Gu Wei's first instinct was to stuff his cell phone down his sleeve, but Jiang Xun was a step ahead of him. He caught onto Gu Wei's movements and quickly grabbed hold of his wrist.
Instinctively, Gu Wei pulled free and curled up into a defensive little ball on Jiang Xun's chair.
"You can't look," Gu Wei said, clutching his cell phone close to his chest. "It's nothing. You saw nothing."
"Oh, you don't want me to look?" Jiang Xun set down the tablet and matter-of-factly leaned down to start tickling Gu Wei.
Gu Wei's stomach had always been sensitive and extremely, extremely ticklish. As soon as Jiang Xun touched him, he squirmed and laughed helplessly, still desperately trying to stay curled up while hiding his phone.
"I was wrong," he hiccuped, weakly begging for forgiveness.
"I was wrong earlier," Jiang Xun said. "You're not a very good boy at all, you're a mischievous little brat. You go a few days without being taught a lesson and forget all the old lessons you'd been taught."
Begging for forgiveness was not very effective. Gu Wei had sweetly admitted his wrongdoings too many times, and Jiang Xun had already grown immune to those timid apologies.
When Jiang Xun said that, Gu Wei couldn't help but think of the incident from just a short while ago. The incident in the back of Jiang Xun's SUV. He instantly grabbed hold of the armrests of the chair with both hands, clinging on desperately and refusing to budge.
The only thought in his mind was that he couldn't be pulled down and spanked a second time.
Jiang Xun instantly realized what Gu Wei's goal was. He wrapped his arms around Gu Wei's waist and started to lift him out of the chair. "I think you're getting braver and braver, Little Gu."
In the slight chill of early autumn, Gu Wei had only worn a wool sweater on his upper body. That wool sweater, in the struggle with Jiang Xun, was disturbed far too easily. It rode up from Gu Wei's waist, exposing the pale skin of his belly and subjecting him to a chill from the room. But then Jiang Xun's fingertips inadvertently grazed his bare skin, leaving behind trails of heat in their wake.
Gu Wei's pleas for forgiveness had turned into soft whimpers. He was solely preoccupied with shielding his phone and barely noticed Jiang Xun's embrace growing just a little tighter.
They were so tangled up in their scuffle that they barely noticed when one of Jiang Xun's teammates just so happened to walk in on the scene they were making.
"Oh," West said. "You guys are busy."
He flapped a hand and backed away. "I'll come back later."
Retreating back towards the side room, he called out, "Coach! How about you give us some more training?"
When Gu Wei heard all that, he instantly realized that, in the eyes of a passerby, his and Jiang Xun's scuffle could easily be misconstrued as something else entirely. He was only distracted by that realization for a split second, but that was long enough for his cell phone to fall into Jiang Xun's evil clutches.
Before Gu Wei could fully come back to his senses, Jiang Xun grabbed his right hand and used his fingerprint to unlock the phone.
The nickname he had given Jiang Xun and the chat log from T.ATW's group chat were all summarily exposed.
Next to the familiar pikachu avatar, the nickname that read 'Filthy Adult' was shamelessly presented to Jiang Xun.
"'Filthy Adult'?" Jiang Xun laughed and waved the cell phone at Gu Wei. "Then, what are you?"
Gu Wei shrank back and thought about it for a moment. "A pure adult?"
Although they were both gay, Gu Wei had never had those lewd and twisted thoughts that seemed to fill Jiang Xun's mind.
"Not bad," Jiang Xun said, giving Gu Wei a deliberate onceover. "Little Gu has learned to talk back."
Gu Wei was just about to retort when Jiang Xun lifted a hand and pinched his cheek.
"Change it back for me," Jiang Xun demanded.
"I'll change it, I'll change it! I'll change it right now." Gu Wei nodded frantically and reached out to reclaim his cell phone.
"Wait," Jiang Xun said, suddenly changing his mind. He lifted the phone up high, far out of Gu Wei's reach.
