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An offer he can't decline

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He jumped from a rock to another, from a cliff onto next one. He ran and rolled, climbed up and over. He clung to ledges, used vines and dried-up roots to move on.

With his ears he heard the wind - loud and strong gusts, one after another, coming to blow him down just on sharp stones and branches somewhere below. With his eyes he saw a path - a torturous, mountain range and somewhere behind it, a skyline and bright sun. With his lungs he breathed in air - fresh and piercing, viscous and sizzling. He felt the heartbeat in his temples, he was overjoyed and thrilled.

Another road, another target, another effort. 

Han Wenqing has always been the one, who aimed at something and always reached it.

Boldly, decisively, for the hills.

No matter what difficulties he might meet. No matter what challenges he will have to overcome. No matter what words could be said to him.

He has always been like that.

Years passed, but Han Wenqing didn’t change. Someone called him stubborn, others were sure he was stupid and there were also those, who said something else.

But he didn’t care. He was confident in himself, in his decisions and his feelings.

Sweat blanketed his eyes, his muscles gave him fatigue and bones whimpered - but it wasn’t the end. He can do more, better, stronger.

Han Wenqing sought only forward - to the horizon, to the top.

He never thought what will happen after. Besides, does it really matter? He will think about it, when he get there.

Han Wenqing had friends, had a family, had colleagues. They all accepted him, his feelings, his passion. Perhaps they didn’t understand - how much he loved «Glory», why he chose this way, why he got up each time after falling to his knees. But it wasn’t important anyway.

For him to be honest with himself and devote the heart to the dream were more important.

Han Wenqing has always been the one, who chooses his own path.

With each step, the rocks became steeper, the vines thiner and the path riskier. It was harder to breathe, the lungs were burning, and the sun was blindingly shining through the cracks. Bright and warm. Unreal.

Han Wenqing didn’t need approval, pity or empathy. He was able to do anything, to overcome everything and to endure.

He has always been one of the best - only with his powers, his efforts, his ambitions. He didn’t look at anyone’s backs, he didn’t peer at their faces, he didn’t make concessions. Always true to himself.

Han Wenqing thought he was strong. In fact, it wasn’t a lie.

Broad palms clenched in fists, rock-hard muscles, a glint of determination in eyes. Steady gait, straight back, raised chin. That’s how he looks to others, that’s how he looks to himself. 

Han Wenqing won’t listen to flatterers and liars, he won’t waste his time on them.

Even if no one can ever understand him, it doesn’t matter.

«Old Han».

Even if there is no one to compare with him, he won’t be upset at all.

«Hey, old Han».

Even if he pursues this path all by himself, he doesn’t care.

«Hehe, how slow you are».

When Han Wenqing stops behind his destination, clutching his dirty wounded hands on the ledge and climbs up on it, he looks only forward. He sees his next target, the next peak. But there, on another cliff, higher one, among the clouds hanging over the mountains, sits a man. He has his feet dandling over, he looks around confidently and mocks the world. His golden eyes shine bright, just like the sun - so understanding and kind. The dark locks and baggy clothes are being blown by the wind, and the smoke from the cigarette is billowing to the vast sky.

«Finally you are here».

And before he could say a word, Han Wenqing wakes up.

Ye Xiu. 

The name that brings warmth in the chest and pain in the ass at the same time.

A thorn. Even here he managed to get in. There’s no peace from him, neither day nor night.

But Han Wenqing only smiles distracted.

His rival, his friend and also the man he is in love with.

Han Wenqing can’t tell, when it started. Dealing with Ye Xiu always hasn't been easy. No, really difficult.

Awry.

Sideways.

But it was even harder without him. Unbearable, lonely and boring.

Ye Xiu was a troublemaker, who constantly bother everyone and interfered with the order, which Han Wenqing got used to already. He was stubborn, unswerving and free. It was impossible not to love him, it was impossible not to admire him, it was impossible not to want to break some bones for all the good he did and to put him beside. For a cup of coffee or maybe something stronger.

Although Han Wenqing knew Ye Xiu can’t stand alcohol.

Han Wenqing never met anyone, who was similar to him. Nor did he look for them. However, Ye Xiu was beyond the imagination in general. Far beyond the ordinary people’s mind. And it was grasping. Right by the collar. It made him feel upside down, it was excessive. 

He desired him after all.

Han Wenqing rubbed his shoulders and neck, then he stretched.

He agrees that he often think about Ye Xiu during the day, whether it was morning, lunch or late evening. But he rarely visited him at night.

Captain if Tyranny was a conscientious man and it was rather simple not to fall for sweet dreams and imagination. But when someone like Ye Xiu appears in your life (do someone like him even exist anywhere else?)... you have to contribute some rules and reconsider the attitude towards the world.

