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‘Don’t go tonight.’

‘Stay with Ye Zun.’

‘Be here for your brother.’

‘But he’s fast asleep.’

‘Don’t leave him behind.’

‘I won’t be far.’

‘What if he wakes up?’

‘I just need to feel Xiao Lan, I’m afraid I’ll lose him again.’

‘Ye Zun needs you too.’

‘He’s deeply asleep, I won’t be gone far…’

Shen Wei lies on his side, watching his brother sleep beside him. There’s something vulnerable in the way Ye Zun looks in slumber, features slack and unguarded. Shen Wei pulls lightly on a stray strand of white hair, loving the feel and texture of the strands. He’s so happy to finally have his brother back at his side and he would gladly go through all of the hardship and pain he did before just to keep him by his side forever.  

Right now though, Shen Wei is feeling a stronger pull of a different kind and he wants so bad to satisfy that need. His gut instinct is telling him to hesitate, to stay by Ye Zun’s side but his brother was fast asleep. Besides, it wouldn’t be the first time he left in the dead of night just to go across the hall and into YunLan’s bed. He always made sure he came back before morning though, before his little brother would notice his absence. He knew how much it would hurt Ye Zun to wake up alone, especially if he didn’t know what happened to him. But Ye Zun clings to him tightly and as much as he wants to give in to all his brother’s needs, he has to make room for YunLan too, the love of his life. YunLan understands to some degree and does his best to accommodate Shen Wei’s own brother complex, despite how vexing it makes him sometimes.

Shen Wei understands YunLan but this is how it has to be for now, at least until Ye Zun becomes more independent and less traumatized. He won’t be the Shen Wei YunLan loves without his Ye Zun.

Shen Wei’s heart strings pulls for some reason as he slips from under the covers silently before standing and watching Ye Zun for a few moments, making sure he isn’t going to wake up. His brother remains perfectly asleep and even though Shen Wei’s gut instinct is telling him to stay, he doesn’t want to break his promise to YunLan. Tonight would be theirs, just the two of them in each other’s arms.

He’s really looking forward to that.

Slipping on a coat over his sleep wear, he pads softly towards the front door, looking back at Ye Zun longingly before he closes it behind him.

Shen Wei doesn’t know how to explain his feelings, because he’s itching to go and yet he’s dying to stay. But he needs this and he closes the door softly behind him, resolving to come back as soon as he possibly can.

YunLan’s front door is like a barrier between him and the man he wants tonight and he wastes no time in putting it behind him, taking in the two plates of cold dinner wrapped in plastic on the table and the bottle of wine as soon as his eyes adjust to the dark setting.

This actually upsets him because it means YunLan didn’t eat tonight and the man is prone to episodes of gastritis because he doesn’t like to eat in general and this really makes Shen Wei upset and afraid for him. He looks to the bed and he can see YunLan sprawled on the covers in shorts and a plain t-shirt.

“I thought you stood me up.”

YunLan wanted it to sound like a joke but Shen Wei could hear the hint of bitterness in his voice.

“Did you eat earlier?”

YunLan sat up and looked him straight in the eyes. “I wasn’t hungry.”

Shen Wei walked over to the table and took the wrappings off the plates before bringing them to the kitchen area. He put one in the microwave and left the other on the counter so he could heat it next.

Arms wrapped around him from behind and Shen Wei couldn’t hold back a shiver when YunLan licked and kissed along the exposed side of his neck.

“Forget the food, the only thing I want to eat right now is you.”

Shen Wei didn’t want to give in, he wanted YunLan to take even one bite but his lover had his hand kneading him through his clothes and it was doing all sorts of things to his libido.

“One bite,” Shen Wei tried to negotiate because one was better than none and it would make him feel better.

“No,” YunLan quipped and Shen Wei didn’t resist when YunLan pulled him over to the bed, kissing him along the way like his life depended on it.

Shen Wei fell on the bed and YunLan landed on top of him, taking off his clothes while they kept on kissing. It was frantic and urgent because YunLan was impatient like that and Shen Wei felt the same. He wanted all of YunLan and he wanted him now.

