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love is not how much you suffer

Chapter Text

The rain fell lightly. Barely a drizzle, yet impossible to ignore. Faintly melancholic, yet mostly calming.

 

Pausing his steps before the club building, Yu Wenzhou looked up at the Blue Rain logo shining brightly in the gloom of the morning. He had thought through this many times, and yet, when it finally came down to it, he was reluctant. In Blue Rain... he hadn’t just made friends, Yu Wenzhou had found a family.

 

Family could support you. They could laugh and cry with you. They could watch you fall and help you up (after laughing way too hard). But in the end, not even family could accompany you forever.

 

A life outside Glory, huh. This wasn’t to say he didn’t have any other purpose, or didn’t have any other plans, but the notion of doing something else was foreign to him by now. Yu Wenzhou didn’t know where to begin. Well, he would have to figure everything out as he went along.

 

Today, he finally left Blue Rain.

 

Maybe it was to give himself time to adjust, or maybe he simply couldn’t let go, Yu Wenzhou had drawn his departure out for a long time. He had packed and unpacked his bags many times— he had always thought that he would leave quietly after informing the club of his decision.

 

Of course, that didn’t fly.

 

The team (and Huang Shaotian, who spent so long at the club now that it felt like he’d never left) had wanted to send him off ‘properly’. So, they held a farewell party. Well, with the exception of Zheng Xuan who slips him a figurine of Swoksaar wrapped meticulously in layers of newspaper and bubble wrap, and proceeds to hide in the corner with a drink for the rest of the time. Yu Wenzhou tucked the figurine carefully into his luggage, along with some little trinkets he had collected over the years.

 

The day after, Yu Wenzhou went on a walk on his own, intending to tidy up his thoughts. The falling rain had caught him off guard, and he chose to circle back while it was still light, with his thoughts still slightly jumbled. He had to keep moving forward, no matter what.

 

Yu Wenzhou entered the club, wanting to handle some final matters.

 

Firstly— check in with Lu Hanwen. The young blademaster was a player that both he and Huang Shaotian had helped raise, and watched blossom. Out of this generation of Blue Rain members, Yu Wenzhou was probably the closest to him.

 

“Little Lu.”

 

“Captain, I...”

 

“Wenzhou.” Yu Wenzhou corrected, smiling. “You’re the captain now.”

 

“Captain... I’m not ready! You and Huang Shao-“ Lu Hanwen threw himself into Yu Wenzhou’s arms, close to tears.

 

“You’re ready.” He patted Lu Hanwen on the back. Suddenly, Yu Wenzhou realized how much Lu Hanwen had grown since they had first met, from an inexperienced rookie to a seasoned pro. Lu Hanwen was even taller than him now... Yu Wenzhou laughed, batting at Lu Hanwen gently. It felt just like yesterday that Lu Hanwen had joined Blue Rain. He had always been talented, and Yu Wenzhou couldn’t be prouder of how he’d grown with his and Shaotian’s guidance. “Captain Lu, you’re so big now, you’ll crush me if you keep doing that.”

 

“Captain, I’ll do my best!”

 

“En.” Yu Wenzhou pulls away, tracing his fingers over the notebook in his hand- it bears the Blue Rain logo, an old piece of merchandise given out to trainees in the past. The yellowing pages and dog-eared corners show its age, but it’s obvious that it has been handled with great care. “Xiao Lu, I want you to have this. I’ve put the rest in the training room.”

 

Yu Wenzhou has filled many pages over the years, with every win and loss. He’s rarely seen without a notebook at training, always pausing to write down something he thinks of. (Or sometimes just to doodle) From analysis of opponents, to tactics, these notebooks could be said to be a documentation of Yu Wenzhou’s career. They wouldn’t be useful forever, some even covering past seasons, and retired players, but it made no sense to keep them now, anyway. “You can still use them, for this season, at least.”

 

He passes the notebook to Lu Hanwen, who looks down at it like he’s been given a treasure, and laughs. “It’s nothing much, just a bunch of old papers. I’ll owe you a proper farewell gift for now.”

 

“Thanks, Captain!” Lu Hanwen hugs the notebook to his chest, grinning widely.

 

“Okay, I’m going now.” Yu Wenzhou pulls out his phone when it starts to chime repeatedly from a string of messages- Huang Shaotian yelling at him for being late to meet him. “I need to stop Shaotian from demolishing the club building to find me.”

 

 

“Wenzhou!”

 

Yu Wenzhou steps out of the club building, and is greeted immediately by Huang Shaotian throwing himself into his arms, making him stagger back a few steps before regaining his balance. Huang Shaotian scowls at Yu Wenzhou, though there isn’t much bite to it when his face is squished into Yu Wenzhou’s chest.

 

“How can you abandon me to wait for so long huh huh huh? Do you know I, the great and powerful Huang Shaotian, am very busy? Every livestream of mine is worth tens of thousands okay!” Eyes fixated on Yu Wenzhou, Huang Shaotian looks for any reaction. Yu Wenzhou was usually an expert at hiding emotions, but Huang Shaotian could see the darkness that seems to have settled over him, which had only grown over the past few days. Even knowing that Yu Wenzhou would be able to get over it given some time, Huang Shaotian can’t help but worry, so he raises his voice in an effort to distract him.

 

Yu Wenzhou filters out most of the barrage out of habit, but he can tell today is a little different. Huang Shaotian is louder and more agitated than usual, and almost trying too hard to get his attention. He doesn’t point it out- he can guess why Huang Shaotian is acting this way, and it’s surprisingly comforting.

 

“Yes, yes, I’m sorry for making you wait. I’ll treat you to lunch.”

 

“Do you think I can be bought with just a meal? Yu Wenzhou, do you really think I’m so cheap, you know, I-“

 

“So you’re not coming?” Yu Wenzhou’s tone is innocent, but his smirk is unmistakable.

 

“I’m coming I’m coming I’m coming! Don’t you dare go without me!” Pouting, Huang Shaotian clung onto Yu Wenzhou tightly, refusing to budge. “Let’s get white cut chicken, okay okay okay?”

 

The obvious attempt to cheer him up with his favorite food doesn’t go unnoticed, and Yu Wenzhou rewards Huang Shaotian’s efforts with a genuine smile, and a brief kiss on his cheek.

 

“Okay.”