“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji says — pleads, rather. “Please.” He doesn’t even know what he’s asking for anymore — for Wei Ying to come back to Gusu with him, for Wei Ying to accept his help, to just listen, to understand —
“Please what?” Wei Wuxian spits. “Save your words, HanGuang-Jun, I already know what you’re about to say. And my answer is the same as always — I’d rather die out here, by myself, than go anywhere to be locked away by the likes of you. Why should I ever trust you? Why should I listen to you? You don’t like me, I don’t like you, we’re not friends, you’re nothing to me —”
Lan Wangji cannot help it — he flinches, away from Wei Wuxian, away from his words, flung like knives. He should be used to it by now, be used to Wei Wuxian’s sentiment, but he just — he cannot — to his horror, he feels his throat growing tight, his eyes prickling. “Wei Ying,” he chokes out, as he feels hot tears begin to escape his eyes, trickle down his cheeks.
“Oh,” he hears Wei Wuxian say, dispassionately, “are you crying?”
Humiliated, Lan Wangji ducks his head, hating that Wei Wuxian has to see him like this, so weak and vulnerable.
“So you can cry,” Wei Wuxian notes. “I was beginning to wonder if I'd imagined it.”
Only you, he wants to cry, only you have the power to reduce me to such a state. Wei Ying, how can you not see how important you are to me, how I would do anything for you, how you could do anything you wish to me, and I would welcome it?
Then there’s a hand under his chin, tipping his face up, so he has no choice but to stare right into Wei Wuxian’s eyes, unreadable in a way they never were, before. “No, don’t look away, let me see,” Wei Wuxian says, and studies Lan Wangji like one might a mildly interesting artifact. Lan Wangji swallows back a sob, and the tears keep coming.
Wei Wuxian cups his jaw, and brushes away a tear with a tenderness that’s completely at odds with his previous words, and Lan Wangji cannot help but lean into his touch. Maybe...Wei Wuxian will not mind. Will not make fun of him. Will —
“You know, Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian says, “you’re pretty when you cry.” His smile turns sharp, wolflike. “You should do it more often.”
And then he leaves, as always, and Lan Wangji is left with nothing but his own sobs for company.
(Far, far away, Wei Wuxian’s hands finally stop trembling long enough for him to have nothing to distract him from what a monster he is for making Lan Wangji cry. Even worse, for liking the way the tears had left shimmering tracks on Lan Wangji’s pale skin, had made his golden eyes seem even more luminous than usual.
He really does break everything and everyone he touches, after all.)