Genre: Superhero!AU, comedy
Word Count: 10,000
Summary: It's tough being Wu Fan. Having superpowers is not much help when you need to confess your love to your long time best friend and all important superhero sidekick.
Notes: Written for justgetlayd, original found here~ There are also two little drawings I made that go alongside this fic. [One] [Two]
If you were to look at Wu Fan you would assume he was an ordinary kind of guy. It would probably just be a quick glance as you passed him on the street - tall man with blond hair, glasses, a tight-fitting business suit - and your mind would categorise him as just another office worker before your attention was stolen by a cute dog on a leash and Wu Fan blended into the mass of the passing crowd.
You would be mostly correct really.
He does work in an office. A nine hour day, five day a week, monotonous kind of data input job with a few phone calls interspersed here and there. He certainly is tall (and his friends never cease to tease him about ducking to get beneath small doorways). The glasses he wears are mostly due to his continuously degrading eyesight from staring at a computer screen all day, and the suit he owns is more than a little tight due to his forgetful nature and dislike of his current tailor.
But you would be disastrously wrong about him being ordinary.
- - -
Wu Fan sighs as he pastes another dozen numbers into his excel file. They blink back at him, glaring, as the white screen of the computer imprints itself onto the back of his retinas. Even when he closes his eyes, he can still see the outline of numbers. It's infuriating.
He rubs at his eyes and frowns, thinking up some very creative swear words that he doesn't say out loud but mentally projects violently at the computer before him as though hoping to make it explode.
His phone rings and he glances down at it, another sigh escaping his lips before he presses to hear the call.
"What is it?"
"There's a cat stuck in a tree down Airds Avenue."
"You called me because of a cat?"
"Well the old lady who owns it seems quite distressed! She just tweeted our account."
Wu Fan swallows down yet another sigh. What kind of person tweets about a distressing situation? Actually, what kind of old lady even tweets at all?
"Yixing, you could just come and tell me you know, I'm right next to you."
There's a shuffling sound of things being moved and then Yixing pokes his head around Wu Fan's office cubicle, phone still pressed against his ear.
"Are we going?" he asks. He smiles at Wu Fan expectantly and Wu Fan has learnt by now that he can never say no to that smile.
"Alright," he replies.
It takes him only three minutes to change into his outfit.
It's a kind of skill you develop really after needing to change so quickly all the time. He isn't really the lycra clad superhero kind of guy. His outfit is a little bit more conservative than that - skinny jeans and a tight shirt with his dragon emblem pressed in black across the front. There is a cape though, for show more than anything (but he quite likes it when it dramatically curls around him as he lands, and the way it flutters in the breeze.)
The same can't be said for Yixing however, who somehow manages to squeeze into an entirely lycra suit of white and gold, with his unicorn emblem stitched into the middle. He even has cute little boots with wings on the side. Wu Fan just wears his expensive sneakers.
"Let's go!" Yixing says, punching the air with his usual enthusiasm.
"Aren't you going to take your bike?"
Yixing looks a little sheepish, scratching the back of his head as he grins up at Wu Fan.
"I was thinking today you could take me?"
Wu Fan blinks at him, and Yixing's dimple deepens.
"You want me...to carry you?"
Yixing nods, eyes glittering in the light. Wu Fan's heart leaps into his throat. That would mean Yixing pressed beneath him, his arms wrapped around Yixing's middle, their cheeks touching, their hips-
Yixing draws closer. A gentle wisp of hair falls across his eyes and Wu Fan restrains every urge to reach over and brush it away.
"Okay," he says, for reasons unbeknown even to himself.
Yixing turns around, standing with his back towards Wu Fan as he waits. Unfortunately, (or fortunately) it gives Wu Fan a nice view of his lycra clad ass.
Wu Fan inhales a deep breath and wraps his arms around Yixing's middle as Yixing leans back into him and then the ground falls away as they shoot into the air. It's difficult to see at such high speeds with Yixing's hair whipping around his face, but Wu Fan somehow still manages to veer in the right direction, away from their office building and over the narrow streets lining the city.
Yixing laughs in exhilaration, throwing his arms out to the side as though he's pretending to be an aeroplane. Wu Fan's heart does a minor back flip.
Yixing's excitement at flying even makes the rescue seem worth it when later, the cat leaps from the tree at Wu Fan's face and claws the living daylights out of him. Well almost worth it anyway. Wu Fan really hates cats.
- - -
Wu Fan reclines on the couch, a bowl of ice-cream in one hand and the television remote in the other. Yixing sits at the kitchen table, tapping away at the laptop in front of him. Their apartment is dark, save for the light emitting from a small lamp and their electronic devices.
"That annoying Chen guy is tweeting us again," Yixing says. Wu Fan looks over at the dark curve of his silhouette.
"You know, that guy with the twitter name "Chen" who keeps sending us tweets telling us to come help with the most inane things. He just told you to come help fix his shower. I think maybe he likes you."
There's a pause and then-
"His bio has himself next to some half-naked model with your head photoshopped over the model's face."
Wu Fan grunts in response. He isn't entirely sure that setting up a twitter account was the greatest idea. They wanted to try and be modern superheroes and utilise the latest technology to reach out to people, but most of the tweets are either ridiculous or are just tweets from fans telling them both how wonderful they are.
"Oh, there's another news report about us on tonight," Wu Fan says as images of the two of them flash up against the words "The Secret Heroes." Yixing shuts the lid of his laptop and shuffles over to the couch, falling down to sit beside Wu Fan. He curls his legs up beneath him and leans against Wu Fan's side.
"Want some?" Wu Fan asks, offering him some ice-cream. Yixing takes a generous bite from Wu Fan's spoon and hums happily.
"We've been doing this for two years you know?" Yixing says as the television shows a montage of all of their good deeds. Wu Fan grimaces when a video of him stopping a rogue train plays on the screen - his shoulder never really had been the same after that.
"It feels like forever though," he replies and Yixing nods.
"Do you ever think they'll work out who we are?"
