Wei Wuxian never needed a manager, he needed a handler, Lan Wangji thinks, surveying the damage on stage at the end of the concert. Louyang was the last location for the tour until a brief interlude, and on the first day, he's managed to somehow trash the stage, destroy their two main sounds systems, kick a hole in a trap set and short circuit the power in the entire stadium. Even if their next performance was three days from now at a different venue, this was too much. Considering all the damage he'd done on tour so far, he'd be surprised if there was any profit left after paying reparations.
Pinching the bridge of his nose, he notes down the all the charges he has to consider and suppliers he has to sort out to replace the expensive sound equipment his boss has blown in time for the next show.
He rakes in a hefty sum for what he would consider glorified babysitting, but he's seen Wei Wuxian perform and the product leaves him breathless every time. He wouldn't admit it to his boss, but maybe he's a little proud to be a part of making that happen.
If it were up to his Uncle, he'd be playing first string at the Beijing Orchestra. Somehow, out of fascination, he'd end up here instead, working for the most difficult man he'd ever met, omega or otherwise.
If someone had told him eleven years ago he'd be leading the team for China's most insane soloist he would have scoffed and walked away, especially since twelve years ago around the time of his debut, Wei Wuxian requested a guqin accompaniment and Lan Wangji had the misfortune of being the one he chose to work with. They had immediately disliked each other, and Wangji, who had been training in classical instruments since before he could talk, would never understand the way the other's mind worked. Even now, he had less than a vague idea. He didn't understand how a person so reckless and erratic could call himself an artist. A top performer for sure. A certified prima donna. But his skill on twelve different instruments was undeniable. At a live performance on a variety show, Wangji saw him play for the first time and even he had to admit (although grudgingly) that Wuxian was a skilled musician. The way he wove words into songs was lyrical artistry, and his instrumentals always seemed to convey emotional intent. As a classical music major, that was something Wangji appreciated.
Yet, for all Wei Wuxian's capriciousness, his work ethic is nothing short of insane. The omega is very specific about the image he maintains; he writes all his music himself, participates in designing costumes for his more dramatic performances and plays all of his music live. He once cancelled a MAMA performance because they asked him to perform to a track, and he wasn't having it.
No performance is the same, either. Where a tour can mean the same set over and over, with China's sweetheart it was different every night. "What's the point if I do the same thing over and over?" he'd said, to his former manager. That was before Wangji took the older man's place.
When he thinks about it, Wuxian was not easy to deal with. But he was nothing if not committed and resilient. The omega's dedication to his art was mirrored by his own dedication to make it happen.
And, he had to, because for all his fans, Wei Wuxian was a press nightmare. Just five months ago, he had punched and actor in the face at an award show.
"Why must you be so unreasonable?" Wangji demanded, barely able to contain his anger after he had to physically haul the younger back to his limousine.
"Wen Chao said something disrespectful," Wuxian said defensively, folding his arms and leaning back.
"So you punched him in the face?"
"Yes," Wuxian answers petulantly.
"At the most widely covered awards show in Asia."
"Yes," Wuxian said a little less passionately.
"Since when were you a white knight?"
"Don't criticize me for what I defend, Lan Zhan!" the omega said hotly.
"What is so important that you must defend it in front of all of Asia ?"
"None of your god damn business."
Wangji pinched the bridge of his nose as to delay the oncoming migraine.
"What would you have done Lan Zhan? Stare at him blankly? Because I'm sure that would have shown him," the omega simpers. His scent is challenging, demanding a rise out of him and Wangji will not sink to his level.
"I will send you back to Yunmeng," Wangji threatened, as the omega glared.
"Fine," the omega snapped, "Please cancel the whole fucking tour because of Wen Chao's bigotry."
About a month after that, he was caught in a scandal at a restaurant. A waiter had claimed that Wuxian was making moves on him the entire time he was there. Wuxian got kicked out of the restaurant after causing a scene.
"I wasn't drunk, Lan Zhan," the omega insisted, and Wangji doesn't doubt him, knowing the omega's rigid alcohol tolerance. But that was not how the media would see it.
"He was hitting on me. Honestly, do I look like I'm choking for a knot?"
