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Polishing Jade

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Wei Wuxian had told his family he was going to try things with Lan Wangji again, and they'd all been very surprised yet supportive. Madam Yu said she had no reason to disapprove (and encouraged Wei Wuxian to actually aim for marriage this time) and Jiang Cheng was initially annoyed that he'd taken so damn long to decide and told him he'd beat the shit out of Wei Wuxian if he fucked up this time. Jiang Yanli's reaction was that Wei Wuxian better not get married before she did.

 

He'd purchased a new suit with money he'd saved up from his job. He spent hours doing his hair (in the end he decided to go with his regular high-ponytail) and even wore cologne, which was something that startled Jiang Cheng.

 

What they'd agreed on for their date was that they'd first meet up at Lan Wangji's house and then drive to the restaurant, since it was some distance away. And, since it was the weekend, it meant that Wei Wuxian would finally meet Lan Wangji's uncle. Hence, Wei Wuxian wanted to make a good first impression. Normally he didn't give a shit about impressing people, but Lan Wangji's uncle could very easily veto their relationship and he didn't want to ruin things for someone like Lan Wangji (or himself).

 

That afternoon, Wei Wuxian arrived at the Lan residence. He'd brought some high-grade tea leaves with him as a gift (since he'd been told that the uncle didn't drink alcohol).

 

Once again, he was faced with the unsettling task of announcing his presence on the intercom and having a servant answer the front doors for him. Wei Wuxian didn't like the idea of servants, so he always made sure to be overly friendly and thank them profusely.

 

Lan Wangji greeted him as he was talking with the servant and taking off his shoes.

 

"Good afternoon," Lan Wangji said with a nod.

"Hey, Lan Wangji!" Wei Wuxian grinned cheerfully, walking over to him and handing him the tin of tea leaves. "Er, hopefully these are good enough. My sister helped me choose them."

Lan Wangji took the tin. "Thank you," he replied. He turned to the servant and said, "Please let Uncle and Brother know that our guest has arrived. And," he added, passing the tea to the servant, "Prepare four cups of tea for us."

"Certainly, Second Young Master," the servant answered, giving a bow and walking off.

 

"This way," Lan Wangji instructed, leading Wei Wuxian down a hallway.

 

He was taken to a different room than last time. This one was larger and had a longer table in the middle. Lan Wangji showed Wei Wuxian where to sit and proceeded to sit on the seat next to him.

 

Lan Wangji was also wearing a new-looking suit, although it appeared to be much more expensive than Wei Wuxian's. His hair was in its usual ponytail, once again held together with that ribbon of his. Wei Wuxian was beginning to wonder if maybe the ribbon held some importance to his date.

 

Wei Wuxian noticed that Lan Wangji was wearing some kind of cologne as well, but he couldn't place the smell.

 

"Psst, Lan Wangji," Wei Wuxian said.

"Yes?" Lan Wangji looked at him blankly.

"I like your cologne! What scent is it?" he asked with a fond smile.

"Sandalwood," Lan Wangji replied, glancing away for a second.

"It suits you!" Wei Wuxian grinned widely.

"...Thank you."

 

Wei Wuxian made sure he was sitting up properly as Lan Wangji's uncle and brother entered the room. Wei Wuxian quietly observed them as they walked over and stood up to greet them.

 

"Er, good afternoon..." Wei Wuxian bowed. "T-Thanks for having me..."

"It's nice to see you again," Lan Xichen smiled. "And there's no need to be so formal!"

 

No need... Wei Wuxian wanted to argue against that, because, as far as he was concerned, there was very much a need. Annoyingly. He waited until the other two were seated before sitting back down himself.

 

"So you're... Lan Wangji's uncle, then?" Wei Wuxian addressed the older man sitting across from him. He wore traditional robes and sported a well-groomed goatee.

The man nodded. "I am Lan Qiren," he said. "I hear it was your mother who referred you to my nephew?" he asked, looking at Wei Wuxian as though he was judging him.

