Actions

Work Header

Where the heart is

Work Text:

Shen Qiao wakes up to the alarm clock bleeping insistently; he reaches out blindly and hits the snooze button, not quite ready to leave the comfort of his bed yet. He feels the arms around his waist pull him closer, a pair of lips pressing a gentle kiss to his neck.

“Good morning, Yan-lang,” Shen Qiao smiles softly, turning himself in Yan Wushi’s embrace so that he can face his husband. 

Yan Wushi responds by giving Shen Qiao another kiss, this time on the lips. They stay like this for a while, unhurriedly exchanging gentle kisses until the alarm goes off again, ruining the moment. 

Shen Qiao sighs into the kiss, reluctantly breaking it to turn the alarm off. Yan Wushi clings to his husband whining, “A-Qiao...do we really have to get up? You’re off work today, for once, and I specifically cleared my calendar so we could spend time together.”

“We’ll be late if we don’t get out of bed now.” 

“You mean the kids will be late, that’s their problem, they need to learn to look after themselves at some point; you baby them too much,” Yan Wushi pouts. “You should baby me instead.”

Shen Qiao sighs at his husband's antics, however years of marriage have made him immune to most things. He presses a quick kiss to the tip of Yan Wushi’s nose and pulls himself out of his embrace before he can change his mind, heading to the bathroom to get ready. Yan Wushi sighs but follows him out of the bed. 

They quickly get ready, manoeuvring around each other with practised ease as they go about their morning routines. Once dressed, Yan Wushi heads downstairs to start breakfast while Shen Qiao starts the task of waking up their children.

He starts with their eldest. He knocks on Bian Yanmei’s door, opening it when he hears the quiet ‘come in’ he gets in response. 

Bian Yanmei is already awake and dressed, sitting on his neatly made bed reading a book that he’d received for his birthday. 

“Good morning A-Mei, enjoying your book?”

“Morning Shen-baba, yes, the plot is interesting, and reading it in the calm of the morning before the chaos begins is also enjoyable.” Bian Yanmei has a knowing look in his eyes as he talks about his siblings. 

Shen Qiao laughs gently, some of his children are definitely noisier than others. 

“Breakfast will be ready in about twenty minutes, don’t get too absorbed in your book.” 

Bian Yanmei nods, his nose buried in his book once again. 

Shen Qiao heads to the next bedroom, he knocks loudly on the door and walks in without waiting on a response, experience tells him he won’t get any.

Yu Shengyan is sprawled across his bed, his cheek smushed against the screen of his Nintendo Switch, the cheerful music of Animal Crossing emitting from the speakers. 

Shen Qiao sighs as he lifts the console, saving the game before turning the console off and setting it on Yu Shengyan’s bedside table. He pulls open the curtains, allowing the morning sunlight to flood the room. 

Yu Shengyan groans and turns to bury his face in the pillow. 

“A-Yan, time to get up,” Shen Qiao calls as he shakes his son’s shoulder. The only response he gets is a small snore as Yu Shengyan buries his face deeper into the pillow. 

Shen Qiao sighs and sits on the edge of the bed beside his son.

“A-Yan, if you don’t get out of bed now I’ll send your father up, you remember what he did the last time you wouldn’t get out of bed.” 

That has the intended effect as Yu Shengyan instantly sits up, rubbing his eyes while his hair sticks up wildly.

“I’m awake, I’m awake, I promise-” He yawns deeply, “-I’m awake.”

Shen Qiao would feel guilty if he didn’t look so cute with his hair sticking up, he reaches out and ruffles it, making it messier, Yu Shengyan whines and tries to bat his hand away.

“Make sure you actually get up and don’t fall asleep again,” Shen Qiao reminds him in a gentle but stern voice as he rises from the bed and leaves the room.

The next child on the list is Duan Ying, who is just making his bed as Shen Qiao pokes his head around the door to wish him a good morning.

“Breakfast will be ready soon A-Ying, if you want to head downstairs.”

“I’ll be down soon Shen-baba, I have a maths test this morning, I want to look over my notes quickly before breakfast.”

“Ok, but don’t work too hard A-Ying, it’s important to take a break as well.” Shen Qiao reminds Duan Ying gently, he worries that his son is going to work himself to exhaustion.

Shen Qiao leaves Duan Ying to his studying after exchanging their morning greetings, he still has two children to wake up.

Shiwu is sleeping when he steps into the ten-year-old’s room but he wakes up easily at Shen Qiao’s prompting, throwing himself into his arms for a hug. Shen Qiao happily complies, hugging him close and pressing a kiss to his head. 

