Everyone knew that Glory pro players refrained from drinking. The most commonly cited reasons were health and club rules, but most people were aware that the real reason was mostly because Glory pro players had no tolerance to speak of. However, the effects of the low tolerance changed from player to player, as had been discovered during off-season celebrations.
“Look.” If you weren’t paying close attention, you wouldn’t be able to tell that Zhang Xinjie was drunk. He was speaking normally, his posture was impeccable as ever and his eyes were clear. It was his behaviour that declared him to be drunk. Ye Xiu blinked, glass of water in hand as he tried to figure out what Zhang Xinjie wanted him to be doing.
“Look at what?” Zhang Xinjie’s face shifted to a frown and he pushed Han Wenqing more firmly into Ye Xiu’s eyeline as if this would clear it up. Ye Xiu’s face did not change from its confusion and Zhang Xinjie adjusted his glasses while Han Wenqing looked long-suffering beside him.
“Look at his face!” Ye Xiu obliged, directing his gaze to Han Wenqing’s face and not finding anything new but Zhang Xinjie seemed to be waiting for a reaction.
“Xinjie is this necessary?” Han Wenqing sighed when his vice-captain merely shushed him, keeping his gaze on Ye Xiu who found the intense stare slightly unnerving.
“It’s very handsome.” Zhang Xinjie had clearly given up on waiting for Ye Xiu to figure it out and Ye Xiu exchanged a confused glance with Han Wenqing who seemed to be asking him to go along with it.
“A very handsome face.” Ye Xiu nodded, before realising he could take advantage of this for his own amusement. “You should show his handsome face to other people.” Zhang Xinjie visibly lit up at the prospect and Han Wenqing shot Ye Xiu a glare as he was dragged off by his boyfriend, Ye Xiu following behind, amused.
Huang Shaotian ducked behind Yu Wenzhou when Zhang Xinjie came striding towards them, sharp intent in his eyes as he towed Han Wenqing behind him. Ye Xiu settled himself in to watch the show and the two vice-captains didn’t disappoint.
It started when Zhang Xinjie reached up to press a kiss to Han Wenqing’s cheek, keeping eye contact with Huang Shaotian the entire way through before announcing to the room at large that his boyfriend was the best. A statement that Huang Shaotian took great offence to and peered out from behind his boyfriend to start arguing with Zhang Xinjie.
“What do you mean you have the best boyfriend, Zhang Xinjie, Zhang Xinjie your glasses must be out of date if you can’t see that my captain is clearly the best boyfriend here. Captain, captain tell him that you’re the best boyfriend, you have your master tactician bond so he’ll listen to you.” Yu Wenzhou exchanged twin exasperated looks with Han Wenqing as he tried to placate Zhang Xinjie who looked willing to start a fight with Huang Shaotian over what he said.
“Captain Han is very handsome Xinjie.” Tyranny’s vice-captain nodded triumphantly, shooting Huang Shaotian a smug look but before he could respond, Huang Shaotian was cut off by his captain’s hand resting against the back of his neck as a clear warning.
Ye Xiu fought the urge to cackle as Huang Shaotian’s mouth snapped shut in an instant, eyes losing focus for a moment before he pressed himself against his boyfriend’s side, eyes wide and focused entirely on Yu Wenzhou’s lips. Zhang Xinjie seemed to have lost sight of the reason he was speaking to Blue Rain’s leadership team and he glanced up at his captain, confusion in his normally laser-focused eyes.
“Bedtime.” He announced before raising his arms and Han Wenqing scooped up his boyfriend gratefully and began carting him away. Ye Xiu sighed at the prospect of losing his entertainment but Zhang Xinjie leant over to call out to Huang Shaotian. “Best boyfriend.” Before he vanished out of the door and Ye Xiu took the opportunity to watch the way Huang Shaotian’s face cycled through various shades of red as he struggled to find the right words to express his indignation.
