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Rest for the Weary

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No matter how well worn the couch was - or how many times it had been slept on - that position couldn’t be comfortable. Zhao Yunlan would regret it in the morning, even if he didn’t wake up in the middle of the night with his neck shouting abuse. He’d slouched down when he’d fallen asleep. That shift had afforded him a slightly cushioned place to lay his head, but it was mostly just craned over onto his shoulder.

Given the position, the uncomfortable work clothes, and the pile of files in his lap, Shen Wei hadn’t expected Zhao Yunlan to stay asleep for long. Draping his jacket over him had been a possessive move. He’d half expected to need to snatch it back in moments when Zhao Yunlan stirred.

But Zhao Yunlan was exhausted. They all were. He slumbered on despite the awkward position and the dubious comfort of jeans and a leather jacket draped in a suit coat.

Shen Wei spared a second’s thought for finding a pillow and trying to get it between Zhao Yunlan’s head and his shoulder. If he was going to disrupt him, though, he might as well get him to the actual bed. He leaned forward - at least this was a good excuse for his position on the coffee table - and placed a hand on Zhao Yunlan’s knee. “Zhao Yunlan?” He punctuated the question by wiggling his knee. “Zhao Yunlan?”

With a mutter of unintelligible words, Zhao Yunlan turned his head deeper into his shoulder.

“If you’re going to sleep, you should move to the bed.”

Zhao Yunlan pried a single eye open the barest amount. “You trying to get me into bed?”

“Yes. You fell asleep reading a case file - you need to rest.”

“Hei Lao Ge,” he raised a hand to wag an admonishing finger. The gesture was only slightly ruined by an enormous yawn. “That is not what I meant and you know it.”

“You need rest.” Shen Wei reiterated, as if he hadn’t said anything.

“Fine.” He made to stand up and paused, a thought clearly occurring to him. “Wait, where are you sleeping?”

“The couch will be fine. I’ve slept in worse places.”

Zhao Yunlan nodded slowly. After a moment of due consideration, he let himself fall, slowly and with a great deal more show than was necessary, sideways to cover the entirety of said couch. “You’re the guest, Hei Lao Ge. What kind of host would I be if I made you sleep on the couch?”

“No.” Shen Wei grabbed hold of Zhao Yunlan’s forearm and started to pull him to his feet. “No. You are desperately in need of a good sleep. I will be fine with the couch.”

“I’m already here. You can’t make me sleep in the bed.”

Through a narrow-eyed gaze, Shen Wei surveyed Zhao Yunlan’s loose-limbed sprawl on the couch. From the self-satisfied, albeit sleepy, smile playing around his lips, he clearly thought he’d won this round. Foolish. He really should have known better by now than to underestimate Shen Wei. Shen Wei set his jaw and blew out an irritated breath.

Scooping him up was easy. Years of fighting gave him a decided advantage to get his arms under Zhao Yunlan’s shoulders and knees before he had a chance to react. Whether Zhao Yunlan didn’t struggle once he was in Shen Wei’s arms was because of shock or because he was worried that Shen Wei would drop him, he wasn’t sure. Frankly, he didn’t care. Complacency wasn’t exactly in Zhao Yunlan’s nature, and he would rather this be as small a fight as possible. He navigated the tight space between couch and coffee table, crossed the apartment, and rather unceremoniously tossed Zhao Yunlan on the bed.

Only to find himself careening forward, yanked off balance by Zhao Yunlan’s tight hold on his sleeve and the front of his shirt. He managed to get a knee up on the edge of the bed and wrenched a hand free to brace himself on the other side. Caging Zhao Yunlan was only slightly better for his sanity than collapsing on top of him completely. The bed groaned in protest.

“You’re the guest, and you’re not sleeping on the couch.” Zhao Yunlan relinquished his grip on Shen Wei’s shirt and patted the expanse of the mattress beside him. “There’s plenty of room.”

Shen Wei blew out an exasperated breath. “You need sleep.” He reiterated and then, when Zhao Yunlan leered at him as if his statement had left any room for leeway, clarified, “Sleep only.”

“Okay.” Zhao Yunlan agreed brightly, squirming his way over until he could get an arm around Shen Wei’s side and tumble him onto the far side of the mattress. He raised his feet to kick his shoes off. The duvet was a tangled mess, but he managed to find a corner and burrow under it. One eye slitted open after a moment, and he watched Shen Wei suspiciously.

Shen Wei sat slowly up on the edge of the bed, bending to untie his shoes and carefully pull them off. Loosening the top button of his shirt and rolling up his cuffs seemed somehow scandalous now that he was sitting on the same mattress. His fingers fumbled over the buttons and became even clumsier when he realized that Zhao Yunlan was watching him.

“Don’t you dare go back to the couch,” Zhao Yunlan warned.

“I wouldn’t trust you to sleep properly if I did,” Shen Wei shot back.

After a moment’s hesitation, Shen Wei tugged the duvet straight and pulled it over himself. Rolling over onto his side, he discovered that the bed was not nearly as big as it had looked and that Zhao Yunlan took up an unavoidable portion of it. For a moment, he considered turning to put his back to Zhao Yunlan, but he never got the chance. The minute his head touched the pillow, Zhao Yunlan was oozing into the space against his chest, tangling their legs together, and pulling Shen Wei’s arms tight around him. With their various limbs arranged to his apparent satisfaction, Zhao Yunlan sighed contentedly. He dropped his head onto the pillow, and his eyes fell shut.

After the reorganization, Shen Wei’s cheek was pillowed against Zhao Yunlan’s hair. He let out a slow breath, did his level best to ignore how shaky it sounded, and let his hands slowly close where they had fallen - around Zhao Yunlan’s forearm and wrist.

A happy noise broke the warm silence of the apartment. Zhao Yunlan turned his head to bury his nose into Shen Wei’s bicep. After all too short a moment - he probably hadn’t ever completely woken up - his breathing evened out.

Sleep found Shen Wei after a significantly longer moment. He couldn’t see Zhao Yunlan’s face from this position, but that didn’t keep him from staring at where his fingers lay over Zhao Yunlan’s wrist. His skin was soft. Shen Wei rubbed small circles on the inside of his wrist, feeling the slow pulse under his touch. He didn’t remember falling asleep.