Wangji wishes he were, so he could stuff his mouth and shut him up. They bickered about things a lot, with an undercurrent of sexual tension— because Wuxian was so hot but also so troublesome .
Sure enough, in under an hour the tabloids had gone crazy and there were even pictures— pictures of Wei Wuxian laughing and the waiter's face blurred out. Lan Wangji had made it all go away, on the promise from the omega that he would behave since his tour was beginning soon. True to his word, there were no scandals, but there was no shortage of work to be done either, he thought to himself, thinking out how many wrecked compounds and damaged equipment he'd had to sign cheques for so far.
But the omega's appeal didn't end there either. For as brash and excessive as he came off, the omega had a softer side that made fans of the unwilling. According to his Grazia interview three years ago, he never asked for the lifestyle of a performer, although it was one that suited him well. It was fast-paced enough, high powered and demanding. It kept him on his toes with his performance, challenged his ability to make music and connect. Music for him was the way he exhaled, full of feeling and all-encompassing.
It was that same interview he had said his only goal as an omega was to stay at home with a caring mate and a small mob of children, which if you asked Lan Zhan was a stroke of genius PR on the artist's part.
He had the kind of appearance that was appealing to men and women. Tall and broad for an omega, but not enough to dispel the protective instinct of an alpha. Because of this duality, he suited the tastes of many betas as well. He preferred looks that were androgynous, unisex, and on stage, straight up dramatic.
Mian Mian, his assistant manager, breaks his concentration from his musings, slightly flushed and out of breath.
"He's got fans backstage, again," she tells him. The beta looks ruffled, and that can only mean one thing.
"Yeah, three of them. The hormones from the backroom are making a mess of the crew."
Which meant he had to be the one to handle it, once again having to clean up after the omega's messes.
He mentally retracts the sentiment of his thoughts.
Wei Wuxian was flighty, frivolous and egocentric.
He briskly enters the backstage area. It's about 5 am and he already has a headache, one that would probably last for the rest of the day. Know himself and who he works for, he reasons that he most definitely will.
He would usually enter Wuxian's dressing room without announcement— the younger didn't seem to care much about modesty, staff in and out constantly. But for the sake of the others in the room— namely,fans, he knocks for their benefit, trying not to burst in when he hears the giggles inside.
"Who is it?"
"Wangji," he says tightly.
"Oh come on in, why did you knock?" He enters as Wuxian is explaining how his friend is handsome and one of the women eyes him openly and intentionally. He can tell from the scent that all were alphas, and one was wearing omega attracting perfume.
He ignores them, eyes directed at the artist currently entertaining them.
"This is a staff-only area, Mr. Wei," he says, deadpan.
"Oof, he's angry," Wuxian jokes, and the alphas all tither out laughs. Their scents are all over. One is rife with sexual energy- she's here to get laid, the other is tired, but is happy to have Wuxian's attention and the other is uncomfortable as hell, but excitement is buzzing off her in tendrils.
He waits patiently as Wuxian tapers off into an awkward silence.
The omega sits up, "Let me introduce you, Lan Zhan." He winces at the use of his given name, but Wuxian remains oblivious. Almost as oblivious as he pretends to be while emitting pheromones that scream for attention.
"Ladies, this is my...friend, Lan Zhan. He's a beta and he's a hardass, so I think and Alpha girlfriend may help him loosen up a little. Lan Zhan, this is Bingbing, Lifei and..."
"Huamei," the woman supplies. She gives Wangji a coy smile and looks away.
And not a full second later, "Ladies, I am afraid I must ask you to leave."
"Lan Zhan!" Wuxian protests, displeasure clear in his scent. Automatically, two of the females release calming pheromones to placate him.
Wangji makes no effort to acknowledge it, "I'm afraid Mr.Wei has schedules to attend to tomorrow."
He turns to the women, finally, "Please cooperate, I do not wish to cause you any discomfort."
He looks directly at the nervous alpha, Li-something, with a stern expression and it's enough that she hops up and motions to her friends, ushering them out. Their scents are varying levels of disappointment, but none as great as the uninhibited displeasure Wei Wuxian emits.
