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the moon lives in the lining of your skin

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It starts with a leak.

“Have you reported it to the residential manager?” Lan Wangji asks when he comes back from class, and notices the bucket Wei Wuxian has placed on his bed to catch the leaking water.

“Yes,” Wei Wuxian says morosely. “But she said they won’t be able to fix it until Monday at the earliest!”

“Mm,” Lan Wangji says, apparently satisfied with just knowing that the leak will be fixed, completely uncaring of Wei Wuxian’s wellbeing or his current situation at all.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian groans. “Lan Zhan, what am I supposed to do until Monday?”

Lan Wangji eyes the bucket. “Work around it.”

Wei Wuxian pouts at him. And then perks up as an idea comes to him. “What if-”

“No.”

“You haven’t even heard me out yet,” Wei Wuxian grumbles, but dutifully keeps his bright idea to himself.

He was going to ask if Lan Wangji would take pity on him and let him share his bed for the next two nights, but knowing Lan Wangji, there's no chance that he will actually agree to it without Wei Wuxian having to pester him into it for the next few hours.

It’s taken Wei Wuxian a whole semester to see through Lan Wangji’s stoic facade and recognise him for the big softy he actually is, but Wei Wuxian knows him now, and he is not above using it to his advantage.

“Lan er-gege,” he says sweetly instead, “you haven’t had dinner yet, have you? Wen Ning texted me earlier to say that they have your favourite three-colour steamed eggs at the cafeteria tonight.”

Lan Wangji eyes him briefly, and Wei Wuxian beams at him to try to assuage Lan Wangji’s suspicions. He’s not sure it works very well, but he’s also not too worried because he knows Lan Wangji will end up saying yes anyway.

Lan Wangji picks up his keys. “Let’s go.”

“Eat your vegetables,” Lan Wangji says, the third time Wei Wuxian drops a stray piece of cauliflower onto Lan Wangji’s plate.

Wei Wuxian makes a face. “You know I only like certain vegetables,” he whines.

Lan Wangji levels him with a look, but blessedly doesn’t say anything more on the subject. Instead, he starts to pick out all of his carrots and snowpeas, depositing them onto Wei Wuxian’s plate.

Wei Wuxian grins at him. What did he say? Lan Wangji is a Big Softy, and Wei Wuxian will fight anyone who disagrees.

He eats his carrots and snowpeas without much complain. Snowpeas are not exactly on his list of favourite vegetables, but they’re acceptable enough that he will eat them if there are no other options. And there is no other option – he has to be on his best behaviour if he is to ask Lan Wangji for a favour.

Right. Best behaviour.

He can do that. He can be the epitome of good behaviour.

Across them, Jiang Cheng kicks at Wei Wuxian’s shin. “Why do you have a very suspicious look on your face?”

Wei Wuxian rolls his eyes at him. “You always think I have a suspicious look on my face.”

“That’s because it’s always true,” Jiang Cheng shoots back.

“Lan Zhan doesn’t think so!” Wei Wuxian says, and then nudges Lan Wangji with his elbow. “Right, Lan Zhan?”

“Mn,” Lan Wangji says, without looking away from his food, or stopping in his motions of picking out acceptable vegetables for Wei Wuxian, which is over and beyond what Wei Wuxian has learnt to expect of Lan Wangji during mealtimes, considering how six months ago, he wouldn’t even think to break his “no speaking during meals” rule to respond.

Lan Wangji is truly the best roommate Wei Wuxian could’ve wished for. Wei Wuxian really needs to be nicer to him.

He picks up a piece of sweet sour fish from his own plate, and drops it onto Lan Wangji’s. At Lan Wangji’s questioning look, he smiles and says, “It’s nice today. I was surprised you didn’t order it.”

Lan Wangji nods, apparently satisfied with the explanation, and then returns the gesture by placing a piece of his chicken neatly on Wei Wuxian’s rice. “They made it saltier today. You’ll like it.”

Jiang Cheng and Nie Huaisang share a look.

“What?” Wei Wuxian asks. “I can’t be nice to Lan Zhan?”

“No,” Jiang Cheng and Nie Huaisang say in tandem.

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Wuxian whines, tugging at Lan Wangji’s sleeve. “They’re bullying me! Defend my honour! Tell them I’m nice to you!”

“Mn,” Lan Wangji says dutifully, and Nie Huaisang snickers.

Wei Wuxian beams at Lan Wangji, and gives him another piece of sweet sour fish.

That night, Wei Wuxian puts on his most pitiful expression, and shuffles close to Lan Wangji as he’s getting ready to go to bed. “Just one night,” he pleads.

“It doesn’t get fixed till Monday,” Lan Wangji reminds him.

“Then...just till Monday?” Wei Wuxian asks hopefully.

Lan Wangji looks at him – his stare could either mean do not even think about it if you don’t want to get hurt or who am I to say no to a good friend who is in need of my help.

Wei Wuxian is quite minded to stay hopeful.

“Lan Zhaaaaan,” he whines, and throws in his best I’m your roommate and I might die if you don’t help me out smile. It’s a charmer. He’s practised it in front of a mirror enough times to know that.

Even then, even in the face of Wei Wuxian’s (self-proclaimed) stunner of a smile, Lan Wangji doesn’t say anything.

Wei Wuxian lets out a deflated sigh. “Okay, fine, I’ll go ask if I can sleep with Wen Ning tonight,” he tells Lan Wangji. He really should’ve started with that, but Wen Ning’s roommate is, tragically, Wen Chao, and honestly, ew, no?

He turns to leave, but Lan Wangji grasps at his wrist before he’s able to go. “Till Monday,” Lan Wangji says, voice clipped.

“Till Monday,” Wei Wuxian promises, and then shamelessly slides himself into Lan Wangji’s covers. “Lan Zhan, you’re so good to me. I knew you wouldn’t leave me to suffer.”

Lam Wangji doesn’t say anything, but Wei Wuxian hears the soft, resigned sigh he lets out when he heads to turn the light switch off.

Well, that wouldn’t do.

He waits till Lan Wangji slides into bed before he grins into the dark, and snuggles up close to Lan Wangji.

Wei Ying.”

“The bed is small,” Wei Wuxian says reasonably. “I wouldn’t want you to fall off the bed in the middle of the night, not after you’ve been so kind as to let me share your bed. I fidget when I sleep, you know that. What if I kick you off?”

