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I look up and see the bright moon

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When A-Yuan, with the kind of pleading adorable face only a five year old could muster, asked if they could adopt a pet bunny, and Wei Ying, knowing rabbits were his husband’s favorite animal, watched him hide his yearning to talk to their son about responsibility and finances like he was a little adult—and he suspected A-Zhan had gotten this very same talk as a child—he decided they needed to find a way to make it happen.

“We should adopt one,” he said, interrupting them.

Both of them turned to look at him, their expressions tinged with hope. A-Zhan’s made Wei Ying a little sad—they had never discussed pets, and perhaps he felt he couldn’t ask. 

“A-Yuan is smart, and caring for a pet would help him develop a sense of responsibility,” Wei Ying argued. “We’ll need to research how much they cost and what they need and all that, but we’re doing well financially.”

There was a soft look on his husband’s face at the thought of having a rabbit. Anything that made A-Zhan look that soft belonged in their lives. 

“It’d be a nice addition to the family. I’ve always wanted a pet, too.”

The last bit, he could see, convinced A-Zhan. Sometimes his husband would go without to avoid seeming selfish—sometimes didn’t even realize he wanted it—but if Wei Ying wanted something, he would insist he have it. 

Wei Ying had found saying he wanted something A-Zhan did allowed his husband to indulge in what he had spent far too long denying himself. 

“We will do research,” A-Zhan agreed. 

“So, bunny?” A-Yuan asked.

“Bunny,” Wei Ying said.

A-Zhan nodded. 

“After research.”

A-Yuan cheered, then insisted they all hop around the living room like bunnies. 

He was somehow even more excited when A-Zhan told him they would learn all about bunnies through research. The kid was absolutely their son. 

If there was one thing Wei Ying was good at, it was research—perhaps only second to his husband, who was almost obsessive about research. It made them a good team, and had enabled them to survive the last few years without having to dip too much into A-Zhan’s inheritance. Nothing could stand against them when they both researched how to solve a problem, but that hadn’t made the problems they’d faced over the last five years easy to deal with. 

They tried not to obsess too much over the negatives: the corporate espionage accusation and Wei Ying’s subsequent blacklisting by the industry and disowning by the Jiangs. The threat of legal action that could have seen him in prison for a decade, if not more. Lan Qiren’s pressure on his nephew to break up with him, ending in an ultimatum. 

It hadn’t mattered that he didn’t do it—the information-siphoning code may have originated from his workstation, but it had been done on a dummy user profile. Literally anyone could have done it, could have easily jimmied the lock to his office. He’d been set up. But that truth hadn’t mattered to the Lan corporate board or to Madam Yu. 

Lan Qiren and Madam Yu had always hated him, anyway. 

Uncle Jiang had never returned his calls or texts. That hurt far more. 

Ugly accusations followed that he’d been dating A-Zhan just to rise in the company or gain corporate secrets—never mind he decided to work for Gusu Lan Tech right out of college to avoid the idea of nepotism working for Compu-Jiang would bring, that A-Zhan and he kept their work out of their relationship. Then rumors he had to be spying for Compu-Jiang, which had led to his disowning. Wei Ying ultimately changed his phone number and shut down all social media to avoid the journalists plaguing him and awful messages from people he had thought were his peers. 

But there were positives. A-Zhan had believed him even if no one else did, and when the pressure had become an ultimatum, he had responded in the opposite of the way his uncle had intended: he’d liquidated his shares in the company, packed anything he couldn’t live without from the family home, and left Gusu Lan Tech with a politely-worded but clear resignation letter.

He had shown up while Wei Ying was packing in a panic to downsize his apartment (or something that would save money now that he no longer had a career, like maybe living in his car) and proposed to him. 

Wei Ying hadn’t expected that, had expected to be dumped when he’d opened the door to find him on his doorstep, just one more awful thing to cap off a terrible week. He’d wound up crying for an entirely different reason, curled in A-Zhan’s arms murmuring “yes” over and over again between sobs. 

