, taking on the reputation of being a jealous woman with none of the benefits of being the boss's wife.

"Oh, look, Boss is even taking her suitcase. Did he bring her here for a date, perhaps?"

"I think so. Look, he's even smiling at her and she's holding a team jacket."

They looked at each other and conclude. 

"She is our Sister in law."

---------------------------------------------------

At backstage, they find the team gathered around a young man in obvious pain, reclining on a couch.

"How is he doing?" Han Shangyan asks the woman standing beside the sofa.

"He passed out as soon as he left the stage."

Nian approaches the boy. Nobody there seemed to know what to do and, since her father and most of his family were doctors, she learned one or two things, she had also taken first aid and basic care training before. Hopefully, it would be enough until the doctor comes.

At that moment Grunt, the boy on the couch groans in pain. "I'm fine, it's just a stomach ache, give me a glass of warm water. There is no need to call a doctor."

"Even if you die in Guangzhou it won't count as an accident at work." Shangyan snarls back at him.

"Boss, I'm already in pain. Don't torture me anymore."

Nian, after hearing the young man's plea, quickly pours a glass of warm water and steps forward to hand it to him.

"Here it's. My name is Tong Nian, I am not a doctor, however, I have training in first aid, can I examine you?"  The boy nods and she approaches him under the curious gaze of everyone in the room, including Shangyan. Oh Lord. Why don't you mind your own business Tong Nian? She mentally scolded herself. But then again, she couldn't just watch the young man who was in obvious pain.

"Have you been vomiting recently? Any signs of bleeding? Does it hurt when I press here? What about here?" And so she follows the protocol that she learned by watching her grandfather treating her when she was a kid. After that, she turns to the only familiar face in the room and says:

" Apparently it is a gastric ulcer, warm water and rest should help till the doctor arrives and medicates him, but if it has reached this point, only medication won't solve the problem. When you return home, take him to a gastroenterologist."

Han Shangyan looked at the girl, impressed. He didn't know why he invited her to join them, it's not like he didn't know it was going to cause a buzz, the legendary bachelor showing up with a girl clearly not associated with e-sport. It was everything he had been avoiding, but the fact that she openly admitted that she searches for his information before contacting him amused and impressed him. It shows that she is smart and honest. Now, watching her helping his player without hesitation made his admiration for the little woman in front of him grow up.

The rest of the team was also staring at her. They finally realized that it was their boss who brought the beautiful woman into the room with him.

"Boss, is this your girlfriend?"

"Sister-in-law, it's a pleasure to meet you."

"The sister-in-law is very beautiful."

"Wait, Boss has a girlfriend!"

As a cacophony of voice erupts in the room, Shangyan and Nian look at each other.

"Shut up!" Han Shangyan's voice cuts through the team's noise as he frowned angrily. "My relationship status is not up for debate unless you want two extra hours of physical training added to your daily schedule."

The room suddenly becomes quiet enough to hear a needle fall. 

"Lao Han." The woman sitting on the couch gets up and puts her hand on his arm. "I need to talk to you for a second." She looked at Grunt and Shangyan understood what she means.

He goes into the hall with the woman named Su Cheng after giving Nian a small nod, she smiles and waves a hand for him to take care of it. 

The questions started again from the team members as soon as Han Shangyan and the woman left the room, but Nian ignored them and focused on the sick person on the couch.

"How are you feeling?"

"Like I'm in hell."

"What is your name?"

"Shen Zhe, but everyone calls me by my nickname in the CTF world, Grunt."

"Okay, Grunt you need to take care of yourself, I bet you were feeling stomach ache for a long time." The boy just nodded, ashamed that his Sister-in-law first met him in such a vulnerable state.

"Did someone call a doctor?"

"Uhm, yes." One of the boys replied. "He is on his way."

"Good." She puts her hand on Grunt's forehead, to check his temperature.

When Shangyan and Su Cheng entered the room again, the first thing they saw was Tong Nian holding a cup to Grunt's lips and scolding him for not take care of his health.

"I know that you feel betrayed by your own body" She was saying. "I also went through this, I got ill in a foreign country on the day of my competition and I was very angry and disappointed in myself, but life involves giving and receiving, If you don't pay attention to your body, you won't have a healthy one. 

Han Shangyan was reminded of his own defeat when he was still a player in Team Solo. He had a high fever on that day and lost an important competition. It's still a sensitive topic for him years after. He promises himself that he would pay more attention to the health of the boys.

Tong Nian brings his attention back to the present.

"Aren't the doctor here yet?"

As if summoned, an energetic-looking man in his forties enters the room. They leave the room, leaving the doctor with his patient and Su Cheng.

"I have an appointment with the organizers. Why don't you go to our hotel with the staff? I will join you as soon as we are done. Don't worry, they will behave well."

She nods and allows the younger member of the team, who introduces himself as Demo to carry her bag.

The team is overflowing with curiosity and asking lots of questions. Fortunately, she wasn't a shy person or she would be intimidated by the excited puppies around her.

There is just one of them who wasn't trying to catch her attention. The tall young man wearing a mask that she saw at the airport. She remembers seeing him on stage, but there is something vaguely familiar about him. As if she knew him from somewhere else, but she couldn't remember.

The players keep calling her sister-in-law and she doesn't know how to dissuade them. Whenever she tries to correct their assumptions, they agree, but immediately call her Sister-in-law again. She finally gives up. They will make their assumptions, no matter what she says, And it's not like she will oppose being their Sister-in-law in the future.

At the hotel, they drove her to the Buffet area, but before they could start eating, the woman from before comes to fetch her. With a wave of Goodbye, she picks up her suitcase that Demo was still carrying and follows her. 

"My name is Su Cheng, I am the team manager, Thanks for your help with Grunt earlier. Lao Han wants to see you so I'm going to take you to him."

"Thank you! My name is Tong Nian and there's no need to thank me. I was invited to watch the game for free, helping him was the least I could have done."

After smiling at each other they no longer speak, the manager leads the way to Han Shangyan's room. After opening the door, she tells Nian to get in and closes the door behind her. "OMG, I am locked in a room with the Gun's God. "

 

 

FInal Note: I'll be back with another update on the weekend. Hope that you enjoyed it. 

 

Chapter Text

Last chapter...

After smiling at each other they no longer speak, the manager leads the way to Han Shangyan's room. After opening the door, she tells Nian to get in and closes the door behind her. "OMG, I am locked in a room with the Gun's God. "

Shangyan picks up her suitcase and puts it by the corner.

"I'm sure that you're tired of carrying this around all day." He flashed that perfect little smile and she just managed to nod her head like an idiot.

"Why don't we leave it here for now? You can pick it up later when you're ready to go."

"If you keep doing things like that I may never be ready to go." She wanted to say. Lord, he's perfect. So beautiful and so thoughtful. Nian felt a wave of heat spread through her stomach and hoped she wasn't blushing like a schoolgirl.

"Thanks."

"So... About today. I owe you apologies."

"Apologizing? For what? " In her opinion, he had nothing to apologize for. She had a great time seeing him in his element.

"Well, I should apologize for my team's behavior. They can be very noisy sometimes.

"No, no." She waves his worries away like flies. "It's okay, really. They were really sweet. Poor Demo even carried my suitcase all the way till here."

"Since you think like that, We should go down. After all, I promised to take you to dinner"

"Hmmm, dinner". But she didn't make a move. Her feet seem to be glued to the carpet and his scent engulfed her. He smells so nice...

He takes a step closer. He is much taller than her which is another point in his favor.

"What's the matter? Aren't you hungry anymore?"

"Ravenous... I mean Yes, I am hungry". Damn it Tong Nian, control yourself, woman! Stop looking at the man as if he were a steak.

They stand in the entrance for a second, just staring at each other. I wouldn't mind if he kisses me, she thinks to herself. The phone ringing breaks the atmosphere and she suddenly remembers that she scheduled an interview with a local radio station for now. 

"Excuse me, I have to take this call. Can I use your restroom?"

He nods, pointing the right direction and she flees to the bathroom, still embarrassed by her lustful thoughts.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The cafeteria is less crowded when they return, but most of the team is still there. Gathered around a table, talking in hushed whispers that stopped as soon as they spot the two of them walking in together.

Shangyan finds a table in a corner near the window and after serving themselves they sit down to eat. While eating, she keeps stealing glances at the man across the table. Passion really does make people stupid, now she even admires the way he held the Hashi.

"Uhm... Boss."

Shangyan turns his head slightly and looks at the player standing beside the table. The poor boy's expression was a mix of fear, admiration, and curiosity.