And to people.

Or to a specific person. 

Han Wenqing, however, didn’t regret doing these at all.

It isn’t hard to love someone, if you ask him. Although it’s exhausting to love someone as unpredictable.

Ye Xiu was like a rare bird, which wings you want to clip and put it in a cage. Keep it close, feed it by hand and stroke its feathers. But Han Wenqing would never allow it. Neither himself, nor anyone else.

Ye Xiu was beautiful with his freedom, his flight, his power.

Captain of Tyranny has long ago accepted that his feelings don’t have to be mutual.

In fact, it’s even harder to imagine Ye Xiu being in love with someone. He sees a different world with his eyes and there is a different world in his heart. Han Wenqing likes it, he’s attracted to it, by it. Breaking him with selfishness would be too easy.

Ye Xiu was not fragile, of course. In the game and in life - he was the one who could prove himself. He wasn’t an upstart, he wasn’t blindly arrogant, he didn’t demand special treatment. But Ye Xiu knew his price, his value among others. He knew where and when to push, knew what to say and when to strike. 

However, with some people around Ye Xiu wasn’t been in nice relationships. Han Wenqing, by the way, wasn’t on that list.

Ye Xiu didn’t know how to express his feelings, although it sometimes seemed that he has no of them at all. He couldn’t say anything from the heart, but he was a honest guy. Someone might have been hurt by that honesty, but it’s better than listening to lies and beating around the bush. He was quick to make decisions, quick to put his weird, but powerful plans into practice, oddly enough quick to make friends.

Take a look at Huang Shaotian, though it was probably not just about Ye Xiu.

Han Wenqing knew that Ye Xiu wasn’t an open-hearted person. Besides, dragging anything from him was almost impossible. He was too good at avoiding questions, changing topics and trashtalking. 

Han Wenqing also knew that Ye Xiu will help as much as he could. Very reliable man.

Although he disappears from the eyesight by snapping. Well, maybe not so reliable.

Captain of Tyranny puts his face under the jets of warm water, washes away the sweat and the remains of sleep.

He doesn’t know if he believes in Ye Xiu himself or rather in his own choice of that guy. But Han Wenqing doesn’t doubt anyway.

And he hasn’t given up yet. Neither in «Glory», nor in life, nor in his feelings for Ye Xiu.

Han Wenqing laughs.

One more day, one more way, one more target and he’ll reach it. One day for sure.

 

…while QQ flashes with new message.

 

 

«Old Han, how about a date?»


 

To be honest, Ye Xiu didn’t have a schedule. There’s nothing to admit though. Pretty obvious thing, he would say.

No sleep schedule, no eating schedule, no daily schedule, nothing.

All time he devoted to «Glory», sometimes to Su Mucheng and sometimes for sleep and for food. Often he had to combine business with pleasure. But the truth states that it happens only under his boss’s harsh gaze.

He was out of the habit to judge anyone by their tastes, but the shows and programs that Chu Yunxiu recommended were too much. Too sugary, too fruity, too made-up.

At times, Ye Xiu wondered how the girl could even find such titles and was even more surprised that Mucheng was watching them all. It’s not that he’s picky on these things, especially the ones that play on the background, but still. The amount of clichés and romance just breach through all the possible ceilings and roofs.

Ye Xiu wasn’t a romantic. Ye Xiu was bad with matters of heart and didn’t deny it. 

Over the years he got used to the shows and at times even became involved into plots. Although, still not on purpose.

During all his conscientious and not-so-much life, Ye Xiu didn’t love anyone. As they say, from the bottom of his heart. Well, the love for brother, for parents, for little Dot, for Su Muqiu and Su Mucheng, and for his friends as well - is different. More likely, the "affection" if he had to describe these feelings. Maybe care and a desire to protect. Ye Xiu rarely expressed his feelings, so there is no need in that anyway.

Probably, despite «Glory», the only one person in his life, who evoked some special emotions in him, was Su Muqiu. However, it’s doubtful as well.

With him Ye Xiu felt interest and fun, coziness and intrigue. Su Muqiu was the one who really cared about him, and not his far-away future, saw him equal and asked for nothing in return.

If Su Muqiu were alive, Ye Xiu would not mind spending the rest of his life with him. Side by side. He would have introduced Su siblings to Ye Qiu, they would have gotten along (they wouldn’t have had another choice anyway), they would have played «Glory» together, made friends and shared memories.

But Su Muqiu wasn’t there for a long time.

Deafening yearning in the heart and a dull grind in the chest started simmering inside.

After all these years he still missed, still remembered, still called.

Foolish.

Ridiculous, but so what?

Life goes on even when people leave.

