Zhào Yúnlán knocks lightly on the door frame before poking his head around it and smiling at the woman sitting behind the desk. "Chéng Yīshēng, do you have a minute?"
Looking up from her work, Chéng Xīnyán raises an eyebrow and gestures to a chair. “Would you like a cup of coffee?”
Answering her wry smile with one of his own, Zhào Yúnlán takes the seat and shakes his head. “It’s not that I don’t trust you, but.”
Leaning back, Chéng Xīnyán lifts her chin in acknowledgement of the point. “So what can I help you with, Detective?”
Blowing out a breath, Zhào Yúnlán dives in with his request. “I want to know where you got Shěn Wēi those silver heels.” Ever since discovering that lone pump in their shared closet, Zhào Yúnlán has wanted to replace what had been lost—to give back not only that physical thing, but also the part of himself that Shěn Wēi had put away.
Chéng Xīnyán blinks, opens her mouth to reply, and then closes it again, narrowing her eyes, considering.
“Please?” Zhào Yúnlán tacks on.
Straightening an already perfectly aligned piece of paper on her desk Chéng Xīnyán considers for a moment before pinning him with as intense a stare as she has ever used on him. “And how do you know about that?”
Swallowing, Zhào Yúnlán knows that nothing less than the truth will suffice. “It was me. That night. I just found out that the man was Shěn Wēi a few weeks ago, when I found the shoe.”
Those sharp eyes narrow. “You didn’t know it was Shěn Wēi?”
“We, ah, didn’t exchange names.” He tries not to wince at what that implies. Thankfully he has brazened his way out of more awkward situations than this, though few that mattered so much.
Snorting, Chéng Yīshēng’s ferocity melts slightly with some amusement, “I see. That smitten were you?”
“And that drunk,” Zhào Yúnlán admits.
“Glad you don’t do that anymore. He also woke up with a horrible hangover, which apparently surprised him. So. Shoes? Shěn Wēi hasn’t worn heels again since that night, what makes you think he wants to?” Chen Xinyan questions, tapping her finger contemplatively against the surface of her desk.
They’re on more solid footing now, and Zhào Yúnlán can’t stop the grin from creasing his face at the memory of Shěn Wēi and that shoe and everything that it has inspired in recent days. “It’s still there, he just hasn’t let himself want it again.”
“Just the shoes?”
Biting the inside of his cheek at the thought of Shěn Wēi in heels and a dress, Zhào Yúnlán admits that he’d probably combust on the spot. Also, Shěn Wēi is both more free and more settled now, so one step at a time. So to speak. “Just heels. For now.”
Chéng Xīnyán’s lips quirk in understanding, “Does he know you’re asking?”
Zhào Yúnlán shakes his head, hoping that Chéng Xīnyán will understand that this is something Shěn Wēi won’t go after himself, no matter how much he might want to.
“So he’s going to get ambushed by them again,”Chéng Xīnyán notes. Which, if he weren’t still working to stay on her good side, Zhào Yúnlán would want to ask more about. “What’s the occasion?”
“His birthday,” Zhào Yúnlán confirms.
Pulling over the prescription pad, Chéng Yīshēng scrawls down something and then rips off the top sheet to hand over to Zhào Yúnlán. “They should still carry what you’re looking for.”
Standing, Zhào Yúnlán accepts the slip of paper with a breath of relief. He had expected far more grilling from the doctor than he had received. “Thank you, Chéng Yīshēng.”
Her fingers are still holding the other end of the prescription, so Zhào Yúnlán looks up and meets sparkling eyes. “I want to see them. Photos. I’d recommend something that goes well with blue.”
“Yes, Chéng Yīshēng.”
“Good.” She lets go of the prescription, and Zhào Yúnlán retreats with his prize.
He’d even invited Chéng Yīshēng, just so Shěn Wēi would have one of his own friends there too.
The team eats takeout junk food that Shěn Wēi doesn’t even scold him for, though Zhào Yúnlán knows that Shěn Wēi will be cooking extra-healthy meals for them for weeks to make up for it. Zhào Yúnlán leans into Shěn Wēi’s shoulder as they sit on the couch and fights with Damn Cat for the food on his own plate while Shěn Wēi and Chéng Xīnyán talk in low voices. The rest of the team are chatting and enjoying themselves too, so Zhào Yúnlán counts this as a success.
Even if Dà Qìng did just steal the last morsel from his plate.
“Presents!” he announces brightly, shoving the empty plate at the black cat, who hisses his annoyance.
No one needed to get Shěn Wēi anything, but there are a few small gifts that are brought out and passed over. Guō Chángchéng presents Shěn Wēi with a new pen and notebook, which is obviously from both him and Chǔ Shùzhī given the styling of the leather and binding. Zhù Hóng hands Shěn Wēi a rare tea from the Yashou. Dà Qìng perches on Shěn Wēi’s lap and purrs.