"We are going to practice now. The manager says you don't need to join us."

He raises an eyebrow at this, but a glance at Su Cheng reveals that the older woman is giving him a thumbs up. It seems that his players are not the only ones who are overly interested in his love life.

"Okay, bye-bye. Bye Sister-in-law!" Demo said already walking away. Tong Nian couldn't hold back a giggle.

"What?"

"Nothing, I just think that the way they care about you is too cute, that's all."

Shangyan snorts after hearing her comment. They finish their meal in silence, he answers e-mails and she looks at him. After their meal's end, she persuades Han Shangyan to explain the rules of CTF to her, and he tries to clarify the finer points of the scoring system as they take the elevator back up.

Back in his room, where her bags are waiting, they fall silent.

"I still have a meeting later, so I'll call the front desk and order a cab for you."

"Uhm, okay." She shifts her weight from one foot to the other without knowing what to say.

"Thanks for the invitation."

"Thank you for keeping me company."

They both say simultaneously, and some of the tension was released as they smile at each other. His smile was also 10/10.

Taking courage after the awkward mood has been broken Tong Nian asks:

"When can I see you again?"

Something changes after hearing her question. Han Shangyan is always tense, carrying alone the weight of responsibility for the future and dreams of all those boys, but something about her makes him feel at ease. He realizes that he is not willing to give up on this feeling and asks impulsively:

"Are you free tomorrow?"

"Yes. My flight is at 6 pm, so I was just planning to rest and maybe go shopping with a friend."

"Friend?"

"Yeah, Lan Mei. She came here with her husband to the music festival. Her husband has a meeting so it's going to be just the two of us hanging out.

"Oh." He lets out a sigh of relief. "Well, if you guys want to come tomorrow..."

"We do!"

He smiles at her enthusiasm. "The competition starts at 11. Your pass is still valid and you should be able to bring your friend into the arena with it."

"All right."

He carries her bag for her on the way out of the hotel. He also opened the car's door and, while the driver put her suitcase in the back, he leans over her to fasten her seat belt. Was he trying too hard or was he naturally a gentleman?

"See you tomorrow then?"

" Yes." His face was so close to hers. She couldn't stop herself from looking at him, his eyes, his lips.

Forehead Anime GIF - Forehead Anime ForeheadKiss GIFs

He kisses her forehead! It was so quick that she almost thinks she imagined it if it wasn't for the little satisfied smile on his face.

"Text me when you arrive." She nods. She couldn't even speak, that little touch of his lips against her forehead still stirring her senses. The cab pulls away and she waved at him, They kept looking at each other till the cab makes a turn. She leans back with a sigh. This was perhaps the best night of her life. 

-----------------------------------------

Han Shangyan enters the training room and finds none of his players training. Instead, everyone seems to be in a deep conversation, certainly discussing his love life.

As soon as they notice him, they all seemed to return to training mode. Headphones on and eyes focused on the screen in front of them. He snorts, a bunch of noisy gossips.

 

Well, everyone pretends to be busy training except for his cousin Wu Bai, who approaches him.

 

"Come out to the hall for a second. I need to talk to you about something."

 

They leave the room, Shangyan leans against the banister outside.

 

"What is it?"

 

"Grandpa wants you to call him."

 

"Give me" he said pointing to the phone.

 

"What do you want my phone for?"

 

"Don't worry, I'll give it back. If he knows my number, he will call me day and night."

 

Wu Bai hands over the phone with an expression of resigned defeat.

 

"Hello? Xiao Bai?"

 

"Grandpa, it's me." Shangyan answers.

 

"Han Shangyan! You stinking brat, I want you back here on the first available flight."

 

He pulls the phone away from his ear and let his grandfather's angry speech wash over him like a familiar cold shower. It used to make him angry, the way his grandfather spoke to him, but these days it's just a sad annoyance. He doesn't understand his choices, and Shangyan has given up trying to explain.

 

"I will arrive the day after tomorrow, in the morning. Go to the airport and pick me up."

 

"Grandpa, you are getting old. Why do you want to take such a long flight? As soon as things calm down here, Little Bai and I will pay you a visit."

 

He knows that this won't dissuade his grandfather, but he also knows that he would blame himself later if he doesn't make an attempt.

 

"It's because I'm old that I have to come back now. If not, I might not get another chance. I want to see my old friends again and, at the same time, make sure that you get a wife. I don't want any excuses from you. As your grandfather, it is my obligation to make sure that you don't go astray and I feel that I have failed in this respect. You have been nothing but a disappointment since you were a child. So for now, I need only one thing from you: to give me a suitable granddaughter."

 

"You want a granddaughter instead of a grandson. Who could have guessed? Shangyan scoffs.

 

"Enough sarcasm. I don't have time for your games."

 

"For your information, I am dating a girl." He didn't want to talk about Tong Nian yet, he didn't even know whether or not she wanted to be in a relationship, but maybe that would calm his angry grandfather down.

 

"Pfft! I'll believe it when I see it."

 

"Ha! Why would I want to introduce a girl to a grumpy old man like you?"

 

"Han Shangyan!"

 

"All right! The day after tomorrow. Got it! Bye."

 

He hangs up the phone with an exhausted sigh and hands it back to Wu Bai.

 

"Stop acting like an errand boy from now on."

 

He knows he won't stop just because he asked, this is a frequent discussion between the two of them. Being the mediator between Han Shangyan and his grandfather is a role Wu Bai has long accepted.

 

"That girl today, I have seen her before." As Shangyan turns to him, he continues. "ACM competition."

 

"ACM"

 

"Global college coding competition. The main college programming competition, actually, you know I always wanted to go."

 

"How you did?"

 

"A little better than her, but just barely. She is good, There were rumors behind the scenes that she was sick on the day. I don't know how she would be in her best state."

 

Shangyan can't help the proud look he gives his cousin. He doesn't tell him often. Wu Bai never seems to need to hear it, he knew he was a genius. But somewhere there is pride for Tong Nian as well. If Wu Bai thinks she is good, that is high praise.

 

"What are you looking at?" Wu Bai seems a little uncomfortable with Shangyan's affectionate gaze and quickly walks back to the practice room, effectively ending the conversation.

 

-------------------------------------------

 

Once she is safely settled in her hotel room, Nian sends a text message to let Han Shangyan knows that she had made it to the hotel and then to Lan Mei, informing her about their change of schedule. 

A short time later Lan Mei invites her to the room she shared with her husband, it turns out that her husband was a CTF fan and wanted to know since when Nian had an interest in e-sports. Excited to learn more about Shangyan's world she ask him a lot of questions and they chat 'til later. 

----------------------------------------------

Chapter Text

It took me almost two hours to get ready the next day. Finally, my tendency to Overpack benefited me, I was able to put together a  neutral outfit that hopefully wouldn't stand out as much in a CTF game. Okay. Who was I trying to fool, the dress has a lot of bows and frills, it would probably still attract attention but at least it wasn't pink.

When they arrived at the venue, many fans were already surrounding the entrance waiting for the teams to arrive, with plaques and souvenirs the crowd wasn't different from the fans who came to their autograph sessions. Lan Mei seems delighted with the assembled crowd, she didn't expect e-sports to be so popular.

As soon as the teams start to arrive, the crowd gets more enthusiastic in their shouts and rushes towards the entrance to transmit their good wishes and support. The two of them were pushed together. Along the way, someone suddenly pushes Nian and she prepares herself to greet her old friend, the ground.

A few members of the incoming team stopped and Nian stumbles upon a woman who helps her up and makes sure everything is okay. She looks at the badge around Nian's neck.

 "Oh! Are you with K&K? I don't think we have met before? "  She extends her hand in greeting. " I am Ai Qing."

 "Tong Nian." She says, a little embarrassed, as she accepts the greeting.

 "Nice to meet you. Good luck today."

 "You too, and thank you."

The woman warns the crowd to behave themselves and then disappears into the arena along with a small army of young men dressed in red and white that Nian assumes is her team, and right behind them an army of black men follows. K&K has arrived.

 "Let's go." Nian grabs Lan Mei's hand to pull her towards the entrance where she could see Han Shangyan scanning the crowd before spotting her and giving her a small smile of greeting. As soon as the two reach the team, they begin to move toward the door holding opened by the security guards. No one checks her pass this time. One of the advantages of walking with the team.

They proceed down unfamiliar corridors until they reach a room, she didn't see last time, and she tries to ignore Lan Mei's killing look when the boys start calling her "Sister-in-law."

