It wasn’t even two hours into his Monday shift and Da Qing was already done. So. Done.
He kind of had adapted to the constant innuendos Zhao Yunlan flung at Shen Wei as soon as the latter entered the room. He also had started to get used to Wang Zheng and Sang Zan being disgustingly in love. (It was quite sweet actually, most of the time, given how they had started and all.)
But the final nail in his coffin had been Xiao Guo, apparently flirting with Lao Chu. Flirting. With Lao Chu. Clumsy and unsure and looking like a frightened bunny all the time, but it proved alarmingly effective, judging by the smitten look on Lao Chu’s face.
Da Qing groaned. He couldn’t do this, he thought helplessly, and was just in the process of writing a sick note on his laptop, when a large mug of black coffee appeared in front of him. Looking up, he was met with a glare so dark and murderous his breath caught for a moment, until he realised it wasn’t him for a change that Zhu Hong was annoyed with.
Cautiously he took a sip of coffee. It was too hot and definitely not sweet enough, but it did wonders for his looming headache. Zhu Hong gave the happy couple a desk over another withering glare, then plopped down next to Da Qing on a free chair.
“This isn’t fair,” she complained, and Da Qing just nodded in sympathy. Zhu Hong continued in a stage whisper, her voice still loud enough to be heard by everyone in the room, “How can I be the only single person on the team?”. Saying this, she levelled a calculating gaze at Da Qing who almost choked on his coffee. “Hey now,” he coughed, “I am--”
“Oh,” she interrupted, “aren’t you and Ye-”
“Will you shut up?”, he demanded pointedly, glancing at the others, who had significantly perked up with the last sentences. “Shut up,” he repeated, more quietly. “We aren’t anything. I am single,” he said with emphasis and Zhu Hong smirked, but didn’t comment further. Instead, she reclined in her chair, observing Wang Zheng and Sang Zan over the edge of Da Qing’s laptop, like a scientist a pair of rare birds. Or a snake, he suddenly realised, and shivered involuntarily.
“You know,” she said after a while, still too loud to be considered confidentially, “I made bingo cards.” She nodded in the couple’s general direction. Da Qing frowned. “You made what?” She smirked again, not looking away from the pair who now had started to feed each other pieces of cake. “Bingo cards,” she stated. “For all the couples. If they do anything that’s on the card, you cross it out, when you have five in a row, you win. Like bingo,” she shrugged. “You want one?”
Da Qing was equal parts intrigued and horrified. “That won’t take long to complete, I suppose,” he pondered. “But yeah, give it here. Loser has to do the paperwork for the next case?” With a nod, Zhu Hong agreed.
It had even been funny at first, watching the three couples more closely, but after two days of witnessing people blow raspberries through the bullpen (Sang Zan), squeezing their significant other’s behind when walking by (Zhao Yunlan) and loudly planning their dinner together (Guo Changcheng), Da Qing was ready to start a riot. He had laughed when he saw his card, thinking he would never be able to cross out things like “wear each other’s clothes”, but then Chu Shuzhi had removed his scarf to put it around Guo Changcheng’s shoulders because the latter had started shivering, and Da Qing had almost experienced a stroke.
On Wednesday morning, Zhu Hong just smirked at him, holding up her card to show him that she was only missing one square, and Da Qing let his head fall to the desk with a dull thud. By now he even considered letting her win if that meant he didn’t have to watch people being sweet with each other all the time, but he also had a competitive streak that didn’t let him surrender that easily. He was about to say something to her, when Zhao Yunlan came barreling into the bullpen, shouting even before he had fully opened the door. “We have an emergency, move!” Everyone abandoned their desks to hastily grab their gear and follow him outside.
Against Da Qing’s expectations - born from knowing Zhao Yunlan and his usually somewhat misguided sense of urgency - the ‘emergency’ really was one, a Dixing kid whose powers had just awakened and who wasn’t able to control them yet. Hence, the first thing they saw upon arrival was a tornado of flying objects, in the eye of it a terrified looking teenager. Zhao Yunlan visibly readied himself to sprint towards the kid, when someone behind them shouted, “Ah-Lan, STOP!”
Zhao Yunlan came to a stumbling halt and turned around, a broad grin on his face. “Hei Pao Shi,” he drawled, “are you here to save me?” At that, at least three of the people present rolled their eyes, and Da Qing thought he heard Shen Wei mutter something under his breath. Before anyone could do anything stupid, Hei Pao Shi made a complicated gesture in the direction of the storm which immediately began to slow down, street signs and dustbins clattering to the ground.
Zhu Hong sidled up to Da Qing. “Bingo,” she grinned, holding up a crumpled sheet of paper. “Flirting in dangerous situations.” Da Qing groaned, but before he could reply anything, Shen Wei had stalked up to Zhao Yunlan, who was still grinning madly. Without a word, Hei Pao Shi, complete with robe, mask, and glaive, grabbed the other by his lapels and pulled him into a rough kiss.
Horrified, Da Qing and Zhu Hong looked at each other, not quite able to speak, when they heard Lin Jing mutter behind them.
“These people have no shame, really. Right in front of my crime scene.”