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Saving us

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Saving us

Chapter 1

Wei Ying bit his lips with a laugh stuck in his throat, a lightly pain forming in his belly for all those minutes that he had been holding back his laughter. ‘’A-Yuan? It’s me’’ Lan Zhan wasn’t wearing that extravagant white custom from his last drama, Lan Yuan should be able to recognize him even better by now, but the little boy refused to being held by his father. ‘’What’s wrong?’’ He frowned, concerned, hurt, he took a couple of steps towards his son, but the kid shook his head and ran away in direction of Wei Ying, who couldn’t keep his laughter hidden anymore. ‘’Why are you laughing?’’ He felt betrayed. He spend a year away from home and the only thing he wanted was to kiss his husband and embrace his son.

‘’He saw the rain scene’’ He explained, a few tears spilling from the hardness of his laughter; Lan Yuan hugged his mama’s neck tightly, until Wei Ying choked for a brief moment. ‘’He said that he doesn’t want a new mama and he is upset with you for trying to replace me ’’ It should be a crime to smile like that when Lan Zhan had his heart torn apart. 

‘’You let him see that scene?’ That was one of the worst he had ever acted; a romantic scene with a woman that he needed to kiss. He spoke with Wei Ying before he filmed it, Lan Zhan was totally against the idea of kissing someone else than his own husband, nevertheless, Wei Ying said that he had no problem with it, he was a confidence man he didn’t mind a kiss. ‘’Why would you do that?’’ he asked, frowning, clearly mad at the idea of Lan Yuan watching his father kissing and swearing eternal love to someone besides Wei Ying. 

‘’What? How I was supposed to know when the rain scene was to be released? Also, he didn’t want to miss even an episode, he always make me to put your dramas, movies and interviews! Your little romantic scene was a juicy gossip for weeks!’’ Lan Zhan glared at him, Wei Ying smiled wider as he sent him a kiss from where he was. ‘’Don’t be mad, Lan Zhan! He would get over it soon!’’ But his husband didn’t change an inch of his face. ‘’Come on! If you don’t spoil me, Lan Yuan might think that you are indeed, replacing me for a another mama. Which, it doesn’t matter if it is miss Nou Kan, you won’t find someone hotter than me. Don’t even try it’’ 

Eventually, Lan Zhan couldn’t do anything else than lift lightly the corner of his lips. Closing his eyes and remember why he had married this man five years ago. Wei Ying had not change a thing since they escaped together and married secretly and against their families blessing. He shouldn’t be impressed. Wei Ying was Wei Ying, no matter how many years passed. Healthier and happier.

After a discussion with his firstborn, Lan Yuan decided that he might consider giving him another chance, but he needed to think it first; at least he let him tucked him in the bed, but Lan Yuan didn’t give him any goodnight kiss, which made him have a heavy heart. He turned the lights off and close the door behind him, quietly. He stared to the old wood door. A couple of decades ago, when he was as young as his son, and that door was already there. It looked battered in the corner, and the old paint was getting scratchs.  They should paint it again soon. 

He imagined Wei Ying’s mischievous smile as he persecute their son around the house, trying to stain his face with the paint. The floor covered with newspapers sheets, and himself doing all the job while they play. And he would be feeling very happy about it, he had more than enough only with seeing them happy.

He would choose the same tone, light blue. It was his mother’s favorite color, light blue for the walls, white for the ceiling, his father was content to let her decided, he would to whatever she commanded. As he made his way back to his bedroom, he passed his fingers along the railing of the stairs. Their house was old. Very old, we was sure that there was not any single place that hadn’t been touched by his parents and brother’s hands. 

He opened the door and saw his husband lying in bed, distractedly tipping something in his phone, he was already under the bed sheets. ‘’How everything went?’’ He asked, not leaving his eyes from the phone. ‘’What?’’ He said when he only heard a sigh from answer.

‘’Do not let him see that kind of scenes again. I do not  enjoy his look of disappointment’’ Wei Ying sat in bed, his feet swinging and touching the floor. 

‘’I wasn’t my intention in the first place, I would control more strictly what he sees, okay?’’ He said with genuine sorriness in his words. ‘’It won’t happen again, I promise’’ Oh no! Those eyes, Lan Zhan sighed and closed his own. He lost. He was defenseless against Wei Ying and his smiles, and eyes and the sweetness of his soul. ‘’Come here’’ He extended his arms and Lan Zhan stepped forward. He let his entire weight in Wei Ying and his husband let out a surprised squeak when he was slammed against the bed, but he let him rest his head in his chest anyway. He let him listen quietly the beats of the heart that owned his.  ‘’What is it, my love?’’ Lan Zhan looked down, refusing to answer, feeling relaxed as Wei Ying’s fingers caressed his scalp carefully. The soft tips of his fingers releasing the tension of the past few months. 

Wei Ying pulled him closer, both of them struggle for a moment before finding a more comfortable position to lay. ‘’What’s the matter?’’ He asked, voice lowly, barely enough for Lan Zhan to hear. ‘’Are you tired?’’ The ambiance of the room getting more intimate as Wei Ying stretch an arm to turn the lamp off. ‘’You can tell me everything, at every time’’ He said when Lan Zhan hadn’t say a word.

He spend the next hour singing in a low tone for him, Lan Zhan close his eyes and got focus only hearing songs that he was inventing a second before sing it; he felt as a child again for a second, long before mourning his mother, where there was her father’s laughter and her mother’s voice. Lan Xichen’s genuine smile. 

He shivered in a good way when Wei Ying caressed his back under his clothes. A warm, velvet hand touching his strained muscles. Every part that he touched felt better immediately. Wei Ying made sure to draw imaginary side to side his back, never stopping his song. This was heaven, he thought, this was his personal heaven and the man touching him was an angel only for him.

‘’Sometimes I can’t believe that I have you by my side’’ He said, after a long while, his deep voice caught Wei Ying out of guard. He was always disposed to Lan Zhan speak about his feelings and thoughts, he rarely did, but he never pushed him to, it was surprising to let heard him speaking with an opened heart. ‘’I’m scared’’ He confessed, ashamed. 

‘’Scared of what?’’ Wei Ying would let him go at his own pace, but he knew when Lan Zhan silent was because he was insecure of how to say what it was torturing his mind. He kept his hands running along his back, neck and scalp as an encouragement to him to continue.

‘’Of open my eyes in the morning and realized that you and A-Yuan are not real’ He had to call him every morning, see their faces through a screen, just to remind himself that that was his family, his and only his. ‘’I fear that someday you would go away, as mother, as father’’. Oh…! Wei Ying pressed his lips slowly to his forehead, not kissing, just enough to let him feel support.

‘’Sadly for you, we are not going anywhere. ‘’ Lan Zhan hugged him tighter, and for a moment his lungs had a issue to expand. ‘’I know that it was difficult for you, my love, I know your pain, but we are not leaving. Not now, not in ten years. Even if we die, I can assure you that we would be right next to you, because we love you so much to leave you behind’’. Lan Zhan shook his head. 

‘’I’m not strong enough to see you die, I couldn’t, I would end my life if it happens’’ Lan Zhan said with pain in his voice, it hurt him so deeply, to hear him saying that kind of things, with a broken voice victim of painful memories that refused to let his beautiful husband in peace. 

‘’Let’s not think about that, alright? A-Yuan and I are too happy to have you with us to even think about such topics!’’ He laughed slightly because if he knew something, was he was Lan Zhan’s one of his strongest weakness. ‘’I love you’’ He said when Lan Zhan was not convinced enough. ‘’I love you so much, you know? I just don’t want you to forget it. You are the light that took me out of my dark times. I really don’t know what it would be of me if I hadn’t found you that day. I love you, and I would never leave you, okay? You understand that?’’ 

Lan Zhan nodded, still lacking a bit of confidence, but Wei Ying would never lie to him. ‘’I’m very happy to had find you before… That unfortunate situation. The world would have lost one of his brightest star that day’’ Now is Lan Zhan who kissed him, freeing Wei Ying from his weight, but cornering between his arms, as if Wei Ying would run away, and as if Wei Ying wanted to. ‘’I love you’’ Wei Ying smiled, that was an undeniable fact that everyone knew. ‘’You do not have any idea of how grateful I was the day you made my family grow in number; you would never understand the way my soul screamed full of joy, when I saw you holding A-Yuan for the first time. ‘’Wei Ying was not supposed to cry, because this was something very beautiful to hear, but he did it anyway. ‘’You do not know how much happiness I feel deep down in my heart every time I see you carry him around the house, when you speak to him and he speaks to you. My entire being crumbles and gets back again when I know that both of you are mine’’ The tip of his ears were deep red. He wasn’t the kind of person that said such love confessions, not that directly, he would never, but yet there he was. 

Wei Ying looked at him from where he was lying, caged. His gray eyes looking at his golden ones. Charmed. He was charmed by those gold eyes, made of the secrets of humanity. God. He looked  perfect and beautiful, as he declared his undying love, vulnerable. There was something else stuck in his throat but Lan Zhan didn’t have more words to expressed it, and he decided to meet his lips instead, hoping that maybe in this way he would understand how much his love burn in his soul. 

Wei Ying accepted, gladly, biting, moaning against his mouth. He missed this man terribly. He gasped when Lan Zhan bit back, and went down to marked his neck. ‘’Don’t be a savage!’’ He complained when Lan Zhan might sunk his teeth a bit too much, but he said nothing and Wei Ying shivered when he felt his hot tongue licking the offended skin. 

‘’Too much time without Wei Ying’’ The bastard said as it was a good excuse. 

‘’My ass’’ 

‘’There, as well?’’

‘’What? No! Don’t you dare!’’ 

He squirmed, doing an attempt to set himself free from his lustful husband, however, between him and Lan Zhan it was obvious who had the advantage; by the time he lost his energy straggling with him, Lan Zhan had thrown away his sweatpants, and he felt his hot breath in right cheek. ‘’Don’t bite me’’ it was half an order, half a plea.   

He moved backwards when there was not pain but a pull of pleasure. ‘’I miss you’’ He heard him say, but Wei Ying was too busy, covering his mouth, it would be the end of him if Lan Yuan was woken by him with his sounds.

‘’I hate you so… Ah!’’

Chapter Text

Chapter 2

He almost had a panic attack in the morning. The side next to him was empty, the room was cleaned and ordered, without any trace of the passionate night the had only a few hours ago, and for a moment Lan Zhan thought everything had been a dream, but, thankfully, his back was sore by the red scratches of Wei Ying’s nails, it was a good sign, and Lan Zhan would wore them proudly. 

   Only with his underwear and his sleeping robes, he went directly to his son’s room, but Lan Yuan wasn’t there. His face was inexpressive, but his heart was beating fast and distressed. In a hurry, he went downstairs, still remaining calm and regal in the outside, but evidently nervous for everyone who truly knew him. 

   He heard loud voices that he totally recognized, then his husband and son’s laughter. ‘’Well! Guess who decided to join us in from the world of the sleepyheads!’’ Gong Nann and Gong Baon, his Grandmother and Grandfather, from the maternal side. Wei Ying looked at him, almost innocently, from the other side of the table, where he was cleaning the spilled juicy of the jaw and neck of their son. Not intervening at all when his husband was squeezed in his grandparents hug. 

   Wei Ying liked them much better than Lan Zhan’s uncle and all the Lan Clan in general, being Lan Xichen the only exception. The Gongs were more humans, kinder and never tried to making feel less in anyway; they had approved his marriage without a second thought, while the Lans tried to tear him apart.

   ‘’And? How was the drama? Tell us everything! We already saw the season three times! And we shared it with aall the neighborhood! Tell us about how everything was at the backstage!’’ The Gongs were totally different from the Lans. They never think too much about etiquette or bother thoroughly about formality or about what people would think.

   ‘’Huh… ‘’ He didn’t even have a chance to speak when Gong Baon started speaking. 

   ‘’I bet you met a lot of pretty ladies!’’ He said, carefree, only to be physically scolded by his wife a moment later.  ‘’Ah! Gong Naan what was that for?’’

   ‘’How dare you to say such things in the presence of my grandson in law!’’ Wei Ying was only amused but decided not to take part in the discussion, not even when Lan Zhan looked at him, helpless. ‘’The day this young man brings someone else in this house, I’m going to start throwing punches! And you would be the first one for suggesting those horribles ideas in the mind of my innocent boy!’’ Lan Zhan gulped, uncomfortable, as he felt his grandmother’s arms tightening around his neck. 

   Even if they were exhausting to deal with sometimes, Wei Ying knew that Lan Zhan loved them. They were a fresh breeze that remind him that not everything were rules, traditions and high expectations to fulfill. 

   As the Lans the Gongs were a very large family, Gong Nann and Gong Boan were only the tip of the iceberg, there were at least a dozen of uncles and aunts, with at least five children each one, which meant a lot of cousins and nephews that Wei Ying would never remember their names. Their little home was filled until the tiniest corner every special occasion: Christmas, Lan Zhan, Wei Ying and Lan Yuan’s birthdays, Lan Zhan's departures, Lan Zhan's arrivals. They were very gleeful people that liked throwing parties even for the slightest reason. 

   ‘’We should call all the family to give our boy a proper welcome’’ Lan Zhan felt a cold sweat down his neck, were he knew he had at least a hickey. Their parties were loud and extravagant, exactly what Lan Zhan didn’t like, and definitely not now when he was home after a long year.

   ‘’Is not necessary’’ Wei Ying hurriedly tried to help, but both of them were long forgotten in the coming plans of the old ones, happily making an oral list about who was invited and who was supposed to bring something. 

   Well, his planned day of playing with A-Yuan in the garden during the afternoon, watching movies in the evening and making love to Wei Ying in the night were now forgotten and replaced with a noisy meeting between himself and the hundred and something of relatives. How beautiful. 

   Well, it was the price he had to pay, he thought, almost not bothered. This people not only came when there were food, drinks and music to dance. They would be there even in the difficult times. That was something Lan Zhan felt grateful to know. At least he knew that Wei Ying wasn’t alone back home, and if he had an emergency of any kind, there were many people watching his back, and the best part, was that Wei Ying trusted this people, which was a relief, to known his family safe and sound while he was far away. His family in law wasn’t not an option. 

   Something bitter went down his throat to the old memories of a few years ago, long before his son, when Lan Yuan was nothing but a unknown dream. ‘’And those lines! My, my, your grandpa was crying like a baby when you said those lines, and Wei Ying had this heart face…!’’ He quickly buried those rough times and forced himself to smile, and avoid Wei Ying’s eyes. 

   Lan Zhan wondered if it was fated that all his family would be fighting to the end of times. First, his family from the paternal side fought the family of his maternal side. When his parents died and he was took under his uncle protection, they denied him along with his brother, to visit his grandparents or any relative of his mother.

   When he married Wei Ying, Wei Ying’s family fought the Lans, and viceversa. They were still fighting, for what he knew. They were in a commercial war that was costing too much in both sides. ‘’And the rain scene? Boy. It swear that I had never seen A-Yuan face so red before! The poor kid looked as he was about to explode!’’ He doubted their love, a true loving family would accept them, doesn’t matter how much they dislike their choices in matter of the heart, they should have support them. 

   ‘’Ah! Grandma, we don’t talk about said scene, because Lan Zhan and A-Yuan are in a truce right now....’’ He whispered, covering Lan Yuan’s hear pretending to be cool. Lan Yuan looked at him, confused, but as soon as his mama poked his nose with his own, he forgot his question. 

   ‘’Oh! My bad’’ She whispered back. His grandmother keep talking about something else, but Lan Zhan’s mind was somewhere else. He would never have the opportunity of a conversation like this with his uncle again, right? No, the answer was clear. Not until his uncle stopped the war, and not until he apologize to Wei Ying. 

   After the fiasco at the new year party, Lan Zhan understood that they were not the kind of people he needed in his life. He hadn’t stepped Cloud Recesses Residence since then, and he wouldn’t. ‘’Well, we take our leaving. Lan Zhan, please, take off that face! You are back home, you should be all smiles now! You won’t be in abstinence anymore. Be happy about it. ‘’ Wong Nann said in a innocent tone. 

