Space bounty hunter Jiang Cheng is kinda-sorta dating that cute singer at his favorite bar, forgets to ask important questions, and gets roped into space politics shenanigans, as you do. It’ll be fine. Probably.

Or: The (Syfy) Killjoys-inspired AU.

Teen (13+)
Chapters: 5
Words: 56,265

my sweetheart sings out like a devil

Chapter 5
epilogue: bwu


an epilogue

(or: the intro to a sequel i don’t wanna write)

Chapter Notes:

as i mentioned in the last chapter – this is all the story i’ve written so far!
but, there are still many interesting things in the world to pick up from, and if this fic will ever get a sequel, then this is pretty much the intro to all that.

so here ya go! a lil closure, a lil opener~


“Oh, to be with you, just to be with you.
Save your first and last dance for me,
I don’t need a white wedding.”



+01. bwu



The Canary’s Nest is filled with the usual bustling sounds of music, lively conversation and merriment. It’s happy hour, most of the customers are drunk or well on their way there. Quite a steady count of them have agreed to be led “upstairs”. The Owner has had to break up at least three fights.

That’s how you know business is good.

Jiang Cheng is sitting by the bar holding a now empty glass, and scowling.

He hears a chuckle and sullenly looks up at Nie Zonghui, who pours him a refill even before he could ask for one.

“How are you holding up?” the bartender asks. Usually Jiang Cheng is good with his customer service smile. But this one is different. This one is smug. Jiang Cheng doesn’t like it.

“I’m fine.” he answers bitterly.

“Okay.” Nie Zonghui nods.

“No, really, I’m fine.”

“Yes, yes, I didn’t say otherwise…”

Jiang Cheng squints at him. “You sound like you were thinking otherwise.”

Nie Zonghui’s smile cracks, just a bit. “Please stop attacking me.”

Jiang Cheng is not attacking Nie Zonghui. Really, he isn’t. He’s just… not in the mood for that smug face right now.

He hears a familiar laugh of delight in the distance, and somehow even all the way across the floor and even with the music from the speakers, he could also hear a fan’s ‘swish’ open and the giggles that get muffled in them.

“Don’t look.” Nie Zonghui says, kindly. “It will only upset you.”

“No, it won’t.” Jiang Cheng insists. And to prove his point, he looks.

Nie Huaisang is laughing and giggling cuddled up to some unfamiliar man’s side. What they’re talking about, Jiang Cheng doesn’t know, but it better be worth this stupid gross show they’re putting on for the whole tavern to see.

“Why are they so loud?” Jiang Cheng grumbles. “They don’t have to be so loud. Were we loud, before?”

Nie Zonghui sighs. “You really came in so early tonight. You could go in the back, you know, if it bothers you so much.”

“I’m fine.” Jiang Cheng says, sounding like he is ready for murder.

Then, as if his night isn’t ruined enough, someone he really doesn’t want to deal with just… appears from behind Nie Zonghui and gets right in his face.

Wei Wuxian, wearing an apron and carrying a tray full of glasses from the dishwasher, is looking at him with his stupid big hopeful concerned eyes.

“Jiang Cheng, I’m sorry – I’m sorry, IknowyouhatemeandIpromisednottotalktoyou , but- But! Jiang Cheng, are you okay ?”

“What the hell.” Jiang Cheng curses, backing away. “Go back to work.”

He hates that Wei Wuxian works here now.

He hates that Wei Wuxian works here now and Jiang Cheng actually doesn’t care, and they’re just… existing in this shared space now.

He hates that he didn’t how or why it happened, he’s just… not that angry anymore.

Wei Wuxian is still annoying though. For one, he doesn’t back off. “I heard it from the girls-”

“You hear everything from the girls-”

“They said you broke up? I’m so sorry…” Wei Wuxian says, looking genuinely remorseful. “And he’s flaunting it right in your face! How rude! I’m on your side, don’t worry-”

“What? No, we didn’t-”

Jiang Cheng stops midway when Nie Zonghui sends him a look. Oh. Right. This is a whole thing. Okay. Let’s think. What can he say instead?

He settles with a familiar comfortable phrase – “Fuck you.”

“Hey, now, I’m just concerned…”

Damn, he didn’t put enough heat on that one. Wei Wuxian usually just goes away if he glares enough-

And then Nie Huaisang is there. Standing right beside them.

