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A kiss in danger

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“There’s no other way.”

There’s always another way, Zhan Yao has learned, but Bai Yutong isn’t always willing to take the other way.

“You could just wait here until backup arrives.” It’s less of a suggestion and more of a wild hope that Zhan Yao knows isn’t ever going to happen.

They’re crouching down behind a heavy wooden crate that’s already been splintered by a few dozen bullets. Yutong’s gun is empty and Zhan Yao’s is halfway across the warehouse where he’d dropped it when Yutong had grabbed and pulled him to their temporary place of safety. There are at least three gunmen, and it’s going to take the rest of the team a few more minutes to get there.

If Zhan Yao had a vote here, it would be for the pair of them to stay where they are and just pray that they somehow managed to avoid being killed. But Yutong has never been good at sitting still, especially not when there’s something he thinks he can do.

Yutong turns to face him. His lip is bleeding and the shoulder seam of his shirt has finally given up the ghost. But his eyes are bright and determined – a look that Zhan Yao recognises as well as he recognises his own face.

“I can take them out,” Yutong promises, reaching out to touch his fingertips to Zhan Yao’s cheek. It’s only the briefest touch, but it feels like a brand against Zhan Yao’s skin, and he wonders, completely irrationally, if it’s going to leave a mark.

He reaches up and takes Yutong’s hand in his own. “You really don’t need to do this.”

“I really do. As soon as I distract them, you need to get up and run, okay?”

Yutong smiles at him, before leaning in and kissing him. It’s soft and passionate, and by far from the first time they’ve done this, but it feels different. Zhan Yao wants to argue again, wants to beg and plead, but he knows it’s useless. When Yutong has made up his mind, there’s very little that can change it.

Even as Yutong is tensing his body, preparing to leap out, they hear the unmistakeable sound of Ma Han’s sniper rifle. Three successive shots and the gunmen are down, and there’s no more need for Yutong to risk his life. At least not this time.

He’s sure there will be plenty of other opportunities.