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Ye Zun will not be stopped

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Zhao Yunlan's fourth not-so-secret vice, after cigarettes, lollipops, and copious amounts of alcohol (not ranked in any particular order), was cheap coffee. 

Specifically, the kind that came in little premix packets of sweet heavenly bliss, probably more sugar than actual caffeine, and made Shen Wei arch his perfectly contoured eyebrows and insist that he try switching to real, properly brewed black coffee for a change. 

He was sprawled out on his couch, feet on the table, surrounded by reports and lollipop wrappers and three half-empty mugs of coffee - he usually started washing them once he ran out of clean mugs, so he was still two more mugs away from having to haul himself to the kitchen for cleanup - when the air behind him split into two and a neat figure in a suit stepped out into his living room. 

"Professor Shen, you're finally here-" Zhao Yunlan started, then stopped. "Ye Zun." 

Ye Zun looked down at him with disdain, much like the way one would look at a particularly stubborn bit of dirt sticking to the bottom of their shoes. He probably thought of Zhao Yunlan that way. 

Zhao Yunlan said, more indignant than alarmed, "What are you doing here? And what did you do to Shen Wei?" 

"So this is the human that my brother has fallen in love with," Ye Zun said, like he wasn't directly addressing Zhao Yunlan to his face. 

Ye Zun cast a haughty glance over the rest of Zhao Yunlan's apartment, which admittedly wasn't in the best of conditions, and resumed glaring at him for emphasis.

To Zhao Yunlan's defense, the SID was going through his much dreaded annual audit, which meant the sort of paperwork he couldn't pawn off on Wang Zheng. And Shen Wei had recently been promoted at the university, which meant between his work and rehabilitating his little brother - who happened to be standing menacingly in Zhao Yunlan's apartment - neither of them had much free time lately. 

Which also meant that frivolous things like cleaning had fallen off by the wayside. 

"Look, I don't usually live like this," Zhao Yunlan said. He wasn't even sure why he was attempting to explain himself to a former mass murderer who had apparently been rehabilitated, but he tried anyway. "You just popped in at a bad time." 

Zhao Yunlan cautiously patted the cushions behind him for his gun, using a stack of papers to shield his hand movements from Ye Zun's view. 

"Ah, I wouldn't try that if I were you," Ye Zun said carelessly. "Anyway, I'm not here to cause you any harm."

"Yeah, right," Zhao Yunlan said. "Could have fooled me. We have things like manners up here, generally, like not using portals and knocking before entering-"

Ye Zun shrugged, because clearly things like manners were far below him. "I am only here to deliver a message," he drawled. "First, regarding my brother." 

Zhao Yunlan felt the world around him screech to a halt. "What-" he started in a panic, but Ye Zun held up a hand to silence him. 

"First, regarding my brother," Ye Zun repeated frostily. "I would let you know that if you ever intend him any harm, I will personally be the first in line to disembowel you, and then I will string you up across the hallway of your beloved SID with your own intestines." 

That wasn't what Zhao Yunlan had been expecting. He stared. "What," he said again, this time uncomprehendingly. 

"I do not approve of my brother's interests, no matter how uncultured his tastes may be," Ye Zun continued,  "But I will allow this, as long as he is happy." 

Zhao Yunlan's brain took a while to catch up. When it did, unpleasantly, he managed to work his mouth open and eloquently said, "What are you talking about."

This time it was Ye Zun's turn to look stunned. He stared at Zhao Yunlan for a long time, then said in a much smaller voice, "You... and my brother... Are you not in a relationship?"

He said the word relationship like it had offended him somehow. 
"Uh, no, I don't know where you got that impression from," Zhao Yunlan said, feeling his face heat up. "But Shen Wei and I are definitely not together. We're just friends."

"Just friends," Ye Zun said in disbelief. His overall threatening aura was gone, replaced by the kind of look that Zhao Yunlan knew meant trouble, and not in the potentially murderous kind of way. 

And he didn't like it one bit. 

Zhao Yunlan hadn't grown up with little siblings, but he had people like Da Qing and Guo Changcheng and Zhu Hong and Lin Jing working under him. All of them had the tendency to be absolute terrors, so he felt like he was somewhat qualified a little to speak on the experience. 

And right now he was immensely thankful that he hadn't, because Ye Zun had the biggest shit-eating grin on his face. 

It was even weirder because technically speaking it was also Shen Wei's face. But Zhao Yunlan had spent enough time with Shen Wei that he could tell them apart, even when they had their masks on.

"Look," Zhao Yunlan tried feebly, "I'm the SID Chief, he's the Black Robe Envoy. Our relationship is strictly professional. Don't eat where you shit - ah, I mean, shit where you eat and all."

Ye Zun didn't even seem fazed by the modern slang. He leaned over the couch - Zhao Yunlan scrambled away in alarm - but Ye Zun merely shifted through the veritable mess of papers on his coffee table to unearth Zhao Yunlan's phone. 