“Zhang Xinjie is so shameless when he’s drunk, I didn’t think he would be so shameless, he didn’t even drink that much, he’s just like you or Old Ye, he has no tolerance for alcohol.” Huang Shaotian looked up at his boyfriend, face innocent and guileless and Yu Wenzhou sensed that the next words out of his mouth would be embarrassing. He was right. “It’s like that time you drank a little bit when we were celebrating our victory and-“ Huang Shaotian was cut off by Yu Wenzhou clapping a hand over his mouth, flush high on his cheeks and Ye Xiu was intrigued.
Drunk Zhang Xinjie had provided him with entertainment and from Yu Wenzhou’s reaction, him being drunk would likely result in more quality entertainment. Huang Shaotian’s eyes were bright with fondness and Yu Wenzhou pulled away from his mouth and wiped his hand on Huang Shaotian’s shoulder.
“That only happened once.” Huang Shaotian raised one eyebrow as he tilted his head to the side, tapping at his chin as he pretended to be lost in thought.
“Did it only happen once captain? I remember quite a few times when you got drunk and lost your filter. Do you remember when you started trying to tell Zheng Xuan about the time we got trapped in a cupboard together and-“ Yu Wenzhou, clearly realising that he wasn’t able to get his boyfriend to go silent with his warning smiles or pressing a hand against his mouth, shut him up with a kiss instead.
Ye Xiu grimaced at the sight and wandered off, seeing no reason to stay just to watch the two make out but he filed away the titbit that Yu Wenzhou lost his filter when drinking. Perhaps something to consider the next time he found himself bored at one of these celebrations.
He got his chance sooner than he thought.
“How much did he drink?” Xiao Shiqin watched as Yu Wenzhou clung to Huang Shaotian, chin resting on his shoulder as he chattered away, voice clearly meant to be a whisper, but was actually loud enough to attract people’s stares. Huang Shaotian patted his boyfriend’s face fondly, Yu Wenzhou leaning into the touch as he replied.
“Not much, he gets drunk easily.”
“Shaotian-!” The group collectively winced as Yu Wenzhou’s voice rang out loudly, filling the small space, eyes hazy. “Shaotian kiss me!” Xiao Shiqin took in the sharp gleam in Yu Wenzhou’s eyes and took the opportunity to escape, leaving Blue Rain’s dual core to themselves and Huang Shaotian’s lips curved up into a fond smile. He brushed his hand over the flush that had spread across his captain’s face and Yu Wenzhou smiled back, expression open and vulnerable.
“You’re so noisy captain, even nosier than I am,” Yu Wenzhou frowned, seemingly confused as he shook his head, movement vehement.
“Shaotian is the noisiest,” before Huang Shaotian could protest, even if he knew it to be true, Yu Wenzhou continued, small secret smile in his eyes. “But that’s okay. I like listening to Shaotian.” Huang Shaotian’s face broke into a wide smile as Yu Wenzhou’s went serious and he leant in to say something else. “But you can’t tell him,” Huang Shaotian met his boyfriend’s very serious expression, “it’s a secret.”
“Captain, I’m Shaotian.” Blue Rain’s vice-captain watched in delight as a confused frown overtook Yu Wenzhou’s face and he wandered away from Huang Shaotian, over to where Ye Xiu was watching them, amusement clear in his eyes.
“Ye Xiu,” when Happy’s captain didn’t respond fast enough Yu Wenzhou smacked his shoulder until he turned to face him properly, “Ye Xiu I like to listen to Shaotian.” Ye Xiu nodded, looking as if he was about to collapse in hysterics any minute now. Yu Wenzhou turned, eyes scanning the room before they landed on Zhang Xinjie and he grabbed Huang Shaotian before rushing over to the other player.
“Xinjie, Xinjie!” Han Wenqing had a bad feeling about this, his boyfriend had been drinking, and from the way Ye Xiu was trailing after them, interested grin on his lips, he sensed entertainment. “Xinjie, look at this,” Han Wenqing briefly hoped that it was simply going to be a discussion about tactics. He was disappointed.
Yu Wenzhou pointed proudly at a sketch of Huang Shaotian, finger trailing across the page as he detailed out why Huang Shaotian was the best. The moment that word left his mouth, Zhang Xinjie’s eyes sharpened and he glanced away from the sketchbook to stare at Yu Wenzhou.
