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Yunlan wondered when the last time was that he felt so at peace.

He shivered from the rain slowly drenching his clothes, but each cool drop that kissed his skin was almost soothing, refreshing. The sound of the pouring rain roaring in his ears, combined with the cacophony of the beautiful forest he was trailing through, mixed into a serene symphony that washed over his senses and lulled him into a sense of tranquility.  

Letting out a soft sigh, he let his eyes fall closed as he stood there, allowing the rain to wash over him and losing himself in the calmness of the forest.

In this fleeting bit of freedom, he felt more at peace than he had in years. Peace he hadn’t felt since the easier days of high school where he still managed to placate his father with his grades, where he was surrounded by people he thought really cared for him. Peace when he had met Shen Wei, the first person who he had really connected with, the first person who cared for him as much as Yunlan did for him in return. Shen Wei, with his kind eyes and warm smile, his soothing voice as he reassured Yunlan of his own intelligence, his confidence in Yunlan’s abilities as he guided Yunlan through any problems he was struggling with.

But then handsome, kind, aloof Shen Wei had graduated, and Yunlan thought that must have been the turning point in his life, as everything steadily started going downhill from there.

While clever and talented Shen Wei had gone on to graduate from college and get a job doing something he loved soon after, Yunlan was left in the dust as he dropped out, only beat further into the ground by his father’s overwhelming rage. Suffocated under the sheer intensity of his father’s true disdain for him, each biting word like a knife to his heart, each instance of physical anger leaving bruises that would remain even after the mark had disappeared. Yunlan would have clawed out his own heart and offered it to his father with the fruitless notion of hoping to abate his father’s anger with his only son, in some idiotic hope that his father would love him the way Yunlan desired. Yunlan was weighed down so heavily by the chains of his own father’s lack of love that he would have collapsed then and there if he hadn’t run away.

Suddenly, Yunlan had found himself all alone on the edge of a precipice. With no one around to support him or pull him back from the edge, Yunlan was left to fall into the murky, dark depths below, drowning in the sea of his own worthlessness and sinking until he could no longer breathe. He couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t breathe, he couldn’t breathebreathebreathe--  

Yes, he thought to himself, opening his eyes again to stare up at the cloudy sky, the sound of the pouring rain reverberating in his ears,This place would be a nice place to die.


Gentle fingers brushing through his hair pulled Yunlan from his dreams, and his eyes fluttered open to see kind, warm brown eyes staring down at him, a soft smile on the handsome face of the man sitting beside him on the bed.

“Good morning, Yunlan…” Shen Wei smiled at him so fondly, so easily, absolutely no hesitance or fear in his open affection for Yunlan. It still made Yunlan’s heart race in his chest, just as Shen Wei himself did, in his quiet sweetness and with his model-like beauty. Sunlight streamed into their room from the cracks in the curtains, the rays of light playing along Shen Wei’s face and only working to accentuate his good looks; The light made his eyes look like pools of molten gold, further emphasizing the pure love shining within them, and the light also cut shadows that deepened his cheekbones and almost made the man seem to glow, though not as brightly as the soft smile on his lips.

Letting out a pleased sigh, Yunlan let his eyes fall shut again, leaning further into the soft hand playing with his hair. Shen Wei chuckled from above him, leaning in to adoringly press his lips to Yunlan’s forehead. “Come now, Xiao Lan. As lovely as you look right now, the food will get cold if you don’t get up.”

Yunlan opened his eyes again, catching Shen Wei’s other hand in his and bringing it to his mouth, brushing his lips against Shen Wei’s palm sweetly, staring lovingly up at the other man.

“Shen Wei, Shen Wei…” He murmured, grinning up at the writer. “Why eat food when you have a perfectly good meal to eat right here in bed?”

“You’re impossible,” Shen Wei scoffed with a roll of his eyes, but a smile still played at his lips, his eyes bright with amusement.

Yunlan considered that a win, chuckling as he slowly sat up. His eyes traveled around their new apartment, to all the little knick knacks they had obtained over their travels together: countless small souvenirs, pictures of the both of them together along with the postcards Yunlan liked to collect from each new place they visited all pinned to a corkboard, the notebook full of recipes Shen Wei had picked up from people in each town. Yunlan’s gaze zeroed in on the personal touches left around the place, like one of Yunlan’s jackets carelessly tossed over the back of a chair, some of Shen Wei’s books lying open on a table, their new kitten snoozing peacefully in his little bed.

Yes, Yunlan thought to himself, This place is the perfect place to call home.

As he pulled Shen Wei closer to him to press a kiss against those soft, pink lips, Yunlan wondered when the last time was that he felt so at peace.

But then he realized, every moment he had spent with Shen Wei after they had reunited again was filled with peace, and that thought just pulled another smile to his lips as he showered Shen Wei in more kisses.