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Lan Zhan found Wei Ying waiting for him outside the front door, sitting on the floor. His expression stiffened for a moment because he didn't expect to see him there, not on a Saturday night, when the boy usually went out with his brother and friends, or during that storm.

 

 

 

 Wei Ying was soaking wet, and who knows how long he had been sitting there.

 

 

 Something must have happened because this was certainly not the first place where the other took refuge on rainy days.

 

 

 Lan Zhan closed his still soaked umbrella and walked over to him, crossing the corridor that separated the building's stairs from his apartment door.

 

 "Hello, Wei Ying."

 

 The other raised his head, and Lan Zhan saw that his eyes were red, as if he had been crying. He forced himself to smile at him, "You're finally back, Lan Zhan. I was freezing in here."

 

 "You could have called me. I would have come earlier."

 

 "You were in the library studying. I didn't want to disturb."

 

 Lan Zhan frowned. It was another oddity: Wei Ying didn't mind being annoying. He poked everyone, made jokes, was shameless, all without caring what other people thought.

 

 "You never bother me," he said sincerely.

 

 "Ah, I know I'm annoying. You don't have to lie to make me feel better. "

 

" I don't lie. "

 

" Oh that's right, don't lie in one of your famous family rules. There are so many that it's impossible to remember them all. "

 

 He chuckled but there was no cheerfulness in his tone.

 

 It hurt Lan Zhan to see him like this and not know what to do to help him.

 

 "Come in, - he says - You'll get sick like that. "

 

 Wei Ying stood up and waited for Lan Zhan to take the keys out of his pocket and open the door.

 

 The typical off-site college student flat looked tidy and neat. A faint scent of rice came out of the kitchen, the half-open bedroom door revealed a bed with perfectly tidy sheets and an alarm clock leaning against the wall.

 

 

 Lan Zhan held out his hand to the guest. give the coat. Without saying a word, Wei Ying undressed and handed him the heavy sweatshirt that covered his cold shoulders. Seeing his lean physique made his mouth feel dry, and as soon as he realized he had been looking too long, Lan Zhan said, "I'll go get you something to wear."

 

 "Do you also have something to drink?"

 

 "I have tea."

 

 "I'd rather something stronger. But I guess you don't have any beer here."

 

 "No, I don't."

 

 " I had to imagine. Tea is fine. "

 

 Lan Zhan nodded. He left him in the kitchen and went to get a sweater. It was too big for Wei Ying, but he figured it might be fine tonight.

 

 He went back to issues and handed it to him. Wei Ying wasted no time putting it on, and seeing the guy he loved with something of his own made him feel a series of complicated emotions that Lan Zhan didn't want to think about.

 

To distract his mind, he began making tea, occasionally glancing at Wei Ying.

The boy still looked pained. He looked exhausted, emotionally and physically. It reminded Lan Zhan of his uncle after his failed attempts to talk to his father, the weight of the world on his shoulders.

 

 Lan Zhan didn't want to ask questions and push him to talk, not when the other didn't feel ready.

 

 

 "I know you want to ask me," Wei Ying said, rousing him from his thoughts.

 

" You want to know why I came here. "

 

" No, I don't. "

 

 "Ah, Lan Zhan. This is a lie. Madame Yu is right, I'm a bad influence."

 

 Lan Zhan squeezed the handle of the teapot with such force that he could break it under his hands.

 

 Wei Ying's stepmother had never hidden that she had little regard for her adopted son. Lan Zhan did not know all the circumstances of the Jiang family, but from what he had seen, it seemed that the woman was pouring out on Wei Ying all the hatred she had accumulated over the years.

 

 “She is not the best to judge."

 

 "But she's right. I'm a very bad influence on Jiang Cheng. Did you know he hit the peacock? During Jin Guangshan's birthday last night. "

 

" If Jiang Cheng hit him, what do you have to do with it? "

 

" It's no secret that I've always had more fights with the peacock. Jiang Cheng just snarled at him. But at the party h,e got out of control after he insulted Shijie in front of everyone. I was about to hit him, but Jiang Cheng was faster than me. After that, things got complicated, and we had to leave. "

 

 Wei Ying took a shaky breath, barely holding back a sob," Madame Yu was furious. She said if the Jin brbreakshijie's engagement with the peacock, it will be because of our behavior. Civilized people don't do these things, she said. And then ... well, I've always been a thorn in her side. I just showed how my presence made her son a beast like me. Besides, what was there to expect from someone born of your parents? Uncle Jiang intervened, but it made things worse. It always happens and she ... she reproached him that he didn't intervene when it was only Jiang Cheng involved, but as soon as she spoke out against me, he felt compelled to champion the situation, making her look bad. Uncle Jiang admitted that Jiang Cheng's behavior was not the best, but I could not certainly be blamed. Then it got worst. Probably both had been thinking about these for years, and this was the occasion to come up with them. Better than a couplet therapy sessions, isn't it? ”

 

The joke wasn't funny, and he must have been aware of it too.

 

 Lan Zhan heard the teapot creak under his hand, but not he cared. In a firm voice, he said, “What happened next?”

 

 “Oh well… Madame Yu said… it would have been better if this beast died with his parents. At least we weren't going to take care of him and he wasn't going to screw it up. If he disappeared ... "

Lan Zhan couldn't listen anymore. He hugged him, a gesture so unusual for him that it winced Wei Ying.

 

 The thought of a world without Wei Ying was inconceivable to him. It would have been a colorless world for Lan Zhan, all wrapped in the white color of mourning.

 

 “She's wrong.”

 

 “What?”

 

 “She's wrong. Madame Yu… she is wrong. You haven't screwed it up, you're not the cause of thang's problems and It's not your fault what happened at the party. It's wrong to try to dump it all on you. "

 

" I'm a problem. "

 

" No, you're not – Lan Zhan told him, and he would repeat until the other boy believed it. - Madame Yu uses you as a scapegoat for what she and her husband are doing to their family. You don't deserve to be treated like this, you are not at fault. Her behavior is reprehensible. “

 

“ Wow… I've never heard you talk that much. ”

 

“ I don't like to talk. But that matters to me. You matter to me. You… ”

 

 It was the point of no return. The moment Lan Zhan was giving a piece of his heart. He had a chance to go back, and not finish that sentence. But the Lan loved proudly and without shame.

 

 “You must never change. I… ”

 

 But Wei Ying didn't let it finish. It was he who raised his head and kissed Lan Zhan. It was a quick touch of their lips, almost chaste. When he pulled away, his cheeks were red, showing real embarrassment for the first time since Lan Zhan had known him.

 

Lan Zhan was so shocked that he didn’t talk, and Wei Ying immediately thought the wrong thing, “Oh crap, did I get it wrong? I thought you were going to tell me you liked me but… oh, I figured it all out, there's no way someone like you could… ”

 

 Lan Zhan kissed him again. The words were superfluous. He will take care of appreciating Wei Ying as he deserved.