The Play of Lips and Teeth

Chapter 3 - Wifey

Yan Zhao took a deep breath, controlling his urge to rain expletives, "... That is not the problem."

He spoke while desperately holding on to his calm expression, "Selling gays is a very sensitive topic, and our variety show is to be aired on TV. Doing it in your way won't let us pass the audit."

"This much is impossible already?" asked Zhou Chenyu while curling his lips, "We're hundred times even more rio on the xiangsheng stage."

…Welp, this person even knew what is called rio.

Fvck your rio, we're both straight!

[t/n: 'rio' is real (pronounced so), and it's used to say your ship is a true pairing]

Yan Zhao, "You're not even worried that the fans will take it for real?"

Zhou Chenyu got even puzzled, "We're both guys, though. How could anyone take two guys for real? Wouldn't that be disgusting?"

Yan Zhao seemed to hear a voice echoing in his ear:

Beep. First radar detection completed. Said person is straight.

Beep. Second radar detection completed. Said person is not only straight, but the biggest blockhead among the straights.

It's said that gays have their gay radar. It was only today that Yan Zhao knew, him, a straight man, was also equipped with a straight man radar.

He's hereby straight-phobic.

It was well past ten in the evening when the meeting and the following photoshoot both wrapped up. The day of work, thus, could be said to have officially finished.

Tomorrow was the day of the first official recording. According to the program's plan, both the daily tasks at work and the private interactions of every team needed to be included in the content. Thus, the two people were arranged into the same standard hotel room with cameras set to record raw video materials from the life of the two of them.

Yan Zhao had recorded countless variety shows, so it was not his first time seeing a similar shooting method. He's long immune to the weirdness. Although there's no script for their private time at the hotel, most two guests would still refer to their ship's personalities set by the production team for interaction.

Yet as long as he thought about how his roommate was Zhou Chenyu, Yan Zhao just unprecedentedly felt a severe headache.

The program suddenly got an airdropped new guest, finding out this new guest was a blockhead, as well that tonight he's soon to be cohabitating with this blockhead…

Yan Zhao found it hard to believe that all those had happened in the course of a single day.

It was simply magical.

Lucky for him, this time it was already late at night. Not much time was then spared for Zhou Chenyu to do his antics.

Yan Zhao never thought behind his outer appearance of a k-pop cool guy, Zhou Chenyu's daily habit was more like a veteran artist. As soon as they got to the hotel, he took a bath and then punctually climbed the bed to sleep.

It was naturally impossible for Yan Zhao, this internet-addicted youth, to follow his elderly lifestyle. Thus after the light was shut, he kept scrolling on the phone in the darkness.

He threw a glance at Zhou Chenyu who was quick to sleep in the opposite bed, then uncontrollably clicked into a certain video website.

His next few days would be spent recording a variety show with the useless flower vase vase-self. He's dying to see just how bad this person was at performing xiangsheng that a lot of people pointed at his face calling Flower Vase Support Gen.

As expected from the extremely popular xiangsheng duo, any of He Chenfeng's and Zhou Chenyu's xiangsheng recordings had views numbering thousands to millions.

Yan Zhao never had the habit of listening to xiangsheng, so he was blind to the myriad of topic titles. Therefore, he chose to open the topmost one as was usual practice.

The video had a very high definition. Yet under such a lens, the stunning beauty of Zhou Chenyu was still maintained 360° without dead ends.

Yan Zhao got used to Zhou Chenyu's appearance wearing casual clothes. So when he suddenly saw him in a long gown cheongsam, he, in contrast, found it novel.

Not to be denied, it was somewhat good-looking.

Even if he was standing still behind the table with no act and only the upper half of his body visible, it was still difficult to hide that care-free, leisurely temperament all over him.

To the extent that solely staring at that person standing behind the table had Yan Zhao used up almost a minute.

When he finally took note of the xiangsheng content itself, the audiences below had laughed themselves into a complete mess.

He at last understood why everyone was calling Zhou Chenyu a flower vase.

Was being too good-looking thus shifting the audiences' attention become the flower vase's fault, though?

