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Parental Guidance

Parental Guidance: Chapter 21

Chapter 21

Ji Bie was tossed and turned by Duan Zhu all night, feeling like he had slept for less than three hours before waking up feeling hot again.

Duan Zhu’s body was burning up, Ji Bie touched his forehead, feeling like he could fry an egg on it.

“Duan Zhu,” Ji Bie pushed Duan Zhu and turned on the light, seeing Duan Zhu frowning tightly, unmoving, still holding onto Ji Bie’s wrist tightly, Ji Bie couldn’t even break free.

“Wake up,” Ji Bie leaned over to shake Duan Zhu’s shoulder, “Do you know you have a fever?”

Duan Zhu’s brows furrowed even tighter, he pulled Ji Bie towards him, and Ji Bie fell onto him. Duan Zhu then held onto Ji Bie’s waist, as if he wanted to stick Ji Bie to him, hugging Ji Bie tightly. Ji Bie pushed Duan Zhu hard to wake him up.

There were no medicines in Ji Bie’s house, he had to go out to buy them.

Duan Zhu woke up a while later, he opened his eyes, looked at Ji Bie, and was puzzled for a moment. Ji Bie said to him several times, “Do you know you’re still running a fever?”

Duan Zhu finally said, “Really?”

“You let go first,” Ji Bie said, “I’ll go buy you some medicine.”

Duan Zhu stared at Ji Bie, looking puzzled. Ji Bie had to slowly explain to Duan Zhu word by word, like teaching a child, “I’m going to buy you some fever medicine, you have a fever.”

After a night, Duan Zhu’s stubble on his chin became more obvious, his hair was messy, and there were bloodshot eyes, but he still had a lot of strength. When he heard Ji Bie say he was going to buy fever medicine, he tightened his grip on Ji Bie’s arm again, almost choking Ji Bie. He firmly locked Ji Bie in his arms and said, “No, you can’t go.”

“You have a high fever, you have to take medicine,” Ji Bie struggled to breathe, and suddenly something flowed out, running down his thigh to Duan Zhu’s leg.

Duan Zhu felt it, was slightly startled, looked at Ji Bie, loosened his hand slightly, and then immediately tightened it again.

After they finished last night, Ji Bie had cleaned himself up hastily. When he returned, Duan Zhu dragged him back to bed again. In the end, Ji Bie didn’t even know when he fell asleep. Now, thinking back to last night in bed, Duan Zhu’s body temperature was very high, but it was too intense, Ji Bie didn’t even have time to notice.

“That’s enough,” Duan Zhu’s voice was surprisingly calm, not allowing Ji Bie to move at all, “No need to buy medicine, I’ll be fine after a sleep.”

“You’re running a high fever, you can’t get better without medicine,” Ji Bie dared not struggle anymore, just said softly, “I need to go to the bathroom too.”

“What for?” Duan Zhu’s hand slid down along the line of Ji Bie’s back, opening up the part Ji Bie couldn’t speak about, and massaging it. “Hmm?”

Ji Bie was infuriated by him and asked, “Are you going to let go?”

“No,” Duan Zhu said without hesitation, “If I let go, what if you run away?”

“I won’t run,” Ji Bie was extremely helpless. He pushed himself up a bit, leaned over to gently kiss Duan Zhu’s face, and obediently kissed his lips, coaxing Duan Zhu, “You’re sick, I’ll go buy you some medicine.”

Finally, Ji Bie gave all his documents to Duan Zhu and only took money and keys out.

His body was sore all over, and when he reached the pharmacy at the entrance of the neighborhood, the clerk said he needed an ID to buy fever medicine, so Ji Bie had to go back to get it. Finally, holding the fever medicine, Ji Bie himself was almost sick.

Duan Zhu took the medicine, and Ji Bie pulled Duan Zhu off the bed to change the sheets.

Ji Bie didn’t even want to look at the sheets he changed and stuffed them all into a garbage bag.

Duan Zhu recuperated at Ji Bie’s house. Everything else was fine. If Ji Bie asked him to take medicine, he would, and if he asked him to drink porridge, he would. But whenever Ji Bie took a step outside, Duan Zhu couldn’t bear it. Duan Zhu wished he could lock Ji Bie to him. When he felt dizzy from the fever, Ji Bie wanted to bring him water, but he didn’t move, holding onto Ji Bie’s arm tightly, whispering in his ear, “Ji Bie, if I die first, you have to stand at the front at my funeral.”

Ji Bie’s heart ached when he heard this. Seeing that Duan Zhu was so sick, he decided to take good care of him and not to make him angry.