"Since when are you married?" Lan Mei hisses in her ear, followed by a: "Wait! Are you dating someone?"

As soon as they enter the VIP room, the team impassively passes the group dressed in red and white that she saw earlier, which she assumes is the opponent, before taking their seats. The seat in Han Shengyan's left is available and she shoots an apologetic glance at Lan Mei, who winks at her and mutters "Later", before taking a seat in the back row.

 "You came."

He smiles at her, and she can't help but smile back. That familiar warm feeling flooding her stomach.

"Of course, I came."

She was going to say more, but the phone rings and he gives her an apologetic look before answering the call.

She looks back at Lan Mei, who seems to be in her element surrounded by a crowd of adoring boys listening to her every word. She smiles, the cubs were cute and Lan Mei had the ability to fit in wherever she goes.

Soon her eyes go in search of Han Shengyan again. He is pacing back and forth in the background while talking to whoever is on the other end of the call. As always, her eyes drink in the sight of him. He looks especially Gorgeous today, but that may be her biased opinion as he seems to get more attractive every time she looks at him. As if he can feel her eyes on him, (Which wouldn't surprise her since she keeps staring at him like he's a Coke and she's in the desert), he turns to meet her eyes. It is like an electric wire connecting them across the room. Neither of them looks away until he finishes his call, and when he takes a step toward her, her stomach wraps with anticipation.

 "Is your friend all right?" He nods in Lan Mei's direction.

 "Yes. She seems to be in her element. Her husband is a CTF fan, so she is looking for autographs."

When he leans back, his arm is parallel with hers on the chair back, and at the edge, their hands meet. They are next to each other, not that they are holding hands or anything, but the touch is still enough to take her breath away and fill her stomach with butterflies.

"Thank you for letting me know that you came back okay last night. I was going to text you back, but the practice ended a little late and I didn't want to wake you up."

"That's ok, you don't have to text me if you are busy, but for future reference, I sleep with my phone on silent mode. Messages won't wake me up. " She smiles at him, and when he smiles back, continues, "Are you ready to continue my education in CTF?"

"I think I can do a good job."

"So, I surrender myself to you, Master." As soon as she spoke, she realizes the double meaning of her sentence and feels like hitting herself. From his devious smile, he also understood but didn't comment.

The rest of the time until the match is spent in an easy conversation between them, when the players stand up to leave the room, she gets up to follow them but, he holds her arm.

 "You look very beautiful today." She can't help it and blushes.

"Thank you, you always look handsome. I mean... You look handsome too. " Nice Tong Nian, when are you going to stop sticking your foot in your mouth, she thinks desperately, at this point her face must be as red as an apple.

He smiles and approaches her, puts his hand on her cheek, and says. "You said I always look handsome?"

Moving a little closer, he kisses her forehead and whispers against her skin. "Good to know." Then he takes her hand and they walk through the empty halls and even through the crowded lobby holding hands. 

He releases her hand as they enter the main competition area, but the warmth of his touch lingers long after they have sat down. 

She sees the woman who helped her earlier when she was pushed to the ground outside the venue, entering from the other side of the hall. They exchanged a small nod and when she looks back at Han Shangyan he is looking at her with an unreadable expression on his face.

"Do you know her?"

"Not really, she just helped me. I was pushed by the crowd outside and almost fell on top of her."

She looks again at the woman in question and finds that she is watching them with a curious expression.

"Do you know who she is?"

"Hmm, she told me that her name is Ai Qing. "

"She is Appledog. The second strike of the Solo team and current SP's team manager."

Oh. Knowledge gathers in her mind, The Appledog Goddess that Lan Mei's husband said was possibly involved in a love triangle with Solo and Gun. Not that she believed the rumours.

" She was in Team Solo too, right?"

He nods in agreement. 

"So she is your former teammate?" 

"Yes."

She wants to ask more questions, to ask about his past, about his time in the Solo Team, about why he retired, but the look on his face stops her.

"Then tell me about K&K."  She changes the subject. " Who is your main striker? "

Han Shangyan seems relieved at the change of topic and as he explains, she finally understands the main points of the game. She also realizes that the topic has not been forgotten by him. There is a tension in his posture, in the corners of the eyes that she has begun to grow fond of. She can't help but glance at the aisle where his former teammates are sitting.

They lost. Just looking at the desolate expression of the puppies on the stage makes Tong Nian feel a tightness in her chest.

Han Shangyan buries his face in his hands, for a split second she can clearly see the anger and frustration boiling under his skin, but then they disappear. By the time he raises his head, he has his usual impassive expression that she has noticed him wearing in public. She wants to touch him, put her hands on his shoulder and tell him that everything will be all right, wrap her arms around him and share the weight he seems to be carrying. But in the end, she just stays half a step behind him and follows his pace as they leave the arena in close formation.

A man from the other team grabs Han Shangyan's arm as they pass by and says something she can't hear, but judging by the way that his shoulders get tenser, it's not good. He shakes the man's hand off, and they continue walking, leaving the arena, the battlefield, and his former teammates behind.

----------------------------------------------------

When they get back to the VIP room, he stops letting the team and Lan Mei pass, before turning to her and giving her a tired look.

"Sorry, I probably won't be a good company today. " He looks so troubled that give her a heartache. She takes a step forward and wraps her arms around him. 

"It's all right. You lost today, but it was just a battle, not the war, right? "

He pauses for a moment as if he doesn't know what to do, then puts a hand in the back of her hair and whispers. 

"Still, it is never good to lose. In the world of e-sports, only the winners are remembered."

"I see. Don't worry about us, we have to leave soon anyway, we have to pick up our luggage at the hotel before our flight home. But, don't be too harsh on the cubs" The nickname slips out without her realizing it. "They did their best, I'm sure of it. They respect you too much to intentionally disappoint you. "

She pulls away from the hug and looks into his eyes. 

" We also fly back tonight." He sighs.

"Call me when you arrive?"

"Of course... Oh, by the way, my grandfather is coming tomorrow."

"Great!" She takes a look at his frown and says in a dubious tone. "Isn't it?"

"Let's hope so, but, My Grandfather... It's complicated." 

"Family tends to be like that. It's okay. We can find some time to meet after things have calmed down a bit."

He nods and it's there again, that slightly broken expression he had earlier. She had seen it before, he wore it at the first time she saw him.

She leans into his larger body again, this time he hugs her back and presses the now expected kiss to her forehead. And then he takes a step back. That inscrutable frown back on his face.

"Bye-bye." She tries to make her farewell sounds carefree and cheerful, but isn't sure she has succeeded.

"Bye."

Han Shangyan's goodbye is just a whisper.

 

 



Chapter Text

Last Chapter…

  "Bye-bye." She tries to make her farewell sounds carefree and cheerful but isn't sure she has succeeded.

"Bye."

Han Shangyan's goodbye is just a whisper.

 

As soon as she gets home, Tong Nian sends a message to Han Shangyan.

I have arrived home safe and sound. Have a safe trip back

Hours later he replies:

We have landed. Talk to you later.

 

As the New Year approaches, the days seem to blur into a frantic whirlwind of exams and project deadlines, but they still text every day. Her messages are full of emoticons and the occasional photo, and his are brief and straight to the point.

After long consideration, she gives her parents little hints that she is seeing someone.  Not enough to make them push for a meeting, but just enough to let them know there might be one in the future.

Does she want to bring Han Shangyan home to meet her parents? She likes the idea, but at the same time, she is not looking forward to their reaction. This is the ebb and flow of meeting someone for the first time. It's nice. And there's no reason to rush things.

While she is packing her things, she receives another message from him, he is taking his grandfather to see some old friends on New Year's Eve, but maybe they can finally go for that long-awaited coffee the next day.

This time it is she who gave a short and sweet reply.

 

Can't wait.

-----------------------

 

“Is it here?” Grandpa Han looks at Shangyan with the expression he normally uses in his presence, displeasure.

“According to the GPS, yes.” He answers as he looks at the front of the house ahead, something about the place looks familiar.

He gets out of the car and goes to help Grandpa Han out.

“Slow down! Be careful”

“Why are you all dressed in black?” Grandpa Han points at his clothes and stares at him as if he had just committed some kind of capital sin.

He sighs, this is an oft-repeated conversation. “My closet is full of the same clothes.”

“You have a date today, couldn't have dressed better?”  Han Shangyan's mind takes a tumble. First of all, black is a very serious colour in his opinion that is literally why it is the K&K colour. Secondly, date?  WTF?