   ‘’I’m not in abstinence since yesterday night’’ Lan Zhan said before he could processes his words.

    ‘’Could you please stop talking about our marital life with our grandpas?  I would very much appreciated, thank you!’’ Wei Ying said in a false tone of indignity before taking A-Yuan with him.

   ‘’You should be very proud about your marital life, kid! You are married to Lan Wangji himself!’’ Lan Zhan heard his husband let out a frustrated cry and couldn’t help but smile.


 

   Lan Zhan didn’t remember clearly when was the last time he dedicated a while of his time to do nothing but sunbathe and enjoy the humming of Wei Ying while he was gardening. He felt a sticky liquid cold against his shirt and barely turned his head down to see A-Yuan. ‘’Oopsie’’ He felt his son’s tiny heads trying to take the stain away, but they were already wet and sticky from holding his slice of watermelon.

   ‘’I can wash it later.’’ He said, saving A-Yuan from getting distressed. ‘’However, you need to be careful.’’ He sat correctly on the chaise-longue. ‘’Here, take it with you both hands and eat it quickly or you will let the watermelon leak in our clothes’’ He explained, patiently. 

   ‘’God, they are so fucking cute’’ Wei Ying muttered to himself and took his phone from his pocket. With dirty hands from the soil he started recording. ‘’Come on, do something adorable!’

   ‘’Say I love papa and mama’’ His voice was too low to be heard by Wei Ying, however, his son decided to ignored him, too busy enjoying his cold slice of watermelon that felt as heaven in the middle of summer. ‘’No? Say I love watermelon’’ Lan Zhan tried again. Lan Yuan was in that stage of his childhood where he knew how to speak but he still had a lot more to learn, sometimes he forgot some words or replace them for other ones that did not exist. 

   ‘’I love watermelon’’ Lan Zhan hugged his middle, despite the hot weather, Lan Yuan leaned against his father. He had lost the incident of the rain scene, children’s heart had no room for resentment. He missed this. His son sitting in his lap, happily eating whatever that Wei Ying gave him, his husband wandering around the house, naked feet that made the slightest  of the sounds, but he would compensate the lack of sounds when he run into something, accidentally dropping a pan in the kitchen, a bottle of shampoo in the shower. It was a miracle that he had never dropped A-Yuan. No. Their son was the Wei Ying’s light, the most important being in the world.

   He raised his eyes, his chin never leaving Lan Yuan’s shoulder, who time to time let his father take a bite of his slice of watermelon. ‘’You aren’t filming us, are you?’’ He asked, narrowed brows. 

   ‘’Huh? Me? No, of course not’’. He said, but he was holding his phone clearly until their direction. ‘’I’m definitely not recording you to after see this every time that you are not at home’’ His heart moved by the confession but at the same time there was something cold and hurtful in his chest. Was his job consuming too much of his time? Was he being a negligent parent? Would Wei Ying feel alone at home when he wasn’t there? 

   ‘’Oi! Why the sad face! Is summer! No one is available of being sad in summer, that is a royal decree!’’ And he forced himself to smile, because in that precise moment his family was happy to have him with them. Lan Zhan extended one arm in his directions, Wei Ying didn’t stop recording. ‘’What?’’

   ‘’Come with us’’ His world was completely when he had them in his arms, where he could protect them from the rest of the world, from the cruelty of Madam Yu, the unawareness of Jiang Fengmian, the pity of Jiang Yanli and the envy of Jiang Cheng. 

   ‘’Me? Myself? Am I worthy enough of sitting next to the talented actor Lan Wangji? Am I…?’’ He said, playful, but he stopped recording and came running at them anyway, careful to not crush their son and crush Lan Zhan instead, making himself comfortable in Lan Zhan’s lap as Lan Yuan tried to climb to his head. Right now there wasn’t any disdain to be heard from Lan Qiren. There were no rules in his home that would force him to break down his will, to suffocate his dreams and wishes. No fear of being punished for thinking differently. 

   ‘’You are worthy of the whole world’’ He said clearly. Wei Ying laughed nervously, a pretty blush adorning his cheeks. Lan Yuan saw him with big eyes, curiosity about the reaction, and then happy because his mama’s laugh was always contagious. 

   He felt the freest man in the world in that tiny house. No one would told him to do something that he didn’t like to or to study something that he didn’t enjoy; with an arm tied to Wei Ying’s waist, feeling the head of his husband against his chest and hearing Lan Yuan's endless babbling, Lan Zhan felt the most fortunate man in the world.

Chapter Text

Chapter 3

It was a sad departure. A-Yuan made a tantrum, their well-behaved son made a tantrum because his papa had to go back to work, six months after returning from his last drama. A-Yuan hugged his leg and begged him to stay and never leave, he was crying, heartbroken and refused to let Lan Zhan go. 

    ‘’Papa needs to go’’ Wei Ying called, pulling him softly. "A-Yuan, let go of papa" He asks, not as an order but as a plea. Wei Ying didn't like to see his son this distressed either. 

     But A-Yuan shook his head. Hating the thought of being away from his papa, of not having his arms around him, his ear leaned against his chest, feeling it trembling when he used his deep voice. "No! My papa! He can't leave!" " Lan Zhan's heart was being torn apart. He felt like the worst person that ever walked on the earth. Suddenly he felt that this project wasn't interesting anymore. 

    "I will call my manager" he said, falling under his son's sobs. Lan Yuan was another of his strongest weakness. He couldn't resist making him cry if he could avoid it. He loved him with all his soul. He made him! He waited for him for months, and he held him for the first time with tacit tears in his eyes and a shaky smile on his face, he looked at that baby and knew that the free will Wei Ying let him, now belonged to the baby that looked back him with his same golden eyes. If Lan Yuan asked him to stay, he would stay. 

    "What? No, Lan Zhan" Wei Ying massaged his temples. He was most of his time with his son, and he knew him. Perhaps that was an uncommon reaction, most of the time he was resigned to see his papa leave, and now he was making a fuss, but he would get over it eventually. "He will be alright, don't make this more difficult than it is" 

    "I will stay" Lan Zhan said, firm and confidence, taking his son in his arms, almost kicking his suitcase away. "I will call my manager and tell him to cancel my collaboration in the project" Lan Yuan hugged him his neck, securing his hold and assuring that his papa wasn't going anywhere else than their own home.

    "Lan Zhan, you signed a contract" Finally Lan Zhan seemed to realize it. He could have cancel his participation if there wasn't a contract in the middle. 

    "I can still speak with my manager" he said, holding A-Yuan firmly and with no intention of putting him down on the floor again, he didn't want to hear Wei Ying saying him the opposite because he would eventually accept that (surprisingly) he was right. 

    Wei Ying sighed and saw his husband returning to their little home. He lost that battle. He took the case that the other had kicked before and secured the car before he followed them.

    Usually, A-Yuan only cried silently while he waved and saw his papa getting off of the car, Lan Zhan said that it was already risky letting him drive him to the airport. A single mistake and their entire lives would be exposed. Lan Yuan's safety would be deeply compromised, he wouldn't have a normal life anymore, and that was something Lan Zhan would never risk to lose. If he had to take drastic measures, then so be it; sadly, that also meant no goodbyes inside the airport and no many other privileges that normal families had. They couldn't even welcome him there when he returned from his trips, and the subject of the visits was forbidden to even speak of. 

    "You are spoiling him too much, soon he is not going to listen to us and when we least think about it, he is going to get back home with drunk and with a silly tattoo that he would regret after five years'' he found them half an hour later, tucked in bed, with the television on in a silly program that A-Yuan liked. The boy was gripping his papa's arm with his own, he was smart enough to believe that this might be a trick, and when he falls asleep Lan Zhan would go away. 

    "Wei Ying!" He scolded, but he was too shameless to regret it. He ignored him and tuck himself in bed as well, next to Lan Yuan, who gave him a resentful look, still remembering his attempt of taking away his papa.

    "What? Too soon?" He asked him. Lan Zhan pursed his lips together, clearly displeased by the image in his mind that got mixed with old memories. "Don't look at me like that, A-Yuan, I'm not the bad one, I promise" the kid seemed to consider, he said nothing but he let Wei Ying rest his chin atop of his head. "I called him for you. He said that it was okay, just be in the hotel next Monday." His manager was a very flexible person, Lan Zhan never gave him any trouble and he had the discipline that acting required, he could do him a favor.

    "I don't want to go anymore" Wei Ying sighed.

    "The contract…"

    "Sometimes I feel A-Yuan is growing too fast and I'm not there for him" oh, well, everything changed when he said his real motives. "I'm becoming an absent father" Wei Ying smiled, mournful.

    "We both had daddy issues and, believe me, that you our fathers were not half as good as you" Lan Zhan looked at him, doubt in his eyes. Wei Ying forced a smile to encourage him. "You are not a bad father; I can assure you that" 

    Lan Zhan refused to say anything else for a while, and Wei Ying accepted the idea of his husband losing his flight, so he made himself comfortable for his next nap. When he started becoming sleepy Lan Zhan spoke again. "Do we have... daddy issues?" The question made him laugh against his palm. 

    "Yes, Lan Zhan, we even have mommy issues" he declared, Lan Zhan frowned, uncertain. He thought of his mother and she had any issues with her, she wasn't there, to begin with, then…. Ah! He had more to say, but Wei Ying suddenly decided not to be part of it. "Well, I'm leaving you two" he got up from bed, Lan Zhan looked him, a bad feeling getting install in his senses, a warning before a disaster. "Stay here, Lan Yuan will be clingy for the rest of the day" Wei Ying warned him when Lan Zhan made an attempted to get up, Lan Yuan squeaked and hugged his arm tighter. "Chill, I will be in the painting room." But Lan Zhan did not get relaxed at all.

   Wei Ying had been sober for years since they knew Lan Yuan was on his way, he shouldn't doubt him right now, when Wei Ying hadn't given him any reason to, he thought but himself wasn't buying it. The past and their present were far too different now. 

    "A-Yuan?" 

    "Mm"

    "May I ask you something?"

    "Mm"

    Lan Yuan made only affirmative noises. For him, Lan Zhan's job was confusing. Since he was able to retain memories and being capable of make a connection between those memories, his father was there. His father was a constant presence in his life, he was next to him, in his mama's phone screen, in the TV, Lan Yuan heard his voice in the radio and Lan Yuan imagined him right with them while they have dinner. He is used to the idea of him leaving, due to he knew he was always coming back and he comforts himself with that thought.

    "Does your mama… " He didn't know how to approach such a question, he hesitated when Lan Yuan's golden eyes seemed to reflect him, seeing through his mind, and the fact made him restless.  "Does your mama has been acting strange lately?"

   ''Strange?" He repeats the funny word, playing with the corner of his father's shirt, the TV show now losing all his attractiveness when papa spoke. "Like how?"

  He didn't know how to explain a drunken state or… "Have you seen him being a dragon?"

  "A dragon?" There was a sudden interest in his son's voice. 

  "Yes, what comes out of the mouth of a dragon after it burns something?"

  "Smoke?"

  "Yes, smoke"

   They had worked too hard to combat his addiction. Wei Ying shouldn't have been into such horrible vicious, to begin with, if Madam Yu hadn't… Well, there wasn't any point in getting angry again. Wei Ying was clean and safe now, right? "No, he is not a dragon" Lan Yuan sentenced and Lan Zhan knew that it such relief him but it didn't. 

 

 

    By midnight, Lan Yuan was deeply asleep, his eyes closed heavily, his chest softly going up and down, up and down, Lan Zhan left him only after he was a hundred percent sure that he wasn't waking up to see that he wasn't around. 

   There have been hours since Wei Ying left their room, in other circumstances, he wouldn't be as worried as he was in that moment. Today felt different, today his instincts were yelling in his ear that he would be doomed to see him losing himself in alcohol, drugs and a circle of self-destruction.

   His door was closed, which was a bad sign by itself. He never closed the door, he said that Lan Yuan would open it eventually, or leave the room without closing it, either way, the door would be opened. Lan Zhan wondered if he should knock or not this time.

   Before he was able to think in another option, the sounds of bottles came from inside the room. His heart stopped, burning fury mixed with gelid fear and he pushed the door open wide and abruptly. "Damn it!" Wei Ying dropped the paintbrush by accident, a reflex for having his concentration broken so suddenly. "What? Is Lan Yuan alright?" The concern in his voice was almost enough to Lan Zhan soft again, but right now was a vein made of steel booming lava instead of blood.

   "Are you drinking?" He asked, heat behind his words, betrayal burning in the bottom of his stomach. Wei Ying promised that he wouldn't, not again, and yet he did it.

    "Whaat?" Wei Ying was taken back by the accusation. He stood up from the floor, where he was comfortably sat in a lotus position, a former white canvas ruined by the imprecision of an accident. 

   "How would you call this?" Lan Zhan grabbed the bottle, disgusted with the one who created it, with the one who sold it, even when they didn't have any fault at all. 

    "A wine substitute, maybe?" He said in a natural tone. Pretending a calm that he wasn’t feeling. Lan Zhan's face didn't change an inch, steeled and tough. "Read the label, it has no alcohol in it"

    He did as he was told. There were a lot of ingredients that he recognized, the most worrying being the amount of sugar per portion, but he kept stubbornly searching for the percentage of alcohol, however, the label said explicitly that This bottle is 100% FREE of alcohol. "Why are you drinking this?"  He asked instead of expressing his weak relief. "Have you been smoking too?"

    "Why are you so upset? I'm not drinking, I'm not smoking, no drugs, A-Yuan is under my care, I would never expose to that, jeez" Oh, there it was, his heart beating faster and faster, the feeling of fear breaking him in half, the oppression in his ribcage.

    "Since when you have been using substitutes?" Wei Ying wouldn't be able to get drunk with this, even if he drunk ten bottles, but the idea of him consuming something very similar to the shit that almost killed him, made him mad and restless. He made no attempt of returning the bottle to its owner, even when Wei Ying tried to take it back.

    "I don't know" Wei Ying didn't feel calm anymore, slowly the fear getting under his nerves with the interrogation. Lan Zhan had all the reason to be wary, Wei Ying had relapses before, in the very beginning, before they got married and before Lan Yuan was born.

   Lan Zhan kept looking at him, stern hard eyes. "Fine, it was like four years ago" Lan Zhan said nothing, which made Wei Ying even more nervous, it was stupid, because he hadn't done anything bad, technically. "What? It is not as bad as it sounds, I don't drink them all the time. Just occasionally’’.

    "It was after I started working as an actor" Wei Ying passed his hands along his face, helplessly, that was exactly what he didn't want to discuss. 

   "Is not a big deal. It has no alcohol. I drink it like twice a month."

   "You could have a relapse while I was out" No, Wei Ying thought, he was stronger than Lan Zhan believed him.

   "No, I wouldn't, your grandpas are here all the time, believe me, they always check on my and Lan Yuan, this house is always filled with them, you can ask him." Wei Ying felt a sentiment that he hadn't experience in a long time: Powerless. He didn't want him to think that he wasn't true of his word, fit to take care of Lan Yuan. "I have been good, I swear it!" Those words made both stopped for a moment. The forbidden phrase that neither of them wanted to hear or say. "I have been tempted to drink, I admit it, when I'm stressed, when I'm sad, when I'm scared, I remember how drinking made me feel better, but I can't do it again! I can't, I'm having a good life here and I don't want to ruin it. I don't want to go back, Lan Zhan, I don't want to!" By he confessed his crime, Wei Ying was breathing a bit agitated, hands shaking. The darkness was tempting but it was only a bait, once he started sinking, he would be torn apart, he still wore the scars and he needed no more. "I have been good" he said again, eyes lost in a point of the room, fearing a punishment that never came. "You believe me, right? Ask them, ask Lan Yuan, I love him, I love him so much, he is my whole life, I would never do this to him, I would never hurt him like this" his words were muffled against Lan Zhan's shoulder when Wei Ying was desperately embracing him. "I have been…" 

   "Don't say it" He hugged his waist maybe a bit too tight. " Don't say that, I'm not her, don't beg me as I was"

 

 

   Lan Yuan was messily lying on the big bed of his parents. His limbs were in different directions, his tiny mouth slightly opened and he was snoring very softly. He was carefully protected by some thick blankets and Lan Zhan had made an effort to put a pillow under his head but the boy had kicked it not much time ago.

