krishan

[11/?] bittersweet sixteen

Author's Noe: Hiiiiii! Here's the new chapter! I'm so sorry if I wasn't fast enough. I got a bit busy as always T_T Anyway, this chapter is basically a FLASHBACK on Yifan's part. I mean HOW THE HELL DID HE FIND OUT THAT ZITAO'S HIS SON, right??? Well, it's not really much of a surprise. There's only one person who could've told him /sideeyes Yixing/ ;p But I hope you'll enjoy this chapter because I did~ ^^

11 - Slips & Secrets

From: Zhang Yixing
To: Wu Yifan

Subject: Come back!

Hi Xiao Lu!

I know it'll be hours before you read this but who cares, right?

So, you know I hate math, so please be the one to remind me of our time differences. It's your decision to fly all the way there, anyway, so why should I stress myself out in counting the clock?

My God! I miss you already!!! I bet your little angel does too even if you insist that he doesn't know what's going on. Look at the picture I attached. Those eyes and that fucking adorable smile! Ugh!!! What a prince! You have awesome genes! Haha!

I hope this picture will haunt you and make you fly back here ASAP.

Love you always,
Yixing


Yifan stared at the e-mail. Xiao Lu. He knew that's Lu Han's nickname when her mother was still the perfect wife and perfect mother. Yixing. This e-mail was not supposed to be sent to him. Your little angel. Lu Han's little angel? Good genes. What on earth was going on?

Wanting to know more answers, Yifan moved his finger along his laptop's mouse pad and clicked on the attached picture. It was a picture of a baby lying on a stroller. Eyes shrunk into slits and mouth opened to show a toothless smile. Yixing referred to the baby as “prince.” A baby boy.

You have awesome genes.

Your little angel.

Oh fucking shit.

Yifan clicked reply.

From: Wu Yifan
To: Zhang Yixing

Subject: Re: Come back!

Kindly explain.


Yixing's eyes widened at the e-mail she received. “Shit!” she exclaimed as she slapped her face with both hands and bolted up from her chair. How could she be so stupid? She paced back and forth in her room, trying to convince herself that she was just imagining things. She could not have possibly sent her e-mail to the wrong person. She could have not possibly sent Yifan the e-mail that was originally meant for Lu Han.

She could have not possibly sent Yifan the e-mail that was originally meant for Lu Han that contained a picture of their son!

“Fuck!” Yixing cursed again as she ran back to her laptop to check her sent items. She did not just mess up. She literally fucked up.

Kindly explain.

“No, no, no,” Yixing pleaded to her laptop.

Ding!

She shrieked. A new message window popped out.

Yifan: Are you there?

She bit her lip and whimpered.

Yifan: Zhang Yixing!

She flinched. She could just imagine Yifan yelling her name with that huge deep voice of his like how he used to holler at his teammates during their basketball practice.

Yifan: I'm going to call you.

She widened her eyes again and ran away from her laptop to bury herself in her bed.

“Go away!” Yixing cried when she heard the ringing from her laptop. However, after three rounds of the dreadful sound, the calling stopped. Yixing peeked from her comforter to look at her laptop's screen only to jump up from her bed due to the knocking on her door.

Slowly, Yixing opened her bedroom door and saw her mother.

“What are you doing?” Mrs. Zhang asked, furrowing her brows at the weirdness of her daughter.

Yixing shook her head, and said, “Nothing.”

Mrs. Zhang shrugged, and replied, “You have a long distance call. It's Yifan.”

Yixing forced out a laugh. “Can you tell him I'm not here?” she asked. She knew she was pushing her luck. Her mother was not fond of lying and hiding and all those shits.

“Did you hear me?” Mrs. Zhang asked and Yixing raised an eyebrow, “It's a long distance call. Do you know how expensive that is?”

Yixing nodded.

“Have mercy on the young man,” Mrs. Zhang told her, “His parents will kick his ass for this.”

