Asdfghj but imagine GS asking He Tian about his brother being all awkward and embarrassed (he's just a teenager and he was saved by a hot older dude let him live) and He Tian getting immediately defensive omg I'd live for this plotline
‘So … your brother’s kind of–’
‘What about him?’ He Tian cut in, words sharp and echo-less in the apartment.
Guan Shan glanced at him. Swallowed. ‘You seem …’ He ran his tongue along the inside of his cheek, searching carefully for nuance and sentiment. ‘You don’t get along, I guess,’ he finished.
He Tian breathed a low laugh, turning the page of a magazine. ‘I guess,’ he said dryly.
‘He looks like you,’ Guan Shan said. An insouciant shrug. A chewed pen breaking down between his molars as he worked on his homework. ‘A bit. A lot.’
He Tian’s eyes narrowed. ‘You mean I look like him.’
‘Maybe, yeah.’ Guan Shan paused. ‘I just–’
He Tian sat up suddenly, legs swung over the side of the bed, magazine abandoned behind him. His hands were laced tightly together, hanging between his knees. His knuckles were white.
‘I get,’ He Tian said, ‘that he helped you yesterday. Saved you. When that guy was …’ He Tian looked away. The sky was a hazy grey of fading lights and high skyscrapers, and He Tian was all shadows on his bed. ‘But you don’t owe him anything. He’s not–He Cheng’s not special for doing that for you, all right? He’s not a fucking hero. Never has been.’
Guan Shan looked at him carefully. ‘You’re saying you would have done the same? If you were there?’
‘Of course I fucking–’ He Tian broke himself off, words snatched away like brittle ice shards breaking apart. ‘But I wasn’t. And he was. So I guess that’s all that matters, isn’t it? He Cheng the saviour. He Cheng who’s older and taller and knows what the fuck he’s doing and–’
Guan Shan opened his mouth. Closed it. He pulled his legs out from beneath him, and moved steadily over to where He Tian sat on the edge of his bed. He ran his fingers through the fringe of He Tian’s hair, and let his hand fall on He Tian’s shoulder, feeling a tight knot of muscle and warm skin beneath his palm. He could feel He Tian’s steady breath, strained and carefully orchestrated.
‘He’s older and he’s taller and maybe he knows what the fuck he’s doing. But he’s not you, all right?’
He Tian looked away. ‘You don’t know what he’s like.’
Guan Shan’s fingers slipped beneath He Tian’s chin, and pressed in until He Tian’s head was turning again, dark eyes tilted up and boring in, unrepentant.
Guan Shan said, ‘But I know you.’ He shrugged. ‘He’s fucking–I mean, he’s hot, yeah, but that doesn’t mean I’m in love with him.’
There was a silence of hitched breaths and heavy heartbeats.
‘You’re in love with me?’ He Tian said, quiet.
‘That wasn’t what I said.’
A slow grin, serpentine, made its way across He Tian’s face. His fingers were wrapping around Guan Shan’s wrist, his waist, skin hot and searching.
‘Oh, I think you did.’