There were four from the crew of "Wind Wanderer" who were going, plus their respective assistants and the stylist for Fang Shaoyi and another young actor. With the addition of Yuan Ye, the whole team consists of more than ten people.
Fang Shaoyi and Yuan Ye didn't travel with everyone else. They flew over three days in advance. Cannes was already surrounded by reporters, with thousands of journalists from all over the world waiting there. No celebrity arrival could be kept a secret.
So, in order to ensure peace for the next few days, they wouldn't go directly to Cannes. They would first stop in Paris for three days and wait for the director and the rest of the team to arrive before heading to Cannes together.
Ji Xiaotao had already booked the hotel a month in advance. He had been following Fang Shaoyi for so many years, and every time they came to Europe for a film festival, it was always a challenging task. It wasn't just the film festival, but there were other events as well.
However, Fang Shaoyi would only attend the events he couldn't avoid, and rarely showed up for anything else. Sometimes, when there were scenes to be shot overseas, Ji Xiaotao had to coordinate the timing in advance. Going abroad was a headache and a tricky business.
Before heading to the airport, they first went to pick up Yuan Ye. When a business car arrived, Yuan Ye reached out and held Fang Shaoyi's hand, greeting him with "Brother Yi".
Fang Shaoyi gripped his hand back and asked with a smile, "Have you eaten yet?"
After all, there were still others in the car, so Yuan Ye didn't want to hold hands for too long. They basically just clasped hands and then pulled back. Yuan Ye smiled and said, "I've eaten."
Fang Shaoyi nodded slightly, and Yuan Ye asked him, "Have you eaten? Have you taken your medicine?"
"I have," Fang Shaoyi looked at him and then smiled, whispering, "Don't be nervous."
"Mm, I've been through a hundred battles," Yuan Ye winked at him, "Just watch me."
Fang Shaoyi reached out and traced his fingertips over Yuan Ye's head. Yuan Ye boldly tilted his head towards him, allowing him to touch more. Fang Shaoyi's small action made him smile again, and when he smiled, there were fine lines at the corners of his eyes, adding a touch of tenderness.
As they boarded the plane, Yuan Ye handed Fang Shaoyi a neck pillow and an eye mask. Fang Shaoyi chuckled and said, "I'm not tired, let's chat for a bit."
"Sure," Yuan Ye turned around and glanced at Ji Xiaotao and the stylist, who were chatting quietly. After locking eyes with Yuan Ye, Ji Xiaotao grinned foolishly and waved at him. Yuan Ye turned back to Fang Shaoyi and said, "Ji Xiaotao is not a kid anymore."
"Yeah, I talked to him and wanted to keep him in the company, but he didn't want to," Fang Shaoyi whispered closely, his voice sounding intimate. "Ji Xiaotao is too sentimental. He can't let go of me and doesn't want to change jobs."
Yuan Ye said, "Let him follow you if he wants to, no rush. When he's ready to settle down and stop running back and forth, then we can let him do something else. Otherwise, no matter how much we say it's for his own good, it will seem like we have a cold heart and hurt his feelings."
Fang Shaoyi nodded and continued to chat with Yuan Ye about his work, asking, "Do you have anything to do recently? Do you need to write anything?"
Yuan Ye shook his head and said, "I finished all the work I owed before going to the set last year. Now I only have one book to write, which Leizi has been nagging me about for too long. I'll try to write it when I get back. But to be honest, I don't have many ideas in my head. It's like having bones without meat, only a rough idea, not even a complete skeleton. But I still like what little I have."
"Then you still want to write," Fang Shaoyi smiled and said to Yuan Ye.
Yuan Ye fell silent for a moment, then smiled and nodded, "That's true."
The two of them chatted casually, feeling comfortable and at ease. Yuan Ye didn't show any other emotions, in fact, he was more proactive and gentle than usual. He took the initiative to talk to Fang Shaoyi about work, sharing interesting stories and gossip from their industry, such as how Feng Leizi was practically afraid of his own shadow, or how Han San'er's Shandong accent was made fun of at a recent drinking session.
These were topics they wouldn't normally discuss, and Yuan Ye wouldn't usually bring them up. When they were together, Yuan Ye was more accustomed to talking about Fang Shaoyi's life, discussing his movies, or simply enjoying each other's company in peaceful silence.
When Yuan Ye laughed, Fang Shaoyi would laugh along with him. Yuan Ye said, "Do you know Taoli? You might not be familiar with him."
Fang Shaoyi replied, "It's okay, go ahead and tell me."
Yuan Ye continued speaking, which he might not have done on a normal day, as he thought Fang Shaoyi wouldn't be interested. Fang Shaoyi was always so busy, and when he wasn't working, Yuan Ye wanted him to rest more. But now they were on a plane with plenty of free time, and Yuan Ye didn't want Fang Shaoyi to get bored, so he kept talking to entertain him.
"Taoli is such a sly and shameless person, always asking me about things that are none of his business. He's so annoying," sighed Yuan Ye as he thought of Taoli. "And when he writes, he always goes straight for the gutter. There was a team that wanted to buy his script for a movie, but he insisted on being the sole screenwriter. His script was filled with scenes that took place in bed, and not just closed-door scenes, but almost full-on sex scenes."
Fang Shaoyi asked, "So what happened? Did they hire a different screenwriter?"
Yuan Ye shook his head. "No, they gave up. Taoli refused to compromise and sell his script unless it was exactly the way he wrote it. He's one of those pretentious writers who thinks he's too good for censorship."
Fang Shaoyi chuckled and shook his head. Yuan Ye said, "Han San'er says that sometimes we are actually fools, but we always think of ourselves as rebellious and romantic heroes with steel bones and iron muscles."
Fang Shaoyi couldn't agree with this statement. He whispered to Yuan Ye, "You are a true romantic hero with steel bones and iron muscles."