Wu Fan laughs at that, and Yixing tilts his head so he can look up at him, a smile tugging his lips.
"What? Do you think they'll ever discover that office workers Wu Fan and Yixing are actually crime-fighting superheroes? I doubt it."
Yixing turns his attention back to the television and slips lower against the couch cushions, low enough so that his cheek rests against Wu Fan's shoulder.
"They always find out in the movies," he says softly. He sounds tired, and Wu Fan supposes they both should go to sleep soon.
"This isn't a movie," he says and Yixing makes a soft noise in his throat.
"That's true. If this was a movie, you would need some kind of super hot love interest."
Wu Fan chokes on the last of his ice-cream and Yixing laughs, amusement bubbling out of him.
"Well I'm sure that guy Chen would offer himself up," Yixing says, elbow digging uncomfortably into Wu Fan's side. Wu Fan makes a face and Yixing laughs again.
- - -
Wu Fan has been best friends with Yixing for almost as long as he can remember, right back to their days at pre-school where they would sit and make sand pies and mud cakes together. It must have been a strange touch of fate that pushed them together, because it was a mere week after Wu Fan discovered he had super strength and could fly, that Yixing discovered he had the ability to bend nature to his will and heal.
Their debut as "The Dragon and Unicorn" superhero duo was more recent however, and mostly began as an accident when Wu Fan had automatically leapt into action to save a woman who had fallen from her apartment balcony. He hadn't even realised what happened until he returned to the ground and felt the solid concrete of the pavement against his feet, the lady in his arms watching him with wide eyes as onlookers cheered.
It didn't take much for the media to catch hold of the story and drag it to all four corners of the world, hailing the flying superhero in China as an amazing gift to humanity. As much as Wu Fan enjoyed the publicity, he had immediately resorted to wearing a mask after that one incident to conceal his identity and Yixing had joined his side with the good intentions of helping those who need it.
But superhero problems aside, Wu Fan has been struggling with a far greater issue.
The thing is, not only has Wu Fan been best friends with Yixing for almost as long as he can remember.
Wu Fan has also been in love with Yixing for almost as long as he can remember.
- - -
"Hey! Hey, Wu Fan!"
Wu Fan wakes with a groan, his eyes mere slits as he looks up at Yixing. A finger pokes into his side viciously, and he hisses, swatting the offending hand away.
"What?" he says, none too nicely. Yixing shoves a phone at his face, a blinking red circle moving across the screen.
"There's a car chase and the police asked for our help before it gets too out of hand. They've already had one pedestrian injured and another car swerved into a pole to avoid it."
Wu Fan yawns, shaking his head to rid himself from his exhaustion.
"It's five in the morning," he says, and Yixing just looks at him.
"So? Criminals never sleep Wu Fan, and neither do we!"
Wu Fan snorts.
"Well I wouldn't mind it..."
Yixing hits him in the stomach and then throws a bundle of clothes at him, which Wu Fan belatedly realises is his outfit.
"Get changed and lets go," Yixing says. He starts shuffling around and for a second, Wu Fan is delirious enough not to realise that Yixing is in fact getting changed right then and there. As his mind catches up to the situation, he swallows a squeak and goes bright red because Yixing is entirely naked, save for his underwear, as he slips his legs into his costume and shimmies so that it slides up his body properly.
"Hey, can you get this?" he asks Wu Fan, crouching down so Wu Fan can find the zipper that starts at the base of his spine. Wu Fan reaches out and pulls it up quickly. Yixing glares at him.
"Why aren't you getting ready? There are lives at stake here!"
"My sleep is at stake here," Wu Fan grumbles, getting to his feet.
Yixing rolls his eyes.
"Whatever. I'm gonna go downtown and see if I can find this guy. You can meet me there."
And with that, he is off. The tell-tale sound of his motorbike roars through the street below a few moments later. Wu Fan watches from the large window facing away from his bed as the bike zooms into the inner city and leaves a shimmering electrical buzz in its wake. He sighs and casts one last look of regret towards his pillow.
- - -
"You should just tell him," Lu Han says around a mouthful of whatever extravagant lunch Minseok has made of him today. He jabs his chopsticks in Wu Fan's direction, cheeks bulging at the sides. "It's so obvious that you love him."
Wu Fan turns a brilliant shade of red and shushes him.
"I don't love him," he hisses. Lu Han scoffs. "Okay fine, maybe I do."
A child speeds past them, a cape around his shoulders and a dragon symbol drawn on his shirt with a marker. Wu Fan hides a smile. Lu Han seems to misread it as a response to his questions about Yixing, and he grins in victory.
"Wu Fan, I've known you for almost ten years, and I'm pretty sure you've been in love with him even longer than that. Just tell the guy already will you?"
Wu Fan frowns, apparently finding the dregs of his green tea frappuccino very interesting.
"But he doesn't like me back."
Lu Han groans.
"Ugh Wu Fan, it doesn't even matter. It's not as if he's going to stop being friends with you because of that. You guys are like best friends for life or something."
Wu Fan swirls his straw around his drink, and it makes a disgusting screeching sound as it shifts against the plastic. It's not just that, he thinks, he isn't worried Yixing will hate him - Yixing is too nice for that. He just doesn't want anything between them to change. He wants them to stay as close as they always have been.
Lu Han reaches out and his fingers curl around Wu Fan's wrist. They're cold from resting against his own iced drink.
"It's not a big deal. I mean, just be glad you don't have any problems that are worse. Imagine having to deal with that!" Lu Han says, jerking his head towards a poster of a recent fire rescue with a dramatic shot of The Dragon and Unicorn each carrying a small child as they emerge from a burning building.
Wu Fan looks at the image, and he feels a sigh build up in the back of his throat.
"Yeah, thank god," he says softly, as despair flutters in circles around his heart.
- - -
He should have known this was coming really.
Every superhero has to deal with some kind of ticking time bomb at least once in their career (well, if the movies Wu Fan obsessively collects are anything to go off anyway.)