“Han Wenqing is the best.” Ye Xiu really shouldn’t look so gleeful at the opportunity to watch his two friends go head to head, but he sat back to watch. All he was missing was a snack, and then he’d be set up perfectly to watch everything unfold.
“Huang Shaotian is the best, look at him.” Yu Wenzhou waved one arm hazily in the direction of his boyfriend, who was currently trying to tug him away from the conversation but Yu Wenzhou refused to budge, glaring at Zhang Xinjie.
“You are wrong.” Everything he said was stated with his usual calm, self-assured tone, certain of his words and Han Wenqing sighed from where he was stood. “Han Wenqing is far more handsome than Huang Shaotian.” Ye Xiu’s eyes widened when Yu Wenzhou actually took a step forward at that, seemingly ready to throw a punch before Huang Shaotian caught his wrist and pulled it behind him, murmuring something in his ear.
Whatever he’d said, it seemed to ease Yu Wenzhou’s ire but he didn’t walk away, much to Huang Shaotian and Han Wenqing’s chagrin. Ye Xiu spotted Tyranny’s captain glancing at his watch as if he was hoping that Zhang Xinjie’s internal clock would kick in and have him giving up in favour of sticking to his schedule.
Unfortunately, Zhang Xinjie seemed content not to budge as he continued to expound upon Han Wenqing’s strengths, a list, he declared, that was much longer than Huang Shaotian’s. Yu Wenzhou glared at his friend, at least, he tried to glare at his friend but he seemed to be glaring hazily at a spot about five centimetres above Zhang Xinjie’s head.
“Huang Shaotian-!” Yu Wenzhou began and everyone present turned to see what was going on but he appeared to have lost his train of thought, confusion flickering across his face as he tried to figure out what he wanted to say next. Blue Rain’s vice-captain took the opportunity to try and tug his boyfriend away from the argument, on hand ready to steer Yu Wenzhou away but then he seemed to find his words.
“Look at how cute!” Huang Shaotian regretted ever coming to this celebration as Yu Wenzhou manhandled him to the forefront of the conversation in order to poke at his cheeks and pat his head. Han Wenqing looked as long-suffering as he felt when Zhang Xinjie actually poked at his cheek before comparing it to Han Wenqing’s.
“Squishy.” He muttered, almost to himself and he reached out again only for Yu Wenzhou to bat his hand away, tugging Huang Shaotian back to his side possessively.
“Don’t touch.” While Huang Shaotian was always pleased to be held so tightly by Yu Wenzhou, spent a lot of time plotting different ways to plaster himself against his captain’s side, the fact that nearly everyone was staring and likely judging them was enough of a motive to murmur coaxing words into his captain’s ear in an attempt to get him to give up on the argument.
“Captain aren’t you tired? Don’t you want to go to bed? Go to sleep? We can go to sleep together and be cosy.” Yu Wenzhou’s eyes flicked over to meet Huang Shaotian’s, at least they tried to meet Huang Shaotian’s, they were off by a few centimetres but it was close enough.
“Home?” Yu Wenzhou’s voice lilted hopefully and Huang Shaotian let out a sigh of relief as he steered his still drunk captain through the crowd, occasionally having to stop him from wandering off when something caught his eye but turning his gaze back to Huang Shaotian usually kept him obedient.
And if something in Huang Shaotian’s chest warmed at the soft, almost awed expression that spread across Yu Wenzhou’s face when he caught sight of him?
Well that was no one’s business but his own.
By the time they’d reached their rooms, Yu Wenzhou was half asleep and leaning most of his weight on Huang Shaotian, cold nose pressed against his throat as they made their way back to their room. He hummed softly to himself as they walked, occasionally pressing his lips against Huang Shaotian’s neck, but for the most part he seemed content to let Huang Shaotian manhandle him, lifting his arms obediently as Huang Shaotian got them ready for bed.
Yu Wenzhou pressed into the touch as Huang Shaotian began carding his hands through his hair, a quiet, pleased sound rumbling through his chest as his eyes slipped closed and Huang Shaotian couldn’t help the overwhelming fondness and affection that bubbled up in his chest and he pressed a lingering kiss to Yu Wenzhou’s forehead before he drifted off to sleep.