Besides, Shen Wei’s gut instinct was flaring up again and he ignored it in favor of savoring YunLan.

Everything Shen Wei knew about sex he learned from YunLan and while he was often a very active participant, he often allowed YunLan to set the pace and guide him to what he wanted, and with a wicked smirk on his face YunLan started to do exactly what he said he would, which was to eat him.

While Shen Wei knew all about the male reproductive sex organ, it was a wonder beyond all wonders whenever YunLan put his in his mouth, imitating his favorite lollipop licks and telling him while his mouth was full that his tasted even better.

“YunLan…” Shen Wei groaned because the man held all the cards and he fell so much deeper and harder every time they did this.

Shen Wei was getting so close, he could never hold out for long when YunLan had him in his clutches and that’s when YunLan pulled back with a soft pop that shot straight down Shen Wei’s spine and curled deep in his belly.

“How was it?” YunLan grinned cheekily and Shen Wei just smiled before grabbing his boyfriend by the arm and rolling them so he was on top, nestled between his legs. Shen Wei pinned YunLan’s hands to the bed with by wrists while his other held his manhood and teased along YunLan’s rim while the man tried hard to impale himself.

“Don’t tease, Xiao Wei,” YunLan groaned and Shen slipped in easily, not able to resist YunLan’s command. He felt that velvet heat down to his core as YunLan squeezed around him tight and hot, bringing back that feeling of too much and not enough at once.

“Xiao Lan,” Shen Wei whispered on a prayer as they moved in tandem with each other, kissing and touching and whispering into each other’s soul. YunLan arched his spine with his legs thrown back while Shen Wei kissed and sucked every part of the man he could reach, breathing his love into YunLan’s skin. After a moment YunLan managed to flip them so he was riding Shen Wei, hands braced against his shoulders.

Shen Wei was in love all over again. YunLan was too much and not enough at the same time; his words, his touch, his whispers of love and heated gazes-Shen Wei wanted it all and he would never compromise.

But then something happened.

There was movement in his periphery and he grabbed YunLan around the waist and flipped them so the man was under him, then he shot a ball of energy from his other hand all from instinct, annihilating what he didn’t realize at first was a shot of dark energy aimed right at them.

“Shen Wei!” YunLan shouted before he rolled right off the bed, falling to the floor before he grabbed his gun and aimed it right at…

“Di di!?” Shen Wei barked, his hands raised with his own dark energy flaring at his fingertips and his heartbeat racing too fast.  This was his brother and he didn’t understand what was happening at all. Why was Ye Zun attacking them?

“What the hell is wrong with him?!” YunLan screamed and Shen Wei honestly wished he had an answer. What was he supposed to say? He could hear the hesitation in YunLan’s voice though and he knew if it wasn’t his brother YunLan would have killed the intruder already.

“I don’t…”

He doesn’t know. At all.

Shen Wei was about to speak when he realized Ye Zun was building up his dark energy again, preparing to attack YunLan who is the one he’s had his hatred directed at this entire time.

Ye Zun was going to kill YunLan, he could see it in his eyes.

His brother raised his hands and Shen Wei felt like the world was falling away from under his feet.

“Ye Zun, STOP!”

Heart in his throat, Shen Wei hadn’t realized he had fired a blast of energy straight at Ye Zun, a shot so powerful it knocked Ye Zun into the wall so hard he fell and didn’t get up.

“What the hell, Shen Wei?”

Shen Wei looked back at YunLan who was quickly pulling his clothes on. “Shen Wei, what the hell just happened?!”

“I-I don’t know,” Shen Wei answered, still shell shocked. What had just happened? He still didn’t understand. He quickly threw on his own clothes before scampering over to his unconscious brother, pulling him into his arms.

“We can’t stay here. Take us to SID headquarters, now,” YunLan commanded and Shen Wei just obeyed. It’s not like he was in the right frame of mind to be thinking clearly. What was Ye Zun doing? With a wave of his hands, they went from YunLan’s bedroom to the common room of the SID headquarters.

“What the…?” Da Qing asked bewildered.

“Chief Zhao, what happened to you?”

“Boss?”

