Hong Sheng turned around, squinting past the sunlight. The convoy had just rolled in, and from the back of the armored jeep a small figure darted out. The young woman happily ran toward Hong Sheng, a bright smile on her face.
“Sheng Ge, I’m back! Did you miss me?” She stopped in front of him, holding her hands behind her back cutely.
“I’m glad you’ve returned safely,” Hong Sheng said.
The corners of his lips were lifted in a small and elegant smile, and the girl blushed prettily at the sight. After a dazed moment, she said, “Sheng Ge, look— I brought back something special for you…” She moved to present the box she held behind her back, but a large hand snatched it from her.
At nearly the same time, a heavy arm possessively draped itself around Hong Sheng’s shoulder.
Lu Hao smiled from where he stood next to Hong Sheng, the package held aloft in his hand. “Hey now, you know the rules. Distribution of loot has to be approved by leadership.” He tilted his head, looking down at the girl. Though his mouth was smiling, his eyes were not.
The girl flushed and frowned. “That’s not fair! You’re just going to give it to him anyway!”
“Yes, but now it’s from me,” Lu Hao said loftily. He opened the box and showed Hong Sheng the egg custard tarts they had traded from the other settlement, and Hong Sheng made a sound of appreciation. While Hong Sheng snacked on the tart, Lu Hao waved the girl away from where she stood enraptured. The girl sniffed at him and stomped off.
Hong Sheng looked up at Lu Hao with an unimpressed expression. “… Do I even want to know what that was about?” he asked.
Lu Hao smiled sunnily at his lover, and leaned down to press a kiss to his head. “I’m so happy that heaven answered my prayers,” he said.
Hong Sheng slanted a glance at Lu Hao out of the corner of his eye.
Lu Hao walked Hong Sheng back to the villa, guiding him with the arm around his shoulders. “You see, I asked them, ‘Please keep Sheng as oblivious to other people as he had been to me’. Clearly it’s been working.” He looked around at the adoring gazes of the surrounding survivors and glared. Most of them were cowed and looked away, but others glared back. Lu Hao narrowed his eyes. He would have to watch out for those.
“I think I should feel offended by that,” Hong Sheng said. He smiled up at Lu Hao. “But I like how you’re a little stupid sometimes, so it’s fine.”
“Sheng!” Lu Hao cried out. Hong Sheng just laughed and kept walking forward.
It had been eight years since the apocalypse had come.
Lu Hao looked at Hong Sheng’s back - Hong Sheng, alive, whole, and happy - and smiled softly.
His hands still remembered another time, another world, where he had lost the person he loved most.
Truly, heaven had answered his prayers.
Lu Hao ran forward, catching up to Hong Sheng as he opened the door to their home. Hong Sheng turned to look at him, and he paused, a trace of worry in his brows.
“Have you been crying?” Hong Sheng asked, raising a hand toward Lu Hao’s face. Lu Hao caught his hand and kissed it.
“No,” he said, eyes shining. “I’m happier than I’ve ever been.”