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with a little help from your friends

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"If you'd been a little more careful when you were searching that factory," Sui Zhou says, spooning soup into a bowl, "this wouldn't have happened."

Tang Fan waves his burnt and bandaged hands—and he's lucky, he knows, that it's just his hands and that Pei Huai had been nearby and able to tend to his injury so quickly—and lets out a piteous whine that's not as play-acted as Sui Zhou thinks Tang Fan would prefer. "I know! I know! Just feed me already!"

Sui Zhou's busy serving everyone, so Wuyun is the first to laugh and hold out a pair of chopsticks Tang Fan can't use, while Dong'er rolls her eyes and prepares to refuse to serve Tang Fan out of teenage rebellion, which means it's Wang Zhi who picks up his bowl and holds it in front of Tang Fan's lips with a glint in his eye that says it's just far enough away to be both possible and awkward for Tang Fan.

Tang Fan leans forward anyway, determined as always to meet Wang Zhi's challenge.

If the soup spills a little, well—

The laughter and camaraderie and warmth of food in his stomach is worth it.