“Date? How was I supposed to know that you were playing matchmaker? He doesn't even bother trying to hide his dissatisfaction with the idea. “I thought you came to meet an old friend. I don't need you to set me up on dates.”

Their argument continues for a while, but after seeing Grandpa trying to fake a heart attack he gives up and decides to follow the older man's plan for today. Before entering the house he had time to send a message to Tong Nian.

 

My grandfather really follows through on his threats and setting me up on blind dates. In case you don't mind, can I introduce you to him so he can get off my back?

 

LOL, Okay.

 

He breathes a sigh of relief. He isn’t sure when his relationship with Tong Nian advanced from a few dates at the internet cafe to meeting his family, or rather, he knows, he just doesn't want to think about how touched he was when the girl hugged him and told him to take it easy with the "puppies". At that moment it seemed that she cared about his club as much as he did.

The house is cozy and comfortable, but the girl is unpleasant, with an arrogant expression and dressed in too much glitter and lots of makeup.

His grandfather drags him into the living room for introductions. Her name is Hu Yuejiao, but she doesn't look like a lunar beauty. But his grandfather is superstitious as old people tend to be and probably thought that her name made her a fortuitous match for the lunar new year.

Part of him wants to cut this matchmaking session short as quickly as possible, but Tong Nian has agreed to meet his grandfather, so he endures the social subtleties that are expected of him. A polite greeting, a polite smile, a polite handshake. It's all too cloying for his politeness. They have just sat down, politely of course, when the sound of a melodious voice makes itself heard.

"I had a dream I was seven, climbing my way in a tree. I saw a piece of Heaven waiting impatient for me Down"

“Nian Nian. Stop humming and hurry up.”

He could not believe his eyes. The girl who had occupied his recent thoughts was coming through the door. Dressed in cute pajamas, a clean face, and messy hair, she made an adorable contrast to the overproduced girl sitting in the armchair next to him.

Tong Nian descia as escadas sem nem mesmo olhar por onde andava

Nian Nian, what are you doing? There are so many guests here! Why are you wearing those clothes? Hurry up and change your clothes.  Her mother scolds her while casting apologetic glances at her guests, but Han Shangyan barely notices. He is already standing on his feet.

“Tong Nian!”

________________

Tong Nian was walking down the stairs without even looking where she was going. In front of her, her cousin continued to chatter, but she was too distracted to pay attention. Did she do the right thing by agreeing to meet Grandfather Han? She and Shangyan hadn't even had a proper meeting yet. On the other hand, Grandpa lived far away and wouldn't be in China for long, if she didn't agree he would keep arranging meetings for his God of Arms and she didn't want that.

Yours? Don't you think you're a little ahead of reality here little Squid? She scolded herself.

“Nian Nian, stop humming and hurry up”.

She hadn't realized she was singing, a result of hearing the same song countless times on a loop as her thoughts that only revolved around the same person.

As they entered the room her cousin suddenly stopped causing her to bump into his back. When did he get so tall? She glared at him, but he didn't meet her gaze, too focused on a point in front of him. She turned to find out what had caught his attention and....

“Han Shangyan!”

“Tong Nian!”

She looks around the room quickly. Shangyan was standing next to an older man who she assumed was her grandfather. Her aunt was present and also her parents. Finally, her cousin, dressed exaggeratedly formally, in a dress, strong makeup, and heels. Wait. Her cousin?

“Don't tell me that's who your grandfather is trying to set you up with?” She accidentally says.

Then she remembers what she's still wearing, lets out an ashamed little laugh, and hurries back to her room.

------------------------------------------------------

As soon as Tong Nian leaves the room there is a second of astonished silence. Then all eyes turn to me.

“Do you know her?” My grandfather, of course, was the first to ask.

“I told you that I was already seeing someone. She even agreed to meet you.”

“You... Are you the boy she mentioned? ” Her mother looks surprised.

He tries his best to make a shy and friendly expression when talking to her.

“Auntie. I found the gate familiar, but I only drop Nian here once. I'm sorry I didn't introduce myself properly before.”

He sips his orange juice while the rest of the room seems to meditate on this information in silence.

“Ok... Well. I'll get a soda, then.”

The coffee cousin quickly leaves the room and Han Shangyan can't help but envy his initiative.

 

-----------------------------------------------------

Upstairs Nian changed in record time, the only advantage of having completely humiliated herself by appearing in pajamas in front of the two Shangyans in their living room early is that anything she wore would be better than that.

White jeans, white sneakers, a pink sweater, and a pink jacket. Quickly brush her hair, put some lip gloss on, mascara and she was ready. 5 minutes. It had to be a new record for her.

Ela desce as escadas apressada

She hurries downstairs. There is an ominous silence in the room and when she enters all eyes fall on her. Great.

“Nian Nian ... You told us you were seeing someone, but...” Her mother's voice has a clear tone of disapproval. She gets ready for a tough battle against her mother’s overprotection.

“Yes.” Nian walks over to stand next to Han Shangyan.

He gives her an arched eyebrow that she interpreted as. "Well, this is awkward." And she nods her head in response as if to say, "Tell me about it.

“I mean, we've only been on one date....”

“Three.” Shangyan interrupts.

“Meeting by coincidence doesn't count as a date.” She smirks at him.

“The first time you gave me coffee and I bought you dinner the second time we met.”

They share a knowing smile.

“Tong Nian! He is 8 years older than you.” Her mother almost yelled.

“Eight?” Han Shangyan murmurs to her, looking surprised. Oops. This is not how she imagined telling him.

“You are four years older than father and you always said this was a good thing.”

“The relationship between your father and me is not what we are discussing now.”

“I think we should all relax and talk about it calmly.” Her father says, as always the peacemaker. But Nian knew his mother and knew that he had to end this now.

“Mom, we have just started dating. He has a stable job and is co-owner of a multinational company. We even have interests in related fields. Why do you have any objection to us getting to know each other?”

It’s my decision anyway”. She continues switching to French in hope that the guest wouldn’t understand. “You and father promised to not interfere in my decisions till I give you a reason to not trust me. So far I didn’t.”

 “Well, we have a dinner reservation. Why don't we talk about it later?” Her father was still trying to mediate.

“Yes, yes, a wonderful suggestion.”  Grandpa Han agrees rapidly, looking torn between agreeing that Han Shangyan is a failure and contesting the argument that his grandson was not a good catch.

They get into their cars to drive to the restaurant. Shangyan holds the passenger seat door open for Tong Nian. As soon as she sits down, he leans in to put on her seat belt as always, his scent enveloped her and she can't help but wish her nosy cousins weren't in the back seat so she could hug him.

He sits in the driver's seat and when he shifts the car gears, he looks at her with that little smile that means he's laughing on the inside.

“Well... That was weird.”

“Uhm, yes. Not the first meeting with my parents and your grandfather that I was expecting”

“Let's put the blame where it belongs. My grandfather was the one who tricked me and brought me on a blind date.”

Nian giggles a little at this.

In the back seat, her cousin huffs demonstratively.

“I think we are all adults here, so let me be frank. How did you two meet?” Hu Yuejiao asks. Tong Nian holds her annoyance at her cousin’s tone and answer.

“Blame your brother. He made me cover his shift at the internet cafe one night and Han Shangyan came in.” She was answering her cousin, but her eyes were on the object of the conversation.

“So, Han Shangyan, I hear that you make your living playing computer games.”

Hu Yuejiao's eyes seemed to point daggers at him. Tong Nian snorted, just now she was all smiles and batting her eyelashes at him, now that he wasn't available she looks for faults. So typical of her cousin.

“Used to, not anymore.”

“Hmph. That doesn't sound like a real job.”

“Ok.”

“Actually, it is a real job.” Nian tries to defend him before her cousin can really start complaining. God knows that once she starts talking there is no way to stop her.

“How can playing computer games be a real job?”

“They are more than gamers, they are cyber security geniuses. They win medals in competitions. And when they win, they receive a cash prize. However, they don't do it for the money, they do it for the honour. In fact, China is at the forefront of many cyber technologies. They have won many medals.” (A.N: In the book, they are really computer game players, I don’t know the name of the game but seems like LOL or Dota. However, in the drama CTF looks like a cybersecurity competition, they use codes instead of avatars to “fight” so I went with the drama’s version.)

 “Still, you can't waste your life on games! It’s not a career”

“Tong Nian, there is no use of arguing with your cousin. You know what I do, I know what I do. Isn't that enough?”