Shiwu, already energetic at this time in the morning, runs about his room getting ready for the day. Shen Qiao reminds him to slow down and be careful so he doesn’t fall. 

Shen Qiao makes his bed for him, even though he knows Yan Wushi will tell him he’s too soft, and that Shiwu is old enough to make his own bed. 

The last child is their youngest, Yuwen Song. The six-year-old blinks groggily at Shen Qiao but crawls out of bed and starts dressing himself with the uniform Shen Qiao has left out for him. 

Shen Qiao quickly makes his bed for him as well. What Yan Wushi doesn’t know can’t hurt him. 

Before he heads downstairs Shen Qiao stops by Yu Shengyan’s room again, knocking loudly on the door and reminding him that he better not have fallen asleep again. He receives a muffled ‘I’m up, I’m getting dressed’. Shen Qiao isn’t so sure about that but he heads downstairs anyway to help his husband.

He finds Yan Wushi in the kitchen, shirt sleeves rolled up to his elbows and wearing an apron, the breakfast preparations complete and in the middle of cooking the dishes. 

Yan Wushi turns as he hears his husband enter the kitchen; Shen Qiao moves to stand beside him and presses a quick kiss to his lips. 

“It smells delicious as always Yan-lang.”

“I made you some youtiao and soy milk,” Yan Wushi points to some dishes sitting on the counter. “Are all the kids awake?”

“Most of them are, I have my doubts about A-Yan though,” Shen Qiao chuckles, “For a teenager who insists that Animal Crossing isn’t a cool game to play, that's the third time this week I’ve caught him fall asleep while playing it.”

Yan Wushi rolls his eyes, “Maybe if he stopped gaming half the night he’d actually get out of bed in the morning.”

Shen Qiao pulls some lunchboxes out of a cupboard and starts the task of preparing the lunches; Yan Wushi shakes his head, their kids are too coddled. At a pointed look from Shen Qiao he focuses his attention back on their breakfast.

He’s just adding the finishing touches as the first of the children start appearing, Yuwen Song is rubbing his eyes sleepily as he sits down at the table, Bian Yanmei sits down beside him, still absorbed in his reading.

“No reading at the table A-Mei,” Yan Wushi scolds as he sets a jug of water on the table.

Bian Yanmei obediently puts his bookmark in to keep his place before turning to Yuwen Song who’s tugging on his sleeve, asking him to pour a drink, which he does with a gentle smile at his youngest brother.

Duan Ying appears a few minutes later, flashcards covered with mathematical formulas clutched in his hand, and sits opposite Yuwen Song. Shiwu appears shortly after, running over to Shen Qiao and tugging on his jumper.

“Shen-baba, Yan-gege isn’t out of bed yet, he’s going to miss breakfast.” Shen Qiao and Yan Wushi exchange an exasperated glance. 

“Breakfast will be the least of his worries if I have to go upstairs and get him out of that bed,” Yan Wushi grumbles as he leaves the stove under Shen Qiao’s supervision to go out to the hallway.

“Yu Shengyan! If you don’t get out of bed and get ready right now I’m coming up there,” Yan Wushi shouts, using what Shen Qiao affectionately calls his ‘dad voice’. 

There was a moment’s silence then a loud thud - that sounded suspiciously like someone falling out of bed - before the sound of rapid footsteps could be heard upstairs.

Yan Wushi returns to the kitchen and winds his arm around Shen Qiao’s waist, kissing him on the forehead, “Problem solved A-Qiao.” 

“Thank you Yan-lang, I think breakfast looks done, A-Yan better be quick if he doesn’t want cold food.”

They work together to plate up the food, setting it on the table where four out of their five children are waiting patiently. Shen Qiao is placing freshly brewed pots of tea down when Yu Shengyan finally thuds quickly downstairs and hurries over to fall into the seat beside Shiwu.

“That must be a new record for getting ready didi, although you do know that your top is inside out?” Bian Yanmei smirks at his little brother’s dishevelled appearance.  

“I’ll fix it in a moment,” Yu Shengyan replies as he reaches for some food, only to have the dish lifted out of his reach by Yan Wushi. 

“You’ll do it now if you want any of these mantou.” 

Yu Shengyan doesn’t dare to argue with Yan Wushi, he’s already annoyed him this morning by not getting out of bed, it’s best not to push his luck. He quickly fixes his top and looks to Yan Wushi for approval. 

