Background: This scene took place after Zhao Yunlan called out “Xiao Wei”, and before they went back to SID the next morning. This was inspired by chapter 59 of the Original book, but base on the Drama storyline and characters.
Shen settled the Chief on the couch while he headed to the kitchen to prep for dinner. The day had been long, but the busybody, like the Chief, wouldn’t stand still. A blinded Zhao Yunlan, was not something to laugh about, despite his efforts to cheer everyone around him. He was not a man who could stand on the sidelines while others catered to his needs. It brought Shen comfort that the only person he allowed to care for him was Shen Wei himself.
“Xiao Wei” The Chief had called him that today. For an instant, Shen’s heart stopped. But the moment was short-lived. Zhao did not seem to realize what he had said, nor did Shen ever want him to know. Shen Wei could only hold back the fleeting joy, which soon fell back to sorrow.
How much longer can he wait? How much longer can he hold back his feelings? His desire?
The dazed Professor Shen turned to see Zhao Yunlan had managed to collapse on the floor, barely missing the edge of his bed.
“Where are you heading now?” Shen Wei asked the stubborn blind man who could not seem to sit still. He seriously debated whether he should tie the accident-prone Zhao down for good. Or lock him in a dungeon.
“I’m looking for my clothes,” Zhao answered as Shen helped him up.
“Why?” Shen scowled, his tone evident despite Zhao unable to see his expression.
“Unlike you Professor Shen, who always smells like blossoms of early spring,” the Chief answered with his usual charming smile, “I smell pretty bad after running around all day. In fact, I haven’t showered in days. How you’ve tolerated my stinky self until now is a miracle in itself.”
Professor Shen sighed before he turned the Chief towards the bed. “I’ll grab your clean clothes, and some wash towels. You should sit down first before you hurt yourself.” Shen tried to guide him, but Zhao continued to resist.
Zhao said, “I need a real shower, badly.”
Shen remained silent. In truth, he didn’t want Zhao to out of his sight, even for five minutes if possible. Due to Shen’s failure to watch over him, Zhao had lost his sight. Many things had happened today, leaving him in no doubt he could not leave the Chief unsupervised. With his luck, Zhao would probably trip and crack his head on the tiles.
Even without his sight, the intuitive Zhao seemed to read his thoughts. “If you’re still worried, you can join me,” the Chief suggested casually. Though they both knew it was not that simple, given their feeling for one another.
“I’m jesting!” the Chief laughed at the nervous Professor. “I’m a grown man. I can take care of myself. Now take me to the shower room with a fresh set of clothes, I’ll be done before dinner is ready.”
“No. I’ll assist you...,” Shen Wei readily agreed, knowing how the Chief rarely asked for help. There shouldn’t be much harm he rationalized, despite the temptation.
“No...I mean yes! I’ll help you get ready for your bath.”
“Well then, Professor Shen,” Zhao chuckled lightly with a tilt of his head. He did not hide his joy. “I am all yours.”
At that moment, Shen Wei didn’t think much of the consequences of his agreement. Better to keep Zhao safe and happy before he found new ways to injure himself. Little did he know, life was never that simple. Especially when it came to Zhao Yunlan, the chosen Guardian.
Despite the small apartment, the shower room was a comfortable size. But because Zhao was blind, it felt more enclosed than it ever was. Shen was right to be worried. Zhao had to admit, the bathroom could be the death of him. As the Guardian, his eulogy would be embarrassing if future generations found out the Protector of the Living World had met his end by tripping in the bath. SID’s reputation would be down the drain.
“Shen Wei?” Zhao squeezed the hand that held his as they stood in the bathroom for quite some time.
“I’m here,” Shen answered abruptly. His nervousness seemed to increase as time passed.
Damn. Shen did not sound okay. He was probably blushing by now. Zhao wondered what shade it was this time.
“If you’re uncomfortable, I can ask Da Qing when he’s back.” Zhao reluctantly relented, not wanting to be a cad to someone who only wishes to keep him safe. “I can wait for the bath.”
“No! I-I can manage the task. You should start un-undressing,” Shen stammered, as he headed toward the shower stall. “I’ll adjust the temperature for you.”
While Zhao began to undress, he could hear the rushing sound of water. Which meant he could not hear where Professor Shen was; more specifically, he couldn’t hear his breathing. Which was a telltale sign of his emotional state. Zhao’s sightless advantage had diminished in this room. He wondered how flustered the Professor was at that moment. Did he avert his eyes, or stare at him without shame? Was his breath caught by the sight of him undressing? Or frozen in place?
Once the Chief was done undressing, he felt a cold hand guide him to the bathroom stall. “The shampoo and soap are on your right. The fresh towel is hanging on the wall by the sliding door,” Shen instructed with care. “I’ve placed your clothes by the sink. Once you’re done---”
“Where are you going?” the Chief asked, his hand grasping Shen’s. His face instantly changed to a vulnerable pouting tactic he often resorted to when he wanted his way with his Professor.
“I should wait outside---” Shen tried to retract his hand, but Zhao gripped him even more tightly.
“Weren’t you worried I could injure myself when I’m alone?” He complained with an undertone of disguised shock. Zhao then continued his relentless shameless persuasion. “Did you know the statistics for bathroom injuries? It’s surprisingly high, I tell you. Even a normal healthy person can slip and die in an instant. And I’m currently blind.”
