kiss me on the dance floor (一)
m.i.c, xiaoxin/yaoyao, pg-13, 2001w
m.i.c, xiaoxin/yaoyao, pg-13, 2001w
If hell existed, Xiaoxin was fairly certain it would take the form of a nightclub. As he stepped carefully down the narrow cement stairs, a girl retched with her palms against the brick wall. Xiaoxin grimaced and crept around her, making sure not to brush up against her sweaty skin. He was halfway down the steps and already the intense drumming of the bass was stirring a migraine under his temples.
And, of course, Wang Hao was all smiles. "I didn't think you'd make it," he laughed as he grabbed Xiaoxin awkwardly around the shoulders, or rather around as much shoulder as he could reach. "It's a perfect night."
"You don't stay," Xiaoxin replied blandly, remembering the retching girl.
Wang Hao eyed Xiaoxin knowingly. "The best kind of fun is the kind that makes you lose your lunch!" Xiaoxin's frown deepened as he let the cheerful man beside him led them throw the dense crowd. The deeper they went, the worse it smelled. It was a sickeningly sweet mixture of sweat, women's perfume and fruity alcoholic beverages. "So what brings you here tonight?" Wang Hao asked after they settled onto one of the couches near the back. Whenever Xiaoxin visited, Wang Hao brought him to this same couch. It was further away from the dance floor, a thick faux wall between the sitting area and the speakers so the bass was relatively muted. A pretty girl in the shortest shorts Xiaoxin had ever seen sauntered up and asked for their drink order.
"Nothing for me," Xiaoxin mumbled. Wang Hao grinned and joked with the waitress for a few minutes. Sometimes Wang Hao's incessant need to be kind to everyone he came into contact with vexed Xiaoxin, but tonight he was glad to have a moment to let himself sink into the soft leather couch. By the time the waitress was walking away, Xiaoxin almost felt comfortable. Almost.
"So?" Wang Hao asked, eyebrows raised in happy curiosity.
For a moment Xiaoxin forgot his friend's question. "Oh." He feigned a shrug. "A good investor should check in now and then and see where his money's going."
Wang Hao clicked his tongue. "You sound like your father."
Xiaoxin shrugged again. His fur-lined coat was far too warm for the stuffy club atmosphere and sweat tickled the back of his neck.
"Your father's a better liar, though."
On the dance floor a girl squealed as she gyrated against the man behind her. The tips of Xiaoxin's ears grew hot with embarrassment. He pulled his coat tighter around himself. "Why else would I come to this place?" He meant to sound bored and aloof, but the words came out stunted, mumbled, with the hint of a childish pout.
Out of the corner of his eye, Xiaoxin saw Wang Hao smile. "Come to think of it, it has been a while since Yaoyao came by. He and Yuehan have been busy, but they're due for their monthly visit, don't you think?"
Their bubbly waitress chose the perfect time to come by with Wang Hao's drink order. The club owner appeared to be completely distracted by her sudden appearance, but Xiaoxin knew better. He licked his lips and tried to sort out his thoughts well enough to reply, but the bass only seemed to get louder and muffled his thoughts.
Xiaoxin was still struggling for words when Wang Hao sent the waitress on her way. He took a sip of his drink and regarded Xiaoxin thoughtfully. "I will never understand why you chose to invest in a nightclub when they obviously bother you so much."
That, at least, Xiaoxin could answer. "A certain friend happened to come to be, desperate and on his knees, and I decided to be nice." He curved his lips into a smirk. Wang Hao for a split second seemed ready to argue, and then his eyes flickered upward.
"Remind me again when exactly it was that you lost your soul," a deep voice above Xiaoxin's head said quietly.
A cold, dead weight settled in the pit of Xiaoxin's stomach.
A small figure bounced in with a loud "whoop!" and hopped right onto the couch between Wang Hao and Xiaoxin. Yuehan grabbed Wang Hao around the shoulders in a tight hug before bothering to actually sit down. Yaoyao took his time and strolled around the couch, fixing Xiaoxin in an amused gaze before taking a seat beside Wang Hao. While they exchange pleasantries, Yuehan could barely stop moving.
"'Yo, Xiaoxin! How long has it been, man?"
He couldn't help but smile, and clapped Yuehan on the shoulder as his friend beamed up at him. For a man so short, Yuehan could seem to take up all the space in a room. "It's been way too long."
"Been hiding behind your desk again?" that deep, calm voice asked. Yaoyao's smile was calm but his eyes danced mischievously.
"Come on, be nice," Yuehan scolded him. He winked at Xiaoxin. "Don't mind Yaoyao. He's become a real working stiff himself. Tonight's his first night out in weeks!"
Xiaoxin blinked in surprise. "New job?" he asked the giant figure beside Wang Hao.
Yaoyao sighed in response. Even in the dim light of the club, Xiaoxin could see dark bags forming under Yaoyao's already dark eyes. His face seemed different, too-- thinner, like he'd lost some weight.
"Speaking of work," Yuehan interrupted again, and for once Xiaoxin didn't mind the smaller man's manic conversation skills. "Can you talk to your dad about getting the producers off my back? They won't stop calling. I can't work like this, man."
