It had been one of Zhao Yunlan's dragon free days, which meant Ye Zun had chosen to go with Shen Wei today. Somehow that meant Da Qing being ridiculously irritable for the whole day—not that Zhao Yunlan can swear it's directly related, but he has a strong suspicion—which hadn't done wonders for Zhao Yunlan's mood either. The cat had wandered off somewhere a couple of hours before Zhao Yunlan had left for home, and hadn't bothered to tell him where he was going.
Now, Zhao Yunlan walks into his apartment to find a very intently cooking Shen Wei. There's no cat in sight, so apparently, Da Qing hasn't made his way home yet from wherever he was going. He might just have decided he needs some time to himself, which Zhao Yunlan doesn't really begrudge him. Their home is getting a bit cramped, for all that Zhao Yunlan actually likes everyone sharing the space with him.
Shen Wei glances his way and then doesn't say anything, just turns back to his cooking. Well, that's a bit worrying, Zhao Yunlan thinks, and quickly takes off his shoes and jacket, remembering to put them neatly in their place. If Shen Wei is feeling bad for some reason or another Zhao Yunlan doesn't want to make things worse, even if it is just by cluttering his own home.
He walks over to the kitchen area. "Hey," he says carefully, and again Shen Wei just glances at him, before going on with whatever it is he's doing. Zhao Yunlan usually pays more attention to Shen Wei than the details of the cooking.
Zhao Yunlan looks at him a bit closer, just to confirm the fact that he really can't see a tiny white dragon anywhere. He feels sudden worry clawing at his throat, Ye Zun doesn't usually go anywhere alone. Well, maybe Da Qing had gotten home already. There's clearly something bothering Shen Wei, but he isn't… Well, if something was really wrong with Ye Zun he wouldn't just be here cooking, even if it is with alarming intensity.
Zhao Yunlan reaches out to grab Shen Wei's arm loosely enough that he wouldn't even need to put any effort into pulling away.
"Shen Wei… where's Ye Zun?" Zhao Yunlan asks and Shen Wei sort of… freezes for a moment. Then his head turns to look at the wall, in the direction of his apartment, like he might actually see through the wall. Well, Zhao Yunlan isn't entirely sure he can't.
Okay, so Ye Zun isn't all that far away, after all, it seems. Zhao Yunlan steps closer and wraps his arms around Shen Wei's waist from behind, hooking his chin over Shen Wei's shoulder.
"Did something happen?" he asks softly. He can feel the way Shen Wei tenses in his arms.
"No," Shen Wei says sharply, and then sort of slumps and whispers, "Maybe." Zhao Yunlan squeezes him a bit tighter and waits for a few heartbeats. It's often better to give Shen Wei a moment to gather his words, instead of barging in with questions straight away.
"I don't know. His clothes are… wrong. He told me to leave him alone," Shen Wei whispers miserably. Well, that… doesn't really clarify the issue that much, but Zhao Yunlan's heart still eases a bit at the confirmation that nothing happened to Ye Zun. That he's safe.
"He's in your apartment?" Zhao Yunlan asks, trying to keep his tone light.
"Yes," Shen Wei agrees, his head lifting to look in the direction Zhao Yunlan is just going to presume Ye Zun is in. Zhao Yunlan isn't entirely sure Shen Wei realises how he takes a small step in that direction, Zhao Yunlan just moves with him, still hugging him from behind.
"What if I go see if he's okay?" Zhao Yunlan suggests.
Shen Wei stiffens for a moment and then swiftly pulls away, whipping around to face Zhao Yunlan. His red-rimmed eyes look pleadingly at Zhao Yunlan. "Would you?" he whispers.
Zhao Yunlan's heart clenches. "Of course," he says gently. He reaches out to cup Shen Wei's cheek. "We'll both be just right over there."
Shen Wei nods slightly. He opens his mouth like he might say something, but then just closes it again. He blinks, eyes glittering with tears, and swallows before quickly nodding again.
"It'll be fine, Xiao Wei," Zhao Yunlan promises him.
Zhao Yunlan finds Ye Zun curled up on Shen Wei's bed (which Zhao Yunlan suspects has never actually been used) with Shen Wei's suits strewn all about. The tiny white dragon looks about as miserable as Shen Wei had, and Zhao Yunlan has the urge to just walk up and try to cuddle him too.
Instead, he walks closer carefully, avoiding the suits on the floor. All things considered, he's pretty sure Shen Wei is not going to give a damn about his clothing in this circumstance, but that doesn't mean Zhao Yunlan needs to step on them. Ye Zun has lifted his head up a bit and is staring at him with unhappy suspicion.