"Uh, yeah," Wei Wuxian mumbled in response. "She... thought it would be a good opportunity for me," he explained.

"Xichen told me you are not studying and are currently unemployed, correct?" Lan Qiren's eyes narrowed as he asked.

"I, er, do have a job now!" Wei Wuxian answered. "I help stock shelves at a bookstore. It's not much, but it's good pay for what I do."

"Hmmm..." Lan Qiren stroked his goatee.

 

Lan Qiren was about to say something when the servant knocked on the door holding a tray cluttered with teacups and a teapot. "Pardon me, Second Young Master, but I've brought the tea you requested..."

"Thank you," Lan Wangji nodded. "Please place them on the table."

"Certainly, Young Master!"

 

"Tea?" Lan Qiren asked, watching the servant serve their drinks.

"Oh, I brought some as a gift!" Wei Wuxian explained. "I was gonna buy a bottle of wine, but I've been informed that you don't drink alcohol, so I figured tea would be the next best thing..."

"Really?" Lan Xichen smiled at him again. "How lovely! Thank you, Wei Wuxian!"

"What kind of tea is this?" Lan Qiren queried as he picked up his cup and took a sip.

"Uhh..."

 

Wei Wuxian couldn't remember exactly what kind of tea it actually was. Jiang Yanli had told him when they bought it, but he hadn't really been paying much attention.

 

Shit, Wei Wuxian thought. This sure is gonna make me look pathetic in Uncle Goatee's eyes. I don't drink much tea, I've got no clue what it is!

 

Lan Qiren glared at him. Wei Wuxian felt himself sweat slightly under the pressure.

 

"It's jasmine tea," Lan Wangji said flatly. Wei Wuxian and Lan Qiren both stared at him.

 

Wei Wuxian figured he was just able to tell after tasting it. "Oh yeah, that's right!" he exclaimed. "It's jasmine tea, I remember now!" Against his better judgement, he decided to jokingly add, "I was too busy admiring how handsome Lan Wangji looks that it slipped my mind! Sorry, sorry!" He grinned and waved his hand around in mock-apology.

 

Lan Xichen was the only one who laughed. Lan Wangji shifted slightly in his seat but said nothing. Wei Wuxian sighed internally, having wanted to get some kind of reaction out of him.

 

Lan Qiren cleared his throat. "The tea is not bad," he said, taking another sip.

"G-Glad you like it?" Wei Wuxian wasn't really sure what he was meant to say in response, being unfamiliar with formalities and crap.

 

After a few moments of silence and tea drinking, Lan Xichen asked, "Wangji, what time is your reservation for?"

"Six thirty," Lan Wangji replied. "We should have plenty of time to get there."

"Where are we going, by the way?" Wei Wuxian asked his date. "I told you not to bother with anything too fancy this time, remember?" he reminded Lan Wangji.

"...It is a surprise," Lan Wangji answered blankly.

Lan Xichen chuckled. "He hasn't even told me," he said to Wei Wuxian. "Either that means he's unsure of his choice, or it's somewhere embarrassing."

"Embarrassing?" Wei Wuxian repeated, confused. "The only kinda places I can see being embarrassing are strip clubs or gay bars and neither of those strike me as romantic, really..."

"Mmm... I don't think Wangji would visit those sorts of establishments. Right, Wangji?" he asked his brother.

"Absolutely not," Lan Wangji replied, frowning slightly. "It is just a regular restaurant. We are simply going out for dinner."

 

This made Wei Wuxian realise that Lan Wangji's family was probably unaware that he had, in fact, visited a gay bar before. Which made him wonder if they were even aware that he drank at all. Wei Wuxian knew better than to mention either of those things, though, since he didn't want Lan Wangji to be punished.

 

Wei Wuxian quietly drank the rest of his tea. None of the Lans said anything else, and Wei Wuxian assumed that Lan Wangji got his silent personality from his uncle. Lan Qiren appeared to be somewhat strict, from what Wei Wuxian could tell, so he was rather surprised that he'd been this supportive of his nephew.

