Updated: Apr 14, 2021
Background: This scene occurs within episode 14, sometimes after Wen Kexing leaves Gu Xiang on the bridge, and before he met up with Liu Qian Qiao. Untold Stories will be following the character's base on the drama from Word of Honor aka Shen He Ling. Adapted from the novel "Faraway Wanderers" (天涯客) by Priest.
Why now? Of all times?
Death should be simple, was it not?
At least that’s what he thought.
Countless lives, of which he stole.
All due to his self chosen role.
Those three autumns, now left with two,
Still, his makers may arrive before he’s due.
Who would imagine at world’s end, he’d meet a friend.
Where that person’s existence becomes this fragile life depends.
Wen Kexing...His Zhījǐ.
Is he still? Or had he left of his own will?
Zhou Zishu’s slumber was once burdensome. However, recently, night after night, the presence of that person eased his discomfort. That familiar melody vibrated with the gentle force of qi, soothing the pain that could only numb. A gesture Zhou Zishu had not refused, knowing the other wouldn’t have ceased even if he were to ask.
Slowly, despite his reservation, Zhou Zishu began to rely on another’s being.
Without that presence, Zhou Zishu had to endure the pain of this night alone. Even so, Zhou Zishu welcomed this physical agony. What was left unsaid earlier requires this wrenched affliction as a reminder of causing others’ suffering.
Zhou Zishu was fully aware Wen Kexing would be upset once the truth was known, but he hadn’t taken into account how this man, who continued to follow him day by day, would have an even more difficult time handling the truth, which by all means should not affect him so evidently.
Had he met him before?
An inkling grew. Countless faces from the past, but this person remained behind his mask. A part of him wanted to ask, but experiences told Zhou Zishu that he would not easily receive the answer. Wen Kexing continued to close himself off, for reasons unknown. But as a man who also has his own demons, Zhou Zishu knew he had to wait for the other to let his heart open.
Luckily they met, but why did Zhou Zishu now feel such regrets?
Live or die, the world has never been kind…
But, still...a selfish need of a human’s heart, Zhou Zishu indeed desires someone to be by his side.
The Heavens must have heard his thoughts. His senses instantaneously alerted. Someone is here, easily discovered by a former assassin’s instinct. Zhou Zishu swiftly rose from his bed, only to face a familiar dark purple figure within the dimly lit room.
Not a surprise, but Wen Kexing was drenched. Wet through and through, given his appearance. A wolf or a wild feral dog? No, none of those. This wet creature was an overgrown soaked fox, and his alone. An afflicted creature which he had caused to reach such a state. Zhou Zishu’s heart involuntarily clenched.
Closing their distance, despite his diminishing senses, the heaviness of the fragrance of wine was evident.
“Did you soak yourself in the wine cellar?” Zhou Zishu asked with a smile, expecting, half believing.
Leaning slightly forward, Wen Kexing tilted his head as he gazed back at him. Chuckling like the child he was. “How do you know?”
Shaking his head, Zhou Zishu resisted the urge to chastise a person in such a state. Afterall, wasn’t he who caused this man to be in his current shape?
Zhou Zishu’s hand reached for Wen Kexing’s clothes. “Take these off before you catch a cold.”
The other man stopped him. Zhou Zishu couldn’t help but dread the touch of those frozen hands. His anxiety doubled. Though worried and perplexed by Wen Kexing’s attitude, Zhou Zishu patiently paused. “What is it now?”
“Ah Xu…?” Barely a whisper, nearly impossible to hear for someone who’s hearing had already begun to fade. But when those lips make an utterance, Zhou Zishu could easily tell.
How long had he been able to read those particular lips? For many years, he had never paid heed to other’s intentions, more accurately their needs. But, with him, Zhou Zishu couldn’t look away completely, even when he’s spouting nonsense. At times serious, at others not. Zhou Zishu held back his chuckles at those thoughts.
It was a rare moment to see Wen Kexing so lost. This overly confident man may appear unbreachable, but he was as vulnerable as he. Both adrift souls in this world, if only they could make each other whole. A wishful thought, maybe, but can they be? Zhou Zishu never envisioned they would end up attached to this extent. Hence, why he could not leave him just yet.