“Maybe next time no one will bring alcohol.” Huang Shaotian thought hopefully to himself as he arranged himself more comfortably around Yu Wenzhou.
It didn’t happen.
“This is much worse than last time.” Huang Shaotian announced to no one in particular but nobody was inclined to disagree with him. Xiao Shiqin was usually so good at avoiding whatever drink had been spiked but apparently this time he’d failed to notice the smell and he was- he was- Actually, Huang Shaotian was content not looking at Xiao Shiqin plastered against Sun Xiang’s side.
In fairness, Huang Shaotian was often pressed against his own captain, happily draping himself over every inch of Yu Wenzhou that he could. But he never looked quite so- so-
“Shameless.” Zhang Xinjie murmured from where he was scribbling something in his notebook and Ye Xiu huffed out a laugh as he watched the way Sun Xiang’s face went redder and redder as Xiao Shiqin tucked himself against his side, seemingly content to stay where he was.
Sun Xiang wondered what he’d done to deserve this. Then he took the thought back as it would likely cause something worse to happen. It wasn’t that he minded it when Xiao Shiqin was affectionate, in fact, he was willing to admit, in the privacy of his own head, that he enjoyed it when his boyfriend curled up against him.
However, they were currently surrounded by most of the Glory’s Pro Alliance, many of whom were occasionally peering over at them before looking away, seemingly endlessly amused by his predicament. Every time Sun Xiang tried to move, tried to shift away, either to get a drink or reduce the amount of PDA, Xiao Shiqin’s grip only got tighter and he pressed his face into Sun Xiang’s shoulder with an unhappy whine. And Sun Xiang always caved and settled back into his seat and no it was not because Xiao Shiqin’s face lit up when he did so.
Xiao Shiqin was spending his time admiring his boyfriend, hand reaching up to trace the shape of Sun Xiang’s lips, eye lighting up as a flush began to spread its way across his cheeks. His eyes were bright with emotion as he leant up to press a kiss to Sun Xiang’s cheek, delighting in the way it made his blush deepen.
“Pretty,” the words were murmured softly, unlike Yu Wenzhou, Xiao Shiqin retained his volume control when drunk, but as his fingers brushed across his red cheeks, Sun Xiang fought the urge to duck his head away from the scrutiny in his boyfriend’s eyes. “So pretty,” he repeated, grin painted across his face and Sun Xiang lost his fight to meet his boyfriend’s eyes, ducking his head to hide in Xiao Shiqin’s neck.
Not that it stopped his boyfriend, his fingers threading through Sun Xiang’s hair at once, quiet whispers dripping with praise falling from his lips and Sun Xiang curled closer to his boyfriend, content to remain hidden away from everything going on around him.
Of course, Huang Shaotian wasn’t one to leave people in peace and he vaulted over the chair with a soft thud, Yu Wenzhou following after him, an apology already leaving his lips while Huang Shaotian just stretched himself out happily, shooting Sun Xiang a look that clearly said he was about to run his mouth.
“Ahh aren’t you cute like this Sun Xiang, aren’t you so cute like this with Xiao Shiqin patting your head like you’re his little puppy, do you like being his little puppy? Is this what it takes you stop you scowling? Someone patting you on the head and telling you that you’re so pretty?” Sun Xiang took the opportunity to scowl at Huang Shaotian, but to everyone’s surprise, it was Xiao Shiqin who spoke first.
“You don’t think Sun Xiang is pretty?” The words pulled a squeak from Huang Shaotian, Xiao Shiqin’s tone sharp with warning and he retreated behind Yu Wenzhou, willing to take shelter behind his broader boyfriend.
“Sun Xiang is very pretty.” Yu Wenzhou offered, seemingly deciding to treat this the same way he treated Zhang Xinjie’s rambling about Han Wenqing. Sun Xiang flushed at his words and Xiao Shiqin trailed gentle fingers across the line of his jaw, the motion distinctively possessive despite how light the pressure was.
