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Offering Comfort

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When Shen Wei suddenly disappeared over the edge and into the river, only to reappear a moment later, soaking wet, without his unneeded glasses, and looking as miserable as a drowned rat, Zhao Yunlan almost lost his lollipop as he went from shock to amusement in the span of about two seconds.

He couldn't help himself, okay? Laughing was the only thing he could do, after having witnessed that even the most beautiful, graceful, and poised person on the fucking planet could lose his footing on the wet ground.

Zhao Yunlan remembered times, long in the past and yet not so long ago for him, when he'd put warm furs and blankets around Shen Wei to get him dry, to stave off shock or just to have an excuse to cuddle up close to him during a cold winter's night. Shen Wei's shy gratefulness for all that care was a memory he still treasured deeply and there was a tiny amount of regret that coddling like that was literally useless on the present version of his lover - although he was still very appreciative of the cuddling.

The absolute futility of putting his own jacket around Shen Wei was obvious to everyone - the looks of his team showed Zhao Yunlan clearly that they thought him insane for trying to fuss over the Black Robed Envoy.

But this wasn't about the Envoy, this was about the person behind the black cloak and the put together facade.

This was about Shen Wei.

Shen Wei, who, despite having no need for Zhao Yunlan's jacket, or a blanket, or pretty much anything, really, flashed him a quick and grateful smile. It was gone in a moment and he lowered his head and looked down as if he was embarrassed. He looked about as fearsome - say: pathetic - as Da Qing had that one time during a stakeout when Zhao Yunlan threw him out of the car to sneak into a warehouse through the pouring rain.

The damn cat hadn't forgiven him for weeks and still occasionally dragged the story up to demonstrate just what a cruel and unjust man Zhao Yunlan was.

"Thank you, Yunlan," Shen Wei murmured and even wrapped the jacket a little bit tighter around his torso before slightly leaning towards Zhao Yunlan. The fact that he hadn't bothered to dry himself or change his clothes spoke volumes. Mostly about how unbothered he was by wetness and the cold but whatever.

Zhao Yunlan grinned back, way too pleased at having this small way to take care of the man he loved, determined to take every win he could get. He liked it when Shen Wei got all soft and cuddly and when it happened in front of an audience it was even better. His team needed to be socialized into seeing Shen Wei like he truly was and put the fearsome reputation on the backburner of their minds.

He sneaked an arm around Shen Wei's waist to offer even more absolutely unneeded support and warmth.

"Let me take you home to warm up," he said, daring the rest of the team to laugh at him. Wise as they were, they didn't. Time to dial it up then. "We can't afford having you catch a cold right in the middle of a case."

Now there was barely suppressed laughter from the others and a smile from Shen Wei.

"That would truly be unfortunate," Shen Wei offered after a moment of contemplation, somehow managing to hold on to most of his dignity, even freshly fished out of the river und wrapped up in a by now also soaked-through jeans jacket. Zhao Yunlan was impressed - Shen Wei truly was one of a kind. "I might require a night off under your personal care, just to make sure that there are no…," he paused for dramatic effect and they both pretended to not notice how everyone leaned in to listen, "… unforeseen aftereffects after my impromptu bath."

That had the team speechless and Zhao Yunlan almost choking on his lollipop. Fuck, he could even feel his face heat up - something nobody but Shen Wei ever managed these days.

"I'll do my best," he promised with a leer. A nice hot bath, he decided, followed by putting Shen Wei into bed for some fun times. They both deserved it after the week they'd had, damn it. "You'll have the Chief of the SID as your personal attendant tonight."

He could feel Zhu Hong's eyes rolling and saw Lao Chu take a step back is if to distance himself from the spectacle while Da Qing in cat form simply vanished behind the nearest shrub.

His words were meant to be teasing, yes, but he knew the promise behind them had been heard loud and clear: I'm here for you. I'll take care of you, if you let me. Please let me.

Shen Wei once again smiled at him, the shy, endearing one that still showed a little bit of the deep emotions that were going on behind the calm façade. Zhao Yunlan could stare at him for ages when he looked like that. Or always, really.

"It will be my pleasure," Shen Wei allowed, tilting his head slightly like royalty granting a request, tiny smile still on his face and staring at Zhao Yunlan as if there was nothing else to look at in the world.

Not even Zhu Hong's very loud cough managed to break the private little moment between them.