"Hey, that's mine," Zhao Yunlan said. 

Ye Zun tapped rapidly at the screen. A moment later, Zhao Yunlan heard the shrill opening notes of some atrocious kpop song ringing through the apartment, then gawked as Ye Zun reached into his breast pocket and pulled out a sleek gold phone.

"There, now you have my number," Ye Zun said. He tossed Zhao Yunlan's phone back at him.

Zhao Yunlan's overworked brain tried and failed to register alarm at how fast Ye Zun was adapting to technology, so the first thing he said was, "But you can teleport." 

Ye Zun waved at him dismissively. "My brother watches me too closely. This is the only way for me to escape his constant supervision. I shall be in contact with you shortly once I have worked out the details of my plan."

"Wait, what are you planning," Zhao Yunlan yelped, but Ye Zun was already pulling up another portal and was halfway through it. 

"You'll see, Lord Guardian," Ye Zun said, not at all ominously, and vanished. 

Zhao Yunlan stared blankly.
See, whatever was going on between him and Shen Wei, Zhao Yunlan hadn't dared to put a name to it. They were neighbors and colleagues, yes; good friends, definitely. But boyfriends? 

The thought felt so foreign that Zhao Yunlan felt his brain breaking down. He'd gotten over his dating phase long ago, when he'd entered the SID. Dating was the thing that Wang Zheng and Sang Zan did, or whatever Lao Chu and Changcheng had going on. 


Plus between the two of them, while Zhao Yunlan was prone to oversharing, Shen Wei still struggled with verbalizing his emotions sometimes, so Zhao Yunlan had long decided to let Shen Wei make the first move. 

If Shen Wei ever wanted to, of course. 

Obviously that was the equivalent of pushing the ball back into Shen Wei's court, but Zhao Yunlan really really liked Shen Wei as more than a friend, which meant he wasn't about to do anything that would scare the poor university professor off.

Not to mention the nightmare of explaining a fallout to the rest of the SID when the Black Robe Envoy would invariably refuse to play consultant on their field missions. 

"Are you not tired of living in a pigsty," Ye Zun said snottily, a week later, perched at the kitchen counter where he was slowly demolishing off a takeout box of fried wings. 

Ye Zun had texted him Are you home, then had unceremoniously popped up in his apartment five seconds after Zhao Yunlan had read the message. 

"You can't do this every time," Zhao Yunlan had said, irritated. He'd about to text back sry, at work when Ye Zun had stepped through a portal and promptly made himself at home.

"Do what?" Ye Zun sauntered over to his fridge to help himself to a beer. 

"Come over uninvited," Zhao Yunlan said. "I could be at work, I could have booby traps set up for when I'm not home."

"Xiao Yunlan, I live across the hallway, I know when you're home," Ye Zun said. 

Across the hallway. Right. Zhao Yunlan fumed. "There's something called a front door. Comes with a doorbell, you should try it sometimes."

Ye Zun ignored him. "Anyway, I have a plan," he said, in the same manner he probably did when his plans involved genocide. Zhao Yunlan didn't like it at all. 

"Ye Zun," Zhao Yunlan said determinedly. "I swear, there is nothing going on between me and Shen Wei. Maybe yes, he can be fucking hot when he's fighting - shut up," he added when Ye Zun mimed gagging on his beer, "But I value him too much as a friend."

"Do not ever use the word 'fucking' in the same sentence as my Ge," Ye Zun said. "Eww."

"You're aware that if we do end up together, there would be some degree of fucking going on," Zhao Yunlan said.

Ye Zun gaped at him in an odd mixture of horror and contemplative silence. "Truce?" he offered delicately. 

"Truce," Zhao Yunlan agreed. Then, "What did you have in mind?"

 And so it turned out that siblings being shitheads was a universal thing that transcended time and species. 

"We are not mind controlling Shen Wei," Zhao Yunlan said. 

"I would be entrancing him to only speak what is on his mind," Ye Zun said. "That's not mind control."

"No," Zhao Yunlan said. "I need him to be sound and sober if we're going to do this." 

Ye Zun's next idea was to set up a string of Dixingian crime scenes around Dragon City for them to investigate. After thoroughly demotivating and tiring Shen Wei out with false leads, he would then send them to the forest where a heavy branch would conveniently fall onto Zhao Yunlan, so Shen Wei could be appropriately traumatized and would then confess to him. 

"No murder!" Zhao Yunlan said sharply. He was going to need to speak to Shen Wei about his progress on reintegrating his twisted twin brother into normal society. "No property damage, either," he added before Ye Zun could interrupt him. 

"I can set up illusions, they would look very convincing," Ye Zun said unconvincingly. 