He isn't even entirely sure why they are called to diffuse it since really, he has no knowledge whatsoever about diffusing bombs and he is pretty certain that super strength and flight is probably not going to do much for him in that area. So they decide to Google the answer.
"Ugh, the connection isn't very good down here," Yixing grumbles, tapping the screen of his phone violently. Wu Fan snorts, balancing against a thick wire.
"That's probably due to the fact that we're stuck down an elevator shaft," he replies, voice dripping with sarcasm.
His words echo around them, bouncing off the walls in an eerie mantra. He looks down, and immediately wishes he hadn't because his foot slips and he scrambles to gain a better hold of the cable protruding from the top of the elevator. The bomb is strapped to it, and Yixing crouches down beside it, lips pursed in concentration as he scans through articles on the internet.
"You know the bomb squad would have been a much better idea than the two of us."
Yixing shushes him.
"It's publicity Wu Fan, they want to paint us as national heroes and all that. Just humour them."
"I can't humour them if I'm dead," Wu Fan whispers, and Yixing grunts.
The elevator swings a little and Wu Fan can't suppress the whimper that escapes him as he slides down into a crouch beside Yixing, getting as close to something solid as possible. Yixing looks at him.
"Are you okay?"
Wu Fan shakes his head, squeezing his eyes shut.
"I don't like heights."
There's a pause, and Wu Fan doesn't even have to look to know that Yixing is giving him an incredulous stare.
"You don't like heights and yet your usual method of transport is flying?"
"It's different," Wu Fan says, because for some reason it is. He can control himself in the air - he holds the power. But when he looks down into the dark depths of the elevator shaft, he can't help but shiver.
He stands by Yixing as Yixing taps away at the bomb, tugging at one cord, before using wire cutters to slice through another. A breeze from above rattles through the air and the elevator shakes slightly, enough to upset Wu Fan's balance and he shrieks, flailing his arms frantically as he searches for something to hold on to.
It takes him a few calming deep breaths to realise that he's holding on to Yixing's hand.
When he opens his eyes, Yixing is watching him from a mere breath away, surprise flickering across his expression. Their hands are clasped between them, held close to their chests, and Wu Fan is painfully aware of the whole damsel-in-distress vibe he has going on right now.
"Are you alright?" Yixing asks slowly, eyelashes fluttering against his cheeks with each bewildered blink. Wu Fan swallows.
"Y-yeah," he breathes.
Wu Fan wants to kiss him. Truthfully, Wu Fan always wants to kiss him (well almost always, because sometimes Yixing wakes up with dried drool down his chin and he really doesn't want to kiss him then.) But currently, the urge to kiss Yixing is even stronger than usual. He can't seem to tear his gaze away, feeling drawn by the warmth of Yixing's fingers linked with his and the soft rise and fall of his chest with each breath. His mind is wiped clean from any other thought other than lean in and so he does that, just a little closer, eyes darting down to Yixing's parted mouth with his heart fluttering wildly in his chest and-
A beeping sound startles him to attention and he steps back, almost falling off the elevator in his clumsy haste to move away. Yixing swears and crouches down beside the bomb again.
"We only have a minute left," Yixing says.
Wu Fan groans - partly because of his interrupted opportunity, and partly because he would really rather not die. He looks over Yixing's shoulder, down at his phone.
"Are you seriously using Ask.com for this?"
Yixing doesn't look up, but he makes a tut of annoyance.
"Well do you have any better ideas?"
Of course he doesn't, but Wu Fan chooses not to venture a response and just makes a pained sound of something torn between fear and exasperation. Yixing fiddles around for a few more seconds, thumb pressed between his lips as he chews on his fingernail. With a final snip, he severs the bright red wire and the timer stops.
His eyes widen.
"I did it?"
Wu Fan is equally shocked, but he manages a shaky laugh.
"You did it."
Yixing leaps to his feet in glee, bouncing around on the already unstable elevator before he tackles Wu Fan in a bone-grinding hug. He grins, and his jaw digs painfully into Wu Fan's shoulder.
"Told you we would be okay."
Wu Fan pats him on the back awkwardly and wonders if Ask.com could also help him with his pathetic love life.
- - -
It's been a long day, and Wu Fan is feeling extremely thankful to be able to put his feet up and rest as he dissolves into his nightly rounds of watching mindless television. An advertisement starts to play, so he reaches for his phone, scrolling through the tweets directed to their superhero account. There are at least a dozen from that Chen kid with an influx of winky-faces attached to the end of his sentences. Wu Fan flicks through them quickly with a chortle of amusement
"Do you have any spare white thread?"
Wu Fan doesn't look up from his phone, passing a series of spam tweets.
"Why would I have spare thread?"
"I don't know," Yixing says, "Maybe because you're not entirely useless?"
Wu Fan snorts and turns around ready to send Yixing his most withering glare but then almost chokes on his own spit because Yixing is standing there with just a towel slung around his waist, hair all ruffled and wet from the shower, dripping low over his eyes. His superhero suit is slung over one arm
"I-I-I'm just-" Wu Fan says dumbly, and Yixing rolls his eyes.
"I'll take that as a no then. It's alright, I can just use gold for now."
He walks over, and Wu Fan's eyes flick back to the TV screen. It was a terrible idea to offer to share an apartment with Yixing all those years ago he thinks, the most terrible idea he has possibly ever had. And that includes the time he let Lu Han dye his eyebrows bright pink.
Yixing sits down in front of the couch and crosses his legs, towel perfectly positioned across his lap. With a practiced ease, he begins to thread a sewing needle through the fabric of his costume, fingers smoothing out where the fabric puckers. Wu Fan watches him in silence for a moment before he speaks again.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm fixing up a tear in the leg. I think I got it caught on a bush down near the lake the other day."
Wu Fan hums in understanding. His phone hangs limp and forgotten in his hand. Some lady on the TV is detailing a conspiracy theory about an alien race as the interviewer looks on in mild disinterest.
"Do you enjoy what we do?" Yixing asks suddenly.
"Data input? No, not really."