Yan Zhao resigned himself to pull the progress bar back to the beginning, repeating from the start to seriously watch the two of them act.

Although it was a first for him to watch a non-TV-broadcasted xiangsheng video, as an emcee who also lived by relying on his mouth, he could somewhat see through a little bit of its knacks.

He Chenfeng was indeed an extremely outstanding tease gen. Although his looks couldn't count as handsome in the entertainment circle, he's still the type who looked more upright and more pleasing to the eyes than the common people. Neither high nor short, nor fat nor skinny. In short, he's the type of young man that's not hard to be found in one's daily life.

His win was on his top quality acting skill. This was not talking about how he could act any character vividly, it was more to how his every kind of adorable little expression could add and enrich the comedic effect immensely.

As he again watched Zhou Chenyu by the side, the whole day of silly-prick impression he had left on Yan Zhao was actually nullified.

Despite not having much part to show off his skill as he was a support gen, his stage presence was stable. He could always smoothly give firm follow-up on He Chenfeng's punchlines at the exact best moment. Every punchline he threw back was a work of God, causing the audiences to erupt in cheers again and again.

…Who said he was a flower vase?

Ain't his delivery of jokes quite resounding?

The two people echoed one another, until it was often unclear whether those comedic points were punchlines prepared before or improvisations.

In short, either of which was enough to convey the tacitness of their cooperation. It was something called a match made in heaven.

Although Yan Zhao had only seen this small portion, it was obvious enough for him that many among those on the net who've been calling Zhou Chenyu as 'Flower Vase' just did it for the sake of hating.

Indeed, the fact was always like this. The majority of internet trolls were simply ignorant to the standard of your professionalism. Just by relying on a set of keyboards, they could turn rumors into facts by repeating them, then letting them spread to become mockeries for the whole internet.

Yan Zhao did a 3 seconds long self-reproach for his behavior of believing the rumor and participating in its transmission.

He watched and watched, becoming engrossed as he did. He had only found in surprise that, outside what was being aired on TV, xiangsheng performances in small theaters could also be so novel and interesting. It had completely broken his inherent impression toward xiangsheng.

So that when another punchline in the video was delivered, Yan Zhao couldn't help himself from laughing out loud.

Right after, he saw Zhou Chenyu flipped over  in the opposite bed.

Yan Zhao got startled and quickly removed his earphones.

He borrowed the dim moonlight from outside the window to do a careful observation. By luck, the other party still had his eyes closed, seemingly fast asleep.

Yan Zhao uncontrollably stared at his sleeping countenance. The sharp edges of his face appeared more rugged under the cast of the moonlight. It was not the sloppy looks he had in the morning, nor was it the bright and refined looks as was in the video. It was but a calm and comfortable type of beautiful.

Such a pity, for remembering how he turned into someone asking for a beating every time he opened his mouth had Yan Zhao feeling any male beauty filters just got useless and collapsed in seconds.

If only Zhou Chenyu could be as quiet as a chicken in the variety show without making a single peep. Just being content doing his part as a flower vase would've been enough.

However, it was obviously a hopeless thought to let Zhou Chenyu stay quiet.

Yan Zhao put on his earphones again, only to realize he had forgotten to press pause and the video had progressed a good more than a half.

He heard He Chenfeng talked to Zhou Chenyu by his side, "...I went to your house, but you weren't there. The one who opened the door was your wifey."

Zhou Chenyu asked with a face full of surprise, "My wifey? How come I've never seen them? Where is this wifey of mine?"

The off-stage instantly resounded with cheering of the hundreds of fangirls, "Right here!"

Zhou Chenyu very cooperatively threw the off-stage a wink, which was immediately followed with their burst of squealing. "Yi–"

He Chenfeng pointed at the off-stage, "Haiyo, so many sis-in-laws I have. Are you sure you’re not pressured high?”

Without any sign of flustered expression, Zhou Chenyu replied to them, “Don't rush, don't fight. Ladies, please, get into a neat line. Let's go one by one.”

The off-stage instantly burst into a fit of laughter.

