Yixing awakes to bright light streaming through his curtains and an empty bed. The space beside him his cold and as he lays there, hoping fervently to hear the sound of the shower running or Lao Fan humming to himself as he bustles around the kitchen, all he's greeted by is silence.
On the fridge there's a note. Yixing reaches with shaking hands to pick it out from under the football magnet - it’s so like Lao Fan to leave it under that particular one - and eyes it with trepidation.
I'm sorry it says. I can't do this.
Yixing balls it up in his fist and doesn't know whether to laugh or to cry.
It's not like he doesn't know where Lao Fan will go first. Sehun has always been his priority, right from day one, so there's no doubt in Yixing's mind that he'll head straight for the orphanage. Would he be able to catch Lao Fan there? Does Yixing want to?
Last night was amazing. Lu Han was so pliant, so giving underneath him. Yixing has never had sex like that before. He’s had a fair amount of sex, but never like with Lao Fan. There was a connection. It wasn’t just their bodies meeting but something more than that because Yixing had felt it – in every look Lao Fan gave him, every whisper of a touch over Lao Fan’s body he could feel emotion.
It scares him shitless.
He’s opened himself up to something he can’t understand or control and now it’s been snatched away from him he isn’t sure he wants it back.
If it hurts this much now, how would he survive if he found Lao Fan and he rejected Yixing again?
"Who's the next target then, boss?" Minseok says idly, chewing gum and swing round in his chair like a five year old rather.
Yixing dumps the paper in front of Minseok's nose. "This guy." He says, jabbing his finger harshly into the picture splashed across the front page. "Lu Peng."
Minseok lets out a startled whistle. "Things not going so well with your floozy then, I take it?"
"What has this got to with Lao Fan?" Yixing snaps. He really hates the way Minseok seems to feel the need to bring his now ex-lodger into every conversation. He especially hates how Minseok seems to pinpoint exactly how he's feeling and why. He doesn't want to think about Lao Fan. Not now. Not for a long while.
Minseok seems to notice how the atmosphere turns sour. "Nothing, nothing!" He holds his hands up in a 'I surrender' gesture. "I just thought you must be frustrated to want to go after such a big haul, that's all."
"You know him?"
"Who doesn't." Minseok types something quickly into the computer in front of him and a file pops up. "The richest man this side of Midas. His security's tighter than a gnat's arse, though, I'm warning you now."
"That's okay." Yixing says. “I need a distraction right now.”
“Aha! So it is your boy toy!” Minseok crows.
Yixing’s only response is to clock him over the head.
Minseok wasn't wrong. Lu Peng's security system makes some of the world banks look like candy stores in comparison. If he weren't so sure of his abilities and his team Yixing might even be a bit worried.
"Xiumin, do you hear me?" He says into the mouth piece.
"Loud and clear Lay." Minseok's voice crackles in Yixing's ear. "You've got a round of guards just up ahead and then you're clear to break through. I'm just bringing the trip sensors down for you now."
"Got it." Yixing counts to five and then sets off at a dead sprint. He scales the wall in a matter of seconds before slipping over and landing silently just as a guard patrol pass. He keeps to the shadows behind them, following them round like a ghost until they pass one of the doors to the side of the house.
Checking quickly to see no one has noticed him Yixing brings out his flash light and his set of tools. He makes quick work of the shell casing on the numerical lock. It pops open to reveal sets of wires. He makes a quick inspection for anti-tampering devices and is rewarded with a small box to the left of the main lock mechanism. He grins triumphantly to himself.
When he steps inside the building it's clear he's in the kitchen.
He's just reached the top of the staircase when he hears someone gasp to the left of him. Immediately he whirls round and grabs the body hiding in the shadows, placing an arm over their mouth to muffle their screams.
Except there are no screams, no fighting. The body lies relaxed and calm in his hold and Yixing wonders briefly if the person has fainted already. But no, that can't be.