Han Shangyan appreciates your defence of him and your understanding of what he does, but he has spent a lot of time trying to argue these same points with his grandfather. He knows it's useless. No matter what he says, people will always have their own opinion. The rest of the car ride is silent, with the ‘couple’ in the front seat exchanging occasional looks and smiles.

The moment they arrive at the restaurant, Her cousin and Nian's aunt, who was obviously expecting their arrival, disappears into the restaurant quickly followed by Hu Dounan, who seems eager to give them some privacy. His cousin is very perceptive, unlike his sister.

Nian remains at the entrance while the parking attendant takes the car into the parking lot and Shangyan makes a quick phone call. A moment later, he walks over to her. The two are finally alone and Tong Nian feels like she can properly breathe for the first time tonight.

“You didn't have to wait for me.”

“I wanted to.”

He wraps her shoulders and pulls her into a hug. She takes a deep breath, inhaling his scent and feeling the tension from the car ride finally leave her body.

“Are you okay?” His voice sounds concerned.

“Yes, it's just...” She slightly shrugs her shoulders. “I'm fine.”

His hand takes hers and gives it a little squeeze. She raises her eyes to meet his.

“Really, I'm fine.”

“If you say so.”

He leans in a little closer to brush his lips against her forehead.

“Should we go in and face the music?”

A firm nod is his reply and the two enter the private dining room hand in hand.

Once again, the room is silent as the two enter. It seems like their relationship was under discussion. Again. Shangyan pulls up her seat and then sits down next to her while giving a slightly strained smile to her parents.

“Auntie... Uncle.”

The atmosphere in the room is tense enough that you could cut it with a knife, and for the first time Han Shangyan appreciates his grandfather's ability to hold a conversation on his own, under any conditions.

Not long after them, Wu Bai makes his entrance and he sighs in relief, his reinforcements have arrived.

“Wu Bai!”

“Little Bai!”

Nian and Grandpa Han's greetings are almost simultaneous, and the expression of confusion that crosses his cousin's face is something Shangyan will remember until the day he dies.

“Grandpa... Tong Nian. How nice to see you.”

A smile crossed Wu Bai's face as he pondered the situation.

“Wait!  Grandpa sets you up on a blind date with the girl you are already dating?”

“Did you know about this?” Grandpa Han is waving his hand between Nian and Shangyan.

“Yes, Tong Nian came to see us play in our last competition.”

“Ahh... Good, good, good.” Grandpa Han looks speechless at the revelation that Han Shangyan was telling the truth.

“Well, we are all here now. Why don't we enjoy our meal?”

The meal is surprisingly pleasant. The ‘couple’ manages to have an almost unperturbed conversation, apart from the occasional glare from Tong Nian's mother. And as the evening comes to an end, Grandpa Han asks her parents' permission for Shangyan to give her a ride home.

The moment they are alone in his car, he turns to her.

“Twenty?”

“Hm, yes. Is there a problem?”

“No. I was just surprised, that's all.”

“I started college with 16.”

“Look at my girlfriend, so talented and so smart.”

He pats her on the head before letting his hand rest there, lingering the contact.

“Is that what I am?”

Nian gives him an expectant look.

“What?”

“Your ... your girlfriend?”

“What else would you be?”

Shangyan looks honestly confused by this.

“Oh. OK”

She can't help the small smile that curves her lips, nor the warmth she can feel in her cheeks.

Before they reach her house, he stops the car.

“Uhm. We're not there yet.”

“I know, but I don't feel comfortable hugging you when your parents are probably watching us.”

Oh.

And then he's leaning into her, and their attraction is magnetic when she meets him halfway. The position is awkward, but she melts against him. She doesn't know how long they stay like this, her head resting against his chest, his hand buried in the hair on the nape of her neck and hers clutching his shoulder. Eventually, they parted.

“I missed you.” Her voice was only a whisper, but of course, he heard it.

“Mmh, me too.”

They sit in comfortable silence for a moment, just quiet with their bodies barely touching. Eventually, the moment passes and he starts the car once more and they drive the last few blocks to her house.

When they arrive at her house they sit in the car for a moment, both watching the gate that will inevitably open any minute.

“So, tomorrow then?”

“Yes, I'll pick you up at nine.”

Final Note:

Forehead kisses are cute, but I’m sure that you guys are looking for something else. Don’t worry. I got ya. Now they are officially dating so Love is in the hair. Or pheromones. Whatever.

P.S: I lied. I don’t got you. I don’t know how to write an 18+ scene. There will be kisses at least.

 

Chapter Text

Last Chapter...

When they arrive at her house they sit in the car for a moment, both watching the gate that will inevitably open any minute. “So, tomorrow then?”

“Yes, I'll pick you up at nine.”

 

Who needs an alarm clock when your grandfather is in the same house? He is promptly awakened at seven by the old man's shouts and knocks on his door.

The three-floor house seems inexplicably crowded with only four people.

The only highlight of the morning is that his grandfather leaves him alone as soon as he is informed of Nian's arrival, his only demands are dumplings for dinner and the girl's presence.

He leaves after breakfast, bringing Demo with him mainly to carry the groceries, but also to alleviate any concerns Tong Nian's parents might have about letting the two of them spend the day together.

They arrive 20 minutes early, mainly because Shangyan felt an irresistible urge to get out of the house and have a blessed silence. It seems that Demo has missed the memo as the boy keeps up a steady stream of conversation, which leads the two of them to pick up a fruit basket as a gift for the people that Demo insists on referring to as in-laws. 

Tong Nian had been already ready to leave when they arrive at her house, dressed in pink as usual. He is beginning to think that, like him, the girl has a closet full of pieces in the same colors. In her case, pastel shades. Surprisingly, it doesn't bother him. The girl looks cute in pink.

They pass the proper 10 minutes exchanging greetings and pleasantries before leaving.

The moment they step out of the gate, Demo is there, like an excited puppy that has been left alone for too long.

"Sister-in-law!"

It becomes increasingly clear why Tong Nian likes to call his players puppies.

They manage to buy groceries and get home in time to cook the meal, but just barely.
Never again, Shangyan swears, never again will he bring a team member when he meets Nian. The endless questions and comments about the personality of the "Boss " became annoying after a minute and now, an hour and a half later, they have reached the level of unbearable. 

It didn't take long for him to realize that his two assistants had no idea about how to make dumplings so he shooed them out of the kitchen in order to get started. He was about to ask if one of them had any dietary restrictions when he overheard Tong Nian and his grandfather's conversation.

"I understand the challenges that the past generations faced to ensure that we could enjoy the lifestyle we have today, but Grandpa, have you ever thought about how difficult it is for us young people to ensure the continued progress of our country without losing our values and culture? In this rapidly advancing globalized world, brave young people like Han Shangyan are needed so that we are not isolated and left behind. At the same time, it is necessary that our fathers and grandfathers teach us Chinese values and culture so that we don't lose them in this inevitable contact with the world culture.  If we have to fight a war on two fronts all the time, fighting against the external pressure to join the global culture and the pressure from the elders who want us to advance but at the same time keep everything the same, aren't we doomed to failure?

The girl's words, as always, touched him deeply. He had grown up in Norway, and it would have been easy to stay there, in a first-world country with excellent quality of life and a stable economy. However, he wanted more. He wanted to bring prestige and glory to his country, not the one he was born in but the one that gave him the values and traditions he cherished. He also noticed that he wasn't the only Han, who was moved by the girl's sweet and wise speech. For the first time, his Grandfather seemed to really listen as Tong Nian explained to him the world of the CTF, the profession, his grandchildren chose, and how their efforts were commendable and produced world-impacting results. When she quoted his retirement speech, word for word, he quickly turned back to the kitchen, not wanting the others to witness his emotional turmoil.

A while later the dumplings were ready to be cooked, but the kitchen is covered in flour. He delegates the cleaning duties to Demo and has Wu Bai setting the table before calling Nian up. After hearing his speech to his Grandfather all he wanted was to kiss her senseless to show how much her support and defense meant to him. 

"Hi!" She says in her usual excited tone, he doesn't even give her time to say anything else. Leading her into his office, he quickly closes the door behind them, backs the girl against the wall, and finally, finally kisses those full lips for the first time. It starts slow, just a soft touch of his lips against hers. Only a brief moment to express the tenderness he had begun to feel for the little girl, but then she slips her arms around his neck and stands on her tiptoes to press their bodies together, and he couldn't restrain himself anymore. He intensifies the contact, running his tongue across her lips until she lets him in and then taking her mouth in a deep kiss. An exploration of lips, tongue, and teeth that seem to take hours and not enough at the same time.