Zhào Yúnlán is reaching down to bring out his gift when he notices Chéng Yīshēng passing Shěn Wēi an envelope and telling him to open it later. He itches with curiosity, but decides that it can wait.
Shoving Dà Qìng off Shěn Wēi, Zhào Yúnlán gives the professor the box. He’d had the store put the shoes in a nondescript brown shoebox, so that it would be a true surprise when Shěn Wēi opened it.
Shěn Wēi smiles that soft curve of lips that is just for him and always makes Zhào Yúnlán melt. He pulls the string off and opens the box, blinks down at the contents and then slams the lid back on. The professor in his prim suit, adjusts his glasses and thanks Zhào Yúnlán politely, trying to mask the redness of his ears and cheeks behind propriety.
Nothing could disguise the heat in his eyes when they meet Zhào Yúnlán’s.
Perhaps giving him the shoes in public, just to see his reaction, was not his brightest plan. Zhào Yúnlán wonders how quickly they can excuse themselves and get home. He is already certain that Shěn Wēi will prefer to portal rather than take the Jeep.
Dà Qìng looks between the two of them from where he’s sitting on the table in the midst of the meal rubble. “I don’t want to know,” he declares before stalking off.
Chéng Xīnyán raises that mocking eyebrow at Zhào Yúnlán indicating that she also thinks his plan a poor one, even if it is amusing to her. Without breaking eye contact with Zhào Yúnlán, she leans in and whispers in Shěn Wēi’s ear.
The tips of those ears become an even deeper shade of red.
Standing, Shěn Wēi tugs on the hem of his suit jacket with one hand, the other curling under the box to hold it against his side. “Thank you all for a lovely party. I’m afraid I have papers due back to my students at the beginning of class tomorrow, so I should excuse myself.”
Zhào Yúnlán follows Shěn Wēi’s retreat toward the door. “Grading? Is that what we’re going to be doing?”
Shěn Wēi lets out a growl that makes Zhào Yúnlán wish they were already home. He ignores the questioning comments that are coming from behind them. It’ll be easy enough to smooth over later; it’s not as if the team aren’t used to them by now.
Zhào Yúnlán can live with a response like this. “I take it you like the shoes?” he gasps out as they take a moment to breathe.
His only response is a growl and another deep, consuming meeting of mouths as Shěn Wēi walks them backwards and pushes Zhào Yúnlán down onto the bed.
Grinning up at him, Zhào Yúnlán holds up his arms for Shěn Wēi to fall into. They don’t need words right now when bodies can speak as clearly as tongues.
Zhào Yúnlán traces patterns on Shěn Wēi’s skin, marveling at this man. This life of theirs. “You know, you don’t even know if they fit. That was quite a thank you given you may not even be able to wear them, Xiǎo Wēi.”
Shěn Wēi huffs, catching Zhào Yúnlán’s roaming fingers and bringing them to his lips. “You see all of me. This seems little enough thanks.”
Dammit, Shěn Wēi’s ability to be honest and direct and sappy will make him tear up. That’s not what he wants for this birthday celebration. Zhào Yúnlán scoots from the bed, sashaying a bit when he notices the gaze following his bare ass across the room, to pick up the box that Shěn Wēi had summarily dropped upon their return home.
Shoes collected, Zhào Yúnlán sits down on Shěn Wēi’s side of the bed next to his legs. Shěn Wēi props himself up on his elbows to look at him, and Zhào Yúnlán grins. “Let’s see…”
Fishing one of the shoes out of the box—the left, apparently—Zhào Yúnlán caresses down Shěn Wēi’s bare calf, to his ankle, drawing that foot into his lap. He slides the shoe on, holding his breath and hoping he had gotten the correct size. The navy blue satin is picked out with silver accents, and glows against Shěn Wēi’s pale skin.
Shěn Wēi smirks as Zhào Yúnlán blinks down at the heel snuggly cupping that long foot. He raises his leg up into the air in order to point and flex the shod foot and examine the fit and look of the shoe. “I’d say your powers of observation did not desert you, Yunlan. They’re perfect.”
Watching Shěn Wēi move that way is more than a little distracting. Each shift highlights that amazing musculature, completely bare and his. Raising that leg does wonderful things for calf and thigh and glutes, and draws Zhao Yunlan’s eyes from Shen Wei’s satin clad toe–the only piece of clothing either of them is currently wearing–to his groin. Zhào Yúnlán catches Shen Wei’s leg and brings it back down, pressing a kiss to his ankle. “You know what they say.”
“I guess I’ll have to wear them,” Shěn Wēi agrees, sitting up and pulling Zhào Yúnlán into his lap for another kiss.