 

"Wei Wuxian," Lan Wangji said, glancing at his watch, "We should get going now."

"S-Sure," Wei Wuxian followed Lan Wangji's lead in standing. "Lead the way, Lan Wangji!"

 

They said goodbye to Lan Xichen and Lan Qiren. Lan Wangji took Wei Wuxian to his car. Wei Wuxian felt slightly nervous as he sat down and buckled his seatbelt, remembering that he'd been kissed in it before. Even though that was only once, and he'd rode in Lan Wangji's car since then without anything happening.

 

However, he did now understand why Lan Wangji had kissed him, at least.

 

Thinking about the kiss made Wei Wuxian tingle a bit. Then he slowly started remembering another kiss.

 

The scene of them in the hotel room together flashed into his mind. It took him a while to realise that it had actually happened in reality and hadn't been a dream.

 

Wei Wuxian's train of thought was derailed when Lan Wangji called his name from beside him.

 

"Wei Wuxian?"

 

Wei Wuxian turned to look at him. They were stopped at a traffic light, waiting to turn. "Yeah?"

"Are you okay?" Lan Wangji asked. "You seem worried about something..."

"Ah, no, no, I'm fine!" Wei Wuxian insisted, putting on a grin. "I was just thinking about stuff, don't worry!"

"Okay," Lan Wangji said. "Let me know if you are feeling unwell."

"It's nothing like that!" Wei Wuxian sighed, relaxing in his seat. "Just... I remembered something."

"What did you remember?" Lan Wangji asked as the light turned green and he drove forward before turning left.

"...That we kissed in the hotel room that night," Wei Wuxian said quietly.

 

Lan Wangji's hands gripped the steering wheel tightly. "We did," he acknowledged. "But I do not think we did... anything else."

Wei Wuxian chuckled. "Nah, we didn't," he sighed. "It was just a kiss. I'm not mad," he added. "Not in the slightest..."

"..."

 

It took some time before they reached the restaurant. It was another one that was positioned atop a flight of stairs with over-the-top pillars that led to a grand entrance.

 

Once again, Lan Wangji had booked them a private booth. He'd appeared to have ignored Wei Wuxian's request for something more casual. Oh well, I'll deal, Wei Wuxian thought to himself as he sat opposite Lan Wangji at their table.

 

"So what's so special about this place?" Wei Wuxian asked while they looked at the menu.

"...It specialises in spicy food," Lan Wangji explained.

"Oh?" Wei Wuxian glanced up at him and raised an eyebrow. "How'd you know I like spicy food?"

"You always order something spicy," Lan Wangji said. "So I thought it would appeal to you."

 

Indeed, the menu was full of dishes containing various kinds of spices. Wei Wuxian had enjoyed the spicy meal he'd had at the other restaurant, even though it had been extremely hot. He wanted to have something that was at least that level of heat.

 

"What about you, Lan Wangji?" Wei Wuxian asked. Lan Wangji gave him a quizzical look. "Do you like spicy food too?"

"I have never really eaten it," Lan Wangji replied. "My family has never used it in our cooking."

"Well!" Wei Wuxian clapped his hands together excitedly. "In that case, you're in luck! Spices add a whole new layer of flavour -- sometimes they're a bit too overpowering, but if you get juuuust the right amount of heat, it can be perfect!"

"I see," Lan Wangji said.

"However," Wei Wuxian continued, "Since you're not used to it at all, I'd recommend trying something with very little spice in it. Go through the menu and see what the lowest levels of heat are!" he grinned.

"Okay." Lan Wangji returned to the menu.

 

Wei Wuxian decided to try the extra spicy dandan noodles for dinner. Lan Wangji ended up opting for a mild chicken stir-fry dish. Wei Wuxian ordered a glass of his favourite wine, despite his brain screaming at him not to. Lan Wangji just asked for water.

 

"Hey, Lan Wangji, can I ask you about something?" Wei Wuxian rested his head in his hand, his elbow propped up on the table.