His hands find her waist and he lifts her up placing her sitting on the table so that she doesn't have to stretch to give him access, he steps between her legs wanting to get even closer. She is wearing a sweater, loose enough to allow his hands to find their way up and down her back, and he marvels at how warm she is, how soft her skin feels and how thin her waist is.   

He wanted more, more contact with the soft, warm girl in his arms, but they are interrupted by a quick knock on the door, followed by Wu Bai's voice cutting through the haze they were in.

"Grandpa is looking for you."

During dinner, Nian tries to not look at Han Shangyan, fearing that she would turn as red as bell pepper, and talks mostly to Grandpa Han and Demo. Grandpa Han doesn't seem like the grumpy old man that Shangyan affirms he is. He treats her like a doll, and although she and Demo are almost the same age, there is something about him that makes Nian want to treat him like a little brother. 

They chat over dinner, which by the way is extremely tasty. Shangyan is a good cook, who knew? She looks at him for a moment just to tell that his dumplings are better than her mother's, only to find him staring at her with a hungry look. She blushes and looks away.

At the end of the meal, when everyone seems satisfied and happy, even Wu Bai, whose now easy expression is usually even more blank than his cousin's. She gathers the courage to ask the question that had been bothering her since the first time she saw him. 

" Wu Bai? Have we met before?"

"Shangyan, your girlfriend is using outdated pick-up lines on me." Was the ice prince making jokes now?

"Seriously" She insists, that doubt was really bothering her.

"Yes, in Sydney last year for the ACM final."

"Oh, that explains" With her curiosity satisfied, she was ready to drop the subject.

"Explains what?" Now Wu Bai was the one who looked curious.

"Why I don't remember you. It was bothering me, I'm usually pretty good at recognizing people."

"And why was my remarkable face forgotten?" Typical. She was realizing that the arrogance, as well as the impassive face, ran in the family. 

"I had a little trouble that day."

Wu Bai remembered the buzz he heard in backstage, the rumor that the girl was a genius and they may have only won due to her health condition. 

"I heard that one of the players was sick, guess that it was you. What would be so serious as to hinder your performance?"

"Oh, I had a haemorrhage." She says as if it were something trivial. 

" You had what?" Suddenly four pairs of eyes turn to the girl who turns redder than a shrimp, there is no way she would be explaining to a bunch of men about uterine bleeding. (A.N: Yes c-drama lovers, it comes from a scene in the Chinese drama "Boss and me ". I've watched it again the other day and my dramatic ass just had to include it here. As a warning, this can really happen girls, try to do a check-up at least once a year).

"Lady's problems. Let's just say that I was in a lot of pain but, I thought it was normal for 'that time of the month'. It turned out that it wasn't, as soon as I finished making the code I fainted, I was taken to the hospital and had gone through surgery. It was a lot of drama, with me being one of the youngsters in the team, getting sick in another country and I have a rare type of blood on the top of that. That is why my mother doesn't like the idea of me traveling alone," said Nian Nian turning to Grandpa Han, as earlier he had said that her mother told him that Nian was afraid of flying to decline the offer of a future visit to Norway.  "Now let's not talk about it anymore".

Demo, who looked the most horrified of the four, immediately agreed. 

"I heard you guys did really well," she continues looking at Little Bai.  "Are you going to compete again this year?"

"Nah, we all graduated."

Nian places her hands under her chin in a cute posture and flutters her eyelashes in an exaggerated manner.

"Take me as your apprentice, master. I will carry your legacy forward. "

Wu Bai does not dignify her with an answer, but there is a slight curve in his mouth that she decides to count as a smile.

It is almost 7 p.m. when Shangyan and Nian finally get into his car in order to take Nian to her house.

Halfway there, he strikes up a conversation.

"I apologize."

"Apologize for what?"

"For cornering you in the office earlier."

"Why? Did it look like I was complaining?" What got into him, she was a more than willing participant, in fact, she couldn't wait to repeat the episode.

"I don't want you to feel compelled to do something you don't want or aren't ready to do."

Nian Nian doesn't hold back and smirks. "Trust me, Han Shangyan. I may look like a passive person, but no one forces me to do something I don't want to do. "

He always had a hard time connecting Tong Nian's professional profile (20 years old, bachelor degree in Electronic Engineering and Biotechnology, getting her master's degree in Software Engineering with emphasis on Artificial Intelligence, polyglot) with the girl dressed in pink singing anime songs that she seemed to be most of the time. Now he finally understood. "The kitten has claws," he thought, half astonished and half-amused, "and they look sharp".

The rest of the car ride was filled with soft songs on the radio. And by the time they reached the gate of her house, Nian was half asleep.

Shangyan parked, unbuckled his seatbelt, and turned to look at the Sleeping Beauty's face. 

Their moment is interrupted by the sound of the gate opening and her cousin, Hu Dounan, leaping toward the car like an overly excited puppy.

"I heard the car parking, come in and have some tea." Nian woke up by the noise of the gate opening and now stares at them drowsily.

"It's okay, it's getting late, you really don't need to come in."

"You've put up with my grandfather and Demo for most of the day. And that might help soothe your mother's worries". She nods in agreement and the two of them get out of the car and join her cousin to enter the house. 

Superficially, having tea with Nian's parents is good. Everyone is very polite and well-behaved, but there is a tension in her mother's eyes as she subtly and not so subtly questions him about his life, work, and living conditions.

Her father seems more willing to accept this new presence in Nian's life. He has never been very strict with his daughter, letting her make her own decisions. Han Shangyan is polite, has a job, and seems to treat his daughter with nothing but respect and affection. Nian seemed nice and easygoing, but he knew that his daughter could be quite indifferent to those who didn't treat her well and could stand up for herself. All in all, not the worst premise for starting a relationship. 

As they sipped tea and chatted, the few stolen glances between the young couple did not escape anyone's attention and by the end of the evening, even Nian's mother gives the couple her blessing, for the two of them continue seeing each other.

As the evening comes to an end, Nian accompanies Shangyan back to his car. He leans against the driver's side door and pulls her hand to bring her closer so that he can hug her. 

"I have to go back to the club on the third day, so I won't have time to see you." He murmurs with his face pressed against her hair.

" That's okay." She says even though she already misses him. Being in love was hard. 

 

Back at the K&K headquarters, the sound of many voices could be heard from the entrance. The players had returned and were greeting each other cheerfully as if they haven't seen each other in months. It doesn't take long and the topic of conversation turns to K&K team's favorite subject recently, the Boss's love life. Demo may be adorable, but he also has a loose tongue and is soon telling everyone about the Boss's culinary prowess and bragging about spending time with their sister-in-law. The team is surprised and even more convinced that Tong Nian was indeed THE sister-in-law, no matter what she says. What kind of casual relationship involved family gatherings?

"So, I heard that you and Tong Nian have reached the point of family reunions?" Su Cheng had heard the team's gossip and had come to tease him.

"Long story, I'll tell you later."

"Are you sure you want to travel with the team? It's not good to leave your girlfriend so soon, I can travel with them and once there the team can be left to my Husband's care."

"I wouldn't let Nan Wei take care of my plants, much less my team. "

She laughs and tilts her head to agree.

"I have some other business in Norway, I need to check on the team there and deal with sponsorships for next season." He lists his reasons, it almost seemed as if he wanted to convince himself.

"Well, if you are sure."

He was not looking forward to spending a month away, however he confirms.

"I'm sure."

 

The next few days passed in a blur. She wasn't that busy, but her Gun's God (What? Now that they were officially dating, she could think of him that way) was preparing everything for their imminent departure to Norway. Still, Han Shangyan tried his best to message or call her every day, knowing that in Norway the different time zone and his busy schedule would make it harder for them to communicate, and they finally find time to go on that very delayed coffee date in the day before his trip. 

It's a bright day, and although she is happy that the weather is getting warmer with the first signs of spring, she is also sad knowing that it's going to be their last date before spending a month without seeing each other. But, being all gloomy wouldn't solve anything. Determined to enjoy their time together, she gets ready and goes to meet him.

The first thing Shangyan does when they meet is kissing her. Who could blame him? His girlfriend is looking as gorgeous as always wearing a fluffy pink coat and a cute cap with pom pom.  After that they enter the coffee shop, he let her choose a table and they sit. Once the waiter takes their order he kisses her again. PDA is not something that he usually does, but he needs to charge for their time apart. His feelings for her are making him go soft. They spend more than an hour there, just talking and enjoying the time together. Eventually, it's time to say goodbye. He wants to drive her home but, she knows that he is quite busy and decides to take a cab. When the cab arrives, he walks her outside. This time is she who stands on her tiptoes to kiss him again. Just a small peck, they are still in public after all. He didn't leave yet and is already counting the days till his return when he plans to take her on a more private date so he can kiss her for as long as he wants. (A.N: Omg, so cheesy. Can't believe that I wrote that). 

