Gu Wei and Jiang Xun didn't make their wedding date public, but the vast majority of netizens had managed to guess the date.
Because on that day, Jiang Ying had cleared his schedule. T.ATW had cleared their schedules as well. And no one on Team TMW had scheduled a livestream. Based on that information, it wasn't hard for netizens to pinpoint the wedding date.
[Will our gege post a selfie on their wedding day? I want to see the proof that my ship is really really real.]
[I just knew they would get married all sneakily, wahhhhhhh.]
[I'm so satisfied. I've shipped this since the first installment of 'Escape Without a Trace', and now look where we are. I want to thank every 'FoodForXunWei' shipper for enduring these difficult times with me.]
[Weiwei, be sure to use your wedding and honeymoon to rest well. I feel like he's been super busy ever since he came in first in the popularity rankings.]
[You're dreaming. Jiang Xun wouldn't let himself suffer just to let Weiwei rest.]
When it came to marriage, Jiang Xun was extremely considerate of Gu Wei's career. He didn't rush Gu Wei into anything, but Gu Wei was the one who was keen to fulfill Jiang Xun's wishes.
"You're the one who said we needed a proper celebration," Gu Wei had once said, after being kissed breathless. He worried at his lower lip and added, "Plus, I've already turned my career around."
"Then let's get married," Jiang Xun had agreed without hesitation. "Afterwards, I'll slowly teach you everything you need to know."
Gu Wei said nothing.
They were both busy people. T.ATW made a lot of group appearances together, and that year they had to travel overseas for some international events as well. Gu Wei's agency had also accepted another drama for him, and Jiang Xun was also busy with TMW and his family's entertainment agency.
With how rarely they were able to see each other, Jiang Xun was exceptionally fierce every time they met up. Gu Wei was always a little hesitant, always taught a lesson, and always bullied until he cried. Then Jiang Xun would hug him close and whisper reassurances in his ear, promising him anything he desired.
After a while, Gu Wei warmed up to it all.
The night before his wedding day, Gu Wei received a phone call.
When he answered, the caller didn't speak right away.
Gu Wei was silent for a moment as well, before he asked, "Mom?"
"Weiwei, it's your mother," Ling Yixuan finally said. "I saw people talking about it on Weibo. You're getting married tomorrow?"
Gu Wei hummed an affirmative.
"Then I won't come, and you probably… don't want to see me," Ling Yixuan said. "I heard from your father. You were… depressed?"
"I'm fine now," Gu Wei answered, cutting off that line of questioning. "I haven't needed medication for a long time now. If you see anything online, just read it and move on. You don't need to worry."
"I just want to apologize to you. I… shouldn't have hurt you. I shouldn't have said you were useless like your father." Ling Yixuan's voice was extremely light and distant, like she was lost in her memories. "I can't control you. If you want to get married, just be sure to live happily."
"I will. Jiang Xun is really good to me," Gu Wei said. "I'm not going to be like you."
He paused for a moment, then continued, "You don't love me, but I still want to thank you."
But I don't love you either.
"Thank you for teaching me to dance. I've always loved dancing, and I always will."
With that, he could truly say goodbye to the past.
Gu Wei hung up. It was only then that he realized Jiang Xun had entered the room at some point, stopping beside him.
"She was always in a bad mood after divorcing my father," Gu Wei explained. "She was convinced my dad wouldn't ever become a successful screenwriter, so she took me back to her hometown in the countryside."
And when her temper boiled over, she would take it out on him. There were lots of memories that Gu Wei had left forgotten.
After they confirmed their relationship, Jiang Xun had taken Gu Wei to see Chu Yi for a few more psychological consultations. Gu Wei was starting to get over his phobia of sharp objects, and his sleeping troubles were already no more.
"You should thank yourself, Little Weilai," Jiang Xun said. He placed a small, delicate piece of cake in front of Gu Wei. "Have some sweets. You've lost weight again."
Gu Wei had grown up as a picky eater with no one to watch over his eating habits. When he lived at school, no one had watched over him when he ate in the cafeteria either. It was only after getting together with Jiang Xun that Gu Wei had someone who cared about his health. Jiang Xun watched over him and made sure he ate enough to fulfill the requirements of his nutrition plan. T.ATW's manager had even praised Jiang Xun for his diligence a few times.
"Why should I thank myself?" Gu Wei asked, opening his mouth for the bite of cake on the spoon Jiang Xun held out to him. The cream was light and sweet.
Jiang Xun lifted a hand and wiped away a smudge of cream at the corner of Gu Wei's lips. "Because you're incredible."
The impact a child's birth family had on them was immense. But his Gu Wei, despite having grown up in an awful, abusive environment, had endured and emerged as a strong, beautiful young man.
"I don't want any more," Gu Wei said, shaking his head.
"There's still half left. I bought it just for you," Jiang Xun said. But he set down the spoon in his hands. "If you don't want to eat cake, what do you want to eat?"
"What do I… want to eat?" Gu Wei still wasn't used to moving as fast as Jiang Xun.
Jiang Xun didn't say anything else. Eventually, Gu Wei realized the meaning behind Jiang Xun's words and quickly averted his gaze.
"Mom says we have to get up early tomorrow," Gu Wei chided.