Zhao Yunlan crouches down next to the bed. Ye Zun hisses at him. He holds his hands up a bit and says, "I just want to know you're okay."
Ye Zun hisses and glares at him, and then suddenly his whole body twitches in Zhao Yunlan's direction, like he was about to get closer but stopped himself. He hisses once more and then just slumps down on the bed in the same miserable heap from before.
"I'll take that as a no," Zhao Yunlan says quietly. Then he thinks about that aborted movement, and asks, "Do you want me to hold you?"
It earns him another half-hearted hiss. "Everything feels wrong," Ye Zun says, his voice sounding distressed.
Zhao Yunlan looks around at the discarded suits. "Ah," he says.
"They're wrong," Ye Zun mutters, almost angrily. "It's all wrong!"
Zhao Yunlan's heart goes out to the tiny dragon, and for a moment he has no idea what to say. He wishes there was an easy way of making things better, but he's not even entirely sure he knows what's wrong.
"Do you think it'd feel wrong if I pet you?" he asks carefully.
Ye Zun's head whips up and he stares at Zhao Yunlan in surprise. Zhao Yunlan can't tell what got him that response. A small ripple goes through Ye Zun's body, followed by a tiny confused warble. "I don't know," Ye Zun whispers miserably.
"Do you want me to try?" Zhao Yunlan asks. He wonders if this is something new, or if Ye Zun has had the same issue before. Since he spends most of his time snuggling against one of them, it has never occurred to Zhao Yunlan that he might have some issues with touch. He'd sort of assumed the clinginess was because Ye Zun has been without touch for so long.
Maybe this new thing just happens in his human shape? He obviously hadn't been a dragon when trying out all those suits. But this isn't the time to ask about any of it.
Ye Zun just stares at him and then nods so slightly that Zhao Yunlan really could have imagined it. He lifts his hand slowly, moving it right next to Ye Zun, and then stops for a moment, waiting to see if Ye Zun really is alright with it. Ye Zun shivers suddenly, a ripple going through his long body and then his head shoots forward, and he rubs it almost aggressively against Zhao Yunlan, his head slipping between Zhao Yunlan's thumb and forefinger.
Zhao Yunlan keeps his hand still and a heartbeat later, Ye Zun's movements slow down a bit. And then almost as suddenly, he pulls back and slumps down next to Zhao Yunlan's hand, pressed close against him. Zhao Yunlan doesn't quite dare to move.
"I don't know," Ye Zun mutters. And then adds a sad little warble.
Zhao Yunlan carefully settles his hand a bit more securely against the bed, trying not to jostle the tiny dragon. Ye Zun keeps himself pressed against Zhao Yunlan and says nothing.
"You didn't like Shen Wei's clothes, huh?" Zhao Yunlan says quietly.
This time there's only a small subdued warble from the tiny dragon, like maybe Ye Zun is done with actual words for now.
"I'm not much for suits either. I mean they look amazing on Shen Wei, but I wouldn't even want to try pulling that off." Zhao Yunlan isn't sure there's much point to his words, he's just trying to say something. "You can try my clothes if you want to. Or Da Qing's I suppose. He wouldn't mind sharing with you."
Zhao Yunlan takes a moment to think about it before adding. "If you ask Da Qing, he'd probably be happy to take you shopping. He's all about comfort, so he'd probably know what to look for."
That finally makes Ye Zun stir a bit, he lifts his head and pokes his muzzle at Zhao Yunlan's thumb and chirps questioningly.
Zhao Yunlan raises an eyebrow and says, "I really don't know what you're trying to say."
Ye Zun chirps again, and when Zhao Yunlan still doesn't get it he sighs, gets up and suddenly climbs up along Zhao Yunlan's arm, quickly making it all the way up to his shoulders. Zhao Yunlan freezes for a second, he's more used to both of them flying up there and the sudden shimmying up along him takes him by surprise.
He lifts his hand towards his shoulder by habit and then hesitates for a moment. Ye Zun makes a demanding chirp, and Zhao Yunlan smiles slightly and then moves his hand close enough for Ye Zun to briefly rub his jaw against Zhao Yunlan's fingers, before pulling away.
So still not up to that much touching then, Zhao Yunlan concludes, letting his hand drop down. "So, did you want to go somewhere?" he asks.
Ye Zun chirps demandingly. Zhao Yunlan still isn't exactly sure what he's trying to say, but all things considered, there are exactly two people he might want to see, so it's not going to be that difficult to figure it out.