He will miss her, and realize it is surprising for him. It has been a long time since he cares for one person, outside of his family, enough to miss. He told her this on their date before she leaves, and it pleases him to see her blushing and lowering her eyes before returning the sentiment.

He always thought that dating would be difficult within the confines of how much time and energy he has to spend on behalf of K&K. But Nian is also a busy woman, between her master's thesis, the jobs that she takes occasionally, and singing, so she completely understands and strongly supports his desire to succeed.  

On the morning of his flight, he wakes up to find three messages from her. The first one contained good luck wishes and a vote for a good trip. The second is a picture of her wearing the cute kitty pajamas that she was wearing in the first time he went to her house, but in the picture, she was holding a little sign that says "K&K Jia You!" and the final message is a voice message, her voice is soft and sleepy as she whispers that she will miss him, and the sound of this combined with her picture makes him groan. One day he will hear that voice in person, preferably with her wrapped in his arms after spending the night with him. He will count the seconds till that.

Final note: I feel that I am leaving too many notes, but I think that is the great advantage of these platforms, interaction with the "writer". Still, let me know if it's too much. Again, I apologize for the (many)  grammatical errors. 

IMPORTANT: I wanted to develop more Nian Nian's relationship with Wu Bai in this work and, consequently, talk more about him. I don't know if I should not mention his relationship with Appledog or simply change the couple. (I don't really love them) What do you think?



 

 

 

Chapter Text

Once he arrives in Norway he immediately feels at home. China may be the country he chose to embrace and call his own, but this is the place where he was born, raised, went to school, and even returned to college.  

Since he was the only Norwegian speaker in the groups, the members of K&K and the SP seemed more than happy to follow his lead, even though most of the players and the staff here had at least a basic grasp of English they were not so comfortable speaking the language.   

He immediately dives into work and the others mock him, saying that not even the fact that he finally found a girlfriend was enough to slow down his workaholic spirit. The truth is that the 6-hour time zone difference made communication difficult for them, by the time she finished her college activities it was late at night for him. So, he filled his days and nights with work, counting the days to be back in China with her, maybe he should bring her next time. This would shut up his co-workers.  Sponsorship deals were signed, new players were hired, budgets were discussed, and just like this, the days pass in a whirlwind of activity. From 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. He is at the headquarters solving bureaucratic issues. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. There is special training for Grunt and 97 and in the morning, they train with the Norwegian team. At least their English is improving rapidly.  

On break days for the players, he walks around the city. He visits places he used to go in his youth, observes the changes that have taken place in his hometown, and even takes some photos of his favorite places to send to Tong Nian. She is so touched by the pictures and the fact that he took some time to remember her as if he could forget. Silly girl.  

One day, during his walk around the city he visits an antique store at his stepmother's request. While there, he notices a pendant. It is one of the simplest pieces in the store, but still beautiful in its simplicity. A Magnific rose quartz hand-carved in the shape of a water drop. His child was always wearing pink and, Valentine's Day is coming up, he adds the necklace to his purchase.   

The rest of the evening is completely frustrating, he had to interact with his former teammates and almost got into a fight on the street. By the time he finishes his conversation with Mi Shaofei, he was exhausted and just wants to go to bed, pull the blankets over his head and forget about the day, but a beep from his phone alerts him of a new voice message.  

"Hey, it's still 6 in the morning here. I woke up early just to wish you a Happy Valentine's Day! I miss you and your gift is waiting for you at home. If you're still awake, can you call me?" 

He barely finishes listening to the message and he is already calling her. The phone only needs to ring twice before she answers.   

  Hey  

Her voice sounds like the sleepy tone that he already loves. He doesn't even answer, just keeps staring at her sleepy and lovable face bathed by the still rising sunlight.  

You look tired. Is everything okay?  

He could hear the concern in her voice and could also feel his body relaxing and a warm feeling spread through his chest.    

  It has been a long day, that's all. He doesn't want to talk about bad things, he just wants to hear her voice.  

 Do you want to go to sleep already? He hears the disappointment in her voice. She is pouting at him. A pout that he wishes he could kiss.  

No, I want to talk to my girlfriend first. He knew that saying this would make her happy.  

Oh. Okay! Her voice sounds higher now, it always happens when she gets excited. They were dating for just a few weeks, but he already knows that.  

He settles more comfortably on the sofa. Tell me about your day.  

She begins to prattle on about her day, her cousin's antics, and the new cover song she had recorded.   

Sing for me, he interrupts her.  

 ..... What?  

I want to hear you sing. She just looks at him, red-faced and astonished.  

Okay? She still sounds uncertain. After two deep breaths, she begins.  

I can't tell if this is real love 
But I know how I feel 
To be very honest with you love 
I wanna get close to you 
I don't know how you gon' take it 
But I keep on thinking 'bout you 
You've been on my mind ever 
Since I saw you smiling at me 

Your smile...Baby I'm just falling to you  

(A.N: The name of the song is Your smile by Estelle Chen, you can find the video on YouTube. https://youtu.be/eaPHBXrj6jE )  

He hears her sing for a while, her sweet voice relaxes him even more, and eventually, he falls asleep.  

They talked a few more times over the next few days, mostly via WeChat since he didn't want her to wake up too early and she didn't want him to have to stay up till late just to call her. The daily pictures that she sent him and voice messages were enough to keep him satisfied. Or as satisfied as he could be without really seeing her.   

The competition was fierce, but both K&K and SP were getting good results. When Wu Bai wins the final, he feels his chest explode with pride and happiness. Although it was an individual competition, but still was the first of hopefully many victories for K&K China. His phone rings and he doesn't even need to check who it was; he knows that it's going to be her. He feels even happier for sharing the roar of the arena through the phone after he noticed her genuine excitement for their victory. He was happy and grateful to have built a great team and have found an amazing and supportive girlfriend.  

__________________________________________________________________________  

When the day to pick up Han Shangyan at the airport comes Tong Nian gets up even before her alarm clock rings.   

It's strange how much she has missed him at the time they had been apart. She had only known him for a little more than two months and his absence had already torn a hole in her life. Superficially her life was unchanged. She studies, spends time with her family, records new songs, goes to dancing classes, studies more...  However, she caught herself thinking about him in the middle of her classes and every now and then she would hum ballads and romantic pop songs, or stop by the café where they met to order the same Cappuccino and sit at the same table by the window.  

After making sure her hair was perfect and her makeup in the place she takes the cab to the team's headquarters, ready to finally meet her grumpy boyfriend.  

She greets the team members who welcome her with smiles and excited shouts of "Sister-in-law!" On the way to the airport, she chats mostly with Demo, the boy is as adorable as his name suggests. For the older members of the team, he might be curious, clumsy, and overly talkative, but she loves the boy's cheerful spirit.  

The first thing her boyfriend (she still feels on cloud nine every time she acknowledges the fact that he is her boyfriend) says to her after almost a month apart is, "You're wearing a green hat." (A/N: Apparently, saying someone is wearing a green hat is the same as saying that a person cheated or was cheated on)   

I can't believe that I spent so much time getting ready for today, went through my entire closet planning a remarkable outfit and he tells me this. She thinks for herself.   

She pushes his shoulder, but of course, the wall in front of her barely moves an inch. He laughs at her expression.  

"It's just so you know that I've never been short of suitors, but I was foolish and gave my heart to an insensitive and cruel man." She retorts, not wanting to let him win.  

The bastard just laughs and pulls her into a hug. She immediately forgets her irritation. God, how could he smell so good after such a long flight? And how he makes her feel better with just a hug? It's like coming home after a long day away.   

Soon the exclamations and comments from the club members, still not used to seeing their Boss being so affectionate, caused him to pull away, much to the girl's annoyance, if she could she would live in his embrace.  

 

The K&K team house is very... It's very Han Shangyan. Exposed brick, black metal frames, and dark furniture dominate the building with touches of yellow and neon here and there. Bright lights and LEDs highlight some areas.  It's industrial, rustic, and masculine. She would bet that he designed it.  

She looks around while he remains quiet beside her, the puppies had left them alone as soon as they arrived at the headquarters. When she turns to face him, he was already staring at her. An intensity burns in those dark eyes. The stare automatically makes her stomach clench and shivers run up her spine.   

