Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters. There, I said it.
Summary: A conversation between the two most silent character in the ultimate class (終極一班): Cai Yun Han (蔡雲寒) and Ding Xiao Yu (丁小雨).
Author's Note: There will probably be no readers for this story since it's based on a Chinese Idol Soap Dramedy but I had to write it anyways to get it out of my system. And if there are readers… I'd be shocked actually.
Watching the usual loud and chaotic antics of the ultimate class (終極一班), Cai Yun Han (蔡雲寒) found herself uncharacteristically restless. The morning class had been filled with screams (from the teacher as she ran out of the classroom) and acrobatics (again from the teacher when Sha Yu (鯊魚) decided to try out his new firecracker launcher) with nothing much in the way of an actual education. Lunch had been a stall and quiet affair with her sister moping about the absence of her boyfriend Wang Ya Se (王亞瑟). And the afternoon was slowly dragging with no teacher to teach and no direction for their own self studies. All in all the class had steadily been reduced to the state of a zoo due to the absence of their once fearless leader Wang Da Dong (汪大東).
It wasn't the Yun Han had any real love or loyalty for the guy but at least he maintained some semblance order over this crazy bunch. The only one in the class beside herself and her sister that wasn't creating more problems right now was Ji An (技安)… and she wasn't exactly on speaking terms right with the guy that she had once considered getting involved with. But Ji An had made it very clear where his future laid and it didn't include or sit well with what Yun Han had in mind. And so they parted company in a rather angry manner. She hasn't spoken to him in weeks and didn't feel any need to either. Apparently they weren't as important to one another as either one of them had hoped.
The sudden silence in the room had Yun Han turning her head and her sister Wu Xiong (五熊) jumping out of her seat. Framed in the doorway was the ever silent Ding Xiao Yu (丁小雨), the onetime fourth raked fighter on the KO Chart.
"Ya Se. Ya Se," Wu Xiong asked urgently.
Xiao Yu merely smiled gently and shook his head. The answer could have meant been anything and nothing at all, but it quieted Wu Xiong in a reassuring if somewhat disappointing way. He took his seat without another word. With only a quiet cursory glanced about the room, he opened his English text book and began to read to himself.
The silence continued in the room, no one certain as to what to do. Ding Xiao Yu's sudden reappearance seemed to signal something. With reluctance and confusion, everyone else slunk back to their seats and opened their text books well, trading uneasy glances back and forth then putting their noses between seldom opened pages and attempted to do some actual studying.
Yun Han was impressed.
It said a great deal about Xiao Yu that the other respected (and maybe even feared) him in a manner that didn't include him having to raise his voice or his fists. Not that he could fight anymore. But this is the first time he's showed up in class since the showdown between the Ultimate Class' fighters and Hei Long's (黑龍) forces of darkness. The first time he's shown his face since he and the other fighters lost their awesome fighting powers in that final battle. And he was the first one to do so; in his usual quiet and eye-catching manner.
"Ding Xiao Yu (丁小雨)," Jin Bao San (金寶三), the class monitor, called out suddenly and obnoxiously loud, "Where is Da Dong Ge (大東哥) and Ya Se Wang (亞瑟王)?"
Xiao Yu turned a page slowly. "Café."
Dissatisfied with the answer, "Then when are they coming back?"
He shrugged and turned another page.
Jin Bao San made a whining noise and loudly complained about how the class wasn't the same without his beloved Da Dong Ge. And he continued to do so until Xiao Yu's eyes finally lifted from the page and flashed him a look that was meant to kill. Jin Bao San sank back into his heat, his face showing all the signs of fear. The others quickly turned back to their books. Silence reigned once more.
The bell signaled for their afternoon break. With the others all rushing to the door for the cafeteria, Yun Han (雲寒) was left with Wu Xiong (五熊) and Xiao Yu (小雨) in the room. The comfortable silence was finally broken by Xiao Yu, who placed a slender gold box on Wu Xiong's work table. She regarded him curiously.
Closing her book, Yun Han glared at Xiao Yu. "Ding Xiao Yu (丁小雨), you know perfectly well that my sister and Wang Ya Se (王亞瑟) are dating now. Why are you…"
"From Ya Se (亞瑟)," Xiao Yu said quietly without taking his eyes from Wu Xiong (五熊). "He wants to know if you could meet him after school at the café."
"Date?" Wu Xiong asked excitedly clutching the box.