“It’s me, let me help you change,” Zhou Zishu answered reassuringly, bemused as he proceeded with the task at hand, reaching for Wen Kexing’s damp garments.
“No…Ah Xu…?... Don’t want to...No...” Wen Kexing continued his half-hearted verbal resistance. However, he did not struggle when his outer purple garb fell to the floor.
“Do you want to run a fever by morning?” Zhou Zishu chastised, all the while enjoying the child-like nature of Wen Kexing, who even now would not standstill. No matter, Zhou Zishu proceeded to remove the layers of the purple garb regardless. On the other hand, the waist belt turned out to be the most difficult task in the dimly lit room.
Wen Kexing was overly dressed for all occasions, it seemed, because Zhou Zishu still had to drag away a third wet layer before exposing the white undergarments which had clung to the other man’s body like a second skin…
Zhou Zishu’s eyes promptly averted all on their own. His mind rattled, flustered by the other’s body for reasons he’d rather not explore. When did Lao Wen appear to be larger all of a sudden? His clothes were reduced, but his size did not? Zhou Zishu came to the realization he should’ve taken Wen Kexing back to his room first before undressing the man. There was no way they could leave his room now.
He mentally settled on switching rooms for the night, given there was no other choice. But that opportunity never arrived because that person’s demeanor had changed without warning. Within a blink, Zhou Zishu’s wrist was caught by the other man.
“Ah Xu..?” Wen Kexing repeated, now sounding more like a plea, his sharp eyes glistening. Feeling the heat of the other’s predatory gaze, this time, Zhou Zishu consciously took a step back.
“I already told you it’s--” Zhou Zishu’s words were cut off, as he found himself in the other’s arms. One hand secured his side, while the other held onto his back, with Wen Kexing’s face buried against his neck. Their bodies, pressed against the other, almost as one. Fully aware, the other’s soaked garments began to seep against the thin layer of his own.
Naturally, Zhou Zishu tried to break free of the sudden attack, but those arms secured him within the strong embrace. Too shocked to respond, Zhou Zishu’s eyes widened further, when Wen Kexing’s large hand reached for the back of his neck. The pressure of those fingers, gentle but firm. They smoothly traced over his sensitive neck.
A rhythm, or was it a game? Zhou Zishu did not know, but Wen Kexing continued to play with his awakening senses.
“Lao Wen?” Zhou Zishu nearly gasped, but his mouth had gone dry from the hot searing gasps breathing against his exposed neck. Then he felt it, the wet tongue began to…
With his sanity still intact, Zhou Zishu broke away, nearly falling back. Wen Kexing quickly caught him around the waist, but only to ease him further down. Not onto the bed, but the step stool beside it. Suddenly, Zhou Zishu came to conclude, never in his life had he felt like a prey of another as the other man hovered over him. Zhou Zishu was wrong. Wen Kexing felt even larger at present than he had earlier.
While he was distracted by those unsettling thoughts, Wen Kexing had trapped him in place with his hands on either side of the bed frame. Positioned as they were, blocking any chance of escape. Zhou Zishu took in the sharp change in Wen Kexing’s features. He knew those eyes. The same eyes which devoured him on the day they met, every day, even now, at this instant.
“What-What are you doing?” Zhou Zishu stammered. Despite his knowledge, in spite of his intuition, he still fell cowardly asking such a question. More afraid, a little hopeful, but he couldn’t allow himself to believe.
“Ah Xu…my Ah Xu…” The name, which only this person calls, whispered possessively, like a prayer on repeat. Wen Kexing’s eyes darkened, his breaths heightened. Every nerve on Zhou Zishu intensified when that gaze spoke of his intention. Wen Kexing closed in. Immediately, Zhou Zishu covered the other’s mouth before it could capture his.
Frozen, they both were. At a standstill, like never before. Should such a path be crossed? Or does this make them at a further loss? Zhou Zishu felt it, he knew, but he couldn’t allow such feelings to further ensue. But it had, all on its own. Without forewarning, just because his life was shortening?
