Quality Check: Tezuka
First Published on Chaleuria
“Rrrrrring—” The phone’s alarm rang on time. Today was Gu Zhun’s first day back after being reinstated. Even if he was busy until late last night, Gu Zhun still bore with the lack of sleep and forced himself to get out of bed.
Gu Zhun was used to sleeping…naked. Because of that, the first thing he did in the morning was cover himself with his home clothes. He got up, stretched his hand to take his home clothes, and covered his body. Thereafter, he conveniently touched the bed beside him — Last night, Zhang Heng was sleeping next to him.
The remnants of Zhang Heng’s body warmth still lingered on the bedsheet. Even the indentation was distinctively clear, but he couldn’t be seen anywhere. Gu Zhun rubbed his blurred eyes and walked into the living room while yawning.
In the living room, he saw Zhang Heng frying eggs. His sister Gu Li sat on the sofa, flipping through the latest newspaper. In that moment, he felt as if he had glimpsed upon the shadow of his parents… The image of a once happy family.
“Morning.” Zhang Heng turned around to take the milk out from the fridge and discovered Gu Zhun standing in the living room staring foolishly, so he gave a simple greeting, yet others could hear the joy radiating from it.
“Morning.” Gu Zhun replied softly before turning and entering the toilet to wash up.
At the dining table.
“Gu Zhun, you kidnapped your superior yesterday?” Sister held a slice of bread in her mouth and purposely made fun of her brother.
“I just did what was right.”
Gu Li smiled imperceptibly. She had long been accustomed to her brother’s dry humor. She turned her head, greeted Zhang Heng, and asked: “Feeling better? I ended work at four before coming back. The moment I reached home, I discovered another pair of shoes outside the door. After that, I saw that the bathtub wasn’t drained and it was still filled with water. I thought a rapist came in. I didn’t expect that when I opened the room door, I would actually see you hugging each other like a pair of newlyweds! Hahahaha…”
There was no sister that did not like gossip.
“I feel much better already, sister Gu Li. Sister Gu Li, can you rein in that fujoshi  heart of yours?”
“No. Tell me, during junior high, how many boy’s love stories of mine have you read on my notebook?” Gu Li raised her brows along with a wicked smile. She just liked to dampen his spirit. Who asked this fellow to constantly glue himself to her own brother? He obviously liked him, yet refused to directly admit it.
The both of them were slow when it came to their feelings. One didn’t confess and only knew how to show his love implicitly. The other doesn’t question it, due to his EQ being in the negatives. In addition, he had absolutely no experience in love, so he couldn’t possibly detect a thing. For sister Gu Li, who saw them grow up (of course she only saw Zhang Heng for two years), she was so anxious it got on her nerves. It verified her opinion even more, especially after she knew the whole cause and reason behind Gu Zhun’s suspension.
After breakfast, they both arrived at the office together. Zhang Heng still wore yesterday’s suit. In addition, he looked listless, and the look on his face showed “I’m so tired! Lower back is aching! Would someone support me?” Those expressions kept provoking the female colleagues to fantasize with all of their might.
“Could that punk Gu Zhun have ‘devoured’ President Zhang?”
“Hush! Don’t talk nonsense! President Zhang is the one that wants to ‘devour’ Gu Zhun. He’s probably angry right now because he didn’t manage to devour him?”
Gu Zhun still had an expressionless look on his face as he followed Zhang Heng. They passed through the chaotic lift and the office area, arriving directly at the President’s office. As soon as the briefcase was placed down, the receptionist in charge of the front desk called to inform them that a CEO from another company wanted to talk about the matter regarding their recent collaborative project. Zhang Heng expressed his acknowledgement, then left his office to attend the meeting.
Gu Zhun was left alone in the spacious office. He continued to seriously do his work, diligent and meticulously. He had just finished sorting the documents, so he was about to open the mail and check Zhang Heng’s agenda for today.
The computer was still not switched on when the office door was pushed open by someone. Gu Zhun thought Zhang Heng left something behind. Without even lifting his head, he asked: “Zhang Heng, did you leave something behind? Just stand there, I’ll get it for you.”
The person that came in did not stop and walked directly inside. Gu Zhun felt that something wasn’t right and lifted his head, coincidentally meeting the gaze of Wen YiHong, Wen corporation’s vice president, who he had just met yesterday.
“Zhang Heng? Calling him so intimately…”
“Vice President Wen…?”
“Don’t be nervous,” Wen YiHong made himself a cup of coffee. He sat on the office’s leather sofa, raised his legs to cross it, relished the president’s special coffee, and opened his mouth to say: “I am not here to pick a fight because I lost the collaboration. I’m not that type of person.”
“What are you doing here then?” Gu Zhun saw that he wasn’t looking for trouble and relaxed. He stared at the computer screen, checking the agenda. Gu Zhun did not graciously receive the unexpected guest that had not informed the front desk of his arrival, even though he was the vice president of another company. Moreover, this Wen YiHong had a gentle and refined disposition. He didn’t seem like someone who would be particularly strict about hierarchy .
