Four couples participated in this program, two same-sex and two opposite-sex. They were either newlyweds or couples who had been together for a long time.
By evening, the other couples had also arrived. The program team was determined to get high ratings and was willing to spend money, as these four couples were valuable. Apart from Fang Shaoyi and Yuan Ye, there was a Hong Kong former movie star and her wealthy lover, a tender new couple who were the same age as Fang Shaoyi, and another young couple in their early twenties who had not yet publicly announced their relationship and were walking the ambiguous line.
These two veteran couples are both very influential. Fang Shaoyi and the leading actress Chen Ru's positions were hard-won when they were signed.
The other two new couples are currently very popular, with their own topics and online heat, and their traffic is considerable. Signing them was not cheap.
Each group had to greet each other when they arrived. Fang Shaoyi and Chen Ru had worked together before and had even filmed a movie together in their early years, so they were quite familiar with each other. The other two groups were completely unfamiliar, and even Yuan Ye had never heard of them.
The two youngest ones were the most polite and respectful. In their eyes, these people were all seniors, even though they themselves had strong traffic now, the gap in status was not small.
Dinner was arranged at the hotel, and all of them had to sit down together for a meal. After all, they had to record the program together, so it was a good idea to get to know each other over dinner.
Lin Tian was the most active in creating a lively atmosphere, having long been active in various variety shows and knowing how to control the rhythm. The youngest, Chi Xing and Cheng Xun, also had experience and a strong sense of variety.
Chen Ru and her husband were from Hong Kong, and unrestrained and very open-minded. Only Fang Shaoyi and Yuan Ye were quiet, not very proactive in speaking, and sometimes couldn't keep up with others' thoughts, leaving everyone wondering what they wanted to say.
Yuan Ye kept his head down and ate his food, while Fang Shaoyi occasionally added dishes and soup for him.
"Yuan-laoshi, don't just keep eating. Chat with us instead. Haha, Yuan-laoshi is too pragmatic!"
The topic suddenly fell on him, and Yuan Ye looked up at Lin Tian. The other person was smiling at him.
Yuan Ye smiled at everyone and said, "Sure, let's chat."
His serious response made everyone laugh again. Emotions in variety shows are always exaggerated.
"Let him eat. When Yuan-laoshi is hungry, he gets anxious if he doesn't eat," Fang Shaoyi said, sitting next to him.
He added a spoonful of soup to Yuan Ye's bowl and said to the others, "He's not very good at chatting, so if he talks, it might kill the mood."
Yuan Ye glanced at him and nodded with a smile. "Yeah, my friends usually chat without me because they find me annoying."
These two people don't usually make headlines, they just focus on their own work. Yuan Ye used to post on Weibo more often in the past, but not so much in recent years. They are somewhat mysterious to the outside world, two low-key individuals who rarely appear in public.
When the program team leaked the news that they would be appearing on the show, the audience's appetite was already whetted.
Lin Tian smiled and asked, "Brothers, so how do you guys chat at home? You both seem to be men of few words. Don't you get bored?"
Yuan Ye thought to himself, 'Who are you calling 'brother'? You're actually a year older than me.' He joked, "We don't talk, we just communicate with each other through eye contact. Our home is silent."
Everyone at the table burst into laughter.
Fang Shaoyi took over the conversation and chatted with others. He rested one arm on Yuan Ye's back and let him continue eating before moving his arm away.
Yuan Ye glanced at him and decided to continue eating his own food since he was no longer needed. He was feeling increasingly agitated and disliked the noisy atmosphere.
The smiles on everyone's faces seemed fake, and holding up his end of the conversation was exhausting. Fang Shaoyi knew him well and understood that Yuan Ye's patience was wearing thin.
After finishing his meal, Yuan Ye put down his chopsticks and wiped his mouth in silence. Fang Shaoyi was still chatting with others when he turned to ask, "Are you full?"
"Yes," Yuan Ye nodded. "I noticed you didn't eat much."
Fang Shaoyi whispered, "If you're not feeling well, you can go rest. You don't have to worry about this."
Yuan Ye shook his head and said, "It's nothing."
After finishing their meal, they each went back to their rooms with no other plans. The filming still had to continue, capturing their daily lives.
As soon as Yuan Ye entered his room, he collapsed onto the bed and closed his eyes, saying, "I'm tired."
Fang Shaoyi adjusted the room temperature slightly higher and walked over to pat Yuan Ye's leg, saying, "Go take a shower first."
Yuan Ye opened his eyes and looked at him. Their eyes met, but Yuan Ye didn't say anything. He just looked at him silently.
Then, he turned his gaze to the cameras that were still filming around the room. He reached out and grabbed a pillow to cover his face, saying in a muffled voice, "They're still filming, I feel embarrassed."
Fang Shaoyi smiled, his eyes and eyebrows softening as he did so.
He stood by the bed and nudged Yuan Ye, who was lying there, with his knee. "Tch, Why are you embarrassed? They're not going to go in and film you showering," he said with a chuckle.
"I'm still embarrassed. You go ahead and shower, I'll do it later," Yuan Ye replied, his arms pinned under the pillow and his voice barely audible.
Fang Shaoyi removed the pillow from Yuan Ye's face. "Don't suffocate yourself," he said.