Wei Wuxian had thought that some physical contact would lighten Lan Wangji’s mood. It always seems to, at least a little. Lan Wangji doesn’t show it much, but Wei Wuxian can tell that he’s not exactly too bothered when he drapes himself all around Lan Wangji, or touches him more than anyone else probably does.

This time though, Lan Wangji is quiet, and his body remains tense against Wei Wuxian’s.

Still, he can’t help but to shift closer and murmur, “Go to sleep, Lan er-gege. I promise I’ll be good.”

There is more silence from Lan Wangji’s end, but his body relaxes against Wei Wuxian.

Wei Wuxian smiles, and drifts off to sleep.

Wei Wuxian wakes up before Lan Wangji does, which is a first.

He’s not exactly used to sharing a single bed with anyone else, and it’s not exactly the most comfortable position to be, pressed against the wall. He like spreading his limbs out when he sleeps, but he’s also mindful of disrupting Lan Wangji’s rest.

He chances a quick look at Lan Wangji, features still soft in his slumber.

Wei Wuxian has always known that Lan Wangji is beautiful, but this close to him, with all of Lan Wangji’s features relaxed, he’s stunning. Wei Wuxian would never admit it, even at gunpoint, but he thinks he feels a flutter in his chest that he’s definitely not going to try to prod or analyse.

Lan Wangji wakes up then, as though Wei Wuxian’s thoughts are too loud for him. He blinks up softly at Wei Wuxian, and Wei Wuxian swallows.

He swears he’s never thought of Lan Wangji like this in the time they’ve been friends, but in that moment, the only thing he can think of is how Lan Wangji’s lips would feel against his own.

Well. It’s not like Wei Wuxian is particularly good at denying himself of what he wants.

He shifts closer, says, “Lan Zhan, do you want to-?”

Lan Wangji stares at him.

Wei Wuxian hasn’t voiced his entire query, but given the context and how well Lan Wangji is supposed to be able to read him, Wei Wuxian thinks he’s made himself as clear as he can.

A beat goes by.

And then another.

Lan Wangji is still just staring at Wei Wuxian, not saying anything, and for a moment, Wei Wuxian thinks that in an effort to save their relationship, he should really backtrack, should try to laugh the entire thing off, should even pretend that he’s sleepwalking, but then.

Yes,” Lan Wangji says, voice hoarse, and then kisses him.

For all his flirting and all his big talk, Wei Wuxian’s never really had too many opportunities to mess around with boys. He’s always thought that it wouldn’t be much different from kissing a girl, but with Lan Wangji’s lips hot and insistent on his, with the hard planes of Lan Wangji’s body against his, and oh-

Oh, this is different.

He experimentally palms Lan Wangji through his pyjamas bottoms. Lan Wangji pants against his lips, eyes dark with want, and fuck, if that isn’t a sight.

“Does it feel good, Lan Zhan?” Wei Wuxian asks, eager to draw more reactions out from Lan Wangji. “Can I keep going?”

Lan Wangji kisses him again, draws Wei Wuxian close, and shifts so he’s pinning Wei Wuxian to the bed by his wrists. “Yes,” he breathes.

Wei Wuxian smiles at that, and wiggles his arms. “You have to let me go so I can keep touching, Lan er-gege.”

Lan Wangji shudders at that, as if that of all the things that have just been happening in the past couple of minutes, this is the one that affects him the most, and okay, wow, that’s a lot of information to unpack.

Wei Wuxian is never going to be able to call him Lan er-gege in public without popping a boner ever again.

Worth it, he thinks, when Lan Wangji lets his hands go, and lets Wei Wuxian straddle him. He snakes his hand into Lan Wangji’s pyjamas, and Lan Wangji lets out a cry, tugging Wei Wuxian down so he can bury his face into Wei Wuxian’s neck.

“Wei Ying,” he murmurs against Wei Wuxian’s skin. “Wei Ying, you feel-”

“Good?” Wei Wuxian purrs when Lan Wangji doesn’t finish his sentence.

Good,” Lan Wangji breathes, and then turns to capture Wei Wuxian’s lips again.

It’s the easiest thing to lose himself to the sensations, to the weight of Lan Wangji’s length in his hand, to the scrape of Lan Wangji’s teeth against his jaw, to the soft noises that Lan Wangji lets out.

He learns that Lan Wangji’s skin is soft everywhere, that he arches into every touch Wei Wuxian lays on him, that his own name sounds positively sinful when Lan Wangji gasps it like that.

Most importantly, he learns what Lan Wangji looks like with his head thrown back in pleasure, what Lan Wangji sounds like when he’s on the cusp of release, and later, what Lan Wangji tastes like.

“Shameless,” Lan Wangji says, but there’s no heat in his voice, and the look in his eyes cannot possibly be anything other than desire, so Wei Wuxian just smirks at him, before he drops down next to Lan Wangji, spent and sated.

It’s still early, way before either of them have to go to class and at least a good ninety minutes away from when Lan Wangji likes to leave for breakfast, so Wei Wuxian cosies up to Lan Wangji and closes his eyes.

No-one ever told him that early mornings could be like this. His entire life has been a lie.

He falls asleep to Lan Wangji’s fingers in his hair, gentle and soft.

Lan Wangji’s already left for class by the time Wei Wuxian wakes up next, sometime around midday.

There is a familiar brown paper bag on his desk, and Wei Wuxian smiles when he sees it – Lan Wangji packed breakfast for him when he went to the dining hall.

He brings the packed lunch with him when he heads for class, and during a bout of boredom, texts Lan Wangji:

thank you for breakfast! should i take it that lan er gege was very pleased with my performance last night

Lan Wangji does not reply.

It’s not like Wei Wuxian is exactly expecting him to. Lan Wangji rarely replies to Wei Wuxian’s texts unless it’s important.

He frowns at his phone. Tsk, he thinks, this is rather important.

He redirects his attention into pestering Jiang Cheng instead. “Jiang Cheng, I’m hungry.”

Jiang Cheng glares at him. “You just ate an entire breakfast.”

“I’m still hungry,” Wei Wuxian whines.

“I’m not like Lan Wangji. I’m going to feed you,” Jiang Cheng tells him, and shifts to the next seat to put some distance between himself and Wei Wuxian. “Now shut up, I’m trying to pay attention in class.”

