The rooftop was empty and quiet, the wind the only thing you could hear. But Wei Wuxian knew he was here, somewhere, hiding in the shadows. They had spent months tracking Wen Ruohan. He was a cruel man and they had finally found him.
Lan Wangji had just finished transferring all the files on his personal computer to the police when Wen Ruohan himself had walked into the office, three armed bodyguards behind him. As Wei Wuxian fought the men, his target had ran for it. Lan Wangji had tracked him on the building’s security cameras he had hacked into and now Wei Wuxian had him cornered on the roof.
Finally, he heard it, footsteps on cement, he wasn’t alone up here. Running in the direction of the sound he found himself face to face with Wen Ruohan. He was a big man with a fat red face and a disturbing coldness to his eyes. With a roar, he lunged at Wei Wuxian, his adversary may have been twice his size but Wei Wuxian was fast, and smart. He avoided the attack with ease. The fight continued in this fashion, as fast as Wei Wuxian was he couldn’t risk stepping close enough to get a hit in. As they neared the edge of the roof Wei Wuxian misjudged the distance between his enemy and himself. The outstretched hand aiming for his throat grazed past him, too close for comfort and catching on the long red ribbon around Wei Wuxian’s neck. The long string was normally hidden under his shirt but in the action it had fallen out, the gold ring on the end of it gleaming in the faint light as Wen Ruoham’s swinging arm broke the fragile ribbon.
Everything slowed down as Wei Ying saw the ribbon brake, the gold ring flying of the end. He reached for it desperately, grabbing the end of the ribbon but the ring had already fallen off the edge of the building. They were on top of one of the highest buildings in the city, he knew that even if he spent all night searching the street below, he wouldn’t find his ring.
“Wei Ying! Behind you!” the voice in his ear brought him back to the situation at hand and just as Wen Ruoham was about to land a hard blow to the back of his head, he span and kicked his chest hard. Wen Ruoham was sent backwards, landing with his legs bandling off the building. He desperately tried to climb back up, only managing to find a drain pipe to hang from.
As he screamed for help, Wei Wuxian watched him in silence. Still in the position he had adopted after the kick. He couldn’t concentrate, the red ribbon was still trailing from his closed fist. In that instant, the screaming man seemed less important that the loss of the symbol of Lan Zhan’s love and life long commitment to him. They had been married for less than a year and now his wedding ring was forever gone.
Finally the desperate screams for help broke through the haze and he walked over to where Wen Ruoham was dangling from the roof edge. But still he didn’t reach down to help him.
Wen Ruoham was a cruel man, they knew that. He had killed, raped and destroyed so many people. Surely the world would be a better place without him. He could just leave.
“Wei Ying. Help him. I know he is bad but you aren’t, you are good. I know you aren’t a murderer. Pull him up and he will spend the rest of his life in prison paying for his sins. Don’t let him destroy you. Come home to me. I love you.” as always, Lan Zhan had been there to save him. He must have found a camera to hack into on the roof. But even if he hadn't seen the scene, at the end of the day, Lan Zhan would always be the one to pull Wei Ying back. To save him from the darkest parts of himself.
“Thank you. I love you.” in one swift movement he reached down to grab Wen
Ruoham’s arm and pull him back onto solid ground. As soon as he was safe, Wei Wuxian hit him hard, knocking him unconscious instantly.
Lan Wangji would call the police and sort everything out, he just had to go home now. Go home and sleep, safe in his angel’s arms.
Wei Ying could tell it was still night when he awoke. It had been years since he had dreamed about that night and he didn’t know why the old nightmare was back to haunt him. Turning over he reached across the bed for where he knew Lan Zhan would be laying. He pulled his sleeping husband’s arm over his back and was immediately pulled into his deep embrace.
Life had been good, A-Yuan was starting preschool, their last mark had been an easy take down and they had yet to start on a new case. He should just relax and enjoy the quiet, after all he was warm and safe in his husband’s arms but something was making him uneasy. The quiet always did, he was too used to danger and running. Being happy still took some getting used to, despite having found his happy ending almost four years ago.
As the sun started to rise, the arms that had wrapped around him in sleep started to tighten and hands began to run up and down the naked skin of his back.
“Morning baby.” Lan Zhan was still half asleep but at the sound of the greeting he nuzzled his face in the direction of Wei Ying’s voice. What he was looking was clear and Wei Ying chulked before leaning down to kiss the sleepy man beside him.