“Mine.” The words were accompanied by one arm snaking around Sun Xiang’s waist and Yu Wenzhou huffed out a soft laugh, endlessly amused by Xiao Shiqin’s actions.
“Yes, Sun Xiang is your boyfriend,” Huang Shaotian draped himself across his boyfriend’s back while this conversation was taking place while Xiao Shiqin’s face lit up at the words, tucking himself closer to Sun Xiang in the meanwhile.
“Captain, captain can we go now, can we leave them to be lovesick in peace, leave them here to be soppy with each other alone?” Yu Wenzhou hummed in agreement but when Huang Shaotian didn’t detach himself from his back he sighed.
“Shaotian you have to let go of me if you want to leave.” His vice-captain scoffed at the words, clearly decided they had no merit as he wrapped his arms and legs more securely around him, refusing to let go.
“You can carry me captain, please carry me, my legs are so tired and you’re so strong, you’re strong enough to carry me for hours please captain-“ Huang Shaotian was cut off when Yu Wenzhou stood up and he clutched at him tighter, a tiny shriek of surprise slipping out of him. “Ah you can’t surprise me like that! What if I’d let go and fallen, what would happen to you without me, what would happen to Blue Rain without me Wenzhou-“ Huang Shaotian’s words faded off into the distance and Sun Xiang was faced with the reality that he had to get his drunk boyfriend back to their hotel without any mishaps.
But when Xiao Shiqin was looking up at him with such open affection, Sun Xiang couldn’t help but disregard everything else in favour of pressing a gentle kiss to his lips.
It had finally arrived. The moment Ye Xiu had been waiting for. The moment he’d hoped would come to pass was finally playing out before his eyes. All three master tacticians were drunk. Drunk enough that they’d all dragged their boyfriends over to where the others were standing in order to start an argument over who had the best boyfriend.
Yu Wenzhou actually had a list, he’d actually taken the time to write out a list of Huang Shaotian’s virtues which he was now reading out. At a volume that was loud enough to attract a fair amount of attention, however everyone in attendance was used to this happening and, much like Ye Xiu, had settled in to watch the show.
“-Shaotian is also very considerate, he always makes sure that everyone on the team has drinks so they don’t get thirsty.” Yu Wenzhou had been going for about ten minutes now and he didn’t seem to be running out of steam. Meanwhile, Huang Shaotian had given up trying to pull him away in favour of staring at his boyfriend, completely lovesick. “On top of that, Shaotian has a very nice voice, it’s very pleasant to listen to-“
“Objection.” Zhang Xinjie cut in, raising his hand politely and Yu Wenzhou fell silent, inclining his head for the other to speak. Ye Xiu marvelled at the fact that despite them all being drunk enough to have this argument, they were somehow sober enough for it to be structured. “Huang Shaotian’s voice can be loud and abrasive.” Xiao Shiqin nodded in agreement and Yu Wenzhou frowned.
“Counterpoint.” The other two turned to face him, and Yu Wenzhou shuffled through his notecards for a moment before speaking. “You are both uncultured.” Apparently this was all that was required for the structured debate to break down and all three starting trying to shout over each other, occasionally gesturing wildly at their own partner.
“Han Wenqing is the best partner, I ran the calculations myself-!”
“Huang Shaotian is precious and doesn’t scare people off with his face-!”
“Sun Xiang is the best because when you tell him he’s pretty, he turns pink!” This caught their attention and all three turned to verify this claim. Sure enough, Sun Xiang’s cheeks were flushing pink at the compliment and Xiao Shiqin beamed, and despite being obviously drunk, his next words carried the authority of a thousand professors as he declared, “adorable.” Yu Wenzhou scoffed, waving one hand in the general direction of Huang Shaotian, hand close enough but still not entirely accurate.
“Shaotian can do that too!” The man in question yelped as he was tugged from where he was sadly watching the train wreck unfold as Yu Wenzhou ducked down to press a biting kiss against his neck. And sure enough, Huang Shaotian’s face was soon flushed as he wriggled out of his captain’s grip, redoubling his efforts to tug him away from the discussion.