"Yes," he smiled with gentle amusement. "You didn't pick up your phone earlier."
One hand still holding onto the box, Wu Xiong dug out her recently purchased phone with the other. She groaned with disappointment at the miss call.
"He'll be waiting for you," Xiao Yu said and turned around, grabbed his bag and left.
Yun Han felt horribly embarrassed by her own actions, so very unlike her, and curious as to the what the arrogant Ya Se Wang would have gotten her sister. Knowing the rich boy's taste, she can only assume that was something expensive and impractical but her naïve, pure hearted sister will love it nevertheless. "Well? Open it."
Shy and happy, Wu Xiong slide the red ribbon from the box and lifted the lid carefully. Nestled on a bed of cotton was a gold sunflower pendant on a simple leather cord. It wasn't fussy or overly feminine and suited Wu Xiong perfectly. The smile that graced her face spoke of how much she adore the man that had picked it out and how much he understood her.
Unexpectedly, Yun Han felt a pang of jealousy.
"I'm going on a date," Wu Xiong said happily and closed the box. Grabbing her bearskin bag, she got up to leave then turned back when she realized that her sister wasn't following. "Coming?"
"On your date?" she asked with amusement. "No thanks."
"Jie, come to café," Wu Xiong suggested and tugged on her sister's arm. "Please?"
Because she's never been able to say no to her baby sister, Yun Han reluctantly followed. Though really, the last thing she wanted to do was be a witness to Wu Xiong and Ya Se's romance. A more unlikely couple there ever was and yet they were so perfectly suited together than it was beginning to be a little sickening to watch.
"I told you she'd bring her sister," Ya Se (亞瑟) said grouchily.
Xiao Yu (小雨) smiled and didn't reply. There was no need to.
Ya Se hadn't been happy since his forced imprisonment by his father's orders. With no powers to speak of, the head of Tu Long Bang (土龍幫) had considered it best to keep his only son close and under armed guards. It frustrated Ya Se to no end and forced Da Dong (大東) and Xiao Yu (小雨) to keep him company least he decide to make a break for it. Further aggravating Ya Se was the fact that he hasn't gotten more than five minutes alone with his girlfriend for more than a month now. Between his father's orders and their own numerous meetings with Xiu (脩) to discuss their options in recovering their powers, something always got in the way of Ya Se trying to meet up with his girlfriend. Ya Se had become so irritable that Da Dong announced that he won't come around again until Ya Se got himself a date with Wu Xiong so they can all preserve their sanity. Xiao Yu had laughed for half an hour hearing that before he started setting about to help Ya Se make it happen.
Approaching the sisters, Ya Se frowned suddenly. "Didn't you like the necklace?"
Wu Xiong (五熊) nodded her head. "Beautiful."
He smiled, the twinkled eyed smile that he reserved for her alone. "Why aren't you wearing it then?"
Holding out the box, "Put on me."
Glancing briefly at the resigned Cai Yun Han (蔡雲寒), Ya Se grabbed the box and Wu Xiong's (五熊) hand. "Let's go out to the terrace." He paused and gave Xiao Yu and pleading look. "Help me!" then turned back to Yun Han with a forced smile. "Order whatever you like. On the house," then turned back to his girl, "I ordered coffee for you," and smiled when she nodded her head enthusiastically. He understood his girl well.
Yun Han rolled her eyes, perfectly aware that Ya Se wanted some alone time with her sister and she was in the way… again. "I can take a hint."
Xiao Yu laughed softly as he approached. "They have good desserts here," motioning her toward a seat by the window where she can keep an eye on her sister without intruding upon her time with Ya Se. In for a penny, in for a pound. Since he had already agreed to help Ya Se set up this date with Little King Kong Sister (金剛妹), he might as well ensure that Ya Se actually got to enjoy it; otherwise Ya Se would be whining for the next day or two.
Because she wanted her sister happy and because she secretly had a sweet tooth she'd die before admitting to, Yun Han allowed herself to be guided toward the plush window booth. "You don't have to keep me company, you know. I don't plan on playing the light bulb/third wheel." A glass of orange juice was already sitting on the table; her favorite drink. "Well at least he ordered the right one."
Xiao Yu sat down and didn't correct her assumption that it had been Ya Se that ordered the drink.
