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Mei Nian Qing, Xie Lian’s former teacher, seemed a little on edge.

“Um, sir, you seem a little on edge.” Xie Lian said.

“On edge? No, I’m not. Why would you say that?” Mei Nian said.

Xie Lian tried not to let his eyes drift down to Mei Nian’s rapidly tapping fingers, and instead looked up at his testy expression.

“Sir, is there anything I could help you with?” He tried.

Mei Nian gave him a look, then, as if he was considering, nodded lightly. “Yes, yes... Maybe you can help.”

Xie Lian took the seat across from his former teacher, attentively listening as the other started to weave a tale of his sorrows. Xie Lian struggled to stay awake.

~

“Sir... I think you two need to just...” Xie Lian paused delicately. “Talk. It might help.”

Mei Nian scoffed. “Talk? To him? Do you think he listens?” Xie Lian hastened to stop him before he started his tirade. Again.

“Do you need me to be there? I can help mediate the conversation, if it helps,” Xie Lian suggested.

“No need,” Mei Nian said, sighing, “I’ll resolve this myself. Even if he’s wrong and he won’t listen and he-“

Xie Lian tuned out.

~

It had been over two weeks since Jun Wu had left for a business trip, and Xie Lian wasn’t blind enough to not see how it affected Mei Nian, who mindlessly worked and often stared out of the window, looking forlorn.

“He’s pining,” Shi Qingxuan had said, and Xie Lian definitely agreed.

Xie Lian knew that if the same had happened to him, and if San Lang had been the one to leave for a business trip for a long time, he might also-

Wait. Was that a normal thing for friends to feel?

Nevertheless, Xie Lian felt more than a little delighted when Jun Wu finally came back after two weeks of having been overseas, exhausted and with eye-bags almost as bad as Ling Wen’s.

Mei Nian’s eyes had brightened upon seeing him, only to dim when Jun a Wu had waved off his proposal for a game of mahjong, in favor of continuing to do his work.

Mei Nian looked like a kicked puppy, and Xie Lian wanted to cry. He didn’t want to see someone practically a decade older than him look so upset.

But, it wasn’t as if he could do anything, even if he knew both of them favored him so. He could only watch, as the more days passed from when Jun Wu had finally returned, the strained tensions between them seemed to draw taut.

~

“Hm. The way I see it, gege, the two of them just need to bone,” Hua Cheng said, far too casually, causing Xie Lian to nearly spit out his drink.

“S-S-San Lang! That’s- Those are our dads!” Xie Lian sputtered.

Hua Cheng raised a brow, and Xie Lian flushed upon realizing what he said. “I mean- “ he cut himself off, too mesmerized by Hua Cheng’s laughter, feeling his face warm too quickly.

“San Lang!” Xie Lian reprimanded, pouting, but Hua Cheng’s shoulders were shaking in mirth as he slowly calmed down, “Gege, don’t worry, I was only kidding,” he blinked at Xie Lian. Or winked, Xie Lian didn’t know. Hua Cheng only had one eye, after all.

“Still,” Xie Lian insisted, “don’t say that in front of either of them, who knows what might happen.”

Hua Cheng’s eyes were glinting in a way Xie Lian didn’t trust.

~

Over the next few days, any attempt Mei Nian tried to talk with Jun Wu was swiftly shut down by the other’s insistence of work, and don’t disturb me just for your games, Mei Nian.

Mei Nian had seemed hurt at first, but now he just seemed pissed.

Xie Lian couldn’t really blame either of them; they had just received a ton of top clients that required Jun Wu to personally handle the lot of them, and he barely even had time to eat, much less spend time with Mei Nian. But also, whenever Jun Wu did have free time, he spent it sleeping. Xie Lian was pretty sure Jun Wu didn’t even return home to sleep.

It was, quite frankly, the most depressing few days, and the whole office was affected by the mood of their boss and boss’s advisor.

“We need to do something,” Shi Qingxuan said, depressed. Jun Wu had nearly barked at him the other day, too wrung up. Xie Lian agreed.

Mei Nian chose that moment to step out of his office, just so happening to hear Shi Qingxuan. “Do something? For what? There’s nothing.”

Hua Cheng sighed. He wasn’t the only one, practically the whole office seemed to have had enough. “With all due respect, you two need to bone.”

Mei Nian looked about to blow a fuse. “What did you say?” His voice was high, choked back as if he was so offended he could barely spit out the words.

The office went silent. Xie Lian whimpered. “San Lang,” he whispered, “don’t say it again.”

Hua Cheng, for once, ignored him. “I said you two need to bone.”

Mei Nian’s jaw went slack, and, his face reddening, he exploded. “HOW. DARE. YOU. I AM YOUR. SENIOR!!!”

~

“Whatever happens in my bedroom is. None. Of. Your. Business.” Mei Nian added lowly. 

Xie Lian stopped himself before he started imagining the both of them going at it in bed. How many times would they do it a night? Who would be the one to-


~

“Don’t,” Mei Nian growled finally, “ever speak to me like that ever again.” He stormed back into his office, the crowd of workers immediately diving for cover and pretending they haven’t just been watching him go off for the last hour over ‘bone’.

Xie Lian had his hands over his ears.

San Lang seemed a little regretful, but mostly indifferent, as he patted Xie Lian apologetically. “Gege, forgive me, but they needed to know.”

Xie Lian didn’t approve of the methods, but he couldn’t fault San Lang, as he was really only trying to help. “It’s okay, San Lang, I just haven’t heard him shout for so long, not counting when he gambled,” Xie Lian said.

~

The next day, Xie Lian, trying his best to placate his former teacher in case he went insane again, said, upon seeing Mei Nian enter the office, “Ah! Sir, have you resolved your issue yet? Or should I-“

Mei Nian cut him off. “No need, Xie Lian.”

Xie Lian blinked in surprise. “Oh! Have you finally come to an agr-“

“Nope.”

Hua Cheng was grinning. “Because you two-“


“YEP.” Mei Nian disappeared into his office immediately after his horrifying confession.

Xie Lian put his face in his hands.

“They had sex,” Pei Ming added helpfully, and Hua Cheng started laughing at Xie Lian’s horrified screech.