He Chenfeng also laughed while pointing at Zhou Chenyu, “Our Little Fish, a famous seven-a-night chad.”

[t/n: Little Fish → Xiao Yu(小鱼)→ Xiao Chenyu(小辰瑜)]

Zhou Chenyu looked at his direction with a calm expression, “You know for you’ve tried?”

Bam! Yan Zhao’s hands trembled and the phone crashed straight to his face.

…this person, isn't his shamelessness a bit too much?

If any internet-popular beaus–for example, Yan Zhao himself–were to do this large scale of flinging sexual innuendos, flirting with fans, and selling gays all in a set, wouldn’t their reputation become coke black?

Sure enough, a xiangsheng performer couldn't be judged using the normal standard of the entertainment circle.

All in all, what Zhou Chenyu said wasn't wrong. In the variety show, that was already him showing much restraint.

Maybe he had been brainwashed by Zhou Chenyu's xiangsheng, for even in his dream Yan Zhao kept hearing Zhou Chenyu's voice calling wifey nonstop.

By the next morning on the second day, he wearily opened his eyes, and met head on with Zhao Chenyu standing in front of his bed.

It took him 3 whole seconds to react. That voice calling wifey was not at all something he dreamed of.

Whoosh! Yan Zhao sat up with a start, "Who the heck you're calling?"

Zhou Chenyu flung him a coquettish glance, "This room is our world of two, no?"

It was clearly a normal lodging arrangement, yet by a freak streak became incomparably 'colored'  the moment it reached his mouth. Yan Zhao fumed, "Psycho!"

To this, Zhou Chenyu curled his lips, "Ain't it your program team that let us hype CP, ma?"

It did nothing to reduce Yan Zhao's morning grumpiness, "It's not even working hours, ah. Who are you hyping it for?"

Zhou Chenyu answered, "Midnight was not working hours too, ah. I don't know who was it that hid under the blanket stealing peeps at the other's xiangsheng."

…Fvcking hell!

It was the first time in Yan Zhao's entire life feeling the urge to just perish together with the opposite side, "You continued pretending to sleep after seeing that?!"

"Ain't I just wanted to see how you react, ma." Zhou Chenyu then put on an ambiguous expression to add, "I didn't expect a call of 'wifey' from me can make you happy for half a day. Since you like it, then I'll be calling you like this everyday."

"Bullsh1t like! Psycho!" cursed Yan Zhao.

Zhou Chenyu burst out laughing, "I'm just teasing. Why are you so funny, though? Was it necessary to be so sneaky when watching my xiangsheng? Those unaware would've thought you're watching a GV!" [t/n: Gay AV]

Yan Zhao, "... you're the actor?"

"You caught me," Zhou Chenyu kept laughing, "The other male protagonist was precisely yourself, wasn't it?"

Yan Zhao, "...Zhou Chenyu, you're a psycho!"

Zhou Chenyu curled his lips helplessly, "In 5 minutes, you've used this word to cuss me thrice."

Yan Zhao, "Declaration of fact is not called cussing, thanks."

Zhou Chenyu, "Can't take jokes, ah? Xiao didi, does no one by your side dislike you for being boring?"

Yan Zhao, "You're xiao didi! Your whole family is xiao didis!"

Zhou Chenyu stifled his laugh and nodded, "Un, you don't have xiao didi."

Yan Zhao, "...…"

Yan Zhao, "Should I take it out for you to see?"

Link for the chapter in raw

Chapter's Glossary
The title in Chinese is 媳妇儿 (xifu'r) (erhua variant of 媳妇 (xifu) because the story was set in Beijing) with the meaning of wife or young married woman. I feel using 'Wifey' is more apt to convey the playfulness. Hubby x Wifey kinda feel. There's also Laogong and Laopo which was no less romantic btw.
How could rio means real? I also felt it kinda forced, but not after this mv (of another BL works)
by Colored I mean NSFW, like 'blue films' in English, or 'yellow text' in Chinese.
AV is adult video, if you really don't know.

On another note, I'm calling out Mr. Yan Zhao for not being as straight as he claimed to be :v

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