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You Are The Underworld, Not A Hooligan

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You are the underworld, not a hooligan. 

Can you differentiate between the two, Little Tang? 


Master Tang's words echo in his head. 

Those words are a beacon in his life. And the most unlikely person to whisper these things in his ear late at night, lies next to him, sleeping.

He sits up, drinks some water and rubs the sleep from his eyes. He slips out of bed and pads down to their kitchen to fix some tea. 

A cursory glance at the clock blares brightly back at him. 

3 am and all's not well! 

He knows Meng Shaofei will quickly follow behind. The man's bulldog like tenaciousness, and infuriating intuition about Tang Yi, are just some things that drew him in and made him grateful for the smaller moments they have had together. 

But before he became used to it, before he knew he loved Meng Shaofei, it was a nuisance. 

A really big nuisance. 


S: Have you had another nightmare?


T:Do you know that I can't sleep without you, idiot?

I haven't slept in four years.

I'm beyond exhausted. 


Back and forth, but at least there's comfort and familiarity at the end of the night, rather than wondering who would attempt an assassination.


He conveniently 'forgot' to mention this to Meng Shaofei.

But he knows that Shaofei knows. He knows he knows.

He always has known the littlest details of him. 


So damn annoying, and so damn endearing.

He wonders if Master Tang would approve?

Probably not, were he alive, but he approves from the grave. 

Master, mother, father--they all approve from their graves.

He is a man who truly lives with his ghosts. 


He quietly gathers his teapot, his cup and his tea leaves and sits at the family dining room table.

Rituals are a good way to clear his wandering, muddied thoughts of revenge.

On whom?

There was no one left to revenge or avenge. 

There are only the two of them in the house. He has sent everyone away. 


He can hear Shaofei's slippers padding along the floor, getting closer. He knows that Shaofei will put his arms around him and pull him into his vortex of--of--good? 

He laughs. 

His own personal, tenacious as hell, bulldog clown. 

He laughs.

At himself?

For doing what comes naturally?

No, nothing comes naturally.


Everything, every day must be taught again and again. This is an invaluable truth he has learned from Master Tang.


Cooking well must be done with precision. Running a group must be done with precision. Having tea must be done with precision and ritual. 

Even eating spicy food must be done with precision. 

A glass of coke goes down easily to counteract the spice. 

The only one he's ever considered his equal taught him that.


He glows when he sees the bleary eyes of the one he loves, the one who loves him.

Who joins him with his glass of coke. 

"Are you okay?"


He, silly, bulldog Meng Shaofei, knows everything about him. 


"I will be," says Tang Yi, wrapping his arms around his beloved.