   ‘’Sounds like a good plan’’ Lan Zhan and Wei Ying were squeezed in a cozy corner of their room, sitting on big squishy pillows and under warm blankets, empty mugs of sugarless tea in the nearest table. ‘’But you will return eventually, okay? I don’t want you to stop doing what you love because ...of this’’

   ‘’If I stopped acting it wouldn’t be your fault. Stop thinking of that’’ Wei Ying shyly started playing with the edge of their blanket. Lan Zhan was tempted to smile, for the similarity between Wei Ying and Lan Yuan ‘’Is not your fault’’ He repeated again, and he would do it a thousand times more if he had to. ‘’We should have been more careful’’ Lan Zhan was still unquiet, but now with a cold mind to think in future solutions. ‘’Tomorrow we will go with Dr. Wen Qing’’ Wei Ying sighed, that was something definitely not exciting at all. He hated all the stuff related to doctors of any kind. ‘’You won’t be alone’’ 

  ‘’I know, but I just don’t love the idea of having people around examining me’’ 

   ‘’Is necessary. We need to treat your anxiety and monitor your health, not only physically’' 

   ‘’I’m not getting medicated’’

    ‘’Agreed. I won’t allow it’’ 

    ‘’But we are having dinner in my favorite restaurant after, right?’’

    ‘’...No’’’

    ‘’Why not? Ah!... Yes, my husband is a hot, worldwide known actor. Sometimes I forget it, eh?’’

     Wei Yin laughed quietly, but there was a weight in Lan Zhan’s chest. As Wei Ying said, he loved what he did, he was good at it and he enjoyed it. However, he didn’t enjoy to have Wei Ying and their son as a dirty secret. He remembered that time when they were having a romantic/familiar date for his birthday, in a nice homely restaurant, and he was caught by paparazzi’s while Wei Ying was in the bathroom changing Lan Yuan’s diaper, Wei Ying had to pretend to be a waiter and left in a taxi along with Lan Yuan.

    ‘’Even if you weren’t an actor, we will be pretty much living like this, you know, right? I mean, you have golden eyes, I gave birth a baby who also has golden eyes. And we are hot’’ He said, as it was obvious and Lan Zhan tried very hard not to snort. ‘’I was doing a research a while ago, and I find some interesting facts about people with golden eyes’’

    ‘’Mn’’

     ‘’Yes, so, did you know that your kind have better senses than average people?’’

     ‘’Yes’’

     ‘’See? I was surprised too… Wait, what?’’

     ‘’My mother had a very good hearing. We used to play a game, my brother and I would whisper a song from the garden and our mother would be in her room, this same room, and when we would finish our singing, she would yell from the window the name of the song. She always won’’.

     Wei Ying listened carefully. Lan Zhan loved his mother as most of the children love their own, and he smiled, moved by picturing his husband in the tiny, innocent form of a child, taking Lan Xichen hand behind a tree and discussing what song would they sing that day. ‘’I would have loved to meet her’’ He confessed, sincerely. She sounded like a wonderful woman, the only woman that Lan Zhan had in his heart. 

    ‘’She would have loved to meet you too’’ His eyes wore an old sadness that hurt a bit less each time he remembered perfectly his mother’s face. ‘’My father too, but he would be scared first. My mother was like you’’

    ‘’Cool and amazing?’’

    ‘’Wild and free of spirit’’

     Wei Ying shifted between the wall and Lan Zhan, forcing him to be his human pillow this time. Lan Zhan never complained, and once that Wei Ying was comfortable enough he hugged him by the waist and sniffed his hair. ‘’I’m not as good as my mother, but I have a good memory’’

    ‘’Okay, you suck, we have to give Lan Yuan something to show off with his friends, and saying my papa’s superpower is that he has a good memory is not cool at all!’’

    ‘’You smelled like lavender and roses the first time I met you’’

     ‘’Aw! Lan Zhan, that’s cute…’’

    ‘’I stole your purple scarf because I thought I wouldn’t see you again, I want to keep something of you with me for the rest of my life’’

   ‘’Aw! Lan Zhan, that's fucking creepy’’

   ‘’I was seven’’

   ‘’What did you do with my scarf?’’

   ‘’I gave it to Lan Yuan, he smells too much like me and I wanted him to have some of your scent too’’

    ‘’Oh! Is THAT scarf? Well, I knew that there was something familiar with it. I’m totally using this information to future blackmailing’’

    ‘’Sleep’’ Lan Zhan commanded, and covered them both with the heavy blankets, tomorrow would be a long stressful day. 

   ‘’What superpower will A-yuan have?’’ He asked, yawning softly.

    ‘’Is unknown yet’’

   ‘’I hope is not super hearing, or we won’t have more night's fun’’  

   ‘’I can build us a soundproof room’’

   ‘’Lan Zhan!’’

Chapter Text

Chapter 4

Lan Zhan hated when he felt his days were longer than they really were, but that was no excuse to have a poor performance in the stage, quite the opposite, he let the best of him in the same stage, his very soul. He memorized every single one of his lines, with a perfection that overwhelmed the director and the people in charge of filming, and, of course, he intimidated his fellow actors, deeply. 

He didn’t let them even gossip about why he was the last one to arrive at their current location, Taiwan; if he was being conceited or pretentious and that was why he decided to be late to the official date of the filming, or it if was because he was irresponsible and he was accidentally late. As soon as he landed, his belongings were left in his hotel and he headed to the filming set, hardly saying more than good morning and apologies for the delay. 

He wasn’t there to give an explanation to everyone, so it was, that when he heard some rumors running between actors, actresses and even the people in the production, Lan Zhan decided that he hadn’t time to lose. He wanted to finish this soon; he wanted to be at home and make sure of his family’s wellbeing personally.

The murmurs stopped when they realized that they need to work harder to be at the same pace than Lan Zhan. By five a.m. Lan Zhan was already in the filming set, ready to be prepared by the makeup team and the people in charge of what he would wear that day. He was more than ready to start his day.

It was beyond frustrating to have to repeat a scene three times, only because the current actress got nervous staring at his golden eyes. They were not paying her to dumbly stared at him. They were there to do their job and Lan Zhan was getting impatient; it was worst when someone says a dialogue wrong, which could be normal but by the fifth time his eyebrow twitched.

He was glad that he had a firm hold on his emotions because he was reaching the end of his tolerance. ‘’Hey’’ Lan Zhan relaxed evidently at the sound of that voice, lavender, and roses blooming in his mind immediately. ‘’Hello there? Is this Mr. Handsome?’’ Lan Zhan fought the urge of smiling because there were people around him, and they couldn’t see him smiling to his phone or they would sell that fact to the nearest newspaper and by the end of the idea he would be on the cover page of at least four magazines. ‘’No? Oh well, I have the wrong number, then’’.

‘’Yes, he… He is speaking’’ His face kept the same air of indifference but his heart is beating happily as if this was the first time they saw each other. 

‘’Are you in a safe place to talk, Mr. Handsome?’’ He sounded playful, as always, and Lan Zhan felt a peace that he hadn’t been feeling in long weeks. ‘’Or perhaps I should call later?’’

‘’No’’ Lan Zhan said too quick, almost losing his inexpressive facade. ‘’I will find a safe place. Wait.’’ 

‘’Sir, yes sir!’’

He wasn’t busy at the moment, he had said his lines perfectly, as always, he had obeyed his actions according to the ones written in the script with any mistake, however, his co-start he had been working with didn’t, and she had to review the script, again, delaying the scenes they were supposed to be filmed that day, which put Lan Zhan in a terrible humor, nevertheless, that didn’t mean that the production new when he was in a good humor. 

He made his way to his dressing room and locked the door. He felt as he was that teenager that wasn’t supposed to even talk with that Wei Ying, who, according to his uncle’s words was nothing but trouble. ‘’I’m safe’’

‘’How you doing, my love?’’ Lan Zhan smiled stupidly knowing that no one would be there to see it. ‘’Have you been, you know, taking care of yourself? Are you eating correctly? Don’t forget to drink water! And sleep eight hours a day, don’t care what the director says, if I find out that you are not doing all these things, I’m going to kick some asses’’.

‘’Don’t say those words in front of Lan Yuan’’ He scolded. 

‘’He can’t hear me! He is playing with his cousins in the garden. Do you believe that? He changed me for a bunch of little kids that eat their own mucus!’’ slowly, the tension he had been carrying in his shoulders seemed to dissipate. 

‘’Are you at home?’’ 

‘’No, I’m at grandma's. Someone did something and they thought that a party would be appropriate’’ Yes, that sounded exactly as Gong Nann. ‘’I have been busy these past days, sorry I hadn’t text you as usual’’ 

‘’What have you been doing?’’ He asked, slowly, curiosity in his voice. He knew he was alright; his Grandmother would have told him otherwise. She wasn’t a watchman, but she was aware of Wei Ying past alcoholism issues and she checked up him frequently. Her house was across the street. 

‘’Painting. An owner of a gallery saw one of my paints I sold a month ago and he is crazy with the idea of having me in the exhibition’’ Wei Ying stopped for a moment before chuckling. ‘’Well, that sounds bad’’

‘’Mn’’

‘’Aw! Lan Zhan! Are you jealous of a 73 old man stealing me away?’’ 

Fine, he won’t admit it, and he rather change the subject. ‘’Will your paintings... ‘’’ He made sure to do an emphasis here ‘’be displayed?’’ That was nice to know. Wei Ying had great talent, but he was content to only made a few works that were purchased to a ridiculously low price because Wei Ying thought there were not worthy enough of a higher price. Lan Zhan liked the idea of the gallery.

‘’Yes, I still have some new ones to make, but I should be ready by the end of the next month’’ 

‘’You 'll do great. You are a great artist, I’m very proud of you’’ He said, because it was true, even if Wei Ying didn’t seem to realize, he was very good and he deserved to know it. ‘’I would like to accompany you in that special day’’

‘’Stop! I’m blushing now! Are you happy?’’ 

‘’Of course I’m happy, I married you’’ 

Damn him! Wei Ying blushed harder and had to look away when Gong Baon looked at him with a smugly face. ‘’Shut it, the shameless one here is me! I should be telling you that kind of things, not the other way around!’’ Wei Ying had to whisper furiously to the phone because his Gong Baon thought it was hilarious and started laughing incredibly loud that Lan Zhan heard him clearly through the line. ‘’And I would like to have you by my side that day’’ But they couldn’t. There was no way that Lan Zhan could pass unnoticed by all the cameras that it would definitely be there. ‘’Don’t feel sad about it. Lan Yuan won’t be able to attend either’’

Lan Zhan sighed. Sometimes their eyes felt more like a curse than a blessing. ‘’Don’t worry, grandma said that she would take care of him in the meantime.’’ That wasn’t the problem. Lan Yuan had an army of Gongs that would kill to babysit him. ‘’Is not as big as it sounds. They would only introduce me to a bunch of rich people and show off my work and I would go, our grandparents would pick me off and then we are having a party’’ A real party with no alcohol in it. 

Wei Ying kept talking about how much he missed him, and Lan Zhan said more or less the same thing with only half of his words; fifteen minutes later he was still in a call, and he shot an angry glare to the poor assistant that kept knocking his door to tell him that they were ready this time and he was needed in the stage. ‘’Ah! Lan Zhan, by the way, your manager called me and said that you were being a pain in the ass, is that true?’’

‘’No’’ Because it wasn’t. They were the pain in his ass. They were unprofessional. The ones that started working until seven in the morning, the ones that made mistakes and stole his precious time. ‘’I’m being professional’’

‘’And are you being nice?’’ Wei Ying asked in a tone that made Lan Zhan lower his head, even if he wasn’t there to avoid the probably disapproving look in his gray-crystal eyes. 

‘’Perhaps’’ Because he didn’t like to admit something that it wasn’t true. Nevertheless, he wasn’t there to be nice to people. That was not his job. ‘’They were not nice first’’ Well, it sounded more mature in his mind. ‘’And they are useless’’.

‘’Lan Zhan, be nice for me, okay?’’ No, no, it was not fair for Lan Zhan, to Wei Ying asking him things in such sweet pleading tone. He wouldn’t be able to say no. ‘’Could you? They are probably frightened of having you as one of the main characters. Not many of them have great roles yet, they are not useless, they are nervous and you are not helping’’

‘’Blackmail’’ He muttered, may be offended, a little. Yes, he wasn’t being nice, however, he wasn’t nice half of the time with people that did not do their job rightly; it was well known how he used to work, by executive producers and directors, and that’s why many of them fought to have him with them, nonetheless, for the people that work directly with him in a scene, it was tense, he wasn’t friendly at all, not rude, but neither kind, he only showed cold politeness.  

‘’Absolutely. Come on, babe, I’m not telling to be as charming as me, because no one can, but you can be a bit more patient, they would eventually feel more comfortable to work with you and people do wonders when they feel at ease. Remember, the less you intimidate them, the better are they going to work, how about that?’’

‘’I could try’’ Of course that he would! Wei Ying asked him personally, he would do whatever he told him, his will belong to him. He heard him suspire satisfied at the other side of the line, and Lan Zhan felt a primitive sentiment of content with himself for being the cause of it. 

‘’I like to hear that; and please! Don’t be pushy and stop appearing at five of the morning. Let them rest properly, be late a few minutes if you can, they would use that time to get everything set by everyone’s arrival, alright? Your early presence could make the staff even more nervous’’

‘’Five a.m. is a good time to start the day’’ He said, defensive.

‘’No, it is not! It is the worst time ever! 10 a. m. is the best time ever’’

‘’You are lazy’’

‘’No, I’m not, I’m just using the little time I have before A-Yuan starts school, soon this little thing would be moving out for university and then what would I do?’’ 

‘’Stay with me’’ 

‘’I wasn’t planning something different’’

‘’’Good, you can’t have something different’’

‘’Stop being possessive and get back to work!’’

‘’Mn’’

Wei Ying hung up and Lan Zhan kept looking at the phone for several minutes. This was a dirty tactic from his manager, making his husband call him and do what his manager was afraid of. The worst part was that it worked. ‘’My apologies, I had an important call to attend’’ The murmurs along the production soon begun and Lan Zhan used all of his patience left to not roll his eyes.

‘’I think then; we should start the shooting again’’ His co-protagonist nervously suggested. Luo Qingyang was a good actress, but this was her first great role. There were days where she didn’t believe her luck. 

That same fortune sometimes felt like a terrible bad luck. The pressure of her family’s future, her own future, the press. If she ruined this unique opportunity that was gave to her, she would me remember as such the rest of her life, if that was the case, she could say good-bye to any other chance of acting on any media. 

The thought hunted her before bed and before getting up every morning. She was not at the level her manager thought. She was still a newbie. Somehow, she earned the love of the people in her last drama, and they want to see more of her, not as the friend of the protagonist, or a secondary character that only appeared a few times on screen. No, they wanted her to be a start. She wanted to be that too, but everything was better in a dream. 

Right now at that moment, after repeating a scene for who knew what time, she was shaking, and with a high-pitched voice, she said her lines, quickly, almost without having time to breathe. There were dozens of eyes watching every move, every mistake that she could do. 

Lan Zhan narrowed his eyes, she wasn’t looking at him while she talked, her chest went up and down faster than normal, and her voice wasn’t calm at all. ‘’Breath’’ His voice was quite the opposite, deep, confident and calm, he seemed to understand what Wei Ying tried to explain to him earlier. ‘’In’’ He took a deep breath, his eyes never leaving Luo Qingyang’s ones, thankfully, she imitated him. ‘’Out’’ He said after a moment. 