"And you think the Black Robe Envoy wouldn't see through them and figure out it's you?" Zhao Yunlan said. 

Ye Zun sniffed and said nothing about Zhao Yunlan's indirect jab on his abilities.

A few hours passed. Zhao Yunlan shot down several more of Ye Zun's ideas, feeling a headache starting to form somewhere behind his ears. 

To his credit, he absolutely did not point out how all of Ye Zun's plans seemed to involve bodily harm to Zhao Yunlan. Clearly Ye Zun's protectiveness only extended to his older brother, as long as Zhao Yunlan and Shen Wei ended up together. 

But he did have to admit - he was starting to miss Shen Wei. 

They hadn't had the chance to meet up at all the past week. The SID's annual audit had concluded just yesterday to resounding success. Hugely in thanks to Wang Zheng and Sang Zan who had spent all day and night organizing their filing cabinets; having ghost employees that didn't need to eat or sleep was awfully convenient. 

He'd wanted to get Shen Wei to come out for dinner, but Shen Wei had looked apologetic and said something about faculty meetings and new student intakes. 

So Zhao Yunlan did miss him. His stupidly gorgeous, pressed suits. The gentle look in his dark eyes whenever Zhao Yunlan caught him off guard. The way Shen Wei glared whenever anyone got too close to Zhao Yunlan. 

"How about this," Ye Zun said. He casually glanced around, picked up his fifth can of beer, then went on with a strangely unpleasant look on his face, "There's this plant with pink and black flowers that grows only in the lowest levels of Dixing. The petals are a strong aphrodisiac when ground into a fine powder and consumed dry-"

"No," Zhao Yunlan said immediately, even as his mind went straight to the gutter imagining Shen Wei pressing him down into bed and having his way with him. "Wait. Do you Dixingren even need help in that area? Aren't you guys constantly full of energy and stamina?"

Ye Zun looked like he might actually puke all over Zhao Yunlan's countertop, but he recovered rapidly. "I never said it was for Ge," he said snidely. Then, "Ah, he's back now." 

"Who's back," Zhao Yunlan said, then finds himself being yanked up by the collar and pushed against the wall. Ye Zun grins at him, all sharp teeth and leaning so close to his throat that Zhao Yunlan instinctively drew his leg back and kicked out.

His foot connected with Ye Zun's shins; it was like kicking a brick wall. 

"You look delicious," Ye Zun said. "Maybe I should have you for my own instead. I would love to hear you scream my name."

There was a brief pause, then several things happened at once. 

The front door burst open, revealing a furious Shen Wei. Ye Zun bodily picked Zhao Yunlan up and threw him across the apartment into Shen Wei's arms. 

"Just in time," Ye Zun said. "Just one minute later and I would have had your precious SID Chief squirming in bed under me."

"Ye Zun," Shen Wei thundered. His grip tightened painfully around Zhao Yunlan's shoulders.  

"Ah, so you admit you get jealous when I touch him," Ye Zun said. "That wasn't so hard, was it, Ge?"

"Now wait a minute you asshole," Zhao Yunlan said, realization dawning on him just as Shen Wei said stiltedly, "Yes."


"What," Zhao Yunlan said.

"Goodbye," Ye Zun said pointedly, and walked out through the front door.

There was a long, awkward silence. Zhao Yunlan cleared his throat, and poked at Shen Wei. "Oi, you can let go now."

Shen Wei let go. Zhao Yunlan went to close the door, then abruptly turned to face Shen Wei. "Ye Zun wasn't going to hurt me," he said. 

"He touched you," Shen Wei bristled. 

Okay. There was no other word for it now; Shen Wei's possessiveness was pretty fucking hot. Zhao Yunlan grinned, walking up to Shen Wei. 

"I think he was proving a point back there," Zhao Yunlan said. "Shen Wei, Professor Shen, Black Robe Envoy... I love you, you idiot." Shen Wei just stood there vacantly, and Zhao Yunlan tugged him over to the couch and pushed him down. "Now sit."

Zhao Yunlan looked down at his idiot, made up his mind, and climbed up to straddle Shen Wei by the hips. It wasn't the most elegant thing he'd ever done, but it didn't matter because he had Shen Wei beneath him, hands coming up to hold him by the waist. Not pushing him off, but tentatively pulling him in closer. 

"Now, Shen Wei," Zhao Yunlan said, "Kiss me."

And Shen Wei did. 

Half an hour later, as Zhao Yunlan tossed out half the things in his bedside drawer in search for the bottle of lube he swore he still had lying around somewhere, his hands closed around a cloth drawstring bag that he definitely did not recognize.

Shen Wei took it from him, face flushed and gaze darkened with want. Inside was a clear plastic sachet of pink and black powder. Shen Wei held it up to the light; it shimmered with the telltale signs of Dixing energy. 

Zhao Yunlan grinned. "Shall we?"