Wei Wuxian pouts at him. “I’ll tell shijie you tried to starve me.”

Jiang Cheng doesn’t reply.

Wei Wuxian slumps against the table, and sighs. If only Nie Huaisang hadn’t ditched class today.

He’s just about ready to take a bathroom break so he can walk around outside the lecture hall for fifteen minutes when Jiang Cheng slides him an energy bar.

Wei Wuxian perks up, and moves into the seat Jiang Cheng had earlier vacated. “I knew you loved me,” he tells Jiang Cheng, knocking their shoulders together, tearing the energy bar wrapper apart. “You’re my favourite sibling.”

Jiang Cheng snorts. “Say that again in front of jie and maybe I’ll believe you.”

He breaks the energy bar into halves, and passes one half to Jiang Cheng. “Fine, you’re my second favourite sibling.”

Jiang Cheng gives him a look. “You only have two siblings.”

Wei Wuxian grins at him. “Losing to shijie is a very acceptable outcome, Jiang Cheng.”

Lan Wangji is already back in their room when Wei Wuxian gets back from class.

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Wuxian calls out cheerily. “Did you get my text?”

Lan Wangji spares him a scathing glance before he turns back to his books. “Shameless,” he says.

“Yes, that’s true,” Wei Wuxian replies easily, and then drapes himself over Lan Wangji’s back.

Lan Wangji doesn’t stiffen at his touch, and he doesn’t immediately tell Wei Wuxian to get lost, so Wei Wuxian figures he can’t be that far off by guessing that Lan Wangji enjoyed last night just as much as Wei Wuxian did.

“I am shameless,” Wei Wuxian whispers by Lan Wangji’s ear. “But was I wrong, though, er-gege?”

Lan Wangji sets his pen down, and very calmly says, “No.”

Wei Wuxian grins. “Then...will er-gege be up for a repeat performance?” he asks.

On a whim, and because it’s just right there, Wei Wuxian kisses the tip of Lan Wangji’s reddening ear.

“Let go,” Lan Wangji says.

“Huh?” Wei Wuxian tightens his hold on Lan Wangji. “Why?”

“If you don’t let go,” Lan Wangji tells him, reaching up to cover one of Wei Wuxian’s hands with his own, squeezing lightly, “then I can’t get up.”

Oh.

“And what will you do once you get up?” Wei Wuxian asks. “Will er-gege punish me for being shameless?”

He hears the sharp intake of breath that Lan Wangji draws.

“Lan Zhan ah, Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian says, letting go of Lan Wangji, and straightening up. “You keep surprising me.”

Lan Wangji stands, and turns to face Wei Wuxian. “Is that bad?”

“No,” Wei Wuxian says, closing the distance between them with a step forward. “Not even a little,” he tells Lan Wangji, and then kisses him.

They don’t make it down to the dining hall in time for dinner.

There is one thing that Wei Wuxian absolutely doesn’t get about the university’s swim team – of all the people in the world, why in the world would the university appoint Lan Qiren to be their co-coach?

The official story is that the swim team is too unruly for Coach Jiang to handle, what with his easy-going personality and his tendency to let his students do whatever makes them happy, and that Lan Qiren was appointed to teach the swim team some discipline, but Wei Wuxian knows better.

The only reason why Lan Qiren was brought into the swim team as a co-coach was to bring misery and suffering to Wei Wuxian, that’s why.

Case in point, Wei Wuxian hasn’t even really done anything out of the usual ribbing of his teammates today, and he’s already been punished to run fifty laps on the track field after training.

Yeah, sure, Wei Wuxian was the one who swapped out Lan Qiren’s tea for soy sauce diluted with warm water, but Lan Qiren hasn’t even proved it yet! Wei Wuxian is almost sure that this premature punishment goes against his human rights. Or something.

It’s not one of the worst punishments Lan Qiren’s dished out on him before (that would be copying the bylaws of the swim team, three hundred times, while not being allowed to even speak) because at least there’s no-one assigned to monitor him while he completes his punishment, but Wei Wuxian still spares a moment to bemoan his bad fortune when he’s only about thirty-eight laps into his punishment and it starts pouring.

Lan Qiren so looked up the weather reports before he decided on this punishment.

He keeps running, in any event, because it is a punishment, and Wei Wuxian has learnt from previous experience with Lan Qiren that the punishment for not completing his punishment is way worse.

When he finishes his next lap, Lan Wangji is there, holding onto an umbrella, a bottle of water in hand.

Wei Wuxian immediately perks up. “Lan Zhan! What are you doing out here in the rain?”

Lan Wangji makes his way closer to Wei Wuxian, holding the umbrella over the both of them. “You weren’t at dinner,” he says, holding out the bottle of water to Wei Wuxian. “Jiang Cheng told me you got punished again.”

Wei Wuxian shrugs, but takes the bottle of water from Lan Wangji with a smile. “I deserve it this time,” he says, instead of telling Lan Wangji about his theory that Lan Qiren is doing all he can to make Wei Wuxian suffer. Lan Qiren is, after all, Lan Wangji’s uncle.

Lan Wangji gives him a look. “You deserve it every time.”

Wei Wuxian pouts at him. “Lan Zhaaaan, you’re supposed to be sympathetic to my plight!”

“I brought you water,” Lan Wangji says simply.

“Next time bring me some food,” Wei Wuxian tells him conspiringly.

“Mn,” Lan Wangji says, and then presses the umbrella into Wei Wuxian’s hands. “How many laps do you still have?”

“Eleven?”

“Mn.” Lan Wangji looks at him. “Go back first. There is food for you in the room,” he tells Wei Wuxian. “I’ll do the rest for you.”

Wei Wuxian stares at him. “What?”

“Uncle said your punishment was fifty laps,” Lan Wangji says. “He never said you had to be the only person to run them.”

What.” He blinks at Lan Wangji. “Why are you saying this like it’s an established loophole that Lan Qiren allows?”

Lan Wangji nods. “Uncle loves specificity.”

Wei Wuxian tries to pass the umbrella back to Lan Wangji. “I’ll just finish it on my own,” he tells Lan Wangji. “You’ll get wet if you do.”

“You’ll catch a cold if you keep staying out here in the rain,” Lan Wangji says.

“Then warm me up, Lan er-gege,” Wei Wuxian says, and then leans in, and kisses Lan Wangji.