Wei Wuxian shuts up, and Jiang Cheng pointedly turns to look toward another direction.

Nie Huaisang has two glasses with him. He offers them to the bartender. “Zonghui-ge, refills, please! Oh, but just water for me.”

Nie Zonghui takes the glasses from his cousin and obliges the request.

Jiang Cheng stays silent. He hates that Wei Wuxian is now pretending to wipe down a glass while very obviously watching this tense scene unfold.

Then Nie Huaisang says, “Hello, Jiang-xiong.”

Huh. Fine. Sure. Jiang Cheng looks back at him. “Hi.” he says, flat and uninterested.

Nie Zonghui hands the glasses back. Nie Huaisang takes them. He smiles charmingly and then turns and goes back to his… his stupid noisy laughing man across the bar.

Jiang Cheng takes a swig of his drink.

“What was that?” Wei Wuxian whispers. “Jiang Cheng! What was that- He talks to you like that ?”

“What-… You mean saying hello?” Jiang Cheng is tired. He turns to Nie Zonghui. “Bartender, I would like to talk to the manager. Fire this guy. He is nosy. No respect for customer privacy.”

“No can do.” Nie Zonghui says. “We are quite short-handed at the moment. You know that.”

Jiang Cheng does know that. He knows a lot more , actually. It is very inconvenient. He can’t be as mean as he used to be, anymore.

Wei Wuxian sighs sadly. “I’m sorry. I’ll try not to pry.” He turns to Nie Zonghui then. “Please don’t fire me. I really need the money.”

Jiang Cheng scoffs. “Have you considered maybe if you just told me why you really need the money, I won’t be trying to get you fired?”

Wei Wuxian looks at him. “Yes.” he says.

And that’s all he gets.

Jiang Cheng rolls his eyes. Of course that’s all he gets.

Wei Wuxian may have kinda returned to his life, but Jiang Cheng still doesn’t know shit about him and where he’s staying and what’s his life like (besides working part-time in the Nest now).

Jiang Cheng has somehow made peace with that. He doesn’t want to waste any more energy trying to threaten his brother to reveal some dramatic backstory bullshit – it was exhausting. Jiang Cheng knows he won’t get it anyways. He grew up with Wei Wuxian. When he’s closed up, he’s closed up.

But Jiang Cheng will be petty anyways. He wouldn’t be himself if he wasn’t.

“Can you at least demote him so I don’t have to see him?” he asks Nie Zonghui.

“Demote me?” Wei Wuxian cries. “I’m already on dishwashing duty!”

“Make him like, clean the toilets.”

“Okay, now you’re just mean to a minimum wage worker.”

“No, I would never. It’s just you.”

Nie Zonghui takes a deep breath. “Alright, alright, don’t make me call the boss to throw both of you out, now.”

That makes them stop their bickering instantly.

Nie Zonghui beams in approval. The power that Nie Mingjue holds.

“Wei-xiong,” Nie Zonghui turns towards their newest employee. “I can take care of that. I’m sure you have more things to do in the kitchen.”

Wei Wuxian sighs, but he passes the tray off to the other man.

He says, “See you, Jiang Cheng.”

“No, you won’t.” Jiang Cheng replies, watching him leave.

There’s a temporary peace in Jiang Cheng’s mind as he stops hearing Nie Huaisang flirting with another man and Wei Wuxian pitying him.

Nie Zonghui hums as he sorts through the glasses. “I feel for you.” he says, earnest and sympathetic. “You decided to take your chance with A-Sang. But you can’t change him.”

“I know that.” Jiang Cheng says. “Doesn’t mean I can’t be pissed off, though, right?”

“This is just the price you have to pay, I suppose.”

Jiang Cheng lets out a deep, grounding breath. He knows that, too.

That’s what he signed up for, and this is where he ends up. Drinking by himself at the bar, mood sour.

It’s then that his communicator chimes, a message alert. He reads the text and breathes out in relief. Finally. Something to take his mind off the spectacle across the room.

“Okay. I’m out of here.” he says, getting to his feet and pats his clothes down. He looks towards where Nie Huaisang is still batting his eyelashes at his… victim. “Make sure that asshole doesn’t get too comfortable? He seems like the creepy handsy type.”