“Wh-what do you want to do?” Shen uneasily asked, his hand starting to tremble slightly.
Though the Chief couldn’t see, he knew Shen’s face was not far. It must be several shades of red by now, if he could have taken a guess. Originally, Zhao would have let Shen go, but the devil in him seemed to hold the reigns at this moment. The more timid Shen became, the more Zhao wanted to push him to his limits. With a spreading mischievous smile, Zhao closed in for the kill. “Join me,” he suggested scandalously.
“Think of it as a smaller public bathhouse,” Zhao coaxed with a shrug, until a bemused thought crossed his face. “Oh wait, our Black Cloak Ambassador probably never used a public bathhouse before. But you don’t have to worry. I can’t even see. I’m the one who is at a disadvantage here.”
“I’m not sure that’s wise--”
“Professor Shen! Are you telling me you’re the type of man who would take advantage of a blind person in his weakest state?” Zhao’s eyes widening in shock pretense, without an ounce of remorse for his callous manipulation.
When silence followed, Zhao would have given anything to see the Professor’s face. His ears were probably beet red by the outrageous response. Despite the sound of the rushing water, moments later the Chief could feel the fight leaving Shen’s body.
“I’ll join you,” Shen murmured so quietly, Zhao could barely hear him. As the Professor began to step into the stall, Zhao held him back with a scowl.
“Shen Wei, you’re still dressed,” the Chief pointed out meaningfully. “Unless you want your clothes to be all soak---”
Zhao immediately heard a rustling of clothing being removed. He couldn’t even suppress his triumphant smile. Zhao wondered what was beneath those proper academic clothes of his. Solid muscles, he would have guessed. The man may look fragile on the outside due to his disguise, but Shen had proven time and again that he could handle the most challenging opponent. Not just with black magic, but he had proven himself a superb fighter. The Black Cloak Ambassador who can cut down any demon that stepped in his path.
Zhao Yunlan was still daydreaming about the Professor’s physique when he felt a hand on his chest, guiding him further back, directly under the shower head. Then the warm water started dripping over his body. He felt Shen move closer, yet not close enough for their bodies to touch. Zhao was tempted to reach for the Professor, but Shen had already started to wash his hair.
God...it was refreshing to finally bath again. That had been his original intent before he was distracted by Shen. Being blind had made Zhao realize the importance of pure everyday pleasures. Shen’s fingers massaged his scalp with the proficiency of an expert. The lulling rhythm almost caused Zhao to be lost in a dreamlike haze of luxury, but an unsettling thought suddenly crossed his mind. Why was he so good at this? His green-eyed monster surfaced. Had Shen done this with others? Zhao was momentarily lost in his uncalled-for jealousy when Shen placed a soapy sponge in his hand.
Nudged back to reality, even the most simple delight couldn’t distract him from the man beside him. Or the jealousy that began to grow. He knew what the sponge was for, but Zhao couldn’t let this opportunity slide. A wicked thought crossed his mind. It wasn’t every day he could bath with Professor Shen. And God only knew how he craved to know what kind of body Shen hid underneath those welled buttoned shirts.
Zhao Yunlan casually raised the sponge. He had yet to make contact when the Professor caught his hand. “I don’t need assistance,” Shen’s voice was firm but had a quivering edge of yearning that could still be heard against the backdrop of the falling water. Zhao knew he still held the advantage. His Professor was not one to deny him anything.
“Come now, what are Brothers for? I wash your back, you wash mine,” Zhao insisted as he moved closer to his Professor. A wave of anticipation rushed through his body, but the Chief knew he had to be careful or his prey may escape. This man was the Black Cloak Ambassador after all. The most powerful being known to man.
“Yunlan,” Shen Wei whispered. His Professor by now, could retreat no more. It was a small bathroom stall, where else could he go? Zhao finally pressed the sponge over Shen’s chest while the other hand grasped his shoulder. To balance himself, but more so to keep his Professor from escaping.
“There now, I can feel you again. It’s quite slippery in here. You don’t want me to fall, do you?” the Chief asked coyly. His bare hand began to massage Shen’s tensed shoulder, feeling the hard muscles between his fingers. “You must be exhausted from all the exertion you had today. Your shoulders are tight. Let me loosen them up for you.”
“What are you doing?” Shen gasped, though the answer was obvious. Zhao started to move the sponge in a circular motion while his face inched closer and closer still, until he felt Shen’s breath near his mouth. How far are his lips?
“Let me repay you for taking such good care of me,” the Chief whispered softly, his fingers purposely spread over the small sponge so that he could touch the bare skin underneath. Solid muscles, indeed. He could feel Shen attempt to suppressed his moan, but his Professor couldn’t control his breathing. His hot hyperventilating breath only heightened Zhao’s awareness of his desire. His mouth began to salivate. Zhao couldn’t wait to feel all of him. The sponge started to trace over his Professor’s hard abs. Zhao’s hand continued to travel downward, as his head tilted, inching closer---
“Chief, I’m back!” A familiar voice broke through the paradise that could have been. “Where is everyone?”
“Xiao Wei, don’t--”
Too late! The tempting solid body in front of him evaporated from his grasp before he could finish his words. Zhao fell forward against the tiles with the sponge still in his hand. Shen had used his magic no doubt. FUCK! Zhao was so close! His fists slammed against the wall in sexual frustration. That Damn Cat! Of all times, he came back now!