Only Wei Ying’s adopted sister had attended their small wedding out of both of their families, and though she expressed regrets that Jiang Cheng couldn’t make it, the text messages he’d received made it clear his adopted brother would need time, if he ever came around at all. He hadn’t so far. 

A-Zhan had changed his legal surname to Wei, which made it necessary for Wei Ying to change how he addressed his husband. Ultimately they decided to use 阿 in front of each other’s names. The first time A-Zhan called him A-Ying, he’d felt like his brain shut down for a bit, it felt so intimate—to be fair, it had been in the midst of some rather passionate celebration of their marriage.

The statement A-Zhan’s actions made in the industry had echoed far and wide, not always in a good way. He became a figure too controversial to touch, particularly for any company that wished to have good relations with Gusu Lan Tech or Compu-Jiang. Work options dried up for him, too. He also closed his social media accounts after dealing with abuse through them. 

Their “honeymoon” involved finding a cheap studio apartment and applying to minimum wage jobs. 

Gusu Lan Tech had decided not to pursue criminal charges. Or rather, Lan Xichen had, as chairman of the board, refused to pursue them, overriding the board’s bloodlust. He had contacted A-Zhan to congratulate him on the marriage, and stated it was a wedding gift to them. He had not reached out or responded to messages from his brother since, and A-Zhan had eventually stopped texting or calling him. 

The next couple years had taught them to live frugally in a trial-by-fire sort of way, both of them struggling to find work, both of them battling depression over the situation that had destroyed their careers. Wei Ying’s feelings of guilt had exacerbated his, his sense things would be better for his husband if he’d let him go—that perhaps he could still let him go and get back what he lost. Miscommunication had nearly destroyed them both, but they had persevered and grown stronger together. 

To survive, they’d left the San Francisco area, living expenses too high and with no family ties to keep them anymore. They’d worked jobs as baristas, stocking shelves at grocery stores, substitute teaching, waiting tables—so far from the financial career A-Zhan had gotten his degree to help with the family business, from the computer science that had been Wei Ying’s passion. Anything that put food on the table and paid rent, that kept them from dipping into A-Zhan’s inheritance or the proceeds of his stock sale. 

They’d had to dip in a couple of times for emergencies, like when Wei Ying broke his wrist badly enough to require surgery. But as a matter of principle they tried not to. 

Then Wen Qing had reached out, seemingly out of the blue. It had been years since either of them had seen her—not since college. Suddenly they were helping Wen Ning with independent app development in his Dafan Applications start-up, and living and working in an apartment building owned by a Wen family member who refused to let them pay rent and insisted they call him Fourth Uncle. Free rent was nothing to sneeze at in California.

Wei Ying had worried their involvement would cause problems, with them both being low-key blacklisted from the industry, but Wen Qing had pointed out both Compu-Jiang and Gusu Lan Tech dealt in computer hardware more than software or applications. 

“A-Ning wouldn’t want to do business with anyone who believes that bullshit, anyway,” she’d said bluntly.

Now, several years later, the company was making a name for itself, and it turned out the software and app industry cared less about the allegations and more about product quality and deadlines—both things Dafan Applications had proven it made good on. Wen Ning and Wen Qing insisted they had much to do with it, with Wei Ying’s coding skills and A-Zhan handling the financial aspects of the company with the same careful frugality he applied still to their own spending.

Really, they were too generous. Dafan Applications had picked up several great coders when Nie Innovations had suffered a bad year and required restructuring, letting go of part of its workforce. Wei Ying hated that they had benefitted from the ill fortune of old friends, but the industry could be cutthroat, and at least the people Dafan employed could still feed their families. 

Wen Ning had even started to develop a video game on the side with their help. A-Zhan was able to rediscover his passion for music, tapped to develop a soundtrack for it. It was a back burner project, but it was Wen Ning’s baby, and watching it slowly grow was another bright point in their lives. 