"You may," Lan Wangji replied.

Wei Wuxian took a deep breath. "Okay, so," he began. "When we were talking on the phone a few days ago..." he paused for a moment. "You called me 'Wei Ying'."

"I did," Lan Wangji confirmed.

"When did I tell you my birth name?" Wei Wuxian asked gently. "Was it when we were in the hotel room together?"

"...It was," Lan Wangji replied.

 

The waitress returned with their drinks at that point and informed them that their food should be ready shortly.

 

After she left again, Wei Wuxian continued, "I honestly can't remember much about that night. I know we kissed -- and did nothing else -- but... did you tell me your birth name at one point too, by chance?" He'd been trying to remember what it was, but nothing came to mind. It bothered Wei Wuxian since he was pretty sure Lan Wangji wouldn't tell just anyone his birth name.

"I did," Lan Wangji said again. "But... it was right before we went to sleep, so I am not surprised you do not remember it." He took a sip of water.

Wei Wuxian sighed, leaning back in his chair. "It's annoying, though!" he exclaimed. "I always forget shit when I drink like that, so it's my own fault..."

Lan Wangji said nothing.

 

"Oh, yeah!" Wei Wuxian remembered something else he'd been meaning to ask about. "Do your family not know you drink sometimes?"

"They do not," Lan Wangji answered. "Uncle... does not like alcohol at all."

"Does your uncle like anything?" Wei Wuxian joked, chuckling quietly, slouching forward.

Lan Wangji's eyebrows twitched for a second. "Please do not insult my uncle."

Wei Wuxian sighed again, frowning. "It was a joke, dude, relax."

"..."

 

"Anyway," Wei Wuxian went on, after drinking some wine, not wanting to make things awkward, "Would... you mind telling me your birth name again? I promise I won't forget it this time!"

"Lan Zhan," Lan Wangji answered simply.

"Lan Zhan..." Wei Wuxian repeated quietly. "It's nice. I like it." He smiled at Lan Wangji. "Can I call you Lan Zhan?" he asked. I'm going to call you that anyway, it's cute, dammit! Wei Wuxian thought.

"...You may," Lan Wangji replied slowly. He glanced to the side again. "May I... call you Wei Ying?" The tips of his ears were light pink.

Wei Wuxian laughed. "You already have," he said. "Of course you can, Lan Zhan."

 

The waitress came back to serve their meals before Lan Wangji said anything else.

 

Wei Wuxian's noodles were as spicy as they'd been advertised, which pleased him immensely. Usually, he had to add extra chili powder before they were intense enough for him, so on the occasion he didn't need to do that he was very happy.

 

"Hooo these are hot!" Wei Wuxian exclaimed after a few mouthfuls, his lips pleasantly tingling. "They weren't kidding about them being extra spicy! Awesome!" He took a sip of his wine, leaving a trail of red on the rim where his lips had been. "How's your food, Lan Zhan?"

 

Lan Wangji hadn't even tried his chicken yet. He had picked up his chopsticks and was hovering them over the pieces, apparently trying to decide which one had the least amount of spices on it. Wei Wuxian frowned slightly.

 

"Go on, try it!" Wei Wuxian encouraged playfully. "I'm sure you'll be fine, you can hardly see the spices on it!"

"...Okay," Lan Wangji said, finally picking up a piece of chicken and slowly putting it in his mouth. Wei Wuxian watched closely as Lan Wangji ate. For whatever reason, he was captivated by his partner's small, delicate chews.

 

As Lan Wangji swallowed, he started coughing, turning away from Wei Wuxian.

 

Part of Wei Wuxian wanted to laugh. He'd never met anybody who couldn't handle this low level of spice before! Even Wen Ning had a higher tolerance than Lan Wangji!

 

Trying not to chuckle, Wei Wuxian asked, "Are you okay, dude?"

Lan Wangji managed to stop coughing. Sitting forward again properly, he took a large gulp of water before looking at Wei Wuxian with watery eyes. "I am fine."

