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The other Battle God

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He had an uneasy feeling ever since morning and now he knew why. He had left his ID back at the vacation residence they rented, what an idiot he was! Today was the signing of their new team and he had forgotten such an important requirement! It was raining steadily, luckily he had brought an umbrella with him (why he remembered the umbrella and not his ID, aih). Since they were loitering around early enough, he decided to go back and take it. It wasn’t too far. He calculated that he could make it back on time!

He told Ye Xiu of his last-minute plan and the other was quite reluctant to let him leave. Yes! Ah Xiu was unwilling that he wasn’t going to be here, does that mean Ah Xiu misses him? He’d take it as a personal, positive score, hopefully it will raise high enough for him to confess to the younger guy. He can’t let him smile so lovingly because of someone else (that wasn’t him or Mucheng, no he wasn’t that possessive). Who was it that made him smile like that yesterday! Was it really Wanqiu?! Some other person? Han Wenqing?! He need to get to the bottom of this or maybe not. Just win him back!

Easy for him to say. Aih.

Standing at the cross junction, he pressed the button for the pedestrian crossings and waited. He looked around because it was a boring thing to do after all. There weren’t many people out at this rainy hour, but still wasn’t devoid of humans walking around. People travel when they need to, like he did. His light had turned green, he heard the beeps to indicate to the blind it was their turn to cross now.

Oh good! He walked casually slow half-way across the street, trying not to wet his shoes too much on the accumulated water puddles, when something caught his eye, causing him to run for it. He also had failed to notice a speeding vehicle from far down the road due to the sound of the rain hitting onto his umbrella, and his own hurried steps splashing on the water puddles he had so carefully tried to avoid earlier. As the automobile wasn’t braking, there was no screech to alert him of its presence, or any sign that the driver was stopping soon.

-

They had stopped at the entrance of a convenience store not too far from the corner of the street, deciding if they should get a hot drink in such a cold weather. He was playing with the umbrella tie, pulling it in front of him, the GLORY logo being rotated to point forwards. His companion just smiled at his antics, ruffling his hair, which he elbowed lightly in retaliation.

“Have you decided if you want to try the coffee from this chain?”

“But I don’t drink coffee? It makes my hand shake due to the caffeine…”

“You can try a latte, but not on an empty stomach. Maybe we should go for steamboat later”

“Hmmm, sounds warm! You know of a good place?”

He was moved slightly forwards by his boyfriend’s arm around his shoulders when he felt someone running by behind them. Some people were always in a hurry, they should really look where they were going, least they knock into people. Especially in a rain, nobody want to fall down and get wet in the process from the collision.

Both of them were startled when they heard a very loud bang right at their backs. It sounded too close for comfort and they quickly spun around to determine the source of that loud noise. Dear gods, it was an accident! A light pole that wasn’t too far from them has been knocked down onto the road, and the malformed vehicle wedged to the tree next to it wasn’t a good sight to see, nor was it a good sign for the driver! They quickly moved closer towards the accident site and called for the fire brigade and ambulance.

He held onto the umbrella for them while covering his mouth, feeling nauseated at the scene. It reminded him strongly of his own car accident, flashes of the head injury and the pain from it, his mother petting him gently on his head, her reluctance to own a car, and the agony from being bed-ridden for so long appearing inside his head, while his boyfriend did the calling and the talking. He really envied his iron stomach, and the ability to function normally in stressful situations like this.

He prayed so hard for the driver to survive, but the situation looked bleak since he was closed enough to see it for himself. He was unsure if he was lucky that he didn’t remember most of his own mishap, seeing how upsetting an automobile accident this close had made him feel. The thought of nearly dying echoed in his head, but his mother’s whispers of ‘It’s okay’ helped anchored him to reality.

He tightened the grip on his umbrella handle, and stood behind the taller male.