Yixing throws him an exasperated look over his shoulder, before returning to his sewing.
"You know what I mean."
Wu Fan considers it for a moment. He thinks about the times he has failed - the times when he hasn't saved the day. He thinks about the media stories that talk about his losses, how they say he is just a ploy utilised by the government to create national pride. He thinks about the tweets filled with hateful messages, death threats and blackmail.
But then he thinks about the grateful words and the happy tears of the thankful people he is able to help and he smiles.
"Yes," he says softly, "I really do."
Yixing pauses, hand raised and finger clenched around the thin needle. Thread trails in a taut line into the air. Even from behind, Wu Fan can see the way Yixing's cheeks move, and he knows that his lips curve into a smile.
"Sometimes I hate it," Wu Fan continues, "Sometimes I think to myself that it would have been so much better to just have had a normal life you know? To wake up in the morning with a coffee, head off to a dull job, spend the night with friends before collapsing on the couch and falling asleep. No secrecy, no lies, a steady income and the only worry I would have would be what the weather is the next day."
Yixing laughs at that, and Wu Fan stifles a fond smile.
"But I don't regret any of this, not when I think about it properly. I wouldn't change it for the world."
"I'm glad I have you," he says, turning around so that Wu Fan can properly see his smile now. Its soft and gentle, the reserved side of Yixing that is saved for those special occasions when he isn't calling Wu Fan names. Wu Fan flushes a little bit at his forwardness and hugs his arms to his chest, feeling quite self conscious beneath Yixing's unwavering gaze. He never really was good at these emotional kinds of conversations.
"Having you here with me makes it seem just a little bit more normal you know? It's nice to have someone who is there for you, and who understands what you're going through - I don't think I would have ever been able to do this alone," Yixing says, and his eyes twinkle with an honesty that sends Wu Fan's heart racing at an uneven pace.
"I-I'm glad too," he stutters lamely in response.
Yixing stitches through the fabric one final time and flips it over, tying a neat little knot with the thread before he snips the excess away. He smooths it out and turns it around, examining it closely. With a triumphant grin, he holds it up.
"What do you think?" he says.
"Perfect," Wu Fan replies, and he isn't just talking about the superhero suit.
- - -
It's a Saturday afternoon - Yixing is off at the dance studio with Lu Han and Wu Fan sits at home in sweatpants as he finishes off the last of the cold pizza they had for dinner last night. He scrolls down their twitter page. Some fan has sent them fanart of their superhero selves, except that Yixing has his arms wrapped around Wu Fan's neck and is kissing his cheek. Wu Fan blushes profusely (almost an uncanny representation of himself in the fanart really) and closes the image in a heartbeat.
He's seen these kinds of fans around before, drawing art, writing stories, they call themselves the "super shippers" or something equally lame. Wu Fan tends to ignore them while doing his best to keep Yixing from finding out about their existence.
He blinks at the list of tweets for a moment before he slowly opens the fanart tweet again. A twinge of desire tugs at his heart and its honestly a little upsetting how much he wishes the art was a reality.
With a split second decision, he clicks on the profile of the artist, finding a link to the extent of her works. He somehow manages to wind up on a website that's dedicated entirely to the super ship, complete with official photos, quotes, and a history of their superhero successes. It's a little flattering to see all of their work listed in chronological order as links down the side of the page, and Wu Fan feels himself bristle with pride.
There's a forum and Wu Fan clicks into it, scrolling past the various fan photos and questions posed to the community. He sees a section about hypothetical scenarios and curiosity gets the better of him.
What do you think would happen if The Dragon and The Unicorn were trapped in a closet together? Wu Fan snorts softly and continues down the page. The questions range from What do you think they eat for breakfast? to Do you think The Dragon bottoms? Wu Fan wrinkles his nose at the last question and sits there for a moment, a frown creasing his forehead.
If you asked him in weeks to come, Wu Fan would certainly not declare it as his proudest moment, but before he really has time to process it, he has signed in on anon and is typing up his own question for the forum.
"What would be the best ways for The Dragon to tell The Unicorn that he likes him?"
He clicks send and immediately slams his head against the desk, questioning all of his life choices.
- - -
He doesn't see any replies until the next morning.
When he signs onto his private email account he sees his inbox flooded with responses. Wu Fan clicks through them, throwing occasional sneaky glances towards Yixing to make sure he isn't being watched.
Some of the ideas aren't too bad, ranging from the cute typical romantic gestures to more dramatic yet still achievable options. Others however seem downright ridiculous and he wonders if some of these people even understand him at all. "Hover over the unicorn while he is sleeping and whisper in his ear" seems remarkably creepy, and "paint a giant love heart on an office building" seems not only messy, but also is probably illegal.
Although he isn't entirely sold by "pretend to be a villain and kidnap the unicorn but instead, surprise him with a romantic dinner", he does give the comment points for its wonderfully explicit detail following the confession. Apparently in this scenario, The Dragon has some kind of bondage kink and uses the blindfold to his advantage. Wu Fan is finding it a little difficult to tear his gaze away from his hypothetical self pressing Yixing into a brick wall. He is just up to the part where he is undoing the zipper on Yixing's jeans when-
"What are you doing?"
Wu Fan clicks the tab closed so quickly that he is almost certain he needs to add 'super speed' to the list of his super powers.
"Nothing," he says, shutting the lid of the laptop with a finite click. He realises a little belatedly, that the motion does nothing to ease his suspiciousness. Yixing just raises an eyebrow and crosses his arms.
"Wu Fan," he says in that deep, condescending voice of his, "What were you doing?"
"Food," Wu Fan wheezes.
"I was just, looking up food blogs and um, well we just don't go out enough! I was going to surprise you with a night out that's why I didn't want you seeing which one I was looking up."
"Oh that sounds great!" he says, and wanders off to do his own thing again.
Wu Fan exhales a sigh of relief and makes a note to himself to check out food blogs later.
