Proofreaders: happyBuddha, Kai, Lee, m@o, Marcia
He was asleep in a short time and he dreamed of Africa when he was a boy and the long golden beaches and the white beaches, so white they hurt your eyes, and the high capes and the great brown mountains. He lived along that coast now every night and in his dreams he heard the surf roar and saw the native boats come riding through it.
–Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
When Xu Ping came out of the bathroom drying his hair with a towel, his brother was already lying on the bed with his back to him.
Their two single beds had been pushed together and stayed that way since the year Xu Zheng had run away from home.
It was a bit stuffy. Xu Ping unfastened the top two buttons on his pyjama shirt.
“Xiao-Zheng?” he called quietly.
Xu Zheng lay facing the wall.
Xu Ping sat down at the edge of the bed and placed a hand on his brother’s shoulder.
The boy’s muscle tensed and soon Xu Zheng shook the hand off.
Xu Ping chuckled. “Still mad?”
Xu Zheng wiggled his head into the pillow like an ostrich, leaving only a bare, muscular back for his older brother.
Xu Ping broke out in breathy laughter. He patted his brother’s back. The slightly cool touch of his skin prompted him to shake out the blankets and pull them over his brother.
He turned off the tableside lamp and opened the windows just a crack so his brother could have fresh air while asleep.
After he had done everything, he stayed in the dark room gazing at his brother, at the gently rising and falling of the blanket-covered body, at his black hair and at the strong shoulders the blanket couldn’t cover.
Xu Ping did not have a joyful expression on his face, though. He was frowning with his lips tightly pursed.
But this was hidden away by the silent darkness like all the other unknown secrets.
He sighed as he picked up his glasses from the desk and put them back on. Quietly, he grabbed his books and closed the door behind him as he left.
Outside of his periphery, Xu Zheng’s head had bobbed up and then back down after hearing the door closed. Then, after a moment, he kicked the blankets off and rolled around like a poor, ignored puppy before lying back down facing the wall.
The lights in the living room were on even at one a.m. in the morning. The dining table was piled with mock tests and study materials. Other than the homework that the teacher had assigned, Xu Ping had a set of his own exercises to complete.
He had on dark blue cotton pyjamas as he worked away on the table.
The dining table was lower than the desk in his room, and the lighting wasn’t that great either, so Xu Ping had to hunch lower. He didn’t feel it at the time, but by the time he looked up after finishing the exercises, his back and neck were very sore.
He glanced at the clock on the wall. It was already one-thirty.
Xu Ping rubbed his neck as he stood up. He had bad circulation, and his hands and feet were already cold and stiff after sitting for long periods of time. He pushed the books away, deciding to tidy up in the morning, and pulled on the light switch.
Everybody was asleep at this time. None of the lights were on in the building next door. The only illumination was the moonlight pouring through the windows.
Xu Ping carefully manoeuvred his way back to the bedroom. He slowly slipped under the covers after taking his shoes off by the bed and placing his glasses on the bedside table.
He felt his body relax, and just when he wanted to breathe a sigh of relief, he was suddenly caught in a hot embrace.
Xu Ping’s heartbeat quickened and then calmed down. He recognized the manly body odor, like that of a young lion roaming on the prairies, surrounding him.
He patted his brother’s arm. “Why are you still awake?”
Xu Zheng only wrapped his arms tighter.
“Did I wake you up?” Xu Ping asked in a tired tone.
Xu Zheng had always been a light sleeper and would wake at the slightest noise.
Xu Ping was exhausted. The last year of high school was rigorous, and he still had to take care of his brother. All he wanted to do now was to sleep until the next day, but his brother’s smell and warmth hovered around him, keeping him awake.
He pushed on Xu Zheng a little and said softly, “Alright. Go to sleep. It’s late.”
Not giving up, Xu Zheng lunged forward and almost knocked the breath out of Xu Ping.
“What’s it with you?!” Xu Ping couldn’t help but become impatient that he couldn’t get his sleep.
Xu Zheng put his hands on either side of Xu Ping’s head as he gazed intently at his brother, whose eyes glistened like stars even in the dark.