His reservation rose once more, not wanting to destroy what they had so far. As soon as that ice beneath them breaks, the only choice is to drown.
“Lao Wen…” Zhou Zishu tried again, but stopped short because Wen Kexing’s moist tongue began to lick the barrier, searching over the crevices of his fingers. His pace set, a musician such as him, those lips began to play. Not far behind, the wicked tip between those lips started its circular motion, causing Zhou Zishu’s hand to tremble from such a hit. In a trice, Zhou Zishu realized he was being savored by this man. An unspeakable starvation that had the chance to be satisfied.
Unavoidably, Zhou Zishu’s entire body tingled from the sinful sensation, swept away by each stroke of Wen Kexing’s hungry touch. Restless, he couldn’t resist as his excited body awakened, no different than a drowning man given a breath of life. Weakened from Wen Kexing’s attack, his hand suddenly dropped back, but the devil of a man wasn’t done, because Zhou Zishou’s wrist was caught again.
“Ah Xu…” Wen Kexing chanted, his mouth now pressed against the tender wrist. Those eyes never ceased to consume him, locked within his passionate gaze, like a captured prisoner, which Zhou Zishu undoubtedly was. Such that he could only stay passively in place. Trembling, he watched those lips suck on his inner wrist. Ever so slowly, nibbling delicately, like Wen Kexing was afraid of damaging Zhou Zishu, his person.
Gentle, this man was always gentle. A warmth of which Zhou Zishu had long forgotten, because everyone was gone. Why now, for such feelings to surface, breaking the shielding ice of his frozen lake?
Ah Xu…which Lao Wen had given him. A mark, a claim? Because it was more than a doting name. Zhou Zishu ah, Zhou Zishu, it took you long enough to finally grasp. How could you be so lapse?
Zhou Zishu did not want, nor need. Still, those tears began to swell from the unprecedented affectionate move, which caused Wen Kexing’s mouth to pause. All this time, those gazes of yearning never left, even for a second. Part of his senses had returned, it seemed. With a worried expression, Wen Kexing cupped Zhou Zishu’s cheeks in his hands. Those eyes before him had changed. Tender they had become as their breaths began to subside.
Ah Xu, Wen Kexing mouthed with no sound. Not surprisingly, he leaned in once more….Truly believing the other would make an attempt again, Zhou Zishu shut his eyes, letting the tears fall.
But...their lips never meet...
Instead, Zhou Zishu felt the other’s forehead pressed against his own. A move of comfort, unforeseen, but what followed nearly pushed him to break. The pads of Wen Kexing’s thumbs smoothed away those earlier tears. An act, more intimate than a gesture of passionate embrace, shook Zhou Zishu to his core.
His eyes fluttered open, meeting the other man’s unfocused--anguished gaze.
“I’m sorry,” the still drunk one apologized, before collapsing onto Zhou Zishu’s side.
In slumber Wen Kexing quickly reached, leaving Zhou Zishu shaken but still at peace. A moment longer than he had thought soon passed, until he collected what had transpired at last. While Wen Kexing was still resting on his shoulder, Zhou Zishu became aware that he had unconsciously been soothing the other’s head all this time.
With a smile that did not reach his eyes, Zhou Zishu readjusted the other’s position, and pushed the bed's footstool to the side. With his back against the bed frame, he placed the passed-out man lying down on his back, WenKexing's head resting on his lap. Reaching for the blanket behind him from the bed, Zhou Zishu covered his partially dried fox before he could catch a cold.
Then, the chance to be greedy presented itself. A mischievous, but affectionate smile spread. Zhou Zishu smoothed away the loose wet strands, squeezed the perfect high arch of the nose, brushed those long eyelashes which he had always been curious about, and with the tip of his fingers, caressed those lips, which he had yet to taste.
Under the diminishing candlelights, at leisure, taking in the image of this beautiful, unearthly man, unaware, and may never know, of the feelings which Zhou Zishu had bestowed.
On this night, let the storm pass by. This moment, of this time, with no one but the two of them, will forever be engraved in his mind. All the while, Zhou Zishu took solace that the other would most likely forget when morning did arrive.