Gu Wei, still sitting in Jiang Xun's gaming chair, could only stare innocently up at Jiang Xun.
"Sit tight." Jiang Xun patted Gu Wei's shoulder with his other hand. "I'll change it for you."
Gu Wei had no choice but to sit still until Jiang Xun finally handed his phone back—
He looked at the new nickname that had replaced the one he'd given Jiang Xun's account. He had already admitted he was wrong. He shouldn't have given the meme that unflattering nickname, and he definitely shouldn't have let the meme see the unflattering nickname.
Jiang Xun just had a way of finding out about everything.
"This… is objectively untrue," Gu Wei protested weakly.
"Then I'll wait for you to put in a little effort and make it objectively true," Jiang Xun said.
Gu Wei was silent.
Why was this reaction meme so unreasonable?
He decided to pretend to live with it for now. He could always change it back later when the meme wasn't looking.
After all, Gu Wei figured if he was just really, really quick about it, Jiang Xun wouldn't ever know.
"Does it hurt?" Jiang Xun asked. In their earlier scuffle, he'd inadvertently left a faint red mark on Gu Wei's wrist.
"It doesn't," Gu Wei said, shaking his head. Then, he added, "Ge, don't you still need to do a livestream?"
It was already half past eleven at night. The notification of Jiang Xun's upcoming stream had been posted for ages already.
"Do a little math and count up how many of your little crimes I've forgiven already," Jiang Xun suggested. He moved Gu Wei off to the side, chair and all, and grabbed another chair for himself to use.
"Then, you should forgive me one more time," Gu Wei said. He had committed so many 'little crimes' by now that he was starting to learn how to haggle over what his punishment should be.
"In your dreams." Jiang Xun logged into his stream and grabbed a pack of snacks, opening it up before passing it over to Gu Wei. But his tone was still fierce as he continued, "One day, you're going to pay for all your mistakes, even if you pay until you're in tears."
One day. Well, 'one day' wasn't today. Gu Wei could relax.
Ever since he discovered that the reaction meme wasn't truly a terrible person, Gu Wei had been getting braver and braver.
"Want one?" Jiang Xun asked, picking up one of the little oranges on his desk. Kumachan had brought a bunch of them from home, and everyone had a few on their desk, but no one had eaten theirs yet.
As soon as Jiang Xun finished peeling the orange, a hand reached out from next to him and deftly stole the orange away, replacing it with a piece of candy from the bag of snacks he'd opened earlier.
"Ah…" Gu Wei scrunched up his face, squinting until his eyes were nearly closed. "It's so sour."
Jiang Xun looked at Gu Wei, and just one word passed through his mind:
The spoiled little princeling in question didn't seem to have any awareness of his surroundings as he rubbed at his cheek and continued to complain about how sour the orange had been.
He was still holding the milk tea and snacks Jiang Xun had given him, and he only peeked over curiously when he saw Jiang Xun grab his phone before the stream began. He watched as Jiang Xun opened WeChat, pulled up his conversation with Jiang Ying, and sent over a compressed file.
Gu Wei hummed inquisitively.
On the other side of the city, Jiang Ying had just finished filming a night scene. He had been rolling around in mud for ages, and he was absolutely covered in the gunk when his assistant handed him his phone, showing a new message from Jiang Xun with what looked like a .zip file attached.
[100K Volts]: YellowPictures.zip
[Big-Clawed Crab]: Holy crap!
[Big-Clawed Crab]: Thanks, bro!
Jiang Ying happily pocketed his phone and found a secluded corner of the set where he could open up the files.
An endless flood of yellow filled Jiang Ying's sight as he uncompressed the package. In the blink of an eye, his phone became home to literally hundreds of new high-definition, unwatermarked pikachu pictures.
At the same time, he received a second message from Jiang Xun—
[100K Volts]: Sure, no problem.
Jiang Ying was baffled.