"Lao Fan?" Yixing says incredulously. "What are you doing here?"
Lao Fan looks at him. His face is strangely blank and guarded. It’s not a look Yixing has ever seen on Lao Fan before. "I live here."
"But you're... You can't...” Yixing flounders. “You’re Lu Peng’s missing son? You’re Lu-"
"The study is over to the left." Lu Han cuts him off. "The security system is disabled, so you can just walk right in."
"Is this a trap?" Yixing blurts out. He still can't get over the fact that this is Lao Fan standing in front of him, in the house of one of the richest men in the world, and supposedly giving him the greatest haul of his life.
"Would you believe me if I said it wasn't?" Lu Han shrugs and gives him a small smile. It's so sad that it makes something in Yixing's chest tighten uncomfortably. He refuses to examine that feeling too closely. "I'd hurry up. The guards will be coming once they realise I'm out of my room."
There's something strange and off about that sentence.
"Come with me." Yixing hears himself saying. It's a stupid thing to say. He doesn't know the man standing before him - he knows Lao Fan with his stupid scrunched up ugly laugh face and the way he dances as he cooks and his obsession with football - but this is not Lao Fan. They might share a face, but this man's name is Lu Han. This man grew up as one of the people Yixing despises.
"I wish I could." Lu Han says. “Believe me when I say I would go with you in a heartbeat if it were just me.”
“You should go.” Lu Han hisses desperately. “I’ll distract them.”
Yixing hesitates. It’s just a fraction of a second, but it’s enough to make Lu Han’s features become tight with agitation and worry. It’s perverse how happy seeing the second one makes Yixing. If Lu Han can worry about him, he can care about him, right?
But there’s no time for too much fanciful reminiscing right now. If Lu Han is right it means guards are going to be here any second and he can’t stay.
“Xiumin.” Yixing whispers. “I need an exit.”
“On it.” Minseok’s voice crackles in his ear. “Back down the staircase, the guards are out on another round for now.”
Yixing hurries to follow Minseok’s command, suddenly aware of voices coming from the hallway behind Lu Han. He risks a glance back over his shoulder as he does so, against all his better judgement, and sees Lu Han watching him leave with a look of bitter resignation painted all over his features. He almost wishes he hadn’t looked back.
Yixing doesn’t quite remember how he got out of the lion’s den. He’d gone on autopilot completely, allowing Minsoek’s voice in his ear to guide him through to safety without actually registering what he was doing. He stumbles into their makeshift base for the operation, a fake google van a street or two away from the house, ripping off his ear piece as he does so. Immediately Tao in the driver’s seat gets them moving away from the scene of their botched crime.
He’s angry. He’s so angry. He’s been angry before, of course he has. He wouldn’t be doing what he’s doing if he weren’t angry all the time, a slow simmer of hate for the world and the pigs that have made it what is today. The ones who think it’s okay to steal from the poor and let people starve while they grow richer. Oh yes, he’s no stranger to anger or hate.
This is different though. This anger is boiling hot and sharp like a knife point. It sticks in his gut and twists and roils and it hurts.
“I’m sorry.” Minseok says gently. “I thought you knew.”
“What, that the guy I’d picked up half-dead of the streets in the slums was in fact the son of a billionaire? No, I did not fucking know that. How could I have fucking known that?” Yixing spits angrily.
“The Lu’s are pretty famous.” Minseok says very calmly and slowly.
“Their son isn’t. Never seen pictures of him in the news.”
“Maybe he wasn’t something they wanted to own up to.”
That statement makes him pause. Lao- Lu Han had told him his dad had kicked him out for being gay – and Lu Han certainly hadn’t been lying about the being gay part, Yixing has more than enough evidence of that – so maybe being kicked out wasn’t quite the truth but he could see it. Multi-millionaire business mogul ashamed to have a faggot for a son, a son that would have make him look bad in front of all his associates and high-flying, judgemental friends.