“Jiang-xiong.” Nie Zonghui chuckles. “That’s my job.”

Fair, Jiang Cheng thinks.

He once saw Nie Zonghui almost blind someone with a spoon without even stepping away from the bar. The poor guy was all the way to the tavern entrance. Jiang Cheng decided never to cross him then.




Jiang Cheng stays casual as enters through the door to the employee-only area of the tavern. He nods at familiar floor and maintenance crew, servers and kitchen staff as he makes his way to Nie Mingjue’s back office. From the window he can see that it’s empty. He doesn’t go there, though. Instead he enters the storage room right beside it.

It’s shelves and shelves of necessities, from cleaning supplies to spare equipment and files. He heads straight for an inconspicuous-looking storage closet and opens it. It’s filled with bins of what look like old tablets and backup drives. He pulls on one of the bins and sees the little keypad behind it.

Jiang Cheng inputs the passcode, given to him by Nie Mingjue a month ago, when he was first shown this passageway.

[ S-U-N-S-H-O-T ]




Nie Mingjue doesn’t look pleased when Jiang Cheng arrives. He’s putting his jacket on, and for a second, Jiang Cheng freezes as it looks like the man is charging at him.

Jiang Cheng stops just in time so as not to crash against him.

“Good. You’re here.” Nie Mingjue says. He shoves a tablet at Jiang Cheng. “Read this. I gotta go.”

“Whoa!” Jiang Cheng fumbles with the item suddenly shoved into his chest, blinking. “Wha-”

Nie Mingjue walks past him then, and practically stomps up the stairs where Jiang Cheng just came down from. He’s growling. “How many of these idiots am I gonna have to throw out tonight, for fuck’s sake-”

“Hey, uh- What am I-”

“Just read it! I’ll be back!”

There’s the familiar hiss of the access door opening, then the click of it closing again. Then Nie Mingjue is gone.

Jiang Cheng stares after him in bewilderment for a second, then looks around the basement. There’s no one else in the room, but that’s normal. It’s filled with well-worn seats, computers and screens and even some medical equipment. There’s a main table at the center of the room. Nothing out of the ordinary.

He looks down at the tablet in his hand. He enters the same passcode as the door to unlock it too.

Huh. Building schematics – for… some sort of facility? There’s no location stated – just notes on possible planets it could be found in.

Jiang Cheng pulls up a chair towards the table, sits down, then, as instructed, begins to read.

Oh. The building is a warehouse – or more like a dumpsite. Management and disposal of broken or discarded ships and vehicles…

There’s intel of illegally acquired weapons and untraceable ships being shipped there, and instead of disposing of them… Well. The place seems to be engaged in some interesting side-projects…

He is busy studying the details, schematics and various documents when he hears the hiss of the access door opening, followed by footsteps coming down the stairs. Probably Nie Mingjue, done inspiring fear in the hearts of his customers.

Jiang Cheng doesn’t bother looking up as he says, “This building looks like a glorified junk shop, but yeah, there’s probably something up with it if it’s this tightly guarded. And this supply manifest for security? Some heavy weaponry here-”

The voice that answers is definitely not Nie Mingjue’s.

“Right? They’re not even trying to cover it up.”

Jiang Cheng looks up and turns his head to see Nie Huaisang approaching him, shaking his head.

“Oh. Hey.” he says, putting the tablet down. “You done for the day?”

“Yep! All done!” Nie Huaisang grins. “I clocked out early. My voice is tired from all the talking…”

“Yeah, I heard.” Jiang Cheng scoffs, with no real heat to it. He’s ready when Nie Huaisang plops down on his lap and pretty much rests his full weight on him. He feels warm and soft, out of his pretty but mostly decorative silks and laces, and instead bundled up in a too-big sweater that must be stolen from his big brother.

“You look cozy.” Jiang Cheng remarks.

“I had to change! That guy reeked of booze… Ugh .” Nie Huaisang shivers, and only snuggles closer when Jiang Cheng wraps an arm around his waist. “Were you jealous, Jiang-xiong?”

“No.” he says with a roll of his eyes. “Just pissed. Fucker had his hands all over you.”