The first time was difficult for him, she had to swallow back a hurtful feeling that threatened her with slaughter her throat.  ‘’Sorry, I… I’m…’’ She felt tears filling her eyes, and tried to smile assumingly, clearing her throat.

‘’It’s alright. We have time’’. No, he hadn’t, an extra day that he spends because someone couldn’t do properly their job was a waste of his time, however, Wei Ying’s voice is freshly in his mind, scolding him and remind him about humanity. ‘’We can essay first, without the cameras, if that makes you feel more comfortable’’ The rest were sunk in awkward silence. It was a common sight, an actor or actress that succumb to stress, scenic panic, frustration. 

She mumbled some apologies more along with her thanks, many decided to give her some space, she heard them leave the set. She didn't feel that kind of embarrassment in a while, shame burning her face. ‘’I swear that this doesn’t happen, usually’ She tried to compose herself, but she failed. 

‘’I vomited five minutes before my first scene in a movie’’ Lan Zhan confessed in a monotone tone that wasn’t ashamed at all. He wasn’t an expert comforting people, but he did remember that every time he felt that he was going to die inside in his first years of acting, Wei Ying called him and told him very embarrassing anecdotes that somehow made him feel better. 

So, I knew something wasn’t right when I got out of the pool, I feel… Too lightly, you know? And fresher than normal. I was like Mmm… Wait a minute. I even stand there, dumbly, for like a while, right in front EVERYONE! Thinking about what was wrong. I heard Jiang Cheng laughing, but I ignored him because I was too busy thinking, by the way, might I need to remind you that we were at a family party, again? Because, yes! My aunts have photos of a ten-year-old me naked! I jumped back to the pool, trying to save some of my extinguished dignity. My sister rescued shortly after that, but my man’s pride was hurt irreparably. 

‘’Were you nervous? You?’’ She couldn’t believe it. She personally saw every single one of his movies. His acting was marvelous since the first one. She couldn’t picture him in her mind and saw him not being the gifted artist he was. 

‘’Absolutely. The second time I locked myself in my dressing room’’ It was… Interesting, to share his experiences with someone else, Wei Ying knew them, all of them, but probably he couldn’t understand them as a person that might have passed for the same. He sat in the nearest place he found, careful of not ruining his costume, she followed him, interested genuinely in his narration. ‘’My manager was desperate’’ Somehow, he started feeling less strained, a tiny bit more comfortable. ‘’However, it didn’t matter how many times he knocked on my door, or told me that everything was going to be okay, that it only was a few lines, I was scared’’ She knew that kind of fear.

‘’And…’’ She started when Lan Zhan didn’t continue and stared at her. ‘’How did you solve it? Because you solved it, right?’’

‘’I had a friend at that time…’’ He said because Wei Ying wasn’t his friend anymore. He was his husband. ‘’My manager called him and explained the situation to him, he put him in line with me and he told me a very funny story…’’


 

Wei Ying tried to touch his toes with the tips of his fingers. Something made a crack in his back. ‘’Fuck, in not that old!’’ 

‘’Fuck?’’ Lan Yuan repeated, sleepily, rubbing one of his still closed eyes, yawning and stretching a little. He almost jumped out of bed, forgetting that those past weeks, Lan Yuan had been sneaking in his bed in the middle of the night, he hid in the nest of blankets and pillows until morning came. Wei Ying remembered almost shitting himself the first morning he woke up and went to his son’s room; the room was empty, the bed was cold, he looked over the entire house, even in the garden, with naked feet, slipping in the wet stairs and hitting his head against the door in the process, overcome by panic and fear. The little rascal was wrapped in one of his mama’s sweaters, already sitting at the kitchen, bouncing his feet in that tall chair, waiting for breakfast.

‘’What? No, no, I said quack’’ If Lan Zhan heard his beloved son saying such bad words. He didn’t even want to imagine what would he do to him. ‘’Yes? Quack, quack!’’ And then he proceeded to repeat the same onomatopoeia, hoping that his son might forget that word, or at least get confused. 

Lan Yuan giggled as he felt his father hands tickling his feet, he tried to kick him, but he hadn’t any strength left when Wei Ying bit playfully his still chubby baby belly. ‘’No! No!’’ He squirmed but Wei Ying only tickled him harder. 

He had some mercy, eventually, he didn’t want to cause any accident, after all. ‘’Come here, babies should have breakfast if they want to grow tall and strong’’ He practically sang that same phrase every time they were late in the morning. 

‘’I'm not a baby!’’ Lan Yuan said, pouting, but taking the hand Wei Ying offered him anyway, guiding him to a place that he already knew, but touching his skin always made him feel safe and happy at the same time.

‘’Of course not, baby boy’’

Lan Yuan was able to sit by himself now, with a bit of struggle, Wei Ying only supervised him that he would not fell out from the chair. He heard him yawn adorably and he swore that his whole heart belonged to his son. ‘’We would go back to bed after we finish, I promise’’ That was why he loved Sundays. ‘’And I will call papa, how is that, huh?’’ The happiness was writing all over his son’s face, and he asked himself if it was a good idea saying that before breakfast, Lan Yuan would be a ball of excitement, difficult to control, every time he mentioned papa.

As usual, he turned the T.V on, while he cooked. He wasn’t a good cooker, by any means, but he was perfectly able to do some meals healthy and tasty enough for his son, thanks to Wong Nann, he absently cut some vegetables, the voices of some program that he didn’t recognize entirely in the background.

He wasn’t putting too much attention until he heard them saying his husband's name. Lan Yuan was practically almost jumping in his seat. ‘’Ladies! Don’t be so sad! We should be happy that finally…’’ Wei Ying didn’t stop his task until he finished, he went to the fridge and took some eggs from it, but he did think that that voice was awfully annoying, and for a moment he wanted to change the channel, but he was just too lazy about it. ‘’...Our Lan Wangji has found love!’’ Fuck. He thought, he accidentally dropped one or two eggs on the floor and looked up the screen. 

They had found out! About his marriage, about Lan Yuan. It wouldn’t take long to know where they live, how their son looked, his horrible past and many other things that could be used against Lan Zhan and Lan Yuan. ‘’...with his co-star, no less!’’ Ah! He sighed in relief. 

Contrary to him, Wei Ying wasn’t a jealous person at all. He loved Lan Zhan, dearly, deeply, with his life, however, he had been preparing himself to find out that he might go with someone else. Wei Ying didn’t doubt of his husband’s love, he was loved, that was an undeniable fact, but someday, he hoped that day was still very far from his present, he could realize that Wei Ying was a heavy burden to carry. He knew that Lan Zhan was distressed of leaving, because Lan Yuan, but also because he was scared that Wei Ying would have a relapse.

He didn’t trust him completely, again, he didn’t blame him, because he had motives to not giving him his entire trust, however, that wasn’t a good way to live, with the fear of losing him while he was away. Lan Zhan deserved a good person, that would never disappoint him, and Wei Ying had been trying to be that person but sometimes, he felt that he wasn’t being enough, and the idea of Lan Zhan asking him for a divorce was scary as it was painful, and he prayed that day never came.’’...the recalled actress, Luo Qingyang, a.k.a Miam-Miam has been seen in the company of Lan Wangji these past months! Having breakfast and lunch, and some say even dinner!’’ That was definitely a terrible voice to hear at this time in the morning. ‘’They hadn’t confirmed anything yet, but the next photos would speak for themselves!’’

Indeed, the pictures speak clearly, about a newborn friendship. Sometimes Lan Zhan was chatting next to Miam-Miam or eating together. She looked very happy, laughing from time to time, while his husband seemed relaxed. The most explicit picture they have was of them touching, probably by accident, when Miam-Miam tried to reach the salt. These idiots would lose their minds if they knew what Lan Zhan does to me when no one is around…

This would be a very stupid news because many actors and actresses had been doing the same and there wasn’t any scandal about it. However, this wasn’t just any actor. This was Lan Wangji. The most reserved person in the entertainment world nowadays, the most secretive and mysterious actor shown in the last years. Discovering him having him human interaction in public with someone else besides his manager, was a won challenge. 

He turned the T.V off before he heard more garbage, cleaning the mess he had caused, he suddenly remembered Lan Yuan. He hadn’t said a word. ‘’A-Yuan?’’ He called softly, the boy had a grim face, pursed lips, narrow eyes. ‘’They are lying, okay?’’ He said, but that didn’t erase what the excuse of reporter said before. 

‘’Papa said he wouldn't give a new mama’’ Oh no! He could deal with a sad A-Yuan, it was kind of easy to cheer up a kid, but to calm down an angry A-Yuan? God have mercy. ‘’And he lied’’

‘’Nooo!’’ He went right to his side in seconds, but A-yuan still had that angry-sad-disappointed face. ‘’He didn’t lie at all! They did. Papa would never leave us’’ That was something he was entirely sure about; Lan Zhan would never leave A-Yuan. ‘’Papa only has a friend, that’s all’’. He said, but A-Yuan didn’t look back at him. ‘’Come, baby’’ A-Yuan let his father cradled him in his arms, sighing shakily. ‘’Papa love you very much, I swear it, but there is a lot of ugly people that make up a lot of gossips about him, but none of those are true’’

Wei Ying kept telling him about how much Lan Zhan loved him. The first time he knew he was on his way to this world and many other stories that were about Lan Yuan and his papa. ‘’Mama?’’ He asks once Wei Ying thought he had fallen asleep. ‘’We love you too’’ He said, and Wei Ying didn’t suppose to cry, but he did.

 

Chapter Text

Chapter 5

Wei Ying was desperately trying to wash out the blue stain of paint of his uniform. He rubbed the fabric between his hands until the skin of his palms turned red. If Madam Yu saw the state of his clothes... He didn’t want to think about the punishment she would give him. With a painful sob, he rubbed harder, but the stain was still there.

            She was going to kill him. He already heard her angry voice and the slap against his cheek for being a pestilent brat that never listens. And with his father and sister far away from home, he was utterly lost. He started crying inconsolably, hugging his dirty coat, while the water kept running, as were the tears from his face.

            Madam Yu was the strictest person he had ever met, and when the driver picked him up from school, he saw him with pity but didn’t make any attempt to help him, and Wei Ying got in the car like a man that knows is going to die soon. By the time they were home, he was hiccupping. ‘’We are home’’ He told him, and he shook his head. ‘’Young Master, you have to get out of the car’’ To this, Wei Ying held his seat belt as it was his last hope.

            ‘’No! Please!’’ He whispered, desperately. ‘’Don’t let her find me! I will wash my clothes myself! I just…’’ He started crying all over and the driver began to feel annoyed. 

‘’I'm only doing my job, young master.’’ He was hired to drive a rich family along the city, not to babysit any weeping child. ‘’Please get out of the car, Madam Yu and Young Master Jiang Cheng are already waiting for you to have dinner’’ 

‘’I can’t go there! She is going to kill me!’’ He repeated because there were moments he thought it would be true. ‘’Please! Let me hide here for a while until she forgets that I exist!’’ The driver sighed, tired before getting out of the car, Wei Ying glued himself to the other side of the backseat, when he saw the driver coming from him. His heart started beating fast, and he wished deeply to die at that moment instead of Madam Yu’s hands.

‘’No, no, please! Please!’’ He begged, in despair, but the driver had to be a bit rough at the moment of getting him out. He recalled being hit against the car’s door by accident, but the driver didn’t show any sign of concern, this was not the favorite son of Madam Yu, neither the beautiful daughter of Jiang Fengmian. 

‘’What is all this scandal?’’ Wei Ying froze, overcome by fear. He didn’t need to turn around to see that she was behind them, already in a bad mood. ‘’What happened to your clothes?’’ She asked, Wei Ying wished to be a worm and hid in the dirt. ‘’Answer me, now!’’ He tried, he really did, but his tongue didn’t want to move. ’’Jiang Ying!’’ She scolded him, with a thunderous voice, but he didn’t respond, what would he say to her? If he told her that he was playing with his friends in art class, he would be punished, if he told her that someone intentionally stained his coat, he would be punished. 

Wei Ying looked down his pants, confused, but when he understood that the warm wetness in the middle of his legs was not his imagination, he panicked. He tried to mumble an apology, but the next he knew it was himself with a bruised cheek, lying on the floor. ‘’You are a disgrace to this family’’ She said, slowly, with a true hatred that Wei Ying did not understand until he was twelve. ‘’Get up from there, stupid boy! You would wash your clothes for the rest of the month!’’ She tugged one of his thin arms so hard that he thought she might break it in two. 

Jiang Cheng peeked out from the window of the dining room only for a moment, but when he saw her mother hitting his older brother, he couldn’t encourage himself to keep looking. Always was the same, Wei Ying was the heir of the family, the firstborn, two years older than him, and mother was especially harder on his education.

One day Wei Ying would represent their name and legacy, but he was seven and he still peed himself. Their mother was determinate to make a man out of him, whatever that meant, because that kid Jiang Cheng didn’t quite understand that concept, until he was fifteen, however, by the time he understood what it meant, his older brother, the future of the Jiang’s, managed himself to sink the family name in the muck, when he was caught in a bathroom of a bar, drunk and sniffing cocaine from the dirty floor. 


 

A-Yuan hated his mama’s nightmares. It always made him feel sad and angry. He didn’t like at all that woman that made his mama cry, saying all those harsh words. No. His mama was beautiful and good, and he only deserved loving words, hugs, and kisses from him and papa, and his grandparents. Perhaps an aunt or two, but no uncles! Well… Maybe a hug from Uncle Lan Xichen, because his hugs were very comfy.

He hears him release a sob that broke his childish heart. ‘’Mama’’ He called him, hoping that he might recognize his voice and wake up from that horrible nightmare. ‘’I’m here’’ He said, exactly as they said when he was having a nightmare. ‘’Is not real, I am and I will protect you’’ His feet were still touching the cold floor and he quickly sneaked in his mama’s bed. There was a lot of spilled tears running along his cheeks, crying quietly while he clenched the white sheath of the pillow under his head.

A-Yuan armed himself with all the courage and bravery he had, he cupped Wei Ying’s in his hand, the room was plunged in darkness, but his golden eyes started to glow. The effect was immediate, Wei Ying’s features relaxed considerably, there was still pain in his soul, but A-Yuan put even more effort and looked deeply in his memories, praying to find something beautiful that would make him smile again.

‘’Lan Zhan! Look, his hands are so tiny! And his nose! Look at this pretty nose!’’ He saw his mama lying along a white bed, inside a white room, he was holding something in his arms, carefully, as it was made of crystal. A-Yuan tried to sit down on the bed, next to them, it didn’t matter, they wouldn’t be able to see him. 

‘’He is beautiful, like you’’ They looked much younger, they looked different but exactly the same. It was difficult to explain. A-Yuan wondered why his research brought him to this precise moment of his mama’s life. 

‘’Did you hear that, A-Yuan? Your papa says that you are beautiful’’ He saw him kissing the little form wrapped in those white layers. ‘’Papa and I think that you are beautiful, the most beautiful baby ever born!’’ A-Yuan’s cheeks grow pink to hearing his mama saying such embarrassing compliments! 

He saw his papa caressing the form, the baby-form, that is to say, himself, before letting a kiss on his forehead, instinctively, A-Yuan touched his own forehead, as it the warm of his papa’s lips was still there. ‘’We love you, very much’’ A-Yuan felt very happy. Like a hundred of butterflies flying along his tiny body. 

So this was one of the happiest memories from his mama. It warmed his heart, to know that he has been loved since the first day he was born, probably before. He had seen many other memories where he wasn’t even there, but his mama and papa were talking about him. 

Wei Ying’s breathing got steady, and in his place was drawn a genuine smile in the middle of those sad tears. A-Yuan yawned, tired, and made himself comfortable in Wei Ying’s chest. Everything was fine now, they weren’t there anymore, they would never be able to lay a hand on his mama, papa wouldn’t let them. Himself wouldn’t let them. He would make their worst nightmares real first, and then drive them mad, he would make them cry blood and vomit tears.