Wei Wuxian sighed. "If you say so," he said. "Do you want to ask for another dish? I can always eat this for you."

"No need," Lan Wangji replied. "I will eat it."

 

Wei Wuxian shrugged and returned to his own meal. "I mean, if you want to..."

 

He was now somewhat worried about Lan Wangji. While it was rather amusing seeing someone unable to cope with spicy food, he didn't really want anything humiliating to happen to Lan Wangji. If it had been anyone else, Wei Wuxian probably would've snuck more chili powder onto the chicken and laughed his ass off at the person's reaction... but he couldn't bring himself to do that with his date.

 

Lan Wangji ate his food very slowly, drinking copious amounts of water as he went. Wei Wuxian watched him closely, trying to look for any other signs of discomfort. If Lan Wangji was struggling, he was doing a damn good job of hiding it.

 

However, by the time Wei Wuxian had finished his noodles and their drinks had been refilled, Lan Wangji had only eaten about a third of his dish.

 

Wei Wuxian frowned. After finishing off his second glass of wine and wiping his face, he sighed yet again. "You know, Lan Zhan..."

"What?" Lan Wangji asked, a cough escaping him.

"When we were at lunch that one time," Wei Wuxian said, "You told me not to force myself to eat if I didn't want to. I'm thinking," he slouched forward and pointed his index finger at Lan Wangji, "You should probably follow your own advice."

Lan Wangji's eyes narrowed slightly. "I am fine," he insisted once more, yet he made no attempt to demonstrate.

"No, you're not," Wei Wuxian was very tempted to flick Lan Wangji's forehead, but held back and put his hand on his lap instead. "Let me tell you something about spice, Lan Zhan: if you're having a bad time when you're eating it, you're gonna have an even worse time when it all comes out the other end!"

Lan Wangji glared at him. "That's obsc--" His insult was cut off by the start of another coughing fit.

 

Lan Wangji reached for his glass, only to find that it was empty. He looked over at Wei Wuxian for assistance, but Wei Wuxian was also out of his own drink.

 

While Lan Wangji continued to cough, Wei Wuxian tried to think of something to do. He could go and smack Lan Wangji on the back, but then he remembered that that was for choking.

 

"H-Hold on a sec, Lan Zhan!" Wei Wuxian said, standing up and sliding the door to their booth open. He stuck his head through and called, "Excuse me, waiter!"

A waiter stopped and walked over to him. "Yes, sir, how may I help you?"

"Can we get some more water, please?" Wei Wuxian asked. Lan Wangji had managed to surpress his coughing for now, but Wei Wuxian knew he'd still need some water.

"Certainly! Anything else?" the waiter asked cheerfully.

Wei Wuxian half wanted to order another glass of wine, but knew that he really shouldn't be drinking at all tonight, let alone a third glass. "Uh, no," he answered. "Just water, thanks!"

"Sure thing!" the waiter responded and left to get the water.

 

Wei Wuxian slid the door closed and sat back down. "He'll bring us some water," he explained. Lan Wangji's face was slightly red and his eyes were still watering. He said nothing and just nodded.

 

"You really shouldn't eat any more of this," Wei Wuxian continued, picking up Lan Wangji's plate and setting it down in front of himself. "You'll probably make yourself sick, dude..."

 

The waiter entered with a jug of water and refilled Lan Wangji's glass and gave one to Wei Wuxian as well. Lan Wangji immediately drank the entire glass once the waiter left.

 

Wei Wuxian decided it was better not to talk and helped himself to Lan Wangji's chicken. He couldn't taste any spice on it at all, which frustrated him slightly. Had it really been that overpowering for Lan Wangji? It probably had, Wei Wuxian figured, since he doubted that Lan Wangji wanted to make a scene like this on purpose.

 

Once he'd finished his second dish for the evening, he thought it would be alright to talk again. "Are you feeling better?" he asked. Wei Wuxian was genuinely concerned.

"I am fine," Lan Wangji said yet again. His eyes were drier now and he appeared to have regained his composure for the most part.