Jiang Xun continued to watch him, unblinkingly.
"We have to take pictures, and…" Gu Wei fidgeted, struggling with his answer. "How about tomorrow night?"
"Don't forget that you're the one who said it," Jiang Xun warned, smiling as he tidied up the table and wandered off. Gu Wei was left sitting in place, feeling like he'd somehow lost that conversation.
TMW's sunny posted bright and early the next morning. She sent her Weibo followers a picture of herself in formal attire and captioned it with a doge face emoji.
[Whoa, my goddess finally isn't wearing her hair in Nezha buns today.]
[Aren't you a bit too beautiful? sunny, you're not going to the wedding, are you?]
[Pretty. If you hadn't cussed me out while we were gaming, I would compliment you some more.]
[Doll, please please please take lots of pictures today.]
A few girls from the little hedgehogs' defense squad joined Yi Qing on her way to the wedding venue.
Their invitations had come from 'Little Hedgehog's Edible Crab'.
"I'm so nervous!" Arare exclaimed. She had been jittery since meeting up with Yi Qing that morning. "Doll, do you think we'll meet lots of famous stars?"
"Hey, the person right in front of your eyes is a rising star in the esports world," Yi Qing said, flashing her two cute canines when she grinned. "Want my autograph?"
T.ATW really did, as promised, turn Gu Wei's wedding into a concert. The few little hedgehogs who had been invited to the event could barely breathe with how desperately they were suppressing their screams of excitement.
After the wedding reception, Chi Yunkai and Shi Xinyan each clung onto one of Gu Wei's legs and refused to let him go.
"No, no, noooooo, this is our group's best boy," Chi Yunkai wailed. He was drunk.
"God Xun has to take good care of Weiwei," Shi Xinyan said. "Weiwei needs a lot of care and affection."
"Get up, don't be so shameless," Fu Zhi said. "He's still our best boy."
"Let go," Gu Wei urged, fighting back tears. "Don't you remember when I needed you to open the dorm door, and you were all busy playing games? Now you suddenly remember I'm the group's best boy?"
Arare gripped Yi Qing's hand tightly and laughed so hard that she could barely breathe. "So all my beloved gege are like this in their private lives?"
"But everyone still likes them," Yi Qing said. Dressed in formal attire, she looked much softer and sweeter than usual.
Gu Cai, wearing a suit, sat at a table near Gu Wei and watched him and his group mates fool around.
"Drink?" Jiang Xun offered. He took a seat beside Gu Cai and clinked the glass in his hand against the one Gu Cai held.
Gu Cai looked like he wanted to say something. The words were at the tip of his tongue, but he swallowed them back down and instead said, simply, "Thank you."
He had never known how to take care of other people, and Gu Wei never spoke to him of any problems in his life. At some point, an opportunity had passed them by. It was too late for Gu Cai to make up for the affection he hadn't offered Gu Wei now.
He had failed to give Gu Wei a family, and he hadn't protected Gu Wei from the storm of the entertainment industry either. At this point, it seemed 'thank you' was the only thing he had any right to say.
It was good that Gu Wei had someone to care for him now, and it was good that Gu Wei had learned how to let others care for him. He no longer had to keep everything bottled up inside.
"I'll take care of Weiwei," Jiang Xun promised, draining his glass in one go.
"Jiang Xun!" Gu Wei called out from not far away. "Come on, we're taking pictures."
"Coming," Jiang Xun answered. He turned back to Gu Cai and offered, "Wanna join us? It'll make Weiwei happy."
Although Gu Wei didn't say anything, a flash of light did cross his eyes when he saw that Gu Cai had come over with Jiang Xun.
All five members of T.ATW squeezed together, with Gu Wei and Jiang Xun sandwiched in the middle. They even left room in the frame for a few little hedgehogs.
The person Jiang Ying had been talking to this whole time also came over.
"You're just here to eat," Jiang Ying grumbled. "What are you getting in the pictures for?"
"How can you talk to your Qi-gege like that?" Song Jingxi admonished with a smile. "Cheeky brat."
"He's only a year older than me," Jiang Ying protested. "Anyway, I'm allowed in the pictures because my face is small. I don't take up any space."
"What should we shout to make everyone smile for the photo?" Chi Yunkai asked. "Is Weiwei sweet or not?"
Nearly everyone was confused.
Only Jiang Xun called out, "Sweet!"
"No, no. Only Jiang Xun smiled that time," said Manager Zhao, who was in charge of taking the photo.
"Switch it up. Let me try," Jiang Ying said. "Is Jiang Ying hot or not?"
Once again, nearly everyone was silent.
Only Jiang Ying himself said, "Hot!"
"No, no. Only Jiang Ying smiled this time," Manager Zhao said, deleting the photo again. "Can you guys do this or not?"
"I'll do it," Fu Zhi said. "What's our Weiwei's WeChat ID?"
At that, everyone answered in unison, "If You Love Me Please Send Me… Money!"
Manager Zhao snapped the photo at just the right time, capturing everyone's smiling faces.
Gu Wei and Jiang Xun were holding each other's hands tightly, just like they'd held each other's hands while making their vows—
To love and never leave each other, for as long as they both should live.