 

Lan Zhan’s day sucked. It was since morning came and Wei Ying didn’t call him to say good morning, Mr. Hot Husband of Mine. Which was already a bad sign, even if they have slightly different time zones, Wei Ying would call him, or Lan Zhan would call him. However, Wei Ying didn’t, and also he didn’t answer neither of his calls. Neither his grandparents, and the uncertainty was a terrible feeling, but he tried to stay calm, it was only six of the morning, Wei Ying would eventually call or answer his phone and tell him a pretty good reason for his absence.

Fortunately, his misery was interrupted by a message sent by Miam-Miam. Which, he didn’t know it would be the beginning of something very unpleasant.

Hey

I don’t want to scare you, but

Apparently, we are married now. 

Not with you.

Just read the news, would you? They are sayING WAIT WHAT??

What are they saying?

Forget that! Tell me what did you mean by ‘’not me’’?!

Nothing.

Yes, you did! Tell me! We are friends now! 

And?

Lan Wangji you can’t just say that to me and no explain it!

Watch me.

Ah! Getting sassy since this time of the morning.

Not sassy. 

See you at work.

No! Come back and explain yourself!!!!11

Lan Zhan made his way to the bathroom, taking his phone with him, in case Wei Ying call him back but ignoring any other messages from Miam-Miam. He was still a bit distracted by his family’s lack of news when he texted her back, however, the only worry he had about letting her know something about his private life, it was that Miam-Miam would ask him a lot of questions and tell him to show her a photo of his husband and son. And the thought made him uncomfortable. The pictures he fiercely hid in his phone were only meant to be seen by his eyes, his and only. He was not ready to share what was totally his, at least not yet.

He was already in the shower by the time his manager called him. He wondered why. He used to call him, but it was not very frequently, often using Wei Ying as his connection to him. ‘’Good morning’’. It wasn’t like he was in bad terms with his manager, but he saw him more like someone he worked with than a friend.

‘’Lan Wangji, good morning, sorry for the hour’’ The voice greeted him in a happy tone.

‘’I was already awake’’ Lan Wangji sounded inexpressive, as always, but his manager didn’t feel offended by the fact. Certainly, even if Lan Zhan didn’t know him well, he did.

‘’Not surprised. Well, I just called you to warn you about some gossip about you and Miam-Miam’’ Somehow, Lan Zhan didn’t like how that sounded. It smelled like trouble and future headaches.

‘’What kind of gossips?’’ He dealt enough with that in the filming set.

‘’Nothing serious, they don’t have any solid proof, so you don’t need to worry about it’’ He said, a bit too confident, too lightly, Lan Zhan didn’t like it.

‘’Proof about what?’’ He demanded, breathing deep and trying to stay calm. People might think about him being patient, but the reality was very different, and he had zero tolerance to certain kinds of people and certain situations that he couldn’t just stand. 

‘’About your romantic relationship with Miam-Miam’’ He knew that the shower was not as cold as he felt it at that moment.

‘’There is no such thing about a romantic relationship between us. She is only a friend of mine’’. He said. His patience was forgotten at some point in their conversation.

‘’I know…’’ No, he didn’t. He said as he didn’t, or as he pretended that he didn’t. He said as if he thought him capable of betraying his husband, the man he loved since he was only but a child, the one who gave him the most beautiful gift ever. As if Lan such a thought would ever cross his mind.

‘’What did you say to the press?’’ He had to do something if his manager hadn’t do anything first. He was the face of Lan Wangji to the world, and whatever he said would be like he had it say it personally. His family was always attentive to the news and what they say about him, whatever that idiot said, they probably knew it by now. What if…?

‘’I might have to say, or not, that you and she were getting along quite well, and maybe, a tiny maybe, there was something blooming between them, but that was only my personal point of view’’

‘’Why? Wei Ying….’’  Lan Yuan. Oh, his baby boy. Last time he briefly kissed a woman for work, Lan Yuan didn’t want to talk to him in days! Days! What would he do if he even heard about this fake romance in the news? 

‘’Wei Ying is aware of everything, I speak with him, personally, he says hi, by the way. Listen, I know that you don’t like this, but the rival television company were having some good rating in their last drama, not as good as ours, but we couldn’t take a risk, so we have to take some measures but, the good thing is that you will ward off any suspicion about a secret family, they would be totally focused on your relationship with Miam-Miam! Those are good news!’’

‘’I don’t have a relationship with Miam-Miam.’’ He said once again, louder than before, but still remaining his composure, or what it was left of it. ‘’This is total disrespect towards us’’ Miam-Miam had been working so hard, now that she could control her nerves a bit more. Would the media speak about it? About her talent and discipline? Of course not! They would soon begin with the gossips about an imaginary pregnancy, or if Lan Wangji would let her work or not when they were married. All of this for what?

‘’Lan Wangji, calm down. It is not as bad as it sounds, I promise, this would be forgotten before you know it; when there is another woman to talk about’’ Something hot as lava seemed to start boiling inside stomach. ‘’Miam-Miam’s name would pass, along with her fame’’

‘’Fix it’’ He says, a freezing voice that couldn’t show half of his burning fury. 

‘’There is nothing else to be done, for now, just wait for a while until everythi---’’

‘’Fix it or you are fired’’ He hangs up without waiting for a replay.

The water was cold, but it got hot when it touched his skin. How did he think he was? Using Miam-Miam as an object and his image as poorly and cheap advertising. He wouldn’t allow it; with that thought in mind, he got out of the shower, storming to his room to get dressed. He even tried to distract himself from the sharp alert of his senses, but the unease never left. A warning that made his head pulsed.

Where there's smoke,  there's fire

That was her mother used to say before something bad happened. She always was right, and today he heard her voice inside his mind and he believed her, even when he didn’t know quite well what was wrong this time. He thought and thought, long and hard, but he didn’t find anything useful, besides the feeling of losing his husband and son in the process. 

If Lan Zhan hates something of his job, it was this part. The part where he stopped being a person and become a mere thing to play within public, fresh meat to the media. They were salivating after some juicy story about him. About how was his childhood, who his parents were if he had brothers or sisters, where he lived and with who he lived. 

He was a mystery to the eyes of the world, of course, that they would take advantage of that nascent friendship with Miam-Miam, pure and selfless. Neither she was trying to earn fame at cost of him, and neither he was using his influence to take something from her. He liked her genuinely and he was sure that she had the same intentions towards him. ‘’My manager was angry, as well’’ she tries to start a conversation, Lan Zhan hadn’t touched his food this morning and refused to speak to anyone since his arrival, besides her.

‘’And he has all the right to’’ He said, not leaving his eyes from the script, even when he already memorized since the first day he read it. ‘’I will apologize publicly for the misunderstanding’’ Lan Zhan lowered his voice, stopping his reading but not looking at her. 

‘’What? No, no!’’ She said, horrified by the image of Lan Zhan standing by those carnivorous reporters and pseudo-journalists. ‘’Is not your fault, nothing of this is, you are affected by this, as much as I am’’ She was more uncomfortable than angry, being honest. He was her friend, after all, and the thought of being involved with Lan Zhan in a romantic way was not pleasant, he was handsome and all, but it was not Miam-Miam’s type. ‘’How did your wife reacted by the news?’’ She started, casually, when Lan Zhan didn’t talk again, but evidently not forgetting their morning conversation. 

He stiffed, more for the fact of his private life as a topic of conversation in a public place than Miam-Miam asking for his private life itself. ‘’Not a wife’’ Miam-Miam widened his eyes, curving his lips, impressed. 

‘’A girlfriend, perhaps?’’ She whispered after looking at both sides and make sure no one was near enough to hear them. ‘’Maybe a boyfriend, huh?’’ She said when Lan Zhan shook his head again. ‘’ You can tell me; I don’t judge’’ 

‘’A beautiful husband, and a beautiful child’’ He said, proudly, soothing himself by the image of them lying together in the garden, eating watermelon on a hot sunny day of summer.

‘’HUSBAND! CHILD!’’


 

‘’The blue’’ Wei Ying asked Lan Yuan, and his right hand twitched unconsciously for a reason that he couldn’t understand at the moment. They were sat at the painting room, isolated from the outside since a sudden storm decided to ruin everybody’s weekend, it began in the night and take force around early morning and it hadn’t stopped for hours, the strength of the storm was so fierce, a lightning struck the neighborhood wiring and now they had no electricity, since an entire day.

‘’White’’ Lan Yuan said, determined, he was holding a battery lamp, as high as he was able to, due to his mama need the light to finish his current painting, they needed to send it to the gallery by Monday’s morning. ‘’No blue, white’’ He repeated knowing that his suggestion would be always heard and considered.

‘’A-Yuan! Genius! Genius is exactly what you are!’’ He praised him and A-Yuan giggled when he felt his lips kissing all over his cheeks. ‘’Yes, yes, I will use white instead, and I would make sure to tell them about your contribution: Wei Ying in collaboration with Lan Yuan, Young Master of Color White’’ Lan Yuan’s suggestions kept going, mostly because he tried to divert any little detail of what his mama dreamt these past nights, instead he told him about details of what he made him dream. 

This painting was settled on a bigger canvas, probably the biggest he had painted before, barely fitting through the door, and it was carefully extended on the floor. ‘’What do you want for dinner?’’ He asked, vaguely, his work was almost done, and his stomach grumbled.

‘’Candies’’ A-Yuan answered, no doubt on his words, Wei Ying chuckled and poked his nose with a painted finger. ‘’No! I don't want a bath!’’

‘’You would have a bath, regardless of your filthy nose!’’ It melted his heart, his son sulking when his mama’s hands were covered in white paint made a noisy clap on his cheeks. ‘’Hahaha!’’ Wei Ying kept laughing even when A-Yuan stick out his tongue and puffed up his stained cheeks. After a minute, when his face hurt for his laugh and his eyes were watering, he finally seemed to realized something. ‘’It is oil paint! Fuck!’’ He said almost yelled the last word, throwing away the paint-brush. ‘’Does it burn? Does it itch?’’ He lifted A-Yuan up in his arms, running right to the bathroom, even when the whole house was dark and he barely saw where his steps were guiding him thanks to the moonlight that sneaked between the curtains and bathed the halls of their home. ‘’Sorry, A-Yuan! I forgot!’’ His worry was evident in his voice, he wanted to punch himself for being stupid and careless.

‘’I don’t feel anything’’ A-Yuan said, unperturbed, he stayed still, while Wei Ying wetted a piece of clothing, praying that A-Yuan wouldn't have an allergic reaction to the paint, he tried to reach his mama’s cheeks and kiss his forehead, to make him understand that he was alright, but he didn’t let him. 

‘’Are you sure? A-Yuan! Sorry, I forget, I shouldn’t… I-I should have been more careful’’ Oh no. He didn’t like it when mama refused to meet his eyes when his hands started shaking and blame and self-deprecation bloomed in his precious heart, it didn’t matter that A-Yuan didn’t know the names of what he was seeing at that moment, he didn’t like them. 

A-Yuan waited. He waited until his face was clean and safe. Until there was no paint anywhere to be seen and then he cupped his mama’s cheeks, and forced him to look at his glowing golden eyes. Wei Ying’s clumsy moves sudden stopped, the piece of cloth hit the floor and his arms lazily hung to his sides. ‘’Dinner’’ He said, the moment the word left his lips, Wei Ying blink, and laughed, free of any worry.

‘’Ah! Yes! Dinner! Are you on the mood of something in specific?’’

‘’Candies!’’

‘’Nope’’

A-Yuan pouted.

Chapter Text

Chapter 6

Wei Ying sat in the examining bed of the doctor’s office. His feet were bouncing nervously while he looked to the floor. The doctor read his blood test results. His grandmother was waiting for him outside, entertaining Lan Yuan with some colorful books as they wait for him, she asked if he wanted some company while he was examined, but he politely turn down the offer.

            ‘’So, there is no baby, right?’’ He asked, again, fearing that he might heard wrong. It was a difficult time in their lives to add another baby, he didn’t feel quite ready for it now, A-Yuan was enough. He couldn’t see himself taking care of a newborn and a Lan Yuan at the same time, alone.

            ‘’No, there is no baby’’ His doctor said fondly, it was an old friend from the Gong Family, an old man who help his deceased mother in law in her childbirth, and also the man who help him in his own. He was an expert in gifted people. ‘’Your expedient says that you haven’t take any medications to control your anxiety, am I wrong?’’ He asks in a kind tone that can’t be compare with the cold and disgust ones of the doctors that treated him when he was a child.

            ‘’No, Lan Zhan and I thought that it wouldn’t be a good idea to get medicated because I have some addiction issues before with narcotics’’ Lan Zhan feared that he could create a new addiction with the new medicines that Dr. Qing tried to receipted him. ‘'I took the alternatives options’’.

            ‘’That was a good idea, indeed’’. The doctor approved. ‘’However, your stress levels are still a matter that concerns me, you have lost some weight, and you need more iron. We need to prevent you from having anemia’’ He said more serious, but never enough to make Wei Ying feel guilty.

            ‘’I will take things easy’’ He said. ‘’I have an exhibition of my paintings next weekend, it gets me a bit nervous’’ He admitted. ‘’Sorry, there are only some details that I have been trying to resolve lately’’

            ‘’I understand, but those little details that you recalled are making you have a disorder with the hormone that help you to produce milk, even if there is any baby around to feed’’ He explained as simple as he could, Wei Ying almost yelled the morning before, when he woke up and find his son peacefully sucking his nipple, feeding himself while he was aslep.  ‘’Don’t worry about young mister Lan, the tests say that the milk is not different for the one you gave to him when you breastfed him’’.

            ‘’But he is a bit old for being... you know’’ Wei Ying didn’t know much about this side of motherhood. Madam Yu made him grew up in the ignorance about the wonders that his body could do, and eventually Wei Ying felt his nature like a dirty secret, something that wasn’t supposed to speak about with other people. ‘’…Drinking it’’

            ‘’Not really’’ The doctors made himself sure to sound confident and relaxed. ‘’Is just milk, nothing to be afraid of. If he tries to get some, don’t deny it to him, golden eyes babies are very attached to their mothers, clingier and more possessive than common babies. Is a good way to get closer to him and assure him your presence as a permanent one in his life, it would make him feel safer when his father is away’’ There is still doubt in Wei Ying eyes but he didn’t have the courage to asks more questions about something that he had considerate as bad for years. ‘’Your lactancy would eventually end by itself in a few weeks’’ Wei Ying sighed. ‘’Now, go home, rest and eat fruits and vegetables!’’ Wei Ying wished that he had that kind of doctors when he was younger and confused and felt like an aberration by something that was absolutely extraordinary.


 

‘’Lan Wangji, are you alright? Do you want me to tell the director to have a break?’’ Miam-Miam asked, clearly concerned by his friend pale face, while he kept staring at the wooden staff that had been brought this morning. This scene was not in the script and Lan Zhan hadn’t read it before, until this morning.

            It was a shocking change that Lan Zhan hated until his last days before moving out to the house where he was born and lived the happiest of his life. He felt scared, distressed, hearing his grandmother yelling insults against a man who called himself brother of his father and now rightful and legal guardian of his brother and him. ‘’I don’t want to leave’’ He told Lan Xichen in a pitiful tone that broke his brother's heart. ‘’I want to stay here and live with our grandparents’’ The people that came for them were nothing but a bunch of strangers.

            ‘’We will get used to’’ He tried to sound comforting, but Lan Zhan wasn't seeking for comfort or sweet words. 

            ‘’Get in the car, please’’ a man wearing a white suit instructed. Lan Zhan stood still, as he saw how they took his belongings away and his brother obeyed. ‘’Young Master, please’’. But Lan Zhan didn’t want to leave the memories of his parents behind.

