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The Jacket

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The trenchcoat is still at the storefront display.

Yunlan’s been driving past it for a good month now. It’s not something that Yunlan would normally take notice of if it hadn’t been for the mirror girl’s case, but now he keeps finding himself slowing down on his bike and giving it a thoughtful glance.

 It’s a nice coat, light green in color. A bit too long and elegant for Yunlan’s personal taste (which is mostly whatever clean thing he can throw on after rolling out of bed and a jacket warm enough for the day), but made of good quality material. It’s also accordingly priced, and Yunlan winces at the tag as he peers through the glass.

Still. It’s a really nice coat. And though Yunlan personally doesn’t need a jacket, he knows someone who does.

The lady who rings up his purchase smiles at him when he tells her to put it in a gift bag, asking if it’s for his girlfriend. Yunlan laughs and banters with her, while silently asking himself what in the hells he’s doing.

The ridiculous thing is, Shen Wei doesn’t even need a coat, Yunlan argues to himself, walking more slowly than usual back home to his apartment, the gift bag bouncing against his leg. Dragon City University pays its staff well, and Shen Wei’s already a tenured professor at his age. He can afford his own damn jacket if he doesn’t have one. Yunlan scowls when he remembers how close to freezing Shen Wei had been as he draped his jacket over his (slender) shoulders. And the man had the gall to tell Yunlan not to because he had a cold!

(Shen Wei had looked at him with those eyes as he fixed the jacket over his shoulders. It had been all Yunlan could do not to lean forward and…. He doesn’t know. Touch him, maybe. Make him less cold. Bridge the distance between them so Shen Wei would stop hiding. But then Lin Jing arrived, and Yunlan had been both absurdly disappointed and grateful as they ran to the students’ aid.

He doesn’t miss how Shen Wei had worn the jacket for the whole trip. Then he’d smelled the acrid scent of blood on the material, and as Yunlan watched the Shen Wei sleep he wryly thinks about how Shen Wei had just widened the distance between them even though he was unconscious.

It frightens him, how much he wishes Shen Wei would stop doing that. Would look at him with those eyes beneath that mask and know it’s okay. And Yunlan’s terrified, because he’s full aware of how way out of depth he is with Shen Wei -

And it scares him more that he doesn’t care.)

Yunlan exhales in frustration as he reaches his apartment. The paper bag weighs heavier than it ought to in his hand, and for a moment he’s overtaken by the sudden urge to march back to the store and return the stupidly overpriced jacket. And he almost does, pocketing his keys with a sigh and turning down the corridor back to the elevator – only to promptly run into the good professor himself.

“Chief Zhao,” Shen Wei greets him calmly, but in that split-second before he throws his walls up Yunlan sees surprise and a strange tenderness, warm in his eyes. Absently, he notes that Shen Wei isn't wearing his glasses.“I’m glad you’ve recovered from your cold.”  The lingering softness is what has Yunlan grin despite himself, with a cocksure confidence he doesn’t quite feel.

And then he notices that Shen Wei’s isn’t wearing a coat. Just a winter suit jacket, the material thick but in no way suitable for the late autumn weather.

Yunlan sighs. “Professor Shen, you’re so worried about my health, then you go around and ignore your own advice.” He scolds Shen Wei. Shen Wei merely looks bemused at Yunlan lecturing him instead of the other way around - and then Yunlan’s taking the coat of the bag, draping it over Shen Wei’s shoulders.

Shen Wei’s expression goes from bemused to startled in the space of five seconds. Yunlan pretends to ignore it – and the way the tips of Shen Wei’s ears and his cheeks flush a beautiful, alarming shade of red as he fixes the coat around Shen Wei’s slender shoulders. The color suits him, Yunlan thinks, slightly desperate to distract himself from the way Shen Wei is looking at him, and Yunlan wants to grab him by the shoulders and yell at him, ask him what’s he ever done to deserve that expression, why does Shen Wei keep hiding from him – and then as Yunlan tries to straighten his already pristine collar, Shen Wei’s hand wraps around his wrist and Yunlan nearly jerks away from how unnaturally cold Shen Wei’s skin is.

He doesn’t stir. He doesn’t pull away. Neither does Shen Wei. Shen Wei is gripping Yunlan’s wrist hard enough to bruise, and Yunlan sucks in a breath at how much he wants that. To have the Black Envoy’s fingers marking his skin, claiming him. Making him his.

They stand frozen together. Shen Wei opens his mouth, closes it. He looks lost. Young. He doesn’t let go of Yunlan’s wrist, and his eyes say everything he can’t seem to bring himself to speak out loud. So Yunlan takes a deep breath, cups Shen Wei’s cheek in his free hand, and leans forwards.

Shen Wei gasps as Yunlan presses their lips together. It sounds like a sob, and Yunlan almost pulls back, worrying he’s overstepped – but then Shen Wei’s hand tightens around his wrist and the other yanks Yunlan forwards by the back of his neck, and Yunlan’s being kissed like he’s never been kissed in his life. Hungry and raw and needy, Shen Wei’s mouth searing against Yunlan’s as he slips his tongue into Yunlan’s mouth, tasting and sucking and Yunlan’s knees go fucking weak as Shen Wei kisses him raw, like he’s filling Yunlan with the taste of him. It’s all he can do to have his back collide against the wall of the corridor before his legs refuse to support him altogether, as Shen Wei holds fast to his wrist, his free arm around Yunlan’s waist. Holding him like he can make him stay here, with him, forever.

Yunlan breaks the kiss with a gasp, his head spinning as he fights to get air back in his lungs, but Shen Wei doesn’t move away or release his grip on Yunlan’s wrist. Not even when he closes his eyes, still trying to hide, as Yunlan’s hand slides up Shen Wei’s cheek to the back of his head, pulling him close against him.  Pressing his kiss-bruised mouth against the crown of Shen Wei’s head as Shen Wei buries his face against his neck, the flutter of his lashes soft against Yunlan’s skin

We should probably get out of the corridor, Yunlan thinks absently, but he can’t bring himself to move. Neither, it appears, does Shen Wei.

The coat still miraculously hangs from Shen Wei’s shoulders, and Yunlan grins when Shen Wei pulls away a bit so he can reach up, tugging it more securely around himself before settling back against Yunlan.

“Glad you like that jacket.” He mumbles. “I did tell Zhou Wei I wanted to get it for my girlfriend-“ Shen Wei snorts, and that soft ripple of laughter has Yunlan laughing, too.