Yan Wushi says nothing, but he sets the mantou down in front of Yu Shengyan, who digs in with gusto.

The family enjoy their breakfast together, making small talk and drinking tea. When they finish eating, they clear the dishes from the table and set them beside the sink. Shen Qiao and Yan Wushi will clear them up later. 

“Everyone go and get your bags and anything else you need for school, otherwise you’ll be late.” Yan Wushi says as he helps Yuwen Song pull on his jacket and passes him his backpack, the lunch Shen Qiao made already inside. 

Shiwu enthusiastically accepts his lunch box from Shen Qiao, Bian Yanmei and Duan Ying take theirs with a grateful smile. Yu Shengyan complains that it isn’t cool for his Shen-baba to still be giving him his lunch, but that doesn’t stop him from stuffing the box into his already crammed backpack. 

The family heads out; Bian Yanmei, Yu Shengyan and Duan Ying head for the bus stop after saying their goodbyes while Shiwu and Yuwen Song settle in the car to be dropped off at school. 

----

With the children at school and some guaranteed time to themselves for a while Shen Qiao persuades Yan Wushi to go shopping for food and other necessities; Yan Wushi complaining the whole time about how they could just get someone else to do this for them. 

Arriving back home they spend the next few hours cleaning up the breakfast dishes, putting their groceries away and tidying the house, working seamlessly together to complete the work faster. 

However, Shen Qiao is sure they could have cleared up faster if Yan Wushi hadn’t started a bubble fight while washing the breakfast dishes. The fun moment was worth the extra cleaning up though, Shen Qiao loves seeing his often stoic husband so carefree. He enjoys these small moments they share together, even if they’re carrying out such a mundane task. 

With the house now cleaned to his husband’s high standards Shen Qiao turns to Yan Wushi and loops his arms around his neck, rubbing his fingers in soft circles over the skin there. Yan Wushi rests his arms around Shen Qiao’s waist, pulling him close. 

“Now that we have all the chores done is there anything Yan-lang would like to do?” 

Yan Wushi pulls his face into a look of mock concentration before smirking at Shen Qiao, leaning in to whisper in his ear. 

“Just my beautiful husband.” 

Before Shen Qiao can protest Yan Wushi captures his lips in a passionate kiss, one hand reaches up to tug Shen Qiao’s hair out of it’s neat bun; the other grasps his hip, pulling him closer. 

They kiss until they’re both breathless and panting, a soft red blush covers Shen Qiao’s cheeks, his heart pounding in his chest; kissing Yan Wushi still excites him the way it did when their relationship was new and everything was a first. 

Yan Wushi brushes a stray strand of hair off Shen Qiao’s face before tracing the blush on his face with a reverent touch, he presses gentle kisses over his cheeks before moving back to his lips. 

Yan Wushi pulls Shen Qiao closer, encouraging him to wrap his legs around his waist and supporting his weight as he lifts him up and pushes him against the wall. 

Shen Qiao moans into Yan Wushi’s mouth as he presses closer, he runs his hands over Yan Wushi’s chest, lightly scraping the skin visible where his shirt buttons are undone. Yan Wushi groans and tightens his grip on Shen Qiao’s thighs. 

Shen Qiao breaks the kiss and presses his head to Yan Wushi’s shoulder as he pants, Yan Wushi takes advantage of the angle to run his tongue along the shell of Shen Qiao’s ear, huskily whispering into his ear. 

“A-Qiao…I want you.” 

“The kids-” Shen Qiao tries to reason, but Yan Wushi interrupts.

“Aren’t here, and we have plenty of time before we have to pick them up. How often do we get the house to ourselves lately?” Yan Wushi gives Shen Qiao a knowing look before pulling him in for a bruising kiss which does nothing to ease the heat building between them. 

“I just want to hear my lovely wife moan as loudly as I know he wants to while his kind husband looks after his every need.”

Shen Qiao half heartedly hits Yan Wushi’s shoulder at the mention of being his wife, but he can’t hide how his blush has now spread to the tips of his ears. 

Yan Wushi lifts the hem of Shen Qiao’s jumper with one hand, running his fingers over the sensitive skin of his back; Shen Qiao shivers and presses closer to Yan Wushi, surrendering to his touch.

“Y-Yan-lang…upstairs.”

“The sofa is right there-”

Shen Qiao glares at him as best he can given his current state.

“I am not having sex on the sofa our kids will sit on later.” 

Yan Wushi sighs but relents. 

