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Read You Like a Book

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"I don't need your help!" 

 

The entire room comes to a standstill, and all that can be heard is the wind chime hanging at the window of Jingshi.

 

Wei Ying doesn't move, doesn't blink, doesn't even seem to breath as he processes the words his husband just hissed at him from across the room, as they stand surrounded by papers and books. Papers and books Wei Ying tried to help his husband organise. Papers and books that were precious to Lan Zhan. Papers and books Lan Zhan didn't want touched. Papers and books that Wei Ying pulled out of their shelves, now in apparent disarray. He didn't know, he just wanted to do something nice, he can fix this. He can't stand seeing Lan Zhan upset, he has to fix this. 

 

An apology on the tip of his tongue, Wei Ying pushes past his hurt and tries to salvage the situation, "I'm sorry, Lan Zhan, I didn't know - I just wanted -" 

 

"Get out." 

 

Stunned into silence again, Wei Ying notices that his Lan Zhan isn't even looking at him. His hands are clenched into fists on his pristine robes, and the upset rolling off him is so palpable Wei Ying almost doubles over under the weight of it; a thick smog of tension in the air between them. He cannot lose Lan Zhan, not to this, he wants to make it right, but how can he, when everything he's doing or saying now only pushes his husband further from him. 

 

Guilt eats away at Wei Ying, confusion and regret at behaving like a child, feeling like a child and touching what wasn't his to touch - this is Lan Zhan's home, his Cloud Recesses, his Gusu Lan, his Jingshi, his shelves, his books, these were not yours to touch, he doesn't need your help, he doesn't need your help - 

 

 

- he doesn't need you. 

 

 

"I'm sorry." He mumbles, taking a step back, slowly inching backwards, afraid to turn his back on Lan Zhan's anger, until he is out of the Jingshi. Lan Zhan stands, unmoving, eyes cold and distant - a look Wei Ying never thought he'd ever see again in privacy. Every inch of him feels too warm from the shame of upsetting the ever-patient, loving Hanguang Jun, from managing to make even Lan Wangji lose his temper this badly. A soft whisper of wind as he turns and runs from the grounds, running from this shame. 

 

Wei Ying barely feels the cold from winter, barely feels the snow under his naked feet or against his wet cheeks. 

 

 

He doesn't need you.