-

Ye Xiu was trying to call Muqiu from the public payphone within the building, but he wasn’t picking up. He probably can’t hear or feel his phone from the rain, he thought. He hung up and went back up to his team, the feeling of unease plague him that day. He also felt a bit sick, so he got himself an isotonic drink to calm his stomach. Looking out the window didn’t yield much, the outside was dark. He hoped Muqiu had reached home safely.

 

-

What in the world was that?! Ye Xiu was out in the streets as well?! Whatever for?! He actually had to run to chase after Ye Xiu, who was walking under a Glory printed black umbrella. There was someone else next to him, under the same umbrella! Was that Wanqiu, the other person?! The sight of Ye Xiu smiling so fondly (and was that giggling?!) at the other person got onto his nerves again.

They were not escaping him, that’s for sure! Wait for me!!!

He tried to argue with his logic, but to no avail. Ye Xiu should be in the Alliance building with the rest of the team! How could he be out here with another person no less?! He wouldn’t mistaken that face, the face he hold so dear to him and Mucheng. Even from a distance he could recognise Ye Xiu in a heartbeat!

There were still a lot of people hustling around the street he was on, and that pair vanished not long after. He concentrated so hard to look for that umbrella with a GLORY logo stamped on it. Was he going to lose Ye Xiu to someone he didn’t even know existed in their life before?!

Ye Xiu!!!

Suddenly there was a loud bang and he nearly jumped out of his skin. He watched stupidly as a light pole fell and then a crashed truck was wedged to a tree on the walkway not too far behind where he was. Gods, he was on that crossing not too long ago, now he realised. He was so glad he ran after the two, but the realisation that he could had been knocked over struck something deep within him, and his adrenaline spiked.

I could have been ran over! 

He kept repeating this over and over, and he saw flashes of his life flickering into his mind. If he hadn’t chase after someone he thought was Ye Xiu, he would had continued to walk slowly without noticing that speeding car!!!

He would have been hit. Judging from the crash, if he was sent flying, he might not make it.

He swallowed harshly, and automatically moved towards his temporary home, the doppelgänger forgotten. He calmed down a bit with the amount of time he took to reach it, and let himself in. Mucheng, whom they brought along because they didn’t want to leave her alone in H City, came up to him and greet him happily, and the thought he might not be able to see his sister’s smile again, or his sister growing up, hit him hard.

He reached out to her and hug her tightly, much to the younger girl’s confusion.

“Gege? Are you okay? Why are you crying?” She patted his head, the other arm reached around his neck to support herself.

“Your *gege is an idiot, he forgotten his ID so he came back. I’m sorry we’re both are not around for you today, and all the other days. I’m sorry Mucheng”

“It’s okay, you two work hard to keep our family together, I understand it, so it’s okay”

“Mucheng, I had luckily avoided a fatal road accident just now. It wasn’t okay. I’m glad I’m alive to come back and see you again. I love you Mucheng. I’m so, so glad I am able to say this to you, and I don’t want to regret not being able to”

He choked when telling his sister, and sobbed quietly into his sister’s embrace, the girl was shocked at the revelation as well. Tears poured from her eyes as well and she tightened her grip on her brother.

“Waaaaaa, gege!!!”

 

-

“Where had you been, it can’t take so long to go back and take your ID, you said it yourself!”

Ye Xiu shut his mouth when he saw a very pale Muqiu coming back into the building. The orange-haired smiled weakly and gripped his arm quite strongly, shaking it a bit. He wondered if it would leave a bruise.

“There was an accident where I was, so I got caught up. I’m okay”

The swollen eyes didn’t go unnoticed. He watched him taking out that forgotten ID and registered himself for the Alliance. Once done, they all had a small celebration for the formation of the team, Old Tao promised it would be his treat. He also noticed Muqiu would rather go home to his sister, so he excused Muqiu and himself stating about taking care of Mucheng, and that Muqiu wasn’t feeling too well. The others were reluctant they weren’t able to join them, but they were understanding, gave their approval and let them both go.

He let Muqiu guided him to a park near the place they rented for the week, both standing under the gazebo to avoid the still falling rain. Muqiu closed his umbrella and leaned it against one of the pillars there. He knew something serious was coming up, and braced himself for it.