Duan Zhu recuperated at Ji Bie’s house, and everything else was fine. If Ji Bie asked him to take medicine, he would, and if he asked him to drink porridge, he would. But whenever Ji Bie took a step outside, Duan Zhu couldn’t bear it. Duan Zhu wished he could lock Ji Bie to him. When he felt dizzy from the fever, Ji Bie wanted to bring him water, but he didn’t move, holding onto Ji Bie’s arm tightly, whispering in his ear, “Ji Bie, if I die first, you have to stand at the front at my funeral.”

Ji Bie’s heart ached when he heard this. Seeing that Duan Zhu was so sick, he decided to take good care of him and not to make him angry.

Duan Zhu slept on Ji Bie’s bed for two days before the fever subsided.

The next night, Ji Bie was afraid that Duan Zhu would have a relapse, so he didn’t take off his clothes and slept on the bed. When he woke up, he was already lying on the bed, not knowing when Duan Zhu had carried him up.

Duan Zhu was in the bathroom, and the thin door couldn’t block the sound of the shower. After a while, the sound of water stopped, and Duan Zhu came out wrapped in a towel.

People are adaptable. During the time Ji Bie was asleep, Duan Zhu had already adapted to the small room of less than fifty square meters. He found the towel that Ji Bie had placed in the cabinet, sorted out the luggage, and even hung up the clothes in Ji Bie’s small wardrobe.

Ji Bie sat up and asked him, “How was your shower? Are your joints still sore?”

Duan Zhu said cheerfully, “The fever’s gone. The inflammation has probably subsided too.”

Ji Bie didn’t dare to be careless. He crawled over and touched Duan Zhu’s forehead. Indeed, it had returned to normal temperature.

Duan Zhu took the opportunity to wrap his arms around Ji Bie’s waist, kissed his cheek, and asked, “Do you want to sleep a little longer?”

Ji Bie shook his head, then saw the clothes hung in the open wardrobe by Duan Zhu, paused for a moment, and when Duan Zhu noticed his gaze, he explained, “I’ll stay with you until August, then we’ll go back together.”

Seeing Ji Bie hesitate, Duan Zhu’s expression also darkened. “What’s wrong?”

“Duan Zhu,” Ji Bie hardened his heart and said to him, “Listen to me—”

“Ji Bie,” Duan Zhu interrupted Ji Bie, impatiently saying, “Have you had enough of your tantrum?”

Ji Bie opened his mouth to speak, but before he could, Duan Zhu stared at him and continued, “If there’s anything I’ve done wrong, can’t I change it?”

“If you don’t want to meet my grandfather and father, fine. If your school isn’t good, can’t you transfer? Whatever makes you comfortable, I’ll change. Stop throwing a fit and come home with me, okay?”

Duan Zhu’s tone sounded impatient and uneasy, and he even grabbed Ji Bie’s hand again. Ji Bie’s gaze reminded him of that night when Duan Zhu knelt in the side hall, silent and stubborn, refusing to turn back even after hitting a wall.

Ji Bie didn’t say a word. He looked at Duan Zhu, feeling uncomfortable, and lowered his head.

This time, Duan Zhu didn’t force Ji Bie to look up. Their fingers intertwined, joints pressed against each other, appearing intimate yet guarded. Both of them felt uncomfortable and didn’t withdraw their hands.

After the emotions calmed down a bit, Ji Bie finally said to him, “I don’t want you to change, but can you listen to me first?”

“I don’t want to move back to our old house in Boston, not because of any dissatisfaction,” Ji Bie said, “but because I want to change it myself.”

“I used to avoid arguing with you, not talking back to you, letting you decide everything. We were both used to that. But actually, this kind of relationship is unhealthy, so I want to change it.”

“I don’t want the priceless pearl necklace your grandmother gave you. I’m giving it back to you.”

“I’ll handle transferring to another university on my own. Don’t help me.”

“Indeed, you can give me many things easily, things that others may struggle for their whole lives to obtain. When I say I don’t want them, it’s because I don’t know how to appreciate them, or I feel inferior, or maybe my pride is too strong.”

“But to blindly depend on you without any resistance, I can’t do that.”

“I’ve taken too many things from your family. I don’t want to casually take anything anymore and face their judgmental eyes while taking you.”

“I know you don’t care if something matches or not, or what others think of you, but I don’t want people to talk about you as someone who’s blinded by lust, unable to support himself without Duan Zhu, turning us into a joke.”

“You may not understand,” Ji Bie said, lowering his head, “but I really like you, so I want to be with you openly and honestly.”

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