Nie Huaisang sighs. “Yeah, that was a bit uncomfy. But I had it under control.” he wraps his arms around Jiang Cheng’s neck, and drops a kiss to his cheek. “Sorry you had to watch that. I don’t like doing it that much either, but he was such a tough case! None of our girls or boys could crack him! So we thought, maybe the Canary might make him sing…”

Jiang Cheng only hums, savoring the warm weight against him in the quiet of this… slight-creepy mostly-badass secret resistance headquarters bunker thing.

There’s really no point dwelling on it, he thinks. Nie Huaisang had been doing his job.

And Nie Zonghui is right. Jiang Cheng had decided to take a chance on this thing with Nie Huaisang – and this is part of the package.

Jiang Wanyin has always been connected to his sister, Jiang Yanli, Young Madame Jin – but now he’s also publicly known as Young Master Nie’s beau.

It wouldn’t do for a similar-looking no-name bounty hunter to also be seen making out with the Nest’s Canary, out in the open.

So he’s not with the Canary anymore. At least, not on the tavern floor. And people forget so easily. The Canary has always been flighty. It had been a passing infatuation.

And it was easy to pass that off, too. The tavern patrons are pretty loyal informants. The sex workers who live in the upper floors of the tavern will swear that they don’t know anything about it, not at all – always ready with a show of solidarity, especially as they enjoy the protection that the Nest provides them.

(Oh, and Wei Wuxian doesn’t know. Jiang Cheng purposely told them to not give him the memo. Just to fuck with him. Because why not.)

“So did he? Sing?” he asks now, because all that effort better be worth it-

“Oh, yes, big time.” Nie Huaisang chuckles. He reaches over for the tablet and starts tapping. Jiang Cheng watches him lazily, and blinks in surprise when Nie Huaisang shows him the fruits of his hard work.

Jiang Cheng stares at the tablet screen. “Oh, shit.”

“Yep. I got the location of our shady warehouse place here.” Nie Huaisang says, grinning proudly. “And two more! Talk about a bonus, right?”

So. Yeah. This is what they do here. Jiang Cheng had been introduced to the operation a month or so back. He’s come quite far, really. Back in that first day, he thought he was gonna be murdered – which amused Nie Huaisang to no end, but Jiang Cheng maintains that it is a valid response to suddenly being brought to a secret basement-slash-bunker.

“Good job.” Jiang Cheng grins back, squeezing his waist lightly.

Nie Huaisang laughs. “Thank you!”

“So what’s the deal here, then?” Jiang Cheng asks, now tapping on the tablet to view the new details. Apparently, the warehouse is on some industrial planet a quadrant away… “What are we doing?”

Nie Huaisang tilts his head and blinks once, smiling his innocent charming smile.

Then he asks, “Jiang Wanyin, will you blow this place up with me?”


That makes sense.

But also, what the fuck?

“Huh.” Jiang Cheng blinks. “Blowing shit up. As in, uh, blowing shit up for real? I thought you guys were just gonna ask me to take a job nearby as cover and scout the place out like always.”

“Not this time. You always said those were boring, anyway.” Nie Huaisang shrugs. “Are you hesitating? It’s blowing stuff up. Explosions. You like that, right? It’s fun!”

“I actually don’t. They’re dangerous and very loud.” Jiang Cheng frowns, considering. “Is this a job?”

“Umm, no. You told me to stop paying you to come over. You said I should just call.”

“Yeah, but like… if you miss me or something. Not to commit crimes.”

“Aw, but… crimes~” Nie Huaisang whines. “Also, just to clarify, we’re not going to burn the whole place down, no, that’s bad for the environment. But we are blowing up a part of the building, enough to warrant an investigation and hopefully if we pull some strings here and there… and get someone not in their pocket to do the job… they can expose the whole operation thing.”

Jiang Cheng considers it. “Solid plan. Still a crime.”

“But for the greater good!”

“You can say that because you have bail money.”

“I’ve got enough bail money for both of us.”

“Not the point.”

“Okay, but- Hear me out! This place is managed by a company that’s a shell company of a shell company of another shell company that ultimately belongs to the Wen Family.”

That makes Jiang Cheng pause. “Oh. I thought they were just supplying- So this is straight up Wen Ruohan’s shit?”


Well, then.

“You should’ve told me sooner.” Jiang Cheng says. “I’m in.”