Defeated, Yixing trudged down the stairs and picked up the phone. “Hello?” she greeted, hoping against hope that Yifan already dropped the call.

“Talk.”

Yixing swore at that moment that life hated her.

“Talk?” Yixing replied, her voice too high pitched for her liking, “About what?”

Then, nonchalantly, Yifan proceeded to reading her e-mail for Lu Han word for word. Yixing felt as if her body was being chopped pieces by pieces.

“Love you always, Yixing,” Yifan finished, “remember now?”

“Okay, okay,” Yixing answered, taking a deep breath, “I'll call you online, your parents won't be happy to see your phone bill if I explain everything here.”

“Glad I got through to you,” Yifan said as he ended their call.

Yixing went back to her room and went straight to her desk. Lu Han would definitely kill her for this. “I'm so sorry,” Yixing said while looking at a picture of the two of them beside her laptop before taking a deep breath and moving her mouse to the 'Call' icon of Yifan's message window.

“Who is this?” Yifan asked the moment the video call connected. He was holding a picture of his son.

Yixing scoffed. “Wow,” she said, “Canada's really advanced, huh? You already printed the picture.”

“Tell me his name,” Yifan insisted. He was not going to beat around the bush. He meant business.

However, Yixing found a way to salvage the last bit of Lu Han's trust that she stupidly broken without her friend knowing. “I can't tell you,” she replied with all the conviction she could muster. Lu Han did not want Yifan to know about what happened. Lu Han did not want Yifan to find out. Telling him Zitao's name would ruin all of that. Even though it was the right thing to do.

“Yixing, please,” Yifan said, irritated.

“Look,” Yixing started, sharp, “you're not supposed to get that e-mail, you're not supposed to see that boy ever, but I can't blame you now because it's all my fault, and for that alone, Xiao Lu's going to kill me,” she explained, “all I can tell you is he's Lu Han's son...telling you his name...will just...you can say, ruin everything.”

Yifan took a deep breath and stared at her. “Who's the father?” he asked even though he knew who it might be already. Still, he entertained the smallest possibility of something else.

“Are you fucking kidding me?” Yixing asked, raising an eyebrow, “Who's the father, Yifan? Are you seriously asking me that?”

“Yixing, I...”

“No! I'm not going to hear any of it!” Yixing yelled, furious, “After using my friend as your fuck buddy all summer, you're asking me who got her pregnant? I'm sure if she slept with someone else, that bastard won't be as dumb as you, asshole, because they'd remember to use a fucking condom before sticking their stupid dick in her!”

Yifan chuckled and Yixing scowled at him. “For your information, I'm laughing because of you,” he said as he cleared his throat.

“Well, I'm glad I gave you a reason to laugh,” Yixing replied, sarcastic.

Yifan took a deep breath. “Why didn't she tell me?” he asked, picking up his son's picture and staring at it again, “I could've forced my parents to let me stay.”

“She only found out about it the day after you flew out to Canada,” Yixing told him as she crossed her arms in front of her chest, “and we know there's no way you can bring yourself back here not unless you know how to perform magic.”

Yifan shook his head. “She promised, Yixing,” he said, “she promised me that if she got pregnant, she'd tell me and we'd deal with it together.”

Yixing burst out laughing this time. “Now, you're the one who's being funny,” she said as she shook her head, “maybe instead of promising her such crap, you should've stopped sleeping with her or started using condoms after the first night.”

“When did she exactly got pregnant?” Yifan asked.

“Seriously, Yifan?” Yixing replied, “Is that still important? Look at the picture you just printed, please! Your son's already four months old.”

Yifan smiled, and said, “I thought I could trick you into telling me his birthday.”

Yixing rolled her eyes. “May 2nd,” she said, “but that's all you can know.”

Yifan nodded in understanding. “I need to see her,” he said and Yixing's eyes widened in fear, “I'm not going to tell her that I already know...I just...I want to see her...maybe she could tell me about him herself...”

