Shen Wei saw a shadowed figure out of the corner of his eye.
It was wispy and black and when Shen Wei closed his eyes and concentrated, he could feel the dark energy radiating from it.
He chased after it on foot because the risk of using magic and being caught in this area was too high.
He disregarded his surroundings as he tracked the being; uncaring of the people he dodged and corners he rounded. He knew he simply looked like a man running late to a meeting.
He followed the shadow through alleys and down side streets until he found his found to the main roads.
He got to a busy intersection and hesitated only for a moment before he crossed the street, seeing the shadow halt in its fleeing for a moment.
He should’ve anticipated the ever-present shadow nuisance that seemed to pop-up whenever Shen Wei was tracking a Dixing down.
What could only be described as a shadow’s hand grabbed his feet and held him still in the middle of the street.
There was a honk and a screech of tires; Shen Wei had just enough time to look up and see a car barrelling towards him before he felt the impact.
For five seconds there was nothing but air.
It felt like he was flying and floating all at once. Tt was surprisingly peaceful.
It was pleasant and for a moment, Shen Wei was content to exist like this for an eternity. The moment before he could feel everything he felt nothing, no heart ache or regret.
Then his back slammed into the concrete several feet away and he rolled with the force of it.
He gasped for breath from the forceful collision and found himself taking shallow breaths because every time he tried to deeply inhale, his chest hurt in a sharp way that made his breathing stutter.
He shouldn’t have been so careless.
People were around him.
Talking to each other.
Talking to him.
Their voices sounded garbled and distant and his ears felt wet like he was underwater.
His fingers twitched and ached when he tried to move them.
He felt pressure on his legs but when he tried to move them he was immediately assaulted with agony that made him freeze.
If he weren’t in public he could heal himself.
His eyes stung. It was an intense burning that made them water.
There were hesitant hands on him and Shen Wei wanted to open his eyes and look at who was touching him but the pain-pain-pain was everywhere and keeping him still.
He felt something shift, an energy not exactly near him and he gritted his teeth. The shadow from earlier would get away.
Everything was too bright and loud and all Shen Wei wanted was to teleport away to his room where it was calm and dark and quiet.
He let out a wheezed groan when someone pressed down on his chest.
Shen Wei pried his eyes open and had to blink multiple times before his eyes seemed to work properly.
There was someone above him, pressing down on parts of his body.
Every few seconds Shen Wei would let out a sharp gasp or a harsh wince and the pressure would move on.
He felt so small.
In the middle of the road, still dressed as a professor with his glasses and suit.
He felt his head get lighter and realised he was loosing consciousness. Blackness was sitting in around the edges and slowly creeping in and overtaking his vision.
Shen Wei had a brief moment of panic and used what energy he could to put blocks on his magic so his body wouldn’t heal itself in front of the humans.
His eyelashes fluttered in an attempt to clear away the hazy darkness, but all that did was exhaust him further.
So, despite the instinct within him whispering to stay awake, Shen Wei let himself get lost to the outside world and consciousness escaped him.
Yunlan was at the SID listening to Da Qing complain about being tired and hungry.
Yunlan’s phone rang and he almost didn’t answer it because he was enjoying the time of relaxing with his team.
It could be an emergency, a voice that sounded suspiciously like a certain professor whispered in his head and Yunlan let out a soft sigh as he answered.
“Hi, is there a Zhao Yunlan there?”
“This is him.”
“Hello, this is the Dragon City Hospital. Your—“
The voice cut off and Yunlan felt confusing unsettlement grow in his chest. Why would the hospital be calling?
“I’m sorry,” the voice continued, sounding embarrassed, “Do you know a Shen Wei?”
Yunlan’s heart stopped.
“I—Yes, is he—is something wrong? Did something happen? Is he—okay?”
Da Qing looked at him with furrowed eyebrows, mouth forming words that Yunlan didn’t have time to read or process.
Yunlan was already pushing himself off the couch and looking for the keys to his jeep before she could answer.
“Your—Shen Wei was in a car accident.”
Yunlan froze and blinked as he processed what he heard.
A car accident?
“No—he doesn’t drive, it couldn’t have been,” his voice trailed off and he looked around the SID for some sort of help, but everyone was looking at him for that.