They had been essentially adopted by the entire Dafan Wen family. Their found family had kept them going and checked in on them during the bad times. Like when Jiang Yanli wed and was unable to invite them—she had made Jin Zixuan stream the wedding so he could at least watch, but that was all she could do. Fourth Uncle brought champagne and they turned it into a viewing party so Wei Ying would feel less alone. When she had his nephew, who he was not allowed to meet. When they learned Lan Xichen was engaged via a news report. And later when Jiang Fengmian had suffered a mild heart attack and handed the reins of Compu-Jiang to Jiang Cheng, also learned via the news. 

During the harder times, when they both sometimes found it difficult to function, Granny and some of the aunties brought lunches and dinners and A-Yuan to cheer them up, and Fourth Uncle came for mahjong and brought drinks, and Wen Qing harassed them into going out and getting fresh air and sunlight.

“Humans are big dumb plants,” she’d said. “And while we’re at it, drink more water.”

So they had started taking A-Yuan to the park every other day, then every day, sometimes even picnicking in the park for lunch. Working from home had perks. 

Pretty quickly it was clear the activity did them some good, with Wei Ying having fewer rough mental health days. Though having something to look forward to every day probably helped on its own—it was always good to spend time with A-Yuan.

Granny eventually asked them to adopt A-Yuan because she was struggling to care for him alone. Since they had been helping with his care anyway, she felt they were ideal parents. 

“He talks about you all the time,” she had told them. “He adores you.”

The paperwork was relatively easy, given that the adoption was mutually agreed upon. Going before the judge had been mildly terrifying, with Wei Ying worried his past would bite them in the ass. But it turned out to be little more than a formality, and then Wei Yuan was theirs. 

Initially they had intended for him to keep his surname, but Wen Qing had insisted.

“He’s yours. Your son. He should have his dads’ name.”

One of the more joyous moments had been when A-Yuan had asked, about a month after the adoption papers went through, if he could call A-Zhan baba and Wei Ying a-die. He had previously been calling them both gege, but they hadn’t wanted to pressure him. 

“Of course,” Wei Ying told him, abruptly realizing Wen Qing’s point. 

“You’re our son,” A-Zhan added.

All of the difficulties of the past several years felt as though they had melted away in that moment, when A-Yuan smiled at them with his adorable chubby cheeks and called them a-die and baba.

If all the hardship had been a trade for that moment, it was worth it. 

They were always made to feel welcome, never left to feel alone, and when they had become the adopted parents of A-Yuan, it made their status as family feel more official. 

And now they would be adopting a bunny. 

“It’s a bunny,” Wei Ying initially said. “How hard could it be to find a good bunny? Just throw it some carrots, and it’ll be fine!”

“Carrots do not have the nutritional value a rabbit needs, A-Ying.”

“What about Bugs Bunny?”

A-Zhan gave him a Look and texted him an article about child-friendly breeds that make good pets, and Wei Ying’s education began. 

He learned, first off, that carrots were too high in sugar for rabbits, and the Bugs Bunny carrot thing had been a reference to a 1930s Clark Gable movie, which of course no one understood anymore. 

(Wei Ying was further distracted by other facts about Bugs: the cartoon had single-handedly made the name Nimrod, the biblical hunter, into a synonym for idiot when the sarcastic comparison to Elmer Fudd flew over audiences’ heads, for instance. He also got lost on YouTube watching old clips.)

As it turned out, rabbits came in different sizes, some even almost the size of a border collie—and much preferable to a dog, in Wei Ying’s opinion. Giant Angora rabbits looked like little clouds, they were so floofy. But even though the Flemish giants and Angoras were perhaps his favorite breeds, they didn’t have the space for a rabbit so large. Even a medium sized breed would be pushing it. It wouldn’t be fair to the rabbit.

And so they looked into small breeds, seeking information on care and disposition, cooing with A-Yuan over bunny pictures for hours sometimes. Wei Ying could expect at least one text from his husband a day with a relevant link, and often returned the favor. They found a nearby rabbit-specific veterinarian, and she let them know what they would need in terms of desexing to prevent diseases, vaccinations, and maintenance needs. 