Shen Wei could hear all of the members of the SID questioning their leader at their sudden appearance but he only had eyes for his unconscious brother. Was Ye Zun Ok? And why was he so intent on killing YunLan?

“Put him in one of cells,” YunLan barked and Shen Wei looked at his lover to see him pointing angrily at his brother. He started to panic.

“No, YunLan….please. Let me find out…”

“He tried to kill me and you want me to have him loose around my people?”

Shen Wei took a cursory glance at everyone else and of course they were angry and afraid. Ye Zun had tried to kill them all once, he had even eaten Lin Jing, Sang Zan and Wang Zheng. The lovers hadn't survived and he was sure none of them had forgiven his brother for any of that as yet. Shen Wei held on to his brother even tighter.

“YunLan, just let me…”

“Are you willing to put us all at risk because he’s your brother, Shen Wei?” YunLan asked angrily, his eyes hard.

Shen Wei shrunk in on himself, feelings resurfacing of when they kids, when it was just him and his brother, them against a world that had turned its back on them. He kept his eyes on the ground, not wanting to see that cold look from YunLan directed at them again. But then soft fingers were under his chin, tilting his face up and he looked into YunLan’s eyes, so soft and full of love.

“I’m sorry for getting mad at you but we won’t hurt him, Shen Wei. We just want to keep him safe until we can figure out if something took him over or if he’s sick or something. We don’t know why he attacked me tonight and until we find out, I just think this would be safer for all of us.”

Shen Wei understood. Of course he did but that didn’t make the idea of locking his brother away like some animal any better.

“I’ll get old Chu to…”

“I’ll take him,” Shen Wei butted in, not wanting anyone else’s hands on Ye Zun but his.

Shen Wei carried Ye zun in his arms up a flight of stairs, then past the library to an area where they kept anyone they deemed unsafe. The burden on his heart felt so much heavier than the weight in his arms as he gently put his brother on the cold wooden floor. He stood, rooted to the spot until YunLan held his arms and pulled him back so Chang Cheng could lock the door with the key.

“Shen Wei…”

YunLan hugged him tight and tears pooled in Shen Wei’s eyes. He couldn’t lose his brother…he just couldn’t.

“What the hell happened back there?” Da Qing asked, so angry and hateful Shen Wei just buried his face into YunLan’s shoulder.

“I don’t know,” he answered softly. Nobody knew.

“He almost killed the chief!” Da Qing screamed and Shen Wei knew that already. Why does it bear repeating?

“Is he the dark overlord again?” It was Zhu Hong this time and the tears sprung freely from Shen Wei’s eyes. She didn’t sound as scornful as Da Qing but it still hurt to hear them questioning his brother’s loyalty. He knew for a fact Ye Zun wasn’t that dark, evil person anymore.

“Maybe he wants to kill all of us, not just the chief?” Lin Jing gave his two cents. “You said he released enough dark energy to almost destroy chief’s apartment? What magnitude was it? Was the seismic scale…?”

“Now’s not the time for scientific research on dark powers,” Chu cut in.

Why were they treating Ye Zun like a cockroach under a microscope?

“Maybe we should find a way to send him back to Dixing…by himself.”

Shen Wei gasped, stumbling out of YunLan’s arms at the words. How could he ever say such a heartless thing when he understood them and where they were coming from?

There was an angry snarl and noises from the cell and Shen Wei turned to see his brother looking straight at YunLan like he would strangle him without a second thought.

“Ye Zun…” Shen Wei started. “Why?”

Where was all of this coming from? Please don’t go back to that person you were before. Please. Shen Wei begged internally. His Dixinian heart wasn’t made for such turmoil.

Shen Wei could see the pleading in Ye Zun’s eyes. “Because he has to die for what he did to you.”

Shen Wei was even more confused now. He wanted to touch Ye Zun, to feel what he was feeling. He started to move towards his brother when he felt YunLan’s hand on his, trying to hold him back. He shook YunLan off, not wanting him to interfere.

“Did to me?”

“He was hurting you…Ge ge.”