Lan Wangji kisses Wei Wuxian back, draws him close, completely uncaring of Wei Wuxian’s wet clothes, and slides his tongue into Wei Wuxian’s mouth. Somewhere in between, the umbrella falls to their feet, but Wei Wuxian has more important things to think about.

Like how good Lan Wangji’s body feels against his.

Like how he really needs to finish his laps as soon as humanly possible so that they can go back to their room where Lan Wangji can really warm him up properly.

He pulls away from Lan Wangji. “Go back first, Lan Zhan. I’ll finish up. Give me half an hour.”

Lan Wangji looks at him for a moment, and then says, “I’ll run with you.”

And Wei Wuxian means to say no, he really, really does, because there’s no reason to make Lan Wangji go through Wei Wuxian’s punishment with him, but Lan Wangji reaches up, and drags his thumb over Wei Wuxian’s lips, and Wei Wuxian gives in, resolve collapsing like a house of cards.

Running laps feels a lot less like punishment and more like foreplay with Lan Wangji around anyway.

“I’ll race you,” he ends up saying.

Lan Wangji snorts. “You’ve already run thirty odd laps. You’re in no shape to race me,” he tells Wei Wuxian, not mocking, just true, and said in that nonchalant sort of way that Lan Wangji loves to sound.

He runs at Wei Wuxian’s pace right next to him for the rest of the laps, in silence, and it might just be Wei Wuxian’s mind playing tricks on him, but he swears that running laps is a lot less exhausting when he gets to look at Lan Wangji out of the corner of his eye.

Lan Wangji all but marches Wei Wuxian to the showers when they get back to the halls, instead of letting Wei Wuxian strip him down and have some fun first.

“You’ll catch a cold,” Lan Wangji says firmly. “After.”

Wei Wuxian’s lips quirk up. “After?”

“We can...do what you want after we shower,” Lan Wangji clarifies, and it’s only because Wei Wuxian is looking for it that he notices the way the tips of Lan Wangji’s ears redden.

Wei Wuxian’s amusement must show on his face, because Lan Wangji grabs his towel, and heads for a shower cubicle quickly.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian says, before Lan Wangji is able to close the door on him.

“Hmm?”

Wei Wuxian smiles at him, and then pushes his way into Lan Wangji’s cubicle.

Lan Wangji purses his lips. “Wei Ying.”

“I’ll be quiet,” Wei Wuxian says sweetly, and then kisses Lan Wangji. “I’ll put my mouth to better use,” he whispers against the corner of Lan Wangji’s lips when they part for breath. “Would you like that, Lan er-gege?”

Lan Wangji considers his words.

Wei Wuxian waits with bated breath. He’s not going to lie – he has thought a lot about having his mouth on Lan Wangji’s cock in the last couple of days. If Lan Wangji says no, Wei Wuxian might actually die from disappointment.

Lan Wangji doesn’t say no.

He also doesn’t immediately say yes.

What he does is this:

He reaches behind Wei Wuxian slowly, and locks the door to the cubicle. He tugs Wei Wuxian close with a hand to the back of his neck, kisses him, deep and measured, until Wei Wuxian is almost tempted to just keep doing this and only this, and then pulls away. “You will be quiet?” he checks.

Wei Wuxian huffs out a soft laugh. “I’ll try?” he tells Lan Wangji, and then drops to his knees.

Lan Wangji is already hard, this much is easy to observe given the fact that his rain-soaked clothes are sticking against his body. Wei Wuxian rubs his cheek against Lan Wangji’s cock, and smiles when he feels Lan Wangji shudder against him, both from the sensation and from the effort it is taking him not to buck into the touch.

He makes quick work of peeling Lan Wangji out of his wet clothes. In another situation, he might tease, and Lan Wangji might even enjoy being teased, but they’re not in the privacy of their own room, and Wei Wuxian is not so shameless that he wants them to get caught by any of their nosy floormates.

He wraps his hand around Lan Wangji’s length, strokes him firm and slow, the way Lan Wangji enjoys. “Lan Zhan,” he murmurs, looking up at Lan Wangji, “what do you like?”

Lan Wangji blinks at him, almost as though he’s been taken off guard by the question, and then says, uncalculated and almost sweetly, “You.”

Damn, Lan Wangji has a lot more game than Wei Wuxian gave him credit for. Wei Wuxian wonders how many people have fallen victim to Lan Wangji like this before.

He rewards Lan Wangji with a firm upward stroke, follows it up with a ghost of a kiss to the tip of Lan Wangji’s cock. “What else?” he murmurs, seeking clarity. “How do you like getting your cock sucked, er-gege?”

Lan Wangji swallows – one day they’re really going to need to have a conversation about Lan Wangji’s kinks properly.

“I...don’t know,” Lan Wangji says.

“Huh.” Wei Wuxian stares up at him. “No time like the present to find out, right?”

Lan Wangji cups Wei Wuxian’s face, and gently runs his thumb over the curve of his cheekbones. “Mn,” he tells Wei Wuxian, and surrenders himself to Wei Wuxian and lets Wei Wuxian take him apart.

Midterms season is the worst.

For all that Wei Wuxian fools around in class, and skips as many tutorials as he’s able to without drastically affecting his attendance marks, he’s on a scholarship, and he has grade projections to keep up with.

Lan Wangji is the perfect roommate to have, come exam season, because of how seriously he takes them. Wei Wuxian benefits from this a lot, mainly because Lan Wangji is really hot when he’s stern, and Wei Wuxian has discovered that he becomes very motivated to please Lan Wangji when Lan Wangji is stern.

Case in point – Wei Wuxian has already gotten into the habit of bringing out his books and his notes whenever Lan Wangji even mildly glances at him in a sterner manner than usual.

Lan Wangji got Wei Wuxian to go through three sets of past year questions with the promise of a kiss! That Wei Wuxian didn’t even receive eventually because he fell asleep midway through the night!

Point is, Lan Wangji is very good at making Wei Wuxian study, and Wei Wuxian’s grades thank him for, but exam season is still the worst because Lan Wangji refuses to let Wei Wuxian touch him because it’s going to be a “distraction” and Wei Wuxian is “terrible at dealing with distractions”. Which he is, but how dare Lan Wangji use that against him as though his entire presence isn’t a distraction to Wei Wuxian already.