“It’s too early, come back to bed.” Wei Ying was normally the one begging for a couple more minutes in bed so he found the request impossible to resist, happily laying back down on top of Lan Zhan.
Wei Ying laughed at Lan Zhan’s sudden interest in being awake as he rolled them in bed so Wei Ying was securely pinned under the other man. As he lay on his back, his arms firmly around Lan Zhan’s neck and his legs wrapped around his waist, Wei Ying knew there was nowhere he would rather be.
That morning they were a little later than usual in getting Sizhui out of bed and ready for preschool. What had started in bed continued into the bathroom, under the shower and finally back to the bed. An hour later, despite the scraches on Lan Zhan’s back and the blossoming bruise on Wei Ying’s hip, the small family were in the kitchen ready to start a new day.
It was Lan Zhan’s turn to take Sizhui to school and go to the grocery shop on the way home so Wei Ying was left home alone with nothing to do. He knew Lan Wangji had a pile of case files on his computer for them to go through and decide who their new target would be. He could start on that but the sun was shining through the open window and it seemed like too nice of a morning to spend cooped up in a dark office.
Wei Wuxian had been cleaning the house for about an hour, waiting for Lan Zhan to come home, when the music that his phone had been playing was cut off by an incoming call.
He left with just his phone and key, still dressed in the shorts and t-shirt he had been wearing around the house. Lan Zhan had taken the car, he didn’t care. In under twenty minutes he had arrived, breathless, his legs burning from his demented run across town. That didn't matter either, only one thing mattered now.
“My husband! Lan Zhan! Lan Wangji! Where is he? Is he alright?” he pushed past the faceless masses, the reception desk his only objective. The young nurse sat there looked slightly startled by his sudden appearance but quickly made an educated guess at the situation.
“Sir, please calm down. Can you tell me your name? What happened?” Despite her initial reaction, the woman’s tone was now calm and professional, Wei Ying got the feeling that this wasn’t the first time she had had to deal with a frantic spouse.
“My name is Wei Wuxian. I just got a call from this hospital. The woman said my husband was in an accident, that he was taken here and they found my number in his wallet. Please, is he here? Is he alright?” Wei Ying had long since given up staying calm. He hadn’t been calm since his phone rang.
“You said your husband’s name is Lan Wangji? Yes, we have him here. He was brought in about half an hour ago, unconscious. I don’t know if you will be able to see him but I can take you to his doctor who can explain what is happening…”
“Unconscious …?” his heart had been in free fall since he had received the call that Lan Zhan was hurt but that single word had shattered his heart into a thousand pieces.
“Follow me please. I will take you to the doctor.” As Wei Ying followed the woman down a series of white corridors, he could feel his world slip away from him. Lan Zhan was all he had, he couldn’t even imagine a world without him in it, let alone live in one. He was his soulmate, his husband, the father of his child…
“A-Yuan!!! Is my son here as well? Lan Zhan was taking him to school…”
“I am sorry sir. I don’t know where your son is. Maybe the doctor will, or maybe he is still at school.” finally they had arrived in what Wei Ying assumed was a communal waiting area. A tall white clad man was waiting for them there and approached the pair as they arrived. The woman who had brought him here, placed her hand on his arm in what he assumed was to be a reassuring gesture before nodding to the doctor and making her way back the way they had come.
“Sir, I know you must be worried but I will try and explain what happened the best I can. Your husband was brought here this morning, he was severely beaten and suffered several injuries including three broken ribs, some bruising on his spleen and we are worried about some possible brain damage.”
“Oh my god. Lan Zhan…” the doctor tried to place a comforting arm around Wei Ying’s shoulders but he immediately shrugged out of the embrace, he didn’t want comfort right now and he definitely didn’t want any other man touching him.
“How did this happen?” straightening up, Wei Wuxian took a breath and sealed off his emotions. Someone had threatened his family, Lan Zhan was hurt and he still didn’t know where his son was.
“We don’t know exactly. Someone found him and called an ambulance but no one was there when they arrived. All we know from his injuries is that he was severely beaten, probably by a bat or pipe of some kind.” Wei Wuxian could tell the doctor was closely watching his reaction, waiting for him to break down or something.
“Okay. What about my son, Lan Sizhui? Lan Zhan was taking him to school.”