“Hold on tight then.” Supporting all of Shen Qiao’s weight he swiftly carries him upstairs to their bedroom.

------

“I knew you would keep us late!” Shen Qiao berates his husband as he searches the floor for the clothes he discarded earlier. 

“Did A-Qiao not enjoy his quality time with his husband?” Yan Wushi feigns upset as he dries his hair with a towel, “I think I’ll just stay here and recover from the hurt you’ve caused my feelings.” 

Yan Wushi barely catches the trousers that Shen Qiao throws at him before they hit his face, he pulls them on before Shen Qiao can scold him further.

“I think you’ll hurry up and get dressed so the kids don’t think we’ve abandoned them.” Shen Qiao shimmies into his jeans as Yan Wushi appreciates how the tight-fitting denim accentuates his husband’s waist and thighs. 

“They’ll be fine, they need to toughen up and think for themselves.”

“They’re not even teenagers yet,” Shen Qiao shakes his head in exasperation as he notices Yan Wushi’s staring. 

Shen Qiao throws Yan Wushi’s shirt at him before he pulls his jumper on and quickly ties his damp hair into a messy ponytail. “I knew it was a mistake to let you shower with me.”

“But it was an enjoyable shower, was it not?” Yan Wushi smirks, “And thanks to your attentive husband you’re thoroughly cleaned.” 

Shen Qiao rolls his eyes, heading towards the door. Before he can leave their bedroom Yan Wushi catches him gently by the arm, pulling him in for a kiss that, while not passionate, still warms Shen Qiao’s chest. 

As they kiss the frown on Shen Qiao’s face softens, while Yan Wushi might infuriate him at times, he knows how much the man loves him and the family they’ve built together over their years of marriage. 

Yan Wushi gives Shen Qiao a soft smile, one that he never gives to anyone else. They don’t often voice their love for each other, it’s obvious to them in the looks they share, the gentle touches, and the small gestures. However, sometimes it’s nice to say it aloud.

“I love you, Yan-lang.”

“I love you too, A-Qiao.”

-----

To Shen Qiao’s relief they’re only a few minutes late arriving to collect the children. 

Once they arrive back home Shiwu and Yuwen Song settle down at the kitchen island with Shen Qiao to start their homework as Yan Wushi starts the dinner preparations. 

Shen Qiao sits between the two boys, helping them with their homework. He reviews pinyin with Yuwen Song and listens to Shiwu practice his reading aloud. Both children beam when he praises their efforts, they glance at Yan Wushi, seeking his approval also. An encouraging nod from Yan Wushi has both children smiling just a little bit brighter. 

Yan Wushi finishes the dinner preparations and sits down opposite Shen Qiao; slipping his glasses on, he opens his iPad to play weiqi.

Shen Qiao and Shiwu draw together as Shiwu recounts his entire day; Yuwen Song - now with no homework to occupy him - peeks curiously over the table, observing Yan Wushi’s weiqi game. 

Yan Wushi sneaks glances at Shen Qiao’s content expression between moves, he loves spending time with the children like this, drawing with them, listening to their day, comforting them when they’re down. He’s a natural parent; attentive, loving, and he instinctively knows how to care for their children. 

The peaceful atmosphere is broken as the front door opens, the rest of the boys piling in the door. Bian Yanmei and Yu Shengyan greet everyone before heading upstairs to work on their homework. 

Duan Ying approaches Yan Wushi pulling a sheet of paper from his bag.

“Yan-baba, can you explain this to me please? It’s going to be on a test next week, I tried studying it a few times but…” 

“What subject is it?”

“English.”

Yan Wushi reaches out to take the page, scanning the contents. He pats the empty seat beside him, an invitation for Duan Ying to sit down.

Seeing that his husband will be busy for a while, Shen Qiao leaves Shiwu to his art and starts cooking dinner while Yan Wushi helps Duan Ying. 

For a while the only sounds in the kitchen are the thuds of Shen Qiao’s knife on the chopping board and the low tone of Yan Wushi’s voice as he explains the grammar that Duan Ying is struggling with.

Once Yan Wushi is satisfied with Duan Ying’s progress, and the boy himself is happy, he thanks Yan Wushi and disappears upstairs to complete the rest of his homework; Yan Wushi joins Shen Qiao at the worktop.

Yan Wushi settles in to help with the final cooking steps, they work in a comfortable silence, content to listen to Shiwu chatting to Yuwen Song, who occasionally answers in his quiet but thoughtful voice. 