“How do you know all this?” Yixing says tiredly. “This can’t just be speculation.”
“It’s not.” Minseok admits quietly. “I knew Lu Han while we were at university.”
Yixing’s not sure if he’s hearing things. “He went to university?” Lu Han had never told him about his education. Yixing had never asked either, but he assumed Lu Han had finished school and that was it, just like Yixing. “Wait, you went to university?”
Minseok eyes him warily. “For computer science. I met Lu Han in one of my business computing lectures. He was quiet before you got to know him.” Minseok smiles fondly. “But you realise soon enough he’d talk your ear off if he were in the mood for it.”
“Sounds like Blondie.” Except Lu Han’s hair had been back to black when he’d seen it. Back to being the perfect heir.
“You aren’t mad?” Minseok asks.
Yixing doesn’t feel mad anymore, just drained. All energy has seeped out of him and he feels weightless, boneless and useless. He laughs brokenly.
“I think after the things I found out tonight Seok what’s one more lie?” He looks up at Minseok and Minseok’s heart clenches. The look in Yixing’s eyes is bleak, desolate. It hurts to watch. “I’m so stupid. So, so stupid. I let him into my home and-” my heart”-I didn’t know anything about him and now look what’s happened.”
Minseok gets out of his chair and sits down next to Yixing. Gently he pulls Yixing into a half embrace and it says something that Yixing lets him.
“I’m going to tell you some things you already know about Lu Han, okay? He’s a good person. I know he never wanted to hurt you and that right now he’s probably hurting just as much as you are. I think he wanted to tell you, but he didn’t know how and I think he was scared.” Minseok pets Yixing’s hair as he speaks. “It’s not an excuse, and I know how much he hurt you. I’m just telling you things aren’t so black and white, okay? You can be rich and a good person, just like you can be poor and be a bad person. You can lie to protect others even though you know it’ll hurt them and you can be in love with someone even though you don’t know their past.”
Minseok presses a kiss to the top of Yixing’s head and it makes him feel like he’s five again and his mother is sending him off to school. It’s a warm feeling. And yet it makes the tears that have been threatening to shed ever since Lu Han left roll down his cheeks like waves. Minseok holds him, allowing him to let it all out.
“Lu Han, Lao Fan, Blondie. They’re all the same person, okay? Just remember that.” Minseok mutters into Yixing’s hair.
Honestly, deep down, Yixing knows that. Why else would he have asked Lu Han to come with him? But for now it’s easier to pretend that he doesn’t, to allow himself to be angry and sad, than to deal with the fact that he is irrevocably in love with someone he will never see again.
Weeks pass in a haze for Yixing. He goes to his work, buys food, does all the basic things, but anything more than that feels impossible. He spends hours just staring at his kitchen, remembering how Lu Han used to put the groceries on the higher shelves away for him or his singing while he cooked. He finds himself reading and rereading his favourite book because Lu Han had said it was his favourite too.
He wants to be angry. He wants to hate Lu Han for what he’s done to him. He’s turned him into mush. He can’t steal, not when he’s like this. He had turned up once and Minseok had very clearly told him that he can help Minseok with his other work, but that Minseok was going to let him out on another job over his dead body so that was out.
He honestly doesn’t know what to do with himself. He’s never felt so helpless before. In the slums it’s all about power – feeling powerful, being powerful – and his hatred of the fat cats at the top is what had fuelled him this long.
But now he knows that Lu Han is one of them and his hatred isn’t complete. He isn’t fighting against nameless, faceless oppression anymore but Lu Han. Lu Han’s family. Lu Han’s friends too, probably.
He still feels the system is wrong. He still sees homeless people on the streets and his guy churns in indignation that it is allowed to get this far, that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. It’s just now he doesn’t know how to go about it anymore. In stealing from the rich to give to the poor is he making it more balanced? Or just serving his own selfish ends? The need to feel useful. The need to feel like he’s making a substantial difference. The need for revenge for what he feels these pigs have taken away from him.
