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Yang Na Na knows that every girl, in their lifetime will find a little sun destined to protect and cherish them.

 

She knows this because her mother told her so and her mother is a hero.

 

She does, however, worry on how she’ll recognize who would be the sun to protect her from what God could not.

 

A lot of things are dark in the universe you see, and if all the dark objects take the light to keep for themselves, who will Na Na have to protect and cherish in return ?

 

Na Na is quite sure she’s a sliver of dark matter in the universe. Otherwise, she could have been her own sun, strong and luminous.

 

When she meets Wei Qing Yang, she knows that he is special. This was because he twinkled as bright stars do and she knows that he is strong enough to be a light. She is greedy, and tries to borrow, just a bit of his light so she doesn’t have to keep standing alone.

 

It’s just the tiniest bit tiring. To be on your own. And she doesn’t think the bones in her legs are quite on her side anymore.

 

“Wei Qing Yang. I. Like. You.”

 

Na Na sweeps a lock of hair behind her ear and holds it there, wrist straining as she dips and presses a stolen kiss on the cheek of the star she fell in love with.

 

“Goodnight, my little sun,” she says, heart hammering, lips burning and she almost trips as she leaves the balcony and she hopes that Qing Yang isn’t a constant twinkle; isn’t as unaffected by her presence as conscious of his as she is.

 

She chances a look back as her hand pushes the wooden door of her room shut and glimpses the head bent forward and Qing Yang’s hand on his cheek.

 

She hopes and hopes that her hero hadn’t lied to her and that she had found her little sun.

 

***

 

When she visits the pet store with Qing Yang after he leaves a rabbit on her bedspread, she is flying. Na Na doesn’t really think she is dark matter anymore. She doesn’t know what she is but she knows she is like this because of Wei Qing Yang.

 

“Qing Yang ! Look, bubble fish !” Na Na points at the small aquariums, bowls really, of goggled goldfish, a smear passing as a mouth, stretched into an everlasting grimace and she’s happy that something natural is as sad as she is.

 

“Yang Na Na, we’re here for your rabbit.”

 

“Our rabbit, Papa Qing Yang. Our baby rabbit,” she says immediately and Na Na is rewarded with the half smile that she has discovered Qing Yang does when he is hiding his true smile.

 

It was so endearing and she doesn’t call him out on it so Qing Yang doesn’t get self conscious and stops doing it. She’d cry if he stopped smiling in the Wei Qing Yang way; she really would.

 

When people notice the mannerisms of you, it’s ever so altered, the mind aware and wary of the attention.

 

Na Na is careful. Or she would pout, an itsy bit at least. Just so that Qing Yang would feel bad and pat her head like she was the rabbit at home and could just curl up in his arms like a princess.

 

“Okay. Our baby rabbit.”

 

“Auuuiiwwaaaaa, look at all the fur trimmers, do you like the long steel ones or do you like the pink ones ?” Na Na holds the two in her hand, fingers moving the blades desperately against the cardboard backing it was zip tied to. The blades swish past each other in the harmonious tones of a murderous symphony.

 

Qing Yang just sighs and picks off the standard shears from the rack and adds it to the basket hanging on his forearm.

 

Not to be left out, Na Na jumps to his side and slips her arm in his so his light might bounce off the dark surface of Her.

 

They buy too many things for one rabbit but Na Na takes care of what makes her feel a little less lonely.

 

***

 

She’s watching her life in a half daze and she watches her little sun sink down at her feet to touch his lips to her hand, like a fairy tale prince except that Wei Qing Yang is not a prince and he is most definitely not doing what she thinks he is doing.

 

“Q-Qing Yang ?”

 

“Yang Na Na. I. Like. You.”

 

Na Na is sure he’s joking.

 

He is.

 

He is.

 

Oh. He isn’t.

 

And she dives for him, he’s straightening up and she wraps her arms around his torso. Tight and she hides her face in the fuzziness of his sweater and she does not cry because crying is fluid and fluids wash out lights.

 

He does not see.

 

But she is so happy.

 

Thank you, thank you, thank you little sun.

 

You are mine after all, aren’t you ?

 

I love you so much, I feel so warm, Qing Yang.

 

***

 

They go on dates and she tries to forget the date of her surgery that might not work. She thinks of her dad and the sight of a grown man crying outside his daughter’s room, hiding in plain sight.

 

Relapse and relapse and she scared of no guarantees and she hates lying to her sun-prince.

 

“Qing Yang, are you actually taking me on a date ?” She sings and swings their joined hands high and free; light, like pinwheels because she is happy and she skips a bit and ignores the heavy lead of her legs because Qing Yang is holding her hand and he is so close and she is vibrating in joy.

 

“Yes, I am,” he says simply and really, really, his eyes do crinkle a bit when he does that half smile. Qing Yang pauses and then he’s pulling out a paper lantern out of a bag and it’s wispy big and it’s beautiful.

 

Qing Yang is beautiful, she decides when he strikes a match on a matchbox and lights the lighter fluid on the lantern's ring.