As Yan Wushi starts to plate up the food Shen Qiao reminds Shiwu and Yuwen Song to wash their hands before eating, before he heads to the hallway and calls to the three upstairs.
“Dinner is ready, don’t forget to wash your hands.”

Yan Wushi has the dinner dishes arranged on the dining table, chopsticks and other cutlery neatly in place as well. Shen Qiao brews some tea for himself and anyone else who decides they want to share.

The family settle down to enjoy their dinner, the table is quiet at first, apart from the rattle of cutlery against ceramic as they tuck in to the delicious meal, eventually some conversation starts to appear at the table. 

Shen Qiao asks the children about their days, listening attentively to their stories, making comments or offering advice where he sees fit. He notices Duan Ying fidgeting in his seat, he clearly has something on his mind that he isn’t sure how to voice. Shen Qiao tries to catch Yan Wushi’s gaze but his husband is already studying Duan Ying intently, Shen Qiao smiles secretly to himself. Despite the impression that Yan Wushi might give others, he’s always paying attention to the children. 

Feeling Shen Qiao’s gaze on him, Yan Wushi glances his direction before turning to speak to Duan Ying. 

“Are you ok A-Ying? Something seems to be on your mind.”

“No, no. There’s nothing wrong.” Duan Ying says as he fiddles with his chopsticks.

Yan Wushi accepts his answer for now, but Shen Qiao knows he’ll question him later about it.

The rest of dinner passes with little incident, and once everyone has finished the kids help clear the table of dishes and set them beside the sink. 

“Who’s on dish washing duty tonight?” Shen Qiao asks, Bian Yanmei and Yuwen Song raise their hands while the others disappear. Shen Qiao notices Yan Wushi follow Duan Ying out of the room, he’ll leave it to his husband to find out what’s wrong with their son. 

“Well, the sooner we get started, the sooner you can go and relax,” Shen Qiao fills the sink with water and washing up liquid. “Do you want to wash A-Song?” At the nod from Yuwen Song, Shen Qiao places a stool in front of the sink so he can climb up to reach. 

Shen Qiao stands between Yuwen Song and Bian Yanmei, helping his youngest son wash the dishes before passing them to Bian Yanmei to dry and store back in their rightful home. 

Shen Qiao uses this opportunity to quiz Bian Yanmei about anything Duan Ying might like for a birthday present.

The dishes finished, Shen Qiao wanders into the living room to find Yan Wushi, Yu Shengyan and Duan Ying playing video games, coming to stand beside Yan Wushi he recognises the game as Mario Kart.

“I hope you aren’t cheating,” Shen Qiao perches on the armrest of Yan Wushi’s seat, watching his husband race around the track, playing as Bowser.

“I’m wounded that my husband would think me capable of such deceit.”

“Yan-lang, you’re the reason we can’t play Monopoly.”

“It’s not my fault the children don’t have my money management skills yet.” Yan Wushi doesn’t shift his eyes from the screen as he uses a blue shell on...Princess Peach?

“Who’s playing as Princess Peach?” 

Shen Qiao gets an answer when Yu Shengyan’s cheeks turn rosy red.

“I clicked the wrong character…” Yu Shengyan mutters as he tries to catch back up with Yan Wushi and Duan Ying who have left him in the dust while Bian Yanmei - who’s settled in an armchair reading - laughs at his brother’s misfortune.

“That’s what you get, didi, for claiming that you know Mario Kart so well you can choose the character you want without looking at the screen.”

The race ends with Yan Wushi in first place, Duan Ying in second - playing as Yoshi - and Yu Shengyan last. 

Yan Wushi passes his controller over to Shiwu who had been eagerly watching the game. He thanks Yan Wushi and scrambles onto the sofa beside Duan Ying. 

“There’s a spare controller A-Song, if you want to join us,” Yu Shengyan offers. Yuwen Song considers it before he nods and takes the offered controller, he chooses to join Shiwu on the sofa, leaving Yu Shengyan to be the only person sprawled on the floor.

“Sit on a proper seat, you’re making my house look untidy,” Yan Wushi scolds the teenager. 

Now that his attention is no longer occupied by the game Yan Wushi pulls Shen Qiao from the arm of the chair to sit across his lap, his arm settling around Shen Qiao’s waist, holding him close. Shen Qiao leans into Yan Wushi’s chest with a small sigh.

Yu Shengyan rolls his eyes at the display of affection, miming being sick. Bian Yanmei says nothing, just smiles at the sight of the only parents he’s ever really known, and admires the love they have that’s still strong after so many years. Yu Shengyan will understand one day how precious a love like theirs is.