He doesn’t know.
Before Lu Han, he never would have even stopped to think about these things. But then, a lot of things were different pre-Lu Han.
Ten months after Lu Gate, as Minseok has taken to calling it, there’s a knock on Yixing’s door. Yixing has been back from work for a while, lazing on the couch reading Lu Han’s book and the noise startles him. He’s not used to visitors.
Warily he gets up and moves to the door. It’s always possible someone else from the slums has decided the time is ripe to pluck him from his relatively privileged position.
“Who is it?” He calls through the door.
“Lu Han.” The voice on the other side says.
It’s muffled by the wall and for a minute Yixing can’t believe what he’s hearing. Lu Han didn’t want him. He had offered for Lu Han to come with him and he had said no, hadn’t he? It’s not fair of him to turn up on his doorstep now, not after all this time.
“I know you probably don’t want to see me,” The voice continues. “But I’m asking you for a chance to explain myself. Please.”
It’s the please that gets him. It’s the same please he heard when Lu Han had begged him to let Lu Han stay. It’s the same please he heard when Lu Han had pleaded with him to help him find Sehun. It’s the same please that gets him every goddamn time and it works this time as well.
He opens the door.
Lu Han stands before him. It feels like forever. He’s almost forgotten what Lu Han’s face looked like. Oh, he’d remembered the general impression - and Lu Han is still as handsome and pixie-like as ever - but he’d not remembered the slight scar on his lip, or the way the wrinkles scrunch up at the sides of his eyes when he smiles like he’s doing now.
Lu Han notices how Yixing’s eyes drift over his face and blushes.
“I’m sorry for smiling.” He say sheepishly. “It’s just… It’s good to see you.”
“It’s good to see you too.” Yixing replies without thinking. “You look well.”
He does. He looks older somehow, more adult, but somehow freer too. His hair is a rich auburn colour and falls loosely in two sides around his face. It suits him. It suits him much more than the blond ever did.
Lu Han smiles again and lets Yixing usher him inside.
“Do you want any tea?” Yixing asks. It feels a bit surreal to be asking that – to have Lu Han back in his flat at all actually, but a strange sense of politeness makes him ask.
“No thank you.” Lu Han says, equally polite. “I just came for a chat.”
“Alright then.” Yixing leads them both to the sofa. They take opposite ends and look at each other. Yixing wishes he had made some tea so he could have something to hide behind, but it’s too late for that now.
“I guess you’d like to know why I left.” Lu Han starts. “And why I lied.”
“That’d be a good start.” Yixing replies, more calmly than he feels.
“I left because I couldn’t stand lying to you anymore.” Lu Han says bluntly. “It may sound cliché, but I love you and the thought of being with you when you didn’t know me – not the whole me – really hurt. I know that if I hadn’t lied in the first place it wouldn’t have been like that, but I was a coward. I was afraid to tell the truth so I ran instead.”
Yixing sits stunned. It’s too much to take in. They’d never talked about feelings before. They’d only really shared that one night together and now to sit here and hear that Lu Han loved – no, loves – him is a lot to take in.
“I understand.” He says at last. “It took me a long time, but I thought your reasons were something like that. And I understand. I wasn’t exactly friendly towards… people from your economic background.”
The last bit makes Lu Han smile. “I wouldn’t be either, if I were in your position, so I understand too.”
They lapse into silence for a while. Yixing is having trouble controlling his racing thoughts and Lu Han looks equally as overwhelmed by seeing Yixing again.
“Why did you come back?” Yixing asks softly, breaking the silence. “It’s been ten months.”
Lu Han runs a hand through his hair, frustrated. “Honestly, I never meant for it to be so long. I wanted to come and see you every day since the moment I left, but I had things I needed to sort out. I wanted to prove to you that…” He trails off. “Well, I’ll tell you my proposal first.”