He watches rigidly as they exit, nodding to Mian Mian to guide them out. Pulling the door shut after them, he turns to face the now glowering omega.
"You know damn well I have nothing scheduled for tomorrow. Or the next three days."
Technically, he didn't. But they still had to move location and arrange setups and rehearsals. He doesn't bother arguing it.
"You damaged two mains," he tells him.
"Okay," Wuxian replies, annoyed, "Just buy another one?" His eyes have the glazed-over look he sports after performing, one influenced by scents of alphas and omegas alike. With the pheromones of the alphas that just left, he seems groggier than usual, but his irritation keeps him sharp.
"Mhm," he responds.
"You didn't have to make them leave!"
"Please conduct your personal errands during your own time."
Wuxian gestures to the dressing room, "I'm doing nothing."
"Then do something."
The younger stands, moving toward him. "You are unbelievable, Lan Zhan!"
"The scents were affecting the crew."
"Were they affecting you? Most of the crew are betas—"
"Omegas," he corrects, "like you."
Wuxian scoffs. "So what? It's my dressing room. It's my tour."
Ah, Wei Wuxian was undeniably difficult, Wangji thinks to himself. He doesn't answer, instead surveying the mess around said dressing room.
"You know Lan Zhan," the younger male says accusingly, pointing a finger into his chest, "maybe if you could detect scents, you'd understand what it's like to cater to someone else."
He nearly scoffs in return.
"Do you smell anything other than your own pheromones, Wei Ying?"
The omega folds his arms. "What do you mean?"
"You release them without regard for who it affects."
"Why does it matter? Can my scent even affect you? Maybe if you were an alpha, Lan Zhan, you would understand." His voice is a provoking whisper, laced with a challenge that Wangji's instincts want to rise to meet.
"Betas can still detect, right? Just how much does it impact you?" the younger says, with narrowed eyes. Wuxian's scent is flooding his senses, dense and abundant, invading his brain and making his thinking slow and hazy.
"Stop," he tells him.
"Why," the younger sneers, "Does it affectyou?" The challenge is palpable, both in tension and smell, and Wangji has a hard time focusing on where to direct his attention.
"Stop," he says again. More hormones assault him, and he shakes his head lightly in an attempt to shake it off.
"No," the omega says bitterly.
"Stop," he snaps. The tight grasp he uses to contain his own pheromones slips, his own scent presenting to overcome the omega's display. The change makes Wuxian turn toward him sharply, expression mildly terrified but curious. There's a question on his lips, but all Wangji can hear is the blood rushing in his ears as the omega continues still.
Stepping forward, he pins the younger against the wall, one hand clutching both his wrists and the other curled around his neck, a demand for submission.
The omega's eyes widen, awestruck. "You are an Alpha."
He growls, chest heaving from effort. Wuxian's scent doesn't dissipate but instead begins to change to something else, something frightening.
With his hands around the omega's throat, the sharp defensive tension drops to the lick of a low burn in his stomach. Where his finger is pressed to Wuxian's scent gland all he can detect is the encompassing scent of arousal, already inciting a reaction out of him.
His brows furrow at the sudden change, but the omega is extending the side of his neck so that it's visible to the Alpha looking down at him, clearly a display of compliance. Wangji's alpha instinct begs him to bite, claim, press seething marks into the pale skin until it bleeds with his scent.
He's dipping down to do just that, catching himself at the last moment. Wuxian has his eyes cast low, looking on with resigned interest but leaning into the Alpha. He's afraid his hormones have affected him, but he's also aroused, feeding off the energy the omega fuels.
"Tell me to stop," he says, as Wuxian studies his eyes, pupils dilated but expression holding a suspicious clarity.
The younger whispers it against his lips, a final glance before he tilts up, and their lips meet. The touch has fire zipping through him, body tingling with contained energy surging to the surface and crashing around them. Wuxian's scent feels like it takes on a form of its own, with the intensity and rage it thrums with.
They break apart, Wuxian moaning raggedly and panting into his ear. "Lan Zhan," he says, desperate, and he follows the omega's lead, leaning back into him and kissing him filthily, the younger's hands still pinned above him.