“I’m sorry, we don’t know anything about your son. Your husband was brought in alone. Maybe call your son’s school, they can tell you if he is there.” Wei Wuxian simply nodded as he pulled his phone out of his pocket and walked down the hall.
Before he would dial the school’s number however his phone rang with an incoming call from a masked number. After quickly checking that no one was close enough to hear the conversation, he answered the call.
“We were sorry to hear about your husband’s “accident”. It would be truly awful if something were to happen to your son as well. Give yourself in and he lives.”
“Where and when?”
“Now. We have a car waiting for you.” The call ended before Wei Wuxian could react. He could feel the pit of despair start to rise up but he couldn’t let it destroy him. Not now. He had to be strong, A-Yuan would be alright, Lan Zhan would be alright. He would make sure of it.
He didn’t try to see Lan Zhan’s sleeping face before leaving. He knew he wouldn’t be coming back and he wanted his last memorie of Lan Zhan to be the lazy kisses they had exchanged that morning, the loving words they had exchanged as they laid in each other’s embrace. The happy times before everything changed.
As the voice had said a black car was stationed at the main entrance of the hospital. Wei Wuxian didn’t move as three men jumped out and forced a sack over his head and cuffed his hands behind his back. He let them pull him into the back of the car, a punch landing against his stomach for good measure. He could have tried to fight but it was pointless, he had already lost.
How they had found out who he was, he didn’t know but somehow they had found him. Lan Zhan. They had found A-Yuan.
He counted thirty minutes in the back of the car before they pulled up on a gravel driveway. They must be out of the city, he couldn’t hear any cars or voices. He was wanked from the car and dragged a couple feat across the gravel he had heard under the car tires. Instead of being forced up a step he was pulled downwards. Basement. The air was cold and humid, the air smelling slightly of rot. Not the nicest place to die but he guessed he wasn’t really in a position to be picky.
“I want proof that Lan Sizhui is safe. And I want the men I am assuming you have at the hospital gone.”
“Of course Mister Wei. I am a man of my word. Your son was just dropped off at school and my men are vacating their positions at your husband’s bedside.” As the bag was removed from his head he blinked a couple times to adjust to the sudden light before turning to see the man standing before him.
“Ah Jin Guangyao! I thought it was you. I am assuming you have brought me here to kill me so would mind indulging me just a little first?” Despite looking weary of the request, Jin Guangyao nodded.
“How did you find me? No one has ever been able to find me or my family. It is somewhat impressive.”
“You flatter me Mister Wei. Well since you are indeed about to die I will satisfy your curiosity. Whatever virue you planted on my computer was indeed traceless, none of my experts could figure out who created it. I really should congratulate you for that. Since I couldn’t track you down that way, I settled on finding out who had been in my office that night. Now you may have been careful about avoiding my cameras but that sweet maid wasn’t as thoughtful. She was very strong you know, it took hours of questioning to break her, but they always do in the end. Even if the name you gave her was fake, coupled with her description, it was easy enough to find you. Once we found you, it was child’s play to find out which school your adorable boy went to. It really is sad that he will have to grow up an orphan…” Wei Ying could barely breath, the walls were closing in around him but he desperately tried to push the panic back. MianMian had been innocent and if he hadn’t made the decision to engage with her, she would still be alive. He couldn’t stop his mind from imagining the sweet girl, the state of her smiling face disfigured and broken. But as Jin Guangyao finished talking, one word caused his heart to miss a beat.
He had accepted that he would die at Jin Guangyao’s hand and he was okay with that, because it meant that A-Yuan and Lan Zhan would be safe and together.
“No…” this couldn’t be happening, he was dreaming.
“I am sorry. You should have never trusted the word of someone like me.” with that he looked away from Wei Wuxian, pulling his phone from his pocket. He dialed a number and spoke two words before hanging up. “Kill him.”
Wei Wuxian had been working on opening the cuffs since he had been thrown in the back of the car but as the order was given he lunged forwards. Three men were upon him in an instant but they were no match for him. He didn’t care who he hit or how badly they were hurt. Years of training and the soul crushing fear of a man about to lose the thing he loved the most had turned him into a beast.
Jin Guangyao had ran through the door connecting the basement where Wei Wuxian had been set to die to the rest of the house. Wei Wuxian didn’t bother quiet his footsteps as he chased his prey. He wanted him to know that he was coming.