 

You're fine for now, at least, Wei Wuxian thought. Bet you're gonna regret it later, though...

 

"Do you wanna try and ask if they have anything that isn't spicy?" Wei Wuxian suggested. "You didn't eat much, after all."

"...I will eat when I get home," Lan Wangji said, shaking his head.

 

Wei Wuxian wasn't convinced, so he called for another waiter and asked about spice-free options. The waiter said he'd talk to one of the chefs and went away again.

 

"There is no need," Lan Wangji told him, irritated. "I am not that hungry."

"But you need to eat properly!" Wei Wuxian protested. "You've only had your rice and not a lot else. At least get some dessert, maybe?" he offered.

"..."

 

Oh, yeah, this guy doesn't like sweet things, Wei Wuxian remembered. God, this is impossible. If he knew he couldn't handle spicy food why the fuck did he take me to a restaurant with nothing but spicy food and order something spicy? I'm not worth that effort, man. I really don't get you, Lan Wangji...

 

The waiter returned, having asked the chef.

 

"Unfortunately," he said, "I can only offer items from the children's menu, or a second bowl of rice."

 

It took everything in Wei Wuxian's power no to crack up laughing at the idea of someone as upper class as Lan Wangji ordering from the kids' menu at a fancy restaurant. Part of him wanted to pressure Lan Wangji into ordering chicken nuggets, but he somehow managed to control himself.

 

"...No, thank you," Lan Wangji declined. "But we would like to look at the dessert menu, please."

"Certainly!" the waiter chirped, leaving them alone.

 

Wei Wuxian raised an eyebrow at Lan Wangji. "Didn't you say you didn't want dessert?" he asked.

"I did not say anything," Lan Wangji corrected him. "And... I asked so that you could order some dessert," he added.

Wei Wuxian chuckled. "I could've asked him myself, you know!" he said with a smile.

 

Lan Wangji coughed again. Wei Wuxian was about to say something but Lan Wangji shook his head and was able to stop after only coughing twice.

 

After they received the dessert menus, silence fell while they both looked through them.

 

Despite having eaten two meals, Wei Wuxian still felt like something sweet, so he chose to have some lychee ice cream. Lan Wangji, being boring and no fun at all, simply went with vanilla ice cream.

 

"Hey, Lan Zhan, you wanna try some of mine?" Wei Wuxian offered when he was halfway through his ice cream and starting to feel full. "It's tasty!"

Lan Wangji glanced over at him. "Okay."

 

Lan Wangji reached out with his spoon but Wei Wuxian gently pushed his arm away. Lan Wangji looked confused. "No, Lan Zhan," Wei Wuxian sighed. "You do it like this."

 

Wei Wuxian scooped some ice cream into his own spoon and stuck the spoon in front of Lan Wangji's face.

 

"What are you doing?" Lan Wangji asked quietly.

"Feeding you!" Wei Wuxian grinned stupidly. "Open your mouth!"

"..."

 

Lan Wangji took a few seconds to obey, and Wei Wuxian was surprised that he hadn't protested at all. He howled with laughter internally as he moved the spoon so that it was inside Lan Wangji's mouth. Lan Wangji obediently sucked the ice cream off the spoon.

 

Why am I getting turned on by this? Wei Wuxian wondered as he started to realise just what he was doing.

 

Lan Wangji took his mouth away from the spoon and sat up straight again. "It is good," he nodded.

Wei Wuxian stared at him. He really makes no fucking sense! Why'd he agree to do that?! "Y-Yeah," Wei Wuxian mumbled, placing the spoon in his bowl of ice cream again. "Lychee's always a nice flavour..."

 

Wei Wuxian was now aware of the fact that the spoon he was using had been in Lan Wangji's mouth. He wondered if Lan Wangji was also thinking about this strange development, or if he was just making things weirder than they needed to be.

 

They finished their desserts without another word.

 

Wei Wuxian waited at the reception desk while Lan Wangji made a stop at the restroom.