- - -
Attempt one at using the suggestions to confess comes sooner than he expected. His favourite of the list was one that involved flying through the clouds and forming them into words so that Yixing can read them from below.
They've been invited to a conference held in the city hall discussing the decrease in crime rates or something equally boring and while Wu Fan has taken to the sky, Yixing cruises on his motorbike down below.
The sky is a perfect blue, the sun glinting in the clouds overhead as Wu Fan zooms through, parting the wisps of white fluff. It's more difficult than he thought, considering clouds are made out of water crystals and he apparently had forgotten that fact. (He can't believe his third grade science knowledge failed him at such a crucial time.) It takes him about twenty minutes, but somehow, he manages to get the clouds into the vague shape of letters. The wind sure makes it fun too.
He is just about to call Yixing, tell him in the most sexy voice possible to "look up into the sky baby, it's for you" (although who is he kidding, he can't pull off "baby"). As soon as he presses to call, something sharp and grey slams into his face. He shrieks and tries to hang up the call as Yixing's worried voice sounds through the receiver. The pigeon turns again and hurtles itself at his head, sharp beak and claws narrowly missing his eyes. Wu Fan flails his arms wildly, elbowing the bird in the stomach as he screams as loud as he can. After a few forceful twists and turns, he ends up terrifying the bird enough that it flies way.
The words in the clouds however, have been completely destroyed.
Heart heavy with despair, he flies slowly towards the city centre with far less confidence than he started out with.
(Later that night, the news report loops a video of him shrieking in the sky complete with long flailing limbs and terrible facial expressions as a small pigeon swoops him. The headline reads "Fighting crime and...pigeons?" and Wu Fan faceplants on the couch.)
- - -
It's in the middle of the day that they get a call to action.
They're on their way home from Sunday morning coffee with Lu Han and Minseok, when their phone rings. Yixing answers it and excuses them both, as Lu Han and Minseok nod their goodbyes and walk off together. Yixing makes a couple of humming sounds before he hangs up the phone.
"There's been a house fire just down the next street from here and we were asked to help," he explains to Wu Fan who grimaces.
"Alright, do you have our stuff?"
Yixing holds up his backpack as an answer and Wu Fan quickly scouts out a public restroom inside a fast food joint. It smells like salty fries and melted cheese but it will do.
They get changed quickly - Wu Fan struggling to fit into his shirt. (Really why does he always buy small clothes? They don't do much for him except nicely accent his toned arms.)
"Ugh, it's all wrinkled," Yixing says, smoothing out the creases on Wu Fan's shirt with a flat press of his palm. Wu Fan gulps and hopes Yixing can't feel how fast his heart is beating beneath his touch.
"H-hey Yixing," he stammers, and Yixing's fingers curl into an almost-fist just above his heart, pausing as he looks up.
Wu Fan wishes he felt as confident as he was written in some of those comments on the fanboard. He feels more like his insides have turned to liquid.
"It's nothing," he finishes lamely, "We'd better get to that house fire."
Ten minutes later sees Wu Fan watching in an amused kind of exasperation as Yixing hands a little girl back her slightly blackened doll house. Smoke still issues from the bathroom area and the wallpaper is stained charcoal, but Yixing had managed to easily put out the fire with a glass of water before it spread too much further.
"Yixing," Wu Fan mutters out of the corner of his mouth, distinctly aware of the ogling eyes of passerby's as they walk down the street. One guy even walks into a pole because of the distraction. "When you said it was a house on fire, I thought you meant an actual house."
Yixing frowns at Wu Fan.
"It is a house Wu Fan. Just maybe smaller than the usual kind. And not for people."
He flashes his perfect dimpled smile towards the little girl who stands on her tip-toes and kisses him on the cheek.
"Thank you mister Unicorn," she says with a wide grin. She scuffs her shoes against the pavement for a moment and her parents come over to pull her away, thanking Wu Fan and Yixing softly.
"Wait!" the girl says, and she searches through her shoebox of dolls for a moment before she finds what she is looking for with a satisfied exclamation. "I made you!"
She holds out two barbie dolls that have been crudely disfigured to apparently represent Wu Fan and Yixing. One of them is wrapped in a white blanket and is coloured in with a golden marker (Wu Fan supposes that one is Yixing) and the other has a red shirt with a scribbled dragon on the front. Wu Fan forces a smile and avoids mentioning that his doll seems to have no pants. Also, there is the fact that neither Wu Fan or Yixing have breasts like their doll counterparts.
"Oh," Yixing breathes, and his eyes light up happily, "They look just like us!"
The little girl nods shyly and clutches both of the dolls to her chest as her parents bring her back inside and leave Wu Fan and Yixing standing there alone on the driveway.
"From diffusing bombs in elevators, to putting out doll house fires, we sure are a versatile team," Wu Fan says with an air of amusement.
Yixing laughs and bumps against his shoulder with a smile.
"We work to help everyone, no matter how young or old."
Wu Fan looks down at him and adoration squeezes the oxygen from his lungs. Yixing is wonderful, and his heart is so pure that Wu Fan wants to cry.
"Hey, Yixing," Wu Fan says, and adrenalin causes him to push onwards this time, not to falter again."You make me fly."
Yixing snorts. "I'm pretty sure it's some strange genetic mutation that allows you to do that Wu Fan," he says, walking off with his hands on his hips. A man who is gardening across the road attempts to take a sneaky photograph of the superheroes on his phone.
Wu Fan sighs and crosses off "Use a super cheesy pick-up line" from his mental list of things to try as he goes to follow Yixing home.
- - -
This one is foolproof, Wu Fan thinks as he begins to plaster post-it notes around Yixing's wall. Yixing is splayed out on his bed, chest rising and falling slowly as a strand of his hair flutters with each exhale. He looks so peaceful when he sleeps, a soft smile tugging at his lips. His fingers curl into a loose fist against his stomach and his shirt rides up just over his hips, exposing a stretch of skin that makes Wu Fan's heart skip a beat.