Although A-Yuan was only five, they consulted him as well. They explained how bunnies needed to be cared for and needed exercise, and talked about the different kinds of bunnies and breed temperament. A-Zhan explained bunnies had shorter life spans than people, and so the bunny would live its whole life with them. 

“It’ll die,” A-Yuan said, immediately understanding. “Like mama and baba before.”

Wei Ying nodded; he too was an orphan, as was A-Zhan. In some ways, that made the conversation easier. It was strange to put it that way, but he and A-Zhan could relate to A-Yuan’s experiences, and so he felt comfortable coming to them when he was upset. 

“But we’ll do a good job taking care of the bunny so it lives comfortably and is happy.”

A-Yuan nodded, his expression serious.

“Granny said everything dies. I understand, a-die, baba.

As a family they settled on the Holland Lop, which was an absolutely adorable breed, docile in nature and good with children. They managed to find a reputable breeder that handled small litters and didn’t overbreed, with the decision down to finding their rabbit. 

The breeder emailed them when he had a litter born, and told them they’d get first pick in seven weeks. 

That kicked them into overdrive, and they spent the time preparing the apartment, buying anything a young rabbit might want or need. A deluxe hutch, which they tricked out with a hammock, shelves and tiers, a woven cave for the bottom level, and dangly toys. Bedding. Water bottles and a feeder. Food. A litter box with bunny-appropriate litter. A larger collapsible enclosure for outside time. Pet gates for rooms off limits (like the study with wires bunnies might like to nibble). Willow pet chews. Tunnels. Toys, so many toys. Everything was made with natural materials—nothing plastic, A-Zhan insisted. And then there was bunny-proofing the apartment. 

It was a bit like adopting A-Yuan all over again, except they had both known him and knew what to expect. In a way, this was scarier. 

But things were steady and stable, finally, after nearly five years of struggling, and today it was finally time to adopt the newest member of their family.

On the way over, A-Zhan quizzed A-Yuan on bunny etiquette, somehow, Wei Ying joked, taking the fun out of bunny adoption. 

They both ignored him, well used to doing so by now.

“Don’t move fast so you don’t scare them,” A-Yuan chirped in answer to the last question as they pulled into the breeder’s driveway.

“And no loud noises,” A-Zhan added. “So your a-die and I will silence our phones now.”

His husband was pointedly not looking at him, but he knew “loud noises” was meant for him. It was almost a running joke in the family, including the Wens, that Wei Ying couldn’t shut up. 

Wei Ying didn’t bother to even roll his eyes, just fished his phone from his pocket to silence it while A-Zhan put the car—borrowed from Wen Qing for the afternoon, since car ownership was a luxury neither of them needed, working from home as they did—in park. He noticed a “breaking news” alert that had been emailed to him, but ignored it.

He looked up to find his husband frowning at his phone—it was just like him to check it even though it was almost always on silent. 

“Okay, A-Zhan?”

“My brother called,” he replied after a few seconds.

Wei Ying sat up straighter, noticing the slightly troubled lilt of his tone. Lan Xichen had never reached out in the five years they’d been married. 

“Did he leave a voicemail?”

A-Zhan shook his head. Most people wouldn’t notice, but he looked distinctly vulnerable. Wei Ying bit his lip. He was of the opinion that his husband’s brother had made him wait for five years for contact and could wait a bit in return.

But that was a little petty. 

“Do… Do you want to call him back?”

There was a longer pause before A-Zhan shook his head resolutely. 

“No. Today is for family.”

He put his phone back in his pocket and opened the car door, and Wei Ying paused to glance back at A-Yuan. Their son was often perceptive, and this was no exception.

“Bunnies?” he asked solemnly, his expression that of a child who knew plans could change with bad phone calls.

“Bunnies,” Wei Ying told him, smiling. 