The hand on the omega's neck slips down, tracing the muscles on his chest and stomach through his open shirt.
"Touch me, please," Wuxian asks, and he wants to refuse. He makes the mistake of looking into the younger's eyes and feels compelled to obey his every command. Pressing his nose under his jaw, he breathes in the heady smell, hands roaming to palm at the other's length.
The younger shudders from the touch, hips canting slightly to seek friction.
"Ah— Lan Zhan!"
Hearing his name fall from those sinful lips in a wanton moan gets his blood boiling.
"Please— please Lan Zhan..."
"Wei Ying," he breathes back, reverently. How many times has he watched the omega in his grasp flirt so shamelessly? He hesitates to make another sound lest it breaks the spell. On the other hand, Wei Ying spouts his name like a litany, trembling against him and writhing into his touch as much as he can.
He lets go of his arms to unfasten the other's pants. He pops open the button, sliding the zipper down and slipping his hand inside. He comes into contact with heated flesh, growling when he thinks of bare skin under the thin fabric.
The younger uses his now free arms rid himself of the pants altogether, and all Wangji can do is stare as he does. His throat works with effort, body frozen with the last tendrils of control.
The younger throws his arms around his shoulders, pulling him close.
"No please, Don't stop," he begs, but it's less of a whine and more of a command. He's tilting his head back, pulling Wangji by his shirt collar into his lips, moaning as he squeezes his biceps imploringly. The omega guides his hand back to his groin, rutting against his palm and panting Wangji's name wetly onto his lips.
He kisses him back forcefully, hand hiking one of Wuxian's legs up to hook around his waist. He leans his weight into him, pinning him against the wall, and running his hot palm on the cool flesh of the omega's ass, surprised to find that the other is already dripping wet when moisture coats his hands. The omega's hands cup his cheeks on either side so that he can't turn away from the bruising kisses.
He traces his index finger around the rim and slips one finger inside him, Wuxian already rocking back onto him.
He relents, slipping in another finger, then another at the younger's insistence. He makes a sound deep in his throat, a thrill he's never heard from him before and he preens when he realises Wei Wuxian is purring. For him.
"How did I not know? How do you hide your scent, Lan Zhan?"
The omega chuckles, "The control you're displaying right now, with your hand in my ass?"
"Dirty," he tsks, twisting his fingers and making Wei Ying gasp, the omega's fingers digging half-moons into his shoulders.
"Yeah but why," the omega insists gasping brokenly as Wangji tugs him and fucks his fingers into him simultaneously.
"Too much," he mumbles, licking under Wuxian's jaw, "You couldn't handle it."
"Oh yeah? Try me," the younger smirks. Wangji hums against his neck, letting his pheromones slip back out. He relishes in the bliss that overcomes the omega, eyes unfocused and body shuddering against him.
Wuxian tries mouthing words, but he's too overcome with the sensations to speak, only managing to vocalise ragged breaths and moans.
"Told you," the alpha chides, lightly biting Wuxian's neck.
He continues his ministrations, rubbing the walls inside the omega until he's shaking and spilling against Wangji's dress shirt and pants, head thrown back with his neck exposed and Wangji wants.
"Lan Zhan," he manages tiredly, dropping his leg and pulling the older flush against him, "Kiss me."
After, he sends the omega back to the hotel with a staff member, left to finish arrangements at the concert hall. The staff work quickly and quietly, energy levels diminished from working since the night before. He does what he can to make sure things go smoothly, the arrangements for the next concert date in three days and the movement of all their props have been scheduled appropriately.
Thanking everyone for their work, they finally head back to the hotel for some well-deserved rest at about 8 am. Wei Wuxian calls him around lunch to complain that there is ranch dressing on his salad and that he should fix it. Tiredly, he complies. He did sign up for this job after all. He just didn't expect the omega to be that cavalier about what happened that morning. But, he reasons, nothing about Wei Wuxian was what one would refer to as 'typical' or 'normal'. He was just...Wei Ying. So with a sigh, he calls the hotel to complain on his boss' behalf about the wrong salad dressing, then falling back to sleep immediately afterwards.