After lunch, Director Zhang came to the dressing room with his thermos and handed over a couple of pages stapled together, “Cheng Jing refined the hidden plot at lunchtime, so you can take a look at it later. I’ve adjusted the order, so we’ll shoot this scene first this afternoon and if it works, we’ll keep it. If it doesn’t work, the hidden plot will be scrapped.”
He also looked at Qi Chang’an, “If this hidden plot is scrapped, Chang’an you will have to control the interpretation of the emotions afterwards.”
Seeing that they had understood, Director Zhang gave up his position and let the make-up artist who was waiting next to him start working.
Xu Luoyang sat down in front of the make-up mirror, read through the hidden plot carefully and smiling, said, “Chang’an, it’s really exactly as you guessed!”
Xu Zhan did have feelings for Qin Chao that went beyond friendship, but he decided to hide them. Moreover after he murdered that man, he buried this feeling in the bottom of his heart. However this wasn’t made clear in the entire script and only a short scene was used to show the conflict of feelings within. After this, all the emotions were hidden in Xu Zhan’s daily actions and words.
The make-up artist was applying make-up to Qi Chang’an’s eyes so he had them closed as he answered, “Hmm, the scriptwriter gives the characters experience and the actors give them soul, that’s why we are able to understand the emotions of these characters.”
“Mr. Qi, you are absolutely right!” Xu Luoyang was so excited that he couldn’t keep his hands to himself so while Qi Chang’an’s eyes were closed and his hand was on the armrest of the chair, he poked the back of his hand with his finger. The result was that Qi Chang’an’s hand pressed it down, “Don’t make trouble, it tickles.”
After making a sad face at the mirror, Xu Luoyang once again summed up his lesson and tried not to get caught next time!
An hour later, Xu Luoyang looked at himself in the mirror, feeling a little strange.
Sister Yang, the make-up artist, stood behind him and smiled, “Don’t you look like you did when you were seventeen? I went to find a photo of you when you took the art exams and brought it for reference, so it should be 80% or 90%.”
Xu Luoyang nodded his head and smiled brightly, “I just have to put on my basketball uniform and I’m the school prince again!”
He looked at the radiant Qin Chao in the mirror and recalled that the year when he was seventeen wasn’t so carefree.
The day before his sixteenth birthday, his mother was taken to hospital and died a month later. After that, his father locked himself in the house and drank heavily all day long. When he got drunk, he would say his wife’s name and fall asleep with tears in his eyes. Every day, he was in a daze, as if he had lost the pillar of his life.
After three months, he came home from school, saw his father fainted on the floor and called for an ambulance. When he got to the hospital, he was diagnosed with cancer.
He was in his third year of high school at the time.
Later, when he got into the film school with the highest marks in his major and cultural subjects, his father died.
The time when he was seventeen years old was more a time of gloom, when he was left defenceless by fate.
When he met Qi Chang’an’s worried eyes in the mirror, Xu Luoyang tilted his head and said, “Chang’an, this world is beautiful, isn’t it?”
“I think so too.” Xu Luoyang looked at himself in the mirror again, as if he were telling his seventeen-year-old self, “Don’t be afraid, just grit your teeth and you’ll get through it.”
Xu Zhan’s bedroom had been redecorated, with a desk against the wall that had lost its paint, an old desktop computer on top, and a large book of [admissions guides] next to it that had been blown away by the wind, with ‘Criminal Police Academy’ heavily circled in red with a marker.
And Qin Chao was lying on a single bed, sleeping soundly. He hadn’t changed out of his basketball uniform and had a Modern Chinese Dictionary under his head, showing that he had obviously filled out the application form and gone straight to sleep.
The room was quiet and one could hear the hands of the wall clock moving. Xu Zhan walked gently to the bedside and looked down at Qin Chao. He clenched and unclenched his fist several times and finally, with a pale face, he leaned down with trepidation and tried to kiss him.
Xu Zhan’s eyelashes fluttered, apprehensive yet excited, even his lips trembled, but in the end, he didn’t really kiss him.
He stopped at the top of Qin Chao’s lips but could already feel his hot breath.
One could tell from his expression that this was enough for him, that he was satisfied.
According to the script, a thunderstorm was supposed to be falling outside the windows, the windows pelted with raindrops and Xu Zhan just standing in front of the bed for a full 20 minutes.
The last frozen scene was broken by Director Zhang’s voice on the set.
Xu Luoyang sat up, rubbed his red ears, pinched the tip of his index finger to his thumb and made a gesture, “You were really this close to kissing me!”
With his eyes closed, he had really used all his professional skills to control his expression.
Looking at his smiling face, Qi Chang’an took a deep breath then smiled, “Yes, I could smell your lip balm, green grapefruit flavor.”
It was obviously a normal conversation, but Xu Luoyang felt like his heart was being tickled, so he took the initiative to wave at Director Zhang, “Director Zhang, let’s shoot another scene!”
After dinner, Qi Chang’an and screenwriter Cheng Jing discussed how to fine-tune the later scenes after adding the hidden plot until after 11 o’clock.
After finishing, Qi Chang’an didn’t go back to his room. He went downstairs alone, walked to the green area behind the hotel and sat on a wooden chair next to a bush.
Raising his head, he counted the floors one by one until he reached the ninth floor and finally found the window of Xu Luoyang’s room.
He’d had a physiological reaction to Xu Luoyang during the shooting and for the whole day after that, had just barely suppressed his almost chaotic thoughts, tried to empty himself of thoughts and integrate himself into his role. This was a sign of respect for Xu Luoyang and for the cast and crew.
It wasn’t until late at night that he found a place where no one was around and released his repressed emotions.
He needed to figure out whether it was because Xu Zhan harboured secret feelings for Qin Chao that was why he, as Xu Zhan’s character had reacted to Xu Luoyang’s role Qin Chao.
Or if he had reacted to Xu Luoyang as Qi Chang’an. Even during the afternoon scene, he almost couldn’t control himself and had kissed him.
It was almost November and the night wind was cool so as he looked up at Xu Luoyang’s window lit up by the light, he suddenly wondered what he was doing now.
After a few seconds of hesitation, he dialed his number.
After a few rings, Xu Luoyang’s voice sounded on the other end, “Chang’an? Have you finished discussing the script? Are you outside?”
“Yes, I’m out for a walk.” Qi Chang’an’s voice was low and cold, but it was very soft and gentle in the night.
“Are you wearing a jacket? It should be a little cold outside now, so don’t catch a cold.” Xu Luoyang felt as if he had become wordy so he stopped himself, “Come back when you’ve finished your walk,” he thought about it then added, “I’ll bring Pei Qi to say good night to you before I go to bed.”
“Okay.” Qi Chang’an agreed, “I’ll be back in a while.”
When he hung up, Qi Chang’an was very sure that Xu Luoyang was taking a shower when he answered the phone because his voice had a slight echo and the sound of water.
Picturing Xu Luoyang answering the phone, Qi Chang’an relaxed on the back of the chair and smiled.
Xu Nao Nao’s little emotions:
The phone almost fell into the bathtub! [panic .jpg]
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