Throughout this scuffle, Zhang Xinjie seemed to be consulting his notebook for his next tactic in this very strange battle and his eyes lit up as he came across some scribbled note. Han Wenqing startled when his serious and reserved boyfriend began to climb into his arms.
“Xinjie-?” He didn’t usually feel the need to question his vice-captain’s decisions but in this case, he wasn’t entirely sure what he was trying to achieve. From Zhang Xinjie’s frustrated huff, that was simultaneously full of disbelief and adorable, Han Wenqing was missing something obvious.
“You can carry me. That means you win.” Han Wenqing still wasn’t entirely sure what the point of winning this was, but drunk Zhang Xinjie found it important and so he scooped in up into his arms without any further questions.
Zhang Xinjie’s crow of delight attracted everyone’s attention as he wrapped his arms around Han Wenqing’s neck and smiled smugly at the other two tacticians, clearly secure in his victory.
“Han Wenqing is the best, he can pick me up and you can’t do that.” At this point, Yu Wenzhou and Xiao Shiqin, much to Han Wenqing and Sun Xiang’s relief, seemed to be willing to concede to Zhang Xinjie. However, much to Ye Xiu’s amusement, Huang Shaotian seemed incensed by the final comment even as Han Wenqing took this opportunity to cart his boyfriend away before he continued the argument.
“Zhang Xinjie Zhang Xinjie how could you say something like that, something so blatantly untrue, of course Yu Wenzhou can pick me up, how dare you suggest that he isn’t able to, have you seen him, have you seen how well he fills out his jackets? Clearly you haven’t, clearly your glasses are making you blind because you can’t see how easily Yu Wenzhou could fight your captain, have you seen his arms?” Huang Shaotian was clearly passionate about all of this but he fell silent when Yu Wenzhou caught his sleeve, head tilting in curiosity.
“I also have abs Shaotian.” Yu Wenzhou likely meant to whisper that, but his volume control had long since been lost and it came out more as a very loud pronouncement. Someone in the crowd let out a wolf whistle and Huang Shaotian’s head whipped around, searching for the instigator. When he couldn’t catch sight of them, he settled for pointing a warning finger at the crowd.
“My captain.” He declared to the room at large before he shifted his attention on trying to guide his boyfriend out of the room. Xiao Shiqin ended up as the last one remaining and he turned to Sun Xiang, bright smile written across his face.
“Sun Xiang we’re the last ones left, that means we won!” Sun Xiang nodded, beginning to lead his boyfriend away, wishing he’d been more successful at it before the argument escalated. “It means you’re the prettiest.” Sun Xiang flushed pink as Xiao Shiqin nodded wisely at his words and he decided it was more trouble than it was worth and he settled for pressing a kiss to his boyfriend’s cheeks as they left.
Ye Xiu stopped filming and the rest of the players eventually drifted away and Ye Xiu grinned as he glanced down at the video he’d taken of the whole debacle. It would be ideal entertainment for the next tactician’s meeting.
“There’s a very simple solution that we all overlooked that night.” Zhang Xinjie’s voice was calm and collected, the only hint of embarrassment was the barest hint of colour to his ears and the other three waited for him to elaborate. “Han Wenqing is scary handsome, Sun Xiang is pretty handsome and Huang Shaotian is cute handsome.” The other two rolled this over in their minds for a few moments before nodding in agreement, coming to the conclusion that it was unnecessary to revive the debate now they’d come to an agreement.
Of course, this just meant that the next time they ended up drunk, they found something else to argue endlessly over but Ye Xiu saw no reason to complain about it. After all, if they refrained from getting into semi-violent debates over arguably insignificant topics, his enjoyment of the parties would be greatly reduced. How else was he supposed to pass the time bar filming their drunk debates?
Their next argument was centred around whether Yu Wenzhou was delusional for finding Huang Shaotian’s voice soothing no matter what the circumstances. Yu Wenzhou was vehemently convinced that even when he was spitting out his trash talk faster and louder than what should have been possible, Huang Shaotian’s voice was still relaxing. The others disagreed.
Ye Xiu already had his camera ready.