He was relieved when the boy smiled back; A-Yuan understood adults sometimes pretended things were okay when they weren’t, but he trusted them. 

And, for the moment, they were. That could change, but A-Zhan was right: today was for family. 

Apparently that didn’t count his brother anymore, but the bitterness he knew his husband felt could be handled later. After all, he felt his own; Jiang Cheng similarly hadn’t reached out in even longer, once he’d finished railing at Wei Ying via text. 

He didn’t know how he’d react if his once-brother suddenly called him. If he hadn’t called when Jiang Fengmian had a heart attack, it was unlikely he ever would. 

But for Lan Xichen to call…

The paranoid part of him wondered if A-Zhan’s brother had changed his mind, or if the board had somehow overruled him and he was to be charged after all. He wasn’t sure what the statute of limitations was for the crime they believed he’d committed, but...

Wei Ying only realized he’d spaced out when A-Zhan opened A-Yuan’s door to help him from his car seat. His husband’s questioning look had him pasting on a smile and hurrying to get out of the car. 

A-Zhan steadied him when he nearly lost his balance and leaned in close.

“The statute of limitations was three years, A-Ying. It will be fine.”

He sagged in relief, leaning his forehead against A-Zhan’s shoulder briefly. His husband saw right through him, knew what thoughts were making him spiral. He took A-Zhan’s hand and brought it up to his lips to kiss his knuckles. 

“Thank you,” he said sincerely.

A-Zhan’s lips twitched.

“Between us, there is no need.”

Wei Ying held out his other hand to A-Yuan, who took it with a sweet smile, and together they headed toward the front porch. 

The door opened before they could knock, a man about their age surveying them with a bespectacled little girl maybe a little older than A-Yuan peering around his leg. She had the palest eyes he’d ever seen. 

“We’re here about the rabbits,” Wei Ying said, offering a smile.

The man offered a small one in return. 

“You’re looking for my husband, then. You must be the Wei family he mentioned. Please come in.”

They took their shoes off inside the foyer.

The man introduced himself as Song Lan, and Wei Ying briefly wondered if he had Americanized his name, which was his surname and which was his given. 

“This is A-Qing,” Song Lan said, introducing the girl.

A-Yuan offered her a shy smile and received one in return.

He led them through the house into what he called “the bunny room.” He wasn’t kidding. The room was bunny paradise, with a home-made run built using shelves on the walls, multiple hutches, a feeding and eating area, an area of litter boxes, and a prodigious number of toys. 

A man in sunglasses was sedately petting one of the bunnies in the midst of it all.

“The Wei family?” he asked, putting down the rabbit and standing to greet them. 

“Yeah, baba,” A-Qing answered. “They’re husbands like you and die, and they have a kid, too.”

He held out his hand to shake, and Wei Ying took it first, then A-Zhan. Even A-Yuan reached up and gave a little handshake. The man laughed softly at that. He realized belatedly he should probably introduce them.

“I’m Wei Ying, my husband is Wei Zhan, and then there’s A-Yuan, our son.”

The man nodded and smiled. 

“I’m Xiao Xingchen, or as you know me online, SongXiao. My husband helps with that part.”

“And me!” A-Qing added.

“Ah, I can’t forget my tech support, A-Qing and A-Yang. You’ve met our daughter.”

“A-Yang is my brother and he’s a brat but he’s not home right now,” A-Qing said. 

“And, of course, there are the bunnies,” Song Lan added. 

They sat on the floor with Xiao Xingchen as he gestured for them to do, while Song Lan and A-Qing opened one of the hutches. That was all they really needed to do, as the bunnies made their way to freedom quickly. They were tiny, and if the guides Wei Ying had read were right, would likely only grow to be 3-4 pounds. 

One of the black bunnies immediately began hopping around the room at high speed when it was free, jumping around as though in joy. 

“That one’s like you, a-die,” A-Yuan commented, and Wei Ying laughed. 