Xiaoxin rolled his eyes and smiled. Two years ago, Xiaoxin had introduced Yuehan to a few of the company's newer producers and managers. Yuehan had everything it took to be a star-- handsome face, good voice, and composing skills on top of it all-- but these days few were willing to risk working with a new musician. Thankfully, Xiaoxin had known one young, ambitious newbie manager and that had been all it took to get Yuehan out of his mother's house and onto China's top music charts.
"I hear your new song is a month late," he replied with a sly smile," and yet you're out partying and complaining about your nagging coworkers."
Yuehan groaned, "You're just as bad as they are."
"It is my company." At that, all three of his friends rolled their eyes. Xiaoxin couldn't keep the smile from stretching from ear to ear, though he was keenly aware that Yaoyao hadn't stopped staring since arriving. Feeling bold, he met Yaoyao's gaze and gave his signature haughty smirk. "So are you going to tell me about your new job or have you already gotten fired again?"
Wang Hao covered his mouth to hide is surprised smile and Yuehan turned around and pretended to be distracted by the DJ. Yaoyao yawned.
"My new job would probably bore our young master to tears seeing as it involved more than counting my daddy's money and buying new clothes."
This time even Wang Hao sensed the danger, and offered a little too forcibly to introduce Yuehan to the DJ whom he found so interesting. Meanwhile Xiaoxin felt his entire face flush and the fur collar of his coat felt stifling and conspicuous.
Yaoyao noticed. "New coat, by the way?"
He knew he'd regret it, but Xiaoxin struggling out of the hot coat and shoved it between the cushions of the couch, though he wanted nothing more than to throw it in Yaoyao's face. "Fuck off," he muttered as he pulled at the collar of his t-shirt. He cursed himself as much as Yaoyao for wearing so much black when he knew how hot the club could be.
"Someone's a little touchy tonight."
The nonchalant, unwavering tone of Yaoyao's taunt made the words stung all the more. "At least I'm not an arrogant prick." He glanced up and Yaoyao blinked.
"Then it seems we've exchanged roles."
Xiaoxin spat so many curses as he shoved himself to his feet that they blended into one unintelligible mass of language in his mouth. Forgetting the coat, fuck the damn coat, he looked for Wang Hao or Yuehan, but they were hiding quite well among the crowd. He gave Yaoyao one more hard, long look, and grumbled quickly, "See ya."
The blood rushing in her ears prevented him from hearing whatever Yaoyao said back, but he didn't care. Hands balled into fists at his sides, Xiaoxin rushed head-long into the crowd because he couldn't be bothered to take the longer, safer route around the bar as long as it meant he got away from Xiao Fucking Shunyao as quickly as he possibly could.
It's been six fucking months. Is it so much to ask for a, 'Hey, how are you? What's new?'
Angry tears stung at Xiaoxin's eyes and he cursed his thoughts audibly. The club-goers around him gave him wary stares as he forced himself through the undulating bodies.
Of course it's too much to ask. Six months of silence should have been a clear enough sign, you piece of shit.
A deafening blast of techno erupted and the crowd became a thick wall of bodies before Xiaoxin's eyes. The exit was just beyond the wall, but Xiaoxin's strength left him until even his arms dangled uselessly at his sides. One girl screamed in delight mere inches from Xiaoxin's face. He thanked her silently for being too drunk or high or whatever to notice that the wetness on his cheeks wasn't sweat.
That night had been just like this one, except Xiaoxin had been happy. He'd always hated clubs, but being with the others had made the experience bearable enough. Add an entire bottle of whiskey to the mix, and Xiaoxin was the happiest and most carefree clubber anyone knew.
That wasn't the first time Xiaoxin had gotten so thoroughly wasted, and it wasn't the first time that Yaoyao had been saddled with the responsibility of see Xiaoxin home. Xiaoxin couldn't remember much of how they left the club, but he remembered being oddly lucid on the ride home, his arms hugging tightly around Yaoyao's waist as the wind whipped across his face. The world span around the motorcycle as they sped along, and Xiaoxin felt something inside him shift drastically as he rested his cheek against Yaoyao's back.
His most vivid memory of that night was Yaoyao's eyes when Xiaoxin kissed him. Yaoyao hadn't been drunk, so his eyes were perfectly clear. When Xiaoxin, still considerably drunk but not nearly as drunk as he pretended to be, stopped Yaoyao's endless chatter-- it had been something about walking more carefully, not pulling on Yaoyao's shirt, not sliding his hands along the hem of Yaoyao's jeans-- with his lips, Yaoyao hadn't looked disgusted or even surprised. It was a strange look, but not a bad one, like it was saying, "this works, too, I guess."
Something grabbed Xiaoxin by the arm and pulled him to the side, away from the surging crowd. He attracted quite a few more nervous glances as he allowed himself to be pulled past the bar to a quiet spot out of sight of the floor, near the coat room. Xiaoxin's face was hot and wet, but he laughed when he noticed his stupidly expensive coat hanging from Yaoyao's arms.
"I don't need a fucking coat, idiot," he choked. He tried to wipe his face using the hem of his t-shirt but it was awkward and not worth the effort. Yaoyao stared at him, eyes clear as ever and without the amused malice from before.
"I came tonight because Wang Hao told me you'd be here," he said quietly. "I came every weekend for months but you were never here."
Xiaoxin cursed and wiped his eyes with his hands. The damn tears wouldn't stop. "I hate clubs," he managed to mutter after a few embarrassed seconds.
At that, Yaoyao grinned. "So why don't we get out of here?"
And so they did.