Huang Shaotian was acting strangely. Or at least, stranger than usual. Because Huang Shaotian always spat out five hundred words a minute while bouncing in place as if he just couldn’t sit still because what he was saying was the most exciting thing ever. But this, this bouncy, chattering Huang Shaotian was not the usual Huang Shaotian when he was excited about everything and anything in his immediate vicinity.
This was bouncy, excited Huang Shaotian because he was excited about something in particular, something he wouldn’t admit to, no matter how much Yu Wenzhou prodded. He had admitted to being the one who stole Yu Wenzhou’s underwear from the laundry room, the one who’d filled those pillows with balloons, nearly killing Zheng Xuan from the shock of it and he confessed to being the one who’d made off with all the lollipops from the team doctor’s office.
And Yu Wenzhou knew that if he tried, if he put some effort into it, he’d be able to get the truth out of his vice-captain, that Huang Shaotian wouldn’t keep the secret if Yu Wenzhou truly wanted to know what was going on. But he seemed so excited about the surprise, sneaking around, humming his own theme music for effect, that Yu Wenzhou decided that it wouldn’t do any harm to leave Huang Shaotian to his plotting.
It all became clear when Yu Wenzhou came back to his room after a meeting to find two Huang Shaotians staring at him from his desk. Both were smiling brightly, with messy blond hair but only one was half naked and it was the half-naked one who came bounding over, dragging Yu Wenzhou over to the desk to admire the Huang Shaotian who was wearing his Blue Rain uniform.
“Look what I found captain, isn’t it cool, isn’t it just so very cool, this was one of the not-sexy ones, some of them were much sexier than this but I thought you’d want a not sexy one because I am right here, being sexy for you, you don’t need a sexy pillow if you just have me, that’s not needed because you’re not missing out on anything!” The Huang Shaotian on the body pillow was trailing his account card across his lips in a distinctly suggestive way and Yu Wenzhou couldn’t help but wonder what the other options looked like if this was a not-sexy option.
“And captain, captain look at this!” Huang Shaotian turned the body pillow around to reveal Troubling Rain on the other side, cocky smirk written across his face and Yu Wenzhou reached out to feel the material, noting that it was very soft to the touch. He glanced back to Huang Shaotian who seemed very pleased with himself and he leant over to press a kiss to his boyfriend’s forehead, something that had Huang Shaotian perking up. “Do you like it captain, it’s for you, it’s for you because everyone would make fun of me if I got this for myself, it’s for poor lonely captains who don’t know what to do when their vice-captains are missing-“ Huang Shaotian cut himself off with a delighted gasp as an idea suddenly struck. “They had them for other players as well, should I get a Zhang Xinjie and a Fang Shiqian, Wenzhou I could get them for Old Han and Big-Eyed Wang, don’t you think they’d appreciate that Wenzhou I think they’d really like that, something nice to remember their vice-captains when their vice-captains aren’t there, especially since Fang Shiqian retired, he retired so Big-Eyed Wang must miss him, I could get this for his birthday, it could be a gift from the both of us Wenzhou-!”
Yu Wenzhou interrupted the flow of words with a deeper kiss, making Huang Shaotian inhale before relaxing into the embrace, tilting his head for a better angle and parting his lips. From the way his boyfriend arched into him, it seemed like all thoughts of sending body pillows to the other team captains was forgotten and as Yu Wenzhou let himself get pulled over to the bed and pushed down, he hoped that the idea of getting Wang Jiexi a body pillow of Fang Shiqian for his birthday had been pushed to the side.
He was well aware that Huang Shaotian was capable of multitasking, but he hoped that in this case, his vice-captain’s focus was on him, and not Wang Jiexi.
Huang Shaotian had a problem. And the worst part about his problem was that he couldn’t even complain about his problem because he was the one who had brought the problem upon himself.