On the last day of Wei Wuxian’s exams, he comes back to their room late at night, exhausted from the end of midterms celebrations that he was dragged out to by Jiang Cheng and Nie Huaisang. It’s already past Lan Wangji’s routine bedtime, so it’s not surprising that the lights are off, and Lan Wangji is already in bed.

Wei Wuxian spares a moment to pout in the dark before he makes his way to Lan Wangji to gently nudge at him to make space for himself in Lan Wangji’s bed. Lan Wangji must wake up, because he shifts to accommodate Wei Wuxian, and wraps his arms around Wei Wuxian when Wei Wuxian curls around him.

“Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian sighs, snuggling close.

“It went well?” Lan Wangji asks, voice scratchy with sleep.

“Don’t know, don’t care,” Wei Wuxian says flippantly, and breathes Lan Wangji in. “Lan Zhan,” he sighs again.

“Sleep,” Lan Wangji tells him. “You must be tired.”

Wei Wuxian tips his head up, and kisses Lan Wangji instead. Lan Wangji kisses back, soft and slow, and pulls away when Wei Wuxian’s hands start to wander.

Wei Wuxian makes a noise of dissent. “You don’t want to?” he asks.

“I do,” Lan Wangji says gently. “Later. After you’ve had some sleep.”

Wei Wuxian smiles, and tucks his face back into the crook of Lan Wangji’s neck. “Okay, then. I’ll listen to my good Lan er-gege.”

Lan Wangji curls his arm around Wei Wuxian. “Goodnight, Wei Ying.”

“Lan Zhan?” Wei Wuxian says, after a short pause.

“Hmm?”

“Can you remind me when I wake up that I really want you to finger me? I was thinking about it all through my exam.” He nips at Lan Wangji’s neck. “I was hard through like at least half of it.”

Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji scolds, but it’s not a no, and they both know it.

Wei Wuxian smiles against Lan Wangji’s skin, and lets himself drift off to sleep.

“What’s going on with you and Lan Wangji recently?” Jiang Cheng asks, when they’re all camped out in the common room, waiting for a pizza delivery.

“What do you mean what’s going on?” Wei Wuxian asks nonchalantly. “Nothing’s going on.”

Nie Huaisang smirks. “You’re a lot more handsy with each other than you used to be,” he comments. “And it already used to be pretty bad.”

Wei Wuxian makes a face. “I’m not handsy with Lan Zhan,” he says. “He doesn’t like it when people touch him.

“Uh huh,” Jiang Cheng says. “We know he doesn’t. He only lets you do it. So I’ll repeat my question: what’s going on with you and Lan Wangji?”

“Nothing!” Wei Wuxian insists. “We’re friends.”

Neither Jiang Cheng nor Nie Huaisang look convinced.

“Good friends,” Wei Wuxian amends, and sips at his frappuccino.

“We saw you guys kissing like last night,” Nie Huaisang says.

Wei Wuxian chokes. Lan Wangji is going to be so mad when he finds out that’s how they got caught. He’d told Wei Wuxian that someone was going to see them, but Wei Wuxian had had a couple of drinks and was riding off the high from winning another gold medal. He’d demanded a congratulatory kiss, and Lan Wangji had eventually relented.

“How? We ducked behind a tree-”

HA!” Jiang Cheng screeches, and flashes the other students in the common room a sheepish smile when it startles them. “We were only 60% sure, but now we know for sure.”

“I genuinely thought it was a drunken hallucination,” Nie Huaisang says. “Holy shit, I can’t believe you are dating Hanguang-Jun. Is he a good kisser? Is he fit? He must be really fit. How is he in bed?”

“I am not dating Lan Zhan,” Wei Wuxian says hotly. “And none of that other stuff is or should be any of your business!”

Nie Huaisang smirks. “Why? Jealous that someone else is objectifying your boyfriend?”

“He’s not my boyfriend!”

Jiang Cheng leans forward, and stares at Wei Wuxian, “Then what is he to you?”

Wei Wuxian feels like he’s walked into a trap. He really should’ve known. He only came out with them today because Jiang Cheng said he would pay for Wei Wuxian’s drink, but when has Jiang Cheng, being Jiang Cheng, ever given Wei Wuxian anything that Wei Wuxian didn’t continuously pester him for?

He’s not ready to have this conversation. With Jiang Cheng and Nie Huaisang, especially. He’s not even really sure he’s ready to have this conversation with himself.

“We’re friends,” he says firmly. This really isn’t the time or the place to question his own feelings. “Just friends.”

“And last night?” Jiang Cheng asks, eyes narrowing.

“I get frisky when I’ve had a couple of drinks in me, you know that,” Wei Wuxian replies.

Jiang Cheng and Nie Huaisang don’t look too convinced, so Wei Wuxian forces out a laugh. “I can’t believe you think I’m dating Lan Zhan. Can you imagine me? Dating someone as boring as Lan Zhan?”

His own stomach churns at his words.

He doesn’t dare to think more of it.

This is the thing about Lan Wangji – he really likes his routines. He wakes up at ungodly hours of the day because his body is too used to it, he can’t skip breakfast because it’s the most important meal of the day, and, barring any emergencies, he goes to bed every night at 9pm.

So it’s more than a little concerning when it’s almost half past nine, and Lan Wangji still hasn’t returned to their room yet.

Wei Wuxian checks his phone for the thirteenth time in the last minute.

No texts from Lan Wangji, no missed calls as well. Wei Wuxian has rung him a couple of times; Lan Wangji’s phone isn’t turned off, but he isn’t picking up Wei Wuxian’s calls as well.

Somewhere in between waiting for Lan Wangji to come back, Wei Wuxian must’ve fallen asleep, because he wakes up to his phone alarm going off.

Wei Wuxian knows for certain that he did not set his alarm himself. Lan Wangji must’ve done it for him.

Lan Wangji is already gone, but hey, at least he’s been back, so he must be fine, just busy, probably.

Wei Wuxian makes a mental note to remind himself to make sure that Lan Wangji is taking care of himself, and not just toughing it out in the library. Maybe he should go and pester Lan Wangji there, just so that Lan Wangji will acquiesce to taking a break.

He sends a quick text to Lan Wangji to thank him for setting the alarm, and asks where Lan Wangji is.