A-Qing reached in for a few stragglers and then joined them on the floor, putting one in A-Yuan’s lap as she sat down. Song Lan came with the mother rabbit, whose coat was fully black. 

“Fuxue had a litter of six this time around,” Song Lan told them. “Three of each sex.”

There was one brown, two black, and three of different shades of gray. 

“They all have gentle dispositions,” Xiao Xingchen added. “Though one of the females is quite energetic, as you noticed.”

A-Yuan pet the one in his lap, a light gray one Song Lan told them was a lilac color. A-Qing put the other light gray one in Wei Ying’s lap, and he couldn’t stop himself from cooing softly at it as his fingers met its soft fur. 

“Since we bred her with a lilac, we also have the one blue and the chocolate. Lilac is the light gray, blue is the darker,” Song Lan explained. 

The blue was hopping around after the energetic black bunny, at a slower pace. The chocolate kit was approaching A-Zhan with hesitant curiosity. The less energetic black one hopped up to Xiao Xingchen, clearly looking for his familiarity, and hopped into his lap. 

He picked it up gently.

“Who doesn’t have a bunny yet?” he asked.

The chocolate was next to A-Zhan’s leg, nosing at the hand he held out. When he pet it, the kit closed its eyes, flopped over, and exposed its belly. When he gently picked it up, it offered no resistance. 

“I think it likes you, A-Zhan,” Wei Ying joked. “We all have bunnies. A-Yuan and I have the lilacs, and the chocolate has fallen in love with my husband.”

“He loves to be pet,” Xiao Xingchen said. “Especially if you rub gently right between his ears.”

“The black and lilac are one boy, one girl each. The blue is female,” Song Lan added.

Xiao Xingchen discussed what to expect in terms of personality and needed care, along with specifics about the breed. Most of the details were ones Wei Ying had read online, but some were based on experience with rabbits. 

They passed around the four they were holding so they could each meet them, and eventually the blue was curious enough to wander over. But the energetic black needed to be caught by A-Qing. 

“She’s really sassy,” A-Qing told them. 

“Definitely a big personality,” Xiao Xingchen agreed.

The chatting about bunnies gave way to other chatter—Xiao Xingchen revealed he had lost his eyesight during an illness that had infected the optic nerve, and they had adopted A-Qing because her ocular albinism meant she also had difficulty seeing. Since they had already adapted to his blindness and the agency had labeled her unadoptable, they took her in. 

“Honestly, I grew up partly in the system,” he said. “I couldn’t leave her.”

“I did, too,” Wei Ying admitted. 

“I inherited this home from my adoptive mother, Baoshan Sanren.”

Wei Ying gasped, and he could feel A-Zhan looking at him in concern.

“She was my mother’s mom,” he said, not able to stop himself from staring. “Cangse Sanren. She and Dad died when I was four.”

“Goodness, what a small world! She had already left for college when I was adopted, so I didn’t get to know her well. I guess that would make me your jiujiu?”

Wei Ying grinned, poking A-Yuan gently. 

“A-Yuan, that means Xiao Xingchen is your jiuye, and A-Qing is your tangjie.

A-Qing looked thrilled.

“I get a cousin? Score!”

Wei Ying could only guess she didn’t have much extended family, and he was glad to add to their found family. A-Yuan had many Wen uncles and aunts and cousins, but he was just as excited. The kids huddled together to talk. 

“Definitely a small world,” A-Zhan said. 

“Smaller still,” Song Lan said. “I freelance now, but I used to work in the tech industry, so I recognize your names.”

Wei Ying focused on the rabbit in his lap, the chocolate who was sprawled out and nuzzling against his hand, feeling taut and anxious.

“It obviously wasn’t you,” he continued quickly. “But I decided not to work with the major companies after seeing what they would do to their own.”

“They didn’t see me as their own,” Wei Ying said, shaking his head, hating the feeling rising in his chest. 

Silence fell among them, interrupted by the kids chattering nearby. It was clear Xiao Xingchen didn’t know what they were talking about, but Song Lan could explain later. 