She takes a step back as he walks forward until she can feel the metal grid against her back and then he is standing over her. Her body is pressed between his large body and the grid. He lowers his head and his lips brush against hers, he keeps the touch light and soft for a second, and then she slightly opens her mouth and he, there's no other word to describe it, he claims her mouth. There isn't anything soft or gentle about this kiss, it feels raw and hungry as if he were a thirsty man trying to drink from her. She runs her arms around his neck, her fingers tangling in his hair as she pulls him closer and returns the kiss with the same rawness.  

The kiss lasts forever and is still not long enough. Soon he pulls away, breathing heavily, his eyes still warmed with something dark and exciting.  

"I have to make a call."  

His words barely register through the haze of desire she is in. And when he steps aside to enter what appears to be a meeting room, she remains standing in the hallway, her back against the wall, her fingers touching her swollen lips.   

When she gets back from her daydream, she finds him looking at her, with a slightly mischievous smile on his face. He knows exactly what he is doing to her, and she is not sure how to respond. Bastard. A hot bastard, she admits, still tasting their kiss in her mouth.  

Not wanting to give him the taste of continuing to see how affected she is, Nian pulls herself together and leaves. She takes the opportunity to wander around the open areas of the building. What she assumes to be the main training area appears to be the centre of the building and upstairs, there's a row of numbered yellow doors along a walkway.  

She takes some time exploring. Most of the building is open, enclosed with a black metal grid that seems to be a theme inside, or glazed. The place would be perfect for a photoshoot. She pictures herself as a photographer following all those cute boys plus her Gun's god with a camera, clicking non-stop as they go on with their daily activities, and gives a mischievous chuckle. Maybe she could ask them to take off their shirts and pose for her own very gripping calendar. Now that is an interesting thought. Too bad she has no talent for photography.   

There is a slide that goes from the second floor to the first floor. She looks around clandestinely, making sure that no one is around and then she stealthily walks over to it and slides down. She giggles all the way down. Till she hears another giggle from above.  

She isn't alone. It looks like half of the K&K members are watching her from the third floor. Damn, who knew that a bunch of boys could be so sneaky when they wanted to be.  She can feel her face turning red as they pick up on her. After a while, they finally go back to whatever they were doing behind those doors. Wu Bai is the last to leave, his gaze lingers on her for a moment and it is disturbing. He is not someone who shows much of what he is thinking, but she gets the feeling that he is measuring her. Doesn't he think she is a suitable match for his cousin? She frames her shoulders, lifts her head, and raises an eyebrow in silent defiance. He lifts one side of his mouth in what she decides to consider a smile before turning around and leaving.   

Now really alone, her thoughts go back to Shangyan and their relationship. They are already so close. She met his team and his family (with the exception of his for all purposes mother) and he met her family. It feels like they had experienced so much in such a short time. Why did he become so important to her? The almost always logical girl, who had been nicknamed "Little squid" for her brilliant brain and high intelligence, couldn't understand.   

She goes back to the central area and watches him through the large glass wall that separates the meeting room from the training area. He seems focused on the call pacing back and forth while talking, not really paying attention to what is happening outside.  

He speaks in English and she realizes that his accent is better than hers. She likes that he is also intelligent. When she was younger, back at school, she would sometimes mark the wrong answers so people wouldn't think she was a "know -it- all". She never has to pretend with him, he never seems intimidated by her intellect. In fact, he seems to be proud of it.  

 She smiles to herself and plays with her phone.  Would he notice if she takes a picture of him? It would be nice to have a sample of this "Boss Face" for her to look at (or drool over) whenever she wants.  

 She points her phone to take a quick picture of him, waiting until he turns around long enough to capture his face. Click. Their eyes meet through the glass. Oh boy, she was caught! She quickly puts the phone down and pretends that nothing has happened. She can feel his gaze for a moment longer and then he seems to redirect his attention back to the call. After looking at the picture and realizing that it wasn’t quite the expression that she is trying to capture Nian tries again. The man must have some kind of sixth sense because he looks directly at her as soon as she takes the picture.  

 He appears to pause his call and type for a moment. Then he signs that he has sent her a message. The corresponding ding of her own phone confirms this. The message is short and straight to the point.  

 Delete it.  

 Should I play dumb? Before she decides another message arrives.  

 Obey.  

 She huffs, and before thinking much she replies.  

  No.  

He knocks on the glass that separates them, gesturing for her to come in, and as soon as she enters the room, he points to the chairs surrounding the large table in the center of the room.  

 She takes a seat. He still has the phone close to his ear, so his call must still be in progress. He moves closer and stops right behind her.  

 "Phone."  

 The way he spoke is the same way he speaks to his team members. As if he is a general and she is a soldier. Perhaps because he is on the phone or because he teased her earlier, she feels her temper flare and boldly responds.  

" N-O, no."  

 He narrows his eyes and she starts to regret her spirited response. Then he puts the phone on speaker and places it on the table, at that point she is pretty sure she is screwed.  

 In one swift movement he pulls her to her feet, she falls off balance on her heels and slams into his chest, he then spins her around and sits her down on the table (what is it with this man and tables) before stepping between her legs and kissing her roughly.  

 Her heart races, on the phone next to them someone is still talking but she is not listening. All she could concentrate on was his lips, his tongue demanding passage and plundering her mouth. When she was out of breath, he pulled away, spreading kisses up the spine of her neck, behind her ear, and down to her clavicle. Finally, before she lost the last bit of her sanity, he pulls away.  

 "Give me your phone." He whispers in her ear. Damn it. Giving in, she hands him the phone.  

When he gets the phone, she hears the beep sound of an incoming message, but doesn't think much of it. His phone was still on speakerphone so she couldn't ask who it is.  

 Two more rings are heard and she frowns. She only took two pictures. It shouldn't take this long to delete. She wonders if he was looking at her pictures and tries to remember if she has any embarrassing pictures in the same folder.  

 "WeChat." He says as he hands back the cellphone, that mischievous little smile back on his face. Suspicious, she takes it back already looking for what put that evil smile on his face. He picks his own phone from the table, turn off the speaker mode, and walks away talking.  

 With a bad feeling, she opens WeChat. 3 new messages. All from Lan Mei.  

 Your Highness, Your Highness. I can't wait any longer. Have you met with the Gun's God? What did he think of your outfit today? This skirt shows your long legs. Did he have a fit when he saw it?  

  OMG. Being the only friend who knew about their relationship, she naturally asked the girl for advice on what to wear. She was beginning to regret it now. And it got worse.  

We should have chosen another outfit. This turtleneck sweater doesn't show off your boobs. It doesn't highlight your shapely, voluptuous beauty.  

   

Our Highness is clearly a girl with a loli face and big boobs! How did you fail to show off your superior assets?!!!! (A/N: paragraph taken from the book)  

 She feels her face catching fire. Did he read all the messages? They arrived separately so it is possible that he saw them in the notification bar... At that moment his eyes meet hers and he gives her a crooked little smile before dragging his gaze down her legs and up to her face. He had definitely read it. Oh God, if you have mercy on your daughter vanish me now.  

 It doesn't take long for him to end the call. She had gotten down from the table and was sitting with her back turned to him hiding her embarrassment.  

 "So, you always talk about me with your friends. "  

 His voice sounds innocent but, she is not buying that.  

"Oh no. I mean, maybe every once in a while, but only with her. Blueberry is Lan Mei, the friend who accompanied me when I went to see K&K playing. The rest of my friends still don’t know about us."  She feels like she is blushing so she is still trying to look everywhere except at him.  

 “Really? What do you guys talk about?"  Danger. Her brain almost screams at her. "Trap, Trap!"  

 "Ahnnn." She couldn't tell him that she kept talking for hours about how he smelled, how tall he was, and how amazing he looked in "Gun's God" mode...  

 "Her husband is a CTF fan remember? They are curious about you, so I gave them some generic information about your career, education, and so on..." She can't help but congratulate herself on her quick thinking.  

 "That's it."  

 "Yes, that's it. What else could I talk about?"   

 "Really?" He was getting close. Why was he getting close? Warning sirens!  

 "Y ... Yes.” She gulps. His eyes are burning a hole on her and her brain keeps sending out warning signals.  

He arches a perfectly shaped eyebrow and she knows that he knows she is lying. Damn it. Busted.  

 A Video Call sounds and she takes a deep breath. Saved by the gong!  His attention moves from her to the laptop and finally, she can breathe a sigh of relief. She was going to kill Lan Mei.