He leans forward to stick a post-it note to the furthest corner he can and his knee brushes against Yixing's waist, causing the latter to make a disgruntled sound in his sleep. Wu Fan grimaces and carefully moves backwards, placing the post-its in what resembles a heart shape over the head of Yixing's bed against the wall. Each post-it has a small confession on the front of it and Wu Fan smiles at how romantic it all seems to be.
He is just placing the last post-it on the wall, when a gust of wind throws open the window and rustles the post-it notes, sending a dozen flapping around the room (and a few even spiralling back out the window.)
"No!" Wu Fan shouts, scrabbling to replace them all just as Yixing jerks awake and lets out a bloodcurdling shriek.
"Wu Fan?" Yixing screeches and Wu Fan flails in the air for a moment, losing his balance on the mattress before he falls straight on top of Yixing. His hands land on either side of Yixing's head and their hips are pressed flush against each other, noses almost touching. A further gust of wind blows the remaining post-it notes out of the window, but Wu Fan barely notices, his concentration captured by how he can feel the warm puffs of air as Yixing breathes and the galloping beat of his heart.
"Wu Fan," Yixing says slowly, eyes never leaving Wu Fan's own, "What the hell are you doing in my room?"
"I um, I was just er, I thought I heard you having a bad dream so I came in to check on you?"
He gulps and Yixing's eyes narrow with a frown.
"And you were planning to do that by jumping on my bed?"
Wu Fan shrugs. "I thought it would wake you up."
Yixing groans and rolls sideways, knocking Wu Fan's arm away as he does so. Wu Fan scrambles to his feet, scratching the back of his neck as a flush crawls across his cheeks.
"Well it worked, I'm awake now. I guess I might go read for a while."
He trudges out of the bedroom and Wu Fan follows, chewing on his bottom lip with puppy-dog eyes of regret. Yixing turns to him with a sigh, fingers reaching backwards to slip into the spaces between his knuckles, curling around his hand.
"I'm not mad at you Wu Fan, just tired is all."
Wu Fan manages a small smile and wonders how he has the ability to screw up everything.
(His moping ends when they both curl up on the couch together and Yixing falls asleep against him, cheek pressed against his stomach.)
- - -
Over the next week, Wu Fan goes through at least a dozen more ideas - from lighting candles (in which he almost sets their place on fire), to baking a cake (in which he actually does set their place on fire), to more subtle ways of just dropping hints during rescues that he hopes Yixing might pick up on. Yixing doesn't pick up on any of them though, and instead it appears that the entirety of the rest of the world has realised before Yixing has. Wu Fan is sent letters of congratulations, he has seen news reporters make snide comments about their relationship, and the forums that Wu Fan now frequents are spammed with fans screeching about how exciting all the new developments are.
They've just managed to foil a bank robbery, alerted by the group of idiots on twitter who decided to discuss all their plans through public mentions. Yixing is off making sure no one in the building was hurt. He is crouched down beside the bank teller who lies on a stretcher, hands pressing against the graze of a bullet wound in his shoulder, working his healing powers. Wu Fan watches him for a moment, a goofy smile spreading across his face, before someone coughs loudly beside him.
"Mr. Dragon, what do you have to say about this successful mission?" A news reporter shoves a microphone in his face, the cameras around him all zooming in to get a better look at Wu Fan's reaction. Wu Fan blinks and forces a more photogenic smile.
"Justice has been served," he says, offering a stiff nod with the words. He really wishes he hadn't let Yixing pick their catchphrase. They couldn't have come up with a more generic superhero catchphrase if they tried. The news reporter hums in approval and moves away, detailing more about their heroic rescue to the cameras. A crowd of paparazzi snap a dozen photos of him and Wu Fan sighs audibly.
A man pulls away from the onlookers and walks over to Wu Fan, a sly grin on his face. He has his arms crossed over his chest, but Wu Fan is still able to make out his own face emblazoned on the front of his cotton shirt.
"So, what about your relationship with the Unicorn?" the man says, moving his hands to his hips as he cocks a suggestive eyebrow at Wu Fan. Wu Fan splutters and goes a deep shade of red, much to the amusement of the man who cackles loudly.
"W-what? Who are you?" Wu Fan says with a glare and the man grins wider.
"I'm Jongdae," he says with a wink, "Although you might know me as Chen."
"Oh," says Wu Fan. Oh.
"So? Are you guys a couple or what?"
Wu Fan scoffs, feeling a spike of indignation. Who does this guy think he is to just ask personal questions like that anyway?
"No we're not. Not that it's any of your business." He pauses, eyes narrowing. "Anyway, I heard you liked me?"
Jongdae shrugs. but his eyes glimmer in satisfaction.
"Yeah I like you," he says without even a hint of embarrassment. "But I like you being together with the Unicorn even more." He laughs again and hands Wu Fan a marker.
"Well if you're not together, then you can sign my chest right?"
Wu Fan really hates his life sometimes.
- - -
"Hey," Yixing says, propping his feet up on Wu Fan's knees, "Whatever happened to going out to eat and some fancy place? Weren't you looking up food blogs like a month ago or something?"
Wu Fan blanches - he had totally forgotten.
"Oh yeah...." he trails off, tapping his pen infuriatingly against the glossy pages of the magazine in his hands. (Recently he decided that he would start to do crosswords to improve his vocabulary. Unfortunately, so far he's barely even half finished one.)
It's not that he's opposed to the idea of going to eat delicious food with Yixing because they barely ever do things like that anymore since becoming the city's favourite superheroes. It's just that he's been so busy planning and acting on all of those stupid ideas to confess his-
"Love," Yixing says.
"What," Wu Fan replies dumbly, terrified to the core by a split second belief that Yixing can read his mind. Or maybe he's spoken out loud which certainly isn't much better.
Yixing's lips curl into a smile and he shifts closer, leaning forward so that his hair brushes against the side of Yixing's cheek.
"Love," he repeats ,pointing to the crossword in Wu Fan's lap, "It's fifteen down."
Wu Fan swallows.
"Oh," he says, as he writes it in.