 

He is a sun, she elaborates when she holds up the paper sides to let the warm air rise and fill the empty space that lets things fly.

 

“Make a wish, Na Na,” Qing Yang whispers and she wonders if she deserves wishes but she wishes anyways and watches the light that her sun gave to the world fly, fly away.

 

***

 

“Thank you for giving Na Na the love she wanted,” she hears the low tone of her father say and her legs are trembling and she almost drops her crutch where she leans, crumbling almost flat on her face where she is on the staircase landing.

 

“Of course Uncle. It’s what I should do. And Na Na is your daughter,” says the earthshine honey of the man she loves.

 

Her heart lurches, God, does she still have one of those ? She thought it died with her mother years and tears ago.

 

She doesn’t allow the tears to come until she is somehow in her room again and under the covers, clutching her mouth and crying herself hoarse.

 

At some point near three in the morning, she pulls her sunshine yellow suitcase out of the closet and dumps all of her things in.

 

She has to start over when they don’t fit, folding, stacking, filing her life neatly away whilst her insides flake off like too-frozen frost on the panes when it snowed and Qing Yang took her skating and she fell on him no less than eight times as his kind soul became the air mattress for her crystal bones.

 

She cries some more, and they’re silent ones, her voice box trained to keep her emotions in and she still takes the stupid, adorable, our baby rabbit Qing Yang ! with her, the carry on a charm bracelet of her past as she pulls the two hundred million dollar cheque out of her pastel pink wallet and ripping it in two on her bare desk and runs into the dark night once more.

 

***

 

Qing Yang is there, an apron tied neat and crisp over his hips. Qing Yang is worried.

 

Na Na can see it, his face a well thumbed book of ten or so pages that was Wei Qing Yang. He’s worried and he hadn’t slept last night when she was stupid and didn’t realize his sun had found her earth.

 

She pokes in her shield, the bell twinkles and Qing Yang twinkles in interest as he puts down the bag of coffee beans and scoops up his prize.

 

Na Na is more scared than the time she’d gotten detained for the massive sale on rice: buy two get one free of wild jasmine rice, she needed to stock up and she’d been arrested and here she goes !

 

Qing Yang is still holding the card she spent so long agonizing over, her best strokes in clear penmanship and she suddenly regrets using the rabbit and she whispers out something and auwuuu this is not what she’d planned. “I’m sorry for making you worry,” is what her mouth spits out and she had something better than this— !

 

Warm and firm hands grasp her shoulders and Qing Yang is taking the initiative and she breathes in finely ground coffee beans, the tang of orange zest and the slight whiff of perfectly steamed milk because Qing Yang is perfect — “It’s okay. As long as you are okay.”

 

Na Na feels a nose bump into the nape of her neck and she raises her arms; hesitant to hug back Qing Yang and for the first time, she breathes and shines like the little sun that is Qing Yang.

 

***

 

It is Wei Qing Yang; the flow of time after Ya Nuo and the General Manager disappear into a hotel casually hand in hand after their whirlwind marriage ceremony, that gives the love that Na Na knows is there but is still unsure on how to express its place in the timeline of Qing Yang and Na Na.

 

It is Wei Qing Yang who pulls her even tighter to his chest and says, “Hey. Yang Na Na. Let’s go on a date.”

 

So they do and it’s casual and it’s the free and unplanned, spur of the moment type of date and they’re in the teacups of the Du amusement park, spinning around and around and Na Na abruptly thinks about the two children she recalls reintroducing their lunches into the tracks of the rolling wheels and she is fluttering and flying.

 

Her leg braces against the teacup floor and she doesn’t feel lead legs and when they get out of the green teacup, Qing Yang takes her hand from her hip and she is pulled underneath the cabin roof, on the patio for crew members where she spent endless laughter blowing up balloons she didn’t remember having the breath for as she chased Qing Yang as he scared her witless with balloon exhaust.

 

“Qing Yang ?”

 

“... Oh.”

 

Qing Yang is cupping her face, gently like bone china and the teacups they just left behind and the sun is still high in the sky, an era constant beacon of reassurance when Qing Yang leans down meeting the lips that have risen themselves up on her toes.

 

The kiss is air bubbles and she briefly touches warmth.

 

“Yang Na Na. I. Love. You.”

 

And the warmth stays, when their eyes meet, softly as eyelids drift close and they touch lips together again.

 

Qing Yang is very careful, sweeping teaspoons of sweet coffee grounds and rich, smoked spice across her cheeks and she inhales deeply, trying to memorize this touch in time because…

 

Na Na inhales again and kisses Qing Yang on the tip of his pink nose and whispers in his ear, “Thank you, my little sun. I didn’t think I’d find you.”

 

She presses herself closer and Qing Yang pulls gently away to touch the corners of her eyes, his own dewy-soft, his brow furrowed in concentration. Na Na then realizes she’s crying in front of a person other than her mother.

 

Na Na inhales once more, deeply because she can and still can and feels her heart clench in bright joy.

 

“Wei Qing Yang. I. Love. You.”