He’d been so proud of himself for finding the Huang Shaotian body pillows and the look of open mouthed shock written across his boyfriend’s face had been everything he’d wanted. He was still toying with the idea of getting a few for some of the other pro players but most would be committed to seeking revenge if he did that and so he was still working out the risk-reward ratio-
Back to his problem.
When Huang Shaotian bought his captain the body pillow of his and his avatar’s likeness, he’d done it purely for the look of surprise it would elicit. And he proved that you don’t have to be a master tactician to predict people’s reactions because Yu Wenzhou’s wide-eyed confusion and shock was exactly what he’d expected it to be.
But he’d never expected his captain to actually…sleep with the body pillow.
Huang Shaotian knew that what he was doing was irrational but he couldn’t quite hold back the impulse to glare at the body pillow that Yu Wenzhou had one arm tucked around.
“Shaotian stop glaring at the pillow and go to sleep.” Yu Wenzhou’s eyes weren’t even open, but Huang Shaotian still widened placed one hand over his heart for the dramatic effect.
“How do you know I even have my eyes open captain, I can see your eyes are closed, so very obviously closed, look at how not open your eyes are, Wenzhou how can you suggest that my eyes are even open, let alone looking at that stupid- not stupid- that pillow, and even if I had my eyes open and was looking, looking not glaring Wenzhou, then that’s only because it’s so big and also in the bed so I can’t avoid looking at it sometimes-“
“Shaotian.” Huang Shaotian let his mouth snap shut and waited patiently, “you just said you can see that my eyes are closed. Go to sleep.” Huang Shaotian mumbled something under his breath but Yu Wenzhou seemed to be pointedly ignoring that and so he tucked himself more securely under his boyfriend’s arm, still mad that he didn’t get both arms as he usually did.
He was fully aware that this was entirely his fault, but how was he to know that Yu Wenzhou would actually use the body pillow?
He was also fully aware that glaring at the body pillow whenever it was in his vicinity, which was often as Huang Shaotian spent more time in Yu Wenzhou’s room than his own, was strange and making Yu Wenzhou look at him in that way he always does when he’s trying to figure something out, but Huang Shaotian was far too busy trying to figure out a subtle way to set the stupid thing on fire.
It would be a tragedy. He could even pretend to cry. It was fool proof.
Huang Shaotian was behaving weirdly and after a little time cataloguing when he was behaving weirdly, Yu Wenzhou realised that it boiled down to the body pillow. He spent a while running his boyfriend’s behaviour over in his head and thought about how Huang Shaotian glared at the body pillow whenever he was near it, seemed to want to pull it away from Yu Wenzhou and he realised what the issue was.
His boyfriend was jealous of the body pillow and Yu Wenzhou knew exactly how to fix it.
Huang Shaotian’s face was a textbook example of abject shock when he came into his captain’s room to find Yu Wenzhou and a body pillow. Yu Wenzhou was shirtless, which was an excellent turn of events because it let him admire his boyfriend’s muscles and shoulders and his trousers were riding low, showing off his hipbones and-
The body pillow. Right. His new nemesis-
It was a different body pillow.
It was Yu Wenzhou on this body pillow, unfortunately not shirtless, though Huang Shaotian didn’t actually want other people to see his captain shirtless, that should be for him only but if the body pillow was for him then it would be okay if it were shirtless-
Yu Wenzhou was talking.
“-and I realised that you must be envious of my body pillow so I got one for you.” And Yu Wenzhou smiled after he finished talking, he smiled and that had to be unfair, it had to be illegal for pretty captains to smile like that because it made Huang Shaotian’s heart go all soft and mushy in his chest and distracted him from the issue at hand.
What was the issue again…body pillows!
