Every Wednesday, Chen Ming Xu would go to the TV station to shoot for his talk show and play the part of a cheerful and lovable host. As someone who treated his work seriously, Chen Ming Xu only occasionally retaliated against someone in public due to a private scuffle they might have had. Most of the time, he was a responsible and diligent TV host.
After the recording for the show ended, some second and third-rate celebrities would come over to chat with Chen Ming Xu and try to make connections. Generally, Chen Ming Xu would stop and chat with them for a bit if he was in the mood. Today however, he had neither the mood nor the energy to deal with all those celebrities. Seeing his state, his assistant tactfully used the explanation that he was sick to block the celebrities outside the door of his waiting room.
Being sick wasn’t an excuse, it was the reason.
As a popular TV host, Chen Ming Xu had a waiting room all to himself. Sitting inside his own personal room, the young man stared blankly at his reflection in the mirror.
Knock...knock… Someone knocked on the door. Immediately afterwards, his assistant’s voice sounded outside, “Ming Xu, can I come in?”
“Mhm. You can come in.”
His assistant opened the door and stuck her head in. “Do you want to take some medicine right now? Or do you want a glass of hot water?”
“No, I’ll be fine after going home and having some rest.”
“Okay. Um… Someone’s looking for you,” his assistant said hesitatingly.
“Who?” Chen Ming Xu knitted his brows, puzzled.
No matter who came looking for him, his assistant would turn them away at the door. It was rare for her to appear hesitant about something like this.
Could it be a big name celebrity? That shouldn’t be right. He couldn’t recall there being any big name celebrities at the TV station today.
“It’s Tang Feng.” The minute his assistant finished speaking, the actor poked his head through the door and beamed a megawatt smile at Chen Ming Xu.
“Why are you here?” Chen Ming Xu sat still in his spot. He spoke to Tang Feng in the same barbed tone as before, but he didn’t dare look straight into the actor’s eyes. He lowered his head and pretended to be playing around with his phone, but the Weibo page displayed on the screen remained unrefreshed.
“I’m here to see how you’re doing without me on your show.” Tang Feng walked over to Chen Ming Xu and bent down to look at his phone. “What are you looking at?”
“Weibo.” Feeling the actor’s warm breath brushing against his face, Chen Ming Xu felt his cheeks heating up slightly. He snapped, “So what if the show doesn’t have you? It only needs me to continue.”
“Haha. That’s what I thought as well. The audience are all here for you. Oh right, I listened to your album last night. I have to say it’s very good. Why did you switch to being a TV host instead of continuing as a singer?”
“If I had continued as a singer, I would have been second-rate at most. However, I’m first-rate among TV hosts.” Chen Ming Xu lifted his eyes to glance at Tang Feng and unexpectedly met the actor’s bright and gentle pupils straight on. He suddenly felt sicker than he’d imagined as his head started to swim.
“Why is your face so red? Are you really sick?” Tang Fang placed a hand on the other’s forehead and frowned. “Your forehead is hot. You have a fever.”
“You don’t need to care!” The place Tang Feng touched seemed to be burning. Chen Ming Xu kept his head down, his hand vice-like around his phone.
“All right, all right. I won’t care. Why don’t you just sit here and be burned to ashes? I heard that high fevers can cause brain damage.”
“You―” Who would say such ominous things towards a sick person? Chen Ming Xu glared at Tang Feng. “Get lost!”
Chen Ming Xu’s face heated up even more at the other’s touch. He wanted to push Tang Feng’s hand away but hesitated to do so at the same time. This kind of gentle, mature, and huggable Tang Feng that made others want to rely on him differed greatly from the Tang Feng of his memories.
It was like a dream. This kind of gentle Tang Feng would only appear inside his dreams and worry about him.
“Hey, don’t cry. Why are you crying again?” Tang Feng noticed that Chen Ming Xu was crying even when he hadn’t done anything to bully the other. The thing that scared Tang Feng the most was when kids started crying.
Chen Ming Xu lifted his sleeves and rubbed his face roughly. He pushed Tang Feng’s hand away and lowered his head. In a slightly congested voice, he asked, “Are you ? Why are you being nice to me for no reason?”
“You’re the one who’s !” After the words left his mouth, Chen Ming Xu felt that something was off. He lifted his head to see a smile playing at the corners of Tang Feng’s lips. Suddenly, he felt a warmth blossom inside his chest and couldn’t resist the laugh that sputtered out.
Right, the one who was sick was him.
“You should become a host with your conversational skills.” Chen Ming Xu wiped his tears away and glared at Tang Feng with slightly red eyes. His appearance conjured up an image of a little rabbit in Tang Feng’s mind.
“If I become a host, I’ll be first-rate within the country at most. However, if I stay as an actor , I’ll be first-rate internationally. I might even go above and beyond first-rate.” Tang Feng chuckled in response.
“Haha. All right, my first-rate TV host, if you don’t take your medicine, you’ll really become a brain-dead TV host.” Without waiting for an answer, Tang Feng grabbed Chen Ming Xu and dragged him out the door. Unexpectedly, Chen Ming Xu didn’t struggle against the other’s hold. Seeing two people who had been at odds with each other standing together, several employees inside the TV station stopped to stare in shock. Since when had the two of them become so close that Chen Ming Xu would actually let himself be dragged away by Tang Feng?