            ‘’No’’ He said. ‘’I’m not going with you’’ He said, determination in his voice, before running away in the opposite direction. His brother tried to followed him but was caught, unkindly before being roughly pushed inside the car again. He ran and avoid the men that wore white suits. 

            Desperately, he looked for Gong Nann and Gong Baon, or any other Gong that could take him to safety, the grief for his parents was still fresh and bloody, and they wanted to take from him the only thing that could make his wounds scar: his home, a place of memories that would exist until the end of his days, while he had a bit of life in his body to remember.

By the time he found them, a human barrier painted in white was between his real family and these men called Lan. Taken by force, Lan Zhan kicked, and punched, and bit and yelled words that his mother wouldn’t approve. That day he learnt how hatred felt.

‘’I would show your brother some manners. He needs them’’ That was the man called Lan Qiren. Lan Zhan would never forget his name, would never felt anything for this man besides a cold hate, a thick aversion that would probably endure by his last days. His brother covered his mouth, preventing him for saying anything else that could cost him more trouble. These people were not like the Gongs, they didn’t smile, didn’t have mercy and believe in violence as a method of discipline. They didn't even hadn’t arrived to their new home and Lan Xichen had a bruised lip.

            ‘’Lan Zhan, please, behave’’ His brother said, in a plea. They were alone now; his maternal family had restraining orders. They couldn’t see them, talk to them, or have any kind of communication. Lan Xichen only had Lan Zhan and Lan Zhan only had Lan Xichen. ‘’Please’’

            And Lan Zhan tried to listen, but it was a difficult task, because his heart was burning with rage and despair. They made him kneel for hours in front a wall that had written about three thousand rules of a stupid family doctrine that sounded ridiculous for Lan Zhan. 

            He thought on his mama. He closed his eyes and perfectly saw his beautiful carved face, with both golden eyes. The same golden eyes that Uncle Qiren despised viciously. He did what his mother would do. He rebelled before Uncle Qiren and his stupid rules. He refused to do his chores, to behave in front of the visits, to do homework. Uncle Qiren punished him for it, with rough strokes against his childish back, daily. 

That didn’t stop Lan Zhan, quite the opposite, he started being wilder, refusing to eat, to comb his hair, to bath. He was a little ball of hate and resentment that only calm down when his brother was there to eat with him, comb his hair and bath him. Lan Xichen was the only person that could talk with him civilly, his uncle knew it, and he took him away from him, like if his brother was a toy.

That was particularly a hard blow for Lan Zhan, he, who could endure harsh strokes and the end of every day without spilling a single tear or a cry of pain, couldn’t bare the fact not seeing his brother’s face every morning. The only one that he had with him, his only remaining family. 

Uncle Qiren thought that he might learnt his lesson, when they brought Lan Xichen again. Lan Zhan did, for a time, but soon the fire of rebellion start boiling again in his heart. He wanted to leave, to see his grandmother’s face, hear his grandfather’s voice, to be at home, and feel safe.

It was then when uncle Qiren used one of the vilest moves against Lan Zhan. Like his uncle knew about his resistance to pain, he also knew that this ability was not in Lan Xichen’s DNA. ‘’No more, please, no more!’’ Lan Zhan’s mouth went dried. He was firmly grabbed by the arms, neck and back, kneeled on the ground. A rough hand held a handful of his hair and forced him to watch how the strokes that were meant to him were now for Lan Xichen. ‘’Uncle! Uncle please! I can’t…!’’ His brother begged, desperately, blood already being spilled from his mouth, many tears running painfully from his pretty eyes.

‘’Stop!’’ Lan Zhan yelled. ‘’Stop this! Hit me! Don’t touch my brother!’’ For the first time, since he was separated from his grandparents, Lan Zhan felt fear. They could do what they wanted to do with him, but to Lan Xichen, his brother, it was then when Lan Zhan felt real pain, not physically, but in the bottom of his chest. 

Uncle Qiren had won. It was only necessary to do only one sample or such brutality to made Lan Zhan the perfect boy. The best behaved, the smartest, the quietest. The fire of his heart eventually lost its force, with the pass of the years, as he grew, many of his dreams died.

            ‘’Yes, please’’ Lan Zhan said several minutes after, looking away from the object that made him remember, perfectly, the way his brother and him were abused when they didn’t obey the many rules and norms made by their uncle. He sat quietly in the chair Miam-Miam brought for him.

            ‘’You want me to call your husband?’’ She said in a shushed voice and that was the needed magic word to made Lan Zhan blink back to reality. He could still hear his brother pleas in the back of his mind. Lan Zhan nodded when Miam-Miam asked him again the same question.

            He forced himself to remember happiest moments, because the face of his uncle was carved in his thoughts. He remembered that walk in the beach, when he wasn’t famous, yet, holding Wei Ying’s hand, while he talked endlessly about how much he loved to feel the sand against his skin, and how much he would like to have a house by the sea. It was during their honeymoon.

            ‘’Can you hear me? Babe?’’ Immediately he felt his warm arms around him, smelled his perfume, see the way his face brightened when he smiled. ‘’Miam-Miam called me saying that you need me?’’

            ‘’I always need you’’ He said, with a sad tone of voice that made Wei Ying feel his own sorrow.

            ‘’I know’’ He tries to use his playful tone. ‘’You can’t live without me!’’

            ‘’No, no I cannot’’

            ‘’I was kidding, don’t’ say that!’’ He added quickly. ‘’Mind telling what happened? Wanna talk about it?’’

            ‘’Not really’’ He said vaguely.

            ‘’Okay, here is the thing, I’m not the best person to say this, but I think that you should stop… Pretending that you can do everything by yourself? I’m here Lan Zhan! Miam-Miam is there, your brother, your entire family are here for you! If you have a problem talk to us, tell us what is bothering you so we can fix it together, you are not alone’’ Miam-Miam felt a relief as he watched her friend giving a tiny, tiny, smile, while she made sure everyone from the staff and production was giving him really privacy.

            ‘’I have never told you about my childhood with uncle Qiren’’ He starts and Wei Ying stayed silent. ‘’He was a monster’’.


 

Wei Ying didn’t hate his family, even after what happened, he didn’t. However, he did experience a deep hatred and resentment towards Lan Qiren and his cruelty. He imagined his husband when he was a child, a defenseless child being stroke by a thick piece of wooden and the thought made him get furious.

            The hell was wrong with humanity? In what moment they stopped thinking civilized and started hitting little children? Didn’t they know how to talk and communicate besides violence? What was their obsession with abusing kids because they were not able to accepted the way they were born?

Because that’s why they mistreated Lan Zhan so violently, because he was different from the rest of the children of his age, he had golden eyes and apparently that was a horrible sin. Damn old man, he thought, he hoped the worst for him and his ridiculous beard that should be considerate the real crime here and he should be punish for it.

 He couldn’t understand why Lan Xichen was still living with him, if he were Lan Xichen, he would have put him under charges of child abuse as soon as he was capable of doing and then have taken Lan Zhan away from that maniac. However, his husband didn’t have any resentment towards his brother, so we wouldn’t either. But he should have taken legal actions against Lan Qiren, just to say the least.

His mood changed lightly when he remembered that next month Lan Zhan was having a seven days’ break and he would returned straight home. It wouldn’t be for long, but seven days after seven months of shooting, dear, it was beautiful.

He hummed a song under his breath while he pushed the shopping cart, A-Yuan was in it, standing up in the corner, his wooden sword raised and a white cap carefully tied up to his neck. He stopped by the dairy sections and selected the tasteless yogurt Lan Zhan liked the most, himself didn’t really like it at all, but each time he ate it made him feel that his husband wasn’t very far from home. 

            Since the incident in the filming set Lan Zhan has been video calling him every night, he usually did, in normal circumstances, but he refused to hung up, he just let his tablet next to his bed on top of many pillows, and lied in his side while he spoke with his husband. Wei Ying heart’s pain with sadness to know that his husband needed him so badly and he wasn’t able to physically be with him, Lan Zhan didn’t even want to hear him suggest to do a quick trip to Taiwan, he said that now the press had sharper senses than any other time and a risk of a leaking was high.

            So he needed to be content with hearing Wei Ying’s voice singing to him until he fell sleep, or seeing his sleeping face trough the screen when Wei Ying fell asleep first, A-Yuan deep aslep against his neck. It couldn’t be compare with the real them, when he was able to feel their warm in the same bed.

            ‘’Buy chocolate milk’’ A-Yuan said, turning around, being careful in not step on anything their groceries for the week that were inside the shopping cart. For a second his sunglasses slipped off from his ear and his mama quickly straighten it before someone noticed a child with golden eyes and started a fuss or taking pictures without his consent, he didn’t want to explain himself to an officer about why he had punched someone else’s face, so early. ‘’Mama, buy chocolate milk!’’

‘’No’’ He answered not even looking to his son. A-Yuan used to ask for a lot of things when they were doing the groceries, mostly candies and toys, but ironically it was Lan Zhan who always succumb to his caprices. ‘’We have powder chocolate at home, we are only buying milk’’ A-Yuan didn’t like the idea and pouted, Wei Ying thought it was adorable and pinched his cheek, his son moved away, displeased, but soon laughed again when Wei Ying’s fingers tickled his neck. 

Wei Ying stopped his caress suddenly, and A-Yuan asked himself why. His mama was looking down his leg and A-Yuan peeked out from his spot. ‘’Uh? Hello?’’ He asked softly to a little boy who was clenching the fabric of his sweatpants with both of his hands. A-Yuan felt jealous, this was his mama, and exactly like his father, he had no intention of sharing him with anyone else, at least not until he had a sibling, if he ever had one. However, he didn’t make a tantrum because the little boy down there seemed to be scared to death, big clear brown eyes full of fear. He was probably younger than him for a two years or something similar. 

His mama looked at him, asking for his opinion that this time he didn’t have, A-Yuan helplessly shrugged. His mama kneeled down to the little boy who wore luxurious yellow robes. ‘’Mama?’’ That was it! Lan Yuan, only child of Wei Ying and Lan Zhan, legitimated son of the marriage Lan and Wei, was about to kick that boy’s face that dared to call his mama as he was his. 

‘’Who? Me? Oh no, no’’ Wei Ying voice was sorry, the nameless boy was about to cry. ‘’Come here, sweetheart, I’m not your mama, but I can help you find yours, huh? Does that sound good for you?’’ He lifted the boy up on his hip. The boy immediately hugged his neck, and rested his cheek on Wei Ying’s, like if he was someone familiar to him. A-Yuan was not happy at all, but tried to act civil. ‘’Are you hungry? Do you want chocolate milk? I can buy you some, and perhaps a candy? Tell me what you want and I would buy it for you’’ A-Yuan pouted, offended, he crossed his arms looking at Wei Ying with narrow eyes. ‘’Don’t be like that! Look! He is a frightened little thing that needs our help, be nice!’’ Wei Ying scolded, not really upset, perhaps a bit annoyed for his son’s jealousy. ‘’You are just like your father, aren’t you?’’

A-Yuan didn’t say anything, but he calmed down when he felt a two kisses in his forehead. Wei Ying decided to finish his groceries and pay before reporting to the security guards that he had find out a lost boy on the market of the mall. He sat down on some tables outside the market, however, none of the guards seem to really care about a lost boy, which made Wei Ying think more firmly to not leave him until he personally saw the parents of said child that refused to say his name.

A-Yuan was happily tucked against one of Wei Ying’s sides, while the boy, that A-Yuan understood was not as bad as he thought, was sitting in his lap, taking a nap, now that his belly was satisfied. His mama covered him with his thick wool sweater, safe and warm. 

A-Yuan looked at him with eyes full of love and affection, hugging tighter his arm, wanting to melt with him and become a single person. His mama was so good and nice. At moments like these, A-Yuan looked so many colorful things palpitating inside his chest, beautiful, kind and right things that he didn’t know it was mercy, compassion and benevolence. ‘’Are you sleepy too? Is okay if you take a nap, I will be awake’’ He said, ruffling his hair, softly, pulling a bit of the sweater to cover him too, even when he was already protected from the harsh weather.

‘’No’’ A-Yuan yawned softly. ‘’I have to be awake; warriors are always on guard…’’ He said, dragging away the last words, as his mama kept massaging gently his scalp, until the base of his neck. Wei Ying smiled, small and genuine, moved by the innocence of those children.

Man, he was going to have some words with the parents of this child. Losing a baby like this… They were so lucky that the boy, was found but no one else than him. They were many evil people around the world, and one of them could have put their hands on such defenseless creature. 

He yawned. Himself feeling a bit sleepy as well, but he shook his head. He was the responsible adult, but he wanted to sleep so bad, in his big bed, hugging A-Yuan while Lan Zhan hugged them. Yes, that sounded like a good plan, and sighed sadly knowing that Lan Zhan wouldn’t be home yet.

He missed him so much, and when he communicated him the idea of having a long break from acting and the media, he wouldn't deny that he felt happy, worried that this might affect his career, but indeed grateful of having him around much often. A solid, physical support that would be always there.

Lan Zhan said that when he returned again to the stage it would be only in projects which didn't have to force him to leave his home again, not as demanding as the dramas were. Particularly, Lan Zhan didn’t feel even the least worried about not having job for a while, they were not lacking in money by any means.

‘’A-Ling!’’ Shout a female voice that he immediately recognized, followed by many set of steps that made Wei Ying sunk in his seat and didn’t dare to look up.


 

Life hadn’t been really kind to him. He barely remembered his first father. His first father’s face seemed like a blurry picture in his mind, but he did know that his kisses were a touch from heaven, and his hands a gentle breeze over his face. He always was good towards him, even when with his second father wasn’t nice at all, with neither of them.

He couldn’t tell the exact way he looked, save that he was beautiful, with long black hair and pretty gray eyes that looked like two starts covered by black-night slashes.

Pretty much looking as the woman who held his virility in her hands, worshiping it with filthy kisses, sucking and licking. ‘’Close your eyes’’ He ordered, grabbing a handful of her hair, before moving his hips, rough and eager for a release. The poor woman coughed and tried to set herself free when he didn’t let her breath. Shortly after the nameless woman cried, choked, he found his climax. It wasn’t a good one, but it was, which left him sort of satisfied, but the fire of lust was still burning his body. ‘’Buy yourself something nice’’ He said, taking money from his wallet and throwing it right to her face, like she didn’t deserve any kind of respect. The woman did take the money before leaving, stripped away from her dignity. 

He drunk eagerly, hearing the woman leave the room of the expensive hotel he was now staying at. What a shitty life, he thought. No matter how much money he was earning by his job, he felt lonely. When second father went to prison under the charges of domestic violence, first father exhausted at work in order to survive and give him some decent life, until a bad illness caught him and never let him go.

How ironic and cruel was life, when now he could burn all the money he wanted and still be rich. However, in the only thing he could waste all of that money seemed to be in sex services that made him feel less lonely for some hours.

Most of those services were given by pretty women with black hair and gray eyes, but none of them were a gifted man, they were rarely born. He knew it because he had spent years of his life searching for a rarity like that, those miracles were that, miracles, difficult to find like people with golden eyes.  

‘’Lan Wangji, good morning, sorry for the hour’’ He greeted, with a happiness that he didn’t felt.’’ 


 

Miam-Miam couldn’t stand her own excitement, while she happily slipped his finger along the screen, with her back leaning against Lan Zhan’s side while he focused in his reading, both comfortably sitting in an armchair. It was their break, and with satisfied stomachs the only thing they could do was rest a bit more before started shooting again. ‘’Lan Wangji! I can’t believe what I’m seeing it!’’ It passed like an eternity before finally Lan Zhan borrow her his phone and show heractual pictures about his family. ‘’You married a supermodel!’’

‘’He doesn’t model, but he is a good painter’’

‘’Well, sir, that explain why you two made such an adorable baby. Look at him! I could pinch his cheeks until the end of times!’’