Xu Ping was afraid of looking in these eyes. He wasn’t sure what he was afraid of. Perhaps the atmosphere today had been too suggestive. He looked away and repeated in a hoarse voice. “Alright. I’m really tired, and there’s lots to do tomorrow….”
He didn’t continue.
His brother grabbed Xu Ping’s hand and placed it against his chest. “Gege, your hands are cold. I warm them for you.”
Xu Ping stiffened and moments later, his nose began stinging. It took all his effort to keep his tears from falling.
Underneath his palm and the muscles of a young man, a heart was beating – boom boom boom. All the blood in his body came through here.
Xu Zheng put both of his brother’s hands on his chest and whispered, “I waited for you for so long, Gege.”
In the dark, Xu Ping’s eyes reddened. “Are you cold?”
Xu Zheng answered as he had years ago. “Yeah.” Then he pressed Xu Ping’s hands even harder against his own chest.
“Lie down beside me,” Xu Ping told his brother.
Xu Zheng lay down on the same pillow while holding his brother’s hands. The two lay face to face, close enough for each to feel the other boy’s breath against his own face.
Xu Ping looked right into his brother’s eyes.
“I’ll always be with you.”
Xu Zheng’s eyes widened, and then very, very slowly, a smile formed on his face.“Gege.”
“Do you not like me anymore?”
“What are you saying?” Xu Ping rubbed his brother’s head. “Go to sleep.”
He turned to the other side, and his brother hugged him around the waist from behind.
“Yeah?” Xu Ping said with his eyes closed.
“I feel weird lately.”
Xu Ping burst out laughing. “You’re not weird. You’ve just grown up.”
“Grown up…what’s grown up?”
Xu Ping held his brother’s hands. They were very big with especially thick joints.
“Men get erections when they get to your age. It’s normal. Nothing to be scared of.”
He grabbed his brother’s hand and led it down to his own crotch where his penis lay limp inside his underwear.
His brother’s palm was hot, its temperature passing through his clothes to his member.
“It’s usually limp here, but if it gets stimulated, like this….”
He used his brother’s hand to gently stroke his own member. Soon the tissues filled with blood and began to harden.
He stopped his hand. “See, I’m the same, too. Every man gets hard, and if you can’t get hard, then you’re not a man.”
Xu Zheng’s breathing was heavy, sending warm and wet air against Xu Ping’s neck.
He lay staring at the darkness in front of him without a sound.
“Gege,” Xu Zheng called quietly by his ear.
Xu Ping did not answer.
Xu Zheng’s arms tightened around him, and Xu Zheng began grinding his own erection against his brother.
“I don’t feel good, Gege.” Xu Zheng’s voice was quiet and deep, the hoarseness of which was sexy beyond description.
Xu Ping reached around with a hand to find Xu Zheng all sweaty.
“Do you like cute girls?”
“They have long hair, and they smell nice, and they’re so soft hugging them feels like hugging a puff of cotton. They have nice, pale arms; big, round eyes; and a skinny waist. And their voice sounds like a songbird’s.”
With his head on his brother’s shoulder, Xu Zheng thought for a long time.
“Liar. Girls are scary.”
Xu Ping chuckled.
“You’re still too young. Girls will be really nice to you in a few years when you’re seventeen, eighteen, when you’re even taller and even more handsome.”
Xu Zheng mulled it over but didn’t understand. “Oh.”
He pulled his brother into his arms even closer.
“Do you like them, Gege?”
Xu Ping didn’t answer for some time. “Yeah, I do.”
With his arms around his brother, Xu Zheng added, “Then I like them, too.”
Xu Ping paused and patted his brother’s face. “Alright, let’s go to sleep. All your worries go away in your sleep.”
The younger boy had not given up quite yet, and Xu Ping spoke with his eyes closed, “Bear with it. I’m doing it, too. If you can’t stand it, then we can always go for the cold water instead.”
Hearing this made Xu Zheng think of the experience earlier with the cold water, and a shiver ran through him. Scared to tempt his brother, he covered his crotch with both hands and left the other boy alone.
A smile appeared on Xu Ping’s face as he finally drifted to sleep.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
ayszhang: Oooooh teeny bit of action between the brothers ;D
Happy Easter to those who celebrate it! :)
Brother - English Translation by ayszhang is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.