Lan Wangji doesn’t reply, which again, isn’t the most surprising occurrence. Wei Wuxian isn’t all that bothered about it, even though he makes sure to send Lan Wangji sad emoji faces every couple of hours through the day just on the off chance that Lan Wangji would take pity on him, and reply.

Lan Wangji doesn’t, but it’s not really a problem, at least not until Wei Wuxian has slogged through an entire day of classes and training without hearing from Lan Wangji, only to reach dinnertime and find that Lan Wangji still hasn’t been back to their room or texted him back, even though Wei Wuxian knows for sure that Lan Wangji’s classes ended at 2pm today.

He’s fairly certain that Lan Wangji doesn’t have an exam coming up, so what assignment is he working on that has him so worked up?

Wei Wuxian tries calling, but reaches Lan Wangji’s voice message instead. “Lan Zhan, where are you? Are you not coming back for dinner? Are you skipping dinner? You know that’s bad for you, Lan Zhan! Call me back!”

Wei Wuxian is already halfway to the dining hall to meet Jiang Cheng and Nie Huaisang for dinner when he changes his mind, and heads in the other direction instead. Lan Wangji is probably still at the library, and he probably has his phone on silent and buried under a pile of books. If Wei Wuxian doesn’t go and get him, Lan Wangji might end up forgoing dinner. He might even decide to sleep in the library again.

He combs through the library in search of Lan Wangji when he gets there, but Lan Wangji isn’t there.

Wei Wuxian frowns, and calls Jiang Cheng.

“Are you not coming to dinner?” Jiang Cheng says in lieu of a greeting, when he picks up. “Or are you and Lan Wangji out eating something good? If you are and have decided to leave me and Huaisang out, we will come murder you in your sleeps tonight.”

“Oh, so Lan Zhan isn’t at dinner as well?” Wei Wuxian asks. “Okay, bye, then.”

Wei Wuxian, you-

Wei Wuxian hangs up before Jiang Cheng is able to finish his sentence, grinning, but sombres up when he remembers that he still has no idea where Lan Wangji is.

He calls Lan Wangji again, but doesn’t leave a message this time when the call doesn’t go through.

He ends up back in their room, perplexed by Lan Wangji’s behaviour. Lan Wangji isn’t usually like this – he’s not so irresponsible that he would go off-radar when he knows that Wei Wuxian would be worried.

He settles in Lan Wangji’s bed, armed with his laptop and notes for class. If he has to pull an all-nighter just to wait for Lan Wangji to show up, then he’s very well going to do that.

Wei Wuxian ends up waking up to an alarm he knows he didn’t set again.

Lan Wangji is still nowhere to be found.

God fucking dammit.

“Xichen ge!” Wei Wuxian yells from across the pond when he spots Lan Xichen the next day after class. He jogs his way to Lan Xichen. “Xichen ge, have you seen Lan Zhan around? He hasn’t been back to the halls in a couple of days.”

Lan Xichen quirks an eyebrow. “I invited him home for dinner on Sunday, and he decided to stay for a couple of days. Did he not tell you?” Lan Xichen asks. “I assumed he did.”

“Oh,” Wei Wuxian says, relieved. He still doesn’t know why Lan Wangji wouldn’t just tell him he was going to stay with his brother for a few days, but hey, at least he knows where Lan Wangji is now, and he knows that Lan Wangji is safe.

He contemplates asking Lan Xichen if he knows what Wei Wuxian did to annoy Lan Wangji into ignoring him for so many days, but in the end, his pride wins out, and he thanks Lan Xichen for his time, and heads morosely back to the halls.

He ends up in Jiang Cheng and Nie Huaisang’s room, playing video games and snacking on food from the care package that Nie Huaisang’s brother sent him, because his own room feels sad and empty without Lan Wangji in it. He almost thinks about crashing in their room for the night, but when Jiang Cheng starts snoring, Wei Wuxian lets out a resigned sigh, and heads back to his own room instead.

It turns out to be a fantastic idea, because when he gets back to his room, Lan Wangji is back. He’s already asleep, from the looks of it, so Wei Wuxian takes care not to be loud.

He makes his way quietly to Lan Wangji, and crawls into bed with him, curling his body around Lan Wangji’s, and falls asleep to the soft rise and fall of Lan Wangji’s chest against his palm.

Wei Wuxian sleeps better than he has in days.

When he wakes up the next morning, Lan Wangji is gone again, even though Wei Wuxian knows for certain that he doesn’t have an early class today.

He has this terrible feeling in his chest that there’s something really wrong.

It’s been more than four days since the last time he even saw Lan Wangji.

Lan Wangji has never gone so long without speaking to Wei Wuxian. Even in the beginning, when they were still getting used to each other, when Wei Wuxian used to annoy him so much that even him breathing around Lan Wangji would get Lan Wangji worked up, Lan Wangji would never ignore him.

Whatever that Wei Wuxian has done this time, and he still doesn’t even know what he did, he must have reached Lan Wangji’s limit.

He bolts out of bed, and heads for Lan Wangji’s desk. He really needs to figure out where Lan Wangji is. If Wei Wuxian done something wrong, he is more than happy to apologise to Lan Wangji, but he needs to find Lan Wangji before he’s able to do that.

There must be some clues as to where Lan Wangji is hiding himself. He slept in the halls last night and he’s got class in the afternoon, so he can’t have gone back to Lan Xichen’s apartment across town.

It’s only logical to assume that Lan Wangji is still on campus. He would guess the library, but if Lan Wangji is avoiding him on purpose, then Lan Wangji will steer clear of the library, knowing that Wei Wuxian would try to seek him out there.

Lan Wangji's guqin is still placed neatly by his desk, so he probably hasn’t gone to practise in one of the music rooms. Besides, Wei Wuxian’s also got minions keeping tabs on the music rooms to alert him when Lan Wangji makes a booking on any of the rooms, so he knows Lan Wangji isn’t there.

He scans through Lan Wangji’s desk, looking for clues as to where Lan Wangji might be, and a familiar green piece of paper catches his eye. He tugs it out from where it’s placed with Lan Wangji’s other music sheets, and feels his chest tighten painfully when he reads the words on the form – ROOM TRANSFER FORM.

nhs: you know i can’t sign for you for this class right

nhs: SHE WILL KNOW IMMEDIATELY IF YOU’RE NOT IN CLASS

nhs: YOU’RE COMING TO CLASS RIGHT

nhs: MADAM YU IS PHYSICALLY GOING TO WHIP YOUR SKIN OFF YOU IF YOU DITCH

jc: mother realised the moment she stepped into the room that you ditched. rip you.