Yuan Ye's eyes were red, possibly from being suffocated by the pillow earlier.
Fang Shaoyi stood there, looking at him, but Yuan Ye refused to meet his gaze. He pouted and turned over, avoiding the camera's view of his face.
Afterwards, he lay there motionless like he was asleep.
Fang Shaoyi went in to take a shower, and the photographer walked over to take close-up shots of Yuan Ye.
Yuan Ye raised his hand to block the camera, still half asleep with his face buried in the pillow and a nasal tone in his voice as he begged for mercy, "Brother, stop filming. You've been shooting all day. Let me catch my breath."
So the photographer could only capture the back of his head and one ear.
That was the end of the first day's filming. Fang Shaoyi finished blow-drying his hair and the photographer packed up and left. Yuan Ye remained in the same position, as if he were still asleep.
Fang Shaoyi walked to the window and stood there, looking outside with light footsteps. The room fell into absolute silence, so quiet that they couldn't even hear each other's breathing.
The sea breeze outside blew fiercely, making it feel cold. The sudden vibration of the phone in the room was a bit jarring.
Yuan Ye reached into his pocket and answered the call, still lying on the bed with the phone pressed to his ear. "Hello?"
"Yeah, I'm here. Been recording all day."
"...he's here too."
"Don't worry, everything's fine."
Yuan Ye chuckled, his voice muffled by the bed. His laughter sounded relaxed, and he spoke with a smile, "When I was 23, you guys didn't worry about me this much. I'm 33 now, an old man. So, stop worrying about me and worry more about yourself and Professor Yuan, okay?"
He chatted a bit more on the phone before hanging up.
All the calls had been answered, and there was no more reason to pretend. Yuan Ye let out a long sigh and sat up in bed with a thud.
Fang Shaoyi didn't turn around, and Yuan Ye didn't call out to him either.
It had been too long since they had been in the same room together. What used to be comfortable and warm now felt awkward and dull. Yuan Ye had been unable to sleep the whole time.
How could he sleep in a place that wasn't his bed?
It was just that when Fang Shaoyi had told him to go take a shower earlier, he had followed along absentmindedly. Yuan Ye didn't know which nerve in his brain had malfunctioned, but his emotions suddenly surged, and his eyes felt sore.
Fang Shaoyi turned around and asked him in a flat voice without any emotion, "Is everything okay at home?"
"Yeah, everything's fine," Yuan Ye replied in the same tone.
Fang Shaoyi turned around and stood, with Yuan Ye sitting next to him, his arms propped on his knees and his hands casually crossed in front of him. Neither of them had anything to say, and after a while, Yuan Ye asked, "Can I smoke inside?"
Fang Shaoyi raised an eyebrow at him. "Smoke?"
Yuan Ye felt his pocket and realized he didn't have any cigarettes on him since he was recording a program today. He shook his head and laughed, "Never mind."
He knew Fang Shaoyi was staring at him. His eyes had a powerful and warm gaze when they fell on people. Even if Yuan Ye didn't look up, he could feel Fang Shaoyi's eyes on him.
The air in this room is so stuffy, it felt like it was about to solidify. Yuan Ye took a deep breath and habitually rubbed his head, the small scar beside his eyelid becoming more noticeable in the light.
He said to Fang Shaoyi, "It's getting late, you should rest early. I'm going to wash up and go to bed too."
The production team had prepared a suite for them, but there was only one bed. Yuan Ye couldn't stay here, he had already asked Ji Xiaotao to book him an extra room and moved all his things there.
As he was about to leave, Fang Shaoyi called out to him, "Yuan Ye."
Yuan Ye turned around and said, "Mmhmm."
Fang Shaoyi spoke in a calm voice, "If you find this show annoying, you don't have to continue recording. Go back and talk to Geng Jinwei about it."
Yuan Ye raised his eyebrows and looked at him, "Are you annoyed? It's up to you, if you don't want to record anymore, you can quit. I'm fine with it."
Fang Shaoyi furrowed his brows and stared at him, "Don't avoid the question, I'm asking about you."
Yuan Ye was wearing a casual jacket and black jeans. He had his hands in his pockets and was half-turned with a smile on his face, looking at Fang Shaoyi.
Fang Shaoyi had just finished showering and was wearing a T-shirt and sweatpants, looking fresh and comfortable. Yuan Ye had the same outfit, and coincidentally, he had also brought it to wear to bed.
Suddenly, Yuan Ye laughed and turned to face Fang Shaoyi. He carefully examined Fang Shaoyi's face, then nodded with a cold, sarcastic tone, "I'm fucking annoyed."
Fang Shaoyi's eyes were deep and dark, but before he could speak, Yuan Ye continued, "...But I still want to continue."
Walking two steps forward, Yuan Ye faced Fang Shaoyi and grabbed his T-shirt, asking, "Do you think I'm crazy?"
Fang Shaoyi noticed the small scar at the corner of Yuan Ye's eye, which had been there for many years and was once quite noticeable, but now it was almost invisible without proper lighting.
Fang Shaoyi replied, "If you don't want to shoot anymore, just say so. No need to force yourself."
Yuan Ye nodded and absentmindedly rubbed his fingers together, a subconscious gesture indicating his desire to smoke. He turned around and walked away, raising his arm in a dismissive gesture.