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You'd slept over at Sicheng's once since your initial stay, except this time you hadn't been planning on it. Meaning that you had to borrow a charger, his shower, and clothes from him. Despite it being late, as you got dressed in your guest room, you could hear Sicheng moving around in the kitchen and living room. Walking out, you smelled something coming from the kitchen. Was he making himself a midnight snack?

Stopped in the threshold of his kitchen, you leaned in the doorway, arms crossed over your chest as you watched him curiously. He was reheating some leftovers, not having noticed you yet.

"Did you not eat anything at the party?" You questioned, gaining his attention. "There was a whole ass buffet there."

Sicheng was still looking at you, taking in the visage of you wearing his clothes. You fiddled with the hem of the loose shirt anxiously, the silent stare only concerning you even more.


He snapped out of it with a frank smile, "I visited my parents last week, and my mom sent me home with a bunch of leftovers. Best thing I've ever tasted, you want some?"

"Mommy's boy," you said with a fond smirk.

"Yeah, I guess so. You put that in your article. As well as the drool."

Taking a bowl and spoon from him, you leaned against his kitchen counter, blowing at the steam rising from it, "Did you finish it?"

"No," he admitted sheepishly. "It's not the article itself, I think it's great. I just... don't like endings, I guess."

"At least today wasn't the end. Not really."

His gaze snapped up to look at you in disbelief, "Really?"

"Yeah, you have a contract for another season, remember?"

"Oh, right," Sicheng seemed almost disappointed as he cast his eyes back to the wisps of water vapor swirling above his bowl.

Something was off.

Really, really off.

Finally, you couldn't take it anymore and roughly set your bowl down on the counter. A little bit of broth sloshed out, but you paid it no attention as you faced Sicheng, shoulders squared.

"Sicheng, you're being weird."

"How do you mean?"

"You want me to make an alphabetized list of just the stuff that's happened since I got in your car, or the entire night?"

He gently set his bowl down too, avoiding eye contact as he refused to reply.

"Sicheng, talk to me. Like our first sleepover. Neither of us are going to sleep, or even eating, until you talk to me."

Your companion seemed nearly in pain as he let out a short and half-hearted laugh. Shaking his head, he looked to you imploringly, "Don't make me say it, Y/N."

"Tell me," you set your hand on his hand gently. "Please."

He let out a heavy sigh, "When we started this whole thing, our fake relationship, I was so good at it, because that was just a part I was playing, it wasn't supposed to mean anything—"

You weren't expecting to feel your heart shatter in that moment, but it did, your hand jerking back equally fast. Your breathing was ragged as you took a couple steps back from him, the realization of your own stupid hopes and feelings slamming its way through your entire system, "Oh my god I'm— I'm an idiot."

"Wait, Y/N, let me finish. I said it wasn't supposed to. But it did. I really, really do like you, that's why now... I'm being so bad at it."

Sicheng's hands hesitantly reached out towards you, and you let him take both of yours in his warm and familiar grasp. You'd held hands more times than you could count, but this time felt different. It felt breathtakingly surreal, but painfully real at the same time.

"Y/N, talk to me," Sicheng was almost begging, and you dumbly shook your head in reply.

Almost negating your head shake, you gripped Sicheng's hand back, needing to ground yourself to something in that moment. Your head was spinning, but everything quieted down when you finally looked him in the eyes.

"I—" you croaked out hesitantly, readjusting your hands to be able to lace your fingers with his. "Yeah, same. Me too. I... am also bad at this, apparently."

An almost hysterical laugh erupted from Sicheng as he nearly doubled over. He stood up straight again, still clutching at your hands, distressed again, "I can't... I can't promise you a normal life, or even a semi-normal one, Y/N. There's still going to be paparazzi, hate, all of that."

You took a deep breath, "You heard my conversation with Xukun."

"I was going to find you to actually confess to you in the first place, but I heard a little of your conversation and bailed. Y/N, if that's really what you want, for this all to be over, I'm okay with it. And I'm sorry for everything that you've been through just for me to get a little good press."

"Hey... stop feeling sorry, and start feeling thankful."


You let go of his hands to instead cradle his face between yours, "Because you found someone crazy enough who wants to be with you anyway."

"I did?" He let you bring his face closer to you until you could rest your foreheads together.

"Yeah," your nose bumped his in something that could almost be called an affectionate nuzzle.

"Can I kiss you?"

"There's no paparazzi here," you quipped.

"That's the point. I'll hide you away from them forever, if that's what you want."

"In your dungeon that you definitely have on the fifth floor?"


You pulled back from him slightly, eyes rolling as your arms wrapped around his neck instead, "Oh just fucking kiss me."

Sicheng gently placed a hand on each of your cheeks, taking a moment as if he was trying to memorize every square inch of your features. Then his lips were coming closer and closer to your own. It's familiar, but so incredibly different. This time, his thumbs didn't block the incoming kiss. If anything, you got impatient and closed the gap yourself at the last second. He kissed you tenderly, as if he might scare you off, or maybe he was still doubtful of whether or not this was for real. Or maybe he just wanted to take his time with your first kiss.

Which he certainly did. The cliché drama watcher in you would say that it felt as though time stopped as his lips moved against yours in the most magical way. But truly, you had no words to describe it other right. It just felt right.

When you finally broke apart, you let out a shaky giggle, "This is most definitely not how an interview is supposed to go."

"When have we ever done anything like a normal interview?"

After a brief pause, a thought came to you, "So why don't you like being called WinWin, exactly?"

"You're such a journalist," he huffed, kissing the question from your mind as you melted against him again.

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