He didn’t expect Muqiu to pull him into a hug.

“Ye Xiu, I like you a lot since you came into our life. Like is not even what I wanted to say, I love you! Through thick and thin you stayed with us, and never once complain about our living condition, there is no one else like you! I would be a fool to let you go when I have you always by my side! We’re family, but I hope we could be family for real! Ah Xiu, will you give this fool a chance and fall in love with me?”

He also didn’t expect a confession out of all the possibilities. To put it mildly, he was surprised, but he  knew Muqiu had harboured feelings for him. He just wasn’t quite sure to readily express his own, thinking the other might just like him like a brother. That cleared things up.

“Muqiu… I… I like you too. I’m glad that you had confessed to me, but what brought this up? I thought you were never going to say it out aloud” He gently patted the other on the back. He decided not to tease the guy, judging from how desperately pleading Muqiu had looked. Muqiu pulled him off of him just as fast, looking straight into his eyes. He flushed slightly at the intensity of the older male’s gaze. Never had either of them used this kind of eyes on each other.

“I love you Ah Xiu, and I am so sorry to know that the two of you loved me as dearly too. I can never forgive myself if anything happened to me! The thought of me leaving you two behind is too painful, I have to say everything that I had kept to myself, so I will never regret not ever saying them to you ever again!”

Saying he was not alarmed was fake. Why was Muqiu talking like he was going to…? He didn’t want to finish that sentence and quickly asked him before he jumped to conclusions.

“Muqiu, what happened out there?” He watched him breathing in and out heavily, the fingers clutching his upper arms were starting to get painful, but he knew Muqiu needed this so he endured it.

“Remember I told you I was caught up in a road accident? If it weren’t for you, I might had lingered and actually be the victim of that accident. I don’t think the driver survived. Judging by the speed, if I was hit, I might not make it. I’m glad I love you Ah Xiu, you saved my life, thank you…” came the choked reply.

He was confused, how did he save him? He gently asked him so and the reply shocked him to the core.

“I thought I saw you on the streets with someone else when I was carelessly walking along, so I actually ran from the road I was crossing to chase after that someone who I thought was you. The accident happened right then behind me. Like just a few feet away. It was so damn close, I cannot imagine what would had happened if I didn’t run after that other you…”

“I’m glad you avoided that, you’re one lucky guy… but the other …me? You don’t mean..?”

He didn’t meant to redirect the importance that Muqiu had luckily avoided a fatal crash, but mentioning his twin was not something either of them would joke about, and that has taken precedent over Muqiu’s survival since his thoughts were getting convoluted as well.

“I think your twin is still alive. There’s no way I could mistaken someone else with your face. You two always say how I could recognise either of you from afar”

All the colour on drained from Ye Xiu’s face, as he started to breathe erratically. Muqiu grabbed onto him before he could faint from the lack of air, telling him to breathe.

 

He breathed.

 

-

Han Wenqing believed the accident had affected Yeqiu more than he thought, there were still some spasms coming from him. He also noticed his boyfriend’s reluctance to do anything for the remainder of the day, thus he took them back to their hotel, since the younger male was also refusing all their dining options. It really was a traumatising scene for anyone to experience so up close, so he will tolerate their nerves being frayed by it. Unfortunately…

He noticed Yeqiu was still shaking after the authorities had taken the matter out of their hands, and it has been a good few hours already. He believed Yeqiu might had a story to tell when he was ready to let him in on it, judging by how often he was touching his left forehead. He wasn’t going to pry.

Being the good boyfriend he was, he soothed Yeqiu to sleep with warm milk and gentle rubs to the back. His boyfriend was the cuddling type, so he spooned him in bed to make him sleep faster, curling his little darling into his own body, an arm around the waist while the other kept rubbing his back. He can get dinner by himself later once Yeqiu was asleep. he would probably buy something light for Yeqiu to snack on if he wakes.

Luckily they would be going back to Q City tomorrow, maybe his home will comfort him better.