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Three women huddled at a small c afé table. The table was far too small for them, since they each had a dish in front of them. It didn’t help that Su Mucheng’s chair had been carelessly arranged at the side of a two-person table. Still, their heads leaned in close to one another as they chatted over lunch. 

“So, how does it feel to finally be captain, Dai Yanqi?” Su Mucheng smiled. She took a bite of her food, and when she finished, reached out naturally to put her hand over Chu Yunxiu’s.

Dai Yanqi watched with a muted giggle. The couple in front of her was just so cute, she didn’t even mind being the third wheel. She snapped back to the present, realizing that she was asked a question. “Ah... Well, honestly, hard. It was weird not having Captain Xiao around constantly. But like. I think the worst part is probably the press. Every time I talk to my guy teammates, tabloids will come up with a new article guessing that I’m dating one of them.” She rolled her eyes. “As if I would want to date any of those losers.”

“Yeah...” The other two women at the table agreed, nodding their heads in commiseration.

Chu Yunxiu took a sip of her drink and slammed the cup down. “Damn, why can’t they just write about important things? Like Happy winning the championship again this year? Or Misty Rain making it to the quarterfinals? Or Thunderclap making it all the way to the finals? Female captains are leading the game, but all they want to talk about is love!” Su Mucheng’s thumb rubbed circles into Chu Yunxiu’s clenched hand. 

Dai Yanqi watched the muscles in Chu Yunxiu’s body relax. Dai Yanqi figured it wasn’t easy for Chu Yunxiu, since she had to keep quiet about her and Su Mucheng’s relationship, especially when the reporters would only talk about Su Mucheng’s relationship with her male teammates. Ah, to be in love, Dai Yanqi thought wistfully.

“Well, we just have to keep winning, right? There’s no way they can ignore our achievements when the only rings on our fingers are the championship rings.” Dai Yanqi winked playfully at the couple in front of her. “Or is there another ring in the picture?”

Chu Yunxiu and Su Mucheng exchanged a look and laughed. “Actually...” Su Mucheng trailed off, raising her hand. A glint of light bounced off a very slim band around her ring finger. 

Dai Yanqi’s jaw dropped. “No way.” She broke out into a huge grin. “Congratulations, you two!”

The couple smiled at her warmly, linking their hands again. “Thank you, Yanqi,” Chu Yunxiu said sincerely. “It means a lot to us.”

“Of course!” Dai Yanqi lifted her glass. “To the future?” 

“To the future,” Su Mucheng agreed. 

 

Their glasses clinked together for a beautiful sound, but only for a moment before the three resumed their energetic chattering.