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Cooling Off

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It's summer and Wei Ying is a disgustingly sweaty mess. Admittedly, his all-black wardrobe isn't helping, but he suspects that he'd still feel like melting even if he was to wear one of Lan Zhan's mourning-white hanfu.

Speaking of, right then Lan Zhan appears from the library, heading straight towards where Wei Ying's languishing in the shadiest spot under the largest tree he's been able to find in Cloud Recesses. And of course he looks immaculate as always, not one hair out of place, not one drop of sweat daring to despoil this picture of perfect composure - and beauty, because Wei Ying has eyes. Somehow Lan Zhan appears even more ethereal in the sweltering summer heat, and Wei Ying's fingers twitch with the urge to reach out and touch, find out whether his skin is as cool and flawless as it seems.

Instead he settles for waving exuberantly and exclaiming, "Lan Zhan, come join me - the temperature's almost bearable here!"

"No," is the immediate answer, and Wei Ying clamps down on a rather disproportionate feeling of disappointment. However, with the slightest tilt of his head, Lan Zhan continues, "Why don't you join me in the healing pools instead?"

"Yes!" Wei Ying's jumps to his feet before Lan Zhan's even stopped talking. He's plain forgotten about the existence of the cold springs, which are obviously the answer to his every prayer on this sweltering day. Grabbing Lan Zhan by the arm, he pulls him along, impatient to immerse himself. Lan Zhan grunts in mild protest but allows himself to be led, although he forces Wei Ying to slow his half-run to a more rule-conforming fast walk, and they soon reach their destination.

Letting go of Lan Zhan, Wei Ying immediately wriggles out of his clothes, baring himself unselfconsciously, and steps into the pool. The water is ice cold, and he yelps a little but keeps going until he's up to his chin. Only then does he realise that Lan Zhan hasn't followed him but is still standing at the edge completely dressed, watching him with an unreadable expression, hands curled into fists by his sides.

If Wei Ying didn't know better, he'd think Lan Zhan was almost vibrating with tension, but since that's entirely impossible, he just grins and splashes some water in his direction. "Come on, Lan Zhan, the water's glorious!"

Another long beat before Lan Zhan finally complies, although he takes much more care with his clothes than Wei Ying had. Wei Ying catches himself staring at the expanse of porcelain skin and lean muscle being revealed, and he quickly averts his glance, not wanting to make Lan Zhan feel selfconscious. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that he's beginning to feel a little hot once more, despite the cold water still surrounding him.

Only after Lan Zhan's entered the pool does Wei Ying turn around. He splashes him again, laughing when Lan Zhan shakes his head at him. Summer really isn't so bad after all.