 

"Did you enjoy your meal this evening?" the woman behind the desk asked him.

"Uh, yeah," Wei Wuxian said. "We did, thanks!"

"So, tell me, young man," she smirked, giving him a knowing look. "Are you here on a date with that handsome fellow?"

Wei Wuxian grinned at her. "Duh!" he replied. "Do I really look like someone who'd eat at a place like this otherwise?"

"Good point!" the woman laughed. "I do hope you two had a lovely night. It's always nice seeing people enjoying themselves..."

Wei Wuxian blushed slightly. "T-Thanks..." he muttered.

 

Lan Wangji returned and paid their bill. Wei Wuxian was hoping to maybe pay for some of it himself, but Lan Wangji had insisted that he'd pay. Again. This made Wei Wuxian swear to himself that he'd treat Lan Wangji to a meal one day. Maybe for his birthday. Which he realised he didn't know.

 

Wei Wuxian really wanted to make an inappropriate joke, but thankfully he was still sober enough to control his urges as they walked back to Lan Wangji's car. It was fun teasing Lan Wangji, but he also wasn't sure how far he could take his teasing just yet.

 

"Do you remember my address?" Wei Wuxian half-jokingly asked once they were in the car.

"...I do not," Lan Wangji answered quietly. "I apologise."

Wei Wuxian chuckled. "Lan Zhan, I really didn't expect you to," he said, inputting it into the GPS. "Here."

"Thank you," Lan Wangji mumbled as he began backing out of the park.

 

Once again, Wei Wuxian noticed the lack of music. He would've been fine even just having the radio playing, but he couldn't find signs that Lan Wangji had any kind of music device to hook up to his car nor did he appear to own any CDs.

 

"D'you ever listen to music, Lan Zhan?" Wei Wuxian asked, resting his head against the window.

"Sometimes," Lan Wangji replied.

Wei Wuxian perked up. "Oh yeah? What kind?"

"I listen to traditional guqin pieces to help my learning," he said matter-of-factly.

Wei Wuxian almost rolled his eyes. "That doesn't count," he groaned. "Anything modern?"

"I do not," Lan Wangji said. "I do not have time to listen to music."

"Oh..."

 

Well, that's better than Uncle Goatee not allowing him to listen to it or some shit. Guess rich people are always busy doing whatever it is rich people do. Ugh.

 

He closed his eyes as they continued their journey home. On the way, he realised he should probably clarify their relationship status.

 

Wei Wuxian sat up as they came to a stop in front of his family's house.

 

"So... Lan Zhan," he began, after Lan Wangji had turned the car engine off.

"Yes?" Lan Wangji asked, turning to look at him.

"I, uh... wanna confirm something," Wei Wuxian pushed a strand of hair out of his face that had fallen out of place at some point during the car ride. "About... us."

"...Wei Ying?"

Wei Wuxian took a deep breath and closed his eyes before opening them again. "I... I still wanna... be in a relationship with you," he admitted, his face turning hot. "You're nice. And you're hot. So, uh, if you're willing to deal with dating someone who has, like, zero accomplishments in life, drinks too much and enjoys super spicy food... I'd... be really happy..."

"Did we not already agree to this?" Lan Wangji asked him.

"We did," Wei Wuxian said, "But I wanted to make sure that we were both on the same page, y'know?"  

Lan Wangji stared at him, not moving, not saying anything. Slowly, he whispered, "Thank you." His ears were pink again. "I am grateful that you feel the same way that I do."

 

Wei Wuxian's heart was racing quite fast. He blamed his lack of coherent thought on the alcohol, despite having thought he was still sober enough at the restaurant. Clearly he wasn't if he was reacting like this!

 

He wasn't entirely sure what possessed him in that moment, but Wei Wuxian unbuckled his seatbelt and leant forward, passionately kissing Lan Wangji. Lan Wangji passionately kissed him back, both their tongues meeting each other.

 

Wei Wuxian put his hand on the back of Lan Wangji's head and pulled him forward as far as he could go with his seatbelt still on, tenderly running his hand through Lan Wangji's soft, silky hair.