Sighing, Yixing reached out for a notebook where she squeezed in a copy of Lu Han's school calendar. “Do you think you could get yourself to New York on Thanksgiving?” she asked and Yifan gave her a smile.

Lu Han did not tell Yifan anything when they saw each other in New York. However, Yifan saw that Lu Han was debating against herself whether he should mention anything about them having a son. Yifan held onto the hope that Lu Han would come around before leaving him, but she stood her ground and did not say anything. Even though there were a lot of signs that Lu Han had indeed given birth, he did not bring it up as he knew that it would just make Lu Han run away.

After New Year, when Lu Han had flew back to New York, Yixing invited Yifan to Hong Kong. Yifan was certain that she just wanted to torture him by having him in the country where his son was as a revenge for ruining her and Lu Han's friendship. Still, he went there out on his own free will not because Yixing coerced him to. Also, he felt bad that Yixing was not able to spend Christmas and New Year with her godson because she knew she was not welcome while Lu Han went back for the holidays.

Yifan slid the sliding doors that would lead him to the balcony of his hotel room and leaned against the balustrade. Somewhere in the country was his son, but he had no idea where he was. If only he had all the time in the world to look for him, he would. However, he only had a few days of holidays before going back to Canada. School would start soon.

School. He already had an eight-month-son but he was still in school. It was not right. He should be working out there and supporting him financially. Unfortunately, all he could do was to wire some money to Yixing from time to time so that she could buy Zitao some toys and clothes. However, they would never be enough for him and for Zitao.

Yifan's thoughts were distracted by the knock on his door. He knew it would be Yixing or just some hotel staff. He had no idea what Yixing had in mind for the two of them, but Yifan was prepared to rot in his hotel room during his stay in the country because that would be a thing that Yixing would do to punish people who caused her misfortunes.

“How are you?” Yixing asked with a grin while leaning against the door frame.

“Fine, I guess,” Yifan said but he was far from it.

“Will you go out with us?” Yixing replied, her grin turning into a genuine wide smile.

Yifan narrowed his eyes. “Us?” he asked.

Then, Yixing's eyes left Yifan's and traveled down in front of her.

Yifan followed her gaze and his eyes landed on the baby boy lying on his stroller, playing with the mobiles hanging above him.

“Meet your son, Yifan,” Yixing said.

To say that Yifan was speechless was an understatement. He was in an utter state of disbelief. All he could do was drop his jaw in shock as he knelt before the little man before him. “I'm – Why?” he said as he look up at Yixing.

Yixing shrugged, and said, “His mother hates me already anyway, so why not make the most of it.”

Yifan smiled and turned back to his son. “Can I hold him?” he asked. He realized he had no idea how to hold a baby and it made him feel so stupid.

Shaking her head, Yixing pushed back the bar that held the mobiles that the baby boy was playing with. “Come here, sweetie,” she cooed as she scooped the baby out of his stroller, “let's teach your dumb daddy how to hold you.”

The first time Yifan held his son in his arms was scary. He was afraid he would break him. However, he still thought it was very magical. He felt as if his heart would blow up with all the happiness he was feeling inside. “Hey there, buddy,” he whispered and the baby stared at him, obviously wondering who was this stranger carrying him, “I'm your dad.”

As if understanding him, the baby squealed and giggled.

“He knows,” Yixing commented.

“Thank you,” Yifan said, looking at his friend, “I owe you a lot.”

Yixing rolled her eyes, and replied, “I don't want you to feel indebted to me but if you're going to insist then I'll just collect payment later. Who knows when I can actually make use of you.”

Yifan laughed and returned his attention to his son. “Anything for you, Yixing,” he said, “anything...”

Without him knowing, Yixing raised a camera to capture a picture of them together.

Not wanting to waste a very rare opportunity inside the hotel, Yifan and Yixing decided to go out in the city. Even though his son was still too young, Yifan insisted that they go to a theme park. Yixing whined about not wanting to go to rides and such but Yifan told her that they would not be doing any of that. He just wanted his son to see fun things. By afternoon, they settled in a restaurant to rest. Yifan was already thinking of sending Yixing and his son back home as he worried about the dark, but Yixing insisted that they should at least watch the fireworks as they were already there.