“Proposal?” Yixing blinks, confused.
Lu Han shifts uncomfortably on the sofa. He turns to look at Yixing and his face is so open and expressive that Yixing almost feels himself falling in love all over again.
“For the last nine months I’ve been working on taking over my father’s business. Originally I wanted to take over and restructure it, but the corruption is so endemic that I’ve been forced to shut it down, to liquidate it and start afresh. I want to make a company that can be proud to stand in the world today and say that it is free of corruption, that it is not just a money making machine but a way of reinvesting in the community.”
It sounds all very lovely, but Yixing can hear the ‘but’ before Lu Han has even said it. “But?” He prompts.
“But I don’t know what the community need, Yixing. I’m so out of touch with the world. I went to uni, but that’s not the real world. The most of it I’ve seen is here, while I was living with you, and even then I know you went out of your way to shield me from the worst of it.” Lu Han says honestly. “That’s why I need you.”
“As some kind of charity case?” Yixing is furious. “A kind of, ‘let’s take on the poor boy’ deal? You feel you owe me something?”
“No!” Lu Han denies vigorously. “Never! I genuinely don’t know what the slums needs or wants. I wouldn’t know where to begin. Even more than that, I think the slums has had enough of rich people telling them what they need and want, don’t you think?”
Yixing does think that. He’s always thought that, and here Lu Han is, offering him exactly what he’s always wanted on a silver platter.
“So I would be a, what? Representative of the slums?”
“Something like that, yes.” Lu Han smiles. “From the people, for the people.”
“And I would work for you?”
“With me.” Lu Han says firmly. “You’d be my head of PR.” Upon seeing Yixing’s confusion he clarifies, “Personal relations. How the company interacts with the people it employs and the outside community.”
“This is wrong. You shouldn’t give me the job just because you know me.”
At this Lu Han smiles softly. “And that is why I know without interviewing anyone else that there is no one better suited for this job than you, Yixing.”
Yixing blushes scarlet. He doesn’t know what to say to that. Nobody has ever spoken to him the way Lu Han does. He’s still thinking of the words to say when Lu Han picks himself up off the couch and starts heading to the door.
“You don’t need to make the decision now.” He says. “The offer is always open to you. Think about it, talk to Minseok about it, whatever you need to do. Just let me know what you decide.”
“Wait!” Yixing calls desperately.
Lu Han stops immediately, half way out the door. It’s then Yixing doesn’t know what he wants to say.
“Are the kids well? Sehun and Jongin?” He invents clumsily.
The smile on Lu Han’s face when he mentions them is enough to blind him. “They are. They started school last month and causing mayhem as they do.”
“I’m glad.” Yixing says. Lu Han turns to leave. “And your mother?”
“Very well too.”
They stand there looking at each other, Yixing turned comically over the back of the sofa, Lu Han with one foot out the door.
“Well, then.” Lu Han says at last. “I’ll be going then. See you around, Yixing.”
“Lu Han, wait!” Yixing calls desperately.
Lu Han waits. Yixing’s words catch in his throat. There’s so many things he wants to say, so many words he feels like he’s never used that now want to come spilling out his mouth except none of them will come. He stands there floundering. What can he say to sum up all of this? I love you? Don’t go? None of them feel like enough.
Fuck it Yixing thinks. I’ve never been a man of many words anyway.
He simply says yes.
[FOR EVERYONE] PUNCHDRUNK (2/2)
MASTERLIST REVEALS Hello there! onlayforlu's first fanfiction exchange has finally ended. Congratulations to everyone!…
RECIPIENT: setaxis TITLE: random-chance selection LENGTH: 4466 WARNINGS: brief angst, unhappy ending, porn that doesn’t feature…
RECIPIENT: helaas TITLE: help me get where i belong LENGHT: 2036 WARNINGS: incredible vagueness uh SUMMARY: When Lu Han can’t sleep,…