"You're a good friend to him," Yun Han said after a few moments of silence as they both watch Ya Se carefully place the necklace he had purchased around Wu Xiong's neck. They two of them were quietly sitting there grinning stupidly at one another, happy simply being in each other's company. It was quite a change from how their relationship began.
"He's a good friend to me," Xiao Yu replied quietly, watching the same scene, thinking the same thing. "You don't have to worry. He cares a great deal about her."
"I can see that," she answered with a sigh. "She can't wait to be with him… all the time."
"He's no better," he admitted with a grin, "Ya Se has been driving me and Da Dong crazy for weeks now."
"Then why didn't he ask her out sooner?"
"There's been complications," Xiao Yu answered quietly and motioned for a waiter. "Ya Se's family keeps a good kitchen. What would you like?"
"Strawberry cake," she answered without looking at the menu offered to her.
He nodded to the waiter and folded the menu back without a word.
"Aren't you going to order anything?" she asked curiously.
"I don't like sweets."
Surprised and confused, "Then how do you know that they have good desserts…"
"That's all Da Dong and Ya Se eats," he smiled and shrugged his shoulders.
She laughed unexpectedly.
And he chuckled in respond, relaxing into a comfortable silence.
Yun Han has never been a chatting one. But compared to Xiao Yu, almost always silent, she felt compelled to keep the conversation rolling. "So what have you guys been doing since… since…" she suddenly felt strange bringing up the events that's devastated their lives.
Taking pity on her, "Nothing much. We've been studying mostly. Da Dong, spite his bravado, needs to study a great deal harder if he wishes to get into an university. Ya Se, Lei Ke Si (雷克斯) and I have been tutoring him."
"That's it? Just studying?"
"Mostly," Xiao Yu didn't feel compel to share the multiple meetings with Xiu and recent events of the other dimensions. There was no need to concern Cai Yun Han with that, especially since there's nothing she could do. "We've been enjoying the quiet life."
"Enjoying?" she scoffed. "I don't get the feeling the Da Dong enjoys being helpless."
Since it was more or less the truth, he shrugged and didn't answer.
"Are you? Enjoying this life?" She found herself suddenly curious to know. Unlike his vocal 'brothers,' Ding Xiao Yu (丁小雨) in comparison was an enigma. Nothing about his appearance screamed fighter but to be ranked at fourth on the KO charts meant that the boy can fight better than most and did so with enough frequency for others to notice and rank him. He seemed to float through life with a kind of peace about him right up to when he raised his hand and then after a fight, he seemed to just simply let go all force as if nothing significant had happened. Most fighters she knew lived for the next fight, pitting their strength against others for the sheer enjoyment of the sport. Even she's been known to seek out an opponent every once in a while… though only when it's convenient for her… and her sister wasn't around to watch. (She didn't want to set a bad example after all.) It wasn't the kind of life easily given up.
"I am," he replied with the kind of serenity he's always exhibited before. "It's nice not having to fight all the time."
"Have you ever sought out a fight before?"
"Never," he replied quietly.
Considering it odd, "When was your first fight?"
"When I was eight," he answered candidly but didn't offer any details.
"Why did you get into a fight?" she probed, honestly curious. She's never really had an honest to god conversation with Ding Xiao Yu before despite their paths constantly crossing due to Ya Se and her sister.
He thought about the bullying, the teasing, the bruises on his body that disappeared in a day and the piano that had been damaged. "No reason really."
Not believing him for a second, already well aware of his penance for not fighting back, Yun Han can only assume that it had to have been something major to incite the pacifist Xiao Yu into violence. "Did someone hit your head?"
Surprised that she knew about that particular quirk in his personality since it wasn't exactly something he advertised, "No. It was just…" He didn't know how to explain the importance of the piano to him. Besides hitting his head, interrupting his piano time was the only other provocation to force him into fighting… or at least it was. "It's complicated." Now at times, he was more than willing to raise his fists to defend his friends, now that he had had some worth defending.
She smiled in response. "Why do I get a feeling that everything about you is complicated?"
"Not really," he replied genuinely puzzled. "My life is actually very simple."
This time, she laughed. "Simple? Is that what you call it? Ding Xiao Yu, I don't think anyone can ever call your life simple. Between the fights, the demons, your relationship with your brothers and your right fist, you're life is anything but simple."