While waiting for their food, Yixing watched as Yifan played with his son on his lap and took another picture. “I'm going to give you this camera after today,” she said as she put it inside her bag, “I'm sure you'd want to be the first person to see these pictures and I want to make sure that there'll be no proof that this day happened just in case Lu Han decided to forgive me.”

“I understand,” Yifan replied without looking at Yixing. He wanted to look at his son for as long as he could. “You're really awesome, Yixing,” he added, grinning, “you're a really good friend.”

“No, I'm a failed cupid,” Yixing retorted and that made Yifan turn to her, “you know, since I can't really get you and Lu Han together, I should just focus my efforts on bringing the whole family together in any way I can, right?”

Yifan shook his head. “You're not going to let that go, are you?” he asked.

Yixing leaned forward and lowered her voice. “Seriously, Yifan, you two stopped dating other people ever since you started the whole friends-with-benefits thing and, now that's over, you two are still not seeing other people or sleeping around,” she pointed out, “you only want to do it with each other and no one else, do you really think there's nothing in that?”

Yifan did not say anything, making Yixing shake her head. “You two are the dumbest people I know. I think that you two really love each other. Crazily in love with each other. You're just really got engrossed with this best friend thing that you couldn't fathom anything else outside that.”

“What if you're wrong?” Yifan asked.

Yixing rolled her eyes, and said, “Oh please, we both know I'm right. You just can't admit it.”

It was not because Yifan never entertained the idea of falling in love with Lu Han. He just did not want to misinterpret things. Maybe Yixing was right. He and Lu Han trapped themselves in their friendship that it was hard for them to redefine what they have. Even though they had already crossed the friendship line, they still insisted that they were just best friends and nothing else.

Yifan knew he loves Lu Han. She was his best friend. They grew up together. They had fun and dealt with complicated things together. They protected each other from people who hurt them. However, up to what extent was his love for her? He was not sure. All he knew is she is the most important person in his world outside his family, but he would stand up to anyone including his own parents for her.

He could remember the first time they slept with each other. The feel of Lu Han's soft skin as he glided his palms on her arm and legs. The softness of Lu Han's lips when he kissed her for the first time. The warmth that surrounded him when he pushed inside her. He never felt so good in his life until that day, but he knew it was not because he was having sex. He knew it was not the sex that made him feel good. He knew it was because of Lu Han. He thought about what was happening to him at that time. Lu Han had always filled his thoughts but his mind seemed to have got too much of her since that day. Failing to find a proper explanation with himself, he just assumed that she was just really addicting.

“Love is scary,” Yixing commented.

Was he already in love with his best friend? Was it the reason why he broke up with his girlfriend at that time because he could not bare to be with someone else other than Lu Han? Was it the reason why he would do anything to seek Lu Han wherever she was? Was it the reason why he gave Lu Han everything she wanted even that included him staying away from her? Was it the reason why he could not even bring himself to be angry at her for cutting him off from her life and not telling him that they have a son?

“Love makes people stupid,” Yifan quipped.

“I just hope your son won't inherit his parents' dumbness,” Yixing replied, grinning.

When it was time to say goodbye to his son, Yifan held him again and as tight as he could without suffocating him. He said things to his ears like “I love yous, ” “We're going to meet again somedays,” and “I'll be always thinking of yous.” When Yifan got back to Canada, the first thing he did was shop for some toys and clothes and sent it to Yixing. When Yixing got them, she checked them out, hoping to find something to make fun of Yifan. Instead, what he found was a small envelop with a letter inside.

“I know you won't get this letter right away. Your Auntie Yixing will make sure of that. But I hope she'll keep it safe until the time comes when you can finally know the truth. I believe that your mother will eventually tell you everything someday. She's crazy beautiful like that. It's why I love her so much.”