“I’ve told you before that you have a good superior, right? Do you know how Zhang Heng managed to prove your innocence?”
Wen YiHong proceeded to tell the truth vividly.
On the day Zhang Heng announced Gu Zhun’s suspension, he issued a new directive to the Implementation Department. The implementation staff was required to work overtime throughout the night. Instead of the old proposal, they had to come up with a new proposal that would satisfy President Lee one hundred percent.
Within those three days, Zhang Heng stayed in the office with the members of the implementation staff. They slept and settled their meals in the office, not wasting any time. Although the implementation department staff had complaints, Zhang Heng withstood the pressure of being disputed. Using a mixture of carrot and stick, they finally managed to produce a unprecedented proposal that even Zhang Heng could not criticize.
On the fourth day, he could not rest in peace. He immediately took the new proposal and rushed to Vogue Era.
“President Lee, I have a proposal that will make you one hundred percent satisfied.”
“Is that so? Zhang corporation is really good at taking quick actions…” President Lee took the proposal and roughly scanned through it. The flicker of doubt in his eyes instantaneously turned into surprise. He couldn’t refrain from nodding and complimenting Zhang Heng’s execution and leadership.
“President Lee should be able to feel our sincerity. I don’t know if it would be presumptuous to ask, but who is the one in charge of the program at Wen corporation? They could actually produce such a good proposal in just a few short days. We are keen to exchange pointers.”
President Lee replied: “I remember that it seemed to be someone called Liu WeiXiong.”
“We’re truly thankful, President Lee.”
Zhang Heng stood up and bid farewell to President Lee. After he walked out of Vogue Era, he quickly drove his car and headed to Wen corporation. He found Wen YiHong, and after explaining the whole story behind the incident, Wen YiHong privately called Liu WeiXiong, the person in charge, to come in and explain himself clearly.
Under Wen YiHong’s various threats and bribery, Liu WeiXiong finally said: “I was at the bar, fretting over the proposal for the activity program when a pretty lady walked over and handed me a USB drive. She didn’t mention anything, only telling me that I would understand when I opened the files. After that, she supported a drunk young man seated beside him out of the bar.”
Speaking until that point, Zhang Heng could more or less guess it. That woman was Xu YaLe. As for the young man, he guessed that was most likely a member of the implementation department staff who had been forced to drink by Xu YaLe. That was when the proposal was divulged.
Wen YiHong’s lip curled in satisfaction and he said: “It’s useless for the company to keep you. Write a resignation letter on your own. Due to your initiative in being honest, the company will not pursue your legal responsibility. Go to the human resources department to settle this month’s pay and leave.”
Liu WeiXiong snivelled uncontrollably and thanked Wen YiHong for his great kindness in not pursuing legal actions. Under the pushing and shoving from the female secretary, Liu WeiXiong finally left the office.
Zhang Heng used his hand to push against the edge of the office table, leaning his body against the table edge. With his back facing Wen YiHong, he asked: “What now?”
Obviously, he would not be satisfied with this. Furthermore, Wen YiHong knew what Zhang Heng wanted. Wen YiHong, as Zhang Heng’s university classmate for four years, was certainly aware of the matter regarding Gu Zhun.
“Rest assured, I will prove and restore your cutie’s innocence.”
As such, yesterday’s “Avenging Drama” was played out.
After listening to the whole sequence of events, Gu Zhun stopped typing. Wen YiHong couldn’t see Gu Zhun’s face clearly because the computer screen was blocking it. He placed down the coffee and walked out of the office, leaving behind a parting sentence: “Don’t let him down.”
If Wen YiHong saw Gu Zhun’s face, then Gu Zhun’s thoughts would now be laid bare. At this time, Gu Zhun was crimson red. Not only were his cheeks as red as the clouds at dusk, even his earlobes were red.
He remembered the confession that Zhang Heng made at the hot springs pool before — “I like you”… At that time, Gu Zhun did not reply; he only stammered. Zhang Heng said that he would wait for him.
Gu Zhun started to realize— Eight years ago, Zhang Heng suddenly transferred over. A year later, at the graduation dinner during the third year of junior high graduation, Gu Zhun did not catch a glimpse of Zhang Heng throughout the whole thing. He just left without bidding anyone goodbye. During those seven years, they didn’t see each other. It was as though they were both living in different worlds. Time was able to erase things like water that evaporated; it didn’t leave a trace.
Gu Zhun did not understand. When did Zhang Heng start liking him? They met again seven years later. For Gu Zhun, Zhang Heng was a stranger he used to know. He could not believe that Zhang Heng would like him during the span of seven years when he wasn’t around. Neither could he dare to believe that he had so much charm, it would enable a small boy in the second year of junior high to like another small boy.
Gu Zhun bowed his head. After he finished typing the last word, he hit save and shut down the computer, then stood up and left.
 Fujoshi (腐女子, lit. “rotten girl”) is a self-mockingly pejorative Japanese term for female fans of manga and novels that feature romantic relationships between men. Fujoshi also enjoy occasionally imagining real-life people liking each other.