Xiao Yu raised his hand, open palmed, and looked at it curiously then made a fist and rest it on the tabletop just as the waiter returned with the ordered cake. "I like the quiet life more. No fighting, no running, no worries." He took a breath and leaned back against the chair. The worrying part was a lie. With the battles lines in their dimension drawn and both sides calling it a draw after the last battle, it was only a matter of time before the fighting began anew. This was only the interim.
"You're worried," she concluded, ignoring the sweets on the table.
Regarding her with steady quiet eyes, Xiao Yu wondered if she realized that Ya Se and Wu Xiong were no longer in the terrace. But she didn't seem to be paying them much mind now. Just as well.
"This isn't going to last, is it?" she wanted to know. "This peace."
It wasn't in his nature to lie.
"This is a quiet before the storm, isn't it?" she asked quietly, calmer than she ought to be feeling. After all, the last time something big went down, her sister almost lost her life. Well… that's not going to happen again.
Xiao Yu turned his head and stared out the window, it had begun to rain. "I think Ya Se took your sister for a drive."
Yun Han wasn't worried, she was more annoyed that the usually straightforward Ding Xiao Yu was being evasive. "Don't worry about Ya Se. My sister is more than capable of protecting him."
"I'm not worried about him," he replied quietly with that gentle conviction he had once used when he assured her that Ya Se would fall in love with her sister in time to save her. There was almost an otherworldliness about him at time. "Though you probably should be."
"He's alone with your sister."
"My sister can protect herself," of that Yun Han was sure.
"But who's going to protect Ya Se from your sister," he asked, a tiny grin beginning to etch around his lips.
That gave her pause.
Xiao Yu was finding her unease amusing. "Or are you telling me that your sister no longer wants to mate with Ya Se."
She made a face in response. The thought still gives her nightmares.
"Ya Se is a healthy young man," he reminded her just to needle her a little more, "He can only say no so many times before his baser instincts kicks in. Alone, in the rain, with the girl he loves; the temptation may be too much for Ya Se."
"I already warned him: not until after she's turns eighteen."
He smiled at her naivety. "In the heat of the moment, your warnings aren't going to what's forth most on his mind."
She stood, truth telling whip (痛不欲生实话鞭) already in hand.
Xiao Yu grinned at her. "Too late."
She glared at him, wondering if he realized how much danger he himself was in at the moment. She wasn't known for her restraint and would certainly take it out on him if need be. "Where did they go?"
Shrugging, Xiao Yu reached for the juice she hadn't touched. "Taking Little King Kong Sister (金剛妹妹) out was never part of the plan." He'll talk to Ya Se about taking advantage of the situation later but right now he was enjoying Big King Kong Sister's (金剛姊姊) reaction a lot more. She was quite pretty when she's riled up.
"Don't think I won't use this on you," lifting the whip a fraction higher. Without his powers, he would have no defense against her.
Unfazed, "Your weapon works on those that have something to hide," Xiao Yu watch that sink in. "I don't have anything to hide." His life was an open book and everyone knew it.
Frustrated because what he said was true, she grabbed the front of his shirt. He didn't even lift a finger to stop her. "Tell me where they went."
"I don't know," he answered with the same calm as before. "But you don't have to worry. Ya Se would never allow it to go that far, no matter the temptation."
"You just said…"
"I was teasing."
That surprised Yun Han enough to drop him.
When she continued to stare, Xiao Yu had a mild stirring of annoyance. "I do have a sense of humor, you know."
"I know but…" she sat down slowly.
"But…" he prompted.
She shrugged and answered honestly, "No one's ever dared to tease me before. They've always been too afraid of me."
"That's because they've never gotten to know you," he replied just as honest. She continued to stare stunned by his answer. Xiao Yu blushed, not exactly sure why he suddenly felt embarrassed by her scrutiny. Clearing his throat, "This is what friends do," he informed her, unexpectedly feeling the need to keep the conversation going whereas before silence has always served him. "They talk, they tease, they make fun of one another."
"We're… we're friends?" she asked, shyly, hesitantly, as if the concept was foreign to her.
Because he saw something Cai Yun Han's eyes, Xiao Yu answered with a quiet sincere nod. "We're friends."
She smiled unexpectedly, suddenly feeling lighthearted and relaxed. It was a first for her, not having to keep her guard up. "This is nice. Talking I mean… to you. This is nice." She relaxed into her seat and picked up her fork to stab a strawberry.
"See," he said in response, "the quiet life."
2nd Author's Note: Sorry, the ending sucked. I wanted something else but the story didn't cooperate.