“Fuck you, Yifan,” Yixing groaned as she got up from her living room and went inside her bedroom to retrieve a box from her topmost shelf where she was keeping Junmyeon's goodbye note, “men are so stupid.”

Sixteen years later, Yifan went back to China in the middle of the spring and accepted an offer from one of the Beijing's most prestigious school. He was told that he would handle the junior students come next school year and he was looking forward to it. Before the current school year, however, the school's basketball coach took an early retirement and the school was at lost. Wanting to help, Yifan volunteered to be the team's temporary coach while the school look for someone more eligible.

Basketball would always be his first love. He might not be able to play it again, but he could surely teach some tricks and strategies that the kids would find helpful. It was in August when the basketball team gathered once again to start tryouts and practices. There, he met a boy named Huang Zitao. Basketball captain and model student. Yifan wondered how a kid could manage to be both. He had a hard time juggling his studies and basketball when he was his age.

“Huang Zitao, his parents are in Hong Kong but her sister lives with him here,” the other guidance counselor told Yifan when they were talking about the juniors students, “but we contact the parents first because they're retired and easier to get hold of when there's an emergency.”

Yifan found the arrangement odd.

“Are you single, Wu Laoshi?” Zitao asked him out of the blue after one of their practices.

“That's a very personal question, Zitao,” Yifan answered, recovering from the initial shock of the unexpected question.

Zitao grinned, and said, “I'm sorry, it's just that...you seem to be a...dream guy in every woman's vocabulary. I have a sister and I think she'll like someone like you. You're in the same age and she's been single for half of her life. I'd like to see her with someone but not just with anyone. I think you'll do.”

“You're setting me up with your sister?” Yifan asked, amused.

“Yeah, she's really cool and really pretty,” Zitao bragged and grabbed Yifan's clipboard and pen without permission, “I'll give you her number, so you can call her if you're interested.”

Though Yifan did not have any plan to call Zitao's sister, he kept the phone number. He had been single for so long as well. After admitting to himself what he really feels about Lu Han, it became much harder to look for someone else. Still, you could only pin after someone for some time and Yifan believed that he had went over the acceptable period already. He should try to meet someone new soon.

However, Yifan found himself standing before Lu Han inside a classroom with students serving detentions. He could not believe it. Out of all the places in Beijing, they would meet again in a school. He pictures a lot of scenarios about their future meeting. When he went to New York once, he thought he would bump into her in Times Square. When he visited Guangzhou again to sell their old house, he thought she would be there in their old neighborhood as well. When he was about to get on the place to Beijing, he thought he would see her in the airport as well. Yifan pictured meeting Lu Han in big places. Never in a small space like a classroom.

“You know my jiejie, Wu Laoshi?” Zitao asked and Yifan was thrown off his feet.

“She's your sister?” Yifan replied in disbelief.

However, Lu Han never had a brother. Or maybe her mother had another child with Lu Han's stepfather. Yifan was already out of Lu Han's life by then and it was understandable why he would not be informed about this. However, it could not be.

Yifan memorized the players' files and knew about bits and pieces of their lives. Zitao just turned sixteen. He talked about his simple party back in their summer basketball practices.

Zitao was born on May 2nd.

“You didn't mention you have a younger brother the last time we met,” Yifan said, hoping he could get something out of Lu Han as he stared at Zitao in a new light, “if my math's correct, he would be six months old at that time.”

“I guess...it must've slipped my mind?” Lu Han replied and Yifan took note how stiff she was, “Zitao was just a couple of months old when I went to New York, I barely had enough time with him so...you know, I didn't get that much used to him.”

Yifan remained calm throughout the whole affair. He made Lu Han and Yixing sign some paperwork and let the kids go. However, deep inside, he wanted to drag Lu Han out of the room, away from everyone. He wanted to know what she had been doing. How could she make Zitao believe that she is just his sister? He knew he vowed to step away from her life but it was just too much. Zitao could not not know about the truth. That would too messed up.