‘’When did you two met?’’ She asked, like a teenage girl asking enthusiastically to her best friend details about her date with her crush. ‘’I want to know everything’’

‘'Our families used to have business in common. Someday they organized a party and he was there’’ He explained, calmly, but now that Miam-Miam knew him much better, she also knew that his voice was smiling. ‘’I might have stolen his scarf’’

This is nice, Lan Zhan thought. His first friend was his mother, then his brother, then Wei Ying, and then probably his son. It was kind of nice to have a friendship with someone who wasn’t related to him by blood or marriage. He liked very much this friendship with Miam-Miam. She was good-hearted, interesting and funny. He didn’t know that friends were like this. His mother was his mother, his brother a brother and Wei Ying a lover. The word friend was foreign before meeting this woman. ‘’Uh lalala! Did you make this knots by yourself? That it is a good technique, let me tell you that’’ Lan Zhan ate his words in that second.

‘’Give it back’’ He said, those pictures were the pictures he treasured so ferociously, the only comfort he had when he was far from homeHe carelessly thrown away his book.

‘’What? No! I’m doing some appreciation here, ah! Don’t be a brute!’’ She complained when Lan Zhan tried to snatch the phone from his hands, but she refused his demands. 

‘’Give it back!’’ He repeated, raising his voice, his heart in his throat. Miam-Miam laughed, because the look on his face was just hilarious. She jumped off to the back of the armchair and Lan Zhan shortly followed her. 

The staff and fellow actors and actresses looked at them with surprised eyes. Lan Wangji was normally stoic and wordless to the rest of them, having his interaction reduced to the minimum, but there he was, looking like a child who had a stolen toy, running after his co-star. ‘’How much do you think that the press would give us for a video of this?’’ 

Miam-Miam was having the time of her life, running down the filming set; Lan Zhan was just behind her, not a single one of his hair was out of their place as he ran. Miam-Miam was lighter, which gave her some advantage. ‘’No need to be mad!’’ She tried.

‘’Give it back!’’ He repeated, and he made an attempt to kept his face inexpressive as always. It was like to be a child again, before his parents died. Running around his garden back home, holding his brother hand, laughing and trying not to be caught by their mother. 

‘’You will have to take it from my cold corpse!’’ She ran faster, the phone carefully grasped in her hand. Lan Zhan snorted but didn’t stop his race. His costume was far heavier than Miam-Miam’s and he was being carefully to not step it. Curiously, he felt light as a feather.

 

Chapter Text

Capítulo 7

Jiang Yanli wasn’t really talented in many things, besides being a good cooker; like her older brother she had a bad memory but there were things that she could never erase from her mind.

She remembered good an especially hot afternoon of summer. She doesn’t remember exactly their age, but she did remember that Jiang Cheng was still a toddler. The sun was merciless that afternoon, Jiang Yanli remembered because her mother chose that day to made her older brother pulling a big chained rock around their wide garden, with no real motives besides make him a man.

            She saw him from the window, his arms were probably sore for hours of pulling. She saw him having furtive glances to their home, she knew he was tired and he wanted to go back inside and refreshed himself with a bit of water, it didn’t need to be cold, he was thirsty and this time he hadn’t done anything wrong to earn a punishment. Madam Yu had said that this was no punishment but a reinforcement that would help him become a man. Whatever that meant.

            Blisters invaded his palms, caused by the constant friction of the chain against his childish hand. He swallowed back a sob and rub his cheek with his forearm. He couldn’t have the luxury of cry again, she wouldn’t like that, she wasn’t really angry that day, so he wouldn’t play with a luck he didn’t have.

            He closed his mouth and kept pulling the chain against him, perhaps Madam Yu would eventually come for him and see how much he had been improving and then maybe, a tiny maybe, she could let him go and draw something in his notebook. His father wasn’t at home again, which he thought that was a good thing? Madam Yu used to yell a lot to his father when they were in the same room, it made him feel nervous, so it wasn’t really bad when he wasn’t there, Madam Yu wouldn’t have anyone to fight with.

              ‘’I haven’t stop; I haven’t stop I promise I have been good!’’ Jiang Yanli’s heart broke when she heard him yelling, she frightened him when he felt a soft touch in his back, Wei Ying cover himself the best his could for a hit, which thankfully, never came.

            ‘’It’s me, A-Ying’’ she called him sweetly. She was holding a glass of cold water for him. She shouldn’t be there; Madam Yu would be furious if she found out. He smiled widely at her, relieved to have found such a kind face.

He let her clean the sweat from his forehead and didn’t even protest when she helped him support the glass of water that he already was too tired to hold by himself. ‘’How are you feeling?’’ She asked, concerned, she had sneaked out from the house to made sure his brother was drinking some of water, due to her mother had strictly forbidden to feed or hydrate her older son until she said otherwise. ‘’Are you dizzy?’’ It was one of the hottest days of the month, she feared that his brother might pass out in the garden, from exhaustion or dehydration.

            ‘’Good’’ He said, because the soon conviced she was, the soon she was getting inside the house and she would be safe there, he feared that Madam Yu could find her with him. ‘’I think I’m getting stronger, like a big man!’’

            ‘’Yes, you are getting stronger’’ She tried to smile with watery eyes. His brother was smaller than he should smaller, weaker, skinnier. He wasn’t getting stronger; he was getting used to pain. ‘’She would stop soon; I promise it’’

            ‘’Yes, I heard father is coming tomorrow morning!’’ He said, hopeful. ‘’Everything would be fine if he is here, right?’’ He looked for some assurance that Jiang Yanli couldn’t give him.

            ‘’Yes, I’m sure it would be fine’’ No, it wouldn’t. His father knew what her mother was doing to her older brother and pretend to know nothing about it. He let her do what she wanted, because he felt guilty about something that Jiang Yanli didn’t want to know. ‘’Let me see your hands’’ She asked, trying to distract her brother from the truth. Wei Ying hesitate here a bit, but he did open his palm to her; his sister tried soothing his pain by putting a weird mixture of herbs that smelled funny but it made the pain go away a little.

            He hugged her with his tiny arms and his sister immediately accepted the caress, she heard him whispered that she was the best and she had to fight the urgent of shaking her head. She wasn’t the best. She was the worst, because she stayed there every day, watching her little brother being abused and doing nothing to prevent it, nothing to defend him.

            ‘’How beautiful you two look’’ Jiang Yanli froze, she felt her baby brother tensed in her arms and she hugged him tighter. ‘’I thought I made myself clear when I said that Jiang Ying couldn’t to eat or drink, until he earns that right’’ Her voice was made of steel and Jiang Yanli refused to let him go, even when her brother squirmed in her arms and whispered to her to leave. ‘’Are you stupid or just deaf?’’ she said, cruel and ruthless.

            ‘’It’s hot outside’’ She tried to argue, with a small voice. ‘’Mother, he is only baby, he should be inside, Jiang Ying can have a sunstroke’’ She said, still guarding him in her arms, wanting to give Jiang Ying the fake illusion of protection. Wei Ying murmured to let it go, he told her to leave right away, while she still had the change of being free of their mother’s wrath.

            ‘’I understand. This pathetic excuse of man decided that he wasn’t strong enough so he had to call his sister for help? Is it that, Jiang Ying? Are you going to make your sister pull that rock for you?’’ Her voice was still calm, which only made everything worse.

            ‘’I came by my will’’ She tried to defend her brother. ‘’He has been here for hours, mother, this is heartless!’’ She didn’t know from where that courage came that day, but she prayed for more of the same courage would had come at that moment. She had a lot more things to say to her, but all of her complaints were let in the nothing when her mother silenced her with a hard slap against her pretty face.

            ‘’No!’’ her brother cried while she touched her wetted lip by blood. ‘’No! Madam, please, don’t hurt my sister! She hasn’t done anything wrong. I beg her for water and I wasn’t allowed it! It was me who told her to come here! I forced her! It was my fault I swear it!’’ Wei Ying had the audacity of hug Madam Yu’s leg. ‘’it’s my fault, I called her here!’’ His gray eyes looked at her, hopping that her heart might get moved and Jiang Yanli wouldn’t be hit again. ‘’Please, please don’t touch her!’’

            He should have expected the kick against his stomach, being honest. It was hard enough to made him vomit the water he just drunk minutes before. Jiang Yanli saw, horrified, how his brother fell on the grass, folded on himself, fighting for air as he spat out the poor content of his stomach. ‘’Mother!’’ Jiang Yanli screamed, kneeling right next to him. He couldn’t breathe or talk for a long minute. Madam Yu looked at them with disdain.

            ‘’If you don’t go back inside, I swear I’m going to make you regret it’’ Her voice was sharper, clearly without any trace of her almost inexistence patience not, Jiang Yanli saw her brother agonizing on the ground, holding his middle, silent tears on his face, while he tried to become a flower against the grass.

Jiang Yanli would never forgive herself to know, in the future, that she was more scared of her mother than for his brother’s wellbeing. She went inside the house, and saw cartoons with Jiang Cheng the rest of the day, putting the volume at the maximum, to not hear the cries of their brother. Jiang Yanli never discovered what else her mother do to him after she hide like a rat in the safety of their home, but Jiang Ying couldn’t walk properly for weeks and remained silent for months.

     That memory was the first it came to her mind when she found her son in the arms of her brother. He must remember the same thing, because he looked at her in the same way he did when they were caught by their mother. ‘’Well… this is… uh… unexpected…’’ He said, barely making visual contact. ‘’Yes…! Uh… Here is your kid. Don’t lose it again’’ He said, evasive, Jiang Yanli refused to take her son, because that would be like freeing her brother, and she didn’t want him to go away again.

‘’A-Ying’’ She called with a broken voice. Wei Ying tried to move away when he felt her hands cupping his face. ‘’Look at you!’’ She said, Wei Ying looked everywhere besides her face. ‘’You look so healthy’’ Last time she saw him was in the backside of an officer’s car.

‘’You too’’ He said, with his eyes always avoiding hers. ‘’I have to go, take your child’’ Jiang Yanli have no other choice that taking A-Ling when his brother was trying so desperately to put some distance between them.

‘’No, A-Ying, wait a second…’’ If he left, she would never see him again. This was a causality that it could probably never happen again, she held A-Ling against her chest and she stiffed when she saw her brother pulling another little boy against his own chest.

Wei Ying was a hundred percent decided to get the hell out of there. He was not ready to this, to face them. Even when he didn’t considerate his siblings like people who actually hurt him, he wasn’t really comfortable with being with them alone. He couldn’t do this now. He needed Lan Zhan by his side to make sure that everything would be alright, but he wasn’t there, neither any of the Gongs, so he stood up, carefully holding a sleepy A-Yuan and tried to walk away, didn’t even thinking about his groceries that lied forgotten on the table.

‘’Easy’’ He heard the one he called baby brother once say. He was grateful that A-Yuan was still slept in his arms, because he couldn’t give another step before his knees giving up, and it was luck that Jiang Cheng hold him by the waist before he even touched the floor. While the rest of his body felt like jelly, Wei Ying have a firm hold in Lan Yuan’s little body. ‘’It’s just us’’ No, it weren’t just them. He tried to breathe but he felt confused when he couldn’t take any air inside his lungs.

‘’Get off me, I have to go’’ He tried to sounded naturally, like he wasn’t scared at all, but his brother had a firm, but surprisingly gentle grip on him.

‘’We can’t let you go on that state’’ Jiang Yanli said, getting closer to his brother. ‘’and we should go before we drag attention to us’’ his sister used her calmer voice and it seems to have some effect on Wei Ying.

‘’I’m not going anywhere with you’’ He said and but he never wanted to create that hurt gesture in his sister. He just wasn’t wanted to be with him. He used to the idea of not seeing them again when he married Lan Zhan. Wei Ying buried them in a quiet place. He buried their memories together, the bad ones and the few good they had. To have them so close to him was a shock.

‘’Jiang Ying’’ His brother warned without looking at him. ‘’Don’t be difficult’’ More people started coming, tall, strong people with tough faces, wearing black suits with purple or golden ties. Wei Ying felt surrounded and he had to fought very hard to not fall in a crisis.

‘’My name is Wei Ying’’ He corrected, uneasily. ‘’I have to get to my car’’ He moved away from Jiang Cheng but his brother quickly put his arm around him to caged him again. ‘’Please, just let me go already!’’ He said, becoming more nervous. ‘’I will call someone to pick me up, just stop following me!’’ He hissed and immediately regret it when Lan Yuan moved shifted in his arm, uncomfortable. ‘’Tell him to let go of me’’ He looked at his sister and Jiang Yanli felt heartbroken by the fact of his little brother looking at her in that way.

‘’No’’ She whispered, softly but without doubts in his word. ‘’We are going to take you home’’ Wei Ying paled by the mere mention of what home she was talking about. ‘’Not that place’’ she clarified quickly. ‘’That is not even our home now’’


 

       ‘’I bet… Three chocolates and two bags of chips’’ Miam-Miam said, putting the said articles on the table. Lan Zhan narrowed his eyes, suspect in them. ‘’And a Coca-Cola’’ She said, Lan Zhan remained impassive. ‘’That’s my last offer’’ She replied quite offended, hands on her hips.

              ‘’I bet four chocolates, three bags of chips, and two Coca-Colas’’

              ‘’My, my, we are getting serious, aren’t we?’’

             ‘’You lose, you have to double your bet and my bet’’

             ‘’Excuse me? Who taught you to play like that? A mafia mob?’’

             ‘’Wei Ying has never lost a game of any kind’’

             ‘’Not even the sexy ones?’’

              ‘’…Especially the sexy ones’’

            ‘’You aren’t supposed to actually answer my teasing!’’

            ‘’Then don’t tease me’’

After the unpleasant incident with the unanticipated scene, Wei Ying met with Lan Zhan’s manager and personally explained, to avoid any kind of leak about his husband’s phobias in a phone call, the inconvenience of the content of said type scenes.

Wei Ying elaborate a contract, and under the right of being Lan Zhan’s legitimate husband, he rigorously prohibited every scene that could affect Lan Zhan’s mental health, including violent scenes were he have to be hit by someone, or be verbally abuse, Wei Ying strictly instructed for those scenes a double should be hired.  should be hired a double.

Lan Zhan smiled fondly before signing said contract. He even took care of caressing the signature made by Wei Ying, feeling happy by the fact that Wei Ying touched the same piece of paper he was touching at that moment. ‘’Hey! Romeo, no, no, your mind in the game, Lan Wangji back to earth, right now’’

‘’Why? You are losing, it won’t make a difference’’ He said quietly, seeing Miam-Miam putting a card on the table. It was their day off, Miam-Miam planned to visit a lot of places together, since it would be a pity not to have some tours around the city, but eventually both got lazy and decided to stay at their hotel, too tired to even think in going outside and probably face a lot of paparazzi’s that would kept asking about their romantic relationship.

At the end, Wei Ying didn’t let him fired his manager just because he couldn’t control the same rumors he created. Lan Zhan wasn’t happy at the beginning, but Wei Ying eventually cold his fury. He still wasn’t pleased with what he caused, but, he did make his manager, along with himself, apologize to Miam-Miam and her own manager, in public.  

‘’I’m not!’’ She said, insulted. Just because Lan Zhan won the last three games, it didn’t mean that he was actually winning this. ‘’Uno’’ she said, slamming her almost last card on the table. However, her triumphal tone didn’t long much.

‘’Draw Four’’

‘’What? Hey, no!’’

‘’Skip one turn’’

‘’How dare you!’’

‘’ Draw Two ‘’

‘’No, no, wait, I haven’t even pick up my last four cards!’’

‘’Uno’’

‘’Could you please wait a freaking…’’

‘’Skip one turn’’

‘’You are ruthless’’

‘’And also the winner’’

Miam-Miam frowned and thrown away her last cards before crossing her arms. Lan Zhan calmly pick up his prices. They were not allowed to eat like this during the filming, both of them had personal chefs, nutritionists and coaches that carefully supervised their diets. If they only knew that Lan Zhan was about to calmly ignore all of their rules, saving half of that junk food in his bag. ‘’Are those for me?’’ Miam-Miam asked, heartwarming when he saw her friend pushing the another half of food towards her.

