When Ye Zun first hears about how bears brought gege and his Haixingren together, he cackles.
He finds the situation absolutely hilarious, and takes every opportunity to tease gege.
He brings books about bears home from the library.
(“Didi, I’ve already read those,” Shen Wei tells him.
“I know. But the Haixingren hasn’t,” Ye Zun responds, and plants the books on Zhao Yunlan’s pillow.)
When Da Qing takes him on a walk around Dragon City and he sees a bear statue in the window of an antique shop, Ye Zun takes that home too. He places it in the middle of the living room, in front of the TV.
He finds bear socks at a novelty shop, and buys a matching pair. He adds a set of misshapen bear-shaped mugs to the kitchen cupboard.
Once a week now, ever since the night in February when gege told them about The Seven Dancers, they curl up on the couch together, all four of them, and tell stories by candlelight. Ye Zun always makes sure to ask for stories involving bears.
Every time bears are mentioned or a new piece of bear paraphernalia has been added to their home, gege sighs and shakes his head. But Ye Zun knows he’s not really annoyed. He’s caught Shen Wei smiling at the bear-shaped mugs more than once.
It all comes to a head when the rest of the SID starts joining in on the teasing.
Ye Zun swears it’s not his fault. Zhao Yunlan argues that if he hadn’t portaled into his office with a giant stuffed bear, no one in the SID would know about the bear thing.
In Ye Zun’s defence, no one was supposed to be in the chief’s office when he delivered that particular gift. It’s not his fault they had an emergency meeting at 10 pm on a Friday, or that the meeting took place in Zhao Yunlan’s office rather than the main room.
It might be his fault the SID know all the details, though.
In any case, they jump on the bear-bandwagon immediately and without hesitation.
Xiao Guo starts giving gege and the Haixingren bear-themed cards at every special occasion. Wang Zheng orders them bear-shaped cookies for their anniversary. Zhu Hong contacts a group of Bear Yashou in northern Canada, and invites them to visit the SID. Lin Jing prints out the latest bear-related studies for Shen Wei. Even Chu Shuzhi makes the occasional comment.
When Zhao Yunlan proposes to gege, he foolishly leaves Ye Zun in charge of the wedding invitations. Of course, he makes sure to include some bears.
We are beary excited to invite you to the wedding ceremony of Shen Wei and Zhao Yunlan.
April 26th, 2014
Dinner will follow.
Please RSVP by April 11th.
In honour of the spring wedding, he also includes photos of bear cubs in the invitations’ page border. He prints the invitations in secret, and mails them off before anyone can notice.
Ye Zun gets away with it until Cheng Xinyan inquires about whether the wedding is bear themed or not.
Zhao Yunlan threatens to extend his community service to four years for that.
“I think it’s a good idea,” Ye Zun says later, once they’ve all settled in on the couch. “Cheng Xinyan is right – the wedding should be bear themed! You could wear matching bear suits, and the cake could be shaped like an Asian black bear.”
He dodges the pillow that Zhao Yunlan sends flying at him, and ignores the comments about finding a new pillar to lock him in. He can almost hear gege rolling his eyes. His sigh of disappointment though, feels like a punch to the gut.
“Gege, you know I’m only joking. I won’t ruin your wedding, even if I don’t like the Haixingren.”
“I’m right here,” he hears Zhao Yunlan mutter and he smirks.
Shen Wei sighs again, and strokes the back of Ye Zun’s head the way he used to when they were children.
“I know,” he says. “But please – no bears at the wedding?”
“Okay,” Ye Zun agrees. He’ll cancel his order of custom-made bear-shaped place cards in the morning.
(The wedding isn’t entirely bear-free, though.
At risk of losing his fingers, and with the promise of copious fancy fish, Ye Zun manages to shove a cat-shaped Da Qing into a bear costume for the family photos.
Zhao Yunlan pretends to be upset, but Ye Zun saw him taking photos of Da Qing on his phone. And gege. Gege seems happy and if he thanks Ye Zun for sneaking a bear into their special day, well.
Ye Zun will never admit that his eyes burned a little at that.
He will continue with the bears and the teasing, though. Zhao Yunlan’s outrage at yet another statue is more fulfilling even than devouring the Regent.)