Days after, Yifan sent Yixing a message regarding the expulsion of the student who was harassing Soojung. However, Yixing knew that the man wanted to talk about more things than that. She had a few questions of her own too.

“A guidance counselor? Really, Yifan?” Yixing asked as Yifan directed her to a chair in front of his desk, “How the hell did you end up here? Did you hire some PI to find Lu Han and Zitao?”

“If I did that, I would've already known that Zitao's my son, Yixing,” Yifan replied, making Yixing wince, “also, why would I need to spend money on a PI when I can just track you down and spy on you? You're a big shot music producer now, just a couple of clicks on the Internet and I'll know where you live.”

Yixing sighed. The man had a point. “So, how did you get here?” she asked.

“I've always wanted to come back here in China,” Yifan answered as he sorted out some paper work, “after working as a therapists in Canada, I took up some education courses and worked as a counselor in Canadian schools until I finally decided that it's time to come back here.”

“You chose this school,” Yixing pointed out.

Yifan shrugged, and said, “I had a lot of choices but this school offered more than the others.”

“You swear you didn't know that Zitao's here,” Yixing said, crossing her arms.

“You didn't even tell me his name, how would I know it was him?” Yifan asked, grinning, “This is not some drama, Yixing, there's no magic or electricity when I met him...every boy I meet who's the same age as my son made me think of him, made me wonder if it's him...that includes, not only Zitao, but his friends and classmates...do you have any idea how crazy that is?”

Yixing frowned. She could see the desperate look on the man's face. “So, what are your plans now?” she asked, “Zitao's planning to set you up with Lu Han, so that means you're not with anyone.”

Yifan chuckled, and said, “I couldn't just enter Lu Han's life after surprising her a couple of days ago. I'm not prepared myself. Let me get my mind around this for a bit.”

“You still love her,” Yixing stated with a smile, “I'd be so furious if I were you.”

“I'm surprised as well,” Yifan replied, looking at Yixing, “I mean, she made Zitao believe that she's his sister? This is such a big mess.”

“Maybe you can just confront her, get things out of the way before getting together,” Yixing suggested with a grin.

Yifan stared at her, and said, “You're certain that she feels the same way about me.”

Yixing scowled. “I've been with her for the last fifteen years, Yifan,” she reminded him, “she may not be saying anything about you but I know...”

“What if I'm a bit angry at her?” Yifan asked, looking away. A part of him wanted to torture her in a way she hurt him but in a way that she would not feel hurt at all. He wanted her to go crazy as well.

“By all means, get back at her,” Yixing answered as she leaned back on her seat, “she deserves it but don't forget that she loves you and you love her too,” she added, “make sure that after getting your sweet revenge, she'll still stick to you no matter what.”

With Yixing's permission, Yifan made Lu Han wait. He knew that Lu Han was expecting for his call. Zitao would not let him hear that end of it, but yifan was not sure if it was because Lu Han felt the same or she just really missed her old best friend. He was stubborn back then anyway. She could be expecting him to pester her from the time they met again. He was the only who told her that she would not be able to get rid of him once they met again after all.

When Yifan finally decided to call, Lu Han was stuck in the rain. Without thinking, he went over to wherever she was and rescued her. It was such a wrong move. He planned to take things slow for them this time. He planned to show her how good he was by taking care of her and pampering her more than he did when they were younger. Unfortunately, he was still same teenage boy who could not control his urges. However, he just allowed himself to go along with their wants even though they ended up in bed because of them.

Still, Yifan wanted to stir things to the right direction and he knew only one way to do it. He covered their naked bodies with a blanket, pulled Lu Han closer to him and leaned his forehead against hers before saying them.

“I love you.”

--- --- ---

TBC

--- --- ---

Thank you! <3
I suppose no matter what somethings cannot be change as fate always finds away. Both of them were always fated to be together which is why Yixing made that mistake and why Yifan is a teacher at Zitao's school.
I agree. It may take years and years but fate will still get them together eventually ^^