Su Mucheng is an adult now, Ye Qiu is too. Futhermore, Ye Xiu is not a little boy anymore either. He is independent. They are.

There is a roof above the head, he has cigarettes in the pocket and something to eat. «Glory» is still there, before his eyes. What more do you need for happiness? For him it’s enough.

He got used to live with no one’s help. Although these words are hardly true, after all Mucheng has been with him all these years and she still is there. Yeah, he raised her himself, though sometimes he wanted to ask who raised whom, he was earning on their living at that time, he grew up himself and solved problems too. But she was there with him, and he’s grateful for it.

He’s grateful to a lot of people, in fact. He has just never said it out loud. 

Ye Xiu didn’t think he was honorable, he didn’t claim he was good person and actually he never wanted to become one. 

He was himself, he was honest and he followed his heart.

Ye Xiu didn’t look for anyone who could understand him. He didn’t seek to get this understanding, but greatly cherished those, who accepted him as he was.

One of those people was old Han.

If you think about it, after Su Muqiu's death, after focusing on their common dream and his goal, Ye Xiu ran ahead and didn’t have time or will to look back. However, there was a person along the way, other than Mucheng, who was close to him. This person stepped on his toes, made his journey more interesting, shared his interests and partly views on the world.

Han Wenqing was probably one of closest people to him.

Ye Xiu does know how to feel, but rather doesn’t understand how to implement them. Perhaps that’s why he loved «lively» people. Those who shine in a special way.

Han Wenqing was exactly like that. He was not shining as brightly as Zhang Jiale with his bright as flashes and his style rage did. While the sharpshooter was a firework, old Han was a whirling lava. Quiet, but unbridled.

If you dive, you won’t come out. Such kind of a person.

Although Ye Xiu was sure he wouldn’t sink or burn. He’s too smart for that after all. He was sober. 

Ye Xiu never thought about Han Wenqing outside of «Glory», though he saw him as a friend. Most likely old Han couldn’t go outside of «Glory», couldn’t be taken apart, couldn’t be out of context. Always as a part. 

However, «part of «Glory»» is a part of Ye Xiu’s heart. It doesn’t look like an insult at all. Old Han would definitely appreciate it.

Well, or smack him upside the head.

Old Han never frightened him, he didn’t use violence, but others ran away like ants from a glare.

He wasn’t like everyone else for Ye Xiu, but also wasn’t someone special. However, to be a part of his life is already to be that special.

It wasn’t boring with Han Wenqing. Even though he was pretty easy to predict, it was still troubling to deal with him and to resist. Be as «straightforward» as old Han was is too much. That is a talent. It is an art.

The presence of Captain of Tyranny in his life was comforting. Sometimes the frown on the opponent’s and friend’s face he wanted to loose with his fingers. And feed him ice cream like he feed Mucheng.

And how funny it would be to wrap him in a fluffy blanket!

Is that the kind of sympathy that those TV-series describe? Is that love?

He doesn’t think so. But it sounds hilarious. We have to try at least.

Ye Xiu couldn’t understand why, but old Han clearly stand out  compared to others. He was an impenetrable rock, a deep sea, a fiery flame, a torrential rain and a violent hurricane. Nothing specific, but a little bit of everything mixed-up.

Strong and heady as alcohol, but it doesn’t make you sleepy, it doesn’t annoy you, and it doesn’t make you feel sick. Isn’t that an ideal?

He bets hugging old Han isn’t such a bad idea. It would be pleasant and warm to share the bed with him as well.

In his head a lot of clips from the hundreds of shows he has seen with Mucheng flashed.

Yeah, common sense is not gonna help here.

People say that before dying you will see your life, but Ye Xiu is sure he would probably see moments from those TV-series. Cursed.

He will never watch them with Mucheng again. Even with a stain remover and a bat, he can’t get them out of the head.

They started all of this too, by the way.

And maybe a little bit of insomnia caused it as well. He did stay for too long before going to sleep, he agrees.

Ye Xiu is trying to convince himself that he doesn’t need anyone special. Even without this pearson, he has enough problems. Only a special brother is more than enough. While some snoring he’ll hear from Wei Chen.

But aside from the logic, Ye Xiu is still strangling with interest. Did he pick up from Su Mucheng, hah?

In a few minutes, he doesn’t even think it’s that weird and stupid. If it goes wrong, he’ll just escape.

The plan is perfect. Time-tested one, five stars out of five. If even it worked with his family, with old Han it will work even better. However, he will get a wallet for the distraction. It will be fine as an offering too.

Or as a red flag.

Ye Xiu smiles and finally falls asleep. He likes to try new tricks, and just try something new too.

He wakes up pretty early, buys a ticket to Qingdao and texts an enticing message.

 

Han Wenqing has never been the one to refuse and back down anyway.