Jin Guangyao had cornered himself in the kitchen. As Wei Ying circled his cornered prey he pulled a small knife from inside his jacket. Wei Ying smirked at the sight of the blade, his enemy would need much more than that if he hoped to escape with his life.
He didn’t bother bodging the attack as Jin Guangyao ran at him. Judging from the blood straining his shirt, the knife must have made contact but he didn’t care. Using Jin Guangyao’s impulsion he reached out, his hand wrapping around his target’s throat and holding him there, feet dangling in the air. Pulling the bloody knife from his fist he weighed it in his hand. Small but sharp, it would do the job nicely.
The pressure he was applying to his windpipe made it impossible for Jin Guangyao to make a sound but Wei Ying could see the terror in his eyes. That fear, he had seen it before. He had held a man’s life in his hands but back then he hadn’t been alone. He had had his angel by his side. The voice in his ear who reminded him who he was. He had Lan Zhan.
Now he didn’t know if Lan Zhan was dead or alive but he knew that he wasn’t by his side. This man had taken his angel from him and now only the devil was left, alone in the dark.
He didn’t hesitate. The strike was swift and precise, the blade sinking deep into Jin Guangyao’s heart. He didn’t move as he watched the life drain from his eyes. Wei Ying had killed his first man. He wasn’t a man any more, just a beast.
Dropping the lifeless body to the ground he left the building. The car he had brought here in was still packed out front, the key in the ignition.
No one tried to stop him as he walked through the hospital to where Lan Zhan’s had laid. He finally made it to the room.
What he saw as he crashed into the room caused him to drop to his knees.
“Wei Ying…” his face was badly bruised and his body covered in bandages but there he was. Awake, alive. He was beautiful and Wei Ying couldn’t do anything but weep crumpled on the floor where he had fallen.
“Hey baby. Baby, it’s okay. I’m okay, we all are. Lan Xichen is home with A-Yuan, we are all alright. Please don’t cry. You’re bleeding, baby.”
“Lan Zhan, Lan Zhan. Baby, oh my god, you’re all right.” careful to not hurt him, he approached the bruised man, his hand hovering above his beaten face. He desperately wanted to touch him, to be sure that he was actually here, safe, before him but he was terrified of hurting him.
Lan Zhan must have seen the conflict in his eyes as he reached up to grab Wei Ying’s hand and pressing it to his tear stained check.
Half an hour later, when Lan Zhan had been given all his medications and the cut over Wei Ying’s eye and stab wound on his abdomen had been patched up, the two were finally left alone.
Lan Zhan was laying on his hospital bed, Wei Ying curled up at his side. He had tried to convince the other man to stretch out but he had wanted Lan Zhan to be as comfortable as he could be while still maintaining permanent skin to skin contact.
“I was so scared today. I thought I had lost both of you…” From where he lay, Wei Ying would feel the heat of Lan Zhan’s body radiating into his, he could feel the beat of his heart strong against his hand. As the steady beat calmed his mind, he started to relax for the first time since his phone rang so many hours ago.
He couldn’t see Lan Zhan’s face from his curled up position but he was thankful as he couldn’t. He could bear to see his reaction to what he knew he had to say.
“Shhh it’s all okay now. You kept us safe. We are all safe.” He knew Lan Zhan’s words and the hand running through his hair were meant to comfort him but he needed to tell Lan Zhan what he had become.
“I killed a man today. He was unarmed, powerless but I took a knife and plunged into his heart. I murdered him but I don't feel any regret. He hurt you, threatened my family and I killed him. I know I should feel something but I can’t. I am a bad person, I killed a man in cold bold and I enjoyed it.” he waited for Lan Zhan to say something, to push him away but instead he just felt a strong hand at his chin, pulling his face up so he was staring into Lan Zhan’s stormy eyes.
“Good. I would have killed the bastard myself if you hadn’t.” His tone was cold, violent. The words sent a shiver down Wei Ying’s spine. He had never seen Lan Zhan like this, so cold, so dangerous and he had never wanted him more.
“I love you so much.” Wei Ying’s voice didn’t tremble as he spoke, the fire in his eyes mirrored by the ice in Lan Zhan’s. He knew he would kill anyone who dared threaten his family again and he knew without a doubt that Lan Zhan would be right there by his side.