Yixing grins and settles in by Wu Fan's side, chin jutting out to rest against Wu Fan's shoulder.
"So, about that dinner?"
"N-next week," Wu Fan stammers, mentally berating himself because oh my god there are no plans for dinner next week, "I've booked us in a restaurant for next week."
Yixing raises an eyebrow and a surprised puff of air escapes his lips.
"Booked us in? Just how fancy is this place Wu Fan?" he asks.
Wu Fan just makes a vague sound because wow, now he not only needs to find a place for them but find a fancy place. Good job Wu Fan. He offers himself a mental punch in the face.
- - -
He manages to find a place - not too fancy, but something of a small, petite restaurant that is acclaimed enough to garner a fair amount of attention and therefore offers bookings for those who want a guaranteed table. He spends the majority of his time getting ready checking for more comments to his post in the forum, looking for any new ideas because he is seriously running out of fuel. He manages to throw on a white collared shirt before they leave and slips into his favourite leather pants, the ones that he knows does wonders for his legs.
"Let's go Yixing!" he shouts into the empty hallway, and there's a bustle of sound as Yixing skids around the corner, doing up his last button. It's only then, with the dull roar of his heartbeat echoing in his ears, that he realises he hasn't seen Yixing this dressed up for a long time.
"You look so..." he begins, but trails off when he can't find the words. Instead, he gestures violently, arms flailing with his inability to grasp any appropriate adjectives.
Yixing blushes - his cheeks actually turn a pretty shade of pink - and Wu Fan gurgles in pain.
"What?" Yixing asks, ducking his head so that a soft brush of hair falls over his eyes. A dark purple bowtie is pulled around his neck and his shirt is tucked into tight black skinny jeans. He shuffles in embarrassment and Wu Fan walks closer, itching to reach out, to hold his hand, to kiss his lips. Instead, he lets his hand fall to just graze Yixing's shoulder.
"No it's-it's good," Wu Fan manages, "You look really good. I just haven't seen you this dressed up for a while."
Yixing smiles, albeit shyly and his dimple embeds into his cheek. He meets Wu Fan's eyes and tilts his head, looping an arm through Wu Fan's own as he begins to walk towards the door.
"We don't want to be late," he says, and Wu Fan finds he can't tear his gaze away.
It is a nice restaurant, Wu Fan thinks, probably well deserving of the 4 spoons out of 5 that the food blogger gave it. The interior follows some kind of European theme with photographs of famous European cities hanging up on the walls, a small miniature Eiffel Tower resting on the window sill, and the food on the menu gathered mostly from Italy and France. Their table is beside the window and the sun is beginning to set outside, casting a beautiful golden glow across the place.
"What do I order?" Yixing asks, leaning forward on his elbows. He pushes his menu towards Wu Fan, who takes it with a laugh.
"Anything you want?"
Yixing shakes his head.
"I haven't tried most of this before, you probably know better than I do."
Wu Fan rolls his eyes.
"Yixing I grew up in Canada, not Europe. Although Cannelloni is nice. You could try that?"
Yixing nods his approval and as the waiter comes over to ask for their order, he lets Wu Fan do the talking for the both of them.
"So," he starts after the waiter is gone, "this is nice. It's so good to get out of the house for a night that doesn't involve chasing a stolen car or trying to help evacuate people from a fire." He smiles softly and the light dances across his face, collecting in stars that twinkle in his eyes. He shifts back a little as the bottle of wine they ordered is set down on the table between them and the waiter pours it carefully into two glasses.
"It is nice," Wu Fan says, fingers drumming on the table. Yixing is making him nervous and it's proving difficult to keep eye contact without his heart threatening to burst. Their knees bump beneath the table and he almost (literally) flies through the roof. He sips at his wine as Yixing watches him. The scrutiny of his gaze is overwhelming.
"So, how is your dance with Lu Han going?" Wu Fan says, and it's as easy as that to get Yixing to fall into a lengthy detailed explanation about the choreography they have been developing and how Lu Han wants to enter them both in a dance competition. It moves through dance to Yixing's new-found obsession with cooking, to Wu Fan's desire to adopt a dog, to them listing all the places they want to travel.
Before he even realises it, their dinner is finished and a few hours have passed in easy conversation. Wu Fan has relaxed more into himself now, laughing readily and smiling constantly. They pay for their meal and leave the restaurant, greeted by the fresh bite of the cold night air.
Wu Fan wraps a long arm around Yixing's shoulders and pulls him close, muttering something about keeping him warm that makes Yixing scoff (although Wu Fan doesn't miss the way Yixing snuggles closer to his side.)
"Hey Wu Fan," Yixing says quietly as they walk along the busy street. Lights from shops filter out onto the pavement and the smell of delicious food drifts around them. "What does the night sky look like when you fly? Is it just as beautiful?"
Wu Fan hums and casts his gaze up towards the stars above them.
"It's even more beautiful," he replies, "It's like you're surrounded by light, with the stars around you and the city below. It's breathtaking."
Yixing sighs happily, fingers clutched in Wu Fan's blazer and Wu Fan is struck with the need to show him - he has to show Yixing just how beautiful it all is.
"Come here," he says, a little breathlessly as he runs with Yixing's fingers entwined in his, tugging the other man into an alley tucked between two bustling restaurants. He barely has time to register the confused expression Yixing turns towards him, before he pulls Yixing close into his arms and takes flight.
The darkness envelops them enough to hide them from wandering eyes on the streets, and Wu Fan shifts (carefully) so that Yixing can see the city below as well as the stars mapped out before them.
"Oh," Yixing says, and the sound trickles from his lips, captured by his awe of the sky and the city. Wu Fan's arms embrace his waist and Yixing's hair whips about his face. He can't do anything to stifle the grin that spreads across his lips.
He knows how beautiful it is. It renders him speechless almost every time he flies at night. But here, with Yixing in his arms, he thinks Yixing is much more beautiful than the sky that stretches out before them.