Shen Wei didn’t know he could have gotten more confused, but he did at Ye Zun’s words. He reached out his hands to touch because words were actually failing them, causing a bridge that Shen Wei couldn’t seem to cross. As soon as he had Ye Zun’s hands in his Shen Wei could see his brother break down, like his touch had caused him to let go of some of the mental anguish shackled to his soul.

His brother started crying.

“You were under him and you looked like you were in pain, Ge ge, and I suddenly remembered, could feel him again as if it was happening to me and I thought the same thing was being done to you.”

It took a split second for Shen Wei to understand what his brother was trying to say, to put the sentences together to form a coherent meaning and when he got it his heart plummeted right down to his feet, fear and anguish overtaking him. He didn’t realize he was crying again until the hot track of tears fell down both cheeks.

“I was the prettiest one in the camp…” Ye Zun continued.

Those words cut deeper than the longest blade. “Ye Zun, don’t…”

“I wasn’t good for anything except that…”

Anything but that. Anything but THAT. Because Shen Wei understood. There was someone before Kunlun in the past, when he was young and impressionable that tried. The guy said the same thing, that he was so pretty he had to have him and anybody that told him about how pretty he was after that lost life or limb…until Kunlun.

Ye Zun…” Shen Wei begged.

The guy only tried and Shen Wei felt like a piece of him was stripped away and eaten by a demon and it took him meeting Kunlun to get over the cloying fear and disgust.

“There were no girls and even when we stopped in villages he didn’t want any.”

“No…” Shen Wei was pleading with Ye Zun to stop because it was all his fault. If only he hadn’t left Ye Zun on the mountain side that day.

Ye Zun held his hands even tighter. “I thought the same was being done to you.”

Shen Wei felt his knees give out and he collapsed to the floor, bringing his brother down with him.

That seemed to be all he was good for, for letting Ye Zun down.

“I’m sorry…” Shen Wei cried. If only he had been a better brother, none of this would have happened.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry…”

Ye Zun managed to stretch his arms so he could embrace him and Shen Wei knew he didn’t deserve any comfort but he just couldn’t seem to help himself.

“Don’t be, it’s nobody’s fault, big brother.”

Shen Wei wished he could believe that. He really did.

“Ok, everybody out.”

YunLan’s voice, so soft and yet sharper than a razor cut through Shen Wei’s self-loathing. There was the shuffling of feet but nobody said anything while they left. It took a belated moment for Shen Wei to realize YunLan was opening the cell but when he did the need to have Ye Zun in his arms was like a physical weight grinding him into the dust from whence he came.

“It’s all my fault,” Shen Wei sobbed openly while he embraced Ye Zun.

“No, it’s nobody’s fault but the rebel leader, big brother.”

YunLan suddenly cleared his throat and Shen Wei tensed at what his lover was about to say.

“What you saw us doing, Ye Zun, was so far from hurtful. I like Shen Wei, too much for my own good and I would never, ever do anything to hurt him. You can bet my life on it.”

Shen Wei pulled back and looked at Ye Zun with a small smile, because YunLan was so right about that. Despite everything else they were in love and Ye Zun mistook their intimacy for the fear and pain he was subjected to at the hands of a man Shen Wei wished he could reincarnate and kill on principle 100,000 times.

“I’m sorry you see sex as something bad, Ye Zun but it can be such a wonderful thing between two people who love each other. It was used as a weapon against you but please believe me when I say it’s something that strengthens the bond between YunLan and I and we consider it very sacred. I really enjoy it.”

Ye Zun looked at YunLan then, his eyes apologetic before he bowed deeply in remorse.

“I’m sorry, chief Zhao,” Ye Zun said and Shen Wei felt like a small weight amongst everything was lifted from his shoulders.

Then YunLan touched Ye Zun’s shoulder and his brother smiled. Shen Wei didn’t realize he needed that show of solidarity between his two most important people until he had it.

“Shall we go home? I’m sure we have a lot of things to work out and I don’t think the SID headquarters is the best place to do it,” YunLan offered, right after he popped a lollipop into his mouth.

God, Shen Wei loved this man because somehow, he knew exactly what they needed and what they needed right now was each other, which was synonymous with the word home.