 

Eventually, Wei Wuxian let go and sat back, catching his breath. He realised he was holding something in his hand, so he brought it around from behind Lan Wangji.

 

It was the ribbon that had been holding Lan Wangji's ponytail in place.

 

Upon further inspection, Wei Wuxian noticed that the ribbon was rather old. The cloud patterns stitched into it had faded somewhat, and it was starting to fray at the ends.

 

Before he could comment on it, Lan Wangji snatched it from him and tied his hair up again.

 

"Is there a reason you always wear that ribbon?" Wei Wuxian asked, wondering what was so special about it.

"...I do not always wear it," Lan Wangji said quietly, not looking directly at Wei Wuxian anymore. "I save it for special occasions."

 

So all our dates count as special occasions? Okay.

 

"Why don't you just buy a new one? That one looks like it's almost falling apart..." Wei Wuxian knew he probably shouldn't be asking about it, but his curiousty had won this round.

Lan Wangji's eyes glazed over. He had a complex expression that Wei Wuxian couldn't work out. "It..." he said slowly, "It was made by my mother."

 

This was the first time Wei Wuxian had heard Lan Wangji talk about either of his parents. "Can't you get her to make you another one?" he blurted out without thinking.

Lan Wangji turned his head even further away from Wei Wuxian, completely hiding his face. He said in a small voice, "No." After a pause, he added, "My mother is dead."

 

God damn you, Wei Ying, you fucking moron!

 

"Oh..." Wei Wuxian mumbled, suddenly hit with an overwhelming feeling of guilt. "I'm sorry... I... had no idea..."

"I never told you," Lan Wangji said, his voice starting to shake. "But... she died when I was young."

"T-Then... what about your father?" SHUT UP, WEI YING, Wei Wuxian yelled at himself. But he didn't listen to his own brain. "Is he also... dead?"

"........Yes."

 

Wei Wuxian wanted to tell Lan Wangji that he'd also lost his parents when he was younger and that he understood how hard it was. But he realised he'd completely fucked up and asked about extremely personal things he shouldn't have been asking about.

 

So it was only fair that he said something to Lan Wangji, wasn't it?

 

"M-My parents... also died when I was a kid," Wei Wuxian explained, feeling like an asshole. "I... really didn't mean to upset you. I know how hard it can be talking about this stuff. I'm sorry..."

 

Surprisingly, he felt Lan Wangji's hand brush against his. Wei Wuxian turned to face him. Lan Wangji looked pained. Seeing this expression on his face hurt Wei Wuxian deeply. Lan Wangji was finally showing him genuine emotions and it was... this.

 

"Do not apologise," Lan Wangji said softly. "I also... had no idea about your parents," he added.

"Well, I guess we have something in common then," Wei Wuxian said, flashing Lan Wangji a guilty smile.

"..." Lan Wangji let go of Wei Wuxian's hand and faced forward in his seat once more. "I... should probably get going," he mumbled.

"Yeah," Wei Wuxian muttered. "Have a good night, Lan Zhan," he said. "Thanks for tonight! I had fun..."

"...Good night, Wei Ying," Lan Wangji replied. "I... also enjoyed tonight."

 

Wei Wuxian got out of the car and waved at Lan Wangji as he drove off.

 

Why did he always ruin things like this? Surely Lan Wangji wouldn't want anything to do with him for a while. Wei Wuxian cursed himself again as he made his way to his house.

 

He mentally slapped his face a few times to shift his mood as he went and said hi to his family. Wei Wuxian told them he and Lan Wangji were for real back together definitely (although he didn't say anything about their depressing conversation).

 

Once Wei Wuxian was in bed, he made plans to meet up with Wen Ning and Nie Huaisang to inform them in person, since he hadn't said anything to them yet. They agreed to lunch at a noodle stand on Wednesday, as none of them were working that day.

 

Wen Ning said he had some news to tell Wei Wuxian as well.