            ‘’Yes’’ He answered. ‘’Wei Ying says that even losers deserve kindness’’ Miam-Miam punched his shoulder in response.


 

Lan Xichen made himself comfortable in his bed, with a bowl of tasteless popcorn on his lap, the Smart TV connected to his phone and the volume and image in the best quality possible. He had seen this drama at least ten times, and he could see it another ten and he wouldn’t get sick of it.

            Lan Zhan and him were in good terms, partially. They didn’t speak too much to each other, Lan Zhan was too busy with his career and when he wasn’t filming, he was taking care of his family. Which was great! If someone asked him, he was very happy that his brother made such a beautiful family.

            However, he would like to spend some time together again. Their childhood was a horrible thing that both fought to bury in sands of obliviousness, and it probably was that same childhood which made both of them be apart from the other.

He would love to spend more time with him, he hadn’t seen him since his nephew’s last birthday. ‘’I will be fight by your side’’ Lan Zhan said those lines in a way in which made Lan Xichen’s heart hurt. ‘’I will always fight by the side of my brother’’ He rubbed his eye a little, with a shaking smile.

            For the rest of the people it was only a moving scene, well portrayed by an actor of Lan Zhan’s level, even if it was from his first dramas. For Lan Xichen it was more especial. It was the same tone Lan Zhan’s used when he called him for help, the day he found in which rehabilitation center they abandonate Wei Ying. 

            After the episode in where he was brutally beating up by his uncle’s servants, Lan Xichen and Lan Zhan were not the same. Something changed in their hearts, something got broken, twisted by their uncle until it hurt. Their innocence.

            Neither of them spoke about it after that day. Lan Xichen didn’t want to remember, Lan Zhan didn’t know how to brought the matter up so he didn’t try it. It was better in that way, he wanted to believe, but the fear never left. He feared for his brother, Lan Zhan was resolved to do as much chaos as he could, with the hope Uncle Qiren would returned them back to the Gongs.

            Ah! His grandmother, he suddenly remembered, he paused the drama and looked for his phone to call her. Even if they live in different cities, his grandmother made him call her at least once every three days. She worried about him, living so far away from his family, alone with a bunch of heartless people. She wouldn’t be happy at all if he skips one of her calls.

‘’Hello?’’ Lan Xichen asked, carefully

            ‘’Helloooo’’ That wasn’t his grandmother’s voice.

            ‘’A-Yuan! Quickly, asked him for toys’’

            ‘’No, A-Yuan, tell him to send you candies!’’

            ‘’Ask for both!’’

            A kind smile was born in Lan Xichen’s face. There must be another party at his grandparent’s home, as usually and he wondered what have they done this time to earn such event. ‘’Grandmother, your voice has change, are you alright?’’ He asked, pretending a worried tone.

            ‘’Yes’’ He had to bite his tongue to not laugh when A-Yuan faked a cough. ‘’I’m sick’’

‘’Really? Have you seen the doctor?’’

            ‘’Yes, he told me to that I would need candies and toys to get better’’

‘’Oh no! I will send you all the candies and toys that I could buy!’’

            ‘’Really? Thank you, uncle Xichen!’’ He openly laughed when he heard the groans of his cousins saying that he needed to act like his father and stayed in the character.

‘’Give the phone to your grandma’’

            ‘’But you are sending us toys and candies, alright?’’ That was probablyGong Jingyi, he could tell by the way he spoke, more demanding than sweet Lan Yuan.

‘’Yes, I’m sending whatever you want, only if each one of you promise to behave and be good children’’ He said, patiently.

            ‘’We promise it!’’ He heard, loud enough to made him take away his phone for a moment. ‘’Grandma! Uncle Xichen wants to talk to you!’’ Lan Xichen suddenly felt a deep wish to cry. Lan Zhan once was like Lan Yuan, Gong Jingyi and the rest of his cousins and nephews, he once laughed loudly and yelled as any other kid, he asked for toys and sweets, and pranked him, hidden behind a door, waiting for him to come, before jumping up screaming an adorable BOO.

            He once was a happy child. Lan Xichen was forced to see his little brother become a piece of heartless ice, because of him, he thought, he should have done something to get his brother out of the claws of the Lans. He was the only one Lan Zhan have back then, he should have protected him better.

‘’Honey? Are you crying?’’

‘’Just a little’’ Lan Xichen said, muffled against his forearm. ‘’How have you been?’’

            ‘’How am I been? Darling, you are the crying one, you tell me’’

His grandmother’s voice was soft and caring and he wished with all his heart to have been raised under her care and love, to never have left his home. ‘’It’s everything alright? Has that beast touch you? Do you want me to call my sons to send him my regards?’’

            ‘’No’’ He said, cleaning the tears away. ‘’It’s not necessary. Uncle Qiren can’t do anything to anyone anymore’’ He was a lonely old man who passed all day in his bed, now that his bones were too fragile to even stand by his own. ‘’I’m nostalgic’’

‘’Why? It’s everything alright?’’ She asked, worried by her grandson. She loved them so deeply, they were the sons of her only daughter and it hurt her so deeply when that horrible man took them from her side.

‘’Yes, I just miss you so much’’ He wished to be like Lan Zhan, to be there in their parties, to live near them, and have messy dinners together almost every night.

‘’Then why don’t you come with us for a few days? Lan Zhan is coming back next month. You can wait with us’’

‘’Are you sure?’’

‘’Of having my baby with me? Of course I’m sure! Packed your things, I’m will find you a flight for tomorrow morning!’’


 

Sometimes he pretended that first father wasn’t dead. He came to one of his many houses or hotel’s room and spoke like if first father was alive and welcomed him home after a long day of schools. He was disturbed, and he was aware of it, but never cared, never wanted to take care of his mental health, there was no salvation for him anymore, for the things he had done and felt no regret, and for the things he was about to do.

            ‘’A-Yuan, don’t be mean, say hi’’ the kid seemed to hated him deeply and he smiled widely by the fact, and get closer, stretching his hand to the kid, wanting him to greet him as an adult, but Lan Yuan yelled him something that he couldn’t understand before hugging Wei Ying’s leg tightly. ‘’Sorry’’ Wei Ying apologized in his son’s behalf, with shyly smile. He thought that he could kill to see that smile every morning. ‘’He doesn’t see you enough to get familiar’’

            It wouldn’t be a problem, he thought, he didn’t need to see him, soon enough. This boy would be a sad memory in everyone’s minds, he only need to wait a few more months, until his plans started to having some results. ‘’Don’t worry about, I will visit more often, then’’.

            He once thought in create the less damage he could. He tried to made him leave Lan Zhan by his own will, and for a moment he thought he was having some success when it happened the news about Lan Zhan’s fake relationship with Miam-Miam. Lan Zhan was furious and he hoped it was because he finally had made him have problems with Wei Ying. Insecurities could be the worst nightmare in marriages, especially the ones that passed many months separated from each other.

            He pushed them and pushed them, to fight, to suspect one of the other. He wanted Wei Ying to believe he wasn’t enough for a public figure as Lan Zhan was, to made him feel it was the reason which kept him hidden as a dirty sin, in the shadows. He wanted to made Lan Zhan fall in the excesses and vicious of the world of entertainment, to made him forget about the family he had back home.

            It wasn’t working. He tried many tactics, but none of them have much effect on the love and trust they have for each other, and it made him feel so angry. ‘’I’m glad that you came’’ He saw him carried the brat in the same beautiful way he saw first father carry another child. He saw him turn around, his long hair was loose, free and wild against his back, he saw his hips, different for a normal man.

Wei Ying wasn’t just any man, he was a gifted one, those hips were made to bare children and it was such a pity that he was still young, his best years, the perfect age, and he only gave birth once. Lan Zhan was wasting his body away. ‘’Are you alright?’’ Wei Ying asked him, gray, big eyes looked worried at him.

            ‘’Yes, yes, sorry, I got lost for a moment’’ He smiled at him, genuine, Wei Ying guide him to the living room. His house was not big, but it felt like a real home, and himself couldn’t help but feel a tremendous jealousy towards Lan Zhan. Jealousy and desperation. Lan Zhan had everything, fame, glory, millions, he was handsome and have married a gifted man and have a child. And he decided to let the last two alone. It something happened to them, it would be no one’s fault but Lan Zhan’s.

            How stupid could be a man be? If he was him, he would already take the money he had and pass his next years with a man like the one he was watching so intently. The fussy kid didn’t like it all where his eyes were going, and he understood why. When he was a child of his age, he hated that someone touched or talked to his first father, especially when second father did.

            ‘’Wanna take a minute before we discuss the contract?’’ Wei Ying asked softly. Of course, he wasn’t there because Wei Ying wanted his presence. That beauty creature was always kind and friendly towards him, but had never gave him a reason to dream of something else. He wanted everything anyway. He needed everything, Lan Zhan did not deserve him, his golden eyes were not enough to have him.

            ‘’Mama!’’ his eyebrow twitched when he heard the boy’s yelling. He cursed him many times and wished him a painful dead. It was a shame that he wouldn’t be there to see the kid losing the light from his eyes, having his last moment sunk in fear, pain and agony. He would be far away by then, busy soothing Wei Ying’s broken heart. ‘’No! Mine, mine!’’ The boy was decided to upset him to unimaginable levels, he pulled Wei Ying’s clothes to him. ‘’Mine!’’ He yelled, loud and clear.

            ‘’A-Yuan!’’ Wei Ying scolded, when he saw his son getting more and more aggressive. It wasn’t a normal behavior, A-Yuan was pretty calm this morning, laughing and running around the garden, he did get stressed when someone else besides their family visit, however, this was a new level. ‘’Forgive me, I don’t know why he is acting like this’’ He explained, a bit mortified, while Lan Zhan’s manager had to smile comforting to him.

            ‘’Nothing to forgive, sometimes children are children’’

            Wei Ying didn’t know that his baby son was able to watch all those horrible feelings inside that man’s heart. He saw envy, jealousy, hate, and a deep lust. It made him feel scared, angry. And the way he saw his mama. That disgusting way, that desire in his eyes, was something that A-Yuan didn’t understand, but that he couldn’t stand either.

            Lan Yuan wanted his father, now, and this man out of their home, far away from them. ‘’No!’’ He yelled, hugging himself to Wei Ying’s neck. ‘’Mine, mine, can’t touch!’’ He said, when that bad man thought something particularly lustful about his mama, Lan Yuan couldn’t understand what exactly was he doing to him in the picture inside his mind, but he didn’t like it, he didn’t want to keep seeing it. ‘’Can’t touch! Can’t touch!’’ He screamed, even louder, Wei Ying’s head hurt a little.

            ‘’No one is touching me’’ He said. ‘’Sorry… I think he has been clingier since… Well… ‘’ He definitely wasn’t about to talk about his breastfeeding, he would cut his tongue out first. ‘’Could you wait here?’’ He asked. ‘’I think I’m going to let him with my grandmother for a little while.’’ He whispered the last thing to him, and he nodded patiently. The less that boy was getting his nerves, the better.

            Wei Ying was troubled by his son’s behavior, Lan Yuan cried harsh tears, hiccupping, desperate and only made Wei Ying felt powerless and even scared. ‘’What it is, love?’’ He asked while he made his way to his grandmother’s house. ‘’Are you hurt?’’ His eyes looked concerned, and searched for any trace of wound or bruise or something that could explain Lan Yuan’s anguish.

            Lan Yuan did not respond him his answers and hugged him tightly, scared that he might go away back with the bad man who thought atrocious things with his mama. ‘’I want my papa’’ Wei Ying rubbed his back, gentle, sorrowful. ‘’I want him now!’’ He demanded and Wei Ying face was stained with sadness.

            ‘’Papa is working’’ He explained, Lan Yuan usually called for Lan Zhan, but he never was like this before. ‘’But he will be here soon’’ He promised, but Lan Yuan didn’t want promises, he wanted Lan Zhan with his deep golden eyes which made him feel safe.

            ‘’Now!’’ He yelled again, Wei Ying sighed, tired.

            ‘’Please, don’t yell, I’m right here I can hear you perfectly’’ He reproached a little when Lan Yuan kept screaming right in his ear.

            ‘’Wei Ying? What is the matter?’’ Grandmother said as soon as he heard Lan Yuan’s yells from the threshold.

            ‘’Well…’’ Wei Ying felt uncomfortable. For the first time since Lan Yuan was born he never had any trouble to know his son’s needs, he knew very well how to resolved them. Since Lan Yuan was a baby, he knew why he cried, if he was hungry, sick, angry, or needed a clean diaper. It was natural intuition, however, now? Now he didn’t know why his baby was acting so furiously. ‘’I don’t know’’ He said, feeling helpless and useless. ‘’Lan Zhan’s manager is right now at the house; could you take a care of him while he and I redact the contract? it’s important and I don’t want to make him wait’’ Gong Nann nodded, they wanted to have assured Lan Zhan’s safety and prevent any kind of episode like last time.

             ‘’No! No! No!’’ Lan Yuan screamed, refusing to let Wei Yin’s neck free. He didn’t want his grandmother, he loved his grandmother, of course, she was good and kind with him and spoil him as much as his papa, but it wasn’t her the want he needed, he needed Lan Zhan. ‘’Mama! No!’’ He kept yelling and when finally, Wei Ying could free his neck, Lan Yuan fisted with both of his tiny hands a handful of his hair and pulled harder than ever.

            Wei Ying let out a whimper, of surprise and pain. Lan Yuan never pull anyone’s hair, he was no a conflicting child, but there he was, pulling frantically Wei Ying’s, screaming like a mad, and even trying to kick his grandmother when she tried to separate him from his mama.

            ‘’Alright, alright, I’m not leaving!’’ He gave up, sighing resignedly. He let Lan Yuan hugged him as much as he wanted, Lan Yuan stopped pulling, eventually stopped yelling, he kept crying, but lower this time. He was patience and stayed serene the entire time. Lan Yuan didn’t need someone yelling back at him or hitting him to make him shut up. Hurting a kid never worked, Wei Ying and Lan Zhan knew it very well. ‘’I’m here, okay? I will always be here''  He cradled him carefully in his arms, soothing him with tender caress until eventually Lan Yuan only hiccupped quietly.

            Grandmother saw them sitting in the armchair from the kitchen. She was warming some milk that may help Lan Yuan get sleepy enough to take a nap while Wei Ying elaborate the contract with Lan Zhan’s manager. He probably was a busy man and she did understand why he didn’t want him to wait too much. When the milk was warmth enough she put it in Lan Yuan’s old feeding bottles, but his younger grandson refused to even look at it.

            Gong Nann was as concerned as Wei Ying, trying to remember if her daughter or Lan Zhan acted like this when they have his age. ‘’No!’’ Lan Yuan’s favorite word today seemed no, but he said far softer than before, so neither of them gave him a second thought.

            Wei Ying removed uncomfortable in the armchair when Lan Yuan pressed his hands against his chest, as if he was looking for something. ‘’Not now’’ He said in a pleading tone.

            He hadn’t the heart to deny him want he wanted when he was in such anxious estate, he hadn’t any real reason to, besides his personal comfort, knowing what his doctor had said about the golden eyes babies. ‘’Do you want me to leave?’’ She said, considerately. She personal taught him how to breastfeed, but she would understand if he wanted some privacy.

            ‘’No’’ He said, but his cheeks were flushed as he let Lan Yuan pull his shirt down enough to find his nipple and start sucking, a little eager at first. Wei Ying squeaked painfully when he received a bite for he moving too much. ‘’How could you did this to seven children? I have one and it’s already too much’’ Gong Nann laughed, charmed.

            ‘’Well, honey, sometimes neither I know how I did it’’ She said honestly, watching as A-Yuan breathing started getting calmer and calmer, she massaged the back of his neck while he played with his mama’s hair, convinced that his mama was not going anywhere. Gong Nann was very happy that Lan Yuan was deep sleep by the time Wei Ying left.