He takes them all the way back to their apartment building, and lands on the roof, letting Yixing step gracefully onto solid ground again. Yixing slowly wanders over to the edge of the building and Wu Fan follows him, hands settling against the safety railing.
"Thank you for tonight," Yixing says softly, and his face is hidden by the shadows cast by the moon. Wu Fan nods, letting his gaze fall out over the city. Cars whizz by below as traffic light blink colour into the mass of yellow and white.
"That's alright," he replies, "At least we got some nice food out of it. I can tick that place off on my to-do list now." He laughs a little and turns to see Yixing watching him curiously.
"Wait," Yixing says, "Wasn't this a date?"
Wu Fan almost inhales an insect that flies by as he turns to gape at Yixing.
"What!" he says loudly, and he realises, with a greatly overdue understanding, that it really had seemed like a date. The fancy restaurant, the bottle of wine, the intimate flying and oh-
Yixing's smile has slipped off his face and he looks somewhat horrified.
"Are you saying this wasn't a date?" Yixing whispers. He seems to pale, but it's very difficult to tell with only the light of the moon illuminating his face.
"Yes?" Wu Fan tries weakly, and Yixing's shoulders slump.
"Oh," Yixing says, sounding utterly defeated, "I'm sorry. I guess I must have misinterpreted it-"
"No!" Wu Fan shouts, and Yixing jolts to look at him in shock, "I mean, no, you didn't misinterpret it. Well yeah you kind of did but um, no." Yixing just stands there, eyes still wide as he takes in Wu Fan's floundering.
Wu Fan inhales a deep, shuddering breath and curses his luck that out of all the times he tried to confess to Yixing, the only time it apparently worked was when he hadn't even been trying.
"Yixing," he begins, the thud of his heartbeat deafening, "tonight was not supposed to be a date. But I do like you. A lot actually, I may have possibly been in love with you for ten years or something." He groans and buries his face in his hands, "This was definitely not the way I wanted this to go."
Small fingers curl around his wrist and pull his hands away from his face. Yixing blinks up at him.
"For ten years?" he asks, "Why didn't you tell me?" Wu Fan gulps; terrified.
"I was so scared Yixing, I didn't want to ruin what we had you know? I've spent the last month trying to tell you in different ways but apparently I am the least romantic human to have ever existed. I mean who gets attacked by a pigeon when they're-"
The rest of his sentence is swallowed by a pair of lips pressing against his own, a hesitant and unsure kiss that leaves Wu Fan gasping for more. Yixing is watching him with the most beautiful flush cast out across his cheeks, accenting a few of the freckles on his nose.
"Was that okay?" he breathes. Wu Fan can only nod. Yixing raises a hand to hide his smile, but Wu Fan tugs his wrist away, leaning forward to kiss him again, properly this time.
"I love you," he mumbles, as he exhales a sigh.
Yixing's nose nudges against his cheek, lips brushing lightly against his, the curve of his smile evident.
"I might just love you too. Also, you're more romantic than you think you are."
Wu Fan snorts and presses a kiss to the bridge of his nose, thumb caressing the slope of his jaw. He feels elated and it warms his heart, threatening to burst out of him in a scream of joy. Yixing fits so perfectly in his arms, the perfect height for him to duck his head as Yixing stands on the tips of his toes to reach.
"What do you say we go on plenty more of these not-dates in the future?" Yixing murmurs, a slow smile creeping across his lips. He laughs against Wu Fan's shoulder and Wu Fan's arms curl tighter around his back.
"I say we definitely should do that."
- - -
Wu Fan is snuggled up on the couch with Yixing when their usual cooking reality show cuts to news bulletin.
"We have a special report tonight," the lady behind the desk says, her papers shuffled before her. An image of The Dragon and The Unicorn flash up behind her and Wu Fan makes a sound of interest . "On tonight's special news investigation, we will reveal the identity of The Dragon thanks to an exclusive eyewitness testimony."
Yixing inhales sharply and reaches for the remote, turning the volume up as their attention is captured by television.
"Who saw you?" he whispers out of the corner of his mouth, and Wu Fan narrows his eyes. He has a sneaking suspicion.
The suspicion is confirmed when the video cuts to a kids playground and there is a news reporter standing beside a small boy who glares into the camera. Wu Fan groans. He had taken off his mask after a rescue a few weeks back. His nose was itchy and he thought there was no one else around except when he looked down, he saw a kid watching him with wide incredulous eyes. But he had promised - the kid had promised not to tell.
As the kid begins to describe his facial features in detail, Wu Fan sinks lower on the couch. Never trust kids, he thinks to himself, they are devils.
"And he is super tall!" he kid exclaims, waving his arms high in the air. "Oh and he has a really funny mouth."
Wu Fan huffs. First of all, those are both things that everyone can see - his mask doesn't hide his height or his mouth. And second of all, his mouth is not funny.
The kid produces a sheet of paper and shoves it towards the camera pointed at him.
"I drew him," he says, a proud smile on his face.
Yixing chokes on his water and falls off the lounge, laughing uproariously. Wu Fan gapes at the way he's been drawn - small beady eyes, an enormous pouty mouth, and-
"What is this?" the interviewer asks, pointing to Wu Fan's forehead in the drawing.
"They're his eyebrows," the child says smugly. The interviewer laughs and the camera zooms in even closer so that the drawing covers the entire screen. It freezes, and then cuts back to the news reader at her desk in the studio, laughing loudly behind her hand.
"So that's it everyone," she says with a smile, "That's our famous super hero! Try and see if you can see him around in the street."
Wu Fan scoffs; indignant. Yixing is just cackling at his side.
"So accurate!" Yixing chokes through his tears as he rolls around on the couch, nudging Wu Fan with his elbow. Wu Fan frowns and shoves his face away with a growl.
"Shut up, they're not that bad!" he says
"Oooooh, i'm the mighty dragon," Yixing teases, putting a finger over each of his own eyebrows and wriggling them at Wu Fan.
Wu Fan rolls his eyes with a snort, and decides there is only one effective way to shut Yixing up.
So he kisses him.