Whatever painful death Madam Yu has prepared for Wei Wuxian is honestly going to have to wait until Wei Wuxian sorts out this whole mess with Lan Wangji.

Wei Wuxian realised when he was going through Lan Wangji’s desk that most of his study materials are still in the room. This means that Lan Wangji must be coming back regularly enough that he doesn’t have to pack them to take to Lan Xichen’s apartment. The only way that Lan Wangji must’ve been able to do this without bumping into Wei Wuxian is to do it during Madam Yu’s classes, because that’s the only one class that Lan Wangji knows for certain that Wei Wuxian would not –cannot– miss.

Well.

Lan Wangji better appreciate that Wei Wuxian is risking death by the hands of Madam Yu just to be able to see him.

Wei Wuxian’s theory turns out to be correct. It’s ten minutes past three, ten minutes into when Madam Yu’s lecture starts, when Wei Wuxian hears the click of the door unlocking.

He steels himself.

Lan Wangji’s look of surprise is beautiful, and Wei Wuxian would normally pat himself on the back for managing to draw such an expression out of Lan Wangji, and maybe tease Lan Wangji about it a little, but this is neither the time nor place for it.

Lan Wangji visibly collects himself before he says, “Don’t you have class with Madam Yu now? You shouldn’t give her more reasons to dislike you.”

“That’s really not important right now,” Wei Wuxian says, and then burrows into Lan Wangji, circles Lan Wangji’s waist with his arms, and holds on tight so he can’t escape again. “Why are you mad at me?” he asks into Lan Wangji’s sweater.

“I’m not,” Lan Wangji says- Nay, lies.

“Of course you are!” Wei Wuxian cries. “You’ve been avoiding me and ignoring my messages, and now you even want to move out!” He pulls away slightly so he can look at Lan Wangji. “Why are you mad at me, Lan Zhan?”

“I’m not,” Lan Wangji says again.

“I don’t like it when you ignore me,” Wei Wuxian tells him softly. “And I don’t want you to move out.”

Lan Wangji is quiet for a beat. Then, he asks, “Wei Ying, what are we doing?”

Wei Wuxian blinks at him. “What?”

“What am I to you?” Lan Wangji asks.

Wei Wuxian blinks again, because the question feels familiar. He’s recently been asked this question before, he thinks. And, oh.

“You overheard my conversation,” Wei Wuxian says. “That’s why you’re mad at me.”

“I’m not-” Lan Wangji cuts himself off when Wei Wuxian’s grip on him tightens.

Wei Wuxian tries his best to remember the contents of the conversation he had the other day. What did he tell Jiang Cheng? He told Jiang Cheng that of course he wasn’t in a relationship with Lan Wangji. Because that’s true! Isn’t it?

Wei Wuxian would know if he was in a relationship with Lan Wangji. Certainly Lan Wangji would’ve said something if that’s what they were doing.

Whatever he’s thinking must show on his face, because Lan Wangji looks away from him. Wei Wuxian manages to catch the flash of disappointment in Lan Wangji’s eyes, and he can feel Lan Wangji stiffening against him, and it’s suddenly quite apparent that Lan Wangji means to stop having this conversation, to try to leave again, and it startles the words out of Wei Wuxian.

“I haven’t slept well these last couple of days,” he blurts out. “I don’t like it when you’re not around, when I can’t see you. If I had my way, I wouldn’t want to spend a day- No, an hour without you by my side. I feel better when you’re around. And when you’re not, I always have you on my mind.” He takes a deep breath, and then continues softly, “And I don’t think you’re boring at all? I find you fascinating? You know so much! And you do so much! And I think… I think you’re the only person in this world who truly understands me. I don’t know what any of that is supposed to mean, but it’s all true? I don’t know if that answers your question. I’m sorry if it doesn’t.”

Wei Wuxian must’ve said something right, because Lan Wangji’s gaze goes infinitely soft.

Wei Wuxian feels a flutter in his chest that he doesn’t think he dares to analyse.

“It does,” Lan Wangji says gently, and Wei Wuxian hugs him again, burrowing his face into Lan Wangji’s neck.

“You’re not going to ignore me anymore?”

Lan Wangji’s thumb rubs soothing circles against the nape of Wei Wuxian’s neck. “No.”

“And you’re not going to move to another room?” Wei Wuxian asks, voice small.

“No,” Lan Wangji says firmly. “The form isn’t for me. The residential manager wanted me to give it to Wen Ning. A vacancy opened up on our floor, and she wanted to know if Wen Ning wanted to move up here instead of staying with Wen Chao still.”

Oh,” Wei Wuxian says, stupidly relieved. “Okay. Good. I thought…” He lets out a sigh of relief. “Is everything okay now? Are we okay now?”

“Mn,” Lan Wangji says.

Wei Wuxian looks up at Lan Wangji. “Er-gege, I’ve missed you,” he sighs. “Will you take me to bed now?”

Lan Wangji does.

EPILOGUE:

“Why don’t you invite Second Master Lan back to Yunmeng with us for the break?” Jiang Yanli asks, when Wei Wuxian vaguely expresses that he might not go back with them for the mid-semester break.

This whole...thing with Lan Wangji is still new, and Wei Wuxian is enjoying Lan Wangji’s attention on him. It’s not that he really thinks that two weeks away from Lan Wangji would change anything, but it’s two weeks, and even just thinking about not seeing Lan Wangji for two weeks is already making his skin crawl.

Jiang Yanli’s idea presents new options for Wei Wuxian. He’s not going to deny that the idea of having Lan Wangji in his childhood home, of having Lan Wangji in his bed, is a thrilling one.

“Madam Yu might not…” Wei Wuxian trails off.

Jiang Cheng snorts. “Might not what? Like your boyfriend?”

Wei Wuxian throws a stray napkin at him. “We’re just friends,” he mumbles, pointedly not looking at either of his siblings.

It’s not exactly like he’s lying; they haven’t really put a label on that thing that they’re doing yet, so it would be a little presumptuous to say that Lan Wangji is his boyfriend.

God, does Lan Wangji even want to be his boyfriend?