“Your temperature came down. Congratulations, you don’t have to go to the hospital.” Tang Feng peered at the mercury thermometer in his hand before swinging it to reset the meter. He then stuck the thermometer back in Chen Ming Xu’s armpit before handing over a glass of water. “Drink a lot of water and have a good night’s sleep. You’ll be fine after you sweat a bit.”
Chen Ming Xu accepted the glass and took small sips of the water. He didn’t even remember how he had told Tang Feng his home address. He also couldn’t recall how he had been pushed onto the bed and stuffed under the blankets, how he had taken his medicine, drank a glass of water, and ultimately took a nap. After waking up, he found Tang Feng still sitting beside him.
It was a strange kind of feeling.
He had been living alone for a long time. Whenever he was sick, his assistant would accompany him to the hospital, but when he returned home, he would be alone. When he woke up in the middle of the night, there would be no one beside him.
He was used to loneliness, used to eating by himself on the weekends, and used to toughing out sicknesses by himself.
Now there was someone here to buy medicine for him, pour water for him, and tuck in the corners of his blankets for him. To his surprise, Chen Ming Xu suddenly felt the urge to cry.
“When I was sick before, my assistant would take me to the hospital. I’ve never seen someone like you who would rather take a patient home than to the hospital.” After downing half the glass of water, Chen Ming Xu came up for breath.
“I don’t like hospitals. Tang Feng smiled lightly, sitting with his legs crossed and one hand propping up his head. “Besides, you only have a slight fever. You’ll be fine after one night of rest.”
“You sound like you’ve done this a lot.” Chen Ming Xu bent his head and continued to drink.
Tang Feng nodded in response. He’d been in and out of the hospital ever since he was young. He couldn’t be any more familiar with nurses and doctors. After spending hours chatting with them while he was in the hospital, he’d become half a doctor himself after all these years. Serious illnesses might be out of his league, but for small things like a fever, Tang Feng was rather knowledgeable.
He was rather proud of this skill of his.
“No one likes going to the hospital. No matter where, a warm and cozy home is definitely the best.” Seeing that Chen Ming Xu had finished the whole glass of water, Tang Feng stood up and took the glass from him. He glanced at his watch: it was nine-thirty.
“That I agree.” Chen Ming Xu pulled his blankets up to his nose and said in muffled voice, “Why don’t you go home now? Thanks for today.”
After placing the glass aside, Tang Feng walked back with a smile. “Did you think I looked at my watch because I thought it was getting late? It’s nine-thirty right now, a good time for you to go to sleep. Although you look fine now, isn’t there a saying that ‘?’ I’ll stay here tonight and take care of you.”
Chen Ming Xu’s eyes brightened at Tang Feng’s reply, but he said, “Don’t you have the training class to go to?”
“One of the classes we’ve had in the training class was ‘Social Interaction.’ The teacher told us to make a lot of friends, both inside and outside the entertainment circle. Right now, aren’t I making friends with you? My popular TV host, why don’t you just obediently go to sleep and admit you owe me a favor?” Tang Feng gave Chen Ming Xu’s nose a squeeze before pushing him aside to make room on the bed.
Chen Ming Xu shifted in the other direction but stared at Tang Feng. “What are you doing on my bed?”
“Don’t tell me you expect me to sit at your bedside and guard you the whole night? You might be feeling better, but what’s the point if I get sick after taking care of you? Your bed is huge in any case, lend me a spot.” Tang Feng took off his shoes and lay on the bed. Not to mention two, Chen Ming Xu’s bed was big enough that it could fit four people with plenty of space left over.
Chen Ming Xu didn’t have any reason to reject Tang Feng’s request. After all, the actor was taking care of him while he was sick. It didn’t matter what kind of conflicts existed between them before, they now seemed distant and blurry as if they were slowly sinking into the ocean. The only thing that reflected clearly in Chen Ming Xu’s eyes was the figure of the man who had turned off the desk lamp and closed his eyes to sleep beside him.
Perhaps it was because he wasn’t sleeping alone on the large, cold bed, but Chen Ming Xu quickly fell asleep aided by the sedating effects of the cold medication. He woke up in the middle of the night muddleheaded to see the shape of a white cloud huddled some distance away on the bed. Drawn to the cloud, he shifted closer, his face nestling against the back of the man there. Feeling the warmth the man exuded, he couldn’t resist reaching out and pulling him into a hug.
When he woke up in the morning, Chen Ming Xu was surprised to find that besides feeling a bit weak in the limbs, he was otherwise back to normal. He felt clearheaded after an extraordinarily good sleep. However, the spot beside him on the bed was empty.
Did he leave?
Chen Ming Xu stared blankly at the place Tang Feng had slept in last night. Before he realized what he was doing, his hand was already touching the spot on the sheets that seemed to hold a lingering warmth.
“You woke right on time. I just finished making breakfast.” The door to his room suddenly opened.
Chen Ming Xu stared dumbly at the man walking towards him. He saw Tang Feng place a hand on his forehead and heard him say with a smile, “Your fever’s gone.”
His voice was like the breeze that slipped through the crack in the curtains and circled the room: warm.
Proofreaders: Channie, CC Britannia