Business Rivals

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    Summary

    To the rest of the tech industry, Wei Wuxian and Lan Wangji are former classmates and bitter rivals. But the truth is quite different. During their monthly meet-ups at discreet hotels, they enjoy a very different kind of relationship.

    One evening, a fantasy spins out of control, forcing them to confront the truth: it's not just sex anymore. They both want something deeper, something serious.

    (In which they role-play "let's make a baby".)

    Series
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    English
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    22 May 2020

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    Bookmarker's Notes

    Wei Ying shut those conversations down pretty hard. He could take it from Jiang Cheng. But he couldn't deal with hearing that from Lan Zhan. So he refused to discuss the topic, and Lan Zhan stopped talking to him for a long time. Wei Ying figured that was that: the last bit of camaraderie was gone for good.

    He'd never be someone Lan Zhan liked or admired. Not now. Wei Ying would never have any kind of shot with Lan Zhan, not when he'd thrown in his fortunes with Lan Zhan's bitterest enemies. The Wens—not the ones Wei Ying tried to protect, but Wens nonetheless—had burned down Lan Zhan's fucking family home. Of course, Lan Zhan would see Wei Ying's actions as a betrayal.

     

    LWJ asks of Wwx doesnt think that his felons could have changed

     

    e flounders.

    "Oh, I don't know," he stammers. "It's probably my fault, right? Things usually are! I've been told I should assume everything is my fault, and apologize accordingly."

    "By whom?"

    Lan Zhan shifts onto his side so he can face Wei Ying. He sounds charmingly annoyed, and Wei Ying muffles a laugh.

    "Lots of people! It's okay, they have a point."

    Wei Ying shrugs. Lots of people have said this, and yes: they do have a point. He offends people a lot.

    "I've also been told, by a very reliable individual, that I'm extremely shameless," he adds.

     

    Mistake, he thinks. That was the wrong tactic. Lan Zhan has never been afraid of gossip in his life, and he's not going to start now. Wei Ying framed this as, What will people say?

    Naturally, Lan Zhan is offended, indignant: I don't care what people will say. How dare you assume that's how I make decisions.

    Wei Ying takes a deep breath and gathers both of Lan Zhan's hands into his lap.

    "I don't think you're thinking this through," he says carefully. "People aren't just going to say, 'Oh, an affair, how scandalous, how sleazy!' It's not just that."

    It's half the problem, and it's bad enough. But it's not what Wei Ying should've focused on. It's not the part that would really matter to Lan Zhan. He tries again.

    "People will say, 'I wonder what he's telling Wei Wuxian. I wonder if they share trade secrets, proprietary information. I wonder if there's corporate espionage going on.'"

    He pats Lan Zhan's hands grimly. Lan Zhan stares at him, right into his eyes. But somehow Wei Ying can't seem to hold eye contact.

    "It would be a mess. We're competitors. There would be, like, lawsuits."

    Wei Ying is absolutely sure that some asshole would try to file a lawsuit. It wouldn't go very far. Neither of them has actually done anything wrong. They haven't damaged their companies' stock values; they haven't betrayed any confidential secrets. But Lan Zhan's name would still get dragged through the mud.

    "Nobody at your company would trust you anymore," Wei Ying says. He speaks bluntly because Lan Zhan absolutely must understand this. "You couldn't get any work done if nobody trusted you. Your whole career would stall out."