“A-Ying found his family,” A-Zhan said after a moment. “As did I.”

“I would be honored to be a part of it,” Xiao Xingchen said. “It is good to finally meet my waisheng.

The discomfort passed, Xiao Xingchen filling the silence with stories of his adoptive mother, the stories he knew of Wei Ying’s mother, the tales soothing his anxiety. The bunny in his lap helped, it’s warmth and nuzzling relaxing. 

Eventually Xiao Xingchen asked the big question. 

“Which of the bunnies appealed to you?”

Wei Ying and A-Zhan exchanged a glance before they turned to A-Yuan. 

“The brown one,” A-Yuan said immediately. “He cuddles.”

The same one Wei Ying was fond of, currently in his lap. A-Zhan nodded his agreement. 

“He’s on my lap nuzzling me now,” Wei Ying said. 

“Any ideas on names yet?” Song Lan asked. 

“Turmeric or Nutmeg,” A-Yuan supplied. “They’re warm, like him.”

“Not Cinnamon?” Wei Ying asked teasingly.

“No. I bet everyone names brown rabbits Cinnamon.”

Xiao Xingchen laughed. 

“Well, you’ll probably figure out what spice is most like him as you get to know him better.”

They packed up the bunny, A-Qing taking him around to say goodbye to each of his siblings and mother. Xiao Xingchen insisted on giving them the friends and family discount, and they exchanged numbers so they could find more time to get to know each other. 

The drive home was quiet, punctuated with chatter by A-Yuan about A-Qing and Turmeric or Nutmeg. 

The bunny took to his new home well, seemingly happy with the space and toys and food, and they watched him and played with him for hours until he eventually entered the hutch and climbed into the hammock. 

A-Yuan was yawning and dinner hadn’t been made, so A-Zhan ordered pizza, something they rarely did, which made it a treat. While they ate, A-Yuan told them solemnly the bunny’s name was Turmeric. Wei Ying asked if his middle name was Nutmeg, and A-Yuan smiled widely and nodded, and thus Turmeric Nutmeg Wei became their newest family member.

By the time A-Yuan was fed and bathed and tucked in, he was ready to fall right to sleep, and Wei Ying was able to snuggle on the sofa with A-Zhan with a little time left before bed.

“You found more family,” A-Zhan said, smiling softly, lacing their hands together. 

We found more family,” Wei Ying corrected. “What’s mine is yours, xinai.”

He scooted closer to A-Zhan until he was almost in his lap. The events of earlier were on his mind, the mysterious phone call, what it might mean. He knew his husband was concerned. Even if the silence between them was comfortable, he worried about A-Zhan. 

“Did you want to call your brother?” he asked. 

A-Zhan shook his head, then leaned in for a kiss.

“No. Today is for family. I want to take you to bed.”

Even after five years, when A-Zhan said things like that Wei Ying melted. 

When A-Zhan pulled him up and tugged him toward their bedroom, he hindered him a little with kisses, but they eventually made it. 

In the morning they would learn Wei Ying had been proven innocent; the culprit was actually Lan Xichen’s fiance, Meng Yao. His scion Su She took the opportunity to frame Wei Ying out of jealousy, wanting A-Zhan for himself. 

The bad year at Nie Innovations was caused by the very same code, undiscovered until a large number shares were suddenly liquidated and stocks plummeted, until millions of dollars were syphoned from corporate accounts and disappeared. Nie Huaisang had put the pieces together, had worked with the FBI and proved it was Meng Yao working on behalf of Jin Enterprises at the behest of his father.

Later, Gusu Lan Tech would ask A-Zhan to return home to chair the board after a vote of no confidence in Lan Xichen, and he would tell them no. He was part of Dafan Applications now, he had a home, and he was happy where he was. 

Later, the Wei family might consider responding to overtures from the families they once had. 

Tonight they didn’t have that knowledge. 

Tonight was for family, and right then was for A-Zhan and Wei Ying, with no room for anything outside of their home.