“Captain I wasn’t envious of your body pillow I wanted to set it on fire.” Yu Wenzhou blinked and Huang Shaotian nearly got distracted by his eyes before he forced his brain to focus. If he could multitask in Glory, he could do it here, no matter how lovely his captain looked. “You always cuddle the pillow at night, and you leave me all cold and lonely, I only get one arm now, just one arm to cuddle, do you know what that feels like- no you don’t because you don’t have to settle for one arm you get both arms! And surely I’m a better cuddler than the pillow right captain?” Huang Shaotian’s face shifted from expectant to betrayed when Yu Wenzhou hesitated just a second too long. “You like the pillow better?!” Yu Wenzhou seemed to be scrabbling for something to say and his solution to the problem was apparently an attempt to change the subject.
“You don’t want the body pillow?” Huang Shaotian blinked and took another look at the body pillow before grabbing it and dragging it towards the door.
“I’m keeping the body pillow! I need cuddles and maybe the body pillow is better than you!” Yu Wenzhou couldn’t help but think Huang Shaotian looked cute like this as he vanished out the door in a huff.
Huang Shaotian was convinced that some higher power somewhere was currently trying to ruin his life because he ran into Song Xiao on the way back from Yu Wenzhou’s room and his teammate blinked at him for a few minutes and he braced himself for the joke.
“Hey Huang Shao aren’t you dating captain? Why do you need this?” Huang Shaotian moved to unleash a barrage of trash talk but Song Xiao was already retreating with his victory, phone clicking as he took a picture before vanishing. Huang Shaotian decided that it was finally time to seek out advice because if he set Yu Wenzhou’s body pillow on fire now, he’d likely get caught.
Su Mucheng picked up on the first ring.
“If you’re calling for a PK I’m busy-”
“I bought captain a body pillow of me as a joke and now he won’t cuddle me and then he bought me one to make up for it and I don’t know what to do about it.” He’d thought that ripping off the bandage was the best option here but Su Mucheng went completely silent and Huang Shaotian wondered if she’d missed what he’d said. “Mucheng-?”
He was cut off by howling laughter and he sighed, resolving to sit through the laughter until Su Mucheng recovered enough to offer him some advice.
Ten minutes later, Su Mucheng was still laughing and Huang Shaotian was debating hanging up. Interspersed between the laughter was wheezed out fragments of sentences such as: bought a body pillow and lost cuddling rights. Huang Shaotian wondered if Su Mucheng remembered that she’d asserted that she was busy moments after picking up, but he was distracted from the call by Yu Wenzhou appearing in the room, still shirtless and seemingly on a mission.
Huang Shaotian’s phone was taken and Yu Wenzhou hung up, and he’d be more upset about that, except that Su Mucheng hadn’t been at all helpful and Yu Wenzhou had a look in his eyes that made Huang Shaotian’s breath catch.
“I prefer you to the body pillow Shaotian.” Huang Shaotian huffed out a breath, tilting his head up and to the side, avoiding the kiss that Yu Wenzhou was aiming for, making his captain whine and nuzzle against his neck instead.
“You should prove it captain, you hurt my feelings, and yes the pillow is very handsome, it’s got my face on it after all, and my face is so very handsome but that doesn’t make the pillow better than me and you can’t say the pillow is better at cuddling and-!” Huang Shaotian was cut off when Yu Wenzhou lifted him and headed towards the bed and all thoughts of body pillows were forgotten while Yu Wenzhou made it clear how sorry he was.
Later, Yu Wenzhou’s jaw was aching but it was worth it because Huang Shaotian was back in his arms, curled up and mumbling in his sleep, something about giving back the matches and Yu Wenzhou sighed at the thought that his vice-captain really had been planning a bonfire.
After the apologies, Yu Wenzhou managed to convince his boyfriend that one Huang Shaotian was enough and that he got priority over the body pillow. And Huang Shaotian hadn’t thrown out the one he’d been given, so overall, Yu Wenzhou counted it as a success.
And if Huang Shaotian curled up with the body pillow when Yu Wenzhou wasn’t around? Well no one but himself and the other Yu Wenzhou ever had to know.