Wei Wuxian himself is still not exactly sure about the depth of his own feelings for Lan Wangji, and he’s not exactly sure that he wants to try to find out, mostly because he thinks the answer will scare even himself.

Jiang Cheng rolls his eyes. “I caught you with your tongue in his mouth last weekend. Again,” he reminds Wei Wuxian. “Just friends my foot.”

“A-Cheng,” Jiang Yanli admonishes gently. Wei Wuxian only has half a second to be smug that Jiang Yanli is defending him from Jiang Cheng’s unnecessary and inappropriate bullying when she turns to him, and says, “Would you be okay if Second Master Lan did all the things he does with you with another friend?”

Jiang Cheng smirks. “Oh, yeah, imagine Lan Wangji being friends with Jin Guangyao.”

Wei Wuxian thinks about the possibility, despite knowing that the reason that Lan Wangji and Jin Guangyao are on good terms with each other is because they share a class, and that Jin Guangyao is a...close friend of Lan Xichen.

He thinks about the possibility of Lan Wangji smiling at Jin Guangyao in private, of Lan Wangji allowing Jin Guangyao to touch him, of Lan Wangji saying “Meng Yao” in that soft and almost-fond way that he says “Wei Ying”.

He thinks about Lan Wangji allowing anyone else the liberties that he allows Wei Wuxian, and his chest feels uncomfortably tight.

“He wouldn’t,” Wei Wuxian says firmly to Jiang Yanli.

Jiang Yanli’s smile is very gentle and very kind. “Of course he wouldn’t,” she tells Wei Wuxian. “He’ll only do those things with you because he likes you, A-Xian. And you wouldn’t do the same things with anyone else too. Because you like him.”

“A lot,” Jiang Cheng chimes in.

And just like that, everything slots into place for Wei Wuxian.

He stands abruptly. “I’ve got to go.”

He thinks he hears Jiang Cheng laughing at him, but he’s already too busy trying to remember Lan Wangji’s class schedule to do anything more than just to blindly throw a loquat in Jiang Cheng’s direction, and hope that it hits him.

Wei Wuxian makes his way to the lecture hall that he knows Lan Wangji is in, throwing the door open. He almost winces when he realises that it’s Lan Qiren’s lecture that he’s intruding on, but Wei Wuxian is not a quitter, and he did not cross the campus in half the time that it would’ve taken anyone else just to chicken out right now.

He finds Lan Wangji. It’s not hard – Wei Wuxian swears he could pick Lan Wangji out of a crowd of thousands in a heartbeat.

The twitch of Lan Wangji’s eyebrows means that he’s mildly surprised to see Wei Wuxian there.

Well, Wei Wuxian hopes Lan Wangji is all buckled up, because he is about to surprise him a hell lot more.

“Lan Zhan!” he says loudly. “Lan Zhan, I like you!”

The class bursts into excited hushed murmurs.

Lan Wangji’s eyes widen minutely, and his lips part.

There. Proper surprise.

“I really like you! I like you so much!” Wei Wuxian continues. “I want to be with you every day! I want to hold your hand, and kiss your lips, and whisper sweet nothings to you! In public!” He hears a giggle from his left, and it messes with his brain-to-mouth filter. “I want to sleep with you every night!”

“Wei Wuxian!” Lan Qiren roars.

“Not like that!” Wei Wuxian says quickly. “I mean, yes, like that, but also not like that! That’s not the point! The point is, Lan Zhan, I never want to be apart from you. I can’t live if you’re not by my side. I want to be with you forever. Only you, it has to be you. My heart beats only for you! I like you so much my heart is bursting with it!” He pauses for breath. “Lan Zhan. My darling, darling Lan Zhan, will you please be my boyfriend?”

Wei Wuxian!” Lan Qiren says again.

Wei Wuxian winces, because it really does sound like Lan Qiren is three seconds away from 1) having an aneurysm, or 2) murdering Wei Wuxian slowly and painfully with whatever tool he can get his hands on the fastest.

“Sorry, Professor Lan, sorry,” he tells Lan Qiren before he turns back to face Lan Wangji. “I’ll wait outside for you to finish your class, Lan Zhan! I won’t leave before you come out, I promise!” He grins at Lan Wangji, because it’s impossible not to grin at the look on his face. “Because I like you! So much!”

Lan Qiren bellows, “Get out!”

Wei Wuxian sags against the wall when he comes out to a blessedly empty hallway. That had been more exciting than he thought it would be. He hadn’t realised that vocalising his feelings to Lan Wangji would be so exhilarating, so freeing.

He grins, and wonders how Lan Wangji is faring.

He expects to have to wait for another 25 minutes until class is over for Lan Wangji, but he’s barely been out there for two minutes when the door to the lecture hall opens, and Lan Wangji comes staggering out.

“Lan Zhan!” Wei Wuxian says, making his way over to Lan Wangji.

“Wei Ying,” Lan Wangji says, when Wei Wuxian is close enough. His voice shakes. “You said-”

Wei Wuxian takes Lan Wangji’s hands in his. “I know what I said,” he says, and smiles at Lan Wangji. “I meant it all. I like you.”

Lan Wangji breaks ahold of Wei Wuxian’s grasp, reaches out with hands that are trembling slightly, and cups Wei Wuxian’s face. “Wei Ying,” he says, softly.

Wei Wuxian leans into the touch. “Lan Zhan, will you be my boyfriend?”

Lan Wangji kisses him in answer.

When they part, Wei Wuxian is grinning. He doesn’t think he can physically stop himself. His heart feels so full he thinks it’s about to burst, and he’s happy, so happy.

He thumbs at the corner of Lan Wangji’s lips. “Lan er-gege, give us a smile, won’t you?”

Lan Wangji does as he says, lets the corner of his lips curve up, and Wei Wuxian’s breath hitches. He immediately covers Lan Wangji’s lips with his own, kisses the smile off Lan Wangji’s lips.

“No more smiling in public,” Wei Wuxian tells Lan Wangji when they part. “Other people might get ideas and try to steal you away from me.”

Lan Wangji smiles again, slight but infinitely soft. Wei Wuxian thinks it’s about time he invests in some medication for heart palpitations. “It won’t work.”

“Oh?”

“My heart also beats only for you,” Lan Wangji tells him, honest, and then kisses Wei Wuxian again.