However, it’s still a mystery to Bian Yanmei how his Shen-baba has put up with Yan-baba all these years, anyone else would have divorced him long ago.  

The rest of the evening passes peacefully, Yan Wushi and Shen Qiao chat quietly to each other as the children play their game until it’s time for Yuwen Song and Shiwu to go to bed. 

“Can we have a story Yan-baba?” Shiwu tugs on Yan Wushi’s hand as he looks up at him with pleading eyes. Yuwen Song also waits for an answer, gazing at Yan Wushi in anticipation.

“I don’t see why not,” Yan Wushi relents, Shen Qiao chuckles, no-one can resist Shiwu’s puppy dog eyes. 

He follows Yan Wushi and the kids upstairs to Yuwen Song’s room, it’s a tight squeeze but they all manage to fit on the bed, Yuwen Song and Shiwu tucked in between Shen Qiao and Yan Wushi. 

Yan Wushi reads to the children, they hang on his every word as he reads about worlds of magic and dragons. They never tire of this story, despite having heard it many times before. Shen Qiao is content to let Yan Wushi’s voice wash over him, his husband has a good voice for storytelling. 

As they near the climax of the story Yuwen Song starts to fall asleep, struggling to keep his eyes open until the end; Shiwu doesn’t fare much better. By the time Yan Wushi turns the final page of the book both boys are sound asleep. 

Both parents gently rise from bed, not wanting to wake the sleeping boys. Yan Wushi carefully lifts Shiwu and carries him from the room, Shen Qiao meanwhile fixes the covers around Yuwen Song, giving him a kiss on the head goodnight. He joins Yan Wushi in Shiwu’s room where his husband already has their son safely tucked into bed. Shen Qiao also gives Shiwu a kiss on the head goodnight before retreating downstairs with Yan Wushi. 

They sit on the now unoccupied sofa - Shen Qiao with his feet on Yan Wushi’s lap - Yan Wushi resumes his earlier weiqi on his iPad while Shen Qiao video calls his father. 

Qi Fengge was on a month-long cruise with his long-time friend and rival. Shen Qiao couldn’t help but worry about his father and called him at every opportunity he could, just to be sure he was safe.

Half an hour later Shen Qiao, happy that his father is currently well, finishes his phone call. Yu Shengyan begs them to watch the latest cultivation drama that’s on tv, Bian Yanmei expresses an interest in it as well, so he loads the first episode. 

They enjoy the first three episodes before Shen Qiao can’t hold back his yawns any longer, Yan Wushi gently suggests that they head to bed. 

“Don’t stay up all night gaming,” Shen Qiao gives Yu Shengyan a pointed look before wishing him a good night and joining Yan Wushi in their bedroom. 

Shen Qiao quickly changes into a soft set of pyjamas before snuggling against Yan Wushi under the covers. 

“What was bothering A-Ying earlier?”

“There’s a school trip in a few months, he wasn’t going to mention it, he didn’t want to ask us for so much money for something that wasn’t compulsory for his education.” Yan Wushi frowns as he recalls the conversation. “When I said we were happy for him to go he told me he would pay us back the cost once he could get a job.”

“I hope you didn’t accept that offer.”

“Of course I did, I am a businessman and nothing in life is free.”

“Yan-lang!” Yan Wushi laughs at the cute glare Shen Qiao gives him.

“You didn’t even let me say what my payment terms are.” A raised eyebrow from Shen Qiao makes him snort before he continues. “I told him he could give us both a hug and play a game of weiqi with me; I think those are quite generous payment terms, no?”

The glare on Shen Qiao’s face softens into an expression of fondness even though he shakes his head gently in exasperation. Yan Wushi has a strange way of showing he cares, but all that matters to Shen Qiao is that he does. 

“He’ll probably give you the permission sheet tomorrow morning, I told him to get you to sign it.” At Shen Qiao’s puzzled expression he elaborates, “I just do as my lovely wife tells me, I make money and pay the bills. I leave all decisions up to you.”

Shen Qiao huffs and rolls his eyes, honestly, this man is infuriating, his own job as a doctor doesn’t pay as much but he still contributes. And he isn’t that bossy either. 

He reaches over to turn his bedside light off before settling down to sleep, his back to Yan Wushi.

“Good night Yan-lang.”

Yan Wushi chuckles, turning his light off also, plunging the room into darkness. He puts his arm around his husband’s waist, pulling him close to his chest.

“Good night A-Qiao.”