Yuan Ye looked at him and said, "I will change, I will make myself softer."
"You don't need to," Fang Shaoyi frowned and said without hesitation, staring at Yuan Ye. Then he repeated, "You don't need to."
Yuan Ye smiled and didn't say anything more, just nodded.
After more than ten hours on the plane, Fang Shaoyi hadn't eaten anything the whole time, only drinking a glass of milk and two cups of coffee. Yuan Ye wouldn't let him eat either, but luckily Fang Shaoyi wasn't hungry to begin with. Later on, Yuan Ye stopped talking and just told Fang Shaoyi to close his eyes and sleep.
Actually, Fang Shaoyi never really fell asleep as it wasn't too comfortable, but he kept his eyes closed the whole time to put Yuan Ye at ease, as if he were sleeping.
In the middle of it all, Yuan Ye reached over a few times to touch his forehead and check his temperature. His warm palm felt really comfortable against his head.
When Fang Shaoyi had his eyes closed, Yuan Ye took out a book to read. A flight attendant came over and wanted to give Fang Shaoyi a blanket, but Yuan Ye stopped her in a soft voice, "Thank you, there's no need, he's warm enough."
As the hours passed, Fang Shaoyi's face gradually became more and more pale. By the time they landed, his lips were almost colorless and his face was completely drained of blood.
The stylist was someone Fang Shaoyi had worked with for many years, so there was no need for any unnecessary questions.
The hotel had sent a car to pick them up from the airport, and Yuan Ye didn't say a word to Fang Shaoyi the entire journey. Instead, he held his hand, transmitting warmth through his palm. In that moment, it was as if Yuan Ye was seeing Fang Shaoyi's vulnerability for the first time, recalling the first time they had come to Europe together when Fang Shaoyi was nervous and in pain.
It was then that Yuan Ye realized that behind Fang Shaoyi's perfect face under those flashing lights, there was a lot of hardship.
Fang Shaoyi couldn't eat anything at all, not even a sip of water. The seven-hour time difference had completely disrupted his nervous system, rendering every nerve useless. He sat on the edge of the bed with his head down and his arms resting on his knees, his hands loosely clasped and hanging down. His white shirt and pants were still neatly worn.
He was in great discomfort, and Yuan Ye knew it. He had a headache, nausea, and palpitations, and Yuan Ye was well aware of all of it.
Yuan Ye took out a comfortable set of thin pajamas from the luggage and walked over to gently touch his face, speaking in a low and gentle voice, "Let me change your clothes, baby."
Fang Shaoyi's breathing was heavy and rough as he replied, "It's okay, I'll change by myself later."
One by one, Yuan Ye unbuttoned his shirt and helped him put on his pajamas. It was rare for him to take care of Fang Shaoyi like a child, because from the beginning, whether in terms of age or status, Yuan Ye was the one who needed to be taken care of. Although not to the extent of taking care of him like this, Fang Shaoyi was always the stronger one.
So when Fang Shaoyi suddenly fainted and fell onto Yuan Ye, the 18-year-old's face was no better than Fang Shaoyi's pale complexion. He was too panicked and scared. Holding Fang Shaoyi, he felt heartbroken but didn't know what to do.
At that time, Fang Shaoyi's assistant told Yuan Ye that there was no need to go to the hospital, and that he could just go back to the hotel and sleep. Yuan Ye sat cross-legged on Fang Shaoyi's bed, staring at him until he woke up four hours later. When Fang Shaoyi woke up, Yuan Ye's eyes were already red, and he asked him softly, "What's wrong, Brother Yi?"
This monkey pretended to be calm, with a pitiful look on his face.
Fang Shaoyi reached out to him and opened his arms, his voice hoarse, "Come here."
Yuan Ye's round head was nestled in Fang Shaoyi's neck, his eyelashes brushing against Fang Shaoyi's neck. Fang Shaoyi laughed, his chest vibrating, and asked him, "Were you scared?"
Yuan Ye nodded in Fang Shaoyi's neck, not saying a word. Fang Shaoyi held the back of Yuan Ye's head with one hand and gently stroked it, saying, "Don't panic, everything's fine."
"Why shouldn't I panic?" Yuan Ye's voice came from inside, sounding muffled. "You collapsed without saying a word, my heart almost jumped out of my chest."
Fang Shaoyi smiled and said, "Then why don't you spit it out so I can see?"
Yuan Ye opened his mouth as if to vomit, but instead he bit down on Fang Shaoyi's neck, clenching his teeth in frustration. Fang Shaoyi hesitated for a moment, as if he wanted to say something, but in the end he just smiled, patted Yuan Ye's head and said nothing, letting him be.
At that time, Yuan Ye was still a young child who had not experienced much in life and had never felt such intense and sudden emotions before. He didn't know how to deal with it.
Grinding his teeth while holding onto someone's neck, the end result was that the shirt he had already picked out for the film festival was no longer suitable, and he had to hastily switch to a turtleneck under his suit.
Many of his first emotional experiences came from Fang Shaoyi. The impression left on him was so deep that every time Fang Shaoyi went to a place with a time difference, he would become very nervous. Even though he had experienced many things since then, and even though he was now called "Uncle" by children, he still felt nervous.
After waking up from a nap, Fang Shaoyi quietly looked at Yuan Ye and suddenly laughed, asking him, "Are you going to bite?"
These five words seemed to come from fifteen years ago, carrying a sense of time travel.
Yuan Ye sat on the sofa next to him, his eyes shining with a gentle and distant light. He pretended to bite at Fang Shaoyi, then walked over and bent down to give him a gentle kiss on the neck.
As his lips touched the pulsing vein, it felt as though he had touched a heartbeat - as if he had kissed a heart that was both tender and strong.