“Oh, yay!” Nie Huaisang laughs, hugging him happily. “Da-ge!” he calls to someone behind them – Jiang Cheng didn’t even realize Nie Mingjue had returned. “Da-ge, A-Cheng is in!”

“Good.” Nie Mingjue says, then raises an eyebrow. “He wasn’t, before?” He looks at Jiang Cheng. “Why were you here, then?”

Jiang Cheng gulps. “Ummm… To sleep?”

“With me!” Nie Huaisang adds, very unnecessarily.

As a younger sibling himself, Jiang Cheng can appreciate the big annoy-your-sibling energy of that, but as part of the other half of that gamble, he also fears for his life.

Nie Mingjue looks at them, visibly cringing. “No, shit, it better be with you.”

He goes to one of the computers and pulls out some kind of plan and projects it on top of the table so they can all view it. Nie Huaisang disentangles from Jiang Cheng and pulls up his own chair and sits on it, grabbing a tablet for himself on his way.

“Granny’s been telling me to hurry this shit up so we can focus on your wedding in the spring.” Nie Mingjue shakes his head. “Like we can rush taking down the fucking Wen Empire. I’m working in a basement???

Nie Huaisang sighs tiredly. “You know Granny is just fucking with me, da-ge.”

“Is she?” Jiang Cheng asks, because it might have started months ago, but it’s still so enjoyable to commit to this one bit.

It gets him such fun reactions like – “Jiang Wanyin, I swear to all the gods.”

Nie Mingjue just shushes them both and starts the mission briefing.

Jiang Cheng listens intently because, well, he’ll probably die if he doesn’t follow the plan.

This is his life now. Date night with Nie Huaisang just looks like this, he supposes.

At least he asks questions this time.

“-and that’s it. We’re having things prepared tonight. Should be ready soon. You leave tomorrow.” Nie Mingjue says, and makes a swiping motion to send everything he just discussed to the tablet that Jiang Cheng is holding. “Oh, and Wei Wuxian’s going with you.”

Jiang Cheng looks up from reading his notes, looks up and frowns. “What? Why?”

“All our other guys are busy. Y’know, with the… other stuff.”

Jiang Cheng knows there is a bigger, more long-term plan. One that is not made in this basement.

He should ask about that too, sometime.

“So take Wei Wuxian, he says he’ll carry stuff and look after the ship. Said he knows that quadrant, too.”

Jiang Cheng grumbles to his tablet. “I can do all that. Zidian can do all that.”

“Yeah, but backup’s good. Just take him. He said he needs the money.”

Fine. Just because Jiang Cheng’s been there before. It doesn’t stop him from leaning back on his chair and complaining to the ceiling, though. “He’s gonna be so annoying…”

Nie Huaisang laughs from his seat. “Let’s be gross in front of him. Annoy him back.”

“Yeah, I don’t know if I can stoop that low.”

“Ouch, Jiang-xiong. Ouch .”

That’s when Nie Mingjue declares, “Okay, I’m tired of you both. Get out of my basement.”

They get kicked out of the basement, like teenagers who were being noisy in class.

Nie Huaisang grabs his hand and tugs him towards the employee exit, where they can take an alternate route to the living quarters upstairs without having to be seen in the tavern proper.

Jiang Cheng yawns. He is ready to crash in Nie Huaisang’s too-soft bed and get a good night’s rest. They leave early the next day.

Tomorrow, they’re gonna blow up a Wen-owned facility. Part of it, at least. Hopefully it disrupts their operations a bit. Distract them from the resistance that’s brewing and organizing right under their noses.

Next week, they’re dropping by Qinghe. Nie Huaisang promised Granny they’ll air out and redecorate the house’s ballroom in preparation for an upcoming event.

The week after that, he’ll let Nie Huaisang take him shopping. They have to get a fitting present to bring for Jin Ling’s one month celebration, after all.

All that on top of his usual jobs, because his boyfriend might be filthy rich, but Jiang Cheng isn’t about to leech on him, nope. He’s a freelancer, not a freeloader.

He’s gonna have some busy days ahead.

That’s good.




Chapter Notes:

chapter title is “bwu” by tegan and sara.

again, thank u for going on this ride with me!
good luck to jiang cheng on this mission lol let’s go chaos trio let’s blow stuff up

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