There was shuffling, “He was hit by a car while crossing the street.”
Yunlan could’ve thrown up with the surge of raw fear that flashed over him. That could easily kill someone.
“Okay—okay, I—I’m on my way.” Yunlan hung up and stared at his phone before he started looking around for his keys.
“What’s going on?” Guo asked softly, and because it was him Yunlan didn’t snap at him for taking concentration away from his search.
“Shen Wei. Car accident.” Yunlan’s voice was gruff and short and he knew he’d need to apologise for it later.
HONG furrowed her brows, “Why did they call you?”
Yunlan didn’t bother to answer or even question it right now. He was, frankly, glad that they did.
If he took time to think about it, Yunlan might find his heart breaking. The only way they could know to call him was if he was Shen Wei’s emergency contact.
The man he’d only met recently and barely knew, though decently liked, put him as his emergency contact because he had no one else.
Yunlan didn’t think about it.
Da Qing hopped off the table and shifted back to human, “I’ll come with you.”
Yunlan didn’t answer that either, but he did look up when Da Qing held out a hand with the keys in them.
“Don’t drive carelessly.”
The hospital couldn’t release any information to non-family members, so Yunlan panicked.
“He’s my boyfriend!” Yunlan blurted before mentally smacking himself and actually kicking Da Qing when the damn cat made a noise that sounded like a laugh.
The man at reception hesitated, “We really can’t tell you unless your family.”
Yunlan let out a huff of frustration and contemplated using his badge as if this was a case, but the man gave a small smile. “If you were, say...recently married and forget you were husbands, I could tell you.”
Yunlan could kiss this man. “What a coincidence—that’s exactly what happened!”
Da Qing scoffed from beside him but Yunlan ignored him as the receptionist updated them on Shen Wei’s condition.
The man had a small smile on his face and typed on his computer before straightening out to read off Shen Wei’s condition.
“He has a minor concussion and three cracked ribs, one punctured a lung and he needed to have an operation to fix the internal bleeding.”
The man continued listing of numerous fractures and things that Yunlan didn’t understand.
“Is he okay?”
“He’s in stable condition, yes. He’ll probably be here for a week, if not two, but he should be fine.”
“Can we go see him?”
Da Qing was standing close to Yunlan and his eyes flickered between the man behind the counter and Yunlan.
The man gave an apologetic smile, “Only family is allowed, I’m sorry.”
Yunlan hummed, “Are cats allowed?”
That was how Yunlan, “husband” to Shen Wei, and their cat ended up in Shen Wei’s hospital room.
It was a private room and Yunlan shut the door behind them, doing a quick sweep of the room for cameras.
His stare drifted to the hospital bed and he stared at Shen Wei openly.
The professor looked so fragile like this.
He was typically so calm and level headed, it made him seem unshakeable.
Now, his lips were pale and his eyes were scratched and closed.
There were scrapes on his cheek bones and on his chin, partially covered by the breathing mask over Shen Wei’s nose and mouth.
Yunlan could see the professor’s breath fog as he exhaled, so he counted that as a good thing.
There was a cloth bandage peaking out of his hospital gown that must’ve been wrapped around his torso for his ribs.
His arms were laid flat beside him, knuckles turning a light purple with split skin. One of his hands was wrapped in a bandage around a splint.
The other had an IV injected and taped in place.
His lower half was covered by thin hospital sheets, but Yunlan could imagine the bruises that would no doubt be there.
Da Qing hopped on the bed, mindful of Shen Wei, and sat down at the corner.
“It’s weird to see him like this,” Yunlan admitted.
Da Qing agreed with a tail flick and the two stared at Shen Wei.
“Something doesn’t seem right about it.”
Da Qing tilted his head for Yunlan to elaborate.
“He doesn’t seem like the reckless type, does he? Why would he run into traffic?”
Da Qing made a low rumbling noise that sounded like a whine and Yunlan glanced at him.
“Find out where it happened and get the footage from the traffic cams.”
Da Qing scampered off the bed and waited at the door for Yunlan to open it.
Yunlan closed the door behind the car and took a seat next to Shen Wei’s bed, bouncing his leg with nerves.