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In Sun and Summer Rain

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Yè Zūn hadn’t been impressed when Gēgē’s human decided to buy Gēgē a house as a pre-wedding gift. It was extravagant. It was change.

Yè Zūn dislikes change.

And it also feels like a claiming that Yè Zūn doesn’t want the human to have on them–all living together, his scent on everything. Even though he’s now using all of his forms again, Yè Zūn takes particular pleasure in being a cat and shedding as much as he can on everything within reach.

If they’re going to live here, the house is going to be his.

This pond out back for Damn Cat is an unexpected bonus. Yè Zūn enjoys sunning himself on the rocks that encircle the water, occasionally trying to scare the fish if he’s not feeling too lazy. This afternoon, he wants to soak up as much warmth as he can before the rain comes. He can smell it blowing in, even if he can’t see the clouds building and tumbling closer.

He’s drowsing when he feels a small body crawl up onto his side and snuggle in. Gēgē. The tiny dragon burrows himself into Yè Zūn’s long fur and churrs a greeting. Yè Zūn purrs in answer, letting their rumbles tune to each other, falling asleep, content and safe with his twin close by.

A wet splat on his nose makes Yè Zūn jerk awake and shake himself out automatically, tumbling the tiny dragon into the pond.

Gēgē is so surprised that he lands with a splash instead of a graceful cutting into the water.

Yè Zūn blinks down at the black dragon streaking through the water, flinching with each drop of water that disrupts his fur. It doesn’t matter that it’s a warm summer rain, it’s still wet and Yè Zūn hates the feeling of his fur matting down with damp.

The tiny black dragon darts back through the pond and peeks he head up above the surface, deep black eyes suspiciously innocent.

Gēgē shoots a stream of water at him, nailing Yè Zūn in the face in challenge before darting away.

Yè Zūn growls and hisses, leaping for his twin and letting his dragon take hold. He slices into the pond, scales slipping smoothly into water, and chases after Gēgē. It doesn’t matter that Gēgē was always faster when they were children, Yè Zūn will get him back.

Gēgē tumbles around in the water, coming back toward Yè Zūn, they spin and flick past one another. The wonder of it takes over, and Yè Zūn is no longer angry with his twin for baiting him into the pond. He twines around Gēgē, the water supporting their movements in a way the air does not. It’s a familiar game of tug and tease, simply enjoying the warm water surrounding them.

Yè Zūn tires before Gēgē—his stamina still not up to what his twin has achieved. Slipping out of the water, Yè Zūn coils up on the rock he had been sleeping on earlier. The rain doesn’t bother him in this shape—it is just an extension of the water he’d been swimming in, the drops a grounding and mesmerizing feeling against his scales.

The tiny black dragon follows him out, chirping inquiringly. Yè Zūn just snorts—as if Gēgē doesn’t know—and Gēgē churrs in answer, wrapping his slightly longer form around his twin. They shift until each has his head resting on the other’s body, curled together to enjoy the summer rain.

***

Zhào Yúnlán comes home to find the house empty and frowns. It’s raining outside, so Shěn Wēi wouldn’t be reading or marking papers out in the garden. He’d also been hoping for a warm welcome and being able to ease a long day with a kiss or ten, so he’s disappointed not to find Shěn Wēi in the kitchen.

He wanders over to the back patio doors and looks out at the summer storm. If the twins aren’t home—Yè Zūn hasn’t appeared in any form to torment him so far—he hopes that they were prepared for the rain. A slight movement near Dà Qìng’s pond catches Zhào Yúnlán’s eye, and he smiles. Quickly, he grabs an umbrella and unfurls it, walking out into the garden.

Two tiny dragons, one black, one steel gray, are twined around each other, napping on a rock in the rain.

Zhào Yúnlán crouches down and strokes a gentle finger across the crown of the black dragon’s head, and he knows his smile is sappy with adoration when those large dark eyes open to look up at him. “Xiǎo Wēii, why are you sleeping in the rain?”

The tiny dragon chirps quietly and rubs his head against Zhào Yúnlán’s hand. Then he nuzzles the grey dragon beside him. Yè Zūn grumbles and shifts so that Shěn Wēi can slip free and scurry up to his favorite place around Zhào Yúnlán’s neck.

His scales are cold and damp against Zhào Yúnlán’s throat, a few drops of water sliding from scales to skin, but he doesn’t mind. Zhào Yúnlán is always happy to have Shěn Wēi as close as possible, whatever form he might be in.

Stroking the dragon with a hand, he looks down at Yè Zūn. “Do you want to come in too?”

The tiny grey dragon slits open an eye and glares in answer.

“Alright, alright. We’ll come get you when dinner’s ready,” Zhào Yúnlán laughs, not offended by the younger twin’s grumpiness. The fact that Yè Zūn didn’t hiss is an improvement, and Zhào Yúnlán will take each small win he can get.

He waits until he and Shěn Wēi are inside again before commenting, “Yè Zūn napping in the rain. That’s new. He hated being wet as a cat.”

The tiny dragon chuffs in his ear, agreement and amusement evident even in that small sound.

“He really is getting better, isn’t he?” Zhào Yúnlán wonders, remembering the angry, tiny grey cat that shredded his favorite leather jacket.

“We used to enjoy water together—swimming, rain—it was fun to… to play… again,” Shěn Wēi admits. “It is part of us.”

“Part neither of you need to hide anymore. Even if it does make your twin insufferable sometimes,” Zhào Yúnlán snorts, remembering a tiny grey dragon wreaking havoc at SID for days before they figured out the cause of the confusion.

The tiny dragon lets out a contented rumble. “Dìdì was always precocious,” Shěn Wēi confirms.

“If that’s what you want to call it,” Zhào Yúnlán grumbles, fingers still gentle on the dragon’s back. “Are you cooking, or should we order in?”

Shěn Wēi coils more closely around Zhào Yúnlán’s neck and rubs his head against the man’s throat. “I’ll cook. Later.” Then he yawns, letting out a tiny squeak. “If you don’t mind waiting.”

“I’d wait forever,” Zhào Yúnlán assures him, curling up on the couch and basking in a long cuddle, Shěn Wēi’s churring purr vibrating gently in his ear.